The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Water, Water Everywhere

So what do you do when you are in Florida in the summer??  Well, especially if you are kids, you get as much time in the water as possible.  This is the Frank Brown Pool in Panama City Beach, Florida.  My son and daughter-in-law have a family pass and were lucky enough this year to score a great buy on it through Groupon as the passes don't come cheap.  Even though the kids are only here for 6 weeks, DS and DIL use the pool year round for training.  In the summer, the pool is "cooled" if you can believe that one and in the winter it is heated since it is outside.  This is the play area.

This is one end of the big pool.  Part of it is always sectioned off in lanes for all the swim teams that practice here.  They have a diving area at the deep end and a swimming area at the other end for everyone else.  You can also see the baseball fields in the background.  they have some sort of tournament going on next week.

Here is Morgan swimming across the deep end.

The big splash was Steve.

The end of the play pool also has a big water slide.  This year was Morgan's first time on it.

Steve and the kids are on the way back to the area where we had our stuff set up.

Helen pulled her back so she was only sunbathing on this trip.

We have another favorite place to swim at Deer Point Lake.  The water is not nearly deep enough to dive off the swim platforms.  And no, Alice, we have not seen any alligators here.  This is a little county park--not fancy but works for us.  I think a lot more people smoke in Florida than in Texas though.  They are even puffing away while they are in the water.

The kids have goggles which are necessary when they swim in the bay but they are underwater so much here that they help to keep their eyes from getting red.  The water temp has been getting warmer each time we come which is about every other day.

Not too crowded during the week but lots more people on the weekend.

You can't dive but you can jump so there is usually plenty of jumping going on.

The water is not that deep here but it is fun anyway.

Steve is getting in on the jumping too.

Morgan is quick to make friends wherever she goes.

Cameron would rather swim with his Dad when he is along but otherwise he finds some boys to play with too.  Grandma spends at least part of the time in the water too but I am usually taking the pictures so don't have to be in them.  lol.  Have to say you see all kinds here though.

Tropical Storm Debbie

Tropical Storm Debbie just couldn't make up its mind about what it was going to do.  Pensacola which is west of us got tons of rain.  The main part of Florida got tons of rain and so many tornado warnings that it felt like Oklahoma.  The kids were at Disney World last week, thank heavens, because it certainly is not the place to be this week.  First the storm was heading west and my friends in Louisiana were worried about getting even more rain than they have had.  Then it was scheduled to go east across Florida.  It finally settled on northeast.  We did get rain here but there were some breaks in it to.  On this day, we went over to the park.  Of course, we kept on eye on the sky.

The park is right by the bay.  There were white caps on the bay so we did not go swimming.

The monkeys got some time in on the monkey bars.

Willy kept a close on them to make sure things were going okay.

A couple of times he had to call Gretchen in for a little help with the kid watching.  Harley, of course, was off going down the slide with the kids or climbing in the fort.

Here Willy was staring so hard and long that I had to check it out.  There was a kitten climbing and rolling around just under the raised frame of the bathroom.  Willy just kept watch.

Quick Visit to Panama City Beach

After I recovered from my sore throat this week, I decided to take a little drive along the beach, Panama City Beach that is.  All along the beach, there are entry points with walkways over the dunes to the beach.

Now there are miles of beach available so where you decide to visit determines how crowded it might be.  One exception might be "Spring Break" when I understand all beaches around here are crowded.  Looking right from Entry 53, this was the nice uncrowded beach with lots of room.

Looking left of the same walkway, this was the view.  You guessed it; there was a hotel or resort to the left.  Both of these views were taken quite close to Pier Point which is a very well known mall area right near the beach.

This is a popular pastime along the beach.  There were also surfers and swimmers in addition to the sunbathers.  There are all sorts of hotels and resorts along "Front Beach Rd" in Panama City Beach.  There was also an RV park amongst the hotels but I couldn't find a place to park quickly enough to snap a photo of that.

Even Ripley's sports a nautical theme along here.

You can head west from Panama City Beach and go through tiny community after tiny community right along the beach and they all have beach access points with lots of empty white sand beaches.

Hello from Panama City

Don't have anything great to post about just yet.  The kids are off at Disney World this week which is a good thing because I've been sick since they left on Sunday.  Good thing I had not planned on going with them.  Sunday and Monday left me feeling pretty bad but I felt a little better when I went to bed Monday night and woke up this morning feeling back to normal.  Took the dogs for a couple of walks to make up for the last two days when they were very good.

Texas to Florida - Biloxi MS Stopover

We had plans to stop at the Cajun Palms RV Resort in Henderson LA and to have a chance to visit a Pink FlaminGoes RV friend that lives nearby in Butte LaRose.  The park is a bit more expensive than I like to pay but they have a waterpark area and huge pools so we planned to arrive about noon and get our monies worth.  However, the closer we got, the darker the sky got and it was easy to tell that the weather was turning bad.  Not much point in stopping at a water park and my friend was at work all day so we headed on down the road.

Yup, we called it right.  Pretty soon it was pouring.  It was one of those rains that was so hard you really want to pull over but you don't dare because people couldn't see you.  It was like that for about an hour so we were all traveling rather slowly down the road.

During our lunch stop, we were checking out possible overnight stops.  We found one that looked good in Biloxi, Ms. and another further down the road in Alabama.  Since we knew there was a pool, we decided to stop early again.  I think Steve and the kids all liked the park last night so well, they were afraid this one wouldn't be as good.  Martin Lake Resort was every bit as good if not even better.  They only had one pull-through which we got but it wouldn't have been a hardship if we had gotten one of the regular sites because they were all paved, extra wide and long enough to leave the vehicle hooked up.  $20 Passport America rate.

