Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cummings South Orlando

 We left the Thousand Trails Park Friday with the "etch-a-sketch" showing a quick stop at Cummings to get an oil drip from the drain plug fixed, and then south to warmer weather. I guess the road was a lot rougher than I though because the :etch-a-sketch got shaken up pretty bad.

 Back in Aug. we had taken the rig to MI where the chassis was built to have it serviced. I though that since they built it they would be the best to service it, but I was wrong again. I noticed an oil drip around the drain plug back in November so I called Spartan and complained. The guy at Spartan was really nice and said to take the rig to any Cummings dealer to have it fixed and they would cover the costs.

 Everyone knows I'm a little slow at some things and it took me until yesterday (Friday) to get it to a dealer to have it fixed. Once the mechanic looked it over he found not one, not two, but three leaks. The oil drain plug, the hydraulic reservoir, and the main seal. From no leaks last year to a visit to Spartan for service, and now three leaks???? Spartan is taking care of the costs on the oil and hydraulics, but won't cover the main bearing. We do have an extended warranty so it should cover the main bearing and we won't be out much $$.

 All three leaks could be fixed in one day if (mighty big word for just two letters) they had the parts on hand, and they hand the go from the insurance. Spartan has to send the gasket for the hydraulics and that could take a few days and because New Years Day and the weekend we will be here until Monday, Maybe even Wednesday if they don't get the part and the OK Monday AM.

 So now the "etch-a-sketch" has us sitting here until all the work is finished. We really don't have a problem sitting here, Cummings does have 50 amp service and water set up in a nice area in the back corner of their lot. Behind us is a nice large pond, (they called it a lake) and then past the pond is a golf course. There are four sites here, and tonight there are three rigs, the property is all fenced in and we have the code for the gate so it doesn't get much better.

 This does put the brakes on us heading south, but the weather isn't going to be as cold as it has been so we will be A O K..............

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Kids visit Mickey

 We moved from Sumter Oaks last week to the Orlando Thousand Trails Park so we could be close to Disney World while Corey and his family were in town. We arrived a couple days early so we could be well rested for the busy week Jennifer had planned at Disney.
 We spent the weekend resting up and Monday the kids arrived. It was pure pleasure seeing them and the little Miss Jaelynn was the icing on the cake. Her smile with that long curly red hair had me wanting to squeeze her tight.
 They went to their morel room after diner and we returned to the RV. The plan had been set for the next day, I was taking Marcia to Shades of Green to get the tickets at a discount using our military I D card. Then we were to meet the kids where I would drop Marcia off so she could go with the kids to Disney while I returned to the rig to wait for a call to pick Marcia up.
 Around 6 pm I started towards the "Mouse"s House" to pick up Marcia while the kids did a late night thing lasting until midnight. I was about a mile away from the pickup point when I got a call to pick Marcia up. I thought I was doing good until they ask for McDonald's hamburgers. One hour later I was almost back to the pickup site with burgers, fries, and a Mickey Dee's Sweet Tea. I won't get into where the GPS sent me to find a McDonald's, only that it took me an hour to get back to where I was.
 All the kids had fun at Disney, Marcia included. I was wore out from the two trips I made and could only imagine how tired they must have been after walking all day fighting the crowds, and standing in lines. I decided I would just wait at the RV the rest of the week and let them have their fun.
 They all spent four days running around the Mouse's House and then Saturday morning Corey Jennifer and Miss Jaelynn had breakfast with Mickey and his friends. Miss Jaelynn wouldn't eat her waffle because it had Mickey's Face on it, but she had no problem eating the Mickey shaped pancake Sunday morning the Marcia made for her.
 We had a good day together Saturday at the CG. Even though it was on the cold side for FL we were still able to play a round of putt-putt. Miss Jaelynn did really well for her first time playing. Later the kids gave Marcia and myself a surprise birthday party. Since we are almost never anywhere close to the kids on our birthdays they felt it was a good time to give us a little party. Thanks Kids!!!!
 The kids loaded up and left out this am, it was great that they were able to visit and everyone had a good time. Now that nothing else is planned we are free to head south anytime. We have the reservations here until Friday and haven't seen much of Nick and Terry, or Dave and Jean so getting in some visiting is on our list before we head deeper south chasing the 70's and trying to avoid the cold nights........

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time for an Up-Date

When I looked at my blog last night I noticed it had been a long time since I made a post, so today I will will bring everyone up to date.

While at the Thousand Trails park in Wauchula we got the chance to visit Walt, (Donna was visiting family in VA). Walt and Donna was the first couple we met as full time rv'ers. We met at the Life On Wheels rally in Bowling Green Ky back in May of 2007. Walt is the type of guy that has to be doing something all the time, and I guess that had something to do with him failing retirement 101. But we had a good visit at their new home in Lake Land FL, and we hope to see them more while we are in FL.

 After our two weeks had passed we headed  S L O W L Y  towards Clermont where we will spend another two weeks starting tomorrow. Corey, Jennifer, and Miss Jaelynn will be visiting us next week. They have big plans while they are here, Mickey and Minnie and all that stuff. I will babysit the rig and Leo while they run around.

 We spent a week at a small park near Tampa resting up from the long drive from Wauchula. (about 60 miles) The resting up didn't work out too well for me, we played corn hole and another game the had me bending way too much and that got my back aggravated. Add in the cold front that came down and I wound up spending a couple days in bed trying to get over the pain.

 Now we are at Sumter Oaks with many friends that we have met in the past five years. We always feel "at home" here because we know so many people here. When Marcia was a "host" with the Escapees we spent four months here and a lot of the same people keep returning to this park.

