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Friday, May 30, 2014

Getting to NYC via some costly TOLL BRIDGES

Actually, we are in NJ...but we are taking the train to NYC. Driving here was not without fanfare, thanks to roadwork and rain, oh yes, rain. Which thankfully was just that, no storms just the moisture. And the road construction ON THE BRIDGE nearly made me faint. Until we got to the toll booth and it was $24 dollars and then I did pass out. Seriously, TWENTY FOUR DOLLARS, that was after the $12.00 earlier in the day. Maryland you charge entirely TOO much to cross your bridges and I hope I don't ever cross them again...

Toll roads we avoided in MD and NJ. NJ is full of tolls, since we came in from the south headed north we did not incur the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll, thankyouverymuch :) Since we had already forked over $36 in bridge tolls this made me happy!

We are now set up at Earle Naval Weapons Station and plan to jump on in to NYC. We drove the area and found the light-rail station as well as a couple of ferry terminals; exploring our options. The weather is unusually cool which is nice but a bit of a shock to our system. The low of 48 our first night here made me dig out the little heater and my long sleeve sleep shirt!

The beaches are mostly closed where we drove. There is lots of Hurricane Sandy repair still going, too.

 On the Jersey shore!

Our first hidden gem find was the Gateway National Recreation Area. Such a place to explore and we drove all around finding the Sandy Hook Lighthouse as well as Old Fort Hancock. Lots of history there. I really never thought about much of it. We stumbled in and learned much, if you are traveling and want to pop in to our national parks I recommend the NPS PASS. It will be worth the purchase price!

I was most amazed at the Nike nuclear missile sites.I am not a history buff but I enjoy it when I see it and this was amazing, guess I never really thought about our early efforts on the coast to protect ourselves in these terms. Pretty sobering actually.

Sandy Hook Lighthouse

We are very close to NYC but driving through this area you would never dream it. There are farms and trees and it looks so pretty and green and rural not what I was expecting but then again really not sure what I was expecting! 

Next posting should be about visiting NYC!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

DC Wrapped Up

Since we lived here a few years back we did not need to do DC like a tourist. Basically, I wanted to see the memorials that were new since we left. The WWII memorial was tops on my list followed closely by the Air Force memorial. Neither disappointed. I was awed by them both in very different ways.

The WWII is much larger then I realized and had so much symbolism, taking it in was taxing in a good way and sobering too. It was striking to walk through it and see all the states on the pillars; to be reminded what a great nation we have. I really enjoyed the 3D bronze reliefs on the walls leading into the memorial fountain as well. The gold stars representing the many lives sacrificed for our great nation are very much a mental picture that makes you take pause. Over 400,000 lives lost..sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, nieces, nephews...all sacrificed for our freedom.

The Air Force memorial is so very modern in my opinion. It's extremely large as well, but I got that sense when I saw pictures. It's a must see in my opinion if you are in the area. I would have enjoyed seeing it at night as I am sure it would have been awesome. The quotes are thought provoking and it's just a neat tribute to the service I feel the most closely associated with.

Since we were in the area we also walked down to the Pentagon memorial. I was a bit irked that there is no parking available in close proximity to this memorial especially on a weekend when there were empty parking lots adjacent to it. I know they would be full on a workday but on a weekend I think parking should be allowed. Maybe that set the tone for my visit and gave me a bad taste in my mouth but I also did not care for this memorial. I am not certain there is one absolute reason maybe there are several. For one the memorial seems careless. People, mainly teens and children were standing and sitting on the memorial benches that represent each life lost. I don't know it seemed disrespectful to me that they were doing that. I also thought the gravel throughout the memorial was messy, it was scattered on the stone walkway, it was in the water feature of each and every bench and it just made the memorial look messy to me. I didn't like the fact that kids were walking on the low walls that surround the memorial. There was a guard on the premises but he did not seem to be bothered by the behavior of the guests so I guess it was acceptable to do what they were doing. I, however, was and still am not happy that this was the way it was. I'm sure it's just me but I left feeling that I was at a play park rather than a national memorial.

