Total Pageviews

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October 2017

October means it is time to head to our "other" home and we are very excited to be doing just that.
It is a little different this year as I am following the Taj-mah-hauler in the Jeep.

October 15th we pull the Taj-mah-hauler out of her barn and hitch up and start west to Arizona.

Bronco is helping her dad drive in Big Bertha.
Chuck had planned for us to spend the night in Santa Rosa, NM. and we did just that.

The Albuquerque Balloon Festival was just ending so I called the RV site in the afternoon as I was concerned about getting a spot.
I am glad I did, as it really did fill up for the evening.

We hadn't eaten at Joseph's in a long time so I really wanted to go there.
Well, the service was terrible....and it was kinda funny when the waiter asked us if we were ready to order, and he had already taken our order not 5 minutes was a sign for sure.
It even became an issue to pay!
Sadly, we probably won't go back next time.

October 16th
On to Holbrook AZ.
We have reservations for a couple of nights at the OK RV Park.
The park is quite large and have very long sites, so the length of your rig isn't an issue here at all!

As you can see the site can accommodate any size rig  :)

Our first night we ate at a little place called Tom & Susie's.
As we sat and ate our food a gentleman that was sitting in a booth across from us commented on my turquoise ring.
Funny thing was I had noticed his beautiful bracelet he was wearing.

He was a very interesting man, and we were sworn to secrecy as he told us he was known as the "Turquoise Mafia Dog".
He apparently has several  stores in and around the area.
We enjoyed talking to him about the general area of Holbrook.

When we got back to the trailer the sun was setting and it was an interesting sky due to the large fires that were out west.

October 17th

The reason we spent an extra day in Holbrook was to go to the Petrified Forest.

I had never been there, and since we drive that way every season, Chuck wanted for me to be able to mark it off the bucket list.  LOL

He had been there as a child and as he tells me, he didn't really find it spectacular then.

I would love to say it was the best thing I had seen in a long time, but it was a bit disappointing to me.

Chuck even remarked that it was very picked over.

Don't get me wrong, I am glad I got to see it, but it just wasn't what I expected!

We drove to Winslow, AZ for a "not" disappointing lunch.
As we stood on the corner of Winslow, AZ and of course got our picture taken, we noticed a cute little place to eat just down the way.

The one thing we noticed was that there were a few outdoor seating areas, and since we had Bronco with us, it looked like the perfect place for lunch.

So glad we stopped there.
Our waitress brought out a small bowl of water for Miss Bronco and got us hooked up to the Taco Tuesday Special.
The little place was called RelicRoad Brewing Company and I would highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in Winslow.
We also were entertained by the people stopping and getting their moment of "standing on the corner of Winslow Arizona".
One couple that had been eating when we walked up, finished and got onto their Indian Motorcycle with a side car.
The lady had a selfie stick and she videoed their moment of driving to the corner.

We return to our trailer and enjoy another beautiful sunset.
I was trying to get a good pic so we walked over to an open area.
We met a very nice lady that  was doing the same thing and she tells us she
had been traveling for about 6 weeks.
She was by herself (so impressed) and she had been traveling around seeing friends, and was on her way back to California.
You can sure meet some interesting people as you travel.

October 18th
So excited to make it to Florence, AZ today.
We actually have a new stop light on the main drag...times are changing  :)
I couldn't believe how different Dessert Garden's looks this season due to all the new park models that have already been brought into the park for this season.
So nice to see our next door neighbors Ken and Bev as we drive up to our lot.

The trailer is parked and now begins the unpacking of it.
We were loaded pretty heavy with the 20 or so bags of clothing that we brought.
These aren't to wear, but to take to the local consignment shop and sell.
The Jeep had a few pieces of furniture that I had decided to get rid of as well.

We accomplished a lot today, and I have to say we are both worn out this evening.
It was 96 today feels pretty toasty for sure.
Seems it has been unseasonably warm in Arizona this year.
So nice to be back...can't wait until everyone else shows up.

My mission on October 19th is to get the bags of clothing and the furniture taken to Kim and her mom and get them out of my hair!
By 1pm, that was all done  :)
It is another hot day so we worked outside getting all our stuff out of the shed and getting things set up until it got too warm.
We chilled inside with the air running full blast until around 5pm.
It starts to cool down quite nicely after that.
So nice to be in the dessert.

