Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bellingrath Gardens & Home

27 April 2013

Today we drove to Fort Morgan SP for the ferry ride over to Dauphin Island so John could visit Fort Gaines with the conference group.  So Destiny and I drove to Bellingrath Gardens 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. The Ferry ride from Fort Morgan is $30 rt with car and takes 35 minutes.
Ferry to Dauphin Island

Bellingrath Gardens and Home is the creation of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath. He was Mobile's first Coca Cola bottler and Bessie was his secretary. The property was purchased in 1917 and was an abandoned fishing camp on the Fowl River. The gardens began developing in 1927. The 15 room home was completed in 1935. The interior furnishing were collected over a period of 35 years by Mrs Bellingrath during their marriage. She died in 1943 and he passed on in 1955. They had no children and the home and gardens were left in a foundation as a permanent memorial to his wife.
Map of Gardens

Boat Landing

Mr Bellingrath during his career with Coca Cola developed one of the most productive and successful bottling operations in the US. He was also most charitable to churches and colleges in the area.

The home tour is a must while visiting the gardens. The collection of china, silver, furniture and items are as they were left upon his death.
The gardens feature many distinct areas and employ 12 full time gardeners. Their is also a cruise that you can take after touring. I opted not to do this as I had to return to the ferry for crossing back to Fort Morgan with John.
Portico View

Guest House now houses Boehm Collection

River View

I might also mention that they have kennels for dogs. It is gratis. You just bring a water bowl. Wish more sights offered this service.


I was disappointed that I could not take interior photos.

After the ferry ride back to Fort Morgan, Destiny and I hung out while John toured the fort. We had toured these forts last year.

It was a good day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mother's Final Journey

22 April 2013

Mother left this worldly existence for a final journey to the heavens.
She was 92.
Mary Elizabeth 6 mos

Thomasville HS Photo

She was residing in a nursing home in Louisvile. She had moved there in 2009 to live with my sister Abby. Her health started failing in the past year and she was resolved to a higher more spiritual calling.

After Daddy passed on in 1998 she came to Oregon to live with John and me in 2000. I am thankful for the time we were able to spend during those 9 years. This time also gave her time with my kids and grandkids.
We persuaded her to travel to British Columbia visiting Victoria and Whistler as well as trips to Texas and California. Her favorite outing was with her dear friend, Rose, to Spirit Mountain Casino. No big jackpots, but fun anyway. She was present for great grandsons, Colt and Cade's birth.
They called her "grandma chocolate" as she always had Hershey bars for them.
Columbia Gorge

Christmas Hat

We were very close and confided in her many times. She always had good advice and was a good sounding board. She and Daddy instilled in me a sense of values, fairness, caring for those less fortunate and family. Since I was the oldest of three by ten years and both parents worked, I also developed maturity and independence and thankful for this.

Mother was the oldest of 4 children with the youngest brother, Frank, still living. Her father died when she was 12 and her mother raised the children alone. Mother grew up on North Carolina. She married Daddy at age 19 and had me at age 20. Daddy's family was Jewish, so Mother who had been raised a Baptist converted before marrying.
Mother & Daddy

Cheek to Cheek

I last visited with her in August 2012. She was so frail and legally blind.
I felt then this would be my last visit.

Last Visit With Mother
She left behind 3 children,8 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
With Children Amy,Abby & Sean

Thank you Mother for giving me life. I love you.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Arrival Pensacola NAS Oak Grove Campground

20 April 2013

Easy drive from Gulfport..2hours 110 miles. As we passed through Mobile saw the Carnival Triumph being repaired.
Carnival Triumph

Downtown Mobile

This is our 3rd visit to this campground. We have site 46 which is gulfside.
Destiny loves to walk on the sand, but not interested in going in the water. This is one of few dog friendly beaches in Florida. Guess because it is on the base. Tonight they had a get together with appetizers and karaoke. There are some talented campers who manage to belt out a few songs. No inhibitions. Not moi. John won't even let me sing in the shower or going down the road.
Campsite 46

Karaoke Performers

White Sand Beach

So Pristine

Fort Pickens

Destiny on Morning Walk

Our reason for coming here was for John to attend a CDSG(Coastal Defense Study Group) meeting. He missed the last two due to his heart surgery in 2011 and our travel itinerary in 2012. Destiny and I will just hang out on the beach while he is forting with the group. I will probably reorganize the iHome.

