Friday, October 17, 2014

Laughing 'Til it Hurts

After walking on Wednesday morning and enjoying breakfast outside, we had a couple of visitors come by to visit us.


Chuck called them over by clapping his hands together.  They probably thought we were going to give them something to eat.  Their call sounds like something gurgling in a hollow tree.  You can hear their call towards the end of this video:


Chuck tried mimicking their call but he sounds more like someone gargling Listerine from inside a well.  :)

We decided to go to a Michaels store about 20 minutes south of here to look for some new frames for our pictures in the camper.  Ken and Bonnie have decorated their camper nicely with pictures and suggested looking at Michaels if we wanted some new frames for our pictures.  We bought a couple of new frames that were on sale at Michaels.  After leaving Michaels, Bonnie and I went to Ross's to look around a little bit while Ken and Chuck went to Dick's Sporting Goods to look for us some new camping chairs.

You never know what's going to happen when you leave those two alone.   Chuck decided to try out the latest gadget in camping equipment -- a collapsible wagon:


They did not find the particular camping chairs we were looking for; but they did find the newest thing in outdoor chairs:  a bungee chair.


Chuck tested it out too.  Watch!  :)


By this time, we were all laughing so hard it was a wonder they didn't kick us out of the store.  Because we were only a couple of miles from Crispers (a restaurant that specializes in fresh salads), we decided to go there for lunch which was delicious.  We made a couple of more quick stops on the way home and then it was time for shuffleboard.


The campground has 12 shuffleboard courts but very poor equipment.  But that didn't stop us from having a good time!  We played even after dark!  


After all of our driving and shopping on Tuesday and Wednesday, we were ready to just stay at the campground on Thursday.  We started the day with walking and then played some pickleball after breakfast.  Chuck and I had only played pickleball one other time and that was when we were at Moody Beach in Maine.  It took a little while for me to learn but it is a very fun game to play but can make you tired too.  Here we are taking a break for a few minutes!


When we went back to the camper for lunch, Chuck was going to help Ken tie his awning down because it was a little windy and Ken wanted to be able to leave it out.  


Like always, Dim and Dimmer keep us laughing.  I think they will keep you laughing too as you watch the below video on how NOT to tie down an awning.  :)


I don't know which gives us more exercise.  All the walking, pickleballing, shuffleboarding, and biking...or laughing until our sides hurt watching Dim and Dimmer.  :)

Needless to say, Ken decided to just put his awning in before we went back to the shuffleboard courts.  The weather was perfect today for walking, pickleball and now shuffleboard.


Bonnie and I finally won a game a shuffleboard with Bonnie scoring a record 33 points in one turn!  

After shuffleboard, we grilled and shared a delicious dinner together.  The temperature was so cool Thursday night that we had to wear light jackets.  But we couldn't stay out too long because by 7:15 the mosquitoes were starting to bite!


Friday was another beautiful day that began with some hot air balloons flying across the meadow behind the campground and another nice walk.  We have cut our morning walks down to just 2 1/2 miles and our feet have really appreciated it!  :)


We played some more games of pickleball after breakfast.  Pickleball is a cross between ping pong and tennis.  You play with paddles but on a court that is smaller than a tennis court.  


Today, we played three games with Frank, another camper, who gave us some good pointers about improving our pickleball game.  Look at how Ken and Chuck are really going after the ball here.  


We finished up the evening with some more shuffleboard, card games, and a lot more laughter...the best exercise of all!  :)



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Some Fun in the Sun

We were so glad when Ken and Bonnie arrived at Thousand Trails on Sunday morning.  Fortunately, the site next to us stayed open and they were able to park right next to us.  The laughter began before they even were got set up on their site!

We enjoyed talking and getting caught up on each others families.  On Sunday night, we played Skip-Bo with the women beating the men the best 2 out of 3.  A GREAT way to start the week!

On Monday morning, we were all up by 7 am to walk around the campground a couple of times to get our 5 miles (or 10,000+ steps) in.  By the time we reached Lake Hancock, the sun was just beginning to rise in all its glorious beauty...


and brightness.


We watched the sun rise for a few minutes and then posed for this sunrise selfie,


Just as we were about to start walking again, Ken noticed a hot air balloon going across the horizon.


We started walking again and then noticed the hot air balloon flying near the meadow behind the campground.


