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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Walkabout At the Park

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 82, Low 62)

1505596_10153136892344766_2595715328348643849_nOne of the places in the area that I’ve been looking forward to seeing is Highlands Hammock State Park. We’ve been waiting for a nice warm day so we might have a chance of seeing some wildlife, especially alligators!

 

1469824_10153136893024766_8714977277026449022_nYesterday finally seemed like a good day to go check it out. I packed a lunch and after a leisurely start to the morning, we drove the short distance over to the park. (We are about 15 minutes away.)

 

10917816_10153136896194766_4531772480667546549_nOnce you drive into the park, there is a main road loop with a number of trails coming off the road. Most of the trails are short loops. There are a couple that are more straight paths and connect up with each other. We only did three of the trails yesterday.

11001146_10206540383575096_1589896639_oThere were many people biking along the mail road. Next to each trailhead there is a bike rack where you can park your bike and walk the trail. I think that is the best way to get to all the trails and we are going to go back another day and do that.

We saw a number of birds and enjoyed each trail. But our main agenda and hope was to finally see an alligator. We wanted to see an alligator last year also when we went 10462960_10153136897544766_3834843293268846224_non that swamp boat ride in Louisiana, but it was too cold. We were on our third trail and starting to think we would have to try again another day when we looked across the water to see….

Finally!! It was very cool.

11015664_10206540853106834_387795926_oBy that time it was almost 1 and we were getting hungry so we went over to the picnic area, which we almost had to ourselves. At least at the beginning.

 

We were just finishing up our lunch and thinking about trying one more trail when two vanloads of teens arrived. They were doing the typical teen thing, having a good time and very loudly, and headed down the very trail we were planning to take. So we gave up on the idea of seeing any more wildlife and decided to leave the rest for another day. Next time we’ll bring our bikes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Enjoying Life in Avon Park

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 74, Low 48)

I just looked at the blog and was surprised to see that it was a week yesterday since my last post. We are really having a good time here and the days are flying by!

This place has a lot going on, and it is really the first time that we have gotten even a little involved in the social aspects of a park that we are staying in. Playing cards with family at Christmas was good practice, as we have joined a card group that plays a couple nights a week. Now that the learning curve is over and we kind of know what we are doing, we are having a good time.

We have also been going to tennis instruction twice a week. It has been many years since either of us played tennis, but now, armed with our newly purchased tennis racquets, we are going over to the courts a few times a week to do a little volleying. The tennis instructor also lives here at the resort, and the hour and a half instruction is at no cost. Can’t beat that!

We are still waiting for the phone call from Florida DMV that our truck title has arrived. We will be glad to get that last piece taken care of and those FL plates installed on the truck. We figured three weeks so I am guessing by the end of this week or beginning of next we should be hearing from them.

And…believe it or not…it is already time to apply for the 2015 peak season at Amazon! The application link went live yesterday so we both went online and applied for our third season. The locations have changed from last year and there are now four possible places to work…Campbellsville, KY – Jeffersonville, IN – Murfreesboro, TN – and for the first time Haslet, TX. From the posts on the Camperforce page on Facebook,  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Texas location fills up quickly. But we will be going back to Campbellsville. Our experience in Jeffersonville showed us that the facilities are definitely not all the same, and we like it in Campbellsville, so we’re going to stick with what we know. If anyone out there is looking to apply or get more information about the locations, the website is www.amazon.com/camperforce.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another Mod and A Recipe

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 77, Low 56)

Here is the recipe for the meal that I made yesterday…

Southwestern Chicken with Spinach and Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 8 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 pounds potatoes pealed, quartered
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

(I included the recipe and instructions here as given, but I did not use any salt when cooking it.)

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Combine brown sugar, salt, and spices for chicken. Coat on both sides with rub. (I pounded the chicken first to flatten it out a bit.)

 

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Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 min. Drain and return pan to dry over medium heat.

 

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Off heat, mash to desired consistency, then add the buttermilk, scallions, butter, and salt. Keep warm over very low heat.

 

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Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet, add chicken and cook until done, about 5 min per side. Remove and keep warm.

 

 

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Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet, add tomatoes and saute 1 min. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Combine sour cream, lime juice and salt. (I used just plain sour cream.)

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To assemble, place potatoes on plate, top with sour cream, put spinach and tomatoes on potatoes and top with chicken.

 

This recipe was really good, and we will definitely be having it again.

Now, for the modification. We have been pretty unhappy with the faucet in our bathroom. A few weeks ago, one of the handles even broke off. So today was faucet replacement day.

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Harry trying to fit himself into the teeny space under the sink…

 

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The old piece of #$@% faucet…

 

 

 

IMG_3380Because nothing can ever be simple, especially “easy” jobs…the angle of the red pipe did not allow Harry to connect the fitting to the new faucet.

 

 

So Harry had to pull out his trusty box of plumbing supplies…

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Took a little extra doing, but finally it was all put together!

 

 

 

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The finished product looks awesome!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lots Going On!!

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 81, Low 49)

It’s only been a couple days since my last blog, but we’ve been BUSY. On Friday, we finished what is probably our most exciting modification to date on our fifth wheel.

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It took a little prep work on Harry’s part on Thursday afternoon as he had to climb into the basement and reroute the wiring that originally went from the satellite to the bedroom, down to the basement.

