Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Still Cold in PA!

Ken and I were up at 7 - much needed rest!  We left at 8:30 to meet Sam and Kathy at a local restaurant for breakfast.  So nice to visit with them.  We spent over 2 hours just "catching up" on each others lives.  After stopping at Target Ken and I went back to the apartment, but just for an hour.

We left at 12:45 to go to visit with my parents and play Pinochle, their favorite card game.  We stopped to get mother some cappaciano and a pot of miniature daffodils.  She loves flowers and was so excited to have some "live flowers" in her room.  We had a great time playing cards with them.  We were able to play 4 games of pinochle before we left and the women were victorious every game - wow!  Sadly we said our good-byes, for we will be leaving for our western trip next Tuesday and will not be able to see them again before we leave.  Right now their health is very good and we just hope that continues while we are gone.

We picked up our "older" CRV on the way home and Marty said we definitely had a faulty and old radiator.  Hopefully that will be the only fix required. 

We got a very disturbing and frustrating call from Sam, our service rep at Lazydays.  The part that was ordered to fix our slide will not be at Lazydays until April 15 and we are scheduled to leave there on the 10th.  Both of us were "none to happy" to say the least.  It appears that Winnebago and some other manufacturers of motorhomes have switched to Schwintek slide-out mechanisms made by Lippert and are having some major issues. Obviously, we are not the only people with this problem.  Seems to Ken and I that Lippert should be making a "ton" of these parts so the ongoing problems can be addressed in a timely manner.  But no, they appear to be on back order.  Ken and I both felt badly for Sam, for she is just the messenger.  None the less, we are not happy about living without a slide for another 3 or 4 weeks. She could easily sense our frustration.

Ken and I did some more talking about the situation and I told him I would be happy to make some phone calls to the service manager at Winnebago and have more dialog with Sam. Ken was really at the point of "no return".  I did leave a message for both parties and hope to hear back from them tomorrow.  Not sure what more we can do, but I do want to be pro-active!

I spent the evening doing more pages in Katelyn's album and watching The Voice.  Ken sent a long text to Chuck and Melissa about our problem and they called us as soon as they got the message - how nice of them.  Ken, Chuck, and Melissa had a long conversation and they gave us some additional ideas of what we could try to do.  After the call, Melissa went on-line and found some forums for us to check out and some phone numbers for Lippert, the maker of the needed parts.  What great friends!  We will do more research and pursue some more avenues tomorrow!  This whole situation is exhausting!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Cold Day in PA

Ken and I were up at 7 and got ready to go to church.  We arrived there at 8:50 and sat with Jamie, Dane, Sue, Dan, Matt, and Nicole.  There was a tremendous message, meaningful music, and communion. After church we went with 2 other couples from our life group for breakfast.  It was a nice time of fellowship.

Then Ken and I drove to Costco for a few items, including another rotisserie chicken, which has become a staple during these 3 weeks at home.  We were back home by 2:30 and both of us needed rest before Sam and Katelyn arrived to stay overnight!  Ken deboned the chicken while I vacuumed and then it was time to take a short nap.  Lanie's family arrived at 4:15.  Today is Bob's birthday, so we are having Samantha and Katelyn overnight so Lanie and Bob can enjoy an evening out and a morning with no little ones!

We had so much fun with Samantha and Katelyn.  We colored, made a potholder (remember doing that as a child?), played with Legos, ate a delicious supper that PaPa made while we played, and then watched 102 Dalmations.  The girls were in bed by 9 after an afternoon and evening of being incredible.  They really were a joy!  I went to bed at the same time after reading them a story!

Samantha was up at 6 to go to the bathroom, but got back into bed with Katelyn and the 2 of them only came to our room at 6:45.  We allowed them to watch The Lion King while we got ready and made breakfast.  The request was for Mickey Mouse pancakes and their wish was my command.  After breakfast we played and colored.  Then we drove to Lititz Springs Park to feed the ducks and enjoy the playground.  A train came by and we were able to go to the fence and see it up close and personal.  The lady conductor saw the girls and opened her window to wave to them and ring the bell.  So nice of her!  After lunch, we drove the girls home and we arrived there around 2:15.

After leaving their house, Ken and I headed to the Public Library to use our computers for doing this blog and more research for our trip out west.  We want to lock in the dates for certain areas, check out the temperatures as we go, and then make reservations.  We have used almost all our data on our phones and computers for this period and we have 4 days remaining.  Not sure what happened since we have 10 gb.  We did talk to Verizon and they added another 1gb for this month and will add another one per period for the next year at no additional charge!  Wow, how nice!

