04.13.16 Roy’s Pot of Gumbo and We’re Heading Home!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 –  Remember a few days ago I shared our travel plan for the next few weeks.  Well scratch all of it!!!  I’ll tell you why we are scratching it, after I share what my amazing husband has done!

I’ve been the gumbo cooker our whole married life.  I’ve downsized the recipe to fit into our RV lifestyle but it still had most of the same flavor.  Roy decided recently he was going to make a pot of gumbo himself, for the very first time, EVER!!!

After he researched his mom’s recipe which is what I follow and some ideas from the internet, he put together a list of ingredients we needed to purchase.  We did that Sunday after church.

This morning I woke up around 8 am and the aroma of cooking gumbo filled all my senses!  He had all the chopping done before I got up.  If you’ve been the gumbo cook forever you can imagine what a wonderful experience that was to me!!

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He did things a little different than I do but what I am now smelling at 2 pm is magnificent!!!  I think we now have a Chauvin household King of Gumbo making!!!!  Roy loves gumbo, as do I, and we like to have it often. It is not a quick, simple, nor cheap thing to make.  If he’s willing to take this over I’m more than happy to relinquish that honor!!!

20160413_100801 (Medium) 20160413_100920 (Medium) 20160413_113711 (Medium) 20160413_113715 (Medium)The larger induction pot we have is an 8 quart so that’s the biggest gumbo I can make now.  After Roy cooking this today he decided we need a bigger one so off to Wal-Mart he went.  Got a phone call from him that he found a 16 quart one so he got it!!   We’re going to pour  whats in this pot into the 16 qt. one and add some more broth so we can have more!!!

Here’s the old and the new pots!


Here’s a photo of the finished gumbo in the 16 quart pot!  He’s already thinking of things he’ll tweek for next time.  Yes, I’m one happy lady!!



Okay for why we are scratching the travel plan for the next few weeks.  See this precious, adorable young girl?  Yes, Madisyn Ann Chauvin.  She played in her first ever softball game last night.  These are photos her dad and Misty sent to us along with a videos of her two at bats. Also some photos I grabbed from her mom’s Facebook page.


Chip and Madisyn – Chip is one of her coaches

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Madisyn’s first at bat video

Madisyn’s second at bat video

About halfway through the game it hit me.  We have no business being away from home while she’s playing ball.  We loved so much the many years our sons played ball and have always hoped she would follow in her daddy’s footsteps and play ball.  Now she is and we’re going to be many states away.  My Grannie heart just broke and I went into the living room and told Roy,  “We have to go home.  This is just not right.”  If you’re a grandparent you can certainly understand.  We discussed it an are planning to leave here early Thursday morning so we can be home before her 5:45 game on Thursday evening!

Yes we have shirts being printed with Madisyn’s Grannie and Madisyn’s Paw Paw on them!  Gotta do this right!!

We’ve cancelled our RV park reservations except for the one at Myrtle Beach.  That one we moved to end of the first week in June for two weeks.  We can still travel the east coast but we just can’t miss her first softball season!

That’s it for a while folks about our travels.  I’ll of course be writing about Madisyn’s games so if 7 year old coach pitch ball appeals to you, stay tuned!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

psalm 118 24


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04.12.16 Dora’s blowing cold air, Liquidation, RV and Fireworks browsing!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 –  5 am is not a time I normally choose to wake up.  Since that time was when I use to wake up on workdays, I choose to not wake up then in my retirement.

Monday morningbandd.banner Roy woke up at 4 and I woke up at 5 so we could take Dora to B&D Truck and RV Repair Service.  Her dashboard air conditioner has been 20160411_104946putting out only coolish/warmish air since we got back on the road.  Roy added freon before leaving Louisiana but it didn’t do any good.  We found B&D in the Marketplace in RVillage where someone else previously recommended them.

Dora arrived there a little before 7 and we picked her up around 11 am, all fixed and blowing cold air!! Yay for a wonderful RV service business!!! We have an extended care RV warranty which we’ve used a few times and covered most of this expense!

We  couldn’t stay in Dora while she was being checked out and worked on so we went roaming!  Almost 20160411_104942nothing is open at 7 am so we went to Waffle House where we enjoyed Pecan Waffles for me and a whole plate of breakfast foods for Roy!

20160411_081942We checked out the Foley Flea Market where all we found was an awesome three wheel motorcycle Roy’s drooled over!

Roy has decided he is going to make his first pot of gumbo so we went to Walmart and bought everything he’d need to do that.  I’ll be snapping photos and taking notes for a blog post devoted to this major event  in our married life!!  We think Wednesday will be “Gumbo Day”!

We had all sorts of things planned to do to occupy ourselves but we were told we could come pick Dora up much earlier than we thought so we’ll have to do those great things another day!

Monday’s night sleep time was over 12 hours for me trying to catch up for the previous night!

