Continued from page 1 . . .

Wednesday February 16  -  We moved from Sugarloaf Key to Fort Myers/Pine Island KOA at St. James City FL

We got away at about 8:30 a.m.

It was a dreary, drizzly day.

Are we there yet?

Soon we came to the blue guard-rails which signify that you're entering or leaving The Keys.

We followed US #1 to SR 997 then SR 41

One side of SR 41 is lined with mangrove-like swamps.

Carol spotted between 97 and 342 gators!

This guy tried to hide in the shadows.

This one camouflaged himself with pond scum.

Soon we hit I-75 and the gator-spotting ended.

Fort Myers is behind us and Pine Island is ahead!

We pulled into the Fort Myers/Pine Island KOA at 4:00 p.m.

This guy led us to our campsite, about a mile from the pool and dog park.

Along the way we passed some seedy looking seasonal campsites,

like this 'fixer-upper'

And we arrived at our new home - a teensy bit less attractive than

the one we just left!

We went a few miles south and discovered the Low Key Tiki.

We had a tasty meal outdoors, under the Tiki hut. 

Wings for Carol, fried shrimp for me.

Thursday February 17  -  Another move followed by a lazy day at the campground.

We were extremely unhappy with our campsite at the end of the world, so this morning we headed to the office to see if there was a better location we could move to.  Fortunately they found a site that is almost perfect for us, walking distance to the dog park and directly across the road from the pool.


The only hitch is that we have to leave one day early, on February 25th, but that's OK.  The St. Petersburg/Madeira Beach KOA can fit us in a day early.


We packed up immediately and were settled in our new location by noon,

Aahhh!  That's better!

Even the dogs like it better!

After lunch we went for a soothing soak in the pool.

The dogs had a good romp in the off-leash park.

We BBQ'd dinner and enjoyed a quiet night at home!

Friday February 18  -  We took a drive through the wilds of Pine Island to Bokeelia at the northern tip.

We enjoyed a very lazy start today, sipping coffee and catching up on the news of the day.  Carol walked Jasper over to the dog park where he had a run with several other dogs.  A couple of them were Canadian too, from New Brunswick.  I was puttering around outside when a woman stopped by to chat.  She had noticed the license plate frame on our car, from Verona Ontario.  They are from Napanee and are camped just down the road from us.  Small world indeed!


At 11:00 a.m. Carol and I hopped in the car to explore a bit of Pine Island.


The blue dot on the map to the right shows where our KOA campground is located and Bokeelia is at the northern end of the island.


It was a harrowing 14 mile trek on a straight and level 2-lane paved road that took a full 25 minutes.

Once we got to the northern tip the view was wonderful!

Most of the docks and shoreline were private property and gated.

Carol thought she could live in this cute little cottage.

The fisherman's dock was open to the public and offered access to the beach.

We were both tempted by the white sand and shallow water, but not today

Carol plans to throw her flip-flops in the car when we go back again.

Instead we headed out the public dock.

This big egret was waiting to greet us.

He wasn't the least bit shy.  He was only 5 - 6 feet away.

The pelicans were a bit more stand-off-ish.  Mrs. P was on the rooftop.

Mr. P. was in the water nearby.

We spotted this fine dining establishment just in time for lunch.

I had a shrimp, clam and crab basket, Carol had three pieces of fish.

We wrapped up our tasty lunch with homemade coconut cream pie.  Yum!

This dude was lurking on the way to Captain Con's gift shop.

We were back home to the dogs by 2:00 p.m. and took a short but relaxing soak in the pool.  It was 82º and humid so the water felt extra good!


After our big lunch we stayed home for dinner and settled in for a quiet night of TV.

Saturday February 19  -  It was a quiet, relaxing day at the campground.

We walked Jake and Jasper to the dog park in the morning.

Jasper had fun running with Rudy from Maryland.

They 'rassled' for a while . . .

. . . then they ran some more!

When Rudy was all tired out he buried his head in the sand.

After all that playing in the sand Jasper needed a bath!

After giving Jasper a bath Carol needed a dunk in the pool!  Then we had a quick bite of lunch and pointed the car toward the south end of Pine Island.  It wasn't as impressive as the north end.  We did see some nice homes, marinas and boats but we plumb forgot to take any pictures.  Maybe next time.


Late in the afternoon it cooled off enough that we turned off the air conditioning and opened all the windows.  We enjoyed bacon and tomato sandwiches for dinner as a cool breeze wafted through the RV.  Nice!

Sunday February 20  -  We enjoyed lunch on the patio with friends from home and later watched the sunset at Bokeelia.

Long time friends Cheryl and Larry are vacationing in Engelwood.

We enjoyed lunch on the patio and a long visit, our first since Covid arrived!


In late afternoon we took the dogs to Bokeelia to watch the sunset.

We found a spot to sit near the fishing boats and launch ramp.

The 'no-see-ums' were biting so we rubbed our legs with Lysol wipes.

The bugs thought that was quite a tasty hors d'oeuvre.

As the sky turned golden we saw a pelican on the post

who was waiting for the sunset too!


What a great way to end the day!


We were home by 7:00 p.m. and enjoyed a late dinner and watched the Olympics closing ceremonies.

Monday February 21  -  A pleasant day-trip to Sanibel and Captiva Islands


On our way out of the campground we stopped at the off-leash dog park.  There were plenty of dogs for Jasper to play with and he had a good time running with them!

Between Pine Island and the mainland is the tiny island of Matlacha.

Matlacha is full of brightly coloured cottages and tourist traps!

We passed through Cape Coral and crossed a long causeway to Sanibel Island.

Traffic heading to Sanibel for President's Day was very heavy, so we had lots of time to enjoy the view along the causeway.  This area is a paradise for sailors and fishermen.

The causeway crosses several small islands and they have been transformed

into a wonderful public park.  We plan to go back and spend part of a day

splashing in the water at one of these islands

Our first stop on Sanibel was at the Tourist Information Bureau.  Carol came

out with a handful of brochures and said, 'They have an entire wall

in there devoted to ice cream!'

Obviously someone in the tourist office has a sense of humour!

I took this flower picture for Carol - I knew she'd like it!

The Sanibel Lighthouse.

In the background is the causeway we crossed.

As we headed north toward Captiva Carol's eagle-eye spotted this sign.

The ice cream was delicious!

On Captiva she popped into this store.  She came back in a little while and said' 'The Island Store is about 2% groceries and 98% liquor, but the Emporium next door is amazing!'

This gas-powered miniature car was a gift to Shirley Temple in 1938.

The Shirley Temple car is for display only, but the stuff in this picture is for sale.

This carnival shooting-gallery is over 100 years old and it's fully functional.

On the way home we stopped at a few beaches in that causeway park.

Yup, I think we can while-away a few hours here with the dogs on Wednesday!

One more trip through colourful Matlacha . . .

. . . and we were home by 4:00 p.m.

 We BBQ'd dinner and (as usual) enjoyed a quiet night at home.

Tuesday February 22  -  Shopping in Cape Coral and  Fort Myers followed by dinner at Phuzzy's Boat Shack.

We stopped at Belk's in Cape Coral . . . 'Oh look, a farmer's market!"

That took a while!

As we were pulling out I spotted a painted stone with a chickadee on it.

A sticker n the back from a local craft shop said 'Take me home.'

So we did . . . along with two of the other three Carol found.

In Fort Myers we stopped at Hobby Lobby and PetSmart.

Across from PetSmart was a Culver's Frozen Custard shop.

