January-March 2016

A favorite from the past.
Slide out removal

 Glacier Park - 07/17/2011 One of our favorites 
 01/01/16 - At Home
Sheila Knee Brace
01/01/15 - Unlike last year it really is the beginning of the New Year this time. I'm taking advantage of the slow time of the holiday to get caught up and get a start on 2016. We'll see if I can stay a little more current this year. One of the things I do in doing this web site is I'll take the page from the previous year and use it to build the new years pages. Gives me a chance to look at where we were last year and reflect on the changes. Kind of enjoyable. Last year Sheila was in a full leg brace and could not put any weight on her leg at all - this year it's a knee brace, and she's using her walker, but can cook, and do a lot of her normal things. A major improvement over where we were a year ago.  As for me, I'm still fairing pretty well. Still walking, still listening to my audio books, listening to Stranger In A Strange Land, Heinlein. For me a 'philosophy' book which I've read several times over the years. Great story. Sheila and I started TM (Transcendental Meditation) a couple months ago and so we're both doing our 20 minutes twice a day and beginning to see some of the benefits they talk about.

All in all as we start this new year we're happy, relatively healthy (for a couple of old coots) and enjoying life. We're looking forward to Sheila being able to exercise again and getting back to our morning bike rides. We were really enjoying those morning rides. Also on the agenda is getting back to a motorcycle ride now and then and hopefully a trip or two this year. Possibly our West again - we need to visit the family, but that too far off to know for certain yet. But we're hoping it'll work out. A new year, a new start. Have a wonderful year everyone, remember what comes comes - how you perceive it is up to you.
 01/15/16 - Juno Ocean Walk RV Resort
Juno Ocean Walk RV Resort
01/12-13 Wickham Park - you've seen pictures of Wickham Park many times before, so we'll do the picture of stop 2 instead. We ran down to Melbourne on the 12th, dentists on the 13th. As noted before we weren't that fond of the dentist up in St Augustine, so we made our appointments with our old trusted dentist. I lost 3 teeth, but I trust his judgment and if he tells me he can probably save it but I won't get much more time with it, it's time to get rid of it. One was a very old tooth that had a root canal a very long time ago - they get brittle over the years after the root is pulled and it kept breaking. Then one of the bottom ones was a real bear getting out. It was hanging on desperately - but in the end the pliers won.

1/14-15 then on the 14th we moved down to Juno Beach. Sheila has an old friend from high school who lives down here and they arranged to get together for lunch. So down we came. Really nice mobile home & rv park. The sites are all concrete pads, with all the amenities including cable. So I plugged in to the cable and it works great. The lunch was just the girls, so I stayed home and worked a little. Having the cable is a real luxury when we're traveling. I've found that if the cable is Xfinity then my modem will connect and give me the same level of service I get at our spot on the river. 89mbps down and 12mbps upload. A lot better than the air card. So I'm home, catching up on some work, Sheila's out for linner (lunch/dinner) and the rain and wind are hammering away outside. A normal Florida blustery summer day :)) Take care - keep smiling and be thankful.
01/24-28/16 - Hanna Park, Jacksonville Fl.
Hanna Park - where's the Hummer?
Well it was a busy busy week with a high spot (see the new Jeep :)) and a low spot. But let's do the high spot first and then we'll get to the low spot. A flaw in the design of the Hummer sun roof along with the $5k we spent on repairs (but mostly the leaking sun roof) motivated us to go car hunting. So early Monday morning, expecting to spend a couple hours out and then get back so I could take care of any customers who needed me we headed to the Jeep dealer. We had been doing a lot of checking inventory, prices, etc. on the internet so we had a pretty good idea what we were looking for and we found it and took it for a drive. Then started the haggle part, haggled to a conclusion that we liked and headed to the finance department. There we did something I rarely do, but considering all the electronic goodies on this car I think was a good idea, we put an extended warranty on the car. By the time we were all done we were in hock for the rest of our lives but we have a 'great' car. It's a Grand Cherokee, 4wd, so a really good combination of comfort and off road capability. It's not a mud & crud Wrangler, a 'real' Jeep, but a good compromise and capable of handling the type of 4 wheeling that we've enjoyed in the past.