With things fairly set up it is time to check out the plants that made and didn't make it this season.
Due to the lack of rain this year, a lot of the small plants didn't survive.
It is just a survival of the fittest around here.
My bougainvillea didn't survive, but I will be replacing it as I enjoy the pop of color they add to the beige landscape.

Jerry and Konni had one of our cacti they babysat, and I am told by Jerry that it did survive and grew quite a bit.

Things are pretty much set up outside, so it is time to move inside to the cool and get the rest of the things set up in the trailer.
The changes to the back part of the rig have been great.
I am so glad that we have been able to turn the toy box area into a working area for us.

We had never really used to toy box area as part of the living space, and now it just feels like it is supposed to be used.
Having an area for the computers and all that stuff that goes with them is great.

The coffee bar is set up back there as well, and the Berkey has a home with the Keurig.

Bev and I went to a craft show that our friend Martha was participating in.
It was so much fun running around with Bev....sure we had no idea where we were going, but we figured it out.

It was fun to walk around the craft show and see what they had to sell.
I made a couple of purchases and just love my cactus leggings I got.
I think if someone was trying to follow us on a GPS they would see that we probably made a big ole circle and ended up back where we started...but it was so much fun!

We even stopped at Moody's Nursery to check out some plants.
Truly had no idea that the plants were so expensive there.
It was a real eye opener to us for sure.
The guy told us that some people have to have a helicopter transport their plants to their homes....well, we didn't have the heart to tell the guy that we lived in a trailer park out in the middle of the dessert...LOL
It didn't take us long to get in the vehicle and head to Home Depot.
It was where we were headed when we took the detour...LOL
Now these plants are more our price range, and we don't even need a helicopter to get them home.
They fit fine in the Jeep.

We had a fun happy hour this evening and we got to meet some of the new neighbors.
I think Ryaan and Carol are a great addition to our little neighborhood.

It was also our first Ice Cream Social of the season.
It was fine but our new activities director decided to sing a few songs which I think ruined to social part of the afternoon.
It is just my opinion but I thought we were all getting together to chat and meet others.
Can't do that when someone is up there singing....


Our new neighbors Ryaan and Carol had mentioned riding somewhere today, and we met them and did just that.
Ryaan lead us to Mt. Lemmon.
This had been something we had wanted to do last season, but didn't get around to it, so we were excited to go on this venture with them.

The ride up the mountain was very pretty.
It is amazing how large of area this mountain range occupies on this earth.
We were really enjoying it all until all of a sudden we top a hill and there is a county sheriff  waving for us to pull over.
Ryaan is lead bike so we follow him and pull into a parking area.
The sheriff comes briskly walking towards us and asks Ryaan if he knew how fast he was going.
Ryaan tells the officer he really had no idea....and then the large officer starts ranting about his speed.

Long story short of this little incident was that the officer spoke to us and acted very unprofessional in my opinion.
The officer went back to his car and ran Ryaan's drivers license, and some fellow officers had pulled up to talk to him as well.
He sure wasn't in any hurry to get this thing we waited.
The officer finally came back and somewhat apologized for how he had come on to us.
But no sooner than he gets the words out of his mouth and he is spouting stuff at us again.
I have never in my life felt like an officer would talk and act like this.
His ego was reallllllly big is all I can say.
Finally he lets us go, and doesn't even ask for Chuck's information.
What a strange encounter with an officer of the law.

OK....take a deep breath and proceed to find someplace to park and eat.
Believe it or not, but during one of the kinder moments the officer told us that the Sawmill just down the road was a nice place to we took him at his word and pulled in.

We sit down and talk about the experience we just encountered.
Sadly Ryaan did get a ticket.
The speed that the officer said he was going seemed in excess to us, but hey, we weren't going to argue with the guy....he had told us he could take us to jail....during one of his looks like Ryaan will be paying a fairly hefty fine for what was to this point a lovely day!

Our ride down the mountain was ever so slow, and we made sure we didn't even go 2 miles over the posted speed limit.
Have to say that it made a lot of people quite upset with us....but they had not just been through what we had experienced.
The pulled pork chili was a nice warm meal to chase the chill away from the high elevation temperature change.
Although our day plans didn't include a grumpy Sheriff we made the best of it and had a truly nice ride with some of our newest neighbors.
I am sure there will be many more rides in the future.
Sorry Ryaan got the booby prize and got the ticket, but he handled it quite well.

