Friday, January 29, 2010

We picked up the Kountry star today and drove it back to the storage lot where we have most of our stuff stored. Tonight we will spend our first night in the "NEW TO US" motorhome.

Tomorrow I will try to get some pictures of the inside. It is really different than the Santara, I had to keep an eye on our speed coming over from Sebring. The ride is so much quieter and softer, I'm thinking I'm going to enjoy driving this one a lot more. Maybe I shouldn't let Marcia behind the wheel, she might want to take over my job as pilot.

We are going to be really busy tomorrow trying to figure out what will go where, and what we will have to get rid of. (maybe I'll look for a trailer?)......

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leaving the Tampa area

After spending a week at the Hampton Inn and suites next to Lazy Days we were evicted, really they already had the room reserved for tonight and the next several nights due to the Florida State fair being close by, so we headed south to Port Charlotte. We need to be here tomorrow anyway to transfer the $$ for the new to us Kountry Star.

Tomorrow we do all the paperwork on the MH, here in Port Charlotte we will do the $$ part and then head to the DMV to get the title done. After all has been done with the papers we will head to Sebring where Heinze and Anne-Lise will spend their last night in the MH and we will take possession as soon as they sign all the papers on their new to them park model and empty the Kountry Star out. I know this way is not the norm, but then I rarely do anything within the norm standards. This was the way we could get all the running done before the weekend, and we didn't want to wait until next week.

Today I spent most of the day at the VA hospital getting appointments set up. If the VA is going to treat me for free I might as well take full advantage of the opportunity. Marcia spent the day watching cars crash. There was a multi car crash on Bruce B Downs and Fletcher Blvd as we left the red light this AM. We could have been involved if we had set a few seconds longer after the light turned green. While I was in the hospital getting appointments Marcia waited in the car with Leo near that intersection and witnessed two other crashes there.

We had stayed near lazy Days because a lot of our friends were there, and because I wanted to be near the Santara to ensure things were getting done. After talking to Ellen (the service rep) yesterday I feel confident the insurance company will screw me some more with it. The steam cleaning didn't work so the next step will be removing the ceiling and replacing it at a cost of about $9,000.00. that is going to bring the total cost (this time) to over $20,000.00 and I doubt if I can get that much for it when we sell it. I talked with Shorelines insurance adjuster yesterday and he was wandering why they were spending so much money on a MH that old, I am wandering the same thing, and the only explanation I can come up with is the insurance adjusters I have been dealing with just want to stimulate the economy.

Last night we got to sit down with Tom and Paula at Cracker Barrel. I think it was the first time that we got to spend any time with just the four of us. All the times we have been together it has always been with several others. It was really a pleasure to just visit with them for the couple hours that we did. As much as we always enjoy gatherings where classmates are together it is also nice to spend time with classmates without a crowd.

I really hope my next post will have pictures of our NEW TO US motorhome, and it will be OURS. This waiting is beginning to take its toll on both of us.........

Monday, January 25, 2010

A rest day

Today Marcia and I got a chance to rest after running too much the past week. We kept pretty busy with the insurance company, Lazy Days, and spending time with friends.
Saturday we caught a ride with Walt and Donna to Sleepy Hollow up in Floral City where we met a whole slew of people. Bob and Molly, Howie and Nora, Paul and Connie, Bill and Helen, Janice and Dean, Walt and Donna, Tom and Paula, and several couples from Florida Grand. The $5 steak was good, but the visit with friends was priceless.
*****if you were there and I missed naming you I am sorry but the C R S is kicking in today***********
After socializing and eating several of us followed Bob and Molly home where we looked over their new rig, and socialized some more before checking out Howie and Norah's new rig with the SPECIAL PILLOWS. After so much talking and story telling we all needed to eat again so we headed to Mariachi's. Our favorite waitress has joined the Army so her nephew tried to fill her shoes. (he don't hold a candle to her) Then it was the long drive back to Seffner FL where we are staying.

Here is a picture of Walt, Donna didn't have her hair done so she didn't want me to post her picture. (I'm such a nice guy I respected her wish) but I still have them so she better be good to me.

Yesterday we drove back to Sebring where we talked to the current owners of the rig we are buying Friday. We spent most of the afternoon with them going over this and that on the Kountry Star. I think we are going to have to buy a trailer to pull behind it so we can haul all the things we have accumulated. The Santara has PLENTY of storage space, but it couldn't handle all the weight. The Kountry Star can handle the weight but finding room will be a problem. Oh well I'll think of something I'm sure.
Here is the present owners Heinze and Anne-Lise.

Here is another picture of the new to us Kountry Star.

Today we slept in, and then lounged around most of the day. We did go over to the storage building and rummaged through some stuff, and we checked on the progress of the roof on the Santara. We tried to hook up with Tom and Paula but a Lazy Days salesman had them shanghaied until late, so that will be on the agenda for tomorrow. Tonight we had sea food at Shells in Tampa. I don't care a lot for seafood but it wwas pretty good, and Marcia really enjoyed it.

