Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Travel Days

Thank you so much to everyone who posted comments and well-wishes, they are very much appreciated :-).

Tuesday morning we departed First Landing State Park to continue our drive south. It was still chilly, but at least it was a bright sunny day for our drive. We took our time packing things up for departure, trying to go slow and make sure everything was done correctly. It's very important to be careful, especially when hitching the trailer to the truck; you don't want it to be done incorrectly, and end up dropping the trailer on the bed of your truck, causing damage to both vehicles. For the amusement of all you reading, today was the first time I tried driving the truck with the trailer hitched up! It was only through the campground, but still, I did it!

We were on the road by 11 AM, heading for our overnight stop at Bass Lake Campground, just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina border. It was about a 5 1/2 hour drive. That would leave us with a 3 1/2 hour drive to our destination, Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina.

It was a pleasant drive to Bass Lake, and we noticed alot of RV's headed north today...ALOT! This should have been a clue to me as to what I would find later, as we pulled into the campground. I went in to ask about a site for the night, and was told they had no empty sites. Uh-oh! They were very pleasant, and told me I was welcome to "dry-camp" in their field for the night. For the uninitiated into camping vernacular, that means no hook-ups to the trailer: no electric. no water. We could fill up our water tank at the spigot so we had water and the use of our bathroom. The battery would run our lights, and we switched the refrigerator to propane for the night. We figured we could manage, rather than drive further that night. So, on our third night into this adventure, here we were, dry camping!

In spite of the traffic noise (we were right off, I mean RIGHT OFF I-95), the train rumbling near-by, and the airport nearby! we slept pretty well, and were back on the road this morning around 9 AM. We knew it wasn't going to be a nice day, and we were driving right into heavy rain and thunderstorms. And, we did! There were a few times we really had to slow down quite a bit, the rain came down so hard. Luckily, there wasn't alot of traffic on the highway, and we still made decent time. We did get lucky in that the rain let up when we stopped for fuel and lunch, but then started again. It was raining as we arrived at the campground, but not the hard downpour; just a nice steady rain :-). We didn't do too badly, but the experience has led us to say if we don't HAVE to move on a bad weather day, we aren't going to. I did suffer my first crack on the head, as I ran around the front of the trailer to get something and misjudged the height..ouch!

I also have a question for those on the road. We have found each time we travel, that things are ending up on the floor. I thought the roads in New York were the worst, but man, the mess is getting worse! This time, we had several cabinet doors, that I KNOW were latched, open and dump everything on the floor. This almost botched up a slide, as we were opening it the open door got caught. Luckily we noticed it starting to come out unevenly, and stopped before any damage occurred. What do people use to tie the cabinet doors together to keep them from opening up during transit?

So here's out site #6 at Hunting Island.
There's plenty of room between us and the campers on either side. And th view from our living room is beautiful!

After we both took a nice hot shower and got into dry clothes, the rain had let up so we took the dogs for a walk down on the beach. It's so beautiful, the ocean is about 50 feet from my front door! Tomorrow is suppose to be another rainy day, but Friday is suppose to clear so I hope o have some sunny pictues of te park and beach to show you.

Friday we are receiving visitors, Al's cousins Bill and Denise. They live over in Hilton Head, and it will be great to see them. They travel extensively in their Class A motorhome, and share a love of all things Disney with us...it should be a great time!

Finally, a picture for Aunt Patti...this should make her very happy :-). Until tomorrow!

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the Road At Last!

Hi folks! It's been a long time, and I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, as of March 27, 2011, the Phillips family, consisting of Karen, Al and our two furkids Chelsea and Casey, are on the road, hopefully for the better, ready to find any adventures that await us ;-).

First, we both want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all our family, friends, co-workers, employees, customers, anyone who has touched our lives, for the wonderful send-off that we received. We would have never imagined in our wildest dreams the impact we. but especially AL, seem to have made on people. The pot-luck dinner the ambulance people threw for us Friday night was fantastic, and I can't begin to thank everyone for that. It was so far beyond what we expected. We especially want to thank Astid and mark for arranging it, and everyone else who contributed food and hard work...you guys are the best!!

The Fire Department Dinner dance was wonderful, as always, and Al wishes to thank everyone for his nomination of Fireman of he Year. It was an incredible honor to be nominated. The hugs, handshakes at the end were heart-wrenching, as well as the "Unforgettable" serenade by the band. Truly a remarkable group of people we have been priveleged to know these many years. Keep up the good work, guys, the village is privileged to have such a fine department.

To my customers, it has been a great thirty years. You have made the business a success by your loyalty, we are grateful for your patronage, and it has been a humbling experience to receive your well-wishes and thanks. If everyone had such a great clientele, the world would be a better place to work :-)! Please know we feel we have left the business in very good hands, and hope that you give the new folks as good a feeling as you have given us.

Finally, to our family and close friends...and this includes the fishing brothers! We could not have done this without your support and blessing, for which we are always grateful. We hope to prove your faith in us by being the best people we can be! We hope this blog will pass on our love for travel, experiencing the new and interesting things this country has to offer. We will work hard as well, and try to keep passing on our philosophy of treating others the way we would like to be treated ourselves, and making each place we pass through a little bit better any way we can. We also hope for LOTS of visitors wherever we may land, summer or winter. We love you all, and remember, with current technology, we are never really far away!

