Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Festival Internationale in Layfayette

Our reason for going through Lafayette, Louisiana was to stop and see LaJuana and Dan.  We met them four years ago in Galveston at a NOMADS Disaster Recovery volunteer effort.

We did some research and found a good campground for an overnight stay at Bayou Wilderness RV Resort.
 It was a little bit of a drive off the freeway to get there, but it was a nice campground with big pull through sites and a good laundry.

Things worked out and we met them for dinner at PerJeans Cajun Seafood Restaurant. 
Oh my!  That was a home run! Pam and I split a Shrimp Festival Platter.

Then I got out my selfie stick and took a picture.  After I looked at it a minute I saw that there were six of us in the photo and we had no idea who the couple was behind us. :)  Have you done that recently?
After a little while, I retook the photo that included just us...

We had some sweet biscuits to start with, then shrimp gumbo (Wow! that was good!), shrimp salad, blackened shrimp with cocktail sauce and some Cajun (dirty) rice and shrimp ettoufee.

And as it happened, we hit town at the start of the Festival International in downtown Lafayette.  It is a music festival, money raiser for the town and only comes along once a year.  We went downtown and parked in their church parking lot and walked over to the happenings.  It was the first evening with the festival and they only had one stage set up.  By the end of the second day in the downtown area there would be 4-5 stages with music going on each one of them.

We wandered over to the stage and listened for a little while.  We had never heard Zydeco music so this was a first.
We hung around for about an hour or so, went through a couple of booths and then went back to the car.  Their church is in the downtown area and Dan and LaJuana offered to take us inside for a tour of the historic building.
It was a very beautiful church built in 1924.

We love to see historical places and local festivals.  And the seafood was really good.  It was a memorable experience and great time seeing Dan and LaJuana.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Our First Stay in Louisiana State Parks

It was an easy drive over to the campsite.  One of the caretakers had us wait a couple of minutes while he mowed the area which I appreciated.
Nothing like a nice mowed grassy area to have for a campsite.

We went exploring our first day there and over to the 'beach' and Restroom area.  As we passed the parking lot, we were told that it was closed off for the day because 'NCIS New Orleans" with Scott Bakula.  We missed him and the actors and instead go to chat with the catering clean up crew.
We also took a hike along one of the many trails.
It was a good walk and had a couple of puddles we needed to negotiate which was fine.
Later in the day, I took a bike ride along the flat and well maintained Tammany Trace Bike Trail.
I really enjoyed  it with the new trail and all the sights along the way.
Fun to get back on the bike and get some exercise.

And at the campground we grilled a couple of meals and got enough wood for a couple of nice campfires.  Glad spring is finally here.  We are enjoying this camping!
Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Niceville and the Destin FL Area

We arrived in Niceville, FL at the Maxwell/Gunter Recreation Center Campground on Friday.  Along the way Pam drove for a couple of hours and I got to do some online work for a couple of hours.
I love my Roadrunner office window and desk.

It was a rained a little on the way there, but the good site with another water front view.
Though the campground is a bit older, it was completely satisfactory.  It had water, electric, cable TV* and a dump station.  
*The cable TV connection was not working but our neighbor was right there when we set up and offered to let us use his.  He and another camper had put a splitter on at his site and our wire was long enough to reach from the Roadrunner to his connection.
The first thing we notice coming into the area off the main street was the new paved road.  Pam and I visited this place (which is across the bay from Destin, FL) a few years back and I remember how many ruts and pot holes there were in the road.  Not now, it is upgraded and not an issue.

Since we were married in Fort Walton Beach, this area has a special place in our hearts and we love to come back here.  The other big draw is our friend Karin.  She works in Niceville and we met for lunch.
We drove around the area later in the day and went back to the Roadrunner to read and watch the golf.  After dinner, the sun came out and we walked around the campground.
On Sunday, we listened to a Lon Solomon podcast and then drove over to Destin.  It continues to grow!  We went by the Fort Benning Rec Area Campground and liked what they have done with the improvements and upgrades. Next, we drove over to Hurlburt Field and stopped along the way for lunch at What-A-Burger.  On base, we searched for the barracks where Pam lived.  It apparently has been torn down and replaced by a larger structure.  Same with the building where I lived.   We made our way back to the campground and chilled out for the rest of the day.

