(I've been so lax in photos that I will post a few of the area from last year!)
Manatees at Three Sisters Spring
The first week was pretty much taken up by activities with an old friend visiting from New York. Al and Ed wore themselves out playing golf, we tried a few restaurants in the area, card games aplenty were played, and we had an overall nice week. Cooler, but sunny everyday until his last day here. We also rented a pontoon boat one afternoon and cruised up and down the Homosassa River, seeing tons of manatees all around. When it gets cooler out, the manatees come further up the river into the warmer waters of the springs. If you haven't been down to this area before, the manatees are a really big deal, and to prove it, National Geographic magazine has a feature article on the manatees of Crystal River this month that is very interesting reading. I was hoping to have some pictures of them myself, but I was not prepared and found my battery dead in my camera shortly after we cast of from the dock!
Manatees socializing in the warm spring water
Let's see, what else?? Dental visits are done for the season, yay! Doctor visits are done for the season, yay! Veterinarian visits...almost done; Casey needs his teeth cleaned, and Chelsea is having a couple of growths removed. Chelsea turned 11 years old this past week, and except for some arthritis that is slowing her down, she is doing great for her age. I don't think we'll be able to take her along on any long hikes this summer, but there's plenty of short trails in the Acadia N.P. area for us to explore.
Speaking of Acadia, we were notified by our boss at Mount Desert Narrows CG in Bar Harbor that our background checks have cleared, we passed, :-), and we are now "officially" hired for the season. We start May 1, and our final day will be 10/15. This is a little longer than what we've done in the past, but we're looking forward to it as the fall is a beautiful season.
Limpkins at Otter Springs
Ok, since we moved onto the starting date of May 1, we might as well update the trailer status. Friday we had a call....it's ready!....sort of. Our service tech sent me a message, asking us to call that morning. So we did, and after commiserating with her over the horrid winter they've had up there, we delved into the business at hand. Our trailer is all reassembled, the minor items all taken care of as well, and went to the "leak test" area, where it also passed. It was over in detailing when someone noticed an overlooked item from our punchlist....there was also a hairline crack starting under the bedroom slide that we had asked them to look at. Unfortunately, it had been passed over, and when the technicians were called over to look at it and determine a fix, they feel they want to replace THAT side wall as well. Unfortunately, that will necessitate a longer time at the factory than we have left. (Ok, Bill K., go ahead and call and say I told you so!!). They offered us a few different options, and long story short, a mutual agreement was reached that we'll pick up our unit next month as planned, and then we'll return it to the factory January 6, at which time we have a secure work slot scheduled, the wall will have been pre-ordered, and the work will take a few days, of which they will pay for us to stay near-by in a hotel. I am completely astonished at how much Keystone has been dealing with this issue, our service rep Robyne has been fantastic, keeping us apprised as each step has been completed.
Cedar Key Florida
So, we are now set for an April 17th departure from Florida, headed to Indiana first. We will pick up our trailer on Friday 4/19, and then have the weekend to get everything put back in it...yes we had to empty all our "stuff" out before going to Keystone! On that Monday we have an appointment at the MorRyde factory where we are going to upgrade to the IS suspension and disc brakes. We're thinking a tire upgrade as well, we're going to discuss that with them this week. After that is done, it's off the Maine. I'm sincerely hoping the snow will be gone by then :-).
The last item of note would be a visit with Tom, Marci, Nicholas and Bryce of Roaming Free 2010, fellow RV-Dreamers we met at the rally in 2011. We took away so much from attending that rally, but by far the best has been the friends we made there and continue to see on the road. They've been spending this winter in Florida, volunteering at Lover's Key State park, and are now slowly headed west to their summer gig out in Mancos, CO. We spent a great afternoon visiting and chatting up a storm at their campsite right here in Homosassa. While there we also saw friends we had worked with last year at Otter Springs, Nancy and Bill Lee, and caught up on the gossip from there. Its a really neat life :-).
The coming couple of weeks will find us doing some fun things with our family. Tomorrow we are headed for a day visit to Tarpon Springs, about an hour south of us. A game of Marbles, Cards and Jokers with Al's cousins is Tuesday:
Marbles, Cards and Jokers...contact me if anyone is interested in purchasing this hand-crafted board set, I know the crafter :-).
A fishing trip out of Tampa for some of the family is planned one day, a big Easter dinner is on tap as well. The following week Al is going on an overnight fishing trip out of Tampa ( he has to get his fishing fix in!), and we are also planning a day at Disney World at the Flower and Garden Festival.
Lady and the Tramp topiaries
This year they have food booths with sample size specialties of the different countries....oh it's going to be a bad day for the old diet :-)!
I also need to get busy planning my routes north! That's about it for this segment, I hope everyone has a Happy Easter holiday.