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Just Whistlin' Dixie....

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Friday we had great weather and decided another motorcycle ride was in order. The #2doods had lots of fun playing with Storm so they were ready to nap. We opted to head off in the opposite direction from our last ride and aimed for a little town named "Waverly" in honor of our youngest granddaughter.

Well, we found it. At least part of it, we never did find a downtown area. We even took photos to prove it! LOL!

From there we continued north and then back west before heading south into downtown Folkston. One thing we have come to love are the people here. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. Part of that is the traditional Southern charm. Another part is a town that survives on a goodly amount of tourism. But mostly, it's just the people. We have made several friends here as we deal with dog boarding, grooming, getting a PO Box and picking up a gazillion packages from Amazon, getting my hair cut and even at the local McDonald's where I had a wonderful chat with the franchise owner and the store manager.

One shop had been recommended to us by the wonderful owner of Wild Rose Pet Care where the #2doods go for day care and doggy camp when we're traveling. I had friended the owner on Facebook but we hadn't had a chance to visit yet. Since they have Bluebell ice cream, today was the day! It was time for Whistlin' Dixie....

The store is FULL of wonderful items perfect for gifts, souvenirs and daily enjoyment. I was so tempted by many things but I was good, limiting my temptation to the ice cream. We signed the guest book and really enjoyed chatting with Dixie and her daughter Millie. They make quite the team. Everyone recommends the lunches there and we just might have to ignore our diet and splurge once more!

Ciao for now!

A little motorcycle ride to St George, GA.

Monday, March 18, 2019

We haven't done as much motorcycle riding as we would like, partially due to other things on the schedule but mostly due to weather. We knew when we opted to winter here in south Georgia that the weather would be cooler than what we had been used to during our past winters in Clermont, FL.

That is good and bad. It's good for the #2doods since they can overheat easily. It's bad when it's too cold for us to ride. Yes, we admit it. We have both become weather wimps. If it's much below 60 with no chance to warm up, we aren't riding.

We did have one spectacular day in February when we managed to get in several hours of riding and we headed off to see what was in St. George, GA. All we were looking for was a nice ride and it was that. Almost no traffic but a lot of trees. Turns out forestry is probably the biggest industry in this part of Georgia. Who knew?

We stopped for lunch at K & C's Oak Tree Cafe after fueling up the motorcycle. Quaint little restaurant with good food. I almost forgot to take a photo. The food was good and very plentiful, the onion rings were excellent - our big splurge.

We soon headed home, not wanting to leave the #2doods for too long in their crates.

Ciao for now!

A little DOODLE love....

Sunday, March 17, 2019

A little doodle love from the #2doods.

Letting sleeping dogs lie....or is it lay?

Cooper makes his own pillow with the rug...

A little snack...licking the yogurt bowl

Who says I'm not a lap dog? Not daddy says Cooper

Take us to your leader....

Murphy says, "Hi mommy...."

Murphy loves watching things outside...

Oh my, what did he spy?

Ciao for now!

It’s all up in the air....

Saturday, March 16, 2019

...airplane, that is! Stu had a special day, up in the air.

Shortly after arriving at Jennys Ridge RV Park, Donna met one of our neighbors at the dog play area (AKA The Playpen). Jeremiah had just rescued a 7 month old German Shepard and needless to say the Doods were ecstatic. Jeremiah is career Navy and close to retirement, finishing his career here in Georgia while his family is back in Colorado. We thank him and his family for their service. When a member of the family is in the service the whole family is, so we thank them as well.

I met Jeremiah after returning from my retirees reunion and struck up a friendship. Chatting with him while the dogs wore each other out, I found out he has his private pilots license as well as owns his own plane. He invited me up for a flight which I quickly accepted. Donna was invited but she did not want to tempt the motion sickness gods and opted out, having been up in a small plane previously. I suggested he pick the day when the weather was agreeable and come get me.

March the we headed to Herlong Recreational Airport, about an hour away from the campground. I followed Jeremiah as he had other chores to do after the flight. Upon arrival we entered the field through the owners gate and approached his red Piper Cherokee. Jeremiah completed his preflight checks and gave me a thorough safety briefing. We taxied over to the fuel area, filled up and made our way to the runway via the taxiway. Upon clearance, we were up in no time.

At the lower altitudes the plane bounced, eventually calming down as we climbed higher and smoothing out nicely when getting to about 2500 feet.

Jeremiah established a heading that took us over the campground. He explained the controls and what each one did, demonstrating the changes in attitude the plane made. Apparently that was my lesson as he "handed" the controls to me for a while. I was thrilled and even made a few course corrections as me made our way over the campground. FUN!

Our planned route went over the campground, east to the coast, over the Navy Base (but not the Sub Base, frowned on by folks we just hear about), south, and then back to the airfield. We went over a lot of the Jacksonville area. Sure looks different from above. I was able to identify a few landmarks but not many, way out of my element up there.