 Our friends Wanda and Wallace are managers here now, and any time we are around them we have a good time. A couple days ago "The Maine-e-acts" pulled in from Maine, three rigs full of-em. It had been a long time since we had seen them, and it is always good catching up with them.

 Tonight the park is having their weekly "dine in" and they will be serving meatloaf and mashed tatters. It will be our last night here so we will saying our good byes to everyone tonight. Tomorrow we will make the long drive to Clermont, ( about an hour drive ) I think I'll be able to drive it in one day. There we will rest up while waiting for Miss Jaelynn's visit Monday.

 Maybe I will post more often, but I guess that will depend on the weather, the weather I do it or not........

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Headed to the Mouse's House

We finished a month in Key West and started our   s l o w   journey to visit Mickey Mouse. Our first stop was at the Biscanyne National Park near Homestead FL. Marcia got her National Park Stamp and we filled out applications to volunteer there in the future.

Our next stop was at the casino at the junction of 41 and 997 just outside of Miami where we planned on spending a couple nights. We went inside where Marcia got our pass to spend the night and I started making my donation to the slot machines. It was turning out to be a pretty good night as I was up several hundred dollars.

 We then took advantage of their 24/7 steak and lobster for $9.95, one of the best deals you can find without having the discount coupons the casino mails out. After eating we went back to the slots, Marcia was still just making a donation and I was up and down, so we decided to call it a night and I was up about $400. Marcia wasn't telling how much she had donated.

 The next morning it was a little cool and the wind was kicking up some but I wanted to see South Beach. South Beach was listed in the top ten beaches of the world and I wanted to see it so we made the drive. Because of the weather there wasn't very many people on the beach but I got to see why it is in the top ten beaches of the world.

 The road running along the coast in that area is lined with condos and hotel high-rises. With all the buildings comes all the people that dwell in them so needless to say it wasn't for me. Each of the condos and hotels on the beach side had a little shack on the beach where people staying there could get cabanas or lounge chairs. Some even had small bunker like areas carved out in the sand for the little kids to play in. I guess it is a good way to keep the kids in an area so someone could keep an eye on them.

 Back at the casino we went back inside. I had already put most of my winnings up in the rig so I wouldn't donate it all back to the casino. I was a bit shocked when I found myself up about $200, and then the real shocker came. Marcia found me sitting at a slot machine, she came running up hitting me in the shoulder screaming, "I just won $1200" "I just won $1200". She was so excited! That was enough of a win that the attendant had to come and get all her information so they could send her a 1099 for taxes. I was happy that they didn't take the taxes out on the spot.

 The next day we continued our trip north, ( I know, wrong direction) we made it to Immokalee FL where we spent the night at another casino. This casino wasn't as giving as the one we had just left so we made it an early night. At 8 am they were knocking on our door telling us we had to leave because they were having some hog fest going on over the weekend. Charlie Daniels was playing Sunday and they had others for Friday and Saturday.

 We were gone from the casino by 10 am, long before the noon deadline they had given us. We drove to the Peace River Thousand Trails Preserve near Wauchula FL. We are trying to use the membership we purchased a couple years ago, so we plan on spending two weeks here. The sites are plenty big enough, the hot tub works, and we have 50 amps so L I G. (life is good)

 Heinze and Anne-Lise came over this week and spent part of the day with us. It was really good seeing them again, and we had already washed all the salt off the Kountry Star so it was looking pretty good when they came. Heinze and Anne-Lise is the couple we bought the Kountry Star from almost three years ago, and we try to visit them every time we get close to Sebring where they bought a park model.

 The weather is not as good as I would like it, and I told Corey tonight not to plan another trip to FL in Dec and expect us to meet him. He is bringing Jennifer and Jaelynn down to Clermont in Dec and Marcia is going with them to Disney World, ( or Land which ever one is in FL ). I will guard the rig while they go stand in the lines.

 We did have an excellent dinner Thanksgiving day, the park provided the ham and turkey and everyone brought a side. It really didn't look like there were as many sides as there were people, (not even half allowing for couples) but there was plenty food for everyone. We got really tickled at one guy that had a serving platter for his plate, and after his third trip Marcia said she was glad she didn't have to cook for him. There was enough left that they told everyone to take some ham and turkey home with them, so all was good.

 We have another week here before we inch a little closer to the Mouse's House, we have reservations (oh how I dislike reservations) for the 14th of Dec at the Thousand Trails Preserve in Clermont FL which is really close to the Mouse's House so we won't be until the next time.........

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fantasy Fest in Key West FL

Fantasy Fest is one of the largest gatherings in Key West, it started out when some of the local business men got together and decided the weather was too nice to have so many empty shops. They needed an attraction to draw tourists into KW at the end of Oct.

So Fantasy Fest was started and has turned out to be one of the busiest times in KW. How it evolved into what it is today is a mystery to me, but the shops and streets are full. Many of the bars and resorts have their own parties during that week, one has a plaid night where everyone dresses up in plaid, another one has the leather and lace, and then there is the toga party, the Irish has their party with a lot of green, there are almost always pirates running around, the pool party with the wet tee shirt contest but most forgot the tees, and then there are the ones that just dress up.

Or the ones that just get painted for their costume, and by the end of the week some don't even bother with the paint and just walk around with only bikini bottoms on. A lot of drinking goes on, Duval street is blocked off because there are so many people the sidewalks can't accommodate them all. Saturday brings the largest crowd for the parade that takes almost 2 and 1/2 hours to pass by you.
FF starts off with Goombay, which celebrates the Afrikaans's that first inhabited KW. They have all kinds of food vendors lining the street leading to Bahama Village Park where they have several bands playing. We don't eat any of the food because I have a problem with food being served where there is no running water for the vendors to wash, but I guess they sell enough that the few $$ we would spend doesn't effect them.

