Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunday, January 8, 2017

On the Road Again

We left St. Augustine Thursday morning headed for home. The weather report predicted a massive snow/ice storm to hit Atlanta and Tennessee, on Friday so we needed to get home before all of this.
We made reservations to stop in Perry, Ga which was a little more than half way home, but south of where the bad weather was predicted just in case we were stuck. We had gone to the store to purchase extra food, just in case.

The campground website showed no pictures of their campground and for good reason. It was pretty bad. The guy that check us in seemed uninterested and never looked us in the eye. Just pointed to a site "over there ."Very small sites, small tight roads and very unkempt. It was obviously old, but it had a 2 things going for it---good WIFI and cable TV. David commented that the sewer hole was so far back he had to use 2 hoses to get to it and it was barely enough. Well, barely was good enough.

We had a restful night and wanted to get an early start so that we could get past Atlanta before the ice and snow hit. David went out to unhook while I worked on the inside getting everything ready to roll. A few minutes later David came in and said the sewer hose was plugged up and he didn't know how to unplug it, He had tried everything and the hose was FULL of poop and paper and nothing was draining. He wanted me to come out and help. UHHHH OK?sThere we were standing in the cold looking at a 30+ foot length of poop filled hose. There was obviously a blockage somewhere. David suggested that I hold the hose up in the air at the point where the 2 hoses joined while he took them apart.
 WAS HE KIDDING??????? Visions of Robin Williams sewer scene in the the movie RV passed in front of my eyes. I didn't think that was a good idea. But, we had to do something. Well, that didn't work so David hooked it back up. I went towards the MH and lifted the hose high and walked it down towards the drain. It was obvious that the drain was on high ground and poop doesn't flow up hill.
There was definitely a blockage and since the hose was still full it had to be at the end where the hose went into the sewer. So David unhooked the 90 degree curved end that went into the sewer---and guess what came out--You guessed it. Luckily he was able to get it in the sewer opening before it splashed all over the ground, but not before it splashed on him. UGGGGHHHH. He was so happy that it all came out he didn't care. Clean pants he had, but there was no way we could travel with a 30 foot long poop Popsicle. The joys of motor homing.

At any rate all went well after that. We got home without further incident and the kitties were very happy to be home in front of their fireplace. That night it did snow some at our house, but we were snug as a bug. Thank goodness. David said this was the worst trip we ever had. He was still reliving the shattered windshield and the poop Popsicle.

A Shinny New Windshield

Monday night neither of us got any sleep worrying about the new windshield, the kitties, the logistics of it all and now rain was predicted for the day. One of the things we were worried about was how long it would take for the new windshield to cure after installation. Looking on the motor home forums it went anywhere from "install and drive away" to "48 hrs curing time", which meant we couldn't drive for 2 days, The other issue was that we had less than 1/4 tank of gas in the MH and if we had to dry camp in the parking in lot, the MH generator wouldn't run on less than 1/4 tank.
We tossed and turned all night. David was more stressed than I was. He kept reliving the broken windshield incident, After unhooking and closing everything up in the MH we left early in the morning to go to the gas station and fill up with gas on the way to the glass shop. Whew!! One more problem solved.

 We got to the glass shop at 8 am and parked around the side until Winston was ready for us. It was raining so he had us pull the front of our MH into the open bay. We put the kitties in the back behind the door and 3 guys took out our old windshield. They had a tough time getting it out--it was really in there good. Then came our shinny new windshield. The whole process took less than 2 hrs, but we needed time to cure. We drove carefully back to our parking spot and waited for cure time. David noticed a leak in the windshield and they came over to seal it some more. Winston decided we should be OK to drive back to the campground by 3 pm. We stayed until 4 pm and drove back. At least we weren't stuck there for 2 days.
Our shinny new windshield and it was beautiful. We finally got a good night's sleep Tuesday night.
We were paid through Wednesday night in the CG so we just relaxed on Wednesday. We met Ryan and family for dinner Wednesday night and had a very nice time. They had had a great vacation in Mexico and it was so nice to see them again before we had to leave to come home.

A Nice Weekend in St Augustine

It was an enjoyable weekend. Late on Friday we received a call from Winston telling us to be at his shop at 8 am Tuesday morning. He said we must have lit a fire under the windshield company to get it there so quickly. Since it was a Holiday weekend Winston's shop would be closed on Monday. On Saturday we decided to take a ride over to the shop to check out the area for our Tuesday arrival.

Wow! the shop was in a little industrial park and I mean little. The entrance had a big tree in the middle of it with little room to get in and out. The back area was very tight and was going to be interesting to try and maneuver a 38' motor home around. It looked like most of their car glass business was mobile, so they come to you. Had we realized we would have had to bring us to them we would have tried to find another company to replace the windshield. But it is what it is and they had our new windshield.

