Minnesota Bound Again

Something went wrong with my last post, all my pictures did not show, so trying this again.

Here are some pictures from the last few days.  We have left New Hampshire and are on our way to Minnesota.

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Bridge of Flowers Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

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Home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

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Freedom Court, sculpture created from sections of the Berlin Wall.

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Freedom Court

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Culinary Institute of America

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Wall art inside the CIA

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Our dessert at the CIA

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Rooftop view

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Driving under the Walkway Over the Hudson. We have been here before and walked across it. It is a 100-year old train trestle that is the highest and longest all-pedestrian aerial walkway over water in the world.

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Mid-Hudson Bridge

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Overnight at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

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Beautiful but soggy morning drive through Pennsylvania

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Ohio Buckeyes because we are in Ohio now.

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RV parking area with electricity at service plaza in Ohio. Sewer and water also available. $20

 

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Minnesota Bound

Here are some recent pictures. We left New Hampshire and are on our way to Minnesota.

Home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt

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NH to CA

This year we waited until after the Christmas and New Years holidays were over before heading south for the winter. So, on January 3 we left New Hampshire and headed south. But we did not dawdle. Winter Storm Grayson was approaching and we made a beeline south. The blizzard conditions were expected all up and down the Atlantic coast from New England to Georgia. We figured if we didn’t get going we would might never get out. The first three nights of our trip were spent in hotels since campgrounds were closed, and it was freezing. We took a more inland route to avoid the coastal weather.

This is an abbreviated blog post. Here are a few pictures from the 4,000 miles we drove over the last four weeks.

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Had to drive through some slop. Will need a wash when it gets above freezing

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Keeping west of the coast, down I81, avoiding winter storms.

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Wind Creek Casino, Atmore, AL. A good overnight stop.

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Palm Trees! Gulf Shores AL (it’s still cold)

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The weather was cold and windy for the week that we were at Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Shores AL

It’s been a gloomy winter.

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Gulf Shores State Park, AL

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Another casino overnight stop. Isle of Capri at St. Charles LA

And then on to Texas. It’s still chilly. We had to stop at Luling TX for some good Texas BBQ. Luling is an old oil town.

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Luling TX

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The Alamo, San Antonio TX

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RV park with barn for your horses.

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Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp, Tucson AZ

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Tucson AZ

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Boondocking in the desert at Quartzsite AZ

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Entertainment at Quartzsite AZ

We drove through Joshua Tree National Park. The government had shut down for a few days while we were there. The Visitor Center was closed but we were still able to drive around. We did not see any employees anywhere.

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Joshua Tree National Park during Government Shutdown

We parked in a camp spot for a picture, but we did not stay overnight.

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Joshua Tree National park

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Joshua Tree National Park

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Anza-Borrego State Park, CA

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Anza-Borrego State Park CA

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The Pacific Ocean!

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Sunset on the Pacific

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Route 66 Ends at the Santa Monica Pier

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Hello from the Santa Monica Pier

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Pacific Coast Highway at Malibu CA.  Cars parked on both sides of the road on a Sunday afternoon, as they go down to the beach. The RV park that is half way up the hill on the right is where we will be staying. Great view overlooking the Pacific.

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Sunset over Pacific, Malibu Beach RV Park

We had stopped along the way to visit friends and relatives in Alabama and in Arizona. Our daughter is in Los Angeles, that’s why we are here, and will stay in this area for a little while before making a more leisurely return trip to New Hampshire.

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, California, Daily Post, January | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Travato Meetup

Our new Winnebago Travato Touring Coach has not been just sitting in the garage. It has been out for routine maintenance such as a tire rotation and alignment and an oil change. It’s good to go.

This weekend we joined seven other Travato owners for a little meetup in Vermont. Vermont is beautiful! Our drive was two and a half hours and we enjoyed every mile of it. The fall colors are just beginning to change.

Vermont

Along the way we stopped at the Vermont Country Store and King Arthur Flour Bakery Cafe and Gift Shop. We have been there before and they are some of my favorite stops.

