Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rain, Rain & Finally Went Away

It has been raining now for the past few days here in the “Sunshine” State which has given us the opportunity to get caught up on all of our writing. We are also in between work at the track, patiently waiting for Speed Weeks to begin so we can get back to manning the gates, until then we are idle. The rain finally let up on Saturday but then they are forecasting the chill to return, lows in the 30’s…brrrrrr! We took a walk to the local Flea Market and browsed around. Lot of stuff, not much we needed or wanted but they really do have a lot of deals.

We also caught this really low flying plane on our walk, just thought it was strange to see.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Rolex 24 Experience

It was exhausting, literally took us these past two days to recuperate from the 12 hour night shift. Usually a 12 hour shift or a night shift doesn’t kick our butts but combine the two and it did just that and then to make things worse we had two people walk off the job within a few hours of our shift, so breaks were not as they had been in the past years. We hope the guys that left will not be allowed to come back for Speed and Bike weeks.

We worked 6 pm on Saturday until 6 am on Sunday in the infield at the Pit Road Patios, not a busy gate but as usual we made the best of it. We were able to get away, not together though but we did take some breaks to watch the race and check out the Pit area. Unfortunately, we had decided not to take our good camera with us, it’s bigger and bulkier, so we took one of our smaller ones and for some reason it jammed and all the photos we thought we took did not come out at all. We will make sure we take the right camera for our next shifts.

As for bicycling, well that was really tough, for me at least it was, for Jerry it was easy. Walking for me is easier than bike riding and after such a long shift it was really hard making it back to camp. But, after a lot of breaks and walking instead of riding, we made it back and slept most of Sunday while we finished watching the Rolex 24.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rolex 24...the beginning of our DIS experience

The first leg of our adventure began today with us being spectators. We hung out in the infield and watched the Rolex 24 practice and the Koni Challenge Fresh From Florida 200. We don’t begin work until tomorrow and we just wanted to see our gate and where we will be…WOW, on the infield in the pits…we are going to have a blast!

We found some really great deals for shirts and other NASCAR stuff. We even had a very tasty lunch at one of the booths, we shared a Philly Cheesesteak and a Chicken Gyro and they tasted fabulous.

There were also some different things, like the chair in motion we seen, it was motorized and caught everyone's attention. Then Jerry tried on this hat that…well check out the photos and let me know if you notice what looks different.

Now that we are no longer have our toad, we are walking, biking and using more public transportation, we don’t mind the walking and riding our bikes but there are times that the public transportation can be a bit annoying. The bus today was running late and when it arrived there were quite a few rowdies on board, thank goodness we only had a few miles to go.

We took photos of all of it, check them all out of our first day of the Rolex.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Has anybody ever encountered such a thing?

We enjoy going to websites that have forums, especially the ones referencing the RV lifestyle, they contain some very useful information and we enjoy sharing our experience as well.

Just this morning we had another encounter with someone else’s opinion of what types of advertisement we should or should not have on our personal websites. This person chose not to come directly to us instead they went through one of the forums that we visit regularly. They contacted one of the forum administrator and put in a complaint which then the administrator chose to revoke our link signature on their website until all of our advertisement is removed, especially our request for contributions.

Last year, we went through the same thing with this same forum and it was finally resolved with the conclusion that as long as our ads did not conflict with this websites advertisers that our signature link could be used, so we had been using it since.

Apparently, that all went out the window this morning when somebody complained about “the number of ads on our blog” and “the one that caused most people grief is this…If you find this website useful, please consider a small contribution to our fuel fund.”

Just by us having all these ads on our blog or this particular request for contributions, does it mean any of you have to purchase or contribute?

Does our advertisement conflict with the forum on Workamper News?

Should we have to change something on our website because some people find it offensive, even when it is not obscene or vulgar?

This is our blog and/or website and we do not force anybody to visit our sites so the answer to these questions are no, positively not. It is our right to advertise or ask for anything we choose and it is then the choice of the reader to either participate or decline. There have been times while surfing the web that we find objectionable content that we choose to just ignore, it is our choice to either partake or not, it is not our right to demand that they change it or else.

So once again, our signature on this forum will no longer carry a link to our webpage but we will continue to stand by our choice to advertise on our websites as we see fit. We would love to hear from others who might have had the same situation occur with them, either with this particular website or any others. The Workamper website has been the only website that we have encountered any issues with a link in our signature, all others allow ours without any problems.

If you would like to add your comments, you may either add them here on our blog or go to our column since this article is published there as well. Click on the title to take you there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our New President

Gave ourselves the day off so we could share history with our fellow Americans by watching Barack Obama’s Inauguration.

What an insightful speech, this is without a doubt the best of what is yet to come, life will never be the same. To be able to experience this in our lifetime was without a doubt one of the most miraculous moments we have ever experienced.

Being prejudice has never been a standard we live by, even though my early upbringing was the total opposite. I have always believed that everyone should be looked at for who they are and not by their race. It was always a difficult subject within our family unit and usually whenever I spoke up about my beliefs, it caused some strong family disagreements, so I usually said nothing while they continued to ridicule people solely based on their skin color. It really feels good now to be able to stand up for my own beliefs, accepting people for who they are and not allow my family’s beliefs to sway my opinion.

