Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 16-24th FL, AL, LA & TX

Oh we're having so much fun.  We've seen so many old and new friends I'm almost dizzy.  Many new experiences and just rich days.  I'll just put a few notes by photos.  I can write too much detail that people don't care I'll try to be brief.

3/16/15 left Boise for Gainesville.  Robert spent the night with us and then arrived in Boise two, yes two days later.  He was an animal driver.

Gainesville, FL 3/17/14
Bye Robert, drive safe

Mayo, FL - city park, beautiful oaks
3/17/15 - our 43rd anniversary of meeting

Tallahassee, FL, the old state capitol, now a museum

Tiffany, our new friend.  She accepted our CS request.
Great gal, new long time friend.

3/18/15 - Dothan, Al
Botanical garden and you can tell it is Spring

No cell, no GPS here.  We're in backwoods
Alabama.  Brewton at Rene's house.  She's 
a great lady, a painter by trade.  We had a
nice camp fire.  No CC&Rs here.

Rene's cute little house.  Rent $250/month

Brewton, AL has some very beautiful historical homes.

Brewton Bank - amazing artwork*

The architecture on this old bank building in Brewton, Alabama is stunning. Known today as being the oldest bank in the state of Alabama, it was established in 1889 by a Civil War veteran and was the only bank between Montgomery and Mobile at the time.

 Downtown Brewton
Refurbishing mural

Founded 1886, Universalist Church, currently the Cornerstone 
Community Church.  A real work of art.

Moving along

Lake Charles, L'Auberge Casino.  Met our friend Melinda for crab buffet feast.  We met in Galveston in 4/2011 through CS.

Southern King Crab - huge and tasty.  First time I had this type of crab.  I ate my share, well, more than my share.  I also had my first frog leg here.  It tasted like chicken (surprise, huh).

Melinda with us

Headed to TX in all day rain

Lorraine's house in Spring, Tx  She made us a great pork roast dinner.
We met her on a cruise 4/11

Sunday church with Lorraine 3/22/15.
Church is "Church Project" and I loved it.

Interesting tour - in Huntsville, TX - 3/22/15

Went to a fancy mall, The Woodlands, that had a boat ride!!!
Dinner at Cheesecake Factory was so good

John drove us down to Galveston Island,
took a free ferry ride, yes free.  4/23/15

Birds looking for handouts - just gliding with ferry

Down by sea wall, tides just wash up huge amounts of trash

Bolivar Point Lighthouse

Had a nice lunch here.  Good view of harbor and Pleasure Pier in background.
Built in 1940, ruined by Hurricane Carla, and again by Ike.
Refurbished once again in 2012.

Ride home took over 2 hours (74 miles) and this was on a Monday.  Houston
has a nice skyline

3/24/15 City Hall in the City of Elgin (pronounced L-gun).

Town's history is interesting.  We visited the museum in their train depot.  City is the sausage capitol of Texas (we bought some delicious sausage).  They have been making bricks there since the being founded in 1872,  and it is also the brick capitol of the southwest. 

With our side trips we finally arrived in Austin in the late afternoon.  We're staying at an AirBnb home we rented for 4 days, so we can rest up a little before we journey on.  We'll see what adventures we find here so tune in to my next blog.

One of my traveling friends wrote that he was just back home.  If you think we travel, here is his trip: 117 days RTW trip, after 33 flights, 71+ hotels, 10.000+ car rental kilometers.....  I don't think I could go like he does.

*not my photograph.  I couldn't get a good one of the entire front.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 2015, Packing Up

March has been pretty cool in FL and I've worn long pants on many days.  Busy getting ready to head out.  Change of address for what seems like 200 places, DMV trip, several maintenance doctor appts, getting our ducks in a row.

First fun day was our FUNSTER picnic on March 7th.  We had a great turn out on a pretty cool day.  Lots of great food and tons of talking.  Such a wonderful group of people, no drama and just good times.
24 FUNSTERS and 3 dogs

We had burgers, sausages, chicken & even Boca
3 cooks took turns to get it all cooked

Thank you Wendy for bringing the sun.  She did
show up with this and it cracked me up.

Second week pretty slow.  Took a drive to Hudson, FL to Sam's Beach Bar just to check out the area.  Had a drink and lunch.  Attacked by "no seeums" tiny biting bugs that just are so irritating.  Nothing here to write home about, but now we know.  Stopped in Tarpon Springs to buy a beach cover to replace the one I lost some where.

FUNSTER Meet Up at Safety Harbor for coffee and visiting.  We had such a lovely morning.  I will miss the group, but it should keep going fine as I've got activity organizers for the first time and they will come up with some fun things to do.  Thanks guys.

Three different doctors appts. for the two of us this week, like getting a tune up before taking the trip.  Make sure all systems are go.

Rented a big truck to get our things to storage.  Only big things we have is a queen bed, dining table with 6 chairs and our patio table with 4 chairs and our boxes.  Our other bed, couch, coffee table, small dining table, end table, 2 lamps, bedside table were all rented.  Nice furniture and with Robert being a student we got the "student package" and rental was only about $120 a month, a real deal.  Austin, our past teenager neighbor, came and helped us move.

Friday, met with Deb and Larry at Myakka State Park for a picnic.  Breathtaking park with tons of activities.  Bike ride, hike canopy, kayak, boat or tram ride.  We will have to return several times.

We saw several alligators in the river.  No kayaking for me.

Saturday night we were invited to our ex-neighbors house they bought.  We had a BBQ and great visit with some pretty delicious tropical drinks.  They were our first friends in Clearwater.

Sunday, packing and another trip to storage.  I'm so tired of packing, but it is done now with the exception of one backseat full of the very last minute stuff to put in storage as we head out of town.  I wanted to go to Marker 8 to have a final sunset but we pulled in and there were so many people (Spring Break) that we left.  I don't like loud places where you can't talk.  We drove down the road and found a little park we'd never been to.  There was a pier and we walked out there and visit with people fishing.  We could hear the loudness from Marker 8 down here.  We made the right decision. Fun last evening.

 Cute little fisherman who caught a pin fish

Smart guy who used chair bags to carry
all his fishing poles

Bed early (no TVs) to arise earlier than usual.  Our rented furniture will be picked up between 12-4, and then we're out of here and on the road again:  Gainesville, Tallahassee, Brewton, AL,  Baton Rouge, LA Lake Charles, LA, Spring, TX, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Stockton, Carlsbad, NM, Las Cruces, NM, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, NM, Tucson, Puerto Penasco, Mexico, Phoenix, Bryce NP, UT, Zion NP, UT, Capitol Reef NP, UT, Arches, NP, UT, Salt Lake City, and Boise, ID.

Or, as Johnny Cash would say:  "I've Been Everywhere Man"

So off we go -- let's see what adventures await.