We finish the month of October with a get together at the park.
October 31st we all meet at the activities center and we were supposed to bring either beans or dessert.
The hamburgers were being cooked as a welcome back to the park.
Our table was filled with our friends and we enjoyed the get together.
Lots of different kinds of beans were there to try...and was the desserts.

We have enjoyed the last two weeks in the park and it is so nice to see most of our friends back and ready for a fun season.
Time to close the books on October 2017 and move on to November.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vacation With The Other Woman Irma(geddon) 2017 (week 3)

Monday September 11th

Winds and rain are coming our way so we get out of Hamilton fairly early.
We made good time and before we know it we are at West Memphis Arkansas.
We even made it under a bridge marked 13'8" and still have all three air conditioners on the rig:)
Diana has been trying to find us a spot for the night and she has had success.
Looks like we are going to Pocahontas Arkansas.
As we traveled Highway 412 I took a picture of the clouds.

The clouds were just another reminder of how Mother Nature is totally in control and so is Irma. 
I noticed these fields of yellow as we drove.
Watching the news later in the evening I found out they were rice fields.
The farmers are working hard to get their harvest done and trying to beat the winds and rain that is due to hit from dreaded Irma.
We make it to the Mulligans RV Park around 2:30 and get situated.
It's not much but we do have full hookups and we are not complaining.
We had dinner at the trailers and our outdoor sitting was cut short due to the tiny mosquito that our neighbor had warned us about.
After messing with the Tailgater Dish and finally throwing in the towel it did its usual thing and started working.
Lookout Branson cause we are coming to your town tomorrow.  
Tuesday September 12th
We are out of the park at 10:00 am.
It's cool and damp this morning.
Very light mist as we latch on.
We stopped and grabbed lunch around 11:40.
Little did we know that the next part of the trip is all curvy roads and up and over a mountain range.
Highway 160 in  Missouri to be exact.
I swear Bronco was even getting a little car sick with all the movement in the vehicle.

We are staying at the Branson View Campgrounds.
Our friends Kathy and Joe Compton are work camping here and she was able to get us a couple of spots.
As we come into Branson the GPS on the Ram decided that she was confused as usual and we took a route that was a bit different than Diana and Chris.
Thank goodness we are in contact via the walkie talkies and I told them not to follow us.
Our route just made a big circle up by Silver Dollar City and we were at the park about 5 minutes after Diana & Chris arrived.  
Kathy checked us both in and made us feel very welcomed.  

It is so good to see the Compton's and do a bit of catching up from when we last saw them at Desert Gardens in the Spring.
We just decided to grill and chill at the trailer tonight.
Kathy was telling us that Joe was getting a show together for a benefit and he was singing.
She also said that he had been talking about bringing out his equipment and singing in the RV Park.
We suggested that he just do that this evening since he had a captive audience.  :)

We walked down to Joe and Kathy's RV and Joe was all set up with his speakers and mics etc.
We had no idea that Santa Claus was Joe's next door neighbor.
This man was the nicest person, and had a story for everything.
Sadly he didn't stay out very long as he said he was battling a headache and was going to go and rest.  

Joe is ready to get his music going and he starts to sing.
He hadn't even gotten through one song and we hear someone behind us yelling "hey, I am trying to watch some football here"......
Shocked and we were giggling about it, but then we realize that the guy was serious.  
Guess there won't be anymore singing this evening.....oops!!!!!  
Sadly it wasn't even "quiet time" in the park.
Geez we were just having a little fun and Santa that lived right next door said it wasn't bothering him.
Will be interesting to see if there is a complaint at the office tomorrow! 
We retire back to the trailers and sip on a "Irma-Rita before retiring.

Wednesday September 13th

We girls wanted to do a little retail therapy today so we got the guys to take us to The Tanger Outlet Mall.
Can't say we found any bargains, but we got to walk around and shop a bit.
Not a lot of places to eat there so we opted for a Hot Dog place.
We had a terrible hot dog...  :(  
You ask how can you screw up a hot dog???
Not sure but I sure have eaten better!
What is a shopping spree without going to Walmart.  
We stopped and grabbed some of the necessary items we needed.
We chose to eat at the trailers this evening and get ready to go to our first show in Branson.
Joe and Kathy are going with us this evening to see The Baldknobbers .
They were even able to get us free tickets to the show...(thanks to Kathy and Joe)
We really did enjoy the show and even more appreciated them getting us into the show at no cost.

