Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10/31/2012 A Drive in the Other Direction

(Cocoa Beach, FL)

Today we had to find the local Home Depot.  Bob needed some things so off we went.  We traveled in the opposite direction of yesterday.

After making our purchases we decided to just go for a drive to see what was in the area.
We followed the Banana River and drove out on this peninsula with the river on one side and the ocean on the other and what we assume to be million dollar plus homes in the middle.  Very large, gorgeous homes painted in the palest yellows, pinks, creams, blues and greens and no two alike.  Perfectly manicured lawns and perfectly placed gardens and all the plantings complimented each other.  The kind of places that just screamed professional landscaper.  These homes and lawns were truly magazine cover worthy.  Bob and I just wondered what kind of job does one have to live like this.

On our way back I snapped this unusual looking tree.


Bob puttered the rest of the afternoon away and I was a slave to the laundry room.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10/28-10/30/12 Enough of the Wind Already!

(Cocoa Beach, FL)

Sunday and Monday we didn’t do much of anything.  The rain was gone but the wind was relentless.  We looked at the river and it was nothing but white caps.  Poor little birds tried to fly and were flapping their wings like crazy but just couldn’t get anywhere.  On the other hand the bigger birds looked like they were having the time of their lives swooping and soaring on the strong air currents.

Tuesday was a delightful day!  The sun was shining, the winds were calm, the air was warm.  Pure perfection in our eyes.

We had to get out of the house and went for a ride with no particular destination in mind other than the post office to get the voting ballots in the mail.  Nothing like waiting till the last day!

So off we went!  Out the main gate of this base and made a left.

First stop,,,,the beach!

Kickin’ our sandals off, it felt so good to walk in the sand.  What surprised me was how relatively small the beaches were here.  I guess narrow from water to dune would be a better a description.


Do you see the surfer?


This fella stood and looked long and hard, perhaps deciding if the water was just too cold for him or not.  He walked up the beach so we don’t know if he ever went in or not.


There were some on the beach, not many, and no one in swimming so I’m thinking being on the fringes of Sandy cooled the water considerably.


Having our fill of the beach we headed for downtown Cocoa Beach.  It was your typical beach town.  Lots of hotels/motels, condo’s, T-shirt shops, restaurants, bars and a surf shop on nearly every corner.

If you remember the 60’s TV show I Dream Of Jeannie, this is where it was suppose to take place.  The town hasn’t forgotten America’s favorite genie.


And of course there just had to be a street named for the show.


We went right through town and found the place where the cruise ships come in.  Here’s one that is getting ready to sail.


We only know this because as we passed it we could see lots of activity like stuff was be delivered and loaded on.  It will probably set sail in a day or two.

We turned around and headed back.  It such a nice day to be outside.  We spent the rest afternoon sitting outside reading and puttering around.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

10/26–10/27/12 On the Fringes of Hurricane Sandy

(Cocoa Beach, FL)

We’re told we’re on the fringe of Hurricane Sandy.  We’re told the center of the Hurricane is 250 miles away from us.  We’re getting high winds, bands of heavy rain and the river is a mass of whitecaps.  Needless to say Bob didn’t fish and I didn’t lay out at the beach.

By Saturday we knew that the hurricane was heading north and our attention turned towards Delaware because in on model Sandy was heading right for her.  Delaware is our home state.  Delaware is where the majority of our family and friends are.  Many more are in the surrounding states of Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, none of which were going to escape Sandy.

Our phones were quite busy during these two days.  Us calling family and friends about the impending Frankenstorm and them calling us to make sure we’re ok.

Early evening Saturday we finally got a break of the worst of it and the sun even came out, long enough to set.



Our site.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/25/2012 Getting Settled Day

(Cocoa Beach, FL)

Moving day once again.  This move is only several hundred feet though.  When we arrived yesterday we were told we could have a waterfront site if we would wait for a day.  Needless to say, we agreed.

The first thing I had to do was go change our site and get paid up.  We have decided to pay for one week to start with although we are already thinking that we may be here two.  Our daily site rent here in the Manatee Cove FamCamp is $18.00.

While I was in the office I asked the camp host if we should be concerned about Hurricane Sandy.  She said we would be fine that the storm is still 250 miles out to sea and if we get anything we will be on the outer fringes of it.  She assured me that she wasn’t even giving this hurricane a second thought.