This year our daughter was able to come and spend a few days with us during Goombay. We showed her around and she even got to see a few "painted People", but being with dad I don't think she enjoyed it as much as if she had been with her friends. So she left Monday am and Marcia and I enjoyed a few days alone during the first part of FF.

Thursday Marcia drove to Fl Lauderdale to pick up two of her friends from KY, Beth and Kristie. With a three hour plane delay, and another couple hours delay by the police writing up a fender bender the girls didn't get back to KW until 1:30 am Friday morning.
Friday evening the four of us went down to Duval to see all the excitement, and excitement we saw. The crowd was huge, the people were dressed in all kinds of costumes. Some were painted showing off their assets, and the creativity of the artists painting them. We walked up and down Duval street enjoying the festivities.

Saturday brought the excitement of the parade, and Marcia had signed us all up to be ambassadors to the parade, which turned out to be front row seats to the parade. Yes, we were inside the barricades as the parade passed by. Our duties were to keep the parade moving at an even pace, and to keep the drunks on the other side of the barricades. Marcia and I kept picking up the beads that didn't make it across the barricades and passing them out to the crowds. You would be surprised at what some people will do for a cheap bead necklace. ( I was ). It was a fun but exhausting day for all of us.
 Sunday the "fat lady" sang at the closing ceremonies and Fantasy Fest 2012 was put into the history books. The girls did a lot of running around while I spent most of the day resting.

 Here are a few of the pictures I took during Fantasy Fest 2012. Some pictures may just show painted people so you might want to preview them before showing children.















Not everyone was dressed in a costume and there were plenty of people there only to take pictures, but almost everyone there was just there to have a good time.... I think we will see what Fantasy fest 2013 looks like next year......

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where does the time go?

 It is hard to think about ten days passing by so fast, but then again it seams like we have been here forever. The days are passing us by but we are enjoying every moment of the days and nights. The weather is about as close to perfect as anyone could expect, highs around 85, and lows about 76.

 Our first couple days here we spent at the "rock pile", which is part of the RV park but it is the older section. The sites are a lot closer together and you are on a gravel site, there is four rows with the first row having a fantastic view of the water.

 Monday of last week they opened up "Trumbo" a dry camping area on the coast guard base. Trumbo is a lot closer to down town KW and many folks just go there and dry camp all winter. They avoid the "rotation" and can sit in one spot the entire time they are here. With the opening of Trumbo several spaces came open at the "back" part of the CG which is where we are now.

 The "back" is newest area of the CG, the sites are amazing, plenty of room, and your on a concrete pad large enough for the RV and a patio. There are twenty sites here with full hook ups and maybe a couple hundred sites for dry camping when all the full hook up sites are filled. There are maybe 100 FH sites in all, and they fill up in Dec and everyone (except the camp hosts) start a rotation. You get two weeks in FHs and then you rotate into dry camping until your number comes up, sometimes its a couple of days, and then in Jan or Feb it could be three weeks until your number comes up and you go back into FHs.

 Between the "back" and the "rock pile" there is Hollywood, another section of the RV park. Hollywood was built sometime between the rock pile and the back sections. The sites are larger than the rock pile but smaller than the back, and once the rotations start you have no idea of where you will get a site after you dry camping, but it will be full hook ups.

 Since we have been here Jenelle has visited for a few days. The airlines she was working for lost several contracts so they laid off a bunch of the employees, but they are a small part of another larger airlines and it still has flights all over the US. Part of her severance package was free flights for three months, and since she has no job she has been flying everywhere. Key West is one of the places she was able to fly to so it didn't cost her anything to fly in and spend a few days.

 Fantasy Fest is going full swing right now and the people on Duval street are amazing. Jenelle was able to see some of the "painted" bodies before she left, and every day there are more painted bodies with less clothes. They do have some amazing painters here and they can paint you to where everyone thinks you have clothes on, and you really have to look close to see that its just paint. I'll do a blog (with picture) after Fantasy Fest is over and I have rested up some.

 Marcia has a couple of her closest friends coming down to spend a few days with us, they will have fun and I will be able to rest some while they take Marcia down town to watch all the "crazies". So until the next time I will just keep watching the calender to see how fast the days are passing by.....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Key West Bound

 Two years ago we arrived in Key west in late Oct. just in time for the 7-10 day festivities they call Fantasy Fest. We had such a good time watching all the people we decided we would go back. Last year we went west (and froze) for the winter so no KW in late Oct. but this year we will be there.

 We left Escapase headed to KW but we had plenty of time to get there. We stopped off in St Louis and spent a night at the casino, then on to Cumberland Gap to visit friends and family one last time this year. From KY we stopped off in northern GA to visit friends, (even though some of them took off the day we arrived) and to wait out a front that brought plenty of rain.

 North Ga Led us to Southern Ga where we visited a cousin we hadn't seen in 11 years. After a couple days in Vidalia GA we continued on to Ft Stewart GA where we got to see our son Jonathan a couple times before he is deployed back to the sandbox. (Afghanistan) We could have spent more time there, but the three days we were there he was busy, and we wanted to get on into FL.

 The etch-a-sketch showed us stopping off in Kings Bay to check out the submarine base. I hear the fam-camp there is one of the best, but the etch-a-sketch got shaken up and we wound up in Mims Fl. Once in Mims we had to check out the Atlantic ocean,
While most of the US was hit by a cold front we enjoyed the FL warmth.
We were surprised when we found out Ron and Elaine has bought a lot in Titusville, it gave us a chance to spend an evening with them.
Tomorrow we will pack up and leave this PassPort America Park ( Seasons in the Sun) and head deeper south. Just before entering the Keys we will stop at a casino to spend the night. It is a little over 200 miles from here to Miami, and another 120+ to KW so we will make it a two day trip. If we are lucky at the casino we may make it a there day trip... I guess that is why we have all our plans on the etch-a-sketch...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

FL Bound

 OK everyone that knows me knows that I do NOT do cold, and we got a small taste of cold while at the Escapade in Sedalia MO, it got down to 41 degrees one morning. So the only solution was to head south!!!!

