Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekend At Myakka State Park and New Friends

Wow, what a great weekend. We camped at Myakka State Park this past weekend and had a great trip. Let me start from the beginning. I took off both Friday and Monday, unfortunately Terri had to work both of those days but Joined Cinnamon and I after work on Friday )more on that later). I arrived on Friday just after noon. I found my spot, which was a little tight and close to our neighbors, but I made due. I met our neighbors, Ed and his wife Susan and Ed helped me get backed in. We chatted for a couple of minutes and then they let me get set up. After I got most everything set up I called Terri and let her know the exit and site number for when she came down after work. So with the afternoon to our selves Cinnamon and I went for a walk and then came back and we chatted with Ed a little more. Ed and Susan are from Newnan, Georgia and have been at the cap ground for about 3 weeks now. This was their 4th year of coming to Myakka and they really like this campground. We had a good conversation and I told them we would meet and talk to them again later. I had planned all of the dinners for the weekend and all of the meals were ones that I got from Linda from RV and her recipe page. So I went in and started Taco soup for dinner then spent the afternoon catching up on some magazine reading. Terri called about 5pm and said she was getting ready to leave. She went by Publix to pick up some fresh bread and a couple of things that I had forgotten and started down. I figured it would take her about an hour and 15 minutes. Well, i got caught up reading and didn't notice it was almost 7pm before she pulled in. Seems she had used our GPS an it took her to the back gate of the Park. Of course the the park officials had already left that gate for the night and she didn't know that combination for the gate. It also seems that she had tried to call me several times on my phone but I had turned it off to reset it and forgot to turn it back on. She finally got hold of someone at the front gate and they gave her the combination to the gate so she could get in. Needless to say she wasn't very happy with me when she finally got to camp. Sorry Honey, I hope the wine cooler and the dinner made you relax a little and forget the bad day you had at work. By the way the Taco soup was delicious and I highly recommend it. Well, we just relaxed and enjoyed the rest of our evening. We did have a small fire in the fire pit but it was under the canopy and there was no way to move it. I told Terri that maybe Saturday night we would have a fire with the neighbors.

Saturday turned out to be a nice day. The weather man said it was suppose to rain, but what do they know. I would love to have a job where I only had to be right some of the time and get paid for it. Anyway, Terri and I decided to take a bike ride and enjoy the day. We rode quite a while and checked out several parts of the park. We soon realized that this was a great park with lots to do and see. There is a lot of wildlife and plenty of trails to ride and hike. After our bike ride we got back to camp and visited with Ed and Susan some more. Ed had invited us to join them around the fire before I could even ask to join them. So we agreed to meet after dinner. Once again I made dinner and I prepared Pecan Crusted Fish - a variation of Linda's salmon. Again it was delicious, but Terri wants to try it on the salmon next time. I had used Mahi Mahi which is a fish I prefer. After diner we sat around the fire and talked till almost 11pm. We really enjoyed talking with Ed and Susan and I think that they enjoyed having the company.

Sunday: The day started a little foggy so Terri and I slept in for awhile. After a nice big breakfast we went to do some more exploring. We did some more bike riding and checked out the north end of the park. After we got back Ed and Susan invited us to join them at the bird walk on the lake to enjoy the sunset. After wards we all went back and we had dinner together. I made the Slow cook ribs from Linda's page, and once again it was delicious. We finished up and chatted a little more before we called it a night, Terri had to get up early to go to work in the morning. Ed did invite me to take a kayak trip down the river with him because his wife doesn't like all the gators.

Monday: Terri was up and gone by 6:45 am. Way to early. She called me just before 8am when she got to work. I got up and again it was really foggy. Ed ask me if we were ready to head to the river so away we went. We put in at the Concession area and we were going to float down to just below the campground. The weather was actually very good for the trip, overcast and not much wind. There was plenty of alligators and many types of birds. Several of the birds you could almost reach out and touch before they flew off. Thanks Ed for inviting me, it was a good trip. I look forward to doing the lower part of the river next time.

