Dash - n. The symbol between the date of birth and the date of death on a tombstone, which represents a person's life.
n. abbr. (dashboard) Panel beneath the windshield of a vehicle containing gauges for the use of the driver.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Christmas in the Keys

We had a wonderful Christmas! We had some business meetings in Naples, FL, so we made the loooong trek from Port Aransas, TX to Naples, FL for a few days. We weren't very impressed with the Naples area, but it's possible we didn't give it much of a chance. Way too touristy for us. We went over to Marco Island, and couldn't even see the beach. Just hotel after hotel.

Considering the area is mostly city, we were surprised to hear of the wildlife in the RV park. We were warned that there was a bear in the park. Yes, you read that right ... we were surprised too. A bear in an RV park in Florida! Apparently the night before we got there, it came into the park and tried to make off with someone's grill! We were also reminded of the alligators in the area one day when we were out for a walk. We could hear something rather large splashing around in the storm drain. Another day while we were out walking, we came upon some very interesting birds. (If you can name the birds, please comment and let me know.)
From Naples, we headed down to the Keys to spend Christmas with our good friends the Travaglinos from Fulltime Families. We had a wonderful time! Ok, I know what you're thinking - "Isn't the Keys about as touristy as it gets?" Well ... yes it is, but in a much different way.  You can still enjoy the ocean view in the Keys. Besides, while the rest of the country was in a deep freeze, we were enjoying sunny 80 degree weather!

The day we got to the RV park, Hubby took a walk down to the pier at the cove. Shortly after I get this phone call saying I need to get down there right away. I run down to the pier and there is a family of manatees right there! Mama and calf swam right up to us ... it was amazing! Papa was there too, but stayed back aways. We saw manatee several more times and even had a bull swim between us for awhile when we were out in the kayaks.

We had a great time - enjoyed friends, kayaking, sunsets, etc.
Oh, and saw several iguanas!
We stayed on Key Largo, but took a day and drove down to Key West and the southernmost point of the continental United States. At that point we were actually closer to Cuba, then "home" in Key Largo!
Did I mention yet that we had a great time?! My family had to drag me away as I did NOT want to leave. I'm looking forward to going back someday and spending more time snorkeling, parasailing, etc. (The day we were supposed to go snorkeling it was windy and the water was too choppy.) I've realized that I could very easily become an island girl!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Awning Trouble

We hear over and over again from RVers that it's just a matter of time until you have an awning problem while you are driving. Lo and behold, we are driving down the interstate at 60mph with a 40mph side wind when we hear something banging on the roof of the RV. Hubby and I look at each other, then at the roof trying to determine the noise. Then Son starts yelling "The awning is out!" Sure enough, the wind had gotten underneath one side of our awning and pulled it out.
We pulled over on the highway, and fighting the wind, Hubby was able to get it rolled up and back in place.
A little further down the road, sure enough, out comes the awning again. Hubby found an abandoned gas station to pull into, and angled the motorhome just right to block the wind. He and Son were able to roll it up again, and this time zip-tied it in place. (While I did the oh-so-important job of taking pictures!)
However, the arms are now completely bent out of shape and we are not able to use our awning. Looks like we can now add a new awning to the RV Makeover!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

As far as factory tours go, I would have to say that the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is one of the better ones we've been to - and we're not even huge baseball fans! Outside the factory is the world's largest bat - a six-story tall replica of Babe Ruth's bat.
Since it is a museum as well, there is a fee to get in, but we felt it was worth it. The museum was interesting, and includes a small scavenger hunt.
We also toured the bat vault where the master bat models are stored.
Here we were given white gloves and were allowed to handle any bat we wanted.
We also had fun in the batting cages (for an extra fee).
But, of course, the highlight was the factory tour itself. Many tours we've been on we have to walk above everything and look down through glass windows. Not in this tour. We actually walked right through the factory. They even have someone whose job it is to make bats the "old-fashioned" way before computers. We learned about the different types of wood used for the bats, and about the special requests of players. The whole tour was up close and personal and the kids enjoyed it too!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Not Just Popcorn

If you ever find yourself in the Edinburgh, Indiana area, I highly recommend a stop at Not Just Popcorn. It's like the Jelly Belly of popcorn with over 240 different flavors! We had the opportunity to take a factory tour as part of the Cummins Power Club Rally. The Arnold Family from Arnold Adventures whom we had met at the Fulltime Families Rally was at this rally as well. While the dads toured the Cummins factory, the rest of us went for popcorn.

