Saturday, October 30, 2010

Enjoying Our Time at Peace River

Thank you Sallie for letting me know that you noticed me not showing up in your Google Reader.  It prompted me to make my way to my blog and do some catching up.  We have landed safely in Florida, as I've already shared.

We are still trying to figure out what we are doing with a job and some other parts of our life.  Austin wants a job and wants to take some college classes so we are looking into how we can accomplish that.

I am trying to get back into the swing of things with doing Reach the World for our second year.  (WooHoo!)  I love doing it, but it does take some time each week to do the editing/cropping of the pictures and writing the articles.

In the meantime, we are enjoying being back with some of our pickleball friends and enjoying the beauty of Peace River.  So far the pickleball crowd includes: Rich and Donna, Rich and Dee, Stan and Sally, Jack and Diane, Buddy and some new friends.  I think Donna said we had fourteen playing the other night.  That is a really large crowd for this early in the year.

Rich and Donna had a Happy Hour yesterday.  Since she has such a great blog and already wrote, complete with pictures, I'll just point you there to read more: Florida Picklers

Monday, October 25, 2010

Clermont FL to Wauchula FL

Ahhhh...we are back "home".  Or at least our "winter home".  We are so happy to be here!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Back in Florida with Friends and Family

It is so odd to go from weather where we had the heater on, to wearing shorts the next day...but that's what happens when you travel hundreds of miles in one day.  We have landed back in Florida and it's good to be back.  Last year I was a bit sad when we came back because I knew it meant travel would not be happening.  This year I couldn't get back fast enough!

We were were tickled pink that we made it back in time to see Zoe.  On top of that goodness, Auburn was in Orlando so we got to see her too.  Even though I was exhausted from the trip, I still soaked up the sunshine of the two girls that I adore so much.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One Night of Pickleball with Friends

We are in Williamsburg, but some of our pickleball friends are over at Chesapeake.  Yesterday Mira and I got our hair cut...she so kindly set up an appointment for me at her hairdresser's place.  The stylist cut off layers and layers of hair and there was a big pile left on the floor to show me just how much when she was done.  It was so good to see Rene and Mira again that we decided today to head over and see if we could play some pickleball with the crowd that was at TT's. 

Rene and Mira were not there because they were getting some work done on their rig.  Dean and Margie and Bob and Vicki where there though.  They kindly gave up their game of Mexican Train to play with us for a night.  We had a great time with them.  We are heading back to Florida tomorrow, so it was good to see them one last time before we do head south.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lebanon, PA to Williamsburg, VA

Haines Shoe House

As we were driving to the Harley Davidson factory, I saw a house shaped like a shoe.  I hadn't heard anything about it so I had to look online when we got back home.

This is what I found: The Shoe House, built in 1948, was by far "Colonel" Mahlon N. Haines' most outlandish advertising gimmick. It is a wood frame structure covered with wire lath and coated with a cement stucco. It measures 48 ft. in length, 17 ft. in width at the widest part and 25 ft. in height. The interior consists of five different levels and contains three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and living room.

This giant structural advertisement was originally used as a guest house. In the first year after its completion, elderly couples were invited to stay for a weekend and live like "kings and queens" at Haines' expense.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Harley Davidson Factory Tour

Today we headed over to York with Mira and Rene to do the factory tour at Harley Davidson.  Since the guys all want motorcycles right now, it was really cool to visit here.  Although it was not a production day, we still had a great time seeing the plant and hearing the history of Harley Davidson.

From the website:
Established as an assembly facility in 1973, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations in York, PA. is the largest Harley-Davidson manufacturing facility. The York facility covers more than 230 acres and has over 1.5 million square feet under roof.
Employees assemble the Touring and Softail® models, as well as limited production, factory-custom motorcycles. They perform a variety of manufacturing operations – from machining, polishing and chrome plating, to forming, welding and painting.
At the Vaughn L. Beals Tour Center, you'll explore exhibits that detail the plant's history, and guide you through the manufacturing and assembly processes. You'll also have the chance to sit on current production motorcycles and visit the gift shop for tour-related souvenirs.
Your journey begins with an introductory movie and continues on the factory floor where you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the people, processes and products of York Vehicle Operations. You'll be guided through various manufacturing and assembly areas, watch as parts are manufactured and see freshly painted and chrome plated parts. Then it's on to the end of the line, where every motorcycle is roll-tested prior to crating and shipping.
Over the years, thousands of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts have made the journey to York, Pennsylvania to witness passion forged in steel.

Hershey Thousand Trails


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hershey ZooAmerica

Today Nathan, Aric and I went to visit the Zoo here.  It was founded by Milton Hershey and is celebrating it's 100th anniversary.  All of the animals are native to North America which was interesting to us.  We practically had the zoo to ourselves which meant we spent as long as we wanted at each exhibit.

