Friday, December 31, 2010

One of "Those Days"

Yesterday was one of those days when, well I'm not sure what to think about it. All seemed to go well, but then there were these kinks in the road. Thursday was a big day out. We headed to Miami to do a number of things (buy solar panel, do the laundry, mail some letters, get a hair cut each and finally buy the weeks supply of groceries.)

As we left at 9 AM, all seemed to go well. Once we were in cell range, we called the solar place to make sure that the warehouse was open so that we could pick up a couple of panels. No problem. Finding the warehouse was not difficult, thanks to karen Gamin, who gave good directions. At the warehouse, we parked and went inside. The manager was at his desk and gave us a friendly welcome.

But when I said we were here to hopefully pick up a couple of solar panels, he informed me that they were really closed ALL WEEK for inventory. We argued a minute and then I said let me decide on what I want and then I will call the owner in the office. I found what I wanted and he called the owner on the speaker phone. Oh, there was that long silence and a few mutterings when the voice on the other end realized that it was no sales this week. PERIOD. End of conversation. He did finally did agree to pay for the shipping next week where ever I'll be here in Florida. Will it really happen? I doubt it. He has no money etc. So with that, we left instructions where we planned to be and that they could send it to the nearest UPS facility.

Back on the road, we headed for an Office Max to pick up a Day Runner, which is what we keep our daily journal in. But we missed a turn. The Office Max was a mile south of the road we were take, so we decided to just continue south and then west. Poor Ms. Gamin never lost her cool between “Recalculating” and telling me to turn right and then right again. In the process, we passed through some nice areas of old Miami. Some elegant, well kept nice homes. Finally, it was Office Max and Ms. Gamin was happy. Office Max even had one last copy of the Day Runner we wanted. Excellent!

It was then off to the laundry and barber on the highway we came in on. We found them with no problem thanks to Ms. Gamin. It was in a strip mall and just about every space was occupied with a car. We found a space and hauled our clothes into the laundromat, almost to be overwhelm by people. The place seemed to be teaming with people (all speaking a foreign language).  But we found two washers and shortly had them purring away washing our clothes.

I then went to a nearby barber, also to be met by a crowd of people. There were 5 barbers and about 10 people waiting. Someone else came in and signed a paper with lots of names, so I added my name to the list. Of course, I love to study people and watching the end barber cut the hair for about an 8 year old boy was a study in itself. Eventually he finished and the boy's dad was next.

Then a woman barber finished her customer and indicated to me that I was next. I think “Next” was the only English word she knew. But she did know how to cut hair and I had no complaints Back at the laundromat, I arrived in time to help Sandy hang or fold clothes.

It was then time for groceries. We found a Publix store and Sandy went in while I read some in the car. Finally I went in to push the cart. When we got to the meat counter, Sandy wanted to buy some salmon which they didn't have. But they had a nice package of frozen Grouper with no price visible on the case. I told her to take it, as a change would be fine. (I think I've had Grouper once when eating out and remember it as being a good fish.) Finally, we finished.

It seemed like a long ride back to the motorhome, about 50 miles with almost solid traffic coming at us. (Later we heard that there was a major accident on I-75 and part of it had been closed. Perhaps that was the reason.)

Back at the motorhome, all went well as we settled in for a comfortable evening. It was about 9 PM when Sandy let out a major exclamation. She was looking at the details of the grocery bill and noticed what the price was on the package of Grouper. Ouch. I think she wanted to return it but couldn't. But the thought of paying $20 for a package of fish with only 3 servings just didn't sit well with her. I think she was still muttering about it when we went to bed!

­All in all, it really wasn't too bad of a day. As a friend in the Air Force used to say, “You win some, you lose some and some get Rained out!” 

 Today with the sun shining and already 70 degrees out, I think it is going to be a good day.

We don't have problems, we have opportunities!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday, the week after Christmas

 I'm confused and frankly I'm not sure what has been posted and what hasn't been.  So this is being written on the fly (with blogger open).  The problem seems to be that I write a blog and try to post it later in the day when I'm ready to fight the slow internet connection.   Every once in a while, I slip up and don't get it posted.  Or a couple of times, it seems that Blogger doesn't show me the latest posting.  Such is life of a very disorganized manager.

