Thursday, December 23, 2010

Who Am I Kidding?

I love it here in Flagler Beach, Florida, but with our front row view to the ocean, I can't write here! I can't take my eyes off the large, white- capped waves rolling toward me, or the sandpipers, seagulls and pelicans.

I get restless waiting for low-tide to arrive so I can go see what's washed up on the beach today. Will it be man-of-wars, starfish, or jellyfish? What kind of crab will I see today?
What new texture will I just have to photograph? I'm just going to have to hang on to my notes and research for awhile and try to find that cornfield in Iowa again sometime. Maybe if we park there for a few months I can get somewhere again.

In the meantime, I'll keep my notebook handy while taking in the wondrous beauty that surrounds us now. It got a little cold here, so we went to the Florida Keys last weekend looking for warmer temperatures. It was terrible! Trevor didn't want to drive home through the high winds on the day we were suppose to leave the Keys, so we were stranded on our tropical island for another week!

We felt so bad as we thought of our dear loved ones in Minnesota being dumped on by two feet of snow, while we got two feet of sand! The Keys are a great place to visit. The water's so pretty there and the sights from the bridges connecting the Keys are awesome. So many tiny little islands sticking out of the vast, beautiful Gulf on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
Key West was an interesting place. It's a great place if you like to shop (which you can't do if you live in an RV) and the old homes and buildings are always fun to look at. We had lunch at The Banana Cafe. It's a little French restaurant with the best French Onion Soup I've ever tasted. After lunch we took a glass bottom boat ride out to the coral reef. There's some very interesting coral out there and some pretty cool fish as well.

Arrived back in Flagler Beach on Sunday where the temps are up and down. We'll be heading out west to see my brother soon, hoping it's a little warmer there in Texas. A lot of you will be traveling this weekend. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy your time with family and friends. We miss you!

Love, Trevor and Roni

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weapons of Mast Destruction

After visiting two old forts in Florida this month, I've got to say, the Spaniards really knew how to make cannons! I don't know how well they targeted the masted warships of the day, but aren't they pretty? After seeing the ornate Spanish cannons with their patina coatings at the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine, the cannons at Fort Pickens National Park in Pensacola were a little disappointing to one who is partial to anything patina. Still, looking down the barrel of a cannon sticking out a window at Fort Pickens left its own impression on us, along with the setting sun illuminating the big wall cannons and the beautiful brick walls that frequently serve as wonderful backdrops for many professional portrait photographers.

While staying in Pensacola this week, I saw two other things I can scratch off my list of things I've never seen before. An armadillo that wasn't roadkill and a Man Of War; no, not a soldier, that other thing that lives in the ocean! We actually saw quite a number of them washed up on the beach. These are fascinating creatures to observe, very intriguing to read about, and the sound they make when you accidentally step on one, is akin to popping large bubble wrap. I don't think you'd want to know what kind of sound you'd make if you happened to get stung while stepping on one of these. I'm sure the sound would not be pleasant, as I've heard the stings can be quite painful.

We had a great Thanksgiving Day at Pensacola RV Park in Pensacola, FL. We celebrated the day with a great feast there, with the camp owners providing turkey, ham, duck, goose, quail, and other festive accompaniments, and campers sharing their favorite traditional Thanksgiving side dishes. Large tables overflowed their capacity as each person brought plenty of food, knowing we'd be joined by 27 Marines not able to spend the day with their beloved families. May the Lord bless the camp owners for inviting these fine young people to the celebration.

We left Pensacola early this morning and are currently heading further south where we're hoping to find warmer temperatures and some good beach walking on the Atlantic side of the state. We hope you all had a great and safe Thanksgiving and may God richly bless you all.

Trevor and Roni

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Speed Bumps

We usually don't have a problem with them, but two particular campgrounds we've stayed in had some killer speed bumps. Trevor only inched over one in one of our last locations, but the damage sustained delayed our departure by almost an hour. If you can approach a speed bump head on, there's usually no problem, but if the only way you can take the bump is at an angle, you've got trouble.

But who has time to fret over broken dishes when the beaches of Florida's panhandle are calling your name? The RV had to go in the shop for repairs, so we decided to turn off the computers and give our brains a break for a few days as we enjoyed the emerald colored waters and the white sandy beaches of the gulf coast.

