Anniversary and Other Stuff

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

Dates: Feb. 28 – Mar. 7, 2018

With our company gone and the inside of the guest shed pretty much complete, we turned our attention to the outside. Malcolm pressure-washed the shed and applied primer and paint to the outside. We painted it a light brown (similar to the previous color) with dark brown around the eaves and off-white trim around the windows and door. The door was painted a deep blue.

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Paint in progress

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Nice, smooth paint (we used an airless sprayer)

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Pretty much done

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Ready to enjoy

We also painted the inside of the door a dark teal color (looks bluer in this photo).

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Inside of door painted

We plan on painting the other shed the same color scheme (except the doors will be the same medium brown as the body of the shed).

Location: Bay Lake Tower, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Dates: Mar. 7 – 9, 2018

We reserved a room at Bay Lake Tower at Disney World for our 32nd wedding anniversary. We left the trailer and drove over to Animal Kingdom park for the day while we awaited check-in time.

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At Animal Kingdom

Later in the afternoon, we drove over to Bay Lake Tower to check in. It is adjacent to the Contemporary resort. All of the restaurants and gift shops are in the Contemporary. Bay Lake Tower is pretty much just rooms and suites.

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Bay Lake Tower overlooking Bay Lake

Since we got the cheapest room available and at a fairly short notice (we booked in late January), the view wasn’t superb, but it was fine. It was too cool to sit outside on our porch anyway.

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Our view if you look to the right from our porch

Still, we had a great time. Dinner on Wednesday evening was at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian resort. We rode the monorail over from the Contemporary and enjoyed a grand buffet. We also got to meet Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine (Cinderella’s stepmother) and Cinderella’s two step-sisters – Anastasia and Drizella.

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Artsy evening shot of the Grand Floridian Resort

On Thursday, our anniversary day, we went to Epcot and enjoyed walking around. We had a fast pass for the Frozen ride, but it was not running when our fast pass came around. So, we used it to ride Spaceship Earth on the way back to the hotel. Once back to the room, we changed clothes and rode the monorail over to the Polynesian Resort for our dinner luau. But first, a picture.

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We’ve been to the Spirit of Aloha show before and thought it would be a fun way to spend our anniversary evening. Even though it was fairly cool, we were comfortable and the show was great.

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We got up on Friday morning, packed our stuff, checked out and dropped our luggage in the car. We walked over to Magic Kingdom for a few hours before heading on home. It was a fun anniversary getaway.

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

Dates: Mar. 9 – 10, 2018

Back home, we’re now doing laundry and getting ready for another trip out this coming week to visit our daughter, Elizabeth, and the granddaughters. Our son-in-law is going on a two-week business trip to India and asked if we would consider coming out and keeping the girls company while he was away. How could we say no? We’ll be flying out Thursday morning.

 

 

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Construction Wind-down and Visitors

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

Dates: Feb. 8 – 27, 2018

When we last left you, we had just poured the concrete leveler in the front section of our outdoor shed. After it had 72 hours to cure, we started in on the finishing touches for the living portion of the building. Malcolm mounted the TV on the wall and finished up the wiring behind it (cable and power). He did this while the floor was ready to walk on, but before it was ready to cover.

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TV Mounted and Hooked Up

Once the floor was cured, Malcolm installed the laminate flooring in the main living area. He put down the radiant cushion stuff, then laid down the flooring on top. The entire process took just part of a day.

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Radiant floor cushion

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Laminate floor complete

With the flooring complete, it was time to install the trim then move everything back into the room. It also meant it was time to head to Ikea to get the fold-out couch/bed we had already decided on as well as a bookshelf.

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Couch set up

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All decorated up and moved in

As a reminder of how the shed looked about a year ago, here’s the same view back then.

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The Starting Point

We also finished decorating up the back portion of the shed. Here is the bathroom side.

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Bathroom complete.

