Our Awesome Travels

Our Awesome Travels
Taken In Quartzsite Arizona Dec 7th 2015

Friday, February 15, 2008

February & March Heading East

Sat. Mar. 29th
Today, we took a drive in the country to Marshallville to check out Massee Lane Gardens (The American Camellia Society). We strolled the beautiful walkways though various buildings and gardens. Checking out the large display of porcelain figures in various buildings and over 1,000 varieties of Camellias was beautiful. As luck would have it the battery on my camera died and the spare was back at the RV so did not get too many pictures. The lady at the gift shopped told us to go to Angel City (about 3 miles from our park). We later took a drive there, through a field laneway and the bush, and came across a replica of and old western town, with a town square, 4 saloons and stage, many stores, a paved one way road for cruising and hundreds of empty campsites, even a concert stage close by. Apparently this is used by motorcycle enthusiasts and campers for various large events when thousands come from all over. It would be amazing to see this place in full swing.
Fri. Mar.28th
Today was a relaxing day, cleanup a bit, do some laundry and enjoy the weather. Late afternoon while sitting outside, a lady (Barbara Cormack) dropped by to chat, she was from Barrie Ontario. A single Rv’er who has been travelling in her class A motor home towing a small car on her own for about 8 years. She told us of some of her travels and mentioned that’s she has written columns for a Canadian RV magazine. And it just so happens that both Suzie and I have been following her articles. She was a very interesting lady to talk with. Hope we run into her again.

Thurs. Mar. 27th ’57 Diner
Over cast but warm 70F (22c) by 10:00am. We decided to check out a local Restaurant in town for lunch, “57 Diner”. Wow a blast from the past 1957 in particular. This name evolved from 1957 when Ernest turned 19 and bought a brand new 1957 Ford convertible complete with fender skirts and continental tire kit. (He still has this car and plans to get it repainted so he can park it in front of the Diner when he is open.) Across from the train tracks in Unadilla this place is a hobby for Ernest Christmas whose wife passed away 8 years ago. His sister in law Dot Barker from Macon County Chamber of Commerce told us about this place. He wanted something to do and display his collection of antiques and memorabilia. Very simple menu quick and cheap, Hot dogs $1.25, Chili dogs $1.35, bowl of chili $1.50 drinks $1.00 and desert $1.00, bag of chips $.75. I really like his hours Wed. & Thurs only from 11.00am till 1.30pm. As the name implies it has a 1957 theme with the counter , stools, booths and decorations. We were early (11:05 am) and beat the lunch rush. Ernest happened to be there and we talked with him for a few minutes, but his business partner (Dino Lemmon) told him not to leave as he had to work today, his other help had to attend a meeting. He told us to return at 1:30pm when he closed and he would show us some of his other things.
When we returned at 1:30 Ernest stopped sweeping the floor and took us thru a small door into a huge room, (his work in progress) Amazing! Neon signs, soda fountain, jukes box, ‘50’s music, tables, booths with .10 cent juke boxes, comic books. He hopes to finish it in the next year and use for parties or even open for a cruise night. From here he showed us the men’s washroom, Bright colours and a gas pump, the womens bright pink, with anitique scale and pink toilet seat. While leaving the Diner we were given the last 2 pieces of Lemmon Cake, just because they are now closed until next Wed. and we may as well enjoy it. We walked down the street about 6 doors and he opened the front door of and old Grocery store. Again this is a replica of an old grocery store with medicines, pop, bottles, counters, meat counter, shopping carts, food bins, ice boxes, radios, pots and pans, comic books, displaying his collections. The other half of this building is a replica of an old soda fountain, booths etc. displaying more of his collection from the ‘50’s. From here we went to the building next store, an old car dealership. The first door was a reproduction of a small Barber shop, with mirrors, cash register, chair and shoe shine stand. The next room was the showroom for his Automobile collection of license plates, steering wheel knobs, old car accessories, Oil cans, gas pump, and his 1950 Ford in mostly original condition.
Well an amazing 2 hours viewing his collection and listening to his stories that he has to share. What a way to display your collection of items collected. If you ever get to Unadilla Georgia be sure to stop by and if Ernest is there I am sure he would love to show off his collections. I have a text copy of the newspaper article that was publish Feb. 24, 2008 that I can email you on request.
Wed. Mar. 26th
We headed south along the local back roads enjoying the green fields, massive Pecan orchards, bright blossoms, and some huge southern mansions to Vienna. Here we stopped at the Dooly County Welcome Centre & Georgia Cotton Museum. We enjoyed a short video here and learned some amazing facts about cotton. From here down to Cordelle then west along US 280 to Desoto & Leslie. We had hoped to do a tour of the Georgia Rural Telephone museum but and to wait 1 ½ hours until the next tour. It was 11:30 and no restaurants around so we travelled north to Americus a larger town. We spotted Dragon House Buffet , and as luck would have it our Chinese food craving took us there.
What a great decision, this all-you can-eat buffet had over 200 items from all the Chinese dishes you can imagine, salad bar to seafood, sushi, pizza, hot dogs, fries, chicken wings, desert, and ice cream, all for an amazing $4.25 per person.
After this we stopped at Souther Field Airport where Charles Lindeberg took his first solo flight in 1923. From here north to Andersonville a small Civil War village that we drove thru. Then on to Ogelthorpe to view some more beautiful Historic homes from the mid 1800’s. Then back home after a lovely day of touring the Middle Georgia Countryside with the sun shining and the windows open, awesome!

