Birthday and Yard Work

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Oct. 6 to 12, 2017

This past week has been filled with “yard work” – upgrades to landscape, etc. Here are a few projects we’ve done around the place.

Along the back of our property is a fairly wide drainage area. Most folks down our street have put various fences, walls and/or plants along the drainage area. Our lot had some dead bushes along the back side of our property. We cut those out some time back and decided we would put in something that will grow up and out to provide some privacy and shade to the back of our lot.

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The first of many trips to Lowe’s

We bought several Areca palms to plant along the back. The irrigation system already had small sprinklers for the previous bushes, so Malcolm extended and/or moved those to provide water to the new palms.

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Here is the view from down in the drainage area, looking at the back of our lot. The Areca palms are supposed to grow up to 10 feet tall and 10 feet around, so we hope they’ll eventually bush out and provide a nice screen along the back.

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Along one side of our property there were a couple spots in the landscaping where the previous owners had put some pavers down in the rocks so that one could walk more easily between our site and our neighbor’s site. Makes sense in a way, as they were both good friends. We decided to pull the pavers out (not that we don’t like our neighbors, be we don’t see ourselves cutting across to their site that much).

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Pavers removed

The two palms on either side of this spot are further apart than the others down this side. To keep that area from looking so open, we planted another palm cluster in the middle of that area.

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Because all the other trees were being watered by the irrigation system, but the new one was not, Malcolm dug up the irrigation feeder line and added a tee into it. From the tee, he ran a feeder up to the base of the tree and attached a bubbler similar to how all the other trees are watered.

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After a quick test for any leaks, everything was covered up with a couple bags of new rocks to build the area up.

Another area we changed up a bit was the area behind the trailer next to the white shed. There was one small piece of artificial turf in this one spot that seemed a bit out of place.

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The area in question with one small piece of “grass”

Malcolm pulled up the grass and put down a few pavers that we had removed from the other side.

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Pavers in place, ready for rocks

With the pavers in place, Malcolm started pouring rocks in the voids around them, filling the area in.

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The rocks will blend in with the existing rocks after a few rains wash all the dirt off of them.

A few other random projects included buying a couple outdoor rugs (on clearance) and making a nice seating area near the sheds. We’ve found that parking the truck in front of the trailer and parking the car next to it at the end of the drive really opens up this area for better use.

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On one of our Lowe’s runs, we found a second flamingo to go with the one we already had. (The shepherd’s crook is for another project).

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We also purchased this deck box to put near the door of the trailer to toss stuff in. We also put a little sign on it to tell delivery folks to put deliveries inside the box. We’ve come home a couple times to wet Amazon boxes.

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Aside from all this “yard work”, we managed to relax and head to Magic Kingdom on Tuesday for Val’s birthday. We took costumes with us and stayed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

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Following the crowd

The party is an additional paid event that starts at 7:00 PM at Magic Kingdom. If you haven’t paid for it, you have to leave the park by 7:00. Though costumes are not mandatory, they are encouraged. We went as Woody (from Toy Story) and Minnie.

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A lot of the rides are open and waits were pretty much non-existent. There are also several places where you can “trick or treat” and stock up on candy. We hit several of those sites and ended up with quite a haul of treats. All in all, it was a fun day, but we were definitely tired and left before the park closed (at midnight).

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Other than yard work and birthdays, Malcolm was not selected for jury duty, which allowed us to spend more time at Disney World on Tuesday. Malcolm has been working normal hours since Tuesday. Val’s been working on various projects.

We’ll be here about another two weeks before heading up to Wetumpka, Alabama to volunteer for Frontier Days at Fort Toulouse. We’ll bring our golf cart down to Florida after that trip.

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It’s Been a While

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 25 to Oct. 5, 2017

It has been a while since our last post. As you see, we’re still at “home” here in Florida. With that has come a lot of normal everyday activity (i.e. work for Malcolm, projects for Val). Here are a few non-work/project highlights from the last 11 days.

