Friday, September 9, 2011


We had an opportunity to spend a few days in Virginia visiting my son Christopher, Cheryl, and the kids.  It is so hard to believe that Elisabeth is 15 years old, Emma is 9 and Eryn is 7.  My, my, how time just gets away from us.
I was only able to help Christopher with a few projects around the house before the weather turned lousy thanks to Tropical Storm Lee that was a real rainmaker for the entire east coast.

Elisabeth (top) Eryn (L) and Emma (R).

With the weather being what it was coupled with problems we were having with electric power at the campground we were at made our stay rather uncomfortable.  There was nothing to do at the campground in the rain and all the projects I had wanted to do were just not possible since they were all outdoors.  I will be scheduling a trip up to see Chris and the kids soon and will hope for better weather.   We were all very disappointed with the short visit.

Christopher, Cheryl and the gang

Elisabeth, Andrea, me, Emma and Eryn

Christopher, Emma and Eryn
Right now we are in Dahlonega, GA visiting some friends.  We will be leaving Sunday to make our way back to Florida.  It is so hard to believe that we have been on the road since Dec. 14, 2010.  We have covered a lot of miles and have really enjoyed ourselves.  More updates later.

Miles of smiles,
Charlie, Andrea and of course Angel

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We have really enjoyed our stay here at Branson Lakeside RV Park.  As I have mentioned in the past that this was our first experience with workamping, and I must say we really enjoyed the three months here.  The time has really flown by.  One of the things we like most about RVing is meeting new people, and that holds true with meeting and spending some time with fellow workampers.  Sharing stories of where we have traveled and the things we have seen spark renewed interest on where to travel next.  There is always something to be learned, and shared when sitting around talking with fellow campers. 

Branson is known for its entertainment and candidly we were very impressed with the caliber of talent.  We would highly recommend taking the time to visit Branson and check out some of the shows.

Spending these past few months with my sister Cris and brother-in-law Mike has added so much to the enjoyment of this trip.  It has been years since we have spent any kind of time together and it is only because of RVing that this was possible.  I am so glad that they too enjoy this lifestyle.

Our departure from Branson is Sunday as we begin our journey back to Florida.  As we make our way east and south we decided to try our luck at the casinos in Tunica, Mississippi.  We plan on spending two days there before we continue east to visit my son Christopher and family who live near Roanoke, Virginia.  We should arrive there on the first of second of Sept..  Next stop will be Dahlonega, GA where we will see our friends Roy and Susan and Paul and Debbie, then it is back to Florida where we found a campground not too far from The Villages where we will spend the next few months visiting friends and family. Of course we will also be traveling down to the Ft. Lauderdale area to see friends and family there as well.

Our campsite at Branson Lakeside RV Park

We have accepted workamper jobs at Tybee Island (Savannah) Georgia beginning Feb. 1, 2012.  We look forward to it as we have stayed at the campground years ago and really enjoyed it as well as Savannah.  Another reason we look forward to it is because one of the other workamper couples we met here will also be workamping there in March 2012.

Cris, Mike, Andrea and me at Dogwood Canyon, MO

An Elk at Dogwood Canyon
Until next time, miles of smiles.
Charlie, Andrea and Angel


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It is hard to belive that we have been in Branson since June 7th.  We departed Valencia on June 1st after attending Amanda's play at her school.  She played Dorothy in Wizard of Oz.  She was terrific in both her singing and her spoken lines.  After the play we said our goodbye's, drove back to the campground, hooked up the car and started the journey east.

Our first stop was Needles, CA where we were able to stop at a KOA that was convenient to I-40.  From Needles we continued east to Holbrook, AZ.  This was a campground that was also convenient to I-40, but had very little else to offer.

We had planned to make Albuqurque, NM our next stop, but about 40 miles west of Albuqurque Andrea saw signs for the Dancing Eagle Casino that offered $10 RV camping for a full hook up site (water, electric, and water).  Well Andrea made a donation of $50 at the slots.  She was entertained for a few hours so in the long run it was worth it.  I am sure that most of you have read about the wild fires in Arizona.  The smoke was quite thick in western New Mexico which make for a strange sunrise in the morning when we were ready to leave.

