Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sumter Oaks

We have been here at Sumter Oaks for two weeks now and it is time to roll the wheels. After the cruise we spent the remainder of Saturday washing one half of the RV. The washing happened after the several naps we took to catch up on the sleep, and we were only able to get half of it washed.

 Sunday we got up early and finished the washing, and it was now ready for the wax. As luck would have it Valentine, a local guy that washes RV's here at the park and other Parks in the area, drove up just as we were finishing. After the bartering ended he started waxing, with the help of his lady friend. We had to  point out a few missed areas that he quickly went over, but two hours later they were packing things up to move on to the next rig in line for a cleaning.

 Most of the time when Valentine comes into a park and gets to wash, or wax in our case, one rig, there are others that decide to let him save them the trouble of washing theirs. I'm only guessing but I would say he makes $300 to $700 on a good day, but then there are the days that he can't get the first one to wash.

 Monday we went to Webster where they have a huge flea market on Mondays. I was surprised to see so many vendors setting up this time of year. Even though there were only about 1/2 to 1/3 of the vendors set up compared to what you would see in Dec or Jan. The produce isle had only about 1/3 of the vendors that we are used to seeing, but we were still able to get some good buys on tomatoes, and plums. Others from the park bought grapes and pineapples too.

 Tuesday evening 8 of us rode over to "wherda-hecamiat", this is an outstanding eating place where the food is good, the portions are large, and the price is decent. It is a fish camp with several small RV sites, a bait shop, boat launch, boat dock, and restaurant. It is about 20 miles from Sumter Oaks and well worth the drive.

 Today we spent cleaning the rig and getting everything ready to roll. I still have a few things to store away in the bays, and we have to make our rounds saying the "see you down the road somewhere" to the few that are here. We need to get an early start in the AM because the lovebugs are out in force and I don't want to spend another day washing them off the rig. From what I have read they don't come out until around 10 AM, so I really want to be where we are going by then, so that calls for the early start..............

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We are back

We have returned from our cruise, we had a terrific time, ate way too much, and we returned exhausted.

Here is a picture of the ships pool deck, we are in Tampa waiting to set sail.

One of the reasons for taking this cruise was Marcia's Birthday. We boarded the ship on 9-20-2010 which is a few years after Marcia was born. I won't say how many because I know how women are about telling their age.
Wallace and Wanda surprised us by having a cake delivered to our dinning table that night. Yes it was GOOD. Here is the piece I got.

We departed Tampa around 4 PM, spent that night and the next day at sea. They have a lot of things going on to keep you busy on the cruises, and we took advantage of a lot of them. I needed to take a nap but was like a kid, afraid I would miss something if I slept so I pushed myself until I just had to sleep.

 Wednesday AM we arrived at Grand Cayman Island. I had thought about staying on the ship, but the kid in me took over because I just had to be able to say I was there. Here is the island from the ship as we were arriving.

This pirate ship was taking some passengers on a day trip. They were from another ship because had not yet docked. The pirate ship did fire their canons at us, and warned us that we were sinking and that we should surrender to them. I hated telling them they were firing blanks, but then you know me.

 Driving in Grand Cayman is like driving in Europe, you drive on the left side of the road, and because our son is such a fanatic about cars I thought he would get a kick out of seeing a right hand steer BMW. So this one is for you Corey.

We found in very interesting to see a sign advertising an "ALL YOU CAN EAT' """sandwich"""""?

 We also found it interesting to see a Yield sign that says, GIVE WAY!

And who would have thought that we would see a KFC in the Grand Caymans? We were raised less than 50 miles from where Col Sanders opened his first KFC.

One of the most interesting sights was the blue water. It really amazes me at how clear and blue the water is. On the ferry boat ride to the Island I ask the operator how deep the water was there, I thought maybe 20-25 feet because we could see the rocks on the bottom, but he said it was about 80 feet deep where we were. Now that has to be some clear water to see rocks on the bottom 80 feet below us.

 We left the Cayman Islands and went to Cozumel Mexico. I'm sorry I don't have pictures of Cozumel but because we were going snorkeling I decided to leave the camera in the room on the ship. We snorkeled for an hour or so, and I quickly realized that kicking those fins caused great pains in my knees. When the current shifted we all just went with the flow to another area where we could get out of the gulf.

 After we did the snorkeling I was too give out to catch a taxi to the main city, so we just walked around the tourist trap around the Pier before we got back on the ship. We did buy a couple jackets, and some Coke Light. On the ship the bartenders pour our cokes, and then always hold the can way above the glass and the coke is flat by the time you get to drink it, so we now had a couple we could ice down and get the full fizz out of.

