Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Cold Start to a Busy Day

Today when we got out of bed it was a sunny warm 36 degrees. Mind you, I'm not complaining. Home was the same, but snow sleet and freezing rain. Knowing it would warm up was enough for us.
First we went to take the tour of the Escapees Grounds. They have an old trolley that takes groups around and a guide to tell you what you're looking at. They trolley has broke down, so we just toured the headquarters building and the mailing facility. It was very interesting how they take care of every one's mail. For those of you who don't know, it is a mail forwarding service for Escapees. Somewhere around 11,000 folks. It's like a city post office. The whole tour took about an hour and a half.
We stopped off at Emily to drop off our jackets, then went on to CARE for lunch. Today was roast pork, yams, cabbage, salad, dessert, and beverage. Not bad for $5. We saw some more of our old friends, and they were glad to see us. Miss Terry can sure cook up some great food. While we were there they announced they had made $6,000at the yard sale over the week-end. What a great turnout.
I finally got a dentist appointment. It was at 2:30, which gave us time to chat with folks. I didn't even see the dentist. The dental assistant took an X-ray, and cleaned out the crown and put it back on. I was finished and back home in under an hour. Not bad for being there for the first time. I had visions of waiting for hours.
Back home I got out my sewing machine and finished a project I have been working on all summer. I'm glad it's done. I love it when something is finished and comes out so great. Now it's on to something new.
The sun is setting really fast. It gets dark quickly here. All of a sudden you have to turn on the lights. It's almost time for dancing with the stars, and we are hoping that Cloris goes home. She has done a great job, but like Tom says, she must be getting terribly tired. For an 82 year old she has done a fantastic job, but it's time for her to go. We won't be watching the Phillies tonight. They have been postponed because of the weather. We'll have to wait till tomorrow to watch them celebrate. Am I counting my chickens? We'll wait and see.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's Good To Be Back

Thursday afternoon we arrived back in Livingston. We set up, had lunch, and went to visit the CARE Center. We received good Escapees hugs from some of our old friends, and were invited to go the the Liberty Opry with them on Nov 1st. Of course we said yes. At 4:00 everyday they have "meet and greet" at the activities center. We went over and said hi and checked in over there.
Friday we went over to Care because they have breakfast for 3.00 every Friday. You can have eggs, biscuits and gravy, potatoes, sausage or bacon, sometimes oatmeal, toast, juice, coffee, and cereal if you want that. In the afternoon, root beer floats on at 2:30. Some of the folks were there and happy to see us. We had a nice chat with Louise and Gwen. On Nov. 15 we are scheduled to go to work over there, so we will be here till then.
On the 4th of Nov. we have to take Emily out to get fixed. We hope it only takes one day. That just happens to be election day, and we hope you all vote. I won't get on my soapbox, but I think it is important that everyone votes. It's a privilege not all people have, so just do it. Tom and I have already voted by absentee ballot.
Today Tom worked on cleaning the awning. I did some cleaning inside. Now it's time for Penn State to play Ohio. WE ARE__PENN STATE. GO LIONS.
I can't forget to mention that as we were taking a bike ride the Thursday night, we found Fay ans Jay from the class of 2007. We stopped and had a nice time catching up. Lulu their little schnauser, was happy to see us, too. They did all the necessary things to become Texans. There are certin benifits to becoming Texans, much the same as becoming citizens of South Dakota like we did. They managed to do it in one day, and left this morning to go to a work camping position down south of here. It was sure good to see them.
The game just started, so I'm off to watch. Catch you later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On Our Way to Livingston

Today we started out toward Livingston, Tx. We will be arriving tomorrow sometime. It will be so good to see our friends again. Emily has a really bad propane leak, so we have an appointment for her to be fixed. To some it's like the doctors of humans. We can't get her in till the 4th of Nov. It's a good thing we can get by will electric cooking and showers at the campground facilities. At least we know where the leak is, and what they have to do to fix it. There are a few things we have to take care of, such as cleaning the awning and defrosting the fridge.The CARE Center will be one of our first stops. Just to let them know we are there, and willing to help them out if need be.
It is so great to be within range of a Verizon cell tower. Now we can catch up with our e-mails and phone calls. Once we get to Livingston I will catch up everyone on the parts of the trip I have not shared. It will be almost like being home.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Abita Springs Is a Great Place

