Friday, December 30, 2011

Moving Three Hundred Yards

Yesterday we decided to get set up in our new spot. Our big fear was would Bella start?? It's a nuisance to have to pack up everything for such a short move, but it is regular Departure Lists for both of us. We don't need stupid mistakes on top of this month's fiascos. So when we were all ready, Gary turned the key. It took about five (endless) seconds, but she started and purred all the way to the other side of the lake to our new spot.

We don't have as pretty a view of the lake, but we feel very cozy here. If our computer was working, I'd show you a photo, but that will come someday. Gary gave this spot a six and a half to seven, and could hardly wait to whip out the rug, grill and awning. All settled outside, sitting in our chairs with a cool drink...ahhh.

Since Gary got a Panera gift card for Christmas, and it was burning a hole in his pocket, today we had breakfast at - guess where. Then we visited our local Hallmark store to pick up some cards. My niece, Jennifer, and her husband just delivered a baby girl, Gabrielle, on Monday. And a former co-worker, Eric, and his wife delivered twin girls. A couple of birthdays and we were finished. It was very tempting to go after-Christmas sale shopping, but we shouldn't buy anything until next year. Oh, that's a few days away. Well, OK, I can wait that long.

There will be New Years Eve parties going on at the clubhouses, and one of the best New Year's Eve parties I have ever been to (I'm surprised to say) was last year at our winter campground in Davenport, Fl. We'll see what happens this year.

We did try to fix the washer/dryer by taking off the kick panel and cleaning the filter. It had some gunk in it, but when I threw in a small load, it washed fine, got warm, but did not dry very well. We are constantly checking the web, calling and asking other campers. I'm sure we will be able to fix this ourselves. It would really be nice to fix SOMETHING all by ourselves. Determination, grrrr.

We tried FaceTime with our iPad and our grandson, Jack's, iTouch he received for Christmas. It was really awesome! The picture was clear, just like tv and the only thing you needed to do was talk one at a time, otherwise the two cancel each other out. And it's FREE!

Any resolutions out there? Our most important one is to get the best medical care for Gary to get better. He is still improving slowly, but fast enough to notice.

That alone makes us happy campers.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On to Another Year

Christmas has come and gone, and we hope you had as much fun as we did.  Spending the day with four little children is certainly exhilarating.  We were laid out flat the next day.  Of course, catching colds from the little ones was certainly not in the plan.

Tuesday we found out that we could stay in our present park for another month while deciding what to do.  We might need to stay in the Tampa area for at least 6 months.  So we might have to sell Bella and find a condo or someplace.  Ohhhh, yikes.  This was definitely not in the plan.  But I'll keep you informed.  Sometimes you have no choice.  Sometimes you do. 

Wednesday we visited Gary's oncologist who will confer with the Tampa doctors to confirm their plan of attack.  Then we will have a better idea of what to expect.  Right now we are going to enjoy the great weather and catch up with friends.  Even some friends who we accidently met in a campground with a DutchStar that was purchased at the same RV dealer as us.  We saw their rig in one campground, but they left the next day, and then we met at another campground a little while later, and got to know David and Arlene Harrison a little better.  They are in Florida for a time and we plan to meet next week.  Silver linings...

Oh, here are some photos of a sick Bella. 

First tow trucks

Delivered to Tampa Truck Center

Second tow truck

Back to Tampa
So, in the end we would not recommend this.  Fortunately we had a tow service, CoachNet, who towed us about 100 miles with no cost to us.  But we would have preferred to drive, without incident, but that's life on the road.

Meanwhile we will enjoy the Florida sunshine, maybe get some kayaking in with Terri and John and visit with our other friends.  If you're around let us know!  We'd love to see you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tough Decisions

Monday Gary got up and ran over to the lab to get blood drawn then complained to me about the jeep wanting to turn into Panera's driveway on the trip home. I had been getting the coach ready for her big scary trip to Freightliner tomorrow, but asked him if we did go for breakfast, he needed to come with me for my bone scan and mammogram. He agreed so off we went. We needed a few things at Walmart, then headed home. We continued to work around home until we were packed up and ready to go. We set the alarm for 6:30 and hit the hay.

