Let’s see if they can get this right…


enjoying the sunYesterday was sheer pleasure.  We had the warmest day since arriving — all of 80º and sunny.  Being the day before coming down to Tri-Am to get our door lock worked on — it was a relaxation day and I took total advantage.  Doesn’t take much to make me happy!triam-logo

And today, we’re hanging out at the local dealership to see about that door.

I don’t know how you are when you have your RV in the shop but all I see when I’m waiting on coach repairs are dollar signs.Money Bag   There are so many systems on a modern day motorcoach that any idea that one place or one person is able to do quality work on all of them is absurd. And finding quality service outlets is not all that easy.

We have relied — a lot — on fellow RV recommendations.  Not to the exclusion of others but we certainly weigh people with happy experiences higher than commercial advertisements.  We have been fortunate thus far — but we always seem to wait longer to find a reputable dealer than others.  I’m not sure if that’s the reason for our good fortune or not, but we are cautious.

I’m always cautious about things dealerships try to sell me.  I was a small businessman for a while — I understand the difference between selling the best available and selling what you have in stock.  I understand that shops tend to sell what they stock — regardless of what ‘needs’ walk in the door.  There are always disreputable people out there — trying not to be taken advantage of is not easy.

I don’t know if I ever brought you up to date on our mobile RV guy.  It turns out he went diving with a friend and first the friend put a fishing gaff through his hand, and then Bob dropped his phone in the ocean when he went to call 911 — and had no way to call us back.  So, I don’t feel so bad about having been ‘ignored’ for a few days.  And now that Bob’s friend — who’s also his employee and certified technician — is out of commission while his hand heals after surgery — I had to seek an other solution for our slide toppers.

I’m hoping Tri-Am will be able to confirm the sizes, get replacements ordered from Carefree of Colorado and install them before we leave in April.  Fingers crossed.

Where are all the eagles

Bald eagle
file photo

I was reading a publication called The Ag Mag (a Florida agriculture and gardening magazine) and noted that Florida claims to have the third largest population of breeding Bald Eagles in the US.  (After Alaska and Minnesota)

Thus far we have not seen any.  We have not spent a lot of time in areas that they would be likely to be found — but I’m going to have to look more actively!

1/3

We are at the 1/3 point of our Florida stay.  I can’t say the state has started feeling like home, but it’s feeling less foreign…

Clearly, the point of origin for RV’ers here has been different than what we found in S. Texas last year.  We have seen virtually no population of Quebecois or British Columbians.  We see a lot more folks from the N.E./New England as well as East Coast states. There are few license plates from the Great Midwest.

I won’t say that people aren’t as friendly.  I think the fact that we’re in a park where a lot of the residents are local workers or equestrian folk has a lot to do with how friendly/communicative our neighbors are.

Prices are similar and higher here than in S. Texas.  As mentioned in previous blogs RV park rates are directly related to latitude.  The further South you go the higher the rates.  There is also a correlation to distance from the water (Golf or Ocean) with proximity to the water obviously being higher priced than further from the water.

As for food, that’s a mixed bag.  I can’t comment on protein prices — mostly because this year protein has taken the HIGH ROAD wherever we’ve been — with so much change all over the country this isn’t a good time for generalizations made on unequal circumstances.   Other foodstuffs seem marginally higher here, citrus has seemed to be noticeably higher than it was in S. Texas.  That could be a function of citrus pests (insects and disease) which are not yet as large a problem in S. Texas as they are in Florida.  We seem to be doing well in finding the sort of groceries we want.  In Texas we noticed really strong ethnic food differences and that’s ok — you get accustomed to some things and you plan ahead for others.

I laughed to my self when Canadians at Palmdale told us what foodstuffs they brought along with them.  Into our second winter in the South I’m beginning to understand their thought process.  We have a hard time finding bulk coffee beans — I can see us buying beans and freezing them before coming south next year.  It’s easier to buy and freeze than to drive 30 or 50 miles for things like that.  I can see buying a cans of corned beef hash and carrying them along with us for when we want them. In some parts of the country you simply have different tastes and planning ahead isn’t all that hard if you know what you’re getting into.

We have 2/3 of our stay remaining.  Perhaps as time goes by we’ll feel differently.  But that’s why I write — to make myself conscious of the changes over time — how we see things initially, and how our attitude may change over time.

There you go,  that’s it for today.  Our door problem is diagnosed, dimensions are taken for our toppers, now all we have to do is wait for parts to show up and return for installation. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here to chat tomorrow. Please stop by.