Our next stop was Oklahoma City, OK.  We had a hard time finding a campground here as there was some sort of Little League event going on, but we did manage to find one, and once again it was convenient to I-40.  It was a long day to get here, but it was worth it as we were really making good time to Branson.  You have to understand that we only average about 58 - 60 MPH, and stop pretty frequently to stretch our legs, walk Angel and take a "P" break.

We arrived in Alma, Arkansas on the 6th which was only 4 hours from Branson.  We decided that to push to make Branson would be a mistake.  We are glad we did as the drive would have been a little stressful with lots of single lane winding roads. 

So, on June 7th we arrived at Branson Lakeside RV Park at about 11 AM.  My sister Cris and my brother-in-law Mike greeted us on our arrival.  It was so good to see them.  I was so glad that they were able to also get workkamping jobs there as well.

Our timing to be here was pretty good in that the whole area was under water due to flooding.  The shame is that the flooding was because up river they had to let out water from a dam that was going to breach.  Guess you could call it controlled flooding.  The long and short of it is that the camp ground had to be evacuated.
By the time we got there things were pretty much back to normal.  The only real sign of an issue is the the office is now a temporary trailer as the office and laundry have to be worked on before they can be used.

We have been to a number of shows here in Branson, that we have really enjoyed.  We have hardly touched the tip of the iceberg with what we have seen.  There are over 100 venues here in Branson so we have many more shows to see.  Spending time with Cris and Mike has been really great.  It is like we live on the same block in a neighborhood. 

Yesterday we signed up at the Branson Rec center.  It has all sorts of workout equipment, and classes to keep us fit.  We are so luky to have this available to us, and plan on taking advantage of this fantastic facility.

Amanda as Dorothy in Wizzard of Oz.

Smoke from fires in Arizona - Dancing Eagle Casino, New Mexico

Our camp site in Branson, MO

Construction on bridge next to campground.
Branson Lakeside RV Park.

Until next time, miles of smiles.

Charlie, Andrea and Angel

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This is our first chance to write since we left Santa Clarita on April 25th.  We are in Mount Shasta, CA, and as I sit here at the computer and look out the window it is snowing.  Yes, snowing.  Here it is almost summer and the colder weather seems to follow us.  However, we know that hot weather is not far ahead as we continue south and on June first head east for Branson, MO.  So for now we should enjoy the weather.  We have plenty of warm weather clothing with us so at least we can't say if was just taking up valuable space.  Anyone who has an RV or boat knows that space and weight is a premium.

We began this part of our journey April 25.  We said our goodbyes to the kids and headed for the Elks Lodge at Atascadero.  We stayed there for a few days enjoying a wonderful park we found that had a walking path around a beautiful lake.  Also, nearby is Paso Robles that has wonderful vineyards of which we stopped for a wine tasting and purchased a few bottles.  We also took a ride to Morro Bay which was about a 30 mile drive.  Morro Bay is noted for a huge rock that sits in the bay.  It is difficult to describe, but it is beautiful to see.  The day there was so windy we just could not enjoy the day, but we could enjoy what we did see.

Our next stop was Santa Cruz at an RV Resort right in the middle of the Redwoods.  WOW!  The trees are gigantic, and these aren't the really big ones.  We arrived there on Wednesday and one of the resturants in town has a Main Lobster special for $11.95, so we made our way into town.  The resturant is located right on the pier at Santa Cruz beach.  After dinner we enjoyed a walk on the pier.  Just beautiful.  Not too far from the campground was a state park that had great trails to walk thru the Redwoods.  Andrea, Angel and I enjoyed the walks and the scenery deep in the Redwoods.  I was able to contact an old friend of mine that I have not seen since my 50th birthday party.  We had a chance to spend some time with Nick and his wife Mary Ann to do some catching up.  they have a beautiful home that is in walking distance of the town of Capitola that is a beach front community.  It was ironic that it was Nicks 40th birthday.  I guess it is safe to assume that Nick is quite a few years younger than me, but hey, whos counting.

