Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Ahoy me Matey's - Phil turns 60

 Phil and Tracey know how to throw a party. When they partnered with us to host an RV rally 10-12 years ago, they made sure that everyone had fun. This party was going to last 5 days. 

  1. Dinner at spanish restaurant
  2. Karaoke and cake
  3. Pirate Party
  4. "Musical chairs" Dinner at Taj Majal
  5. Classic car show
We stayed in a room over the pub - what a delight. It was a B&B so all we had to do in the morning was walk down the stairs and sit down to breakfast. Walk down in the afternoon for happy hour. Walk down at night for the Karaoke party. The food was great, no buffet of meats and pastries for this B&B - no, we could choose from eggs benedict, full English breakfast, and a couple other choices. Yum. 

The pub where much of the festivities occured, and our room was just over the bar.

Several others who had come by plane, or car, were staying here as well. We got reacquainted with Sue and Nobert who we knew from our previous visit. We're hoping they'll come visit us sometime.

The karaoke night was a real riot. I'm accustomed to karaoke parties where there are actually good singers - so I'm intimidated from participating. I love to sing, but if you heard me you probably wouldn't call it singing! Well, this was the karaoke party for me! I don't think anyone called it singing, but everyone called it fun!

Phil and Tracey, the hosts of the party

You really have to see the video for this one - they're 'singing' Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody 

Then, the next night was the main party. The Pirate theme. People went all out with their costumes! Jim and I just found a second-hand store in Bexhill and put a few things together. A black and white striped shirt, a red sash, a black scarf. I think we fit in OK. Jim even picked up a pair of clip-on earrings!

Jim and the birthday boy


Ahoy me mateys! This was a great party


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Am I dreaming?

 I had to ask Jim to pinch me, I must be dreaming. This little town, Bexhill-on-Sea, feels like a fairy tale. The sea is just a 5 minute walk from the train station, the weather is sparkling and sunny. The streets of the town are lined with shops: restaurants, food stores, banks, second-hand stores and more, and there are people everywhere. We arrived on a Wednesday and there were people everywhere, all speaking with that delightful British accent, and they all seemed happy. No one was rushing anywhere, no one was dressed in business clothes. I guess it is a beach - tourist town, but these people all seemed like locals, not tourists.

Everyone is out walking, and you can walk to everywhere. We met up with Phil to walk Murphy and we ended up going 3 miles! Most of it was along a broad pathe by the Sea.

Follow that Duck - an art trail in Bexhill

Adding to the fairy tale, they have these ducks everywhere. The photo above was our favorite one with the undersea artwork.

Notice the sign “Dogs welcome”

I love this place!

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Headed "across-the-pond"

 So far, our plan has worked out quite well. The whole goal of this trip was to visit Phil and Tracey in the UK for Phil's 60th birthday party. We combined it with a road-trip up the east coast so we could catch a non-stop flight out of JFK. The road trip has been wonderful! You can always tell by the quantity of photos. When we were just home for July, my monthly album has 12 photos in it. My August album (and August isn't over yet!) has 87 photos. 

We left the RV in Jimmy's driveway and packed our carry on bags to catch a ride to JFK. We got there early enough to relax, have a snack and a glass of wine while waiting for our British Airways flight. At the gate, there were plenty of available power outlets at a counter where we could sit with our computers. So civilized.

The flight was right on time and we were on our way. A 7 hour overnight flight and we arrived at Gatwick airport about 8am. With no sleep! So disappointed. We took 2 Tylenol PMs and expected to be able to sleep in our seats at least a few hours. Not a chance, the tylenol actually seemed to have the opposite effect on me and left me restless. It was torture. And it was a full flight - we had the aisle and the next seat in the center 4. Not even a window to lean against. We were zombies getting off the plane, but all was so easy. We just followed the crowd, slid thru customs, and soon saw a sign that said "All train tickets here." We purchased one way tickets to Bexhill-on-Sea and were told the train would be at platform 2 in 10 minutes. Platform 2 was just a 2 minute walk, and we were on our way. An hour and a half later we were in Bexhill.

