Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!!

Hope all of you are having a wonderful Christmas Celebration!  We have loved this holiday season!

Monday evening was our annual Christmas Eve service (our church had 6 services between Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evening) and we chose to go with our daughters family and her in-laws to the 5:15 service.  Then we were invited to her in-laws for a light dinner that also included our daughter's close friends who are also their next door neighbors.  We had such a good time and feel very blessed that all of us enjoy being together and that Sue and Dan treat our daughter like she was their own.

Our immediate family (our 2 daughters and their families) have decided to celebrate Christmas every year on Christmas Eve day, starting with brunch and ending with a tradition Christmas dinner later in the day.  This year it was a 12 hour day, ending with Sue and Dan joining us around 7 as well as the neighboring friends - Matt, Nicole, and their son Ethan.  What a special day!

Today, Christmas, Ken and I left at 9:30 to visit Jamie's family to see what Bria and Cali got from Santa.  Then on to Lanie's house to spend time with her family and check out Sam and Katelyn's gifts from Santa.  Another very special day.  We are truly blessed!

All the toys and "stuff" regarding the movie
"Frozen" were a big hit this Christmas!

Katelyn really enjoyed opening presents this year!
The men, plus Bria, deep fried the Christmas turkey outside
and it snowed some of the time.  It was cold, but nothing
that a beer couldn't help!

Cali shared her new dolls from "Frozen"
with her sister, Bria.

Today was a very cold day reaching only about 30 degrees, so Florida is looking better and better.  We plan to be on our way south on Sunday, Jan. 19th, spending time at Lazydays to get familiar with our new Motorhome.  How exciting!

We hope all of you have a very happy holiday season and a special New Year filled with memorable moments and fantastic adventures.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Another Busy, but Good Week!

It really is a very short time from Thanksgiving to Christmas this year!  Seems like I am having trouble deciding what needs to be done 1st.  Also, I love to make gifts for people, but this year that isn't happening.  We did a craft show last Saturday and again today (only found out on Monday that someone cancelled and I was able to get a spot at Wilson Middle School).  It was a good show and we were very pleased with the outcome.  Actually signed up to do it again next year!

Wednesday we had a very special visit with my mother and father at Masonic Homes.  We played cards all afternoon and we had such a good time.  They were so happy to see us after we were away for 6 weeks and they hadn't played cards during that time.  They enjoy playing pinochle and are such good players.  It really is a fun time and we are blessed that we are able to do that with them. From there Ken and I went to the Dutch Apple Theater for dinner and a musical version of A Christmas Carol.  The food and the show were excellent.

Last evening we enjoyed having dinner with our Life Group from Church and did a gift exchange playing now you have it now you don't.  Rick and Joyce were great hosts and served us delicious lasagna , both regular and seafood.  What a wonderful group of friends.

I also spent most of Thursday at Kitchen Kettle in the Village of Intercourse, not far from our house.  The Curvettes, my fellow exercising gals went there for lunch and to check out the shoppes.  I am very blessed to be a part of this group too!

Right now I am in our Family Room enjoying the fire that Ken started in the fireplace, the 1st one for this winter season.  It is relaxing and WARM, much better than the cold temperatures outside.  Tomorrow they are predicting some snow.  Florida, take me away!!!!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Hectic Week In PA

Well, we have been home for 1 full week and it has certainly been busy! 

Tuesday we went out for breakfast since there was no food in the house.  Then off to buy groceries.  Plenty of mail, things to put away, etc., so the afternoon went quickly.  We did visit our daughter Jamie and her 2 girls whom we hadn't seen for about 6 weeks.  We were all excited to see each other.

Wednesday was back to our routine with me going to Curves, then cleaning the house, and starting to put out the Christmas decorations.  Ken enjoyed breakfast with his friend, Gary, and then spent the day at his desk going through all the mail and making necessary phone calls.  Welcome back to the "real world".  We finished decorating for Christmas before calling it a day!

