Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Travel to Crawfordsville Indiana from Sarasota Florida

June 10 - 18, 2018: 

We said our goodbyes to our new house and headed north for the summer.  The trip to Crawfordsville IN is about 1100 miles and it will take us 9 days.  That is 5 days of actual moving of around 200 miles each day and 4 days of exploring as we go.  

Our first stop was at the Casey Jones RV Park in Lake City Florida at around 220 miles.  Here we spent part of the day exploring a local antique shop.  This is one of those huge places with around 100 little vendor stalls.  We found some stuff that we would consider putting in the Florida house. 

Our site at Casey Jones

A pretty cool toy someone had in the park!

Some interesting ideas for the house in Florida.

Travel day 2 we ended up at the Interstate Campground & RV Center in Byron Georgia at around 200 miles.  On our one day exploring here in Byron GA we had dinner a local fish restaurant that mostly only the locals know about.  

Our site at the Interstate Park in Georgia.  Patty getting water for our pet plant Rosey

The restaurant was called Jim Shaw's.  I had the catfish and it was really good!  Patty had the fish fry of Haddock and she said that was good too.  The most surprising thing here was the hush puppies, they were the best we have ever had!  Patty is not a fan but she liked them too. So this turned out to be a nice dinner out having fried fish.

Never had a UFO before.  Not very good actually

Travel Day 3 took us to the Holiday Travel Park in Rossville Georgia at a little over 200 miles.  Actually this park is just 2 blocks from the Tennessee border and, in fact the name of the RV Park is the Holiday Travel Park Chattanooga TN.  We didn’t know it when we picked this RV Park but we had stayed here before a few years ago.  We had already done most of our exploring here then.  This area is known for Lookout Mountain and Civil War sites.  We just chilled here and took on some shopping at the local Walmart.

This is the second one of these we have encountered
and both times have been this travel season!

They look like they would be heavy to travel with!

This marker is in the RV Park.  So the park is sitting on actual Civil War grounds!

Day 4 of our travels took us to the Singing Hills Campground in Kentucky at about 235 miles.  This area is known for Mammoth Cave National Park.   We have been by this area many times in the past 6 years but it just never worked out for us to visit.  This was the time for us to visit the Cave!  

When we arrived at the Singing Hills Park the owner asked if we were here to see the cave.  After saying we were he asked if we had reservations and no, we did not.  We took the owners advice and went to the cave right after we set up to see if we could get in a tour. 

The cave has 7 major tours you can take and they book up fast especially on the weekend like it is now.   It was a good thing too that we went as there were just 2 tours left, one at 6:30 pm and one at 2pm the next day.  We reserved the 2 pm Historic tour that is just about 3 hours long.

We arrived at Mammoth Cave National Park Visitor Center at noon on Sunday a couple of hours before our tour at 2 pm.  The visitor center has a couple of gift shops and a good free museum.  The museum and gift shop and a trip to the restroom before the tour took up most of the time before the tour started.

Before we entered the cave the tour guide gave a talk describing the tour and safety precautions while in the cave.  I was especially interested in areas that may be tight as I am quite claustrophobic!  There are a couple of areas that are quite tight but they are short and open up to very large area right after.  I should be OK, I think.

We had to walk a bit to the entrance to the cave.  This is our tour group walking in the 90 degree heat to the nice cool entrance to the cave

The tight places turned out to be fine for me.  Just one place called Fat Man's Revenge just about freaked me out.  It wasn’t that the walls were just a couple inches away from my head on all sides, it was that we stopped in the middle because a little kid of about 10 had to poop!  But still, did we need to stop in one of the tightest spots!  Just about the time I was starting to panic we started to move again, whew!

Ahh... the air is very cool coming out of the entrance here!

The ranger turned out all of the lights except for this lantern for us to see how dark it is in the cave.  It took quite a while to get everyone to extinguish their cell phones though!

At one time and before the cave was a national park people could write on the cave walls for a fee.  The fees for writing on the walls helped to pay for the upkeep of the cave tours.

