Friday, November 28, 2008

WOW! Three more hits to 1000!

I never thought I'd see that many people reading my blog. I know a few very faithful readers that keep track of The Traveling Cardinal's though. Thanks! You make it easier to keep other family & friends up-to-date of what is going on in our travels & lives! If you happen to be the one that hits the 1000 mark, email me & let me know!

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this journal. It seems this computer gets busier & busier now that I share it!!! LOL Bill likes to read a few hometown papers & by the time I get through some of my emails, it's time to do something else!

We made it to Superstition Sunrise RV Resort in Apache Junction, AZ on Monday the 24th around 1:30 PM. Needless to say, we were sweating by the time we got parked! We had stayed Sun. night in Holbrook, AZ east of Flagstaff, AZ where it gets mighty cold! It was 19 deg. when we woke up, so of course, we dressed for the weather. By the time we got down from around 7000' elevation to 1000' elevation it was mighty warm. When we got to the park it was 74 deg.!! I couldn't wait to get all set up & in the shower!!! In fact, we did that before we registered. Since I had called ahead they knew we were coming & said we could go ahead & park it first. Boy was I glad! Neighbors were coming out to welcome us back. It was a great feeling to be "home". That makes about 4 "homes" we have now - NY/PA, MD, VA & AZ.
Those Blue Skies of Arizona!On the way to our "other home"
Looking down on the Mountains & Valleys
Monday night after we got set up we went to get haircuts, KFC & Walmart for a few groceries. When we came back the guard at the gate told us Mon. nights were "jam session" nights at the clubhouse at 7pm. So down we went. It was a fun time & met a few more people, new & old.

Tues. morning I went to "Walking Aerobics" (stretching mostly) at 7:30 AM. Don't think I can do that. My back doesn't move that good that early in the morning. I'm more of a 8:30 - 9:00 person.

Prior to going to exercises, our good friends, Faye & Gene were planting cactus & doing some landscaping so I had to stop & give/get hugs there. They were expecting a load of rock to be delivered later in the morning to put around the gardens by the trailer. Gene said he could give me some exercise with a Mexican Trail Blazer. I asked him what that was & he said a "shovel"!!! Well, since the electric was turned off at 8:30 during exercise for some maintenance work, I came back & shortly after the truck came with the rock. We had quite a crew helping shovel that rock. It took about an hour to finish & Gene thought he had a 1-1/2 or 2 day job! Great neighbors - willing & able to help each other no matter what the project!
Dumping the RockGene supervising the unloading
Many men make light work! Bill in front with wheelbarrow
After that project I decided the bugs on the front of the RV needed to be washed off or they would never come off. So I started that project. Since the forecast was rain, I thought get the road dust & bugs off & God could take care of the rest. Well, we didn't get a lot of rain, but within the next 2 days we got the trailer cleaned good enough for a first run. More detailed work next time around. At least the black streaks are gone & windows are cleaner.

I'm tired! That was enough for one day.

Wednesday I went to a Weight Watchers to get weighed in for the month of Nov. Oh yea, I had to pay. That riding & eating doesn't work! Not enough exercise on the road. I was only 8/10ths of a pound over, but I still had to pay. That was enough of that!! So now I walk regularly!

Wednesday night we played Hand & Foot with Jim & Ruby across the street. Great time & oh yes, the women beat the men!!! Not bragging or anything, but that was the first time we've played since we left last year. I did remember most of the game.

Thursday - HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! I called my daughter & my sister to wish them Happy Thanksgiving. Got caught up on the news & weather with them. Mark called later in the evening from Washington State. He is there with his family visiting sister-in-law & brother-in-law & family.

I walked 3 miles this morning so I could go out to eat. I left Bill reading the paper on the computer. It was really quite nice, cloudy but nice. Bill and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner around 2pm. That way we only ate one big meal. It was very good. Of course, Cracker Barrel is one of our favorites. Food is always good & prices are always dependable. No surprises. It was very busy. That made it easy so I didn't shop & spend a lot! Since we live in the trailer, I don't buy extras anyway. If it isn't for a gift or something that can be eaten or used immediately, I don't buy it. I like (not love) to shop, but not on my top ten favorite things to do. I'd rather just look & say, "oh, isn't that neat or isn't that pretty".

