Saturday, November 19, 2011
But the cold weather, Doctor's appointments and a lot of other "gotta-do" life flotsam and jetsam we needed to take care of while here, has really squeezed our elective time into very sparse and scattered pockets. Our Aerostar van (Yeah, the one with the tree on it, thanks again, Hurricane Irene) has been disposed of so we are down to just the Smart cart for local transportation. You know me, if I really don't have a passion for doing something, I will probably not start working on it until I can't find more fun things to do. Being here is no different.
I miss ST. Augustine. I miss the weather, the dog park (Katie does, too), the spontaneous walks around the RV park at all hours (no hills, no mosquitoes and reasonably lit). Here, a walk involves an initial uphill hike up our driveway just to get to the street. Sure, I like to hike but this is not hiking. Walking our neighborhood is just plain work without the passion.
On other fronts, My decades old right kidney stone is confirmed to be 18mm and has moved to a precarious spot in my right kidney so it needs to come out before we go anywhere medically remote (like the Rockies). There is just too much risk that it will suddenly block that kidney and cause it to shutdown in a matter of hours. I am waiting to hear from the doctor as to whether he wants to bang it to pieces with lithotripsy (high powered ultrasound) or remove it percutaneously (make a hole). I have had more than a dozen lithotrypsies since the 1980s and really prefer that approach.... except for the stints they sometimes have to stick up there to keep things flowing. I don't like the stints! They usually hurt more than the stones and make me both dysfunctional and constantly irritated (oh, wait... maybe that is just me...)
On a better topic, our kids are grand! They are all happy, busy, productive and glad to see us. That makes everything else tolerable.
The house is coming along, nicely. Emery has become an impressive power on Craigslist and has made the basement into a product showroom for interested parties. I will admit to having some trepidation about coming back here and actually seeing what is gone from our lives. I have not walked through the house but in going into the basement and seeing all the open floor space he has made, I thought I would get sick to my stomach.... But I didn't. When I saw it I actually felt relief for the first time in years. Strange.
I will say that I tried to prepare myself by focusing on NOT looking for specific things that had been there. That seemed to help a lot and it seems best to leave what is out of sight... out of mind.
On other fronts, Mer's sister is doing well in Carillon and though she wants out of that situation, it is simply not possible as her needs require trained assistance 24/7. She is certainly far happier than she was in Wake Forest and has settled into this new lifestyle.
Yes, Thanksgiving is a time for togetherness and thankful reflections. It is also a time to steel ourselves for the coming winter hardships. Knowing we are returning to St. Augustine is a nice carrot to have dangling out in front of us.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I am starting to think that blogging is just another performance art. Here it is a month since I last updated anything even though I have thought and planned doing it at least several times a day since the last post. I struggle with the “right content” so much that I don’t get anything committed to e-paper and it becomes less creative and more like taking out the garbage because the can is over-full.
However, stuff does continue to happen and I could try to beg off because of it, but I won’t. The headliners are:
- My Sister-in-Law is doing miraculously well after her surgery! Absolutely amazing that she is doing so much better than even before they discovered the cancers. She has to have one more surgery, probably before Christmas and then a bunch of months of heavy chemotherapy but her doctors are giving her a strong positive outlook once this is all finished.
- Although the site number has changed we are still in the Stagecoach RV Park in St. Augustine, FL. It is a much better site for us with no one behind and a nice view out of the rear window. The park Wifi continues to be very slow and really sporadic despite the excellent signal strength. It also pretty much quits when the temperature falls below about 55 degrees. I Finally paid to get my Sprint Hotspot turned on in my Samsung EPIC 4g phone and that is about 4 to 6 times faster and way more reliable. I can usually watch episodes of TV shows that we have missed.
- Katie the Poo is on day 50 of being seizure free. She is in need of a grooming and doing very well since her ear infection. We finally have some ear drops that have stopped the irritation and smell she has always struggled with in her ears. She gets to the dog park a few times a week and we all love it when we go. Excellent dog park at the Joe Pomar park in St. Augustine.
