Always an adventure.....

Saturday, March 30, 2013

We are on our last leg of our trip back to Maryland and what an adventure it has been. Couple of things to note first, We normally take I-81 north, less traffic but more mountains. Due to the late winter weather, we opted to take I-95 (UGH) this time around. Shorter trip, flat terrain and we could drive shorter days so we'd arrive less tired.

Well, you know the saying about the best laid plans. Sigh.... We left Vero Beach, FL on Wednesday after a great time visiting family. The weather was good and we hit the road around 11:30 am. We hoped to make it to the north side of Jacksonville that first night but it wasn't to be. Around 2pm the rearmost passenger tire on the trailer blew. Not a pretty sight...did some body damage, too.

Stu managed to get the spare mounted and the awning arm secured and we headed to the closest Flying J for the night. I think that was Hastings, FL, south of Jacksonville. We had a great parking spot, ate at Denny's and got a good night's sleep. The next morning Stu took another look at the rearmost tire on the other side and didn't like how it looked. Next step, Goodyear, for two new tires.

[more photos here]
Note that these tires are barely three years old but have probably 40k miles. Being in the back, they seem to take the worst beating. We replace the frontmost tires on both sides when one of those blew last spring (due to something in the road).

Anyway, another late start to the day being 1pm before we really got rolling. We stopped at the Flying J in Brunswick, GA for the night and had another great parking spot. Seems like the ones on I-95 are more geared towards RV parking than the ones we've used on I-81.


Day three on the road, Friday, and we made it to Latta, SC and another Flying J. This time there was a large dirt parking area, we were the second ones in. We've been getting off the road around 4pm when possible due to the holiday weekend. Seems like everyone is heading back home at the same time. LOL!

So here it is Saturday and we're just outside Washington DC. Initially we had planned to head to Kent Island and park in our stepdaughter's driveway. Well, we now have an appointment in Beltsville, MD on Wednesday to get the RV body work evaluated. We're hoping we can get it done while we are in Ecuador. Rather than head all the way East to come back over for that appointment, we made a reservation at the Capital KOA. PRICEY but with the cost of fuel, maybe not. LOL! We have doctor appointments in the Annapolis area on Monday and Tuesday.

So it was good that we chose the shorter trip, we haven't had to kill ourselves driving AND we had good weather all the way up. The thought of having that blow-out in the mountains with ice, snow and cold. Brrrr.....


Time flies too quickly....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I swear I don't know where the time has gone but it sure has been fun! It's been a busy whirl of seeing family and my old friends. Several dinners out have definitely not been on our diet plan, but what the heck. We haven't been in this area for two years, it's time to enjoy.

Sunday was my brothers' motorcycle club annual charity run. I have helped as many years as possible starting in 2001 with their 3rd annual. This was their 15th and I think it's my 6th one. In 2005 they dedicated it to my late husband who was also a member. Great folks, wonderful memories.

I worked the t-shirt table and Stu went on the run....only his second poker run ever. He had fun and rode with two gal pals of my sister-in-law. The weather cooperated, although very windy it didn't get as hot as the forecasted 90 degrees.

Yesterday we took a break and went to the movies where we saw "Olympus Has Fallen". If you love action/adventure or if you watch the "Die Hard" movies any time you see them, then this is a must see movie. We both loved it...terrifying after living through 9/11. The funniest thing was flipping through the TV channels last night and seeing Gerard Butler on Leno, chatting up the movie and revealing that his mom now lives in The Villages (known for the highest rate of Viagra purchases in the country). We love visiting there and have often gone there to eat or the movies. LOL!

Tomorrow we move northerly but with the weather still being wintery in so many areas, we plan to take our time. We will arrive on Kent Island at our stepdaughter's on Sunday. Sadie will be thrilled, she'll get to play with her older sister, Fiona.

Still working on getting my two novels in print. Almost there on "Home Again" but still a little work to go for "Not a Whisper".