We left the library around 5:30 and went back home.  Had large salads for dinner and then watched The Voice.  I spent time working on Katelyn's album, but I did not turn on the WiFi.  That is a no no!!!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time to Catch Up on This Blog!

Okay, let the truth be known.  We have been extremely busy.  We knew these 3 weeks would be crazy, but that was before we decided to purchase a new car and then have to have it ready to take out west.  (Hitch receiver, new bike rack, and then a braking and electrical package for towing).  Add these things to the "mix" and the list of "to dos" is almost overwhelming.  But, we feel like we are slowly seeing the list dwindle! 

Ken was so amazing on Friday.  He took me to Ephrata to have breakfast with my Curvette friends and then drove to Masonic Homes to take my father to his monthly appointment at the Surgical Center in Lancaster.  After that appointment he took him back to Masonic Homes, did some errands and returned to the apartment around noon.  I had gotten a ride with Polly back home after a fun breakfast with my friends.  It was so great of Ken to take care of my father which gave me the opportunity to be with my special friends. I spent most of my time reviewing our trip out west and making some phone calls to campgrounds.  

After lunch, we picked up the new CRV with the hitch receiver installed.  They did a wonderful job at a very reasonable price. Then we went to 3 bike shops trying to compare bike racks.  Not an easy task.  There are many options and the cost becomes a factor - of course!  So, after gathering lots of info and having discussions about features and price, we finally decided on a Thule that has a side swing feature.  That way we can open the back of the CRV by swinging the rack with the bikes on out to the side.  It is more expensive, but it would definitely be a convenience that would be appreciated when traveling.

Friday night we ate in and rented a movie from Red Box.  We needed a night to relax!  I would recommend the Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me".  Both Ken and I enjoyed it! 

Saturday was a tremendous, fun family day, but it started out with it snowing when we got up.  What was that about???  We were at Ephrata Church of the Brethren at 8:30 to watch a fundraising 3.2 mile run (Pain in the Butt) in which Dane, Lanie, and Jamie participated. Lanie graduated with Shannah Malmer and her brother died of colon cancer in his 30's and this race was to raise money for a scholarship to honor him.  The 3 of them did very well, but those of us who watched just about "froze".  It was still snowing and the temperature was in the 20's - where was spring?????  After that race, Bria, Cali, Sam, and Katelyn did the fun run and again, for the spectators, it was freezing.  We left there at 10:30 and our hands and toes were numb!!

Dane was running strong!

The girls are looking strong too, but not the snow!

High 5ing their mommies as they are running by!

Katelyn is all smiles for her mommy!

Dane finishes in 19.41 minutes (3.2 Miles) - amazing!

The girls did well too, considering they really didn't train
for the run!

They were just happy it was done and they accomplished their \

All the race participants except for Bob - crutch boy!

The little ladies are ready for the fun run, but by now we
were almost frozen, especially us "snowbirds"!

...and they are off, lead by Daddy or Uncle Dane!

Jamie and Dane had a celebration for Bria and Cali's birthday, so all of our family went to their house following the run.  Jamie and Dane are such great host and hostess with all their wonderful food and drinks and making you feel so welcome. Sue and Dan joined in the fun around 4:30 as well as Jamie and Dane's friends, Dan and Jen.  So, Jamie had lunch and dinner for all of us.

Jamie and Lanie got lunch ready, but Jamie had done lots of
preparation before today!

Fancy hat and dress for Samantha!

Grandma has a special moment with Bria!

The 4 cousins enjoying lunch!

These were the sandwiches for the adults - so delicious!

Present time! 
..on to the cupcake cake!

The adults enjoying their beverages and food!

Ken and I left at 8 to join our card club couples group (3 other couples) for our monthly night of cards.  We don't get to join them very often, so we were excited to spent time with them.  We had a great time, but only got home around 12:45, way too late for us old folks.  Ken and I dropped into bed exhausted!

This was our 2nd "setting" since Marcia was hardly
visible on the 1st one!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Good Day and It Was Warm!

I was up at 6:30 and Ken got up around 7.  We left at 7:30 to met Rick and Joyce from our Small Group at Church for breakfast.  It was nice to connect with them again.

