Saturday, November 10, 2018

Florida Plans for the Winter!

Its hard to believe that we've been here for almost three months.  We leave in a little less than a week to spend the 2018/2019 season in Florida.  It's getting a little harder to leave these little ones (and the big ones)
Daughter Kelly, Jon, and the boys

En route we are planning stops in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.  After the snow bird season, we'll come back to Virginia Beach.

If our travels and schedule line up with yours, we'd love to see you!

Here is our current itinerary:
November

  • 17-18, Cross Country RV Park, Denver, NC
  • 19-23, Roadrunner RV Resort and Campground (private), Maynardville,  RN
  • 24-30, Red Bay RV Campground, Red Bay, AL

December

  • 1-5, Blue Angel MWR CG, Pensacola NAS, FL
  • 6-7, TBD
  • 8-16, Ft DeSoto State Park, Tierra Verde, FL
  • 17, Miccosukee Casino, Miami, FL
  • 18-31, NAS Sigsbee, Key West, FL

January

  • 2, Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanner, Vero Beach, FL
  • 13-31, Racoon Creek Recreation Area CG, MacDill AFB, Tampa, F

February

  • 1-28, Pelican Roost CG, Mayport NAS, Jacksonville, FL

March

  • 1-2, Pelican Roost CG, Mayport NAS, Jacksonville, FL
  • 3-16, Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanner, North Fort Myers, FL
  • 17, TBD
  • 18-20, Deaton Campground, Red Bay, AL
  • 21-24, Maynardville, TN
  • 27-31, TBD

April

  • 1-30 Virginia Beach



Monday, October 22, 2018

Grandkids and a New Deck

We're enjoying our time in Virginia Beach.  We've been spending a lot of time at Kelly and Jon's and with grandsons Brooks and Harrison.  These two little guys are something else!
We are content to spend time with them and just hang out.  We are glad to spell Kelly at times during the day so she can run some errands by herself.  We've also been able to babysit so she and Jon can enjoy a date night now and then and let them have some time off.
Meanwhile, we can always find things to do with they boys.  We've spend as much time as we can outside.  One favorite is picking up pine cones.  We got some of those $1 "pickers" (plastic 3' poles with a hand squeeze) and then can spend lots of time with the kids wandering around the front and back yards picking up pine cones at Goldmanor.
We also manage to help them ride their little cars or bikes or swing in the front yard.  Sometimes, its just too much and we just tucker them out...
It's usually the reverse though, we often wear out long before they do.  Their front yard has a long wall that is just high enough for them to walk on which is another source of wonder for them.
Kelly and Jon have been chipping away at a couple of projects and its fun to see them come together.  It only took two days to get the deck done in the back yard.  First, Jon removed the large azaleas and relocated them in other places around the yard.
Then the professionals came in the next day and did their magic.  The new deck off the sun room is at the back of the house.
 They had the posts in the ground, the cross beams leveled and deck joists in place before lunch time.
It is fun to watch professionals at work in their sweet spot. They did a great job and it all seemed so effortless.
We continue to enjoy our time here with the kids and grand kids and seeing some projects getting done.  Its been a warm late summer but in the last couple of days has turned cooler.

Kelly and Jon have introduced the boys to smors.  It has been a closely supervised but a big after-dinner treat.
That's all for now on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us.  Hope your week is a great one!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Why Write a Book?

Year ago someone mentioned that I should write a book.  Really?  Why should I do that? What would I say?  How does one do that?

I dismissed the idea then, but now, I'm a few weeks away from completing "The Wonder of RV Living, Vol 1 in the Roadrunner Chronicles".  I thought "Roadrunner Chronicles" already has some familiarity with RV blog readers, so I'll continue here with it.  It has been 18 months in the making.  I've had some expected false starts, weeks of having the words flow, followed by the ups and downs of getting across the finish line.
I can't say for sure when it will be out on Amazon for purchase, but I'm working hard to make it happen before Thanksgiving.  We will see.

Why do that?
May main motivation was that it would be a nice Christmas present.  I thought it would be cool to send a copy to each of my three brothers.  It still may happen and I'm only one year off my original goal of Christmas 2017.