Needless to say, whenever the alarm is set we a) don't sleep well and b) wake up before the alarm goes off. Yep, that's what happened. We were so worried about Bella.

We really thought we would be able to make it to Freightliner in Tampa but Gary was worried about her dying on the road. But we were ready to leave, had the jeep hooked up, and fired up the engine. Ohhh, lots of gray smoke and noise. We shut her down. What now? Call the man, of course. We use CoachNet as our roadside emergency service, and they sent out a 40' wrecker within the hour. At 10.30 Tony showed up, tried her engine, but thought it might be a sensor that could possibly shut down at any time. Then the bad news. He had the wrong truck. We have independent suspension, so we needed a 'bus bar'. The bar that secured the front wheels to cross bars. We had to wait until 1 pm but these guys treated Bella like she was theirs.

We finally got moving about 1:30 and arrived at Tampa Truck Center around 3 pm. Larry was the guy that works on RVs and usually leaves at 3, but he hung in there until he could give us a diagnosis. Since we didn't have a check engine light, there was no 'code' to determine the problem. Larry started her up after Kevin unhitched her from the tow truck, and she was fine!! They hooked up the diagnostic laptop to her, but couldn't find a thing. The thought was bad gas or water or something had worked itself out. They charged us an hour labor, and we drove out and 20 minutes later pulled into LazyDays for an overnight stay. We planned to get up to Clermont on Wednesday for our inside service. She drove absolutely fine...

Wednesday we woke up and took advantage of a free breakfast then got back to hitch her up. Well, she didn't want to start, but finally got going OK. One minute after getting onto Rte 4, a check engine light appeared. Yikes. But then it went off. And stayed off. In hindsight we probably should have turned right back around, but kept going thinking she had coughed up the 'hairball'. But just past the second toll booth, the light came on again. Quick call to TTC who told us to pull over and they'd send a tow truck. We remembered to ask for one with bus bars.

Mike finally got there and towed us all the way back to Tampa. We needed to stay in a nearby hotel where we worried about how much it was going to cost, but we didn't need to wait long. The code was revealed, and it was an expensive little piece called a fuel pump. Bummer. The next morning, we got another call with more bad was going to cost a little more for injectors that they had to ship from Illinois. Being the shipping nightmare time of year, we weren't sure we would be in our coach for days. But these guys cared as we explained this was our home, and put a rush on everything and worked overtime. We stayed overnight at my daughter's and waited to hear if the shipment came in. Our wish was granted, they had her ready at 5pm, but we decided to wait until Saturday morning instead of battling last-day-before-the-holiday rush hour traffic.

We spent another night at Michelle's and got up this morning to pick her up. She purred like a kitten. A very expensive kitten.

As far as Gary's appointments at Moffit, the doctors want him to stay in the area to try some new treatments and possibly a clinical trial. Moffit is the second best cancer treatment/research center in the nation, so we didn't hesitate. This has changed our plans of traveling out west this winter. Huge bummer. But we are doing what we need to do right now, and that's how things work out. Maybe it's part of the silver lining we were looking for? Time will tell.

One day I will get the pictures of us being towed by our trucks on the blog, and maybe some others when we can get our computer to cooperate.

Meanwhile, we are with family after all this Christmas holiday, surrounded with lots of children so it promises to be a blessing. Gary and I wish all of you a wonderful Holiday Season and a happy and safe New Year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weekend Fun

Saturday was a gorgeous morning, so Panera was our breakfast choice. (We should really buy stock in Panera) Our tools were packed: caulk and gun, sneakers and socks, rake, broom and front door key. It was roof cleaning day at the house. A call to our tenant found him Christmas shopping, so we parked the jeep and got our ladder and power washer from the garage. Gary had planned to replace some window sills, but he isn't allowed to lift a power saw with his arm, so he caulked and cleaned, inspecting the whole house, while I climbed our Little Giant ladder to the roof and began power washing.

Does it feel weird going into your own house and seeing someone else's furnishings, clothes and personal belongings in it? Oddly enough, not at all. Our tenants are really nice people, and it feels like we are friends visiting, than landlords checking on their house. They take very good care of it, and tell us they love it. They even made us an offer to buy it. If Gary was perfectly healthy we could consider it, but we're not quite ready to sell.

