sunflowers

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Walking the Old 7 Mile Bridge

Ohio Key, Florida  (high  78, low 70)

Yesterday was another breezy day here, but it was sunny and not too hot.  It’s been a bit too breezy for good kayaking.  I hope that changes soon.

It was a perfect day for the 2 mile one way trip on the old  “ 7 Mile Bridge” over to Pigeon Key.

We drove over the new 7 Mile bridge, parked in the parking lot and started walking.

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I would have hated to drive the motorhome over this narrow old bridge.

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It was quite breezy and we started with a tail wind.  Smile

The skies were nice and blue.  A large flock of Pelicans flew right overhead.

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A Loggerhead Turtle came up for a breath of air.

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We walked towards Pigeon Key.  It’s an island with some old buildings on it, and is now a  tourist attraction.  We decided if it wasn’t too expensive we might pay the money and take the tour.

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We decided it was a little pricey for what it was, so we turned around and started the two mile walk back.

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The next picture shows the new bridge in the background.  I was standing at the end of the walking portion of the old span.

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They were doing some work on the bridge.  Those guys were pretty high up and it was really windy.  Scary….

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The old bridge/walking trail needs some maintenance.  The county can’t afford it and may let the bridge just fall into the ocean.  There is a group trying to collect donations to save the old bridge span.   It really is a nice place to walk, so I hope they’re able to save it.  You can see what a nice trail they have made.

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At the end a guy was selling t-shirts and hats, and accepting donations for saving the bridge.

He has some native help.

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You find these huge Iguana’s all over these islands.  They can get quite large.

After our 4 mile walk, we went to the grocery store (again) and got a few more things.

I found some “polenta” in the vegan area and decided to try it.  It’s a corn product in a tube.  I cut a few slices off, fried them in a little olive oil, added salt, pepper, and garlic and then put some of our leftover spaghetti sauce on top of them.  Yummy…I think we’ll be eating it again.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that we really like Lightlife Vegan and Vegetarian Products.  We decided to try some of their frozen blackbean veggie burgers,  and boy were they good!   They are vegetarian though, not vegan.  We decided to try them anyway. They had some cheese and milk products in them, but they are nice for a change.   I was surprised how good they were.

We got some rain last night and I think there is a possibility of some stray showers throughout the day today.  It’s pretty breezy again, so kayaking will probably be out.   That’s okay though, there are plenty of other things to do here in the Florida Keys.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Change in Plans

Ohio Key, Florida   (high 77, low 71)

Tuesday we spent at home.  Al worked around outside, cleaning out the truck and a few basement compartments on the motorhome.  I did a little laundry and some much needed cleaning.   I can’t go long without a good vacuuming…thanks to the little fuzz butts.   In between our projects, we did some walks around the park and  along the bridges.   It was a good day.

On Wednesday morning,  we did a 4 mile walk up to the road and along the bridges.   The Florida Keys are just a series of islands with bridges from one to the other.  We walked off our island/key,  along the bridge to the next key and so on.  We walked part of the Seven Mile bridge.   The walking bridges are the remnants of the old bridges, so you have no traffic. 

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We like to look into the water and see what’s swimming by.  We’re still watching for the Spotted Leopard rays that we saw all the time last spring.  Maybe this is not the season for them.  It was a bit cloudy in the am, but the sun finally came out later in the afternoon.

 

After our long walk, we came home cooked some sausage (vegan)  grits and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast.  After our big breakfast and our walk, we decided a short nap might be in order.  Smile

 

Later in the afternoon we took a drive up to Marathon Key and did a little exploring.  It’s just over the 7 mile bridge.  

We found beautiful Sombrero Beach.

Sombrero Beach, Marathon

It’s a beautiful white sand public beach.

On the way home, we stopped at the local Publix for a few groceries. We have been pleasantly surprised to discover our favorite vegan brands, even way down here in the Keys.

