Thursday, April 30, 2015

Our 2014/2015 Camping Season In Review, Vol. 4 of 5

Round #8 (February 16th thru February 20th, 2015) was our shortest trip during our camping season. We didn't even make the reservation until the last minute. Gary and I decided that we didn't want to stay home for our birthdays. Well actually, I decided that I didn't want to stay home for my birthday, and I surprised Gary with the announcement that I had made the reservation. I'm sneaky like that. That's what he gets for letting me know his Reserve America password and credit card numbers. It was bad enough that I made a reservation at all, but I knew that Gary would be REALLY mad if I made a reservation for a park that was far away. So I looked for a vacancy at a park that was fairly close to home, and made the five night reservation at O'Leno State Park near High Springs, FL. That is just a little further away from home than Paynes Prairie, and a bit closer to Gainesville. Our friends Jim and Melodie live close to the park, and invited Gary over for dinner on the Wednesday of the week we were there. Gary hadn't originally booked anything for our birthday week because he had planned to stay home and get some work done around the house. But after it was all over, I think he was happy that I forced him to go. We had a nice relaxing birthday week. A total of 327 miles was traveled. I was along for 199, and the remaining 128 were done without me. Round #9 (March 2nd thru March 10th, 2015). This was another all-Georgia trip, and to three parks that we hadn't been to before. We spent three nights at each of the three parks. Our first stop was Fort McAllister State Park near Savannah. On the day we were leaving, we were visited by Tim and Susan Viall from California. They were travelling through the south at the time with their Scotty teardrop replica, and hadn't met Gary yet, even though they've been Facebook friends for a long time. Next, we headed to Little Ocmulgee State Park near McRae. Heading back towards home, we camped at Crooked River State Park near St. Marys. The warm temperatures there were bringing out the bugs in force, and it was obvious that on our next rounds of camping, we would need to carry the air conditioner along with us. Gary and Dodge traveled 1079 total miles. I was along for 538 of those miles, and the remaining 541 was driven without me. Two more rounds yet to document, but I'm done for now. It's hard to type with your tongue! I'm going to rest up. Later!

Our 2014/2015 Camping Season In Review, Vol. 3 of 5

After spending a good part of the last eight weeks camping in Florida, we decided to head back up into Georgia for Round #6 (January 11th thru January 21st, 2015) of our camping season. Our first stop was at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park near Cordele for a three night stay. Gary's sister and brother-in-law joined us for our first night. They had a really nice room in the resort within the park. We had a beautiful waterfront campsite. From there, we headed further north to High Falls State Park near the town of Jackson. We spent five nights there. Like we so often do when we're in Georgia, we camped at General Coffee State Park near Nichols for three nights on our way back home. We LOVE General Coffee. It's still our favorite Georgia State Park. Gary and Dodge traveled a total of 1223 miles. I tagged along for 693 of those miles, and the remaining 530 miles was traveled without me. Round #7, January 29th thru February 8th, 2015. This was another all-Florida (panhandle of the state) round. Our first stop was Three River State Park near Sneads for a four night stay. Following that was a three night stay at Rocky Bayou State Park near Niceville. That was as far west as we went to during our camping season. I had to have emergency surgery while we were there for a crack in my frame. It was a beautiful little park, but I'll always remember it for my medical issue. After that, we headed back east, stopping for four nights at Florida Caverns State Park near Marianna. Florida Caverns and Three Rivers are actually very close to each other. A total of 1370 miles was traveled during Round #7. I joined in for 729 of those miles, while Gary and Dodge traveled 641 miles without me. Stay tuned. More to come!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our 2014/2015 Camping Season In Review, Vol. 2 of 5

