Monday, January 31, 2011

RVer Lunch at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill in Lakeland, FL THAT's a catchy title for a blog.....NOT! LOL! But the day was terrific. We headed out on the motorcycles shortly after 10 am, leaving Sadie secure in the garage of the rig. Stu took her out for a bicycle ride to burn off a little energy. We knew folks would be disappointed that we didn't bring her but knowing the lunch would probably last 2 hours, we didn't want to leave her outside that long, especially since chances are that we wouldn't be able to see her through a convenient window.

We had a gorgeous 50 mile ride to Lakeland, nice back roads and little traffic mixed with lots of sun and no wind. What more can you ask for?

As we pulled in we saw folks already congregating. We milled around the parking lot for a few minutes making quick introductions and then moved inside. Even though I had called twice to arrange for our group, they said they didn't have us on the schedule. But no matter, in less than 10 minutes they were set up for 29 people!

By 11:40 we were all seated, everyone had arrived and introductions were done. A few of us had met each other but for the most part, we were only blogging/Facebook friends. I asked everyone to be sure to sit next to someone they didn't know. We had full-timers, part-timers, snowbirds, temporarily grounded and hoping to retire soon folks. Great group!!

The next 2 1/2 hours passed in a blur of good food, great service and wonderful conversations with new friends. Every where I looked folks were talking to those sitting close or wandering around mingling. We definitely recommend Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill in Lakeland....if you are ever in the area!

Here are some shots of the folks....

Here are some shots of the food....

Here is the list of attendees with links to their blogs where I know you will find more photos...THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Great weekend...and a great week to come!

What a great two days we've had. Yesterday started out with us riding to Gator Harley-Davidson in Leesburg for the Classic Car and Custom Bike Show. They had a nice turnout and we enjoyed walking around and checking out all the cars. Here are a few photos of the event, the full album is at Gator Harley Bike and Car Show, Leesburg FL

This was Stu's favorite....

These were mine...

As usual, when it was time to load up, Sadie was the center of attention. Lots of folks stopped by to chat and ask about her riding. Needless to say, she ate up the attention. LOL!

We headed out for a place called Deputy Dog's for a Chicago Dog experience. Stu had never had one and I'd been craving one. I think the last time I had one was with a former co-worker and friend in Atlanta, at Skip's Hot Dogs.

As luck would have it, they were out of business and the address was now a pizza place. So we opted for Bob Evans, not having been there for a while and knowing I could always find a good meal within my caloric budget. (Yes, I've been watching what I eat and have finally dropped a whole 3# in a month...but that's better than gaining, which is what I have done too much of in the last year.)

From there we headed home which took us past the PEARS dog park. Since it was the weekend we knew it would be busier than during our last visit. Boy, was it ever! We tried Sadie in the mixed size area but this time around the little dog there decided that after the first couple of minutes, he was done with it.

There was a gorgeous 9 month old Doberman in the large dog area and the owner told us she'd love to play with Sadie. So we moved over and just watched as they raced, ran, bumped, jostled and ran some more. They were having a blast!

Then another dog arrived...a Boxer and Golden Lab mix. He took to Sadie and Duchess right away and once again the race was on. Next came an Australian Shepherd mix...he played for a bit but I think the activity level was a bit much as the owner took him over to the disabled/elderly area. Finally one more mixed breed appeared and the four dogs really started romping.

Sadie was determined to keep up with the big dogs...she gets a little too rough for the little dogs. The big dogs are much better for her to play with...LOL! Believe it or not, there wasn't one bark, one growl, one menacing action...regardless of the teeth showing in the photos. This was true, joyful, joyous dog play in action!

You can see them on video HERE and the rest of the photos HERE (newest at the top of the page). As always, Sadie has HER say about the day HERE. LOL!

Today we left Sadie napping while we ran errands. While at the Car/Bike show I had picked up a pamphlet for Preppy Pet Suites. There was a location in Leesburg, their prices were reasonable and we wanted to check them out before making arrangements to board her while we're at the Firefighter Reunion this week.

We were impressed...clean, no smell, lots of play areas and various size pens. They get taken to an outside exercise area 5 times a day and you can opt for social play with other dogs by the full or half day. We arranged for a large kennel (since she's so active) and half-day socialization.

