Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Back at Nettles Island for Another Winter

We're on our new lot at Nettles Island in Jensen Beach FL now. Arrived 7 November after a week of traveling and planned maintenance on the motorhome.

The trip was enhanced by traveling much of the way with friends John and Carole.

Now to enjoy the nice Florida winter weather . . . Bike riding, walking, teaching, reading, maybe even a bit of work if the opportunity and urge coincide.

Here's where we are now:

From the back . . .

. . . and the front.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time to Head South!

It's nearing the end of October and the temperature is already lower than I like, the trees are mostly bare and Highland Pines Campground has been officially closed for more than 2 weeks. It's awkward getting the long hose out to fill the fresh water tank a couple times a week (fortunately, there are a couple of deep shut-off taps that remain turned on well into November). All this just to see our daughter's house go up on the foundations (it's a modular home built by Quality Homes of Kenilworth). Here's what it looked like when the 4th of 6 modules was placed on the foundation:

We'll take our time heading back to Nettles Island in Florida, stopping for a few days to have the motorhome serviced at the chassis factory in Gaffney SC. At least we won't be traveling alone this time - we'll travel to Gaffney with a friend who has a motorhome exactly like ours. The company will be nice!

Now to get back to organizing the trailer for the trip south . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer at Highland Pines in Belwood

It's about time I update information on our travels!

We arrived at Highland Pines Campground (on the shore of Belwood Lake in Belwood Ontario) on May 7th and will be staying here for the summer season (except for short trips away).

The migration north from Florida was leisurely and uneventful. But we've received more rain in the last few weeks than we experience3 all winter in Florida. And the cold has been hard to deal with! I had to give up my "Florida uniform" of tee shirt, shorts and sandals. The tan is fading too.

Here's our new setting (the van isn't ours - we still have the Smart):

A few notes on technology - WiFi here at Highland Pines is lousy; no signal at the campsite at all. The campground advertises that it has WiFi, but you only get a signal right at the office. I've purchased a high gain panel antenna and will try to pull a signal from the office, but I'm not hopeful. The HughesNet satellite Internet service has been a great benefit! I have Internet access at all times (except when it rains real hard or it's so windy I decide to lower the dish). Although SkypeIn/Out works OK most of the time, the constant one-plus second delay and the occasional network congestion causes some quality issues. It's not easy for the normal telephone user to get used to engaging in a conversation that has a 1 or 2 second delay between both ends; it makes the interchange more like a CB or Amateur Radio conversation. Since I have no phone service other than cell phone (expensive!) and Skype via satellite, Willy sometimes gets irritated by the limited phone functions. That's life on the road!

Satellite TV has been great. But on the way to FL in the fall, I lost access to all transponders on HD satellite 82 and half the transponders on 91 (the 2 Bell TV - previously ExpressVu - satellites). I thought it was the coverage of the satellites in Florida, but nothing changed when I got back north to Belwood. Some testing determined that the problem was the SW44 satellite signal switch. I'll have that replaced this week and should have my HD channels back again (I removed the switch in the mean time so I have all satellite 91 channels back again).

I'll try to post a bit more regularly here during the summer! Time shouldn't be a problem, but it has a way of slipping away.

Enjoy your summer and come visit us at Highland Pines if you want . . .

Dave & Willy
Belwood ON

PS - we're REALLY enjoying the grandchildren now that they're only 10 minutes away!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 2009 Update

It's high time that I update this saga! We've been back in Florida for a couple of weeks now after our December trip home to Fergus ON for Christmas. Considering the weather up north, we're happy to be back where it's warm. No more parkas and snow shovels!

The pictures show both reasons to come south and the main reason for traveling north.

Driving 1400 miles (2200 Km) north and back again in a Smart Car was routine - that little car behaved just fine and traveled the Interstates at 70+ mph (120 Kph) without a problem. We did get lots of curious looks, though.

More changes in our plans for the future - we took advantage of a super opportunity to purchase an RV lot at Nettles Island, so we'll be spending more time here in the coming years than we would have if we didn't have a new "home" to come back to. Pictures of the new "residence" for our mobile home are below.
In a very large community of seniors (made up of Snow Birds and permanent residents) there's lots of need for extra computer skills, so I joined the local computer club and have been busy teaching computer security, installing and fixing WiFi connections and otherwise using a lifetime of computer skills. An opportunity to give back a bit of my knowledge.

And of course, the regular motorcycle rides round out the Florida experience! Breakfast or lunch rides on Sundays and longer Wednesday rides around the countryside ensure that I'll put more miles on my bike this year than ever before! It sure is nice to ride 12 months of the year. With many new friends . . .

Finally, Willy and I are walking and riding our bicycles more than ever. And Willy is enjoying crafts, tap- and line-dancing. How did we ever have time for full-time jobs!

Until next time . . .

Dave & Willy.