We went out for a while on Tuesday to check out Liquidator Outlet in Foley which we visited last time we were here.  It’s just a huge building with discounted new stuff laying on tables.

Next on our outing was Camping World where we did some shopping and then went outside to check out some brand new small and large motor homes (Class A and Class C).  Even though they were new we’re still in love with our Dora, she’s the best!

We wrapped up this fun exciting outing by checking out this monster fireworks store, Shelton Fireworks, we pass every time we go in and out of our RV park.  We found out that in Alabama you can buy fireworks seven days of the week which is very different from in Louisiana.  We enjoyed browsing all the different types of fireworks they offered.  Check out this place!

20160412_152719  20160412_152058 20160412_151939  20160412_151727 20160412_151703 20160412_151645 20160412_151626 This is a dream place for a kid to go shopping!  It’s not so far away from Louisiana for folks to come over here to shop!  They told us their inventory is low.  During the summer the stacks of boxes will go to the ceiling.  Wow!

Well that’s it for our always exciting life, this Monday and Tuesday!  Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!



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04.04.16 to 04.10.16 Alabama Gulf Coast – Week One

alabama-welcome-signMonday, April 11, 2016 – Alabama Gulf Coast – Week One

We arrived here on Monday, April 4th in the late afternoon. We settled in and stayed around the park our first two days. We like to just stay put when we first get somewhere if we can. Check the park and the area out a bit before we go exploring.

On Wednesday we went to Orange Beach and Flora Bama which I wrote about in other blog posts. Here’s links to those:

Orange Beach, Alabama

Flora Bama on the Florida Alabama state line

Thursday and Friday we stayed home. Roy worked on cleaning up the headlights on our truck and I worked. I cooked a big pot of gumbo which we enjoyed for dinner for a couple of days!

Saturday we went to the strawberry festival. This happens to be the same weekend as our Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival back home! Here’s a link to that blog post: Baldwin County Strawberry Festival

Sunday we went into Mobile to church at Dauphin Way Baptist Church. This church has an interesting history, part of which I saw when I attended church there with my son several Dauphin_Way_Baptist_Churchyears ago. The church split that day with the Reformed members going with their Reformed pastor to a new church. The traditional Baptists remained and make up the church membership today.

I truly love the simplicity of the interior (no matter what the size) dwbc3751of all of the Southern Baptist Churches we’ve visited. Some may be grand in size but the interior has no statues, paintings and other decorations which is what I mean by simplicity. Dauphin Way is the absolute largest church I’ve ever been in.

We were treated to hearing a young man from University of Mobile sing The Holy City Jerusalem. I don’t even know how to classify his voice, just that it was strong in both bass and tenor. I wouldn’t have known the song by the name but as soon as I heard him sing I knew I’d heard it many times. The lyrics are as follows:

Last night I lay a-sleeping,
There came a dream so fair,
I stood in old Jerusalem,
Beside the Temple there.
I heard the children singing,
And ever as they sang,
Methought the voice of angels
From Heav’n in answer rang.
Methought the voice of angels
From Heav’n in answer rang.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
Lift up your gates and sing;
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna to your King.
And then methought my dream was changed,
The streets no longer rang.
But with a glad Hosanna
The little children sang.
The sun grew dark with mystery,
The morn was cold and chill,
But the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill.
But the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
Hark, how the angels sing
Hosanna through the ages,
Hosanna to your King.
Then once again the scene was changed,
New earth there seemed to be.
I saw the Holy City
Beside the timeless sea.
The light of God was on its streets,
The gates were open wide;
And all who would might enter
And no one was denied.
No need of moon nor stars by night
Or sun to shine by day,
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away
Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
Sing for the night is o’er;
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna for ever more.
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna for ever more.

That wraps up our first week in Alabama. I have to say that it is quite hard being here with all the Alabama sports stuff everywhere so we just look away when we pass it!!!

If you want to learn more about this part of the Alabama Gulf Coast you can read the blog post I wrote back in 2014 of our first stay here: 2014 Visit To Alabama

We’ve planned out our travels through the end of May and made our reservations at the parks along the way.robertsdale to myrtle beach

Sometimes the planning is my least favorite part of this as it requires a lot of research and time. For those times I call in Roy’s great thinking through things skills!

One week in Fountain, Florida (near Panama City, Florida) April 18 – 25
Two weeks in Unadilla, Georgia April 25 – May 9
One week in Hinesville, Georgia (near Savannah, Georgia) May 9 – May 16
11 days in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina May 16 – May 27
We do not usually make reservations this far out. We did this because we really want to stay at Briarcliffe RV Resort in Myrtle Beach and we couldn’t get reservations there until May 16th so we worked backwards from there. We also want to spend time in the Savannah area so this travel plan takes care of both of those. We’ve also driven through the Florida panhandle dozens of times before we are choosing to skip that route and go through the middle of Georgia then to the Georgia coast, skipping going through Jacksonville.
So that’s our first week in Alabama. We’ve already started the second week with a trip to the RV service shop, but more on that later!
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04.10.16 Baldwin County Strawberry Festival in Loxley, Alabama

strawberry festivalSunday, April 10, 2016 –  The Baldwin County Strawberry Festival really surprised me with its size and attendance.   Being from the Ponchatoula area which boasts the title of Strawberry Capital of the World or something like that I didn’t expect a Strawberry Festival elsewhere to be very much.  But it really was!