Oh yeah, just after we went under the bridge in the park we saw an inflatable kayak. As we got closer I noticed it was a Sea Eagle, I said hello to the couple in the boat and assured the lady in the kayak that the gators would not bother her. I introduced myself and Ed to Peggy and Gary. We started talking about the Sea Eagle and how my wife and I wanted to look into it before we go full timing. Well low and behold they had read about it on RV Dreams and they were about ready to start the full timimng life style. Not only that but they are attending the Rally in April. Wow what a small world. We look forwad to meeting and getting to know Peggy and Gary more at the rally. Well, we got back to camp and I had to pack up to head home, but not before saying good bye to Ed and Susan and exchanging our addresses so that we could stay in touch. Oh yeah, by the way Ed is not ready to full time but I think Susan is. Time will tell wether or not Ed gives in. Thanks Ed and Susan for a great weekend. We hope that our paths may cross again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another Weekend Closer .....

A very nice weekend. Nothing special, just a relaxing weekend. Thanks dear !! We didn't do anything special really, just kinda hung out and relaxed. Friday night and Saturday was rainy, which made Saturday morning a nice morning to just stay in bed, snuggle and sleep. We haven't done that in a long time. We had our company Christmas party at noon. It wasn't to bad and it was good to see every one's other halves and their kids. I just hate having to go to those things. Oh well, it didn't kill us and we got a free meal. After the party we really didn't do much at all the rest of the day. I started the long task of scanning old photos on to the computer. I hope to be able to put all of them on a hard drive before we depart on our adventure. Between this and all the old VHS and 8mm films I want to put on a hard drive, I have my work cut out for me. Terri worked on her Christmas presents (pillows), she really does great stuff. We did take time out to watch the Gators lose for the first time this year. Now we really are not big football fans, but this was a big game and it was just a great afternoon to lay around and watch the game. I kinda felt bad for them, but Alabama came ready to play and were the better team. Congratulations to Alabama.
Sunday kinda started the same way. We were lazy and I didn't get out of bed till 10am again. Wow, 2 days that I layed around and was lazy. But when I did get up I really needed to get out of the house and blow the stink off. So Terri had some errands she needed to run and some more crafts to get. So, shopping we went. We ended up driving from one end of the county to the other. We even went to the SPCA. Yes, Terri wanted to see of they had any lap dogs. She really has been wanting one after she saw my sister's Sweetie. The SPCA didn't really have much of a selection, but one of the workers said they are going to Georgia to pick up 30 to 35 small dogs this week and that they will be ready for adoption in about 2 weeks. Oh no, looks like we may have a new dog for Christmas. I will let you know. While we were at the craft store, Terri and I decided that she could make some Dog toys for Cinnamon. She is our current dog of 12 years. She is an American Cur. Anyway, she loves the fleece chew toys and they are so expensive to buy. So, we decided that Terri could make them. We got some remnants to make some. We also had gone to Walmart and we found men's Fleece jackets on clearance for $5. Wow what a bargain. We got 2 of the 3x sizes to get the most material we could. We couldn't have even bought the material for $5 dollars. What a deal. Any way when we got home Terri proceeded to start making dog toys. We may try selling some, so let me know if you want any. I even ordered the squeakers to go inside of them. We did one and gave it to Cinnamon and she loved it. Other than that I scanned probably 150 pictures and then called it a night.
We are going camping this coming weekend to Lake Mayaka, looking forward to getting the trailer out again. We are going for 3 nights. Hopefully we will have good weather. I will write about it later. Thanks for following and let me know you were here !!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oh, what a day!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving !!! Yes I know, it's late. But as they say better late then never. We had a good day. We spent the day at Terri's Mom's with most of her siblings. Also, her nephew and his wife and mother in law came down from Ohio. They are now in Disney World for 5 days. Hope they are having a good time. The rest of the weekend went by way to fast. I did host a poker game at our house on Saturday. No, I didn't win this time, but it was nice to have people over and I hope that we will do it again soon.
Terri and I are going camping to Myakka State Park on the 11th. I had a couple of days vacation to use before the end of the year and this was about the only free weekend we have. Terri will have to work on Friday so I will go down by myself on Friday to set up. We are looking forward to getting out in the camper again. We haven't camp in Myakka in several years. We are looking forward to that.
Well for the title, all I can say is that I can't wait for the day to be able to tell work that I am done. Yesterday at work was one of those days that makes you just want to scream. Days like that are why I can't wait to get out of the rat race. All I know is that as soon as we can get all of our planning done and debt paid off, we are out of here.
Well that's about it for now. I will post more about our trip later. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Yard Sale Success

