Monday, December 1, 2014

Amphibian Assault Vehicle

Before leaving Pensacola Beach last February, we reserved a spot on the waterfront beginning in October. We were hoping to experience the area at a time when winter coats weren’t necessary. We did have to go buy some, but have only had to wear them a couple of times so far. Shorts and flip flops today, so we’re not doing too badly!

We arrived to town a few days ahead of our reservations, so in the meantime we stayed down the road at Fort Pickens; a national park located along the Gulf of Mexico. We love to walk along the beaches there, explore the old fort relics, soak up the sun and gaze out at the water while being entertained by abundant wildlife.

You have to watch where you’re walking on these beaches because they’re full of ghost crabs. These crabs blend right in with the sand. If it weren’t for their blue colored eyes and innards you might not see them at all. You’d mostly see movement all around you, but not see what’s causing it. 

While Trevor paused along the water’s edge one evening, a stingray swam up and just hung there right in front of him. It was so close he could have reached out and touched it. I spotted another one a short way up the beach that soon made its way down and parked itself next to the other one. The stingrays and Trevor just stood there staring at each other for the longest time. We wondered what that was all about. When I loaded the photos I’d taken onto my computer the next day, it looked like one of them had something stuck to its tail. It looks like a tentacle from a Man of War to me. It’s so long and looks like it could be the blue color of the ones I’ve seen washed up on beaches. Maybe they were there because they needed help, or maybe that thing was just a mirage in the photo. We’ll never know. 

But the following morning, we were greeted by a pair of dolphins. So maybe the sea life in this town is just really friendly!

October was very pleasant with perfect weather for enjoying our campsite and the surrounding area. The nose of our rig faces the bay where there is endless entertainment; Regattas, pelicans, seagulls, dolphins, boat shopping and watersports. Trevor liked to combine his boat shopping with his watersports.

Across the bridge, the Blue Angels practice a couple of times a week. We watched them from a field behind the bleachers there one morning. They were amazing! Almost as amazing as the huge dragon flies in the field that mimicked the stunts the Blue Angels were doing. It was hilarious! 

For a while, there seemed to be no lack of amphibians on and around the RV and that was fine with us, because we think they’re pretty cute.

 But I started to get a little nervous while vacationing over Thanksgiving down in Ruskin, FL. There was one little guy who made me nervous because he blended in perfectly with our lounge chairs and I was afraid we might accidentally sit on him.

But the other guy was much larger with more powerful teeth. In the canal behind our RV, this gator started out swimming toward a bird on a post. The bird kept careening its neck out toward the gator as if to say, “Don’t even think about it buster!” Then the gator began to swim toward us! We were told once that gators don’t normally approach humans. They think that if they lay perfectly still in the water or on shore, that you can’t see them. So as far as we knew, a gator approaching us is one accustomed to being fed by humans (please don’t ever feed an alligator!!!). Not trusting it, we promptly walked away.

 But we thought it was pretty cool to see the bird, the gator and the two turtles sunning themselves on shore. 
 Hey, we did get the tissue box Gary made for us painted! Nothing fancy, kind of going for the buoy look. The box works great and we're very pleased with it. Thank you Gary!

We had a great Thanksgiving and we hope all of you did as well. We thank the Lord for each and every one of you and ask that His blessings be poured out in your lives.

We love you and miss you guys!
Love, Trevor & Roni

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What's Next?

Not long after my last post we had the pleasure of meeting with our friends, Gary and Karen at their home in Cedaredge, CO. 
We had some great games of Hand and Foot, lively and uplifting conversations and were treated to the beautiful mountain sceneries of Ouray and Telluride, CO. I’ve not been in the habit of carrying my camera with me lately so most of the photos are on my tablet, for which I have no clue how to get them onto my computer. Trevor did forward the above photo from his phone, for which I am very grateful.
Gary is a skilled wood craftsman and he, along with Karen’s help, completed some home décor projects for me that I’m very excited about.
RV’s are not known for their great amount of counter space, so there isn’t a lot of room for those rectangular shaped Kleenex boxes. So some of us buy the cube shaped ones, right? Have you ever noticed that you get half the amount of tissues in the cubes than you do in the rectangular boxes for the same price? Being the cheapskate that I am, I don’t want to pay the same amount for less. So I asked Gary to build me a cube shaped box with a bottom in it that I can easily open to insert Kleenex from the rectangular boxes into it.

The new box he made us is awesome! We’ve only just started to finish it with a weathered gray stain to match the décor in our rig, but plan to paint some color onto it as well. But it works great and saves us a lot of money!