Does this mean, I have finally grown up? Could be!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Our drive over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge...the anticipation was overwhelming but we are learning to feel the fear and do it anyway. We both felt the RUSH when we reached the top and then descended on the other side. Overcoming our fears are priceless! Be sure to check out our photos of the entire approach to the bridge by clicking here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

12 Wonderful Years of Married Bliss

These have been the best years of our lives…marriage works for us…always has…always will. The bad times, we could count on one hand, the good times we would need a million hands to cover them all.

We wish we could share one of our photos from our wedding but they were in our boxes of things that my daughter took possession of and since we no longer have contact with her, the best we can do is say that on that day the love we shared was apparent in the way we looked at one another. That same look, we both share with one another all the time now, this lifestyle has been the best thing for us and for our marriage. Not a day goes by that we do not look lovingly in each others eyes and confess our love for one another and then add the love we share for this lifestyle…we are so very grateful!

We celebrated as we have for the past 12 years, by drinking white grape juice out of our wedding glasses that have traveled safely with us for the past few years and shared our favorite moments from our marriage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Casino’s Everywhere

Wherever we go there always seems to be a Casino nearby. We had done all that we wanted to at the Tampa RV Show and could see the casino from our window, sure looked close but that is sometimes deceiving but we chose to make a day of it, so we braced ourselves for a long walk, ended up being less than a mile and all sidewalk, even under the Interstate.

Good size casino with tables, poker room and plenty of slot machines. We did not find any penny machines but there were many 2 cent and nickel machines, along with quarters, dollars and the high rollers. With a new membership for their card, we received $20 play each. We left the casino once again with more money than we came in with after spending a few hours playing the machines and a great lunch.

They had several different restaurants, we chose to eat at the Fresh Harvest which they had put a unique twist on for a buffet. There were 7 different areas where you could choose to fill your plates, with additional foods to be added to the base charge of $15 if you choose to do. The base meals were fine for us, but they offered special items for a very nominal charge that looked very appetizing. The biggest difference we noticed with this buffet was the freshness of the food and a different variety then most other buffets we have experienced.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tampa RV Show

Only two days into the four days planned here and it feels as if we have been here a week already. We are not sure what the hype is about at these RV shows, yes, there are millions of RV’s…big ones…little ones…and many in between…there are tents with many campgrounds giving away one, two and even three nights free…there are vendors, selling the newest and latest gadgets. In comparison with the big RV Show in Quartzsite, Arizona, the one in Tampa has less vendors but many more RV’s.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Traveling Without a Toad

We now have been without our toad for about 3 months and over 3,000 miles. We had been contemplating traveling without our Jeep for quite some time and when we had some mechanical problems towards the end of 2008, we made it official that we would begin traveling without a tow vehicle, at least for the next year. Since our plan for the next year is to do many of the tracks and we hardly ever use our tow vehicle during our times at the tracks we thought this would be a perfect time to give it a try.

At this point the pros are outweighing the cons by a big margin. We have saved so much money by not having to renew the plates, registration, and insurance. Gas mileage has been the greatest savings of all, we were averaging about 7 mpg when we were towing, we now average 10 mpg, we even had one that was over 12 mpg on our road trip from San Francisco to Daytona Beach. We have also saved so much wear and tear on the RV from not having to pull the Jeep, and there are no longer two vehicles to do maintenance on, including replacing tires and other repairs. We also made better time while traveling, we still only did around 300 miles per day but our days ended much earlier than when we were towing, even though we are still only doing about 60 mph, at least now we can maintain our speed more consistently.

We make sure we get our errands and shopping done prior to checking into the campground and we are taking advantage of other means of transportation. Many campgrounds offer free shuttle service to the local tourist attractions, there is always public transportation, like taxi’s and buses. We have also been riding our bikes much more lately, which is not only good for our environment but is fabulous for our health.

Monday, January 12, 2009

We Are So Blessed

Our lives seem to be in the perfect flow, we have struggled so hard to get here and it finally feels fabulous. We made it to Daytona without any problems that we could not handle, as is the way in life if only you believe that the Universe never gives you more than you can endure.

We have learned not to dwell on unpleasant experiences, indulge in self-pity or feel sorry for ourselves. We are no longer victims of our pasts, we avoid holding on to negative emotions, instead we always acknowledge and welcome all the good that always exists in our lives. By living this way, we have already experienced quite a few miracles in the past few weeks, just some perks that make our lives easier, we are so very grateful.

Before heading to the Tampa RV Show on Wednesday, we will hang out in the Daytona International Speedway area at our favorite RV Park for a few days, doing laundry, checking in at the track for our schedules, updating our blog, uploading our photos, writing articles for our new column, and just relaxing from 18 days of traveling.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Finally Out of Texas

Couldn’t believe how great it was getting through San Antonio…whenever we travel again through there we will be sure to take the 1604 Loop and then the construction we endured a few years ago through Houston is completed and it was a breeze through there as well. Can’t say the same about getting through Beaumont, Texas…construction…construction…and then more construction…down to one lane where everybody was in a big hurry to get to the front.

