Monday, December 31, 2012

Twenty-Twelve Wrap Up

Well, this is it.  Hard to believe that 2012 blew by as fast as it did.  The only thing that seemed to drag on and last forever was the Presidential campaign – thought it would never end.  Twenty-Twelve began with us right here at Rainbow Plantation.  We enjoyed the functions at the clubhouse and worshipping at our church.  In February the Maineiacs showed up to help us celebrate Mardi Gras.

March found us on the road with Mike and Peggy.  We visited New Orleans for a little sightseeing and to sample a muffaletta sandwich.  We made a stop by our home (Rainbow’s End in Livingston, Texas), before spending a couple of weeks in the Hill Country of Texas.  The main attraction was San Antonio where we toured the Alamo, walked the River Walk, and partook in a tasty Mexican dinner.  Trips were made to Fredericksburg to visit the Pacific War Museum and to sample some German dishes at Der Lindenbaum, the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, and Bill’s Barbeque in Kerrville.  Let us not forget that HUGE hamburger and a HUGE serving of onion rings at Alamo Springs; that meal lasted two days.

From the Hill Country we returned to Rainbow’s End for a couple of days and then it was off to Vidalia, Louisiana where we stayed at Riverview RV Park and dined at Nikki’s Restaurant (ooooo, that crawfish etouffee was some ol’ scrumptous).  Vidalia is just across the river from Natchez, Mississippi.  We took the carriage tour of Natchez, visited the Barber of Natchez Museum, and, of course, ate at the Pig Out Inn.  Upon leaving Natchez Mike and Peggy headed north on the Natchez Trace and we headed south to return to Rainbow Plantation but, first, we made a stop by Bonifay, Florida to visit Randy and Terry.

We stayed at the Plantation for three weeks before heading out once again for our summer travels.  First stop was Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Tennessee for a grand kid fix.  Then we spent a couple of days at the Escapee’s Raccoon Valley before heading for Mt. Airy, North Carolina for a walk down Main Street Mayberry to visit Andy, Barney, and friends.  I got a haircut at Floyd’s Barber Shop from the same barber who cut Andy’s hair when he lived there.  Don and Jenny drove over from Mountain City, Tennessee to visit us for a day.  After doing a little sightseeing, we stopped by Snappy Lunch for one of their famous Pork Chop Sandwiches.

Next stop was Bull Run Regional Park so we could visit with Joel and Mary in Alexandria, Virginia.  From there we made tracks to Maine to spend time with my brother, Mike, and his wife Shauna as well as Mike and Peggy.  Then we headed west with a stop in Litchfield, Connecticut for a visit with my aunt Marge who lives with my cousin Cheryl and her husband John.  My other three cousins, Tim, Robbie, and Glenn showed up as well.

From Connecticut we continued heading toward Michigan.  As we entered the Ohio turnpike we noticed smoke rolling out of the RV; it turned out to be a seized wheel bearing.  Fortunately there was a truck / trailer repair facility within seven miles of our location so we were able to limp along slowly to get there.  We ended up spending the night in their parking lot and they got us in the first thing in the morning.  We were on the road again by 11 o’clock and made it to Shirley and Warren’s about seven hours later.

Our friends, Ray and Pat, have a nice RV site in Mecosta, Michigan where we spent a week before heading off to Petoskey to workamp at Hearthside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort.  While in Petoskey, Matt, Jackie and kids came up for a vacation.  While they were there, Mike and Peggy stopped by for a visit as well.  We had a great week with all our visitors from a far.  Of course, as you can guess, we did a little dining out as well.  Out to Lunch for breakfast, the Pier for lunch (both in Harbor Springs), and the Pizza Palace in Mackinaw City.

The “job” wasn’t bad and the people were very nice, however, we ended up leaving early to return to Tennessee for babysitting duties while our daughter-in-law attended school in Chattanooga for her new job.  The highlight of the year was a trip back to Virginia to be on hand for the birth of grand child number seven; Josiah Everette Fortner.

Then we turned our faces homeward with a couple of stops along the way.  First to Raccoon Valley just north of Knoxville, Tennessee so we could visit Gene and Judi in their new home and then to La Grange, Georgia to visit with Mike and Gerri.  We stayed at a COE park on West Point Lake which is right on the border of Alabama and Georgia and had a fantastic site.  Mike and Gerri visited us at the campsite for a Honey Grill Chicken dinner and some good old fashioned Bocci Ball. 

After a six hour travel day from there we were back in our stall here at Rainbow Plantation.  Jim and Ellie hosted us for a travel day meal and Norm and Linda hosted us for a day after travel day meal.  It was good to be home after almost six months on the road and to be with our RVing family once again.  We arrived “home” at the end of September and have stayed put since catching up on a lot of “Ta Do” items.

Now it’s onto 2013.  We’ve outlined most of our travel plans for the New Year.  We’ll be making the TN, VA, ME, CT, MI, TN loop again only this year we’ll only be gone for less than three months.  Tentatively, we may take a short trip with Mike and Peggy to Savannah, Georgia for our fortieth wedding anniversary and we would like to spend Christmas with Joel and Mary in Virginia.  It all depends on the good old budget; right now it looks very tight and we’ll have to make a judgment call after our illustrious elected officials get done arm wrestling each other.

So, for now, we bid you a Happy New Year and May God Bless - - - - - - - - 

Monday, December 24, 2012

It’s All About Jesus

“Happy birthday, Jesus
I'm so glad it's Christmas
All the tinsel and lights
And the presents are nice
But the real gift is You

Happy birthday, Jesus
I'm so glad it's Christmas
All the carols and bells
Make the holiday swell
And it's all about You”


“Jesus Is The Reason For The Season!”

