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!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who On Earth Are These People?

Again because I allowed my feelings and our side of the story to be written in our blog, my family has viciously sent some really nasty emails and comments. I am not sure which family member continues to do this but they all claim to be my daughter, even the phone calls saying some really bizarre things which doesn’t always sound like her. But then again, we no longer know who this woman is, she has become someone that we do not know. This person continues to call us liars, and say some really hurtful things.

This person claims I threatened to kidnap her son and that she would never see him again during an argument 6 years ago. This is not factual, what I said during a heated argument 5 years ago with my daughter after she threatened to take my grandson away from us forever. I said that I would do whatever it took to make sure that never happens. Her dysfunctional mind turned that into that I would kidnap him and no matter how much I have tried to explain, she does not hear me. I would never ever be that cruel, not like she has been to us because I know how much Austin loves his mom, but I also know how much he loves us as well and how much hurt he was going through because of the recent loss of his Boosha, my mother. I would never put him through the pain of losing his mother too, not like the pain she has put him through by losing us.

This person claims that she never speaks badly about us and that Austin remembers all the bad things we did during our argument…REALLY? We spent the first 6 years of his life, loving him, caring for him, and being the best damn grandparents on this earth and all he remembers is one moment in time when we were not on our best behavior…SERIOUSLY?

This person says that I am living in a fantasy world, that I am crazy, psycho and have to live with the consequences. Consequences for what? For having a very heated argument with my husband during a really rough time in our lives that she insisted on getting right in the middle of, which then caused her and I to have a heated argument that escalated into us not seeing our grandson for almost 5 years because of something she believes I said.

This person claims that she is waiting for an apology. I have and continue to apologize for my part in this entire situation. I have apologized for all the hurtful things that I said, but I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for saying something that I did not say. I do apologize for saying what I said that made her believe that is what I meant, but I never ever said I would take her son away from her because through it all I have always said she was a good mother. I do not believe she has made a good choice by keeping us away from him but that was her choice. Yes, we had a choice to hire a lawyer or go to the courts and petition our grandparents rights but we did not want to force her because we hoped she would eventually come around, but 5 years…are you frigging kidding?

From the continuous nastiness of the comments, emails and calls it feels as if she is going to be angry for the rest of our lives. We continue to come to terms with this choice of hers, not something we like but something we have to live with since it is what it is!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Still Missing Austin

In February and March there are birthdays of loved ones no longer with us and days that those loved ones left us, either by death or by just plain spite.

Time is healing the pain somewhat, and working at it daily makes it easier too. We no longer cry all the time, we just now feel numb inside. Just the other day when a couple asked if we had any kids and grandkids, we replied in such a strange manner. It came out as if they had passed and we really did not realize that it sounded like that until later when Jerry and I were discussing it. For us, it is easier to think that we will never see them again, then to continue to hope that we will and be disappointed time after time.

It is still sad when we continue to get nasty emails from my sister and her family claiming that our grandson believes that we died and that they are now taking over our roles in his and our daughter’s lives. She stated in the emails that she is now my daughter’s mother and is the only grandmother Austin will ever need. She sends us photos of them together and states how happy he is. When we look at those photos, we see the sadness in his eyes but we also hardly recognize him, after all, it has been over 5 years now and he has grown. We have been out of his life, almost as long as we were in his life.

We would also like to apologize to our readers, the many my daughter chose to contact to plead her case. We thank those who tried to help, but we now know that our relationship is beyond repair and we will never see them again. She continues to make that perfectly clear, as well as other family members.

We have finally come to terms with that, or quite possibly, we have now put on our gear for self-preservation. The pain is too deep and we finally realize that we have lost our grandson, he is no longer the 6-year-old bright, spirited little man who was so smart and who knew how much he was loved by us. The photos that are sent to us are of a sad, young man who is angry all the time because the grown ups in his life could not act like grown-ups but instead continue to keep away a loving pair of grandparents that never meant him any harm. She took away the grandparents who loved him so much and could not be replaced by substitutes as she has been doing for the past 5 years.

How do we even begin to forgive a daughter who continues to cause us so much pain? There is no way out of this, since we cannot step back into time and she can never give us back these five lonely years without Austin. We try to move forward but they continue to poke into our lives through our websites. Again, if they do not like what we are writing, stop reading our blogs. We do not seek them out, we are trying just to live our lives with one another but they will not let go and they continue to send us comments and calls that are very mean spirited.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort

20005 US Highway 27 N
Clermont, FL 34715
800-440-3801 / 352-394-5513

With our Coast to Coast membership we paid $31.50 for water, electric and sewer. It was another Encore Resort that charges additional charges just because they can get away with it. Usually our membership gets us $10 night stays and only charges extra for possibly cable and WiFi, which we never need since we have our own. This has become a normal policy but there are some parks that do not charge all those extra charges and the next time we are here during this peak season, we will make it a point to stay at those locations.