Naturally we had one before heading home!  YUM

On the way home we saw someone's pet manatee waiting for the mail.

Matlacha has big brightly pained cottages . . .

. . . and itsy-bitsy brightly painted cottages.

Jasper has chewed all the marrow out of his old deer antler.  As you can see

he was thrilled with the new one Mommy picked up at the farmer's market!

We had a nice dinner at Phuzzy's!

This is my place, these are my people!

We sat at a waterside table and watched the sunset develop behind me.

Before long the sky was ablaze!

Even after dark the setting was pretty!

This sign led me to the restroom.  Do you agree or disagree?

Wednesday February 23  -  We took a break from vacationing and did next to nothing today.

I had hoped to get out this morning and wash the car before the day got too hot.  It soon became apparent that 9:00 a.m. was too late.  I was soaked with sweat when I was done!


Before long we changed our plans and decided to enjoy our beach day tomorrow.


So . . . I got the car washed and Carol did a bit of shopping at CVS and Winn-Dixie.  We sat out on the patio until the heat drove us in to cool off.  Then we sat out again for a while.


That was our day in a nutshell.

At mealtime Jasper can jump about three feet straight up in the air.


As you might surmise, Carol wasn't pleased that I took this picture.

Our time at Pine Island KOA is coming to an end.  Tomorrow we hope to make it to the Sanibel Island Causeway park for a morning at the beach, then we'll begin to pack up in the afternoon.


On Friday we move to St. Petersburg.

Thursday February 24  -  It was a beach day!  Later we packed up a bit to get ready for departure then wrapped up our Pine Island stay with dinner in Bokeelia.

As we left for the beach we stopped at the dog park.

Jasper had fun running with his pals Bitty and Molly.

We found a pretty beach on an island along the Sanibel Causeway.

There's no camping, but lots of RVs come for the day.

We set up chairs and an umbrella and enjoyed a few hours of sand and water.

Jasper wasn't sure about his first day at the beach.

He didn't start out too gracefully.

"It must be safe because my mommy's here!"

"I guess I'll just have to make the best of it!"

Soon he was relaxed and seemed to be enjoying himself.

He was happy to stretch out on his towel to dry.

Carol took a dip to cool off  after a dragging Jasper through the surf.

We were back home by 3:00 and packed up a bit before we pull out tomorrow.

Then it was time to go to Bokeelia for dinner at Captain Con's.

This little village is pretty as a post card.

Plenty of people lined the fishing pier to watch the sunset.

We watched from our window seat in the restaurant.

Friday February 25  - We traveled to St. Petersburg/Madeira Beach KOA Campground at St. Petersburg FL - 127 miles

We pulled out of Fort Myers/Pine Island KOA about 10:15 a.m.

We didn't have far to go so we took our time and enjoyed the scenery.

At 12:45 we took exit 228 toward St. Petersburg.

We pulled off at a rest area and got our first glimpse of the Sunshine Skyway.

It's a very impressive drive!

At the top the construction pinched the two lanes, with no shoulder.

It was a very tight squeeze for a big rig like ours.

Once the construction was behind us Carol and I could breathe again!

We pulled into the KOA campground at St. Petersburg at about 2:00 p.m. and left all that pretty scenery behind us.


We were escorted to a dirty, dreary campsite a long way from the pool and the dog park.  Nothing else will be available in this campground for at least six days.


We weren't happy!


Carol got busy online and quickly booked us a site beginning March 1st at Oak Alley RV Resort in Webster.  We toured this campground last month and we plan to spend a month or more there next year.  This will give us a chance to test it before we book it for a long stay.


At 5:30 I drove to the KOA office and told them we were cutting our 10-day stay short and leaving after 4 days.  We'll spend that time poking around the attractions in this area of the gulf coast.


We BBQ'd dinner and had a quiet night at home.



Saturday February 26   - A tour of some gulf beaches and a very upsetting non-dinner at Crabby Bills.

Madeira Beach has a nice dog park just blocks from the beach.

The boys had a good run.

At John's Pass I sat with the dogs while Carol browsed a few tourist traps.

I found the Bamboo Beach Bar and decided to relive my misspent middle age.

I had been here with friends in the mid 1980's

The food was good and the beer was cold.

Carol's frozen strawberry thingy was icy!

The dogs gave it a two-arf rating!

We drove north on Gulf Boulevard through Reddington Shores, Reddington Beach, Indian Shores and Indian Rocks.

We came to Crabby Bill's where I had eaten in the 80's and decided to try it for dinner.

On our way home we checked out a spot for beach access on Monday!

By 5:45 we had fed the dogs and were back to Crabby Bill's and checked in for dinner.

There was a 50 minute wait so Carol went across the street for some

sunset pictures while I waited on a bench outside the restaurant.

She got some amazing shots!

When Carol got back from the beach we headed inside to see where we stood in line.


The 20-something hostess told us there were two parties ahead of us so we sat down inside, on a bench right beside the hostess.  We watched her seat about six tables and then went back up to ask her when our table would be ready.


She looked at the tablet on her desk and said, 'Oh, you cancelled.'

'No we didn't,' Carol replied, 'We were sitting right there all the time.'

'I sent you two text messages and you didn't respond.' 20-something said.


Carol showed her the phone with no text messages but the little darling was not interested in listening.  We asked her to call her manager out.  The manager didn't even try to help us.  He said all he could do was put us on the wait list, which was now two hours long.


After a loud exchange he said he's see what he could do and promptly disappeared into the kitchen.  When he hadn't reappeared in 15 minutes we left.  Alas, the door just wouldn't slam no matter how hard we tried!


So, when you're in the Indian Rocks area looking for a place to eat - don't go to Crabby Bill's!  We have no idea how the food is but the service is the worst we've encountered anywhere!


We stopped at Pipo's Cuban Café, just around the corner from out campground, where we both ordered stuffed grouper, just to spite the folks at Crabby Bill's.


It was delicious!

Sunday February 27 - A wasted morning, an afternoon tour of Treasure Island and St. Pete's Beach then a quiet night at home with a swim in the pool.

We enjoyed a quiet morning  Carol did some cleaning in the RV and I did some minor repairs, then we left just after 10:00 a.m. for a quick trip to Costco in nearby Clearwater. 


As we were leaving the Costco parking lot to come home Carol said, 'Oh look, a shoe store.'  That took a bit more time and gave me a chance to catch up on my reading.


We had a bite of lunch at the campsite then loaded up the dogs to do some more exploring in this area.  We saw Treasure Island and St. Pete's Beach.


On our way we had to pass the Madeira Beach dog park again so we pulled in to let the boys have a romp.


Jasper met Rex, a fawn Doberman who lives in Madeira Beach.

Rex was a bit like Jake, shy around other dogs.

It took some coaxing but Jasper soon had Rex running and playing!

Jake chased the ball a few times but it was hot out.  He was soon pooped.

Jasper also tired out much quicker than usual.

Larry's Ice Cream in St. Pete's Beach had this great old Nash Metropolitan out front.

I wanted to check out the car . . .

. . . Carol wanted ice cream.  We were both happy!

(We both had ice cream)

Those from South Bend IN or Hamilton ON will enjoy seeing

Larry's old Studebaker pick-up truck!

We've been eating out quite a bit lately so tonight we had dinner at home.  Carol whipped up barbecued chicken skewers and scalloped potatoes.  Nice!

After dinner we went to the pool for  dip and a soak in the hot tub.

Then we settled in with the dogs for some TV before bed.