Tues. Mar. 25th
An early start today, taking the RV to a local dealer to repair small leak in our water tank for 8.00am. Back to the campground by 9.00am set up and take a nice leisurely drive through the countryside to Montezuma Georgia a Mennonite community. We checked out the Macon County Chamber of Commerce and chatted with Dot Barker & Jimmy Davis who was a judge for the Dance at the Rally for the World’s Record Dance, and he informed us that there was 1,176 people on the dance floor and they are awaiting confirmation on the World’s Record. We drove about town and went to Yoders Deitsch Haus Restaurant and Bakery for lunch. They had tasty southern Mennonite food served cafeteria style. We enjoyed the food, service and atmosphere of this country setting. I liked their hours. Tues; to Sat. 11.30 to 2.00 for lunch and 5.00 to 8.30 for dinner, and closed wed. night.

Sat. Mar. 22nd
Once again another nice day, at Southern Trails resort in Unadilla Georgia where we will stay until April 1st. Unadilla is small town about 15 miles south of Perry. At 1.00pm we went to the clubhouse for an Easter Potluck Dinner with Don and Nancy, and another Canadian couple from Galvin Bay, there was a great assortment of tasty dishes. Afterward we relaxed in the afternoon sun. At 7:00pm the campground put on a huge campfire and provided free Hot Dogs and Smores, a nice snack after a large lunch.
Fri Mar. 21st
Now that Rally is over we took a drive back to Perry. Here we stopped at the visitor centre that has a large Canadian Flag flying out front, nice to see. We obtained information on local attractions and did a driving tour of downtown Perry admiring some of the beautiful southern homes ,gardens and blossoms. Then back home to socialize with Don and Nancy for a bit.
Thurs. Mar.20th
Every morning at the clubhouse from 7 to 8 am they have free pancakes and free coffee all day long. There is also various games going on most of the day and evenings.
We had a small leak in the drain plug of our hot water tank, so I went to the local RV dealer for a new plug, and a mechanic there loaned me a tool to re tap the treads. They gave me a 10 percent discount and free Teflon tape to install it all for a $12.00 purchase! Our neighbour a 76 yr old man from Hamilton Ontario was working on the brakes of his trailer and went to the same dealer for a new brake assembly on Friday. The parts man there gave him all the parts he needed (no charge) and said Happy Easter. Amazing southern hospitality.