Oh, and we did make the trip over to Georgetown for Sprinkles cupcakes. Yes, I know, not exactly what I need, but I loved them both! Yep, I had two! I enjoyed a carrot cake cupcake upon purchase with coffee and then enjoyed a yummy coconut one later for a snack that afternoon. They did not disappoint! I do think they were sweeter than I ever remember. I am already secretly hoping we make it to the one in NYC too. Lemon will be my choice. I know I am terrible for already thinking about this!!!

And I must mention that we also made a stop at Theodore Roosevelt Island, nice peaceful area that would be perfect for a relaxing afternoon with a blanket, picnic lunch and a good book! This memorial was here when we lived in the area but I had not been to it and a friend recommended that we stop if we were close, we were and we did!

Oh, and having lunch with JJJ and C was a HIGHLIGHT for sure!!! The afternoon spent chatting and catching up was wonderful. Good people for sure!

Since we were not on full throttle due to the sinus saga there were things we would have done that we just didn't. Like Arlington and the zoo. I was glad we got a glimpse of Arlington when we walked to the Pentagon memorial. There is just something about Arlington that makes me proud. The flags were at each grave since it was Memorial Day weekend. I never tire of seeing or going to this cemetery. I also would have liked to have popped into the zoo to see the pandas that were born while we were here but that's okay too that we didn't. We also skipped revisiting some of our favorite Smithsonian buildings. We did what we could under the circumstances.

Next up N.Y.C. I'm beyond excited about this since it's a place I have never been!!! However, getting there has me a bit on edge, there are many factors to consider as we make that trip, mainly the bridges and tunnels we need to avoid and toll roads, heavens there are so many of those here and we are trying to avoid them! 


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Words - Shaw

After a visit to the beach, it's hard to believe that we live in a material world. 
Pam Shaw

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sinues are still an issue...

Enough said.

We travel tomorrow so hoping he is up for it. Still has a cough and headache. It's gotta break up soon, may be looking for urgent care at our next stop, have three more pills to hopefully work the healing magic.

Monday, May 26, 2014


It's so much more then a day off...

Memorial Day is very well explained's a good read to remind us of what the "holiday" is really about and to remember.

For me, I have such vivid memories from my childhood of Memorial Day. I remember my grandma "fixing flowers" for the graves. Her flowers came from her garden and the bushes around her house. There were no plastic flowers from the store. The morning before making the trek out to the cemetery she would prepare mason jars of those flowers to place on the graves. There were pink and white peonies. Blue and white hydrangeas and gorgeous irises in an array of colors; those were my favorite. Oh, and the there were lilacs too, they made the car smell so good. 

No, there were no fake flowers delivered by my grandma. Then a few weeks later we returned to retrieve the jars for canning the summers bounty. That's how I remember Decoration day. Sometimes there was a cookout, more often then not though it was a fried chicken dinner with potato salad and slaw. It was a somber time going to the cemetery and then there was lots of sharing and stories about those who had passed on throughout the afternoon and evening.

I think it's good to really be reminded of the reality behind this holiday, it came with high cost, much higher then my generation and those who are coming up behind me realize. Those costs are still being paid today. This "holiday" has become more meaningful the older I get. It's also in part due to MiRVs own military service and my exposure to the ultimate sacrifice paid by those at our last several bases. 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sinus saga continues...

Yes, yes we are still battling the sinuses! This infection just doesn't seem to be letting up. The cough is still horrid; though guaifenesin has helped TREMENDOUSLY! We are now on day 5 of the antibiotic and there IS marked improvement to be sure but there is also still a lingering top of the head severe headache, lots of phlegm (at least it is milky white now instead of purple, yes I said purple! TMI sorry), and a hot fever. This man is very warm and has been more often than not. Taking acetaminophen helps some, not a lot, and we have started alternating between naproxen and ibuprofen to try as shake it. And now today his kidneys are suddenly hurting or at least the area where his kidneys are is painful!

