Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

February 25, 2013   

Here we are 10 days since the last post.  The last couple of days the temperatures have been very hot here, in the upper 80s to low 90s.  After today, the forecast is for some rain and a little cooler. That's a good thing as the power was almost a brown out here from all of the AC on Sunday!

We have made a decision  We have now decided that we will not be back here, Seminole, next year.  We want to see what the parks are like in south Texas.  Right now we are planning to stay at Sandpipers RV Park in Edcouch Texas.  Sandpipers is about 15 miles from Matamoras Mexico and 70 miles from San Padre Island in the Gulf of mexico.  The way they drive in Texas 70 miles takes only 45 minutes!

Last Sunday we picked up our friends Debbie and Ian from NJ at the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale.  Seems they had a great time touring Cozumel, Costa Rica, and Panama.  We got back to the park and chilled until the Valentines party in the evening.  Patty sold 106 tickets for the party which is a little over half of the people here.The party was typical for here at Seminole with the separation during dinner of the French Canadians and the English speaking Americans.  The French speaking people make up around 80 % of the park and that held true for the party.  But, like our other parties, after eating and when drinking starts, we all mingle and have a great time. 

Debbie and Ian when back to the RV before us as their flights were at 8 am.  Patty and I got to bed around 1:30 am.  4:45 am came real fast though to take Debbie and Ian to the airport.

Debbie and Ian at the Valentines party.

Me Laurie, and Ian.

This past week we have gotten into somewhat of a routine.  Patty spends a lot of time in the day at the office.  I, on the other hand, ride my bike and read around the pool.  This last Saturday I also got into the act of volunteering and helped with moving a pool table from a building on the other side of the pool to the bar.  Bruce and I did all of the prep work making 2 ramps and taking down doors.  Then we had about 10 people help lift the pool table on to the carts to move it around the pool and then stand it up and attach the legs.  The whole process took 6 hours.

About every other night Patty has been tending bar.  ;is Taco  with free tacos for two drinks; Wing it Wednesday; Thirsty Thursday; Feminine Friday (free drink for ladies in Lingerie) and so on.  Saturday the park had a special BBQ night for $5 per plate.  Then, each night we end it with several games of Left Right Center or LRC for short.  The number of people playing keeps increasing each night.  Patty and I have played this before with family and with quarters.  We are playing it here with dollars!  It’s a lot of fun.

LRC game in process

New friends Kathy and Joe who left today for Ohio

New friends Laurie and Rhonda clowning around.  Lauri and her husband Dwayne leave for SC tomorrow.

We are just now starting to hear about people getting to the end of their stay here. This week we have 4 couples leaving.  Most leave here starting when we do around the middle of the month of March.  By the end of the month, in just those 2 weeks, the place will be almost empty.  It’s a little sad but we are really ready to move on to other things now.  It’s starting to feel like we live here and now and we need a vacation!

Today we were going to Haulover beach for the day.  This would only be only our second time since being here to go to Haulover. It just seems we have too much going on here to leave for a day. It’s 8:45 am as I write this and it’s already 78 outside and very windy, 15 -20 mph!  We don't like to go to the beach in the wind so we will try next week.

In the next few days I plan to wash the entire rig including the roof.  I have cleaning chemicals coming via the mail so when they arrive I will start.  This will be the first time I have cleaned the roof.  I don’t know the rules about RV cleaning at the next place we park so I’m going to take advantage of the easy rules here.

Patty locking up the office.

Mailing Debbie and Ian's leather sculpture to NJ

Measured to fit.  It should arrive tomorrow in NJ.

Stay tuned! 

Friends Visit and Travel Plans

February 15, 2013   

It will be real hard to leave here next month.  It's also hard to believe that we have been here 2 months already! We now have just one month left here in the Seminole Health Club.  We are now full members of the society here, well sort of.  We have not been here in the summer when the place has only about 25 people.  Next winter we thought we would go to south Texas, but now, maybe we'll come back here.  There are many things we will need to think about before we make that decision. 

