Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Always Hard To Leave Family

Moncure, NC.

39 deg. 37 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny this morning...then mostly cloudy with a chance of rain this afternoon. Highs in the upper 50s. East winds around 5 mph.

It's always hard to leave family.

Jim and Linda went over to Mike and Gina's about 2:30 yesterday afternoon and spent the rest of the afternoon with them. They did a lot of talking about what plans everyone had for the next year and just enjoyed each other's company.

Then, a little after 5:00 they all went over to a Carrabba's Restaurant where everyone enjoyed very nice meals. They hung around there for awhile and talked, but eventually it was time to say goodbye. : (

As most of you know, this part of visiting with family is not the part you enjoy. In fact, it's downright hard sometimes.

This time, Savanna didn't want Jim go and just kept hugging him and wouldn't let go. It was really sweet, but it sure made leaving hard.

After they got back here, Jim and Linda put some stuff away and then watched some of the football game on TV before heading to bed.

Today, the plan is to leave here sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 and head to Virginia Beach. It should be about a 5 hour drive over there, (which is longer than Jim and Linda usually like to travel), but it seemed kind of like a waste to stop at one of the few expensive campgrounds along the way.

Did you know that turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns?

Happy Halloween!!!!!! ; )

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Stop At Piggly Wiggly and Brrrrrrr!!!!

Moncure, NC

34 deg. clear, no wind

Forecast = Widespread frost this morning. Sunny. Highs in the upper 50s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

The weather was really nasty Friday, and absolutely nothing worth writing about happened but yesterday about 11:00, Jim and Linda took CLT and headed back  to the Walgreen's in Sanford and picked up the rest of her prescriptions. Then, on the way back they stopped at a Piggly Wiggly Grocery store and picked up a few items that they were out of.

Everything went smoothly and by about 12:30, they were back here at the RV park and watching TV.

I don't think the temperature every got over 54 degrees yesterday, (that's the highest I saw on Jim's thermometer), and then it started to fall as the sun went down. As you can see above, it's now down to 34 deg. and I expect it will go even lower just before the sun comes up. : (


This afternoon, Jim and Linda will head over to Mike and Gina's to see them one more time. Then, tomorrow morning, we'll be heading for Virginia Beach to see Joe and his family.

Did you know that samhainophobia is an intense fear of Halloween?

Friday, October 28, 2011

More Preparations, Prescriptions and A Real Gem

Moncure, NC.

56 deg. overcast, NE wind @ 6 mph w/ 15 mph gusts.

Forecast = Falling temperatures, afternoon showers, NE wind @ 10 to 15 mph.

Everyone is talking about the weather and how cold it's supposed to get the next few nights. Some forecasters are actually talking about temps getting down to 31 degrees!!!! : (   Those cold temperatures along with fore-casted rain, is going to make for a very nasty next couple days!!!

Jim adjusted the air pressure in all of CLT and my tires yesterday. Then in preparation for the upcoming cold, nasty weather, he filled my fresh water tank, dumped my gray water and black water tanks and put away the hoses. If my tanks get too full, he can always get the hoses back out again and drain them before we leave here.

He and Linda also went to the Walgreen's store in Sanford to get Linda's prescriptions refilled. Again, there was a problem with two of the prescriptions. The new one that the doctor called in was the wrong amount of pills, and they were short on one of the other meds, so that they could not give her all of that med that she needed.

So . . . . . CLT will have to take them back there either after 2:00 today, or sometime tomorrow to pick up the rest. This is not a real big deal, but it is about 15 miles over there, so it will cost Jim and Linda 30 miles worth of gasoline for CLT.

While they were waiting for the prescriptions to be filled, Jim and Linda decided that they would see if they could find somewhere to get some lunch. Well, about 1/2 mile from Walgreen's, they found a little restaurant called the Brass Kettle Family Restaurant and it turned out to be a real gem. The waitresses were very friendly and good, and the food was very good. : )  It's been there for 25 years and it's one of those places where all the local people go to eat out.

Just the kind of place that Jim and Linda really enjoy finding during their travels. ; )

Except for possibly going back to Walgreen's, I don't think Jim and Linda have any plans for today. Mike and his family will be busy until Sunday, so I suppose they'll just "hang out" here.

Did you know that Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Getting Ready Early, SMI Update and Back To Mike And Gina's

Moncure, NC

54 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.

Another quiet day here at the Dickens RV Park. I had neighbors for a few days, but they both left yesterday and now there's only a few RV in this section. Jim did a few things outside to start getting me ready to head to Virginia Beach. You see, as of tomorrow, the bottom is going to drop out of the temperatures around here and they're forecasting a high temperature of mid 50's and lows in the mid 30's for the next 3 days. : (  And Friday and Saturday, the forecast also includes a 40% to 50% chance of rain, so he thought he better get some of the pre travel stuff done early.

Linda had to call her doctor up in Illinois yesterday to find out how the blood test turned out, (it was fine), and get a new prescription for one of her meds. So, until the doctor called the prescription in to the drug store, they couldn't go and get her meds. That meant they had to wait and will have go sometime today.