This is where I just about had a panic attack!
This is called Fat Man's Revenge and it is very tight. 
We were stopped here because some kid in the tour had to take a dump.

This is the way out!  We are something like 350 feet underground and are now going to climb these flights of stairs to the surface!

The tour and cave were actually very cool, both literally and attraction wise.  I hadn’t been in the cave for over 30 years so I really didn’t remember much about it. And this was Patty’s first time in the cave.  We both really liked it.  

The tour was quite a bit of walking at about 4 miles and the last half mile was basically straight up out of the cave!  You couldn’t beat the nice inside temperature of just 57 when the outside was a little over 90 either!  We would definitely recommend this cave to anybody as a great destination.

Our last day, day 5 of travel was our longest at about 260 miles.  Usually, I stop and refuel along the way at this distance but we made the trip with about 10 miles of fuel to go, plenty of reserve!  I probably would not have pushed the fuel that hard if we were stopping in unfamiliar surroundings but we were stopping in my childhood hometown of Crawfordsville Indiana.  Since Indiana is on Eastern Standard Time and Kentucky is Central time we got an extra hour for this long trip.  With the extra hour we arrived around 3 pm and were set up by 4 pm and having dinner with the grandkids by 5pm.

The bridge over the Ohio River that separates Kentucky from Indiana in Louisville KY.

Downtown Crawfordsville IN with the brand new clock tower on the Montgomery County Courthouse.  The area residents collected donations for the past few years to have a new clock tower added to the courthouse.  The original was removed during WWII with the old bell melted down for the war effort.  The town looks very different when entering it now.  The town looks finished now!

Our time here is for visiting with my family.  I have a sister Diana, a brother Roger, a son Tony, and we have three Grandkids Alivia 11, Savannah 15, and Bailey 16.  I also have several cousins here too we will probably visit.

OK, that is it for this post.  Next post will be after we take a trip to Cedar Falls Amusement part with our youngest grandkid Alivia in a couple weeks.

Stay tuned!

Purchased House, MRI Results, Headed North for summer

May 30 – June 10, 2018: 

WOW, what a month!  It’s hard to believe we have just been here in Florida for just a month.  When we arrived I was worried about my health and seeing a doctor, starting the search for a house, and not knowing the area.  Now we have purchased a house and I got a perfect bill of health.  We also now know the area pretty well after looking at around 20 houses and then going to furniture stores.  I also got a little RV maintenance done in between the almost 2 weeks of continuous rain.

A sunset sky looking east from our RV window.  Really weird sky.

We purchased tickets to see John Fogerty and ZZ Top a few months ago while still in Texas.  They were at the Coachman Park in Clearwater FL.  

Billy Gibbens came on with John.  What a great concert!  We both agree that Fogerty was the best of the 2.  ZZ Top was still great but Fogerty played longer and had a lot of energy!

Last post took us up to me having an MRI the next day, Wednesday, the 30th of May.  I was very worried about getting this done as I am very claustrophobic!  I called the doctor who prescribed the MRI and got a couple of Xanax to take before getting into the MRI.  These actually helped some!  

After arriving all Xanaxed up, they have me lay down on a slide table with my head between two soft head restraints.  Then as if that is not enough, they placed wedges between my head and the soft restraints on each side to make my head completely immobile.  But wait, there’s more!!  They place what looks like a hockey mask just an inch or so above my face!  So now my head is locked in place and I am looking out through a couple of little holes and I am not even in the damn machine yet!  They give me a squeeze ball that I thought at first was for me relieve stress but it was for telling them I want out!  The technician asked if I was ready, I said YES and up and back I went.  I kept my eyes closed the entire time.  

They only had to take me out 2 times in the 30 or so minutes I was there.  The first time was after the scan was complete without contrast.  Since the scan was complete for this segment I could raise my head and turn it side to side after they pulled me out.  They told me that the next scan with contrast would be shorter at just about 10 minutes.  So, up and back into the machine I went.  This time I wanted out after just about 5 minutes!  I was in sort of a panic as I couldn’t move my head.  It didn’t help for them to keep saying, don’t move your head and reminding me that I was stuck in a tube and couldn't move!  Once out of the tube they said that I couldn’t move my head as the whole scan would need to be done again.  Shit!  OK send me back in!  I made it!!