After completing our walk, we enjoyed eating breakfast together outside and talking and laughing some more.


Chuck looked up in the sky and noticed an airplane writing words in the sky.  We watched the plane make the letters and wondered how the pilot could possibly know how to write out the letters much less spell out the words.  It looked like the pilot had spelled out "Jesus" on the first line but this was almost gone by the time the pilot had finished writing "Love U."  The below video has been speeded up.  It actually took about 4 minutes for the pilot to spell out "Love U."




On the second line, he went on to spell out "Love U Jesus."  How cool is that!  

Then, we noticed a big turtle walking in front of Ken and Bonnie's camper.  There are several small fenced off areas in the campgrounds to protect the turtle holes.  This was the fastest moving turtle I had ever seen.  I guess he was trying to get out of the hot sun!  This video has not been speeded up.  He was just a really fast turtle.  



After all the excitement, it was time to play corn hole.  Ken got out their new corn hole (or bean bag toss) game and we played a couple of games of corn hole.  


These boards are lighter and easier to pack up in a camper.  They are more challenging to score on than the wooden boards because the bags slide off and bounce off the boards easily.  We played two games with the men winning both games; but the women gave them a good game and didn't make it easy for them!  

After playing corn hole in the hot sun, we were ready to cool off in the pool for a little while.  The campground has two very nice pools.  We got cooled off in the pool and then warmed back up in the nice spa.  


After dinner, Ken and Bonnie taught us how to play Pinochle again.  We hadn't played since we were together back in March.  We played one game of Pinochle with the women coming out victorious! Then, we played a round of the dice game "Toss Up."  The men came out winners in Toss Up.

Tuesday morning was warmer and much more humid.  We were treated to another beautiful sunrise at Lake Hancock.  



I think we all had a few more aches today and the humidity made you feel real sticky.  After walking the 2 lap/5 mile walk around the campground and eating some breakfast, Ken got out the cornhole games and set them up between our campers so we could play in the shade this morning.


The games were even closer today with both teams having to go back to 15 when they would score over 21.  But the men won both games.  Congratulations!  Rrrrrrrr.  :)

Since the forecast was calling for rain Tuesday afternoon, we decided to run some errands together up to Mt. Dora, Winter Garden, and Altamonte Springs.  After getting all the errands done, we finished up with dinner at Sonny's BBQ in Apopka.  It was delicious!  :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Days are Getting Shorter

We have managed to start walking a little earlier every day.  Today we got started a little before 7 am.  The temperatures are more pleasant (70's) by walking early in the morning but the sun is getting later and later coming up as the days get shorter and shorter.

By the time we had walked to Lake Hancock on our first lap around, the sun had not risen over the clouds in the eastern horizon yet.


We looked to see if we could see any alligators; but I guess they were still sleeping.


The meadow behind the campground looks like the perfect place for deer...


...but we haven't seen any yet.


With our three mornings of walking, I got a nice big blister on my little toe on my right foot.  Probably going to take a day off tomorrow.

After breakfast, Chuck colored my hair for me.  I think my hair grows even faster now that I am prematurely gray.  (Ha! Ha!)  Anyways, Chuck took care of those pesky gray roots before the football games got started and he even painted my nails later that evening!


Am I spoiled or what???

There were a lot of good college football games on today so we spent most of the day watching football.  For dinner, we tried an easy grilled salmon recipe I found on www.allrecipes.com.  We also grilled some asparagus and zucchini.  Very tasty!  And healthy too!


By the way, I forgot to put on my blog that we found out that the black clumps that we saw on Carrabelle Beach were NOT from the BP spill.  We talked to a couple who lived on Carrabelle Beach and they said the black clumps are from where the surf from past hurricanes have come in and torn up the asphalt roads and pulled it out into the water.  They said BP did investigate thoroughly the waters off Carrabelle but found no damage from the spill.  I have corrected the post.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A sunrise walk

We determined we needed to get started walking about an hour earlier to beat the heat.  We began our walk aorund 7 am before the sun was up...


and the moon was still out.


The temperature was nicer (around 70 degrees) and the peacefulness and quietness of the morning permeated the campground.





As we headed toward Lake Hancock, we could tell the sun was rising...


...and we arrived at the dock, we were blessed with a beautiful sunrise.



Even as we headed back around finishing our first loop around the campground, the morning mist and colors were beautiful.


