Friday, August 22, 2014


The Old Federal Corps of Engineers (COE) Park on Lake Lanier is in Flowery Branch, GA, and is high on our list of favorite places to enjoy the outdoors.  Old Federal is beautiful, peaceful, and the volunteers that manage the park are so "dadgum" nice (a word I learned from retired FSU Coach Bobby Bowden).   You can stay a maximum 14 days every 30 days.  Scores of Canadian Geese also like the campground and create quite the mess during their visit.
Old Federal Corps of Engineers Campground
Flowery Branch, GA

Old Federal Corps of Engineers Campground
Flowery Branch, GA
Old Federal Corps of Engineers Campground
Flowery Branch, GA
Our only incident with a non-human occurred last week when we left the campground for a short time.  What animal could have possibly ripped our brand new Tommy Bahama beach chair to shreds?  If it wasn't a squirrel, a canadian goose, a shore bird...what could it have been?!  The fiber in the new chair was shredded. This attack involved one of four chairs propped up against the motorhome.
Either a squirrel, goose or bird loved this fabric!

These geese are waiting for us to leave our coach.
Upon departing after our 14 day stay, we drove through impossible Atlanta traffic on I-85 to I-285 to I-20. I'll usually tuck my head into a book and stay very quiet until we get past Six Flags Of Georgia.  Almost 5 hours later we arrived in McFarland Park in Florence, AL, and for the first time in the six years we've stayed at McFarland, every spot in the campground was taken!
McFarland Park, Florence, AL

McFarland Park, Florence, AL
So we continue our drive to Red Bay, AL, about an hour away (we're having work done at Tiffin Motorhomes).  Upon arriving, the only campsites in the Allegro Campground are dry camping, think boondocking.  For those not aware of this term, dry camping/boondocking is where you park your motorhome without water, electricity or sewer.  At the Allegro Campground someone would have to leave for you to get a spot with a full hookup.
Tiffin Allegro Campground
Red Bay, AL

Tiffin Allegro Campground
Red Bay, AL
The campground office suggested a brand new full-service campground owned by Dr. Jim Nabers, a local physician, in the middle of downtown Red Bay.  This turned out to be a jewel!  Our camping spot is conveniently located near all cultural events, shopping, the main financial district and the post office (tongue in cheek), quiet and quaint, and very reasonably priced.  Dr. Nabers has opened a campground on land that has been in his family since 1906.
The New Downtown Red Bay Campground
Red Bay, AL
We are planning to be in northwest Alabama about 2 weeks. Red Bay is an old fashioned, All-American town, with All-American values, and we always look forward to visiting here and seeing old friends.  Tiffin Motorhomes is the largest industry in town so everyone seems happy to see us return.

Monday, August 11, 2014


We recently visited our friends, Ronnie and Marianne DiGiglia, in Blairsville, GA.  Blairsville is about 2 hours from Flowery Branch, and Google Maps directed us through something similar to the Tail Of The Dragon on the North Carolina/Tennessee border. Thank goodness we were in the car and not the motorhome.  I may not have taken a photo of every direction sign we passed, but a few of them looked like this:
U.S. Highway 19 - Cleveland, GA to Blairsville, GA
The time we spent in Blairsville was interesting and the DiGiglia's are world class hosts and tour guides who are familiar with all there is to see and do in the area... lucky for us.  We found the beautiful Nottely Dam and Lake (part of the TVA system).  Before the water in this dam reaches the Ohio River the same water has produced electricity in 9 other dams.
The Nottely Dam and Lake in Blairsville, GA
Sleepy Hollow in Blairsville!  We had read about Sleepy Hollow on Roadside America, also viewed a segment on HGTV, never imagining we would visit here!  What a treat if you are into unusual sights on the road.  Sleepy Hollow is a family-run business and we were impressed that the owners/creator, Art Millican, Jr. (and his wife, Wendi), was a former Disney artist and model maker, consultant to Dollywood, also helped develop Michael Jackson's Neverland.  The owners are on-site and if you leave without a big smile on your face you may need to reassess your inner-whimsey.  Yes, there are fairies in-residence, and people of all ages are welcome to visit the enchanted gardens.
Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Gypsy Vardo - Blairsville, GA

Sleepy Hollow - Blairsville, GA
This turned out to be a day of new discoveries for us.  Surprisingly, we meandered into North Carolina without any problem whatsoever.  We arrived in Brasstown and discovered the John C. Campbell Folk School, a 300 acre blend of history, art and natural beauty, founded in 1925, rooted in the traditions of Southern Appalachia and other cultures of the world.  Fortunately, we were able to browse the huge Craft Shop, a destination in itself.   Rand McNally has identified the Folk School as one of the top 30 U.S. destinations in their "Best of the Road".  We'll look forward to returning to Brasstown to discover more of the spirit in the heart of Appalachia.  After seeing the map of the school, it would take more than a day to tour all they have to offer. 

