Almost moving time!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The days have flown by, filled with chores, errands, lunches with friends, more chores, more errands...LOL! Yup, pretty much like living in a house and being retired.

Stu finally managed to finish the last of the damage to the wires and cables...he had to create his own cables. I can now run the microwave and the coffeemaker at the same time. The propane line is fixed and leak-free.

Of course, you fix something and you just KNOW something is going to break. While running our A/C unit heat pump, I suddenly smelled something strange. Well, long story short, we think one of the capacitors broke....again. We've replaced them in two of the three A/C units and the symptom was the same. Strange smell and then it doesn't heat or cool. We'll get that fixed when we get to Florida. Thank goodness for our propane furnace. Sadie prefers that anyway, she loves to lay over one of the heat vents when it's running.

When I mentioned looking into Zenni Optical in an earlier blog, someone mentioned a special at Sears. So I went online looking for the coupon. Sure enough, $199 for no-line glasses!! I checked out locations and found out the the Sears in Cookeville had an optical center. So we headed off, haircut first, then Sears for glasses. I've been wearing a similar style for quite a few years and wanted something a little more current. After several tries, we settled on these...they'll be sent to the Sears store in Brookville, FL and should be there next week.



Our other exciting news is Stu trading in his 2009 Tri-Glide for a 2012 Tri-Glide. We picked it up on Friday and after finishing the electrical work on the rig, Stu spent the rest of the weekend putting on new accessories. He's not done yet...one of the items doesn't fit this model. We'll exchange it tomorrow when we pick up the last couple of items that were ordered.

Here is the photo from Harley-Davidson...



Here is the photo at pickup on Friday...


We'll take one in the sun once we get to Florida. The colors are so classy and the red really pops. So far it's my favorite color out of all three Big Red trikes. Oh, be sure to visit Sadie's blog...she has a picture of her HELPING Stu. LOL!

Today Stu will finish up on the bike, clean up the garage and if there is a break in the rain, load up both motorcycles (his needs to be repositioned...and it has to be out in order to load mine). Then load the BRAT Rack and BRAT2 on the back, finishing up the biggest outside chores. We'll also take a big load of stuff (already in the truck) over to our storage unit.

Tomorrow will be a Cookeville day....Sam's Club & Wal-Mart for groceries, Petco for some Sadie stuff, Harley to pick up/exchange parts for the new bike, Kohl's so I can look for some sheets (and use my $30 worth of Kohl's cash that I got when I bought a Keurig B60 coffeemaker during Black Friday dealings), and finally a movie...no idea what one.

Oh, last item....Stu got his Kindle Fire and I got my Kindle Touch. He is really enjoying the Fire, the only thing he dislikes is the lack of customization to the home page. At least he hasn't found a way to change it. There is a carousel that lists all the books in your Amazon archive and all your apps, a bookshelf that shows the most recently visited items and at the bottom of the page is the most used item...a favorites bookshelf. He enjoys playing Angry Birds as well as Free Cell and a few other card games.

My Kindle Touch definitely took some getting used to. Over the last year+ I have "bought" over 800 books, most of them FREE at the time of purchase. On my old Kindle, I had only unread books downloaded and as I bought books, they automatically downloaded. That meant my archived books were books I had already read. Then along comes the new Kindle and I have to re-download my entire archive, move them into categories (collections folders) one by one and archive back the ones I've already read. Cumbersome to say the least, but using collections folders is the ONLY way to cleanly organize a large number of books. I haven't found a "go to page" when displaying books any other way. So, all in all, we are both pleased with our Kindles and are on the downhill side of the learning curve.

Wednesday we hope to be on the road by 9 am...a bit of a chore for us, but we hope to stop in Atlanta and have lunch with my youngest daughter. The weather has been mostly rainy the last few days...with highs dipping into the 40's tomorrow. Definitely time to move south...

Probably won't blog till Friday or Saturday...from Bee's RV Resort in Clermont, FL, where we will be till the end of February. We were there last year and really liked the place. Stu will be leaving on Sunday to spend three nights over in the Deland area, taking a scuba certification class. He let his expire a while back and has been regretting it every time we go on a cruise or visit Cabo/Cancun. Florida has a lot of companies that offer the certification classes and he found one he liked.

Okay, off to work on today's chores....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

...and I helped!!

It's been raining a LOT and I don't like that much. It's getting cold, too, and I don't like that much. So I've been staying inside, all snuggled up or laying on the warm holes in the floor.

