News Flash! Not, really…just an update on my whereabouts.

So, I haven’t written in a while……It’s not because there has been nothing to write about, it’s just that something’s are difficult to describe and put down on paper. Plus, I’ve just spent the last week sick with the flu or a really bad cold, whichever it was.  I don’t care as long as I’m feeling better today.  One thing about living in an RV, if someone gets sick, you hope and pray it’s not you, but it seems inevitable that it will be you.  My mom has tried to stay as far away from me as living in a motor home will allow, which is not far.   I wiped down everything with Lysol wipes and try to keep my heaping pile of snotty Kleenex away from her.  The other day panic ensued when she had a spoon in her mouth  that I had just used….but thankfully she washed it first. Whew!  Crisis averted! I am left wondering how the hell I got sick because I am an avid hand washer and hand sanitizer user.  Almost to the point of obsession….I said ALMOST.   I don’t believe I’ve used a handrail in the last 20 years.  Mom and my sister Beth say it’s because of that, that I now have no antibodies to protect me.  We discussed me going to the nearest mall to lick a handrail in order to get some.  Ewwwww.

We are now sitting at a Starbuck’s because the RV resort that we are currently in has free WiFi….oh, that is code for “we don’t really have it, we pretend in order to get people to stay here”.  When we arrived here at Gulf Water’s RV resort in Fort Myers, we were given two WiFi codes.  Mine would allow me to get email subject lines…but not the actual content of the email, but mom’s was great….she would get the whole email!  But, the excitement didn’t last because they shut mom’s code off because (and yes I am quoting the RV park manager here) “you have used more bandwidth then anyone in the entire park”.  I had a hardy,  mucusy laugh at that one.  One of the park employees said that Facebook and YouTube used a lot of bandwidth (pretending that she knew what that actually was)….which mom does not use either of.  I guess that the retiree’s at this park use a stone tablet and a chisel to send messages to friends and family members.  Luckily, I have unlimited data on my cell phone, so I’ve been relying on that instead.  But, it’s difficult to write a blog with that teeny tiny key pad.

So, that brings me to what I’ve been up to…..We were supposed to stay in Cudjoe Key until January 19th.  But, we both felt like we were on a deserted island and realized that Island life was just not for us.  I know people will think “how can Key West be boring”.  Well, I’m not a big partier and if you don’t like booze filled, smoke-filled evenings with drunk people, then this place is not for you.  Yes, they are all like that…but, to each his own and they can keep that place.  Key West is also not known for their beaches.  I believe that we only had one day at a beach that didn’t have TONS of seaweed/grass washed up on it.  There are no natural beaches in Key West and every bit of the sand is trucked in from another part of Florida.  I know that some of you are most likely shedding a tear for me right now…Beth…but, don’t.  We decided to head up to civilization before we both became suicidal, plus we were sick of driving 40 minutes to a KFC.

Anyway, We had some bad karma going on down there too.  My dad, niece, two nephews, my great-nephew, my nieces husband and my nephews girlfriend all flew down for Christmas. (My sister Beth was supposed to come but had to have an emergency appendectomy and couldn’t fly)  We rented a house for them in the RV resort my mom and I were staying at.  The evening that they arrived, my nephew had a terrible accident and we all thought that he was dead.   STOP!  He is fine.  But, let’s just say that there was a lot of blood and we were all extremely traumatized by it.  I still have nightmares about it.  He only had 6 staples put in his head and had a concussion, but thankfully he is fine.  I’m not sure that rest of us will be!  We did try to have some fun after that.  We rented Jet Ski’s one day and went on a 90 minute bone jarring ride around the entire island of Key West.  To let you know how much fun it was: My mom and dad were waiting for us on the beach and when we returned, my niece, Samantha, got off the jet ski and yelled “I F—ING HATED THAT!”  Mom and dad cracked up laughing, but she was dead serious.  I was torn between loving and hating it because we went VERY fast, which I enjoyed, but it was really rough and I’m surprised that someone hasn’t gotten killed doing it yet.  I had blisters on my hands from hanging on and we were all pretty sore the next day….not to say that is any reflection of what great shape we are all in.