Joe mentioned Andy's Frozen Custard, and all our eyes lit up.
A first for us!  (and we even have an Andy's very close to our house in Yukon.)
Wow, is all I can say.
I got the James Brownie Funky Jackhammer with Chocolate Ice Cream.....need I say more.  :) 
In sugar overdose now, so it is time to call it a night. 

Thursday September 14th
Today we explored some of the shopping areas around Branson
Last night at the Baldknobbers show they had mentioned a knife place and of course the guys ears perked up at the word "Knife",so we headed there this morning.  
It was in a shopping area that had a Coleman Camping Outlet Store.
First time we had ever been into one of them, but we came out empty handed.  
The knife place was mixed into a crafters mall so we walked around and checked out the local items.
The guys were totally disappointed that the knives didn't turn out to be much at all.
Diana found me a coffee pot cover that I had been wanting, so we didn't go away empty handed.  :)
Chuck found a coat at the Leather Store he just couldn't live without.  
Not like he is going to need it anytime soon, as it is in the high 80's here today.
There was a Mexican Food restaurant in the center and it was time for lunch, so we just went ahead and ate there.
The lunch fajitas were really good.

Back at the trailer we talk to Kathy and Joe and they are up for another show tonight.
Kathy suggested one and our plans are to go to eat around 5pm at Fudruckers, and then head to the show after we eat.
The first show we were planning on going to was Sold we resort to Plan "B".
None of us are sure what that plan was but we are sure we can come up with one.  
Plan "B" ends up being The Billy Dean Show.  
Again we got in for nothing, as our friends Kathy & Joe worked their magic....this is getting to be kind of nice.  :)
The show was really good and I for one had no idea how many of the songs that Billy Dean had written in his lifetime.  
It was a very nostalgic evening.  
And guess what!!!!
It was right across the street from Andy's Frozen Custard, and I am sure you know the rest of the story.......yes we did partake once again.
I even had a repeat of last night, but I failed to say chocolate instead of vanilla ice cream.
It was good, but I think I prefer the chocolate version best!  
This is our last evening to get to spend with Joe and Kathy as they are traveling to their home town of Lamar, MO for their first "official" singing gig.
Their names are in lights at the Thiebaud Auditorium and as the markee says it's "Compton's Karaoke Journey.  
All donations are going to the Hurricane Relief.  
We are wishing them luck and hope they have a great turn out.  
It can't be unsaid that we have truly enjoyed spending a few great days with these two as they have really shown us a good time while we stay in their campgrounds.  
At least we have been able to forget the word "Irma" for a few days  :)

Friday September 15th

Our plans are to go to the old downtown area and walk around, but first we need to address a tree limb that has been on Chuck's mind ever since we parked the rig.
He is concerned that we are going to run into it when we pull out on Saturday.

Chuck goes and talks to the front desk and explain his concerns.
It isn't very long and here come 3 guys down with a saw.
It is agreed that the limb needs to go.
If one of the guys had his way, he is convinced the whole tree needs to be removed....LOL

Limb taken care of and it is time to get on our way.
As usual the downtown area is a very busy spot in Branson, 
We have to park quite a ways from the downtown area, but that gave us a chance to walk through some vendors that were set up off the main street.   
What visit isn't complete unless you check out the 5 and Dime.
It was complete mass hysteria in the place.  
We were able to escape without even purchasing anything.  

Our lunch today was at The Branson Cafe.
What a tiny place but the waitress could sure make their way around.
If you need to go to the potty, you follow the yellow line through the kitchen and back to the back of the place.  
Since we have totally messed up our diets with the Andy's ice cream, we might as well indulge and have a piece of the chocolate pie for lunch.  
It was really good, but at least Chuck and I shared a piece instead of getting a whole piece to ourselves.  :)

Time to relax before we got to our show tonight.
Dinner and a show, can't beat that!   
The lines were quite long when we got to the will call area, but it really moved quickly.
By the time the guys got the vehicle parked and walked up we had gotten the tickets. 
Kathy told us to be there by 4:30 for the pre-show.  
We did just that, and enjoyed the entertainers.  
Just like cattle, the bell rang and we were all herded into the arena area.  
We find our seats and the experience of the evening begins.
The show is really interesting and the bonus is that you are fed as they entertain you. 
The food was very good as well.
It is served without forks knives or spoons so your hands are your utensils.
The servers were really great and were able to take care of the people in a timely manner.  
I am so glad that Diana suggested this show, as it was really a fun time and I think we all enjoyed the whole experience. 
Back at the trailers we finish our evening with the last of the "Irma-rita's.
This is our last night to spend away from home, as we are heading back to Oklahoma in the morning.  We have really
had a great trip, even with Irma trying her best to ruin it.  
One thing about us and Diana & Chris....we can always find an alternative just takes some thinking on all our parts.  
We are blessed to have such great friends to travel with.  :)

Saturday September 16th 

Getting out of spot was a breeze now that the tree limb is gone.

