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Thursday, June 16, 2016

~~~ A Fort with an Angel ~~~

I always love being in the Gulf Islands National Seashore area... There is so much to see & do here or nearby here.  Today we took our friends over to Pensacola to see Fort Pickens.  Fort Pickens has guarded the entrance of Florida's Pensacola Bay for more then 175 years and it is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore - a fascinating old fort from the Civil War era.

Fort Pickens is a historic United States military fort on Santa Rosa Island in the Pensacola, Florida, area. It is named after American Revolutionary War hero Andrew Pickens. The fort was completed in 1834 and remained in use until 1947. Fort Pickens is included within the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and as such, is administered by the National Park Service.

We have been over to the Pensacola Navel Station several times to watch the Blue Angels practice.  There had recently been an accident and one of the Blue Angels, U.S. Marine Corps captain Jeff Kuss loss his life so I thought we would not get to see them this time.  What a wonderful surprise for us and our friends when they flew over the fort and continued to do there practice air show.

It was a great day and what a thrill for us to not only visit Fort Pickens again but to see the Blue Angels flying in the sky was the icing on the cake.  Cone to Pensacola and visit there is so much to see & do.  Visit the National Naval Aviation Museum and try to catch the Blue Angels practice show on the base.  Also Fort Pickens has a great campground for those of you who camp...


Until Later
Have FUN & Travel Safe

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

~~~ Gulf Islands National Shoreline ~~~

Poet John Masefield wrote, “I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.”  How true this is... There is nothing more relaxing and peaceful as sitting on the white sands of any of the Gulf Island beaches and enjoying the serenity of the place.

Gulf Islands National Seashore preserves natural and historic resources along the Gulf of Mexico barrier islands of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. The protected regions include mainland areas and parts of seven islands.

We took an entire day to explore and enjoy the beaches from Pensacola, Florida to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  This area of the seashore features offshore barrier islands with sparkling white quartz sand beaches (along miles of undeveloped land), historic fortifications, and nature trails.

Everything about Gulf Islands National Seashore is breathtaking.  From the massive sand dunes to the water and abundant wildlife, this is a great place to spend an afternoon.  And if you slowly approach the Heron, they will allow you to get close enough to take a good picture!

Not enough words to described the beauty of these beaches ... the photos speaks for it self.

Entrance fee is $15 per vehicle which is good for 7 days or you can get a year pass.  If you are over 62 you can buy a lifetime pass for $10.00.

Be sure to get a spot on the rocks for a beautiful sunset! 