Anyway, I'm still praying...praying this crud goes away COMPLETELY and soon! Thankfully we both got some sleep last night.

I would say yesterday he had a good day, he even felt up to meeting friends for lunch. And thankfully the coughing spells were few and far between with always available liquid and lozenges. He was totally zapped by the time we made it home after stopping to see a few memorials I had not seen.

So today other then running to the BX for more OTC meds and stopping at the commissary for provisions we have laid low and taken it easy.

Tomorrow I am hoping he is up for a little road trip over to Georgetown...stay tuned. However, the big road trip to Gettysburg is definitely a no-go. We will have to make it another time, which just means we might need to make PA a destination; maybe we can do Amish country touring. Hmmmm you just never know!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ugggh - Sinus Infection!

The sinus infection from heck is still plaguing MiRV...another afternoon, evening in urgent care as soon as we arrived garnered another script ($5 co-pay since the base pharmacy was closed) and we are certainly praying that this will knock it out. It's a bad one that has really grabbed hold and is not letting up. He has already done one round of antibiotics (z-pack that just laughed at him with no real improvement). He has a horrible, horrible cough that has prevented him from getting much sleep at all, which who are we kidding if he's coughing I am not getting much sleep either. So instead of hitting the ground running when we arrived we are being still, trying to rest and heal.  Tomorrow is a new day!

Let me just add that navigating the medical world as a retiree is one experience I am not taking kindly too. But I also don't want to harp on it too negatively since we do at least have some measure of health care. However, with our current situation of not being in one locale we had to do the big switch from Prime to Standard and it's a whole new ballgame ladies and gentlemen. One I am learning about on the fly and not really excited about the experience. Nope, not excited about it one bit! It is more out of pocket expenses and deductibles, which in turn our now a part of our budget.

Life is never dull that's for sure! Take care and get plenty of rest and keep up with your liquids it's never good to be under the weather...


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday Words - Stein

Keep high aspirations, moderate expectations, and small needs.

William Howard Stein

This might work...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Our visit here was even more fun because we knew someone in the area. M&M lives here now and it was great to spend the weekend with him.

He has a H.U.G.E love of ducks so when I saw that THE big rubber duck was debuting here I knew we would end up there to see it...

 There was MAJOR excitement over the duck!!!!

Ahhhhh, he had a little tail too!!!!

That duck was incredibly BIG and cute! While in the area we also decided to do the Chrysler Museum. Very nice, it has just reopened after renovations and really a well done venue! It was a gloriously beautiful day, we walked all over and as KJ would say our "dogs were barkin" when we finished. 

In the museum gardens!

After such a great day we headed back to the RV to hang out for the evening and dinner. Again, just a very wonderful day with a great friend.

Sunday dawned another gorgeous blue sky day and we trekked on out to his neighborhood for the afternoon to get our grill on and had scrumptious steaks with all the fixings and ice cream to boot! Oh yeah, it was a pleasant, relaxed afternoon. It was sad to say goodbye so we decided to meet up one more time before we leave. 
 Major Griller :)

We set out to meet for dinner the next night and we didn't end up at the designated location because there was a Cheesecake Factory that got me all distracted. I'm a cheesecake lover and was like it you aren't deadset on restaurant X would it be okay to go to the CF? He was like sure! Awesome and after a piece of lemon raspberry cheesecake my world was wonderfully complete!

About the famcamp we stayed in, it's on a training base and right next to the ocean. You can't see the ocean from our site but you can hear it. Loved the windows open and hearing the waves crash over. And might I add the moon was out and gorgeous every night. MiRV has been battling a horrible sinus infection since NC (I think he actually started getting it in SC) we didn't take in any sunrises nor did he surf. We did however take in several beach walks and enjoy the mild temps. It was a nice stay, of course our first full day was rain, rain and more rain with flooding in the local area that thankfully did not affect us at all. Oh, so back to we are at a training base, yes, that was a neat aspect and seeing/hearing active marching going on every day was very cool. Both Navy and Marines are well represented here! It's not an area I would return to but it was a great visit!