Another Travato owner invited several other owners to converge on her front yard at her home near Montpelier. We all found each other on a Travato group on Facebook. It was cool to meet them all in person. And the weather was outstanding!

Travato Party!

Saturday morning we all went for a drive. A parade of Travatos! It did get some attention.  For sure it was an interesting site to see as we went to try to get a picture of all of us parked in front of the Vermont State House, and then to a restaurant for brunch and then to a maple sugar place.

A Travato Parade

Success! We were able to park six of us in front of the capitol building.

The Vermont State House in Montpelier

After brunch we continued our parade to a maple sugar farm for some treats.

Bragg Farm Sugarhouse and Giftshop, Montpelier VT

After that we all went our separate ways to explore on our own for a while. How could we resist a stop at nearby Ben & Jerry’s Factory!

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

The town of Barre VT, The Sculpture City, was our next stop. There are several sculptures carved in granite here. One of my favorite ones was Unzipping the Earth, designed and carved by Chris Miller. The largest zipper in America.

Unzipping the Earth

Fun weekend!

Posted in Daily Post, September, Vermont | Tagged | 5 Comments

Some Maine Sights

Our friend, Peter, lives in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and we stopped in for a visit. He showed us around Portland, Maine; some lighthouses; and some beautiful sights.

Our first stop was at Two Lights State Park at Cape Elizabeth. Here can be found what remains of one of four World War II batteries placed here to protect Portland Harbor. But not only that, it is a beautiful place.

WWII Battery 201 – Protecting Casco Bay

Here are some more pictures from our day:

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Two Lights State Park

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Two Lights State Park

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Two Lights State Park

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Two Lights State Park

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One of Two Lights

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One of Two Lights

And then over at Fort Williams Park:

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Lighthouse

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Portland Head Light

The next day we were on our own. We found ourselves close to Lenny, the World’s Only Lifesize Chocolate Moose located inside the Len Libby Chocolate Shop in Scarborough, Maine. Lenny was made from 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate in 1977. Naturally we had to stock up on some of their home made chocolates! Good stuff.

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Lenny the Chocolate Moose

And then a tour of Allagash Brewing Company, a local independent Belgian-inspired beer maker.

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Allagash Brewing Company

Then a trip up to Freeport, Mine, to the LL Bean Flagship store. While we were there another Travato was in the parking lot. This is special since these campers are relatively new and are not common. We met them and have made new friends. We will see them again soon.

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Another Travato!

We were allowed to park free overnight in the parking lot, it was a nice quiet stay.  It began raining in the morning and rained all the way home, back to near Keen, New Hampshire.

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Rain Rain Go Away

The last few days have been fun but could have been better. Too many tourists and crowds and traffic for our liking. The last time we were here it was in September and much quieter in certain areas. We will try to make it back this way again in the fall, after school is back in session and the tourists are fewer.

The Travato handled beautifully, no problems at all. We averaged just over 16 miles per gallon.

We are back at home for now but will be leaving in a couple of weeks to make a one month long trip to Minnesota.

……….

 

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Posted in August, Daily Post, July, Maine | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Little Maine Trip

The Brechtmobile has not been out since we returned from Iowa about two weeks ago. We have been busy acquainting ourselves with the ins and outs, doing some decorating and tweaking, getting our New Hampshire licence plates, and packing.

After living in a 34′ Class A RV for the last five years you would think I got this but it was hard deciding what I needed to pack for this smaller rig for a four day trip. Did I underpack? There is a lot of empty space yet.  We will see.

The NH/Maine border is only about two hours east of where we are in Swanzey, New Hampshire. We left around 9:00 AM and headed East stopping for coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts in Concord NH. Being able to park just about anywhere a car can park is such a treat! No more having to find a safe place to park, unhook the car, and then return and hook up again after. Which we wouldn’t have done here anyway just for coffee. Previously we would have just skipped it.

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Coffee Time

So, refreshed, we continued Eastward. Our first stop was for lunch in York, Maine. Seafood was a must, so we picked Fisherman’s Dock. I had lobster stew, which was wonderful, and Bernie had the grilled salmon.

