Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 in review

 We started 2010 by going to the Keys, our first stop was Jolly Rogers on Marathon Key. This is a Pass Port America park that allows 2 five night stays per year. Then it was on to Key West, where we enjoyed the coldest Jan in years. We watched the tropical fish die because it was so cold, but it was better than most of the United States.

 On the 19th of Jan we took the Santara to Lazy Dayz to have the third roof put on it. While it was in the shop we spent 10 days in motels before we closed the deal on the Kountry Star. We were very excited with our new to us rig, and I know it was a bitter sweet deal for Heinze and Ann-Lise because they were giving up the Kountry Star, but they were getting a new to them park model that they didn't have to drive back and forth to Canada.

 We then made another trip to Key West were we found perfect weather. It was really nice being warm again. We spent a couple weeks enjoying the tropical weather of KW before heading back to the Tampa area to pick up the Santara. I tried everything I could to get the insurance company to total the Santara and give me check, but they insisted on paying out a lot more $$ to get it repaired.

 Having two RV's we had to figure out what to do with the Santara before we could head north. We found several places to store it for the summer, but then we decided to leave it on a consignment lot and let them sell it for us. With everything worked out we were able to head to Kentucky for our annual grand baby fix and my annual doctors appointments.

 Hanging around some place waiting on doctors appointments isn't fun at all, especially when the temps are in the mid to upper 90's. We sat through most of the worst summer I can remember, but having the kids and grand kids close by made waiting on the doctors worth waiting for. The end of July we were able to leave KY, and the heat. It was so hot in KY that corn was popping in the husk while still on the stalk, but by the time we heard that we were enjoying the beautiful Upper Peninsula of MI.

 The U P was perfect, there were plenty of casinos that had free or low cost camping, there was plenty of trails for us to explore in the jeep, and the weather was almost perfect. Toward the end of Aug a cold front came through the U P and run us off. With the lows dipping into the 40's we decided to head south.

 WI was the 46th state that we were able to put on our map. While in WI we got to visit Fran and Sharon, a couple we had met at Sumter Oaks. A little further south in WI we were able to spend a couple days with Greg and Jean at Greg's moms place. It was great visiting with class of 2007 mates, even though the mosquitoes were so bad that we couldn't get out of the rig unless we were going somewhere.

 Then we attended the Gypsy Journal Rally in Goshen IN where we had plenty of class of 2007 mates to visit with. At the rally we had a great time with all the skp's, and bought a few things for the Kountry Star. After the rally we headed to Lima where we picked dad up, and after spending a couple days in Lima we headed to Piqua to visit dad's newest great grand son, and our great nephews. we did visit with Cody and Nicole too, but the kids was the reason we stopped.

 We dropped dad off in KY, spent a few days saying our good-byes, and got our last grand baby fix for the year. We had reservations booked for a cruise to Cozumel leaving on the 20th of Sept so we rushed back to FL. We had a terrific cruise, the weather was great, the people we went with were great, the food was fabulous.

 Back in Jan when we were in KW we were told about Fantasy Fest, a big party that goes on in KW every year during the last week of Oct so after the cruise we headed to KW. Fantasy Fest was AWESOME, and after four weeks in KW I needed to get an x-ray my doctor had ordered so we slowly headed back to the Tampa area.

 We spent a week in the Big Cypress National Preserve before we found a great deal on a park to stay in for the month of December. The first cold spell that came through was really early for FL, so Marcia booked us another 5 day cruise back to Cozumel. We avoided a week of cold, but it didn't warm up like I thought it would and we wound up in freezing temps for most of the month of December.

 Today was one of a few days that the temps rose to the 70's here during the entire month of December. We left Glen Haven RV Park today and drove to Sumter Oaks where we will spend New Years Eve. There are plenty of people here that we know, and we know we will have a good time closing out 2010 right here.

 I really hope 2011 brings us warmer winters and cooler summers, and many more blessing to share with everyone......

Monday, December 20, 2010


 Not much going on down here in FL, the weather has really sucked! I remember warmer days in Jan in KY than we have had here in FL this Dec. Sunday I had planned on going to the flea market just north of Dade City, but when I first woke up it looked really foggy outside, so I just rolled over and drifted back into a deep sleep.

The next time I woke up it was after 11 AM, so thinking Flea-market I jumped up and got dressed, walked into the living room to see the front windshield all wet. Oh yea, it does rain here in FL and the flea-market was a wash out. So we had to come up with a plan B for the day.

The girls waited until I was up and ready before they did their thing, I guess they know me well enough to know if its raining I'm more apt to stay in bed than anything else. After everyone was dressed to wander around, (mainly them wandering if I was going to get out of bed) we took off headed toward Tampa. I wasn't sure where we were going but I knew we were going somewhere.

