Friday, November 28, 2008

Thankful for Family

While funerals are a sad event, the bringing together of family is always a nice upside of the event. Here are some pictures of people we so rarely see, but love so much:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Early Thanksgiving

Because we knew Nathan's grandmother was very ill, we had our Thanksgiving early in case we might have to leave for her funeral later in the week. Ambir and Santos came up so we could celebrate here. They brought our newest grandchild, Rambo:
Ace loves Rambo and tries so hard to play with him. They play games like tug of war:
He was so affectionate:
I think he liked the fact that he was as big as Shine. Poor Shine didn't know what to think.
Mimi on the other hand let him know right off the bat...go ahead...make my day. I have decided to rename Mimi and christen her with a more appropriate name: The Godfather.
Two of the three beautiful sisters:

Ambir and Santos:
The four of us:
Nathan made the whole dinner, as is our tradition and it was fabulous. It wasn't the full spread that we usually do, but we had all of our favorites and more than enough good food. It was so great to have time together, which is what we really were looking forward to. We had lots of fun playing Apples to Apples and then watched some movies that we picked up at the closest Redbox.

Sadly, Nathan's grandmother passed away today and so did another family member that lives here in Florida. So while we had a great day of celebration, we also felt sadness over the loss of two people we loved. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoys the moments you have with your family members.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Downtown Disney and Twilight Movie

Auburn and I went to Downtown Disney today to see the movie, Twilight.  I forgot my camera, so excuse the cruddy phone camera pics:
I will see if she will give her review of the movie since she is the one read all of the books.  I thought the movie was ok.  It was darker than I like in a movie, so it was hard for me to get past that.  I did have a great time having one on one time with Auburn so it was worth it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nature Walk

We went out on a nature walk today. Ace was thrilled to be outside and in sand and water.
Can we say full of energy? Throwing sand everywhere, flying through the air kinds of energy.
On the way back, Aubs stopped to make a friend. Auburn is such a dog lover that she always talks about the pets first, and then their owners. This was a sweetie named Angel, who was rescued four years ago by her nice owner-a gentleman from PA. We had a nice time talking to him (them).And just to prove that he's the cutest dog in the world, Ace gives me one of his famous winks.
It's a good life.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Location Factors

You've heard the phrase location, location, location in respect to real estate. We are seeing now that the same applies to picking a site location. So what are the two biggest factors at this point:Yes, how close we are to the pickle ball /tennis court. That's Austin playing!And how close we are to the laundry room. In other words, we scored a prime spot this time. The laundry rooms are the nicest we've encountered so far. And they play pickle ball twice a day here. We are in resort heaven.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fascinating People-Chuck

I've said a few times here that we meet the nicest people. We also meet the most interesting people. It has struck me how easy it is to think the "world" is whatever corner you live in is. Now that we are moving around often, I see it is enlarging our idea of what the "world" is. And we are still in one tiny corner of it.

People like Chuck are why our views are being enlarged. Austin met Chuck while we stayed at Bee's RV Resort. He saw him working on a boat and struck up a conversation. Chuck builds model boats:

Interesting? Interesting to me, because I can't imagine having the patience and persistence to finish such a project. Interesting to me because they are so life like. I imagine it takes real skill to do this.But what makes Chuck and his boats truly fascinating, is that he doesn't use a kit to build his boats. He doesn't even use stock pieces (if that is what they are called) to build these boats. The entire boat, or at least all of the wood pieces, are made out of coffee stirrer sticks. The sails are made out of t-shirts. This ended up being one of the neatest things Austin saw so far. And I agree. INCREDIBLE! From Austin: Chuck was a very nice man. He builds boats. One boat took him sixteen months to build. He wanted me to build one with him but we weren't there long enough. He's always had a boat, a real boat, since he was eighteen years old. He told me where the word sh*t comes from (Ship High In Transit) and the story behind it.

Me again: Thanks so much Chuck for sharing your boats with us and for letting us share with the world.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Moving Day-Back to TT

We have come to affectionately call the days we pack up and head out from one resort to another our moving days. For those that don't understand this part of our life, it takes about an hour to get things ready on the inside and about two hours to do the outside parts-give or take an hour.

The inside process is basically moving everything to a place where it is not going to fly all over the place while we travel and moving things out of the way so slides can be brought in. The TV antennae is lowered, the fantastic fans are closed shut and we make sure the doors are latched, the shower door is latched and all cabinet doors are shut tight.

The outside part is a bit trickier. Everything that is outside must be moved into the RV or the back of the truck. Depending on where we camped, sometimes we have to sweep off the top of the awning and slides for leaves, twigs and other debris. The slides are brought in. The RV is then hooked onto the truck. And last but not least, the sewer is dumped and unhooked and the same with the gray water tank.