We left there at 8:50 and headed to the Samaritan Womens Center here in Ephrata, a place for women and their children to go when they are homeless. They have organized a remodeling project where all the hallways, main meeting room, and the individual rooms are being painted.  We all volunteered 4 hours of painting time and we were so happy to be a part of this project.  Ken and Rick painted the large meeting area with the cathedral ceiling and Joyce and I primed the doors, doorways, and trim in 4 of the resident rooms.  They provided us with lunch and were so grateful for the help.  It was a good experience.

From there we went to pick up our finished tax return (Yeah!) and then drove to New Holland, a neighboring town to drop of our new CRV so they can put a hitch on the back tomorrow for our bike rack.  We were home by 3 and both of us were tired.  We aren't used to painting!  Ken took a short nap and I worked on my computer.  Then Ken decided to go for a walk.  It was almost 60 degrees, the mildest day by far that we have had since returning to PA. I should have gone with him, but I guess I was too lazy!  I feel ashamed!!!!! 

After dinner, we spent the evening relaxing and I did more pages in Katelyn's album.  Ken did some work in his office.  Our list of things to do while we are at home is starting to dwindle!  It's about time!

Shortly after dinner, the sky got very threatening and it appeared that a front was coming through.  So ends the warmer weather and sunshine!

This is the view we have from our balcony!  Rather amazing
and beautiful!  It did cool off quickly when the front came through!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Rather Frustrating Day, but Chuck and Melissa Made It a Great Day!

Today was a rainy, dreary day with temperatures in the low 40's.  We are really missing the warm, mostly sunny weather in Florida!  Ken was up by 7 and got ready to leave to have breakfast with his friend, Gary. I got up at 7:45, right before he left and we got to talk about today's schedule. Ever since we have gotten back to PA we have to communicate our daily activities and it seems that our calendars are "crazy"!

I spent most of the morning trying to contact Choice Hotels regarding a promotion they are running to get a free night's lodging when you have been a guest at 2 of their hotels in a certain time frame.  We qualified but I can't seem to get the info about the free night.  I spent at least 2 hours trying to get to the right people and actually held on line for over 1 1/4 hours and still spoke to no one.  What is that about?????  I also left a message for our saleman at Lazydays just to touch base with us.  We are awaiting his return call!

The really good news of the day - Melissa left me a text message asking when we were arriving in San Antonio.  Does that mean they might be joining us on our trek out west?????  I called her immediately and yes, they have changed some plans and are going to travel with us for a lot of western adventure.  We are so excited.  It is so nice to be able to share that adventure with special friends.  After we talked, she made reservations for them at the same campgrounds we have reservations in both San Antonio and Big Bend.  We are going to have so much fun!

Ken and I made a trip to Lancaster so that each of us could get a pair of new sneakers.  After a successful trip we were back home by 4:00. After a meal of leftovers, we watched a local special on homeless children in our area (so sad and hard to imagine!), watched some of American Idol, which we lost interest in quickly.  The Voice has tremendous singers compared to Idol.  I continued working on Katelyn's photo album until I completed a 12 x 12 page and when I went to save it, the program said there was an error and I lost it!  It was time to go to bed and call it a day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Mother Daughter Day!

Ken and I were both up by 7, but Ken was awake quite a bit during the night - too much on his mind trying to prepare the new car for our next trip.  His mind was in overdrive!!!! 

So he decided to go for a walk, but it was only 37 degrees.  I got ready and made myself a cooked breakfast and cut-up fresh fruit for both of us.  At 8:30 we went outside so he could give me a brief lesson on some of the features of our new vehicle.  I left by 8:45 to pick up my mother and take her to a dental appointment in Lancaster.  I realized quickly that I really enjoy our new car.

After the dentist Mom and I went to AC Moore and spent about 1 1/2 hours there.  She is a  very crafty person and does't get too many opportunities to go to the local craft stores.  Of course, it is not a hardship for me to spend time in a craft store either!  Believe it or not, I didn't buy much, but I enjoyed trying to help my mother find what she wanted.  From there we went to lunch and then on to Joann Fabrics for more "craft shopping".  By then Mom was getting tired because too much walking can be difficult!  We drove by to Masonic Homes stopping at CVS and then Turkey Hill for a cup of cappaciano for mom.  It was a 6 hour day which both of us had looked forward to and we had a good time together.

I was home by 4:45 and Ken had started dinner.  He spent most of the day at home only leaving to go to Jamie's to get his haircut.  He had made many phone calls and sent e-mails.  He was able to get an appointment to have a braking system and tow package installed on our new CRV before we head back to Florida.  We would much rather do it here than be without a car a few days when we return to Lazydays.  Another thing off our long list of things to accomplish before heading out west.