Most of the remainder of September was spent in taking care of normal maintenance items around the trailer and our lot. Not much to report there. The living portion of our brown shed is moving along slowly, with Malcolm popping out there once a day and working a little more on either taping or sanding drywall seams. The sanding, especially, gets tiring pretty quick. Doing it gradually helps with that tedium.

One item that did get attention was the RV Lock on our trailer door. The keypad had developed cracks over time (it is 3+ years old). Fortunately, a replacement keypad is available from the manufacturer for just a few dollars. Malcolm replaced it.

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We love our RV Lock so much that we finally decided to order their version for our two main storage bay doors. We also ordered a universal remote for inside the trailer. With that, we can unlock or lock either compartment door or the main door. Another button allows us to lock or unlock all three at the same time. Should be handy on travel days.

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Laying out the parts

Our door side compartment door has two handles. We opted to only install one keypad handle and one manual handle on that side instead of two keypad handles. Normally, we’ll leave the non-keypad handle unlocked unless we want to be more secure, then we can lock it with a key.

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Keypad handle installed

Malcolm worked a full 40-hour week the last week of September. His re-scheduled jury duty call was for October 2, so he wanted to get in as much work as possible before potentially being busy with jury duty.

Also, over the weekend, we went to Epcot on Sunday, October 1st. Epcot was celebrating its 35th birthday. They were handing out various swag, including these cool buttons.

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There were long lines in some parts of the park to buy special 35th birthday shirts and other items. Val had ordered us some shirts for the event online (they didn’t arrive until after our visit) so we didn’t stand in any of those lines.

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We did sample some of the food for the food and wine festival. They set up kiosks around Epcot to sell samples of food from different countries or regions. We just grazed several of those kiosks for lunch. For usually about $4 to $5, you got a fairly healthy sample of some regional specialty. They also had beers, wines and mixed drinks available.

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We bought a pair of spiffy little trays to carry your food and drink around with. They’ll come in handy at RV rallies when they’re serving finger foods at get-togethers.

On Monday, October 2, Malcolm headed to the county courthouse to report for jury duty. Malcolm worked at home on Tuesday since he didn’t have to head to the courthouse. He reported again on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday was a day off, so the remaining potential jurors will report again on Monday, October 7 to continue the process.

 

Anatomy Of An Accident

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Two years ago, on Monday, September 28th, 2015 at around 4:00 PM, we were involved in a traffic accident while pulling our fifth wheel. We posted about the accident back when it happened but we haven’t really said much else about it here on the blog.

As we run across people from time to time, they’ll ask how everything ended up coming out. So, we figured this would be a good time to post about the whole incident from start to finish. We hope there is some good takeaway information here that you can use. Looking back over the whole incident, there are a few issues we possibly could have handled differently armed with what we know now.

The Accident

We were heading south on US 41 just north of Evansville, Indiana on a clear, sunny Monday afternoon. We had been driving from Odessa, Missouri with our destination for the night at Diamond Lake Resort near Owensboro, Kentucky. We were about an hour away from there.

US 41 is a four-lane divided highway north of Evansville, with a 60 MPH speed limit. We were approaching an intersection that had dedicated turn lanes both north and south. The traffic signals for both turn lanes were red arrows. Our southbound lanes had a green signal. We were in the passing lane as Malcolm had just recently passed a slower moving vehicle. Because the intersection was in a construction zone, we had slowed to around 50 MPH.

As we neared the intersection, we both noticed the lead vehicle in the northbound turn lane had started moving slowly straight forward into the center portion of the intersection. Malcolm slowed some as we watched that vehicle move slowly forward. We thought maybe they had decided not to turn and were possibly wanting to merge back into the northbound (opposite to us) straight through lanes and continue north.

When we were probably about 100 feet from the intersection, the minivan we had seen moving forward suddenly turned left, directly into our path. We were still traveling probably 40-45 mph and had nowhere to go. Malcolm did try to swerve to the right, but with the van moving left to right there was no way to avoid hitting them. We braced for impact.

