Ya’ll ain’t from around here

We finally left South Carolina, and miss it already.  We spent a total of 6 days between Hilton Head Island and Charleston and we didn’t even scratch the surface.  There is a tremendous amount of activities, history, food and culture to be explored.  We did our best to hit some of our highlights (eating & drinking).  But for certain, we’ll be back for another go around.  But next time we’re flying.

On the way out of town, we stopped at (in my humble opinion), the second best BBQ in the Country.  And yes, I’ve been to the best.  RodneyScott’s BBQ.  But don’t take my word for it, Anthony Bourdain did it justice in this little piece from Part’s Unknown:  #2

If you wanna know my number one, you’ll have to watch it here:  #1

Last night we stayed at the Goose Creek RV Resort in Newport, NC.  A little party community of part timers, weekenders and one-nighters.  You either have a tricked out golf cart or a fishing boat, to be considered a local here.  But they’re very welcoming to strangers and especially Californian’s.  Not sure why, but it seems like most people we talk to are amazed that we actually drove all the way out here.  Then when they realize we did it with 4 dogs, they can’t believe it.  All things considered, it’s really been quite easy.

Today’s the big day with the short drive.  We have about 3 hours to Kill Devil Hills in the Outer Banks, and The 2017 Family Reunion.  Looking forward to seeing everybody and spending some good times together.  Look out folks, here come the Griswolds……

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens





Too cute

Real Time Update.

So we’re bouncing around Charleston, SC today and we put the dogs in a daycare program at The Wag Factory.  Dozens of dogs there and who do ours  hang with????   Each other.  Awww




Exhausting.  That’s what today was.  Exhausting.

6:30am, alarm goes off and we hit the ground running.  We rented a 21′ skiff  from 8am to noon, so we could enjoy a small portion of the Intracoastal Waterway and take the dogs for some beach time.  That turned out to be a great idea.  We saw several dolphins and found a perfect beach for play time.  These dogs couldn’t get enough.  They (and us) met a couple new friends, the weather was spot-on and the water was nice and warm.  Such a perfect little morning.

We came back to the RV Resort and thankfully they have a dog wash station.  All the girls got a fresh bath and I took a quick shower, because I had a 2pm tee-time booked at the Sea Pines Resort.  Off I went the all the girls stayed behind to enjoy the day.

The golfing was super.  Super freaking hot and sweaty that is.  But I knew it would be.  No worries, a bad day golfing is always better than a good day working.  So golf it was at one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever had the privilege of playing.  I shot well, played from the tips and walked the WHOLE COURSE.  I estimate I walked about 6 miles (chasing my balls to the left then to the right, then back to the left again…).  Our 3-some had a shared caddy who was really nice and very helpful.  A young aspiring golfer by the name of Brock, from Oklahoma.  If he ever makes it big, you heard his name here first.

Tomorrow the girls are headed into Savanna, GA, while I drive the RV and dogs up to Charleston, SC.  Looking forward to some super Southern, low country cooking…



Rip Cord

I know, I know.  Both of the people reading this, haven’t seen an update from us in a couple days and for that, I apologize.  I will try harder to make sure we get something posted everyday, so at the very least, I can bore you to sleep at night.  So here’s the re-cap.  (Where did we leave off?)

Oh, Saturday the 29th, last night in New Orleans.  This was a cool night.  Maddie picked out this hip little vegan place in East NO, The Sneaky Pickle.  Food was good, vibe was hippie, neighborhood was…. well, the Uber driver warned us not to walk to our next destination… so afterward, we took another Uber about 3 miles down the road to Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits.  Now this was a real treat.  It’s a house, in a residential neighborhood (duh), that is a wine store in the front, a restaurant upstairs and a live Jazz party in the backyard.  You gotta check it out.  It’s such a cool experience.  If I had a bigger back yard (and a zoning permit), I would totally do this at home.  We had this GIANT charcuterie plate, a couple bottles of wine and listened to some fantastic Jazz.  All under the stars and some terrific NO weather.  The rain came in earlier than morning and knocked down the temps and humidity to some really nice and comfortable levels.  It was a perfect way to end a great weekend in the Big Easy.

The next morning, we were East Bound and Down, Loaded Up and Trucking.  Only we took the long way to a little spot on the Gulf of Mexico in Carrabelle, Florida.  But before I tell you about one of the most beautiful RV spots we’ve ever stayed at, let me tell you about a 10(ish) mile stretch of road between Pass Christian, MS and Gulf Port, MS.  If I ever retire or if I ever disappear from existence, look for me there.  I’ll be the old salty dog tending to his old salty dogs, watching the world go by.  I never (ever) thought that I would say Mississippi and retirement in the same sentence, but this is my kinda place.  The good news is, Laura liked it too 😏.  Nuff said.

