This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Monday, 27 February 2017

The Hitch-Itch got us home

During the past week we noticed numerous sites being vacant at the RV Park and no new RVs coming in to take those spots.  But the highways were busy with trailers and RVs of every kind traveling in the direction of the I-75. Looking at the weather forecast for our hometown they were experiencing record breaking temps of 66F/19C for this time of year. Wow, so what are we waiting for?

As an update to anyone interested to find out what happened to the motorhome that had caught fire (see my post from Jan. 17th) A couple of days before our departure I had the opportunity to talk to the owner of the coach that had the refrigeration fire in January.  Since then he and his wife had been living in the damaged RV making do with a small stand-alone refrigeration unit because the big Norcold refrigerator had been out of commission.  They were going to pullout of the RV Park the next day going to an RV dealer to meet service technicians from Norcold to have the damage addressed.  His insurance company, however, had denied his claim because they were full-timers.  He said that nowhere in his policy did it state that by not having another residence they would not be insured for something like this.  He promised me that when all damages were fixed and his RV insurance was up for renewal he would place an extensive write-up about the incident and his dealings with the insurance company in all RV-forums available to him. 

It was close to 10 a.m. on Friday by the time we left the RV Park for our trip up North.  The weather was sunny and warm, the I-75 was busy with tractor-trailers and lots and lots of RVs, all heading NORTH!  There are signs along the I-75 indicating that it is an evacuation route.  Benno and I were joking that it looked like every RV was taking it literally and they were running from something.  By 4 O’clock in the afternoon we had had enough of the Friday afternoon rush hour and pulled onto the parking lot of the Camping World store in Byron, GA, which is located right next to the I-75 slightly south to the town of Macon.  It was even hotter there than it had been down in Florida.  We asked for permission to spend the night on their property and were assigned a spot next to the gated storage yard.  They even provided us with a power cord so we could plug in and wouldn’t have to use our generator during our stay, very nice folks at this store.

Next morning we were on the road by 6 a.m. and that was after eating breakfast of fruits, coffee, toasted rolls and bagel. Traffic was very light and we made good time until everybody had gotten up and decided to drive somewhere.  We stopped for the usual gasoline fill-ups, a few fast food stops and to let the dogs get some exercise.  It was a long driving day because we don’t drive faster than 55 mph with the rig in tow.  It was dark when we stopped at another Camping World parking lot in Cincinnati, Ohio.  They were already closed for the day and we could not ask for permission.  However, we had stopped here on our way down and were given the go ahead, so we had no worries.  Not far from there we could have also stayed at a Walmart store or a rest area along the I-75, but we preferred this spot.  Right next to the Camping World is a Papa Johns pizzeria, which could be useful if I didn’t want to cook.  However, I still had lots of leftovers in the fridge, which just needed microwaving with the help of our generator.

On the final stretch home the next day the weather again was gorgeous.  If it wasn’t for the colors long the highway changing from bright green to olive and then brown I could have sworn we were still down south as the sun warmed us up inside the truck.  Traffic was next to nothing with hardly any tractor-trailers and no delays anywhere.  Even at the border crossing into Canada at lunchtime we couldn’t believe that there was no waiting time and an hour later we pulled into our driveway at home after driving 1,800 km/1125 miles from Ocala, Fl. On a side note, we noticed a big difference with the Hayes Sway Master (see my post from Dec. 31st) that Benno had installed. The trailer towed nicely straight behind us and there was never any indication of swaying when those big eighteen-wheelers passed us at top speed or while encountering crosswinds. The Hayes Sway Master made a big difference and we felt both very relaxed.

Winter seems to be over here in these parts of Ontario. The tulips are peeking out of the ground in my flowerbed, the dandelions are coming up and the buds of the trees across the street are all signs that spring is around the corner.

I’ll be still posting, although the trailer is parked on its spot next to the house. So stay tuned for more.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

What's for dinner?

We’ve been quiet for a while.  Nothing is wrong all is good here in warm and sunny Florida.  Please don’t be worried!! The days seem to fly by because we seem to be surprised when yet another weekend it upon us.  Other than the normal grocery shopping or trips to get a few everyday things we run out of there hadn’t been any reason for us to leave the park.  However, while being stopped at a traffic light in town we thought it was interesting to see an anvil mounted to the rear bumper of a van.  I have never seen that back home in Canada, but being here in Ocala, the horse capital of the world, it seems plausible that perhaps the vehicle in front of us belonged to a hoofer or farrier on his way to shoe a horse. 

This afternoon the unmistakably melody of an ice cream truck grew slowly louder behind our camper.  There are no children here in this park, but you don’t have to be a kid to instantly recognize this tune.  The weather was certainly pleasant enough right for this kind of treat, but my hubby will get his favorite ice cream, “Bryers Black Raspberry Chocolate” later tonight as he does most nights.  There are advantages being in an RV park and ours offers also one night a week an ice cream social where you can choose your own toppings in addition to the ice cream favor of your choice.