We t-boned the minivan squarely on the two side doors. All of the glass on the passenger side of the minivan shattered and rained over the top of the cab of our pickup, landing mostly in the bed behind us. Our momentum pushed the van sideways and with our steering wheel turned to the right, the whole assembly of minivan, truck and trailer slowly slid to a stop in the grass to our right, just past the intersection. The tail end of the trailer was just out of the main traffic lanes.

During the crash, the minivan cushioned our collision enough that the airbags in the truck did not deploy. The seat belt tensioners did their job, though. Val couldn’t get her door open and ended up crawling out the driver’s door. Upon later inspection, we realized that the trailer hitch had broken loose from the bed of the truck and the trailer slammed into the back of the truck when the collision occurred. This pushed the whole bed of the truck forward just enough to tweak the cab so that the passenger door couldn’t be opened all the way.

Malcolm was not injured. His elbows were sore for a few days afterwards since he locked both arms and braced for the impact of the accident. The top half of the steering wheel was slightly bent forward. Val got some seat belt rash from the belt tensioner doing its job. Our cat, Callie, was riding in her carrier in the back seat of the truck and seemed to fare just fine. Two of the minivan occupants, both of whom were riding on the passenger side of the van where the impact occurred, were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The front seat passenger, we later found out, had surgery because he was bleeding around his brain.

The minivan and the truck were both towed away. As fate would have it, our friends Lou and Bette Dick were staying in a campground a mere ¼ mile away from the accident scene. After we called 911, we called them and they came right over with their car and their truck. We loaded all we could out of the truck into their car and Lou hooked up our trailer to his truck and pulled it up to the campground where they were staying. Malcolm called the truck (State Farm) and trailer (Good Sam/National General) insurance companies and started the claims processes.

The Next Few Days

It was pretty obvious to us that our truck was a total. The front part of the frame was pushed over to the side and the rear bed was tilted forward into the back of the cab. Even if it wasn’t totaled, it wasn’t something we would want to drive after it was repaired, so we set about finding a new truck. Malcolm found one at a great price a few hours away in Nicholasville, Kentucky. We ended up driving our rental car over to buy the truck on Wednesday, dropping the rental off at the airport on the way back to Evansville.

Looking at the front of our trailer in the daylight, it was pretty obvious that the front drop-frame rails were bent inward as the landing gear was toed in. The front compartment metal floor was bent upward in an inverted “V” and the first crossmember back was bent, as well. Our MorRyde pinbox was mangled up, but serviceable enough to pull the trailer short distances. We thought to ourselves that maybe the trailer would be totaled, but weren’t sure. Also, if they fixed it, would we trust it traveling long distances on the road? Things to ponder.

We were ultimately heading to a family get-together in Durham, North Carolina when we were sidelined by the wreck, so Malcolm talked to the trailer insurance agent and asked if we could defer having it looked at until we returned in a week or so. They were fine with that. We drove on to North Carolina in the truck after making hotel reservations, leaving the trailer behind. Callie stayed in the trailer and Lou and Bette were given a key. They took care of feeding Callie while we were away.

On the way back to Indiana from North Carolina, we stopped at a few RV dealers and looked at various trailers, figuring we might end up having to buy one to replace the current one. We ended up choosing one at Derby City RV in Clarksville, Indiana. We called the next day and put a small refundable deposit on it pending what insurance worked out with the existing trailer.

While we were traveling back from North Carolina, State Farm officially declared the truck a total loss and started working on cutting checks – paying off our truck loan and sending us a check for the remainder of the claim minus our $500 deductible. We got a very good payoff on the truck, only a few thousand less than we paid for it when we bought it two years and 70,000 miles earlier.

Malcolm also obtained the accident report via the internet. We were pleased to see that no less than four witnesses on our behalf were listed on the report, complete with phone numbers and addresses. They all verified our story details, that the other vehicle ran a red arrow. We knew that at least two witnesses walked over to talk to us, with one personally giving us his information in case the police didn’t get to them.