Thursday evening we played cards with Faye & Gene. We had all taken a nap & then got together around 5:30pm. Oh yes, we played Hand & Foot again, & the women beat the men. I think I get really good partners. I'm not that shrewd of a player, just good team work! Then they headed home to watch the Cardinal's play football. I fell asleep again while Bill was in the shower, so I think that meant it was time to hit the hay. Had to wait to take our showers as we had a lot of thunder & lightning. The rain really came down for about 20 minutes or so. Sounded like those cracks were going to open up the trailer!

Friday I was planning on attending my first meeting of the Supercom Computer Club. But when I got there no one was there. I went downstairs & read on the bulletin board that because of Thanksgiving there was no meeting. So I decided to look over all the amenities that were offered here at the park & write them down so I could keep track of what, where, when I was suppose to go over the next few weeks/months.

Since there was no class I decided to do my "walk around the park". Got to keep active. I don't want these "older folks" showing me up. Maybe this afternoon I'll go down & get in the pool. Either inside or outside since they are both heated. My muscles could use a little "hot tub" therapy.

Well, that about wraps up the last few days for The Traveling Cardinal' until next time, we will be here at Superstition Sunrise enjoying the fellowship, fun & scenery!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Snow In These Pictures

Greetings from The Traveling Cardinal's.

Today we traveled from Texas into New Mexico. Gained another hour, so those of you on the east coast are 2 hrs. ahead of us now. I'll try to remember that!

Sometime before we got to Amarillo, TX this is the sight we came upon:
A train wreck. Double high semi-trailers on this train. Wow, what a mess. Pretty close to Route 287 too. Don't know when it happened, but glad we weren't in that area when it did!

In 2000 when we traveled Interstate 40 we passed a sign that said Clarendon. I made a quick stop along the side of the Interstate, made Bill stand by the sign so I could take his picture. He was born in Clarendon, but that Clarendon was in Pennsylvania! Well today we got to go through Clarendon, TX. Population was 1974 (a few more than his hometown). These are some of the pictures he snapped as we drove through:

Clarendon Outpost

Clarendon College

First mountains of New MexicoScenery along Interstate 40 in New MexicoTalked with family members today. Everyone seems to be doing fine & putting up with the snow. Bill's sister is doing well from her heart surgery but has suffered some pinched nerves causing pain in her arm & back. Still no word on when her next surgery will be. Talked with my sister Romayne last night & her husband Bob has to have surgery in January. He has a growth on his jaw that has to be removed. Seems like it's always something with everyone. Age has a way of doing that to us. Hopefully everyone will have the winter to recuperate & be able to enjoy a great Spring next year.

We are staying in Santa Rosa RV Park in Santa Rosa, NM tonight. That is on old historic Route 66. I'm trying to convince Bill to hurry up & get to Apache Junction before the rain hits on Thanksgiving. Don't really want to set up in the rain & would like to get through the colder parts of the country as soon as we can. It's kind of a pain to hook up the sewage & water long enough to take showers & empty tanks then put it all away before night fall. They have been having some pretty bad frosts in the area so no one (including us) wants to have water & sewage hoses out in the cold elements. It's nice & warm in the trailer though.

Just a beautiful New Mexico Sunset
Well that about wraps up today's travels. Until next time........The Traveling Cardinal's

Friday, November 21, 2008

Goodlett, Texas

Today the temp didn't get above 50 deg. But after I saw emails & pictures from back home in PA, I'll take it!!! It was a beautiful, sunny day, just not warm. Like the rest of the nation I guess. I talked with my nephew, Denny, this morning & he said they were predicting another 2 feet of snow in western NY/PA. Talked with my brother-in-law from Michigan this evening & he said where he lives they only have about 1/2 - 1" of snow. He does plowing & hasn't done any yet.
This is what the ol' homestead in N. Warren, PA looked like today:
Around 3pm this afternoon we arrived at Ole Towne Cotton Gin RV Park. Only about 3 or 4 other campers here, but very neat & clean. We got an interesting tour of the old cotton gin & some of the equipment preserved here. The office gal spent 25 years of her life working in the cotton growing industry in her earlier life. She was well versed in explaining the workings of the growth, harvest, etc. of the cotton.
The following are pictures from outside/inside the Ole Towne Cotton Gin:
Camp Store & Registration Office on Right of Picture
Outside where cotton was unloaded up through pipe from wagon
Original old wooden cotton ginMetal drying unit used to dry cotton fiber after separation, much like a clothes dryer. This was used after the 1930 fire destroyed previous equipment

Separation of seed and unusable part of the cotton plant - sticks, pods, etc.