Here is Volume #2 (of 5), reviewing our recently completed camping season. Gary has finished making all the little maps of the places we visited. I guess it's up to me now to find the time to write the reviews. It isn't difficult, and it's actually kind of fun. I just have to get off my lazy butt and do it, and you KNOW how lazy I am. Anyway, there's nothing on TV right now, so I have no excuse not to get this done. So here we go! Round #4, December 11th thru December 18th, 2014. Our first stop on this round was a place we hadn't been to before. Lake Kissimmee State Park is located near Lake Wales, FL. It's roughly 200 miles south of St. Augustine, which as you know, is our home base. We spent three nights there. We only went to one place this entire season that we didn't like at all, and that was Hillsborough River State Park in Round #1. Lake Kissimmee was nice, and we will probably go back there at some point. Due to Dodge's relatively poor gas mileage, we generally always go to more than one park in whatever direction we are heading towards. Gary likes to get the biggest bang for his buck when we travel, and sees no reason to go one place and then come right back home, only to turn around and go back to a park near where we just were. I wholeheartedly agree. Besides, I LOVE to camp, so the more places we go, the better I like it. This trip was no exception to Gary's rule, so after we finished our stay at Lake Kissimmee, we headed over to Melbourne Beach, and spent five nights at one of our favorite places, Sebastian Inlet State Park. I like to call it "Sebby". We've been there three times before, and it's ALWAYS fun. By the time we returned back to St. Augustine, Gary and Dodge had traveled a total of 817 miles together. I was along for 454 miles, and they traveled 363 miles without me. Round #5, December 23rd, 2014 thru January 6th, 2015. This was our Holiday trip, and we spent both Christmas and New Year's at our FAVORITE Florida State Park, Paynes Prairie near Micanopy, FL. We actually spent a full ten nights there, and it was as wonderful as it always is. On January 2nd, we headed down to Silver Springs State Park for a five night stay. We were joined for part of our visit by our friends Jim and Melodie. A total of 924 miles were logged by Gary and Dodge. I was only along for 244 of those, and the remaining 680 were made without me. That's it for today. I'll post another volume or two soon, I promise!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Our 2014/2015 Camping Season In Review, Vol. 1 of 5

Now that our camping season is officially over, I've been looking back through all the pictures that Gary took, and thinking about all the fun we had in our travels. It was a GREAT season for sure. We logged a lot of miles and re-visited some of our favorite places, as well as making a few stops at places we had never been to before. Along the way, we visited with friends and family, and made some new friends as well. Gary and I are looking forward to the start of our camping season next fall. We are heavily booked from late September until New Year's, and not one of our stops will be in Florida. A lot of the time, we will still be camping in the deep south as we did during our past season, but every place we are going to will be new to us. Even though Dodge is 23 years old and has 242,000 miles on him, he is ready, willing, and able to haul Gary and I anywhere we want to go. None of our camping adventures would be possible without him, and we are grateful that he is part of our lives. He's an AWESOME van! I've gotten off the point of this posting, so let me get back to the matter at hand. I won't post any pictures of the places we went to. I've already done that in the posts I made from everywhere we went. But something new that I will show you are these little maps that Gary made. They show the general locations of our camping stops in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Gary hasn't had time to make all the maps yet, but this first batch shows the places we went to on our first three rounds of camping. I'll post more later. We actually went on eleven rounds total, not ten as I might have mentioned previously. We didn't plan on counting our final trip to St. Petersburg as a "round" since it was a working trip for Gary. But since we counted the first trip, and it was also a working trip, then we decided to count the last one as well. Here are the stats from our first three rounds. Gary is a stickler for statistics, so he wanted me to post them. He's much more detailed than I am. I'm lazy and I just like to camp. Still, I can appreciate the fact that he goes to all the trouble to keep track of everything. It is kind of fun to look back on. Round #1 - October 4th thru 19th, 2014. Our first stop was in St. Petersburg, FL. We camped on the driveway of our friends Bill and Sandy, and Gary worked on his rental house. We spent six nights there. Gary wasn't even close to finishing the work on the house. Not wanting to wear out our welcome with Bill and Sandy, we headed over to Hillsborough River State Park (near Tampa) for seven nights. Gary almost finished the work on the house while we were there, but not quite. So, we moved back across Tampa Bay to Clearwater, and spent three nights at the Yankee Traveler RV Park. The work on the house got finished up, and we headed back home to St. Augustine. Gary and Dodge traveled 1298 total miles. During 502 of those of those miles, I was along for the ride. 796 miles was traveled without me. Round #2 - November 1st thru 18th, 2014. This was our longest trip of the season. Stop #1 was Falling Waters State Park in the Florida panhandle. We spent two nights there. Stop #2 was Florala State Park in Alabama. It's right on the Florida/Alabama border. We spent two nights there as well. Our next two night stop was at Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Newnan, Georgia, then we headed up to Cloudland Canyon State Park in extreme NW Georgia. It's very near Chattanooga, TN. We spent five nights there, and was joined during part of our stay by our friends Jim, Melodie, Lou Ann, and Dan. From there, we headed to Morgan Farms (Gary's sister's house) for a four night stay. Our final stop was at General Coffee State Park near Nichols, Georgia. We spent three nights there. Gary and Dodge traveled 2009 total miles. During 1278 of those miles, I was along for the ride. 731 miles was traveled without me. Round #3 - November 26th thru December 7th, 2014. This was an all-Florida trip. We spent four nights at Tomoka State Park near Ormond Beach. After that, we headed to Stephen Foster State Park near White Springs for four nights. Our next stop was Fort Clinch State Park near Fernandina Beach. We stayed there for four nights also. Gary and Dodge traveled 815 total miles. During 414 of those miles, I was along for the ride. 401 miles was traveled without me. Well, that's it for now. As soon as Gary gets around to making more of the maps from our trips, I'll post two rounds at a time until all eleven rounds have been detailed. It's almost time for People's Court, so I gotta go. I'll catch you later!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Missing In Action Blogger

