DESTIN, FL

 

Wednesday March 13, 2019    Happy Hump Day!

We call Roadside Assistance who sends a tow truck and changes our tire to the spare. He advises us that we should replace a couple of our tires to newer ones. We head to Walmart in the next town, who can’t do anything for us but to go to Tire Discounters.  After some searching we find it and have two new tires put on.

We finally get to the KOA in Perry and Ray doubts his decision not to put four new ones on.

We leave Perry FL and head to the Panhandle where Ray’s mom, Betty, winters in Destin. The closest KOA we can get is in Milton about an hour away. The weather is cooler and cloudy but we are glad to see a familiar face.  Betty and I go to church Sunday morning. Ray tells his Mom that I have been anxious to go to church for a couple of weeks now (it is Lent) and I said it was because I keep yelling “Holy Jesus”. Hahahaha   I swear there had to have been a thousand people at this church! How reassuring that so many people are full with Faith.  We have a lovely lunch seaside and visit in the afternoon.  We make a plan to go to the beach tomorrow.

Monday is so foggy we can hardly see the dunes on the Emerald Coast.  Plan B…shopping at the Premium Outlets with great success. Unfortunately we don’t go to the beach, as it is rainy and still quite foggy.  We finish our day with a nice supper and a super hug.

Tuesday March 12thwe know we are heading for home.  We will head to the KOA Chattanooga/Cleveland. We are no sooner on the road, no Alabama, we have another flat tire on the trailer. You have got to be kidding me!!!!! Ray is now cursing that he did not put four new tires on.   As it turns out, it is the same tire we replaced!! We call Road Assistance again. Have them speed dial.   In the mean time, a big black guardian angel stops to assist us.  He has everything we need to change the tire. “How much” as we are running low on US cash.  “Whateva ya’all can pay.”  God Love him. He had us on our way in 20 minutes….cancelled the tow truck but not before Amber called us back to make sure everything was good.

We go see the Jayco dealer as we wondered if there was something wrong with the axel. Nope, just bad luck.  He sends us to Active Tires where we installed four new tires from Jeff Free 😀  A great Alabama gentleman who heard our tales of whoa and was wiling to find food stamps for us. HA HA

We settle into the KOA , have a late supper and pray for a non eventful trip back to Canada.

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FORT MYERS/PINE ISLAND

 

Friday March 8th

Headed out of Key West Monday March 4thand would spend the night at the KOA in Hollywood.  We were still recovering from the bug bites and even though a trip down to the Boardwalk beach sounds enticing we curled up with our books.

On Tuesday March 5thwe left Hollywood for Fort Myers.

As we drove through the town of Malycha, I couldn’t help but think how this is what I thought Key West might look like.  Little seaside shanties sitting on the road with fresh seafood to sell, beach clothing, restaurants and bars. I could hardly wait to get planted at the KOA St. James City/Pine Island and come back to shop out this little gem.

The temperature has dropped considerably from the south with the mornings and evenings requiring pants and long sleeve shirts.  It’s now Wednesday and we’re going exploring.  Only…..the truck won’t start.  It won’t turn over, just crank.  Ray looks for codes, lights, indicators that might suggest what has gone wrong. He fills up the D.E. fluid, and still nothing.  So he makes a call back to buddy Brian P. Higgins at our dealer to pick his brain.  Meanwhile, he’s called a tow truck.  After about an hour, Ray tries again and away it fires up.  So off to the dealer in Cape Coral we go just incase.  Of course, they can’t get us in for 4-5days but kindly came over to the truck and checked out the dashboard and hmmm’d and hawwww’d over was going on.  Again, nothing to indicate anything was wrong…all systems go hoping it was an oops.

Back to Malycha we go and stop in at ‘Bert’s Bar’ for some lunch and steel drum music.  Looked like it had been there forever, right on the water. Cold beer and yummy food settled us down.  We decided we would come back in to the town for breakfast and do a little shopping tomorrow.  The weather has gotten warmer so we head back for a swim.

There really isn’t much to do on this island but fish.  I assume if you want beaches you would go to Sanibel Island south of where we are, but we’re contact to just explore.  It really is a little piece of paradise, away from the all the hustle and bustle of the east side.  We have lunch at The Perfect Cup, well renowned for it’s ground coffee and winning Seafood Chowder.  Seeing as we had a late start, coffee wasn’t appealing and I think we got the bottom of the chowder as there wasn’t a lot of seafood, but it was thick and rich. Found a nice little bar for Ray called the Blue Dog to quench his thirst and I could do some shopping.  Local artists, funky arts and crafts, clothing made it fun to explore the colourful, tiny shanties with very friendly owners/staff. Just what one would expect.

