Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Settled In At JD

Monday January 18- It's a new week here at Jonathan Dickinson.  We just can't get a break in the weather. I just keep telling myself, its better than Iowa's weather. I'm glad we have 16 weeks here because we can be patient and wait for the better weather. I have been working on a couple scrapbooks for my best friend's grandkids that graduated. So I haven't been too bored being inside. It was really cool this morning and not much wind so Jeff made us a campfire to have our coffee by.

I have to admit we have become big babies with the cold weather, even the dogs were cold today. We decided to take a walk on a path through the back country here at the park.  We found out a few days ago that geocaching is big in this park. They had a geocachpalooza here and there were about 300 participants. That gave us the notion to do a little geocaching ourselves. We didn't have to travel very far to find them because there are so many in the park. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which the participants use a GPS to hide and seek containers called geocaches. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook with a pen or pencil. When you find it you put your name and date on the log book. There are all different sizes, and some are easier than others to find. Jeff was the winner today he found 2 and I found 1.

The next three days are our work days, it's getting easier the more we do it. We have had the weather to deal with. When the weathers nice it's really quite fun being out and about among the campers. We have ran into many people we have met at other parks. Actually Thursday we have some friends coming back to the park and we have invited them for dinner. We made them fish that we caught while in the Keys. Everything turned out great and the evening was a big success.


Friday January 22- It seems Friday's have become our movie days. That should change when the weather warms up. We went and saw the movie The Big Short. Jeff liked it, I didn't so much. On a better note the popcorn was good. It's rained most of  the day.
Saturday January 23- It's another cold day today so instead of staying inside we went for lunch at 5 Guys and did some shopping. We waited to here from our son Seth about Ashton's hockey games. It looks like they will be in the championship game again tomorrow. They had 2 games today and they won both of them. Tomorrow is the championship game. They are playing in Dubuque Iowa.
Sunday January 24- It's even colder today. When we got up the temperature was 38....that's cold. We went back to Generation Church and today was special because they had a different worship group. It was made up of college age students and they were awesome. Left there feeling better about everything. The sun is out today so we could get out and walk around the campground. It seems everyone had the same idea so along with our walking we did some visiting as well. We found out that our grandsons team got beat today. I'm sure they were disappointed.

Monday January 25- It's not as cool this morning and so I took a good walk. We had an early lunch because we are heading to The Palm Beach Kennel Club to watch the dog races with Jeffrey and Maren. They have never been and Jeff and I always have fun going so we made plans to attend. The races started at 1 o'clock. We missed the first 2 races but we took part in the next 8 or 9 races. We really don't know exactly what we are doing but we sure have fun trying. We didn't make a fortune but we did come out ahead, so to us that's a win.


After leaving the races we made one stop at Costco. We are not members but Jeffrey and Maren are so they got us in. We don't really buy in bulk but we found a couple things that we had to have. It was a fun day and it was nice to be outside in some sunshine.
Tuesday January 26- The start of our work week, today it was a bit warmer, they next 2 days it was a mess. It really rained on Wednesday with warnings for bad storms. We managed to get everything done but not as early as usual. We had to wait for weather. Then on Thursday we thought we would go early. We did get some done but we still got wet. Every time we  got in that cart it would start raining. We looked rather funny because we would hold an umbrella out in front of us to keep the rain from coming in the front. It sure makes it hard in the rain.

 Friday January 29-Today there was no rain....its still a little cool but no moisture falling from the sky so that is good. I went for a nice walk and after got busy making stuff for our first volunteer potluck that happens tonight. Since ranger Tom gives us fresh eggs I decided to make some deviled eggs. I was a bit worried because I know how hard it is to peel them eggs. I got on line and found a trick I was going to try. I steamed them and then put them in ice water the good news... they peeled really easy. I was super excited because most of those tricks never work for me.
I also received some ripe bananas from someone else so I made banana bread. It is suppose to be kind of cool tonight so I made soup to take. Our dinner was at 6 p.m. and we had a great turn out and lots of yummy foods to share. We played a game of trivia after and some how I ended up with the most correct guess's....go figure.
Saturday January 30- It was another cool start but it warmed up fairly quick. Jeff made us a campfire and after we went for a walk. I got Jeff to walk up to Hobe Mountain tower. It was a really nice day for a walk. We also did a few more geocaches. We got some nice pictures. It was just really nice to be out in the sunshine.

Since it was so nice we decided to take advantage of it. After some lunch we headed over to the beach. Jeff wanted to try the surf fishing and I just wanted to enjoy the beach. The sun went and hid so it was a little chilly. The view was still really nice. Jeff didn't catch anything but saw some fish jumping in the water.