I even took a short video of our trip...

All good flights should include a good landing as well as a good take-off. Happy to say this was a good flight. Jeremiah landed in a strong cross wind and the Piper Cherokee "crabbed" to the ground. Jeremiah is a skillful pilot as I felt secure the entire time. Oh, and here is the route we took...via the air, regardless of what the photo says.

I must say, this day was fun. If I were a younger man with a lot of disposable resources I would love to learn to fly. Alas, it's another one of those expensive hobbies I can't afford. I already have a few too many of those already.

Ciao for now!

Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games & Festival

Friday, March 1, 2019

WARNING: Photo/video intensive blog
If you've followed me for any length of time, you know attending Scottish Games has been on my bucket list for quite some time. We originally planned to attend the games in Maryville, TN last spring but didn't make it. So when I saw two of my favorite Celtic Rock bands were going to be at the Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games & Festival in Green Cove Springs, FL...well, I cheered. About 90 minutes away from us and admission of only $12. It was a done deal!

Waiting in line to get in...

I have to say it exceeded our expectations. Turns out we shouldn't have been surprised. This was the 24th year of the festival and they have everything dialed in. Not too hot a day, good attendance but not so crowded you couldn't enjoy everything, and something for all ages. Heck, I didn't even make it to the far side where the held several competitions in addition to many activities (including a petting zoo) for the kids.

We watched novices throw battle axes, then on to the caber toss and sheaf toss (something new to us). There were many more games on the field and everyone was having a great time.

While there were kilts everywhere (made my heart proud), there were a few more unusual outfits as well...

I browsed through some of the vendor displays while Stu and his old work buddy, Bill, continued watching the competitions. Kilts, shirts, hats, jewelry, costumes, pottery, paintings, photographs and so much more!

There was even something for those of us with a wee bit 'o Irish blood...

The duo caught up to me and while Stu paid for a shirt I found for him, Bill and I watched the opening ceremonies. Fantastic!

When the ceremony was over, we headed out to find the MacNicol booth. We found it and spent some time chatting with the knowledgeable folks manning the table. And yes, Stu was finally convinced to join the MacNicol Society (once home I joined the MacQuarrie Society, much smaller group).

As we headed over to the beer tent, we ran across the re-enactors area.

The beer tent was well organized, we showed ID and got bands so we could purchase beer. No one was allowed to leave the tent with their beer - smart move! We stood at a table and chatted while looking over the heavy event field which was still full of activity. We saw the MacNicol folks enjoying as well...

An hour of standing and chatting with friends, I wandered off to see more of the vendor items. Along the way I stopped into several of the exhibit halls where I got to watch Scottish dancers, listen to fiddles and lots more.

Just before 3pm, I heard the announcement that Albannach would be on stage at three and I hurried to find a spot. Wanted to get some video, I ended up plopping myself down in the dirt - front row to the stage (well, except for the concrete sidewalk area where people were dancing off & on). It was well worth the pain when I got up an hour later. LOL!

There are a bunch more short videos in our SmugMug Album...

I visited more of the exhibit halls and since it had gotten much hotter, rested for a bit in the one with all the dogs (Scottish Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Gordon Setters, Border Collies and more). That's where Stu and Bill caught up with me again.

This little guy loved riding in his remote controlled setup...

We sat and chatted until around 5pm when we noticed things were closing up. Bill headed home and we headed to get food. All but one of the food vendors had packed up so we "settled" for the fish and chips. The fish was perfect! Stu opted for an ice cream afterward, I had already indulged when I had left the boys at the vendor tent.

The bands were scheduled to start at 6pm and we opted for the bleachers. (Next year we will bring bag chairs, after three hours our backs and butts were killing us!) There were four bands featured, the first two we hadn't heard of but Albannach and Seven Nations were the ones I really wanted to see.

I had followed Seven Nations since discovering them back in 2002 while living in  St Petersburg, Florida. My late husband and I planned to attend the highland games that were being held in the area so I could see them. He ended up being too ill to attend, so that went on the back burner. I fell in love with Albannach and their heavy percussion sound when I watched a video shared on Facebook.

The first band turned out to be talented but more heavy rock than Celtic, at least the songs they played. They were Tuatha Dea and are billed on their website as "Pure Appalachian Gypsy Rock".

They did a neat percussion set seen here...

The second group was Syr (pronounced Sire). Well, they were amazing and are now on our favorite Celtic rock group list. There are a bunch of short videos in our SmugMug Album...

Seven Nations was next and for some reason, they appeared to be having some sound issues. It was hard to hear the lead vocalist, who gives the group their unique sound, over the drums and fiddle. But I enjoyed them anyway.

Albannach closed the set and once again, rocked the house!

We had so much fun, we now plan on coming back to this area next year and attending the games again!

[There are more photos and videos in our SmugMug Album...]

Ciao for now!

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