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Fort Mill/Charlotte KOA, Fort Mill, SC

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ah The Joys of Home Ownership–The Good And The Bad

20883763_10214707868797122_1845455991_oWell, for once Harry and I didn’t have any trouble getting going in the morning. We must be running on adrenalin right now because we have not been sleeping a lot for the last week or so – too much going on in our minds I guess. We were actually out and on the road a few minutes before 8 am. After looking at the traffic congestion showing on the map, we decided to take the road less traveled and go by way of I-10 instead of going around Jacksonville and up 95. It might have been a little bit longer distance wise, but at least we were always moving. Traffic that way was almost non-existent and the only slow-downs we encountered were on 27 when we started hitting traffic lights.

We arrived at Adelaide Shores around 1:30 and got set up in a site. We didn’t have to maneuver around vehicles because the area where the short-term people stay is completely empty. I didn’t get any pictures of that area yet, but will do that today.

After we got the air on and got enough opened up to let the cats out, we went over to our place. We intended to turn the fridge on, the air down, and then go over to Sebring to pick up a cat tree for the cats. But when we got to the house, it was already warmer than the temp we had set it on. The fan was running, but not the compressor. We turned it off and then back on to see if maybe that would reset it. Nothing seemed to happen, but we decided to go get the cat tree, and then come back and reevaluate.

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Well, the cat tree mission was a success. They actually had the same exact cat tree we already have, so we bought that one. The cat tree is pretty heavy, so not something that we want to move back and forth.

20883371_10214707868197107_307994025_oWhen we arrived back home, the place was the same as we had left – definitely not cooling. So we called the a/c place and were happy to hear that someone would be here in about an hour and a half. (You know it’s bad when you’re in Florida in August and it’s cooler outside than inside! I hope I at least lost a pound or two with all the sweating I did!) So we opened the windows and started doing what we could in the hopes that the repair guy would be able to get the air conditioner going. Well….the good news is that he got the a/c working. The bad news is the problem was due to a Freon leak and to fix it would cost almost as much as a new one. So, guess what? Yes, we are unexpectedly having a new a/c unit installed tomorrow morning. Not something we thought we would be doing this soon, but I guess we’re just getting it out of the way first thing.

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Once we knew that our air was back in business, we went over to the rv to get what we would need for the night, and to bring the cats back to the house.


20883946_10214708165724545_373242907_oAriel does not like change, so it took her a little while to decide to come out of her carrier. And the first thing she did was find the best hiding places. She spent half the evening running for the very back corner under the bed, or going under the table.


20930454_10214707861636943_1103844065_oBy this time it was 7 pm, and despite being really sick of eating out, there was no way I was going to cook a meal at that point, so we ordered a pizza from the place next door.

After dinner Harry got the tv out. (It was the one we used to set up in the basement area of the rig.) We were so glad that we bought the Amazon fire stick because it was nice to be able to plug that in and get the tv going.

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Ariel even started to relax.



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We got the couch bed opened up and put together. With the board support, two mattresses and a topper, it was actually pretty comfortable. Good thing because we’ll be sleeping on it for at least a couple weeks!

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Walk Around Uptown Charlotte on Our Last Day

Since yesterday was our last day in Charlotte, we took the morning to do some of our trip preparations. Harry always likes to check the tires and empty the tanks, and I had some housekeeping stuff to take care of inside.

20799779_10214683457386852_7285041105820232776_nAfter lunch, we drove the short distance back over to Andrew and Amanda’s for what would turn out to be a really fun afternoon. Amanda took us to “uptown” Charlotte where a lot of the financial institutions have buildings – especially Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Amanda was a great tour guide as she works in one of these buildings also.

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The sidewalks were mostly deserted as there really aren’t any tourist destinations in this area, and all of the financial places were closed for the weekend.


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I could easily picture professionals enjoying these outside spaces on their lunch breaks.


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And on days when it isn’t so pleasant, Amanda showed us how the buildings are connected so you can travel from one to the other without ever stepping foot outside. It’s like a little town in there!

20862342_10214692068002112_1793175119_oAs we crossed one intersection, my attention was caught by an interesting sculpture right in front of me. And since we had a few minutes before the light turned, I had enough time to notice that there was a different sculpture on each corner of this large intersection. And just by happenstance, we happened to walk over a placard on the stones which explained the four sculptures, which I was able to get a picture of also. That’s a lot of “happened to’s”, but I feel like I successfully found all the pieces of a puzzle! And it was interesting to learn a little bit about Charlotte’s history in the process.