It sure was nice to again rise in the morning with the coach interior temperatures at 58 degrees.  No shivering and shaking to get moving.  It has been a real eye opener to see the news cast on what the weather is like north along the east coast.    We may shiver a bit, but nothing like up in Yankee land.  I did notice that we did have frost on the toad this morning.  But it isn't going any place for a while at least.

One comment about internet surfing verses TV.  With the internet, one can choose how to entertain yourself verses watching the stupid boop tube with they're excessive crazy ads.  They seem to forget that I still have control of the big switch called   ON/OFF.  It is now OFF.



Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday of the week after Christmas

Blog Monday, the week after Christmas

While many of you hit the roads to visit relatives and friends, Sandy and I stayed safe and sound and stayed near our home. We didn't even start the Honda to go anywhere. We may be in Florida, but to do any shopping or even church, it is about 50 miles east to Miami or 40 miles west to Everglades City. We were outside a few times to take a stroll around the pond that is the center of this campground.

The reason for the pond is because they dug a big hole to obtain rock when they built the road 80 years ago. So now it is the heart of a campground, as is several other man made ponds. Besides fish, each pond seems to have at least one resident boss alligator. If you use your hands and splash in the water some and them look around, you can generally see a gator heading over to investigate the disturbance.

I really spent my interior time either trying to locate some campgrounds in Florida (online) or I was trying to make sure we have all of the paper work to do a withdrawal from our IRA. The catch is that Uncle Sam insists that it must be done by the end of the year and I've been procrastinating a bit too long.

Tomorrow we'll take the Honda out so that we can get some good cell phone service so that we can resolve any issues with our IRA withdrawal.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Day after Christmas

Christmas is all about family and remembering the reason for the season. Sandy and I may have been far from our siblings but we had each other. And Sandy cooked a wonderful Christmas dinner. Also, to make it realistic, she told me early on that dinner would be at 2 pm more or less (Just like at Grandmother's house sometimes -but rarely.) And just like in Grandmother's house, we had left over pie to snack on late at night.

For a Yankee in south Florida, yesterday couldn’t have been much better. Today it is going to be a different story. We have seen our high for the day and we have a north west wind to remind us that it shall get worse all day and especially tonight. The reported low tonight will be below 40. (That sounds better than the upper 30s.)

We are not in cell phone range, so we have not talked with either daughter. I guess emails will do for the moment. Yes, we'd like to be together as a family with them, but certainly not in Wisconsin or Minnesota right now. Julie can be with her in-laws and Beth seems to have family and friends where ever she lands. I think that she finds that curling up on the sofa with a book or a TV program as this latest winter blast passes through is just her cup of tea!

Yesterday, a cousin lost her husband to pulmonary fibrosis, which I thought was a result of smoking. But I just searched the internet to verify that and came up short. Our medical community isn't sure what causes it or how to treat . If you do smoke, consider giving it up for the sake of your family and friends who really don't care for second hand smoke. Thank you.

Our future travel plans are not made yet. Frankly, we love it here in the campground. We have AC to power the TV and computers, and no crowds, plus we have a lake front lot. It may not be large, but it has gators in it.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish each and everyone of you a Merry and Joyous Christmas. This is the season, as long as we remember the reason for the season. I think all of us have much to be thankful for, especially ourselves in the warmer climates.

For those of you in the recent snow belt, it too shall pass. In the meantime, enjoy the scenery.

Most of all during this Holiday time, I think of our service men and women far from home, in a strange land. Even being state-side feels like a strange land at times (I know, I was there once.)

God Bless all of you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Leaving the Everglades

Today is mail call plus grocery shopping plus moving day. No big deal except tonight Sandy will have electric to run her stuff, like the vacuum, the microwave, a space heater (or two), water heater and the refrigerator. Plus while there is plenty of electric, we could have some extra lights on, but probably won't. We might even dig out the spiral Christmas ornament for the front of the rig. Then it will seem really like Christmas in the Teggatz household.

Yesterday was an administrative day. We made some phone calls to resolve our IRA withdrawals. One brokerage house says “we need the proper form signed.” The other brokerage house says “we can do it right here over the phone”. There are no hard and fast rules in the world of high finance.