Monday February 28  - We had a relaxing morning including a trip to the beach and a dip in the pool, pizza for lunch and dinner and some retail therapy at John's Pass.

Carol and I were on our way to the beach at about 9:30 and we settled at a nice spot just north of John's Pass.  There was convenient parking, a municipal restroom and a shower and foot bath within a few yards of our parking spot!


We dragged our chairs and umbrella out on the sand and settled in for a few hours of blissful solitude.

The beach was almost deserted, just a few folks walking at water's edge.

Carol roamed far and wide looking for shells.

She wanted to get a picture of a squadron of pelicans soaring by, but they didn't cooperate.


This sandpiper did!

I walked with Carol looking for shells for a few minutes, then handed her my glasses and said, 'I'm going to get wet."


I waded out into the gulf until the parts most susceptible to cold hit the gulf water and said, 'Nope, I don't think so!'


So I settled in my chair and read my book.  Very relaxing!

We were parked beside Caddy's Beachside Bar.


Just before 11:00 a.m. it started to sprinkle rain, so we packed up to head home to the dogs.

The pool and hot tub looked pretty inviting as we drove by, so we stopped in for a nice warm soak.


It was much warmer than water in the gulf!



While we were in the pool we watched a food truck arrive and set up.  We stopped

to check out the menu and took two personal sized pizzas home for lunch.

The pizzas were delicious, but they weren't exactly personal sized.  We each ate half our pizza for lunch and kept the other halves for dinner.


After lunch Carol wanted to head back to John's Pass to check out the shops there one more time, so we loaded up the dogs and hit the road.

Naturally we stopped at the Madeira Beach dog park.

Jasper likes tunnels!

As we left the dog park Carol spotted a shark wearing a hat.  The building behind this statue is Madeira Beach Fire & Rescue Station #25 so Sharky McSharface must be their mascot.


Carol roamed a few shops at John's Pass while I waited in the car with the dogs, reading my book.  After about an hour she was back . . . and all she had to show for her efforts were a new pair of shorts and a new bathing suit, both for me.  My lucky day!


We were back home by 3:00 p.m., and packed up a few things that needed to be put away before we move to a new campground tomorrow.  Then a nap seemed to be in order.


After our dinner of leftover pizza we relaxed with the dogs for an evening in front of the  TV.

Tuesday March 1 - We travelled 87 miles to Oak Alley RV Resort at Webster, FL

We had a short drive so we didn't rush.  We hit the road at 10:30 a.m.

We followed I-275 over another long bridge over Tampa Bay.

There aren't many tall buildings in Florida.  This is downtown Tampa.

At 11:15 we passed I-4 as we continued north on I-275.

We left the freeway at 12:05 and enjoyed lovely scenery on the way to Webster.

In many places the road was canopied by oak trees draped with Spanish Moss.

It was 12:25 when we pulled into Oak Alley RV Resort.

There are no oaks around our site but we are delighted to have grass and shade!

Carol took a wonderful picture as we sat out enjoying dinner on the patio!

Jasper really likes his new doormat!

Wednesday March 2 - We booked a campsite for February 2023 then Carol scurried off to EPCOT while I dog-sat and washed the motor home.

While we were on our way to Oak Alley yesterday Carol got on the phone and called Canopy Oaks at Lake Wales where we spent the month of January.  Bookings for next season opened up March 1st and we wanted to book a site for November 2022 to January 2023.


She was able to get the exact site we wanted from November 20th to December 31st.  On January 1st we move to a different site, just around the corner and stay there for the entire month of January.


We had read that reservations at Oak Alley for next year would be opening up March 15th so we were really happy when we saw the sign posted on the office door when we checked in yesterday.  Those who were currently in the campground would be able to book on March 2nd, today.


I headed to the office at about 7:45 to line up and wait for the 8:00 a.m. opening.  When I arrived the Camp Host pointed out the fine print on the sign.  People wanting a site for three months or more could book between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.  Those wanting less than three months had to wait until 10:00 a.m.


I went back home and had breakfast.


When Carol and I got back to the office at 9:45 we stepped into the line, about 10 people were ahead of us.  By the time we entered the office, about 10:15, there were more than 50 folks lined up behind us.

The oak trees around the office are magnificent!

They are old and gnarly and beautifully draped with Spanish moss.


We were able to book exactly what we wanted, from February 3rd to March 6th 2023, a site 2 spots away from where we are now camped.  It gives us morning sun and afternoon shade on our patio and it's a very short walk to the pool, the hot tub and the dog park.  Perfect!



The trunk on this oak tree is as wide as our car!

Carol left at about 11:15 and headed to EPCOT.

It was opening day for the Flower & Garden Festival and

there was some new merchandise she just had to have!

The EPCOT grounds are amazing during the festival.

I spent a few hot hours washing the RV.  I hoped that the occasional splash of water would keep me cool.  It didn't.


The dogs and I spent the rest of the day moping and waiting for their Momma to get home.

On the way home from EPCOT Carol missed a turn and wound up on a road she's certain she'll never be able to find again.


It was so pretty that she stopped and took a picture!

On the left is the booty Carol brought back from the Flower & Garden Festival.  Most of it will find a home in the Orange Bird Shrine in her Disney Room.


Once she had shown me all her new treasures we took the dogs off to the off-leash park for a run.

Jasper had a good run with Dakota from Pennsylvania but we didn't get a picture.

We relaxed outdoors for a while before heading in for dinner.  Later we talked about

a swim and hot tub but we agreed that tonight we're feeling too old and decrepit!

Thursday March 3 - It was a leisurely morning; I washed the car then we had a swim.  We took a trip to the veterinarian in the afternoon and enjoyed a night time swim.

The pool was totally empty when we arrived at 9:45 a.m.

'Don't go in Carol . . . there's gators!'

In the afternoon we headed to Lake Panasoffkee and took Jake to the veterinarian.  He's had some intermittent bouts of diarrhoea for the past few weeks.


Carol was very pleased with the vet clinic.  They gave Jake a thorough exam and decided that physically he's just fine; his issues are probably stress related.


We were both relieved to hear that!


But . . . how do you 'de-stress' a dog??

We had a quiet dinner at home and ended the day with a

nice, soothing moonlight swim!

Life is good!

Friday March 4 - A trip to Walmart in the morning, an afternoon swim, a trip to the dog park and a quiet night of TV!  We're really liking this place! 

We drank our morning coffee on the patio and enjoyed the warm morning breeze.  The forecast high was 84º but it was in the low 70's early in the day.


At about 10:00 we left and headed to the Walmart store in nearby Clermont.  We were back home by 12:15 and enjoyed a lazy afternoon.

It was hot dog and bratwurst day at the pool.

A country singer was performing and there were no chairs available.

We had a long soak while we listened to the music, then returned home to the dogs.

After the dogs had their dinner we took them to the dog park.


Jasper met Caesar, a 10-month old boxer from Arkansas.

They were well matched in both speed and energy.


They kept us amused until they both ran out of energy.

The sky was lighting up nicely as we finished dinner.

Saturday March 5 - Pancake breakfast, haircuts and an afternoon swim.

Every Saturday at Oak Alley is Pancake Breakfast day!


At 9:00 a.m. we joined the throng of hungry guests in the clubhouse, beside the pool, just  short walk from our campsite.  For $6.00 each we enjoyed coffee, orange juice, pancakes and sausage.  It was quite tasty and very filling.


(We forgot to take a picture, so I swiped one from the Internet to give you an idea what it looked like.)

