Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Florida Style

December 25th arrived with sunshine, a brisk, steady breeze and the beach calling. To enjoy life to the fullest, one must be prepared when opportunity presents. With the weatherman calling for a 50% chance of rain tonight with windy conditions and a dreaded cold front poised to move into our area, we opted for the beach, of course.

The quiver of kites lives in the back of the car always ready for the right air. We decided on the sugar-white beach of Siesta Key. The wind was perfect for the big box kite and the parafoil kite with the 50' tail and we were flying high in less than five minutes.

The beach was awesome with a pretty good crowd of holiday people, but not overstuffed. The breeze was cool at times but the sun felt good. Yes, there were some people in the water (55 degrees F) - must have been Canadians. We walked down and put our toes in the water, too.

You can see lots of interesting things on any given day, but because it was Christmas Day, we saw lots of people in Santa hats playing football and frisbee; heard lots of Christmas carols; and saw one family group setting up umbrellas and tables for a family dinner. And, yes, someone brought a tree to the beach - complete with decorations.

We met lots of people fascinated by the kites and let several try their hand at flying. Watching faces transfixed and transformed by the simple act of flying a kite was a wonderful Christmas present to ourselves.

Hope you and yours experienced an uplifting day as well.

Merry Christmas and peaceful dreams,


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

All the Pretty Christmas Lights

Ah, all the pretty Christmas lights!

These pictures are from our Tuesday night outing in search of Christmas lights. These awesome photos were taken at Grace Baptist Church on Bee Ridge Road. Their lighting program blinks, moves and twirls to a 25-minute musical extravaganza.

You have to park in the back and walk into this musical wonderland. It is huge with over 500,000 blinking lights and 480 trees. A huge drum opens up during 'The Little Drummer Boy,' the angels fly over the manger during 'O Holy Night,' the American flag unfurls during the salute to the troops, 'Jingle Bells Forever.' This program is truly magical as you run from one side to the other with new synchronized blinks calling you over for a new experience. The crowd was hushed and in awe of the display, sometimes only able to point. Oh wait, that was me doing the pointing.

Anyway, if you find yourself in Sarasota, FL during the holidays this is a MUST SEE!

Inside volunteers serve hot cocoa and cookies. The church says this is their Christmas present to the community, and so it is.

Safe travels and holiday blessings to everyone,


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tarpon Springs

FYI, two weeks ago on our very cold day off, we went to Tarpon Springs, FL. It seemed like a wonderful day trip. We drove over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge not once, but twice!!! A real accomplishment, but it is a wonderfully wide and new bridge. It does cost a buck each time you ride over it, but it's really something to see. Went North on to Tarpon Springs, which we remembered from the movies, etc. as the sponge capital, blah blah blah.

Other than being a quaint old Greek village, it's pretty run down. The day we went it was cold and very windy and pretty much deserted. Lots of shopping, but nothing spectacular. We had a nice lunch at a Greek restaurant and ate some baklava; visited a Greek bakery and marveled at all the pastries; walked down to the sponge docks but there was no activity; took some pictures; came home. Glad we didn't plan more than a day to go there. BTW, we did not buy any sponges there (too pricey!).

In the spirit of adventure, keep going til you find something wonderful!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Martini Update

Last evening's martinis were absolutely yummy. Kathy had the 'chunky monkey' martini (chocolate vodka, Bailey's, banana liqueur, chocolate syrup, a splash of cream) -- totally decadent and absolutely fabulous.

The music was a great disappointment (Kathy is being very polite), but the company was wonderful. There were about a dozen of us fun-loving Workampers having a good time.

Frosty's fiber optic light show is dark now to avoid the annoying squeaking. The weather has taken a turn for the worse with another blast of Arctic air almost upon us. Soooo windy we took in the awning (again!) but the slide topper is making a terrible racket. We are presently rocking back and forth with gusty winds out of the NW. The temperatures are expected to hit the freezing mark Monday evening into Tuesday morning. Cold temps once again on our days off.

Our wonderful across the street neighbors faithfully go to Brown's Grove every week and we are able to send by them for fresh citrus, and boy is it tasty. We think it tastes better than any from the grocery store. We are truly blessed to have kind friends and neighbors here.

Just another reminder that life is, indeed, 'very good.'

Stay warm,

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Frosty Martinis

Well, the old RV is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The little tree is up, Frosty is unboxed and his revolving light is squeaking to beat the band. We have three, yes three, Christmas cards so far. Life is good.

Friends gave us giant snowflakes that we hung across the front of the coach along with the two Santa hats on the mirrors. We are in fine (if not tacky) holiday spirit. Yes, life is very good.

Tonight we are meeting some Workamper friends poolside at the bar and grill for Music and Moonlit Martinis. Ain't life great?

Here's to good friends, good drinks, great music... 'Nuff said.

Stay warm.