- With no Cable in this park our only TV has been digital over the air broadcast channels through a converter box (DTVCB) (old analog TV) which limits our viewing/recording to 1 channel only, at a time. Trying to remember when to switch the DTVCB so it records the shows we like, is like being a city bus driver with Roseanne Barr sitting right behind you.
- Mer’s sister in KnightDale is doing much better since she changed assisted living facilities. Her spirits and her health are improving steadily. Good facility, good care and the relief this has brought for Mer has been huge.
- Thanksgiving is coming and we are headed back to the house for a couple of weeks with the kids. It is kind of exciting and yet, we have so enjoyed being close to Mer’s brother and wife, despite their health problems that we are looking forward to returning back here, after the holiday.
We are planning to leave here on Monday or Tuesday so I need to get busy working down my departure list. Diesel prices are down right now so I may run out and fill up before we hookup.
Life is fun, isn’t it!
Friday, October 14, 2011
How does the time get away from me. Here it is the middle of October and only a few weeks before we are due to leave for a Texas winter. Let me see… where did I put all that time… oh yeah! I remember….. I used it all up enjoying myself!
We are here partly due to family illness which is progressing positively. Spirits and comfort levels are high and we all can get together every few days to have some more fun. That helps everyone.
The Stagecoach RV Park,
I just finished upgrading my Samsung EPIC 4g phone’s operating system from Android 2.2 (Froyo) to 2.3 (Gingerbread) after waiting too long for Sprint to provide an update. It is wonderful! I liked it before but I love it now.
I seem to stay either too busy or too relaxed to get on with some of the little work I need to do around here to get ready for traveling. I still have not even fixed the air line to the driver’s side seat in the truck. It popped off coming into town and I had to pinch it off with one hand til we could get stopped. Maybe this week…. or maybe not.
Our eating habits are still forming but we have gotten considerably better at managing portion sizes and often just split a meal when we eat out. Between senior menus and senior portions we are doing better and I hope that translates to healthier, too.
Crockpot cooking has also been ramped up a few notches and we have been crocking it one or twice a week. We need a new crock pot, though. This one is an all in one piece and I really think we would use it a lot more if it had a removable crock for cleaning. We are contemplating a few choices in the context of our regular needs and available cabinet storage. This one is a small 4qt unit and we don’t really need much bigger than this for the two of us.
Our plans are to head west the beginning of November, if the holiday home time pangs don’t get to us, first. We can already feel them tugging at us so plans may change… again.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Katie the Poo has an ear infection that has had us quite worried (we did not know it was her ears). More details are in her blog, http://katie-poo.blogspot.com but this scare has brought some fears to the surface for us.
Being “out here” and not in our usual place with the usual familiar resources, like doctors, Vets, hospitals, etc. available to us, has been an unspoken “what-if” concern from the beginning of our planning. We just did not really think much about how it would make us feel because we had worked through plans for how to deal with any such situations that might arise. Trust me! It made us feel pretty helpless and exposed!
Simple things, like finding a Veterinarian for our little girl was not as simple as we had planned. Mer had to call 4 vets offices before we found one that could even see her. Fortunately, St Augustine has a Regional Emergency Veterinary Hospital just for nights and weekends and once we were referred to them, it became much easier to make headway.
But time goes so slow when you are in pain. When one you love is in pain, it seems to be stationary! Worse than that is not knowing exactly where help will come from or how to get there. When we got settled into this campground we kept an eye open for nearby vets “just in case” we should need one for Katie. It turned out that when we did actually NEED one, none of these were available and that was scary. Suppose it had been one of us rather than Katie? How hard would it have been to have been seen by a doctor in a strange town?
This whole area needs more work for the future. In the past 24 hours, I have gone through all sorts of scenarios involving one of both of us needing immediate medical care and in light of yesterday’s events, I can no longer just assume that going to a nearby hospital or ER or Urgent care is going to work. I think we really need to figure out a way to get the care we might need in a strange place on a moment’s notice.
