Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 30 & 31, 2011 - Tupelo, Mississippi

Friday the 30th was a quiet day for us. We did go to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch of a Mexican buffet that was pretty good. Afterwards we drove around the town of Red Bay getting a little more familiar with the area.

Today, New Year's Eve, we decided to go to Tupelo, Mississippi for the day about 50 miles from Red Bay.  Tupelo is most famous for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley so our first stop was at this birthplace.

We paid the fee of $10.00 each (senior rate) that allowed us to tour a museum, the house that Elvis was born, and the church that Elvis attended while living in Tupelo.

The house is a 2-room, bedroom and kitchen, house that his father built. Elvis was born in the house and lived there until his family moved to Memphis when he was 13 years old.

The Assembly of God church building was the church that Elvis attended and now has a video presentation of the church as it was in his day. His pastor is credited with teaching Elvis to play the guitar.

The museum had some memorilabilia of Elvis and pictures of his family.

Interesting visit without all the hoopla that is seen in Graceland in Memphis. We then had lunch at Romie's Barbeque restaurant, a good choice. Tom and I both had smoked turkey but with different sides. Tom had onion rings that were freshly made, not the frozen prepared ones that most places have. The baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad were also made in house. We ended our day in Tupelo by going to the movies to see "War Horse", a movie that both of us enjoyed. Returning back to the motorhome in Red Bay we had a light supper and are now waiting for the new year as we have been hearing gunshots and fireworks being fired all evening long- obviously, somebodies are celebrating.

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 29, 2011 Tom's Birthday in Red Bay

Thursday, the 29th, was Tom's 66th birthday. I had planned to cook something other than oatmeal for breakfast but I slept late and we had some traveling to do. So after eating oatmeal we got on the road about 9:30am. We traveled around Chattanooga, Tn. on I-24 that cut through a small section of Georgia, back to Tennnessee and then we picked up state rte.72 until we were west of Huntville where we caught a rte. 24 to Red Bay- 209 miles. The day started out being sunny with a few clouds but as we were circling around Chattanooga and the lakes associated with the Tennessee river we had spells of fog, not dense but somewhat distance impairing
We arrived in Red Bay, Alabama about 1pm, central time- we gained an hour. Finding the Alegro Campground, the Tiffin company campground, was not a problem in this small town. There were a few, maybe 10, motorhomes on the premises so we had no problems securing a site. The factory is closed this week and is due to open on January 3,2012. Not having an appointment we will be here awaiting our turn and hope to get away before next weekend. After setting up we drove the Jeep into the town for lunch at the Backstreet Barbeque, nothing fancy but the food was good and servings ample. Being towed behind the motorhome from Maryland, the Jeep was in need of a good car wash which was done after lunch. Red Bay is in the northwest area of Alabama probably within a mile of the Mississippi line. It is warmer here in the upper 50's-lower 60's dropping down into the lower 40's at night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 On The Road Again

Tom and I had a wonderful Christmas.   On Christmas eve we attended candle light church services at our church.  Christmas day we went down to Virginia to spend the day with Todd, Beth and our 4 grandchildren.  Todd and Beth prepared a wonderful meal of prime rib, baked potatoes and broccoli and cauliflower medley.  I added to the meal with cream of crab soup.  Rhubarb/strawberry pie, made by Beth, was dessert but no one was able to eat dessert after the meal so we were given pie to take home.

On Monday the 26th Tom and I finished packing things into the motorhome and then on Tuesday we left Taneytown about 9:30am heading south for warmer weather.  The morning was very gray and chilly and just as we finished hooking the Jeep to the motorhome it began to sprinkle rain.  Rain continued most of the day and we found the motorhome to be harder to heat with the front heaters  then our old motorhome. We eventually started the generator to get heat in the motorhome.  Traveling down I-81 through Virginia we stopped at a rest area to eat a bite of lunch.  As I was preparing egg salad a Phaeton motorhome pulled in ahead of us.  Tom said look what just pulled in and then we both said is that Bill and Rita (Fordham), friends from our Traveling Americans camping club.  Sure enough that was exactly who was in the motorhome.  Bill and Rita came back to our motorhome and we visited a short time and then discussed where we might stop for the night.  Rita called Fort Chiswell RV park, a park that Tom and I had stayed at a couple of times, and found out they were open and had sites so we agreed to camp there for the night.  Bill and Rita headed on down the road before us as they had already eaten their lunch.  When we pulled in at the campground the Fordham’s were not there and we were a little surprised.  We did know that they were having a problem with an awning but we didn’t see them in our travels.  But shortly afterwards, they did finally arrive and, yes, they had to stop shortly after our meeting at the rest stop to secure an awning that was unfurling.  After we ate our evening meals we went over to the Fordham’s and visited.   We had traveled 311 miles.  Even though it was a chilly evening we felt comfortable de-winterizing the motorhome and taking some water on board- some years it has been much too cold to do that until we were further south.

