States we've Traveled

States we've Traveled

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Tribute to Ms Southwind

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A great weekend!

It's been an interesting weekend. It's been hot & humid with rain showers daily. On Friday Steve my neighbor from Ukraine stopped by to see if i wanted to cook out on Saturday. I told him sure. He thought another couple that is across the street would be back from visiting family.

The other couple hadn't returned so it was just the us. Saturday afternoon Steve started bringing over stuff and he just kept bringing. He brought beef & pork ribs, t-bone steaks, bushes baked beans, corn on cob, stuff to make a salad, tortito's (he doesn't eat bread) strawberries, cake & whip cream. Oh yeah and a watermelon! All i had to do was furnish the potato salad.

What Steve failed to tell me was I was to cook it all! He did furnish the grill. He has a road trip Coleman grill and it's great. He purchased it 2 years ago and had never used it!! Gabe brought it to our camper and Gabe got the grills going. We put the corn on our brand new wal-mart girll ... 20 bucks ... hehe Hey the last one lasted me over a year and we used it all the time. Yes, i'm cheap. I put the salad together, put the beans in the crock pot and let them cook.

Since its was just us we decided to cook the steaks Sunday. We had tons of food as it was. The ribs were wonderful, Gabe is a excellent griller. mmmm Thanks Gabe & Steve!! It was a great meal and afterwards we sat around and visited and listened more about his life. We could listen to Steve for hours and never tire. During our cook out we got a nice shower, but we all just sat under our awning and watched it rain. Although the rain was well received as it cooled off the temps. Before that we were all sweating bullets. ( Sorry no pic's on Sat, i forgot)

On Sunday afternoon Gabe grilled steaks and we put baked tators and left over corn on our grill and we cooked out again. We had left overs as well. Once again Gabe out done himself, the T-bone was the best i've had and heck i used to be a grill cook myself. Hmmm i think he did learn something from his mother ... hehe

I gave Steve a tour of my home and he was surprised the room I have inside. He said it doesn't look that big on the outside and he was amazed with the storage i have. He said i had a house in here ... LOL Of course I agreed with him.

We got a nice rain shower again and it cooled things down nicely. It was a perfect evening for a cook out and visiting. Around 7 pm Steve headed home and we retired inside.

The dogs were even enjoying the cook out and the cooler temps. I can handle hot days, when the nights cool down. It seems we get rain almost daily, but it doesn't last long and it seems to bring in the cooler temps for the evening. Around 9.30 after the second rain came through, it had a bit more wind to it. I ran to Wal-mart to exchange the watch i bought. I had taken it back once and they replaced the battery and it stopped working again, so this time i got a different type.

That was my weekend of having too much fun ... hope you all had a great weekend ....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dolly has hit!

I have been getting up around 5.15 am every morning with the dogs ... Ughhhh Then i usually go back to bed for a few hours. Well today it's catching up with me. I don't normal go to bed until around 11 pm or later. I did my morning routine of straightening up and doing last nights dinner dishes. Then I then played on the computer most of the morning. I didn't get dressed until almost noon!

Dolly has hit Texas! We had a nice rain shower that came in from Dolly. Luckily we didn't get any bad wind. After the rain, the humidity returned and it's hot & humid.

I baked a choc cake and made chicken stir fry for dinner. I also finally remembered to take some pictures of where we are.

I did some job searching online for Gabe and then took the dogs on their nightly walk. Afterwards i enjoyed the nice evening outside. I sat outside for a couple hours, just relaxing and reading a good book. Around 9 pm the skitter spray truck went by so it was a perfect night outside. No bugs in site and esp no bugs biting!!

I took some night time shots with my camera. I hadn't really played with night time shots with it. I thought they took pretty good. These 2 show how nice of a spot we have. See both vehicles and Ms.Southwind fit nicely and the tow dolly is tucked behind Ms.Southwind.

See how much rain we got from Dolly? At 10 pm we still had a nice size water puddle.

Here is Ms. Southwind enjoying a nice night.

This picture is the street in front of Ms. Southwind.

