Winter 2024, Starts in Houston!

February 16th, 2024

Flew in to Houston to catch up with Paul and Teddy. Spent the weekend with Karol and her family. Very nice and quiet. Took a drive to Galvaston, where we dined on the water and enjoyed watching a cruise ship depart. We had a fire all day until the wind got to much and on Sunday I got to go and see Jeremy’s new home that he and his family were in escrow to purchase.

Pearl River, Slidell LA
Crossing the Mississippi River, heading East
Swamps! You see alot of these along I10 thru LA, Mississippi, Alabama

Monday we departed to get to Atlanta Motorspeed way for the Nascar races.

Away we go! Heading west and north

August 2nd, 2023

Paul and ships, boats, and Locks. He doesn’t like the water but he loves to watch this. We spent our first night on our return trip enjoying a view on the St. Lawrence Seaway from our site at Grass Point State Park. Very nice park, lots of grass and we got a spot right on the Seaway. It was a bit hazy from those fires again but we had a beautiful view in the morning.

From here we are heading into Canada. Next stop Log Chateau Park Campground near Toronto.

Moving towards Detroit

August 2nd, 2023

Another night in an RV lot. This one is very quiet with only a very bright light right outside of my window. London Ontario Canada is our stop for tonight. Tomorrow we will be in Detroit. The drive here was through even more beautiful farmland. Everything is so green here and the corn is almost ready for harvest. We had some local corn last week even though it is a bit early. It was still very good. At $1.25 CAD an ear it better be local and good! It was.

This RV dealer is just outside of town so this am Teddy and I went to the local Starbucks for breakfast.

This is a unique RV dealer. There are so many Airstream trailers and they display them with Tesla’s! I also saw a BMW towing a trailer and a vintage Trailer while hanging in the lot while Paul works. We looked a bit pedestrian in our Jayco RV and Honda CRV.

Another small town and Little Internet

August 2nd, 2023

Seems to be the theme of this trip into Canada. Grand Valley is where we are staying for the weekend. We do find very nice RV spots. This one is out of town right on the Grand River. I can hear the tiny rapids all day and night. Very calming.

Orangeville is the large city about 30 minutes away so of course it’s raining all day Friday so we go there to get supplies at the Walmart. After some research we found several things to do this weekend. One was golf! Found a very cute 9 hole course with a very interesting driving range. They also have an 18 hole miniature golf course. The best part is Teddy was welcome. Good thing cause he does not like to sit in the car when he can see us. We decided to just use the driving range at Lynbrook Golf as par 3 is not my favorite and we had a slow start to our day.

Next stop is Elora which in the research I did is a very quaint town with a gorge! What a beautiful, hopping village. The shops were all unique other than the 3 ice cream spots. One of them had handmade ice cream and apparently everyone knew it was the best. The line was long. The good news is today I had decided it was a cocktail day, not an ice cream day.

We did not walk down into the gorge, the stairs were narrow and steep and I was just not in the mood to hike back out after reaching the bottom. We could get a glimpse of the gorge from a very nice walk along the edge.

Town was beautiful, not a lot of art but this guy played for the entire 4 hours we were in the town.

We found another quaint spot to have lunch right in the middle of town. Perfect spot because after lunch Paul got onto his phone and I took a little walk. I resisted and didn’t make any big purchases but browsing was really fun. And to finish the day we enjoyed cocktails at a local distillery, Elora Distilling Company had the best Cosmopolitian I have ever tasted! The vodka is Amethyst Spirit with Triple Sec and white cranberry juice and a splash of lime juice. I bought the vodka, now I have to find the white cranberry!

Kawartha Lakes

August 2nd, 2023

Known for the Trent – Severn Waterway. Paul is in heaven. He will be traveling throughout this area doing dealer visits and he will definitely be stopping and watching all of the action. There are many locks along the canals and there are even lifts!

So many lakes; Balsam Lake, Cameron Lake, Four Mile Lake, and so many more.

