Wednesday, April 29, 2009
We did make it to Petersburg, which is just south of Richmond, Virginia and are staying in a Walmart parking lot. As is proper RV etiquette, we asked the manager permission to stay overnight. He, as most do, said it was fine.
Ed asked about a restaurant and he sent us to a brand new Mexican restaurant down the road. They have been open only 6 days and are having a soft opening - waiting for their liquor license to come through before their grand opening. We were almost the only ones there so got lots of attention from our waiter, the manager, the busboy, and the chef.
When I told the manager about it being Ed's birthday, she gave him a lucious dessert - tres leches (a moist cake). The Birthday Boy got several birthday calls, which brightened his day, though he might not admit it!
He's just carrying on about the weather - it's down to about 62 degrees now and breezy. I've told him he's got one more day to moan about the weather and that's all he's allowed. As for me, it's nice not to be sweating and walking around with dampish clothes all day!
Ed's now trying to figure out why we're drawing 10 amps of power from the generator when only the lights are on. The fridge is on propane, so it's not that. Pepper will likely be coming into the bed with us, as her heating pad draws too much power to have on when we're not hooked up to electricity.
We hope to be home by early afternoon - and let's hope there's no more road construction!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
We had supper at one of his favorite places - Krystal Burgers. Mmmm, mmm, good! Weight Watchers, look out, I'll be there very soon!
Tomorrow is his birthday and he wants to ignore it. He says that getting the RV cabinet redone in the RV was the best present I could have given him. We'll celebrate by going to his favorite restaurant, Golden Corral, for some steak this weekend. That'll work because that's one of the best places to get Weight Watcher's food - IF I don't walk by the dessert bar!!
We're staying in the parking lot of a Camping World store (exit 102 off I95) in their parking lot - they let us hook up to their electric for free AND there's internet, although that might be from the Travelodge across the street. Our TV antenna is bringing in several channels BUT NOT AMERICAN IDOL!! Oh, dear, oh, dear! :- (
We've had a wonderful time here near Ocala. Jan and David Clements spent a lot of time with us. They had us for dinner, we went to church with them, we went in their golf cart over into the Villages Main Street area for the music, dancing, and vendors, and just "hung out". Jan's doing well with her new career in real estate and it was interesting to hear about some of the details of her job. Dave is still with Scholastic Books and drives more miles but visits schools in more rural, friendly areas than in the Ft. Lauderdale area. It's such a joy to be with them!
Sunday they took us to Micanopy where we browsed in most of the antique shops. As the oldest inland Florida settlement, the charming town of Micanopy has a well-established tradition of Southern hospitality. Pronounced (Mick-can-oh'-pee), Micanopy is often called "The little town that time forgot." However, Micanopy possesses warmth and charm as well as an eclectic array of antique shopping.
Then we ate at The Yearling Restaurant - out in the middle of nowhere - in Cross Creek, just 14 miles from Gainesville and 25 miles from Ocala. The ambiance was delightful and Willie singing the Blues really was enjoyable. My blackened catfish was delightful and David enjoyed his Gator.
Hope this makes sense.......I'm writing quickly. As soon as Ed returns from his shower, we're going to hit the road. I'm looking forward to getting home to my flowers - oh, and to our friends, too!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Somehow, Ed's able to sleep through all this racket. This morning he woke up briefly about 7:30 and I let him sleep while reading quietly in bed for an hour. I got up, dressed, brushed my teeth, etc. and he didn't hear a thing. I hated to open the RV door but by 9:00 I was ready for my walk. It's now about 1:30 and he's sleeping soundly on the sofa........not even a snore to compete with the bike noise! Seriously, I am sure this rest is what his body needs as it rebuilds his blood counts following his last chemo, which was April 3.
We're going to Jan and David's this afternoon for a cook-out. Ed's hankering a hamburger on the grill so we're taking the food and he's going to cook it. Hopefully, I can help Jan with some computer questions while the guys check out the eagles (Jan and David are avid birdwatchers) or whatever guy things they choose to do. Then we'll go to church with them this evening.
We're going out for the day tomorrow but I think it might be in a different direction from Leesburg - unless we're looking for noise and traffic jams!!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Within 2 hours we were invited over for a shrimp stir-fry dinner. The talk fest got off to a rip roaring start - four extroverts have a lot to say! It's good we'll be here a week or more so we can catch up! Jan's sister, Anita, and her new husband, Ron stopped by. It was nice to see them again, too.
David and I are totally hooked on American Idol so he watched the clock carefully to be sure we didn't miss a minute.......we weren't disappointed. It's down to the final seven now and there are several who are so excellent, we have no clue who will win. We all like Adam and Allison. David likes Danny and I still like Anoop but don't think they'll win because they're not quite as unique. The judges used their "Save" power last week so there will be two contestants going home tonight.
