Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Friday-Wednesday, September 25-29, 2015, Rainbow Plantation - Summerdale, AL

Friday-Wednesday, September 25-29, 2015, Rainbow Plantation - Summerdale, AL



Friday, September 25, 2015 – Rainbow Plantation RV Park

Today is my sister Jody’s birthday.  She is the baby of the family and just shy of being 6 years younger than me.  I am very blessed to have three sisters, Cindy, Crystal and Jody (Carla Jo).  We all live in Oswego and we get together every Sunday afternoon from 1-3 except on the 5th Sundays of the month.  I host the 1st Sunday as the oldest and we work down to Jody hosting on the 4th.  It really didn’t start out with the intent of just us getting together.  It really centered around going to visit my paternal grandpa and then my dad on Sunday afternoons each week.  We did that for many years.  When Daddy died in 2008 we decided we should continue to do it, knowing Daddy and our mom, who we lost in 1993 would approve of us staying close and spending time together.  Of course sometimes one of us is gone and can’t make it due to family birthdays, other family commitments or travels (like me).  I’ve really missed my time with them and look forward to getting together with them when we return home.  By the way, whoever is the host for the week also provides a dessert.  One of the best parts.  Haha!
This morning is Dean's regular day to eat breakfast out so we decided to try a place recommended to us by our neighbor Pauline here at Rainbow Plantation.  It is the The Biscuit King, a local place just a short distance from the park.  It was in a large, square metal building.  There is a sign just inside of the door, directing you to the counter to order before selecting your seat.  We picked up a menu and soon made a decision.  Dean ordered his normal breakfast of eggs, sausage patties, hash browns but today he decided on a biscuit instead of the normal wheat toast.  I had a ham and cheese omelet, hash browns and a biscuit.  The breakfast was delicious, although the biscuit was a bit dry for me and I only ate half of mine.  Dean ate half of my omelet because it was just too much food for me, but we would definitely recommend this place.  He thought the biscuit was pretty good, so it was a matter of opinion, I guess.
The inside was interesting.  There were 3-4 different saddles hanging around the inside with several pictures painted on the walls.  There was a kid’s play area and a small stage where it was apparent they held music events.  There were both round and rectangular plastic tables covered with colored vinyl making them quite easy to clean-up.   It was just a really neat looking place but very basic.  After breakfast we headed back to the campground.
When we arrived Thursday we inquired at the office about RV repair companies and for recommendations.  Bill advised there was a guy in the park we might try and if he could not take care of our needs he mentioned a couple of companies nearby.  Dean called the gentleman (Pat) that lives here in the park.  He agreed to stop by this afternoon to see what work we needed and if he thought he could make the repairs.  You might remember a roller fell out of the slide where the “kitchen area” is located.  The roller missing should be under the refrigerator, the heaviest part of the slide.   While the slide is working okay, it is dragging on the floor and has slightly marred my flooring.  We have been putting a metal plate down and then Dean has to push the slide upwards as I put it out to keep it from doing further damage.  The other issue we have is with our water pump.  If we are not hooked to a water connection while at a campground, we must fill our water tank and then use the pump to provide water for cooking, bathing, etc.  The pump started running intermittently when no water was being used, and now runs quite a lot when the pump is on, so it is not holding pressure.  We cannot find any leak, but to be on the safe side we have stayed in parks with water hookups since this problem started, until we can have it checked out further.
This morning I took the opportunity to clean Bentley – running the vacuum, dusting, cleaning the shower, etc.  We didn’t want to leave in case the repairman Pat stopped by to take a look at the problems with Bentley.  It was a beautiful day and once I was done with my work on the inside we set outdoors.  Our neighbor Pauline walked by with each of her dogs and we visited some. 
Pat stopped by after lunch and took a look at our RV issues.  He said he could jack up the slide enough to get the roller back in and indicated we would need to have the pump replaced, as they no longer even try to repair them.  He returned a little before 3:00.  He and Dean were able to get the roller back in.  The bracket on one end that held the roller in place was bent.  They were able to get it bent back and Dean believes it works better than it ever has.  What a relief!  There is still some work that might need to be done with the rubber that was damaged by the roller messing up and we will wait and address that with our dealer when we return home as well as the pump.  We can do without the pump for the remainder of our trip.
We stayed around Bentley this evening.  Dean grilled some pork chops and potatoes and onions and I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower for our dinner.  It was very, very good.  We watched some TV and called it a night.

