Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pet Sitting - getting our puppy fix.

    We had the opportunity to dog sit twice this week. Friends Ed and Sharon ask us to watch their two dogs while they were away, on two different days. You bet, no problem. We, Linda and I are big dog people, but these dogs weigh in at about 4-5 pounds each. But these little guys can steal your heart in a minute. They are really good, not at all yappie(is that a word) like many little dogs. Both days we went and picked them up and brought them back to our RV. Most of the time they sat and watched out the door looking for their mommy and daddy. The white dog is Scooter aka Whitey, and the brown dog is Springer, aka Jumpier.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's Day

   Valentine's Day and Lobsterfest at Red Lobster. With good friends, it dosen't get any better then this.

From the rear, Andrea and Lance, Sharon and Ed, and us Linda and Bob

Monday, February 18, 2013

Florida State Fair

  This passed week we  attended the Florida State Fair in Tampa along with friends ED and Sharon . Wow, no charge for parking, and $8. a person entry fee. It was senior day.  After checking out the schedule of events we decided to got o the "Country Gold Tour". The show featured Leroy Van Dyke, Jim Ed Brown, Helen Cornelius, T. Graham Brown and Steve and Rudy Gatlin. Tickets to the show were $10 a person. The show lasted for almost two and a half hours and was  a really good show with nothing but country classics.

       There was a break in the show were a guitar that was signed by all the performers was auctioned off. The winning bid was around $4500, don't remember the exact price. This was the 17 th year of doing this auction. All the money raised is given to the 4 H Club. The lady that had the highest bid had the highest bid for the passed 5-6 years.

      After the show we walked around a little to check out the different food stands. With so many choices we did manage to find something to eat. After filling up we checked out the "Cracker Village". There is a large area in the fair grounds with many historic building. Many of the buildings were brought in from different areas of Florida, to form a small village. There were many craft demonstrations. There were, black smiths, lye soap making, old printing press, basket weaving, chair making and canning, plus others.  There is a short history of all the buildings. Well restored and nicely arranged under large live oak trees. See www.crackercountry.org

      We also checked out the antique steam engine display. Both these exhibits, the Cracker Village and the steam engine exhibit are permanent at the fairgrounds. Bob and Ed giving a course on how it works.

     We had to check out the pure bred dog tent. All four of us are dog lovers so we spent a fair amount of time checking out the dogs. To us there is a special bond to man's best friend. There is something therapeutic to us in the present of these four legged creatures. Ed and Sharon were ready to purchase a couple of chihuahua, but they weren't for sale. The Samoyed just sat and posed with anyone, even Bob. The bull dogs were cute, and one of our favorites an Australian Shepard, a close relative to a Border collie.

 There was a Greyhound rescue with these two very very gentle dogs.

    We had to check out the livestock. The 4H club, www.4-H.org  and FFA (Future Farmers Of America) www.ffa.org  had a very big prescnes. From many youthful beginnings today,to where there are many collegiate 4H clubs building the future of agriculture. We saw many, many chickens, rabbits, steer, cows, goats, etc. We saw baby chicks hatching out of their shells., baby pigs just days old and calfs just born. Check out the tiny pink piglet keeping warm between his two big brothers. Lower right is the chicks hatching.

 A Texas longhorn, many different types of goats.
 The angora rabbits, the lower right. Looks like a puppy. I learned at the show from a 4H member that angora wool comes from angora rabbits and mohair cones for angora goats. The rabbits are sheared 3- 4 times a year. Angora wool is warmer and lighter then wool. The lop ear rabbit,  could step on his ears.

    We also stopped by to take in some of the free shows scattered about the fairs grounds.

All the shows were very good or it doesn't take much to entertain old folks. But seriously the shows were good. We truly enjoyed the day. The temperature was just right and there was a threat of rain, so I guess that's why it wasn't to crowed. Just as we got to our car it started to rain. All the way back to the RV Park it poured. All in all it was a great day. Both Ed and Sharon who are from Texas said it was a better then the Texas State Fair.

The end of a perfect day.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thousand Trails Peace River -New Farkel game

   We have been to this park before and you can see our  review under the label RV Parks FL, listed on the right. To add to that report we are in the lower section that is water and 30 amp electric. We will be here for two weeks. There is a pump out service for our holding tanks which cost $10. We already had one pump out and scheduled another one. We like this area of the park because the sites are more open and away from the noisy route 17 in the front of the park. When we came into the park there was a boil water alert. Someone knocked over and broke a water hook up line. So once the water line was fixed there is a automatic boil water alert till it is tested 3 times. This is what we were told. No problem as we still had about 75 gallons in our fresh water tank left over from the Tampa rally. We were going to dump it here on the grass after we checked in, but it came in handy. We just used our water till the water boil band was lifted. We were getting near the end of our supply, but we just used the water very conservatively. Like a boon docking situation, for our non rv'ing followers, rv'ing without hook ups. The water boil alert is over.  There are about 15-20 electric pedestals covered up, that are not working. In the laundry room you can now use a credit card. Not sure of the details, just some thing new to us.
 Our site B49