I also thought that it might be helpful to pull together some information and send it along to folks who are curious about "How We Became Full-time RVers".  For others, I thought actual "Stories From Our Adventures" might be interesting.  Those two ideas comprise Part 1 and Part 2 of the manuscript.

Now, I look at it as a way to remember these great years on the road.  Last winter when we were at Palm Creek Resort in Casa Grande, AZ to see friends Karen and Steve, I remember RV neighbors who showed us there hardcopy book of their book on the trip they took on a boat around the Great Loop.  It was amazing to have a copy of their adventures in my hand and be able to read about it.  More motivation to get the Roadrunner Chronicles (Vol 1 - the book) completed.

How I started:
Rewind back to almost three years ago when I learned a friend was writing a book.  Wow - that was interesting.  Wes has a very good command of words and a knack for painting pictures with his words.  His Little Book of Misadventures got me thinking, "Ugh - There is no way I could do that."  I know I don't have nearly as a creative mind or story-telling creativity.

On the other hand, we have stories.  We've been living the dream for over 9 years now, and I have my own approach.  It began here with the blog Roadrunner Chronicles.

Where We Are:
Over 70,000 words, thirteen chapters, I'm now almost done with the second edit and thinking I have one more to go.
I have a couple more changes to make before I am happy the book cover, but it will be some variation of this.

That all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles -  next week, I'll share the titles of some of my chapters.  Thanks for taking a look today!



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Putzing Around and the Playhouse

We're back in Virginia Beach after the hurricane Florence mandatory evacuation from the Ocean Pines military RV campground here in Virginia Beach.

We have settled into a routine of sorts with most of our time being spent over at Jon and Kelly's and the grandkids.
We are available whenever we can to help out and even more.  At the same time we have  had some time to ourselves and are enjoying hiking, biking and seeing friends here that we have made over the years.

Brooks is just starting team soccer and that has been fun to experience.
I'm impressed with the coaches that know how to make it fun and are creative and finds all sorts of ways to keep the little ones on task.  45 minutes goes fast but everyone learns and has fun with it.
We also threw in another visit to the to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.  The boys seem to always enjoy it there.
A couple of Sunday's ago, while Harrison was taking his afternoon nap, Jon, Brooks and I went to the Oceana Naval Air Station Air show.
 This was the highlight for Brooks.  He got to sit in the cockpit of the airplane and had a great time.
The Canadian demo team: Snowbirds flew a precise series of maneuvers in their CT-114 Tutor aircraft.
We spent a couple of hours there and saw an aerial demonstration by the F-18 Blue Angels.

We also helped rejuvenate a play house for the boys in their backyard.  Jon found a used one and brought it home.
We put a new ladder on the side, a couple of safety rails along with some new cedar shingles.
We also leveled it all and made a sandbox underneath it.  We dug out the dirt, put down weed control cloth and then filled it with bags of sand.
We topped it off with a weather vane.  
If you look closely in the background, you can see that Kelly and Pam gave the boys' picnic table a fresh coat of paint to match the playhouse.

That's a look at some of what we have been up to the last few weeks.  How about you?  Where are you reading this from?

That's all from this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us!








Friday, September 14, 2018

Getting Out of Harm's Way

We arrived back Virginia Beach on Sunday afternoon.  We got set up at the Ocean Pines military campground and then went over to see the kids.  Jon and Kelly and the boys were returning from a long weekend at the lake and they arrived in the late afternoon.

Wow!  We were gone 9 weeks and those little boys have changed so much!  They talk more and engage even more.  It is amazing.  We got to play with them on Sunday afternoon and then go see them all day Monday.

But the hurricane was building up and we had to come up with an evacuation plan of our own.  We called around and decided the best escape route was north to the D.C. area.  We called ahead to the Greenville Farm Campground in Haymarket, VA.
The D.C. area doesn't have too many great options for RVing (great meaning affordable, great campground and close to the city), but we've stay there and were able to snag a reservation.  We are about 30 minutes away from Fairfax and about 45 minutes from downtown D.C.