Thurs. March 13th
We left the Rest area just west of Montgomery Alabama and travelled really nice roads to The Rally in Perry Georgia, arriving at 8.50am. This was at the Georgia National Fairgrounds. A very large, organized facility that hosts many RV Rallys with over 6,000 Rv’s registered to camp here, an awesome sight. We were escorted to our parking spot where we will camp until Tuesday. We got lucky with a spot in the front row facing the Fairgrounds and nobody immediately beside us. From here we were able to walk to everywhere on the fairgrounds. After registering we relaxed, checked out all the free seminars and shows (all free) and studied the map of all the displays. Thursday nights entertainment was the Vogues , a vocal quartet formed in 1960 that had many great hits, an enjoyable show.
Friday morning I attended a seminar on RV tires at 8.30am and Suzie met me at 10:00 am when the indoor displays opened. We checked this out for about 4 hours then back to the RV for supper. We had another couple arriving Friday afternoon (Rob and Pat from Ontario who camped with us at Abita Springs) With them was a couple from Buckhorn Ontario that we met (John and Barb) Then we went to the arena at 6.30 for an awesome show by Bobby Vinton.(Blue Velvet etc..)
Saturday we checked out more vendors and outdoor displays some really awesome Rv’s, had an early supper, a seminar by Mike and Terry Church on Rving in Mexico whose book we have been reading. Then back to the Arena for the Worlds Record for the most couples dancing at one time for 5 continuous minutes doing the foxtrot. We were all given instructions and we did break the World’s record with at least 1,178 couples on the arena floor to the music of a Big Band. following this was Prom Night and many people were dressed to the nines for this. I did not feel like wearing my Tux (haha). Saturday evening we had very heavy rains and wind as a Tornado went thru Atlanta Georgia about 150 miles north of us.
Sunday morning the six of us from Ontario went to the Monaco Coach display for free coffee and cinnamon buns. We viewed some amazing Million dollar Rv’s and Met another couple from Ontario Peter and his wife who we met at Galvin Bay and Rockport Texas. We also met another couple from Galvin Bay, Don and Nancy. In the afternoon we attended another seminar by Mike & Terry Church on Rving the Baha Peninsula of Mexico. Both seminars were excellent and very informative.
On Monday we checked out more displays and returned to John and Barb’s to enjoy some awesome homemade pizzas and snacks with Rob and Pat. This was very relaxing after many miles of walking for 5 days.
Tuesday (Mar.18th) morning everyone had to leave the fairgrounds by 10.00am so we travelled south to Southern Trails campground at Unadilla Georgia ( about 15miles)with Rob and Pat where we will stay for 2 weeks. Here the weather will be mostly sunny and about 75f ( 24C). similar to what we have been having.
Pics from Rally

Sun. Mar.9

Nice sunny day and a drive to the French Quarter New Orleans with our friends Rob and Pat from Ontario,(their first time here). Across the causeway to the parking lot by the River walk and Riverboat tours. We walked along Decatur st. past Jackson Square where there was street performers and horse drawn carriages. The atmosphere on sunday is lively with lots of people around. Further along we checked out different shops and sites. Then to the French Market to check out the goods. From there a few blocks to the Famous Bourbon St. which is pretty lively for 1 pm on sunday. Where all the buildings are right on the sidewalk but lots of small alleys leading to restaurants and real quaint courtyards. One of these was Pat O'Briens and looked like an interesting place to stop for lunch. Starting with their famous Hurricane drink (what else). We enjoyed the pleasant surroundings and a small lunch then continued down Bourbon St. Almost every place has music and drinks to go. Our next Stop was The Bourbon St. Blues Company with lively music and 3 for1 drink specials. In this courtyard where lots of lively people. This one young couple spotted us and came to chat with us Canadians. He attending medical school. They told us some of their experiences during Katrina and were a very nice couple. After here we walked a bit more along Bourbon St. then made our way back to Jackson Square. There was more street performers and a huge crowd. Suzie spotted the cast from the TV Show Extreme Makeover and the girls had their pictures taken with them. From here back to our car then toured some side streets and Greenwood Cemetery, interesting with everything above ground. The amazing thing about the French Quarter is all the different sights you see every time you go their. From here back across the causeway to home and a campfire that evening.
French Quarter pics

Sat. Mar. 8

We took a drive to Mandeville market and the shores of Lake Pontchartrain again with Rob & Pat then stopped for a light lunch at Abita Brew Pub to sample some local flavoured beer and try another Louisiana Specialty. A Po-Boy, this is a huge sandwich on a special bun piled with roast beef, gravy, tomatoes and lettuce, and sweet potato french fries. Really delicious and more than enough for the Suzie and myself to share.
a few pics