 As it turned out the cold only lasted a couple days, and then the warmth came right back so the trip south could wait a few more days. With the warmth back we left Sedalia after the Escapade was over and headed east. The "etch-a-sketch" showed us at the outer banks of NC, but the bumpy roads changed that really quick, or maybe it was the distance the outer banks took us out of path to Key West.

 Our first night after the Escapade was spent at a casino near St Louis. Marcia loves her casinos and she had some "birthday" money burning holes in her pockets. It didn't take long for the casino to take that $$ from her, but we had a good time, a place to park the rig for a night and an awesome buffet for $7.77.

 The next day we headed for Middlesboro KY. A couple things we wanted to take care of and another chance to see the kids and friends made Middlesboro a pretty good choice. Leaving St Louis we had rain, just enough to mess up the rig and the poor jeep caught all the spray and was covered with a fine filth you didn't want to see or touch.

 We took the southern route dropping down into KY as soon as we could just so we could see something we had never seen before. (that part of KY) Dropping down slowed the trip down but then we are in no hurry anyway. We stopped at the "Outback Steakhouse" in Bowling Green KY for supper with the intentions of trying to make Somerset before we stopped for the night, but someone bumped the etch-a-sketch while we were enjoying a nice 6 oz steak, or it could have been the steak and full bellies that changed the plans. We stayed around the corner of the steakhouse in a Sam's parking lot.

 The next day we made it to CGNHP campground. When we stopped for fuel in Middlesboro we were greeted by Corey, Miss Jaelynn, and Beth so Beth and Miss Jaelynn rode with us in the rv from Middlesboro to the park in VA. We had a nice time visiting for the few days we were there and hated to leave but I know the frosty mornings will be there anytime now and I really don't want to see frost unless it is on a mug of root beer.

 Saturday morning I had the rig almost ready to roll when Marcia, Beth and Corey finished their morning hike. Just a few things Marcia had to put away and good-byes said and we were off again. Raccoon Valley RV Park was our destination, Escapee parks are about the only parks that allow you to wash your rig there and ours was a mess after the rain in St Louis. We got set up before noon and Jenelle came by to see us for a few min. She had just returned from a trip to Vegas and we had her spare keys to get into her house. She had spent the night in an airport somewhere between Knoxville and Vegas.

 Marcia and I was feeling pretty good because we started washing the jeep somewhere around 2 pm and by 4:30 we had washed and dried the jeep and the entire motorhome. I didn't think it could be done in one day let alone 2 and 1/2 hours. But we now had a clean and shining jeep and motorhome, and with the new wheels it was looking really good.

 After we finished off some left-overs for supper I walked over to the clubhouse only to find it locked up. What is up with the clubhouse being locked at 6 pm on a Saturday???? I started walking around the park when I saw Fran and Sharon, what I surprise. Then Grace that we knew from FL was there too. It was good seeing them all and we talked about how bad the current manager at the park is doing.

 The locked clubhouse was part of the reason we chose to leave Sunday am, although the manager assured us he would leave it open later for a while since the park was almost full. But we really wanted beat the rain that was forecast. It was head to Ga to wait out the rain or wait there in Knoxville. Ga is further south so I wanted to go.

 We arrived in Lyerly GA just in time to crash Bea and Bennett, and Wanda and Wallace's family reunion. I have always wanted to just walk up to a group having a reunion and invite myself to eat, so that is pretty much what we did. Thanks to Wanda and Bea and their great family we just parked the rv and joined in as if we had known everyone all our life.

 Bea and Bennett have put three rv sites with FULL HOOK UPS on their property and had invited us to come and stay anytime so we are taking them up on their offer. They had to leave Sunday afternoon to return to RedBay AL to have repairs done on their motorhome, so that left us here with the Dub U's Wanda and Wallace. They are four people that we have met since we started living in a house on wheels that is such an honor to know and call friends.

 Today it rained almost all day but tomorrow should be just cloudy skies so we will say good-bye to Lyerly and head south. We want to visit a cousin in southern GA before we see our son Jonathan at Ft Stewart. He is due to deploy to the sandbox next month and we want to see him before he leaves, so we must roll the wheels and pass on fun times here in Lyerly with the Dub-U's....... Thanks B & B, and W & W............

Friday, September 21, 2012

What a Week

WOW, I am really happy this week is OVER.  Not that we didn't have a lot of fun, but we have been BUSY. Many of our Rving friends are here, and it is always good seeing them.

 We arrived here at the Sedalia Fair grounds on the 12th, and the first person we saw was Bennett. He was on the parking crew and directed us to the gate where we had to enter the fair grounds. Then we see Fran, Sharon, and several others waiting to direct us to our site for the next several days.

 When we parked the rig we were next to Keith and Donna, Wanda and Wallace, Bob and Molly, and Bea and Bennett were parked in the row in front of us. Ron and Linda pulled in an hour or so later and parked right next to us. After a short visit we headed over to a meeting with the Escapade directors, ( Bob and Molly), and they wasted no time in putting us to work. Marcia made a run to Wal-Mart, Staples, and Lowe's while I got things set up.

