Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wind, wind, wind and more wind

The wind howled all night and we toyed with getting up and bringing the slide in to keep its topper from being blown to bits.    Neither of us wanted to get out of our nice, warm cocoon so we let the chips fall where they may.     We lucked out and everything was where it should be in the morning.

The wind blew the rain sideways as Dave took the dogs out before breakfast.   He wasn't a happy camper when he came back in.   It was not a pleasant day here.    We're both getting very tired of this disagreeable weather, wet dogs, damp towels and grey depressing skies.   We're in such a great place, but we can't really enjoy any of it.    Sorry, I shouldn't complain, I've no right to complain.   Its only weather.     Its time to move south again, and that's what we'll do in the morning.

After our lunch of left over turkey sandwiches, we drove into the historic center of Fernandina Beach to do a bit of window shopping.    The hope was that the mighty wind may not be as strongly in control of the quaint Centre street and its cozy, decorated shops.

We didn't buy a thing, well, a little chocolate, but the walk lifted our spirits and it turned out to be a fine afternoon despite the grey skies and frisky wind.   Nothing like bright decorations and a little Christmas music to cheer even the grumpiest folks.

palm tree reflection

Centre Street is lined with very interesting planters

Oh Dave, please don't annoy the Pirate...

beautifully decorated wall in front of a gallery.
if it had been sunny you would have seen the sparkling mirrors set into the mosaic.

peek a boo
(and, yes, that is a winter jacket I'm wearing....)

We walked the length of Centre street and ended up at the marina and small boat harbor.  They were setting up for some sort of children's festival and even had an "ice" rink!    Only here in Florida the "ice" wasn't frozen water, it was high density polyethelyene (white plastic to you novices).   The kids didn't seem to mind and they were able to slide around on it just fine.

I don't know why this gal was dressed like this, but she was trying to toast a marshmallow to make a s'more.
She was certainly giving it a Yeoman's try, but the fire was more smoke than flame.....

colorful boats against the grey

Driving back into the Park we saw these beautiful almost luminous orange mushrooms growing at the base of one tree near the canopy road.   The largest one was probably almost a foot across.  I don't know what they are called and we didn't see them anywhere else, just under that one special tree.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Post Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a good day yesterday, ours was quiet and very pleasant.     Most folks at North Beach Camp Resort seemed to know each other and busied themselves carrying foil covered dishes and herding various sized children into the Recreation room for an afternoon Thanksgiving dinner.  

Luckily Mr. David's Mobile Sous Chef Service was able to stop by Beluga in the morning and help me prep our turkey.  I have an aversion to handling poultry with skin and bones (shudder.....), it creeps me out and I just can't do it.     Mr. David came to my rescue and did all the necessary handling.   I provided him with the turkey, spices and butter, all he had to do was apply them to the carcass (shudder...) and put the whole thing  in the crockpot.      In lieu of payment for services rendered I invited him to have dinner with me.     He even stepped in to make the gravy when he saw me floundering.    What a guy.

This morning we drove a bit north to Ft. Clinch State Park for the weekend.   We had a beach campsite reservation there and a dinner reservation at Le Clos,  one of our favorite restaurants in Fernandina Beach.  It was an easy drive without much traffic, except when passing a shopping center or outlet  mall.  

We're in site 16, a sandy and sunny place.   Not warm, however, not warm.   Sigh.  
I have to wonder if the entire winter will be cold and windy in Florida.   I know, don't feel sorry for me,  oh you sitting up there in the frozen, snowy north.

Niece Lisa shared this picture of Main Street in our town (Geneseo) taken on Thanksgiving Eve
(she did not take this photo, but knew I'd love the serenity of it)

my view when sitting on Beluga's couch

lots of prickly things around our site
(Sasha complains bitterly about getting stickers in her feet and feels she should be carried)

Le Clos

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve

Before lunch we unhooked Beluga and drove to our new site for the next two days.   It wasn't a long drive....just next door.   The heavy rain and thunder boomers of last night gave way to a brightly sunny, cold and very windy day.

