Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, January 25, 2013

Where is the time going?

Hello all,
 We are enjoying our first winter out of the cold. We feel a bit guilty being here and most of our families are in (WI) a bitter cold spell. Being in Alabama, we are not in the warmest place but I still have yet to don my winter jacket.
  Sunday we spent the day washing the rv. It is nice that they allow that here. In many private parks it is not allowed. On Monday we took a ride to Florida and toured Big Bay State Park. We took a nice walk.

 We stopped at Flora-Bama, a bar on the border. It is a maze of stairways and multiple bars. More set up for the younger crowd. The place was pretty much wiped out in the hurricane Ivan. Parts of the bar stayed open. The Deck and Top Deck area was rebult and expanded. 2012 (spring) the Main Bar was restored in 68 days.
 We had the speciality Bushwhacker. Think Wendys frosty (chocolate shake) with different kinds of rum-lots of rum. Any more than one and you better have a driver. They had a live band and we listened in for a bit.

  Tuesday was wash day, yeah I know the fun just never stops. But we always seem to have some nice chats with others while there. We met a nice couple from Canada. Art and Ricky have been coming down to the states for a few years. They do Habitat for Humanity builds in different places. It is very interesting, you volunteer your time and usually get your site and hookups free. They have traveled to almost all the states and have a ton of knowledge we were trying to absorb.
 They had some friends coming to visit later in the day and were gracious enough to invite us out to dinner with them. We met them for a cocktail and were introduced to Roger and Sue. They were from Kentucky and have been fulltimers since 2009. They have worked in a fish camp in Maine, worked the sugar beet harvest, and at Amazon (3x) just to name a few. They also do the Habitat builds to. Boy we could sure learn  from them, just listening to one night of stories was awesome.
 Wednesday we made a Walmart run. Then took a walk in a park on Mobile Bay in Fairhope.

 Thursday we loaded up the bikes and headed to Gulf Shores State Park. We got a nice 15 mile ride in. We then crossed the road and spent a couple hours on the beach. I was teasing Wendy she can only sit for about 20 minutes before she has to get up and walk the beach.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Our 1st Mardi Gras Parade

 Hi all
 Well the nice weather has been cool and rainy. Was only 48 Thursday and very windy. They actually had snow in Birmingham Al. Yeah I know it is winter :(. The weekend report was to warm up.
  We are pretty well settled in here and almost getting a routine for our week. That may be bad. I can start to feel the itch coming on. We haven't spent much time planning future moves. We may have to start planning (loosely).

 We went out to Dauphin Island for a Mardi Gras parade today. We rode the ferry, which is a 35 minute ride from Fort Morgan. There have been a couple parades already and a bunch more before Fat Tuesday on Feb. 12. This was our first Mardi Gras parade and we had a lot of fun.

  We checked out Fort Gaines on the island. It is on the opposite shore from Fort Morgan. They both guarded  Mobile Bay. Again it is a awesome display of workmanship.

  There are many people from the Midwest down here. All a person has to do is where some green n yellow and your sure to find conversation, even though the Packers took it on the chin. We had some nice chats with people on the ferry and at the parade. It is nice sharing different stories about travels n such.



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summer like weather

    Wow, we have had some great weather!
 Friday - We got in a little some geocaching and put out two travelbugs we had been holding.
  Sat. - We got in a nice bike ride at Gulf Shores State Park. We biked 11 miles and only did a couple of trails. Afterwards we hung out at the beach for awhile.

                             Here we hit up a five and dime and tried on some Mardi Gras attire.

   Today we attended a Family Favorites (pot luck). They had a big showing and raised $500 in donations for Care.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gator watch

Hello all,
 It just started raining so it must be time to write again. The weather has been warming, 72 today and only 62 at night. We are looking at 70s for the weekend.
  To recap our week on Sun. evening we attended the ice cream social. They also had entertainment for us afterward. A gentleman playing guitar and singing. It was very nice and they only ask for donations.
  On Monday we headed off to the beach. We drove to Gulf Shores State Park. It is right between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. We walked a paved trail and got in a nice paced 5 mi. One area on the walk had signs for alligators.We searched the area hard but did not see any gators.

