Monday, April 29, 2013

Kilgore, TX

Kilgore is where we planned to be for a couple of weeks but will be for about a month while Duane recovers from his surgery.  We stayed a week here at first to visit with our son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and grandkids Luke and Allie.  We went to their house several days, but every time we pulled in the driveway we said "forgot the camera again!"  Today I made sure we had it.  Allie had a day off school so we took advantage of the beautiful weather by taking the kids out for the afternoon.  Kilgore is a nice town with a refurbished old downtown area, a college, and several nice parks.  This is Mayfield Park.  It has the most play equipment and is next to the public pool.  We messed around here for an hour or so before we got hungry.

Off we went to Subway for chow.  There were some serious eaters here!

After lunch Allie and Duane had a serious frozen yogurt attack so we headed downtown.  This is part of the redone old Main St.  Actually these oil derricks are on the next street over.  All downtown festivals and other events take place here.  The derricks are scattered all over town.  They are all topped with the Texas lone star at a tribute to oil, the origin of the town.
This is the yogurt place.  You go in, get a dish, choose your flavor(s) then put on any toppings you want.  Your cup is weighed and charged by the oz including the weight of the cup.


Before we headed home we visited one more park.  This is Driller Park.  This is smaller than Mayfield, with less play equipment.  It is adjacent to some large football and baseball fields.  We assume that they are where all the school games are played.  To the right and at the back is a very nice armed services war/conflict memorial.  There is a memorial wall inscribed with names of Kilgore residents killed in all conflicts from the Civil War to Afganistan.  After paying our respects we checked out the equipment.

Allie celebrating her day off
Time to head home.  We dropped off our park companions and went back to Shallow Creek.  We packed up our house and moved down the street and around the corner.  Because we switched from a weekly rate to a monthly rate, we had to give up our pull-through spot and move to a back-in.  Not difficult, just an aggravation.  We finally got settled in.  After supper I did up the laundry so we could pack our bag.  Tomorrow we take the bike to Van Alstyne, about 3 hrs north and west to visit son Duane Jr, daughter-in-law Brandey, and twin granddaughters Emma and Ava for a week.  I promise to try very hard to remember the camera!
Louise and Duane

Monday, April 22, 2013

Alabama to Louisiana

Happy Birthday to me!  For my 62nd birthday I got social security and...(drumroll please) my National Parks Pass!  Yay!  After we left Fl we stayed at Rainbow Plantation, our Escapees park outside Summerdale Alabama.  We spent 5 nice days there.  We like this park.  The weather was nice, the people friendly, the park well maintained, the staff welcoming and effecient.  While we were there we enjoyed the locality.  We took several pleasant bike rides, one of which took us to this area, where I got my new pass.  You might notice I'm wearing two different shoes.  One is my bike boot, the other is my walking shoe.  Two days before we left FL I sprained my ankle.  My walking shoe accomodates my ankle brace. 
The refuge consists of a wide variety of habitats:  scrub,
sandy areas,
standing water,
sand dunes,
beach, (the low gray area is the ocean)

lilly pond,
tall grass

Another day we ate in Foley at Lambert's Cafe, home of the "throwed rolls".  Inside the restaurant large booths lined the walls while long tables and benches filled the middle. People come for miles to sit here and have hot rolls thrown at them.  With your entree you get two sides plus the extras:  macaroni and stewed tomatoes, boiled cabbage, fried okra, fried potatoes and onions, black eyed peas, molasses and applebutter, and of course, hot rolls.  Waiters walk around the room with pots of these foods.  If you want any you just raise your hand.  You can have all you want.

One of the famous rolls.  They are huge--really three rolls in one--and hot and yes they are all tossed at close range or thrown across the room. This place boasts plenty of good food and lots of smiles and laughter.  A very fun place to eat. 

