I must say, this lifestyle is the sweetest! I “retired” one whole year ago last month and all of the woes and worries of having to work are now so far behind me. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even seem as though I ever worked. I walked away from that place (that gigantic corporation that reportedly pays no taxes) and never ever looked back, not to mention I have not missed it for one split second! Oh, yes, all of “my boys” were awesome, and I think about them quite often… wondering what they are doing and how they are weathering the storm… but the freedom I enjoy now is simply indescribable! No more getting up at 4:15A to start my day, nor do I ever have to put up with the ridiculous BS of that organization. (Nothing ever made any sense and the left hand NEVER knew what the right hand was doing! As a matter of fact, I don’t think either hand knew what to do. For example, it took NINE WEEKS to get an office supply order delivered. Before this large corporation purchased our company, I could have my office supplies delivered the very next morning! I told my boss that my hope was that I would be out of there before my last printer toner cartridge ran out. Well, guess what! It came down to the wire but, luckily, I got out just in time! OK. Enough ranting.) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… we are incredibly blessed to be living this lifestyle and never take this blessing for granted.
Before I get too far ahead of myself, here a couple of photos taken in Tampa after the boondocking rally with Greg and Cori’s son, Hobie (Dog)! Such a smart and playful little guy…
As we were preparing to depart Lazy Days in Tampa, we realized that something was not right with our brakes. We didn’t have any! So, we puttered about 1.25 miles to Walmart where we could park to assess the situation. Thank God Craig was able to crawl under the rig to determine that a brake line must have weakened when the fitting was crimped on. Consequently, it busted and all the brake fluid leaked out somewhere along the way. So, we Googled auto parts houses “near me” and there was one a couple of blocks away. I stayed with the rig while Craig walked, in the cold, to get a temporary replacement part. As I was sitting there, I noticed that Walmart is even for the birds! A replacement brake line has been sent to us.
Before long, we were off to our next stop… Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, FL. It is in fairly close proximity to Orlando. We were only able to get two nights there because this state is packed with snowbirds! Once we arrived and saw how beautiful this place is, we grumbled that we could not have stayed two full weeks, the maximum time allowed in any state park. We arrived on an absolutely gorgeous day, albeit pretty darn chilly! Our site was not directly on Dixie Lake, but we had a lake view, nonetheless. We settled in, chilled, and soaked in the serene beauty. And the sunsets were gorgeous. This is our kind of place!
“Outside” our front door was an Osprey nest. Not far from the nest was, apparently, its mate eating a fish it had caught. It is a little difficult to make it out, but you must realize all of the photographs you have seen in my blog have all been taken with my cell phone. I was so disappointed that I was not able to zoom in on this spectacular sight, I realized this cell phone camera is not going to work. So, based on the recommendation of my dear brother, Kevin, who is an avid photographer, my dear sweet husband ordered a new camera for me. It is a Canon Rebel T5i EOS 700D. While I have only just begun learning the basic functions, in due time my photos should be even more outstanding! Stay tuned…
While at Lake Louisa State Park, we drove around (yes, drove!) and uncovered a beautiful lake with white sandy beaches. It is… are you ready for this… Lake Louisa. This lake is considered sacred as it was where one of our airmen lost his life during a training session… on his 23rd birthday!
As alluded to in the first photo above, after 57 years of searching for the wreckage, a part of the prop remains today at the park, while the remainder of the prop (or at least a portion thereof) was returned to his family. Very touching.
Here are more photos of Lake Louisa.
One day we decided to venture out of the park. That was an expensive trip because we both decided to update our cell phones. It all started when Craig finally decided to trash his dumb phone for a smart one. One thing lead to another and I updated mine, as well. But on the way to Verizon, we ventured through “The Villages”, Florida. You know where I’m talking about. You’ve seen the commercials on television for years. Remember… “The Vill-a-ges, America’s friendliest hometown.” Yup. That’s the one! I was driving, so this is the only photo I got. And be happy, peeps, that this is all they drive. While we were at the grocery store they all seemed to have trouble parking their itsy-bitsy little go-carts inside the parking lines. Anything bigger would have been a disaster! (Maybe there’s a reason they all park on the line! If so, let me know.)
We are currently in Bushnell, FL, home to… well, not much! Look who greeted us shortly after we arrived. Having lead a very “sheltered” life, I was startled when I saw this monster. I thought an alien had landed!
Although we have been here since February 21st, this is pretty much a stopover for us as we make our way further north once the weather settles down. And our friends, Bill and Kelly, are here with us which makes it nice! We did not make advanced reservations here in Florida after our boondocking rally ended February 15, so we are stuck in, and lucky to find, this place! Snowbirds, as you must know, make their reservations for Florida a year in advance in a lot of cases, and finding a spot can be quite difficult, if not impossible. So, here we are… safe and sound and quite comfortable in our “home”. (Yes, it IS home!) All is well. Absolutely no complaints!
And what’s just as sweet are the strawberries here! Yes, we visited the annual Florida Strawberry Festival this week in Plant City, FL with Bill and Kelly. We enjoyed ourselves immensely, but we are certainly glad it was not being held later in the year. The heat would have been overwhelming! (Apologies to our northern friends!) Believe it or not, but on our way out we purchased a flat of strawberries for only $8.00! I had truly given up on ever having another strawberry that was aromatic, juicy, and sweet as I remembered as a kid… waaaay back when! But, they do still make ’em! We even purchased five strawberry onions. No, these onions don’t taste like strawberries, but they are grown in the strawberry fields which make them even sweeter than a sweet onion! We paid only $1.00 each and felt we made out like bandits!
Finally, we had Bill and Kelly over for dinner one night and I challenged myself to make homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert. If you recall, the first time I made them were for Debbie and Steve in Gulf Shores, AL. Well, not knowing how “well” my propane oven baked, they looked beautiful on top but when I tried to remove them from the dish to serve after dinner… disaster struck! Debbie and Steve were, oh, so kind, but they were truly inedible! (They ate them, anyway. As much as they could!) I was so embarrassed but, you know, life goes on. Win a few… lose a few. Well, this most recent recipe was absolutely to die for! I have never been so proud of my cooking as I was when I tasted these. Hallelujah for miracles!