Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 The Year in Reveiw

    Its seems like it was just yesterday when we were planing for Y2K. Well we got  beyond that. We now are closing in on another year, 12 years later. Although we didn't do any great trips this year we did have some new adventures. We started the year with the lost of our beloved Blazer who was put to rest on the 4th of January. A very very sad day for us, and we never knew how many people he had touched in one way or other. We received many many emails and even cards from friends. Many remember his endless energy. Others remembered his great behavior. He was one of a kind. We are now without the loving championship of man's best friend, the first time in 47+ years of marriage we are without a dog or two. I'm sure one will enter our life in the future, but not just yet, as the hurt of losing two wonderful companions in less then two years is still bearing on us. Both Lilly and Blazer were rescues, and the two best dogs we ever had the pleasure of calling our own. We were the lucky ones, they showed their thanks by sharing their lives with us. Lilly for almost 16 years and Blazer for almost 10 years. This year was also sad in that we lost 3 good friends.

     We started the year in Wildwood FL.  In January we were listed on . Since then we had over 25,000 hits to our blog.  We also attended our first Carriage Rally. Carriage is the manufacture of our RV. It was a lot of fun with some great learning experiences. From the Rally we caravaned to the Tampa "Super RV Show" with about 20 other Carriage owners. We had a great time at the Super show. We stayed at the fairgrounds with about 800 other rigs. Besides the show there was coffee and donuts every morning and super entertainment every night, plus the great get together with other RVer's. It was amazing in that we ran into four other couple we knew at the show. We also visited with friends Dave and Liz that live in the area.
     From the Tamps show we went to Punta Gorda. We visited with our daughter in laws sister Fran who just moved to the area. Also friends for the passed 50 years Diane and Marvin also in the area. Then we spent a couple of days with Abbie and Nancy at their great condo, who took us on a few day trips around the area.  This was the first time we spent time  away from our RV. In the passed with our dogs we couldn't do this.
     We travel a little further south in FL to visit the Everglades. We spent a wonderful 10 days touring the Everglades National park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Biscayne National Park. We saw a great deal of wildlife and had a great time.
       From the Everglades we went back to Punta Gorda for another Carriage Rally. Again we had a great time with new/old friends. Then we went to Zolfo Springs and the Thousand Trails park. We spent a couple of weeks there and we met up with friends Tom and Paula, plus a few other acquaintances we had met at other RV Parks. We had also met up with Banjo, Blazers friend and playmate and his owner Joe and his wife.. We all share stories of our four legged frends. We then traveled to the Thousand Trail park in the Orlando area. While there we met my cousin Pat and her husband Larry and went to the Strawberry Festival. We had a good time getting together and fun at the festival. A couple of days later we met with my cousin Jane and her husband Nick at one of our favorite restaurants The Catfish House in St Cloud. While there the famed Harlem Globetrotters came in to eat. What a nice treat. They were super ambassadors. They posed with anyone that wanted a photo and took their time talking to everyone. A very nice group of gentlemen. We had a couple of visits to Walt Disney World with passes from friends Jim and Linda that still work there.
       At the end of March we headed to GA. We went to West Point Lake in West Point GA. We met up with friends Barry and Donna. We spent 5 great days with them visiting Calaway Gardens and The FDR Little White house, as well as touring the area. After a sad good bye, we headed to Pigeon Forge TN. We spent the next 3 months there, working for Dollywood. The perks working for Dollywood were great. We attended about 30 shows and other attraction, like a visit to Biltmore,  on Dolly's dollar. We also did a lot of touring on our own. An added bonus was a visit from our son Mark and his wife Tracey. They spent about a week with us. Another bonus was being in the Smokey Mountains. While at Dollywood we did get to meet Dolly and have our picture taken with her. While at Dollywood we celebrate our 47th anniversary. After leaving Pigeon Forge we took about 3 weeks to get back to PA. We spent 2 weeks touring in NC and 1 week in VA.
    While in PA we did get to have a lot of family time. We spent about 13 weeks in PA. September in PA  started our 8th year of full time Rving. We did spend a lot of time with doctor and dentist visits. In late October we headed south. We spent 2 weeks at Myrle Beach SC, then a week in both Charleston and Savannah. Then another week in ST  Augustine FL. Next we landed in the Orlando area which seems like it is fast becoming our winter home. While in the Orlando area we did meet up with many friends we worked with at Disney and friends from the Carraige RV Club. If you wish, you can read a lot more about our year in our blog archives.
      THANK YOU to all our friends and blog followers, for following along on our journey. May 2013 bring you all good health, joy and happiness.