Jan stopped by to visit this morning and to share all sorts of brainstorms she had during the night regarding her computer skills for her Real Estate business and offering to show me a few villas as a possibility for future years.
For whatever reason, I'm just exhausted and had to take Tylenol because I ached last night. Maybe all the morning walks built up and wore me down?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Soon after we returned to Lazy Days, the friend we house-sat for near Cape Canaveral last winter, Barbara Elliot, arrived. She stayed over and we visited and bummed around - looking at all sorts of RVs on the sales lot. After the free breakfast and lunch, which were very meager portions, Ed decided we needed to go out for dessert. We ended up at Parksdale Fruit Market and had THE best strawberry shortcake I've ever tasted. Barb and I enjoyed every bite. Ed refused to get the shortcake because they didn't use real whipped cream - he had a strawberry milkshake instead. Barbara and I agreed, "Oh, well, it was his loss!"
Monday, April 20, 2009
We're STILL at Lazy Days RV Center in Tampa - this is our 10th night here. The RV repairs are finished - however, our back AC unit quit working last evening....so we might be here another day. The technician will get us an estimate tomorrow morning.
On the bright side, it's been a mini-vacation - we stay in our RV in the work bay at night for free and get free breakfast and lunch. They will also give us a courtesy wash before we leave! I say, it's worth buying from a big dealer when the perks are so good!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Construction of the current bridge began in 1982, and was finished in 1987 at a cost of $244 million. It is the world's longest cable-stayed bridge and has a main span of 1200 ft. with a vertical clearance of 193 ft. That might not sound like much, but HUGE ships pass under it!
The bridge also boasts an interesting history. The old steel cantilever bridge that used to be where the Sunshine Skyway now stands, was plowed into by a freighter in 1980. More than 1,000 feet of the bridge fell into the bay, killing 35 motorists and bus passengers instantly.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The place is VERY "user-friendly" for RVers. We can sleep in our coach so there's no need to find a motel and worry about taking the kitty with us. They provide free breakfast and lunch, then we go out for supper and don't have to worry about cooking and washing dishes. They have a clubhouse with nice showers that we can use if we like and a big, attractive lounge with free Starbuck's coffee and large TVs. The park itself is very nicely done - full of huge old live oak trees that are filled with gracefully hanging Spanish moss. I've been taking my morning walk in the sales section with new motorhomes, fifth wheels, and a few trailers.
We are also having another project done while we're here. Our TV is a big old thing in a cabinet built across the front and Ed keeps bumping his poor bald head on it. They've taken out the cabinet and the old TV and will be hanging the new flat-screen TV that we've just had sitting on the dash since he got it in January. They moved us over to the woodworking area for that, while they continue with the door off the front end back in the body shop.
This part blows my mind. The coach stays inside the bay at night AND we have electrical, water, and sewer hook-ups!! I'm washing a load of clothes, even as I type!!
Our days run something like this:
We have to be up by 8 a.m. so they can start working, which is OK because the free breakfast is 8-9 a.m. in the main office building. We try to sit with people and have met some nice folks. Then I take my walk and we drive over to the clubhouse to shower. If I don't wash my hair, I can shower here.
By that time, the free lunch is ready!! Today they had chef's salad. Ed was still hungry so they let each of us have a 2nd salad. In the afternoon, we "compute", nap, read, go to the store (we can walk to Camping World store right here on the premises), and go out for supper. It's a tough life but somebody's gotta do it, right?
We're not really in a vacuum but it's like a twilight zone away from the real world. Looks like we'll be here till next Tuesday or so. This is an opportune for Ed to catch up on some rest and I can see he feels better than he did on Saturday.
p.s. Pepper is on her normal schedule - sleeping here, there, and yonder!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Barketts are a nice bunch and I enjoy them more each time I see them. Lorraine's husband has three brothers (in no particular order): 1.Tom, 2. Ron, 3. Rick and Kristine's family - Katy and Dana (He's now 6'5" tall!) 4. Ray and Lorraine's family - Rene, (daughter) Cameron, Taylor, & Keaton Petrie and Nicole (daughter), David, & Olivia Hasselbach. Including Ed and me, there were 17 of us.
I'm looking forward to some photos of the brunch to share with you, whenever Nicole has a moment to send me some. She's got quite an eye for taking pictures! For example, here's Nichole and some of her photos of her photogenic daughter and hubby:
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
We looked around a shell store on Sanibel. Ed intimated that I could just buy the shells I wanted - but I want my projects to be made with shells that I found myself! The cook at the deli where we ate confirmed that Bowman's Beach (the place we went before) was the best for shelling but warned that it was high tide so there might not be as many shells as other times of the day.
Without further delay, we hit "our" beach. At first, it appeared that the cook was right and there weren't many shells. We did find a place with some and I started collecting. Ed went further down the beach and was quite jubilant because he found the Mother lode! They were exactly the tiny shells I wanted and they were several layers deep. I worked for a couple of hours gathering baby shells.