After breakfast Carol and I hopped in the car and drove about 20 miles to Groveland in search of haircuts.


It's been over a month since we had our locks shorn at Lake Wales and we were both looking and feeling a bit shaggy.


We found a spot called Great Clips and Carol was seated immediately.  I had to wait about five minutes.  We walked out looking and feeling a lot better!


On the way back to the campground we took a short side-trip and followed a couple of back-roads for the last five or six miles.  The scenery was just breathtaking!


It's really hard to describe how pretty these massive oak trees draped with Spanish moss can be.

A curved oak bough surrounded by palmetto.

A lot of our route was canopied by oak trees and Spanish moss.

Notice how the huge boughs cross the road and

intertwine with trees on the opposite side!

We stopped at Dough-J's Donuts & Chicken this morning.  This box would hold a dozen Tim Horton's donuts but only six of the monsters Jay bakes up in Webster!  Use your imagination and you can see two honey-glazed on the right.  They were lunch!

The pool was much quieter today.  That's Carol on the far left.

She found a great spot to relax, sitting on the pool steps.

The boys enjoyed a late afternoon trip to the dog park.

Sunday March 6 - Our last day at Oak Alley.  We celebrated with ice cream and lollypops.

We took the dogs on a short shopping trip to nearby Bushnell.

The oaks in the park are huge!

I asked Carol to get my good side this time!

After our swim I took Jasper to the dog park.

His pal Caesar was waiting for him.

After dinner we went to the clubhouse to enjoy the ice cream social.

The evening's entertainment was 'The Lollypops'

The highlight of the evening was the kazoo band tuning-up.

The pool looked inviting but the dogs were missing us!

Monday March 7 - We moved to Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort to spend a few days enjoying the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival.

We pulled away from Oak Alley RV Resort at 9:20.

It's even pretty driving through the village of Webster!

Our route took us east on SR50, south on CR33 then east on CR454

We turned from SR27 onto SR192 at 10:15.

We followed a couple of back roads to Western Way.

Soon a magical gateway came into view!

Along the way we had received a text, our site was ready - #706

We stopped to unhook the tow car.

At 11:05 we parked in our home for the next four days.

We stopped for a short lunch break and by 1:30 we were all set up.

It was a hot afternoon so we rested for a few hours then went to the dog park.

Jasper chased the ball; Jake said, 'Meh!'

Is he a dog or a kangaroo?

Both of them wore out quickly.  It must have been the heat.

At 5:30 we headed to the marina and caught a boat to the Magic Kingdom.

There was rain in the forecast and ominous clouds were rolling in.

We stopped at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café.

Sonny Eclipse crooned some intergalactic oldies while we ate dinner.

The we took a spin with Buzz Lightyear.

Carol jumped out to an early lead but today it was my turn to win!

It was sprinkling when we left Buzz Lightyear and made our way to The Hub to wait for the 8:00 p.m. fireworks.  We found a good place to sit and wait, but the rain fell harder and harder while we waited.


We were pretty much drenched by 7:40 when we decided to leave.  The skies opened up as we walked past Casey's Corner and struggled through the crowd on Main Street.  We detoured through The Emporium where the crowds were even worse.  By the time we got to the train station there were ankle-deep puddles.  We couldn't have been wetter if we'd jumped in the pool!


The boat was just unloading as we arrived at the dock so before long we were aboard and on our way home . . . soaked to the skin!


As we approached the Fort Wilderness Marina Carol snapped a picture of the spooky stormy sky outside the window of our boat.


The dogs were frightened by the thunder and lightning and they were both thrilled to see us.  Carol threw our clothes in the dryer and we spent the rest of the night watching TV.

Tuesday March 8 - A morning at EPCOT with our friend Curtis, then a relaxing afternoon at home (for me - Carol did some laundry) and dinner at Olive Garden.

We arrived at EPCOT at about 9:15 a.m.

We love the topiaries on display during the Flower & Garden Festival.

Curtis met us near Spaceship Earth and we began wandering the world.

Bambi's Butterfly House was awesome!

We took a ride through the greenhouses at Living With The Land.

They're making a new 'Mickey Head' topiary.

The lettuce they are picking will be served in the restaurant upstairs.

Live plants can be used in so many creative ways!

Carol spotted some baby ducks.

They were all cute and fluffy like this one!

Carol picked up a snack from The Honey Bee-stro.

At about 12:45 we said goodbye to Curtis and headed home to the dogs.

Late in the afternoon Jasper met a weimaraner at the dog park.

It was very hot our, but they ran until they couldn't run any more!

We were about to leave for the Magic Kingdom to have dinner at Tony's Town Square Restaurant when the sky opened up and it poured.  Carol got busy on her computer and rebooked us for tomorrow night.  We went to Olive Garden and had a very nice dinner.

A pretty rainbow lit the sky as we drove to Olive Garden.


As we drove back into the campground Carol said, 'Oh, look, there's a horse.'


Turned out that it was just a very large woman.  Sorry lady!

Wednesday March 9 - We enjoyed a quiet morning before heading to Disney Springs to meet friends for lunch.  Tonight the fireworks were not rained out!

We haven't seen Al & Jane in over two years.  Great to catch up!

Carol is thrilled with her new Orange Bird garden flag.

We ate at the 'Food Truck Round-Up' at Fort Wilderness.

Nice to know that App's doesn't charge extra for the fat!

The chicken quesadillas were great!

After we ate the cruiser was waiting to take us to the Magic Kingdom.

We saw Disney's Enchantment fireworks for the first time.

Thursday March 10 -  EPCOT in the morning, Hollywood Studios in the evening.

This was our last day to enjoy the Flower & Garden Festival.

These ladies are opening every Purple Martin nest to monitor the birds.

Today they found the first eggs of the season, three eggs all in the same nest.

We rode the Ratatouille ride in Florida for the first time.

It's exactly the same as Disneyland Paris.

The topiaries are always wonderful!

The first deer we have spotted this trip.

Ducks swimming with the Muppet rats!

After dinner at Mama Melrose's and a ride on the Runaway Railway

we met friends Wanda and Graeme from home.

Friday March 11 - We moved from Disney's Fort Wilderness to Bulow RV Resort near Flagler Beach FL - 90 miles

We were on the road at about 10:00 a.m. and made good time in light traffic.  The construction through downtown Orlando is mostly complete and traffic seems to move better.


It was 12:15 when we pulled into our new campground and we knew immediately that we would have trouble with the campsite they assigned us.  The utility services were on the wrong side of the campsite and it just wouldn't work for us.  The office was quick to find an alternative site and we were all set up for our stay by 2:15.

We loaded the dogs in the car and headed off to Deland so Carol could buy some Key Lime products from a leprechaun named Kermit.  She had picked up some lotion at his shop in Key West and wanted to buy some more before we went home.

Then it was my turn to shop.  We drove a bit further to the Christmas Tree Shop in Altamonte Springs where I bought some of the patio umbrella bases I use when I make Mickey Mouse lamp posts.


We were home by 6:15 p.m. and fed the dogs who were just a bit cranky . . . we were about 90 minutes late with their chow and they are pretty good at dishing out guilt.


We are about 15 miles north of Daytona Beach and it's Biker's Week in Daytona.  The campground is 100% full and many of the campers are bikers.  I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of Harleys roaring throughout the weekend.  We won't be leaving the dogs home alone for the next few days!

Saturday March 12 - It wasn't only the bikes rumbling this morning.  There was rain, thunder, lightning and a tornado warning!  We stayed home most of the rainy morning, then explored the area around St. Augustine.

