Monday, December 31, 2012

The Snow Birds have Landed

We were told that the park would be full by New Years Day. Well, today is Dec. 31 and it is full.  I have been noticing a few more arrivals each day as Judy and I did our walk about.  All the RV dedicated sites except one is occupied.  A few of the park models owners have not arrived. They will probably get here in the next couple of days.

Filling UP

Judy was very busy yesterday. She defrosted the frig and tackled a new barbecue recipe. A lot of slow cooking was required in the crock pot.  All the time and effort was worth it. Judy said the recipe was a keeper.

 Judy whipping up a little something (and defrosting the refrigerator too)

Barbecue (recipe on request)

This morning at the weekly meeting it was more apparent that more people had arrived at the park. It was a full house. After the meeting Judy and I joined the rest of the regular “shufflers” in the three game set of shuffle-board.  Afterwards Judy got her daily walk in. She has been walking three miles each day ever since we got here. I walk on a little less stringent schedule, whenever the mood strikes.

Tonight is the big night, New Years Eve. For Judy and me it is not that special. We treat it pretty much like any other night. Seldom are we up when the ball drops! I’ll let you know if anything changes.

That is all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Friday

Friday, December 28, 2012


The weather was pretty cool for Florida the past couple of mornings. I don't like it when it is in the low to mid 30's. Our heat pump comes in good on those occasions. We have not used our furnace yet. Usually the temp rises to the mid sixties or higher by mid day.

The cooler morning temps have contributed to a reduced number of shuffleboard player. For the past two days we have not had enough players to utilize the five courts. Today only 12 players showed up. Some of the regulars left the park over the holidays to spend time with family. They should all return by Monday or Tuesday.

Tonight Judy and I went over to the clubhouse to play cards. We were short a few of the regulars for cards also. I think we had fifteen people in our group tonight. Three other card groups were there as well. I had a good night, winning the first three hands of "3-13 cards" and Judy won at least one hand in her group.

Ready to play

That's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The day Before and Christmas Day

The day before Christmas Judy and I did things to get ready for Christmas Day. We still had time to do our fun activities like shuffleboard with Dee and Jim, Judy got her walk in and she prepared a nice broccoli salad as her contribution for the Park Christmas meal. There was also a lot of activity in the kitchen area of the clubhouse. Volunteers were busy cooking. The Park provided turkeys and cooking multiple pans of dressing. Judy and I ended the day by attending a Christmas Eve church service.
Only two things were on our agenda for  Christmas Day, enjoy a nice meal and fellowship at the clubhouse and going to the movie later in the day. The only comment about the meal is MMMMM.. Park residents brought all the side dishes and desserts. I think about 300 people showed up. The event was well organized and was only possible because of the many volunteers that made it happen.

People went over to set-up their table
The Volunteer Cooks did a Great Job
Some of the many guests

Graham  and Valerie enjoying the festivities (Nova Scotia)

Judy and I made it to the 3:50 showing of Les Miserable’s(Trailer). We were worried that it would be sold out before we got there but we got good seats. It did in fact sell out. I am not going to offer my take on it because most people are going to go see it based on their opinion of the play or the advanced hype. The weekend totals are in and it is in first place.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Friday

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Movie and Lights

"Merry Christmas to All"

During the holidays Judy and I tend to go to the movies often. Judy wanted to go see "This is Forty".  During her walk with Dee, she invited Dee and Jim to join us.  We made it  to the 4:05 PM movie at Carmike 8 in nearby Sebring, FL. The theatre it was playing in was one of those sit and order food types. Judy was the only one happy, because she decided to order a funnel cake and a coke. My reaction was "who orders funnel cake at a movie?".  The movie was funny. It did contain lots of cussing and many boob shots. It is not a movie I'd recommend. 