Lifts. Kirkfield Lock 36. We watched for about an hour. These people wait to get into the lift, it takes an hour to raise the lift. Once these boats got into the lift we walked to the road way above and we saw many boats waiting for their turn once these got lifted. So I figure 2 hours to go about 100 feet in the canal. Amazing! I don’t get it but the engineering is pretty amazing.

Our campsite is not really close although there is a lock nearby in Fenelon Falls where we spent one day enjoying the small town and of course watching the boaters move from one lake to the other.

Lots of little towns and lots of farmland. Orillia is the largest town we have come across during this part of our journey. We went here one day just for the internet. Lunch was very nice, long but great food. Paul had his Poutine. It was a lot but he wasn’t happy, took 45 minutes or more just to get our food and then it wasn’t very hot. I guess even Canada is having trouble keeping up with customer demand and short staff.

We keep running into long waits at restaurants and then a longer wait to get the food we ordered. Our last attempt in Fenelon Falls we were told a 15-20 minute wait to sit on the patio with Teddy. Great, it’s lunch time and it is a beautiful day. We walked across the street watching the locks (again!) and after 30 minutes I went to check, one party ahead of you and then you will be seated. After 20 minutes more I saw the sign for subway! Yep, my least favorite but the park was beautiful so why not. My lovely lunch with a cocktail just turned into a 6”italian sub and a fountain soda on a park bench. The view was the same and the price was probably half! Paul’s happier and Teddy could care less.

Today we are going to another lock on the Trent canals. Very nice little town of Bobcaygeon. Same type of town, locks very busy as it is Sunday. I guess they all have to get back to work. We enjoyed a local ice cream Kawartha Lakes Creamery. Very good ice cream. The first place had a line at least 40 minutes! Not worth it but Paul found us another spot right in town with no wait. Great ice cream and another park bench with a view of the locks. This is becoming a theme of this week.

Old Forge, Family Reunion

July 18th, 2023

It feels good being here again. If it wasn’t so far away and so hard to get here from an airport I could spend all my summers right here – after July 4 of course! The bugs before Fathers Day are brutal and just not fun. We arrived on Saturday and got checked into our campsite. We are staying at the Old Forge Campground until Tuesday when we move to town and parking at the air B & B where the kids will be for a week.

One of my favorite spots in the area, Uncle Dick’s patio on Fourth Lake. A beautiful spot. We visited on Sunday and returned Tuesday morning with our coffee and donuts from Eagle Bay Donuts. The best donuts as far as I am concerned. Not too sweet, no crap on them unless you go for the cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar ones. I like plain.

The kids arrived in the middle of the night after a very long flight with a 2 hour delay and then a 2 hour drive from Syracuse. See it’s not easy to get here!

We had lots of plans and got right to it after they were fed, showered and rested.

Two days at the Enchanted Forest where we played in the nursery rhymm forest, rode the train, enjoyed watching the girls on a few rides. The best was Lacey on the ferris wheel with mommy and aunt Stephanie. Lacey loved it and was raising her arms – mommy not so much! What we do for our children.

All the kids enjoyed the waterslides when the sun was out. I enjoyed a Pina Colada

We played a favorite golf course (miniature) Nutty Putty has been there since before I ever came to this town. My first trip was in 1983.

The wild life is wonderful. The locals are mostly annoyed with the deer and the tourists but soon we will all be gone and they will have their cold winter back.

One day (no one got photos) the girls and I did bumper boats. I got Lacey and she took over the steering and the spraying! Everyone was wet and laughing so much.

The family reunion was a big success and the family shirts will be a rememberance of the 2023 Roberts family reunion. It is the descendents of Pauls grandparents on his dads side. There were six children and only Uncle Bill is still with us.

And no trip to the adirondacks goes without a trip up the chair lift at McCauley Ski Mountain. Pauls nephew works at the top escorting riders off the lift and that is our best way of a short visit. The view from the top on a good day is amazing and our day was perfect.

We saw lots of family and made many new memories. This was Carrie and Lacey’s first trip, I hope they get to come again. We make it about every 5 years. Heres hoping for several more.