This picture is of the street behind
Ms. Southwind.

Here is Steve's place behind us.
Hope you all are having as great of evening as we are ....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

laundry day

I got up and did my morning routine and then i got the laundry together. It was running over. I hadn't done laundry in a week!

I loaded up the car and headed to the laundry mat. There is a laundry room here, but 2 washers were in use and 2 were broken so that left 1 washer free and i didn't want to be all day doing laundry.

Notice anything different about Ms.Southwind? Yep, no more permanent number on her wind shield. I removed it the day before I left Florida. Ms. Southwind doesn't like to be permanent, the gypsy in her loves to know she is free to go when her motor is started.

I have also found that I don't like to be rooted down. This full-time life style has been wonderful for me. I've always known there was gypsy in me. I have always loved to travel and see new things. Even when i was a little girl I've dreamed of traveling and seeing the country. I was born and raised in the same small town. But something inside of me always knew some day i would leave that town and never look back. Even after getting married and moving to a rural area. I raised my children, but the desire to leave it all behind someday had always been there. I blame it on my father's side of the family. Just too much of his blood in me. Up rooting and seeing and doing new things are just in the blood. My father has been to many states and until he got to where he couldn't work like he used to. Then he decided it was time to return to his family and get to know daughters & grand kids he never really knew. He says still today he desires new places and faces.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ms. Southwind's Camp Site

I got up and cleaned. The dishes needed done from yesterday, the inside looked like a hurricane went through it. I defrosted the freezer and then i made a cherry cheese cake. I also fixed dinner.

I did manage to take a few pictures of Ms. Southwind parked in her camp site for you all to see.
From what I've learned this campground was basically built and before Katrina it was used by lots of snowbirds. Then Katrina hit and was used as Fema park for Katrina victims. Once most of them moved out, it was then setup to accommodate the construction workers who come into the area. It's a nice looking campground. I am on one of the larger sites. I like a larger site and not one where someone was right on top of me. LOL So I made sure to get a nice lot.

There is full hookups, free wifi, although it's limited on the usage, and basic cable and trust me it's very basic!! But hey you can't complain when the price is right! One thing i do find that is so handy is living down the street from Wal-mart. The park is close to all shopping and other attractions.
Well until later ... ya all have a good day ....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Interesting Chat!

Today was spent as a day of relaxation ... Meaning I hardly did anything. I did go grocery shopping earlier and that's about it. It's so hot and humid outside you can't stand to go out. It was a day of just staying inside in the AC and watching the tube.

Later in the the early evening I took a walk and found a lady sitting outside in her swing. She invited me to swing and chat with her. Her name is Elaine.

Around 7 pm I was sitting outside and my neighbor Steve came & invited me to sit outside with him. I took my lawn chair and chatted with Steve. Steve is parked 2 sites behind me, but the space between us is open.

He is very interesting to chat with. He came from the Ukraine in the 40's. He is about 78 yrs old give or take, no one would believe he is much past 60! He was telling me how he goes dancing every friday night. He even showed me how he just glides on his feet. For a man of his age, he sure can dance!

He came to New York and then joined the service in the USA. He spent 20 yrs in the service and then has traveled around the US. He is now retired and works part-time in the campground. I could have sat and listened to his stories all night. We said our good nights and retired to our own homes.

have a good one and until next time .....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Too hot for anything!

I slept in a bit and finally around 11 am decided to go look around. Well it's so hotttttt that decided it could wait until a cooler day. I did stop and get a snow cone and it was so good. I got blue cotton candy. The snow cone was 3 buck, but it's a huge cups. I'd say about 24 oz cup. They were so huge, I couldn't eat all of it and had to eat the rest later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Moving Day again!

I got up early and got Ms. Southwind ready to roll. Heading to a new location. I wanted to get on the road early but as usual it didn't happen again. For some reason it's hard to get up and get moving. Gabe had to enjoy the great outdoors a bit more before being ready to leave. So we weren't on the road until around 9 ish.

