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We Encounter a Bear!

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Jason’s parents visit, we celebrate Christmas, fight the sniffles and meet some awesome new RV friends

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We celebrated Christmas in January with Jason’s parents that visited with their RV, opening the gifts we otherwise would have shipped. As they drove down, it was not until they got to the Florida border before the temperature was above freezing! What a crazy cold year across the United States. Unfortunately, like most of the country as well, they came with colds and flu. Barb also picked up a bug over the weekend.

Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg, FL

Fortunately, everyone was feeling better by Monday when Jason had a vacation day scheduled. We all went over to the St. Petersburg area to revisit a restaurant we enjoyed in 2015 and checked out the Sunken Gardens together. Being winter, most of the gardens were not in bloom. There were a few beautiful blooms here and there. It is a low key, easy access, low cost and a quick visit to paradise in the city.

We encountered a cool fulltiming couple here through RVillage and their iconic VW microbus. “Bear” does bicycle repairs and he was able to get Jason’s bike up to snuff, finally. This even after taking it to the local shop in River Falls who was expensive, slow and really didn’t fix it at all! “Pookie” is a SQL developer/analyst and she works 100% remotely for a company in the midwest. It was great to hear how they have adapted their travel lifestyle over their year on the road. They have some great views to share on their scheduling, destination selection, workamping methods and how they have adapted to the challenges of Internet connectivity for her working remotely. Pookie recommended the MIMO antenna for our NetGear router that Jason jumped on purchasing and is excited that it may expand our coverage area a little more. Check out The Adventures of Pookie and the Bear blog and YouTube channel, a great couple to get to know!


It was great having Jason’s parents here this past week. Since the sunsets are about an hour later this far south, we were able to enjoy some great outdoor living with them. Jason also was able to flex his schedule a bit each day to get off earlier so it would give us a chance to spend time with them. Unfortunately, the Wauchula area doesn’t have much for activities after dark but it does have lots of natural areas to check out during the day. Jason’s dad got an out of state fishing license, but never brought home anything for dinner! Look out, Barb has been cooking lately! She found a great one skillet lasagna recipe that is really easy and works great on the stove in our outdoor kitchen. There seems to be something just a little more amazing about food you can cook outdoors. We love our outdoor kitchen and also our Bob-A-Que for the campfire that let’s do some wood fired cooking. This was the first campfire ring we have had since the Pigeon Forge KOA.

Time


Not only is the weather really nice of course, compared to the rest of the extremely frigid country this winter, but we also benefit from a half hour earlier sunrise and a hour later sunset this far south in latitude. Jason has had to learn to adapt to the timezone change since he still works in the Central Time Zone and we are living now in the Eastern Time Zone. Jason keeps a clock in his office space and all of his work’s computing clocks central based. This does cause some confusion at times when he steps out into eastern time where all of our other clocks are on local time. There is an occasion ripple in time for him as he misconverts the time outside of his bubble.

Our travel calendar is morphing again. With Jason’s parents visiting this past and upcoming week, we have adjusted our schedule and destinations. We also acquired a subscription to TouringPlans.com’s crowd calendar and are adjusting our March schedule because we are already seeing that won’t like the crowds in the Walt Disney World area in March. So we are going to start heading back early in March after Barb’s sister visits us. Since we acquired the Thousand Trails membership, we also want to capitalize on that investment before we leave the Southeast zone and will check out at least one more park. In addition to this, we are beginning to plot out the summer and fall travel already. There are some areas we must have reservations to make sure we can get near the festivals and events we hope to see while vacationing there. We are still planning to be back to the River Falls area by Easter!

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Nights Stayed12: January 2 - 14, 2018
Parking SiteSite C11
2555 US Highway 17 S
Wauchula, FL 33873
863-735-8889
RestaurantsMater'z Steakhouse Wauchula, Southbound 17 at the North split
Smokin' Joe's BBQ North of Wauchula in Bowling Green, OK BBQ
Nicholas Family Restaurant fresh fish specials, amazing breakfast (get the half order of the biscuits and gravy, the full order is huge; the country fried steak breakfast is amazing, try the grits next time)
Mar-Vista Dockside Restaurant Longshore Key, FL 80 minutes West - don't go here on a Monday, don't have the Po Boy's or the Steam Pot, the Fish Bits were the best.
AttractionsSunken Gardens 80 minutes West
WELS ChurchesAbout an hour to Tampa is the most local, so we streamed from River Falls
Remember for Next TimeThe Thousand Trails park has a lottery for 50 amp sites at 1PM each day. They give preference to who gets on the list first. Posting the available sites at Noon on the whiteboard on the front porch of the office.

The Winn-Dixie is only about a mile north, a quick run for supplies. The Walmart is about 2 miles North and the pharmacy staff is great (during the day.)
AT&T Coverage4G LTE very good, low latency
Verizon Coverage4G LTE good
WiFi CoverageCommercial / paid service (did not use, price structure looks good)
Anytime FitnessA new facility is opening a mile North of the park West of the Winn-Dixie. Avon Park Gym is excellent and about 30 miles to the East on highway 64.
Mail ServicesCan receive packages via USPS and UPS at main address, First Class envelopes are not accepted.

1 thought on “We Encounter a Bear!

  1. It was really great meeting you guys! So glad that you reached out to us! Hopefully we bump into each other again for some more BBQ!

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