Trailer Insurance

When Malcolm called our claims agent to get the ball rolling once we were back in Indiana, the agent told him that they didn’t have any adjusters in the area. The agent checked her list of contract agents and found that the nearest one was three hours away (probably in Indianapolis). At that point, the agent asked Malcolm if he knew of any RV repair places nearby that might have an adjuster that could come out and look at the trailer.

This was the biggest red flag of the whole process. If your insurance company can’t get someone they know and work with to come out and look at your wrecked vehicle, then you may be in for a long ride. Looking back, we wished we could have pushed for them to send someone out. Instead, we called the RV dealer about two miles up the road and they agreed to do the adjusting and would send someone down in a couple days to look over the damage, take pictures, fill out insurance forms and send it all in to the insurance company.

After they came and went, we drove over to the RV dealer to see what they had heard, if anything. It had been a few days and no word from anyone. One of the employees that had been out looking at the trailer indicated that they were writing the whole thing up as a total loss. They supposedly had talked to both Heartland RVs (the trailer manufacturer) and Lippert Components (the frame manufacturer) and neither wanted to work on it. The RV dealer was not set up to work on frames, so they decided to write up a really high repair estimate and submit that.

Based on that information (let’s call this a yellow flag), we went ahead and moved forward with buying the other trailer that we had put a deposit down on. Malcolm also set up an appointment with the RV dealer that did the damage estimate to put a hitch in the truck. That was about a week away since they were fairly booked up.

Moving To a New Trailer

On Tuesday, October 13, two weeks after the accident, we rented a small U-Haul truck and bought a bunch of boxes to pack things in. We started the process of moving everything out to the U-Haul from the trailer.

On Wednesday, October 14, we finished loading all our belongings into the U-Haul. We took our new truck and the U-Haul and drove the two hours east to Clarksville, Indiana to check into the hotel across the street from our RV dealer. Our walk-through of the new trailer was set for Friday, the 16th.

On Thursday, October 15, Malcolm drove the truck back over to Evansville to get the hitch put in at the RV dealer. Once they were done, he drove over to the campground and hitched the trailer up to the truck and pulled it back to the RV dealer. They agreed to store it for us while we waited on insurance. With the hitch put in and the trailer safely in storage, Malcolm headed back to Clarksville to the hotel.

On Friday morning, October 16th, we did our walk-through on the trailer. Once that was done, they pulled it outside and we brought the U-Haul over and unloaded everything into the trailer. We took the U-Haul back and headed back to the dealer, hooked up the trailer and headed out towards Nashville to meet up with friends at a rally there.

The Trailer Insurance Process

Over the next month or so, Malcolm would check on the trailer insurance only to be told that they were still working on processing the estimate. This drug on for about six weeks before Malcolm posted something expressing his dissatisfaction with the process on the RV.Net forums which are run by Good Sam, which is where our trailer insurance was sourced (it was underwritten initially by GMAC, but moved to National General Insurance after GMAC got out of the insurance business). A Good Sam representative followed up to get more information from Malcolm and indicated that someone would get with him to escalate the process.

A couple days later, Malcolm received a call from the head of the trailer insurance division at National General who gave Malcolm his personal phone number and vowed to move things forward. This was during Thanksgiving week. Though this gentleman was good at getting back with Malcolm to keep him up to date on what was going on, he was having a difficult time getting call-backs from places that could work on RV frames (i.e. Lippert Components).

It wasn’t until mid-January of 2016 (almost 4 months after the wreck), that insurance informed us that Lippert Components in Goshen, Indiana would look at the trailer, give a quote and, if fixable, would do the repair work. Insurance paid for a transporter to take the trailer to Goshen.

Insurance called us in early February to let us know that the estimate from Lippert was around $6,000 and that they could repair the trailer. We gave a verbal go-ahead. The insurance company sent a check directly to Lippert for the repair. (Usually, the check goes to the insured who then brings it the repair shop and pays for the repair with the check if satisfied with the results – another yellow flag).

Malcolm was given a contact at Lippert to check on progress. That contact called him to let him know that they were starting to work on it right away (early- to mid-February) and that they expected the repairs to take a couple weeks since they needed parts from Heartland (bodywork, etc.) to finish the repairs.