Niagara Falls

July 3rd, 2023

Got here Friday afternoon and just before we arrived at Four Creek SP it started to pour. By the time we got checked in and heading for our spot it stopped. We have been to this park several times and really enjoy the location and the sites are all grassy and spread out. The bummer this time because we didn’t plan is we get no electricity which shouldn’t be a problem but right behind us a family pull up and have a generator which it appears they run just to use fuel. A petpieve of mine! If you aren’t there you don’t need to run the generator. That is what the batteries are for.

Looking for something new in Niagara Falls. Found Lockport. But on the way we found a pick your own cherries. They were perfectly ripe and so many, We bought 2 lbs for $6 and ate cherries for 4 days after.

Lockport: A cute city which just happens to have Locks for the Erie Canal. Of course Paul could have spent all day. They had a tiny farmers market and a wonderful ice cream shop. 2 large scoops for $4.50! I ordered the two scoops and it was like getting a quart of ice cream! Yumm

We have to see the falls and a trip across the border just to see if the Passports still work. The weather wasnt the best but we had a nice drive thru Niagara by the Lake. Very pretty, very wealthy area right on the river.

Day two in Niagara Falls area we went to the falls, on the USA side. Beautiful State Park and you can walk right up next to the raging river just before it goes over the edge. I read in one of the brochures that most attempt have not survived. Surprise!!!

I love the drive from Lake Ontario along the river back to the falls so we spend a lot of time here. Every trip I say ”I’m going to ride the tram” It just never works out.

Our last day we headed to the river again, but closer to our RV site, the village of Youngstown is right on the River very close to Lake Ontario. Very small, quaint and a hoppin spot for lunch. We enjoyed lunch watching the boats and people.

I love the flowers hanging on posts everywhere we go outside of California. Wish the water would come more often. Most places don’t even have to water these pots as they get rain often enough during the summer months.

Statues! Another thing I am always looking for in our travels. This was in the park in Youngstown. Very discriptive.

Summer 2023, Off to NY again!

June 23rd, 2023

Leaving the end of June is playing it dangerously with the heat but Summer is amazingly cool and we left on the 22nd. So far the weather has been great, very little rain but as soon we hit Nebraska the smoke from Canada interfered with our enjoyment a little.

Things I learn on the road:

  1. You can find a walmart anywhere
  2. We often look for the same place; ie. The Great Coffee place in Green River, WY. We have been there at least 4 times. They have the best baked oatmeal but they don’t have internet, just games and puzzles.
  3. Nebraska has a lot of corn fields
  4. It just might rain anytime with or without clouds
  5. There is a festival for just about anything! The midwest even has a Testicle Festival – deep fried animal testicles is the main attraction

We went from CA on Wednesday to New York in a week. That’s fast for us but we kept to the Interstate and there isn’t much there. We found a beautiful spot for the weekend right on the interstate. The Summit Rest Stop, the highest point on I80 across the US. We actually spent the weekend at the Rest Stop as it was away from the highway, quite, we were alone up on a hill overlooking the area and we needed to be in Cheyenne WY on Monday for a visit.

Salt Lake

On to Iowa where we were doing just a stop over and then on to New York.

Swamps, Bayous, Rivers, Lakes

February 12th, 2023

There is water everywhere and where there is water there are snakes, alligators and tour companies that will take you deep into the woods! We found Captain Caviar who had small tours and Teddy could ride along! The only problem is his tour was 3 hours long and the restroom facilities were nonexistant! I survived and it was a beautiful day. Our original plan was to go on Saturday afternoon but it was cold, rainy and the sun never came out! So it’s off season and Captain Caviar was very happy to reschedule to Sunday.

We have been on Airboat Tours, large boat swamp tours, small boat tours that actually can ride in 2” of water (that was the most upclose tour). Captain Caviar is right on the Idlewild Plantation property on the Atchafalaya River . His boat can hold 5 passengers and he keeps it small and simple! His boat goes fast and not right into the swamp but we cruised along and he knew all sorts of things about the area. It was a beautiful day and the ride was lovely.

