Thursday, January 31, 2013

1/31/2013 We Hit the Road

(Midway, FL)

A phone call to service writer to find out if the leak was fixed and just not written up was made.  Bob emptied our tank with a bucket in place and everything seemed good and we were keeping our fingers crossed.  Just as we were done packing up and pulling the slides in we got the call that the leak was in fact fixed and that they would send us the paperwork because it had to be written up, entered into the computer and then printed.  Our service writer was very busy with people checking in for their service appointments so we agreed and just told her to mail it to us, we were satisfied just knowing it was fixed.
Its bittersweet leaving today.

We decided to not go to Zephyrhills to spend more time with Marvin.  As much we love that guy we just have to get out of Florida.  We have other friends we wanted to see while we were here too but that just isn’t going to happen.  So Karen, Cyndy & Walt, Bev & Dave, Bonnie & Chris, Susan & Paul, it just wasn’t meant to be.  We have to go, its what’s right for us at this time.

Our destination today was Tallahassee.  We reached that and Bob says he wasn’t tired so we went on to Midway.  We called ahead to see if there were any available sites and there was.  It was pretty much smooth sailing all the way and traffic was light.

We pulled into Big Oaks RV and could see immediately where they got the name.


We were told these oak trees, like the one pictured above were 600 to 700 years old.  “Big” doesn’t even begin to describe .

When I was doing the check in chore the lady behind the desk told me there was a storm coming in but I didn’t think too much of it.  While we were eating dinner the warnings running across the bottom of the screen were constant.

Soon the wind picked up and we started hearing things hitting the roof.  What sounded like big things.

Bob insisted we pack up and get out from under these 600 – 700 year old trees.  Yes, they had weathered a lot of storms but also dropped a few branches and the storm had even arrived yet. 

We quickly packed up and moved to an open area out from under the trees.  We had to sit in the truck for about 45 minutes and once the storm passed through we moved back to our site.

It was quiet the rest of the night.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1/30/2013 Enough! We’ve Had Enough!

(Seffner, FL)

We got our of the rig this morning by 7:45 so that our service could get right to work when he arrived.

We took our computers to the lounge and laid claim to our favorite table.  A cold front came through last night and it was a bit chilly this morning so we were satisfied to just stay inside.

People came and went all day and we talked with several who we’ve come to know these past two weeks.  Yes, others spend a considerable amount of time here too.  We’re not the only ones!

Around 4:00 Bob walked out to the service bay to see how things were coming only to find out our rig wasn’t there.  He found it in the middle of the parking lot, not plugged in.  To give credit where credit is due they always made sure we were plugged in because they know we have a freezer on board.  Granted a few hours was certainly not going to have things thawing but this is the first time this has happened.  No one had come to us to tell us that it was done…or it wasn’t, just nothing.  This didn’t exactly set well with Bob.

I went to our service writer to find out what was going on and she said that they had sent someone out earlier in the day to find a kitchen faucet so they pulled us out so another rig could be worked on.  We asked if we could be put in a spot for the night so that we could get set up for the evening.  A service writer we had never met before said that Bob should move us because she didn’t know how long it would be before a lot jockey could get to us.  She pointed where we should go and that was that.  This too did not set well with Bob, after all, we are the customer.  So we got it moved and it was a tight space so there was a lot of back and forth and a lot of measuring for slides and when he finally got us in he found that there was no electric available.  All that for nothing, we were going to have to move again.  Bob was not a happy camper.  Just as he was ready to pull the rig out his phone rang.  It was the service writer telling him that it turns out the guy couldn’t find a faucet and they were going to have to order one.  It would take 5 – 7 days to have it shipped.  Now Bob is really not a happy camper.  Two minutes later he had made a decision.  We were done.  He would put the new faucet in.  No more.  What wasn’t done could wait or Bob would fix it himself.  I went in to let them know we were leaving.  Now.  The cleared our paperwork, gave us an exit pass for the gate guard and our two week stay at Lazy Days came to an abrupt end.

We went over to the Lazy Days Campground and things didn’t get much better.  We were given a site with a tree a little closer to the pad than what is ideal.  Actually, if just needed to be trimmed.  If we were smaller it wouldn’t have made a difference.  So there was a lot of jockeying for position in order to back the rig into the site.  To make matters worse there was a lady across the street who decided watching Bob was her new pastime.   She even made herself comfortable by moving her chair from the side of her trailer to the driveway where she had an unobstructed view.  Uh-uh, not good.  Nobody likes to be watched when things aren’t going exactly right to begin with and your mood isn’t the best either.  It started drizzling which is never a good thing when you have to set up.  I knew just to stay out of his way.  I had a feeling it was going to be a long night.

Bob read over the paperwork and there wasn’t anything on it about whether or not the service tech fixed the leak.   Oh no, we’re going to have to go back in the morning! 

This is a nightmare and I just want to wake up!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1/29/2013 Can Our Days Can Get Any Longer?

(Seffner, FL)

After getting done what I had to around the house this morning, Bob took me over to the lounge and then went back to wait for our service guy to arrive.  He had things to talk over with him after all.  Such as that new leak we found last night.
I touched base with our service writer to let her know about the leak and to let her know the service tech was aware.

I took two of the prettiest pork chops you’ve ever seen out of the freezer this morning for dinner.  Nice, thick pork chops.  I thought about them all day.

Bob and I hung around the lounge and sat in the truck and talked to the people coming and going all day long.  Our service tech wasn’t sure if we would be in the service bay or not for the night.  It would all depend on what he got done and at what time.  Because of this Bob didn’t want to leave the area.  It is just better if you are around when it comes time for them to move your home on wheels from Point A to Point B.  They let it down a little bit easier if you are standing right there.  Otherwise, they just drop them.  Literally.  We saw it time and time again.

