The motorhome is parked at my son’s home where I’m expected to remain until July 14th visiting with my family.

Mary is back at  her home in California tending to some personal business. She has a tentative return-to-me-date of July 23rd.

As I approach my departure date…here are more photos of my only grandson Eric, who is one month away from turning 16…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

In his Shoreline Baseball Academy Hammerheads uniform…

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Recently I bought him a major league model baseball bat as an early birthday present. Just like the pros he has marked the bat with his jersey number…

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Just like the pros he has applied some pine tar. Prior to batting he applies the pine tar to his hands for a secure grip…

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He chose the #5 for his jersey because the number 5 is worn by his long-time hero, David Wright who plays third base for the New York Mets. Other famous players who have worn the #5 are Joe DiMaggio, Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, George Brett, Lou Boudreau, Hank Greenberg and Johnny Bench.

Last weekend he participated in an eleven team playoff tournament. His team finished third. In four games he had a number of hits including two home runs. This weekend he will play in a twenty team playoff tournament. In about two weeks he will be traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to play in a national playoff tournament. Way to go, Eric!

A few days ago he stopped by to introduce his girlfriend Stephanie. They have been “going steady” for 14 months…

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Enjoying visiting family is another joy of the full-timing lifestyle!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Connecticut. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…

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Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein

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On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.
http://youtu.be/FfZUzEB4rM8

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…
http://ramblinmanphotos.wordpress.com/

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

2010 Year In Review…

December 31, 2010

Jim says:

2010 was a great RVing year for me. Here’s some on the places I visited, things I did and people met along the way in the about 17,500 miles…

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* Arizona
Yuma with a walk-in to San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora Mexico
Apache Junction
Old Tucson Film Studios in Tucson
Biosphere 2, in Oracle
Chiricahua National Monument deep in Apache Country for three days

* New Mexico
Deming with a walk-in to Palomas, Mexico

* Texas
Big Bend National Park for three days
Judge Roy Bean Museum in Langtry
National Museum of the World War II Pacific War Museum at Fredericksburg
Luckenback, population 3
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park at Stonewall

* Louisana
Fred’s Lounge in Eunice
Jean LaFitte National Preserve at Barataria
Mardi Gras in New Orleans for two weeks
Battle of New Orleans site at Chalmette
The mouth of the Mississippi River at Venice
Pilot Town, an island ten miles into the Gulf of Mexico
Bayou Terrbonne to Houma marshlands
Mandalay National Wildlife Preserve and Bayou Black Swamp tour
Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center at Thibodaux
Mr. Charlie Oil Rig Museum at Morgan City
The Oldest Rice Mill and Birthpace of Cajun Country at New Iberia
Tabasco factory and the Annual great Gator Race at New Iberia
Rice and Crawfish country in Crowley
Jean LaFitte Nation Historic Park at Lafayette
Martin Accordion Factory at Lafayette
Saints Football Team Parade at Opelousas
Historic Town of Washington
A visit at the home Greg Girard, famous Louisiana Author at Catahoula
The Great Atchafaylaya Swamp
Louisiana’s Angloa Maximum Security Prison 25 miles from St. Francisville
Civil War Battlefield at Port Hudson
State Capital Building at Baton Rouge
The Last Wilderness Ultimate Swamp Tour
Nottaway Plantation at White Castle
Laura Plantation at Vacherie
Bayou Segnette State Park at Westwego

* Mississippi
Beauvoir – Last Home Of Jefferson Davis, Biloxi,
U.S. Highway 90 and Hurricane Katrina Ground Zero damage area

* Florida
National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola for three days
Blue Angels Precision Flaying Team at Pensacola
Historical Museum at Pensacola
Fort Barrancas at Pensacola
Gulf Islands National Seashore

* South Carolina
A week-long visit with my friends Bob and Judy Michaud at Summerton
Santee National Wildlife Refuge at Summerton

* North Carolina
Asheville
Cherokee Indian Museum at Cherokee

* North Carolina and Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

* North Carolina and Virginia
Blue Ridge Parkway

* Virginia
Skyline drive
A visit with Mary’s stepdaughter and her family at Front Royal

* West Virginia
Harpers Ferry National Park

* Pennsylvania
Gettysburg National Military Historic Park
Hershey Chocolate Factory at Hershey
Dutch/Amish Country in Lancaster County
The Covered Bridge Tour of Lehigh County

* New Jersey
A visit with my friends Jim and Ginnie Palumbo in Wayne
Thomas Edison National Historical Park at west Orange
A visit with my cousin Simone and her husband Pat in Bergenfield

