Family time, doc visits and moving on…

I don’t know how many noticed, but I skipped posting last week.  I wasn’t feeling well and decided to wait and talk about our time here in the Clearwater/Largo area all at once.

We had a short drive (less than 2 hours) from Wauchula to Largo.  We had been warned that the CG we were spending our first week was tight to get into, so we were happy to be able to arrive early in the day, with plenty of time to park.  The warning proved to be true.  While Vacation Village was well kept and clean, it was very tight.   On top of that, the site they gave us, with a tree and light post to navigate around, made it even more difficult.   After jockeying back and forth a few times (less than I expected honestly) my awesome hubby had us all settled in.

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the tree and light post, plus the neighbors items being right on the line on the other side of the site, made it more challenging to get into parked

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we had to park the truck up the street a bit, which we didn’t like at all, but it would not fit on the site.

I guess I could mention now that we stayed here to use our Ready, Camp, Go from Thousand Trails, for the last time. We probably wouldn’t have stayed there if it weren’t for that.  That’s not to say it wasn’t a nice park, but it wasn’t our preferred location.   At some point soon I will do a full summary on our Thousand Trails experience, check back in a week or so for that.   I’m not sure if I had mentioned it before, but we decided not to renew Thousand Trails for the upcoming year.  Anyway, for $20 a night, Vacation Village was a great deal!

The day after our arrival, we decided to head over to the Tampa RV Show.  The day we planned to go, Friday, was forecasted to rain all day (which it did) so Thursday proved to be a better day.  We went to see all the new Heartland Landmarks and they sure are nice!  They have a new floor plan, the Orlando, which is similar to our current one, the Grand Canyon.   We were not tempted too much, but the improvements were impressive!  The new 365 Lamdmarks are a good bit heavier and also longer than ours, and come standard with 8000lb axels and H tires.   They have added some nice features, but ours is still my fav – no trailer envy for me!  We also walked around and checked out all the vendors, and after sitting in about 15 different chairs, we each got a new camp chair!

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on our way to the Tampa Show – beautiful views from the bridge into Tampa!

We also saw quite a few people at the show.   We had planned to meet up with Nancy and Neil, but we saw others that we didn’t even know would be there.   We met Jim Beletti, president of Heartland Owners Club, at their table.  We also saw some friends from Amazon, Diana and Pat, and also, speaking of Amazon, we visited their table and got hugs from Kelly Calmes and the rest of the HR crew!   We ran (almost literally) into James & Cindy and Bill & Linda, and briefly met Jack Mayer, fellow RV-Dreamers.   James and Cindy generously offered us their driveway in Lake Charles, for a couple of nights on our way west!  Bill and I are looking forward to quality time with these two, who we met originally at the 2014 TN Rally and then again at the 2015 Family Reunion Rally in NC.  How cool is that?

Back while we were in Campbellsville, I had ordered some outside lettering for the rig, which arrived while we were in the Keys.  There was an ad on FB for a page called ” Vinyl Crafts” that caught my eye, so after further investigating, Bill and I agreed to place an order.

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it was Bill’s idea to put this up high, I hadn’t considered that, but LOVE it!

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in case it isn’t obvious, this is above the window on our living room slide, right next to the door and can be seen from the street

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making sure the letters are stuck on good

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peeling off the protective top

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LOVE it!  this is below the same window as the quote, right at eye level when climbing the stairs

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getting ready to put on the front blog name, got to make sure the surface is clean

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this is easily readable from the street as people walk by

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deciding exactly where this one will go on the back

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back inside, he made sure all the letters were stuck onto the front, and peeled off the backing

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after careful placement (this one was a bit tougher b/c it was larger than the others), peeling off the front and leaving just the letters

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this is easily readable to anyone behind us in traffic or at a fuel stop

As you can see from the pics – the results are awesome!  I could not be happier!  If anyone wants lettering like this – I totally recommend Vinyl Crafts!  Nicole was great to work with, was extremely patient in helping me make my decisions in what exactly to order.  And, while not a full-timer, she and her husband camp with their kids.

After our week on Ready, Camp, Go at Vacation Village was up, we moved back to Clearwater Travel Resort, which is where we’ve stayed in this area before.   We really like this park, it’s clean and well kept and everyone is friendly.   I actually asked inside if they ever hire Workampers b/c I wouldn’t mind working in the office here, but they don’t.   Having only asked the lady behind the desk, I may speak to the manager before we leave.

The balance of our time here has been divided between doc visits and family time.   In the past 2 weeks, we’ve been to our PCP (Primary Care Physician), dentist, we’ve both had colonoscopies (on the same day!) and since I am one lucky lady – I’ve also gotten fully examined by my Gyn doc, AND – wait for it – had a mammogram!  How exciting is that?! NOT!  We had blood work done before leaving for the Keys so the doc could go over results at our visits.   There is no rock unturned – and I don’t want to see another doc for the full year, when we will return for more fun!  Ha!

The result of all this poking, prodding, and use of cameras in places one shouldn’t ever want a camera, is that we are in good shape for the shape we’re in.  Due to family history, I didn’t get the “See you in 10 years!” from the Gastroenerologist, I get to do it again in 5 years!  And – bonus!  Due to not being able to fully “see” everything they want to see on my mammogram, at some point, I get to have another one!  YAY ME!  UGH!

