Thursday, December 29, 2016

We Had a Nice Christmas

The holidays were a wonderful time with family for us.  Eldest son Adam and wife Melissa joined us here in Virginia Beach at daughter Kelly, son-in-law Jon and grandson Brooks.

Brooks is at the age everything is exciting!  And we had a lot of fun Christmas day.  We were all over at Kelly and Jon's by about 8:00 AM.

When we arrived Brooks was showing off his new rocking horse.
First the traditional cinnamon rolls.  Here is Brooks going in for seconds.  Or thirds.
Then we took a quick picture of everyone.
Next we passed out the stockings. And then sat around and watched each other open presents and basically just "hung out".
 We spent a lot of time watching each other open things.  And taking a look at some iPhone stuff.
 And trying out one of the more unique presents of the day:  a wind hammock.
And we ate. And ate.

This is a look at some tenderloin steaks.  These were probably the best I have ever eaten.  Jon makes that Big Green Egg sing!
 On Christmas Day, Jon cooked ham on the Big Green Egg.
 Brooks didn't miss out.  He got some ham and green peas and applesauce  for lunch.
 For dinner on Christmas, Jon changed it up by cooking a turkey in the deep fryer.
 It turned out pretty great!
Before we left, Brooks was on his rocking horse again.
 Adam and Melissa, and Jon are all into CrossFit.  We talked about that some and it was a bit motivating.  Its been a while since I've been to the gym, but I did manage to go on the day after Christmas.

It was a start and I hope to be there more regularly.  (I bet I'm the only one that ever said that over the holidays... ;)

 I'm getting more interested in the rowing machines and did some time there as well as the medicine ball off the wall and the elliptical machine.

Later, while Pam and I were returning some gifts, we came across a great looking bush with Christmas holly so felt compelled to take a selfie.
 Hope you all are enjoying the holidays.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!~

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Roadrunner Rewind: Past Christmases in the Roadrunner

This is our eighth Christmas as full-timers.
Pam and I were reflecting on that the other day and we tried to remember where we spent each year for Christmas beginning in 2009.  We remembered a few, but not all of the places where we've celebrated the holidays over the years.  Turns out we've spent two in California, two in Florida and four in Virginia.

Here's a quick look beginning with last year:

2015:  Here in Virginia Beach
We got rear-ended in our Honda CRV while in Florida, so the car was in the shop and we couldn't tow it.  Instead we left it in Fort Walton Beach and drove to Virginia Beach.  We stayed a week with Kelly and Jon and Brooks.
Pam had been busy the previous few weeks sewing a new stocking for baby Brooks.  He was almost a year old at this point.

2014: In the snow in Virginia Beach
This was the first long term test we had in the cold weather and snow.  Baby Brooks was due about six weeks after Christmas so we just stayed at Little Creek MWR Campground close to where Kelly and Jon live.  We did fine but it got cold that winter!
2013: In Seal Beach, California
We got to see nephews and nieces and cousins and extended family out there:  Nathan and Angela, and Ben and Lesley and all their kids.  Adam and Melissa flew out and it was a nice southern California holiday.
2012:  Christmas in Key West
Kelly and Jon joined us for a few days in Key West around Christmas.  They had just bought their house back in Virginia Beach and I remember them calling back and forth a few days to check on how progress was coming on their remodel.  The knocked down a wall opening up the living room and kitchen.  They also had all the carpeting tore up and the wood floors sanded and varnished.  Turned out great.

They opted to set up a tent and camp right on the water's edge.
2011: Another Christmas in Key West
We spent a few weeks at one of our favorite places and enjoyed a unique 'train' ride around town seeing all the houses that were decorated in the tropical city of Key West!
This was the second time Kelly and Adam joined us for a short trip in the motor home.  We were staying in Miami at Larry and Penny County Park and they flew in and stayed a few days with us.  We drove through the Keys together in the Roadrunner and spent the holiday in Key West.  This picture is a shot of us near the water and Mallory Square.

2010: A snowy Christmas in Virginia Beach
Adam came down from DC and stayed at Kelly's place in Norfolk which is where we had Christmas.  It was cold and we actually had snow on the ground Christmas Day.  We had to wait a few days for the roads to clear up before we left the area and headed south!
2009: Christmas in San Diego
This was our first Christmas in the Roadrunner and we found ourselves in San Diego.
Rob and Chris live there and they hosted 17 of us for Christmas dinner.  It was a great time!
I thought I'd add a bonus and show one other Christmas -- the last one in our stix and bricks house in Fairfax, VA in 2008:
In 2007, I was just getting in to blogging and we were looking at a lot of different options for our RV.  At the time we were researching fifth wheels as opposed to motor homes....

Its been quite a ride the last nine years and its fun to look back and see where we were and what was going on at the time.

Thanks for joining us today on a short trip down memory lane...

Until next time, hope you are enjoying some time off during the holidays.  Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Greetings to You!

Pam and I have landed in Virginia Beach for the next few months to spend the holidays here and to await the arrival of grandson number two.
Brooks - Grandson #1

We are settled in at the Sea Mist RV Campground.  It's been a bit cool but we've spent the winter here before and are looking forward to it.

We want to wish all our friends and extended families:

Happy Hanukkah 

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday ~
Randy and Pam

Monday, December 19, 2016

Back in Virginia Beach for the Holidays

We arrived back in Virginia Beach on Friday about noon.  We drove about four hours from an overnight stop in Selma NC at RVacation.  We called ahead and found out they had propane so we got our tank filled before we checked in and drove over to the campsite.