Once we left the movie, Jim suggested we ride through a neighborhood that he had heard had an awesome display. He heard right, it did have an awesome display. Sebring Village was entirely decorated with festive lights and yard decorations for the season. Cars were lined up bumper to bumper. Many residents were dressed in costumes and there were even carollers singing. The traffic was so heavy that volunteers with reflective vests and lighted wands were stationed in various locations to keep the traffic flowing smoothly. A big salute to their community dedication and spirit.
Note: Click to enlarge the pics for a better view.

Sebring Village neighborhood lights - "Well Done"

To top off the evening we stopped at "Clock's Family Restaurant" and had a nice breakfast and even better conversation before we headed home.

That is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


It was a cold day here in Fl. today, at least in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort. A freezing nine degrees to be exact. Judy and I met up with our friends Bill and Treva to go to the Madagascar "ICE Spectacular". It was a series of ICE Sculptures of the characters from the Madagascar Pixar movie.

Since it was an ice sculpture event, I knew it would be cold but I wasn't ready for a 9 degree ice box with cold air constantly being blown in via overhead ducting. Shorts were not a good idea. Guest were supplied with a mid length coat to wear upon entering the gallery. Gloves would have been nice. Treva did bring a pair for her and Judy. Bill, also in shorts and I had to "suck it up".  So if you are in the area and decide to go see the show, dress like you are going to be stranded in the Yukon.

Note: click to enlarge pics for best view.

Madagascar Cast

Treva and Judy in front of an Ice Waterfall - looking COLD

Alex and the Madagascar gang!


The last sculptures was a beautiful Nativity Scene.

We had a great time and look forward to visiting Bill and Treva after the holidays. We finished with a nice lunch at Chili's. It was much warmer there.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by
Next Blog: Monday

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Movie Day and other Things

Judy and I have been busy keeping the routine going. I am surprised we have not been bored with the “routine” but we have not. Many full-timers prefer the tranquil setting of nature found in state or national parks. We too enjoy the tranquility they offer. We have found that we are enjoying the combination of many social activities and warm weather a lot also. Neither of us would like this setting more than three or four months though.

Tuesday is “cheaper day” at the local Carmike cinema so we went to the movie.  We chose “The Hobbit”(Trailer) . It is certainly one of the most hyped movies out now. I can’t deny that I did not enjoy it. I recommend the 3D version unless you have a medical condition that would be aggravated by 3D.  In reality it is just a continuation of the “Rings trilogy”. Yes, I know it is the prequel. I still prefer real movies to all the computer generated scenes. Those days are probably gone, at least in the action movie genre.
Thursday we will be meeting our friends Bill and Treva in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Link The Gaylord Palms Resort puts on quite a spectacular Christmas program. We are going to take a walking tour of the decorations, I think. I’ll let you know about it in Friday’s Blog.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Friday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Taking the Plunge

Judy and I drove the short ten miles down to Sebring Sat. to go to the Sears at the mall. My beard trimmer finally died.  I have been unable to find one that I like at Wally World. After a quick search online I found one to my liking (the same model that I needed to replace) reportedly sold Sears. Once there I was disappointed to find it wasn’t in stock. I did pick up some new ear buds for my Droid to listen to my Rhapsody music service on the go.
On the way back to the park Judy had me stop by the post office to mail a few Christmas cards. We aren’t sending very many this year. We may just do a Christmas letter and send it out via email.  After dropping the cards off we decided to stop for lunch. As we drove to the PO we saw what we thought was a Mexican restaurant so we headed to it. Once we got there we were not so sure it was a restaurant. I sent Judy in to check it out. She returned and told me it was a Hispanic grocery store. As we were leaving we saw a section of the building with people sitting down at tables. Judy jumped out to go check. She didn’t have to go in because a man and his family were getting in their car. He told her it was an eating section. In we went. We found it was a combo Hispanic grocery and diner. We figured if the local Hispanic community ate there it must be good.  The menu above counter was in Spanish. The only Spanish I know for ordering a meal is “Combo number xxx”. Once  we got to the counter we found a menu we could interpret. I can tell you English was not the primary language. Our meals were very good and authentic. We will be going back.
The Grocery Section
The Ordering Counter 
The Finished Product
Judy and I had one more stop to make before we returned home. She was going to try a new recipe and needed a few items. After getting what she needed we returned home.