 We then crossed the road and strolled down the beach. The beaches here are beautiful white sand but most of the seashell treasures are small in size.
Sand angel

  Monday night I walked up to the club house and watched the BCS game. I tried to act like a local Ala. fan.
   Tuesday we loaded up the bikes and drove to the Eastern Shore National Recreation Trail. It is a paved trail on the western shore of Mobile Bay. We did about 12 mi. which is all our butts could handle. We got to get on those more often. We then drove about 20 mi. north to Alligator Alley. In my mind I pictured walking down a trail by a river filled with gators. What we actually found was a smelly area under a freeway overpass with no gators to be seen. So this was the third place that posted for gators but none to be found. Maybe just my luck.
  Wednesday was just a stay home day. We are trying to slow down ya know.) We got in a good morning walk and I ran the wire for my sirius radio in the truck. The kids had given us a radio and subscription for Christmas. The unit is portable so I can use is it around the RV also. I also gave the truck a quick washing. At 1:30 we walked up to the club house to listen to a jam session. It was actually quite nice with some very good musicians. The highlight though was another fellow listening in. He came over to us about three times telling us some of his life stories. He has been married for 66 years. His wife or girlfriend at the time wrote him daily for two years while he was in the service. He said how he dropped to his knee as soon as he got home because he did not want her to get away.
 That has also been a nice part being here. We have met some nice people and all have been friendly. Sometimes your arm gets as much exercise as our legs on the walks with all the waving we do.)
 Today(Thur.) we got in our walk, did the Walmart thing then went to the club house to help decorate for Mardi Gras.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Rain, sun, rain....

 Hello all,
 We are parked at Rainbow Plantation, Summerdale, AL.
 Sitting here on a rainy Sunday but at least its not snow. The weather has been cool with most days 50-60 and nights 30-40. Not quite beach weather. We did get in our morning walk before the rain.
  The park is set up in three sections. Sites on the front two roads with 87 full hook up sites. There is also an area dry camping if just traveling through or waiting for a site.
  There is an area just off to the side that are called erpu sites which people pay an amount then have ownership of the lot for a given time of 5 yr. paying a monthly fee. After they time they may renew for a minimal amount or the initial cost is returned.( Note: this was how I understood it from one fellow, exact details may differ.)

 The last area are private homes and lots in a small subdivision. The lots contain a mix of smaller homes, a few trailer homes, and some lots with RV ports. Almost all lots have hook ups for an extra unit to use.
   We got out exploring a couple areas recently. We took a walk at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge.

 This area is on a peninsula east of Gulf Shores. It is 7000 acres of coastal land ranging from beach dunes to rolling pine, and oak forests. Bon Secour comes from the French meaning"safe harbour".
    We then drove to the peninsula end and toured Fort Morgan. This fort was used to protect Mobile Bay.

It still contains many standing brick and concrete structures that were used to hold gun positions. You take a self guided tour through the fort. We were impressed with the condition of the fort. Places like this makes you think of the efforts that went into materials and building with tools and technology of the time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A new year

 Hello all,
  Hope everyone had a good and safe time bringing in the new year.
 The campground had a little gathering with snacks and entertainment on New Years eve. It ended at 9:00. So we finished up playing some cribbage in the camper and watched the Moon Pie fall in Mobile on tv. Then called friends and family at midnight.

 News Years day we headed to Gulf Shores. We walked the beach and I joined in and did a polar plunge. Well it sure wasn't like back in WI. The weather was 72 and water temp 58. Wendy did the polar toe plunge. It was mostly cloudy and began to rain as we left.

 We did not make resolutions but like everyone else we want to lose some weight and get more exercise. I know not very exciting.
 Today was a start to getting more settled in. We got in a good walk and I scrubbed some tar off the camper front and then a good coat of wax. Wendy got some good cleaning done inside without me to bug her.
 We have started to learn more of the upcoming Mardi Gras. We learned it actually started in Mobile and there are more than 50 parades (woohoo) over the next few weeks with it all ending Feb. 12. We plan on going to the Mobile Carnival Museum to learn about the birthplace of Mardi Gras.

                                                         Happy New Year