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Lake Adelaide, FL

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

No Storm, Just Wind

Location: Avon Park, FL

When we got up yesterday morning, we were happy to see that the storms were gone. The wind was still whipping enough that we left our satellite down, just to be on the safe side.

That made three days in a row that I didn’t get my exercise in. My ears do not take wind well, as I can get pretty good earaches. So I’ve been waiting for the weather to break and I am hoping that finally today will be nicer, and calmer! From what I can see out the window, it looks promising!

We spent another day watching our dvr’d shows. Luckily we have plenty left over from our Amazon days! While we were catching up on that, I also spent some time doing some online research for my sister about soccer tournaments that my niece has coming up this spring. I don’t even remember how we found out about event details before the internet days.

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Last night we headed off to the clubhouse for a fun evening of cards. I was the big winner of my group, for the huge jackpot of 7 dimes. As always, there was plenty of good-natured ribbing and laughter. Harry won a hand also so we almost broke even for the night. Most of the time we’re not very lucky so good thing we’re not playing high stakes!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Storm and Wind

Location: Avon Park, FL

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Yesterday was a hunker down inside kind of day. Even though most of the day was dry, the wind was so crazy it wouldn’t have been fun to try to run or even walk for exercise.

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Basically everyone around us got ready for the storm by packing up the awnings and putting things away. The neighbors on the other side of us were away and their awning was out. On the positive side, it did have several straps on it but it was still being tossed quite a bit by the wind. We do leave our awning out a lot more here in Florida than we do any other place, but one thing we would not do is to go away for an overnight trip and leave our awning out. We looked this morning and they were so lucky as it survived all the wind and rain.

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We spent the day hanging out in our chairs watching dvr’d shows since we also put our satellite down. And in the evening we added an eye on the weather. We never got anything like the weather we heard about in other areas, but it was still stressful since you never know what the storm line will bring until it’s passed.

 

Speaking of weather watching…Harry’s favorite apps for this purpose are RadarNow! and Storm Shield. I basically use Weather Bug. We also usually download a local weather station app when we are in one area for any length of time. Going through stormy days in an RV is still by far my least favorite part of fulltime life, but we do our due diligence by having a weather radio, stay up to date using technology and always have a plan for where we would go if we had a tornado warning.

(And just on a side note: three posts in a row!! I’m on my way to getting back in the habit!)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Done A Lot with the Place

Seems like a common theme among rv’ers is upgrading your home. The Tampa RV Show has been going on and there have been a lot of conversations online about fun times at the RV show, either just looking or looking to buy. We also know rv’ers who have recently settled down with a home again, or others who have bought a new rig. Harry and I have also talked about the future – our plans, dreams etc. At one time we had taken it for granted that someday we would upgrade to a newer rig, but we have since reconsidered. When we think of everything we’ve done to make this place into our home, the thought of starting over with a new rig does not excite us. And that’s not even taking into consideration the possibility of getting a rig with any kind of problems. So unless something unexpectedly catastrophic comes up, we plan to stick with this fifth wheel for the duration of our fulltime life.

As I was pondering this, I was thinking about all the changes we’ve made, and I thought it would be an interesting endeavor to list all the upgrades, replacements and modifications that we have done around here over the past five and a half years.

Living Room Area

  • Replaced cabinet struts on all overhead cabinets (2016)
  • Moved table to make room for cat tree (2012)
  • Adapted cabinet for litter box (2012)
  • Bought new recliners to replace RV recliners (They are already showing wear and tear so we are planning to purchase new ones next winter.) 2012
  • Upgraded all lights to LED lights (2013)

Kitchen Area

  • Added stove area tile backsplash (2014)
  • Installed supports for corner shelving unit (2015)
  • Installed supports for kitchen sink (2013)
  • Installed support blocks for pantry unit (2012)
  • Replaced cooling unit on fridge and added 2 fans to increase fan number to 3 (2012)
  • Put switch covers over heater switches as safety feature (2016)

Bathroom

  • Added tile backsplash (2015)
  • Replaced bathroom faucet with upgraded faucet (2016)
  • Upgraded fan to Vortex reversible, 4 speed fan (2012)

Bedroom

  • Replaced tv with 32 inch tv (2016)
  • Installed upgraded bed roller bolts (2015)
  • Upgraded tv antenna system to digital (2013)
  • Installed cabling to improve satellite system connection (2011)
  • Purchased washer/dryer combo unit (2012)

