It's about time.

I'm sure there are many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your children. Buying a home and paying all the bills that are related to being homeowners and parents.
Our family has grown up and started families of their own. We're now retired and don't need a big home with all its work and expenses. We've downsized our belongings, sold our house, and upgraded our trailer.
Now it's time to follow our dreams.

What about you? Wouldn't you say, "It's about time".

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Linville Caverns and Simple Coaching.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

This morning we actually had a chance to sleep in. Until 8:30 that is. We had plans to go exploring again with our friends Gerry and Sandy. Right on schedule we all piled into the truck and were on the road by 9:30. 

Our first destination was the Linville Caverns just off US 221 under Humpback Mountain. The trip only lasted a half hour and when we arrived the parking lot was fairly empty. By the time we’d gotten our tickets a few more vehicles had arrived but they had brought their dogs with them and animals are not allowed in the cavern. 

Our guide took us down inside explaining how the caverns are protected under Federal Law and informing us of the wildlife that make the caverns their home. We were told how during the Civil War deserters from both sides hid out in the caverns. We saw some nice looking trout that swim throughout the water system of the caverns and told because of their lack of exposure to light that they were totally blind. 

One thing unique about this cavern compared to others we have visited is the constant dripping of water from the ceiling and the temperature staying around the 52 F (11 C) constantly year round. We saw what total darkness in the cavern looked like as well as what an old kerosene lantern used by the early explorers looked like compared to modern lighting.   

In the winter time the caverns are closed to the public because it becomes the hibernation grounds for the Eastern Pipistrelle Bat. Unfortunately the bat population has been in decline due to White-Nose Syndrome which is a fungus that causes irritation on bats when they hibernate. This causes the bats to wake before the spring causing them to starve to death. Bats are useful to our Eco-System by acting as pollinators and devouring millions of insects every year. 

On our way out of the cavern we came face to face with bus loads of 8 to 10 year old kids on a school field trip. After bleaching the soles of our shoes to avoid spreading the White-Nose Syndrome we headed for the truck glad we weren’t underground with all those noisy children. 

Our next destination was the Linville Waterfalls but we didn’t have any coordinates for it so we just tried to see if we could locate them. The road we were told to take was a very tight two lane road that twisted and turned its way through the mountains that would have been impossible to do pulling the trailer. The closer we got the signs seemed to disappear leaving us puzzled as to the location. 

With no luck we stopped at a small strip mall to have a late lunch at the Western Sizzlin Restaurant. We had the choice of choosing from the menu for ten dollars or more per meal or pay less than eight dollars a meal by eating their buffet. They had a great selection of salads along with the other foods so none of us waddled out and we managed to not destroy our diets like we have in the past. All the food was fresh and tasty and was not overly salty like some buffets we’ve been to. 
Western Sizzlin Restaurant.
We were disappointed that we hadn’t found the falls so when we got back to the trailer Kathy did more research and finally found a site that gave the coordinates to its location. We’ll try again tomorrow. 

We only had soup for supper before going to the pavilion for 7:30. Tonight Howard and Linda showed the first half of a video we’ll all have access to after tomorrow’s Luau. Tonight’s video was made from the activities on Memorial Day. There was lots of laughing as we all viewed it. 

It was then time for the campfire but Tom was having a problem with his trailer and wanted my opinion on the issue. After gathering a few tools that I had in the basement I simply coached him
on how to resolve the issue and everything is working fine now. We returned to the campfire where Kathy, Sandy and Gerry were just about ready to call it a night. 
Only white lighting is used in the cavern.
The colors are from minerals in the formations.
There is lots planned here at the reunion tomorrow plus we’re going to try to make it back to the waterfalls. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

The World's Great Proverbs

Good fences make good neighbors.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lazy Exploring and Visiting.

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

Since we weren’t signed up to go White Water Rafting this morning we slept well past the 5:45 departure time. Just knowing we didn’t have plans helped us to relax enough that we slept soundly until just after 8:00 this morning. We were that tired out from all the activities of this last week. 
More pictures from the Biltmore Estate.
Even though we were in a slow lazy mode after breakfast that didn’t mean we didn’t have things to do. Kathy needed help resizing a document so we swapped computers so that I could accomplish that for her. By 9:30 we walked over to hand deliver the finished product. 

A quick stop at the Gimmarro trailer told us nobody was home. We knew that Tom and Bryce were part of the rafting group this morning but Marcie must have been out visiting as well. 

Part of our Rally Package had included a coupon to the Tom Johnson RV Dealership Store. We could have walked but since we had other errands to run we drove through the Rally Park and entered the dealership through the back gate. They had quite an array of things that anyone could use in their RV but we settled on just buying sewer hose fittings for today. 

