Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Birthday Gifts--September 6, 2009

I have just one word to describe Georgia Veterans' State Park---GNATS!
While at Georgia Veterans' State Park for Labor Day, we celebrated Bobby's 32 birthday by purchasing bicycles and helmets for Christopher and DeAnna. The campground was packed, but it was a great place to ride. We had to keep moving to keep the gnats from driving us mad!

DeAnna is still working on keeping her eyes on the road!

By early Monday afternoon we had camping area 3 to ourselves.

Monday night we made s'mores for the second time. We talked about fire safety before we made the s'mores. Everyone had a good time around the campfire.
Tuesday morning the kids rode the loop on their bikes, then we packed our stuff and headed for DeLand.

When we left the state park we realized that it was love bug season and our windshield has a healthy dose of love bugs! I know that it will be washed after we arrive home.

As we neared Valdosta, GA the emergency sign notified drivers that I-75 was closed north and south due to an accident at Florida exit 451. I looked at the map and found an alternate route for us. After filling the rv at Lake Park, GA we took US 41 south to Lake City, FL where we turned on State Road 100 and headed toward Bunnell. From Bunnell it was homeward bound!

The Great Train Ride--September 4-5, 2009

We left Maxwell AFB pretty early Friday morning to travel to Georgia Veterans State Park. We had reservations, but knew the sites were open to all who have reservations--no specific site. The last time we were there, there was a new camping area with all pull through sites. That is where we found a site.

We relaxed for the evening and got up early Saturday morning to ride SAM Shortline RR from Cordele, GA to Archery, GA with stops in Americus and Plains.

The kids enjoyed watching automobiles stopping at the RR crossing for our train.

Leaving Cordele, the train went very slow. It finally picked up speed as we left the city limits.

Chris enjoyed the train ride with Grandpa.

DeAnna enjoyed it with Grandma.

When the train stopped in Americus, it was time for lunch. Some of the restaurants were closed for the long weekend. We finally found a restaurant/book store around the corner from the historic Windsor Hotel. We enjoyed some sandwiches and then headed back to the train.

Someone in this picture always has an afternoon nap after lunch and the other person is playing possum. Wonder who is who? Hmmmm.

From Americus the train traveled to Plains, GA. The only thing Bob wanted to see in Plains was Billy Carter's service station. We went into the Plain Peanut. As we entered the store, we sampled fried peanuts and homemade peanut butter ice cream. We purchased some ice cream and some boiled peanuts. Chris decided boiled peanuts were the best!

For kicks Bob took a picture of me and the kids in front of Carter's campaign headquarters.

From Plains we went to Archery where Jimmy Carter spent his boyhood years. We stayed on the train as everyone was beat! From Archery we returned to Cordele. Everyone rested on the return trip.

We had a great time riding the train!

From Arkansas to Alabama--August 29-September 2, 2009

From Branson, MO we drove south into Arkansas. It was a Saturday and we were afraid we would have trouble getting a campsite at a Corps of Engineer park. We drove past Little Rock and stopped just northwest of Pine Bluff at Tar Camp. The camp hosts were excited to see us as they had many sites available. They said business had been off for 2 weeks! We got a great pull through site looking over the Arkansas River.

We hiked the nature trail until we came to a gully we couldn't cross. A flood washed out the bridge over it last year. This bridge was at the beginning of the trail.

We stopped for a rest on our return hike.

Saturday night was a first for Chris and DeAnna--we roasted marshmallows. They were yummy!

These were well cooked, but still yummy!From Tar Camp we headed east into Mississippi, then Alabama. We stopped at a Corps of Engineer park Bob and I stayed in earlier in the year near Pickensville, AL. We took the kids to see the snagboat.

We enjoyed the visitor center, especially the garden out back with the fountain.
We could see the lock and dam, but no boats were going through while we were there.
We didn't see any boats passing our campsite, but on the morning we were leaving, we looked outside and saw that one had parked across the waterway from us during the night! It was loaded with Christopher's favorite natural resource--sand.

