Saturday, September 28, 2013


Hope we've seen the last of those pesky love bugs!  What a nuisance they are.  Below is the answer if you're in a car.  If you're in an RV you've got to clean those huge windshields all by yourself.  Sometimes RV is not a happy camper during love bug season.

We arrived in Green Cove Springs, FL, to visit our daughter, Kristen, son-in-law, Harold, and our beautiful 4 grandchildren.  Kenneth (14), Kiley (10), Kenzie (8) and Khloe (6).  

Our week was both hectic and lots of fun.  We tried to catch up on banking, shopping, visiting with friends and family, and always making plans for the next stop.   

When we arrived it was time for the girls dance lessons so I got to take them and watch them.  It is fun to see them creating their own routines and producing videos of their dances.  Kenneth had a regional baseball tournament over the weekend and they won!  While we were here Kenneth made the varsity fall baseball team at Clay High School - his first varsity sports team tryout!  

I love St. Augustine and when Kristen invited me to go to a Bachelorette Party for one of her friends I was really excited.  We checked into a hotel by the old Castillo de San Marcos and I loved looking out our window at the beautiful riverfront, the Bridge of Lions, and the carriages being pulled by horses.  We partied like rock stars Friday night and were able to walk to most of the restaurants we visited. Our best wishes and blessings to Kelsay and Caleb as they get married Saturday night, September 28.  Our granddaughters, Kiley, Kenzie and Khloe will be junior bridesmaids.

Yes, we are staying in the RV while we visit...not the garage apartment.  While it is the cutest garage apartment and is equipped with everything we might need, we prefer to stay in our home-on-wheels that has our bed, our stuff, and it would require too much effort and energy to move up upstairs.  

The week has passed by at warp speed and we weren't able to do everything and see everybody, but we are getting squared away for the next leg of our trip.  We're on our way over to the panhandle of west Florida.  Let's hope we aren't escorted by a contingent of love bugs.  There's something much larger waiting for us in west Florida - the monarch butterflies are migrating to South America and we'll most likely see thousands of them as we pass over the Appalachicola River Bridge!


Thursday, September 19, 2013


On the road again.  RV and I left Cumming, GA and drove about 150 miles south to Twin Oaks RV Campground in Perry, GA.  We're happy to report that only 2 love bugs ended their short lives on the front of our windshield.  This stroke of luck probably will diminish as we drive toward Florida.

One of the reasons we enjoy staying at Twin Oaks RV Campground that we usually plan our visit around a trip about 15 miles west  to Yoder's Amish Mennonite Restaurant where you may get a delicious  home cooked meal at a reasonable price.  After our meal we will probably purchase several homemade baked goods to enjoy the next couple of days.  RV enjoys their homemade cinnamon rolls.  Riding through the Georgia countryside the farms reveal it is harvest time. Isn't tonight a harvest moon?  The countryside is beautiful and in this part of Georgia there are plowed corn fields, silos, pecan groves, apple orchards, huge cotton and dairy farms.  Road signs of "U Pick or We Pick" crop up along the way.  Finally, we arrive and find out they are closed.  A sign on the door says, "CLOSED ON WEDNESDAYS". Bummer!
Yoder's Deitsch Haus Restaurant and Bakery

Yoder's Restaurant - Montezuma, GA.
Plan B.  We'll drive a little further west to downtown Montezuma, GA. and look for a substitute.  There isn't a Yoder's substitute that we know about, but Montezuma is a quaint and small country town in Georgia and probably has a variety of possibilities.  Before we can implement Plan B we see a sign that directs us to take the route about 22 miles into downtown Perry.  We continue to enjoy more of the Georgia countryside and arrive in Perry to find a restaurant that had a menu of items that suited our hungry appetites.  Just about anything you could think of, including breakfast if we want, and the cutest gift shop.  Only one shortcoming - it wasn't Yoder's.  Oh well, Cracker Barrel will have to do.  Voted #1 restaurant by RVers for the last several years.
Country roads to Perry, GA

Large Amish Mennonite Farm - Georgia

Large Silo on Amish Mennonite Farm - Georgia

Pecan Grove - Georgia

FAST FORWARD:  We would like to amend the first paragraph.  A gazillion love bugs were plastered on our front windshield and front cap of the coach.   Note to self:  Do not travel in South Georgia/Florida during the month of September again.

We will be in Jacksonville (Green Cove Springs) visiting our oldest daughter, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren for a week.  This was a surprise to them and we managed to pull it off quite well on their day off.  Everyone ran out to greet us and all 8 of us were talking at one time.  Although there is a garage apartment we can stay while we are visiting with Kristen and Harold, we opt to stay in our coach, parked in their driveway with a 50 amp hookup.

We are PopPop and YaYa while we are here.  Those are our names chosen for us by our grandchildren - we did not make this up.  I'm getting "YaYa's Taxi" ready to take the 3 girls to ballet, hip hop, jazz lessons this afternoon.

