Our 2021 travel plans

Monello

Yeah, whatever
PREMO Member
The kung flu messed with our 2020 itinerary. Hoping it won't be a factor this year.

Our plans to get out of south Texas are coming together nicely. The plan is to head back to Panama City Beach. The route we will take is familiar. The only difference is we are going to all new stops along the way. None of the stops are must sees. I like to refer to them as 2nd tier locations. Fort Smith, Arkansas would fall in that category. I doubt a large percentage of people make vacation plans to FS. It's a nice enough place, but it's not a destination.

A few of our other 2nd tier would be Santa Rosa, NM, Citra and Sorrento in Florida, Tyler & Ft Stockton in TX. Places along the way until we get to the places we really want to see. Yet once we are there, we may as well see the local attractions. Tyler had a lovely rose garden as the city's focal point. Santa Rosa had, in the middle of the desert, a famous scuba diving location with underground caves. We didn't go in the water but stopped by to marvel several deep, crystal blue water holes smack in the middle of nowhere.

Once we leave here, we will stop at Port Lavaca, TX, Kemah, TX, Lafayette, LA, Ponchatoula, LA, Pensacola, FL then end up back in Panama City Beach arriving on the 1st of May. At that point we will have been on the road for 5 years and have stayed in 55 different campgrounds.

Vrai is a little out of practice in making our season long reservations. Thankfully it's like riding a bike. How this comes together is a joint effort. Vrai wanted to go to the Port Lavaca KOA. A while back they sought her out for a job in the campground. But she already was schedules for SPI. So in order to have a possible back up plan, we will go and check out that area for a week. Kemah is 1 of the few places that has a proper board walk in Texas. Growing up in New Jersey, most of the shore towns had some sort of board walk. Some more elaborate than others. With it's huge coast along the Gulf, you think they'd have more board walk locations. Ponchatoula has a super d duper campground. That's why that made the list. They have a swim up tiki bar in the adult pool. There is a sonic drive in at the campground. THey have a lazy river and a bunch of water centric recreation. It's a Sun Resort, just like our campground in Panama City Beach. Sun Resorts all have high quality amenities. I get that some people want to camp in the state park with minimal amenities. But living this way, we like what we like. Heated pool, check. Hot tub, check. Roomy bathouse, check. The list goes on. The other locations were added to sort of balance out the day's drive. Originally Slidell, LA was on the list as was Lake Charles, LA. LAke Charles doesn't have anything going for it so we adjusted to Lafayette. Slidell got axed once I discovered the awesome campground in Ponchatoula. Plus it's close to Lake Pontchartrain.

The campground in Panama City Beach is showing a few tiny homes for sale. I'm toying with the idea of seeing if it's a viable option for owning and renting out when we aren't there. I could see my older self ending up there. We enjoy the campground. It's in a great location. I just don't think I want to be there in July or August. The beach water in that area is as clear and as blue as any of the water of the Caribbean islands. But it's a huge financial commitment. We'll see how it goes.

Then the plan is to leave the RV there and head north. Probably spend 2 - 2 1/2 months rolling up to Maryland. Possibly go to NJ, PA. On the way back stop in NC. We've wanted to spend a few days in Savannah, so this might be a good time to do that. Gatlinburg is always an option for us when we are in that general area. We have a lot of places we like. The problem is they are scattered all over the country. Driving an RV long distances isn't impossible but it's taxing. After 13 years of driving this thing all over hell's half acre, I look forward to it less and less. I still like the travel just not enjoying the getting there part as much.

My rig is starting to show it's age. It's still reliable. I just got the engine tuned up when we were in Branson. I have a bit over 40,000 miles on the engine. The tires are less than 4 years old. But 1 exterior panel has a delamination problem. Last year the levelers went on the fritz. That issue seems to have resolved all by itself. Who knows what challenges we will face tomorrow. I keep looking for a replacement but the fear of trading 1 set of issues for a different set of issues makes me leery of pulling the trigger on an upgrade.

