Ocean Lakes Campground, Myrtle Beach, SC, 10/7-10/2013

Myrtle BeachWe weren’t sure about camping in Myrtle Beach, but Bill selected it  because we could camp on the beach!  We had vacationed there in 2000, taking our daughter and two of her friends.  We rented a condo on the beach and to put it kindly, we weren’t impressed!  Maybe because we had three wild and crazy high school graduates!
But after this stay, I can tell you that we ended up falling in love with it! Because we were right on the beach and we do love the beach. We discovered this is the best beach to walk on that we’ve seen in all of our years of visiting beaches. Bill’s parents told us it was their favorite beach as well-and for that very reason.

This is a picture of the walk way from our campsite to the beach.  We were able to walk on it twice a day, except one night when it did get too cold and windy.

We really liked the campground, but the sites were a bit too close and was more expensive than we would have preferred!  BUT, we were right on the beach.

We had brought own prepared dinner, baked ziti, but ran out the last night.  So we had to decide what to buy for dinner.  And this is why we decided we didn’t like Myrtle Beach the first time, we weren’t impressed with the restaurants.  So we decided just to get a pizza since we had lots of fresh salad.  Can you believe we couldn’t get a decent pizza?  So we have to make sure we plan our home made meals better next time!

We were more or less under time constraints to get to our daughters to take care of our new grandson.  Plus we were really just learning how to camp and travel with our new RV.  She had two months off and he was going into daycare.  I thought it best to keep him out another month, so that was really what the push was for us to buy and RV!  I needed a place to live for a month.  Our daughter had converted the guest bedroom into the nursery.

We really didn’t do much and found out you can’t in three day and two nights.  So other than checking out the campground, walking on the beach, and finding no decent pizza, we went to Camping World when it rained one of the two days we were there!

We decided we would return and come for a longer time next time.  But we decided we would try the other large campground next time, for comparison purposes.

We are continuing to praise and thank God for His many blessings!  In spite of the not so great weather for a beach visit, we had a great time! We continue to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

Here is the latest picture of Colin, sent to us the day we were heading to see him!  Look at that great smile!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!

Jekyll Island Campground, Georgia 10/4-6/2013

Notice for miles the only structure is a water tower.

The best image that shows the serenity we enjoyed!

We had such a great time at Port St. Lucie, we couldn’t wait to start our journey up to Virginia where we would stay in the RV for a month to watch our grandson while his mom returned to work.  Bill does the research on what routes to take and what sites to see. Usually, we have no idea what we are getting into, that is why we say we Adventure Travelers!   Nothing could prepare us for the serenity and fantastic history we enjoyed on Jekyll Island.  We just heard of it, but nothing about it.  We hope to return one day as this is now one of our favorite vacations spots!

We learned something interesting about Georgia.  First of all, the state owns the island and thus the only campground!  The campground would be what we would describe as a bit primitive, after staying in the two resorts so far!  It was very wooded, but it had something about it that reminded us of our daughter’s 14 years at Indian Resort Campground in Sandbridge, Virginia – where my parents owned a RV (trailer) and had a membership.  The worst part about it was that it is very wooded and thus the mosquitos were out!  We had to spray as the state doesn’t spray the island!  Here is a gallery of the campground:

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We both really enjoy history and this island is just a fascinating little piece of early settler history.   The first recorded claim staked was in 1510 by Spain; in 1562, an explorer claimed it for France but lost it soon back to Spain in a battle; between 1663–65, England established grants to land stretching southward from their Jamestown colony to an area below St. Augustine, Florida; but it was General James Oglethorpe from England who established Georgia as a colony in 1733.  Jekyll Island was named shortly thereafter by Oglethorpe in honor of his friend, Sir Joseph Jekyll.  This history was not really showcased, but historical sites still exist from the late 1730s.  General Oglethorpe appointed William Horton to set up a military post in the area to protect Fort Frederica on St Simon’s Island. By 1738 Horton had set up permanent residence on Jekyll Island, near what is now called DuBignon Creek.  At his residence, Horton established a plantation prosperous enough to supply the population at Frederica with beef and corn.  We enjoyed touring the remnants left from the plantation.