This morning Tom and I slept a little later than usual.  Just as I was raising the front night shade I saw Bill and Rita pulling out about 8 am.  Our travels today were taking us in a little different direction from the Fordham’s- they were headed for Casa Grande, Arizona and we are headed for Red Bay, Alabama before going to Arizona.  About 9 am we got underway from the campground but then we stopped for gas and propane at a Flying J’s a few miles down I-81.  We then continued on through Virginia to Tennessee where we picked up I-40 to I-75 to Chattanooga.  We are staying at the Holiday Trav-L park in Chattanooga tonight.  Chalked up 297 miles today.  Starting out this morning it was still cloudy and through Virginia there was a skiff of snow on the hillsides that had fallen during the night.  The wind had blown most of the night and continued this morning.  As we continued south the skies became clearer and the wind calmed.  It is a little warmer in Tennessee tonight, temperatures near 50 degrees.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Catching Up and New Google Looks

Well, its been awhile since we have made a post to our blog.  When we are not on the road and busy with everyday things, Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas, the blog seems to take a back seat.  Since our last post, Google has changed the look of many of their programs.  They say they are trying to make the programs easier to use.  I guess the jury is still out on that.  One major change that I  like is making it simpler to include photos in our blog posts.

We had a very nice Thanksgiving in Virginia at our son, Todd, and daughter-in-law, Beth's house.  Beth's parents came down from New York also to celebrate Thanksgiving.  As with most Thanksgivings, there was too much food consumed.

On Sunday, December 3rd, we went to Bowie, Md. and attended the annual Christmas party of our Good Sam Camping Club, the Traveling Americans.  The turn out was very good and was a nice afternoon for all.

On December 11th we went to Pa. to have a family Christmas gathering at Leah's brother Larry's.  Like most parties, there was a lot of good food consumed by everyone. 

Our granddaughter, Madeline, turned 12 on December 14th, so we gave her some presents for her birthday. Next year will be big years for her and Anthony as they enter their teenage years. 

On the 14th I drove the fire engine around town with Santa Claus.  He was double checking addresses and his naughty and nice list before making his rounds on Christmas Eve.

It will not be long after Christmas that we will leave Maryland for warmer places in our motorhome.  Our first stop will be in Red Bay, Al to have some warranty work done at the Tiffin factory.  We have purchased a new 2011 Tiffin Phaeton in late September and like most new motorhomes, there always seems like there are a few bugs to be worked out.  After the factory stop, we will continue on south towards the Gulf of Mexico and than head west to Arzonia.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 So Much to Catch-Up On

Oh my, where do I begin? It has been so long since I last posted on the blog and so much has been happening. Starting with today I want to be mindful of today's date and start by saying a "thank you" to all the veterans that are honored on this day and to one special veteran, my husband, for serving in the US Navy.

Now getting back to my last blog. We left the Outdoor World Campground on Friday, October 7th and went to White Oak campground near Strasburg, Pa. for a Traveling American campout. There were only 4 units in attendence as many of the group were just returning from a month long stay in Myrtle Beach. It was a nice weekend with pleasant weather. Tom and I along with Larry and Joanne hosted the weekend. Because of the small number we (the Hosts) provided breakfast on Saturday and Sunday as well as dinner on Saturday evening. Saturday breakfast was creamed chip beef on toast, Saturday dinner was pork,hot dogs, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, hot bread and pie, and Sunday breakfast was an egg casserole dish. Usually we have pot luck meals but with such a small number we felt it was just easier to do the way that we did.

Returning home we encountered a problem getting our new motorhome into the driveway with it dragging. We did get in but knew we had to devise something to prevent the dragging. Tom had installed small wheels in the rear of our last motorhome but that was not a workable solution for this motorhome as the weight in the rear is so much greater due to the diesal motor being located in the rear. A trip to Lowe's for some boards to aid the transition from the driveway to the road was in order.

So on Wednesday, October 26th, we backed out with the boards in place and still had some dragging. We went to Frederick fairgrounds for the Maryland Good Sam Samboree. What an event that turned out to be. The weather was fairly nice Wednesday and Thursday, so-so on Friday and then Saturday it snowed, yes snowed, all day- sloshy, sloppy snow- what a mess! It had been decided that our group would sell barbeque sandwiches and cole slaw at the Saturday flea market. I had made-up about 20 pounds of meat (approximately 80 sandwiches) into a pulled barbeque before leaving home, frozen it and then thawed it before Saturday so several of us could put it into crockpots to heat it up for serving. We were really dissappointed that we only sold about 30 sandwiches. It seems that the hot item was baked potatoes. Those that were sold we receive compliments on and even had several return customers. Well, we did that for the first and last times. The leftovers were divided up among our club members with them making contributions that netted us a little more than $70.00 profit. One of our club members became lightheaded necessitating a trip to the Emergency room via ambulance for him. After some IV fluids and some tests he was able to return back to the Samboree feeling much improved.