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Lobster Stew at Fisherman’s Dock

After lunch we drove up the Atlantic coast to see what was happening.

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York, Maine

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York, Maine

It was a beautiful day, a Monday. The beach was packed with people, traffic was heavy, and there was NO parking for us, so we kept on going. We were also hoping to see a cliff walk that is supposed to be so beautiful but parking was by permit only (for the locals) and the public parking was filled up there too.

We have been here before but must have been at an off time because it was not like this.

We were able to find a place to park at the Neddik Lighthouse. This is a popular tourist stop with a small parking lot. A steady line of cars drove through the parking lot and right out again with no luck.

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Cape Neddik

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Neddik Lighthouse

We had enough of this so made our way to our campground reservation. Aaaahhh, relaxation.

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Pinederosa Campground, #L7

……………..

 

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Our New Wheels

We had already decided the Travato 59K made by Winnebago Industries was the perfect camper for us from now on. We searched 100 miles in every direction around our town and found only a few for sale. But none were just right for one reason or another. For the amount of money these cost we were not going to settle for less than what we wanted. These are built in Forest City, Iowa. The manufacturer does not sell them directly but a dealer, Lichtsinn RV, is one mile from the factory and sells the Winnebago RV’s so we contacted them and secured the perfect one for us at a good price. And they would accept our current RV in trade. So ROAD TRIP

This was not a leisurely vacation, we were on a mission. Forest City is 1,500 miles from our house. It took us four days to get there, driving the big rig on Interstate 90 most of the way. The trip was mostly uneventful.

Lichstinn RV has several parking spots with electricity for their customers so we parked there when we arrived and plugged in. The next morning our Travato was parked next to us and we got our first look at it. It was perfect! By the end of the day all the paperwork was done and we transferred all of our belongings from the old to the new.

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Old vs. New

And we made some new friends also getting their Travatos! One drove in from Michigan and the other drove all the way from North Carolina to make the trade. Customers come here from all 50 states to buy their Winnebagos.

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New Friends

On the way home we drove a bit of the Great River Road down the Mississippi River before turning and going back east. It was another four days of driving but it was a lot more fun than the trip west. The Travato handles very well and is a joy to drive.

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On the Great River Road

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The Great River Road

We stopped briefly at the RV/Motorhome Museum in Elkhart, Indiana. We have been here before but stopped again just for kicks.

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RV/MH Hall of Fame

We got a kick out of seeing this old hippie-style camper bus. My, how things have changed.

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Different Generations

The Travato is only 21 feet long. This allows us to buy gasoline at any gas station and go anywhere and park anywhere a car can go; places we would have bypassed before.

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Overlooking Lake Erie

It’s easier now going the back roads and the two-lane state highways, roads we thought twice about previously. Vermont is gorgeous! And this saved us several miles that we wold have had to drive had we stuck to the Interstates.

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Driving Through Vermont

And now we can park the camper in the garage! It was a tight fit!  🙂

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A Few Inches to Spare

Once we unpack and repack in a more thoughtful and efficient manner we will be taking more local trips throughout the summer and fall. In the winter we have bigger plans.

The big camper got about 7.5 miles per gallon. I think we got about double that but we need to check it out further. The Travato is built on a Dodge Ram ProMaster 36L 280 horsepower V6 front wheel drive gas powertrain.

More to come!

Posted in Daily Post, June | Tagged | 6 Comments

Upsize Downsize

BIG CHANGES

I know, I know, it’s been ages since my last post.  So much has happened, let me fill you in.

We arrived in Southwest New Hampshire the first week of April and are now renting a house!  That’s right, our days of living full time in our RV are over. We decided that we like it right where we are so this is where we will set roots. So, upsizing! Much of our time has been spent moving everything from the RV to the house (who knew we still had so much stuff?), fixing up the house, gathering furniture and more stuff, and of course spending precious time with our family.

And, yes, the RV is for sale!  Let me know if you are interested! We’ll give you a good deal.

2010 Itasca Sunova 33C

And as long as we plan on being here for a while we have become official New Hampsire citizens.

New Hampshirite!