This is the first time I've blogged in over three weeks. Sorry I haven't filled you in sooner on the latest happenings in my life, but things have been a little hectic. Gary told me that I couldn't watch TV today until I created at least ONE blog post, so here goes. After Dodge and I had our baths at the end of March, we sat in the garage and did nothing for the first eleven days of April. As usual, Gary was busy with all of his unfinished projects, getting his taxes done, and doing a BUNCH of yard work. On the 12th of April, we headed over to St. Petersburg for what was supposed to be no more than a four day stay. The purpose for going there was for Gary to do a few small projects on his rental house. We camped on the driveway of our friends Bill and Sandy. We LOVE staying there. Gary gets to hang out with his BFF's when he's not working on his house, and I get to relax and watch the abundance of squirrels, take frequent naps, and check out some of my favorite TV shows. It's a SWEET place to camp, and we REALLY appreciate being able to stay there. Bill and Sandy always make us feel like we're part of their family. We were visited by their son Corey and his fiance Lydia at one point, and they posed along with Bill and Sandy for a picture with me. That was fun. One project at the rental house was MUCH more complicated and time consuming than Gary anticipated. Our estimated four day stay soon became a week, and ended up being a full eleven days before everything was done. After the first week, Gary moved me from the driveway to the middle of the front yard. Bill and Sandy bought a portable carport to be installed over the driveway where I was sitting, so I needed to be moved out of the way. It was much more shady under the oak trees in the front yard, and I really liked being closer to the constantly playing squirrels. Gary helped Bill assemble the frame for the carport. They also took apart an old animal cage, so Gary managed to earn his keep (and mine) while we were visiting. I was hitched up to Dodge yesterday (April 23rd), and we headed back towards home. We never go through Ocala without stopping at the Wildwood Antique Mall. It's one of Gary's favorite antique stores. Gary pulled us into a semi-shady area in the parking lot, and we rested up for the two and a half hours that Gary was in the store. We arrived back in St. Augustine around 3PM. Gary quickly got me back inside the Green Acres Garage, plugged in my power, re-installed my air conditioner, and hooked up my antenna. A little while later, I was watching my favorite show, The People's Court, starring Judge Marilyn Milian. No disrespect with her being a judge and all, but she's a HOTTIE!!! If you're reading this Judge Milian, I would LOVE an autographed photo (hint hint). We are officially done with our camping season, and not looking forward to the brutal Florida summer which lies ahead. As we wait for fall to arrive, I will review our past camping season, and will keep you posted on anything exciting that happens around here. And I will try to do so in a timely manner. After all, I DON'T want to lose my TV privileges! Until next time, have FUN, whatever you do.