With the guest shed complete, Malcolm was able to organize the other shed to provide more area to work on things. We found a nice fold-up workbench at Lowe’s. When folded up, our golf cart will fit in the shed. When the golf cart isn’t stored, the workbench folds down and Malcolm has a place to work on things.

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New Workbench

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Organized and ready for that next project

Aside from construction work, we also had time to go out for a Valentine’s Day dinner at Ohana Cafe in the Polynesian Resort over at Disney World. Malcolm got a fancy drink in a pineapple and we work our island clothing.

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We also gave the new guest quarters a test. Our son, David, and four of his Air Force buddies came down to visit for a long weekend. They arrived Friday afternoon (the 16th) and left on Monday around lunch time. On Saturday, they all drove up the road about an hour to take part in a mock battle using Airsoft guns (shoot plastic pellets).

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Enjoying our company

David and one of his friends slept in the trailer (on the recliners) and the other three camped out in the new guest house – one on the couch (not folded out), one on a cot and one on an air mattress.

On Sunday, the guys all piled into a couple vehicles and drove an hour down the road to go to Busch Gardens. It was a nice day and the park was fairly crowded but they had a great time.

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The crowd waiting to park at Busch Gardens

This Monday, the 26th, Malcolm joined several other residents of our neighborhood to work on sealing half of our street. They did a great job and were all done by 2:00 PM.

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Getting Ready to Start

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In Progress

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Complete and drying

Someone on Facebook had asked Malcolm why the development didn’t take care of sealing the streets. The reason is that our neighborhood is one of several in the entire resort. We pay monthly fees to our neighborhood and to the resort as a whole. To keep our neighborhood fees down, our residents decided to take care of this item by having the neighborhood purchase the materials and having our residents offer their time to apply it.

More Work at Home

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

Dates: Jan. 28 – Feb. 7, 2018

More work at home, primarily on the brown shed. As of this writing, the entire back end of the shed is done. Here’s how some of it went. Drywall covered by paneling went in fine. Looks like a lot of gaps and uneven joints in the following picture but, as  you’ll see, things straightened up with various pieces of trim installed.

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More paneling and drywall

Once all the paneling was up, Malcolm installed the vinyl plank flooring. We’re very pleased with the combination. The following picture has a pinkish tint to it. The picture above is more in line with the actual colors of the paneling.

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Walls and floor, ready for trim.

With walls and lower trim in place, it was time to set the toilet in place. Note that the sewer drop in the floor was already provided – we just put a new flange on it.

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Toilet being assembled

The washer and dryer were moved into place once we had the upper trim in place along and on the ceiling. Also note in this picture that the air conditioner is already in place and trimmed out as well as the window being trimmed out.

Considering we bought the washer and dryer used several months ago, we were crossing our fingers that both units worked. We were pleased to find out that they both work fine. Val has already used both to wash and dry one of our quilts. Buying the units used saved us more than $1,000 and closer to $2,000 (we paid $800 for both units and the bases).

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Washer and Dryer in place and hooked up

The vanity was the last and most difficult piece of the puzzle. The main reason is that we decided to put the 6 gallon hot water heater inside the cabinet. It made for some creative plumbing challenges. The water heater sits in a drain pan and is fully drained outside through the shed floor (both the drain pan and the safety valve).

Because the water heater sits below the sink drain, we ended up ordering a drain pipe intended for handicapped sinks because it makes an immediate 90 degree bend just under the sink off to the side to go on to a normal p-trap and on out to the drain pipe.

The mirror came with the vanity. The faucet was purchased separately as was the light fixture. Peel and stick vinyl tiles complete the look, serving as a backsplash behind the sink.

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Vanity in place and all hooked up.

With the back room all squared away, it was time to move to the front room and finish it. We liked how the self-leveling cement worked in the back of the shed and decided to do the same to the front room. There were a few flexy pieces of flooring up front and we were afraid our vinyl planks might pop apart.