For Valentines Day I dipped strawberries in melted milk chocolate, which we devoured in the afternoon with our coffees.  Why didn’t I take a picture of them as they were so pretty I asked myself?  So when I served our dinner, chicken Parmesan with green beans and bacon I grabbed the camera.  Not that this was a very special meal, but I guess sometimes I too can mention what’s for dinner at our table. 

Tonight we have German Frikadelle (kind of a large flattened meatball but not a hamburger) made in the frying pan with “Diana” sauce and zucchini.

That is all for today.  Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday and I wish everyone who is looking for bargains happy shopping tomorrow on Presidents Day! Benno already did his on Friday at “Harbor Freight’s” 20% off Presidents Day sale, more screw drivers and little clamps!!

This is in response to Patsy's comment below: I tried out another font in normal size and it didn't make any difference in the view.  By choosing the next larger font as suggested by Blogger which is this format, it looks huge to me and I have to find perhaps another solution. (What do you think?)  I also have sometimes difficulty reading blogs with small fonts and use the option of "Reader View" which is by clicking on the lines to the left of the blog description (look at the picture below) and this brings up the site with a white background and larger black font. I think it is available on most devices. 


Monday, 13 February 2017

Correction on the stinkbug we found

Thanks to our loyal reader and friend Rudi Halbrichter from Toronto, who is a world travelled nature expert, I have to make a correction.  He pointed out that the assumed stinkbug we discovered sitting under our awning was in fact quite an aggressive and dangerous little bugger called (Arilus cristatus) or commonly called a Wheel Bug.

Checking the Internet I found several websites and the "Featured Creatures" site, which I include, gave me a lot of information.  The Wheel Bug belongs to a mean family of bugs called kissing bugs, assassin bugs, vampire bugs etc., reaching lengths of up to 1.5 inches, which was about the size of the specimen we found. It preys on pest insects and in fact attacks the brown marmorated stinkbug we thought we had captured. They are feeding at night and are attracted by light, hence since we found it on the LED strip below the awning. Its bite, when inflicted, can be more severe than a bee, wasp, or hornet sting. No wonder, as the number of teeth vary from 8 to 12. (Really?) Wheel bug saliva contains a toxic, paralytic substance that immobilizes and kills the prey insect within 15 to 30 seconds of injection.
It goes without saying that this bug should be avoided or handled with caution.

pictures were taken from Pinterest

However, Wikipedia states that Wheel bugs are highly regarded by organic gardeners because they consume a variety of insects and their presence indicates a healthy, pesticide-fee ecosystem.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I wont come across another one. Yuck!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Some tidbits from last week

Oh how nice it is to laze around the campground doing not much of anything, just enjoying the nice weather.  Well, this does describe our life here, but not exactly every day. The other day, or better a few days ago we drove to Ocala’s UPS Freight Terminal on the south side of Ocala to pick up a big, and heavy wooden crate, weighing about 200 lbs. or so.  It is for Benno.  I consider it a long awaited and belated Birthday and Christmas gift all in one. I wont say what it is, but it is for his new workshop back home in Canada. What I can reveal though is that it came from the company and it will be complimented with some tooling from a company  So here are some pictures of the crate from the Freight Terminal while I oversaw the loading of the box onto our truck bed, and Benno inspecting the goods at our place in the RV Park. If you want to find out what was in the box you’ll have to keep following along until I will reveal the contents.

What else have we been doing? Going grocery shopping at my favorite store called Aldi, which is a chain store established first throughout Germany and also found here in many states (2018 stores in the USA, incl. Trader Joe), worldwide 10366 stores. They carry a good variety of European items and their prices are lower than any other grocery store.  However, their inventory is limited and you might not find everything on your grocery list.  So, while out shopping we drove by this hardware store and stopped because the helicopter outside looked interesting.  Well, that is exactly the purpose of that thing.  Benno went in to see what kind of merchandise they carried and the sales clerk told him that they had traded this little helicopter in, in an exchange for a lawnmower some chap haggled for because he’d fallen out of that flying machine and was scared to ever attempt another liftoff.

Benno was so fascinated with this thing
that he contemplated of how to get it home
I had to seriously talk him out of it

This brings back a memory both Benno and I share.  Way back, before our sailing days in our first sailboat on Lake Ontario, a 29-foot Bayfield, Benno became obsessed with building plans for a helicopter kit.  It looked a lot like this red toy in front of the hardware store. He thought it would be fun to build one and then take off into the blue yonder.  I didn’t want any part of it and said: “Not even 10 horses will drag me into this helicopter. If you want to know what I like, I’d like a nice sailboat and go cruising on the oceans.”  “Why didn’t you say so,” he said. And thus our sailing years began.

Back at the campground we found that critter sitting under our awning.  At first sight it looked like a massive spider but after further inspection once we trapped it in the broom we think it’s a type of stinkbug.  In any case, we got rid of it and threw it over the fence. 

Not one day goes by without our dogs barking at the cute squirrels who keep teasing them by running up and down the big oak tree in front of our window.  They know the dogs will not be able to catch any of them when they are outside, but our dachshunds keep trying because it's in their nature.
So we keep enjoying our time down here in Florida. The weather is nice and next week we will find some new things to do and see.  Stay tuned, we love it when you keep checking.