So it was back to the motorhome, where we need to print out the forms, fill them out, scan them and send them to the broker. More stuff to worry about.

Friends of ours from 2 weeks ago in Burns Lake showed up yesterday and other friends of ours from Burns Lake left yesterday. We probably have lots of friends floating around Florida if we just knew their location.

We also learned about another boondocking spot from a friends' friend. Sandy and I both think we've seen it on the NW side of Lake Okeechobee. Today we'll meet up with them again and he'll have his map to show us where it is. (We boondockers kind of stick together to learn where the free places are at.)

For anyone thinking about camping in the Everglades, this campground is far from being used. My guess is that there are less than 15 percent of the sites being used. We're not complaining, just passing the word for others that there is space available. (Including ours at noon if the mail comes in.)

The mail came in, we picked up our groceries and headed out to the campground. We had an hour and 15 minutes to clear the grounds. (As we checked in at the gate, we indicated that we were leaving and might be a few minutes late- just to be safe.)

We stored everything in its proper place and brought the slides in. (Or as one friend said, “We compacted the motorhome.”) Gene took a few minutes to visit the couple about the potential boondocking spot. They showed us on the map and gave us printed directions on how to find it. They said it was a lovely place. It turns out that Sandy and I visited the spot 8 years ago when it was an overgrown weed patch, abandoned by the Corps of Engineers.

The drive to the Midway campground was uneventful with a moderate amount of traffic. Upon arrival, we were met by a couple that we had met last spring at a Boondocking Rendezvous in Arizona. So it was again just like old home week.

We settled in near them and got ourselves organized. Then it was time for the 4 pm social hour where we really caught up on life's happenings.

Sandy is in heaven with the electric power. However, she forgot we had it when preparing dinner and cooked the beans with gas. How fast we learn and then forget it.

While Sandy worked on dinner, Gene tried to get the TV adjusted. It showed that we had about 10 channels, but only one channel has a picture. So we again had the news on during the dinner hour.

((((( I have errorred the last few days and failed to post the new blog writeups. They were written, but not posted! So they have now been posted and you may want to read forward up to Everglades, Day 1.))))

Have a Great Christmas and “Remember the reason for the season!”


Seeing the Florida Keys

Today Sandy prepared us a quick lunch to take along and then we headed out on a road trip to see part of the Florida Keys. (We drove towards Key West, but not too it.) On the way, we stopped at a Visitors Center in Florida City to gain as much information as we could before going out on our adventure.

This represents a significant change in plans for us. We were going to drive the motorhome all the way to Key West and then stay at the American Legion Post. However, when we started to get real serious about the trip and what we'd see, we backed out or got cold feet. Friends of ours had driven to the far western end where it has some of the world's best sunsets. As he said, they were sitting at an outdoor cafe, enjoying a slice of Key lime pie and a cup of coffee while the sun did its thing. When the were leaving, they thought the prices were a bit high when they had to pay $25 for two slices of pie and two cups of coffee. It kind of took the joy of the view out of the picture.

The drive was uneventful (its best that way) and similar to the drive on the island of Kitty Hawk, NC. There was a fair amount of vehicular traffic but with no stop signs to slow us down often, we did make good time. I had told Sandy earlier that I wanted to drive until I saw some Key Deer near the center of the islands. It was noon when we reached the Key deer National Wildlife area. So it was a quick stop at the visitor's center and then off to see some deer. The refuge is more like a town where the deer roam freely from house to house. Also, the towns people understand the tourist traffic during the day.

As we had read before, the Key deer are very tame or people friendly. They are so friendly that they will walk right next to your car. As friendly as your neighbors dog.

Again the drive back was uneventful (best to keep it that way). We did stop at a state park to learn about it. However, we learned that the standard entry fee of $9 applies everywhere and we decided it just wasn’t worth it for 20 minute park tour. Even the gate attendant admitted that $9 was too steep just to look around.. So maybe next time. Now I think of it that the entry fee for one park would have been for all parks that day, so we should have entered each one.

Back in Florida City, Sandy spotted a Cracker Barrel ad and suggested that we eat out. It was a different one with no entry off of the main street. You have to drive over a block and come in from the back side. Many Cracker Barrel’s have nice parking lots and often times RV users stop at them for dinner and then stay over night. We wouldn't recommend it at this one, as the RV parking lot was the most uneven lot we have seen.

