About Us

Southeast (Gulf Coast), Texas, United States

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Golden Finish to Florida Road Trip

We finished up this road trip by attending Patsy’s cousin’s, Betty’s, 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Memphis, TN.

When we left on this trip back on March 15th, we knew about the celebration on Easter Sunday, but we also knew that they weren’t sending out general invitations and were planning a celebration with only the couple’s brothers and sisters, and their children. 

In fact, before we left Victoria, we had to put a note about the couple and a card, hand-made by our daughter-in-law, Laura, in the mail.  These items were to be included in a scrapbook that Betty’s two daughters were assembling for Betty and her husband, Vernon.

However, sometime during the second week of our trip, Betty phoned Patsy, and and asked if we could attend the 50th Anniversary celebration.  We decided that Patsy and I would try to work an Easter weekend visit to Memphis into our trip plan!  I did not argue…….. we have not made our 50th yet!!

Since I tell people that I belong to the CEO church (Christmas and Easter Only), I thought that I would get out of church this Easter because I only had packed jeans and shorts!!!  Not so, I wore jeans (and a button-down shirt from the Memphis Walmart store) to church for Easter Sunday. Of course, I am just kidding about the CEO church……Patsy reads this blog every so often!!

Looking for a campground, we opted for our regular Memphis location, Tom Sawyers RV Park in West Memphis AR.  It is west of Memphis, and across the river in Arkansas, and about 28 miles from Betty and Vernon’s house in Atoka, TN.

After I made the reservations, Patsy then showed me a text that she had from Betty recommending an RV Park located at the Memphis Agricenter, which was close to the church, and her daughter’s house where the party was to be held!! 

I canceled one reservation and made another!  When we arrived, I was pleased…….. It was a simple park, but had good full hookups, and it was nice and clean.  It was also conveniently located, and had it’s own herd of buffaloes.

IMG_5509On Saturday afternoon, we had a lunch at Betty and Vernon’s home.  To keep the grandkids contented, Betty had bought a couple of new toys for them to play with outside………...Some airplanes and a pair of boomerangs.   Well, as you can guess, the grandkids’ fathers soon began playing with them, and got them stuck in the trees!!! 


Poor Vernon….. he didn’t fair much better than my father-in-law when it comes to SIL’s!!

The Anniversary celebration occurred on Easter Sunday (that was the actual date) beginning with the Easter Service at the Lutheran Church and then moving over to daughter, Dana’s home.  Her sister Gina shared the hosting duties.

Here are some pictures:

The Anniversary cake…………..


Betty and Vernon cutting their Anniversary cake……..


SIL “Jim” photo-bombing the happy moment.  I think his face got like that when he fell out of a tree holding a boomerang..…..


Betty and Vernon showing off the scrapbook that their sweet daughters assembled for them and the occasion….


Betty and Vernon posing for photos with daughters, Gina (on the left) and Dana………..IMG_5538

Here’s the original wedding party; remember, it was 50 years ago!  Vernon’s brother, Bill, on the right, and Betty’s sister, Carol, on the left.…………..


To finish our the recognition of the immediate family, here’s Betty and Carol’s little brother, Jack, and his wife, Terri, (see, I remembered this time!!) in the kitchen hiding out!!!!


And lastly, here’s Betty remembering some things from the past 50 years, and thanking everyone for joining them for the occasion.  Vernon is sitting behind her wondering where all the time went????


We were glad we went, and really enjoyed the weekend.  Patsy got to visit with some of her favorite relatives!

Patsy and I left the party about 5:00pm, packed up the Bus, filled the fuel tank at a nearby station, and hit the road by 6:00pm.  We drove until about midnight, and spent the night in a Walmart parking lot in Atlanta, TX.

The next day, Monday, we arrived home about 4:00pm, and had to clean off about a million love bugs off the front of the Bus.

Tuesday morning, I had an appointment with my Dental Surgeon to get a screw put back in the insert for an implant that came out while I was eating a BBQ rib in Florida!!

Wednesday morning, we were back on the road with the Bus traveling to the Pioneer RV Resort in Port Aransas, TX to co-host an RV rally for the Texas Bluebonnet Allegro Club.  We arrived by 1:00pm and got set up……


We are here for the SandFest 2017 Event.  This little town is expected to draw 200,000 people this weekend. 

This will be the next post. Until then…………..

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

On The Way to Memphis via Red Bay

After we left Fort Myers on Monday, we spent the day driving north on I-75.  We topped on the diesel tank in fort Myers just before we hopped onto I-75, and we made good time moving North toward Georgia. 

We pulled into a Walmart in Tifton, GA about 8:00pm on  Monday night, and went to sleep. The next morning, we got on the road by 9:00am.  We headed toward Birmingham going westward toward I-22 that would take us to Memphis, TN. 

Just as we were about to cross into Alabama near Opelika, we got into a construction zone with narrow lanes defined by cement barriers on the left side and orange cones on the right.  The truck in front of me hit a couple of the cones and at least one of them bounced off the right part of the front of the Bus.

When I got out of the construction zone in Opelika, I pulled over to check the front for damage.  I was pleased, as I saw no damage or even scratches.  Heading back to the entry door, I looked toward the rear wheels, and noticed a big hole in the side of the rig!!

I investigated, and the back half of the panel (aka fender) around the rear dual tires was gone!!  It looks like the rear wheels ran over a cone that was tossed around, and it ended up in the space between the back of the dual tires and the mud flap, and then found it’s way out through the fender!! 