After dinner we went to Jamie's - it was grandparent's bingo night at Bria and Cali's school and we were going there with the other grandparents, Dan and Sue.  It was a well organized evening held in the school cafeteria and a book was the prize for winning.  Every child had at least 1 book to take home.  We were home by 8, just in time to watch The Voice.  There are such terrific singers this year. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

We Picked Up Our "New" Car Today!

Okay, it is a big day for the Hoslers!  We have been driving our 2001 Honda CRV since it was "born" and today it got a "sister", a 2014 CRV!  Wow, 13 years can make a big difference in a car!  The updated electronic features are incredible!  I don't think we had any idea of what we were missing!  Our son-in-law Bob knew.  He drove our 2001 CRV recently and said it was liking riding on a lawn mower!  Really??????

Anyway, Ken was up early for an 8:30 appointment with our accountant to file our income tax.  From there he did many errands, including getting some new shoes for hiking out west, stopping at a local camera shop to see if his old camera could be fixed (probably not), and having lunch with Kevin.

I kept busy at home working on my computer.  I was downloading photos and then ordering prints on-line from Costco (all of them needed to be cropped or "fixed") and then starting creating pages for Katelyn's 12 x 12 album for the last year.  (Birthday to birthday)  

Ken got home at 1:30 and we left for Costco.  From there we headed to Jones Honda to pick up our "new" car.  All went well and we were on our way by 5:00. They were able to process everything so that we had our permanent license plate and owners card when we left.  That is so helpful for us travelers!

I talked to Lanie and Jamie when we got home.  While we were at Lanie and Bob's yesterday, Sam had tried to "fly" off the 3rd step on their stairway and Bob decided he would see if it was safe for her to try to fly from the 4th step.  Not a good idea!  He landed rather hard on his heel and it really bothered him last night.  When he got up this morning, he couldn't put any weight on it!  So he had an x-ray and then an MRI and they discovered it was severely bruised and he needed to ice it, take an anti-inflammatory, and try to keep weight off it for the next 2 or 3 days.  Wow, all that for trying to fly.  We need to keep that guy grounded!!!

Jamie is having an emotional time with Bria.  She is not liking school, feels she has very few friends, etc.  It is a tough time for both mother and daughter so I tried to give her some moral support and reassurance that she is a great mother and all mothers have days when they doubt their abilities and carry a lot of guilt.  I remember it well.  I hope I was helpful!

We watched The Voice and I worked on Katelyn's album and the blog!

Can't believe we are a 2 car household again!  It feels right!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Great Family Day and Cali's 6th Birthday!

We left home for church this morning at 8:30 and never got back until 8:15.  A long day away from home, but a wonderful day with our family!  At church  we saw Jamie's family, Sue and Dan, Matt and Nicole, and friends from our life group and got to sing happy birthday to Cali.  Can hardly believe she is 6 today! After church we went to have lunch at Bob and Lanie's house.  It was the 1st we saw their family since we returned and it was so good to see them.  Lanie made a delicious lunch and we had so much fun playing with Samantha and Katelyn. We also had nice talks with Lanie and Bob.  What a great family!

Katelyn with their relatively new cat, Chester.  They got Chester
in January, so this is the 1st time we met him!  He's a big boy!

Katelyn likes to play Candyland and Grandma
loves to play games!

Mommy and Katelyn setting up the game!

Each year on Samantha and Katelyn's birthday I add photo pages
to their albums with the highlights of their year.  I create the pages
on a program on my computer and then have the 12 x 12 pages
developed at Costco.  I am so pleased with them!  Samantha
and I are checking out the 8 pages!

Samantha wanted to try to fly today, so she
had her Mommy "tape wings" on her arms.
We told her to only go up 3 steps to try to
fly, just in case it didn't work!

She discovered quickly that paper wings just don't work!

The Happy Family!

We left at 5:15 and drove to Jamie and Dane's to have a little get together for Cali's birthday and enjoy an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.  Sue and Dan and their neighbors, Matt, Nicole, and Ethan were there too.  Another fun time. We enjoyed the cake, singing to Cali, and watching her blow out the candle.  We left there at 8 and went back home.

Bria will be 8 in 1 1/2 weeks!

Cali, the birthday girl!

Party time in Dane ad Jamie's basement!

Cali can do this "special thing" with her

The Happy Birthday Girl! 

This was a very special day sharing time with both of our daughters families.  We are so blessed!

Here are some photos Lanie and Jamie had taken of our granddaughters in January!  Hard to imagine that when you have 4 young "ladies" together they can all smile so well for a "picture shoot".

