I know. It’s been along time since I posted something.
I’m sorry. I have missed you all, and missed sharing my goofy adventures with you.
My life has been a whirlwind of activity this year. Mostly good, I’m happy to say. There’s so much to catch you all up on: I’ve traveled to several states (MN, NY, MS), started a full-time job (entirely virtual, I’m happy and blessed to day), and dodged a couple hurricanes. (Like a good panicky blond lemming, I headed for the hills when Irma and Nate came near the Florida panhandle. As I’ve said before, I prefer earthquakes to hurricanes and tornadoes.)
I took pictures of my travels and will share them with you all in (somewhat) chronological order. So you don’t fell like you missed out on anything, I’ll pickup where I left off…
Gulf Shores, Alabama – by helicopter.
O. M. G. I went on a helicopter ride over Gulf Shores, Alabama! It was awesome!! And beautiful!!
I already knew this area was beautiful, but I didn’t realize it until I saw the Gulf Coast by helicopter.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, from the air. (and me playing with my camera phone options)
The town of Elberta, Alabama, not one to be left out of the Stonehenge fun, proudly displays a 1/3-scale fiberglass Stonehenge. Lovingly named “Bamahenge”, it is one of the coolest tourist attractions in Baldwin County.
Pensacola, Florida, is the home of the Blue Angels. Everything is named “Blue Angel This” and “Blue Angel That.” They frequently fly overhead when practicing. On the weekends they’re usually out of town delighting some other city with their aerobatics.
In addition to watching the Blue Angels, there are many cool things to see and do, not the least of which is the National Naval Aviation Museum. The museum is massive and takes two to three hours to complete – and it’s free! Got to love the free.
I don’t know enough about the specifics types of aircraft on display, so I’ll dazzle you with a slideshow of my excellent slowly improving photography skills. *grins*
Despite the large number of photos above, there is much more to see in the museum. Twice a week the Blue Angels do a practice and autograph session. I highly recommend it to all who venture to Pensacola. Visit the Blue Angels and the museum daily, 9am to 5pm, at 1750 Radford Blvd.
We now return to our regularly scheduled travel posts…
I’ve been in the Florida panhandle for several months. I love it here and hope to stay for a long time. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been in the U.S. Yes, California and Pennsylvania are both lovely, but this area has several things those two don’t: lots of greenery, trees and beaches all together, wide-open country farms, and polite Southerners. There’s also a nice little airport, and a couple big shopping malls.
The sugar-white sand beaches are loaded with amazing sea shells, some as large as your palm, others the size of your thumb, the kind of shells you see for sale in souvenir shops. On the beach, they’re free for the digging. I recently got to dig for shells with a couple friends. I felt like a kid again, looking for perfect shell treasures, and running to my friends to show them my find.
Florida panhandle beaches.
Florida panhandle beach panorama.
There are also millions of very small shells all over the shore.
As I’m sure I mentioned before, the sunsets are amazing. The place has an overall sense of peace and calm I haven’t often found, and certainly not in a long time. But, wait! There’s more…
I hate glue traps. (I may be living in rural areas, but I am not a cowgirl. I am a Glamper, raised in the highly sheltered confines of the suburban ecosystem.)
In the saga of Kernut vs. Zombie Rat, the bait, rat, and snap trap had all disappeared, but were replaced with a plethora of poos. (Poos left by the rat, not by me… Just thought I should clarify that.)
In light of subsequent events, this saga will henceforth be called Kernut vs. Critters.
I hate glue traps. Have a I mentioned that before? Maybe once or twice?
Shortly after posting Kernut vs. Critters, part 1, I discovered a massive nest built on top of my RV gas tank. It had branches (complete with leaves), sticks, rags, a large drinking straw, a spoon, and a ball of shredded fibers the size of a cantaloupe. In addition, it was littered with a gazillion acorns and acorn shells.
I can only assume the drinking straw and spoon were used for the finer dining experiences.
Life in an RV includes unwanted critters, more so than with a regular home. It’s a fact of RV life… you’re often in or near beautiful, undeveloped areas, the kind of undeveloped areas where most wild critters live. I’m about ten minutes or less from civilization, but still in a fairly undeveloped area. It’s lovely and peaceful and full of everything from deer to mice, and a few mosquitoes.