Thursday, Thanksgiving, was a delightful day.  We were at Jamie's house from 10:30 to 7:30 enjoying spending time with her family and her in-laws!  We had a delicious meal including a turducken ( I don't know how you spell it) from New Orleans that was filled with cornbread stuffing.  It was positively incredible.  Jamie is such a great cook and hostess and Bria and Cali are such good girls.  They played together so nicely!

The bowl contained foam leaves that
Bria and Cali had written on each day
of November with something they
were thankful for.  So cute!

All ready for the delicious meal!

Looks good enough to eat!

Friday morning after Curves, Ken and I did just alittle Black Friday shopping and ended up at Costco getting a few more groceries.  After lunch, Ken loaded the car for a craft show on Saturday while I prepared food and set-up for card club at our house Saturday night after the craft show.  In the evening we joined our camping friends at 10,000 Villages to enjoy a light dinner and some great music.

After a short night, we were up at 5:30 to go to the craft show.  I was excited that my sister, Cindy, had the space next to us and we were able to spend time together.  After a successful show, we were on our way home by 3:30.  Unloaded, took a short rest, and then out for a light dinner with the card club couples and an evening of card playing at our house.  Another very late night.

My sister, Cindy, and her magnetic broaches for
attaching scarves, name badges, or glasses!

Sunday was Church, a relaxing afternoon, and then a small group meeting in the evening.

Today, Monday, we drove to see our oldest daughter, Lanie, and our granddaughters, Sam and Katelyn.  So good to finally be with them.  After a nice visit, we were home for lunch with more work on the phone and computers - seems like there is so much to "catch up" on.

Not a fan of this cold weather here in PA.  Love being with family and friends, but the warmth and sun of Florida sounds good!

Just signed up for another craft show this Saturday!  No rest for the weary, but I guess that is how we like it!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Big Day of Travel! Now Back In PA!

Wow!  What a short night's sleep.  I got involved in the Sunday Night Football Game and stayed awake till there was 5 minutes left in Overtime!  After all that, I decided to turn off the light and go to sleep!  Only found out this evening that Payton and the Broncos lost.  I was sad!

Anyway, Ken and I were up by 5:10, got ready, put things back in the rental car, and enjoyed and very nice breakfast at the motel.  We were on our way home by 6:15.  Could not believe it - we had frost on the car and we were in the middle of SC!  What is that about???  It was 24 degrees when we left!  I kept telling Ken to head South - it is way..... too cold!

The drive went very well.  We made 2 stops for gas, 1 for lunch, Chick Fil A for their peppermint shake, and a couple "potty" breaks.  Every time we got out of the car, we were freezing!  We came home I95, but at Fredericksburg VA we got on 17, then 66, and ended up on I81.  A more scenic route with less traffic!

We were at our home in Akron by 5:30 after 11 hours on the road and 650 miles.  A long day!  Seemed odd to not be towing and not having to by Diesel fuel.  We actually got good gas mileage!  We quickly unloaded the rental car (I can't believe that Ken was able to get all of this stuff in there!) and then drove to the Lanc. Airport to return the car!  We did a lot of racing to get it there before they closed at 7:00.  They are forecasting sleet and freezing rain tomorrow morning around 7, so we really wanted to get it returned tonight!

We watched The Voice and tried to rest and relax.  The last 3 days have been very busy and rather tiring.  Looking forward to seeing family and friends.  Lanie and her family left for Michigan around 4 today to go to Bob's sister, Nancy, for Thanksgiving.  They had planned to leave tomorrow, but because of the snow forecast for western PA, they needed to leave sooner!  We will miss having them with us for the holiday!  Jamie and Dane are hosting Ken and I and Dane's parents on Thursday.  We are excited!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

On Our Way Back Home!

Like I said, we left Lazydays around 10 this morning, Sunday, to begin our journey back to PA.  Very excited to spend time with our family and friends, but dreading the cold weather.  Our bodies have gotten used to and enjoy the warmer temperatures.  After all, it was 84 degrees when we were transferring things from Willie to Waldo yesterday!