Oh, I wanted to give you an update on the SMI Air Force One toad brake system that has been installed on me and CLT. I haven't towed CLT real far and we haven't been in any mountains, but I have had to make a couple of quick stops, for changing stop lights, and so far, I'm really pleased with the SMI unit.

It seems to be working as advertised and I can definitely feel CLT helping to stop us when Jim applies my brakes, (especially when making a quick stop).  It's really easy for Jim to hook up. There's just a small air hose that goes between CLT and myself, along with a little cable to the break-away switch, so there is very little difference in the hook-up time.

So far, so good. : )

Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to Mike and Gina's again last evening for dinner. Linda got busy helping Brenna and Savanna with a project so they didn't get back here until almost 9:00. Tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, Mike and his family are going to be busy so Jim and Linda won't be seeing them until Sunday. Then they'll go over to Mike and Gina's sometime in the afternoon and then go out to eat at a restaurant for dinner.

It's hard to believe that we've been here almost 2 weeks already. It's time for us to head to Virginia Beach though and then head South before the weather gets too nasty up here. I think by the time we get down to Florida, we'll have had enough cold weather and will enjoy the warmth. ; )

Did you know that the first miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville, NC?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Almost Didn't Post

Moncure, NC.

40 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the mid 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

I didn't post yesterday and almost didn't post today because there hasn't been much happening around here, and I don't have much to write about.

During the last 2 days, Jim and Linda have just been doing normal things during the day and then, in the evenings, they've been taking CLT and heading over to Mike and Gina's house for a few hours.

The weather has been really nice so Jim has been spending some time outside during the days. Yesterday, he talked to one of the neighbours for awhile and then got rid of a few boxes from my basement compartments by condensing a few items.

Meanwhile, Linda has been doing laundry working on her latest embroidery project, working on her family tree program and getting a desert or vegetable ready to take over to Mike and Gina's for dinner.

Of course they've both been able to get in a little nap during the afternoon too. ; )

Today, I expect more of the same, except that it's getting close to the time for Linda to get her prescriptions refilled, so they may go and do that. Then this evening they're heading back to Mike's for dinner again.

Like I said, nothing much happening.

Did you know that Krispy Kreme Doughnut was founded in Winston-Salem, NC?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Great Day

Moncure, NC

44 deg. heavy fog, no wind.

Forecast = Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s. West winds around 5 mph.

Mike, Gina, Brenna Savanna and Dillon arrived a few minutes after 12:00, and the first thing they did was come inside to see me!! : ) I think everyone liked me as I heard a lot of nice comments as everyone looked around.

After everyone had finished looking, Jim and Mike went outside and fired up the grill. Then, after the fire was going good, Jim cooked some polish sausage and hot dogs, while Linda finished up the green bean casserole and got out the raw vegetables, chips, dip and drinks. Oh, and also some pudding and jello for desert. ; )

Then, being that there aren't any picnic tables here, when the food was done, everyone came inside of me to eat.

After everyone was done eating, it was time to PLAY!!!!

Savanna, Dillon and Brenna tried out the swings first.

Then it was time for Brenna, Dillon and Savanna to play with the tetherball while Mike watched.

While the kids and Mike were playing, Gina relaxed a little.

While all this was going on outside, Blaine was having a nice conversation with Pooh Bear. ; )

It was sure good to meet Mike and his family. The weather was really nice and it was a great day!!! I'm hoping that maybe I'll get to see them again before we leave here in a week.

A Point to Ponder : Why in baseball is it called the World Series if it is only played in the U.S.A. and Canada?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our Schedule, The Kids Are Coming and Ray's Grocery Store

Moncure, NC.

42 deg. heavy fog, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 60s. Northeast winds around 5 mph.

Except for Jim and Linda getting ready for Mike and his family to come out here today, nothing much happened so . . . . . . . I thought I'd fill you in on what our schedule looks like for the next few months. Now, you have to realize that all of Jim's plans are written in pencil and even the reservations can be changed, but right now this is what it looks like.

On the 31st of this month, we'll be leaving here and heading for Virginia Beach, VA. to see Joe and his family. Jim has had strong doubts that he could get me into Joe's driveway and get me anywhere near level, so he has made reservations for me at Holiday Travel Park in Virginia Beach.

We'll stay there for 2 weeks before starting to head South towards Florida on the 14th of November. On the way down there, it's hoped that we can stop in South Carolina to see Anna, who lives in Beaufort, SC.

Then, we'll continue down to Florida getting to DeBary, FL. and the Highbanks Marina and Camp Resort, where Jim has made reservations for me starting on the 22nd of November.

We'll be staying in DeBary for 2 months.

From what I can gather, Jim and Linda stayed that the Holiday Travel Park in VA Beach for a few days, many, many years ago, and at that time it was pretty nice. Joe says that he thinks it a nice park and even knows the owners.

As far as the Highbanks Marina and Camp Resort goes, I've read Myrddin's blogs from last year and it seemed like he thought it was a nice park when he stayed there for a couple months last winter.

So, there you have it. That's pretty much what I will be doing from now until the 22nd of January, 2012. After that, the tentative plan is to head out West and end up in Portland Oregon sometime in the spring so that Jim and Linda can visit with another Son, Jeff.