About the same time we pulled up we noticed a strong odor and thought it might be a gas leak somewhere.  Not to be taken lightly, we checked the stove and the propane tank connections.  The detector was not reacting but we were still uncomfortable with leaving things the way the were without getting someone to check it out.

Fortunately, Terry from Atlantic Coast "Onsite" RV Repair and Service was at the campground.  We called him and he was over at our campsite in a few minutes.  We had all the windows open and the gas line to the three burner stove exposed.  Terry had his sensitive handheld detector and he slowly moved it all around the stove.  No leak.
Next he went outside and checked near the propane tank, the hot water heater and gas furnace.  In each case he came up empty and after about 20 minutes said we definitely did not have a gas leak.  The odor / smell was something else.  That was good news.
He gave us his card and number (919)889-4257.  Now, it has been a few days and we don't have the smell anymore.

We got off I-95 near Emporia and drove through Suffolk en route to the base and our campground.  We got a site on the older section of the campground up against the sand dunes.   We thought a tree next to the pad might pose a problem for our satellite dish but it wasn't.
The next order of business was fill the clear water tank about 1/2 full.  But the water faucet was frozen.  The site next to us was not, so I connected three hoses together to reach over to ours and filled the tank. Then I brought out two mechanics lights to put in the bottom of the wet bay just to keep in warm down there.
Though it got near freezing nothing froze up on us, so we were glad for that.
Can't beat walks on the beach which is right across the dunes from our campground.
We are glad to be back and stay still for a few weeks.  This time though it will be for a few months.  We immediately got into the doctor appointment routine.  I saw the retina specialist again.  Things checked out good.  Next, we got refills on all our prescriptions and got blood work done.  Check check.
Another semi-annual visit to my rheumatologist and that's done for a while.  Eat better, exercise more and we should be in good shape for a while.

Now to finish up the Christmas shopping and enjoy family and that little grandson over the next few days.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

27 Hours in Red Bay - Dec 2016

We had a number of things on our list to get done in Red Bay.  We always do.  The primary task was to get toppers done on all four slideouts.  Two were damaged and torn during Hurricane Matthew while we were parked along the coast in Virginia Beach.

We called Brannon and scheduled a date, then made our travel plans based on that appointment.  He put us down for December 14 so we locked it in.

One thing we have learned to do as we travel is watch the weather.  Even with Hurricane Matthew we watched the weather but they got it wrong!  The hurricane was supposed to head out to the east so we thought it would skirt us.  It did not, but rather moved right up the Eastern Seaboard.  Thankfully it was off shore so we only go high winds and rain.

The weather in December has turned cold and we saw that Alabama and Tennessee were going to be in for some below freezing temps with possibilities of rain/ice and maybe snow.  Yikes!  But turns out there was no snow.

But we were considering going to Tennessee after Red Bay and instead made a beeline east and got to Virginia Beach as fast as we could.

But while in Red Bay, we hit the ground running.  We arrived about 11:30 AM and stayed at the campground:  Downtown RV in Red Bay.  We stayed there in August but it wasn't the same.  None our friends were there this time.

After getting checked in we went to lunch at Mason Jar on Main.  Sheri and Jody do a very nice job and are about as friendly as they can be.  We had Mason Burgers and fries which were good.

Next, we went over to say hi to Melodie and Bruce Deaton of Custom Body Shop.  Pam thought they would like a Key Lime Pie so she bought one a couple of days earlier in Florida at a local Publix.  She was right - they like it.  We have been customers of them for a few years now.  Bruce and his time do excellent work at a fair price.  And they get the job done quickly.

We next drove over to the Tiffin Allegro Campground Parts store and Used Parts Store.  There, we were able to find a used rockguard/mudflap for the Roadrunner for $40.  The old one was damaged during an incident during the summer in the Sierra's at my brother's cabin.  I took the uphill turn too sharply and it bent.  When I straightened it out, it weakened it and was in pretty bad shape before I replaced it.
We returned to the campground and I was able to take off the old one and put on the 'new' one.  Its a little more fancy and it has better reinforcement on the back side.

While we were at the Tiffin Campground Parts store Pam came across a couple of pieces related to the keyless entry on our front door.
She has cleaned and adjusted the contacts a number of times over the past few months to nurse it along and get it working occasionally.
 On Wednesday morning we were up early and over at Brannon's to get our toppers replaced.
While he was getting started on that we went over to the Parts Store again and bought some more things.

We got some blank bay door and front door keys and then took them over to Tru- Value hardware to get them made.

After that we stopped by Bruce and Melody Deaton's Custom Body and Paint Shop to say hi.  They are such nice people.

It was time for lunch so we went to Piggly Wiggly and had some fried chicken and macaroni and cheese.

I thought it was going to be an all day job.  But Brannon is not one to waste your time or his and he got the toppers on by 10:30.  
Before we left we had Brannon replace the "eye" on our DirecTV that he installed a couple of years ago.  He also downloaded new software and updated our Razor OTA antenna that we got installed in the fall.
It was still fairly early in the afternoon when we had everything done so we decided to hit the road and head east.  The weather was getting colder and we wanted to avoid as much freezing weather as we could.

It was a short but productive visit to Red Bay and we got all our things checked off our list.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!