States we've Traveled

States we've Traveled

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Getting ready for Gustav!!

The campers started slowly coming in all evening long, one here and there and then around 9 pm there wasn't many sites left!
As you can this morning when light appeared, the camp sites were filling up.

Here is Ms. Southwind nicely tucked in her nice quiet little corner.

In the picture above notice the wildcat & prowler are park side beside?

Now look in this picture, they are parked behind each other on one site!!

Campers have been pouring in most of the day and almost everyone has had to un hook and relocate so that everyone can double up and piggy back to make room for more campers.

This close up picture shows just
how close campers are to each other! Wow, i bet they can hear each other snore tonight!!

These pictures gives you a some what ideal of how close we are packed into the camper ground and trying to escape the storm.

Everyone is sharing elec, sewer, water, cable and wifi.

Here is one of the workers working to add more electric and water for those campers that are parked along here that do not have any hookups yet. The staff has been working so hard today and they have to be exhausted!

This is a rather big campground and normally you are only allowed to park on the concrete slabs, but this is not the case for us refuge's. Thank goodness we are all just thankful to have a safe place to park and escape the storm heading our way.

This is the new road that is for the new area that their making into a campground. They have even opened up this area for campers even though they were not ready. The power company showed up today and helped get power to them. Wow, wasn't that so nice of the power company? Thanks power company!!

This dog seems to be taking it all in stride and enjoying the view. Hmmm does he look like a stressed out dog?

The owners even allowed campers to park by their homes and plug into their electric. Everyone is conserving and basically just running our air conditioners and TV's. We have been asked to limit what we run.

No one is allowed to use more then one air conditioner, we are all limited to a 20 amp's service. If our breaker blows outside we have to have the office turn it back on as they have them locked so we can't turn them on. Anyone with satellite is asked to use them instead of the cable.

This little camper and bus is dry camping and allowed to run their generator. Usually generator's are not allowed, but for now they are if you do not have shore power or if we lose our power from the stores.

On my walk I found this, interesting .. isn't the back ground a beautiful scenery??

Everyone is taking it all in great stride and just relaxing and enjoying themselves. A early vacation as they say and no need to worry about something you can not change. What will be will be. Wow great attitudes!! Several in the campground are having gtg and anyone in the park is invited. Isn't that great? I'm impressed how we the people of this country can still come together in such a tragic event. There seems to be no rich/poor lines among this camping community. Everyone is visiting and talking and trying to have to much fun out of a bad situation.

I visited with this family and they are so amazing. They are proud survivors of 6 hurricanes!! This is their first hurricane they have evacuated on and left all their belongings & homes behind. They said after riding Katrina out and surviving never again will they do that again. From now on they will pack up and head out.

The hurricanes they've survived are the following .............................
Betsy in Sept 10th, 1965 ... Flood protection in New Orleans has been a hot topic for more than four decades - since Hurricane Betsy devastated the city in 1965.

Camille in Aug 17th, 1969....The most significant storm for Mississippi and Louisiana during the 20th century was Hurricane Camille, which struck the Mississippi coast on August 17th, 1969 with a small diameter and a forward speed of 14 mph (Yamazaki, 2002). Camille was one of only three storms to hit the U.S. mainland as a Category 5 during the 20th century, rivaled by Florida’s 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Andrew in 1992.

George in Sept 28th, 1998..... Georges inflicted extensive damage on numerous Caribbean islands before making landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi on September 28, 1998 with a maximum sustained surface wind of 104 mph and a central pressure of 964 mb.

Ivan in Sept 14th, 2004 ..... Hurricane Ivan exposed major evacuation issues as more than a million people tried to leave the greater New Orleans area on Tuesday September 14, 2004, creating a traffic jam worse than the traffic when people evacuated for Georges. The state police enacted contraflow traffic patterns in the afternoon, but the 60 miles between New Orleans and Baton Rouge was a seven hour ordeal (New Orleans Hurricane Risk).

Katrina in Aug 29, 2005 .... Hurricane Katrina may be the most memorable storm in New Orleans history, but its trajectory across the Pelican State was far from unique damaging and costly hurricanes in the history of the United States. One of the most disappointing issues of the catastrophe is that the devastation was due in part to human engineering failures
Rita in Sept. 23, 2005 ... Damage from Hurricane Rita as it swept across parts of Texas and Louisiana today was perhaps at least five times less severe than the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina as it battered New Orleans, the rest of eastern Louisiana and Mississippi earlier this year, according to initial estimates by insurance industry experts.

And now Gustav! Wow, they have some stories to tell and it's amazing how they take it all in stride. Have you noticed that these dates are all within a month?