We came home and sat outside and read our books for a while.  The temperature has been perfect.  It’s cool enough at night that you can keep the windows open with no a/c, and a blanket feels good.  It’s warm enough during the day that you can wear shorts, but it’s not too hot to be uncomfortable.  It is a tad chilly for swimming and snorkeling though.

We decided to walk around the campground, but we didn’t get too far.  We ended up visiting with some neighbors a few spaces down.  They are Andy and Helen, who are work campers here at Sunshine Key.  Boy, were we interested in knowing how they got this gig! 

Afterwards, we went for a sunset walk to the marina.

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After our walk, we came home, and made some spaghetti with “meat” sauce. 

All you vegans out there,   if you haven’t tried   Light Life Products,  you might want to give them a try.

We used the vegan ground beef for the first time.  We just mixed some of it in our Prego Roasted Garlic spaghetti sauce, and boy was it good.  The “ground beef " had the same texture and flavor as real ground beef.  It’s made from soy, so there is no fat.  I really don’t think anyone would know they weren’t eating ground beef.   It’s also much easier since you don’t have to brown the meat and then clean up all the excess grease. 

We also use their vegan sausage and find it quite tasty as well.  We’ve come to trust this brand, so we’re experimenting with more of their products.  We bought some “bologna” but haven’t had the nerve to try it yet.  It doesn’t quite look like bologna.  It only cost $3.00 so we decided if we didn’t like it we could either feed it to the cats or toss it out.  We like their vegan hot dogs when you slice them up , brown them and mix them with beans.  We haven’t tried them on a bun. They look just like real hot dogs.  We figured if we could eat the crap that’s in real hot dogs, we could certainly eat these.

It looks like our plans for the month of January have changed.  We were planning on coming here to the Keys around the middle of the month.   When I went to make the reservation, they were booked.  We were a bit disappointed, but after we got to thinking about it we decided we really like it better here when it’s a bit warmer.  We had such a great time last March and April, so I think we’ll  try to get back down then.

In the meantime, we needed to find somewhere to go in January.  We decided on Kissimmee Prairie State Preserve.   The reservation is made and we’re looking forward to it.  Hey….we’re nothing, if not flexible, right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Key West

Ohio Key, Florida (high 78, low 73)

We got up early, as usual, and started our normal coffee, computer, newspaper routine.  We missed sunrise, but went for a long walk around the park and over the bridge.  We’re hoping to see the spotted leopard rays under the bridge, but so far haven’t seen any.  We saw them all the time last time we were here.

We decided to head down to Key West for the afternoon.  Our plan was to stop and get a veggie Subway on the way down……but…

We ended up at Geiger Key Marina/Restaurant.  They have the best Hogfish sandwiches and we decided to split one.   They are expensive at $15.95, but they are huge.  Our half sandwich was the size of a normal sandwich.  It was delicious.  Yes, we are still eating vegan,  but we do make exceptions occasionally.  We think it’s a good trade off.  We’re eating healthy, but not depriving ourselves.

Geiger Key Marina also has a very nice campground.  If you’re interested in seeing the campground, see a previous post here.  We met a nice lady who is there for a year. She had the cutest little 4 month old Dashund puppy..  He was such a sweet baby.  Here he is playing with the very cute campground cat.  (no, that’s not Baxter)

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When we got into Key West we were surprised at how many people were wondering around town.  Once we got down to the pier, we figured out why,  when we saw these two huge cruise ships at the dock.   This one in front was an Italian ship.  It had this big thing attached to the front of the ship that we’d never seen before.  The only thing we could figure was that it was some sort of ice breaker.  Don’t think they’ll need it here.  I didn’t get a photo of it, but it was oval shaped and down on the waterline in front of the ship. 

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Key West is a popular cruise ship port and when they dock , thousands of people depart and spend their day enjoying Key West.  Some hit the bars, (we ran across more than one that was pretty happy), some go on snorkeling trips, trolley rides, or just shop.  There are a lot of interesting little shops near the terminal,  so there is something for everyone.

We walked around Key West for 2 hours, stopped at the grocery store and came home and took another long walk.  We were pooped by the time it got dark.

