Sweet Home, Alabama

We stayed in Florence, AL at an RV park called McFarland Park (I kept calling it MacArthur Park and humming the disco remix version). It’s on the banks of the Tennessee River, in a large park with picnic grounds, ball fields, a running track, and a marina. Location, Location, Location. Continue reading

Holding Pattern

Hello there! I know it’s been a while since I’ve checked in, but since last time a lot has happened:
1. We’ve moved into our motorhome full-time. The possessions we chose to keep, and our cold-weather clothes and blankets, are in a smallish-ish climate-controlled storage unit. We promised ourselves a review and edit in the spring.
2. We have been staying in a nice RV park near Lake Travis in Austin (at a local park we like for this past month. It’s been a great location as we completed obligations with family and dear friends. But…I’ve learned that one month in one place may be too long. There’s a bit of a “Peyton Place” vibe I’ve detected….
3. I got to go to both Wisconsin and Michigan to see my sisters for our second reunion. We were in a sweet condo, on a nice sand beach on Lake Michigan. The water was warm, surprisingly calm, and great swimming – like an ocean, minus the salt! Cool weather, sweet harbor towns to explore with my sisters, and early morning solitary walks where I saw all kinds of guest cottages. It was a treat!



4. When I returned home, the weather went from Texas HOT… to HADES HOT. Just like Stevie Wonder’s 1980 album, August was Hotter Than July!
5. We’ve bought ourselves bicycles, kind of a sport-cruiser blend… but it’s too dang hot to ride them except early, early, early in the morning! Like a kid at Christmas, I can’t wait to get up each morning to have coffee and then go ride! Well – not that I was drinking coffee when I was a kid… you know what I mean!
6. This coming Wednesday we finally head north to cooler weather! First stop, Madrid, an old mining town outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. There is a Gypsy Festival on Saturday, and you know I don’t want to miss out on that! There will also be dear friends, great meals together, much cooler weather, a Nia Technique class or two, and concocting cocktails in the high-desert. I promise you some great photos.

Till next time!
XO Donna

The Disney Miscalculation

From the quiet beaches of the Gulf Coast we headed inland to meet our friends Mike and Laura at Disney in Orlando.

IMG_0928When I tell you that it was easy to find our way to Disney, and to the Camp Wilderness Campground, it’s an understatement… Disney’s roads and signage are the best anywhere.

We were greeted enthusiastically, checked in quickly, and there was even a place to unhitch our tow-car. Disney also thinks of everything.  In just minutes we were backed into our cozy spot among the tall pines. When I looked around, I was a little surprised it was so crowded.

The next morning we walked two blocks to the shuttle-bus stop, and in minutes we were at the docks to catch a ferry across the lake to Magic Kingdom – Mike had planned an easy day of wandering around. He has been a vacation-club member forever, and he really enjoys off-season times. We were excited to have him as our tour guide, and I was excited to spend time with Laura.

Disclaimer: If you can think of nothing you enjoy more than taking your kiddos, or your grands, to Disney for a few days… bless you. And, skip the next three paragraphs.
If, however, you’re of the other school of thought, read on

Disembarking the ferry and heading toward the security gate into Magic Kingdom, I noticed there were lots of families, with lots of little ones, and all with strollers. LOTS and LOTS of them. Maybe it wouldn’t be as crowded as this was looking… Spring Break was over, after all. Right?

IMG_0837But when we got through security and turned the corner onto Main Street, USA, there were thousands of people already inside! I was hit with a wave of claustrophobia, and I needed a  minute to regain my composure. We’d obviously miscalculated.

I took a photo, and texted my sister, Andee: “I WAS WRONG. THERE IS A HELL.”
With her usual sarcasm (a trait we share) she replied: “What the hell are YOU doing there when the WHOLE WORLD is on Spring Break?”  That was a darn good question.

In an attempt to get out of the fray – strollers can be lethal weapons – we looked for an upscale restaurant where we could have a calm lunch and a cocktail. The meal was disappointing, to say the least, and made even more so because the restaurant didn’t serve wine or beer.
Texting my sister again, “Andee, they don’t seem to serve cocktails here… ”
“Of course not!” she replied. “And probably a good thing… parents would all get drunk!”  I could see why.

We’d just finished lunch when Mike and Laura arrived, and we set off to do more adult-oriented things. We had dinner reservations at the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant inspired by the one built in CA in 1928.  We took a shuttle from Magic Kingdom to Hollywood Studios and then strolled around taking it all in.  There was so much to see, including a farmers market!

IMG_5471We arrived at Brown Derby early, and decided to sit on their outdoor patio, have a drink, and people-watch. The service, the ambiance, and the quality of the classic cocktails were all perfection.  When we went in for dinner, I saw that the walls are covered in B&W caricatures of old Hollywood stars. Laura and I stood there trying to name as many as we could.  We were shown to a very comfy booth, which was quieter, enabling us to carry on a conversation. And the food. I owed it to my sister to take a photo and tell her, “I am in HEAVEN!”

IMG_5469I will say that starting off thrown into Disney’s Magic Kingdom made us appreciate the other parks even more.  And I learned a valuable lesson: find out when Spring Break or Christmas Break ends for all of the eastern states before scheduling a trip here.

Unless, of course, you can think of nothing you’d enjoy more.
XO Donna

Paradise Found

We’ve been home for a month now, and it has rained 90% of the time.  Every day I check my weather app  (I am becoming a glutton for punishment)  and see that it is lovely in Key West, sunny and 80. I could be strolling with the gypsy chickens and sipping a Cuban coffee… Continue reading