Maybe Leen, our GPS in the tracker took us to several dive seafood joints before we found Shells, an a couple that had closed a few years ago. We call her Maybe Leen because MAYBE she will get us there and MAYBE she won't.

Stay tuned for more of the same in the next few days......

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Tuesday we put the Santara in the shop to have the THIRD roof put on. I am really hoping they do it right this time. After battling with shops from AZ to FL we finally found one that would give us an estimate to fix the rig.

We are staying across the street at Hampton Inn & Suites. It is a nice place, but it isn't home. I'm sure everyone knows a motel is good for an over night stay, but after a couple days you are really looking for your own bed at night. We do have a small microwave, and fridge in the room so it isn't as bad as having to dig in a cooler, and we don't have to keep the ice filled up like we had to at some of the other places we have stayed when they put the first two roofs on.

Walt and Donna are staying at Rally Park and have been a BIG help to us. They having lived in the area they know where all the good stuff is. Like Tuesday nights the all you can eat BBQ ribs for $9.99. Last night is was the Crazy Buffet, an Asian buffet with crab legs. Yes I did feel a little guilty for going back several times and loading my plate with legs.

They did get started on the roof last night, getting approvals from the insurance company took 4 days. This AM we went over to check the progress and I wanted to talk to the guys that would be doing the work. While there we met another couple, I can't remember their names but they are SKPs and they went FT last month. We invited they to join us later for lunch at Sleepy Hollow. Several of the "Class of 07" and several other couples are meeting there today at noon. It is always great meeting with other Full Timing RVers.

We will be picking up our new rig Friday 01-29-2010. We are really getting excited. Marcia has already remodeled it several time in her head, so I guess I had better watch out when we do get it. Tomorrow we are going to spend the afternoon with Heinze and Anne-Lise, the couple we are buying the Kountry Star from. I am really wanting to learn more about the rig and Marcia wants to see if some of her ideals will work out in the new rig.

I will try to post more pictures of the new rig soon, and the Santara will be for sale if you know anyone wanting an older gasser.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back in the Tampa Area

We had planned on spending a month down in the Keys, but the roof on the Santara caused us to leave a couple weeks early. Saturday morning we went to the Key West Sea Food Festival. It wasn't what we anticipated at all, it was just like most of the other festivals we been to, over priced crafts, over priced food, and everyone there wanting to relieve you of your money.

We had an appointment with Lazy Days on Tuesday to have the roof repaired again on the Santara. We tried to change it to later in the week, but we were told if we couldn't got it in Tuesday it would be sometime after the first of Feb before we could get it in, so we decided to leave Saturday after we visited the festival.

We drove out of the Keys to an Indian Casino outside if Tampa on hwy 997. We joined several other RVs taking advantage of the free boondocking in the casino parking lot. It being a Saturday night we had to see what was going on inside, and to Marcia's delight it was bingo night. We signed up for their free membership card and they gave us $20 to play on in their slot machines. I received an extra $10 because I was born in Jan.

Marcia wound up making $23 with her free $20 and I gave them their $30 back. After we took advantage of the buy one get one free buffet I went back to the rig to rest and Marcia went in to play bingo.

Sunday we drove the rest of the way to Seffner Fl where Lazy Days is located. We stopped in Venice and had lunch with Chuck and Terry, (my brother and his wife) it was a long lunch but we had a good time catching up, and the girls had to brag about the grand babies. Marcia got the upper hand because we have four and they have one and one still in the oven. Congrats to Cody and Nicole!

Monday we rented a storage building and unloaded the Santara. I now think Bob was right and we might have been a few pounds over the weight limit on the Santara. I really don't know how we had so much stuff packed in that RV. Thanks to Walt and Donna for stopping buy to help us unload or we would have never got it all unpacked and stored.

Today we turned the Santara over to Lazy Days, we are still hopeful that the insurance company will buy the rig and not repair the roof and ceilings. After looking at the stained ceiling for two months, and thinking about what might happen to the walls after it got so wet in MO when Shoreline allowed it to get soaked in a rainstorm while the second roof was being put on, and our concerns about the positive mold test, we will not be moving back into the Santara.

If it works out that the Santara is repaired we will put it on a consignment lot and have it sold, or we might put it on a lot somewhere and let friends and family use it as a get-a-way place. We already miss sleeping in our own bed, but feel better about not being exposed to the mold we found in the Santara when we did the mold test last week, even though we have not received the lab results as to what type of mold it was.

We will be hanging out in Motels until we pick up the new to us Kountry Star on the 29th. Although we may find a way to take a vacation on a cruise ship if we can get things worked out with the insurance company and Lazy Days on the Santara while we wait. Things could be a lot worse, after all we are in Tampa FL, and it is Jan.

