Celebration Super-post

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

Dates: May 6 to June 7, 2018

Has it been a month already? Sorry about that. Let’s see what we’ve been doing for the past month. Before that, though, we’ll go ahead and say that as of today (June 7), we are traveling west to visit the grandchildren (and other family members) out in Washington state. We’ll drop a few posts here or there along the way so you can follow along.

Hmm, let’s see. Well, our son David came down to visit for a couple weeks. He arrived on Saturday, May 12 and stayed through Sunday, May 27. He brought his cat, Maui, along. The two of them stayed out in our guest house (though we brought Maui in the trailer during the day or when we would all go out).

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Maui

On Sunday, May 13th, we celebrated Mothers’ Day and David’s 30th birthday by heading over to Medieval Times. We had fun watching the show and dinner was good as well. While we had been to Medieval Times before, David had never been, so it was a treat for him.

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Cheering on the Black and White Knight

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The Parade of Knights

David picked up a military ticket for Disney and we went there on three different occasions. We went to Magic Kingdom one day, Epcot another and Hollywood Studios on a third day. The weather through most of May was dreary and rainy a lot of days, but we managed to go to parks on mostly dry days.

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Goofy and David

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Malcolm, Minnie Mouse and David

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Birthday Guy at Epcot

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Trying to keep David from floating away

Malcolm and David also headed over to the Andretti Go Kart racing place. It’s fairly new in town. Before David came down, we bought gift cards at Costco at 1/3 off ($33 for $50 in gift cards), so that helped bring the cost down. They both had fun. There are three different indoor tracks (electric carts). David and Malcolm raced on two of them (the third is for children).

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David also helped Malcolm put new coroplast underneath the trailer. The factory covering was sagging and starting to break down due to the hydraulic fluid that had soaked into it from our former hydraulic leak. We actually picked up the new material last summer coming back from out west. Malcolm wanted to get it installed before we left this year on our western journey.

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The underside exposed

Malcolm tidied up some loose wiring after removing and discarding the old cover material. David jumped in (or, actually, crawled under) to help install the new material. It was definitely a two person job.

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New material laying out to rest

Once all the new material was installed, Malcolm bought some angle steel from Lowe’s and made a few cross braces to keep the new material from sagging too much.

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Finished installation

On May 31, we sadly said our goodbyes to our travel cat, Callie. A couple days earlier, she apparently had a stroke or some other type of neurological event. She was continuously wandering around the trailer and bumping into things like she couldn’t see. She also made no response when you would talk to her or call to her.

Malcolm took Callie to the animal hospital. They looked at her and gave her low hopes for any kind of life. We both felt that we would rather have her go peacefully than to be subjected to traveling with us out west. Malcolm held her as she passed from this world. We had her remains cremated. We will miss her, but traveling was taking its toll on her the last year or so.

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Rest now, sweet Callie

After David left and Callie passed on, we spent the last few days preparing for our trip out west. We purchased items we would need, took care of doctor follow-up visits, packed things for travel, stored items we weren’t taking and generally got everything ready for departure today, June 7th. We will be on the road for 12 travel days, arriving in Washington on Monday the 18th.

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Back Home Super-post

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

Dates: Apr. 25 to May 6, 2018

Here’s a picture-laden summary of what we’ve been up to since we arrived back home in Florida less than two weeks ago. First of all, Malcolm celebrated the warm, sunny Florida weather by donning his shorts and sandals for the first time since we left to head north three weeks prior.

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The end of the week that we arrived home, Malcolm worked some and caught up with some chores around the place. Val worked on various projects, as well.

One thing we like about our place here in Florida is being able to drive our golf cart out to the shopping center in front of our place. We recently opened a bank account at the bank just outside the entrance to our neighborhood and we can drive our golf cart there to take care of banking business.

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Shortly after we got home, we found out that Dapper Days were being celebrated at Disney World. We originally thought we were going to miss them. Dapper Days is when people dress up in, generally, dapper clothing and visit Disney World. Dapper Day was celebrated in the Magic Kingdom on Saturday and in Epcot on Sunday. We attended both days, dressed differently each day.

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As you can see, we were dressed in a little more modern motif on Saturday at Magic Kingdom. Malcolm wore part of his “Woody” outfit and carried Bullseye with him. Val dressed in her “Minnie” outfit.

On Sunday, we changed it up and wore other outfits. Malcolm wore some of his 1920’s outfit and Val donned her brightly colored Orange Bird items.

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While walking through the Great Britain pavilion, we found we were just in time to line up to see Mary Poppins.

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Last week was another busy work week for Malcolm and project week for Val. We did head over to Hollywood Studios for dinner at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe, Malcolm rode the Tower of Terror and we stayed to watch the Fantasmic show before heading home somewhat late.

