Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Wedding and More…

We went to Dawsonville, Georgia on Saturday, May 19, to attend an outdoor wedding that Jeff was going to DJ. A little background, you see the groom’s mother and sister were camping at River Vista in Dillard last Halloween and attended the dance Jeff djed that weekend. She recommended Jeff to her son and fiancee. The mom contacted us during the winter when we were at Rock Crusher Canyon after getting our telephone number from the River Vista office manager. Anyway, it took us two hours to get to the Payne’s home last Saturday and we didn’t have much traffic at all. We had stopped at Mc Donald’s in Clayton on our way there for breakfast. We got bogged down in Mountain City, which is about 10 minutes away from Dillard, due to the Warrior Race being held there. This is a race that anyone can enter. It is like an obstacle type race that had people racing in water, mud, and under ropes, etc… The local papers said about 30,000 people competed in the race. It was the fourth time that they had the race in Mountain City.

When we got to the groom’s parents’ home in Dawsonville we set up our equipment. It took us an hour and a half to complete the set up and sound test since we also put up a 10 by 10 foot covered canopy to protect our equipment and ourselves from the elements. The house sat on 6 acres and was on a creek. They had been putting the seat clothes with ribbons on the chairs when we got there. The groom was actually taking the tractor and getting some fresh mowed grass and clearing  it from the areas where people were to walk. We didn’t think they would get done by the wedding time of 4:30. Some pictures of the set-up follow.

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After setting up we ate a quick lunch at Arby’s and then went to the Best Western Motel, which was about 20 minutes from the Payne’s home, to shower and get dressed. They were having a Scottish terrier dog show outside when we arrived. This was Kozmo’s first motel stay with us so we didn’t know how she would react. The room was fantastic. They had just remodeled it and we got a king suite which included the king size bed, TV, microwave, refrigerator, iron and iron board, safe, sofa and hassock, and a desk with a chair. The bathroom was spacious and very well equipped. We were very happy to stay the night there which only cost us $62 for the night. They didn’t even charge us for Kozmo. We thought it had to do with the dog show. It would normally have cost us $15 for her but they waved it.

We arrived at the wedding an hour early at 3:30 to play nice smooth jazz music as the guests arrived. It was a beautiful wedding with the weather cooperating fully for the entire time we were there. There were probably about 100 people at the wedding who were having a very nice time.

Payne wedding 8 Medium Web view

They had one of the sister-in laws prepare all of the dinner food which was absolutely fantastic! We did not eat it while we were there because we were not hungry but one of the sisters made us a huge carry out container to take with us. We did try the wedding cake and it was so moist and flavorful! We played until 7:30pm and then packed up and got back to the motel at 8:40. Kozmo was great during the wedding and reception, just laying behind the table where we were set up. We did sample some of the reception food when we got to the room and it was delicious. We had some grilled chicken, creamed corn, green beans, a pickled onion salad and a green salad. Again, it was all terrific-very flavorful! We slept very well in the bed. Kozmo had some difficulty getting to sleep. She was shaking a little bit and looking at the ceiling for some strange reason. But when we turned out the lights she stayed very close to us throughout the night.

On our way back to Dillard on Sunday we went a different route which took us through Cleveland and through Helen, Georgia.

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They were having some kind of a car show that made traffic bumper to bumper at 11:30 in the morning- a Sunday morning at that. We went through the Lake Burton area which had a tremendous amount of damage last year due to the tornado that went through it. They are rebuilding but trees are still down around the area. You can still tell where the tornado touched down. If you click on and enlarge the picture below you can see the tornado’s path across Lake Burton.

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All in all the weekend was a very nice one. It felt good to get away from the rig for a while because you appreciate it much more when you return. We did miss our bed but we were still comfortable in the motel, too.

The HWY 246 bridge in Dillard that was closed down starting on April 2 is now open. They were supposed to have it rebuilt by June 25 so they were a month ahead of schedule. It looks very nice and now we can make it to Dillard in four minutes or less rather than 12 minutes the detour took. We headed to Highlands today to the Bank of America and to see what was happening up there. People are checking  in for the Memorial Day weekend at River Vista for sure. When we got back to the campground many more people had arrived. Looks like we are going to have a full campground this weekend.

We are headed for Clayton tomorrow to see if we can get a new deep cycle battery for the golf cart. After testing each battery, one of them was at 10%. We would charge it up overnight and then just be able to drive it for five minutes before it goes dead. We are hoping that we only need to replace the one because they are very heavy to get out and they cost between $150 and $200. We had our neighbor help us and it was still a hard task to perform. If we have to replace them all, we will call our repairman Eddie who has a golf cart shop in the Tallulah Falls area to do it for us. We are hoping it won’t come down to that though.

Our bird in the nest that is in our covered coach house must have laid its eggs because Momma bird is keeping the nest warm almost nonstop. I want to take some pictures of the nest when Momma leaves but Daddy comes by almost automatically. So here is the picture from afar with a zoom lens.

Deck Bird Nest Medium Web view

Thanks to our good friend Pat Gregory we now have found a new TV show to watch. It is called “Swamp People” and is on Thursday nights on the History Channel. It takes place in the Louisiana area in swamp land. People hunt for gators and make it look so creepy. I’ve had one nightmare already from watching the show. Thanks Pat!

We hope your Memorial Day weekend is a nice one. We will be thinking of all that made the ultimate sacrifice for us, all of our veterans and all of our military people currently serving our nation for us to be a free nation.

