A Lucky Sighting - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yesterday, Nancy was working in the garden center at Home Depot.  Her view from the cashier station allows her to see the stop light at Hwy 17 Bypass that runs through Murrells Inlet.
The little green building in the middle of picture is
Nancy's cashier station.

View from the Cashier Station to the Hwy 17 Intersection

This is a very busy highway with hundreds of RV's coming and going to the thousands of campsites in Myrtle Beach. About 4 pm, Nancy happened to spot a Winnebago Brave Motorhome stopped at the light at about the same place as the white vehicle in the picture above.  She remembered that we had met 2 couples at the
RV-Dreams rally last April who own Winnebago Braves.  As the motorhome pulled out, she could see that the tow vehicle had 2 kayaks on top and 2 bikes on the back.  Again, both those couples have 2 kayaks and 2 bikes.  So when she got home, she checked their blogs: Gin and Syl   and   Sherry and David to see if the rig she saw belong to either of them.  It sure looked like Sherry and David's RV!!

Nancy emailed Sherry and sure enough, it was them!  Unfortunately, they were experiencing some problems with the motorhome's brakes and air conditioning.  They managed to get to Huntington Beach State Park, which is where we spend a lot of time. The campground said it was full, but they did find a place for them so they could spend the night and take their RV in to be fixed on Tuesday. 

I say, "A Lucky Sighting" -- it really was a long shot that Nancy would SPOT their rig and REMEMBER their rig...  WOW!!  While we hate that they stopped because they were having trouble, we did manage to get together and catch up with these nice people.

About dinnertime Tuesday, we drove to their site at the state park.
There were 2 kayaks, 2 bikes, a car dolly, no motorhome and no Sherry and David when we got there. 
Site 31, one of the best in the park!!

Sherry and David returned from the beach shortly after we arrived. They were 'homeless' all day, so they just enjoyed themselves at the beach.  Unfortunately, the RV will not be done today and they have to spend the night in their RV at the repair shop and not the beautiful site they manage to get at the state park.

Since they need to drive to their  RV for the evening, they followed us and we all went to Subway for a quick bite and a chance to enjoy each others company.
Finding out that Sherry likes ice cream as much as I do, we left Subway as soon as we finished and headed to Painter's Homemade Ice Cream Store.  We were just here a few days ago with the grandkids!! This is way over my ice cream limit...but what the heck!!  These good people have had a rough day and it is my responsibility to try and make things better for them!!

Bill and Sherry making the toughest decision of the day!!

We chatted and laughed some more while we enjoyed our ice cream!

Before we knew it, the time had come when we had to go our separate ways.  Sherry and David had to meet the repair shop owner at the lot about 7:30 so he could let them in to the locked lot for the night. While we hate that they had troubles, we were glad that we got time to get to know this couple better and know we will see them down the road again. 

Nancy and I drove home sharing laughs about this whole experience.  We hope this "Lucky Sighting" becomes contagious.  So if you are driving to Myrtle Beach, be sure to stop at the Home Depot intersection in Murrells Inlet so we can get together and have some fun!!

Another Sunday Bike Ride - Sunday, September 19, 2010

I had loaded the bicycles in the car last night knowing we were going to ride our bikes starting at Huntington Beach State Park this morning. After our morning coffee we left the house just after 6 AM and drove to the park.
It was still dark as we unloaded our bikes for the ride, but sunrise was just around the corner. We pedaled easy for the first few miles waiting for the sun to show itself.
Once it did we rode on the bike paths outside the park and crossed over route 17 and cruised to Sandy Island Landing.
Sandy Island Landing

View up the canal towards Sandy Island. 
We are thinking about putting the Sea Eagle in here next Saturday and doing a little exploring. 

We saw tons of wildlife including deer, a raccoon, a bald eagle and a couple of pink spoon bills amongst the egrets and herons.
Nancy couldn’t get photos of the deer, eagle or raccoon, but took quite a few shots of the birds. The spoonbills are the pink birds in the lower center of the picture.

We finished our 20 mile ride, pedaling through the state park campground anxiously looking forward to the day when we can full time. The aroma of a breakfast cooked outside in the morning – bacon, eggs and coffee is a smell I could never get tired of. No wonder I started getting hungry. I just love that smell. I think they should have a woman’s perfume with a bacon aroma (maybe they do?)  That would really attract the guys!

Nancy had to work at 11AM, so I did the obvious – I played golf. I really played well, shooting a 75 including three birdies. Ah, life can be tough.

After golf I came home and wrote the blog while I had the sprinkler watering the yard. We haven’t had any rain for over a week and the forecast does not look promising for the next few days. Our yard is looking dry and brown and we have a lot of bare spots where grass used to be. I’m hoping a little water might help. Oh well, I can’t complain – it was another beautiful day capping a wonderful week.

