Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | June 29, 2013

Photo Diary ~ June 2013

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day of June, and we’ve been in Welaka, Florida for almost 2 months!

We are leading the slow and easy summer life, which has been reflected in a lack of recent blog posts…you don’t do much, you don’t have much to blog about.

But, as a tribute to the passing of June, I decided to share some of the sights we’ve seen and people who have crossed our paths the past 30 days….in no particular order.

The stage st up and ready for our show at the Boathouse Bar on 6/23.

The stage set up and ready for our show at the Boathouse Bar on 6/23.

We are happy for the opportunity to continue the musical part of the Sunset Ride on a regular schedule this summer…every other Sunday afternoon at the Boathouse Bar on the resort property. Our first show was on 6/23. We’d already done an impromptu Saturday night show that was so well received, we were added to the regular schedule!

"Me and My Baby Band" on stage.

“Me and My Baby Band” take the stage.

We played on a sultry Sunday afternoon…sun shining for most of the show…but a wandering rainshower provided the opportunity to shoot this little video of our boat, the “Sunset Ride” at the dock. A friend shot the video and it’s in her dropbox so you’ll have to click on the link to enjoy the show: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u7yhyv1bvo0j9rv/2013-06-23%2015.47.42.mp4

If you listen carefully, you can even hear Keith singing “Folsom Prison Blues” in the background! We thought our rain-deprived friends in New Mexico would especially enjoy the videoūüôā

After the show,we decided to take a little moonlight cruise to watch the Supermoon rise over the water. It was absolutely beautiful, although we don’t have a photo to show off her beauty.

A few days later, we decided to treat ourselves to a little exploring on the St. Johns River. We took off from our slip at Welaka Lodge, and pointed the “Sunset Ride” north to travel about 17 miles to Dunns Creek, which flows into Crescent Lake.

It was a beautiful morning for a boat ride….we saw the usual amazing trees and foliage on the west bank….a vast array of homes and boathouses on the east bank, and the smooth waters of the St. Johns in between.

We also saw some interesting boats on our trip….

Floating shanty-boat anchored in a cove.

Floating shanty-boat anchored in a cove.

A working shipyard for the BIG boats!

A working shipyard for the BIG boats!

A beautiful live-aboard.

A beautiful live-aboard.

A not-so-lucky craft awaiting rescue.

A not-so-lucky craft awaiting rescue.

We had planned to do a little fishing on the way back to the lodge, but somehow lost our worms on the trip. So, we headed home, happily, since the fish aren’t biting much these days as the river temperature is almost 90 degrees!

Thursday is Pizza Night at Welaka. It’s a casual tradition for the workamper couples and full-time residents. We bring frozen pizzas and side dishes and gather around 6:30 p.m. at the poolside bar, to cook pizzas, eat and enjoy one anothers’ company.

Annie and Les brought cheese fondue.

Annie and Les brought cheese fondue.

We also enjoyed fresh corn on the cob, coleslaw and brownies.

We also enjoyed fresh corn on the cob, coleslaw and brownies.

Keith stepped in as the cook of the day and he prepared many a fine pie, as we were all hungry!

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We were happy that the weather gave us a break. There had been a big rain earlier in the day, which scared our cat indoors for the afternoon. Here she is, in a rare indoor moment, taking refuge from the thunder.

Catamaranda Jones taking shelter from the storms.

Catamaranda Jones taking shelter from the storms.

The cat’s given name is Lola….the sign hung on her cage when I adopted her. But her name soon evolved to Catty Jones, or Jonesie…and Desert Rat Cat when in New Mexico.

Poor cat will never really know her name, as it changes every time we change base camps. Last time we lived in Florida, we dubbed her Gator Bait.¬† But this time around, we decided that she deserved a more nautical moniker….and have dubbed her Catamaranda Jones.

She’s a good sport about the name changes, as long as we have milk, her favorite brand of cat treats, raw chicken, fresh fish or Oscar Meyer ham at the ready!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | June 26, 2013

In Honor of Summer

Summer officially arrived last week, and what better way to celebrate the season than by sharing this photo of my eldest daughter and her son on the beach, sharing a tender moment.