We first had to make our way through a huge traffic jam from cars heading to the festival on Saturday.  ponchatoulaSomeone pulled out of their spot on the highway and we were able to jump right in it after waiting in line at least 30 minutes.

The location of the festival is at the Loxley, Alabama Municipal Park, several acres  of beautiful southern pines with a 1/2 mile walking trail.  The craft and food vendors lined both sides of the walking trail.   It was quite similar to Ponchatoula’s Festival in regards to what was there, just how it was laid out and the setting was different!

10174914_1531403353752912_6664098437234443929_nOver the years, the Alabama festival has seen much growth from a handful of craft and food vendors, to more than 175 arts and craft exhibitors, a dozen different food vendors, an exciting carnival, wonderful children’s games, antique auto show, exhibits and live music.

What was missing was the dozen or so tents or booth that local clubs, churches and school groups have at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival.  The food vendors were businesses and there were no chocolate covered strawberries or other strawberry delights except for strawberry shortcake.  I missed that aspect of the festival.  Here’s a few photos I took while we were making our way through the festival.


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20160409_132725 (Medium)20160409_132735 (Medium)THE STRAWBERRY COURT

2016 strawberry court


SOME OF THE SIGHTS AT THE FESTIVAL – Some of these will never won’t be found in Ponchatoula at the Festival!

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20160409_133445 (Medium)20160409_133340 (Medium)20160409_133648 (Medium)20160409_133616 (Medium)20160409_133933 (Medium)20160409_133600 (Medium)I left quite impressed with what we saw.  It was much larger than what we had time to see today.  We saw food, rides, crafts and lots of people.  We didn’t make it to the classic car show, music venues, nor did we see nearly all of the food and craft tents. Everything that is spread out on many streets and side streets in Ponchatoula is all in one place here.  I liked that!

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04.07.16 Flora Bama on the Florida Alabama state line

maxresdefaultThursday April 7, 2016 – After playing on the beach we went as far as the Alabama and Florida border where we enjoyed dinner at Flora Bama Restaurant.  We enjoyed  eating our chicken tenders and fried shrimp on the second floor overlooking the beach!  Amazing scenery! The photo on the left was taken from the internet because I think it shows more of the large size of this place than my photo down below from the front. The interior seems to be built mostly of sheets of plywood.

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They actually have a Worship service on Sundays here!20160406_171424 20160406_171404 20160406_175653Flora Bama is actually several different businesses along the highway but we ate at the Restaurant Bar one.  It truly looks like a beach shack mansion. It’s huge and almost every wall, shelf, etc. are covered with people’s signatures and other writings. It is way casual and I was probably over dressed

20160406_17435120160406_17490220160406_17513520160406_174330After eating we walked through some of it and came across a couple of guys playing music and several clothes lines crisscrossing the room with women’s bras on them, piled on top of each other.  Never have I seen anything like that in my life!  We listened to the music (which was really good) and stared at the bras for a while before moving on! We did not see anyone adding theirs to it while we were there, whew!!


Another room had someone else playing and the crowd was singing along with him, Battle Hymn of the Republic,and we joined them in singing.20160406_174201

After working our way through the maze of rooms we browsed the gift shop and headed home.  Lots of our friends have visited these Alabama beaches and now we have also!  I am so glad we are here on Orange Beach and at Flora Bama to see what all the fuss is about.  The sand is beautiful and I even scooped up some seashells to put in our gardens when we get home! The restaurant is such a laid back, beach bum kind of place.  If I was younger I’d probably see it a little differently but

We’ve been through this area before so we are trying to do and see different things this time.  We’ve eaten at Lambert’s Cafe where they throw the rolls to you so this time we chose to eat at Flora Bama!


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4.06.16 Orange Beach, Alabama

Thursday, April 7, 2016 –  Happy 37th Birthday to our oldest son!

20160406_180635Roy and I went to B & D Auto Service yesterday to schedule an appointment with them to work on our motor home’s dashboard air conditioner.  After taken care of that we headed towards Orange Beach.  It is a beautiful, beautiful beach where we played a bit and scooped up on a bunch of seashells! There are huge condominiums all over the place!  Here some photos of the condos and us on the beach!

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Next we went to the Florida Alabama State Line on the beach where we enjoyed dinner and an amazing view at Flora Bama!

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