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What's New from February 2002

February 1, 2002
  • I have just uploaded the following pages:
  • I have also changed our Quizlet. We are looking to find out if most full-timers paid (or plan to pay) cash for their RV or if they are making (or plan to make) payments. This question came up  in our Lazy Days seminars and we really did not have an answer. Thanks in advance to all who participate. Please go to our main menu to vote.

    The results of last month's survey:
    617 Responded to our question: When traveling in your RV do (will you) use "Red Roads" (primary U.S. routes)  which percentage of time.

    • 31%     60-79% of the time.
    • 26%     80-100% of the time.
    • 24%     40-59% of the time.
    • 12%     20-39% of the time.
    • 4%      10% of the time.
    • 3%     seldom if ever. 
    Our last seminar at Lazy Days was on Saturday January 26. Everyone at Lazy Days was terrific and we enjoyed talking to over 1,150 folks at our 17 seminars. Everyone seemed to enjoy learning about full-timing and we enjoyed meeting some of our readers. 

    Judy and Cec had been a great help to us during our seminars and since they gave up a month of their travels to "work for us," we wanted to treat them with something special. They had already mentioned that they would love to go back to Bern's Steak House (the one we went to on New Year's Eve and wrote about last month) so we made reservations. Whenever we go anywhere with the girls they drive their Jeep since we only have our pick up truck  so we decided to treat further and hire a limousine for our special night. What a treat. It was a night we will remember forever. 

    Nick, our driver, picked us up on time at our campsite. That is not our motorhome in the background. 
    On the drive to Berns we enjoyed a glass of wine and relaxed conversation. What luxury.

    Our dinner was superb. Ron and I shared a chateaubriand which was the best cut of meat we had ever had. It was prepared to perfection. The girls had filet of migons. Our french onion soup was excellent as was the salad and vegetables. I wish I could fix the asparagus as they did it. It was too yummy for words. After dinner, we took a tour of this famous and large restaurant which was enjoyable. We were amazed at the wine cellars. For dessert we went upstairs to our own little enclosure. That is where we goofed. We should have simply enjoyed a nice wine or after dinner drink. Instead we added to our fullness by ordering decadent desserts. But it was fun and a perfect end to our wonderful month at Lazy Days. We just may do the whole thing again next year.

    We are now in Robertsdale, Alabama, at our home Coast to Coast park (Wilderness Resort) which is another treat. The park is located near I-10 in that little bit of Alabama that is between Florida and Mississippi. It is quiet and wooded with all the amenities one would need or want. If you don't already have a home park in Coast to Coast, please consider this one. George, the owner, is wonderful, the park is affordable with reasonable annual dues. Call George at 334-960-1195. We will be here for two weeks and plan to participate in Mardi Gras activities in nearby Mobile and other towns. You might like to go to Feb 2000 old news pages for pictures of the park and surrounding area. 

    Mystery Picture

    Do you know where we were when this photo was taken? If you would like to see what the correct answer is or to play the game from other months, please go to our Guess Page

    Sunday, Feb 3
    Mardi Gras is happening here in Alabama and we have been to two different parades so far. In nearby Pensicola and Mobile as in New Orleans, the parades go on each and every day in the two weeks before Fat Tuesday. Here in our area they only happen on Friday and Saturday evenings in the small towns of Daphne and Fairhope. 

    On Saturday we got dressed to leave early for the parade so we could shop and eat in Fairhope before the 7:00 parade.

    Cec (in red), Ron, and Judy beside their Safari motorhome

    Ron admiring my necklace. Notice anything different about Ron?
    The night before when we were at the parade in Daphne, we talked with Bill and Marcy who live in the area. They were fun to talk with. We happened to mention the difficulty we had had in finding healthy food since we arrived in Alabama. It seems that much is deep fried or swimming in butter. They suggested that we might like eating at Old Bay Steamers in Fairhope because their shrimp and crab and such is steamed and nicely seasoned. So part of our day in Fairhope involved eating dinner at Old Bay. We girls ordered the steamed shrimp and Ron ordered grilled grouper. Ron was the smart one. We really didn't like the way the shrimp was presented to us. The one pound of shrimp we each received on our platter had heads, feet and all intact. It was a messy job to clean them all and not really to our liking. In fact Cec and I didn't eat all of ours; we gave the rest to our partners. Ron said it wasn't that great. We are learning that what the locals like might not be what we like. 

    We had fun browsing some of the shops but we didn't get to them all. We will go back on a non-parade day. 
    Waiting for the parade.

