This entry is part of a series recounting our experiences on a two-week RV trip we took to southern Mississippi, Alabama and northern Florida. The goal of this trip was to test ourselves, our two cats, and our rig to make sure we all have what it takes to be full-timers. While we posted highlights of our trip on Instagram and Facebook, these entries are some behind-the-scenes notes on our trip and experiences.
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Our vacation has officially started, and it has been a wonderful day!
Fortunately this morning the rain held off, so we were able to bring Lizzy to the house to load her up. We pulled away from the house around 9:45 A.M. and headed south. We had Maggie and Molly crated for the drive, and Andy said they did fine. He drove Lizzy and I followed behind in the truck (now named Vern).
We made it to Meridian about 12:30 and stopped for lunch at Bonita Reservoir Park. This is a city park, and I had researched it on Google when looking for a lunch destination. But Google Earth did not do it justice. The park is beautiful! There is a good-sized lake that is split by a levee that we drove across to get to the boat launch parking lot. There are hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, and lots of picnic tables and pavilions with restrooms. We saw lots of geese and ducks, as well as numerous other types of birds.
While parked in the parking lot we had our salad and pinto beans, as usual, for lunch, followed by some oatmeal banana cookies that I made yesterday. After lunch we walked around the area enjoying the sights, although the breeze was pretty cool, especially coming off the water. It was overcast so we didn’t get the best view of the park, but it was still beautiful, all lush and green with flowers blooming along the split-rail fence.
We stayed in the parking lot for almost two hours and then hit the road again traveling south. We made it to Paul B. Johnson State Park around 4:20 P.M. This park is large, I believe it’s even larger than Tishomingo SP (I know it has more camping sites than Tish does). There was a big disc golf tournament going on when we got here, so there was a lot of traffic. We checked in at the office to get the parking permit for the truck and then found our campsite, number 75.
I love, love, love this campsite. It’s on a straight stretch of road between two camping loops, right along the lakeshore. We’re on the side of the road across from the lake, but there are no campsites directly across the road from us, so there’s no one blocking our view of the lake through our front window. Behind us there are only trees. The campsites in this area are well-spaced so we’re not looking directly into our neighbors’ windows.
It was overcast when we got here, and right about the time Andy finished all the hookups outside, it started to pour down rain. Perfect timing! We settled in for the evening, both of us enjoying a glass of wine. I made a lentil curry dish in the Instant Pot (Curry In A F@cking Hurry) along with some brown rice cooked on the stovetop. I used the new 3-quart Instant Pot, but the recipe calls for more ingredients than this smaller unit can accomodate. I had to leave out about half of the water called for in the recipe, but that actually made the curry even better. It was thick and flavorful, especially over the rice. It looked like it was just starting to possibly stick and scorch on the bottom, but I got it out in time. We have plenty of the curry and rice leftover for other meals later this week.
While we were waiting for our dinner to cook, we sat and talked about the day. I realized that I am so happy!! It was such a perfect day! Well, almost perfect…there was a small problem with the window shade by the bed, but Andy fixed that. And Molly is limping on her right front paw, not sure what’s going on there. But otherwise, it was just a perfect day, the kind of day that I fantasized about when thinking about full-time RV travel.
We’ll be in this park for four nights, leaving on Wednesday morning for parts unknown. We have no plans, no agenda, no reservations. And it feels so freeing on the one hand, but on the other hand I can feel myself wanting–needing–to do something, plan something, clean something. I need to relax.
I used the GoPro and gimbel today and got some pretty good footage at Bonita Reservoir, along with a little bit from the road and from our campsite here at PBJ. That will give me something to play with as I try to hone my skills at creating video content.