This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Monday 26 December 2022

Happy Boxing Day

To all our faithful blog readers I hope your Christmas celebration were just as you had hoped for. Although there was some nasty winter weather in many areas of the USA and Canada I hope you were not affected by the snowy and blustery conditions accompanied with a deep frost. As per the news the worst is over and people are slowly digging out of their houses and clearing snow drifts from their driveways and cars.

Back home things seem to be not too bad, but of course I don't know how in what condition the roads are. Hopefully most folks were able to stay at home and the ones that had to go out I hope they were careful and took their time.

Look at the nice snowdrifts in our backyard

Benno and I enjoyed the Christmas Day in our RV. The dogs got their walks but otherwise things were very quiet here in our RV Park. We managed to talk to our families and so knew that everyone had a good Christmas.

The turkey breast I had purchased cooked in our small electric turbo/oven/toaster for about two hours and turned out perfect. Dinner was delicious and our dessert was a big plate of German type Lebkuchen goodies that are a tradition and from which we nibble every so often.

Hoping everyone had a good time and is looking forward to celebrating the end of this year next week.

Thanks for dropping in again.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to our family, friends and everyone that keeps reading my blog! Also a very Happy Birthday to our son who is fortunate to call this day also his birthday and he was Benno’s and mine very best Christmas present ever!


So it is very quiet here in our RV Park today. Part of it is this chilly weather that keeps everyone in their respective RV with the heater on a comfy setting. Yes, it was freezing last night and will be cold tonight too, but no snow!


Photo was taken in the afternoon while the Hydro crew was still working

We were monitoring yesterday the progress on the repairs for the blown over hydro pole. With the blizzard like conditions, high winds and way below freezing, the repair crew sure struggled. Checking with our neighbors we were told that later in the afternoon the truck with the auger that was trying to dig a new hole for the replacement pole had to give up and call for a larger unit to come and take over. I believe the repairs took over 12 hours and were finally done sometime during the early night and my poor neighbors were without heat and electricity until then. There were power outages everywhere, which also caused Internet outages throughout yesterday and today.


Our sprinkled travel trailer

Hopefully the worst is over and folks can get into the festivities of the season. Here in our RV Park many sites have Christmas decorations and lights strung up. Our rig has the traditional sprinkle lights shining onto the side of the travel trailer and indoors I have strung a garland across the slide out decorated with Christmas ornaments in lieu of a Christmas tree so we have more room to move around.


Our garland all decorated and lit

Here are photos of some of the Christmas decorations in the park.


This is our park's office


Have a Happy and Jolly Christmas everyone!


Friday 23 December 2022

You can‘t let your guard down

So it has been just over a week since my last posting. In the meantime Benno and I were sick. Yes, the dreaded Covid caught up with us. It is all around here in Florida and it is hard to pinpoint where we got infected. However, our participation at the ice cream social was not one of our better choices, I think. Since we were both vaccinated and boosted, symptoms were pretty light for me but Benno got it a bit worse. (Don’t men always suffer more when it comes to colds?) We are both much better now but Benno keeps taking Robitussin Cough+Chest Congestion DM medication. On the suggestion of our next-door neighbor, who works at a local CVS pharmacy, Benno took Mucinex DM pills and drank Electrolyte Solution that kept him hydrated when his first symptoms started. First he did not want to touch this Electrolyte solution and was pointing out he used it to fill the car battery with this stuff and he does not want it to burn a hole into his stomach on top of this Covid crab! Well after some research I convinced him that it is not the same stuff and it is for babies too, I ask him to try at least. Voila, he is feeling a lot better now!


We are in for a couple of very cold days and nights for Florida standards and they happen to fall on Christmas Eve and Day. Well, we are planning to stay in anyway and a turkey breast purchased at the Publix supermarket is going to be roasted in our oven. 


The weather had been mixed the last week with a couple of cloudy days but overall nothing to complain about. The Gum tree next to our parked travel trailer is giving us a bit of grief with its constant shedding of leaves and dropping of prickly Gumballs. Add to that the wet grass from the morning dew, and it makes a mess. A couple of spots here in the park have recently become vacant and we are waiting to move over to a new spot without trees. It should happen in the next few days, hopefully.