As we were leaving the National Forest, Gabe radio that the truck wasn't towing straight. Oooops something is wrong. Ms.Southwind stops and I get out and i ask him if he remembered to bungie cord the steering wheel. Ooops .. he didn't!! So he bungie cords the steering wheel and all is fine. We empty the tanks and head out on the highway. Wow traffic is terrible today.

Finally arrive around 2 pm and it's hottttttttt! It's time to get the outside stuff hooked up and then i work on the inside. First thing was getting the air going!!

Then i walk down to the camp host and get the wifi information and make sure i'm on the correct spot. I am! I ask if we can park Gabe's truck on the gravel spot in front of site and was told as long as it's on the gravel and not in grass. Orginally i was told his truck would have to be parked in the over flow area.

Well it's been a long day and i'm ready to call it a night ... hope your all having a good one

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another day in the National Forest

I got up & took a walk, visited with a nice local couple here. After visiting i came back and sat outside. it was so nice i even took a little nap in my lawn chair.

After my lil nap, i went inside and decided I better run the vacuum and did the dishes and straightened up the camper. I forgot how much grass gets tracked in here. Then i sat outside again for a bit. Then I came inside and played on the computer for a bit.

Around 3 pm i decided to sit outside a bit and watched the clouds move in and then came the rain.

Did it ever rain. I was beginning to think it was never going to stop! Here are some pictures i snapped after the rain.

The dogs enjoyed it after it rained. It cooled down nicely and we sat outside until the skitters started biting.

Another great day in the full-time lifestyle ... Hope you all are having a great day also!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

National Forest

Got up early and got around. Then I went to look over the local campgrounds.

Then drove along Hwy 90 along the Gulf. Gabe hadn't seen it and we were amazed how much work they've done since Dec 07.

Got back and spent the evening sitting outside and enjoying my nice huge camp site!!
There is room for Ms. Southwind plus both the tow vehicles!!

....... The dogs are so enjoying having grass to play in again. The last 4 months they've only know gravel or paved roads. They are also able to run off their leashes to roam and run.

I snapped this picture of Gabe relaxing and enjoying the full - time lifestyle. I think he is slowly becoming addicted and realizes why i love my new life style.

I am so enjoying the peace and quiet here. No sirens, no traffic, no amusement park noises. Just the sound of nature. It was great to sleep during the night and wake up and see that it was still dark or daylight. In the city the park was so lite up that you couldn't tell.
It's great to be out in nature again!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On the road & trouble with Ms. Southwind!

I got up around 5 am and slowly got things around. yes, i know but I wanted to be gone by day break .. but as usual that didn't happen.

Finally around 6.30 am, Ms. Southwind was all hooked up and rolling out. About 10 mins on the road she started having problems. Ughhhh Struggled getting through PCB and onto Hwy 79. Backing up traffic for the morning rush hour. Just kept thinking it was just because the engine was still cool and I usually let the motor run while hooking up the tow and this am didn't do that, thinking maybe that was some of the past problem with Ms. Southwind.

With fighting the motor home, A turn was missed, luckily I spotted a nice large parking lot. Thinking Ms. Southwind is still fighting water in the tank problem from a previous trip. So get out the 3 bottles of heat and dump down the tank. It's a tight turn out of the parking lot, finally back on the road Ms. Southwind goes. Now back on track. heading down hwy 20.

Finding the right turn this time, off Hwy 20 and onto Hwy 331. There are hills and Ms. Southwind is getting worse! Ms. Southwind is sputtering, sluggish and back firing like crazy. Barely any power and all the faster she can go is 35. Approaching I-10 which is what is planned to take. Knowing there is no way Ms. Southwind can get on the interstate running like this. Nothing else can be done, except to pass the interstate exit and find a gas station that has a big enough parking lot for her to fit into and still get out of without unhooking the tow.
Finally, barely lugging along, I spot a gas station that circles around the store. Pulling in the back and making sure that traffic can get past Ms. Southwind. The job of un hooking the gas cans and buying fresh gas. Since a new fuel filter was installed in Florida on the engine, the dog house lid is taken off and the fuel filter there is checked to make sure it's not leaking and causing the problem. It appears to not be leaking, everything is put back and it appears all is go and it's time get on the Interstate and give it a try. Ms. Southwind starts out and appears to be running great. She gets up to 60 and on her way and then the gas pedel has to be to let up, as a lady coming onto the ramp. Instead of her getting her butt in gear and going, she only goes as fast as i could crawl onto the exit and instead of going ahead of her, Ms. Southwind is polite and lets her in.