Sasha is still conserving her energy

That's about all there is to report for today.   I won't bore you with our food preparation activities, or who we talked to on the phone, or how many times the dogs went "out", or how far the afternoon walk was, or how many pages we read, or what we had for lunch or dinner.

view from the north end of Conesus Lake today.   Brrrrr

No matter how cold and windy it was here today, it was much much worse at our lake back home.   I think we'll stay down here til spring.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Staying put

Well, we blew off another day, doing a lot of nothing.

Sasha saves her energy in case something exciting happens

We woke up to rain, as expected.  It has been quite warm and muggy before the storm that is moving across the country, threatening to ruin lots of people's Thanksgivings.   (my my, that was quite a sentence!)   As is our prerogative, by virtue of being RV'rs, we've changed our plans a bit.    Some people label RV'rs plans as being "written in pencil" , or "jello" plans because we're usually free enough to make changes at the drop of a hat.   Weather looks bad tomorrow, change our departure plans.   Weather looks nice tomorrow, change our plans.  Missed a restaurant we wanted to hit, change our plans.   New found trail to follow, change our plans.   Friends nearby, change our plans to include them.  You get the idea.   So....after tornado warnings tonight and high wind warnings for tomorrow, we've decided to stay put in our cozy sheltered spot until Friday.     Our site is promised to someone else, but we can just move one site over so easy peasey.

Besides, we have cable TV here and I don't want to miss the Thanksgiving Parade and the National Dog Show on Thursday.   Its tradition!    Speaking of traditions on  TV, we're about to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with Burl Ives.    I know, I know, I'm showing my age.

One more tiny change of plans, a sweet change.    We've decided to have LuLi's cupcakes for Thanksgiving desert instead of pumpkin pie!    Oh what daring devils we are here in Beluga....

the storm approaches

Monday, November 25, 2013

one last beach day

Weather plays such an important part in what we do these days.   If its nice, we spend as much time outdoors as possible.   If its nasty, we find things to do inside.  Nothing more complicated than that.

Today's weather was an amalgam of the last few days.  Sunny and warm til mid day, then windy, cloudy and cool for the last half.

We enjoyed our second cup in the sun so much that we decided to walk back to Aunt Kate's Restaurant for lunch on the riverside deck.     Fresh local fish and shrimp with johnny cakes and honey butter, Mmmm.      As we walked back, large grey clouds began to obscure the sun and we hoped the rain would hold off for a few hours.   The weather people have been forecasting gloom and doom (hmmm, possible tornadoes in the afternoon/evening) for tomorrow so we really wanted to get in a last beach walk.    We leave here on Wednesday morning.

the tide was full high, not leaving us much beach to walk, but we did our best!
the heavy clouds were more broken over the ocean, so we enjoyed a little sun on our stroll

    Lewis ranges all over the place, chasing shorebirds, shredding sea grass and palm branches that wash up, sniffing beached jellyfish in the sand, picking up pen shells and tossing them in the air and checking in with us on the way past.     Sasha, however,  sticks close and keeps her nose next to my left hand.   When we first started letting the dogs loose on a beach, we practiced instant recalls with little treats.   Sasha learned her lessons TOO well.   She figures if she doesn't leave my side at all, she'll get the treat much faster.    

Sunday, November 24, 2013

fickle weather

One day it is sunny and warm - perfect beach weather.    The next morning cold wind is flapping our awning and tossing the trees.   We made the best of a nasty day by taking care of domestic business.

I took our accumulated dirty clothes and sheets to the laundry room and had an immediate deja vu moment.  

