Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fun Work

I actually have gotten some projects done in 2015.  This little minkee backed quilt and a matching onsie went to my good friend's daughter for her little baby boy.  
 He was born in the midst of our cold and snowy late winter here so I'm sure he has enjoyed the softness!  I machine quilted the blanket with straight line quilting.  Super simple and super easy.

I've thought about making more little sets like this to stock in our Etsy shop.  Now just to figure out how to set that shop up!  Any suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gulf Coast Adventure 2015

There's nothing like taking a blogging break.....and then there's nothing quite like ignoring your blog either. I really hadn't intended to do that but I guess I did.     But I'm here and instead of trying to play catch up for the past several months, I'll simply start with our last trip and do my best to begin again!

We returned last week from our first RV trip of the year to the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Leaving Indiana two days after a major snow storm made the trip a little slower and certainly messier.  Both vehicles were sporting nice coats of road salt by the time we got to our first destination of St. Joseph's Peninsula State Park.   This year we've got a new Jeep Cherokee Trail Hawk to tow behind the Pursuit.  It can be towed "flat", so it took a little preparation to get the hitch, brakes and lights just the way D wanted them, but it worked great and we look forward to not having to deal with the tow dolly every time we want to take a car with us.  

We really like this part of Florida and this State Park is very nice. Though it seemed like it took forever to get here! Our site was #51 and this photo was taken at sunset from the walkway to the beach.  This is a popular park and we were lucky to snag a reservation just a couple of weeks before. The campsites are pretty close together but not terrible.  Of course, our little motorhome doesn't take up much room so I can imagine with a bigger RV, the spacing would be more of an issue.  We walked on the beach, rode our bicycles and bought seafood from a nearby market to grill. The area is known for "birding" and we also saw several deer and even an alligator. One day we drove over to Apalachicola and checked out some of the shops.  The little town of Port St. Joe is a nice little destination too.

Our second campground was at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.  We had visited here before but I guess it was back when I was taking another "blogging break" so I couldn't find where I had posted anything about it.  I think we were in site #84 this time, but not sure.  It was nice because although this is a large park, we had no one behind us, just a road only used by the tram to the beach.  This was a nice long, level concrete site with lots of tall pines around us.  A beautiful park, with lots of activities (if you're into that sort of thing) and within a nice bike ride to the gorgeous beach.  This area is great because there is just about every activity available - shopping, dining, tourist activities, and sightseeing.  Of course, being close to Destin it's popular for spring break and families. Things were just beginning to get busy when we were there.  

A few of the highlights of the week .......

We visited Eden's Garden State Park.

Gulfarium Marine Park

Made friends with some wildlife and made use of our bicycles.

Ate very well!  This was D's favorite meal, Stinky's Stew at Stinky's Fish Camp

Watched the sun set on the beach at St. Joseph's Peninsula State Park.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Maine Adventure - Part 2

Note:   I began this update to my blog several weeks ago and never finished.    I'm sure no one is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for Part 2, and probably Parts 3 and 4.  I've got so many photos that going thru them became so time hogging that I became overwhelmed and slacked off.  So I will go ahead and hit the publish button and try to get a few more on here at some point.  The mini version of chronicling our vacation is: We had a wonderful time, saw many parts of this beautiful country, took far too many photos, had wonderful food and made it home safe and sound.

Once we made it to Portland, the next morning we bypassed touring the city and headed up the coast on Hwy 1.  When we were in Maine a few years ago, we visited Booth Bay and really enjoyed the touristy town and also a stopped at Freeport to visit the L.L. Bean flagship store.  So again, we passed these towns up and opted for a side trip to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.  One thing about riding the motorcycle, once we got off of the main highway we found the roads were pretty rough.  I'm sure that's from the freezing and thawing during the winters but we tried to ignore that and concentrate on the pretty views along the way. 

 The lighthouse was really interesting.  Only six visitors at a time were allowed at the top, but  I'm not sure how they could get that many!  The views were awesome and we spent some time photographing every angle. 

