January 11, 2009
the road again after two months of staying at home for the holidays. We
left at 6:15 pm after going to church and eating with our friends who we
will not see for several months. We arrived in Walterboro, SC to spend
the evening in the Wal-Mart parking lot with about 8 other motorhomes.
Monday, January 12, 2009
We are on
the road by 8:30 am, headed for Lake Griffin State Park close to The
Villages, in Florida. We woke up this morning to ice on the car
windshield and steamed windows on the RV. I cleared them with the
shower squeegee to speed up the process. We hit the Florida Welcome
Center just about noon. The weather is cool and brisk, with total cloud
cover. Not the nicest weather for Florida.
forgotten to mention we have an extra traveler with us this year. Out
cat Spike, a Maine Coon Cat is going with us this year. He is about10 ½
years old, and a daddy’s little boy. He does not like the movement of
the coach, so he has found a cubbyhole to hide in under the sofa. Even
when he does venture out, the first time we hit a pothole in the road
and the coach shakes, he flies right back to the soda. When we stopped
at the rest center, he came out, but lay right next to the sofa so he
could jump back under. Bob calls it Spikes “bomb shelter”.
at Lake Griffin State Park; a small park with about 40 campsites with
water and sewer hook-ups. The road is not paved, our site was huge and
there was a lot of vegetation between sites. The bathhouse was older,
but very clean and had timed heaters you could use while taking
showers. A very nice set up. This is just an overnight stay for us as
we prepare for the RV Super Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in
Tampa. Rode back up the road about 5 miles to a Wal-Mart and purchased a
rotisserie chicken for dinner. We also found a new Sam’s Club, but it
doesn’t open until January 22nd, so all we got was a car wash. (We are
not your average shoppers – smile). We do not have satellite at the
moment. (We are experiencing a technical difficulty at the moment, so
we had to use our antenna…and got so-so reception. How quickly we get
used to advanced technology and what little tolerance we have when
things don’t go right. (You all can read between the lines there.)
We got a new mattress while
we were home, and it seems to be working much better than the old one.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
packed down and water loaded up before we headed for the Super Show
where all we will have is 30 amp electric. Just as Bob was draining the
tanks it started to rain. That’s the weather for today, rainy and
cloudy. We arrived at the RV Super Show in Tampa about 3:15 pm. We are
here for the Newmar Kountry Klub Rally. Found out there are about 125
other Newmar’s staying here also. It’s a good chance to meet other
Newmar owners. There was a general meeting at 4:30 to learn about the
rally and the rules and regulations while we are here.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
largest RV in the United States. It’s cold, windy and overcast, but it
doesn’t keep all the Rver’s from attending the show. We have a trolley
to carry us to the entrance so we don’t have to walk so far…wonderful.
This place is huge! There is definitely a lot to see. We did find our
way to the Newmar section. They had one of the All Star’s with the rear
kitchen and fireplace. I think it’s a really nice layout, but there
were some who say the mid-engine diesel can cause problems. Since we
are not in the market for one at the moment…I can drool all I want. By
two-thirty we were bone tired from all the walking. By the time we make
it back to the trolley, it’s about 3:30. We got back to the coach and
Bob noticed we did not have any electricity. Since we are all running
off of electricity powered by generators, Bob went outside to check the
plug. To make a long story short……..we got big problems!
