Showing posts with label snow bird life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow bird life. Show all posts

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Not the same today

Blooms at FL Grande RV in Webster
When I created this blog way back then, to report on our retirement travels and stay in touch with family and friends, I never thought it would become passe so soon. Technology and social media have certainly changed my intentions and techniques as life too has, leaving huge gaps in  our family with the so few remaining.  It is an entirely other story about friends coming and going along the way, some as family dying and leaving us behind and others reconnecting after years, or coming and going fulfilling that old poem about people in our life for a reason or a season. As I have written before one changes with the times or is left behind in the dust, aging, old school and out of touch. Today, I find it so much easier with smart phone to post directly to Facebook where most of my friends hang out where in an instant no matter where we are in the world or country, we share thoughts, photos and commentary whether on travels or around home. I have neglected this blog evidenced by lack of postings on our current snowbird adventure that started December 2014, although I post to Facebook daily sometimes  multiple times a day. Where I once fancied sitting and writing here, it hasn't happened, technology has changed my intentions.  Multiple times I have thought, oh I need to blog this, but then by the time we return to our 2nd home on wheels, this motor coach, I have lost interest in getting online on the laptop and sometimes we just do not have internet access unlike our smart phones and tablet which are hotspots themselves. So it goes and so the photos do not show up here.  I could try directly posting from smartphone or tablet, but that is cumbersome.


One of the lakes here at Indian Forest RV
St Augustine, FL
Avoiding winter at our  home where it has not been nearly as vicious as in New England, we have only put 2113 miles on the coach this trip, because we have stayed put weeks at a time in spots  and explored areas. The entire country must be here in Florida this year because often RV Resorts are booked solid.  How different from  two years ago when FL was begging for travelers.  One cannot convince me that the economy is bad when I daily see the likes of us travelers here and the money we are spending which is why they welcome snowbirds, the revenue restores their economy.   

Although I am ready to go home, because I do miss my house and routine, we will remain south and await a decent break in the weather on the road home. We are currently in St. Augustine, FL watching the weather through the mid of the country and  trying to figure how long this endless winter can continue while rejoicing we are not in Boston, New England or the other polar northern regions. I have enjoyed the sunshine and even the cooler days or nights at the 40 degrees remind me that could be lots worse, could be in the frigid part of the country.   We have seen much and likely found an area in central east coast  FL for future winters that is unless next year we choose to go over to Texas where we have yet to venture snow birding.  We shall see.  One of the RV resorts cautioned me to book no later than August to assure a spot next year, similar to other traveling where one has to book a year in advance.  

For the next several days we will explore all the activities and sights of St. Augustine.  One big disappointment has been the lack of visibility and access to FL beaches on the east Atlantic coast where hotels, condos and the like occupy the space and block views, giving the impression that photo's FL beaches are a myth.  


Jerry at entrance Kennedy
Space Center
One of our favorite places has been the Kennedy Space Center where we spent two days and absorbed ourselves in the engineering and science of the skies. It is where we wondered if this country will again have leaders who seek to inspire us to achieve ala JFK.  Such a contrast from then to today when achievement is ridiculed, when striving is looked down upon, denigrated, labeled "not fair."  No that is the current excuse for leaders, not for me.  I am thankful I grew up in when achievement was the goal, when it was very different. 

Missile garden at Kennedy
My very favorite exhibit at Kennedy is the Atlantis shuttle, the story of its 12 year development, a hearkening to aspiring. Her amazing inflammable tiles resemble an old tarapunto quilt.   The NASA legacy includes the motto, "Failure is not an Option."  Hopefully that 1958 motto resonates today with  some and we can restore that sense of looking ahead instead of settling and just getting by.  Kennedy attracts international tourists; we heard so many different languages while there. 
Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blog vacation too


 
Do you know what this is?
Consumed by vacationing I have had no time to blog, however we are now in AL and with only 8 other motor homes in this  new  Magnolia Farms RV park, just opened in December.  We left Bay Hide Away RV,  MS and all the compatible snowbirds and activities and conversation.  Here I feel like a hermit and so Jerry has to get his ears re- tuned to my babblings. 

One of the things I discovered this trip at Bay Hide Away on my walks is the photo at the left.  All along on  what will become lawn space in spring these mounds abound.  Right now the area is swampy from the rains.
Some   of these mounds appear in village like clusters. 

At the Slidell, LA Mardi Gras and Confederate Museum we learned from the tour guide, that early settlers to the area sliced from these mounds, baked them and used the baked clay donuts to make some of the first stove burners. 

