About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Trip–2014: Stone Mountain & GA Mountains

After our last post, our plans changed a little due to the freezing weather.  The other three coaches left Monday, and arrived in Sevierville, TN that night.  Since it was going to be around 22 degrees in Sevierville and the other mountain towns in our route, we decided to sit for two days in the Atlanta area.

We opted for one more night at the COE park where we were, and then drove to the other side of Atlanta on Tuesday morning and checked into the Stone Mountain Campground.  The main reason was that Stone Mountain had Full hookups, and we did not have sewer at the site at McKinney……. and it was time to wash clothes!!

We checked into Stone Mountain Campground around 11:00AM, started some wash, and took a ride around the Stone Mountain Park.  The park has a lot of attractions, but the only two that were open was the Museum and the sky ride to the top of the mountain.  It was too cold to take the sky ride, and we blew off the museum, so we just drove around and looked at the park.

The following are pictures of our camp site…….


Each site had it’s own deck and grill, but it was just too cold to use it.

While checking some of the RV forums that I monitor, I noticed that Tom and Judith Comstock, from our Texas Bluebonnet Allegro club in Texas stated that they were at Stone Mountain.  I drove around to find them, and they were three coaches down the strip from us!   In the picture below, there coach is the one with the black and burgundy colors, and there are two coaches between us.  We did run into them on the way out. 


Here are some pictures from our drive around the park starting with the mountain itself.  Note the carved Confederate soldiers in the lower pictures.  At night, in the Summer and weekends, they have a laser show…..


We drove the car through a covered bridge in the park……..


And a couple of pictures from the park…..


We left Stone Mountain on Wednesday morning and drove north about 80 miles to a campground in Cleveland, GA.  Our plan was to stay a couple of days at this campground for two days, and then take the car for a driving tour of the mountains area, and the city of Helen, GA. 

Here are pictures of Leisure Acres Campground where we are set up.


We got set up by 1:00PM, and started out on our tour of the local forests and mountains.  It was cold, and we found a lot of ice as we went up in elevation………..


As we got up in the mountains, we came upon a general store for hikers called “Mountain Crossings at Malasi-Yi.  We stopped, and it was interesting.  They had whatever you would need to hike the mountains. DSC01062 DSC01059DSC01061

They second picture shows a lot of hiking boots that apparently been replaced at the store, and the owners tied them together and through them in the tree!

We continued our drive through the mountains, enjoying the sunny weather, and after about 50 miles, we came to the town of Helen, GA.  It is a Bavarian-themed town and is geared toward tourists.  We had been here before, about 8—10 years ago, when we met with our daughter for a little vacation while she was in Medical school in Charleston, SC.  Here is an assortment of pictures…….


On Thursday, we plan to drive to another section of the mountains, and maybe on into North Carolina. 

More later………….

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Trip–2014: Red Bay to Perry FMCA Rally

We have had a busy trip since the last post.  We left Red Bay, after staying a couple of extra days to wait on a “DISH adapter” to arrive, and then we spent the weekend in the Atlanta, GA area.

As I was loading pictures from the cameras to the PC, I found a couple of more of Rachel that I wanted to post.  She and I were laying on the bed playing of computers while waiting for Grammie to complete dinner…..


Finishing up in Red Bay, we spent two extra days at the RV park while waiting on a UPS package.  After it arrived, we decided to leave on Thursday morning.  On Wednesday night, we had dinner at a new Mexican food restaurant in Belmont, MS.  We went with some Tiffin friends from the same park…….


l—r Allen Rueben, Patsy, with Joe and Jan Dabney

En-route from Red Bay to Atlanta I found some exposed brown & black rock along a new interstate that I though would be a good background to take a new picture of the Bus and toad (car).  This is our maiden voyage using our 2012 Honda CRV, which we purchased two years ago, as a towed car.  I need to update our photo on our ‘RV Business Card’  Here is the picture that I will probably use, unless I find a better background…

We arrived in the Atlanta area on Thursday night, and overnighted at a Wal-Mart, with plans to check into our campground, “Atlanta South RV Resort”, for Friday and Saturday nights prior to heading to the rally grounds at Perry, GA on Sunday morning.

On Saturday, we drove the car into Atlanta to play tourist.  We had two targets…….. The Coca Cola Building and the Atlanta Underground.  We spent some time at the Underground but it was not impressive!  Here are a couple of pictures………


On Sunday morning, we got up and drove to a middle school parking lot where the TRVN Tiffin group had agreed to meet so we could enter the fairgrounds as a group, and park together.  We have been to the Perry fairgrounds a couple of times in the past 10 years for rallies, and were well aware of how the RV parking area could get really muddy and sloppy with a significant rain.  In the past, it was always dry when we went in, and wet when we were ready to leave.  This time it was raining hard for two days when we were about to go in!!!  Here are some pictures of us lined up to turn into the fairgrounds and waiting in line……..


The following picture shows the parking (camping) area with the large green generators to provide our electricity.


Fortunately, the parking crew decided to have us park in the streets for the night, and came back and parked us in the grounds the next morning.  It was a good decision because the water did drain off, and the grounds were solid when we parked.

The FMCA rally lasted from Monday to Friday, when we all packed up and headed our separate ways.  Click on the “FMCA rally” URL to read about the rally and entertainment.  It was a really good, busy rally.  We made several purchases from the vendors, including a diagnosis software system to monitor the Bus’ engine computer and any trouble codes that get identified.

The rally also gave each attendee a specific number, and if you found a match with another attendee, you received a $5 reward plus you were eligible for a $1000 drawing on the last day. 