    It was too dark during the actual parade for me to take any more pictures, but it was fun. Big, pretty floats loaded with masked people throw beads, toys, stuffed animals, ladies underwear, moon pies (a marshmallow sandwich), plastic cups, medallions, and more to the waiting crowds.

    Actually we thought that the parade in Daphne was better since it was smaller. The crowds in Fairhope were much larger and we didn't come away with as much stuff as we got in Daphne. We can't imagine what a parade in a big city would be like. We were going to go to Mobile for a parade but are thinking that we really don't need to. We have enough stuff and will send them on to the grandchildren.

    Friday Feb 9,
    We went to another Mardi Gras parade and our pile of loot has grown. We will divide it up and send care packages to our grandchildren. The pile of beads is a foot high and there are 26 "moon pies" plus a bunch of other things like frisbees and yo yo's. Such fun. We leave tomorrow for Mississippi so my next report may be from there if I have internet connections.

    Friday Feb 15
    We are now in New Orleans and in a park with a modem connection so I wanted to update you on what we have been doing. 

    We were in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, at the Gulf Islands National Seashore campground for three nights and had a great time. This campground is only five miles from Biloxi and we had remembered staying in that same campground for two weeks way back when we were relatively new to full-timing (12 years ago). Judy and Cec are still traveling with us until we get to Texas and we could hardly wait to share some of what we had remembered of Biloxi with them. But the city had changed so much that we hardly recognized it. When we were in Biloxi long ago there were a few floating casinos; now there are many and they are big casinos which are open 24 hours just like Vegas. Judy likes Casino's so we had a hard time getting them interested in anything else. 

    We were really looking forward to having lunch at Mary Mahoney's. Ron and I had eaten there 12 years ago and it was our first experience with red beans and rice or bread pudding. Because the city was so busy (with Mardi Gras) we decided to have our lunch at 2:30 and it was a terrible disappointment which only proves that old saying; "you can't go back." We were the only ones in the restaurant and yet we were totally ignored by the server. He took our order and was not seen again until he delivered the dinner (which took forever also). We were out of drinks and I walked around looking for someone to fill our glasses; there was no one around. Finally I went to the kitchen door and knocked to disturb two people who were just standing there talking, but still we couldn't get water. When the server finally brought our meal, I asked that he come and see us again soon, but he didn't. Okay, maybe you should never go to a restaurant when they aren't busy. They should close then if they don't want our business. As we were leaving at 4:15, the manager/bartender asked how everything was so we told her. I explained our problem. The owner (Mary's son) was also there but he was on the phone. When he got off the phone the manager got his attention so I could tell the story again. He shocked us by not seeming to care. All he said was he hopped that we tipped the server accordingly. We don't mind a leisurely lunch if we are being taken care of, but it was like pulling teeth to get water.

    Instead of driving together while in the city, we each did our own thing. Judy and Cec gravitated to the casinos and spent a lot of time there. We went for walks and just stayed home along with some time in the casino.

    We planned on leaving Wednesday morning for the short 90 mile drive to New Orleans and we were going to drive together as we had been doing. Just after we hooked up and were driving out of the campground, we realized that our rear end (air bags) hadn't aired up. It had happened before and Ron had been able to fix it with the help of someone at Spartan Motors on the other end of the cell phone so the four of us drove to the visitor center which had large parking spots for RVs. We unhooked the car and I put the rear jacks down so Ron could get under the motorhome. Cec was right under there with him, but they couldn't find anything out of place. We called Spartan and tried a few things they suggested, but still nothing worked. We sent Judy and Cec on to New Orleans and told them we would get there whenever then we called our Good Sam road service. We told them that we didn't think we needed towing and felt a good mechanic could fix the problem on site. Good Sam called some mobil truck repair service who contracts with service people all across the U.S. They found Glenn's Auto and Marine Repair in Pascagoula, MS. Glenn came and after a quick phone call to Spartan and a look at the schematics from our Spartan book, was able to identify and fix the problem and we were aired up and on the road again. An hour and a half later we were with the girls again (we drove I-10 to save time).

    I will have a report on New Orleans and our week long visit here later. 

    Tuesday Feb 19
    We had great plans for our visit to New Orleans, but.....