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Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | June 17, 2013

Father’s Day 2013: The Grill Master

Outdoor grilling is a true, All-American Father’s Day tradition. In backyards across the nation yesterday, Dads stepped up to their favorite grilling machine to cook up a feast for families and friends. And this, on a day that is supposed to be their special time to relax. Well, that seems to be how it often goes for dear old Dad.

This year, Keith was able to partake in the tradition, but on a much grander scale than usual. The regular Welaka Lodge Boathouse Bar Sunday cook was out of town, and Keith was asked to fill in.

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His day started early…slicing onions and tomatoes, washing potatoes, setting out serving bowls of pickled peppers, relish, jalapenos, pickles, lettuce, and all manner of hamburger toppings.

Buns, Angus burgers, brats, teriyaki chicken breasts and hot dogs were ready and waiting as the first Boathouse Bar guests arrived around Noon. Some by boat, others on golf carts or motorcycles, and more than a few in cars.

The place was packed all afternoon, and Keith got a real workout. Homemade fries are a Boathouse seasonal specialty. Made from freshly dug local potatoes, cut and fried only when ordered.

Here’s how it works…

Step One: Select a nice, fresh potato.

Step One: Select a nice, fresh potato.

Step Two: Run it through the slicer.

Step Two: Run it through the slicer.

Step Three: Gather the slices in a bowl.

Step Three: Gather the slices in a bowl.

Step Four: Drop them in the hot oil and fry to perfection.

Step Four: Drop them in the hot oil and fry to perfection.

Enjoy!

Step Five (and my favorite): Enjoy!

Hope your Father’s Day was as yummy as ours!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend 2013

We had so much fun over Memorial Day weekend that we had to take a break and spend the day fishing yesterday, just to recuperate!

The resort and campground were filled to capacity all weekend long, and there was a friendly, festive feeling in the air.

Saturday night, we played our first show to a great crowd of folks on the riverside deck Boathouse Bar. We stopped counting at 60 revelers, and kept the oldies coming.

Sunday, we hung out on the boat, and were treated to some fine Angus burgers and homemade fries prepared on the deck, washed down with Long Island Ice Teas poured by one talented bartender.

Monday, it was all hands on deck for cleaning cottages and campsites for the next round of guests to arrive that day.

And, since it was a holiday, we all donned our suits and headed to the pool for a swim….

Workampers and guests enjoying the pool and the view.

Welaka Lodge staff and guests enjoying the pool and the view.

Keith taking a break from the sun.

Keith taking a break from the sun.

Me and My "posse" chasing some rays.

Me and My “posse” chasing some rays.

Resort guests showing their Memorial Day spirit!

Resort guests showing their Memorial Day spirit!

“Me and My Baby” had our best Memorial Day weekend ever ~ hope yours the same!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | May 10, 2013

Our New RoadRunner: Sassy but Classy

One of the first tasks on our To Do list after settling in at Welaka, was: purchase a vehicle.

We’d sold our truck when we sold our fifth wheel, and for the past several months, were without a vehicle other than the motorhome.

During that time, we’d traveled by foot, borrowed cars, hired a taxi, or been ferried around by family and friends. So, we were definitely looking forward to having our own wheels once again.

We’d spent many hours looking at cars online, trying to figure out what type of vehicle would work best for us.

And, after much consideration we decided that an SUV would suit our needs, as there would be space for our sound system and instruments, and it would be capable of pulling the boat in and out of the water.

Plus, I wanted something I didn’t have to climb up to get into (like the truck), or scrunch down to get into (like a small economy car).

Once we got that settled, we started a serious search which resulted in our renting a car for a week, and driving many miles to deal with all manner of used car salesmen.

What we ended up with was a bit surprising…a lovely red Dodge Durango with grey interior and leather seats, V8 engine and Flowmaster exhaust system.

Our "new" 1999 Dodge Durango

Our “new” 1999 Dodge Durango

If anyone had ever asked me if I thought I would own a Dodge in this lifetime, I would have told them they were nuts! I was a confirmed Nissan or Honda fan. And, red would never have been my color of choice.