The SPI KOA wants Vrai back next year in the same role. I feel bad that she was hamstrung by the virus since they have this great commons area but will only let 10 people us it at a time. I know she can really dazzle this crowd if she was able to utilize all it's features. She really enjoys setting up the entertainment and fun things for the guests to do. I have no doubt that a lot of the new things she's come up with this year will become campground staples here for years to come.

If any of you have had an exposure to the towns along the I10 corridor from west Florida over to Houston, don't hesitate to mention them. We find a lot of neat and interesting places to stop by folks that have gone before us. And if I can encourage anyone reading this to hit the road sooner than later. Because ain't none of us getting any younger.
154985
 

frequentflier

happy to be living
The kung flu messed with our 2020 itinerary. Hoping it won't be a factor this year.

Our plans to get out of south Texas are coming together nicely. The plan is to head back to Panama City Beach. The route we will take is familiar. The only difference is we are going to all new stops along the way. None of the stops are must sees. I like to refer to them as 2nd tier locations. Fort Smith, Arkansas would fall in that category. I doubt a large percentage of people make vacation plans to FS. It's a nice enough place, but it's not a destination.

A few of our other 2nd tier would be Santa Rosa, NM, Citra and Sorrento in Florida, Tyler & Ft Stockton in TX. Places along the way until we get to the places we really want to see. Yet once we are there, we may as well see the local attractions. Tyler had a lovely rose garden as the city's focal point. Santa Rosa had, in the middle of the desert, a famous scuba diving location with underground caves. We didn't go in the water but stopped by to marvel several deep, crystal blue water holes smack in the middle of nowhere.

Once we leave here, we will stop at Port Lavaca, TX, Kemah, TX, Lafayette, LA, Ponchatoula, LA, Pensacola, FL then end up back in Panama City Beach arriving on the 1st of May. At that point we will have been on the road for 5 years and have stayed in 55 different campgrounds.

Vrai is a little out of practice in making our season long reservations. Thankfully it's like riding a bike. How this comes together is a joint effort. Vrai wanted to go to the Port Lavaca KOA. A while back they sought her out for a job in the campground. But she already was schedules for SPI. So in order to have a possible back up plan, we will go and check out that area for a week. Kemah is 1 of the few places that has a proper board walk in Texas. Growing up in New Jersey, most of the shore towns had some sort of board walk. Some more elaborate than others. With it's huge coast along the Gulf, you think they'd have more board walk locations. Ponchatoula has a super d duper campground. That's why that made the list. They have a swim up tiki bar in the adult pool. There is a sonic drive in at the campground. THey have a lazy river and a bunch of water centric recreation. It's a Sun Resort, just like our campground in Panama City Beach. Sun Resorts all have high quality amenities. I get that some people want to camp in the state park with minimal amenities. But living this way, we like what we like. Heated pool, check. Hot tub, check. Roomy bathouse, check. The list goes on. The other locations were added to sort of balance out the day's drive. Originally Slidell, LA was on the list as was Lake Charles, LA. LAke Charles doesn't have anything going for it so we adjusted to Lafayette. Slidell got axed once I discovered the awesome campground in Ponchatoula. Plus it's close to Lake Pontchartrain.

The campground in Panama City Beach is showing a few tiny homes for sale. I'm toying with the idea of seeing if it's a viable option for owning and renting out when we aren't there. I could see my older self ending up there. We enjoy the campground. It's in a great location. I just don't think I want to be there in July or August. The beach water in that area is as clear and as blue as any of the water of the Caribbean islands. But it's a huge financial commitment. We'll see how it goes.

