Time for Another Rally

Current Location: Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama

Yesterday, we basically took it easy around the trailer most of the day. Malcolm drove over to the office in the morning and paid for our site since we got in after office hours. David called a little after 4:00 and indicated that a couple of his friends that are allowed to leave base were waiting for us at the main gate to Keesler and one would ride back in to the base with us. We threw our things in the truck and drove straight over. We got in with no problem.

We met David and his roommate and walked over to the main base Exchange and ate dinner in the food court. Afterwards, we walked around the Exchange and David bought a few things he needed. We walked back over to his dorms with him, gave him hugs and handshakes and headed back to the trailer for the evening.

This morning we were in no real hurry, so we headed out to find the local post office to mail some packages. We got there a little early and our granddaughter, Scarlet, called us on Facetime. We chatted with her and our daughter, Elizabeth, for a while until Scarlet was ready for breakfast. We said our goodbyes and headed on into the post office to get our packages shipped on their way.

After the post office, we stopped by a gas station near the campground to fill up the truck and to look for some Biloxi postcards. Since there were no postcards there, we drove up the street a bit to a big souvenir shop and found postcards and a t-shirt for our quilt there. We headed back and hitched up the trailer and headed east to Gulf Shores, Alabama for a Heartland rally. It was a fairly short drive. We got in after lunch time and immediately fixed something to eat once we were all hooked up.

Our complete setup

Our complete setup

After lunch, we decided to set up our Easy-Up and make our own little outdoor sitting area. We got it all set up and settled down to relax when others from the rally started congregating and chatting. Eventually, we all agreed on heading to Doc’s Seafood Shack for dinner, where we had excellent food and great service.

Standing outside after dinner

Standing outside after dinner

Great looking group

Great looking group

After dinner, several folks were talking about congregating around a campfire somewhere, but Val was getting a headache, so we decided to stay in for the evening.

In Biloxi

Current Location: Cajun RV Park, Biloxi, Mississippi

Yesterday, we went to Christ Church PCA in Katy, Texas for Easter services. Afterwards, we ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant nearby (really good food and plenty of it), then headed back to the trailer. It was a lazy day the rest of the day. Malcolm spent most of it scanning more pictures, plowing through about 900 of them. We also did our pre-trip packing inside the trailer.

This morning, we left just before 9:00 AM (to get past the rush hour traffic in Houston) and headed east. We encountered a backup in Lake Charles, Louisiana that slowed us down a bit, but we made it to Biloxi, Mississippi (about 450 miles) around 6:30 PM. We had stopped about 4:00 and called ahead to the campground here and made reservations.

The after-hours security person met us at the office and led us to our site, which is the first site you encounter when you come into the park. We have great views of the Gulf of Mexico.

View out the rear kitchen window

View out the rear kitchen window

View out the side living room window

View out the side living room window

Val is talking to David right now to see if he can find out if we can visit him on base. We’re just 3 miles from Keesler where we are camped now. David cannot leave base, so we’ll see if we can come in and visit with him for a bit tomorrow, as well as drop off a few things for him. Malcolm is set up to scan more pictures this evening.

 

On to Houston

Current Location: Traders’ Village RV Park, Houston, Texas

We left Livingston about 8:30 AM this morning, even though there was no big hurry to do so. We arrived at Traders’ Village about 10:45, checked in and set up the trailer. By the time we were done setting up, the crowd coming in to the flea market had picked up substantially, so we did good by leaving when we did.

After getting set up, we headed out to run a few errands. First stop was lunch, as we were both hungry already. Panera Bread took care of the healthy fixins. From there, on to Camping World in Katy, Texas. The bicycle cover we purchased in New Branfels had a faulty zipper. We couldn’t zip the cover back up when we were packing up the trailer in Livingston, so back in the box it went. Swapping it out at Camping World (without a receipt) was no problem at all.

After Camping World, we stopped at Tractor Supply to get cat food. Malcolm was prohibited from buying anything horse-oriented, so we were in and out of there pretty quickly. On the way back from there, we stopped at Home Depot to get a new handle for the closet door that we modified the other day, as well as some wood filler to fill the holes leftover from the current handles and the hinges removed from the left-hand door.

After Home Depot, we stopped in to JoAnn Fabrics to get some scrapbooks and related supplies. We have two very old family cookbooks (Malcolm’s mother’s family) that are falling apart. We are going to put the individual pages into clear plastic pages to preserve them. The pages are a mix of handwritten recipes and newspaper clippings.

After all those stops, we got back to the trailer. Malcolm put the new bike cover over the bikes, then set himself to work on the closet door. The old handles were removed, holes drilled for the new one and the new handle was put in place. Various holes were filled with stain-able wood filler. After it has dried sufficiently, Malcolm will go back and sand them down a bit and hit them with some stain.

