Start Of Our Fourth Year Full-Timing

After being stationary for five months in Florida there were mixed emotions about packing up and being on the road again.  Excited, yes (It was too long for Gene not to be behind the wheel) but I also became really comfortable where we were.  We had a great time with a lot of our friends that have moved to Florida over the course of the year so it seems like we were picking up in the South where we left off in the North.  Who would have guessed 5 couples would relocate near each other.

So, Tuesday, April 4th was Moving Day. We weren’t going far just two hours north to Thousand Trails RV Resort in Clermont, FL. Spending a couple of days in Disney World with our friends Tom and Barb. since we haven’t moved our house in five months, so I was a little apprehensive that everything would function like it was supposed to. I completed all of the maintenance that needed to be done; changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, Checked the batteries with a hydrometer topped off the batteries where needed, cleaned and lubricated the Roadmaster hitch, cleaned and lubricated the jack rods and check the tires. The tires lost about 2 psi per tire, not much but I aired up anyways. I replaced the oil pan plug with a Fumoto Valve, which will make changing the 7 quarts of oil much easier. I also ran the generator under load for a couple of hours every month and ran the engine at a fast idle a couple of times for about 30 minutes. (I’m not sure that did anything except make me feel better) Everything went smooth, the 3 slides came in without any problems, the jacks retracted smoother than they ever did, and the engine started right up. The only problem we had was trouble bringing in our awning. Last problem I wanted. We had the awning motor replaced in Virginia last September and I thought we were done with that. Well it was a simple fix. Each awning arm has a locking knob and I forgot to loosen them. Problem solved. Add that to the checklist.

Last year we traveled about 10,000 miles in our coach, Made 33 stops including stops in between our major stops, of which there were twelve. We traveled west, north, east and south and spent the winter in Nokomis, FL.

This year we are traveling in the complete opposite direction. Reason being we need to end up in New Mexico for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October and didn’t want to crisscross the US adding about six thousand miles to our trip (Thanks Kelly!). We also want to see the Oregon Coast. The mileage for 2017 will be the about the same 10k, but we will make 47 stops including thirteen major stops. WHAT?!!! (that’s me, Eileen, reading this)

2016 map
2016 Map

April 4th and 5th

We arrived in Clermont about 2 pm and it was pouring rain. That scuttled our plans for a trip to Disney that night. Wednesday was a beautiful day! We put Max in Day Care (love that place.  It’s like a country club with doggie pools) at Disney and met Tom and Barb at Epcot around 10 am.

Tom and Barb!

First ride we went on was Space Ship Earth and it was a 30 minute wait. Nice relaxing ride to start our day. Disney takes your picture at the beginning of the ride and make up a story about you and show it to you on the way out.  How silly.  See what our would-be grandchildren are missing?


We were at Disney in time for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.


Eileen and Barb flying on wings of butterflies!


After a lunch of Fish & chips in England and Brats in Germany we took a boat over to Hollywood Studios for Muppet Vision 3D. Probably one of the best 3D movies I’ve seen and it was the Muppet’s, very funny!

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We took the boat back to Epcot Mexico for a beer and see Frozen, but Frozen was shut down indefinitely.  From what I hear from friends, it’s been going on for a while.  Sad for the people with kids that have one opportunity.  Lots of little girls dressed up waiting in line.  We picked up Max after that and called it a day.  We had season passes this year and saw that for three days in the parks it would cost us the same for a years pass, plus free parking (a $20 savings).  Crazy!  Sometimes it’s good to be a senior.

Next stop Fayetteville, NC to see family.


Winnebago Grand National Rally and a visit to The Blabaum RV Resort July 2016

This was our second time at the Winnebago Rally in Forest City, Iowa.  We met our good RV friends, Kim and Denise Blabaum there and then headed to their house in Wisconsin for a few days before making the trek back to the East Coast.  Also, had a chance to meet some new friends that are heading to the same FL. area as we are.  I guess since this was our second time at the rally, it was a little less hectic and we had a chance look around and hit more specific seminars that met our needs.  We also had a chance to get some work done on the rig at the Winnebago factory while there.

Long line to get into the Winnebago GNR.
We are first in line.
Kim and I were able to park next to each other.
Does my ass make this golf cart look small?
Watching the entertainment.
Blabaum RV Resort.  What a great parking spot!
One of the amenities of the Blabaum’s RV Resort is the owners take you out on the lake with their leisure boat.
Cocktails are served!
What a life!
Put the baby down and step away!


Another one of the amenities the owner will wash your motor home.
Cheap labor!


Perfect ending to our stay at The Blabaum RV Resort.
Our last night visiting our friends, Kim and Denise we lit some lanterns and sent them up…until next year!



On route I-80 East we found our doppelganger!
We both had just come from Wisconsin.
We’ll take the one that’s cleaner.