The sandhill cranes (or whatever kind of birds they are) were pecking around for food in the field behind the campground.


And the sun seemed to explode into the morning sky!!


Wow!!!  What a beautiful morning!

We walked a second loop around the campground for a little over 5 miles again today.  After breakfast, Chuck started working on polishing the aluminum wheels -- a time-consuming job that he hasn't done since we started full-timing.  It's a difficult job that makes his neck and shoulders hurt but by mid-afternoon, he had all the wheels polished and all the outside windows cleaned.

While Chuck was doing all that hard work, I went shopping for some shorts.  Apparently, Kohls and Beall's think that it's getting ready to snow because the only shorts I could find were a few pairs on the clearance racks.  Give me a break!!!  We're in Florida!  It rarely gets to freezing here!!!  After spending some time going through all the clearance racks, I did find a couple of pair of shorts at the Beall's Outlet Store in Clermont.

After I got back to the camper, I washed all the windows on the inside of the camper.  I think now (with Chuck's hard work) the camper is pretty clean... inside and out!!

The weather was so nice that evening that we enjoyed our leftover turkey burgers for supper outside tonight!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Walk and A Wax

We haven't been walking as much in the past few weeks because Chuck had gotten some fairly large blisters on his feet from when we were walking on the sand at Carrabelle Beach the first time in August.  I told him he has sissy feet.  He agreed and said he has always had sissy (or tender) feet.

The park here at Thousand Trails Orlando is huge with nearly 900 campsites.  When we pulled into the campground yesterday, it seemed like it took 10 or 15 minutes just to find our campsite.  So we figured it would be a good place to start trying to get our 10,000 steps or 5 miles of walking in every day.

We walked the outer roads of the campground including the main road from the entrance gate which dead ends at Lake Hancock.


The sun had risen about an hour before.


Lake Hancock is that same dark, creepy, but clear water that is usually seen in Florida lakes.


It looks real good for fishing but probably for alligators too!


We walked around the outer roads of the campground twice which was a little over 5 miles.


When we got back to the camper, Chuck called a guy (Butch) who lives in the campground that was referred to us by the campground office about washing and waxing the motorhome.  Butch quoted us a price we were agreeable to and said he could be here in about 20 minutes to do the work.

Butch worked on washing and waxing the motorhome and our car from about 11 am until about 6:30 pm and did a pretty good job. We were very glad to get the motorhome washed and waxed before the winter and the car looked better than it had in a long time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Little Further South

I woke up during the night around 4 am and looked outside to see if the moon was still up and it was.  I went back to bed but woke up again a little after 6 and when I looked outside this time, the lunar eclipse had begun.  I grabbed my camera and was able to shoot some pictures as the moon got darker,


and darker,


and darker.


And then, it turned almost a "blood" color which I guess is why they call this lunar eclipse the "blood moon."


So cool!  Unfortunately, the moon set before the eclispe finished.  Still, I was so excited I had got to see at least part of it!

We left Alliance Coach around 9 am and since we only had about a 50 mile easy drive (east on Hwy 44 and south on Hwy 27) to Thousand Trails Orlando, we drove separately instead of towing the car. 

When I went into the office to check us in, they helped me to pick out a site on their huge campground map board.  After we got to our site, we realized that the passenger side (awning side) would be facing the west and we wouldn't have any shade in the evening.  We called the office and were able to move to a little better site that would give us more shade in the evening plus it had a little more "side yard."  

After eating some lunch and getting all set up, we went to Wal-mart for groceries which took a while because we were out of just about everything!  And Wal-mart didn't have everything we needed so we had to go to Publix too.  After getting all the groceries put away, we were going to sit outside for a little while and were surprised to have some company.


I think this is a sandhill crane and here he is with his wife.


A little while later, about 6 or 7 of them came walking down the road behind the camper.

What's funny is I think this is the same kind of bird we saw last summer way up in the Bighorn Mountains.  I spotted these two cranes way up on the mountain while Chuck was fly-fishing last summer in the Bighorn Mountains.

Flyfishing in the Bighorns


When I looked at the Range Map on www.whatbird.com, I found that while the sandhill crane does live in Florida year-round, they go to parts of the western US (like Wyoming) as well as northern Canada and Alaska for the summer and breeding season.

Maybe these were the same two we saw up in the Bighorn Mountains last summer and they just were stopping by to say hi?    :)