Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Beautiful Beach you hear the waves, the call of the gulls, the happy laughter of children and families? All of these sounds are present on the beach in New Smyrna this week. Gary and I have walked the beach every day. It has been very enjoyable. Much better than walking on a track in a smelly gym. This could become a habit. :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Story of Last Night's Dinner

Rita, were we at Brier Creek in Raleigh last night? I thought so for a while. I had flash backs of Long Horn Steakhouse a few months ago..remember that??

10 of us presented ourselves at the NS Steakhouse last night at 5:44pm. Fair sized establishment not too far from our condos. We were told by the staff that it would be 45"-1hour before we could be seated. They only had 2 table areas big enough to seat us all together. And both of these had just been seated with other groups. They offered for us to sit outside at the patio area but it got voted down by all. No problem..some of us went to the bar (Happy Hour 1/2 price drinks). Mom, Bev and I went next door to Bealls to look (ok..I mean shop). We shopped for about 45 minutes and went back to the bar. (3 shirts, 1 pair of pant, and 2 bras later).

Arrived to learn the folks that had been seated at 5:44pm had just gotten their food. Yipes!!
Soooo, I ordered a beverage of choice and so did Mom. She had a virgin Strawberry daiquiri.
Three drinks later...still waiting. Finally, we were seated at about 7:45pm. OK..then we were served a drink..and waited to order. OK..we ordered..about half way around the table...we learned that they were out of Prime Rib. Several folks had to choose something else as a result.

We enjoyed a couple of appetizers. Then, a new one was delivered by the Manager (their homemade potato chips with cheese). Pretty good. But, not a good sign. Time passed.
Food finally arrived about 8:45pm. Bob's steak was wrong. Sherry's potato wasn't done. So, they fixed that. I think everything else was OK and pretty good. We had lots of take home since we'd filled up on the appetizers. My steak is still in the refrigerator. Dad just eat the half rack of ribs we had for lunch. We finally left the restaurant 4 hours after our arrival. Longest meal we've had since Long Horn. Remind us to never try to go out on a Holiday weekend.

Happy Memorial Day

Please take a moment to remember all of our men and women who have risked their lives to help keep our nation free and safe. We all owe them a debt that we can never repay. Thanks to those who wear or have worn our nation's uniform.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Party Time for Bob and Family

We started our day with a delicious breakfast prepared by my Mom. Bacon, eggs and toast. Yum!!
Afterwards I worked for a couple of hours before Gary and I went for a walk on the beach. We walked down the shore to the condo the family is staying in. Managed to catch them just before they went in for lunch. We visited for a while with Sherry, Doug and Tim. Got a hug from Donna. She was enjoying the sunshine laying on her recliner chair. Tim and his family are hoping to move back to NC from Indiana after their house sells. We walked back to our condo after an hour or so. Lunch time...then Party time.

Have I mentioned that it is nice to have the space we have in the condo. Living in the travel trailer for the past couple of months has been fine but I am really enjoying the space we have this week. A walk in shower big enough for three people...(if so inclined)NOT..

The condo has a library too. Very Nice. I visited as soon as we moved in on Friday. Lots of books to choose from. I'm in heaven.

This afternoon we went over to Crane Lake's Club House. Very nice facility. The family and friends arrived and waited for Bob and Bev. They arrived shortly after 4pm. Surprise!!!
I counted family from at least 4 states that came for the party.

We had a great time. Good food. Turkey, ham, roast beef and salami with various cheeses, fresh veggies with dip, fresh fruit. Two cakes... Carrot and Chocolate. Excellent. We all sang Happy Birthday. The DJ's played requests and sang too. It seemed like they played songs from every decade. Everything from AC/DC to Johnny Cash to Bob Sieger.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The house closed today!!

We did it. Sold our home of 20 years (to the day). I can hardly believe it has happened. We signed our part of the papers on Wednesday after we left the house for the last time. The Realtor sent the closing papers via email this morning. We reviewed and had a few questions but everything was well. By 1:30pm it was done. The money took a little longer. Once the deed was registered with Durham, the attorney had to wire the funds into our bank account. This took a little longer than we or the Realtor thought it should. But, by 3:45pm we were able to confirm it had been done.
For the first time in 30 years we don't own a stix/brick house. Feels a little strange, but OK.

