Monday, January 11, 2010

ARMADILLO by Morning

ARMADILLO by Morning

This Hub is a story about the day that I was relaxing at my Campsite in Florida, and I met an ARLADILLO.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday in Florida - The Freeze of 2010

Yeah, That is what it is. The Freeze of 2010! 

I even told a guy at a T-shirt store that he should have printed some.  I know they would sell!

We have been here, in Florida over the Winter before, and it does get cold here at times, but this years has made itself special.

Having one major Jetstream dump of Cold is not unusual, but we have had two consecutive ones, and the fruit industry has been hurt.

Helen and I have kept inside for the most part with an occasional foray into the campground to use; the Gym equipment, the library, and I have taken a few long walks. 

We have also gone out to eat and shop more than we would normally, but you have to fight the old "Cabin Fever" the best way you can.

We did find a nice Cuban restaurant on Brandon Blvd, in Brandon itself called Mambo's.  The restaurant is clean and the service is good. 

We tried a number of dishes we had never eaten before, and the portions were so large that we had to take half of what we ordered home in boxes.

The food was very good, and we plan to make at least one more trip there over the next few weeks.  We recommend it, if you are in the area.

According to the weather guru's, we have one more below freezing night tonight, and then we start a slow five-day ramp up to the 70's that we all love.

Then it will be; heated pools, Jaccusi's, and our favorite beach bars.  Can't wait!

Have a nice day!

Don and Helen!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cold in Florida

Well, We have been pretty lucky so far this winter with the weather, I guess. 

We have been in Wauchula and Orlando for several weeks each, and we did have some typical "Winter in Florida" cold days.  You know, the temperature drops for a day or two and flirts with the low-thirties, and then it is back in the comfort zone for several days.  This we are used to happening, so no problems in the past.

But, we are in Thonotosassa (near Tampa) and as everyone that has a TV and watches the news knows, that we are really in the middle of a serious COLD spell. 

The temperatures at night have been right at freezing for several nights, with highs in the low fifties.

But, last night we hit a low of 29F at our camper, and it is supposed to only hit the upper 40's today. WOW!

Also, the weather people are predicting another cold front dropping down into the area over the weekend, and it is supposed to be worse than what we have today.

With all of this in mind, our entertainment options have dramatically changed for the present.  Yesterday, we did not even leave the RV all day.  We just laid back and read books and watched some old movies. 

I did catch up on some bill management, and document shredding, as well as some email cleanup that I had been delaying for a while.

I may have mentioned before, or not, but we use a Verizon Data Card for web access in our RV, and it is working quite well for us.  I have been noticing that all of the larger campgrounds are moving over to contractor-provided web access, and the better ones do provide "weak signal" free access at the clubhouse for the "casual PC user" (uses PC's very little).

The problem I found with these new providers is the fact that they are really expensive for the RVer that travels around; with charges in the $30 to even $40 per month access charges for high speed.

These fees are what drove me to my own data card, so I can have my access wherever and whenever I want for a flat fee.  This includes the fact that my wife and I both have PC's, and using my own data card ends up being cheaper for us.

Well, at least it is Sunny today, so we have made up a shopping list of those things that you never have time to stop and get, and we will go out this afternoon and make the rounds for these items, and I can then do some of those little things to the inside of the RV over the next few days, regardless of the cold outside.

PS.  For those of you that are RVing and are suffering with the Cold in your RV, check out my other blog and specifically you should read the posting on Keeping Warm in your RV.  I have put a lot of useful hints in that posting to help you with the cold.  I hope!

More later,

Don ad Helen.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

We're Baaaaaaaaaccccccckkkkkkk!

Wow! Here it is January 2, and I haven't done anything with my PC except mandatory things like paying bills for over 3 weeks!

Some explanation is necessary! First, right after we were settled in our site at TT Orlando, I got sick and my system kind of went haywire for over a week.  I caught a bug and ran a low grade temperature of 100 for 5 days. This is a scary thing for someon with a suppressed immune system, so we watched it carefully.

This threw my system out of whack, and I ended up with attacks of the GOUT three times over 2 weeks.  For the "Gout uneducated" out there; because of the drug restrictions that I have as a transplant recipient, I can only use Colchicine to treat a Gout attack.

The drug operates by causing nausea and diarrhea, which tends to "flush" the Uric Acid from your system.  Not a fun thing to go through, to say the least.

Anyway, after almost ten days, I was 8 pounds lighter and pretty weak.

So, Back to TT Orlando.

We had mostly good days of sunshine and reasonable temperatures for the 3-weeks we were there, and I did get to use the heated Pool and Jacchusi several times.

Comparing the 2 TT campgrounds, Wauchuka TT and Orlando TT, is interesting.  The Orlando site is very large, has 2 large pools, large sites, and is well maintained. The Wauchula site is not as large, has only on smaller pool, and the sites are also large and well maintained.

The major difference to me is the location, I guess.  If you want to got to Disney, or find pretty much any other entertainment you want, and run around every day, then Orlando is the one for you.

If you want peace and quiet, to meet people, read books, or just walk around and enjoy the scenery, I recommend Wauchula.  The one thing to remember, is that there is very little to do in Wauchula itself, and a search for decent restaurants may end up in a 30-45 mile drive.  Other than that, I still prefer Wauchula for relaxing.

My son and his wife brought my grand-daughter down for a 2-day visit  after Christmas, that turned into a week, but we really enjoyed their visit.  We took them to Disney one day, and to Universal Studios on another day.  The granddaughter loved it!

When you have company, as you all know, you tend to do more things, and eat a lot more while they are with you, and this visit was no exception for me.  It looks like I am back on my diet for a while.

We left the Orlando TT CG, on Dec.30, and moved over to the Tampa area to a CG called Southern Aire.

It was kind of strange, but, even though I wanted to hop back and forth between the TT sites and save money for the winter, when I started planning our winter, I reserved a month at Southern Aire CG for Dec-30 to Jan-30 as a just-in-case thing.  I searched and checked on a number of CG's and this was the only one that would let me reserve a month with an option on 2 more months, that I could cancel if I wanted without a penalty charge.  So, I went ahead and locked down January with them.

This way, without going into a lot of detail, I was able to reserve 6-weeks at the Orlando and Wauchula sites for free, from Nov thru Dec-30, then 1-month in Tampa for $515 plus elec., then 4-weeks at Orlando and Wauchula for free during Feb.  That gave me 14-consecutive weeks of winter camping for $515.  Not bad in Florida, in the winter.  And I plan on using the TT sites for the month of March also.

FYI, Southern Aire is an older CG owned by Wilder, which has a number of CG's in Florida and Texas.

The CG is old but it is well maintained.  A number of the sites are old Park models, or old campers with Sun-room additions, that have been here for many years.

The streets were once paved, and are now a patchwork of patches, so to speak.

But, the pool and Jaccussi are clean and well maintained, and they gave me a nice, but small, open site, where I could get Satellite reception with no problem.  The Laundromat is clean and relatively cheap to use, and the residents are mostly long-time ones, and all have been friendly to us.

The best thing about the CG is it's location, off of exit 10 of US-4.  It is only 3 miles up the road from Lazydays the large RV sales company as well as the local Camping World.  Also, it is only about ten miles from Tampa itself, so overall, it is a pretty good place to stay, strategically.

We are settled in now, and are looking at doing some exploration of the area in a few days.

Have a nice day!