Monday, April 24, 2023

4/24/2023. Heading Back to Ohio

Well we enjoyed Naples Fl.  We caught up with a bunch of family members on both my and Sandy’s side.  Saw the sites.  Enjoyed the beautiful 80 and 90 degree weather the entire winter.  Pleasantly surprised by how nice the RV resort was that we booked only from information on the internet.

We are now in Chattanooga TN checking it out for a possible retirement home.  Tennessee is a no income tax state.  After spending a week here looking at new developments we have decided it’s a “No” as to hilly and to cold :-).  We did enjoy our stay.  We even went to a local drag strip that turned out to be 1 mile from our campground and ran around downtown Chattanooga where they have a beautiful refurbished arts district which is worth seeing.   The search continues.

Here are some pictures of our adventures.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

2/25/2023. Naples Florida

Wow it has been a while since I have posted anything to our blog so this will be an all encompassing catch up on the last couple of months.

We though we would check out the Naples Florida area this winter.  We booked our reservations here over a year ago sight unseen.  Happily, to our surprise Crystal Lake RV Resort is beautiful.

We left Ohio 2nd week of November with an early snow storm on our heels and Hurricane Nicole moving North from Florida.  The first day we drove 6 hours south and spent the night in a WV rest-stop as winter nighttime comes so early in the hills. The second day we made it to Charlotte NC and grabbed a campground for two nights to weather out the rain and winds spinning off from Hurricane Nicole.  The great thing about the Charlotte stop is it allowed Sandy and I time to visit my sister Peggy and her husband William who live in Charlotte.  We toured their new lake house and had a very enjoyable visit.  It took us almost a week to get into Naples.  We took our time. Florida is one long state :-)

After enjoying the weather in Naples for a month, we took the tow car and drove back to Ohio for the holidays and some minor surgery for Sandy.  We were rewarded by -10 degree weather, and 12” of snow, but did have a white Christmas.  I may need to rethink my thought process of why I thought driving back north in the winter was a good idea :-).  

Driving the tow car North allowed us more flexibility to visit friends on the return trip South that the COW (although possible) would have required many more logistics to accomplish.  We stopped and visited Sandy’s sister Barb and husband Jim south of Washington DC, (good time was had by all especially the two sisters that I think never did come to bed :-)).  We visited my college Engineering Lab partner, Mark and Cindy in their new beautiful home in NC.  By the time we left their home my voice was raw from all the laughing, catching up, and talking we did over two days.  So much fun.  (Mark and I spent hours and hours together redoing, analyzing, writing up lab reports from 1978 - 1986 while attending Electrical Engineering night school.  Needless to say our wives Sandy and Cindy supported us immensely during this time and it still is very much appreciated).

We continued South stopping to explore the oldest city in the U.S. Saint Augustine, FL. From there we stopped to tour the 2023 Tampa RV show before finally getting back to Naples

Sandy and I both have family and friends in the Ft Myers/Naples area that we are catching up with here.  The weather has been unusually warm in the mid-80s so far.  At first glance Naples seems to be very upscale with many many Golf/Country Clubs.  We are enjoying our stay and slowly digging into the real Naples finding some of the local treasures.  Unfortunately the way winter RV Resorts book up across the country we have already had to book our 2024 reservations before getting a real feel for what Naples and the balance of Southern Florida offers us.  We will be in Mesa AZ for Winter 2024

Some other highlights:

  • Covid finally caught up to me.  My turn in the barrel :-).  And I beat it
  • Sandy’s Apple Series 6 watch flagged an AFIB problem.  Thanks to the Apple Watch we were able to identify the problem and get it corrected.  If you don’t have an Apple Watch—Get One.
  • The Awning on the COW bit the dust (from Sandy:  not up to Bill’s standards), but thankfully Carefree of Colorado with a little cajoling from me shipped a new one for free and it is now installed.  Very Nice.  (From Sandy:  Bill put his expediting skills to use on this)
  • We updated our tow car to a Buick Envision.  So Much Nicer than the 2012 Equinox we were towing
  • Sandy has us booked thru April 15 2024 so stay tuned, as the COW is still on the move :-)
  • We are hopping on the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train in July for a 10 day trip through the Canadian Rockies (Vancouver to Calgary, including Jasper and Banff national parks and Lake Louise) for our belated 40 year Anniversary trip.  Boy she is a saint putting up with me for over 46 years now.

Note:  This has been co-authored, spell-checked, corrected, modified, rephrased, reworded, and grammar checked by my beautiful wife Sandy so I know absolutely without a doubt that everything is perfect :-)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

9/8/2022 It’s all about spam

As a kid in the 60s we ate fried baloney and if lucky Spam. It was great fried with eggs on campouts  

I am a big fan of spam that I am😂,Sandy doesn’t seem to share the taste for such a delicacy😉

Anyhow while here in Iowa I discovered that just across the border in downtown Arlington Minnesota there exists the one and only “SPAM MUSEUM” and I was successful in convincing my beautiful wife to go with me. She can now say she has officially been spammed!

Did you know there are multiple flavors?  Or that it is sold worldwide? Or that the state of Hawaii is the largest consumer of spam in the United States?  You do now!

The museum is free and they give you samples. Yumm!  They also have a store that sells everything spam. We (at least I) enjoyed the visit. Its an hour stop in a nice older downtown. Here are some pictures

Monday, August 29, 2022

8/29/2022. Salt Lake City. Time with Friends

From Twin City we spent 3 enjoyable days with the Gaither’s.  Kim Gaither was a Girl Scout Leader a few(?) years ago with Sandy.  Kim acted as our tour guide and driver (which I very much appreciated).  The first day she showed us around the her town of Farmington (suburb of Salt Lake City),  arranged an enjoyable hike, and took us to lunch at a restaurant for delicious crepes.  The second day we traveled up into the mountains east of Ogden to Windsurfer Beach on a water reservoir.  I was amazed at the people along the reservoir enjoying outdoor sports by water skiing, kayaking, boating, stand-up paddle boards.  People around Salt Lake truly enjoy the outdoors.  After the reservoir we drove to farm stands for fresh fruits and vegetables.  I was surprised of the sheer number of farm stands.  They were scattered along every mile and the produce was very delicious and inexpensive. The third day we met Kim and Don for several early morning pickleball games.  We introduced the game to them in Mesa and they’ve been practicing ever since.  We’re going to have to make finding pickleball courts along our travels a priority to keep up with them.  Then another urban hike and more visiting and we had to say goodbye for now, but we’ll be through the area again as we traverse the country and look forward to more visits with them.