Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oct. 2011

Oct. 26th we didn’t need to get an early start today so we relaxed a little bit. We both took a walk around the resort which is a distance of 1 ¼ mile. Later Kathleen opened up a work out membership, and today was her first day, upon returning she was thinking she would be sore and stiff tomorrow. While she did that, Jon went to the MH and removed the items that we are going to have reupholstered. After that he got out the bicycles and put air in the tires and rode each one of them around the park to make sure all things work. In the afternoon we took the parts to the upholstery shop and from there we went to have Kathleen’s eyes checked for glasses. It was discovered that she didn’t need glasses but will need laser treatment to remove a film that developed on the back of the lenses after her cataract surgery two years ago. This is considered “normal” and is a relatively easy procedure. While she was in there Jon did some shopping. We got back together and went to get a bite to eat prior to going to our Wednesday night Bible study. Upon returning home we had another great day in the campground/resort.

Oct. 25th what a busy day we awoke to today. First we went down to the office and officially checked in and paid for our early arrival and MH storage. After that we took some more items to the MH and picked up some things we forgot to remove. We left the park and our first stop was at the local Chevrolet shop to ask about an oil change, since we have about 5000 miles on it and the oil monitor says we are at 65% before a change. We were told that we are good till it gets down to under 30% and that some go as much as 12,000 miles between changes. After that we went to the Verizon store as Jon’s phone gave up the ghost, has to charge it every day and it dies overnight. He did something different as when most people get another phone they up grade but, no he downgraded to strictly a phone, no frills. From there we went and bought a head board for our bed, next stop to return to the local upholstery shop that did the work when we changed our MH last spring, we wanted to complete the job this year. We were so happy that we did this, because they are closing their doors at the end of the year. From there we went to the local orange grove for juice and to buy some local honey, we found out that by using local honey where ever you are it will help with the local allergies. We then came home and got cleaned up as we were meeting with Jeff & Shirley this afternoon. They have been looking at properties in Fl. for well over a year now and have made several trips down here to look. Well, we think that they found the place this time, it is a 4 year old home that was never lived in, in a gated community with lots of amenities for the residents there, also in a very nice location and near to a lot of shopping areas and restaurants. We are so glad for them and hope that is works out for them. The four of us then went out to Manny’s Restaurant and had a great meal, the amount, quality and price was fantastic. We returned home tired and worn out for the day but realize how great it is to be in a campground/resort in Florida.

Oct.24th after arising Jon put in a new socket for our wash line (actually a single pole with four arms extended) this is an easy job as the soil is all sand and just set the pipe at the place you want it and put a hose in the pipe and turn the water on and push down the pipe. Also in the morning we went to the office, only to find out that the office person had another appointment this morning. We moved our MH to the storage area along with the tow dolly; we probably have the longest MH in the storage lot and hope that it goes well. We did have a challenging time getting both of these in one area. We located the people who mow our lawn over the summer and paid them for a job well done. In the afternoon, Jon went to play a round of golf with Paul, Floyd and Dennis. It was a great day and the weather was just perfect. During that time Kathleen went shopping and got a new coffee pot and some decorative items to set on our new computer desk/hutch along with personal items. After our evening meal we washed the car and took off several weeks of grime from being towed behind the MH. As we are settling into our winter digs we are so happy to be in a campground/resort.

Oct 23rd this morning we got back to our church family, after the event that we faced back in Pa. it really felt good to be back around old friends, and this was the proper setting. We returned home and continued to clean out the MH and get our winter home set up. At the present time we are awaiting a lot of the people in the park to return for the winter and the place is somewhat deserted. We have met some new campers here as well. In the afternoon we set up out computer desk/hutch that we brought from Pa., it is over 4 ft. high and over 5 ft. long. We had been lugging this around for about three weeks and finally got it home. We spent all of the afternoon setting it up, as you know part A to part B type of thing, and this had a lot of parts. It looks good and it will function very well for us and the décor couldn’t be any better. After that we lounged around and watched some TV, although Jon couldn’t stay awake and took an early exit for the night. The last few days were long and we did accomplish a lot of work. Once again we are happy to be at our winter home and as always it great to be in a campground.