Hope you will be enjoying the day with friends and family which is God’s second gift to us.

Judy and I are wishing a very . . . .


Merry Christmas To Everyone!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deck The Halls . . . .

“‘Tis the season!”  The time of family, friends, festivities, and fun are upon us.  Also, and most importantly, is the reminder that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to earth, in the form of a baby, as a sacrifice that would redeem us back to Himself.  Yep, it’s paramount that we keep our focus and be thankful for all that our Heavenly Father has done on our behalf; after all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

So, we deck the halls with boughs of holly and rejoice in all our blessings.  Here are a couple of pictures of our house “all decked out”.


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And, of course, here are some pictures of our greatest blessings in this life time.    And, yes, we can still share Santa Claus with our grand children as a symbol of love and giving.  God gave his Son and He asked us to give our love – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Briana and Santa 

Lola and Santa Rocco and Santa

Catia, Kalina, Radek, and Santa Josiah and Santa

And, we can’t forget our fur kids who also bring us lots of joy throughout the year.  Katie is sitting next to the tree while Alex is staring at her.  I see trouble on the horizon.   Meow Christmas Y’all!!!

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One last thing, our old Wandering America website will disappear come January as we are not going to renew the host service or maintain the domain name.  We haven’t updated the website since January of 2010 since we are now using the Wandering America Blog instead.  Just letting you know in case you are interested in taking a last look at the web site before it goes away.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Monday, December 17, 2012

In Remembrance

This will be a somber Christmas across America in lieu of what took place in Newtown, Connecticut. The folks of that community are devastated and in deep mourning over the loss of their children. The rest of us in this nation are saddened as we mourn with them. Let’s try to forget the name of the perpetrator and remember the names of each of the victims while we pray for their families. They can use all our love, prayers, and support at this time of their grief. There will be a moment of silence at 11:00 AM this morning. Set your alarms (computer, phone, watch, or whatever) to remind you to stop what you are doing and read through the names of these loved ones in remembrance.


And, let’s not forget to pray for our country. Our leaders need to stop fighting God and start leading this nation back to Him, it really is the only true solution to our nation’s ills.

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It’s About Time

Oh my, it’s been two weeks since I last posted – wow, ‘mmy bad!!!  Sheesh, I guess I’ve gotten lazy, so it’s about time to update the blog.  We haven’t been all that busy, but have been sort of living day by day doing the same ol’, same ol’.  Judy has been doing a lot of sewing projects and attending her activities at the clubhouse.  We both have been doing a lot of reading, one of our favorite pass times. 

The big thing has been getting ready for Christmas.  This year we fell behind the power curve and didn’t get our Christmas shopping done early.  Normally we try to acquire all the gifts and leave them behind as we visit the kids throughout our summer travels.  But this year, being that we w*rked in northern Michigan, that didn’t happen.  Yesterday we spent forty-eight bucks for shipping costs - yikes!!    That and Alabama sales tax of 10%, it behooves us to reinstitute our old “Johnny Appleseed” plan of scattering presents across the land as we travel.

About a week and a half ago, on a bright sunshiny Friday afternoon, we joined together with Jim and Ellie at Big Daddy’s to bid fare thee well to Paul and Margery.  They pulled up stakes and headed south for the winter; well, further south than we are.  It’s been nice to have them here at the Plantation for the past couple of months.  They worship with us at our church whenever they are in town and we are going to miss their smiling faces each Sunday morning.  We’ll especially miss Freeway, their pooch – he’s a real cutie patootie.  They’ll be coming back to the Plantation this spring (once the weather warms up Smile) so we’ll be looking forward to their return.

A new eatery has opened in Perdido Beach called The Gulf which is located right next to the Perdido Pass (a waterway connecting Perdido Bay to the Gulf of Mexico).  The Gulf is a whole new concept in that the buildings are made up from shipping pods.  It has a limited menu that you order from at the window and then your order is delivered to your table which sits outside with panoramic views overlooking the Gulf and the Pass.   

One day last week eight of us (Jim, Ellie, George, Joanne, Keith, Roberta, Judy, and I) ventured southward for lunch at The Gulf.  The food is not that special, but the ambiance is nothing short of spectacular, so for that reason alone we’ll come back again.

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After we filled our bellies with burgers, we went for a romp on the beach and partook of some of The Gulf’s fine beach furniture.  A lazy day in the sun.  (you can place your cursor over the picture to identify the culprits)

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After lunch we migrated a little further east along Perdido Beach to the Alabama Florida line to visit the fine emporium known as Florabama.  It’s a rambling old facility that houses a gift shop, several bars, a restaurant (as such), dance floors, and, yes (heaven forbid), holds church services on Sunday.  It sits right on the line with half of it in Florida and half of it in Alabama, hence the name.  It’s one of those places that you’d most likely only visit once unless you escorted someone else on a visit.  While we were there, we had our picture made by one of the Florabama employees (and a fine representation of us delinquents it is).

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From there we headed back to George and Joanne’s house at the Plantation for some cake and ice cream.  No, it wasn’t anyone’s birthday, but cake and ice cream always fills the bill.  What a fun afternoon we all had.  And we look forward to a few more before Keith and Roberta head for Arizona and relinquish the keys to their property to Judy and me (we’re buying their lot here at Rainbow Plantation).

I must confess, that I haven’t been doing diligence to the Ol’ Ta Do List and it’s growing quite unruly.  Judy had a bout with bronchitis and that slowed us down for the better part of a week and now the Plantation is getting into the swing of the Christmas season (more about that in our next post) so the list will just have wait a little longer.  That will leave many, many projects lying ahead of us.  With any luck, they’ll all be behind us before we begin our travels next spring.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)