Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things to do

I went to water aerobics again today and was telling Barbara (instructor) about my topic yesterday. Everyone got a kick out of it and then she started singing to the tune of Blueberry hill, I found my core in the rec pool...OMG we laughed so hard. If you could have seen us today, well let me just say, it was a sight to behold. A couple of the ladies (Barbara included) had pink shower caps on, one gal had a couple of shirts and a hoodie, then there was the sweatshirt (Ruthie) and of course I had my shirt and hat on too. It was COLD. Didn't bother us ladies though. The guys who usually come out and swim laps, yep, no where to be found today. Did I mention that the pool is outside? Supposed to be heated but with the temps as cold during the night, I'd say it's hard to keep that much water heated.

After exercising, I went out to: (information taken from the Kingsland GA website)

McIntosh Sugar Mill Tabby Ruins c.1825

3600 Charlie Smith Sr Hwy
St Marys, Georgia 31558 Tabby, a building material unique to the area, is made oyster shells, sand and water. The mill was built in 1825 and is the largest and best preserved of all tabby remains in the Southeast. Its rooms which were devoted to the grinding, boilding and processing of cane for sugar products are still in tact. the ruins are one of the oldest industrial sites of Georgia. The building burned in the mid-1800's and was never rebuilt. Picnic areas are located on the grounds.

Took Sedona with me and here are a few shots of the ruins.

Another place I wanted to document is the entrance to Kings Bay Submarine Base, the submarine in the ground is very formible. For more information Check out the website


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I have found my core, and it hurts.

I must ask what all those years sitting behind a desk in front of a computer has done to me. My core was lost but now is found or at least a little bit of it anyway. I've been taking water aerobics in the mornings at the Camden County Recreation Center for free. It's a great service this county provides for it's senior residents.

It has been fun. It has been cold. I am learning some things I can do with my noodle when I don't have formal lessons in a pool. I can do most of these things in the lake if need be. These women are a hoot. Lots of energy and they have a great outlook on life.

I played ping-pong with Jonathan a few nights ago and he beat me. That hasn't been done in quite a while and I would even venture to say probably five times in our ping pong years together. When he was little, I bought a ping pong table and put it in my living room/dining room combo and we would play all the time. I'll have to say I'm a little rusty. Jonathan's friend, Dena, invited me to her house for dinner and she has a pool table. She said she had heard how good I am and couldn't wait to watch me and Jonathan play. Well, the heat was on and I choked! Yep, he beat me 2 out of 3 games. Her son, Joshua, beat me too. Man, is he good. I'd put my money on him any old day. I can't wait to play him again. I know it must be boring for him because I'm not much of a challenge for him but it was fun. Someone told me ping pong is good for the brain so I need to play a lot.

Don't want my brain to go by the way of the old core now, do I?


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Swamp)

Yesterday four of us ladies went to the Swamp yesterday. We arrived to find that there was a parking fee. Once we followed the signs to where to pay, Mary Lou pulls out her Golden Passport to get into National Parks, so we didn't have to pay to park. You have to be a certain age (I think 62) in order to get this passport and you can bet that when I reach that age, I'll be getting me one.

We decided to take a boat tour through the swamp and it seems that we were the only ones for that time slot. Gee a private tour. While we were waiting for our time we went to the educational center to watch a film and learn a little more of the Okefenokee. While there, one of the exhibits is of an Animatronic figure sitting on a makeshift porch telling stories of the area. He was very real looking/acting and he certainly held the attention of the audience.
You can tell how intently Carol and Mary Lou are on listening and how Tina has found something funny in what is being said.

So after the movie and listening to the storyteller it was on to catch our boat. Ron was our captain and interpreter. He has been on the Okefenokee for two years and had certainly gleaned quite a bit of knowledge to share with us.

Oh I forgot to tell you that Buffett went along on the Swamp trip and he was the original one to write this blog but he didn't get to experience things like he usually does so I only captured a few shots of Buffett at the Swamp. One is the ride to the Okefenokee in the back of Grey Goose. With four of us traveling there wasn't much room up front. The others are in the boat ride, as you can see he starts out eager to watch for flying things and alligators but a little while later you can see he was bored and just wanted to slump down into the boat seat.

We could not have picked a better day to go on our outing. The lighting was perfect as we took the man-made canal out to the prairie area, no it's not the same as Little House on the Prairie. Just take a look at how beautiful this area is.

Of course here I am showing the way much like I'm showing you with the following slide show. I had taken so many photos that I found it difficult to cull, hence the slide show. Enjoy.

We were lucky in that the alligators were out sunning along the banks and the roadways. There were a couple of kayakers out, one (the yellow) had just left the dock and was on his way to kayak the entire Suwanee River which should take him about 2 weeks. Also along the way were the sign colored to mark the canals (trails) so folks wouldn't get lost. Rod said that the alligators, if left along and not provoked, will leave kayakers alone, especially during this time of the year. They do most of their hunting at night. There are many species of turtles which came out to sun. Also, in the Prairie there was a Great White Egret and alligator side by side.

