I know, I know, I promised pictures....bear with me as we get things sorted out, put away and I'll have some delightful pictures of our new rig on our first days in it at Fort Wilderness soon.
It's been a whirl wind since we arrived back in Homosassa from taking delivery. Last week we had a very nice luncheon with 22 of our on-the-road friends at Krackers in Crystal River. Gail from Gypsy Turtles had emailed me about getting together one day with a few other friends, and it just took on a life of its own from there. Its very interesting to me how my "rv lives" are starting to intersect, and the more people we meet, the more friends we have made, and their friends become our friends. And it all started from the RV Dreams rally in Sevierville TN in April 2011. We became friendly with several couples at that time, and many more as we've been workamping across the country. This has been, for me, an unexpected delight. I am, at heart, an introvert, and this has been very helpful in coming out of my shell. I'll never stop saying it, rv'ers are overall the friendliest group of folks you can have the pleasure of being with.
Medical appointments have filled in several days, for both of us and my mother. I spent a couple of days with her as she had outpatient surgery, and all went well. A by-product of us leaving our business and life in NY has been that we are in Florida for an extended period of time and are able to help her with things that need to be done. It is a complicating factor, but would have been so much worse if I were still locked into my business life up north.
We had a very nice afternoon with Phil and Rudee of Workin' Rv'ers. They were in the area for a job interview, so we invited them to stop and have lunch with us here at the house. We worked together at Amazon this year, and find we have a lot in common. Although we're not willing to abandon our coming jobs in Wyoming to join them at the Crazy Horse Memorial this summer, you never know if we might have a few days to visit this summer :-).
Al has resumed his boat operator job at the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park. I don't think I'll be back this winter as there is a lot on my schedule appointment wise. He's also been very busy with some work on the new rig, as our Progressive Industries Surge Protector needed to be installed, and now that he has so much room in the basement he installed our water filter system permanently in the rig, rather than leaving it outside as we had in the old rig. It may be overkill, but if anyone has seen the particulate accumulation on the filters you would definitely want the filter system in place!
Let's see, what else.....oh, we went to Disney one day, we wanted to renew our annual passes and check on the rental property we have in the area. Being a Florida resident gives us a definite advantage when it comes to buying passes for Disney. We buy what they call "week day select" passes, which allows us to visit the parks Monday through Friday. We are subject to black-out days, such as Easter holiday weeks, Christmas holiday weeks, and from Mid-June to mid-August. So, in other words, we can't go in when its super busy or super hot. Darn :-)! It works well for us, and gives us a significant cost savings over regular passes. Unfortunately, it did rain in the afternoon, but we accomplished our mission, had a fantastic dish of macaroni and cheese for lunch from the Wolfgang Puck Express counter, and visited the town of Celebration to check on the house we have over there that we have rented out.
A bit of a digression, but it goes to show you how plans change. Back in the early 2000's we were looking all over different areas of Florida for our "retirement home". It was also at the time when it was all "you better buy now because real estate just keeps going up and you'll never be able to afford it later". Well, we found a lovely home that we really thought would be our retirement plan, and we were able to afford it, so we bought it and then started renting it out until the time came when we would permanently move down to Florida. Luckily, its in a very good rental market, and it has been almost continuously rented since we bought it. The downside of it turned out to be that we really weren't thinking in an "older" frame of mind when we chose it. The house is not elderly friendly at all, and when our plans changed to leave NY, settle our family in Florida and be on the road most of the year doing the workamping gig, the Celebration house simply would not be a viable option for Al's mom to live in. This is how we came to settle our homebase here in Homosassa, and this house is our "exit plan" for when we need to come off the road, hopefully a good long time away from now. In the meantime, we continue to have the rental house occupied, and at some point in time when the housing market improves down here, we will be looking to sell it.
I often say this life is a "work in progress". Our plans are always evolving and changing. I have come to firmly believe, as Howard Payne says, there is no "right" way to live this RV lifestyle. Everyone's needs and desires are different. And we all find our own way to make it work. Some days are harder than others....but its that way no matter where you are. I'm still a lot happier out here on the road than I was the last few years back in our dry-cleaning plant :-). Still no regrets :-).
Next week will find us gathering at Fort Wilderness with several family members for a two week long reunion. I'm saving pictures of our new rig for when we're all set up in the campsite. And who knows, maybe some of our on-the-road friends will come and visit us while we're there as well :-).
That's it for now...have a great week!