Kissimmee to Carabelle Jan 23rd to 30th

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Where I stayed
Kissimmee to Carabelle

Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Michael on the 24th January.  A day he won't forget!! Cooked bacon & eggs, then went to Walmart and got 3 tyres for our little tow car.  Came back and had a coffee & yummy donuts bought by David at Independence RV.

Drove to Tropical Palms, Kissimmee.  We stayed here for 5 nights.   We set up the RV,  and feeling energetic, (especially since our workout on Sunday afternoon) felt the need to do some exercise.  Dressed in our expensive Target shorts, un-matching T shirts, and Spendless shoes, 
we went for a ride on our sleek Walmart bikes.  

Came back to the van, and that's when it happened.  I got in the RV, and it felt like it was on a
lean.  I told Mike & he came and sat in drivers seat, and went through the process of leveling the van, pressing the buttons to make sure the jacks were down. All of a sudden there was a loud bang. When he went outside, there was hydraulic fluid running everywhere all
over the concrete.  Panic!  panic! I gave him a roll of paper towells, to soak it up, which was not nearly enough.  

Next to us  was a very posh lady sitting outside her 45ft Prevost RV (top of the range brand,
very expensive at least $500,000), dressed in white three quarter Ralph Loren
shorts and matching top, together with her Jimmy Choo sandals,  just relaxing watching her outside TV.   She slowly turned to see what the commotion was, and WHO was disturbing her peaceful afternoon.  She saw 2 people crouching down on the ground, with paper towel being rolled out faster than the red carpet at Kate & Williams wedding!!  There was also this fluid pouring out from under our van.

 "Oh" she said,  in her posh voice,"It could be worse, it could be happening to us"!

She could see we were in a mess, and had run out of paper, so she elegantly arose from her chair, and got a full roll of posh paper towel from her RV,  and gave it to us.  By this stage a few guys had gathered all looking at what had happened, talking to Mike while I am scrabbling around on the ground trying to soak up this red coloured oil, and trying to put the oily paper into plastic bags,  while the oil was still coming out from under the front of the van!!

The husband of the posh lady then opened the door of his "castle", stood for a few moments on the top step, to survey the scene unfolding before him, then gingerly stepped out and came across.    Dressed immaculately in his Giorgio Armani shorts, matching polo shirt and cream Italian Berluti loafers, he said that we needed sand to soak up the oil, so he went back into their 'mansion' and came out with a posh bucket, and drove off in his posh clean white car and  returned with sand.  It wasn't enough, so off he drove to get some more for us. 

By now, we had quite a few more people assembling opposite our van, looking at the mess that had been caused.  I am in my "designer attire", hair messy from riding our bikes, now trying to spread out the sand around the van with a broom.  

And what is Michael doing you might ask?  Well, one man very kindly brought HIM over a cold drink, and the always sociable Michael is standing, talking to the ever expanding group of people, including the 'not a hair out of place, immaculate, posh' neighbours from next door

I am now looking most glamorous down on hands and knees, trying to spread the sand underneath the van, where the oil is still dripping. I can hear the comments behind me, and Mike is giving me instructions, where to put the sand, &  saying, "yep, she's a good'n", and "Yes, I knew I brought her here for a reason!!".  Wow!!   He was lucky it was his birthday,  that is why I was being the ever dutiful wife and helping out, when really I was most embarrassed and would rather be in the depths of the van out of sight.  Just what we needed after arriving in a park! 
NOT! 

Our neighbors were very helpful, it was very kind of them, and they helped us out in our direst need. We were very thankful.    It is just so quiet here, but after the Steeles arrived, the peace was shattered. Probably added a bit of excitement to all these retired people's life and gave them something to talk about, these silly Aussies, who really don't know what they are doing!   What's next I wonder!!  I hate to think!  There are times you just have to laugh. 

Kat, you always imagined us sitting outside our van, looking very serene, enjoying the quietness, because we have no children.   This only seems to happen, when we are surrounded by bushes and no-one can see us. When we are out in the open, we seem to cause attention, and our trip has only just begun!  When he finally stopped talking, Mike then began the process of ringing people to get it fixed, thankfully we are here for a few days.