        We did walk some of the short trails around the RV park. In this area of the peace river, the water is very very low. Seems like kayaking is out. We didn't see any  of the resident alligators. Wonder were they are hiding.
    Two years ago friends Tom and Paula took us to Peace River Bees. We purchased some orange blossom honey and it was super. We ran out of that a while ago, so we took a trip there the other day. They are in a new building at the old entrance. They are just setting up the new store. We did get a supply of orange blossom honey and some blueberry honey. The wood they are using for their counter tops is swamp cypress. They had a picture of the tree it came from. It was buried in the ground in a dried up lake bed. It looked like it was just under a inch or two of earth.  I have seen how they harvest this type wood on the Discovery or History channel. Neat for us to see the real thing, after seeing it on TV. A truck load of their bees are on there way to CA to almond orchards. They will be there for 4 weeks,and than they come back to FL. The 2 gals working there (owners) were very informative about the bee business.
    We also met friends at Manny's in Winter Haven about 40 miles from here, but about half way between us for a birthday celebration for Andrea. We are toasting her, and she how "red" she is.

      While in Fort Myers visiting our friend Dianne we learned a new Farkel game. While it is new to us, not sure how long it's been around. It is called Spicy Farkel. Farkel is a very popular game among RVer's. The new game is like going from hi-fi to stereo. To much to tell about the game here. Do a Google search for it. It won't be long till it is in many places that sell games.
    While in the area we checked out the Escapees RV park. In this park you can buy a lot, and then resell it back to them when you want and get back your original cost. This a co-op park. We checked on availability of a lot and there is a 8-9 year waiting list. We did talk to one lady who is staying on a rental lot and she said they are in their 8th year of waiting for a lot. So Escapees, get your name on the list of one of there co-op parks if your thinking about it. Stop thinking and do it, you do get back your deposit if you opt out.
      While here we had to go pick some fresh strawberries. Well we picked 13 pounds. Linda made some delicious freezer jelly. We'll eat some fresh and freeze some for later use. We also purchased something new to us, purple cauliflowers. It turns white when you cook it. It is also orange picking time. There were about 50 trucks like this waiting to dump their load of oranges heading to the juicer. I hope its bigger then the one we have.

    We will be in the Orlando area till about the 7th of April. So we will not be posting to much till we start moving again, unless we find some new adventures.  If in the area give us a call so we can get together.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Workamping - Work kamping - Work camping

 Workcamping, spelled several ways, but all mean the same.  Some information for our rv'ing friends. This isn't for us, but maybe someone will find this information useful. Spoke to some workcampers working here at the Thousand Trails Peace River Park, that worked at Amazon. They said the work was hard and tireing but stuck it out for their 3 month contract. They worked from late Sept to Dec 23rd. By doing so they each received a $500. bonus. They received $9.91 per hour and worked from 40-60 hours a week. They banked a little over $10,000 for the three months. They worked at the facility in KY. Amazon provided a full hookup site for them in addition to their pay. There were some couples that only one of them worked, but were still provided with an RV site. I ran this by Linda, but she said NO . I even said I would do all the cooking and laundry. But I just got that "look". You guys know what I mean. They also said Amazon is looking for 1000 workcamping couples for this year.  This summer we met a couple we worked with at Walt Disney World, and they said just about the same thing, except they worked in the KS facility. Both these two location are to cold for us in the winter.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dental surgery

   This passed October I, Bob had a root canal after some very bad weeks of a  very bad toothache.   This tooth has been an ongoing problem for three years. I had seen a dentist in TX, one in FL and two in PA. Now a dentist in FL and an Oral surgeon. Well, it seemed to be a good fix until last Saturday. I got some very serious pain in the same area as before. Called the dentist in Pa. well Linda did as I was in so much pain I couldn't talk. Our dentist called in two prescriptions and said look for a dentist and have the tooth extracted. Well after spending a huge amount of money to save the tooth three months earlier I didn't want to hear this. But, by Monday  the pain subsided only a little I decided to get the tooth pulled. Looked up dentists in Wauchula and started calling. The first two were closed on Monday. The third said come in at 1 and we will work you in. Things went downhill from there. After an attempt to pull the tooth I hear a large snap and saw pieces of tooth passing in front of me. The tooth split into pieces. The dentist said I'll have to go to a oral surgeon to have it removes. Oh sh__, the nearest oral surgeon was 40 miles away in Winter Haven. The whole side on my mouth is numb and I'm bleeding and my speech is slurred. The dentist called the oral surgeon and they would be able to see me as soon as I got there. Linda drove and it seem like the trip would never end, not because of her driving, but because of my predicament. My mouth is full of gauze to curb the bleeding, I can hardly talk, and I'm having a sickening feeling. The drive was pretty much a straight drive but through several small towns with 35 mph zones. We got to the dentist and of course there are forms to fill out. But in about ten minutes after arriving I was in the "chair" getting more numbing shots. Within 5 minutes the tooth was out and 3 stitches were in. I didn't feel a thing. I was so numb I could hardly talk. The following day I had a tremendous amount of pain. A call to the Oral surgeon, and it was keep on the pain pills and restart the antibiotic.  By Friday I was feeling petty good.  That was almost two weeks ago, and knock on wood I am healing without any pain.