Back at the motorhome, we settled in for a quiet evening. Since the solar panels hadn't quit topped off the batteries, we started the generator for an hour. Now we have power to burn.

The temperature outside is mild (mid 50s) and no wind. Very nice.


Everglades, Day 2

Blog Everglades, day 2

We were gone most of the day seeing the sights. We went to Flamingo, which is the southern most area where they have a visitors center, campground and a marina. The area suffered heavy damage during the two recent hurricanes three or 4 years ago. The area is well cleaned up, but some things are not back to normal, like the restaurant and the lodge.

The campground is nice, but only lightly used at the moment. The RV area had room for 64 rigs and there were probably only 4 or 5 rigs there now. All of the stops have large parking lots with usually only a few cars parked in the lot.

Sadly, I have been negligent about posting. So this is a late posting on Christmas eve. I wrote it on one computer and then didn't move it to the posting blog.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Everglades plus one

We kept ourselves busy yesterday touring. For starters, we surfed a while, then went on a 90 minute tour of an old Nike anti-aircraft site. The main buildings are now used for some park research while the launch complex remains as it was.

After the Nike tour, we went to the Royal Palms area to see the visitor center which is really a book store. Nothing of unique interest. Then we went on a mile swamp hike. It was all a hard limestone path or a board walk. Lots of birds and alligators. In one area, there were 20 gators all just resting. There were birds every where. They were really very tame.

It started to rain before we finished the the tour and about a minute after we finished and were in the car, it really cut loose with a downpour. Finally, we have the car washed as well as 2 sides of the motorhome. (It was very dirty from our drive into Burns Lake 2 weeks ago.)

We still haven't determined our schedule for the next two weeks. I guess we'll take it as it comes. I think we're headed to the Flamingo area of the park today, providing the weather is nice. It is hard to go bird watching in the rain. We have pushed off the laundry schedule for 2 days or so. Why get in a hurry?

Gene continues to work with his new PC that he lifted from Sandy. It is Windows 7 plus has Sandy's name written all over it. He did reconfigure the mail program and sent 8 emails of Sandy's back to her. When he had powered it up and was working on the email program, it picked up her mail before he changed the configuration. He has a big problem with the address book to resolve. Windows Live Mail insists on keeping the address book (or a copy there of) online at Hotmail. A very sneaky way for Microsoft to track the users. So Gene intends to switch to using Thunderbird if he can figure it out.

A note from our youngest daughter who is on a business trip to  Jordan.  She is stuck there because of the snow and ice in London.  She hopes to make it back to the USA in 2 o r 3 days.   The joy of business travel.

So life goes on.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Everglades, We made it

Yesterday we drove from the casino in Miami to the Everglades.  On the way, we needed to lay in a supply of food so that we didn't have to leave.  Seems pretty simple.   However, after we pulled into the most convenient Walmart, the little man with a flashing light on top was there before we had turned the engine off.   With lots of arm waving and words, it was apparent he didn't want us parked there.  also, he didn't speak any English!

Sandy got out and tried to convince him that we just wanted to shop for a little bit.  He motioned for us to move to what I thought was another area.  Afterwords, I think his intent was for us to scoot!   Sandy went in and I tried to relax and shortly security came by and it was obvious that he wanted to see if we were in the coach yet.  Finally he left.

When Sandy returned a short while later with hardly any groceries, I asked her, "Is this All?"   She quickly informed me that it was not a Super-Walmart and that no one spoke English in the store!   So we left and headed south to Homestead and the Everglades.   Thanks to our GPS, we located another Walmart just south of Homestead and Ms. Karen  (Garmin) took us right to the store.  It was also a very busy store, with a parking lot that was very unfriendly to RVers.  But we found an open corner and again Sandy did her shopping.   When she returned, she immediately commented "They spoke English here!".   Isn't it nice that we can drive 25 miles, not go through immigration control and be back in our native English  speaking land!"

We had no trouble finding the Everglades entry, thanks to Karen (Garmin).   We showed our Golden Age entry pass and sailed in to find a camp site.  All went well and as Gene was walking to the entry station to register our site, he met some friends that we had left 2 days ago.  So they found a  spot near us and we had a evening fire after dinner to sit around and share life's experiences.

