Friday, September 16, 2016


We considered buying a newer model motorhome a couple of months ago.  Then we did the practical, realistic, down-to-earth consideration of comparing ADVANTAGES vs DISADVANTAGES, which to us would have either cost lots or saved a huge sum of money.  The egocentric side lost out and the practical and realistic side prevailed.

Home Sweet Motorhome
2007 40' Tiffin Allegro Bus
We decided sometime in 2006 to travel in a motorhome on a full-time basis and met all  the objections head-on, sold our home, contents, etc., and in October 2007, after much consideration, we purchased a new 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus and drove away into the sunset.  Almost 9 years later we feel satisfied that most of our decisions have been positive as far as contributing to our level of comfort and healthy lifestyle for full timing at this stage of our lives.

Our blog has a tab called "COACH UPGRADES" (Interior and Exterior) which has changed over the years, and for that reason we say we no longer have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus.  It is now somewhere between a 2007 - 2016 Bus, with lots of new bells and whistles and a multitude of goodies we like to call "ACCESSORIZING".  

Here are a few pictures of some of our "Accessories" that we've added to our coach over the last couple of years. We've met several fine craftsmen in Red Bay and Vina, AL that have made these modifications to our coach.  The work they have done has been exemplary and we can recommend them should you be interested.

Mood Lighting over Front slides
Whirlpool Residential Refrigerator
New Exterior Lettering and Summit Stainless Steel Accents
Lumbar Support in Driver's Seat, 40" Samsung TV,
2009 Console Cover
Dishwasher to match cherry cabinetry
USB Ports, Solid Surface Trim (to prevent wicking), MCD
Shades, Cherry Shelf under Pax Window (for Phone, Glasses, etc)
Several other key items that have definitely added to our comfort are: 
  • Awning over outside bathroom window
  • Vented Microwave/Convection to Outside
  • Added Cherry Credenza in back of Driver's Side
  • Magnum Pure Sine Wave Inverter
  • Lifeline Batteries
  • Restructured some of the cherry cabinets and drawers for more efficient organization 
  • LED lights installed inside and outside of coach
We decided to keep our comfortable coach, pay it off, and save lots of moolah.
#RV There Yet? #RV Full-time #Tiffin

Monday, September 12, 2016


Before our departure from Red Bay, AL we enjoyed an evening at a very popular hard to find locally owned restaurant that only opens on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.  We followed our friends in our car because we were unable to find the restaurant a couple of times in the past.  How could this be?

Red Bay, Alabama 
Highway 25 - Towards Tupelo, MS
There are no signs/directions.  Our directions were to "Go to the dead end of the road outside Red Bay, turn left, go down Highway 25 about 10 miles until you see a building that looks like a house, next to a church.... and it's off the road on the right."   It isn't in a large community and you might call it a settlement.
This tower could be another landmark to find
Reeves Fish and Steakhouse!
The only way you know you have arrived
Reeves Fish and Steakhouse
 To find true Mississippi home cooking go to Reeves Fish and Steakhouse where you will be fortunate to meet people from Fulton, Belmont, Red Bay and many other places who travel a distance to enjoy the fried catfish, steaks, chicken and frog legs.  ( Did I mention hushpuppies?)  Every weekend about 600 to 700 people look forward to eating delicious fresh food in Itawamba County, in Mississippi,  just across the Alabama State Line.

Menu - Reeves Fish and Steakhouse
Reeves Fish and Steakhouse Menu
Before Leon Reeves realized his life long dream of opening a restaurant, the family had a reputation of being very hard and dedicated workers, especially in the woodworking field.  In 1982, Leon and his wife, Charlene, opened a restaurant starting out small.  Leon cooked fish the way he understood, and folks loved it.  Did I mention the hushpuppies?  When Leon passed away, his son Gary continued the tradition of providing good fresh food at a reasonable price, and it's no wonder people come from all over when it opens.

Front Door Entrance
We didn't know most people enter and leave through the back door!
Even with the restaurant in an active mode, Gary works full-time at Tiffin Motorhomes in Red Bay.  Gary credits the success of the restaurant to his faithful employees and customers.  Charlene still works and several employees have been faithfully working for Reeves for over 15 years.  One employee, Tammy Dill, has been working for over 26 years.  This is definitely a family experience filled with local pride and spirit.

Our culinary experience was well worth the trip on Highway 25 to Reeves Seafood and Steakhouse.  We arrived early and there were plenty of tables available; however, when we were ready to leave there were few spots available.   How did this place fill up so fast?!

No Reservations Necessary - Sit where you will be comfortable
A delicious salad bar complete with homemade croutons
Reeves Fish and Steakhouse
We've been told Tiffin employees frequently get off work and drive straight to Reeves Fish and Steakhouse as it gets crowded after 5:00 pm.  Now that we have been shown the correct way to eat Mississippi catfish (and their delicious hushpuppies), we will return to Reeves Fish and Steakhouse the next time we are in the Red Bay area.  