    On our first full day here we planned that the four of us would spend the day in the city. I would take the camera and record all that we would see. But Judy was sick so only Cec, Ron and I went and I didn't take the camera. We had our begneits and coffee at Cafe Du Monde, did a lot of walking admiring beads (from Mardi Gras) still hanging from electric wires strung across the streets on the parade route, balconies still decorated with the traditional colors (purple, gold and green) and stores still full of Mardi Gras decorations, masks and beads. For lunch we had a Famous Ferdi po boy at Mother's. What a treat that messy delight was. That hadn't changed in the 12 years between our visits here. We had taken the bus downtown and returned the same way just as we had 12 years ago too and suggest all do the same because parking is so limited in the city. We could hardly wait to go again the next day and take Judy and the camera along.

    But the next morning I was sick again. I had been trying to shake a bug I caught in Alabama and the walking and activities of the day before wore me out. So Ron went downtown with Judy and Cec and I stayed home with the camera. Not only were they going to "do the town" but they had scheduled a tour of the cemetery so their day would be full. And it was. They said the tour of the cemetery was wonderful but long (two hours) then they walked and walked, had begneits and walked some more while looking and shopping, ate lunch and they finished their visit by spending an hour at Harrah's casino. By evening after they were home, it was obvious Ron was coming down with my bug. We all stayed close to home the next day. 

    Our plans for Sunday were to take a drive south to Houma, but Ron was still sick; we let the girls go by themselves. They had fun and we rested. Ron spent the whole day in bed and wouldn't even eat. He didn't have a fever and wasn't throwing up or anything so I just let him rest. As the evening wore on and he still didn't get out of bed, I began to worry. It was late and I was watching the Olympics when he got up to go to the bathroom. It was obvious that he was weak but he insisted he was okay. I got him some water and asked him to take his blood sugar which he did. It was normal but while he was still standing at the kitchen counter he said he felt dizzy and immediately he fell face down on the hard tile floor. I couldn't move him or rouse him. What a scare! I grabbed the cell phone and called Judy (she is a nurse) and all I said was, "Come quick." She couldn't rouse him either; we called 911. We turned him over and he started to wake up, but he was really groggy and looked a mess because of a bad cut on his lip and before long the EMT and ambulance were here. Because he had fallen so hard they took him to the hospital. We all went along and after making sure he hadn't had a stroke or wasn't having a heart attack, they let us take him home. It was four in the morning before we got home and I didn't sleep much worried about Ron. 

    Yesterday he was better especially after eating a good breakfast. We aren't going anywhere again today and tomorrow we move west by driving I-10 all the way to Seguin, Texas. We will do it in two days with a stop in or near Beaumont, Texas, at the Wal-Mart (half way).  It is not the way we like to travel but we need to get movin' on. We have appointments at Pro-tech in Seguin (so do the girls) then we have doctor appointments set for March in Mesa so we have to move along. In fact we have an RV site reserved in Mesa (Viewpoint) for March 7 but we may try to move it up a bit. Ron has a broken tooth (from his fall) that needs repair. 

    Sorry that I don't have pictures of New Orleans but know you understand. 

    Tuesday February 26
    I know you like to read about our sightseeing adventures, but sometimes life (even on the road) is not what we wish for. Instead of spending more time in Texas as we had planned, we zipped (yes on the interstates) straight into Mesa, Arizona, and after three full days of driving we arrived late on Saturday. We needed to get back to get Ron's broken tooth fixed, to see doctors and primarily get settled because in a week or so we are going to have to fly to Michigan for a funeral. Ron's former wife (and mother of his children) is dying. As you must know, the kids are having a tough time with this and need their other parent. We are really very flexible in our lifestyle and glad that we can change plans in a moment. 

    We are at a Silveridge RV Resort which is a lovely park next to the park we used to stay at (Valle del Oro). We chose this park because they have instant telephone connections and the sites are $5 per night cheaper. Since we arrived here in Mesa sooner than we had planned we just needed something for a week and this worked out just fine. This park is small and very friendly and we would come again to spend the winter. 

    Our original plans were to arrive here in Mesa on March 7 and only stay a month to get our annual check ups etc. We had reserved a site at View Point Resort (a little north of here) because it is a nice park (on a par with Valle del Oro) with a couple of plusses. They have instant phone connections at every site and also have a golf course. We like to check out new places. Now we are moving over there on Friday, March 1 and will still stay until April 7.

    I will be posting our monthly articles, Coffee and Letters in a couple of days. Check back then. By the way, did you notice the new link at the top of this page? Also notice that we are planning to go back to Lazy Days next January so if you didn't make it this year you can try again in 2003.

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