After a nice lunch at a little cafe nearby (the only cafe nearby :) ), we headed back up the rough  road and on toward Camden for a quick stop there.  I wanted to send a little present to cheer up our  littlest grandson who had come down with Chickenpox.  I felt so sorry for him and if we would've been home, this Grammy would've been his buddy and nurse.  Luckily, he now has Great Grandparents nearby to help.  His stuffed toy Puffin ended up being the only Puffin we saw the entire trip. Camden had some cute shops and a pretty harbor and I wish we could've spent a little more time exploring here, but we wanted to get on to Bar Harbor before dark.  

No frills, but very comfortable and friendly would describe the Bar Harbor Best Western.  The ladies at the front desk had good recommendations for dinner and found us a room where we could park the motorcycle by the front door.  The next morning we headed to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain.  We weren't there early enough for the famous sunrises by any means (sunrise was around 4:30 am here!) but we took lots of photos and soaked in the beauty of the area.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Maine Adventure- Part 1

Last year it was South Dakota, this year it was Maine as our destination for a MAJOR motorcycle trip. We had been to Maine a few years ago, but by plane where we picked up a new (to us) RV and drove it home. I blogged about that quick trip here but we've always said we would go back.  

So in the middle of a Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, we loaded the little trailer we pull behind the Harley and started East.  D says pulling the trailer is not a big deal, so it's nice to pack for an extended MC trip and not have to worry about stopping to do laundry or buying some extra souvenirs.  We also carry our extra helmets (3/4 with shields) in case we encounter rain, various tools, coats and even his briefcase with our two computers.  I guess we probably over pack, but when we've got the space, we use it :)  

It took us two and a half days to get to Maine, with overnight stops in Barboursville, WV and Wilkes Barre, PA.  This trip we stayed exclusively at Best Western Motels/Hotels.  They have a special rate for Harley Davidson owners and since D is a member of the "Diamond" club, he often gets a free upgrade if available.  The quality of these motels varies but most always are clean and provide a free breakfast of some kind.  They advertise themselves as motorcycle friendly and often will let us park under the front awning.  
 This was at our stop after our first full day of riding at Wilkes Barre PA at the Best Western Plus East Mountain Inn and Suites. Here we scored a nice suite and enjoyed their on site restaurant.   They are in the process of remodeling but we were still pleased with our older room.  It rained over night, but our luck continued  and we had a dry start in the morning.  Our second full day seemed long.  I can't remember the exact number of miles we rode  but I'm sure it was over 350.  We passed through several states as we traveled the interstates.  

Meals are taken pretty seriously when we travel.  We are always on the watch for some local restaurant or at least a local chain that will provide an interesting break.  We kept spotting advertisements for "diners" in New York and Connecticut so when we saw that the Blue Colony Diner was at the next exit, we pulled in not realizing until we passed a sign that this was Newtown, CT.  We had an excellent lunch and enjoyed a local favorite.

The rest of our second full day was a little stressful as we had heavy traffic going around Boston, but we made it to Maine that evening.

Weary, but not too tired to take the required "selfie" to send back to family and post to Instagram (@ontheroadjanet).  Again we scored an upgrade at the Best Western in Portland.  This time, the "Lodge" room!!  Perfect after a long 2 1/2 days of travel to the "wilderness" of Maine. LOL.  

I'll post later about the next few days and our visit to Acadia National Park.  Please stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Escape from Derby Ride

Yes.  We are members of a motorcycle gang :)  Please don't judge.  Motorcyclists have sometimes gotten a bad rap, but this group of Harley riders is anything but the typical rebel-rousing, wild bunch portrayed on tv or in the movies.  We belong to a Harley Owners Group, or HOG chapter.  And these folks are some of the nicest, caring people we've had the pleasure to meet. A couple of weekends ago, we rode with about 30 other members to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I'm sure at some time I've written here about how we love to ride the Parkway and the Smokey Mountains so we couldn't miss this trip.

 We stayed at the Skyline Village Inn right off of the parkway near Little Switzerland, NC.  When we first got to our room we were a little concerned.  This place is a little "quirky" but the owners were great and they fed us well!  The motel was built back in the 1930's to cover a moonshiner's operation and "might" be haunted.  We saw no ghosts, but enjoyed the views and the company!