The temperature only got down to about 73 last night.  We almost needed the a/c.  Today should be upper 70’s….  Pretty nice weather, huh?

Our plan for today it to hang around the campground.

Al made our green smoothie today.  It has spinach, kale, flax seeds, bananas, mango, pineapple, cranberries, pomegranate juice , and coconut oil. This one is actually green in color.  When you use blueberries, they turn an ugly brown color.  This one is delicious.  You don’t taste the spinach or kale.  It’s a sweet and creamy with a bit of sour.  Delicious.  Later I’m  making some grits, sausage (vegan) and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast.  The smoothies are good,  and good for us, but you’re hungry 30 minutes after you drink them.  The reason we drink them is to give us our daily portions of fruits and veggies in all at once.  

Al is going off his Lipitor medicine today.  He’s been taking it for years to control his cholesterol.   He told his doctor about his change in diet and asked him about going off the medicine.  The doctor suggested he stop taking Lipitor three months before he comes in for his annual physical.  He’ll check his cholesterol at that time.  The doctor said high cholesterol is genetic with some people, so  he may still need it, even with a good diet.  We’ll see, I guess.  We’re hoping he can go off his blood pressure medicine as well, but one step at a time.  He’s lost 17 pounds and has been walking every day, so hopefully that will do the trick.  I don’t currently take any medications, and I’m trying to keep it that way.

We may go for a kayak trip today, depending on the winds, or we may just take our books and relax down by the water.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trying to Get Back on Island Time

Ohio Key, Florida  (high 77, low 66)

It sure feels warmer this morning than I has the past few weeks in Tampa.  Do you think it’s because we’re 200+ miles south?   We’re back at Sunshine Key Rv Resort in the Florida Keys.   We’re at mile marker 38.  Key West is mile marker “0” and the southernmost point in the United States.  Cuba is 90 miles away.   This is our third trip to this park, and we feel right at home.  We’re on site 157.  It’s a large site,  easy to get into and for the moment we have no next door neighbors.  We can even see the Ocean from our window.

We managed to leave Midway Campground early(for us) and were on the road by 8:15 or so.

Construction on highway 41 was terrible with a lot of barricades making for some really narrow lanes, and some stressful driving.

Once we got into the Keys,  we noticed heavier traffic going north then the direction we were going. 

The drive on the overseas highway was pretty as always.

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We got here about noon, set up and then Al took off to a local bar that was showing the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's  game.  He was hoping to pick it up on our tv, but it  wasn’t so he had to find a bar that had the NFL ticket.  He came home a little unhappy since they lost.  The game was close so he wasn’t as upset as he would have been if they had played badly.

We took a long walk around the park and then over the bridge that leads to Sunshine Key.  It’s always fun to walk on the bridge because you never know what you might see swimming below.  We thought we might see a lot of critters, since it was an incoming high tide with an almost full moon, but the only thing we saw was fishing line left by inconsiderate fishermen.  Why are fishermen such slobs?  Don’t they know all that  fishing line tangles up the poor birds, turtles and marine life?  Don’t they know fish and turtles eat the plastic bags not knowing it’s not food?  Do they think someone else should have to pick up their trash?   While I’m on my rant, I also don’t understand why they can’t throw things they catch, and  don’t want back into the water.  Just because you don’t like the fish, it doesn’t mean it’s junk.   Throw it back, let it live!

 

We did get a nice sunset picture of Sunshine Key.  This was taken from the bridge, heading back home.

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I don’t know why we’re always tired on travel day, but once it got dark, it was real hard to stay up.  SmileWe hate that it gets dark so early, especially now that we’re back in the Keys. 

We’re trying to get back on “island time.”  Once we’re here a few days, something seems to happen and we just feel different.  It’s hard to explain, but we always feel it when we’re in the Keys.

This morning, we got up early.  I fixed our daily green smoothie. It wasn’t too green this morning, because I ran out of spinach, but it was good,  and healthy.   Spinach, kale, blueberries, mango, cranberries, coconut oil.   No bananas, since we ran out yesterday.

