Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February 8, 2016 - White Springs, FL to Jacksonville, FL

Well…Well…We did not wake up at 8 am. It was almost 10 am! The sun was smiling upon us and it is going to be a nice day for traveling.

We were lucky that the weather was nice and that made it easier for us to put things away, get our Lil’ Home (LH) ready for the road trip to Jacksonville, FL.  

The drive home was very nice and without any hitch.  No rest stop or diesel fill-up.  

Five minutes after we arrived back at the house our realtor, Lori, showed up with bunches of paperwork for us to sign.  Erwin asked Edith if she was heartbroken upon signing her name on the dotted line. “No not at all, Edith signed back to Erwin.  She didn’t want to buy the house in the first place when we shopped for one back in the spring of 2006.  Erwin fell in love with it and begged Edith to think twice. And, she gave in to his begging.

After Lori left we had two places we wanted to go to. First stop was to talk to Rick, the cabinetmaker for estimates on two desks for our LH. The price was not too bad, but Edith was not too enthusiastic about him doing the work and thought there might not be enough time for Rick to finish before Feb 25.  

Next stop was at Reddi Arts, so Edith can pick up few more colored pencils and markers. The store has a vast selection of them. The staff was very helpful and gave instructions to Edith on how to refill Copic markers. 

The wind started to pick up and rocked the LH a bit.  Because of that Edith decided not to go to her favorite spot for sunset photography.  We could see how beautiful the sunset was from the colors on the clouds.  

A restful night for us after a quick/simple supper. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

February 7, 2016 - White Springs, FL

The sun was up, but there were water puddles around.  It must have rained some more after we went to bed last night.

Few RVs have already checked out of the campground.  The volunteers wasted no time in cleaning up the sites after check-outs. They worked fast and swiftly.

Edith spent the morning checking for routes, campgrounds and events for our upcoming trip.  She has sworn before that she wants to skydive before she turns 70 years old. Well, she found out that there is a skydiving place in or near Three Forks, MT.  She is going to email them for more information.  She hopes to be able to go skydiving in May or June.

Erwin spent the morning switching between working a bit on his new woodburning project and reading a paperback.  

After lunch we went out for a bike ride.  We wanted to hike, but because of the rain yesterday the trails are inaccessible. After bike ride we played mini cornhole game.  Erwin got most points.  

Erwin built a campfire using up firewood that was left in the back of the Jeep.  We need the cargo space for hauling our stuff from the garage at the house to the storage place when we get back home tomorrow.

While we were sitting by the campfire and enjoying the stuffed mini sweet peppers we were greeted by Mark and June, who had just checked into a spot across from us. They are from Middleburg, FL and had just bought a 5th wheel trailer.  We chatted a while and exchanged vacation stories.

in the mid afternoon we took a good long walk around the campground, checking out RVs.  There were several camper vans (Class B) and there was one gold colored Roadtrek Popular 210.  Class B vehicles are great for getting around in cities/towns without worrying about size and parking, but it is not ideal for fulltimers.

We had beef stew leftovers, but there were not enough vegetables, so Edith panfried sliced potatoes and carrots, then added them to the stew that was already preheated.

The 50th annual Super Bowl game is tonight, but we do not watch TV.  Erwin wanted to spend time working on his woodburning project and Edith was catching up on reading 50 Shades of Grey on Kindle. 

We were able to keep up with the score for each quarter of the football game via Facebook. Isn’t social media a wonderful thing?  So, the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10. It is Peyton Manning’s second Super Bowl win.  We think he is going to hang up his uniform.  

Although we did not do anything exciting or out of the ordinary we still have a lovely and relaxing day. Tomorrow morning is going to be busy as we will check out of the campground and go back to Jacksonville, FL.  We agreed to be up around 8 am tomorrow morning to get things ready.

February 6, 3016 - White Springs, FL

I A gloomy morning.  We were planning on hiking/biking after breakfast, but when we stepped out we found out it was very cold, so we stayed inside.

While sipping freshly brewed coffee we started working on our upcoming trip to the Rockies for this spring and summer.  We checked out for camping availability at some state parks along the route we will be going.  We plan to start our 5-6 month vacation right after Feb 26-28 weekend camping at OLeno State Park in High Springs, FL. We are hoping to be able to camp at St. George State Park for 2 nights and Big Lagoon State Park for 2 nights, also.  We are really excited about the trip to the Rockies and Pacific Northwest and look forward to exploring new/old places. We may visit British Columbia if all goes well.

The sewage tanks were full, so we had to close the slideouts and drove the Lil’ Home (LH) to the dump station that was not too far from our campsite, and after it was done we came back and set up the LH again.  It was fast and easy, not a big deal.

After lunch we biked to the CraftsArea/Gift Shop for the Primitive Arts Day event.  There were demonstrators showing how to build a fire, to make cordage from yucca leaves, to make your own laundry soap.  If the weather was beautiful the place would be crawled with lots of tourists, but it is not, so the place was rather quiet.

Weaving a basket with pine needles from longleaf pine trees

Handmade Leather belts


We went inside the gift shop to browse around. There were woodturner bowls that was made by Mike, a local resident. He was the one who bought Erwin's woodturning lathe last fall.

