Christmas with the Family - Saturday - December 24, 2011

On Saturday morning, Christmas Eve day, we picked up Nancy’s Mom and made the 3 ½ hour drive to our daughter’s house in Raleigh, NC to spend Christmas with the family.

Leaving Murrells Inlet at Sunrise.
01 - Sunrise on the road

Our son Brian and his wife Chris were also going to be there so our entire family was having Christmas together. To get in the holiday spirit we played Christmas music the entire trip.

OK – we’re ready!

Arriving at our daughter’s house.
02 - Arriving at Julie and Steve's

Our son just got a new car…a Cube!!

Samantha is showing Grandpop her shadow in the car;o))05 - Samantha showing Grandpop her shadow

We were the last to arrive and it sure did look like they were ready for Christmas!!03- Christmas is ready

We brought a grab bag of silly little gifts. 

Everyone gets to open something.

This gets the kids warmed up for the real deal tomorrow morning!!06 - Opening Grab bag gifts07 - Opening Grab bag gifts

There also was a little Ladder Ball competition going on.
Hate to admit that Nancy and Julie were the big winners!!08 - Ladder Ball

Our son, Brian
Grandson, Andrew

in their team jerseys!!
12 - Brian and Andrew Panthers and Saints
Do they look alike or what!?!?!

While the ladies got dinner ready,
the guys hung out and watched a little football ;o))15 - Boys waiting for dinner

The girls tried to teach me how to use their electronic games,
but I’ll leave that to the 4 and 6 year olds.

I really am a much better watcher ;o))16 - Emily and Samantha Showing Grandpop the DS

We had our traditional Christmas dinner
with ham, turkey and all the fixin’s on
Saturday rather than Sunday
since Brian and Chris had to leave
Christmas morning to visit Chris’ family.

Nancy, Julie and Chris combined to put a fantastic meal on the table for all of us to enjoy. 17 - Christmas Eve Dinner is ready

Great-Grandmom was in charge of the Kids Table!!18 - Christmas Eve Dinner the kids table

There was plenty of room for all to enjoy a great meal!!20 - Christmas Eve Dinner Adults table

After gorging ourselves,
 we went for a long walk to view the Christmas lights… 

‘Exterior Illumination’ as our son Brian calls it ;o) 21 - Christmas Eve Lights Walk22 - Christmas Eve Lights Walk23 - Christmas Eve Lights Walk

Back at the house, the children got to open another present before going to bed!!24 - Christmas Eve Gift Opening - Daniel25 - Christmas Eve Gift Opening all the kids

Even I got to open a very special package…

Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets!!! 26 - Christmas Eve Gift Tastycakes for Grandpop
I believe I know what I will have for breakfast;o))

But first, we needed to get to bed early....

We know the grandchildren will be up
bright and early Christmas morning!!!

Lovin’ This Weather!! - Friday - December 16, 2011

We woke this morning to a perfect June Day ;o)) 
Sunny and bright with a high hitting almost 80 degrees. 
However, this is December and Christmas is only a week away. 
I just love this weather :o))))

Last night we went to Broadway At The Beach
with RV-Dreams friends Gyn, Syl, Dan and Tricia. 

We wanted to see the Christmas lights
have dinner at a new Italian Restaurant.

00 - Capriz Italian Feast

What a meal!! 

We all agreed that the food was great
we ate far too much :o))))
02 - Dinner

Nancy and I do not eat out 0ften,
but this is a restaurant we will visit again!!

After dinner,
we decided to walk off our dinner and see the Christmas lights.

We almost had the entire complex to ourselves.04 - Nobody Shopping

But when you are with RV-Dreamers,
they always find ways to have fun!!
05b - The BOYS

06 - They got loose

We had a great evening and saw some pretty lights!!
03 - Christmas Tree 03b - Christmas Tree Dan and Trish 03c - Christmas Tree

This window display says it ALL :o))07 - Life is Good
Life Is Good !!

Our plan to walk off dinner was a great idea,
but we walked so slow,
 we had to come up with a Plan B to walk off the meal!!

This morning, we implemented Plan B…

We launched our kayaks at
The Chris Anderson Memorial Landing on Route 9,
just a couple miles from the North Carolina border.
Not far from where we attended the RV-Dreams Rally in Loris, SC.

First we blow up...
02 - Chris Anderson Memorial Landing Getting Ready

take down the kayaks…
02b - Chris Anderson Memorial Landing  Gin Convertable Pants
Notice the cool snake guards on Gins ankles ;o))

Almost ready to launch!!
02c - Chris Anderson Memorial Landing  Ready to launch

We decided to head north against the current to start! 00d-map

We paddled under Route 9.
03 - Heading North under Rt 9

The current was strong but we all made our way!!03b - Heading North the gang

The temperature felt like summertime,
but the river definitely looked like wintertime.03c - Heading North the winter river

Still a little color left…
03d - Heading North Still some color

Interesting Cypress roots and knees…03e - Heading North Cypress Roots and Knees

Finally, we decided to turn south and floated back towards the landing. 
We found a sandy spot along the way
and beached the kayaks to enjoy our lunch. 