Meanwhile, the power washing was going well - I only had 20 more feet, but then the motor started sounding strained. I turned it off a bit thinking it was overheating and helped Gary clean the gutters. Turning it back on, I knew I had a matter of minutes until it died. Yep, that's what happened. Bummer. So I finished by using the jet setting on the hose and getting 3 inches away from the tiles. I was wet, dirty, hot and tired. But a relatively happy camper. The roof did look much better. By then our tenant returned from his shopping trip and offered us some jerk chicken he had just finished cooking. Sweet guy. We passed, drove home and took showers and I did a little more decorating for Christmas.

Then we decided to visit our favorite foodie restaurant KUMO for some sushi. I hear some of you saying yuuck, but others saying yummmm. It was so beautiful I wish we had the camera. Even if you dislike eating fish bait, you must admit it is beautiful, no?

Sunday we were disappointed that it was so windy and we had planned to kayak with Terri and John Shea. We love our SeaEagle 380SE, but it can be more difficult to handle on windy days as it's so large and filled with air. Now if you're heading in the right direction you can really fly across the water, but get ready to get wet - lots of splashing. That was no problem for John and Terri, we went to plan B. They arrived around 12:30 in a red Escape! That was our other car that we decided to sell and use our jeep for the towed vehicle.

Hugs all around and they came on in. We started talking, decided to keep talking and go out for dinner. They are so excited to start full-timing in a couple of years, but anxious about only one thing - how to make a living on the road. With no income from retirement or other source, they will need to find work on a regular basis. Just like much of the RV community. One can't have too much money as an RVer, but you at least need to break even, and it can be done. And most importantly, doing what you love in the lifestyle you have chosen for yourself. Doing what you want with your life, and not what others expect of you. Very liberating.

We finally listened to our tummies and headed out for dinner at MiPueblo, a Mexican restaurant in our 'hood. The boys had tacos that came with some hot - and they found out how hot - sauce. They both needed some our sour cream to help their eyes stop watering. We came home and talked a little more, until their son called wondering where they were. Well, that's a switch. We gave big goodbye hugs, or rather see you later hugs, and they headed home.

We love this lifestyle. If we had not decided to do this, we wouldn't have purchased a kayak, braved the alligators on the Myakka river and met John and Terri, who, will, I know be great friends. You gotta love it! Happy, happy campers.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Singing the Blues Instead of Christmas Carols

Today we were expecting a mobile RV repair truck to come and discover what's wrong with Bella.  Even though we drained some fluid from the water/fuel separator, John changed the filter and everything.  (Fortunately we had purchased a filter from our Camp Freightliner class as a spare).  That didn't work.  He left and came back 30 minutes later with a diagnostic tool.  After everyone in the place listening to Bella's coughing and sputtering while he played with his tool for 10 minutes, he still didn't know the answer.  "I suggest you take her to Freighliner or Caterpillar.  I think it's blahblahblah, but that didn't register and sometimes it won't on these meters.  You should be OK to drive it there."  Holy cow.  Lots of moolah for that visit.

So we went inside and Gary made an appointment with Freightliner in Tampa for next Tuesday.   

We were free to go, so stopped by Best Buy to pick up our 'fixed' computer, stopped at storage to throw more stuff in, then on to Florida Cancer Center for Gary's shot.  His poor little wing is still 'broken', so he looks pitiful sometimes.  But he is very brave and tolerating the pain.  We're just hoping this new medication works quickly.

Since our computer is actually working at the moment, here are the pictures I promised you:
Banana Coffee Meringue Pie

I am now working on my dinosaur IBM laptop to get this posted.  

Wednesday was another appointment day with Doctors, banks and getting the Jeep washed.  She finally is rid of all Pigeon Forge mud.  I forgot she was black.
It continues to be beautiful weather in the 80s and the weatherman says to expect Christmas Day to be around 80 too.  Even though we've decorated a little bit, and I've bought and wrapped gifts, it still feels weird to have Christmas so warm.  Don't get me wrong, I love the heat!  But for one day, I'd like it to snow and that would be Christmas Day.  Of course, the southern hemisphere has never known it any differently, so snowy Christmas scenes and movies must seem totally foreign to them.  Anyway, I like it warm and sunny every other day, so we'll just go with the flow.

