Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Orleans Louisiana

We left Florida on the 17 of November and started our trek back west. Went through Alabama, Mississippi and ended up in the little town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, about 30 miles due North of New Orleans. We traveled just a little over 200 miles that day. Set up the rig and spent the rest of the day just sitting around and relaxing.

Today, the 18th, we took off in the jeep and headed toward New Orleans. About 10 miles down the road we found Pontchartrain Causeway (bridge) that took us across Lake Pontchartrain. We have never traveled on a bridge that was so long (24 miles); the other side was not visible until we got about half way across. Took over 20 minutes at 65 mph!

We finally got to the other side, found the visitors center, and then the French Quarter. Spent the day just walking the streets and shooting pictures. Had a great lunch sitting on the balcony of a restaurant and enjoying watching the people below on Bourbon Street.

Nothing special with the pictures just shots that Dick thought might be a little different than most you would see so not much to write about.

Line-up of horse and carriage's waiting for tourists.

The lady in the window is a manikin but hard to tell until you get close.

A little run down...

and around the corner a big change. Guess it's the same here as most places.

The flag reads "FALLING LEAF ZONE", cute.

Canal Street.

Loved the shadows.

Our view at lunch looking down Bourbon Street.

Take the time to look up and you get a different view of the buildings.

Lots of plants on the balconys.

To be continued...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow, NAS Pensacola

A week or so ago we decided to take in our first ever Air Show and headed to Naval Air Station Pensacola for the Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow. We drove onto the base, found a parking space and hiked to the field along with 50 to 100 thousand other people. The price was just right, free.

We settled into our chairs and Dick started to take pictures. One of the opening performaces was a parachute team that came down with the American Flag while the drop plane circled.

We walked the tarmac viewing some of the 17 planes on display.

Walked through one of the smaller ones :>)

Just about the time the F-15E Strike Eagle flew by at close to 600 MPH the battery went dead in Dick's camera. A long trip back to the car to get the extra batteries only to find four more dead ones. Back to the flight line and missing the chance for more good pictures we found a booth that had some batteries. Great, just in time to get some shots of this jet powered glider perform. What a beautiful display of flying with smoke from both wing tips.

The Yak 52 Russian design built in Romania,

The star of the show was Blue Angels F/A-18 with a top speed just of 1,400 MPH and can still fly at 129 MPH with a sneak pass while you are looking at the rest of the planes just off the ground at 600 MPH. And the Blues performed for nearly an hour, keeping us on our toes wondering which way they would come from next.

You can feel the sound completely through your body as they fly what looks like just a few feet above your head. Click and blow up this picture and you can see the smile on the pilots face.

No we did not turn the picture over.

Four of the six in a slow pass with wheels down.

And a fast pass.

Straight up again at 30,000 feet per minute.

And finally a shot of all six.

All we could say was W O W a day sitting in the warm sun watching a fantastic display of air power and it was all free.
To be continued...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Alabama and Florida

Just in case you forgot who we are we will start this long overdue Blog with a reminder picture of the two of us taken in Alabama by our good friends with whom we spent about two weeks while sitting at the Tiffin customer service area in Red Bay Alabama.

Service area is a very busy place. We arrived on a Saturday and were given a place to park with power and water until they could get us a full hookup site in a few days. We moved on Monday to a full site with about 100 other people trying to get service. Tuesday the scheduler came around and gave us two choices, sit here for 6 to 7 weeks to get into a bay for service or wait for a few days and get work done by 2 men for 3 hours each. We elected for the express service.

Not quite sure why but we got a call on Tuesday afternoon to pull into a bay. We moved into the bay and spent about 1 1/2 hours there fixing some small things we needed repaired. They send all rigs back to the campsite in the evenings with instructions to be back at 7:00 AM. We did this and part way through the repairs they said "sorry but your time is up". They changed the ice maker in the refrigerator and did a few other repairs. We paid for what they had done and moved the rig back to our site.

The next day Dick walked back to the repair area and told them the ice maker was not working. They had us move the rig back into a bay and decided to pull the refrigerator and not only fix the ice maker but change the fans on the back of it. Not an easy job to pull the refer and get it back into that little hole.

When completed we asked for the paperwork so we could pay and they told us not to worry about it. Don't have to tell us twice. Three guys for three hours should have cost us a few dollars.

The next day we took a tour of the factory and while there the tour guide convinced us to go talk to Bob Tiffin the owner about another problem we had. When they built the bus 6 years ago they put a thick plastic or vinyl coating on the front below the window. Through the years it has failed, making the front look like it was covered with bugs. We asked Bob what Tiffin could do about it. He reminded us that the 3M product had a 3 year warranty that expired 3 years ago. He did say he would take care of it and for us to go see the service manager in the morning.

Remember we are now looking at 6 to 7 weeks wait to get into a bay for service. First thing the next morning we visited with the service manager; he had received a call from Bob Tiffin to get us fixed up. When we asked about a schedule he picked up the phone and when he got off he told us to move our rig into a bay. It took about 3 1/2 days for them to remove the 3M material and repaint most of the front. We talked them into sanding and repainting the area above the window and split the cost. They charged us $150 for all the extra work and got us out in 4 days. We had received an estimate from another company of $1,500 plus the cost of removing the 3M coating.

We spent several evenings playing cards and games with old friends who are still waiting to get their new bus fixed. We also did day trips with them to see the countryside. One of the areas that the locals told us to visit was the Worlds only Coon Dog Cemetery. Off we went to this area out in the woods and yes there is a very large Cemetery there for Coon Dogs only. It was started in 1937 and has a few hundred dogs buried there.

Quite a large area complete with picnic tables and shelters.

This is just one of the many stone headstones.

When we finally got out of Red Bay we headed to a Corp of Engineers park in the little town of Forkland Alabama. This site must have been over 100' long and take a look at the next picture...

for a view out our front window. This was really a great park so put it on your list of places to stop.

A change of plans (or a wrong turn) find us now in Florida in the town of Milton in the panhandle area. Being this close to the gulf of Mexico we had to head for the beach. Here white sands with bright sun casts our shadow while walking together.

As we said the sands are really white with hardly a person to share our time together on the beach; little or no oil here.

Jackie with shoes in hand letting the waves splash her feet, maybe we should just stay here for the rest of the winter.

Just a picture of the pier jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico with the afternoon sun glistening on the water and a shore bird finding a small island of sand to rest on.

We met a couple from our old car club in Washington who have been living in this area and had a great time seeing them and sharing a bite to eat at the Hog's Breath restaurant. Thanks Tom and Karen for sharing part of your day with us. It was great seeing you guys again after all these years.

Out for a walk the other day we ran across this sign in the front yard of a local home. Not sure what kind of eggs that a yard can produce but the price looks good.

Wednesday we head out to New Orleans so if you have any suggestions of good places to see in the area please drop us a hint.

To be continued...