That brings us up through today. Tonight it is very cold & already down to freezing. Needless to say, we have no hoses connected outside. The best part of this RV Park is they serve a continental breakfast between 8:00 & 9:30 AM in the store. The price???? $1 per person put in the honor box!!! Can't remember everything, but I believe she said, bagels, muffins, pancakes (I'm assuming the kind you put in a microwave), cold cereal & coffee & tea. Not bad for $1.00!! Guess we will eat at the store tomorrow morning. Saves me washing dishes prior to pulling out. Tomorrow we should hit Interstate 40 in Amarillo, TX then head west. We traveled the northwest route of 287 today out of Ft. Worth. It is a 4 lane highway, but not an Interstate. Travel was very good. Thanks Bob for recommending this route. You are right, we saw many trains. As I type this, one just went by across the road from the campground. Since I'm tired tonight, I doubt I'll hear any during the night!

Just for all those folks back in PA who wanted to come west but were afraid of the gas prices........well, things look pretty good out here. We have averaged between $2.54 & $2.79 for diesel. Gas prices have all been below $2.00 per gallon with the exception of a couple of places. That is much better than last year on our trip out. So if you all change your mind come February.......we will be in AZ soaking up the sun!!! Hint, Hint!

Well, time to "hit the hay" & stay warm for the rest of the night.

Until next time.......................The Traveling Cardinal's

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Westward Travel

I've been trying to update this blog for a couple nights, but my PC doesn't want to behave itself and keep connected! Wonderful air cards! LOL

So to bring you all up-to-date. We didn't leave Gulf Shores, AL until Tues. morning. Since we had a free night of camping, we decided to wait until Tues. to leave.

We stayed on the Mississippi River at River View RV Park in Vidalia, LA, across the river from Natchez, MS.
View of bridge at sunset from park
We spent Wed. touring three annabellum homes in Natchez. Were they ever beautiful. Our only problem was we went to the best one first & the others just didn't hold up. The following are a few pictures of the homes we visited & a little history. Natchez is the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi River, settled in 1716 by the French. The city once boasted over 500 millionaires, more than any other city in the US except New York. Fortunes were made in cotton in antebellum days as today in the 19th century, cotton still grows in that rich land. Natchez as a city survived the Civil War with little loss to property. The town was quietly occupied in the summer of 1863.
Stanton Hall, built in the 1850's. Considered by many to be the grandest of the Natchez mansions. It was the most beautiful home we visited. No pictures could be taken inside the home, so the pictures following were taken from post cards that I purchased so I could put them on the computer to include them here. Not real clear, but gives you an idea of the inside.
Lower Hallway - our RV could fit inside this hallway almost twice!!! The size of the doors was just amazing! You looked like a dwarf standing in the doorway. The architecture was fabulous. A lot of the furnishings were made in other countries or states & shipped to the home. The original gas lighting chandeliers (now changed to electric) were beautiful. Very hard to describe. A must see!

Looking at 1/2 of the parlor. Furnishings now have been reupholstered in red and gold. Christmas tree is traditionally placed on the table of the bay window on extreme left of picture. Notice the 2 pointed arch. Matches the arch in the hallway.
Dining room with silver service.
Bedroom on upper floor. All beds were 4 poster with canopy. Chamber pot doubles as a step to reach the high bed. Beds were high in order to receive the breeze from windows. All had mosquito netting as there were no screens used.
Bill standing under one of the many giant oaks still standing from the original plantings.