Some of our time has been in New Haven, Connecticut, while our daughter finished up her PhD at Yale!  Woo! We have a doctor in the family. Yale is such a beautiful campus. But it’s doubtful that we will be back to see it again.

Yale University

Of course the MAIN reason we have settled here is this little guy:

Our Grandson

There is a fair amount of wildlife around here. I spotted this little fella in our back yard! We have seen fox, deer, turkeys, raccoon, and a bobcat. Hope to spot a moose one of these days, have heard reports of sightings. There are black bear around too, but probably (hopefully) will not see one in our yard.

Porcupine

BUT we are not done traveling!  Nope.  We have been a lot of places over the last five years or so, but there is more to see.  And since we have a house now, and we don’t feel like driving that bus any more, we are switching to a much smaller and more agile camper-van very similar to this one. So downsizing!

Winnebago Travato

We will be going to Iowa to pick it up in about a month from now. I will be blogging that! There will be other shorter, more local trips around New England; and perhaps a big road trip from New Hampshire to Los Angeles, California, and back to New Hampshire his winter. So stay tuned.

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Here We Go!

The north is calling! The winter snowbird season is coming to an end and so we have begun our trek back up to New Hampshire for the summer. But we don’t want to go north too fast, it’s still cold and snowy up there. After spending a couple of months at Gulf Shores State Park on the Gulf of Mexico we only went about 20 miles to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation just west of Foley AL for a few days.

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Escapees Rainbow Plantation, Summerdale AL

The annual Foley BBQ and Blues festival was great! Got us some good BBQ there!

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Foley BBQ and Blues

On a different day we went to an arts and craft festival at Fairhope AL. The Azalea Trail Maids were there too. They are a group of high school seniors chosen yearly to serve as “Official Ambassadors” for the city of Mobile AL. They were being interviewed by local media when we saw them.

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Azalea Trail Maids at Fairhope AL

After a few days around the Foley and Mobile AL area we ventured a bit further north, spending one free overnight at the Wind Creek Casino at Atmore, Alabama, and a couple other one night stays in small RV parks by Montgomery AL and Fort Payne AL.

Right now we are in an RV park very near Chattanooga Tennessee. How could we resist a visit to the Chattanooga Choo Choo? It was a real train, and is now a train car hotel. Each Pullman Train Car has been converted into a nice hotel room with a queen size bed. And there is a dining car too. Cool.

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Chattanooga Choo Choo

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Chattanooga Choo Choo Pullman Car Hotel Rooms

We enjoyed Chattanooga very much. It’s a very nice little city. Just outside the city is Lookout Mountain. You can get to the top by car or take the Incline Railway–The World’s Steepest Passenger Railway. This has been designated as both a National Historic Site and a National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

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Incline Railway, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga TN

At the top of the mountain is Point Park – Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, a ten acre memorial park overlooking the city.

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Point Park, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga TN

After that we drove back downtown and across the Tennessee River to the “North Shore.” We got a kick out of the dance steps they had in various places along the sidewalks.

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The Hokey Pokey

Coolidge Park, a waterfront park on the North Shore (of the Tennessee River), was busy with people on this nice Saturday afternoon. The park features a beautifully restored 100-year-old carousel, a Pavilion, and an interactive play fountain. The water has not been turned on yet so I was able to get this shot of one of the fountain animals with the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.

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Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, Coolidge Park, Chattanooga TN

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Coolidge Park Carousel

Hundreds of people were enjoying a walk on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge across the Tennessee River. We did too.

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Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge

Naturally, the Chattanooga Choo Choo song is stuck in my head now.

  • Distance from Gulf Shores AL:  426 miles
  • Lodging 11 days:  $305
  • Gasoline:  $130
  • Distance to get to New Hampshire: 1055 miles to go
Posted in Alabama, Daily Post, Tennessee | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Catch Up

It’s been almost a month since my last post. It’s about time I got caught up here. We are still in Gulf State Park in Alabama. We like it here. Maybe we’ll see if we can stay a while longer yet. However, being in the same location means there’s not a lot of new adventures to blog about. But here goes…

We spend our time walking the trails throughout the park. The team here is busy paving many of the trails and making them great for biking. But there are still many unpaved paths yet. One of my faves is through this grove of long-leaf pines. Some of these needles are 12 inches long.