The drive went well in our Ford Fusion, but it is so full we couldn't have taken home even a small bag of oranges - there is no room!!!!  It is packed full!!!!!  We had a treat for lunch - we stopped at a Sonny's just after getting into Georgia!  I was excited.  Not many stops, but there was a major accident on I95 where we only traveled about 5 miles in an hour.  Not good when you are trying to cover a lot of miles.  But, we did stop at a motel in Manning, SC, about 119 miles into that state, by 7:45.  So, we will have a lot of miles to travel if we hope to be in Akron to sleep tomorrow night!  We shall see!  I have a feeling we will have a short night, since Ken tends to wake up early in the morning and will be ready to go!!!!

It is only 36 degrees here in SC - what is wrong with that picture!  We were freezing!!!  I much prefer going out the door in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and feeling warm!  Florida, we shall return soon!!!

A Whole Day Spent at Lazydays!

Yesterday, Saturday, was a crazy, but exciting day.  We were up at 6:30, rather tired from our late Friday night, and were on our way to Lazydays by 8.  We took a photo when we were hooked up and ready to leave.  This would be our last journey of towing Diesel and Willie.  Both of us felt abit sad, but excited for our next adventure.

Actually, this photo was taken at Lazydays.  Waldo
is behind Diesel!

I can't begin to express how efficient, friendly, and capable all the folks were that we dealt with throughout our day at Lazydays.  They have all of their procedures down to a science.  We learned that they have 150 salespersons, plus lots of financial folks, insurance agents, customer service people, etc.  It is so easy to get lost walking around their grounds. 

Upon arrival at their "transfer" area, we followed a golf cart to an area where about 40 spaces are reserved for people transferring things from their old rig to their new one.  You have a space with both rigs hooked to electric and their doors face each other so it is easy to move all of your "stuff".  1st we had a 2 hour orientation both inside and outside of Waldo with a thorough explanation of all systems.  Then he drove us to the main office to meet with a gentleman to sign all the paperwork, then on to the insurance department, and lastly to the gal who explained all the "perks" we would receive from Lazydays.  By then a taxi was there to take us to the Tampa Airport to get a rental car.  Can you believe it was our 1st cab ride and our 1st car rental????  We only got back to Waldo at 3:45 and then the work of transferring began.  Ken did the basement of both and also moving things from Diesel to the rental car.  I did most of the inside "stuff".  It is hard to imagine how many things were in Willie!!!!  We stopped at 7 to get something to eat at Exit 10, the cute RV Cafe at Lazydays.  Back to Waldo and Willie to complete the job, and believe me it was a job!  We decided to call it quits at 11 and we fell into bed, exhausted!

They have this transfer area and it is incomprehensible
how many people are there at the same time!

This is Waldo!

Back up by 6:30 to complete the task.  Not much left to do, but just like when you move to a new home, there are so many little things to gather together at the end.  We did take time to enjoy our first meal in Waldo - cereal and fresh fruit, but it will be memorable!  On our way to PA by 10 AM.  Took our last look at Willie and Diesel and it was hard to leave Waldo.  We are so anxious for our 1st adventure in our new rig!  We feel very good about our purchase.  It should provide us with many years of great adventures!

Felt right to be eating in Waldo!

Ready to "take off", but we will just have to wait!
Hard to leave Waldo in FL!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Last Day in Venice for this Adventure!

Ken and I were up by 7:30.  I prepped for breakfast while Ken did some prep work outside.  Then he cooked breakfast outside while I finished getting ready.  We work so well together!!!!!  After cleaning up, we decided to do some more things inside and out to get ready to head to Lazydays tomorrow morning! 

I packed up somethings and sorted thru our clothes to decided what goes home and what gets transferred to Waldo.  We are starting to get abit "anxious" about everything that will be happening tomorrow.   It is somewhat out of our comfort zone!  Believe it or not, we have never rented a car or had a taxi ride!  Are we "sheltered" or what?????  So, it should be an interesting adventure!

