We’ve gotten that question a couple of times from people not in our situation. Many, many fulltime RV’ers are still working, and their home on wheels enables them to drive from itinerant job to itinerant job. But for those of us who are retired, we have to find ways to fill up our day and sometimes it’s hard. My workplace sort of hinted at how difficult it might be when we were attending retirement seminars prior to our separation, but I wasn’t really listening at the time. Now I know what they were talking about.
Sometimes it’s enough just to find a really nice RV resort to stay at for a week or so, with pools, restaurants and other RV’ers to occupy our time. Other times it’s enough just to lounge about the RV with a book. What we have devolved into doing is to check the internet every time we hit a new place, and try to find any tourist attractions that are worth our time. Usually we can find something that’s worth looking at. We found a must-see place dedicated to Stephen Foster when we were staying in Lake City, Florida. Yesterday we had a break in the rainy Georgia springtime weather and drove the hour and a half up to Columbus, Georgia to visit the Civil War Naval Museum.
I’ve had this fascination with civil war naval technology ever since I found a book on it in my elementary school library. Cool, I thought. Ironclads, the Monitor and Merrimack, steam technology and all sorts of new ways to kill people (whatever you think about elementary school kids, this is on their minds). So when Pat ran across that one on the internet, I knew we had to go.
Columbus is also the home of Fort Benning, and there was a decidedly military flavor about the place. There was some civil war action there that Columbus was sort of proud of, but not a whole lot of tourism prospects. We did pass lots and lots of pecan orchards on the way back, and stopped to buy a load of them for personal consumption and gifts to mail to various loved ones, but I’m not sure it was worth the time spent on the road to see Columbus if I had to do it over again.
And then there are the times we don’t expect a lot and are overwhelmingly pleased with what we find. Albany is such a place. Just a few miles from our RV park is the town center of Albany, birthplace of Ray Charles, and they have developed their riverfront area into something that just makes you want to hang out there all day.
Walk along the piano keys to the center of the display, and you can see a statue of Ray Charles doing his thing. They have installed a pretty nice hidden speaker system among the rocks and gardens, and if you want you can sit, rock in one of the pergola swings nearby, and listen to his entire discography playing around you. It’s not just a tribute to Ray, it’s also a place for people to come and spend time, kids to play in the water park and playground, and visit an aquarium alongside the Flint River that flows through Albany.
We walked along the riverwalk for awhile, but because the no-see-ums (bane of the snowbird) had made a target out of us we decided to forego the full 4-mile route and then returned to our car. On the way, we passed kids playing in the public sprinkler park and old folks sitting and watching. We stopped in an ice cream parlor and talked to the owner for awhile as we ate our ice cream, then headed back to our car. All in all we filled up a couple hours of our day and had a great time that surpassed our expectations.