This lifestyle is, in short, awesome! I have a difficult time believing this is my life now, but it is and I am a Florida resident, which is also difficult to believe. One of the problems with being a new full-timer is that you feel compelled to see everything at once, as if you’re just ‘on vacation’ and have little time. My intent with this lifestyle, though, is to travel the country and see — and photograph — things I’ve never seen for as long as I’m able.
On the other hand, as much as I want to see the U.S. in its entirety, I’m enjoying where I am right now. I guess that’s the point: living in the here and now. The days meander, and my plans are as changeable as the weather (this year, anyway!). There’s so much to see and I have to remind myself I have the time to see it all. It’s difficult wrapping one’s head around that. So, starting in Florida, I have begun to explore my surroundings. The first shot is from Anderson Park at Lake Tarpon, where I hoped to see alligators but didn’t. . . Probably a good thing, since I’m not sure I could outrun one, and my tree-climbing skills are seriously rusty. . The next shots are from Crystal Beach (a beach in name only, since I think it’s underwater most of the time).
|Florida Flora — Spanish Moss!|
|Sailboat on a Perfect Morning|
|Crystal Beach Park — loved the trees!|
My sister came down from Louisville to visit (unable to stand the horrible weather there any longer), arriving at 1:30 in the morning. Her arrival was a very welcome event in spite of the late hour. I do miss my family when I allow myself to think about how far away I am from them now. Maybe that’s why my sister and I got along perfectly in my very small space, in contrast to how we got along when I lived at her house while selling mine (we didn’t. . .). We spent a lot of time shopping, since she likes to shop and I’m still needing things for my RV. Fortunately, she was perfectly happy to go with me to Camping World, which is nirvana for RVers. I now know where all the good stores are in the area: Big Lots, Target, Walmart (they do have some RV stuff, too), and Camping World!
While my sister was here — and sometimes my niece, who joined us at the end of the trip — we explored the area near the RV park.
|Sunset at a Park in Dunedin|
|My First Armadillo Sighting, on Honeymoon Island|
|Favorite Florida Pastime|
|Fishing spot for egrets — right in the RV Park!|
We made it to Honeymoon Island and Clearwater Beach while they were here, and both were great, as the weather was perfect! Honeymoon Island is for nature-lovers, such as myself, while Clearwater Beach is for people seeking eye candy (such as my niece, and maybe my sister, and maybe myself . . .). We had good times together, and I’m finally looking less like a northerner (although some would argue that Kentucky is not really ‘north’) because of my time in the sun.
My guests left early Tuesday morning, and I’ve been filling the time since then with things I need to get done. It’s amazing how much there is to do, even if there’s no real ‘job’ involved! Sometimes I feel somewhat overwhelmed, and I am so happy I don’t have to go out to a job that takes up most of my day. I was having trouble with my toilet — the first trouble with anything since my jacks got jacked up — so I called a mobile RV tech highly recommended by the residents around here and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, I received my replacement faucets for the bathroom and shower from Amazon (man, do I love that place — just not as an employee!), and I found I needed some help removing the old bathroom faucet. One guy tried to undo the old bathroom faucet, and he was unsuccessful, so he went to get another one to finish up the job, successfully. So the first guy put in the faucet — which involves considerable contortion, I’m afraid — and had me turn on the water to test it: water spewing everywhere. So I turned the water back off at the hookup outside, and he tightened the connection more. I turned the water back on, but the spewing continued. Turned off the water, more tightening, water on — still leaking. Again, the same routine, but this time something snapped in the connection and my helper had to go, so I thanked him and ended up having a night in my RV without water. There was no shutoff valve under the bathroom sink, so I had to turn off the water to the whole RV because of the leak. I definitely don’t understand why they don’t put a shutoff valve under the bathroom sink, but apparently it’s common. Fortunately, we have bathrooms and showers here near the laundry rooms, and by this time, my toilet valve had gone completely kaput, so guess where I went, several times. . .
By the time the RV tech came, around 10:30 the next morning (he was running late), I was overjoyed to see him. I had dirty dishes sitting in my sink, which I had just rinsed off with water I had gotten from outside, and my hands just couldn’t get clean enough with the quick rinsing I had to do. This poor guy had no idea what he was in for, given that when I called him I just had a sticking valve, not a broken one, and no leaks. Now I had a non-functioning toilet and a leaky bathroom faucet, and no running water. I have to say he was fantastic, fixing both my leaking faucet and my toilet. When I turned the water back on to test his repairs, though, we discovered that the shower faucet was leaking too (I had put that in the night before). Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear the water spewing behind the shower and he had just checked the interior, so that leak wasn’t discovered until I saw water pouring out of the bottom of my RV. . .
To make a long story short, he fixed that leak, as well, with the proper washers, I stuck a fan in the opening to dry it out, and I was good to go. And all that for just $100! Lucky me!
As an aside: I was sitting outside enjoying the weather later that day when I heard water dripping again — argh! Well, this time it was running from my sink, down the cabinet and into the carpet, finally dripping onto the patio next to where I was sitting. Apparently, I had forgotten to turn off the water to the sink when I filled it up to wash the dishes. I’m just glad it wasn’t my bathroom or shower faucets. . .