I left the camera in the hotel room, so I don't have photos to show you, but the sand there, really does look like snow. So much so, we had the strangest experience one night as we took a drive down the barrier island of Pensacola Beach.

As we drove along, we saw piles of white sand. It was quite windy, so sand was blowing across the road and sticking to the pavement in the lane next to us. There was a man up ahead who managed to get his car stuck in the sand on the side of the road. He was trying to dig his car out when we stopped to offer assistance. Nothing strange, about any of that, right?

But this is what our Minnesotan BRAINS were registering: Snowdrifts, blowing snow, “Are the snowplows out yet?”, “We need to help this man quickly, he's got to be freezing.” And then being surprised by the blast of warm air on our faces when we rolled down the windows. It was so strange how our minds just couldn't seem to register “sand”.

We spent 2 nights at Pensacola Beach and then headed to Jacksonville Beach, where we saw beautiful sunrises, dolphin, Navy ships, horseshoe crabs, starfish, and even had the pleasure of visiting with some familiar faces and marveling at what an incredibly small world this is!

We arrived in Georgia last night to await the news that our “house” repairs are finished and were so blessed this morning by the warm embraces of our dear family at Calvary Chapel Alpharetta. We've really missed you all and were so happy to see you this morning. I can already feel that it's going to be difficult to leave here again and am sorry to be missing out on all that's going on there with the new Heritage Institute of Biblical Worldview. If you've never heard of it, you should take a look at the Institute's website at

No matter what denomination you are, it's something you may well be interested in. It's good training for everybody, and especially good for those interested in being trained for some kind of vocational ministry.

We hope to be able to see you all during our short stay here, but if you really want us to hang around for awhile, we hope someone has a REALLY LONG driveway and full hookups!

Love, Trevor and Roni

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Cutest Sound

The cutest sound to me is that of a baby laughing hysterically. The runner up is the sound of birds walking across a rubber roof. Each time we hear it, it makes us laugh.

A lot of baby Cranes and Starlings visit the campsites here. I googled Starlings yesterday and learned they're part of the Mynah Bird family. An article said in some areas they're used as pets, and if you say the same word to them 50 times a day for three days, they will repeat that word back to you. I spend a lot of time outside while Trev's inside at work. I plan to use this information to freak Trevor out. He's going to walk outside in a few days and hear his name being called from all the trees, bushes, and rooftops. Trevor! Trevor! How cool will that be?

Myrtle Beach is full of wildly fascinating things. Trevor said I'm like a 3 year old when we're out on the beach. It's because, not unlike a 3 year old, most things out here are new and exciting to me. There are the things I showed you in the last post, but there's been much more since.

I've seen schools of small crab make their way out to the ocean at sunrise, a live Sand Dollar washed up on the beach, schools of Mullets jumping out of the water, a Shark diving down after them, fishermen pulling in Skates and Sharks, flocks of Sea Gulls and Pelicans diving for food, and a fishing pier highlighted by awesome sunrises. How could one not be fascinated but such wondrous things?

And the fish we caught when we went deep sea fishing on Saturday! I caught a Trigger Fish, so named because it has two fins on top of it's head. If you try to push the first fin down, it won't budge. But the second fin goes down easily and brings the first one with it. Like a trigger.

Trev had an interesting catch that day as well. He caught what they call a Piggy. Or Pig Fish. When you pull this fish into the boat, it grunts like a pig. I've never heard anything like it before!

It was supposed rain, so we didn't set the alarm to beat the sunrise today. I wish we had, because it hasn't rained yet, and I sit here wondering what all we missed this morning. And so what if we had gotten wet? If it's raining too hard I won't bring my camera, but we'll continue to beat the dawn from now on and if I can't photograph what we find, I'll just have to tell you about it.

We hope all of you are well. We love you!

Love, Trevor and Roni

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Oh, The Distractions!

While in Virginia, I was able to make a lot of headway on the book I'm writing. Except for the slight concern there may be a flood in the park, there wasn't much to distract me during the pouring rain. But this new place is going to be a problem!