Sunday we left Frederick and travelled to Stafford, Virginia to be near our son,Todd, and his family as they were expecting the arrival of a new baby girl. We stayed at Aquia Pines campground just a short distance from Todd's. We enjoyed spending time and having dinner with Todd, Beth, 2 year old Parker and Beth's mom, Rose, on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings. Monday evening was Halloween so we were entertained with the trick or treaters coming to the door. After Beth's amniocentesis on Monday it was determined that the baby would be delivered on Wednesday morning by Caesarian section. So Wednesday November 2, 2011 Gabriella Paige Van de Bussche was born. Tom and I went to the hospital to meet our new granddaughter on Wednesday.
From 2011-11-02
From 2011-11-02
In the afternoon we picked up our 11 year old granddaughter, Maddy, from her mother's house and took her to meet her new sister and then out to dinner before returning back to her mother's.

Thursday morning we got little Parker and brought him to the campground. We went for walks through the wooded area, played on the playground and watched a big truck deliver a bulldozer to an evacuation site nearby.
From 2011-11-03
After lunch we returned Parker back home where grandma Rose put him to bed for his nap. In the evening we stayed with Parker while Rose went down to the hospital to see the mommy and baby.

Friday morning we left Virginia for Whaleyville, Md. near Ocean City. We were having the last Traveling American campout for the year at Fort Whaley campground. This campout is always a big turnout, we had about 15 rigs. The weather was cool but dry. Usually at this campground we have the use of a heated building but this year the building was being renovated so we only had a pavillion. It was a little chilly eating breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings as well as dinner on Saturday evening but we did it. Quite a few of us stayed until Monday or later, so Sunday evening a group of 14 went out Pittsville for dinner. Tom and I left Monday morning. We made our normal stop at Fisherman's Inn on Kent Island for lunch and the returned home.

We tried different ways of getting into the driveway, did get in with some lesser dragging but realize that we need to get more boards to improve the situation for the next time.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wednesday,October 5, 2011 Lancaster, Pa

Monday we continued north to Outdoor World campground near East Berlin, Pa.  We could have stayed there for 2 nights only as they were booked up for the weekend.  So we passed on staying there and continued on toward Lancaster and are staying at an Outdoor World campground, Circle M, near Millersville.

Tuesday we went to Roots country market.  We love going to the markets in this area with all the fresh produce and meat products.  Later in the day we drove to a nearby Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill.  There are several Stauffer’s throughout this area.  Years ago when we came to this area the Stauffer’s were a nice country market and nursery store. This store in the Millersville area is now a major grocery store with olive bars, specialty areas of coffee, teas and ethnic foods, large produce and meat departments.  The original store is now totally nursery.

We have been enjoying this time of getting familiar with this motorhome.  In the area in which we are parked in this campground there are several Tiffin motorhomes- 3 Phaetons and 1 Allegro Red.  We have been told that the Phaeton is the top selling motorhome for the year and we hear nothing but praise for the Tiffin company.  We sure hope the good reputation continues.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

We were disappointed that our plans to go to Myrtle Beach were interrupted due to motorhome problems. The exhaust system problem was repaired about the middle of September. When life hands you lemons make lemonade, so the saying goes.
Tom and I had started to look at motorhomes this past January when we saw a Newmar Ventana with a bath and a half that caught our eyes at the Tampa RV show in Florida. We talked with a dealer in Tucson, Az. and had the ability to really look over a Ventana that the dealer had on the lot. We felt that the storage space was not as good in the Ventana as we had in our MountainAire so we put that thought out of our minds. Then with staying home in September we decided to go to the RV show in Hershey, Pa. with the thought of checking out motorhomes again and didn't see anything to really get us excited about. We then attended the RV show in Timonium, Md. and saw a Tiffin Phaeton with a bath and a half that caught our attention. A salesman was very informative but not pushy with trying to sell but the price was a bit much. So Tom started to look on the internet.

 We had decided that our Mountain Aire with 122,000 plus miles would need to replaced for us to continue traveling and we did not want to be much older before purchasing another motorhome. We were looking at used as well as new diesal motorhomes on the internet. The bath and half models had really interested us so we decided on either the Ventana or the Phaeton but preferred the Phaeton which we felt had more storage space, was equipped as well as the Ventana with a lighter price tag. Tom had bid on a Ventana that a dealer in Florida had put on Ebay and actually won the bid but did not meet the reserve price. He also had seen a Phaeton on the internet that a dealer in Alabama was asking for offers on. Tom submitted a offer for this Phaeton that included trading in our motorhome. About a week later a salesman finally called and discussed the offer and counter offered. After discussing it we felt the offer was probably the best we were going to get and decided to go with it.

This new 2011 motorhome was appointed better than the one we had seen in Maryland and the price was about $26,000.00 less so we made arrangements to go to Dandy's RV Superstore in Oxford, Alabama. Tuesday we left home and arrived at the dealership Thursday (September 29th) morning. Our salesman, Richard Green, talked with us briefly and the we were taken to the motorhome by a technician that spent a couple of hours explaining the motorhome workings with us. We then sat down and got the paperwork out of the way. We had arranged our own financing with our bank before leaving Maryland.