Old handles on our dusty doors

Old handles on our dusty doors

New handle

New handle

Filler

Filler

Filled

Filled

After dinner, we headed to the grocery store and picked up some groceries. Upon returning, our keyless entry keypad on the trailer was non-responsive. We figured the battery was getting low, as it had been acting up lately. Malcolm replaced the batteries in the door latch mechanism and it was operating noticeably faster. When he pulled the button cell battery out of the keypad, it came out wet.

Putting a new battery in allowed it to work somewhat, but it was making funny noises. Malcolm pulled it off the wall of the trailer and cleaned up all the sticky residue. The door handle part (with the keyfob remotes) still works fine – it is just the keypad that is broken. We’ll see if we can get it replaced under warranty.

 

Last Day in Livingston

Current Location: Rainbow’s End RV Park, Livingston, Texas

Yesterday, we decided to take an extended trip (nearly down to Houston) so that Val could go to JoAnn Fabrics and pick up some more yarn for a project she is working on. The only place in Livingston that might have stood a chance of having it was WalMart and it is poorly stocked.

We made a trip of it and wandered right up the road to a local mall. We had lunch at PF Chang’s and then decided not to wander the mall, but rather to head back to the trailer. Malcolm was expecting an overnight package and we needed to pick it up at the Escapees mail room before 4:00. We got there at 3:00 and Malcolm picked up his package.

We had chicken packets cooked on the grill for dinner. Since we had three chicken breasts, we made three packets and invited our next door neighbor over since her husband is out of town on a family emergency. We chatted over dinner and had a great time.

Today, we headed over to catch up on the laundry. It was a good time to catch up with other folks in the park that were doing the same. We mainly just relaxed this afternoon and did some of our pre-packing for moving tomorrow. We had hobo dinners cooked on the grill this evening. After dinner, we ran down to Dollar General to grab a few things. Afterwards, we cleaned the trailer a bit and settled down to relax for the evening.

 

Cleanup and Mods

Current Location: Rainbow’s End RV Park, Livingston, Texas

This morning we headed over to the Escapees office and set up our mail forwarding service, so we now have a Texas address. They were very helpful in discussing the requirements for becoming residents. We’ll need to have a few more things handy to get our drivers licenses than we have right now, and getting plates for the truck now but licenses in a couple months might incur fines or additional fees.

Their recommendation was to wait until we can come back with all the various things we’ll need and just take care of it all in one shot. For now, Escapees will be our mailing address, but Alabama will remain our physical address (for purposes of insurance, etc.).

With the mail thing taken care of, Malcolm decided to get the oily mess off the front cap of the trailer. Once done with that, he did the same with the truck, giving it a long-overdue bath. One thing led to another and Malcolm eventually ended up cleaning the whole outside of the trailer as well as the top side of the awning.

Oily, greasy, grimy mess

Oily, greasy, grimy mess

Sparkly clean

Sparkly clean

Shiny rigs

Shiny rigs

Malcolm finished our taillight mod (the lights mounted to the rear bumper) by using his fish tape to run the wires to the new lights out of the bottom of the trailer instead of having them taped to the back wall of the trailer. It looks much cleaner now.

Our main mod for the day was based on something we saw in newer units at the Tampa RV Show in January. Our washer/dryer closet has two doors on it, but the newer ones use on big door. We like the big door idea and were considering seeing if we could get one from the factory and staining it to match our interior. Val had a great idea today, though, so here’s what we did to convert our two doors into one big door.

We headed to Lowes and purchased a six-foot long 1×2 board and some 1 1/2″ wood screws. Back at the trailer, Malcolm removed the two doors from the wall and laid them face down on the picnic table outside. He cut the 1×2 into two lengths and stained them with some quick stain we have that pretty well matches our interior woodwork.

Ready to cut the wood

Ready to cut the wood

Doors laid side by side

Doors laid side by side

Wood strips stained

Wood strips stained

With the stain dried, Malcolm mounted the 1×2 boards across the joint where the two doors come together. A few screws driven in and the two doors are now joined together as one.

Screwed down strip

Screwed down strip

Back inside, the door was mounted using only the right-hand hinges (the left-hand ones were fully removed). We left the two handles as they were for continuity reasons and to keep from leaving two holes in the middle. The catches were all removed and one was replaced on the side of the door that opens (the left side). Here’s the final result both closed and open.

Single door, closed

Single door, closed

Single door, opened

Single door, opened

While we were out shopping for lumber and hardware, we also stopped and ate at Joe’s Italian Grill restaurant. We each brought home about half of our food. The portions were really large. Looks like Italian food tomorrow for lunch.