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12 Comments

  1. Peter, I have lived here for seven years now and I read about the bald eagles and wondered where are they? I’ve never seen one. Yet a relative in Metro DC and a friend in Metro Silicon Valley have both seen them in their neighborhoods. The only way I get my bald eagle fix is to watch the live cams available or to visit a friend who photographs them in BC and posts them on his blog. Go figure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe it. I know the document SAID that you have the third larges breeding population but there is nothing about FL that seems Eagle-ish. Not the hunting sites, not the nesting sites, not the cold temperatures, nothing.

      Maybe it’s all an advertising scheme to get more tourists! 🙂

      We have quite a few in WI, specially along the Mississippi — where many over-winter!!!!! fishing the ice floe as it breaks up. Really fun watching that. And in Sauk Prairie they have a Eagle weekend in FEBRUARY cuz there are usually so many to be seen near the bluffs there. But no bluffs in FL…. sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You should RV on over to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We have beautiful sugar white beaches, and lots of EAGLES!! Lots of hiking trails where Eagles can be found! 🙂 We have lots of Rver’s year round, but lots of “snowbirds” in the winter!!!! I know you’d love it here! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL – I read that and Gulf Shores AL is where we were on our way to FL!!!!!!!
      We planned on staying there for 2 weeks and there were so many mandatory evacuations due to water levels that we cut short our stay and moved on to Florida. Yeah — you have the right idea — we had the right idea too — but next time we need to pick a campground that is not at elevation 12-feet !!!!!!! I would have loved spending more time there but it was right around Christmas and the calling around I did for alternate campgrounds wasn’t giving us any longterm (2 week) solutions so we drove on further.

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      1. We have had a lot of rain this winter. (el nino) Sorry you could find a place to stay. Places here get booked up a year ahead of time. The best place to stay around here is: http://www.alapark.com/gulf-state-park. I love this place, I hike the trails weekly, you can bike and do everything and never leave the park. I live about 1/2 mil from the park, so it is like my backyard. There are lots of RV parks, some better than others all over Baldwin County. This one is on the island.
        I know you both are having a blast traveling. I would LOVE to do that!!!!!! If you go near Lake Mary, Fl, watch out for the Black Bears! lol My son lives there and they are always in his garbage! haha He lives near the Greenway, so they come out of the woods.
        Yall Have a great Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve seen them on three seperate occasions this year; once in the Panhandle, once down here in Melbourne and once on SR 70 near Okeechobee. I’m surprised you haven’t seen them in the Ocala NF, Peter. Keep looking! 🙂

    We have Québécois camped on the lots on each side of us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a great time with our canadian neighbors last year in Palmdale — and I love visiting. They are a wonderful people, or I should say variety of people because surely there’s a lot of difference from a Montrealer to a Torontonian, to a Winnepegger, to a well, you get the idea.

      I expected we might see eagles at the refuge near Cedar Key, or Ocala but thus far we have not. We’ll keep looking. We have not been in the forest all that much this year. This whole last 12 or 15 months have been not-who-we-usually-are. And after 1 month here I still feel like we hardly know where we are. Dunno… if we get the repairs finished in February it wouldn’t be beyond possibility for us to head out before 4/3 but I’m not making any plans until we get the coach sorted. this is a good place to hang out and wait for parts and no place else is calling our name loudly to it’s good for now.
      going back to the Quebecois for a moment — I know a lot of them do FL in the winter — we saw a lot of cars in Naples, and along the Gulf coast when we were here in ’13 — maybe Ocala isn’t warm enough? If you’re coming all that way may be you want something warmer? Dunno……

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dave,

        You know, I do believe you could be right about that. It’s a pretty significant hit to take just to get warm! Then again, getting warm is nothing to laugh about if you live in Canada….

        > >

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  4. Creamette macaroni rings appear to be a Minnesota thing. If we want them when traveling we have to bring them with us. We can buy other shapes elsewhere but Dave likes the rings in tuna salad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL — I bet it’s not just that one shape that’s unique! I have noticed in Milwaukee that there are shapes we don’t see elsewhere — but MKE has a large Italian population. I don’t know the names of all the different shapes they sell/make.
      One of my crib mates — the daughter of my mom’s best friend — married a guy from Germany and they lived there for the first few years of marriage. They moved to the U.S. after a few years ago and she told me her ‘horror stories’ about realizing all the food items she was unable to acquire in Germany, and then after 15 years all the spices and foodstuffs that she’d gotten used to in Germany that weren’t available in Milwaukee. It’s interesting how we came to rely on what was closest to a culture — for the obvious reason that economical transport wasn’t around years ago.
      When my grandmother moved to America from Poland — she had never seen a banana. She actually had been frightened by people on the train in Canada (she landed in Quebec and arrived in the US via train from Quebec to Detroit) by a young couple who had taken pity on this young girl on the train who looked hungry — and they gave her a banana. She thought it was something dirty/obscene and took it to the door between cars and threw it away!

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