Fri.Mar. 7

Friday afternoon we surprised by a knock on our door from another couple from our home park at Rock Glen in Ontario, Rob & Pat. Wew had run into them in Quartzsite as well. They had just arrived for a week and are also heading to the Rally in Perry Georgia, small world. We had already planned to do the tag-a-long to Rags Too Seaford for a buffet that night so invited them to come along. There was about 25 people from the park that went and we took about 1/2 of the restaurant. The seafood buffet was amazing with a huge tub of boiled crawfish, and trays of shrimp, catfish cooked different ways, calamari (octopus) , frogs legs, crabs, cajun rice, shrimp gumbo, seafood pot pie, pasta salad, salad bar and more . These were Louisaina specialties and treat for us to sample. people were taking Huge trays of crawfish . These crawfish are not much bigger than your thumb and you just eat the meat in the tail (like a mini Lobster tail) so it takes about 10lbs per person for a meal. We sampled these and were quite interesting, The real southerners eat the head too, We could not bring ourselves to try this. Everything was delicious and a real dining experience in a small local restaurant. But worst thing was we both forgot our cameras. As it was hilarious to watch Pat attempt to eat a crawfish without touching it with her hands (impossible). Finally Renea the campground manager came and gave us all a lesson on eating crawfish, and opened one up for Pat to try, we did our own.

Wed. Mar. 5th

Today was nice and sunny but cooler about 65f (18c) , good day for a drive. We left at 9.30 am and went across the causeway to New Orleans then south along the San Bernardo Scenic Byway beside the Mississippi River to Shell Beach. This was a scenic byway, but extremely devastated since Katrina which the pamphlet did not tell us. There was buildings missing, and destroyed, roads that ended because of damage, complete shopping plazas and apartments, churchs destroyed, boats sitting in the bush, staircases leading to nowhere. There was a lot being rebuilt and repaired, Trailers sitting in the front yard for people to live in while fixing up their homes. New homes being built on stilts, some probably 20 feet in the air, amazing. There was some nice things to see , the oak lined roadway, the huge ships on the Mississippi river, an old Plantation built in 1808, the fishing boats, Pelicans, Shell Beach (which is now a memorial to Katrina Victims) etc.. By 1 pm we were getting hungry and had not seen a restaurant, we spotted a Burger King Sign high in the air, but no Burger King just an empty parking lot and debris. A few miles later we did find a place to grab a quick bite. All in all it was and interesting and educational drive. Just amazing the force of nature.
pics of drive

Mon. Mar. 3rd

The weather has been really nice with a few days 80 f (27c). We are enjoying the Campground and area. Abita Springs RV Resort. On Saturday we drove to Mandeville about 8 miles to their Saturday Market with lots of vendors and excellent weather, we even bought a quart of fresh Louisiana Strawberries (yummy!) After that we toured the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, enjoying the beautiful homes and scenery. From there we drove to the Covington Market about 12 miles, enjoying the country side,(red soil) and the swamp scenery. Here vendors with local fresh shrimp, oysters and produce. Then back home to relax outside in the great weather. BBQ chops for dinner and visit with our neighbours. Sunday when it was warm I found a cute little lizard on the windsheild of our RV. More local residents along with the strange looking duck, egrets and canadian geese.
some pics

Wed. Feb. 27th

We arrived Abita Springs at 2:00pm after a really nice day of driving, ( good roads and not much traffic). There was green grass and flowers starting to bloom. The basin bridge on I-10 is 18 miles threw the swamp, then we cross the Mississippi River, very busy with lots of barges and huge ships. The friendly staff and managers at the resort, make you feel right at home. We met a couple from Trenton Ontario and chatted for a bit and found that another couple from Goderich Ontario were camped behind us whom we had met at our home park, Rock Glen in Arkona. Bill and Carol. Bill used work at that park in charge of maintenance. Small world. Abita Springs is a small town on Louisianas North Shore, across Lake Ponchartrain from New Orleans (about 35 miles). Lots to see and do in this area.
some pics

Tues. Feb 26th

Leaving Whitney campground at 9:00am it was cold compared to yesterday. (38f, 4c). The drive along I-35 then I-20 was very tiring (with strong winds) arriving at the Flying J (just east of Shreveport Louisiana) about 3:30pm for the night. We noticed all the Travel Plazas in Louisiana have casinos in them very different from most states.