After we took everyone to the airport, we were depressed and then topped off the holidays with me getting a $130 speeding ticket on New Year’s eve.   So, we decided to get the hell out of there before a hurricane came.

We spent one night in the Midway Campground in the Everglades on our way up to Fort Myers.   The campground was small, I think it only had 30 spaces and no water or sewer hook ups.  You could not even get a cell phone signal.  We had to get in the car and drive 30 miles in order to call home.  I was afraid to actually get out of the RV and walk to the car in the dark because we were given a flyer when we checked in about the alligator’s in the pond and what not to do when we saw one.  All that I could imagine was one hiding under the camper waiting for a snack. And if it did try to eat you how would you call an ambulance?

We did spend the day taking an air boat tour.   Driving thru the Everglades is certainly a lot different then riding thru the marshes on an air boat.  It was very beautiful there.  Our tour guide reminded me of someone who might be in the witness protection program.  His beard didn’t look quite “real”, he had these mirrored sunglasses on the whole time and had some pretty interesting tattoo’s.   He was actually very enthusiastic about the Everglades though and knew a lot about the Indian tribes and the wildlife there.  But,  the greatest part was that I got to hold an alligator.  He was surprisingly soft.  I kind of liked him….the alligator, not the tour guide.  Although my sister Beth would’ve definitely given him her phone number…the tour guide, not the alligator.

So, here we are in Fort Myers.  We are leaving on Monday to head further up the coast and will spend a week in Palmetto before going to Sarasota.  We plan on staying in Sarasota until March 1.  But, if I’ve learned anything on this trip, it is that you never know what you will feel like when you wake up each morning and what you may want to do.  So, We’ll see what happens next.

So, I’ve probably left a lot out….but, hopefully the next place we stay has great WiFi and I won’t have to go sit at a Starbucks all day!

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Turning 50 and thankful.

01a9d287640be9bbe296b3c5b12df64cabd30017aeYesterday was my 50th birthday. Does that make me old now?  Because I certainly don’t feel any older and I definitely don’t feel any wiser.   We decided to do something special, so we booked a hotel in Miami Beach and drove up for the night.  We stayed at a really cute little hotel right on the beach called The Beacon.

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It was just what we needed.  Hotel, night out, Mojito’s and king crab legs.

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What more could you ask for, for the big 5 0?  Well, not much. But, here are a few things that we saw in Miami Beach that everyone could use:

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Seriously though, do women actually wear these things? All I can think about is how painful it would be.  Maybe I am getting old.

I was going to say something philosophical about turning 50.  But, I remembered something a very wise woman once said  “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  So, I’ll just leave you with one piece of wisdom that I think I’ve finally accepted.  Life is too short to waste on things or people who SUCK!  See, isn’t that profound?

 

11/27:

Today is Thanksgiving! So a BIG Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  We’ve been feeling homesick and I think holidays make it harder to be away.   Our family never spends holidays apart and this was not an easy day.  Fortunately, we will be together for Christmas, so I think we will survive.   I always thought that the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” was bullshit, but maybe there is something to it after all.  Or maybe it just applies to your family.  No matter how crazy they drive you when you are around each other, you still miss them when they are away.   Although I do really miss pumpkin pie right now too.  Okay, so it applies to family and pie.   Can someone send me a piece of pumpkin pie?  Anyone?

To all of my family and friends, I am thankful for all of you.  I’m serious.

Happy Trails.