Chris on the other hand had a little bit of a fright.
He opened his electric box to disconnect the trailer and grabbed a frog.
He said he wasn't sure what he had grabbed and he jumped back to see the frog leave.  
Thank goodness it wasn't a snake!

Our GPS was a bit confused as we pulled out and we got into a small traffic jam, but it didn't last too long.  
When you are pulling a 43' plus size rig the U turn that Lupy is suggesting just isn't going to happen.  
Traffic isn't bad after we finally get out of the Branson area. 

We had a bit of a scare as we were driving the hills outside of Branson.
When topping a hill there was a very very slow moving truck in front of us, and Chuck had to slam on the brakes.  
About that time we see Chris passing us on the left side.  
So glad he did, as we had to come to almost a complete stop due to this guy.
Chris is now in the lead, and Chuck tells him to keep on leading....its our time to follow  :) 

We stop at a Rest area for a quick lunch and keep making miles.  

Our last stop was at the midway on the turnpike between Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
I had just opened the door to the trailer and I heard this bang.
In my mind, I thought maybe Diana had closed her door on the trailer.
She comes around her trailer and asked if I saw the accident.
Seems a truck driver hit the back of the trailer rig that was parked next to them.
So that was the bang I heard.
What a surprise to the driver that was sitting in his rig minding his own business.
He was nice enough to help the driver that hit him get his truck straightened out and on down to a parking spot.
It didn't do any damage to the parked truck, but I think there was some fender issues with the truck that hit him.
Excitement for sure.

We make it home safely and so do Diana & Chris.
What a wonderful 3 weeks even if "Irma" tried her best to ruin our Florida vacation.
Already planning for next years great adventure to Topsail...we will be able to book it in about a month.
Hopefully hurricane season will be a little less active in 2018.

Hope that Diana & Chris enjoyed their trip as much as we did.
They are the "best" friends we could ask for.
So glad we have such great friends to make memories with.

Chuck and I will be heading to Arizona mid October, so I am thinking we will have some Blog worthy post to write about.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Vacation With The Other Woman Irma(geddon) 2017 (week 2)

Monday September 4th

Irma is still on the warpath.....but we are keeping a close eye on her.

We travel I-10 to Florida 330.
We have smooth sailing as it seems everyone is heading north away from the sea. 
You would think they had closed the ocean but everyone was heading home after their long weekend.
We made it to Topsail Hill Preserve State Park by noon and they said our site #143 was ready for us.
Diana and Chris site #142 was still occupied.
We are allowed to park our rig so Diana & Chris park theirs and ride with us back to our site.

The people in #142 didn't seem to be in any hurry to be gone by the 1:00pm check out.
We were almost set up by the time the people left.
It was close to 1:30 by the time they actually pulled out.
Rude is all I can say!
One of the park rangers came by and talked to them and shortly after that they pulled out.
We finally have Diana and Chris in their spot and getting settled in.
again, the Love bugs have to be cleaned off the trucks and rigs before we do much else.

We get on our bikes and head to the beach around 4:30.

 We noticed a lot of people out about waist deep in the water and they were hunting for Sand Dollars.
They were quiet abundant and of course we had to join in.

Irma is still out in the ocean wreaking havoc but all is good in our little neck of the world.
We do have a Purple Beach Warning Flag today, but we didn't feel like we were in any danger of getting eaten by anything.  :)

Tuesday September 5th

We are up and decide to catch the 11am tram to the beach.
We forgot our swim noodles.
Tomorrow we will be prepared for sure.
We even went to Walmart last night and bought a net so we can hunt for sand dollars today.
Sun is out and it is warm.
Perfect weather for the water.
Ate some lunch on the beach and then Chuck and I headed back to our trailer for the 2pm tram so we could check on Bronco.
Diana and Chris stayed until 4.
What a great day to enjoy the water...and forget about Irma.