We put the items up and decided we would go play a few rounds of shuffle board and then go swimming. Judy beat me 2 out three matches.  We walked through the clubhouse over to the pool area and found only two people in the pool. It was Greg and Alexia (SP) a couple we had met a couple of nights earlier as we walked around the park. We put our towels on the pool loungers and took the plunge – not really, no diving. Like most other activities our swim turned into a social event.  As Greg and Alexia left another couple entered the pool. We spent the next half hour or so talking to Norm and Jen from NH.  Feeling very relaxed we toweled off and walked home.
The Pool

We finished off the day with the new pasta dish and Broccoli salad Judy made.  It was yummy but we forgot the wine.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
New Blog: Tue

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not Doing Much

Things have been slow for the past three days. Even in FL overcast days makes it feel like winter. That is the way it has been for the last couple of days. Today (Fri.) the sun finally made it out this afternoon.

It was so wet Wed. that the morning shuffle board group didn’t meet. I did go over to the clubhouse just to see if the games would go on. Three or four regulars showed up and we used the time to socialize. One of the men went out and used the court squeegee to dry of one lane. Since he went to the trouble I went out and played a few rounds with him.  Once back home Judy and I did house cleaning chores mostly.

Thurs. it was still overcast and windy but we did get the morning activities in. Due to the lousy weather I did not get much done outside.  Judy and I got our walks in and we went to the “pizza night” social Thurs. at 5:00PM. There was plenty of pizza to go around – 47 large Dominos pizzas.  Judy returned at 7:00 PM for the Thurs. card session. I stayed at the RV and read until I dozed off.

Friday the wind died down and things got almost back to normal. Judy passed on the AM shuffle board session but I went.  Judy joined Dee and Kathleen for a long two laps walk around the park. That works out to a 2.6 mi. walk. Later in the day we made a quick trip to the Sears in Sebring. Tonight we will be going to the Friday card session. I know there is a pattern developing here. I am worried about Judy.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sunday

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eating the Elephant and other Things

We continue to meet more and more residents of the park. Some are like Judy and I, spending the winter months in their RV, while others are staying in park models. Most are from places way further north than GA.

Monday we stayed busy around the RV after we finished our morning shuffle board session. Judy is getting serious about her plan of walking to fitness. She is walking around the park three times. It works out to a little over three miles. I try to do one loop in the AM and another in the evening.  Monday evening we went to the scheduled card game. Both Dee and Jim made it as well. I am not going to mention who won the “3 to 13”card game as it is rude to boast.

Tue was much of the same. Once we finished our scheduled morning activities I picked up where I left off “eating the elephant”.  I waxed another 20 foot section of the Cardinal. Judy did help a little towards the end.  I have finished the curbside of the fiver. The results are looking very good. I chose to use a premium car wax for the job. I think I will have to purchase some more before I finish. 

We had one heck of a thunderstorm Tue night about 11:30. Judy does not do well in storms. When the storm subsided an hour and half later I had to peel her off my back. I don’t mind though.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Sat.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday Brunch at the Jacaranda Hotel

Sunday was a very mellow day for us.  The only thing scheduled was to join Dee and Jim for brunch at the Jacaranda Hotel. I am sure it was quite a place back in the day.  Thanks Dee and Jim for the invite.

Many soon to be Chefs are trained there so the food is excellent at a very reasonable price. I think the Sunday brunch buffet was only $11.00 or so per person. It is a good thing Jim made reservations. The Christmas decorations were wonderful.

The Jacaranda Hotel back in the day

The Entrance


Dining Room

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Post: Thursday

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Breakfast and a Show

Even on the weekend something is usually going on in the park.  This weekend two events were scheduled on Saturday, a pancake breakfast and a “night club” act that night.

Judy and I got up and left the fiver at 8:00 AM and shuffled over to the club house for a pancake breakfast.  It was hosted by the Adelaide Shores Shuffle Board group. Judy and I volunteered to help out since we have joined the group but more than enough members had volunteered to help out before we arrived at the park.  The breakfast was very tasty and for the price of $5.00 it was cheap as well. We had a chance to meet more of the people wintering here.

We decided to go to the evening performance by Bud Conover.(for a sample click HERE) It was a 50s/60s music revue.  It was very well received by the audience, mostly because we had grown up with the music. It had most people tapping their feet and singing along. There was a good turnout even though it was a rainy night. I am looking forward to the next event.
Bud Conover
The Dance Floor was Hopping


Earlier in the day I decided to wax the Cardinal. I decided to use the “How do you eat an elephant” strategy. That way I’ll only tackle a little each day and before long the project will be completed and I won’t be dog tired. I finished a 20 foot section (top to bottom) in about an hour and half. I should be able to finish the project in five or six installments. I’ll let you know how this works out.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Post: Tue.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cards and Friends

Judy and I attended one of the weekly card game sessions last night.  There were three groups meeting for cards at the clubhouse – a small bridge group, a uker group and group for “3 to 13” and “Pass the Ace”.

Judy and Jim (Dee’s husband) checked out the Bridge group for awhile. They both want to learn how to play. Dee and I took a pass. Jim and Judy will be reading up on the basics of Bridge and in Jan. there will be a “How to Play Bridge” session. I can’t say why Dee has no desire to learn Bridge but I only play card games that can be explained or taught in about five minutes. Evidently, Bridge requires a steeper learning curve.  After Judy and Jim finished with the Bridge overview they came over to play the low brow games of 3 to 13” and “Pass the Ace” along with Dee and I.

Today we had a very nice visit with Bill and Treva, we first met them during our Navy days when I was stationed in England as an instructor at the School of Maritime Operations and Bill was at HMS Mercury (I think).  It was great getting caught up and remembering old times. We went to the Olive Garden for lunch and the visited some more back at the Cardinal. We promised them that we would come visit them after the dust settles from the holidays.
Bill and Treva and us

We finished off the day by inviting Jim and Dee over to share a cheese ball and fresh fruit tray.  As usual there was some good conversation. It was a good way to end the day.  Judy and I decided we would be staying in for the evening.  We are going to a pancake breakfast tomorrow morning. There is always something to do here.
All we needed was a little wine

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Monday.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Little Work and some Play

Judy and I are learning the routine here. We are also meeting many of the other park guests. Everyone we have met has been friendly and helpful.

Today Judy and I went over to the 8:00 AM    shuffle board game. Today’s game was a little different variation to the basic game. A bowling pin was placed just behind the 10 spot. If it was knocked over, ten points were deducted from the offending team.  We play a three game set, having a different partner for each game.
Judy at Suffle Board Court
Once back at the Cardinal I washed the outside windows and Judy got the inside windows.  As I was finishing up Dee and dropped by to remind us about the salad luncheon. We had actually forgotten about it but we had made other plans. We are going have to put events on our phone’s calendar to remind us. Jim also came over and told us about the movie they went to see Tue.
Judy and I had lunch at a local restaurant while we were out of the park.  Once back Judy got her walk in and I read some. Judy joined me under the awning to read her book when she got back.
Curled up with a good book!
After we first got here we noticed most RVs have a sun blocker attached to the awning. The sun makes it very uncomfortable to sit outside without one. I went to a local RV shop and bought a “Care Free” awning screen. It was easy to install and it makes being outside much more enjoyable.
New Sunblocker Screen
That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.