Jake & Jasper weren't impressed with the rain.

The bikers next door weren't impressed either!

The Atlantic looked cold and surly this morning.

An offshore wind whipped the dunes.

As the breakers crashed on shore the spume blew back out to sea.

South of St. Augustine many beachfront houses are on stilts.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse seen through moss covered oak trees.

The sky had brightened by the time we reached St. Augustine.

Those mossy oaks give the lighthouse museum a spooky look!

An entire side of this house was covered with bouganvilla.

Our favourite shrimp restaurant!  It's on Anastasia Island near downtown St. Augustine.

O'Steen's tasty 'pink sauce' is hidden under that pile of fried shrimp.  YUM!

Castillo de San Marcos, an old Spanish fortress at St. Augustine.

Crossing the Inland Waterway

Vilano Beach

Some of the homes were brightly painted!

We stopped at Buc-ee's to check gas prices before we fill up the RV.

FlyingJ will be 5¢ a gallon cheaper.

Sunday March 13 - It was a brighter day so we toured the local beaches.

It was finally dry enough to go to the dog park.

The boys were glad to have a chance to run again!

'This Spanish moss looks delicious.'

We followed The Old Dixie Highway

It was pretty!

We crossed the Inland Waterway to Ormond Beach

The sun was shining but it was windy and cold.

The surf was rolling and crashing.

We stopped at the Flagler Beach Pier.

Dogs aren't allowed on the pier . . .

. . . so all we could do was look!

We stopped quickly at Walmart where Carol picked up a quilt she had seen earlier, then we had lunch at Steak & Shake.  The place had the slowest drive-thru we've ever encountered but the food was good.


As we ate in the parking lot we noticed all of the ibis roosted in the tree above us.  Fortunately they didn't mess up the car!

We were back home at about 2:30 and had a quiet afternoon.  Carol did a bit of dog grooming and I packed a few things away so we're ready to travel tomorrow morning.


Carol whipped up some Chicken Alfredo for dinner and we enjoyed another quiet evening at home.

Monday March 14 - We moved to Savannah Oaks RV Resort near Savannah GA - 200 miles

Daylight Savings Time has Jasper confused; he let us sleep until 7:40.

We got on the road at about 10:15.

Traffic was light, we had no slow-downs or tie-ups.

Even the beltway around Jacksonville zipped right along.

The port at Jacksonville has some huge container ships!

Bumpy roads frighten Jasper so he seeks high ground.

When the roads are smooth his brother Jake makes a comfy cushion.

We crossed the Georgia state line at 12:30.

As we approached Savannah Oaks RV Resort on SR204 all we saw were pines.

There are plenty of oaks in the campground though!

Tuesday March 15 - There was nothing planned today.  We drove into Savannah to check out scenic trolley rides then shelved that idea and drove to Tybee Island.

Old Town Trolley refused to give Carol a brochure until she bought a ticket

so we left. We may try again tomorrow.

Carol bought me some Killer Tomatoes.  If you see fresh pictures

here tomorrow you'll know the tomatoes weren't really lethal!

Soon we arrived at Tybee Island

A whimsical Tybee Island mailbox!

We crossed huge tracts of salt marsh on our way to the lighthouse and beach.

Our first glimpse of the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

The military battery dates back to 1899 and is still used as shelter during hurricanes.

The Tybee Wade-Ins were part of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's.

It's hard to believe that segregation was enforced here a mere 60 years ago.

The dunes and the beach were beautiful!

Another oak canopied lane led us to The Crab Shack where we had a late lunch.

I checked out the 40 gators in the lagoon while Carol sat nearby with the dogs.

Soon Carol was feeding the gators.  A pole with a clip (like a bobby-pin)

on the end holds a piece of chow which you tap on the water until the

gator bites it.  Then you pull the clip out, leaving the chow behind.

Either the gator or Carol wasn't very good at this!

The gator is vexed!  Carol pulled the bait off the clip and tossed it to him.

The dogs sat with us as we ate lunch under these gnarly old oak trees.

We only saw part of Tybee Island, we'll have to go back!

Wednesday March 16 - It was a dreary, rainy day.  Carol has been feeling peckish for a few days but today she was feeling downright snarky!  We didn't go anywhere.  We didn't take any pictures.  I surfed the Internet and swiped a few pictures of places we didn't visit!

We didn't go to Isle of Hope and the Wormsloe Plantation.

We didn't visit the Savannah Riverfront.

We didn't take a riverboat ride.

We didn't take an evening stroll on the waterfront.

We did take a short drive to the CVS drug store where Carol bought a potion to make her feel perky again.


So far it's not working!  She's still achy, congested and cranky.


Maybe tomorrow we can catch up on some of the touristing and sightseeing!

Thursday March 17 - Erin go bragh!  It was a bright, sunny and warm St. Patrick's Day.

Let's start the morning with two good news items . . .


1)  We had bacon & tomato sandwiches for dinner last night, then I had tomato on a toasted bagel for breakfast this morning.  I'm still feeling fine, so the 'killer tomatoes' aren't as lethal as advertised!


2)  Carol's potion from CVS is working.  She sprang out of bed today at 11:10 a.m. and said, 'I'm peppy, perky and reinvigorated.  Let's go exploring!'


So we loaded the dogs in the car and went to the nearby Isle of Hope and Wormsloe Historic Site.


Wormsloe was the home of Noble Jones, one of the 114 original settlers in the Georgia Colony.  He arrived from England in 1733.

We picked up our tickets at the Superintendent's Cottage near the gate and began our slow trip down the mile-long entrance lane, Live Oak Avenue, which is canopied by more than 400 live oaks.  Yes - it really is a mile long!

It's amazingly beautiful.  The pictures don't do it justice.

The dogs are demonstrating the size of the oaks.  They're huge.

You may have seen this same scene in a movie.  Many have been filmed here!

Descendants of Noble Jones still live in a massive mansion beyond these gates.

After our visit to Wormsloe we headed back to Tybee Island.

Once again we crossed over miles of salt marsh.

Tybee Beach was hopping with activity.  It was so busy that we couldn't find a parking spot.  Almost everyone was wearing green so we concluded that Saint Patrick must be the patron saint of beaches.


About 3:15 my Princess said,  'My potion has worn off.  I have no pep, no perk and no vigour.  Take me home!'


We were back to the campground by 4:00 p.m.  Carol took a double-dose of potion and we enjoyed a quiet night at home.

Friday March 18 - A nice day for a trolley tour of historic Savannah.

Carol was feeling moderately normal this morning so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and take the Old Town Trolley Tour.  We said goodbye to the dogs at 9:30 and just after 10:00 a.m. we boarded our trolley in downtown Savannah.


Our guide was Denise and it was easy to see that she enjoyed her job as an ambassador for the city.  She gave us lots of historical background and made it fun at the same time!  Thanks Denise!

Did you see the Forrest Gump movie?

In the opening scene the feather wafts past this church.

There are majestic mansions everywhere!

This is Chippewa Square where Forrest Gump sat on a park bench

with that box of chocolates.

The oldest tree in Georgia.

This tree was here when the first European settlers arrived in 1733.

The line-up at Leopold's Ice Cream made Carol suspect it was worth a stop!

Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of America in Savannah in 1912.

This marks the house where she was born.

This narrow, cobbled lane took us down to the riverfront.