Yesterday daddy spent all day in the garage. He got a new motorcycle (no, I haven't ridden it yet). He had a HUGE bag of stuff that needed to go on the bike. I went in and helped him. Really! See.....



Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


Thousand Trails Membership

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Well, we did it...we finally bought into the Thousand Trails campground memberships. We had been watching the resales for a couple of years and just had a hard time justifying the costs involved in the transfer process. Whenever we'd find a good one, it would be gone just that quick.

Well, now there is a new way to join called a Zone Pass. The country has been broken up into four zones. You get unlimited camping (based on each campground's restrictions). The first 30 days are free and you pay $3 a day after that. Not a sales pitch, just passing along something that MIGHT interest other RVers!


"No matter how many zones you purchase, your annual fee is just $499. That comes to less than $42 a month. And for a limited time, the one-time enrollment fee is waived for the first zone you purchase."

Until the end of December they are offering a sale. Buy one zone and get one free! For $499 we got two zones...the $795 enrollment free on the second was discounted. Hard to resist...but granted, it isn't for everyone. You need to read all the details..and if you get more than one zone, be SURE to click the "Click Here to make any changes to your cart.."

One last thing, if you do decide to buy one or more Zone Pass, we would really appreciate being used as your referral. Contact us and we will give you the information needed to credit us as a referral. You can sign up online and still do the referral, or you can call and do it that way.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

NOTE: This offer is not valid in MN, MS, or SD [I have heard that those in SD used a relatives adddress successfully.]

Happy Turkey Day!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

PS. Sure am glad mommy didn't dress ME up for this picture. Now off to wait for MY turkey dinner!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day of thanks...for our families, for our friends, for those who have and continue to serve to keep our country free...and so much more.

Take time to tell your loved ones how you feel...you never know what tomorrow will bring.


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. 
It turns what we have into enough, and more. 
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. 
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. 
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
~Melody Beattie



Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

New address.....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

...for our blog. Over the weekend I will be moving our blog to our own domain, www.2takinga5th.com but I'm not sure when it will be effective or if you will have to change the blog link that you are currently following.

Soooooo, if you try http://2takinga5th.blogspot.com and it comes up Not Found, then go directly to http://www.2takinga5th.com.

That said, I am pretty sure that BOTH links will take you directly to our blog once it's all said and done. Time will tell, takes up to 48 hours for new domain registrations to take effect on servers world-wide so no testing till then.

Now that I have everyone completely confused (including me), hope you're having a wonderful day. Thanksgiving is less than a week away...I hope your plans include family and/or friends.

EDIT: For those interested in the process, I registered a new domain at godaddy.com and parked it there. Then I used their tool to do the prep work for the blog transfer. It was about 12 hours before the tool recognized the new domain. Once I can see the parked domain page by entering my domain name, then I will do the transfer at Blogger.

More information here: http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/11/custom-domains-simplified.html

EDIT TWO: It appears to be working with one gotcha...you have to enter the www. in the new URL. Minor inconvenience.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Taking vacations..…

Friday, November 18, 2011

We often get strange looks when we tell folks that we are taking a vacation. After all, we live in an RV and travel all the time. Why would we need a vacation? They don't understand that even though we live this way, we still have day to day life to deal with. The same four walls can get old....LOL!

So we are always on the lookout for new and interesting vacations. We recently booked a 5 day trip to Las Vegas. We had reward points that were going to expire. They covered the airline tickets. They we researched and found a great deal at Planet Hollywood. We got the dates co-ordinated and voila! Instant vacation…

As you know we just came back from two different timeshare vacations in the Smokey Mountains. We try to do that at least one week a year…this year we managed three weeks.
We love cruises and have a seven day cruise to the Western Caribbean this February…we’ll be going with other retired Firefighters that we know. Should be fun!

We’ve cruised Alaska (inside passage), the Panama Canal (only half way, still want to do the whole trip through) and both have done (separately) the Eastern Caribbean. Someday we’d like to fly to Hawaii and cruise all the islands. Also the South Pacific is on our list along with Scotland.

Recently we have taken to watching a show on TV, Househunters International. It’s opened our eyes up to a lot of interesting places to visit (not live…LOL!). For example, South America offers a lot more possibilities other than “scary” places like Columbia. I found a great website, NAVIMAG Ferries, that offers some amazing Patagonia Chile tours. I would never have thought about this but now it’s really intriguing to me….hmmmmm! Have bookmarked their site for now but will be back.

So where do YOU vacation?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Passing these along....