We are even more fond of these majestic creatures after our time with them in Michigan.
We are less fond of these animals after our time in Ohio at a park where they covered our patio with their gifts each day.
This guy is about the same size as the bear that Nathan got up close and person with in TN.  I wish the bear we saw in the wild seemed as zen as this one.  I might have been a hair less nervous then.
These two fought the entire time, and I'm pretty sure they were males based on how they fought.
This most likely was the female, because as soon as she saw they were fighting she came over to check it out.  In fact, I think she is Mom because she has that look on her face like, "I can't leave you two alone for five seconds!"
This beautiful animal was checking out a bunny rabbit that was running free, so he couldn't be bothered with us at all.
And this is the beautiful creature I wanted to bring home with me:
 Living the life in Pennsylvania!

If I Could Talk to the Animals

Since we were able to spend time in the zoo other people free today, it meant I could try to get video clips for our Reach the World articles.  I love it when I can sit and talk to the animals because it makes the whole zoo thing so much more fun.  Normally the animals just ignore humans.  Today they interacted with us some.

For example, I was talking to that big bear trying to talk him into swimming.  He was pretty stubborn.  After he sat up, he looked over at us like...yeah, this is all you're getting from me.
 The highlight of my day was when this lovely lady actually talked to me.  I was telling her how gorgeous she was and how she was the prettiest big cat I've ever seen in a zoo and she stopped, looked right at me and made a kitten like noise.  I talked back to her, and she responded again.  We went back and forth and had a little conversation.  Nathan tried to get it on video and she stopped.  As soon as he stops trying to record, she of course starts talking to me again.  It was pretty awesome!
Since my animal whisperer skills seemed to be in top form today, when we got to this guy, I tried again.  He was in the log, poking his head out.
I let him know that I would love it if he'd go and climb since the sign said he was a great climber.
Then I pleaded with him to get closer, so I could get a really good picture of him.  I told him if he'd come right in front of me on this log, that would be great.  I kid you not, he did it.  Then he looked at me with his oh so adorable face like, "is this good?".
In my next chapter of life, I'm going to work with animals.  I had no idea they were easier to work with than humans!  Seriously though, they made my day.  I went into the zoo in a complete funk and went out walking on air thanks to them.

Living the life in Pennsylvania where the animals speak human!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hershey Chocolate World and Shady Maple Buffet

The first day we were here, Austin went down to check out the pickleball courts.  He came back to tell us people were playing and was very excited about who the people were.  Rene and Mira are here!  We were not expecting them so it was a nice surprise!  We played pickleball as long as we could meaning until the sun went down.

Yesterday it rained so we caught up on fun things like cleaning the RV and getting groceries.  Today we headed out to explore.  We went to Hershey's version of a factory tour.  Austin, Auburn and I went before but Nathan and Aric had not been there before.  I love this place.  It's Chocolate World.  What's not to love?
If you do the tour part, you get a piece of candy at the end.  Last time we were with Diana and she twisted our arm to go on it twice, just to get two pieces of candy.  As much as Auburn and I hate candy, we went along with it.  This time was even better.  When we came off the tour ride, there was a lady doing surveys there.  Aric, Nathan and I all qualified to do one.  Which means we got to eat chocolate while doing the survey and then they gave us a free full sized candy bar for participating.  Austin got the candy bar because he had to sit and wait for us.  We went to explore all the other goodies afterward and bought a bag of Hershey Kisses each. 
After all of that fun, we headed to Lancaster to try the Shady Maple Buffet.  We somehow missed this when we were in the area two years ago.  We quite literally stuffed ourselves in ways I am not personally proud of.  It was soooooo good and there was so much food to pick from.  Half of my plates were for the desert part alone.

We had a great day!  We're hoping the sun comes out tomorrow and warmer weather comes with it!

Living the life in the land of wonderful food!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New York and Pennsylvania From My Window

Holley, NY to Lebanon, PA and Low Bridges

Today we left New York and started our journey back south. We landed in Lebanon, PA and are staying at the Thousand Trails there.

Since we just left the Erie Canal, Low Bridge Everybody Down has been a line from a song we've been singing. It also translates into our lives so often when we are traveling. Today we had to turn around in someone's driveway when we met up with a low bridge. Only to come in contact with another within minutes.

I've had people ask us, what do you do when you get to a low bridge? So I decided to document it to show you. This is what happens when you are not sure if you'll make it. You get out and watch to see if you'll make it or not. In this case Austin goes to the front of the truck and I'm sort of in the back, meaning I'm taking pictures while watching the back.

 We were good, except for the heat pump unit which was a little too close for my comfort. We made it through though and were good to go. Oddly enough, this is normal for us to stop and get out of the truck and do this.  I'm sure others don't quite see it that way though!