Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Heading South on I-81

We left Streamside Golf & RV Park around 7:20 am on Monday, August 8th.  Google Maps was showing the shorter distance home was to take I-90 West to Cleveland and then head south through Columbus, Cincinnati, and Louisville back to Nashville.  But, we would have had $30 to $50 in tolls plus it would not have been as scenic.  If you're going to be driving a lot anyways, why not drive the scenic route!

Plus, by taking I-81, we will be able to say we have traveled the entire distance of I-81 from the Canadian border to where it terminates in Tennessee at I-40.

We ran into just a little bit of traffic in Syracuse but not too bad...

...and then we were heading south through the mountains and valleys of New York State.

Uh-oh.  Another small slowdown.  Detour off of I-81 for a couple of miles due to a truck accident.

That's ok.  It only delayed us about 20 minutes and gave us another opportunity to see some beautiful New York State scenery.

Soon enough, we were back on I-81 with more mountains and valleys and farms.

Good-bye New York!

Hello Pennsylvania!

Crossing the Susquehanna...again.  I think the Indian meaning of Susquehanna must be snake because it seems like this river snakes all through Pennsylvania.

Now, that's something we don't see everyday.  The reflection of our motorhome on the back of the truck in front of us.  Hi Chuck and Melissa!

Traveling through the beautiful Pennsylvania mountains and valleys,

and the occasional work zone,

and, of course, across the Susquehanna River again as we go through Harrisburg, PA.

My last picture of Pennsylvania is one of what we saw a whole lot of in Pennsylvania...CORN.

Then, we crossed into Maryland.

We were only in Maryland for about 12 miles...

...before crossing the Potomac River...

...and entering West Virginia.

And we were only in West Virginia about 25 miles...

...before crossing into Virginia.  We weren't officially welcomed to Virginia because I didn't see a sign so we welcomed ourselves.   :)

We had stopped at a Flying J's just after crossing into Virginia to fill up with diesel because their fuel prices were so much cheaper than Pennsylvania.  The Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia are beautiful too.  Chuck and I remember driving this section of road when Tafanie and Cory lived in the D.C. area for a few years.

Other than his posterior getting a little sore, Chuck was feeling pretty good driving.  We didn't stop for the evening until we reached Wytheville, Virginia.  We stayed in a pull-through site at a nice KOA that was just a couple of miles off I-81.  Chuck hit a new one day driving record in the motorhome today:  637 miles!

We were up and on our way Tuesday morning by a little after 8.  It was a little cloudier today but the scenery was still pretty awesome.

In seemingly no time at all, we were being welcomed back into our home state of Tennessee.

And around Dandridge, Tennessee, we reached the end of I-81 where it terminates at I-40.

We had driven all 855 miles of I-81 traveling through six states from the Canadian border to Tennessee just since Sunday.  Where to next, Chuck?  Memphis is only 421 miles away.  :)

Just kidding!  We had decided to go back to Nashville when we were trying to figure out where to go next in New York State.  Donald & Anna have a 50th anniversary party coming up that we didn't want to miss plus we have some more things to get fixed on the motorhome.  Rrrrrrrr.  We discovered when we were in Wytheville that the big seal that goes around the front passenger side slide-out has come loose.  Plus, the rear slide-out awnings need to be replaced.  So, we decided to just hang out in Nashville for about a month.  Gives us more time with my mom too!  :)

Before heading all the way back to Nashville though, we decided to stop at one of our favorite RV parks, Spring Lake RV Resort in Crossville.  We stayed there Tuesday and Wednesday nights and even got a round of golf at River Run on Wednesday.  We didn't play all that well but the course sure is pretty!  (I wonder how many golfers say that??)

On Thursday, August 11, we pulled into Nashville Jellystone where we were able to get a monthly site which saves us considerably over the normal $60-$80 per night rates of Jellystone or KOA.

In just a little over a month, we have traveled from Fall Creek Falls in Spencer, Tennessee, to Wildwood, Florida (to get the front a/c replaced) to Ormond Beach, Florida (to get the two front shades replaced, then back north through South Carolina, North Carolina,stopping to tour around Williamsburg, Virginia, play 3 full days of pickleball at Chesapeake Bay Thousand Trails in Gloucester, Virginia, spending 11 fun-filled and wonderful days with Ken and Bonnie at Hershey, touring around Watkins Glen, New York, and then the Thousand Islands area of New York, including a quick day trip to Tim Horton's in Canada and then back to Nashville.  That's a little over 3,100 miles in just over a month!  Crazy!!!

We're looking forward to a month of being with my mom and family, visiting some friends, and playing some pickleball and maybe even a round of golf or two.  :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Last Days at Streamside (and a trip to Canada)

On Saturday, we played an early game of golf.  It was probably one of Chuck's worst days of golf and one of my best days.  For some reason, Chuck couldn't hit straight, and for some reason, I could.  Crazy!