Family Fun Continues - Thursday and Friday, September 16-17, 2010

On Thursday night Nancy and I took the four grandchildren out for dinner. We went to Cici’s pizza, a pizza chain restaurant the kids know well. The two boys gave us our instructions “just get our sisters a plate full of breadsticks and lemonade to drink. We’ll get our own pizza.”
Their plan worked to perfection. Emily was not feeling real well,
but the rest of kids can put away some food.
Samantha enjoying her cinnamon bun dessert with a fork!!

Daniel found the brownies for dessert!
As expected the children were well behaved and it was a real delight having dinner with them.

After we stuffed ourselves with pizza, we loaded up the clan and drove to Myrtle Beach State Park Fishing Pier.
We walked out to the end of the fishing pier to see if any of the fishermen were catching anything.
No luck there! 

But we did get a fun picture with this fake fish.  Also, since we didn't see any real fish being caught, I decided to post Andrew's picture with his catch at the campground!
Nice catch, Andrew!!

We then drove back to the campground where they were staying and hopped into the golf cart and toured the campground.

An abundantly decorate campsite!!

What fun we had with all the kids and a great way to spend the evening.

On Friday I had to work in the morning, but Nancy didn’t. I dropped her off at the villa early so she could spend the whole day with the family. Julie and Nancy took the boys to the beach for swimming and sand castle building.

Andrew and the BIG wave!

Ninja Daniel!

Julie and Andrew building THE WALL to hold back the tide!

Steve stayed back at the villa with the two girls. Emily was running a slight fever and had a difficult night sleeping Thursday night. I joined up with them at lunchtime. After lunch we played “Spades”, a fun card game. When you play with Daniel you can forget most of the rules, but it is really entertaining.

Julie and Nancy prepared a great “Last-night-use-up-all-the-left-overs-dinner” with steak, shrimp, salad, three kinds of potatoes, corn, coleslaw, and of course Nancy’s famous chocolate cheesecake (always a big hit with the kids). After the feast Steve, Julie, Andrew and I went to one of the ponds and went fishing. We caught a couple of non keepers, but, it was wonderful watching Andrew get so excited when he would get bites. Nancy stayed back at the villa doing her grandmother thing – babysitting Daniel, Emily and Samantha. We finished up the night taking the boys to the arcade to “use up” the rest of their tokens that our son Brian had bought for them earlier in the week. Yeah for Uncle Brian! After getting our hugs and kisses from the grandchildren, Nancy and I drove home reflecting on what a wonderful week we had with the family.

We had it all this week – great weather, tons of fun including the beach, fishing, miniature golf, cards, puzzles – you name it! Julie, Steve and the kids had to check out this morning and drive back to their home in Raleigh, NC. We hope little Emily is feeling better.
 Nancy had to work today.  I’m just chilling doing some domestic chores – the wash, vacuuming and generally just cleaning up the house. I had plenty of time to smile and think about the week with our family. What a great week it was!

Can't wait to retire and spend more time with the kids!!

Good Times With The Family - Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nancy and I have been having a great time with our family since last Sunday.  Our daughter, Julie and her husband Steve, rented a villa at Ocean Lakes Campground for the week.  Of course, that means our four grandchildren (Andrew, Daniel, Emily and Samantha) are only be a few minutes away.  Our son, Brian, also joined the clan for a couple days of sun and surf.  His wife, Chris, unfortunately had to work and could not make the trip.  We missed you, Chris!!
The Gang!!

Nancy and I spent Sunday with the gang at the beach.  I spent most of my time swimming and jumping waves with Andrew and Daniel.  Nancy and Julie helped Emily and Samantha gather shells and dig in the sand. 
Emily, Daniel and Andrew

All the kids and Bill!

Daniel and Andrew waiting for a wave!

Brian and Steve stayed at the villa watching their beloved NFL Team, The Carolina Panthers, get beat by the NY Giants.  After several hours on the beach, we retreated to the villa where we showered, had some fun and enjoyed a great spaghetti dinner.

"SIBLING RIVALRY" - Julie and Brian play Mancala

Emily and Samantha try to teach Grandpop his alphabet!!

The KIDS table!

Sweet Samantha was worn out and slept right thru dinner!

After dinner, most of us hopped in their rented golf cart and headed to one of the many ponds where we threw in a couple fishing lines. 
Andrew caught a good size fish -- our only catch!!  But, the family time was great!! (I will share the photo later when I get it from Julie.)

Julie and the kids in the golf cart

A Wooden Towable Travel Trailer we saw in the Campground!! 
Check out the wood trimmed golf cart as well!

Brian drove down from Columbia in his "Shiny Black Classic" Corvette.  Of course, all the boys love that car.  He had to leave to back on Tuesday. Before he left for home, he and Nancy went down to see Grandmom's apartment at The Lakes at Litchfied and enjoyed a nice lunch with her.