Monday, December 6, 2010

WhooHoo, It's Friday!

On your calendar it may look like Monday, but to us IT'S FRIDAY! The week began slowly and turned crazy on a dime. We're experiencing a windy, cold snap here on Florida's Suncoast (BBRRR!) with below normal temps. Hopefully it will warm back up into the mid-to upper-70s by Thursday.

We are planning something FUN for Tuesday (not sure what yet, but something) and will be working at the resort Christmas party on Wednesday night. It's chilly enough for us to seek out and find the hats and gloves we brought with us. Kathy's dad brought her a knitted beanie from Vermont earlier this fall. She's cutting off the tags and wearing it in Florida (who knew?????).

Here's to a fun weekend----even if it looks like a Tuesday and Wednesday to you.

Do something fun for yourself.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What the !??!!!??!?!?!?!!??

Everyone should have a bucket list - a list of dreams and aspirations one wants to complete before checking out of this life. Traveling North America and living the RV lifestyle is definitely on our bucket list and we're well on our way to seeing it through even through its many ups and downs.

Jerri's list includes things like compete in a triathlon, run a half marathon, hike the length of the Appalachian Trail, write and publish a series of children's books.... You get the idea.

Kathy's list is a bit more vague - lose weight and become more active, learn a new skill at least every year (this year it's Pickleball and Mahjongg), learn to dance (social dance), etc., but pretty bland compared to Jerri's list. According to Jerri, some of her items have also migrated to Kathy's list (like the half marathon), with great expectations that Kathy can complete 13 miles in a run/walk manner with some training. Boy, that Jerri sure is optimistic.

So, here's to your bucket list and to renewed optimism!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who Let the Cats Out?

Some folks wake up to the the rooster's crow, but not here. In the still, early morning hours, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, sometimes you can hear the roar of the big cats (meaning lions and tigers) from Big Cat Habitat as they greet the day. The first time you hear the big cats roar, you question whether you heard right.

The past few mornings we clearly heard the roars. Not a bad way to start the day. Especially in an area with a rich circus heritage, but it does make you wonder whether the greeting is one of sadness, irritation, hungry, or just an acknowledgment by the king of the jungle.

Sometimes it seems like it might be fun just to be able to roar. Think about it - roar against injustice, roar against the unfairness of life, roar against hurt feelings. Wouldn't it be great to be able to snarl at the people that piss you off? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to express displeasure with the people who just aren't nice? Wouldn't it be great to be able to bite off the head of evil, greedy humans? I have a couple in mind....

Who knows, maybe I'll come back as a lion in the next life and settle the score.


p.s. We know it's a tiger, not a lion, but the lion photo wasn't great. We also hear roosters crow, but thought you'd be more impressed by the big cats - we were.

Working, traveling, and loving life -


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Where does one begin when there is so very much to be thankful for? Every day is a beautiful gift and every chance encounter is an opportunity to be a beacon of light in this world.

We arrived back at Sun N Fun in beautiful Sarasota, FL around the end of October and have been busy re-learning our jobs and routines at the resort. Kathy is committed to becoming more active and is learning Pickleball - which is both fun and addictive. Jerri plans to participate in the Sarasota Half-Marathon in Spring 2011. Life is very good.

On the family front, life has been less than perfect. Jerri's dad died unexpectedly on November 16 after hip replacement surgery. Kathy's dad had surgical repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on the 15th and her mom is now receiving Hospice care in the Nursing Home. While all of this may seem like a series of unfortunate events, on a positive note it serves as a reminder for us to make the most of every day and never miss an opportunity to be kind and to say 'I love you' to those in your life who really matter.

On this day of Thanksgiving, we are grateful for: family, friends, good health, a positive workplace, seeing a bald eagle flying overhead yesterday, walking (and finishing) the Turkey Trot today, and the opportunity to find something to be joyful about each and every day.

Safe and happy travels to all.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to Blogging!

We will just pretend that nothing much has happened since our last post in May 2010 since we are so slack at blogging. We began using Facebook as a 'slice of life' notation rather than heavy-duty blogging. So hard to keep up with all the 'blogs' and 'social networks,' but we will try to do better.

The blog is linked to FB, but we have not figured out how to link (or if it's even possible) the blog to FB.

To make a long story short, we made it back to Camp Hatteras in the Outer Banks of North Carolina just before Memorial Day to work in Recreation for our second season. Although we were scheduled to work through Labor Day, Hurricane Earl (and the ensuing mandatory evacuation) shortened our stay by about five days... So, no real good-byes or closure to the season.

It was the busiest summer we've ever experienced, but also one of the most rewarding on several levels. We spent more beach time and less 'on the go' time and introduced a lot of kooky activities - some worked and some didn't. Water aerobics was not so popular last summer but was a HUGE hit this year; bucket ball worked last year but not this year; Splatterball was a huge hit this year, as was 'coconut bowling,' gummy 'dirt and worms,' and a rash of other ideas. Met a lot of new folks and reconnected with some old favorites. All in all, it was a fabulous summer!