See all types of campers are pulling in. On my walk this popup was waiting to be directed to a spot.

At 6 pm this is the long line of campers that were still looking to find a safe spot to park.

They were even lined up out on the highway. Traffic was stopped as far as i could see.

It's been an amazing day and a crazy one, who knows what the next few days will hold for us. But, at least i can say I'm safely parked, completely stocked up on water, food and fuel!

Here is the view out the left window. Unlike most campers, I have at least one side that someone isn't parked on top of me. Actually other then directly behind, I don't have any campers on either side.

This ditch is on the left side too, but I'm up on a hill compared to most campers and i don't think if we get lots of rain I will have to worry about being flooded as I did at the last campground ... all is good inside Ms. Southwind so far.

In the past week I've spent $390 on fuel alone. But I'm completely filled up, have 78 gals in the motor home, 3 gals in the generator, 20 gals in the tow car & and 5 - 5 gal jugs filled to the brim! Plus have driven the motor home 381 miles! averaged around 7 mpg in the Rv with towing the tow, hauling a camper packed with supplies to the hilt and around 100 gals of water! I have enough grocery supplies to last a month. The tow is packed to the hilt as well. Gas here today is $3.59 per gal. The gas station fueled up at said that during Katrina they lost power for a week and ran out of fuel and didn't get anymore for over a week! So I figure with the gas I have and what the generator uses I can last 24/7 for 24 days running it.

I have more pictures to show you of the campground but since were limited on the wifi and it's 12.30 am i am going to head to bed .... night all and hope your all safe and secure as we are so far.
I will try to keep you updated as much as i can..... until later ..............

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Arrived & Parked!

I just wanted to let you all know that I got up at 3 am and Ms. Southwind was on the roll by 3.30 am! Traffic was almost none when first started and then it picked up a bit, but nothing like thought it might be.

Around 6 am found a parking park and since I was still sleepy decided to pull over and get a bit more zzzz. Turned on the generator and plugged Ms.Southwind into it. So was able to use the air conditioner and be nice and comfy while slept. To my delight the generator ran the air just great!! It was the first time had actually plugged Ms. Southwind into the generator. Even perked morning coffee. (sorry i forgot to get a picture)

There were several other campers and trucks getting some rest as well. Got up around 9.30 am and the traffic was starting to get heavy so I took the dogs potty and loaded back up and was on the road by 9.45 am. I called the park I had finally got reservations at on Sunday and let them know I was about 5 1/2 hrs away and i asked if they had any place I could park or if needed to find a truck stop or rest area. The lady was great and said to come on in and that they would find a spot, there was no need to park without hookups. That was great and just what i wanted to hear!!

Arrived around 2.45 pm and got checked in and backed into the site and all hooked up and safely tucked away. The park was a bit expensive for my budget but with all the excitement had no choice. It was $54 for 2 nights, have cable, wifi, swimming pool, grocery store, laundry, propane. So for what they have the price isn't bad, but most of the time I don't need all their extras. I'm just grateful that I've found a spot to park!!

So far the park is fairly empty but they said that they are completely booked for the storm and holiday weekend. They are actually double booked and all sites will be piggy backing with other campers.

Lucky for me by getting here early I got a site on the edge of the woods and have at least one window that has a view of the woods. Plus no one will be parked directly behind me either. I have a bit more breathing room for the dogs.

I will keep you all updated as much as i can ... Until later .............

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rolling out in the morning!

Well I'm all packed, hooked up and ready to roll out around 3.30 am. The park is closing tomorrow at noon and it is now a mandatory evacuation.

I thought i had a place for to go but was informed today that wasn't the case. The place has over 200 power trucks coming in and since they are emergency personal they get all the spots.

So i called and called to no avail in finding a spot until Sunday. So everything is gassed up, generator is full, all the gas cans are full and I'm prepared to spend the night tomorrow along the road or where ever can find a spot until can get into the park on Sunday.

I thought i would take a few pictures of the campground near where I'm parked. See all the empty spots. The park is starting to look bare. The 2nd picture is of the 2 campers there packing up and getting things ready to go in the morning too.
I am not sure when i will be able to post, but as soon as i find wifi i will let you all know how I'm doing.

Have a good evening ... I'm gonna watch the weather and head to bed ... 3 am comes early!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Warned to be ready to Evacuate!

Everyone is worried about the storm threat Gustav. Louisiana has already declared a disaster and New Orleans is closing a lot of their public places. Last night the campground owner came around and told everyone they needed to be prepared to evacuate the park either Saturday or no later then Sunday, depending on the when the storm is predicted to hit Louisiana.