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River Vista has some activities going on this weekend. We will take part in the cookout Saturday afternoon and a live music show by a local band, “The Ram Cats”, later in the evening. Monday afternoon our homeowners association is having a cookout and covered dish meal as well. There will be barbequed pork, beef brisket and assorted dishes brought by all lot owners. Jeff will supply some music as well. It should be fun.

‘Til next time….

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What We’ve Been Up To Lately

Retirement is GRAND! We can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and not feel guilty about doing just nothing at times. Since the last blog we have been enjoying life in general.

We met our good friend, Pat Gregory, a couple of weeks ago. Pat and his wife Sandie live in Brandon, Florida. He was in North Carolina visiting their RV site at the Great Outdoors RV Park in Franklin for about 10 days. Sandie stayed home because they are remodeling their kitchen and she needed to be there to make sure everything was going as planned. We met Pat at his place and then went out to eat at Lucios, which is an Italian restaurant in Franklin. It is a great place to eat. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings they have a special for two people. You get an appetizer, all you can eat salad, garlic rolls, and the two entrées for $24.95. It was all delicious and I had plenty to take back home to eat for the second day. Pat even had cocktails with chips and dip for us when we got to his rig. He was a perfect sommelier! The conversation was fun and we wished that Sandie was here to partake in the festivities. Just a side note, Pat was once MY boss when he was Principal of Mann Middle School in Brandon, Florida. As a matter of fact, he brought me from Dowdell Middle to Mann back in the day.

Jeff was asked to DJ a Cinco de Mayo event on May 5 here in the campground. We had a homeowner’s association meeting in the morning and they said we could start at noon time or whenever. We started at 1 pm and stopped at 7:15 pm.

Big Daddy Hat Dance 1 wBanner

We wish we could say there was a crowd, but there wasn’t one. The campground had a taco bar buffet which was fantastic! They even had the owner of La Cabana Mexican restaurant come with his frozen margarita machine to serve virgin drinks which were delightful. We had many requests for songs from people who were at the pool but no takers on dancers. There was a rally going on but they had scheduled a dinner out so we didn’t get that crowd. Pat joined us again and we had a great time talking. It got to the point that I was sitting there reading my book and Kozmo was sleeping while Jeff played songs. However, there was a dance contest to the Electric Slide song and I won. That was because no one else was there to dance with. Haha

We started making a list on what we wanted to buy to get our vegetable garden started and which flowers we wanted to plant. We went to Lowe’s and found a kit called “My First Garden”, which is a two foot square barrier that you put together and then put your seeds and dirt into. We bought two of them. Unfortunately the weather has not been cooperating with us the last three days. We had steady rain on Sunday and most of the afternoon on Monday has been consumed with drizzle. We hope to get it out and done on Tuesday since the rain will end tonight sometime. We are going to plant carrots, burpless cucumbers, green onions, lettuce, and summer squash. I will also grow tomatoes from a tomato plant that has already been established. Last year I started from scratch and had 50 cherry tomatoes that were absolutely delicious! So now with “My First Garden”, we just might get a salad together out of the vegetables we plant. We also bought two hanging baskets of ferns to hang out on the deck. They were a steal at Home Depot.

We have done our fair share eating out. Our favorite place right now is called Annette’s. We have eaten there for breakfast and lunch on several occasions. It is located in Dillard in the antique strip and has a very down home atmosphere. We also found the Main Street Pizza place in Dillard which makes a fantastic stromboli and  great pizza. Even though we have eaten out more than usual I still manage to fix us wonderful meals in the rig. Just this past weekend we had grilled steak with a spinach salad which was very good! Even Kozmo got some of the steak and enjoyed it.

On Saturday of this past weekend we went to Hillside Orchard Farms for their buy one get one fifty percent off deal. We bought some sweet and crunchy dill pickles, pickled beets, garlic salsa, blackberry preserves, strawberry preserves, and pumpkin honey butter. Even though it was drizzling on Saturday, the place was doing a great business. The “online store” is a great way to order items they make and sell in the actual store. Check it out!

We have a bird’s nest in one of the corners of the coach house. Jeff wanted to get rid of it but I said no. The nest is a big one for small birds. We don’t know what the birds “nationality” happens to be but they are small birds. Kozmo is mesmerized with them and just watches them as they fly very near our heads to the nest. At least, under the roofline, on a rafter, it is protected from the weather. When we go outside on the deck the “guard” makes all kind of noise until we sit down.

We are headed to Dawsonville, a little north of Atlanta, this Saturday for Jeff to DJ a wedding. It will be his first wedding. The groom’s mother happened to be at the Halloween Dance here at River Vista last October and got Jeff’s number from the campground office folks while we were in Florida and contacted him. It is going to be an outside affair at the groom’s parents’ home and they have selected a few songs for him to play and he’ll fill in the rest. We are planning on staying at a hotel for one night while we are there since the wedding starts at 4:30 and Jeff is slated to play for three hours which is his minimum amount. Thank heavens it is not a formal affair. We wouldn’t have taken the gig if it were formal-we don’t keep clothes in the rig for that.

We hope all you Moms out there had a very nice Mothers’ Day. The park managers came around on Sunday and delivered carnations to the women in the campground. That was a very nice touch!

So that’s a quick synopsis of what has gone on with us the past few weeks. We’ll try to post a little sooner next time.

Until next time….