Finally it was time to quench the coals and head in (and then the fun began).  Gene finally muttered and mumbled and asked Sandy where her Spare Windows 7 computer was.  He was taking possession of it.  His old machine caught a virus 3 weeks ago and while Avast, AVG, Ad-aware and something else say it is clean, simply put "It ain't!"   The virus was <      > point and the symptoms are that it causes erraidic
 operations sometimes.  I guess last night I blew my cork and said ENOUGH!    I could reformat the drive, but that is a lot  of just plain hard work that I'm not happy about..

Sandy acquired this spare machine a year ago so that she would know what Windows 7 was.   So it has had about 10 hours of use in 10 months.  And as much as I detest Windows 7, I'll face the music, mutter, mumble  and use it.  (I've already been told I need a better attitude before I start.)

Of course when Sandy set it up, she only opened one user, called  SANDY.  Of course, I want a few things different and the very first thing was to install Google Chrome.   The second item was to set up another user account called GENE.   (Of course, I did it in that order.)   So this morning, I turn it on, and log into Gene.  Yep, no Chrome or Open Office.  I tried to find it and W7 says it is not on the machine. So I log into Sandy's account and there it is.   I decided that we'll let Sandy fix it since she is a lover of W7.   (Maybe I can just rename both accounts and switch them since she has nothing in her account yet.  I went back to my old machine finally this morning it seems to be pretty responsive.   Maybe it senses that it is about to be fired!

I should mention that getting into the Everglades has been a real improvement to our budget.  It was so warm in the motorhome this morning (at 6 AM) that we didn't need any heat. I can take that!. The predicted low for last night was 61.   It was marvelous sleeping with hardly any blankets on.

Today is touring Everglades time.   It has taken us 72 years to get here, so we'd better get a good look.  But in weather like this, perhaps we'll be back more often.


Friday, December 17, 2010

A Night in the Casino Parking Lot

Well, we have spent our night in the casino parking lot and it was not very restful!   Even though we're in an area reserved for RVs and trucks, the valley traffic and other noise was disturbing.    Right now, for the Nth time, a car alarm has been going off.  It is the same alarm and usually times out or resets before the owner punches the off button.    Additionally, this morning someone seems to be setting off strings of firecrackers now and then. 

Adding to the over all noise level is the periodic noise of an overhead airplane (big one) in its approach pattern to Miami International airport.   Thankfully, we are not under the takeoff departure route.

I had been advised to join the players club and get a 10 or 15 dollar credit on the players card.   But after going into the casino to register for RV parking, there was no way I wanted to volunteer to go back in and spend an hour or so in a noisy smoke filled hole.   It caused me to have a mild headache for 3 hours afterward.

We are parked in the middle of the RV lot  and can see lots of stuff going on.    One  has to ask the question, "Is this a high crime area, considering the number of security cars and patrols going around here.  There  is almost always a moving security car in sight in the lot.   Also, this morning, the street sweepers are out in force.   If it doesn't belong there, it will be swept up.   So the area is very clean

Today we're moving to Everglades N.P. south of here about 50 miles.   It will be a welcome change from this urban setting.  But the price was right while parked here.   It also tells us what we want to avoid it if at all possible in the future.   On the way, we'll restock the pantry at our friendly Walmart so that we don't have to leave the park for groceries.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Miami for a night at the Casino (parking lot only)

Right now we're parked in a casino parking lot just west of Miami.   We may or may not spend the night here.   Yesterday we moved to a campground east of Burns lake that had electric and a dump station.  (You pay to use the dump station so we figured that by camping there, we would save those dollars.)   It was a real joy last night to have the electric heat on.  Sandy insisted that we lower the temperature when we went to bed and use one extra blanket.  Even that was a joy.

This morning we had frost again on the Honda.  But that should be the end of the cold for now.  One other joy of being parked in the campground with electric hookups was that last night Sandy made some corn bread  for me.   And this morning, we were treated to fresh hot muffins.  (Our oven only works on electric, so I guess one would say that "we made hay while the sun was shining."

