Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roughing it.....

As we mentioned a few posts ago, our fridge started fritzing a couple of weeks ago.  This past Friday (at 4p as everyone is closing), she went.  Out.  Done.

First appointment would be Tuesday in Rockport (about 20 miles from Sea Breeze RV Resort) at 10a.  <sigh>.  We had to rough it.  Threw us back to our houseboating days on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, where 12-16 of us had to pack everything into a big marine cooler for the week.  The park was kind enough to let us use some freezer space, some friends let us borrow some coolers and it was on.

Got through the weekend, and was reminded of the M*A*S*H episode where it was decided that the "M" stood for mobile and they were going to bug out -- across the road.  Thankfully, we got to Camper Clinic at around 9:30a (in some horrible winds) and the tech said "we'll have you back on the road in 15 minutes."  Terrific!  Wrong, but terrific hope!

Because it was a warranty issue, the tech was going back and forth with Norcold making sure it wasn't this, or wasn't that.  There were magnets involved, checks and more checks.  We had a great time checking out all the BigHorns on the lot and REALLY liked the Landmark Key Largos.  Always fun to see the new models even if we're not in the market.

By 10:50a, we left to go out for lunch.  Sonic Drive-In is a great place if you have dogs to eat on the road.  Afterwards, we visited the Rockport Dog Park.  It was terrific.  No dogs in the "little dog" park, so we hopped over to the "big dog" park where we saw a fascinating Springer Spaniel that had lost a leg and was just as fast as Carmen and Sloopy.  Such a great site to see this 3 legged dog running everywhere.  Then, the owner from hell showed up with her dog muzzled and on a 3 ft. leash.  She wouldn't take her dog off leash (which just frustrated the hell out of him) because she was afraid of our "little dogs" along with a little Scottie.  Amazing.  Time to go.

Got back to Camper Clinic at around 12:30p and she was all done! Running on propane (since we weren't hooked to shore power).  Got back to Sea Breeze RV park, plugged in and the fridge console said "AC no".  Would ONLY run on propane.

Called Camper Clinic back, was on hold for 15 minutes, got a service person who said, "well bring it back in".  Wrong answer.  Finally got her to relent and put the technician who worked on our unit on the phone.  Sure something either jiggled or came unplugged.

"Oh, I forgot to plug the AC back into the board!"  OK, let's do that.  "Reach in there and feel around...."  not what we wanted to hear.  Sure enough Bob got shocked before we turned the breaker off.  Found the cord, got it plugged in and we returned to the land of refrigerated food.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Beach Reviews..

 As the warmup continues, we finally had to go see the beach, yesterday.  We've got three winter spots, and no surprise that two of them are by the beach.  We love Tucson, but both of us miss the water.  The beauty of the desert, the climate, definitely make up for what we lose in beach, though.

 Of the two beaches we visit during the winters, Port Aransas, TX (Port A) and New Smyrna Beach, FL (NSB) has some plusses.

Both NSB and Port A allow us to drive and park on the beach.  The sand at NSB is beautiful and better than Port A, which usually has quite a bit of seaweed and a lot of Jellyfish.  Advantage NSB.
Getting to each has some neat perks.  NSB, you get to drive through old NSB and two choices over the causeway.  Port A has the ferry.  Advantage, Port A.

Port A, allows us to bring the girls on a leash.  A huge plus.

New Smyrna Beach has a bar (Toni & Joe's) we love overlooking the beach, but Port A allows us to bring coolers to the beach.  Again, advantage Port A.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Warming up.......

Starting to be more of Chamber of Commerce weather here in the Coastal Bend.  Was nice enough yesterday to watch the entire Falcons vs. 49ers game outside yesterday.  Sports (and football in particular) is just better when you watch it outside.

Thinking hard about a beach day this week, as we might get into the 80's by the end of the week.

Saturday night, another carry in and fireside dinner over at Mike and Baxter's here at Sea Breeze RV Park.  Ed and Loretta cooked up sausage plus liver & onions to perfection.  Smoky fire, though.  All clothes in the wash, plus had to wash the smoke smell out of our hair Sunday.  Bob was late to the dance watching the Buckeyes lose to Sparty.  <sigh>

Baxter is a great dog.  Shitzu by breed, but he's got a superb personality.  Here's a picture of him "getting walked".  Rules the roost.  Our girls treat him as a non dog.  His temperament is sensational for the RV lifestyle.