We will be here until the 29th before heading to Mayport NAS near Jacksonville..our second visit there.

Pensacola is home to the Blue Angels. Sure will miss seeing them perform.
Too bad the sequester didn't put AF One in the hangar instead.

Friday, April 19, 2013

John's Tour of Ship Island Fort Massachusetts

18 April 2013

Before departing Gulfport for Pensacola, John wanted to visit Fort Massachusetts on West Ship Island around 12 miles south of Gulfport.
The Island is only accessible via ferry or private boat. The ferry only runs March thru October. mshipisland.com

The ferry departs Wednesday thru Sunday with weekday departures 900AM and weekends 9 and noon and takes an hour. Returns at 230P arriving back at 330P. As this was last minute decision due to weather,I opted to stay with Destiny as 7 hours would be too long to leave her.
Ship Island Ferry

So I am sharing John's pictures. Wish I could have gone.Some of the finest beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are located on Ship Island.
The white beaches of the Gulf Coast National Seashore are composed of quartz eroded from granite in the Appalachian Mountains carried by rivers and streams and deposited by currents.
Perfect Pose

Beautiful Beach

Fort Massachusetts was built as part of a series of 19th century fortifications in our early defense system. The island became a camp for Confederate POW's. Ship Island was first named in 1699 by French explorers. It is also known as the Plymouth Rock of the Gulf Coast as this was where many colonists took their first steps on American soil. It was here during the war of 1812 that 60 British ships landed in the failed attempt to capture New Orleans. In 1862 Admiral Farragut's Union invasion fleet used the Island as a staging area to capture New Orleans and Mobile.

Fort Massachusetts

By the 15" Rodman

I spent the day planning our return trip to Oregon scheduled for the 3 October.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Arrival Navy Shields RV Park Gulfport,MS

13 April 2013

This will be our home for the next 7 nights before heading to Naval Station Pensacola, home of the Blue Angels.

The drive from Beaumont was 325 miles on IH 10, IH 12 and again on IH 10. I mentioned this because it is better to take the IH12 at Baton Rouge rather than go thru New Orleans traffic. The drive is OK, but there is only a rest stop between Texas and Mississippi at exit 121. A long 270 mile trip. The drive takes you over the Atchafalya Swamp..eerie. Lots of anglers...guess that is the way of life here. Don't know how anyone could live in the swamp or fish those waters. Full of alligators and snakes.
Atchafalya Swamp

Atchafalya Swamp

More Swamp

Shields RV Park is located on the Gulfport Naval Construction Battalion Base. Very nice sites with full hookups. We are on site 39..$120 for the week. We stayed here Dec 2011 over Christmas.

14 April 2013

During the night we got a huge, torrential thunderstorm. Even Destiny got nervous and took refuge below our bed.

Rainy Day at Shields

Hope it Clears Up

Sabine Pass Battlefield State Historic Site

12 April 2013

We arrived in Beaumont after a long drive on IH 10 from San Antonio.
We are staying at the Gulf Coast RV Campground for 2 nights. We stayed here in 2009 or maybe 2010.

Today we drove to Sabine Pass to visit the Battlefield which honors a small band of confederate soldiers led by Lt Richard Dowling who succeeded in defeating four Union gunboats that prevented Texas in 1863 from being penetrated by the Union. The site is located where the Sabine River enters the Gulf of Mexico. The Confederates captured 350.It was called Fort Griffin during the Civil War.

Battle of Sabine Pass Marker

Civil War Display


Diagram of Battlefield


WWII Magazine Sign


During WWII,the area was also the site of a US Army coastal artillery battery and four historic magazines still on the site.

Cranes by the Battleground

Oil Tanker Passing to the Gulf

Fire Boat on Channel