it looked much worse than it was. Fortunately, Newmar factory reps are
here for the show. Seems our transfer switch in our rig got burned out
from some kind of power surge and the Newmar reps had a transfer switch
on their truck and repaired it for just the cost of the switch. The rig
behind us (a King Aire) got burned also Bob spent the rest of the
afternoon looking at all our equipment, and he determined we lost the
power supply on my computer, the receiver for our roof top satellite
dish, the electrical panel on our refrigerator (it still runs on
propane, and a surge protector, clock, and weather radio, as well as our
X-10 module for our lights under the kitchen cabinets. I am really
upset about all this. Especially my computer. I am sitting here typing
on Bob’s computer. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
that this morning was the day the Newmar officials were here to talk to
and ask questions. So we missed that first thing this morning. We are
meeting up with John and Tillie (Carol) today. They are coming over
from Tarpon Springs for the day. They made it to the show before we
did, but caught up with them very quickly. Today was even colder than
the yesterday but at least the sun was shining. Then we all got
something to eat, and then parted ways so we could all see what we
wanted to see. They had no problem with that and they were coming over
to our place afterwards. They came by for wine and crackers and checked
out our TV set up before heading back to Tarpon Springs.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Becky called to let us know they were waiting for us inside the Super
Show. When we got there, they were still going through the first
vendor’s tent. From there we headed over to look and the new Montana
Fifth Wheels, which is what they have. Afterwards, we had seen enough
for the day and went back to the RV. They came over later that
afternoon. We ate a quick dinner then headed over to the Club Pavilion
for the evening entertainment, Music City Brass Band, a three man brass
ensemble with a New Orleans Jazz feeling. Rode the trolley over and the
tram back with other Newmar owners. Fun group.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Had to get
to a post office today to get some things mailed off to Stephanie, then
on to Wal-Mart to stock up. When we got home Bob had to install an
electrical management system with Smart Surge. We just relaxed for a
while until we headed back to the entertainment pavilion to see Ron and
Kay Rivoli. They are really great- they know all about Rving and all
the songs they sing reflect that. We again ended up riding with the
same Newmar owners as last night. Great Group! Late this afternoon we
got some great news….Our daughter Stephanie has accepted a job with
Banana Republic at the Mac Author Center in Norfolk. I have been so
worried about her getting a job what with the economy and all being the
way it is. Anyways…HURRAH FOR STEPHANIE!!! We love you girl!
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Today is the
last day of the show, but we have until 5 pm to leave the Newmar camping
compound. We went back to the show for an hour to collect pamphlets of
the RV’s we are interested in. When I get my computer back up and
working I will be adding picture for some of the more interesting motor
homes we enjoyed looking at. Took off about 2:00 pm for Wekiwa Springs
State Park about 90 miles away.
may be great, but I sure don’t appreciate riding through neightborhoods
of homes with children playing when we can stay on main highways to get
to the same places. Some of the streets they wanted us to turn on was
not wide enough for our RV, and we are only 38 feet!
arrived at the state park about 4:30 pm and were able to get settled in
before dusk. The roads are paved thru the campground and our site had
been raked clean. We felt like we were walking on the moon as our
footprints were the only ones you could see. The site it nice and large
and able to accommodate us with no problems.
Monday, January 19, 2009
morning the temperature was already 55 degrees, one of the warmest
mornings we’ve had so far. Bob cooked breakfast this morning before we
took off to explore the park and springs. The springs was really neat.
The water was coming up so quickly, the water was a rolling boil.
(again, pictures will follow later). Then we took off to find us a
Wal-Mart. (you know, we really should buy some stock in Wal-Mart.) It
was a beautiful day with temps about 71 degrees and sunny skies. This
is the reason we come to Florida.
January 20, 2009
insurance claims adjuster came by this morning to look at the damage we
incurred from the power surge last Wednesday. He set us up with an
appointment tomorrow at Giant RV Recreation World in Winter Garden to
see about getting our refrigerator fixed.
January 21, 2009
break camp early is not a happy prospect, but it must be done. We
headed over to Giant RV for the inspection of our fridge. The mechanic
said it was the control board, but they would have to order one and they
could have it by tomorrow. That sounded like good news to us. We were
headed back to the campground, when I suggested we try going over to
Cummings Repair Facility and maybe they would let us spent the night
there so we would not have to break camp again and drive to another
place. (Bob wanted to get our front brakes checked out). That worked out
very well for us. They were able to inspect and diagnosis our problem
with our brakes. Oil had leaked onto the brake drums, had gotten hot
and glazed and ended up cracked. They would have to be replaced. But
we were able to spent the night at their facility in the back of their
lot where they have hook-ups for RV’s. It was quite a site. 50 amp
electric, water, paved site. It was situated on a small lake (pond).