One thing that we became aware of is the natural tendency to deny the possible severity of a problem because of the apparent logistical difficulty in getting appropriate help right away. I mean that it’s easier to say “it is not THAT bad” than to say “take me to the hospital” when one does not know exactly where that hospital is, how to get care there, how to pay for it and how to endure all the assumed delays and indifference that will surely be a part of making that choice. It feels better to hope it will get better than to fear it will get worse so action must be taken, now!
There will be more to come on this topic. This is a really big hole in being prepared no matter where we might be. But, being out on the road with nothing familiar around makes this lack of adequate preparation potentially lethal.
Friday, September 23, 2011
We have been enjoying family and the St. Augustine area for nearly 4 weeks but it only seems like a few days have gone by. Evenings are already coming sooner in the day and we have only touched on a few of the many things we had hoped to be a part of before we moved on to our next planned destination.
It seems like we have barely gotten started here and already our departure is looming up in front of us. Well, that can be fixed and we have done so by extending our stay another month. Boy! Do I feel better! Just a little tweak in the plans and we are good, again. Love this lifestyle!
However, this does make me think a bit about what has gotten us to this point over so many years. A lot has certainly been about our own directed efforts to see this lifestyle realized but many things have slipped, skewed and bubbled up in front of our planning and have all had to become a part of making this happen.
I understand that there are laws of physics which say things like, you can't be in two different places at the same time and water flows downhill. But there are other laws which we all experience but no one ever explains. These include;
- The more fun you are having the less time you have left to enjoy it.
- When you are feeling poorly is when mechanical things will break.
- Wifi will be great as long as you don't really need it.
As one reader pointed out... I never got to the point of this blog.... senior moment or just tired, maybe, so I have reworked it a bit for clarity.
I feel that this is because we have kept moving towards it for the past 10 years despite all the "life junk" strewn in our path. We have been invested in its success all along the way so that now, we truly own it and relish each day in it. What we dreamed and worked for is now our life and we are blessed to be here.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Yesterday’s blog was about how we happened to pass through Salt Springs, Florida. Today’s will be about what we found there and why it really appealed to us.
First, the $50 really did make it into our new savings account at Woodforest National Bank. Hooray for that!
Mer’s brother, Bob, has spent most of his life in this area of Florida and when he heard we were going over to Ocala his enthusiasm was almost out of control. I have been to Ocala… it is not that much to get excited about but he was insistent that we go through the beautiful Ocala National Forest. Honestly, from St. Augustine, you can’t get to Ocala without going through it unless you want to nearly double the miles to get there.
Anyway, he was going on and on about checking out the various springs along the way, like Salt Springs, Juniper Springs, Silver Glen Springs and Silver Springs.
He also knew we have been interested in RV parks with RV Ports, which are shelters that you can park an RV under while you live there. He mentioned that there are a couple of RV Parks in Salt Springs that he and Bette had visited that had RV ports. Of course, we were interested, too.
Salt Springs is about half the trip to Ocala from St. Augustine.
Actually, the first park we visited is a development of deeded RV properties. It is nice, compact (a little too much so for our tastes) and has spaces available to rent or buy. Some rentals are brokered through the developer, Elite Estates, but many are rented directly by the owners. A list is available in the guard house at the entrance. Prices are negotiated directly with the owners so there are no prices printed on this list, just phone numbers.
We did not take the time to visit the offices of Elite Estates to see what they had for rental information. Overall, it is a nice place, gated, free wifi through out the park and borders a big lake. Perhaps on a longer visit to this resort we could find a few spots that we could fit completely into while hooked to the truck but only a few even looked close to being a fit. Some decent space between lots was the norm but often, they backed up to each other pretty closely.
Salt Springs Village, which borders the western side of Elite Estates. This is a 55+ retirement community so a lot more park models and manufactured homes are in this area. On average, the lots are significantly larger and there are a fair number of them with real RV ports attached. Also a full facility resort, it borders a lake, has swimming pools, club house and the usual things one finds at a real resort.
We really liked the atmosphere in Salt Springs Village a bit better than Elite Estates. It seemed more like a place we would be comfortable living for extended periods.
