February and March in Florida – Part 2

We made plans a long time ago (some time last fall) to fly our grandchildren to visit us in the RV in Florida for a week. Since our grandkids are all homeschooled, they can take their Spring Break when they choose. Our RV park is about an hour and fifteen minutes or so from the Orlando airport.

Along with their parents, we decided the oldest, Jade, would come visit first. Then, the day she flew home, the other two, Kylee and Jackson, would fly in for their week with us. As Christmas approached, our oldest son, Jeff, decided to give his nieces and nephew a “once-in-a-lifetime” Christmas gift: an all expenses paid day at Disney World with Uncle Jeff! Our three grandchildren were SO excited on Christmas Day when they opened that special gift.

We videoed their reactions but the video is somewhat blurry. I took some screen shots of the video, but the quality isn’t that great. However, I think you can see their sheer joy and excitement.

It all started with a gift box with a stuffed Disney figurine (Mickey for Jackson and Minnie for the girls) and a $25 gift card for a souvenir. However, at this time, they still did not understand the gift.

Then they were told to go get their iPhones and read the text message Uncle Jeff sent them.

It was at this point that we discovered that they could not access the link for the message because of the security restrictions set on their phones by their parents (good parents restrict their minor kids’ access to the internet on their phones!)

We all got the same text, so their dad read the message from his phone as they all looked on.

And NOW they realize what the gift is and the excited reactions begin!

They are all VERY excited! However, Jade was SO excited she shed “tears of joy!!”

The funniest part was when the parents admitted to them that they HAD ACTUALLY kept that secret from them for DAYS!!!

Then Uncle Jeff got big hugs from all three.

Jade arrived first on Tuesday, February 26th (just three days after we moved into our new RV (see previous post). The plan was for her to go to Disney with Uncle Jeff the next day. However, Uncle Jeff, the weatherman, had been in touch with Jade and her mom for a couple of days because it looked liked that Wednesday was going to be stormy enough to shut down rides and have the potential to make their day quite miserable. Through a series of phone calls, the decision was made to postpone the Disney adventure until Sunday. I could tell Jade was disappointed (as ANYONE would have been!), but she handled it VERY well. I was so proud of her maturity in this situation.

The day finally arrived for Jade’s Disney adventure. We drove north to Kissimmee to a spot to meet Jeff that was close to Animal Kingdom. When Jeff arrived, Jade went with him and we returned to the RV (we didn’t have a day planned that was as fun as Jade’s day; we had housecleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping chores to attend to). Here are some photos of the fun and sheer joy Jade had with Uncle Jeff.

Jade used her gift card to buy her first pair of Mickey ears.

Jade and Uncle Jeff are in the very back row.

Waiting in line for the Avatar/Pandora ride.

Waiting on Fantasmic nighttime show to start.

While Jade was with us, she decided she wanted to go visit Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL, which was only about a 20 minute drive from us. This is a contemplative garden and bird sanctuary consisting of a 250 acre garden and a 205 foot tall tower with its carillon bells. It is located on top of Iron Mountain, one of the highest point of peninsular Florida (approx. 295 feet above sea level. It is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here are some pictures of our visit to Bok Tower Gardens.

As I said earlier, Jade came the first week and the day she left, we picked up Kylee and Jackson for their week with us. We were staying at Rainbow RV Resort, Frostproof, FL. This RV park was really nice! It had a lot of things to do with the grandkids and many activities planned. We spent a lot of time both weeks swimming (and sitting in the hot tub!) as well as playing bocce ball, shuffleboard, pickleball, and horseshoes. We played numerous games of Skip Bo and taught the grandkids to play Gin Rummy. They had never played that game before, and they caught on quickly. They became really good at it, and we played it nearly every night. All in all, everyone of us had a wonderful time both weeks.

The week Kylee and Jackson were with us, the weather was great. They were anxiously waiting for the day to “cash in” on their Christmas gift from Uncle Jeff. Finally the day arrived to go to Disney World! Jeff wanted me to go along this time because their was only one of him and two of them! He even offered to pay my way, so I got to enjoy the day with them, too. The weather was PERFECT; it was a little cool in the morning then warmed to the low 70s in the afternoon! Even though it was a spring break week and there were a lot of groups of kids there causing the lines to be somewhat long, we had so much fun! The pictures tell it all.

Silly grandkids! They’ve learned that from Papa Jack. 😂

Waiting in line for the new Avatar/Pandora ride. The wait was THREE HOURS! The ride was: FANTASTIC!!!

This view NEVER ceases to excite me … and EVERYONE ELSE!

