Tag Archives: family

The Journey Continues

I left you in Louisville, KY. And now I am finally telling you about the rest of the journey, three weeks later? What’s with that? I have no excuse.

After two days of driving more than we like, our trip today would be light and easy. Sunday driving normally offers light traffic until later in the afternoon when weekenders are hurrying back from their busy weekend away from their homes. Since we only had 141 miles to travel to our destination, we took our time getting going. Traffic was light as expected on I-65 South. We pulled off I-65 at exit 104 as instructed by GPS. We were looking for Nashville North KOA. Signage for many KOA parks is generally pretty good. Many have signs on the interstate exits and at intersections that help guide travelers along the way. I thought it was odd, that we saw no KOA signs leading us home for the night. Nashville North KOA is not a typical KOA in that it does not have the common A-frame office. This park (formerly known as Nashville Country RV) recently joined the KOA family. About the time I started to get a little concerned that our GPS had led us down a dark hole, I saw the familiar KOA sign. Home was in sight.

We registered and we given directions to our site – a PUB (pull in, back out) site. That was a first for us. The only stipulation was we had to get Cramalot Inn and the small cargo trailer completely off the road. I was more concerned about that than back out of the sight. We managed to get everything nestled in place.


Not only did we have a short trip and a cool site, we were back in Central Time Zone. Having lived in Central Time Zone all our lives, our body clocks have difficult adjusting when we are in other time zones.

I took the fur babies for a walk around the park and found this place pretty full. The park was clean and people were friendly. The interstate was close by but not so close that highway noise would be a problem. I liked the 10 x 16 wooden patio which would make it easy to keep mud and rain mess outside. The only dislike about this park was the dog run. It seems like many RV parks place their dog run in the least desirable section of the park. The dog run here was very narrow and very long, placed along a creek trail. I know dogs don’t mind where they do their business, but their people do. We’ve encountered a few dog runs that were easy to find and will kept – this one was clean but pretty rough.

After a short nap, we decided to head to Hendersonville for dinner. We picked a place called The Lost Cajun. This is a regional chain that started in Colorado and is spreading its wings. (For our Texas family and friends, there is a location in Odessa, and will soon be locations in Midland and San Antonio.) Food was good, facilities are clean and staff are friendly and knowledgeable about Cajun style foods.

After a good meal, it was time for a restful evening. Monday we would have our windshield replaced.  Monday morning we enjoyed a home style breakfast at Liz’s Kitchen. We thought about taking a shuttle into Nashville for the day but since we did not know just when the glass folks would be out to replace the windshield, we just hung out for a lazy day at the rv park.

The glass guys came out and had no problem pulling the old windshield and getting the new one installed.


Our installer arrived with struggled a bit with the old windshield. Our pull-in, back-out site did not make it easy for them as they had no spot to park the work truck in front of the RV. I loaned him our ladder so he could climb up to get to the top of the glass. After removing the old glass, he and his buddy fixed a rust area at the top of the window frame. Apparently this is a typical spot for rust and leaks in RV windshields. Their work was quick yet thorough. After getting the new windshield installed, they cleaned up around the RV and headed to next stop. Thanks fellas – you done good.

We made dinner plans to meet my nephew and his family at Barefoot Charlie’s in Hendersonville. The place had an island/beach sorta of decor. We enjoyed our short time with my nephew and the girls enjoyed their ‘drink’.


Carol keeps her focus and Carlotta’s eyes tells the story.

We enjoyed the conversations and short time with family. It was time to call it a night as i was beginning to turn into a pumpkin. (That happens to me around 9PM). After taking the fur babies out for their nightly walk before bed, we crashed. Tuesday would be a long day (83 miles).

We opted for a light breakfast Tuesday morning. My neighboring RVer watched me back out of our sight and gave me a thumbs up as we headed our way. I guess he was amazed that I could back a 38 foot motor home with the 8 foot utility trailer attached. We left late enough to miss the morning rush hour traffic in Nashville, and arrived at our target destination around noon. Because our back-in site had a privacy fence in the back, we disconnected the trailer before backing into our site.

Next we returned the unloaded trailer, and stopped for lunch at Subways. When we got back, we spent the rest of the day getting the RV nested into our site. The park owners took us to dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse where we had a ‘get to know you’ chat.

Wednesday, I hit the ground running since the fella I was replacing was leaving on Thursday. I’ll tell you about our work and the park on a follow-up post. Meanwhile, here is our trip recap.


Cramalot Inn

Miles Driven








Avg $/Gal




# days


Fuel $


RV Park $


Food $


Moving Exp


U-Haul Trailer

Trip $


By not adding the trailer cost into the mix, our average $/Mile would be $0.98. Since we began this journey in 2012, our average cost/mile has been $0.75 with the fifth wheel and $1.00 with Cramalot Inn.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Friday’s Fun Foto

I had a nice woodshop in our last house in Corpus Christi, TX. This was my ‘man cave’. It was nothing fancy but it was a place where Cody and I could go to get away and enjoy making sawdust.

My first real big project was this cool rocking cradle for my first grandson Gage. Here I am, in March 2004, celebrating completion of this project with a glass of Llano Shiraz.


In November 2004, I started working on a high chair for Gage. This was going to be his Christmas Present from Papa.

I started with a stack of Red Oak.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhich was transformed to this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen I took another stack of wood.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe species represented here included (from top left) Ash, then down to Zebra and Mahogany. Yellow Heart is in the bottom right, then up to Purple Heart, Cherry at the top right then left to Cocobola.