We had our first yard sale towards our retirement goal. We didn't do to bad either. Terri took Friday off from work so that we could have the sale on Friday and Saturday. It was a good thing that we did Friday because Saturday was about as slow as Terri has ever seen it, and she has done several over the years. She did very well on Friday though and said she never really didn't have any customers. Over all we made a little over $350.00, not to bad for stuff that we didn't want or need. We will probably use the money to help pay for Christmas so that we do not add anything to our debt. We also sold some of Mom's stuff that Dad had cleared out since Mom's death. He made $83 and every little bit helps him. We donated all the clothes that didn't sell to a local church coat closet and anything that was junk we threw away. The rest of it we packed back up for our next yard sale. My only hope is that it isn't a yard sale but a house sale. A come in and make an offer type sale. We have begun letting the kids determine the things that they would like to keep. There is only a couple of items that Terri and I don't really want to leave the family. We have a curio cabinet that we gave our selves as a weeding present. We also have a curio cabinet that Dad had built and we have redone along with the desk that was leftover from the wood after remaking the curio cabinet. There is also a shelf unit that a good friend and I made one night. Nothing special just a nice L shape knick knack self. Other then that the only other thing I don't want to give up is my TV. I saved for 2 years to buy my TV and I love it. It is a 47" Samsung and the picture is GREAT !!!!! My only problem is that it will be hard to get into most fifth wheels. My son thinks that I should just give it to him. I told him "No Way, you want it you will have to buy it. Oh well we will have to see. Maybe I can figure out some way to make it fit in the trailer.
Then on Sunday, Jeff and Becky called and wanted to know if we wanted to go look at trailers with them. So we off we went to look again. They are also looking at getting a 5th wheel because they too like the layouts, the homey feeling and the ease of a fifth. So we just enjoyed the beautiful upper 70 temps with the beautiful sunshine and each others company. Neither of us made any buys but got better ideas of what we all liked. The other nice thing was that the sale people pretty much let us do our own thing and just look. After looking all day, they did narrow some of the choices down and only 1 stood out. Was a 2008 3295RKS Montana by Keystone. Becky really liked the rear kitchen as do Terri and I. Oh well, like I told them, you will eventually find the one that is right for you. We plan on taking them to the Tampa RV show in January. It is one of the bigger shows. Al in all, it was a great day. Thanks Jeff and Becky.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Fun Begins - Step One of The Dream

Today we take a big step towards our dream. Terri is home having a huge yard sale. We had been going through the house, gathering items that we no longer want or need and know that we will not be able to take them with us. It took us a couple of weeks to get prepared and we know that we will probably have to do it again at least 1 more time. I am hoping that the next time, we can just open the house up and let people pick what ever they want and make us an offer.
We actually went to an RV show on Sunday to look at some 5Th wheels just to see what's out there. Unfortunately the RV show was not a very big one and there really wasn't many 5Th wheels that would work for us or that we liked. About the only brand that peaked any interest was the Cardinal line by Forest River. But, all was not lost, cause while we were driving to and from the show we had a chance to do some planning and form a rough time line of the way we see things going. We actually had talked about selling the TT and tow truck at the yard sale but decided against that. We decided start by focusing on our debt first and get that out of the way. We hope to be done with everything except the house, TT and a little left on the truck by the end of 2010. This will free us up to start to look for or 5'er and start to get the house ready to sell sometime in 2011. Once those 2 things are complete we would move into the 5th wheel and live in the area for another year or 2 to save up a nest egg and finish other preparations. We know that we will have to work while we are on the road so we are looking at some different options of work available and opportunities that we may be able to do with our current jobs (if any one has some suggestions, let us know). Our original target date was 10/7/2012 and we are shooting for that, we may just have to extend it a little longer if needed. We know that it will be worth it and we want to make sure that nothing stops us from living this dream.
Well I will try and keep you updated of our progress as we go along. Oh yeah, you may actually get to read Terri's perspective as she has said that she would like to blog. She likes to write and I personally think she does a good job.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Silver River Day 2