We had another night in the service bay.  I couldn’t wait to get in there because I was going to cook those pork chops.  I was so looking forward to them.

I mentioned that I had a class on the microwave/convection oven and that I had learned how to use some more of the features.  I actually like cooking with it now.  I did one of those marinated pork loins last week in twenty two minutes and it was cooked to perfection!  So I seasoned these pork chops and got them settled into the glass pan while the oven preheated.  Normally, Bob would have cooked these thick chops on the grill but there is no way we’re digging that out now while we are in a service center.  I had the rest of my meal planned and popped the pork chops in when the bell went off.  I did the conversion for time and set that.  Oh my mouth was watering at the mere thought of tonight’s dinner and Bob mentioned more than once how hungry he was.   I had the side dishes made and the salad made and the bell went off for the oven and when I opened the door the smell of those pork chops, well, quite frankly, nearly gagged me.  Burnt to a crisp pork can do that to you, ya know?  What the heck?  These chops were now less than one half of their original size and so hard I wouldn’t give them to a dog as a chew bone for fear of breaking its teeth!  What did I do wrong?  I went back to my conversion chart on the computer to find out what I did wrong.  As a default there is 30 minutes on the timer section.  I put in 1 hour as the original cooking time and never deleted the 30 minutes.  Oops, my bad.  This is something I’m really going to have to pay attention to because my oven is cooking in convection and microwave at the same time now when I use these new to me features.  Of all things to cook when I make the first screw-up.   Darn I wanted those pork chops!  Well, we had pork stuffing, beets and salad for dinner.  It just wasn’t the same.

Hopefully, tomorrow they will finish up and we’ll get to leave here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

1/28/2013 Back in the Service Bay Again

(Seffner, FL)

We got a phone call this morning telling us that they would be picking up our rig at 1:00.  This is good.  This is very good.

Bob and I hung out at the lounge for awhile and then went for a ride just to get out of here. 

When we got back we found out that we would be staying in the service bay overnight because they weren’t finished and would work on it again first thing in the morning.
I had tracked our mail coming from Texas earlier in the day and we decided to go to Marvin’s to get it.  We wanted to check on our friend anyway because he was a no-show on Sunday because he wasn’t feeling well.  He was feeling much better and we collected our mail and a box we had delivered to his place.  We discussed how long we were going to stay in Florida because our original thought was to stay in a place near Marvin so we could spend a week with him.  We told him it would depend on how long we were going to be held up with service because we are anxious to get to Arizona.  Our plans certainly aren’t panning out like we had hoped.

When we got back to Lazy Days we decided it was best to just go to Cracker Barrel for dinner.  I had absolutely no problem with that when Bob suggested it.

Bob emptied our tanks, gray and black water and discovered a leak.  Oh NO!  This is NOT good.  Not good at all.  If its gonna happen I guess we’re in the best place to be.

This whole thing is getting old.  Really fast.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/27/2013 A Visit With Our First Florida Friends

(Port Richey, FL)

Today we drove about an hour north to Port Richey.  Three couples, that we first met back in the 06/07 season that we spent in Florida, still winter here every year.  They are all in the same park and we went for a visit.  Marvin was supposed to meet with us also but he was feeling under the weather and thought it best that he stay home.

So we met up with Dale and Karen, Gary and Louise and Bill and Ann.  Actually, I saw Bill briefly as he too wasn’t quite up to par.

It was funny when we entered this RV park.  Ann lives three doors in and when we barely got through the gate out she came.  I saw “the beast” and knew it was you!  So good to see her once again.

She took us to Dale and Karen’s and went off to let Gary and Louise know that we were there and to come over too. 

It was like old home week.  We had enjoyed so many good times with these friends and it was wonderful to be with them again.

We had a beautiful day to sit outside in the sunshine, or the shade, and just catch up.
Around three the food that Karen and Louise prepared was brought out.  Louise makes sloppy joes that are to die for!  Bob is ok with sloppy joes, not really his favorite but I heard him mention twice how much he liked them and then again on the way home.  I should have asked for her recipe because I like hers even more than my own.  We also had baked beans, a veggie salad and a fruit salad plus the the sides like chips and peanuts.  For dessert Louise brought strawberries that were so incredibly sweet.  Florida is known for their strawberries and they are in season right now.  I’m going to be getting some when I go to the store again!

Ann is a wood carver.  She showed us these walking sticks carved and we were just amazed.  The detail was so intricate.  Why oh why didn’t I take pictures?  I took my camera, it was in the truck.  I never snapped a picture until I was in the truck and we were leaving.  I took a picture of Dale and it didn’t turn out.  I am so kicking myself for not taking pictures.

Ann had on a bracelet that she made and that I admired.  This lady is so sweet that she went home got three others that she made and gave me my pick.  Thank YOU Ann!
Around 4:30 the noseeums made an appearance and we moved indoors.

We are so glad we had the chance to catch up with these friends.  If we’re still around, Oh please NO!, we’ll go back to see them again next Sunday.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

1/25-1/26/2013 Two Do Nothing Days!

(Seffner, FL)

We were hoping to get in on Friday to have our other “little stuff” done.  It didn’t happen.  We got a phone call  in the afternoon that said, “You’re spending the weekend with us!”

We ran a few errands, went to the store and hung out around the house.
Other than this, I don’t have a darn thing to say other than this was a long two days.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1/24/2013 I’ve Been Plucked, Waxed and Now….

(Seffner, FL)


I’ll explain more about this in a bit.

Today was a GREAT DAY!  Bob and I were supposed to meet up with Delaware friends Reds and Terre today.  These plans were made a week ago.  It didn’t quite happen that way.