Back home in Canada a vicious winter storm is in full force with extreme freezing temperatures. This morning I checked our NEST cameras (we got four) just as the snow started to come down with strong winds whipping around the house. The doors of our garbage cubicle were open and flapping in the wind and my nice neighbor Teresa came to the rescue to shut them close. As a point of interest, our NEST Cameras, as well the NEST Thermostat for furnace and air-condition and the NEST Smoke detector we can view and control where ever we are per laptop, iPad and or iPhone. Some years ago, while I was in Germany attending my sick mother my iPad had come on with a message that there was smoke in our house in Canada and the alarm came on. I quickly sent Benno a message asking, “What did you burn?” Turned out he burned his breakfast toast in the toaster oven because he forgot he had it set for pizza that he made the night before. Apparently the toast was not fit for human consumption.


However, just about that time this morning the Hydro pole across the street fell over onto the road with live wires attached. As of now as I am typing this, the Hydro crew put a pole back up but the power is still off at our and our neighbors houses and that means no heat going. Of course it is -17C that feels like -30C with the wind.


I leave you with some of the promised photos of the new dog park that Elsa and Reggy totally enjoy to run around in. I’ll keep you updated tomorrow of how things went back home.


The smaller dog park is behind the gates

If you look closely Reggy and Elsa are at the far end

Thanks for dropping by again.


Thursday 15 December 2022

A rainy day in sunny Florida

Although I had promised to take a photo of the now finished dog park extension, you have to be patient with me as I forgot to take a camera or phone with me the past few days when I took Elsa and Reggy there. The owner told me there would also be hoops, barrels and other obstacles for the dogs to play and train with in a box at the far end that we could use. Wow!

Last Monday we needed to do some grocery shopping. My fridge is slowly making room for local food and we combined it with some other things we needed in Leesburg. Home at lunchtime and then we headed out again to Webster, which is about 15 minutes drive from the park. Every Monday there is a huge flea market with fruit and vegetable stands and next to that area an everyday sign/garden ornaments etc. business. We were a bit late for the flea market as most vendors were ready to pack up. It didn’t matter as I had already bought what I needed in Leesburg. But now I know and perhaps in coming Mondays I’ll check out what is available.


Yesterday it was Reggy’s 7thbirthday and of course both dogs got their annual wiener sausage. It’s a fun event for us to watch them gobbling their treat. This time we skipped the party hats and silly paraphernalia.


The weatherman had forewarned us of a system passing through with a lot of rain for today. He was spot on with the prediction and right after breakfast it started to rain. Then it poured in a torrential downpour close to the tropical experience on the Rio Macareo in Venezuela on the trip to the Rio Orinoco for hours, like coming out of a fire hose. My goodness so much water but at least it disappeared in the ground and doesn’t stand around like back home where we have clay soil. There was not a soul to be seen in the park. Benno and I curled up on the bed with books and the dogs napped all day long until about 3 p.m. when we had a break in the weather and I quickly went out with them so they could do their business.


Tomorrow the sun should be back out and we will emerge from our hibernation. Thanks for stopping in again.


Sunday 11 December 2022

One week has gone by in a flash

Its unbelievable to me that today we are already a week in this RV Park. Talk about time flying by and having a good time. But of course we were busy with daily trips into Bushnell and Leesburg for small purchases. One item we bought was a leaf rake that can be taken apart for storage. It would not have occurred to me to bring garden tools, but there is a Sweet Gum Tree standing next to our travel trailer that in addition of shedding brown leafs had also been dropping lots of round, prickly seed capsules all over the ground. We raked them up and the groundkeeper took them away for disposal. Just imagine me sitting under the tree and being bombarded with some prickly balls and then they sticking to my hair. I’d have to cut this tangle mess off. This tree is a nuisance for sure although it looks nice and provides shade on hot days. We would prefer to park on an open field with only grassy grounds without shade, but I believe those have all been taken.

Our nice and friendly next-door neighbor lent us his leaf blower so Benno could clear the roof of the RV and blow any debris from under the solar panels off that the broom would not reach. Well, it’s the first time we are staying in this park and most folks around us have come here for a long time as well as some that stay year round.

