Well we made it back to East Texas Sunday afternoon. We were able to find an RV Park in Hallsville, Hitchin Post RV Park. It’s a small park, no pool or playground, but they have facilities, a laundromat, a 24 hour gas station next door, and their rates are really good.
So far everyone here is really nice and the owners even welcomed us our first day. It is very laid back and comfortable here, so I think we will stay for a bit.
Our travels back on Friday went without any further mechanical issues, thank goodness. Just some beautiful scenery and sunset. We had planned on stopping at the Ameristar Casino RV Park in Vicksburg, MS Friday night, but they were full. So we pushed on thru to Monroe, LA where we had planned on stopping Saturday to visit with one of Harold’s old Army buddies.
We pulled in to the Ouachita RV Park about 11pm Friday night and got everything set up. They had a night drop box so we went ahead and paid for two nights. It seems to be a nice little park. Reminds me of summer camp. They have a nice clubhouse with pool table, playground for the kids, and a swimming pool. It’s an older facility, but not too bad. My only issue was that the bathroom and showers look like they havn’t been cleaned in a year. Yuck! I don’t mind old, but filthy, no I can’t stand that. But overall the rest of the park is really nice.
Saturday afternoon we went and had lunch with Harold’s Army buddy, Norm. It was great to get to catch up on everything. The rest of the day was really relaxing. And quite surprisingly quiet. For being as close to I-20 as this park is, you don’t hear the road noise. It’s just peace and quiet.
They even have a pond that you can fish. Harold ran to the local Wal-mart to get some poles and bait, and him and Stormy set out their hand to try and catch something. Right away Stormy got the first bite and reeled in a little catfish. He wasn’t huge, but to her he was five feet long! 🙂 We fished the rest of the evening but only got a few more bites. But it sure was enjoyable. If you would like more information on Ouachita RV Park you can visit their webpage here!
Today we head back to East Texas. We were hoping to get back in at Fernbrook RV Park in Longview, but when I called Saturday to check our reservation for Sunday, we were told that they were full till after the balloon races, so we would have to wait a week. Let’s just say I was a little upset. We had reservations! But they rented our space out to a weekly camper to make more money. Let’s just say they won’t be getting any more of our money. It’s such a shame that they are so hard to deal with because it is a nice park and there arn’t too many nice parks around Longview. But we found another one in Hallsville that would love to have us and our money :), so we are headed there instead. I’m looking forward to returning to East Texas for a bit. At least for the next two weeks before me and the girls are off on our East coast trip to see my family.
I can’t believe its Friday already. The last week has just flown by. I’m glad we were able to push through all the problems we had on the trip down so that we could enjoy this last week. We got to do so much and got to relax by the beach.
Wednesday we just kicked back all day on the beach and just relaxed. We visited the beach in front of the Sandpiper Beacon Resort & Tiki Bar. It was really nice. I think if we are able to make another trip to PCB, FL without the RV we will stay here.
They are all inclusive. They have a waterslide at their pool, mini-putt-putt, a playground, activities planned every day, and a really great beach! After the beach we just kicked back at the RV and rested.
Thursday we went back to the Sandpiper so Holly could go Para-sailing.
They took a banana boat ride out to the boat and back again. She had a blast!
Afterward we headed over to Sharky’s to eat lunch on the Beach. It really was a great view. They have a huge deck that wraps around the back of the restaurant and each table has an umbrella to shade you from the sun.
Our waitress was great and the food was awesome. It was the most relaxing lunch I’ve ever had. We watched a storm roll in as we were finishing and just as we were stepping off the patio it began to ran. That worked out well, for us anyway.
After lunch we headed over to Coconut Creek Putt-Putt & Gran Maze and attempted to navigate our way through their maze. Nope! We didn’t make it. We spent about an hour going in circles and it just wasn’t much fun anymore so we headed out and played a round of putt-putt.
That was alot more enjoyable. Their course makes ours back in Texas look really lame. It was a great afternoon.
We all really enjoyed ourselves this week and Holly had some friends from back home actually in PCB this week too. So she met up with them Thursday evening over at Lavela. She had fun while we started getting everything packed back up to leave.
Friday morning arrived and so did the black clouds. We were able to get about half-way packed back up before it started to pour. Harold got soaked clean through trying to finish breaking down the trailer. But we got it all done and were on the road by 10:40 this morning.
Praying we have smooth sailing all the way home this weekend. We plan to stop in Vicksburg, MS this evening, then on to West Monroe, LA on Saturday to visit with one of Harold’s old Army buddies he hasn’t seen in years! then on home Sunday afternoon.
I’ll be glad to get home and get caught up on some things before me and the girls head to the East Coast in a few more weeks to visit my family.
Tuesday we planned to do some indoor activities and its a good thing to because it stormed all day.
We took a short walk down the sidewalk to the Wonder Works Museum, it was a blast. The building is built to look like it was dropped upside down. Four floors of fun, activities and science.
There was lots of hands on stuff for kids and adults alike. I think we spent over four hours exploring all four floors plus a game of lazer tag.
There was even a rope climbing course on the upper floor that was very interesting, but we decided not to attempt it.
After Wonder Works we headed down to Captain Jacks all you can eat Seafood buffet where the Seafood and crab legs never run out. It was expensive but was oh soooo good!
After an early dinner we headed to The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and 4D Theater. That was quite interesting. It was the first time I’ve been through a Ripley’s Museum. It was incredible and the several hours we spent in there just seemed to fly by.
So even though today was a wet one we really enjoyed our day.
Woke up to a beautiful morning and headed out to St Andrews State Park. This was where Harold and I spent our honeymoon 12 years ago. It was just a breathtaking as I remember.