Put the finishing touches on our travels for the summer.  Once we leave the Coastal Bend, we'll be spending a month in Dallas, June in Denver and July in Salt Lake before taking on California from Sacramento to San Diego.  Buckeyes at Cal is the feature event, but looks like we'll be able to do some day games with the A's and the Giants plus Stanford, USC and UCLA home football games.  Stoked.  Once the NFL schedules come out, Chargers, Raiders and Niners might enter the mix.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

That bright orange thing in the sky......

 Finally seeing that bright orange thing in the sky today here at Sea Breeze RV Resort.  Still, got up this morning to see 34 degrees.  Brrrr.  Our first winter in the new rig, so we're having to recalculate our electric and propane and trying to base it on the old rig.  Only had a 750 watt heater in the old one, this one has a 750/1500 watt heater, so we're seeing that difference.

The girls have been snuggling in this cold weather.  Sloopy HATES the cold.  Carmen Badger, she no care.  Everyone always asks us about Sloopy's "peeing" stances.  She literally will lift one and try to lift two back feet off the ground when she "goes".  All comes from her days back in Ohio when she would try to go to the bathroom without her feet touching the ground and the snow.

Another thing about Sloopy that's hilarious.  She hasn't lived in a house with a doorbell for over two years.  One of the software warnings we have has a doorbell sound to it.  Wakes her from a dead sleep every time.  Amazing.

Tuesday, we travelled over to Rockport to have lunch at Charlotte Plummer's Seafare Restaurant with the Heartland Owners Group of the Coastal Bend.  Met another couple that will be going to Kerrville and the Sweetheart Rally.  We really thought we'd be talking rigs all the time at these meetings out.  Rarely comes up.  Even though its our common thread, the conversations are almost always about the Coastal Bend Area, or everyone's travels and experiences.

While we were there, one of the oyster boats came up and started unloading.  Apparently the Rockport area was a destination for Vietnam refugees after the war, and they were incredibly more skilled at oysters and shrimping than the Texans back in the 70's, early 80's.  Still a sore subject.  Dockmaster meets all the boats at the break wall, inspects all the catches and tags the bags which get shipped off from there.  Pretty interesting stuff.

Got a call from our friends in Dallas, where it was snowing.  They're plowing through propane like its water.  Finally had to break down and buy a tank so they didn't have to unhook every time they were empty.  Every time the sun hits our bottles, the warmth creates condensation that shows a definite line of how full or empty our propane bottles are.  Same as those who pour hot water on their bottles.  Those gauges are OK, and we have one that shows that its empty, but every Wednesday/Thursday, we can pretty much tell how our tanks are doing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Time is flying.....

Hard to believe we've been at the Sea Breeze RV Resort almost a month!  In another month, we'll be heading to our first rally in Kerrville, TX.

Last year, we had a Winter Texan golf membership at the Northshore Country Club.  It was a good deal, $400 for the two of us to golf unlimited with a cart, range balls for a month.  We knew, to make it work, we'd have to play all the time.  And we did.

That probably made us seem a little unsociable to the regulars here.  When we weren't at the golf course, we were working at the business and didn't really have time to get out and mingle.
This year, we didn't opt for the golf membership and we've been "getting out" quite a bit more.  Everyone remembered us from last year because of the truck, but they didn't really "know us".  We've made a concerted effort to change that.  This isn't really a place that has a lot of organized events, rather a lot of organized events done by the guests.

We've enjoyed our time "across the pond" with Mike & Baxter, Kristi & Justin, Ed & Loretta, Judy & Gary, Frenchie and Nina, Bob & Jane and Paulette & Bill.  The other night, Mike and Justin outdid themselves smoking brisket, ribs and sausage.  Man, was it good.

After a teaser into the 70's, we're stuck back in the 50's for another week.  Could be worse.  We know.

Friday, January 11, 2013

You just never know......

A little taken back to read of the passing of one of our high school friends who died unexpectedly this morning.  Anyone who passes away at the age of 51 should be noted as being "unexpectedly."

Hated the news, reflected fondly on his life and our times together (he actually was going out with Connie to our brand new McDonald's in our hometown of Wilmington when Bob was there with another girl.  Afterward, he suggested we meet at a party the next night and switch dates.)  But more, it was a time to reflect on the old phrase, "you just never know" what tomorrow brings.  No one guarantees there will be a tomorrow.  Live today like it could be your last.

R.I.P. Beamer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another trip around the sun......

