A Lazy … Warm … Day

The warm weather has returned:-)  Yesterday we got into the low 80’sF, 27C and today we hit 86F, 30C .

We had to make the fifteen minute drive into Okeechobee to pick up a larger suitcase cause hubby didn’t want to board the cruise ship pulling two small carry on suitcases, a back pack, the camera bag, two beach bags, a garment bag, and a bag from the Apple store!  He is always so frugal that it surprised me … but thank you god … I would have been very embarrassed toting all that random stuff!  Hubby wouldn’t let me buy the big colorful flowered suitcase, we had to settle for a boring black suitcase but now we can just take one small carry on, the camera bag, and one larger suitcase … we will definitely look more respectable.

Today was wedding day and the weather was perfect, warm, sunny skies and a nice breeze … hey folks back home, imagine an outdoor wedding in January!  It was very interesting, the bridesmaids and bride came part way out and then the groomsmen came out with black powder rifles and let off a shot each and then the wedding party proceeded to the front of the guest.  I can’t imagine anyone having any objections at this wedding!  I did get a few pictures using my telephoto lens:-)

Here comes the bride.

And here come the guns 🙂 You need to look closely between the trees to see the groomsmen and their rifles.

We enjoyed another happy hour at the Tiki Hut visiting with new friends and then it was time to head inside for dinner and finish up the packing.

I won’t be posting another blog until we return from our cruise and then I will hopefully have lots of tales for you 🙂

Until next time …

 

Happy Birthday Maxx!

After two years of searching we finally found a fifth wheel layout that we fell in love with, so in November 2012 we ordered Maxx and on January 10, 2013 Maxx came off the production line … so Happy First Birthday Maxx:-)  I think Maxx will actually have two birthdays since I will think of him as being a year old on March 9th which is the date we took possession of him.

This retention pond was almost dry two days ago!

Last night, after returning from happy hour with other campers at the Tiki Hut, we were watching the local news and it turns out we were on the tip of a severe weather event.  Cities to the east of us were faced with torrential rains that caused some heavy flood damage.  According to the weatherman on TV if it was colder the rain would have translated into 6 to 7 feet of snow!  Fortunately we did not have any flood damage in our little area of the world but we did get a lot of rain.

Today was hair day … YIPEE!!  I was perfectly happy to make the trip into Palm Beach Gardens on my own but I think hubby secretly wanted to go back to the Gardens Mall while I was getting my hair done because he insisted on driving me.  Or maybe he doesn’t trust me to drive his truck, either way I was happy not to have to make the trip on my own:-)

I think my grandkids would love to have been behind this milk truck:-)

We drove down PGA Boulevard on our way into Palm Beach Gardens and passed the PGA National Headquarters.  That doesn’t really impress me much since I’m not a golfer but I figured our youngest son would be impressed!

Entrance to PGA Headquarters

We were once again impressed with how pretty and upscale Palm Beach Gardens is … even the Publix (a grocery store chain) and the stop signs were fancy!

Publix where we do most of our grocery shopping … they are not all as fancy as this one 🙂

We don’t have fancy stop signs like this at home!

On the way home we saw this great saying on the back of a pick-up.

Happy hour was spent at the Tiki Hut chatting with other full time RVers which included an interesting discussion on guns … the number one question we are asked by American’s is can they bring their guns into Canada, and I’m pretty sure the answer to that is “No”.  I do wonder, since it seems most American RVers carry guns with them, how safe are we travelling in the US without a gun?  I was assured that we are safe and we certainly haven’t felt unsafe … but it does make you wonder??

Beside our RV park is a large home with a beautiful yard where they have spent the day setting up for a wedding and tonight we are watching the wedding rehearsal, I’m looking forward to the actual wedding tomorrow:-)

Until next time …

Rainy Days And Mondays … Or Thursdays!