Yesterday we were supposed to see a specialist in Tampa, but he had to reschedule, so we were able to watch our grandson's, Lance, holiday performance until the end.  It was so cute (he's in 5th grade), and that age is always so entertaining.  Some were shy and barely sang, while others bellied up to the microphone and sang as loud as possible.  Adorable.  I have pictures of that, but I downloaded them in a moment of cooperation onto the 'fixed' computer, formatted the card, and immediately the computer went down again.  

Today was Gary's chemo treatment and I did the wash, ran out of quarters, so hung it all up on the washlines.  We went about our business, visiting Walmart for prescriptions, Sandy's to pick up delivered medicine and Best Buy to make an appointment for the Geek Squad to come and fix the computer at at the coach.  It apparently works fine at the store, but not here, so we can't figure it out.  It's probably the monitor or something.  (the wash smells so good)

We still want to see some more friends here, so called up John and Terri Shea to make a date with them.  Yippee skippee - we're going kayaking with them on Sunday!  Finally some play time. Gary won't be able to paddle per Dr.'s warning, so John offered to boat with him and we girls will do our own paddling.  It promises to be a wonderful day!

Hope you are enjoying every day as much as we are.  We're still looking for that silver's around here somewhere...

Monday, December 12, 2011


Saturday was a organize day until 4pm when I got to see my old friends Donna, Jan, Sandy and Jean. Sadly, Debbie had a sick kitty and couldn't make it. As women do, we chatted and nibbled while Donna whipped up a gourmet meal of butternut squash soup, pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and asparagus followed by the most decadent dessert I think I have ever had. It was a Bon Apetite recipe called banana coffee meringue pie. Sound different? Well, it was so beautiful I had to take a picture of it. Of course, I don't have a computer to download pictures with, so you will see us and the pie in a later post. Gary hung out with Sandy's Bill, bringing home some leftover pasta sauce and skeds. We parted after sharing little gifts and promises of seeing each other again before Christmas.

Sunday we got ready for our departure on Monday to Independence RV for some more warranty work on Bella. She is getting a new ladder (someone must have knocked into ours at one time and broken the bottom part.) Then our washer/dryer isn't drying very well at all, and other things. So I ran up to the laundry to do the sheets and was thrilled to see they had wash lines! There is nothing better than the smell of sun dried sheets. Out they went, and I practically hyperventilated inhaling the fresh scent of sunshine when we went to bed that night. Ahhhhh.

Monday we were getting things ready to head out - Gary got his shot, money, gas in Mesa, and generally tucked things away for the three hour ride up to Clermont. Around 11 am we were ready to crank her up. But it took 5 seconds to turn her engine over instead of the usual two and when she idled, it sounded terrible! Gary stepped on the gas, and she sounded fine, but when we let her idle, it was Not Good. I called the RV place, held up the phone to the back end of Bella to see if he had a clue. He said he'd call me back after talking to a mechanic. Of course they don't work on engines but he did have an idea. We tried turning off the cruise control, checked the RPMs after turning on to resume, but she still sounded sick. Gary called Caterpillar who referred him to a facility that did mobile repairs. We had to leave messages. Then I called my little brother who uses heavy equipment at work. He listened and couldn't diagnose over the phone but suggested we check the water-fuel separator, but we had already done that. There was no dash light on, but he said to not run her engine in case we do more damage. Meanwhile I had a call into CoachNet, our roadside service, and was going to make an appointment for a truck to come to us, but Gary's arm was hurting especially bad and I called the Dr. instead of waiting till midnight for another trip to the ER. They asked us to be at the office in 15 minutes, so we dropped everything and ran.

He had an ultrasound done, but they couldn't find anything other than his original blood clot, so his Dr. gave him another type of blood thinner shot that he will have every day this week, until they have s supply shipped to us. Then I get to play nurse again. But he is feeling great except for his wing, which we will get under control.