The last time I was in this particular room Dave, Lewis, Sasha, Rose and I were hold up in one small corner waiting for a tornado!    I can't remember the year,  but it was early morning and we were in Beluga getting ready to pull up stakes and move to our next spot.   The sky was black and it was raining and windy.  Our TV was tuned to the usual morning programs and a tornado alert broke in.  It said a tornado was spotted close by and everyone should seek immediate shelter.   We grabbed the dogs and raced to the storm shelter, the laundry room.   Luckily we were the first to arrive so we could set ourselves up in a more secluded area of the room.   In a few minutes it was teeming with people and animals, kids in their pj's with bed head, all of us worried.       There aren't many windows in this laundry room so we couldn't see what was happening outside.   Luckily, the twister's path took it just a bit north of us and eventually everyone dispersed with a good story to tell.

Lewis decided to have his Movember moustache trimmed a bit earlier than everyone else.  He knows the challenge was to let it grow for the whole month, but his has been growing in a bit grey and it made him feel self conscious.   He's always had a sensitive nature.



Tired after all our domestic toil,  we decided to go out for a nice table cloth dinner.   We've wanted to try an old German/French/Swiss restaurant here called Le Pavillon.    Good choice.  Dave had Sauerbraten with Spaetzle and I had a delicious Schnitzle also with Spaetzle.     A nice change from all the fresh seafood we've been eating lately.

just a tease of a sunset on the river beach tonight

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Lazy Saturday

It was so nice to open the shades this morning and see blue sky.   Its been overcast  way too long for our tastes.     Under our campsite's canopy of trees the light and shadow play is mesmerizing.   Birds flit over head and squirrels chase each other up and down the twisted trunks.   Its tempting to just sit here and absorb the peaceful surroundings.

The weather "guessers" are predicting rain and cold for the remainder of our stay here, so after lunch we roused ourselves, strolled over to the ocean beach and proceeded to absorb the peaceful surroundings there.    Tough life, isn't it?

We watched the waves, the shorebirds, the pelican formations.   We read (he's almost done Steve) and dozed.

When the shadows grew long, we packed up and shuffled back to Beluga for cocktails and pizza.

Dave wonders how he ever had the time or energy to work, back in the day.....We've been talking about this subject a fair bit lately because last week he was approached by someone and asked  if he would be interested in starting a new company as an adjunct to their existing one.  It didn't take him more than a second to say no to the offer.   This life is just too good and undemanding.   Been there, done that he says.   Its too nice to be able to do what one wants, when one wants with no pressure.    Works for me too!

Tonight we walked to the back of the campground for a beautiful sunset over the river.  Since its been so cloudy lately I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever see a good sunset again.  I've been jealous of Nina's (Wheeling it) desert sunset extravaganzas...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Fish Fry

AAA comes through, as we all expect it to.  

We spent a lovely afternoon on the beach yesterday.  About 4 p.m. it started to get chilly, so we all walked back to the car and loaded up for the long drive across the road and back into our campground.    Dave put the key in the ignition, turned it, and.....silence.
No engine coming to life, not even a little click, just silence.   He got out, lifted the hood,  checked the battery terminals, etc., but everything looked OK.   No biggie, no panic.  We walked the dogs back into the campground so Dave could get some tools to clean the terminals.   Well, that wasn't the problem so he called AAA and, to make a long story short, they came, tried a jump start and then called for a tow truck.    The tow truck guy looked a little "iffy" to me and I spent the evening trying to not worry about whether my jeep would make it to the dealer or end up in a chop shop.      Luckily I've always had the ability to "think about that tomorrow" so I had a peaceful night's sleep.

In the morning the Jeep dealer service writer called and said they were replacing the dead starter and would send a courtesy van to pick us up when it was ready for us.   Nice.   All's well that ends well, right?

The jeep was back at Beluga by lunch and soon afterward we were headed out to the beach.