Old Friends - New Friends
We always gather around a table and usually food is involved! 
Our old friends, Steve and Karen Fischer from Virginia
Dave and Nancy Washburn
Our new friends from Oklahoma
New Tiffin friends - Randy and Pam Warner from Virginia
Our zinnia garden and nonstop butterflies compliments of The Nabers
Downtown Red Bay RV Campground

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


In our last blog Ol' Us were in Ol' Florida and we left Florida in the nick of time before Tropical Storm Hermine became a reality in the area where we were - Carrabelle, St. Marks, and St. Joe Sound area.

We drove to Red Bay, AL  for our motorhome to be serviced at Tiffin Motorhomes.  Some of our recent upgrades are listed in the UPGRADES tab of this blog,  but we decided we wouldn't buy a new 2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus... just upgrade our RV so that it resembles a 2017... sort of.

This Labor Day Weekend was the 79th annual celebration at the iconic Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard (Coon Dog Cemetery), the only cemetery of its kind in the world, located in Cherokee, AL., about 20 miles from Red Bay, in a thick wilderness known as Freedom Hills.   More than 300 coon dogs from all across the United States are buried at this spot in Northwest Alabama.  The first dog laid to rest in this cemetery was a half redbone coonhound and half birdsong known as "Troop", buried on Labor Day in 1937, and owned by Key Underwood.

The all day event includes old time bluegrass music, buck dancing, a liar's contest, arts and crafts, and local barbecue by Bishop's Hawg House, plus several hundred of the most hospitable and friendly people we've met anywhere.

This may be the first time we've seen people dancing in a cemetery.  Hundreds of graves are decorated with flowers, flags and coins, handmade headstones, and many professionally crafted headstones of wood or sheet metal.  Witnessing one of these funerals is interesting, so if you have a few minutes, increase your volume and enjoy:  Coon Dog Cemetery Funeral

Hunter's Famous Amos - a hound named Ralston Purina's Dog of the Year in 1984, is buried here as well as several World Champion coon dogs.  The most popular breed of Coon Dogs include the Black and Tan Coonhound, Bluetick Coonhound, English Coonhound, Plott Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, and the Treeing Walker Coonhound. All 6 breeds are registered with UKC.

 This is a place where only coonhound royalty resides after their demise, i.e., no lap dogs, no poodles.  If I didn't say it before, we were honored to attend such an interesting celebration and enjoyed another beautiful and memorable day in Sweet Home Alabama.

Friday, September 2, 2016


This nutty White Squirrel insisted on this pose!
Ochlockonee River State Park
Sopchoppy, FL
The Ochlockonee River State Park
Long leaf Pine Forests
White Squirrels and Red Cockaded Woodpeckers
The time was perfect for a day trip on the Gulf Coast of Florida to Ochlockonee River State Park in Sopchoppy, FL,  especially when we were told about the White Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) as well as the shy Red Cockaded (Picoides borealis) Woodpecker (RCW)!  A double whammy hoping to capture a photograph to add to our collection of Florida wildlife.  The woodpecker loves the habitat of the old growth pine trees and the RCW is the only woodpecker to make their home in a living tree.  The Ochlockonee River State Park is committed to the preservation of the beautiful longleaf pine forests.

Ochlockonee River State Park - Long Leaf Pine Forest
Ocklockonee River - Sopchoppy, FL
While the Eastern grey squirrel is a more common species, and are sometimes considered pests, white squirrels become prized, even celebrated, i.e., bringing tourism money to the areas that promote their economy.

White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park
White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park
We saw numerous white squirrels along the banks of the Ochlockonee River and captured several  pictures only to find out that many towns actually celebrate these squirrels with annual festivals.

Ochlockonee River - Sopchoppy, FL
A few towns throughout America actually promote white squirrel communities:

Olny, Illinois - "Home Of The White Squirrel"

Exeter, Ontario - The northernmost city of white squirrel fame is just over the border in Canada.  Exeter has an annual White Squirrel Festival.  The squirrels aren't albino - they have dark eyes.  Exeter has a revered mascot named "White Wonder" with a song and a music video.

Marionville, Missouri - "Home Of The White Squirrels"  They say the squirrels came from a traveling circus, maybe a mad scientist - but they have definitely been there since the 1800's.

Brevard, North Carolina - Brevard College's "White Squirrel Research Institute" has charted the geographic distribution of critters in their region.  Brevard holds a White Squirrel Festival annually around Memorial Day Weekend.  We were actually in Brevard for their White Squirrel Festival one year and also witnessed the Annual Squirrel Box Derby.  The trophy, the coveted "Golden Nut", is awarded year to year.

White Squirrel Festival Poster
Brevard, North Carolina
Scary White Squirrel Mascot - White Squirrel Festival
Brevard, North Carolina
We learned from friends and family that white squirrels aren't that uncommon; however,  the squirrels that reside in the area of Sopchoppy and the Ochlockonee River State Park are considered rare because of a color variant - mostly white, but a distinctive head patch and dorsal stripe that broadens in the shoulder region.

White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park - Sopchoppy, FL
White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park - Sopchoppy, FL
White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park  - Sopchoppy, FL
White Squirrel - Ochlockonee River State Park - Sopchoppy, FL
 Those nutty white squirrels in Ochlockonee River State Park are a joy to observe and photograph.  The squirrels aren't as elusive and shy as the Cockaded Woodpecker.  We could hear them in the pine forest and were told about 2 active nests, but apparently they were out foraging.