This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Sunday, 2 February 2020

Glad to be back but the weather could be warmer

Blue Jay RV & MH Resort, Dade City Florida

Hello everyone!
It is so wonderful to be back home even though it is only our temporary home for the winter. Benno was waiting with the doxies at the the Tampa International Airport cellphone lot and picked me up after I had called him 04.30 PM on his cell to get me at the arrival exit. This airport has a designated cell phone notification car waiting lot with large display panels showing the arriving planes and when the baggage of each arrival flight is being processed. After my 10 and a half hour flight from Frankfurt Germany, my pre flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt and two-hour drive in my rental car at 5 a.m. in darkness and pouring rain to the airport, I was tired and could hardly wait to fall into Benno’s arms. Two little doggies wagged their tails inside the truck as I got in and Benno whisked us away into the rush hour traffic of Tampa.

Tired but so happy to be back

Meanwhile here at the park we got some new neighbors occupying the spot next to us and another new RV one site over. The spot behind us is still empty and the folks next to that space left yesterday for a campground in the Florida Keys. An older type park model was torn down during my absence the next street over and the two new halves of a brand new park model still sit at the same spot as they were before I left waiting to be moved into place. There are always comings and goings at RV Parks and the longer you stay at the same spot, the more you find out about the residents. It is a nice and quiet community here and I find everyone very friendly. 

Apparently there were some windless days here while I was in Germany and Benno used those to get some practice in with his drone. I can tell he enjoys flying it and he showed me some of the moves. I realize it is easier to watch than to control this little machine, that’s for sure.

The weather in Germany was typical for this time of year and area we were at. Most days or I believe 98% of our stay we had an overcast sky with occasional rain or drizzle around 3-6 deg. C/37-42F, so just above freezing and in that part of the world at 6 p.m. it is already pitch dark outside. However, apart from the weather, our accommodations were wonderful. We had rented a vacation flat, fully furnished. It was on the first floor of a beautiful home with a balcony accessible from both of our rooms overlooking a nicely landscaped garden. The owners lived downstairs. My sister and I had each our own bedroom and own living room. We shared a fully equipped kitchen; separate dining area and a spacious bathroom with two sinks. There was nothing we missed or could have asked for and it made our stay a pleasant experience however sad the occasion.

My rental car with a glass roof

Our balcony but a bit cool to sit outside

A tribute to our Mom, may she rest in peace

After unpacking, taking inventory of the almost bare refrigerator before going shopping, one of my first chores was to try and revive the two flowering plants I had pampered and nourished before I left. Somehow they didn’t fare so good in my absence, but I am sure it must have had something to do with the weather. I am now trying to relax; knowing that our Mom is at peace and so are we.

I think the flowers will survive

Thanks for following my blog and lets see what we are going to do next.

Sunday, 19 January 2020

A little break from my blog

Fredenbeck, Germany

To all our dear friends and blog readers. My absence from the blog is because I am again in Germany. My mom passed away today and my sister and I were fortunate to be here and to have spent her last days and hours with her. When I return to our travel trailer at our  RVPark in Florida I will resume my blogging. My apology of not having left comments at other blogs, but Blogger or perhaps Google will not cooperate. As soon as I pressed  post my text disappeared into cyberspace.
Wishing everyone a happy time wherever you are.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

From Christmas to New Year’s Eve

Blue Jay MH & RV Resort, Dade City, Florida

On Christmas morning Benno was the first one out of our door as usual. First Reggy and then Elsa take their morning walk with Benno while I start making breakfast. So it was Benno who discovered that Mrs. Santa Claus, I suspect her first name is Eileen, had been visiting our trailer during the night leaving a pretty little stocking filled with chocolates hanging by our door. What a lovely surprise.

At breakfast on Christmas morning Benno broke off a piece of a tooth. I swear I had nothing to do with it. Actually it was an old fix of a prior damage that just didn’t hold any longer and can be fixed again. Christmas day pretty much then revolved around talking to family, noshing on some German chocolates that have been a tradition at Christmas with us ever since we were kids and later on feasting on our special dinner, which this year consisted of Angus Ribeye Steak with sides of Brussels Sprout Salad, Mushrooms with Onions and a good part of a bottle of white Spanish Muscat wine.