We spent the past week with fellow Escapee Boondockers.   We will meet up with them again in February when there is another Rendezvous in north Florida.   They are like minded folks that don't like to pay to be in an RV park when they never part take of the stuff there.   Last night I located a free city park north of Tampa that we'll check out when we head north.

Well, a big disappointment about  the free city park north of Tampa. The primitive sites that they were referring to are a half mile hike into the boonies. If you want to use your RV, it is $20 a night to camp in the park.   A bummer.

This afternoon we programmed the GPS and headed to downtown Miami to visit a solar place.  Now I know why I like parking the rig in the boonies.    The roads were a zoo.   Once we arrived, I was ready to return back to the motorhome.  But we went in, only to find that the only panels he had in stock were monsters, suitable for house type system.   They had other panels at their warehouse a mile away in downtown Miami.  I decided to pass on the opportunity.   A bummer.

So then it was trusting Miss Karen Garmin to get us back to the casino.  She were doing great until we ended up in the wrong line at the toll booth.  It was the exit line with no way to get back on. So we did some cross country and finally made it to the motorhome.  What a beautiful site.   I shall not drive in downtown Miami again, ever, I Hope!

Tomorrow, the Everglades.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Burns Lake, Florida

We arrived here on Thursday (or was it Friday) and we've settled in.  The Honda hasn't moved since we parked it.)   The weather warmed up nicely and I'd guess the highs are in the 70s and the lows in the 50s.   Supposedly, it is to change tonight or tomorrow when another Arctic Blast moves in.  We'll take it as it comes.  Compared to what the midwest is getting, we'll grin and bare it!

In the reworked Burns Lake campground, the park service has cut the camping down to only 8 rigs plus about 6 tent sites (which have been used by some  fold-downs and some class C rigs.  The main thing is that our group is all parked together in the 8 pull through sites and Sandy loves the layout.   We can see the water via the front window or via the side window.  The pull through sites are very large.

For about 3 plus days, Gene has been moaning a bit about his arthritis that really nailed him in his right hip.   Walking, sitting and especially getting up or down has been a real problem.   He had become a spitting image of his dad.   But with the impending weather change, the soreness in the right hip is nearly gone.   The other downer is that since we have been in Florida (or the vicinity) Sandy has had numerous sinus problems.    We're beginning to wonder if Florida is the right place for us in the winter time.

Two weeks ago, Gene picked up a nasty Trojan/virus in his computer.  He has it mostly removed, but ever since the computer does some funny things.  I know I ought to re-format the drive, but that is a lot of work.   Yesterday, Sandy even applied her talents to the problem and seems to have improved it some.  We shall continue plodding along.

Yesterdays blog was a bit long and my chief critic lowered the boom on me.   The spell checker just didn't make the right decisions when replacing some  miss-spelled words.   So I took the flak.   I think they have been rectified now.   This one will be shorter, so less opportunity for a screw up.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Burns Lake, FL Finally

We arrived at Burns lake yesterday in a light mist.  Not a heavy rain, but enough that as we drove in on the mile gravel road, the car and the motorhome were well covered with a light layer of dirt.  We will have to use lake water and wash it if we get a decent day.

I  don't remember when we last reported in, but a lot  of water has flowed down the river of life.  We left Sumter Oaks Park near Bushnell, FL on Monday morning, determined to get to the RV dealership that was getting the replacement cooling unit.  It was an 80 mile drive and all went well.  Upon arriving at the dealer, we found the RV parking spaces and made ourselves at home.   We should have come earlier, as they are great (and free).

We checked in with our contact and Mary informed us that the unit did arrive and they would be ready to install it Tuesday morning at 8 AM.  We're ready.   So back to the rig to unwind and surf, hopefully with a good connection.   With an 50 Amp electrical service, we used our portable electric heaters profusely (it saves on propane).  Plus we ran one all night, so it was a pleasant night sleeping.

Tuesday morning came quickly.  We didn't set an alarm and wouldn't you know it, we over slept.  But we still made our 8 AM apointment (a minute late.)   We then reconfirmed that all of this work was on the warranty and there would be no charge to us.   Gene is still having a hard time accepting it, with a 5 year old refrigerator, but we won't argue.

