Saturday, March 2, 2013


Decided to call a locksmith today.  Found one in Grand Isle and he came over around 2:30.  An hour later he had the door opened.  He found the broken pieces and said he would take the mechanism to his house where he would attempt to patch it up.  He returned with a temporary fix and warned me to get it changed as soon as possible.  He said if I ordered the part he would install it for me for free.  He worked on it for 3 hours and  his fee is usually $60 an hour but he only charged me for 2 hours.  I was thankful for that.

He gave me a receipt and said to try and get my road side assistance to pay for it.  I hadn't even thought of calling Good Sam.  They just might pay for it.

So now I have to find the part.  I called Camping World and they said that they don't work on door locks and that I had to contact the dealership.  I think I will just try and get the part and let the locksmith install it.  It is a Tri Mark 60-650 and goes for$64.95 on  I could probably install it myself as I watched him closely today as he took it apart.

I'll be leaving tomorrow for home and will look for a replacement at a couple of camping stores in town.  If they can beat Amazon's price I'll get it locally.

The weather here is getting colder with a low tonight of mid 30s which is just a tad too cold for the beach.

Friday, March 1, 2013


The day started out as usual with little wet doggie kisses on my face.  Made my coffee and returned to bed to read.

There is a clock on the wall over the bed that just fascinates little Cha Bu.  She sits and stares at it for long periods of time and has tried to climb the wall to get to it.  It has a very loud tick, tick, tick and she wants to get to that ticking clock.

Make it stop Momi.

This is my Illinois neighbor Ken's beautiful Pleasure Way.

This is my Georgia neighbor in their awesome Road Trek.

Took the dogs for a walk on the beach this morning and was stopped by a maintenance supervisor who advised me that the dogs were not allowed on the beach.  I did not reply.  I did not tell him that the worker who checked me in said that there would be no one to bother me about taking my dogs on the beach this week.  I let him talk.  He went on to say that there was no manager or ranger at this time but that I should understand the rule of no dogs on beach.  I asked him to explain why the rule was put in place when for years we could take dogs on the beach.

He told me a story I had not heard before.  He explained that a woman in a motorhome reserved a 2 week stay at the park 2 years ago and she had 6 dogs that she let run loose on the beach which caused a problem that resulted in many complaints.  So they told her not to take her dogs to the beach.  She took offense and left the park, returned to her home and left the dogs, then returned to the campground for the rest of her 2 week stay and took photos of people walking their dogs on the beach.  Now she has a law suit against the park.  So it is this worker's opinion that I am adding fuel to the fire.  OK.  I understand.  I'll only take the dogs in their cart to the far end of the park and not on the state park.  No problem.

I'm really getting tired of this.  It puts a damper on my stay and I thought of leaving for home after this encounter.  It just isn't worth the hassle.

Later this afternoon I packed the dogs in the cart and took off for the town beach.  Enjoyed the afternoon and returned to the campsite to meet my friend Pat who was to pick me up to take me into town for some boiled crabs.

The fishing pier is closed.  It won't be long before the end of the pier is over the beach and not the Gulf.  This area of the park is building up really fast from wave action as well as the jetties.

Got to the camper and unlocked the door.  Put the dogs inside along with my phone, keys, and coat and slammed the door shut.  Rode my bike a little longer around the campground and then returned to the camper to wait for Pat.  Pulled on the door handle and it wouldn't budge.  Tried again and again and again and it would not open.  I'm standing there with no coat on and no phone and can't get inside my camper.  I walked around the camper to check if there were any windows unlocked and sure enough the one by the head of my bed was unlocked.  I opened it and stood on a chair but could not get in.  So I sat at the picnic table and waited for Pat.

He showed up about 15 minutes later and parked his truck so I could climb up on the back of it and then it was easy to climb into the camper.  He took the locking mechanism on the door apart but could not get it to work so I will have to bring in into a shop for repair.  Meanwhile, I have to use the driver's side door to go in and out of the camper.  Not very convenient.

