Saturday, October 14, 2017

Exploring Wilmington and Carolina Beach NC…

While at Carolina Beach State Park I was notified the tires for our Honda CRV were delivered to Florida and the tire for our RV was delivered to North Carolina. Now all I have to do is set up both installation appointments. I also still need to make an appointment with Cummins folks in Jacksonville to address the engine noise. All in due time…

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We sure are enjoying our stay at Carolina Beach State Park. This park is fantastic given our nice site and all the available hiking within the park. We take a walk around the park exploring different areas each morning and then in the afternoon we have gone outside the park to see what greater Wilmington has to offer..

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One afternoon we drove over to historic downtown Wilmington NC for an urban stroll. This part of Wilmington is really quite interesting. There is quite a variation in the styles of architecture in town.  There is also a neat section along the Cape Fear River which has a riverfront boardwalk with restaurants and taverns offering outdoor seating for patrons to take in the scenery and to watch the evening sunset. We ended the day at Front Street Brewery in downtown Wilmington for a brewery tour and their happy hour of fine craft beer and half price appetizers.What a great vibe this brewery has!

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Another day we explored Fort Parker at the southern end of the peninsula we are staying on. Fort Parker is a National Historic Site and there is a small visitors center with a museum of wartime artifacts. It is interesting to walk around the remnants of the hand built Civil War bunkered fort while reminiscing what life might have been like for those who were here in the 1800’s. We ended this day at Kickback Jacks for their happy hour which included 1/2 pound cheeseburgers with hand cut fries for only $5!!! It was delicious!

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On one of last few days we spent time at the beaches nearby. The beaches here are nice but the communities decided to charge for parking anywhere visitors would want to stop and look at the beach. Two fifty an hour for parking is a bit high in my opinion but we were finally able to explore a few beaches by seeking out some free parking a short distance away.  Kure Beach on the southern end had free parking near the waterfront so we feel it is the easiest and best one to visit when in the area.

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One more day in Carolina Beach then off to get a new tire on the RV if all goes well…

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Trials,Tribulations and Logistics…

imageWe had fun in Raleigh NC during our last weekend with Katie and Brooks We watched some great football games, consumed delicious food and enjoyed each others company.Sharon and Katie visited a bridal boutique once again so Katie could try on a few gowns. She still hasn't found THE dress but is having fun shopping.  Our last day there we all went over to Deep River Brewing where we enjoyed a few nice craft beers along with some Longleaf Swine BBQ from the food truck on premises. We also were able to meet some of Katie and Brooks' friends which was a treat.  It was a great sendoff for us as we must continue our migration south.

imageMonday morning we packed up and left Jordan Lake State Park on a drizzly morning. With the roads being wet I decided to take the boring Interstate 40 route instead of the preferred back road route. As a result we had to drive through southern Raleigh NC which as you can imagine was not fun because it seems to always be under construction and constantly loaded with traffic.

We left the traffic in Raleigh only to be greeted with heavy traffic in Wilmington NC some 165 miles later. We again endured the congestion in Wilmington and pulled into a large, beautiful site in Carolina Beach State Park. The reviews of this area were spot on educating us about setting up first then checking in at the Marina. We are so gad we heeded that advice as it could have been tight trying to turn around a big rig with a tow car in the boat lot beside the marina..

We will be in Carolina Beach NC for four nights as I need time to set up a lot of appointments for service on both the CRV and the RV. The logistics of setting up appointments, ordering tires and trying to get to the service centers on time as well as setting up campground reservations has been taxing. As of now I have a pair of Michelin Defender tires heading from a Maryland Costco to a Jacksonville Florida Costco to be installed on our CRV. We had to replace the back two a few months ago and needed to get the same tires for the front.

imageAlso we have been in need of a Goodyear G670 for our front-passenger side of our RV, When we had the front end aligned in Red Bay Alabama we were told we should get the tire replaced as it had worn oddly around the outside edge. The service tech said it wasn’t urgent but should be replaced. I have been trying to get it replaced for the last few months but was finally able to find a tire on simpletire.com. I expect to get an older DOT dated tire but am okay with it since our other tires are two years old now and we were able to save $250 using simpletire.com.

We are having that tire sent to Blacks Tire in a small town in South Carolina to have it balanced and installed just before we stop over near Myrtle Beach SC. So now all I have left to do is set up a service appointment with a Cummins Service Center to have them check out an odd sound coming from the engine. I suspect we have an issue with our turbocharger but not being an expert on diesel engines we will leave up the professional diagnosis to the professions.

If all goes well we will have the Cummins folks in Jacksonville Florida check out the engine and then we can get Sharon over to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville FL for her annual appointments. It has been lots of logistics planning to get all this done and still travel our planned route south. Now if only we can be assured by Imperial Bonita Estates we will have a nice place to stay in Bonita Springs FL for the winter after the recent extensive hurricane damage.. It isn’t looking to good right now so we may be looking for an alternative place to spend the winter in either Florida or back in Texas… sigh, more logistics…

NOTE: We are at Carolina Beach State Park then on into South Carolina to get our CRV tires replaced before going to Myrtle Beach SC…