First I'll start with saying, if we could stay another week, we would. This little town is so friendly. No matter which road you take out of town, there is something to see or do. Last night we went to the Abita Opry. Mind you, it's not the Grand Ole Opry, but the talent was super. They had 4 groups that played for 1/2 hour each. They are not allowed to over, because the whole show is taped for TV. They are strict on time. The house band started off, and finished. They play mostly Blue Grass. One group played what most folks refer to as Dixieland jazz. The group from New Orleans played what they called New Orleans Blue Grass. It was a cross between Dixieland and Blue Grass. The other group did old Blue Grass. Early sounds from Appalachia. They all did a great job.
When we arrived, before the doors were opened, we could sit in chairs out in front of the Town Hall and listen to a group who played on the porch. I guess it was just some folks who were jamming together. One was an assistant pastor from a church in town. They did a few old hymns, and some older country songs. When they allowed folks in, we could go up to a counter and get some of the food for sale. Hot dogs w/chili and the works, Home made Gumbo over rice, and lots of different desserts. We both chose the Gumbo, and home made bread pudding. Man, it was good.
Today we went down to New Orleans. We took the causeway, which happens to be the longest bridge in the world. It is about 26 miles long. It sure was quicker that going around Lake Pontchartrain. We stopped first at the visitors center, and was given instruction and suggestions from a very nice lady. She gave us a map and showed us where to park, and how to get where we wanted to go. On we went to the French Quarter. I really hadn't changed much since we were there about 6 or 7 years ago. We ate beignets at Cafe Du Monde in Jackson Square. We enjoyed all the street musicians, and the art work all along the streets. We took a rest up on the levee, and watched the river and called our Mothers. We had really good reception there, and we have almost nothing at the campground. We saw some big freighters leaving for the gulf.
After coming back down and checking out some of the shops at the French Market, we stopped for a sandwich, and started home.
What a nice time we had. Coming back to Abita Srings is definitely in the card. It's a nice stop on the way to Texas. There is so much we haven't done yet. There is always next time. We can come back when ever we want. What a life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Abita Springs Brewery

One of the many things to do here is go on the brewery tour. There is no--get that--no charge. You go sit on the patio and wait till they call you. They call you into the bar, then you get any beer you want. Just walk behind the bar and hit any of the taps there. If you don't like beer, like me, you can have root beer. They make that, too. First a fellow who called himself the janitor tells you a little bit about the company. A brew master comes out then and tells about the mixing of the ingredients. After that he took us into the back where they do the brewing. We saw these giant stainless steel towers, and he explained how the procedure works. It was kind of hard to follow for me, but sort of interesting. We were not allowed to go where they do the bottling. They say that it's a safety issue. They explained that sometimes bottles break unexpectedly, and glass goes flying. Employees wear masks and such for protection.
What makes the beer so special is that Abita Springs in on a aqua fer. They don't have to treat the water with anything. They just filter out the dirt and make sure there are no impurities. Other than that they use it right from the ground. Most other beers have additives in the water. Abita Beer also does some great things with special beers. They made a special brew after Katrina, and donated lots of money for reconstruction. Now they are working on a new holiday brew for donation to a local project. Nice way to pay back the patrons and the community. Oh by the way, the root beer was terrific, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's Try This Again

I am writing a short entry today. I tried to do a nice entry yesterday, but because of bad internet connection, I had to write the whole thing twice. It still would not post. It was just gone. Needless to say, I was very frustrated. I just quit.
I will tell you more about the Trace when I find out if this goes through. We are now in Abita Springs in Louisiana. It is just about an hour north of New Orleans. Very close to Lake Pontchartrain. Today after we arrived and got set up we went into town and bought tickets for the Opry on Saturday night. This is local talent that does Blue Grass, country, and all kinds of local music. We are expecting a great night of music and they tell us they sell gumbo and bread pudding before the entertainment starts. Our kind of fun. There is so much to do here that we will probably be quite busy during our stay. We have plans to do a swamp tour, and of course visit New Orleans.
For those of you who know about it, we have just had some Blue Bell ice cream. Man, that's some good stuff. Tomorrow it may rain, so we may just have a down day. If this goes through OK, I'll catch up and let you kinow what we have been doing for the passed week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three Hour Tour