Jim has been playing around with some routes out to OR, but as of now, nothing is finalized.

Mike called last night and said that the dance competition went well and the girls even received some awards. : )  He also said that they should be able to get out here to the park by about noon, and then the plan is to cook hot dogs, brats and burgers on the grill for lunch.

It should be a fun time!!!  ; )

Oh, I almost forgot!!!! Jim and Linda were low on brats so Jim took CLT and went down the road a few miles to Ray's Supermarket and found some polish sausage that will work.

Now, the reason I mention this is because Ray's Supermarket is quite the little place. It's in what appears to be an old gas station that has been added on to. It's not just a convenience store like you find in some gas stations, but a kind of quaint, fairly well stocked, country grocery store. They have everything from food to 2 cycle oil and even have a meat counter and large section of frozen meats. The guy behind the counter looked like he was ready to go on a hunting trip, but he really knew about the meats and products in the store.

Kind of neat! ; )

Did you know that today is "National Mole Day"?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Another Pretty Day and Something To Watch Out For

Moncure, NC.

40 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Patchy frost this morning. Sunny. Highs in the upper 60s. Northeast winds around 5 mph.

Yesterday turned out to be a very pretty day, but a cool one. It never got out of the 60's and there was a light breeze blowing, so it felt nice if you were in the sun and out of the wind, but cool if you were in the shade where the wind was blowing.

By the forecast, today should be much the same.

About 3:00 yesterday afternoon, CLT took Jim and Linda over to a shopping center in Apex. Linda was looking for some books for the grand kids, and Jim wanted to pick up some fluorescent bulbs for me. Then, because it was getting close to dinner time, they stopped at a Chilli's Restaurant and had something to eat before coming back here to the park.

I had kind of forgotten about something that CLT brought to my attention when he got back yesterday. I've noticed a lot of them lately and I thought you might want to be on the watch for them.

What is it? 

It's the "Weekend Trucker"!!!  You know what I'm talking about. It's the guy that has never driven anything bigger than a compact car who goes out and rents a U-Haul or other brand of truck for one or both days of the weekend. All of a sudden he thinks he's in a "big rig" and everyone else has to watch out for him. He blasts down the road with no idea how long it would take him to get that truck stopped if someone pulled out in front of him, he swings around the corners, either taking up multiple lanes, or running over the curb, and tries to "bully" his way when merging into traffic. Oh, and where does he park his "big rig" truck??? Anywhere he wants to because he's bigger than everyone else and they can just see how they can get around him!!

He's a "Weekend Trucker"!!!!

Now don't get me wrong, not everyone who rents a truck is like this, but I'm sure you've seen the type I'm talking about. Many renters are very careful and realize that they are driving a larger vehicle than they're used to, and I've no problem with them.

OK, enough jabbering about that!

Tomorrow Mike, Gina, Brenna Savanna and Dillon are planning on coming out here to the RV Park to see me. So, I'm hoping that today, Jim and Linda will do a little cleaning and straightening up of stuff in me so I can make a good first impression on them when they come. I don't need too much work but I have noticed some dust and my floors need a good cleaning.

Oh, and my "little room" needs some attention too. ; )

One more thing. Dave, (one of the Illinois Bunch), who had heart surgery is home from the hospital and seems to be doing well. He sent an e-mail to Jim the other day and he said that there were some problems while he was in the hospital, but everything seems to be OK now. Also, the doctors seem to think that if everything goes according to plan, he and Dee Dee should be able to head down to Florida as scheduled.

That's really good news!! ; )   Take care, Dave.

Did you know that North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Test, Groceries, Chinese and Irish

Moncure, NC

39 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s. West winds around 5 mph.

As was forecasted, it was cool and windy yesterday, so not many people, (including Jim), were out and about much. Jim and Linda  did take CLT and head down to Sanford, NC though, to get Linda's blood test and to pick up some groceries. Everything went well, and in a couple of hours CLT was rolling up along side of me here in the park.  : )

On the way back here, they stopped at a Chinese take-out place called  "No. 1 China", and bought some food for dinner. While they were eating it, they both said that it was very good and would remember the place and go back again. : )

Oh, the reason that they bought the Chinese food instead of going to Mike and Gina's, was that Mike and Gina had a meeting to go to and wouldn't be home. Also, this afternoon, they are taking the girls, (Brenna and Savanna) and heading to Charlotte, NC so that the girls can compete in an Irish dance contest.

The contest is actually tomorrow, but by getting there today, they will be ready to start competing  in the morning.

So, . . . . Jim and Linda will have both today and tomorrow to do whatever they want to do. Then, on Sunday, Mike and his family are planning on coming out here to the park to see me. ; )

A Point to Ponder : Are there female leprechauns?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

There Was A Change In The Weather

Moncure, NC.

45 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny and breezy. Highs in the lower 60s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.