So before we get to Saturday, day 2, there was a little more drama Friday night. We had just finished eating dinner when Jeff and Becky called. Seems that they had a little mishap. On their way up to spend the weekend with us they had a little accident. Seems that the kayak rack on top of their car decided it didn't want to stay attached. The wind got up under the kayaks and pulled the rack and kayaks right off the car and dropped them on I-275 doing 70 mph. As bad as that sounds, the Lord was looking over them. The kayaks stayed attached to the rack and slid to the median. There was no one hurt and no accident was caused. Then a very kind gentleman put their kayaks in his truck and took them to the next exit. So they called us because the rack was shot. Roy and I rode down to the exit and put them on his truck and we continued back to the campground. Needless to say Jeff and Becky were very lucky and thing could have been a lot worse. (Thanks to the Lord for their safety).

So day 2 started with a good breakfast and we headed out to paddle up river from the campground to the head springs. The trip down the path to the dock was a little challenging as the kayak carts that I had built didn't quite work like I planned. Oh well back to the drawing boards with them. We finally got to the river and got everyone headed up river. What a beautiful day. The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze. The Silver River is a very beautiful spring fed river that is so clear the entire length. There are spots that are 30 feet d and then there is spots that are very shallow. There is an abundance of of turtles, fish and gators, as well as birds of many types. The gator above was just sitting on the log watching us go by. There was also many larger gator and the largest we saw was probably about 8' long. Terri and I took the double so that Terri could sit back and relax after her day yesterday. It took us about 1 hour 45 minutes to go up stream and then we just relaxed and floated back to camp for about 45 minutes. What another great trip on one of the most beautiful rivers in the country.

The rest of the day we just enjoyed each others company and dinner. It was great to have Jeff and Becky with us. They seemed to have a good time. Unfortunately the next day was Sunday and the day to pack up and head home. We did stop at Terri's Mom and Dad's and spent the afternoon with them before heading home. All in all another GREAT Weekend. Of course and weekend camping is great !!!! Well this is a little late but I guess late is better then never.

I also want to give a shout out to Julie for being our first follower. Thanks Julie, I hope you continue to follow us.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Silver River State Park - Day 1

Happy Birthday Mat !!!! 18 and he wants to go camping for his birthday. That is just so awesome !!

We spent the weekend at Silver River state park camping with our son, his girlfriend, Lynnsey and her parents Jan and Roy and a couple from our life group. What an great weekend. We arrived Thursday night and were greeted by Lynnsey's parents. Then later that evening Mat and Lynnsey joined us. Mat set his tent up because he wanted to rough it and sleep in a tent. More power to him !! Friday we went to Juniper Springs to kayak. It was an overcast day and looked like we might get a little rain. The trip started out great and the river was as beautiful as I remembered. As we got down the river a ways we did start to get some rain but it didn't seem to bother any ones spirits. I did begin to notice that the river current was much faster then I remembered and we even hit a spot where Mat started to say he heard rapids. I told him there was no rapids on this river, but as we came around a corner sure enough the river had some very small rapids, (I guess you would call them ripples but for Florida they are Rapids). As we continued DW was having trouble keeping the back end of her kayak straight in the strong current. Well, as I'm sure you can guess, that eventually caught up with her. Her and I were behind the group and she was last. There was a palm tree that was coming out of the water from right to left and she needed to get to the left to go around it. Problem was as she tried to get there the back end of the kayak got away from her and she ended up going into the tree sideways. Yup, you guessed it, SPLASH !!!! Terri had rolled over in the strong current and fallen out of the kayak. Now the thing that surprised me the most was her reaction. She is normally a very calm person who does not normally freak out. Well that wasn't the case. She came up gasping and hollering, I tried to turn around and paddle back to her but the current was to strong so I jumped out of my kayak and swam/walked back to her. Once I got to her, and she realized she was OK and that everything in the kayak was safe (watertight box with keys and cell phone) she calmed down. She was a little sore, we think she hit the tree and the roots on the bottom of the river as she rolled out. Well needless to say Terri was very happy to get back to the take out spot and get off the river for the day. She was cold and wet and very tired. But even though she had her first tumble in a kayak I know that she will get right back in to it and take on the next challenge, she doesn't give up easy.