We then left to go into town to get seafood at Camardelle's Seafood Market and grocery store in the little village of Cheniere Caminada - just over the bridge from Grand Isle.  While there I asked the manager if she would be interested in selling my latest book written about life in the area in the late 1800s.  She was and I sold her 5 books.  She asked for my business card and perhaps she will be calling for more books in the future if there is an interest.  So the money I made from that sale paid for my seafood.  Good deal.

Taking them out of the boiling pot after a good long soak to saturate the meat with the wonderful seasonings.

Laying them out to separate the males from the females and pack them up for waiting customers.

Returned to the camper and enjoyed my supper with an ice cold beer.  The female crabs were full of eggs just the way I like them.  They were delicious.

Giving some serious thought to going home early.  I'm paid till Tuesday but might go home Sunday.  Just bummed out about the door and the reprimand.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


When I prepared for my trip to the Texas Gulf Coast in December, I purchased several books which I did not read.  So I brought them along on this trip to the beach.  I enjoy waking in the morning and staying in bed with the dogs to have play time and then make a cup of coffee and go back to bed to read.  I prop up my pillows and have this great picture window view from my bed.

 I love mornings in my motorhome.

Found this great little plastic bed tray at Michaels and it's perfect for a book and cup of coffee.

Walked the dogs after breakfast then headed out on the bike to the beach.  Kept the dogs on leash this time.  Rode about a mile up the beach and then walked them up to the levee and found a dirt road that leads back to the maintenance building of the park.  We returned to the bike and rode back to the campsite and I lounged on the sofa and read some more.  It was a very lazy day for us.  This afternoon I sat outside for awhile but it was too windy and cold so stayed in the rest of the day.  

Met my new neighbor who is camping in a beautiful Pleasure Way van.  We talked about his unpleasant experiences with Road Treks and how he prefers the Pleasure Way Vans.  I told him that I had been planning to trade my Coachmen in on a Pleasure Way and he cautioned me on the lack of space in the Class B vans.  Once he saw my basement and all the stuff I have stored in there he told me I'd really miss that if I got a Class B.   I know he's right about that and I have been having second thoughts about the trade in.  I'll just wait a couple of more years before I decide to do that.  I really enjoy the space I have in this RV and know it would be hard to downsize.

Collapsed my awning this afternoon as the wind will be picking up for the next couple of days.  Had to have help as the latch got stuck and it became a two person job.  So my friendly neighbor came over to help me.  Thanks Ken.

Going to watch some DVDs tonight and play fetch with my little Tzus.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Took the electric bike out of the basement this morning and connected the doggie cart to it with no problems encountered.  Put the doggies in it and off we went. It was windy but sunny and a really nice day for enjoying the beach.

Our campsite

Crossing over the levee which is brick was not easy.  The bike could not make it up the high incline without me pedaling really hard.  I was a little disappointed about that.  I got off and walked it over to the top and then rode down on to the beach.

Xi Shi loves riding in her cart but Cha Bu scratched at the screen to get out.  Eventually she relaxed and enjoyed the ride around the beach.

The sand was packed from the recent rain and it was easy to cross over to the water's edge.  Riding along the packed sand near the water was a breeze.  We rode a good ways up the beach and then back to the pier down the beach with no problems.  Then I noticed that the battery was discharged and down to a half charge and realized I had not charged it in over a week.  So back to the campground we went and let it charge for a couple of hours.  

Before heading back I let the dogs off leash so they could run and play.  I trust Xi Shi to return to me when called but that little rascal Cha Bu is not trained for many voice commands and she took off running and never looked back.  I called her and clapped my hands so she could hear me over the loud wind blowing but she kept on going.  I ran after her and just as she was about to climb over the grassy part of the levee I got her to come to me.  Whew!!!  That was a big relief.  She remained on a leash the rest of the time we are out of the camper.