We stayed 5 days in Rainbow Plantation before moving on to the Shreveport, LA Elks.  This is one of the nicer Elks clubs and located in a housing area close to shopping.  It is small--room for 6 rigs and tight for larger rigs like ours.  30 amp service, no other hookups but does have an easily accessible dump and water fill up.  Parking is on two concrete strips.
The complex is bounded by this levee on two sides.  There are houses on the other side.  The property backs up to a row of buildings on a third side (I think they are businesses) and a shallow lake on the fourth.  The result is that the place is pleasantly quiet.
There is a really nice swimming pool/picnic area/play area.  The pool is separately fenced and anyone can buy a pass.
Pool with clubhouse in background.  The weather has been quite cool with lows in the 30's climbing to 50's at night and 60-70 days.  Never the less, on Sunday ten guys enjoyed several water vollyball games.  BRRR!
Tomorrow is our last day here.  We came here because we still have a dentist here (appointments tomorrow) and because Duane gets his annual CT scan here.  That was today.  The result showed a solid mass on his left kidney.  His options are:  biopsy with probable surgical removal, wait and watch with CT scans every three months for a year and probable surgery, or immediate surgery.  He opted for the last.  The surgery will be scheduled for mid to late May.  After the dentist tomorrow we will head to Texas, but that's another blog!
Later, dudes and dudettes,
Louise and Duane

Sunday, April 14, 2013


We have left the state of Florida..
We were finished with our assignment at Sumter Oaks the end of March. We had to wait for Louise's glasses to come in. She had received her new glasses but was not satisfied with them, so the eye doctor had them remade. While we were waiting we took the time to do some riding on the motorcycle and playing some pickle ball. Wednesday, while playing pickle ball, Louise twisted her ankle. I took her to the emergency  room to have it xrayed. On the way back to the rv, we stopped at the eye doctor to pick up her new glasses. She seems to be getting along with these much better.  Thursday she went to see an orthopedic doctor and was told it was a bad sprain and was not broken. Back at the rv it was get ready to leave time. I had put a lot of the "stuff" away already but still had to get the work shop area ready to travel. Get the bike loaded, stow all the carving tools and secure all the things that seem to grow legs when the rv is on the road. While setting for 5 month, the rv seems to "throw up". Things are left setting out all over the place because "we will use them tomorrow".  Getting ready to move, everything has to be stowed so they don't fly around while moving.
Friday we hit the road.. We drove about 250 Miles to a Passport America park in Quincy, Fl. Full hookup for $20.00 a night. Not a fancy park but we were only there for the night so didn't matter to us. Saturday, we headed to Summerdale, AL to the Plantation, an Escapees RV Park. We will be here until Wednesday. I have a doctor appointment in Shreveport, LA on Monday. They called and told me I had to be there on Friday for blood work. From Shreveport we will head over to Texas to visit the kids and do some sight seeing in areas that we have not visited yet before heading toward Ohio.

Till next time
Duane and Louise

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Sumter Oaks Biker Gang is breaking up.

During the winter there were as many as 6 bikers in the park at one time. On one occasion friends come from other parks to join in the fun of a ride. This past week we took a ride to Parkesdale in Plant City to get our last taste of strawberry shortcake. We have made this 4 times since we arrived at Sumter Oaks. On this trip we were joined by Brock and Leola and Larry and Rena.
The ride down is about 50 miles. We have written about this before so I won't spend much time repeating myself about it, but it sure is good eating.

 This place has a large store area that sells all kinds of veggies and berry related items such as jams and jellies.
On Saturday we all took off for Sleppy Hollow Bar and Grill one more time. This time we were joined by Dick and Donna. Dick has been a regular with us all season. He had to miss the ride for strawbarries  so he could pick up his gal friend at the airport. Donna had never ridden a motorcycle before. After riding with Dick for the last week, she said she loved it.


We ate our steaks at the bar and then were off to travel the Ozella Trail out to the gulf for dessert. We each got a piece of pie. The road to Ozella is a really curvy road and a lot of fun to ride. The waitress was good enough to take a picture for us so we could all in the pic.
 Brock, Leola, Donna, Dick, Larry, Rena, Louise, and Duane
Aren't we a handsome couple
On the way back two of the couples split off to go their own ways. Dick and Donna and we decide to head to Lickity Splits for ice cream. A great end to a great ride.
 Brock and Leola and Larry and Rena both pulled out of the park in the last 2 days. Our gang is getting smaller. Louise went back to the eye docror today and they are remaking her glasses so we will be here for a while longer. We will be heading out of here the day after she gets them back. It should take a bout a week. We have really enjoyed our stay here and all the rides we have been able to take. We have made some great new friends and I hope we can meet up with them down the road somewhere.
We have been able to play pickleball on a regular basis since we are no longer working in the park. We are playing on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. As long as the weather holds we will continue to play untill we leave here.
Till next time
Duane and Louise