On Boxing Day Benno suggested we take a drive to the Brandon Mall by Tampa to participate in the Boxing Day hype. Of course he didn’t mean that but I was ready to walk off all that good food from the previous day so agreed to check out that shopping mecca but I could not shake off the feeling that there was a hidden agenda or mission involved. I mean my husband willingly wants to go to a mall, and on Boxing Day? The I-75 toward Tampa had almost bumper-to-bumper traffic and the north lanes experienced a terrible multi car accident, which turned them into a gigantic parking lot, but our south traffic lanes flowed like thick molasses toward Tampa. At the mall we even managed to get a parking spot in the shade. It’s a huge mall with plenty of stores to peruse but not before long we strolled into an Apple Store. 

"Honey, this is the one that I really want"

Aha, I should have known, because of no surprise to me, they had the famous new DJI Mavic Mini Drone in stock. Benno had been talking about this particular drone a lot lately. Many years ago Benno had a fascination with helicopters and was going to purchase a building kit to build one by him self. Back then I was able to talk him out of it by redirecting his interest from flying into boating. However, this time I have to wave the white flag and surrender. Thank goodness this thing is little and you don’t have to sit on it or get onboard. 

"Please, please, can we buy this aircraft?"

"Thank you! I'm so happy now"

Last winter in Yuma, Arizona, our friend Bill, from "On Our Way" had shown off his DJI drone and this put Benno on fire. On top of that, one of our sailing friends David, from "Just A Little Further" got himself a Holy Stone HS 720 drone and this just added oil to the fire. I have to admit, it’s a neat toy. Another good feature is its weight. It only weighs 249 grams and can be flown without a pilot license as per current regulations. Nevertheless we think it is a good idea for us to enroll to get the basic drone license to learn and be informed of what the regulations are, when we are back home in Canada.

Travel case and view what is inside

Folded Drone, battery charger, remote control

When Benno opened the box of the DJI Mavic Mini Fly More Combo back at our travel trailer I was impressed by the DJI’s compact travel case. The contents are so neatly packed and there was the aircraft with spare batteries, remote controller, extra propeller blades etc. According to the manufacturer it can fly a maximum of 30 min. on a battery charge and some folks have flown it up to 5km/3miles range and a return and in addition it has a fantastic camera for pictures and movies. 

DJI Mavic Mini Drone with unfolded motor arms

DJI Mavic Mini with optional mounted propeller guards, below
is the Flight Controller with our Samsung A20 home phone
with the DJI Fly app

Weather-wise the temps this past week were up and down here in central Florida and a couple of days the sun was totally absent with rain off and on but warm and humid. I spent a few hours of my time at the puzzle table where Eileen joined me and together we managed to finish one 1000 piece puzzle and started a new one, just because we can.

Benno and I would like to wish all of our family members, friends, acquaintances, and blog readers a healthy and happy 2020!  

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Merry Christmas to our family, friends and all our blog readers

Blue Jay MH & RV Park, Dade City, Florida

Benno and I are grateful to be spending another Christmas south of the border in our travel trailer. This year we are in central Florida in a lovely RV Park with just a small group of RVs but a larger community of snowbird residents in park models that have been coming to this place for many years. 

Most days we drive into the town of Zephyrhills, a trip of about 8 minutes to do our purchases. A little closer is the town of Dade City, which also hosts a lot of stores but on a smaller scale and then there are the shopping malls closer to Tampa along the I-75 that offer more of the same.  It seems we always find something to do but I don’t mind to just hang around the travel trailer with something to read or to walk with our two Dachshunds around the complex.

The Florida weather has been a bit of a letdown in the last week with a lot of rain pounding our trailer all day long and even beating down through the night. It’s still overcast today but it looks promising for tomorrow with warmer temperatures and maybe some sunshine.  In-between showers the sky displayed a double rainbow but by the time I found my camera and had rushed outside to take a quick picture they started to fade.

picture of the gopher catcher taken from inside through the fly screen

The maintenance crew in this park has a tough time keeping the resident gophers at bay so they hired a cat to help them out. Actually, Elsa and Reggy volunteered too, but I would not let them get involved in the digging. 