Next, I asked Gary to make me a surfboard with what looks like a shark bite taken out of it. Kind of like those “Land Shark” signs you see in bars and restaurants. We were planning to place it on the wall between the passenger seat and the loveseat, screw a couple of hooks into it and use it for a coat rack. After our niece finished it with paint for us, Trevor jokingly held it up to the ceiling in the kitchen area. After several people concurred that it needed to go there, Trevor screwed it into the ceiling where it will remain until the last days of earth or the RV, whichever comes first. He just screwed it in last night and is still working on filling in the screw holes. But now I still need some coat hooks! Gary….

The weather was becoming a little nasty while in Cedaredge, so we left earlier than planned. The mountain passes we needed to get through were closed due to snow, so we spent a few days in Glenwood Springs, CO. I’m not a great fan of snow, but it was so beautiful there in the mountains, we just took some time to relax and enjoy where we were until the passes opened up.
While there, we met a wonderful couple a few sites over from us, thus having a mini rally with this couple who happen to be members of that we frequently use for important information and help concerning RVs and for social purposes as well. 

Our next stop was Golden, CO where we had a great visit with family members we don’t often get to see and miss terribly.

There was still a bit of snow on the way to Golden and I wondered how many inches we were in for. 

The nice thing was with our new remodel in the beach theme, no matter where we are or what’s going on outside, I’m always in my happy place!

The summer was busy in Minnesota as always, especially this year with lots of celebrations. First was the baby shower for my daughter who was having her third child 12 years after her last one. Knowing the baby was a boy, we found this recipe online for blue punch. It turned out pretty cute and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

The following day, Trevor and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary by renewing our vows. When we were first married we weren’t living out our faith in Jesus Christ. We were married by a judge using New Age vows and ever since the day the Lord gave us the faith to believe in His Name and in His shed blood for the cleansing of our sins we’ve wanted to renew our vows in His presence and amongst our family.

If we had our way, we would have flown everyone down south for a celebration on the beach near beautiful Gulf waters. Instead, we bought a beach themed backdrop off ebay and faked it. I know it’s cheap and sappy, but we had fun and enjoyed being with our family!
The following week we had a family gathering with Trevor’s side of the family at the KOA in Maple Grove, MN. It was great getting together with relatives we rarely get to see outside of weddings, graduations and funerals.

For me, time has a way of all running together when there’s so much going on. Somewhere in there we squeezed in a visit with our friends, Jack and Mary and Trevor’s big brother

 and his wife at their home in Wisconsin.
We get a lot of comments that the RV remodel looks way better in person than it does in photos, so Mary took some photos with her wide angle lens, our thoughts being maybe it’d be better if the whole thing could be seen at once. 

I’ve seen wide angle shots like this on other RVs and always thought they were airstream photos or something. Now I’ll know better what I’m looking at when I enjoy viewing what fellow RVers have done to their rigs. 
Before leaving MN we took my parents and their dog Rookie, on a trip to one of our favorite places, Anacortes, WA. 

We so wanted to share all the things we love about Anacortes with them. We talked it up for a long time before take- off and could hardly wait to get them out there to enjoy it with us. Unfortunately, it was pretty foggy almost the whole time we were there!

 The big bummer about that was the things we most enjoy there are the sights! Which were a little difficult to see! My mom did get a small glimpse of Mt. Rainier before we left but my dad never saw it. I was especially grateful they got to see the islands from the top of Mt. Erie before we left, but it was still too foggy to see Mt. Rainier from there.

Still, there were other sights to see along the way and we did get to enjoy a lot of other things.

On the way home, our grandson was born just as we were pulling into town. Great timing! It was my dad’s birthday, plus we got to see him the day he was born! My dad thought they should name the baby after him since they shared a birthday after all, but they didn’t bite!

A couple of years ago, I began to visit climbing forums in order to get information for a work of fiction I’ve been working on. On one of the forums I saw that another author had been on the forum asking for help and a climber named Brad had offered her his expertise. I contacted him as well and he so graciously answered any questions I had and he and his wife even met with us in person to help me with technical issues such as knots, etc.
Brad, a deacon in his church in Alabama, asked if we’d like to attend with them one Sunday and say a couple of words about who we are and what we were doing in town. When Trevor told him he was going to say that I met their deacon online and we came out here to meet, we didn’t have to get up and speak in front of the church!!!
The four of us have become good friends and just got back from enjoying time together at Gulf Shores State Park in Lower Alabama.

If you’re an RVer looking for a great place to stay, check this out. Their sites are cheap and the park is filled with all kinds of great things! It’s also a great place for families to stay. They have lots of cabins and some cottages right on a lake there. We rented a cottage that had plenty of room for the 4 of us and more. 

So what’s next?
We’ll let you know when we figure that out…lol!
Take care, you guys!
We love you!
Love, Trevor & Roni

Monday, May 5, 2014

Getting Our Mittens On

Winter in the Panhandle was a rough one this year. I’m not complaining by any means, I know how rough it was on many of you. It’s just that this and cold does not compute in my brain.

