Sunrise in Monument Valley

Sunrise in Monument Valley

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.

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

St Augustine, Here We Come

We left South Georgia headed for St Augustine. We were hoping to find some warmer weather, but it wasn't that much warmer. The humidity makes it feel colder than it is and the wind contributes to it also.

We checked into the Compass RV CG. This is the first time we have stayed here and it is very nice. They have new owners and it is obvious that they care about the CG and are busy making some nice improvements. Everyone is very, very friendly and eager to make your stay the best it can be. It has a lot of sites as well and ours has a nice patio picnic table and beautiful shrubbery around it.

We also had a sweet little kitty come to visit. She is extremely friendly and loving and  eger for any and all attention. She saw David outside hooking up the RV and came running over. Right after that a older, friendly  male kitty also came over to visit. One of the work campers came by and said the older one will jump up on his shoulders while he is working. They have named them Compass and Compass JR. Here is a picture of the baby kitty saying hello to Bentley.

Ryan and family and Pam and Randy had plans for dinner and the Makado Japanese Restaurant for dinner. The kids were a bit nervous at the fire at the table, but settled down and enjoyed the show. The food was very good, certainly more that we could eat. Just look at the kids plates.

It was a fun night as it was also David's birthday.

Tomorrow we are going to Trevor's school program. I will try to video if I can.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To Florida for Christmas

Our plan was to leave the house in Ooltewah Tuesday at about 9 am, get to the motor home with the kitties and head off to Florida. We had packed most everything up in the motor home the day before, so we only needed to make one more run to the MH with items from the refrigerator and a few last minute items before getting the kitties. WELL......that was the plan. Early in the morning David realized he had to pick up a prescription at Walmart before we left and the pharmacy didn't open until 10am. Well leaving at 10:30 wouldn't be too bad. Well......... that wasn't to be either. David went to the pharmacy at 10 am and returned home and attempted to gathered up the kitties, or at least 2 of them, Bentley and Nicholas. Finnegan was no where to be found. We search the bedroom, the closet, behind the couch, upstairs. He was no where. We searched areas and closed off the rooms thinking we could narrow his hiding place down. He was no where, and we knew treats would not be of interest to him at this point, We had already given him an ACE tablet, so he should have been snoozing on the couch, but NOOOOOO. We searched and searched places over and over. No Finnegan. So I decided to pull out the vacuum cleaner, his worst enemy. Well, he wasn't downstairs.So I tried the office where I keep all my quilting jobs with most of them hanging on the rack in there. When I turned on the vacuum out he bolted, from under my bags, finally. We put him in the carrier and off we went to the MH. By the time we got there, put all the items away and unplugged, moved my car, it was noon. Three hours behind our schedule.

We had reservations in a campground in Lake Park, Ga about 350 miles away. We arrived at 6pm and drove all around the campground in the dark trying to find our site. In the dark it was impossible to read the small numbers on the poles, so I had to get out with a flashlight and walk around to read the numbers. Finally we were all settled in.

We bought the kitties new beds for Christmas. After looking all over we found 2 nice ones and then added a double layer of Sherpa in them to make themt nice ans warm and snugly.

As you can see they all loved them. We almost couldn't get Bentley out of his.
They were all snug as a bug. As a matter of fact we all were. Nice and cozy and warm. Tomorrow should be a better day.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Heading to Middletown and Hershey, PA

Wednesday was our day to drive to the campground in Middletown. Since it was only about 45 miles away it didn't make any sense to turn in the rental car in New Holland and pick up another one in Harrisburg, so I was going to follow in the car behind David in the mortorhome. Our check out time in Intercourse is noon so we decided not to leave the campground until about that time. It looked like a good opportunity for us to go out to breakfast. David found a great restaurant in Lancaster called Gracies on West Main. Luckily we got there before the crowd because it fill up really fast, They had wonderful, food and plenty of it. Too much for us to eat it all. On the table was a menu of desserts that was a bit unusual.

It's too bad we were leaving town as we would have loved to had another meal here.

On to Middletown. We got all checked in and set up. Since my meeting started the next morning at 8, I wanted to drive over to Hershey and pick up my registration packet and find my way around to the classrooms. It was a bit odd in the way things were laid out, but I did find my way. I kept noticing the designs in the carpets. What a great pattern for a quilt.