We've parked our home just steps away from the ocean, where thundering waves constantly call my name. I do oblige the call at sunup when Trev and I go for a morning stroll, but it never quits. As I prepare to do the laundry, “Roni!” As I sit down to write, “Roni!” As I prepare dinner, “Roni!”

Along with a never ending show of color and wonder, the ocean knows exactly how to entice me with new treasures it leaves for me each day. You would not believe the things to be found out there! Birds feasting at the river that meets the ocean, beautiful arrays of shells sprinkled on the beach, winged birds and military jets that soar over the water, blow fish washed up on the beach, and interesting things that inquiring minds would like to take home to dissect if their husband didn't forbid it! I want to know, what is this thing???

When we've taken one last stroll on the beach at sunset, when we've hunted for our last treasure of the day, I look forward to bedtime when at last, the thundering waves turn to whispers and gently lull me to sleep.

I think we're really going to like this place!!!

Trevor and Roni

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Um...Where's Our House?


If you were a fly on the windshield, this is what you would have heard as we drove home from Lexington, VA yesterday. With all the traveling we've been doing, we've begun to get a little confused at times. You know the feeling you have when you leave a store and can't remember where you parked your car? Well, we seem to be able to locate our “toad” (car, tow vehicle) okay, but can't remember where we've parked the RV. All the campgrounds we've lived in since we left 5 months ago are beginning to meld together in our brains. Sometimes it takes a minute to remember which park we're at now.

We've been blessed to be able to stay in some really nice places here on the East Coast. Cherry Hill Park was great, although we didn't spend a whole lot of time there, as the purpose of that stay was to visit my sister in D.C., who (whom?) I haven't seen in years. It was so great to see her and the area that she so enjoys living in. It's not hard to see why. Take a look at the view from the top of her apartment building! How many national monuments/memorials do you see? Sorry, I'm sure you could see them better if I HAD A LENS THAT WOULD FOCUS!!! I'll be able to do something about that soon, I hope!

In Staunton,Virginia, we stayed at a nice little KOA campground where we parked the rear of the RV so that it hung over the edge of a beautiful pond. And it was lovely. Until the rain began! It rained so hard, for so long, that the pond rose up over its banks. We had one semi-sleepless night there, from fear that we may need to move to higher ground, but we were fortunate enough to have been on the high end of the pond, so we were fine. I did enjoy photographing the many ducks that frequented the pond. Looking back though, I wonder if I may have been missing a hint that they did not appreciate being photographed.

The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is so beautiful. My sister was adamant that we take a drive on Skyline Drive. With all the rain there, I thought we were going to have to miss it, but the Lord is good and blessed us with 2 days of beautiful sunshine that we took full advantage of. We took the 6 hour drive along Skyline Drive, where I found myself speechless so many times along the way. All I could say was, “Wow! Wow, thanks Sis, for suggesting it. I really hated to leave Virginia this morning. I'd love to stay put there and bask in the beauty of the area much longer, but it's too cold there!!! .

We're currently on our way to Myrtle Beach where we plan to park the RV only steps away from the ocean and where I plan to wear out my sunglasses. But with the lack of traffic on highway 38 at the present time, Trev is wondering if there's a hurricane we haven't heard about. It looks okay; I guess we'll see. The weather's been pretty crazy all over the country, so be careful out there and as always, I hope you enjoy the hazy, unfocused pictures I'm sending your way.

Trevor and Roni

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Whale Tales

If you're looking for a beautiful, quiet, serene place to relax, Vermont is the place for you! But make sure you arrive before the leaves begin to peak in the fall, because we heard it gets pretty crazy around there. The hills surrounding Brattleboro are loaded with trees so you know when the leaves have peaked, it's quite a show that most wouldn't want to miss. When we arrived there on September 11th, the leaves were just beginning to change so we were able to explore the place in peace and quiet. The area is home to THE VERMONT COUNTRY STORE, a place many of us have seen only from a mail order catalog. We heard the original store was a fun place to visit, but since it was an hour away we chose to see their other store closer to “home”. If you're into nostalgia, you'd love this place.