Although we talk frequently on the telephone, it's been about 6 months since we've been able to sit down and hear all about school, activities, and what has happened since we were here the end of March.  Sitting down on the back porch we had a chance to sit back, relax, and enjoy one of my favorite snacks - sweet iced tea and boiled peanuts.

Monday, September 16, 2013

PAPPA- NO MORE- DEAUX (as in $$)

After our blog about the one year anniversary of Lauren's (our daughter) business, Suwanee Spine and Wellness Center, Suwanee, GA, we made preparations to celebrate her birthday on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Birthdays are special in our family - our celebrations usually evolve into "birth-months". Celebrating doesn't have to be a one-day thing.  Rule number two... if there is more than one person's birthday in a month, it's always fun.
One of Dr. Lauren's first birthday parties
 After the Anniversary celebration Lauren's office manager, Lisa, approached us and said "Friday morning we are going to have a small celebration of Dr. Lauren's birthday.  If you can, we'd love for you to be here."  We should have known from past experience with our other chiropractic daughter's (Kristen) office, a birthday isn't something patients take lightly.  At the end of the day, we couldn't decide which celebration was more festive - the one year business anniversary or the birthday celebration for Dr. Lauren.  In just one year Lauren has so many fantastic patients that took time out of their busy schedules to drop by, call, send cards and gifts, and just say happy birthday.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Lauren!

Happy Birthday To You!
On Saturday Lauren chose to celebrate her birthday at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, a cajun and seafood kitchen in Norcross, GA, for their seafood buffet brunch.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Norcross, GA

Pappadeaux Seafood Buffet

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
That was fine with us because we also enjoy their Louisiana seafood brunch on Saturdays.  After the brunch we headed back to our coach so RV and Chris could watch the Alabama-Texas A&M game while Lauren and I headed out for some serious Atlanta shopping.  It was a productive day and RV and I were glad we could say an early goodnight to Chris and Lauren while they continued their birthday festivities elsewhere!

Birthday Celebration - September 2013
Chris, employed by the Atlanta Falcons NFL football team, got tickets for Lauren and I to see the Atlanta Falcons play the St. Louis Rams at 1:00 pm. at the Georgia Dome on Sunday afternoon, September 15.  RV opted to stay at the coach to watch the game on HDTV.
Atlanta Falcons vs. St. Louis Rams - 2013
 Early on Sunday morning, Lauren and I let Chris off at the Georgia Dome, and she and I just happened upon her favorite breakfast place, West Egg, and enjoyed the best Eggs Benedict ever, and also shared one slice of banana bread french toast with maple syrup (Oh my!)  Afterwards, we returned to the Dome to the NFL Experience where we had about the best "people watching" experience ever!  I think that was the end of the birthday experience as well.  We are worn out.  I'm double worn out....I'm a senior.

We had fun and I'd do it all over again, except for the part about being stuck in the elevator after the game.  Perhaps I'll write about that later.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


We left Red Bay, Alabama early Saturday morning, September 7, and drove to Cumming, Georgia, where we will be staying at Twin Lakes RV Campground.  Our new campground is about 16 miles from our daughter, Lauren, and son in law, Chris, and we will assist as they celebrate the first year of her successful chiropractic practice in Suwanee, GA, Suwanee Spine and Wellness Center. 

This carries a lot of meaning to Dr. Millman
Getting ready to celebrate 1 year!

Happy 1 year, Suwanee Spine!
  My, my how time flies!  Many of you will remember one year ago we were in Atlanta for about a month to help Chris and Lauren get ready to open her chiropractic office.  We usually stay at Bald Ridge Corps Of Engineers (COE) Campground on beautiful Lake Lanier for 2 weeks, and then we move over to another of our favorites - Old Federal COE Campground in Flowery Branch, GA (also on Lake Lanier), for the next two weeks.  If you aren't familiar with federally-owned campgrounds, your visit may not be longer than 14 days (probably to keep people from setting up a residence in these beautiful facilities).  These COE campgrounds in Atlanta were built by the CCC and we consider them to be special, and look forward to returning every year to the northeast Atlanta area.  Unfortunately, these and other federal campgrounds are now closed after Labor Day as a result of federal budget cuts.

We were delighted to be invited to the Suwanee Spine and Wellness Center celebration as "guests" this time.  No getting up on scaffolding to paint murals (although there is some more painting to do I'm told).  No more contractors, permits, painting, moving heavy furniture, hanging pictures, or decorating the office.  After we left last year, Chris and Lauren continued to deal with loads of preparations (24/7), while we rolled on down the road to our next destination.   
This mural used to be a "baby changer" in the restroom!

Mural painted in the office of Suwanee Spine and Wellness
This has been an intense year for them filled with lots and lots of blood, sweat and tears, and we are so happy to celebrate this first year milestone with them.  They have been blessed with a wonderful staff and team, and it looks like all those years of school and preparation has finally paid off.  We're already looking forward to the second anniversary next September!
The Front Entrance is a very "Welcome" Site
Consultation Room

X-ray room
 Dr. Lauren went out of her way to make the office look very festive for her patients who came in today.  There was even a trivia contest.