So, you may ask, where is the other shoe? Actually, Salt Springs is out in the boonies and in a real cell phone dead zone. Elite Estates does have Wifi but I don’t know about the Salt Springs Village area since my cell battery died trying to get GPS and online maps while on the way to Salt Springs. Boy! When it can’t connect to anything it really eats batteries.
Now, the other shoe….
We had to hurry on to Ocala before the bank closed. Yes, they are open everyday of the year but not 24/7, so we did not want to get there late and still not get our $50 (remember that little incentive for this trip?)
When we finished our banking business in Ocala, we decided to go back the way we had come. On the way into Ocala we had passed an RV Resort calledWilderness RV Park Estates which looked pretty inviting from the highway. We stopped in there as we headed home and really liked what we saw… to a point.
rates posted on their website and honor Passport America and Good Sam memberships. $445/month is not a terrible rate.
The newest section of this park has lots that are even larger and range up to 7000 sq ft/lot. Lacking a map or any other info at the time we were there, we did not even discover there was this newer section until we were back home and could look it up on their website. The property is located along the Florida Greenway with access to the Ocklawaha River and just a mile or so from the entrant to the Ocala National Forest.
The overall atmosphere is of a pretty new resort with good paved roads and facilities but a great big sign out by the highway that says “Foreclosure Auction” which is scheduled for 9/21/2011. I don’t know what that might mean to owners or RV renters in the future but I just know that I like the feel of the park… and I did have good cell service (I finally found my car charger).
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
An ongoing banking concern we have had in planning for our travels has been branch availability wherever we might be. Yes, I do bank online, Yes, I do have national banks but have you ever tried to make a cash deposit in a town where your bank has no branches?
Also, if there is a problem, it usually crops up on Friday evening or a holiday weekend and trying to get it settled out of your mind is impossible until the next “banking” business day… whenever that might be. I don’t do well with angst on my mind.
We do shop at Wal-Mart, a lot. We get the value we demand and the convenience we need and never have a hassle, other than their being out of a product that we want to refresh in our pantry. Therefore, Woodforest National Bank seemed to be the perfect merger of the WalMart convenience and my banking availability that I want. They are open every day but Christmas and that is the kind of access window I really expect from anyone standing between me and my money.
So, before leaving NC we opened an account at Woodforest National Bank. Along with waaayyyy too much paperwork, we received instructions on how to get $50 for free by going online and participating in a little training session about how banks work for you.
The tutorial was actually informative and at the end, we each got a certificate to print out and take to a branch to receive our $50. Actually, it was $25 for each of us and to be credited into a sweep savings account (which is newbank speak for a savings account that backs up your checking account if the latter tries to go overdrawn). The money in the savings is “swept” over into your checking to prevent an overdraft and they get to charge you $2 for doing it.
But I digress. The point was to get the $50 that lay at the end of this rainbow. The manager at the WFB where we opened the accounts told us (erroneously) that we could go to any WFB within 30 days of opening our checking account, present the certificates and get our savings account opened with the $50 in it. The “ANY” is the important part. The 30 days is the deadly pendulum.
As all this happened 6 days before we had planned to leave for Florida, we figured we had plenty of time to get ‘er done before departure. As usual, I missed the catch-22 in this…. We had to participate in the tutorial and THEN print out the certificates before we could get the $50…. and Hurricane Irene decided to brush by us a couple of days later, drop a tree across our bow (actually, across 2 cars) and leave us dangling between insurance talk (sorry, not available on weekends) and the truck’s windshield wiper motor dying just as we pulled out of the driveway to escape Irene (sorry, parts department is closed until Monday).
The back burner the $50 performance piece got put on was in the next county but we confirmed with the WFB branch that we could do it “at any Woodforest National Bank branch”. …
Days later, after finally getting settled down in St Augustine, Florida, we found that Florida only has 3 WF banks and the nearest is in Ocala, 80 miles away!
We stewed and fumed about this for two weeks then decided to go ahead, take the Smart car over there (cheaper on gas) and get our free $50 (which would now cost us the price of the gas and our time… but I am trying to not be negative.
