So Hardeeville RV Park was our next stay, still burning time until Jenn & Max arrive. This place is severely over-priced for what it offers, $50 normal night fee (even the $25 Passport America price is high, no frills just a parking spot with hookups). We traversed into the Hilton Head area, a very nice hoity-toity vacation/tourist spot. And we took several trips into Savannah, GA from here, checked out the River Walk and historical district again. Temps were still high and lots of humidity, the puppies were having a hard time, not to mention the Misses who REALLY hates humidity. 9 days of this and time to get set up for the grandchild.
The beach at Hilton Head
Pretty nice walkway to the beach at Hilton Head
The historical squares in Savannah have lots of statuary.
There’s something around 24 historical squares in Savannah, all from Civil War history.
We found Lake Aire Campground just outside of Charleston, SC. Small campground with lots of long term local residents. Real quality folks, the epitome of which was a 6-8 year old young man who screamed out, “You Bitch!” at his much younger sister as he chased her through the park. Wow…We stayed here just long enough to pick up Jenn & Max at the airport, make a quick spin through downtown Charleston, then leave at first light.
Pirate Land RV Resort was our choice for a 5 day stay with Max. It is right on the ocean, Pirate themed, and just south of downtown Myrtle Beach. This is a pricey place to stay, but was worth it for Max. They have a really cool splash pool, normal swimming pool, and a “Lazy River” for tube floating. Max & Jenn had a blast here. We went walking the Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, walked the downtown area and Max took in some of the rides at the amusement park there, and we took in a local dinner/show called Pirate’s Voyage, put on by Dolly Parton’s conglomerate corporation. Max immediately turned into a pirate for the rest of their stay.
Sunset at the beach at Pirateland RV Park.
Max and Oma funnin’ at the splash pool at Pirateland.
More of the splash pool…
The beach at Myrtle Beach from the pier.
Max trying to figure out how he is going to get on THAT ferris wheel.
Max, Oma and Opa at Moe Moon’s, the boardwalk at Myrtle Beach.
Max doing his thing at one of the Myrtle Beach arcades
C’mon, Max, we gotta git you a cool pair of board shorts!
Sunset at Myrtle Beach. Mr. Moon came out early…
One night at Dolly Parton’s Pirate’s Voyage and Max is a full fledged pirate.
Next stop on the tour was Stone Mountain, GA. I could not figure out what Stone Mountain Park was all about, it is not an amusement park, but it is a busy tourist spot. There is a plantation there to tour, the old quarry area of the mountain where they cut lots of granite blocks, a laser light show area where they do some type of laser show on the mountain, and some memorial areas related to the Civil War.
Skipping rocks at Stone Mountain campground.
Life is GOOD!
The carving in the side of Stone Mountain.
The campground here at Stone Mountain was OK, if not a bit pricey. There is a lake for fishing, a store and a pool, and the bath/showers are very nice. We still had some high temps, and the usual short term thunder/lightening storms, but the mosquito population was noticeably absent.
Killing time while doing laundry.
Max and Opa at Stone Mountain campground. Who picked your wardrobe?
Atlanta, GA has a very nice aquarium that we took Max to. He had a good time checking out the sharks and enjoyed the dolphin show they put on.
Look at all these cool fishes!
Max trying to scoot out of the shot. Sorry kid, you’re not fast enough!
From Atlanta it was on to Nashville, TN. With Max in tow, there is no other choice but to stay at the Jellystone Park just down the street from the Opry. The park was kinda a drag this time around, being the “off season”; the pool was only open on weekends, the “hey rides” were over, and the visiting Yogi Bear characters were done for the season. But we made the best of it, Max still got his kicks taking the dogs for their multiple walks around the park. We took Jenn & Max into downtown Nashville and walked around the Broadway area. It was a Saturday and it was PACKED! Lots of drunks and tattoos on parade. We also ventured into the Murfreesboro area to show Jenn the area for her possible relocation. We even made it to Rock Island to visit the good folks still at the state park there. They did some good work on the park campground since we were there as campground hosts a year ago. Paved sites, upgraded electrical, added dump station, and revamped bathrooms just a few of the improvements. Good folks there, we miss them.
Max going to town at the playground at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone park in Nashville.
Max cruising Gaylord’s Opryland Hotel and Convention center.
Jenn’s having fun at Gaylords Opryland.
Saying good-bye to Max and Jenn is always a downer. Max had a blast this visit, we played pirates and LOTS of baseball, not to mention all the quality beach time and pool time. He is going to follow in his Uncle Bubba’s (Chad’s) footsteps and become a quality baseball player, that being my crystal ball prediction. But for now, back to California it was for Max and his mom. And after a quick, yearly physical exam from my primary physician good ol’ Dr. Cobb in Murfreesboro, it was sayonara to Tennessee for now.