Around 11, we loaded the bikes on Diesel and drove to Nokomis Beach.  We spent about 1 1/2 hours reading on the beach and then got on our bikes and took the beautiful bike ride on Casey Key Road.  The houses and landscaping in that area, plus the view of the Gulf are just breathtaking!  We ended our ride at the Casey Key Fish House where Ken enjoyed blackened fish tacos with rice and black beans.  Since I am not a fish eater, I enjoyed their hamburger!  Then we rode bike back to Nokomis Beach and took a walk along the water.  Back to Willie by 3:30. 

This is a bath house overlooking the Gulf.  It is owned
by folks who have a gorgeous, huge home across the
road and it is on their private beach area!

The landscaping along Casey Key Road is spectacular!
We couln't afford to pay the lawn service!

It's hard to see, but this is a Japanese Garden area
across from one of the large homes!

Ken is on the deck of the Casey Key Fish House!

The Happy Campers having lunch while on a
bike ride!

The bougenvillia is beautiful!

This is an unusual home along the way!

Can't beat the view from your bike!

Time for more packing and organization.  After showering, we took a walk to return books to the CG library and were so surprised to see our new Canadian friends, Ernie and Noela, that we had met at the Panhandle and then at Pine Island.  They came here today to stay for 4 nights and thought we would be here till Monday (that was our original plan, but leaving early because of buying Waldo!).  We are sad that we won't be here to spend time together.  The 4 of us started chatting in the parking lot near the library and 1 1/4 hours later we said our good-byes  for this trip, but plan to see each other in  Jan. and Feb.  We are so thankful our paths have crossed and look forward to seeing them again!

Back to Willie at 7:45 to eat some dinner and continue the packing.  Ken left to take the trash to the dumpster at 9:15 and guess who he met there?????   Ernie and Noela!!!  So we are leaving now to go to their camper for a glass of wine!!

It is 11:45 and we just returned from our evening sitting outside at Ernie and Noela's wining and having a wonderful time "sharing life".  We are going to miss them very much.  They are a delightful couple!

Time to get to bed to prepare for tomorrow's big day!  It will be both exciting, probably abit challenging, but definitely eventful!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day Spent at the Campground!

What a good night's sleep after a short one the night before!  We were up by 7:45 and got ready for the day.  Decided we needed to stay around today and start to do somethings to prepare for our trip to Lazydays on Saturday morning.  We made breakfast outside and discussed our plans for the day.  It was supposed to rain a bit later in the day, so we decided to do some work inside and out.   We also did 4 loads of wash at the CG laundramat - I believe it was time! 

At 11:30 we decided to drive to Wal-Mart to return anti freeze we had bought for Willie (don't need it now!) and get some wine and liquor.  So nice that FL sells alcohol at grocery stores.  Wal-mart's selection is unbelievable - you can even buy craft beers by the bottle!  It was very hot and sunny by the time we returned - in the mid 80's. Ken cleaned out our truck cab while I dusted and vaccumed Willie. Then we rode bike to the beautiful pool here at the CG.  After about an hour, the clouds appeared, so we played a game of shuffleboard - Ken won AGAIN!

Spent some time chatting with our camping neighbors and asking them about their small Weber gas grill.  Our Coleman tailgating grill went to the trash today - only 1 burner worked and the other was so rusty as well as the stand.  Time for a new one!  Really enjoyed talking with this older couple from Canada!

Had a quick and easy supper and plan to spend the evening working on jewelry and on our computers.

Ken also had several chats with our salesman, Phil, to finalize plans on the rental car and everything that will be happening on Saturday.  Unfortunately, Saturday is Phil's day off.  We will have to pick up the rental car at the Tampa Airport (Lazydays is providing a taxi ride to that airport) and then we will have to return it to the Harrisburg Airport!  That is how the companies rent a car for 1 way travel!  Ken also had more discussion with our insurance agent at home.  Have not finalized our insurance for Waldo yet.  That will happen tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

:A Busy Day in Venice!

