1 Nov – 1 Dec, 2016; Family and Friends

Greetings all from Biloxi, Mississippi!  Man, it has been a full month already.  Where does the time go?  We have had an absolute blast this past month catching up with family and friends in Florida, and landed back in Biloxi, MS yesterday.

We last left off on Halloween at the Cummins repair facility in NC.  Our parts showed up the first thing on Tuesday morning (new heater booster pump and hoses), and the mechanics had us out of the shop and parked back in our spot by early afternoon.  Total damage with parts (pump, hoses, 32 gallons of antifreeze) and labor was just south of $1K…not too bad considering all that happened.  Rather than head down the road that late in the afternoon, we decided to spend one last night in the Cummins park.  We hit the road early on the 2nd, and made it as far as the Coastal Georgia RV Park near Brunswick, GA.  It was an uneventful day, and nice travels.  We have stayed here once before, and oddly enough it was the night before we got towed the first time back in the summer of 2014.  Karma I guess.

Nice park with concrete slabs and a lot of amenities. Price for one night was only $23 due to our Passport America membership.

Nice park with concrete slabs and a lot of amenities. Price for one night was only $23 due to our Passport America membership.

We departed early on the 4th, Thursday, bound for Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake in Orlando, where we were originally supposed to be on the 1st.  Again, another good travel day, but if we never, ever drive I-4 through Orlando again with the bus we will not be disappointed.

Our spot at Turkey Lake. This is a nice park with a lot to offer, but their slabs are extremely un-level. There are only about 3 out of the 40 sites that will get us close to level, and even then we have to use blocks on some tires. Time the right front is up on blocks.

Our spot at Turkey Lake. This is a nice park with a lot to offer, but their slabs are extremely un-level. There are only about 3 out of the 40 sites that will get us close to level, and even then we have to use blocks on some tires. This time the right front is up on blocks.

The next almost two weeks were a blur.  We spent a ton of time with Mandi and Justin, and got to see my mom and dad and play some cards a couple of times.  I don’t have a ton of photos…

Great bike paths and vistas in this park.

Great bike paths and vistas in this park.

Justin and Mandi scored us tickets to the UCF game on the 5th, and we had a blast. We tailgated ahead of time in the RV lot. One of their friends has an uncle that parks his bus at the RV lot during most games so the

Justin and Mandi scored us tickets to the UCF game on the 5th, and we had a blast. We tail gate ahead of time in the RV lot. One of their friends has an uncle that parks his bus at the RV lot during most games so the “kids” can tail gate just outside the stadium. This was a great win for UCF.

Nice new Jumbo Tron at the stadium.

Nice new Jumbo Tron at the stadium.

The rest of the week slipped by with trips to mom and dads, shopping, truck maintenance, bike rides, dinners with Mandi and Justin and just other “stuff.”  Saturday the 12th we ended up back at UCF for their next home game.  I got a free ticket due to their promotion of Veteran’s Day.  What a great gig.

We got to the campus in time to take a walk around and see what has changed. They have made a ton of improvements to this campus.

We got to the campus in time to take a walk around and see what has changed. They have made a ton of improvements to this campus.

Mandi snapped this shot of Terri and I at the new Veteran's Memorial at the south end of Memory Mall.

Mandi snapped this shot of Terri and I at the new Veteran’s Memorial at the south end of Memory Mall.

What a great looking new ROTC facility located on Memory Mall as well. This sure is a step up from the double wide trailer that Jason was associated with during his time in ROTC at UCF.

What a great looking new ROTC facility located on Memory Mall as well. This sure is a step up from the double wide trailer that Jason was associated with during his time in ROTC at UCF.

Another shot of the veterans memorial.

Another shot of the veterans memorial.

And UCF won this game as well...one of Mandi and Justin's friends said we had to go to the next two games as we were a good luck charm...I guess he was right, as UCF dropped the next two games. They are still going to a bowl game however. Pretty decent going from zero wins last year to a bowl this year.

And UCF won this game as well…one of Mandi and Justin’s friends said we had to go to the next two games as we were a good luck charm…I guess he was right, as UCF dropped the next two games. They are still going to a bowl game however. Pretty decent going from zero wins last year to a bowl this year.

We were allowed on the field after the game. That was a neat experience. The last time we were on the field was when I commissioned Jason as an Officer in the USAF.

We were allowed on the field after the game. That was a neat experience. The last time we were on the field was when I commissioned Jason as an Officer in the USAF.

On Monday, the 14th we transitioned over to Wickham Park in Melbourne FL for a little over a week.  It was a great time catching up with great friends!!

The day we arrived, Tommy and Donna pulled in next to us and spent the next three days.

The day we arrived, Tommy and Donna pulled in next to us and spent the next three days.

Here's their dog Buddy giving me the business for being too close to their Coach...

Here’s their dog Buddy giving me the business for being too close to their Coach…

On Friday we were joined by Eric and Ellen and their new Coach!

On Friday we were joined by Eric and Ellen and their new Coach!

What a blast…I know I say that a lot, but it really was fun catching up with, and not spending nearly enough time with several folks who stopped by, or that we met at the Marina or elsewhere.  Time sure does fly.  Thanks to Trase, Shonna, CJ, Al, Marlena, Tina, Steve, Kevin, Michele and to anyone else that stopped by or we caught up with that I may have failed to mention.  We certainly hit the jackpot with the folks we got to know during our time on the Space Coast.

