John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

April 2012 Journal

After doing some campground research, we took a walk around the campground and stopped to play a couple games of pool.  Then we headed off to the Mesa visitors center to get some info on this area and our next destinations in Northern Arizona.  We made a stop at an RV dealer to look at some fifth wheels on their lot.  We like to get an idea on what new stuff is out there.
Then we headed over to Patti and Jeff’s.  Rick went for tacos and then we all had tacos, chips, salsa and grape bomb’s by the pool.  After being in the pool for a little while, we decided to move to the hot tub to cool off.  Somehow the heater on the pool got turned way up so it’s about 102 degrees.  Just before sunset we headed back to Patti and Jeff’s.  They are grilling out brats and burgers tonight.  Their neighbor Marie stopped by and we had a great dinner then enjoyed some cocktails on their veranda.
29   It’s a sunny and comfortable morning.  We sat outside and enjoyed our coffee.  I practiced some harmonica and John read the paper.  Around 1030am we headed over to St. Katherine’s Church for Greek Fest.  We met Patti, Jeff, Rick, Jackie and Wendy there.  We had some great Greek food and watched some different aged kids dance traditional Greek dances.
Early afternoon, we headed back to Patti and Jeff’s with their friend Rick to hang out at the pool.  We met their neighbor Marie and listened to music and tried to keep cool.  It hasn’t been long since we left the keys, but I want to try to find some open jam nights to play my harmonica.
I found the Goat Head Saloon in Mesa.  They have a Sunday Blues Jam at 6pm.  So John and I headed over there around 5pm so I could get signed up.  Patti, Jeff, Rick and Marie arrived a little after 6pm.  Everyone there was very friendly.  I talked to Bill, he coordinates the musicians and manages the sound.  He said I would probably be up early.  I met Lee on keyboards, Boomer is the main Bass man and jam leader.  John was on drums, Larry on another bass guitar and a guy on the sax.  After I played with the band on about 5 songs, they took a break and changed out musicians.  Cajun Tom came up on harmonica and I got to listen to him and talked to him when they took a break.  We had a great time and I was really glad to be able to jam with them.
28   We got up early and were back on the road.  We only have about 240 miles today from Bowie AZ to Mesa AZ.  We got all set up at Val Vista Villages RV Resort.  We took a walk around park to check it out.  This is the largest campground we’ve stayed at.  They have almost 1600 sites which are a combination of park models and RV sites.  They have 5 pools, shuffleboard, horseshoes, tennis, pickleball, miniature golf, library, billiard room and more.  So we stopped to play a few games of billiards.  After dinner we took another walk.  This time we played 18 holes of mini golf just finishing up as the sun was setting.  Tonight we spent a relaxing evening in the cow.

   27   We had a LONG day today.  We drove from Kerrville TX to Bowie AZ.  About 710 miles.  Stayed we stayed at a little campground just off I10 called Mountain View.  It was very basic but perfect for a brief overnight stay.

This morning we enjoyed our coffee sitting outside and watching the birds, ducks, herons, turtles and snakes in the Guadalupe River right behind our rig.  We were going to head out and do more exploring, but decided to be domestic today.  Our microwave is acting up again, so John worked on that, I took care of laundry, then John did some reading and I tried to get a little caught up on my photos, journal and website.  We headed out for some groceries then had a relaxing and early evening.  We are back on the road early tomorrow.

   25   This morning we took a nice walk around our campground.  This is a small but really pretty campground.  We crossed the bridge to the island and saw lots of wildflowers and 5 deer’s.  After breakfast we headed out to drive North into Fredericksburg.  This whole area is considered the Hill Country of Texas.  We continued on through Fredericksburg to the Willow City Loop road.  This is a beautiful scenic 13 mile drive.  It passes through private ranches.  We crossed a few small rivers and saw beautiful blooming cacti and wildflowers.  Then we continued on to Enchanted Rock State Park.  Our friends Denny and Lisa are volunteering here for 2 months.  They took us on 4 wheel drive vehicles they use to get around.  We took the 4 mile loop trail and some of the other ones.  John wants to hike up to the top of the Enchanted Rock.  Denny and Lisa dropped us off at the trailhead and I hiked up about half way and John went all the way to the top.  It’s a hot day around 97 degrees so it’s really hot hiking.  Afterwards, we went back by Denny and Lisa’s rig and then headed out at back to our campground in Kerrville.  We sat outside and enjoyed a cold cocktail and watched to birds.
24   Today we had a long road day.  We left Gulfport MS around 645am and ended up in Kerrville TX around 7pm.  We did about 670 miles.  We were going to stop earlier, but decided to push it so we wouldn’t have to move again tomorrow.  We got all set up at By the River RV Park.  We have a site right along the Guadalupe River.  After an easy dinner, we were done and went to bed early.

After a relaxing morning, we headed back to Island View Casino for a little more gambling.  We stayed for a few hours, had a good time and made a small contribution.  Tomorrow we have a long day, so we stopped to pick up a couple things, got packed up for the morning and had a relaxing evening at the cow.

