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Published: December 7th 2009
If you're ever feeling down, go fly a kite and look up. The results are guaranteed.
Moving on to Florida
After the Thanksgiving extravaganza, I headed back to Florida with the Stephans - My Auhnt Kathy's family. They live in Navarre which is about 30 miles from the Pensacola and 5 miles from Eglin Air Force Base. My cousin Alisha drove with us and she told us about the bears in the area and the crazy bike lady that got ran over. For a shrine, the town fixed up her bike and placed it on the highway like the crosses and flowers that you often see on the highway. We pulled into our RV park and were pleased to see the white sandy beaches nearby. See the picture from the roof to see how close we were.
Others were decorating their RVs, so we did the same. We put some light around the tree on our lot and found an interesting light to take some pictures of. Then we walked around the RV park and saw how some others had decorated their RVs. Ann was the hands down winner. Ann and Don had spent 26 years in the Navarre when Don was in the Air Force. Ann had hand made many aspects of her RV
View from On Top
Here's the view from the roof of our RV. The beach on Santa Rosa Sound was about 100 yards away from the RV. You can see over the sound to the hotels that are on the Gulf of Mexico.
design including crocheted angels on her tree, dolls in the nativity scene on the dash and Santa stocking caps for her mirrors. I think Alisha took some pictures of their RV and I hope she sends them to me.
Don was an information technology (IT) manager for the air force in the 70s, so we talked shop about computers. He used to work in the Air Force computer rooms and told me how they used to rent time on the mainframes instead of buying them. He told me how one site was seeing an extraordinary amount of useage, so he was sent in to spy on the data center and they saw a guy stealing time on the mainframe and doing payroll and accounting for companies around town. Don turned him in and the thief ended up doing 30 years in Leavenworth. He's probably getting out about now.
Don is a chronic smoker and has a raspy voice, part of one ear missing and one eye that doesn't work. I called him lucky. He drives back and forth from Oregon every year and he said he says he might not be able to make it this year because
This light next to our RV makes me look like a saint with a halo. The smoke in the picture must have been from the camper next door that was BBQing some Ribeye.
of his vision. If you see a large Allegro RV weaving down the road, you might pull over and let Don drive by.
Lunch with Audrey
My niece Audrey lives in Navarre as well because her step-father is in the Air Force and spends considerable time in Eglin/ He's in Yemen now and has been on several tours of duty in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan. Audrey's in 8th grade now and plays tennis, so I took her out on the court and opened a can of whoopass on the 13 year old. We actually played pretty close and she won one game out of 4 and was winning some others but had trouble keeping her serve in. She said she was hungry, so we cut the games short and got her to eat some food. We were shocked when she ate something other than chicken fingers!
We went out to the beach and flew some kites before going to the flea market where we saw some funny bumperstickers. She liked the one that said, "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most". I got one that says
This is fun time, fun time, fun time. Grace got real excited about these photos with the light behind us. I guess she's pointing at the Christmas lights that I just hung from the tree.
" I'm already visualizing duct tape over your mouth" That's going on to the RV.
On Monday night, I went to my Uncle Jim's band practice. He's still rocking after 30+ years of playing guitar. Check out some of his recordings and lyrics at http://www.crsclassicrockband.com/. Only Jim and Bill were at the practice that night but these veterans pumped out the jams. Bill wrote a really sweet song about him and his wife becoming one and Jim wrote some political songs about the plight of the white man and how the governments keeping us down.
Jim is a die-hard Rush Limbaugh fan and listens daily to Rush, Hannity and Beck. I always find it hard to reconcile how this musician from the 60s has gotten so conservative, but he has. Jim loves his politics and we had a big discussion on Saturday night that I want to write about in the next blog. I'm going to work with Jim on it too so that we can hear both perspectives. I'll provide the liberal perspective even though I have trouble accepting that stereotype.
Lucky Don and Ann
Here is our neighbor who spends 6 months here and 6 months in Coos Bay, Oregon.
After the band practice, I met my cousin and godchild Ian to watch the Colts whoop up on the Patriots. On the way, I was a little excited and went over a bridge at excessive speed. Without the 13,000lb trailer, my truck flies and the cop clocked me at 59 in a 35! That's a $281 ticket and it hurts. I don't know why the road wasn't 55 and I didn't see the speed limit sign as I went up the bridge. There wasn't anything on the causeway/bridge to run into, but Florida is very tight on speeding and speed limits. The same cop pulled Ian over moments later but let him off since he was only going 49 mph. I've seen multiple cops in speed traps and the speed limit seems to be designed for Don and his kin who are old, can't see and don't have reflexes anymore.
It seems that most people around Pensacola have trouble with the law. We saw many people walking and riding bikes around town and Kathy says it's because they've had their driver's licenses taken away because of DUIs. They crack down hard and I'm glad to
Grace is a magician in many ways and made this ball hover in mid air through her mind trickery. She often gets me to do similiar inexplicable things.
be out of that speed trap and police state.
Ian and Mashay had us over for a great seafood dinner at their house that they decorated thoroughly for Christmas. Mashay had us cook loads of shrimp and some fish in a mojo brine in her fondue set - it was great. It was healthy fun food and we ate two pounds of shrimp and some great tilapia. See the pix.
Ian had recorded some Christmas movies and happened to record "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase and Cousing Eddy in the RV. Check out the classic shots of Eddy dumping his sewage in the sewer in front of the Griswold house. See the video here:
Speaking of sewage, we had another sewage mishap. Our gray water ( or possibly black water - it's hard to tell) leaks into the drain pipe. We didn't have a sewer at our site in the RV park, so we had to save up our water for 4 days and take it to the dump station. We managed to fill up the gray water beyond full so that a few inches of water were
Alicia rode down to Navarre with us and helped us decorate the campground with our lights. She's in KC now visiting friends for a week.
in the shower when I finished my shower on the last day. When we got to the dump station, I didn't expect the gusher to come out of the 3.5" pipe like Old Faithful. Grace watched as I tried to catch the gushing water in the drain hose. A 3.5" pipe can hold a lot of water and it was shooting everywhere for over a minute before I could finally catch it all in the drain hose. Some got on my shoe, but I managed to avoid a Robin Williams like scene from the movie "RV".
Back to dinner, Grace liked the seafood enough that we had Ian and Mashay pick up some more the next night and bring it over. We took a few pictures of that and played some more games.
I couldn't resist uploading loads of pictures. Note that there are two pages of photos, so click on the next page at the bottom. I took over 300 pictures in November - always a good sign that I had an exciting month. We had some great family time in November on the road. We're surprised that we spent so much time with family over the
Love the Purple
Not only do my Aunts and cousins live near Pensacola, but my niece Audrey lives within a few miles of our campground. We both sported our KSU colors. She's a budding tennis star in high school and I managed to teach her a lesson or two on the claycourts.
last month. We liked it so much that we decided to buy some tickets to Taiwan. We're going on Monday the 14th to see Grace's family. I'll continue blogging from there.
You'll hear from me before then from the Big Easy.
Have a great week,
PS. How about them RRRAAIIIDDERS! Beating the Super Bowl Chumps in the last minute. I guess if the Chiefs can do it too, it's not saying that much.
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