 Have Fun & Enjoy Life

~~~ Throwed Rolls ~~~

We went to Foley, Alabama to visit Lambert's Café "Home of the Throwed Rolls".  Now this restaurant has been featured both the Travel Channel and the Food Network Channel and is one of the most fun places to visit...  There is plenty of food choices and they also have servers walking around with BIG buckets of Fired Okra, Macaroni & Tomatoes, Fried Potatoes with Onions, Black Eyed Peas, Apple Butter & Molasses for your rolls,  When the rolls come out of the oven the servers roll them out on carts and throw them across the room at you (if you want).   Yes you heard me right - they throw them all the way across the room at you and they are BIG, HOT, and delish!!!  Now here is the deal... The drinks come in cups so big you hardly ever need a refill.  The menu is huge with all kinds of good old cooked meals with plenty of country sides for you to choose from and remember they are always walking around with buckets of food that you can have all you can eat and those yummy throwed rolls.  If your main course is not enough for you they will gladly give you more meat.  They have 3 locations: Foley ~ Alabama, Ozark ~ Missouri, Sikeston ~ Missouri.  If you have never been to this restaurant and you get anywhere near one of them you need to "GO"!!!  You will not be sorry...

Here are the photos of the outside of the building... Look how they have all these great paintings on them.  The wall has a mural with mom & pop Lambert who started the business and one of their sons who was tragically killed in an accident (center picture).  Now there other sons run all the restaurants and keep the family tradition going.

This side of the building really moved me... It had the Blue Angel and a tribute to the Firemen of our nation and the flag & American Eagle. I loved how they incorporated a real flag into the painting.
Here they are throwing the rolls... Look real hard and you might see one... and the guy who handed out the APPLE BUTTER  (Ralph's Favorite) & Molasses. 

Ralph had the 16 ounce hamburger steak with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. Take a look at all the food we got?  I had the Fried Pork Chops with French fries & applesauce.  (YUM) Doesn't it all look so yummy!!!

We had GREAT fun there with our good friends Buck & Jeannie and left with our tummies busting!  We loved our food, service so much that we came here twice...

Now go find a Lamberts and have fun!!!

Travel Safe !!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

~ On Our Way to the Gulf Shores ~

Got up this morning and decided we could stay at our campground until noon since we have such a long road to ride today.  Actually it is a whooping 81 miles to Gulf Shores, Alabama where we'll be staying for the next 4 days.  Blackwater River State Park was a really nice park especially for families.  Click here for a complete review of the campground.

We finally pulled out at 12:30 and are on our way... the first thing we saw along the way was the Historic State Route 1 aka Old Spanish Trail...

U.S. Highway 90 - Old Spanish Trail - Historic State Route 1

This roadway parallels current U.S. 90 to the north from Milton east to at least Florida 87.  For the most part the road is in good shape for being almost 80 years old.  It is open for bikers and pedestrians.  Throughout the Florida panhandle, the Old Spanish Trail follows either U.S. Route 90 or local streets that used to be part of US 90, many of which are designated as State Road 10A. 

The Old Spanish Trail was an auto trail that once spanned the United States with a full 3,000 miles of roadway from ocean to ocean.  It crossed eight states and 67 counties along the southern border of the United States.  Work on the auto highway began in 1915 at a meeting held at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, Alabama: and, by the 1920s, the trail linked St. Augustine, Florida to San Diego, California, with its center and headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

We headed west on Interstate 10 and the weather was perfect - well HOT but no rain...  We came up to Pensacola, Florida and first thing we saw was the rest station with a full size F/A-18 Hornet Blue Angel Jet.  We've seen it many times and it never fails to get me excited.  Even the underpass has Blue Angel Jets on the pilings.  I love this area and we have stayed in many campgrounds in the area.  If you have not ever been to Pensacola you should put it on your bucket list - there is so much to see & do in this city.

We took exit 5 in Pensacola and proceeded on the back roads into Foley Alabama and then  onto Gulf Shores.  I adore the beaches of Florida and Alabama - I feel at peace when I am there.  Just look at the beauty ...

Finally checked into the campground, Gulf State Park and all set up for our 4 nights here. 

CiCi all snug in her site - View from our site - Our friends all set up in their site

Life is Good

Have Fun & Travel Safe

~Blackwater River State Park - Holt, Florida ~

Our ride to Blackwater River State Park was uneventful which is always a good thing.  We led the way here with our friends close behind us.  When we travel we always try to not go more them 300 miles a day and most of the time even less then that - it was hard after we retired to figure out that we are just not in a hurry anymore and we should be set up at least by "Happy Hour".  Todays trek was only about 232 miles.  Our stay here was just overnight because we wanted to check it out for a future place to stay when we are home and we want to go somewhere. 

Our Campsite # 18 ~ Roads in Campground

There is plenty to do here if you are into tubing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming or hiking.  This river has sandy beaches and the bottom of the rivers is also sand.  Average depth is about 2.5 deep with just enough current to move you down the river.

