Thursday, December 13, 2018

Winter 2018: Seasons Eatings!

December 6th, 2018 - R & C Korean Restaurant
We should've known how full the place was by the difficulty we had finding a parking spot.

Our first foray into Korean food near the coast, R & C Korean Restaurant was full of people. We had a hard time finding a table amongst the other patrons and the Air Force personnel that were there. We had to wait a while to get our order in and get our hands on some food.

While the food wasn't bad, we couldn't believe how long we had to wait. However, it is located in a high traffic area. The TV in the restaurant was displaying funeral services for the late President George H.W. Bush.

December 7th, 2018 - Chop Stick Chinese Buffet
In the same plaza as Yamato's Japanese Restaurant is the small Chinese buffet. It was really small but it got great reviews. It reminded me of Panda Express. But I found out the soup was actually pretty bad. That's probably going to knock this place out of competition in the future.

It took me a second to realize what the ice cream topping containers actually were...

You know who else likes food? Cats! Here's a picture (of a picture) of a tiny feline overlord glowering down at its miserable subjects down the pet supply aisle of a Walmart.

December 10th, 2018 - Seoul Korean Restaurant
Moving away from R & C Korean Restaurant, we drive off the beaten path to find Seoul Korean Restaurant.

Unlike R & C, Seoul Korean Restaurant was pretty open when we arrived. Though a smaller place, there was more than enough room for the two of us.

Seoul Korean Restaurant is a really nice place, but it's location off any main roads seem to keep it fairly empty. But we'll definitely be back in the near future over the incredibly full R and C and the Chopstick Chinese Buffet. Though we've been here a little over a week, Yamatos and Seoul Korean seem to be taking an early lead!

December 12th, 2018 - Nola Korea



A drive from Mississippi to Louisiana brings us to Nola Korea, a restaurant near the Big Easy of New Orleans.

Side dishes were served in one container like this. We could have the kimchi and tofu, but not much of the other stuff.

Kimchi pancake and spicy rice cake. Very nice Korean food, but not certain if we'll make the interstate drive when we have other options closer to our location.

December 12th, 2018 - TGI Fridays
Walking from Barnes & Noble we saw the bright red of a TGI Fridays, a great place for nachos and bourbon fish. If you're willing to drive, there's no lack of variety of food to be had. It may take some time and quite a bit of gas, however!


Monday, December 10, 2018

Winter 2018: Day 8 - It's Puzzling


The things you discover walking through a mall in Mississippi. We were reconning a nearby Books-A-Million to see what was the deal there. While walking to the food court, there was this huge 42,000-piece monstrosity on the wall. 

Here are a few specs of the puzzle on the wall. Sponsored by the mall's puzzle store, Puzzles USA, the puzzle is 5 feet tall and almost 25 feet across. Plus you can actually buy this puzzle for around $400 dollars online. If you're passionate about puzzles and also like travel destinations, you've got to give this one a try!
We stood in front of the puzzle going over the places we've been and all the places we would like to go. We also looked at all the cats on the completed puzzle, not gonna lie. Sometimes I wish there were more room for puzzles in the RV, but even a house might have trouble with this huge 5"X25" behemoth. 

You know what also is puzzling? We have this Joe Muggs stamp card for Books-A-Million that we had 2 of 10 stamps on it for a free drink. And in the Edgewater Mall there is a Books-A-Million.

But our eyes widened, widened in puzzlement as we found that the cafe at the Books-A-Million was not the Joe Muggs Cafe, but some strange frozen yogurt place. Great, now we'll never get our stamp card finished.

As the winter continues, the days get shorter and the evening starts around 5:00. Here is the parking lot as we first went through the food court, then remembered we went in through Books-A-Million.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Winter 2018: Day 5 - Enter Sandman


Similar to Seawall Boulevard in Galveston, Mississippi, the street passes by the ocean while the water stretches out to the horizon. We've been taking a few drives up and down the coast to the $1.89 gas station. One time we were taking a drive on the beach, when what should appear out on the beach like a bizarre vision?

Following behind a red Hyundai, we parked near a children's park and began walking out on the sand towards the huge mound on the shore. There were two other people who were getting some pictures of the sandman and we took a few pictures for them with their phone before they returned to their car.

I'm assuming The Pass means Pass Christian, an area here on the Mississippi coast.

After walking around on the windy beach, we were ready to head back inland and get back on the road. Even though it's not supposed to snow here (of course, it wasn't supposed to snow in Rincon, Georgia either) we still got to see kind of like a snowman hanging out on the beach.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Winter 2018: Day 2 - Taking A Gamble On The Silver Slipper


A lot of RVers have a bit of history with casinos. Many casinos have RV spaces nearby to entice people to stay and play. While we've stayed near casinos in the past, we've never actually been inside one...until today!