We learned that the park’s previous owner passed away and his son has recently taken over, so there are changes going on. One of them is an additional dog park adjacent to the already spacious one that our two dogs have been enjoying. The fence is already up and it will be operational in the next few days, so I will try to take a photo. The combined grounds for the dogs are as large as a football field with neatly cut grass. Reggy and Elsa loved the freedom of running to their little hearts contents.


On the next lane over from ours there is an inflatable large dachshund as a Christmas decoration next to a diesel pusher. Those folk’s also own four little dachshunds and I will take a photo of them the next time they are outside in their enclosure. They are very cute little rascals!


I noticed that every afternoon three Sandhill Cranes stride quietly by our site. I presume they are looking for handouts and don’t seem to be very shy. Perhaps I can find some seeds at the Rural King store to feed to them. It would make for a good photo opportunity. 


At the community hall there is a sign out front advertising every day of planned activities, as is the case in most RV Parks, I think. Also we were given a sheet of activities for this month that has everything from line dancing to movie nights. Next to the building is a smaller building with new exercise equipment in it that looks inviting. It is new and the park owner is waiting for the consent of the Insurance Company so we all can use it.


Benno and I enjoyed this afternoon the free Ice Cream with a bunch of same-minded folks here in the park and we got to learn the first names of the people on our table. I hope we’ll remember them all.


Thanks for dropping in again.


Thursday 8 December 2022

Continuation of yesterday’s blog

So after turning off the faucet at the RV post Benno discovered quickly where the culprit of the leak came from. It was the PEX fitting of the cold water supply to the outside shower, which had cracked from the frosty night (-8C) we experienced up in Canada. We had never used the outside shower and the fitting was located behind the water control panel that he had to unscrew to get at it. Of course back home we would have a spare part and tools for it. Nope, we didn’t bring them and it had not occurred to us that residue water could accumulate in it when we drained the lines and a following frost busted the fitting. There was nothing we could do for the moment, so no water at the travel trailer.

Photo of the fixed PEX in the basement

I resorted to visiting the campgrounds facilities. Surprisingly the shower basins were actually quite large and nice looking with strong water pressure and the hot water made up for my disappointment of not showering in our RV. After our breakfast next morning Benno chased off to the nearest Home Depot in Leesburg where he got what was needed and what we already own back home.


After the successful completion of this repair the next thing on our agenda was to get our phone and Internet connection going. The free wifi in our park is spotty and perhaps also overloaded. Since we only spend four month in the USA we get a SIM card with phone number for our Canadian phone for a prepaid account and unlimited data. That way we use our Personal Hotspot to connect our devices to the Internet.  Last year we used Verizon and it was good so we decided to give it a try again. As luck would have it, the associate salesperson guy at the Verizon store was new and still in training. After long discussions and with help from his supervisor we were set up with a working phone and left to do some more shopping. Back at the RV our phone started to give us some trouble and soon after didn’t work at all. Meanwhile I had thought there was a mix-up with the new phone number and when verifying our email address it could not be found. Some tense back and forth trips to the Internet room had me almost stressed out, I normally don’t get hyped up. In the end we gave up. Next day we were back at the same Verizon store to sort things out and discovered the “newbie” had made some mistakes that the more knowledgeable supervisor now fixed in a fly.


With now a working Internet connection Benno offered to find the instructions manual on line for my Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS100 camera that I had left at home. You see all of a sudden the camera would not go into photo mode and insisted on making videos no matter what I tried on our trip south. How frustrating that was. A credit is due to my patient hubby for fixing this issue as well. “Love my Man”


Aldi on the left, Dollar Tree next and the red lettering is Harbor Freight

The Snowbird South RV Park is located between Bushnell and Leesburg and both have a Super Wal-Mart. However, in Leesburg the “Aldi” supermarket is in the same plaza as “Harbor Freight” and a “Dollar Tree” store in the middle. Next to this plaza with a road in-between is a larger Super Wal-Mart than in Bushnell. So this seems to be our go to shopping area with many of the usual chain stores also nearby.