The next day we were invited to the previous owners of our RV, Tom & Brenda's  house, 50
miles away.  Our boys would have loved the front room of his house, he had at least 50 rifles & guns of all shapes and sizes including one from the civil war up on the wall.  (no gun safe here). He also had 6 stuffed deer that he has shot looking down at us from the walls.   Plus they had a lot of memorabilia on all the astronauts and space shuttle missions, as he used to work for Nasar at the Kennedy Space centre.  We went out for a nice meal at a restaurant with them. They are really nice people.

When we returned to our RV, we noticed the fridge didn't seem to be working as well as it should.  GREAT!   The freezer was not cold enough and everything was starting to thaw and the fridge part was not going well at all.   MICK, WE NEED YOU!!!  We read in the book that if the van is not level, the fridge may struggle to work. We managed to get the freezer to work better, but by next morning  the fridge was still not fantastic, so rang Norcold (Manufacturer), who said it may take 24 hrs to get back up to cold again.  We are learning!

The chap came to fix the hydraulics so all is good now.  It wasn't user error, there was a weakness in the pipe, so Mike was thankful that he didn't cause it. 

The fridge is all working fine now.  Yay! 

The next day was Mikes best ever!!  He said it was his hilite!!  I am leaving him to do a "blokes
blog".  I could never do it justice, so will leave it to his over imaginative mind to tell you about it and yes it had a lot to do with cars!! (even I liked it!)

Now we are at Carrabelle Beach Resort, having driven 300 miles (450 Kms).  Mike is doing so well driving this bus, negotiating the traffic, learning to trust the GPS, and not always thinking he
knows which direction we should be going. We DONT want to get it wrong, because if we do,  it isn't easy just to do a Uturn, so we always have to make sure and we haven't gone the wrong
way.....YET!!    Plus we cant just reverse with the car on the back, so sometimes it can be a challenge when coming up to an intersection with roads going everywhere.   After we arrived at the park, we set up,  and rode the bikes onto the beach, there was a beautiful sunset. 

 This morning was quite cold in the van, only 9 degrees, (48f) so had the heater on. Enjoyed our memorial meeting.  Later in the morning we rode into town, along the highway, over the bridge,  with trucks, buses, & cars speeding past us. A bit scary especially when I get the wobbles up.

We went to the worlds smallest Police Station, which is the size of a phone box, and it actually was used in the 1950's & 60's.  We then enjoyed riding round the back streets, and round the marina.  All went well, until Mike went along a very narrow boardwalk, and filmed me, and I got nervous, and the wobbles came upon me, and so I had to grab on to the wooden fence next to me, so I wouldn't fall in the water.  And yep, I gouged a piece out of my palm, and got a nice big splinter, which I couldn't get out.  After we got back, we got the tweezers, and dug around and finally got one of the pickets out of my hand.  Our little grandies would have been so proud
of me, I didn't even cry!

Cooked dinner on the weber Q, sat outside, no bushes surrounding us, we were out in the open, enjoying the serenity, a nice meal, and  there was NO hydraulic oil anywhere in sight!!!  Aaah all is good. 

Anyway, bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and for your comments,   keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all.  
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Comments

Mum on

Loved reading your blog Dad will enjoy it when he comes home from class
what a shame you had all that trouble glad it is all fixed be careful on your bikes
love you both

Kat on

Can just picture your sagas with the bus! How embarrassing & typical of you dad standing back while mum does all the work! Nothings changed....ha ha.
Glad to know you both have chaotic moments even though its just the 2 of you, I think where ever we all seem to go we cause a stir! Hilerious.....makes life fun.
Keep enjoying & take care. xx

David on

Jimmy Choo???

Col and Kerrie on

Hello you two !!!

Have just spent an hour with mum and dad taking them through each of your blog entries. They have laughed at the many entertaining stories and experiences. They love it and send you their love. Although they are VERY disappointed you are not here to see them. xx

F/L on

Happy Birthday to Ruth, Hope you have a good day on
your birthday luv F/L xx

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