Thursday, October 27, 2011

Catching Up

We’ve been back here at our site in Dillard for about two weeks now. That time has flown by pretty quickly too.

On the last day on the road of our journey home from Williamsburg, VA, and the area around there, we encountered drizzle the entire day, from our overnight stop at Ft Chiswell RV Park near Wytheville, VA, to Dillard.

The last day on the road. IMG_1541

We were gone 17 days and that was the most rain we had encountered the whole time away. As we pulled up in front of our site, we found the posts and beams up for our “coach house” we were having built. As a matter of fact, Kevin and Kenny, the carpenters doing the job, had a huge blue tarp covering the beams and they were huddled under it. They were quitting for the day because of the rain. It was a couple of days later before the green tin roofing panels would arrive and they would finish off the roof and the trim work. We couldn’t have it painted right away until the pressure treated lumber thoroughly dries out. The paint job starts Monday. We’ll add two ceiling fans to it when we return next spring. We’ve enjoyed it in the few days we’ve had it and look forward to a lot of use next summer. I’ll include some pictures of the new addition below. Click on them to make them larger. I’ll include more pictures of it in future posts.

BEFORE deck 7 IMG_1339

DURING IMG_1545 IMG_1549

Our good friends, Pat and Sandie Gregory, who have an rv site up in Franklin, NC, 30 minutes north of us, invited us up to their place for a cookout last Friday. Also, coming were the Schurects and Collins who are members of the Roamin’ Rigs, the FMCA rv club we all belonged to in Florida. The Schurechts and Collins were camping over in Hiawassee, GA, about an hour west of us, to see the leaves change. It was a great afternoon with good friends and burgers, hotdogs and all the fixings.

Then, last evening, Wednesday, we hosted Pat and Sandie for dinner.

The Gregorys and Jeff   IMG_1558

Barbie fixed lasagna, sauteed mushrooms, garlic bread, an antipasto salad and flan for dessert. It was a great meal with super company. We won’t see them until we are all back in Florida. They will leave Sunday morn and we leave for our “long way home” on Tuesday.

We had gotten an email earlier this week from Steve and Linda Coleman, longtime friends, and now fulltimers for the past 8 years. I taught at the same school with Linda in the late 70’s and then coached football with Steve in the 80’s. They also are former Roamin’ Rigs members as well. Coincidently, they were coming here to River Vista for an American Coach Motorhome Owners Club Rally. Forty coaches from the group will be here from Wednesday through Sunday. Steve and Linda came in a day early and we spent Tuesday evening catching up with them.

River Vista will be full this weekend with the rally and the weekenders for the Halloween Weekend activities planned. Lots of activities for kids (crafts, pumpkin carving, games, trick or treating, movie, costume contest, etc) plus tomorrow (Friday night) a cocktail party for adults with a piano player entertaining is on the agenda. Saturday, there is a meatball sub and side dish dinner plus Big Daddy DJ is hosting a Halloween dance for all from 7-10pm. It will be our last dance of the season. It’ll be a busy weekend but should be fun. I’ve gathered a bunch of oldie Halloween type music to play. It should be fun!

We will depart our site here in Dillard Tuesday morn and head for Foley, Alabama, and the Alabama Gulf Coast area. We’ll take our time and spend two nights on the road before arriving in Foley at Anchors Aweigh RV Park on Thursday, November 3. We are gonna stay there 7 days and explore this new area for us. After that we’re headed to our “other home site” at Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park in Crystal River, Florida, for the winter. We’re anxious to see our friends there for sure.

We’ve got a lot to do between now and Tuesday so my next blog will probably come from Foley, late next week. Oh yes, for those of you wondering, Kozmo is just GREAT!

‘Til next time……

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, VA

The trip from American Heritage RV Park in Williamsburg to Bethpage Camp Resort took only 50 minutes on Thursday late morning. Barbie went in the office and checked us in at 12:25pm. Bethpage is a Woodall’s 5 Star campground and in 2005-2006 Bethpage was recognized as the National Park of the Year by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. They have about 500 grass sites and 30 concrete supersites. Plus, their are about 400 permanent sites that have trailers or park models on them. All the sites have 50 amp service with water, sewer, cable and a great wifi system. Nearly all sites are shaded by rows of predominantly pine trees. Their is a marina since part of the park is on the  Rappahannock River along with a huge pool and water park. They have a large rally center and smaller activity building. They have “THEME” weekends from April through October nearly every weekend. This past weekend while we were there, it was OctoberFun Weekend. There were food and craft vendors lining the street in front of and inside the Activity Center Saturday and Sunday and a DJ played from 6-9pm Saturday. The campground was quite packed with weekend campers. The weather was great in the 70’s during the days and in the low 50’s at night. I don’t know if I have ever seen as many campfires in a campground as I saw Saturday evening. What an atmosphere and aroma! Friday we spent some time driving through, as the locals call it, “Rivah Country”. Barbie drives during these day excursions and she nearly freaked out Saturday driving over the Norris Bridge which crosses the Rappahannock River. You see the bridge was narrow, only 2 lanes with no shoulders, it had very low guardrails on the sides, plus it was tall and looooong. As a matter of fact, once we got over to a Walmart in Kilmarnock to pick up a few items, she asked me to drive the return trip. I thought she was joking at first, but no, she was quite serious. At one end of the resort they also have a miniature golf course and creamery that serves Hershey’s ice creams. Well, over the weekend, between the 3 of us, yes Kozmo too, we sampled banana pudding, Reese’s peanut butter chocolate, blueberry cheesecake and pumpkin flavored cups. DELICIOUS, enough said! This is a place we’ll return to down the road I’m sure. Below are some of the pictures taken during our stay.



