Lyfe 2.0 – finally happened…. The year…. 2007
Well, from day one in our working careers- we all work, hope and plan for retirement. If we’re lucky- we’ll get there. Much to my surprise, it only seemed to be about two blinks of an eye- and, here we are. Hopefully, the next decade or so won’t go quite so quickly.
From our standpoint…. we still enjoy the same things we did when we were 20 – 40 years ago. We have always had a healthy regard for the “outdoors” – and have hiked, jogged, camped, fished and sailed our fair share of these intervening years.
With any luck, we’ve still got a decade or two to explore- and take time to enjoy our retirement years as it were.
We’re certainly planning on making the most of this incredible change. ‘Cause, every day’s a Saturday- that always sounded good…. it really is. Now that we’re retired…. We can take advantage of those opportunities to visit the keys and all of its wonder…
First grandchild- second Christmas parade– what else is there to enjoy?
As you can see from this picture, both granny and grandson are enjoying the parade. The neat thing about grandchildren is that they are returnable- in their own container….
Safety Harbor has an annual Christmas parade that encompasses a couple of miles of smiles and spectators. Inasmuch as we are planning a move in the coming year, I certainly will miss this activity. Alberto seems to be totally happy with the events on hand.
Somehow, all kids enjoy chewing on those parade beads…. Apparently, for hundreds of years, they have tasted good, and remained an excellent source of some missing or under administered vitamin, protein or other necessary food source.
The Florida Keys- November- ACA Rally
We kind of need to back up here for a moment…. Sort of as a preview to the retirement goal described in this post…. This entry is a collection of thoughts more than just calendaring. As you can see- the bus is 25 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. For a dozen or so years, we have wanted to visit the Florida parks in the keys- we’ve heard that they were dramatic and visually exciting….. yep, I concur- that close to the ocean gets my attention for sure. These are the things you can enjoy….
One night, the waves came up- right at sunset- and dumped salt water on the road behind us….. With luck we won’t have another situation like 4 RV’s ago- when it began to rust from exposure….. We had to trade again (right away…)
As you can see from this “windshield shot” – the tide creepeth closer and closer.
I love salt water- just not in the engine compartment. No V-Bottom here…. in fact, the mere thought of fish in the storage bays quite frankly leaves me cold.
So, someone has to experience this…. every morning- a grade 5 sunrise- Nothing can be more exhilarating than hot coffee and a cool morning.
Each sunrise morning seemed to try to out-do the other…. each morning was better than the one before.
No complaints here from the peanut gallery. So nice to be looking at retirement from this side instead of looking forward.
For years, when we were kids (maybe in our 40’s) we ran the Sea Ray down the coast and stayed in these floating town homes. As you can see from this picture, the last hurricane in town sunk the entire village.
During the rally….we had ventured to Marathon- Boot Key Harbor – where these wonderful beauties are/were- and cried. So many wonderful memories- sunk.
Also, we went across the highway to Ferro Blanco – where we had stayed for many years in the sailboat- and, it was gone as well.
Hurricanes are certainly part of life for us here in the sunshine state…. They are clearly responsible for changing memories as well as landscapes. Lots of lobster were caught and enjoyed here over two or three decades of fishing and gunk holing in the Marathon area of the keys that we had been able to do in the power and sail boats…. Now, on with our life as RV’ers…
So, further explaining the venture above… we had originally journeyed south to the Keys for an American Coach Rally-
Shown here are Matt Sibbick and his wife, who worked tirelessly at making the party fun. They are from Lazy Days – the giant RV sales agency in Tampa- who works with us in planning and executing some really fun events.
About 75 of us explored Key West and surrounding areas, enjoyed the sights and fishing…. and just generally had a great time.
Yours truly…. and my loving partner in crime- at the party…. Lots of sunshine and perhaps some fermented spirits exhibited and consumed during this event?
Isn’t it great to see so many old farts having a great time? – Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Just to put things in perspective…. Camping fees were about $150 per night here at the resort…. which included nothing but the view and hookups…. the lots here sold for about $60k just a few years ago… and now go for an astounding $600k. If we had only known.
At least, Abby can enjoy the most expensive RV spot in the southern United States to poop.
When they finally sold the old base to the west of Duval in Key West- and built a series of docks there that were large enough to hold cruise ships…. Everything changed- and, not for the better. Old Key West was, in our opinion, far superior.
“Back Then…” – You could visit the Jimmy Buffett store…. buy a tee shirt for dirt- and stroll along Duval Street a bit for a cold beer or three. Now it seems that all of Key West is nothing but a money machine.
Yes…. yet another FISHY story….Lyfe2.0
During the rally…. several of us chartered an open fish with Captain Kevin Wilson. He put us on top of a zillion yellow tails- and we caught maybe 70 or so keepers.
Just how cool….
I know… everyone hears about the time when they almost got a fish to the boat- only to lose it to a shark- and boat nothing but a head. I am here to tell you that we had this happen at least a dozen times on this charter.
