Stopping by the wood on a snowy day.The lodge at Smithgall Woods
Smith Lake at Unicoi State Park
Our trailer from the top of the hill. It is hard to see it in all that white.Duke’s Creek where it crosses the road at Smithgall Woods.
We woke up on Thursday to 8 inches of snow! The weather guys on the Atlanta TV stations had all talked around it like the worst of the weather would be down to the south of us in Gainesville and Atlanta, but no, here it was up here in the mountains. FabGrandpa did not think we would get snow, if anything we were thinking it would be a cold drizzling rain. We were very surprised to have this much of the white stuff! The first picture here of our picnic table is to illustrate just how much of it we got.
This picture is of FabGrandpa standing under the awning, which is full of snow. It took him most of the afternoon to get it all off of the awning. Next time they start talking about snow, he will roll it up before we go to bed.
Here is a picture of the road into our section of the campground here at Unicoi State Park on Thursday morning. The park ranger made his rounds early, about as soon as the sun came up, to make sure there were no trees down in any of the roads. The next day, on Friday, they came by with a snowplow and scraped the road, because it did not melt off.
We had to go to Cleveland to get propane on Friday, so we drove around to see if we could find some “scenic” sights. We have driven past Smithgall Woods for years, never turning in to see it. Smithgall Woods is a Georgia State park site that was donated by the Smithgall family to preserve the natural forest area and Duke’s Creek. It is absolutely beautiful. I got several beautiful shots there, but this one is, well, unique. I think it would be too cold to use this outhouse, but isn’t it cute?
Fabgrandpa had an appointment with his endocrinologist in Decatur yesterday. It is 75 miles from our camp host spot to the doctor’s office, and the Dekalb Farmer’s Market is just a couple miles from the doctor, so we took Gary and Faye with us and set out for our journey. Georgia 400 is a road that is very busy with traffic MOST of the time, but yesterday was a horrible mess. In addition to the normal traffic and construction going on , there was a SUV overturned on the southbound side, which backed up traffic for miles. It took us a half hour to go about 5 miles! OK, so we get through the jam on 400, and get on 285 eastbound, and find the traffic crawling there, too. There had been some kind of bad accident on I-85 north, and the state patrol had closed the ramp from I-285 east to I-85 north. Fabgrandpa‘s appointment was for 1:30 p.m., and we left home at about 11:15 a.m., and we were still late getting there. Does anyone wonder why we like working in Urbanna, Virginia???
Dr. Singh was as pleasant as ever, and seemed happy to see us. He remembered that we were the couple who lives in an RV, and told us about his parents going in their motorhome to Tempe, Arizona to visit the Cubs training camp. He also told us about his children, who are 3 years old and 6 months old. He is just a very personable guy. He gave s a 20% discount on our office visit bill and the bloodwork, so that was a good thing. He also wrote Fabgrandpa‘s prescription for 100 pills instead of 30 AND gave us some coupons from the manufacturer for $10 off a prescription of 100 pills. What a guy! Since he did not have the bloodwork results, he actually gave us 2 prescriptions and told us to wait until he calls us to tell us which one to get filled.
Finally, after many hours of traveling (it seemed), we got to the farmer’s market. They have a cafeteria there, where they cook the items that are for sale that day at the market. Has anyone ever eaten braised fennel? Or goat stew? Well, I passed on the goat stew, but we all tried a fab soup called Corn and Poblano Pepper Soup. Wow!, that stuff was great! Oh, if you ever go there, keep in mind that they sell the food BY THE POUND, so make your selections carefully.
After we ate, I got the ingredients for bruschetta; Mexican Seafood Soup; and Basil Pesto. Fabgrandpa got a bottle of Portugese wine, some beef pastrami from the deli, and some delish Red Raspberry Jam. Oh, and we got some blueberry muffins and some rye bread. I just love that store.
After we got all our shopping done, we drove down Ponce De Leon to Peachtree Street, sort of a little driving tour of downtown Atlanta. We passed by Becky’s condo at 923 Peachtree, and drove all the way down to Phipps Plaza. Got on I-85 north, and you guessed it, sat in traffic, again. We were so glad to get back home to the mountains. I hope we don’t have to go down there again any time soon.
It was only 13.3 degrees on Thursday night, the coldest I have known it to be in Georgia before Christmas. The wind was howling outside, but we were snug and warm in our new trailer. I could notice the difference right away, because whenever the wind would blow when we lived in our Starcraft, it was LOUD and there was usually a breeze or draft going through the trailer. In this one, though, I could barely hear the wind outside, and there was no draft inside.