Well, as expected, the news around here is the weather. After having many days of great weather, it rained almost all day yesterday and then last night a cold front came through with quite a bit of wind and much colder temperatures. In fact they even issued some tornado watches and warnings for areas South and East of here.  : (

Because of the nasty weather, Jim and Linda didn't even go out except to head over to Mike's at about 4:40. CLT says that the drive over there is kind of nice as they have been taking back roads that are not busy at all, even though they're traveling when it's the time when people would be getting off of work.  : )

Don't know what's going to be going on today. It's supposed to be pretty windy and that may affect what Jim does because I understand he doesn't really like to be out in the wind much. One of these days, Linda needs to get a blood test to be faxed back to her doctor in Illinois. And, I know that they're just about out of bread and milk, so they need to do a little grocery shopping soon.  So. . . . . maybe they'll do one or both of those things today.

Or Not!! ; )

Oh, I got a comment from my friend, "Big Herb", and it sounds like he's having slide problems too!!  : (   I hope Roland can get him repaired so that he can head down to his winter spot in Frostproof, Florida.

Did you know that the University of North Carolina's mascot, the Tarheels, is a nickname for North Carolinians that supposedly came from the days when NC produced a lot of tar, and someone saw a set of footprints made by someone who had stepped in the tar?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Neat Sunrise, A Little About The Weather and Some Views Of The Park

Moncure, NC

60 deg. overcast, rain showers.

Forecast = Scattered thunderstorms. Widespread showers...mainly this morning. Highs in the upper 70s. East winds 5 to 10 mph... becoming south 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph this afternoon. Chance of rain 80 percent.

The first thing I want to show you is this picture of a great sunrise we had yesterday morning. I thought it was kind of neat the way the trees were silhouetted.

I haven't mentioned the weather lately, probably because it's been really nice with highs in the mid 80's and lows in the 60's ever since we left Callahan. Yesterday was great too, but then in the evening, it started to rain and it rained off and on all night. Today, there's supposed to be a cold front coming through and tomorrow they're forecasting highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's. And, that's supposed to last for almost a week. : (

Jim did take a few pictures of the RV Park here in Moncure yesterday. This fist one is of the sign out by the road.

This one is a view looking into the park from the entrance and the second one is of CLT and I on our site.

As you can see, it's nothing fancy, but like I said yesterday, it's fairly close to Mike and Gina's house, I do have good hook-ups and yesterday I found out that the RV Park has wi-fi and I've got access to a very strong signal.  : )

This is a shot, looking from the road where the sign is, of the other section of the park. There are a few trees over there, but nothing that would shade any of the sites.

Jim and Linda took CLT and went to Mike's again last evening. They're really enjoying being with Mike, Gina and the kids again, and spend most of the time talking and catching up on what's been happening since they were here back in the spring. : )

Oh, I found out that the plan is for them to come out here to the park this Sunday!!! : ) That will be great.  I'll finally get to meet them!!!

A Point to Ponder : If the energizer bunny attacks someone, is he charged with battery?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SC to NC and My Home For The Next Two Weeks

Moncure, NC.

56 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. South winds 5 to 10 mph.

It was right at 10:00 again when we pulled out of the Bass Lake CG near Dillon yesterday morning. We got back on I-95 and took it North for just a few miles until we crossed into North Carolina where we turned off at exit #1.  At exit #1, we picked up US 501 and brought it up to Aberdeen, NC, where we turned NE on US 1. 1 then brought us up to Moncure and the Dickens RV Park, where I'll be staying for the next 2 weeks.

It was just noon when we pulled into the park, so it took us almost exactly 2 hours to travel the 101 miles up here. Not too bad considering that over half of the trip was on 2 lane roads. : )

Dickens RV Park is nothing special. In fact, it's mostly gravel and there's very little grass. There's a few trees, but nothing to provide any shade in the area that I'm in and a few of the roads in the park could use some grading.

However, I do have a large, fairly level pull-through site, with full hook-ups, 50 amp electric, and it's only costing Jim and Linda $15 a night, Passport America rate!! : )  On top if that, the owner seems really friendly and laid back, most of the other RVers in the park seem to be gone during the day, and CLT says that we're only about 25 minutes from Mike and Gina's house!!

Oh, and they don't lock you out of this park at 8:00 PM like they do over at Jordan Lake SRA, where Jim and Linda have stayed at in the past.

So, like I said, this will be my home for the next 2 weeks. Like last night, Jim and Linda will be taking CLT and going to see Mike, Gina, Brenna, Savanna and Dillon during the evenings, and then I'm hoping that they can come out here to see me on the weekends so that I can get to know them.

Did you know that the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Still In South Carolina and Wishing Dave A Speedy Recovery

Dillon, SC

55 deg. clear, S. wind @ 6 mph.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Not a real lot to report today. We left the New Green Acres park in Walterboro about 9:50 yesterday morning and continued North on I-95.  137 miles and 2 hours and 35 minutes later, we were pulling up to the office at the Bass Lake Campground here in Dillon, SC.

It was a short travel day, but our next stop is at a Campground over by Apex, NC and that's another 2 hours away, and that would have made, (for Jim and Linda), a fairly long travel day.

Besides, Jim had called the CG over there the other day to make sure that there were sites available and told them that we wouldn't be there until today.

The Bass Lake CG is very nice and well maintained, but again sits right along side of the Interstate, so that there's constant road noise. The couple running the CG are very nice and even led me to my site and made sure that I was happy with the site.