When Ed had had enough sun, I filled my bucket - I'll sort them later. I wished I had had another bucket, but that would have been too much weight to make it back to the parking lot, which is a pretty long walk. Now I'm the jubilant one with a bucket of treasures!
We stopped at Bonefish Restaurant across the street from our RV park and I had the All-You-Can-Eat fish and chips, like we had when George and Kay visited in February. It was every bit as good as the last time and I enjoyed every succulent morsel of the dinner and the 2 extra pieces that I requested.
Friday, April 10, 2009
His blood counts were better but he is still anemic, so got another Procrit shot. Ed was disappointed that the blood wasn't better, considering all the shots he's had. The nurse said that with Procrit, it often takes 4-6 weeks to see results. Also, not invading his system with chemo "poisons" should give his body time to get its blood back on an even keel.
The plan is that Ed will take a break from chemo. (He had 7 cycles.) He should get another scan in 2 or 3 months to see what is needed, if anything.
Today we're off to the doctor and whatever other adventures present themselves.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When I went to pay, I discovered that it was half price! I looked for a black one like it, but there were none. I've decided to wear it a few times and get another one later. It's made by Playtex, which would hopefully mean that I'll be able to find them in the future. The whole process took only about 15 minutes and hopefully, will save me hours of discomfort.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Ed has his CAT scan yesterday and he took some strawberries to one of the best nurses he's had, Shawna. I told her she should give a workshop to fellow cancer nurses. All of them are pleasant but what the patient and caregiver want most to know about is details about the particular cancer the person has. Shawna explained test results and what they meant, as well as giving Ed some tips - such as the importance of keeping hydrated. (Typical man - he'll listen when someone else besides his wife tells him something.)
While in the waiting room, he saw an ad in the paper for an Italian market. So, we went about 5 miles further south in Cape Coral and had lunch at Paesano's - La Trattoria Al Fresco outdoor cafe. I had a huge Cobb salad and Ed had the special - a sampler of Italian foods. We both had enough left for supper.
So far today, Ed's been having a "Pepper Day" - he napped on the couch, went to the pool to lay out (but it got too windy), napped on the "patio" by the RV, and now he's napping here on the sofa again. That's just what Pepper does - sleeps here, there, and yonder throughout the day.
Instead of around the RV park, I did my walk across the street to the Shell Factory to mail Easter cards to Mother. While there, I looked around the huge store again. Oh, how fascinating shells are!!!....expensive, too! The big Tritan's trumpet shell I got while scuba diving is worth at least $50!
Our big date today is to take advantage of the special deal at Applebee's - 40% off your food bill on Monday - Thursday between 2 & 4 p.m. Then, we're going to see Julia Roberts' movie, "Duplicity."
Friday, April 3, 2009
Monday is his CAT scan so we dropped off the disks from his scans in Virginia last fall and Ft. Lauderdale in January to be ready for comparison.
We celebrated by trying a place recommended for good hamburgers - Foster's Grille. It's in Cape Coral and is 11 miles away from Tamiami RV Park here in North Ft. Myers, but it's a route with light traffic so guess we'll be back over there one of these days. Foster's is a franchise that appears to have started in Virginia; too bad there are only two here in Florida.
FINALLY, we've found a place that Ed actually likes their burgers AND their French fries!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tuesday we saw the movie, "I Love You, Man". It was so-so....would have made a good one hour movie. The previews don't look encouraging either......everything is totally violent, about dragons and ghosts, or about supernatural things. We like to take advantage of the $5 movie price for Seniors on Tuesday but it's not a deal if there's nothing to see. We tried the Arizona Pizza restaurant and really enjoyed their pizza.
Wednesday, we went to American HomePatient, the company that handles my CPAP sleeping machine. It's been bothersome and a friend told me there's a different style mask that's much more comfortable. After meeting with the technician, it was determined that I'll have to go to our branch in Virginia so they can work through insurance. I had received my 6 month supplies so will keep them unopened until May so I can exchange them if needed. The new mask, hose, and nose piece that I received cost $492!! With that amount of money involved, I think it's worthwhile to try to find the most comfortable thing available. This is a long term commitment.
At least I have accomplished one thing - I've walked 4 mornings in a row! I have my course all mapped out and just go "get it overwith." My hip had been hurting, which was probably from too much sitting, and the walking has helped. Every morning we watch the RV's heading out of here and as I walk I see more preparing to leave. It's nice to have more space around us but we also get more noise from US41.
Another accomplishment is I finally got my shells from Sanibel cleaned and organized by size. I bought the "fixins' for the two craft projects I plan to make. See, even though we have this time of freedom, I still have that work ethnic - thinking I must accomplish something for my day to be successful.