* Connecticut
A visit with my cousin Diane and her husband Bob at Hebron
A visit with my son Jim and his family at Ivoryton
Katherine Hepburn Museum at Old Saybrook
Nuclear Submarine Nautilus and U.S, Navy Submarine Museum at Groton
United States Coast Guard academy at New London
Ivoryton Playhouse and The Buddy Holly Story
The largest casino in the United States at Foxwood
Mystic Seaport
Amistad Exhibit at New London

* Rhode Island
Millionaire “Summer Cottages” at Newport

* Massachusetts
A visit with several different cousins and their families at New Bedford
Whaling Museum at New Bedford
The Island of Martha’s Vineyard for one week
Chappaquiddick Island
A week on Cape Cod including Hyannisport and Provincetown
Sandwich Glass Museum at Sandwich
A visit with old school friends at Revere
The first public beach in the United States at Revere
97th Annual Portuguese Feast/Festival
Lowell’s Boat Shop at Amesbury
Newburyport
Manchester
Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center and Fisherman’s Memorial
Rockport

* New Hampshire
Portsmouth

* New York
U. S. Army West Point Military Academy

* Michigan
Henry Ford Museum at Dearborn
Motown Music Museum and Ford F150 Pickup Assembly Plant Tour in Detroit

* Indiana
RV Museum at Elkhart
Fleetwood Motorhome Factory at Decatur
Workhorse Chassis Factory at Union City
Little Italy Festival in Clinton

* Nebraska
High Plains Museum at McCook

* Colorado
Rocky Mountain National Park
Museum of Northwest Colorado at Craig

* Nevada
National Automobile Museum at Reno

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In addition those identified there were many other smaller museums, numerous restaurants and other experiences during the about 17,500 miles of 2010.
Whew! It was quite a year!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

Going places where you wish they wouldn’t go?

(Note: I wrote this Blog entry while visiting my friends Bob and Judy in South Carolina a week ago and didn’t get to publish it. I thought may be some of my non-Rver readers might benefit from this tip.)

My friends, Bob and Judy, whom I am currently visiting live on a pleasant and peaceful 1.1 acres.

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The front yard as seen from the driveway.

Their yard has an abundance of birds and small ground animals…including squirrels.

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A portion of the back yard.

Problem..the squirrels were constantly raiding the bird feeders that hung on a piece of wire. Solution… a plastic bottle and poly pipe deterrent system. Now when the squirrels get on the plastic bottle, it rotates and they fall to the ground. Bird feeders are now safe from pesky squirrels.

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The plastic bottle and poly pipe deterrent system.

They found this idea in Birds and Blooms Magazine about four years ago.

You get to see all kinds of things when you RV!

In other news…yesterday we drove about 50 miles to Greeneville, Tennessee where we spent the night in a quiet VFW parking lot. Today’s destination, Boone, North Carolina about 85 miles distant.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

By that I mean we’ll arrive later today. In reality Asheville is in the mountains and the airport is located in Arden, North Carolina…about 20 miles southeast of Asheville. I spent the night in Spartanburg, South Carolina about 45 miles southeast of the airport and will be in Arden by noon. Mary arrives on a 3:50 afternoon flight from California.

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Since November 30, 2009, I’ve driven about 4,800 miles.

In other news…regarding yesterday’s Blog about my little yellow light. No parts were needed…the garage had to re-program the computer. The work was covered by warranty and Workhorse (the chassis manufacturer) paid the one-hour labor fee of $92.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

When I started the motorhome engine yesterday morning, my plans were to have a very pleasant drive along a little used highway about 150 miles to Spartanburg, South Carolina. I was going to spend the night at an American Legion.

However…once I started the engine all the lights went out the way they’re supposed to …except the little yellow ABS warning light. I started the engine another five times hoping the light would go out…nope!

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The little yellow light that changed my plans. The red light is my parking brake light.

The Workhorse Chassis Manual says the braking system is made up of two parts. When the yellow light comes on, the manual says it means one portion may not be working properly…the vehicle can still be driven…but drive carefully and get it to a service center asap. Great!

I drove about 60 miles and the light remained lit. No signs of leakage and the brakes seemed to be just fine. As I approached the state capital of Columbia, I stopped and looked up the Workhorse Service Centers online, hoping there would be one in Spartanburg. Nope…just two in the entire state and one happens to be in Columbia.

So, instead of driving on to Spatanburg, I ended up parking under some shade trees behind a shopping center where I spent the night. Oh by the way…yesterday was 90 degrees with about 90% humidity. Yuck!..said the Weather Wimp (that’s the name my life-partner Mary has given me because I gripe whenever the temperature is not within the 65-75 degree range).

The service center is a Chevrolet Dealer about two miles from my overnight parking location. I plan to be at the service center door when they open at 8:00 AM. I’m about 150 miles away from where I need to be to pick up Mary at the Asheville, North Carolina Airport on Tuesday (tomorrow).