The site I have is a pull-through site that's long enough that CLT didn't have to be unhooked. There's not a whole lot of shade here, but some areas of the CG have lots of shade, if that's what you're looking for. It's a Passport America Park, so even though it's a full hook-up site with 50 amps, it only cost Jim $17.44 for the night. : )

On a different note . . . . . Jim, Linda and I want to wish Dave, (one of the Illinois Bunch), a speedy recovery from the triple by-pass surgery that he had this last Wednesday. It sounds like the operation went well but now the recovery begins and I would guess that part is going to be pretty hard for Dave as he is a very active person.

Take care Dave.  Get well, we'll see you down in Florida. ; )

Did you know that Duncan Park Baseball Stadium in Spartanburg is the oldest minor league stadium in the nation?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back On The Road, Florida To South Carolina

Walterboro, SC.

54 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. North winds around 5 mph... becoming east around 5 mph this afternoon.

We left Kelly's Countryside RV Park about 9:45 and headed South for a few miles to Callahan, where we turned East on Rt. A1A, which took us over to I-95. Once to 95 we turned North and followed it up through Georgia and all the way up here to Walterboro, SC and the New Green Acres RV Park.

I expected Jim to pull me into a gas station when we got into Georgia, but he didn't. In fact we came all the way up here to Walterboro before he got me a nice big drink of diesel fuel. ; )  You see, he knew of a station here, and decided he would just wait until we got here instead of stopping along the way. Once I saw the prices here in SC, I realized why he waited to get me my drink. The price of fuel here in SC is about 10 cents a gallon cheaper than in GA and even more than that in FL.

The trip was for the most part, pretty easy. The road was good all the way and traffic moved along nicely. There was getting to be a lot of traffic on 95 by the time we got here to Walterboro though and I was glad we didn't have to go any farther as there were some pretty crazy drivers out there. : (

It was 1:10 when we got here to the CG, so we were on the road for 3 hours and 25 minutes, (including the fuel stop), and we traveled 188 miles.

The New Green Acres RV Park is OK. Linda likes it a lot because of all the very tall pine trees and Jim likes it because of the large pull-through sites, but it is right next to I-95 and if you sleep with the windows open, the noise could be a problem.

We'll make one more overnight stop before we get to the Apex, NC area where Jim and Linda's son Mike, and his family live. Jim says that we'll probably stay up by the South Carolina / North Carolina border someplace, possibly at a Passport America Park that he found while doing some research the other day.

Did you know that South Carolina entered the Union on May 23, 1788 and became the 8th state?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Comment On A Comment, A Business To Avoid and Plans

Callahan, FL.

54 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 80s. North winds 5 to 10 mph shifting to the east in the afternoon.

I received a comment the other day from Rod and Loyce Ivers which made me stop and think about repair shops. They observed that in the last few years, Creative Coach has been a lifesaver for Jim and Linda when a repair shop was needed for their RVs.

Jim says that he has to agree that they have been there for him any time his RVs needed repairs. In fact Lester, who is now mostly in the office, has been there for Jim and Linda since they got to know him way back in 2005. He solved a problem that Myrddin had on a trip out west, that about 12 other mechanics on the trip couldn't fix. And, he found the problem in less than 1/2 hour!!

Even though Lester doesn't do much of the mechanical repairs anymore, he's there at Creative Coach, and like this time, comes out and helps if the other mechanics aren't exactly sure of what to do.

Creative Coach definitely is not the least expensive repair shop down in Florida, but Jim has complete faith in them when it comes to repairs. They will not do work that is unnecessary unless you want it done, they will take the time to explain the different repair options that you might have and will go out of their was to help figure out ways to cut the cost as much as they can.

On the other hand, they will not patch something together. It must be repaired right. They have an excellent reputation for doing quality work and will not compromise.

I know that this must sound like a commercial for Creative Coach, but it's not. There are many other fine mechanics and shops all across the country and the point I'm trying to make is that if you find one of these shops or mechanics, go back to them whenever possible.

I will be traveling about an additional 1000 miles this fall because Jim and Linda decided to go down to Florida for my repairs before going to North Carolina and Virgina to see their sons and their families. But, by doing that, the repairs have been made to me by someone they trust and they can now enjoy visiting with family instead of worrying about weather the repairs would be made properly at some shop along the way.

Oh, and one other thing. I usually don't like to "bash" a business, but this must be said.

Jim wants you to know that he does not recommend that you do business with, or have any repairs done at R & S in Mahomet Illinois where Jim and Linda bought me. In the last few months, he has found that the repairs that they were supposed to do to me before the sale were mostly "patch jobs" which were designed to make it seem like I was repaired without doing the job right. There have been many things found where they had cut corners and Jim and Linda have had to have them repaired again. They also told Jim some things that were untrue about me in order to make the sale without having to do some repairs, and there was also some deception as to what equipment I have.  

Not much happened around here yesterday. Linda did some more laundry and Jim did some more re-organizing. Then for dinner, he cooked a nice big, juicy steak out on the grill while Linda cooked some vegetables inside.

Today we're going to head farther North. I don't know just how far we'll go, but Jim called Mike the other day and told him that we should getting to their area, (Apex, NC) by Monday.

