Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Sunday, December 30, 2012

On the road again

  No, you can't hear me sing, but it feels good to be back out on the road.
 We left Statesville on Friday after almost 7 weeks. Wow the time there went fast. We had a good time and enjoyed helping with the projects. I said we'll return when we can't stay so long :).
 We drove about 6 hr to GA/AL border. Stayed at Big Oak RV Park near Tallapoosa,GA. It was just a one night stop and started to rain after getting set up so didn't get to check out much. One thing it was less than a mi. from freeway and didn't hear much traffic noise.
 We had planned one more stop before getting to our main destination but as we had got a good start and traffic was light we kept on going. We pulled into Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL. This will be home for the next month or so.
 Rainbow Plantation is an Escapee Park. Escapee's is a RV club with campgrounds located mainly in the south. They have locations in Fla.,Texas,Ala, and a few others. They are also a support network for RVers. They offer discounts at other parks, publish a very nice magazine bimonthly and have a forum full of information on all aspects of rving.
 The park looks nice. The sites are spacious and nice shade trees on all sites. They have a clubhouse and activities throughout the week. We will post more about those later.

 We choose this area because it is less than 20 mi. from the ocean (Gulf Shores). Mobile AL 30 mi west and Pensacola FL 40 mi east. There should be lots to see and do.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

  Hope you all had a joyous Christmas.

 The past week has been busy with finishing getting ready for Christmas. Shopping and planning Christmas dinner and breakfast. (Well- Wendy and Mandi anyway).
  We volunteered  Wednesday at a toy collection site in Charlotte. Mandi has done this before and recruited us along. Had a good time mostly spent wrapping gifts.

   Saturday we drove to the mountains by Boone, NC. It was a cold and windy 34. We saw some light snow.  We stopped at a mall as it was to cold for a mountain walk.
 Sunday we drove to our Packer bar. We have been here so long and this was our third trek there- we feel like regulars.
   We skyped with the family in WI on Christmas eve and Christmas morning. We hadn't done that before but will have to do that more. They had gathered at a water park in Wisconsin Dells.
  We did get a nice walk in on Christmas day. Went with Mandi and the doggies. We love the holidays but the good eats and drinks get the best of us.
  Wendy has been busy doing research on our exit plans from here. We had planned to head out on Thursday but that may change. Our grandson (Alex) is driving down from WI so we may stay and visit with him for a day or so.
 If we don't post before then have a Happy New Year and GO Badgers!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hitch Itch

 There is a site where different fulltime RVers blog called Hitchitch.com. We have read on many of the other bloggers as we prepared for our life as fulltimers. Take a peek in if interested.
 Hitch Itch also is a term used when you have been in one place and are getting the urge (itch) to move on. So we have almost completed the bathroom remodel and we are feeling it is time to move on.
  We had planned to stay through the holidays and then go, but think we will stay for Christmas and then head out on Dec. 27.
  It has been great to have been able to spend time with Mandi and Pat. We enjoyed keeping busy making the days here seem to fly by.

 This past week was busy we made Christmas cookies and did some more shopping. We also worked hard to get the bathroom usable and house cleaned for a little party on Friday night. Things went together good and we had the sink and toilet by deadline. Mandi was happy!!

  Mandi had invited some friends over for dinner and drinks Friday night. We met some nice people, played some dice games and had a campfire in a burning barrel. The highlight of the night was to be blowing a pumpkin up. Pat had seen the neighbors had a pumpkin still sitting on their wall. He asked if he could smash it for them. Well the plans changed to use some small fireworks and blow it up.We are in the south ya know. Well turns out try as we might the pumpkin lived through it all. Oh well, we all had a good laugh.
  On Wednesday we have plans to volunteer putting some holiday baskets together for the needy. Mandi has done this before and sounds like a nice thing to do.
  And so the plans are to have a nice Christmas, then on the 26th get things ready to go and leave out on the 27th and head towards Foley, Alabama. We want to spend a month or so at an Escapees park there. It is about 20 miles from Gulf Shores and the ocean.
           Wendy and I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rocky Face

