Monday, September 18, 2017

My Space

Happy to be home. Gratitude and solitude. Doggie at my feet.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Final Tour in Alabama

We finally made it to the Orange Beach Wharf on Thursday. It was a treacherous couple attempts on unfriendly bike routes, but certainly worth seeing. We had the best shrimp and grits ever for lunch along the marina.

We then rode the bikes back to Gulf Shores and enjoyed some pampering with a mani/pedi. A nice stress reliever.

Back at camp we took in another beautiful setting sun. The sky has been remarkable both morning and night from our camp each day. Grilled chicken Caesar salads for camp dinner and early to bed completed another enjoyable day in exile.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bitch Irma

Will's friend stop by the house Wednesday and snapped these pictures. A mess but we feel lucky!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Still Waiting

The Irma winds settled down on Tuesday and we were able to get back on the bikes. Where did we go? The Flying Harpoon, of course. They make the best, newly discovered Bushwacker drink and Bill's fave: the Hurricane.

Back to camp for steak on the grill with our gator barking. Yes. Barking. Mating season.

Wednesday morning brought beautiful clear skies. Breakfast at camp was simple and delicious. Today marks a week in exile, so it was time to do laundry; with a pleasant place to kill time.

Still no power at home. Will's power returned at noon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Waiting and Wondering

To think I let 9/11 pass by without a mere mention of the momentous anniversary of death and destruction of 2001. I must be caught up in my own moment of destruction brought about by Hurricane Irma. Shame on me. RIP to all the souls of 9/11/01.

Winds were strong in Gulf Shores, AL Monday as Irma blew her way up the coast of Florida. There is virtually no news coming out of Marco Island. So, we wait to hear about power and water and try to enjoy this beautiful area on the Gulf.

There's a gator who stops by now and then to see if Solo is out. The birds and vista soothes our soul while going about in our survival mode at camp. We are blessed.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What a Long Day!

Glued to our devices and camp TV, we followed Hurricane Irma's path from the Florida Keys while juggling calls and texts from loved ones. It was a busy and stressful morning.

At noon, we hopped on the bikes and took our Mario Cart-like wooden path 2.5 miles to our favorite bar: The Flying Harpoon in Orange Beach. Luckily, football was the main attraction on TV and we drowned our sorrows as Irma drowned SWFL.

I watched Irma smack down Marco Island from my most informative Twitter feed. The rest of the day all the FL refugees in the bar wondered about their property and future. We all ordered fruity Hurricane drinks to ease the pain.

I was reluctant to impose on the neighbors who stayed in Marco for information on our home. Appreciating the ordeal they must have gone through during a Category 3 storm pounding their space and nerves, I would sit tight and be respectful. That was non-essential information. Timing is everything. I'll find out soon enough.

Meanwhile, all is calm at Gulf State Park camp.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Gulf Shores Alabama

After driving 677 miles in the state of Florida (crazy big state) we crossed into Alabama on Thursday afternoon. Gulf State Park had plenty of sites.

With news of Hurricane Irma getting more dire by the hour for our sweet community in SWFL, we'll stay put on the Gulf coast until after the storm. No longer are we in the mood for fun and adventure. Our friends and family could be in for suffering and loss. We'll need to get back home ASAP after the wrath of Irma.

We are finding cute little spots with amazing oysters, brews and bayou views. This is the perfect spot for the bikes with an extensive trail system all around. Exercise is lifting the mood, but not by much. Ugh.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Evacuation Season

Our original travel plans called for a 9/7 departure to start a two week getaway in the van. With the development of Hurricane Irma in the Atlantic, on track for landfall in South FL, we hit the road on 9/6. So did everyone else. We covered 291 miles in 8 hours. That's 37 mph on average. Ugh. Stressful and annoying heavy traffic.

Unable to at least get out of FL, we pulled off short of the state line near Gainesville. In fact, our fave State Forest, Paynes Prairie, off of I-75 had plenty of sites available for the night. We were set up before 5pm with a well-deserved cocktail and hot shower. Grilled salmon, quinoa, asparagus and coleslaw was served at camp for dinner. Love our tiny home and almost forgot the woes of the day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Diamond Ring

This picture was taken in St. Louis by the granddaughter of a Marco friend, Gentry. Gentry gave us our only pair of solar glasses to take on our trip. (Our first lucky break, which I failed to mention in my day's recap below.)

