Sunday Morning Bike Ride -- Sunday -- June 26, 2011

Nancy here: Well, this is my second attempt to get this blog posted. Somehow, the first one would not upload from Live Writer nor could I save it in Live Writer. Some “Format Error cannot Save” error message!!    WHATEVER ;o((

So here we go only 4 days late……..

This morning we did our customary 20 mile bike ride as we do almost every Sunday morning. We loaded up the bikes and drove to Huntington State Park just after 6 AM to start our ride. This time of year we get an early start to beat the heat of the day and today the temperature was to be in the mid 90’s. So, the early ride was perfect – no wind and we rode mostly in the shade.

Heading out just as the sun was rising!

Birds gathering on the Causeway.

We stopped numerous times so Nancy could take pictures of the flowers and wildlife.

You can guarantee that there will be plenty of alligators this time of year. 
 Unlikely FRIENDS!!

We always enjoy pedaling the bike path at Huntington State Park.
Bike Path Bridge across the Salt Marsh

After we ride the bike path, we cross over Hwy 17 and ride up Sandy Island Road to the Sandy Island boat launch.
Sharing Sandy Island Road with another cyclist.

Approaching the end of Sandy Island Road
This is proof that Nancy really was with me ;o))

Want to buy a Boat???
The one on the far right comes with a tree growing in it for shade!!!
We reversed our route and headed back toward the state park. We did put the pedal to the metal several times and Nancy told me after the ride that her top speed was almost 19 mph (actually 18.7).
Wouldn’t want to get a speeding ticket ;o))

What a beautiful morning for a ride!
Tomorrow we have two scheduled showings for our house. The first at 10:30 to 11:30 and the second from 11:30 to 1:30 in the afternoon. The house is in show condition! Now all we need is a buyer who can appreciate a well-kept beach house. Since we switched Realtors we have had four showings in less than two weeks. I am impressed with the aggressiveness of our new Realtor.

We’re hoping that one of these days we will get a decent offer (actually I’d like to get any offer). With Nancy’s shoulder surgery scheduled in a couple of weeks the timing couldn’t be better. Nothing would please us more than selling the house and getting Nancy retired from Home Depot. Then --- the next phase of our adventure would start. We have our fingers crossed as full timing can’t be very far ahead.

Wish Us Luck!

Visiting Little Pee Dee SP With An ‘Older’ Woman – Thursday – June 23, 2011

Yesterday was Nancy’s 62nd birthday!! So, what did we do???  Well, Nancy went to see her Orthopedic Surgeon to check out her shoulder and then she got a haircut.  Back home, we had another house showing…but still no offer.  Perhaps that is for the best right now. Nancy is going to have shoulder surgery on July 15th to remove the rod and screws that were put there as a result of the bicycle accident we had when she ran into me back in 2008 ;o(( Seems she has some screws loose… (hey, the doctor said that not me) and they are causing some pain and numbness in her arm. Now for the good birthday news… Nancy is eligible to collect Social Security anytime now:o))))
Happy Birthday, Nancy!!!

Today, we did our power walk and then decided to go visit another one of South Carolina’s State Parks – Little Pee Dee State Park.  It is only about 70 miles from our house, but we’ve never been there. Our research indicated the park has a lake and a campground with water and electric hook-ups.  We wanted to check it out for future camping and kayaking possibilities.  The fact that it was 98 degrees today was a good reason to drive in our air conditioned Tahoe and just relax!!
01 - Hwy 41 Mullins SCGoing through Mullins, SC on Rt. 41

02 - Hwy 41 Mullins SC Building MuralMural of Tobacco Farming

03 - Hwy 41 Mullins SC Train DepotMullins Train Depot

06 - Little Pee Dee Entrance SignEntrance to State Park

07 - Driving through Little Pee Dee SPDriving into the State Park

08 - Entering Little Pee Dee SP CampgroundEntering the Campground

09 - Site 8  Campground Favorite SiteSite 8 – Our Favorite
The campground is rustic and in the trees…nice. There are about 80 sites: half water and electric, half just water.  The cost is $17.00 for W&E and $13.00 water only.
10 - Boat Landing and Little Lake NortonLake Norton Boat Launch Area

11 - Lake Norton toward campgroundThe small lake, Lake Norton, was very shallow and loaded with Lilli-pads and grasses.  We have not had much rain in the past month and the water levels were way down. 12 - Lake Norton DamVery little water flowing over Lake Norton Dam!!

