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Archive for December, 2009

12.30.2009- What? He’s sick?

December 30th, 2009 No comments

Arrived at the doctor’s office at 8:05, well ahead so as to fill out the paperwork. Walked in and the two ladies behind the desk are frantic. The doc on call for this office has called in sick. They claim to have called my cell phone and left a message to tell me not to come in… it did not register. In any case, they agree to “squeeze” me in with the doctor who will be there tomorrow morning (not the one who is ill).  So one more day of not hearing so well and being a little bit dizzy and lazy… that’s OK, it’s sort of like being in la-la land!

Never even tried petanque… a shame because it really is fun. Pool time, a James Patterson who-done-it, watching the volleyball… a relatively nice afternoon. Having “train-wreck” for dinner- if you don’t know what it is, e-mail me and I will let you know. Probably (next to ice cream) my favorite food!

PS Just got a call from Mike Brady, the RV specialist who is working on the torn canopy… no luck with a replacement. Apparently, the color is “special-order” and won’t be available until well after the new year. (Oh, my goodness- more good news!) He has agreed to come back and remove the existing canvas and related spring system (it comes as a set) so that I won’t have any problems down the road. I will just have to check out the top of the slide-out (that the missing canopy is supposed to protect) whenever I close it. I don’t want branches, leafs, or other assorted trash to come in with the slide-out.

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12.29.2009- 46 degrees outside!

December 30th, 2009 No comments

Woke up to a really cold morning… not sure I have the right clothing to leave Scooter and go for a walk. Will have to layer and no outdoor shower today, that’s for sure…. This is the day to finish the accounting for Windward Harbour. The sun is out so it should warm up soon.

Have had the feeling of pressure in my right ear for the last two weeks. It’s the old swimmer’s ear or pressure from altitude changes in an airplane. Normally I can swallow or yawn and it clears up… not this time, and it is getting more and more bothersome. Talked to Becky at the front desk and she suggested an urgent care center about five miles away. The doctor there checked out the external ear… no wax build-up or any apparent problem with the ear drum. So, the best he could suggest was that I see a specialist. He gave me a name and I immediately called for an appointment. The doctor could see me (of course, three times as distant!) tomorrow at 8:30. “Please come early to do the paperwork.” All arranged, salvation was in sight!

Got back to Scooter, had a bologna (boloney, to most of us) and cheese sandwich for lunch and headed out for petanque. Got there and just did not feel right… a little dizzy, no pep and just wanted to relax. Begged off, went to the pool, read, floated around on a noodle for quite a while and finally came back to Scooter. Never did get to the Windward Harbour accounting although I did try to figure out my TV problem. Still no luck there and I don’t seem to have the steam to follow through. I am sure some phone calls or visits to RV stores might help me… just don’t seem to have the concentration needed for success. Fear not! The doctor will save the day. I think I may have a remnant of the sinus infection of a few weeks ago. The proper meds and I am sure all will be OK!

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12.28.2009- Booster for TV

December 28th, 2009 1 comment

Mike Brady, from Coastal RV Service arrived this AM to look at the torn canopy over the slide-out. He has to do some research but has said that he should be able to repair it by Friday, the day before I leave. If necessary, I could delay my arrival in Key Largo by a day or two but do not really want to.

While Mike was here I asked him about my TV problems… the screen says weak signal. He was sure that an additional booster, added to the antenna, would fix my problem. Well, he is partly correct… I went to get the part, installed it and can now at least get a screen that I can work with- it gives me adjustment/setup options. Came time for a long petanque match so I have put the TV off until tomorrow.

Got my mail today… bills to pay, etc. Did that after some time at the pool. Closing the windows tonight… supposed to be in the low 40’s tonight.

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12.27.2009- Laundry, petanque again

December 28th, 2009 No comments

Did all the laundry that I don’t have to wear his week! Lots left over from my time with the Faunces… had to be spiffy, you know. So, hung it all up, hoping to never have to see it again.

Not a busy day, petanque at 2, per usual. Nice bunch of folks although more than half are Canadian, from Quebec, and the French language can be difficult. Even their English can be hard to decipher. But we all have fun. I am apparently a better than average rookie though no professional offers have come in yet. 😉

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12.26.2009- Digital TV, hopefully…

December 27th, 2009 No comments

I don’t have cable TV in this park, the second such deprivation on the trip. Because the digital converters are not mandated for New Jersey until sometime in January (at least the=at is what Comcast told me before I left), I did not think I would have a problem getting regular TV via the antenna on Scooter. No deal- everywhere I have been with no cable, the digital converter has bee required to get reception.

