Alabama Wrapup and Off to Florida
Summerdale, AL - Events of Thursday, November 28 to Monday, December 2, 2013
Although Rainbow Plantation has a big group dinner at the clubhouse, we decided to maintain our Thanksgiving tradition of going to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Although the group dinners can be fun, we prefer a quieter setting. Cracker Barrel is always crowded on holidays and can be noisy, too; but we enjoy our meals more and find it much easier to converse with fewer people at the table.
The parking lot was pretty full when we arrived at Cracker Barrel as it always is on holidays. Since the temperature was only in the 50s, the only people waiting for their tables on the porch were a few smokers. Everyone else was waiting inside the country store.
The store was all decked out with their Christmas merchandise, so we milled around. The Cracker Barrel gift shop has so many unique items from clothes to home decorating. Corporate does a good job of helping customers pass the waiting time while they help Cracker Barrel earn a little extra money. They originally told us the wait would be 90 minutes; but they were calling names fairly quickly, and it only took about 50 minutes to get our table. Although it looked more crowded because everyone was inside, that was almost identical to our wait time last year.
Although you can also order from the regular menu, hardly anyone does (except maybe the kids) because Cracker Barrel has a Thanksgiving special that includes turkey AND ham, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, choice of vegetable, choice of biscuits or cornbread, choice of beverage and choice of pumpkin streusel or pumpkin pie for dessert all for $9.99. The price is up from $8.99 last year, but it's still a lot of good food for the money.
The food was as good as it always is. It always amazes us how they can serve food that delicious to that many people so efficiently.
With our bellies full, we headed back to Rainbow Plantation to relax the rest of the afternoon and evening. We took our pie back with us to enjoy later.
On Friday, Paul dragged his saw out of the outside storage bay and built the brace for the microwave that we told you about in our last post. He was originally going to stop at Home Depot and buy a piece of aluminum angle, but Darrell suggested using wood. Paul had a piece of maple left over from installing the residential refrigerator a while back, so he was happy he didn't have to fight Black Friday traffic to get to Home Depot.
We did our weekly cleaning chores on Saturday morning. In the evening, we invited Darrell and Judy over to our rig for a farewell dinner. Margery made a chicken and cheese casserole, and Judy brought some yummy, fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The cookies were soft and chewy, and the chocolate chips were still gooey.
We planned to do a few pre-departure chores then relax Sunday afternoon. However, after we returned from church, Paul went under the kitchen sink to look for something, and he discovered a damp spot. Uh-oh.
It turned out one of the sinks was leaking where the drain attaches to the bottom of the sink. It wasn't a big leak, just a little water oozing out. Even though it was a small leak, it took 2½ hours to fix it. So much for relaxing all afternoon.
On Monday, we pulled out of Rainbow Plantation and headed to Florida. We had investigated campgrounds at several locations along the way for an overnight stop. Since we got an early (for us) start on Monday and got on the road before 9:00 a.m., we decided to try to make it to the farthest campground we had picked, which was Lee's Country Campground in White Springs, FL, located near the intersection of I-10 and I-75.
It was a 330-mile drive, which is longer than we usually like to go in a day. We also lost an hour going from Central Time to Eastern, so we didn't pull into the campground until about 3:45.
We are pleased to report the new microwave/convection oven traveled well. Although I-10 across Florida is nice and smooth and wasn't much of a test, we think the extra bracing Paul installed will be more than adequate.
Lee's Country Campground has some sites with water and electric only, some with full hookups, some with 30 amps and some with 30/50 amps. The roads are mostly packed sand with a little gravel mixed in on the main road. Some of the sites are packed sand, some are a mixture of sand and grass, and some are all grass. There are also both pull-throughs and back-ins. We got a full-hookup, pull-through site with 30/50-amp electric.
There are grassy, pull-through sites in the rear of the campground that are out in the open that would have been good for our rooftop satellite dish, but those sites must not have sewer hookups because they put is in a pull-through right at the front of the campground. There is a fair amount of traffic during the day and evening on the two-lane road that passes by the campground. We had our door open for a while because it was warm, but our door was less than 100 feet from the road so it was a little noisy watching TV. Fortunately, the traffic dies down to almost nothing at night.
Lee's Country Campground offers discounts to members of various organizations including AAA and Escapees. They are also a Passport America campground, and our cost with the PA discount was $18.75.
We had one more stop to make on our way to our snowbird roost at Blueberry Hill RV Resort in Bushnell, FL. We'll tell you about it in our next post.