Monday, October 31, 2016

Back and Forth: Friends, Family, Vets, Football, Tourists and Reunions

After visiting the Eisenhower property in Abilene, Kansas in September 2016, we spent a few nights at Coachlight RV Park in Carthage, Missouri where we enjoyed playing golf on one of the best municipal courses we've seen. Wayne's looking to get new batteries for the coach but we struck out in Carthage. Seems our battery watering system is specially fitted to a particular battery brand.

The last week of September we moved to Tom Sawyer Campground along the Tennessee River in West Memphis, Arkansas. We stayed two nights and enjoyed nine holes of golf at another surprisingly good municipal course.

Along the river at Tom Sawyer Campground. 
On September 28th we met Gary and Shelia at Pin Oak Campground at Natchez Trace State Park for a few days. These are wonderful times we enjoy and we see them so seldom.

At Pin Oak Campground in Natchez Trace State Park (Tennessee)

Brothers enjoy a nice fall afternoon visit in the campground 

Nice golf bag.  Wayne on the left, Gary on the right. 

Wayne and Gary's wife Shelia 

Next stop would be Spring Lake RV Resort in Crossville, Tennessee but just for two nights as we were in route to Knoxville where we've called ahead and ordered the new batteries. Wayne feels confident. I am skeptical.  Yes, the batteries were ordered as promised but the technicians at Buddy Gregg RV removed and threw out our battery watering system. When confronted with the error, a complimentary replacement system system was ordered and would be sent directly to us at our winter destination.  You just can't trust anybody to do what they say they're going to do.

We were in terribly hot weather even though it's mid October and it's not likely to get cooler as we travel south from Knoxville to Auburn. It's time for Lexie's transition from medical care at Washington State University Vet School to Auburn. It's also time to have her six-month neurological check-up and blood work. As usual, we have a site at Auburn Leisuretime RV Park where we'll get to see our friends, Tom, Thomas and Emily Sparrow, who own the campground.

Lexie might be the patient today, but Ozzie gets a "once over" too and loves the attention of the female students.

Ozzie waits with mom for Lexie to return from her exam. 

WSU's treatment plan for Lexie's encephalitis was agreed to by the neurologists at Auburn. Her anti-seizure med was increased by .2 ml to coincide with the 2 pounds she's gained since her low weight in July. All her tests proved near normal, allowing us breath easy. She seems normal...  as normal as Lexie can be.

Now, we'll go right back up I-65 again. We're going to meet up with Pam and Ernie to "Do Nashville". A rendezvous at Nashville I-24 Campground in Smyrna is already on the calendar. We look forward, as always, to seeing our friend, Donna too, whose family owns the campground.

The familiar site of the castle along I-840 between Franklin and Smyrna, Tennessee

The Fab Four found a new favorite Italian dining establishment at Mossimo's LaTavola in Smyrna
Aspiring musicians are plentiful in this area. This is a family looking for their start at the campground.

Listening to the music with campground owner Donna.
Beside her is Don, a workcamper at I-24 campground. He's an author. 

Pam and me. No self-respecting tourist can say they've seen Nashville unless they tour the Ryman. 

Pam at Wildhorse Saloon -- closed for a special event. 

Wayne, me and Ernie. Upstairs at the George Jones store, restaurant and bar overlooking the river.

We spent an afternoon in historic Franklin, Tennessee too.
Here, Pam and I are modeling our best Halloween look. 

A visit to the Factory in Franklin called for antics on the giant rocking chair 

A night out with friends in one of Nashville's most trendy new restaurants. (Can't remember the name though)
Left to right, Ernie, Pam, me, Wayne, Donna and Gary

Tickets for the late Grand Ole Opry.
Performances by John Conlee, Connie Smith, High Valley, Del McCoury Band, Charles Esten and Little Big Town.
Here, Chip Esten sings Wayne's new favorite "I Love You, Beer"

Welcome to the Grand Ole Opry!

Donna and Molly (Ozzie's other girlfriend) 
My high school reunion was scheduled for one of the weekends we were in Nashville. We decided to make the long drive from Nashville to north Alabama and back the same evening in the truck instead of taking the whole rig, which would be comfortable but time consuming.  A reunion dinner was planned at one of the old barbecue places near the school. After we all visited at the home of classmate Danny and his wife.

Janice, Micki and Julia

Tony Sexton, Gwin Laxon, Micky Higginbotham, Sandra Copeland, Danny Barksdale, Carol Balch, ?, Larry Cottles, Julia Wales, Janice Adams, Iris Locke, Marilyn David, me and Hal Parvin. (can't see the guy in the blue shirt)

Carol and Larry looking over the old annuals.

Gerry Swan and his wife

Iris and her husband 

Hal and his date

Danny and his wife.
The two youngest grandchildren live in middle Tennessee so we spent as much time as possible visiting with them during our stay in Smyrna. As Halloween approached, Wayne and I had fun bringing bags of cheap holiday treats to three year old Barbara and Jude every visit.  Of course, it was good to see their parents, Cam and Amy too.

Cam, Barbara, Amy and Jude 

Will you fix this Granddaddy? 

Jude's scary 2016 Frankenstein Halloween costume. 

Jude and Barbara drink juice from the Halloween pumpkin sippie cups. 

Barbara wearing the dress of her Bride of Frankenstein costume.

Barbara is practicing her scary face for Halloween 

Who knew the Bride of Frankenstein was an angel?

As October wound down, we took to I-65 yet again, backtracking south.  We squeezed in a single afternoon/evening visit with Aunt Helen and cousin Lynn in Birmingham to watch Auburn play Arkansas.

Lynn is giving bites of people food to Ozzie. He adores her now. Aunt Helen on the right.

Wayne, Lynn and friend, Becky

Lexie, Ozzie and Aunt Helen's dog, Dusty. 

Helen and Dusty

Wayne, Lynn, Aunt Helen and Becky.
Yes, they are Bama fans. 

Dusty shows Lexie and Ozzie around his home. Lexie has to wear "non-skid" socks. 

Aunt Helen lets the dogs play all over the house. Including the sofa. 

Following the short two night stay at in Birmingham, we're headed back to Auburn where Ozzie will have a dental cleaning.

The big, scary exam table. Pop keeps Ozzie safe. 

With our best vet pal, Robert Lofton, Clinical Professor at Auburn Vet School.
This was taken October 31. Ozzie got an "all clear" for winter travel to Florida

Always love seeing Auburn's Raptor Center vehicles in the parking lot. Never got to see them in the clinic though.

On Monday, October 31, we pulled out of Auburn. Next stop... Myakka River Motorcoach Resort in Port Charlotte.