The other issue was what to do with our kitties while the whole process was going on. We thought about boarding them for the day, but that would require taking them the night before, crating them up and transporting them. Pretty stressful for all of us. We decided to go to Home Depot and buy a cheap accordion door to put up between the bunk room and the kitchen. That way they could use their beds, litter box and our bed. David added some extra magnets for closure and it looked like a good option. Whew!!! That problem solved until Tuesday.

Sunday afternoon Mary Anne came up to visit and have lunch with us. Our original plan was to leave St Augustine and go to Ocala to visit her, but our shattered windshield changed those plans. We were so glad that she could drive up to see us. We went to lunch at Metro Diner and had a very nice visit.
Of course we had to take the Mustang Convertible since it was such a nice day.

Friday, December 30, 2016

We Knew It Was Too Good.....

Wednesday morning about 10am were packed up and were heading out of the CG for Ocala. I drove the car over to the dumpster to get rid of our trash and was to meet David in the MH at the gate to head back to the rental car agency. When I didn't see him behind me I turned around and went back. This was what I saw--------------a shattered windshield.

And here is the cause---- see that little knot on the tree to the right that caused it. LOL
I won't explained what happened. It just happened.

Luckily the RV hit the knot on the windshield only and not the frame or front so it was only the windshield that was damaged. It was totally our fault. The owner of the CG came out and gave us the name of a windshield company, but they were closed. We called our insurance company and reported it and spent a couple of hours trying to find a local company that could replace it. Finally I called Camping World and they gave me the name of a local glass company that does their RVs, Boyd's Glass. Winston from Boyd's Glass came out right away and took the information on the glass to get it ordered. He was great to get things moving. As a matter of fact his sister and BIL were staying here in the same CG.
We spoke with our insurance company and after a few hours they got everything going too. The problem was the windshield would have to be shipped from Lakeland and would take 3 to 4 days due to the holidays. Ughh. Bad timing.

Our bigger problem was where to stay. We were already checked out of here and they were fully booked. If they were booked sold so would everyone else be. We couldn't drive anywhere without pieces of glass falling out. The owner of this CG found a spot for one night, but after that we were clueless. David didn't sleep all night. He kept reliving the CRASH in his head all night. We were really stressed not knowing where we could go for 4 days or more.
In the morning, the owner of the CG said he had a couple of options for us. We could move to a site with a 50 amp hookup and nothing else for less $$$ or to a site with full hook up for more $$$$. We opted for the full hook up since we were going to be here so long waiting on the windshield. 
As it turned out it was the owners site. He said he would move his rig and let us stay here. We could not believe how generous and kind that was. We can't say or do enough to thank him for that. We owe them big time and we are so grateful.
And if that wasn't enough kindness from people here........ Gary, one of the work campers here came over yesterday afternoon and insisted that we take 2 VIP tickets to the NIGHT of LIGHTS here in  SA.  Downtown SA has wonderful Christmas lights for about a 2 month period. The Old Town Trolley gives tours of the area showing all the lights while singing Christmas Carols all around on the open air trolley. They give you magical glasses which makes all the lights look like stars and snowflakes.  We went last night due to the upcoming NY Holiday and the fact that it was going to be cold (59 degree) after a rain and cold front came through. It was perfect timing It was not nearly as buy although the downtown area had plenty of tourists.. The line for the trolley had about 200-250 people in line, but our VIP tickets put us at the head of the line. THANKS GARY. How very, very kind of you. We cannot believe the kindness of people here.

Here are a few pictures of our tour last night.

video video

So we are all settle in and just waiting for our new windshield. It could be much worse.

Additional Time in St. Augustine

On the 26th the Meyers and Bells left for Mexico for vacation and we had originally planned to head to Ocala to visit Maryanne for a couple of days before heading home. But then we thought,..... well we don't HAVE to be anywhere right away so we talked to the campground about staying a couple of extra days. They were able to squeeze us in if we were willing to move to another site. We said, great. I know that was a problem since this place is booked solid. Luckily, for us they have cancelations from time to time. We called Maryanne and the rental car company and everything was set.

Monday, we drove around during the day to view the downtown area and  Vilano Beach where we usually stay while in SA. The CG there was under water after the hurricane a couple of months ago and we weren't able to reserve space there. This day it was very windy and foggy with very few people on the beach. Many of the dunes were washed away during the hurricane. Right across the street from the beach is the campground we usually stay at.

 ST Augustine is a beautiful city. Luckily this day the traffic was not so bad.

