Tuesday, July 6, 2010


CONSTERNATION - What I felt last night when it was time to place the final picture in this blog and my entire blog disappeared.  I don't have a clue what happened, but I had everything arranged "just right".  We are in the mountains of North Carolina and I only have a cell signal in the wee hours of the morning when I hold my mouth right, and maybe you know how satellite signals can just disappear and re-appear out of nowhere - could that have happened?  I am not able to use my Verizon air card, but we are fortunate that Apple Valley has a WiFi they allow us to use while we are visiting.  And when I thought I was saving my work, it had gone away, like "buh, bye?!"   I felt like crying when I realized everything had gone to alphabet heaven; however, RV had already gone to bed and there was no sense in a first class pity party.

We're going to continue this blog as if we're on the way back to Green Cove Springs, FL,  for our oldest daughter's (Kristen) 40th surprise birthday party, because after the last entry we traveled a few days back to Florida before the actual party.  A highlight on our way back turned out to be in Ozark, Alabama, home of Ft. Rucker Army Base, as well as the Ft. Rucker Army Aviation Museum.  This is the primary training facility for Army helicopter pilots.  The designers of the aviation museum did a fantastic job recognizing the role of the United States Army in our country's aviation history.  This museum is a must-see for anyone traveling through the area.  Little did we know so much history was on display, and it was extremely interesting.  Several photos are posted.

We enjoyed staying in the Ozark Travel Park in Ozark, AL, and were surprised to see so many families in  motorhomes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels who were in some way connected to Ft. Rucker.  There was  an area of the park away from the "travelers" where it appeared as if retirees were living.  Their sites were neat, orderly  and were adorned with an assortment of patriotic flags.  In the past we have enjoyed being in areas where military families camp because they are usually very friendly and considerate.   This was definitely a campground we would visit again.

We traveled 294 miles to hot and steamy St. Augustine, FL, at the Stagecoach Campground, where we would be have a few days to help with advance party preparations, retrieve our mail, hair appointments, doctor's appointments, and visit our favorite shrimp restaurant, O'Steens, in St. Augustine.  The party was a huge success....Kristen was surprised to the bone, of course the party was 3 weeks before her actual birthday.   DUH!  While we were in Green Cove Springs we enjoyed going to Kiley and Kenzie's first dance recital on Saturday afternoon.  After we got home, and the girls had taken off their ballet costumes  Khloe (2 years old) went into the bedroom and quietly put on the entire outfit by herself - shoes, tiara and gloves ...oh, and a big handbag (just like her mom and I), and paraded around the house.  In just a few short weeks they seemed to have grown so much...think we had about 20 tea parties that week!

Our grandson, Kenneth, 11, was in a baseball tournament in Ft. White, Florida, and we had an opportunity to go over one extremely hot day to see him play.  We felt so sorry for those little fellows on the ball field.   It just so happens that Kiley was in a fashion show in Jacksonville at the same time Kenneth was playing a ball game.    The fashion show was enjoyable and gave us an opportunity to enjoy lunch afterward.  We love to go visit, but we are exhausted when we leave.  They lead such an active lifestyle with 4 children.  We enjoy visiting and have a 50 amp hookup for the coach if we choose to stay in the coach; however, there is a nicely appointed garage apartment with a kitchen and private bath.  No matter where we choose to stay, we usually have a few little guests.  Also, they know we have lots of snacks like yogurt, apples and occasionally bags of M&M's.

It is very sad when we leave our family so we try to leave when no one is around so Kristen and I don't make a big scene.  We're now on our way to the cool and scenic mountains of North Carolina.  I say we're chasing 70 degrees!  We stopped for a few days in Franklin, NC, and visited with my sister who has been renovating her home for almost 2 years.  It is beautiful and is located on the Cullasaja River, on Highlands Road, (US 64). We didn't notice any traffic noise because all you hear are the rapids of the river outside the back door.  The house, a 2 story log home, has a real waterwheel, 2 huge trees growing through the decks of both porches, and all you want to do is sit back and enjoy all that nature has to offer.  The second story is a beautiful and separate furnished 2 bedroom apartment, also with a large porch overlooking the scenic Cullasaja River - imagine yourself tubing down the river or trout fishing off the deck of the porch.  RV stayed at The Great Outdoors in Franklin, NC, with the coach each night allowing my sister and I to enjoy several nights of marathon talking.  We even made homemade applesauce out of mountain apples!  We brought her over to spend the night with us in Lake Lure, NC. The following day we drove her back to Franklin, NC and enjoyed traveling through several small towns on our return trip.  You see so many unusual things in the mountains and I'm going to post a couple of our favorite pictures:

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