The girls couldn’t wait to hit the beach and try out their new body boards. Stormy just took to the ocean like she had been swimming her entire life.
It wasn’t long before a thunderstorm worked itself up and we had to grab everything up and head up to the sheltered area to wait out the storm.
Before long it had passed and the sun was out and we were back in the water again. Even Harold rode the waves on his board.
We all really enjoyed the sand and surf today. We headed back about 3:00pm to get ready for our evening Pirate Ship Cruise, but when we arrived home we learned that the entire street had lost power in the massive storm that had passed over us as we were out at the park. When I went to get my clothes I discovered that a leak had sprung inside my closet and EVERYTHING was soaked!
Oh well, thank goodness I had one outfit set aside so we finished getting ready and headed to the Marina.
Stormy was so excited especially once we got there and she saw the Pirate Ship. Harold and I took this same cruise twelve years ago while on our honeymoon, it was such an experience.
From the second you board the ship the Captain and crew are all in character and rearing to go.
They have constant activities to entertain the kids the entire two hour cruise, while the adults just sit back and enjoy. I think we enjoyed it just as much as the kids did.
The views from the ship were spectacular, we even got to see a dolphin.
As we near the end of the cruise the crew tells the kids a story about a pirate treasure buried in the harbor and we set out to hunt it down. Once we find it the kids get to help bring it aboard and they all get to share the “booty” out of the treasure chest.
As the kids enjoy their new treasures the Captain brings the ship around for us to view the sun setting over Panama City Beach.
It is so breathtaking.
What a beautiful end to a wonderful day.
For more information about the Pirate cruise you can visit their website here. I would recommend making reservations as their cruises fill up quickly.
We finally arrived Friday evening and got all settled in. When we first pulled up to Park Place RV Park we had reserved I was a little scared! It didn’t look anything like the pictures online 🙁 It was quite ghetto. But it was cheap and we were tired.
A full week was only $200, which is almost half of any other RV Park in the area, plus being that our RV is 16 years old, most of the other parks here wouldn’t allow us to stay. So we made the best of it. It is very tightly spaced in here and anyone with a larger RV will not be able to fit here at all. We only have a 32′ bumper pull and we take up almost two spaces, but they only charged us for one, thank goodness.
So far everything has been good. Most are full-time residents here and all are really friendly and helpful, even a few from Texas, and one who’s family is from Longview. They do have facilities but you have to put a $5 deposit down to get a key for the restrooms. We use the showers, but not the toilets as there are no locks on the stall doors nor any toilet paper.
The best benefit of this park is that it is right on Front Beach Rd, and within walking distance of the Ripley’s, Wonder Works, and about a dozen amusement parks, go-karts, and putt-putts. The Wal-mart is a five minute drive down one of the side roads and we are close by everything.
Being that we were right across the street from Cobra Amusement Park the girls couldn’t wait to ride the golf carts. So Saturday morning after a restful nights sleep we made our way across the street to have some fun.
Next door to the Cobra Amusement park was another amusement center and Stormy got to ride their go-karts all by herself. She was a little leery at first while she was getting used to the pedals, but once she got the hang of it she was off and having a blast!
Next the girls had a blast on the bumber boats. It took Stormy a few minutes to figure out how to make hers go, but once she figured it out she was off chasing Holly across the water.
After having some fun, we decided to explore some more of Panama City Beach and find the Pet Friendly beach.
We found it just past Pier Park Mall on the other side of the pier.
Our first glimpse of the ocean! It was so beautiful. The sand is so soft and white, but I didn’t realize how hard it was to walk on the sand. Dad took Sugar down to the edge of the water to see how she would like it, and yep she did.
It was wonderful to see her enjoying the waves. The girls couldn’t wait till we could go swimming. They played for a while in the surf.
Once we had enough of the beach for now we took Sugar back to the RV and got cleaned up and went back to Pier Park Mall. It’s like the Boardwalk in Shreveport, only better. There was a guy and his bird walking around letting kids pet and hold the bird. The girls got a kick out of holding the bird.
For dinner we decided to go to Margaritaville. We were hoping to be able to watch the sunset, but we couldn’t see it from our table.
They had stilt-walkers doing balloon animals for the kids, that was really neat. But we were very disappointed in the food and service there. We will not waste our money there again.
But overall today was an enjoyable day with the family.
Woke up to a beautiful blue sky this morning and we were able to get on the road fairly early. But…. we didn’t get too far before the AC went out again. 🙁 We located an auto parts store on the way and Harold got what we needed to refuel and be on our way again. Unfortunately it didn’t last too long and went out again.
I could really tell a difference in how the truck pulled with the new hitch. It was 100% better! Even on rough roads it didn’t jerk us around like it had before.
I’m just so thankful the Lord was watching over us and allowed us to catch the broken hitch before it broke running down the road.
We were so happy to cross from Mississippi into Alabama,heading toward Florida.
As we passed around Mobile, Alabama Stormy got such a big kick out of going through the tunnel….
seeing the battleship….
and crossing the bridge on our way to Florida.
Florida met us with a nasty thunderstorm, but quickly passed. Stormy was so excited she couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it.
After a few more thunderstorms we were finally in the home stretch! Just one more hour to go and as we turned on to Hwy 20 from 331 we heard this awful popping and cracking noise, almost like blackcat fireworks going off. We thought maybe we lost a tire, but when we were finally able to pull over a few miles later, it wasn’t a tire…. but the main belt in our truck engine was starting to shred. So we prayed and babied our truck the last 45 minutes to the RV park. We made it, thankfully, and got our trailer situated and made a beeline for the local O’Reilly’s store. Belt, sealant and more Freon for the AC in hand, we are set for the evening. A few repairs to the truck in the am and we will hopefully get to enjoy our week here.