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Gulf State Park

And the long fishing pier is another favorite walk. There’s always something going on.

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Gulf State Pier

We did fly up north to New England for a few days. Just can’t go the whole winter without seeing the family.

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Flying Over Atlanta, Georgia

When we had some time to kill we stopped to visit the PEZ factory/museum in Orange, Connecticut. That was interesting. Everything you ever wanted to know about PEZ candy dispensers. Plus a viewing window into the PEZ production area.

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PEZ Museum

While we were in Keene, New Hampshire, it was pretty darned cold, one morning being seven degrees below zero. And, of course the snow, and the ice, and scraping windows, and heavy coats…what were we thinking?

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Yay, Winter!

After getting our family fix we flew back to good old warmer Alabama.

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Pelicans on the Pier

Saturdays we drive to Pensacola, Florida, to visit the Palafox Farmer’s Market.

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Palafox Farmers Market

And enjoyed free entertainment while there.

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String Farm

Back at the Pier we couldn’t resist showing off one of the frosted cookies we purchased at the market.

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Gulf State Pier

Early this morning we had some severe weather pass by. There were some tornadoes north of here, but they missed us. After the rain we walked the beach to see what might have washed up. There were a few Portuguese Man-O-War.

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Portuguese Man-O-War

But not much of anything else washed up. Here’s a few more pictures from this morning.

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Leave Only Footprints

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Gulf of Mexico

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Jellyfish

………

 

Posted in Alabama, Daily Post, January | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Christmas at the Beach

Ah, the beach life! Friends invited us to their beach condo for Christmas dinner, what a great day. First a good meal on the deck with a view of the Gulf of Mexico, then a walk on the beach, a good visit, and a beautiful sunset to end the day. Here are some pictures from our day:

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Sunset on the Gulf of Mexico

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Posted in Daily Post, December, Florida | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Big Lagoon and Gulf Shores

We have been having some computer problems lately, but I think we have it fixed now. So time for an update of what we’ve been up to.

Big Lagoon State Park, Florida

The three of the four days we stayed at Big Lagoon were cold and wet so not much to report about that. But one of the days was nice enough that we ventured out to walk one of the trails.

 

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Big Lagoon State Park FL

One of the highlights of the park is the observation tower overlooking the Big Lagoon. A few of the condos on Perdido Key can be seen across the water. The Gulf of Mexico lies just beyond that.

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Big Lagoon Observation Tower

 

Gulf State Park, Alabama

Now we are at Gulf State Park at Gulf Shores, Alabama, and have booked a two-week stay here. This is one of our favorite state parks. It feels like a cross between a state park and a resort. There are a lot of empty spaces right now, but I expect that will change after Christmas when the snowbirds arrive.

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Gulf State Park

Thursday we went out to the Gulf State Park Fishing Pier for a guided tour walk/talk. There were several people fishing but nobody was catching anything. We did see a pod of dolphins in the distance.

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Gulf State Park Fishing Pier

“Sam” kept us company during our tour walk.

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Sam

Today we went for a walk on one of the many trails that surround the campground. They have made many improvements since our visit here last year, paving many of the trails and building new boardwalks. We will be checking out more trails in the next few days. The weather should be very nice for hiking. Love the long needle pines.

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Gulf State Park

  • Lodging:  Big Lagoon State Park, FL: $96 (4 nights)
  • Lodging:  Gulf State Park, AL:  $555 (2 weeks)
  • Guided Pier Tour:  free with Park pass
Posted in Alabama, Daily Post, December, Florida | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, FL

It did rain a few days while we have been here at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, FL, but there have also been some beautiful days, and on those days we have walked some of the trails and went back to the beach. Here are some pictures:

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Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Besides the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful sugar-white sandy beach there are some coastal dune lakes here in the park. These are small bodies of water found in the sand dunes next to the beach. No swimming here because there could be alligators, but we did not see any.

