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 29, 2011

Acting Like Children at Universal Studios

Our next destination was Orlando, Florida to visit Universal Studios and cross off yet another item from our “Life (Bucket) List“. But first we had a few stops to make, we are in need of another remodel in our rig, it has been way too long since our last one and we need our remodeling fix. We seen a commercial for a NuWave Oven Pro and just had to get one. We feel it may replace our oven completely, at least this is our plan. After we use it for awhile, we will then remove our oven but keep the burners so we can store it in it’s place.

We stopped at the Premium Outlets in Orlando where they had an As Seen On TV store and within seconds we found out that this mall is NOT RV friendly at all. We drove into the parking area still just trying to find the store and within seconds security was on us, motioning to us to follow him to get us out of there, we went back and forth with him trying to explain we need to run in and out but he kept insisting that we had to park literally a mile away in another area. We are 26’ and only take up 2 parking spaces, this was a weekday at 10am when the mall just opened and we were only going to run in to pick up our gadget and leave. Finally after some coaxing, he agreed and we parked. We were back to our rig after our purchase quicker than it took for us to coax him to let us stay.

While visiting Universal Studios we chose to stay at Fort Summit KOA in Davenport, it was the closest decent park that provided free shuttle service to and from any of the major attractions. Check out our review at RV Parking or Lunch (a new review website we are testing) for all of the details and as usual you can also find a separate post on our website.

The shuttle service was…well for lack of a better word…interesting. They use a local taxi company that provides a mini van with a driver. The driver is where it all went wrong…one of the drivers was not the best driver on the freeway, he drove within a few feet of the car in front, all the while looking everywhere but to the front. He took a call, a text and came within inches of getting us rear ended when another vehicle was trying to merge onto the freeway. Luckily this driver was only on for one of our trips, the other 3 trips we made were uneventful and were much calmer.

Universal Studios has two parks and neither is for the young or faint of heart. Many of the rides are intense and are simulators which makes spins, turns, and really jerk you around.

There were a few at the top of our list to ride, but unfortunately the one at the very top of that list was Jaws and they had it shut down for maintenance.

Even though we took one day at each park, we now realize that we could have done both parks in one day with a hopper since it was not a busy time at all and the longest we waited for any ride was 10 minutes.

That is until we made it over to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area and found out that is where everyone was hanging out.

It was so crowded that we had a hard time just walking through but Jerry had to ride the Dragon Challenge so we ventured in. We both love roller coasters, but the new ones now do way too much spinning and twisting for me so Jerry gets to ride them himself and after watching the video I created, you will see why I am very glad that I did not ride this one. Jerry’s opinion of some of the new rides has changed a bit as well, check out this video.

We tested the Meal Deal at each park, we paid under $30 per person, per day which included a souvenir drink container for refills throughout the parks. The food was nothing spectacular, but was abundant. Every trip through the line, you could choose a main course, one side and a dessert.

After getting soaked on a ride, we found this great invention and for only $5 for probably about 15 minutes of heated drying, it was well worth it.

Acting like children and having to see everything took a toll on our bodies, someday we will have to come to terms with the fact that our bodies are not as young as our minds, but until that day happens we will continue to do as much as we can for as long as we can and deal with all the aches and pains afterward, knowing it was all worth it. We had a great time and would definitely recommend it to others whenever they are in the area.

To truly understand our total experience, please check out all of our photos at our Picasa Web Albums.

Orlando SW / Fort Summit KOA

2525 Frontage Road
Davenport, FL 33837

With our KOA savings card, we paid $65.93 per night for a FHU pull-thru, including cable and WiFi. Our Verizon phone coverage was excellent as well as our MiFi use. The price was exuberant which we try to avoid as often as possible but there are certain areas that just get away with charging as much as possible. As far as worth the price, in our opinion NO RV Park or campground is worth that much.

Roads were paved but the sites were sand, gravel and grass but were level. The pool was heated and very well maintained, the area was big, and not too crowded at the time we were there since it was winter. They had miniature golf, horseshoes, a nice playground and a game room to keep the kids busy.

The store had all the conveniences you may need, they even serve some meals and it all had a really nice feel to it. They also offered dumping service and propane. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable regarding the activities in the area.

The laundry facilities were small for such a large park and the restrooms were kept sparkly clean even though we did not use either of them.

Even though the cost absolutely does not justify it and our next visit to the area, we will find other accommodations, we would recommend this park to others because of it‘s high quality of maintenance.

