Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bullets Over Broadway!

We finally made it to Memphis! We are quite pleased with Hernando Point Campground which is actually about 30 miles from Memphis in Hernando, Mississippi. It is an Army Corps of Engineers campground, very quiet and low key right on a beautiful lake. Since Steve got a Federal Senior Pass that cost $10, our cost here is only $9/night for water and electric. They had to switch our site three times because they had some flooding, but we can still see the lake and it's so quiet and peaceful here!

Yesterday we had lunch with Steve's son at the infamous Arcade Diner, the oldest diner in Memphis!

What brought us to Memphis is Steve's son who is playing in the pit orchestra for the national tour of a musical  "Bullets Over Broadway." The story was originally a Woody Allen movie but is now paired with songs to turn it into a Broadway musical.  Brian has been all over the country with this show, and the closest venue for us was to drive to Memphis! It's a great, lively musically with an especially good Reed III player! 

Memphis Mojo Tour and Rain

Since it was so hot and humid on Wednesday it was the perfect day for a bus tour through Memphis.  We chose Backbeat's Memphis Mojo Tour which featured Beale Street, Sun Studio, Overton Park, Peabody Hotel, Stax Studio, Lorraine Motel, and Elvis, BB King & Johnny Cash locales.   

Once we purchased our tickets we needed to grab a quick lunch. The closest place was King Jerry Lawler's Hall of Fame Bar & Grill on Beale Street. For those wrestling fans out there, I discerned he was a big deal in the wrestling world. I got crawfish chowder! We were delighted they had live music!

It started raining during the bus tour and by the time it was over it was a heavy rain along with thunder. We had planned at least one other activity for today but we just got too wet. Pippin and I huddled under a tree until Steve could go fetch the car. On the drive back to Hernando Point it was a torrential thunder storm, so heavy that we missed our exit and didn't even realize it until we had gone about 15 miles. Needless to say, it was a long damp ride back to our rig!

Tomorrow (Thursday) we will say goodbye to our campground on Lake Arkabutla in Hernando, MS and head for home. We didn't do everything we could have done in Memphis, but we saw just enough.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rolling on the river...

On Monday we went into Memphis to have lunch, do a bit of souvenir shopping on Beale Street and take a steamboat ride on the Mississippi River. Saw this billboard and couldn't resist snapping a pic!

Lunch on Beale Street

Then the cruise on the muddy Mississippi!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

We're on our way to Memphis! (Sorry, long post!)

'We chose Memphis for our first camping trip of 2016 because Steve's son is playing in the pit for the national tour of "Bullets Over Broadway" and his Memphis stop was the closest for us in NC. We are so excited to see him, and Steve is even going to go to a second show to sit with him in the pit to see him perform!

We intended to leave by lunchtime on May 17th, but it poured buckets until noon so we didn't get off until 4ish. That's okay, we are under almost no time table for this trip...just have to be at the theater on Saturday for his matinee.

Well, there's a reason it's a good idea to go on a little 'shakedown' trip before a big trip, especially after your rig has been in storage all winter.

All seemed well until we stopped for the night at a Cracker Barrel just outside of Knoxville, TN.

First off, Steve realized that we were leaking water from our fresh water tank; bad because we were depending on this water to brush our teeth and flush the toilet until we got to Memphis.  He quickly fixed that problem by closing the valves.

Then the water pump did not appear to be working because no water would come out of any faucets. He fixed that by opening the valve to the water pump.

Next, the generator wouldn't turn on even though he had turned it on periodically over the winter. He went to check to be sure there was enough oil in the generator, and saw a puddle of oil under the generator compartment on the Cracerbarrel driveway. This he couldn't fix, we would need to find a place who could fix generators the next day.

Then we realized the refrigerator was not as cold as it should have been and our coach lights were dim. He had filled the coach batteries with distilled water before we left, but we weren't getting enough power from them for lights and refrigerator, and there was a loud beep every time we turned on a light or opened the fridge door. This would need an rv service center the next day.

In the middle of the night, Steve wondered if he had turned on the propane...oops, guess not! He went outside, turned it on, and then lit a burner on the stove, which eventually lit.  We had propane, but not enough power for the refrigerator to switch to propane.

Today, the 18th we quickly got ready, hit a McDonalds for a quick breakfast, and set out to get some repairs done!

We found a truck repair place (Cummins Crosspoint in Knoxville) that could fix our generator problem right away. They cleaned up the oil, replaced the oil filter, drained out the old oil that was still in there and filled with new oil. ($170)  By now it's 2:00pm. They verified that our coach batteries were dead and sent us to an rv repair shop to buy new batteries.

Where he sent us was Chilhowee RV Service Center in Alcoa, TN which was thankfully on 40W which was the route we were taking to Memohis anyway!  A guy was available right away to help us! Turns out what we need is an auxiliary start relay which they don't have in stock. It is because this relay is shot that our coach batteries are not charging just by driving...our batteries may be just fine. We called Camping World in Nashville to see if they could install one tomorrow, but they are booked solid. Just down the street is a Camping World of Knoxville which we checked next.  Nope, they don't have one in stock, plus they were too busy anyway.