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No Name Lake

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Turpentine Trail

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Campbell Lake

Today, on our way back, two deer met us on the path. They didn’t seem too bothered by us. We just sat on a bench for a while and watched them.

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Deer!

It’s been very quiet in the park. We almost have the place to ourselves. Things should get busy soon as the snowbirds come south after the holidays.

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Santa Rosa Beach and Vacation Rentals

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Santa Rosa Beach

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Santa Rosa Beach

Tomorrow morning we leave Topsail and move about 100 miles west towards Pensacola, Florida.

Posted in Daily Post, December, Florida | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

To The Gulf

The last several days have been pretty quiet.  We moved west to Torreya State Park for a few days. It was cold! And we had been to that park a few times before so we mostly just stayed inside, so nothing to blog about there.

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Torreya State Park

Now we are at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park near Destin, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. We have been here a few times before too, and it’s one of our favorites. We are very comfortable here and will be here until Saturday morning when we will move a bit further west.

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Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

The Gulf of Mexico is a .75 mile walk from the campground. The park does offer a free tram, but we walked this time. And then there is a long boardwalk over the dunes before getting to the beach.

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Topsail Park’s Boardwalk

It was cool and clouds are rolling in. Could be rain on the way. There were only a few others on the beach when we were there. We walked for a while and then took the tram back to the campground. The beach goes on forever and the sand is like sugar.

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Topsail Beach on the Gulf of Mexico

  • Distance driven to Torreya:  144 miles
  • Distance driven to Topsail:   100 miles
  • Lodging:  Torreya:  $41 (2 nights)
  • Lodging:  Topsail:  $333.04 (7 nights)
  • Gasoline:  $70 @ $2.06 (FL)
Posted in Daily Post, December, Florida | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Stephen Foster, Florida

Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park.  This Florida park, on the Suwannee River, honors one of America’s most influential composers. There is a museum here and a Carillon Tower.

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Suwannee River

The park has special events and festivals every month of the year. The Seminole Chikee Village area is a good place for exhibits.

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Seminole Area

A 200′ tall 97-bell Carillion Tower is the centerpiece of the park. They said this is the world’s largest tubular bell instrument in number of bells. Bell concerts can be heard four times a day as well as marking every hour.

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Stephen Foster Carillon Tower

Inside the tower is an interpretive exhibit showing the history of the tower and its construction in 1957. Also inside are some Stephen Foster exhibits including this 1854 style ball gown that was presented to the Stephen Foster Center in observance of the 100th anniversary of the copyrighting of “Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair”.

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Jeanie Ball Gown

There are 10 dioramas in the The Stephen Foster Museum and the lower floor of the Carillion. Each one illustrates the words of some of Stephen Foster’s most popular songs. These were all painstakingly created by hand. Fourteen artists spent two years creating the first eight. They really are fabulous, some have animations.

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Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair

Other dioramas include: “Oh, Susanna,” “My Old Kentucky Home,” “Old Black Joe,” “Old Folks at Home”, “Camptown Races”, and “Way Down Upon de Swanee Ribber.”

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Stephen Foster Museum

December is the Festival of Lights here in the park. Millions of lights are on display every night. The weekends include some special activities and family fun stuff.

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Christmas Decorations

Since we are already in the campground we can walk or drive around the loop to see all the lights for no additional fee.

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Stephen Foster Museum

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Stephen Foster CC State Park, #1

When we first got here two days ago it was 80 degrees and raining so we didn’t get out much and were very thankful for air conditioning! Today was the beautiful day. Just in time, since tomorrow morning we move on.

This was the third time we have been to this park. You can see previous blogs if you just click here.

  • Distance driven since last stop: 112 miles
  • Lodging:  $72.70 (three nights)
  • Gasoline:  $100 @ $2.07 Georgia
  • Gasoline:  $24   @ $2.29  Florida
Posted in Daily Post, December, Florida | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

A Museum and a Walk

Yesterday, on the way to St. Marys, we stopped to see this submarine on land. It’s a full-sized Navy submarine at the gates to the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base.

