Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Birmingham South Campground (formerly Pelham KOA)

We said goodbye to David, Nancy and Millie today and hope they get home safely! Nancy and I were laughing this morning because we had been overwhelmed with tornado warnings on the weather channel in Perdido Key area (even though I am sure none have ever touched down on the barrier island that is Perdido Key) and last night we both saw the same clip about snakes, including poisonous ones, and how to avoid them this time of year...

Once they departed our Airstream was alone in this row for a while... One thing we heard is that the campgrounds fill up with the transient travellers this time of year so make your bookings ahead of time. On the way south in the fall we actually stayed at Flying J's with no hook-ups, under generator power. I am liking the full hook-up luxury much better! It is much more convenient and adds to the leisure time experience!!!:-).

This campground is great: long, level pull throughs, pool and hot tub, WI FI, Cable TV and very clean bathrooms and shower facilities, even though I showered in the Airstream today - meaning I moved the stuff I was storing in the shower area! Ahhhh the life of a traveller!

Kristy and Sean of www.thelonglonghoneymoon.com came to visit us at the Birmingham South Campground and it was so nice to meet them in person. They were recently featured on the HGTV show RV 2009 and enjoy an Airstream as well. We were interviewed by them for their Blog site , that is, if anything we said made any sense at all! We shall see. I enjoyed their stories of romance, and adventure in their Airstream as we were dreaming of the open road (but still working at the time) and you will too so check it out. We shared stories, talked Airstreams and Snowbirding and what we were both planning in the weeks to come...

Headed North!

Yesterday morning Nancy, David and little Millie left Playa Del Rio at 09:00 hrs to begin their journey North as well. We managed to get on the road at 10:15 am and we met them at the Birmingham South Campground that becomes the first of our many stops on the homeward trek. Nancy and David are headed North East and we are, of course, headed for Bowling Green Kentucky, then Lima, Ohio and Airstream HQ and then finding our way to the I 90 and I 81 to get to Canada again!It was sad leaving Playa Del Rio and the many new friends we had met there. We will miss everyone! But home beckons and we have been missing friends and family there so all is well. This is the I 65 as we first got on it yesterday morning. Our first day saw us travel 270 miles, mostly on the Interstate. We are in a nice little campground, nestled in the hills, with great shopping just one exit back!!!

We decided not to crate up Biter and Ricky, our geriatric cat companions (they are 19!) and I worried that they might not fare so well roaming the Airstream while we were driving ... When we opened the door at our lunch break to check on them they were cuddled up together in the bench, where you can see Biter, and looked up as if to say " Excuse me , why are we stopping?" I really wanted to get the shot of them together in the bench but didn't get my camera out before Ricky had jumped up on the table to say "what is for lunch?" All this to say that the two cats are real travellers and have adapted very well to life on the road!
As we drove today we saw Armadillos, and a fox; and an Airstream 30 for sale by the roadside. Airstreams are rare on the roads so we keep an eye out for them. There is a 28 foot Safari camped here in Birmingham.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Playa Del Rio after the Rain, Rain Rain!

Richard decided to enjoy a rest by the Marina this morning after three days of rain and tornado warnings for the area. It is almost high tide and you can see that where the chairs were once nicely situated on a boardwalk (see earlier posts) where visitors could stop and enjoy the view, they are now part of the view!

The water is up over the dock and extends into the fire pit area....

I always wondered why the chairs were chained to the deck and thought it was odd since nothing else is chained down so theft didn't seem likely... well now I know...

It is sunny and lovely again and the waters will recede again so that Playa del Rio will regain its beauty and charm very soon I am sure... A few visitors left this morning and more joined us over the past several days. Since we have been weathering a run of much needed rain we have not been out roaming except to walk the dogs. And now we are packing up to leave and will miss everyone and this place very much...until we return in the Fall!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flora Bama Roadhouse on the FL AL Border

The Flora Bama roadhouse and lounge is just a short walk away. It was mostly destroyed in the last hurricane (2004 Ivan) and local lore says that while they have recently received their approvals to rebuild they are staying with the current hodgepodge of fixed and temporary "cover". The profits under the tent roof are as good as they were in the fixed building so why spend the money to rebuild...? It is said that the best bands play at the Flora-Bama and that one might be sitting next to Kid Rock in the bar on any given night. Other celebrities have their summer vacation homes on Ono Island - a gated island of multi-million dollar homes that we can see from the Playa Del Rio Marina side.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wonderful Family Heads Back Home!

Joey and Sondra, with their children, doggie and pop-up in tow came to the beach for a few days and they were just a delight to have around. We enjoyed the children playing on their bikes and walking the dog. We shared some shells from our collection and the children showed me their hermit crab that they had carefully and kindly put in a pail of sea water complete with shells and sand, so that it would feel at home and not be scared...When you travel this way you meet many people that you hope you will see again one day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break 2009...Condo's are Filling Up!