Bob noticed our front tires weren’t wearing right and made an appointment to get the truck checked out.  If you remember, we had this checked out when we were in Key Largo, but Bob just didn’t trust this evaluation.  When we visited Marvin he was talking about it to him and Marvin suggested this business here in this area that deals with trucks.  Bob made the appointment not remembering we had the plans with our friends.  Actually, it was just as well because Reds had the opportunity to play in a golf tournament.  Terre and I decided a girlfriend’s day would do just fine anyway.

So she picked me up at Lazy Days at noon and we headed to where else but the local mall.  Lunch was first in order and we settled in at a patio table at Bahama Breeze.  We both enjoyed a delicious lunch and catching up on each others lives since we last saw each other in 2010. 

After lunch we walked into the mall to do some serious window shopping.
After checking out what Dillards had to offer we walked into the open mall area and the first store we passed was Brow Art.  Hmmm, I thought to myself, my brows need some attention.  Terre noticed me checking the place out as we walked and she asked me if I had ever had my eyebrows threaded.  Threaded?  I had heard of it but really didn’t know anything about it.  She told me she had it done and suggested that we go in and do it.  Now I’ve plucked my eyebrows, I’ve had them waxed and have even done that myself but threading is a whole new thing to me.  There was a video showing in the storefront window and I watched just a few seconds of that and Terre was nudging me towards the door.  There was a young lady in there getting hers done and I watched.  She assured me it wasn’t bad and that she had had it done before and came back.  They assured me that waxing hurt more and that this would last longer.  Well, alrighty then, I’m all about not pulling hair out of my body by the root or at least doing it as little as possible!  I’ll do it.
Yeah, I was nervous.  The technician pulled a piece of cotton thread off of a spool, thread like you use to sew a button on and twisted and turned it and my thoughts ran to that string game we played as kids, Cat’s Cradle.

So she brushed my eyebrows, cut the excessively long ones, (I told you they needed attention!) and laid the string over my eyebrow area.  The next thing I felt was excruciating pain!  It felt like that string was lined with hack saw blades!  Oh Em Gee!  What had I gotten myself into?  I looked at Terre and she smiled angelically at me and said, “See?  That’s not so bad is it?”  Out of respect for you, my readers, I will not write the dialog I had with Terre in my mind.  It wasn’t nice and probably would have made a sailor blush.  I just glared at her.  One brow done and I have to be honest here, it didn’t take long at all.  It’s very fast and you don’t end up red like you sometimes do after waxing.  Hmmm,,,do I get up out of this torture chamber chair now and run or do I get the other one done?  I opted to have even eyebrows.

Terre took pictures.  I was told use hand to pull up on the eyebrow and the other to gently pull down the lid.



When it was all said and done, they were perfectly shaped, very cleanly done, there was no redness and it was done quickly. 

Then Terre got it in the chair.  Did I smile angelically at her?  Oh hell no!  My mouth opened and out came….BWAHAHAHAHAHA!  Actually, she knew what to expect so it was no big deal to her.  She did say the left side hurt worse than the right.  I guess if the truth be told, “hurt” isn’t really the correct term.  It’s uncomfortable, but the pain stops as soon as it starts.

I looked through YouTube videos to give you a better idea what threading is all about.

Eyebrow threading

We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and laughing and shopping in the mall.
A stop at Costco’s was next where we both picked up some buys.

All too soon our day came to an end and it was time to part ways.  I so enjoyed my time with this longtime, dear friend.

Bob took our picture when she dropped me off.  We tried several sans sunglasses but that just wasn’t working for us.


It was a great day!  Bob never did get to keep his appointment with the truck tire guy, you see our parts came in!  Yes!  Our parts arrived and they were installed.  Things are looking up!  We still have those few little things to get done but that is on a “fit us in as they have time” type of thing.  Hopefully, tomorrow.

Before I close this let me tell you that I have decided that I WILL do the threading thing again.  In fact, I may even try doing it myself.  Maybe.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1/23/2013 We Need Time…..

(Seffner, FL)

……away from each other!

One of the downsides of being stuck in a service center parking lot is that there isn’t much to do.  You can only watch so much TV, read so much, play games on the computer so much, eat so much, well, you get the picture.  After awhile, boredom sets in.  Short tempers just seem to go with the territory.  We’re at that point.  We’ve had enough.
I had to get away for awhile.  No better reason to get in the truck and go than when you have several bags full of laundry to be done.  I knew  this task would give us each a few needed hours away from each other.

Two miles down the road I found a Laundromat and set to task.  Now I have clothes that don’t ever go in the dryer, some mine, some Bob’s.  Since we’re living in a parking lot and don’t really have the capability of putting the awning out to utilize the handy laundry dryer thing-y we have and I didn’t really want hangars and hangars of clothes hanging all around inside I did the next best thing.

First, I got my gal pal, Val (say that real fast 7 times) on the phone for a nice long talk.  The I made use of two Walmart shopping carts.


Sometimes a girl  has just gotta do what a girls gotta do!


Val and I had a nice talk for about about thirty  minutes and every ten or so I turned the clothes over.  Did it feel strange to dry my clothes like that?  Well, yeah, kinda, sorta but because it was such a nice, warm, sunny day they were dry by the time we hung up, except for waistbands and collars.  Hey, it worked for me!

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Seven days down.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1/22/2013 This Is Getting Old Fast!

(Seffner, FL)

We know we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon so there is no need to go to the lounge anymore.  We’re ok to just stay here in the 5th wheel.

Since we are going to be here anyway, Bob and I came up with a list of four little things, no big deal things that can be fixed since we’re here.  For instance, the corner of a seal around one of the slides came loose.  Could Bob fix it?  Sure, he could glue it back in place with Gorilla Glue.  Our kitchen sink faucet is loose.  Could Bob tighten it?  Sure, although there is a problem with this because it gets loose quite often and he has to keep tightening it.  I even forget what the other two things are but we came up with four as I said.  Its under warranty, we might as well have them fix these things when we’re in the bay again.  So this hunt for things filled a whole hour or so.  We’re getting bored.  Fast.

