Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A busy time doing nothing.

It is so peaceful here at Peace River that we have enjoyed doing nothing next to the river. Reading, computing, walking and biking. Well, I guess we have been doing something, but certainly nothing too strenuous. We have not even done any sight seeing. The furthest we have travelled is, to Avon Park, to buy a Blue Boy. For those of my family and friends who do not know what a Blue Boy is, it is a blue plastic tank with wheels and a sewer connection so that we can empty our tanks without moving the motorhome. We actually have one of these, but it got left behind in Whitby. We are now able to use our on board facilities and drain the tank (we only drain the grey water tank - washing water) every two to three days. If we need to drain the black tank - toilet water, we will drive the motorhome up to the dump station.

One of the things that people do here is look for fossils. We have seen people in the river digging and scraping the river bottom then straining the gravel to find the fossils. I might give it a try just to be able to take a fossil or two home to the grandies.... But then we are fossils so why would they want some more? ;-D

Here are some random photos around the campground. We like it very much.

There we are in the distance
Have not seen any Alligators
Nature Walk along the river
Nature walk
Office and club house
Shuffle board
Large sites
Shade or sun, whatever you want
Tucked into the palms
Some people like the open sites because of satellite dishes
We can get almost 100% signal on our dish
Ready to spend the afternoon beside the river
Peace River for the soul!
The view out of our back window.
Merlot time



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peace River Preserve, Wauchula, Florida

After we left the RV dealership we drove the short 50 miles to Peace River. We were told at the front office to go into the overflow area and choose a site. The overflow area does not have any sewers because it is on the flood plain for the Peace River. There is a system in place where your name goes into a lottery and as full hookup sites come available those sites go into the draw and if your name comes up, you are then able to move. We found a site backing on to the river, so unhooked the car and reversed into the site. The neighbours immediately came over and told us that the site was empty because there was only very low voltage power. Michael measured the voltage and found that it was reading 110 volts, se we decided to stay on the site and see how it went. By evening the power was down to 90. Not good.

In the morning I was still in bed when Michael went out to measure the voltage and it was sitting around 80. He noticed that the occupants of a site just a short away, and also backing onto the river, were leaving. He measured their electricity and it was a healthy 120 volts. Michael came back into the MoHo and dragged me out of bed to go up to the office to ask if we could move. Permission was given and so we moved. The new site is so lovely that we have decided not to move to a full hookup.

Our first site. We had to park at an angle because of a large tree right in line with the bedroom slide.
Our lovely back yard next to the river.
Site #P81



Friday, January 25, 2013

Solenoid fail.

Yesterday morning we were scheduled to leave Winter Quarters, Bradenton and our 12 volt power failed completely, so we were unable to get the slides in. After a brief moment of panic, Michael figure out that if he held the battery cut off switch in the On position, we could get them in. Very near to Winter Quarters there is an RV dealership, Dream RV. We drove there and asked if they would be able to help us. After some persuasion, they agreed to "take a look". It 2 hours for the technician to find out that the battery cut off Solenoid had failed. Unfortunately they are not a Jayco dealer, therefore they did not have the right solenoid. The technician managed to bridge the wiring and they have the right solenoid on order. We will stop in there on our way to Fort Myers in 2 weeks. The really sad thing is that this is not covered in our extended warranty!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Quarters Manatee, Encore RV Resort, Bradenton

We have been here since last Thursday, making the 100 mile journey in quick time. We were able to choose our own site as long as it was not a lakeside site. Our site, # 1101 is about as far as we could get from the front gate. It is near the clubhouse and if I look sideways through the front window I can see a sliver of lake. The sites are long and mostly wide enough for a nice outside sitting area. We back onto a small creek which is a tributary of the Manatee River. The clubhouse sits high above the small lake in the middle of the park. There is a wonderful heated pool overlooking the lake along with a small hot tub. The club house also has a wonderful library and free wifi internet. Another smaller pool is situated next to the office, where the laundry is also situated.

Site 1101. Backing onto a creek.
Small lake in the center of the resort
Larger of two heated pools.
Hot tub
Smaller pool

Everyone here is very friendly and we have met a lovely couple across the road, Gerry and Marge, from Minnesota. On Friday evening we went with them to the club house for Fish Fry. It was delicious and we had such a good time. We were going to go to the Tampa RV Supershow, but the weather was absolutely awful. Strong winds, intermittent rain and cold, so we decided to wait until Saturday, which was forecast to be better.

Dee and Marge
Gerry and Mike
Fish, Chips, Coleslaw and tartar sauce
Chocolate cake for dessert
The servers

Now, the big questions?? Will we stay here again? Most definitely. Are there any negatives? The only thing I can say is that the park is right next to the I75, but within a day we did not even hear the highway.