We had heavy rain last night and drizzle for most of the day but its warm out which makes the humidity high, 98% today.  The rain must have brought out the worms because the Ibis were having a feeding frenzy when I opened the blinds this morning.

Ibis Feeding Frenzy

Since it was raining we decided today would be a good day to get the laundry done, so off we head to the laundry mat.  We have driven by this place several times and it always draws our attention because there are no doors!  I guess because it’s open 24 hours a day and the weather is pretty good here, there is no reason to close the doors so why waste money on them 🙂

 

Once the laundry was done we ventured off to find propane.  You cannot drive down the road anywhere in this area without following an orange truck at some point and the one we were following today dropped some oranges when it turned the corner.

Oranges fresh off the truck:-)

 

I was really tempted to jump out and grab them but hubby convinced me it wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve had, and I probably didn’t want to get hit by a vehicle just days before our cruise.  I conceded that he was right … and that doesn’t happen often, so the oranges remained at the side of the road.

Back to the quest for propane … at home you can go to any corner gas station and fill your propane tanks but we have found it a challenge to find places to fill our tanks in the US.  If you have a 20-pound propane tank you can exchange them in lots of places, but getting a 30-pound tank filled is a problem.  Today we finally found a propane gas company in town that would fill the tank for us so we should be good for a while, but you never want to run into a situation where you have two empty tanks because you never know where you will find a place to fill them.

I will leave you with these last two pictures.  There are several businesses in town that provide drive thru service for groceries and liquor … and when they say drive thru, they really mean drive right on thru!

Side View of Drive-Thru

Truck driving through building!

Until next time …

A Lazy … Cold … Day

We are having another cold day in Florida but warmer than yesterday and that’s not saying much.  Yesterday we had a high of 47F, 8C and it was windy.  We spent the day in jeans and sweaters and actually had to put on socks and shoes for the first time in a long time.  I also turned the furnace on in Maxx for a few hours.  Today the temperature is 68F, 20C but the wind is still there although I am back in shorts and flip flops … hubby is still in jeans.  I am focusing on tomorrow when it is supposed to warm up to mid 70sF, 24C and by Friday and Saturday we will be back in to the 80s:-)

So the day started off with us tucked under the covers with our coffee planning the next phase of our trip.  We will leave here on January 29th and head up to Savannah Georgia before starting our trek west again.  The planning process involves pulling up our trip plan on the Good Sam website, where I have tentatively scheduled our trip home, and checking out RV parks along our route.  We prefer to stay in Passport America parks because the rate is so good but many of them do not honor the Passport America rate during the first three months of the year so planning becomes a challenge, but seriously if that’s the biggest problem we have, we are doing okay:-)

I have to say this job quickly lost its appeal so we decided to drive into Palm Beach Gardens where I wanted to check out a few hair salons.  I don’t have great hair but I am pretty fussy about it and the sun has really done a number on it:-(  My stylist at home, she has been doing my hair for well over 20 years, provided me with the information I needed so that any Goldwell salon could make me look as good as she does … and that’s no small feat!  I plugged the address for the first salon into Holly and off we went.  It was a short drive and upon entering Palm Beach Gardens we were impressed with how pretty it is.  A Google search shows the town was built in the 60’s and 70’s and has a population of about 50,000.  The Google search also showed the city has the Gardens Mall, which is a luxurious 1.4 million square foot shopping center with over 160 stores, anchored by Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Sears … but more about the mall later.  We arrived at the first hair salon and hubby immediately ruled it out because of the vehicle parked in front … apparently he thinks this salon is not in my price range:-)

Lamborghini

The Lamborghini didn’t overly impress me but my camera must have been impressed because no matter how hard I tried it wouldn’t focus!  Anyway we moved on to the next salon, which also was almost ruled out because of the vehicle in the parking lot!

