March 22, 2017 Springtime in Florida is just like winter in Florida, but that is not a complaint. We are beginning to ready the coach for the trip back to Berrien Springs, Michigan in about a month. Over the winter, new front tires replaced the seven year old Michellin's. We also added Tyron bands on the wheels to mediate the effect of a front tire blow out. Expensive, but we thought it was cheaper than losing control and rolling the coach.
Our favorite motorhome tech guy, Scott of SCRV Service in Ft. Myers, pretty much rebuilt the Precision Temp hot water/furnace system. He also pulled the Whirlpool washer out of the coach and had it repaired. Both of these items were covered by an extended warranty that Lyle bought when we got the used Ventana motorhome. It was expensive then, but seems like a much better deal now! Had new film applied to the front of the coach to protect the paint from bugs, stones, etc. Between removing the old film and applying the new, it was not cheap--but still less than repainting the front of the coach! Replaced the rear rock guard (wide mud flap) that had been torn off by less than careful driving out west last fall.
The plan is to stop at Cummins/Ft. Myers for fluid and filter change as we leave shortly after May 1st. Our itinerary includes New Orleans for a few days, then Memphis and Graceland.
March 23-31, 2017 We took a "side trip" to Maui to join Erik's family for their spring break. Staying on the grounds of the famed Kapalua golf courses. BEAUTIFUL! Details on "Hawaii 2017"
April 24, 2017 We're starting to pack up, move things to storage, do chores at the motorcoach and say goodbyes. Applying a liquid ceramic coating to the front of the coach comes this week. This amazing stuff makes it easy to wipe off a day's collection of bug with just a damp cloth. We used it last year--happily! Radiators on the engine and generator are scheduled for flushing for the first time. Air conditioners are to be serviced this week in preparation for hitting the road.
May 5, 2017 On our way! Quite a lot of rain and thunder overnight, but it stopped around 6 a.m. Left Ft. Myers Beach around 9 a.m. Stopped to pick up a sensor for the tire pressure management system and headed out onto I-75 and into Friday traffic. Very heavy until Tampa, then eased a bit. When we reached I-10 traffic thinned considerably Our roost tonight is Marianna, FL just west of Tallahassee,,,about 450 miles on the day.
May 6, 2017 Hello, from Fairhope on Mobile Bay in Sweet Home Alabama! Downtown Fairhope is colorful and alive with enchanting shops and eateries. (A small courtyard of shops to the right) We stayed at Coastal Haven RV Park--a nice place east of Fairhope. Our destination tomorrow is Slidell, LA, just east of New Orleans. We hope to meet up with Lyle's sister, Sharon, plus friends Karen and Pat Breen for a quick tour of New Orleans and sample some Nawlin's cuisine.
May 7, 2017 Traveled across I-10 for a couple of hours to Slidell, LA to Pine Crest RV Park. Nice wooded park with concrete slabs, but a little tight getting in (and probably out). Traveled about a half hour to the French Quarter in New Orleans. Went to iconic Court of Two Sisters for their Jazz Brunch. What a feast! We then waddled to Jackson Square and introduced Judy to Cafe Du Monde beignets. From all indications, she enjoyed them. Outside the cafe was a very tightly controlled (by police) protest march against the Confederate monuments in New Orleans. Tomorrow, we meet up with friend Karen Breen to see some of the lesser known but historical areas of the city. Weather has been very good so far on this trip.
May 8, 2017 Karen Breen picked us up at the RV park for the half hour ride into New Orleans. Too early for lunch so we stopped (again) at Cafe Du Monde for fresh, warm beignets. Then, to lunch at the elegant, historic Antoine;s. They feature a 3 course lunch with 25 cent cocktails. Wonderful!
After lunch we were given a tour of the Garden District with its amazing homes.
May 9, 2017 We were on the road to Hattiesburg about 8:30 a.m. to meet up with Lyle's sister, Sharon, and help with packing for her move back to Colorado. She spent most of her adult life in Hattiesburg as an instructor at Southern Mississippi University. Finally, the close calls with tornadoes in Southern Mississippi brought her to realize the front range of the Rockies has appeal beyond moderate temperatures. Safe travels, Sharon!
May 10, 2017 An interesting trip from Hattiesburg to Memphis, probably longer by taking a short cut. Less traffic up until both directions of I-22 were closed and all traffic was detoured about ten miles and at least an hour. Did not see the crash, but it must have been bad. We arrived at Graceland RV Park about 3:50. A long line of RV's waiting to register, but we finally got to our spot and walked next door to the new Graceland Welcome Center. Quite the homage to all things Elvis!
There is a 6 ft wall surrounding Elvis' home, and it is full of writings from his fans. We did not do the mansion tour because of our late arrival, but took photo from the street. We ordered BBQ delivered to the RV park. It arrived in this pink Cadillac limousine. Elvis may have left the building, but his automobile fleet is still at work!
Tomorrow's goal is the Don and Charlene Glover farm at Mill Shoals in Southern Illinois. We traveled with them last fall on the Newmar Caravan. Nice people and it will be good to see them again.
May 11, 2017 Our journey today from Graceland to near Carmi, Illinois crossed the Mississippi River twice with flooding apparent both times, but nothing prepared us for the tens of thousands of acres of flood farmland in Southeastern Illinois. In some cases, farm buildings and homes are surrounded by waters from the Little Wabash, but miles away from the river itself. We had lunch and dinner with Don and Charlene Glover, part of whose farm is also flooded. They gave us a tour of their lovely home and various projects that Don is working on, including a circular building that will sit atop their grain silo and the elevator going to the tip top room.. They are amazing people.
May 12, 2017 Light rain greeted us at the Glover farm in southeast Illinois this morning. Just what the area does NOT need. Lyle took a few photos from the motorhome while traveling I-64 near Carmi, Illinois. All the water you see in the photos is covering tens of thousands of acres of rich farmland!
We made it to an RV park in Bristol, Indiana, close to Middlebury and our favorite comfort food restaurant, Das Deutsch Essenhaus! Tomorrow, we'll have the motorhome back home (summer) at Berrien Springs MI.
Thanks for following along!
Our winter home in Ft. Myers Beach
Motorhome Experiences of Lyle Dean and Judy Lebsack