Okay, okay!  I may be prejudice, but
aren't they adorable!

Katelyn and Samantha!

Bria and Cali

You gotta Love them!!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Most of the Snow "Went Away" Today!

We actually slept in this morning.  It was about 8 when we decided to get up.  After breakfast, Ken spent some additional time working at his desk and I am not really sure what I did!  Apparently I did nothing too significant!

At 11:15 we left and went to Lancaster to get things for the granddaughters Easter Baskets and birthday cards, since their are 4 birthdays in the next month, including Bob, our son-in-law.  Then on to A. C. Moore to get little jars with cork lids that we put sharks teeth, seaglass, and small shells in for each of the little ones.  Then I made a little seashell cut-out with the words "Gifts from the Sea" and glued them to the front of the jar.  Just a "little something" from Florida!

Then we went to Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown to spend the afternoon with my parents chatting and playing Pinochle, their favorite card game.  We had a very nice time with them and we were all very happy to see each other.  Bad part - the men won 3 of the 4 games!

Back home by 5:45 and we had salads again with sauteed onions, peppers, and chicken.  Then Ken went to McDonalds to get me a Shamrock Shake.  St. Patrick's Day is over and somehow I missed getting my annual treat!  What a sweetheart to go out to get me one!  Boy was it delicious!

We spent the evening relaxing and enjoying some down time.  Tomorrow we will be with both of our daughters and their families and at Jamie and Dane's we will have a Dairy Queen ice cream cake to celebrate Cali's 6th Birthday!  Wow!  The actual party for Cali and Bria is next Saturday, this is just another opportunity to have a special treat!  Hopefully I will have some family photos tomorrow!

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Snowy Day in Lititz!!

I got up at 6 and got ready to meet my "Curvette" ladies for breakfast in Ephrata.  I left by 6:40 and stopped at Planet Fitness, where they now work out 3X a week, to see if there is any program that would work for me since I am out of the area so often.  Their plan could work but it won't be feasible until I return from out west.  So I will just continue to meet them for breakfast every Friday I am home.

It wasn't snowing when I left Lititz, but when I got close to Ephrata the snow began and cars had it on their roof and hoods.  It really did snow most of the day, but it only laid on the grassy areas, not on the roads.  It looked pretty, but I prefer the green grass, warm temperatures, and swaying palm trees in the south!

So good to see the 7 ladies when they were done with their work-out and then we went to Evergreen Diner for a very good breakfast.  I really enjoyed spending rime with them again.  We left around 8:45 I went to Dollar Tree and then to Jamie's to return the pot that she had left at our apartment filled with delicious soup.  I enjoyed talking with Jamie, Bria and Cali (the girls had off school today for Spring Break).  Got back home by 10:30.

Ken was busy all morning at his desk finalizing things for the pick-up of the car on Monday, his income tax appointment Monday morning, and scheduling a time to have a hitch for the bike rack put on our new car.  We also sent a message to Steve, the service manager at Winnebago to bring him up to date on some of our concerns and frustrations regarding service.

After about 2:30 things "simmered" down and we were able to relax a bit.  We had large salads for dinner with sauteed onions, peppers and chicken.  So good.  Fred and Doloris came to play cards from 7 to 11:30 and we had such a good time.  They brought the Spiced Rum they had bought at Drum Circle Distillery when they were in Florida with us.  I drank some wine while they enjoyed the rum.  

We got a lot of things accomplished today.  It is going to be very busy while we are home, but we will have a great time with family and friends.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Some Real Positive Today!

First of all it was warmer today - in the 40's but no wind!  Yesterday the dental office called and said they had 2 cancellations for today at 10:10 and did we want to come together to get our teeth cleaned????  That was got an opportunity!!!!  So we were at the dentist this morning and neither of us needed any work done - NO cavities or problems!  Wow!  That started the day on such a high.  

When we left there we headed to a Honda Dealership in Reading to check out their inventory of used CRV's.  They had 2 of interest to us, but when we got in the 1st one the cigarette smoke was overwhelming.  Didn't take us long to get out of that vehicle.  We then drove the 2014 CRV that was black, not exactly a color we would chose, but it would be a great match to our motor home.  It drove well and was certainly a strong consideration.