 Hard Rock Casino was on my mind and since we were close I decided to take Jenelle to her first ever trip to a casino. I was feeling really lucky when we found a parking place right near the door, well at least as close to the door as you can get without using valet parking. Jenelle was impressed with all the glitter, and I was really impressed when we walked out with more $$ than we walked in with.

 It was a good thing that we had won a few $$ because when I tried to start the jeep there was NOTHING. I had left the lights on, I'm not one to drive at night, and the tracker had automatic lights, so I'm not used to having to turn lights on or off, but with the rain I had turned them on, but I didn't turn them off. It was no big deal, Marcia called the roadside service and they sent someone out to jump us off.

 Back on the road we toured McDill AFB, Jenelle had never been there, and we wanted to get a few things from the commissary. We did a late lunch in the base exchange fast food Court, shopped around in the base exchange before driving to the CG to look around and stopping at the commissary on the way out. I saved myself several dollars by using the bar code scanner I have on my phone, I was going to buy a mount for the TV in the bedroom, but after scanning it with my phone I saw I could buy it for about half price online. So today I ordered it and I'll have to wait a few days before I get it.

 Today was a trip to the Webster Flea-Market. I found a case for my new phone, and a car charger. We also stocked up on oranges and some veggies. Tomorrow will be another day, and I'm sure we will find something to get into............

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Daughter visiting.

 Monday Marcia picked Jenelle up at the Orlando Airport, she will be visiting for a week or two. I was really hoping we would have better weather while she was visiting but we get what we get. She figured out that she could get more financial aid by not working than she could make working 5 hours a day. Plus she wouldn't have to drive 40 miles a day.With her not working she will have more time for her studies at school, and have time to visit us.

 Tuesday we drove to Dickey's BBQ where we enjoyed a $5 BBQ sandwich, fries, pickle, drink and ice-cream. $5.99 without our coupon. After filling up on BBQ we headed to a Verizon store. On the way I happened to see an Army Recruiting Center, and since I lost my sticker saying "My son is Serving in the U S Army" I decided to stop in and see if they had one.

 After a short discussion with the Sargent First Class about Good Morning, another SFC went to the back room. He returned with a very nice Army Sweatshirt, A hat, a window cling, and a bumper sticker. I was really impressed! The sweatshirt came in real handy the past couple of days, and I will donate the hat to an Army fan somewhere down the line.

 We did make it to the Verizon store where I haggled with everyone there. A quick trip to Best Buy to compare prices we returned to the Verizon Store. The end results are I have a new Droid Incredible, dad will be getting a new "old folks" phone with bigger numbers, a 911 button, and an ICE button. (in case of emergency), Scott will get a new texting type phone, and Marcia got a new texting type phone. We won't be rolling the wheels any because we will need the diesel fuel $$ to pay the phone bill.

 Yesterday was one of those days where I should have stayed in bed. After breakfast I did go back to bed, but after lunch I attempted a trip to the dollar store to get a new case for my phone. With no case at the dollar store we tried Big Lots, and half way through I got to feeling bad so I went back to the jeep while Jenelle and Marcia looked for the case and car charger. Then it was back to the rig and back in bed for me while the girls made a trip to Wal-Mart.

 Today was a much better day for me, and for the weather here in Zephyrhills. I think the official high was 69, but in the sunshine it was almost perfect. After a couple nights of freezing weather we really are welcoming the warm up. Tomorrow should be in the mid 70's so I am a Happy Camper, and the lows won't be where I like them but there will be no freeze warnings either.

 The last time Jenelle came to visit we went kayaking with the manatees, so I'm trying how to top that with something she will remember. We had thought about her and Marcia going on a cruise, but the cheap cruises were already booked. I guess all the snowbirds here in FL read my blog and decided to head south to avoid the cold like we did last week. OH Well I will think of something, after all we are in FL...........

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Back in the USA

  As most of you know I don't like cold weather, and Friday Dec 3rd I looked at the extended forecast for the Tampa area and didn't like it at all. It showed a cold front coming to the area bringing too much cold for me, so I ask my loving wife to book us on a cruise headed to Mexico.

  She found us a great deal on an inside stateroom, so I ask her to check on a suite with a balcony, and for the same money we paid for the cruise we took in Sept we got a 5 day cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel in a Junior Suite with a balcony. Naturally I told her to book it and we would Chase the 70's to Mexico since FL was going to be well below that.

 Monday AM we took off to the Port of Tampa where we boarded the Radiance of the Sea. The ship left Tampa with us on it and the temperature was a whopping 50 degrees as we departed Tampa. Well below the 70's that we sold our house and moved into the motor home for. By Tuesday the temps were climbing as we sailed south. Wednesday Am the LOW was 70 when I walked out onto the balcony to watch the sunrise.