For me, 3 things helped; the Xanax, the feeling like I wasn’t completely in the tube, and the loud noises from the machine.  The loud noises took my attention away from my immobilized location.  The MRI room is very cold and there is a lot of air movement in the room too.  I think that the combination of cold and the air movement that I could feel on my legs gave me the feeling like half of me wasn’t in the tube.  I really don’t know if I was completely in or not as I wasn’t going to open my eyes to find out!  I was told I would be completely in the tube so thinking I wasn’t was just fine with me!

After 9 days from the MRI scan the doctor’s office called and said that the MRI results were in and that the doctor would review the results with me.  We made an appointment for 2 hours later that day.  OK, now I am going through the possibilities so I won’t be caught off guard when I hear the results.  So I dig the biggest hole I can think of (couple days to live with radiation and chemo) and place myself in it mentally so I can react and climb out.  That’s what I do when faced with the unknown.

Now we are in the doctor’s office waiting for the doctor to appear.  This is the worst part, waiting for the doctor!  So the doctor comes in all smiles and happy, so far so good.  After she reads the results she says they found nothing wrong!  Now I just want to get out there, live my life, and never come back and not go through that again. WHEW!

Back 6 years ago when we sold our last house and moved into our RV I thought we would never own a house again.  Well, I was wrong, again!  We closed on our North Port Florida house on the last day of May.  For me I think the past 6 years paying rent (Campgrounds) and living in the ultimate homeowners associations (HOAs) at Campgrounds, made me want my own house again.  

Our original plan from 6 years ago when we went full time RVing was to do it a minimum of 5 years.  We had many options after the 5 years and one of them was purchasing another house somewhere, we didn’t know where at the time.  We gave thought to parking the RV in an RV resort in Texas or Florida but after 5 years of wintering a few months a winter in a Texas RV resort we decided that living that way wasn’t for us.  

If we decided to continue full time traveling in an RV we would need to purchase another RV and truck soon.  For us it just didn’t make sense to purchase another depreciating asset.  Lastly, Patty needs more permanence with her medical care.  And with my recent health scare I am good with settling down a little more too.  

Patty found these reclining chairs in the local paper for just $100 for the pair!  We replaced our expensive La-Z-Boys with these.  The La-Z-Boys will stay in the house.  These are lighter and more durable for RV use.

The past couple of weeks we spent going from furniture store to furniture store getting furniture.  After living in an RV we only have 2 chairs and a mattress that we can put in the house.  So, we basically need everything!  We knew this going in and had anticipated this 6 years ago.  We really liked the idea of starting over and not using stuff we had accumulated from our past.  This is a brand new start for us as was full time RVing was 6 years ago.  

What a name for a furniture store!  We bought a guest bed from here that we had to assemble.  It was missing a piece so I went in to get or order the piece that was missing.  The guy I talked to there treated me like I was a criminal!  Does this guy actually think I stopped the assembly to drive over here to steal a random piece of wood!  So he lived up to the name!  It is now ordered and will take 6 weeks to come in!  We most likely will not be back here!

Our La-Z-Boys waiting for the TV to show up!

So far we have purchased a new dining room set, living room theater love seat, a guest room bed, outdoor pool furniture, and bar stools for the kitchen.  We also now have our own washer and dryer again.  We still need a bedroom set for us and our Mattress that we have.  We ordered one but it was out of stock until maybe after June.  It has been a rough time for the credit card for sure!

Minutes after closing the washer and dryers show up!  We had to wait on the keys to let the delivery guys in!

Parts of the bed that the part was missing from.

Until we return to take delivery of more of our furniture,
these are our beds when we come back in August.

Until the dining room stuff arrives in a few months
we set up the outside patio furniture in its' place.