This morning we got up early (even set the alarm) and had to be out front at 8:15. The shuttle pulled up, and off we went. The first stop was at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to pick up more folks. Our tour was now started. The driver took us to the historic area old Nashville. We didn't stop there, but past the Fort Nashborough. We went by so fast we couldn't take photos. Then it was on to the State Capital. We went through the park, which had some wonderful places to stop, but we didn't. Then we went up and down Music Row. That was really interesting. Not what I expected. Then we went on to the Ryman Auditorium-The Mother Church of country music. What a fabulous place. Just thinking of the talent that has been up on that stage boggles the mind. Tom and I walked all over the building, except backstage. Tom got some nice pics. A fellow was taking pictures of folks on the stage, with his camera or ours. We took advantage of his patience, and he took 2 for us. Neat, right? On we went to our next stop, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We could have spent a whole day there. The exhibit on right now was the Hank Williams Family. They called it Family Tradition. That whole thing was great. The second floor was where we would have spent more time. They had suits and dresses of the stars, and lots of memorabilia. All over the walls were all the Gold and Platinum records of anyone who ever had one. I found one of Alan Jackson. I know there were more, but not enough time. I told Tom we had about 10 minutes left, and we were both disappointed.
Our last stop is a place called Ledgend. It's a bar near the Ryman, and someone was sining, but we don't know who. He was pretty good, though. We were only there for a few minutes. Everyone on the tour got a free soft drink. We went outside to get some pics and look at some of the little shops on the street. Then it was time to go.
Now for the critique. We were disappointed in the first part of the tour. If we had taken more time on that, we wouldn't have had as much time for the good stuff. So I guess all in all it was OK. We haven't decided if it was worth $45 each yet, but we have decided to come back again and do it more on our own. We really want to walk around downtown and just see more of the city. The old town was so neat, and we would have spent a whole day down there. They had what looked like some great places to eat, and just browse around. We'll take care of that another time.
Tomorrow we leave here and head for the Natchez Trace. We may not have electric many nights, so if we don't answer e-mails or write the blog, you'll know we are dry camping. Tom will now add the pics, and we hope you all enjoy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Grand Ole Opry

For the last few days it has been raining here. First not so much, but yesterday it rained all day. But last night it was great. We went to the Grand Ole Opry. We saw Whispering Bill Anderson, and Jeannie Seeley. They were great. They may be up in age, but they can still belt out those old country tunes. We also saw George Hamilton IV, and there was also great songs from Jack Greene. Some of you folks who were around in the fifties would remember their songs. They called them teen ballads. We also saw 2 bands not to well known. We thought both were good, but The Road Hammers from Canada brought down the house. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of them. The other was The Del McCoury Band. They did blue grass. The ending was the best. We got to see Charlie Daniels. Man, can that guy play the fiddle. The whole night was wonderful.
Tomorrow we are doing the tourist thing. We have tour tickets to see some of Nashville's famous places. I hope we remember the camera this time. We should be gone all morning. Stay tuned for our review.
Today we did some fun things. We did laundry this morning during the rain, and then we went to see Darrel and Judy. They had stopped to see us in Pennsylvania and are work camping here at the KOA. Camping world is right near by, so we stopped by to go through the store. We also went through some new motorhomes. Nothing we liked better than Emily. Then we went to the grocery store. We have to have food for the Natchez Trace. We leave here on Friday morning, and will be dry camping for a few days. On our way to The Big Easy. Good Food!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breckenridge Rv Park