There were a few stops along the way (another story, another time) and we arrived there about an hour before closing, presented our certificates and the confused look we got in exchange said “Uh-Oh!”.
Turns out, you can’t do that from here. They have to be turned in at the bank branch that opened the account! Ok, so red is not a favorite color of mine but that was about all I could see in a flash!
Mer quietly put her hand on my thigh as the flustered bank employee got up to seek the branch manager. Eventually, he came over, extended his hand, his name and a big smile and said “We can’t do that from here”. “You have to go back to the branch where you opened the account.”….. Clearly, his gasoline was not helping my fire one bit.
The short end of this is that he saw our plight, contacted the branch manager back in Raleigh and arranged for our signing of the signature cards that they needed and faxed them back to Raleigh. Apparently, the forms were different than what the Ocala branch uses and it took a second call to the Raleigh branch manager to get them properly filled out.
Finally, we had it done, our $50 would be in our account the next day (today, and it is!) and we could drive the 80 miles back to St Augustine knowing that we had scored a juicy deal (hear the sarcasm?) The trip cost about $19 in gas and had there been a psychiatrist available, I am sure his bill would have been a lot more.
You will have to read tomorrow’s blog to see why we ended the day knowing that this had been a good thing to do, today.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday…. let’s see… what to do, what to do? Oh yeah, WalMart! Gotta go for groceries and beat the weekend crush!
Dawdling…. dawdling….. dawdling… what? It’s already 2:30 pm and we haven’t eaten anything, yet? Ok, OK… we will stop for something on the way to WalMart.
Leaving…leaving…leaving… What’s that smell?… oh yeah, shrimp shells and “parts” in the garbage from dinner last evening…. gotta get it out of here before we go. Yep, I will just tie it up and put it in the back of the $prite and drop it off at the dumpster on the way out of the park.
BANG! CRASH! SQUEEK!… crappy dumpster doors!
Driving, Driving, Driving….. oh yeah, Sonny’s Barbeque on US 1. Gotta have that….kinda on the way… if we go out of the way… just a little…
uh… what’s that flashing on the dash? … looks like a gas pump. Hmm where are all my bars to show me how much gasoline I have.. er…rather, don’t have. Pit Stop! Pronto! Guess I will have to only imagine the smell of BBQ over the lingering rank shrimp stink in the car and the stinky Shell Gasoline tinkling into its tank. Ding!, Pay!, now, Driving…..Driving… Driving….
What’s that squealing racket coming from the music system?.. Jimi Hendrix, you say? More like a tank being drug sideways across a concrete slab coated with broken glass and ball bearings. .. yeah, I know he was an acclaimed guitarist… he also invented obnoxious white noise. How useful has that turned out to be?
Excellent! Shared a half baked chicken ( no, it really was a half chicken) lunch with 2 sides (make those 2 baked sweet potatoes, please.). Sure, I will have a gallon of iced tea to drink….
Drooling….drooling…. drooling … (I did mention we had not eaten yet, today)
Diet is over! Food is here! Gimme a drumstick while you sort the parts. Mmmmmm, nice yams … (sweet potatoes, you dirty old man) Butter, cinnimon, melting hot. 5 different BBQ sauces you say? decisions… decisions… decision!
Eating… eating…. eating….
Apple cobbler ala-mode? of course! It’s the exclamation point at the end of the meal. It is absolutely necessary to complete the meal and say “I’m ready for a nap.”
What?… oh yeah, we still need to go to WalMart…. sans nap… it’s just across the street.
Driving…. driving….driving… parking… walking…shopping… shopping…. shopping. What? No Joe’s Crabshack Salmon filets?… or any other of “the shack’s” products. Rats! I’ll have to make do with a can of starkist!
Checkout time!……. still checkout time….. still checkout time……still checkout time….. Hey! don’t these people know that today is not Saturday?… and what’s with trying to use a bunch of coupons in the self service checkout lane? That’s just not fair. I am on a fastpath to a nap! MoveIt!
Push cart, squeeky wheel, load $prite, close doors.
Driving…. driving….driving … Home! Unloading.. unloading…putting away… yeah, that’s frozen… ok, Put away…. put away…. pu away…. done!
