Friday, December 31, 2010

Heading South!

I want to Welcome our newest Follower:
You can check out her blog:  Starkey Hollow, by clicking here.


It was a beautiful day on Wednesday when we departed the Sea Mist RV Campground in Virginia Beach.  We were excited to get underway again after a wonderful stay there.

We were in no hurry and wanted to let it warm up and also wanted to let the morning traffic die down some.  We completed (slowly) our checklist items and pulled the coach out to hook up the car.  Everything was in order so off we went.
We headed west on US 58 to Emporia to catch I-95 going south.  The roads looked good and we saw no signs of black ice.  Some places were wide open with plenty of lanes.   And sometimes the traffic was light.  

I love driving this bus.  It is a smooth and comfortable ride and a pure joy.
 I guess we drove about 2 1/2 or 3 hours before we decided to take a rest stop.  I needed to stretch and walk.
 The rest stop area looked like an RV parking lot!  I counted 14 RVs and maybe 5 or 6 tractor trailers.  I talked with a guy from Buffalo for a few minutes.  I couldn't believe it ~ everyone had the same idea, "after the snow starts melting, we are heading south!"
We saw lots of cars and RVs from Ontario, Quebec, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida.  Pam's theory was that a lot of people have become residents of Florida and go back East for the holidays to see their old friends and family and then return.  We saw lots of Florida plates.

We were a little less than half full but decided to stop and get some fuel.  $281.47 later, we were on our way.
We stopped at a place called 'South of the Border'.  It had no sites that would accommodate a 40' rig.  But it did have propane and since we were about empty we filled it up ($74.33).  Besides, it was a little cheesy so we were fine with finding another place.

Down the road about 30 miles, we found Florence RV park.  In 2010 it changed from being a KOA campground.  Our 2009 Woodall's had it listed as a KOA so I looked in vain for KOA signs and turned right when I should have turned pulled into an abandoned gas station and did a 'U turn'.

We called them, got on the right path and found the campground.
 It was a great spot with full hookups, it was level and had a nice view of the lake...
 This was a few minutes after 5:00 pm
We were the first ones out of the park and were underway by 8:45 am.  It was a gorgeous day and we had only one slow down.  In two days we went about 550 miles and were surprised at how busy I-95 was.  LOTS of people were going south and it was mostly busy.  A bigger surprise was how many RV's we saw going north..?

After 4 1/2 hours we arrived at King's Bay Naval Submarine Base, Georgia ~ about 1:00 pm.  It is a 2009 Military Campground of the Year award winner and we can see why.  It is well run, organized and there is plenty of space between the sites.

We were greeted by neighbors on the right and the left and thought, "this may be the friendliest place we have ever been.."  We took our time setting up but enjoying the nice weather.  Like 64 degree weather!
 The lake is about 100 yards off our left side.  It has a few animals in the woods behind us and in the lake...
Part of our exploration of the base included a stop at the car wash.  Our Honda needed it.
After we washed the car, we vacuumed it and filled it with gas, then returned to our campsite.  Pam wanted to get a couple of loads of wash done.  She is on a campaign to wash everything that needs to be washed ~ and then some.  I can see why.  To her delight, she found the laundry has big front loader washers and dryers and the price is: free.  Yup!  Another reason why we like this place.

We cooked chicken and cut up some potatoes on the grill and watched some football before he went to bed.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Be safe and have a great New Year's Day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A 2010 Christmas To Remember

First, a big THANK YOU to our newest Followers:
Please take a look at their blogs/websites by clicking on their name

It was a great Christmas for us here in Virginia!  We had a momentous time with our Habitat friends last Wednesday (more in another post) that got the vacation/holiday time-off mood going.  I love the time of the year when everyone says 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Holidays'.  There is just something special about people wishing everyone well.  It is infectious.  Kind of like smiling...when you smile, other people smile back.

So we had a nice time at Habitat and Adam arrived at Kelly's house in Norfolk on Thursday.  They came out to the campground and we had a nice dinner at Pam's Roadrunner Kitchen along with a couple of Kelly's friends (Nikos and Josh) who stopped by.

Then we went down to the Holiday Light display on the Boardwalk and ran into a massive traffic jam.  That was a bad idea.  We settled for some ice cream at Chick Filet.  That was a good idea.  Something wonderful about a brownie ala mode...

On Christmas Eve Day we got together again and went to the Christmas Eve service.   We went over to Niko's and Rickie's house and watched a movie and then came home to bed at a decent hour.

On Christmas, we left the campground and got to Kelly's house about 8:45 am.
Then we had one of the most memorable Christmas dinners in recent history.  One of the guys who has worked at Starbucks for a long time invited us over for a pot luck lunch.
It was a really good idea.  Lots of food, friends and fellowship.  There was food galore:  turkey, ham, dressing, potatoes, green bean casserole, raspberry pie, etc..
After we ate we all sat and chatted a while.  We had about 20 people and there must have been another 10 who took the offer for a free Christmas dinner.