 Thursday night was the Mexican night, but I had to pass because I had over did it all day. Marcia came back to the room around midnight feeling the effects of the high winds we were in. The ship did its share of rocking from side to side and a lot of people were looking for more Dramamine.

 All in all we had a great time, and Wallace had warned us that the sea salt air would cause all our clothes to shrink, and he was right. Now we will be starting a diet of some kind so we won't have to buy all new clothes...........

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Last night in the USA.

 Tomorrow we board the ship and set sail for, where ever it is we are going. We have been busy the past couple day getting things ready for the cruise. I installed the motion lights we bought in Elkhart while Marcia packed for the trip.

 We met several of Wanda's cousins that will be on the cruise also. I think the last count was 18 that Wanda had convinced to go on this cruise, and I am just happy that we are two of them. After talking to Wanda's cousins I think we may be related in some way. Bennett Mason was raised in Scott County TN, and he says he is related to several of the Masons from the Middlesboro area, so the chances are pretty good that we are related in some way.

 Sumter Oaks is like a lot of the small towns we went through, a modern day ghost town. Several towns in GA that we drove through were all but ghost towns. I imagine us seeing them today was like what people saw of the towns that disappeared back in the early 1900's and late 1800's, the towns we search out as ghost towns. I wander what people will will see when they drive through these towns 100 years from now?

 This will be my last post for several days, it will be interesting to see how I do without a PC or Internet for a week. I know I could take my PC and stay connected but what fun would that be? I really think we all spend too much time surfing the world wide web, but we adapted to the times, and the times now almost require being connected. So check back next week to see if I survived....

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back in the Sunshine State

 Today we rolled the wheels long enough to make it to Sumter Oaks R V Park near Bushnell FL. I have figured out that we can make better time in the Kountry Star with its 330 Cummings Diesel motor than we did in the Santara with its big V-10 gas motor. I am enjoying passing other RV's and sometimes even the big rigs, but I really need to plan for the quicker times.

 We said our good-byes Monday night at Raccoon Valley RV Park to dad, and the kids. Our plan was to slowly meander to Bushnell. I had figured we would stop just north of Atlanta for a night leaving early to avoid the Atlanta traffic, but leaving Knoxville around 9Am put us rolling through Atlanta around 1 PM which was a really good time to go through Atlanta. We had some traffic, but nothing like the Atlanta traffic I remember, so we was able to make it all the way to Twin Oaks R V Park.

 Arriving around 4 PM at Twin Oaks gave us ample time to rest Tuesday evening, and we took Wednesday as a "just hang out and relax" day. We took full advantage of the hot tub, (nothing better than an evening in a hot tub with the love of your life). Thursday AM we had to roll the wheels, figuring on stopping around Gainsville for an overnight stop.

 We stopped in Valdosta GA to fill up with diesel and clean the "love bugs" off the windshield. Love bugs are very acidic and will ruin a paint job in a couple days. When we arrived in Gainsville the front of the Kountry Star was covered again with the love bugs so I decided to keep the wheels rolling so I would only have to clean them off one more time.

 When we pulled into Sumter Oaks we were greeted by Jim his wife. (her name slips my mind right now) Jim filled our propane take as requested, and we picked a site to park the rig on. Our last stay here was on a site that our AT&T phones would not work inside the rig, so we wanted to make sure they worked on the site we picked this time.

 After setting the jacks, rolling out the slides, and hooking up to water, electric, and sewer I started working on getting the love bugs off the front of the rig. I scrubbed for almost an hour getting the nasty bugs off the windshield and front cap. Over the next two weeks I hope to wash the entire rig, and get a good coat of wax on it. Those two weeks will also include the time we are away on our cruise to Cancun.

 So while relaxing in the FL Sunshine I will have plenty of things to keep me occupied......

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Moving on

The tri-state area (KY TN VA) really has a lot to see, and us having been here most of our lives about all we want to see are friends and family. We park the rig at the CGNP about 6 miles from US 25 E on hwy 58 in VA. It is a nice GC with 50 amp electric, a dump station, a place to take on water, and PLENTY OF TREES.

 I was shocked when I hit the button for the satellite and it found our direct TV satellite. It could only tune in at 40-50 %, but that is enough for us to watch TV. The track vision we have on the Kountry Star has found the satellite a few times when I would have bet there would be no way it could, so I am VERY PLEASED with it.

 We got to visit family, Marcia got her bingo fix, I watched Miss Jordyn cheer at the high school football game. Saturday we drove to Corbin to, ran all over the town looking for where the soccer game was going to be played. Miss Jordyn cheers for the high school, and plays soccer. Once we found the "NEW" school we spent a couple hours waiting with the team before they called the game due to the thunder storms rolling through the area. That gave us plenty of time to visit with Ruby and Miss Jordyn.

Jordyn is the second girl from the left in the bottom row.