 

10951985_10206408660682106_1428991481_oOn Friday we took a ride over to Davenport, which is where the nearest Best Buy is located, to pick up our new tv – a Sharp 42” LED television.

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We love it!!

 

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Yesterday Harry took advantage of the gorgeous weather to wash the fiver from top to bottom.

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Harry was very happy to be able to wash off whatever remnants of salty air might have been left on the rig from our month in the keys.

Today we celebrated an exciting milestone – Harry’s birthday! We started it out with a great ten mile run. Ten miles is just about the distance that I was able to run a few weeks ago in Key West and I think my legs held up a little better today.

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After that start, relaxing was in order for the rest of the day.

 

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I tried out another one of my new recipes for Harry’s birthday meal…Southwestern Chicken with Spinach and Mashed Potatoes.

(I was going to include the recipe in this blog post, but I think it’s getting to be long enough, so I will feature the recipe in another blog post tomorrow.)

 

After dinner, we decided to head over to the tennis courts so we could get in another half hour of practice. Phew! I think we will sleep well tonight.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Almost Floridians

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 74, Low 61)

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This past Sunday we lucked out again with another really nice traveling day. It was a beautiful ride along the water. With it being Sunday, the traffic near Miami was also minimal, and we easily traveled along to our exit for Route 27.

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Route 27 turned out to be a really nice four lane highway, and like all the other roads, was pretty deserted. It was a wonderfully uneventful trip.

 

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The most excitement we had was driving along some fields of sugar cane that were being burned.

 

 

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After about a five hour trip, we arrived at our next stop…Adelaide Shores RV Resort. We are parked next to Dee and Jim (Tumbleweed).

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This resort is like a little town and we have already used our bikes to get around here more than we have used them in all of the past two years.

We went to Walmart a couple days ago and bought some tennis raquets, and spent an hour that afternoon playing tennis. It has been years for both of us, so we aren’t good at all, but we had a great time and really got a workout. I see many hours of playing tennis in our future over the next two months.

10969350_10206395025101225_1344741945_oYesterday we went over to DMV and got the registration process started. Alliant Credit Union, where we have the fiver financed, was nice enough to send us our title, so we were able to get that one moved over completely yesterday. We have the truck with Ally and they wouldn’t do anything without the request from Florida DMV so we just got the ball rolling yesterday and will have to go back to DMV in a few weeks when they get the title from Ally. But at least we’re one step further!

I am still having a good time with the Plan to Eat website. We went grocery shopping today and I bought ingredients for a few new recipes so maybe I will do a few cooking blogs over the next few days. Smile

Saturday, January 31, 2015

End of our Time in the Keys

Location: Marathon, FL (High 83, Low 63)

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This has been a wonderfully relaxing month. The best part about this place, by far, has been the paved walkway only a quarter mile from the campground.

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We’ve been sticking pretty close to home. In fact, we had one whole week where we didn’t drive anywhere at all. But we sure didn’t feel confined, as we were heading down that trail every day, sometimes twice a day.

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We did have a couple outings this week. On Tuesday we drove over to Key West one more time. The first thirty minutes we were there provided confirmation to our decision to rent the car for the race weekend.IMG_3317 That’s how long we spent driving the truck around the tight Key West streets before we were able to find a place to park.

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We walked around town a bit, but it was pretty crowded with a cruise ship in town.

At least we did make it back to the southernmost point!

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Yesterday we made a return trip to one of our favorite places here…the Cracked Conch CafĂ©.

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It’s not a fancy place, but we enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, and their conch chowder is worth the trip.

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And in honor of it being our last time eating out here in the Keys, we finished off our meal with a piece of their key lime pie. Yum.

 

Today we hung out around here. I picked up inside and Harry went through his “getting ready to go” routine. In the morning we’ll be heading north to Avon Park, FL.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Just Hangin’ and Exploring a New Website

Location: Marathon, FL (High 78, Low 75)

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It’s been a pretty quiet week around here in Marathon. The weather has been gorgeous, and we have been just hanging out and enjoying it.

 

I have spent some time this week doing a little cooking as well, using a new website I found recently. A few weeks ago, Dee from Tumbleweed did a blog where she talked about trying out a gourmet food delivery service, where the company would send ingredients to make two gourmet meals/week. I like to cook so I checked out the website, but the meals were too “fancy” for me, for lack of a better word. I like to make a more “normal” kind of meal. This got me thinking though about finding a service that would more suit my kind of cooking. So I did an online search and found an article that compared different food services and apps.

After looking at several of the companies and apps, I decided to try one called Plan to Eat. One thing I like about this website is that there is a 30 day free trial, so I’m still in the trial period, but right now I’m leaning towards continuing at the end of the month. And the cost is $39/year, so very affordable.

The main way that this website helps is with organization. You can add your own recipes to the recipe book by typing them in, or can import recipes from websites online. I would imagine that the first few months would be the most labor intensive, as it will take a while to add recipes and do searches for new ones. But once the recipes are in, it seems like it will really make coming up with meal plans much easier.

I have a planner in my account, and all I have to do is drag a recipe to a certain day. Then I can use my planner to create a shopping list. No more looking through each recipe to decide what I need to buy for the week. The website organizes all the ingredients into categories and then I just check off the foods that I already have. There is also a cooking view for each recipe that can be used while cooking. The jury’s out but so far I am really liking it.

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We have one week left here in Marathon. We don’t have much planned other than a trip to Key West on Tuesday. It’s been a nice relaxing month.