Memorable Moments from 2015

March 2nd marked a year ago that we started our RV journey that would take us from Tennessee to Florida and back several times before setting down in Tallahassee back in October. During those first few months we had some very memorable moments. Some of which we have been reminiscing about these past few days, so I decided I would share those moments with all of you.

1. March 15th. We drove all the way to Mississippi to pick up our eight week old fur baby, Oscar. He was born with beautiful blue eyes (they changed as he got older) and milk chocolate fur. I don’t know what we were thinking at the time in getting a dog, a puppy none the less when we were just starting our adventure. Looking back now, I’m glad we did, because he has been a big blessing for Greg. Pets are just like children in the fact that you make whatever sacrifices you need to make them happy and healthy.

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On the way home!

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2. March 27th – April 10th. We were staying in Moore Haven which was about a 15- 20 minute drive from Lake Okeechobee, which meant fishing. There’s just something about being on the water, the calmness and serenity of it makes life so much easier to deal with.

We spent several days on the lake in our kayaks. I only caught one or two a day, but always caught the biggest. On what would be our last day on the water, Greg spotted an alligator about 5-6 feet from his kayak. I was probably about 15-20 feet away. He was not having any of that and we were out of that water real quick. Had we been in a boat, it wouldn’t have been as scary, but in a kayak, the last thing you want to encounter is an alligator. Plus he was not a little one, he was a BIG one. 

Anna's bass

Anna’s bass

3. June 3rd- 6th.  A few days on Lake Guntersville in Alabama will help take all your worries away. This was absolutely the best place we have stayed at. Our site was right at the water’s edge and the sunsets and sunrises were beyond amazing. We were able to fish every morning and afternoon. Our Hobie kayaks were the paddle type so you just sit back paddle with your feet and use the steering handle to maneuver all around. It was amazing. Oscar loved sunning himself, looking over the edge or enjoying time in my lap. He truly does the water. The amount of fish we caught was not enough to get excited about, but the fact that we were on the water enjoying the beauty of nature was what made our time there memorable.

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4. June 24-28th. We wanted to take our oldest grandson on a summer trip. We had originally wanted to go to Louisiana, but our plans had to be rearranged so TN it was. Our drive there included a flat tire which was a memory in itself that I don’t want to relive. The memorable moment was our trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Our grandson loves animals, especially sea life so we thought this place would be a great destination.

Because we have to have a way to carry the kayaks we had a rack on top of the truck. The rack adds height and can be a problem when you park in a garage parking lot. I’m the guilty party doing the driving that day and not thinking I pulled into the parking garage. Luckily I found a spot on the top floor, which meant I didn’t have to drive down into the garage…for now. Thinking ahead we knew we would have to remove the rack in order to get out at the end of the day, but for now we planned to enjoy the aquarium. Once we viewed all the animals and enjoyed our visit, we headed down the strip to find lunch. Unbeknown to us the place we were headed to had closed so we had to find something else. By this time we had walked the entire strip. Now mind you my grandson is not athletic, never exercises and we are taking him way out of his comfort zone. We chose a place to eat, which was the worse place I’ve ever eaten at and the most expensive for what we ordered. The grandson wouldn’t even eat. While looking for a place to eat, we were also looking for a place that might sell a tool we could use to remove the rack, but had not spotted one, so I used my phone to search for an auto parts store.. The only thing we could find was Ace Hardware, which per the GPS was on our way back to where the truck was. So we walked and walked, but never saw ACE Hardware. I called them to confirm address, clerk confirmed and told me we were close so we kept walking. Eventually we were past where the truck was, so I called ACE again, spoke to another clerk and again was told they were just down from where we were. I guess what they didn’t understand was we were walking, not driving. After several more blocks we give up, went back to the garage we parked at and asked security for help. If only we had done that in the fist place we would have saved ourselves a lot of walking, but this memory wouldn’t have been as funny. Our grandson was so mad knowing that we could have saved all that walking and just gone back to the garage in the beginning. We thought it was funny and still laugh about it today.

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5. July 9th. Having one furbaby wasn’t enough, as daddy Greg thought Oscar needed a playmate, so on this day we drove to Mississippi again, different breeder to pick up our baby girl, Harley. She is Hershey chocolate and a tubby tail now. Hard to believe considering how tiny she was the day we picked her up. It took a while for the two of them to get use to each other, but now they are inseparable.

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There were many moments that were special to us, but these 5 ring out on top. We long to add to these memories and in time we will. Feel free to share a memorable moment you have had on your adventures in the comments below.

How We Celebrated a Twelve Year Old’s Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I can’t believe that 12 years ago today I was spending my morning in a hospital waiting for my first grandchild to be born. We already knew we were having a boy and we’re looking forward to this day for a long time. We had hoped for a normal delivery, but our little guy didn’t want to come and after two weeks past the due date, the doctor agreed to a c-section. So January 6th we were welcoming a new baby into the world. We had had it all worked out that I would be in the delivery room and was afraid that the doctor wouldn’t allow me in on a c-section delivery, but who was I kidding, my daughter wasn’t taken no for an answer. She was nineteen, her first child and scared to death and it didn’t matter that her husband would be with her, she wanted her mom too. Thank God I was able to go in and see the miraculous birth of my first grandchild.

I always thought giving birth was great, but getting to be on the other side of the screen was the most awesome experience I have ever had. Fast forward to today where we are celebrating that handsome baby boy turning 12 and I have to ask myself where has the time gone? I can’t wait for Saturday when he gets a surprise birthday party at his favorite restaurant that his Nana took him to on our first lunch date after we moved back to Tallahassee in October (pic above is from that day). He loves hot wings and come Saturday, he will get to eat as many as he wants.