Oct.22nd this is our last day of travel and we were happy to get to our winter home. Jon couldn’t sleep and was up by 3:30 am even though we hadn’t planned to leave till 8:00am. We left out of Wally world and we do say, that it was very quiet and a nice place to stay, we got back onto I-75 till the Fl. Turnpike and from there we took Rt. 27 at Claremont as this would take us to our park. We do have to say it is a very scenic route but the conditions we had were the worst we had the whole journey. Even though it is a divided multi lane road the roadway is narrow with a lot of hills and way too many red lights, well maybe we got used to the interstates. We both fueled up about 20 miles from our winter home and Floyd had his brake hang up again. Using his levelers he raised the front end and kicked the tire and it loosened up. Arriving home we found the yard to be in great shape, as we had mowing service and also weed control, it is well worth it. Two years ago it was the worst lawn in the neighborhood it is one of the nicest now. Upon opening we found the place as we left it with no surprises, and we started to unload and set up our place. What a major challenge, didn’t know we had so much stuff, this is crazy. We arrived a little before noon and at 4:00 we had company and sat and chatted for a while. After that we did a Wal-mart, gas, and Wendy’s run. After we ate, which first consisted of clearing off the table, we hooked up the TV and set up our Wi-Fi account. By this time we were tired out and stated we could clean out the rest of the MH and car tomorrow. It was a busy day and a great day to live in a campground/Resort. Must say here we were so lucky to have the Lord with us through our journey and we blessed Him every day. Tomorrow we will be back with our church family and continue to praise Him.

Oct. 21st we sort of took it easy this morning as we decided to get a later start. After arising to a cold MH, because we hadn’t run the furnace at night we awoke to an inside temperature of 53 degrees. Last night the heater didn’t work and it gave us an Emergency Shut off alarm. After checking in the manual we saw that the coolant level in the furnace was low and we added coolant at 10:00 pm last night. Any way it worked great this morning when we turned it on. We left our Wally world site and continued our journey south planning to travel about 330 miles, this included losing an hour as we reentered the Eastern Time zone. After going through a few small towns we pulled into a rest area and upon stopping we could smell hot brakes. After looking around we discovered that Floyd’s one front brake was tight and very hot. Using his leveling jacks we tried to turn the wheel which was tight. Jon got out a hammer and drift pin and through the wheel gave it a few smacks on the calipers which loosened up the wheel. The rest of the day at all of the rest stops we entered we checked the wheel and all was fine. We traveled to Ocala, Fl. at a Wally world to stay for the night. This is a good stop and there is a Bob Evans in walking distance and we had dinner there. Once again being in a campground (even if it is Wally world) is great. This will be our last night in the MH till next spring, Yahoo we are in Fl.

Oct. 20th as we got up this morning we realized it was going to be a major travel day for us. We had laid out our route and as we weren’t sure of the roads it was going to be an adventure. We left Memphis heading south into Mississippi and went across the northeastern part of the state into Alabama. Even though the road was a divided 4 lane road it was a rough road. At this time of the year you could still see the cotton in the fields as it had not been harvested yet. Entered Alabama in the northwest part of the state going towards Birmingham, only to discover that the interstate ends about 5 miles before connecting to another interstate. And of course being adventurous we failed to follow the signs as it looked like the road was complete. Well, we wound up going through a small residential area and some folks were probably wondering what we were doing. We really didn’t lose much time and when we got back on the correct route we stopped at an almost closed up mall area and had lunch. From Birmingham we went south to Montgomery and headed in a south east direction to the town of Troy. We did the Wally world thing for the night. We must say that the road from Montgomery to Troy was by far some of the best road we were on and also of the nicest scenery we saw all day. After getting our dinner at the Subway in Wal-Mart and setting up tomorrow’s route we returned to Wal-mart to pay for our spot (that is, we went to do some shopping). It is not a campground but it is still great to be in the MH wherever we are parked.