Then while we weren’t looking for furniture we were fixing and organizing the house for us to leave it for 5 months.  We still have commitments with family and friends up north this summer and fall.  After a lot of calling around we managed to get a pool service to take care of the pool and a lawn service to take care of the lawn while we are away.  

Me putting a table together. 
This furniture is almost identical to the stuff we have in Texas!

Patty put up shower curtain in the guest bath.

We also decided to put up all of the hurricane shutters on the house.  After these were installed it became very dark in the house.  We are leaving the AC on at 80 to keep the humidity down and with the sun completely blocked out it should be pretty efficient.  

Some weird things we found in the house with the ceiling fans, lighting and remote controls.  The house has a fan in each of the rooms with exception of the bathrooms.  One fan in the entranceway had a wall switch that was bypassed so it wasn’t functional.   The fan it 3 feet overhead so to turn it on you need a ladder.  I pulled of the wall switch plate and reconnected the switch so we could turn the fan off and on from the floor.  Why would someone do that?!  

Then in the kitchen the ceiling fan has lights and nothing turns them on.  This fan is identical to the one in the master bedroom and it has a remote.  So I figure the kitchen fan also uses a remote to operate.  The problem is that there is no remote left behind by the previous owners.  I tried to use the remote from the bedroom but to no avail. I pulled off the wall switch plate for this fan and it looked to be wired correctly.  I shorted the switch to make sure the switch was good and found it had a slight spark.  I figure that this means that the switch is probably powering a remote in the fan.  

Before I buy a new remote though I need to know absolutely that there is a remote in the fan and I need to know the code.  This means I need to find where they put the remote in the fan.  Lucky for me it was where I first looked at the top near the ceiling.  To make sure it worked I got the code from it and programmed the remote we have for the bedroom with it.  Yup, it works!  Now we just need to get a new remote control.

Ah, more light after I got the kitchen ceiling fan to work. Note how dark it is in the other rooms now that all of the hurricane shutters are on.

Then there is the dining room ceiling fan without lights.  Again, this is so weird, the dining room doesn’t have any lights in it at all!  The fan seems to be from the original build of the house in 2002 as it is identical to many of the others in the house.  Why would you build a house with no lights in the dining room?  Even weirder, why would the previous owner live that way?!  That is a fix for when we come back in the fall.

Lastly, the garage door keypad remote doesn’t work.  The door motor operator looks to be very new and the keypad is older so I figure it just needs to be programmed.  

First I took the cover off of the keypad to make sure the battery was good. The keypad had no battery and hasn’t for some time.  The keypad uses a 9-volt battery and the negative connection has broken off!  So it appears that the previous owners just didn’t fix it or never used it.  And that could be the case that they never used it because I am not sure how often we would ever use either.  We were going to use it as an easy way for someone to enter the house if needed while we are gone.  Oh well, another fix for later.

We did a couple more things before we left.  We replaced the keyset on the front door and we replaced the kitchen sink fixture.  We decided that a new keyset was in order so we were the only ones now with keys to the house.  The kitchen sink fixture was old and a little corroded.  This was an easy install and since Home Depot had a nice one on clearance I just went ahead and replaced it.

Our last day at the house was Saturday the 9th of June.  I finished the hurricane shutters and then sprayed the perimeter with a barrier bug spray that is good for 6 months.  We took a last dip in the pool and we were out of there.

We don't know anything about this cactus at the front of the house, but it is blooming now.

On another note, Patty’s son Chas has decided he wants to relocate to Florida with us for a while.  He currently is living in New Jersey.  We had been encouraging him to relocate so he can start a new career path and get his finances in order.  New Jersey is a very expensive place for kids to start out in.  He has done pretty well there but he needs a change that he is unable to do in NJ and staying with us for a while should make a difference. 

It looks like he will move down to our house at the beginning of August.  I was hoping he would come sooner so the house would be occupied sooner but August is better than late October when we return.  He is also going to take care of the pool and lawn so we can then cancel the paid services.

On Sunday the 10th of June we left our RV site in Sarasota and are heading north to Indiana and grandkids.

Stay tuned!