We proceeded to pass a bunch of cool little touristy sea towns on our way.  One in particular was Destin, FL.  As we rolled in over the bridge, we saw this enormous floatilla of boats, bars, beers and babes.  It was a gangsters paradise for red-neck water mongers.  Damn, I miss it already.  But we eventually landed at the Ho-Hum Rv Resort and pulled the rip cord for the night.  We hadn’t been there for 5 minutes before I had all four dogs running up and down the beach.  They needed the play time, I needed the decompression time and it was a perfect way to cap off a 10 hour drive.

July 31st found us taking a new direction.  Left.  We officially headed North today, because we ran out of road.  We hit Jacksonville, FL and the Atlantic Ocean.  From there it was a couple hours up to Savanna, GA and then onto Hilton Head Island, SC.  We found this great little RV park here, rented a car from Hertz and decided right way, that we were going to extend an extra day here.  We took off for Harbor Town, right after breakfast at this cool place called Skull Creek Boat House (great seafood!!).  Harbor Town is just as beautiful as you see on TV during the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament.  So much so, that I have 2pm tee time there tomorrow.  Hey, when in Rome right?  The girls are headed to Savanna for some shopping and I’m gonna enjoy a nice walk (spoiled).

Until we meet again….




Love, Hope, Strength

The Big Easy.  Down on the Bayou. My Creole brotha from another motha.  Ray Nagin.  Lestat de Lioncourt.  Wait, what?  Forget Ray Nagin.  This is New Orleans Baby!

Holy crap it’s hot and sweaty.  I mean, slap yo mama with a wet mop, kinda hot and sweaty.  The RV air conditioners literally cannot keep the rig cooler than 82˚ during the day.  They never shut off.  I know, I know.  I’m in a palace on wheels and complaining about how my AC isn’t good enough.  Sorry.  I didn’t mean it like that.  I just wanted you all to understand how deeply swampy it is here.  As Mathew Brodick (Eugene Morris Jerome) best put it, “Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.”

Aside from that, we spent a great night (Thursday) eating the best (and very first) grilled oysters I’ve ever had.  Even the regular half shells were da bomb.  But those grilled….., that is some good.  Maddie hooked us up with a couple great bars from her extensive research and we enjoyed a beautiful evening stroll through the French Quarter, trying to avoid tourist traps, con artists and vampires.

Friday morning we of course went to Cafe du Monde.  You’re either a communist or really, really, really crazy if you don’t have at least one cup of coffee and a few beignets.  Man those are good.  I mean, they’e so good, I’d endure this weather again anyday for just one more.  Laura buys their home beignets kits from the supermarket, but there is just no comparison (sorry Honey).  Afterwards, a little daylight stroll through the FQ was in order.  So many artist shops.  I never expected to see so many.  But the architecture is divine.  A bit neglected but divine.  The history of the FQ, the engineering that keeps it safe, the past tragedies, all combine to give it the rich character that it has.  Obviously you need to look past the countless bars and drunks.  As a matter of fact, I’m actually glad that Bourbon St. has been closed for construction while we’ve been here.  It has forced us explore less traveled paths and I’m grateful for it.

Friday night was a real special treat for me personally.  When I’m in a town for a couple nights, I like to check local venues to see if any good bands are playing.  Well what do you know, The Alarm is in town at the House of Blues.  Holy Crap, The Alarm!?  I started listening to them in 7th grade and all throughout high school.  As soon as I found out, I contacted the HOB and asked about VIP packages.  We ended up with a stage side table in the Founders Club section.  One of the coolest things however, was that the venue and crowd was so small, its was like a private concert no matter where you were standing.  Then after the show, the house lights came up and entire band just mixed and mingled with everybody left.  It was truly a treat and concert I’ll never forget.

Today is Saturday.  Let’s see whats next.


PUPDATE   (get it 😜?)

We’ve been working very hard the past couple days, with the puppies.  They seem to think they are on vacation and have forgotten all manners.  So we’ve adopted a new walking/pooping routine.  They are such sweethearts and we really can’t blame them.  There is so much energy bundled up in them, I’m sure its tough for them to spend sooooooo much time inside.  When they do go out for walks, they just want to run wild.

So we purchased a couple “Gentle Leaders” and gave it a try.  It wasn’t the quite the result that it was supposed to be.  The pups freaked out when the strap went across their snout.  But the second they shook it off, they fell in-line.  Mostly because they didn’t want them back on.  We also walk them separately and in opposite direction.  It’s having a very positive affect and their behavior is much calmer.  But whenever possible, we still like to give them some off-leash play time together in the grass.