Michael comes to Ft. Collins – Greeley Stampede Rodeo June 2016

Talk about a delay!  We are delayed about 6 months  on our whereabouts, through our own fault.  Every time we talk about putting something up we get distracted and find something else to do or some place to go .  Anyone that asks “won’t you be bored in retirement” has no idea how time is flying by even when you don’t set alarms anymore.

We are now enjoying this so much that the kids have suggested they come and visit us wherever we are.  Only the exciting spots though.  To continue our blog about Colorado, we were here for two months staying near Mark when Michael called and wanted to visit.  The kids are so geographically separated that we try and travel to visit each during the year but it’s nice when they suggest visiting us.  We’re usually in a spot they would not get to with active things to do so this was a treat, plus he could stay with Mark.  So,  out comes Michael for some great times.  Lots of hiking,  Snow in June (with a smack of an altitude headache)…and yummy food.  He loved it so much that he’s going back to stay with Mark in February.

Hike to Horsetooth Reservoir One of our favorite places!
Overlooking Horsetooth Reservoir


Hunting for a geocache
Mark found it.
They used an ammo can as the container.




Someone was hungry. Got soup?

The Mayor of Old Town is one of the many local breweries in Old Town and had 100 beers on tap. No Shock Top though. When I asked for Shock Top the waitress told me they only serve local beers. Shock Top was born and raised in Fort Collins. Nice bar we had a good time here.
Trail Ridge Road


Looking down from the road that climbs up to the Trail Ridge Road.


Eileen and Michael playing the xylophone along Estes Park River Walk.
Just chillin.
Another geocache. Eileen’s found this in a roundabout near our campground.

The Greeley Stampede. Can’t remember the last time I’d been to a rodeo.



Bull Riding
Calf Roping
Bronco Riding


Hooter’s yes we were there for the food!

Final days in Palm Harbor

We took the MH to Honeymoon Island on Friday I asked the attendant if there was a discount for seniors and she said “no we’re all seniors here.”  That was funny. It was nice having the MH with us at the beach, being able to take a break from the sun and have lunch. Loved Honeymoon Island.

Left click on images to enlarge.


I have to say something about the RV Park we stayed at. Bay Aire RV Park in Palm Harbor, FL. Our camp hosts Larry & Cheryl were great, they knew we were new to RVing and went out of their way to make our stay a happy one. From helping us setup to recommending places to eat and visit. Not that we needed them but the bath rooms and showers were very clean as was the pool and rec room. Next time we go back to Bay Aire we will be in our own MH.

Bat Aire RV Park

We finished up our trip Saturday. Returned the 30 footer to Cruise American in Tampa. We did everything we were supposed to do; fill the LP tank, bring it back with as much gas as we left with, clean the unit and empty the grey and black water tanks. We got our deposit back plus we saved money on mileage. They charge .34 a mile and since we had a car rental we saved about $68. Between that $68 and the saved $60 in cab fare to and from the airport the car rental only cost about $25! Reflecting on our trip we enjoyed ourselves, learned a lot and came away with better questions than when we started. In the Spring of 2014 we hope to have our own RV.

Motor home pictures.

From cab looking to bedroom. Fridge & freezer on left, kitchen on right.

Left click on images to enlarge.

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With the door closed the shower and bathroom become one room. Looking from bedroom to cab.

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Glass enclosed nerve center.                                                        Camper at night.

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                                                                                                        Does this bumper make my butt look big?!  

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Our first trip in a rented 30′ RV

We picked up a 30 foot rental yesterday. All went pretty well. The rental agency was closing by the time our flight into Tampa arrived, so we didn’t get as much instruction as we would have liked. But all in all it worked out OK. We also had a car rental. Eileene was driving and we each had a two- way radio. We rented the car because the cost for a cab both ways to the Cruise America rental was about half the cost of the car rental and we plan to do a lot of driving this week. As most people have advised we went to a large parking lot and practiced, practiced and practiced some more. I found a video on backing up on YouTube that was very helpful and we were confident when we left the parking lot. We had a few places to go before we stopped for the night. I found that keeping it between the lines was a lot  like driving a car, but cornering was a challenge at first. I only took out one corner, Eileen driving behind me says it was two corners, but I didn’t take out any signs, people or fire hydrants. Got in and out of a McDonald’s OK. Stop to pick up a package from Billy and Lisa got an invite from Billy to a Labor Day cookout.  When we got to the campground the host backed me in. Eileen says she could have done a better job ha ha. One thing we found is a lack of 110 outlets in the rental. We usually bring an extension cord with several outlets on the end when we travel and we’re glad we had it this time. We found the A/C to be loud, but no more annoying than the A/C in a motel room. We’re not in a shaded lot so the A/C struggles to keep up with the 90 degree FL heat.