Grandmom admiring the Corvette

Brian and Grandmom

Brian called later on Tuesday to say he got home.  Unfortunately, on his trip home he was rear ended by another car.  Fortunately, no one was hurt and the vette suffered only minor damage.  I still wish those kinds of things never happened.

After work on Tuesday, Steve, Julie and the grandkids drove over to our house and then we all drove to visit Great Grandmom and see her apartment. 
Her Great-Grand-Children

Great Grandmom gave them a tour of her home and the surrounding grounds. 
Kids taking the tour!!

Needless to say, there is a lot of energy in a room when all the kids are there.
We only stayed a short time so we didn't wear out Great Grandmom.

On our way home, we all stopped for ICE CREAM!! As you can see by the pictures, we all enjoyed the ice cream. 
Julie and Steve were trying to get the girls to give Grandpop a BIG KISS for treating them.  Of course, that was AFTER they started eating their chocolate cones and had ice cream all over their faces.  Everyone that knows me knows I am such a "NEAT FREAK" that I would obviously balk at this situation.  But, they are my cute grand-daughters --- what was I to do?  I convinced the girls to give me a big hug instead of a chocolate smooch.
Hey Grandpop, how can you resist this face!!

Tomorrow night, Nancy and I are planning to take the grandchildren out to dinner...can you say "Ci Ci's Pizza!"  Julie and Steve can then have a nice Date Night.  We'll report back on this next adventure.

A Good "B" Day - Saturday, September 4, 2010

What is a good  "B"  Day?  Well, today was Biking, Boogie, Bar-b-que, Baseball, Beach & Boardwalk day. 

Nancy and I started the day with our 20 mile bike ride.  Nearing the end of our ride we came upon a cyclist walking with his broken bicycle.  We told him we would go back and get our car to get him back to the bike shop.  When I picked him up, I found out his name was John and he is a REAL triathlete, who has competed in the Ironman in Hawaii three times. For those of you who may not know, an Ironman Triathlon is a race consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bike and a marathon (26 miles 385 yards, 42.195 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. -- WOW, is all I can say!!

Myrtle Beach was having a "Beach, Boogie and Bar-b-que" Festival for the Labor Day weekend.  We picked up our close friends, Bill and Chris, and headed to the festival. Since Nancy and I had not eaten yet, the first order of business was to fix that situation.  Of course, we all had pork bar-b-que for lunch.  (Even Nancy ate some, which is rare indeed.)

Bill, Bill and Chris

 We wandered around the festival, snapped a few photos and took in the sights.

What's WRONG with this picture!?!?!

All in the name of BAR-B-QUE

All the gang was there!!
There was a 45 minute wait to get your photo with these guys.  So the best we could do was to get a photo of  Bill with a Shriner........

Bill and his new friend

View of Festival and Market Commons

After wandering around the lake, we stopped at Orvis in Market Commons to see if they had any hiking boots for us or shorts for Nancy.  They didn't, but we did find some Adirondack chairs that Bill and Chris had been searching for for quite some time.  So we double parked in major traffic to load things up.
Let's Go Guys!!  We're sitting in traffic... our life is at risk... oh, but what we won't do for our friends!!
Looks like it was worth the RISK!

Now that we were all safely loaded and got out of the traffic, we decided to go see the new Cal Ripkin Baseball Complex. 
We all enjoy baseball and even discussed trying to see all the major league ball fields as we travel in retirement. This professionally run baseball complex was built to draw tournaments from around the country.  There were games being played today.

Next, we drove to the beach to see Myrtle Beach's new Boardwalk.  Well, it is not exactly Atlantic City, NJ, but it is a nice walkway along the ocean.

Heading to the Boardwalk

The Boardwalk

The Beach on Labor Day Weekend!

The weather was in the 90s, so we cut the walk short.  We always have a great time when the four of us get together.  We headed home and took our afternoon rest, then got back together for a wonderful dinner prepared by Chris. 

Thanks guys for a really fun day!

THE RALLY......One other things we did this weekend was register for the RV-Dreams Rally in April 2011.  We went to the rally last year here in Myrtle Beach.  If you have any thoughts about possibly living full-time in an RV, this is the event for you.  Not only will you learn so much from Howard and Linda, but from many other full-timers who come back year after year! We had the best time and met some really wonderful people who have so much in common.  No one asks what you do, they want to know when you started or will start full-timing, where you have been and where you are going.  They will share freely their experiences, good and bad, to help you learn the ropes.  Check it out on the Web Site: RV-DREAMS RALLY. Take some time and look at the RV-Dreams Website as well.  This is the best site we have found for really good, current and accurate information about full-timing.