The Okefenokee was named by the Seminole Indians as the Land of the Trembling Earth. Here's the explanation...

Here is Carol from Washington State handling some of the fresh peat moss that Rod gave us to inspect.

Tina is listening intently to the explanation Rod is providing on the cypress trees of the area, while Mary Lou and Carol are seeking answers to their questions.

Here we are, minus Carol, as we are finished w/our boat ride. Carol and Mary Lou are my neighbors in my RV park in SE Ga and Tina is a fellow forum member whom I have met at a couple of different get togethers. She was in the area and dropped by.

As we were getting ready to drive around the Swamp Island Drive tour we saw this pitiful abandonded chihuahua at the visitor's center. Mary Lou was able to get him to come to her and see held on to him while one of the workers contacted centers to help him.

As it turned out the Camden County humane shelter would not take an "out of county" dog w/out a $60 fee. There were enough people around that gave the money for the worker to take him to the shelter. There were many people who wanted him but wouldn't take him. I knew that Sedona would NOT tolerate having another dog w/her. She, after all, is an Only dog. At least we knew he was going to be in good hands.

Our trip to the Swamp was excellent. I would recommend going there especially this time of year. I wouldn't even want to think about it when the bugs come to life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Enjoying the retired life

So I woke up this morning, put my bathing suit on and headed out the door. My neighbors, Sandra (Nova Scotia) and Judy (New Hampshire) went to the Camden County Recreation Center for water aerobics. It's free for those who are 55+. I used to enjoy water aerobics a long time ago and nothing much has changed so I slipped right back into the moves. There were seven of us, it's kind of nice being the young one in the group. Of course I should be used to that because after all, I am the baby. LOL So that got my day started off great.

This RV park is a good size. People are nice. I went to dinner Sunday night with fulltimers, Mary Lou and Jack (originally from TX) and Carol from Washington State. It's good to pick peoples brain who have done this for a while to find out what/where they like to RV and learn the things I don't need to miss when I go to their neck of the woods.

Rose (western NY) is a solo RV full timer. She has two little dogs, on Yorkie but as we know. Sedona is a little snob and doesn't play well with others. The little Yorkie really wants to play, much like my friend Sandra's Maggie, but Sedona just ignores her and then does the Elvis curl with her upper lip and that's a sign to stay away or I'll rip your head off, but she really won't. Anyway, Rose has been solo RVing for seven years and she is getting ready to go back into a stix n brix in western North Carolina and hang up her awning. She has been in all the states except for Alaska. She is a nature photographer and has some beautiful pictures.

My friend, Tina, from the WomenRV forum is coming through tonight and will be staying at this park. She is on her way "home" but she has had quite an adventure. Since our FL GTG she has been all the way to the Keys and is now working her way back up to her home in Ohio. We plan on going to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (The Swamp) together so that should be fun. We are expecting some horrible rains in the next two days so I hope that doesn't deter us. I'll report back to you on that.

I have learned a new card game, it's 3-13. There are between six and 10 of us who play nightly. Well I say nightly, I don't play on Monday's because 24 comes on the TV and I don't want to miss that. Anyway, it's fun getting together with people, listening to them talk, lots of Canadians (eh?) in this small park from Alberta to Nova Scotia and points in between. They say that we are going to play dominoes one night but we always seem to go back to the cards. It's okay, gets me out of my rig.

Don't know what I was thinking when I came here for a month. Jonathan and Taylor have such busy lives and it's hard for me to be so close and not get to spend anymore time with them than I get to, but I'm used to being alone so it's no big deal.

One thing I have learned is that I need a plan for the next day. If I don't have a plan of action, I'll end up spending all day watching TV and playing on the computer. So I have a calendar of events and a things to do in Camden County and will have a plan in the evenings for what I'm doing the next day. I'm sure it's not just for where I am right now but for everyplace I go. I'm disappointed that I am not on water to be able to use my kayak. I am close to Crooked River but am not sure about the tides and getting out there on that body of water by myself. I talked to the Ranger in the park and he said I needed to file a plan with them if I'm going out on my own. Makes sense to me. Since I enjoy kayaking so much I need to remember that for future reservations.

I had to go for blood work yesterday to follow-up on my anemia. Dr Holmes' nurse called me today and my levels are a still a little low but has come up so I'll do another follow-up in 2 months. He wanted me to do some other things but I'll do that when I get back to Nashville. Even though we talked extensively about my plans of travelling, I believe Dr Holmes has forgotten. He left a message with his nurse to have me come in and do this and do that, duh, okay, I'll do it in July. I may have to explore another option for my medical treatment.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Savannah Ga-Swim Meet

One of the things I looked forward to when I retired was to get to enjoy Taylor's swimming. I had lived so far away I had not been able to attend many meets. It just so happened that this weekend was my treat.