Hello all,
  Been a busy week for us. On Monday the weather was a beautiful sunny 74 degrees. Wendy was busy searching for a place for a hike. There are many nice state park areas around but more near the mountains requiring more than an hours drive. She then started to look at the geocache site and seen a bunch of caches in an area close by. It is a county park called Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area. Only about 20 miles away. So we packed a lunch and wrote down some of the coordinates and headed off.
  Our GPS would not take the park address so we had a bit trouble finding it. Turns out we had missed a small sign on a post. Once there we found a beautiful newly redone park. A very nice pavilion and new roads and parking lot.

 The parks main feature is the Mountain. Not big but they have a good trail that loops about 4.5 miles. They have a short paved trail and there were about 17 geocaches in the park. They also allow some rock climbing with a permit.

 We only did 5 of the caches but if we get another chance may go back for more. We got a travel bug in one that we will move on.

 We spent most of the rest of the week working on the bathroom remodel. As per usual with an older house it has been interesting overcoming odd issues.
 We did take a day to go Christmas shopping, but not much progress was made. We just can't seem to get into the spirit when your shopping in short sleeve shirts. Usually in Wisconsin we were dashing in the cold and snow from car to stores.
 On Sunday we get to visit with our son Nate. He is a utilities locator and has taken a three week assignment in Gainesville Ga. It is about 4 hours away so we will meet him half way.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Hi all,
 So what have we been up to.
After the Jekyll Island trip we have been mostly settling back in at Mandi's and getting back to projects. We painted the kitchen and put up trim.
We have been busy helping planning the remodel of a bathroom. This is going to be a big job, pretty much gutting it out and replacing most everything. We'll keep you posted on how that's going.

 We have been getting some short walks in with her dogs. Max is a border collie/ Australian Shepard and Dixie is a dachshund/ border collie/ black lab- oh just say a mix up. They are pretty well behaved and quite friendly. Wendy and I have never been pet owners but we do not mind animals that behave. 
 We went to catch the Packer/ Viking game at a bar. Had a pretty good time and was quite surprised to see a good 40 or more other Packer fans.

  On Monday we plan to goof off and go hike as it is suppose to be in the 70s.
 How's your Christmas shopping going? We have a start but this is a very different year for us. We have to think do we buy and ship or just try and find on line and deliver to their houses?? We don't really want to go the gift card route but in the future who knows?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Leaving Jekyll Island

Hi all,
This has really seemed like vacation to us. Is it possible to take vacation when your retired??
  I had wrote that on Thanksgiving we had got a nice bike ride in. Well, on our vacations we usually kept moving so this was no different.
 We then toured the Sea Turtle Center. It is in the center district of Jekyll. Jekyll Island is used by the turtles for a place to lay there eggs. The area is very important for the turtles and a lot of work is done at the center to rehab injured turtles and monitor nests. It is very informative and nice hands on activities for kids.

 Another walk on Driftwood beach and then we would get to finally eat some turkey. We cheated a bit buying a prepared bird that only required heating but the girls did cook the rest of the fixins. And they did a great job- we all ended up stuffed.
  Friday started with a walk on the beach then we had to take Pats mom Gale back to the airport. We then took a trip to St. Simons Island. This area has a busy shopping area, kinda touristy stuff. It also had some nice looking places to eat so we tried some yummy burgers. There is pretty lighthouse that you can tour and go up in for a price, but we just took pics and waked about.

 After that (did I say we keep busy) we toured Ft. Frederica. This is a national park and Wendy has been adding stamps to her National Park passport book. It is an old town/fort from 1742. For $3 you can watch a 20 minute movie, take a walk through old streets seeing some foundations and many nice narrative signs. Well worth the time and cost.