Our good friend, Ara Gureghian, is now offering his One Pan Recipes. Not just for camping out, good for anyone. Check it out! Only .99 cents for each one and having eaten at his table more than once, I can guarantee they are delicious!!

New RVing bogger friend, Dick Secor, has started creating some gorgeous 5x7 paintings. Perfect size for an RV...you can own a one of a kind. Here is the one I'm getting...it brings back so many memories of growing up on the coast of Massachusetts. Be sure to check out his art store blog to see what he has for sale. He says he has plans to do more 5x7s in the future.


Got an e-reader or use one on your computer [Kindle has free apps for both PC & Mac], then check my RVing buddies books. Great stories...if you like them, please add your review and then pass the links on to your friends!

One more link and a plea to help. If you are a dog lover AND on Facebook, please vote in join Stu and I in voting to help Villalobos Rescue Center. They are relocating out of California this year and need all the help they can get to 1) take care of their avg 200 dog population and 2) move to their two new locations. See below...
Please help Villalobos Rescue Center: Vote at Chase Community Giving
Four More Days & We Are Neck and Neck!!! Come on, we need the pit bull nation more than ever, the second place group generated over 1,000 votes overnight. The difference between first place is $150,000, money that would be so important for getting Tia & the dogs moved to their new location. Please help us not miss out on this once in a lifetime grant, we can do this! If you have voted, please share far and wide. Don't forget Twitter!

Lastly, wondering if anyone has used Zenni Optical to mail-order glasses. I had thought I would get new glasses in Mexico when we went to Arizona this winter. Now that we are staying in Florida, that's not going to happen. I wear Progressive no-line lenses and new glasses typically run $300-$600. Not gonna happen....LOL! So, if you have ever ordered glasses online, I'd love to hear your experience.

Oh, some sidenotes....I love my HTC Incredible 2 [Verizon]. I thought my hearing was getting worse, I had a hard time hearing on my old iPhone 3 and harder time on my Palm Pre Plus. On the Incredible I've discovered that I can finally hear calls clearly. Add in all the apps available (including Angry Birds and Bejeweled 2), and I'm one happy camper. For those that didn't know, Amazon features one pay app for FREE daily.

And watch for an upcoming blog entry from Stu....we're moving on up....from Big Red 2 to Big Red 3!! Plus we'll have reviews on our new Kindle Touch [3G + Wi-Fi] and Kindle Fire [Wi-Fi].

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

What Dogs Want....

Mommy thought you'd enjoy this blog post, What Dogs Want, as much as I did....

I'm back to normal....well as normal as I ever get. Mommy and daddy are teaching me to wait for my treats and they said I was doing really good. They make me sit, tell me to stay and then set my treat down. Then I have to wait to take it. MOST of the time I do...but it's hard. Shouldn't that be considered cruel and unusual punishment?



Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


Slowly we turned...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...step by step, inch by inch we get closer to getting things crossed off our to do list. LOL! All the laundry is done...finally! All the trailer brakes are replaced...phew! Two new tires are ordered, ready for mounting and pickup on Wednesday...yeah! The propane has been repaired and is now working...ahhhh! As I type, Stu is ordered the electrical connectors for the kitchen slide and we'll have the trailer fixes almost done...whoo-hoo!



On the fun side, we used some reward points that were expiring and booked 5 days in Las Vegas next month. We found a great hotel special at Planet Hollywood (no daily resort fees added on as many hotels there are doing) and will enjoy both the strip and a trip to Fremont Street (where the Heart Attack Grill has opened up).

The last big thing that we need to get done is the truck checked out. We had been noticing a shimmy and now it's gotten worse. Stu noticed the truck wandering a bit and now suspects tie-rod ends. We will see....

Tomorrow is lunch with my good friend Joanne, at Logan's Roadhouse in Cookeville. We love that place! Along the way we'll drop off the old tires, pick up our electrical connectors, stop in at our Harley dealer to talk about the 2012 Tri-Glides and maybe take in a movie (Tower Heist is next on the list to see).

After that, we'll continue chores as needed, hoping for some good weather to get in some riding as well as taking Sadie out to visit the property and get in some Keta time.

In the last blog I forget to include the links for the photo albums so here they are:

Sadie finally blogged today, too. Check it out here.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Brokitis....err, bronkitis?

I had fun at doggy camp while mommy and daddy went off to play. But just before they came home I got sick. The doggy camp people took me to see a docktur who gave me a shot (I didn't feel it but boy, I saw the needle!!) and some pills.