Next Blog: Friday

Monday, December 3, 2012

Adelaide Shores RV Resort

We have been here at Adelaide shores RV Resort since Friday afternoon. Our plan is to remain here through January. The park is mostly a “snowbird” type park. A section of the park is dedicated to permanent/semi-permanent residents living in park models. Judy and I immediately noticed that park is immaculately maintained and well ran.  All the people we have met have been extremely friendly and helpful.
Our neighbors Jim and Dee (Tumbleweed) have helped us get settled in and shared their knowledge of the park with us. It was great getting to meet them in person after following their adventures for the past few years.
Judy, Jim and Dee 

Judy and I joined the shuffle board group today.  The group plays each weekday.  Many other activities are also offered. Judy went over with Dee and Jim to the clubhouse tonight to play cards. I decided to stay home and write this entry and listen to my Rhapsody music subscription. I think the next two months will be the kind of break that Judy and I need.
Adelaide Shores street scene


Welcome to new follower John and Ellen. That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Wed

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Volunteering at Manatee Springs State Park

Judy and I have just completed a two month stint as campground “host” at MSSP and thought it would be a good idea to share our thoughts of about the experience.

The park is six miles west of Chiefland, Florida and on the banks of the Suwannee River. Many springs are located in the area. During the colder months manatees congregate in the spring because of the constant 72 degrees of the water. Campers come to the park to enjoy these activities, kayaking/canoeing, swimming, hiking, scuba diving (in caves created by the springs), and just enjoying the tranquility of the park.

Volunteer experience
This was our first time volunteering and Judy and I both enjoyed our time as “host” here. Our duties included cleaning the comfort station in Magnolia loop 2, cleaning the fire rings as needed and making the campers experience at MSSP as enjoyable as possible. Officially we gave 20 hours a week in exchange for our site. In reality we gave whatever time was required to do the task. Seldom did it take four hours per day. We were never overworked and had plenty of time to enjoy the park and surrounding area. I walked around the camping loop daily and made it a point to make contact with the campers and welcome them to the park. All volunteers have two days off per week.  At MSSP the volunteer positions include; host, waterfront, and ranger station.
You can see lots of these
You may see these
You may want to take a look below the surface

NOTE: I pulled the above pics from the NET!

The park rangers and staff were ALWAYS helpful and friendly. They made sure we had all required supplies and made sure we knew our efforts were appreciated. So a big thank you to Cole, Joleen, Melissa, Mike, Shirley, and Wri for making our time at MSSP so enjoyable. Thanks to fellow host, Danny for just being an an all around nice guy!

If you would like a volunteer position at MSSP give Joleen, the volunteer coord. a call.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Tue

Saturday, December 1, 2012

On the Road to Avon Park, Fl.

Judy and I were up at Friday at 5:45 so we could get our showers before we finished “hitching up” and going to Chiefland Tire. As we were making our final checks when fellow volunteer Danny dropped bye to wish us a safe trip.  We pulled out of the “Host” site at 8:10 AM. Judy followed behind me in the CRV.

We dropped the Cardinal off at Chiefland Tire about 8:30.  I am glad I didn’t have to disconnect while the work was being performed.  Judy and I went to the local Hardees for breakfast one last time. The work was completed by 10:45 so we picked up the truck and fiver and drove south on US 27A.  Judy followed behind me in the CRV provided excellent lane changing info via our walkie-talkies throughout the 185 mile drive.

It was a around 3:45 when we arrived at Adelaide Shores RV Resort. Judy and I both went into the office and took care of the formalities. The receptionist gave us the essential info and a stack of handouts. We found our site easily and got set up. The only minor hick-up was that the sewer connection was about five feet further than my sewer house length.  So, it was off to the local Wally World.  Judy and I stopped at Arby’s. By the time we got back it was dark so we just went in for the night. Judy was happy because our Wingard Travler system locked on to all the Satellite so she had access to Direct TV for the first time in 2 months. I will write about the park in the next blog
Lot 1 Adelaide Shores RV Resort

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.
Next Blog: Mon.