An interesting moving day....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


We left Thousand Trails Orlando (Clermont) around 11:30 and our first turn was a u-turn. Stu made the light, I didn't. We use our CB's when traveling and I told him I'd catch up. It was a LOOOOOONG light so I just followed the GPS directions.

Thirty minutes later, still no sign of the RV so I checked my phone. Yup, there was a text message from him asking where I was. I waited for a red light and voice-texted him back. Turns out the truck GPS routing was very different from the car GPS routing. Our projected arrivals times were less than 10 minutes apart so we agreed to meet at Rt 60 and I-95 where there was a truck stop with a restaurant. Perfect lunch stop and then we traveled the last 15 minutes to the RV park together. LOL!

I do have to say that I can see why Stu's route wasn't the same as mine...I took Rt 192 east (to I-95) and the traffic was horrendous!! Stu headed south on Hwy 27 before going east on Rt 60. Once out of the Kissimmee//St Cloud area, it was wide open and an enjoyable drive. I saw hawks, heron and along the side of the road a proud mama Sandhill Crane with her fluffy little baby trotting along behind her.

Storms were due to move in late afternoon/early evening, high wind and possible hail. Of course because we bailed on dinner plans with family (while we rested), it never happened. LOL! We'll get with them tomorrow night as well as the following several days. Sunday is the motorcycle charity run and we're hoping for good weather.

During the day tomorrow we'll run some errands, nothing major. Maybe get some laundry done, too. It sure is nice to be back on 50 amp! We're settled into a site that used to house a mobile home...nice and wide as well as paved. Now we just need some good weather for some family motorcycle time!

Sunday Stop-by

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Even with our slow Internet connection here in central Florida, I finally managed to upload over 600 photos from our Disney days to SmugMug. If you want to browse them, they're HERE.

Yesterday we spend the afternoon riding our motorcycles through some wonderful back roads. Some we had been on before, others were a new treat and one that we'd like to repeat. We both got a little sun as well as a little saddlesore (well, at least I did....LOL).

It was supposed to rain on Tuesday so we were going to load the motorcycles tomorrow. That means moving the elliptical from the garage back into the bed of Scooby (our pickup). Today has clouded over and it looks like the rain is now forecast for Monday and Tuesday, so guess what we'll be doing this afternoon.

After our five days of walking at Disney, we both committed to working on our health. That means more exercise and as healthy a diet as possible. We've both started blogs to track our results which should really improve the month we are in Ecuador. Here are our blog links for anyone interested, we're not looking for followers, just trying to keep ourselves motivated. STU ~ DONNA

We move to the east coast of Florida on Wednesday where we will spend a week with my brothers, their families and my cousins. Sunday is a huge motorcycle poker run for charity that my brother's motorcycle club does annually. We'll be pitching in to help in any way. My late husband, Mike, and I did this several years.

Not much else new except wishing you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Price cut on Kindle Fire HD 8.9 Tablet

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just wanted to pass this along for anyone that might be interested. Amazon has lowered the price on their Kindle Fire HD 8.9" Tablet. We have the smaller Kindle Fires and love them.


Recovery....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Yup, we're in recovery mode after spending Sunday-Friday at Disney with our youngest granddaughter. She was a champ and behaved beautifully. A lot of fun was had by all. I took over 600 photos and need to go through them before uploading to SmugMug. Here are a couple of samples from my phone to hold you till then (click for larger image.








We got home late, late, Friday night after treating ourselves to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney (Disney Marketplace). Saturday morning we moved from Bee's back to Thousand Trails and Sunday we picked Sadie up. I got all the laundry done, email checked and miscellaneous stuff done.

We walked and walked and walked every day, to the point of pain and exhaustion. We've committed to walking at least an hour every day in preparation for our vacation in Ecuador. In fact, we just returned from today's walk.

Got a few minor things to get done this week - Sadie needs her checkup and heartworm meds refilled so I need to make an appointment at the closest Banfield. Stu wants to get our pickup's tires rotated and check out why we have a bounce at 40-45mph. And yesterday, the A/C in the pickup stopped working. Not good when you're in Florida.

