Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Quick Update

On Tuesday we had a quiet day.  We took the time to clean all of our windows, inside and out.  It is now a brighter world out there.  We also checked out a local restaurant, but won’t write home about it.

Yesterday we saw more of scenic central Florida, first by motorcycle then by car.  For the morning and early afternoon our tour guides, Ron and Arlene, introduced us to their guides, John and Sue.  They are from SE Tennessee and have been wintering in this part of Florida for many years, so they have had time to explore a lot.  They knew the interesting roads to get us to a huge produce stand in Plant City, where crowds line up for their strawberry products (shakes, shortcakes, etc).  On the way back home, they showed us a route with more than 3 corners – quite rare around here.  In the late afternoon, we took the car to an “Old-Florida” restaurant (formerly a bait shop) on the shores of Tampa Bay.  We met with Chuck and Debbie, who live in the area.  Chuck’s family owns the cabin next door to ours so we’ve known the family for many years.  It was so nice to spend time with them!

Today is Thursday, and it’s another quiet one.  During the morning we did laundry and vacuuming.  After a little mid-day shopping, our plan is to drive to a farm outside of Sarasota where the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions spend their winters.  (See ).  We’ve been told that their practices are fee and open to the public, so we will see what that’s like. 
This is also Denny’s last day of work – Enjoy your cake!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Couple of Days Sightseeing

This post is being written on Wednesday morning.  The overnight fog is a little heavier this morning and occasional rain drops are very lightly plunking on the roof.  This might be a good day to stay indoors, as planned, to do a little cleaning.  That won’t take us long in such a small area.  We need some downtime to relax from all the touristy things we’ve been up to.

Sunday afternoon we took a drive, stopping first at Solomon’s Castle (see ).  This is the home and studio of Howard Solomon who has a very creative mind.
It is a whacky, creative place that is only slightly off-the-beaten-path.  Later we continued on to the southern shore of Tampa Bay, at the western end of Bradenton, where we found the DeSoto National Memorial which is run by the National Park Service.  DeSoto was a Spanish explorer, who began a 4-year exploration of North America near here, beginning in 1539.  For more information, see  We had dinner at the Linger Lodge, a former “Old-Florida” fishing camp, where Paige had alligator chowder and Bob had Gumbo.
Monday we rode the motorcycle most of the day as we were given a guided tour led by Ron and Arlene
They are retired Minnesotans who have converted a livestock trailer into a custom toyhauler, living in the front while garaging their Gold Wing in the back. 
We wandered around central Florida riding, stopping for coffee, riding, stopping for tourism stuff, riding, stopping for lunch, riding, stopping for ice cream, followed by more riding – so you get the idea.  We saw phosphate strip mines, lots of lakes, a few hills, and more orange trees than we knew existed. 
The growers are busy harvesting the juice oranges (they hand pick them!) so there is a lot of activity in the orchards.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Back on the Road

With our 3rd week at Rockledge completed we had a going away dinner with the other Nomads on Thursday evening – what a lot of fun that was.  We completed more work that the church initially planned which was a good feeling.  After our dinner, we were called to come over to the church and they presented each of us with a basket of local goodies – local candy, orange jam and an orange, sand dollar, stained glass cross, and coffee cups from the church.  They were so nice and very appreciative!
Friday began with laundry, packing up, and moving on.  We traveled west to spend a few days sightseeing on this side of the state, but have plans to return to the Cocoa/Rockledge area to have a local body shop handle our repairs.  We are staying in a nice RV resort and are parked next to MN folks.  While visiting with them this morning, 2 more couples with MN ties stopped.  One of the couples we met are also Nomads and we knew several other Nomads in common.  Another couple is from Northfield and they have converted a horse trailer into a very snazzy looking toy hauler (for their motorcycle).  We had already commented that it would be nice to see the inside and they invited us to come over and see it sometime. 

The weather here is absolutely wonderful – in the high 70’s and sunny.  We’re certainly enjoying this!

This week Bob’s brother, Denny, has a birthday and he has decided to retire also.  So, we’ll have another retiree to keep in touch with as they decide what they’ll be doing.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Not a Quiet Week

Our second week on this project involved more painting.

The majority of our focus this week was not work-related.  On Monday evening, as we were on our way to the grocery store, we were rear-ended.  The other driver left the scene and returned because a witness was following him to read his license plate.  He returned to the scene just as the police arrived.  A lot of the week was spent with the paperwork and phone calls that resulted.
Does this look like $1800 worth?
Friday morning four of us went to Port Canaveral, where the cruise ships dock (we don't work Fridays).  Paige found a discount coupon for a one-hour tour of the area on Segways.

In the background is an end view of one of Disney's ships and a side view on a Carnival vessel.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

On the Job in Rockledge, Fla

It’s been a quiet week for us on the Space Coast of Florida.  Last Saturday, 5 of us in 3 RVs parked in the back lot of Rockledge United Methodist Church.  We had all worked together in Tennessee last fall, so it was a sort of mini reunion.  Another couple, new to Nomads, joined us on Sunday.  Our project description is two words: “Paint Sanctuary”.  With 4 days behind us, we have nearly completed it.  We will finish early next week, and move into the Narthex and the exit doors.

On Tuesday, we were invited to the “Seniors” group meeting at the church.  They had devotions, a program on personal safety, and a lunch.  It was very nice and another opportunity to meet the members of the church.  As usual, everyone is so appreciative of the work we do for the church.  And we all enjoy being here doing good work and enjoying the warmth! 

On Friday, our day off, we drove back to our former project site at Satellite Beach and met with a few of the Nomads who have taken our place there.  We hope to schedule a social gathering soon for all members of both groups. 

Since the space shuttle program has ended, there is a lot of uncertainty and concern for the economy in this area, but there is certainly no concern with winter weather or tourism.  The weather has been warmer than average – in the upper 70’s and low 80’s.  A good year to be in Florida as Arizona is suffering with cold conditions – 27 degrees in Phoenix this morning!


Even though Bob and I both got our flu shots, we’ve managed to get a mild version of the flu.  Bob got it first last weekend and Paige suffered with it since Tuesday.  Looks like we’re on the mend – sure hope our family up north can escape it!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our FullTiming Anniversary

Two years ago today, we became “FullTimers”.  We awoke to single digit temperatures, with the motorhome packed and the house nearly sold.  We remember driving south with the dashboard heater on “Maximum Heat” all day.  We had 3 days of driving before we felt warm enough to flush the antifreeze out of our waterlines, and to begin using the on-board plumbing.  This winter we are in Florida and had an overnight low of 60 degrees, with a high of 80 forecasted for later today.  Shorts and sandals are planned.

Hard to believe: 2 whole years.  It seems like only 2 months or so.  We’ve seen a lot of our countryside, including Alaska (and Canada too).  We’ve worked hard at Sager Brown and 7 Nomads projects.  Along the way we’ve met a lot of nice people and had a lot of fun.  This lifestyle has been so much more rewarding than working for a living, and we plan to keep it up.