Our next stop was down the road to fill just the main fuel tank on the truck since we’ll be exploring more of the area we’ll stop in again the day we leave to top off both tanks. 

We continued down highway 221 in search of the Walmart store that everyone kept telling us about. We drove down to the next little town with no luck before turning around. Kathy had wanted to bring the GPS but I had insisted that this was a relaxing day and if worse came to worse we could always ask for directions. 

We continued past the road to the park heading into downtown Marion again with no luck. We were headed back towards the park when we decided to have lunch at a small mom and pop fast-food restaurant called the Bantam Chef. The parking lot was full and there were even police cars going through the drive-thru. The Bantam Chef established in 1971 was hopping inside with three people working on the grill alone. We placed our order got our drinks found a table and our food was delivered less than a minute later. The food was great, tasty and reasonably priced. 

Before we left Kathy asked the waitress where the Walmart was located and we were told to take I-40 to get there. We got a few more groceries before heading back to the trailer where I had to have a Snap. That is unusual for me but I must have needed it because I felt much better afterwards. 

Around 4:30 we went with Gerry and Sandy to the Wendy’s down the road where they treated us to supper. We spent more time talking than eating and had a wonderful visit. We also made plans to go out exploring together tomorrow. 

By the time we got back to the park the sky was filling with clouds and the wind was starting to increase so we said our goodnights. Shortly afterwards the thunder and lightning rolled in and the rain has been coming in waves. We are hoping it will clear up for all our plans tomorrow. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

More than half your phone bill is booty calls.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Living in Excess!

Our Location today is Marion, North Carolina, USA.

At least I didn’t waste my time setting the alarm last night because it had been sounding off for a couple of minutes before we woke up this morning. Again I emphasize that having to get up early in the morning just doesn’t have the appeal it used to in a past life. Yesterday Kathy and I went Zip Lining with a group of people from the RV Dreams Reunion Rally so that was almost acceptable. We had no problems sleeping throughout the night.  
Kathy and I Zip-Lining yesterday. 
This morning we were gathered at the pavilion with a larger group of rally attendees that were heading to the Biltmore House and Gardens. Again people were carpooling and we lucked out having our friends Gerry and Sandy riding with us today.
One long driveway.
The Biltmore Estate covers over 8,000 acres and the drive from the Ticket Sales Center and the house is three miles long. The entire estate is covered with natural and imported vegetation in the forms of trees, shrubs and flowers. The house itself covers three acres and was the dream of George Vanderbilt that showed how the affluent lived and showed their wealth. Today the estate employs over 2,000 employees. 
Biltmore House.
The front lawn.
The moment you see the house you are in awe and could never imagine what you are about to see. Unfortunately there is no photography of any kind inside the home. We chose to purchase the audio guide which helped us to understand everything we were seeing. Again today we got plenty of exercise climbing the stairs to the bedrooms than going down to the basement where the pool, exercise room, bowling alley and servants work areas were located. One thing that I liked was George Vanderbilt was a fair employer treating his employees with respect and paying them a wage that they could bank for their own financial freedom. 

A small portion of the gardens.
Part of the rally group had opted to dine at the Deer Park Lodge on the Estate. That alone required you to use your vehicle to drive the three miles from one location to the other. The group of twenty-four were given our own wing of the lodge to dine in and what surprised me was that it was a buffet style meal. The foods were well balanced and nutritional but once you’d finished eating a single serving you were well satisfied. 
Our dining area at Deer Park Lodge.


With the luncheon over we took more group pictures before many returned to continue exploring the house. Most others like ourselves went to check out the Winery and then the Gardens. We also had a laugh when we finally decided to leave that by following certain Exit signs brought us back to the Winery. We had to use the powers of deduction to find our way off the Estate. 
Hot Dog and Hamburger with Brownies for supper.
Finally we managed to find our way back to the highway and on the return trip we discussed having a light cookout back at the trailer. Maybe some hamburgers and hotdogs. Once we were home I started working on the computer when Gerry knocked on our door. He had the Rally Itinerary which said tonight was a Catered cookout of Hotdogs and Hamburgers. We had a laugh and attended the cookout and sat at the campfire for a while. When the sun set we were tired enough to head for home. 

Campfire Entertainment.
Tomorrow’s Rally Activity is leaving the park at 5:45 in the morning. Thank goodness we’re not part of that group. We have the day off and will run some local errands. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

Why do you keep doing the backstroke?


I've just had lunch and don't want to swim on a full stomach.