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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wrapping Up This Year........

Friday December 16- It's moving day. We are leaving the Keys 2 weeks early. We were suppose to go back to Long Key but because of our first visit with the rats we gave up those weeks and found a different spot. We had most of our stuff packed up so we got on the road early, by 9 a.m. We are heading north to LaBelle. We are staying at a RV park called Whisper Creek. We actually visited this park our first year on the road. We were staying at a Corp park close by...Ortona South. Our travel north wasn't bad just a few stupid people while we were leaving the Keys. The 2 lane highway makes a lot of people dangerous. They would pass in a turn lane or merge lane. We made it safe to our destination. Jeff checked us in and somebody showed us to our site #417. It has a brand new pad. A guy even helped Jeff back her in. The entry wasn't very wide. I was very happy for the help, it made things a lot easier. We plugged in like usual and turned on the a.c. It is very warm and we wanted to get things cooled off. It was about 2 o'clock and we hadn't had lunch. I was sitting eating and Jeff went to reheat leftovers. I look up and see smoke pouring out of our dish receiver. I yell at Jeff and he comes, unplugs it and puts it outside. In the meantime I hear some pops....never good. Jeff goes out and turns the power off. Now what?  Here is the post Jeff made to the Carriage and  RV-Dreams forums.
We had a power event a couple of weeks ago after moving from the Keys to an Rv park. When we arrived at Whisper Creek Resort we plugged in and set up like we always do. We use a TRC 50 amp surgeguard and it went through its tests before delivering power to the rig. I went in and turned on air,fridge and went back out to set the satellite dish. When I came back in all seemed normal until I got an error message on the dish receiver I had never seen before. I didn't think too much about it and reset the receiver and it started its setup program. While I was waiting for it to setup I started the microwave to warm up some lunch and that's when the dish receiver started smoking ,microwave popped and power flashed. I unplugged the receiver and took it outside and killed the power to the coach. I called the park person to let them know what happened and they sent out a maintenance guy. We checked the power at the pedestal and all seemed right there but I still wasn't sure it was not the parks power so we called an RV repair shop and they came out about four hours later to check the problem. At first they said it was the park pedestal but changed their minds after consulting with an electrician. We ended up calling Florida Power and Light and they sent out a tech and he could not find any problems on their end. He did say that he hated those surge protectors and had seen them cause problems before. Also the park maintenance guy said he had seen the same thing happen a couple months ago with the same surge protector. After much deliberation I decided to go ahead and plug back in w/o the surge protection and check the damage. We lost our Dish receiver, DVD Stereo, DVD recorder, MIcro/Convection Oven and our GFI circuit. We have been running for the last 2 weeks with no other issues. I  contacted the Surge Protector Tech and asked him if the surge protector could cause this and he did say it was possible. We are supposed to be mailing it back to them so they can bench test it for error codes.  I also talked to the other couple who had a similar incident and they lost a lot more equipment but returned their TRC to Camping World for an exchange without finding the cause of their power incident. If anyone knows anything about this subject please comment. I thought we were protected from power events like this with our surge guard only to find out this MAY be the cause. Now I still don't know this for sure, but if the park itself had the surge shouldn't the surge protection stop the power flow? I have replaced most of the equipment but still need to know why this happened.

Saturday December 17- We didn't really know were to start. Jeff started taking out the ruined equipment outside. We couldn't watch our big tv because it was run through the stereo. We were happy that it worked. We also tried to make phone calls but every one's gone for the weekend. We made lists of what was toasted, trying to get organized. The good news is the people here are super friendly. Lots stopped by to welcome us. It was a busy day. It ended with a Christmas golf cart parade through the park. Couldn't believe how many participated.

Sunday December 18- Trying to figure out our plan of attack. We started our day with a walk around the park. We left the park and headed to Fort Meyer. Then we went to Waffle House to cheer us was the best breakfast ever! Then we went to Camping World to replace our dish receiver. Jeff also picked up a hard drive to record with. On our way home we stopped at WalMart..long time no see. Also filled up the truck.

Monday December 19- Today we are going to try to make phone calls. If only it was that easy. First called the insurance company and she said an adjuster would call within one business day. When we called the company about the surge protector they transferred us and there was no answer. Jeff left a message. Then Jeff got the satellite receiver hooked up. Again we were happy the the satellite worked. We had to try it with the receiver to see if it was damaged...nope. yeah! Then Jeff got busy cleaning the outside of the rig. It's been a long time since it's had a bath.