The tour was informative and entertaining. We were shown all of the steps involved in the popping and flavoring of popcorn. We also learned about how the moisture content of the popcorn is essential for popping, and how different types of popcorn are used for different types of flavoring.
Look at all those flavors! In addition to the usual butter, cheese, and caramel, flavors include strawberry lemonade, eggnog, Dreamsicle, and peanut butter cup.
More unusual flavors include ketchup, pizza, beer, and even dill pickle!
The best part of the tour was sampling the different flavors at the end. Of course, we had to take a tin of different flavors home to enjoy. We also bought an ear of popcorn to pop ourselves.
All we had to do was put it in a paper bag.
Fold the bag over a couple of times and put it in the microwave.
Pop it on high for 2-1/2 to 4 minutes until the popping stops.
Add your flavor and enjoy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Columbus, Indiana

On my mental list of places I would like to visit, the only place in Indiana on that list was the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. I have to admit, other than that Indiana was not even on my radar. So, I am glad that we attended the Cummins Power Club rally in Columbus, IN, or we would have missed out on this wonderful city!

The first thing I noticed was the interesting architecture downtown, and how clean it is. So often the downtown area of a city is rundown and neglected. Not so in Columbus. They take pride in their city. Columbus, IN is "ranked 6th in the country for architectural innovation and design by the American Institute of Architects." Seven internationally renowned architects were involved in designing buildings in the area. We were not able to take the architecture tour this time, but are looking forward to the tour if we visit Columbus again.

A couple of our favorite places to visit in Columbus were The Commons with its restaurants and large indoor playground.
And Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor which is a throw back to the 1900s complete with old fashioned soda fountains, and a mini museum. When ordering an ice cream, it includes extra sauce on the side. Very yummy!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Family and Friends

Our business was extremely busy this past spring. So busy in fact, that we didn't have time for much else. This was a blessing not only because it meant our business is doing well, but it also meant that we could take some time off to spend with family and friends. Hubby and I grew up in Wisconsin, and I was excited to be able to return for a family reunion. It was wonderful to be able to spend some quality time with my grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It's been a long time since we've been together and it was great to catch up.

Then we hung out for a week catching up with friends and other family. Some of our friends we haven't seen in over 10 years!

We met some friends at their house on the lake
We went ATVing at a friend's property up in the woods, had a get together at the campground we were staying at, and visited the local Renaissance Faire.

One of the highlights of the visit for me was getting together with my best friends from high school. Before we left Wisconsin, the four of us went out to dinner once a month, and I have missed that. It's probably been about 10 years since the four of us have been out to dinner together.
This last visit was the longest we have been able to stay in Wisconsin since we moved to Colorado in 2000. This visit has reminded me how much I miss everyone. Leaving Wisconsin at the end of our visit was very difficult for me. I have also realized how blessed we are to be living this lifestyle. Prior to our life on the road, we were limited to two to three weeks of vacation a year. We then had to pick and choose where we would go and who we could visit for that limited time. Since we have been on the road, we have been able to visit family and friends much more often.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MillerCoors Brewery Tour

After the Fulltime Families Rally in July, we met up with the Arnold family of Arnold Adventures for a tour of the MillerCoors Brewery in Golden, CO.
The visitor's center is set up like a museum where we learned about the history of the company, all about brewing beer, and why Golden, CO was chosen by Adolph Coors as the perfect place to brew his beer. However, as an actual factory tour goes, this was a bit disappointing. There wasn't really much going on. I think we saw one employee walking around.
The highlight of the tour really has to be the free samples at the end. The end of the tour leads to the Coors Lounge where everyone over the age of 21 can try three samples of beer. (Soda is available for kids and non-drinkers.)
Now by "sample", we were expecting just that - sample sizes. Nope. A sample is a full glass of beer! I can safely say this is the first time I've ever had a beer before noon.

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