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View From the Trail to Mount Colvin

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Made It to the Trail

Yesterday Harry and I had a nice relaxing day. 18119556_10213492796541075_1775119602097031072_nWe decided to drive over to Green Cove Springs to pick up our mail. We didn’t have tons, but as long as we’re right here might as well save the postage. Since we had gotten up a little late, by the time we got to Green Cove Springs it was almost noon, so I checked my phone for local restaurants. (Can’t even remember how we figured out stuff like that before we had smart phones!) I found a little Mexican restaurant right down the street from our mailbox, so we drove over there for lunch. Green Cove Springs has some nice public lots of parking, so it makes it pretty convenient.




The food was really good! Two thumbs up for La Casita in Green Cove Springs!



Then we drove on to the outlets in St. Augustine. It was about a 25 minute drive from Green Cove Springs. We each had a couple things on our list that we wanted, and for the most part it was a pretty successful shopping foray. No pictures though.

18157163_10213503715974054_6217366071570598282_nThis morning we wanted to go over to the Baldwin-Jacksonville Rail Trail. It is about fifteen minutes or so from the rv park, so that’s not too bad. By the time we 18118681_10213503717894102_3369136968286389061_ngot over there it was almost 11, so it was pretty warm already, but luckily we were walking today and not running. I don’t remember if I mentioned it here or not, but about a month ago, I fell on the concrete with my bike and banged my knee, and I haven’t been running since. My knee is feeling back to normal, but now it’s too hot, so we are going to try to get back to some running when we get up to Ohio. Today we had a nice brisk walk – 5.25 miles!


We also went over to the office today and extended our stay here by one day. I’ve been watching the weather as I always do when we are in traveling mode, and Monday was looking like it could be stormy in the Charlotte area. So we are going to wait until Tuesday to move on when it is supposed to be beautiful. That sounds much nicer!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Time in Jacksonville

Our first full day in Jacksonville was a pleasant and relaxed one. After the last two weeks in Avon Park, spending a lot of time working on our new place, we had gotten away from our morning walks and we had spent a lot of time running all over the place. 18176199_10213491836637078_1886593398_oSo it was nice yesterday to just get up whenever and not really have much to do. We went for a nice walk around the rv park. There is a walking trail here that we have gone to before – the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail, that we had 18175275_10213491839317145_1300682175_oplanned on going to, but we got up yesterday and just didn’t feel like going anywhere. haha (I looked back in my photos to find these pictures from our last time there and was surprised to see it was two years ago! Wow, time flies!)



Later in the afternoon, we drove over to Harry’s sister Linda’s house for a visit. It was fun catching up and sharing news. With a family wedding this weekend, Harry has a couple other siblings arriving soon, so it will be a mini family reunion.


Today, we are off in search of some good deals!

Monday, April 24, 2017

First Day on the Road 2017

Our last few days at Adelaide went so quickly! I’m not sure if we really took so much stuff out of our place, but it seemed so much easier to get everything packed up this time. On Saturday we brought the slides in so Harry could torque the tires. That serves two purposes as I always like having taken the slides in for the first time after a long time in one place. (We have been at Adelaide Shores since December 24th of last year.)



Sunday afternoon we had a Mexican train rematch with our friends George and Toots. It was a fun way to spend our last afternoon in Avon Park.





Then when the sun was starting to go down, we took one last walk around the park.

It is SO strange to see most of the sites sitting empty.




We walked down by the lake, where we also had the place to ourselves.

Not even one dog walker sharing the space with us.












We are an island in a sea of empty spaces!





Last Avon Park sunset over our rig…




We didn’t have to get up super early today since we only had a 4 hour trip ahead of us. We pulled out a little over 10 and headed out.




The skies started out cloudy, but we never really got any rain – just a few sprinkles occasionally. And the traffic was great – no slowdowns at all.



After a happily uneventful trip, we landed at Pecan Park RV Resort in Jacksonville where we’ll be staying for the next week.

Our 2017 traveling season is underway!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Park Model Costs and Maintenance

We have now owned our park model for 11 days. It has been a crash course in maintenance and upkeep. We had already been talking to friends about the costs involved, in a more general way, but after we handed over the check we were thrust into the midst of it very quickly We knew that we had less than two weeks to get everything settled and ready for our 8 month-long departure.