We had chosen a campground where we could use our Camp Club USA but it was a few miles off the highway so we got off a few exits before and went into the Lafayette KOA…what a BIG mistake! I just do not understand how campgrounds are getting away with charging so much…well, yes I do…it is because many of us are paying it. We paid $60 during the holidays because they charged it and we paid it, doubled their normal price. But, they wanted to charge us over $45 at Lafayette KOA for a back-in, water and electric only…no way…we told them it was way too costly and we drove to our original place.

What a great place…if you are ever in the area…be sure to go 5 miles off the beaten path (I-10) to Poche’s Fish-N-Camp & RV Park…they honor many of the discount cards and only charged us $15 for a full hookup…all the fishing you can handle included…no license needed since it is a private pond…more like 3 ponds. Check Out Our Other Photos

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Wind Behind Us…Makes A Great Driving Day

The weather was still…well let’s just say…not an idealistic morning. The wind began to howl around 5 a.m. but there was no rain, sleet or snow, so we slept in until it was warmer and then headed east on I-10. We drove a little over 300 miles in no time at all since we had a great tailwind, also getting great mileage, a big part due to the decision of going without a toad, we are loving that decision.

An overnight stop at the KOA in Junction, Texas. This park is a bit over our nightly camping budget but we will make up for it on another night. It is probably a great place during the season, but for now it was barren, windy and cold. The hosts were exceptionally accommodating, the restrooms, showers and laundry facilities were spotless, the grounds were well maintained and they offered cable for an extra dollar.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Weather Changes Our Plans

What is it with Texas, anyway? The last time we traveled to Daytona, using a more northern route, I-20, we ran into a ice storm…but that time it lasted 4 days. This time we are more southern on I-10 but are stuck in Van Horn, Texas, due to rain, sleet and possible flurries that is slowly traveling along the path we are headed, so we are staying put for today. Not so bad…we have WiFi and cable and now an entire day to just relax and hang out. Probably for the best since Jerry caught some cold bug a few days back and a day of nothing will do him good.

Weather forecasted is to get warmer over night…hopefully we will begin travel again in the morning.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

An Eventful Travel Day

Only a little over 200 miles today since we wanted to do some laundry. Unfortunately, we didn’t choose the best place to do that, we stopped at the KOA in Van Horn, Texas, nice place with great hosts but they only have 4 washers and 2 dryers and another couple that pulled in the same time had the same idea. Thank goodness they were huge dryers that dried fast so it wasn’t so bad.

Another item to mention today, is thank goodness for truck drivers. We have always liked having the big rigs around us and we always turn our lights off and on when they have cleared us while passing. This really nice looking rig was passing us when he got side by side and slowed down and began waving to us and pointing to our roof…we immediately pulled over and he did as well. We got out and began looking at our roof and could not figure what was going on, so Jerry got on the roof as the driver walked back to me and explained that we had been the talk of the CB for a few miles because our a/c cover was flapping in the wind. While Jerry removed it, I had a nice conversation with the truck driver, he was a NASCAR fan and told some great adventures he has done for Junior’s team.

Once camped we attempted to tape and glue it where it was cracked in several different places since the nearest Camping World is 600 miles down the road, hopefully, the glue and tape will hold up until we get there in a few days.

Weather is windy, cold, and calling for icy showers…had the same prediction for Deming, New Mexico, where we stayed last night but didn’t happen, hopefully they are wrong here as well. If it gets bad, we will just stay an extra day…will see in the morning what comes through the night.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Daytona Bound

Stopped in Phoenix to take care of some business and it took much longer than we had anticipated…forgot that it was the first of the month, after a holiday and that the DMV was packed…but it has all been renewed. It seems we are cutting our ties to Phoenix a little at a time…we can now do all of our renewing online and do not even have to stop in the future. Sad but it is what it is!

We are boondocking for the night at one of the local casinos before heading to Daytona in the morning, our plan is to do about 300 miles a day and arrive in about 8 days. We will try to keep our blog updated with our events of the drive but you all know how that goes some times. Safe travels to all!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

A brand new day and a brand new year with so many new challenges and new dreams coming true! Our lives use to be so stagnant…but now there is so much change daily. We are learning that changing is a part of growing and without growing then we aren’t really living.

We slept through New Year’s Eve, by choice but our phone rang at several different hours due to our many friends across the country in different time zones. It was nice to hear from them all.

We are currently in Quartzsite at JR's RV Park, visiting friends and getting some pieces and parts for the rig before breezing through Phoenix with just a brief stop to take care of some business. We had been asked to stop and visit a family member but we are afraid this would cause some problems so we explained that at this time we would not be able to visit. It has always been difficult within our family when one of the members wants to be a part of our lives but if they do then the others will make their lives a living hell. It was exactly the same when my brother Jeff was alive, he explained to me all the time how much he wanted to spend time with me but he couldn’t because my sister would “freak” out and that is something nobody wants to be a part of…she is downright scary and holds a grudge for a very long time. Enough about family…this is a new year with new beginnings and not about drudging up old wounds that haven’t healed.