We have Bella to thank, for he would have been scared and miserable if we were up in an RV repair shop. So, as I always say, things happen for the best. We have time to get her fixed, and a mobile unit will come out tomorrow to get her engine going again, so it worked just fine.

Meanwhile, we will enjoy a re-run of White Christmas and some soup and the sandwiches I had made for lunch for our supper.

Tomorrow will be better, I'm guessing. Hope I'm right.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Still More Appointments

Wednesday was GP day, a day we love because we get hugs from our Dr. and Nurse. I was fine, just needed orders for a mammo and bone density test. Gary got a new prescription for his Crestor, and we said goodbye for a while. Our nurse, Yolanda, follows our blog and wishes she will be able to have the opportunity to sample this lifestyle someday, too.

We stopped at Wolfe Camera to see about cleaning my Canon RebelXTi as the shutter sometimes sticks and once in a while I have to tap it to get it to come on. It is about 5 years young, and I love it, so I thought I could get it cleaned. But that is not really an option unless I can see dark spots on my photos (which I don't), and as most newer cameras are sealed, it would be in the neighborhood of $200-300 to mess with one. So, we thought not, and saved some money today. Gary had another Neupogen shot, and I cleaned the coach from top to bottom. Ahhh, that feels good.

Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment to see what I could see. I'm testing a new brand of contacts for a week. Then we stopped in at our friend's to check the refrigerator door panels that Three Way Campers had forwarded. They were in good shape, so we will take them on Monday to Independence RV for installation and store our wood panels. We made it home just before the wind and rain came and went quickly. It brought in some cooler air and tomorrow will be a cooler day at 68 degrees. Poor us.

Friday was a little cloudy to begin but warmed up to 77 with fluffy clouds. Perfect weather for having a bagel at Panera on the patio and to get my hair cut. It's always great to see my stylist. When you find a good one it's like finding gold. She makes me feel great when I walk out the door.

We stopped at Total Wine to find my favorite cheap wine, a Beringer Chenin Blanc. It's light and fruity, but not sweet and a great price. Tomorrow is Girls Club, a bunch of us neighborhood girls getting together at each other's homes each month for dinner and chatting. Only half of us live in the neighborhood now, so it makes it so much more interesting to catch up with each other. We have been taking turns now for 6 years, and it's really special for us to be here at Christmas again this year. Gary always takes a group photo, which I will post if I ever get my computer back from Best Buy. But they must have found something, or like the last two times, they would have called to say they couldn't find anything.

Gary needed an infusion, so we headed over to the center where we met Heather, his nurse for the next couple of visits. The room was full of people hooked up to tubes and beeping monitors slowly dripping poison into veins. But everyone was awake and cheerful, chatting with each other. Gary had a private room in Tennessee because he could control the lights, but his eyes are so much better that he didn't have a problem in this big room, and we enjoyed being around others. An hour later we were walking out to dark skies to the east. Soon after we returned home, we had a little sprinkle, but it promises to be back to paradise tomorrow!

Another day living life as we love it (almost). We would only change one thing and we're working on changing that as hard as possible.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

T-shirts and Flip Flops!

Saturday morning I woke up at 7 am and was raring to go. Gary did a great job of driving yesterday and didn't get a nap, so I tried to be quiet for a while longer. wriggles around around too much, and he woke up. We smiled at each other and said "let's go all the way!". Ooops, that came out wrong. All the way to Sarasota, that is. We got ready quickly, but the slide didn't want to go in again! Holy cow. Then I remembered that to get the slide in last time, the jacks had to be up. That worked, but I don't like this method very much. We will have it checked out at Independence RV next week.

Anyhow, we were pulling onto 75 by 9:30 and it was a beautiful day for driving - very little traffic and cloudy but dry and no rain in the forecast. Our only stops were for diesel and the Florida welcome center for lunch. It got warmer and warmer the as we got to familiar landmarks until at 5:00 exactly we pulled into Pleasant Lake RV Park in Bradenton. Ken showed us to our spot facing the lake and we dropped anchor. We hooked up, put out the awning and relaxed on our patio.