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We’ll have some coffee and computer time and then see what the day will hold.   It’s definitely not as warm as it was year when we were here in January, March and April.  There is enough of a breeze to make it a little chilly.  I hope today will warm up a bit.   We even saw a woman walking around in a parka with a fur lined hood.   I didn’t laugh, because I was 2 degrees from wearing a heavier jacket myself!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Friends and Alligators

Ochopee, Florida

 

Day One:

We got on the road about 9:30 Friday morning.  We headed south on I-75, through Alligator Alley, then south on Hwy 29.  Traffic was pretty light and it was a good travel day.

Once we got into the Everglades we started seeing a lot of traffic.  We started getting nervous about finding an available spot at Midway Campground.  It’s the only campground nearby that has electric and it’s first come, first serve. There is no way to call ahead and check availability because there is no phone/internet service.

Thankfully they had plenty of available campsites.  We chose site 13  this time.

After we set up, we walked up to pay our $10 per night fee (senior pass rate).  It’s cash only and you  deposit it in a box.   Make sure you have the exact amount of cash.  The sites are $19 a night if you don’t have the senior pass.

On the way to pay, a very nice man at another campsite struck up a conversation with us.  We chatted a while before we realized we knew each other.   At least we knew each other from our blogs.  It was Randy Warner from  The Roadrunner Chronicles.

Of course we had a lot of mutual friends.  What a small world this and what a nice guy Randy was.     They are leaving here Sunday also and heading to Flamingo campground and then onto Key West.    We’ll be anxious to hear about that campground deep in the Everglades.  We both had plans for Saturday, so we didn’t get to meet up with them again.   We hope to meet up with them in the Keys.

Shortly after we arrived Friday, we decided to take a short drive over to the Oasis Visitor center right down the road.   You can always count on seeing a bunch of gators there.

We were not disappointed.

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There are many, many gators in this canal, existing with lots of fish and birds. None of the other animals seem too concerned by the gators, but of course the gators do eat about once a week.

We left there and took a short drive up the road where we saw the Florida Panther last year.  We keep hoping to see him again and this time, get a decent picture.  Unfortunately, there were a lot of other tourists (and some hunters) around so smart panthers hide.   We did see some deer though.

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Day 2:

The plan for Saturday was take a drive to Fakahatchee Strand.

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There is a visitor center with restrooms at the entrance.  We snapped a few pictures before we headed down the 11 mile scenic drive.

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It was a gravel road that got worse and worse the further we drove.  There was water on both sides and we saw a few birds, but not to much else.  The pot holes started getting really bad, so we decided to cut it short and turn around.

Next stop was down to Everglades City.

There is a very nice Motorcoach Resort there.  We didn’t go inside, but it looked very nice…and expensive.    There were nice paved waterfront sites.

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Next was into Everglades National Park.  This park covers a huge amount of the southern part of Florida.  It’s as much water as it is land. 

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There is a water trail with campsites that goes on for miles and miles.

The picture below shows some of the trail and  primitive campsites.  Double click if you want a larger picture.

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This is what it looks like.  I think you’d have to be very careful that you didn’t get lost. 

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Here is a picture of some of the waterfront campsites.

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There were a lot of people coming and going from what appeared to be long camping trips.  They had a LOT of gear.

Although Al and I love to kayak, we didn’t have any desire to take one of these trips.  They would probably be pretty nice, but the water was brown and didn’t give me the desire to paddle there.  Now, give me some turquoise blue water (like in the Keys) and I’m ready!

 

There was an observation tower.  We decided to climb the 108 steps to get a better view of the waterfront.

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Next stop was the town of  Chokoloskee.

There was a nice Outdoor Resorts campground there.  Lots of nice waterfront sites.  Lots of money.

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Again…..brown water.  I think I’ll wait for the Keys!

We did a little more exploring on the way back to the campground.  Met a few more friends.

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There are so many birds here.  I can’t count the number of Kingfishers, Anhinga’s, Egrets, Herons, Ibis.   The waterways on the side of the road are just covered with birds.  It’s a beautiful place with a lot of wildlife.