20907246_10214692236366321_1641199026_oAfter exploring a bit, we enjoyed a really yummy BBQ dinner at a place called Midwood Smokehouse. Wow, so yummy! I had a brisket sandwich and mac ‘n’ cheese.

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And then we finished up with one more drink at another local brewery…Legion Brewery.

Oh my. Everything was so good. And we have had our fill of eating out for some time.




20729757_10214691812915735_5733382936313319894_nToday we had another uneventful trip to our overnight destination…Pecan Park RV Park in Jacksonville, FL. We are hoping to get an early start tomorrow – we even stayed hooked up, which we rarely do! Tomorrow we’ll be arriving at Adelaide Shores in Avon Park, FL!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dinner At the Movies and Aviation Museum

Harry and I don’t go to the movies super often – maybe a half dozen times a year at most. This has actually been one of our bigger years for movie attendance, since we brought the kids a couple times as well as going to see a couple that we were really excited to see. When we arrived here last weekend, Amanda and Andrew were telling us about a really fun movie experience they had at the movie theater just down the street from them. So when our plans for Friday evening were rained out, we thought we would check out the movies instead, and decided to go see Dunkirk.

20770407_10214661943609021_6460878363089593935_nWhat a fun time. The seats are so comfy, and there is a table across from the seats that have napkins, condiments and an order form. When we bought our tickets we were given a menu.

You write your order down on the paper and then push a call button, and the waiter comes and gets your order. You can even order during the movie the same way.

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I had a margarita, which was yummy, and Harry ordered an alcoholic drink which was like a milkshake, and we both ordered burgers.


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We were really surprised that our food was really very good. And since it was 8:00 at night, we were pretty hungry, so we didn’t have any trouble eating our whole meal.


Dunkirk was a pretty intense movie, and fast-moving. No sneaking looks at my phone to see what time it was! We all thought it was well done.

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Yesterday we went to the Carolinas Aviation Museum.

…a replica of the Wright Brothers plane


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Although there are a number of planes there, the main centerpiece of the place is the plane from the event known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”



A20768081_10214671210320683_5738108208272482402_nlthough I read a lot about this already back when it happened, it was very interesting to see the actual plane and read the information about the marks on the plane, the debris of the engines and see the real damage that occurred from the different parts of the incident.


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I’m not a big airplane buff but it was an interesting way to spend a couple hours.




This morning we spent some time getting the rig ready to travel tomorrow. We have one more visit with Andrew and Amanda, and then our visiting time will be over for the summer. Although we’ve had a really great time seeing all the various members of our families over the past four months, we are looking forward to settling down and getting back to a regular routine and some normal life.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Enjoying Time in Charlotte, Walks and Chef Andrew

20771721_10214645393995291_1996743414_oWe have been having a nice relaxing time here in Charlotte. In Ohio we were go…go…going all the time because we were filling up most of our days with time with the grandkids. But here in Charlotte we have had some time to ourselves since Andrew and Amanda both work during the day, and there are no grandkids here (yet!).

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Yesterday, for the first time in forever, we put on our running clothes and drove about 10 minutes away to a 2.25 mile trail (Piedmont Medical Center Trail) that I found in a nearby town.


20747896_10214645400555455_814826655_oWe didn’t do any running yet. We have to work our way back in to our exercise routine!

We walked almost the whole length of the trail – 2 miles out and then back.


It really was a beautiful location.20771954_10214645400995466_513416356_o The whole trail ran along the Catawba River. We could see kayakers out enjoying the water.

It was a great start to our exercise routine. It felt good to be back out there moving again.


20747093_10214645411875738_2054328893_oAnd it’s a good thing we got some exercise in – because we sure have been eating well. Harry says he doesn’t know where Andrew got his cooking talent, but wherever it came from, he got a double dose of it! We have been going over to their place in the afternoon to watch Andrew whip up a delicious meal with all fresh ingredients – even buying his own herbs to chop up. Wow, so yummy.

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This was our dinner on Tuesday night.

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Last night we enjoyed a meal with a Mexican theme. This bowl started out full of freshly made guacamole! I didn’t get a picture because we were all too busy digging in.

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Umm yes there were only four of us. (And I didn’t think I liked guacamole!)

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All I can say is I’m glad we are getting back to our exercise!