 As on every cruise I've been on the cruise line tries to take every penny you have in different ways. This cruise was no different, we attended an infomercial about the spa services offered on the ship. They always give a free whatever to entice more people to come to hear their spills, and I just happened to be the lucky winner of  $195 seaweed detoxification treatment and massage. I was a real happy sailor because we had not beat the cold front out of FL and the cold was working double time on my body.

 The massage was scheduled for Wednesday at 8 am so after watching the ship dock in Costa Maya and the sunrise from the balcony I was pumped for the detox and massage. A very petite English girl was the lucky lady that would be putting the seaweed on me, and giving me the massage. She explained everything as I sat on the table with the foil wrap as a sheet.

 The scalp, feet and ankle massage felt relaxing and rejuvenating, but the back and neck part of the massage was a disappointment. The seaweed slime I was covered in didn't have the effects on me as they described in the infomercial, but then I didn't have to fork over $195 for it. I did enjoy it, but I enjoyed the $45 massage I got from Jean Damon at the rally put on by Nick and Terry a lot more.

 I enjoyed the weather while we were away most of all, but I did also enjoy walking around in Costa Maya, riding the scooter around Cozumel, and all the fantastic food. I really didn't think the old saying, "the sea-salt in the air will cause all your clothes to shrink a size or two" was true, but after two cruises this year I can tell you it is TRUE.

 Saturday Am as we were sailing through Tampa Bay I was very sad to see the TV showing 43 as the current air temperature. And then seeing the extended forecast for the Tampa area I think I will start looking for a condo somewhere in Costa Maya.....................

Friday, December 3, 2010

Beating the COLD

Everyone knows I do not like cold. Cold is good for drinks, ice-cream, and things like that, but not for me to be in. Everyone knows I watch the weather too, and we try to avoid any cold, and for me below 70 is cold. I can deal with the highs getting into the 70's but prefer the 80's. Well looking at the 10 day forecast I see this cold snap isn't lasting long, but there is another one right behind it.

 Temps should be in the low to mid 70's this weekend, but drop back down into the 60's Monday, and won't get back to the 70's until the last of next week. SO.....Being this close to Tampa makes going on a cruise easy, the rig is parked in a park with full hook ups, the site is paid for, and we are only 30 min from the port.

 I ask my loving wife to get online and book us a cruise for next week so we wouldn't be sitting around in the cold. She got us a pretty good deal leaving Monday and returning Saturday. When she said we could get an inside room for $169 PP I said check on a suite. She booked us a JR Suite Balcony Room for about the same $$ as we paid for the cruise we went on back in September with Wanda and Wallace.
 We will leave just as it gets cold again, and we will return just after it warms up again. You can really get a good deal if you are flexible in when you want to cruise, and when you consider we have our room, and food for 5 days it is hard to beat. Add in we will be WARM and it is a no brainer.............
Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico here we come........

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


 The cold front has left the western states, but has FL and the east coast dead in it's sights.  Here in the Tampa area we could drop into the low 30's tonight and tomorrow night. The bright side is the highs will rebound and by Sunday we should be back up to the mid 70's. So I will be spending a lot of time inside, or in the direct sunlight.

 When ever I can I park the rig with the front windshield pointing northeast. The reason for this is to get the early morning sunshine on our patio. While at Sumter Oaks in Dec of 08 and Jan of 09 we had site #40, it was good because we had the morning sun, but the trees blocked part of it so when site #41 became available we moved. We had plenty company come to sit on the patio to enjoy the morning sunshine.

 Here at Glen Haven we didn't get the rig parked the way I like it because the sites aren't laid out in a way that I could get the AM sun, but we are parked close to the clubhouse and the hot tub. We chose this park over several others because it has a hot tub, and I was disappointed when I found out it wasn't open, but the price was right and I wasn't in the mood for complaining.

 Today after a week here I was surprised to find the hot tub OPEN, and Marcia and I didn't waste any time taking advantage of it. It is a small hot tub with a max of 4 people so I figure we will have a lot of waiting to use it, but we are just across the street so it won't be too bad.

 Last night was bingo night at the clubhouse, and I won! Yes it was a shocker for me too, and the $26 I won will not be spent all in one place. Tonight was euchre night, and there were 39 people playing. Here they play 8 hands, and then the two winners move to the next table, with one of the winners from the last table sitting out a round. After 8 games the scores are tallied up and the top three men and top three women win the $. Marcia won 75 cents last week.

 I am looking for a used 4X4 truck, not sure what yet, I guess that depends on what I find. We spend a month or two around the old hometown during the summer visiting friends and family, and I fly back to KY every winter for my doctor appointment. So rather than trying to borrow a car or renting one while we are there I decided to buy one and leave it at our son's house while we are traveling. He can use it while we are gone, and it will be there for me or dad if he needs a truck to haul something.

 Tomorrow we will drive the jeep up to Clermont to have lunch with the SKP chapter 27. Some of our "class of 07" mates will be there, so I know we will have a good time and get a lot of the SKP hugs........