From there we went back to the Honda dealership in Lancaster to see the 2014 CRV that had been traded in on Tuesday evening.  It was actually owned by the parents of the service manager and had been extremely well maintained.  We took that for a drive and it was another strong possibility.  This one is kind of a taupe color, which we liked better than the black, but didn't think it was quite as good a match to Waldo as the black.  We left the dealership and stopped by Car Max to see if they had any CRV for us to look at.  They didn't have any on their lot, but could have one there in about a week.  Their pricing and warranties weren't as good as the dealerships, so buying there was not in our future!

We did some serious talking and went back to the Lancaster Honda and made a deal.  So on Monday we will be the proud new owner of a 2014 CRV.  How exciting.  In the meantime, we will schedule an appointment for a hitch to be put on for the new bike rack we need to purchase!  Did talk to Lazydays and it looks like they will be able to put on the towing package and braking system when we get there in 2 1/2 weeks.  Hallelujah!  Things are starting to fall into place!  

The color is really a dark taupe, not grey!  Not a perfect match
for Waldo, but very close.  Makes us happy!

Maybe tomorrow or the next day, or the next we will start to slow day.  So far it has been rather crazy since we got back home.  Somehow I doubt that that is going to change!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

It's Cold Here!

Ken and I were up at 6 because I had an appointment at the Physician's Surgical Center at 8.  We had no food in the house, so we "had" to go out to breakfast.  Both of us felt a bit "out of it" this morning, rather tired and drained from the drive home.  While eating our breakfast, Ken wasn't sure if he had taken his medication before we left the apartment.  So, we quickly finished eating and drove back home where he discovered that he had taken them!  That sort of sums up how out of "sync" we are!

We arrived at the surgical center at 8 for a 9AM appointment and by 9:20 we were leaving with a totally clear report.  Hallelujah!  I don't have to go back for 6 months!

From there we went to the local Honda dealer to check out new CRV's.  We quickly realized that the 2015 ones have a new transmission that makes them not towable with all 4 wheels down as they had been in all the previous years.  Well, that was a shocker!  Back to the drawing boards.  We headed to Costco and Wal-Mart for much needed groceries and were back home by 12:30.  Took awhile to find a place for everything we bought and after eating lunch we were both tired and needed a short nap.  

We started doing some research on vehicles that could be towed on all 4 wheels and really didn't find anything that we were overly excited about.  The Honda salesman called to tell us they just got a 2014 CRV in as a trade and so we are going to check it out tomorrow.  A CRV still is our car of choice!

I started with a headache this afternoon and even after taking some Tylenol it just wouldn't go away.  By 6 I was feeling fairly miserable - tired and congested.  Not sure what that is about.  I guess I'm just not "adjusting" to this cold, windy weather.  They are even predicting some snow for Friday.  Where are those swaying palm trees and all the greenery??????

Tomorrow we both have dentist appointments and from there we plan to do more car hunting.  It should be another interesting day!

Thanks to everyone for the calls and messages today regarding my medical testing.  It was comforting to know that people we so concerned and had me in their thoughts and prayers.  I am relieved to have a good report!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

We Are Back in PA Safe and Fairly Sound!

Well, it was another interesting and a bit of a stressful day!  We were up by 6, ate breakfast at the hotel, and were on our way back to PA by 7.  We were hoping for an uneventful day and fortunately, that is what we got!

We had about 325 miles to travel today, so we stopped about every 90 miles to give the CRV a chance to "rest".  We would pull into a rest stop and do about 15 minutes of walking before driving again.  We did that 2X and then stopped for lunch when we got onto Interstate 83 in Maryland, about 60 plus miles from home.  We felt so relieved when we crossed into PA.

We talked to our mechanic, Marty, when we got in the area and he said we should stop by and he can give us an analysis of the CRV ad an idea what it would cost to do the repairs.  We were there by 2:15 and just then our granddaughter, Cali, called and asked if we would soon be at our apartment.  She was there with her mommy, our daughter Jamie, and they had brought a pot of homemade soup, a beer for Ken and a small bottle of wine for me, plus had plugged in the refrigerator and turned up the heat.  How special!  We are truly blessed!  Since I didn't know how long we would be at the garage, I told her they should head home and we will stop by to see them and wait for Bria to get home from school.  That is what we did!  We were there for about 1 1/4 hours and it was so could to see them and give them hugs.

We got home around 4:15 and began the job of unloading.  Then we headed to my good friend, Polly, and we had such a nice visit after putting our bikes and a few other items in her basement.  We are so appreciative that she allows us to store a few large things there that we just don't have room for at our apartment.  She is so kind!