20170408_122417Some people have asked about the price, storage costs, etc. As I said in a post last week, many of the used park models in here go for the mid 30 to mid 40k range. (New ones are in the 55k range, and that is just for the park model house without the Florida room.) We knew if we bought anytime soon, it would be because we found a bargain, and it had to be something that was in good enough condition that we could live with it until we had a chance, and the funds, to make the changes we wanted to make. This place fulfilled both parts of that as we were able to get it for the very reasonable price of 23k. Even though there are a lot of upgrades we want to do, it is in good enough shape now that we can live in it with only very basic changes. And the rent for a park model which is a flat cost for 6 in/6 out is only $200 more than we have currently been paying for the four months we have been staying here. For the time being, while we are working at Amazon, we will only be here for four months, but once we are done working there for the peak season, we will be able to stay longer.

As far as storage, Adelaide Shores has a storage lot here where we can store our rig for a pretty minimal cost per month. Owners are able to park their rig on the street outside their place for up to 48 hours. So when we arrive, we can park on the street, unpack what we need to bring in, and then go park the rv in the storage lot for the next four months. Then reverse the process when it’s time to leave. We also like that we are able to access our rig at any time, so we can make frequent checks on it throughout the winter to make sure that everything is looking good there.

18090910_10213449823386773_1108304006_oAfter we took possession, we spent the next two days cleaning and sorting. The place came furnished, but there was quite a bit that we didn’t want to keep. So we put stuff into bags and boxes and brought it over to a nearby donation place.

Underneath Harry found all kinds of old construction debris so he pulled all that out and we paid a local guy who does a lot of work in the park to come by and take it all away.




We also had a bug guy come by and do the annual spraying. He will come every other month and spray outside, and then spray inside twice a season.

We also had the a/c serviced and got the good news that our air conditioner appears to be in great condition.

Today we went over and closed the place up for the last time until next December. It was bittersweet as we are already looking forward to next season. But I know that as soon as we get our wheels rolling I will be excited to get going and looking forward to the next three months visiting our families.

We’ll be pulling out on Monday morning!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter 2017

Several weeks ago, we decided that we felt like cooking our own meal this year for Easter, and invited a couple over to share it with us. This was before buying a park model in the resort was even on our radar. We hoped that the weather would cooperate so we could eat outside as our inside space is limited.

After we bought our new winter home, we decided that we would celebrate Easter Sunday as planned, but in our new place, and have our first official meal there on that day.

We had to use a little creativity, as the fridge is already shut down for the off season and we didn’t intend to turn it back on just for one day. Luckily we have a good size cooler that we keep in the basement in case we need it for an emergency, so we pulled it out and filled it with all of our cold ingredients. Our temporary fridge!



We enjoyed having a living room to relax and chat with company.

We had a ham cooking in our roaster oven and the smell of cloves in the air was SO wonderful!



The ham looked great and smelled even better.





Our Easter feast ready!





And the company of good friends to enjoy as well!




After dinner we spent the rest of the afternoon playing a game of Mexican train dominoes! Lots of laughter!




It was a really nice day, and a wonderful first holiday celebration in our new place.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Time For a Tour

We have been busy sorting through our things for the past couple of days. There were a number of things that we brought with us from the house that we didn’t necessarily need, but we didn’t want to get rid of either. Some photo boxes, sentimental items, things like that. So with a place now to leave that kind of stuff, we both started going through our storage spaces weeding out whatever could stay. I don’t know how much weight we took out, but feels like a ton! Well, not really, but a lot.

We have just about moved everything now, and moved the existing furniture around to where we want it for the time being. So, without further ado, here are our new winter digs…



In the front of the Florida room, we placed our dining table. Eventually, we want to have the wall moved back by the step, and have this front part turned into a screened in porch.



The rest of the Florida room is going to be our main living space. The recliners are pretty shot, so we will get new chairs next year. We had planned to get new chairs for our fiver, but they are way more comfortable than these are, so we will stick with them instead. The couch isn’t bad, so we will keep that (with a slipcover). It’s also a pull out bed. The table in the corner is my future puzzle table.



This is Harry’s new puttering around table and utility room.




The bedroom…not huge, but feels roomy enough by rv standards. We are going to paint and get a new bed in here.



The kitchen…we think the stove is the original! It has sure done its duty. We will be getting new appliances next winter. In the empty space to the right is where the table was – we are going to get a small island to go there for some additional storage and counter space.



The original living room area…we are just going to use this for a guest space mainly. This couch also opens up to a bed.



So there you have it…our new little winter home. It’s only 900 sq ft but it feels very spacious to us. Its smaller size will make it easier to maintain as well as more affordable to do the updates we want to do over the next few years.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

BIG News!