We took it home, and kept the Hummer for a couple days while we scheduled the return to the dealer to get the tow package - front and rear and the skid plates on. We also got an 'appearance' protection plan with the extended warranty and they sprayed a special protective coating on the exterior and treated the interior all of which is guaranteed for 100k miles or 8 years whichever comes first. We're thrilled with the new ride and looking forward to getting it on some trails. Now, next frame - the low spot....
01/29/16 - Hanna Park, Jacksonville Fl.
Smashed Awning -
Yes, that's what's left of the awning. Hanna has narrow roads and a little curvy here and there. So we're on our way out, new car in tow and I'm splitting my attention between the car to be sure it's following ok and the road. It's narrow, but we've been in and out of Hanna several times without a problem. I'm watching the car, the road and the tree's - but I wasn't looking up. I pull past this big tree, and the road angles to the right a little and I need to get to the right as much as I can for the turn that's coming up. I'm watching the mirrors and I'm a good foot or so from the tree on my right when the awing goes POP and we stop going forward. Argh! Up high, out of my mirrors there's a big branch sticking out of the tree at about a 45 degree angle and the awning is pinched between the side of the coach and the branch. It has slid back towards the rear of the coach, mushed the awing and bent the arms beyond repaint. So it's a total loss for the awning. We need a complete awning replacement and some paint work where the awing scratched up the paint. Fortunately we made it home without any problems, but once home the front arm needed to be pulled out of the awning to get the slide out. So we're grounded now until the repair is done. Ok, now I have one more picture to share - you need to blow this up and then look closely. You'll see a big scratch up at top, then below that is the rail where the slide topper attaches to the coach. Follow that rail to the right tell the paint starts again and then look up a little higher - see the smiley face? Just goes to show that TISIT is still smiling. A little battered maybe, but still smiling and so are we. The critical part of any problem is "are you alright"? We both are, not sure the bank account will be after the repair bill, but we are and we can always get more green stuff. So now we're just arranging and waiting for the repair to get done. Till next time :))
02/20/16 - Going for a ride.
Riding Again
We've found a vegetarian restaurant that we really like over in St Augustine so we have started taking a ride over there when the weather is nice. We have this narrow back of what's considered 'nice' any more - not too cold, not too hot - but we do still have a window and so we've been out for a few rides over to St Augustine for our lunch time dinner :) I didn't figure a picture of the restaurant would be of particular interest, but always enjoy an excuse to put a picture of the honey up, so caught her out by the bike as we were getting ready to go.

We have a route that's fun - we run over on the FL 207 out of Palatka and then we come back on the FL16 to the FL13 and then down along the rive back to the 207 around Hastings and then home. It's a fun ride when the weather is nice. When it's windy, we did this one up the river route in the wind, and the wind blows across the river and is really brutal on the east side where the road runs. So if it's windy our we just take the 207 both ways. We have plans for March, but they're still in the forming so we'll see how they work out. We did get the awning fixed in preparation for some travels in March. Now we'll just have to see if the plans come together. :))

Till next time - keep smiling and remember IT IS WHAT IT IS - what you get to decide is whether you want to see that as a good thing or a bad thing. For us we choose to smile whatever it turns out to be. Be safe and enjoy, Live Is Good.
03/07/16 - Wildwood Lake KOA, Orlando, Fl.
Lake Wildwood KOA, Orlando, Fl
We had to go down to Orlando for a business meeting so we booked a could of days at the Lake Wildwood KOA. We got a back in spot lakeside and had to say it was a very enjoyable place to stay. There are trails and an adjoining property that is also open to walking with a big trail around it. It's also in a great location as it's very close to the Orlando Airport, so if you have someone flying in for a meeting you'll be close and there are a number of airport hotels, restaurants, etc. all close by. Orlando is a tourist town so there's always something to do.

This was the first of the March travels and there's a list of others coming as the month progresses. Plan is to stop by the Mayo on the way north on March 22nd for Sheila's port visit and then head up to Red Bay for some service and minor repairs. We still need to get the paint touched up from the awning smush (see above) and then have a few other things on the list. From there it's up to Louisville for the truck show. Then ?? for a week on the way back to Jacksonville for Sheila's 2 year review. Depending on the results of that review and the work schedule, other travels may or may not be coming. We've given up on trying to do any 'long range' planning. Seems, from experience, that when you may long range plans you are just inviting Murphy to step in and once again who's running things. So we're settling for short term plans these days. Seems safer and easier to keep up with :)).
Till next time be safe and be happy. Remember happiness is a choice, so choose wisely,
03/20/16 - Hanna Park, Jacksonville, Fl
Hanna Park, Jacksonville Fl
We lucked out when I made the reservation for Hanna and got my favorite space - It's right on the end so real easy pull in right off the road. To get out I pull  out onto the road, back up to the road on the other side and then just turn onto the main road out of the park. After mushing the awning the last time we were here, easy is nice :) No Murphy, that's not a challenge, you rule :)

3/21 - We ran back down to Camping World, SAKS OFF 5TH and OLD NAVY to pick up a few things. We decided it would be easier to come back in the car than to try and get in and out of the parking lot for the stores on the way up. The mall is only a 20 mile detour, so it was an easy side trip on the way over to Whole Foods for our monthly stock up in Jacksonville. Sheila's feet have been bothering her a little lately so I'm trying to help her save them for her walk rather than wear them out walking around a shopping center parking lot. Parking our 70 train in a parking lot usually means out in the back 40 somewhere.

