Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Texas Is In the Rear-View Mirror - Saturday, April 29, 2017

Threats of wind, rain, and hail peppered the weather forecast for eastern Texas and southern Louisiana. Our departure from Traveler's World this morning at 7:30 a.m. certainly had some wind, but nothing serious.

As we drove east, the wind picked up to a steady 20 mph. indicated the wind gusts were 35-40 mph. Bob has nerves of steel. He drove all day. The 5th wheel danced in the wind, but he handled it well. I was more stressed out as a passenger than he was driving. 

Let's back up a couple of days so we can tell you about having the 5th-wheel hitch installed. There was a slight hitch with the hitch. Bob thought it appropriate to take the truck into SW Wheels a couple of days before his installation appointment date to have them make sure the install would go smoothly. They found the truck had a gooseneck hitch frame attached to the undercarriage of the truck. This meant we could not have a 5th-wheel rail system over that. Plans were made to attach a 5th-wheel hitch to the gooseneck receiver.

The appointment for the install was yesterday, the day before we were to leave on our trip. What could possibly go wrong? The hitch they originally were going to install they erroneously thought would fit onto the gooseneck receiver, but it didn't. It required rails. That required a more expensive 5th wheel to be installed, one that can haul up to 20,000 lbs., which is way more than the weight of our 5th wheel. Bob calls it a "very beefy" 5th wheel. I'm not sure I explained it very well. Anyway, it is now installed.

Back to the present time: Around 11:00 a.m. today, Bob and I finally decided what our first destination would be and a plan of action for Sunday. The RV park we decided on is Lakeside RV Park in Livingston, Louisiana, just east of Baton Rouge. I called to make reservations for one night in a pull-through site. We chose this location because Monday morning we will head north to Natchez Trace Parkway.

The weather forecast for Sunday is for thunderstorms. Our day will be spent in New Orleans at the National World War II Museum. The drive to New Orleans will take us about 1-1/2 hours and we will leave here about 7:15 a.m.

For lunch, we stopped at Buc-ee's in Baytown, Texas, a large gas station/food and souvenir mart. You can see from the photo, we took a little liberty with the parking job. Thankfully, Buc-ee's was not super crowded.

Beauty and Rigamarole at Buc-ee's
Bob had a hot BBQ turkey sandwich and I had a yummy "paleo" plate with hard-boiled egg, cheddar cheese, almonds, grapes, and cubed turkey. It was just perfect for my lunch today. Bob said his sandwich was "mostly bread."

Back on the road, Beauty pulled the 5th wheel like a dream. The truck is so quiet and so smooth. Saturday traffic on I-10 East was pretty heavy. There were a few construction areas with narrow lanes that were a bit hair-raising when combined with people's aggressive driving.

Early afternoon, we finally crossed into Louisiana. We made a well-deserved rest stop at the Atchafalaya Welcome Center in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. This is a must see place with a good, four-minute intro movie about the Atchafalaya Basin. Barn swallows nest on the building. 

Sculpture in back of the Welcome Center

Beautiful barn swallows
We finished our drive to Lakeside RV Park. Reservations were a smart idea! When we arrived we asked if we could add one more night to our reservation. We were very lucky because the same site was available one more night.

I think we got one of the last sites!
Lakeside RV Park is lovely. We had a golf cart escort to our site. Set-up was quick, and then we did one load of laundry. We walked the lakeside path to the laundry room. I had to chuckle at the signs in their laundry room: 

Path to the playground, Camper's Lounge, and laundry room
The weather gods were with us today and we did not have rain. The temperature was in the 80s with high humidity and some strong winds. It became quite pleasant as the sun was going down. 

Here are some more photos from the RV park. We feel really lucky to have chosen this park. 

Our pull-through site - #85 - with partial lake view

Looking down the park road

Park models for rent

Covered picnic area

Rocking chairs overlooking the lake

Camper's Lounge area

Camper's Lounge

Game room

Pool (no hot tub)

I love their signs!

Central Bark (dog park)

Fenced, off-leash dog park
Time for me to get some sleep. We have a big museum day planned for tomorrow. The forecast is for 95% chance of thunderstorms with possible flooding in New Orleans. We are hoping to park in a multi-level parking garage (up high)...just in case.

After the museum, we plan to take Bob's 93-year-old aunt out to dinner. She is such a lovely woman and sharp as a tack!

Stay tuned. We could have some interesting stories to tell on Sunday. The wind is howling around our 5th wheel tonight. Good night!

Friday, April 28, 2017

And Away We Go! - Thursday, April 27, 2017

The new 5th wheel hitch is being installed Friday. Saturday, Beauty will get her first test pulling Rigamarole down the highway. We are taking off on a two-week trip around the Southeast: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the panhandle of Florida. 

Our plans are to visit five state capitals and do the Volksmarches in each one. Six Flags Atlanta is in our plans as well. Bob wants to visit Vicksburg for some Civil War history. Maybe we can sneak in a garden or two, museums, and some waterfalls. 

In Florida, we will visit Tom and Rosemarie (Bob's brother and sister-in-law). We'd also love to see our friends Iain and Tess who we were close to when we lived in Hawaii. They now live in Destin, Florida.

So far we have not made any reservations for RV parks. For me (someone who makes RV park reservations for travelers coming to Traveler's World RV Resort), it is scary to not have any reservations knowing how many people are traveling right now. I guess this trip our plans are made in Jell-o!

Only one more day until our wheels are rolling again! Can't wait to see what we can see in two weeks. 

Maybe we'll see some of you on the road or in a park along the way. Woo hoo!

Look for us...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Meet Beauty - Mon., Apr. 17, 2017

The time has come to introduce Beauty, our "new" 2012, Ford F350 pickup. Our Beast was a 2000 F350, so we're getting a newer, more technologically advanced model. It even has dual temperature controls and seat heaters/air conditioners.

We bought Beauty last Thursday evening and are very happy.

Left to right: The Escape Pod, Rigamarole, and Beauty

Beauty and Rigamarole
Our insurance has still not paid us for Beast and they are dragging their feet, even calling Bob to ask him how he got home from work the day it was stolen. (I picked him up.) Not only did they call Bob, they called his subordinate and asked him the same question!! What does how Bob got home from work have to do with our truck being stolen??? It's been over three weeks and they were supposed to get back to us in two weeks. Grr!

On a lighter note, about one week after Bob's truck was stolen, our insurance company called to tell us they had been notified by the Converse police that our truck had been recovered. Bob was so excited. He hadn't heard a word about it. He called the Converse police and asked them about his truck being recovered. They looked up the case # and told Bob they only recovered the license plates. Bob got right back on the phone to the insurance company and told them they needed to change their records because only the license plates were recovered! It was a bittersweet laugh that we choked out. The whole truck would have been better.

Anyway, now we need a 5th wheel hitch (which will be put in on 4/28/17) and then we leave on our two-week vacation around the Southeastern United States on 4/29/17. That's cutting it close!

Can't wait to get on the road again!

Travel Bug out.