 
Saturday, September 26, 2015

I recalled something I’m not sure I ever shared in previous posts but it has to do with teeny, tiny little pests called ants.  We were talking to Patsy, the park host at the Old Salem campground one late afternoon when we were getting ready to head out to see Greensboro, GA and to check out the local Goodwill store.  I remarked how much we loved the campground and how peaceful it was.  She said yes the only downfall is the ants and how you have to be careful about not getting them in the RV.  I made the remark we’ve not had any problems with them and I sure hope we don’t.  Mistake….because when we returned, we had ants.  In the bedroom, the bathroom, at the front door outside all around the kitchen, behind our loveseat.  Everywhere we looked there were ants.  I mixed up a concoction I found on Pinterest of baking soda, powdered sugar and water.  I cut the bottom off a few plastic water bottles and placed some of this mixture in each one and set them around several locations in Bentley.  We went to Lowe’s and bought a spray and some comet.  Patsy told us that comet was what they used on the ground and on anything they had that touched the ground to prevent them from getting in their RV.  I used the spray numerous times over the next several days and we finally eliminated the ants.  I had to do a good vacuuming and cleaning of the pantry and cabinets.  By the way the concoction mix I found on Pinterest was a dud!  We are now ant free and have been for several days.  The spray worked wonders to eliminate them and we now spray the tires and anything that touches the ground to be sure we do not have that problem again.  It gives me the willies just thinking about them.  I felt like they were crawling on me for days.  Finally, we haven’t seen any since we’ve been here.
So today we set outside for a while, kept busy around Bentley and went to the grocery store for lunchmeat, veggies and such.  We have decided to try out a local restaurant for dinner tonight, Big Daddy’s Grill.  It’s just a short distance from the park and Pauline told us it was very good.
Before we ate, I wanted to head to the beach as I had something I wanted to be sure to do before we left the area.  My high school friend Carolyn, who also lives in Oswego started collecting pictures from different family members and friends who would write her name in the sand on beaches and send them to her.  I wanted to include one from Gulf Shores, AL.  We had not yet been on the beach and wanted to do that anyway.  How can you go to a city with a beach on the ocean or Gulf and not walk the beach?  I always forget how tiring it is to walk in dry sand.  It seems like you take 4 or 5 steps but feel like you only move forward one.  It surely is great exercise for your legs. 
Unfortunately we arrived as the tide was coming in and the way the beach is, there wasn’t a lot of room to write in before the water would come in and erase part of what I had written.  I wrote her name with Gulf Shores below it.  I had to redo her name twice before Dean could get the picture taken.  But we got it done.
 
 
A shot of the beach as we walked from the parking lot.

Carolyn - Gulf Shores, AL

I love watching the waves come in on a beach!

This is looking back towards the main street.

Looking east toward Orange Beach, AL in the distance.
 
We decided since we were here we would just drive on east toward Orange Beach and see if there was anything else interesting.  Again it was mostly very large multi-storied resorts along the beach.  There was a state beach with beautiful sand dunes along the highway and a large parking area where you could pull into access the beach along the Gulf.  You were cautioned not to walk on the dunes or disturb the sea grass.  We did not get out, but just drove through. 

Sand Dunes in State Park

Beautiful multi-storied resort on beach. 

Orange Beach water tower.

We took an alternate route home that bypassed all of the traffic and went directly to Big Daddy’s Grill for dinner.

A shot of the international waterway as we drove by.

It was in a very nice setting along the water.  They provided both indoor and outdoor seating areas.  We chose to set outside.  The weather was perfect.  It had a very nice vibe to it with overhead lighting strung along the trellis and great old 70’s and 80’s music playing.  There was a nice sand playground for the kids to play in while waiting for their food, or to keep them busy while parents and or grandparents finished their dinners.  We arrived shortly before the sun started to sink so it had great ambiance.  Our food was delicious.  We both chose the fried shrimp basket.  The meal came with coleslaw and hushpuppies and one side of your choice.  I chose sweet potato fries and Dean had onion rings.  The coleslaw was not as good as we had in Andalusia but it was still quite good.  It was a very nice and relaxing dinner.

My dinner of fried shrimp, hushpuppies, coleslaw and sweet potato fries.  Yummy!

You can see the sand play area just below the sitting area on the deck.
 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Originally we had planned to leave here tomorrow (Monday), however the weather was calling for significant rain starting later today, with heavy rains for Monday and Tuesday.  After we had breakfast, and took care of our morning chores we decided to take a look at our planned route and see how it would impact our travels if we stayed here until Wednesday.  We have decided to head northwest from Summerdale to Jackson, MS rather than to head west along the coast in order to shave a couple travel days off.  We would have to cut some of our stops short and would prevent us from really seeing the area so we would rather wait until we can return to explore properly.  (I love that about traveling in the RV – it’s not like a week’s vacation that you have little to no leeway with a change of plans). We will then go on to a small community east of Shreveport and from there to Bullard, TX for the Heartland rally.  This works out really well for us and we think it’s a good revised plan.  I called the park office to see if we could stay an extra two days and they said it would not be a problem.  We also had previously decided we wanted to arrive at Bullard a couple of days early so I also contacted that park to see if that would work and it will.  We will only be about 120 miles from Waco, Texas while at Bullard.  I absolutely love the show Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Their business is based in Waco and I would love to visit their store Magnolia, so the day after we arrive we are going to drive to Waco and do just that.  Unfortunately their new store is not opening until the end of October so we won’t be able to visit there but hopefully we can take a drive by and see the site at least.
We made another run to the grocery store for a few things, and after we returned I fixed a simple lunch.
Dean had a little accident with his phone a few weeks ago and cracked it pretty good. It works but he’s had some problems with it that we suspect are related to the cracking.  We decided to visit the local Verizon store that was a few miles down the road.  He still had a Samsung 3 so it was a good upgrade for him from a 3 to a 6.  I’m jealous because of the phone capabilities, specifically the camera, but mine is working.  Yesterday Dean spent some time with my phone and backed everything up and then reset mine to the default and reloaded everything.  At the same time he installed a larger SD card to give me more storage and it is working better, however, I am disappointed to find out it will not allow me to transfer most of my applications to the SD card.  Therefore, I am still pretty short on storage.  I can see a new phone in my future but will try to hold out for a while.
When we returned we were both playing with our phones most of the afternoon, trying to get our apps back on, etc.  We were worse than two teenagers! 
Not too much later the rain started, and it rained all night long.  I made breakfast burritos for dinner and we watched Forrest Gump, one of my favorite Tom Hanks movies.

