Saturday, August 01, 2015

After the dance

After leaving the dance, a group of us WINs, started heading east to spend 10 months on the east coast.  Our first stop was Port Aransas, TX..  We were to park on the beach and enjoy the sounds of the waves and activities.   Unfortunately, it rained quite a bit.
View outside my window

A gentleman that had just joined the WINs, Bryan,, invited us for a barbeque at his home.  The place was beautiful.

Every morning we exercised on the beach by practicing the line dancing we had learned.
(Can't seem to get the video to post but as soon as I can, I will add it for your Enjoyment)

They had a sand sculpture contest while we were there.  What amazing artists.

Me, Patty, Jean and Lyn

Patty found the bar!

She and Lyn decided to make a run to the liquor store to celebrate the beginning of our trip.

I think we have enough to celebrate for the entire 10 months.

Jean and I decided to go out on our own for a day trip and found this beautiful building that looked like a sand sculpture on South Padre Island.

Going to sleep with the sound of the crashing waves and getting up each morning to dance or see the wind surfers on the beach was fun,  
Yes, we were sorry to leave the beach but it was time to move on.

Before we left the island, Ms. Kitty saw a sign that she wanted to take a picture in front of.

Miss Kitty's Beach Getaway

To get off the island, we had take a ferry. I took this picture for Jean as a record that she did drive onto the ferry and survived.

Just as we got off the ferry, we saw this sign.  I did not know you could rent a tire.

Our next stop was the Crawfish Festival in Beaux Bridge, LA May 1-4

 The festival has become one of the largest gatherings of world famous Cajun, Zydeco and Swamp Pop musicians.  There were three stages with music filling the air from morning to night for three days.  On Saturday we went to a Zydeco breakfast at CafĂ© Des Amis.  We had to be there by 6:30am to get a seat.

We were so early that Lyn and I went down to the coffee shop, it was not open but they let us in to buy coffee. We were told of a jam session that would start around 11 that morning so we decided to hang around. 

While waiting in line, I had a chance to try my hand at playing the washboard.  Don't worry, I am not giving up my day job.

At the restaurant, I had a chance to try Zydeco dancing with one of the locals.(There is a video of me doing Cajun dancing but you will have to wait to see it.  Can't get it to load)

The food was good but the dancing was better.

At 11am, off Lyn and I went to the coffee shop.  The music was great. 
I met a group there that said that they were camping a few streets over and invited me to come over to meet the others.  I dropped Lyn off and headed back .

This was a gathering of the southern regional branch of the National African American RV Asssociation (NAARV)

I met the president of the Northern Florida Campers RV Club and she took me around to meet everyone.

  As you can see they drove the big boys (Class A's).

I was welcomed and invited to stay for the crawfish boil by another Louise

I had never been to a crawfish broil, actually I had never eaten crawfish.  I found it was a lot of work for very little meat.

There was a parade with some great dancing and music by bands and dance troops.

Our next stop was Natchez, MS from May 4-9.  We drove to the Historic Natchez Cemetery, walked to the Natchez-Under-The Hill, and saw some beautiful historic homes.  Jean and I stopped to take pictures by the murals.

I had a chance to go to a wonderful musical event in Natchez, MS.  It was an evening of Robert Johnson performed by Vasti Jackson showcasing the best of the Mississippi Blues.  I enjoyed it more  because of the narration.  A gentleman told the story of how blues began and how one hundred years ago a boy was born in Mississippi dirt poor but would grow up to learn to sing and play the blues and eventually because known as the King of the Delta Blues Singers.
That was a really fun evening.  Vasti Johnson is an amazing performer.

From there we went to Vicksburg, MS from May 9-13. and French Camp, MS from May 13-15.  In French Camp we were given a tour and lunch at the French Camp Academy.  This is a boarding school for troubled girls and boys.  They are given a stable home environment which for some would be the first that they had ever encountered.  They live in small group homes with dorm parents.
  The children have to be recommended by the church or an organization and the children must come willingly to try to get their lives on track.

Jean wanted to see Elvis's birthplace in Tupelo, MS so Gene and I made an overnight stop with her on our way to Corinth, MS.  I have to admit, that the foundation did a good job of telling his story.

Jean and her Elvis

The three of us stopped at an Army Corp of Engineer Park instead of joining the group in Corinth, MS.  Gene decided it was time I kayaked.  Jean has a blowup kayak that seats two,  so we took it out.

Okay, we zigged instead of zagged.

We decided that I should try it by myself.  I found that I really liked it.  Gene stayed close since I can not swim.

I wonder if I can fit a kayak in Miss Kitty too...

The Three Amigos-Me, Gene and Jean

 I left the group in Franklin, TN,  to attend the reunion rally with the RV Dreams.  This took place from May 23-31.  I stopped overnight at the Tennessee Valley Winery which is a Harvest Hosts location.

The purpose of the reunion is to have a lot of fun and meet back up with people that we had met at previous seminars and rallies held by the RV Dreams couple, Howard and Linda.   I had attended two of their rallies when I first started on my adventures.  The first was on fulltiming and the second on boondocking.  

We had a Hawaiian Luau complete with roast pig.
Standing in line ready to chow down

I did not do a lot of excursions but I did go to the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.  I have been to the area countless times but never went to the house. It was a little over the top but still very beautiful.

For me the highlight was the buffet lunch at one of the restaurants on the grounds and the greenhouse.
Group that ate at the restaurant

Don't you think this cactus looks like a Christmas ornament?? I do.

Evening bonfire

I was having another solar panel and a larger invertor installed by Greg from RV Solar Solutions while I was at the rally.  Greg had installed my original solar panels and I was very, very happy with his work. While he was rewiring the coach so that all outlets were live, he found this inside tire damage.

I am so grateful he found this before I had a blow out.

I had to stay at the rally location until that Monday to get the tire replaced then headed to KY to visit my Aunt, cousin and a family neighbor.  After leaving KY, I spent the night in Morrow, OH at a very fun Harvest Host location called Valley Vineyards. They had live music while I was there and I purchased some very good flavored oil and bread to snack on from the food vendor.  The staff was friendly and helpful.  I would easily stay there again.  Parking was on grass but pretty level.

I am presently in South Bend, IN, waiting on my friend Jean to get here.  I had to get a window replaced and some work done at the Nexus factory.  Jean just brought a new motorhome and I am going to help her get things from her old trailer and into her new home before we catch up with the WIN group in NY.