The wildlife is just starting to show up but we did spot this guy! He was sunning himself along with several turtles. When we got too close they all disappeared into the water! Glad I wasn’t swimming.

We even got to go through a lock on the river. Right now we were only going up about a foot but you could see the waterline where during the spring runoff the lock raises about 6 feet

Opening up
More wildlife
We saw mostly birds, including 2 Bald Eagles.

Captain Caviar was a great story teller; he wanted to tell us about the ghosts on his property and in the Bayou. I’m not really a believer but that could be because I’ve not seen a ghost yet. His family home, Idlewild is supposed to be haunted, infact as he tells it his previous girlfriend would not come back after she saw is dead wife following her! We had a great time listening to him tell stories about his territory. Another fun fact is he is called Captain Caviar because he is the creator of Cajun Caviar and sold it in 2019 to Emeril Lagasse’s Wife and her two friends. The caviar is hand harvested from the Choupique fish in the fresh waters of the Atchafalaya Basin.

We saw many camps in the bayou. No one lives there in the winter but they do use them for recreation and hunting/fishing. The camps use water from the Bayou and return the water to the Bayou!!! Perfect place for the kiddo’s to play and swim in the summer heat.

A view of the swamp, forest, bayou.
Not sure which is which
Teddy finally relaxed after about 30 minutes and actually seemed like he enjoyed the wind in his face

We picked a perfect day to get out on the River, Swamp, Bayou and Captain Caviar was very entertaining. We didn’t see enough turtles and alligators but that is fine by me. The lock’s were a treat for Paul and it was such a small lock that the operator stood on the bridge and chatted with us while we waited for the opening of the gates.

And we were done just in time to miss the kick off of Super Bowl XLVii. We enjoyed watching the game, not really interested in the halftime show and I kept forgetting to pay attention to the commercials (usually my favorite part). I was rooting for The Chiefs but felt like the Eagles had it in the bag! Some fun plays.

That is a wrap for Louisiana, tomorrow we head towards Alabama.

Down in the Bayou

February 11th, 2023

We are going to spend a few days enjoying some downhome cooking and resting. Lake End Park in Morgan City will be very comfortable.

Sunset from my patio
Sunrise from my porch
Sunset from my patio

Lakes End is a very nice county park in Morgan City which is definitely not a tourist stop. We are about 60 miles from New Orleans and it’s Carnival season! All the little towns have parades leading up to Mardi Gras. We missed the parades because it rained but we saw several party buses around town and many homes and businesses are decorated.

Ready for the Party!

We found the cutest local restaurant, 4 tables inside it appeared to be her living room! Rita Mae’s Kitchen was definitely my style of restaurant when visiting these places. Her shrimp Poboy was amazing! Paul had gumbo which had so much seafood. We topped lunch off with a slice of homemade Pecan Pie. This cooking is like Mom’s! No website but easy to find. We are only in Morgan City a few days and I had a hard time not returning for more of her foods!

Rita Mae’s Kitchen

We did take a few drives to explore the area with a ride to Cocodrie which is a fishing village on the edge of Louisana, actually appeared to be at the end of the land. We saw lots of damage from the huricane from over a year ago.

Plantations have a special place in Louisiana with many restored and used as tourist spots. We found one in Houma that only the gift shop was open but you could walk around outside and enjoy the grounds. Southdown Plantation was beautiful on the outside; the caretaker and the gift shop guy were very talkative – I think they are ready to reopen. Its been over a year and they are very close to reopening.

Southdown Plantation
Non functioning light house across the river from Morgan City

This was an interesting find near our campsite. A family donated the land and a bell tower was installed along with a short trail. We saw a small family taking photos of the mom pregnant and a 2 year old. They looked odd being dressed up and we were basically in a swamp. Dad and the photographer looked much more prepared for a swamp!

Cemeteries seem to attract us especially when we are in the south. Louisiana has many and the graves are mostly above ground so they won’t float away during floods.

Love Louisiana but definitely would not enjoy living here as the summers are brutal; mosquitos, snakes, alligators and humidity!