Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Day 23 - June 13, 2015 - Our Last Day of Vacation

This morning Bob & I got up and got ready to take the final leg of our vacation:  return to Indian Creek Campground.  Terryn & Kolton spent last night with Kelsey & Brett so we did our usual things in preparation for travel.  I got the inside of camper ready to travel and Bob got the outside ready to roll. We both had just gotten finished, had the 5th Wheel hooked up to the truck when Brett drove up with the kids.  They got out of the car with a full box of fresh donuts that Brett had gotten for us earlier in the morning.  We said our goodbyes to Brett and we all got buckled up in the truck.  Before we took off, we all held hands and said a prayer for safe travels, for our family & friends, for our family that is no longer with us, and for everyone that is sick or in need of prayers.  That is a daily ritual for us, especially when traveling.

 According to the GPS we have about 3 hours travel time to get to Indian Creek Campground (near Indian Creek, MO).  We decided to take a lunch break in Columbia, MO.  Bob pulled into the Bass Pro parking lot since they have a large lot and we can find a good place to park our rig.  There are a couple of restaurants next to Bass Pro so we walked to one of them and ate lunch.

We returned to the truck and we were on the road again.  Kristyn and I were messaging each other on our cell phones.  I told her we should be home in 3 days.  We wanted to surprise her by coming home today but she had already figured out that we were closer to home than we were letting on.  I had not mentioned in the blog where our location was the past two days (until I later added it), and was late posting the blog yesterday, in order to surprise her.  That surprise fizzled out when Bob had posted a Happy Anniversary to me a couple of days ago on facebook and it automatically posted our location.   Kristyn informed me that she knew we should be very close to home.  She asked what time we thought we would be arriving at the campground and I told her.

We arrived at Indian Creek Campground, got backed in to our site and got out of the truck.  Kristyn and Terry drove up to our site not long after we got set up and in the camper.  Needless to say, after being away from their parents for 23 days, Terryn & Kolton were very happy to see their Mom & Dad.  Kristyn and Terry were happy to see their kids.

Terryn went in the camper with me and we gathered all their bags and stuff.  It wasn't long and they were saying their goodbyes and thank you's to us for taking them on vacation.  It's always fun to go on vacation, but it is also nice to get back home.

This ends our wonderful vacation with our Grandchildren.  We feel fortunate to have been able to take Terryn & Kolton on this 23 day vacation, that their parents allowed us to take them for that many days, and that God allowed us to have a safe trip with no mishaps.

We made many great memories these past 23 days with Terryn and Kolton that we will always cherish. We enjoyed every minute with them, and we could tell they enjoyed it as much as we did.

The End...(until we take them on another vacation with us).  We love those kiddos to the moon and back!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Day 22 - Travel Day to Knob Noster MO to Surprise Kelsey!!!

Today is our 39th Anniversary!  Thirty-nine years sounds like a long time but doesn't really seem that long to me.  Time seems to fly the older we get....three grown daughters and two grandchildren later; we've had a lot of happiness in our life.  Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

This morning we drove from Branson, MO to Knob Noster, MO and arrived at Knob Noster State Park just in time to get the last campsite available.  We lucked out because we did not have a reservation. There is a Air Show at Whiteman Air Force Base this weekend so there are a lot of extra people in the area this weekend.  We knew this while traveling to Knob Noster; hoping there would be some campsites available.

After getting our camper set up in the campsite, we got in the truck and went to McDonald's in
Knob Noster to get a quick bite to eat for lunch.

Then, we drove to Warrensburg, MO which is about 15 minutes away as we were going to 'surprise Kelsey' with a visit.  We parked our truck about a half block from Kelsey's house and walked to her house and rang the door bell.....no answer.  We were all standing by the side of the door where she couldn't see us if she peaked out the window to see who it was.  Bob reached and rang the door bell again and Kolton knocked on the door.  We were just about ready to give up when we heard her coming to the door.  She opened the door wondering who would be at the door, realizing it was us when we yelled "Surprise".