The “couple weeks” slowly turned into months. The initial contact phone number eventually ended up going to a “this number is no longer in service” recording. Malcolm finally found someone else at Lippert that could keep him updated on progress. That person indicated that the frame and pinbox were finished and that they were just waiting on a few parts from Heartland to finish up. This was probably in mid-March.

We kept getting the same “we’re waiting on parts from Heartland” story over and over through March, April and May. Finally, about mid-June, Lippert called and indicated that the trailer would be ready in a couple days. Malcolm called insurance to find out how to proceed. That’s when he found out that they had already paid for the repairs back in February.

Malcolm drove up to Goshen, arriving at Lippert mid-afternoon to pick up the trailer. They knew he was coming but indicated when he got there that they couldn’t find the check from the insurance company. Lippert decided that they would contact insurance and have another check sent and the other one voided so that Malcolm could hit the road with the trailer. The trailer batteries were dead, so they jump-started the trailer enough to get the landing gear retracted.

We were camped at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka, Alabama, so Malcolm brought the old trailer there and set it up on the site next to the new trailer. We cleaned the old trailer up really well, made sure everything was working and swapped some items from the old trailer to the new trailer and vice-versa. Mainly modifications we had made that we wanted to move forward, but also the Flex-Air pinbox that Lippert put on the old trailer during the repairs. Our son, David, was in town during that time (July 4th holiday) and helped Malcolm with the heavy work of swapping pinboxes.

After the 4th of July holiday was over, Malcolm hitched up the old trailer and pulled it down to PPL Motorhomes in Houston, Texas to sell the trailer via consignment. The trailer finally sold in late September for what we considered a fair offer. After all consignment fees were paid, we owed a couple thousand dollars to pay off the trailer loan. We decided not to pursue any diminished value claims on the trailer since it had been a year after the wreck and we were just glad to get the last piece of the puzzle put behind us.

The Lawsuit

A couple months after the accident, in November, a lawsuit was started on behalf of the front seat passenger of the minivan (the one that had surgery after the wreck) primarily to recoup his medical costs. As is typical with a lawsuit, everyone that is potentially at fault is named as a defendant, so the defendants included the driver of the van, the owner of the van (who was riding in the van at the time) and Malcolm.

Malcolm found the lawsuit details online (since such things are open records) and bookmarked it so he could follow the progress. A lawyer representing State Farm Insurance (our insurance and the other two defendants, as well) contacted Malcolm to let him know what to expect and that they were confident we were zero percent at fault. We basically had to wait until we were served with our summons and then contact the lawyer once that occurred.

The issue with serving us papers arose since we are full-time RV’ers with (at the time) an address in Texas that was only a mailbox at an Escapees mail facility. Since we weren’t physically there, we couldn’t be served our summons. Our State Farm lawyer indicated that it was contingent on the plaintiff’s lawyer to determine where we were and where to serve papers.

Ultimately, in August, 2016, the suit was released “with prejudice”. We were never served any summons. The attorney indicated that the “with prejudice” part indicated that State Farm settled with the plaintiff out of court and that we were officially released from the suit. He sent us a copy of the final settlement document and told us to keep it indefinitely to prevent being named in any future suits.

Summary

Essentially, with the suit released in August, 2016 and the trailer sold in September, 2016, we were pretty much done with the accident. The only follow-up after that is that we did receive our $500 deductible back from State Farm for the truck this summer, about 22 months after the accident.

Since the accident, we’ve switched insurance carriers for the trailer. Even before we found out how long it was going to take to get something done via our Good Sam/National General insurance policy on the old trailer, we insured the new trailer through Blue Sky Insurance (since then, we’ve switched to Progressive for better rates).

Another thing to note if you decide to put your trailer out on a consignment lot is that you should have it insured while there. The consignment lot should make that clear. Check your insurance to see if they have a consignment rider available. Good Sam/National General did not, but Blue Sky did, so we ended up switching the old trailer to Blue Sky insurance after picking it up from Lippert and before dropping it off at PPL Motorhomes.