Pet Policy - Pets permitted at management’s discretion. One pet per site unless approved by management. Pets are not permitted to be tied outside RV. Pets must be walked on leash in designated areas only. Barking dogs will not be tolerated. No exotic pets. Pets are not permitted in cabins.

Funny thing about the pet policy…as we were leaving on our shuttle the first morning, a couple received a phone call that their pet that they tied up outdoors to the water faucet had torn it out of the ground. During this conversation, we could only hear his side but he was telling the person on the other line to just tie the pet to his bumper and they would be back later in the day to take care of all expenses. We were appalled until they finally asked the driver to turn around (we were only one block away) so they could take care of their pet problem. This should have been taken care of prior to us even leaving the area since the call came in minutes before we left. He even had the audacity to ask if the shuttle could drive him to their site, thank goodness the driver did not oblige this request.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Storms All Around Us

Whatever happened to correctly predicting the weather? I could be a weather person for all the good they do for us nowadays! They are crying “wolf” way too often that we have become desensitized about many of their warnings.

We remember the times many years ago when a storm approaching was something to watch and enjoy but now the media has put this terrible fear factor in every one of them that it is hard to just sit back and watch it approach. In addition, for whoever has been in their rig during any storm, you know how much the sounds emphasize even a tiny storm to the extreme. Now you have a scenario that is no longer welcoming but instead fearing the worse, then it passes and we are only left with regret that we did not take the moment to enjoy it.

We stopped listening to the news long ago for this exact reason, they inundate you with all the bad in life, well dang it, for all the bad things that happened in a day there were just as many good things. However, the media chooses not to emphasize the good, instead embellish repeatedly all the bad things. So we feel that if it’s important enough we will hear about it soon enough through our blogs and Facebook.

We do need to watch the weather while we are traveling and in new areas, but the media has moved into this territory and is making it difficult for us to just hear the facts. Too many times recently the weather folks did not predict a flood or like correctly, so now it is as if they are predicting a catastrophe in every storm.

The storms that blew by us yesterday were strong at times, the rain was hard, the lightening was intense a few times and the thunder was loud but was it as terrible as the media once again made it out to be? Absolutely not.

There has to be some sort of solution that can be reached without all this drama added to the weather reports. We use The Weather Channel online to get all we need to know about the upcoming approaching storms which helps eliminate some of the local additions of drama. We made a mistake yesterday and tuned into a local station regarding the impending storm because we had been listening to the scuttlebutt around the park. They are going to continue to cry wolf way too often and people will just stop listening and we all know what will happen then.

We turned off the TV, left the rig to do what we had planned. It began to sprinkle but we made the short walk to have the best Fried Chicken Dinner we have had.

The chicken was juicy and tender, the white gravy over the mash potatoes had just enough spice to be very tasty, the biscuit was warm and soft.

Then went to the Bee Hive and played Bingo and even won a jackpot. As for the storm, well it continued to rain, thunder, lightning and even some wind but we all continued to have a good time even though the weather persons continued to warn us about this threatening storm that passed us by without any damages.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pet Policies & Their Owners

We are not pet owners, we had been in the past but choose not to be in this lifestyle. We are not pet haters, we just get annoyed by pet owners who do not take full responsibility for their pets. It’s not an easy job but remember you chose to have a pet, so you need to follow through with your responsibility.

Why is it that people will get upset with us when we bring it to their attention that they are not taking responsibility for their pet? It seems lately that the irresponsibility is getting worse and many pet owners act as if they don’t have to adhere to the rules or better yet to use common sense when no rules are enforced.

We watched one man allow his pet to poo, then walked away. I asked him who did he think would pick up after his pet and he replied that the rain will wash away the tiny bit that his little dog left behind. The next day we stepped in a little poo from his little dog long before the rain was able to wash it away. Not acceptable behavior.

Another incident, we watched a lady walk her pet on other sites and watched him pee on there satellite dish, their sewer hose and a few squirts on other items on others sites. Then when she approached our site I stuck my head out and asked very nicely if she would kindly keep her pet off of our site and away from peeing on our things. She gave me a mad look and said that her pooch would not do that, I explained I just witnessed it and she huffed and went over to the manager who was standing in back of the office. She pointed and waved her arms but nothing ever came from it since the manager just walked away.

Another time we stopped by another’s site and started talking with them and the pet next door that was tied up outside and apparently not a happy camper began barking excessively. So much in fact that we had to leave because we couldn’t hear one another. As we walked past the pet owner who finally came out, she replied that her little yapper was just trying to get into our conversation, she thought it was funny and we did not.