With Irma on every one's mind Chuck goes and fills up the truck with diesel.
He says the lines were crazy.
He also ran by the fish house and got some of the wonderful peel and eat shrimp we found last year.
The first station Chuck went to was out of gas and the guys at the fish place told him of another location to try.
We ate dinner at the trailers this evening and retired fairly early.

Wednesday September 6th
Yes we know Irma is bearing down and we went to the park rangers to find out their plans for us.
The rangers tell us that if they see Irma as a threat, we will be evacuated.
You see the big problem is if the winds get too high, (35 MPH) they actually close the bridges down that take you back to the main land and at that time you would be stranded on the peninsula that we are on right now.
With that news we decide to drive over to Grayton Beach and visit the Red Bar for lunch.

Our Bloody Mary had a lot of trimmings on them and even had a caper berry in it.
Only reason we knew it was a caper berry is our waiter told us.  LOL

Fish and Chips were very good and of course we had to have a piece of the Key Lime Pie for dessert.

Back at the trailer we get ready to make our way to the ocean.
We were equipped with goggles so Chris and Chuck can go sand dollar hunting for us.
There were a lot of jelly fish in the water today.
They didn't have the tentacles so we didn't have to worry about them stinging us.
Our bounty of sand dollars was very good today.   

We stay until the 5pm tram run and then we go back to the trailers and get cleaned up.
Still watching Irma and praying that she turns out to sea and leaves us alone.
It was a great evening to sit outside and watch America's Got Talent on the TV that Chuck has put in the storage compartment.
The winds are a bit more breezy tonight, as we have a cool front coming through and they are hoping that it will be strong enough to get Irma to turn back towards the east.
Time will tell.

Thursday September 7th
We drive into Destin to eat at Harry T's for lunch today.
The food was good and the view from the open air dining was great.
The waitress tells us that they are thinking this area will get very busy with all the people that are evacuating the mandatory areas of Florida due to the hurricane.

Seems like Irma is the talk of the town.
She is getting to be a pain for sure!

When we pulled back into the park it was about 2:30.
 There was an Alligator Nature Walk at 3pm, and we are going to try to go to it.
We get another chance to ride our bikes which makes us very happy.

We met our ranger named Chris (he looks like a young Bill Murray)
We learn about all types of eatable plants during the walk to the lake.
He explained about the Thai Thai plant and the Palmetto along with a lot of others.
We also learned that we could live off of a whole lot of these plants if we were in a reality show like "Naked and Afraid"  ROFL....

We get to the "No Name" lake and he explains that there is a female gator and her 1yr old baby in this lake.
We didn't see the 7' long mom but we did get to see the baby.
It was about 2' in length.
It was a very informative walk and I think we all came away with more knowledge about all the animals and plants that live in this area.

He told us about the coastal dune lakes that were in the preserve.  South Walton's coastal dune lakes are said to be as much as 10,000 years old and were formed by winds that redistributed sand and created the shallow basins (with most lakes averaging only about 5 feet deep).

 I am going to add a link for anyone that would like to learn about them.

Coastal Dune Lakes

We didn't want to fix dinner tonight so we go to a little Mexican restaurant that Chuck and I had eaten at the year before.
I would love to say that it had gotten better, but it still was about the same.
The service was OK, but far from from exceptional.

Fun day but Irma is beginning to get on our nerves....she still hasn't turned!  

Friday September 8th

Not in a hurry to do much of anything today.
Irma is on every one's minds.
So tired of this hurricane
We are in hopes that the weather models will be correct and she will turn easterly and leave us alone but so far she is not turning  :(

We cleaned on the sand dollars today and finally resorted to bleaching them.
They turned out great.

We made out way to the beach around 2pm.
Flies were biting today.
Lots of jelly fish in the water.
Fairly calm waves.
The guys went out and got more sand dollars for us.
We left at 4 as it was just not that enjoyable sitting with the flies biting us.
Back at the trailer we get cleaned up and decide to try the 98BBQ Restaurant that is less than a mile from us.
Ribeyes for all but Diana.
She got ribs.
Ribeyes were pretty rare for medium but they were flavorful good.
Diana says her ribs were OK.
The fried okra was very tasty.
Back at the park for the 7pm music in the park.

Lukewarm and The Backsliders was a pretty darn good band.
They sang folk music.
I failed to take the thermocell with us and the mosquitoes started biting so we left.