Next, we went back to the campground and hung around for the rest of the day.  Then the snow started.
And it kept coming.  Kelly and Adam made it back to her place before it got too bad.  And then the day after Christmas they drove over from Norfolk in Adam's Pathfinder.  That was a little dicey.  And it snowed some more.  We even went down to the beach to get some pictures.
 I changed the lens settings and we had a blue Christmas too...
And I monitored the tanks and had to dump the black and grey but it was no problem.
The white beaches of Florida Virginia
The drifts were pretty deep at times.  I would have never in a million years expected us to be in snow 7 or 8 inches deep in the Roadrunner!  Yet we were and just enjoyed it.  We learned how to keep warm with our 30 amp campsite.  

Monday came and went and the roads in the Virginia Beach area were a mess.  We took Kelly over to her house and the main highways were mostly clear but still had some ice and snow.  Meanwhile, Adam drove back to Brooklyn and made it the whole way safely.
We cleared off her porch and returned to our campsite while it was still warm and before it got cold for the night.

We missed our departure day (we had planned on leaving Virginia Beach on Monday) and watched the snow melt a lot.  We ventured out and returned a Christmas gift and were encouraged by how much the snow and ice had melted off the roads.  The sun was out all day and it got up to 40 degrees.

Pam did a last load of laundry and then we took a short walk on the beach.
We look forward to hearing from you and want to thank the many folks who have posted comments over the past few days.  It was very nice to hear from you.

Thank you for viewing the Roadrunner Chronicles and hope you are enjoying the holidays.  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

~ Christmas Letter 2010 ~

We hope this finds you in the midst of a great Holiday!  2010 was a big year for us in many ways.  We are in Year Two of our RV adventures and travels.  We can't think of anything else we'd rather be doing.

Well, maybe we can ~ like being in a little warmer weather!  We have been in the Virginia Beach area since the first part of October.  We decided we’d stay in one place for a while and we like this part of the country.

Kelly was living in Dallas and working for a Design firm until she was laid off in February.  She looked for a new job for months.  Ugh!  That was hard, but the great news is she landed a job as a Marketing Coordinator for a building/construction firm in Newport News.  She now lives in Norfolk and likes being back in this area.  After three months at her job she is enjoying it and we are very thankful.

Adam now lives in Brooklyn.  As you many know, he was living near Meghan when her breast cancer returned in January.  They were married in March but she died in April.  Meghan had a long list of goals and Adam decided he would take those on as his own.  One goal was to India and volunteer/work with kids.  Adam spent three months in Jaisalmer, India, working with kids teaching English and computer. He returned in time for us to spend Thanksgiving together where our latest family photo was taken.
Pam and I spent a few weeks in Quartzsite, Arizona in January learning we love ‘boondocking’.  Then we moved on to Tucson, which we loved.  In March, we worked on houses with NOMADS in Galveston doing Disaster Recovery work.  After that we headed up to Michigan near the Canada border to be with Adam.  Then when Meghan died in April, we stayed around the area before spending a month traveling in Canada.  When Kelly found a job  in August, we moved south for Texas, helped pack her up, and ended up here for the last 2 ½ months in Virginia Beach.

One of the neat things about this area is the great Habitat for Humanity affiliate here.  We have been able to plug in and work on two houses.  They have a good thing going here and we have made some great Habitat friends.  We love them and working with them.
It has been an up and down year but we are thankful to God’s grace to us and to our kids and we look forward to a great 2011.  We plan to spend time in Moss Point, MS with NOMADS, in south Texas with friends, a couple of months in Tucson and are scheduled for a Habitat build in Santa Fe in May.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!  Please keep in touch!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~ Randy and Pam

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Banking Google Dollars - Redux

as I was saying...

A while back (January of this year in fact) I decided to put Google ads on my blog.  I am a regular reader of a couple of blogs that have Google ads and I figured, why not?  We'll see where this goes...

I think Nick's Gypsy Journal
 and Howard's RV-Dreams Journal

do the ad thing well and I hardly notice it when I am reading their posts.

I tweak around with some things on the Roadrunner Chronicles in an effort to learn and try to learn new things.  I logged on to Google Accounts, clicked on 'AdSense' and set up an account.

Then I watched from month to month as my account grew in small increments.

Some months were better than others but once I hit the magic $100.00 mark, Google Inc, was supposed to send me a check.  Earlier I tried to set up direct deposit but I couldn't get it done right, so I opted for the 'check in the mail'.

We get our mail sent to us periodically from Alternative Resources in South Dakota.  We took delivery a couple of days ago and to our surprise and delight ~ we had a check from Google for $100.58!

