- Date: 07-21-2014
- Current City: Charleston, SC
- Current Location: Joint Air Force Base Charleston FAMCAMP
- Site Number: 9
- Wi-fi Signal: Verizon – Good / AT&T – Good / Campground Wi-fi – Medium
- Mission: Work / Explore
- Compliment: 2 Officers, 1 Crew, 0 Guests
- Captain: Eric Highland
- Navigator: Brittany Highland
- 1st Mate: Trogdor the Burninator
- Guests: None
- Weather: Scattered Clouds / 85°
- Precipitation: 70%
- Humidity: 74%
- Wind: 4 mph
- Fuel: 45 Gallons of Diesel – just under 1/2 of a tank
- Odometer: 103,866
- Generator Hours: 4613.6
- Estimated Date of Departure: Saturday, August 2nd.
- Next Destination: Unknown
Special Orders: Get back into our regular routine.
12:45 – If you’ve been following along, you know we had a pretty scary breakdown at our stop in Orlando/Kissimmee. No Captain’s Log has been written since June, though several attempts at one had been started. The week in Orlando with the kids and grandma, the breakdown, and clients proved to be too much for us to work on the Captain’s Log as well. Without a doubt it was the most hectic week we’ve ever had yet since full-timing.
All of the details can be found under our Fulltime RV Breakdown article. <~~ Just click on this to read it. It was a pretty out of control week.
In Orlando / Kissimmee when not dealing with the mechanical breakdown, the kids, grandma, Brittany and I went to Disney World as we were able. We got a four day park hopper pass and we took as full advantage as we could considering the circumstances. The kids had a blast and I seriously got some steps in on my FitBit. Though my weight continues to plateau.
When not at Disney or dealing with the Meriwether issues, we spent time at River Island (a huge river like pool) at our condo in Florida. We were so thankful to have our condo that week, and it was truly providential to have it while Meriwether was broken down.
Surprisingly, we were able to leave Orlando in time for our next stop, the highly anticipated St. Augustine, FL.
12:48 – We made it to St. Augustine on the Fourth of July at 2:33PM. We decided to stay at Ocean Grove RV Park. By far it was the most we’ve ever paid for a week at a single place. We paid somewhere around $435 for the week to stay at Ocean Grove, but since St. Augustine is one of our favorite cities, and crewmember Arianna really wanted to go to the beach, we went for it.
We had a really nice time. The first night we watched fireworks from the fishing pier at our resort. They were a bit far away, but we heard the traffic downtown was horrendous and we were pretty tired after the drive and hookup procedure. The campground itself wasn’t worth what we paid. It was nice, just not $400+ a week nice. Next time I think we’re going to shoot for Anastasia State Park that is even closer to downtown and more affordable (it was full when we tried to make reservations).
Our spot however was close to the fishing dock, and I got to take Javen and Silas fishing for the first time.
Both boys got fish on the line, but only Silas was able to reel one in. Regardless, it was a very special time of bonding with my little boys. The looks on their faces were priceless.
While in St. Augustine, we also got to spend time on the beach. We picked up some boogie boards and went out on the surf. It took awhile to get the hang of boogie boarding, but once we did, everyone was having a great time.
Silas called the good waves, “car waves” because he said he felt like he was driving a car when he was on the crest of the wave. Javen got really good at controlling the direction of the boogie board and caught, in his words, “some gnarly waves,” and even Darius who doesn’t like natural water areas got in on the fun. All in all the beach was a great time and we went back a total of three times during the week.
We also spent time walking around downtown, we went to the fort in St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos which incidentally is the first National Monument in the country. While there we got to tour the fort and hear a Park Ranger speak on the living conditions and history of the fort. We even got to watch a live fire cannon demonstration.
We also spent time walking around the beautiful grounds of Flagler College.
Brittany and I took one night to have a “date night” out on the town. We walked around, looked at shops and ate at an Italian restaurant we found right on the main street of Old Town (Pizzalley) and we finished up the date with some ice cream and caramel apples.
We all really enjoyed St. Augustine, but the time flew by too quickly. Hilton Head, SC was next on our list.
13:10 – We were really excited about Hilton Head, SC. The resort was the highest rated resort we’ve ever stayed at, and not terribly cheap, but cheaper than St. Augustine. The resort itself was spectacular. 2 swimming pools, sauna, steam room, hot tub, playground, restaurant, even jetski and boat rentals on site. All of the sites were paved, wide, and level.