Next stop:  The Elks Lodge in Petaluma.  Traveling through San Francisco in an RV towing a car is a little un-nerving, but going across the Golden Gate Bridge definitely keeps you on alert.  Once across it was only about an hour to Petaluma and that is where we hooked up with Andrea's friend Beverly.  She lives close by.  It was great spending some time with her.  Near by the lodge is a wonderful park that is a preserve that has walking trails around the lake and along the Petaluma River.  While here I had a chance to go to a Ford dealer to change the oil and rotate the tires on the tow car.  I am so glad we have a tow car because we do a lot of driving once we get to an area to do some exploring.  It is very hard and expensive to do that in the RV.  At about 7 MPG it is not practicle.  We had a great time in the area, but after a few days here it was time to move north.

Next stop:  Garberville, CA.  The Redwoods here are really BIG.  We took a drive to Shelter Cove that is a most interesting little town on the coast.  We had a chance to see some migrating whales that travel through the area every year at this time.  The road to get there had more twits and turns then any road we have ever driven on.  It was only about a 30 mile drive, but it was a really slow drive.  It was worth it.  After a picnic lunch by a light house we headed inland to take a drive on the Avenue of the Giants.  That is where we saw the Redwoods in all there splender.  This is where some of the biggest as well as oldest trees in the world are located.  We feel so fortunate to be able to see this.  However, it is time to move on.

Next stop:  Crescent City, CA.  This was a very profitable stop.  Nearby the campground we stoped at a casino.  I'm not much for gambling, but Andrea on the other hand really loves the sounds of the machines and the whole thing.  Unlike most other times, this was different.  She hit on a couple of different  machines winning $270.  And she didn't give it back.  We walked out as winners.  It was time to move on really fast so we wouldn't be tempted to go back.

Next stop:  Grants Pass, OR.  Well we made it to Oregon.  The ride to Grants Pass was just beautiful.  Almost the whole way we drove parallel to the Rogue River.  Gorgeous.  We didn't now at that time how much of the Rogue River would be in the picture for the rest of our time in Oregon.  The campgound we stayed at was right on the river so we had the sight and the sound of the river for the four days we stayed in Grants Pass.  We enjoyed the relaxation by the river.  However, it was time to make our way a little closer to Crater Lake so we moved on to Prospect, OR.

We stayed at a Prospect RV Resort that was about 30 miles from both Crater Lake and Diamond Lake.  All I can say is that these are the most beautiful results of a very violent past.  Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US at 1,943 feet, and is about 5 miles around.  Even though we are in May there is still lots of snow on the ground.  It was just amazing to see.  I think the snow really added to the beauty as the water is this deep blue color that was in such contrast to the white snow.  After we spent some time here we then drove to Diamond Lake.  We didn't know that the lake was frozen over and covered with snow, but even with that it was beautiful to see. 

Before reaching Crater Lake we stopped at Rogue River Gorge.  The power of the river along this section is quite iimpressive.  The volume of water that comes down from the mountain snow melt is amazing.  It was time to move on, and begin our journey back into California.  Next up is Mount Shasta.

Mount Shasta, CA.  As we made our way down I-5 Mount Shasta begins to come into view about 75 miles from the actual mountain.  She stands at over 14,000 feet so it is very domineering to all its surroundings.  We just got here yesterday afternoon so we haven't had a chance to really see it.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog it had been snowing.  Since I started writing is has stopped so in a little while we will head out to see if we can take a drive up the mountain.  There is lots of snow on the mountain so it is hard to say what we will see.  That is part of the adventure, not knowing what lies ahead.  So until next time.

Miles of smiles,
Charlie, Andrea, and of course Angel

Shelter Cove, CA

The drive up to Crater Lake.

Crater Lake, Oregon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Well we said our good byes to the four A's (Adam, Alma, Amanda, and Aldan) on Monday.  We had a great time being here.  However, it was time to do some more traveling.  Besides, it really wasn't goodbye as we will see them again in Carmel for Memorial Day weekend.  We will be there for six days, and then we will head for Branson, MO.  We will be doing workamping there from June 10 until mid-October.  More about that later.

We spent a few days at an Elks Lodge in Atascadero which is near Paso Robles.  This area is known for its vineyards which are every where you look.  In Atascadero we found a park with a lake.  There is a walking trail that goes around the lake.  We walked around the lake that is 1.3 miles around.  We did it 3 times in just over an hour (and of course Angel was with us all the way).  We really enjoy walking, and try to get in at least an hour every day.