Patsy and I both found our matches……. or rather, they found us. There were about 5000 people in attendance, and it looked like about 200 found matches!  Here are some pictures of the people standing around waiting for the drawing, including on in an RV’s side mirror that Patsy spotted!….


In the above pictures, the man who “matched” Patsy and I with him and his wife is seen wearing sunglasses directly in front of the yellow banner.  In that same picture, you can see “Carol”, from out Texas Bluebonnet Allegro club in Texas with her head turned.  She is to the right of the man in the clear glasses.  In the second picture, she is looking toward the camera!!

The last picture was in the chrome part of a side mirror and shows the size of the crowd somewhat better!

After the rally, people headed different ways.  We traveled to a Corp of Engineers park, McKinney Campground, near Acworth, GA.  Also here were Jimmy and Robin Campbell, Richard and Linda Bretzke, and Shelly and Linda Lindsey.  On Friday and Saturday nights, Jimmy and Richard B. grilled our steaks on their grills. 

The only pictures that I managed to take were of our campsite……


As can be seen, the sites were really nice, with constructed ‘patios’ on each site, and facing the lake.

Tomorrow, Monday, we will all leave for the TRVN rally in Sevierville, TN.  Patsy and I will travel East, then North to take a winding mountain route.  The others will follow the interstates.

More later…………..

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Trip–2014: Little Rock and Red Bay, AL

We have dubbed this trip as indicated by the title.  We left Victoria about noon on last Wednesday, and traveled about 550 miles to Little Rock, AR with an overnight stop at a Wal-Mart in Marshall, TX.  Our plan is to stay in Little Rock and take care of our granddaughter, Rachel, through Sunday at noon, and then drive to Red Bay, AL, where the Bus was manufactured, to have some upgrades and maintenance work performed.  We will then travel to Perry, GA to attend the FMCA Motorhome Showcase from March 17 to 20, 2014 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter in Perry.  When this rally ends, we will travel (slowly) to Sevierville, TN to attend a TRVN Tiffin Rally from March 30 to April 6.  After that, we will find a route to travel back to Victoria.  We expect to be home around mid-April.

We arrived at the North Little Rock Riverside RV park at about 1:00PM on Thursday.  We met our daughter at the Day Care where Rachel attends a few days a week to pick her up, and to see if she remembered us from our visit at Christmas.

We opened the door to where she was playing, and she ran to us saying “Pappaw, Gammie” over and over until she reached us and ‘hugged our legs!!  We took her to her house to see her dad, and then picked up her backpack and the three of us drove to the Bus. 

She stayed with us on Thursday through Saturday nights, and on Sunday, we met her Mom and Dad at the Purple Cow Malt Shop for lunch and handed her back over.  While she stayed with us, Mom and Dad spent a lot of hours unpacking boxes and putting stuff away in their new house……. a task that was hard to do with her under foot.

During the two days with Rachel, we went shopping for her, and ate out a couple of times.  We also spent lot of time just playing and visiting with her in the Bus.

Here are some pictures:

Patsy and Rachel playing with a game at Chili’s Restaurant………


Rachel looking at pictures and playing videos on Patsy’s cell phone….


One evening, Rachel found Patsy’s “hello Kitty” night shirt and decided she was going to wear it to sleep in (also holding her new purple bunny!….


We bought her a hair band that looked like purple glasses on her head,but she often decided to wear it as glasses!!!…..


Patsy got a couple of pictures of Rachel when she was laughing in the car………


Rachel will be celebrating her 3rd birthday in two weeks.

After we left Little Rock at 1:00PM on Sunday, we drove to Red Bay, AL.  Our destination was to Custom RV Inc., in nearby Vina, AL.  This is the shop of Brannon Hutcheson, an ex-employee of Tiffin that has opened his own shop to make repairs and modifications.  We had an appointment for Monday, so we spent the night in front of his shop, where he has 50AMP hookups for RV’s.

He showed up at 7:00AM on Monday, and got started on our list.   He took care of 8 jobs, some of them extensive, and finished in 4 hours.  While he was working on our list, Patsy and I went to the Tiffin Service Center to pick up some parts, and to try to make arrangements to get two items (dash a/c not cooling and replace a 110v breaker on the Gen Set) taken care of by their mechanic technicians.  We filled out the paper work for “express maintenance”, and then went back to Brannon’s.

Brannon had us completed by 1:00PM, and we headed into Red Bay to find a campsite with hookups at a self-service campground just down the road from the Tiffin Service Center.  After we got set up, we got a call from the Service Center to show up at a bay door at 7:00AM on Tuesday morning.

While we were in Red Bay, we went by the Tiffin offices to meet with the National Sales Mgr, Jerry Williamson, a guy that I met when we were buying the BUS.  He had volunteered to provide some Tiffin items for the TRVN rally, and I needed to pick them up.

As we walked into the plant area, we saw an old Tiffin motorhome parked behind the Security Office:


On Tuesday morning, we were up and ready to go before 7:00AM……. two (2) days in a row!!  We were in front of our bay at 7:00AM, and went right in.  The techs got on it right away, and we paid our bill and were on our way back to our self-serve site by 11:00AM.  This is the best visit in terms of getting stuff fixed fast that we have ever experienced!  Plus, the cost was right!!

We have run into a lot of fellow RV’ers that we know while we are here.  In this park, our neighbors are Joe and Jan Dabney, who are in the Lone Star Allegro Tiffin Club.  We are going out to dinner with them tonight!

With Brannon’s help, we found out that we needed an upgrade package to our remote IR system for use with our DISH receivers that we recently got installed in the Bus recently.  I found what we needed on Ebay, and ordered it using Brannon’s local address.  It is due here on Thursday, so we are going to hang around until it gets here.

More later……………