She grabbed a hold of Terryn and Kolton and gave them a big hug & smack-a-roo. We all gave Kelsey a big hug.  Our surprise worked out; that's why I did not put in yesterday's blog that we were spending the night in Branson, MO...we didn't want Kelsey to know we were so close.

We enjoyed our visit with Kelsey (our youngest daughter) and her boyfriend Brett.   Our niece and her two kids had plans to visit with Kelsey and Brett this weekend and they showed up around 5:30 or so.  Her two kids were asleep when they arrived, so Monica carried them in the house and they continued to sleep for another hour and a half.  When the kids woke up, we all got in to vehicles and went to Tequila Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in Knob Noster to have dinner.  We were seated right away, but they were super busy so it took quite a while to get our orders.  That was okay because that gave us time to visit.  I forgot to take any pictures; hate it when that happens!

It was getting late by the time we got back to Kelsey's after eating dinner so we said our goodnight to them and went back to Knob Noster State Park.   Of course, Terryn & Kolton had already talked Kelsey into letting them spend the night, so we left without our grandkids and went back to our RV for the night.

We don't see Kelsey and Brett too often so it is always nice to stop by when traveling if it is in the right direction. Terryn & Kolton love their Aunt Kelsey and Brett.  They always have fun with them.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 21 - A surprise is in store for the Grandkids this morning

This morning we got up and left in the truck at 8:15 a.m.  Pops had something up his sleeve this morning for the grandkids; mainly Kolton.  Pops wouldn't tell the kids what the surprise was until we pulled into the parking lot of the "Duck Commander Warehouse".  We were where a lot of the action takes place on the television show "Duck Dynasty".

We arrived there half an hour before they open the store side of the building.  This is the actual building where the duck calls are produced.  They do not give tours to the public of the manufacturing section of the building.  I took some pictures outside while we waited for the store to open.

This is the new snowball building that is located at the front of the lot where the warehouse is located.

As we were waiting outside for the store to open, the parking lot began to fill up.  We noticed that it appeared that a lot of the vehicles were filming crew. Wow, we must have come here on the right day!  We watched the film crew having a meeting of sorts, and stood next to a trailer where the film crew kept their equipment,

The store opened, and it looked as though, it would be a while before any filming would start, so we went inside. Of course, Terryn and Kolton had to do the 'duck walk' into the store.  Ha ha!

Pops & Kolton immediately spotted the 'largest duck call' created to commemorate the Duck Commander's 40th Anniversary in 2012.

We looked around in the store and made a few purchases; then we went back outside to see if anything was developing.  Kolton was hoping to meet Willie.  We stood around outside in the hot sun for quite a while and not much was going on except the film crew was shuffling equipment around the Snowball building. They even had a couple of men from the Sheriff's department on hand.  A guy that evidently worked there came over to us and told us that we might want to stick around; that we just might get to see some of the Duck Dynasty family.  It was getting hotter by the minute as the sun was beating down on us, but it didn't look like anything was going to happen any time soon because the crew was still packing in equipment and setting it up so we went back into the air conditioned store.  We had seen Jep a few minutes earlier in the parking lot and I got a picture, but now he was in the store. 

 We walked around in the store and Pops & Kolton got around where Jep was standing and asked if they could get their picture taken with him.  He agreed, and I snapped their photo.

There was a display of the beginning of their duck call business in the store that was interesting.

A little later we went back outside again to see if there was any new developments.  It looked like the film crew was still setting up, but it appeared to be progressing.  We decided to stick around in hopes that we would get to see one of the 'stars'.

One of the spectators told us that Willie drove up in a truck a few minutes earlier and swung the truck into the parking lot "like he owned the place".  Sure enough, a few minutes later, Willie stepped out of hiding and gave a quick wave to his fans, and proceeded to the deck of the Snowball building.  I had my camera in hand and it accidentally took a few pictures.

Guess we will have to tune in to 'Duck Dynasty' to see what today's filming was all about.  We will be watching, for sure.  Kolton (and Pops) was pretty darn excited getting to see Willie, and getting a picture with Jep.

Well, that was our excitement (and surprise) for the day.  The surprise was on us!!!  We got to see Willie and Jep!!!  That made our day!