Our next challenge was how to deposit this since we no longer have a local bank.  I remembered seeing Adam deposit his checks using his iPhone.  Our bank - USAA - has an iPhone app.  On the back, I signed it, wrote: FOR DEPOSIT ONLY; and listed my account number.
Then,  using my new iPhone, I took a picture of the front and the back of the check, and entered the amount: $100.58 when prompted by the iPhone.
The screen indicated the amount was deposited in my USAA checking account.  I verified it by logging on and sure enough ~ it was deposited.  Sure enough ~ there it was!

Needless to say, I was pretty excited about getting and being able to deposit Google dollars!

Next time you read someone's blog and they have some ads, you might want click on a few and who knows, before too long ~ they may be getting a $100 in the mail!  For the hundreds of you that did that for us --- Thank you!!

And thank you for joining us today (on the second edition) of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  And thanks to Mary Ann, Mac, George, Kimberly/Jerry, Rick and Rod for leaving comments on my first attempt today...

Merry Christmas to all!

Banking Google Dollars - first try

ugh ~ I just finished drafting a post on how we set up Google AdSense and deposited a check we got in the mail using my iPhone.  It had a few screen shots and some pictures and I went back to clean up a few empty spaces....and I deleted the whole dang thing!

That every happen to you?  

Now I am out of time this morning as I have some things to do before we head out to our last Habitat build here in Virginia Beach so I will have to recreate the whole post tonight.  Man! I hate it when I do that!  So I will repost later today.  

Sorry about that! but thanks for checking in for another entry in the Roadrunner Chronicles.  More to come...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last Weekend in Fairfax

It was snowing pretty good in the Washington area on Thursday afternoon when we arrived.  It was a perfect afternoon and evening for a fire.  Jeff built a great one.  It was still pretty icy Thursday night so Adam waited until Friday to come out to Fairfax Station.  He showed me some cool features on the iPhone and was a good sport for a photo with his folks.
A lot of his things were stored for a few weeks and he loaded them into his Pathfinder.
And before we knew it he was off to Brooklyn, New York where he is going to live.    Later, Pam and I went over to Pei Wei for lunch.
We had fried rice and a serving of Lo Mein ~ some of our favorites.   We went out to Bethesda and picked up a copy of some of Pam's medical records.  On the way back we stopped in Tyson Galleria Shopping Center and looked for some corduroy's at L.L. Bean's.  We forgot how bad the traffic was near there at Christmas time.

On Saturday, we went to the Virginia Kitchen for breakfast with Intae and Lollie.  They have lived in the Herndon area for years and we have been friends since the 1980's when we were stationed together in Hawaii.  It was great to see them.

In the afternoon, we went to Caleb's basketball game. That was fun to see and it brought back a lot of memories.
It was 18-18 at the end of the third quarter.  But our team went cold and lost with Caleb scoring 8 points.

That evening we went to Mclean Bible Church for the Saturday night service.  We took a different route and hit I-495 traffic.  Bad mistake.  We ran into construction choke points and holiday shoppers backing up traffic getting into the Tyson's Corner area.  (How quickly we forget.)  We were 30+ minutes late and arrived in time for the sermon.

We finished off the evening with a bowl of soup at Panera's and it really hit the spot!  I love their chili and cornbread!

Today we drove back to our campground and were pleased to find everything in order.  Despite the low temperatures we had no accidents or freezing pipes so we were very glad about that.

I hope you have a great week and we appreciate you stopping by to check out the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Merry Christmas and I hope it is warm where you are!

Friday, December 17, 2010

From Red Mill to Lasagna

Pam and I got to work at the Red Mill House (Habitat for Humanity) with our friends again.
 Russ and Stephen were got set up and worked on the attic access and some doors.  Kathy started painting while Joe held an inpromtu meeting with Paul and company in the Boatwright house.

Over in the King house, Dan and Dennis got things set up for painting doors and baseboards.
Pam worked on baseboards.
Bob, Bill and assembled kitchen cabinets.  I didn't realize you could buy them and assemble them yourselves.  It was fairly easy to figure out how to do that after we put together one of them.
It was a busy day at Red Mill and a lot was going on.  Thank goodness we had a kerosene heater blasting away all day.  It was warm outside and we all got a lot done.

On Thursday, we left for our drive up to Fairfax which is about 4 hours from Virginia Beach.  Across the bridge we could see the sun rising over the Chesapeake Bay.
But the weather forecast was right and after about 150 miles north of Norfolk, we ran into the snow.  We took it slow 40 mph and slower at times and made it up to Fairfax before noon.  We passed one accident and for the most part people were driving pretty well.  
We arrived at Jeff and Tiffany's and hung out by the fireplace all afternoon.  School was called off a couple hours early so the kids came home and played outside a couple of hours before dinner.  Tiffany asked if they wanted chili or lasagna and lasagna won by a landslide.  So Pam and she made enough for dinner and some to freeze.
It was another winner and we ate our fill.

Then we sat by the fire and watched one of the favorite movies of all time.
It was another great day!

Hope you are warm and comfortable where you are!  Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Merry Christmas to you and yours!