Did you know that today is "National Grouch Day"?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Stuff Done, Kelly's and Cedar River

Callahan, FL.

60 deg. clear, W. wind @ 7 mph.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Both Jim and Linda got quite a bit done yesterday. Jim repacked some of the stuff in my basement compartments while Linda did some laundry. Then after lunch, they headed to the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Hilliard, (which is about 4 miles North of here), and bought a bunch of groceries that they were out of.

After they came back and had it all put away, Jim took a nap and Linda worked on her latest embroidery project. : )

Oh, Jim took a few pictures yesterday. This first one is of me in my pull-through site. If Jim would have pulled me all the way to the front of the site, there would have been room to leave CLT hooked up to the back of me, but the hook-ups were more convenient to get to if he parked me centered in the site.

This next one is a view looking back towards the office and clubhouse. As you can see, some of the sites in this park have lots of shade and others are open.

Last night for dinner Jim and Linda took CLT and headed into Callahan and to the Cedar River Seafood Restaurant. From what CLT tells me, he takes them there every time they come to this park as it's one of their favorite seafood restaurants.

After they returned, the rest of the evening was spent watching TV and relaxing.

A Point to Ponder : Why do we say "bye bye" but not "hi hi"?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back On The Road

Callahan, FL.

67 deg. mostly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy with slight chance of showers in the morning...then partly cloudy with slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

It took Jim  a little longer than usual to get CLT hooked to the back of me. He had to make sure that the air hose from my brake system was routed so that it didn't get hung up on anything while I made turns or went through dips or over humps. Then, there was also the little cable from the break-a-way switch that had to be attached to the back of me and needed to be routed also.

Even with the extra time spent doing all of that, we still pulled out of the parking lot at Creative Coach a little before 9:00. : )

After returning to I-4, we headed back towards Tampa where we turned North on I-75 and retraced our route back up to Ocala. Just North of Ocala, we turned East on Rt 326 and took it for a few miles until we came to US 301 where we turned back North. 301 then brought us all the way up here to Kelly's Countryside RV Park, which is a few miles North of Callahan and right on US 301.

I had never been to this park before, but I can sure see why Jim and Linda like it so much. The folks here are very friendly, they have sites of all sizes to accommodate just about any size RV, and if you're just staying over night or for a few days, they even have some pull-through sites so you don't even have to unhook if you don't want to.

For Jim and Linda it was a pretty long travel day. It was 1:20 when we pulled into the RV Park, so we were on the road for 4 hours and 25 minutes and covered 232 miles.

Jim and Linda both felt that they needed a couple days to just kick back, do laundry and reorganize some of the things inside of me that needed to be moved for repairs. So, when Jim registered me, he payed for 3 nights. : )  That's just fine with me. It was pretty nerve wracking at the repair place, having to always be ready to be worked on at few minutes notice, and then at times, worrying about what they were going to find as they made the repairs.

Yep, I think 3 nights here in a nice quiet RV Park will be just fine. ; )

A Point to Ponder : If anything is possible, then is it possible that nothing is possible?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Would You Believe?

Lakeland, FL.

70 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 80s. Southwest winds around 10 mph.

Would you believe that the mechanics here at Creative Coach finished the repairs and updates to me yesterday afternoon? Yep!!!! By about 3:00, Glenn was taking me out for a test drive and then, (to my surprise), he drove me around to one of the other buildings in this complex and had 2 men give me a much needed bath!!!!

Everything on Jim's list of repairs to me has been addressed and the SMI Air Force One brake system has been installed on me and CLT. So unless something happens, we'll be pulling out of here this morning and heading towards North Carolina. and Virginia to see Jim and Linda's sons.  : )

If you remember, that's where we were originally going to go before I had my slide problems and other issues. : ( 

So, the plan is to leave here around 9:00 this morning and head up towards the Jacksonville area where there's a CG that Jim and Linda have stayed at before. (I think it's near a town called Callahan). We may stay there a couple days so that Linda can get some laundry done and Jim can get a few thing reorganized in my basement compartments and the back of CLT.

Did you know that today is International Top Spinning Day?

Monday, October 10, 2011

One Week and Lots Of Rain

Lakeland, FL.

68 deg. overcast, S. wind @ 5 mph.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy with numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent

We have had way more rain over the weekend that was needed. Saturday morning was OK but windy and then in the afternoon it started raining quite hard and didn't quit until about the middle of the afternoon yesterday. There was water standing everywhere and there was quite a bit of flooding in the area.

Well, it's been one week since we've arrived here. I'm hoping that it won't be another full week before I get out of here and get back on the road. Oh, it's not bad here but it sure isn't like being in an RV park.

I finally got one of the pictures that Jim took to load. I have a really slow connection and it took forever, but I finally got it.

This is the parking area around behind the shop. There are big doors going into the shop between the first and second RVs and another one just to my right side. All of us RVs are hooked up to electric and there are a couple water faucets on the side of the building where we can hook up to fill our tanks. In order to dump though, we have to be moved around to the other side of this building where it's possible to dump into the buildings sewer system if necessary.