Well I will post this one since it is already a week late and I will continue with the rest of the trip later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Camping

Only 2 more days till we get to take the trailer out again. We will be camping for Halloween. This all came about because while we were camping at Disney our youngest son called us and surprised us. Our youngest son turns 18 on the 30th of October and when he called he asked us what we were doing for his birthday. We told him nothing in particular. He then proceeded to ask us if we could go camping for his 18Th birthday. Now I don't know about you but for an 18 year old son to want to go camping with his parents for his 18Th birthday says a lot about what the boy likes to do. Grant it we are going with his girlfriend and her parents. We will be camping at Silver River State Park in Ocala. This happens to be one of our favorite state parks. We will be kayaking the Juniper Springs and the Silver Springs River while we are there. We will also be joined by Jeff and Becky who are a couple that hosts our bible study. They are outdoor people and have done several back packing and camping trips. They are also interested in the RV world of camping and hope to learn some pointers this weekend. We look forward to getting to know Roy and Jan as well as Jeff and Becky a little better. Its always a good place to learn more about people when you can relax around a camp fire, play games and just enjoy each others company. I will have to post about our adventures when we return. Happy Halloween to all !!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Hot Time in Disney

Disney World, they say, is a magical place. Yes, it is unless it is in the mid 90's and there is people everywhere. We used the last of our seasonal passes on an extended weekend. It was nice to be able to camp and use our trailer at Fort Wilderness, but the time we spent in the parks was very HOT !!! The only good thing for us was that we were in no rush and we were not trying to do all the parks in X amount of days. We spent Friday at Disney's Animal Kingdom because that was the park that we had been to the least. We rode the river rapids ride and got totally soaked and we were wet most of the day from that. We did both of the shows there, Lion King and Finding Nemo. We both thought that Finding Nemo was the best show that we have seen at any of the Disney Parks. Of course we did all of the firework shows over the 4 nights we were there. Terri's favorite is Fantasmic, at Hollywood Studios and mine is the Illuminations at Epcot. Our last night we did the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. The fire works were good, but we really enjoyed meeting this couple there that has been married for 50 years. They were a neat couple from Maryland. Of course they couldn't believe the heat either. We talked to them for about 30 minutes after the show while we waited for the crowds to thin out. Terri and I both said that we hope to be able to spend our 50th wedding anniversary at Disney. We shall have to wait and see. We are only close to being half way there. Well our next camping trip will be Halloween - our youngest will be 18 and wants to go camping for his birthday !!!! Imagine that !!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Finally !! Our First Post

First, let me say hello to all that are reading our blog. Thanks for taking time to join us and we hope that you will come along as we follow our dreams and adventures to becoming fulltime RV'ers.

I sit here in Fort Wilderness Campground, drinking a cup of coffee, trying to gather all my thoughts. There is so much that I want to put down in this blog but yet I don't want to go running on and on. SO, let me start with the most important item. Terri, the love of my life, had a birthday on Oct 7th. This day may not seem very important to most, but to Terri and I, it is the official beginning of our quest to become fulltimers. We have long dreamed of traveling in an RV but on Oct 7th began our countdown to our target date. We have set the date as Terri's 50th birthday, Oct 2012. There is so much to learn and do between now and that date, but we look forward to it. There is a phrase that I have always believed in and that is: It's not the destination, it is the Journey to get there. So come along on our journey and let us know that you stopped by. We look forward to meeting you all down the road.