 

Friendly Floridians

I think it was inevitable that I would get sick during my travels, but even though you know its bound to happen it still SUCKS.  I had not felt well for about a week, so decide to suck it up and go see a doctor.  We spent 4 hours in the walk-in clinic in St. Augustine….boy, that was fun!  Fortunately, there was a little girl waiting with her mom and grandmother that kept the entire waiting room entertained, otherwise there may have been some violence!  Turns out I have “”Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo”….Yes, it is official….I’m DIZZY!  For the past several years, I thought that I was having ear infections, but according to this doctor, I do not have an ear infection.  So, He does the “Epley Maneuver” to try to fix it, which is basically flinging you backwards with your head tilted to the side to induce an episode of vertigo. It was like being on Mr. Toad’s wild ride without being in a teacup. It was supposed to re-adjust the crystals that were in my ear canal.   So far….nothing.  It’s not that I’m dizzy ALL the time, it’s just that I don’t feel….right and if I looked up or  bend down…or look in a different direction very quickly, then I have horrible vertigo and almost fall down.  It probably looks like I’m drunk.  Maybe I should just get drunk and stay that way until this passes!  I’m hoping this will run it’s course soon, because it’s exhausting.

**Last night, my eye was itching so I rubbed it.  I got up and my mom looked at me and said “Oh, My GOD, what just happened?”  I’m not sure what happened or what bit me but my  eye swelled shut in 3 minutes flat.  Mom had to run to the drug store and get some eye wash and eye drops that were recommended by the pharmacist.  I swear to god, someone has a VooDoo doll with my name on it.**

Despite my vertigo affliction, we have been roaming our new location.   we went to the Jacksonville zoo two days ago.  I have a love/hate relationship with zoo’s, because I still find myself wanting to see the animals.    When you are a kid, seeing exotic animals that you normally only read about or see on TV, was such a big deal.  It was a thrill.  When you are little, you don’t understand what being in a zoo is possibly like for the animal.  I remember going to a “zoo” here in Florida one time and we thought it was funny because there was a chimpanzee going crazy in this tiny round cage.  At no time did we think “Oh how horrible for that poor animal”.  Now as an adult, I still get thrilled with seeing wild animals, but it’s also difficult  to see them in these small enclosures and cages.  Some of the exhibits were pretty large, but most of them were really small and some of them were dismal.  The Bonobo exhibit was really, really crappy.  Most of the zoo left me feeling sad. (There was a turtle humping another turtle…that was pretty funny, but otherwise…it was sad.)

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Today we went to the Castillo de San Marcos, the fort here in St. Augustine.  Another place I visited when I was little, but do not remember the least little bit!

It was interesting but I imagine that when I was little, that all I probably wanted to do was go to the beach.  Actually, I was wishing that I was at the beach this time too!

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One thing that both my mother and I have noticed here in Florida is how friendly people are.  The day we spent in the walk-in clinic, we met a woman who was with her mother and her 3-year-old daughter.  (This was the little girl who entertained the office while we all waited.)  We learned that the young woman was pregnant, when her due date was, that the Grandmother had just moved in with them and she had run out of her medicine, which no doctor seemed to care about.  Her little girl, Jazzilyn, was incredibly friendly and immediately gravitated toward my mom and wanted her to read her a book. Then, last night at dinner we met a woman, her brother and her mother.  Her mother was 90 years old, her brother had a horrible car wreck 20 years ago in which the doctor’s told them that he would never walk again.  Surprising everyone, he was walking.  His wife left him after 5 years and he now lived with her.  It seems that everyone we have met here are VERY interested in sharing their life stories.  Some people might find this annoying, but I actually find it fascinating.  I don’t believe that I have ever been in a doctor’s office back home and someone’s child interacted with strangers the way this little girl did.   And I certainly never went out to dinner back home and had complete strangers tell me their life stories.  I’m sure not everyone in Florida is like this, but so far, we’ve been lucky enough to meet some pretty nice people.  Maybe it’s all of this sun.  Maybe the farther south you go, the friendlier the people get!