What we really enjoyed though, was the peace and beauty of the scenic landscapes, the covered bridges and the tranquility that hung in the air. As we traveled through Vermont I absolutely fell in love with the place. But then we got to Maine!

Our first night here, Trevor enjoyed his first freshly caught lobster. I'm not a fan of seafood, but I did enjoy the little science class we held at the table as we dissected the carcass that contained Trevor's dinner. I never knew lobsters were as gross as I had expected!

Every year my parents rent a house for a week on the ocean in Kennebunkport, Maine. (Hi Mom and Dad!) They've been telling us for years what a beautiful area it is, so we put it on our itinerary for our trip down the east coast. We had a great time visiting with them and my aunts and uncles there. The place really is gorgeous and an awesome place to sit and relax on the deck with the ocean just a few steps away. The downtown area is filled with quaint little shops where you can shop your heart out (if you don't live in a motorhome), and not far from there, you can view Former President Bush Sr.'s compound situated on a small peninsula on the ocean.

On Friday we pulled up stakes and went north to Bar Harbor for the weekend. Saturday morning we visited Acadia National Park. What another beautiful place. You don't see many people without a camera there and for good reason!

In the afternoon we went on a Whale Watching Tour. We had so much fun! Saw a lot of whales, but mostly their backs as they were logging at the surface of the water and then their tails as they went down for a dive. I did catch a quick glimpse of one whale's face, but didn't catch it with the camera. I was really hoping to see one jump out of the water, but we still had a great time! If you ever go on one of these tours, SIT IN THE BOW OF THE BOAT! It was pretty cold out there on the ocean and you would think it'd be best to sit on one side of the boat or even inside, but contrary to popular belief, the best place to be is in the front. I don't know why, but it's much warmer there, the ride over the waves is a blast, and the view is great! Near the end of the four hour trip Trev and I toured the rest of the boat. Saw a lot of people green around the gills and not enjoying the trip at all. We made haste back to the bow where it was much more fun.

Sunday morning we went back to Acadia for a hike before heading back to Scarborough, Maine. You can get a pretty good workout there on hikes that lead you through the woods and onto rocks along the ocean shore.

Our stay here at Bayley's Camping Resort is coming to an end. This is a nice place with lots to do. The ocean's nearby, where hurricane Igor contributed to our viewing pleasure by blessing us with roaring waves filled with surfers. Back at the campground there's fishing, swimming in any of their three pools, soaking in the hot tub, kayaking, mini golf, basketball, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, some of these things are off season now, so we didn't get to enjoy them, but I'm sure as we head down south, some of these things will become more available to us.

Leaving here, we'll be off to visit my sister in Washington D.C., then down to Virginia and on to Myrtle Beach for awhile. Looking forward to seeing y'all down south real soon! We miss you all, North, South, East and West!

Love, Trevor and Roni

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Poconos

It's hard to believe we've been in the Pocono Mountains for almost a month already. There's certainly been no lack of excitement. On the way here we boondocked on some county fairgrounds in Ohio and then in western Pennsylvania, where we caught the last few numbers of a Christian band in town that evening. When they finished the gig and began tearing their equipment down, we were treated to the sounds of Third Day over their awesome sound system as we were snuggling in for the night.

The Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania don't have much in common with the Rockies. For one, they're not as high so it's much easier to breathe here. There are no snow caps and there's no purple mountain majesty, but these mountains do contain some gems of their own, one of them being Bushkill Falls. If you're ever in the area, this place is definitely worth checking out. The roads leading to the place were shut down because of a traffic accident, so we arrived too late in the day to explore the park like we wanted to. But this place is awesome! There are different paths with waterfalls all over the place. We were only able to hike one of them because it was so late in the day, but still, it was a great workout and the scenery was awesome!

Always looking for a good photo op, I asked Trevor to take me to Claws 'N' Paws Wild Animal Park where I hoped to score some good animal shots. On the way there, we stopped by a supermarket for some cash and I had to do a double take when I glanced over at a van in the parking lot. Inside, there was a woman with a dog that looked very much like a deer. On second glance, I saw that it was a deer! After finally convincing an unbelieving Trevor to take a look, he just had to ask the woman if he could photograph the deer. The woman told Trevor that she and her husband went to a petting zoo to take pictures one day and found that a doe there had rejected her fawn. The couple took the fawn home, bottle-fed it, and have been raising it for 5 years. There are so many unanswered questions about how this all works out for them, but it did get me daydreaming about the possibilities of what I may be able to come home with that day.