I don't know exactly what still needs to be done to me. I know there's a few small items and my rebuilt alternator needs to be re-installed. Jim is having the guys here install the SMI braking system on me and CLT, so that still needs to be done. But, I don't think that there's really any more big items that need to be looked at.

Maybe I can get out of here in a few days. : )
Did you know that Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906, and became a federal holiday in 1937?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Somewhere Between Yeow!!!!! and Zapp!!!!!

Lakeland, FL.

68 deg. scattered clouds, N. wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms in the morning...then numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Windy. Highs in the lower 80s. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph becoming east 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Yeah, I'm still here in Lakeland, and will be for awhile yet. The mechanics here at Creative Coach have been working on me every day, and have gotten quite a few things done.

I'm hoping that my slide issue seems to be taken care of. Nothing major was found but it was decided that some minor adjustments were needed and there was a broken brace at the bottom of the slide that was repaired, although they didn't think that it was the cause of the slide hanging up.

Another item that was an issue was some hoses that go from my engine to the Aqua Hot furnace. They are used to carry engine antifreeze to the furnace and back again to heat my engine for starting it when the weather is cold. They were leaking near the furnace and when Dan checked them out, he found that they were hard and cracked all the way from the furnace to my engine and would have to be replaced instead of just splicing in a new section at the furnace.

It was a really big job removing and installing the near 60' of hose that ran along the inside of one of my frame rails.

In my last post, mentioned that it was determined that my tires needed to be replaced. Well, as of yesterday, I now have 8 brand new Michelin tires. The tire man brought them yesterday and changed them right here  where I'm parked.  He was very good and was very careful not to scratch my aluminum wheels while changing them.

Now, being that I'm 45' long, and weigh a lot, I have to have very large tires to carry the weight. Well, large tires means expensive tires and I'm sure some of you want to know how expensive they were. Well, I don't have the exact figure, but it's somewhere between Yeow!!!!! and Zapp!!!!!

Jim says that in order to have enough money to buy diesel fuel for me, he and Linda will have to eat bread and water for the next few months!! ; )

The weather here has been pretty nice, but wouldn't you know it, it has changed for this weekend. The forecast all the way through Monday is for lots of rain and strong winds. : (  I guess Jim and Linda will be staying inside of me for a few days.

Did you know that today is "National Pierogi Day"?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Repairs Coming Along Nicely, But An Unexpected Expense

Lakeland, FL.

65 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Partly cloudy. Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Dan, one of the mechanics here at Creative Coach has been doing a lot of little things to me. I had a couple compartment doors that needed adjustment and he adjusted them, my right windshield wiper linkage was worn, so he removed it and has new linkage on order, my inverter/converter remote didn't work so he repaired it. As far as major items, he has worked on my kitchen/living room slide and has it working, worked on my main awning and seems to have that working, (except for a minor adjustment that still has to be made), and yesterday, changed the fan belt on my big Onan generator, (Which was a very big job).

One big item that neither Jim nor Linda were expecting was that upon inspection, sidewall cracks were found in 4 of my tires. : (   Now, the reason that this was unexpected is that when I left Rantoul, there were absolutely no cracks in my tires. This is known because before Jim and Linda even purchased me, Jim checked the date codes and did a very good inspection of the tires.

The consensus seems to be that because I sat for quite a long time on the dealers lot, out in the sun, the tires dried out and once we started traveling, they cracked. : ( 

Jim and Linda decided that they didn't want to take any chances of having a blow-out while driving down the road and possibly doing major damage to me, or even getting into an accident. So . . . . . it was decided that they would buy all new tires for me.

It's going to cost them a bundle, but they think that the safety factor of having new tires is well worth the cost.

Jim has been watching and learning about me as the mechanics have been working on me. They don't seem to mind when he watches and asks questions and in fact Dan seems to welcome him being there and occasionally helping out by holding a part in position or getting a wrench or bolt for him.

Jim has taken a few pictures in the last few days, and I'll try to get a few posted here but for some reason the Internet connection around here is very flaky. Some times, like so far this morning, everything goes along nicely, but then all of a sudden I'll lose the signal. Sometimes I can get right back on but other times I can't and have to wait until sometime later to get reconnected. : (

Did you know that by the time the first Spanish conquistadors arrived, there were over 250,000 Native Americans living on the peninsula which is now Florida?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Williston to Lakeland and Let The Repairs Begin

Lakeland, FL.

61 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 80s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

I was going to post to this blog yesterday morning, but before I pressed the first key on this computer, I found out that we were leaving early and there wouldn't be time. : (

Not much happened Sunday. Kind of a "kick back" day. You know, football on TV, naps and just taking it easy. ; )  Jim did fill my water tank, drain my gray and black water tanks and put away all the hoses, so that, probably should have been my first clue that we were leaving early the next morning.

It was right at 8:00 when we pulled out of the CG in Williston and headed SE on Alt. US 27. Once we got to the Ocala area, we got onto I-75 and followed it all the way down to Tampa where we turned NE on I-4. 4 then brought us up here to Lakeland and to Creative Coach where the repairs to me will be made.

It was 10:25 when we pulled into the lot so it took us 2 hours and 25 minutes to travel the 140 miles down here.