Me? Well, I'm almost done with the formatting of the print version of "Home Again" and then get to start on the print version of "Not a Whisper". Both are still selling a couple of copies daily and the good reviews continue to roll in. My favorite is for "Not a Whisper" and is from a gal in Australia: "Ripper of a read!". LOL!

France in America | The Book

Monday, March 4, 2013

France in America | The Book

Gary rode his Harley-Davidson on an epic 21,000 miles road trip in 27 states in America. His book ‘France In America’ is about that trip.
Setting out with no intention of writing a book about the trip – but simply enjoying the journey – what started out as a daily blog journal became increasingly popular with readers around the world, and was ultimately transformed into a formidable 400-page book: France in America.

The extraordinary 21,000-mile journey to explore the hidden corners of 27 American states unfolds through a down-to-earth record of what he saw, who he met and what he felt on the road, backed up with an impressive photographic inventory. As he clicks up the miles from the New England states, through the Midwest and the Rockies, and closing in the desert states of the Pacific coast, Gary’s thoughts and language become increasingly reflective and vivid as the ‘journey’ progresses – revealing more and more of his internal exploration and steady winding down.
“A Master of the bike ride narrative.” 
The account will resonate with many. Not just those who wish they could make such a once-in-a-lifetime road trip, but also with the many men who have faced the unspoken uncertainties and reassessments of midlife. The essence of that transition is succinctly captured by Gary’s comment to one of the fellow riders he encounters along the road, when he says: “Sometimes it is important to just seize the moment and do what you always wanted to do.”

This is not only a detailed trip guide about where to go and what to see in the US. It is also a personal travel story of one person seizing the moment – a living testimony to the maxim that travel is not so much about the destination as it is about the journey itself. One man living his dream, and carefully cornering through the opportunities that midlife presents.
“A breathtaking way to explore.”

The book is a large, coffee table format, its 400 pages full of excellent pictures, maps and ideas about where to go on a US road trip. If planning your own US road trip, the book is an invaluable resource. It would be an excellent present to give to people who enjoy travel, adventure or motorcycles!


Available in both hardback or softback. We ship everywhere!

Stu and I were fortunate to meet up with Gary in Sturgis, SD. His was an amazing journey and this book chronicles it with wonderful stories and gorgeous photographs. A book to enjoy for many years to com.

Almost Disney - Day One

Sunday, March 3, 2013

1) Picked 4 1/2 y.o granddaughter, Jesse up at the airport at about 11:30
2) Had lunch with her dad before he headed back to Delaware
3) Got checked into our room and headed to Disney Marketplace
4) IT WAS PACKED! Maybe because it was Sunday and it's free.
5) Stu and Jesse rode the Merry Go Round ($2 for her, free for Stu)
6) Picked up a few essentials for Jesse (Mickey Mouse Ears/Cinderella hat, Princesses backpack, Rapunzel doll)
7) Watched Jesse build her race car at Legoland. First race she lost. Second race a staff member fixed her wheels so they turned. SHE WON!
8) Headed back to hotel around 5:30, getting COLD (and windy)
9) Jesse got some sunglasses at the hotel (forgot to get earlier)
10) Back to room, unpacked, played on computers for a bit before heading down to dinner
11) Decent dinner for all, several leftover items that will be a pre-breakfast snack (having a character breakfast at 10:20 in the Magic Kingdom)
12) Back to room, washed up and Jesse crashed by 8pm

As we drove into the resort, Jesse told us, "I can't stop smiling". Love it....

Later in the day, on the bus back from Disney Marketplace, Stu told her she was full of energy. She turned to him and said, "I'm full of gas."

We can only imagine what tomorrow will bring....character breakfast and a Princess makeover are already on tap!

Oh, snapped a ton of phone photos but will wait to post most of them. This was the best of the day....chocolate bliss!