Tom had spotted a small ding in a compartment door so that had to be repaired as well as a few other little minor things and it was decided that these repairs would be done on Friday. After eating a late lunch, our MountainAire and the Phaeton were parked side by side so we could move our contents from one to the other. What an overwheming job! But we finally got the job done late in the evening and we were really tired. Friday morning at 8am the Phaeton was picked up and taken into the shop for the repairs to be done. We spent time with Richard Green, salesman, giving us a tour of the facility and then we went for a drive through the Cheha National Park and to Telladega racetrack. After returning we had to wait until about 4pm before the Phaeton was returned to us. Richard Green and Tom then took to a local gas station to get the motorhome fueled up paid for by the dealership. We were then on our way toward home in our new motorhome. We only drove about 70 miles north before stopping for the night.

Saturday we stopped in Sevierville, Tn. for the night. I have started to rearrange closets and cabinets from the hasty move that we made at the dealership. Today, Sunday, we are stopped for the night at Natural Bridge, Va. We had quite a time this evening I was preparing dinner trying to locate the can opener but finally after searching from Tom and I it was found in a storage box in the outside compartments. Such is life!

Tom check our home phone for messages and had a call from a man in Alabama that has already purchased our MountainAire. They sure didn't have that on the lot very long. The dealership was impressed with condition and the maintenance of the MountainAire having the mileage of 123,495 miles. Tom returned the call to the new owner answering questions and offering information. We wish this family many happy travels.

Tomorrow we are continuing north to Pennsylvania where we stay a few days at a campground near East Berlin and then going to the Lancaster area on Friday for a Traveling Americans weekend.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Good News, Bad News

The cooling unit for the motorhome refrigerator arrived Tuesday afternoon. Tom had talked with JR, the repairman in Gettysburg, and JR advised that we should not bring the motorhome to his garage until Wednesday morning. We have been having lots of rain and JR is located in a low area prone to flooding so he didn't want us have a flooded motorhome. So Wednesday morning we had the motorhome to JR by 9am. At 3pm JR called to say he had the cooling unit installed and it was working. We were 2 days late getting to Myrtle Beach and were anxious to be on our way so we threw all our "stuff" in the jeep, went to Gettysburg, loaded up the motorhome and took off south.

 We hoped to get south of Richmond, Virginia but as darkness set in the rain began to really pour. Also about at this point we heard a noise that sounded like an exhaust problem had developed. (We had had a problem with the exhaust system before that due to the heat had melted the starter leaving us stranded at a gas station in Western Maryland and having to be towed to a garage. The garage, a Ford dealer, installed a new starter that when we had stopped along the street by our house again the starter had melted and we needed to be towed to our local Ford dealer to have the exhaust system worked on along with another new starter.) After having this problem previously we were really anxious about what to do. So Tom spied a Flying J gas station near Fort AP Hill, Va. and we elected to stay there for the night. It is not the most ideal place to stay but it is free and as safe as any area to spend the night and if we were unable to start the motorhome in the morning finding assistance might be easier here than even at a campground, plus there is a restaurant that we were able to catch a late bite to eat and breakfast in the morning.

 This morning the rain had stopped when we got up so Tom did some checking further into the problem and determined that indeed the exhaust system had a problem in the same area as before and we decided at that point we needed to go home before we were stranded somewhere. So we traveled back to Taneytown, pulled the motorhome in the driveway and didn't dare turn off the engine, unloaded it and then took the motorhome to our local Ford dealer where it will stay until the problem is fixed.
From Gibson Header 9212011

The good news is that the refrigerator is working great, the bad news is that our motorhome is not and we had to cancel out reservations in Myrtle Beach.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

We were planning to leave for the Labor Day weekend campout with the Traveling Americans on Friday.  Leah started the refrigerator on Monday evening and discovered that it did not want to work.  It appears that the cooling unit decided it no longer wanted to function.  What to do, What to do?????   Tuesday morning we called JR's RV Repair in Gettysburg, Pa and spoke with him about the problem.  We concluded it was the cooling unit that needed to be replaced. The unit is twelve years old and the average life is ten.  We ordered a replacement cooling unit Tuesday morning but it did not get shipped until Thursday.  We were hoping to have by Friday, but it will not be until Tuesday after Labor day before we receive it.