We are also rethinking our plans to stay at Sunny Rest in the Poconos for the month of July.  Sunny Rest is very expensive at $1700 for the month!  That’s $800 more than here in South Florida and $1,000 more than where we are going to stay April and May in Tampa.  There is also the issue of the amount of summer time there is in the North.  We want to visit with our family and friends in New Jersey and go to Sandy Hook at the shore.  We also want to spend time in Indiana and in Buffalo NY with family.  With all of that we want to travel west again and spend some time there.  Last year we just did a whirl wind tour of the country and this time we want to target places we wish to visit.

Our tentative plan right now is to be in Indiana the week of the 17th of June and then go to Sunny Rest for the first 2 weeks of July.  Then we will go to NJ for the next 2-3 weeks and then head up to Buffalo NY.  From Buffalo we will head back down to Indiana and then go to Yellowstone for 2-3 weeks.  Then we will head back south through Colorado and Arizona.  From there it is a matter of, do we continue south into Texas or east and south to Florida.

Anyway, if we are coming back here next year, we need to make a reservation so we get the space we want.  We just sort of lucked out this time with our space but there are better spaces we think we would like.  There you have it, the stress of living full time in a mobile house.

Last week we cleaned up the RV in anticipation of our friends Debbie and Ian coming in for a visit before their cruise on Saturday.  We picked them up at the airport around 11pm last Thursday. We got back to the RV Park and then went to the hot tub to catch up on stuff.  It was a long but good day.They are on the Carnival Freedom and not the Triumph that had all of the problems.  It will be interesting to hear if they saw or were one of the ships to assist with the Triumph.  

Friday we went to Hollywood to look for some tourist stuff and have lunch.  We went to the ever popular Le Tub for lunch.  It’s an old gas station that has been converted into a burger joint.  There are a lot of birds it the trees and bushes that are all around and over the seating area.  I managed to get bird poop on my back, arms, and hands.  Seemed I was a popular guest to the birds.

Debbie sliced up a star fruit that is growing on a tree a few sites away from us.

The restaurant has lots of bath room fixtures as decor. 

One of our bird "friends".

Another friend above me.

Bird waiting to take my burger.

After the excursion to Hollywood we went up to North Palm Beach for dinner with Debbie’s parents, Al and Marty.  We had a great dinner with them telling great stories.  We got back to the RV Park just in time for more hot tub before bed.

We took Debbie and Ian to the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale for their cruise around 12:30.  The cruise terminal is about 20 miles from the RV Park straight east.  This was the first time we have been to a cruise terminal where we were not leaving on the cruise too.  It was a little sad to leave the big ships and all of the excitement of boarding.

This week we had some great events.  A bunch of us went to a booze tasting event at a local liquor store.  They really know how to do this right.  There was no charge and there must have been 25-30 tasting areas set up.  I was tipsy after just 30 minutes in the place.  Outside they had a reggae band that sounded OK.  After the liquor tasting we had dinner at an Asian fusion restaurant next door.

Reggae band at the liquor tasting event
A sake bomb

Our new friend Janelle pounding the table to drop the sake bomb

One of our new friends here, Bruce, had a birthday so we had a small party one night.  A couple of Canadians came and played guitars with Bruce on percussion and Patty playing the ugly stick, one of Bruce's gifts.  It was a lot of fun.

Bruce's birthday party

Patty and the ugly stick
Good picture of the ugly stick

Tuesday the park opened the restaurant and bar the first time this season with taco Tuesday.   Patty and Ricky tended the bar and Ryan is the chef.  After closing the bar we all came back to our site and quickly forgot what a day it was, literally.  
Ricky, Patty, and Ryan at the opening of the bar restaurant
Very cool way to put out the taco fixings

The next big event here at the park will be the Valentine’s Day party this Sunday evening.  Patty has been in charge of getting the ticket sold and we are both involved with setting it up.  She now has 87 people attending the party which is a whole lot of people for a party here.

Tomorrow morning we will pick Debbie and Ian up at the cruise terminal.  They are also attending the party with us.  Then we say are good byes as they leave back to the cold north at 8 am on Monday.

Stay tuned! 

