Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just another setback

Today we had another setback.  We are still at Dusty's in Bartow awaiting parts for our landing gear.  The fifth wheel was sitting up on two jacks, as the front landing gear won't keep us up.  Severe weather reports were all over the TV.  I felt that we were in danger staying in the RV, so we pulled in the slides and left, going to Dusty's service waiting room.  Sure enough, a severe thunderstorm/tornado hit, blowing our fifth wheel off of the jacks.  One when through the storage compartment of the rig and the other just fell over.  After the storm, I went back to check and saw the rig sitting on the spare tire, which is under the center front of the fifth wheel.  We called GMAC and started a claim. We will have the compartment repaired, some slight body work, as well as the original work on the landing gear.  It appears that our stay in Bartow will be extended. We probably will stay in a hotel for a few days when all the parts are in and they make the repairs.  We are still smiling, as we have our health and each other.  We'll let you know when we get back on the road again.  Also damaged were 6 travel trailers at the dealership.
Well, guess what......our refrigerator is freezing again. Geez, will we ever get out of Bartow?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brokedown in Bartow

We started having trouble with or refrigerator before we left Tampa.  It would freeze everything.  We made an appointment to repair it at Camping World in Seffner, when we were at Lazy Days.  They said that they fixed it and on our way we went.  Two days later, the fridge is a freezer again.  We were in Beverly Hills and spent a great weekend with the Casola family. We called the manufacturer and they sent us to Camping World @ Dusty's RV in Bartow.  They ordered the part, took 5 days, so we got back on track and went to St. Augustine.  We came back south to Bartow and got the fridge repaired today.  We then went next door to their free RV camp to spend a night, making sure that it was indeed fixed.  While starting to set up, our front landing gear shaft and gears broke! We are now sitting on jacks and waiting for parts for that!  Thank goodness for an extended warranty.  So, here we sit in Bartow for 4-6 days to get repairs again. We had to cancel several future campground stops, so we lost a few bucks there. Something must be telling us not to leave Florida yet. Hopefully we'll get on our way next week, bound for Pensacola and Mobile.


Monday, March 28, 2011

St. Augustine

We are in St. Augustine this week.  Day 1 started off our visit at the downtown visitors center, then out the back door for a visit to St. George Street.  We visited a Greek Orthodox Shrine, which was very interesting and gorgeous.  We saw the oldest schoolhouse in America and visited some shops.  Lots of tourist gifts and overpriced food.  We then walked a few blocks over to the Castillo de San Marcos, a fort built by the Spanish to protect the St. Augustine harbor from any invaders, mostly the British.


The next day we started off on the right foot by going to a wine tasting at San Sebastian Winery. We tasted until Deb got a bit dizzy.  We purchased two bottles of wine.  We then went a few blocks down the street to Villa Zorayda.  This is a reproduction of the famous villa in Alhambra, Spain.  This place was amazing.  The owner purchased furniture and art from Europe and Asia.  We wish that we could show you, but no photos were allowed. We then went to St. Augustine beach for a picnic.  The breeze was great and the temperature was about 80.

Day 3 was a visit to the Fountain of Youth.  Spain's explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon came here to St. Augustine and claimed the entire area for Spain.  He named the entire continent La Florida.  From Florida to California, Canada, to Alaska, this was all originally called Florida!  We had the opportunity to drink from the spring, known as the Fountain of Youth.  I had 1 small cup, while Debbie had 2 large drinks!  This place was interesting.  On the grounds is a planetarium.  We learned how the explorers used the stars to find their way here.  Next was the Discovery Globe, the largest globe in the U.S.  We got to trace all of the routes from Spain, Portugal, and other European countries to the new world.  Then we joined an archaeologist to learn about the finding of the oldest cemetery in the U.S., that of the Timicuan Indians in St. Augustine. The gravesite was authenticated by a Florida State dig in 1995.  We then learned about the 6 pound cannons on the property and got to see and hear one fired.  We were pooped from all of the walking, so we went back to the RV for dinner.

The next day, after a late stop and a visit to McDonald's, we went to Fort Matanzas National Monument, which is well south of St. Augustine.  We took a pontoon boat to the fort on Rattlesnake Island.  This small Spanish fort guarded the inter coastal waterway from any ships coming upstream towards St. Augustine.  We climbed to the top, through a very small opening.  We heard all about the history of this fort from a docent, dressed as a Spanish soldier. 

We've been busy.  Today we went to Marineland and saw the dolphins perform.  We listened and learned all about the dolphins.  Did you know that they have 88 teeth but don't chew their food.  They swallow them whole. They also don't drink water, as they get all their water through the 15-50 pounds of food that they eat every day.  Finally, we DID NOT join many other visitors in the pool to interact and feed the dolphins, as the cost was $199.00 each!  We picnicked nearby and headed back to the RV as it started to rain.  We had a great time in St. Augustine.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


We're at Lazydays Rally Park in Seffener, Florida for 4 days.  Yesterday we had 2 vent covers installed on the roof, so that we could use our two fans, even if it's raining.  We had nitrogen put in our tires and a level installed on the front of the RV so that we can check our level when we are parked.  Our fridge door was adjusted, but is still freezing up.  We spent some time in the hot tub here, which was heavenly.  We have an appointment at Dusty's RV in Bartow, Florida next Tuesday for repairs covered under our warranty.  Norcold said the our fridge is still under the warranty.  Last night we had a farewell dinner with our friends Suzie and Brad Bohannon, who we met at Bay Bayou.  We ate at Al Fresco's in Dunedin.  We had a great meal with some great friends.  We'll miss them. 
Our next stop is Citrus Springs on Friday, March 18th for a weekend with the Casola family, Tom, Marlo, Sergio and Angelina.

These pictures are us at our camp site here at Lazy Days.