We’re back in our home state of Indiana!
After an uneventful 6 hour drive we were ready to park it, settle in, then explore this new to us RV park. BUT the camping gods weren’t having it. Don pulled into the requisite slot by the office while I checked us in. With that taken care of, Don was told to follow Vickie, one of the park owners, to our site. When Vickie made her first turn, I knew we were in trouble. The turn was too tight for a rig our size and a tree was situated too near the turn. Too late! The branches scraped the top half of Suite Pea on her door side leaving some nasty marks. (I sure hope Don can buff those out.) On Vickie’s next turn, I could see right away we wouldn’t be able to make it and shouted at Don to stop. Too many obstacles were in the way. I called for Don to park the truck, get out, and to come see what I seeing. At this point Vickie confessed to us that she and her brother were still on a learning curve when it came to operating the park. She suggested to Don that he cut across the backend of a campsite to reach the gravel lane she wanted us on. Don was leery. This region had seen a lot of rain lately. He was concerned the ground was too boggy. He should have listened to his gut. Instead he took Vickie’s and another camper’s word for it that the ground was firm enough and our truck, having 4W drive, could handle it. You see where this is headed don’t you?
One hour and one front end loader full of rocks later, Suite Pea was freed from the muck. Don proceeded to follow Vickie to our designated spot, a pull-thru site wedged between two trees. Don just shook his head. We ended up parked two sites further up. Vickie told me afterwards she could see she still had some work to do to accommodate bigger rigs.
On a side note, we noticed the following day that a new gravelled turn lane had been put in where we had bogged down the previous day.
The following day wasn’t any less hectic . We touched bases with my mom, our daughters and grandchildren, Don saw the eye doctor, I grocery shopped, and we picked up a wooden swing set our youngest had ordered for her daughter’s upcoming birthday. Needless to say, Don and Bobbi-Leigh spent the next two and a half days assembling the gazillion pieces into a recognizable play set.
That first Saturday was also prom weekend. Our granddaughter Maddy and her boyfriend Nolan stopped by so my mom could see them dressed in their finery, giving me an opportunity to take photos too. Then they were headed off to the park where Maddy’s aunt Shawnie took professional photos of them. I’m sharing some of each.
May 1st, our granddaughter’s 3rd birthday. After running a couple of errands, Don and I swung by our granddaughter’s daycare, picked her up and took her out for a birthday dinner while her mommy got things set up for the party. She obviously knew where she was because right away she started asking if she could “ride the pony.” Which of course she did. She was a bit overwhelmed by all the attention she received.
Later, back at her house, Kendra celebrated her birthday with family and the elderly couple from across the street that she “adopted.” She loved her swing set present best. So did her cousins.
The following day was a big one for Don. Lyle and Sonya Wilson invited us to dine out with them. Lyle’s a DJ with Radio A1A out of Key West where he headlines the Weekdays with Wilson Show. We found him and his lovely wife Sonya very easy to talk to and very down to earth. In fact, Lyle is the man who started this whole ball rolling when he requested Don send him a song he’d heard him perform. So it was fitting to be dining out with them on the eve that Don’s first single was released.
Thursday found us celebrating yet another birthday, that of our only great grandchild’s. It was Mia’s 2nd birthday and both family and friends turned out to help her celebrate. One particular present captured her attention totally and that was the end of opening any of her other gifts. Too funny.
Don’s single “Paradise” made its debut Friday morning over Radio A1A’s airwaves. It was an emotional moment for both of us as we listened to him croon the tune he penned come out of our Bluetooth radio. He was kept mighty busy for most of the morning responding to congratulatory messages. Later that afternoon we heard it being played on Apalachicola’s Oyster Radio. I don’t know who is more excited, Don? Or our three daughters?
This completes our first week back “home” and the pace won’t be letting up anytime soon. Now, about the new to us campground.
We have struggled finding a place suitable to us that’s also close to our daughters. In the past we have stayed in one of the local state parks which is fine for a short stay but our plans typically have us visiting longer than two weeks, which is the longest you’re permitted to camp in a state park. Now there are a handful of state parks in this vicinity but again, we would have to rotate between them every two weeks and who wants to do that? Other choices have been Lake Monroe Village, which is way over priced for a park that actually has no lake access, and charges an astronomical fee for each guest, each time they visit your camp. This is whether they use the park’s facilities or not. Way too expensive for us folks. The other option, and the one we used most often, is Jellystone Park at Lake Monroe. Again, the name is misleading, it also has no access to the lake. And, it too is pricey but it offered so much to entertain our grandchildren with at no extra cost. Compared to our other options we felt it was our best fit even though the excessive noise, and cramped campsites drove us nuts at times.
Bobbi heard about Hickory Hills when she switched jobs. She and my mother checked it out then told us about it. Thus far we’ve been pleased with the place. It’s not a destination park as there is absolutely nothing to draw you to this area except farmland. Neither is it an overnight stop between destinations as its miles from the Interstate and quite a ways off any state routes. Fact is, you’ll need to drive a good 1.5 miles down a narrow road just to reach a second narrow road, this one gravel. It’s another mile of dust flying before you reach the campground. It’s so remote, it’s quiet, and it suits us just fine. It’s the kind of haven you need after a busy snowbird season in Florida. The amenities and the park’s appearance are even better than we anticipated. I think we’re going to like it here. Now and in the future. Here’s lookin’ at you kid…….