Ken and I were up at 6:30 and got ready to head to Caspersen Beach for shark tooth hunting.  I only fell asleep at 2 AM last night, so had alittle trouble getting up.  It must have been the large diet coke (not caffeine free!) that I had with dinner last evening.  I was in bed by 10:30, read for about an hour, and still couldn't fall asleep.

We were on the beach by 7:30 and it was almost 70 degrees.  We walked at least 4 miles during our successful search.  We found about 150 teeth and I found a gorgeous, large piece of white seaglass.  We only left the beach at 11:30 and by then my back was tired of bending over looking for the teeth, but it is so much fun!

What Treasures!

This is the larg picee of seaglass I found on the beach!
I took it to my class and wire wrapped it.  Another

We were back to Willie by noon, showered, ate a quick lunch, and then Ken drove me to the bead shoppe for another 2 hour class.  I wanted to review some of the things I had learned last week and try to perfect some of the things I am already doing.  Again, Lynne was very helpful. 

Ken kept busy while I was there, mostly trying to get estimates and an understanding of the insurance we need for the motorhome.  We can get it with the help of Lazydays, or talk to our agent back home.  He talked to both and is trying to gather enough info to make an intelligent decision. 

He picked me up a 4:15 and we drove to Nokomis Beach for the Drum Circle.  Lots of people playing drums, gals dancing, and people on the beach enjoying Happy Hour!  Ken had packed drinks for us, plus cheese and crackers.  It looked very threatening when we got to the beach, but it never rained.  Amazing how many drummers and people "showed up" considering the weather.

Back to Willie by 6:15.  We enjoyed some leftovers for supper and plan to spend the evening relaxing.  This has been an extremely busy day, but lots of fun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Nice Day in Venice!

It was predicted to be a somewhat rainy day, but it never happened.  Matter of fact, starting around 11 it was a very sunny, warm day. 

After making breakfast outside, we decided to take a walk around the CG - it was cloudy at that time.  I mentioned to Ken that I would like to go to a Bealls Outlet not far from the CG.  So, we packed our lunches and beach bag and headed to the Outlet.  While I was shopping, Ken went to The Rookery, a bird santuary not far away.  More birds there in the winter than this time of year.  I shopped about an hour, but bought nothing!  Wow!

On the way to Nokomis Beach I stopped at the Bead Shoppe and committed to taking another class tomorrow afternoon - it is supposed to rain. I am really looking forward to another jewelry class - Lynne has so much to teach me!

Then we headed to Nokomis Beach for the afternoon.  We did a lot of reading, plus walking the beach to look for shells.  Ken found a couple sharks teeth and I found a beautiful piece of weathered sea glass.

We were back to Willie by 4:45 and sat outside for "Happy Hour" and to play a game of pinochle.  Then we showered and changed and headed to my favorite "fine dining place" - Sonny's Barbeque.  We had delicious pulled pork sandwiches with a sweet potato or baked potato, plus huge drink with a free one to go - all for  $18.50 with tip!  Not bad!!!

Spending the rest of the evening on our computers and watching The Voice.

There has been some discussion among friends, family and Ken and I as to the name for our new motorhome.  Not sure why, but we always like to give them a name - we have had a Winnie and a Willie.  Our granddaughters  really want to know what we are going to call this one.  We debated between Wally, Willard, Wilbur, and finally found what we think is the perfect name - Waldo.  Where is Waldo now????  Pretty good, huh????

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Day at the Campground!

Today was a day to make phone calls and do business things.  Ken spent most of the morning talking with our saleperson, Phil at Lazydays, and the gentleman in charge of the financial part of the transaction.  He had many things to discuss with both to get a better understanding of everything that will be happening on Saturday and Sunday before we head back to PA.  We keep thinking of small details that need to be met before we leave FL.  Things seem to be working out well!

We also got numerous phone calls from friends back home who wanted to hear more about our purchase.  So nice to have people who have such an interest in what you are doing and are encouraging and excited for us.