 Sunday we will pull up the jacks, and roll the wheels about 60 miles to the Escapee's Raccoon Valley RV Park. We will be taking dad with us so we can take him to his doctor in Knoxville Monday. Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday we will head to FL so we can get everything ready for our cruise to Cancun.

 We will have to wait to see what happens when we return from the cruise. It will be a little early to be in FL for the winter, but it is also a long way back out of FL, so we will cross that bridge when we get there.....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday DAD

Dad turned 74 today, we were able to take him to the steak house for dinner, followed by cake and a Happy Birthday Song.

 We picked him up in Lima this past weekend, and he spent a few days with us in the RV. The first night we boondocked while we visited Cody and his family.

 Once we left Troy Ohio we drove to Ft Boonsboro State Park where we spent a couple nights. I got a new C-Pap and a new mask. I'll have to set up a folow up appointment when I set up my next doctors appointment which should be in Jan 2011. That will be another fly in for the doctor and fly back to FL.

 Yesterday we arrived in Middlesboro where we were greeted by Corey, Jaelynn, and Jenelle. I took dad home so he could catch up on his rest in his favorite chair, and then we all went for Mexican. After the mexican feast we went back to the city parking lot where the rig was and played the balls on the string game.

 Today we moved the rig to the Cumberland Gap National Park before we started doing all our running before we leave for FL next week. Dad watched me make a remote holder to go in the rig before we went to eat, and after the cake I came back to the rig while Marcia and Scott went to play B I N G O. I hope she hits that $1000.00 game so we will have some extra spending $$ on the cruise, or maybe to help buy the six new tires the rig needs.

 Tomorrow will be more running and visiting with friends and family before the big half time show at the football game. Jordyn, (our niece) will be cheering the team on.......

Monday, September 6, 2010

Enjoy them while you can.

Golden years are to be ENJOYED.

But what are Golden Years? Some say the time after your retirement, or your last few years on this earth, and I'm sure others define it in their own ways. Since the doctors told me I couldn't work to earn a living any more I figure my Golden Years started then.

 Mine started back in 2002, so I had to find something to fill in my days so I wouldn't be board to death. I bought a motorcycle! I spent a lot of time riding and working on the bike while Marcia worked. When the cold weather moved into KY I found myself sitting in the house way too much.

 In Jan of 2007 we decided to sell off most of our stuff, buy a motor home, and CHASE THE 70's. By June of 07 we had gotten rid of almost everything, bought a motor home, and was starting to travel to U S A. We have seen more places than most people, we have slept in the motor home in 46 different states, and met many friends along the way.

 Friday we arrived in Beaverdam Ohio, where my dad was visiting my cousins Andrea and Danny Mason. They allowed us to park the Kountry Star in their large back yard, they watched as Marcia and I parked the rig, dumped the air, lowered the jacks, and extended the slides. We were "home" ! Andrea was impressed at the room we had after the slides were extended.

 We had a good time visiting, we ate at "Happy Days" (best tenderloin sandwich for $1.50), and a new BBQ joint that replaced the original Happy Days. Andrea, Marcia and myself even made biscuits, gravy, and sausage Saturday.

 Sunday morning we rolled in the slides, raised the jacks and rolled away from "Camp Mason". We have dad with us for a few days, and I hope we help him enjoy these few days. He liked riding in the rig, he says you can see a lot out of the big windshield, and sitting up high gives a better view too.

 Our first stop was Cody and Nicole's where we just had to see them babies. Jacob 2 years old and Caleb 4 weeks old. I just love holding the little ones while they are sleeping, but when they star crying it is time to give them back to mommy or daddy. I renamed Jacob to Sam in an attempt to gain his trust, and it really worked. By the end of the night Sam had me so worn out I could hardly move. I found it hard telling him dad was his dad's dads dad.

 Marcia and I were really impressed with Cody and Nicole's new home, they have a large back yard for them boys to run in, and plenty room inside for them on the cold days they have here in Troy Ohio. Cody has a love for guns, so I took advantage of him by talking him into cleaning my  guns. THANK YOU CODY,

 Today we will head on to "The Kentucky Horse Park" so I can get my last doctors appointment in before we head south for the winter. With the temperature getting into the 90's in KY this week it is hard to say heading south for the winter, but after seeing the 40's in the U P, and waking up yesterday to 57 degrees inside the rig I have decided I would rather run the AC over the heat pump ANY DAY..........especially in my GOLDEN YEARS..............

Friday, September 3, 2010

We left Elkhart this AM headed to Focal Wood Products to get our new desk installed. Once we arrive Carlyle started working. Our dining area was like this before he started.

He took the table out and into his shop where he did some major changes to it. One leg was removed, the table was dis-assembled, a few holes were made, and he put most of it back together with a few modifications.