There is a canoe/tubing outpost here that will take you down the river and pick you up when you are at the end.  They also rent the equipment too.  This park is a great place to come especially if you have kids.  There is a short trial to the swimming areas from the campground and 2 nice hiking trails.

Nice sandy beach areas for you to spend the day
There is a lot to do in the area since it isn't to far from the Emerald Coast on the Gulf of Mexico.  We didn't get the chance to explore at all because we only stayed overnight.  Tomorrow we will be heading to Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. 

Have Fun & Travel Safe

Sunday, June 12, 2016

~ Our 2016 Summer Adventure Begins Sorta ~

Thursday June 9th: It began as a hot muggy day as usual on Florida's Nature Coast.  Today we are loading up our new little coach "CiCi" and getting it ready to go on our 2016 summer adventure. It is the first time in over 12 years that we had to get a coach ready for a long trip.  That is definitely one of the benefits of full timing in an RV is that everything is always ready to roll.  Any ways after many trips in & out of the house and hooking up our tow vehicle we were ready to head north to our friends farm and don't you know it started to rain - lightly at first but as we headed up the highway it became a torrential downpour.  Not to long after we passed the town of Crystal River it stopped and we happily continued up the road.  We stopped for a bite to eat at Bill's BBQ in Chiefland (so yummy) and then back on the road.  Before we knew it we arrived at the Beckner's Resort (our friends farm) ... We parked on our assigned spot and set up for three nights as we wait for our friends Jeannie & Buck to load up their RV and get it ready to go.  They will be traveling with us this summer.  We were pooped and in bed early today!!!

Drive up Highway 19 ~ Bill's BBQ in Chiefland
Friday June 10th: After a great nights sleep we woke up raring to go.. Jeannie & I headed into the big town of Live Oak to get pampered.  We had our mani/pedi done and I had to get my hair done.  We also stopped at Wally World (Walmart) to pick up last minute things we needed on our trip.  Later that night we went out to dinner at one of our favorite places up here... O'Neal's Country Buffet in Madison Florida.  It is just what you expect from a local home style country buffet.  The outdated Formica tables and booths, the terrazzo concrete floor, waitresses with southern charm and an endless restocking from the kitchen of the buffet.  There is always fried chicken, with the selection on other days varying from fried pork chops, liver & onions, country fried steak, chicken wings, fried pork ribs.  We went on Friday night so it was seafood night - They had fried fish, stuffed crabs, scallops, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp & hush puppies.  The variety of sides also vary every day, but generally you will find mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, butter beans, farm peas and some type of greens every day. Cornbread and biscuits included on the buffet as well. In addition to the buffet there is a salad bar and dessert bar.  Ice cream is available on request with sweet tea, lemonade or water included in the price of the buffet. We paid $11 per person and it was well worth it.

O'Neals Southern Buffet
Saturday June 11th:  Another great nights sleep... ahhhhh fresh country air and good country food will always keep you happy & satisfied.  Today is our last day here at Beckner's Resort... and a busy day it'll be.  Buck and Jeannie pretty much have everything loaded in their RV but today they will be loading up their food, clothes and any other little things they will need.  I am cooking dinner for all of us... using up a huge Turkey that we had at home.  Looks like Turkey sandwiches in our near future.

Our Little "CiCi" ~ Beckner Farm ~ Buck & Jeannie's RV
Sunday June 12th:  Today we pulled out around 8:30 am and headed for Blackwater River State Park in Holt, Florida.  We have never been there so we are looking forward to seeing another Florida State Park and getting our Florida State Park book stamped.  We entered the Central Time Zone shortly after we passed Chattahoochee.  what was about a 5 hour ride we finally arrived at our destination.  After setting up we enjoyed a simple BBQ of Sausages with Baked Beans... Definitely hot & humid here. 
I'll have more on this state park tomorrow.

So now we are officially into our 2016 Summer Adventure... Stay tuned for more!!!

Come on back and follow our adventures...
Have Fun & Travel Safe

Monday, May 30, 2016

Here we are again... Meet "CiCi'

As many of you know Ralph & I bought a home in a retirement community on the Nature Coast in Central Florida.  After 10+ years of full timing we thought we could get a home and still travel part time.  Oh how we miss our full time life and wish we were still out on the road. 

However with all that being said about 6 months ago we finally traded in Tassie on a class "C" motorhome.  She is a 31ft. 2016 Coachman Concord and her name is "CiCi".  We are still trying to get use to a much smaller coach....

Meet CiCi
We are going to be headed out on a summer adventure here in the next week or so.  It will be for only 3 months this go round so we can become better acquainted with our new little CiCi.  Our plans are to hook up with our good friends Buck & Jeannie and then travel to Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota then heading down to West Memphis and Arkansas.  Even though we have already been to these places our friends have not.  It should be a really interesting trip with us adjusting to a smaller coach.  Our main purpose of getting a smaller coach is that we want to go to more State Parks, COE and National Parks.  Some of these places we were never able to go into because our coach was to big. 

Well I just wanted to touch base with you all and let you know we are soon going to be ...

