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January 05, 2006

From Home to Florida

December 7th dawned bright and sunny and we anticipated a morning start.  But, we had been sitting at the park in Waterloo since we had picked up the new trailer.   It had snowed and melted and snowed and melted those few days and left a layer of ice on the top of the slides.  When we went to close them – no way – the layer of ice was in the way.  Two hours later and much cracking with a hammer and scrapping with a windshield scraper we had them cleared and started south. 

Just south of Erie, PA it started to snow and as the days are short, it was dark. We headed to a WalMart parking lot in Meadville PA. for the night as there were no campgrounds open at that time of the year.  We parked at the edge of the lot, didn’t even put the slides out as we didn’t want to have snow accumulation on them and went to bed early.  All was fine until about 3 AM when the snow clearing crew arrived to do the parking lot.    In the morning everything around and close to our trailer was clear – right down to the pavement where they had scraped the snow away.  We didn’t have to move but it sure was noisy for a couple of hours.

The next day we got as far as Ft. Chiswell VA.  We had been hearing about a huge storm that was to arrive that night and tried to get as far south as we could to outrun the snow.  We went into a campground there and had just finished hooking up the electricity when the freezing rain started.  I must say we were happy to be off the road at that point.  The next morning we found about an inch of freezing rain/snow mixture on the slides – so back up on the ladder with hammer and scraper again.  We stayed another night there to be sure that the roads were OK when we headed out.  That was the last of the snow that we have seen on this trip!

Our route took us to Greenville, NC where we visited with Ross’s cousin for a couple of days and then south through Myrtle Beach, SC to south of Charleston.

From there we went south to Folkston GA.  This was a double stop as it is a major railroad intersection and is also an entrance to the Okefenokee swamp.  Ross got to watch his trains.  We were almost too close as the track ran right beside the campground and there were trains about every 20 to 30 minutes.



 The next morning we went to Okefenokee swamp.  It is an area of more than 600 square miles crossing the southern border of Georgia into Florida.  Most of the swamp was declared a wildlife refuge in 1937.  There was a 4,000 ft boardwalk extending out into the swamp that ended with a 50 ft high viewing tower.  We saw our first alligator of the trip, sunning himself close to the boardwalk.

The main reason that we went down the eastern seaboard was to reach Florida for a holiday with our girls, their husbands and of course our new Ricardo.

CA45KTS7We spent the week of December 17th to the 24th with our family at a timeshare quite close to the Disney parks.  Some visited them, we all went to Kennedy Space Centre, we all shopped and spent a lot of time together.

I decided to cook a full Christmas dinner which was quite a challenge with the small stove in the timeshare.  However, a 17lb turkey (at 38 cents a pound !!!) with all the trimmings was enjoyed and devoured.

Mandi & Quincy had to fly back to the Bahamas on the 24th so they could catch the last flight of the day to San Salvador as Bahamas Air doesn’t fly on Christmas Day.  Barn and Shell stayed with us in the trailer Christmas Eve as we had to check out of the timeshare on the 24th and they couldn’t get a flight until the 25th.   It was neat having them with us for Christmas morning.

Our Ricardo has grown and as you can see by the picture I looked after him whenever I could. 

We’ll miss seeing our family but the road calls and we will be off again on December 27th.   We’re heading all the way around the Gulf of Mexico so will keep you posted.

Bernie & Ross


Posted by Ross at January 5, 2006 08:38 PM


Thanks for the update folks, and a belated (very!!) Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and safe-driving New Year!


Bob Paterson

Posted by: Bob Paterson at February 9, 2006 08:19 AM

Aren't grandchildren wonderful! Good to see the picture and hear of the time with your family.

Posted by: Betty Russell at February 9, 2006 08:48 AM

Hi Guys,
Couldn't you have chosen a picture of my son that didn't have his hands in his mouth?!? He loved being with Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Michelle and Uncle Barnaby too. We love your stories, and look forward to the next one. Can't wait to see you again in April.
Love, Mandi, Quincy and Ricky

Posted by: Mandi at February 9, 2006 09:06 AM

Thanks for the update. We are finally starting to have a winter here, and I'm thinkin' I'd really rather be someplace warm.

Posted by: Rick & Gill at February 9, 2006 05:18 PM

Wow! Don't envy you the snow and ice and freezing rain. We've had lots of snow & rain in Bend this winter & now have problems with skylights that are leaking. I'm sure if you are in TX that the weather is quite warm now. Are you going to travel most of the year in the trailer? Anyway, sounds as if you are having a great time and that is all that matters.
Sincerely, Bette

Posted by: Bette Andrew at February 9, 2006 07:04 PM

Good Luck on Your Trip!

Posted by: Dave Johnston at February 9, 2006 10:23 PM

Hi, Guys. Glad you're enjoying the trip. I see you took the I-79-77 route. We took I-75 when we drove to Naples, Fla., which means, essentially, that we drove to Detroit and turned left. The trip was all the more enjoyable because of a book called "Along the Interstate 75," written by a Canadian named Dave Hunter. Very interesting. Safe, happy driving , and hope to see you soon. J & A

Posted by: Jill & Alan at February 13, 2006 02:06 PM

Forgot to mention - what a great-looking grandchild! Must be from my side of the family.

Posted by: Jill & Alan at February 13, 2006 02:08 PM