At ten o’clock our new site was empty and we were free to move over.  It didn’t take us long to get backed in.  This is so nice!  We have water views out of all our windows.  We are backed up to the Banana River and we are a 15 second walk to the beach behind our place.

We took that very short walk to the beach right behind our site to check things outs.  Oh the fish were jumpin’!  Mullet fish were jumping out of the water which can only mean one thing, bigger fish were feeding.  Bob is a happy camper and I’m betting before the day is out he’ll be back there fishing.

Here is a picture taken from the side of 5th wheel towards the back.


It’s starting to get cloudy but the sun still peeks through once in a while.


Sure enough, Bob was fishing as soon as we got set up.  He didn’t last too long because the wind was starting to whip and the river current was getting swift.  The weather changed by the half hour it seemed.  The sun could be out and all was calm and the next thing you know its windy, dark and river is nothing but white caps.  Yet, we don’t have to worry about Sandy.  I hope that’s right.


Later in the day when things were once again calm, clouds moved out, the sun was out and the river smooth and I walked out to the beach and saw this.


A little while later I was sitting at the dining table inside and when I looked out the window there was another one.


A better look.


After dinner it was quite windy and bands of rain are coming down.  The river is nearly all white caps and our 5th wheel is rockin’ and rollin’.  You can bet we’re watchin’ Sandy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

10/24/2012 We’re On the Move!

(Cocoa Beach, FL)

It sure didn’t' take us long to get on the road this morning once we decided it was time.  It sure helped that we were already hooked up and that we took very few things out of their places last evening,

We did have one little thing that held us up.  This spider had built quite a large web between the slide and the side wall of our rig.  Evidently this spider has been quite busy because it has even trapped and completely wrapped one of those awful stink bugs.  Have you had a bad stink bug season where you are?


We’re headed south to Cocoa Beach.  Home of Patrick Air Force Base and beaches where magic lamps containing wish granting genies are found.

Heading south, right towards what is now Hurricane Sandy.  Well, maybe that should be what will hopefully remain as the fringes of Hurricane Sandy.

We had about a two hundred mile drive so we planned on arriving at the base around one.  We actually got there around one forty five because we stopped at every rest stop on the way to make sure the axles weren’t leaking.  Bob did find some oil but we’re hoping that is just residue from when the service tech filled them.  He did say that some spilled and that we probably would find some residue as the wheels turned once we left the lot,  Bob will keep a close eye on this over the next few days.

We finally arrived at Patrick AFB where we will be staying in the Manatee Cove FamCamp.


Now finding the FamCamp was a huge problem.  As is customary for this base,we had to first go the large vehicle inspection area.  Had we been a delivery truck we would have been searched but since we are towing an RV we were waved right through.  Bob asked which of the four lanes to take and the Airman told him lane three.  That was not the lane to take if one wanted to follow the directions in the book to the Famcamp.  However, we didn’t know that until after we were on this road and lost.  It took us another 20-25 minutes to finally locate the Famcamp.

Our first glimpse of the Banana River which the Manatee Cove sits on.


When we made arrangements for our stay they didn’t have any waterfront sites but would the next day if we wanted to take a middle row site for one night.  Well, yeah, we can do that!  Since we are going to be moving in the morning we didn’t even bother unhooking.

Our view from this site.


We walked around, met a few of the people who are here and decided that we like this place.   A lot!  We may stay more than a week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/23/2012 Repair Day!

(Jacksonville, FL)

This is the day we’ll get our warranty work done and we can finally be on our way.

This almost didn’t take place today.  I called our service writer, Bob, yesterday as he requested to make sure that all the parts came in as promised.  He told me that the axle parts arrived but the new ceiling fan hadn’t.  He gave me the number for Doubletree RV so that I could follow up and find out where it was.  I did call Greg, our service rep at DRV, and got his voice mail.  I left a detailed voice message and hoped that he would get back to me with at least a tracking number so we could know when to re-schedule our appointment.

After returning home from a run to the post office and bank I started an email to Greg to follow up also.  Before I could hit send he returned my phone call to let me know that the fan had been delivered and gave me the name of the person who signed for it.   Hmmmm.

