Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Polar Vortex hits New Orleans!

We have been staying at St. Bernard State Park, just south of New Orleans. We are a few hundred yards from the Mississippi River. Many big ships go by on their way into port.

For the last two days all we are hearing on the news is the closings and how everyone should stay off of the roads. The town was completely shut down. It is true that many of the bridges were iced over, but I guess they did not have enough salt in all of the salt shakers in town to take care of the bridges. Here is what we had at the campground:
Those really are icicles. We did have ice on the steps.

I did find some ice on some puddles:

Here was the accumulation of snow and ice at our site:

Yeah, I can't see it either. 

After reading about the lack of preparation in Atlanta, I guess it was good that they took all of the precautions. It was just the 24 hour coverage and continual warnings that were kind of comical to this guy from Missouri. The good news is that the forecast is for 70 degrees on Friday. Just another adventure on the road. We are trying to decide what to do from here. We may go to Grand Isle, may not.    

Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Orleans - French Quarter

On Thursday, January 23, we had a 110 mile drive planned from the National Seashore to St. Bernard State Park, just south of New Orleans. While we were getting ready to go, Kim's phone rang. She was in the shower and I could not find the phone, so I asked her to check it. It was a call from her Mom. I told her to wait until we got on the road to call her back. That was my first mistake. Once we got  moving, she called her and "Surprise!", they were in Biloxi. That is only about 5 miles from us. I found a church parking lot to stop in and talked them into our location. They were on a trip to Disney World. Kim's sister, Erin and her husband John are taking their 3 year old daughter Hallie for that first visit. Phyllis and Richie are going to join them there. I put out the slides and we had a very nice lunch and quick visit. Here is the only picture we got of the occasion:

We made the rest of the drive to St.Bernard. It was an easy drive. You drive right along the Mississippi river. There are oil refineries and some very large ships.The park is secluded and very nice. It is mostly empty. They have good spacing between sites. Here is a snap of our site:

The weather turned bad on Friday and the temps were about freezing. There was some precipitation also, so the conditions caused the local schools to close. The many bridges around New Orleans were freezing causing many accidents. One big advantage of this lifestyle is that we did very little. We spent the day doing laundry and catching up on some missed episode of our favorite TV shows. 

Saturday was much nicer with mid 50 temps and a bright blue sky. We decided to do the tourist thing and go to the French Quarter. We drove to the City Park and parked there and took the Street car down to the city center. Here is a picture of a shop that one of my son's would like:

We really enjoyed listening and watching the street performers:

Here is a picture of Kim in the French Market District:

We then went to mass at the St. Louis Cathedral. It is the oldest church in the US. It is right in the heart of the French Quarter. It was beautiful.

We then took the Street Car back to City Park and then went and found a place to get a good shrimp Po-Boy for dinner. 

We have big plans for later this week. We are going to the WW2 museum that was founded by Stephen Ambrose. It also looks like the weather is getting bad again, so we may just hang out and wait for it to pass. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


My last day of work was January 17. Kim and I flew to Maryland on Thursday and flew back to Mobile, AL on Saturday. It was a bit more emotional than I expected. The send off from my good friends in the company was very nice. They gave me a nice gift and I hope to see them in the future. Now it is time to get on with the adventure and learn how I will cope in the future. I am very excited.

When we got back, we hit a Saturday evening vigil at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mobile. It was one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. The added bonus was the Bishop was saying mass.

We were staying at Shepherd State Park in Gautier, MS. It was not a very nice park, but it has a good location and was inexpensive. On Monday the 20th, MLK day, we moved on to the National Seashore about 13 miles away. That is my kind of travel day. We stayed there for 4 days and did a bunch of hiking and looking at birds. Here is a Great Egret:

Here is a sunset shot looking back at Biloxi. We like sunsets. 

We are now ready to take on this adventure. I will try to keep this more updated, now that we are living the dream.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Naval Aviation Museum - NAS Pensacola

On Sunday the 12th  of November we decided to go back to Pensacola and visit the Naval Aviation Museum and the Naval Air Station. We started the day by making mass in northern Pensacola. We love going to different churches. Then we headed down to the museum. It was a beautiful sunny day and would have been a better day to spend outside, but I really wanted to see the museum. We had to go through a gate to get on the base, but just drivers license ID's and we were good.

The NAS is the home of the Blue Angels. They had a display of some of the older aircraft. They are currently flying F-18's. While we were traveling through Pensacola a few days later we saw them up in the air trailing smoke flying in formation. That was very cool.

The museum is broken up into multiple areas. The oldest section had some very early airplanes. Our favorite was the Sopwith Camel - including Snoopy.

They had some enemy aircraft including this Japanese Zero:

Here is the F-14 Tomcat that flew the final flights for the Navy. Amazing history for this famous aircraft. 

Here is one of my favorites the awesome Corsair:

We finished the day by going to Perdido Key and watching the sunset.

It was a good way to start my last week of work.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

US Air Force Armament Museum - Eglin AFB, Florida

We made the trip to Eglin AFB near Fort Walton Beach, Florida to check our the US Air Force Armament Museum. It was raining, so we started inside. They had a few nice planes and a bunch of guns and missiles and bombs.It is amazing how fast technology has impacted each of these areas.

Here is a nice P-51:

A very nice display of guns including a M - 61 20mm high rate of fire cannon.

Then I sat in a trainer for one of my favorite airplanes the A-10 Warthog.
 I was able to walk up and touch a SR71 Blackbird - Awesome!
 No collection is complete without the B-17 - 12 O'Clock high comes to mind
 Here is a real A-10 Warthog - how would you like to get in those sights?
 Then this awesome gunship - zoom in to see the barrels sticking out the side.
It was an awesome display. The Air Force does a nice job.

Kim and I then went to Destin to let here see the area. She really wanted to see this area, very touristy, but she wanted to go, so we did. We went to Henderson SP just to check it out. It had the largest sites I have seen. A very nice park. We then went down to Pensacola Beach. It was very windy, but a nice beach. Here is my bride on the beach:

Kim just loves beaches.

Friday, January 10, 2014

First Post - Introduction

This is the first post in the Blog of the travels of Shawn and Kim. The intention of this blog is to document our travels and to share them with friends and family.
My last day with the company that I worked for 3/5 of my life is January 17. This story will begin from there.

Kim and I have loved to travel via RV for many years. We actually own two trailers. One is a 26 ft. Terry Toyhauler and the other that is really our home is a 2007 34E39RK Titanium. Here is a pic of the toyhauler, the tow vehicle (2005 Ford F350 Lariat 4 door Short bed with 6.0 Diesel) and the boat (1986 Correct Craft Ski Nautique) :

Here is a pic of the Ti in the snow:

We plan to live part time at a ranch that we are part owners in called Hardwood Hills Ranch in Missouri, and part of the time we will travel around the country in our trailers.

I love to ride off-Road Motorcycles. I have raced for almost 40 years. I rode motocross early in my career, but now ride Hare Scrambles and Enduro's. My latest interest is in Adventure Dual Sport Riding. I own a bike for each purpose.

Here is a picture from a 8 day ride in Colorado that I did Solo in 2010:

As you can tell from the boat, I also like to water ski.

My other passions are golf and fly fishing. I also am a military history buff. As you can see, I will not have trouble staying busy after retirement.
We start from the panhandle of Florida. We came down here to get out of the cold weather up north.
Here is a picture from the coast of Florida.

Thanks for taking the time to read this journal. Please feel free to post comments in the comments section.