Our museum tour guide who is involved in Civil War re-enactments said that he knew there were tunnels connecting these clusters of clay condos and as a boy  would ignite one, close off the top and then see the smoke arise from other mounds that were connected by the tunnels.  Maybe you are familiar with these,  I was not.  They are craw dad homes. Curiosity encouraged me to poke one to investigate but first I asked lest these be some type of wasp nest and I would regret their ire. 

This one  was abandoned, closed over
 


The Slidell Museum was a fascinating small place and  three of us enjoyed a historic personally  guided tour where I held a musket for the first time.  Whew those are heavy so the early soldiers and settlers who were not so big as folks today had amazing strength to use those arms and while riding a horse besides.  The old two cell jail is inside and from the likes of the stone walls and heavy  metal doors no prisoner was going anywhere, there was never an escape.  Although the guide told us that the sheriff was puzzled how one prisoner would be found  drunk every morning.  It seems friends of the incarcerated smuggled moonshine to him late at night and shared it through the cell window bars.  He would drink his fill and pass the container back. through the bars.  Many amusing stories like that.  Unlike bigger museums, the artifacts are all our where visitors can touch them, even the dresses, uniforms and all fabrics.  I asked if they were not concerned about wear and better preservation but so far no, although the guide noticed some of the clay balls missing from the fire pit over which there was a grate.  It is all to easy for unescorted visitors to help themselves.  It was a couple hours very well spent. 
Slidell Museum 

Have had some fun antiquing and flea market browsing and picked up a few trinkets here and there, which I will share later after we  return home and I have time.  Hah! 
This is  Magnolia Iron  antiques in Menge , LA where one cannot move comfortably sideways let alone forward inside amidst all the stuff.  Apparently the owner is more interested in collections than having accessible pathways for potential buyers.  Although we  talked and she  was concerned  about the lack of sales.  As we were leaving a young family was entering,  I do not think this is a good place for curious active children. 
 
We are now in AL between Foley and Fairhope at a new Magnolia Farms RV park, opened in December next door to one of those so called RV resorts which sells lots to snowbirds and which is in bankruptcy currently.  Only 8  RV'ers here.so it does not have the conversations as we had in Bay St. Louis, Bay Hide Away RV.  By staying there a month, we have only driven the coach 1323 miles and spent $725 for 189 gallons of diesel since leaving home.  We have been using the HHR of course for local driving  and so far although watching regular prices of gas escalate $.60 cents per gallon over the last month, we have spent only $ 160 for 60 gallons.  Jerry would like to go over to Daytona, FL where our new WI friends will be for the Daytona 500.  But not for me, not this trip, another time. 
 


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Oyster Festival and Car show at Pass Christian

Pass Christian, MS  harbor
The Pass Chistian harbor is ashore from the largest oyster reef in the continental US, so they know oysters.  This is only the 3rd year they have hosted the festival which had a gathering for all foods, locally made by  numerous vendors, a very loud band from New Orleans on a huge center stage and a massive carnival for children.  I found nothing at the vendor booths to purchase, although I did consider the 18 inch  trees made from cleansed and shined oyster shells.  The only reason we did not eat, the jambalaya would have been our choice, was it was midday and we were not hungry.  We have  been adhering to our one main meal a day mantra lately, all of those are too filling wherever we eat, true to the south, too generous portions of delicious foods.  Parking was free and plentiful although it appeared they had a big turnout.  We enjoyed it for a couple hours before departing. Talked to a local shrimper who said that while the heyday prior to the BP oil spill was gone, the industry and tourists are returning and life will resume with the strong surviving. 


The two men seated in their boat are overlooking the festival
The name of their boat is "Still Crazy after all these years"
 
Besides all the boats, there was an old car show which attracted Jerry, especially the Avanti (sp?) which he says are extremely rare and that he'd not seen one in many years.  He hung around it for a long time trying to find the owner to talk to to determine if it was original as it appeared or a custom knock off.  He had no luck, which was likely just as good, lest he get more idea$$$$$$$. Here he goes....amidst the engines which he particularly enjoys viewing. 

Jerry between two open hoods


The rare Avanti
As we were walking to the harbor all the old cars were driving in, so we watched the full parade.  Then they parked and hung around, some  owners like the Avanti's were not nearby but others set up chairs alongside their baby.  All the cars were immaculate and shined to perfection.  Lots of time and energy are poured into this hobby, no matter where in the country the owners live.
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I have had little time amidst our snowbirding activities  here along the balmy gulf to post on the blog, but have had Facebook comments.  Easy to place photos direct from phone to FB  but not  able to do so from phone to the blog.  However, trust me, this is a great locale to outwait winter which appears to be in unusual icey uproar.  We may head over to the Florida tip or Alabama next,  having observed weather and  that  there are storms and other bad weather fronts descending across Texas.