 The Old Fort which is usually packed with tourists.
The bridge to Vilano Beach.

This is our mode of transportation this week. They were out of the small-mid size car we reserved. So  they asked if we would mind taking a Mustang convertible.   So very sad.

For dinner this night we went to The Couch House which sits along the water. I'm sure during the day it has a wonderful view, but tonight we could barely find the restaurant due to the thick fog. It was cool, windy and humid, so we ate inside. It was a good choice since we didn't have to wait for a table. I had shrimp and grits which was fantastic and David had Seafood Alfredo which was also good. No pictures taken--sorry.

The kitties are really enjoying their time here.  Bentley loves to ride around in his stroller, while Nicholas and Finnegan enjoy sunning in the window.

For breakfast on Tuesday we went to Metro Diner. It looked interesting, but it was more than that. The menu was incredible and the portions unbelievable. We both ordered sausage gravy and biscuits and not only did we get a LARGE
 plate of that, but 3 eggs and a huge portion of hash browns. Too much for us to finish. They must be kidding.

We were stuffed for most of the day. For dinner we found another great place with great reviews, Ned's Southside Kitchen. I had read great reviews on it a couple of years ago, but we never had a chance to go there. It's a plain place packed with locals, no atmosphere and small cramped table with cheesy vinyl tablecloths. The best kind of homey place with great food. We were not real hungry, so David ordered a Cuban sandwich and I ordered Nachos (an appetizer). Good grief the nachos covered a 12" plate piled high. David only ate 2/5 of his sandwich and FFs. Too much good food. So the leftovers came home with us for tomorrow's lunch.

Tomorrow our plane is to head for Ocala.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas in St Augustine

Najla was off on Saturday, Christmas Eve, so we met Najla, Ryan and the kids and went to lunch at MoJos Bar B Que. Very good food. We ate outside on the patio. As you can see the restaurant is right across the street from an old cemetery. That's St Augustine atmosphere.

We had a wonderful Christmas!! The Bells prepared Christmas Eve dinner and brought it over to Najla and Ryan's so that we could have a family dinner early. The meal was spectacular. Randy prepared fresh smoked ham, leg of lamb, fresh vegetables and salad from his garden. Pam prepared the fruit salad and wild rice and cake. We brought mac n cheese which we prepared in the motor home. Kitchen counter space is a little limited, but it worked out fine. The whole meal was excellent and we ate too much. Wish I had thought to take pictures.

Christmas Eve, Ryan and I took the kids for a tour around the neighborhood in our rented Mustang convertible to look at the lights, It was chilly, so the kids wore jackets and we turned on the heat while the kids looked at stars in the sky and Christmas lights.

Christmas morning was a really fun time. The kids are old enough this year to realize what Santa and Christmas is all about and they were really excited. They each asked Santa for 1 thing. All the other gifts are from friends and family and there was quite a haul.  Emma asked Santa for a Unicorn a Trevor asked for a Dinosaur. I forgot to take a picture, but they were huge!!!!

The Christmas tree was in the living room so we opened up gifts there and there were lots of them.

 Emma got a package of Unicorn Farts which she thought was very funny.

Ryan got a very fancy rain barrel with a planter on top.

I took  a lot of videos which were too large to post here. If you go to my Tails of Tennessee youtube channel you can see them there.

The Bells and the Meyers were leaving on Monday for a family vacation in Mexico, so we left in mid afternoon so they would have time to pack and get ready for their trip.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Trevor's School Program

We we lucky enough to be here for Trevor's school Christmas program. it was only a couple of songs but that was a lot for 2 yr olds. Trevor is not shy and took center stage. He was practically the only one out front and performing while the others were either cuddling with their mothers, crying or just hanging about. He took his job seriously and did a fine job. The video was too long to post here, but here it is on youtube.

Here's another one.

The lady standing next to me said "he needs to be in the movies". He is a charmer for sure.

Emma had her program 2 days before we got here and we were able to see it on FB since Pam is very good about posting pictures and movies. She was very cute. She's a bit more shy than Trevor,

On Friday we picked up  the little kitty at the campground and took her to Najla at the hospital. Najla said she would spay her and post her pictures to try to find her a new home. She is such a sweet and very friendly kitty. One of the techs is taking her home over xmas holiday to recover from the surgery. If they can't find anyone to adopt her they will bring her back to the campground.

We went for lunch on Friday with Ryan and the kids since Najla had to work.

It was a good day. Saturday (Christmas Eve) we will be having xmas dinner instead of xmas day since Ryan & family and Pam and Randy are leaving Monday morning for Mexico for a family vacation.