Before I forget, I have to let everyone know how much help Gary and Faye were to us on the day we moved. After we signed all the paperwork and did the walk-through, they arrived ready to work. Faye and I were in the old trailer, handing stuff out the door to the guys until most of the things that were boxed up were moved. Then I went over to the new one and started putting things away. Faye stayed over in the old one and packed things up to be moved. You know, I thought I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff! But, the truth is, I still have too much. I have been throwing stuff away for three days now, and making a pile for selling on ebay too. I was truly embarrased at how much was packed away in that little starcraft! It only took half the day to get things signed and moved.
After we got back to Unicoi, I spent the rest of the day trying to find things. At about 6 pm, Gary knocked on the door with a pan of burritos. They were absolutely delish, so good that Fabgrandpa said he was going to ask Gary to marry him!!
Ok, the top pic is a closeup of one of the window treatments in the kitchen. The next one is the bedroom, or at least part of it. That is me with the camera, and Fabgrandpa in the mirror.
Next is the sofa in the living area, I hope you can see the window treatments and the cabinets over the sofa. Jayco calls this color scheme “Spring Willow”, which sounds like it should be green, but is more brown and beige, very little green in it. The next pic is a closeup of the sofa fabric, so that you can see more of the colors. If you click on the pictures they will enlarge so you can see them better.
Yesterday we went down to Gainesville to
Target so we could get some throw rugs. The rugs I got are mostly orange, brown and beige, with a little bit of dark green in them. They all look pretty good in this new place.
We also went to Lenscrafters and got new glasses. Well, we ordered them, they will be in next week. I will post of pic of me in new glasses when I get them. It is still cold, with a forecast of high teens for tonight, and relative humidity of 15-20%! BRRRR. I want to go to Mexico!!!
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This past week has been really busy for us. It started with Thankgiving. I cooked Thanksgiving Dinner for Fabgrandpa’s family. Well, most of it. I made Sunday Best Roaster chickens, dressing, gravy, butter peas, creamed corn and sweet potato casserole using Linda’s recipe. It was all good, and the other family women brought things too. Let’s just say it was “challenging” to pull this thing off.
Then, on Friday, we worked again for a half day. On Sunday, we went for a long drive around the mountains with Gary and Faye. They had never been to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia, so we drove up there. We were all excited about being able to take the shuttle to the top and being able to see 4 or 5 states from up there, but, no, the place was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday so we did not get to do it. But, the drive was nice and had a nice long afternoon to visit with our friends.
On Monday, we went down to Gainesville to file an unemployment claim. They said we would hear something from them in 14 business days, but to go ahead and file for the week until we heard from them one way or the other.
We worked a half day again in the morning on Tueday, then we decided we needed to go to the grocery store. We did that and spent a ton of $$, but now we have everything we need to eat like pigs for at least three weeks, maybe four. On the way home from the grocery store, Fabgrandpa’s mother called to tell us that his Dad was admitted to the hospital. They were at the doctor’s office and they sent him to the hospital in an ambulance. One of their friends took Nana to the hospital since she does not drive, so we headed down there to see what we could do for her and to wait with her until she was ready to go home. She decided to stay, so we went home.
On Wednesday morning, she called us and told us they had not found out what was wrong with Poppa yet, and would be doing more tests, so there was no need for us to come to the hospital, so we went ahead with our plans to go to Douglasville.
We went to Becky’s shop to get haircuts, which we both desperately needed. After the haircuts, I went to my mother’s and Fabgrandpa and Becky went to the mall to hang out and go to a movie.
I had a very good visit with my Mom. She was nice and sweet and we had a nice conversation. She gave me a ham sandwich and one of Linda’s mince meat cookie bars and didn’t say anything about me being fat or anything. She gave me some home made pound cake with chocolate fudge frosting and some apple butter to take home with me. It was a very nice afternoon. Dick and Donna came by and I got to finally meet her. She is very nice and I am glad he has found someone to love and to make him happy. He deserves that in his life. When I got ready to leave to go and meet Emily and Spencer, Mama hugged me tight. It felt good.