All in all, a nice state park, but not as nice as Cheraw SP, Huntington Beach SP or Myrtle Beach SP.  For us, we would drive an extra hour and go to Cheraw:o)))

We took a different route home.  We came across route 9 to the north.  I have wanted to check out a boat landing area on the Waccamaw River for some time. 
18 - Rt 9 Boat Landing Sign
19a - Rt 9 Boat Landing rampBoat Ramp

19b - Rt 9 Boat Waccamaw River toward Rt 9View to the north toward Rt. 9

19c - Rt 9 Boat Waccamaw River to southView to the south

We found very low water levels here as well.  But I do think when the levels get back up, this could be a nice spot to float the Sea Eagle!!

We got home and had a very early dinner since we had skipped lunch and just filled up on cool water. We had a great summer dinner…baked potato, corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden and fruited jello salad.  It really hit the spot.
Great way to spend a VERY hot summer day!!

Planning a Weekend at Cheraw State Park – Tuesday – June 14, 2011

At the RV Dreams rally in Sevierville, Tenn., we spoke with a lot of “Dreamers” about getting together for a weekend after the summer at Cheraw State Park in Cheraw, SC. We contacted the RV Dreamers that had expressed an interest and let them know that we had reserved a site at Cheraw State Park for several days including the weekend of September 10-12, 2011.

What a surprise to learn that most of the folks we contacted quickly booked that same weekend. Most of them have Sea Eagle Kayaks like us, so a Sea Eagle Kayak regatta is definitely in the plan. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, Cheraw State Park has plenty of canoes and kayaks for rent. I think the park is also planning a night canoe (or kayak) trip that weekend as well. Wow! We can hardly wait.

Perhaps there could be others that might like to join us? If there are followers of our blog or friends we neglected to contact – this is your chance!! Cheraw State Park has a limited number of sites (16).  So if you would like to join us please make reservations a.s.a.p.  Here is a map of the available sites as of today.
Availability Map(Click to ENLARGE)

There are 6 sites still available (1 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 8 – 10) those sites in BLUE on the map!!

Click here to go to Cheraw State Park web site. You can click on Park Reservations on the right side of the the page.

Our group have already booked the following sites: 
Site 7 – Ray and Kris
Site 11 – Bill and Nancy
Site 12 – Bruce and Laura
Site 14 – Paul and Jill
Site 15 – Gin and Syl
Site 16 – Dan and Tricia

Sites 3, 9, 13 are reserved by folks not in our group.

Nancy and I will be arriving on Thursday, 8 Sep and leaving Monday, 12 Sept.  Others are arriving on the 7th and some are leaving on the 11th.

With an 18 hole championship golf course, a 300 acre lake, and many hiking trails we will not have a shortage of activities. Also, for those of you into geocaching there are quite a few caches in the Cheraw area.

Here are some links to our blogs about Cheraw.
1. August 28, 2010 – Cheraw Tour
2. October 14, 2010 – Cheraw Camping Day 1
3. October 15, 2010 – Cheraw Camping Day 2
4. October 16, 2010 – Cheraw Camping Day 3

We would love for you to join us for a fun weekend at Cheraw State Park. See you in September. Who knows, maybe we will have sold our house by then!

HOUSE  PHOTO  OF   THE  DAY!!00 - FoyerThe Foyer

Our Anniversary – 41 Years and Going Strong – Monday – June 13, 2011

Today Nancy and I celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary!  We have known each other since we were 5 years old, growing up just a few blocks from each other and have been best friends for as long as I can remember.

Nancy here: I was looking for a photo of us on our wedding day but realized that those photos were taken way before digital photos and have not been scanned yet.  Actually, those albums are packed away and stored at our daughters house.  So the oldest photo I have of us is from January 2000 when we started our first full timing adventure!BILL AND NANCY RV SWEATSHIRTSThought I share the original full timing rig as well.  A 30ft Sea Breeze Fifth Wheel and a Dodge F250... it was a little bigger than the VAN ;o))The 4 Sea Breezes

How are we celebrating? Well, we exchanged cards and then went on our morning power walk. After that, Nancy had to go to work and I had to meet with our “new” real estate agent to sign the listing papers for our house. Not exactly like our honeymoon, but sometimes life can get in the way ;o))

We have been thru good times and a few not so good times in those 41 years. Right now, we are trying to sell house #17 (yes, that’s #17), so we have lived in a lot of places along the East coast. One thing that we could always count on was each other. No matter where we lived or the situation we were dealing with we always had someone to turn to for advice, comfort or just to talk to. Nancy feels like an extension of me – she knows what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling and could answer my sentences most of the time. Sometimes that is a little scary, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Our daughter’s wedding anniversary is tomorrow and our son’s anniversary is Friday, so you can tell we’ve been blessed with a great family.
Brian and Chris’ Wedding – Dominican RepublicBrian, Chris, Bill, Nancy, Julie, SteveBill, Nancy, Brian, Chris (DIL), Julie, Steve (SIL)
We wish our children a Happy Anniversary and hope they have a long and loving relationship like we’ve enjoyed.