 

It’s now Friday and we know we have a long road ahead today. Probably a 5 hour drive to the KOA in Perry.  We leave around 9ish and just get onto the I-75 North when an alert young couple indicate to us….our 5thwheel has a flat.  I can’t write this stuff!!!

KEY WEST, FL

Thursday February 28th

Thinking of this special day that Ray’s Dad celebrated for his birthday as he was a leap year baby.  Hard to believe he has been gone six years.

We have been told it could take four plus hours to Key West even though it is only 120 miles away and should take two. As many times as I have looked at a map and couldn’t imagine how our big Eagle was going to go over all those little bridges and would they have room for us???

With ease and our GPS (who drinks to early in the day) managed to get us here to Leo’s RV Campground on Stokley Island.  Wifi sucks, no pool…..location, location, location.

Again, I have to brag how Ray has maneuvered the truck and trailer, so why when we backed into our spot did we hear a POP!?!?!?!   Not so lucky this time.  We’ve had that trailer on an unthinkable angle one time or another so what happened this time.  A dip in the gravel, the 100 degree sweltering heat on the back window and a tap of the right corner trailer above the right back window of the truck.  Blow out!!!!

So here’s the real kicker.   Before we left our hot water tank that heats our shop and floor in the shop blew up, leaking all over the floor and had to be replaced.  While we are away, our home is not as warm as it should be.  Of course not, we’re not there to transmit our heat.  No no….you’re ducts aren’t even getting hot.  Okay call buddy Heat Busters and get them in to see what is wrong with our fifteen year old furnace.  You guessed it, technical mumbo jumbo….blah…blah…blah…we need a new furnace. Great! Of course we do!

We head into Key West to a Chev dealer who gets us in touch with a window company to make arrangements and meet us at the campsite tomorrow morning.

Friday March 1st,

After the window was repaired we headed into Key West and jumped on the city trolley which we like to do to get our bearings and figure out what we might like to see.

When we returned to the campsite they told us it was Happy Hour down at the gazebo so we went to see what that was all about.  Free beer and wine to meet some of the campers.  As we were standing there I could feel my legs being bit.  We had been warned about the Noseeums (sand fleas/flies) which are little bugs that bite and you guessed it, you can’t see them. The next day I would see the results of all those little bites.

Saturday March 2nd

Today we would head into Key West and take the trolley again and actually hop on, hop off.  We saw all the touristy things like the farthest point south, toured the Hemingway House and found Mile 0.  I now have been to Mile 0 on Vancouver Island, Yukon trail and now here at Key West.  We met up with the Mays for lunch and who winter here.  We had a lovely lunch at Carolina’s.  I’m miserable with the bug bites and the heat makes it worse. We saw all that we wanted to see, but regret now probably not seeing the sunset at the Mallory Square which is one of those must sees, and then all the buskers, etc., & nut jobs that come out at night.

We  jumped on the trolley to take us back to where we parked.  Athlete Diva told us about a bar and grill we should try…The Hogfish.  It’s tucked back in on Front street and they have a glass that  says “You’ll enjoy us, if you can find us.”  There was live music and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal of peel and eat shrimp, then split the Hogfish (which I mistakenly called Hog wash) Tacos. Yum Yum

Sunday Mar 3rd

Ray and I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night as these bug bites are so itchy. It’s also a very noisy area with motorcycles ripping up and down the streets. Sirens, music blaring, roasters crowing, did I mention we were near the airport….ughhhh.  We did get up at our regular time but knew we wouldn’t do much other than read , scratch and nap all day.  Our friends had invited us over for a swim, and there was still a couple of things we could have made the effort to see but just opted for a leisure day.  It’s also so hot and humid unfortunately it does not appeal to us to be out walking in that heat. One can only have so many frozen Margaritas with Benedryl and still be a team player.

KEY LARGO

Wednesday February 27th

Up fairly early as we’re not sure how long it will take to go to Key Largo.  We arrive about 10:30ish and have a glorious day soaking up the sun in their rented 4 bedroom house overlooking an inland canal. We went and did a littlelot of successful shopping.  We finished the evening off with fresh Shrimp on the Barbie, melt in your mouth beef and lots of salads, cheesese, etc. Not to mention the best Key Lime Pie in the Keys!!!!