Today (Sunday) we will be heading south towards the Florida Keys.

We have no internet at the campground, so I’ll have to post this on the way down.

We’re anxious for some pretty clear blue water. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving with Baxter

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 72 low 48)

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends.  Canadians celebrated their holiday a while back, so I assume they don’t celebrate it twice, unless they are in the U.S.

We awoke to the temperature at 51 degrees.  Not as cold as my weather app predicted, but plenty chilly.  It looks like the night time temps in the Keys are about 10 degrees cooler, which is much cooler than when we were there last year.  I like cool nights for sleeping, but in the Keys, I want warm days and warm water.   I hope it warms up a bit before we get there on Sunday.

 

My little two pound kitten has grown into a very big (and tall) boy. 

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I don’t think I’ve ever had a cat that could stand on his rear feet and reach food on the counter……but Baxter can….and does.  He’s getting pretty tall. (and wide)

 

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Every morning we make a green smoothie.  I use spinach, kale, blueberries, bananas, pineapple, cranberries, mango……and various other ingredients depending on what else we have on hand.   Baxter always helps because he likes to get whatever drops on the floor, or he just waits for me to hand him a bite of something.  He loves raw spinach and kale.  He is also very curious on what is on the kitchen counter. 

When we start the smoothie process, we take all the ingredients out of the refrigerator and put them on the counter.  More than once, Baxter has reach up and tried to grab something.  Usually it’s the box of blueberries or the lid from the spinach.  I had always been able to catch him before he pulled anything off…until now.

 

I pulled all the ingredients out of the refrigerator and was starting the process. I guess I wasn’t paying close enough attention because the next thing I know, he had pulled a huge box of spinach off the counter and onto the floor.  Of course,  before I cleaned it up, I had to take a picture and call Al to come  and see what his boy had done.  In the meantime, Baxter decided to get a bite of his Thanksgiving harvest!

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I didn’t punish him…it was just too funny.  You can bet I didn’t throw all that spinach away either.  I just rinsed it off and put it back in the box.  

 

We ended up spending half of yesterday out in the stores, and traffic.  The grocery stores were crazy and all the drivers seemed to have a death wish. I sure hate Tampa traffic.  

The sheet saga continues.  I have/had  two sets of sheets that I bought from Wal-Mart.  The first ones were great, no wrinkles and nice and silky smooth.  When I found them a few years ago I bought another set of the exact same thing but in a different color.  The first sheets didn’t last very long at all.  One time I pulled them out of the dryer and the bottom sheet was almost shredded.   It’s that planned obsolescence thing I guess.  I’m still using the second set, but I fully expect them to disintegrate soon.  Do you remember when sheets would last forever?

I didn’t want to buy any more of that brand from Walmart since they didn’t last, but I finally gave up and bought what I thought was the same brand.  They looked so nice in the package, and felt silky smooth to the touch.  I tried the pillowcase test and it flunked.  The pillowcase came out all wrinkly, despite the claim that they were wrinkle free sheets.   I know many people don’t mind wrinkled sheets…after all you’re eyes are shut when you’re sleeping, but when I make the bed, my eyes are open and I don’t want to see wrinkles!    So, back to Wal-Mart these will go.  It will have to wait until after we get back from the Keys.  Can you believe, there is no Wal-Mart in the Keys? 

I always like fresh clean sheets before we travel, and I was planning on new sheets for our Keys trip.  I guess I’ll just have to wash the one set we have and put them back on the bed.  No new sheets for us this trip.

Happy Thanksgiving!    Yes, we will be eating some turkey.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Frustration

Wesley Chapel, Florida

My weather app on my phone says it’s going to get to 75 today and 44 tonight.  Yikes…that’s too cold for Florida.  I can’t believe that’s correct since we’ve been in the upper 50’s all week.  Are we having a cold front I don’t know about ????

