Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Memorial Day Week(end)

Why spend the weekend camping when we can go for a week?  With our house on the market, a deadline to have our trailer (trash) out of the backyard, and previously-scheduled Memorial Day weekend plans, we packed up and made a week of it!  We love Red Top Mountain State Park!

Brian commuted from Red Top Mountain to work.  The kids found plenty of things to do outside.

On Wednesday some friends stopped on their way from Florida to Alumapalooza.

Thursday morning we had a surprise visitor.

These brave kids kept a close eye on our visitor while Tim and Alice made a quick getaway.

Don't leave me!!!

Afraid a venomous snake sighting would scare off our weekend company, the kids and I made pact not to tell them that we had just seen a copperhead.  Camping is more fun with friends!

A short walk to the playground where it was quickly ignored in favor of the gravel pit.

My grandparents in Fort Worth have been married for 60 years now.  On Memorial Day we headed toward Fort Worth before daylight to help them celebrate. On I-20 through Mississippi we started having a little trouble.  Every once in a while I was feeling a little tug.  It happened a couple of times before we figured out the trailer brakes were activating.  What's going on?

It was too hot to think straight.  I could hardly keep everyone hydrated walking back and forth across the parking lot to the gas station for drinks.  We needed shade. After disconnecting the trailer brakes, we limped to  the closest campground, just east of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

The solution was definitely shade.We set up at our site and within 30 minutes of arrival Brian had figured out the problem.  We weren't about to leave this place though; the kids loved it.

The trailer brake solution?  Heat-tolerant electrical tape.  I-20 through Mississippi, is epically um, bumpy, err wavy.  Let me put it this way, driving on I-20 through Jackson Mississippi is the closest thing my kids have ever experienced to deep sea fishing on a catamaran.  It was so bumpy that it jarred a battery cable loose blowing 3 fuses.  Brian says it was a "hot ground."  See, shade was exactly what we needed.  That and the electrical tape.

Finally at Grandma's house.  It is just one year older than our trailer.
 Two mid-century beauties.

60 years!  Something to celebrate!
We celebrated with food, family, and a big rented ranch house on Lake Whitney.
Grandma, and Granddad  and their brood, at dinner:

Say cheese!  Time for pictures!

Lightning, our last evening in Texas.

Our overnight stop on the way home was Tannehill State Park in Alabama.  Our #1 animal tamer slyly tried to lure ducks into our car with her irresistible crackers.  At the last minute one duck was suspicious; they made a quick retreat back to the creek:

I suspect we'll be back.  A few minutes wasn't nearly enough time to investigate the park's civil war era iron furnace.  We've been looking forward to seeing this furnace for a year.  Last summer, during our Geocaching kick, our 500th find took us to an old iron furnace deep in the woods. Finding that furnace was so surreal, like a scene from Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.   

After hunting that cache, we learned about the restored iron furnace at Tannehill. 
We finally got to see it!

One gratuitous flamingo picture, taken at the Fort Worth Zoo.
I've been smitten with these longer than Airstreams. 
Wouldn't they look stunning beside our trailer?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stone Mountain TAC Rally 2013

Truthfully, the Stone Mountain spring rally was so long ago that the details are getting a little fuzzy.  So, without too much attention to detail but still plenty of pictures, here's a short run-down of the weekend:

The 2013 TAC Stone Mountain Rally was the third weekend in April- on the weekend precisely between GA's faithfully attended Springstream get-together in Hiawassee and the region 3 "big club" rally at Stone Mountain.  With so many other rally options, I wasn't sure how many to expect.

But alas, Airstreams arrived! Thursday night we donned our lederhosen, crammed into this adorable 1963 VW Bug and descended on the local German Restaurant.  (Ok.  Maybe I made up that last part about the lederhosen and Bug... but I warned you that the details are getting a little fuzzy.)  I can tell you for certain that if I go to the German Restaurant again I will order a pretzel.  The homemade mustard that goes with it was so amazing that we bought a whole jar.  What a great way to kick off the rally!
Friday morning we scarfed pancakes together ahead of the rain and wind.

Stone Mountain Park has a collection of historic Atlanta-area buildings of various ages; they call it the "Plantation."  With a rain jacket or umbrella, the Plantation seemed the best choice for a rainy-day activity.

This is the space where I'm supposed to write some insightful thing about this house.  I could tell you something about the age of the home, the style, or possibly something about where this home was originally located or who lived in it. I waited too long to blog though so I have forgotten all of the important(?) details. 

I believe this is a farmhouse.  In one of the roped-off rooms there was a cat asleep in a chair.  My children did not think she was real but when they saw her breathing they coaxed her over to pet her.  One of the caretakers later told us her name, Scarlet.  (See, I do remember some details!)

I was delighted to see a cotton gin for the "first time" last summer at the Jarrell Plantation.  I visited Stone Mountain's Plantation as a child.  So, I am pretty sure I have seen this cotton gin before. I guess I wasn't paying attention back then, either.

There are actually two cotton gins in this photo. There's the larger one in the back (Eli Whitney) and then the smaller one in front was the homemade variety.  It was operated by two people.

I've left so many things out.  If you're interested in the details of Stone Mountain's Plantation then you should visit.


Bring a friend.  
You can check out the rare four-holer together. (Um. Eww!)
Speaking of friends, most everyone arrived in time for a Friday evening campfire.

Then, 17 of us were stupid brave enough to hike the mountain at 6am for sunrise on Saturday.

I have a bit of a reputation for sleeping-in.  My family was more surprised than anyone that I made it out of bed for the mountain hike. I'm sure glad I went, too... 

...because I don't ever need to do that again!  
None of us were prepared for it to be so cold.

climbing back down...

Saturday brunch, back on the ground, at a reasonable hour, with sane Airstreamers who stayed in their trailers at 6am:

Daytime campfire with snack table in lieu of fire...

Well, maybe there was a little "fire" when Samuel talked Beth into trying out his latest science experiment involving static electricity. 

Saturday evening's tour of trailers and hors d'oeuvres was amazing!



swanky upholstery!

...and bud vases!

So much fun!  I think we'll have to try this trailer tour/hors d'oeuvres experiment again.
Next time, I'll try to remember to take a group photo on Saturday night.

We didn't take ours until Sunday morning after several people were already gone:
Again with the fuzzy details! 
Apparently my new lens has a "manual" setting. 

by day
by night
by morningtime, again
Too soon, it is time to go home