The weather reports were looking grim and the military campground had warned us we may have to evacuate.  We didn't wait for them to make up their mind and departed on Tuesday morning.  The drive to Fredericksburg on I-95 and then over to Highway 17 to Haymarket was actually a pleasant drive.  We expected heavier traffic but it was very manageable.

We got to the campground and were told we'd have to spend a night in partial hookups, then could move to full hookups.  So that is what we did.

Partial hookups were water and 30 amp service in the woods.  That meant no TV but we survived.
The next day moved to our more open site with full-hookups and our DirecTV had no problems connecting.

While here, we contacted friends Jeff and Tiffany.  Jeff and I met with a few of his other buddies on Tuesday night while Pam and Tiffany watched a Nationals baseball game and got caught up.  We are going to be able to spend some time tomorrow with son Adam and daughter-in-law Melissa (who live in Fairfax) and are looking forward to that!

We are glad the hurricane did not continue on its initial projected path and are safe.  Jon and Kelly in Virginia Beach got the all clear word earlier this evening.  They were never in an evacuation zone but parts of the city were.

Our prayers continue for the people in its path.  Even though the initial contact with landfall has been less than expected, there has still been plenty of devastation and it is not over yet.

I hope you and yours are safe!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Mooch-Docking at Bob and Patty's

Now and then, you meet people in Moss Point, Mississippi that become friends. Before you know it, you reconnect years later in Dunedin, FL and end up parking your motorhome in their driveway for a couple of days.

That's basically what happened with us and our friends Bob and Patty.  We first met volunteering at a NOMADS Disaster Relief site in January 2011.  And then we met up again in Florida in January 2012.   A few months ago, after we posted our travel schedule for our NorthEast Trip, Patty got in touch and we made a plan to see them.  They live in Warren, PA and we could not find a campground close by.  They were generous enough to invite us to park on their property.  So we did!
 I first heard the term "mooch-docking" used by Howard Payne of RV-Dreams.com

We arrived in the early afternoon at Bob and Patty's and got set up.  They have enough room along side and in front of the workshop for us to maneuver a little bit.  That allowed us to get a good satellite TV signal.  With electric and water, we were all settled in.  Once that was done, we wandered over to their home and got a tour.  Patty keeps their very large A-frame Spic and Span clean.  It is immaculate!  They have a beautiful A-Frame that Bob built years ago.  But it looks like is less than five years old.  It's really a nice place.

We enjoyed hours on their deck reminiscing and hearing about their stories on the road.  They full-timed for over 8 years.
The next day, they took us on a tour to see the area.  We stopped first at Kinzua Viaduct (or Kinzua Bridge) that spanned Kinzua Creek and was 301 feet high and over 2,000 ft long.
It was built in 1882 to move coal from the mines to northern NY cities on the more popular railroad line.  It was originally built out of wrought iron and completed in 94 days and dubbed the "Eight Wonder of the World" at the time.  In 1900, it was disassembled and rebuilt using steel to carry heavy trains and cargo over the deep divide.

Tragedy struck in 2003 when a tornado struck and wreaked havoc. Ironically, the bridge was in the process of being upgraded in 2002 because it was showing wear.  They just didn't get the job done in time.

The bridge is owned by the State now and is a popular park with a good sized new Visitor Center.
It has a description of the history and decline of the bridge leading up to the destructive tornado.  An overlook is where the old train tracks were, going out to the farthest point.
Next, we headed to a local spot for lunch.  It had some interesting displays on the wall.
We had more time and made a couple more stops.  The first one was at Kinzua Dam.  Many times we see places and have no idea what the name means.  I assumed "Kinzua" was an Indian name but more than that, it is Seneca for "Place of many big fishes".
Our next stop was Rimrock which had a pretty great view overlooking the Allegheny Reservoir.
After our full day, we went back to Bob and Patty's place and chilled out for a while.  We had such a big lunch, we only had some snacks in the evening.  We had a great time on their back porch again enjoying one another's company and talking.  It was a beautiful evening and after a brief shower, it was quiet in the woods and we could only hear the birds, watch the deer and talk.

Our time with Bob and Patty was too brief, but we were able to make it count in our short visit with them.   We look forward to seeing our friends again.  We are so glad this lifestyle allows us to catch up with folks like these.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!