I began hearing things “go bump in the night” a few weeks ago: a bump on the underside of the RV, a bump in the front. I wondered what critter had enough body mass to make a thud that reverberated through the chassis. And then Pye started sitting in the well of the driver’s seat, where your feet go, staring at the wall that separates the peddles from the engine.
She began sitting there all. night. long. So, I began searching for evidence of what she heard.
I found rodent foot prints all over the engine, some evidence of chewed insulation and wire covering. (Rat 1, Kernut 0)
I got out the mothballs, covered the area with them. I was unable to get the round mothballs to stay put in the vertical engine, and the rat seemed undeterred by the mothballs in its path. (Rat 2, Kernut 0)
(This is just a short post to let you all know I’m still around. I will be posting about Florida shortly)
The above referenced song title and lyrics were the first thing I thought of as reality set in: Thunder and lightning storm. Lightning crashes directly overhead. Power flickers, TV screen freezes. The smell of burnt plastic, and of electrically charged air (a rather unique smell).
The backup batteries and converter did their jobs so well, quickly bringing the TV back on, it took a few minutes for me to realize I was no longer running on shore (hookup/city) power. But then I noticed some little things weren’t on: the fridge had flipped from electric to gas, the socket where my phone was (no longer) charging, the Christmas lights in the living room, the microwave clock… That’s serious. When the microwave is out, I am NOT a happy camper glamper.
When the rain slowed down, I switched to generator power and began checking my favorite things: TVs – check; microwave – check; fridge – check; toaster oven – check; water heater – check; oven – check; furnace – check; AC unit – ….. AC unit – ……… AC unit – …………..
Maryland’s Elk Neck State Point and Turkey Point Lighthouse
Shortly before I left Pennsylvania, I took a day trip to Elk Neck State Park in Maryland to meet some fellow campers. It’s on a long peninsula, across Chesapeake Bay from Havre De Grace, home of the world’s largest duck decoy museum. The campground at Elk Neck State Park is heavily wooded, the sites a tad rustic.
The beach a short drive from the Elk Neck State Park campground.
At the end of the peninsula is the historic Turkey Point Light, built in 1833. Although only a 35-foot tower, the 100-foot height of the bluffs on which the lighthouse stands makes it the third highest lighthouse off the water in the bay. But, wait! There’s more…
On today, Black Friday, I am not shopping. I need groceries at the moment, but I’d rather not brave the hordes of frenzied consumers after they’ve spent a sleepless night in a lawn chair in front of some big box store because they are hell-bent on saving a few bucks on the latest/bigger/faster/shinier piece of equipment.
As a subtle protest to consumerism and our conditioned “need” to have the latest/bigger/faster/shinier piece of whatever, today’s post is mostly brought to you by the Amish, people who make a practice of avoiding such pursuits.
This made me laugh when I first saw it: a barn for the Amish buggies – at Walmart!! Yes, the Walmarts in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, are different that all the other Walmarts I’ve visited across the country.
Amish buggy barn at Walmart in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.
A couple Amish Jokes:
Two fellers were in desperate need of cash, but admittedly were a bit cowardly.
So the one suggested they break into the Amish market.
The logic being that since the Amish were non-resistant, even if they were caught, no harm could befall them.
Thus they carried out their plot.
However, just as they were breaking into the cash register, the owner turned on the lights and confronted them, a shotgun pointed directly at them.
Calmly, the Amish man said, “Boys, I would never do thee any harm, yet you are standing where I am about to shoot.”
An Amish woman and her daughter were riding in an open buggy one cold, blustery January day.
The daughter said to the mother, “My hands are freezing cold.”
The mother replied, “Put your hands between your legs. The body heat will warm them up.”
So the daughter did, and her hands warmed up.
The next day, the daughter was riding in the buggy with her boyfriend.
The boyfriend said, “My hands are freezing cold.”
The daughter said, “Put them between my legs, they’ll warm up.” But, wait! There’s more…