The mountains here are a little difficult to see through the trees, but we did get some good views from the train we rode in Jim Thorpe, PA. I haven't made this well known amongst most of you, but here goes: I love trains! I always have. We used to take a train from Minnesota to Indiana to visit my grandparents when I was a little girl. I loved everything about it! The old train depots, the view from the cars, the sound of the wheels on the tracks, the conductors uniforms, it was all a great thrill for me. Once when I was about 11, my sister and I took the train home alone, after a visiting our grandparents in Indiana for the whole summer. It was the first time I can remember going to the dining car. My sister and I went there to get something to eat. It was much fancier than I expected it to be with the white linens on all the tables and the prices on the menu! We only had enough money with us to share an ice cream sundae, but that was fine by us! The whole trip was great, and we especially felt so grown up because we were doing it all on our own. Here in the Poconos, I was thrilled to share Trevor's first train ride with him. Granted, it was only a one hour trip, but it was still a thrill!

This past weekend was such a special blessing for us because we were able to visit with our dear friends, Gordon, Christy, and their two dogs. It was a little bittersweet, as the only reason they were able to visit with us at the campground was because Christy's father had passed away about 2 hours away from us in New York. On their way back to Georgia they were able to spend the night here in a cabin about 50 feet from our RV. We got to have the dogs in the RV with us because they were not allowed to stay in the cabin. It was great to spend time with Christy and Gordon and it was great to have something to pet!

After saying goodbye to our dear friends on Sunday, we headed out to explore some of my Italian roots at La Festa Italiana, an annual event with good food and great music in downtown, Scranton, PA. The food was good, but we really enjoyed a Tribute to Frank Sinatra done by Chris DiMattio and Ken McGraw's Brass & Ivory Band. We got our first taste ever of Gelato (an Italian ice cream) there, and later enjoyed a nice fireworks display there in the ELECTRIC CITY, so called because of its history of being the first US city to have an electric street car.

The month we've spent here at Silver Valley Campsites has been great. We've had some interesting neighbors come and go, one of them being an Elvis impersonator and his band who pulled in at 3:00 on a Friday morning. Somehow they've managed to tour the country while squeezing 7 adults into one bus. With no slide-outs? They must be pretty laid back people to be able to tolerate that for any length of time. They didn't stay long, but we did get the opportunity to see them in action at the local county fair. They were pretty good. We've enjoyed the 2 swimming pools, one of them indoors where you can get a good workout in without bothering anybody, ( no one else wants to be indoors in this beautiful weather), and the occasional visits by the neighborhood herd of deer. On Friday evening, we'll be moving on toward Maine, hoping to meet the season's change of color and then follow it down toward Georgia. We've missed you all down there a lot and are looking forward to seeing y'all as we stop by for a short visit on our way down south. Take care!

Love, Trevor and Roni

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our Son, The Doctor

Other than the fact it happens to be the state housing my son right now and it's home of Purdue University, what more can I say about Indiana? Or at least the part of it we were in.

We arrived on a Saturday and that same evening, attended a very nice dinner party hosted in Michael's honor by his advisor Rolf and his wife, Maryjane.

The following Saturday, we attended the long awaited graduation ceremony. This being a summer graduation, we were surprised to see there were more than 1300 students receiving their diploma that day. We arrived an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin and still had difficulty locating 2 empty seats together.

You can imagine how thrilled we were to watch our son be hooded and then handed his diploma after so many years of hard work in academia. Now the job hunt is on and we'll be interested to see where Michael Skoby, PhD, finally settles down.

The week following the ceremony was filled with trying to squeeze in as much Mike time as we could. At the same time, I was honestly trying to find something interesting about the area to write about.

There was one morning that Trevor had been reading in the book of Job in the New American Standard Version Bible. A portion of what he read that day was Job 14: 7-9

“For there is hope for a tree;
When it is cut down, that it will sprout again
And its shoots will not fail.
“Though its roots grow old in the ground
And its stump dies in the dry soil,
At the scent of water it will flourish
And put forth its sprigs like a plant.

