Update; SAM Excursion Train - Cordele, Ga.
Oct 14, 2010
Update: Friday 10/14/2010
Location: SAM Excursion Train Veterans State Park, Cordele, Ga..
Weather: Warm..Highs upper 80’s, Lows in the upper 50’s
Howdy Family and Friends:
Lots of things have happened since our last update. I’ll try to keep things in some type of order here…..
Our first week in the park was very hectic and quick paced. On Friday of last week we worked in Perry, Ga. at the Georgia State Fair. The SAM Train had a fair booth set up inside one of the many building that housed all kinds of vendors and businesses. Our job was to greet the folks and tell them about the Day Out With Thomas and give them a brochure. Not hard work at all. When we had time, we visited the other parts of the fair.
I haven’t seen a State Fair this big in years. All kinds of agriculture items and farm animals were on display. School projects from many schools across the state of Georgia were on display. But….my favorite place was the Mid-way.
The mid-way was just packed full of BBQ, smoked sausages, fried chicken, funnel cakes and cotton candy stands . The air was thick with smoke from the BBQ pits that blew (big fans) that wonderful smell out into the passing multitude. I found a smoked sausage w/onions and peppers that was made just for me. What a wonderful experience. Parents, take you kids to the fair….make yourself a memory!!!
The only thing I didn’t find at this fair was the old “Hoochie Coochie” show. Well, at least I didn’t find it…it may have been there but I got lost somewhere between the Ferris Wheel and the Giant Tilt-a-Whirl….so many people. We got back from Perry at 11:30 PM and got up at 6:30AM the next day (Saturday) to ride the SAM Excursion Train.
Saturday we rode the only full length excursion that went all the way into Plains for the month of October. We had 40 folks in our car and had a ball taking care of them. We enjoyed the friendly conversation that took place all along SAM tracks.
In Plains, we enjoyed some really good peanut butter ice cream at the Plain Peanut General Store and seeing the owner, Mr. Bob Salter, again after 2 years. Did not see President Carter on this trip. We ended the ride in Cordele with a lot of good memories to share.
We worked (volunteered) a total of 67 hours between both of us from Tuesday to Saturday. We both agreed that is too many hours, and vowed we will not do that again while we are here. Volunteer work is supposed to be fun and not hard work….and fun is what we came here to have.
As soon as we returned from the SAM Excursion on Saturday evening we loaded the F250 “Beast” up and headed out for Southern Florida to spend some R&R with Chris’ sister in Port Charlotte, Florida. We left the Cougar in the park and just took the “Beast”. We arrived in Port Charlotte at 12:30 AM. About a 7 hour trip. Diesel fuel along the route (I-75) was around 3.17/gal.
On Sunday morning we awoke early and planned to attend church with Chris’s family. This is the point our world was rocked and sadness flooded our lives. We got the call around 9:30 AM that our very close Uncle Alton had passed away in Tennessee. We were devastated.
After a very short discussion we knew we could not get back to Tennessee for the funeral. The family was hurting, and we could not be there to be with them during this time of grieving. The thought of not being there was unbearable to both of us.
With encouragement from my Mom, Brother, Sisters, Kids, Dear Cousins, Family and Friends, we were able to make it through the past few days. The funeral and burial was completed, and from what we know, all went well and the family is doing OK. Thanks to all that prayed for our family during this time. We can’t wait to get back and love on them.
During our short time in Florida we were able to visit with our Sister and her family. We did get a chance to visit Englewood Beach and Fort Myers. While at Englewood Beach we did get a chance to look for some shells and take a nice comfortable walk along the beach. A good time to reflect on what all had transpired of late. This is an excellent beach with easy access with a nominal parking fee. (0.75/hour fee)
On Wed of this week we packed up again and headed back to Cordele, Ga. The trip back up to the park went well and the weather was just absolutely gorgeous along the route. Toby just slept and was a good traveler. He is really getting used to all the changes in location and all the different “homes”. His nickname is very fitting: “Toby the traveling pup”.
Speaking of Toby….we will take him to the Vet in Macon at the Pet Smart store there to get his 3rd set of shots on Monday. There are some advantages of belonging to the Banfield Vet. Hospitals located at all the Pet Smart Stores. We purchased a health plan (from Banfield Vet Hospital located in Pet Smart in Alcoa) that covers all his medical visits (shots, surgery) for one year. The plan is good at any Banfield Vet Hospital that is located in all the Pet Smart Stores through out the USA.
We will be back at the Perry State Fair tomorrow and then spend next week making the last preparations for the arrival of Thomas to the park. We expect over 13,000 folks to attend the Day Out With Thomas attraction that will be on the last two week ends of this month (23rd-24th and 30th -31st)
My job will be a shuttle bus driver. I will be transporting folks from the main parking area in the park over to the train site. Chris will be in one of the main tents where all the Thomas stuff will be on sale. Other volunteers will be on the Thomas Train to take the kids for a 25 minute ride.
Hope I haven’t rambled too much on this update. Please sign our guest book and let us know how you like the updates. Please feel free to leave us your comments and suggestions. It is always nice to hear from each of you.
Everyone, please keep us in your prayers and thoughts. We have been on the road for 17 days now.
We continue to miss our Friends, Family, Kids and Grandkids back home, and are looking forward to getting back so we can love on them.
In Dad’s memory the ADVENTURE continues……………..
Archie, Chris and Toby (the traveling pup)