The most spectacular and showcased history was when it was developed into a luxury resort for the privileged starting in the late 1880’s.  For this history, which starts on the official website:  http://www.jekyllisland.com/history.  It was so easy to see why this serene island was used by the privileged!

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We decided we needed to experience everything the island had to offer, so we then took a Sunset Dolphin tour.  We did enjoy the boat ride and the sunset…but sadly, we were a bit disappointed in how they find the Dolphins.  We really had to hunt for them and it looked like we wouldn’t see any as we headed back and then we finally saw a lot of them…but as you will see, they were hard to see as none really came close to our boat.  We have had a better Dolphin tour so need to remember to not do one of these again!  lolAs you may know, we love the beach!  while the water wasn’t that inviting, the park area at the beach was fabulous and the beach was worth lots of long walks!

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We can’t wait to return!  More than likely, we will just enjoy the beach!  The only place we were bothered by mosquitos was at the campground at dusk.  There is a driftwood beach we didn’t visit.  Looking forward to it!

So here is how Colin has grown since we last saw him when he was two weeks old!  Here he is on October 2 – 4, 2013,  at six weeks old:

Psalm 127:3-5  “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”

Port St. Lucie RV Resort, FL, 9/17-21/2013

StLucieRVresort (2)This trip was our “maiden” voyage in our new 5th Wheel RV!  We picked a campground within about two hours of our home, “just in case” and an easy drive.  It was so easy, Bill said I should have driven part of the way!  Our rig handled great, but Bill still had to figure out how to back into a site!  We had asked for a “pull through” but once we were there, it wasn’t such a good site.  So they moved us to one they thought he could easily back into.  People can’t help but watch and gawk a little, especially when they know you are brand new!  So one man watched for a little while and once Bill was in, he ran over and asked if he wanted some advice!  Bill promptly said, “NO!”  It must have been 90 degrees out, summer time in Florida and in-spite of the easy drive, he was covered in sweat – from nerves!  He acted like he didn’t hear the “NO” and proceeded to give Bill a few tips!

First, I do want to give a quick “pros and cons” of this resort.  Pros:  We will visit it again!  Pros:  location was ideal for the beach (6 miles); the resort was clean and well-maintained.  Cons:  Location, 6 miles is really a bit far!  We wished we could walk to the beach from our “beach” resort; it really wasn’t in the best location with a lot of additional amenities close by as we had to drive a bit to shop (but it really wasn’t that bad); the swimming pool was really small and not always open; very small resort and one thing we like is to be able to have a pleasant mile or two walk around ideal resorts.

Here is a slide show of the Port St Lucie RV Resort, which was just 6 miles from Jensen Beach, Florida.

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If you know us, you know we love the beach!  So we spent the days at Jensen Beach and one day, toured the Elliot Museum in Stuart, also close to the Resort.  Here are a few pictures of the beach:

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We love museums but this was one Bill couldn’t wait to see as it boasts housing over 50 of Elliott’s vintage automobiles.  Sadly, the majority are housed behind glass, in a stacked three story tier system that allows one car at a time to be placed in a rotating viewing site.  There were a number of other cars and many fascinating exhibits based upon inventor Sterling Elliott’s passions.  Here are some of our pictures of the museum, followed by information about it.

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From the website:

Tribute to Genius & Generosity: Sterling and Harmon Elliott
Stuart, Florida, and the surrounding region have long been enriched by seasonal residents. Harmon Elliott, son of prolific inventor Sterling Elliott, was among those who have made a mark on this area. To celebrate his father’s work and bring an educational and cultural resource to the region, Harmon provided the principal funds for the original Elliott Museum. In this tribute to his inventive spirit, visitors can learn about how Sterling Elliott was a problem-solving inventor, risk taker, politician, publisher, and social activist.

Stuart Main Street
The Stuart Main Street gallery immerses visitors in historic Stuart and the vehicles that were then part of people’s lives, here and across the nation. Recreated facades of the historic Citizens Bank, the Walter Kitching Store, and Krueger buildings harken back to a time when Stuart was emerging as the thriving community it is today. Visitors will see not only the earliest pioneer motor vehicles that changed Martin County’s and the nation’s dependence upon the horse, but also will learn how Model T Fords eventually brought rural dwellers into town and how trucks changed domestic life by delivering goods and services to homes.