Our tour ended at noon, precisely when Carol's potion wore off.  She was perk-less, pep-less and vigour-less once again.  Plus, her head was now so full of Savannah history that she thought her sinuses might explode!


We were beside the old railroad station which is now the Visitor's Center.  We both went in to use the restrooms and as you might expect, Carol discovered a gift shop.


As she browsed the shop I stepped out to look up and down the street to find where our car was parked.


In just a few minutes she poked her head out, 'They have Leopold's Ice Cream.  Do you want one?'  We sat on a park bench and enjoyed our tasty treat before driving home.


We were home with the puppies by 1:00 p.m. and spent the rest of the day and night relaxing.\

Saturday March 19 - We had a quiet day.

We had a very quiet day.  Carol was feeling peckish again still so we took it easy.  In the morning we went to a nearby Camping World store where I bought a few small repair parts for the RV while Carol snapped a few pictures of the foliage beside the store.


We were back home with the dogs by 12:15 and relaxed for the rest of the day.



The locals call this 'The Bottle Brush Plant'

The dogs enjoyed a late afternoon romp at the dog park.

City dogs use hydrants, country dogs use trees!

Jasper says, 'I can go anywhere; the world is my urinal!'

Carol barbecued a delicious dinner and we enjoyed a night of TV with the dogs.

Sunday March 20 - The first day of spring and our last day in Savannah.  Let's take a hike!

This morning we took the dogs on a very short drive, then a long walk!  The Savannah - Ogeechee Canal Museum & Nature Center is almost beside our campground.


We followed a nature trail about a half-mile out to the Ogeechee River, then followed the ruins of the canal back to the museum.

The canal was built about the same time as the Rideau Canal back home in Ontario.

Carol was distracted by some bright azaleas.

Pollination in progress!

The boys posed for a portrait, then we hit the trail.

It was swampy with plenty of cypress trees.

This chameleon turned from grey to green while Carol snapped pictures.

Soon we spotted the river.

I rested with the dogs while Carol waved at several boatloads of passing fishermen.

The walk back to the museum had lots of boardwalks across the marsh.

Our first sighting of the canal.

The ruins of the lock, in the centre of the picture, are hard to spot.

The old bricks are almost totally covered in moss.

Here's a better view of the moss covered lock.

Barges loaded with cargo were pulled from the sides of the canal.

The second lock, beside the museum, is in better condition.

This area gets more sunlight so the moss hasn't fully taken over the brick walls.

Gary stood on a bridge which spans the lock.

This was Gary's view from the bridge.

It's quite a contrast when you compare it to our Rideau Canal

which was built at the same time and is still in use today.

We finished our nature walk at about 12:30 and went back to the campground for lunch. 


Carol wanted to see the City Market in Downtown Savannah so we loaded the dogs back in the car and headed out.  The market spans several city blocks in the downtown area, between Ellis Square and Franklin Square.  It was very busy and very popular, but it wasn't the farmer's market or artisan's fair we were expecting.  It was bars, restaurants and some live musicians.


We drove around for a while hoping to find a parking spot but we soon gave up and headed to the riverfront area.  We wound our way down a narrow, bumpy cobbled lane to River Street and were shocked to find an empty parking space waiting for us.


We parked and did some exploring on foot.

As you can see in this picture, the access road is very steep and

those cobblestones are incredibly bumpy.

It's a very tight squeeze for the trolley cars which drive up and down the curved ramps to River Street.


I took the dogs back to the car and waited with them while Carol explored a few of the shops.


All of the buildings along the waterfront were formerly involved in the shipment of goods, mainly cotton, on the Savannah River and all of them are now protected by historical designation, so the exteriors will not change.


Many of the buildings interiors still show some unique architecture, such as the brick ceiling in the candy shop pictured below.



We were back to the campground at about 4:00 p.m. and relaxed with the dogs for a while.  After the pups had their dinner Carol and I headed out to Cracker Barrel for a bite.


Wow!  It was busy.  There was a thirty minute wait, but it was worth it.  We had a nice country-style meal.


When we got home Carol did a couple of loads of laundry then packed a few things away so we'll be ready to move on to Charleston South Carolina in the morning.

Monday March 21 - We moved to James Island County Park, Charleston SC - 117 miles

We didn't have a long drive today so we too our time and started with breakfast at a Waffle House just down the road from our campground.


It was disappointing.  The only thing that arrived hot was the coffee.

At 10:45 we turned onto northbound I-95.

The South Carolina state line came at 11:00.

We left I-95 at Yemassee SC and took US 17 to Charleston.

Traffic was very light but the highway was bumpy in spots.

Jasper doesn't like bumps so he searched for the softest spot to ride.

'Oh, this is comfy.'

It looked like this was his favourite spot.

We crossed dozens of creeks and rivers and miles of salt marsh before a long bridge carried us to James Island.  A few winding and bumpy back roads brought us to the campground at James Island County Park.


We pulled in at about 12:45 and by 1:00 we were parked in our campsite and began to get set up for our week long stay.


We took a quick break for lunch, then got back to work.  By 2:30 the work was finished and we were settled.

The campground is very nice.  We're going to like it here!

Our home for the next week.

We rested for a little while, then loaded the dogs in the car and struck out to find the dog park we had seen on the way in.


The park is huge and seems to be very popular, there were lots of people and dogs there when we pulled in.

There were lots of butts to sniff.

The park has a nice beach and before long Jasper (on the left) headed that way.

He was cautious at first . . .

 . . . but soon he was right in the swim of it!

Soon the dogs were racing through the water . . .

. . . around the break-wall and then back in the water again.


We had dinner in the motor home and spent a relaxing evening at home.

Jasper's going to sleep well tonight.

Tuesday March 22 - It was time to see a bit of Charleston so we took a Gray Line Bus Tour of the historic part of the city.

We left the campground at 10:00 a.m. and by 11:00 we were aboard our tour bus.

We saw grand old homes, parks, squares, schools and churches.

The City of Charleston doesn't allow 'Hop On, Hop Off' tours

so all of our pictures were shot through a bus window.

That really hampered the photography, but

Carol got some good shots nonetheless.

We heard a lot of detail about 'single-houses' like those pictured to the right.  Each floor has two rooms, one facing the street at the front and the second behind it.  The doorway in from the street only gives access to the veranda which locals call a piazza.  Access to the house itself is through the door mid-way down the piazza.


The second floor is a carbon copy of the first, two rooms only.  The homes were situated this way so they would be cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

We may have to take a horse-drawn carriage ride!

As we heard in Savannah, wrought iron was a sign of wealth in colonial times

and some of the larger homes have magnificent iron fences and gates.

We stopped to stretch our legs on the seawall where the

Cooper and Ashley Rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean.

On the horizon, to the left of Carol's shoulder is the island where Fort Sumter

is located.  The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter.

City bylaws stipulate that no building over 75 years old can be torn down.  That

means there are some wonderful old estates and there are some derelict wrecks!

'Rainbow Row' is an area that was restored in the 1920's.  Properties were

restored one at a time and painted in a rainbow of pastel colours.

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and when it ended at 12:30 we spent a few minutes browsing through the Visitor's Center.


On our way back to the parking lot we passed a local saloon where we stopped for a bite of lunch.  Carol really enjoyed her Philly Cheese steak, it was so moist and juicy that it she had splotches of it on her arms and ear-lobes!

When we got back to the campground and saw the dog park from across the lake it was quite busy and we knew that Jasper would like that!

So we went directly to the campsite, loaded the pups in the car and took them for a romp!