Daddy said I'm a GOOD girl cause I take my pills so good. They don't taste good but I know I'll get a treat later. [snicker]





I'm feeling MUCH better now. Bronkitis isn't fun...don't get it and you won't have to get a shot and take pills.






Sniffing and lickingly yours,
Sadie


More behind.....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Well, time for a quick recap of what we've been up to. We've been in TN for three weeks and have spent one week in the RV. The other two weeks were "vacation" weeks in the Smokey Mountains. We wrote about the first week spent at Fontana Village in NC. Now to cover the last week at Sunrise Ridge Resort in Pigeon Forge.

Our room was wonderful...well, except for an uncomfortable mattress. We had a nice balcony with an amazing view. We loved sitting out there with our morning coffee and evening drink of choice.

Morning....


Evening....

We spent several days at Dollywood, enjoying the rides during the day and the Christmas shows day and night. The lights were amazing, the parade adorable and the food delicious! We plan to get a season pass for next year as well.

Here are some of the decorations...


Just some of the shows...


Just some of the parade and lights...


We were VERY fortunate to meet up with fellow RVers, riders and bloggers...Linda & Linda (Lindaxtwo). We've followed each others blogs for several years now but never had a chance to meet. They were in the area for a couple of days and we made arrangements to meet at Mel's Diner for lunch. We sat and talked like old friends...until it was too late to go out for a ride.


So we made plans to do that another day...and we did. They invited us over to lunch (delicious) and we got to meet Boomer, their pup, and take a tour of their brand new Damon Outlaw Toy Hauler motorhome. Slick!!! They used to have a fifth wheel and much prefer the motorhome.

We took them on a ride through part of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, stopping for scenic views along the way (including one we never get to stop at because it's always too busy).


From there we headed up to Townsend and over to Wears Valley where we made an ice cream stop (big surprise) at Rocky Top Country Store. We browsed the store while we enjoyed our ice cream. There was a lot of variety in the items but one caught my eye on the way inside and when we came back out, I just had to pick him up. He still doesn't have a name, that will come with time. He'll sit outside our rig as we travel and eventually will find a home at our log cabin.


Thursday had rain in the forecast. We had originally planned to do the full Gatlinburg Arts & Craft loop but opted to The Old Mill House shopping area. Beautiful!! We browsed a dozen stores and picked up a few decorative items for the our future cabin.


But the MOST fun was passing three women sitting on a bench, posing for a male friend...and no one had a camera. I had left mine at home as well but my new HTC Incredible 2 takes very good photos. I snapped a shot and emailed it to one of the ladies to share. They gave us such a giggle!


Friday dawned with cold temps...in the 30's, but sunny. We loaded up and headed home at 11am, making the most of the sunshine. Our heated gear worked wonderfully (as it did on the ride to Pigeon Forge). We stopped for lunch at the Fireside Restaurant in Huntsville, TN. Great food, good service and a nice atmosphere, all less than an hour from Jamestown. We'll be back.


Here are the links for all the photos at SmugMug:

Saturday we went out to breakfast and then headed to Cookeville to pick up Sadie. She was happy to see us...although silent. Seems she managed to get bronchitis and came home with antibiotics. Fortunately the $124 vet bill was covered by the kennel's insurance (for non pre-existing ailments). From there we headed to Sam's Club, took in a movie (J. Edgar...very good) and then a final Wal-Mart grocery stop.

That brings us to today...me doing laundry and Stu putting new brakes on the trailer. We knew the brakes were bad on the tire that blew out and he had already replaced the ones on the wheel with the bad bearing a short time ago. Now it was time to replace the rest. One was so bad that the pad was in two pieces. Guess we can't complain...we've put 70-80k on the trailer since 2007.

He found another tire that needs replacing, the cord was showing on the outer edge. We think we have a spring that needs replacing. on the kitchen slide side (our heavy side). That will get done in Florida...hopefully while we are on our cruise. In the meantime, two tires need to be bought. Then the propane line needs to get fixed as well as the electrical. We are still waiting to hear from KZ on the parts needed for that. Guess a phone call is in order.

I promised you a pic of OUR blown tire....here it is!


So this week will be chores, chores and more chores....interspersed with lunch with a good friend and maybe another movie. If the chores get done, we might do some clearing on the property in preparation for putting in a shed next summer. I know Sadie will enjoy that...she misses her friend, Keta. She's only gotten 20-30 minutes of play with her since we arrived here.


Not sure our exact departure day, just that we want to be in Florida by Dec 1st...we'll play it by ear.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu