Gators and Irish Madness

March 13 – 18, 2016

There is a Wildlife Refuge on the way onto Tybee that I had to investigate because they have, yeh, alligators.  Alligators totally creep me out but I wanted to see their chilly, smirking faces up close.  Not too close.  But just close enough that I could watch them from behind a very tall very electrified fence at a very safe distance. And not smell their very rancid breath.  For a small fee, Doug and I were able to stroll through a beautiful building and park with snakes, wolves, salamanders, birds, a cougar, fox and ‘gators. They are like slithering conniving convicts, these prehistoric creatures, crawling with shortened front limbs, empowered by monstrous muscular hind legs and a tail that steers the body with so much power and speed it is mind-boggling.

Yeh, I am so fascinated by them and so afraid of them at the same time.  In Florida, I saw them offered on the menu.  Ugh.  For the rest of my life I will eat a plant-based diet before I will eat anything remotely associated with a smelly-mouthed alligator.

So.  I looked out the door of the RV on St. Paddy’s Day and there was a guy dressed up like a leprechaun in STRETCHY SPANDEX GREEN SHORTS, suspenders and hat, waiting at the trolley stop. OMG.  And a 20-ish woman in a regrettable outfit of tutu and lime leotards.  Double OMG.  I had to shut the door and go back inside, then re-emerge to ask Doug, sitting at the picnic table, “What the Heck is going on?” or something like that, (I am editing for the younger viewers).  Nothing much phases Doug, he was just taking it all in, eyes glazed over his first morning coffee.

The trolley service ran back and forth all day and it became evident that the idea of attending the HUGE St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah is A) Dress up and party and B) Party.  Everybody was in a jovial mood and when we watched the hours long parade on tv, the crowd was uber enthusiastic and engaging in paying homage to St. Patrick.  Or kegs.  Not a fan of crowds and drunk people, I was happy to view it from the couch.  Savannah puts on a great parade and there were no major incidents, according to the news.  We are so thankful we were able to attend the Tybee Parade as many of the floats and bands in it were also participants in the Savannah Parade. Without the humongous crowds.

For the past few days Doug and I have  been hanging around the island, walking and enjoying the people we meet. We are also getting geared up for the next leg of the journey.  We’ll miss the social atmosphere here, the continual revolving cast of characters.

Late one afternoon we were out walking Zuma and a little boy (about 7 or 8 years old) ran out to greet the dog.  He had motor mouth and was verbally tripping up with excitement that he could hug Zuma and she appreciated his advances.  His young Mom was sitting by her campfire and rolling her eyes as he suddenly spurted: “I threw up once.  It was awful.  My Aunt threw up a few times.  She had too many shots” (!)  Doug and I could hardly hold back the giggles.  His poor Mom called him back to their campsite, the little guy draped himself around Zuma in a genuine farewell departure and we carried on.

The weather has been HOT, 84 degrees most days, good for the bones, good for the soul.  Only early morning walks or evening strolls are possible as Zuma cannot handle excessive heat.

One day we went out for a fun lunch in Tybee with David and Margaret; they are parked “next door” and they showed me their lovely Airstream Camper.  It is very nice.

Martina and Kay (pronounced Ki) are preparing to leave and venture on with their travels.  They will be stopping in Asheville, North Carolina, as will we when we depart Tybee next week.  They stopped by on the morning of the 17th, with a lovely book of memories for us to sign. I unearthed a journal in my suitcase and told Martina I want to copy her idea, so I began having people sign my book too, as we prepare to leave here.

Sadly, several River’s End staff members are also moving on to other positions.  In most Parks, people are able to work for their site rental; they’re “Park Hosts” and the people who work in that position here at River’s End are FANTASTIC.  They are the heart and soul of the place.  When Doug is away, I know I’m safe as they come by daily and either wave or visit, stop with their little dogs, add a special moment to my day.  They bend over backwards to be helpful, courteous and caring.  Their wives also stop by with little dogs; Zuma adores their visits, as do I.

It is almost impossible to leave, but it’s time.

March 18, 2016.

Doug headed back to Maine today.  He can work from here most of the time but he has to go to the office for a few days and attend The Maine Boat Builder’s Show in Portland over the weekend.  Then, on Monday he will go to Toronto to attend a Memorial Service for his cousin who passed away unexpectedly last month.  David was in his early 60s.  It’s been a rough year for Doug, he has lost three friends suddenly in the past few months and now his cousin David. These losses really make us think about not delaying joy.  I’m so glad Doug is going to be with Zuma and I more on this trip, he really enjoys this journey.

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