The weather was perfect for a weekend of riding in the mountains.  We rode to the top of Grandfather Mountain as well as the Diamond Back.  We also stopped at Linville Falls for a little hike for some two legged exercise.  The trip home on Sunday through corners of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky was beautiful too.

This trip was called the Escape from Derby Ride since most of the members live in Louisville, KY and were getting away from all the craziness of the Kentucky Derby in town.  We still managed to have a little derby party at the inn where we didn't win a thing!  It was a great weekend and we look forward to more rides with these nice folks!

Our attempt at a "selfie" when we left on a chilly morning.  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Baby Shower Gifting

I attended a baby shower recently for this pretty mom-to-be.  Her mom is a dear friend so I wanted to make something special.  Amazingly, I had this baby quilt already started and these are even her nursery colors!  All I had to do was add some quilting and a binding.  I had intentions of making this a free motion quilting practice quilt, but decided to go the easy straight line quilting route.  It turned out pretty cute and mama is happy with it!

I always try to take photos of my projects, but had everything gift wrapped before I remembered. Hard to believe that Target had blank onesies in just the right colors!  I spent an evening with my embroidery machine and included some personalized outfits for little baby "L".  They turned out pretty cute too! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back on Track!

Well, it took two weeks, but our new Pleasure-way Pursuit was repaired and ready for us to continue our first trip. We drove our car back down to Eckenrod Ford in Cullman, where we loaded it back on the tow dolly and hitched up. The first few miles were nerve-wracking, as we listened for any suspicious noises from the new axle.  Happily, there were none!   Our vacation was back on track.

 Of course, all of our campground reservations had been lost and now that this was a big Spring Break week, we had to find alternate overnight accommodations. Though we had been able to spend a few nights in the RV, they were in the car lot.  Not the most scenic spot, unless one is shopping for a new Ford.  But our first stop at Gunter Hill, a Corps of Engineers park near Montgomery was much nicer. Next time we will stay more than one night.

 Notice the slight yellow tint?   Yellow pine pollen.  But we still give this park high marks for their nice level full hook-up sites that are well spaced.  It was probably the best campground of our week, just a little off the path for an over-night stop.

We weren't able to get our reservations back at Gulf State Park so we camped at Island Retreat RV Park instead.  Unfortunately I completely slacked off on photos this week and didn't even get a shot of our site here.  We had a fairly level pull thru with full hook-ups and the staff was very nice.  The park was full but there were also a lot of permanent looking trailers that could use a little sprucing up around them.

The Gulf Shores area is not lacking for restaurants with the majority of them serving seafood of some kind.  When we travel, we always like to rank our meals on the road.  This trip the prize went to King Neptunes.  It was D's crab legs that got his vote, and my boiled fresh shrimp were excellent too.  Last time we were in Gulf Shores, it was shortly after the oil spill and the seafood had been mostly brought in from other places. 

We decided to take a couple days and take the "scenic" route home.  The drive to our first stop was pretty tense as we drove through a major rain storm for most of the day.  The wind and rain gave our new RV a test for weather proofing.  No leaks!  We spent a night at  Lakepoint Resort State Park near Eufaula.  This park could be a really nice place, but with all the rain, we had trouble finding a site that wasn't half flooded and the sewer connections were too high for us to use with our low vehicle. And if I thought there were permanent trailers at the last park, there were even more here.  I don't begrudge folks from extended stays at a nice park, but when they set up canvas garages for boats and extra refrigerators, freezers and rabbit hutches, etc.  I think it's time for the park staff to step in.  Sorry.  My blog.  My opinions.  

We continued our scenic drive home by jumping over to Georgia and a quick stop in Pine Mountain.  Saturday was a long day of driving as we headed back up to Nashville and again battled a major head wind.  At least we only had some light rain and we made it to our overnight stop at Nashville Country RV Park with no problem.

Overall, we think we are going to be very happy with our new Pursuit.  We have to get used to "living" in a small space and making do without all the extra storage of the Simba.  We've made a few adjustments to our vacation lifestyle and are looking forward to many more adventures on the road.  Now if it would just warm up enough for the Harley!!