Monday, October 17, 2022

A sociable week and new teeth

 Monday: Date night We started October off right by going to our favorite restaurant - Cooper's Hawk. It's also a winery and we joined the club to get one bottle each month. It gives us an excuse to go.

Friday: Next up, my old high school friend, Leslie Golay - now Leslie Sheffield, invited us out on a boat ride . YES! She and her husband, Rich were great hosts. We went up the intracoastal and out the Hillsboro Inlet for a little bit of ocean time. Then, on the way back we stopped at Cap's Place - a historic, accessible by boat only, bar-restaurant.

Monday: Then came Jim's sister, Debbie's birthday - we're the same age, so it was a little preview of what's to come for me at 70! Nice party. 70 is the new 50 doncha know!

But wait, there's more ...

Tuesday: Gone with the Wynn's meetup in Miami

Jason and Nikki Wynn - aka "Gone with the Wynns" have a very popular YouTube channel about living on a sailboat and traveling around the world. We met them when they were RVers and have kept in touch. We were actually hoping to meet up wiht them in New Zealand - but Miami will have to do for now!

Friday: Dinner with Christine Hall who lives in Thailand

I knew Christine back in the 80s when she took classes at my training center, Computer Savvy. I always remember her because she was the most determined student I ever had. We kept in touch somehow and ended up friends on facebook as I followed her travels and actually settling in Chiang Mai Thailand. I would love to visit her there someday, but when I saw that she was visiting Fort Lauderdale, I jumped right on email and asked if we could get together for dinner. Our conversation could have easily lasted many more hours than dinner! She has continued her interest in technology as well as travel. She even introduced me to a tech group message board for expats in Chiang Mai - cool!

Sunday: Dinner with best old friends, Chris and Richard

It seemed appropriate - Chris and I became friends back in 1984 when I first moved back to Florida. We belonged to a group called "Week of the Ocean" and the group met every week at Coconuts restaurant on the water. Wow! It's gotten a LOT busier over the years.

New teeth

You may never have noticed my crooked and discolored teeth, but I did. I wasn't interested in going thru the time and work of braces, but when my dentist said she could give me a new smile with 4 crowns and a little bit of filing, I said yes. I justify the $4,000 as my birthday present for my 70th birthday. I love my new teeth! It helps me feel younger.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Last stop - the beach - then home

 Gamble Rogers State park is our favorite, and it's hard to get a reservation for the beachside sites. We always check, and if we can snag one, we'll make the stop. I need to remember for next time though that many beachside sites still don't have beach views because of all the shrubbery. Try to get sites 11-23 odd numbers for a clear view out your back window.

Theses old farts even went and played in the surf. The water was so nice and warm.

Next stop ... home.

All is well, even the plants did OK - except the hibiscus out front, it was dead as a doornail. Oh well, I want to do something else with that front entryway anyway.

It took a week or so, but we finally had the perfect day for kayak diving!

Monday, September 12, 2022

At home in 21 feet

It's a rainy morning in the Doughton park campground. We're so glad that we dumped and took on water and got gas yesterday. That means that we're good for anything we need to do. This was our 5th night with no hookups. We've cooked every meal except one in the camper. These campground didn't even have showers, so we had the rare joy of using the shower head in our tiny bathroom. It's called a wet bath, because the whole bathroom gets wet when you use the shower. In the five years that we've  had the road trek, we've only used it once or twice.
We ran the generator to make coffee and we decided to have oatmeal for breakfast. We usually cook on an electric, induction, cook top, but I didn't want the noise of the generator any more than we had to so we used the gas stove. Hey! It worked! I'm not sure we've ever used it before.
With the rain keeping us inside, cooking and cleaning giving us something to do and, oh yeah, we had pretty good cellular signal so we could catch up on news, and some YouTube channels we like to follow. We felt so at home that we easily spent the entire morning in our cozy little camper, only leaving when we had to for checkout time of noon.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The perfect morning

We go to bed early when we're camping, so I was awake at 6:30am. I stared out the windows at the pristine woods that surrounded our rv and watched as darkness turned to speckled light from the rising sun. I'm looking, futilely, for bear. We had no cell signal or wifi, so I couldn't check email or Facebook. I was tempted to pick up my phone to read my kindle book that was downloaded, but I chose the path less taken and just laid quietly with my thoughts, comparing the dappled sunlight to the ideas and topics that flitted through my brain. One of those thoughts was how grateful I am to have Jim. He does double duty. First, he enables me too do these things. He is good at things I'm not, like vehicle maintenance and driving long distances. Second, and miss important he is my partner in sharing these wondrous experiences with me. We enjoy so many of the same things, liked living in a small vehicle! So, as he stopped, I rolled over to give him a morning hug and kiss and mostly a great big smile. I'm a happy girl.
We get up, stow our sleeping bags, and get dressed. The campground we're in, Peaks of otter, has a companion Lodge with a restaurant where we planned to get breakfast. It's a little over a mile walk, a lovely walk, thru the woods and around a lake. The lodge served a delicious breakfast, had a picture perfect view, and good wifi! We were able to check out email and download offline maps for the rest of the trip.

Walking the mile back to our camper, my apple watch and Jim's oura ring proudly informed us that we'd reached out exercise goals for the day.

Fully rested and relaxed, good exercise and filled with beauty. 

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Relax, take it easy, don’t stress

We got back to LBI on the Jersey shore on Labor Day weekend, so we decided to sit tight until that was over before hitting the road to go back home. I can never get enough of the beautiful sunsets from our driveway parking spot at Jimmy's house.

For the trip back, we decided to do the Blue Ridge Parkway. We've been there before, but it's been a long time. We know it's beautiful and we're up for it. We started with the Skyline drive that turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway. So here's our whole route ...

Skyline Drive - thru Shenandoah National Park

I can feel it in my muscles and my bones. Traveling on the skyline Drive with solid green scenery, no traffic, no cell service, and no electricity at the campgrounds. Your one choice is to just be. The driving is sometimes steep, always curvy, but it's still relaxing because it is so beautiful and so little traffic. This is not just a scenic road, it is a Scenic Road. It was built for the stated purpose of providing access to scenic beauty and it runs the length of the Shenandoah National park. Trucks are not allowed and, if you know what's good for you, you don't drive a big rv here either. No commercial traffic at all, no trucks on the road, no businesses beside the road, no billboards or any signs other than directions. There is a scenic overlook it seems like every mile or even more.  Our little camper van is so perfect. 

The campgrounds are beautiful, and empty. We stayed at Mathew's arm , the northernmost campground on the skyline and at Loft Mountain, the southernmost. I even found a perfect spot for some on moms ashes at loft mountain. Right in our campsite, a beautiful old oak tree with a cubby hole in it and I could just heart her say, "I wish I could just curl up and go to sleep in there", so she did.

Our comfy bedroom is so nice when we can leave the back curtains open and see forest