Mon. Feb. 25

The weather is great, it has been, about 85f (30c) ( 96f, 35c at 230pm) during the day but windy, On sunday we took a drive into Hillsboro, about 15 miles and checked out the local Walmart and a couple of stores. They have a beautiful City Hall that was restored after a fire in 1992, and a few neat shops downtown, Everything closed other than Walmart and grocery stores. Everybody here in church. Even a Cowboy Church. From there we drove to Lake Whitney and checked out one of many State Parks around the lake. Very nice when summer comes and a very popular spot for watter sports. Back home to enjoy the nice weather and a steak BBQ . Tuesday Morning we will be on the road towards New Orleans area ( Abita Springs)

Pics Whitney Texas

Sat. Feb. 23

We are at Lake Whitney Rv Resort south of Dallas Texas until Wed. the 27th. This one of our membership parks.This particular park is in a bad state of repair, but we have our house, full hookups, TV and internet and the camping is free. This must have been a beautiful campground at one time, but is very tired. There is also a 18 hole golf course as part of it with huge run down empty buildings, and everything in need of a lot of maintenance. The small town of Whitney is 6 kms away. One cool and rainy day the rest have been about 22c during the day and partly cloudy. We will tour about the area a bit and do some reading, a nice change.

Wed. Feb. 20th

We are right now in a rest area on I-20 just east of Abilene Texas. We left Benson and traveled along I-10 admiring the huge boulders along the side of the road deposited there by nature, really amazing. The scenery was beautiful, the decorated overpasses, and beautiful rest areas made for a pleasant 3 days of traveling. The Texas rest areas are hard to beat. very secure, clean, well maintained, not commercialized , and free high speed wireless internet.
While traveling I-20 it was amazing to see the vast fields of Oil Rigs and refineries for many many miles between Pecos and Sweetwater Texas. Then at Sweetwater we saw Wind Farms everywhere. From Horizon to horizon as far as you could see nothing but huge wind generators another awesome site!


Sat. Feb. 16th

Yesterday we had a winter storm watch. The high was about 10c overcast and drizzly. We are at and elevation of 2,500 feet. At 10.00 am I was at Walmart and it was snowing!!, Big fluffy, wet snow flakes. Everyone in store was excited, they had not seen snow for a long time. When I got to car had to get snow brush from trunk to clean the windows, about 2 inches of snow. The snow did not stay on the ground and I did not have my camera with me to take any pictures or I would have. By the time I got back to camp (10 minutes) it was all gone. We also saw some snow plows driving about, but nothing to plow here. About 15 miles south and 10 miles east the elevation goes to about 4,500 feet and they reportedly had 6 to 8 inches of snow. This storm has passed and a bit warmer. By sunday should be sunny and milder. We will be heading East sunday morning thru New Mexico and Texas towards Dallas/ Fortworth.

Thurs. Feb. 14th Valentines Day

We have been in Benson since sunday. enjoying the hot sunny days (84f, 29c) Our colds are pretty much gone. On Tuesday La Mesa RV brought in some RV's to display and we enjoyed their presentation with jokes, free coffee , donuts and prizes.
Thursday we took a drive to Sierra Vista Arizona to visit a couple that we met last year in the Imperial Dunes California, Harry, Jennifer and their dog Sheila. They took us for Jeep Rides in the dunes last year, a highlight of our winter trip. It was a nice drive (about 30 miles) with amazing scenery. We toured their beautiful home and property. Their great room, guest wing awesome kitchen and fantastic view of the foothills and mountains to the east from their back yard. After enjoying a few hours of conversation, and their hospitality, we left them so that they could pack up their Trailer to head out to the Dunes friday morning. We hope to meet up with them as they pass thru Michigan this summer.
From here we drove about 20 miles east to Tombstone for a delicious Valentines dinner at the Longhorn Restaurant, ( great Prime Rib), Then back home to Benson, enjoying a beautiful sunset along the way.

Pics, Sierra Vista & Tombstone