There is nothing special about this park to warrant the additional charges, it is a nice park but just down the street was another of our C2C parks which we only pay $10 per night with no hidden or additional costs that we would prefer to stay at for any future stays.

The sites were huge, both wide and long, we actually had enough room on our site to accommodate two more rigs.

The restrooms and laundry room were not kept as nicely as they could have been, there was just neglect to them where they are not sparkly cleaned and haven’t been for quite awhile.

They had activities daily, getting to them was a challenge because this park is so huge, it is really a distance to go for any of the activities. Being able to choose between several different sites upon arrival, we were able to choose a very level one, all of them were on sand and grass, no patios and a picnic table for every other site.

No pets allowed on the golf course. Please refrain from letting your pet enter other people’s sites. Walk your pet on the roads and the pet path. No pets are allowed in our Resort Buildings, swimming areas, rental units or the Pro-Shop. You are responsible for cleaning up after your pet at all times! Please dispose of your pet’s waste in a plastic bag and put in a dumpster or garbage container. Excessive noise by pets is not tolerated. Most people adhered to the rules.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sherwood Forest RV Resort

5300 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 396-7600

Even though we used our Coast to Coast membership, we still paid $41.53 per night for 6 nights, but we wanted to be close to Sea World and Discovery Cove for our play days. We went to several different sites before we finally decided on one that was level and did not have huge anthills all over it.

We had a full hookup with water, electric and sewer that also included cable and WiFi, we did not use since we have our own satellite and our Verizon MiFi was great.

The park was huge, they have almost a thousand sites, many were cottages or occupied by long-term renters. The restrooms and showers were modern and kept clean.

The laundry facilities were adequate, the only thing we objected to was you needed to get a card and put money on it. Of course, you can never guess exactly and who wants to have to run up to the office in the middle of laundry to reload the card. We still have over $6 on the card and if we are ever in another area that uses those types, I hope we remember we have the card. Washers were $1.45 and the same for 60 minutes of drying.

Loads of things to do for the kids, both young and old, playground, miniature golf, basketball court, pool and spa, just to mention a few.

Pets are permitted at management’s discretion. One pet per site, unless approved by management. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, and the owner is responsible for cleaning up after their pet. Aggressive breeds are not allowed. Pet policy will be strictly enforced. We notice that to be very true which is always a plus for us.

We would recommend it to others and if we were ever in the same area, we would stay here again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dusted Off The Bikes & Off We Went

We have been hauling our bikes around without using them at all, but that all changed while we were in Kissimmee. We filled the tires, readjusted the new seats, and we cleaned off the dirt, even though we keep them under our bike cover while traveling, they do get a bit dirty.

It had been awhile since we had rode our bikes so I was not sure I would be able to make the trip we had planned. While staying at Sherwood Forest RV Resort, we were going to see some friends at another park but they bailed on us at the last minute. Since we were geared up to ride, we chose to go anyway but just changed our destination. There are so many flea markets in the area and since we had both been craving some seafood, we decided to ride a little further and try the Boston Lobster Feast. Total miles…a little over 5, enough for our first day back on the bikes.

We found a few deals at the flea markets but knew we couldn’t buy too much, after all we were on our bikes with just a small backpack with us.

For the full review on where we had brunch, read it on a separate entry on our blog.

Boston Lobster Feast

6071 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
Kissimmee, FL 34747
(407) 396-2606

We had brunch at the Boston Lobster Feast which is definitely on the expensive side. Make sure you look for coupons and discounts, unless you want to spend $35 per person and that does not include any drinks, even the ice tea and lemonade we had.

We really liked the atmosphere, the staff was very attentive and each person made you feel very welcomed. They offer other meals if you do not want to do the buffet, they also offer a few items that are not kept on the buffet that you can get from the server.

On the buffet they have all the good seafood stuff, lobster, snow crab legs, shrimp, clam chowder and even lobster bisque. The one thing we were not satisfied with and that was the lobster, it was overcooked and just not very flavorful and of course very small. They offered several crab and shrimp sides that were wonderfully amazing, some warm with cheese, others cold with dill that just made our mouths want more . They had cooked shrimp that had a cajun sauce like no other we have tasted and even a breaded shrimp that was uniquely tasteful. The clam chowder and the lobster bisque was the zestiest and creamiest with just the right seasonings.