Here I sit in the Prius about 4:30 Saturday afternoon in the pouring rain. I came outside to get away from the fumes of chlorine of the indoor pool. Taylor was finished with all her events/heats and I wanted to come out to where it was a little more comfy for Gran to sit.

As an afterthought I put my computer in the car this morning and am so glad that I did. We actually came last night. She had one event. It was a 1650 or 1 mile and she trimmed 2.24 minutes off her previous time. Everybody was very excited for her. She has one more opportunity to trim another .16 off her time to qualify for State. See I'm learning all this jargon. I have learned that you really don't do it to win but to improve your time (not score.) LOL She didn't do too well today on her events, as she was trying to tell me that her knee went out a different way than it should and etc, etc.

She is a great swimmer and she loves doing it. Her dad has become a referee/judge and works the events. That is why I'm in the car waiting on him to finish his job even though Taylor is finished. Here are a couple of shots of I got of them doing their thing.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Florida RV Women Get Together

It has been a crazy couple of weeks but here is a slide show that shows what I've been doing for the last week at Silver River State Park in Ocala FL.

Some of these ladies I had met at the TN RV Women Get Together but most were new to me. Karen (Retiredhappy) and Carol came the farthermost from Kerrville TX. Then Ohio, NC, AL, TN, FL. It was fun meeting and sharing stories with these ladies. We all came from different walks of life but the RV draws our commanilty and helps us have a blast when we are together.

The campground is very nice. One of the best I hear in the Fl State Park system. None of the State Parks has sewer hook up but for $24 a night you get water, electric and a large site. There is a dump station that you can visit once you leave. State Parks only allow a 14 night min so with 1 person, it's easy to make it by not filling up the tanks in 14 nights.

It was bitterly cold on Saturday & Sunday nights. We were able to get a cabin and pool our money so that we could have the cabin for our potluck and breakfast, otherwise it would have been difficult to have a potluck outside.

One day we went to Marjorie Rawlins place at Cross Creek. The night before we watched the movie Cross Creek so we would be a little familiar with the life of Margarie Rawlins. She also wrote The Yearling. As it turned out the movie was not very accurate (surprised?) but the Ranger who gave us our tour cleared up some of the liberties the movie people took with the original script.

Liz, our host, was prepared and made sure that all of us had a great time in her home park where she also volunteers. The women rv forum has adopted the pink flamingo as their mascot. Liz had a banner made that each of us signed and it will travel from gtg to gtg and someday it will be filled with all the good women who have been to the gtg around the country.

One tradition that Karen (retiredhappy) began sometime ago was to present a flamingo wine glass to those Women RV forum ladies she meets. This was a large contingent to receive the glasses and we were as excited as if they had been waterford crystal wine glasses. Not just plastic pink flamingo glasses. Thanks, Karen.

Can't wait till the next gtg and see who I can meet from this great

Monday, January 4, 2010

Cold in Central Florida and Wildlife in the Park

Yes, I know you have heard on the news how cold it is in central Florida. Here is a picture for you to get an idea of how cold it was this morning when I went around to hook my water back up. I had left the water dripping, per rangers, so that it wouldn't freeze.

Around the park wildlife abounds. I have seen herds of white tail deer, flocks of wild turkey (no not the drinking kind) and squirrels love all the nuts around the park. As Sedona and I went on our walk this evening, we spotted these deer hanging around the campsite. The turkeys were too far into the woods to get a good picture.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Burrrrr-Am I in Florida?

The night/morning temps are around 27-22 degrees for last night and the rest of the week. The day temps are not a whole lot better between 45-55. Yes, it's cold and yes, my heaters are running but I'm staying warm and I'm sure glad I'm not in Nashville.

Yesterday I went to the river boat ride furnished by the park on the Suwannee River. It was cold but the sun was beautiful which made it bareable. We saw a bald eagle, osprey, river otter, blue heron but no alligators and of course the buzzards but I'm not saying anything else about them. It was a fun trip.

One thing as I was walking the boardwalk to board the boat we (rangers and I) saw a manatee coming into the springs. They were talking about her white nose and flipper. Apparently the manatee had frost bite. In this picture, if you look closely, you can see the white on her flipper.

Today, I was getting a little cabin fever and decided to take a drive down to Cedar Key which is a absolutely quaint "old Florida" community along the Gulf of Mexico. Most everything was closed today so I'll go back sometime before I leave the area and visit longer. While there I kept seeing signs about Tony's "world's famous" clam chowder so I decided to give it a try. OMG the flavors and texture was outstanding and it was so good. Better than Neptunes in San Franscisco and that's saying a lot. I highly recommend getting off the beaten path and give the chowder a try. I saw some lobster & crab bisque in another resturant that I'll try next time. The weather is perfect for this kind of mean.