The playground was like something out of Disney.  It was three stories high and lights came on when it  was dusk and started going out about 9:30PM.

There was a beach area on a small lake.  Up above the beach were picnic tables and grills.  Further along the lake were places to fish.

In addition to the sandy beach and lake bottom, there were free paddle boats and life jackets.  You can see some of the ducks and geese that were around the lake area.

They also had real cute little cabins for rent across from the playground.

The pool was large and very clean.  I managed to catch a picture of it while people were out eating supper.  The beach closed at dark but the pool was open until 10:00PM when quiet time started and it was nice and quiet all night.  I was also surprised that there were very few mosquitoes and there has been a lot of rain in the area.

The jacuzzi was wonderful, nice and warm and very relaxing.

Another great stop--I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Texas to Florida - Beaumont TX Stop

Monday morning we finished loading the refrigerator and freezer items and we were off.  The plan was to head out by 9:00AM but DH who was not traveling with us kept coming up with items that Steve really needed to take back to Florida (so he would have more room in his storage building, lol).  Anyway, two bicycles and a folding bike later, we were on the road and it was only 9:10AM.  Not too bad.  

This is how the Traveling Longdogs like to travel.  They have never once asked "Are we there yet?  How many more miles?  Is it time to eat yet?  Well, maybe they have asked the last one if it was way after 6:00PM but as far as traveling companions go, they can't be beat.

Can't really complain about the kids too much either as they were pretty excited about traveling with the RV again.  They managed to get in a snooze or two themselves.

Fortunately, both the drivers were wide awake and alert at all times.  Steve loves to drive so I had to set some limits about who was driving when with the comment "because it's my RV".

We arrived in Beaumont, TX about 3:00PM and quickly found the Passport America park I had found earlier.  I called and made a reservation about an hour before we got there so they were expecting us.  The Gulf Coast RV Resort is located fairly close to I-10 so it is easy to find.  The sites are all pull-through and the rate was $20.  The kids were thrilled to see the swimming pool and the playground.  They have family style bathrooms which were nice.  There is also a laundry room and a small exercise room although I have to admit we didn't check that out.  The dogs also enjoyed the small off leash fenced area.  All the roads and sites are concrete.

The pictures were taken after supper which is why they are a little dark.  We had already enjoyed the pool once and we were on our way back over after having a quick dinner in the RV.  This is the office (far end) and rec room (center) with the bathrooms and laundry on the close end.  The pool was located in a fence patio area between the two buildings.  We were given a key card to give us access to everything.

The kids had a great time on this nice playground too.

This was taken right before we left the pool on Monday evening.  Everyone was very friendly and there were a number of families that were there on vacation.

 A real nice touch that we have not run into at another park was the free breakfast they offer each morning.  It's set up in the rec room and is a "help yourself" affair.  They had two Texas shaped waffle machines, gravy and biscuits, cereal, bagels and cream cheese, coffee and juice.  That was really nice way to start out our second day on the road.

On the Road to San Antonio

We got to pick up the kids at noon which, of course, meant that they were hungry for lunch shortly after we hit the road back to San Antonio.  Llano, TX found us at the "Texas Stop Sign" otherwise known as the Dairy Queen for lunch.

The kids are always excited and ready to ham it up when we pick them up so they got to do that at lunch.

We had to make a stop for gas where we were parked next to this interesting couple at the gas pump.

We made it back to San Antonio and left the house nearly right away to pick up the RV from the storage lot.  The rest of the day and evening was just a blur as we set up the RV, checked everything out, started the fridge, and packed everything but the refrigerator items up.  We were all ready for bed when 10:00PM rolled around.

Playing Ball and Dancing the Night Away

Today was one of those really long days.  We were up and on the road from San Antonio to Brownwood TX at 0500.  I don't really consider that morning anymore because we drove an hour before it got to be daylight outside.  We arrived at Brownwood and found our way to the new baseball fields in time for Cameron's first game of the day at 0930.  Here he is in pitcher position even though the kids at this age use a pitching machine.  Someone has to be there to do the rest of the pitcher job.

Here he is sliding into 3rd base.

Now he is the catcher.  They rotate the kids to all of the different positions so they learn the game better and figure out what they are best at.

I'm not sure if Morgan was practicing her cheerleader moves or just having fun on the playground.

 The boys played three games today:  9:00, 10:30, and 1:00 so it was a long day.  They lost the last game or there would have been more games after that.  I think three games is a lot for an 8 year old, I know some of them were dragging.  Here is Cameron with his medal.  He also got game ball as he will be gone for the rest of the season.  Since he is going to spend the next 6 weeks with his Dad, he didn't think missing the upcoming games was any big deal.

After a short break at the motel, Steve and I were off to the Dance Recital in Bangs, TX about 10 miles away.  Have you ever been to a dance recital?  Interesting, one little girl cried all the way through the first number.  I'm guessing she was about 2, not more than 3.  What are parents thinking?  The recital started at 5:00 with a one by one parade across the red carpet.  There must have been 100 girls.  Then the dance routines started.  Morgan with her Dad at intermission.

This is the outfit for the second routine that Morgan was in.

At the end of the show, each of the girls received a certificate and some of them got flowers from their families.

Here is the tired dancer and her proud Dad after the show which lasted until about 8:15PM.

The kids went home with their mother and we finally got some dinner before hitting the bed early.  Tomorrow at noon, we pick off the kids and head back to San Antonio to get the RV ready.  If all is ready, we will head out to Florida on Monday.