If I where just driving on flat land, I would have driven on…however…I’m headed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and cannot take any chances when it comes to possible brake problems. I’ll let you know what happened in tomorrow’s Blog.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

After a nice visit with Bob and Judy Michaud for the last week..I’ll turn northwest for about 250 miles to meet Mary at the Asheville, North Carolina Airport on Tuesday. After five weeks in California of taking care of business, she’s ready to join me back on the road.

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This map shows my progress since November 30, 2009…about 4,500 miles.

Yesterday in Summerton was 86 degrees with high humidity. At 5:00 AM this morning it was 76 degrees and humid. Time to head to the mountains to cool off.

Next planned stop…Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

A Slave’s Grave

May 1, 2010

Jim says:

I’m still visiting with my friends Bob and Judy in Summerton, South Carolina. This morning, Bob asked if I’d like to see a slave’s grave…and I said sure.

Less than a five-minute walk from his house we came upon this headstone. It was substantially overgrown with weeds and we had to clear them away in order to take these two photos.

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Below his name it reads in part…A leader in the African M.E. Church South near…
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A peaceful forest setting…

Bob told me that many years ago this area in which he now lives was a cotton plantation and that this is where the slaves were buried. This was the only headstone we found and I didn’t want to search further because the mosquitoes were really starting to get after me. Fortunately there are no mosquitoes around his house.

It appears this slave was born in 1826 which would have made him about 34 years old when the Civil War began. He was most likely emancipated by Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation. We also discussed how hard it is to try to envision what the life of a slave was really like. Yesterday was 86 degrees with high humidity. Bob told me by August it will exceed 100 degrees. It’s so hard to picture working in the cotton fields from sun-up to sun-down, six days a week, in those kinds of temperatures. Despite it all, old Joseph apparently lived to be 80 years old.

It was a neat experience, although brief, because not many tourists get to see this site. Another nice RVing happening.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

A couple of days ago I got a telephone call from my oldest (15) grand-daughter. I was especially happy to hear from her since that rarely occurs. She told me that she had got a new computer for her recent birthday that had a built-in camera and how would I like to do a video chat? You bet!, I told her and we agreed to try to connect the following day (yesterday) at 3:00 PM after she got home from school. We did and it was a great experience for me.

Since she has been about 12, she’s started to develop her own friendships and we rarely talked on the telephone. Even when we did, she basically would provide only one word answers to my questions…but yesterday was really different. Not only were we able to see one another, we had a 30 minute chat! It was really nice and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

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The first video chat with my oldest grand-daughter.

In May my laptop will be five years old. About four years ago I bought a web-cam specifically to do video chats with my family while I’m on the road. At that time my son told me his computer was really old and slow and he needed to replace it…he never did. That combined with his working long hours resulted in no video chats. Thanks to my oldest grand-daughter, perhaps that will now change.

I’ll be arriving at their home in Connecticut in 29 days and perhaps I can help them set-up so we can do this with them as a family unit. I’m certainly hoping so….

As a side note….I’m currently visiting friends in Summerton, South Carolina and am located about 10 miles from Interstate Highway 95 in a bunch of trees. Result…very low cell phone and Internet signal. Once again, our cell phone amplifier system has come through. Without it, I’d have no communications. I’m really glad we installed it as we are using it more than originally anticipated. Even though I do not get to see my family in person all that often, it sure is nice to be able to communicate with them via phone and Internet on a regular basis. Video-chatting makes the experience much more enjoyable!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

Yesterday my friend Bob took me to the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. Its 15,000 acres lies within the Atlantic Coastal Plain. It has four management units that stretch over 18 miles along the northern side of Lake Marion.

The Santee Indians were part of the Mississippian culture that lived in this area for thousands of years. The Indian Mound, because of its elevation, served as a minor British fort during the American revolution War. In 1781, the Americans defeated the British garrison here.

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The Santee National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center Welcome Mat.
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We had to climb up a metal spiral staircase to see inside a replica of an Osprey nest.
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I’ve seen a number of Indian Mounds in my travels, but never one this large. I was really surprised they used it to build a viewing platform upon.

Here’s the official government website link…
http://fws.gov/santee

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santee_National_Wildlife_Refuge

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While we not there long, I managed to see this beautiful hawk riding the air currents.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

Jim says:

About one week ago I wrote about a pesky problem I had trying to add air to the outside tire of the dual rear wheels on the motorhome. Yesterday I went to the Santee Lake Service Center to fix the problem. They managed to find angled valve stems that I’ve been seeking since we acquired the motorhome more than six months ago.

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Now I can finally attach my air pump and add air to the outside tire.

I highly recommend them to you. if you are ever in this area…here’s how to find them…
Santee Lake Service Center, Inc.
Exit 98, Interstate Highway 95
Santee, South Carolina
803-854-5506
Frank Hughes – Owner

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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