We think that Jasper has found his favourite campground.  He insisted that we book a week here next year!

'Hey, who brought the horse to the dog park?'

Wednesday March 23 - Breakfast at Folly Beach, a tour of the seaside community and a trip to the dog park.

We left just before 9:00 a.m. and drove about 7 miles to Folly Beach. 

We sat in an open-air patio at Rita's Seaside Grille,

so the dogs could join us for breakfast.

We were directly across the street from the Atlantic Ocean.

Large squadrons of pelicans flew over the Tides resort behind Carol.

Squadrons like this one!

Dogs weren't allowed on the pier so I took them to the beach

while Carol went to walk on the pier.

Unfortunately the pier was closed for reconstruction . . .

. . . but Carol got some photos from the small observation deck.

This beautiful white sand beach stretches the full

length of Folly Island, about 10 miles.

We saw crashing surf . . .

. . . and soaring squadrons.

We enjoyed a slow drive through the entire City of Folly Beach, from the northern tip of the Island to the southern tip.  We saw some magnificent beach homes, some hardy surfers, beachside diners and saloons, and lots and lots of pelicans.  But we didn't take any more pictures!

There was rain in the weather forecast when we got back home at 12:15 so our first priority was some exercise for the dogs.  Jake ran on the grass and chased his ball, but Jasper headed straight to the beach to join his buddies there!

Jasper ran with the big boys for almost an hour, but he seemed to be running quite a bit slower for the last 20 minutes of our stay at the dog park.

It drizzled all afternoon so we enjoyed a relaxing few hours with the dogs.  (Translation - We all had a nap)


At about 5:15 Carol announced, 'I'm not cooking.'  Since my specialty is hot dogs and we had them last night that meant we were going out.  Neither of us felt like a big meal so we took a short drive to Chick-fil-A and had some chicken.


After a quick browse at the nearby Harris Teeter grocery store we were back home with the puppies by 7:30.


The owl on the right was all lit up to greet us as we turned into the campground.  The park has a drive-thru Christmas Panorama of Lights each year and the big metal frames covered with seasonal lights are everywhere along the roads.  It must be magical at Christmas!

Thursday March 24 - It rained for forty days and forty nights.  We did nothing exciting today!

Yesterday afternoon's drizzle lasted into the evening and then overnight it became a thunderstorm.  We spent part of the night with Jake sleeping on our heads.


When we got up at 7:00 a.m. there was a lake in front of our campsite, since we're on James Island we call it Lake James.


As usual we both sipped coffee and read the news for an hour or so.  Then Carol said, 'Rain depresses me!' and she went back to bed.  Both the dogs went with her.


I read my book for a while but before long I was so bored that I washed the dishes and then took apart an oscillating fan to clean out the dust.  When Carol got up at 11:30 she was so impressed with the huge pile of dust I removed from the fan that she brought me the smaller fan from the bedroom and I cleaned it up while Carol vacuumed and dusted the RV.


Not every day in a campground is exciting.



We had a sandwich for lunch and then hopped in the car for a quick trip to a shopping mall in North Charleston, about 15 miles away.  The roads were wet and sloppy but traffic was light and there was no congestion.


I waited in the car like a dutiful chauffeur while Carol enjoyed about an hour of retail therapy.  She can shop much more effectively when I'm not constantly in her way!

Even the live oak trees look depressed on rainy days!

This is a sign we've never seen in a Canadian campground.

No Concealed Weapons Allowed

The dog park was totally deserted when we got home at 4:00 p.m..  Jasper will be depressed and much too full of energy tonight.


Carol stood under the awning and barbecued chicken and vegetables for dinner, then we spent another depressing pleasant rainy evening at home.

Friday March 25 - The rain had stopped when we woke up.  We spent a sunny morning in downtown Charleston.

On our downtown tour a few days ago we passed the Charleston City Market and Carol wanted to browse through it.  Today seemed like a good day for it.


It was sunny and bright as we crossed the bridge from James Island into Charleston.

Flags on all the Federal buildings were at half-mast in honour of Madeleine Albright.

The market spans four city blocks and is housed in four open-air buildings like this one.  Each building is a full block long.


It's a dog-friendly place so the pups and I followed Carol for a while.

There were vendors selling everything from soup to nuts!

Byrd's cookies are tasty!

There were dozens of horse-drawn carriages in the area so Jasper soon learned to accept the horses.


When Carol finished browsing the market we took a slow, scenic drive through the historic downtown area.

That's James Island behind me, across the Ashley River.

Carol likes window boxes.

After a slow drive past Rainbow Row we stopped at a street vendor for lunch and shared a Philly Cheese Steak.  Carol pronounced it one of the best ever.

The dog park was still pretty wet after two days of rain, but it didn't dampen Jasper's spirit!  Once again he picked the biggest dog to run with, a grey and black Great Dane.

Jake didn't want to get his feet wet . . . but a little moisture

wasn't going to slow Jasper down!

Didn't slow him one little bit.

These peregrine falcons were perched in a tree directly across from our campsite when we got home.  We watched them for several minutes before before they flew off.

We had a very nice dinner at Charleston Crab House.  We sampled a couple of true southern dishes, red rice and collard greens.  The rice was nice but the collard greens weren't a hit with either of us.  Carol even tried a second forkful just to be sure. Nope, we're never going to be true southerners!

When we got back at 8:30 the big owl was winking at us again.


Carol said, 'This is the first time we've been out after dark in quite a while.'


'Yes dear,' I said, 'We're really living on the edge!'

Saturday March 26 - A beautiful sunny day.  We walked some trails at the Caw Caw Interpretive Center, on the site of a former plantation.

Today the weather was great so we took advantage of it.  We went to the Caw Caw Interpretive Center, about 15 miles from our campground.


When we think of southern plantations we naturally think of cotton or tobacco, but at Caw Caw they grew rice and tea.  We thought that would be something unique to see.


As we were leaving Carol once again spotted one of those peregrine falcons across from our campsite.  They must be nested somewhere nearby!

Traffic jams aren't so annoying when the scenery is good!

Ahhh.  This is better.

Soon we were entering Caw Caw.

There are miles of walking trails around the former plantation.

We both took a stroll on the Upland Forest Loop.

Level walking trails and boardwalks made it an easy trip.


My back was giving me some grief, so I headed back to the Interpretive Center while Carol hiked out to the former rice fields.

Dams like this were used to control the water level in the rice fields.

Do you see what I see?

This is what the rice fields look like today.

Quarter Drains like this also helped control water levels.

Today the plantation is a wildlife preserve, home to all sorts of critters.

This big flock of Ibis flew directly over Carol as she returned to civilization.

A short hike through the wetlands and she found me at the Visitor's Center.

An antique market caught her eye on the way home.

Jasper met a Bernese Mountain Dog at the off leash park.

Soon the chase was on!

We have no idea what's going on here.

'You'll never catch me Frenchie!'

Just hangin' with his buddies!

Sunday March 27 - Our final day as snowbirds.  Tomorrow we begin a three day sprint home.  Sigh!

We decided to head back to Folly Beach for brunch at Rita's Seaside Grille.  As we drove through one of the many live oak canopies Carol said, 'I'm really going to miss these oak trees.'


'Yes,' I replied, 'They really are dramatic to look at.'


It was a brisk 56ºF with an offshore wind blowing and we were chilly as we waited on the sidewalk for a table at Rita's.

Within 20 minutes we were seated at a sunny table near a propane heater.

I had Belgian waffles.

Carol had Brioche French Toast.