We’ve been dealing with issues with Directv for the past 2 weeks.   We have a 10 year old Tivo brand dvr which we love.   It started powering down and resetting several times a day.   Al was not happy when that happened when he was trying to watch the Bucs football game last Sunday.  We initially thought our old Tivo receiver had finally bit the dust.  Then our other Tivo receiver started doing the same thing and it started happening more frequently.

I did a little research and found the problem.  It appears that Directv did some sort of software upgrade which caused the problem.  They were aware of this problem, but evidently didn’t tell their customer service reps,  because when I initially called them, they didn’t know a thing about this issue and the only thing they did was offer us a brand new Tivo HD receiver to RENT for $225 initially,  plus $20 extra per month.  No thanks.

I  found out about the problem on an online forum.   I don’t understand why Directv couldn’t notify their customers.   At first we thought our receiver was going bad, but when the second receiver started doing the same thing, we started to wonder if it was something wrong with the hook-ups on the coach.

Most of the time when the unit reset, it had to be unplugged  several times to get it to lock onto the signal.  One time in the unplugging and plugging back in process, I heard funny noise then smelled smoke.      I think the frequent resets may have caused this, but of course Directv says no one else had this problem.  Since the unit is so old, I didn’t pur

I discovered a company in California that will fix the receiver for $150.  For an additional $29 I can also get a new 120 gig hard drive.     We sent our old receiver to them yesterday.  I found lots of good reviews for this company, so if anyone needs a Tivo repaired, check out Weak Knees.   I think they only work on Tivo brand dvr’s.

Fortunately, we had an old Tivo box that still worked, so we won’t be without our bedroom tv.   I like to watch tv in bed at night, and on Sundays Al watches football so I have to “go to my room.” We have gotten so spoiled since we first got our Tivo’s, and can’t deal with commercials.

 

My next frustration was trying to buy sheets.  Remember back in the day, when you’d go to Penney’s and get their percale sheets and they were great?  They were wrinkle free, nice and smooth and would last forever.  Now, all you can find is “Egyptian Cotton,”   which really means…wrinkles a LOT.   I hate wrinkled sheets but do not intend to iron them.

I learned a good lesson a few years ago when I bought some sheets that turned into a wrinkled mess when I washed them.  Now, I look for ones that state they are  “wrinkle free.”  That doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t wrinkle though, so I also learned to carefully take out one pillow case and wash it.  If it comes out wrinkled, I iron it, put it back in the case and return the sheets.    I bought some 600 thread count sheets at Sam’s Club for $69.99.  They said they were wrinkle free, but guess what?  I did the pillow case test and found otherwise.  It used to be so easy to buy sheets.  Can anybody recommend a good brand of sheets that won’t wrinkle?    I like them smooth and silky feeling.  We have a rv queen mattress but it’s an 11 inch thick Bed in a Box mattress so I don’t use Rv sheets, but just make do with regular queen sheets.  

We’re going to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.  She’s been feeling pretty well, (knock on wood) and wanted to cook dinner.  Yea!  We finally told her we were going to the Keys.  I had waited because I wanted to see how she was feeling before we committed.    So, the plan is to leave Friday.   I hope the traffic on the interstate won’t be too bad.  It looks like Florida is having a lot cooler winter this year than last, and it’s only been in the upper 70’s in the Keys.   burrrrrr….

Hitch itch has set in……can’t wait to hit the road and see that beautiful water!

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sand Sculpture

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 77, low 56)

We’ve been enjoying the cool weather, and saving money not having to run the air conditioning.  We love sleeping under the blankets with these cool night time temperatures.  We’ve had no rain, but it’s been cloudy most of the week, which is why the day time temperature stayed so cool.  It looks like it will be sunny today, which is a good thing.  After all, this is the sunshine state.