That puts everyone in a bit a predicament. Hmmmm where to go. From what I've been told all the surrounding areas around will be packed and crazy with everyone preparing for the storm. I spent the day calling around and trying to find a place where I would be safe from the storm.

I'm not sure how far I have to go yet as every place i call thinking I'd be safe says their closing their campgrounds on Sunday! Places that are considered to be a safe distance are all booked because of the holiday weekend and the storm scare. Ughhhh

I've been watching the TV very closely to see what we are suppose to do. So everyone is basically in a stand by mode. Luckily for me I've already got things pretty much packed up and ready when they thought Fay may be a threat.

Last night was crazy here, with the threat of the storm and gas prices on the rise. I needed to run to the store to get meat for the rest of the week and while i was out i thought I'd fill up the car since it was getting low on fuel.

WOW, it was crazy out there!!!! The stores were packed and water was disappearing like crazy. I had to wait 20 mins in line at the gas station to get fuel

Luckily I had prepared ahead of time last week for just in case with Fay and so I'm prepared with plenty of water, fuel and food that i can cook. Makes me so glad that I'm self contained and can move my home where ever I need to.

Well that is what happening with me and i will try to keep you updated although if I have to evacuate i may be off line for several days and i will let you all know as soon as i can.

Hope your all having a great day .. Until next time ....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rainy Day!

Today is a rainy day. Although i have to admit I'm glad all we are getting from Fay is rain.

I thought in between rains I'd snap a couple photo's for you all. The air is thick, as you can see in the pictures. You walk outside and it takes your breath from being so thick and humid.

I spent the day being lazy. I didn't get dressed until around 2 pm.

Finally i decided i better get a shower and put on some clothes.

My yard is flooded once again. The streets are too.
I thought i would share this picture with you, it's of the flowers i took with me from Florida.

I was so lazy today that i didn't cook dinner. Left overs it was. Hope your all
having a great day .. Until next time ...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Missed Tropical Storm Fay!!!

I woke up around 8 am and the rain had started. Nothing heavy just a drizzle with a bit of wind. I was lazy today. I spent the day playing with my scrapbooking. Trying to catch up. It has rained off and on most of the day. Although it has cooled off. Faye has broken up and all that is left of her is some rain. At first they were calling for 6" of rain, but i think that has been dropped drastically now. I have another puddle in my yard but nothing like i thought i'd have.

Once the rain stops I will once again unload everything but if I hadn't gotten things ready to exit Faye would of hit. Better to be safe then sorry. I did make a banana cream pie today and it turned out really good. Later in the afternoon i went for a nice walk. The rain had let up and it was cool enough for me to put on a long sleeve shirt! I made it back to the camper in time just before the drizzle started again.

It seems that several parts of the country is getting rain ... hope you all had a great weekend

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay!!

Thursday ....

Tammy stopped by and picked me up and we went and did the laundry ... ughhh it seems that is all i ever do! I stripped the beds, washed the dog's covers, rugs and clothes. That chore is done for a week! Afterwards, we came home and man did we ever have loud thunder and big lightening streaks.

The dogs were are trembling and trying to hide near me. All that noise and lightening it just barely rained. I bet another place got a down pour though.

I put away the laundry, did my dishes and picked up the RV. I also started the RV today, as i hadn't done that in a few weeks.

Friday .....

I spent the day cleaning the RV, i needed to defrost the freezer and wash out the frig. I also put some meat balls & a couple stuffed peppers in the crock pot for dinner. Later i cooked some spag and that was dinner. It was good too!!

Later in the evening was spent outside visiting with Tammy and her family.

Sat ....

Tammy and I went to the flea market and got our fresh produce for the week. Then we went to Save A-Lot to stock up on supplies. They are not sure if we are going to be affected by the tropical storm Fay. So we decided to be safe then sorry. When i got home I loaded all the outside stuff up and put the awning in. The campground manager said that if the winds got 60 miles or higher everyone would have to either pull their RV to the over flow area where the wind is blocked more, but we'd have no elec and could stay in the shower house during the ruff part of the storm, or we could pack up and leave and come back afterwards. So I have the dolly hooked up and the car is packed down ready to roll if need be. Also filled the fresh water tank, purchased bottled water. They said today on the news that homes that were not permanently secured should be prepared to evacuate.

Although this evening it's looking like it's breaking up and we may not even get any of the rain. I'm hoping.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another Road Trip!

Tuesday ....

I got up and got my dishes done, ran the vacum and got the RV all cleaned up. Since i didn't do any cleaning on Monday except for the dishes. After getting my cleaning done, i got dressed and about 10 mins later Tammy stopped by and asked if i would ride with her and the kids. Of course i said YES!!

