Monthly Archives: December 2012

Day 167 – Tent, sweet tent

Yes, I realize it’s been 2 weeks since my last blog post.  That’s what happens when we return (however briefly) to reality.  We’ve spent the last 2 weeks living in an ACTUAL HOUSE!  That would be Robbie’s parents’ house near Jacksonville.  I hate to say it, but we’ve become a little soft after spending 2 whole weeks with indoor plumbing.

We spent the first week helping get their house ready to put on the market in anticipation of a move to be closer to Robbie’s sister.  I loves me a little home improvement, so we spent each day fixing, staging, shopping, painting, and purging.  After 5 months of travel, it felt good to actually accomplish something.

We had a wonderfully mellow Christmas.  Santa brought C what she asked for…books on Greek mythology!  Can you tell she’s been reading the Percy Jackson books?  The day after Christmas, Robbie’s sister, niece and nephew arrived.  Robbie’s nephew is a year and a half older than C, and after the first day they were total buddies.  They share a love of random facts, “Mythbusters”  and the beach.

Digging in Jax Beach

Digging in Jax Beach

Robbie’s niece is 14, and though she’s a texting machine, she was happy to take a break to show the younger kids the best hide-and-go-seek hiding spots in Nana and Papa’s house.

Being serious

Being serious

Of course, no trip to Nana and Papa’s ‘hood would be complete without a trip to Ragtime, the local watering hole:

The Devine crew

The Devine crew

But I think the highlight of the week was our gift from Suzy and co.:

Can you see what it says on our shirts?

Can you see what it says on our shirts?

That’s right….we now have coordinating “Intrepid Explorer” shirts!!!

We all really enjoyed our extended stay with Nana and Papa, but we were happy to hit the road today.  Oddly enough, our little trailer really feels like home now.  We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!  See you in 2013!

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Day 150– I feel the need…the need for speed!

If you caught that reference, I respect you as a fellow “Top Gun” junkie.  I can quote every line from that movie, and it’s one of a very select few that I actually own.  So it was a special pleasure to visit the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola NAS.  This place has hundreds of impeccably restored aircraft housed in two giant hangars.  You have to be careful because as you’re ogling the fuselage of one plane, you might run into the wing of another!  It’s absolutely amazing.

Da plane

Da plane!

I don't think the pilot knows what she's doing...

I don’t think the pilot knows what she’s doing…

We especially liked this one:

Ready for mid-air refueling

Ready for mid-air refueling

They also have lots of exhibits relating to Naval history and science.  We ended up spending 7 hours there, and we only left because they kicked us out.

If you’ve ever driven along the gulf coast, you’ve encountered the Waffle House phenomenon.  Waffle Houses are to the Gulf Coast as Starbucks drive-thrus are to the Seattle area.  They’re EVERYWHERE! Often you’ll see one from the parking lot of another, and a town can’t be listed on the state map without one.  So we absolutely had to see why they’re so popular:

Waffles!

Waffles!

While the food was tasty in a salty-greasy-Denny’s sort of way, it’s not something we’ll make a habit of visiting.  But we now feel like we’ve had the full Gulf Coast experience.

Today, while sitting on the tailgate enjoying an exciting lunch of crackers, nuts and whatever leftovers we could scrounge out of the cooler, a man came out of the adjacent brewery to ask about our adventure.  He harbors a desire to embark on an intrepid adventure of his own some day.  After chatting for a while, he asked about my beer preference and offered me a bottle of their oh-so-tasty beer!  So here’s to Rogers at the Pensacola Bay Brewery!

Mmmm....beer....

Mmmm….beer….

 

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Day 147 – Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead

Don’t blink or you’ll miss Alabama completely.  At least the Gulf Coast of Alabama.  Much like Mississippi, we decided not to spend much time here.  And even taking our time we managed to do everything we wanted in 3 days.  We camped on Dauphin Island, home of the friendliest RV park in the known universe.  Within 24 hours, we received fresh-picked grapefruit, beads for C, and an invitation to their holiday potluck.  Everyone who walked by stopped to chat.We visited the Sea Lab Estuarium (an aquarium for an estuary), where we met a surprisingly friendly octopus.  Every time Robbie came near the glass, it would extend a tentacle as if trying to touch him.  It didn’t seem too interested in me or C, though.  Should I worry about my husband flirting with an octopus?

Robbie hangs with his new friend

Robbie hangs with his new friend

Then we visited Fort Gaines, site of the Battle of Mobile Bay.  And we learned that one of Grampa’s favorite slogans is an actual quote from that battle:

Damn the torpedoes!

Damn the torpedoes!

We spent the afternoon hanging out on the lovely beach:

Foggy, but warm

Foggy, but warm

I didn’t want to get my feet wet, so I decided to do a little sand sculpting:

Sea turtle

Sea turtle

When I was done, C decided to make her own sculpture:

Sea spider

Sea spider

On our way out of town, we drove along Bayou LaBatre where lots of fishing boats docked.  We stumbled upon this GIANT pile of oyster shells:

That's a lot of sea shells!

That’s a lot of sea shells!

 

 

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Map Update

 

 

here is part 2 of the trip route, hand drawn by C as part of geography lessons.  I have also inserted part 1 of the trip route below, to save you the trouble of finding that back post.

trip route 2 cropped

trip route, in marker

trip route, in marker

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Day 145 – Deck the Truck

How does one “deck the halls” when one doesn’t have any halls to deck?  My favorite holiday tradition is setting up our tree and decorating it with the hundreds of ornaments we’ve collected in our travels.  And while we do this, we listen to our rather odd collection of non-traditional holiday tunes.  But a few weeks ago I realized the I hadn’t burned any of these CDs to our Zune (yes, Zune)!  Thankfully our house-sitter came to the rescue, fished them out of the attic, and sent them to us.  Now that we had an appropriate soundtrack, we set about decorating the truck.  C built a tiny tree on which each of us drew a few ornaments.  A quick trip to Wallyworld yielded a festive garland to drape around the interior of the truck.  Viola!  Instant holiday spirit.

Fa la la la la

Fa la la la la

Last night we had an unexpected treat.  We visited Bellingrath, a fantastic garden that puts on an beautiful light display for Christmas.  It’s almost as good as Garden D’Lights back home, and we all felt like we’d gotten a good substitute for one of our favorite holiday traditions.

Tinkly trees

Tinkly trees

A crabby-ho for Gramma

A crabby-ho for Gramma

A light display in the south wouldn't be complete without these guys

A light display here wouldn’t be complete without these guys

It still doesn’t feel quite right to be so far from home for the holidays, but we’re making the best of it.  And we’re really excited that we’ll be able to spend Christmas with Robbie’s family!!

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