Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Change Of Plans

As you recall, we finished up our test run to Florida and Georgia, then on the way home dropped the RV off for a week at our dealer in Huntsville for a few minor adjustments.  During that week, Scott and Rachel had the gender reveal party and surprised everyone with the news of twin boys!  That is pretty exciting stuff.  They had shared that detail with both sets of grandparents in advance and we were sworn to secrecy before the gender reveal shindig.  It was tough keeping that quiet!

We picked up the RV after the gender reveal and headed off to points west with plans to be back in late July for the arrival of Jackson Wayne and Shaun Anthony.  There were major storms headed our way in Tornado Alley, so we opted to head south along the Gulf Coast.  If you also recall, we took a direct hit from an EF3 tornado in the spring of 2014, a day (and year of recovery) we will never forget, and just do not have any interest in repeating it if at all possible.

Our first stop was Poplarville, MS at the Haas-Cienda RV Park (yes, their spelling).  We continue to use the Passport America sites as our first choice - 50% off regular prices and usually for short-term stays, one or two nights.  We have not had a bad experience yet and we prefer the country settings with large pull-thru grass sites, barnyard animals, ponds/lakes, no highway traffic, etc.

This campground also had a tent camping area with a group of bikers passing through (as in with pedals, not motors on them).

Each campground has little gimmicky things that are clever.  This one's "Grand Central Station" was the four bathrooms.

I apologize for our camera, it definitely has developed some problems.  Scott and Rachel bought it for us in Miami in 2013 when we met them during our Loop trip.  It has been very reliable and took great pictures but we have just worn it out. We took pictures of barnyard animals here also but the pictures were just not presentable. Rhonda actually touched a friendly cow, but no pictures. We plan to shop for a replacement camera soon.

Our next stop was Port Arthur, TX.  Arriving in Port Arthur, we were glad to see this detour via the new bridge - the old one looked very steep and iffy at best.

We passed through here on the Loop also but did not stop to sightsee any.  The RV park's "clever" idea was their pool - shaped like the state of Texas.

We were a little tired and decided not to sightsee any this time either.  We took the recommendation of some locals and decided to dine at a local seafood place - one of those that you look at it and wonder if it is safe to eat there??  Their unique specialty was salt and pepper shrimp which was excellent.

And in case any of you are wondering how Wilson is doing, he has made the transition from boat to RV and is enjoying the trip, got the Harley hat on, and is riding in the garage.

In Austin we chose a brand new RV park - Longhorn RV (there are lots of things named Longhorn in Texas)!  This is a first-class development and their development is still a work in progress.  The camp store boasts one of their former residents - check this out!

We got situated in one of their 70-foot pull-thru sites and headed off to see the three grandkids.

We were a few days early for Bryce's birthday (9 this time around) but decided to go ahead and open his present and then took all three of them bowling.  Do you know that bowling now costs $3.75 per game and shoes are $3.50 per person.  Well, "anything for the grandkids" is the rule, so what difference does the cost make?  They were excited to spend the night on the RV with us, as were we. Before bed, it was Star Wars movie time - ho-hum yawn for me but again, anything for the grandkids.

Alexis slept up front with Rhonda.  By the way, those are not sunglasses on her head, they are cat ears.  Alexis thinks she is a cat but we still love her.

Connor, as the eldest, headed up top for the loft.

And we lowered the bench seats down for Bryce and me in the garage.  Technically, I guess we raised them, but since they were already up to the ceiling for the motorcycle, we lowered them.  Details, details, type A, you understand.  

And no, I cannot explain why he is wearing a Santa Hat in April.  Alexis thinks she is a cat, maybe he thinks he is Santa.  Be honest, don't your grandkids do weird things too???  

Unfortunately, the tornado people heard we were in Austin, TX at the Longhorn RV Resort trying to avoid bad weather and they tried to scare us with a serious thunderstorm in the middle of the night - they did a darn good job of it too!  It was no EF3 or even an EF1, but in an RV, it felt like an EF10. And did I mention hail?  Do you know what hail sounds like when you are inside an RV?  The wind was so strong that one of the slides was moving in and out about 3 inches!  We have ridden out many storms in boats and I will take a boat storm anyday.  I expect we will reminesce this night with the grandkids for years to come!  Yeah, making memories with the grandkids - they may be reconsidering this set of grandparents after this!

Now to the change in plans.  About the time we arrived at Longhorn, Scott called to give us the latest doctor visit report.  Rachel was showing some early signs that are not scheduled to be here just yet, but not really uncommon either with twins.  So, strict bed rest it is for the next 12 weeks or longer if the twins will just be patient.  Scott assured us we did not need to head back home, but there was no way we were continuing on farther west with this new development.  In addition to us just wanting to be there, Scott's schedule as a corporate pilot is about as predictable as a flash flood and our schedule is flexible to accomodate short notice needs to be there and help keep Rachel off of her feet. 

So, we headed back to Alabama, first stop, Eustace, TX at another Mom-and-Pop Passport America grassy pull-through site.  We love these places - "We may not be there, just pick a site and slide the money through a crack in the door.  We trust everybody, have fun!"  Only $14 dollars and we did, with a nice shade tree to boot.

Next stop, North Little Rock RV Park, another town we had been through by boat when we traveled the Arkansas River in 2008 to manage Three Forks Harbor in Muskogee, OK and then again on the departure trip to Galveston, TX in 2010.  The campground sits right on the bank of the river.  

The picture above is from the pedestrian bridge that takes you over to the William Jefferson Clinton trailer park on the other side of the river, also known as the Presidential Library.  It really does look like a trailer!  That's it on the left in the distance.  

Even though we are not fans of Bill (and for darn sure not Hillary), I thought it would be fun to check out the trailer since we have never been to a presidential library before.  But I was voted down. Rhonda wants to wait for Trump's to be our first.  (That's an inside joke that Rhonda does not think is very funny!)  By the way Donald, I would like to add a second descriptor to "Crooked Hillary." How about "Screamin' Crooked Hillary?"  Am I the only one that thinks she needs to tone that down just a little?  OK, I know I am losing our lib readers with the Clinton stuff, but let's be fair - you think I am just as crazy as I think you are!  You have to give me credit though, I do a pretty good job of keeping politics out of the blog.  Well, there is that global warming thing I've mentioned a couple of times......

Anyhow, we are back home now and available to help with the bed rest requirement, meals, house cleaning, whatever is necessary.  We would appreciate your prayers for Rachel, Scott, and the twins.  

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