Sunday, November 7, 2010

An RVers Drive from Mesa to Sedona

Valley Verde, AZ by Don Bobbitt

An RVers Drive from Mesa to Sedona

This is a pictorial chronicle of one of our day trips while in Arizona.
We got up one beautiful morning, in Mesa, had a cup coffee and drove to Sedona AZ, and back on the same day. 
Of course I took my camera, and here are a few of the pictures of that beautiful area.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An RV drive from El Paso to Mesa

Arizona Deseert from our car window by Don Bobbitt

An RV drive from El Paso to Mesa

The drive from El Paso, Texas is a long one, and when we crossed the country in our RV, we made this run in one day.  It was a long day, but we did get a lot of great pictures along the way, and here are a few of them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Walk along Medina Lake in South Texas

Campground wildlife at Medina Lake by Don Bobbitt

A Walk along Medina Lake in South Texas

We camped at a TT campground on Medina Lake for a couple of weeks in the autumn season, and we would take our daily stroll around the many roads in the campground. Here are a few of the pictures taht we took while there.

Bandaras, TX -- The Rodeo capital of the World!

Two days ago, we drove over to Banderas, Texas.

In our travels, and frequent stays at TT-CG's, we have met a number of people who have stayed at this campground at Medina Lake and they all said "You have to go to Banderas and check it out!"

It seems that Banderas is called the Rodeo capital of the World, and during the Summer season, they have a couple of months of serious Horse Shows, Rodeos, parades and pretty much perpetual Horse-related entertainment.

We knew that we were here at the wrong time for that, but we did want to check the town out.

From the CG, it is only twenty-some odd miles of driving.  And the scenery is interesting.

As we got closer we did notice an increase in the number of "Ranches" and "Riding Ranches", and just an overall increase in the number of horses grazing in fields.

We finally got to the town itself, and it might not be a "one-horse town" but it is a "two-street four-block town".

The town does have a certain charm.

But if you look closely you will see that the stores, restaurants, and small shops are modern and Credit Card ready even though they give that authentic feel of really neat old "Texas-style" establishments.

We did have a nice Lunch consisting of some very good Texas-style Barbecue. Helen had some Beef Brisket, while I jumped on a combination of pulled Pork Barbecue with sausage.

Both were really good, and we walked outside with a little waddle to our walk.

We walked through a few shops before we turne3d down a side street and walked into a clothing store.

After our visit, I can only say that; Judging by the uniqueness and pricing of the items, there are people with "real Money" that come to this town.

I'm not one of thm, but I did get a great, well-made hat for walking.  It was relatively cheap, as I did look at some "Beaver hats" that were priced from $900-$1200 each.

I know Beaver was popular in the 1700's, for quality hats, but Damn!

At these prices, I don't see how there is a live Beaver anywhere in the country!

Mine is actually made of Palm, and I even got a lesson in how to re-shape it when necessary.

The town does have one weekly tradition that I liked.

Every Wednesday is steak night.

You see, there is a local (outdoor) bar, a very big one, with tables scattered around under the trees, and a covered stage, and a very large Barbecue area.

What anyone can do is go to one of the stores (or bring your own), and buy a steak of your choosing.

Then, later, around 6:00PM, you take your steak over to the bar, and check in.

Once in, you give them; your name, your steak, and instructions on how ou want it cooked, and when you want to eat, of course.

Then you sit around, drink long-necks, listen to the local band of the day, dance, or just watch everyone else.

And, at the time you wanted to eat, you walk over to the Grills, tell them your name, and for a total price of $5 they will serve your steak, a big baked potato, and a small salad to you.

You go back to your table and you eat a fine Texas Steak, under the pen sky, while drinking your Longneck beer and listening to those great Country sounds.

Not a bad night out, from my perspective.

Oh, Yeah, we also walked by a replica of the famous "Judge Roy Bean" establishment from the classic Paul Newman movie of years ago.  I took a pic of it.

After walking through several shops, we got a little tired, and looked for a Supermarket.

That, by the way is something of a problem when you get out into the countryside of Texas.

There aint no chain stores is the Hill country!

Becaues we were in a "big town", as I was told, there was a Supermarket there that I had never seen before, that encompassed maybe 400 square feet, and we did stock up on a few things while there.

I did notice that the carts were all labeled "Walmart", so I pulled out my iphone and using the Yellow pages App, I searched for a Walmart nearby.

There were none within 25-miles, so I gave that thought a rest.