But, there she was on the car lot ~ everything we wanted, and in our price range. So we took her for a test drive, and ended up taking her home.

Nice, clean grey interior with leather seats.

Nice, clean grey interior with leather seats.

Since she will be tagged in New Mexico, we dubbed her “RoadRunner”, which seemed a fitting name for this classy and sassy old girl.

She’s easy to get into and out of, fun to drive, has power when we need it, and a third row seat, too.

You never know what you’re really getting when you buy a used vehicle, but we’re happy so far, and wish the RoadRunner a long and happy life on the road.

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | May 6, 2013

The Knight Bus Has Landed

We are happy to report that the Knight Bus has successfully completed her first 2,200 mile trek, zigzagging across the country between New Mexico and Florida, as Keith and I had 30 days of fun, making music, and hanging out with family along the way.

While in Grove, Oklahoma, visiting my sister, Carol, and her husband, Dave, we played a fine house concert at Cooz and Deb’s Place.¬† In addition to the music, guests were treated to a pot luck supper, complete with burgers and 30 lbs. of the absolute best homemade french fries that we have ever eaten ~ thank heavens there was a crowd to share them with, but I must admit that we consumed a great deal of them ourselves!

House Concert at Cooz and Deb's, Grove Oklahoma, 4/7/13

House Concert at Cooz and Deb’s, Grove Oklahoma, 4/7/13

Time with grandkids is always on the radar as we move about the country….we spent a fun-filled Sunday with Keith’s daughters and their families at Jellystone Park…

Dads and kids showing off their tricks on the giant jumping pillow.

Dads and kids showing off their tricks on the giant jumping pillow.

Pence Grandaughters Maylee and Ellie, with Yogi Bear.

Pence Granddaughters Maylee and Ellie, with Yogi Bear.

Pence Grandson, Tucker, and Son-in-Law, Matt.

Pence Grandson, Tucker, and Son-in-Law, Matt, clowning around.

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When we arrived in Virginia, Evanhoe Grandson, Bennett, received his first official backpack from his Grammy, and modeled it for us….front AND back views.

Check out those cool Wellies!

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Also while in Williamsburg, B had lots of fun with toy boats made by Grandpa Keith….

FLoating boats with Grandpa Keith.

Floating boats with Grandpa Keith.

…and took his first river cruise in our boat, the Sunset Ride, on the Chickahominy River….

The Fine Little Family on the Chickahominy.

The Fine Little Family on the Chickahominy.

At first Bennett was a bit skeptical of the boat, and stayed close to his parents, but after a while, he asked to drive, and then everything changed!

Captain Keith and First Mate, Bennett!

Captain Keith and First Mate, Bennett!

After our visit in Williamsburg, we headed south, and now we are settling in at the Welaka Lodge and Resort, where the sun finally decided to shine yesterday, after 4 straight days of rain. Actually, the rain was a novelty for us old desert rats, who hadn’t seen that much water falling from the sky in almost two years!

Our campsite at Welaka.

Our campsite at Welaka.

It’s a tropical paradise complete with Tiki Bar and Pool…

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Swimming pool and poolside bar

Here is the view from the bar on the deck ~ the Ocala National Forest runs along the right (west) side of the river…

St. John River

St. John River

Yesterday, we whiled away the afternoon on the deck, drinking and dining before setting out for a little exploring on the river……Life is Good here in Welaka ~ come see for yourself!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | April 1, 2013

Sunset Ride Tour 2013

Today’s the day!

After a wonderful run in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, we hit the road for what our friend, Jeff Dukatt, the Tie-Dye King, has dubbed the “Sunset Ride Tour 2013”.

Jeff is famous for his colorful, creative and wacky creations, and in our honor, he gifted us with original shirts for the occasion, complete with cat mariachis!

Tour 2013

We will pull out of T or C with happy hearts ~ grateful for all the truly caring and gentle souls who have become our friends.

The past weeks have been filled with celebrations of these friendships, fantastic food, good wine, and a “Me and My Baby” farewell party and show featuring an hour of original and cover tunes documenting our lives from 2009 to the present.

It does make it a little hard to leave, but we promise to return, for more good times and fine new music to share.