The sun sets on Jenn and Max’s visit in Nashville, TN.
We’ll see you again soon, little warrior!
Thanks to our inept Fearless Leader (B. Obama), Jeanne got her health insurance cancelled, effective after December. And unfortunately, South Dakota has severely limited choices for individual health care (that would be reasonable and affordable). Jeanne did some checking and found much better options available out of the state of Texas. So we decided we are going to change our domicile location from Sioux Falls SD (Alternative Resources, soon changing to Dakotapost) to Livingston TX (Escapees, we are already members). That being decided, it was off toward the great state of Texas.
Being in this part of the world, we would be remiss if we did not stop in and say howdy to our family members living in Branson, MO. We drove to the big city of Mayfield, KY for an overnight stay at the Walmart, then westbound through southern Missouri. I would like to take this opportunity to warn anybody driving in this area of Hw. 60 and Hw. 62 going W/B, you will encounter 2 bridges as you cross into Illinois (all of several hundred yards worth) and then into Missouri, crossing the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. These are heavily used trucking routes and the lanes on these 2-lane roads are about 18” wide (a bit exaggerated, really probably at the bare minimum allowed by law). It was an EXTREME white knuckle drive over them, passing an unending string of truckers, and surprising myself that we did not tear off some side mirrors in the urban “joust” we were in. I will NEVER return to that route again, I would drive 3 states north just to avoid it if I had to…
We stopped for a couple of days at the Ozarks Mountain Springs RV Park in Mountain View, MO, a Passport America park. This was a short rest stop seeing it was out in the middle of nowhere with nothing really to see. Then it was on into Branson, where we stayed at the SKP/Rainbow park on Turkey Creek. We had a great visit with Denise & Don, Savohna & Robert, Cedric, Cooper the rock and roll drummer, Brody, and Khloe. Thanks to all for the good eats and quality family time. Sorry, Denise, I think the boys raided all of your printer paper for our paper airplane extravaganza…
Another Walmart stop in Conway, Arkansas, then we hit Hot Springs Nat’l Park in Hot Springs, AR. We stayed at the park campground for 4 days. There were some very cool thunder/lightning displays while we were here, but in between it was still a bit warm and steamy. We busied ourselves with several of the park walking trails which gave some nice mountain top views of the area and toured one of the bathhouses in the historic district. There are several that are still open to the public for baths, massages, hot packs, etc. The area seems to have been a big stopover for visiting baseball teams and gangsters during the 20’s/30’s.
Jeanne at one of the natural springs.
More of the springs around town.
And the water…it’s REAL hot!
View from the mountaintop trails at Hot Springs, AR.
Jeanne doing her Indiana Jones thing on the hike.
Woody, our guide dog for the hiking trails.
The music room inside the Fordyce bathhouse.
A tub used for non-ambulatory clients at Fordyce.
The exercise room at the Fordyce.
Downtown in front of the Ohio Club.
This guy and his cronies used to hang here as well.
We decided to drive all the way to Livingston from Hot Springs. Not a bad drive, only about 7 hours or so. We set up at the SKP headquarters campground. Then it was just a matter of lining up our ducks for the domicile switcheroo. Signed up for the mail service, got the bus and Jeep “safety inspected” (a Texas requirement for registering vehicles), registered and paid the fees for both at the county tax office, then got our Texas drivers licenses at the Dept. of Public Safety office. Well, sort of. Jeanne took care of hers, as a standard drivers license. Texas is one of the states that requires RV drivers driving motorhomes over 26,000 lbs. to have a non-commercial Class B drivers license endorsement. So I began that process. I got the Texas commercial drivers license (CDL) handbook and they told me I needed to study section 14 for the 20 question written test for the endorsement. Well, I looked over section 14. It was all about tech stuff for commercial drivers, truckers, farm equipment, and a whole lot more that, in my infinite wisdom, I could not see having to be tested on such stuff for driving a stupid motorhome. So, when we went in to do the licenses, I just took the computerized written test willy-nilly. HOLY SHEEP DIP! I don’t know how I did it, but I squeaked by by the skin of my teeth! I guess I shoulda listened to them when they said to study section 14, all questions were straight from section 14 and all were very technical trucker questions that will have little bearing on my being able to drive a bus. Oh well, pass is a pass. Now it is on to the road test, I guess I will try to memorize the youtube video demonstrating the Texas school bus air brake test.
Well, now you are caught up to our present time. Another week here, hopefully a pass on the drive test, then onward and downward toward the Gulf coast…
Sing with me – “And, the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and ‘round, ‘round and ‘round…”