So, revenge was sweet- we boated one of the devils, and gave it a headache. I am only glad that I wasn’t trying to snorkel off this boat- sharks up to 8 or so feet were common that morning.
We were only 2 miles from shore, along the reef line, in maybe 60 feet of water…. but everything imaginable was out there, looking for something to eat.Lyfe2.0
As you can see here….. Kevin is emptying the fish box into 5 gallon pails- to fillet them by the bar….
It was a most enjoyable charter…. a “would repeat” – if we can save up enough to stay at Blue Water again. I’ve still got fillets in the freezer……
Interestingly…. right on the heels of the Key West Trip… We took a cruise to the Western Caribbean…
Here we are at the harbor in Cozumel…
This was not only a New Year’s cruise… but our anniversary as well
The itinerary included stops in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.
At the risk of sounding like an AARP commercial, yes, we’re over 60 and still exploring.. In Belize, we went snorkeling on the reef…. It was really great to be back in the water and enjoying the little critters and sea life….
So, getting to hit stride with this new experience as retired people…. We kept moving…
With a trip to another ACA rally, this time in Tampa at the Lazy Days “Rally Park” – We had about 135 motor homes attending…. lots to do – had a great time.
We set up camp at the corner of Manatee Way and Gator Lane…. just too fitting for words.
In February, we spent a week in Brooksville, at the regional airport- hanging out on the north-south runway with a dozen or so other ACA coaches. There were close to 2,000 coaches total in attendance there, with lots of sunshine and things to do. Didn’t crack the camera case open at all during the week…. so no pictures- maybe next year.
As March rolled around, we ventured to Perry, GA, where the FMCA national was held. There were close to 4,000 coaches in attendance at this event, with tons of seminars and vendors to see and explore.
This aerial of the fairgrounds and ag center shows the massive collection of RV’s surrounding the buildings. Each little dot down there is a class “A” motor home of some length.
This was truly an impressive event- complete with great live entertainment and great tasting food. This was the first FMCA national event we have been to, largely due to the amount of time it takes to attend, and my working schedule. Now, since every day’s a Saturday- it matters not. The population of Perry, GA is about 11,000. When the FMCA rally comes to town- the population doubles overnight.
Then…. onto the First Annual Parking Lot Rally for JDRF
We got the RV cleaned and turned around again after Perry- and headed for Ellenton to the Outlet Mall and the first annual JDRF parking lot rally, headed up by Ray and D’Arcy Arpke and Gary and Linda Mau.
We enjoyed beautifully prepared gourmet meals- created by Chef Ray- and walked to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
This photo is not really as risqué as it at first seems- We really don’t want to risk turning this into a porn site- So peer closer- it’s really an apron…
However, in the spirit of fun, Ray certainly re-defines the term “just hangin’ out…”
We all had a great time, and hope we have the opportunity to repeat this in April next year….
Abby, the Wonder Puppy:
Look… they finally gave up and brought me a private (read Clean) place to sit. If you had this much white fur, you’d want one too.
Besides…. This cute little table keeps me 1. At snuggle height to those nearby… 2. Away from the “other dogs” (did I say dog?) – I mean other lovable animals…. and 3. One step closer to anything that may appear to be edible or “snackable” as it were….
I’m always on task- with this improvement- not only on task- but ever so much cleaner and more lovable.
So, this pretty much catches us up for the time being. We are loading the coach now to journey for a month or so to Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic Coast- and we’ve got tickets to the Indianapolis 500 race in late May, and the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.
Will be taking a ton of pictures along the route…. Keep watching for updates. We keep zoomin’ along, making memories.
Along the way, during one of our RV rallies, Abby contacted a fungus that made her feet itch. Off to the vet we go…. who prescribes a medicine administered to each foot twice a day – The vet cautioned us as to how difficult that this may be- but, true to form, Abby took this activity as a day at the spa.
Twice each day, she reclined so that we could work the medicine into the spaces between each toe. You’ve gotta’ grin here. Isn’t this about right? – Wish people were able to take things in stride like her.
She is certainly a trip. Brings you back to earth.
Quarter one, 2009 –
All of your life…. you have to know your Social Security number…. Everyone asks for it… try to do anything without it…. Somewhere off, in the distant future- you will be required to use this to enroll for benefits. I don’t think anyone really thinks that they will ever get there and collect them. Well, Jan and I both just did. What a life changing event. I am really feeling like the “old guy” now.
However- this will certainly assist in the procurement of diesel- keeping us on the road I hope. Wish us luck as we convert oil to miles in ’09, thanks to the life-changing event called “retirement”….
Bye for now.
Update/Editors Note here…. Remember I spoke of how fast retirement slides along with every day being a Saturday…. As I edit this page, in an effort to get the site back up again…. I realize that that first 10 years has already gone by- We’re still out there- thank Heaven- and heading for Washington State for the summer of 2017….