The dogs each had a bowl of water.  Does that sound fair?

The beach was much calmer this morning and folks were arriving in droves as we were leaving at about 11:45.


Carol took a few minutes to browse through one of the beachfront tourist traps and came back with nothing but a souvenir fridge magnet.


Then it was time for Jasper to make his last stop at the dog park.  Yup - he'll definitely miss this place!!

Jasper led Carol to the beach where his pals were waiting.

I threw the ball for Jake in the 'small dogs' area.

Wow . . . Jasper can really run!

'Ears lookin' at ya big guy!

Carol had pre-booked us Covid-19 PCR tests at a nearby Walgreens Pharmacy and that was our last 'to-do' in Charleston.  My appointment was at 4:15 and Carol's was 4:45 but when we pulled into the drive-thru at 3:50 the attendant said, 'Just give me a minute and I'll get everything ready for both of you.'


Our tests were both done and we were back at the campground before my 4:15 appointment time - and it was free too!  That's good service.


Now all we have to do is cover the 1,078 miles from here to the Canadian border in 72 hours.  Let's hope that traffic and weather conditions cooperate.  Our deadline is about 3:55 p.m. Wednesday!


Carol bought some fresh rye bread this afternoon and tonight she whipped up a batch of tasty bacon & tomato sandwiches for dinner.


We enjoyed a quiet night at home, just what we need before our longest day on the road in several months!

Monday March 27 - We drove 346 miles to Wytheville VA under sunny skies in light traffic.  All was good until we drove down from a windy mountain top!

Downtown Charleston passed by to our right as we left James Island.

Traffic was sparse and we sped along as fast as the navigator would allow.

Soon that 7-mile-long hill rose in the distance.

We crossed the Virginia state line at 3:15 . . .

. . . and immediately began to climb.

There were electronic signs flashing high-wind warnings all the way up the south side of the Blue Ridge range but we really didn't feel the effects until we crested the top and started to descend on the north side.  The gusts out of the west were brutal.  Some of them pushed us three or four feet to our right . . . and we don't have that much room to spare!


It was our most exciting crossing to date - and it was on the side that's usually pretty ho-hum.

I was glad to see the end of the drive today.  My arms were sore from fighting the wind and I needed a rest!

No palm trees, no live oaks, no Spanish moss . . .

 . . . but the KOA was a welcome sight!

Oh, look!  A dog park.

The boys were happy to run after a long day lashed to the couch.

Soon their speed was lagging and their tongues were dragging.

After the dogs had their dinner Carol and I went to our stand-by restaurant in Wytheville, The Peking.


A setting sun and a blooming tree welcomed us back to the campground.  It seemed like a perfect ending for the day!

Tuesday March 29 - We drove 505 miles to the FlyingJ Truck Stop at New Milford in northern Pennsylvania.  It was a torturous day!

While driving yesterday we decided to travel further than we originally planned on Tuesday so we could have a shorter trip home on Wednesday.  Not long after we cancelled our reservation at the Carlisle PA campground we heard about a 60 vehicle pile-up with multiple fatalities on I-81 near Minersville Pennsylvania.  The northbound lanes of the Interstate were closed and would be shut down for quite a while.  Yikes!  We'll be driving through that area on the way home.  What to do?  Stop short of the closure or rely on our GPS to find a detour route?   We decided to press on and see how far north we could get.


We pulled out of Wytheville at 8:10 a.m.

Traffic was light and we made great time.

Jasper doesn't like bumps.  When he's frightened he seeks altitude.

The Shenandoah Valley is one of our favourite parts of the trip.  Rolling hills with mountains on both sides.  It's beautiful.

Do you see why they're called the Blue Ridge Mountains?

West Virginia rolled by at 1:15 p.m.

We arrived in Pennsylvania at 1:55 and everything went all to Hell!

Things changed dramatically when we crossed the Pennsylvania state line.  The fecal material really hit the ventilation equipment!


This state has to have the worst roads on the continent!  In the southern part of Pennsylvania, near Chambersburg, we hit a stretch of freeway where the concrete slabs of the highway had shifted with frost.  The size of the slabs must have been perfectly tuned to suit the wheelbase of our motor home.  Before long the coach was rocking gently from front to back as we rode along.  Bumpity Bump, Bumpity Bump, Bumpity Bump!


The front of the coach was dropping down in perfect time as we fell off the leading edge of the next slab.  That of course made us bounce even higher and higher . . . and soon our little rocking horse transformed into a wild bucking bronco!


I slammed on the brakes to slow us down from our normal 63 MPH.  Jake was panting in fear on the couch, Jasper was wide-eyed as he climbed up on the back of the couch and clung for dear life.  Carol was back in the kitchen trying her best to catch the dishes which were spilling out of the cupboards . . . but she was still able to scream some insightful driving hints to help me out with my responsibilities!  When we got down to 40 MPH the bucking subsided and we rode along at that speed for several miles while we all recovered our composure.  The truckers were honking and scowling at us but we didn't give a sh*t.


I have a message for the Governor of Pennsylvania . . . FIX YOUR FЏϽKING ROADS!  Your entire state is nothing but a giant pothole!

We were driving along in the afternoon when my phone chimed; it was an e-mail from Walgreens.  My Covid-19 PCR test results from Sunday had arrived.  I was negative.  No results yet for Carol though.


Just a bit later we got to the Minersville area, where the highway was closed because of that crash.  We use the WAZE app for GPS and it led us off I-81 at Exit 104 and then took us on some mountain roads I would not willingly tackle in the car, let alone in the motor home.  If you've seen the video clips of those huge truckloads of logs clinging to a narrow, rutted road on the sheer side of a steep mountain cliff in India . . . that's where we were.  It was horrible . . . no, it was worse than horrible!  There are no pictures because Carol had her hands over her eyes most of the time!  I was only able to muster up enough courage to look at the road occasionally.  We were on the outside of one mountain curve when Carol took a quick peek to her right. She saw nothing but tree-tops . . . then we met an oncoming car and it got really exciting!


Finally we pulled back onto I-81 at Exit 119 and sped along again at 63 MPH.  We were all relieved (the dogs too) when we pulled into the FlyingJ Truck Stop at 6:30 p.m.  Phew!  We're glad that drive is over!


Once we got settled and all set up for the night Carol turned on her computer and booked an appointment for a Covid-19 Rapid Test at Walgreens in nearby Binghamton NY for 9:30 the next morning, just in case the PCR test results didn't come before we hit the border.  Then we had a bite to eat at Denny's and hit the hay early!

Wednesday March 30 - We made it home, a distance of 226 miles, by 12:10 p.m.

As usual, Carol was up first to let the dogs out.  She stopped first to check her phone and I heard a loud 'YIPPEE!'  Her negative test results had arrived in an e-mail time-stamped 1:15 a.m.  The folks in that Walgreens lab must work some odd hours!


She cancelled her appointment for the rapid test and away we went home!

Interstate 81 was clean and clear when we left at 8:00 a.m.

We rolled into New York State at 8:10


The white stuff you see on the road is not snow - it's salt.

The white stuff in the ditch and under the trees - that's snow!

The first of two bridges across the St. Lawrence River.

The blue and white sigh says 'Welcome to Ontario'

At noon we pulled off Ontario Highway 401 at exit 623, and pulled into our driveway a few minutes later.


It was a great trip.  We decided that we like being snowbirds and most of our reservations for next winter are already made!


Now, let's get the motor home unpacked and put it in storage for a while . . . it's sure nice to be home!