Port visit is at 7:30 Tues morning, then we'll do breakfast at the Mayo, they have a little cafe there that we like. Then back to the campground to pack up and get out of here as early as we can. Across the I10 to the I75, then north to the US82 and up that to US280 and US78 to Red Bay. Not sure where we'll be stopping tomorrow night. It's not a route with a lot of camp grounds along the way. But we'll find a place when it's time. More once we get up to Red Bay (I hope). Till then keep smiling :))).
03/23/16 - Red Bay, Al -
Red Bay, Al - Paint Shop
Custom Paint, Bruce Deaton, bought the lot right in front of his place and tore down the building that was there so this shot is his new RV parking. They've added a couple of new RV parks there. There's a 'Downtown RV Park' now with 10 or so spaces as well as the other ones we've stayed at previously.

We stopped on the way up at the Auburn RV Park, nice Good Sam park in a big city park. The driveway into the place is interesting, especially since they knew the RV park was going to be there, couple of sharp corners, but nothing we couldn't get through. It was a pretty good place for my morning walk - walked around the park itself a couple of times. It was a big place. From there we made it up to Red Bay the next day and checked in at Custom Paint. We parked out front in his new RV parking :) and were ready to pop into the bay first thing the next morning. We had ourselves pretty booked for this visit - paint on Thursday, Bay Diesel to get the coach serviced on Friday and then Brannon to get the Hydrohot services, a new water filter installed in the wet bay (the old one was always very hard to get off to change the filter). We use this real heavy duty filter, takes almost everything out of the water so it needs to be changed often. Especially with the well water in Florida - lots of calcium in the water so it plugs things up quickly.
03/28/16 - Red Bay, Al -
Red Bay, Al - Paint Shop
We got all prepped at the paint shop on the 24th and then they painted us first thing (they came in early since we had a 9am at Bay Diesel) and then put the heat lamps on the dry the paint. We got out in time to make out 9 or so appointment at Bay Diesel.
No pictures from Bay Diesel, not sure why, I just didn't take any. Maybe I'll get on when it's up on the rack next time. They put the coach up on the rack, changed the oil, engine & generator, lubed and checked everything and got us back out in a couple hours.
This picture is in the bay at Brannon's, Custom RV in Vina (right outside of Red Bay). If you blow it up you can see one of them sticking out the side of the RV. He's servicing the Hydrohot which is located in the middle of the coach behing the electric reel. We got the Hydrohot serviced, got a new fabric on the awning over the door - I'd looked at it and thought about doing it myself but I'm glad I decided to have them do it. Whoever put it on there previously did it a strane way and the set screws were real hard to get out. They ended up drilling them out. The fabric is also just a little too long I think, and if you're not careful the awning will go out until the arms are straight and then you have a heck of a time getting it closed again. Not sure exactly what we'll do about that for a fix - just have to play with it. I have a couple ideas to try. Brannon got us in and out quickly so we headed up towards Louisville late morning. No picture of the spot where we stopped (Cave City) but we've been there before. It's kind of the regular stop on our way to Louisville.
03/29/16 - Louisville, Ky -
Louisville Convention Center
Till next month be happy and stay safe out there on the road.

We got an early start and made it up to Louisville before lunch. Got all settled, but a little further from the power than usual as there were already a lot of people there. I know, where, nobody in the picture, but that's because I didn't take the picture until after the show and they'd all left before I went out of take this one. Actually I finally remembered to get the picture just before we pulled out ourselves.
Truck Show BoothOk, here's something that we haven't see for a few years. Blow this one up and look close - that's Sheila sitting in the booth. She came over Thursday and Friday for a few hours each day and helped at the booth. Saturday, because of the number of kids who come, she stayed home, but it was really nice to have her at the booth again.

I decided not to bring the big booth and to use the pull up stands this year, but I learned if we're going to do that we need to get some new stands to use. Layover dominates the booth because it's name is up high
and Truckers Helper has the name on the bottom of the pull ups. The bottom of the pull ups is also below the table and thus out of site. I need a high table in front and a short table, with the stands on it in back I think. We'll see what we do next year. Till then works done it's time to play :)