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Thursday, December 29, 2016



I guess it's all three holidays wrapped into one. It's official - we are going to be snowbirds! Remember our quick trip to Tennessee back in September? It served two purposes, first to see our good friends who moved from Maryland to Tennessee. Second, to look at houses in our area.

Why? We realized that we are getting older and the cost to build on our property is getting higher. The housing market is still good, so why not look at something with a finished house and land for Stu to build his pole barn. So off we went, several days of looking and wouldn't you know. The last house we looked at was IT. The same thing happened with our property back in 2009 (incredible that was over seven years ago).

The house sits on 2.3 acres, open (no chance of forest fires, which was not the case with our property), fenced for horses with a nice pond at the back of our property line. There is a barn with stalls and a tack room, that may become a woodworking shop area for Stu. There is also a nice shed almost as large as ours on the property. Three bedroom, two bath, small front porch and nice deck on the back where we get the morning sun and afternoon shade.

Some of the extras we loved: double vanity and a HUGE shower in the master bath (of course, there is also the red heart jetted tub), room for a king bed in the master bedroom, coat closet by the front door, double doors to the deck, pantry in the kitchen, window over the kitchen sink, HUGE utility room with two storage closets (room for washer/dryer AND freezer), good sized garage with driveway for three (that's where the RV will park initially), septic clean-out for the RV (original owners had an RV) and great sized rooms.

So we put in an offer and after some negotiation, it was accepted. We close on January 10th so will be driving to Tennessee next week to finalize everything. That will make us officially snowbirds. Winter in Florida (or somewhere warm if we decide to go west one year), back to the house for spring, MD for June timeframe, back to the house until November or so (weather dependent).

Oh, you want to see photos? We uploaded both the listing photos and the ones we took HERE. But just to whet you appetite.....


Front view from the road


Looking back from halfway down to the barn


All the land on the left is ours, you can see three fence lines. We own from the two outer ones. That's the barn and the pond is almost at the tree line.


Living room (doors to deck)


Eat-in kitchen


Refrigerator, stove, microwave & dishwasher stay, all fairly new


Master bedroom


Future guest room


Future office and extra guest space

EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Ciao for now!

Post Cruise Update - Part V

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

We arrived back in California on Sunday, disembarked and got our luggage without any trouble. Bill and Dotty drove to pick us up. Fortunately, the traffic back to Palm Springs was much lighter.

On the way we stopped for lunch at Apple Annie's, up in the mountains. Gorgeous scenery, great lunch! Since it's a whole village of shopping and Santa, it was quite busy, too.







Monday night we took them out to dinner, their choice was Roc's Firehouse Grille. Another great choice, wonderful atmosphere and delicious food.





We got up WAYYYYYY too early for our flight back to Orlando but boarded without much difficulty. Both legs of our trip were booked solid and I had the "lovely" middle seat. Oh joy....LOL! But we got to Orlando, picked up our rental car (after a double booking of the same car) and arrived home without incident.

Again, a HUGE thank you to Bill & Dotty for their friendship, hospitality and transportation.



We unpacked the next day and I did ten loads of laundry (small washer in the RV but better than a laundromat). I was better but still lacking energy and sleeping a lot. Still has a little nagging cough but we think it's allergies.

Stu worked some more on Scooby but to no avail. Yesterday we took him into a local repair shop that had good reviews. Today we got the news that the wiring harness for the fuel injection needs to replaced. Oh yeah, and there are two of them. As Stu says, at 1/4 million miles, things are expected to break. Just glad it didn't leave us stranded somewhere.

Thursday we head to Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground for five days. Yes, we will be at Disney on Christmas Day. Oh my! What were we thinking? LOL! Best part is on Friday, Stu will be doing the DiveQuest at Disney.  Diving in the 2nd largest aquarium in North America. This is his birthday present and he is SO excited! LOL!

I expect we will be exhausted every night so I doubt we will be blogging much until we get back.

Oh, and if you are interested, you can see ALL our trip photos HERE.


Ciao for now!

Post Cruise Update - Part IV - Hawaii

After his dive in Cabo, Stu started to feel like he was coming down with a cold. We had brought some DayQuil and NyQuil with us, but not enough. Online friends, Brynn & Andy Cruz, were joining us for the cruise to Hawaii so we asked if they could pick up more meds for him since he had dives scheduled in several ports. (Thank you, Brynn & Andy!!!)

Since this was a back to back cruise, we knew we would have to disembark and then get back on. We'd done this several times on other cruises and it had never been a hassle. This time it was terrible. Once off the ship, through immigration and holding our new sail & sign cards (room key/charge card), we were told to sit and wait. Almost 90 minutes passed before we were allowed to board. Never had this happen before, hope it never does again.

Before I forget, anyone cruising out of LA area in late fall or winter, be prepared for VERY cool days at sea. Fortunately we had heard this from others and had the clothes to be comfortable - long pants, long sleeved shirts and sweatshirts.

With four days at sea, Stu was feeling much better by the time we hit our first port in Maui, Hawaii. We had scheduled a helicopter tour. The day was overcast, cool and eventually rainy. But the worst part was now I was sick. VERY sick. While Stu was doing much better, it looked like it was my turn. We cancelled our tour and I rested while Stu took a trip ashore for a few items and a little sightseeing. Here are a couple of pics from the ship.











Next stop was Honolulu where Stu had booked a private dive.



This was my view from the library, the warmest spot on the ship. While I had been able to write a couple of chapters the previous week, now I was reading.


I took a little nap on the Serenity deck in the afternoon.


Stu really enjoyed his dive. White tip sharks!



...and sea turtles! (the other diver was a young girl from Australia getting her certification)


Goodbye Honolulu!


When we cancelled the Maui helicopter ride, Stu booked one on the island of Kauai. While not well, I was feeling well enough to give it a try, being only a two hour excursion and the weather was nice. We bought the video the company produced from our ride but here are a couple of shots. Many, many movies have been shot on this island and you can see why. (Most of our pics have reflections due to being inside the helicopter)















It was a great ride but I was done...back to the ship and back to bed. Sigh...

Next stop was the big island. Kona and the next day, Hilo. Kona was a tender port and needless to say, I stayed aboard and rested. Since it was rainy and chilly, Stu opted to do the same.





On to Hilo where Stu had another private dive scheduled. Turned out to be an amazing dive and here are a few photos taken off his video.







Me? I went to see the doctor, feeling worse than ever. Diagnosis - bronchitis. I walked out with $60 worth of antibiotics and $125 medical bill.



Several more days at sea and by the time we made it to Ensenada, Mexico, I was feeling well enough to do the MicroBrew and Taco tour. What a blast!















PS. You can see ALL our trip photos HERE.

Ciao for now!