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Thursday, May 31, 2012

El Paso was hot: hot and windy.  We stayed at the famcamp at Ft. Bliss.  It is a one of the nicest famcamps we have stayed in so far.  The lots are cement and level.  It is so nice to pull in and just drop the jacks without having to put things under the wheels.  The grounds are well kept.  There is no green except for the dog walk area but where there would be grass on each site there is gravel and trees.  The facilities are clean and well kept.  The base is very nice.  Tons of shopping and choices of places to eat. 

The wind was wild.  More wind than I have ever been in.  Our satellite dish took a dive and now sports a nice dent.  The wind broke the plastic braces on the bottom of the kitchen slide which Ira rebuild from wood.  It also ripped the awning over the living room slide,  good old duct tape to the rescue.

We stayed there through memorial weekend which is the one year anniversary of us pulling out of the driveway in Pa. 

The days are so hot and we worry about the affects of the heat on the truck when hauling Serenity so we decided to leave El Paso at night and do the bulk of the driving in the dark and cooler hours.  So very very early Tuesday morning we crept out of the park being as quiet as we could.  Sunrise found us in New Mexico.

We sure didn't have to worry too much now about heat.  Once we left El Paso and started north the temps dropped considerably.  It was about 40 degrees when I took this picture.  I was dressed for 85.  I was shivering so bad I could hardly take the picture.  Needless to say I only have a few.  I didn't stay out long enough to take more.

I have never been in this part of the country before and the dessert fascinates me.  I love the expanses of nothingness. 

I have seen pictures of these cactus all my life but this is the first time seeing them real.

We stopped in Tucson in the morning and set up for the day.  The temperature had risen considerably.  When we are only stopping for overnight we usually stop at a Flying J or a Walmart but in the heat we really want the electricity for the AC so we stopped at a small campground just on the outskirts of Tuscon.  We fit in the lot (just)  and getting in was not hard but getting out was tight.  The roads really were not designed for rigs quite as large as ours.  Fortunately the guys staying in the lot in front of us moved their truck and picnic table so that we could pull out right through their lot and make the swing around them to the exit.  Once again we left before daylight and got to Flagstaff by noon.  The daytime temps are in the high 70s low 80s but the night go below freezing.  Makes for good sleeping.  Speaking of sleeping, we didn't get much last night.  Serenity came with a "sleep by number" bed.  Well last night it sprung a leak.  At 2 AM we ripped the bed apart trying to figure out why it kept going flat.  Finally we found the leak.  We decided to try to just duct tape it as a temporary measure.  It worked..............for about 15 minutes!  Today we went out in search of a patching kit to try and fix it.  If it doesn't work I am thinking we are going to have to replace our mattress.  I would never buy that type of bed myself and only own one because the rig came with it.  We patched the mattress this evening and have to let it sit for the night.  So tonight we sleep on the hide-a-bed in the living room.  I am guessing we are going to find out if it is comfortable.

We are staying in the famcamp at the Navajo National Guard Camp.  It reminds me of the campgrounds in the woods we used to camp at when I was a child.  I like staying in the RV resorts with all the amenities but I am also liking this rustic little place.  We have a great view across the fields from our dining area and the place is so quiet.  The stars are so bright.  As Howard would say "this place has that it factor".

Today we drove up to the grand canyon.  It was breathtaking!!! I took tons of pictures but I don't have them on this computer yet so I can't include any of them.  I will put a few in my next post. 

There is a $25.00 charge per car to enter the Grand Canyon National Park.  Fortunately last year when we were in Sevierville we bought a Senior pass to go into the Great Smokey Mountain National Park and it also got us in to the Grand Canyon National Park today for free.  Great little card!  So far that and our Passport America card has been a great investment.  I recommend them to anyone planning to do any touring around and camping. 

There is a few more places we want to see while we are here in Arizona.  Next week we are off to Vegas.  Another new place for me.

That is about it from Flagstaff Az.  Stay safe out there everyone and I hope we can meet one day somewhere down the road.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It has been a while I know.  My only excuse is that we have been busy and Internet has been scarce.  We are now sitting in El Paso in western Texas.  

We stayed a few days in Livingston Tx.  mostly just to see the place.  It is a huge park but not exactly what we expected.  Many of the lots are owned by individuals who place anything from mobile homes to park models on them.  It was quiet and people were very friendly.  We enjoyed our time there but soon it was time to move on to San Antonio.

We stayed at Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio.  I like staying in RV parks on military bases mostly because of the security and the slightly less cost.  Also groceries are so  much less expensive at the commissary.  We are getting very spoiled as every park we have been in so far has had level cement pads and pull through sites.  We stop and drop the jacks without having to do any leveling.  We are set up in a matter of minutes. 

While in San Antonio we visited the Alamo.  I was surprised because I expected something a bit bigger but it was beautiful.  The gardens were shaded which was a welcome relief on a sunny hot day.

After wandering through the exhibits at the Alamo we headed to the Riverwalk.  I have read so much on others blogs of the Riverwalk that I couldn't wait to see if for myself.  I loved it. 

We wandered until our feet hurt then jumped on one of the boats for a tour of the area.  Much of the walkway does not have any sort of railing as it follows the river.  I was wondering if anyone ever falls in while strolling.  The boat captain told us he saw a woman walking and texting.  The walkway took a turn to the left but she didn't.  He said it happens about a half a dozen times a week.  Luckily the water in most places ranges from 3 to 5 feet deep so you just have to stand up and walk out.  Nothing hurt but your pride.