Saturday September 9th
Another day with Irma on our mind.
We go and have breakfast with the Rangers.
It was a fun and informative breakfast, and yes the topic lead to more Irma talk. 
We are again reassured they will let us know if we need to leave.
There were about 8 new people at the breakfast that were evacuees from another area in Florida.

We took another bike ride as we wanted to see if there were any routes to get to Walmart.
Although there were a lot of trails and we could see Walmart from our trail the fence didn't allow us to go there. :(
Diana and I venture to the Publix for some groceries.
We saw first hand a bit of a frenzy as it was quite busy with shoppers.
The store had signs posted they would be closing Sunday at 5pm.
We got our groceries and went back to the trailers to have some lunch.

After lunch Diana and I went to a store I had been to last year called "Retail Therapy.
We both came home empty handed.
The day really consisted of watching the updates on hurricane Irma.
It isn't looking very favorable for us right now.
The guys watch the OU ballgame and Diana and I sat inside and watch the weather channel
I think it's inevitable that we are going to have to evacuate tomorrow.
Leave us alone Irma.

Sunday September 10th

I hope Irma is happy with her latest tantrum since she is causing our vacation to be cut a little shorter than we planned.

We get up and decide it's probably best to leave the park.
The winds are gusting more this morning.

As we finish the packing of the trailer someone knocks on our door.
It's Marsha and Jack.
Through our app RVillage she has contacted me the night before and said they would like to meet us.
(I had truly forgotten about going by to see them since we were in "pack up and get out mode")  
I was so happy they came by before we left.
They were talking about whether they would stay or leave and since we had decided to go they thought they would go ahead and leave as well. 
We exchanged our phone numbers via our "business" cards and said we would keep in contact.

Around 9 am a Park Ranger comes by and says the words we knew were coming.
We are told we are under "mandatory" evacuation.
Thank goodness we were ahead of the game and almost ready to pull out.

We are barely on the road and Marcia text me asking which way we were heading.
No real plan as of yet but we wanted to get across the bridge on 331 before they close it due to the winds.
Ends up they are right behind us.
Marsha shares their route with us and they fall in behind us.
We cross the bridge without incident.

Our route took us through the town of Defuniac Springs, Florida.
We pass a Walmart that is completely full of RV's of all shapes and sizes.
We just keep heading north in hopes of finding a less congested area to pull off.

We decide to stop in a wide spot in the road in the town of Andalusia Alabama for lunch.

We had just gotten stopped and a man walks up and introduced himself as "Andy"
He was with the City of Andalusia and said they had free camping spots down the road if we were interested.
How nice is that.
He was a very happy kind of guy and made us all laugh and forget why were hotfooting it out of the area.

We will continue going away from the storm and so will Jack and Marcia but the offer was so genuine.

Andy took a picture of us with our new friends.

After we ate our sandwiches we all had a piece of that wonderful key lime pie that we had purchased at The Donut Hole.  (this pic is of the pie when we first purchased it.  Not that much was left, but we all got a good taste anyway.)

If I had only cut it a little better we wouldn't have a sliver left.
Oh well it may be great this evening for a little taste of sweet.
We said our goodbyes to our new friends and asked that they keep in touch and let us know where they end up for the night.

They have wind alerts for Birmingham tomorrow and have closed the schools.
Seems Irma is going to disturb a lot of people when she finally makes landfall later tonight. 

We boondock this evening at a truck stop along the way.
We have been traveling Highway 22 for quite awhile, and it's time call it quits for the day.
Hamilton, Alabama will be our home for this evening.
The parking area wasn't busy when we pulled in and we parked out at the back of the lot, under the lights.

Diana cooked up an awesome taco salad and we topped it off with Irma-Rita's. :)
All was good until a strange dude pulled up and mumbled something that none of us could hear.
I walked up to him and Chuck followed.
You know when you get that strange feeling something just isn't right.
The dude was wanting directions to get to Tennessee.....WHAT!!!!!
I told Chuck to just back away, and tell him we couldn't help him.
Left Diana and I with a strange feeling.
The guys just made sure their guns were close by!

I text Diana after we closed up for the evening and told her if they need anything to call, and don't open the doors for anyone!!!
All was quiet the rest of the night.
The steady hum of our generators drowned out the trucks pulling in and out of the parking lot.
Worn out from Irma, I think we all actually slept fairly well, even with our little scare.  :)

By the way we got a text from Marcia and they had made it to the spot they were wanting to stay for the night as well.
The next few days I get updates and they are doing well, and stayed out of the rain bands that came with Irma.