 Later it was a happy hour with so many there I won't even start to try to name names. Everyone started eating the foods that many brought to share, milk shakes were made and served along with some margartias and wines, and some home brew even made it to Sedalia. The ONLY negative was the flies!!! There are tons of flies here at the fairgrounds.

The next couple of days we spent getting things ready for the 52nd Escapade. I was doing very little myself, but just watching everyone else running around made me so tired. Marcia was going shopping several times a day, and it was good spending someone Else's money, but she wasn't buying the things she really wanted.

Then the cold front hit us and I was feeling it, but I was still able to watch everyone else running around doing their thing. The Escapade started and everyone was having fun even though we were all ready for some rest. 576 rv's gathered to make this a great Escapade. Tuesday evening we had BINGO and I was the caller. I think it is more fun calling bingo than it is playing, and I thing everyone playing was having a good time. Several ask me later why I wasn't calling their numbers, but I can only call the ones that come out of the basket.

 Wednesday was a pretty easy day, the weather had warmed up some and we didn't have much to do so we did get a little rest before the rush Thursday. Thursday started of with us getting things ready for the chili cook off. Marcia was making chili with a Hawaiian theme. She had a lot of people helping her and Keith and Donna were truly life savers with their help. Marcia won third place, and the winner told everyone she cheated and the runner up cheated too, but it was all in fun and all the $$ raised went to C A R E.

 We had just enough time to eat before we had tonight's bingo. We got to the bingo room just in time to fin out they had already packed up the sound system. After a few phone calls I did get the use of the fairgrounds system, but the battery in the mike died on the third number I called on the first game. The crowd was very good and kept the noise down so I could call without a sound system. Not something I would ever want to do again, but it worked out for tonight.

 Today was also Marcia's birthday, so she worked hard on her birthday and didn't get a cake. I did take her out for ice cream after bingo was over, and she knows I'll make it up to her somewhere down the road. and I did buy her a dozen roses last week because I knew we would be very busy this week.

Happy Birthday Marcia, you are my bestest friend.

We will hang out here until Monday with lots of the gang, and then we will head SOUTH. We have about a month to get to Key West so we will be smelling the roses along the way...............

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gypsy Journal Rally is over

 We had a good time at the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina Ohio last week. As always Nick and Terry put on a good rally. We are disappointed that this was their last rally, but we understand that they are too stressed out by all that is involved to continue having them.

 On Monday Marcia signed us up for a massage, Jean Damon has magical fingers when it comes to the massages that she gives. For one hour she worked those magical hands on me, and then she did the same for Marcia after she finished with me. Marcia enjoyed it so much she bought a bottle of Jean's massage oil. Now maybe Marcia will use the oil on me????

 We got to spend time with friends we have met over the past 5+ year, and met new friends that I'm sure we will cross paths with in the future. We learned a few things too, Marcia and I attended a class on cell phones and I not ashamed to say our smat phones are smartter than we are. But because of the class we both know a little more about using the,

 Friday was the last day so I endulged in the free donuts that were offered daily. (thanks Nick and Terry) and then is was saying "see you down the road" to many friends that were headed in different directions. Friday night it was dinner with 12 other couples honoring Nick and Terry, just one way we were able to thank them for putting on the rallies.

 Saturday we left Celina and headed west, the Kountry Star was riding really well with the new wheels and tires, and having all the fluids changed. We "wally-docked" Saturday night somewhere in IL It turned out to be a bad choice because there was a lot of truckers using the same wal-mart, and the trucks had frozen foods so the reefers ran off and on all night.

 Sunday we tried to find a city/county park we found on a new app we have for the smart phones. The directions we followed from the app took us to the wrong side of the lake, and was 1.5 miles from the CG. We had to unhook the jeep to drive around and find the CG, and we decided we didn't want to take the MH over the rough roads, and the narrow bridge to get to the CG.

 We are now at a Corp of Eng park on Mark Twain Lake outside of Hannibal MO. $12 a night for full hook ups sitting on a blacktop pad. The only draw back is the cell service is crappy, I don't think Verizon has any service here and we are using another service's towers, but this will only be a day or two until we head to Sedalia for the escapade.

so until then...................

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gypsy Journal Rally

We are currently at the Gypsy Journal Rally in Celina Ohio.

We spent 7 days at Phoenix Commercial Paint Inc getting their screw ups repaired. Last year they repaired the boo-boo I caused on the front end of the MH, and after 200 mile their repair needed repaired. Some of it needed re-done before we left but we wanted out of there so we had decided to live with it, until the part they repaired on the front cap came apart, then we knew we would have to return.

A lot has changed at Phoenix Paints, the owners split up, I guess he took off and went to FL leaving her the business and kids. With the economy the way it is she can't keep good help, she has one Mexican that comes in to work for her, but he has a regular day job so it is hit or miss if he shows up. She has several others that come in to work but as she says they just want a paycheck and have no pride in their work.

 She also has NO PRIDE in her work, our hood on the MH had a few spots in it that didn't get sanded well enough last year and at certain angles you could see the old graphics. I didn't like that, but wish I had never said anything about it. She sanded that part down and re-painted the hood, the problem is, we picked up a few rock chips over the past year and she didn't want to fix them, so she "tried" to tape over the graphics that are on the hood now and re-paint only the one color.

 Now you don't see any of the old graphics from any angle, but you do see how bad they did when the tried to cover the graphics to re-paint the hood. Now it isn't at certain angles you see the mistakes, it is any time you look in the direction of the hood that you see the screw ups. Pato, ( the Mexican ) did a good job of repairing the busted fiberglass, and he was upset that the owner told him to leave the hood looking as bad as it does, so she is the one that has no pride in her work.