You are probably wondering why we aren’t out and about doing things.  I’ll show you why.


That’s us on the left, the one with large D on the front.  You can see how close our slide out is to the 5th wheel on the right.

Here is a picture of how close we are on the other side.  That’s our slide on the right side of the picture and that small window is on the 5th wheel to the left of us.  Not much room I can assure you.


Because these rigs are also here for repairs they can be pulled out at any time.  If the parts arrive that they are waiting on the 5th wheels can be taken to the bay and brought back in the afternoon.  Therein lies the problem.  Bob just doesn’t have warm and fuzzy feelings about these rigs being backed in so close to ours.  Not that we’ve seen any scratches or anything,,,,we have seen some very close calls here in the parking lot.  These rigs don’t belong to the lot jockeys who tow them around the complex.  These guys are here for a paycheck and a paycheck only.  Again, we haven’t seen any scratches as yet but some calls that were way too close for Bob’s comfort level.  Therefore we hang around.  I understand, but I’m tired of it too.  As is Bob.

Day six ….under our belts.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1/21/2013 No End In Sight!

(Seffner, FL)

We were in the lounge bright and early this morning.  There are so many people here that you have to get in early to get a table if you have a laptop with you.  We have a favorite table so we lay claim to that one and then people we’ve met over the past few days are invited to join us in the other two chairs as they arrive.

I went in search of our service writer to ask some questions.  Evidently our parts are ready for shipping because she gave us the option of overnighting the parts if we wanted to pay for it.  I’m guessing they are ready at this point, she never said they were but since we were given the option for shipping I just assumed….

Oh, the shipping decision we made?  We’re definitely going with UPS ground and they get here when they get here.  To overnight them it was going to cost $1050.00.  Yeah, we said the same thing1  Two day shipping would have been $450.00 and three day shipping would have set us back $300.00.  We opted for the FREE option.  If it takes seven days, so be it, but they could be here in four.

To get away from the parking lot and the service center as a whole we went and ran some errands this afternoon.  We picked up a few things at the store and just took a drive. 

Day five and we’re going stir-crazy already.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

1/20/2013 A Day Visit with Marvin

(Seffner, FL)

Today we spent the day with our buddy Marvin.  He’s staying 26 miles north of here in Zephyrhills.  The man hasn’t aged a day since we first met him 7 years ago.
He showed us all around his new motorhome.  Yes, at nearly 88 years old Marv is still buying toys, motorhomes included.

We spent the afternoon talking and laughing and decided it was time to go out for a ride and end the afternoon having dinner.

Since our plans were to move closer to Marvin when we were done at the service center we took a ride to the place we picked to check it out.  It seems a like a good place to park the rig for a week or so but we’re not too sure this is even going to happen now.  I guess it will depend on long we end up spending getting this axle work done.  I, for one, am ready to beat feet to Arizona.

We ended up in a mom & pop place known for its BBQ sandwiches.  Of course none of us had a BBQ sandwich but it seems no matter what the cook made it was good.  All three of us told the waitress to give the cook a thumbs up.

We visited a little while longer with Marv before heading home, making plans to see each other again soon.

Four days and counting at the service center.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1/19/2013 They Put Us in Storage!

(Seffner, FL)

Bob and I started our morning with breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  Afterwards we went to the lounge in the service department to claim a table for the day.  The reason we didn’t go back to the 5th wheel was because they are moving us today.  We have to leave the comfort of the service bay because they need it.

In the afternoon Bob went in search of where they set us up.  He walked hither and yon trying to find it.  After crisscrossing the property several times he finally found our home.  In the storage lot.  No hookups, no nothing.  In fact, it was parked in a space that was so tight that he couldn’t even open the door to turn the fridge on propane to keep it running.
He came and found me and brought me up to date with what was going on.  I, in turn, went to our service writer and as soon as she saw me she said, “I know what happened, I’m working on getting you a space now.”

She finally told us where we were going to be and Bob and I had our concerns that we weren’t going to fit.  We would fit if the slides were in but maybe not otherwise.  So we measured and decided it would fit but it was going to be close.

I went back inside and Bob hung around waiting for them to deliver the rig to the new spot.  I watched from a distance the 5th wheel go into the space and come back out, go back into the space and come back out.  Back and forth, in and out, each time Bob measuring to make sure our slides would have room.  Something we didn’t take into consideration when we shopped was the layout of the 5th wheel with the slides in.  Unless the slides are out our rig is functional.  We can’t use the bathroom, get to the bedroom, access the living room or dining table and I can’t use the stove.  Totally non-functional.  We can, however, get to the fridge where the cold beer and Pepsi’s are kept so it isn’t a total loss. 

Finally situated in the space just right, we were able to go home again.

Three days down.

Friday, January 18, 2013

1/18/2013 One Heckuva Day!

(Seffner, FL)

We were up and out early this morning so that our rig could be worked on.  Little did we know.

Today has been a long day of waiting, communicating, miscommunicating and waiting some more.  At 10:03 an email was sent to Lippert, the manufacturer of our axles and we waited for the warranty approval.  All day.  Yes.  All.  Day.

To pass the time I did take a Microwave/Convection Oven class from the Chef who runs the Exit 10 Restaurant here on the Lazy Days complex.  He made meatballs for us with raspberry jam.  To die for!  I did learn quite a bit about this oven in my rig.  It can do much more than I thought and I’m anxious to put some of what I learned to use.