If we didn’t buy a new trailer but instead decided to ride out the old one through the repair process, how would that have gone? The trailer was towable, so we probably could have traveled in it while waiting for them to sent it to Goshen to have it repaired, though we weren’t sure if there was any unseen frame damage. Given the length of time it was in the shop for repairs, though, we would have been living somewhere else for five months (i.e. an apartment or other accommodations).

Wouldn’t insurance have reimbursed that, though? Not for the entire time. The insurance policy provided for up to $100 a day for alternate housing and other expenses but for only a maximum of five days. Something to consider if something like this happens to you. If we were not full-timers, it would have been a simple matter of packing up necessities and driving home to wait out the repairs. The $100 a day would have worked for paying hotel and restaurant costs on the way home and back to pick up the trailer in that situation, but as a full-timer with nowhere else to go, you’re essentially stuck.

We hope this long post helps you understand what happened and how things were handled. The biggest takeaway we hope this provides is that you consider your options ahead of time in case this happens to you. Where would you go if you had to wait for your home to be repaired? How would you pay for it? Do you have the ability to purchase a new trailer even though you still own the old one while it is being repaired?

Feel free to post any additional questions in the comments. If we left out some details, we’ll add it into the post over time.

 

 

Settling In At Home

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 20 to 24, 2017

We’ve been back home for several days now. Time for an update. Might be boring, so hold on.

On Wednesday, Malcolm took the pressure washer and cleaned down the entrance end of our lot. It had collected quite a bit of black. Being close to US 27 and a traffic signal, we get a lot of tire and brake dust settling on our lot. The pressure washer got quite a workout all week, as you’ll see.

With the front part of the lot cleaned, we moved the truck back into its spot and put the car out front of the trailer where we normally keep it. Malcolm also managed to get some regular work in during the day. We had dinner at Tijuana Flats and did some shopping at Target. Malcolm got the fire pit out and hooked it up. He toasted a few marshmallows.

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On Thursday, Malcolm got the big broom out and cleaned all the dirt and sand off the road in front of our driveway that he had sprayed off the day before. Our 50 amp breaker kicked off at the pedestal – a problem we had earlier in the summer when we were here. Malcolm replaced it early in the morning with a new one and it seems to run better. The old one was probably pretty tired.

We also went to the post office to pick up any remaining mail we might have had sitting there after having it forwarded and held while we were away. Back at the trailer, Malcolm got some regular work done while Val went to Joann Fabrics to pick up some items for a couple projects.

We had lunch at the pizza place nearby. Malcolm also cleaned half of the outside of the trailer in the afternoon after the sun was off of it.

On Friday morning, Malcolm finished cleaning the outside of the trailer by tackling the other side early in the day before the sun got to it. Malcolm also got some work in until about lunch time while Val worked on some sewing projects. After we ate lunch at the trailer, we headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park for the rest of the day.

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We did a little shopping and Malcolm got in a couple rides on the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and one ride on the Hollywood Tower of Terror.

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A thunderstorm was rolling in when Malcolm was heading to the Tower ride, which seemed pretty appropriate. After a couple rides and waiting out the subsequent rain storm, we walked around a bit more waiting for our dinner reservation at the 50’s Diner.

After dinner, we decided to head out from the park and drive over to Disney Springs and do some walking around for a while.

Saturday was shopping day in the morning. We stopped by Home Depot, Costco, Target and Publix supermarket. While out shopping, we had lunch at BJ’s Brewhouse. Back home, we put up the shelves we bought at Home Depot and put our remaining totes on them out in the storage shed and generally organized things in there.

Malcolm pressure washed the wall along the side of our lot. Over time, the greyish colored blocks had turned nearly black with the same junk that lands on the other concrete surfaces. He also cleaned up the grass and rocks down that side. It looks much better now.

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On Sunday, Malcolm did some more pressure washing. He also got back onto doing the drywall in the brown shed. It was just a couple seams, but a little a day will have it done in no time. We also cleaned up around the rest of the property, finally emptying out three big planters that only had dirt (and weeds) in them and taking them to the nearby thrift store.