So off I go to Radio Shack at the Wellington Mall, about 7 miles away. No Radio Shack… very nice people guided me to the Wellington Green Mall, 3 miles further south. Success. Mike, the manager, sold me a converter and a 19” digital flat screen (at a huge after-Christmas discount, Skip’s Christmas present to Skip) that I can use on the patio outside the bus and in my bedroom in Avalon.

I get back to Scooter and proceed with the installation of the converter. Followed the instructions to a T and ended up with “WEAK SIGNAL” on the TV screen. It would appear that I need some kind of booster in the system. Planning on talking to the RV specialist who is coming by tomorrow to look at the canvas problem. Hopefully, he will know what’s wrong and have an answer.

Played petanque at 2, came back afterwards and read. Went to the pool, salad for dinner, lazy evening.

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12.25.2009- Christmas Day

December 25th, 2009 No comments

Up around 7:30 and took a walk around the campground, a little under a mile. Came back and decided to treat myself to a Christmas morning omelet at the cafe. Afterward I took a shower and a swim in the pool… very nice on a 70 degree morning.

Took the car into Palm Beach to do a little exploring. Knew the stores would not be open but wanted to find the Publix, a Radio Shack or Best Buy and either of Donald Trump’s modest abodes (one sold for $100 million in 2008 and the other became the Mar-A-Lago Club) on the ocean in Palm Beach. Failed on the last count… had no idea where to look. Will ask around to see if I can find them- probably can’t be seen from the street.

Shots taken from the car as I was driving by… they do not due the area justice.

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Taken on Royal Palm Way…

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Came back to the campground in time to play petanque, a game similar to bocce. Played on a sand court, a small ball (“pig”) is thrown down court and one player from each team tries to roll a tennis ball sized metal ball as close to the "pig” as possible. The team not closest rolls until all have done so . The score is then calculated (I think all closest from same team count) until the game is over at thirteen points. I did not help my team though all were very gracious. Will probably go out and play again tomorrow. Fun!

Had a very nice Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Back to Scooter and really tired. There is supposed to be a “drum circle” at 9PM… don’t know what it is or whether I will make it. It is now later… I made it as did four others. Nice fire but nobody with drums! Waited about 15 minutes after the start time and gave up. Came back to my book and bed.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

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12.24.2009- Christmas Eve and off to Loxahatchee

December 25th, 2009 No comments

Left Vero Beach around 10AM needing diesel for Scooter. Did the proper “walk-around” to inspect Scooter before we left. Got to a Flying J (truck-stop = cheaper diesel) and no one said a word or noticed anything. Was going down I-95 about ten minutes later when a car pulled up next to me, honked and was pointing upwards. Pulled off at the next safe place, got out and found that the canopy cover for the living room slide-out had not retracted when I pulled the slide in. Not good! The flapping had ripped about 4’ of the fabric from the front end. I tucked the remnants in as best I could and continued on my way. On reaching Sunsport, I called a RV repair specialist, one recommended by the management here, and was told that he would be out Monday to survey the damage. Did not seem at all challenged by the need to have it fixed by January 2, when I am leaving. Only thing not discussed was the price… will get to that Monday. If too much, I will call the extended warranty/insurance into play.

The usual restrictions in a nudist resort apply (some use the phrase “naturalist,” fearing that “nudist” may be offensive to non-believers. I tell it like it is… we are nude!)- always sit on a towel and no photos are allowed. I will ask if night time/no people shots are OK.

Had a most pleasant evening… spent the nicest time with people, some of whom I just met. Had a pot-luck dinner (I brought Sun Chips, didn’t know about it and that’s all I had), carol singing, gift giving among the adults, Santa’s arrival with presents for the kids… most in attendance "au buff." (That’s French for naked!) No one cared, totally natural and relaxed. And when I get up in the morning, guess what… towel and flip-flops are all I need to go to the pool.

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12.23.2009- A business day and another dinner!

December 24th, 2009 No comments

Spent the whole morning, after a walk, working on the mail. Bills to pay, Medicare coverage to change (Aetna stopped plan in NJ, going with AARP). And then the condo accounting figures (I am the Treasurer) for October and November arrived. Did not finish working on them… will probably do that in Loxahatchee.

Spent the early to mid afternoon checking out Scooter… we are leaving tomorrow for Loxahatchee, west of Palm Beach, and the Sunsport Nudist Resort. Checked the tires, oil, transmission fluid, etc. Everything fine.

John Faunce had suggested we get together for the afternoon. The mail and working on Scooter quashed that idea. So he (again) kindly invited me for dinner. About to put on my new Hawaiian shirt, that matches my old pants, when he called to say that we would be going to the Grand Harbor restaurant. Gray slacks, nice shirt, tie and jacket… tired of being under-dressed for a Faunce function! Of course, I ended up taking off the tie and jacket- were were going casual. In any case, excellent chicken over pasta with a delicious sauce and an ice cream creation for dessert.