I did take the time to "Tug on Superman's Cape" though!

Actually, when you get out, and away from the cities, they local business' have a certain  charm taht I enjoy.

I plan to go our and take some pics of a few of them before we pull out.

Today, it is overcast windy, and not a good outside day for pics.

BTW!  Deer!

The little buggers are all over our Campground, and will walk right up to within 10-20 feet of you, and just stare at you, as if saying;  "What is Your Problem? Never seen a Deer before?"

They are smaller than the Deer we are used to in VA, NC, and SC, but they are thick as thieves, here.

I asked last night a a local restaurant, and now it makes sense.

In Texas you are only allowed to hunt Deer at certain times and in a limited number of areas.

So, our CG is in an area where Deer hunting is not allowed, at all, and they all migrate here for the season.

Our CG is a kind of seasonal resort for Deer!

Ya Gotta love it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mama is Away and I am going to revert!

I put Helen on a plane with her friend, very early this morning.
They are having a "Girls Week" in Connecticut, so I sit here, in my underwear, with a cup of coffee in my hand, and the TV turned up too loud on a news channel.

I just finished my breakfast.
She had boiled me some eggs, yesterday, so I made myself a Boiled Egg and Cheese, with mayonnaise of course, sandwich on an old hamburger bun.  If you toast them, they don't seem so stale.

Now, I am planning my day.

Oh Yeah, I left every utensil I used, lying exactly where I used them, so they will be handy for me over the next week.
That's called a male planning technique.

Later I will go down to our RV, and get a little work done on it, and return sweaty and dirty.

I will shower when I offend myself and as there is no one else here to tell me how bad I smell, that could be a couple of days.
Or today....... Who knows.

I will have to go to the Supermarket today and get some grocery basics such as;
Hamburger Buns
several sliced cheeses
some good Boarshead sliced ham and Turkey
Bags of Chips that make your breath smell bad
a couple of six-packs of low-cal Beer (gotta watch my girlish figure, ya know!)
maybe a couple of apples (I can tell Helen about them!).

And, of course, Some very HOT Spicy snacks.
You know, the good ones that burn worse the next day than they did when you ate them!

Then, I will raid the closest Blockbuster store for a pile of Sci-Fi and gory Mystery movies.
The ones that Helen hates.

Then, I will bring all of this home and put the meat away.
Hey! I understand rotten food!
The rest, I will just stack on the counter top for easy access over the next week.
That's call efficiency planning.

Yep! I will really miss her, while she is gone!
(Make note to self to tell her that,
when she calls to check on me. She'll really like that!)
My Winter Hobby!

Well, I gotta grab a magazine
and run to the bathroom.
I am going to have one of those real Man Poops ...... uninterrupted!

Friday, September 3, 2010

What a Bummer!

I am having a flashback.
Here I was with only a couple of things to do today, and I was doing a final edit on my book and I for got to confirm my appointment with a local guy to replace my cracked right-rear tail-light.

And, Yes, I have written a book!

It is about RV stuff, and I will be publishing it, soon I hope via Amazon, so look here for further updates on my progress.

ANyway, I went into one of those time-devouring modes, and forgot to "take care of business".

You see, my appointment is for 7:00AM on Monday.

And theguy stays very busy, so I was supposed to call him today to confirm thathe has space for my RV.

Well, I screwed up, and now I am in a quandry.

Do I fire up, drive 20 miles, and and get run away, or do I wait to later, and call?????

Oh, Well, I guess I will get up and call.

On with Life!

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Walk in Long Bay - Colors and Shadows

Swamp Land in Longs by Don Bobbitt

A Walk in Long Bay - Colors and Shadows

This Hub is a collection of some of my favorite photos in our little community of Long Bay just 8 miles from the ocean and Myrtle Beach, SC

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Little Things are what take the time.

It is the little things that take the time when you are preparing for a long RV trip.

I brought my RV back to my storage area, near my home the other day, and shut it down.

Then I went home and started working on a checklist of things I want to do, which includes those things that I MUST do before we pull out.

I went back today, just to check things out, as I do every couple of weeks, and opened the Fridge.

And, there it was COLD, and running along just fine.  I had committed the cardinal sin of campers when they put their Rig away.

I had someone else work on it, and when I parked it, I did not do a full shut down.

I always do this!

But, it was late, I was in a hurry, and what can I say.  Today, I had to pay the price.