Around four we learned that approval still wasn’t given.  I nearly hit the ceiling.  I got on the phone with Lippert myself to find out what the hold up is.  Well, it turns out that there are too many hands in the pot and in fact approval was given but that individual didn’t share the info with his fellow employees including the person who is our frontline contact.  That makes for some very aggravated employees and customers as you can well imagine. 

So we have approval and that’s a good thing.  That said, not everything is hunky-dory with our situation.  We need to have the parts shipped to us from Lippert rather than Lazy Days going out to the local economy to purchase the needed parts.  I asked about having them over-nighted but got nowhere with that.  The problem is, there is one part they don’t have in stock.  Lippert that is.  I haven’t been able to ascertain exactly what the missing part is yet but I will be on top of that first thing Monday morning.

Lippert did tell the people here that we should have the parts they have in stock by the end of the week.  Excuse me???  Did you say the end of the week?  Certainly you don’t mean next Thursday or Friday.  The missing part?  I’m hoping its not made in China and has to be shipped here via the ocean.  We could be here for weeks!  Monday is going to be interesting to say the least.

On a happy note, we’ve met some really nice people including lots of newbies to the world of fulltime RV’ing.  Some of them are so funny to listen to, they’ve been fulltimers for two months and are experts already.  We can really appreciate the ones who ask questions of those of us who have been at it for awhile.  The lounge here has three large sections with very comfortable seating and tables and chairs.  Everyone picks a place and conversations just flow.

We found out today that this RV service center has 200 service bays.  Two hundred!  Mechanical, body shop, woodworking and who knows what else.

I have to say, their customer service is top notch!  We have never seen anything like it.  The employees here bend over backwards to make sure you are comfortable in the waiting room, in the campground and in the service bay.

During the early course of the day Bob and I started keeping track of how many times we heard, “Congratulations Mr & Mrs So and So on your purchase of a 2013 fill in the blank with the name of an RV here.  We counted 39.  More than three quarters of them were high end motor coaches.  We’re not talking $100,000 here, we’re talkin’ three hundred to five hundred thousand dollar rigs.

The Tampa RV show is going on and Lazy Days took 200 RV’s to the show.  I can only imagine what its going to be like around here the day they bring them all back.

Oh yeah, did I tell you we have full hookups here?  Yep, we do.  I didn’t think we had TV but we get 39 channels just off the antennae without even putting it up.

So, here we are.  We’re going to go about our business as usual and instead of going home to our place in a campground or an RV park, we’ll return at the end of the day to Service Bay # 79,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17/2012 5th Wheel in the Shop

(Seffner, FL)

Up early this morning so that we could get the 5th wheel over to the service center in time to make our 8:20 a.m. appointment.

They certainly are organized here, that’s for sure.  Right at 8:20 a.m. our service writer was at our rig, clipboard in hand.  She got all the info she needed and we headed off for the free breakfast.

Breakfast is served between 8 – 9a.m.  Not a minute later.  We got there at 8:57.  Our choice for breakfast?  Oatmeal in a Styrofoam bowl with a plastic fork/spoon combination.  I wouldn’t eat oatmeal off Wedgewood china let along a Styrofoam bowl.  Bob didn’t want either.  We went to Cracker Barrel which is also on the property.

We then went to K-Mart for a beer/Pepsi run and when we returned we parked in front of the Camping World store, also on the property.

We need a new mat for under the awning and they were having a sale this week so we picked up a new one.  While in there I happened to look down one the aisles and who did I see?  Marvin!  Our friend that we made here in Florida back in 2006.


We knew we were going to see him because we booked a weeks stay in a resort close to where Marv is staying for next week.

He had been to the Tampa RV show and stopped in to check out the sale at Camping World since he was in the neighborhood.  We look forward to hanging out with our buddy!

We sat in the truck for a long while and we read and napped to pass the time away.  Finally at 3:30 we went inside to find out where things stood with our RV.  Did they have parts in stock?  Would it be done today or would be have to bring it back tomorrow?

We were not prepared for the answer.

We were told that not only were the seals, all four of them, bad but that the brake pads, the bushings and rotors were all oil soaked.  No one here had ever seen all four seals go at one time.  That news certainly didn’t give us warm and fuzzy feelings.  So, needless to say it wasn’t done.  They said we could stay in the service bay since our wheels were off and that our money would be refunded for the night’s stay in the campground.

We were concerned about staying in our 5th wheel while it was sitting on just six jacks.  They took our concern seriously and said that they understood completely and would put our wheels backs on since it was an easy fix.

We could still get the Lazy Days WIFI while in the service bay but no TV.  Thankfully we have lots of movies to choose from.

Here’s hoping the warranty approval comes quickly and that parts are in stock!

Let’s go camping in an RV Center Service Bay ….said No One Ever!

Our view from the living room.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1/16/2013 Bound for Lazy Days

(Seffner, FL)

No, the title doesn’t mean we’re going someplace to lay around and not do much.  We’re head near Tampa to an RV Center called Lazy Days. 

We called several weeks ago to set up an appointment to have the axles on our 5th wheel looked at again.  We had caps on the end of the axles replaced when we were in Jacksonville back in October.  That evidently wasn’t the problem.  Our axles are oil washed, at least I think that’s the right term, and Bob noticed oil leaking when we got to Key Largo.  We wanted to make sure we used a well known, well equipped RV repair center so we opted to wait until our stint was over and chose Lazy Days.  It also helps that they now sell Mobile Suites too.