Then the plan is to leave the RV there and head north. Probably spend 2 - 2 1/2 months rolling up to Maryland. Possibly go to NJ, PA. On the way back stop in NC. We've wanted to spend a few days in Savannah, so this might be a good time to do that. Gatlinburg is always an option for us when we are in that general area. We have a lot of places we like. The problem is they are scattered all over the country. Driving an RV long distances isn't impossible but it's taxing. After 13 years of driving this thing all over hell's half acre, I look forward to it less and less. I still like the travel just not enjoying the getting there part as much.

My rig is starting to show it's age. It's still reliable. I just got the engine tuned up when we were in Branson. I have a bit over 40,000 miles on the engine. The tires are less than 4 years old. But 1 exterior panel has a delamination problem. Last year the levelers went on the fritz. That issue seems to have resolved all by itself. Who knows what challenges we will face tomorrow. I keep looking for a replacement but the fear of trading 1 set of issues for a different set of issues makes me leery of pulling the trigger on an upgrade.

The SPI KOA wants Vrai back next year in the same role. I feel bad that she was hamstrung by the virus since they have this great commons area but will only let 10 people us it at a time. I know she can really dazzle this crowd if she was able to utilize all it's features. She really enjoys setting up the entertainment and fun things for the guests to do. I have no doubt that a lot of the new things she's come up with this year will become campground staples here for years to come.

If any of you have had an exposure to the towns along the I10 corridor from west Florida over to Houston, don't hesitate to mention them. We find a lot of neat and interesting places to stop by folks that have gone before us. And if I can encourage anyone reading this to hit the road sooner than later. Because ain't none of us getting any younger.
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:yay::yay::yay: Probably spend 2 - 2 1/2 months rolling up to Maryland
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
The SPI KOA wants Vrai back next year in the same role. I feel bad that she was hamstrung by the virus since they have this great commons area but will only let 10 people us it at a time. I know she can really dazzle this crowd if she was able to utilize all it's features. She really enjoys setting up the entertainment and fun things for the guests to do. I have no doubt that a lot of the new things she's come up with this year will become campground staples here for years to come.
Necessity being the mother of invention.....

I should probably whine and cry about the restrictions to make it look like I overcame some enormous burden, but honestly it wasn't that bad. Weather goofed up the deck entertainment a couple of times, whereas normally we'd have just moved it into the Commons, but rescheduling was pretty effortless and the guests are understanding. Plus we invented the ice cream truck, which people seemed to enjoy just as much if not more than the ice cream socials.

I'd call this a successful year. :yay:
 

jazz lady

~*~ Rara Avis ~*~
PREMO Member
Originally Slidell, LA was on the list as was Lake Charles, LA. LAke Charles doesn't have anything going for it so we adjusted to Lafayette.
Flew to a couple of friends' marriage there probably 10 or 12 years ago. Spent three days there (then drove to The Big Easy), but other than a couple of casinos, some museums, several decent restaurants, and pretty waterfront parks, there wasn't much there. They got slammed by two more hurricanes in 2020 and considering that hadn't completely recovered from the one before it even though it had been 5 or so years, I can only imagine it is still a bit of a disaster zone.
 
Ponchatoula is where I was born and raised before I left for the Navy. Quaint little town that boasted the Strawberry Capital of the World, but has been turned into an antique buying town. Parents still live there as does a lot of my family. Make sure you go see Ole Hardhide, the town alligator mascot in the center of town. Next to the gator cage is the Country market where you can see some history and local merchants peddling their wares. Worth a few minutes to walk through. While you’re there, check out the USS Ponchatoula memorial across the street from the gator. Interesting stories from that ship that range from wartime missions to Apollo recovery missions. Try a bar-b-que sandwich from Hi-Ho across from Gabriel building and supply. They are a little messy, but one of the best I have ever had. I get back there once in awhile to see family, and eat the local seafood. If you need parts or service for the RV, look up Berryland Campers which is a short drive from there. They have a wide selection of RVs and one of the best in the area. Known the owner for many years. Not much in the small town which is why I left for the Navy. Hope you enjoy my hometown. Safe travels!
 
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