Oct. 19th we got an early start and we are now on Plan B as to the lost day yesterday. We left Branson and headed south on Rt.65 to I-40 and went through Little Rock continuing East to Memphis. Rt. 65 traveling south was a bevy of roads, as we had 4 lane divided, 4 lane undivided and two lane roads, but as it went through the Ozarks it was a pretty drive, especially at this time of the year. We decided to stay at a campground tonight as Floyd & Mary are celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary today and wanted something better than a Wally World stop. We stayed at the Memphis-Graceland Rv Park, and as we were checking in they told us about Marlow’s, which is famous for their ribs. We called for a reservation and pick up service; they offer a free pick up in a Pink stretch Cadillac Limo that takes you to the restaurant from the park. We had a great supper and we are sure that they won’t forget about this year’s anniversary for a while. After that we returned to the park and set up our travel plans for tomorrow. We look at this as another one of God’s plans; if we would have not been delayed by one day we would have missed this great event. Life is great when you live in a campground.

Oct. 18th what started out as a travel day turned into a no travel day. As we were ready to go Floyd & Mary’s MH parking brake would not release. There is a small hydraulic system that is used to overcome the parking brake assembly and it would not run. After trying to find a simple solution and not coming up with any they then called a repair service, which said they could be here in the early afternoon. In the mean time we removed the pump motor and took it to the repair shop only to discover that this was not the problem, and at that time we also found out that they were coming out at that time which was 3 hours early. When they arrived they disconnected the parking brake and had the MH taken back to the shop to work on. Long story short they found a loose ground wire which caused a relay to fail. Cheap part to replace, but a large labor bill. Floyd related that he has had a lot of problems with this system, and also said through other information so do a lot of other people with the Workhorse chassis. Floyd & Mary did not get back to the campground till 5:00 pm and we decided to stay here another night as it was a stressful day for all of us. Also we changed our route to get back to Florida, and we will start early tomorrow morning. The day was what it was but as always it is great to be in a campground.

Oct. 17th this morning the four of us went out and did a little geocaching, Floyd and Mary hadn’t done this before and we thought that they would enjoy it, which they did. We went out and quickly found three caches, two of them being micros, and one being a reg. size (ammo box). Since they were in the area before they got to see some places the usual tourist doesn’t see, which is one of the reasons we like to geocache. When we are in a new area we like to find a few if we can. After that we both did some cleanup work around our campsites and MH as tomorrow we will be heading out and the forecast is for rain, so we will get as much outside work done today as we can. Later in the afternoon we went to “Mel’s Hard Luck Diner” for dinner, this is a great place to eat and all of the servers are singers that are either in shows or had been in local shows, and every 10 to 15 minutes one of the servers will sing a song and they sell their CD’s there also. After that we attended the Lee Greenwood/Louise Mandrell show, once again great seats, not front row but row 7. We totally enjoyed the show, as with all the shows we attended. Jon had an idea several days ago and bought small ‘American Flags’ that we waved during Lee’s singing of “God bless the U.S.A.”. We did meet up with Lee after the show to have him sign our flags, and he related to us he saw us waving the flags. We all got to talk to Lee and to relate some stories we had about him over the years. We have to say that our stay in Branson was super, and this is a very God fearing place, right smack in the middle of the Bible belt. Every show had God and country presence involved and this is truly a family friendly area. In all of the shows we attended we never heard an off color joke or even reference to one, not so like the sin centers in other areas where you cannot take your family members to. We even discovered that the restaurants are fair and reasonable for a tourist area. As this is our last night in town we would like to say thank you “Branson” for the great and wonderful time. Life is great in a campground no matter where it is.

Here we are with Yakov, it was a great show, trouble is a phone
should be used as a phone and not as a camera. You get the idea.

Oct. 16th we (that is the four of us, Floyd, Mary, Kathleen, Jon) had an early start this morning as we had decided to attend a local church, we went to the 9:30 am service and even though the attendance was low it was an energetic audience. The building was built in the past year and they had just finished painting the past week. There was an 11:00 am service and this could have been a larger service. After that we went looking for a place to get breakfast, first we went to the local Bob Evans, which had a 1 hour wait, than we went to a diner in old Branson which had a line ½ block long. After that, in which our stomachs overrode our brains we stopped at a buffet and paid way too much for terrible food, in which we ate too much so that it would the last meal of the day. Quickly we went to Wally world again for a quick stop; leaving there we went to an afternoon show. We attended the “Yakov Smirnoff” show, we were very lucky as we had front row seats, with some of the perks being Floyd got patted down and later we all got to shake his hand and have pictures taken with him. His show was fantastic. He is a great comedian and he also told his story of immigrating to the US from Russia and becoming a US citizen. He is very patriotic and loves the USA. He is also an artist and one of his paintings was copied onto the side of a large building in New York near ground zero. After the show we met with Ron & Shirley for some light snacks, and just to have a great visit. We knew that we had to say good-by and it is always hard to do, but at that same time we also know we will meet up again. That is one nice thing about being a workamper and getting around the country, where friendships cover many miles. We got back to the campground and it is great to live in a campground.