Tuesday December 20- Today we had to head back to Fort Meyers again. Back to Camping World to fill up our propane tank...they don't fill here on Sundays. Next stop Lowes, Jeff has been researching microwave/convection ovens and they have one here he liked. We had to watch or time because I have a Doctor appointment with an ENT. We wanted to be on time. Well the oven was on sale so we purchased it. In the truck to go only 8 miles and it took us 40 minutes. We made it just a few minutes late for our arrival time. On the long drive over I look up the doctor to maybe call them and I see all these bad reviews. Great that's what I needed to see. Jeff and I both had low expectations going in. We both were pleasantly surprised. I filled out all the paper work and was called back to a room. We waited there for a while but not to long. The doctor seemed to ask the right questions and had a good idea what it was. He sent me to another room to do some testing of my hearing and pressure. They did another test to see if I had a kind of vertigo....nope. They diagnosed me with menieres disease. I never heard of it but Jeff had. I am to watch my sodium intake and take a diuretic. He said a lot of times this is enough to control it. I hope it works. I have been feeling better but my right ear is never going to be the same. My hearing in each ear is really different. I think I can live with that but those side effects of dizziness and vertigo....that's hard to take.

We have spent our time here enjoying the park. It's super nice here. Our site is located in The Glens. We don't have many trees and there is some road noise out here. On the bright side our site is really big, and since we re here early in the season it's very empty. It has been really warm so I have taken advantage of the pool. It's super nice. They have part of it covered. It's well taken care of and the water is warm. They also have so many activities to enjoy. If you can't find something to do here it's your own fault. Did I say how friendly everyone is....they are. In the older section here there are lots of big oak trees with spanish moss on them. They also had a Christmas Eve service that we attended. It was a candle lighting service and very nice. It helped to put us in the spirit. Both of us have kind of lost that will all that's going on.

Christmas morning came and the dogs liked there present. Soffee not so much, she usually loves her squeaky toy. This year we figured out she can't hear. She wouldn't even play with it. Belle on the other hand loved hers and after chewing hers up she demolished the other toy too. We also heard from the kids. We got to watch the grand kids open there gifts. We fixed us a great Christmas dinner, everything turned out great and tasted so good. I even spent some time at the pool today. Merry Christmas everyone!!

Monday December 26- Another Monday so we started calling back those we haven't heard from. We are trying to get an estimate for the insurance. This is turning out to be quite a task. Nobody answers there phone. They don't return calls so good either. I thought I would work on the blog because we have free wifi here. Then when I tried to download my photos off the phone it wouldn't work. I did an update to my phone and now it won't download my pics. I'm being overrun with problems......

Tuesday December 27- Jeff wanted to install our new oven today. We watched videos and read all the instructions. The only thing is the oven is kind of heavy. It weighs about 70 lbs. Well we took the old one down which came out easy. We checked to make sure everything lined up right and then we tried to install. We just had one little problem, hitting the bar that holds the bottom up. After doing something a bit different we got it right up. It fits in there just right. Looks good too.

We were so excited on our job well done we decided to go out for supper. Jeff found a place in town that had good reviews. So into LaBelle we went. We went to Honest John's Log Cabin. It was a real neat place and the food was great. Our service was friendly too. We both got the roasted chicken. They gave you a free bowl of chicken rice soup that was good. After finishing our supper they gave us free ice cream also. Who ever heard of such a thing. It was a good pick for sure.

Wednesday December 28- It's a big day...Our Soffee is 15 today...she has some side effects of her age. She can't hear, and I'm not sure she can see so well either. We still love her. Happy Birthday Soffee!