What do you think?  Too big, huh...
It started to mist, so we hurriedly biked back to the LH, got inside and fixed ourselves a cup of coffee or hot tea, rested a while.

We played mini corn holes for a while and Erwin won the game.  We built a campfire, sat outside enjoying drinks while gazing at the sunset.

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 5, 2016 - Valdosta, GA & White Springs, FL

A very pretty morning, but still very chilly. It was 48˚ and the sky was so blue with nary a cloud in sight.  A perfect day for an outing.

We decided to drive up to Georgia, which is not too far from White Springs, FL.  Erwin suggested that we re-visit Lake Banks near Lakeland, GA.  We visited the lake a couple times in the past and Erwin thought it might be a perfect opportunity for Edith to take pictures of Cypress trees in the water.

We left White Springs around 10 am, got on Route 41, made few stops along the route for photo op.  We stopped in Statenville, FL because Edith saw a sign pointing to Old Jail Museum.  The museum was closed, probably permanently closed. Edith walked about the building taking pictures.  It was in the back of the building that she saw Halloween stuff.  Vines were sprawling around the windows. 

We got on GA-135 instead of GA-94 because we thought we had never gone on this route before.  However, we started to recognize some places and then remembered that we had been here before.  That is okay because we did not remember much from before. On this route there is an interesting looking cemetery. We almost missed it and Erwin made a U-turn to go back to the cemetery.

The cemetery is unnamed, but Edith saved the location in the GPS for future reference.  There were some very interesting epitaphs, shaped headstones.  Most of them were in good shape, only a couple were broken.  The ones that Edith liked so much are nestled in the way back by the wooded area making them look very spooky.

Before reaching the town center of Lakeland, GA we stopped at Hardee’s (Erwin’s favorite place for chicken tenders) to have lunch. We got a 5 piece combo that included french fries and a medium drink. Reasonable priced at $6.14.  Edith ate two tenders leaving the rest for Erwin.  While there Erwin received a phone call from Lori, our realtor, telling us the good news that an offer was made on our house. 

Lakeland town has a lot of murals on the buildings.  Edith got out, walked around looking for some interesting murals.  They tell stories of who people were and the work they were involved in.  Lakeland was previously named Milltown, but was changed in 1921.  The downtown looked somewhat deserted. One block where Erwin parked at, all stores except the corner store were empty. 

We stayed on Route 135 to Lake Banks. We were disappointed to see that the water level was low and the scene was not as pretty as we remembered. The drawdown occurs during the winter months and that made Lake Banks not so pretty. We came there at the wrong time of the year.  We took a 1/3 of a mile loop hiking trail.  Not much to see, but it was a lovely walk.  

From Lake Banks we continued on to Valdosta, GA.  Valdosta is where several of Edith’s relatives used to live in when she was a young girl.  Aunt Sarah and Uncle TJ were the ones Edith and her parents visited often.  Aunt Sarah was Edith’s momma’s older sister by a year and half.  Uncle TJ’s ancestors came from Lebanon.  Aunt Sarah was an excellent cook, always fixed Mid-Eastern dishes each time we visited in town.  Uncle TJ was a tall but a very gentle fellow.  They always had a jar of pistachio nuts tucked inside a cabinet in the porch/sunroom.  Edith would almost always eat all of them and she later would feel sick and complain to her parents about stomachache on way back home to Jacksonville, FL.

Valdosta is where some of Edith’s relatives attended Valdosta State College (now a University) many years ago. The University campus has changed so much since Edith last visited it in early 1990’s.  The campus has gotten bigger and more buildings have been added.  

Next to the University is the oldest cemetery, Sunset Hill, in this town.  In 2003 the cemetery was added to National Register of Historic Places.  It is at 110 N. Oak Street and has 66 acres. As soon as we pulled into the cemetery something caught Edith’s attention immediately. It was her relatives’ plot area.  Edith walked around checking for relatives and people she knew. There were Josephs (not related to Edith, but through marriage).  

Edith's Uncle TJ (Aunt Sarah's husband)
Aunt Sarah (Edith momma's sister)

We went shopping a bit before heading back to White Springs, FL.  We checked out Hobby Lobby and Books a Million and did not see anything that we wanted to buy.

The magazine rack was from the wall to the wall 
Would you buy and color it???
Another large stand of coloring books
We got on I-75 going South, took Exit 429 to Route 129.  It was already dusk when we arrived the campground. Erwin immediately built a campfire while Edith prepared tacos, a quick and easy dish. 

It was nice sitting by the campfire while sipping a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Many campsites had campfires going on.  After all it was a cold night. The stars were shining brightly and we could see Orion clearly.  

We communicated back and forth with Lori all night via email and phone.  We needed to e-sign the revised contract on the house, but we did not have the right app that allows us to e-sign the secured documents via email.  Edith is usually good at figuring things out, but tonight she was technology challanged.  We plan on going back to Jacksonville, FL on Monday and we agreed to meet with Lori in the afternoon for us to sign the papers.