This sign was next to a path into the woods

While being parked in the shade at the edge of the parking lot at Aldi store Benno spotted this sign and upon noticing a couple of vagrants disappearing into the bushes he discovered this. Never came across anything like this in Canada.    


A whole box and plastic bag full of wrapped Angus Bacon Cheeseburgers
we did not check them out if they were fresh

Oh, did I mention that there are Alligators close by and signs advising us not to feed them? 

There will be some photos forthcoming, so stay tuned for my next update.


Wednesday 7 December 2022

We have arrived in the sunny south!

For all you folks that have been wondering why there were no blog updates recently, rest assured all is fine and we are well. Here is a recap of all the happenings.


First off, I am writing to you from our winter retreat at the Snowbird South RV Resort in Center Hill, Florida where we are planning on staying through March 23.


Back in Canada there were many things that occupied our time and attention in November including the annual packing of the RV for the trip down south. My brother-in-law’s mom had recently passed away. She and her husband also happened to be dear friends of ours before they even became family. Her celebration of life ceremony was scheduled for the 1stof December in Oakville, Ontario Canada and we crossed our fingers that the 4-hour highway trip there would be in good condition without icy roads or a roaring blizzard. We were lucky weather wise as there was just a dusting of snow there and a bit on the highway and but no snow back home. The next day was departure time for us so upon coming back home there were still many things to take care of.


We got underway pretty much as planned the next day at 08.00AM and even at the border to the USA there was no traffic in front of us and the customs and border officer wished us a nice day after inspecting our passports. No hassle at all, no raiding of the fridge or so and that made us happy.


The weather was good the first day for driving with temperatures around 15C/60F and overcast sky which is actually nice so no glaring sunshine in your eyes. Gasoline prices were much better in the USA than Canada. We filled up in Ohio for 2.959/gal, which seemed the going average for that weekend. However Walmart in Cartersville Georgia sold Gasoline for 2.759/gal, wow!


We never know exactly at what location we would be spending the night with our travel trailer as it depends on traffic and maybe unforeseen circumstances. Well, we noticed a black smoke rising ahead of us while we were driving south on I-75 near Vandalia in Ohio. The smoke seemed to intensify and shortly after we got into a traffic jam. It seemed there was a fire somewhere ahead of us. There were no announcements on the radio so we just sat there stuck at a total standstill, the I-75 turned into a parking lot in no time. An hour later we started to inch a bit forward but we had noticed no traffic coming on the I-75 northbound either. After a long time we finally had crawled forward enough to see a bad accident involving two tractor–trailers and some cars piled under and on top of the concrete barrier with several fire engine crews trying to dowse the flames. We were all rerouted through the exit next to it and had to drive a detour to make it onto the next I-75 ramp. 


That night we parked at the Town Center Outlet Mall parking lot in Dry Ridge, Kentucky that was shared with a Cracker Barrel restaurant as well that seemed to be very busy. It turned out to be a nice and peaceful place with free wifi to boot.


It rained through the night and the next day turned out to be damp with a bit of drizzle off and on but the temperature was warm so it didn’t bother us much. When it became time to look for another overnight location we were just before Atlanta, Georgia and all of a sudden traffic got to a total stop again. “Oh no” I thought, not again.  Luckily there was an exit approaching and I found us a large parking lot shared by Super Wal-Mart and Lowes in Cartersville, Georgia where we spent the night along with a few other RVs that had come off the highway. 


With fuel stops, lunch and coffee brakes including dog pit stops we arrived just before sundown on Sunday at our new RV winter resort. In past years we stayed at the Wandering Oaks RV Resort in Ocala, Florida, but that place now only takes full-timers that stay year round. However, this new to us place is also very nice and for Florida standards reasonably priced since our Canadian Dollar does not do too well right now compared to the US currency.


We had a reservation and knew our site number, which helped since the office was already closed. Fellow RVers helped us to find our site and because it is a pull-through we had no problems parking and leveling the travel trailer. I was looking forward to getting electricity, water and sewer hooked up. However, shortly after the water hose was connected, Benno shouted for me to bring towels while water was everywhere in the basement compartment. Something was busted and water spewed like a geyser from the connection fitting. Oh no!


Stay tuned, this will continue in tomorrows update….