Friday, March 28, 2008

Still in Sunrise, FL

Wow, I can't believe our time here is almost over!!! We've been doing a WHOLE lot of visiting with old friends and neighbors. What a blast we've had. I think I'm done eating burgers for awhile though. It's going to be hard leaving here because we're not sure when we'll be back. The last time we left here we knew we'd be back in a few months. This time it'll be a few years. We ARE anxious to see John and Erica though and after that Ashton and Reilly (and their parents Michele and Todd, of course).

I've started this I don't know how many times now. I just can't seem to get into writing when I don't have really anything to write about. We've had our friends and neighbors over here for dinner or lunch almost everyday so I certainly wasn't going to take time away from them to write.

Tomorrow we'll be on the road again. We're stopping overnight in Tampa to get the front jacks fixed and then from there we're going to do something we haven't done since we became fulltimers. We're going to be overnighting at all our stops until we get to Texas. Well, except for Pensacola where we'll probably have to spend two nights. We need to change our address in order to vote and we have to do it at the Court House because we can't use our mail forwarding address as an official address.

Here's a few pictures of our visitors for the last two weeks...

Alan, Gabriella, Shane, Leska and Jessika

Dave practicing his swing

Our bbq with our old neighbors Andy, Bernice, Dave and Pennye

Christel, Lilliam, Elaine, me and Tom

Our site at Markham Park

Friday, March 21, 2008

Markham Park, Sunrise, FL

I warned you this was going to be a really LONG update. We finally made it back to the old neighborhood. We wanted to come back here for a few different reasons. One, of course, was to see our friends and two, to show our friends what we're living in now. We'll be here for a few weeks and then high tail it to Texas to see John.

Before we got here we stayed at Franklin D Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, GA. I think we have a NEW favorite state park. Actually, we have enjoyed ALL the Georgia State Parks that we've visited. This one was obviously named after the former President. What I didn't know is how much he loved Georgia. He even built a little White House here while he enjoyed the hot springs. He could actually stand in the four feet of water in the hot pools here. He had heard that people were being cured of their polio by swimming in the hot water so he thought he'd give it a try. It didn't work but he still enjoyed the freedom the water gave him. One time while he was visiting the Little White House he decided to have his portrait painted. While he was sitting for his portrait he suffered a massive stroke and died. The lady who was painting the portrait decided to leave it unfinished.

The Little White House

The unfinished portrait

Click on this picture and read it, it's very interesting

Another place we visited there was the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens. This place was amazing. Callaway Gardens is a huge resort out in the middle of nowhere. It has lakes, hiking trails, boat rentals, fishing, lodging, a huge visitor center and museum and of course, the butterfly house. I had read on the internet about the butterflies and knew that they keep the building at a constant temp of 85 degrees. Yahoo!!!! At least I was able to enjoy some warm temps if at least for a short time. We stayed in there for a looooong time. The butterflies fly freely throughout. You have to be careful because they sit on paths sometimes.

Inside the butterfly house

Isn't this cool?

Another one

After FDR we headed south and almost made it out of Georgia. We ended up staying at a KOA in Valdosta. We've been having trouble with our front jacks on the RV so we were looking at a RV repair place there. Neither one of the places there were any help so we moved on down the road and finally made it to Florida!! We ended up at another KOA (well, it USED to be a KOA) and stayed for two days. It was only a half hour from my cousin and her husband in New Port Richey so it ended up being a great place to stop. From there we moved a little further south to Tampa Bay East The Oaks in Dover, FL. It was still close enough for my cousin to come and visit but this place was a LOT better than the last place. We weren't really in a spot at the other place. We were kinda sitting on one of their roads next to a fence that had water and electric hookups. Weird.

We checked on a RV dealer there by the RV park. They were able to get us in and diagnosed our problem. It's being covered by our extended warranty but it's going to be a few weeks before the part comes in so that's why we left there. Now we're in Sunrise, FL at a county park only a few miles from our old neighborhood. This park is gorgeous. They have a shooting range, a dog park, remote control airplane field. Pretty nice for a county park. We're backed up to a canal and watch jet skis and speedboats go up and down. It's pretty cool. It's only $25 a night because our driver's licenses still have our old address on them so according to them we're still Broward County residents. We don't plan on doing a whole lot while we're here. Just visiting with friends for a few weeks then back to Tampa to get the jacks fixed. Tonight we're having friends over for dinner and a campfire. Should be a very nice evening.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tampa, FL

YAY We're finally found warm weather!! We've been having major internet problems but they're all fixed now. I was told that my modem probably had been "fried" in the eletrical storm and was told who to call. When I called I was told that the modem was fine and just needed to be setup again. I've been waiting all this time without internet because we needed to figure out where we were going to settle for a few days so we could have a new modem shipped to us. Gheeze. Oh well, we're leaving here tomorrow for Markham Park in Sunrise, FL. I'll have a HUGE update when we get settled there.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Franklin D Roosevelt State Park, GA

We arrived at FDR State Park on Friday after a really uneventful drive. I say this because we had major drama on Thursday after leaving the KOA in Sweetwater. Our plan was to go to Red Top State Park. We didn't leave the KOA until almost noon because it was only a 3 hour drive to Red Top. We got there at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Plenty of time to set up, right? Wrong. We weren't getting satellite reception so Rod was going to drive the rig around the loop and come in closer on the other side where there was a space in between some trees. When he tried to turn he got a little too close to a tree and scraped the slide cover. Not that big of a deal except that he still couldn't make the turn without tearing the cover off. He backed up and I guided him out of the site. Well, after that we decided we didn't want to stay there so we went back to the office and got a refund. The ranger said there was a KOA about 20 miles north. We left the park and thought we'd look to see if there was a campground closer than 20 miles. The GPS said there was one about 10 miles away. When we got there we found out it was closed for the winter and wouldn't open until April. Good grief!! We got BACK on the freeway and found the KOA north of Cartersville. It was a very expensive night but I think we would have paid $100 for a site and not complained a bit. By then it was 7:00 at night and I certainly wasn't in the mood to cook so Rod made popcorn and that was that.

We did learn a few things that day. The first was to always have a plan B, the second was to leave WAY earlier, and the third was if nobody at the campground answers the phone it probably means they're closed for the season.

We left the KOA by 10:00 in the morning (which is WAY early for us) and stopped to get gas. I asked Rod what our plan B was and he said, "We don't have one". Hmmmmmmm, so much for the lessons learned.

SOOOOOOO, here we are at FDR State Park. I had read on some other people's blogs that have rigs as big as ours that had stayed here before so we figured we'd be okay and we are. We only paid for one day but we liked it so much that we went back to the office and paid for 9 more days so we'll be here until the 10th. We got here at about 1:30 and were set up and having a beer by 3:00. Ahhhhhh, life is good.

The only bad thing is that we don't get cell phone coverage. We really have to look into getting one of those antenna boosters.

Yesterday we went into the town of Columbus. We picked up a few groceries and some outdoor carpeting for our patio. It looks so nice and homey now. The only other thing we need is a tablecloth.

It's been so nice and warm here. 70's during the day and who cares what it is at night. I'm looking forward to getting out and doing some hiking. There are so many trails around here and also places to visit in the area. We heard Calloway Gardens has a really cool butterfly garden. Also Roosevelt's little white house is here. So, I think we'll keep ourselves busy for the next week and a half.

After all the ice and snow we went through the windows were REALLY dirty so I sent Rod out to clean them. Well, it IS an outside chore, right?

It is so beautiful here, this is the view from our campsite.