May 2016 Rally

Dates: May 19-22, 2016

Location: Huddelson, VA

Hosts: Debbie Robbins and Neil Strong

Campground: Smith Mountain State Park

No matter how well you plan, or how far in advance you plan, the one thing you cannot plan is the weather!

Twelve coaches converged on Smith Mountain Lake Campground for our May Rally. Those in attendance included: Debbie Rollins and Neal Strong, our hosts; Steve and Lynn Bowers, Baynard and Sherree Barton, Feliza Jones, Gene and Judy Matthews, Paul and Carol Melton, Betty Franklin and Rex Monroe, Deni Dillon and Kamal Rojiani, Timm and Sharon Seaman, Bill and Cheryl Brown, and John and Rhoda Schoepf, guests of Debbie and Neal.

Most coaches arrived on Thursday and Happy Hour brought the group together that evening. Friday saw the usual golfing and winery excursions for some. After a beautiful day, campers headed to Vinney’s Restaurant for a wonderful Italian dinner.

Saturday morning, the promise of a yummy breakfast casserole brought us together again at 8:30. Weather permitting, we were to head out for a lake excursion aboard the Virginia Dare ferry boat at 11:30. Prayers were heard, as the skies went from cloudy to blue as we enjoyed the boat ride! Those that were afraid of cold, rainy weather missed a great experience on the lake! (Of course, the best part was spending time together as a group.)

Happy Hour is always “happy” and Saturday evening was no exception. But then our luck with the weather was about to run out…

We were treated to Steak and Lobster by our hosts, Debbie and Neal (well, there was only one lobster – but it’s fun to say we had that). The rainy “drizzle” had begun, but, with several awnings and canopies in place, no one really minded a little drizzle. As dinner progressed, so did the rain and thunder! By the time we were ready to enjoy (local) Homestead Creamery ice cream, the bottom fell out! No one seemed to be worried about getting a little wet - that is until Neal’s awning began to automatically retract! OMGosh!

At that point, either you were about to get soaked - or you were laughing hard at those who were about to get soaked! Rumor is that Neal was ready for the party to be over so he could keep all the ice cream for himself – haha. Needless to say, the group disbursed for the night.

Sometime in the middle of dinner and rain, a brief business meeting took place.

Ice Cream for Breakfast, anyone? The group reconvened Sunday morning for a breakfast of ham biscuits, fruit and more. And Ice Cream for those that missed out. After a devotion by Neal, the Cardinal Virginians ended their wet, but still fun, rally.

Gene found that the local bookstore had a book signing by David Baldacci. He would have stayed another day to talk with his favorite author, but only had to stay later in the day. After arriving 2 hours early and being 2nd in line, he got his autograph and picture, leaving past a line of 200 people still waiting to get into the signing. That was a “happy camper”.

Rally write-up by Carol Melton