Enter the Silver Slipper. The way the advertising was posted on the side of the road, we thought the casino was just a short distance away behind the trees. However, when we turned where the shining sign pointed us, we kept driving... and driving ... and driving with no casino in sight. There were roadsigns posted: Silver Slipper-3 miles. Looks like we would have to drive down to the coast where the casino was located.
Walking from the parking area into the casino was a bit nerve wracking. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, not being well versed in casinos or anything of that nature. Upon entering the front doors and into the dim interior, we ascended up the right hand escalator into a cacophony of noise and this smell that I can only describe as what I imagine a hookah lounge would be like: a sweet, pungent odor that permitted the whole place. Indoor smoking allowed? Didn't know that was still legal anywhere. We strained our eyes and looked for the Jubilee Buffet, situated against the back of the casino, its name obscured by a series of chandeliers.

A note about casino patrons, judging by todays' crowd they tend to run older. We may have been the youngest people in line as the two cashiers took credit cards and Power Player cards from the veteran casino goers in the group. Another staff member asked if a booth would be okay, and then led us to the left and seated us near the dessert bar.

The buffet featured a few different areas, one an Italian bar, Asian bar, southern food bar, Mexican food bar. A lady in front of me fished through a selection of taco shells trying to find one that wasn't shattered. As she moved on, I tonged a mess of the flimsy broken shells onto my plate and made nachos out of them with the giant metal tureens of salsa and sour cream provided.

We ate while the noise from the outside casino and the talking in the restaurant filled the room. The Internet was rather weak. Plus we never really got used to the smoke. Not to say that it ruined the food, but it made you mindful that you were continuously taking in secondhand smoke. After trying the lemon icebox pie and the cookies and cream stack, we made our way back through the pulsating electric noise and gamblers smoking at tables back down the escalators and out the front doors. We took a huge breath of fresh air that was even nicer being it was by the waters edge.

Being so close to the water, we felt the need to waddle...er, walk off the food we had at the Jubilee Buffet. Plus the sounds of the beach was a calming change to the racket going on back at the Silver Slipper. We walked by outdoor lounges that were empty, as was the beach on this bright December day.

Watching what I thought was a crane out by the water. Probably not a crane. I wish I knew more about animals.

Watching as the whatever in the water suddenly shook its head and took to the sky.

Feeling like we walked enough so we wouldn't be ill, we went back to the car and went driving down the waters edge. There were houses on stilts as well as new construction being done. Needing some gas, we stopped by a station near a Walmart. $1.89? Man, I can't remember the last time I paid that for gas.


Missing our bookstore already, we went to Barnes & Noble to do a bit of reading.

Thanks to a coupon they've been giving out, it's 2 for 1 cookies as well as some toasted marshmallow mocha frappucchino

Being winter, the sun began to set earlier, around 4:30 or so, and we decided to head back before it got too dark and chilly. We had our evening walk and admired the Christmas decorations that were being inflated all around the park, including this guy!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Winter 2018: Day 1 - Meter Reading & Regular Reading

First thing for our first full winter 2018 day here at the park, we needed the address for mail and also the electrical meter for kilowatt hour usage. Walking into the office, the manager scribbled the address out on an orange Post-It. When queried about the meter, she said it was "behind the shed somewhere." I walked out just as the mail was being delivered, the mail lady's arms filled with a number of brown Amazon boxes of as she came through the screen door. Like an RPG side quest, I began searching around all these sheds that were on the property. I found some near a row of fifth wheel RVs, but on closer inspection found them to be for other spots.

Not wanting to embarrass myself by going back to the office and asking again, I walked around the backs of the RVs. Nothing there. I walked down to the entrance past the deflated Christmas decorations. Still nothing. Then I turned back to the park and walked up the driveway and to the left under a short green awning was a collection of meters that just had to be for our site. I walked on the grass and got a picture of the meter reading, which is important if you'll be paying for your own electricity. It's not entirely uncommon for the RV park to mess up when it comes to electrical readings, and it's never, ever in your favor.
 
After a lunch of salmon with the skin on, we were thinking of what we could do that day. We hopped in the car and made our way to Barnes & Noble and their cafe section. Nothing like reading while having a frapucchino. We were talking about other places we could visit that night, but thought better of it and headed back to the park. Plenty of time to visit other places in our few months here!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

FALL 2018 SUMMARY


Fall 2018 Trip - October 14th to December 2nd, 2018
Shippenville, Pennsylvania to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi

1,285 miles over 7 stops

1 repair of electrical cord between Salt Fork State Park and Indian Spring State Park to repair the shore power plug that had cooked in the state park's power podium.