We were traveling while all of this was going on. Gary's family is all meeting in Florida to celebrate his brother's 70th birthday. We left NC with Mom and Dad yesterday morning. Stopped in Savannah last night and came on into New Smyrna Beach today. We made one quick stop at the Daytona Beach Flea Market. Gary needed a new cell phone cover.
After checking into the Coconut Palms Mom and I went over to the Publix and bought groceries for the week. We got a couple of delicious roasted chickens from their deli. That made for an easy supper.

While we were there someone came up behind me and said "the Tarheels suck"..I looked down to see if I had on a UNC t-shirt (I didn't) wondering how someone in Florida knew I was a Tarheel fan. Then the voice said " Carolina sucks"..OK that was it..I turned around...Gary's nephew (a die-hard "DOOKIE" fan) was standing there. He and his wife Crystal along with their youngest daughter Samantha had just gotten in and came in to buy their groceries too. He knew making those comments would get my attention. After hugs all around...we went on back to the condo to eat those chickens.

After supper, Mom and Dad decided to stay in. Gary and I went over to the condo where the rest of the family is staying. I played bingo with Sherry, Bev and Ashley. This is a new game on ABC tv. We didn't win anything but it was fun trying. Maybe next time.
Shortly after we decided to call it a night and came on back. Tomorrow we'll party. Bob's party is a surprise. It'll be interesting to see if it really is a surprise or if he has figured it out. About 100 people are expected. Should be a great time.

Night all. Deb

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Last Days

We got back "home" on Wednesday and parked in the driveway. We'll be here until next week. Van and Rita came over for a visit after supper. It was great to see them. Van bought us a security safe I'd been thinking about for $20 at one of Lowe's side walk sales. He is always getting good bargains like that.

Gary has been working on the punch list of items the buyer wanted fixed on the house. He finished today. I spent most of Thursday afternoon at Rita's house doing our laundry. I sure did appreciate this. We watched the movie Happy Feet while we waited. THANKS RITA!!

Working for the hospital while here is much easier. The Internet connection is broadband. Much faster. Absolutely better than in Kentucky or Virginia (at least where we were). I've spent quite a few hours since Wednesday working to get all of my coding hours completed. I still have 8 more to do tomorrow.

Today someone from the power company came to the house. He was to meet an electrician hired by the buyer. They had been asked to determine whether or not another building could be built beside the house. A bit premature since the buyer doesn't yet own the house. This felt strange..that someone could be planning to build in our yard. Ouch! We're selling our home! I guess they'll be able to do whatever they want soon. And we'll be taking our new home on down the road.

Tonight we went and had dinner with our friends Steve and Robin. Steve made some of his awesome BBQ sauce and cooked up some chicken on the grill. Robin prepared potatoes and veggies. It was delicious. We enjoyed the evening visiting and playing with the dogs (Ellie and their Gracie and Anderson). Great to see them all.

Well...night all, Deb

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Week 1 (Late Entry) and On Into Week 2…better late than never..blame it on the internet connection!!!

The first week has been wonderful. Gary and I graduated from the Life on Wheels Conference on Saturday. This was an excellent conference. I recommend it to anyone interested in the RV’ing lifestyle. Click on the link to learn more.

We arrived in Kentucky on Monday and spent the next two nights at the Barron River State Park campground. This was a quiet campground in a rural setting on the Barron River. Since almost everyone had left the campground after the Kentucky Derby we had it almost to ourselves. I had a fair internet connection using my Verizon wireless card and was able to get some work done.

On Wednesday we moved to the KOA campground in Bowling Green. This was our home during the LOW Conference. Many other LOW members were there also.

We met many new RV’ers (wannabee, newbie and experienced). And we learned a lot of new things. There were so many courses to choose from. It was hard to decide which ones to attend. We’re already discussing attending another one later on. The LOW Conferences are offered several times a year at various locations by the University of Idaho. Well worth the cost!!