January 22, 2009
Had to be
up by 6:30 am., so they could put our rig into the shop to pull the
brakes. They start work at 7:30 am. We went out to breakfast and then
came back to sit in the RV Care Lounge at their facility. We had put
Spike in the car. We were not real happy with that situation. I was
concerned about him not having access to his litter box or his food and
they thought the brakes were from Belgium. When they realized they were
the wrong ones, they ordered shoes from the Cummings place in Michigan
and would air freight them in over night at no expense to us and would
be able to get them on tomorrow morning; so back to our site on the
lake. There was a beautiful sunset (picture to follow.)Also got the
call from Giant RV and said the card for the electrical panel was in and
they could install it tomorrow. This was two nights we could have
stayed at Wekiwa State Park, which we had already paid for.
January 23, 2009
6:30 am, wait in the RV Care Lounge…should be done by noon. We bought a
soft-sided carrier for Spike so he will be easier to carry around when
we have to move him. He stayed in the lounge with us. Good to their
word they were done by noon, then paperwork and out by 1 pm. And off we
head to Giant RV to fix the fridge. By the time we get out of there, it
looked too late for our drive over to Jonathan Dickinson State Park over
in Jupiter, Fl., which is where we were supposed to be Thursday nite.
One more night won’t kill us. This will give us a chance to see if the
fridge is working properly before leaving town. Cummings has graciously
allowed us to stay one more night at their lovely facility.
January 24, 2009
night, we realized our fridge was not cooling down, so Bob switched to
gas to keep the food cold overnight. This morning the temperature is
reading in the 20’s !!. That’s below freezing. So, Bob did some
checking and found out the AC heating element was bad. He also found
out that the thermister that controlled the temperature in the fridge
was not plugged in correctly to the new contol board, which was causing
the fridge to run constantly and therefore was getting too cold. He was
able to correct the plug connection which would allow the fridge to cool
correctly on propane. So we called the adjuster and left a message we
were on the move again. We left Cummings and headed over to Jonathan
Dickinson State Park. We decided to drive down US Hey 441. In some
parts of Florida there is nothing on that road and it is straight as an
arrow. A nice easy trip. After stopping for lunch and diesel we
arrived at the state park about 4:00 pm to warm weather. Finally,
SHORTS weather…at last.
January 25, 2009
my birthday!!!! Most everyone called yesterday. Betsy called from
Hilo, Hawaii; first stop on her around the world cruise. Mom and Daddy,
Margie and Stephanie also called. Tricia called today and I got to hear
Rachel wish me a happy birthday. She also sang the birthday song to
me. She is really growing in her vocabulary.
cooked breakfast and then we took off looking for the Lutheran Church
and a quilt shop. Then we drove over to the beach. We are in Palm
Beach County. They have lots of free parking, rest rooms, playgrounds
and paved access over to the beach. All of that is much better than
Wrightsville Beach. But WB has better sand. Following that we drove up
Jupiter Island. Very lush and mansion style homes with private drives.
cooked steaks on the grill for dinner with baked potato and salad.
Doesn’t get much better than that.
January 26, 3009
here was shortened by two days because of repairs. We were going to do
laundry today, but there are no facilities here for that. So we drove
down to the river and checked out the bike paths and trails and looked
for the dump at the river campground since ours is closed due to a drain
field collapse. We also visited the education center. They had a nice
exhibit on the park. When we return to the RV, Sandy went and rode his
bike while I caught up with my TV programs. It was too hot and sunny
for me to ride my bike in the middle of the afternoon, and I didn’t have
to feel like I was holding him back. Sticking to just the paved trails,
he rode over 12 miles, which would have been too much for me. There is
always a breeze at this campground, which helps to keep the bugs at bay.
It has been an absolutely beautiful day. This campground is closing
February 1, for complete renovation, which is needed because of all the
damage from the hurricanes several years ago. All the lush vegetation
is gone. Can’t wait to see how it will look when it is finished.
January 27, 2009
off again, today we are heading for COE Ortona Lock & Dam Campground.
This will be our second time here. It’s got to be one of our favorite
campgrounds. To get there we drive west to Lake Okeechobee. We stopped
along the way to walk to the top of the levee to actually see the lake.
It really DOES EXIST! We took pictures to prove it. We drove through
Clewiston. This is where US Sugar Corp. has agreed to sell their land
back to the US government so that the government can return the land
back into what should be The Everglades. It’s also our last stop at
Wal-Mart to stock up on food supplies before we reach the campground.