Thursday, 15 May 2008

13/05/2008 - 04/06/2008 Nashville, Orlando


13/05/2008- Tonight we went to the Grand Old Opry. What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925, is today a live-entertainment phenomenon. Dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present. It’s been called the “home of American music”and “country’s most famous stage.”The entertainment line-up was Jim Ed Brown, T. Graham Brown, George Hamilton IV, Del McCoury Band, Bill Anderson, Eric Church, The Isaacs and Keith Urban. It was a really good night and it was great to see Keith Urban perform - a bit of a bonus that he was singing. Each performer sings for about 15 minutes, the whole show goes for two hours and is broadcast via Live TV and Radio.

15/05/2008 - We've hired a car today to have a look around Tennessee, as the public transport system from our RV park is non existent. One of the things that we have noticed about most of the cities that we have visited (excluding Washington DC) is that their public transport system is not all that great. In the evening there was a free Blue Grass Band concert - I've decided that Blue Grass music is definitely not for me, to me it sounds as if they are singing through their noses.

Okay I've been very slack and I've not updated the Blog for quite awhile, so here goes...


19/05/2008 - 24/05 2008 - We decided to have a bit of a break on the beach, so we headed to a town called Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Well this park was rather large to say the least, it had over 3700 sites - which included anything from a tent to large holiday homes. We were lucky enough to land a site that was only one row away from the beach - score. However we were also 1.5 k's from the front gate. We had a really relaxing week with a bit of swimming (mind you the beaches aren't quite like the beautiful beaches and surf we have at home) eating, drinking and just relaxing. Dave is just loving this Cable TV, it has a Golf Channel, so he can lay in the bedroom with his air conditioning going and just watch TV in peace and quiet if he wants. Whilst I'm happy to lay outside and read a book - we are really enjoying this retirement thing, even though I know that Dave misses his Saturday golf and I miss my social life and we both miss our families, we aren't too stressed and we are reallying enjoying ourselves.


As this park is so huge many of the guests either own or rent a Golf Cart to get them around the park. Now these Golf Carts aren't like we are used to seeing out on the Golf courses. There are carts that are jacked up, have mag wheels, have really fancy stereo systems etc. etc. etc. This park had several beautiful lakes where people went fishing. The turtles even sun bake around the many fountains. The swans had their little signets swimming with them in one of the ponds, it really was a great place to stay. There was restaurants, pools, recreation rooms, shops everything that one could want. We would of liked to stay a bit longer, but it was Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach, so the resort was completely booked up. On our last day in Myrtle Beach our Registration Plates etc. finally showed up - so we are now driving around the States legally.


25/05/2008 - 26/05/2008 - From Myrtle Beach we headed to the Ocala National Forest, Florida where we were hoping to swim in the Salt Springs which are rumored to have curative powers and according to the Lonely Plant Book (my Bible) the swimming is sublime. Well unfortunately, for us they were doing some renovations etc on the Salt Springs so these were closed. However, we did manage to get to the Silver Springs to have a great (if not cold or as Dave refers to it refreshing) swim. The water was crystal clear and just beautiful.


26/05/2008 - 30/05/2008 - After we left the Springs we decided it was time for some fun and action - so we set out for Florida - Walt Disney World. We made a decision to stay at Walt Disney's Fort Wilderness Camping Grounds - a little bit more expensive but only a ferry ride or bus ride to all 4 of the sites we wanted to visit i.e. Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).



I had 3 fantastic days at Disney World (acting like a child again), I even think Dave enjoyed himself though he did mutter after only one day, that he had had enough of Disney World, okay to be fair we had been at the park at opening at 9:00am and we were still going at around 11:30pm. The next couple of days were much the same we tried to pack as much in as we could (okay I dragged Dave around most of it - but I know secretly that deep down Dave had a great time and that he enjoyed the rides as much as I did.



The Safari at Animal Kingdom was magnificent. To see the Lions, Giraffes, Rhinoceroses, Elephants, Hippos etc wandering around whilst travelling in a Jeep with no protection between us and the animals, it really did feel like you were in Africa.
The Fort Wilderness RV park was a great place to stay, the sites are very well maintained, there is a sophisticated bus system that take you from one end of the park to the other, we've got good use out of our bikes. here The park also has a couple of swimming pools, planned activities, speed boats, bass fishing, restaurants, horse riding and the list goes on. We were talking to one couple and their children and they have come to the park just to utilise all the facilities of the park and don't even go to Disney World.


30/05/2008 - 02/06/2008 -We still had one day left on our Disney passes to use -but it was time to go and see the Space Shuttle Launch, something that we were both looking forward to and one of the only things that we had actually planned. To witness this event was just spectacular and something that neither of us will ever forget. We were about 6 miles from the actual launch site (the closest you can get is about 3.9 miles and that's for the press, family and the command centre). From where we were standing (on the river front of the RV park) the sound of the launch was about 10 seconds behind the actual lift off. Everyone seemed to hold their breath for a few minutes and after it looked like everything was going well the crowd started to cheer and applauded - I ended up with goose bumps. We were told before the launch that - You see it, you hear it and then you feel it. It made the F1-11's at river fire look like mosquito squadren.
Whilst staying in this campground we found out what it must be like to go camping with the Eames's etc. There was this one tent that had air-conditioning, we just couldn't believe it. It was a box window type that had a stand build under it so it stood up on it's own accord and was cut into the fly screen of the tent. We have seen campers with their tents full of fridges, microwaves, toasters and of course being in the South their deep fryer's but this was the first one with an air-conditioned tent.

On Monday we went out to the Kennedy Space Centre to find out more about the Centre and to see the actual site where the Shuttle took off from. We really enjoyed learning more about the launch, the Space Centre and NASA - Dave was in his element and wanted to know how everything worked. We actually got to touch a piece of rock from both the moon and mars - whilst touching the actual rock wasn't that exciting - it just felt like a piece of slate, it was great to know that we had touched something that had come from so far away. Whilst at the Kennedy Space Centre we also realised why there was no one swimming in some of the beautiful lakes - Alligators were everywhere.


03/06/2008 - On our way back to Disney World we spent the night in an RV park in Kissimmee. When we arrived at the park we thought we had landed in the middle of Hicksville (it was close to Dusk). When I woke up and went for my walk (yep Dave was still in bed) I realised what a lovely little park this one was. I was walking along admiring all the wildlife I had come into contact with, horses, geese, turtles, cats, dogs, donkeys etc. when I came to one of the canals and yep there was this alligator only about 5 feet away from a fisherman. The alligator was just laying in the water watching the fisherman, who said that he is always there and if he gets too close he just hits him with his fishing rod to move him back a bit arghhhhh.

04/06/2008 - I got Dave out of bed early so we could get going early. The Animal Kingdom opens at 8:00am on Wednesday (for Resort guest only). I have our day planned we really only want to do a few rides. So we caught the Bus to Animal Kingdom - we went and did the Safari Ride again, from here we caught the bus to the Hollywood Studios to do the Rock N Roll Roller Coaster, this is one of the best Roller Coasters either of us have been on, the speed in which you start and go into the first loop is phenomenal, from here we caught the bus to the Transportation Centre and caught the Ferry to the Magic Kingdom were we did the Flume Ride, this flume ride is the steepest that I have every done and we were home by 2:00pm - Dave was very happy and has gone to his Cave. Dave is just like him Mum he can go to bed really late but getting out of bed early is not the easiest thing for him to do - I normally give him an hour or so before I even try to engage in a conversation. I'm more the other way around when I'm tired and it's after 10:30pm don't try and have an intelligent conversation with me...

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