Sunday, May 30, 2010

South Bay RV Campground

We arrived here on May 27 for 4 days to get through Memorial day week end. This is a really nice county park. Well cared for and all asphalt RV spaces, well spaced, 50 amp electric and full hookups. I rate this park F****. We paid $26.50 per night. Not much happening around this area of Florida. I was able to relax and watch the afternoon to evening thunderstorms come through daily. We took a ride to Ft. Lauderdale yesterday but the beaches there were not dog friendly. There was a festival going on and parking was $25 to $30. We elected to pass on that. The water was a beautiful emerald green color and we took the scenic route on A1A which took us along the coast and some humungus estate homes. One house was recently listed for $75 million and needed $25 million to finish it. It is a good thing the economy is slow and prices are down 50% - 80% in Florida now. I guess we will be happy with our humble abode for now. Just before leaving Ft. Lauderdale we found this great doggie park with a huge fenced dog run and a separate lake for dogs to go swimming. Most lakes we have to keep our distance with Buddy because of the allegators. Buddy was having a ball. I defrosted the fridge yesterday, uugh. Today we went to mass at a really nice church in the next town over and then tried to drive along Okeechobee lake. This is the largest lake in Florida, but it looks more like a swamp to me with a river surrounding it. Tomarrow we are headed for the Keys and are really looking forward to this trip accross this long bridge into the atlantic ocean.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fort Myers RV Resort

We stayed here 3 nights from May 24 - 26. This was our most expensive stop so far. We repaired our generator $1700. Sprung a leak in our roof which will be resealed tomarrow at Camping World $300 and the cell phone died today so we went to verizon to get another one, which they replaced for free, but sold me on $38 worth of extras. We took Buddy one day to a great State Park where dogs can play in the ocean. He had a ball romping in the gulf with other doggie friends. This park is more a mini mobile home park than campground. I would rate this park M***. We don't know where we will end up for the next 4 days, but after that we are headed for the keys for 3 nights. Went out for Mexican food one night and probably the best mexican food we have ever had.

Old Town Campground

On May 23 we spent on night here in Old Town, Fla. No ammenities here except 30 amp electric & water. We pulled into the park at 3PM and no one was there to let us in. I walkled around the park and one of the full time residents let us in and directed us to a site. There were some homeless people living here in tents with no car or other transportation. The park was next to a ranch with steer and this property had a resident duck & roosters. (something for Buddy to chase). Would not return here and rated the park P**.

Emerald Cove RV Resort

On May 22 we spent on night here in Panama City, Fla. This was the best park we have stayed at so far. It was top rated by Woodall's & Trailor Life camping books. They had a large fenced dog run for Buddy and Buddy also took a swim in one of the lakes on the property. The pool & spa were clean and in working order. A very popular park even though the $77 per night was pretty steep. It irritated me that they wanted $2 extra for cable TV. I could not get satellite reception even though the sky was relatively clear from trees. It must have been the palm tree beside our site. All concrete sites, 50 amp full hookups, and pull throughs so I did not have to disconnect. Well maintained park and no weeds between sites like most parks we have visited. I rate the park P****+. We forgot to take any pictures and we did not even take the time to drive to the local beaches which this area is known for. We were walking around the park and Aggie said she saw a giraffe. I did not see it and it seemed to duck behind the trees. As it turns out this park is next to a zoo. I didn't think giraffe were your tipical Florida resident.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wolf River Resort

Arrived here in Pass Christian, Ms. on May 19 for 3 days. This campground is well maintained with lots of grassy areas and good gravel roads. I had full hookup & 50 amp service. The pool was closed until today because of some algea problem and the spa was not heated. Only one trash bin for the park that I could find near the entrance. The managers are very friendly and escorted me to my site upon a late arrival. I rate this park M***. Visited New Orleans one day and observed much destruction from the hurricane 5 years ago. Whole neighborhoods still have not been rebuilt. This city is 7 feet below sea level so I don't understand why anyone would build here. Today, the oil spill just reached the shores of Louisiana. Took a swamp tour, then walked the river walk and finished the day with a great plate of crayfish. Today, we visited Biloxi, Ms. and attended an open house at a 22 story beachfront high rise condominium. What a great view from the 11th floor both directions down the coast and facing directly out to the sea. The building was built in 2007 and is certified for a level 5 hurricane. 1800 square feet 3 bedroom, 3 bath corner unit for under $300K. Where is my checkbook? The oil spill scares me more than the hurricanes.