Tuesday, I had a follow up with the ophthalmologist as a follow up after my laser iridectomy  on both eyes earlier in the year.  All appeared to be fine,  however on Thursday, I started seeing light flashes out of my right eye. The doctor  wanted me to come in and have it checked out.   Evidently the vitreous gel in the eye can pull away from the back wall of the eye, and cause floaters or light flashes. It  happens frequently as we age, but the laser surgery makes me more susceptible. He didn’t see any tears in the retina.    He said if it gets really bad with the light flashes bombarding me, then to come back.  No restrictions on what I can or can’t do.  So, I guess we can still go to the Keys. 

 

We went over to Treasure Island Beach yesterday to go see the sand sculpting contest that was underway.   They have these often but we had never gone to see one in all the years we lived in this area.

It was pretty cool.  There were booths there selling their wares, as well as some food vendors.  They are having live music with quite a few different bands.  We decided to get there early and miss some of the people, so we didn’t get to see any bands.  We would have enjoyed listening to some music, but didn’t feel like battling the traffic home.  I had to laugh at Al yesterday, when he complained “why do they have these things so late?”   Okay, Al, you’re really showing your age now!  

One thing I had never seen on the beach is an ATM machine.  You can see the Gulf of Mexico behind the truck. 

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The sand sculpting contest continues until Sunday when a winner will be announced.  The contestants came from as far as Holland.

Here are a few of their un-finished works.

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We should have waited until Sunday, because they were not complete yet.

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I thought the expression on this face was amazing.

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We plan on leaving next week for the Keys.  We had reservations for 3 weeks starting this Sunday, but decided to cut it back to two weeks.  Mom had been having some health issues and I wasn’t sure we’d be able to go at all.  

The plan at this moment is to leave after Thanksgiving, either Friday or Saturday.  Our reservation in the Keys starts Sunday, the 25th.   It’s about 400 miles, so that’s a two day trip for us. 

We don’t really like being on the road on a holiday week-end, but we’re thinking traffic shouldn’t be too bad on Saturday.   Friday hopefully everyone will be doing their Black Friday shopping and staying off the interstate. 

We usually stay a night or two at Midway campground in the Everglades,  and that’s the plan this time as well.  We’re wondering if we will be able to get a site.  It’s first come, first serve, and we’re not sure if it will be extra busy during the Thanksgiving week-end.   There is no where to call and see how busy they are.

Can’t wait to get out of town.   Hitch-itch has set in!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sad News

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 82, low 59)

We got some bad news regarding some fellow rv friends. 

After a long fight,  Sherry  passed away on Wednesday.  Most of you know that she underwent a double lung transplant in August.  Sadly, she never was able to leave the hospital after having multiple complications.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family.  Rest in peace Sherry.

Things like this remind you to not take anything for granted.  Sherry was only 62 years old.

 

Yesterday,  I rode along with Al to Indian Rocks Beach, where he had a pest control account to do.  While he was spraying the house, I walked the beach and made a few friends.

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It was warm and sunny and a great day to spend outdoors.

Unfortunately, we chose another option. 

Since we were nearby, we decided to go to our first Trader Joe’s.  I think this is the first one in Florida and everyone told us we just had to go there. 

Our first clue that this may have been a bad choice, was the parking lot was full and people were parking down the block. 

The store was so crowded you couldn’t even get to the shelves.  Walking down the aisles, was next to impossible.  People were getting on my nerves and I noticed more than one case of BO.  I don’t do crowds well, but since we were there, we wanted to at least see what they had.

Since we’re vegans, we eat a lot of produce, and we weren’t happy with the amount of fresh produce they had.  They didn’t even have fresh kale.

We walked around a few minutes, picked up a few things, then decided the check out lines were too long,  so we left.  There was even a line for the unisex restrooms (and I hate unisex restrooms.)

I thought Trader Joe’s was different than it was. I thought they had more  than wine and food products...  like kitchen items.   It seems more like a smaller version of Whole Foods, but since it was so crowded, we really didn’t get to see what all they had to offer.   So, we can now say we’ve been to Trader Joe’s…..   I’m sure we would have liked it much better if there hadn’t been 8 million people there.  I like Nutrition S’Mart better.

Should have stayed at the beach.

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The sky was blue and there were some pretty cloud formations as we crossed over the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

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