The thing about having a house on wheels is that hurricane evacuation is possible. We are back in Statesboro, GA where the temps are in the mid to upper 90s and hot as dammit pretty much every day. Even so, Parkwood RV Park is our transitional home during travels, with friends in the park that we are happy to reconnect with, as well as family in the area (we are also happy to reconnect with). We hope to reconnect with a lot of our Camp Hatteras family while in Florida this winter.

We're in Parkwood for about a month and are scheduled to be back at Sun 'N Fun Resort in Sarasota, FL mid-October. We will try to be better at blogging, but we've broken that promise before...

Make the most of every day and safe travels...


Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Space Shuttle Discovery

Okay, we knew there would be things we forgot to mention. Here's a biggie - while still at Sun N Fun, we arose really, really early on April 5th to see the fireball in the sky - the Space Shuttle Discovery taking off for its trip to the International Space Station. We actually saw the Space Station pass overhead (looked like a giant dragonfly in the sky).

After our season at Sun N Fun RV Resort ended in mid-April we headed to our sister park, Tropical Palms, in Kissimmee, FL for a couple of days of R&R on our way back to Georgia. The shuttle landing had been delayed due to weather which made the timing coincide with our trip to Kissimmee. Although we could not see the shuttle, we did hear the double sonic boom it made on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. Since there are so few shuttle missions left, we felt very honored to have witnessed the exit and entry of this mission. Go NASA!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Whoo Hoo's Great Catch Up (or life after a computer virus)....

Hello and Happy New Year to our family, friends and followers (yes, we do realize it is already May).

We owe apologies, once again, for being so slack in blogging. We aren't sure what happens with our "free" time. Our jobs at Sun-n-Fun kept us extremely busy and by the time our days off rolled around, we must admit we were tired and often didn't get around to blogging after catching up on chores. Having said all of that, let us catch you up. PLUS, to top it all off, we had a computer virus, which Best Buy supposedly removed but the old PC boots up ever so sloooowly now. So, we no longer forward e-mails or open jokes and forwards, so don't be offended when we don't respond to your chain emails.

After arriving in October, we were quite busy learning new jobs, meeting thousands (literally) of guests, participating in resort activities and trying to visit nearby sites.

Our visit to Siesta Key Beach (pre-gall bladder surgery for Kathy) was nice but the mood was a bit dampened by Kathy not feeling well. The beach is beautiful, as you can see.

Several days after our visit to the beach, Kathy ended up in Sarasota Memorial Hospital having her gall bladder removed. Jerri worked, held down the home-fort and checked on Kathy as best she could during this week. It was quite an experience for us but all is well now.

During our time in Sarasota, we had the great fortune of going to the circus and the Ringling Museum (photo of Museum grounds). Some of the circus performers stayed at Sun N Fun, which was very interesting, aside from all the other interesting stuff going on.

Christmas in the resort was great fun with lots of participation. The resort-wide lighting contest was heartily embraced by the guests.

In January, the Elvis Meets Tom concert was lots of fun. Watching the guests clamour for these Elvis and Tom Jones impersonators was quite interesting. We were assigned to opening the door at the appointed time and taking tickets. What sounds as if would be simple tasks, was like taking your life into your own hands when those doors opened!

Life in this resort is quite interesting and we learned a lot. Sun N Fun is a great place to visit and to work. We learned so much about guest services and what keeps people coming back to the same campground/resort year after year no matter what the economy looks like. The work was not boring; the guests were (for the most part) pleasant and interesting, and the area was great. We often felt like we were at the United Nations with so many nationalities, but it was a wonderful learning experience.

The area around Sarasota has a lot to offer and because of Kathy's gall bladder and a very cold, wet winter, there was just not enough time to explore everything. So, yes, we want to come back here again. We met some great folks at Sun N Fun (Ginny and Amber - you know who you are) and we enjoyed working there. We got to know some other workampers who were kind and showed us the 'ropes.'

Sun N Fun is unlike any other place we've worked. We enjoyed fresh oranges and grapefruits all winter (it's Florida). We were able to see many entertaining shows, a couple of different circuses, the Big Cat Habitat (across the road), participate in community involvement benefiting several charitable organizations, learn new activities (Jerri learned to play Pickle ball and Kathy got shushed at Bingo), plan what we want to learn next year from the 150 activities offered per week during the winter, and a whole lot more.

All in all, we had a blast and want to do it all again. So, yes, we plan to return to Sun N Fun in the fall.

After a few weeks in Georgia, we are en route again back to Camp Hatteras in the Outer Banks. Please keep in touch and we will do our best to stay current with the blog. If some events appear out of order it's because they are. We may go back and reminisce once we touch down again.

Be cool and travel safe.