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50’s Prime Time Cafe

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Hollywood Hotel Tower of Terror

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Float at the Fantasmic Show

Yesterday (Saturday), we decided to go check out what is billed as the largest Antique market in Florida, near Mount Dora. We really didn’t see much of anything that caught our eyes, other than this cool “digital” clock (that we didn’t buy).

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We were actually somewhat disappointed at the antique market. We’ve been to better antique stores elsewhere. On the way back home, we stopped at JoAnn Fabric (for Val) and Best Buy (for Malcolm).

For his 20th anniversary at work, Malcolm had received a $400 gift card that can be used at certain places. Best Buy is one of them. Malcolm decided to gift himself a new Polaroid camera and some film. Though the original Polaroid company went bankrupt back in the early 2000’s, another company has bought the rights to the name and had re-released the film and a new version of one of the cameras from the 1970s.

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Once we got home, it was mid-afternoon. Malcolm wanted to try his new camera out, so we loaded it up with a pack of film and headed over to Magic Kingdom. We took a few pictures (and had one of the Disney photographers take one of us using the camera). The results are just like the old days – soft, inaccurate colors, all the things you remember from looking at old Polaroid pictures.

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Once we got home, Malcolm wrote the location and date on the bottom of each print so we can remember when and where the pictures were taken.

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We were surprised this morning by the cable TV repairman calling us at 8:00 am. We supposedly had an appointment for Monday morning, but someone messed up. He figured out that the cable wiring somewhere in the trailer is bad (somewhat common problem) and gave us a second cable that we strung through the back window to get things going temporarily.

Since Malcolm was going to have to start digging into the cable, he decided to go ahead and start on a project he’s been wanting to work on – adding additional storage space under the trailer from any open areas behind the storage area wall. He did find a likely spot just inside the door and found that by selectively re-tying the wires together, he could make an area suitable for adding a cubby.

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Before starting – stuff stored in our shed

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The mess of wires

While tidying up in the wiring area, Malcolm found a microwave plate that the factory apparently had left laying inside the utility area of our trailer. It’s a bit small, but would work in our microwave in a pinch. We’ll keep it as a spare (we already have another spare we found at Goodwill one time).

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Bonus Part

One area that Malcolm addressed was the cable TV splitter and outlet in the area where he was working. He replaced the connectors and removed the splitter and outlet.

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Cable joined together

 

A trip to Lowes for lumber and parts, and Malcolm went back to work building the cubby area. He re-used some of the wood removed from the trailer since it had the grey felt glued to it.

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Wires re-organized

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New cubby in place

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All dressed up

There still remains some wall to put back up to the right of the cubby area. Malcolm will be able to push back that wall several inches to give some more storage space. We will also probably line the new opening with similar felt and probably put some type of rubber or vinyl on the floor of the opening.

That’s all for now. Looks like another work week for Malcolm (some for employment, some around the trailer). We both have doctor appointments tomorrow (physicals and other well-care stuff).

Quick Weekend in Kentucky

Location: Kentucky Horse Park Campground, Lexington, Kentucky

Dates: Apr. 21 to 23, 2018

After leaving Nashville, we made a quick two day stop in Lexington, Kentucky for the weekend. Some of Malcolm’s high school classmates and their spouses decided it would be fun to get together to watch some horse racing at Keeneland Race Track on Sunday afternoon.

We stayed at the Kentucky Horse Park since they had open spots available for the weekend. After we got set up, one of Malcolm’s classmates brought over the group’s reserved seating tickets since she couldn’t attend. We volunteered to stand out front of the race track and hand out the tickets.

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Once we got set up in our spot, we did a little shopping in the campground store. The only thing we picked up was a small box of bourbon balls (Malcolm). We also ran to Kroger to pick up some of our favorite beverages and a few groceries.

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Back at the trailer, we headed down to Lexington to eat at one of our favorite restaurants – Ramsey’s Diner. Of course, we both had our favorite – Hot Browns and Ale 8s.

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On Sunday, we got dressed up and headed out the door somewhat early. To pass the time, we wandered around the Horse Park gift shop, before driving on to Keeneland.

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Once at Keeneland, we stopped to take a picture of Val’s outfit.

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Once inside, she bought a hat to go with the dress. Definitely dapper and race day stylish.

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We ate a nice lunch while Malcolm looked over his picks for the races. He made a few bets but quit when he reached his limit of losing ($20).

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Quite a few of Malcolm’s classmates showed up and a few couldn’t make it. Here are many of them. Some were out wandering around when this picture was taken.

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We’ll put some more race day pictures in at the end of this post. We left with about two races remaining to beat the crowds and to drive across town to visit Malcolm’s Aunt Mary, Aunt Margaret and Uncle Jerry. We had a great dinner with them and talked until very late in the evening.

While we were there, our youngest daughter, Scarlet, decided to FaceTime with Nana. She got an extra treat of seeing some Great Aunts and Great Uncle.

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We headed back to the trailer late and got up the next morning (Monday the 23rd) to head back toward Florida.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 23 to 24, 2018

Stop 1 of 2 while traveling back to Florida.