Southern Belle

Aggie & Buddy relaxing at Wolf Creek Resort

Honey Island Swamp Tour

While visiting New Orleans, we decided to take this tour which was a 45 minute drive back toward our campground where we were staying in Mississippi. Our tour guide (holding the crayfish) fed the allegators & wild hogs with marshmellows and hot dogs. We saw some interesting birds, ducks, crayfish, and swamp trees and plants.

Gastronomical Delight

This is why we stopped in New Orleans, La. We ordered 5 pounds of the little suckers. They call them crayfish and are fished right out of the local swamps. Look like mini lobsters. Lot of work for a little meat, but they are worth the effort. Just snap off the tail, squeeze, and twist. Open wide and swallow. The locals also suck out the juice from the head and rest of the body. They were so spicy hot, it brought tears to my eyes, so I passed on the bodys after a while. I also ordered a bowl of their gumbo; it was very different from the last one I had in Rockport as it was in a brown sauce instead of a tomato base. Bon Appetite!!!

Lake Livingston State Campground

We deviated on our scheduled trip to visit this lake to check out waterfront lots. This lake is about an hour northeast of Houston, Texas. This is a beautiful heavily treed park. No satellite reception & air card did not work here so we missed Americon Idol. Campsites are 90 feet apart and come with water & 50 amp electric or full hookups including sewer. We chose the water & electric site for $18 per night. The state park also charges day use fee per person in addition to camping fee of $2 per person per night. The premium sites are waterfront with full hookups. The park was very clean and all natural landscaping. I would rate this park F****. The lake is huge, bigger than Lake Tahoe; but water clarity was not very good, very murky and full of green algea. I would not swim in this lake. Caught a torrential downpour at a shopping center and got soaked running to the car. Barbequed some hamburgers in the rain and found some good values for houses on the lake. We found a one bedroom house with separate garage on a huge 4 parcel lot. They called it 1/2 acre, but based on our current half acre, this one seems twice as large. This lot had no access to the water but had a wonderful view of the lake and was priced at only $100K. I would certainly consider buying this one if it were not for the murky lake water. Also, it is really humid here too.

Bay View RV Resort

Arrived in Rockport, Texas on May 13 for 3 nights and stayed at this park. Had a good storm come through with lightning & thunder which left lots of mud in the campground. We had 2 resident allegators in the campground but did not see them. Lots of oak trees in the campground. We had a site with no trees but had satellite reception. We had 30 amp service; 50 amp available for 50% extra nightly fee. Wi Fi available in clubhouse for $2. Campground had 2 swimming pools & spas. One spa had no heat the other spa had no water. The pools had water but appeared to have algea and stains in pool. I would not swim in them. Overall, I would rate this park M***. One day we toured Mustang Island, an island just off the gulf coast. We took a free ferry over and did some four wheeling on the sandy beach. We came accross this tortoise on shore and a blue jellyfish. The following day we visited this 1000 year old oak tree at Goose Island. It has a diameter of over 12 feet and a circumference of over 35 feet. We also shopped for canal lots, and found some for as low as $20K but were located in a very depressed area and the canal looked like a muddy swamp. Hot & muggy here, I don't think I could handle this humidity. Fishing is a very popular pastime here & we met a young couple fishing on a huge pier on the bay. We also bumped into them at the Boiling Pot, a restaurant on the ocean which specializes in seafood. They place large reams of paper on top of these well worn wooden tables. We ordered a pot of boiled crab, shrimp, sausage, corn, & potatoes. They pour the whole pot on the table and you eat the food off the papers. They give you a roll on paper towels for napkins. I also ordered a bowl of their gumbo. Yummy but too spicy hot for Aggie. Afterward, we went to a nightclub on the bay called Alice Fays on the Bay. They had a great local four piece band who played all music from the 60's & 70's.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beautiful Wildflowers

We were treated to these beautiful wildflowers when we entered Texas along the interstate. The roads throughout the country have been very good. Much better than California.

The Alamo and The Riverwalk

On 5/12/10 we visited the Alamo where General Custer held his last stand. We also wandered along the river walk in San Antonio, Texas. This is a river that meanders through the city and many great restaurants and hotels are located along the river. They also navigate these boats throuth the Canal. Found this neat ancient tree and cactus at the Alamo.