Well big mistake ... because there goes Ms. Southwind sputtering, backing firing and crawling along the interstate! Nothing could be done, but to stay on the interstate and ride with the flashers, since Gabe is following along behind in the car , i radio for him to turn the car flashers on as well. Gabe helps to be like a blocker for Ms. Southwind. Finally a rest area sign and i radio to take the rest area exit. Ms. Southwind crawls her way into the rest area just past Milton FL, and i call my road side service assistance and they give me some names of places to go to for service.

I call and none of them can come out or even get Ms. Southwind in today! I call the road side again and the man ask if we can baby along and if it gets to where we can't drive at all they can then get me someone to toll Ms. Southwind. It's agreed to try this and so is the decision to change the fuel filter on the gas tank just to make sure it's not clogged. It has worked in the past.
Ms. Southwind heads out again, crossing the bay near Pensacola, FL.
Fortunately Ms. Southwind was able to get up to 45-50 mph without any coughing episodes.

Ms. Southwind gets through Pensacola and all is good and behold, here we go again. Ugghhh it's getting frustrating and by now the tempature is rising and because of all the problems I'm riding with out air! Afraid Ms. Southwind will start over heating as the engine is not running good and she is barely able to get down the road. Once again I try calling some local shops and no luck. Okay, it's time to pull into a Lowe's and check something else. Everything I know of is checked and even buying premium gas thinking that will help it. Let's try this again .. Ms. Southwind heads back on the road.

Here is a Bass Pro Shop that was being built. Then about 10 miles before getting to Mobile AL, Ms. Southwind starts having problems again. It's decided to just see if speed can be built up and make it through.

Here we are going across the bay in Mobile AL.

Here we are going through the tunnel. Ms. Southwind ran prety decent going through the tunnel.

We get a bit farther down the road and just pass up a rest area but Ms. southwind is running fine so far. Behold, no longer get past the exit and there she goes again. By now the dogs are so over heated, I'm hot and sweating and my stress level is beyond out of control. Turning off at the next available exit, a Wal-mart is spotted and Ms. Southwind is parked behind the store out of the way. The tank line is checked. It's time to climb under the front to see if anything can be seen. The problem may have been found!! A string is hanging down that is attached to a hose. It appears that a clamp used to be here and instead of replacing the clamp a string was used and from all the bouncing down the road the hose was barely connected. Ms. Southwind was not getting enough fuel to supply her motor. Hence causing the sputtering, sluggish and back fire. I knew it seemed to be some type of fuel problem and the repair shops i spoke to kept saying the same thing. The hose was secured back, the string used to tie the hose back in place.

I'm shocked that Ms. Southwind could even make it through Florida let alone the tunnel in Mobile, Al, fighting this problem. The rest of the trip Ms. Southwind was able to travel along at 60-65, at times she wanted to run 70 or faster. Ms. Southwind rode like a dream the rest of the trip. I believe Ms. Southwind is over being sick!!!! ... Yeppie

Here we are crossing the Mississippi line ... Yessssssssss

I was beginning to think Ms. Southwind and the team was going to be stuck some where in Alabama and wouldn't see Mississippi today.

Finally Ms. Southwind arrives, get set up and the dogs and myself are very hot, grouchy and exhausted!

I rested a while and then cooked supper and sat outside and enjoyed the sounds of mother nature. Awww no city noise and the sounds of nature. It's so good to be back in the country evironment.

A 7 1/2 hr day turned into a 9 1/2 hour drive!

well I'm exhausted and gonna head to bed .. night all