To Nancy... my wife, my partner, my best friend and loving companion –  “I love you honey and I hope we have many more years of sharing our love.”

Happy Anniversary!

Nancy here:  Bill and I are not big celebrators of special dates.  We try to just enjoy whatever time we get to spend together doing the things we love to do.  I have to say that being married to your best friend is the most special gift a girl could get.  Our life together has been a wonderful adventure and I am so excited to see where our adventure leads us in the years ahead!!


Interviewing Real Estate Agents – Thursday and Friday – June 9 & 10, 2011

Yesterday was the one year anniversary (yuk) of our house being listed for sale. We have had no offers in that time frame :o((  Soooooo… it is time for a change. Since I’m retired, it is my task to get our house sold. We have studied the home sales market for our area and done a lot of soul searching about the asking price.

I spent the last two days interviewing more than a handful of real estate agents. I actually had prepared a comprehensive set of questions that I posed to each one of them. Answers to the questions varied a great deal, but, they all were professional and obviously wanted our listing. Each was given the opportunity to tell me what makes them different and more successful than every other sales agent in the area.

The last thing I did was to have each one of them “sell” me my house as if I was a prospective buyer. The whole works – walk me through the house, point out the positive selling points and try and close the deal. Having been in sales for over 30 years, I felt strongly that this would separate the best from the rest. Not only could I hear how they would market and sell our house, I got to watch the body language and their techniques. This kind of activity is a sales persons dream and would certainly highlight their selling skills. The cream quickly rose to the top – decision made! I should have done this six months ago – my bad!

I called the selected agent today and we will meet on Monday to sign the necessary paperwork and list the house. After our verbal agreement, I phoned all the other interviewees and told them of our decision, thanking them for their time, effort, comments and professionalism. I wanted to make sure I left the door open for future business. After all, we had more agents tour our house in the last two days than we had in the last year.

It was certainly a tiring couple of days, but it will be worth the effort if it turns into a sale. We are READY to get on with the next phase of our life.


The HEART of the Home
03a - Kitchen
Bright and Cheery Gourmet Kitchen03b - Kitchen

Another Open House – Another Bust! - Sunday - June 5, 2011


Papaw's  NOT  Happy!!!

We had another open house today to try and generate some action for the sale of our house. It was a bust!  We only had three couples come through.  I know, I only takes one!?!?! However, the first couple was our neighbors just scouting for friends. The second couple was looking for something a lot smaller (1200 – 1400 sq. ft.) and ours is almost 2500 sq. ft. The third couple was looking for a home for the future two or three years from now.
That’s 0 for 3!
A real strikeout
as Howard Payne would say – sheesh!

Our house will be on the market for a year this coming week with very little activity over that time. The word frustration doesn’t begin to describe my feelings.
I know the market is bad with all the short sales and foreclosures.

I know we live in a fairly upscale neighborhood with homes in the $300,000 + range in South Carolina.

I know we have limited clientele (retirees or those from the North looking for a second home)...

BUT...c’mon folks we live only a couple miles from the beach in a beautiful community just south of Myrtle Beach.

What I can’t figure out (or understand) is why the Realtors continue to do only the same things they did when times were good?!?!?!
Where’s the aggressive marketing?
Where’s the entrepreneurial effort?
Where’s the thinking out of the box?
Why aren’t they trying something different?

Coming from a sales and marketing background I can only assume they are not the major breadwinners in the family trying to support a family. I really don’t get it!

Our contract with the current realtor expires this week and we’ve made the decision to not renew the contract. Our realtor has a good track record selling new homes (we bought our home through her). However, all she says is the market is killing her sales. Nancy and I figured with my sales background perhaps, I should take a stab at selling our home without a realtor. We can start by saving the 6% commission. We have talked about taking it off the market for a while, but, we are both anxious to get Nancy retired and get on the road full-timing. As long as we own the house – that ain’t going to happen! Sooooo – we will continue to keep the house in show condition and I will try and figure out how to sell it.