As soon as we receive the new cooling unit we will take it and the motorhome to the repair shop to have the work performed.  The next big question is "will the new cooling unit work?"  If it does not, we are back to square one.  But, we are going to think positive and know that it will work better the the unit it is replacing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 Surviving Irene

The hurricane's coming, the hurricane's coming! We had been hearing that for well over a week. Yesterday morning we woke up to cloudy skies. By noontime showers of rain were beginning to fall with mild winds. By evening the rain was steady and the winds were stronger and this continued throughout the night. This morning the rain started to slack off and by 1pm we had bright blue, sunny skies once again. Other than leaves blown off the trees everything else appears to be in tack. We consider ourselves lucky as areas south and east had some flooding and property damage.
We are hoping that the hurricanes quiet down for a spell as we prepare to go to Myrtle Beach next week.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family Togetherness, Earthquake and Irene

Last Friday, August 19th, Tom and I along with our granddaughter, Maddy, drove from Taneytown to Stafford, Virginia where we met up with our son, Todd, and his wife, Beth, and grandsons, Anthony and Parker, to travel down to Duck, North Carolina on the Outer Banks. We had rented a beach house in the Schooner Ridge section of Duck for a week. We had the use of club house that included 2 outdoor swimming pools and an indoor swimming pool. The sun shone brightly most of the week. Tuesday was cloudy with a few showers. A lot of time was spent on the beach soaking up the sunshine.
From 2011-08-20- Outer Banks
We did ride down to the Jockey's Ridge Park and walked up the huge sand dunes and then continued on down to the Hatteras Lighthouse on Monday.
From 2011-08-20- Outer Banks
From 2011-08-20- Outer Banks
We cooked most of our meals. Barbequed ribs, low country seafood boil and seafood pasta to name a few.
From Drop Box
Maddy and Anthony enjoyed bogey boarding in the ocean. Parker liked to play in the sand but preferred swimming pool water to the ocean.
Wednesday, August 23rd, Tom and I spent that morning on the beach. Around noon we returned to the beach house along with Parker, Maddy and Anthony. Some sandwiches were made for lunch and Anthony carried some down to the beach for Todd and Beth. While sitting at the kitchen counter area Tom and I felt the house swaying and looked at one another saying we thought we had just had an earthquake. Maddy and Parker were on the lower floor and Maddy also felt the house sway. A little later Todd, Beth and Anthony returned and Todd said we had an earthquake- they had received a phone call from Beth's mother telling them about the quake and its location was close to Todd and Beth's home in Virginia.
During the week we were hearing about Hurricane Irene that was moving across the Atlantic Ocean but was not predicted to make landfall until late Friday or Saturday. By Thursday it was apparent that this strong storm was going to hit the Outer Banks area and a mandatory evacuation for all visitors had been ordered. We had hoped that we could stay until early Friday morning but were told that we had to leave or we would be escorted off the island by the sheriff. About 11am we had packed up and left our rented beach house a day early on a bright sunny day. The storm was not predicted to hit until Friday afternoon or evening. As we were leaving a mandatory evacuation had been ordered for all residents on Friday.
Tom and I are now at home awaiting the effects of the storm in our area.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Weekend in Lancaster, Pa.

Last Thursday, August 4th, we left home about noontime and traveled to Lancaster County, Pa. to a campout with the Traveling Americans. We were east of Lancaster in Kinzer at Roamer's Retreat Campground. Two other rigs from our camping group were already at the campground and then more followed on Thursday and the remainder arrived on Friday. We had 9 units in attendence which is a good turnout. Thursday evening a group of us went to Plain and Fancy restaurant for a family style meal. Friday evening a bigger group went to Country Cupboard and Buffet restaurant- some ate at the buffet but Tom and I opted for ordering from the menu.
Saturday morning our hosts for the weekend had a nice continental breakfast. In the evening we had an Italian style meal with the hosts providing pasta dishes and the rest of us bringing a dish of salad, bread or dessert. I made a dessert called "peaches and cream" which was like a cobbler. Sunday morning the hosts prepared pancakes and sausages and others brought dishes to share, I took a bowl of cantaloupe. We had campfires on Friday and Saturday nights- Friday night the weather was fine for a campfire but Saturday night we had rain. In spite of the rain, several of us sat around the campfire with our umbrellas anyway.
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
During the day everyone does their own thing. Tom and I went to several of the shops and stores in the area.
Some of the folks left the campground on Sunday. Four of the units, including us, stayed until Monday. Tom and I rode over to the Strasburg area, stopped at the campground that the group will be going to in October, and registered for that weekend. We ate a nice late lunch/early dinner at the Iron Horse Cafe in Strasburg before returning to the campground.
Monday morning we returned home. It was a real nice weekend. The weather was fairly good for most of the time, had some hot days and a little rain.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011 Arriving Home But Not Without Incident

This morning we left Bulltown campground and continued our travels toward home.  The day was hot and humid and the traffic was fast moving.  About noon we were just east of Hancock, Maryland on I-70 when a loud bang occurred- we had blown a tire.

From 2011-07-12
From 2011-07-12
  Luckily, it was a rear tire and not a front one but that was scary enough.  Tom quickly pulled to the side of the road close to an entry ramp.  After getting out and seeing which tire had blown- the inside duel on the driver’s side- Tom called our road service.  As luck would have it there were no mile markers in sight and we weren’t sure of the ramp that we were at .  After taking the necessary information road service said they would locate someone and call us back.  When we were called back we were told someone from Interstate Tyre would be out within 30 minutes.  As Tom was placing the caution triangles outside the truck pulled up- less than 15 minutes.  The young man quickly went to work changing the tire having us back on the road by 1:30 pm.  The basement compartment near the tire was damaged with a large raise area. 
From 2011-07-12
From 2011-07-12
From 2011-07-12
From 2011-07-12
We were home by 3:15pm without any further problems and without lunch so we made a trip to our local Pizza Hut for a late lunch/early dinner.