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

I was up about 6 this morning and it was still raining but it quit an hour or so later.  It is still overcast and it is expected to rain again later today.   According to the local news, Mobile, AL had over 10 inches last night.  That’s not too far away.  After breakfast, we walked up to the office to pay for the two additional days we are staying.  We chatted with a nice couple who are also park hosts here.  They originally lived in Maine but have been full-timing for 16 years.  They used to travel to Branson annually where they workkamped at another Escapees park there, so we had a nice chat about Branson. 
After leaving there we walked over to the clubhouse to check it out, including the laundry facilities.  I am not sure if I will try and do some laundry here before we leave or just wait and find a laundromat in the next town and do it all there.  There are 4 washers and 5 dryers here. 
It’s about 2:00 as I write this and it has never started raining again as they predicted.  Dean is out washing Bentley off.  While we were at the office paying for the extra nights he also asked about washing of RV’s.  They said yes, we could wash our RV, our vehicles, etc. as long as we didn’t just leave the water running while scrubbing, etc.  Bentley had so much road grime and bugs on him it will be nice to see him looking a little nicer. 
We pretty much hung out here at Bentley today.  It never did rain.  Tonight Dean and I actually watched TV in separate rooms.  That really doesn’t happen often but I am a dyed in the wool Dancing with the Stars fan and even though he enjoys watching it too, he wasn’t going to pass up Monday night football with his Chiefs playing.  Our neighbor here, Pauline is a big Green Bay Packers fan.  She has been wearing Packers shirts and has a big old Packers flag in their front yard.  Hmmm!

 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After breakfast this morning, we decided we would visit a couple of flea markets down the road.  One is quite large and looks like it might be interesting.  As we drove in – there was an open sign at the far left end but the sign on the door near where we parked said they are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  We then realized there was another business on the left end.  Oh well, such is life.
We drove on down the road and saw another place so we pulled in.  As we walked in the door I noticed they had a couple of shelves of Rada knives.  I happened to notice they were also marked down 20%.  We walked through the entire place and I came back to the knives.  I have wanted to buy another paring and slicer knife to put in Bentley as I just have a cheap one.  I have 3 Rada knives at home, 1 paring and 2 slicers.  I bought these from the Oswego Grange Club shortly after I started working for the City in 1974 and I am still using them.  They are the sharpest knives I own.   I kept going back to this really nice set that also included a chef’s knife, bread knife, paring knife, vegetable parer, slicing knife and a carver that was $58.  With the 20% off, plus tax I was able to get it all for $50.   (Note:  I used the chef’s knife last night, Wed, and I love it.  Man is it sharp!)
We came back for a little lunch and I suggested we see a movie.  We both thought the Intern looked pretty good in the reviews we have seen, so we got around and headed out to see it.  Since this will be our last night in the area, we also thought we would have dinner out.  A gentleman we talked to at Camping World the first day we arrived told us about Lulu’s, Jimmy Buffet’s sister’s restaurant.  He told us it was really good and a fun place so we decided to try it out. 
The Intern was a really good show.  It had a good plot and Robert DeNiro is just such a great actor.  He still has it, that’s for sure!  We laughed a lot and to me those are the best kind.  We agreed afterwards this was one of those shows you could watch over and over and always look forward to seeing it again.
We arrived at Lulu’s a little before 5:00.  Our first thought was it was a bit early, but we are so glad we decided to go at that time.  That place filled up so fast I was shocked.  They had live music and he was pretty good.  Their food was excellent.  I had smoked pork tacos with chips and salsa.  Dean had grilled shrimp and fries.  It had a great vibe.  The overhead garage doors on two sides were open to a large patio area.  Around the patio was a large bandstand, sand area where kids could play with playground equipment and many seating areas in different spots around outdoor setting.  It was right next to a marina and the international waterway so you could watch the boats and barges come and go. 
Tomorrow we will get around and head out for our next stop in Brandon, MS, just outside of Jackson, MS.

 
 
 

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