Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Holidays in Florida

Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t quite the same with warm weather. Some of the traditions are new and many are the same. We didn’t have a Christmas parade in Ohio but that’s a “thing” in Callahan. It is even warm enough for Larry to wear shorts as he is handing out candy.

Christmas lights along with a supermoon on our new home.

And Jack’s much more decorated home!

Visiting family

And the aftermath…

Falling Trees!

Obviously it has been awhile. We’ve been busy moving into the house and fixing it.

We moved into the home a week before hurricane Irma. Our biggest worry was the dead pine tree in our front yard (center of the picture – right side of the double pine).

The dead tree made it through the storm but we decided since we had the dead tree along with several other weaker double trees (two trees coming from the same base), we wanted to have them removed. Watching the tree service was fun! They dropped the trees exactly where they wanted them.

Some of the crashes were enough to scare me and to dust the house with the vibration.

Monday, October 23, 2017

County Fair

The county fair was a big thing when I was growing up in Ohio. As a 4-H’er and a marching band member, I was busy. Plus, it was a chance to see friends after a summer apart. I spent hours walking the fair grounds.

We decided to visit the Northeast Florida Fair in Callahan. Uhmmm. Perhaps it is the difference between seeing something as a kid and then seeing it as an adult. Or maybe this was just a small fair. It took us 2 hours to see the fair and that included eating supper, listening to the entertainment, and riding the Ferris wheel (very cool!).

Hey, we still have fun and enjoyed the sunset while on the Ferris wheel.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Part-Timing It

After several years of full-timing, we decided to buy a house and travel part-time so posts will be more sporadic. 

I took a quick trip to Pittsburgh.  I really enjoy the walkway between Concourses A and B at the Atlanta airport. This is a $4.1 million dollar art installation called “Flight Paths”. Sounds like a lot of money, but I always make sure to skip the train and walk this instead. It’s like walking in the forest with lighting and sounds to relax you as you get a bit of exercise (there are moving walkways too). There are always people taking pictures or just enjoying this hidden treasure.

I went out with our group to the Pittsburgh Hofbrauhaus. Which reminded me that it’s been 39 years since I first visited the Hofbrauhaus in Munich! The story that goes along with that one was I was just out of high school and wasn’t used to drinking. The Hofbraus serves pints of beer. After an evening there, it was the first time I ever saw double. This visit was much more sedate!

 Plus, Pittsburgh lights.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Hurricane Irma

We’ve been in the Jacksonville Florida area. Obviously it has been quite exciting. This was our first hurricane.  By the time it got here, it was slower wind speeds of Category 1 (60 mph average with gusts in the 80’s). The highest winds were at night, so we missed watching the storm. However, it rained and kept raining with 9.7 inches in two days. The water was high enough to pond in the grass and we had an egret visit.

The frogs were loud as they traveled into the area.

The area had lots of debris, some trees down, and no power for several days. I’m not sure what I missed most, general electricity, air conditioning, refrigeration, water (no electricity for pumps), internet, or TV. We’ve lived days without most of that in the RV but we had got used to having it all lately.

We were very lucky!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Big Eclipse

Yes, we saw it!  We waited a bit long to decide to see the eclipse. By then, the nearest campground we found was two hours away from the path. After hearing (every day for weeks!) the TV news reporters talk about the crowds and heavy traffic, I made John get up fairly early and leave by 9:30 am to get there in time.  Turns out there was little traffic until we reached the town we had selected (Orangeburg, SC). Orangeburg is pretty small, between the larger towns of Charleston, Columbia, and August, and had several city parks for parking and viewing. Plus the park had a bathroom which can be important as you wait. We spent time talking to people from Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Nobody local went to this park. Parking was haphazard as people just parked wherever. There were no vendors selling anything except one lady sold eclipse glasses and that was a very reasonable $2 a pair. It was nice!

Up to the last minute we were worried about the weather. In general South Carolina had lots of clouds and some rain. We were VERY lucky in having only a bit of clouds during the early part of the partial and everything was clear for the full eclipse. As we drove back to the campground, we hit heavy rain. So, as I said, LUCKY!

We had eclipse glasses and I made a pinhole projector. Hey, kids can’t have all the fun!

They say a full eclipse is much more exciting than a partial eclipse, and they are right. It was also nice to have some people around but not crowds. Someone noticed that crickets started chirping as it got darker which I might not have noticed. Plus the cheering, gasps, and comments added to the excitement.

One of the pictures came out with both the sun being too bright and some reflection that showed the crescent below it.

None of our pictures really show how dark it was or how fantastic the view was. We don’t have great pictures, but we have great memories!

Magnolia Springs State Park

We’re a bit farther north in Georgia now. First, yes there is a spring at Magnolia Springs. The bad part is that you can’t swim in the water. Oh well!

There is some interesting history at this park. When the nearby Andersonville Confederate prison had too many people, a new prison (Camp Lawton) was built here. It only lasted one month before Sherman came through the area but 10,000 prisoners of war were housed here at one point. Scary history to hear how many people died every day due to lack of shelter, food, diseases, or sanitary facilities yet it was considered much better than Andersonville.
In the middle of nowhere was this large and unused church called Big Buckhead Church. There were a couple of signs discussing that a church had been here since before the American Revolution and that a skirmish occurred nearby during the Civil War.
John thought I was crazy, but I liked this dog cemetery that was nearby. A rich guy built an area for field trials of bird dogs. His own dogs along with several horses, a cat, and even a couple mules were buried here with epitaphs.
Some were about friendship and companionship like Freckles like being a “Sweetheart”.

Some discussed weird ways to die like “Death by Wasp” and several were “Poisoned”.
Poor luck was mentioned on several stones like “Much Hard Luck” or “A Great Obedient Field Trialer but Unlucky”.

Others were kind of bizarre like “Poor Training Ruined Him”.
My favorites were the ones about bitches.