Monday we needed to get our licenses renewed. We grabbed all the documents we needed, threw the processor in the Jeep and drove downtown to have a bagel breakfast, then have our photos taken. We had tried to renew on line, but got stuck with 'address'. They needed both our mailing address and our tax ID address. So, we decided to get it done correctly, and see them in person. We also renewed our coach registration, so are all set for another year

We stopped by our friends to pick up the mail, then went to our house where we were lucky both Karen and Dennis were there, hugs all around, then they showed us all the new appliances, and the new color of the bedroom with new furniture. We are so lucky we have great renters that love our house and take care of it. We need to powerwash the roof and sidewalks, and fix a couple of soft windowsills. We'll be back later after we get some supplies.

I decided that I'd do a load of wash in our coach so guess what? The washer worked fine, but the clothes didn't dry. Oh well. We are waiting for everything to break before next Tuesday and at this rate everything probably will. Gotta laugh.

Tuesday we needed to be at Gary's oncologist by 10:30 so we loaded up the Jeep with some things we will leave in storage. Gary was very nervous, and the Dr. Was concerned enough to want him to see a 'genius' at Moffit next week. Gary is really looking so much better, but still his eyes bother him, so she wanted to see if this Dr. had any ideas.

She also wants him to continue his treatments, so this means we will be in Florida for a couple of weeks. He got a shot, a little blood drawn, got a new appointment and we headed out for lunch. Mesa (our Jeep) had a spa appointment after lunch and she got new wipers and fluids for a song. Well, more like an operetta. After that, we headed to our storage units to transfer in and out, then the new Walmart that has been under construction for the last two years (and is very nice because now it is a super center) for groceries, and got home where I wrestled with the new refrigerator shelves repositioning them to my liking. I miss my old fridge... Still we had time to sit out under our awning with cool drinks (after all, it was 81 degrees) and say hi to some neighbors.

I made some Italian sausages for dinner, then started revving up my old IBM. I swear it's only because I bragged at Best buy yesterday that my old IBM still works fine that she just crashed. Can you believe this????? So I'm laboriously typing with two fingers on my iPad tonight.

Tomorrow we both have regular appointments with our GP early, then I will take my camera in to be cleaned. I MUST come back to start on wash which can't fit in the wash basket anymore while Gary gets his second shot of Neuprogen, then I think we have a couple minutes to get supplies for fixing up the house.

Whew. It's all fun, really it is. No, really. We are enjoying every minute because we are doing this together in a unique and wonderful lifestyle. We are truly blessed.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On the Road Again Finally

What a week.  Sunday night at 11 pm the fridge alarm went off again.  The only thing we could do was to turn it off completely.  Monday I had to go to work, so I gave Norcold a quick call to ask what a code that was flashing meant.  They said that it meant we had to see a repairman.  While I was at the office, I asked around (something I recommend at ANY campground if you have a problem), and an answer was forthcoming. This happened to someone a month ago, and it turned out to be a fuse.  He met Gary at the coach, showed him how to take off a cover, then replace the fuse.  TaDa!  We had our fridge back again.

But, later that night at 11 the alarm went off again.  Darn.  Had to turn it off again.  Tuesday morning, we decided not to leave the campground as snow and rain was forecasted all day and maybe we could work on the fridge a little more.  We did drive out to get fuel and fill up on propane - it was supposed to go down to 27 degrees tonight. 

It drizzled and was raw and cold, but the furnace never did come on. Wednesday morning was cloudy and really cold while we followed our departure lists, and pulled out for the last time around 10 am.  The fridge never did get fixed, but it was cold, and we thought if we got to our next stop, Adairsville, we could get some service or at least some advice.

We found our campground, Leisure Town, just off  75. But when we went to dump air in order for the jacks to level, it didn't work.  Sheeeeeesh!  So we slept with the slides in, which is perfectly OK.  Papa George did suggest an RV service center in Marietta whom I called and they said come on in tomorrow am. 

Another cold night, but we were headed to Florida and warmer weather!  The phone rang at 7:30 am, and it was our grandchildren in St. Pete singing Happy Birthday to Gary.  That put a smile on his face.  We unhooked and got back onto 75 south to get fixed.  We found Three Way Camper just off 75 with no problem.  Mike assigned us to Billy who was a wiz at appliances.  First he replaced the nine year old 6 volt batteries that we were planning to have replaced in two weeks anyway, thinking the fridge and jack problem might be voltage related.  But, that was not the case.  The fridge had leaked all the ammonia into the box, so the whole fridge needed replacing instead of the cooling unit.  Also the jack system had quit, so we needed a new one of those, too. 