By the way the RV parking spots on the street ahead of our row of RV parking is under construction. All concrete pads had been removed, the ground was leveled, gravel and more dirt were added and interlocking stone is now in place for the RV parking. It looks nice already and that will probably be the end for any gopher’s living quarters. Our RV parking in this street is also being scheduled to receive the same treatment and renovation.

I blame this shot on my camera ;)

Two nights ago our RV Park joined up with two adjacent RV parks for a Christmas theme decorated golf cart parade. Sadly the imminent rainstorm made all the participants race at top speed through the park so that my pictures were a total loss. I was just not prepared and could not find the proper setting for my camera in the dark.

With the cooler weather I had been creative with my dinner creations but will only post the BBQ pork loin pictures for now so you can tell we wont go hungry.

Oh, and before I forget, those Croc shoes finally showed up in our mailbox and Benno didn’t loose any time to put them on, but somehow I think there is something wrong with them :) 

I leave you with a nice sundown picture taken from our travel trailer and tonight's gathering around the fire pit at Eileen and Don, our neighbour's site. 

Thank you for hosting this Christmas Eve gathering

I would like to wish everyone a joyful Christmas. And to our son Dominik, a Happy Birthday, good health and happiness in the coming year.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Some good deals and a break from the heat

Blue Jay MH & RV Resort, Dade City, Florida

After two days of hot temps here in mid Florida, we cooled down today to 76F/24C. There was even a shower here at the RV Park but we were away at the time shopping in Zephyrhills where it stayed dry.

I had found out that Bealls, a department store, carries Benno’s favorite style of Crocs shoes. On Monday we had gone to the Aldi Store in Lakeland where I took advantage of some great food deals, like a dozen large eggs for 78 cents and family packs of pork loin and chicken breasts and many more good deals. However, there was also a large Bealls store close by. Of course I combined the outing to pop into Bealls to see if they had the elusive Crocs. They had, but wouldn’t you know it, not in his size 10.

Baked parmesan crusted chicken breast and green beans
we ate on Monday (Aldi foods)

So today while we were in Zephyrhills where there is also a Bealls store, I gave it another try to find those Crocs.  Yes, they had that style and color, but just as I had feared, only in sizes 12, 11 and 8. Darn! Not to be defeated I talked to a store sales associate and found out that they cannot order any more shoes in but I could order them online for the same store sales price to be shipped to the RV Park, which I did right there and then. I got a confirmation of my order by email but it did not say when they would be shipped. We’ll see what happens but my hunt for the shoes has stopped. For now.

Tuesday dinner of Lake Erie Pickerel fish filet I had in the freezer from home
with a herb cream sauce

Another first for us was a visit to the “Rural King” store. We weren’t familiar with this kind of a chain farm store and found that it is like a TSC (Tractor Supply Center) but five times or more the size of a TSC. They had several varieties of live chicks in the store, which I found most interesting. Honestly, I didn’t know so many different kinds of chickens existed. However, Benno found a good deal for a Hitch Ball and I thought to give the package of “Amish Kluski Noodles” a try. They look like “Spaetzle” and I will report once I cooked them. Oh, and a new pair of jeans landed in my shopping cart as well.

How about:
Columbian Wyandotte, Egyptian Fayoumi or
Black Australorp Chick?

Out in the parking lot there were several unique motorbikes parked close to our truck. Haven’t seen any like these back home in Canada.

You must think we are out shopping every day, but we do get restless sometimes and you can only do so much reading and relaxing, so a little window shopping and browsing of stores that are not familiar to us, is kind of interesting too. 

Tonights dinner we had Cordon Bleu pork tenderloin
I stuffed the pork with Prosciutto and Jarlsberg Cheese

These two signs we spotted here in front of two mobile homes and they made us smile.

Thanks everyone to visiting and I hope you all had a good day as well.