We enjoyed our stay at Pickensville, but it was time to move closer to home. We drove to Montgomery, AL and stayed at Maxwell AFB. While there we played on the playground, shopped in the commissary, and found some geocaches. No, we didn't take any pictures there. We did learn that it is best to have reservations at Maxwell as they fill up quickly and were full the two days we were there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Part Two: Silver Dollar City: August 30, 2009

Thursday morning we set out for Silver Dollar City--finally! After parking we caught the tram to the park. We were early enough to ride in the front car. The driver invited Christopher and DeAnna to sit next to him. Only Chris took him up on the offer. Once in the park we made our way to the back of the park where the kids rides were located. Chris and DeAnna had a great time riding the rides. They liked the boat swing so much that they rode it 3 times--twice with us and once with Great Grandpa Bob and Great Grandma Dot.
There is a great play area with foam balls and water guns. It was a stretch to load the guns, but great fun.
Chris and DeAnna wanted to stay here all day!
DeAnna didn't realize that someone was aiming at her!
Everyone had a difficult time in the Crazy House. It was hard to stand up straight to walk through the house.Chris and great grandpa sat down to try to figure the best way out.

The Hoppy Frogs were fun....
...so were the centipedes.
The great grandparents took advantage of a photo spot, but walked away before the grandparents could get a picture.
Walking from one ride to another, DeAnna spotted some pretty girls walking to their next show. We knew it would be filled so they told us to come to the 2:30 show. We had a great time sitting by the stage. After the show DeAnna had her picture taken with the pretty girls.
We left there and rode the train to the entrance. We had a great time at Silver Dollar City!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Branson, Missouri and Silver Dollar City--August 24-29, 2009: Part One

Since Bob and Dot are frequent visitors to Branson, we followed them from their house to our campground in Branson. We stayed at Ozark Country Campground and would highly recommend it to anyone going to Branson. We had sites next to each other and across from the pool.We spent some time at the pool on our first day. We planned to go to Silver Dollar City Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ahh, but when you plan a vacation to Missouri in August you don't think that the amusement park will be closed, but it was! It was closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to redecorate for their fall theme! What a bummer. Time to change plans! We decided to go geocaching on Tuesday. Bob found several hidden near city parks in Branson. Here, Chris and DeAnna check their loot!Unfortunately, the first playground was still covered with dew and we couldn't play. Bob found a box turtle near the cache and brought it out of the woods for us to see.
The second playground was dry and other children were already playing. There was a bridge to cross from the parking lot to get to the playground. We just had to stop to look for fish.
Wednesday we went to Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery. The fish raised here are released in the river and Table Rock Lake. These fish are retired brood stock.
There were so many fingerlings that Chris and DeAnna couldn't count them!
It was fun feeding the fish!
The two towers behind Chris and DeAnna are cooling towers. The trout like the water at 51 degrees!
We had a great time and were looking forward to finally going to Silver Dollar City!

Siloam Springs and the Repair Job--August 19-23, 2009

Once we arrived in Siloam, the rv needed washing. Chris and DeAnna took care of the lower compartments. Great Grandpa Bob introduced them to his favorite cartoon character--Betty Boop.
The neighbor's cat made himself at home on Bob and Dot's front porch.
I know you are wondering about the title of this post. No, it was not a repair job for our rv, but one for Bob's dad. The floor had water damage and we were all afraid someone would fall through! Once they removed the floor we saw why! There was nothing but a thin layer between them and the ground. The entire floor had to be replaced due to a water leak from the freshwater fill valve. Bob and his dad got busy so they could finish before we left for Branson, MO.
They did a good job, but it took our entire stay!
The kids kept busy for 2 of the days playing with two of the neighbors. They enjoyed digging worms and playing on the swinging tire horse. Here is Chris with a bowl of worms!
DeAnna always asked for a few minutes more when it was time to come in to eat.
We had a great time in Siloam Springs, but it was time for us all to head to Branson, Missouri.