I was filming her thinking she would return to me when called.  Then I realized she was about to go over the levee and into a marshy area.  That's when I stopped filming and started running.

I will put her in training as soon as we get back home.  It's hard to teach her when Xi Shi is nearby as she wants a reward for everything I ask Cha Bu to do so I will take Cha Bu out of the house and train her away from her big sister.

I have to admit that I felt her joy at being able to run as fast as she could and as far as she could for the first time in her life.  If she learns to come when called she will be able to run again on the beach but she'll have to prove herself to me first.

Here she is back on leash and running into the water.

She is fascinated with the waves..

Both having a good time.  Xi Shi is off leash and was easy to handle as she responds well to commands.

Xi Shi goes further and further out each time we come to the beach.

That's a happy Shih Tzu face.

Later this afternoon I returned to the beach alone with my folding chair in the doggie cart and rode around for a while.  Parked and read one of my Coastal Living magazines.  Several folks stopped by to chat and it was a very relaxing time for me.  

The electric bike is a lot of fun and pretty easy to pedal on hard sand.  I did have some difficulty when we hit soft wet sand.  The tires tended to sink a bit and the motor could not get me out so I had to walk it out.  As for the ride on asphalt... a piece of cake.  So, I guess I'll give the bike a rating of 8 on a 1-10 rating scale.  I know there are electric bikes out there that are higher end bikes and would probably be more powerful and able to climb small hills but I wasn't willing to pay $2000 for a bike.  This one will do just fine for what I want it for.  The dogs loved riding in their little red cart.

Came home and had lunch of leftover boiled shrimp then took the dogs for another walk around the campground.  There are about 4 other dogs in the campground and we stopped and visited with all of them.

It was a fun filled day for us all and my babies are asleep next to me now - exhausted.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


We finally made it to the beach.  We've been waiting patiently for the weather to clear up and it finally did today so here we are once again at the Grand Isle State Park.  It is windy and cold but sunny and we're glad to be out camping in our motorhome again.

Cha Bu finally got Xi Shi to switch beds with her on this trip.  Here she is sleeping in the larger bed.

When I checked in at the park office I was informed that the campground has no manager and no ranger.  Nick who had been the manager for the last year has transferred to another state park and the ranger is at the Police Academy.  The worker was very friendly and we had a long conversation about dogs on the beach.  I told her my story and the arrangement I had with Nick and she said that there will be no one to tell me anything during my stay if I take my dogs on the beach.  I was sure glad to hear that.  Although this is temporary, I will be enjoying my stay this week and not have to worry about walking off the park with my dogs in order to enjoy the beach with them.   I purchased the electric bike in order to carry the dogs in their cart to the far side of the park where we were allowed to bring the dogs.  This week I won't have to do that.  However, I will still use the bike to see how well it rides on the beach.

Got to my site and set up then took the dogs for a walk.  This is Cha Bu's first time at the beach and boy does she love it.  She behaved a lot like Xi Shi did when she first walked on the sand and saw the Gulf.

They love smelling seaweed.

The wind is about 20 mph and she seems to love it.

This is when she first realizes that there is water in the distance. 

She went right for it.

She gave it a lick and now knows that it is not very tasty.

We returned to the RV and I later took them for a walk around the campground.  She pulled me in all directions wanting to smell every blade of grass.  So many smells... so little time.

Got back to the coach and boiled the shrimp that I picked up at the dock on the way in.  My friend Pat came over and we enjoyed the shrimp, potatoes, dip, and beer.  He was kind enough to work on my RV today and saved me some money on repairs.  He replaced a couple of screws that came loose on the outside corner molding of the coach.  I'm always so relieved when he can repair things on my RV so I don't have to take it in to a shop.  Thanks again Pat.

The dogs are sleeping next to me on the sofa as I write this.  It's been a great day.  Looking forward to tomorrow when I set up the bike and the doggie carrier.