A Trip to Florida During Quarantine

It has been months since I have seen my parents and children. My trip to Louisiana was canceled back in March due to COVID-19 and I was at the point that I needed a break from all the bullshit and was ready to take a trip. Because we live in our RV full-time we are able to take our house with us, so on Thursday, May 14th we headed to Florida. We only drove to the other side of Montgomery as we usually only drive around 4-5 hours before we stop. We don’t like doing 8-9 hour drives. We thought the worse roads we had ever been on were in Louisiana, but going through Birmingham about beat us to death. It hasn’t been that long since we drove through there, but the first time in several years since we drove with the RV attached. It makes a big difference. 

We stayed at the first park we stayed in back in 2015 when we began our RV journey the first time in full-time travel mode, Montgomery South RV Park. The park has expanded since 2015 as they have installed several more lots. It was nice to get a pull-through, which all their sites are and it was long enough that we didn’t have to unhook as we would be back on the road before 8:00 am Friday morning. We only drove about two exits before getting off on Exit 142 at Priester’s Pecans. I had ordered some pecans in the mail back in April, but my mom talked about wanting some, so I stopped to get her a 5 pound bag. It would have been cheaper to order online and have them shipped. Found out the sister runs the physical store while a brother runs the online shop and since they don’t get along too well, there is more competition to see who can make more money than they other.

Once we were back on interstate, it wasn’t long before we were pulling into my parents house, arriving around 11:00 am.  We only have electric hook up there, but our holding tanks hold the waste and we dump once we’re back on interstate in Alabama. Unfortunately only one daughter was able to join us and she only had 1 kid with her, but we made the most of our time together. On Friday night, we grilled steaks and had everybody over in the RV. I had to do a makeshift table to sit at, but we made it work. One thing I forgot about traveling in the RV is how much it takes to set up and take down each time you move it. I will have to get used to that again if we make too many more trips as it took a lot more time than I remember it taking to complete those tasks.

On Saturday, us girls went for a much needed pedicure while the guys worked on our A/C’s that are not functioning the way they should be. They needed some freon added and 1  of them needs a new mother board. Still having trouble finding the replacement part, but not giving up. We also went to Kohl’s to do some shopping and I’m happy to report that the clothes I bought fit perfectly when I got home. Due to COVID they won’t allow people to try on clothes, so I was taking a chance with all the weightloss as to what size to get. I picked this one correctly. After some shopping we ended up at Joe Patti Seafood to get some shrimp, not only for dinner, but also for me to put in my freezer for the future. Nothing better than fresh ocean shrimp. I also got the hubby some oysters, which he got to enjoy when we got back home.

We were supposed to split our return trip into Sunday and Monday, but we decided we would do the entire drive back on Sunday. I didn’t do any of the driving, but was extremely exhausted by the time we got home around 6:00 pm. It took a few tries to get the RV back in its spot, but without either of us killing each other, we got it done. 

Just about every time I am around my Florida child, she wants a photo shoot of either the family or the kids and this trip was no different. She only wanted pics of Madi done, which I was more than happy to do, as she is a gem to photograph and is changing and growing up so fast that I want to have the memories of her childhood as much as her Momma does, if not more. 

My 3 favorite poses are below. I can’t believe she is almost 7 years old. She is not a little baby anymore, instead she’s becoming a little girl who is growing up way too fast. She’ll be in second grade next year.

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.

 

Dress Sewing for Little Girls

On the 18th of June my granddaughter Madison turned 2. We celebrated her birthday the following weekend. I was puzzled as to what to do for her this year and after much contemplation I finally decided to do some sewing.  It’s been a while since I have sewn for a toddler, but I ended up doing a couple dresses and a short set.

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I made the shorts out of a lightweight denim. They have elastic for the waist. The top has little lady bugs on it so the buttons on the back are lady bugs as well.

These pictures were taken while on our beach trip during the 4th of July holiday.

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This dress looked absolutely adorable on her. It was easy to make and could be compared to a pillowcase dress as the front and back were cut on the fold so all you have are side seams with a casing at the top to run the strap through. The strap was sewn together to appear as one complete strap.

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My final dress was made from a soft fabric covered in flowers. I added pockets to this one as she loves putting everything in her pockets. Two buttons at the top finished off the project. By adding the purple shoes and a pair of purple shorts, she was ready for a day on the town.

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