This will be SO much better for all of us rather than trying to deal with her in a hotel room. The bonus is we can do the same when we take my two grandgirls to Universal Studios later in February. It gives us time to enjoy the evenings with the family and not have to worry about how she is doing. We'd have to pay for kenneling at Universal during the day and pick her up at night. This works out wonderfully!

From there we headed to Denny's for a late lunch. Ever since we had breakfast there with Kim and Jerry, I've been craving some more of their blueberry wheat pancakes with turkey sausage. Yummy!! (It also comes with 2 eggs and a side of fruit.)

Wal-Mart was right across the street so I finally got my hair cut (all of them) and picked up the few things we needed to hold us over till we get back from Orlando on Sunday. The ride back was refreshing and we splurged with ice cream and coffee at McDonalds. When we got home, little Miss Sadie was still napping....yesterday definitely wore her out!!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS. For anyone interested, I have started writing again at Hopping Through Life. Hope some of you will follow me there as well.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Toilet Paper and RVers

Bet you think I'm going to write about what kind of toilet paper to use....wrong! This is about what toilet paper manufacturers are doing to us.

It all started so innocently. Remember when coffee prices went sky high so rather than raise the price they decreased the can size. Suddenly we were paying 16oz prices for 12oz.

Next time I noticed it on canned goods. Same thing. One pound cans were now down to 14.5oz but for the same price. I'm sure you can think of more....

Well, now it's hit the toilet paper companies. No, it's not the number of sheets on a roll (they know we look at that). It's not the ply because as RVers we search out the one-ply brands. First they started decreasing the thickness of the ply...not bad in two-ply but in single ply it really makes a mess.

Okay, time to switch to a pricier brand...Scott rather than store brand. Next thing I notice is the rolls are narrower. Seriously!! I stacked up the new rolls beside the older ones...almost an inch difference. Put it on the toilet paper roller....slides side to side because it's so narrow!

What next? Jeesh!!! So, anyone notice anything else being subjected to the incredible shrink ray?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

No news here so lets check up on our readers!

Not much new in our neck of the woods so thought I'd let you know what some of my readers are blogging about.

Paul and Marti of R Sanity RV Adventures is asking your input on emergency road services, who you use and your experiences.

Donna and Dennis of Cave Dwellings are concerned about feet today...Donna's feet to be exact.

Jeanna of Four Windows with a View discovered the RV show she planned to attend was half a country away!

Lynilu of Never Ending Journey survived her second day at work and reveled in the fact that her pups are now well behaved enough to not worry about!

Teri, another too young widow, of Teri's World is reading old journals from her Grandma Mary who traveled the country by car. She's wondering how others track their daily travels.

Annie & Roxanne of The Good Luck Duck are concerned about health insurance once they hit the road and are looking for input from others of pre-retirement age.

Kerri of Homeschooling Solo is celebrating the lack of snow in AL while Will of The (not even close to) Daily Snooze is bemoaning the single digit temps in Maine and Gail of Gail & TC's Travels is making snow angels.

Marty is visiting South Padre Island, Leslie and Bill are in New Orleans, Motty and Patti touched down in Israel today, Mike and Terry are enjoying Las Vegas.

Paul and Jo are busy geocaching, Paul and Marsha finished the new desk in their RV, Nellie of Diary of a Midlife Cruiser impatiently awaits her new computer,

On the medical side, Jim and Gayle of Life's Little Adventures had a little ER adventure found out that Jim has gallstones while Carol of Carol K's Journey managed to get her carpal tunnel irritated.

Some RVers are making the transition to homeowners and part-timers: Karon and Dan and Mike and Gerri.

Some RVers are enjoying Quartzsite with friends like Janna and Mike, Ellie and Jim, George and Suzie, Sharon and Don, Rod and Deb, Brian and Heidi and lots more.

I'll close with a couple of photos I snapped from my phone....Florida sunset after rain.

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday, Monday, Friday.....what day is it?

Being retired, compounded by being a full-time RVer traveling as desired means you often forget the day of the week, what month it is and sometimes where you are....LOL! It felt like Saturday all day to me....not sure why since we dealt with Saturday traffic yesterday.

We woke up to cool temps but sunny skies with winds gusting to around 20-25mph. We wanted, no we NEEDED to take a ride on the motorcycles. It had been too long. Once the thermometer hit 58, we pulled on our warm clothes, layered up, put Sadie's fleece coat on here and took off for Ocala area.