Nancy has said over and over again “Things happen for a reason and the house will sell when it’s supposed to sell.” I just want to improve our odds to speed up the process.

Having said all that and vented my disappointment – tomorrow is another day. So, if there is anyone out there looking for move-in condition home close to the beach, beautiful state parks, world famous gardens, and outstanding seafood restaurants – we’re dealing!

Today’s House Photo!!
11c - Front of House

Kayaking With The Osprey - Friday - June 3, 2011

Nancy Here:  Last week, Bill took some time to check out some new spots to launch the Kayak. This one, Enterprise Boat Landing, is very close to our home.  So today, we decided to do a little exploring. 

We put the Sea Eagle in at the lower X, paddled across the Intercoastal Waterway and up a tidal creek to the upper X, about 2 miles before turning around.01 - Enterprise to Peachtree route map
The Intercoastal Waterway heads to the right and we headed to the left in this picture.02 - View north at landing
Bill is setting our GPS and getting ready to launch.03 - Bill getting ready to launch
Entering the Tidal Creek.04 - Crossing Intercoastal to Tidal Creek
As soon as we enter the creek, we saw this sign that indicated the surrounding area was a wildlife refuge. 
Well… we liked that stroke of luck!!!05 - NWR Sign
Our first encounter was this Red-Headed Woodpecker who hung around until we got closer than it liked.06 - Woodpecker07 - Woodpecker in flight
From this point on, it should have been called “Osprey Town.”  We saw 4 occupied Osprey nests and one that was just being built.  If you love watching Osprey, which we do, it was an amazing paddle.

Osprey Nest One08 - First Oprey Nest with bird
Paddling past the Cypress Trees and Knees09 - Cypress Trees and Knees
Osprey Nest Two11- Second Osprey Nest
As we approached this nest, the Osprey took off.  This happened over and over as if they were trying to divert our attention away from the nest.10 - Flying Osprey
Paddling past the Lily Pads.12 - Paddling Past the Lilypads
As we rounded the corner, we saw an Osprey perched on a branch.13 - Osprey in Tree
Here he is a little closer. 
14 - Osprey in Tree Closeup
We knew there must be a nest close by and sure enough….
high on an overhanging tree was Osprey Nest Three
with the mate on the nest.
15 - Third Osprey Nest
As we approached the third nest, the perched Osprey took to flight and return to the nest.16 - Osprey in Flight
What perfect timing for us to get this photo!!17 - Osprey landing in third nest
Continuing on, we came upon Osprey Nest Four.  We decided to take a little break and sit and observe for awhile….18 - Fourth Osprey Nest
Well, Mr. or Mrs. Osprey did not think that was a good idea. Repeatedly, it left the nest, circled above our heads, squawked at us before returning  to the nest.  Obviously it wasn’t ready for company.19 - Osprey overhead20 - Osprey returning to nest
We continued on and paddled about 2 miles up the tidal creek before turning around and heading back.  Of course, we got to see all our Osprey friends on the return trip as well.  In addition, we saw this Osprey gathering building material for its new nest.21 - Osprey with nest supplies
You can see the loose twigs he has gathered, but boy will it take a lot more material to build this nest.  We are always amazed at the size of an Osprey nest. I did a little research and found out that these nest are used year after year.  Boy, that is a relief to know they don’t have to rebuild each year!!22 - Osprey building new nest
This one has caught lunch!!23 - Osprey with fish
We past this tree which reminded us of the singing trees in the Tiki Bird Adventure in Disney World.  We expected it to break into song or something!24 - Disney talking tree
Turtle enjoying a beautiful day.25 - Turtle
Pretty Blue Water Flowers26 - Pretty Blue Wildflowers
We didn’t see another boat on the tidal creek, but as we approached the Intercoastal Waterway on our return trip, we had to wait for some bigger boat traffic to pass.  This was a Friday so not too many boats, but on a weekend, it can get a little crazy.27 - approaching the Intercoastal waterway28 - more boats on intercoastalWe made it across and carried the Sea Eagle to the car. I love this photo… looks like we just hitch the Sea Eagle to the back of the Tahoe and pull it home like the motorboats do ;o))29 - towing the Sea Eagle
This was a fantastic kayak trip and we will be back to check out some other tidal creeks in this area.  Like I said before, we are so lucky to have so many beautiful places to visit in our own backyard!!