Japanese Tea Garden

On 5/12/10 we went to San Antonio, Texas. Our first stop was the Japanese Tea Garden. What a wonderful paradise with tropical plants, fish, and a waterfall. The narrow walkway around the garden was very challenging with Buddy in tow.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Potter Creek Park

This is a Corps of Engineering park with water & 50 amp service right on Canyon Lake, Texas. All sites have abundant space for RV & auto or boat at site and are all paved asphalt. The sites are 80 feet apart and grass between sites. All sites have covered picnic table, fire ring, & separarate barbeque grill. A nice boat launch & you can bring your boat right to your site if you have a waterfront site which we had. I rate this park F****. It was overcast, windy, and humid for the 4 days we stayed here. Buddy went for a healthy swim in the lake chasing the ducks. Fortunately, he finally came back. Did not need air conditoner though. Spent most of our time looking for water view or waterfront lots. Found one 1.2 acre lot in a gated community for $80K with nice view after clearing all the trees on the lot. Our budget is $60K so I will continue to look elseware. We had deer visit the park almost all day & night. We sighted over a dozen at one time. We visited San Antonio, Texas one day and visited the Alamo & Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park. We also took a nice walk along the river walk. Lots of great restaurants and hotels along the river. We opted for Subway though.


Japanese Tea Garden in Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Texas

Happy Campers!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

National UFO Museum

On May 8, 2010, we stopped here in Roswell, N. M. This is where the UFO crashed and the government seemed to cover the whole thing up to this day. There was a wedding performed here while we were there by someone in a silver covered face & full lenght hooded robe . Something for everyone!!! We continued on our trip and spent the night in a rest stop in Texas.

Hidden Valley Resort

On May 5 to May 7 we stayed here to tour Santa Fe & Albuquerque N. M. Nothing very special about this park. The sites were very narrow, no picnic table or fire ring at site, pool & spa were out of service. They had full hookups at some sites and we were lucky to get one. No reason to stay here except to sleep at night. I rate this park M**. We toured Santa Fe first on May 6 and parked about 1/4 mile out of the downtown area. We walked along a pretty creek with picnic tables along the creek. They had these interesting wood carved indian statues along the walkway. The streets were very narrow and the shopping district had a good selection of art shops, clothing stores, and restaurants. I really liked the southwestern architecture and the houses in the hills almost fuse into the landscape. We also visited St. Francis Basilica in town.

National Museum of Nuclear Science

Our first stop in Albuquerque, N. M. was to visit this interesting museum. No photography allowed inside. They had full scale replica's of the atomic bombs that were used against Japan which led to the end of WW2. We saw a 45 minute video on the history of the production of the bomb. A very interesting curator gave us some interesting insights which occurred during that period of time and some of the problems they faced. He also discussed how they harness the atomic energy to produce our electricity.

Rinconade Canyon Petroglyph National Monument

While visiting Albuquerque, N. M., we took a 2 mile hike through this National Monument. There are over 3500 petroglyph's in this area. We saw over 100 and this is an example of the historic pictures.

Raku Gallery

Art shop in Jerome. We purchased 2 signature blown glass pears. Without the stem of course.

Page Springs Fish Hatchery

Fish here are allowed to grow to 9 to 11 inches here for 6 to 8 months before being planted in local lakes & streams. Where is my fishing pole when I need it.

Check out this Rig

Saw this in Jerome. The dog has goggles & a seat belt.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sedona, Arizona

May 2 - May 5, 2010. Page Springs Resort is a nice campground on Oak Creek near the Page Springs fish hatchery. Had 30 Amp electric & water at all sites. I rate the Park M***. Nice hikes along the creek. We toured the fish hatchery and there were thousands of fish there. Took a day trip to Sedona, AZ to see the beautiful red rock country. Visited Holy Cross Church in Sedona high into the mountains with fantastic views all around. Aggie purchased some souvener shirts and some jewery, while I purchased a belt since I left without one. Visited Jerome, Az., an old copper mining town in the mountains. Buddy, our pooch, purchased $200 worth of fine art while we were there. He is indebted to me for life. We met Ted & Linda Reynolds from Folsom, Ca. and joined them for dinner at the local casino. The best prime rib I have ever eaten for only $10.

Quartsite, Arizona

May 1, 2010 Left on our journey accross country at 7:30 PM. First stop was dry camping in the desert in Quartsite, Az. No services here but the cost is right. $0. Since you can park anywhere in the area, there was only one motorhome in our area about 200 feet from us. I would rate this camping F*.