 The troops marching and singing "jodies"!

Next stop our Nation's Capital...


And for the avid reader with an inquiring mind, laundry was $1.00 and I did two loads so glad I waited!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Onslow Beach, North Carolina


We did trek through Myrtle Beach on our way up but we are now in the boonies; at least that is the word that comes to mind but in a good way. It's definitely off the beaten path and nice. There were a few crowds when we arrived on Mother's Day but not since. It's been great...we are on the ocean, and I do mean ON the ocean. I like it...the one exception is that I have had no cell service while we've been here :( but the internet has been pretty reliable which has been a bonus! But talking to my girl on Mother's Day was tough since the first call we were going through the gate and I had to hang up and then the return call was dropped not once, not twice but three times! UGH!

On Monday we did make a commissary run and also stopped by the MCX,. The MCX is huge and had a really great selection, in fact, I even shopped. I came up empty. I am currently on the lookout for a swimsuit, shorts and t's. I know I will find what I want but it's hard when shopping is just not something you enjoy. Going in to the commissary from where we are was like a ride through the country. I have not left camp since; it's been great!

Oh, did I mention this is a Marine Corps base, yep, and let me tell you it's been a new experience!. The Marine mentality is like no other and we have had fun being on this base. Love the exercises going on everyday, all day and the shaking of the rig from the firing of the howitzers, helicopters buzzing around and the F-something or other flying over. And it was hysterical seeing some of their signage, I only wish I had gotten more pics!


So, the fancamp is nothing to write home about and for sure the sites are NOT level but thanks to MiRV and his newly created leveling mats we are good. The bathhouse/laundry are IMO not on par with what we are used to but they are usable. I was not too thrilled to see that it's $1.25 to wash/$1.25 dry. I'm holding out til we get to VA and they may be no charge since it's a Navy base (that was how it was in FL at Mayport) A girl can hope and you know I like to save my quarters when I can!

Beaching it was the I-10 for this locale and we went everyday, we also rode bikes and took a few walks. The downtime after all the hoopla in Savannah and Charleston has been nice. MiRV also made an urgent care visit for a sinus infection. He is now on a Z-pac and we are praying that does the trick to get him back to 100%. It's never fun to be sick and especially while we are at the beach and one that even has waves.

While at the beach we have been shark tooth hunters and we were successful. The first couple looks we made we came up empty handed and then we found some that were not the real deal (rocks.shells) and then today, our last day, we hit the jackpot and found a few! It was fun to be beach combers with a mission! I also picked up a few beach rocks, which I have not seen at other beaches, there were lots of them in all sizes and mostly, blacks, browns, yellows, clear and a few purples.

My cool beach rocks...

And our SHARK TEETH!!!!

It's on to VA now!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday Words - Larson

"Anger always come from frustrated expectations"
Elliott Larson

Do you think this is accurate? I am mulling it over...

Saturday, May 10, 2014


Our stop in Charleston was mainly for the sole purpose of reuniting with MiRVs deployment daughter! I was thrilled to finally met my deployment daughter! While MiRV was on his last year long deployment he was adopted and gained a daughter which also gained me a daughter and while I have felt like I have known her through him and various texts, emails and Facebook we have finally met. She is a delight! We were able to see her twice...once for dinner and then again in downtown Charleston. Glad it worked out on our route to stop in!

We met on Friday evening at the Olive Garden

We also met B! Fun times, great evening!

Then since we were going to do the downtown area we decided to meet up at the famous dessert place they told us DID NOT disappoint...caramel apple spice cake, oh yeah! But I can tell you this eating so much pants are getting too tight! UGH! K had the blueberry cake and she let us taste it, oh my, yummmmmm!

 All of us before we go our separate ways...