I confronted her about it, and all she would say was it would have cost extra to have the rock chips repaired. I told her we would be taking it to the Gypsy Journal Rally, and then to Escapade, and it would be her name on it. She just said her name was already mud...... She also said she would be going out of business and closing the doors, and I told her she needed to!

Enough of the ranting, we will be looking to get the front end repainted somewhere down the road.

We arrived here at the Mercer County Fairgrounds Saturday morning, avoiding most of the rain. We did get just enough rain to get the rig covered with that fine misty dirt from the spray of water from the road and tires.

 Nick Russell met us as we pulled into the fairgrounds and showed us where to park the rig. It had been almost two years since we had seen Nick and Miss Terry. Later we were able to go to the local Pizza Hut for Pizza with Nick, Terry, Greg and Jan. We know they all are super busy before and during the rally so we felt really grateful that we were able to spend an evening with them.

 There is 100 + or - rigs here for what will be their last rally for a while. They have decided to quit having rallies because they are too much work and too little pay, and too many headaches dealing with the fairgrounds. They decided to just take some time off and left it open to start having rallies again in the future.

So since this will be their last rally we feel blessed that we are here, and we will try to make it as fun as we can........................

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meeting up with Old Friends and meeting new friends

With our new wheels and tires on the Kountry Star we headed to Charollet Mi to have the rig serviced. It is an 06 and hasn't had the 5 year services done to it so I figured the makers was the best chioce to do the work.
While the guys at Spartan were servicing the rig we did some sight seeing. One of the interesting things we saw was this tree that had been carved into a motorcycle.

Spartan was able to complete the service in one day so that freed us up for a few days before we needed to be at Phoenix Commercial Paints to get some touch up work done on the rig. We knew John and Bridget were close by so we called the CG where they were to see if we could get in, and the owner of PJ's CG said yes and he would hold us a 50 amp site.
Wednesday am we left Spartan and headed the 35 miles to PJ's Campground. John was walking Fred, (their beagle) when we pulled in. The 50 amp site that the owner had reserved for us turned out to be too close to a tree for me so we selected a 30 amp site to park on for a few days. After we plugged the rig to the park electric we visited with John and Bridget a couple hours before we finished  setting up.
Later we met Mike and Leslie, and Bridget and Leslie served us some BBQ with all the fixins. After everyone had their fill of food it was time for some golf. Not the kind of golf you need clubs for, this is a card game named 9 hole golf. We had learned to play this down in Fl a couple years ago, and is a fun game with 6 or more people. We didn't get finished before it got dark and cold outside so we called it a night. After all I had driven that long hard 35 miles.
The following evening it was determined we would have Mexican night. All the gals prepared all the fixins for tacos and we feasted. Soft shelled tacos and hard shelled tacos, I coppied something from Taco Bell and made mine a hard shelled taco with a soft shell with a layer of re-fried beans covering the outside. John tried one and re-named it " A Joe Taco".

Everyone knows you can't have a real Mexican night without margaritas, so we broke out the MARGARATOR.
It was a fun filled night where we drank margaritas and played golf.

The next morning we had to leave our friends and meander across Michigan. We made it to Phoenix Commercial Paints, and Michael said they would start working on the rig Saturday morning. She said it was OK for us to spend the night in her parking lot so we would be ready for them to start at 7 am.
 Saturday when Michael showed up we were waiting. Soon I pulled the rig into her shop and Marcia and I went to find some breakfast. About 9 am I got a call from Michael saying we could pick up the rig because they weren't going to do much to it today. As it turned out she had tried to buff out one of the bad spots and found that it would need to be sanded and re-painted.
So we took the rig and went to Elkhart Campground where we got to visit with Nick and Terry a few minuets before they left. They are headed to Celina Ohio to prepare things for the Eastern Gypsy Journal Rally. We always have fun when we attend one of Nick and Terry's rallys so if Phoenix Paints can finish our rig we will be headed that way. Monday we will be camped at Phoenix Paints until they finish our rig, or I blow a gasket......

Monday, August 20, 2012


 We left the TT park in Wilmont OH a few days before our two weeks was up so we could visit family in and around Lima. We parked the rig at the Ottawa Metro Park on Hwy 81. It is a real clean and neat park, 30 amp electric, water between sites, and a dump station. At $25 a night I think they want the campers to pay for the day use people and the disc golf players.

 We had a great visit with family, and we introduced Andrea to the L.E.O. club.  The first night we had to get our tenderloin sandwich from Happy Daz. Mark and Allison joined Ed, Andrea, Danny, Marcia, and myself. Their tenderloin sandwiches are so huge, Marcia and I split one. (partly because we are on a "reduction" diet.

 While in Lima we were checking on new wheels and tires for the motor home. We were given two names by the people at FMCA, Best One Tire, and Shrader Tire and Oil. Best One was right down the road from where we were parked so we checked there first. We are still waiting on them to call us back with the estimates.  Shrader tire called us right back with the quote, and they had no trouble finding and including the center caps. So we set it up for Friday to get new shoes all the way around the Kountry Star.

 Thursday Andrea hosted a BBQ, Andrea and Danny supplied the place and the burgers, and everyone else brought a side. We had about 20 show up, and it was good catching up, and the food was.....well like most of the get togethers,,, awesome.

 Friday we left the park and went to Shrader and got the new shoes put on. (they are pretty) We spent the weekend relaxing and today we parked the rig at Camp Spartan. Tomorrow the techs at Spartan will give the rig a service and a good going over........

Friday, August 10, 2012

In Ohio

We left CGGNHP Wednesday the 1st, and made it all the way to Lexington. The Kentucky Horse Park where we spent an evening with Randy, Doris, Missy, Wince, Tyler and Braydon. We had met this family 5 years ago at the horse park just after we went full time, and try to visit them every time we are near Lexington.