Yes, Harry and I have big big news! (Well, unless we are Facebook friends, in which case this post is just….the REST of the story! haha)

Have to give a little backstory…anyone who knows Harry and me knows that we are not super spontaneous people. In fact, we are pretty big planners. We’ve been talking for a while about what our next step might be. We love rv’ing, and being fulltime rv’ers, but we’ve known all along that we were not interested in spending the rest of our lives as fulltimers. Over the past three seasons here at Adelaide Shores, we’ve been more and more interested in the possibility of having a small place here for the winter and then traveling the rest of the year. Yeah, so you can probably see where this is going.

However, having said that, I have to say that we both thought this was several years out. The places here can range from 35k to 45k for the used ones, and up to the mid50k range for a new park model. So we had planned to start looking in a few years, checking out places that go up for sale…taking our time. haha

So, last week at cards, Friday night to be exact, the subject of buying came up amongst the group, and one of the residents happened to mention a place for sale on the next street over from where we have been staying. We never go down that street, so we didn’t even know it was for sale. Not only was it for sale, but the owners, being in their late 80s, had decided that it was too much for them to travel to FL for the winter, and had significantly lowered the price. Not only that, but they had already contracted for the replacement of the sod and the installation of an automatic sprinkling system, usually one of the first expenses if you purchase a place that doesn’t already have that.

This did perk our interest at the time, but we didn’t talk about it at all when we got home. It wasn’t until Saturday morning when we were on our walk that we started tossing it back and forth. Like… “so what do you think, should we look at it”… “well we aren’t really thinking of buying now but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to look”… haha famous last words!!

20170408_122417We walked over and had our first look at the place. It has a Florida room, which we definitely wanted. Of course, the brown grass doesn’t add anything, but we know that the sod is going in the next months, so we tried to picture what it would look like with the nice grass, all manicured. We both loved all the windows on the Florida room, and we could see that the roof looked pretty decent from a distance. Also, although you can’t see it in this picture, there is a huge Trane air conditioner on the other side, bigger than what we see on many units. Overall, it was a positive first impression, and it perked our interest enough to call the number listed on the sign on the door.

To cut a long story short(er)…from a phone call to the broker selling it, where we found out that there was an open house Saturday afternoon and that the sellers had just lowered the price another 3k from the already tempting really low price…everything moved at a whirlwind pace and fell into place very quickly, so that three days later we found ourselves the owners of a small winter home base. Is it perfectly what we wanted? No. But with the price that we got it for, we can afford to make the changes that we want to make to get it there. And there’s so much more excitement in making changes that are going to be for us, and not just to sell it in a couple years.

Since this post is already long enough, I’ll just post one picture of the Florida room, which I think is my current favorite part of our new home base, and then tomorrow I will give a full detailed tour…


Monday, April 3, 2017

Comes In Handy Having a Handy Man

Based on our experience, one of the constants of living in an RV is that things are going to break. Of course, this happens in a house also, but for some reason it feels different. Maybe because being on the road means that when something doesn’t work, you either have to fix it yourself or find a repair place in the area. Not always easy. We are blessed that Harry is pretty capable of fixing things and can handle a lot on his own. This happened twice just in the past few weeks.

20170308_154835_001The first one was when Harry noticed some water dripping down in the basement. It wasn’t a ton of water, but as you know, any water leaking is too much. From the location, Harry could tell that it was coming from the bathroom, either the shower or the sink. First, he opened the access panel in the bedroom and checked the water connections there. No water, but he did find a couple loose connections so that paid off anyway. He then actually took the wall apart so he could check the water pipes lower in the wall. Nothing. 20170308_160026There was also no water below the bathroom sink so another possibility checked off the list.






That only left the shower, so Harry decided he was going to caulk the *&^* out of any possible place that water could be leaking. Problem solved! We think the water was leaking out of the circled area in this photo. Although Harry does not know how it got from here down to the basement. But, all’s well that ends well.



The second problem was the fireplace. Harry noticed that the screws securing the fireplace in were either broken off or missing. There was only one screw in 20170401_125403place, and the fireplace had shifted down so that the door with the controls would no longer open completely.

The first step was prying off the decorative piece in front of the fireplace.




Harry managed to get the broken pieces and the one full screw out and then removed the fireplace.



Once the20170401_134348 fireplace was out, Harry discovered the problem which was that the little stand below the fireplace had not been secured in place. This had allowed it to shift out from under the fireplace, probably as we went over one of the many bumps on the roads! (On a side note, Harry remarks over and over how there are so many little things that rv manufacturers don’t do, like fastening a stand to the floor, which would only take a little more time and make the construction so much better.)



We went over to Home Depot, where Harry actually found his solution in the leftover lumber garbage bin of all places. The price was right!






A little higher, and secured in place! It’s not going anywhere now!




All put back together! We haven’t put the fa├žade back on yet and haven’t decided if we’re going to. We actually like the look of it without the foam piece. What do you think?