Another thing that we have noticed is that everyone we meet in the campgrounds automatically wonder where “the husband” is.  Yesterday, when I was getting some things out from under the camper, a man walked by and said “I noticed you are the one doing all the work around here, where’s your husband?” I told him that I was traveling with my mom and he said “Were did you learn how to do all of this stuff?”  First of all, what the hell?  Is it 1950? Seriously, every couple we have met have asked those types of questions.  Today mom was talking to a couple and they wanted to know, if it was just the two of us, then who was driving the RV?  Like, surely a WOMAN is not driving that thing!  Mom explained that I was driving it and they were both  shocked.  And They are not the first ones we have met that expressed that sentiment either.  I’m not sure I understand what’s going on here.  Surely, I’m not the only female that drives an RV?  I also  know that no one wants to hook up the sewer hose, but how hard is that?  You can read how to do all of this stuff on-line!  That’s where I’ve learned to do most of it. The next thing you know someone will ask me where I learned to read!   Maybe I should start a single, female RVer’s web site for those of us that are apparently….surprisingly competent.

Happy Trails to all the competent females out there!

 

D.C. and Williamsburg Virginia….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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10/20:  Took the train into D.C. yesterday.  There is so much to do there, but we didn’t have time to do everything that I wanted to.  We went to the Holocaust Museum first and it was difficult to see.  There were several people who brought their small children to see it and I’m not sure that it is something that I would want my kids to see at such a young age.  I think that it would be difficult to explain.  There are a lot of very graphic photos and video’s all over.  While some of the most graphic are somewhat hidden behind half walls so they can’t see them, I think the ones that are visible are bad enough.  I was okay until I got to the special section called “Daniel’s Story”.  It’s the story from a child’s diary, telling about what life was like before and after Hitler took over and how he survived being in a concentration camp.  His sister and mother did not survive.

We went to the Smithsonian’s Natural History museum for the sole purpose of seeing the Hope Diamond.  It is one of the few things that I remembered seeing when we came here on a family vacation when I was little.  Unfortunately, that part of the museum was closed.  I was so disappointed because I wanted to see if it was anything like I remembered. Here’s is a picture from that trip:Photo(5)

I was also a little sad because the museum was a little run-down.  They really need to do some refurbishing or at least paint the walls!  We went to one of the IMAX shows playing and it was pretty cool.

The people there were so nice.  A policeman helped us get the correct train tickets and even took us over to the machine and made sure we got what we needed.  Then a security guard in the Smithsonian actually walked with us outside and made sure we knew which way to go in order to get to the Ford’s Theatre.  It was unexpected but a pleasant surprise and  made up for the rude people of Massachusetts.  We walked around and went to the International Spy Museum and were going to go to Madam Trousseau’s, but they were closed.  I was shocked that a lot of the attractions closed at 6:00pm!  We really didn’t get to do any of the things that we had hoped to do while here, like going to the White House…but, maybe next time.

10/21: Made the uneventful drive to Williamsburg.  Realized that KOA campgrounds are the best places to stay.  Out of all the campgrounds we have stayed in so far, the KOA’s are the cleanest and nicest.  This one is no exception.  The site has a brick patio and a swing!  They have “ambassadors” that actually take you to your campsite instead of just handing you a map and letting you go find it.  This is such a nice touch.  They really do make you a Happy Camper.

10/22: Rained all day here.  So, we went to the Williamsburg Outlet stores.  I really need to stay away from there!  They had the best stores!  Not the usual “outlet” crap you usually find at outlet stores.  They had actual items that would be sold in the NON-outlet store.  It was a good day to stay inside though and watch something on Netflix.

10/23: We went to Colonial Williamsburg today.  I remember nothing of this place from our visit during my childhood.  It was interesting but not some place that I would actually go out of my way to visit again.  We had a short tour of one of the “taverns” and learned what it was like back in the 1700’s.  Supposedly George Washington visited the one we were in.    Really didn’t think much of it, so we came back to the campground and did laundry.  It was about 68 degrees and sunny today, much better than yesterday, but I’m ready to move further south and enjoy some really warm weather.  Tomorrow we will head to North Carolina and stay in Fayetteville one night on our way to Hilton Head.  I am SO looking forward to sticking my toes in some sand.

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