We have only been on the road two weeks after leaving the Virginia Beach area.  In some ways it seems as if it has been six months.  We are loving the driving and setting up at the new campgrounds and seeing this part of the country again!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  This (according to the Google blogspot numbers) is my 1000th post.  Thanks for being a part of our journey in one or many of them...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Last Days at Mayport

We wrapped up our week at Naval Station Mayport on Friday.  The more we stay here the more we like it.  Our front row site provided a lot of interesting views watching the activity in the water:
While we were there dredging operations were underway which was fun to watch.  They were going on 24/7 clearing out the silt from the channel and loading it onto barges.  From there they went down about a mile to the beach and created a large temporary pipeline to pump the sand back on to the beach.
Its a little hard to tell but the large pipeline goes down the beach for about a mile.  They pump the sand to the end of it where bulldozers smooth it out from the piles.
I can't imagine how many tons of sand has been reclaimed but it is a lot!

Also while at Mayport, I got a chance to climb on top of the Roadrunner and give it a good wash and rinse.  Surprisingly, it was in pretty clean.  

I then washed the whole thing and started on applying The Solution to shine it up.  I was able to get all of the PS done before I ran out of energy.  This is definitely a more-than-one-day job.

Another day after lunch we went over to Mayport to the St. John's River Ferry and took a ride across the St. John's River to do some exploring.
We drove through Huguenot Memorial State Park and out to the beach where there were a surprising number of people there with their cars.  Must have been 30+.  Reminded me of 'tailgating on the beach'.  People drove up on the hard packed sand beach as far as they, propped their chairs and coolers and umbrellas out and soaked up what little sun there was.

I thought this would be another good place to try out my selfie stick again.
Then we ran some errands and went back to the campground for a quiet evening.
We enjoyed our time here at Naval Station Mayport and look forward to returning.  This may be the best overall military campground we have seen.  We love the way it is managed, we love the sites, the free laundry, the nice staff, the price and there is plenty of new things to do in see in the area.

And little Brooks Carter is growing and enjoying life.  He has changed so much since we saw him two weeks ago!
He just ate and about to take a snooze, but he is all dressed up for some golf later on..

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  And thanks for the notes - we appreciate those comments.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Loving Mayport

We are thoroughly enjoying being here at Naval Station Mayport.  Its just a few miles north of Jacksonville and a perfect spot for us to be staying.  Despite a few rain showers over the past few days, it has great weather.  The showers don't last all day and we have gotten a fair bit of sunshine.  And the temperature has been comfortable in the high 70's / low 80's.  Enough of the weather report...
We have had a few surprises - first an update on the power cord, surge protector issue.
I ordered a replacement surge protector for the one that burned up and failed.  We went with a Progressive Industries EMS-PT50C:
And Pam switched out the new 50 Amp plug we picked up at Lowe's for a different 50 Amp plug we got at Camping World:
I think the Lowe's plug would have been fine, but we liked the handle on the back and the fact the power cord from the coach fit into the bottom of the plug better.  The Lowe's plug is more suited to smaller wiring of washers and dryers.  The Camco plug had plenty of room at the area where it enters the plastic housing for the large power cord.
Then I got on my main project for the morning:  Washing the Roadrunner!  I have been wanting to do this since before Christmas.  I was good to get the grime and dirt from the winter off the coach.
One of the highlights of being here though is meeting blogging friends face-to-face for the first time.  We arrived on Saturday and on Sunday Dee Walter of Tumbleweed fame came over and introduced herself.  We first met online probably 7 years ago before we made the plunge.

Dee is a regular on the RV-Dreams.com chat forum and when I was first checking out this lifestyle we corresponded a few times.  Then in 2009 we both hit the road.  We have not really kept up over the years and it was a pleasant surprise to finally meet her and Jim.

It was primarily due to Dee's friend Jessica (RV Days with Jessica and Harry) who read our blog and Dee's blog and told Dee, "You are right next to each other at that campground!".  Sure enough, Dee and Jim are parked four sites down from us.
We were able to have Happy Hour with them and get a feel for what they've been up to and where they are headed and just have a nice get-together.  One of those RV things that we love!  And they invited us to lunch yesterday at a nearby locale place.

They invited us to lunch yesterday to check out one of their favorite places and it was great!   We drove with them to the the Singleton Seafood Shack about noon and had a great seafood lunch on the water.
It was really good:  fried oysters, shrimp, hush puppies, cole slaw, fries and ice tea or water.  Perfect lunch.

We are enjoying our time here and you can see why...

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!