We received a phone call from Larry this evening.  He and Joanne were in Natural Bridge last night and then they came home also today.  They also had some problems with tires.  A tire blew out on the 5th wheel trailer in Virginia causing a need for road service and then just before getting home another trailer tire went flat but Larry was able to get it pumped up and get home with it.  We’re just thankful that with these incidents that damage is no more than it is and that there was no personal injuries.

July 10, 2011 Heading Home

Last night, Saturday, we enjoyed a show at the “New Barn” at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center.  David Church was the main performer singing many songs much like the late Hank Williams.  His wife and granddaughter also did some singing.  The 2-plus hour show was very entertaining.

This morning we got back on the road again.  Larry and Joanne decided that they would stay out on the road a few more days so they went a different route from Tom and me.  Tom and I were going to return by the same route that we came to Kentucky although we would not be going up into Pennsylvania but across I-68 to I-70  through Maryland and onto home.  Tom has been teaching a computer class at the local Senior Center so we felt a need to get home in order to not have to cancel a second week of classes.  Tonight we are staying at the same campground, Bulltown campground of the Corps of Engineers on Burnsville Lake, we had stopped at last Monday.  This is a beautiful campground and it seems to have a high occupancy rate.  We drove around the grounds this evening and a little fawn complete with spots ran out in front of us.

Some thoughts about Renfro Valley-  We were surprised that the campgrounds were so empty.  We thought for sure that the weekend would bring in campers filling the sites- while there were a few more on the weekend there were many vacant sites.  The entertainment was very good.  Every day but Sunday there is a show with local performers.  The shows that we saw on Thursday and Friday are formatted differently but featured some of the same talented performers.   We had to question local folk about things to do during the day-there seemed to us  that there is a need for tourism promotion in this area.  We found that the prices in restaurants and the shops were very reasonable.  Prices for shows ranged from $12.00 to $25.00- Thursday’s show was $12.00, Friday’s was $15.00 and then the David Church show $25.00 on Saturday.   This area is in the pretty green mountainous area of Kentucky with locals that still talk with a southern twang- how wonderful that there are still parts of this country that has its own uniqueness.

July 9, 2011 Last Day in Renfro Valley

This morning we went out for breakfast at the Historic Lodge Restaurant that we had eaten dinner at last evening.  We all enjoyed our meals and were well fed – they had mistakenly made a 5th  meal which was brought to our table if we wanted it- some, not all, was eaten from it.  We then drove south to the town of London to a large flea market.  As most flea markets there were all things for sale including puppies, kittens, pot bellied pigs, chickens, ducks, and rabbits.  The animals did not seem to be taken proper care of, some were in need of water and to be out of direct sun.  We returned back to the campground and then walked to the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center.  We first walked about the Bitter Sweet Cabins, old log cabins that were relocated here and made a museum depicting life in this area some years ago.  We enjoyed a late lunch at the barbeque restaurant in the Entertainment area- another nice meal of local barbeque style food.  After eating we walked about the area of the shops seeking bargains or whatever.  After the rain of yesterday, today has been sunny and less humid but still quite warm.  Tonight we will be going to our final show which is a headliner show in the “New Barn” with David Church.

Friday, July 08, 2011

July 8, 2011 Renfro Valley, Kentucky

On Wednesday, July 6th, we continued our travels through West Virginia and into Kentucky, a very pretty drive through the Appalachian mountains.  Most of our travels were west on I-64 until we were near Lexington, Ky. where we then took I-75 south to Renfro Valley.  We were surprised that the campground was so sparsely inhabited.  We had stopped for lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant so we just chilled out once we got situated in our campsite.  We did walk to the Renfro Valley Entertainment area thinking we might find an ice cream store opened in the evening but was unsuccessful.  A music store was opened so went into that store and talked with the clerk about the area.

Thursday morning we stopped at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  Many well known country musicians have roots in Kentucky and now are in the Hall of Fame.   We, then, drove up to the town of Berea a little north of Renfro Valley.  We had seen signs for Boone’s Tavern along the highway on Wednesday.  Our thoughts were that this was probably some historical small building which it wasn’t.  It is an old hotel and restaurant still in operation.  A beautiful white building with wide porches adorned with flowers.
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  We decided to eat lunch in the restaurant.
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  The food was real good.  Tom and I both had a dish called Hot Brown- turkey on sour dough bread with a cheddar cheese sauce over the top-that Tom remembered hearing Diane Sawyer, a native Kentuckian, on TV talking about at one time.  It was delicious. We were told at the restaurant that a craft festival was being held nearby but after driving out to the location we were told the festival would not be until Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  We drove around a little more finally finding a Wal-Mart where we stopped to pick up a few groceries before returning to the campground.  In the evening we walked over to the entertainment center for a show in the “old Barn”.  The show, “Front Porch Pickin’”, was an hour long with 6 local musicians taking turns singing or doing an instrumental solo much like a jam session.  Very entertaining.