IMG_1500   IMG_1501

IMG_1474  IMG_1479

IMG_1488  Jeff in Street Dance

IMG_1495  IMG_1494


‘Til next time……

Friday, October 7, 2011

Williamsburg, VA Area

As I said in the previous post, we arrived in Williamsburg last Thursday, September 29th. We spent 7 nights at American Heritage RV Park. Picture hint: Remember you can click on any picture to enlarge it.

American Heritage RV Park Park Entrance

This was our base to explore the “Historic Triangle,” ---Wiliamsburg, Jamestown & Yorktown. We spent the week in the area researching, touring the area, and of course, shopping. We discovered that the Historic Triangle gave birth to the United States, and our huge nation grew from this tiny place in Virginia. In that same tiny place, Europeans, American Indians, and Africans first lived together and became the seed of the American people. The first permanent English settlers sent by the Virginia Company of London, England were at Jamestown. The ideas of revolution were fanned at Williamsburg. Independence was won in the final victory at Yorktown.

The National Park Service's Colonial Parkway joins the three historic attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic  roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. Intended to help visitors mentally return to the past, there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl along the roadway (and crossing it). The only human development that can be seen from most of the parkway are the two loading piers of Cheatham Annex, part of the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown which borders the inland side of much of the parkway, a testament of how this area still plays an important role in the United States Military.

Near the James River and York River ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs. The Colonial Parkway is free of tolls or user fees.

The Parkway starts in Yorktown, passes through Colonial Williamsburg and ends in Jamestown. No commercial vehicles are allowed to use the parkway for transportation, although commuter traffic has picked up drastically in the past decade.


The first permanent English settlement in the New World was established at Jamestown in 1607. Today, Jamestown Festival Park and Jamestown Island attractions is open to visitors. Included are re-creations of a native American village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway.

There are two major areas at Jamestown: the former Jamestown Festival Park, a living history museum which includes the replica ships and is operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is now known as Jamestown Settlement; and the National Park Service site which includes Jamestown Island and the ongoing archaeological projects is known as Historic Jamestowne.

Jamestown 1  Jamestown 2

Jamestown 5  Jamestown Marsh


In 1699, the capital of Virginia was moved from Jamestown to a location on high ground at Middle Plantation at the suggestion of students from the College of William and Mary, which had been established there in 1693. Middle Plantation was soon renamed Williamsburg, in honor of King William III, and it was a busy place until the American Revolution.

William & Mary College William & Mary

William & Mary College 2 William & Mary

After the capital was moved to a more secure location at Richmond in 1780, Williamsburg became a largely forgotten and sleepy little town for almost 150 years. All that changed in the early 20th century was due to the preservation efforts of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and the generosity of Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, who shared a dream of restoring the old colonial capital city to its 18th century splendor, and made it come true.

Today, the result of those efforts, Colonial Williamsburg, is a large living museum of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor's Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and provides a place to start and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area. A wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus service is provided.

Pictures of Colonial Williamsburg follow.

Colonial Williamsburg  Colonial Williamsburg 2

Colonial Williamsburg 3  Colonial Williamsburg 4


The third point of the triangle is Yorktown where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781 the last land battle of the American Revolution. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area. Pictures of Yorktown follow.


Victory Monument Yorktown  Victory Monument

Yorktown Battlefield 2  Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Bridge 2 Bridge at Yorktown


Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, outlet malls, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.

Much of the info above (EXCEPT for the pictures), I got from Wikipedia.

One of our favorite shopping stops was at a Yankee Candle “Flagship” Store in Williamsburg. This store had every fragrance they make plus every size candle and every other type of item they make from car fresheners, to diffusers, wax beads, scented oils, home air fresheners, even hand soaps, hand sanitizers and lip balm. We bought a few items there for sure!

One of the more interesting places we ate was at the Yorktown Pub. Barbie enjoyed her fried oysters and I enjoyed my crab cake. The local micro-brewery beers were quite cold and tasty. See pictures below.

Yorktown Pub 3  Yorktown Pub

This past Tuesday we took a day trip to Virginia Beach-right on the Atlantic. We really enjoyed walking their great boardwalk and walking the beach. I‘ll include some pictures below of that trip, including the tunnel (under water) we had to travel in Norfolk.