Bexhill train station

Just a few blocks walk to SeaSpray Rooms where we would be staying

Unfortunately, we couldn't check in till 3. I SOO wanted to sleep! we found a bench on the beach where we could sit in relative comfort on a beautiful day. We went back to SeaSpray about 1-ish and they said, Good News! your room is ready early! We crashed into blissful sleep.

LBI Family

 Jim lived on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, from the mid 60s to the mid 70s, and he's taken me there nearly every year since we've been RVers. We love it, and we always stay at his old friend, Jimmy Lyon's, house. He has a big driveway that ends right at the bay, and it is our second home.

If I have one gorgeous sunset photo from this spot, I have 250! I can never resist.

We love that we can stay here, without intruding on the rest of the house, because he has plenty of family that comes to visit as well. We like to think of them as our extended family! This year we got to meet the latest addition - Logan. What a cutie-pie!

1-year-old Logan with Dad - Bob

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Outer banks

Ocracoke campground on the Hatteras National seashore holds a special place in our RVing memories. 
 See blog posts from 2004: Ferry to Ocracoke  One month on the road - yep, the first time we were here it took us a month to get here from Fort Lauderdale! That's what fulltime RVing is all about. This time we've taken 5 days. 
The first time we were here is when I had my panic attack about living on the road - I got over it pretty quick! We both loved the fulltime lifestyle. Wherever we parked the RV was home. Today I'm also in a quandary - at the other end of the spectrum. We love our townhouse in Fort Lauderdale so much that we really have to push to leave it. We've replaced the big RV rallies with an online audience, so we don't need to travel by RV much. The "Rhythm of the Road" and The Open Road no longer holds the same appeal. I just wouldn't write those posts today. I mean, it's OK - I'm even quite comfortable driving this little van - and it is the only time we listen to audible books - right now it's Life by Keith Richards (what a TRIP!)  
Maybe that's why I was intent on taking a route with Ferries this time. Break up the highway driving. We took the Cedar island - Ocracoke ferry to get to the Outer Banks. It's over 2 hours on the water. We stayed in the camper most of the time and could imaging we had a houseboat! We get another ferry ride today, headed north thru Hatteras, and the plan is to stay on the coast and take the Cape May ferry to New Jersey.

Once we got to the other side, it was just 10 minutes to the campground. I had made reservations just a couple hours before - no problem! It appears that there are some electric sites now (not in 2004) but, we were prepared for a dry camp night. The temperature was in the 70s, so I got a campsite right at the base of the sand dunes by the beach. So cool! And cheap - $28/night with -14 for our Golden Age National Park pass! So, just $14 to stay here ...

And, I slept so good that I even woke up with the sunrise, took the short walk over the dunes and got some beach-at-sunrise photos!

Monday, August 15, 2022

Our lives just got longer

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away .
We're staying the night at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina. It was a full moon a few nights ago when we stayed at Sebastian inlet. We were planning to walk to the beach then but we ended up going to dinner with our friend Robin so it didn't happen. 

Our site at Huntington Beach

Jim made a great dinner

Checking out the beach - lots of people, and dogs. 

We're parked a very short distance from the beach here at Huntington Beach, so even though moonrise wasn't until just after 10pm, we made it. I said "let's go" Jim said "ok" he grabbed a blanket (such a smart man) and we walked to the beach. The temperature was devine. 75 degrees and just a slight ocean breeze. We lay down on the blanket and listened to the surf. It was right out of the movies. In just a few minutes we saw a glimmer of light in the eastern sky. A few more minutes went by and we saw a bright orange ball. Along with the stars, it definitely took our breath away.

Laying on our blanket on the beach, listening to the surf

A deep orange moon rising over the Atlantic
It was a moment that took my breath away!