I called Bob the service writer back and gave him the info I had.  We left it that he would check more into this situation and call me back.  As it turned out I ended up calling him just as the dealership was closing for the day.  Thankfully, he was still there.  Time had gotten away from him but he did find the fan so our appointment would stand.

Since we knew we would hooking up and moving this morning we did everything possible last night to get ready.  Everything that could be done was.

In no time at all we were at the dealership and un-hooked again.  Our service man, Paul Newman, yes, you read that right, Paul Newman, said that we would have plenty of time to go to breakfast while he made the repairs.

Off to Denny’s for breakfast we went.  I was disappointed in mine.  Bob’s breakfasts are just so much better!

Another trip to the bank was needed.  We had terminated our extended warranty when we traded the Cameo and the balance of the time left was prorated and the check sent.  It arrived in our mail yesterday.

So breakfast eaten and errands ran it was back to the dealership.  Paul was just finishing up the paperwork when we arrived and within minutes we were hooked back up and headed back to Pecan Park RV Resort.

We took notice when we arrived at the RV park that a lot of orange cones were set out blocking off reserved spaces.  This is a huge weekend coming up in Jacksonville.

It seems as though this is a huge college football town.  This weekend it’s the Gators vs Bulldogs, arch rivals.  Lots of Georgia license plates are being seen already.  When we stopped in the office to let them know that we would not be extending our stay the lady told me that this place will be party central this weekend.  She said there will more outside TV screens than ever before and parties will be taking place at a lot of the RV sites.

We did hear on the radio that the “RV city” is opening tomorrow.  RV’s can park near the stadium at a rate of $100.00 per night.  I can only imagine the party-ing that is going to go on there this weekend.
We didn’t even unhook the 5th wheel since we are going to be pulling at tomorrow morning.  One less thing to do.

Tropical Storm Sandy is starting to be a concern as we travel further south.  We’re keeping an eye on her for sure.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/21/2012 A Shopping Spree!

(Jacksonville, FL)

This Queen of Cheap is not happy!  We went shopping today and went on a spree!  Actually, a mini spree I guess because most of what we bought today are things we need.

First stop was Lowe’s to buy some lumber and battery packs for Bob’s cordless DeWalt drill.   Wow!  Those battery packs aren’t cheap!  Luckily, they were on sale at $20.00 off and with our 10% discount which helped a bit more we only ended up spending $93 and change for these packs.  We weren’t so lucky in the lumber department.  Bob wanted to get a 4x6x10 piece of lumber to cut for stabilizing blocks for the 5th wheel.  We use these so the the landing gear on our 5th wheel doesn’t have to extend so far and it gives a more secure and stable stance to the rig.  The only lumber they had in that size was pressure treated pine and he wanted a more solid wood for this job.  So we’ll find another lumber yard down the road, perhaps a real lumber yard.  We have some boards right now so it isn’t like this is a must have today.

Next stop?  Right next door to Walmart.  Now we have often called Walmart the hundred dollar store but today it was so much more!  Between beer, sodas, paper products,fresh veggies, a new scale and several things Bob needed for some projects he’s got going, well we spent a small fortune.  Four new movies didn’t help either.  The movies weren’t really that bad as they came out of the big bins in the middle of the aisle.  We used to get regular DVD’s out those bins for $5.00, but now they have Blu-Rays in those bins at $8.00 each.  So we left Walmart at just under two hundred bucks.  I didn’t want to go anywhere but home since we couldn’t spend anymore money there.

We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon sitting outside in the warm sunshine. 

Life is good.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

10/20/2012 A Trip to the Pecan Park Flea Market

(Jacksonville, FL)

When we checked in yesterday the ladies in the office told us that the Pecan Park Flea Market which is located just next door would be in full swing this weekend and that we should make it a point to go since it is Jacksonville’s largest flea market.

So around noon we decided to go over and check it out.  It was quite warm, already 81 and climbing, and we didn’t know if we would buy anything so we drove next door.  Actually, to walk it would have been quite a trek since we were in the back of this resort.


We started on one side and worked our way through the market.  It was your typical flea market.  Books, leather goods, veggies, used household items, old movies and music, a hardware store which didn’t carry any brands I recognized, several mattress outlets, clothing, new and used and the list just goes on.  We didn’t buy a thing but I saw a whole bunch of what looked like perfect condition hardbacks of James Patterson books.  He’s my favorite author right now and I grab every book of his that I can.  However, after hearing Bob talk about the weight we were carrying in the rig I thought better of trying to add ten new books to my collection.  It didn’t seem to matter to him that I would be getting rid of the paperback versions once I got a hold of the hardbacks!