We have a short travel day today.  From Milton, FL to Gulfport, MS about 150 miles.  After we got set up, we headed out to Island View Casino.  We joined a slot tournament, played some video poker and blackjack and had a good time.  We didn’t win, but we didn’t lose to much either.

Today we are hanging around the cow.  We have some rain moving in and we need to finish fixing the microwave.  John is making some salsa and I am doing research on campgrounds and routes for this summer.  I am also working on our pictures, journal and website.

After a continental breakfast at the campground, we took a drive through the town of Milton.  We were planning on doing a big loop that included Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach.
On the way to Pensacola beach we stopped at Naval Live Oaks Natl Park.  We went through the visitor’s center and then took a 1 mile hike on the Brackenridge Nature Trail.  We saw lots birds including a hummingbird.  We stopped back at the visitors center and watched the movie they have about the park and the area.
Now we are on our way over the causeway and along the beach down to Fort Pickens Natl Park.  Just as we arrived in the visitor’s center a ranger tour had started.  So we got to hook up with them.  It’s always great to take ranger tours, you learn all about the Fort and its history.
Then we drove toward Navarre Beach.  It’s about 14 miles, but a lot of it is only 15-20 mph because of the nesting birds.  The baby birds tend to walk out on the street.  We saw lots of birds but no baby’s.  We decided to stop at the Navarre Pier and Bar for a couple cocktails and maybe dinner.  We met a few people and talked to them.  There was a pair of dolphins just off the beach that hung around for the whole time we were there.
From a recommendation, we headed out and over to a BBQ place on RT87.  We had excellent BBQ and lots of it.  They had a band setting up, so we stayed for a while.  We had a really nice day.
19   This morning we were up and on the road by 730am.  We are heading from Winter Garden Fl to Milton FL about 410 miles.  Since we went from Eastern Time to Central time we gained an hour.  We got in and all set up by 430pm.  Steve and Willa are the managers at Gulf Pines KOA in Milton.  They were the managers at Lakeridge RV Resort in Hillsville, VA when we did our workamping there.  So we got to visit with them for a little while today, but they were busy and we still had to set up.  Greg and Loretta who were also at Lakeridge are here and doing a workamping assignment for the summer.  After getting all set up we took a nice walk around the campground and then took a time out.

Today we are heading to Walmart for a bunch of supplies, a new battery for the RV and an oil change for Big Red.  Then we relaxed outside and did some reading.  We headed out late afternoon to Apopka to visit with John’s cousin Sue and her husband Larry.  They made up burgers and we had a great time. 

“On the Road”!!!  Today we are leaving our winter location and heading out for a new adventure.  TJ, Debi and Jerry were out and about when we were leaving.  We had a wonderful time at Lazy Lakes this winter.  As always we met a lot of really great people, did a lot of cool stuff and had some family and friends come to visit.  So we are heading from Sugarloaf Key FL to Winter Garden FL, about 390 miles.  We got all checked in and set up at the Winter Garden RV Resort.

Tomorrow we are “On the Road” again.  So this morning we finished up our projects and made it to our last horseshoe tournament of the season.  We only had 6 players, so we ended up playing 4 games and switching partners.  After shoes, we had a few more projects to finish up and then grounded ourselves tonight.  We have a long day tomorrow and want to get an early start.

Today we got most of our domestic chores and projects done.  Our neighbor TJ invited us over for a fish dinner.  He had multiple kinds of fish grilling, cheese grits, baked potatoes and garlic bread.  Our other neighbor Fish also came by for dinner.  We enjoyed some wine, great food and great friends.  Debi and Craig stopped by and told us there were having a fire later, so we stopped by and had a few cocktails with them.
14   After relaxing around the cow, we headed to the clubhouse for our last jokers game for a while.  As we were leaving, our stairs on the RV broke.  So John stayed and fixed the stairs and I headed over to play jokers.  After a while, John made it over and joined in. 

This morning John is finishing up adjusting the trailer brakes.  TJ stopped by and helped John out.  I am getting caught up on our journal and website.  It is very easy to fall behind.  We were going to go to the pool, but we ended up doing some reading, then Terri called us for a jokers game.  We could only play a couple games.
We had to regroup and pick up Linda and Joe at 5pm.  We are heading over to Boondocks tonight to see Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 band.  It was crowded but not packed.  TJ came by a little later.  This is the last time we’ll see Howard for a while, but we always listen to his music.
12   Today John is working on checking brakes on RV and the pressure on all tires both truck and RV.  I cleaned up photos and worked on my journal.  In the afternoon we relaxed and did some reading in our backyard.  Later we walked over to Mangrove Mamas for happy hour of drinks and appetizers.  We got back in time for the Thursday night movie under the stars.  Tonight’s feature is “The 3 Musketeers.  