Today, Friday, we awoke to rain and the rain showers continued throughout the day.  We did return to Berea to the Berea Craft Festival that was held at Historic Indian Fort Theater- not sure of the history of the area but the theater was a amphitheater and the festival was staged through a wooded area.

From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  There were well over 100 artists from 20 states selling their wares of pictures, jewelry, pottery, clothing and other unique items.  Some artists were demonstrating their craft as dying yarns with plant dyes, working with pottery and black smithy.
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  We had a lunch of pulled pork sandwiches and stopped to listen to musicians that were performing throughout the festival grounds.
From 2011-07-07 Renfro Valley
  A nice day even with the occasion showers of rain.  Before leaving the Berea area we stopped in the “old town” section where there are shops selling area crafts of local artisans.  One lady made Santa Claus’ by making the head and face from polymer clay which is attached to a body form and then attired in Santa clothing- very detailed and interesting.  After returning to the campground and catching our breath, we went to  the Historic Lodge Restaurant across the street from the Entertainment Center and all of us ate the catfish special- catfish, hushpuppies, fries, Cole slaw and biscuits.  The catfish was especially good and plentiful.  After dinner we went to the Entertainment Center to see another show called Tribute to Legends.  Some of the performers from Thursday nights show along with others performed singing familiar songs of well known artists- another enjoyable evening of entertainment.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011- A Day of Traveling

This morning Tom and I along with Joanne and Larry left Buttonwood Campground and travelled a southwestern route through picturesque hilly Pennsylvania.  We were headed for Renfro Valley in Kentucky.  We went 30 couple of  miles on the Pa. turnpike before dropping down to Cumberland, Maryland to pick up I-68 that took us into West Virginia where we then caught I-79 that travels south.  After about 290 miles of travel we stopped for the night just north of Charleston, West Virginia at a Corps of Engineers campground- Bulltown campground on Burnsville Lake.

From 2011-07-05
From 2011-07-06
  Since we have Senior National Park passes the camping fee is 50% of the costs so we are staying here for $13.00 for the night with full hook-ups that include 50 amp. electric.  Quite a bargain- and the sites are spacious and fairly level and the campground is beautifully located along the lake.

We did stop on the Pa. turnpike for a lunch break about 11am.  For dinner this evening we ate in our RV’s.  After dinner we walked about the campground and Sadie, Larry’s dog, got a chance to swim in the lake.

From 2011-07-05
  We are unable to get television reception so Tom and I sat outside until it was getting dark before coming in to read and write the blog.  Tomorrow we plan to get to Renfro Valley, Kentucky.

July 4, 2011- Celebrating the 4th

Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, July 1, we left Taneytown and travelled north almost 100 miles to Mifflintown, Pennsylvania and Buttonwood Campground for a weekend with the Traveling Americans.  Six club units were in attendance plus 4 of Thelma Higgins’ family and friends.  On Friday evening Larry, Joanne, Tom, Linda and Ken Rouzer and I went to a local diner Juniata Junction restaurant for dinner, not a fancy  place but good food reasonably priced.

The Higgins family and friends, having camped previously with this group, had requested to be the hosts for the weekend.  On Saturday morning a breakfast of sausage patties and pancakes were prepared for the group.  And then for dinner a good old 4th of  July picnic dinner of hot dogs, hamburgers and salads with ice cream and cookies for dessert was fixed.  Then Sunday morning everyone helped with preparing breakfast as it was pot luck.  After that we were on our own for meals.

Buttonwood campground is located in a beautiful area of Pa. with rolling green hills surrounding it.  The campground has well maintained grassy areas and beautiful flowers.  This is a rural area with small towns and farms which many are owned by Amish folks.  Tom and I went out riding around the area and stopped at a couple of country markets that had large assortments of cheeses, meats, produce and bulk  foods.  Our coffeepot quit working Monday morning and we had had to go about 15 miles to a town with a KMart- Walmart was 10-15 miles further- to find a replacement.

Today, Monday, the 4th the campground has emptied out and now there are a few RVs scattered throughout.  We, along with Larry and Joanne, the Woodruffs and the Perrys, are staying until tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 09, 2011