---Rustic Acres RV Park---
#1: Salt Fork State Park
#2: Indian Spring RV Park
#3: General Butler State Park
#4: Cave City RV Park
#5: Texas T RV Park
#6: South Montgomery RV Park
#7: Bay Saint Louis, MS

The reason for such a long drive is to make sure we're out of the freezing weather. Below is a comparison between the weather in the starting location and ending location of our Fall 2018 trip. Although Sunday is an okay day in Pennsylvania, it suddenly begins gettin colder and colder with the forecast calling for snow. For winter, south is definitely the place to be.

Shippenville, Pennsylvania

Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi


Fall 2018 Trip: Day 51 - Driving Day: Hope Hull, Alabama to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi



This is it, the final drive of our Fall 2018 trip from Pennsylvania to Mississippi. It's also one of our longer drives that we've made, starting from Hope Hull, Alabama and driving to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. The range on the RV is around 200 miles, so we had to make a pitstop along the way.

The gas here was $2.19. Not a bad deal! We were able to get the RV in the first pumps by the building and get onto the freeway again with no problems at all. We could really feel the warm weather as we headed further south towards the Gulf.

Back on the freeway south, we squinted our eyes and saw an apparition on the horizon. What appeared to be smoke billowed off the freeway in the distance, obscuring whatever object it was escaping from. A smell like burning rubber filled the RV. I glanced at the instrument gages: nothing overheating that I could see. I thought maybe it's the reek of that smoking, rolling behemoth that we were slowly gaining on.

Finally, like the end of an episode of Scooby Doo, we unmasked the culprit behind the case of the smoking specter. It was this 18-wheeler that was cruising along while what appeared to be too much exhaust emanated from its pipes. We pushed the gas to pass the fuming freighter and leave it safely behind us.

And since leaving the state back in April 2017, we were once again in Mississippi!

The freeway ended and we found ourselves on the street to the RV park. However getting onto the street was an exercise in finding a lane to the right to make a quick u-turn onto so we could get to the side street to the entrance to the RV park. After a couple of near misses, we were able to turn the RV around. We had the place in sight and slowed to a park while looking for whoever ran the park.

We also needed some propane which was conveniently near the front entrance. We pulled up the RV while the gentleman waved us forward until the short hose could connect to the liquid propane tank. As the RV drank deeply from the pint of propane, the guy announced "6 gallons." Dang, the tank itself is 6 gallons. The propane must've been nearly out. The pungent aroma of propane remained for a few hours afterwards around the area where they filled the tank.

Choosing a spot is sometimes a tough decision if you're not simply assigned one by the park hosts. There were a couple of spots available, one that was ready to go and another that tended to get flooded when the rains came. It was evident that one site was clearly preferable to the other and the park hosts were persuading us to consider it. We took their word and backed the RV into the preferred spot, taking care to line up the right side of the RV with the concrete slab so we could set out our foldable step that nobody was kind enough to steal.

With the task of leveling the front RV tires on 2 leveling blocks and getting everything situated, we actually had to turn on the air conditioning. We drove into town looking for any place we would want to stop in the future. Turning into an interesting parking lot, we found Yamato Steakhouse, one of the few places nearby that sounded good to us at that time.

Trying out the hibachi salmon and hibachi chicken.

Feeling better after eating at Yamato's, we drove over to Walmart to get some staple shopping done. Looking around, trying to figure out the new layout of a new store. We started with Whiskas and cat litter, then made our way to the grocery aisles picking up Chobani and everything else.

Except romaine lettuce. The recent E. coli scare is keeping shelves scarce of the green stuff. It's harder to get now than the most wanted Christmas toy. Not the first time lettuce has been in short supply and I'm sure it will be restocked once everything is figured out.

Crashing back at the RV after a day of driving and shopping. The Internet decided to become impossibly slow as more people returned from work. Climbing the attached ladder of the RV in the darkness outside, I could see the Christmas decorations come to life: lights and blow up figurines throughout the park. I kept my focus though and put the red pot with booster antenna on the roof which made the Internet bearable again and enabled me to put this blogpost up without cursing, which is one of the rules here at the campground that you can't do out in public.

And this, our 51st day of travel after leaving Shippenville, Pennsylvania almost 2 months ago, marks the end of Fall 2018 and the start of our Winter stay. While it's nice to see new things and places, there's a time when it's nice to relax in one spot for a while. Plus the time to move always comes faster than we expect, and we're not really certain where the destination for Spring 2019 is going to be. However, those things tend to make themselves more apparent the closer we get to the actual date.