Porche

The Porche impressed me more (I can see myself driving this car) and the shops looked higher end than the last place so of course this is were I booked my appointment.  On Friday I will get my hair done and then maybe everyone on the cruise ship will not go running when they see me:-)

After booking my appointment we drove around the city and came across the mall.  To put the mall in perspective for family at home, Gardens Mall is about .3 million square feet smaller than Metro Town, or half the size of the West Edmonton mall, but more than twice the size of the main mall in our home town which has more than double the population of Palm Beach Gardens … so to us it’s a big mall.  Using the fact that I had to go to the washroom before we headed home, I was able to get hubby to go into the mallJ  He was so impressed with the opulence of the mall that we actually walked around and looked in some stores, of course it helped that there was an Apple Store and we did find a fun store with weird stuff in it which produced a birthday present for one of our grandsons … now they will all be trying to figure out who is getting the weird gift!   When we are back on Friday I will try to get some pictures of the landscaping around the mall because it was beautiful.

We took the long route home and drove through Riviera, FL, which is along the Atlantic Ocean.

Riviera, Florida

Until next time …

Info For Canadian Snowbirds …

There’s not much to say today so I thought I would answer some questions other Canadian Snowbirds have asked about cell phones, internet, and money matters as well as pass on some advice on fuel stops.

If you have the unfortunate situation, like we did in Texas, to be RVing in an ice storm remember to check the top of your slides when they go in and if there is a layer of ice put towels beside the slides to catch the ice/water as it melts.  I’m glad we thought of this, the towels were soaked and frozen but they saved us from having a real mess on our hands.

Canadians can get a Walgreen’s card and it does save you a lot of money.  The only thing you will need is a zip code; we used the one from our RV Park.  As I mentioned previously some Walgreen’s have liquor stores and often by using your Walgreen’s card they have the cheapest prices.

Early in my blogging career I talked about opening US accounts … I am happy to say both our debit and credit cards work perfectly and paying the visa bill each month is easy to do directly from our US bank account.  The only problem we have encountered is using the visa card for fuel.  In order to pay at the pump you are required to enter the zip code in your billing address and of course our billing address is in Canada so we don’t have a zip code.  Calls to Visa have determined that there is nothing they can do unless we provide a US address, so for now we have to go into the station and pre-pay our fuel.  We may look into getting a US postal box down the road.  We use our Visa card as much as possible because we earn points … although I’m not sure what those points will get us:-)

We are using StraightTalk for our cell phone plan.  The first month we purchased a $45.00 plan, which gave us free calling anywhere in the United States, unlimited texting and unlimited data.  Once you do your initial sign up you are provided with a US cell phone number which is yours to keep.  We also purchased a $10.00 PennyTalk phone card to call home to Canada.  This worked well but we were unable to pair other devices and I found there was an echo when using the PennyTalk card and most of the money went to the $.50 per call fee rather than actual talk time.  For the next month we purchased a $60.00 international StraightTalk card, which has all the features of the $45.00 card, only we can also call home to Canada as often as we want (up to fifteen unique numbers) and there is no echo.  We haven’t decide which card to buy next month … stay tuned:-)

Since we were unable to pair devices to my StraightTalk IPhone and often we were at parks without internet we signed up for a two year MiFi plan with Verizon.  This plan provides us 5 GB of data per month and the best part is we can suspend the service when we are back home and then reinstate it when we come back next winter, and keep doing that until we have used two years of service.

My final bit of advice is to watch fuel prices.  Every time we fill up we look at the stations nearby and prices can be anywhere from a few cents to $.20 a gallon more and I can never figure out why people are filling up at those stations!  I use the “Gas Buddy” app on my IPhone to find out where the cheapest prices are but I’m sure there are other apps you can use.

If you have any advice on cell phone or data plans please feel free to comment, we would love to hear from you:-)

Until next time …

Awesome … A Cruise in our Future☺

Hubby surprised me with a cruise for my birthday and we leave in six days!  So I took advantage of the fact that hubby wouldn’t say no to me today and we headed off to the outlet mall in Vero Beach to pick up a couple of items, cause you can’t go on a cruise without new clothes:-)

Last night I decided that I would try my best to look younger today so I washed my hair and put it in pin curls, I know very old fashion but it works for my hair and I can sleep with the pins in:-)  So this morning I get up and do my hair … and it turns out great … and then we head out the door for Vero Beach.

