December 5, 2012

December 5, 2012    Day 208                              

Bay Point Marina, Panama City, FL
Total miles to date:  4044.3

We are finally back on Carried Away after our long road trip of over two weeks. We had such a good time visiting our family.  We spent the first night with Bill’s brother Chuck and wife Becky in Baton Rouge and were joined by their sons and families for dinner also. We were treated to delicious gumbo and learned the difference between Creole and Cajun.  It was a fun evening!!

The next four days were spent at Fort Hood, TX visiting our daughter Kari and her family.  We stayed at a hotel on post but were at their house each morning to begin a full day of activities.  Our four grandchildren (Ashley, 10; Nathan, 8; David, 6; and Rocky, 4) kept us busy!  Our son-in-law, Robert played in a touch football game on Wednesday morning so we were all there to cheer him on.  We helped them decorate for Christmas, had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at their home, went to a fabulous animated Christmas light display, and watched the kids at their first track and field experience. RG2 organized this program several years ago and we were happy to meet him. We had a great family time with them during the four days!

From Texas we drove to Littleton, CO to visit our son, Bill and wife, Amy, and our 17 month old grandson, Will. We spent four days with them in their lovely new home.  Night one included dinner out and a visit to Santa Claus,  although Will would have preferred to have skipped this part!  Nevertheless we all enjoyed it and took some good photos!  A few hours later Bill became very ill with what we thought must be food poisoning. But, three days later when our son caught it, we realized it was a viral flu that was highly contagious.  Add to that we had just come down with colds when we arrived, and you can imagine the guilt we had about bringing illness into their house.  We loved spending time with Will, a happy toddler always in motion! We did help them decorate their Christmas tree and put up the Santa Express Train around the tree, much to Will’s delight!

We left on Thursday afternoon and headed southeast. We stopped in Dodge City, KS and watched a very informative movie about the history of Dodge City and Boot Hill.  By Friday evening we arrived in Enid, OK where we lived from 1971-1975 when Bill was stationed at Vance Air Force Base.   Unfortunately as we checked into our hotel room, Joyce was attacked by the flu and we had to stay there two days until she could travel.  We did drive around town to see our old neighborhood before we left.  On Sunday we drove to Conway, AR.

Monday afternoon we toured The Vicksburg National Military Park.  Joyce’s great-great grandfather fought here during the siege that ended on July 4, 1863. We were able to locate the monument for the 126th Illinois Infantry, and also went inside the large Illinois memorial building with the soldiers names inscribed with their unit.  This is an impressive site high on the bluffs above the Mississippi River. We reached Hattiesburg, MS later that day and spent the night.

Tuesday morning we stopped in Mobile, where we were docked a few weeks ago.  We visited briefly with Laura and Ross, on The Zone, while they are having work done on their boat at Dog River Marina.   We hope they will catch up with us soon!  From there we drove to Pensacola and toured the Naval Air Station Museum. It is a fabulous display of airplanes but we only had two hours and could have spent several more hours there.  We decided to drive on back to Panama City that night, so had to cut the tour short.  Hopefully we can return some day!

And here we are on Wednesday, trying to get reorganized. We did not get a lot of tasks done, but made some progress. We are still very tired and do not feel 100% well yet.  We have kept the rental car for a week and will get provisions for the boat soon.  We have many chores, repairs, and cleaning to do also and plan to remain here at Bay Point Marina for at least another week.

We are happy to be back on Carried Away but at the same time loved seeing our family and more of this great country.  We will probably not update the blog each day while we are just docked here at the marina but will check back now and then to update our progress.

Will in the park
Amy, Will, and Bill
Robert and Kari