Sandy spent the morning in the waiting room while Gene stayed out of the technicians way, but still around the RV for a while.   Gene finally decided that he was no help and went in also.   We finally determined that they had an internet connection, if you use the right plug.  (Obviously, the visible one is the wrong connection.   It was a receptacle behind the desk that worked, only a foot away.

At 1 PM the technician came in and told Gene that he was done and ready for a delivery inspection.  He finished the job in less than 5 hours   The job was well done and he said I should back it out while he watched for traffic, then we were to see Mary before leaving.   With that job done, and all that Mary wanted to do was give us a paper telling us what they had done.  Supposedly, we now have a Norcold warranty again for 3 years like it is a new unit.  (And all at no cost to us.)  Sometimes it is amazing how industry works.

We headed back to the RV spaces and again made ourselves at home.  We're sticking close to the dealer until we're certain that they unit is working well.   For the rest of the day, we surfed, did a little Walmart shopping and relaxed.  Life can be good.

On Wednesday morning the freezer compartment was down to 3 degrees and all seemed well. so we slowly packed up and headed south to Burns Lake, with an overnight stop at Paradise Park (Punta Gorda) to see a number of friends..   There was a light rain Thursday morning which the weatherman said would clear off as it moves south.    So since we were headed south, it didn't clear so fast. 

When we arrived at Everglades City, there was a steady drizzle, so we pulled into the information center for lunch and to relax.   After lunch, we unhitched and drove to the lake. The rain had stopped, but the gravel road was very sloppy.  Thus we have a fine layer of dirt on both the motorhome and the Honda.   But we found the one remaining open RV space and made ourselves at  home.  Sandy said that a big smile of satisfaction came over Gene's face when he got out of the motorhome and looked over the campground again.   Shortly one of the other campers came by to welcome us and say that their would be a 4 pm social  hour if the rain left.

At 4 PM, 6 of us gathered on the down-wind side of an RV and shared the days happenings.  It is great to be back among friends.   Few plans have been made, other than to attend a church barbeque in Everglades City Friday evening.   It is not cheap, but supposedly very good and lots to eat.  We shall attend.

We spent the evening in the rig reading or surfing   Gene had checked out a book from the library on General Colin Powell.   It is a fascinating life story of Colin's rise to greatness.   Gene especially has enjoyed it because Colin entered the army as a  ROTC 2nd Lt. 2 years before Gene entered the Air Force as a ROTC 2nd Lt.   Colin  carried an additional  burden of being black, but he handled it very well.

It is now Friday morning, there is no wind and the sun should be out shortly. It is going to be a great day.

(If you read this far, Sandy said that my spell checker did some bad replacements.  I think I've fixed them, but  proof reading is not my strong point.  I'll probably get another lecture later.)


Friday, December 3, 2010

A Week Killing Time

We departed Fort McCoy last Sunday, intending to spend a couple of days here at the Escapee Park near Bushnell, FL before getting our Norcold refrigerator recall taken care of and heading south to our park near Punta Gorda.     But as plans would have it, it was a no go.  The replacement part for our refrigerator did not come in, so we elected to wait.  It is due in on Friday and we'll head south on Sunday for a Monday installation.

With a week to unwind, we did some shopping in the Bushnell area.  On Monday, we visited a big flea market in a neighboring small town.   The place was swarming with people everywhere.  We did  find that they had lots of fruits and vegetables available.  We also went looking for a cast iron kettle that we don't need (and did not find one).

Our other item on our list was some hose fittings for our replacement water pump so that we can replace the one in the rig.  As expected, you have to find the right small town hardware store and they had lots of them.

The next day, we were determined to replace the water pump finally.  but before I removed the old pump, I adjusted the pressure controls and it now works.   So we decided that if it works, don't change it.  We also pumped some air into the water heater to create the air bubble in the tank causing the pressure to be more even.    (The pump now works against an air pressure head instead of a solid water head.)

With those tasks done, we have been taking it easy for the last 3 days. Sandy had kept the keyboard busy on her computer and Gene has reread parts of one book he is carrying.  Tonight was dinner out in the park.   A change of pace for us and it gave us a chance to meet more of the park residents.

Right now, we're ready to head south several more miles.  It was 37 degrees in Tampa (south of here) and 47 degrees in the motorhome this morning.  I think I became used to the much warmer temperatures and love them.   Perhaps in a week!