Major fog but the temperature was in the mid 70s.

So can you guess what happen to my hair???  Yup, major frizz and no curl left … oh well it’s still my birthday and hubby is taking me shopping so life is still good.  During our travels we have seen many Waffle House restaurants and I love waffles so guess where we go for breakie?

We both had waffles and they were very good and the price was good as well.

Outside the restaurant I saw a tree with a pretty flower, I have no idea what type of tree it is but I thought it deserved a picture.

Next stop shopping.  Hubby was a good sport, which I appreciate because I know how much he hates shopping!

Lunchtime rolls around and we decide we better do Sonics because we have seen them everywhere as well.

We thought Sonics would be fun because they have car service and deliver your food on roller blades.  The food was okay and we can say we have done it, but I think there are better fast food restaurants around.

On the way home we had more animal sightings … we passed a tortoise on the road, he pulled his legs in when we drove by … smart fellow!  I also saw a white bird with a long body and a long black neck, not sure what type and I did see a wild boar dead at the side of the road with vultures attacking it … yuck!   About fifteen minutes after the dead boar I was zoned out and all the sudden hubby got all excited and started mumbling something about seeing a piggy thing, it took me a minute but I finally figured out he had seen a live boar … I really wish I had seen it!

I did pick up a bottle of wine today, which I have seen many times and finally had to buy because I love the label, hopefully it will taste good!

Until next time …

Florida Weather and Chameleons

Today’s blog is being written while sitting at the pool:-)

See hubby’s toes 🙂

The weather has been interesting lately.  Last Thursday we sat on the beach and it was warm, I don’t remember the temperature but it was similar to today.   On our trip to Bartow on Friday we wore shorts but we should have worn winter clothes!  The high for the day was 48F or 9C … when I checked the temperature at home it was 10C, bummer for us:-(  Yesterday it was warmer but we were still in long pants and sweaters and it rained heavily all day.  Today we are sitting by the pool and its 82F or 28C … who knows what tomorrow will bring but right now I’m living for the moment!

We have had lots of visits from these little fellas while sitting outside on our patio.  This picture is a green anoles or a chameleon as they are often called.  I can’t google them because there is a good chance I will get pictures of other things that I am deathly terrified of!  And yes, good friends on vacation in Vietnam, I almost threw my laptop across the room while looking at your Facebook pictures and the bloodcurdling scream I let out took ten years off of hubby’s life … but I digress … hubby did google them and we found out that green anoles are medium-sized lizards with long tails and they are sometimes called chameleons because they can change color.  Their normal color is anywhere from emerald green to brown or gray but when they are stressed they turn dark brown … and I’m sure this guy was stressed by my presence … hubby is also often stressed by my presence but he doesn’t turn brown:-) … well actually he is getting browner, hmm?

While watching them I noticed that their throat is a bright red when they swallow so that kept me busy for about fifteen minutes trying to get a picture.

Can you see him? He is hanging from the branch around the middle of the picture.

From our research we determined that this guy was a male because they have a pink or red extendable dewlap or throat fan.

It’s time to flip over onto my stomach so …

Until next time …

Bad No-See-Ums!!

On our first night in the Florida Keys we sat outside to enjoy the warm breeze and revel in the fact that we had arrived in paradise … and we had, except that I managed to get bitten from the top of my shoulders to the tips of my toes by no-see-ums:-(  Without a word of a lie I have over a hundred bites and wow do they itch.  Fast forward to two weeks later and I am still itching every part of my body!!!  I think the bites are slowly going away but I have had to stop shaving my legs in order to let them heal … please god make them stop itching!