 It's almost time to move on from here and still we are waiting to hear from the insurance. We are still waiting for something in the mail to send in our surge protector. I know it will take awhile to get things wrapped up. I hope we get all this wrapped up sooner than later. We are leaving here on January 1st and on to Jonathan Dickinson.....back to work.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Keys...Part 3 Back To Curry Hammock

Friday December 2- Well it rained last night and I didn't pick up the rugs outside. With our site being sand this made quite a mess. Just one more bad taste in our mouths. I took the rugs out to the road to try and sweep them off. It's so humid that some of the sand just won't come off. Since we are going back to Curry Hammock we can't leave too early, our site won't be ready. Being close makes the move nice but you have to be patient in getting there. We left our site around 12:30 to go dump. It was really tight getting in to dump. They need to do some trimming. A low tree branch and the bushes made it hard to make the turn. We were on our way about 1:00 PM. When we arrived at Curry, they were just finishing up our site. We are in site 26, it is on the inside of the loop. We have always been in the outside. We like the site, it's real long and wide enough for all our stuff. It felt really good to be back here. I felt like I left the ghetto and moved on up. It's so much cleaner and cared for here. Don't get me wrong the view at Long Key was awesome but, just have a hard time getting over those rats. We backed in without problems and set up. It's still really hot and humid. The bugs are hungry so we hooked up the fan and thermacell to take care of that.

Saturday December 3- Jeff and I both had a good nights sleep last night. We've been missing that. We would stay awake and listen to the rats. We still have traps out just in case we have a stow away. This morning the traps are empty. That makes us happy. Jeff got busy taking stuff out of the basement areas to make sure no nests or damage was done. I got busy doing the laundry. We are right across the street from the dump station so that makes it easy to tote the blueboy. I can't stress how happy we are to be back here. We have 50 amp again and the water pressure is great. It's very relaxing and quiet.

Sunday December 4- It's our daughter in laws birthday today and they are in Hawaii...lucky girl. I went to watch the sunrise this morning. I love to watch a new day unfold. You never know what the day will hold or the sunrise. Always different. We didn't do a lot today. Just catching up with some cleaning. Our granddaughter made me a picture and used her new smelly markers...that was a highlight. It is her and I, with a Christmas tree....a beauty for sure.

After lunch I headed to the beach. There is a lot of action going on down there. The kite surfers are everywhere. Really quite fun to watch. Usually they are more down towards the day use area. Today they were at the campground beach area. I spent some time watching them fly across the water.

Monday December 5- Happy Birthday to me...I started my day with a sunrise. I didn't sleep last night because of my meds. Jeff wanted to know what I wanted to do and I didn't feel that good. We went for breakfast at Grassy Key Outpost. The menu isn't that big. Jeff ordered the biscuits and gravy. He wasn't to sure of his pick. When he got it and tasted it, said it was the best he's had. I guess there was crab or lobster in there too. I had the french toast which was especially good. Next to the store to get something for supper. We got back and I felt dizzy so we just hung out here. It's cooled off enough to be outside. I sat outside in my favorite chair and had tons of visitors today. The cardinals were everywhere.

Ended the day with a sunset....hopefully tomorrow we can get out on the water.

Tuesday December 6- We both are ready to take out the kayaks. Going to wait until the tide comes in. I went down to the beach to set some in the morning. They were having a hermit crab convention. It was funny because you don't see them all over the beach but here was this little crowd of crabs.

I also saw this really green iguana. After having lunch we brought the kayaks down to the beach and launched them. It was a little rougher than we thought so we stayed in the cove area. Still had fun catching lots of fish. We had 3 keepers enough for a supper. Had lots of mangrove snappers that were just short. We stayed out until we ran out of bait.

After fishing we came back and cleaned up and called it a day. It was really nice to get back outside and enjoy whats around us.

Wednesday December 7- It rained last night so this morning it was really hot and humid. I went down to watch the sunrise but didn't stay long because there wasn't a lick of wind. The bugs were biting like crazy. We did some running today. Jeff has been wanting to visit the Divers Museum for years and never made it there. Today he went and visited that, I just looked at shops. He really liked it and was impressed with the exhibits. The price was only $10.00.

After finishing up there we went to get a bite to eat. We tried to go back to the Bayside Grille but they were closed because of a water leak. So we went to plan B. I found a place online and it was called Mrs. Mac's Kitchen. We weren't impressed with the food at all. The sweet tea was the only thing good. Jeff made a few stops so I could look around but no purchases. One of the best stops was at Robbies. We went out and looked at the tarpons. We even got to feed them. It was a bit tricky because the pelicans knew about the free fish.

Let me tell you them fish are large and hungry. They come clear out of the water to get them fish. You have to be very aware of those pesky pelicans cause they are hungry too. They charge $2.00 to get out there and $3.00 for a pail of fish. It was really  a lot of fun.