We've got this part down to a science now so it is pretty mindless at this point. I hated these days to begin with, but have come to realize this is small stuff compared to the overall maintenance of a house and yard and now see it as part of the excitement of always seeing and doing something different. Sometime I'll try to remember to take pics of the process.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Houston...we have a problem

The Endeavor Shuttle was scheduled for a launch today, so we made last minute plans to go and watch it. An interesting news clip about this:

"Carrying a seven-person crew, Endeavour illuminated the evening sky as it shot off from the Kennedy Space Centre, settling into Earth's orbit about 8½ minutes after takeoff.

Endeavour's crew will be delivering a 14,500-kilogram payload of equipment that will allow the space station to double the crew size to six members in the spring of 2009.

The shuttle is loaded with two additional bedrooms, an extra toilet and exercise machine and two new food warmers, a food refrigerator and an experiment freezer.

The crew will also install a recycling system that will turn urine into drinking water at the orbiting outpost, which will be even more essential for the station crew after the space shuttle program is retired in 2010."

Perhaps I've been hanging out with a thirteen year old boy far too much, but the part about turning urine into drinking water was the most interesting part to me.

We coordinated driving schedules with Randy and Jennifer, who were just up the road from us, and headed over early afternoon. We went to Jetty Park, where we met up with Wendy the Great and her cute kids and hubby. I was excited to see her right when we arrived at the park.

We were able do introductions, gab for just a short bit and she went to help her hubby with their kids. Right after she walked away, we were arrested by the park security guard. Ok, not arrested...but we were kicked out of the park. Yes, kicked out!!!!!!!!!!!!! It seems Ace was only welcome if we were camping. Otherwise, not. She escorted us to our truck and drove us out of the park. We had to drive down to another park where dogs might be allowed.

I was SO disappointed that I didn't get that time with Wendy, especially since she is moving shortly. =(

It was wonderful that Randy and Jennifer went with us though, because we got to sit and gab for the hours we had to wait until the launch. I always hate to describe people as the "nicest" anything because it almost sounds to me like one of those things you say when you can't think of anything more interesting to say. But they truly are just the nicest couple/family.

Jennifer is one of those bright, sunshine reflecting people that is full of life. She also can hold her own in one of Diana, Austin and I's gabbing contests which I always enjoy in a person. Randy is so laid back and just a hoot. Their kids are so quiet that I don't know a lot about them yet, but hoping to have more time with them and get to know them better.

The launch was so fabulous. Auburn commented that it almost didn't look real, because it was so bright. Austin loved it too. Wendy told me that it was the last night launch they were doing here, so it was neat that we were a part of it for that reason too.

On to the pics:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FAQ-Are You Retired or Did You Win the Lottery?

Following the advice of a friend, I've decided to start trying to answer some of the questions that others ask us about our lifestyle. The first question everyone seems interested in is how can you financially afford to do this. It seems most people think we are either so wealthy that we can afford to do this due to that, or we are retired already. I would love to answer yes to either of those questions but the answer is no to both. It is comical to me that people are so confused as to how this could work any other way. My husband worked from home before we went on the road, and he works from home now. His job hasn't changed even though the house has. I think it shocks me that most people don't consider that option due to the increasing number of work at home positions.

I do understand that not everyone would be so accommodating to allow their employees to suddenly hit the road even if working from home. In that respect we may be a bit unique in that Nathan owns his own company. You never know until you ask though, whether working for yourself or someone else. Five years ago, I'd have never considered this to be possible. Once I got the idea that this might be a neat thing to do, we started saying how can we do this and things fell into place from there. I believe that to be true about most things in life so this wasn't the exception in our life necessarily, it was just one more goal we achieved.

I do want to note that this is not the only way to live on the road with your family. We are in the FOTR group which is full of families doing this. Each of our stories is different and how we achieve this goal is different. Some work jobs that are traveling jobs and go where work is, some find work in places where they go, some work from home like us and so on. If you want to do this, there is a way!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lake Louisa State Park

Due to it being Veteran's Day, the National Parks had a special visit the park free day. We visited Lake Louisa State Park. It is on a chain of lakes and is quite large.
First we went over to the lake. It appeared to be low, but given it was our first visit, we can't be sure of that. Ace was thrilled to be on a sandy beach again.
Then we headed over to a nature trail to hike. Austin thought it was so cool to see one of these:
Any place that the trail was sandy, we saw this, which we think may be bobcat tracks:
Austin didn't even see this up over his head until after he walked by (left corner):

We knew what this was because we saw one last year when camping at Peace River:
We hiked there for about two hours. It is so different hiking in Florida, where it is so flat, compared to other states. It was hotter and more humid though, which offset the ease of the trails. More pictures: Kids, The Park and Ace.