This area seemed to have no shortage of good places to eat. The distance from where we were staying and the meeting in Hershey was only 7 miles apart, so we looked for places near by for dinner. We found steak and seafood places, Italian, several grills with brew pubs and several others we would have liked to try and some we would have liked to returned to. Needless to say, I am in my fat pants again. But we're on vacation and we intend to enjoy it.

My meetings started early each morning for 4 days. I signed up with some wonderful longarm instructors and they were fantastic.The classes just seemed to get better as the week went along.  But 8 am to 6 pm made for a long day. They did give us a 2 hr lunch break between classes which was plenty of time to take in the quilt show and shop in the vendors mall. One of my instructors had her own little show at the show with 16 of her quilts on display. Many of them I recognized from winning first and second place at various quilt shows around the country and in Chattanooga. She actually won first and second place for 2 other quilts in this show. She is the main reason I came to this show, to be able to take classes from her. She is a quilting wizard. Her little samplers that she used for demos looked like show winners.

The vendor area was very nice as well. The vendors there offered different types of things than at the Chattanooga show. I even found an LED light for my Featherweight machine. I bought a couple of patterns from local quilters and that was it.

The week was very tiring and I was glad it was over. My head is spinning with new ideas for custom quilts. All of these instructors were great.

We did take Sunday (my birthday) after class to eat lunch at Red Robin, visit Hershey's Chocolate World and have dinner on our way back to the campground.

We are headed home now and back to the real world of low carb eating and our regular routine. The kitties will be very happy to get home so they can go out on their back porch to watch the birdies and lay in the sunshine. I've got a bunch of quilts to get quilted too.

A great vacation though.

Monday and Tuesday in the Lancaster Area

Monday and Tuesday was my day to visit the local quilt shops.The first one on my list was Burkholders Fabrics in Denver, Pa. They are the farthest away from where we are staying, but I have visited them before and they have a great selection of good quality fabrics. So we programmed the GPS and off we went. I had received an email saying they were having a wagon sale of fabrics at great prices and they did not lie. Outside in the parking lot was a wagon of about 400 new bolts of fabric. The catch was, you had to buy the entire bolt (15 yds). They had Hoffman batiks at $5.00, yd sand several other name brands (Westminster, Free Spirit, etc  at $2 to $3 per yd. But 15 yds of one fabric was a lot of fabric. It was fun to look though. I did end up getting a pattern on sale and some FQs. I almost never buy FQs, but they had some bundles of 20 FQs for $32. I found a nice red, white and blue for a QOV. Kim doesn't carry that brand and it would make a quick QOV. Also a nice bundle of whites for an applique background. Back outside near the "wagon o fabrics" was a field of deer and their babies. So sweet.

Next stop was another trip to Shady Maple (since we were on the way home) for food for dinner.
Great shop and good prices. We just can't get over this store. We love it so much. Of course we needed more Whoopie pies, but the produce there is incredible.

They must have 30+ varieties of apples alone.

I counted about 15 counters of bake goods (excluding breads). Sweets overload!!!!!

Next visit was to Zooks in Intercourse. The owners owned Zooks and Sauders which was way out in the country located in a basement with bulk foods. Recently they merged both stores into the one in Intercourse. Previously they both had tons of fabric with both carrying more collections and novelty fabrics. I was a bit disappointed in the merged store. The fabric did not seem to be as good a quality and I really saw very few collections. I also missed having the lovely Mennonite ladies cutting the fabric for me.

Across the street was The Old Country Store which has always been a little more expensive, but an excellent shop. Great variety of fabrics all in order by color or collections. They have a nice selection of patterns, notions, books and also a gift shop with local items and quilts.

After fabric browsing, I had to go to the home made soft pretzel store next to Zooks. You have to have their fresh pretzels, they are fantastic.I almost forgot to take the picture before I ate the whole thing.

  In the afternoon when it was a little cooler we sat outside with the kitties in their play pen.

While we were sitting there we heard someone with a lawn mower that seemed to be getting closer. We were across the street from Sam's Farm, an Amish run farm that covered many acres which is all plowed and worked with teams of horses and mules. Well, Sam has a LOT of kids. We kept seeing them of all ages galloping up the hill on horseback or driving a wagon up the hill. These were kids 9 to 10 yrs old and by themselves. As the lawn mower sound got closer we looked up and there was one of Sam's boys with a horse and cart pulling a gas operated lawn mower behind him mowing the grass next to the road. Why push a lawn mower up the hill when you can have your horse do it?

