Here, There and Everywhere

Location: Washington State visiting Grandchildren

Dates: Mar. 27 – Apr. 2, 2018

Once we were back from the beach trip, Malcolm and the girls worked on their pinewood derby cars for Awana. Malcolm and Violet both got sick shortly after we got back. Not sure about Violet, but Malcolm had the flu (we never got around to getting flu shots).

Violet’s car won 2nd place in her division for design. Malcolm’s car won first place in the adult division for design. None of our cars were terribly fast, though, but they at least made it to the finish line. Violet was home sick the night of the race, so Nana raced in her place and accepted her award.


The rest of the week we all just had fun. Malcolm tried to work as much as he felt like even though he had the flu.


Eventually, on Friday, Malcolm went to the doctor. They determined he had the flu and gave him a prescription for flu meds, though they wouldn’t guarantee that they would do any good since he had the flu longer than 48 hours. (They did help some).


Cole came home from India on Friday afternoon. Elizabeth went to the airport to bring him home. He caught up on his sleep over the weekend. Malcolm was still sick on Easter Sunday, so he stayed home while everyone else went to church.


The girls had an Easter egg hunt on Sunday afternoon. Scarlet sorted all her candy out by type.


On Monday, Malcolm was feeling better. We spent the day getting ready to fly home. Our flight left late in the evening on Monday and arrived early morning in Orlando on Tuesday.

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Apr. 3 – 6, 2018

We flew in to Orlando early in the morning on Tuesday, the 3rd. We picked up our car from the parking lot and headed home. We slept very little on the plane, so we slept for a few hours once we got home. Later, we headed across the street and brought Callie home from our neighbors who were watching her while we were away.

We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday catching up on laundry and getting the trailer ready for travel. On Friday morning, we hooked up the trailer to the truck and headed out for a couple weeks in Nashville.

Location: Tifton KOA, Tifton, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 6 -7, 2018

Our first stop on the way to Nashville was Tifton, Georgia. We had some slow traffic in Florida due to the heavy spring break traffic mixed with a tanker truck that had crashed and caught fire.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 7 – 8, 2018

Our second stop was in Rossville, Georgia (just outside of Chattanooga). We again hit traffic due to a traffic accident and generally heavy spring break traffic south of Atlanta.

Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

Dates: Apr. 8, 2018

Today’s journey from Chattanooga to Nashville took less than 3 hours up I-24. It was a generally smooth drive. There was a lot of spring break traffic again but it generally moved well.


We’ll be here for two weeks while Malcolm works in the office here.





Big Trip West – Day 2

Current Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

We hooked up this morning and hit the road a little after 8:00 AM. We drove on up I-75 and decided to stay on I-75 north through Atlanta. Traffic was a bit heavy, but not unbearable. We made it through just fine.

We stopped for lunch at a truck stop near Dalton, Georgia. We backed into a site along the back and ate lunch in the truck, watching the trucks drive by to go to the fuel pumps. When we were done eating, we noticed a couple trucks in front of us and not really moving. We had debated filling up our truck there after lunch.

Malcolm ran back to the trailer to throw away our trash and use the restroom before closing up the trailer. The truck that had been stopped in front of us for a while looked like it was going to back into another space on down from us. Malcolm could see a lot of smoke rising from the area of the fuel pumps, but figured it was an older truck spewing a lot of exhaust.

It turned out that a truck in line for fuel had caught fire. A fire truck was already there hosing it down, but we decided to turn out the way we came in and get fuel elsewhere. Various other fire vehicles were arriving as we were leaving and they were blocking the entrance for any more trucks to come in. Lots of excitement. We just got back on the interstate and stopped for fuel on up the road.


Site 117 at Holiday Travel Park

We arrived here about 3:00 this afternoon and got all set up. Though the actual campground is in Rossville, Georgia, we are in the general Chattanooga, Tennessee area (literally 1/2 mile south of the Georgia/Tennessee border).

While the air conditioners were doing their thing cooling down the trailer, we drove across the interstate to Camping World and picked up a few things we needed. We bought a pair of LED lamps to replace the ones in the dining room fixture and found out they were too dim, different sizes and even different colors though they were both packaged as the same bulb. Malcolm drove back over and returned them. We’ll order the correct bulb(s) off Amazon later.

We ate dinner in the trailer and generally just relaxed. Tomorrow we head on up to Lexington, Kentucky to stay at the Kentucky Horse Park for eight days.



Big Trip West – Day 1

Current Location: Tifton KOA, Tifton, Georgia

Today was the official start of our big trip out west for the year. We’re heading out to Washington state by way of some stops in Kentucky. Our first stop will be in Lexington, Kentucky. Looking at the route from Orlando to Lexington, we felt three days would be best for the trip. As such, 1/3rd of the way there is approximately Tifton, Georgia.


Our empty site in Florida. The car remained there, under its new cover.

We left this morning around 8:00 AM and headed up the Florida Turnpike and picked up I-75 south of Ocala. It was a busy but uneventful drive up I-75.


On the Road

We stopped at the Georgia Welcome Center on I-75 for lunch. As we pulled in to the truck and RV section, Malcolm spied this shady spot on the end.


Shady Lunch Spot

After lunch, we headed on up the road for about another hour to Tifton, Georgia. We checked into the Tifton KOA, set up the trailer and cranked on both air conditioners (temperature was around 96 degrees outside).


Tifton KOA – Site 44

Malcolm worked for a while after we got set up and while the trailer was cooling down. When we checked in, the lady at the desk mentioned that their walking trail wound around pastures with horses and cows. Of course, Malcolm’s ears perked up at the mention of animals, so he wandered out later in the afternoon for a short visit.