Naptime!…. RING…. RING….RING!… grrrr NOT nap time…. Hello. No, we were not doing anything, what’s up?…..
……… All this is our day and now, it’s my blog. If there is anything you don’t understand, just ask.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This is a nice park but not a resort. It is mostly large pull-thru spaces. Some with concrete patios (for a few $$$ more). No pool, no kids play area, no off leash pet area but it is clean, kept up, mostly open level sites on gravel/grass/packed sand and nicely treed but not dark.
Sprint 4G works in the east end of the park (not where I am, though).
Wifi is limited at 750kbps/ 170kbps
It is TengoInternet delivered through Bellsouth.net and has been pretty solid most of the time but there is a lot of variability based on time of day a lot more than the number of RVs in the campground. I suspect it is due to the two huge outlet malls a couple of blocks away that soak up bandwidth big time during business hours.
The actual local wifi signal strength throughout the park is excellent but with the speed limited delivery, even small included youtube pics on a web page stutter some. Forget about getting any smooth HQ quality delivery any time of the day or night.
There is no CableTV but I pick up about 20 Digital channels over the air but few of these have I any interest in watching. If their bandwidth delivery was better, then the lack of cable would not be such a bother.
The main roads are paved and the intermediate roads are packed gravel and kept up pretty well.
The layout is comfortable and nice for long walks.
Monday, September 5, 2011
St Augustine, FL - Iso T-Storms 93° / 77°
We spent the day just settling in to what will be daily fare for us for hopefully, a very long time to come.
Merrily’s brother bob came by about 5pm and took us on a mini tour of the St Augustine area. He showed us where important stuff is, like good seafood restaurants, good beach accesses and more good restaurants. To bad we are now on the cash and carry plan which does not include much eating out.
Still, a great day. After the tour we went to his house for a great dinner of pulled pork, Bob Evans mashed potatoes, homemade Cole slaw and apple pie. Seriously yummy!
Katie came along and was terrific. A little curious but no obnoxiously so and she got to meet their dog, Skitch, which is a foot long hairy black 12 volt dog someone put a 36 volt battery into. Talk about wired! He does not just run from place to place, he teleports! Katie was a little overwhelmed and finally climbed up on the back of the couch behind my head to escape him. I have never seen her retreat quite like that.
I think it spooked her.
Anyway, all is fine, now. We just got back home and are chilling for the evening. Maybe tomorrow I can find the Digital TV converter so we can watch some over the air broadcast TV since there is no cable in this campground. So far, Merrily has read books in our down moments and I am still happy with what I can do with the Wi-Fi…. or nap a little, which is something I have not had time for in many moons.
I know this does not sound all that exciting but at this age exciting is less important than regular.
Friday, September 2, 2011
(St. Augustine, FL Stagecoach RV)
These are nice accommodations at Stagecoach. We settled on this amenities-sparse park due to no monthly rates at the other parks we were interested in. Wi-Fi is very powerful here but the backhaul limits us to about 700kbps down / 200kbps up best case:
Compare that to what I was getting on my Sprint Epic phone 2 days ago:
and it can be a little “laggy” sometimes despite only a 15ms ping time.
Right now, at 8:23am on Friday, I can only get:
Slow Wifi Coupled with the lack of cabletv and the digital TV converter for over the air reception has fallen down behind the TV and can’t get out, means we are going to be sans- media for bit.
Still a nice park, though and all too convenient to two outlet malls at this I-95 exit including a Camping World. There goes my upgrade budget for the next year.
We had dinner with Mer’s brother and SIL, Bob and Bette, last night. Excellent pseudo-Mexican fare with a pitcher of lip smacking margaritas for the table. Best Pollo Loco I have ever had and huge portions, too. We will eat there again before we go.
It was really super to finally get to hug them and just be with them. As usual when we get together, we all talk at once and do a lot of laughing until we are exhausted.