We stopped for pizza on our way home. It was a full fun day spent outside in the good weather.
Sunday January 31- The end of the weekend. We started that day at church. We both are still excited about finding this church. It's a great way to end the week, or to start the new week. We signed up for a life group today so we are going to jump right in to the church. We want to get connected and get to know people and thought this was the best way. We are excited about this too. Today was a nice day outside, kind of cloudy but nice to sit out and quilt. That's what I did. We can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by. It looks like we will be coming back here next year. Oh I wanted to show you some of the turtles we saw in the area.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Camp Hosting at Jonathan Dickinson

Tuesday January 5- This was our first official day on the job. Jeff and I have been watching and listening to what we are to get accomplished everyday. We kind of have an idea of how we are going to do it but we will figure it out along the way. I know it will get easier as time passes. What we are dealing with now is unusual weather. We have had cooler than normal temperatures, more rain than usual and lots of wind. We will be working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday followed by four days off. Everyone here have been very helpful. The shower house's we clean here are easy to clean and we are also responsible for checking the sites after the campers leave and before the new occupants show up. Our first week went really good, if the weathers nice its super good. On our days off the weather wasn't much better so Friday we went to a movie. First we had lunch at Grimaldi's, it was a coal fired pizza place and it was really good. Have to remember that place. It was in the same area as the movie theater. The movie we saw was The Revenant, Jeff liked it a lot, I thought it was too much gore for me. The movie was packed too, I guess all the snowbirds had the same idea on this rainy day.

Saturday January 9- We had plans with some volunteers that are next to us. Barb and Ron are from Iowa and live only 40 miles from our home town. First we went to a flea market and looked around at all they had to offer. We got some produce but that was pretty much it for us. Next we went to the town of Stuart and looked around there. Its a real neat little town. We got some lunch there at Maria's café followed by some walking around the town and exploring.

We went with Ron and Barb so after Stuart we went with them to an RV store to pick up some stuff. We also purchased power ball tickets, needless to say we weren't the winners. It was a fun day and the weather was great too.

 Sunday January 10- Today we went to a new church. We both got on line and came up with the same church,  Generation Church. It wasn't very far from the campground and easy to get to. When we walked through the door we both felt very comfortable. It's a very friendly church and everything else was just what we were looking for. The worship was awesome and so was the message. We hope to get connected in some form or other. We are going to be around until April 15th so we are happy that we found a church we love.

Monday January 11- Today I started off my day with a real nice walk to Hobe Mountain Tower. It was a nice walk and when I arrived there I walked up the tower and enjoyed the views.

After my walk we had planned on riding the bikes to town but the wind was relentless. We took the truck instead to do some investigating. We want to put the kayaks in here at the park and take them down river to the ocean coming out by the lighthouse. We needed to check to see if there was a place to land and get out. We found just what we were looking for. So when the weather decides to cooperate we have that on the list to do. Since we were so close we checked out the beach as well. It's a beautiful beach and again we will get there when the weather changes.


The second week of  working went fine. I've caught a cold so I felt a bit under the weather which by the way is cold and rainy. The week went fast. We made another trip to Trader Joe's our new favorite store. We are finding lots of there products that we like. The don't use as many preservatives as other places. It's not a very big place but it's always busy .

Friday January 15- It looked like another rainy day and neither of us wanted to stay inside all day. We went for breakfast at First Watch. This time the restaurant was on the other side of town. It still was very good. In the same shopping area we found a Petsmart so we went to see about getting Belle some more of her prescription dog food, jack pot we got that taken care of. While we were out I got a warning on my phone of serious storms heading our way so we made our way home. Luckily for us they either missed us or weren't as bad as they thought.

Saturday January 16- SUNSHINE!!!!!!...Jeff started the day by helping our neighbor go pick up a couch. When he got home we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather. We got on our bikes and headed into town on the bike path. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm and the wind was calm. We rode to the beach, the lighthouse and even found a nice place to stop for lunch. It was another pizza place, The Crafty Crust, it was really yummy.

It was a nice ride home too, the wind stayed away. We sat outside and enjoyed as much of the weather as we could. Jeff even got our last Keys reservation today. That was a good thing.

Sunday January 17- Woke up today to more terrible weather heading our way. We watched the news and were ready to take cover. It seemed to have passed around us and then we got a warning on my phone to take cover so that's what we did. It didn't do what it was suppose to do and we were grateful for that. We still had time to make it to church and we are very grateful we found this church. So far we love the park, we love the surrounding area and are excited about spending more time here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hi Ho Hi Ho Its off to work we go...

