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Adelaide Shores RV Park sunrise, Avon Park, Florida

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Well, Hello February!

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 83, Low 61)

Wow, where did January go? Even though it was a bit rainy for Florida, we still managed to get some fun times in.

20160121_102500Last week I was going to do my “Part 2” on our visit to Paynes Creek State Park. But since it’s been so long since my first post, I’m just going to go on and include it in this one about the past couple weeks.

Back in the mid1800s, there was a trading post established in central Florida, which was attacked by Seminole Indians.

The Visitor Center

In response, the United States established a series of forts, including the one at this location next to Paynes Creek. The soldiers here never actually saw any battles, unless you include the ones they had with other local inhabitants, namely…the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes prevailed as the fort was only manned for about a year before it was abandoned due to illness.

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None of the fort remains, but this is the location where it stood.

 

 

20160121_104255We enjoyed a nice walk around the trails, although a couple of them were closed due to flooding. We also weren’t able to make it to the location of the trading post because that particular trail, although not closed, was still very wet and we hadn’t worn our hiking boots.

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The Peace River also meets Payne Creek at this location. (By the way, it did not take us 40 minutes to walk this one mile, even at our “leisurely” pace.)

 

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We didn’t try to have a seat in the riverside bench.

 

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After checking out the trails, we enjoyed a nice lunch.

We may go back another day to check out some of the trails we missed.

And what else have we been up to?

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One day we took a drive over to Slim’s BBQ in Arcadia to meet up with a group of Heartland owners. It’s a small world…we first met two out of the three couples in this picture when we were spending some time in Port Aransas, TX two years ago. We had a great time chatting the afternoon away.

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I mentioned the rainy days…luckily we kept our Wii system although we haven’t really used it that much. A couple weeks ago we got it out and set it up, and I’ve been using it to get some exercise on the rainy days…including this evening of Wii bowling.

 

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And this week when we finally did get some nice days, we took a ride over to Highlands Hammock State Park for a nice bike ride.

It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the three mile loop, which has a really nice bike lane. We actually went around several times to make it a ten mile ride.

 

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We walked a couple of the trails hoping to get a view of some alligators, but none were to be seen, just this good sized snake, which we think is a water moccasin. Luckily we were on a boardwalk, and this guy was below us in the water.

 

Our first month here has been a great one, and we are looking forward to February being more of the same. And I’ll try to check in more often!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Couple Road Trips in a Busy Fun Week – Part 1

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 54, Low 36)

We started out this week with a road trip over to Palmetto, which is a little over an hour and a half from our current location in Central Florida. With our thoughts about potentially “settling” part time somewhere on the west coast of Florida, we were considering finding a new winter spot in order to scout out communities where we might eventually want to buy a place.

(On a bit of a side note, we do plan to do some more traveling eventually, as opposed to staying the winter in Florida. However, right now it just doesn’t fit in the plan. We still travel back to Ohio and NY for a good part of the warmer months to spend some time with the grandkids and other family members, and do all the necessary medical stuff. Our fall seasons are taken up with work at Amazon. This seasonal work has made our fulltiming possible, since we hit the road with loans on both our truck and fiver. After three seasons of working, we have paid off our truck – yay! and now we have at least three more peak seasons before we will have the fiver loan 12572957_10208966056415401_690919796883065690_ngone. With our financial situation being what it is, it just makes more sense to stay put on the east coast for the winter months, and we want it to be somewhere warm! Which is why we have landed where we are.)

After extensive web searching, I had a list of seven possible rv resorts which seemed to fit the bill for what we were looking for. So this past Tuesday, we headed out for Palmetto to see what we could see…

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In all, we went to five RV parks. They were all called “resorts” but most of them were a far cry from resorts in our book.

 

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One of our biggest impressions that seemed to be a constant was tight roads and tight spaces.

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They all felt the same. Pretty sharp corners. Small sites. Tight spots to back into.

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And on top of all that, there was also one other constant in that they didn’t take reservations for a certain site. We could “request” a site, but they made no guarantees that you would get it. Which means nothing as far as I’m concerned. We could end up with them putting us in a really tight site and no plan B.

And….as if those concerns weren’t enough…none of the parks that looked like they might have sites that would work for us seemed to have activities geared for active younger type retirees.

20160119_112707The one bright spot in the day was a nice lunch in Palmetto at a little spot called the Riverside Cafe. It had outside deck seating which was enclosed at the time since it was a cool day.

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We had a great view and the food was yummy!

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This was my Cobb salad with grilled chicken.

 

 

After a full day of driving around looking at RV places in the Palmetto and Bradenton areas, we headed home full of indecision. Only one of the parks looked even remotely like something we would enjoy staying in. But we didn’t really care for the activities offered there. I still had a couple other RV resorts on my list, which we had left for another day, as they are down in the Ft. Myers area. But those were quite a bit more expensive.

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And on the other hand we had…our current spot…lots of room…in a park we enjoy…

 

 

So, you can probably see where this is going...but after all that, and lots of conversation between Harry and me…we’ve decided to put the idea of trying another rv park on the back burner for the time being. We’re going to stay put at Adelaide Shores at least for another winter season, maybe two. For now we will explore other local communities just by doing day trips. We both feel good about our decision, so we know it is the right one.