Lucky in so Many Ways

Monday morning we were up and out of Savannah early in search of a clear path of totality. We did book a second night, just in case. But we had no idea where we were going or where we would be sleeping later.

After some deliberation, Anderson SC was picked out for the best odds on the weather map. Once in Anderson, we couldn't decide between the airport or state park for our eclipse viewing pleasure. We figured no way in hell would we get a campsite within 100 miles of the totality path, so we focused on a good spot for sky watching. Feeling optimistic, we headed to the state park. The "no vacancy" sign and ranger station confirmed our thinking, so we paid for a day pass and parked at the baseball field as instructed. After a little marital spat, we ditched the confines of the baseball field and settled on open sky and water near the boat launch. It was perfect. So lucky to have explored our options.

A sweet couple from SC had their camper parked in the shade and were setting up camera equipment as we observed possible clouds moving into the area. We started a conversation and before you know it, they offered us their campsite for the night as they were taking off after the show. Lucky again!

The clouds stayed away and it was an amazing experience to witness such heavenly glory! A total eclipse of the sun! The light, the dark, the quiet, the cool, the gasps of awe, the spectacle. So lucky!

There was such a sense of togetherness; a special and peaceful connection among the people around the boat launch. We shared something so incredible. One by one people left and we found our way to the campsite. It was on a lake. So beautiful! So lucky. There was loads of firewood, too!

A heavenly day and night. So lucky!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Overwhelmed

A memory forever. Sadler Creek State Park, Anderson SC. Clear skies for a spectacular spectacle in the sky. The Universe. Totality. Goodness. 4/8/2024 on the calendar.

Totality Awesomeness

Worth every mile to Anderson SC

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Skidaway State Park GA

We said goodbye to the birthday girl and crazy Rufus in Ponte Vedra and, within hours, settled into another beautiful GA park. It's real pretty with private and spacious sites; only 20 minutes to Savannah the ranger advised. We cracked a beer and planned our route for tomorrow's path to totality (I love how that sounds). Forecasts are predicting eastern US cloud cover for the eclipse. Plan B is to go west towards the Tennessee Valley on I-26. What else are we doing?

Regular Visitors

Twice in one week! Great to see Amelia for her 9th birthday! Babysitting with puzzles, pasta and the new pooch while Will keeps Solo happy in FL and Steph and DeWayne enjoy a date night.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Journey to the Path of Totality

Maps, fully stocked with water, diesel, propane, food and booze. We're ready for anything as we take on another August adventure. No, Carly 🎼, it's not a Learjet but an Airstream going to see the total eclipse of the sun.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Final Push Home

Cheraw State Park was another nice find in SC. The park was empty and we were treated to waterfront property. On to Ponte Vedra, FL to meet Rufus, the newest family member. After a final night at our fave FL park, Anastasia Island SP, we ventured down the interstate to our little corner of paradise!!!

Thanks for following along. We'll be posting from the big eclipse next week!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Virginia Does it Again

With a late start out of NJ, we made it to the Shenandoah River Valley by 5:30pm. As much as I generally dislike KOAs, we hit the jackpot in the town of Luray. A beautiful campsite welcomed us to the grassy knolls and distant mountains of VA.

Charlottesville is on our mind tonight as fanatics exercise their right to free speech and excite the media into a frenzied state of incessant and sensationalized reporting. God help America.

Cityscapes

Union Square was a perfect central location for touring the city in three days. We went through $50 in subway fares with a major Metro hub just a couple blocks from our hotel.

Friday was mostly spent exploring lower Manhattan's waterfront. A ride on the Staten Island ferry capped off the tour.

We couldn't resist a stop for lunch at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. It was packed!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New York, NY

Oh how I ❤️ NY!

Ally is taking her turn babysitting. We left Solo for a few days in NY. Lunch at Mister Dips in Brooklyn was first on the list. Then, we shared a solemn couple hours at the 9/11 Memorial. The Oculus transportation hub at the WTC connected us to our subway and hotel in Union Square; close to my old stomping grounds.