Tuesday December 29- We woke up to lots of fog, we definitely waited for that to lift before leaving. Both of us were sad to go, we have really enjoyed the time we've spent at this park. Our route seemed a little confusing but once we got on the road it was simple. We have traveled these roads before and in all the confusion made sense. Traffic wasn't bad til we got close to our destination. We are heading to Jonathan Dickenson State Park. We are going to be camp hosting January 1st through April 15th. We are arriving early and had reserved a site for 3 nights. When we got here they took care of us. They let us go ahead and pull in to our volunteer site and cancelled our reservations. We even got a full refund. We backed into our site and started unpacking. We have neighbors that are from Burlington Iowa, which is about 40 miles from our home town. The other camp hosts were here last year and they are still as nice as we remember. We also met for drinks and dinner with a couple we met last year Jeffrey and Maren. They introduced us to 2 other couples and we had dinner and visited the night away. We had 2 Jeff's, 2 Don's (spelled different), Karen, Maren, Clauda, and Sylvan. Not sure of the last 2 names, they were from Canada. It was a super night.

Wednesday December 30-Today was a day of explaining. It was sunny and warm. First Steve the other camp ground  host came and did some explaining of the tasks we will be doing. Then Tom a ranger came by and said hi and gave us some more instructions. Next Corey the one who hired us came by and drove us around the park. Then he drove us out to Trapper Nelson's site. We were with some volunteers who are going to be giving tours there. We kayaked there last year but this time we were there without any other guests.

We filled out some paperwork before heading back to our site. We just haven't been able to get anything done because everyone is so friendly. We have met so many people so far and I know that there will be lots more to meet.

Thursday December 31-Another busy day, we cant seem to get anything done but visiting. We went to the 7:30 a.m. meeting at the shop. We got a tour of where everything is kept, I'm sure we won't remember it all. We met Hank the maintenance man and others that work in the park. We took a walk around the campground but didn't get much walking in, we got more talking done than walking. We did get our kayaks and bikes unloaded. We took advantage of our bikes and rode to the other side of the park. It was a real nice ride and the park had cleared out some because of the holiday tonight. Hoping everyone had a great News Year Eve and a better New Year.

Friday January 1- Happy New Year everyone! We went with Steve the camp host to see how he cleaned the sites, and the shower houses. Jeff and I both do better after seeing what we are to be doing. We got to see where everything is located. We even got instructions on how to drive the electric Polaris, that's my favorite thing. I know its early but so far so good.

After our training session we went home and cleaned up for our dinner date. We had reservations at Ruth's Chris steak house. We ate there last year and decided it was a great way to start the brand new year. Our dinner was so good, both of us really enjoyed the dinner. What we didn't enjoy was the score of the Rose Bowl game when I checked. The Iowa Hawkeyes are getting smoked. We got home and watched the second half of the game but it just wasn't in the cards for a win. They still had an awesome season, proud to be a Hawkeye fan.

Saturday January 2- Today Jeff and I are going to clean the sites. We had to go get our cart and the paper work. It was kind of fun. The sun was shining and it was warm. We got a phone call from a friend from Iowa, Sue and Mike Maerz. Jeff worked on the fire department with Mike. They are in the park and looks like they will be staying a couple nights. Corey brought us our shirts, guess we are official. After all our sites were done we took Mike and Sue to Hobe Sound Beach. We haven't been there either, so that was neat. The road to the beach was canopied with the coolest trees. The beach was pretty.

We stopped at the store and came back to make a nice dinner. We got to sit around and catch up on what's going on in each others lives.

Sunday January 3-Well this morning we experienced the other side of our job......the shower house's. It wasn't bad because everything is so new. They were fairly easy to clean, we just have to learn what to use and where to find it. We promised to fix fish for our visitors so I had to make potato salad for that. After cleaning we decided to take the boat trip to Trapper Nelsons. It was cloudy with a chance of rain but it held off. The ride up was nice and we even spotted a bald eagle and some osprey nests.

We got a tour of the area this time. Our guide did a great job and was full of lots of information.

 We had a real nice trip back down the river. Even had a pleasant surprise when we spotted a manatee.

 We got back and grilled our fish and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. The rain held off which was really good. Nice to have company from home come for a visit.

Monday January 4- No work today, tomorrow we start on our regular schedule. Mike and Sue took off this morning. It was really cool this morning, it was in the 50's...brrrrr. Jeff and I decided to venture out and do some exploring. We went for breakfast at a spot we heard of but when we arrived there we found out they are closed on Mondays. Plan B.....we found a place on line called FirstWatch. We shared a blueberry pancake and it was the best pancake I ever had. The coffee was really good too. We will be going back there again. We also had to stop at Walmart and get some supplies. It was crazy busy. When we got back we visited with the other camp hosts Fred and Pam. There are 3 couples doing the camp hosting here counting us. Tomorrow will be our first day doing all the jobs by ourselves, I'm sure it will take a while to get into a routine but looking forward to our new adventure.