The floor in the back just seems so much more solid and mixing and pouring the cement is pretty easy, so it was more or less a no-brainer. The following picture was taken just after we poured the cement on Tuesday afternoon (yesterday). It is recommended not to put any flooring on it for “2 to 3 days”, so Malcolm will be laying the flooring in there on Saturday. Once it is down, we just need to nail on the floor trim and the front room is essentially complete.

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Self-leveling cement in place.

Other than working on the shed, Malcolm has been working for his employer, as well. Of course, we’ve made a couple random trips to Disney properties over the past couple weeks, including a late evening visit to Magic Kingdom and a recent visit to Epcot. Our timing was not the best as it rained on both trips. We still had fun. Here are some pictures.

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Fireworks at Magic Kingdom (Belle’s castle in the background)

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Herbie the Love Bug as a photo prop

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The Magic Kingdom Carousel is the best

Aside from construction, work and Disney visits, we’ve also been enjoying the company of several fellow RV owners that we know. Some live here in our community and others have been coming and going as part of their winter in Florida. We had lunch with several of them today and a pot-luck get-together the other evening with several of them.

We’ve also been enjoying some warm weather as of late. The temperature has moderated to the 78-82 degree range during the day and high 60’s at night. More like spring weather here.

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Enjoying our “porch” and firepit

Fun at Disney and at Home

Location: Fort Wilderness Campground, Orlando, Florida

Dates: Jan. 14 – 19, 2018

We had a fun time at Disney. It was cool to cold most of the week, so we typically didn’t stay late (i.e. after dark) at the parks during the week. A couple nights got down to the freezing mark. Daytime highs were in the 50’s or low 60’s.

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One of the carriage horses getting some exercise through the campground

One thing we like about Fort Wilderness is that there is always something going on. One morning, Malcolm walked outside and heard a clopping noise. They were taking one of the carriage horses around the campground just getting some exercise.

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Enjoying Hollywood Studios in our jackets

On Friday morning, we headed by the house to get the car. Malcolm headed down to pick up another trailer to take the golf cart home. We hooked up the trailer and headed home with our cart and our trailer. Malcolm took the U-haul trailer back and we were all settled back in at home.

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

Dates: Jan. 19 – 27, 2018

Back at home, it was time to get back to work on the shed. On the Saturday after we got back home, Malcolm got all of the drainage plumbing hooked up and tested. On Sunday, he tackled digging up the existing power feed to the shed so he could re-run the power line from the box to the shed.

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Power feed uncovered

Everything was hooked up to a bigger circuit and Malcolm got everything covered back up early in the week. The last step was to hook up the water to the water line. This we done mid-week.

We tested the interior water lines by joining all the outputs together and running water through all the piping and out the washer hookup spigots through our garden hose. We found one leak and it was a section of pipe that Malcolm scarred while using his saw to adjust some woodwork in the area. A new section of pipe and everything checked out great.

With water, power and sewer ready to go, it was time to start enclosing the interior walls. We ultimately will be putting paneling in the bathroom, but most sources recommend putting the paneling over drywall. Malcolm purchased several sheets of  1/4″ drywall to cover up the walls with (though we don’t need to tape and mud the seams). We’ll nail the paneling over the drywall to finish up the walls.

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Bathroom vanity out of the box for planning purposes

As of this writing (Saturday, the 27th), all of the drywall is up except for the one wall where the vanity will be going (shown above, behind the vanity cabinet). We have to move an electrical box and do some other prep work there before we put that final piece of drywall up.

We also need to purchase our paneling (they were out when we tried to buy it this past week). The weather forecast has tomorrow (Sunday) as a fairly rainy day, so we’ll wait until after the rains pass before purchasing the paneling and a couple other items we need to finish up (including a toilet).

Today we met our friend Bill and Jan Raber at our place. We took them to Disney Springs and had a late lunch/early dinner at the Boathouse restaurant. It was really good food. We had a great time visiting with them, too.