By now it's 5pm!  Our plan is to keep driving to Memphis, keeping the generator on (Chilhowee jump started it) and as long as we keep enough gas in the rig to keep the generator running, we will dry camp at night and drive during the day until we get to our campground in Memphis where we will be plugged in. We are staying in an Army Corps of Engineers campground for the first time. We will make some phone calls and try to get the relay fixed next week.  Phew, what a day!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year from our new home to yours!

Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year!  We FaceTimed with our family back in CT over Christmas and had our Christmas dinner at the local Waffle House which suited us just fine!

We finally decided on a manufactured home in an over-55 community that fit the bill!  It is in Flat Rock which is a village within Hendersonville, home to Carl Sandburg's Historic Home and the Flat Roock Playhouse. It has two bedrooms, two full baths and a great three-season room.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

View of left side:

Front on...I think those may be boxwoods?

On the right side, currently having a nifty ramp being built onto it:

The right side again showing the carport:

We are currently painting the kitchen.

The sunporch!

My walk-in tub!!!  Oh yeah, baby!!!

This unit is the perfect size for us, and best of all we were able to pay cash and have NO DEBT!
First time for that for either of us, and it feels great!  We can even save a little each month. That's what downsizing and moving out of Connecticut did for us!  

Happy 2016!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hendersonville, NC

We finally arrived in our new community about a week ago even though we don't have anything to live in other than our RV or a motel!  We have been looking at manufactured homes in a few communities.  There are not that many units available so we are weighing our options, deciding what is most important to us. 

In the meantime we have gotten a post office box and we joined the local YMCA so we can both exercise.  We are venturing out to start learning the roads around town.  We are currently staying in a motel because the temps are going to drop precipitously in a few days (20s at night) so we rewinterized the rig.  We are going to bring in our Christmas decorations so we can feel merry here in our motel room.  Luckily we can park the RV just about right outside our door so Steve can run out to get whatever we need.

PO Box 1689
Flat Rock, NC 28731

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Beaufort, SC

We have been laying low at another Passport America Campground in Beaufort, SC while we continue to struggle with Packrat to get our belongings to Hendersonville.  It appears that worst case our container will be delivered on Dec. 16, but it could be sooner. Tomorrow we are going to start driving north and I found a Days Inn in Hendersonville that will give us a reduced rate it we stay for three weeks so that's what we are going to do.  We will be able to start settling into our new community albeit temporarily because there are no units available yet in the community we want to live in; however, this way we'll have a place for Christmas.

Back in the day I was very interested in archaeology and we discovered the ruins of the Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort yesterday.  It was was accessible via my scooter which was on its best bad noises at all!

I will let our photos show the story, but following is some info about it from Wiki. This is a beautiful, peaceful place and you can tell you are on hallowed ground. 

Steve behind the pulpit.


Sheldon Church Ruins
Prince William's Parish Church (Ruins), Sheldon vicinity (Beaufort County, South Carolina).jpg
Sheldon Church Ruins
Old Sheldon Church Ruins is located in South Carolina
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
LocationBeaufort CountySouth Carolina, USA
Nearest cityYemassee, South Carolina
Coordinates32°37′6.7″N 80°46′49.7″W
Area4.5 acres (1.8 ha)
Architectural styleGreek Revival
Governing bodyPrivate
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHPOctober 22, 1970

The Old Sheldon Church Ruins is a historic site located in northern Beaufort CountySouth Carolina, approximately 17 miles (30 km) north of Beaufort in the Sheldon area.[2][3] Known also as the Sheldon Church or Old Sheldon Church, the pre-existing building was originally known as Prince William's Parish Church. The church was built in the Greek Revivalstyle between 1745 and 1753. Prince William's was burned by the British in 1779 during the Revolutionary War. In 1826 it was rebuilt. The following is from an article in the April 1969 Sandlapper Magazine by Charles E. Thomas, “The Picturesque Ruins Of Old Sheldon Church”. “The official South Carolina report on the “Destruction of Churches and Church Property,” after the War Between the States, described Sheldon’s second burning: “All that was combustible was consumed..., its massive walls survive the last as they did the former conflagration,” Bishop Thomas wrote, “Exactly as it happened a hundred years before in 1779, when General Prevost, marching from Savannah into South Carolina burned the Church, so now in February 1865, General Sherman marching from Georgia into South Carolina, burned it a second time.”

An alternative view has more recently come to light, however. In a letter dated February 3, 1866,[4] Miton Leverett wrote that "Sheldon Church not burn't. Just torn up in the inside, but can be repaired." The inside of the church was apparently gutted to reuse materials to rebuild homes burnt by Sherman's army.

The ruins lie amongst majestic oaks and scattered graves.

Inside the ruins of the church lies the remains of Colonel William Bull, who "greatly assisted General Oglethorpe in establishing the physical layout of Savannah, Georgia. Bull surveyed the land in 1733 to form the basic grid pattern of the streets and squares."

The site has proven to be a popular site in the Lowcountry for photographers and wedding ceremonies in contemporary times. As of October 2015, the Old Sheldon ruins are not available to the public for hosting wedding ceremonies. An annual service is held the second Sunday after Easter.