S3E15 – Backyard Camping

It’s been a while, nearly two months, since I’ve updated the blog.  We have spent most of that time living in the trailer in Ami and Josh’s back yard.  Thursday 3/21 afternoon we set up camp and stayed until May 2.  Most of the other times we have visited we’ve stayed in Ami’s or Todd’s spare bedrooms.  That’s fine but it has been a little more comfortable, especially in view of the length of this visit to have a bit more private space.

The reason for our long visit was to get here in plenty of time in case  Ami’s baby came early and stay for at least a couple of weeks after the birth.  The other “bookend” of the schedule was to be in Chicago by May 8 for Renee’s graduation from University of Illinois-Chicago.

We returned from Mexico March 12; spent that night at a hotel next to the Miami Airport then drove to Winter Garden for a reunion of sorts with some friends from our Philadelphia days.  Dave Gallup organized rooms for us at the Edgewater Hotel, a 90 year old B&B right in the heart of downtown.  Besides Dave and Linda, Allan and Sue Holter and Cathy Spencer joined us.  We hadn’t seen Cathy or the Holters for 23 years but they looked the same as I remembered them.  It’s great belonging to the ageless boomer generation.

Sue had a follow-up appointment with her orthopedist on Monday March 18.  She got the OK to leave but with 6 more weeks of PT in Enterprise.  By the way, here’s the most expensive Florida souvenir we will ever have:

Wednesday 3/20 we said good-bye for the winter to Sue’s parents and south Florida and drove north about half way to Enterprise, camping for one night at O’Leno State Park.  It’s conveniently close to I75 a little north of Gainesville.  There are lots of springs in N Florida.  This park has a free flowing river that just ends in a small pool, flows underground through a maze of caves for three miles then emerges and flows again along the surface.

Without further ado: Matilda Louise Havill, born April 11, 8 pounds 1 ounce.
Isn’t she beautiful!

And the newly enlarged Havill family:Matilda was born about 4:00 PM Saturday.  Ami and Josh brought her home Monday afternoon.  She will apparently have her father’s stature, her two week checkup showed her to be in the 50th percentile for weight but 99th percentile for length.

Our six weeks here has just sort of drifted by.

We visited Todd and Amanda and the boys nearly every day and took Luke and Will on lots of adventures, like finding new playgrounds to try out or new fast food restaurants with indoor play areas.

Josh’s metal working business has really taken off so I’ve been able to help a little in the shop.  I enjoy the activity and am happy to work for beer.

I got out the sailboat I built for Ami five years ago, spent a day cleaning it up and Sue and I took it to Lake Eufaula for an afternoon of mostly drifting around.

The day Matilda was born Todd and I took the boys to an air show at Tyndal Air Force Base in Panama City. The little kids were good but not much interested in the airplanes.  I thought the Thunderbirds and the F-22 were just awesome.

We got word of Matilda’s arrival on our way home from the air show so detoured to Dothan to see her and her happy parents.

Todd and I used to fly RC model airplanes when he was a teenager and he has taken up the hobby again.  That got me interested again so I built an easy-to-fly Piper Cub(ish) model.  It got some dents as I relearned to fly but it was a lot of fun.

We left Enterprise Sunday 5/2 for four days of non-backyard camping at Cages Bend Corp of Engrs campground in Gallatin TN, about an hour northeast of Nashville. It’s tight but very scenic as it occupies a little peninsula sticking out into Old Hickory Lake.

Camping is especially great when there is a full moon with a scenic vista in the foreground.  This was a perfect viewing site on the west shore of the lake.

Our last stop on our long winter vacation was Chicago to celebrate Renee’s graduation from UIC with a masters degree in Public Health Administration on Friday, then an early celebration of Matt’s fortieth birthday Saturday, and finally home to Marine City Sunday.

And I can’t resist closing with one more picture of Matilda.

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8 thoughts on “S3E15 – Backyard Camping

  1. I found your blog on the Lil Snoozy fourm. If you ever come to the west coast would love to see it in person. We have a Sprinter I converted to be part camper for my husbands music concerts van. http://www.johndoan.com but would like a full on unit to go behind it. Love the Lil Snoozy. Enjoyed your photo’s of your trailer..will look more thanks I miss Florida! Bye Deirdra

  2. Welcome back home. So glad that Sue is doing well, and that you two have a welcome addition to your family. We will be attending the Shellbyville Il. fiberglass trailer gathering…. any chance you two are going? We will be heading to Michigan in late June to see family & friends.
    Dave & Paula

  3. I love reading about your travels, especially in your Lil Snoozy. I have been looking for a small camper for about a year, but just didn’t want to feel cramped. By accident, yesterday, I came upon this Lil Snoozy. I’m impressed. Now, I just need to sell my Toyota Prius and get an SUV that could pull the trailer. Maybe I can find a used Lil Snoozy. Thanks for sharing your adventures.

    • Good luck with your search. There aren’t very many out there. I’ve only seen one other one in all our travels.

  4. Ouuuuch…poor Sue! Must’ve been a challenge ~that accident! Ohhhh what a beautiful new addition to your family Denny! Though this was written last year, I’m happy to have found your wonderful blog now!

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