The Fridge was Cold because I not only did not check it, and shut it down, I had also left the inside DC power switch.ON.

Not only were my batteries down, but I was a lot lower on Propane.

What was it that Forrest Gump said?

Stupid is as Stupid Does!

That was me all right ...... Stupid.

So, today, I had to run my generator for a couple of hours to get a good charge back on my house batteries, and then I went through my personal checklist for short term RV storage, before I locked the unit up.

Now I can do other things for a few weeks, before I have to goback and check on my unit.

Oh Well!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

City Cemetery in Lynchburg VA

Tombstone in Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg Virginia by Don Bobbitt

 City Cemetery in Lynchburg VA

This Hub is the result of my stopping at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg Virginia.

It is a picturesque and  intriguing place for an afternoons visit.
This article also includes a number of pictures of older Tombstones and my best guess at what is written on them.
I also list the names and other information on the tombstones.

Confederate Cemetery in Lynchburg VA

Smallpox Memorial by Don Bobbitt

Confederate Cemetery in Lynchburg VA

Within the Old Cemetery in Lynchburg is  another Cemetery that is dedicated to the Confederate soldiers that died  in the Lynchburg Hospital during the Civil War.
It is a beautiful area that is well tended and beautiful to walk through.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Running in the Wind

Runner by Don Bobbitt

Running in the Wind

This little Poem of  describes a memory of when I was a little Boy, and how much Joy I got from just running in my yard with the wind blowing by my face,

Monday, January 11, 2010

ARMADILLO by Morning

ARMADILLO by Morning

This Hub is a story about the day that I was relaxing at my Campsite in Florida, and I met an ARLADILLO.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday in Florida - The Freeze of 2010

Yeah, That is what it is. The Freeze of 2010! 

I even told a guy at a T-shirt store that he should have printed some.  I know they would sell!

We have been here, in Florida over the Winter before, and it does get cold here at times, but this years has made itself special.

Having one major Jetstream dump of Cold is not unusual, but we have had two consecutive ones, and the fruit industry has been hurt.

Helen and I have kept inside for the most part with an occasional foray into the campground to use; the Gym equipment, the library, and I have taken a few long walks. 

We have also gone out to eat and shop more than we would normally, but you have to fight the old "Cabin Fever" the best way you can.

We did find a nice Cuban restaurant on Brandon Blvd, in Brandon itself called Mambo's.  The restaurant is clean and the service is good. 

We tried a number of dishes we had never eaten before, and the portions were so large that we had to take half of what we ordered home in boxes.

The food was very good, and we plan to make at least one more trip there over the next few weeks.  We recommend it, if you are in the area.

According to the weather guru's, we have one more below freezing night tonight, and then we start a slow five-day ramp up to the 70's that we all love.

Then it will be; heated pools, Jaccusi's, and our favorite beach bars.  Can't wait!

Have a nice day!

Don and Helen!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold in Florida

Well, We have been pretty lucky so far this winter with the weather, I guess. 

We have been in Wauchula and Orlando for several weeks each, and we did have some typical "Winter in Florida" cold days.  You know, the temperature drops for a day or two and flirts with the low-thirties, and then it is back in the comfort zone for several days.  This we are used to happening, so no problems in the past.

But, we are in Thonotosassa (near Tampa) and as everyone that has a TV and watches the news knows, that we are really in the middle of a serious COLD spell. 

The temperatures at night have been right at freezing for several nights, with highs in the low fifties.

But, last night we hit a low of 29F at our camper, and it is supposed to only hit the upper 40's today. WOW!

Also, the weather people are predicting another cold front dropping down into the area over the weekend, and it is supposed to be worse than what we have today.

With all of this in mind, our entertainment options have dramatically changed for the present.  Yesterday, we did not even leave the RV all day.  We just laid back and read books and watched some old movies. 

I did catch up on some bill management, and document shredding, as well as some email cleanup that I had been delaying for a while.

I may have mentioned before, or not, but we use a Verizon Data Card for web access in our RV, and it is working quite well for us.  I have been noticing that all of the larger campgrounds are moving over to contractor-provided web access, and the better ones do provide "weak signal" free access at the clubhouse for the "casual PC user" (uses PC's very little).

The problem I found with these new providers is the fact that they are really expensive for the RVer that travels around; with charges in the $30 to even $40 per month access charges for high speed.

These fees are what drove me to my own data card, so I can have my access wherever and whenever I want for a flat fee.  This includes the fact that my wife and I both have PC's, and using my own data card ends up being cheaper for us.