Location: Tifton KOA, Tifton, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 24 to 25, 2018

Stop 2 of 2 while traveling back to Florida. Should be home tomorrow (April 25).

More pictures from Keeneland from “the big camera”.

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Military Appreciation Day at the Track

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Our Time in Nashville

Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

Dates: Apr. 8 to 21, 2018

Malcolm worked in the office every day the first week we were here and the first four days of the second week. On Friday, April 20, he decided to work from the trailer. That gave us a chance to make sure everything was ready for our trip north to Kentucky on Saturday, the 21st.

Malcolm drove the truck downtown those nine days he worked downtown. He parked in the parking garage next to the office building and the receptionist gave him vouchers to pay for his parking. Val worked on projects in the trailer those nine days and rode the shuttle from the campground to downtown Nashville once each week to have lunch with Malcolm and the crew.

One reason we came to Nashville was so that Malcolm could officially receive his plaque for 20 years of service with the company (his 20th anniversary was February 23, but we weren’t planning on coming up in the dead of winter).

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Malcolm receiving his plaque from his boss.

On Saturday and Sunday in the middle of our visit, we took care of normal shopping and also visited a few thrift shops and antique stores. We also picked up a new hotspot from AT&T. Our old one was working fine, but this one has been getting great reviews for speed and stability.

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One of the neat antique stores we visited was Pre to Post Modern, which carried a lot of mid-century modern items. We didn’t buy anything, but it was fun looking at all the things they had.

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On the second Monday we were there, the temperature was right around freezing in the morning. Malcolm went to get into the truck and found the windshield covered in frost. These Floridians have no ice scraper in the truck, so Malcolm just waited until the defroster melted it enough to clear with the wipers.

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Frosty

A couple days later the temperatures had gone back to more spring-like levels. All the blooming trees have been blooming here.

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Pink blooms littering the ground and water feature

We ate at the Cock of the Walk restaurant a couple times while we were here. It is located next door to the campground, so it was an easy walk. As a matter of fact, you could see our trailer from one of the dining rooms.

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There’s our house (on the left)

We packed up the trailer this morning (Saturday, the 21st) and headed up the road to Lexington, Kentucky. Stay tuned for that visit in the next installment.

Here, There and Everywhere

Location: Washington State visiting Grandchildren

Dates: Mar. 27 – Apr. 2, 2018

Once we were back from the beach trip, Malcolm and the girls worked on their pinewood derby cars for Awana. Malcolm and Violet both got sick shortly after we got back. Not sure about Violet, but Malcolm had the flu (we never got around to getting flu shots).

Violet’s car won 2nd place in her division for design. Malcolm’s car won first place in the adult division for design. None of our cars were terribly fast, though, but they at least made it to the finish line. Violet was home sick the night of the race, so Nana raced in her place and accepted her award.

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The rest of the week we all just had fun. Malcolm tried to work as much as he felt like even though he had the flu.

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Eventually, on Friday, Malcolm went to the doctor. They determined he had the flu and gave him a prescription for flu meds, though they wouldn’t guarantee that they would do any good since he had the flu longer than 48 hours. (They did help some).

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Cole came home from India on Friday afternoon. Elizabeth went to the airport to bring him home. He caught up on his sleep over the weekend. Malcolm was still sick on Easter Sunday, so he stayed home while everyone else went to church.

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The girls had an Easter egg hunt on Sunday afternoon. Scarlet sorted all her candy out by type.

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On Monday, Malcolm was feeling better. We spent the day getting ready to fly home. Our flight left late in the evening on Monday and arrived early morning in Orlando on Tuesday.

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

Dates: Apr. 3 – 6, 2018

We flew in to Orlando early in the morning on Tuesday, the 3rd. We picked up our car from the parking lot and headed home. We slept very little on the plane, so we slept for a few hours once we got home. Later, we headed across the street and brought Callie home from our neighbors who were watching her while we were away.

We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday catching up on laundry and getting the trailer ready for travel. On Friday morning, we hooked up the trailer to the truck and headed out for a couple weeks in Nashville.

Location: Tifton KOA, Tifton, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 6 -7, 2018

Our first stop on the way to Nashville was Tifton, Georgia. We had some slow traffic in Florida due to the heavy spring break traffic mixed with a tanker truck that had crashed and caught fire.

Location: Holiday Travel Park, Rossville, Georgia

Dates: Apr. 7 – 8, 2018

Our second stop was in Rossville, Georgia (just outside of Chattanooga). We again hit traffic due to a traffic accident and generally heavy spring break traffic south of Atlanta.

Location: Nashville KOA, Nashville, Tennessee

Dates: Apr. 8, 2018

Today’s journey from Chattanooga to Nashville took less than 3 hours up I-24. It was a generally smooth drive. There was a lot of spring break traffic again but it generally moved well.

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We’ll be here for two weeks while Malcolm works in the office here.

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