Stay tuned and I will keep everyone informed as to what happens to the Santara, and how we enjoy being HOMELESS for a couple weeks.........

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Looking at the Brighter Side

Here in Key West the weather has really been COLD. I say cold using my standards, anything below 70 degrees. Although the lows have dropped down to 48, today the high was only 55. We could be almost anywhere in the US and experiencing lows in the 30's or 20's or even lower, so we are thankful that we are freezing here in Key West.

The weather will start rebounding tomorrow, and I really hope this is the worst we will get this year. We will be here for another week before we take the Santara back to Lazy Days for another roof job.

The Santara is turning out to be a million dollar coach. Not really that much but if you figure the insurance company and I spent over $8,000.00 on a new roof in March of 08, and the insurance company spent another $8'000.00 in September of 09, and they will be spending another $20,000.00 + in a week or two, for the third new roof. This time we will be getting new ceilings too. I think we would sell it to them for about the same money as they are getting ready to spend on fixing the roof.

But that will be in a couple weeks and right now we plan on enjoying Key West.

We did manage to see the ORIGINAL MARGARITAVILLE store and bar, and had a couple Margaritas. We walked on the beach, and saw this beautiful house.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Key West

We arrived in Key West FL Tuesday afternoon and the weather was COOL, not quite COLD compared to the rest of the country. The locals really thought it was COLD here, you could tell them by all the clothes they had on and the way they were bundled up.

Wednesday and Thursday were cool too, but we had to take in Duval street. Cruise ships pull in here and most of the people on them have to spend time and money on Duval Street. We weren't on a cruise ship but we too had to see Duval Street and Malory Square.

Malory Square would be a very nice place to watch the sunset except for the fences they have up and the cruise ships blocking the view. There are a lot of street performers doing their acts and asking for cash contributions. We enjoyed several of the performers and made donations for their efforts.

Today was really nice, the sun was shining, the temperatures were in the 70's (yea) so we took off to the beach. It was wonderful to walk the beach in our swim suits, we even got our feet wet wadding in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a little too cold to get in any deeper than our ankles.

After the Beach we came back to the rig and eat a late lunch before heading back to Duval street. Marcia had not had her Margarita from the original Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. I thought the Margaritas were expensive at Margaritaville in Las Vegas, but here in Key west they cost even more.

It was a pretty good day today, and I hope the next week or so is even better.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Dolphin Center

About half way between Miami FL and Key West FL lies Marathon FL where the dolphin research center is located. Since Marcia has always been infatuated with dolphins and most any animal, and we happen to be staying about 1/2 mile from there, we went to see the dolphins.

I will let the pictures do the talking...

I hope you enjoyed the pictures, I know Marcia enjoyed being there and I enjoyed taking the pictures and sharing them you you all.
Have a great day and try to stay WARM.........

Friday, January 1, 2010


Since we can't pick up the new to us rig until Feb we decided not to hang around Wauchula and to head on to the Keys. Everyone knows we are "chasing the 70's" and what better place than the Florida Keys. We packed things up for the drive south and took off, leaving the SKP Co-Op.

The drive to Florida City just north of Key Largo was very uneventful, until we arrived at Wal-Mart. Several other rigs had the same ideal as we did, make it as close to the Keys as we could so the next day would be a short drive. The problem was they were having a party.

One guy had his Honda generator out and chained to his steps, and he was in the process of setting up his satellite dish that was mounted to a huge piece of ply wood. Two other couples were sitting between their rigs in their lawn chairs. Marcia and I walked into the store so she could do her shopping before we dropped into the Keys.

I was kind of glad that I wasn't feeling too well because that gave me the excuse to go inside and take a nap. The two couples did invite us to join them but I have seen too many Wal-Marts where you couldn't spend the night and I can't help thinking that situations like that were partly the cause.

After Marcia finished shopping and I took a short nap we decided to take the tracker to find something to eat. Cracker barrel wasn't too far away and we had a pretty good meal. When we returned to the rig we saw that several other rigs had arrived. Some were nestled in their rigs and others we sprawled out in their lawn chairs enjoying the hospitality of Wal-Mart and the warmth of southern FL.

We did stop by the "party" to wish them all a Happy New Year, and tell them we would see them tomorrow. Since they were headed to the same RV Park in Marathon FL as we were I figure we will be seeing more of them this week, and they are really friendly folk.

We pulled into Jolly Roger Park around noon and the two other rigs that we had seen at Wal-Mart pulled in right behind us. We got set up and took off exploring Marathon FL. We found a beach that we walked on, and we even walked in the water looking for sea shells. I think it is pretty good that we walked in the ocean on New Years Day 2010.

To close the blog for today I just want to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone.

Here are a few pictures.