Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Park, Banking, Old Men and Nexus 7

We found a new county park in Henrico about 15 minutes from the KOA.  I will see a lot of Three Lakes Park in the time we're still here in Ashland. 

As I hike through the park, let me tell you about our new bank.  No branches.  We have direct deposit on incoming and auto pay on bill paying.  When we receive a check to deposit, we go to their website, choose "home deposit" and scan the check on our computer.  The funds are instantly in our account.  "Home deposit" has a $6,000 limit on the check we can deposit, which I had not paid any attention to until we received a check over $6,000.   I called the bank for instructions.  I had to take that check down the road to the nearest UPS store.  The clerk there swiped my debit card, ran the check through a machine and handed the check back to me which now had large holes in it.  The funds were immediately in our account.  There was a 3-day hold on part of those funds.  We can use ANY ATM machine ten times a month and the associated charges are reimbursed each month. This is just high tech banking and ideal for being on the road. 

Had a customer who was 87 years old.  He was complaining somewhat because he was having multiple surgeries on one of his corneas.  He needed a temporary lens in his glasses for that eye and where he bought the glasses from wouldn't do just one lens.  Well, we aren't supposed to do one lens either, but I skirted policy somewhat because I really liked the guy and wanted to help him out.  Besides, working with a man 20 years my senior made me feel young.  Other than the cornea problem, he had no complaints.  He was just a happy-go-lucky fellow and I really enjoyed seeing him.   

And on the very same day, I helped another old man.  He looked to be about 80, but sure didn't act like it.  On his cap was embroidered a B-24 Liberator bomber and "England 1942-1945". This man flew the B-24 Liberator during World War II. He is 93 years old.  He talked about how blessed he has been. He talked about his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He was excited about what a great country we live in.  He told me about the traveling he and his wife (died 13 years ago) had done in the US and Canada.  He was excited to hear of Kris and my plans.  What an honor for me to shake this patriots hand. 

For her birthday, Kris received a Nexus 7 Tablet.  It does everything my smart phone does except it's not a phone.  She has her books, Internet access. email, text messages, GPS, camera and all the apps she chooses to download.  She likes it!

May you LIVE all the days of your life!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bill Osborne Retirement Gathering

We just returned home from a retirement gathering at Plaza Azteca.  Firstly, let me say that I was very surprised when my manager, Darla All, told me about this.  I want Darla to know how much I truly appreciate her making this tribute to me happen. 

Kris and me

Friends and colleagues

Cecilia and Darla, my manager
Leslie, my former manager, and Mark
Judson and Janine
 Jill and Adrienne
Gerald All
Open the presents..... 
An engraved pen and pencil set...  Even the box had an engraved plate.
 There were cards!
Digital Picture Frame
Travel Journal
Money Receiptables
"Go forth seeking adventure. 
Open your eyes, your ears, your mind,
your heart, your spirit and
you'll find adventure everywhere. 

        Wilferd A. Peterson

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tampa RV Super Show 2013

We were fortunate to be able to attend what is by general consensus the largest RV show before we head on out.  It took us the better part of two days to see all the vendors displaying any and everything relating to RVing.  We have answers to all the questions we took with us.  And we found most of what was on our list plus some things that weren't. 

Memberships reduce camping fees

Made friends with many four-leggers

Camping World had a store there

This animated mannequin was a pro

Floating restaurant

Cool to watch

Kris among the vendors

PREVOST pronounced Prevo is a chassis manufactured in Quebec and turned into a luxury coach by a company like Millennium.

Looks like this when Millennium gets it

All systems on this coach are controlled on an iPad or on a smart phone.  The coach has night vision not unlike that on Army helicopters.  The driver at night can see beyond the edge of  both sides of the road. There are eight cameras on the outside recording the trip.  If someone touches the coach, spot lights come on, a siren sounds, police are called, Millennium is called and the owner gets a text message.  

If James Bond had a coach, this might be it!

As a special treat, our friends Donna and Lee Vance came over from Ocala to visit the show and join us for dinner at Cracker Barrel.  We don't know where or when, but we will get together again.  That's just the way it is.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kris Goes Home Again

While in Florida this week, Kris had planned to visit her parent's retirement home in Port Charlotte.  They moved to Port Charlotte in 1968.  Her dad taught math in middle school in nearby Ft. Myers.   Kris lived with them for nearly two years working and going to school before relocating to Richmond, VA.  She had friends in Richmond she had worked with in Girl Scouting, when her family lived in Virginia earlier.

I first visited there in 1973 during our honeymoon.

The house was destroyed in 2005 by hurricane "Charlie".  We looked up the address on Google Earth after the hurricane and saw then that the lot was vacant.

      Lot from the street

View From the Dock

Dock Kris and her dad and brother built

Remembering When

View from the Dock

House is half a block from Charlotte Harbor

The Nelsons were very active in their church

Tuskegee Airmen, Autographed Book and Crown Club

Kris and I headed to Tampa on Saturday to attend the Tampa RV Super Show this week.  We made a fuel stop in Walterboro, SC.  Seeing a sign "Tuskegee Airmen Monument", we followed signs to the Low Country Regional Airport.  We found a neat very well maintained park dedicated to the contribution of the Walterboro Army Air Base during World War II. 

This was a privately owned airstrip.  The town bought it from Mr. Anderson's estate and with local, state and  
federal funds paved the three runways and built a large hangar.  In the early 40's, the military discovered the airdrome as a perfect location because of its weather and safe distance from potential enemy fire from the Atlantic.  In 1942, the government leased the airport from the town.  It was expanded by 3712 acres and became the Walterboro Army Air Field.  It was a final training base for pilots prior to overseas duty.  The famed Tuskegee Airmen trained here after graduating from Tuskegee Air Field in Tuskegee, AL.  The base also was a German POW camp.  The POWs were treated so well, they thought of it as a nice place to stay awaiting their return back home.  The country's largest camouflage training facility was also at Walterboro.  After the war, the military returned the facility back over to the town. 

On Sunday we visited our friends John and Kathy Huggins in Wauchula , FL. We are huge fans of their weekly podcast about all things RVing.  www.livingthervdream.com They also are the authors of a new book "So, You Want To Be A Full-Time RVer?". Ours is now autographed!   John and Kathy are reaching celebrity status.  It was such a treat for Kris and me to sit by a campfire with this much experience, asking all our questions and just getting to know them better.  And it's great that their experience is only an email away.  And as a bonus, they are a delightful couple and so much fun to be with.

Monday was a relaxing day.  We spent time at BestBuy looking at which tablet will be the best for Kris.

We had dinner at the Crown Club at LazyDays.  A two year membership at the Crown Club came with our motorhome purchase from them.

Tis the season....there were coaches all over the place.

 We have one more relaxing day before we are in the throws of the big Tampa RV Super Show Wed. - Fri.
We'll head back to Richmond on Saturday.  We're envious of our friends who don't have to go back to work.  But not much longer.