Loving the Flexibility of the RV Life

We had planned on staying in Tennessee until October, at which time we would be heading towards Texas for the winter.  However, we had to make an unplanned trip to Florida to be near my family after my Mom give us all a health scare.  It was really scary when the call came that my Mom was being life flighted to the hospital.  Because it would take eight hours to get there and this wasn’t in the plan I wanted to know how bad things were before we picked up and left.  By the next day we were told that they would be doing a procedure called ablation and there hope was that this would take care of the situation and after some recovery she would be good.

In the end we decided it was best to go on to Florida and make the most of it, so we packed up and headed that way.  We stopped half way for the night and on Friday the 4th we arrived around 1:00ish.  We only told my oldest daughter that we were traveling, as we always want at least one person to know that we are actually on the road, so my mom was totally surprised when we pulled up in the yard.  She had arrived home from the hospital an hour earlier.  We are lucky enough to be able to park in my parents yard when we visit.

As of Friday the 11th we have been here a week. Mom is doing better and gaining strength every day.  My oldest daughter arrived from Tallahassee on the 12th for the night.  It was nice that we got to see her and her family especially since we are headed to Texas for the winter and have no plans of being in Florida until June at the earliest.

Seeing my family is always a good thing and as always I got the pleasure of photographing this beautiful family.

My handsome grandson

My oldest grandson is getting so big.  He looks so grown up in this picture.

My beautiful granddaughter

This little doll baby has such a beautiful smile.

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My daughter and son-in-law

Our trip here was not without surprises or unplanned expenses.  About a mile from our destination we got a flat tire. This is the second flat in the last three months.  So last week we spent all day getting new tires all the way around, G614’s, which are supposed to be one of the best to have on a fifth wheel.  For the price, they better be good.  In addition to the new tires, Greg also added a stabilizer bar to the rear jacks.  We already had one on the front.IMG_20150909_162644We seem to be keeping busy while here as we seem to be doing something every day.  One of those days included a trip to the Commissary on the Navy base in Pensacola.  I have never been to one and wasn’t sure what to expect.  I hope we have time to go back before we hit the road back to Tennessee as the prices on some items is well worth the forty minute drive to get there.  I also want to check out the PX as we didn’t get to see much as we shopped for groceries first, so we only had limited time to look around.

Living this lifestyle makes it possible for us to pretty much come and go as we please and do whatever we want whenever we want.  Sometimes that is a blessing and sometimes not so much. I enjoy the flexibility of going places and seeing new things, but I also miss the stability of being in the same place. I’m looking forward to spending the winter in Texas where not only will we have access to all the resort activities, but the ability to explore many new places.

Time with Family

We spent the first two weeks of June hanging out in my parents backyard. We fished in the pond and enjoyed some fresh bream and bass a couple of times. The second week we were there, our grandson was visiting with my parents and then we took him for a week in the RV from Florida to Tennessee. Our final weekend in Florida included a quick trip (3 hours) to Tallahassee to celebrate our granddaughters 2nd birthday.

The birthday girl!!!

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Assorted pics from the party. Oscar enjoyed hanging out at the party as well. Madison is a total doll baby. She’s still not sure she likes Nana’s dog, but at least she let him get near her.

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Madison and Colby (sister and brother)                                          

The party was on Saturday and we only stayed one night, then back to my parents for one night before pulling out on Monday bound for Tennessee. Our plan was to drive to the other side of Birmingham, spend the night and then finish our journey on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately we had a flat tire on the 5er before we made it to Birmingham. It was a real learning experience.  We don’t have roadside assistance, so the hubby had to do it himself. I was the flag girl trying to get people to move over as the flat was on the driver’s side, which put Greg too close to the road as you can only get over so far when getting off the shoulder.

The thing that surprised me the most while we sat on the side of the road for most of an hour was the lack of respect that drivers have for others, but more importantly, fellow RVers who refused to get over in the other lane of traffic when they not only had amble time to do so, but room to actually move over, but refused.  Not only did people not get over, but they wouldn’t even slow down. My plea to everyone reading this, when you see someone stopped on the side of the road, please either slow down or move over. Some people have questioned whether I expected people to actually stop and my answer is no, but I do expect people to have respect for others.  We did have three different couples stop.  The first man had a broken arm, but he still stopped and was willing to help. When we assured him we were okay, he proceeded on his trip. The next couple to stop were in a uhaul as they were in the process of moving the woman to North Carolina.  The gentleman was a lifesaver to my husband and helped us to be back on the road a lot sooner than had he not stopped. The last couple to stop was an RV couple. I did not get their name, nor state they are from, but I was happy to see them care enough to stop and check on a total stranger, as they were the only RVer to do so.

Once we were back on the road, it was way past time for lunch and soon after stopping to eat we decided to just stop for good as we were just spent by this point. On Tuesday we completed our journey to Lenoir City for the next 4 days. While there, we visited Cades Cove and Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

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During our journey through Cades Cove, we only saw one black bear.  This was the first time our grandson had ever seen one in the wild.  An experience I think he will remember for a long time.  We also saw 7 deer and 4 turkeys. The trip to the aquarium was my favorite as I love all the sea animals and Colby is definitely a lover of the sea. My favorite was seeing the penguins. They were all tagged with their names. I could watch them play all day, but there was so much more than penguins to see, so I couldn’t stay at that exhibit forever. Instead I bought me a stuffed one to keep as a souvenir.

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Our time in Tennessee ended on the 28th when we headed back to Florida, but this time to the beach on St. George Island for a week with my daughter and her family, leaving the RV behind in Tennessee. We have been on the road so much during the month of June only traveling from Tennessee to Florida and back and I’m exhausted. I’m ready to get back to the RV and our life so we can plan our trip out west starting in September.

Thanks for reading and following our travels.  Feel free to leave comments below.