Thursday December 8- Another hot and humid morning. We decided to get back out on the water today but waited for the tides. We had a fun time catching but not keeping.

While we were out fishing we watched the rain roll in. It really rained at the campground. We just got sprinkled on. It was neat to see the rain fall and not really get wet. We were so close but only got sprinkled. When we got back we could see signs of all the rain they received...big puddles everywhere.

Friday December 9- It cooled off some but it was so cloudy I skipped the sunrise. Then I started feeling dizzy again so I just laid around most of the day. We got our mail today and got a bill from the hospital where Jeff had his stroke. That was 18 months ago so needless to say we were surprised. Well I won't go into it to much but lets just say when you deal with insurances its never pleasant.

Today we didn't do much I did get a rush of Christmas spirit...I made Christmas cookies. When I lived in a   house I did so much baking it was crazy. It was weird to just make a single batch of sugar cookies.

Sunday December 11- Not a good day, was woke up again with a dizzy spell. Well it lingered on most of the day. So I didn't do much and Jeff just spent the day taking care of me.

Monday December 12- After spending the whole day inside we decided to get out and try a road trip. We took off for Key West. We drove through a little bit of rain but drove out of it just as quick. First we went to Fort Zachery Taylor State Park. We paid $7.00 to get in and park. We got out the truck and did some exploring here. The fort was kind of neat to check out.

It was really warm out and I'm still not 100%. We didn't stay as long as usual but still got a good feel for the place. They did have a guided tour you could attend but we passed on that. We then left the truck parked there and headed to downtown. First stop was at 5 Guys for burgers and fries. It was air conditioned too. That felt really good. It has been unusally hot here the last couple days. So after eating we walked the streets and watched the crazy. Didn't really stay that long.

We have done the Key West thing before so it was a quick trip. On the way back we made a stop at The No Name Pub. It was too early for supper so we just had some breadsticks and Jeff had a beer. He also tried a piece of key lime pie. We had come before and Molly our newest member of the family had a piece but wouldn't share. So much time down here and he never tried the pie. He said it was good but neither of us are very empressed with citrus stuff. My main reason for coming here was to see the key deer. We saw a story on TV that they are being killed by a screw worm. The pub is located on Deer Key. Most of the time we see them in the parking lot but not this time. As we were leaving I saw some on the side of the road.

Tuesday December 13-It's another hot one. The only place you can be outside without bugs is on the water, so that's where we went. It was really calm out there, but there was a slight breeze. At first it was tough not many bites.  Then Jeff found a hole that we kept catching nice grunts. I didn't take pictures until we got back. On my way back I spotted dolphins. Usually you might see a couple but there was a least 10. I did my best to get close because they were putting on quite a show. They were feeding. They jumped out of the water like they do at Sea World. They even had the fish they were chasing jumping out of the water. Jeff was on the beach wondering what I was doing. You can't see in the pictures very good but take my word it was AWESOME!

When I got back I told Jeff what was going on out there. We cleaned everything up and took the rest of the day off.

Wednesday December 14- We decided to take the kayaks out one more time before taking off. We brought all the bait we had left and hoped to catch some more to take home. We had a tough time catching them today but I did get a couple good sized grunts.

Here are some pictures of the places we like to fish. The birds seem to be guarding these spots a lot. When we got back we did a good job of cleaning the kayaks because we will be loading them up after this trip out. We had a visitor at our site today. I managed to get some pictures with my camera instead of my phone.

After we cleaned up we made our last trip to Lor-e-lei for there customer appreciation night. It went from 4-6 and you got free draft beer or well drinks. They also had a buffet style set up with food. It had chips, fish dip...(which Jeff loved), mini pizzas, wings,(3 different types), meatballs and even cookies for those who have a sweet tooth. There was live music and the servers treated you like you were paying. It was a really nice night with a beautiful sunset. The music this time wasn't our favorite but good musicians.

Thursday December 15- This is our last full day here at Curry. We spent the day getting all packed up. We didn't want to fight with the humidity in the morning. We went to leave fairly early tomorrow too. The sunrise was a good one today.

It was really warm out there again today. I'm not complaining really because in Iowa there are having super cold weather. I prefer warm definately. We got everything packed up and we are ready to go in the morning. We were suppose to go back to Long Key but we cancelled those 2 weeks and are heading north to a RV resort near LaBelle. So good bye to The Keys. The adventure continues.