The rest of the day we just explored the area and enjoyed their historic district where the architecture was lovely to look at and the foliage was gorgeous (though it made my eyes swell and my nose run). The river walk area was neat too and we saw, yes, dolphins!

 The market had something for EVERYONE...I could have dropped some cash if I had a place to put it but since I don't I settled for eye shopping!

 Loved the pineapple fountain and the river swings!

Even though it was pretty warm we enjoyed the walking around! We also had wonderful BBQ pork sandwiches for lunch. Since it was the Confederate Memorial day here there was no shortage of men in seersucker suits and straw hats, neat to see! I also took note of all the "dressed" southern women, bless their hearts, they do look good though!

Tomorrow it's off to North Carolina!

Friday, May 9, 2014


After the AC repair we were determined for a beach day so off to Folly Beach we 5:42 a.m. Yes, that's early! We wanted to catch the sunrise at 6:22 a.m. It's a 45 minute drive. It was an early morning! But oh so gorgeous.

 Really, really neat looking through the pier!

 And myself on the pier!

That's MiRV paddling boarding with the dolphins!

After the gorgeous sunrise MiRV got some paddling in. We had clouds for a while and even thought there might be a shower but it cleared out nicely! The dolphins were out and playful this morning! There was a pod that was all around MiRV while he was out on the SUP. I could see them from the shore, it was incredible to watch. I even got the binoculars out to see even better, so cool! He said a little one was close enough to touch!

It was an enjoyable day at Folly Beach!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DIY AC seal replacement

Well, our plan was to head to the beach...that didn't quite work out but thankfully replacing an AC gasket ourselves did. Prayer is powerful, never forget that. We had a little bit of runoff way back last fall and thought it was a leveling issue, hasn't happened again until this week, again thought it was a leveling issue. Solved that still had some moisture so knew there was a deeper issue. MiRV felt the AC seal was in need of replacement. So we start googling and looking into it and find it's not too tough but I am anxious on things such as this so I am just praying for direction and confidence to do what we need to do.

A few phone calls to local RV shops and no go for getting us in to have it done. Another call to a good RV tech in LA gives us the encouragement we need to tackle it ourselves. Yep, it was definitely within our DIY comfort zone and saved us some BIG bucks. Thank you Lord, I love how we can see our God take care of even the little things like AC gaskets it's just amazing how powerful and amazing He is!

It was a super HOT day and we were sweating buckets but we both got down to business and got it done!

 Cleaning the opening was extremely important so the new seal would work to keep out the runoff. It was a pain but worth it. The old seal was hard to get off as was the sticky stuff it was stuck on there with and since we didn't think we should use googone (cause it's oily and might not allow the new seal to adhere well) we just used that good old fashioned elbow grease!

 It was soooooo HOT in the RV we did lunch outside, thankfully, the it was a not a breezy day and we were able to have the awning out. And lunch was already packed in the cooler since we had planned for a beach day! Love easy when it's so warm and you are HOT!

 Even after the seal was replaced and we got the AC running again it took quite awhile to cool back down so we did dinner outside too. It was nothing fancy just cheese, crackers, chips, salsa and a bit of bubbly grape juice. Just the ticket for such a day as this.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Words - Arbus

Yep, it spoke to me...

Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.
Diane Arbus


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hilton Head

We stayed near Savannah and took in the local sites! But we ventured on up into South Carolina with a daytrip to Hilton Head...

WOW a really neat area but oh so upscale...and don't try to go see the lighthouse 1) with a surfboard on your car (you WILL NOT be permitted to enter the "private community" that you must pass through to get there) or 2) on bikes unless you are staying in said "private community". So lighthouse viewing was a big bust! However, the biking trails were really nice and shaded so we biked around town and walked on the beach a little but there was no surf to be had. Sad day for MiRV!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Georgia on my mind....

It was a short jaunt up the road from JAX into the Savannah, GA area for our next stop.