Most RVers seem to travel with animals, we have seen many dogs and cats and even a few parrots.  I keep telling hubby I would like to get another dog and then we talk about the hassle of getting a dog across the border and stopping along our travels and leaving the poor dog in the car or RV and we quickly decide it’s not fair to get a dog.  It really works for some people and I envy them but it won’t work for the way we travel so I enjoy animals from afar.  I especially think we made the right decision when I listen to our neighbours dog bark inside their RV for hours on end for the third day in a row … seriously your dogs not happy, take him with you!

Today was another lazy rainy day, we caught up on some TV shows and watched some people move out and some people move into the park, it was a busy traffic day today.  Hubby likes to be the armchair quarterback while watching other people position their RVs, at least we were entertained:-)

Until next time …

Fruit, Animals & Random Thoughts☺

Today we headed off to Bartow, Florida, which is an hour and a half northwest of Okeechobee for a visit to Camping World.  Before we left home hubby found a hitch stabilizer that he thought would work much better than the one we had, so we left our old one at home and hit the first Camping World we came across.  Guess what, they didn’t have the one he wanted … so to make a long story short, many Camping Worlds later he finally found out that the store in Bartow had one in stock.  So today was the day to go and purchase this treasure.  Since Tampa was only another forty-five minutes away from Bartow we decided to head there after Camping World and make a stop at Costco.

 Shortly after we hit the road this morning we came across a semi full of oranges, which is a very common site in the area.

About an hour further up the road I saw huge plumes of steam coming out of a factory so just for the heck of it I decided to take a picture.

Florida’s Natural Orange Juice Plant, Lake Wales, FL

Florida’s Natural Orange Juice Plant, Lake Wales, FL

Wish I had one of those trucks full of oranges!

It turned out the factory was an orange juice factory so maybe that is where the orange truck was headed, and you could sure smell the orange juice when we drove by.  Along the way we also passed a melon farm and many strawberry farms where they were picking strawberries, which is funny because at home we don’t harvest strawberries until late June!

So I added animals to the title today because I did comment to hubby that we have seen a lot of animals on our travels through Florida … unfortunately most of them are dead on the side of the road.  Today’s sightings were an armadillo, a few raccoons, and an Ibis (a pretty white bird) … very sad 😦  We did see another “Panther Crossing” sign but we didn’t see any panthers, not sure why but I really want a picture of the sign and once again I missed it.

On our travels through Florida I keep seeing the following sign

Curvy Lady Road Sign 🙂

I call it the curvy lady sign, but it really means there is a narrow bridge ahead:-)

We have found that Walgreen’s with liquor stores usually have the best prices so we also had to make a stop there to stock up on a few items.  Have you ever wondered why there is usually a CVS across the street from a Walgreens?  I wonder who came first?

After a long day we finally arrived home and hubby installed his new find and was very pleased with how well it worked so I guess we can call this a very successful day!

Until next time …

Beach Day

Today we headed over to the Atlantic Ocean for a beach day.  Our first stop was Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce where it was fun to walk around and see all the pelicans just walking amongst the people.  We wandered out to the end of the breakwater and took a short walk along the beach but we thought we could probably do better so we headed on to Vero Beach.

Friendly Pelican

Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce

Hutchinson Island Beach

At Vero Beach you walk along the boardwalk where there are ramps down to the beach.  The beach we were at also had a lifeguard station, which I thought was kind of neat.

Vero Beach, Florida

One advantage to having a lifeguard station is the information they provide.  The posted flags today were yellow and blue; the yellow flag means Medium hazard, moderate surf and/or currents and the blue flag warns of dangerous marine animals which today was man-o-war or jellyfish.  The signs also told us the water was 71F … I wonder how they figure that out … does a lifeguard go for a swim with a thermometer??  I did go in the ocean and the water was very nice but you could definitely feel the undercurrent when the big waves crash in so I didn’t go out to far.

Until next time …