Norfolk Tunnel  Norfolk Tunnel 2

VA Beach  B & K on VA Beach

B & K on VA Beach 3  VA Beach Boardwalk 2

VA Beach Boardwalk 3  VA Beach barge

All in all we enjoyed our first trip ever to this area! But, it was time to move on.

We hitched up and left American Heritage RV Park about 11:30am, Thursday, October 6. In 55 minutes we pulled in to Bethpage Camp Resort in Urbanna,  Virginia. More on Bethpage in the next post.

‘Til next time……..

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On the Road

After a delay of four days because of rain, we finally left our site in Dillard on Monday, Sept 26, and headed east to visit Barbie’s sister, Linda, and her family in Selma, NC. Selma is just off of I-95 in eastern NC. We really had no problems hitching up the 5th and making the trip to Selma. According the Microsoft Streets and Trips software, it was a 369 mile journey. We stopped once at a rest area to eat lunch and walk Kozmo, and stopped a second time for diesel for the truck. We arrived at RVacation RV Park  in Selma at 5:10pm. This is really a great overnight stop for anyone traveling I-95. It has full hook-ups, all level gravel pull thru sites and a small catch and release lake-with lots of ducks, huh Kozmo?

rig in selma, nc 9-27-2011 12-30-03 PM Our site

ducks running away from Kozmo 9-26-2011 5-37-12 PM Guess who’s chasin’ ducks

There is no pool and no cable but it had  a great wifi system and with our antenna up, we found 29 over-the-air digital tv channels. Like I said, a great stopover on I-95. After we got unhitched, set-up, and ate some sandwiches, Linda and her two sons came by to visit. My sister-in-law can sure talk as she didn’t leave to go home until 1:40am! Needless to say, we slept in Tuesday morn. Linda came over at about 2:30pm and we went to a local drive thru chain in the area called “Cookout.” They have all the typical fast foods plus over 40 flavors of old fashioned ice cream thickshakes. The burgers were really good but the shakes were outstanding! I had a peanut butter/fudge shake and Barbie had a peanut butter/banana shake. Did I say they were OUTSTANDING? We brought the food back to the 5er and Linda’s husband, Dwayne, and son, Keith, joined the three of us. They all could not get over how much room we had inside the fifth. They loved it too. Tuesday was an early evening with Linda leaving at 7:30pm. Wednesday after spending the morning in, Linda, Barbie and I went to a local discount store, JR’s, to pick up a few items. This place has about everything but food items, although they have some snacks. I’m sure most of their business comes from the sale of tobacco products, wine and perfumes/colognes---all at discount prices. As a matter of fact, they claim to have the world’s largest cigar humidor. It must be 200 ft by 75 ft in size, packed full of cigars and a small supply of pipe tobacco and accessories. It was really strange to see smoking was permitted not only in the humidor but throughout the entire store. Plus, we found out once we got there, you can bring dogs inside provided they are in the shopping cart. Of course, we didn’t know, so Kozmo was back guarding the fifth. After shopping we stopped and ate at a Bojangles Restaurant before returning to the campground. At 5:00pm, Barbie took Linda up on their offer to use their washer & dryer. She went over to their house and I stayed with Kozmo in the fifth. Linda has 10, count ‘em, 10cats and 2 dogs, so we felt it best not to take Kozmo over there. Besides, Barbie and Linda got to spend some alone time and chat. After a good nights sleep, we hitched up Thursday morn and headed for the next stop on our abbreviated journey, American Heritage RV Park in Williamsburg, VA. We left at 11:10am and after a rest stop for 25 minutes, we arrived in Williamsburg at 3:00pm.

Linda and Jeff 9-29-2011 9-54-14 AM Linda & Jeff

Linda, Barbie and Kozmo again 9-29-2011 9-53-24 AM Linda, Barbie & Kozmo

If you follow this blog, you knew our plans were to head up to New Jersey and then through Pennsylvania to visit Barbie’s parents, her other sister and some of my cousins. Then, we were also gonna spend time in Pennsylvania Amish Country around Lancaster. Then, we’d be back to Dillard by Oct 26 to DJ the Halloween Dance. Well, those plans changed since we finally spoke with the carpenter that built the deck on our site in Dillard. Why you ask? Well, we’re going to have a “coach house” addition built on the deck. Essentially, it is a 21 ft by 10 ft covered roof over our deck. The coach house roof will tie into the shed roof. Below is a picture of our deck and I have drawn(roughly I’d say) a sketch of what it may look like with the roof-over. We’ll add a couple of ceiling fans and outlets as well. It will give us a great covered area for our outdoor table and chairs that we can relax under.

Coach House Drawin Sketched “coach house”

Anyway, Kevin, the carpenter, can finally get to it and will start it October 11. We’ve been on hold waiting for Kevin to finish other jobs for a good bit of the summer. We wanted to be there while it was done AND we wanted it done before we left to head back to Florida November 1st. Soooo, our trip to visit the relatives had to shortened significantly. In the end, we decided to check out the “Historic Triangle,” of Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown areas, at least before heading back to Dillard. More on our Williamsburg area experiences in another post coming the next day or so.

‘Til next time…