Tonight we ate at the restaurant that is at Bee's Resort. The meal is an all you can eat fried chicken, corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, biscuits, coleslaw, applesauce and drinks dinner. We thought it was a good price before we ate. Every single item on the menu was not just good, but fantastic as in the best coleslaw and applesauce we've ever had kinds of food. If you are in the area, I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Presidents Hall of Fame

Auburn, Austin and I went to the Presidents Hall of Fame today. With the recent election so fresh on our minds, I thought it would be a great topic to dig into. This was one of the most interesting things we've seen so far. First off, we were honored to meet the creator of the model rooms and wax figures, John Zweifel. He made himself very available for our questions and shared his 50 years of historical White House knowledge with us. He told me he began making the models at a young age because his grandmother was an invalid and he'd work on them while staying with her. He was a fascinating person to talk to.A replica of the White House while it was being built:See any familiar faces? Our current president and his lovely wife all the way to the left:If Auburn and Austin remember nothing else, they know this-RR had a great sense of humor. And I'm purposely leaving it RR due to one of his jokes.Ahhhh...someday, says Auburn....someday.
More pictures: here

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Citrus Tower~Clermont FL

Today we had to leave TT and head over to another resort. We drove by the Citrus Tower in Clermont and decided to stop to snap a picture. We will probably go inside of it while here.
When pulling out of the parking lot, we saw this cool Grape Ape truck. We see things like this all the time, not purple trucks, but neat things like this and rarely do I have my camera to capture it. So it was wonderful to me to be able to snap a pic of it.
We then ate at Tijuana Flats which we thought was good food for a very decent price.

Faye, who is one of the Pickle Ball goddesses, asked me if Austin is still playing pickle ball because she didn't see it on my blog. Yes, he is still playing. We now have to plan other activities around pickle ball. It kind of cramps my style, but he loves it so much that I work around it.

I normally only blog about things that I've managed to snap pictures of, so there are tons of things we do that don't make it to the blog. I'm now pondering whether I should add them whether I have pictures or not. To be honest, I rarely remember the next day what we do without pictures because I'm getting old-ish. So we'll see what I can do there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wendy the Great

One of the downsides to having lots of online friends is that you don't get to spend face to face time with them. So I was hoping that one of the upsides to traveling would be that I would get to meet those people face to face. Today I was able to meet a newer friend, Wendy. As soon as we started talking it was as if we'd known each other for years. We just clicked. I've been stalking her blog for some time and found it interesting. I can see why now that I've met her. She is smart and interesting. Oh and she has great hair. If she weren't so sweet, I'd probably hate her. ;-> I wish I'd have had more time because I could have gabbed for hours more. She is moving to DC and I'm very excited about that because she already knows the city very well so when we go to visit she can help us navigate the city and tell us the best museums to see. Here is the three of us (Nathan tagged along) jamming to some very colorfully costumed men and their music.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Auburn is tackling Nanowrimo this month. It stands for the National Novel Writing Month. She will be writing a 50,000 word novel in one month. Auburn has been working on a novel for some time. She is also one of those people who can throw themselves into something with the fierce devotion that allows her to stay with it, only coming up for air now and again, until she is done. So this is right up her alley. If you talk to her, be sure to ask how many words she has so far. I'm so proud of her for tackling this. In order to support her, Austin and I are going to commit to doing a verbal form of this. We will be sharing 50,000 words verbally over the next month. So helpful, huh? That's just the kind of people we are.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

With a Little Help From My Friends

After reading about Austin's love of the Beatles, my friend Barb sent me an email and to make a long and sweet story short, lets me know that she is going to send him some Beatles' memorabilia that she has.

Barb rocks. She is one of those women that constantly surprises you because just when you think you have her figured out, she springs something new on you. She's not only brainy, but she's just plain cool. Turns out she has been to THREE of their concerts. If she weren't already taken, Austin would be proposing to her.

Austin met her when we met up in PA and thought she was way cool then. The fact her husband has Martin's guitars (yes, plural) and was the mayor where they lived didn't hurt any. He has been at Ambir's house though, so he didn't fully understand just how cool she was until the day before he arrived back here and I told him Barb sent him a package. Something to do with the Beatles. O.M.G. is his reply.

So my youngest child arrives back home after not seeing me for over a week. It's past 1 am and I'm barely awake. He bounds into my bedroom and I think it's joy in seeing me that is driving him. I go to hug him and he shifts to the side and says, "Where is it?". It? Oh, the package. Well, I thought we'd wait until tomorrow because I want to take pics while you are opening it.

He blinks a few times because he can't tell if I am messing with him or not. MMMMOOOOOMMMMM.....I can't wait that long. I'll wait until you get your camera. Yeah, I know...what was I thinking? As if the Beatles could wait until morning. Ok, here we go:Did you know that a thirteen year old guy can squeal in such a fashion that the two cats who normally ignore most of what we do will come and see what is up? Pure joy:There are some areas of my life that I can easily throw pity parties over, but I have to stop for a minute and say that my friends that are in my life more than make up for it. I feel humbled and inspired by their love and devotion to our friendship. And they do things like Barb did here, selfless and hugely generous things that make my day.

I know it's cheesy and a lame attempt to use Beatles lyrics in my post, but I really do get by with a little help from my friends. They make my life richer by being a part of it. Thank you for making my day by making my son's day. Oh and Barbi, your secret's safe with us. Love it! You managed to surprise me again.