It was a gorgeous, warm and sunny day here (84 degrees), but we chose not to go to the beach today.  Too much needed to be done!  But at 3 we headed to the grocery store (hopefully our last trip there before heading home), as we do not want "leftovers".  Then we played 18 holes of miniature golf here at the CG and a game of shuffleboard.  Ken won both AGAIN!

Back to Willie where we played a game of Upwards outside and I finally won!  Yeah!  We are spending the evening watching TV, checking our computers, and then I will make jewelry!  I am hoping to take another jewelry making class on Wed.

Looking forward to a fun week! 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gorgeous Day in Venice!

What a great weather day in Venice!  After breakfast, which we ate outside, we got on our bikes and headed into downtown Venice.  Of course, we had to stop at the Upper Crust to share a delicious apricot scone!  We decided to get back on our bikes and ride along the Intracoastal Waterway Trail all the way to Caspersen Beach.  We passed 14 huge gopher turtles along the trail and also saw the large eagles nest we spotted last year.  Unfortunately, no eagles.  Walked along Caspersen Beach for just alittle and then rode back to the CG - about a 20 mile bike ride!  We were tired when we got back to Willie at 12:45, but quickly ate lunch and headed out to Nokomis Beach from 2:15 to 5:45.  It was such a warm, sunny day - perfect for the beach! (84 degrees today)

The beautiful Legacy Bike Trail into Venice!

The new bridge over busy Route 41 that is just
for bikers and walkers!

Riding the Venetian Intracoastal Waterway Bike
Trail that is connected to The Legacy Trail.

1 of the 14 gopher turtles we saw along the trail!

We saw lots of boats while riding the trail!

This is Caspersen Beach!

Our favorite beach in this area - Nokomis Beach!

Ken cooked hamburgs on the grill and we are looking forward to a relaxing evening watching football.  This was probably one of the best weather days since leaving PA.

A special thank-you to everyone that called, texted, or e-mailed regarding our Class A purchase.  We have no "buyers remorse", only excitement and wishing we could use it sooner.  Leaving it in FL for 2 months will be so hard.  Still do not have a clear picture of how everything is going to work out before and for heading home.  Should be interesting. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

What a Memorable Day!

I think I am going to blame it on the weather!  We woke up to a rainy overcast day, but it was very mild.  Not sure what we wanted to do, so we decided to drive about 70 miles to the Lazyday RV Center on Route 4 near Tampa.  It is a huge dealership that sells every RV imaginable from campers to enormous Class A's.  The property is 100's of acres and includes a huge showroom, service center, cafeteria, campground with pool, tennis courts, etc., and at least 50 salespersons and 50 golf carts for driving you around the huge property.  Just to give you some idea - they are creating a GPS program for their salespeople that will pinpoint where they can find the RV's on their inventory sheets! 

Every person we came in contact with was exceptional and not the "pushy" type that you meet at a lot of dealerships.  We even got a "free" lunch in their cafeteria!

Bottom line - we signed the paperwork to purchase a Winnebago 2014 Sightseer 33C.  This is a motorhome that Ken has been dreaming about for at least 2 years.  We had looked at 30' Sightseers, but both of us realized the lay-out just couldn't work for us!   Ken and has not been overly comfortable driving a truck and towing a 5th wheel and we felt the time was right to make a switch.  So, we traded in Diesel and Willie for our new house on wheels!  We will go to Lazydays next Sat. to switch all of our things from Willie to the new home, stay in Willie the night and then head towards home sometime Sunday in a rental car they will provide to get us back to PA.  The new motorhome will be stored at Lazydays until we return in January for our winter stay in Florida.  At that time we will stay in their CG for 1 or 2 nights so we can get an orientation on the Sightseer and identify if there are any problems.  Obviously, we are both nervous and excited. But, Ken did drive it today and loved how it handled.

The exterior looks gray on this photo but it is
actually khaki with black!

The table have another board and 2 extra chairs
for those card and board games!

I really like the maple cabinets with coffee glaze!

TV stores inside the buffet.  Love this area for my
jewelry crafting!

Sleep Number Queen Size Bed!

Like I said, it is a very memorable and exciting day!