Mickey shaped food was EVERYWHERE!

Uncle Jeff, Kylee, and Jackson rode this ride. I did NOT! They are on the back row on the left side.

Waiting for FANTASMIC nighttime show to start. It was FANTABULOUS!

We really had a great time while the grandkids were visiting us. We were sad to see them go. After they left, we had a couple of naps to rest up from all the fun!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

Brrrrr…….It’s Getting Cold Outside!

Our basic plan of travel is to go North in the summer and South in the winter.  Neither one of us likes the cold much anymore, and I totally despise the summer mega heat and humidity I have lived in all my life.  When your home is on wheels, you can follow the nice, moderate weather all over the country.

We have been making our “south for the winter” plans these last few months. Because we wanted to stay within a reasonable driving distance so we could spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with family, we looked at some RV parks in the northern part of Texas.  We found several places on the internet that looked really nice that were around the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  We wanted to arrive around Nov. 15-16 and leave around January 10-11.  However, when we started calling around, we were having trouble finding a place that had any class A motor coach RV sites available (next year we will have to call earlier).

A little over a month ago we finally lucked into a place called Wagon Master RV Resort in Sanger, Texas. THIS IS WHERE we are right now! Sanger is a little northwest of Dallas (approx. 50 miles). This location is about a two hour drive from Moore, OK, and the grandkids (and Mike and Jennifer, too!). We drove up to Moore, OK, in the car for Thanksgiving.

Jennifer is a great cook, and we had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. At the end of the summer, Mike got a smoker, and he wanted to try cooking a turkey in it. Jennifer decided to cook one turkey the regular way in the oven, and Mike would smoke one outside. BOTH were absolutely delicious! I didn’t get any pictures of the full meal, but here are a couple of the turkeys.

The smoked turkey BEFORE and AFTER:

When we arrived Wednesday afternoon, the grandkids had started working on a 1,000 piece Christmas puzzle. It was a pretty hard one in my opinion. We all worked on it at one time or another. Some of us were better at finding pieces that fit; others of us were frustrated at times and had to leave the table. We finally finished the puzzle about an hour before dinner was ready. Here’s a couple of pictures:

We are not big on Black Friday shopping, so we stayed at Mike’s house and watched a “traditional” movie then helped decorate their Christmas tree. Can you guess the movie? Actually, we watched Christmas movies all day long while decorating!

Yes, that’s the Griswald family in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!

Yes, that is the movie The Elf on the television!

Last Christmas while we were at my parents’ house, Mike found an old train in mom and dad’s mega collection of Christmas decorations. Mike told my dad (unknown to me) that he had always wanted a train set to go around the Christmas tree. My dad said they had not used it in years, so he gave it to Mike. Mike was like a little kid when he got the box out to set up the train around the tree! Here it is in all it’s glory (click the picture to watch):

I think the video was turned when I uploaded it. Hmmmmm? 🤔 I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why that video turned sideways. Maybe some day I will actually figure it out. Oh, well…..

We will drive up to Moore, OK, in the car again for Christmas, and our oldest son, who lives in FL, will fly to OKC to join us. After Christmas Day we will all drive on to Springfield, MO, to have Christmas with Jack’s family, and then on to STL to have Christmas with my family.  Jeff will fly home to FL after the New Year, the grandkids and family will drive to OKC, and we will drive back to Texas.  It will be a long drive back to Sanger, TX, but it will be worth it to see all our family at Christmastime.

Back in June (while we were still living in our house in Dexter) we discovered that some friends of ours who had just purchased an Airstream trailer were going to spend two months in the Phoenix, AZ, area this winter.  They asked us what our plans for the winter were, and when we said we weren’t sure, they asked us to join them there.  So we called the same RV Resort where they had their reservations and made our reservations. Therefore, we will be in Buckeye, AZ, from Jan. 15 – Mar. 15. Starting Mar. 15, we plan to spend about four weeks exploring New Mexico.  Then we will be coming back to the STL area some time mid-to-late April to stay another month.

St. Louis is kind of going to be “home base” for us.  I can help with my parents, and Jack can run down to Springfield to spend time with his mom.   Then, some time in late May, we will be heading north for the summer.  Exactly where we will go up north hasn’t been decided yet. We are thinking Michigan or the Wisconsin Dells.  We will need to get busy, make our plans, and get reservations real SOON! I’ll let you know where we decision in the near future.

So, for now …. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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Retirement and beyond

My travels and adventures since retiring on 30.11.2012

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A Tenacious Joy

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Loving Life at Home

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The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

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