I’m Going to Graceland

The ceilings were covered in green shag carpet, the staircase walls were mirrored, macrame was woven around hanging plants and avocado colored appliances stood tall in the kitchen…the year was 2017.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a sucker for nostalgia and that I LOVE Elvis! Whether it’s “jailhouse rock Elvis” or “jumpsuit Elvis” I am all in, so when I found out a month ago that we would be stopping at Graceland, my heart began to flutter and the tune of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” played instantly.

I didn’t know what to expect when it came to his estate, so when I arrived and saw that it was a time capsule of all things seventies, I couldn’t be happier. While we walked around the home we were guided by the voice of John Stamos (yeah, you read that right) through our audio tour which was detailed and thorough of all the rooms we viewed, the audio tour also included recordings of Priscilla and Lisa Marie sharing personal stories of the home which was a sweet addition since it was their home too. My mouth was open the entire time because I was in awe of how perfect I thought the house was. I could not imagine a better home for myself, so I plan on moving in as soon as my restraining order has been lifted.

Graceland was such a treasure to Elvis and it was truly special to be able to walk through those walls and soak in his spirit. After viewing the estate we walked through the extensive exhibition which showcased all his toys (cars, airplanes, motorcycles and golf carts) as well as his personal items and his infamous collection of jumpsuits. I left four hours later with a milkshake in my belly, a large bag of souvenirs in my hand and a deeper love for the King of Rock n’ Roll.

XOXO    Madison

In the Memphis Sky

Good morning Memphis.  Good morning Kuerig.  One of you we’ll be leaving today (headed down to the Big Easy).

Well Maddie finally made it into town, almost a day behind schedule (sound familiar?), after Delta canceled two of her flights.  Long story but she made it safe and sound with her custom embroidered “Grisworld” jacket and pocket full of enthusiasm.  Let’s get this Memphis party started.

So aside from the really good BBQ at Rendezvous, beautiful old Southern Homes and music history, Memphis needs help.  It’s a bit sad to see such a historic city, so repressed.  I mean it almost feels melancholy.  So many buildings abandoned, fenced off and left for dead.  Very few people on the street enjoying the evening.  Neighborhoods of impoverished ghettoes, one block from the Central Gardens neighborhood of classic Southern Colonial homes.  The people are polite and helpful, but you still feel an undercurrent of attitude, a scolding if you will.  You can also still pickup a sense of divide.  Of all the cities I’ve been to, this one still feels black and white.  I don’t get a feeling of One-ness or unification.  Their separatism feels too natural.  It’s been in their blood for generations, and doesn’t seem that it will dissipate anytime soon.

Maddie hit the nail on the head when she said this town needs youth.  It needs young money, young dreams and young passion to come in here and revitalize these neighborhoods.  It needs generations of building dreams together, to wash away the disdain between races.  There is so much potential here, it can happen.

If you’re any fan of architecture, the bones of these buildings are fantastic and the prices are dirt cheap.  A very talented photographer, Walter Arnold, tells the tale best on his website, “The Art of Abandonment”.  Check out his photos of the Romanesque architecture at the old Tennessee Brewing Company (amongst several others).  This building is so gorgeous and so wanting of new life.  This town is a penny stock, just waiting for it’s big break.

We spent the next day visiting (of course), Graceland.  What a treat that was.  But I’ll let Maddie tell that story…

Oh by the way, wanna read a great short story?  Check out the history behind  Ashlar Hall – Prince Mongo’s Castle.  It’s a great side-read.



To Boldly Go

Well, it officially took 1900 miles to finally travel further (in the RV) then ever before.  We crossed the Mississippi today and with that came a brand new adventure.

We left OKC at about 8am and just kept truckin.  It was really interesting to see the scenery change so quickly.  From Amarillo to OKC, it was flat brush and brown to flat brush and green(ish) yellow.  Today it went to rolling hills of green and tress everywhere.  Lots of water too.  Neither of us had ever been to Oklahoma or Arkansas before.  Gotta say, it’s not all hillbillies and banjos.  (Although there might have been one at that rest-stop…)  But they’re really pretty states, at least from what we can see on the I-40.

Maddie WAS supposed to fly in tonight to hook up with us for the rest of the way to OBX, but her flight has been delayed and she won’t get in here until 3am.  Thank goodness for the free Delta Lounge access thru Amex.  Now she can get completely wasted before her flight, FOR FREE!

Maddie, if you’re reading this, use your Uber, don’t wake us, and don’t puke in the RV.  Happy trails sweetheart.


New Roads

Other than a fairly short and boring day, we hit a new milestone when we stayed on the I-40 just East of Amarillo.  New roads and new scenery.  Up until now, we’ve driven on just about every major road West of the Mississippi, except the I-40 continuing to OK City.  In the past we’ve always turned right and headed South to Dallas.  So Yippie for us!

Tomorrow we find ourselves with a new first.  Stay Tuned…..