It’s been a fun week so far, and we still have a few days left to enjoy before we head south to Florida




In household news, we have been getting started with plans for next week. We decided to 20170408_140352get our internet through Xfinity, so Harry went online and set up an account. We have installation scheduled for later next week. We’ve also been planning for what we’re going to get started with first…and there are two items at the top of our list – the windows in the park model and our bedroom. You may remember that we had what is called a “roofover” done earlier this summer, so we called the company that did that job for us to set up an appointment for next week so we can get an estimate for these windows. The windows shown in the picture behind that couch and the ones on the left are original to the unit. So they are not weather proof at all, and on top of that, there are no screens. So we decided that we are going to have those replaced first thing.

T20170408_141004he other big project is this bedroom. Everything in this picture is going….ruffles, flowers, bed, dressers, wallpaper… and that window is on the list of windows that we are getting an estimate to replace. So the only thing staying is the four walls. haha For obvious reasons, we want to get this done first.

We are more excited about these renovations than we were about the house because everything we do here is going to be for us. We are really looking forward to getting started.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trip to the Vet and More Family

When we arrived home from PA last Friday, I noticed that Ariel was sneezing occasionally. We are used to cat sneezing unfortunately, as Crookshank has had allergies for years. It is worse in some locations than others, but we do have an antihistamine we can give him that helps a lot. But Ariel has never sneezed so that was unusual. It didn’t seem like much at first. I looked it up online and the info said that cats can get upper respiratory infections that are similar to colds in humans. Sometimes they go away on their own, but sometimes not. So we decided to just keep an eye on her.

In the meantime, we were traveling. Over the weekend, we watched her. She seemed to be holding her own – eating, drinking normally. But she seemed to be sleeping more and not having as much energy as usual. When she laid on my lap, I could feel a spasm occasionally that reminded me of a cough. She was also sneezing more often and sounded stuffed up when she breathed. So we decided we better get her in to the vet. I looked up vets on Yelp and found one only a few miles away that had good reviews. When I called yesterday morning, they didn’t have any openings and gave us an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. I took the appt as it didn’t seem like Ariel was in dire straits.

Shortly after I called the vet, she really started sneezing. I was concerned that waiting over 24 more hours would give the infection more time to gain hold, so I went back on Yelp and found another vet, the Veterinary Medical Center of Fort Mill. It was even closer, only 2 miles away, and AAHA accredited. So I called them and they were very nice, giving us an appt at 12:30 – only 2 hours later!

Wow, what a great experience. When we arrived at 12:15, they got us right in to an open room. There was a blanket on the floor, sprinkled with cat nip and some treats. All of the staff was SO friendly. We had an awesome vet for the cats in KY, so our bar for vets is set really high, but this one was right up there. Turned out that Ariel did have an upper respiratory infection, and they were able to give her an antibiotic shot so we don’t even have to wrestle a pill into her for the next 10 days. It turned out to be such a blessing in disguise that the other place couldn’t get us in.

Last night, we had another family visit – to catch up with Harry’s nephew CW and wife Kris. (We went to their wedding in Jacksonville in April.) They happened to be visiting Kris’ brother who happens to live right here in Fort Mill (which we didn’t realize until they got in touch with us to tell us they were only a few miles away). They invited us for dinner last night so we had an enjoyable evening chatting with them, and partaking of a delicious 20664161_10214618745049084_947526317235009247_nmeal!

We got back home to find that Ariel was perking up. And this morning she seems much better – still sneezing occasionally, but sounds much less congested. So we are very happy with our decision to get her into the vet right away.


Tonight, we are heading to Andrew and Amanda’s for dinner. We have seen many amazing pictures of meals that Andrew whips up and are looking forward to trying one out ourselves!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Goodbye Ohio…Hello Charlotte

20638240_10214596696097874_9209999415673321355_nWell after a fun month in Ohio, on Saturday it was time for us to move on down the road. We liked the campground that we stayed at this year, Countryside Campground, for the most part. But it was another one of those campgrounds that was built before the time of the big rig, and the turns were super tight. 19849088_10214226092113006_1306810719_nThere was also something about the left turn out of the section we were in, that every time we stayed there this year, on our way out, the bedrail of the truck connected with the underside of the fifth wheel overhang, and gouged a hole in the trim piece. EVERY time. In the exact SAME spot. So we are glad that we have finished our last stay there for this year, and we probably won’t be going back.

<-----The left turn at the end of this road was not kind to our rig.