That same afternoon, as we walked through a battleground memorial, Trevor came upon a tree growing up out of an old stump. He thought maybe the Lord was trying to tell him something, so that evening, he decided he better read further into the book of Job.
Through The Word, the Lord showed Trevor some things he needed to deal with in his life. It was interesting to see the simple and gentle way the Lord got Trevor's attention.

Other than that, Mike, and the old buildings on the Purdue campus, the town just didn't hold anything that interested us much.

As far as the campground we were in, let's just say that SANFORD AND SON comes to mind.

After spending so much time in mountains and rolling hills, the terrain in Indiana drove us both crazy. Trevor does all the driving and I'm amazed that he's able to stay awake for so many hours driving through some parts of the country.

We will miss our son, but we were so thrilled to arrive at our new place in the Pocono Mountains on Sunday. We plan to remain here in Pennsylvania for about a month and we're looking forward to this weekend when we can do some serious exploring of the area. I'll let you know what we find.

Love, Trevor and Roni

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Crop Dusters

Does anybody know what's actually in crop dust? We'd really like to know since we're currently living in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa where crop dusters abound!

When left Wyoming early on a Sunday morning and headed for higher elevations, arriving in Denver, Colorado that afternoon. We landed at a place called Cherry Creek State Park. This park has everything! Scores of hiking and biking trails, a model airplane field, horseback riding, an outdoor gun range, swimming at the beach, boating and fishing. The fish in the lake include walleye, bass, crappie, pike, carp, catfish, and the ever elusive, trout!!! I really wanted to get a fishing license for that place, because unlike a guy I know who wants to return the fly fishing gear to his brother, I'm not ready to give up on catching that trout quite yet. Besides that, the park's brochure says that state record walleye have been caught in that reservoir. Wouldn't have minded catching one or two of those either, but we ended up finding other things to do instead. .

Colorado has a number of scenic byways to explore. I'd like the opportunity to experience all of them, but the time we spent there just wasn't enough We did visit Mt Evans however, which was a little less than an hours drive from our campground. If you ever plan to go there, arrive early enough in the day so you don't have to drive the mountain roads home in the dark! The roads are very narrow, curvy, and there are no guardrails guarding against the sheer drop-offs. And for some reason, the people on the side of the road with the drop-offs, like to travel in the other lane! It can be a little scary at times, but the trip is well worth it, with plenty of gorgeous mountain views, mountain lakes and streams, plant-life and wildlife. There was a restaurant at the top of this mountain at one time, but they had a propane explosion and never rebuilt. They did leave the ruins there however, which at times are dotted with scraggly looking mountain goats.

In Colorado Springs, we had a great time visiting with family we hadn't seen in years. It was great to see them and their families and catch up on everything that's been going on with them. Soon after that Andy passed away, so that put a bit of a damper on the rest of the stay, but we did see some other beautiful sights and celebrated our anniversary in Golden Colorado at a restaurant called GRAPPA, which is what our granddaughters call Trevor, so of course we had to eat there.

Our son Michael is graduating from Purdue University with a PhD in physics, which is why we're currently living in the aforementioned cornfield in Amana, Iowa. We're heading toward Indiana for the graduation ceremony and Iowa was about half way there. We have family here also, so it worked out nice for a wonderful visit with them too. The campground we're in is nice. It's clean, with spacious sites, and it's flat. Did I mention it was flat? I have to tell you, it's been a nice break staying here in Iowa. As you can imagine, there's not a lot to do in the cornfield, outside of trying to decide if it's a cow you're hearing or a donkey. It's afforded me the time to catch up on some things I've needed to catch up on. I'm really looking forward to seeing my son and watching him get the diploma he's worked so hard for over the last 10 years. Then it's off to....(I'll let you know)

One last thing, this is for our friend, Kevin Mossman. Kevin, forget about the RV bus of your dreams. We found it for you! We just need to know how much you want us to bid on this puppy when it goes up for auction!

We miss you all! Take care.
Trevor and Roni