Brasstown, N.C.

Entrance to John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Craft Shop Building - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Craft Shop - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC

Stone Bench - John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, NC
At the end of our enjoyable day we returned to our campsite at Old Federal in Flowery Branch, GA, on a less perilous road.  Our trip was an enjoyable day spent with special friends.
The Mountains of Northern Georgia 

Monday, August 4, 2014


After we leave our winter domicile, Florida Grande Motor Coach Resort, in Webster, FL, we usually discontinue our blog until we resume travel again.  However, I committed us to several activities that extended our stay in Florida into hot and humid July.  PLUS - We attended our 50th High School Reunion!  By the way, we had a great time.
FGMCR - Webster, FL

Florida Grande Motor Coach Resort
Andrew Jackson Sr. High 50 Year Reunion - Class of '64
A friend, Linda Hardin, from Florida Grande, and I planned our first very successful "Granny Camp" for our granddaughters. For almost 2 weeks, Linda's granddaughter, Adelai, and our granddaughters, Kiley, Kenzie and Khloe, filled just about every waking moment with activities - Wild Bill's Airboat Ride, picking peaches at an orchard in Coleman, FL, painting, drawing, modeling and talent shows (for everyone left at Florida Grande), homemade ice cream cones, waffle/sausage breakfast, swimming.
Kenzie, RV and Kiley - 2014

Kiley, Kenzie and Adelai -- 2014

Adelai, Kenzie and Kiley - 2014

Adelai and Linda Hardin

Granny Camp - Kenzie, YaYa and Kiley - 2014

In closing, Granny Camp was somewhat like giving birth. After it's over you say, "Never again!" but next year we'll probably do it all over again.  We had fun and we're still recuperating from all that fun!

In July, RV and I took the 170' Key West Express catamaran out of Ft. Myers Beach to Key West.
Key West Express - 2014

Upon arrival we rented a red Mustang convertible, and met our daughter, Kristen, her family (and a few friends), and 14 of us stayed in Marathon, and thoroughly enjoyed all that Key West and that area has to offer.
Key West, FL 2014

Marathon, FL 2014

Harold and his crew - 2014

Kristen and I celebrated our birthdays together.  I caught my first mahi, (one of  many caught by all the fishermen), and we enjoyed a delicious blackened mahi dinner presented by Chef Harold (our son-in-law).

Savannah, Kristen, Marty and Christie

Yes, I caught that fish!

Almost a week later we brought 8 year old Kenzie back with us on the catamaran to Ft. Myers Beach, then picked up our motorhome in Webster, and traveled to Pine Mountain, GA, near Calloway Gardens. After an awesome week with Kenzie, we met all the family in Atlanta for an unbelievable surprise - to me and RV!
Kenzie - 2014
 Our daughters, Kristen and Lauren, planned a surprise wedding vow renewal for RV and I at a beautiful mountain resort close to Dahlonega, GA, Forest Hills Mountain Resort, to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  I was led to believe we would be continuing my birthday celebration.  The weekend had been pre-planned giving great attention to detail (and surprising me).  On Saturday evening, Chris, our son-in-law, presented our vows and did a superb job.  Kristen and Lauren made arrangements for a photographer, flowers, our honeymoon cottage, our dresses and shoes, dresses for all the granddaughters, meals with our family, a girls day in Dahlonega, etc.  I could go on but you get the picture.   I'm still flabberghasted!  We were blessed to have such a special time with family that entire weekend, but it meant so much to us that they wanted to be a part of our very special anniversary and a special event in our life. 
Old Federal Corps of Engineers Campground - Flowery Branch, GA

Lake Lanier, GA
For one more week we are in northeast Atlanta at a beautiful Corps of Engineers park, Old Federal, and it has been so nice to relax.  I'll continue to publish our blog while we are on our journey and hope you have a few minutes to read it.  Oh yes, Welcome back to RV THERE YET!   We have several interesting trips planned this season and just like the past, we'll also enjoy those spur of the moment memories that make this lifestyle so interesting. If you have a moment, drop us a line while we are on our 2014 journey - we enjoy receiving your comments.