Oct. 15th getting ready in the morning we left the campground around noon, since the other day we discovered that our tickets were cancelled we wanted to get a head’s up on any other possible problems. So we went to the box offices of the two remaining shows we had and 1 of those was cancelled as well, luckily we got it all straightened out and we have tickets in hand. We than drove to Old Branson and after a stop at an Ice Cream Parlor, where my I say we got a parking place right in front of, we had a quick snack. After that and what made the parking place an extra treat, was that the town was totally full and it seemed that a lot of people were enjoying the great weather. We walked down to Branson Landing and enjoyed walking through the bouquet shops in the area; the town did a very good job to make this enjoyable area. We returned back to the campground for a few hours and later we met up with Ron & Shirley for dinner and after and very good visit we decided to go see “Six” but, unfortunately they didn’t have any 6 tickets together, as a matter of fact they only had 6 scattered throughout the theater. At that time we went to another theater and got 6 tickets together for the “Haygoods” and what a wonderful, exciting and electrifying show it was. After the show we parted ways with Ron & Shirley and returned to the campground. As always it is great to be staying in a campground.

Oct 14th after arising and getting breakfast we unloaded the “utility van”, which is what we call the car as we are in travel mode, and then we went to a car wash and got at least 95% of the dirt and grunge off. By doing this we could do some of the driving in the area. We received a call in the morning that Andy Williams was sick and if we wanted to cancel that show we could and get all of our money back or come to the show in its revised form, we chose to cancel. We then got in contact with Ron & Shirley to line up the show “Six” and to have dinner with them prior to the show. At about 11:30 am we left the campground and did a quick stop at “Wally World” and then we went to the Titanic exhibit. The Titanic exhibit was a wonderful tour and we all enjoyed it very much, there was so much information it was amazing, we would like to thank Kathleen’s ex for steering us in this direction. After we completed this event we had a late lunch, early dinner at the local “Cracker Barrel”. Mary wanted to get an Oak Ridge Boys CD, so this was a good excuse. After that we decided to get our tickets for the nights show since we were in the area. It was a good thing that we did since they had cancelled our tickets as someone along the line put in the wrong date. With a lot of help at the box office it was all taken care of, and we thank them for that. They were happy that we came in the afternoon and not prior to the show to get our tickets, as it would have been worse in the rush of the night. We returned later for the “Shoji Tabuchi Show” and a wonderful show it was, we were all totally speechless as to what we had just seen. The performers Shoji surrounded himself with to put on the show was amazing. We then returned to the campground and as usual we had a great time.

Oct.13th as we are getting used to the new time zone after breakfast we did some sightseeing and a quick stop at a Wal-Mart. Later we had a lite lunch at a “Steak-n-Shake” location. After a slow start we had a great meal and a good time, we then continued our sightseeing. We returned to the RV park to rest up for tonight’s show. We hadn’t any show lined up for tonight but, we have workamper friends that are working in the area and we got a great deal on tickets for “The Oak Ridge Boy’s”. Our workamper friends, Ron & Shirley who we worked with in Bar Harbor, Maine, and us had a great reunion as is always when we meet up with friends across the country. These are some of the reasons these long distance friendships are great. After returning to the RV Park and turning in we just had a great time in a campground.

Oct.12th after arising and cleaning off the windows of bugs we headed out before 9:00 am. We really liked this location as it was quite and easy on and off, as we headed towards St. Louis we did encounter rain for a short period. We were going west as the storm was coming east and we felt the difference in temp as we went through the front. We made one fuel stop along the way for Floyd and Mary’s MH, along with the usual stops at rest areas. We checked into the Turkey Creek Escapee’s RV Park in Hollister, which is next to Branson, and set up camp. After that we loaded into the Watson’s car and found a pizza shop for lite diner and rehash the day’s events. When returning to the park we all turned in for an early night. Different campground, but still great to be camping.