This following pet policy is the best we have ever seen and the good news was at this park they adhered to it. We have been to way too many parks lately that either do not have a policy or if they do have one, they do not follow through on it.

Pet Policy - We love pets, but some folks give their pets a bad reputation! Pets should be kept on a leash at all times. Please use the pet walk and don’t allow your pet on other campsites. Owners are responsible for what their pet leaves behind! Please clean up after your pet. We reserve the right to exclude pets if complaints are received. Pets are not allowed in any building or in rental trailers.

This sort of policy is more like common sense and unfortunately some owners do not use much of it which leaves a bad reputation for all owners. That may not be fair but we have decided to speak up using a nice tone and not confrontational. After all we do not have any pets and should not be subjected to others who do not have responsible owners.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Another Great Day & We Have A Strange Question

We started off with having brunch with Donna & Stu at Denny’s. The conversations flowed as if we had known one another for many years. I guess we sort of do with all this blogging, Facebook and forums online nowadays. It’s amazing how often people only read one another’s travels on the blogs they keep and then when they meet it’s as if they have been friends forever. Now, that is not always the case, we have met a few folks that we did not click with but those times have been few and far between. We totally forgot to take any photos, but we are hoping that since we will be here for a few more days that we might get a photo of the 4 of us.

Now for our strange questions!

We bought a fresh mango from the farmer here at Bee’s RV Resort and waited for it to ripen. We have never ate a fresh one before so we were unsure how to cut it or how it was suppose to taste. We thought it tasted really sweet and juicy but were we suppose to peel it? Eat the skin? It was really hard in the middle, was that a seed? Is there anybody out there who has the answers and are willing to share their knowledge about mangos with us?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

What a Great Time We are Having

After traveling across country again and all the major traveling we have planned for this year, we had a serious discussion about how we really feel about all the traveling. There are times since Jerry and I are so intuitive with one another that I feel I have to hear it from him first because many times it feels as if he is just agreeing with me to make me happy. But, then I hear him talk about something and it is as if it came out of my mouth. This discussion was just that, we both agreed that we love the traveling and every once in awhile it would be nice to stay in one place a week or so and that is what we decided to do at this time.

We are settled in at Bee’s RV Resort in Clermont, Florida for one week and we are having a blast. They have so many activities going on but we are also finding time to relax and catch up on our writing. We took a walk across the highway to see some of the RV’s for sale, no Big Foot Class C’s to entice us so we just checked out the store and found nothing we couldn’t live without.

The resort has a local man set up a vegetable stand in an open area in the park weekly and his prices were not bad, so we bought some fresh, yummy tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, and a mango. Never tasted a fresh mango before but we have to wait for it to ripen to taste it.

Thursday evenings they get together in the recreation hall and play Pass the Ace aka Screw Your Neighbor but it’s the same game. They had 3 different tables going on and we were at the “funnest” table of them all. We all talked and laughed so hard, a few of us almost wet ourselves. What a great thing to do, meet folks for the first time and then hit it off so well it was as if we’ve known one another for years. We played 4 rounds with about 7 to 9 people at each round. Jerry and I were always part of the final four and I even won one of the pots. They play for nickels, so it costs 15 cents per round and I won a little over $1 which paid for our night. Woohoo!

On Friday they have a all-you-can-eat Fish Fry and Bingo follows. The place is a gold mine for them, it was non-stop people from 4pm to 7pm and they serve huge portions. They are right when they advertise, “If you leave hungry, we guarantee that it's your own fault!.“ They serve Alaskan Pollock either fried or baked, we tried both and they were both tender, tasty and left you wanting more. The Coleslaw was nothing special, they served an Chunky Apple Sauce which had the perfect ingredients to make it enticing. The French Fries were snappy but needed more salt and the Corn Fritters were not to my liking but Jerry thought they were good. For a good meal at under $10 we would recommend it.

After dinner we played Bingo, didn't win, our lucky ducks weren't so lucky but met another group of folks that we had a blast with, as the title states...we are having the time of our lives.