20747037_10214616142024010_1038815988_oOn Saturday, we traveled to Fort Chiswell RV Park in Max Meadows, VA, where we had a nice pull through spot for the night. It was a pretty long trip by our standards – about 350 miles. But our reward was we only had 144 left to go on Sunday so we had a nice leisurely morning yesterday, and didn’t pull out until after 11.

20663662_10214609448176668_2504503226128436755_nWe had a nice uneventful trip yesterday to our current location – Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA in Fort Mill, SC. We have a back in spot and Harry got the rig right in without any problem. It only took us five years but we’re finally getting good at backing in! haha


20638454_10214611669792207_3482143956831652291_nLast night we drove into Charlotte to meet Andrew and Amanda for dinner at a local brewery. We stayed in the area on our way north this spring but didn’t actually go into the city then, so it was our first view of the downtown area.

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This looks interesting! These ladies were powering it along like a bike while the guy at the wheel steered it. Guess they’re working off their drinks!

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We had some yummy food and drinks at the Heist Brewery, and then we headed over to Andrew and Amanda’s new apartment to see their new digs. We had a great time chatting for a while before it was time to head home and crash.

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We are looking forward to being able to have a lot of time to catch up over the coming week.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Joining the Streaming Movement

Harry and I are tv watchers, so when we went fulltime, one of the things we wanted to figure out was the best way to have access to television. We had Directv at the time, so after checking out the various options, we decided to stick with that. We had a satellite dish installed on the roof of our fiver right at the dealer’s, and we submitted the paperwork for the Distance Network Services at Directv so we could still get the main networks out of NYC. And for the past four and a half years, that has worked pretty well for us. We had the occasional time when we couldn’t get the satellite because of trees, but we like open spots anyway and always ask for them if available, so that didn’t happen very often.

Over the past couple months, a few things have changed. First of all we bought the park model. Now that we are heading that way, we have to figure out how we are going to get tv and internet there. We thought about Directv, but for various reasons we didn’t want to have a dish put on our roof there, and they don’t allow poles at that park. So we started looking at cable. We found a pretty good package with Xfinity, but of course there is a period of time that you are committed to the monthly charge. We could put our Directv on hold for 6 months, but then for the other 6 months we would be paying for two household’s worth of service. That didn’t sound like a very good plan.

Another piece of the puzzle was Verizon, and their new unlimited monthly plan. We didn’t go to it at first, because I was suspicious that there was a catch. It just sounded too good to be true. Plus Harry was concerned that we would have trouble in Kentucky, because Verizon doesn’t have towers there, and uses the equipment for Bluegrass Wireless. We thought because of that we might have pretty limited access while we were working at Amazon. Now that we’re not going back to work there, that is obviously not an issue anymore. As far as my concern, I’ve been following conversations on various facebook pages, and most rv’ers who went to the unlimited said they were able to watch movies and stream programs just fine. So a little over two months ago we finally bit the bullet and switched over to the unlimited plan.

We decided to try streaming and ordered an Amazon fire stick. We loved it. As Amazon prime members, we had access to some movies and shows at no additional charge. So we took our new unlimited plan out for a spin – NO problem. We watch a lot of CBS shows so we decided to download the CBS app and try out the “All Access” plan. NO problem.

The final piece of the puzzle was Directv. We have had it for almost ten years between the house and here, and always had great luck. But a few weeks ago in Hershey we started having problems. I would put CBS on in the morning and we’d get the “no satellite reception” message – the one that we got once in a while when it rained hard. But other channels would be working just fine, and other times of the day CBS would be working fine also. It was really frustrating. The kid focused channels were also channels that would work sometimes and not work other times, and since Schaun was with us that was also a problem. So with our success up to that point with streaming, we decided to go all the way and download the Sling app. We could get all the same channels we watch for less than 50 bucks a month. Plus we can use it at the house also and not have to pay for two different cable/satellite packages. Problem solved.

A few days ago we put the Directv satellite down and went cold turkey. So far – no problem at all. We have been using my phone for a hotspot and streaming everything. Using the CBS All Access app we can get the local news live. We can get all of the other channels we like through Sling. Once we get to Florida we will cancel Directv. (We are waiting because they will send a box to the house for us to return our equipment and we want to make sure we are there when it arrives.) As fulltime, or even part-time, rv’ers, we never thought we’d be able to join the streaming revolution, but the new unlimited internet plans have now made that a possibility. So far, so good!