We brought some Taco Bell home for lunch, then made a trip to Lowe’s for a few items. Once back home, Malcolm finished cleaning up around the back end of the property, including removing the scraggly and mostly dead bushes past the back wall of the lot.

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He also cleaned up the “grass” in the back and straightened up after having removed the planters behind the white shed. The whole back yard looks nicer now.

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This next week will be more or less some of the same things. Malcolm plans on getting in a week’s worth of work and there are a few small cleanup items to take care of outside (but not much).

 

 

 

 

 

Heading on Home

Location: Horse Cave KOA, Horse Cave, Kentucky

Dates: Sept. 15 to 16, 2017

After leaving Shipshewana, we traveled south to approximately the midway point to Wetumpka, Alabama. That, generally, is the Cave City, Kentucky area. We chose the KOA in Horse Cave, Kentucky. Since we went shopping in the morning and left Shipshewana fairly late in the morning, we arrived in Horse Cave around dinner time.

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After getting the trailer set up, Malcolm noticed that there were several farm animals in the area behind our site. Of course, he had to go investigate.

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There were a couple horses, quite a few roosters and chickens, a couple donkeys and miniature horses. Malcolm found that the donkey, especially, loved to have his ears scratched.

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The roosters were crowing when we got up and going fairly early the next morning. We left the campground around 7:30 am.

Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

Dates: Sept. 16 to 18, 2017

We drove on from Kentucky to our old standby in Wetumpka. Our favorite site was available and reserved for us already when we got there. We got our new propane fire bowl out and tried it out, even though it was very warm and muggy outside.

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Also, our golf cart was all cleaned up for us. We plan on leaving it here for about another month so it will be here when we come back in late October for Frontier Days. We plan on trailering it down to Florida with us after Frontier Days, in early November.

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We stayed in Alabama two nights so that we could go to our old church on Sunday morning. We saw lots of people we hadn’t seen for a few months and had lunch with our good friends, the Miltons.

We were up and moving slowly on Monday morning since we were driving a shorter distance.

Location: Pineglen RV Park, Panama City Beach, Florida

Dates: Sept. 18 to 19, 2017

We headed on down to Panama City Beach for an overnight, staying in another of our old standbys. We even got our favorite site on the end of the row.

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We did a quick grocery run, then waited for our son, David, to get off work at around 6:00 pm. He met us for dinner at Salt Water Grill which was fairly close to the campground. It was a great meal. We also handed off various items we had picked up for David on our travels. We said our goodbyes in the parking lot as he had to get on home and get some sleep.

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We stopped on the way back to the campground and filled up the truck with fuel. We hit the road fairly early on Tuesday morning so we could make the long-ish drive on down to our home base in Davenport.

Location: Our RV Lot at Deer Creek RV Golf and Country Club

Dates: Sept. 19, 2017 to sometime in October

Our drive on I-10 east and I-75 south went smoothly. There was slightly more traffic than usual as some stragglers were probably still flowing into the state after escaping from hurricane Irma. We didn’t have any problems finding fuel along the way. We filled up about halfway home just to make sure.

We pulled into our spot around 4:00 in the afternoon. We did just a little clean-up, uncovered the car and made sure it would start and warmed it up for a bit to charge the battery. We pulled the golf cart out of the shed and got a few things organized between the sheds and the trailer.

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Malcolm decided that Wednesday morning was going to be spent cleaning bugs off the front of the trailer. The love bugs were out in full force in Florida. Their guts are rather caustic to paint, so we need to get that knocked off as soon as possible.

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We’re glad to be back home. We drove around the neighborhood in the golf cart to see some of the damage that we had already seen in pictures. It wasn’t too severe, but a few people did lose their big RV ports. We also had a nice sunset to finish welcoming us back.

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We’ll be here until late October (about a month) when we’ll head up to Alabama for a couple weeks for Frontier Days. Malcolm has jury duty some time early in October.