Archive for November, 2010

11.15.2010- Our trip commences, not without trouble…

November 17th, 2010 1 comment

Gracie and I have planned a trip aboard Scooter through southern Florida that was, yes-was, supposed to last for about five-six weeks. The plan was for a week at Disney, two weeks at Cypress Cove (yes, a nudist resort) in Kissimmee and further meanderings south to include Key West for a week before we make our way back to Hudson and the excitement of house hunting.

Remember my problems with Scooter earlier in the month? An over-charging alternator threatened to overheat the batteries and even cause computer failure (engine and transmission) aboard the bus. Well, after ten days and almost $400 of mine (protection plan paid almost $700), we boarded a bus that successfully delivered us to Gracie’s home in Hudson, FL.

Well, an hour into the trip to Disney we had an exact repeat of the prior conditions… mileage indicator reads “VOLT”, various warning lights appear and all of the gauges freeze in place. My bus is now doing 55 at 1700 rpm while standing still… amazing!!! Called the folks at Tidewater Express in Hampton, VA, who last worked on Scooter and who are many miles north, to ask their opinion. Basically, not a clue but did recommend Camping World, a nationwide chain of RV service and supply outlets that have a great reputation. Called the closest… no help but recommended Alliance Coach, the rebirth of a Monaco service outlet that closed when the company went under a while ago. Made an appointment for work next Monday- have to arrive there Sunday so as to be first in line- will be at the door at 7am. The folks at Camping World also  provided a second possible remedy- a company in Orlando that specializes in electrical problems. Between the two, we will hopefully be back on the road sooner than later.

The net result is that we must delay our arrival at Cypress Cove Resort. I called them today and they were very understanding… just stay in touch is all they asked.

So Gracie, as part of my birthday present, had booked dinner at the Whoop-Dee-Doo Review at Pioneer Hall in Fort Wilderness, a short walk from our RV site. On arriving, we signed up and were somewhat surprised to hear the fellow say “Oh, table 13. you guys lucked out!” Of course, now knowing that this is a special table, I felt compelled to do all possible to not be seated with our backs to the stage. One of the two entry ways appeared to be the exit so we planted ourselves at the other one… WRONG. All the action to get in was at what I thought was the exit. As it turned out, no big deal… we finally got in and were led to our table… two seats, dead center, front row. Felt like royalty and it didn’t require $20 to the maitre de’.


What ensued was a wonderful (and well practiced- three shows a day) musical comedy. Six young and attractive folks sang, danced and joked with us through our dinner, low key soloists (guitar or piano) played while we were eating and the action happened between courses.

The food was served in great quantity- all you could eat and brought to the table in hot or cold pewter buckets (see above) to keep the grub at the proper temperature. Tossed salad, fried chicken, ribs, baked beans, mashed potatoes and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Wine was included… we had an excellent Merlot served in Ball jar glasses.

And then the fun started… toward the end of the show, management decided that audience participation was in order. Six people were picked, including yours truly! We were taken backstage during a short intermission and told what to do. As it turned out, we were at the point in the script where Davey Crockett is killed at the Alamo (don’t know how we got there… the show seemed to have no real plot or theme) and I was to play Davey’s angel, come to take him to heaven. A rather cute performer came to select me and ushered me to the stage. Another actor took me in hand a instructed me as follows… “I will get you into your outfit. All you have to do is “dance” to the star painted on the stage floor, blow two kisses at the audience (several hundreds will witness this) and, finally, proceed to the front of the stage, turn and moon the audience!” Thank goodness I didn’t have any lines to memorize… that would be embarrassing enough!!

Davey's Angel

I pirouetted most beautifully to the star, threw two wet and slobberys and, upon turning, raised the tutu up with much vigor. The result… great laughter and cheering. I was a star!!! Regretfully, the agents have yet to call. ;-(

Be warned… all relevant federal, state and local authorities are aware that the above photograph is protected property. Any reproduction or other use, malicious or otherwise, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

So long, after a great evening…

And thank you, Gracie, for a fantastic birthday present!!!


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9.27-11.4.2010- A lot going on!

November 4th, 2010 No comments

After returning from our adventure at Kerr’s Dam and Reservoir, Gracie and I decided to head to Avalon to pack it up and make a move to my place in Chesterbrook. We got all the boxes marked for the room they were to go to and called a mover- John Kane, Hercules Moving in Berwyn, fantastic for local moves. Sometime between deciding to go to Chesterbrook and actually arriving there we made another decision… to simplify our lives (i.e., minimize our homes) we would also sell Chesterbrook and make a move to Florida, preferably going to the Tampa area on the Gulf side. So now all of my worldly posessions (excluding some pictures still in Avalon and Chesterbrook, for “home staging”) are either boxed up in my Chesterbrook home or are aboard Scooter. Gracie has been instrumental in helping do all the packing (and giving away of unwanted/unnecessary stuff)- it never would have happened if left up to me!

A minor part of our charitable contribution…

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Part of the stuff to be moved…

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During the time up north, I decided to leave Scooter with Coastal RV in Smithfield, VA to have some minor work done (digital-analog converter for TV and fix a 110-volt circuit that was dead). She stayed there for about a month- I picked her up on Tuesday, the 26th of October.

So, I get about a half-mile down the road and notice that the dashboard is going berserk. The word VOLT appears where the mileage should be, the ABS light and trans warning light are lit and, most scary, a light that simply says WARNING is brightly lit. A u-turn gets me back to Coastal and the confession that 1) they had not caused it and 2) they had no idea how to fix it. They contacted Cummins, the engine manufacturer, and received a “not our problem” answer. Finally, they contacted Tidewater Express (a truck and bus repair facility) in Hampton, VA, about 40 miles away. I got the bus there later on the 26th, hoping for reasonably quick service (Delores, a service rep, asked if I would like to wait). Well, it is now November 4th and we are not going to be in sunny Florida by the 1st, as planned! The latest diagnosis is that the alternator was putting out about 18 volts to the system, way more than appropriate. They are thinking that this may have caused to engine’s computer to go haywire. As I write this on 11/4, we are awaiting news of the receipt of a new (rebuilt) alternator and praying that the computer was not adversely affected. If not we should be leaving tomorrow; if there was damage, who knows when we will get to Florida!

So our last month has been exciting and somewhat stressful. After all the packing of Avalon and Chesterbrook, we have spent a lot of time (while waiting for Scooter) on the computer checking out homes for sale in the Palm Harbor/Tarpon Springs area near Tampa. The best news is that I got a bid on the Chesterbrook property that allows me to “get out from under” the mortgage payments and walk away with a little (and I mean a little) cash. We are planning that Ben Kane (John’s nephew) of Great Valley Moving and Storage, who does long distance moves, will put everything in Chesterbrook in storage before the settlement in mid-November and, when we have a place in Florida, pick up any items remaining in Avalon (a lot of pictures), do the same at Gracie’s place in Virginia, which is for sale) and bring it all to our new place in Florida.

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