We had an easy run from Fort Myers to Seffner, which is just outside of Tampa.  Lazy Days is not only a large RV dealership/service center, they also have a huge campground.  HUGE!  I had called couple of weeks ago and made a reservation for two nights, the 15th and 16th.  I thought our appointment was on the 16th and at that time we thought that we would drive straight through from Key Largo.  I called Lazy Days service center for something and learned that we had an appointment on the 17th NOT the 16th.  Thankfully, I made that call.  So I called the campground back to cancel the 15th and request the 16th and 17th instead.  Well, the Tampa RV show is going on and there isn’t a space to be had.  I explained that we were having service work done and that it would possibly take two days.  The lady put me on hold and came back and said she had another space so we would have to change sites.  That works because we were going to pull it out of the site in the morning anyway.  So were all set before ever left Key Largo.
Now we arrive and the site we were going to have to vacate and move to another somehow became available for both nights after all.  Upon check-in were given cards that were good for breakfast and lunch in the Front Porch Restaurant here on site.

I have to tell you, this is one fast paced, always look both ways before moving kind of place.  Between motor homes, towable types and the golf carts these roads are dangerous.
We got settled in, had dinner, enjoyed the campgrounds excellent WIFI connection and their 99 channels of cable TV. 

Our appointment is at 8:20 a.m. tomorrow morning so its going to be an early morning for us.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1/15/2013 On The Road Again!

(On the Road to Fort Myers)

We pulled out of Site # 47 this morning at 8:20 and didn’t look back.  Not even a glance.
We had some good times, met some really nice people, fulfilled our workamping stint and now its time for the next chapter.

Our original plan was to drive all the the way to Tampa which was around 350 miles and check into the Lazy Days RV Center and Campground.  We nixed that idea because we just don’t drive that far in one day unless absolutely necessary.

So we drove instead to Fort Myers, 156 miles away.  We took the Alligator Alley route.  There was a lot of road construction for quite a few miles.


At first we thought ok, where are all these alligators that we’re supposed to see because we weren’t seeing any.  Then in the blink of an eye that all changed.  We saw alligator after alligator just lying on the bank of the stream or half in and half out of water.


These had to be the hardest pictures I’ve ever had to take.  We’re traveling 45 mph, I had to see the alligator in the first place and then focus and snap the picture.  That wasn’t working too well.  By the time I got the camera up and focused that alligator could have been caught, killed, skinned and made into a pair of shoes with a purse to match!
So I finally just held the camera up and snapped and hoped for the best.  I took 65 pictures like that.  I had four with alligators in them.  The rest were blurry trees.  You can bet you are going to see all four pics with the alligators in them!

Here’s number two.  Yes, its blurry, we were speeding by.  I was getting desperate enough that had I seen a log in the water I was going to snap the picture and just tell you it was an alligator!


Now I have to admit, I feel guilty almost for even taking these next ones.  It’s like it was almost staged.  It was in fact taken at a alligator viewing walkway.  But hey, the alligators are technically in the wild and said alligators are laying there by their own choice.  AND…I snapped these at 45 mph.  That has to count for something.



Out of the hundreds, literally, hundreds of alligators we saw, I got four pictures.

I said to Bob, “Look at all these dead trees, I wonder what killed them.”


Bob replied, “I don’t think there dead.”  I looked at him like he was nuts and said, “How can you even say that?  Just look at them.”  He then said to me, “Snook, it’s January.”  Oh.  Yeah.

We also saw lots of birds.



That was the first part of the trip.  It went well, we were well occupied with alligator spotting, taking pictures and it was very easy to get to Alligator Alley from Key Largo.  I tell you this for a reason.  Read on.

Our GPS died.  I haven’t gotten to the bottom of if it died a natural, but premature, death or if Bob killed it.  He did some uploading of updates.  It was working fine and then it wasn’t.

Bob depends on that GPS.  He would much rather listen to that little voice in the box then depend on my map reading.  I hate maps.  On the other hand, Bob loves maps!  He just hasn’t mastered driving at 60 miles per hour, towing all of our worldly goods behind him and reading the details on a map all at the same time.  Granted, I can hold the map up, point where we are on the map, at least where I think we are, and he can figure out the next road to take.  I don’t know how he does it. 

Like I said, he loves maps!  I remember when he was going to Idaho to go deer hunting.  He wrote to the Idaho Department of Maps and asked for a topographical map of the area they were going to hunt.  When it came he all but cleared the kitchen table by pushing everything off with the sweep of his arm.  I saw a lot of squiggly lines that went in circles and ovals  and none of it made any sense to me.  He stared at those squiggly lines for hours on end.  You woulda thought he was a fourteen year old boy with his first Playboy magazine.

So anyway, we’re going some place where we’ve never been and I’m in charge of map reading.  Oh. My.  Let me tell you how map reading works for me.  If you tell me to head east, I’m gonna make a right hand turn.  If you want me to go west, you guessed it, I’m gonna turn left.  Think about it, every map you look at, Delaware which is in the east is on the right side of the map.  California, a western state, is on the left side.  East – right, West – left, north – go straight ahead, south – make a U-turn the first place you come to.  Simple.  Easy, peasy.

So we found a campground in Fort Myers in our campground book and called them to see if they had an opening.  They did.  Now when this call took place we were on the Tamiami Trail which is what street this campground is off of.  It’s also known as Route 41,,,or maybe it was 14, I forget.  So we come to one of those dreaded forks in the road.  One sign says “downtown” and other says Rt 41 (or 14)  Bob says to me, “Which one do I take?”  Oh geez, I’m doing the map thing and I wasn’t paying attention!  I yell out, “I don’t know!”  Well THAT went over like a lead balloon.  I’m sure he had visions of DUVAL STREET in Key West in his mind’s eye.  Remember Duval Street?

Well, we took Rt 41 (or 14) and you guessed it, we should have taken the “downtown” road.  Bob was not a happy camper.  I pointed out every Best Buy, Radio Shack and Walmart and begged him to pull over and go in and buy a GPS!  He wouldn’t.  I was not a happy camper.  In case you haven’t been keeping track that’s two unhappy campers.  Let me say right here and now, two unhappy campers does not make for a good time.