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USS George Bancroft

When we got to St. Marys we visited St. Marys Submarine Museum. From the periscope we could see out to the marina where people were waiting to board the ferry out to Cumberland Island.

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Up Periscope!

Lunch was at one of the nice restaurants, then a walk around the pretty little town. When we got back to the campground we went for a hike on one of the trails there. This boardwalk did have some damage in some areas when some trees fell on it during the Hurricane Matthew last month, but we were very careful and enjoyed it anyway.

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Bay Boardwalk Trail

About half way along the 1.25 mile trail is this observation tower. Great for bird watchers.

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Observation Tower

Today we drove over to St. Simons Island. There was a big arts & crafts show happening there. We enjoyed that and then took one of the narrated trolly tours that took us to various historic spots on the island.

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Arts/Crafts Show

And then we spent some time walking around the Pier Village area and Neptune Park. The St. Simon Lighthouse is an operational lighthouse still.

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St. Simons Lighthouse

While we were there we saw the big ship leave. This is the one we saw before that was docked at the Georgia Port Authority. Probably unloading new car imports. It is the Asteria Leader, a vehicles carrier currently flying under the flag of Japan.

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Asteria Leader

  • Admission:  $10
  • Parking:  free
  • Trolly Tour:  $40
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Cumberland Island

Cumberland Island National Seashore, Georgia’s largest, southern most barrier island. This island national park is 18 miles long, beautiful undeveloped beaches, and includes a large wilderness area.  There are no bridges to the island, so the only way to get there is by boat. A ferry departs St. Mary’s GA twice a day, 9:00 and 11:45. You can stay for a few hours or you can bring your tent and stay in one of the primitive campgrounds.

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The Cumberland Queen II

We had four hours to explore before the ferry returned to St. Mary’s. We were dropped off at the Visitor Center/Campground Registration building. Bicycles can be rented as well, but we wanted to walk. There are several miles of trails.

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Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center

About 150 wild horses inhabit the island, descendants from modern domestic breeds. This is the only heard of feral horses on the Atlantic coast that is not managed. They are on their own here just as any native wildlife.

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Feral Horses

Horses have the right of way, and no petting or feeding them. We saw lots of them, they were everywhere.

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Feral Horse

We spotted this fella getting a drink from a fresh water pipe by the remains of this old duck pond.

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The Duck Pond

Thomas Carnegie, the brother of Andrew Carnegie, began building a mansion here with his wife, Lucy, in 1884. At one time the Carnegie family owned 90% of the island and had built other estates here, a few of which are still standing. The Dungeness mansion was destroyed by fire, possibly arson, in 1959. Now it is preserved by the National Park Service.

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Dungeness Ruins

A road turns into a trail and onto a boardwalk on the way to the beach.

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Boardwalk to the Beach

Finally, to the Atlantic Ocean. The tide was out and the beach was huge!

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Cumberland Island National Seashore

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Cumberland Island National Seashore

It was not packed with people, maybe because it was only 65 degrees and cloudy. A few drops of rain fell, but that was it.  After walking the beach for about a mile another boardwalk brought us over the dunes and back into the forest on the way back to the ferry.

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Boardwalk

The trees here are incredible!

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Amazing!

There were armadillos everywhere. They’re so cute!

When we got back to the visitor center we sat in on a presentation about Cumberland Island’s sea turtle monitoring program. This is one of the most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas in Georgia.

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Cumberland Queen II

Just before we arrived back at St. Mary’s we saw this docked tall ship all in sails. We had seen it earlier, but the sails weren’t up.

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Tall Ship

Next to the marina St. Mary’s has one of the most beautiful city parks we have seen.

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St. Marys Waterfront Park

  • Ferry: $55.64
Posted in Daily Post, Georgia, November | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Crooked River & Jekyll Island

We left Skidaway Island State Park by Savannah GA yesterday and moved south to Crooked River State Park. This is another lovely park with large and level spaces for a reasonable price. We’ll be here for a week.

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Crooked River State Park, #57

The campground is on the (you guessed it) Crooked River which leads to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s not on a beach, but on a steep cliff.