 And there were some bridges that made me shudder a bit...

Anyway, we have been here before (to Savannah) and it's a very neat little town that we enjoyed on our last visit so when there was a military famcamp nearby we made plans to stop and explore some more! While I don't think I could "highly" recommend this famcamp, Lott Island, it did serve our needs. And it forced me to shower in Sunny for the first time ever. It was not bad, I think that new shower head was key. Also I didn't wash my hair while I showered, I did it in the sink to make it a bit easier, but next time I am just going to do it all! LOL

My FIRST shower in Sunny!!!

So we took a little trip out to Tybee Island. 

No real specific activity just drive out and check things out. The landscape was beautiful! There were two lighthouses. The town was eclectic. Seemed neat, but ,and this is soooo unfortunate that there is a but, there was no parking that did not cost. This was a pretty big turnoff for us. We would have enjoyed the beach we think but we didn't get to check it out. MiRV "might" have paid the crazy parking fee IF there were waves but we couldn't even hardly get a glimpse of the beach so it was just a no-go for us. We did go see the lighthouse and we did stop at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island. All in all an okay excursion.

Savannah was a such a nice historic town. Loved the FREE public transportation (DOT)! Sure saved my feet! 

We did have ice cream for lunch at Leopold's! I had coconut, which was too die for and MiRV went with caramel swirl!

I didn't know he owned a bar

We also took a ferry ride, again, F.R.E.E. and it was just a nice fun thing to do and see the city from the other side of the river. Lots of beautiful squares with HUGE trees and of course many historic churches and homes. We enjoyed just walking around in the downtown area!

 Scary steps we came back up after the ferry ride!

Our ferry was named after the founder of the Girl Scouts who was from Savannah!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


It's been a great few days in Jacksonville! We have had some rainy weather but there has also been a bit of sun! I like the sun, but the rain was fine too. Stayed in one day and just did nothing, it was glorious. Since we have internet here, I have been able to get lots of things done that I had been putting off and got to do those things I really wanted to do. I have finally emptied the photos from my phone onto my laptop and MiRV backed it up for me. I know that my laptop's days are numbered, but I am trying to coax it along for as much as I can get from it! Wish me luck!

 It was so neat to see the "boats" pass right out our front window. Those are some B.I.G ships I'm tellin' ya! And the dolphins ride the waves from their bows. (The second photo is actually a barge.)

 The Pier was a really neat area and parking was FREE!

 The Red Cross has a "light house" which I loved!

So anyway, Jacksonville is a neat town; it's B.I.G. Like way big, bigger then you might know, believe and that is partly due to the fact that it's city and county government are consolidated. It's got beaches, it's got the Jaguars, it's got lots of bridges, holy moly does it have bridges. And, AND this is a biggie, it has the T-family. We enjoyed a great couple days visits with them while here.

 Ice cream at Chick-fil-A after a great dinner so we could chat some more! Then we went back to Sunny and continued visiting til well after midnight!  

Sunday morning we joined T-family at Normandy Park Baptist Church then headed to Woody's for lunch. I had the most awesome brisket ever, I mean MOST awesome! It was the best I have ever had at a restaurant. The fried okra was good and the fried pickles were delicious as well, I thoroughly enjoyed the food and fellowship. If you ever see a Woody's I recommend stopping in for the brisket for sure! T-family just got an RV too and we helped them name it. Their rig is now known at Thunder :)

Oh and while here we also dayt ripped to Amelia Island and King's Bay, would definitely stop and stay in King's Bay nice little famcamp there!We did a bit of gawking and then took a nice walk on the beach before heading back to Mayport via the ferry! A really fun day!

MiRV on the beach on Amelia Island
The pier was pretty neat, the surf was acceptable according to MiRV and there seemed to be some great biking trails so yeah, we have enjoyed it here! In fact, should we do another FL winter we will consider doing some time here. Mayport NAS has a darn good campground, we like it!

 Lunch at Woody's!

Now we head on northward...