Some of you have heard of Five Guys, some not. I was introduced back in Maryland and since then we have enjoyed them in Florida and Montana. It had been too long so we headed north to what we thought was the closest one.

My mouth was watering for their fries....fried in peanut oil with the skin on, takes me back to fries from the 60's. Their burgers are hand pressed patties. You decide on the toppings. YUM!!

The ride home was cooler, 52 when we got back and by the time we got unloaded and de-geared, it had dropped to 48. Went all the way down to 30 last night...brrrr!

Today we went to breakfast with Kim and Jerry, blogger friends. Stu unloaded the backseat of the Freightliner and we all rode down to Denny's in it. I was tickled to find a new menu item which I ordered. Wheat pancakes with blueberries and turkey sausage with two eggs and a side of fruit. Yummy!!!

We sat there and chatted for over an hour, then headed back to our rig where we chatted for several more. Finally the setting sun sent us all scurrying inside our rigs...great day!! (Sorry, no pics...we all forgot!)

Tomorrow we hope to do the Webster Flea Market....if the weather cooperates we'll head out on the bikes by 9 and kill several hours walking the grounds. Fortunately they are pet friendly. Will report back and will TRY to remember the camera. LOL!

Okay, now to some serious news, especially for those in Quartzsite. This was posted on Facebook by our good friend, Sharon Del Rosario.

You may have heard about an explosion/fire in Quartzsite last night. The owner's name is Paula, and she's part of the group called "WIN" (Wandering Individuals Network). They're on Plomosa Rd around mile marker 2.2, directly across from the Escapees SOLOs, where we're currently parked. Both groups have taken donations from members to help her. The Toyota Class C motorhome was an older one, but probably new to her. I don't yet know the cause of the explosion/fire, but it was a total loss. No one was injured.

Paula didn't have a pet, and she managed to save her computer. Not sure about a phone, but I know her cash and credit cards were destroyed along with everything else.

The only way I know to reach her is through the WIN group. I figure she's probably staying with one of them. You'll see them (checkered flag logo with the word WIN in the middle) across Plomosa Rd from the SOLOs (yellow smiley face with an Escapees wagon) around MM 2.2.

I hope that the huge groups of great RVers at Q will jump in here and see what they can do to help. No idea what her insurance situation is but regardless, she is now homeless and possession-less.  We can all be glad we are not in this situation....

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Child's Play

When was the last time you....

  • chewed a big wad of bubble gum and blew a huge bubble
  • made a snow angel or built a sand castle
  • blew soap bubbles, the bigger the better (wetter)
  • tried on goofy hats and posed for photos
  • played with Play-Doh and ignored the feel/smell
  • got on the floor and raced cars
  • climbed the jungle gym, slid down the slide or swung in the swings
  • played Chutes and Ladders or maybe Clue 
  • colored outside the lines in your coloring boo
  • wore a truly outrageous outfit and didn't care what anyone said
  • jumped rope or played hopscotch
  • climbed a tree and read a book
  • rolled in a haystack or jumped into a pile of leaves
  • mooned somebody
  • danced like you did at 16 and didn't think about how you looked
  • dyed your hair some wild color (temporary is good...LOL!) and flaunted it
  • pretended to be some character you love...just for a day or even an hour
  • wore wax lips or teeth...and not at Halloween
  • played in the sprinkler 
  • wished on a star
  • shot squirt guns
  • wear silly pj's, have a pillow fight and tell bedtime stories
  • had a marshmallow fight
  • jumped on a pogo stick or twirled a hula hoop 
  • tried yo-yo tricks or counted bounces with a paddle ball

You get the general idea.... We have spent most of our adult lives being responsible and "acting like adults". We have earned our second childhood. Take time to enjoy the simple things, play games, Be Silly, LAUGH OUT LOUD!

"I want to be an outrageous old woman who never gets called an old lady. I want to get leaner and meaner, sharp edged and earth colored till I fade away from pure joy."

I have to admit to not being real good about this, but I am working on it. Doing things that I would never have done 10 years ago. What do you do to keep your inner child nurtured?

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS. Nellie, this blog doesn't apply to you...I know you do all this and more, ALL the time. LOL!


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