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL

Friday February 22, 2019

Another KOA somewhat smaller and again with wifi that sucks.  We’re about a hour from Fort Lauderdale and will head in to the city tomorrow.

Saturday February 23rd

We drive to Fort Lauderdale and park down near the Riverwalk. Lots of construction. Luckily it takes us right to where we will cruise for the next hour and a half to see how the rich and famous live.  It did not disappoint and only gawffuffed us into wondering where do people get their money.  Thirty million dollar houses with their sixty plus million dollar yachts sitting out front, both staffed. Gaw-aw!!!!!

Sunday February 24th

We couldn’t decide on West Palm Beach or Miami to visit today.  Our neighbours and with some research decided to go to WPB. Again drove and parked in a downtown lot. First we visited the Visitors Centre to get our bearings.  She suggested taking the free trolley and get a feel for the city. Then visit Clematis Street for a bite and beverage. We went to a fun burger joint called Grease and had a cold beer and delicious wings. We then headed over the cosway to visit the Flagler Museum which the Visitor Center said was a must.  Flagler has been a well renowned name through our travels beginning in St. Augustine.  We’re not sure what it is about this self made entrepreneur but it was quite intriguing on how he basically developed the east coast of Florida, including the railway down to Key West.   Then it was a drive down Worth Ave. with all the high end stores.  It’s certainly a posh area and as our day was coming to an end we decided to head back to camp as it appeared the multi gazillion dollar homes were not very visible from the road.

Monday February 25th

Back to Okeechobee today to get the stabilizing leg on our trailer fixed. Please , please dear God let it be the right part.

 

Tuesday February 26th

We hang around until it is time to take the truck and trailer to the RV place and we will hang around the pool until it is fixed.  Could be worse places. And the wifi is better poolside.    Around 2:30 we are called everything is ready to go. We are now on our way to Homestead, but not without traffic delay.

We arrive at the Boardwalk RV Campground around 6:30pm. It’s gated and needs a code to get in.  Luckily a kind gentleman stops and gives us the code.  We go to the office where it is now closed, but they usually leave late registration info in the mailbox.  Nothing!!!!!! Holy Crap. We call the number we have on our confirmation sheet …voice mail.  I email….within about 10 minutes I do get an email back that gives an apology and a Site Number.  Again another nice gentleman walks us to our site.  Uggggghhhhhh…..it’s packed like sardines, it’s getting dark out and we can’t back in the Eagle.   We takesa second approach at it and we get in on an angle.  Frig it…it’s fine for the night,  now where are the bathrooms.   Again a nice (what we realize is a Quebeceer) takes Ray to the bathroom on his golf cart and gives him the code for the bathroom.  So now I not only have a wifi code, I don’t have a code for the bathroom.   Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

When one   I travels all day, it doesn’t take a lot to throw onesmy sense of humour to the winds.    WeI managed and I was looking forward to spending the next day with my buddies (Athlete Diva) in Key Largo.

LAKE OKEECHOBEE, FL

Monday February 18th, 2019

Parked into the KOA here in Lake Ocheechobee.  Not sure why we needed four nights other than it’s a stinkin hot area. It’s a full community of different ages. It has an adult pool. Woot Woot! Turns out I came down with a cold bug so the extra lazy days have been quite welcoming.  We did go and check out the Lake which probably is a great spot for the avid fishermen.  The town does not look very prosperous with a lot of restaurant and shop closures.

Other than enjoyed hot weather and the pool…nothing exciting here.

TITUSVILLE, FL

February 15, 2019

We are now in Titusville at The Great Outdoors Resort.  A long time colleague of Ray’s got us in here to experience what most Canadians who reside for the winter think of as Heaven on Earth. There are over 1600 residents spread out over 3000 acres.

There are lots of activities on site including an eighteen hole golf club.  It is an Uncle Sam’s as well although wifi and cable were not included in the $80 US per night.  We had two days of golf and played over (or in) lots of water and sand bunks.  Ughhhhhh….Neither one of us did too bad considering it was our first time out since September.  Monday we went back into Titusville before we headed to Lake Okeechobee, as they had our part for the trailer.  At least they thought they did.  Of course they did not send the correct part, refunded us all our monies and we were on our way with the part number hoping to find it along the way on our travels. We can still operate the leg manually but Ray’s one bicep is looking a little lopsided compared to the other.