Basement

  • Relocated water pump for easy access to crawl space (2015)
  • Installed house water filtration system (2015)
  • Converted pex fittings from plastic to brass (2012)
  • Replaced furnace control board (2014)
  • Added basement tv sat connection (2016)
  • Purchased 40 inch tv (2016)
  • Installed new water heater (2014)
  • Improved water system connection in docking area (2016)
  • New water pump (2014)

Exterior

  • Installed vent covers (2012)
  • Replaced slide toppers with custom-made Sunbrella slide toppers (2015)
  • Replaced propane regulator (2015)
  • Installed satellite roller plate (2016)
  • Upgraded satellite system (2017)
  • Installed Heartland kit to reinforce underside of kitchen slide as protection from rollers (2015)
  • Upgraded to Mor-Ryde king pin (2011)
  • Replaced shackle bolts with wet bolts (2012)
  • Upgraded lock to programmable RV-Lock (2015)
  • Added Anti-slip strips to steps and ladder (2013)
  • Upgraded to Motion light over steps (2012)
  • Covered end cap seams with Eternabond (2012)
  • Hitch for bike rack welded to frame (2011)

Beside the financial aspect, it’s so amazing to think about how much time it took to do all these things. After spending some time compiling this list, we are even MORE sure that we are going to stick with what we have! We are now in our fifth year of fulltime life, and are hoping for a few more years before we move on to our next phase!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Forward Into a Busy 2017

Location: Avon Park, FL

15676500_10212233543180528_749333831340488617_oWell, it’s been some time since my last blog post, and I’ve been thinking for a couple weeks now about trying to get back into a routine of writing again. I think sometimes it seems daunting to get back into it, because so much time has passed and I feel like I have to cover it all if I start writing again. But really, that’s pretty impossible. I just have to start back up and keep going from here.

We arrived down here at Adelaide Shores on Christmas Eve after being released from Amazon on the 21st, and have just been enjoying life. We took advantage of being Florida residents to buy an annual pass to Disney for me. Harry went to Disney about ten years ago, right before we met actually, and he still had five days left on his pass. So with my annual pass, we will be able to spend a few days at Disney over the next few months while we’re in Florida. Avon Park is pretty centrally located, being about the same distance from each coast and an hour or so south of Orlando, so not a horrible distance away for a day trip.

15974871_10212410119394823_1505199212979842564_oLast week, we left our place around 8 am and traveled up to the Magic Kingdom. We picked a Wednesday and it paid off in that at least we didn’t have to fight any traffic on our way in.

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We really didn’t have any agenda, other than not to break the budget on food. haha So we just enjoyed walking around, and went on a few rides. There were 15844666_10212410145315471_6204497763694345698_oenough people there that there were pretty good waits to go on rides, so we didn’t do as much of that as we might have. But it was a fun day anyway.

Kind of a random selfie as we were waiting in line in the ice cream shop, but it turned out to be one of my favorite pics from the day.

 

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I’m kind of surprised that our first month here has gone by so quickly, because our days aren’t chocked full with events. I’ve been running most mornings, and we try to take an evening walk.

 

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The sunsets here are SO gorgeous. I never get tired of them.

 

Another thing I’ve been enjoying since we left Amazon is doing some home cooking. Eating out is very convenient, and we do a lot of it while we’re working, but it has been nice to get away from that since we left KY. Better for the waistline and budget too!

This is a very active park. If we wanted to, we could go to some planned activity every morning, afternoon and evening. That’s not really our style though. We started out three winters ago by joining a group for cards, and we have kept that activity up ever since. Even with just doing one activity, it’s kind of remarkable how meeting people for cards twice a week breaks up the time. And we look forward to it, since we’ve made some good friends over the past couple of winters.

So there you have it…relaxing, running, walking, cooking and playing some cards! Our past month in a nutshell! It’s always a nice change after the run, run, run at Amazon to get back to normal life. Speaking of Amazon, we’ve already applied for the next season, and hope to be heading back that way in August. So we have about seven months of retirement and fun time left.

I know I’ve said this a few times before, but I really have been thinking that I would like to get back to the blog on a more regular basis. I’ve just really gotten out of the habit, but I am REALLY going to try to get back to it. It’s not going to be exciting, but it’s real life.

So here goes….on into 2017!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Long Overdue Catch Up Post

Location: Campbellsville, KY

No, we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth! I guess blogging is like any other habit that you get into – once you start to get out of the habit, it’s easy to start putting it off. I don’t want to stop blogging entirely but I’m not sure what the optimal schedule is for me. Something to think about after we get done at Amazon.

