We worked pretty steadily this week getting all of our last minute pre-travel preparations done…Connie worked, Neil packed and lubed and sorted and organized and all of that jazz. We did take time out for Bingo on Tuesday evening…and had an outstanding day of it. Connie won the last game on our last Bingo night and ended up with $58 to take home with her…a nice send off. Wednesday we had lunch at Banana Joe’s…again pretty decent food and then we did a couple of errands. Friday night we went out to the Elks again for the Fish Fry…and Neil scored twice. He fetched a new keg from the cooler in the back for Marlene the bartender and scored a free pitcher of beer. When that was done we noticed that today’s Letter of the Day was L…which means that any Lodge 2742 member whose last name starts with L gets their second drink free…or in our case half of our second pitcher.
After that we had to go by Home Depot for an emergency purchase of a toilet plunger…not for the toilet but for the shower. Our gray tank sensor is reading erratically and Neil thinks it’s got grease or something stuck to the inside of the tank. He had Connie pour a cup of powdered Calgon into the shower and rinse it down…figuring that the sloshing around would help remove whatever it was while we traveled on Saturday. Unfortunately she failed to rinse it down gradually and forgot that Calgon sort of makes a solid mass when it gets wet…so she ended up stopping up the shower drain…hence the emergency plunger purchase. Once back home we quickly removed the clog and all is now well with the drain although the erratic readings are still under further review.
Saturday we got up early and had coffee and breakfast…then Connie stowed the inside of the house and Neil finished up outside. We hitched and got on the road about 1030 for our 312 mile trip up to Jacksonville. Our route was up I-74 North about 30 miles to Sarasota then we switched to US-17 which ran all the way to join up with I-4 a bit west of Orlando…and I have to tell you the traffic through Orlando on Saturday afternoon on I-4 sucks. Bumper to bumper, lots of idiots cutting you off, road construction blockages, another generous helping of idiots…did I mention that the traffic sucks?
We finally got through Orlando and things eased up for awhile…burt then there was construction and narrow lanes the last 15 miles or so before we got to I-95. At least the idiots did less cutting you off on that section and other than being narrow and crowded it wasn’t too bad. Once on I-95 we had smooth sailing the last 2 hours up to the Jacksonville area. Hopping off the freeway we had a 15 mile or so trip around to the east side of the city to the Mayport Naval Station where we pulled into the next to last open spot in the campground…and are set up in site 47 for the next 10 days.
We met the folks next door and discovered they are members of an RV group named SMART that is composed of military RV people. We got some membership information and discovered they are having a muster (it would have been a rally if they were just RVers…but they’re military RVers and the military has musters ya know) Mar 25-18 in Ladson SC which is just outside of Charleston where we will be for 10 days starting the 25th. Craig said they would be happy to have us for an evening campfire/happy hour thing so we’ll probably pop over there and see if this is an organization we might want to join.
Neil had a nice 22 mile bike ride this afternoon since it was warm and sunny…headed south into the 30 mile an hour breeze (ahead of the storm front coming in tonight through Tuesday mid day)…but at least it was downwind on the way back.
Connie has to work some while we are here…it’s going to rain through Monday and Tuesday so she’ll do that the next two days and then Wed/Thurs we can go have some fun. In the meantime here are a few shots that Neil grabbed with his iPhone 5s this afternoon right before it started storming.
Here’s a shot of site 47…looking south towards our site. No water out our back window but all of those sites were full when we made the reservation. Notice the slightly ominous looking sky in the background.
Turning around and looking Northeast…you can see the St. John’s river and then the Atlantic Ocean on the far side o the breakwater. We’re almost right on the coast here with the beach being maybe a quarter mile east of us.
Finally, turning back towards our rig and then looking 40 or so degrees to the left so looking southeast there were some really dark and stormy looking skies.
The rain finally rolled in right about dinner time…which was a sort of Stroganoff dish with pork and onions. Neil added a bit of Sherry Wine Vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce to it to give it a Saurbratten type flavor…we liked it and it was pretty easy to make since the Stroganoff part was a package of flavored noodles out of the pantry. Afterwards we watched TV until bedtime.