We even got to see an Atlas V launch while we were there.

We even got to see an Atlas V launch while we were there.

We got this pic of our youngest grand while we were in FL...Man he is growing up fast! Just turned two.

We got this pic of our youngest grand while we were in FL…Man he is growing up fast! Just turned two.

Tuesday, the 22nd was our last day at Wickham...time to pack up and head back to Orlando.

Tuesday, the 22nd was our last day at Wickham…time to pack up and head back to Orlando.

We learned earlier in the month that Jason and Meghan and family, and Ashley and Toby were going to all come to Orlando for the Thanksgiving weekend.  Mandi and Justin were happy to have everyone in their neck of the woods.

Jason and Meghan arrived on the afternoon of the 23rd at Turkey Lake, and go the site right next to ours. I've mentioned before how great this park is. They have a little farm that offers behind the scenes tours, and the kids loved it.

Jason and Meghan arrived on the afternoon of the 23rd at Turkey Lake, and got the site right next to ours. I’ve mentioned before how great this park is. They have a little farm that offers behind the scenes tours, and the kids loved it.

Jason and Meghan's camper with the

Jason and Meghan’s camper with the “puppy pen” between us.

Our son and his son...

Our son and his son…

Terri cooked up an awesome Thanksgiving meal at the Coach. It was just us folks until later in the day when Mandi got off work. Terri is getting to be quite the pro at using the convection oven. The full sized turkey turned out great. This was just prep for Sunday, when we would all celebrate Thanksgiving together, as Ashley and Toby were due in on Saturday.

Terri cooked up an awesome Thanksgiving meal at the Coach. It was just us folks until later in the day when Mandi got off work. Terri is getting to be quite the pro at using the convection oven. The full-sized turkey turned out great. This was just prep for Sunday, when we would all celebrate Thanksgiving together, as Ashley and Toby were due in on Saturday.

Peyton enjoying her find at the farm in the park.

Peyton enjoying her find at the farm in the park.

Jason and Meghan got out to the campus on Friday and got to re-live their college years. Sign these two up??

Jason and Meghan got out to the campus on Friday and got to re-live their college years. Sign these two up??

Another memorable spot on the UCF campus.

Another memorable spot on the UCF campus.

The tour wore the kids out, and they enjoyed some time at Mandi's house.

The tour wore the kids out, and they enjoyed some time at Mandi’s house.

their didn't get to rest for long, as they were put to work on dishes after supper.

They didn’t get to rest for long, as they were put to work on dishes after supper.

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday at Mandi's. Jason, Meghan and family, Ashley, Toby and Mandi went to Mandi and Justin's church on Sunday morning. Justin and I cooked, and Terri went to get my mom and dad. Here is Jason at the kids table...how does that still happen??

We celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday at Mandi’s. Jason, Meghan and family, Ashley, Toby and Mandi went to Mandi and Justin’s church on Sunday morning. Justin and I cooked, and Terri went to get my mom and dad. Here is Jason at the kids table…how does that still happen??

Good eats, good company...not such a great shot.

Good eats, good company…

It sure was great getting as many together as we could. We sure missed Garreck, Emma and Eli though!!

It sure was great getting as many together as we could. We really missed Garreck, Emma and Eli though!!

On Monday we went to a few parks with Mandi, Ashley and Toby, as well as taking a walk around Winter Park and getting haircuts for Toby and I. Here Toby is showing me how to use the ATM.

On Monday we went to a few parks with Mandi, Ashley and Toby, as well as taking a walk around Winter Park and getting haircuts for Toby and I. Here Toby is showing me how to use the ATM.

A neat park with an adult/kid swing.

A neat park with an adult/kid swing.

Toby liked it a lot!!

Toby liked it a lot!!

Ashley and Toby headed back to WI early on Tuesday morning, and Terri and I hit the road early too and made it about 420 miles to Eagles Landing RV Park in Holt, FL which is just off of I-10 north of Pensacola.  That would leave only about 160 miles to go to get to Keesler AFB, MS by Jason and Meghan on Wednesday, the 30th.

We took our time on Wednesday morning, watching the weather before we left FL.  There were severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings along our route.  We were lucky and avoided the tornado activity, but did get into some nasty thunderstorms.  I do love the way our Coach handles wind, rain, whatever.  We made good time and were all set up in the Keesler FamCamp in the early afternoon.  We plan to be here for a couple of months or more to welcome our next grandchild which is due in mid January.

This afternoon and early evening we were treated to a Christmas celebration at the base Marina provided by the base Force Support Squadron.  Here is what went on:

Family photo ops.

Family photo ops.

Trains you can drive.

Trains you can drive.

Trains you can ride.

Trains you can ride.

Cookie decorating.

Cookie decorating.

Hay rides.

Hay rides.

Snow in Mississippi?

Snow in Mississippi?

Frosty frosted her.

Frosty frosted her.

And a tree lighting!

And a tree lighting!

Well, a very brief explanation of what has transpired over the past month.  We are feeling very blessed and fortunate to be able to do what we do, and especially for the time with family and friends that would not have been possible had we not embarked on this journey over two years ago!  We hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving, and wish you an early Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Oh, we found a neat quote the other day:  “The school of hard knocks is an accelerated curriculum.”  —-Menander

As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy and Living Your Dreams!!!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s