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, December 31, 2017

Fort St John & Chalmette Battlefield

29 December 2017

Today will probably be our last outing before departing to Pensacola on the 2nd as rain, freezing temps and wind predicted over the weekend. So we decided to drive over to New Orleans on the eastside to visit Fort St John and Chalmette Battleground.

Fort St John was first established by the French in 1701 later the Spanish in 1763 and finally garrisoned by  the Americans in 1804 during the war of 1812. It was sold in 1823 and the ruins are in a what is now a park area by a canal and across from some very majestic homes in the Arabi district of New Orleans. Only a marker and some stone remains are visible.

We then went to Chalmette Battlefield on the fringe of the French Quarter in the Chalmetter area of New Orleans.

This is the site of the last battle of the War of 1812 marking General Andrew Jackson's victory over the British in 1815 making it the greatest land victory of the War of 1812. Even though the Treaty of Ghent in 1814 ended the war, it was not signed by the US until February 1815. This battle is known as "the Battle of New Orleans". The battle lasted less than 2 hours with more than 2,000 British troops wounded, killed or taken prisioner including Maj Gen Sir Edward Pakenham who commanded the British troops who was killed during the battle. Within days of the battle, the British withdrew. American casualties numbered less than 20.


American Position


Under a Huge Live Oak

The Chalmette Monument was completed in 1908 honoring the American Victory. The cornerstone was laid in 1840 after Andrew Jackson visited the site.


The Malus-Beauregard House was built 20 years after the battle named for its first and last owners.

The Chalmette National Cemetery was established in 1864 as a final resting place for Union Soldiers who died in Louisiana during the Civil War. The Cemetery also contains remains of veterans of Spanish American, WWI,WWII and Vietnam.

Adjacent to the Cemetery is the Freedman's Cemetery; however no markers or remains exist.

After the battle a thriving free African Community was developed. Unfortunately, they were forced off the land and all the buildings were destroyed when the land was given to the park service. The community was known as Fazendeville and established in 1867. It was located on land that is now part of the Battlefield. Jean Pierre Fazende, a free man of color had inherited the land in 1857. It eventually grew to more than 200 former slaves from surrounding plantations. It was still a thriving community in the 1960's when they were forced out and relocated to the 9th ward of New Orleans. All buildings were destroyed. What a shame.

Tribute to Casey

26 December 2017

A very sad day indeed as sweet Casey passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Hope, Shawn and grandsons Colt and Cade as many of us will truly miss her. She had been part of the family for 10 years and a definite asset giving her unconditional love and devotion. We always looked forward to our visits with her..especially as we pulled into the driveway, she always came and sat by the motorhome door until we let her in, gave her treats and invited her up on the sofa while visiting.

Knock, Knock

Favorite Spot in RV

She and family cat, Checkers, were good buddies, played together and shared the sofa. When Checkers passed several months ago, Casey was very sad and missed him. She went hunting and fishing with the family and enjoyed exploring the outdoors.

Sharing the Sofa

In recent weeks, her kidneys started to fail as well as her eyesight and hearing. It is always difficult to have your pet's health decline. In the past 27 years we have lost 4 of our special dogs. Sweet Destiny was the most difficult and we continue to carry her ashes with us. Rupert, Chelsea and Sam we scattered over the Pacific.

Casey & Destiny

Hope and family decided to bury Casey on Shawn's dad's ranch and his mother, Susan, had a beautiful cross made to hang on the tree by her grave. Such a moving thought. When we return in October will visit her resting place.

Memory Cross

Here are some memory pictures:

Colt & Casey-2014

Cade & Casey-2014

Here's Looking at You

Sneaking Under the Fence

Last Family Picture-Cutting the Christmas Tree

I still tear up when I recall the memories and will miss her. You were special and will bring love to all the dogs in heaven.

God Bless you.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas to Family & Friends

25 December 2017

To all our fiends and family we wish you a VERY HAPPY AND MERRY CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY and MAY ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE IN 2018 and years to come. You have certainly blessed us and for that we are grateful.

We are having a quiet Christmas in Gulfport, MS at the Navy Shields RV Park. This is our second Christmas here since 2011. Rain in the forecast as has been the case since we arrived on the 16th. Reflected on where we have spent our Christmas's since 2009 as noted below:

2009- Tampa, FL


2012-Point Magu,CA

2013-Camp Pendleton,CA

2014-Pt Magu,CA

2015 Ocenaside,CA



As it turns out, the weather presented sunshine on Christmas, but cool and windy.  Yesterday, since restaurants are closed on Christmas, we ate lunch at Cracker Barrel. I had delicious chicken & dumplings and John country ham.

We have reworked our continuing trip and have decided to skip Quebec and part of Ontario after leaving Newfoundland since we have traveled there in 2013. Below is our current schedule: Of course weather dictates everything.

Found a Beignet Cafe in Gulfport in the Ocean View Casino so we went there for delicious beignets. Better than the one hour drive to New Orleans and these were just as good if not better. Will have to return before we leave.

Not much else going on. Campground is very quiet.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pascagoula and Mount Vernon

21 December 2017

Finally a sunny day, so we drove to Mount Vernon, AL so John could document and get photos of several historic sites and markers. We decided to drive Hwy 90 along the Gulf stopping in Pascagoula then to IH 10 with a stop at the Alabama Visitor Center to get some info and a map. We then picked up IH 65 to Hwy 43 exiting on the Military Highway in MountVernon.

Christmas Tree at Alabama Visitor Center

In Pascagoula we drove the Beach road along the Gulf passing several decorated homes, mansions and sign for Camp Jefferson Davis located in the local park across from the Gulf.

Camp Davis was erected in 1848 and abandoned in 1855. It was a Mexican War Camp to reorganize part of the troops returning from the Mexican War. In 1850 it was renovated for use as a military asylum and closed in 1855. It never fully recovered from the 1852 hurricane and no remains today.

Taylor Summer Home Site

Stone Marker

The Longfellow Mansion is just down Beach Blvd from the site of Camp Davis and has a colorful history. Slave trader Daniel Graham built the home in 1850 and has served as a girls' school, country club and is said to be haunted by the tortured and murdered slaves. The name has been changed several times with no direct association to Henry Longfellow. After being damaged by hurricane Katrina, it was sold to in 2006 for use as a private residence.

We then drove up to Mount Vernon to locate signages for Fort Stoddert established in 1799. Aaron Burr was held prisoner here after capture in in 1807. During the Creek Indian War General Clairborne posted his Mississippi Militia here and sent troops  to many of the settler forts in the area. In 1814 the fort was abandoned and no remains exist.

Our next stop was just across Hwy 43 to the Mount Vernon Arsenal, later the Searcy mental hospital for Afro Americans or colored as they were called in that day. It was desegragated in 1969 and closed in 2012.The Arsenal was built in 1828 and abandoned in 1894. It was then deeded to the state of Alabama in 1895. It was captured by the Confederates in 1861 and returned as a US Arsenal  after the war. In 1873 it was named Mount Vernon Barracks and used as a prison for some 700 captured Apache Indians including Geronimo in 1873. Public access is not allowed and the buldings have fallen in ruin.

On our way back to Shields RV Park, we stopped at Costco for adjustment on John's glasses..4th time. They gave him new frames. He then went over to Best Buy to purchase a selfie stick with a tripod for scanning documents when doing research away from RV. I went in the Dollar Tree to purchase crossword puzzle books..$1/ea. Since Sketchers was close, he bought 2 pair of shoes. Got back around 6PM. Beautiful sunset at campground.

Fort more info on the forts and pictures you can go to John's website http://www.fortwiki.com