Well, at least it is Sunny today, so we have made up a shopping list of those things that you never have time to stop and get, and we will go out this afternoon and make the rounds for these items, and I can then do some of those little things to the inside of the RV over the next few days, regardless of the cold outside.

PS.  For those of you that are RVing and are suffering with the Cold in your RV, check out my other blog and specifically you should read the posting on Keeping Warm in your RV.  I have put a lot of useful hints in that posting to help you with the cold.  I hope!

More later,

Don ad Helen.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We're Baaaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk!

Wow! Here it is January 2, and I haven't done anything with my PC except mandatory things like paying bills for over 3 weeks!

Some explanation is necessary! First, right after we were settled in our site at TT Orlando, I got sick and my system kind of went haywire for over a week.  I caught a bug and ran a low grade temperature of 100 for 5 days. This is a scary thing for someon with a suppressed immune system, so we watched it carefully.

This threw my system out of whack, and I ended up with attacks of the GOUT three times over 2 weeks.  For the "Gout uneducated" out there; because of the drug restrictions that I have as a transplant recipient, I can only use Colchicine to treat a Gout attack.

The drug operates by causing nausea and diarrhea, which tends to "flush" the Uric Acid from your system.  Not a fun thing to go through, to say the least.

Anyway, after almost ten days, I was 8 pounds lighter and pretty weak.

So, Back to TT Orlando.

We had mostly good days of sunshine and reasonable temperatures for the 3-weeks we were there, and I did get to use the heated Pool and Jacchusi several times.

Comparing the 2 TT campgrounds, Wauchuka TT and Orlando TT, is interesting.  The Orlando site is very large, has 2 large pools, large sites, and is well maintained. The Wauchula site is not as large, has only on smaller pool, and the sites are also large and well maintained.

The major difference to me is the location, I guess.  If you want to got to Disney, or find pretty much any other entertainment you want, and run around every day, then Orlando is the one for you.

If you want peace and quiet, to meet people, read books, or just walk around and enjoy the scenery, I recommend Wauchula.  The one thing to remember, is that there is very little to do in Wauchula itself, and a search for decent restaurants may end up in a 30-45 mile drive.  Other than that, I still prefer Wauchula for relaxing.

My son and his wife brought my grand-daughter down for a 2-day visit  after Christmas, that turned into a week, but we really enjoyed their visit.  We took them to Disney one day, and to Universal Studios on another day.  The granddaughter loved it!

When you have company, as you all know, you tend to do more things, and eat a lot more while they are with you, and this visit was no exception for me.  It looks like I am back on my diet for a while.

We left the Orlando TT CG, on Dec.30, and moved over to the Tampa area to a CG called Southern Aire.

It was kind of strange, but, even though I wanted to hop back and forth between the TT sites and save money for the winter, when I started planning our winter, I reserved a month at Southern Aire CG for Dec-30 to Jan-30 as a just-in-case thing.  I searched and checked on a number of CG's and this was the only one that would let me reserve a month with an option on 2 more months, that I could cancel if I wanted without a penalty charge.  So, I went ahead and locked down January with them.

This way, without going into a lot of detail, I was able to reserve 6-weeks at the Orlando and Wauchula sites for free, from Nov thru Dec-30, then 1-month in Tampa for $515 plus elec., then 4-weeks at Orlando and Wauchula for free during Feb.  That gave me 14-consecutive weeks of winter camping for $515.  Not bad in Florida, in the winter.  And I plan on using the TT sites for the month of March also.

FYI, Southern Aire is an older CG owned by Wilder, which has a number of CG's in Florida and Texas.

The CG is old but it is well maintained.  A number of the sites are old Park models, or old campers with Sun-room additions, that have been here for many years.

The streets were once paved, and are now a patchwork of patches, so to speak.

But, the pool and Jaccussi are clean and well maintained, and they gave me a nice, but small, open site, where I could get Satellite reception with no problem.  The Laundromat is clean and relatively cheap to use, and the residents are mostly long-time ones, and all have been friendly to us.

The best thing about the CG is it's location, off of exit 10 of US-4.  It is only 3 miles up the road from Lazydays the large RV sales company as well as the local Camping World.  Also, it is only about ten miles from Tampa itself, so overall, it is a pretty good place to stay, strategically.

We are settled in now, and are looking at doing some exploration of the area in a few days.

Have a nice day!