We went and checked out some more of the local stores. We came home later in the afternoon and i laid down on the couch to rest a bit. All this running around wears me out so much!!

My evening was spent lazying around and watching the tube.

Wed ....... another road trip

Steve came by yesterday evening and asked if i wanted to take a trip and of course i said yesssssssss. He needed to go to the VA and get his monthly med's and groceries. So we got up very early and made the 4 hour trip. I dropped him off at the base and went to play. My first stop was at the Veiw Casino, wow it was amazing and packed. I spent a few hours there and then Steve called me to come pick him up. I left the view and picked up Steve and then we headed to the Hard Rock Casino for lunch. It was a great lunch and Steve wanted to play some. So i watched him, as i have never really been a gambler. He left the machine he was playing and moved to the next one and i decided while i was sitting at his old machine i'd put in a few bucks and play. I put in $20 and it kept teasing me with the lucky 7's, so i decided to put $5 more in and that was gonna be my limit. I was done to 2 spin's and behold the machine started going crazy. I told Steve i think i broke the machine it's making all kinds of noise. He laughed and said no .. you hit the big jack pot!! A attendant came and told me to stay there, she got another lady and they handed me $279 bucks!! & a T-shirt.

Congratulated me and then one of the ladies reset the machine and i had to finish playing it. I gave Steve the $79 as he had lost $80 in the machine. He refused at first and i insisted. Then we decided to walk around a bit more and Steve stopped at another to try it out and i decided to walk around the corner and try another machine. I put in $3 and on the first spin the machine went crazy. I hit another jack pot! Steve came over and couldn't believe it. I won $97 on that one. I got my money and decided to sit next to Steve. I decided while wating on him that i would put $7 of the money i'd won into that machine and i had 2 spins left again and i hit on the machine. I won $69 on it. So in a days time, i did pretty good. I won $427, take away the money i invested in the machine & the money i gave Steve back, i walked away with 313 to the good, plus i never lost any of the money i started with. Unforuntally Steve couldn't say the same, he lost $120 bucks today! I offered to split my winnings and he refused. It was a great day and i enjoyed touring the place and seeing all the guitars and outfit that famous singers have worn or played. It's a really nice place and plan to take hubby some time. He will love it. I don't beleive Gamblings is something i'd want to do all the time, as watching Steve lose his money was no fun at all. When i was winning it was fun, but it wore off fast.

Steve and I made the long trip back home and by then it was time for dinner, so i made a pot of chili. Took a shower and headed to bed, i was exhausted. Sorry no pictures, Steve said he didn't think they allowed them inside.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My weekend!!

Saturday .....

I got up early and Tammy and I headed to the flea market again this week. We were hoping to listen to music again and let the kids run and play. Well ... it rained and so there was no music so we finally we got our produce and headed home. Once i got home, i did my dishes from last night and picked up the RV a bit, then I spent the rest of the afternoon lazying inside. It was hot and humid after the morning showers. Later in the afternoon we had showers again. Around 9 pm i took a walk around the campground, then showered and headed to bed.

Sunday ...

I got up around 9 am and got dressed, got my laundry together. Tammy came by and we went to the laundry mat to do our laundry for the week. After we finally got it down we headed to the grocery store and wal-mart to get some things.

I got home around 2 pm and then i started dinner. I grilled chicken on the grill, then i wrapped up the corn on the cob i bought yesterday at the produce stand. Cut up some potatoes, peppers & onions and put those on the grill too. It was a wonderful dinner.

Monday ...

I have been looking for a compact freezer. I never have enough freezer space. I like to buy meat when it's on sale, also if i buy in a family bundle it's much cheaper. But with the limited freezer space i have it's not possible. So i have been looking for a small freezer. I was talking to my neighbor Steve and he needed to run some errands today and invited me to tag along and look for a freezer. We went to Lowe's & home depot, with no luck. My neighbor Sonnie said she thought they bought theirs at a Sam's club a few years ago, so to Sam's we went and with no luck, they didn't have what i wanted. Wal-mart sells them online but are out of stock. So my day was spent chasing my tail basically.

Steve was hungry and wanted to go to I Hop for breakfast so we did. I had the hot Apple Crisp pancakes and they were sooooooo good. Thanks Steve it was good.

I came home and started dinner. I had some left over chicken so i made chicken & rice casserole for dinner.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Lazy Day!

I didn't sleep good last night. i don't know if it was too much of a road trip with all the riding i did?? This morning Tammy stopped by but she could tell i wasn't in good humor nor did i feel good. She was heading to Wal-mart and ask if i needed anything i told her no thank you.