Then on to Radio Shack to purchase an indoor TV antenna.  If you travel for 3 or more months in a row, the cable company will shut off your service and just charge you a reasonable reconnect fee when you return. It made no sense to turn it back on for just 3 weeks before we leave again, so this is a good solution.  We can't get many stations, but it is fine.  We won't have much time to watch TV anyway.

Throughout the day and evening, I talked and texted many of our friends and family members to let them know we were home.  Ken got the antenna installed and working while I unpacked most of the things we brought home.  Our daughter, Lanie, called and invited us to their house for dinner on Friday night. Yes, we do realize how blessed we really are.  Our girls are wonderful!  (We are a bit biased)

Once we were home, the tiredness set in.  The stress of driving (especially for Ken), the unknown with the CRV, and just covering so many miles had both of us physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.  I thought we could sleep in tomorrow morning, but I got a call from the Physicians Center and I have to be there at 8 AM tomorrow for my cystoscopy.  No rest for the weary!

Again, I want to thank everyone for their concern and thoughts during our drive home.  We are very blessed to have so many special people in our lives!

Monday, March 16, 2015

What A Rather Stressful Day, But It Ended Well!

Let me begin by saying that today was a stressful day but we are so blessed to be this close to home!  It's amazing!

We got up to a 6:30 wake-up call and got ready to head out!  Ken loaded things in the CRV and then we had breakfast at the hotel.  At 7 we called Tires Plus that was 1.6 miles down the road from the hotel and then said we should come right away and they would do a diagnosis of the problem.  So we were there by 7:30 and they took the car in the garage right away.  The workers there were so special and kind.  After about 20 minutes we got the "verdict".  Most of the systems checked out well, but the bad news was that it appeared to be a problem with the head gasket!  Now what!  He said we could go 10 miles or maybe 1,000 - who knows????  The unbelievable part was that they told us up front that the diagnosis would cost $89.00, but because they didn't have good news and they wanted us to get back on the road they gave us an $89.00 credit and said we should get on our way to PA!  Unbelievable!!!

When we got back in the CRV we called Marty, our Honda mechanic at home for his advice!  He said that this model and year rarely has a gasket issue and he really thinks it is probably the radiator.  He recommended that we keep a gallon of coolant or water in the car and head home, stopping if it starts to overheat to let it cool down.  So, we took his advice and were on our way home by 9:15.  After driving about 100 miles, it started to overheat, so we pulled off and gave it time to cool.  In about 20 minutes we were back on the road, but not sure what to think.  After about another 100 miles, it happened again so we ended up on the side of the road for a 2nd time.  After 20 minutes Ken removed the radiator cap, but water "shot out" and landed on his hand and arm.  It was painful for awhile, but fortunately it appears to be fine.  Now we began to think that we should hunt for a Honda Dealer and maybe get it "fixed".  But first, we made another call to Marty.  He said what we described sounds more and more like a radiator problem.  He suggested we turn the heater on low as we drive and keep going!  So we were on our way again!

Here is the bottom line.  It did not overheat anymore today, but we did become very pro-active.  We stopped about every 70 miles at rest stops or for lunch and left it "rest" for about 20 minutes.  It proved to be helpful!  We got to Roanoke Rapids just 11 miles from the Virginia border having traveled 425 miles today - wow!  When we left GA this morning I don't think either of us thought we could possibly drive this many miles today.  We are so thankful!

We really appreciate all the concerns and positive thoughts from all our friends.  Your phone calls, text messages and e-mails were so helpful and were very encouraging.  We really feel that if we are pro-active again tomorrow we should be able to go the 325 miles that will get us back to our apartment!  Please continue the good thoughts! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Our Way to PA!

Ken and I were up at 6:15 and got ready for today's departure!  The no see ums were so bad this morning and they made it rather miserable for Ken to unhook the sewer, water, and electric.  He was outside for about 30 minutes and felt them biting all the time.  I did the final clean-up inside and joined him outside for about 10 minutes.  It was awful!  

Chuck and Melissa had set their alarm to come by and say good-bye.  We only spent a short time together because it could have gotten rather emotional. These 14 days have been wonderful!  We left our campsite at 7:30 and then hooked up the CRV at the front of the campground.  We were on our way to Lazydays near Tampa by 7:45.  The drive went well and we were at Lazydays by 10:30.  After unhitching the CRV and making sure we had everything we wanted to take home, we were on our way by 11.  Waldo will stay there for the next 3 weeks getting the slide repaired and doing some needed warranty work.  We will pick him up when we leave for our trip out west.