Come out!   we're waiting.......aren't we going to the beach today?

waiting for Dave to come back with the chairs
Our beach routine with the dogs rarely changes.   We take a long walk along the edge of the surf, then come back to our chairs, Sasha flops down for her nap and Lewis commences his beach ball game.  They never tire of their individual routines and we never tire of watching them.
Lewis keeps himself busy with his green ball

no need for any human involvement -
He  shoots the ball out between his back legs, chases it down, returns it to the hole, drops it in and repeats the process, over and over and over and over

Once back at Beluga we had a nice G&T outside while we let the dogs dry a bit.  Dry is a bit of a misnomer I'm afraid.   Nothing here really drys out.   The poodle is beginning to smell a bit musty and if we don't put our bath towels in the dryer after showering, they're still damp the next day.   Isn't there anywhere with nice low humidity that is seconds away from a beach?   Anywhere?   Its not much to ask is it?

If you're from Western New York, Friday night is Fish Fry night.   Fried fish, french fries, coleslaw are always on the menu Fridays.    Tonight was fish fry night, so we headed to the nearby Camachee Cove Marina's King Fish restaurant.   We sat by the window and enjoyed the view while eating our Florida version of Friday Fish Fry - horseradish crusted mahi mahi for Dave and shrimp and grits for me.   Mmmm.   AND it seems we were there during Happy Hour, so we each enjoyed a cool glass of white wine for half price.     Life is good.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ruh Roh.......


In one of my very first few posts I gave you a BCA (Boring Couple Alert) to warn that the following post would describe our boring (to you, not to us) day.   I commented that living with a pilot one finds acronyms creeping into one's speech and writing. a clarification to those of you who haven't been riding along with us since the beginning - we are often a BC (boring couple) and have BCD's (boring couple days) and when we do, I give you a heads-up BCA (boring couple alert) on this blog, so you'll be be forewarned about our "boringness".


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


BCA - no need to read further.

Bought our Thanksgiving Turkey, filled the jeep with gas (prices are inching up -  30 cents higher per gallon than when we got here) , finally found some new Clark's shoes for Dave, grilled some burgers (actually, turned them into Big Tree Inn's famous bushy tail burgers), chatted with our next door neighbor (he's leaving tomorrow - doesn't like this campground) and generally tried to stay dry.

No pictures, it drizzled all day.   If you want to see this area, check out our blog from May of 2012 when we were here last.

I told you it was a Boring Couple Alert blog......

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

windy day at the beach

No windows open last night, it was air conditioning weather for sure.  This morning, however, a front had passed, the air was dry, the sky sunny, and the temps were cool.   Not so cool that we couldn't sit outside for second cup however!

Its is a small world to be sure.  A rig pulled in next to us yesterday and it turns out they were neighbors of ours in Charleston!    Looks like they may spend the winter here, as many folks do.   I inquired at the office about what it takes to reserve a spot for Dec. through April, the woman laughed.   She said that this campground is full from mid December through mid April.   Most campers, she said, have been coming here to the very same sites for 5 to 15 years and we'd have to just check back regularly to see if anyone canceled.....  I was happy to hear that.   I'm always happy to see businesses busy, if you're working hard and doing things right its gratifying to have positive results and terrifying to have silence...

After lunch the wind picked up and the clouds rolled in again.   We'd planned to take the dogs to the beach, and to the beach we went.  The temperature wasn't bad and we all enjoyed a "brisk" walk along the narrow (high tide) beach.   The walk back was a killer though, into the howling wind.   Sasha trotted along happily checking in for treats, Lewis screamed with joy as he raced along, ears flying.
No pictures on our walk today, I think I learned my lesson on the Oregon beaches - wind whipped salt spray is BAD for your camera lens.

campground road going toward the river beach

same road going in the opposite direction - to the ocean beach

river beach is much calmer
Do we eat in, do we eat out.   Do we cook, do we let someone else cook.   Such dilemmas.  I love to cook, I love to eat out.  Caps on the Water won out tonight, its practically next door.     We were able to sit outside on one of their lovely decks by the river.  Out of the wind, a delightful heater over Dave's head - Ah yes, this was the right decision for tonight.

we enjoyed a glass of wine as we waited for our fresh, local grouper dinners

the post dinner view of Caps taken from our dockside stroll