Upon arrival the fine folks at Hilton Head RV Resort and Marina were super nice. They put us into a golf cart and we were able to drive around and pick the spot we liked. Then we simply parked and hooked up. While we loved the campground, Hilton Head Island was just ok. There was a lot to do if you had a nice bankroll, but for those on a budget it was more of a challenge.
We did manage to make it to the top of the lighthouse and out to the Coastal Discovery Museum which was a really nice (and free) tour.
It was also the week of the final for the World Cup. We went out that afternoon to a wing place and feasted on hot wings while we watched Germany beat Argentina 1-0. When Germany scored the goal, Javen and I shouted a prolonged GOOOOAAAALLLLL that must have carried on for at least a minute.
Other than that, our final week at Hilton Head was a lot of simple family time. Brittany and Arianna hung out together while the boys and I played table games. We went swimming and we grilled a lot. Darius ran the grill on his own one night and the results were fantastic!
On Tuesday, Arianna and I went out to lunch one day by ourselves for some daddy – daughter time.
On Wednesday, I took Darius to scope out the Federal Law Enforcement training center in Charleston, SC (about 2 hours away) as he is considering that as a possible career path. Darius got to meet with the Assistant School Chief and also a personal tour which included watching the students go through some full contact scenarios.
13:24 – On Friday, Brittany and I packed up the kids and drove them from Hilton Head, SC to Nancy, KY a journey of about 8.5 hours. We then turned around and headed back to Hilton Head. It was a LONG day. But we made it back safe and sound and went straight to bed.
The following morning on Saturday, we woke up and headed out to Charleston, SC where we are now. We’re staying at the Air Force Base here. Check in was pretty strict. They made us open every compartment on Meriwether and sit in a tiny little room with no windows until they were done with their inspection.
But the campground is really nice, and at $16 per night and only 20 minutes away from historic downtown, you can’t beat it.
Saturday night we went to the on-base Charleston Club. It was a nice surprise to find out they had an all-you-can-eat snow crab leg dinner, which I devoured and then some.
On Sunday we went to the church services here on base, then off to get the oil changed in Smaug. The oil change place was right next to the mall so we also did a little shopping. I’ll let Brittany tell you about all of that.
Remarks – Our first time with the kids in Meriwether was over Spring Break this year. It was a learning process and it didn’t go as smoothly as we hoped. This summer was the real test though. Could we do it? How would it go? Well the answer is we did it, and it went nearly perfect. The kids did great, even in the midst of the mechanical breakdown they were troopers. Meriwether seems a lot more empty now, and a whole lot quieter.
Brittany and I are back to our regular work routine.
We both really miss the kids, their sweet voices, special laughter, the snuggles, the games, the companionship, and mostly their love and being able to pour out our love on them. But we look forward to our next time with them around Thanksgiving and until then we’ll keep exploring our great country. ~ E
P.S. The most bizarre thing just happened. I went to turn on Meriwether to see what our mileage and fuel situation was for the stats in our log and “I wish I was in Dixie” started playing. There is no radio on, it’s not the CB, not sure where it was coming from. I’d turn Meriwether off and the music would stop. I’d turn him on and it would start again.
If Brittany wasn’t here to witness it, I’m not sure anyone would believe me.
We may have picked up a Confederate ghost along the way. Justsayin. ~ E
16:28 – Where to start! Eric did an quite the job encapsulating the past month of our life with his entry. As I reflect on the past four weeks, my mind is full of sweet memories and conquered challenges.
I loved our night walks at Florida Caverns State Park and how the kiddos pretended to freak out at every night sound. I loved Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom late at night with Eric. Tower of Terror three times in hardly more than 30 minutes! I loved my night out with Ari in St. Augustine. We sat in the town square as night fell and talked about life with live music playing from the gazebo in the background. I loved our RV resort in Hilton Head, and the way sunset looked over the marina.
It’s been raining a lot, so we found refuge inside…a mall…yesterday. I had an agenda:
I love the velvety coverlet and cozy throw. And I think the color scheme kind of says “nautical,” right? :p Next bedroom project: recovering the cornice boxes. Yay…one of my favorite things. -B