Lots of hugs and heart-felt goodbyes (Thanks again, John and Bee, for a wonderful time!) and it was back to Scooter. Time to get ready for the continuing saga of “Skip, on the road again.”

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12.22.2009- Another great day in Vero Beach

December 23rd, 2009 No comments

Took my morning walk and saw a bird I have never seen before but, because of my fantastic memory  😉  , I remembered it’s name from my zoo experiences at Millbrook School… a pileated woodpecker. Didn’t have the camera so went to Roger Tory Peterson… big guy in the center. Flew from tree to tree, looking for bugs for breakfast.

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Spent the morning blogging. At 1:45 Bee picked me up to go and have lunch at the Sea Oaks tennis club, courtesy of Brent Welch, John’s sister. John met us there after his morning tennis ritual. We sat on a beautiful porch, watching some pretty good tennis players go at it. The special for the day was undeniable- a grilled ham, cheese, bacon, tomato and who knows what else sandwich. Very, very good, especially after have a small cup of “fruit on the bottom” yogurt for breakfast.

Brent, John and Bee (taken with the wrong setting on the camera)

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I thought that after lunch John would take me back to Scooter (Bee was off to play golf- very active down here) but, no, on we go for a long drive to see many interesting things. The Jungle Trail leads down the western edge of much of the barrier island, is public and therefore precludes development to the water’s edge there. This is not so bad because the western afternoon sun can make things very uncomfortable, especially in the summer. (John has told me, always buy a residential property facing about 120 degrees, between east and south… this is the direction from which the wind generally comes.)

The Marine Connection in Ft. Pierce is incredible. Huge building filled with more boating stuff than you can imagine. Owner buys surplus and puts it out for sale. A proper inventory would be impossible… accountant probably allows a reasonable guess! Didn’t think to take pictures.

On to a smaller version specializing in fishing gear. I guessed 5,000 rods, John thought more like 20,000. There is no way all this stuff will ever sell unless the owner sells the whole business.

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I had been planning to get some flowers for Bee and John in thanks for their kindness. John mentioned having to go to the florist on Wednesday… hearing that I proceeded to badger him into taking me there on Tuesday. Poor fellow had to go back over the bridge into Vero Beach to make me happy. Picked up a pretty centerpiece for Bee (I bought a shirt for John at Marine Connection). She got home from golf just before we arrived so I had a chance to give it to her then. Of course, being the wonderful folks they are, I was asked to stay for dinner. Who can refuse such kindness? Also, it gave me a chance to get some pictures of their home… if they are not careful, I may just move on in!

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12.21.2009- Sebastian Inlet, dinner with Faunces

December 22nd, 2009 No comments

Have invited Bee and John to Scooter for cocktails and pizza so I spent the AM cleaning up. In the process, I got talking to Jim, the owner of the RV park, about where to get a good pizza and he was very negative about the pizza parlor right next to the park. His suggestion was either Vic’s or Giovanni’s, both about five miles north in Sebastian.

So, around noon, I departed on a voyage. First, I wanted to see Sebastian Inlet, located in a state park and having a very popular RV park. To get there you have to go over a bridge in Wabasso, about a half-mile away, and go north on the barrier island about seven miles to the state park and bridge over the inlet. It is a beautiful spot. I parked at the base and climbed the bridge to the top for some pictures.

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Returning to Wabasso, I spotted the McLarty Treasure Museum… ended up spending about two hours there. The story of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet (about a dozen vessels) sinking in a hurricane off the coast is fascinating. The museum in located where about 1,500 survivors gathered until they received aid and this incident is why this area is known as the “Treasure Coast.” Salvaging has recovered many millions in gold, silver and jewels, all originally intended as a dowry for the Queen of Spain. It is believed that many more millions worth are still out there and searching continues. I believe there is a contractual arrangement with Florida that the state gets 25%, the salvers the remainder.

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On returning to the mainland, I turned north on a mission to try and locate the “better” pizza parlors mentioned by Jim. No luck so on the way back I stopped in the local place to check it out… the proprietor is an Indian, turban and all. The other side of the menu offers Indian fare. On Bee and John’s arrival, we discussed the situation and, after a cocktail, decided to seek better Italian fare elsewhere. As it turns out, Bee remembered a place in Sebastian and it turned out to be Vic’s, one of the places recommended by Jim. Ended up we did the gamut- Bee had a personal pizza, John had spaghetti with meat sauce and I had veal parmigiana. After dinner they dropped me off at Scooter, I watched House and off to bed. A very nice day!

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