We arrived in the town of Felton which is just 7 miles north of Santa Cruz this afternoon.  We are staying at a campground that is in the middle of Redwoods.  It is hard to believe that trees could be this big around and be so tall.   What is amazing is that these are not nearly as big as the trees further up the coast.  We will be seeing them next week.

We are spending 3 days here so we hope to see as much as we can.  We will be getting together with a friend of mine that I have not seen since my 50th surprise birthday that Andrea threw me.  Nick was a customer I had out here in California back in 1988-89.  My how time flies.  We are really looking forwad to seeing him in the while we are in the area.  We will have more in a few days. 

Miles of smiles, Charlie and Andrea

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


On Sunday we took a drive with Adam, Alma, and the kids (and of course Angel) in their new (almost new)mini-van.  With 3 rows of seating it was very comfortable.  We stayed at a Best Western on the beach in San Simeon.  We stayed there a few years ago and remembered how much we enjoyed it.  It is a pet friendly hotel which makes it great for us.  We had an ocean view room with a fire place.   Really nice.  I don't know how many of you have ever been to this area of California, but if you haven't, you really need to.  It is just beautiful.  Just up the road from the hotel is Hearst Castle, and just beyond that is Piedras Blancas that is an Elephant Seal Vista Point.  Each year in the Spring the beach is just loaded with seal pups that go through a molting process of sheding their birthday coat.  What we saw when we visited was hundreds of seals just lying around, making noise and some were playing.  As pups, they sure were big.

After our stay in San Simeon we visited a friend of Adam's that is a major sponsor of the theater that Adam is the Managing Director for at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Ca.  Anyone who is familiar with drums or bongos is most likely familiar with the name Remo.  To make a long story short we visited their home in Cambria.  The house was beautiful and view of the pacific from the back porch was just amazing.  From there we followed them to their vineyard in Paso Robles which was about a 45 minute drive.  Yes, I did say vineyard.  Remo and his wife Ami where so gracious and showed us around their property.  It was truly a once in life time expierence.  They do not process the grapes, but instead sell them to Opolo Winery that produce several hundred cases of Remo Belli Vineyard Zinfandel that I must say is fantastic.    
We are still in Valencia and will be until April 25 at which time we will begin our travels to northern California.  We will have more on that later as our plans start to firm up.  Still a few weeks to go so we are making the best of our time here with the kids and the local area.
Until next time, miles of smiles.
Charlie, Andrea and Angel

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Thought we would give you an update on our visit here in California.  We arrived here at Valencia Village RV Resort on Jan. 23, and have kept ourselves pretty busy.  Our days usually begin with the three of us going for a long walk.  Of course you understand that when I say the 3 of us that it includes Angel.  There are so many areas to walk that are but a few minutes drive to get to.   The cities and community developers really put a lot of thought (and dollars) into creating these fantastic walking/biking trails.

So far we have attended a number of shows at the College of the Canyons Theater.  Andrea's son Adam is the Managing Director of the theater and is responsible for bringing in the various acts.  We have enjoyed acrobats from China, a musical, "All Shook Up", a Cabaret on Valentines day that had tables set up on stage where we sat in a very intimate setting being entertained by an excellent entainer.  It was really a fun evening.  The show we really got into was a tribute band to Queen named Gary Mullin and the Works.  They were really, really good, and had the whole audience on their feet.  If we had lighters we would have been lighting them off as we were really rockin.

A few weeks ago we had a Murphy Cousins Reunion at my cousins house.  He lives only about 45 minutes from where we are staying.  It was great seeing them as well as my Aunt and Uncle who also live in the area.
We will be getting together again before we leave the area.

So what is ahead for us?

We will be leaving this campground on April 23, and will be doing some sight seeing in the northern part of California.  Yosemite National Park is high on the list as well as Napa Valley.  We will be meeting Adam in Carmel on May 27 - June 2.  On June 3 we start heading east to Branson, MO.  Why Branson?  We have decided to try "Workamping".  What's that, you say?  In exchange for 2 days work we get our camp site for free.  Where we are staying is a city park and therefore are considered city employees.  The big benny is since we are city workers we get into most of the shows for free, and some of the shows at a discount.  Branson is known for it's entertainment.  We feel that this should be a real fun time for us.  We start June 10 and will be there until mid-October.  At that point we will be heading back east.  More on those plans later.

Bye for now.

Miles of smiles,
Charlie and Andrea