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Crooked River State Park

However, there is a trail that will bring you to the water level. We got there just as the sun was setting for a nice sunset picture.

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Crooked River State Park

Hello big fella! He was about the size of a basketball.

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Tortoise

Today, on the way to Jekyll Island, we passed a Georgia Ports Authority deepwater seaport. There were two ships docked here, and lots and lots of new cars and several auto transport vehicles coming and going with and without cars.

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Georgia Ports Authority

So tempting to just drive up there!

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So Tempting!

Jekyll Island, a barrier Island on the Atlantic Ocean, is a popular tourist destination. It has great beaches frequented by vacationers, bike trails, a Landmark Historic District, and more.

The north end of of the island is slowly eroding away and has left a tree graveyard. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

Included in the Historic District is the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This is where we had our lunch today.

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Jekyll Island Club Hotel

Further down the road from the Historic District is the remains of the Horton House, built from tabby in 1742, and one of the oldest surviving buildings in the state of Georgia. The house was occupied by Major William Horton during the British colonial period.

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The Horton House Ruins

  • Admission:  free
  • Parking: $6
  • Lodging:  $184.20 (7 days)
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More Savannah Walking

Saturday morning we went to the Farmers Market at Forsyth Park in Savannah. There were lots of vegetables, oranges, honey, pecans, mushrooms, cheese, and baked goods, jams and pickles.

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Farmers Market

We also stopped at the Visitor Center again. This time there Christmas Carolers there. Very nice.

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Christmas Carolers

From there we walked back down to River Street and had lunch in one of the restaurants down there. Then we climbed back up one of the sets of old steps (use at your own risk). There is an elevator somewhere for those who would prefer that.

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Historic Old Steps

Not far from River Street is The Old Pirates House. Not to be missed when visiting Savannah, this is associated with Savannah’s maritime history and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”. Built in 1754. This is now a nice restaurant, and if you are lucky you just might see a pirate while you enjoy your meal.

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The Pirate’s House

Today we hiked one of the trails at Skidaway State Park.

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Skidaway Island State Park, The Big Ferry Trail

Hurricane Matthew did some damage here the first week in October. The boardwalk to an observation tower was damaged so we could not go there.

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Observation Deck

Several trees had been toppled but park workers have cleared the hiking trail.

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Hurricane Matthew Damage

The remains of an old still can be seen deep into the woods. In the early 20th century this remote area was a good hideout for moonshiners.

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Old Liquor Still

The trail also took us to some old earthworks–mounds built by slaves during the Civil War as part of the defense system against Union Troops.

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Civil War Earthworks

This was an interesting old tree, I liked it.

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Cool Tree

Tomorrow morning we leave this area and move a bit further south.

 

Posted in Daily Post, Georgia, November | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Savannah Walk

It’s Black Friday. A good day for us to stay away from the shopping centers. We did drive into Savannah just to walk around the parks. We began our walk at Forsyth Park, one of the largest parks in Historic Savannah. Here are some pictures from our walk:

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Forsyth Fountain

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Confederate Soldier Monument

There are several ways to tour the historic district:

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Trolley Tours

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Guided Walking Tours

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Segway Tours

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Carriage Tours

But we walked. After a while we were ready for a break so we found a little coffee shop, named Art’s, for a snack. Inside the shop is this double decker European bus converted to a kitchen and with seating up top. Cool 🙂

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Art’s

Continuing towards downtown we saw the big Christmas tree set up and waiting for tonight’s big lighting ceremony.

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Savannah GA

A visit to Leopold’s Ice Cream is a must when visiting Savannah. Their ice cream is homemade in the store, using the original, secret recipes handed down since 1919. And it is delicious! 🙂

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Leopold’s Ice Cream

And then we walked back to the car that we had parked by Forsyth Park. Here are a few pictures of the sights along our walk:

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Savannah GA

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Savannah GA

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Savannah GA

It was 80 degrees and humid so we had enough walking for the day and went home.

Posted in Daily Post, Georgia, November | Tagged , | 1 Comment