Wheels of Change
Visitors will learn how development of commercial and personal transportation had an impact on people’s lives and America’s culture in a dramatic fashion. These are “everyman” vehicles, once owned and cherished by small business owners and municipalities as they looked to create a more professional presence for themselves and expand their own reach.

Let Your Mind Soar
The Elliott Museum is a very organic building. Not only is it an award-winning “green” building, it was designed to blend in with the landscape, matching the colors and mimicking the textures of sand and local rock. On the northwest corner of the building, in front of the Studio at the Elliott, an installation of colorful beams of different lengths are carefully arranged and painted to take the viewer’s eye on an exhilarating ride. It is the work of artist Peter Freudenberg who had been creating this sculpture in his mind for many years, and who donated this signature work to the museum.

Hugh Willoughby & his Hydro-Aeroplane
Hugh Willoughby, a resident of Martin County, had a lifelong passion for aviation and owned 14 different patents for aircraft devices. Soaring overhead the Stuart Main Street gallery visitors can see a full scale replica of the Pelican Hydro-Aeroplane that Stuart resident Hugh Willougby designed in 1910. The replica was fabricated by Ken Kellett who also built the first airworthy replica of the Wright Brothers 1903 Flyer and also was the first person since the Wright Brothers to actually fly the aircraft.

The Elliott Museum has a comprehensive signed collection of baseball-related items including autographed baseball cards, baseballs, bats, and other artifacts. The collection of autographed baseballs now numbers more than 250. The collection sports signatures by players from the Major Leagues, the Negro Leagues, and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Among the most famous players represented are: Ray Dandridge, the Negro League; Hank Aaron, the Negro and Major Leagues; June Peppas (AAGPBL); and Jackie Robinson, Nolan Ryan, Ted Williams, Derek Jeter, Bob Feller, Ralph Kiner, and Babe Ruth of the Major Leagues.

Our Stories: Treasure Coast History
Featuring items from the Elliott Museum’s General Store, Barber Shop, Dress Shop, to Frances Langford’s Gowns, this exhibit celebrates the life and times of Martin County from its early founding days through progress and innovation. With something for everyone, from Langford fans, to archeologists, the exhibit even lets visitors relive the November 2000 Presidential Election in an original Martin County voting booth. Through paintings by James Hutchinson and Curt Whiticar, the life of the Seminoles and early settlers are explored. While there is more work to be done to interpret and tell the many stories, come explore your favorite pieces of the Elliott Museum’s collection.

Maritime History
In 2013, The Elliott Museum merged with the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum – taking their permanent collection and incorporating it into the permanent collection of the Elliott. On display on our second floor, and throughout the museum, are key pieces from the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum collection. Including Cris Craft boats, boat models, Whiticar Boat Works artifacts, and more.

The Evinrudes
As part of the merger with the Maritime & Classic Boat Museum, the Elliott Museum obtained several Evinrude and Elto outboard motors—highlighting the story of Ole and Ralph Evinrude and their impact on Martin County and maritime history.

Frances Langford Outrigger Cafe
The Frances Langford Outrigger Café serves lunch, snacks, and the story of one of Stuart’s most famous and beloved residents. In this unique restaurant, leased to and under the management of Stuart’s popular Osceola Café, visitors can not only find a wonderful restaurant, but also have an opportunity to learn the story of singer, actress, and Stuart resident and philanthropist Frances Langford (1913– 2005).

Library & Archives
The research library and archives of the Historical Society of Martin County contain more than 30,000 items. These references and rare books, newspaper clippings, maps, photographs, and historic documents range from the early 1900s to the present and tell the history of Martin County and its surrounding areas. Volunteers are working hard on organizing the Thurlow Library and Archives to eventually allow more than half of this content—some 15,000 to 20,000 documents—to be easily and readily available to the general public by appointment.

Colin turned one month old while we were were touring the museum and enjoying the beach.  He is a good sleeper, but has to wear “mittens” to keep from scratching his face!