Later that afternoon, we went to a driving range that I found about 25 minutes away.  We both got a extra large buckets of balls to practice and try to work on our drives and hitting all of our clubs.  We felt a little better after leaving and decided to stop at a little Italian restaurant in Mexico, New York, for a 39th anniversary dinner!  Yes, I said that right:  an Italian restaurant in the town of Mexico, in the state of New York.

Our dinners were delicious!  Chuck had spaghetti with meat sauce and I had baked ziti.  It also came with delicious garlic knots.  Anna, I know how much you love garlic knots and these were some of the best!  Of course, our breath was not all that great when we left!  :)

On Sunday morning, we decided to take a day trip to Canada.  Why, you say?  Well, it's only about 50 miles away, I wanted to be able to say we had driven ALL of I-81 (from the Canadian border all the way to where it dead-ends in I-40 in Tennessee), and the most important reason of all:  TIM HORTON'S!!!!

We first discovered Tim Horton's our first year of full-timing when we traveled to Newfoundland.  Tim Horton's seemed to be everywhere.  And then last year, when we went with Ken and Bonnie to visit Ernie and Noela in Quebec, we stopped at Tim Horton's more than once!  :)  Needless to say, I am a big Tim Horton's fan!!

We headed out in the car around 8 am and before long we were crossing the first of those 1000 Island Bridges built way back in 1937:

Then, we came to Canadian customs where, when asked, Chuck tried to explain we were just coming to Canada because I wanted to go to Tim Horton's in Canada for coffee.  I think she thought we were crazy.

I guess they decided it was o.k. to let a couple of crazy people from Tennessee into the country.  :)

We drove by the 1000 Islands Tower...

...and over the rest of those 1000 Island Bridges...

...before driving west about 15 kilometers to Tim Hortons in Gananoque, Ontario!  (When in Canada, you do as Canadians do -- use the metric system!)  :)

We ordered my Tim Horton's coffee and a box of TimBits.

Oh Ken..... do you remember those delicious TimBits????

We couldn't decide which one to eat first!  :)

Ah.....  There's nothing like Timmy Horton's coffee.  Especially when you have with a TimBit!

After we had finished our TimBits, I bought a bag of Tim Horton's coffee to take back.  Interestingly enough, the bag is bigger in Canada because a 400 gram bag of coffee is bigger than a 1 pound bag of coffee. And the exchange rate is .76 Canadian to $1 American making a $8.99 bag of Tim Horton's coffee only cost me $6.83!

And...since we ate every single one of those TimBits...

...I ordered another small box of the blueberry TimBits (my favorite) to take home!  I'm so bad!!! :)

We drove back via the Thousand Islands Parkway that followed the St. Lawrence River...

...and we were soon crossing those 1000 Island Bridges...

...and then beginning our trek down I-81...

...and waiting in line at Customs to cross back into the US.

In typical Gregory "waiting-in-line-and-always-being-in-the-slow-line" fashion, we were directed away from what ending up being the fast line, and then had to wait while they put up a pylon in our line for who knows what reason.  When we finally got to the Customs Officer, the first thing she told us is that we can't take pictures of the border crossing and all the security cameras at the border crossing.  She must have seen me taking a picture with my camera.  She said we would have to delete the picture.  So, I showed her the picture I had taken:

She soon realized that the security of our great United States of America was quite safe!!

She also didn't seem to believe that we went to Ontario just to go to Tim Horton's.  She said, "You know, we have Tim Horton's in the States...even not too far from here."  I said that I knew that but it wasn't the same as going to Tim Horton's in Canada!!!! Where they began!  (FYI:  in 2014 the Tim Horton's restaurants and franchises were bought out by Burger King.  A very smart move by Burger King from my viewpoint!)  I guess she realized we were just a couple of crazy but harmless rednecks from Tennessee and decided to let us back in.  :)

So...we began our journey down I-81 across the last 1000 Islands Bridge...

...and by the New York State countryside where the corn doesn't grow quite as tall as it does in PA.

Later that afternoon, we decided to give those narrow fairways of Streamside Golf & RV Park one last chance.  I played pretty horrible the first half and then on the 8th hole, I scored my first ever birdie!!!!!  On a dog-leg left hole, I hit one of my best drives ever, then hit my #3 wood long and straight two times with the 3rd stroke ending up on the green within 5 feet of the hole.  I knew if I could make the putt, it would be my first birdie!  I was so nervous, but I made it!  Yippee!!  Of course, we won't talk about my score or how bad I was on the rest of the holes.

Below is the fairway on the 11th hole.  This gives you an idea of how narrow the fairways are.

After seeing a lot of other golfers going back and forth across the fairways and into other fairways looking for their balls, we didn't feel quite so bad.

And besides, we have so much fun playing golf!  We may not be any good but then you get a birdie or a par or a really good (or lucky) shot, that motivates you to just keep on trying, playing, improving, and best of all, HAVING FUN!!!! :)