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!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cloudy, Warm Day in Venice!

We woke to a few rays of sunshine and 59 degrees.  In a very short time it was in the 70's.  We enjoyed a delicious cooked breakfast (Ken was busy while I got ready) and then we took a walk around the CG.  It really is a well-maintained CG with so many activities and wonderful facilities for those activities.  I would guess that about 2/3 of the park is permanants with park model homes that have added rooms, porches, and sunrooms.  They all seem to take pride in their homes.

Ken and I decided to play 18 holes of miniature golf here at the park (a nice course) and then some shuffleboard.  Again, Ken won all the games.  I am getting a bit frustrated, cause I know I am better than that!!!!!!  We were back to Willie in time for lunch at 12:45.  We ate outside and then Ken went on his computer to check out our accounts.  I packed up my jewelry "stuff" to get ready to go to a class at Mermaid Design Studio here in Venice.  I took a class from Lynne several years ago and looked forward to having her give me some tips again.  I have been pretty much self taught, so it was great to be able to take a class where just Lynne and I would work together and she would answer my questions by demonstrating how the technique should be done.  She makes all of it look so easy.  I really learned some shortcuts and new ways to do many of the things I do regularly when making my earrings and pendants  So glad I took the class.  Probably will take one more before heading home.

Ken had gone for groceries, cleaned up Willie, and prepped for supper while I was getting instruction.  What a guy.  He picked me up at 5 and we headed back to the CG.  We played a game of Upwards, and I finally won!  Yeah!!!!!  Then we worked together making supper and cleaning up.  This has been a fun-filled day!

I plan to spend the evening practicing the new things I learned today!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beautiful Day in Venice!

We woke to 59 degrees, but the sun was out and it warmed up quickly to the upper 70's.  We left at 9:15 to go to a free RV Show about 35 minutes from the CG.  It was sponsored by an RV Dealer that sells Itascas by Winnebago.  The price was right (Free) and we thought it would be fun.  We did have a good time, but still confused about what we like!
Left there and went to Stumps Pass State Park, a nice beach south of Englewood.  We spent the afternoon there "working" on the beach.  I needed more shell pieces for my jewelry making.  We also had fun looking for sharks teeth.  Another successful day, but the teeth were pretty small.  Really did enjoy our time on the beach!

Stumps Pass State Park and this is the beach!

Busy doing my job!!!!!

Lots of shells on this beach!

Stately blue heron!

Ken caught this photo of the dolphins!  I saw
one leap about 6 feet out of the water!

An osprey!

Digging for sharks teeth!

Back to Willie by 5:45 after coming back by way of the coastline.  Nice drive.  It had cooled off and the clouds had rolled in.  Sounds like tomorrow could be a partly rainy day.