Our grand son one month old

Our grand son one month old

Jesus said, “Don’t stop children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God.”  (Matthew 19:14, God’s Translation)

Our First RV Resort: Tampa East, FL 9/5-7/2013

After three years of dreaming of owning an RV and traveling, we finally did it!  The road here was not easy, but was bathed in prayer!  And many things came together and we have to give God the Glory as it was all miraculous.  So I’ll try to categorize this to make a long story short.

A slide show follows this narrative.  But first, few pros and cons about the resort.  Pros:  location was perfect, just two miles from Camping World, where we bought our first RV; it really was a resort and we were in awe of the beautiful pool and amenities; the office staff was outstanding, really helpful; the bath and laundry area were kept clean.   Cons:  It was rainy season and the lots were mainly dirt with some grass so it was hard to level the RV.  Will we return, probably not because Tampa is not our favorite vacation location in Florida!

The dream:  Bill wanted one of those Class A vehicles that are like a bus and some are on a bus chassis.  He wanted to carry his motorcycle on the back on a lift and tow our small Toyota Tacoma truck.  So for three years, we went to RV shows and looked in side 100’s of them.  Bill also searched on line for a used one, looking for the perfect one.  My sister and her husband bought one around 2004 and traveled with our mom and step dad for a year or two.  She wanted us to buy one and said she KNEW we’d love the life style.  I hadn’t retired from work and that was the last thing I could think about, but it looked attractive.  I’m not sure when Bill decided that was what he wanted, but it was years later.

The push:  Our first grand baby was due the end of August 2013.  So that caused us to say, it’s time to start traveling, mainly to see him or her.   We got serious but we still were bogged down as landlords.  Although we had sold all but one, we just didn’t think we could leave until it sold – and miracle of miracles, it sold right out from under us mid-August.  The pressure was now on to buy, so we actually found one that fit his dream, offered to us at a bargain price ($150,000 something for a mere $109,000).  As tempting as it was, we had to figure out the financing and sleep on it.  We actually just lost that much and more in our real estate ventures, so that gave us pause.  Plus, after I sat in the driver’s seat, I freaked and said I could never drive it!   Our precious grandson arrived early, August 19, so we were there for about 10 days.  Since I didn’t want him in day care at age 2 months, I offered to come for a month when our daughter went back to work and would watch him until he was 3 months old.  So we returned to Florida knowing we needed an RV soon!  So I called on some used ones and learned the market was flooded with them and all for sale we the balance owned on the loan!  We only wanted to pay $50,000.  So Bill was so discouraged but I had faith!  So off to one last shot at a small RV show.  We pulled up to a couple in their brand new Ford truck.  We asked how they liked it and they loved it and were there to buy something to tow.

The decision:  Bill decided he would look in every different RV vehicle this time.  So the first one was an extra light 5th wheel.  In my mind, this was the way to go, but I kept quiet.  It was fabulous!  Love at first sight!  WOW, who would have ever thought?  But then Bill said we could never afford the truck to pull it, when a man came in and said, just think, my F150 ecoboost truck can pull this!  Bill said, “really?”  And that was when we realized we could live the dream and travel more economically.  You see, just to get out of Florida from our home is a one day drive in an RV.  That didn’t seem feasible with all the time we wanted to travel to see our grandson.   So we then set out to get the best deal we could and we did!  With on a few days, we bought our truck and new 5th wheel.  I had heard from one sales center they will let you stay in a campground nearby for 2 days to make sure you can set it up and take it down before you head home.

Our sales man set us for two nights and three days at the Sun RV Resort called Tampa East.  We had no trouble setting up but had a few questions and realized we needed a few more items from Campers World, where we purchased our RV.  Our sales man came our first night, even though it was raining out, and gave us a warm plate of home made brownies with carmel and chocolate!  Sweet!

So here is a review of both our campground, where we are steps from a fabulous pool that we had to ourselves (it was off season in Florida) and the nice nature walk we took at Lettuce Lake Park, near University of Central Florida.  Just an interesting side note, while walking around the lake, we heard a lot of helicopters and sirens.  I said I bet a fugitive is loose – and it was a horrendous situation.  He had killed one person and he ended up dying in a gun battle.  Sad ending to a wonderful weekend.  Kiss and hug your loved ones!

Meet our grand son then the slide show of the Resort:

Six days old

Six days old

Sorry these are not really in order, I’m new at this!

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