Throughout the years there have been several names that we see in the different forums or blogs we follow and Donna aka Froggi was always one of them. Lately, she has been hard to really follow since she has several different blogs but we have a tendency to always see her somewhere. That is just what happened here, she and hubby is staying at Bee’s awhile and we stopped and had a short visit with them when we arrived. We will try to get together during our stays but we are all staying pretty busy.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Renovations on Maggie

We researched our Captain and Co-Captain seats extensively for years and what always stopped us was the cost. It wasn’t the cost of the chairs that always bothered us, but it was the shipping and handling. Most companies were charging as much for the chairs as for the delivery of them, we were just not comfortable with that. Most places only had warehouses so we could not see the product prior to purchasing and that is why we leaned towards the Flexsteel brand for quality plus they had many positive reviews.

We did not need installation, Jerry is the man when it comes to any projects on our home. All we needed was to get them delivered without it costing as much as one chair was costing us. We checked with several Camping World’s but for the most part, they didn’t carry any in stock and would have to order them. We thought that would lighten the charges shipping to a retail store…not…their charge was phenomenal.

We went to a few salvage yards to find a set of used ones but that never turned out well either. Every time we were on a mission and every time throughout the years ended up in such frustration, we gave up on the idea of getting new chairs time after time.

Once again, another search began but this time with very different results. We found a company located in Pompano Beach, Florida that began with a simple email asking about pricing. We received an almost immediate response, then a follow up quote and before we knew it, the ball was rolling.

We were a bit concerned since we were clear across the country in California at the pumpkin lot and this quote had to be wrong. The prices of the chairs were the same as other places we had looked, maybe a little less, but it was the delivery that was unbelievable. The quote read, the delivery was only $128 for both chairs.

I immediately got on the phone with them so we could finalize the deal and he explained that since we were at a business location the shipping and handling would be as quoted. But, if we were at a residential location there would be an additional charge of $75, even with the additional charge, they would be less than half of what the others were charging per chair and this was for both. I had to ask him several times and read it over several times on the written quote.

Timing is of the utmost importance when traveling the way we do, he guaranteed we would have our chairs by the 19th of October. Even though we weren‘t leaving until the 31st , we gave ourselves enough cushion…just in case, after all we still needed to install them. The arrangements began, we ordered them, paid for them and then waited. Of course the thoughts of being ripped off or scammed continued to cross our minds since this all flowed so nicely, something had to be wrong…right? Wrong…those thoughts were far gone on the 19th when the delivery truck showed up with our perfect chairs in perfect condition.

We highly recommend Glastop Inc. located in Pompano Beach, Florida. They are very professional, dependable, reliable, and they are true to their words. What more can you ask from any company? Here is all of their information.

RV Furniture
429 S. Dixie Hwy E.
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
Telephone 954-781-8460
Fax 954-784-3024

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Three Flags RV Resort

1755 East SR 44
Wildwood, FL 34785
1/17/2011 - 2 nights

This is a Thousand Trails park that we paid $13 per night for a pull-thru FHU with our Coast to Coast membership. They had a $3 additional “Resort Fee” on top of the $10 we pay through our membership. This is becoming a more frequent occurrence during peak season in many locations.

They received a Five Star Resort rating, for which we are not sure how that rating is calculated, this is a very nice park, but not a five star resort.

Sites were grass and sand and very spacious, we could actually fit two of us into our space. There were very tall trees throughout the park but we were able to find one without any of them.

There are two separate parts of this park, the front part for the short timers and the rear for the more long timers, we were put in the front area. Many of the amenities were located in the rear area.

There was a big laundry facility that had ample machines that could accommodate many loads, we did not use them but at the time we were checking them out they were all available.

The recreation area was under major construction, they were renovating the entire interior with new tile and other items. We were advised that it would be completed by the following week. Our plan is to utilize this convenient locale once again while we are in the Florida area, so we will then update our review regarding this area.

The pool was at the front of the park, right next to the office area. There were restrooms attached but they did not have showers in them, plenty of room for them but none were installed, very wasted space. We did not locate the other restrooms for photos but will attempt to do just that on our next visit.

Phone coverage was excellent, we used our Verizon MiFi with full bars that worked wonderfully.

You can also check out this review and all our other reviews at RV Parking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Anniversary

Fourteen years ago today, we both married our best friends which has only made our marriage stronger than either of us could have imagined.

Some of our honeymoon dreams were to…

Own our business…complete.

Have a nice home where we could entertain our friends and family…complete.

Help raise our grandchild for his first 6 years of life…complete.

Have a home on wheels and travel our country…in progress.

Win a lottery jackpot…in progress.

Looking back, we could never imagine we would have ever accomplished so much in such a little amount of time. We continue to love each other more every day.

What we have learned through the years is…

To choose our battles wisely, especially once we began living this lifestyle…too small of a space to be angry for too long.