Here are some pictures…………


I continued on until I could find a safe place to make a call to the insurance company, and take pictures. The insurance company assured that I was covered, and while I was talking to them, I realized that traveling on I-22, I would be coming within 20 miles of the factory.  In fact, I always come through Memphis and get on i_22 to go to the factory.

I called Bruce Deaton’s Body Shop in Red Bay, AL; and talked to the office manager to ask if they could work me in for a ‘small’ problem.  At first, she just laughed, but we talked more, and after explaining the damage, she said if they had the fiberglass panel, she could work it in on Wednesday morning, if I could get there.  Sure, it was only 200 miles.

She called back and said that Bruce had found the panel, and to come on in!

I was pleased that my bad luck turned into good luck.  I figured that I could be there on Wednesday morning, they could start on the repair, and paint it the same day.  I could let the paint cure overnight, and drive to Memphis on Thursday afternoon…….. Right on schedule!!!

Deaton has a four spot campground with full hookups next to his shop, so we parked there on Tuesday night.  I got up Wednesday morning, and walked over to see Bruce.  He had me in a work bay by 9:00am and immediately went to work.  Here is Bruce and his son, Austin, replacing the panel.


Then the plan went to Hell!!!!!!  The panel looked just like the correct panel, but………….. it was about 1 1/2 inches too long!  It was for a later model Bus!

Now Patsy and I will be going back to Red Bay later this year.  Since we are taking our two Victoria grandkids, Matthew and Aubrey, to Little Rock at the end of June to visit with their cousin, Rachel, the three of them will be treated to a road trip this summer!!

Not planned out completely yet, but we will most likely leave on a Thursday from Victoria, and arrive in Little Rock on Friday night.  Visit our daughter and SIL on Saturday, and pull out on Sunday.  We will visit Patsy’s cousin in Memphis with her grandkids on Sunday evening, and leave for Red Bay on Monday morning. 

We will head to Red Bay for two days for the body work and paint, and then leave for a road trip.  Red Bay has a nice waterpark that the kids have been to, and are already looking forward to it.  I may even get a tour of the Tiffin Motorhome plant for the two older kids!!  More planning to do!

Then we will continue the road trip to Nashville, and other places to be planned for their enjoyment.

In Georgia, near Ft. Benning, we saw an entrance to the base……….


On Thursday morning, we left Red Bay to drive to Memphis…..about 160 miles.  We did stop at a Walmart to top off the diesel tank, so we could make a quick exit from Memphis, after our purpose was completed, and head back to Victoria, TX.

Next, our visit to Memphis!!

Post Rally–Day 3–Everglades Nat’l Park

On Sunday, we decided to go to the Entrance of the Everglades National Park, and maybe see some alligators!It was a 90 minute drive from the RV resort, and we got there about 10:00am.

IMG_5372 (2)

We had talked about taking an air boat ride for the fun of it, but when we got into the office, they had a state park boat going out in about 10 minutes and told us we would see wildlife.  They also told us they went on salt water only, and there were no mosquitos!  That sold us!

The ride was about 90 minutes, and was smooth and enjoyable.  The Captain pointed out some dolphins and manatees, but it was only glimipses, and we could not get anything on film.  I tried video, but only got water with some little dots! 

However, we did see the following:


An Osprey nest with your birds that we could almost reach out and touch……..


Some of the ‘forest’ in the Everglades………


Patsy and I on the boat……IMG_5337

We went by to check out the air boats………


The air boat ride office………


Before we left the National Park grounds, we had lunch.  I had fish and chips, and the other three had cheeseburgers.  The fish was very good and contained a lot of fish.  The burgers turned out to be double meat!!

When leaving, we drove about 25 miles East to a viewing area with a platform along a large canal that the National Park Rangers told about for viewing alligators.  We were able to see all we wanted…………. close up!!


We got to see our share of alligators!!

As we were about leave to head back to the RV resort, we began to see some of the swamp buggy folks coming out of the swamps and loading the buggies on trucks and trailers……...


We got home about 6:00pm, and got ready to leave the area on Monday morning.  As usual, the Woods left about 6:00am, and we left around 10;00am!!  I have counseled Ronnie that he needs to see a doctor about waking up so early!!!


More later!

Post Rally–Day 2–Naples Area

Kathy Woods became the trip planner for the post rally trips, and the plan for day 2 was Naples and the Fort Myers Beach area.  It turned out to be a tourist day….. we drove around and took in the sites, and had an enjoyable day.  Here is some of what we saw at Fort Myers Beach  A center point was the pier…….

IMG_2165 - Copy_thumb[1]

And the following were taken from either side of the pier….

IMG_2141 - Copy_thumb[1]IMG_2143 - Copy_thumb[1]

We then walked around the town area………….

IMG_2178 - Copy_thumb[1]IMG_5136 - Copy_thumb[1]IMG_5138 - Copy_thumb[1]IMG_5159_thumb[1]IMG_5163_thumb[1]IMG_5174_thumb[1]IMG_5177

When we tired of that, we drove into Naples and the “5th Avenue area.  It was a trap……… Kathy only wanted to go shopping!!!  This was clearly the ‘ritzy’ part of South Florida.   High priced cars and fancy buildings was the theme!  Here some pictures…………….


And all of a sudden, there it was……….. a Chico’s!!!


And Kathy shopped!


We spotted a Rolls Royce convertible parked along the road…… family shopping vehicle!!


To finish out the day, we drove to another party area called Tin City.  It was a place for tourist, and locals looking for a fun spot.


All in all, this was a good day!