Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yucky Caterpillars - We're Outta Here!

We've been tolerating the hatching caterpillars in the oak tree above our coach for about a week and a half now, but they fall to the ground at a 'raining' pace and are ALL OVER our home.  Yuck.  Yesterday was the last straw.  They were making cocoons on our engine and everywhere else.  As soon as you brushed them off, they climbed back up. 

I couldn't take it anymore, so we went down to the office and looked for a new spot.  Several were suggested with number 93 the best site.  Would Bella start?  Yep!  We took the long way around to give her a little run, and let her idle for about 15 minutes after Gary did another superb job of parking her.  We feel like we're in a new park!  New neighbors, new view and NO caterpillars!  We've confirmed that it is much faster breaking camp than it is setting up.  But it has been absolutely beautiful weather for the last week, so it was pure pleasure once again (with no crawly things all over us). 

New Site 93
You aren't allowed to move without a member of the staff and we had Cliff.  He asked that if we were planning to leave in the rain, please don't take out the transformer like the last guy did.  That poor guy made a right turn out of this site, hit the green box (transformer?) at his gas tank area, pushed it three feet and that cost him - are you ready???- thirty-five thousand dollars to fix it.  We said we don't drive in the rain if necessary, but would sure be careful to miss that.  He was lucky he didn't blow up.  Ouch.

Sciatica is under control once more, and Saturday morning we even washed the Jeep before putting her top down.  Running over to the store we ran by our put in place - John B Sargeant Park and checked it out.  The park is best known for boating access to the river. Downriver, the Hillsborough River State Canoe Trail is a winding jungle of hardwood trees, lilies and birds, and yes, gators.  We decided to do the two hour trip downriver to Morris Bridge Park.  At one o'clock, Terri and John arrived at the park, we unloaded and the girls got the boats ready while the boys took the cars to leave the Escape at the take out point and bring back the Jeep.  Here's John and Terri, all ready to go:

the SeaEagle 370
the first of many turtles
There were a few roseate spoonbills
The weather was perfect at 87 degrees elsewhere, but on the river it must have been about 80.  Very gentle currents kept us moving slowly so that we could avoid most of the obstacles (mostly trees). 

like glass

It was a wonderful ride except for those prehistoric animals.  John and Terri usually were ahead of us, but at one point we didn't know which direction we were heading:

We got straightened out with us ahead this time.  Just as we came around a corner, this guy said hello:

Fortunately, he was only about 5 feet long.  But I sure didn't like his position.  Anyway, floating on by, we were soon close to our takeout point.  Hard left onto the ramp, pull the boat up to the top, get our gear, dry her off, fold her up, toss her in the back of the Escape with John and Terri's stuff, and off to the Jeep.  GREAT DAY SO FAR!

We parted to go home, get cleaned up then headed over to John and Terri's parking place in Pinellas Park.  There had been an accident on 275 which John and Terri had encountered, but we got the consequences of even an hour later.  We found them with no trouble due to our MotionX GPS Drive app on our iPad.  How did we EVER find our way before this?  I love this app.  Especially since it's free (if you don't utilize the voice option).  We even love to get lost just so we can find our way back with it!  No worries!

We arrived just after 7 and John, Terri, their son, Matthew and dog, Snickers welcomed us into their  new Montana fiver.  They are so anxious to begin fulltiming in a couple of years they can hardly wait.  But they are being smart and getting rid of all debts first.  Terri swears that she will NEVER live in a house again.  Couples who are best friends and enjoy spending every minute together are successful in this lifestyle.  And apparently there are many of us out there, which is a wonderful thing.

We enjoyed chicken k-bobs and potatoes finishing with a cheescake sampler and coffee.  Before we knew it ten o'clock came around and we had a long drive home, so said our goodbyes and thank yous for a wonderful, fun, delicious day.  Silver River was mentioned and is not far away, so we might be able to fit that in one day hopefully.

Sunday morning was another fantastic beautiful day.  What to do?  I made pancakes, and even though we need to clean our own home, today was not the day for that.  The top was still down and we jumped in and drove off towards Thonotosassa Lake to check that out.  We arrived in 10 minutes or less and found it easily by all the cars, motorboats, jet skis and noise.  We will definitely not do this lake on a weekend. 

So then we drove further east just out in horse/cow/strawberry country.  Plant City has a strawberry festival every year which has just ended.  The event began back in 1930 when members of the Plant City Lions Club conceived the idea of an event to celebrate the bountiful harvest of strawberries. In 1948, the American Legion helped get the Florida Strawberry Festival reactivated following a six-year hiatus because of World War II.  Today, the annual event has become one of the best Festivals in the nation, and now ranks among the Top 40 Fairs in North America.  However, not all the strawberries are eaten, and driving through the miles of strawberry fields yielded the most delicious aroma of warm fresh strawberry shortcake.  OK, at least the strawberries.  Yummy.  Fortunately, they are pick your own or get 'em at the store.  I've got mine back in the fridge waitin' for us.

We just kept taking turns, enjoying the horses, cattle, donkeys (so cute) goats, and that wonderful strawberry aroma until we needed gas (at 3.67/gal - bettern than diesel at 4.23 cash/gal).  But that is the price of life.  Gladly paid for.

Back at home, Gary decided to have some sushi and put together this little spread:

Delicious, if you love bait.  Well, we do!  Thanks, hon. 

Tomorrow it's back to work, radiation and another interesting destination I'll tell you about...


  1. glad you got rid of those caterpillars....we encountered them at my daughters the other fell from an upper deck into my hair...I'm wondering if they are anything like the 'army' worms we had a bad run of back in Canada...a few years ago...they were plastered against all the houses, the roads were actually slippery with them...and they killed all the trees...they over ran sure had a busy weekend...but looks like you both had fun and thats the order of the day :) have a good week

  2. Yuck to the Caterpillars;o((

    We're headed south today and should be in your neck of the woods on Tuesday. I'll give you a shout after we get settled.

    See you sometime soon:o))