Patty - Work Camping

February 4, 2013   

Well, the talk Patty had with the park owner about volunteering paid off.  Patty trained with the woman who only works here one day a week and now Patty is sort of the office manager here.  She checks people in, takes the rent, and sets up parties.  So far she has been up at the office a lot the past week due to it being the beginning of the month and rent is due.  It looks like she will work just a couple of hours a day starting this week.  This work will last until either the manager comes back (back problems), the owner hires someone else, or when we leave March 18th

Last night Patty organized a Super Bowl party and she also tended bar. I also chipped in and cooked about 75 hot dogs.  We also cooked 7 lbs of chicken wings.  We made 3 lbs of parm/garlic and 4 lbs of medium hot Buffalo wings. The party was an absolute blast!  Since the sexy bar tender was sexy, she got me pretty hammered too!  We also had a pool for $5 a square.  We didn't win of course! 

While Patty was in the office last week I went on my longest bike ride yet, 13 miles.  That is the longest loop ride I can do without running into a major highway.  The area we are in is bordered by I 75 in the West, I 595 (Everglades Expressway) to the North, Flamingo road to the East, and Orange Road/Griffin Road to the south.  The next ride I do I think will be the same 13 mile route but include a couple of miles going across I 75 into Weston.  I think 15 miles will be enough for a day’s ride anyway. 

Last week we went to dinner and a comedy show at the Glufstream Casino in Hallandale Beach.  We had dinner at the Texas de Brazil rodizio steak house.  The dinner was very good and also very expensive.  We (I) also ate way too much as this is an all you can eat place.  The comedy show was good, not great, but good.  One of the comics did a great impression of Obama.

This week our friends Debbie and Ian will be arriving from NJ.  They are going on a cruise on Saturday.  So they are arriving early and staying with us Thursday and Friday night before the cruise.  Then they will stay with us again the Sunday night they return from the cruise.  There is something like 8 other couples going on the same cruise from our resort.  Patty had to reschedule the VD party here due to the number of people being gone on Valentine's Day!

A little about the weather; It’s great!  We just had the typical Florida winter with temperatures around 77 in the day time and 55 at night.  The lowest so far was 49 one night and the coldest daytime I think it was 69.  We also have just had one day of off and on light rain.  This coming week it looks like the weather will be dry, sunny, with temperature returning to the low 80s by tomorrow. 

Water works at the Glufstream Casino

Patty at her desk in the office.

Patty tending bar at the supper bowl party.
Super bowl pool we didn't win

There are 3 turtles we know of  in the pond here.  This one often comes up to sun himself.  It's funny that he puts up his feet while sunning.

We eat very well in our RV.  This was a dinner we had last week .  It was a Cornish hen with asparagus and mashed potatoes.  Yummy!

Stay tuned! 

Everglades Tour

Friday January 25, 2013  

The weather is now normal for south Florida with highs in the high 70s and lows around 60 at night. With the exception of the 2 hour rain last week, the sun has been out every day. The long range forecast is for sunny days for the next 10 days! 

Yesterday we finally went on the air boat tour of the Everglades. We went on the tour that was recommended by Frommers, the tour book people. The air boat tour was from Coopertown air boat tours on US41 about 30 miles south and west of where we are parked. The cost was $22 per person which seems to be the going rate for the air boats. I really wanted to go on the smaller and higher of the water type but the price was $200 for a family up to 6 people. Since we are just 2 it still would cost $200. Needless to say we didn't do the small boat, we took the big boat. 

After taking the big boat at $22 dollars we were real glad we didn't take the smaller boat. We got the whole thrill of an air boat and it was worth what we paid. We wouldn't do it again but I’m happy I did it. I think Patty would have skipped it if she knew what it was like. The air boat ride lasted about 45 minutes with maybe 6 stops to show us a bird, alligator, turtle or some such thing. Before we left we were given cotton to put in our ears as the boat is very loud. The propulsion is a V-8 Chevy gas engine sitting in an open frame with an air plane prop on it. It is sort of cool to glide very fast on top of the water and slide from side to side across the water when making turns. However, that is just about all there is to it. It looks much better in pictures. 