2012 Statistics

Here are a few statistics for the year of 2012
     Rv Parks- 32 stops, 19 were new stops for us. Of the 13 repeats we were in 3 two different times. Here is the brake down, all precentages rounded off.
     Thousand Trails       148 days, 41% of the year, membership club
      Fawn Ridge              26   "    ,   7%       "                     "            "
      Coast To Coast        14   "    ,   4%       "                     "           "
      Pasport America      14  "    ,   4%        "         , 50% off RV Club
      Corp Of Engineers    5   "   ,    1%         "         , 50% off w/Golden Age/American The Beautiful
      National Park           10   "       3%         "                   "        "                   "            "
      Monthly                   93   "      25%       "          , working at Dollywood (avg $14.80 day)  
      Rally                        30    "       8%       "          , four different rallies
      Specials                   20    "       5%       "           , Good Sam, show specials
      Regular rack rate      3     "       1%       "           , no discount of any kind
      RPI                           0     "        0%      "

      Our daily RV fee average $9.57 add in our membership dues ($3.99 a day) =$13.56 a day.

Milage traveled
      Truck                    2,900 miles towing, about 50 miles not towing
      Car                       13,000, 2900 following, 10,000 touring



Friday, December 21, 2012

Trip to Walt Disney World and 2 more weeks in FL

     A trip to this part of Florida wouldn't be complete with out a visit to the "Happiest place on earth", Walt Disney World. Its not like we haven't been here, after all we worked there for two winters. But friends Fran and Larry who work at Disney took us in as their guest. Thank you for your generosity. We did enjoy seeing the lights at Hollywood Studios and especially The Candlelight Procession. We had seen this 60-70 or 80 + times and it doesn't get old. We enjoyed it very much.


   We spent two weeks kinda layed back. We don't do this often enough. After all we are retired, but we threw away that old rocking chair. Being active helps keep us young, at least in our humble opinion. We joined the local library so we could get some current books, and books we can't get on our Nook. We save the Nook for older less expensive books. We did get together and play games with friends and of coarse go out to eat with friends. We rode our bikes almost everyday, read a few books and took a few naps. We did take a trip over to Titusville and visited with my cousin Jane and her husband Nick. We ate at one of our favorite places there, The Dixie Crossroads. We  enjoyed the rock shrimp and corn fritters. This has been a truly laid back two weeks.

     We want to wish each and everyone a very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Stagecoach RV Park ST Augustine FL

Name; Stagecoach RV Park, 2711 County Road 208 St Augustine FL 32092 phone 904 824 2319
Date; 11/11-11/18/12
Staff; Very friendly.
Price; $36.30 rally rate, not sure of the regular rate.
Site Description; We had a long pull thru full hook up with 50 amp electic. Site was fairly level packed gravel. We had a small 8X10 cement patio. Most sites did not have patio's. Sites were well spaced with no privacy between sites.  Site was long enought to park both our car and truck.
Big Rig Friendly; Yes, wide wide roads.
Amenities; Pool, clubhouse, pavilion and propane sales.
Laundry; Yes and very clean and fairly new machines, 5 each.
Phone/Wifi/TV; Our Verizon worked very well. Wifi at our site was very good. Cable TV, about 20 channels. We did get our satlite to work very easy, others had a problen with trees. Our site was fairly open.
Dog Friendly; Yes. Lots of room to walk a dog.
Night; Well lit at night. Little road noise.
Book Exchange; Yes, small bok exchange in office area.
Comments; About 7 miles to ST Augustine downtown. The park is very well kept. Most of the sites are pull thrus. Many muture trees. We would stay here again.