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A start on the drywall installation (A/C will be going in the middle spot above the window)

Back to Work

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

Dates: Jan. 1 – 14, 2018

Once we got back home from visiting out in Washington, it was back to work in more ways than one. Of course, Malcolm was back to work (in the trailer, of course) for his employer. He also got back to work on our shed, working hard to finish our conversion. First up was getting all the drywall finished in the front living section.

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Drywall almost complete (a little bit of ceiling work to go)

Once the drywall was complete, it was time for paint. We decided on a light, neutral beige for the walls and ceiling (ceiling not yet painted in the pictures). The ceiling paint was mixed with a light, sand-type texture.

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Time to Paint

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Paint complete and wall plates re-installed

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More completed walls

With the walls painted, it was time to trim out the windows.

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Window trim complete

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More window trim and the “closet”

With the walls, ceiling and trim pretty much complete in the front room, it was time to move everything out of the back room so work could continue back there. Malcolm started on the drain plumbing for the washer and the sink that will be back there.

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Plumbing moving forward

We also picked up flooring for the shed (vinyl wood laminate). While shopping for the flooring, we talked to the helpful associate at Lowes and explained to him about our current plywood floor and the fact that there was a fairly bad high spot in the back, right in the middle of the back room. He suggested using a leveling filler, so we bought some of that.

The first step was sealing all of the places that the filler might flow around the perimeter and the joints between floor boards. Malcolm also removed the sewer cover and screwed down a piece of plywood, marking the center and where to cut through it later on to mount the toilet base.

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Floor ready to level

With everything ready, Malcolm rolled on the required sealer/primer for the leveling work. He did that on Saturday morning (Jan. 13) before we headed to breakfast at the clubhouse for our neighborhood.

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Primer applied

After lunch the same day, it was time to mix up the leveling compound. We used three 50 lb. bags. The leveling compound is essentially a really thin, runny cement.

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Mixing

With the stuff mixed up, you just pour it on the flooring and let it seek it’s own level (it doesn’t hurt to take a big trowel, or in Malcolm’s case, a small board, and push it around to cover everything).

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Partially poured

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All done. Now time to dry.

The flooring will have plenty of time to set, as you’ll see shortly.

We tried a couple different new restaurants the last couple weeks. The first one is literally new as we ate there the second day they were open. The Edison is over in Disney Springs and is a mix of 1920’s industrial and nightclub.

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The Edison – “Smokestack”

The restaurant theme was taken from The Edison in Los Angeles. We ate downstairs in the “speakeasy”.

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The Speakeasy downstairs at The Edison

Another place we ate that was new to us is a British restaurant near our home. The Proper Pie Company had excellent pastry pies – Val had the Chicken and Broccoli one – and excellent fish and chips (which Malcolm had).

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Pie and Chips

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Fish and Chips (and slaw)

As mentioned earlier, the leveling compound in our shed will have a full week to dry since we left on our first trip of the year today (Sunday the 14th). Even though we live just 17 miles from Disney World, we were going to miss our annual Disney trip to Fort Wilderness Campground. So, we decided to keep with tradition and spend a week in January over there.

On Saturday afternoon, Malcolm took our car and picked up a small trailer at U-Haul to take our golf cart with us. On Sunday, at noon, we hooked up the trailer to the truck and headed out on our 30 minute trip to Fort Wilderness campground.

Location: Fort Wilderness Campground, Orlando, Florida

Dates: Jan. 14, 2018

Once we got to Fort Wilderness, Val took the car, trailer and golf cart and parked it in the overflow lot and walked over to meet Malcolm at the RV check-in. We took the RV back and got it set up on site. We drove the truck up front, grabbed the car and took it back to the site to drop off the golf cart.

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Moved in at Fort Wilderness

Malcolm took the car and dropped the trailer off at U-Haul, then met Val at our RV lot. We left the car there and drove the truck back to the campground. This evening we had dinner at Trail’s End restaurant at the back of the campground.