So we finally made it via Rt 41 (or 14), I-75, Rt 576 (or 756) Alicon Road and back on Tamiami Trail.

Now the lady behind the desk must have sensed something when I walked in to register because she said to me, “Gee, rough day?  You look like somebody who has a broken GPS.”  How did she know?

She gave me the usual campground map, cable TV listing, two Welcome to Southwest Florida books, an activities calendar, 2 wristbands that we absolutely had to wear if we left our site, a regular 12 month calendar and a little blue bag.


I needed this gift after this harrowing drive that I had to endure!


You’ll be happy to know that before the night was over Bob and I liked each again.

Oh, and we’re getting a new GPS!

Monday, January 14, 2013

1/13-1/14/2013 Our LAST Work Shift

(Key Largo, FL)

We're in our last two days as Camp Hosts in John Pennekamp State Park.

We worked with the new couple who came in to take over for Mike and Joan who left a few days ago.  Oh how I wish we were working with this couple!  Either that they were here this past two months or that we were coming in for these next two months.  Did you ever just meet somebody that you “clicked” with?  It was this way for way for Diana and me and Mike and Bob seemed to hit it off real well too.  I am so glad when we meet someone like this.  They usually end up as lifelong friends.  In fact, we’ve already agreed to stay in touch and are hoping to either work together or at least run into each other again down the road.

After work on Monday Bob and I had errands to run like filling the gas tanks, one last trip to the Post Office and bank, one last stop to the best veggie stand around, a beer/Pepsi run and we finished our day with our exit interview with Elena.

After answering all of Elena’s questions, she presented us with a poem all typed up and framed.

It’s a poem called, “Why Be a Volunteer” by Ethel Ornstein.

It’s not for the money – it’s not for fame,

It’s not for any personal gain,

It’s just for love of fellow man,

It’s just to give a little of self -

That’s something you can’t buy with wealth.

It’s not for medals worn with pride,

It’s for the feeling deep inside,

It’s that pride, and deep in your heart,

It’s that feeling that you’ve been a part

of helping others for and wide

That makes you be a volunteer.

Elena is such a giving person and offers things to her volunteers all through the weeks they’re there.  She’s given me a bag she made to carry dishes, silverware and glasses in when we go to pot lucks.  She even included the dishes, silverware and glasses!  At Christmas time each couple was given a Christmas stocking with little goodies in it.  And now this poem.

We finished up the last bit of things we had to do in order to pull out tomorrow morning.
We gladly gave our tee shirts to Mike and Diana, we won’t be needing them again.  Ever.
So tomorrow morning, we’ll bid farewell to John Pennekamp State Park.  We’re looking forward to it.

Pizza was the call for dinner!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

1/10–1/12/2013 Counting Down…

(Key Largo, FL)

We’re not counting weeks anymore.  We’re not counting work shifts anymore either.  We’re counting days!  Just days till we’re on the road again.

I have to be honest here, I’m pretty disappointed with this place.  Let me clarify that.  The workamping job was fine.  Our supervisor Elena was the perfect supervisor in that she left us alone.  We got to spend about two weeks total in Key West, who could argue with that?  But.  Here comes the BUT!  But there were two beaches in this park and I never got to spend a day on either one of them.  I came here with a killer tan and am going home nearly white as a sheet.  I didn’t get to interact with the other camp hosts as much as I would have liked to.  Why?  Noseeums.  There were so bad and I’m so allergic to their bites that I had to spend most times inside.  That does not make for a good time. 

This picture makes me happy!


This is the stuff I put between all things glass.


This is one chore I enjoy doing!  It means I’m getting closer to shutting down the kitchen.


I’m planning dinners that don’t take many dishes, that for sure.


Who knew that one could take so many pictures of glass dishes and rubber matting!


Just for the record,,,,I’ve never had a broken dish.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1/6–1/9/2013 Packin’ Up!

(Key Largo, FL)

After our morning work hours we have been starting the packing of the 5th wheel.  Bob, much more so than me.  After all I’m still using the kitchen things and dishes and laundry stuff.

Bob has once again has emptied our basement storage compartments and has to put it all back adding in the stuff that we’ve bought since we’ve been here.  Our belongings have expanded, unfortunately, our available space hasn’t.  Of course I heard, “We’ve got to cut down on what we’re carrying.” and my favorite  “We’re hauling stuff around the country we don’t use.”  He’s right, we are, but you know as well as I do that if take this stuff out, as sure as my name is Snookie Quinn, we’ll need whatever it is.  Actually, that said, we really do have to cut down somewhere.  He has sworn to me that he is going to cut down on the amount of tools we carry.  I think we’re going to need a bigger shed in Arizona by the time we’re done.

The weather here in the Keys has been absolutely great!  We’re hitting low 80’s everyday now.  We keep an eye on the weather in Arizona and as much as we don’t care for Florida, we’re glad we’re not there.  It’s hitting the low 30’s at night there!

Every once in a while I get something in email that makes me laugh out loud.  This cartoon below is one of them.

You've probably seen the new species running around your town. They are referred to as “homo slack-erectus” created by natural genetic downward evolution through constant ...spineless posturing and spasmodic upper limb gestures, which new research has shown to cause shorter legs and an inability to ambulate other than in an awkward shuffling gait. The "drag-crotch" shape also seems to affect brain function. Expect no eye contact or intelligent verbal communication. Unfortunately most are highly fertile.

And with that I’ll sign off!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1/5/2013 Back to Reality For Us Too

(Key Largo, FL)

Normally we would be off today with it being a Saturday.  However, we were off last Sunday so that we could spend the time in Key West with our friends.  Doug and Wanda worked for us and now we’re repaying them.  So it’s a work day.  The first of five.  A happy thought is that it’s the last of a full block of work days.