Our site after the rally. During the rally all sites were full. We had an end site, so no one on driver side, a wide grass spot, so we didn't feel cranped. The clean laundry.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three weeks in FL

  It has been three weeks since we arrived at the Thousand Trails Orlando Park. We seem to be spending a lot of time in this area. We have quiet a number of friends in the area. So far we played domino's a few nights, outdoor scuffle board and cash bingo. I'm beginning to think bingo is our game. We played three times so far. I won two games, one for $107 and one for $41. Linda won one for $31. It does cost about $26 for the two of us to play. But we are ahead and that feels good. I did get out to do a little fishing at the lake here at Thousand Trails. It was a very windy day, but I did catch a few small  fish. This gator was one of several I saw. He looked too be about 8-9 foot. He seemed to be watching me.

 One afternoon we  took a 30 mile ride to eat at The Bee's.  We went with Pat and Dave and Andrea and Lance for the famous fried chicken dinners. There was only a small line with a short wait.
    We also got to eat at one of our favorite restaurants, Manny's Chop house. We went there in time for happy hour with friends Lance and Andrea. We all had something different and all enjoyed the food. Afterwards we took a drive to Downtown Disney. We walked around and did a short boat ride. We then made reservations at the AMC Movie Complex for a dinner and show. They have this new thing "Fork and Screen",were you sit in recliner type seats with a table in front of you. You order off a menu from appetizers to entrees to desserts,  and the food is served while you are watching the movie. Drinks are anything from soda to cocktails and beer. You have a call button for the waiter/waitress. The movie was  "Lincoln". A super movie. It;s the type movie you have to see a second time, at least for me. It was a neat experience. We understand that in select areas they are putting in this type of movie/dinning theaters. I wish we would have taken a few photo's, but  and that's a big but, Linda fell down on the job. After all she is the designated photographer. We then went to Celebration City were it snows every night during the Christmas season. Celebration city was developed by Disney in the early 1990's.  See Celebration FL at Wikipedia for the complete story. A neat walkable city
      We also got to eat at one of my (Bob) favorite restaurants at Disney. That is the Cape May Cafe. We went with friends Lance and Andrea and Tom and Chris. The Cape May is a seafood restaurant. I got my fill of crab legs plus, plus, plus a ton of other great foods. Get the picture. Afterwards we took a short boat ride to The Boardwalk. Spent a short time there just strolling around. Then back to the boat and Tom's Chevy truck were all six of squeezed in for the ride back to the RV Park. It was a fun evening with great friends and great food and many laughs.

A pretty sky at the RV Park

A few friends we made. From the left, Elmo and Pachino, Sugar , Baby Girl, and Henry that's the dogs names.



Monday, December 3, 2012

Hardeeville - Thomas Parks RV Park

Name; Hardeeville RV Park 3090 S Okatie Highway , Hwy 315 Hardeeville SC 29927 phone 843 784 6210
Date; 11/4-11/11/12
Staff; There is no staff to be seen. Self check in, grass gets cut, etc, and the place is neat and clean, but didn't see anyone working. We did meet the owner and she was friendly. Cash or check only.
Price; $20 for 30 amp, $21 for 50 amp. This is with the Passport America 50% discount.
Site; We had a extra large grass site. Sites vary from the usual pull thrus to sites scatterd through out the park. We had a full  50 amp. Roads were packed gravel.
Big Rig Friendly; Yes. Wide roads and pull thrus.
Amenites; see below
Laundry; yes but in poor repair. 2 or 3 washers and dryers that didn't work. others didn't. 
Phone/Wifi/TV; Our Verizon worked well. Wifi at our site was very good. Cable TV was good. Our satalite had clear veiw of southern sky.
Dog Friendly; Yes lot's of room to walk a dog.
Night; Little to no outdoor lighting. A little road noise, but didn't disturb us. Quite over all.
Comments; A very clean and well kept park(other then laundry). Cash or checks only. Self contained RVs only, no rest rooms or showers. Picnic tables at most sites, we ask the owner when we saw her for one and she said she will see what she can do, but we never got one. This is a great place to stay if visiting the Savannah GA area. It is located about 10 miles from the downtown visitors center. We would stay here again.

Our site and the wide road at the entrance. The park model building is were you self register. There is a phone number to call if you need something.