 They wanted us to stay a few days and watch Tyler drive a truck in a truck pull, and watch Braydon race his quad and motorcycle, but we had been sitting for two months and I wanted the wheels rolling, so we left Thursday am and drove to Cincinnati, where we stopped at the FMCA campground. When we joined the FMCA back in Jan we were invited to tour their headquarters, and since they give us two free days at their CG we thought we would check it out.

 Everyone at the office was busy trying to keep up with the daily routine and getting things ready for their rally in a few weeks so the tour wasn't what we had expected. With us not wanting to hang around a big city we elected to head on to the Thousand Trials Park in Wilmington Ohio so after the tour we packed things up and headed east.

 We arrived at the TT park and was quickly disappointed that all the full hook up sites were taken except one that wasn't real level, and in the middle of the woods. The only full hook up site would mean no satellite, so we elected to take a water and electric site where we could get satellite. We knew we could move to a full hook up site when one can open.

 Monday we drove the jeep to Lancaster Ohio to visit Phil and Linda, another couple we met 5 years ago in our first year of full timing. Phil and Linda own a home in Lancaster and use their rv for recreation like most working poeple do. But that is OK everyone has their own goals and desires in life.

 Today we waited for the rain and storms to pass so we could head to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We plan on spending a few days here visiting our nephew (he works here) and seeing the sights around town. Marcia has a National Something she wants to see and get the stamp for her national parks Pass Port Book.

 Monday we will drift north to the Lima area to visit more family before we have to have the rig at Spartan's shop in MI.........

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Got the "all clear" maybe.

Some how posting blogs don't seem to get done very often when we are sitting in one place too long. And spending time in Middlesboro Ky makes posting blogs a task I don't want to do, who wants to read about us going to eat with our kids several times every week?

Another bad thing about sitting in one place too long is the camera doesn't get used enough. I often think, "why didn't I take pictures"? Not only do I not get to share them with you all, I can't look back and see all the pictures I didn't take.

One interesting thing we did with the kids and two of the grands was a trip white water rafting. I must say I wasn't really into going until we got the boat in the water. We had a blast and I am very happy that I did do this with our kids, and as soon as the youngest grand gets old enough we will do it again.

I didn't take a single pic but others did and I'll share them with you all.

This was before we took off.

Here we are.

This is the lazy part of the river.

We did have two that "fell" out of the raft.

We had an awesome guide, he had us doing 360's while shooting the rapids. All the others in the other rafts were in awe, and the adventurous ones were wishing they were in our raft.

Then the next few weeks were more of the first few weeks, so I won't boar you with all the re-runs.

Today I got the all clear from my doctor, although he will be checking with the cancer doctors to make sure they don't want me for some reason or another. So unless I get a call or letter I'll be free to roam the country again until my next appointment in Dec. or maybe even June of 2013.

 Marcia has her final check up tomorrow, and we expect an all clear from her doctor too.

The next week will be busy getting all the things ready for our departure, sitting for two months things kind of get away from me so this is the week I catch up. This time next week we will be headed north..............

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time sure does fly by

 It really blows my mind to see how quickly the time between my posts goes by. I guess keeping busy with family, doctors, and the park has a lot to do with it. So I'll give you all the quick version of the past few weeks.

 Several weeks ago I had an in-grown toenail taken care of, but two days before my two week check up it got infected. So that resulted in the doctor removing the entire toenail. OUCH, so now I have to soak it daily for two or three weeks, and keep it wrapped until I go back for the two week check up which will be the second two week check up, but it doesn't hurt too much, (unless Marcia steps on it).

 Marcia had an annual physical and we are waiting on the blood tests to come back before we know anything, She will have a few other tests done before we leave the area. She also had an ingrown toenail taken care of, and because of the problems I have had with mine we are being extra careful treating hers.

 Marcia has wanted LASIK surgery on her eyes for years, and I have told her to do the research and have it done. Last week she had an appointment to see if LASIK would help her, and they scheduled the surgery for this past Friday. We got up really early and drove the 80 + or - miles to be there before 7 am. They let me watch the whole thing, and all I can say is, modern medicine has came a long way. Maybe I will do a separate blog on just the surgery?

 8 hours after the surgery we returned for a check up. (not two weeks) The doctor said she was doing great, and was seeing 20/30 and reading some of the 20/25 line. Now that doesn't sound really good until you think that they had put a lot of medicines in her eyes that day, and they cut a layer of her eye off and put it back after they took the laser to it. She has a follow up appointment Thursday.

 Marcia is really enjoying her duties at the CGNHP, and I have pretty much been a no show at the park leaving it all up to Marcia. I "might" help her out some when my toe gets better, or should I milk this out as long as I can???

 We are also getting to see family and friends a lot, getting Marcia's BINGO fix satisfied, and just enjoying until the next time....................

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

 Yesterday we mover the Kountry Star. It was a long drive, (about 5 miles) from the CGNHP Camp ground in VA, to a site close to the CGNHP Headquarters in Kentucky. The volunteers that were here left a day early due to stormy weather coming tomorrow.

 The park is located in three states, KY, TN, and VA. The massive 4 lane double tunnel goes through the park in KY and TN, one end is in KY and the other is in TN. The visitors center is in Middlesboro, also spelled Middlesborough, which is in KY. The Camp Ground is located in VA, and driving from the CG to the visitors center you must enter TN.

 Part of this explains how and why we confuse so many people when they ask "where you from". We were raised in KY about three miles from the point where you can stand in all three states at one time. Our tags are TN, because we use our son's address and he lives in TN about three miles from where you can stand in all three states at once. So being from KY it is natural to say KY when ask, and we are learning to say TN because of our tags.