Tampa RV Supershow

Oh, my! What an exhausting day, but what a wonderful show. We focused on the halls as we are not in the market to buy a new RV. I did peek inside a few of the luxury motorhomes, but they are just a little too Las Vegas for me. All those lights and shiny bits are not my style. The Prevosts seem to be selling quite well as a few had SOLD signs on them. I did check out the new Jayco Senecas and the Newmars. Would have liked to get to the Holiday Ramblers, but my feet gave out.

Inside the halls we were looking for the Thousand Trails booth as I was interested in getting the Max Pass, which we did, but we had to buy another zone to get it, and as the show special was 2 zones for the price of 1 we bought the North East and the South West plus the Max Pass. We now have access to another 6 campgrounds in Florida including Sunshine Keys. I already have a reservation for Sunshine Keys at $399 for a week, so will call them tomorrow and see if we can change the reservation to a Max Pass one and get a refund, which will be almost the amount we paid for the upgrade. Method in my madness.

We took Timmy with us, as it was too hot to leave him in his crate in the car and too long to leave him at home. The problem with taking Timmy was that, because he is such a social dog, we could not go 5 yards without him being petted by someone, or wanting to be petted by someone, or tripping someone up, or meeting another dog, or rolling on the floor, or just lying down and refusing to move. He also got some treats from one of the booths and we were no sooner around the corner and he threw everything up right in the middle of the aisle. We had to wait until someone could bring us some paper towels to clean it up. We went into Hall B and there was a pet sales area that was selling some of those pet strollers. Yeah, I know he is the most pampered pet in North America, but for our sanity and in the interests of protecting him and the public from him, we bought one. It is wonderful. We were able to see so much more and so much quicker. I always laughed at people pushing their dogs around in strollers, but now I see the value of it, especially with such a small dog.

While we were there and walking toward the exit, out of the blue, our friends,Jim and Jan, from Orlando/Rolling Ridge appeared out of the blue. It was such a pleasant surprise. We chatted for a while and then we hobbled out. What a coincidence. All those thousands of people and in all that huge show grounds, we bump into them. And we had no idea that they were going to be there, nor they us.

After 7 hours of walking around the show, we hobbled back to the car. After a quick supper of left overs, I took some pain killers for my poor arthritic feet and knees, fell into bed and slept for 14 hours!! I must be getting old.

Next year we will try and reserve a camping spot in the Fairgrounds.
I did not take many photos, but here are a few of those I did take.

One of the Prevosts, probably in the million dollar range.
Another million dollar Prevost
Michael insisted that I took a photo of the engine in the Newell Coach
The trolley ferrying people around. It took so long to get around that we walked almost everywhere.
Some of the entertainment
African musicians. The guy was from Senegal.
Entertainment float
Early crowds starting to come in


View our Travel Map


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Truman Show??? Or maybe it's The Villages

Did anyone ever see that movie "The Truman Show" with Jim Carey? It is a movie about a man living his life in front of cameras and he doesn't know he is on a show, until much later in the movie.It takes place in a cutesy little village (the real town of Seaside, Florida), which is the epitome of a perfect small town, white picket fences and all.

Here in central Florida there is a "town" called The Villages, part of which reminds me of that town in the movie. The Villages are several residential areas for the over 55 age group and is classed an Active Adult community. The houses are built in small villages around several golf courses

We took the short drive there from Three Flags to see what it is all about. We started at the southern most section, which is the newest. It is called Brownwood. The buildings around the Town Square are reminiscent of a mining town. After wandering around for a short time we left and drove up to lake Sumter Landing Market Square. This is the cute coastal village that reminded me to the town in The Truman Show.. Lake Sumter Village is built on a small lake, with stores, restaurants, jetties and a boardwalk.

The local residents use golf carts to go everywhere. There are even golf cart dedicated roadways and parking lots. We spoke to a couple who live here and they love it because of all the activities. One thing I know, is that Virginia would have loved it.

Building in Brownwood

Movie theater in Brownwood

Wooden buildings, Brownwood.
 After seeing Brownwood, we drove a couple of miles up the road to Lake Sumter Landing, where we had dinner at R. J. Gator's. Yummy!

The lake
Looks like a small seaside town
Michael waiting for dinner
My Blackened Chicken Tacos with black beans
Michael's Okeechobee Chicken with garlic mashed potatoes and veggies

We ordered the Alligator Tail dessert. It was HUGE!

We shared the dessert with the people at the next table.

Sunset over the lake

People gathering for the evening entertainment in the Square

Each Square has a booth where you can buy drinks very reasonably

Main Street at dusk
The following day we had to go to Walmart for some groceries, so took the opportunity to go to the third Village Square, Spanish Springs. The theme for this Village is a South Western town.

Entrance to Spanish Springs

Street Scene

Spanishy buildings

Old wagon

Street scene

Street Scene

Love the Bougainvillea


Even the church is Spanish
We have now finished our short stay at Three Flags and will be moving on to Winter Quarters Manatee, Bradenton in the morning