When we got to the border of Georgia we switched drivers so Ken could take a nap.   After I had driven about 36 miles into Georgia, Ken woke up because he bit his tongue.  It wasn't bad, but thank goodness he did it.  I mentioned that the air didn't appear to be working very well and he immediately noticed that the CRV temperature gauge was in the red.  Fortunately we were at an exit and could get right off and there was even a huge shoulder so we could pull off and be safe.  As soon as we turned off the engine, the steam poured our from under the hood.  So we waited about 30 minutes and checked the radiator and the coolant reserve.  Both appeared to be full.  The other good part - there were four nice hotels across the street.  So we started it up just long enough to get to the parking lot of the Comfort Inn.  We checked in and starting looking for a car repair shop in the area and found one about 1 1/2 miles down the road.  You could make an appointment on line which we did, but we will call them at 7 tomorrow morning and hope we can get it repaired and back on the road quickly.  Hopefully it is just a fan or belt.  We will see!!!!

Another good thing - there was an excellent restaurant called the Millhouse Steak House at the neighboring Holiday Inn Express where we had a delicious dinner.  It is a place we would highly recommend for both the food and the pricing.  I had a sour apple martini for $1.99 and they have draft beer for the same price.  It is located at the Brunswick Exit off Interstate 95 about 36 miles into Georgia.  We had planned to get to the center of SC today, but so much for that plan!!!!  Tomorrow is another day!

Talked to Cindy and Melissa and watched some TV.  Looking forward to a good night's sleep before we "tackle" tomorrow!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Our Last Full Day on Pine Island!

Can't believe it is time to leave Pine Island and head back to PA.  The time has flown by!  We were up 7 and got ready very quickly.  For the 1st time we actually cooked and ate breakfast before we met Chuck and Melissa for pickleball.  That was a first.  We are just getting into a routine and it is time to leave!  Wow!  It was a bit windy, but we all played well, especially Melissa.  I think it was the new pink pickleball outfit!  Chuck and Melissa actually beat Ken and I 3 times and they did their happy dance.  We we glad to do the happy dance with them.  We left the court at 9:30  and Ken and I spent the next 3 hours doing more prep ork for leaving tomorrow.  Ken did a great job of packing the CRV - so much to take home.  That is when full-timing looks so perfect - no more packing and unpacking!  I cleaned and scoured Waldo.

At 12:30 the 4 of us rode our bikes to the Low Key Tiki Hut for another delicious lunch.  Neil and Nancy drove there to join us and we had such a fun time. Chuck, Melissa, Ken and I rode back to the CG and stopped to play a game of shuffleboard which was won handily by the women - Yes!!!  Then we drove to Matlacha to fulfill one of the things on my Bucket List for this winter - ice cream from Great Licks.  I really love their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.  Then we walked around Matlacha and the town park.  We got back to the CG at 5:30, but Chuck and Melissa drove back to the park to look for Melissa's prescription glasses that had fallen out of her pocket.  Fortunately she found them on the bench on the dock!  

Ken wanted his final photo of the eagles on our bike ride.
The eaglets are getting big!

Another photo of the palm tree plantations!

Can't beat the wonderful bike path on Pine Island!

The 6 of us having lunch on the dock at Low Key Tiki Hut!

We always have fun playing shuffleboard, but it was very hot!

The nice pool are at Pine Island CG!

The homemade ice cream at Great Licks is incredible!

 A painting of Ken's favorite bird - the roseate spoonbill!

The backyard at Lovegrove Gallery at Matlacha!  Here is where
we renewed our wedding vows several years ago!

This is the owner, Leoma's, office!

See the little baby ospreys on the nest!

The fishing pier at the Matlacha Park!

We needed to rest, but this is how Melissa lost her glasses!

We thought we blended right in with Leoma's house!

I spent time posting on my blog while Ken rested.  Then we spent time cleaning out the refrigerator, scrubbing it, and then defrosting it.  We only had a few item to give to Chuck and Melissa.  We really did a good job of depleting our "food inventory".  We spent from 7:30 to 11:15 playing games with Chuck and Melissa and feeling sad that it was our last night of spending time together.   We will miss them so much.  They are talking about joining us for part of our trip out west and we are hoping so much that they do.  It would be great to share the experience and adventure with them.  The 4 of us did go over to see Neil and Nancy to say our good-byes and have a "toast" together.  It has been a very special time on Pine Island!

We were in bed by midnight and not overly excited about the long drive ahead of us!  But this winter in Florida has been one to remember and cherish!