Next stop in the tour…..Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Oklahoma!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | February 19, 2013

The Knight Bus

Today I finally found the video camera and made a little video tour of our “new” motorhome, which Keith has dubbed “The Knight Bus”.

It’s certainly not a professional video, especially at the end when the picture just simply drops off, but it will at least give you an idea of what our new home looks like.

We are so very happy with our cozy, downsized digs….just 30′ long including the cab…but the two slide-outs make it seem roomy.

The overall construction is solid, the cabinets are all wood, and when the curtain under the entertainment center is drawn, you would never know you are in a motorhome.

Here’s my little video – apologies for the wind noise…welcome to our home!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | February 10, 2013

The Times They Are a-Changin’

The Truth or Consequences locals often speak of a powerful energy vortex in the area that regularly shakes things up both in the town and the lives of those who live here.

Call it what you will, there’s certainly been some shaking up in our lives, and in one week we went from planning on staying¬†at Riverbend Hot¬†Springs¬†for the summer, to plotting our route to Florida!

We were offered the opportunity to spend the summer at a lovely rural resort in Welaka, Florida. It’s situated on the St. Johns River, about 1.5 hours southeast of Gainesville, on the Altalntic side of the state.

We visited Welaka Lodge & Resort in 2011: 19 RV sites, 5 charming cottages, swimming pool, fishing dock complete with Tiki Bar, and ~ here’s the big plus ~ a slip for our boat so we can get in a good deal of river navigating and fishing done on the St. Johns!

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Once we decided to take Welaka up on their offer, we had a few other decisions to make, based on a bit of soul-searching we’d been doing while holed up in our winter cocoons…

As we emerged from the darkness, we’d decided that it was time to do a little downsizing. Our 38′ fifth wheel and big diesel truck combo was expensive to haul around, and after living in the space for 2.5 years, we decided that we could actually survive and thrive¬†in a smaller space.

In addition, we’d acquired a boat while in New Mexico, which presented a towing dilemma…truck pulling fifth wheel, fifth wheel¬†pulling boat ~ illegal in some states!

So, we put on our RV trading hats and spent two days in Albuquerque and one in Las Cruces, scouring dealerships for our next home.

That, plus many hours online when not physically shopping, brought to us a gently used 2005 Fleetwood Tioga Class C motorhome which we will pick up tomorrow.

The past few days have been bittersweet as we packed up our belongings in preparation for transfer from one home to the next, and prepared to leave “The Shanty” (our pet name for the fifth wheel) and pick-up truck¬†behind.

Keith and I are excited to get settled into the motorhome, but Catty Jones (who no doubt will revert back to her former Florida name of Gator Bait in a month or so) is just not sure what is going on.

We have another seven weeks to enjoy New Mexico before we trek east. We’ve made some wonderful friends while in Truth or Consequences and we hate to leave them behind, but we’ll be back to catch up with them on down the road, and we promise to post pictures of¬†our new digs soon!

Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | January 1, 2013

R.I.P. 2012

2012 was a banner year for “Me and My Baby Band”, with 18 performances in the Truth or Consequences area!

Our free time was consumed by learning new tunes and rehearsing for the next show, and we loved it.

Thank you to all our loyal fans who came out to listen and dance, and support the venues that supported us.

It was a sad day in December, however, when Cafe Groovy Gritz closed its doors, and downtown T or C lost a gathering place for locals, great music venue, and one of its major dining establishments.

In addition, the Ivory Tusk Tavern is under new bar management, and they are taking a long look at their budget before hiring any bands for 2013.

So, for the time being, our “Upcoming Performances” blog page will be lacking entries.

But ~ that’s OK….with no public performances on the books at this time, “Me and My Baby Band” will focus our energies on song-writing and developing a show of original tunes which will hopefully be performed at house concerts when we are next “on the move”.

First tune in the works is a snappy little ditty about Catty Jones, our feline traveling companion.

We will spend this first day of the New Year relaxing, budgeting, and making music. Yes, life is good!

We leave you with a video of pics from our performances, beginning in 2009…with a recently recorded Dylan song as the backdrop…

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