Rosalie built in 1820s by Peter Little. It was used by federal troops as their headquarters. The furnishings were carefully stored by the occupying troops on the 3rd floor of the home showing the care not to destroy & abuse the property. I was lucky enough to play the grand piano in the parlor during our tour. A very special, neat experience. Luckily a hymn book was there on the piano opened to "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", a hymn I have played many, many times! The other side of the home looks toward the Miss. River & the grounds were beautiful. I didn't take my camera in as I didn't think we could take pictures here either. But the tour guide said, oh yes, you can take pictures all you want! Might know! Food was prepared in the building to the left in picture then taken through a walkway to the lower porch & passed through a window into the dining area. No cooking was done in any of the homes because of the heat and chance of fires.

This is the beautiful entrance to Longwood. Wouldn't you like to drive down this driveway to your home??? I love this picture. So peaceful looking!This is Longwood. It was using environmentally friendly technology long before "going green" was popular. Dr. Haller Rush Nutt used solar panels (strategically placed mirrors) to reflect the sun's rays for the purpose of heating water in the house. This is the largest remaining octagonal house in the US. It was under construction before the Civil War. When the war started, the workmen who were from the north, abandoned saws & hammers & returned home. Dr. Nutt, also a northerner, lost his wealth and plantations across the river in LA & died a broken man. Longwood remains unfinished today. The basement floor was completed for the family to use, but the 5 other floors remain unfinished.

Bill & tour guide talking. This is the first floor of the home which is not completed. The basement would be located under the porch where they are standing.

This is looking upwards from first floor up. Shows upper floors left just as they were.

We left Vidalia, LA this morning to head north to hit Interstate 20 & then across Louisiana. Missed our route, but still made it to where we were going. Road was good & very little traffic. Worst part was it was very, very foggy this morning. We arrived in Terrell, TX (approx. 60 miles east of Dallas) this afternoon around 3:45pm. Got my washing done, our showers taken & supper eaten so Bill could take up the water hose & sewer hose. When we pulled into Blue Bonnet Ridge RV Park, there was a sign up for freeze warning. So don't want to take the chance of frozen hoses! The wind has been blowing very hard since we arrived. We didn't unhook from the truck, but the trailer sways with the wind quite a bit. Almost like being drunk when you walk through the trailer. Will probably rock us to sleep.

Tried to call my sister, Romayne tonight to see how they were fairing in New York State! Erie, PA is calling for 1 - 1-1/2 ft. of snow still. When I checked the weather there yesterday they had severe weather alert until Sat. Temperatures are in the mid 20's. An email from my friend Sarah in N. Warren, says she has a foot of snow on her railing on her deck. She has shoveled twice today & it is still coming down. Oh my...........I don't miss it!!!!! Can't wait to get to Apache Junction!!!! Have been checking temperatures along Interstate 40 so we can be prepared for low temperatures at night. Day time doesn't look too bad & don't see any snow in the forecast. I think we will make it!

Yesterday my daughter let us know that little Nicholas has bronchitis. Gosh, those guys keep fighting those colds. He was feeling better tonight. All weekend he had a fever. Maybe he will be on the mend now & can get back to school next week.

Well, I think that about catches us up. Until next time..........The Traveling Cardinal's

Monday, November 17, 2008

Catch Up of Past Week

I guess I'd better get busy & catch up before we set out down the highway again.

This past week we have just been visiting around the Foley, AL/Pensacola, FL area. Bill and I went to the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL on Thursday. It was very interesting. They weren't giving guided tours except at 1:00PM so we gave ourselves the self-guided tour. We were pooped by 1pm! That was a lot of walking. In case you didn't know, Pensacola is the Naval Air Station Base for the Blue Angels. We never did see them while we were there.
Outside of Museum
Inside museum - model of USS George H.W. Bush Aircraft Carrier. Largest ever built. Home to 6000 military men & women. That's bigger than the town close to where I grew up in!!!
Helicopter hanging from ceiling (as were many of the restored aircraft). I told you Nicholas, you could hang your helicopter from your bedroom ceiling!!!!!
Just a small sampling of what was in the museum
More aircraft. Parts of old Navy ships were also there to walk through to get a feeling of the small living quarters
Blue Angels from top level
Blue Angels from bottom level
Fri. & Sat. (this past weekend) was their homecoming Air Show & we went with Bob & Amy to friends & watched from their front lawn. It was a very cold day. In the sun wasn't too bad, but the air was really cold. Bill & I had been to the air show in Oceana at Virginia Beach this year, so we didn't care that we didn't see all of the rest of the show. The Blue Angels put on a great show at the end here at their home base though.