This morning we headed down to Key West really early.  We dropped Big Red off to have the rear brakes pads and rotors replaced.  It’s time we do this and this summer we plan on being out west in the mountains, so we want good brakes.  While Red was getting taken care of, we caught the city bus to downtown.  We need replacement social security cards, so we stopped to take care of that and then walked over to Dante’s for lunch.  We caught the bus back to get Red.  We headed to pick up a few groceries and then back to Lazy Lakes.  This afternoon we relaxed in our yard and did some reading and some research on our summer destinations.
After regrouping, we headed over to Ray and Carols for a fire and an impromptu performance by the Lazy Lakes Trailer Trash Band.  Jerry and I had been practicing a new song, The Shanty by Jonathon Edwards.  We had quite a crowd for our jam session.  Ray and Carolyn both on the washboard bass, Terri on kazoo, Sally, Craig and Ray on tambourine, Dale, Craig, Jerry, Greg on vocals, Jerry and Greg on guitar, Jerry on banjo, and of course I was on harmonica.  We had a wonderful time!!!
 10   John’s project today is washing and waxing Big Red.  I had some bills to take care of, emails to return and other miscellaneous stuff.
Tonight is our last Taco Tuesday and Jam Night at Looe Key Tiki Bar.  We got there around 530pm and I got my stuff set up and plugged in.  It’s not as packed as earlier in the season but it’s still crowded.  Craig, Debi, Sally, Frisbee, George, Darlene, Liz and Mike also showed up.  Mike did some singing, Sally and Debi played the tambourine, and I played my harmonica.  Moose and Ray West showed up and played a few songs.  We had a great time and thanks to the Coral Rock Jam Band for having me play.
 9   This morning we spent working on the rig both inside and out.  Since we will be hitting the road next week and doing lots of traveling we want to make sure everything is in good shape.  We couldn’t work too long however, today is Monday and that means horseshoes at 1pm.  We have more people than last week, but not many, only 8 of us.  After shoes, we regrouped, had a quick dinner and kidnapped Debi to walk over to the KOA for happy hour.  We kept trying to leave and people kept corrupting us, so we stayed until 10pm when they close and Frisbee gave us a lift home.

Happy Easter!!  This morning after coffee and the newspaper outside, I worked on our photos, journal and website.  John did some reading and started researching our summer adventure.  We headed over to the clubhouse around 1pm.  Terri and Floyd are making sausages, everyone is bringing a dish and we still have beer left in the keg.  We played some horseshoes, had lots of food and then got a joker game going.  It was a nice relaxing day.

This morning John and I headed out to the bridge for some fishing.  Craig and Debi joined us a little later.  Even though the tides were right and we had good bait, we had no mangrove snappers at all.  Debi caught a really nice size jack caravelle, Craig and John had a couple small yellowtails and I had a 4 foot nurse shark.  I got the shark to the surface and was trying to land it.  John put the treble line on, but the shark broke my line before we were able to secure it.
After regrouping from fishing, we headed over to the clubhouse to celebrate Linda’s birthday.  It’s a party for Linda’s b’day and the end of the year.  The band Afterthawt with Kenny, Gary and Easy Ed is playing.  Bruce set up his conga drums, David was joining in on his guitar and I played a couple songs on my harmonica.  There was a big crowd there and we did some drinking, eating, singing and dancing.  Another great day!!
6   Today we have running around to do.  Hardware Store, grocery store and time to give blood again.  We are going to go fishing tomorrow, so TJ and John went to run the bait traps.  Tonight we are picking Debi up at 445pm to head down to Key West and meet up with Craig.
We are all going to Braza Lena Brazilian Steakhouse tonight for dinner.  We had a great time at Braza Lena.  Lot’s and lots of food.  After dinner we took a walk to the Hotel LaConcha to watch sunset.  We just missed it but it was cloudy so you wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.  We did watch the full moon rise through the clouds.  Now were all done and heading home.

 5   We had some boomer storms move through last night so everything outside is soaked.  We enjoyed our paper and coffee inside this morning.  We still worked on some domestic projects and then headed to the clubhouse for an afternoon of jokers.  Since everyone is leaving, we will only have a few more times we can play jokers.  Tonight is movie night and the feature is “War Horse”.

   4   This morning we are still working on our projects.  This is our spring cleaning so we do spend more time on it.  Enough for today.  It’s pool time.  After napping, soaking up some rays and floating in the pool we joined in a joker’s game.  There are only going to be a few more of these since everyone is going to be on the road again.

Another project day.  John is finishing up waxing the RV and I am still going through cabinets and getting rid of stuff we don’t use or wear.

This morning we walked up for our Monday morning donuts and coffee.  Frisbee brought the donuts today.  There were only a few of us there.  More and more people are heading out for the summer.  Later we headed up to the clubhouse for horseshoes.  There were only 6 of us.  So John and Frisbee, Floyd and Jerry and Tom and I were partners.  After regrouping, we kidnapped Debi and walked over to the KOA for happy hour.  We had a good time and Frisbee gave us a lift home.  No more bingo.  It’s over for the season.

Today is yet another project day.  John is working on the outside of the rig and I’m working on the windows and screens.  We decided to ground ourselves tonight and have a nice dinner and relax.