Today's ends Bob's 51st trip around the sun.  ALWAYS get the "you're so young" phrase whenever we're out amongst snow birds and full timers.  If we don't get that phrase, there's "the look" wondering "OK, how are they doing this?"  Funny.

Photo from Michael & Kelly Barnett, http://
Spent a great morning Monday meeting with the Heartland Owners Group of the Coastal Bend.  Great group of folks.  Found out two of them, Michael & Kelly Barnett will be traveling to the Sweetheart Rally in Kerrville, TX next February.  Will be nice to see familiar faces there.

We seldom eat out on our own, but this group eats out twice a week.  The Bakery Cafe was the site Monday.  Connie's biscuits and gravy were very good, Bob's ham and cheese omelet was huge.  Great brunch. 

Speaking of familiar, we're both Mac people.  Bob's had a Mac since they came out in 1983.  We finally made the decision to abandon our AppleWorks and upgrade our system to the new OSX.  We both hate, I mean HATE, software changes.  Spent the last few days migrating everything over to Microsoft Word and Excel, checking on all the software that will have to be updated to keep up with the new OSX.  <sigh>  Once we get that going, the tax season will be upon us.

While all this is going on, the business has been incredibly busy!  (Thank you!)  New Disney and cruise bookings have tested out the new Word/Excel system quite nicely (except for the time something happened and all the booking numbers got assigned to the wrong clients.)  Will be dropping the hammer today or tomorrow and downloading the new operating system. 

Sunday reminded us of one of those days we fondly remember back in Ohio.  Mid to late February and all of a sudden a mid 50's day pops out of nowhere and EVERYONE is outside washing cars, walking, etc.  After the (for here) miserable days last week, we saw more people in the park out than since we arrived.  Now, we're looking at thunderstorms for a few days, a few nice days, then back to the 50's to start our rise again.

Last night ended another College Football season.  It all goes too fast (just like Alabama's players vs. the Domers).  We'll humor ourselves with college basketball, pro golf, then the new baseball season.  But it's just a ruse because we're waiting for next August to get here.

Friday, January 4, 2013

We shouldn't whine about the weather......

When our daughter lived in Florida, and we were still in Ohio, we had a rule:  no gloating about how nice it is there.

Now we can winter wherever we like and she's in Ohio.  We try not to gloat, but our complaints about the crappy weather here kind of fall on deaf ears.  It's been awful since New Year's Day (in our terms).  40's and 50's with wind and rain.  Yuck.

Certainly haven't done much.  We did go meet with the Heartland Owners Group of the Coastal Bend for dinner at Pepito's here in Portland, TX.  Great group of folks.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

We begin the New Year!

Hope everyone had a safe and Happy Holiday season.

We celebrated a couple of anniversaries last month that we forgot to mention.  On December 16th, Connie celebrated 9 years cancer free and on December 18th, we celebrated two years of the full time RV lifestyle.  Yay!

Sea Breeze RV Park held a nice New Year's Eve Party (BIG improvement over last year!) with live music and fireworks at midnight.  Being from Ohio, this fireworks and New Year's Eve thing isn't something that we've ever put together, but starting the day after Christmas here in the Coastal Bend, the fireworks stands started popping up everywhere.

We're little disappointed in the park here.  Began last year when they put a destitute family in next to us (they litterally would leave in the morning in their van with signs begging for money in the window, park around H-E-B and elsewhere, then return for the evening.)  Their sewage emptied into a marine cooler, which Dad dumped into the pond behind us.  That was the final straw. 

This year, we had to endure a guy going through a divorce and his nightly f-bomb fights with either his twenty something daughter (who lived with him along with a 5 and 9 year old) or his soon to be ex-wife.  Not pleasant.  They've moved to another part of the park, and we're supposed to have new neighbors on the 1st, but nothing so far.  Park management said they had been warning him, but he's a "one more chance" machine since they moved him to another part of the park.

Got an ex-FEMA trailer moved into us on the other side with a big "Not to be used for housing" sticker on the window.  We'll see how that goes.

As always, the beautiful thing about this lifestyle:  if you don't like the neighbors, you can move.  That might happen.

Been putting the finishing touches on this year's travel schedule.  Hope to be publishing it soon.  The primary event will be Ohio State playing Cal at Berkeley, which gives us a chance to travel California.  Next winter, we'll be back to Tucson and Desert Trails RV Park which we really enjoyed in 2011.

About it for now.