The warmest day was on Friday. We thought we were going to the beach, but Amy had lots of errands to run & we didn't make it, so missed the 83 deg. day at the beach. We went to Pensacola Beach on Sat. right before the sun set. It was beautiful, but the weather was like being in a northern blizzard!!!! Very cold & windy. Needless to say, we spent approx. 5 min. on the beach!!! Long enough to snap 4 or 5 pictures & then we were out of there! We then went to a fish market called Joe Patti's. All types of fish right off the boat. Anything you can imagine. EXCEPT, the one that Bill & I like. Atlantic Haddock. Didn't see any of that! Hey Mark, I did see what a grouper looked like though. Amy & Bob bought shrimp to bring back to the house, so we had left overs & shrimp.

Isaac, Bill, Bob, Ethan & Amy

Another beautiful Florida Sunset behind the pier

Sunday we went to church with Amy & Bob, then I took dinner to their house. They invited a friend to their home & since our trailer is too small for a big group, we took the food to their house. After visiting for awhile, we came home & Bill watched the races & I read. In the evening, I went to church with Amy while she practiced hand bells. Got to see them in action & remember what I miss about my home church. It was fun to see another group practice. Just want North Warren Qadosh to know they are right up there with the top though!!!! In comparison, you are still #1 in my book! Miss you gals!!!!

Since we had received a free night of camping, we have decided to stay here until Tues. morning instead of leaving this morning. It's a good thing. The ol' back isn't responding well today. I've got the Icy Hot patches on one side & the rice bag on the other. Hard to sit or walk. A little of each all day & maybe I can get it worked out. It's a beautiful day, but rather cool again.

When we leave here we plan on going to Natchez, MS to tour some of the plantation homes in that area. Then work our way up through Louisiana, Texas & out Interstate 40. We are just praying there isn't a lot of snow by the time we get to Flagstaff! As long as it is off the highway, we will be fine.

Will keep you posted where we are. Until next time..........The Traveling Cardinal's

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Arrival in Warmer Weather!


Just a quick post to let my readers know where we are.

We arrived in Gulf Shores, Alabama this afternoon around 3:45 pm. (Gained an hour - it's Central Time here). We are staying at Gulf Breeze RV Park instead of the park we stayed at last year. Closer to my niece & closer to the Gulf.

Bill & I got set up & then took off to Cracker Barrel for supper & a quick stop to Walmart for a few groceries. After we got home, I made a phone call to Iowa to Phyllis & Tom to return their call. Things sound like they are getting colder in their part of the country. Getting closer to AZ time for them too. Tom has a touch of pneumonia so he needs to take good care of himself so he's ready to travel in December!! Keep you in our prayers, Tom!!

Amy, Bob, Ethan & Isaac visited with us for a couple hours this evening after she finished work at the hospital. Boy have those boys grown since we were here last Fall!!! Ethan had to duck to get into my living room! We had a nice visit & will have more to report on as the week goes by.

We plan on staying until Monday, the 17th. Then we will start heading West.

Will keep you posted on future happenings with The Traveling Cardinal's. Until next's bed time............I'm tired!!!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Traveling - Finally!!

Well, the Cardinal's are finally traveling again!

We left Virginia Beach at 9am Sun. morning, the 9th. We started out with beautiful blue skies -- sure, after we've been sitting around in the rain, drizzle & cold for however long! It turned cloudier as we traveled southwest, but was still a beautiful day.

We stayed at the same county park in Salisbury, NC where my nieces & nephew, Kathy, Elaine, Lee & their families live. We arrived around 4:30pm. Good thing, the park closes at 5pm & we wouldn't have gotten in. Kathy came out to visit us with her 2 little ones, Sarah & Ethan. We made pizza & sat & gabbed until little Sarah was getting tired. I guess I was too, as I went to bed right after they left. 8:30 would you believe!!!!! Unfortunately Elaine was working & Lee & his family had gone home to NYS to visit his mom & other family there in Frewsburg. He called to say they got home around 3AM this morning, but we had already left.