One of the LOW Instructors offered a mobile service to weigh the truck and camper. So, we had that done on Saturday. We were very relieved to learn everything weighed less than our limits of 7700 pounds. The first thing I said “ Oh boy, now I can get some more stuff” . Well, it might be “light weight” but the volume is sure full. I’d have to hang anything else I get from the ceiling. Can you say STUFFED? Some more of the STUFF is going into storage when we get back. I just don’t need some if it. We keep on learning.

Last night we met a very nice couple staying right down the road from us. Our dog Ellie and their dog Guido played for the longest time. It was wonderful to see. Ellie sure seemed to enjoy it. She was smiling!!! Liz took some pictures and is going to send them to me. I’ll post a couple when I get them.

We stayed at the KOA until today. This morning we decided to start back towards North Carolina. We learned our son-in-law was admitted to the hospital yesterday. He is OK but they are going to move him to a larger hospital and run some more tests. Hopefully before we get back, he’ll be better and released.

We did stop at the National Corvette Museum before leaving Bowling Green. Very impressive. Gary called a friend from his old job to ask him if we could get him a souvenir. He is crazy about Corvettes. But he told Gary there were so many things he’d like to see that he just couldn’t think about it. Maybe he’ll be able to get up this way sometime.

The closing on our house is coming up and we received the “punch list” from the Realtor on Friday. A bunch of little things for Mr Fix-it. Nothing major, thank goodness. We’ll have about a week to get them all done before closing.

Monday night we stayed at the Levi Jackson State Park in London Kentucky. These state parks are great. Since it is early in the season both of the ones we stayed at have been very quiet. Great for walking and just enjoying the sound of the birds and breeze. Not so hot today either. We splurged and had dinner at the Golden Corral. Yipes we needed that walk when we got back. We’re watching Dream Girls on DVD tonight. Outstanding movie.

Tuesday morning, we jumped up (OK that may be a bit of an overstatement for me)..
about 10:00am we started getting ready to travel again. It takes us about a half hour to prepare the trailer to tow. Not to bad, but we hope to decrease it with more practice.

We took a rural (red road) route from London, KY traveling down toward the borders of KY, TN and VA. We stopped in Middlesboro, KY for lunch. Hold your breath..wait for it..WE ATE AT A MEXICAN RESTAURANT. Can you believe it??? For those of you that don't know, Mr P DOES NOT LIKE Mexican food. But, they had a steak cooked just the way he likes it so he was happy. So was I...cheese dip anyone??

We went through the Cumberland Gap tunnel and on into Virginia.
Have you ever traveled VA 421 through the mountains? It is VERY CURVY and has some steep grades. The GMC did great though and we made it up and down and around the hills just fine.

I only saw "white knuckles" a couple of times (don't tell him I noticed..OK?)

We've arrived at Marion VA and have set up at the Hungry Mother's campground. Another state park. Virginia's sites cost $5.00 more than KY and no discounts. Yuck!
But it was a beautiful park. Many flowers.

We talked to Jenn and Mark is doing better. They are finally moving him to the "Big" hospital to do the additional tests. Hopefully they'll know all by tomorrow.

Supper off I go. We're having a sandwich for supper since we had such a heavy lunch.
Then a walk in the cool breeze before bed.

Love to you all, Deb

Saturday, May 5, 2007

We're full-timing now!!

Yesterday dawned gray and dreary. Then it started to rain. But that didn't change our excitement. It was finally the day we've been preparing for, for over nine months. The house is empty, the GMC and Nash are packed and we're ready for the beginning of our RV'ing adventure. The Garmin GPS was "Ready To Navigate".

Jenn and Mark came and picked up the washer/dryer. They also took the car-top carrier and some yard tools.
After hugs and kisses, we pulled out of the drive about 11am. Right on time.

First stop was Burlington to meet Gary's sister Glenda and her husband Arthur for lunch. Love that K&W food.

We're didn't go much further for the first day. Just up to Old Fort, NC. We stayed at a small family owned campground. Rich Jr. checked us in and helped us back into our first night site. Right on the Catawba River. I think I would have appreciated that more if it hadn't been pouring rain.
It did stop long enough for Ellie and I to enjoy a long walk beside the river. We then followed our usual travel habit and found the local Wal-Mart before having dinner at a great restaurant in Marion.

