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Smile! Retirement is on the horizon!

A New Year

Today is January 2, 2014…I have been lax in writing in the blog and I am determined to fix this.  WordPress is having a “class” called Zero to Hero in 30 days.  I will be posting things that don’t necessarily follow my theme, but for the half dozen people that read this, bear with me!  Today I will tell you a little about me and my blog.

I decided to write a blog for a few reasons;  Since we bought a motorhome, I wanted a place to share our travels and pictures and the things we did.  Facebook is just not the appropriate place, as so many people can see when we are traveling.  Safety is a huge issue for both of us. I have started following several other RVers on blogs, and have gotten wonderful ideas of places to go, things to do and remodeling to be done. 

As for me, I am a career Fire Dept Paramedic getting ready to retire in 2 years.  Paul is my significant other and between us we have 4 kids and 6 grandchildren (5 are from my kids, 1 is Paul’s daughter’s first child).  Although we live in Florida, we are both from New England, Maine for me and Massachusetts for him, and visit there every summer.  An interesting fact…Paul and I met online and have been together ever since!  “Our” baby is our little copper dog called Sasha.  She is actually Paul’s constant companion and keeps him on his toes.

The next post will be all about the curtians in the White Knight.  They are finally complete!  I promise to post pictures!

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Home…finally!

Welcome to FL!! 001

Every time I leave, I love seeing this sign on the way home.  While New England is where I grew up and have a definite love for, Florida is home.  After 3 full weeks, 6 days of it on the road, it was great to see this sign!  The funny part about this sign is the one just south of it.  You really can’t see it all too well, but it says not to stop for pictures here, to stop at the Welcome Center a couple of miles south on I-95.  When I first moved to Florida, it was the second trip I made by car.  Both times,  I would see families standing at this sign taking pictures.  I imagine with traffic moving at 70+mph it became a danger that the state wanted to avoid.  Hence the second sign.  I took this out the window of the RV (at 70mph)!!!

We had a great trip, it is the longest vacation I have had since being unemployed in the late 70’s.  Coming back to work was really, really hard.

The trip back wasn’t without issues.  On the way to MA, we had to restrap the bike a couple of times, but she stayed put on the trailer.  Not so much on the way home.  We were using new straps that Paul got in MA, to make sure that she stayed put.  Well, Little Girl has a mind of her own!  We made it through MA, RI and CT with no problem, as we went through NYC, over the Cross Bronx Expy and the GW Bridge the road became uneven and very bumpy.  We got through there and onto the NJ Tpke and started along.  I happened to notice that there was a car riding beside us, and as I looked over the passenger was waving frantically and pointing to the trailer.  We knew instantly what was going on.  We pulled over and got out to check…in 70++mph traffic on the NJ Tpke…SCARY!!!  She had fallen over, but thanks to the highway bars on the front of her, she was not damaged, aside from some cosmetic issues.  We got her upright and strapped back down and proceeded onward!

There were other issues coming back.  We pushed too hard the first day, with the incident with Little Girl and then trying to make it to Fredericksburg, VA.  500+ miles in one day is just too much.  When we got to the RV park, it was late and dark and we were really tired.  The map wasn’t easy to read and we wound up lost in the woods in the park.  I called the office, thankfully there was an answer, and I tearfully told the man what happened.  He rescued us and got us safely to our site.  I felt silly the next morning when I went into the office and apologized to him.  He was really cool about it, but I still felt silly!

The next day, we were trying to get to my son’s house, about a half hour NW of Savannah.  Nope, another day that would have pushed us too hard.  We checked an app we have, RVParky, and found an RV Park attached to a Comfort Inn in St. George, SC.  We called, they had a space and so that’s where we stayed.  I have never seen an RV part attached to a hotel, but it was a cool idea.  We were able to get in, back the trailer and RV up into a space and relax for a while.  What a difference that made!

We did see my son and his family.  My “short people”, as I call them, are so cute.  I’ll talk about them more in another post.  The end result is that we made it home, returned the trailer to our neighbor and I was able to unload the fridge into the house before I wanted to collapse!

Another journey safely ended.  Whew!!

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Planning, planning and more planning.

IMG_6531

IMG_6531 (Photo credit: bankbryan)

I decided that I wasn’t going to post the few pictures that I took on the trip to Ormond Beach, there was really nothing interesting in them!  I hope no one was holding their breath to see them!  We did get the roof repaired and will take it to him in a week or so for some final details with the sealant.

We are now in the “OMG, we leave in just over a month” stage of our vacation with family and friends in New England.  I have spent part of today glued to the computer at work, in between calls, broken equipment and a chief visit, looking for travel information on I 95.  I found a really neat site,  I-95 Exit Guide, that I loved!  It had routes, toll information, RV sites…really important…and more.  I thought about ordering the book, but it was dated 2006!  There is an app, but I haven’t decided if I want to get it.  It all started when I thought about getting an EZPass for the tolls.  Here’s one of the things that irritated me to no end…I have a transponder for Florida, but it won’t work anywhere else.  In order to breeze through the tolls, I have to get a transponder from another state.  It doesn’t matter which one (it really does, I’ll get to that) as long as it’s through the EZPass system.  I started looking at the different states, thinking that one was as good as another.  Boy, was I wrong!!!  Maine has one that works with the other New England and Mid Atlantic states, no extra charges.  Mass has one that incurs charges and has a variety of rates, depending on where you use it.  By the time I got to Virginia, I was sick of the whole thing.  Each one works in the other states – except Florida of course – but then I had to decide what state, how much money I wanted to tie up on it and how to get it.  So that’s when I found the I 95 site.  They list the tolls on the entire length of I 95 except where there is no toll.  Sooooooo….the bottom line is I am NOT getting an EZPass, the tolls will be roughly 50.00 going North and 35.00 going south.  Don’t ask…it seems that some states want you to get out fast so they don’t charge tolls one or the other way!  Add to that, if we take the bike on a trailer, it will be slightly more.  That was another thing, one of the states said that if you are towing something, you would have to stop at a toll booth to have them adjust your toll.  REALLY?????

So this exercise in futility got me thinking about where we will stay the first night.  We hope to be in SC, maybe even NC.  I did some more digging and found a listing on Good Sam for Camp Pedro.  I laughed and laughed…this is the RV park attached to South of the Border.  Anyone that travels I 95 through the Carolina’s knows about South of the Border.  I was impressed, it got good reviews, and if nothing else, the entertainment factor is good too!  As the sign reads…”Pedro Sez” !!

The second night, we should be at Mohegan Sun Casinos.  They have an RV area, I have to download and print an application form to give them when we get there.  It’s called the Turtle Lot.  Boondocking at it’s finest!  It’s only for one night, so it will work.  Then we are only an hour/hour and a half from our destination!  Yay!

So…the only thing left to plan is the Maine portion of the trip.  I extended my vacation time in order to allow Paul time to rest after the drive up.  Lots to think about.

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