After lunch, we continued to float south…

Back under Rt. 9…
04 - Heading south under the highway

Continued floating south, past the landing…
04b - Heading south passed the landing

Roamin P. Duck was on the lookout for some of his relatives…04c - Heading south Roamin enjoying the view

Didn’t see any ducky relative,
 but Tricia and Dan spotted this Great Horned Owl
high in the treetop ;o))
04d - Heading south T and D spotted great horned owl

When we had just worn ourselves out floating south,
we found a nice spot to stop and enjoy each others company in the wonderful sunshine!!!
05 - Resting and Talking

Roamin was still searching for his relatives ;o))05b - Roaming standing guard

All to soon it was time to head back to the landing…05c - Heading Back to the landing
Another fun day on the water with great friends!!

Back at the landing,
as we were putting things away,
the local police and his backup stopped by!!

Sheesh… you can’t take these kids anywhere ;o))05d - Can't take these kids anywhere

I was sure to tell the police,
I knew nothin' about nothin'
I had never seen these rowdy kids before ;o))05d2 - Their all yours officer

What a great day to be on the river with good friends!!

Hope somebody bails them out soon ;o)))

We have really enjoyed the last couple of days!! Next stop, our daughter’s house for Christmas.  Then it will be off to Florida for most of January:o))  We will be meeting up with RV-Dreamers, Sherry and David, for more kayaking, cycling, hiking, laughing and of course, ICE CREAM!!  Who knows, if our RV-Dreams kids get out and stay out of trouble, we may see them in Florida as well ;o))

Nancy here:
During one of our river stops, we got talking about Sweet Red Peppers.  See we have very profound and deep conversations when we float on the river!!  Anyway, I promised to share a great soup recipe that is very easy, very healthy and very good!!  So here it is…
00- Recipe
00b- Recipe

A Couple Busy Days - Sunday - December 11, 2011

Nancy has been off the last couple of days and we took advantage of her time off to catch up with friends and “to do” list items. On Friday we had two more showings with the second showing being a return visit of previous visiting buyers. We got positive feedback from the first showing ---- but, no offer. We have not heard anything from the second showing although we watched them spend over 50 minutes in the house. We have our fingers crossed, but don’t want to get our hopes built up.

On Friday night, we invited the RV Dreamers that are staying at Huntington Beach State Park (Dan & Tricia and Gyn & Syl) to our house to play either a board game or cards. The group chose the board game “Sequence.” However, before the game began, there was a pre-game warm-up.

Tequila Jell-O Shots for All
 01 - Group Shots
Bill was a bit hesitant…

Come on Bill, you can do it !!
001b - Bill shot
Ugh... it tasted just like Nyquil ;o((

We had lots of laughs and stories all evening. Dan and Tricia came out the big winners for the night!! However, we were told that Gin and Syl beat them solidly the night before ;o))  Actually, I think we all came out winners spending time with good friends :o))

Saturday Nancy and I spent the day finishing up our Christmas shopping in the morning and Nancy spent the better part of the afternoon making stuffing, baking cookies and a pecan pie for Christmas at our daughter’s house.

Christmas Snickerdoodles
02 - cookies
The aroma from the kitchen
really put us in the Christmas spirit!!

While Nancy cooked, I was assigned the task of putting chocolate almonds into plastic bags.  This was very technical job as each bag had to have exactly 24 almonds, a single serving.  Then the bag needed to be tied with a ribbon.  Finally, the ribbon had to be curled!!

Here I am perfecting my ‘Curling’ skills ;o))02b - Bill Curling
Bet you thought ‘Curling’ was only played in the north ;o)

In the evening, we were invited by our friends, Bill and Chris, to see the “Night of 1000 Candles” at Brookgreen Gardens. Every year this display is held during weekends in December. It features live entertainment and tons of Christmas lights and candles.

Bag Piper
03 - Bag Piper

Christmas Symphony Orchestra03b - Christmas Symphony

We really had good weather this year (mid 50’s with very little wind) to take the leisurely stroll through the gardens. We’ve done this other years with the temperatures a lot colder and believe me warmer is better. What a nice way to end a couple of busy days.

I’ll let the photos share the Christmas Spirit with you!!
04 - lights and candles04b - lights and candles04c - lights and candles04d - lights and candles04e - lights and candles04f - lights and candles04g - lights and candles04h - lights and candles04i - lights and candles04j - lights and candles

Our last stop was indoors to see the
Trees, Trains and Gingerbread Houses!!05 - Trees, Trains, and Gingerbread05b - Trees, Trains, and Gingerbread05c - Trees, Trains, and Gingerbread05d - Trees, Trains, and Gingerbread05e - Trees, Trains, and Gingerbread
It sure put us in the Holiday Spirit!!
Thanks Bill and Cris for such a beautiful evening :o))

On another note, our 6 month contract with our Realtor ends this coming week. Unless we get an offer and accept it this week, we have made the commitment to switch Realtors. The new agent we are going to list with was a guy we were very impressed with during the last interviewing process. We didn’t sign with him the last time because I (not Nancy) was not ready to hear that the value of our house had dropped so much and he would not want the listing from us at a price he knew he couldn’t sell. He told us that 6 months ago and he told us that again this week. I just didn’t want to accept that as fact, but when you look at the houses that have sold in this market, reality really stinks! I hate that when that happens and my hard-headedness has probably cost us several months without an offer. Only time will tell. Couple that with the fact that the new agent has been in contact with us every month since June and our current agent has never called me without me generating the contact and our decision became easy – time to change and get this place sold! Meeting with the RV Dreams friends this week confirms that the full-time RV lifestyle is what we want. Anyone want to buy a great house? We’re dealing!