The rest of the day we traveled in Louisiana, Arkansas and into Southern Missouri. We ended up driving from Monroe, LA to Southern Missouri....we ended up staying the night in Branson, MO at America's Best Campground.  We got there and was set up at 7:00 p.m. and was back in the truck to go eat dinner at the White River Fish House next to Bass Pro.  Yum!

Besides getting to go to the Duck Commander Warehouse, seeing Willie and getting a picture with Jep, Kolton & Terryn's favorite thing today is when the GPS said "You've reached your destination." Quack! Quack!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 20 - Travel from Destin, FL to Monroe, LA

This morning we were up and leaving Topsail RV Campground near Destin, FL at 7:30 a.m.  This is a long 'travel day'. We traveled in four states today:  Florida, Mississippi, Alabama & Louisiana....7 1/2 hours on the road.

Kolton thought the George Wallace Tunnel (40 foot deep underwater tunnel)  was really neat and wished his sleeping sister had been awake while we were driving through it.  It was on I-10 at Mobile, AL.

The highway in Jackson, MS was terrible...it's a wonder our camper isn't in bits
and pieces;  the highway was so bumpy.

We rolled into Ouachita Rv Park in Monroe, Louisiana at around 4:00 p.m.

That is a long day riding in a truck pulling a 5th Wheel, but it went well because
 Terryn & Kolton were very good.  We had one fueling break and a couple of potty breaks. We
packed our lunch so we didn't have to stop somewhere to eat.

We have a surprise for the grandkids to go to in the morning,
 so stay tuned to find out what we have up our sleeve.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 19 - Last Day in Destin, FL Area

This morning we got up, dressed and away we went to eat breakfast at a place called Donut Hole. It appears that they do a lot of business.  There were two lines outside; one line to eat breakfast in the restaurant & a line to purchase donuts & pastries to go.  We were probably in line for close to 45 minutes.  We all had a yummy breakfast.

After we left the restaurant, Pops drove us to the boat harbor which seemed to take a while to get there because there was quite a bit of traffic.  Finding a parking spot near the harbor was not a easy task but Pops found a place after riding around the area a couple of times.

There are several places there that offer boat rides to look at dolphins, to fish, and there was a Pirate adventure boat. We tried to reserve the Pirate Adventure Boat Ride but it looked like a storm was coming our way and they thought it would end up getting cancelled, so we decided against it.

We walked around, took pictures and went into some shops.

Terryn spotted a Zip Line....this girl is not scared of anything.  It appeared okay for her age and size and it was priced right, so we let her go on it.

Then, she spotted a acrobatic stretch line on a trampoline and took a try at that.  She did several double flips.  She had told us that when she grows up she wants to work at the Dolphin Show at Sea World and be part of the acrobatic acts....we think this might be right up her alley.  Kolton is not as brave as Terryn...he opted to just watch his sister with us.

It looked like it could pour down rain at any time, so we went back to the truck and headed back to the campground.

Terryn, Kolton & I decided to explore the park so we went walking.
Terryn & Kolton played shuffleboard for a while.  When we got back to the camper, Kolton got artistic and made a tree out of twigs and leaves that were on the ground . He was proud of his work of art so I took a picture of it... and I thought it was quite good!!!

We decided to get our swimwear on and catch a ride on the trolley to the beach boardwalk.

While walking the boardwalk to the beach, we spotted a deer on the sand dunes.

It was cloudy, breezy and the waves were a lot rougher today but we still enjoyed it.  Kolton, especially, had a blast with the rough waves.

We played in the water a little over an hour and caught the trolley back to our area of the campground.  We all showered and went to a nearby restaurant, 'Elmo's Grill', that serves sea food for dinner.  We ate dinner and when we got back to the campground, they were hosting a outside movie so Pops and the kids went to watch the movie, Eight Below, while I stayed at the camper to do laundry and get ready for traveling tomorrow.

We all enjoyed Destin area and the white sandy beaches.  It has been a great two days that we have had! We were happy that our grandkids could experience the ocean....they loved it!!!