How long would this take?  Well, one of the guys could pick up the only fridge that would fit into that particular spot without too much alteration on Friday, and after a small mixup on numbers, we had a new jack panel ordered.  Fortunately back when we bought Bella, we also bought a Warranty that covered everything except the chassis.  So all this was covered (except the batteries, of course), and because they had to take out the window to remove the fridge, we couldn't stay in her, so needed a hotel room for the night.  We also had  hotel and meals covered under the warranty.  Unfortunately the fridge came without the door panels, and our beautiful wooden ones wouldn't fit  (but I asked to keep them).  So we watched them work all day, and then we went off to our Holiday Inn Express hoping the panels would be overnighted from Michigan and we could be on our way.  I made calls changing appointments and campground arrivals and we slept in a lumpy, hard bed.  Not really happy campers.

Friday was warmer and as we arrived back at Three Way, hundreds and hundreds of Sandhill Cranes flew overhead honking and squawking on their way to warmer weather.  I tried to get some shots of them with our little Kodak, but it was so sunny out, they didn't come out as well as I hoped. We are really looking forward to seeing our old friends when we get back to Florida.

While they were taking out the old fridge through the window some of the yellow-dyed ammonia spilled on our carpet, and even though they tried to clean it up, it left a yellow streak.  They service guys called a carpet professional and he would arrive Saturday at 8 am.  The fridge arrived and was being put in, and the jack panel arrived later and Billy installed it and leveled it according to the fridge - apparently very important.  We waited until late afternoon, but still no panels.  Now they were expected to arrive the next day.  Off to another night in a hotel.  The SEC was in town and millions of college soccer girls so a lot of hotels were booked.  We ended up in a different hotel. 

Saturday morning we hopefully headed over to Three Way just to hear that the first UPS truck came with no panels and the next shipment was due at 2 pm.  Now, if we could install these panels ourselves, we sure would, but they need to be cut around the water dispenser and if not done correctly and carefully could crack or shatter and that would not be good at all.  So we waited until 2, but no delivery, so we decided to head out and have the panels sent to Florida where we'll take care of it somehow. 

We got Bella ready to go, and I pushed the button for the living room slide to come in.  It started to, but then stopped.  Hmmmm.  We tried it again.  No go.  Off to find help.  The help tried - nope.  The help went to get more help.  Nope.  But we decided that the batteries had not fully charged yet, so we started the generator, but still no go.  The second help tried putting up the jacks and that was the magic.  Can't remember why. 

By now it was after three pm, and we had a long drive to Cordele, GA.  As soon as we got to 75, the traffic stopped.  Gary turned on the CB radio to hear what was up.  Accident in left two lanes.  We were in the third lane over, and soon got past that mess.  Now we had to get around Atlanta, and that was OK.  We did a quick rest stop to get the Christmas CDs from the Jeep, then got back onto 75.  Everything was going OK until the LP detector alarm went off.  Gary thought he'd jump out the window, but told me to go turn off the fridge.  I did, we opened the windows and the alarm went silent.  Sheeeeeeeeesh.  What next??

Construction on 75, of course.  I really detest those cement barricades 3 inches from the white line.  White knuckles all the way for 20 miles and it was almost dark.  This would be the second time ever we have travelled in the dark with Bella.  We finally got to our park, thankfully right off the interstate, and Bob was waiting for us with his chocolate lab, Suzy.  It was easy getting into our spot, and while Gary set up, I checked in.  We learned that we should lower the jacks until they touched, open the slides and then level.  That gives the slides room to move without being in a torque position.  I tried that, and it worked fine. 

Since I am using my ancient IBM (because we are, of course, STILL having computer issues) I can't get any pictures up tonight.  I will have a little more time tomorrow, perhaps.  The best thing is that we will sleep in our own bed tonight, and make it down to Lake City or Gainesville tomorrow. 

Always unpredictable, this lifestyle, no?