Monday, December 22, 2008

First Big Outing

The weather here in Jacksonville has been awesome. It has been in the mid-to-upper 70s since we arrived last Friday. Today was a cold spell with a high in the 50s. Tomorrow in the 60s then the rest of the week in the 70s again. We can handle that.

With a clear, crisp day we decided to take an outing to Jacksonville Landing (click here). This was Guinness' first big outing. We were interesting in seeing how he would react to the new sights, sounds and, generally, another new environment. And, boy, was it different.

It being Monday, and with traffic very light due to holiday vacations, there were very few people downtown and on the Landing. We parked close by and packed Guinness into his carrier with a blanket to keep him warm. He doesn't take to the cold very well, yet. We don't blame him.

The Landing's boardwalk goes along the the St. Johns River and has many attractions along the way. Lots of office building contribute to the people out around lunch time. Guinness wanted to greet everyone who came along and most who came along wanted to greet Guinness, too. They cooed over him and thought he was so adorable.

His first experience was with a half dozen seagulls sitting on the river railing waiting for handouts. They were quite used to humans and did not fly away as most do. Guinness was entranced by these big birds. Within a minute or so, several dozen pigeons showed up on the railing to vie for any handouts. This really amazed Guinness. All was well until something spooked the pigeons and they all flew of at once followed by the gulls. Scared the beejeezus out of Guinness, but he watch them till they were out of sight.

The rest of the outing was all sniffing, watching, and a bit of whining. He was obviously overwhelmed and we decide to cut the walk short. Not too much all at once. He slept all the way back to the trailer and then some afterward. More adventures to come.

Jacksonville is a beautiful city in the downtown area. We were pleasantly surprised with the ease that we could get around. It is a very clean city, but of course, we have not seen the whole area yet.

Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX) is the Navy's largest air station. It is a hub-bub of activity and is organized very well. Lots of excitement with today's announcement that an aircraft carrier may be home ported at Mayport Navy Base on the other side of Jacksonville. All of the carrier's aircraft will be housed at NAS JAX.

Tonight an the next few days, until after Christmas, will be low-keyed for us. After that, we will take day trips and see some friends who live close by. Hope everyone has their Christmas shopping done. We already have our little present.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gilligan's Island Redux

The S.S.Minnow went on a three hour tour and ended up doing three years on TV. Our trip to Jacksonville was only a 2 1/2 hour tour and it wore us out for the next day or two. Nothing exceptional, just the lack of sleep, the holiday traffic on the "Highway of Death" (I-95) and setting up again. We both need some sleep.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Week of Interesting Adventures

It has been a week since our last post. Wow! A whole week. Seems like only several days. I must say this past week has been very... well... interesting. Most of our time is consumed with Guinness. Most of our time? Should I say 24/7? We have decided that having a puppy like Guinness, a very smart puppy, is like having a newborn baby. A new born baby, however, wears diapers. I guess we could put him in diapers, but we see that as a cop out.

He sleeps well and, from day one, through the night with only one outing per evening. No accidents there, yet. His house breaking is progressing. He is not there, but better each day. He has picked up the "sit" command very well and the "no" exceptionally well. His play time is a ball for both of us. We sit for hours watching his antics. He is such a comic. We are truly blessed with Guinness. He has filled an empty spot in our lives and his unconditional dependency on us makes us both realize we still have something to give in these later years.

He is definitely going to be an outside type of dog. He loves it in the woods and he is great on his leash, even when squirrels are around. He is getting very used to the truck and looks as if he will love traveling. That was one of our concerns since we are always on the go. And did I mention he has grown a bunch just in this past week? His little harness is already tight and we had to let it out. This past week has been very interesting.

Besides tomorrow being a new day it is going to be a new environment. Schedule calls for us to be up early, pack up, hook up and travel to the Jacksonville Naval Air Station RV Park in Florida. That will be our home for the next two weeks. It will be a test for Guinness. New everything except his home on wheels.

It has been an excellent time to introduce him to things. Here at Ft. Stewart the 3rd Infantry Division was having their annual Brigade Competitions. This pits the Division's three brigades against each other in what the do best. Shoot. Shoot all kinds of things to include BIG cannons. Oh! The ranges are only a few miles from us. So....lots of big noises. He got used to them real quick. When one of the cannon volleys go off in the middle of the night....not a budge. He ignores all the small arms firing. Such a trooper.

Weather has been great. The past few days have been close to 80F/26C. Looks like it will be that way fro the next 3-4 days then a cold spell.....down in the 60s. Na-a-a-y-y-y. Gonna hate to go back north again.