My earlier winter shots of the beach here at Perdido Key are nothing like this as you may recall. This week is spring break 2009 and there are the young, the younger and the usual suspects (snowbirds) frolicking on the beach. Where once there were pristine, untouched sands that seemed to reach forever into the distance there are now kites flying, beach umbrellas blowing in the wind, sunbathers of all shapes and sizes and many , many more people trying to fish... The condo's are being rented these days!

We have water sports now and the only blessing is that the roar of the sea overpowers the sound of the engine so it is like watching a "silent" dance of the mechanical water nymphs unfold, disturbing the view of the majestic sea itself. The Harleys rumble along the coastal highway, sometimes turning into our campground, chugging along the lane beckonning the uninitiated to the "easy rider" life!

The children have been playing hard in the sea, running with their body boards under the watchful eye of mom or dad nearby. It feels like summer but it is March - not even spring yet, and certainly still winter where we are from!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Playa Del Rio Marina at Night....

Today is St Patrick's Day and the Marina is quiet tonight. Last evening at dusk we saw Dolphins swimming and feeding in the River by the Marina. Rudy is enjoying his nightly stroll and he usually socializes a little with his dog friends while we walk the park and chat with fellow "campers".
The colours are simply amazing and the water is so calm in the evening. It is very pleasant to watch the sun go down and the Pelicans roost for the night. The water level rises at night due to the tide and covers up the shells and hermit crabs and river bottom. It is just so hard to believe that in two weeks we will be leaving Perdido Key for points north. What a wonderful winter it was here...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fishing the Gulf Today

The water was warm and blue green today as we fished the Gulf. The pale taupe sand, the jade green transparent water and the white foam of the surf receding onto itself were spectacular. I have been refining some techniques with my camera and am enjoying the result!
Also within view on the Gulf today were several boats likely fishing for Pompano or Whiting. We were enjoying the beach with our chairs down in the surf so that the water washed over our feet and and ankles. Nice...
On the marina side of Playa Del Rio we were entertained by a speedboat and a young man doing somersaults on a water ski Board. He was using his own wake to give him the lift to complete the flip. It was very amazing!

Beach Update!

The Beach has been very clear blue/green these past very sunny days. If you recall all of the amazing shells we were able to gather with Kirsten when she was here in January and, by ourselves before that in November and December, well now there are not so many at all! Those shells that are on the beach now are usually small and broken and only the occasional scallop shell , like the one Richard is holding in the photo, seems to manage to stay whole. I was so amazed the other day when I found a whole, quarter-sized sand dollar lying in the sand at my feet. It is very beautiful.

Rudy and Reggie are enjoying themselves as we clean the inside of the RV the pet bed makes it out to the patio and they take full advantage to sun themselves in comfort! We have been here so long that the other "long timers" call out to Rudy and Reggie from afar whenever they are out!

We are starting to plan the trip back to Ottawa from our winter home-away-from-home and are looking forward to hitting the road again. On the tentative agenda right now are a Luxury Casino RV Park in Mississippi or Alabama (both states have them), Nashville's KOA right in the heart of Grand Ole Opry country (in the city!)and with a Big Bass Pro shop near by for Richard, Kentucky's rolling hills and the Airstream Factory near Lima, Ohio for some warranty work and a plant tour! Here is hoping that the weather up North gets better soon!

Oh and just in case you didn't know - it is a dogs life at Playa Del Rio. Millie (in the bag) is getting a lift to the beach in Scott's golfcart with her "person" Nancy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"The Sharecropper's Son" Bert Hayes Visits Playa Del Rio

Dr. Bert Hayes (Born October 1, 1931) author of the Sharecropper's Son, came to the park today for an informal dialogue on history, the economy, and the Great Depression. Also visiting was Maj. General (Retired) Abdallah Soudi Bawaneh. After sharing some thoughts on how history reveals itself in the future, an open dialogue on where the economic times are taking us ensued. We considered the stance of the generations to come and compared our values to those of our children and grandchildren. I couldn't help but think that similar conversations may have taken place in the living rooms of our parents, grandparents and great grandparents and perhaps that the more we think things are changing the more they stay the same.

There was a sense of general concern over what the next few years would hold for the USA in terms of economic, and perhaps even more importantly, social stability. There was consideration given to the awkward questions of what could be done and who should be doing it as we faced the potential for increased crime, loss of hope for the future of our, and by our, young people.

While it was a sobering discussion it was certainly very thought provoking. Dr Hayes shared some stories from his experience as a professor over the years. He made reference to a couple of articles from before the Depression of the 1930's that could equally resonate in todays world indicating similar trends for this era's failing economy. History repeats itself, history helps predictions, and as Dr Hayes points out we are slow to learn from it!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Suzy Sets Out for Tulsa, OK

Suzy set out early this morning, rolling down the road at 07:05 am after Richard helped her get hitched up and all systems checked for the trip... She has been here at Playa 4 days longer than we have so we will soon be the longest "residents" of the park for this year. She will likely get to Little Rock if the winds die down a bit - they are gusting to 35 mph with the temp only at 32 F when she left this am. Brrrggghhhh!