March 27, 2011: Day One
Departure day! It had been a completely frantic last few days, us doing the final packing of our stuff in the trailer, final trips to the dump being made, and moving Patti's stuff into the house. The house is now officially on the market as well, and we are hoping for a sale sometime later this year and the rest of our family unit moving to Florida before the winter season hits again. It got to the point where I threw organization right out the window, and just started stuffing everything wherever I could fit it into the trailer. I figure we'll get it organized better as we go around the month of April on our visits...did anyone else do that? Or am I completely disorganized? :-).

We had quite a send-off; we planned on getting going around 8:00AM as we had a long ride ahead of us...all the way to Virginia Beach VA. At 7:00AM the family members started arriving at the house...Susie, Kimmie and the kids, Max and Tyler, and Frank; our great friend Greg, who helped us with fixing things around the house SO MUCH, I can't begin to thank him; Patti, my brother Billy. And of course, Ma and Ginnie...love you! We had coffee cake for breakfast, and after many hugs, we set off down the road around 9AM..not too bad :-). It's hard to leave, but really we are always near in heart. And closer in technology :-).

The weather was great for the drive. It was cold, but clear and sunny all the way down. The pups did great on the drive, and settled into their spots in the truck quickly. Time passed by quickly, and by 6:30 we were pulling into our first stop on our adventure, First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach VA.
This is our trailer in Site G12. It backs up to the dunes along the Chesapeake Bay. The sites here are reservable, but not site specific; you reserve a type of site, and then pick one when you arrive. It's early in the season, and the booth was not manned when we came in, so we just picked up a map and started looking. It wasn't hard, the campground is almost deserted! I was glad it was still daylight when we arrived, though, for our first back-in experience ;-). Using our Motorola Walkie-talkies, we did great! The site was very level, nice spacing inbewteen sites, if anyone else was around :-). Electric and Water here. We quickly set up and picked up everything that had fallen inside! I can see I need to be vigilant about having everything secure before traveling. I am sure I am going to be learning alot of things in the near future ;-).

Being a long travel day, we heated up some chicken parmigiana that we had brought with us, straightened up a few things, and called it quits for the night. We were very tired, and needed a good night's sleep, so the first night in the trailer was underway! Fortunately, the pups were also very tired, and afterr claiming their spots in the living area for the night, We all headed off to sleep!

March 28, 2011: Day Two.

We awoke to a very cold and gloomy morning...hey, I thought it would be warmer down here! Sorry Virginia, seems we brought some cold weather with us! It even snow-flurried for a little while! Breakfast was interesting...I couldn't find anything! Guess I should have had cereal and yogurt, it would have been easier :-). We'll get it all sorted soon enough. Al spent a couple of frustrating hours working on getting the internet up and running, and by then I had my grocery list for the week coming ready so we could go grocery shopping. We had met a couple last night who told us to be sure to have supplies before heading to Huntting Island State park, as the nearest grocery was 18 miles away. With today's fuel prices, that's a significant ride ;-). So we got that done, and then it was time to met Al's nephew Tom for a hike. It was a little warmer, so we bundled up and he took us over to the trail area. We had a nice 2 1/2 mile walk with the dogs, and by the time we finished, the sun came out! Woo-hoo, that automatically made us feel better :-). We decided to walk down to the beach area and take some pictures while the sun was out, and before Al's sisiter Janet and her husband Tim arrived for dinner. Here's a few pictures of the walk to the beach and the view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

The real treat was seeing this pod of dolphins cruising along the beachfront; I'm taking that as a sign of good luck for our journey :-)!

Dinner was great...we grilled some burgers and dogs for Janet, Tim and Tom, and had cake leftover from Al's dinner on Friday night...one of the things I'll miss the most is Kathy's cakes...if you're reading his, I'm ordering one for October when we return for a visit :-)! We chatted for a long time, and then they all headed off for home. It was great seeing them. We also Skyped home, and that worked great! Even the pups got excited seeing Grandma and Aunt Ginny and Patti :-). Once we get technology working correctly, it's a great thing!

Tomorrow is a travel day; we'll be moving from here to just south of the border of North Carolina for the night, and then onto Huntting Island State Park in South carolina. We'll be there for three nights, and visit with Al's cousins Bill and Denise. They do alot of traveling in their Class A Motorhome, and I'm sure will have plenty of helpful tips for us!

That's more than enough for tonight. We're still beat, I think it will take awhile before we feel up to snuff, but we're on the way! I hope to hear from alot of you!! Bless you all, and see you down the road!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A quick update

I wanted to let you all know that we're still here! We've just been terribly busy with household duties, the painting is progressing very nicely, I can't believe how much of a difference it makes! And I'm terribly afraid of jinxing ourselves by announcing anything pertaining to the business, so until papers are actually signed on the dotted lines, I'll just say that finally things are progressing and everything is fine. We have a little more than 3 weeks till departure, at which time I promise I will be a better blogger...I'll have more interesting things to write about I hope! Thanks to all my wonderful customers who have come in and supported us through the rough spots, and for taking the time to read my blog and follow our progress. I will miss you all!