Come on back and follow our adventures...
Have Fun & Travel Safe !

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello Old Friends

It's  been a long time and a lot has changed but we are still around.... After 10 years of full timing we finally bought a house in Florida in an adult community.  Do we miss the full time life - yes we do but don't count us out just yet.  We love our new neighborhood and have met many new friends but our gypsy blood is screaming to us to get back out and continue our adventures.    We are now entering a new phase of our life and will become part timers.  

I miss blogging so I am going to give it my best to stay in touch with all of you and fill in the gaps of what we have been up to.   I still follow many of you on Facebook but there is just something special about blogging.  It's a great way to document your life & life's adventures.

Let me know if you're still around and reading my posts

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Wink & A Song & A Dune

Another fun day for us exploring the area surrounding Midland/Odessa area.... We loaded up the family and headed out early in the morning.  We drove by many Jack Pumps and Oil sites... this area is polluted with them and that contaminates the water so you shouldn't drink it... we really have bought more bottled water since we've been here then ever before.  Ok... back on track!!!

Kermit. Texas

Next was a drive through the small town of Kermit.  Kermit is a city in and the county seat of Winkler County, Texas, United States.  The population was 5,708 at the 2010 census.  The city was named for Kermit Roosevelt after a visit by his father Theodore Roosevelt to the county.

Our next stop was in the small town called Wink.  If you are old enough, you've heard Wink   mentioned for being Roy Orbison's boyhood home. If you're like most people, while you were on the way to get an atlas you probably got distracted, so you're still unaware of exactly where Wink  is. If you're young enough, you'll probably ask Roy who?  Despite its remote location approximately 50 miles west of Odessa-Texas, Wink draws visitors from as far as Egypt and Australia.  They make the trek to Wink to honor Roy Orbison, the black-clad crooner responsible for hits including "Pretty Woman" and "Only the Lonely". 

Roy Orbison Museum in Wink, Texas
Alyssah & Roy - Donna & Ralph - The Grandtreasures Hannah & Alyssah - Street Sign
Roy Orbison Museum is at 205 E. Hendricks in Wink.
Open by appointment, Tue-Sat. Call 432/527-3743. Free.

The Monahans Sandhills State Park - Dunes is exactly what this park is and located close to the interstate for easy access.  Imagine scenes from the Sahara Desert with miles of rolling sand dunes, great for sliding down on sands disks (available for rent at the Ranger station).  The visitor's center has great info on the history of the dunes and how they are formed.  For RVers there are great flat paved sites with water and electric and dump stations in park.  Great place to spend the day and take a picnic lunch.  Keep in mind, this is the desert, keep plenty of water with you and do not hike out into the dunes without letting someone know where and when you are going.  It is easy to get lost out there.  We had a great time visiting this park and the grandtreasues had so much fun!

Entrance to Monahans State Park - Alyssah - Camping area - Dunes

Info Board - The Girls - Dunes Oats - Picnic Area

My daughter Jennifer, Grands Hannah & Alyssah & me - The Grandtreasures - Footprints - More dunes

We had a great day together riding around and discovering the unnoticed things that people find when they take the backroads.  Get out and explore!

Until next time...
Have FUN & Travel Safe

Friday, June 14, 2013

Oil ~ Oil Everywhere!

Our main reason for being in Midland is spending time with our daughter, her husband Eric and our sweet granddaughters.... They moved to Midland because our son-in-law, Eric, is in the oil industry. Not to mention between Odessa & Midland there are thousands of Jack Pumps everywhere.   So it seemed fitting for us to visit the The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum.

Alyssah & Eric
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum is a museum with exhibits relating to the oil and gas industry of the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeast New Mexico. Museum exhibits include the geology of the area during the Permian period, racing cars designed by Jim Hall, and paintings by artist Tom Lovell. 

It maintains a research library containing donated material related to the history of the Permian Basin oil industry. It also has a hall of fame, whose many inductees include the Odessa oil industrialist Bill Noël and the Bush family (both George's)

The Petroleum Museum is a wide-ranging journey through the history of the petroleum industry, so important to Midland, the Permian Basin and West Texas. The museum includes a Petroleum Hall of Fame, honoring oilmen (and women) who made outstanding contributions to the industry; and an archives and library that houses documents, photos, recordings, maps and films relating to the history of the oil industry.

But the main part of the museum has many exhibits that trace the history of the petroleum industry and the role it has played in the life of the Permian Basin. Many of those exhibits are interactive, such as one that recreates a natural gas explosion. There are also ancient artifacts that trace the natural processes that create oil back 500 million years. And there are plenty of artifacts on display, such as antique oil field equipment.

The visit to The Petroleum Museum was an amazing journey through over 230 million years of history.  We had a great time visiting it ~ and of course spending time with our family.  Thanks for following ♥

Come on back and follow our adventures...
Have Fun & Travel Safe !

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