As soon as we pulled in, Glenn, (the shop foreman), came out and asked Jim to unhook CLT from the back of me so that he could get me backed into a spot along side of the building. When Jim got CLT unhooked and parked, he took the list of repairs that I'm needing inside to give it to Lester. While he was inside Glenn parked me next to the building and hooked me up to a 50 amp outlet.

Jim and Linda had a nice supprise when they got here. The couple in the RV next to me were cooking a big pot of jambalya, and everyone here at the repair facility was invided to have some for lunch!  Well, about noon, they set up a table in the shop with paper plates soft drinks, plastic silverware, bread and the jambalya. Then, they put out the word that everyone should come and get some.

From what I could tell, everyone really liked it. This couple was from Louisana, (before they went full-timing in 2004), so they knew what they were doing. Many of the mechanics went back for seconds, and there was sill some left after everyone had their fill.

What a great thing for them to do! : )

Right after lunch, Dan, one of the mechanics, came out and  checked with Jim about some items on the list and then, began the repairs. He actually got quite a bit done and even put out my living room/ kitchen slide, which now seemed to work pretty well.

Today, I think he's going to work on the slide to try to find out what was binding up on it, and I'm sure he'll work on some of the other items on the list too.

Well, I'd better get off of here. I've already been knocked off line twice. I'll post more tomorrow if I can.

Did you know that October is "Squirrel Awareness Month"?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Barb and Sarah Come For A Visit and What To Do?

Williston, FL.

52 deg. clear, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s near the coast and around 80 inland. Northwest winds around 10 mph.

Jim and Linda did a little cleaning inside of me to make me presentable for the company that was coming. I wasn't real dirty / dusty inside, but I hadn't been cleaned up for awhile.

Barb, and her friend, Sarah, came about 12:30 and after showing them around, everyone sat down and had some of the casserole that Linda put together for lunch. The casserole along with some Hawaiian rolls seemed to go over well with everyone. : )

After eating and talking for awhile, everyone went outside and sat on the patio because it was so nice out. You see, we had a cold front go through here Friday night, and it reduced the humidity and cooled everything down a lot. In fact yesterday's highs were in the middle 80's instead of the 90's and the humidity was down to around 35 or 40%.

I don't know what I'm going to do with Jim!! Again, he neglected to take any pictures so I don't have any to post here today.  : (  Evidently the 20 lashes with the wet noodle didn't do any good, so I guess I'll have to find some other way to make him remember to get out that camera and use it!!!

Anyone have any good ideas?

After hugs, Barb and Sarah left around 3:30. After a little while Jim took a nap while Linda worked on her embroidery project. The evening was spent watching TV and doing stuff on the computers.

I'm sure glad that I got to meet Barb and her friend Sarah. They're both really nice and I think they liked me too. Maybe I'll get to see them again sometime. : )

Did you know that  A1 Steak Sauce is said to have been created sometime in the late 1820s by Henderson William Brand, the Chef to England's King George IV? The king was so pleased with the new sauce, he proclaimed it ‘A number 1’ - or ‘A1’ for short.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Twenty Lashes With A Wet Noodle!!

Williston, FL.

66 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = Mostly sunny. Not as warm. Highs around 80. North winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph.

Twenty lashes with a wet noodle!!!!! That's what Jim needs, but I'll get to that a little later!!!

Jim and Linda took CLT and headed over to Wildwood yesterday morning. But, before they could go, they had to stop and get CLT a drink of 87 octane so he could make the trip. It's about 48 miles over there and CLT said that it took him almost an hour to get to their first destination, which was a Russell Stover Candy Store that Jim and Linda found years ago.

CLT says that It's a huge store and from the pictures that Jim took, it looks like it's full of wall to wall candy! ; )

They have candy boxed for all kinds of occasions from Valentines Day to Halloween to Christmas.

This picture below shows part of a wall where the sugar free candy is displayed and where Linda spent most of the time there, picking out varieties that she likes. ; )

After they had finished at the candy store CLT took them to a Denny's Diner to grab a bite to eat.

After eating, they went to Donna and Monte's house where they spent an enjoyable afternoon visiting and catching up on what's been happening since they saw them this last winter.

Now, this is why Jim needs twenty lashes with a wet noodle!! Yep, even though Jim had his camera along, he forgot to get a new picture of Donna and Monte!! : (   However, I did find this picture of them that he took last winter, and I guess it'll do.  ; )

Before they left, Donna and Monte gave Jim and Linda a whole bunch of canned goods and other food that they had gotten through some kind of program. They had more than they could use and gave them a whole bunch of good stuff. : )

Thanks, Donna and Monte. : )

Then, after h and h, (hugs and handshakes), CLT brought them back here. It was close to 5:00 by the time CLT pulled up in front of me and by the time Jim and Linda had all the candy and food put away, they were getting hungry. So, they heated up some of the pre-cooked pork patties that Donna and Monte had given them. Both said that the patties were pretty good and made for a nice quick meal.

Today, Jim and Linda's friend Barb and her friend are coming to see me. They should be here around noon or a little after. Linda is going to have a casserole ready for lunch when they get here.

Did you know that throughout history pork has been the most widely eaten meat in the world, and still is today?