Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Taste of the Confederacy and 98 Year Old Hot Dogs...

We drove into Alabama and spent a night in Fort Payne. It was just a quick stopover...we didn't even unhook the truck from the fifth wheel. We stayed at Wills Creek RV Park. It's easy to get to, right off Interstate 59 and has pull thrus long enough to stay hooked up. Only disappointment was that they advertised cable TV and no longer have it.  Now I have two NCIS episodes to catch up on!

State Capitol Building
Our campsite
We reached Montgomery, AL the next day and stayed at Capital City RV Park.  It's located just outside Montgomery, so it was a good drive to go anywhere, but we liked the park. Lots of pull thrus, grassy areas and decent  space between sites for a city RV park. They are serious about their rules and there are traffic cones marking which way to go, but that's why the park is so clean and quiet.

Our turbo went out again on our way to Montgomery. This time the check engine light came on. Jack pulled over, turned off the truck and restarted and the turbo kicked back in. Unfortunately we lost the turbo at least three more times. When we arrived at the RV park we mentioned it to the owner. He recommended a nearby mechanic who had worked at Ford until he opened his own shop, Lee's Auto Repair. Jack took the truck over, Lee took him right in and found the problem and took care of it.. It was a shorted out EGT sensor. So happy for the recommendation and that it was only $200.

Lots of Civil Rights history there as well as some Civil War history. We visited the First Confederate White House where Jefferson Davis lived. It was interesting to see, but I looked at it with a different perspective since I just can't get into the whole Confederate Southern Pride thing. Jack's a Civil War buff and he really enjoyed it.

Here are some photos of the inside...

On the right, a close up of the detailed trim...

We didn't get to see the Rosa Parks was closed, but I found this National Park Website very good reading. It takes you through the Fight for Civil Rights step by step. Even though I lived through most of it, I still learned a good bit reading through it.

I did discover a hot dog place downtown that's 98 years old and it looks it! Chris' Hot Dogs. it's now run by Chris' son Theo. The hot dogs and burgers were basic, but good and the prices were very reasonable. We had two hot dogs, two burgers, two drinks and an order of fries for $14...that's cheaper than McDonald's!

We didn't find much else in Montgomery to interest us. I went to a mall looking for a department store so I could  pick up a Clinique eyeliner.  There was both a Belk's and a Dillard's and neither had cosmetic counters! I'll try somewhere else.

We did get a chance to just relax and chill a bit before heading to our next stop...New Orleans.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pigeon Forge...

We drove from Greensboro to Pigeon Forge, TN and the truck's turbo did its job and got us up Black Mountain with no problem. We got settled in our campground, River Plantation RV Resort. The campground is on a river and was nice; the sites are gravel and have cement patios and there's a small patch of grass in front. In case you were wondering, our leveling jacks went down and the Auto-Level worked fine.  We'll see what happens when it's time to hitch up again.

River Plantation is actually in Sevierville, but it's only a few miles to Pigeon Forge. Since October is leaf season, the whole area was very crowded. Driving from our campground in Sevierville to Pigeon Forge could take twenty or thirty minutes and looked like this.

After our busy week in Greensboro, we relaxed a lot, took in the Tennessee mountain ambiance and ate! Lots of old fashioned cooking up there. I did manage to stay away from desserts, though! We tried the Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill...every meal comes with a complimentary Apple Julep (delicious) and homemade Apple Fritters and Apple Butter (also delicious). The place that got us to go back a second time is the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe and Grill...a cozy place in a pretty setting with good food. The Pecan Fried Chicken with Moonshine Sauce was like eating dessert for dinner...had to take half of it home in a box and it was almost as good the next night! We didn't take in any shows...going right before payday limited our activities...but we really like the area and will return.

While we were in Pigeon Forge, Becca sent me photos of Katie and Jackson - each had a "first" - one good and one not so good.

Katie had the good first. She went to her first Middle School dance with her friends. It's reported that she had a good time and rated it a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10! She looks so pretty and so grown.

Jackson's first was not so good. A coffee table got the best of him at his friend's house and he gashed his chin. He's had two casts but these were his first stitches of them. Getting stitches hurts but Becca said that he took it like a champ! Proud of my boy.

Next, south to Alabama...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Visiting Greensboro...

Our first stop after leaving Wilmington was Greensboro for a few more family visits.  We didn't get rained on during our drive, but once we got settled, it rained for three days! The truck lost turbo for a few minutes on the way to Greensboro...then it kicked back in. We had it checked out, but Ford couldn't find anything wrong, so we'll keep an eye on it and hope for the best.  

Joanna and Glen
Awesome Carrot Cake
Glen and Joanna hosted a family get together to celebrate their first wedding anniversary and Jack's and my second anniversary, which are both in early October. The rains moved the party plans from the yard to indoors, but it didn't dampen our fun (pun intended)!

Time for Sangria...Cheers!

It's Party Time!

Ken, me and Glen...recreating a photo from the nineties...we were a lot younger then!

I was so happy to see Michael...and he introduced me to his girlfriend Cyndi...I like her!

Jack, sneaking goodies to Tasha!      Matthew, texting his girlfriend!

Cannoli from Elizabeth's
Jack and I had a quiet dinner and a delicious piece of Carnegie Deli cheesecake at Tripps Restaurant on our anniversary. The Carnegie Deli in NYC makes a cheesecake that is the standard by which all others should be judged.
We also made our regular visits to Darryl's and to Elizabeth's and Glen and Joanna introduced us to their new favorite Mexican place...Kiosco's.

Our last day there I had a really enjoyable lunch with two old nurse friends from Cone Hospital, Bev and Cindy. It was fun catching up! Look forward to doing it again.

When we packed up to leave, we couldn't get our auto-level jacks up. I was able to switch it to manual mode and retract them but I worried our entire drive about whether they would work when we got to our next destination and what we would do if they didn't. Fortunately they worked and auto-leveled fine.  We'll see what happens when we pack up to leave again! Is there ever nothing to worry about?!

Saying goodbye to everyone was hard...again...but it's time to get going on our trek West and look forward to seeing family out there as well as some interesting places along the way.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Wilmington...

Our last two weeks in Wilmington were wet!  The rains preceding Hurricane Joaquin dumped record breaking amounts of rain on us which eventually led to flooding right after we left...including sections of our KOA. Never was a departure so well timed!

Jackson rounded off the summer birthdays with his ninth birthday on September 19th.  He had a Minion sleepover with his friends...Mommy baked a great Minion cake...then had a family celebration that included Brooklyn Pizza and Boombalatti's Ice Cream. Next year, double digits!

Despite the rains I got in a few more days of babysitting and a visit to The Fish House for dinner on the Intracoastal one more time.

The night before we left we got together with Becca, Davis, Katie and Jackson for some goodbyes and some Brooklyn Pizza. Saying goodbye was very hard for me, but I did manage not to cry...much. I'm already planning a visit back in the spring!

I miss everyone already!