Thursday, October 20, 2011

2011 FALL TIFFIN RV NETWORK RALLY - Pine Mountain, GA

Saturday, October 8, we departed Topsail Hill State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, and drove to Pine Mountain, GA (Callaway Gardens), for the Tiffin RV Network (TRVN) Rally.  The TRVN is a network of almost 9,000 Tiffin RV owners or some other brand owners (SOBs) wanting to learn more about Tiffin coaches, or contemplating buying a new or a used coach.   We became familiar with the TRVN several years ago when we were seriously thinking about the RV lifestyle. This rally consisted of approximately 65 coaches from all over the country.  There were opportunities to have modifications made to your coach, make arrangements to have your coach (or tow car) digitially weighed, share experiences with other Tiffin owners, and relax, kick back, and definitely enjoy the scenic beauty this area has to offer.  (Our latest modification is an LED light show installed in the undercarriage of the coach...can't wait to show you)!  On Saturday night our comaraderie and fellowship continued beyond the scheduled rally and we enjoyed a delicious smoked pork barbeque and fireside chat led by one of the originators of the Forum.  The itinerary of the rally was casual, easy to follow, and allowed  plenty of time to enjoy the surrounding area.



 We visited  The Little White House in Warm Springs, GA, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first came to this area in 1924, hoping to find a cure for the infantile paralysis (polio) that had struck him in 1921.  The State Historic Site and Museum, close to the house, showcases many exhibits including FDR's Ford convertible with hand controls, his Fireside Chats playing over a 1930s radio, as well as his portrait referred to as the "Unfinished Portrait" being painted when he suffered a fatal stroke and died on April 12, 1945.  FDR was the only U.S. President elected four times, and the leader who guided our country out of the Great Depression and through World War II.  However, you don't see a whole lot in history books regarding his living legacy in Warm Springs.   If you travel to this location there will be no doubt the community will never forget his astounding contributions to this part of the country.


Today, the Roosevelt Warm Springs Insitutute for Rehabilitation is one of only eight state-managed rehabilitation centers in the country.  New medical programs have emerged as a result of the early research for the treatment of brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, amputations and other neurological or orthopedic conditions.  FDR's impact on the State of Georgia immense.  The FDR State Park is over 9,049 acres, Georgia's largest State Park, which is a hiker's haven.

We went to The Bulloch House in Warm Springs, GA, for a delicious lunch buffet featuring all types of Southern cuisine such as fried chicken, fried chicken livers, fried green tomatoes and fried apples (the banana puddin' was to die for)!   The Bulloch House is over 100 years old and is well known for the Southern dining experience.  We found it to be delicious, very reasonably priced, and enjoyed having a great afternoon with our friends, Allen and Diane Strunk from Augusta, Georgia.  There were many opportunities to shop in the downtown Warm Springs area, and The Strunk's introduced us to the National Fish Hatchery closeby.




We enjoyed shopping in the quaint shops of downtown Pine Mountain and were pleasantly surprised at the quality, selection and uniqueness of each of the shops on Main Street.  All in all, there are almost 22 different shops, or something for everyone.  As a matter of fact, there aren't too many weekends this area doesn't offer something for everyone through organized local art and craft shows or historical celebrations.  

It was hard to say goodby to everyone at the TRVN Rally, but we are returning to one of our favorite campgrounds, Topsail Hill, in Santa Rosa Beach.  The weather is gorgeous, and we'd like one more peek at the beautiful emerald waters at the beaches in the Gulf  before heading east.  We'll soon be on our way to the Jacksonville, FL area to visit our grandchildren for Halloween!  Here are a few of the creative Halloween decorations on the coaches at the TRVN Rally in Pine Mountain.




Upon returning to Topsail, it was a pleasure to spend a good part of Wednesday, October 19, with our friends, Herb and Barb Daniels, (also Tiffin owners), at the beautiful Famcamp Campground in Eglin Air Force Base in Valparaiso, FL.  Herb served over 20 years in the USAF, but also worked over 18 years for the DOD (over 38 years of federal service), before retiring.  Herb and Barb are awesome hosts and showed  us a small part of Eglin AFB, (one of the largest Air Force bases with more than 724 miles of land ranges and more than 86,500 miles of water ranges in the Gulf of Mexico).  Eglin definitely fits the description of a "city within a city", and we enjoyed our visit as well as the interesting tour of the facility.   
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