A couple of hours of later we were walking back to the truck when Bob noticed this.


Yes, a shortcut into the resort!  When we got back over there we took note of where the opening was and it was quite close to our rig.  Who knew?

On the property there is a catch and release pond.


I thought Bob might have spent a few hours here but the humidity is kickin’ our butts for some reason and he doesn’t relish being outside without plenty of shade.

I don’t like waiting around.  Our appointment isn’t until Tuesday and we just have to hang around until then.  There really isn’t anything we want to see in Jacksonville so we’re just hangin’ out at home.  Talking to neighbors when we see them, which isn’t often.  A lot of people call this park home.  They live here all year round, have jobs, some have kids, this is home. 

Tomorrow we going shopping.

Friday, October 19, 2012

10/19/2012 Twenty Two Miles Down the Road

(Jacksonville, FL)

We moved a whole twenty two miles down the road today.  From NAS Mayport to Jacksonville.

We didn’t see any Navy ships going out on our last morning but we did see this Jenny.

We moved to Jacksonville, one exit away from where the dealership where are our repairs will be made.  We’re staying in Pecan Park RV Resort.  This is a Passport America park which means instead paying $42.00 per night, we’ll only pay $21.00.  They honor Passport America for six nights and that’s how long we’ll be here if all goes according to plan.  When we checked in I don’t know what happened but we were only charged $19.42 per night.  I ain’t complaining!

When we were here last week we had picked out a site only to find out today that someone came in after hours last night and took that spot.  Not a big deal really, the one next to it was open but it wasn’t as level.  We dealt with it.

It was pretty warm today, high 80’s and heading towards 90 and HUMID!  We just sat in the shade of the awning today and didn’t do much else after getting set up.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

10/16-10/18/2012 Just Livin’ Life


Tuesday….We were on the road, home in tow, for a twenty two mile drive to an RV dealership in Jacksonville.  We have an issue with an axle leak and have to get it fixed.  Bob has an idea of what’s wrong but because we are under warranty we don’t want to do anything to void it.  So we took the 5th wheel to get its problem diagnosed to Dick Gore RV World.

I had talked with the folks at this place a few days prior so that we could make sure they would work with the companies who supplied parts and built our RV.  It took several phone calls on my part to the companies involved but Donna in warranty did all she could to make sure our visit went smoothly.

We arrived on time for our appointment and Bob the service writer was working with us within minutes of our arrival.  In addition to our axle problem, our ceiling fan died and after determining that power was getting everywhere it needed to, a call to Doubletree RV had a new fan being shipped out the same day to replace it.

I feel very good that all the companies involved are doing their best to make sure the problems are fixed correctly and in the shortest amount of time possible.

While they looked into a few more minor things we wanted checked Bob and I went to get something to eat.  After breakfast for Bob and lunch for me at Denny’s we went to two RV parks close to Dick Gore’s for us to look at.  We have to be out of Mayport on Friday morning because of an air show this coming weekend and our space is already reserved.

Both parks were very nice but one had a definite advantage.  The one with the lake, think fishing for Bob, was $42.00 a night.  The one that is one exit away and also very nice and right next to a giant flea market is a Passport America park which is gives us 50% off for six nights.  Now which one do you think we went with?  That’s right, the Passport America park.  We’ll pay $21 a night in this park.

Our parts were ordered for the axles, the fan was ordered and a minor kitchen problem was fixed.  The parts should arrive Monday and we’ve got an appointment to get the work done a week from today.


Not much going on today.  It was cloudy and a pretty blah day so we didn’t do much.  We went to the NEX (Navy’s version of a PX) and picked up some things.  Some we needed, some we didn’t.


While Bob went in search of the local Camping World store I went outside to take pictures of pelicans.


A blue heron?




These aren’t the only things flying in these skies today.  The Blue Angels arrived for the air show this weekend.


I don’t know what spooked them but something got them all up in the air.



After awhile they all settled down again.