Suwanee Spine and Wellness Center

Dr. Millman continues to decorate
Trivia Contest Questions
Coach Mike Smith - Head Coach - Atlanta Falcons

The catering, by Big Easy Catering in Atlanta, was healthy and delicious.  Every patient was  presented a gift from Suwanee Spine.
Catering by Big Easy Catering - Atlanta
Have you ever heard of the Elf On The Shelf?  Well, this is Lily, who is almost like the Elf on the Shelf.  You never know where she's going to show up.  Yes, she does resemble Barbie in a weird kind of way.   But yesterday she was in Dr. Millman's office to say "Congratulations!  Let's have another celebration next year!"   By the way, she has perfect posture thanks to Dr. Millman and the Suwanee Spine and Wellness Center.  In our family of chiropractic daughters, gifts are often centered around skeletons... how appropriate! 
Lily on the Shelf


Sunday, September 8, 2013


We have a suggestion for an adventurous evening of entertainment if you are visiting in the Red Bay, AL area and want to get away from the busy city.  Recently, a group of eight of us made our way to Colbert County, AL, in the Tuscumbia area on Highway 247 (turn left at Swamp John's), and continue past the sign directing you to the Coon Dog Cemetery.
Highway 247 North - Alabama

Highway 247 North - Alabama

Turn here to go to the Coon Dog Cemetery
  In a few miles you will see an arrow that directs you to the Rattlesnake Saloon and Seven Springs Lodge.  Just when you think "How in the world am I ever going to find my way back home?".... you arrive.  Are you ready for a unique evening?
Is that a snake on that sign?

Lots of old scenery to enjoy!
Entrance to Rattlesnake Saloon/Seven Springs Lodge

Upon arriving in their large grassy parking lot, we were ushered aboard the "Saloon Taxi", a 2.5 ton Ford diesel 4x4 pickup truck equipped with benches.  While I doubt the front tires were touching the ground after we boarded, we were on our way in a genuine redneck taxi to have dinner at the Rattlesnake Saloon.
Seven Springs/Rattlesnake Saloon Taxi

Ford 2.5 ton, 4x4, diesel redneck taxi to Rattlesnake Saloon
On the way to the entrance to the Saloon, before we started our descent down in a valley in the taxi,  we passed the Seven Springs Lodge.  The Seven Springs Lodge is an actual lodge where visitors can spend the night in renovated grain silos.  Yes sir, renovated grain silos.  

There are very specific instructions as we enter the road that carries us to our destination:

Entrance road to Rattlesnake Saloon

In case you need a reminder!
  As we wind down a dark and narrow trail the air becomes noticeably cooler and shortly we arrive at a genuine North American Indian bluff where the Rattlesnake Saloon sits under a very large natural opening in a mountain.  Now we've seen it all.
Did we really go down this road in a truck filled with people?

Final destination - Rattlesnake Saloon
  As you disembark the truck (er taxi), and try to take it all in (with your jaw dropping somewhere around your feet), the vastness of the area and what you are seeing for the first time is quite a surprise.  A cave, a building under the cave (restaurant) and the natural beauty of it all.  There are 3 places you may sit - under the rock (please don't let there be an earthquake while we're here), inside the restaurant, or on the very large sun deck.
Outside view - Rattlesnake Saloon

Restaurant seating inside 

Sun Deck Seating

Sun Deck Seating

Wood carving at entrance to restaurant

Interior of Rattlesnake Saloon Restaurant

Rattlesnake skins are everywhere!

Rattlesnake about to catch up with a rabbit!

  A country band begins to play and the big decision is whether you can take the sound ricocheting off the sides of the cave at a loud volume, or do we go inside where it may be quieter.  We opt to sit outside - we don't want to miss a thing!  A waitress in cowgirl boots takes our order off a menu - appetizers, sandwiches, or salads. You don't come here for the food but for the experience. 
Country band entertainment in the cave

Dance floor of Rattlesnake Saloon
 The fellow on the right in this picture danced the entire time we were at the Rattlesnake Saloon, which may be the reason he stays so thin.  His dancing style was somewhere between a mountain clog and a cotton-eyed joe, in fast motion - most unusual dancing style we've seen in a long time! You won't see these moves on Dancing With The Stars.

It was dark when we left the restaurant and because of all the tree coverage we couldn't see a thing, and maybe we didn't want to.  If it were during the day we may have walked back to our cars, but not in the darkness.  Returning in the opposite direction there were even more people on the back of our truck.  Now we know the back tires are the only ones touching the ground, and then we notice the cab of the truck is filled with people as well, so maybe we're o.k.  We stop one more time where the driver allows several people to disembark at the gift shop and the Seven Springs Lodge, and then we continue on to our cars in the parking lot.
In case you're interested, this is on the back of the taxi window
  This was a fun evening with friends and we would definitely do it all over again.  Maybe next time our surprised looks won't  be as evident.   If any of you are interested, they also have a campground with about 12 full hookup sites adjacent to the parking lot.  A little tight, but they are most reasonable.