If you are ever in the area, they have several locations but as previously said, be sure to bring the coupons or they discount will not be given.

FYI - Since we were on our bikes, we took our little camera which usually takes wonderful photos, but the settings were changed somehow and we didn't get many good photos from this trip.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Sea World Experience

Now this park was more our style, laid back and such a great variety of things to do.

Shamu’s Happy Harbor was loaded with children, after all it is their area. They had some interesting rides for them but they also had this humungous netted play area that was so unique. It was several stories high, with nets and tube tunnels and so much more. The kids were having a blast but we just breezed through there!

We went to most of the shows and they were very interesting, some were so funny and others were spectacular. They all had their own elements that made each one of them delightful in there own way.

The exhibits were fantastic, to see all different sorts of mammals in their own environment was spectacular. Dolphins, manatees, whales, penguins, alligators, sea lions, turtles, stingrays, polar bears and several more we probably forgot to mention.

There were some strange and different species in the Manta Museum that we almost missed since it was not documented on the map but were so glad we checked it out.

Meal deals are something we tested again at this amusement park. For $29.95, this meal deal included all drinks as well. After one stop at the first restaurant, it had just about paid for itself. Since we were testing and reviewing the restaurants we tried to stop at most of them, but didn‘t make them all, we just couldn’t stop at every one and we don’t think many other folks would either. The quality of the food was exceptional, the taste was exquisite and the portions were gigantic.

As usual, we have loads of photos to share with you all, check out our Picasa Web Albums for all of them.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Discovery Cove Adventure

Our day spent at the Discovery Cove, ranks up there with one of the best days of our lives, very close to our wedding day…skydiving…no kidding! It was a childhood dream come true and yet another adventure to cross off our Life List. This is exactly how life is supposed to be lived, work a little, play a little. It is not always about how much money we have, it is about letting go of the need for it and just living our lives as we should and believe me the funds will come, as they have continuously for us.

If you have never accomplished this and you have always wanted to…DO IT! Do not waste another moment thinking about it, instead make a reservation, pay the price and have the best day of your life!

We got a great deal, but even without the great deal, this experience is worth the cost. Our cost was only $199 each, but it also includes unlimited admission to your choice of Sea World Orlando, Aquatica or Busch Gardens Tampa. The $199 is now only available to Florida residents but there are a few days still available for $229, all the way up to $319, depending on the date you choose.

It would have been worth it for just the dolphin experience but then you add to it the time with the stingrays floating in between our legs, snorkeling with the salt-water fish, including sharks and barracudas. Now throw in a relaxing, warm float down the Wind-away River and relaxing in Serenity Bay. But…wait, we still were not done. It also includes a great breakfast and a wonderfully delicious prepared lunch, then you add snacks, drinks, even beer and you have the makings of a very fulfilling day. They do charge a hefty price for the frozen alcoholic drinks, but the plastic glasses were included. Then refills would only be $5, but we each had our one Pina Colada and were content with it.

It is up there with one of the most exhilarating experiences of our lives, but we also found it very spiritual. These mammals are huge and strong but they glide through the water with such grace, it is amazing. The intelligence they exhibit while obeying each command, but at the same time, keeping their own personalities is spectacular.

Our dolphin was Diego, he was born at the San Diego Sea World, and his mother’s name was Sandy…a bit cheesy when you think about it. He is about 8’ long and weighs about 500 lbs, one of the shorter, chunkier ones of the bunch but is playful and such a ham to the cameras. We were surprised when we first petted him; his skin is soft and somewhat mushy, kind of like our own skin but wetter. We were instructed to be very light with our touch since they are hyper sensitive to touch, and never touch their eyes or blow holes.

This is a memory that will forever be in our minds and our hearts. Life is exactly the way you believe it to be, no more, no less. We invite all of our readers to believe in all of your dreams and do all you can to bring them into your own reality. The wait is over for all of our dreams; they are happening now and from this day forward, no more excuses!

For all the photos, please check out our Picasa Web Albums, we also have a video we will be editing and posting soon!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Twin Lakes RV Travel Park

3055 Burris Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
(954) 587-0101

We stayed here 11 days during peak season, they charge $50 per night during peak season and $35 per night during non-peak for a water, electric and sewer only. If you pay by the week it averages out to be $45 per night, not much of a savings.

The surrounding area was industrial and right on the airport traffic path which made for a lot of noise. We worked the entire time while we were here so we did not have much opportunity to just hang out. There were several evenings we had to close our windows and it was hot, due to some sort of machinery in one of the nearby industrial shops going on all night long.