I met Jerry as I walked by him while he sat on the bench just watching the boats and ships float past.  We exchanged pleasantries and the next thing I know I’m sitting on the bench talking with this very nice gentleman who served in the Navy from 1958 to 1979.  He and his lovely wife, Patty, have been married 53 years and come here quite often.  Patty collects shark teeth so she enjoys beachcombing for them and he enjoys sitting on his bench, watching the floating traffic and meeting new people….like me.  I sat with him for about an hour and we talked about so many things.  You meet the most interesting people by happenstance.

The Blue Angels didn’t waste anytime after arriving to start practicing for the show.



We watched this Jenny heading out to go shrimping.


A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon to be sure.

After dinner, delicious crab cakes, we got as much done as we could to be road ready so that we can go to the commissary tomorrow before we leave.

We have so enjoyed our time here at Naval Station Mayport.  This is probably the best Famcamp we’ve ever been to.  You can bet we’ll be back here again, for the allowed two weeks next time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

10/15/2012 We Are Lovin’ Mayport!

(Mayport Naval Station, FL)

We are so lovin’ this place!  The people are nice, the view is fantastic and we’re in shorts and tees!

Even though we are in such a nice place we still have to take care of things like vacuuming, which I did, truck maintenance things which Bob took care of.  I did the laundry which was a joy to do here.  Free laundry,,,I love free laundry.

We watched a ship come in to port which almost a non event already for us as we’ve seen a few so far.

I am all about the pelicans right now.




That strip of land on the other side of the water is a state park.


For several hours its quite crowded with fisherman.


And then the tide comes in and with it being a narrow strip of land at sea level it gets covered at high tide.

See the cat in the middle of this next picture?


It lives on the small bait fish that wash up in the rocks and get caught in the crevices.  It’s a feral cat and one of two we’ve seen.

We sat out in the afternoon sun and watched this ship head out to sea.




We talked with one lady who schedules her time here according to what ships or submarines are coming in.  It seems when an aircraft carrier comes in the place is packed.  Its quite the show evidently with the sailors lining the decks as she comes into port.

With the decommissioning of all conventionally-powered aircraft carriers by the Navy, no carriers are presently assigned to Mayport. However, carriers do come into port here for repairs or perhaps to take on cargo/supplies.

Mayport has a busy harbor in that it can berth up to 34 ships and it has an 8,000-foot runway capable of handling most any aircraft in the Department of Defense inventory.
We also see a lot of these shrimp boats coming and going.  The locals, that is, the frequent visitors to this Famcamp, call them Jenny’s.  Do you remember what Forrest Gump named his shrimp boat?


Yep, we are lovin’ Mayport!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

10/14/2012 Hello Florida!

(Jacksonville, Florida)

We bid farewell to Hunter Army Air Field and more importantly to two friends.  Vito and Nora, thank you so much for the good times.  We look forward to seeing you down the road.

We didn’t have that far to drive today but it was not an easy drive by any stretch of the imagination.  Only 125 miles is what we should have driven.  I think it was closer to 170.  The problem?  Routes numbers changed recently and no indication that the routes used to be this one or that one.  Wouldn’t it make sense if that if you are expecting a great influx of visitors to your state, many of them first time visitors that are using a map printed last year, that you would make some signs that say, “Hey, first timer, we changed the route numbers four months ago, your maps are wrong now.  Looking for 9a?  Use 295!

So we finally crossed the border into Florida.


We are spending the next the next five days in Mayport Naval Air Station in Jacksonville.
We were very lucky to score one of the water front sites.  This is our view from the steps of our rig.


Here’s our rig nestled in the palm trees.


The name of this park is Pelican Roost and it comes by its name honestly.  There are pelicans everywhere!


This is a very busy water way in front of this Famcamp.  Shortly after we arrived this passed by.


Take notice of the people standing on the rocks in the picture below.  This made Bob very happy because they are fishing.


As I said we are in a Naval Air Station.  Ships come in and out of here several times a week and sometimes even several times a day.





The way the pelicans were following you would think the sailors were throwing bread off the back of the ship.


So why are we here?  This base is fairly close, about 20 miles, from the dealership where we are going to be getting some warranty work done.  Was there any place closer?  Uh, yeah, how about one that was only six miles away?  But…Bob can’t fish there and we don’t have the view there that we have here.  Which one would you pick?