And, as this post is already long enough for one day…the rest of our week shall be left for Part 2. Smile

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gb Drought is Over and Tampa RV Show

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 61, Low 46)

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I am one of the first to admit that Harry and I like our technology. We’ve kind of given up saying that we are going to keep our phones for any extended period of time because we know before two years is up we’re going to be wanting to upgrade them. We’ve been planning to get our new phones while we are here in Avon Park for several months, so last week we headed to Verizon to get our new ones – the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. The only downside was that we used up almost all of our remaining data downloading our apps and getting our phones set up, so for the remainder of our period we were on a strict gb diet! We did not want to go over and have to pay another 15 bucks for a measly little gb. And we made it!! Woot woot!

One of the events we’ve really been looking forward to this year was the Tampa RV Show. We’ve heard a lot of great things about how big it is, but we’ve never made it there before. So last Thursday we headed for Tampa with Dee and Jim for an enjoyable day of window shopping.

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We had a lot of fun looking at Class A rigs. Right now we love our fifth wheel and the living space that we have in it. For us, it has been perfect for 20160114_123510fulltime living and we have no desire to get another fulltiming rig. But, unlike others, we do not plan to fulltime indefinitely. We would like to at some point, probably about five years or so, establish a home base in Florida and at that time downsize to a smaller Class A so we can transition to “anytime rv’ers.” So the trip to Tampa was a fun window shopping and information gathering day.

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Harry is picturing himself driving this beast!

 

 

We had a great time at the show and now have a couple more rigs to add to our list, for when that time comes.

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Other than that, we’ve been taking it easy. Every evening we go out for a nice walk. Even on the cooler evenings, we appreciate the fact that it’s warmer than we would be in NY. (And given the severe weather recently here in FL, we would actually rather have it cold.)

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We have another road trip coming up tomorrow…more information about that on Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Fun Week and Another Recipe

Location: Avon Park, FL (High 73, Low 61)

12490026_10208849056490476_1636421549_oWe’ve been having a great time since we settled in here a week ago.

When we first arrived, the weather was a little on the warm side but the last few days it’s been very pleasant, even a little cool.

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On Monday we had a girl’s day out with myself, Dee, Dee’s sister Doris and her friend Jody.

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We had lunch at this great little eatery in Sebring where Dee took this nice selfie at our table. It had a really nice outside dining area, but we ate inside since it was a bit cool. (Yes I am a Floridian now, 60 is cool. Open-mouthed smile)

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I really enjoyed my steak sandwich on a homemade bread. Wow, it was SO yummy.

 

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Then we walked around and did a little window shopping.

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It was a really fun day.

 

 

Besides our day out, I’ve been going for a nice run every morning, and we’ve also been enjoying the evening card games twice a week. We also joined the club and went to see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. It was really good and we all enjoyed it. We have been enjoying our freedom from work and schedules.

One thing I’ve really been enjoying is having the time to do some cooking again. I want to try a couple new recipes each week. Yesterday I tried one that Harry and I both really liked. It was called Chicken Fajita Pasta.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts12489872_10208867905081679_807949904_o
  • 1 envelope (3 tablespoons) taco or fajita seasoning
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers (2-3 bell peppers)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (10-oz) can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
  • 8 oz (about 3 cups) penne pasta (I used bowtie pasta instead.)
  • 12 teaspoon salt

Directions:

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Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with half of taco seasoning. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat. When the oil is very hot, carefully add the chicken in a single layer and cook without stirring until one side is seared and browned, about 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken to the other side and cook until browned. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

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Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet with the heat still on high. When the oil is very hot again, add the onions, bell peppers, and remaining taco seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are slightly blackened. Turn heat to low, add minced garlic, and stir until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Remove the veggies to the plate with the chicken.

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In the same skillet, add the broth, cream, diced tomatoes, uncooked pasta, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes until pasta is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed. Add the chicken and veggies back into the skillet and stir to combine until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve with buttery garlic bread and enjoy!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Another New Year – Welcome 2016

Location: Avon Park, Florida (High 70, Low 59)

12470747_10208830634949949_1273377834_oWe had an uneventful trip to Avon Park on Thursday – that is the kind I really like!!

Since this was the shortest leg of our trip, we didn’t have to get going so early, and pulled out of Pecan Park RV Park just a few minutes after 9 am.

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We had gone back and forth about whether to take 75 down or go straight down 95 and over 4. Even though we don’t like the traffic through Orlando we ended up going that route because it just looked like such a straight shot. We were glad we did because traffic wasn’t bad at all. Maybe the fact that it was New Year’s Eve helped.

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We had just a few miles of traffic like this. The rest of the time we were moving along at highway speed.

 

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It was about 1:30 that we pulled into Adelaide Shores to see our spot waiting for us, just past Jim and Dee’s Cameo.

 

 

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Backing into the spot wasn’t hard – just getting it into the perfect position next to our pad. (I won’t mention which of the two of us was more picky about that.) But after a while of back and forths, we finally got ourselves situated and yay! we are parked for the next few months.

 

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After getting our inside living area settled, it was a great feeling to get our chairs out and have a glass of wine after our travel day.

 

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Yesterday we enjoyed a great first day of 2016. I got out there and went for my first run here – first 4 miles of 2016 done.

 

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Then we got our outside area set up.

 

 

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We had our first real home cooked meal in quite some time.

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  Yum.

 

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We also got our bikes out and took our first little spin around the park.

 

We ended the day by heading over to the clubhouse for card night. It was good to see the gang from last year and we had a great night of laughs and conversation catching up with everyone.

It was a great first day here getting settled in and we are looking forward to a fun season here.