14713523_10211512172666716_2891147299989276943_nSo I’ll guess I’ll start with that – yes, we are back at Amazon. It’s been a pretty good season so far, as we are starting to get back to ramp up time. Harry and I are pickers again, and still liking that job position a lot. We walk generally anywhere from 14 to 17 miles a day. 14591753_10211512173266731_7939295865754657554_nWe’ve been feeling good and are a little under 8 weeks from the end and departure day. There’s really not much new about Amazon. We walked back in and by lunchtime of the first day, we literally felt like we had just left a couple weeks ago.

 

Probably the most exciting event since we have been here was the celebration of my 50th birthday a couple weeks ago! Since I was 14681604_10211512173986749_4507980170748165555_nworking on the actual day, I celebrated on my first day off afterwards – ran 5 miles in the morning, and had an awesome dinner out with friends that night. Hard to feel depressed about a birthday when I am feeling the best I have ever felt in my life!

 

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Now I’ll back up to a few events since my last post. We were up in Peru, doing lots of great mountain climbs and spending time with my mother and stepfather. This was the best summer for hiking ever! I felt the best I have ever felt, and we did some challenging and rewarding climbs. It was awesome. Not sure why but this was one of my favorite hiking shots of the summer.

 

14064158_10210989508040427_7698022268686702678_nFrom there, we traveled to Ohio. We had a great three weeks there, enjoying some more great family time with my stepdaughter Gretchen and our two little guys.

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We got to see some soccer games, went to the movies, spent time outside, did some cooking, went for ice cream. Just an all around fun time.

Labor Day weekend, we headed for Kentucky. Although it wasn’t yet time to start our Amazon jobs, we had heard that the campground where we usually stay here was filling up quickly this year. Since we weren’t going to actually start until the end of September, we made the decision to drive to Kentucky and leave the rig here, traveling back to NY by car instead of driving the fiver back which was our original plan. Even though it wasn’t our rationale, I figured out afterwards that we saved over $1,100 by doing it that way – even figuring in the cost of the campground for three weeks and renting a car for the trip back.

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When we got back to NY, we spent a few days with my sister, who was generous enough to let us crash in her guest room for a week! We were able to take in some soccer games as both my niece and nephew were on their high school soccer teams.

 

14316945_10211170625568252_1289859217340326537_nAnd of course, the main event in September – my stepson Andrew’s wedding in New Rochelle…we were happy to welcome his fiancĂ© Amanda to the family…

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And that more or less sums up the past couple of months. Now we are back in our normal autumn gig working the peak season at Amazon. This is our 4th season, and we have about 8 weeks left before we will head south to Florida for the rest of the winter.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

To the Top of Marcy!

 

For the last half mile of Marcy, I wasn’t taking any pictures! It was pretty steep and rocky. We were happy to find it was a rough type of rock so we were able to get good traction with our hiking boots.

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It took us 5 hours and 50 minutes to cover the 7.5 miles to the top of the highest mountain in New York State!

 

But I do have a lot of pictures of us at the top!!

 

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13668848_10210701920130909_7689923569140910890_oAfter about 30 minutes to relax and have our lunch, we started our way back down. One member of our hiking group got a great shot of Harry and me making our way down the rock face (although it makes me think we’re doing some kind of funny rock dance).

It took us 4 hrs. and 15 minutes to travel the 7.5 miles back to our car. We had such a great time and it just left us wanting more!

We have one week left here in the Adirondacks and plan to do at least a couple more hikes before we leave next Thursday.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Mount Marcy – Part 2

 

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When I left off on my last post, we were at Indian Falls taking our first break on our way to the top of Mount Marcy.

 

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I don’t have tons of pictures from the next mile and a half, because we were still below the tree line, and there weren’t a lot of scenic spots. Occasionally we would get a glimpse of the view to come through the trees.

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It was another mile and a half before we truly started to move above the tree line, and began to get our first real tastes of the view!

 

 

But we were not there yet!

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That’s where we’re going! The smaller hump is called “little Marcy” and then way up at the top is “big Marcy”!

 

 

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Harry, my mom, and me in front of our destination!

 

 

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Here is a close up of Mount Marcy!

 

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And a little more cropped version. Our trail up would go over the rock face toward the right hand side of the photo and then up to the summit.

 

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Here we go – after seven miles on the trail, we are at the last half mile to the summit!