Friday, February 8, 2013

More Key West photo's

 Our hotel, also on the side of the street I'm on. Its like 5 small house under one name, like a BB, but called a hotel..
Downtown  Art and History Museum
Neat church
 Cruise ship in town
 Unusual tree, forgot the name
 Southern most house
 Southern most beach
 Key West Light House
 Two rooms in Ernest Hemming home

 A huge fresh caught grouper sandwich
 Ceiling of bar covered with dollar bills, one of 150 bars
 Part of this building is hand carve mahogany,built in 1891 ,Fl. National Bank and Center of Commerce. Hemmingway tried to cash a check for$1,000. was refused and he ended up cashing it at Sloppy Joe's Bar.
 Scooters and bikes for rent. A good way to get around, one of many.
 Mile 1 of hwy route 1 starts or ends here, depending which way you are heading.

 Linda really likes these trees, it is a banyan tree

 The Audubon house
 Henningways favorite hangout
 They Key Lime pie baker with Bob

 Sunset from the boat heading out of Key West
 Key West behind us
 Few folks liked the outdoor seating on the boat
Linda with the sunset, leaving Key West

Monday, February 4, 2013

Key West Florida

   We receive tickets as a Chrisrtmas gift, from our sons Cyril and Mark and their wives, for a trip to Key West aboard the Key West Express. A large catamaran from Fort Myers to Key West. The trip takes about 4 hours. The boat holds around 400 passengers.
Check out the size of the haul.

 It was an early rise for us. We boarded the boat a little after 7 in the morning. Beautiful morning sky in Fort Myers. Update; We returned the next day. The boat left Key West at 6 PM. When you schedule you can choose a different day to return. You can return several days later. Just make your reservations to suit your schedule. see www.keywestexpress.com

    We left the dock about 8:15. We were in Key West about noon. We booked a hotel that was 2 blocks from the ferry terminal. Its was a 10 minute walk. Our room was ready and we checked in and dropped our bags, each had a small backpack.  We walked about 4 blocks to catch the City View trolley. It was a hop on - hop off trolley. We paid for a two day ticket. There are three different trolleys running about the same routes.  There were 8 different stops. In between we walked many many miles. The narrations was a good way to learn some of the history of the town.There is so much history to tell, so we will try to hit some of the highlights. One of the places we wanted to visit was the Earnest Hemingway's home. In the photo below, the upper left is the front of the house. Top right is the room on the second floor were he did a lot of his writing while in Key West. Lower left is his desk and the inside of his office. Next the master bedroom with one of  the 40-45 cats. The cats are said to be descendants of the legendary original six toed cats of Hemingway.  The house is on one of the highest locations in Key West, 18 feet above sea level. The only house on the island with a basement, according to our very informative tour guide. There was a walkway from the balcony off the master bedroom to his office. It is not there now.

   We also wanted to tour The Harry S Truman Little White House. This house was used mostly by President Truman. Unfortunately we could not take any photo's inside the home. It was small and not elaborate at all, rather plane.
  There are about 8000 chickens running loose on the island. And they are multiplying. Note she is using the cross walk. The residents don't care for the roosters as they crow at all times of the day. But even the chickens are tourist attractions.

      In the evening many street performers gather at Mallory Square. Besides the street performers, its a great place to see the sun set. The street performers were just ok, but the dog stole the show in our opinion. He did several tricks, but jumping thur hops was funny. Note the height of the hopes. But then again his legs are only 3 inches long. There were several jugglers and even a performer with trained rats. Yes "rats".
Here we are at the southernmost point in the continental US.

   We only got to visit the exterior of the Audubon house. At one time Key West was the largest city in Florida and the wealthiest  city per capita in the U.S.. There were many Cuban residents and  many cigar barons, along with many cigar factories. This trade latter moved to Ybor City after the devastating fire in Key West. Sponge harvesting was also very profitable along with capturing of green turtles. We also visited the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. There is a aquarium and a live video from the reef.
   Being surrounded by water there are many many water activities, like sitting on a beach, dolphin watching, Eco tours, fishing, glass bottom boats, jet boats, paddle boards, scuba diving, etc.
   There are many dinning options. Fresh seafood is abundant in many restaurants. There are Tropical and Cuban influences in many restaurants. There is a very lively nightlife. On Duval street, once called the longest street in the U.S. because it goes from the Gulf Of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, but is only a mile long and claims 150 bars. According to Anheiser Bush Sloppy Joe's sells more Bud them anywhere else in the U.S.. And there is Jimmie Buffet's Margarita, and Hogs Breath and 150 more. This is a party town. It reminds us of a town in the Bahamas.
    Welcome new followers Allen and Donna.  We are now in Wauchula FL at the Thousand Trails Peace River Park. Next we will be in Davenport at Fawn Ridge. If anywhere is near by give us a call. Thank for stoping by.