We woke up this morning to a cold trailer AGAIN! Thought it might have been the trouble with propane again because it was so cold. But that wasn't the problem. One tank had run out, but we had blown a fuse for the furnace. So as we were traveling today, we kept watching billboards advertising RV Sales. The first one we got to didn't have any 15 amp fuses, but we did stock up on 20 amps. Then the second one had them, but it was a treat to get in & out of the area. I don't understand why when they build these sales/service areas, they don't allow for big rigs to pull in off the Interstate, get in & be able to get out easily. Again..........wasn't designed by a woman!!!

Since we had to stop so many times during the day, we decided to stop just before Atlanta, Georgia & are staying in Norcross, GA at a campground we stayed at on our way to AZ last January. Needless to say, it is a bit warmer than last time we were here, although it is suppose to get down in the 30's tonight. Thank God we found those fuses! We know He travels with us & He always leads us to the right place at the right time!

When we got to the park this afternoon, Bill got things set up outside & I got stuff inside done, then started supper. While I was waiting for the meatloaf to bake, I turned on the PC to read my emails & get the hometown paper up for Bill to read. His uncle had passed away last Sat. He wanted to read the obit. I only had 18 emails. Not too bad, mostly forwarded jokes. You know what you do with some of them!!! Anyway, we had gotten 2 emails from our friends Ricky & Donna that we left in V. Beach. She said he was moping around & missing us already. Didn't have anyone to pick on or bug. Poor Ricky! We miss them too! They were a lot of fun! So very glad we got to go out with them for supper before we left. It's doubly lonesome for him as Donna is working & the grandkids have gone home. Must be really quiet in that trailer now!

Tomorrow we should be arriving in Foley, Alabama area. Hopefully we can find a site at the park we stayed at last fall when we were there. Although, it is snowbird season, we might not be so lucky. If not, there is a big state park near there. Hopefully we will find something.

Otherwise, not much else going on, but it is nice to be moving again. Hopefully it will get warmer as we get closer to the Gulf. We have lots of time to get to AZ, but never know, we may get there earlier than we have to. We know there are plenty of activities to do when we get there, so AZ here we come. I told Bill yesterday, if he sees something along the way & he wants to stop, just holler. We don't have a timetable to follow. We have 3 weeks to make it to AZ.

Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Sunny Day

The weekend has been beautiful with sunshine & clear blue skies. It's still a little cool though.

We went to the beach & walked yesterday. As long as you stayed in the sun it was nice. I'm still feeling a little under the weather, so I got cold faster than Bill. Hoping to get out & sit in the Vitamin D again today.

Saturday Renee sent me pictures of the boys & one BIG boy going trick or treating! They had a great time & then spent time with one of their new neighbors afterwards. The boys are the same age so they play well together. A few pictures of Halloween from Maryland:
Nick as Batman

Noah as Scarecrow
Nick & NoahNoah with Nick & Noah's Friend BaileyTom, the Big Boy going Trick or Treating with Kids

Ain't he cute?

Well, we didn't get any trick or treaters here, so I still have a bag of candy left. Maybe it will turn into Christmas candy!

Previous neighbors here at the campground stopped this morning so their grand kids could tell Bill the Pill goodbye. They are leaving around 2am tomorrow morning to head back to TN. Grandpa is going with them & then ride his motorcycle back. We are going to help them move their trailer when he gets back. The kids have all had the same sore throats & stuffed up heads that I've had over here. The gal in the office said she had it for a week too. Guess it's just going around.

Well, we've decided to move on. Yesterday we had to make up our minds what we were doing as it was time to pay for our spot again. We've decided we can't stand to sit around & do nothing any longer. We will be leaving Virginia Beach next Sunday, the 9th. Will head South, probably to Alabama. Bill really liked it there & we are thinking of visiting Amy & family again. Haven't told her yet so I guess this week I'd better send off an email to let her know we will be there sometime the end of the following week. Bill liked that Gulf more than he wanted to admit when we went to Florida! The white sands were beautiful.

Well, time to do up the dinner dishes & then find some sunshine. I think it is disappearing fast. Big clouds out there now. That's about it.

Until next time........The Traveling Cardinal's