Monday, September 8, 2014

RV Technician School in Clearwater FL & Bracey VA

First off I must apologize for not blogging for 9 months.

We spent the winter in Clearwater FL where Mark went to school to be a Certified RV Technician.  Ah Florida you say, it must have been warm, well not really.  Yes the weather was better than what the folks experienced up North but that darn jet stream kept dipping down to us bringing rain and cold temps.  All in all it wasn't too bad and we did have some nice weather.  With Mark being in school 5 days a week and studying all the time we didn't really do any exploring.  We did make a trip to Winter Park, FL where I attended a jewelry class on making rings then we visited Ray and Kathie who we worked with doing the Sugar Beet Harvest last fall.  One weekend we visited Honeymoon Beach spending some time on the beach and doing metal detecting.

  Clearwater/Tampa is not an area we would winter in again as the traffic is horrible with on going construction on HWY 19 and it is just too congested.  We will travel farther south this winter around Lake Okeechobee.  This was the largest class that the school has had.

Mark completed his training with flying colors becoming a Certified RV Technician.  He would highly recommend the school to anyone interested as there is a need for technicians.

 Our campground of choice was Avalon RV Resort as it was 1.5 miles from the school.  The sites are small only leaving room for one vehicle but they had storage space for the trailer ($35 a month) and we parked Marks truck at the school.  Several days Mark rode his pedal bike to school as it was quicker than driving because the traffic was horrible. 

Near the end of March we headed back to Wilmington as I had my Beach Week with my Sistah Peeps.  As always a great time was had with my Sistahs but it was a sad time as well.   On January 19 Sistah Gini passed leaving a hole in everyone's heart.  She had lymphoma cancer for 7 years and handled it with grace and dignity.  Our YSA group will never be the same, you will be greatly missed Sistah Gini but never forgotten.

We have spent our summer in Bracey VA where my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Cliff live on Lake Gaston.   Cliff had a stroke last August and is in the rehab stages but sill unable to do certain things.  I have maintained the yard all summer and every time I mow it just reassures me that we have made the right decision, we will never own sticks and bricks again.  It has been a pleasure to be able to help them with anything that needs to be done around the house.  I have painted the outside shutters, her bathroom, her bedroom, his bath and bedroom, the foyer and the kitchen cabinets.  What a pleasure it is to see the smiles on their faces.
I feel blessed to have been able to spend the summer with them (no picture of Cliff as he is camera shy).

The campground we are staying in is Lake Gaston Americamps.   It is right on the lake and is a popular destination.

There is two parts to the campground one being the campground itself and the other section is for year round residents.  The campground side has several permanent sights and man do these folks fix these places up nice.  They are not allowed to live here year round but many spend their summers here.  We are only an hour from Raleigh NC so it is a perfect get away.  Every Saturday night they have a DJ that plays from 8-11 so folks load up their golf carts and head to the field for a good time.  Mark works on Friday and Saturday night doing a security gig showing campers to their sites, delivering firewood, handling problems and trying to keep party goers quite after midnight.  Its not too bad except for when he works all day doing RV repairs.

We have a nice site with a deck and lots of room for parking.  It is right next to the bath house and laundry room.  There is no view of the lake but we look out onto the open field, a nice change from Florida as we were packed in like sardines.

The AxleCrutch trailer and Marks truck is parked in the open field where campers park boats and extra cars.  It's nice not having to pay for extra storage.  We had use of a golf cart for Marks job so we sold our golf cart as we really haven't used it much and it definitely lightens my load in the trailer.

During the summer our friends and sistah peep Karen and Stuart came to visit us.  We got them a premo spot  looking out on the lake.  This really is a pretty location with boating and fishing.  One night we dinned on fresh caught catfish given to us by a friend but they had to be cleaned.

Stuart, Mark & Karen did a fine job!

During their stay we visited Rosemont Vineyard and did a tasting.  The winery is about 4 miles from the campground.  They grow all of the grapes making this an Estate Winery. The next morning we all went kayaking on the lake. 

A few weeks later our friends Lori and Greg Rooker and their boys come for a visit.  They stayed in a cabin and brought their boat.  They spent two wonderful days wake boarding and skiing.  So glad they enjoyed their time on the lake.  Both couples are from Wilmington NC and they had never been to Lake Gaston so now they know all about "Lake Life".