Oct. 11th we left the campground around 9 this morning and headed out by going south to Cincinnati and on to Louisville to connect with Rt 64 West. In Cincinnati we really learned, by the hard way the differences of flat towing and dolly towing as we got into a situation at a gas station where we had to remove the car and unhook the car dolly, only to have a very slow pump where we only got $100 worth of fuel. From now on we have to revise our thinking about truck stops and fuel up where we have more room. We made stops at every rest area along the way as per Floyds Doctor’s orders. The stops were good, and gave us a chance to stretch our legs and to chat a while. We made it to Mt. Vernon, IL and we parked at a Kohl’s which is next to a noisy Wal-mart. Tomorrow with the good Lord’s help we will get to Branson, Mo. We are not at a campground but it is still great.

Oct 10th we got a little later start today then usual, but is wasn’t a long day’s drive. We did stop for breakfast at a Cracker Barrel, which is unusual for us but once a year or so isn’t too bad. Also it was pretty empty and for a change the service was good, because I usually say “good food, poor service”. We then continued our journey to the southwestern part of Ohio and pulled into the Frontier campground at about 1:30 to meet with Floyd and Mary. As we set up camp Kathleen started doing some wash and Jon took care of outside work. After Floyd came back from a doctor’s appointment, where he was given the thumbs up after his recent surgery, we went out for dinner. It was almost like we hadn’t seen each other for six months, as we got right back into our friendship. Later two of Floyd and Mary’s sons came by to say good-by and we had a campfire and sat around it for a while and enjoyed the company. Tomorrow we start our journey to Branson, but for today it is a great day in a campground.

Oct 9th what a great day to start our journey, we took Rt. 30 mainly across Pa. at a slow easily pace. When we left the eastern part of the state and it was very green, but as we went further west we could see the beauty of the fall foliage. The only reason we could think of for the eastern part being green was all of the rain that they had in Sept. It was the wettest Sept. in history. We did have a couple little events during the drive, it was the first time that we used a tow dolly as compared to flat towing as we did previously and this lead to a difference in our towing. Also the new car is somewhat heavier than our old car. We went 286 miles today and parked at the Cabela’s in W Va. We got a quick bite to eat and then did some shopping at Cabela’s. Okay we are not at a campground tonight but it was still a great day.

Oct 8th oh what a busy week. Kathleen spent three days working at what will be our jobs for next year; she wanted to sort of get a feel of the operation. At the same time Jon was getting the MH ready for our journey, going to Ohio then to Branson, Mo for a few days and then to our Florida home for the winter. In between all of this Jon had his yearly check up at the Lebanon VA and had a visit with his granddaughters. Both of us attended a soccer game that was played by Kathleen’s granddaughter and we visited with Jon’s mother and said our 6 month good-bys. Last night there was a dance at the campground and we attended and just had a wonderful time as we said our good-bys to all of our friends there. We are going to miss all of the people here and at the present time the weather is just perfect, with morning lows in the upper 40’s and the afternoon highs in the mid 70’s. We know that this will change and turn into frosty mornings and much too cold for us. And once again it is great to live in a campground.

Oct 2nd oh how time flies! Since we wrote last we decided to use a tow dolly instead of flat towing our car. We bought one and replaced the tires and then Jon wired up the dolly and car. We attended a family reunion in September and we also toured the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville in Pa. As school started, Kathleen lost her babysitting job with her granddaughter and they both miss that. As we were getting into the fall season and looking forward to our fall trip back to Florida, we had a rude awaking. While working on a Saturday morning as Jon went into the shop he was met with a disturbing situation that involved the campground owner. At that time we made a decision to leave post haste. We moved to Red Run Campground for our remaining three weeks in Pa. During that time we did secure a position at a nearby resort for next summer. Jon has gotten to spend a little more time with his granddaughters and renew some of his friendships and get in a little bit of golf. Kathleen has gotten a chance to spend more time with her granddaughter, also she has worked several days for the campground that we will be at next summer. Even though the weather is quite rainy as in the highest rain fall in history we are having a great time in the campground.

1 comment:

Jon & Kathleen said...

Jerry and I was so sorry to see you both leave. You will be missed so very much at Paradise. I feel like we've lost such dear friends, but with F/B and the blog, we can still be in touch.