The people we’ve worked and played with these past two months are all starting to move on.  Doug and Wanda leave tomorrow and Mike and Joan will leave Monday.  Ron and Judy and Wayne pulled out a few days ago.  We’re just waiting for our turn.

It’s strangely quiet in our house.  We’re still recuperating from our whirlwind week so we were pretty much in the house all afternoon.

It’s too quiet.  I miss the girls.

Friday, January 4, 2013

1/4/2013 Back to Reality

(Key Largo – Miami, FL)

Well, vacation has come to an end with our friends Dian and KK.  It’s been one helluva week!  Lotsa of fun, lotsa laughs, lotsa good food and lotsa, lotsa beer!

It was so hard for them to dress for home.  Out came the jeans, sweatshirts and jackets.
We left around eleven for the ride to Miami.  Oh we hated to see these two go.  It was an uneventful ride to the airport and even kinda quiet.


We dropped them off at the American Airways terminal and with quick hugs, thank you’s, have a safe trips and call us when you get home, we bid our friends farewell.


And before they knew it they were headed to……

B A C K   T O   R E A L I T Y!


When Bob and I got back to Key Largo we got settled in for the afternoon and relaxed.  We vegged.  We didn’t even go outside again.  It was a great week, a busy week, a fun week and we’re tired, but it was worth every second of it!  We’d do it all over again,,,,in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1/3/2013 Head Boat Fishing

(Key Largo, FL)

This day’s activities will surely span at least two posts and maybe three before its all said and done.

This morning Bob, Dian and KK went fishing on a head boat.  They wanted to get out into the open water and get some serious fishing in.  I would have loved to go because they have mates who bait your hook and take your fish off.  That’s my kind of fishing!  But, I get seasick so I just dropped them off and headed to the library to work on editing pictures and and uploading pictures for a photo book.

I didn’t hang around to see them off but was there in plenty of time to see them come in.  Usually these boats hold 50 fishing people and of course they are shoulder to shoulder with very little room.  Today the boat they were on had between 20 and 25.  Everyone had plenty of room, the mates had time to actually interact with those on board and they hit the sweet spots!  Everybody caught fish.


I know one debarks from a cruise ship but does one debark from a head boat or just get off?

Happy fisher-people.


I forget what the fish were called but they brought a bag of them home with them.


Bob had them cleaned and fileted right then and there at the dock.


Of course the mates were extremely fast in cleaning the fish and the pelicans figured out in no time flat that it was feeding time.  They flew in from all directions.




The pelicans sat and waited for the fish remains to be thrown their way.


When the remains were tossed?  it was beaks,  wings and webbed feet everywhere!


It was something to see two pelicans snag the same fish.  They fought for the fish and fought hard!  A tug of war, back and forth.



Some just got their fish remains and swam away to eat in peace.


The fishing trip lasted from nine to one and cost each of them $40.00 each.  They fished the coral reef and enjoyed the views immensely.  The weather couldn’t have been more perfect since the temperature had reached the high seventies by mid morning and eighty by noon.  They would all agree it was forty dollars well spent.

We spent the afternoon back at the house sitting around outside (there was a breeze, no bugs!) talking about the fish that got away.  No, I’m kidding, there were no fish stories.
We went to dinner this evening but there are so many pictures I have to put it in another post.

1/3/2013 Dinner at Snook’s Bayside

(Key Largo, FL)

After this morning’s fishing trip and an afternoon sitting in the sun, it was time for dinner.  We went to Snook's Bayside Restaurant & Tiki Bar.  This was the place we were supposed to go to on New Year’s Eve but we were wimps and couldn’t hang to bring in the new year properly.


We got there in plenty of time to enjoy the sunset.





It was so nice to sit outside, enjoy the fresh air and just be with great friends of ours.



It came time to decide on dinner.  KK went first and asked for the Surf & Turf,  an 8 oz. filet, a 6 oz. lobster tail with drawn butter and a lump meat crab cake, smashed new red potatoes, and vegetable medley.   Dian ordered the same thing.  I followed with, “Oh that sounds good, I’ll have that too.”  Bob decided that he would make it four.  There was not one regret.

I would have to say this was the best restaurant dinner I have ever had.  Everything was cooked to perfection and the other three would agree with me on that.  This meal was fantastic.

There was a guitarist/singer, Jess Atkins, playing when we arrived and during our before dinner drinks.  He went on break and a magician Michael Trixx, took his place.  We were waiting for our dinner  to arrive during the first part of his act. His props were mostly white birds and fire.  He was really into fire!


Yes, he sprayed the lighter fluid liberally on his arm too.  Then the fool magician set himself on fire.



I am seriously glad I never wanted to be a magician!  Swallowing fire is just not my idea of a good time.


His other props, four, five, possibly six white birds were made to appear and disappear frequently  much to the amazement of the audience, us included.  Now you see ‘em, now you don’t.

It was during the very beginning of eating our meal that he was working with the birds.  I wasn’t leaving my plate to take pictures of disappearing birds.  As many oohs and ahhs that we heard and shared in I wasn’t taking any chances of getting up to snap a few pictures and coming back to find my lobster tail gone and my dinner companions sitting there with Cheshire cat grins.

After we were done eating we watched this one portion of his show with the birds and he had four or five on his arm, I believe, and the next thing you know there gone.  Poof.  Gone!  I snapped this picture and I’m wondering if the birds didn’t find a place in the feather boa he also had in his other hand.

There is an awful lot of white coloring in the pink boa!  If they are, I give him and birds kudos for the tremendous amount of training that must have taken.

After his show he took pictures with anyone in the audience who wanted to.


We took some more pictures around our table.

Bob and Snookie FL

KK giving a status update on Facebook.


Bob and his drinkin’ buddies.



What a great day we had!