 Our site for the next two months has full hook-ups, the satellite dish is in a very awkward position, but we get TV. We are also very close to or maybe in Bartlet Park in Middlesboro, so the view out the front windshield is a view of the park.

 We will start helping out where ever we can be used in the CGNHP this weekend. We aren't sure what or where we will be yet, but we know the staff is a great bunch of people, and they are fun to spend time with. So most of my blog posts will have something to say about the park for the next couple of months.........................stay tuned.............

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sea Salt

 As most of you know we just returned from a 7 day cruise, and I really have to warn everyone. The salt in the air from the sea will shrink all your clothes. I can't understand how it effects the clothes you don't take with you but it does. I think mine shrunk a size or two in just one week.

 Saturday 05-05-2012 we left the Thousand Trails Park in Clermont and drove over to Sumter Oaks RV Park near Bushnell. We were greeted by the Dub-U's Wanda and Wallace, Bennett and Bee, Fran and Sharron, Wayne and Diane, and several others in the park. We didn't even hook up the rig, Marcia just plugged in the electric so Leo wouldn't get too hot while we were away.

 Sunday morning 13 of us piled into two trucks and headed to Tampa. We dumped the bags out and waited on Wallace and Fran to park the trucks. Then we checked in, and boarded the ship. The first thing they told us was to go to deck 9 where the food was waiting on us. (they didn't have to tell us twice either)

 On deck 9 we found 6 different buffet lines full of food, one buffet line full of deserts, and three swimming pools. So needless to say we all started filling plates and stuffing our faces. After 1;30 we were able to put our carry on stuff in our rooms, and we had to check out our balcony.

We went back to deck 9 to watch the views as the ship took us through Tampa Bay towards the Gulf Of Mexico.

Here is Wanda and Wallace

Fran and Sharron

Wayne and Diane

Marcia and Myself

Bee and Bennett

And I didn't get pictures of Elaine, Don, and Elinor.

By now it was time to get ready for dinner, the fancy dinner where the waiter unfolds your napkin and places it in your lap. (I always try to beat him to that) We were all sitting at the same table, it was a long table. They ask for drink orders, then take appetizer and meal orders, someone brings bread, (hard bread) and after the the food is gone they take desert orders. You get to chose from a menu with several choices, and there is a menu for any day if you don't like the daily menu.

 After dinner there is always something going on if you want to do it, most nights we just hung out on the balcony. We did watch the comedy show one night, and the "love and marriage show" one evening. After the third night we quit going to the fancy dinner and just ate from one of the 6 buffets, the fancy dinner took too long and I was having a hard time sitting that long.

 On the ship there was a casino, several bars, gift shops, liquor store, main stage for events, a spa, three pools, three hot tubs, two or three dinning rooms, a gym, a water slide, and a bunch of staterooms. I'm sure I missed some of the things on the ship, but you get the idea that you can stay busy all week long just checking out the ship.

 Our first day was spent boarding the ship and leaving Tampa. Day two was at sea, day three we docked in Cozumel, day four we docked in Belize, day five was Mahogany Bay Honduras, Day six was Grand Cayman Island, and day seven was at sea. Sunday when we woke up the ship was cruising through Tampa Bay going back to the port.

 This is the quick version of the cruise, Marcia set supper on the table so I'll close this out and eat.....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hommies Catch Up with us.

 After spending a few days with our boys, (and Miss Jaelynn) at Ft Stewart Ga where Jon is now stationed we headed south. Yea maybe the wrong direction this time of year but we do have the cruise and need to be in Tampa Sunday AM.

 Our first stop was a Passport America park between Titusville and New Smyrna Beach. It is a nice little park right off I-95. It has a clubhouse, pool, bath house, and full hook-ups, and the price is not too bad either.

 Marcia and I spent a couple days just playing on the beaches and relaxing.

 A couple of Marcia's closest running buddies from Kentucky were coming to FL to spend a few days, and they wound up pitching their tent at the same park. They said they were doing this trip on the cheap, so tenting it was the plan. I was having one of my days so I was in bed long before they arrived, but Marcia pointed them in the right direction and they had camp all set up by the time I crawled out of be the next morning.

Their day one was spent driving from KY to FL, but day two consisted of a trip to the beach. I elected to hang out at the rig and maybe drive over to the beach later. I know girls need their "girl" time.

Beth's niece, and Kristy's daughter frolicked in the Atlantic Ocean, they would let the waves wash them upon the beach, then they would roll back out with the returning waves.

And the "Three Amigos" lay in the sand watching.

That night was time to "unwind" so we broke out the "MARGARATOR" I really learned a lot by listening to those three, the more margaritas they had the better the stories got. We all managed to make through the night and the next day was moving day for us.

We packed up and rolled on over to the Thousand Trails Park in Clermont FL. When we checked in Marcia ask about the girls pitching their tent on our site, (remember they are on the cheap this trip) and to our surprise you can have two tents and ten people on a site. ( I hope I'm never on a site next to two adults and 8 screaming kids). So Marcia call Beth and told her she was welcome to pitch their tent next to us.

So for the past three days I have been pretty much a bachelor. Marcia and the girls have been visiting the Mouses House. Marcia got a deal on a four day, four park pass so they were taking advantage of it. Too bad they couldn't find a three day pass because three days is all we will have. We have to move to Bushnell to get ready for the cruise and the girls have to get back to KY.

I have really enjoyed having hommies around, and enjoyed being a bachelor during the days, and I know the Three Amigos and the two side kicks have enjoyed their time together. So tomorrow, (today really it is 3 am now) we will say good-bye, but like a lot of our RVing friends we know we will meet up again....