To allow one another to have their own opinions, even when we do not agree with them.

Never give up on our life and everything about our lives.

To understand that when we need to make ourselves a winner in any circumstance in our lives, we then make our partner a loser…something we have chosen not to do to one another.

To be open with one another and talk…but in the same conversation…to listen to one another!

The only materialistic thing we have left from our stationary life was our wedding champagne glasses. From the day we were wed to every anniversary, we toasted our marriage with those glasses. We have been surprised that they lasted this long due to them being glass and most of our things now are plastic. Well, last week Jerry broke his glass while pulling out another of our wine glasses…he cried. I, on the other hand knew that it was only materialistic and in no way showed how strong our marriage truly is. We made a pact that on our anniversary, we would drink from my glass and then break it and let it go…we did and life and our marriage goes on without our glasses.

Learning to accept the things we cannot change has been a huge learning experience and we are so ecstatic that when moments like this happen we don’t take it to heart and learn to move forward. We know that our marriage is strong because of what we have done throughout the years and not because of some glass that we shared for 14 years.

A special bottle of wine we picked up while touring Gruene, Texas! We love the sweet wines, this one is the sweetest white wine we had ever tasted, with a fruity but clear taste.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Casey Jones’ RV Park

185 SW Arrowhead Terrace
Lake City, FL 32024

We paid $19.50 with our Coast to Coast membership, $2 more than we paid the night before at a Camp Club USA membership park. First they charge $15 instead of the typical $10 charge, then they tacked on a $3 resort fee and $1.50 in taxes. It just doesn’t seem right but is becoming way too normal, especially in Florida and Arizona during peak season.

They escorted us to a fairly flat, grassy, pull-thru site closest to the highway with a picnic table. It was a full hookup that included cable and WiFi. Our Verizon phone coverage was excellent, including our MiFi.

We are always skeptical when we only receive a sheet of paper with the cable channels listed and only two rules, the speed limit and a pet rule stating, “If we poop, you gotta scoop!” We had a neighbor who tied their dog to their picnic table and with the sites being so close to one another, it was able to urinate on our rig. Really not responsible owner behavior and is not acceptable to us but seemed to be what many guests were doing and that we blame on management. They were friendly enough and the facilities were kept very clean and maintained but some rules are necessary for the oblivious people who need to be educated on campground etiquette.

It was not the worse place we have ever stayed but as far as recommending it to others, we would but only as a one night stay.

Exploring Florida

We have been traveling from San Francisco, California to Miami, Florida for the past 30 days writing our stories and taking photos along our way. What we need to do is find a way of traveling, writing and sharing them with our readers without making excuses. This year our plan is to travel extensively, work some, play some and learn to share our stories in a much more timely manner than we have lately. We will be backtracking in our blog to fill in our travel stories and keep up with our daily activities as we go forward.

Arriving in Florida, we are now ready to explore all the places we had always wanted to visit but never did. It seemed on any of the 3 other times we have been here in the past 6 years we arrived with barely enough cash left in our pockets to enjoy the area, but this time is different. Not only do we still have plenty of money, we also have 4 good paying jobs lined up before we leave here the first part of April.

Our plan while we are here will be working in Miami, Orlando, Daytona and Lakeland. We will be sightseeing the Keys, all the way down to Key West, Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and so much more. Any and all suggestions will be deeply appreciated!

We usually don’t travel in the rain, but we planned a short journey from Lake City to Wildwood, just over 100 miles, we opted to stay off the Interstate for most of the drive. We will hang out here for a few days, celebrating our 14 year anniversary tomorrow before heading south to Clermont for about a week to catch up on everything before the non-stop play and work begins.

If any of our readers are in Florida, let us know where and how long and we will make some arrangements to meet up.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Crossing Country

It’s been difficult to get back into the groove of traveling and writing. A challenge we are ready to work on and overcome since we have so many reviews we need to add to our blog and so many stories to tell.

The good news is we have begun our travels to Miami, Florida where the weather has been sunny, warm and dry. We hope it stays that way until we get there and thereafter since we plan to be there about 6 weeks, not all in Miami, but in the Florida area. The weather during our travels so far has been quite frigid, but dry.

We have until the 29th before we have to be in Miami, so we are currently in Texas and plan to spend a few days meeting up with friends and doing some sight seeing in San Antonio.

Thank you for all the warm, sincere comments regarding our situation with our daughter. Let us just say for now, we are fine and are working through our emotions.