After the air boat ride we went another 13 miles to just about the center of the Everglades to the Shark Valley National Park. According to Frommers, the 15 mile bike/walk trail is one of the 10 best things to do in South Florida. We were skeptical about this being that good but what the crap we will give it a try. I had loaded our bikes in the truck before we left this morning just in case the trail looked like something we wanted to do. 

We arrived around 12:30 and the sign on the road said the parking lot was full and there were cars parked alongside of the road. The park is actually in the Miccosukee Indian reservation. Just past the entrance to the park there is an Miccosukee visitors center with a restaurant. We pulled in to the restaurant parking lot and decided we would have some food and then ride into the park from the restaurant parking lot. I had frog legs that tasted like frog and not the good way (like cooked). I also had alligator. I have had alligator before and didn’t like it and, I still don’t like it. Patty was the smart one and had a salad. 

After the bite to eat we got our bikes out of the truck and we were off to the park. We knew this was going to be a different bike ride right from the start. We were just 20 feet in and a 10 foot alligator was sunning just a couple of feet along the road. 

The park had a line of vehicles to get in. They were all waiting for someone to leave and then the park rangers would let someone in. Since we were on bikes we were waved up to the front of the line. The cost was $5 for each of us and was good for 7 days. Not a bad deal at all. 

We started down the mostly wide and all paved trail and there were alligators everywhere! There were also turtles, many varieties of birds, and lots of plants. The big birds and turtles just walk almost right up to you. It was just very, very, awesome! 

We reluctantly decided to only go in a little over 3 miles for a 6 mile round trip. The park closes at 5 pm and we didn't start on the trail until 1:30. The trail is a rectangular loop with about 7.5 miles on each side. We were stopping so many times to look at stuff we were never going to make the whole trip. Also, we didn't want to hit the Miami rush hour traffic either. 

We both decided that if we had of known better we would have skipped the air boat ride and went directly to the trail and rode the entire 15 miles. This bike ride was by far one of the 20 best things we think we have done in our lives. This is a DO NOT MISS activity especially if you are in South Florida. 

We counted 47 gators in just the 3 miles we went in.
Coopertown Population 0008.

This is a 12 foot Gator in a cage.


Gator swimming toward us.

Patty holding her hat in the air boat.

Our tour guide Mike.  He just called these birds and they came.

Gator watching us

Mama gator watching us

Entrance to Shark Valley National Park.  That's Patty up ahead on her bike.
First gator and we aren't even in the park yet!

Cool gator in the weeds.

Big Bird in tree.

Lots of big birds in a tree


2 gators watching Patty

I think he is smiling.

We were told these are Gar fish

This bird just walked right up to us.  I took several pictures thinking it would fly away, then it got a little scary as it got real close.

I told Patty to run over the gators tail

Baby gators

How many gators do you see?  We counted 5

Today we cleaned the truck and the front of the RV. The truck gets dirty just sitting here in the park. There is a lot of condensation in the mornings and the palm tree dust sticks to the moisture. It was time as we hadn't washed it for 4 weeks!

I sort of wash the RV a little at a time. Last week I washed the rear half which gets real dirty with dead bugs. Sort of the same as the truck with the moisture in the mornings except that there is a pole light near the RV in the rear and bugs are around that all night. Seems that the bugs get caught in the moisture in the morning and then I have a very dirty RV. 

Today I washed the front nose of the RV. I really had not washed it since we were in Kissimmee FL in mid-November. The nose gets the most dirt as that is what is heading into the wind when you pull the RV. It wasn't very dirty however due to it had only been pulled about 200 miles since I had cleaned it last. I washed it mainly because I wanted it to look perfect while we are sitting here. It’s just some of my OCD showing.

Patty talked to the owner of the park today about helping out in the office a few hours a week. She wants to get involved and put her skills to work for a while. I still like being lazy. I think I’m real good at that. We are thinking that we will work camp in the future for lot rent. That won’t happen until 2014 though.

Tomorrow we are just going to be lazy and hang out at the pool. Hopefully I can get a water valley ball game going!

Stay tuned!