We really enjoyed our afternoon there and went back a few days later for the evening and dinner out.  Since we drastically improved our eating habits about 2 months ago we don't eat out near as much as we used to so going out for dinner was a special treat and the ambiance of the area only added to it.

We left San Antonio yesterday morning heading west.  We planned to stop at a Flying J or Pilot for the night but the driving was so easy we just kept going and arrived at Ft. Bliss RV park around supper time.  They don't take reservations here so it is first come first served.  We got the second last spot.  Again flat level sites paved roads, full hook ups and well kept upscale facilities.  All this for about $12.00 a night.  We are here until next Tuesday.  The temps for the next few days are expected to top 100 degrees so I am thinking the AC is going to get a good workout.

We stopped for a photo somewhere between Ft Stockton and El Paso.  The vast emptiness has a beauty all its own. 

That is about all from our home here in El Paso.  Drive carefully out there and maybe we will meat somewhere down the road. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Livingstone Tx

Howdy from Texas.  We left New Orleans and drove 6 hours to stop here in Livingston, at the Escapees park.  We really couldn't go by without checking the place out. 

The main gate at the base in New Orleans has staggered barricades set up so force you to weave in and out to leave the base.  To us they looked too close together to try and weave through pulling Serenity and we really didn't want to take a chance that we would hit one of them and do some damage to the trailer so we decided to depart the base through the back gate.  No barricades at all.  Simple eh?  Well.........we found out that the gate is only open at specific times and in the morning that specific time is 0630 to 0830.  It means an early departure for us.  We got up  yesterday at 6 AM  (YES there is one of those in the morning too........who knew!!) and finished packing up.  We passed through the gate at 7 AM. 

This is why we never want to leave at that time.

The dogs we soooo stressed..

But we made it and are set up again....

I am always excited to move on to a new spot and see new places but I am also glad to get there and settle again.  They say moving is as stressful as divorce or death in a family and I believe it.  No matter if you packing your belongings and trucking them somewhere or hitching your whole home to your truck and pulling it to your next spot.  The only difference I see is that the latter is much quicker.  At least the stress is only for one day. 

Today is for exploring the area.  Life is good. 

Goodbye from our home in Livingston Texas.  Stay safe out there everyone and hopefully we will meet somewhere down the road.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hi y'all.  See I can now talk like someone from New Orleans.  We are still enjoying life here.  Friday night we went back to see Bourbon Street by night. 

At dusk they block the street from all traffic and people just wander.  Bar hopping with drink in hand.  It is just a huge party. I even got some beads.  No Debby, I am not going to say how I got them.   If this is what happens on an ordinary weekend I just can't imagine what it is like on Mardi Gras.  But next year we are going to find out.  We are planning to come back next Feb to see for ourselves.  Mom you and Dad better start planning to come with us.  You will love it.

This is the Cathedral of St. Louis by day and by night.  We didn't go inside but did wander through the grounds. 

Something I wanted to post in my last blog but forgot.  On our wanders we noticed that graveyards here are all above ground. 
I was told this was because of the high water table.  When they used to bury the bodies, the high water caused them to just float right out of the graves.  So they started building them up rather than go down.  This incidentally is where the stories of zombies started.

Yesterday we didn't do much of anything.  Housework.  No matter where we park it the housework follows and must be done.  The weather has been very hot.  I am not complaining just stating fact.  For the first time ever we actually have the AC running.  When you go outside the heat hits you like a wall.  And it isn't even summer yet.  I can't imagine what summer would be like here.  I am loving it.

Well that is about all for now from our home in New Orleans.  We move on in a few days and the adventure will continue.

Stay safe everyone and maybe we can meet down the road one day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I can't believe it has been a week since posting.  We are still in New Orleans and  having a blast. 

Last Saturday Mike and Jessie invited us to a craw fish boil (or Mudbug boil as the locals call it).  All I can say is YUM!

I love the hat Mike!

They look like mini lobsters

Jessie had enough food there to feed a small army and all of it tasted fantastic.  What more could anyone ask for.....a hot sunny day, good music, great food and wonderful friends.  Thanks so much for the invite you two.  We had a great time.

We went back to crawling around the French Quarter on Wednesday.  We did a little bit of shopping and a LOT of walking.  The whole area is fascinating. 
The street side of the homes look rather deceiving.  No front lawns, narrow streets and some with windows shuttered but when you peek between them and down a short ally you see a lush and peaceful place to enjoy a nice afternoon.  Ira said it reminded him of Spain.

We have spent a lot of time just walking around the base.  They really take pride in their place.  The grounds are so well kept.  

The other day I noticed that my military ID was about to expire.  (Thanks Dee for the reminder).  I also still had the old one with my social on it.  They have changed that since I had it done so we took care of that while we were here. 

These trees are all over the place here and if you look closely at the above picture of one you will see it had flowers blooming on it. 

This is what they look like up close and personal.  Maybe someone can tell me what it is? 

That is about it for us in New Orleans.  We have a few more days here and plan to do Bourbon Street at night and take in the WWII museum.  I will let you know how it goes.  Bye for now and for those of you on the road, safe travels.  Maybe we will meet down the road one day.