A Couple of Malcolm’s new friends

We decided to try out the pizza place for dinner that was recommended by the front desk staff. The food was delicious. We also filled up the truck with fuel while we were out. Back at the trailer, Val loaded up the washer with a load of laundry. When we get to Lexington, we won’t have a sewer hookup (Kentucky Horse Park) for eight days, so we’re getting our heavy water usage in before we get there.

Back Home Again

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

On New Years Day, we all piled in the car and headed down to the YMCA. They were giving out free t-shirts (nice ones at that) for the first 1,000 people to show up. We all got t-shirts (even us, though we were visitors). The girls, Cole and Elizabeth went swimming while we went walking on the track.

We generally just relaxed on Sunday and Monday. On Monday afternoon, Cole came down with a cold. The rest of us went out to dinner at Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que.

On Tuesday morning, Cole was up early and headed to work. Violet started back to school, too. We walked out to her bus stop with her, though we didn’t have to walk too far – her bus picks her up at her driveway.


Violet heading off to school.

With Violet off to school, Scarlet wanted to get Happy Donuts for breakfast, so we headed down to Puyallup for a little breakfast treat. We bought an extra for Violet and brought it home so she could have it the next day.


Donut breakfast.

Violet asked if we would pick her up from school instead of her riding the bus, so we all headed over to wait on her to get out of class.

We told the girls goodbye on Tuesday evening since Cole was going to take us to the airport on Wednesday morning on his way to work. It meant we would be at the airport a couple hours early, but we didn’t mind. As it turns out, he felt terrible the next morning and decided to stay in and get over his cold. Elizabeth ended up running us to the airport, which meant we could leave a little later and tell the girls goodbye again in the morning.

We had a mid-morning flight from Seattle to Atlanta, arriving around 5:30 PM Atlanta time. We took the shuttle back to the Holiday Inn that we stayed in on the way out since our car was parked there. Rather than drive back to Alabama really late (close to 3 hour drive), we stayed in the Holiday Inn again. We ate dinner in the restaurant and relaxed in the room, since Val was coming down with a cold, as well.

On Thursday morning, we had breakfast in the hotel (included in the room price), packed up our stuff into the car and drove back to Montgomery. Once we got into town, we went ahead and stopped by Costco for a couple items, filled up the car with gas there, stopped by Target for a couple items and Whole Foods for some spices. After lunch at San Marcos in Montgomery, we stopped by Winn Dixie to get milk and juice then on back to the trailer to unload.

Once we got everything out of the car, Malcolm checked on our RV toilet. It had been backed up before we left, so we had poured some RidX down the toilet to see if it would eat up the backup while we were in Washington. No luck there. Malcolm headed over to Lowe’s and bought a toilet snake and got the clog cleared with that and the garden hose. He emptied the black tank and flushed it really well.

Apparently while we were away, the Asian Ladybugs were swarming and looking for a place to hide for the cold weather. When Malcolm opened the storage door on the sewer tote, he found a couple dozen ladybugs hiding in the hinge. So far, we have only found one inside, so we’re hoping that the trailer was sealed up well enough to keep them out for the most part. We’ll find out when we go to bring in slides to move next week.


Ladybug stowaways

Today was a cold and rainy day. Malcolm spent most of the day working. Val packed up all the Christmas stuff and we made a pile of things to take to our storage unit. We took our empty suitcases over to storage and picked up our Christmas storage boxes and brought them back. We made a second trip a little later and put away the Christmas items and brought out the winter/spring stuff.


Important winter/spring decorations.

After the two trips to the storage unit, we were pretty much set for the next couple months. We also brought back our t-shirt collection to sort through for our 2016 t-shirt quilt. We also filled up an empty propane tank in preparation for the cold weather then next few nights.

With freezing rain and sleet forecast for after sunset this evening, Malcolm ran out one final time to pick up a couple items we needed for dinner. After dinner, we curled up in front of the fireplace and kept warm with hot toddies. Val went to bed early to work on shaking off her cold.

Malcolm made reservations for us in Panama City next week. We’ll leave on Monday for there and will be in various places in Florida through at least mid-February. This year we have solid reservations in Florida, so no questionable campgrounds or one-night stays. We have two weeks at Walt Disney World, and one week each at two separate Florida State Park campgrounds. We’ll wander our way back to this area late in February.




North Carolina

Current Location: Lumberton/I-95 KOA, Lumberton, North Carolina

This morning, we got the trailer hitched and ready to go, then headed to the main building at the KOA to enjoy some free waffles. We brought our own drinks, but they did have coffee and orange juice available. The waffles were great. Though they were free, there was a donation box that we dropped a couple dollars in.


Waffle time.

We headed out about 8:45 and had an easy drive up I-95 to Lumberton, North Carolina. The KOA here is an older campground with new owners (a little less than a year) that are working on fixing the place up. They’re doing a great job so far. The main area of the campground has a smattering of trees, so we had a very sunny site all afternoon.


Lumberton KOA, Site 30

After we set up, Val decided to relax in the trailer while the air conditioning caught up. Malcolm checked out the swimming pool and decided to go for a swim for a while. The water was just perfect and the pool very nice. It was a great way to cool off (the temperature here was around 95 degrees when we arrived).

We decided to eat dinner out at Cracker Barrel up at the next exit. Malcolm enjoyed the camp style beef dinner – one of his favorites that they introduced last summer. After dinner, we stopped by the Food Lion to pick up a few groceries, then headed back to the trailer. After putting groceries away, we walked to the back of the park where there is a short trail out to the Lumber River, which runs right behind the campground.


The Lumber River

It’s not a very big river at this point, but it was quiet and scenic.

Tomorrow we head north, then east to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We have reservations out there for three nights.

We’ll close with a cool picture that Val grabbed as we were heading up I-95 today.


I see us