Family time with my parents and sister has been great – planning meals, movie watching, etc.  Mostly just chilling.   I have our route out to Quartzite all planned and mapped out, and have started looking at heading north toward Seattle.  If anyone has any suggestions for that, I’m listening, as this area will be new to us!

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Shannon’s little Yorkie, Mr. Boo Pockets.  He LOVES being zipped up in her jacket like this

 

Tonight (Tuesday) was our last night here in Clearwater.  We all decided to head out to Clearwater Beach for dinner and to check out Pier 60, where there are street performers and vendors set up, selling their wares.  The food at Clear Sky was delish (thanks again TripAdvisor) and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

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Our time with my parents and sister have been great – as I said above, but it sure was hard saying goodbye.  I am not a huge fan of goodbyes, and prefer “see you later”, but the result is the same – we won’t be back for +/- a year.  When I feel myself tearing up and getting sad about leaving, I have to remind myself that with each “see you later” there is a “hello” waiting just around the corner.  In order to go to new places, you have to leave where you are.  I realize this may sound goofy and even sappy, but there is a process I go through to get myself through.  I have been somewhat surprised at how much leaving bothers me.  I am more torn that originally expected.  I didn’t want to admit that at first b/c I didn’t want it to seem like I didn’t want to do this lifestyle and travel and see all the places we want to see, but leaving is hard.  I have to remind myself there is phone calls, texts, FaceBook, FaceTime, Skype, etc. to keep in touch, which is more than people had “back in the day” when they traveled, and for those things, I am grateful.

After we leave here (Clearwater), in the morning, we will be moving at a quicker than usual pace for us.  Between here and Quartzite – it’s about 2300 miles and we are taking about 3 weeks to get there, planning to arrive on Feb 20.  We have gotten our “official” AK start date, May 28, and we want to arrive a couple days before that, so it’s time to start planning our trek north.   This is all so exciting!   I sure do hope you all continue to follow along!

30 thoughts on “Family time, doc visits and moving on…

  1. Hey Kelly. Yes, I did miss your blog last week. I looked every day to see if you had posted one. Glad you enjoyed the time with your family. That is always nice. As much as I hate the doctor and dentist I know that is something that you have to do for those yearly check ups. That is great you got all that out of the way. I can’t wait to keep following and see how things go as you head towards Alaska with what sounds like many stops on the way.

    1. Hi Chris! It was good to get doc visits done, but I’m exhausted! We will be making many stops along the way, but not too many long drive days thankfully. Glad to hear you will be keeping up!

  2. The vinyl letters are nice, I may steal that idea. Bummer we didn’t have time to catch up while you were here. Looking forward to reading your adventures in Alaska, we are still planning on the summer 2017 up there. Travel safe.

  3. In Mesa moving to Quartzsite March 2, looking forward to seeing you. I did the Florida to AZ trip last year. Take your time, this time of year the weather can be great or ????.4

  4. Always look forward to your new posts. Miss chatting with you every day. We’ve got to make a decision soon about summer employment. Waffling between Chesapeake Bay resort or Darien Lake in NY state.

    1. Thanks Karen! Bill and I also miss seeing you and Bob! Please pass along our hello to him!
      I personally think you can’t go wrong with Chesapeake Bay Area – it’s beautiful! To be fair – I’ve never been to that resort. As a rule though, the Chesapeake is great for sailing and boating! If we weren’t heading to AK, we may have considered that ourselves – still might in future summers. Parts of NY are gorgeous too, so hard to choose! Can’t wait to hear about your decision!

  5. The lettering looks great! I wish you could’ve been here in Q! When you get closer, contact us and maybe we can come down from Phoenix to have lunch or something while you’re passing by!

  6. I love the lettering! When I went to Vinyl Crafts I only saw the wood signs. Is there a different area for the decals? I’m looking forward to hearing about Alaska. We really enjoyed hearing about Amazon. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Kelly, I meant to ask you in my last reply if you guys got caught in any of that bad weather and storms, tornadoes, etc. while you were in Florida? I thought about you a lot during that and hoping you were safe and sound. Have you ever been caught in really bad weather conditions and if so what do you have to do? That is one thing I think about once we hit the road. Thanks – safe travels.

    1. We had some rain and wind, but the worst of the bad weather was to the south of us, thankfully! We had pretty bad wind in OBX our first time there with this rig in fall of 2014, wind gusts were about 50/55 mph – we were rocking and rolling that night! We brought in the slides, mostly to protect the slide toppers (and us from the noise they were making). In Pittsburgh – we had bad wind and rain also and tornado warnings nearby, if they had been closer to us, we would have went to the basement of the owners house, but thankfully we didn’t need to do that. We always try to be aware of where more solid structures are in case we need them!

      1. Thanks Kelly. Glad you didn’t have all the bad weather. I know I get scared in a house during really bad weather so I am not sure how I would feel in a RV. I know that is something we will have to be aware of all the time. Thanks again. I always appreciate the feed backs. l

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