The sites were very close to one another and the one we were in had a great tiled patio and a storage unit, which we did not use. Most sites were occupied by seasonals or long term renters. There were many high ended rigs and most had Canadian plates.

The language most used by the workers and signage was French.

The restrooms were in need of not only some major repairs but they were not clean and the smell was dreadful.

They did not offer cable nor WiFi, but we had our own excellent coverage from our Verizon MiFi and Direct TV satellite.

There were a few of the workers that was down right rude. There was a misunderstanding about our reservation, they should have charged the card in full for the entire stay when the reservation was made, but apparently they only took a $200 deposit. We checked in after hours on Saturday evening and they were closed on Sunday, we stopped in on Monday morning for a key access to the gate since it had been very inconvenient for us to get in and out all weekend. We were given our pass…finally and we went to work. Within a few hours, we began receiving calls from the office that we needed to immediately come in and pay our balance in full. I explained it should have been paid and that we were not there and the language barrier made it difficult to get her to understand, she became extremely ruder by the minute. There were other instances that we were met by extremely rude workers as well.

Even though it was a very well manicured park, we would not recommend it to anyone. Customer service is always at the top of our list and this place was lacking any sort of respect and common sense when dealing with the public.

Pets are permitted on leash only and are not to be left unattended in the campground or allowed in pool area or any public buildings. There policy must be strictly enforced since we did not see any issues involving pets.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Miami Beach Antique Show

Another new experience that worked out fantastic. This is what we have been attempting to do for the past 6 years living this lifestyle and we have finally done it. We are working many shows this season with Scootaround including our first one for this season at the Miami Beach Antique Show in Miami Beach, Florida.

Our responsibilities include renting the scooters, many already have reservations, but many are walk-ups. I, Kimberly handles all the paperwork part of the job and Jerry prepares the scooters and handles the tutorials given to the riders.

We both assist in loading and unloading the scooters from the trucks and get them prepared for rental at each show. It is a good company to work for, they are based out of Canada, but we also have an exceptional manager here in the States that makes this company even better to work for and we are excited to be onboard with them for many more shows this year.

Working this show has been more challenging then any of the others we have done in the past. Mostly, because of the language barrier. Many foreigners attend this show and it is hard to give them a tutorial when they barely speak English, but we are doing our best so they understand and avoid any more accidents. Yes, I said “any more accidents”. Apparently, a woman ran into one of the showcases and took it down, even though there was a lot of damage, luckily, it was a showcase that didn’t have too much breakable product, unlike some that are filled with exquisite crystal.

Just to give you some idea for those who have never been to an antique show, there are millions of dollars in items out there in the booths.

The security is everywhere. One customer said there must be billions in diamonds and he may be right. I found a tennis bracelet with 4 rows of diamonds and one row of rubies draped like a snake over the diamonds, it was exquisite and a real bargain at $18,500. Jerry said he would have to think about that one. Where would I wear it, to the pool at the RV Resorts…NOT!

Once this show ended, our plan was to head to the Keys but the weather is threatening the 2 days we were to be there, so we changed our plans. We are heading to Kissimmee to hang out at the Sherwood Forest RV Resort to catch up on our laundry, cleaning and sharing our stories and photos before we enjoy our Dolphin Swim and Sea World this weekend.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

How Often Do You Commute?

Commuting has always been one of my biggest pet peeves.

One of the reasons many of my jobs prior to traveling full-time were jobs that could be done from home. Major corporations used me as a guinea pig many times to see if positions could be done from home, I loved testing each one of them. Many times I researched work that could be done from home and then got the experience needed to do that type of work. It was always my main objective to work from home. Another reason that writing and photography is in my blood and we find every opportunity to do it as my life work since it can always be done from the road. Then, throw into the mix this lifestyle, where many jobs are actually done by walking out of your home and you are immediately at work has added to my loving no commuting.

Unfortunately, this show did not allow us that luxury. When we accepted this position, we searched high and low for a decent campground within the area where we would be working the Miami Beach Antique Show. What we finally found was one located 25 miles away, so a car rental was then the best option for commuting.

We were confident since the show hours were Noon to 8pm that traffic would not be an issue, BOY OH BOY, were we ever wrong.

The commute has been a nightmare, at times it took us almost 2 hours to arrive at the show or to get back home. The only good day was Sunday, the traffic was lighter so it only took us 45 minutes to get there, still much longer than we wanted it to take us.

I do not know how millions of people do it daily, the only thing that keeps us from losing it, is the fact that we are doing it for only 10 days…long enough for us!