This is our life, and it is just too cool. When we left the Roadtrek rally, we traveled about an hour north to Bushnell, Florida and checked in to the Escapees park there for a week. During that week, we saw old friends (fellow Escapees) presented one seminar at the Escapees park, another one at a retirement community in Zephyrhills, and then a seminar and a hands-on class at another RV resort. So, in one week, we had a couple days of pure R&R and 4 ‘gigs.’ Then we were on the road again, headed to Fort Lauderdale for a stretch at ‘home.’ We started late, after our hands-on class, so we just drove till we were tired and pulled in to a Turnpike Rest Area, turned off the key and relaxed with a glass of wine till we went to bed.
Escapees Park in Bushnell
The park is called Sumter Oaks and we’ve been by here before, but never stayed. It is by the Escapees RV Club, and we are members of that club. We knew that the managers this season are Wanda and Wallace who we know well from their work at Escapades and also that Bob and Molly, the directors of the Escapades were also there. It is a gorgeous park with huge live Oaks and bordered on a beautiful Cypress swamp, the first night I pushed Jim to go for a walk all around just before sunset – set my DSLR camera to auto-bracketing in hopes of getting some nice HDR shots compiled by Google Plus. If you want to learn more about this technique … here’s the Google+ help page. Meanwhile, here’s the results:
The Cypress Swamp:
I think this is my favorite … a huge Live Oak:
Then, just as we were drawing a blank when we asked each other, “What are we going to do for dinner?” Molly came over and invited us to a cookout. Beautiful setting, good food, good friends.
And, as long as we were going to be there for a week, we might as well do a seminar! Wanda thought that our Smartphone/Tablet overview would be the best received. We had about 40 people show up – it worked out well. Here’s Jim getting set up:
Betmar Computer User Group in Zephyrhills
We gave a seminar at this group last year. They are part of the APCUG (Ass’n of PC User Groups) and we are on the speakers’ bureau. Zephyrhills is about an hour drive from Bushnell, so this worked out great. This time they asked us to present our Facebook seminar … how fast things change! Just a couple years ago, “what is facebook all about” was our most popular topic. Now we found ourselves talking about how young people are leaving Facebook, and us older folks still use it all the time and are looking for advanced tips and tricks! We had a nice group – hope they feel they learned something.
I know I learned – but not in a good way. I hate when technology makes a liar out of me! In this case we started to demonstrate what I think is a very important tip: “If you have a friend that posts too much garbage, you can limit the garbage you see from them without UNfriending them.” Well, the technique that we showed even just one month ago … wasn’t there! (go to the friend’s profile, click on the button that reads Friend and you should see an option for Settings – there you can specify what you do and don’t want to see) the option for Settings has disappeared. This has happened before and we use it as a teaching moment to demonstrate using Help. This time, even help didn’t reveal where these settings have gone. It appears that we simply don’t have the option anymore to specify “only important” or “only pictures” or “not shares and comments”. hmmmm Has anyone else noticed this? Found a way?
Our last gig was only 20 minutes in the other direction. We’ve been to Florida Grande a couple of times and found a very appreciative group. It is an upscale Motorcoach resort in Webster, FL.
This time we spent 3 hours on the first day presenting “Technology for Travelers” and taking questions. We really enjoy working with this size group … we felt we had enough time to cover any questions they may have, so we told them to write questions on slips of paper and we collected them at the midway break so we could answer them all in the second half. Then, the second day we charged a fee and told people to bring their smartphones or tablets and we’d show them some of the things they probably didn’t know about using the cameras in these devices. That was really fun.
Jim even made sure they had a subject for the video portion and flew his little remote controlled “skywriter” around the room!
We left there about 4:30 and started heading for Fort Lauderdale about 4.5 hrs away. We don’t like to be on the road too late, so about 8pm we called it a day and pulled into a Turnpike rest area. I find it hard to believe but I still get a thrill at the idea that we can just stop our vehicle, and we’re home. Let the Rest of the World Go By! With some earplugs to ease the truck noises – we slept great and woke up to a foggy morning in Florida ready to get back on the road.