June 9, 2011 House of Interest

Larry, my brother, had a painting business from which he retired. A property near Gettysburg, Pa. was in need of painting and Larry had been asked by a friend if he would do the job. Being the person that Larry is, he agreed. The house is quite unique and intriquing. Larry had told Tom and I about this place and said that we should come up one day to see it. Yesterday morning we arranged to meet Joanne so she could show us the way to this place. Driving into the property there is a large barn and other farm buildings with the house located at the top of a hill beyond the farm buildings. The house was built in the 1930's but outwardly looks newer than that time. It is a stone structure on one level plus the basement. Inside the house there are, I believe, 4 units each consisting of a bedroom with a fireplace and a bathroom and several, also, have a living room. The exterior walls looked to be at least a foot thick, exterior doors were 2.5-3 inches thick. In a central area was a large kitchen. In the basement there were a large walk-in freezer and refrigerator and a huge water tank probably 3o feet long and 8-10 feet in diameter. One side of the basement had garage doors that cars could be pulled into the basement. The basement windows were all bricked up. The known people that lived here when first built were a German man and wife by the name of Lovejoy. Pictures have been found of Lovejoy in German military uniform. Aerial view of the house looks very much like a swastika. The Lovejoys were said to stay to themselves not having any interactions with the neighbors. Mr. Lovejoy died of a sudden heartattack and Mrs. Lovejoy ended her days in a nursing home. The last owner was a Sterner connected to Snyder's of Hanover. The present owner/group is rehabbing the property for a business venture of some sort.
There seems to be a mystery about this property and just what it was used for. Speculations are there was some sort of spy operation from here. The structure suggests that they were prepared for a major distructive act should it occur. The prior owners had painted the rooms very bright colors that often did not contast well together. The colors that Larry is painting are various shades of browns and terra cotta reds. It will be a beautiful house once the renovations are completed. The location is beautiful- situated on a hill the views are of rolling tree cover hills, wildlife is frequently seen and this will be a haven for them.

The property is loaded with security. As soon as we drove into the driveway of the house we were followed. Larry working in the house heard reports of our driving up the driveway and knew we were on the way up. Throughout the house are security cameras and a sophisticated system of cataloging folks that come onto the property.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

June 7,2011- June Traveling Americans Weekend

Friday, June 3rd, Tom and I left home once again for a weekend of camping with the Traveling Americans. This was the 5th weekend straight that we had been away for the weekend. We went about 160 miles to Sandy Hills campground on the Eastern shore of Maryland. Sandy Hills campground is an old facility with many permanent sites but it is located on the Nanticoke River which is quite a picturesque area. Larry and Joanne had gone down earlier in the week to attend Joanne's granddaughter's graduation from high school. Before we arrived they had contacted us and said not to stop for lunch that they had lunch for us when we got there. So shortly after noon when we got to the campground we had a lunch of steamed crabs and corn-on-the-cob. How nice! There were only 5 units in attendence this weekend with 1 of the units being guests of another unit. Several of the members had graduations of grandchildren this weekend. Friday evening Larry, Joanne, Tom and I went out to dinner at a local restaurant Boonies which had an outside patio area called the Tiki Bar that we were seated.
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
It was a really nice evening for eating outdoors. Good food, good company and a nice atmosphere could not ask for anything better.
Saturday morning the Hagans, Libby and Dave, and Larry and Joanne, hosts for the weekend, had a continental style breakfast of hard boiled eggs, doughnuts, English muffins, fruit and juice and coffee. During the day we all went in different directions exploring the area. Tom and I went down to Crisfield, Maryland by way of a road that crossed a river at Whitehaven with a small 6 passenger, up to 3 cars free ferry.
From 2011-06-05 Eastern Shore Weekend
Crisfield is indeed a fishing area. We stopped at the town pier and watched folks fishing and crabbing before grabbing a bite to eat at a restaurant in town.
From 2011-06-05 Eastern Shore Weekend
From 2011-06-05 Eastern Shore Weekend
For dinner Libby Hagan had made reservations for the group at another local restaurant, the Red Roost. Unfortunately, it was only the Hagans and Tom and I that went since others had other plans but we still had a nice evening with good food.
Sunday morning we again enjoyed a continental style breakfast and then the others packed up to go home. Tom and I decided to stay Sunday night and leave on Monday- we felt the traffic crossing the bay bridge would be better. After the others had left Tom and I again went for a drive out to Deal Island, and again we had to take the ferry at Whitehaven. Before getting on the ferry we stopped at an old school in Whitehaven that a flower sale was going on and I purchased a Bleeding Heart and a small pot od basil.
From 2011-06-05 Eastern Shore Weekend
From 2011-06-05 Eastern Shore Weekend
After our drive to Deal Island, we drove into Salisbury for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. As we were heading back towards the campground we saw signs about blueberry picking and decided to stop. It was late afternoon so we were told that we only had 15 minutes to pick as they were closing at 4pm. So we took a little bucket and picked for 15 minutes and had all the berries that we wanted. The bushes were really loaded with berries and they are real tasty.
From Drop Box
From Drop Box
After returning to the campground I walked out to the waters edge to see a very pretty sunset.
Monday morning we packed up and headed for home. It was cloudy on the Eastern shore but sunny on the Western shore. The traffic was light going across the bay bridge. We hit some areas of congested traffic around the Baltimore beltway which is not unusual.
We are now home for a spell. It was fun going out these past several weekends camping with the various groups of folks but it feels good not to be facing another weekend for a spell. We now have time to do other things besides mowing grass at home.