Hope all is well with everyone. We are doing fine. Hopefully, I will update a bit more frequently from this point on. Tally Ho!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guinness is Home!!!!!!!

Yep, home safe and sound. We departed for Simpsonville, SC this morning at 6 AM to pick up Guinness. Simpsonville is the home of Mountain Creek Doodles. We stopped a few places to do a bit of shopping before we arrived at Mountain Creek, but we were on time for our scheduled 12 PM pick up. After spending some time with Robyn, Tom and Guinness' Mom, Lucy, we headed out in a terrific downpour. Made no difference. Guinness was with us.

The trip back took almost 6 hours. The rain stayed with us all the way although not as bad as the first couple of hours. As we were passing through Clinton, SC, we heard on the radio there was a tornado on the ground a mile or so from us. We were on I-26 heading east and the rain was so hard most people were pulling off the road. Even the truckers. I have been through some heavy rain while driving over the years, but this had to be one of the worst. It kinda let up after we passed Columbia and continued as light rain the rest of the way. Something to remember the day by.

This puppy is awesome. We have a doggy booster seat between us and he spent half of the trip in the seat and the other half in Joyce's lap. About two hours into the trip he lost his fear and became very curious of the surroundings. He started watching the trucks and cars passing by.

We stopped several times and each time, once he was placed on the ground, he did his potty and was ready to get back in the truck. What a trooper and traveler. He is going to do well.

When we got back to the trailer, Joyce gave him some water and dinner. Potty again. Man these little cuties go often. Just as I remembered my kids doing.

There has been lots of play time and several naps. We are about to wake him again and walk him a bit for his last nightly excursion before bed. We put him in a small harness and he has already adapted very well to a leash. I am sure he will be up tonight and we have prepared ourselves for that. We intend to take him out every 3 hours or so. Now the training begins. We are so happy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tomorrow's the Day

When we arrived here in Savannah, we had several things we had to accomplish before we could pick up Guinness. We were able to do everything in several days and that left the rest of the week open. We called Mountain Creek Doodles to see if we could pick up Guinness before Saturday. They are a busy family with 17 puppies to look after, not to mention two young children in school. We just received a call from them (8:45PM) and they asked if we could be there at noon tomorrow, Dec 11th. Think we'll sleep much tonight?

It is a four and a half hour drive to Greenville, SC from here so we want to be on the road by 6 AM. Not a problem. Calling for stormy weather tonight and tomorrow, but who cares. We're going to take lots of pictures of the event so look for them soon. Whooo Hooooo!!!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Honey...We're Home

Seems that way anyhow. We started out for Georgia yesterday at 4:30 AM and arrived at the Ft. Stewart RV park at 4:15 PM. Traffic was light and the weather clear and cold. We had to stop at our storage facility to pick up our 5th wheel hitch and a few other items and then to the RV storage to hook up. The RV storage is adjacent to the RV park. Once we hooked up we went to our assigned pad which was directly across from the pad we had this past summer. You remember, the one with all the rattlesnakes. Also, the one that had the over-hanging tree that destroyed our awning. Well, the curse of Pad #3 still haunts us.

Our assigned Pad #2 is very hard to get into because the way the "engineers", gimme a break, designed it. To get in, you first have to pull part way into Pad #3, remember the rattlesnakes, and then back in. problem. Pad #3 was empty so we pulled part way in and lined up. Whoops!!! Big problem. Since we left last August, the "engineers", gimme a break, put in new electric pedestals. A big improvement over the electric boxes that were laying on the ground. These pedestals accommodate electric, water, telephone and cable TV. But, the only thing they hooked up was the electric. They left the water spigot laying on the ground.This is a "government" installation, remember?

You getting the picture yet? Water spigot on the ground. Me into the site trying to back a 34 foot trailer into a pad that is designed for a 12 foot pop-up? And it is almost dark? You got it. Ran over the spigot and broke it off. Water, water everywhere and not a drop for anyone occupying pad #3.

I finally got the trailer onto our pad and went to the camp host to explain the situation. Thank God he was reasonable and sympathetic. In fact, he called the Ft. Stewart plumbers and they came out to shut off the water on the pad. All it cost was the campground without water for 30 minutes and a red face. No eggs were thrown. Today, they came back to put another spigot in. On the new pedestal???? Gimme a break. That job is for someone else. The curse of Pad #3 goes on.

We spent today setting up and calming down from the previous day. Twelve hours on the "Highway of Death"(seen that analogy before?) and the events that followed wore us out. The next few days will be trying to relax, getting things ready for Guinness and generally enjoying the Christmas season. More to come.......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another Puppy Video

Mountain Creek has placed another video on their web site. It is so wild. Guinness is in there somewhere.