I will say that it is very nice to finally be with them and know that we don’t have to leave next Thursday or …. any particular date or time. We can visit in a much less frenetic mode and really savor the time together for whatever it is. It always seems that our visits are too short and we all have lists of things to share and do and never can quite get through all that before parting. This time, we are just here until we leave, period. It is wonderful!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
After the "getaway blues" of previous posts about the tribulations that all happened as we were trying to leave our Stix and Brix, we stopped at the Pilot/Flying J at Dunn, NC to fill up. 170 gallons and $632 later, we pulled out headed south down I-95. We stopped the first night at Bass Lake RV park in Dillon, SC about 120 miles from Raleigh. Yesterday, we drove on down to Walterboro, SC, and spent the night in the New Green Acres RV park. Quite nice other than being right next to I95 but this is the same as is true of Bass Lake. In both cases, it's OK for a night and though these parks are appealing for longer stays, the highway noise really ruins the rest of the experience. SC seems to have booming highways. Big trucks going down them seem to keep booming and it sounds a lot like nearby thunder.
This morning, we left Green Acres. I was disappointed that I could never get the cable TV hookup to work but I cannot say it was not my fault after the events of the past week.
We pulled into the Stagecoach RV park in St Augustine, FL a few blocks off of I95. Some road noise if you are outside but not really bad. I still prefer quiet.
Given our reasons for being near Jacksonville, Stagecoach RV park is the closest of the ones we have seen even close to our price range so we thought we would plan at least a month here. However, the desk person did not know anything much about the monthly rates and available sites so we have to check back in the morning with the owner to get that worked out.
To be honest, I love the setting, hate the traffic noise and the lack of Cable-TV so we are backpedaling on our plans just a bit. First thing in the morning we will check the monthly rates and availability at St John's RV park about 5 miles farther south on I95 on hi-way 207. We will also check the same at the Indian Forest CG a couple of miles east of that same intersection. We drove through both parks this afternoon after setting up in Stagecoach and though both have cable and Wi-Fi, Indian Forest has a much better ambiance for us, is closer to the beach, St Augustine old town and a Super Wal-Mart.
If they have reasonable monthly rates available I think we will likely move to Indian Forest, tomorrow. ST. John's RV park is a second choice to Indian Forest, though. $375/month + Elec is hard to beat around here so Stagecoach may end up being our residence for lack of monthly availability at the other two places.
I will admit that I had my first surprise this evening when we went out for a walk after dark and no mosquitoes flying around! They are show stoppers for me as I react badly to their bites. Bob, my BIL, had told me that he could not remember being bitten around here in the past several years of living in the area. I can handle the humidity and even the gnats. Just not the mosquitoes and chiggers.
Well, Mer has retired and I am on her heels a lot earlier than usual, tonight. Not a hard day but tomorrow will be a long one. We finally get to see Merrily's brother Bob and his Chemo-embattled wife after 2 years absence and we can never stop having fun when we get together so bedtime may come really late tomorrow night.
We have all been deep friends since Bob and I were in Middle school in central Florida. No matter what the gaps in time between visits have been, there has never seemed to be any discontinuity in our relationship because of them. I count Bob as one of the very best people I have ever known and always a stellar benchmark for me to grow towards in my life. I admire his courage and convictions and the incredible stamina that he has shown in carrying some unusually massive and long lived life burdens. This latest goblin which has been thrust upon his shoulders, is certainly the worst I have ever known of..
God Speed, Bob and Bette. We are here for whatever benefit of comfort to you guys that we are able to provide during this sketchy period of your lives and just know that it will be survived.
ttfn, my friends
Monday, August 29, 2011
Left the house this afternoon and are now resting nicely in Dillon SC for the evening. Some slight irks and traumas tried to forestall our departure yet again but thanks to Emery, III stepping in and taking up the slack by removing and replacing the windshield wiper motor that just decided to strip its gears, hauling stuff to Goodwill, cutting the tree up that fell on the van and Smart car during Irene and generally being front and center whenever anything cropped up to stall our departure this time.
He has certainly been the STP (oil treatment) that has kept us from getting bound up by a few dozen more glitches and goblins that have popped up these past few days.
Thank you, Emery. You make me cry for Happy.