I ended up doing the dishes, cleaning the RV & putting a meat loaf in the crock pot to cook for dinner.. After that i spent the afternoon just relaxing. For dinner i also made mashed taters and
corn. It was a great dinner. Later in the evening i went over and visited with Tammy & Robert, then at dark we came inside. I was in bed by 10 pm.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Road Trip

Tammy and I had planned a road trip for Thursday. She had asked me to ride with her to Baton Rouge. I had never been to the capital of Louisiana.

We got up early to get on the road. We were chatting and enjoying our road trip when we come upon a bridge. Ummmm we were not suppose to be crossing any bridges??? Some where along our trip we missed a turn and took the wrong turn, we were heading into New Orleans!!!!

We had to stop and pay a tow fee for the bridge. We were were in Terry town, LA!

WOW ... I was amazed to see that there was still structure damage to homes that hadn't been either torn down or repaired yet.

As you can see in these pictures there was severe damage to many homes and business. It was weird to see once place had built back, but the place next to it hadn't yet.

We decided while we were in New Orleans we might as well do some sight seeing.
We headed to the french quarters. Wow, the streets are very narrow. I can't imagine being in a RV going down these streets!

Here was a little store setup along the street. I thought that was pretty neat.
It's amazing how all the places have a balcony!! We didn't get out of the vehicle we just toured the city while driving as this was not actually on our list of to do's ... But hey while we were here we just couldn't not look around. Hopefully another time. I'd love to get out and walk through some of the shops we've went by.

We found people walking on the streets & riding their bikes down the street. What was amazing was how they didn't move out of the way for cars. WOW

Also, see how narrow the streets are and then you have cars parked either on one side or sometimes both sides of the street. Wow i was so amazed.

Here was a business called the Postal and another called the ST.Peter House, it would of been neat to have toured them.

I think this guy was sleeping???

As you can see from the pictures, I'm not sure if it looked this way before Katrina or if it's from the after math. Hmmmm???

Do you think this guy was starting early for hanging out on his balcony for Mardi Gras??

Here is a picture of the famous Bourbon street I've heard mentioned so many times.
New Orleans does still have some very attractive and historic looking places left.
Look at the side walks, they are full of people! Tammy was laughing at me and said .. "man you must really come from the sticks" as i was just amazed at how many people were out on one street. I thought maybe they were having some kind of party but she said it's a everyday thing. WOW!!!

The streets are just as packed with cars ... WOW look at the traffic jam!

I just love this building, see the front of it??

Then there was this building .. it was for lease and in need of some serious repairs.

The tourist signs have been put back up. Here is one advertising the french quarters and other things.

Of course we had to make our way to the Super Dome! The first 2 picture is of us coming up to the dome.

This statue is on the dome, but i have no clue who it is. Hopefully one of these days i can go back and find out. Does anyone know?

Here we are in front of it and look!!!

Here is pictures of the sign in front that tells attractions that are coming soon.

Look Kenny Chestnut is coming to New Orleans ... Hmmmm

After leaving the dome we drive around some more and look at the destruction . Some building have lots of windows still missing. Doesn't appear that they will be repaired anytime soon. This parking lot must of been full of campers. See all the plumbing and the stench was horrible. New Orleans is a stinky city!
These men were working on repairing a roof. So the people are still trying to repair after almost 3 years!!
Here is a information booth for tourist and they even have Katrina tours!

I found some Palm trees ... wow i didn't know New Orleans had palm trees??

I wonder if this sign was damaged from Katrina or just from years of being in the sun? Hmmmmm

After a few hours of sight seeing we were finally on our way to Baton Rouge. We crossed several bridges and i was surprised how long the bridge in New Orleans is. Much longer then the one we crossed in Pensacola Florida.
On our way to Baton Rouge we had to make one more pit stop. Tammy said there was a mall that she wanted to stop at that she didn't get to when she was here on a previous job. So we both agreed that sounded like fun. Wow, it was a great mall and i found some great deals on clothes for my grand kids. Now i have to ship them. I love finding good brand clothes for cheap cheap prices! I spent $130 bucks but i got 10 outfits for Toby, i got his size he's ins now and also for the next size up. Same with my grand daughter. I love finding cute clothes for them. I know grandma spent toooo much, but hey i don't buy clothes very often these days for them. So i deserve to spoil them!!

After leaving the mall we had to cross yet another bridge to get to Baton Rouge ... I have been over water more today then I've been on solid ground. Wow, i never knew how much water surrounds this area. Amazing!!!

Crossing the bridge into Baton Rouge. We finally got done in Baton Rouge and then head back home.
It was a great day and we had a great time, but i'm exhausted!! I got home and made sloppy joes & chips for dinner.