From this, I cut a bunch of smaller pieces.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese pieces then had to be put together to complete the intarsia puzzle.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe final result looked like this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGage liked his present.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, while I was busy in my man cave,  G’Mee was busy in her sewing studio. This is a 3-D applique quilt she made for Gage.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


Friday’s Fun Foto

Today I want to honor my maternal grandfather, Cleonis Collinette. We called him Coco. He lived in Rosée, Namur, Belgium, where he worked for years as a railroad conductor. I only met him face to face one time in 1954.

In the photo below (early 1960s), you see him working at his bench in the basement of his modest home in Rosée. He loved working with wood and was an excellent craftsman.

DSC_2100Growing up, I never had a change to build a relationship with him because he lived in Belgium while I lived in Texas. Distance did not stop him from making sure my brother and I knew him in some way. I have childhood memories of receiving special gifts from him. On his work bench, notice the item in the center. It looks like a windmill. He made this from a block of wood similar to a 4×4 post. The blades for the windmill were cut from pieces of aluminum. The blades were mounted on the end of a bicycle hub which he embedded in the wood block. The roof on the windmill was also hand cut from aluminum and marked to look like slate tile seen on many roofs of old buildings in Europe.

To the right of the windmill, is another project that looks like a wishing well. It was also cut from a block of wood, but this time instead of it being square it was round like a cylinder. The center of it was hollowed out. You can make out a handle that would turn raising and lowering a bucket. The roof was made similar to roof on the windmill.

All of the parts were hand made on his work bench. Gifts from a craftsman’s heart to his grandchildren.

When we retired and sold our house to buy our RV in 2011. We painfully parted with many special items. It was time for these two gifts from Coco to find a new home.  In the photo below, my oldest grandson Gage, on the left,  and my youngest grandson, Jayson, are holding their special gifts. They only know Coco, their great-great-grandfather, through these gifts and the photo above.

Boys-CocoFrom my family to yours, we wish you a super Friday.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.


What The Heck Is Going On?

That is a good question. As it turns out, Jasper, AL was a side trip to our summer gig at Mark Twain Landing in Monroe City, MO. WHAT? Yep, that’s right. After three weeks of working like crazy we have moved on. Due to reasons that we will not publish, March 15th was our last official day at Clear Creek Recreation Area in Jasper, AL.  Monday March 18th we started our journey to Monroe City which is about 25 miles west of Hannibal, MO.MTL

I received a call from Mark Twain Landing’s assistant manager Friday morning while I was waiting for repairs to be completed on our car. Carol and I called them back later that afternoon and wrapped up a deal for us to arrive around the last week in March. We planned our route and said ‘see ya later’ to our friends in Jasper. It was a bitter sweet departure since we had planned to spend the summer in Jasper. That just was not going to happen, God had other plans for us. We had completed our task in Jasper.

Route Jasper-Monroe City

First stop on our 700 mile journey was Hampton Cove, AL southeast of Huntsville, to visit Carol’s uncle. We knew there was a strong storm system moving from west to east that would bring strong winds and heavy rain. We stopped for lunch at Backyard Burgers just north of Cullman, AL. While there we decided to press on towards Huntsville. The storm system hit I-65 just as we exited I-565 loop. We stopped under an overpass and waited it out. A few minutes later, we were back on the road. Huntsville, AL is the home to Redstone Arsenal. A Saturn-V rocket is on display at their visitor’s center just off I-565. As we were approaching Redstone Arsenal, a large lightning bolt stuck the top of that rocket. Wished we were able to capture that image on camera.

We set up camped in the Walmart parking lot then drove out to Carol’s uncle’s home. After a relaxed visit, we showed them our RV, then they took us to Gibson’s Bar-B-Que. Gibson’s is a local place that got it’s start in the 20’s in Morgan County, AL. They are a popular place in Huntsville. The food was delicious. Robert & Becky then drove us back to our RV. Thanks for the hospitality.

DSCN0283 (1)Tuesday 3/19

Keeping with our tradition of avoiding national chain restaurants while on the road, we stopped at Blue Plate Cafe in Huntsville for breakfast. As we entered, we were greeted by lots of smiling wait staff milling about. After we met our waitress, Margarita, I told Carol this is a happy place. Nothing was hurried. Noticing my western hat on the table, Margarita asked if we were from Texas.  She had family in Texas and was excited when we said yes. The food was very good and is worth a trip back when we are back in Huntsville.

After a customary stop at Starbucks for drinks to go, we headed north on I-65 to Nashville, Tennessee. Our destination was Two Rivers Campground just down the road from the Grand Ole Opry House, east of downtown Nashville. One reason for picking this RV spot was because Camping World is next door. We were able to fill our propane tank for $1.99/gallon. Also, my nephew lives in Hermitage on the east side of Nashville. We enjoyed a catfish dinner at Caney Fork, then settled in for a restful night.


Wednesday 3/20

We had a light breakfast since we were meeting my nephew in Hermitage for lunch. We also had some paperwork to complete so we stayed busy doing that. Around noon we headed to El OK Corral. We are always leery of Mexican food places when we are on the road. This place was pretty good. Of course we were there after lunch so there was no crowd. My Shrimp Chimichanga was good as was Carol’s Fajita plate. We had a good visit with Ron and his youngest son Zachery. Hope to see them again net time we travel through Nashville.


Thursday 3/21

We wanted to visit the Pancake Pantry for breakfast but because this is such a popular place, the waiting line was out the door. We found Fido’s across the street. No wait at this place. Food was excellent and the place was filled with college kids and young adults who were tethered to their computers. You might call this place an upscale coffee shop. We shared our table with a couple of guys who looked like business type (college kids don’t wear suits). My Huevos Cubano was very good.


We came back to Two Rivers Campground, pulled in the slides on the motor home and headed north for Paducah, Kentucky. More on that in the next post. Thanks for stopping by. Y’all come back.