I met Emily and Spencer at a place called Monkey Joe’s. It is an indoor playground-party place. It is full of things to jump on, slide on, run around on, crawl through, etc… for kids. Spencer was running at top speed, like a short cute little bullet. He is very fast and seemed to never run out of energy. I felt a little bad for Emily, because every few minutes she had to run like a mad woman to catch Spencer jut before he snatched an ice cream or candy bar from the counter and ran away with it. I brought him two little turtles (toys) and a glow in the dark t-shirt from Unicoi State Park. He took an instant attachment to the turtles. He named them Ned and Ted.
From there, we went to Fabgrandpa’s favorite barbecue restaurant, Hudson’s Hickory House, for dinner. There was me and Fabgrandpa, Becky, Emily, Tommy, and Spencer. It was nice to sit down as a family together and eat dinner. (It was also nice to have my favorite bbq ribs! Yum!)
We left Douglasville about 6:30 pm and drove to Gainesville. We stopped at the hospital to pick Nana up and take her home. She announced that she was going to stay another night, and Poppa said if she did then he was going to sign himself out of the hospital. He said it very loudly and with a lot of expletive deleteds. She got
her feelings hurt, but I do understand that he did not want any company. He was still in pain, and they had filled him up with laxatives in preparation for a barium enema on Thursday, so he was not in the mood for company from anyone. We took her home and stayed with her a while, and finally got home around 11pm.
Thursday, we worked a half day again, then went to Nana’s house and stayed with her until Mike got there to spend the night with her. He is taking her to a doctor appointment today, then down to the hopsital in Gainesville to visit Poppa for a few minutes, before he brings home. He is supposed to call us if he decided not to spend the night again so one of us can go over there.
So, that has been our week, very hectic and busy, some fun, some not,
but life is like that. I hope all of you are doing well, and having
some fun along the way. I am waiting to hear from you all.
OK, so we live in a travel trailer that is 30 ft long. There are AT MOST two steps from the bed to the toilet. Every night when I get up to go use the toilet, my husband asks me “Where are you going”? HUH? One of these nights I am going to answer him “I am going to Las Margaritas, do you want me to bring you a bowl of soup?” just to see if he is awake.
The trip to Georgia was uneventful, and took less than two days. It was 574 miles from Bethpage to Unicoi State Park. We went through Westpoint to I-64 west, to I-295 south, to I-95 south, to I-85 south, to Georgia 17 north. We stopped for fuel at the Sadler Truck Plaza in Emporia, where diesel was $2.319 if you paid with cash, but they consider a debit card to be the same as cash. The price of fuel in North Carolina was the highest at $2.499.
We stopped for the night in Concord, North Carolina at Fleetwood RV Resort. I don’t know why they get to call it a resort. It is behind an RV dealership, and right next to the Lowe’s Motor Speedway, a NASCAR racing facility. Our site had an excellent view of the speedway stadium, but no cable TV and no Wi-Fi. It was $25 per night for a pull through on gravel and pavement. Oh, and they were running laps til after 11pm at the raceway, so if you stay there expect noise. I could close my eyes and imagine it full of NASCAR fans. I am so glad I don’t work there. We woke up at 4:30 am and decided to “Just leave”. (that is for Lynn and Mary, hehehe)
We arrived at Unicoi State Park around 11:30 am yesterday to begin our winter Volunteer Camp Host job. Even though the host spaces are first come first served, we go the space we wanted. It is right next to a little creek, Our view out the window is of the forest, very nice. We ran into Gary and Faye at the lodge when we went up to check in with Shirley, the retail manager. They have been here about a week. Shirley was as usual happy to see us. We go tomorrow for an orientation session. We didn’t have to do an orientation last year because they did not have an onsite volunteer coordinator. The new person is Ellen. We met her when she came by our trailer to introduce herself to us.
We can’t wait to go to Doodle’s, the coffee shop in Helen. They have free Wi-Fi, and good coffee, but the owners, Stan and Linda, are really nice and we got to know them pretty well last year. We are looking forward to seeing them again. We also like to go to Betty’s County Store. They may be a little expensive, but they have good meats and a nice produce department. They make home made breads, and have a good selection of snacks. Yum!
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One of the reasons we live the way we do is so that we can go where ever we want to be and get to stay there for more than a week or two. We have been to several states in the six years we have been work campers. We spent two and a half years in south Texas, a winter season in Florida, and a couple of summers in the mountains of north Georgia. Last summer we worked at Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia. I worked in the retail operations office, answering the telephones and monitoring the radios. My husband, FabGrandpa, was a maintenance worker in the campground. On weekends when we expected a lot of children to be camping there, one of his duties was to put out these “Slow Children” signs on the roads. I love this photo of him with his buddies.
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