We wished we could stay here a few more days, but my quilt meeting starts on Wednesday.
More later

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunday and a Trip to Valley Forge

On Sunday in the Intercourse area there is absolutely nothing open on Sunday, so this was a perfect time for us to visit Valley Forge. It is only about 45 miles from where we are staying. As a National Historic Park I have always wanted to visit there and it just never fit into our schedule. I had no idea just how large of an area it was.

It is 5.4 sq miles in size and has a Visitors Center, walking trails, reconstructed cabins depicting the 6 month encampment of the Continental Army. There was a statue of General Wayne, and a Memorial Arch and beautiful Chapel. There were lots of people walking the trails, as well as cars driving around the park. We were one of the ones driving around the park, not walking. It was about 90 degrees and a little to warm for any serious hiking.

Reconstructed cabins. Each state in the Continental Army had their cabins together.

A statue of George Washington in the Visitor's Center.

Statue of General Wayne.


After our visit was stopped by Friendly's for a nice lunch and then back to Intercourse. David spent the afternoon watching the NASCAR race while I drove over to the 2 outlet mall in Lancaster and bought 2 new pair of Sketchers since I was going to be standing on my feet all next week at my meeting.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Wonderful Visit with Friends

Saturday was a great day. Madonna and Jim came up from North Bethesda, MD and we spent some time chatting in the MH and then they took us to lunch. The are just so nice. Love these 2 people. We had a great visit. It's such a shame we don't live closer so we can visit more often. Madonna showed me a gorgeous afghan she is knitting for a gift for someone. Just incredible knitting, like a fisherman knit style. I'm not sure I'd have the patience to knit anything so large and involved as that. What a terrific gift this will be. It is really beautiful. Madonna is so talented.

I told Madonna and Jim about Shady Maple and they took a ride over and picked up some Whoopie Pies, Chicken pot pies, corn and apples.I asked her to send me a picture of them as I forgot to take one when they were here, (we were so busy talking) so here is their picture in front of Shady Maple.

Saturday afternoon David had some things he needed from a hardware store, so we had to make another trip to East Earle to Goods store which has a bit of everything, hardware, curtains, small appliances, dress fabrics, clothes, you name it. By then it was almost time for supper and we weren't that hungry for a big meal, so we made a trip to Lapps Valley Farm for some fresh homemade ice cream right from the farm.

A double scoop of butter pecan in a waffle cone for me and the same for David in a cup. YUM!!!!!!!
They were extremely busy even this late on a Saturday.

We came back to the MH and put Bentley out in his stroller so that he could enjoy the nice weather and fresh air. Well, I really shouldn't say FRESH air, just outside air as outside smells strongly of manure due to Sam's Farm across the street. Anyway he did enjoy sitting outside, listening to the birds flying overhead until---------------------2 big fat peahens walked across the lawn. They were just walking along eating out of the grass, having a great time. Bentley was thoroughly entertained.

Sunday we are planning to head over to Valley Forge.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Loving this Area

We arrived in Intercourse, Pa about 3 pm which is the check in time for the campground here. We had Enterprise come over to pick us up for our rental car and then made a hasty trip to Shady Maple for some shopping.
We love Shady Maple. It's like an Amish version of Whole Foods, only cheaper and better. The fruits and vegetables alone unbelievable much less the bakery, deli and whoopie pies.
This is only ONE of the whoopie pie counters. There were so many flavor choices, chocolate, chocolate chip, pumpkin, mint/chocolate, and the list goes on. Of course we had to buy a couple (or more) to freeze along with some chicken pot pies.

We only had a small early breakfast this morning, so by 5 pm we were starving. So on the way back to the campground we had not 1, but 2 whoopie pies. Shame on us, but they were out of this world.
 The next morning (Saturday,) the cows mooing from Sam's farm across the road woke us at 4:30 am. I guess they were getting their milking done and heading out to pasture. The kitties thought it was great because they could get their breakfast early.
 Since it was so cool outside this early, we put the kitties out in their playpen and sat outside and had our coffee while the sun came up. Very nice. Bentley was really enjoying himself.

We had  a nice bacon and tomato quiche from Shady Maple for breakfast. Excellent. We need to make a quick run to Walmart for a couple of hardware items. For lunch, Madonna and Jim are coming up to visit. We haven't seen each other for a couple of years, so this should be a great visit.