Today, we continued onward. Stopped at the Western Carolina Farmer's Market and purchased a wonderful smelling melon.
As we continued west the rain just kept increasing. It poured down as we crossed into Tennessee. I took a picture of the Welcome to Tennessee sign through the windshield and of course it was blurry. Rain..rain..rain.
But we motored on. We stopped at the Tennessee Welcome Center and had a needed break. Driving in the pouring rain through the winding curves of I-40 was very nerve racking. By the time we stopped Gary had a headache and really needed to rest for a while. After a "wonderful" cold ham sandwich we pushed on.
We made it to the Escapees Club Raccoon Valley RV campground about 3pm this afternoon. Very nice staff at check-in. Gave us lots of information about the campground and surrounding area. I got my first Escapees HUG. We've met several fellow full-timers already. And their dogs too. Ellie and I went on another walk, this time at the back of the campground. There are walking trails that go to a very nice meadow and then up the mountain. (We stuck to the meadow).
1 more trip to Wal-Mart was necessary as this campground has CABLE!! and we didn't bring a cable to use. How did we miss that??
We going to stay here for a couple of days. Spend a little time checking out Knoxville and the area. Night all, Deb

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Last Day

The past couple of days have been increasingly busy. I spent all day on Wednesday at the hospital meeting with my Manager and Supervisor to complete the Orientation material for my new job. And ensuring that my laptop is set up correctly for work. Now, I just have to re-learn how to code Emergency Department visits. :)

Gary went to have the new tires put on the Nash. They look very good. Now we have all new tires on the GMC and the Nash. Smooth traveling ahead.

Wednesday evening we met Sherry, Doug, Todd, Donna, Lily(and friend), Jessica, Van, Rita, and Daniel for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. The Village Diner in Hillsborough. Yum..good southern cooking. Trying to see everyone one last time before we take off.

Today, we took the last load to the storage at my Mom and Dads. We also visited our daughter Jennifer. Jenn looked great and told me she is going to start roller blading for exercise and fun soon. Yipes..that gives me visions of ER visits..I sure hope not. She has wrist, knee and elbow guards/pads. Hopefully, this will protect her from injury whenever she falls. Her "puppies" Sable, Harley and Arragon were excited to see Ellie. Arragon has grown so much. He is a golden retriever that Jenn's husband Mark plans to train to assist his hunting.

After we got home, we went across the street to visit Al and Betsy. They are great neighbors and friends. We've been lucky to know them these many years. Thanks guys for all your help. We'll miss being your "across the street neighbor"!!

Tonight we finally finished sorting all the clothes and packed the Nash with the ones we're taking with us. We've done our last load of laundry. Jenn and Mark will be here at 9am tomorrow to take the washer and dryer away. We'll be using laundromats from now on.

I'm tired and excited. Tomorrow is the big day. We'll be heading out after Jenn and Mark pick up the washer/dryer. We plan to stop to see Gary's sister in Burlington about lunch time and be in Old Fort by supper. We'll be spending the night there before continuing on to Tennessee for Saturday and Sunday.

Night all, Deb

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

2 more days...

Yesterday Gary did a "dry run" to see if everything we're planning to transport in the GMC would fit. Surprisingly it appears everything will and we'll have some empty space. We really weren't sure this was going to happen. Now, we'll have to see what it all weighs. We need to be under 7200 lbs for the GMC,us, our stuff and the Nash. If we go over, we'll have to start removing something.
Tomorrow, the Nash goes to get new tires. No more blow outs, XXX (Fingers crossed). Seems strange to take our house to the tire shop.

Today, I went with a friend and her sister-in-law to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I love this food. I give it credit for at least 20 of my extra p0unds. I look forward to eating some good Tex-Mex/Mexican in the Southwest early next year.

2 more days. We're almost finished cleaning out the basement. We talked to the Realtor today and it appears we're on track for the closing on our stick house.

Also tomorrow I'm going to the local hospital to meet with my Manager. I've been able to sign on to work again 20 hours a week. I'll be assigning medical coding to Outpatient Emergency visits. I just need a good Internet connection. I'll be their first traveling Medical Coder. Looks like we'll need the extra money for sure with the price of gas. Yipes!! We'll be traveling a little..parking a lot. That's places and slower pace is one reason to adopt this lifestyle.