The end of August was Peep Week at Sistah Julie's in West Virginia.  This will be the last time we will go to WV as she has her house on the market, we have had alot of fun in that wonderful house.  Sistah Kari sold her house this past winter and just purchased a new home in Woodsboro MD so we all loaded up in the car a drove to see the new location for Peep Week.  It is a wonderful home sitting on 17 acres in the country.  We were all pleased with Kari and Clays selection and had to christen their new home by lighting off a sky lantern with messages written on it. 

Never a dull moment with the Sistahs.  We can make a production out of the smallest things.
It's called "Sistah Life".


Our time on the lake is coming to an end.  We have been busy wrapping up last minute jobs, washing the rig, packing up and making one last trip to Wilmington to put Mark's work van in storage.

Moving with 3 vehicles and 2 drivers requires some more planning.  Once we settle in Florida for the winter Mark will fly home and drive the van down.  But in the mean time we will be in vacation mode!  We both have hitch itch and are ready to be back on the road seeing new things.

Thanks for following our travels and have a great day!


Check out my handmade bangles on my etsy store



Monday, December 30, 2013

Back Home For the Holidays

Next stop was the DRV factory in Howe Indiana to get some minor issues addressed.  As always they have a wonderful service center and took care of our every need, just another reason to buy a Mobile Suite!  We stayed for 3 days then headed to Sharon PA to visit my cousins and my Aunt June.  Once again the Walmart parking lot was our home for two more nights.  Thursday night we went to Doug and Patti's house for dinner, Friday morning we visited my Aunt June (my dad's sister) and took her to lunch.  She is 92 years young and sharp as a tack!

That evening all of my cousins and their wife's meet us for dinner at our favorite place to eat when we visit, Quaker Steak and Lube.  It was nice to see everyone and get caught up.

The next day we made it to Winchester VA again staying in the Walmart parking lot.  One of my sistahs from the YSA group lives 20 miles away in Capon Bridge WV so we went to their house for dinner and spent the night.

Thank you Julie and Drew for a wonderful meal and great accommodations!

The next day we headed to South Hill VA again staying in the Walmart parking lot.  I have to say it is really great having the solar on the rig, it makes staying in a parking lot awesome.  Once we got set up we headed to Bracey VA where my aunt Ruthie and uncle Cliff live which is about 15 miles from South Hill.  After dinner and a nice visit we drove back to the rig for the night.  The next day we arrived home in Wilmington NC.  This is the first time we have come back with our rig since we hit the road.


The first two weeks back home were a whirl wind of visiting family and friends.  One little guy was really happy to see his Pop Pa.

It was so nice to spend time with Reed as he is growing up way too fast.

I made two trips to Bracey VA to visit my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Cliff.  

Our middle son Michael and his girlfriend Amy hosted Thanksgiving this year.  We all had a wonderful day with the family and as always ate way too much food.  Mark and I in the past usually hosted the holidays as we had the big house so it was really nice to be a guest this year!  

On December 1st we rode in the Toys for Tots annual ride hosted by our local Harvey shop.

We met up with Marks brother, his wife and her friend for the ride.  It is such a good cause and an enjoyable event.

In my spare time I was busy making jewelry for a party I was hosting at my girlfriends house.  It felt wonderful to be creative again as we have been so busy for the past 6 months.  The show was a success and I thank everyone that came.  

In my old neighborhood the ladies had a group and we called ourselves the "Flamingos".  Loretta hosted a party for us girls and as always when we all get together we had a fabulous time.  Food, alcohol and some fun with Elf on a Shelf.  Thanks Loretta for good times!!!

Me, Tammy, Loretta, Lori, Ellen and Lori.

Christmas was a busy day first starting out with breakfast at Reed and his mom's house.

Next stop was at Reed's dad's with his girlfriend Amy and her two kids.

Then it was Christmas dinner which was hosted by Mark's brother Lynn and his wife Susan.  Lynn loves to cook and boy did he and Susan put on a wonderful spread for the family!

Time passes to quickly when you are with family and friends.  We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with everyone!  


It has been a busy year for us:

 Worked the RV Show in Quartzite AZ
Prospected in Wickenburg AZ
Flew home in March
Prospected in Mill City, NV
Redwoods CA
Crater Lake OR
Eugene OR
Worked a carnival in WA
Polson MT
Solar Installed on Rig
Worked the Sugarbeet Harvest MT
Drove back to the East Coast
Traveled through 16 states
Visited 5 National Parks


We will be headed to Clearwater, FL on the 3rd of January as Mark will be going to school to be a certified RV Technician. 

Thanks for following our travels.