Monday, May 20, 2019

Dixie Caverns In VA

We have become more efficient in our morning routines and have been pulling out a few minutes ahead of our target departure time, even though it feels like we are moving slower. Bob and I are good and tired of these daily 4-5 hour drives and are looking forward to being stationary for a bit.

On Saturday we hit the rolling hills and mountains of Virginia, one of the most beautiful states in my opinion. Unlike our trip west last fall (where we had rain just about every day) we’ve had nothing but blue skies since we left San Antonio.

We arrived at Dixie Caverns Campground and I walked over to the antiques mall attached to the office where I spent a lovely hour perusing the stalls. Even though I didn’t buy anything I enjoyed looking.
Monday finds us heading to northern Virginia for our last night on the road. Getting close now!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Night of Music and Wine

Friday night found us in Tuscaloosa, AL for a stay at a park devoted to sports fans in the area. Tuscaloosa is the home of Alabama State University and its fans apparently enjoy staying in a local RV park where everyone is there for the Crimson Tide football games. The rest of the year other people are welcome but in May the parks are usually fairly empty.
Crossing the Tennessee River

On Saturday morning we passed into the upper right corner of Georgia and into Tennessee to a Harvest Hosts site, at Tennessee Valley Winery in Loudon. Such great timing, because they had a night of entertainment planned.
Bob and I partook of a free wine tasting of the winery’s award-winning wines before selecting a few bottles for later enjoyment. Our parking spot was right behind the stage and so we had front row seats to hear the singer.
He was excellent, and it was a lovely evening. We even were able to hook up to 15 amp service so we didn’t worry about running our fans during the night.

Our view out the door

Our hops are getting shorter as we get near NJ. Roads are more congested and it just takes a lot more concentration for both of us. Only 655 miles left to go!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hopping Along

The plan is for us to take one night hops until we reach NJ. We left Livingston, TX on Thursday and passed along winding roads for much of the drive, which bring us past pretty scenes but require a lot of attention for Bob to keep the motorhome on the road. We found ourselves wondering about the remote towns we passed, ghost towns really, and the stories behind them. What would it be like to live an hour from any kind of town?

We arrived in Monroe, LA mid afternoon in time for me to bake a loaf of bread for Bob’s sandwiches and put a pot of Cajun Red Beans and Rice in the Instant Pot. I tried out a nw recipe that looked good but the beans took too long to bake for some reason so we had the last of the lentil soup for dinner. That was Plan B. I think Plan C would have been cereal! The beams finally cooked and we’ll have them for dinner Friday night in Tuscaloosa, AL.

It’s lovebug season in the south. Which means that within minutes of getting on the road our windshield is covered in the splatted remains of mating insects. Here is a Wikipedia photo of two of them before going splat.
These critters remain connected for days, even when flying around. I can only imagine that this is not exactly conducive to good navigation, hence the bugs’ proclivity to fly in front of moving vehicles. Talk about having a backseat driver! Unfortunately, their body fluids are very acidic so every time we stop Bob has to wash the remains off not only the windshield but also the paint on the coach.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Livingston, TX

Bob and I had a lovely day yesterday; Gail and I went antiquing and Bob relaxed at the campground. Later, Gail and Mark picked up dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant (Nicha’s) and we enjoyed some of the best veggie fajitas we have found ANYWHERE! Lots of grilled portobello mushrooms, chunks of squash, onions, and peppers....yummmmm!

On Tuesday we said goodbye to San Antonio and our family and headed to East Texas to the town of Livingston, where we will be until Thursday morning. And our motorhome ran like a TOP! Bob will be getting the oil changed on the car tomorrow and on Thursday morning we’ll have our vehicles inspected before we move on to Louisiana. The plan is to be in NJ sometime next Tuesday.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Fun in San Antonio

It has been such fun spending time with my sister, Gail. On Thursday she and I took a drive to Hill Country African Violets and Nursery in Boerne, Texas (pronounced “Bernie.”) I found a very pretty Coleus plant and a tiny miniature African Violet to bring home. I love plant nurseries and this one was just a delight.
Afterwards, we walked around the historic part of Boerne and enjoyed perusing the shops before heading back for dinner with Gail and husband Mark.

On Friday Bob, Gail, and I visited the Witte, a museum of nature, science, and culture. Bob and I were able to get in without charge using our reciprocal pass from the Kern County Museum. The Witte is set in a lovely area overlooking the San Antonio River.

On Saturday Gail and I went shopping at Traders Village, a huge flea market with old and new items for sale. And later we met up with Bob, Mark, and our nieces Michelle and Caryn as well as Caryn’s children, for playtime at a nearby park and a walk along the Riverwalk. Auggie had a great time, too.
We are having tons of fun and are looking forward to two more days before it’s time to move on.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Back in the Saddle Again

Bob and I spent Tuesday night in front of the Cummins repair shop in San Antonio. It was noisy from the highway steps from our door, and hot since we couldn’t plug into shore power, but we were in our own bed. On Wednesday morning the technician hooked us up to the computer and diagnosed the problem. Apparently, when an engine has had hose failures and coolant has sprayed all over the place, some coolant gets into the engine oil and contaminates it. We needed an oil change and a clean oil filter.

By about 1:00 the oil was changed, the engine was recharged, and we were ready for a test drive as the heavens opened and rain poured down. We drove around for 20 minutes or so and returned to be hooked up to the computer one last time. And we passed, the sun came out, and Bob hooked up the car and ran in to pay the bill. We were off to the campground, about 25 minutes away.

We are looking forward to the next six days in San Antonio, despite a lousy weather report showing rain just about every day. We don’t care; we will make the most of our visit. Unfortunately we won’t be able to get together with our friends, Ron and Kathy but we will plan on seeing them the next time our plans cross.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

San Antonio

Ok, there’s good news and bad news. Good news: we made it to San Antonio! Bad news: we broke down 43 miles from our destination when the “Check Engine” light came on and then the “Stop Engine” warning sounded. So close! We exited the highway and found a nice spot to stop right off the ramp...
...called Coach-Net, and in a couple of hours the tow truck arrived and we headed off.
We are spending the night at a service station again. Sigh. But at least we are safe and will be sleeping in our own bed.

This breaking down stuff is really getting old. And expensive, too. Hopefully it will be something simple and we can get to the campground soon. And will have no more problems the rest of our trip.