Breckenridge Rv Park is in Crossville, Tenn. It's a nice little park, but really friendly. This is the park we chose to be our home park for Coast to Coast. The total cost of staying here for three nights is 4 dollars. That's right! 4 dollars. We got the first night free. I suppose because it is our first time here, we didn't have to pay for the first night. If anyone has questions, you would have to ask Tom because I don't really know all the ins and outs of joining Coast to Coast, but 4 dollars is OK by me.
On Friday night we went over to the Cumberland State Park for supper. There is a great restaurant there that has a buffet every night. The building itself was really a nice place to sit down and eat. They have wall to wall and ceiling to floor windows so it's like your eating outdoors. The food was wonderful. Tom even liked the catfish. They have lots of meats, veggies, potatoes, soup, a big salad bar, and plenty of desserts. They are famous for their homemade banana pudding. It's made with vanilla wafers, and they put piles of meiranige on top. DELICIOUS! We came away filled up right proper.
Yesterday we took off to try to find the local flea market. After a stop at the post office to mail our absentee ballots for the November election, we finally found our destination. It was fairly good sized, and we picked up a few little things we needed. At least that's what we told ourselves. We stayed away from the funnel cakes. I think that's something we don't need. On the way home we stopped at a bakery thrift store, and bought some good bread. It was really warm out, and we had a really nice day.
Today we planned to stay home and just rest for a bit before heading out for Nashville tomorrow. I made some fried breast of chicken with mashed potatoes and country gravy. I added some corn, though I would have liked something green. None in the freezer. When we sit for awhile we will stock up a bit more. It's hard to travel and cook big meals. There is plenty left over to have a good meal when we stop tomorrow.
We don't have that far to go to get to Nashville. We plan to take a tour and maybe get to the Grand Ole Opery. We'll see how it goes. The plan is to stay for a few days before heading out for the Natchez Trace. That will be dry camping for awhile. It's supposed to be quite beautiful. Then on to New Orleans for a couple of days. Maybe. That's what nice about this life style. If you don't like where you are, you just move. Even if you like where you are, you can go find somewhere else you like. We love it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seeing Some of Tennessee

Today was a great day. We started off by going to the Bristol Motor Speedway. What a place! We took the tour, which lasted a whole hour. Since we were the only folks for the 11:00 tour we had one on one with Janet, our guide. She took us up to Burton Smith's luxury suite. What a view. What a room. For those of you who are not race fans, he owns the track here, plus a few more. We were able to walk up the banking of the track. It was hard to walk up. She also took us up to Victory Lane. The van we were in took the track at about 60, and you could tell we had the wrong tires.
The complex also has a drag strip. We took a run down the lane there, too. We were very pleased with the tour, and suggest it to everyone, fan of racing or not.
After we left the track we headed out for Jonesborough. It's the oldest town in Tennessee. What a neat place. There are so many old buildings there. Old hotels that daste back to the early 1800's. Presidents have been there, and many people of note. Today the town is getting ready for their annual Storytelling Festival. All the churches are going to have dinners or lunches, they have these huge tents all over the place. If we had known about the festival, we probably would have gone over the week-end. We did the shop stopping thing, and had some good ice cream.
On the way to Jonesborough, we passed a BBQ place with a packed parking lot. We decided to stop on the way home. We ordered pork BBQ sandwiches. They also have beef, and ribs. Tom got fries, and I ordered onion rings. They served huge portions. The sandwiches were great, as were the fries. The onion rings were nothing special. The place is called Pardners. We would also put them on our list. We like to go to places that local folks think are good, and the amount of cars there was a good sign.
We packed a lot into one day, and now it's off to Crossville to see a Coast to Coast park there. We'll be there a few days, so we will do some more touring. Man we love this. Exploring and finding great places.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Our Way

Well folks, we are finally on our way. Last night we stayed in Harrisonburg Va. at the Wal-Mart. We didn't have such a good night. I don't sleep well if it's not dark. Tom did ok, but not as well as he usually does. We went in and bought a few things we needed plus a rotisserie chicken.
When we got back to Emily we sat down to a nice warm dinner. I had a bite of chicken and a bite of bread and butter. I felt something in my mouth. Out came one of my crowns. Now, if I hadn't been in the dentist's office the day before, I wouldn't have felt so bad. Tom had some stitches taken out, and I drove. Now we have to find a dentist that takes our insurance. We will most likely wait till we get to Texas.
Today we arrived in Bristol, Tenn. Tomorrow we plan to take a tour of the Raceway. They have a nice program that takes you all over the speedway and the drag strip. We'll let you know more about it tomorrow. We have made reservations at our home park through Coast to Coast. It's in Crossville. The plan then is to visit Nashville for a couple of days since we will be staying so close-by. We may even get to go to an Apple Festival over the week-end. Yummy!!
Some of you know we had to get a new computer. Tom has it up and running, but once in a while it does some funny things. Everyone knows they are touchy little buggers. That is why I haven't added to the blog for some time. He was busy taking things out of the old one, and putting them in the new one. Not too much cussing. We think now things are OK. Time will tell.
We are hoping to find some warmer weather soon. We are really happy to be on the move again.