     We then headed back to Jekyll to finish the day with a walk on the beach.
 Saturday our last full day to be here started with a beach walk. After a nice breakfast we hopped on bikes and commenced to ride 50 miles (according to Pat). Well it was probably 15 to 20 and for us plenty.

 We then took a short rest and headed to a Christmas tree lighting in the Jekyll Plantation District. We sure don't feel like Christmas season to us being 60 degrees.
 We had a nice bonus to the day- Wendy had posted some pics on facebook and a classmate  had seen them and said we were in her area. Well she said she was going to the tree lighting. We said we'd be there but made no plan to meet up. Well you guessed by now we met and got a nice little visit. She says she doesn't get many visitors from Wisconsin- but I highly recommend anybody looking for a nice beach area to come spend some time. And next time we will look Connie Jo up for a good visit.

 So it was dark and we headed back to the house. We were packing up so we could get an early start for home Sunday. But Pat surprised and said we should take a night time walk on the beach. He said his sore knees and numb legs couldn't get any worse.So off we went.
 Sorry this was such a long blog but we won't have much going on after this. We need to get some projects at Mandi's done.
 To recap Jekyll Island is a nice quiet area. It is not real big. about 8 miles long and 2 or so miles wide.Not to built up with alot of the shops and stores. They have bikes and golf carts for rent.
  They do have a nice looking campground that is all shaded. We drove through and it looked nice. The beach just good stroll away.
 And lastly it  is pretty dog friendly. Only on the south area where alot of the nesting takes place dogs are prohibited. On the north you can let dogs loose under your control (except for nesting time).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

    Wendy and I hope everyone  had a good turkey day. It is a bittersweet one for us.
 It is our first thanksgiving as fulltimers and we are spending it with our daughter at the beaches of Jekyll Island.

 The bitter part is missing our other kids and our grandsons. It is also my first holiday after my mom passed and my thoughts and memories are with her and dad.
                               We have been busy the past couple days exploring the area.
Jekyll is a nice small island. It has good ocean beaches and is not to overly commercial or touristy.
 One beach area called Driftwood has many old oaks that have lodged in sand. They are a lot of fun to climb on and are very picturesque.

 You need to pay attention to the tide schedule, or else you may get trapped down the beach and find yourself getting wet to return. Pats mom tripped on a branch and ended up soaked. Luckily she didn't get hurt and was a good sport of it.

Gale, Pat, Mandy, Wendy and Ray
  On Wednesday we took a ride to visit Cumberland Island National Seashore about 30 miles south and then you take a 45 minute boat ride. It was a nice sunny day but the wind was cool. We crossed the island did a hike down the beach and visited the Dungeness. This is the site of two magnificent estates through different eras. These estates of the 1880's have burned and only ruins remain. The size is unbelievable and to think how places like this were built and maintained is a wonder.

 The island also has wild horses roaming about. We saw four right away as we headed down a trail. Later we saw more at the ruin sites.


 Turkey day Wendy and I got up and got a nice bike ride in. As always it turned out a little longer than we thought- dang- lost again. Oh well it is a small island and if you keep going one direction you will get back.
                     ( Click on the pictures to see them bigger.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

This for that

Hi all,
 First off I want to get a short brag in, two of our grandsons hunting deer in Wisconsin were both successful bagging their first deer. Alex who is 18 got a nice doe and Noah,15 got a nice 8 pt. buck.
 Deer hunting in many Wisconsin families is a tradition, and is probably the hardest thing for me to have parted from. Ask Wendy- she has heard me whimpering like a dog wanting to go outside. I guess I'll get over it.  

  To help get over it we trekked off to the beach for the week. Mandi has rented a place on Jekyll Island. Jekyll is located off the coast of Georgia and was only a 6 hour drive from her place. We will be spending Thanksgiving here with her, husband(Pat) and his mom(Gail).

 The place is only a block off the beach and a big bonus -- fresh fruit trees on the property that are ripe for picking.

                So the week will be spent with walks on the beach and exploring the island.