Of course I should know better by now, but it always surprises me for some reason. We did have some fun with it though. There were nice days. And then there was a day and a half we were stranded on the Island because of ice on the bridge. I did think it was cool though, that unlike Minnesota, when they sand the streets here, the sand has cute little seashells in them! And then there were days like this where Trevor pretended to be a weatherman. I don’t think he’d like that job.

Spring brought us to Georgia for about a week and I have to apologize, Kirk and Joan and Cathy and Scott, among others, I got pretty sick in town that week and couldn’t visit except for a couple of days we had booked already. I hope all is well with you guys and that we’ll see you soon.
We left Georgia and arrived in Tucson four days later to see my best friend from grade school. We were only there a week before meeting up with other friends in Buckeye, AZ.  What a change from cold and wet to hot and dry!  

When we arrived in California, it was still hot, but at least where we were staying, there was plenty of green grass and water. I’ve mentioned Outdoor Resorts Indio before, but this time was especially nice for us because we were able to rent a site on the golf course. We squeezed a lot more of the game in this year compared to previous years. I think I’m getting a little better at it. I’ve progressed enough that I’m not totally ashamed to golf on a real course any longer. Trevor has really improved! It was fun to watch him. There wasn’t anyone around on many of the evenings, so we took advantage of the situation to do a lot of practice. Some nights we played “sink your best ball out of four”. Trevor landed three of his on the green one night, almost getting a whole in one, and then got two birdies and one under par. Of course his shots aren’t always that great.

An added bonus of our site was the neighbors there; very fun and friendly people! There were a couple of ladies in the neighborhood who were making these tote bags. Aren’t they cute? I just love the creativity they put in their designs. I wish I had photos of all of them. And I really like the size. Perfect for toting a book, my sunglasses, a bottle of water, a snack and a windbreaker for when it cools off in the evenings.

 We left Indio on Thursday evening to begin our trek toward Minnesota. The sun was just about to slip behind the mountains when we pulled into our site at Islander RV Resort on Thursday. As Trevor climbed out of the rig to set us up for the night, I was on his heels, camera in hand, making a beeline for the empty site with the best view of the river. We had planned on pulling into a different park more in the heart of the city; both of us expecting this area to be desolate, like Quartzite. We were surprised to see a vibrant, bustling, somewhat beachy city.  At the last minute, Trevor remembered hearing about Islander, so we sought it out. 

After the slides were out and all appropriate cords and hoses hooked up, hunger drove us to seek food in town. We settled on Javelina Cantina just before you cross the bridge into an ocean of city lights.
A clear, crisp, melodic voice of a male singer filled the air on the patio of the Mexican Restaurant where we feasted on quesadillas, taquitos and Jalapeno poppers. We gazed out at the London Bridge, lit up against a clear ebony sky. The bridge spans the Colorado River there as the river winds its way through Lake Havasu City in Arizona. As we toasted the 4th anniversary of traveling full-time, Trevor commented on the encompassing environment we’d found ourselves in that evening. How appropriate for an anniversary of traveling.

As we made our way toward Moab, I was looking forward to getting our mittens on. No, not the warm wooly ones, these:

As if that wasn’t cool enough, we arrived in Moab on Saturday evening. What a gorgeous place! It turns out, there’s a Family Motor Coach Association 4-wheeling rally going on here in Portal RV Resort. I don’t know how we got a site, must have been a fluke thing because they’re filled to capacity here. We don’t own a jeep and I haven’t been 4-wheeling since I graduated from high school a couple of years ago…ahem! I know there has to be a ton of people from here. I’m very sure you’re not on the forum, reading your blog or checking your email (Ernie and Tara) with all the excitement you’ve got going on this week. But we’d love to meet forum members in person so if you just happen to see this, stop by for a quick hello if you can. We’re easy to find. We’re the only site that doesn’t have a 4-wheeler of any kind.

We had all day Sunday to visit two of the many National Parks out here. What amazing stuff!
We visited Arches early in the morning and left just as the crowds were coming in. Then we had a quick break for lunch before heading to Canyon Lands. It was awesome!  We did quite a bit of hiking yesterday, something not on my agenda due to a torn meniscus, an ACL hanging by a thread and a bad case of arthritis in my knee. But looking at all those trails that you know will lead to beautiful places, who can resist? I determined to make some of those climbs, trusting the Lord I wouldn’t have to be dragged out of there. The Lord was faithful and those physical therapy exercises have really paid off. Back in November I could hardly walk through the grocery store.

We’re taking a rest today. Not because I’m in pain. My knee feels great! Just because we’ve been running non-stop for weeks and we just need a night of rest. But tomorrow evening; who knows? Maybe hire or rent a jeep, do a little hiking, take a cruise down the Colorado River…there’s so many possibilities!
Take care, guys! We love you! 
Love, Trevor & Roni