Then he started bringing in the pieces to the desk, he aligned everything and started screwing thins to this and that.

Then he put the modified table in place.

And in no time at all he had a finished product, and I had a happy wife.

Here is the desk with the table in place.

This show the window treatment as he called it, I say the vallance.

We have not get the laptops put where they go, and have not started filling the cabinets either. Once we arrived here in Beaverdam we took the Jeep to check out the CG Paul had told us about. The name is on the tip of my tounge but I can't say it, or type it, so maybe the next time. It is 1.5 miles esat of I-75 on hwy 81, which is exit 127. A VERY nice park with water and electric, it has 1 dump station, and 2 dump stations for grey water only. Never seen a dump station for grey water only, but it has two. It is first come, but people often come on Thursday and pay for three nights, but not show up until Friday or Saturday, so it had a no vacancy sign out front when we arrived today.

 When I down loaded my camera tonight to get the pics of the desk I noticed I went the entire rally without taking one picture. Shame on me, but we all know how expensive the digital film is!

 We will be taking dad with us when we leave here headed south, plan on a stop around Dayton to see my nephew and his family. The one month old baby boy, and the two year old boy is what we really are stopping to see, but I will include the Cody and Nicole so they won't have anything to complain about.

Then on to the Doctor in Lexington Tuesday....................

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rainy Day

 Today we woke up to see liquid sunshine falling from the sky. This is one of the rains the farmers like to see, slow easy get everything wet kind of rain. It has been a long time since we have seen this type of liquid sunshine, and I'm sure the people watering their grass or crops are really glad to see it.

 Yesterday Walt and I took a ride into MI to visit some of the "candy" stores. Now this "candy" was RV related. I know of 4 surplus stores in lower MI that handle RV stuff, although we didn't find the treasures we were looking for I did enjoy looking around at all the stuff they have to offer.

 Back at the rally people were still buying, learning, and visiting. Walt, Donna, Connie, Paul, Marcia and myself went to eat at Lake Shore Grill. As the name suggests it is on the lake shore, and as most lakes with a food source there were ducks. Thankfully we were on the patio above the lake and ducks, but Walt and Marcia had fun feeding the ducks our left-overs.

 The rally offered entertainment last night, a couple from Tucson were singing comical type songs. I thought she did OK, but he needed a mic that attached to him because he would turn his head away from the mic while trying to sing and you had to be a lip-reader to know what he was singing.

 Today I will wait for a window in the rain so I can dump our tanks and fill up with water so we will be able to get an early start tomorrow when we leave our friends here in Elkhart. We have an appointment to pick up our new desk, and then we head to Lima to pick up dad....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What attracts People to R V Rallies?

  We are here at the Gypsy Journal Rally having a terrific time, so I started thinking about why people attend Rallies. Could it be to get all the vendors in one place so they can buy everything they need at once? Or is it to gain the knowledge of the many seminars that are offered? Maybe it is so they can gather with like minded RV'ers to socialize for a few days.

  I know why I attend them, and that is to socialize with friends we have met since we went FT back in 2007, and to meet new friends who like the RV lifestyle. I watch some people gather at the vendor booths and buy things they need or want for their RV. I too will spend some $$ here, but first I compare prices. If I see something at a vendor's table that I want, I wait until I get back to the rig and check the online prices before I hand over my credit card to get it right now.

 Checking things out online has been a real problem, Everywhere we have been this summer I find our Verizon Air Card to be VERY slow at times. SO slow that I am just waiting for our contract to expire before I switch to another service. Verizon has a booth set up here at Nick's rally so I ask the guy why it was so slow. His explanation was: they are switching things out to make them better, going into the "4-G" stage of cell phones. My thoughts are they have way too many cell phones, and air cards for the towers they have. We only have a month or two left on our contract so we will see what it is like when the time comes.

 Back to the rally question, I see so many of the classes put on at the rally full: so maybe people come to learn from people in the know. The sad part to that is almost everyone giving a class has something to sell. I call them info-mercials, because almost everyone giving the class is trying to sell you their product. So I don't sit in on very many classes. I did sit in on one given by someone selling Good Sam extended warranties, because we have been thinking about getting an extended warranty since our friends, Janice and Dean, got stranded in Nashville with engine problems this summer.

 I also went to one where the guy is selling mufflers and air filters. After forking out a bunch of cash replacing filters on the Kountry Star this summer I'm thinking about buying a reusable air filter. The throw a way air filter for the Kountry Star is over $100 online, and the life time filter at the rally is just over $300. I'll check the online life time filter prices before I swipe my card here, but I did gain some knowledge from the info-mercials today.

 I guess the only answer is that people come to rallies for their own reasons, and ours is for the fun we have at them......