Monday, January 23, 2017

Days 110-130 - Still in Key West

Day 130 officially marks the longest "vacation" we have very taken  Key West has been a relaxing and WINDY adventure so far.  We've been in dry camp (no hookups) since the first of the month.  It's amazing how long we can last on battery and stored water.  About every five days we button up the Rv and frive over the dump and refill station in the park.  The whole process to empty the tanks and refill fresh water takes about 30 minutes.  Running the truck once a day for a total of two hours (two or three times a day) charges up the house battery and we are making our way to full hookups in the next day or so.  From there we will enjoy two weeks of full power - that means air conditioning and a working microwave and oven.  Yippee.

Key West is small and CROWDED.  It is high season and there are tourists EVERYWHERE, crawling the sidewalks and poking out of alleys and walkways. LOL.  We use our bikes to get from the base and into town.  It's an eight mile round trip that takes about 30 minutes.  We have become accustomed to our favorite spots - Mallory Square, Sunset Bar, Tropic Cinema, Duval Street, Irish Pub, and the seeminly endless ways we can get back every day winding through the little streets linied with turn of the century wooden homes and cottages.

We have settled into a daily routine of getting up early - me around 4AM and Bobbie several hours later.  We devote a couple of hours to reading the news and having breakfast.  Bobbie runs along the eastern beachfront two or three times a week.  I workout at the RV while she's gone.  So far we are holding on to our muscle tone (smile) although I must admit that doing pushups and situps in the camper is not my kind of fun - one of those necessary evils in my book.  LOL.

The Tropic cinema is a non-profit theater showing first run movies as well ahs theatrical productions.  It's been completed updated in an Art Deco style,  It even has a statue of MM outside-skirt blowing in the wind.

There is a Regal Theater as well and we find our way to one or the other a couple of times a week.  Some things don't change as we sure do enjoy our films.

There are five, yes FIVE major grocery stores within a few miles in either directions as well as Home Depot, K-Mart, and the like.  Shopping is not an issue.  A UPS store accepts our packages and mail.

We are in the tthrows of finalizing our next Travel Club adventure to Europe and Russia.  The visa process is daunting and time consuming but all in all it is coming together beautifully.  This has been a redeeming factor for me in being able to fill my time since I am on the PC no less than three to five hours a day working on the Travel Book we issue for each adventure, negotiating with day tour companies, and finalizing arrangements.

Folks in this military oriented RV park are friendly but cliqueish.  No worries for us since we aren't looiking to form any long term friendships.  We seem to fall into an age group that is too old and too young at the same time.  It works out great.  One of our neighbors is quite helpful, memorable, and into everything going "Stan" keeps us up to date.

The water is a stone's throw and as soon as it warms up a bit I plan to be in it daily.  So far I've onlly ventureed out  few time and froze los cojones.  I know I'm whining.  The water temp is 74^.  I'm just being a wus.

Sunsets here are almost a pretty as in Alaska.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Day 107 - Key West

We departed early with the family following us as we crossed the Seven-Mile Bridge and headed further south to Key West.  The last inhabited island of the Florida Keys, this is the farthest south you can drive in the US and also the southernmost point.

Our RV Park at the Sigsbee Naval Air Station is packed.  There must be over 400 vacationing RV military and veterans here.  We are on a small manmade island acessed by a causeway from the main island.  The park is great and we were assigned a spot directly across from the facilities.  Yippee!  We will be here for the next six weeks.

Our first day was setting things up followed by a very long bike ride around the island and lunch downtown at the Hog's Breath Saloon.  The place was swarming with tourists.  Our family left the next day to return to their busy lives and from here on out we will enjoy some R&R, not like we haven't already been doing that for the last three months!

Day 100 -Marathon Island

We packed up and headed out early to the Florida Keys.  Our destination today was Marathon Island.  We reserved a space at the Coast Guard Station a year ago. There are only four spots for visiting RV military and we were lucky to get one for the first six days of our stay in the keys.  The station is small adjunct unit of the larger fleet services, is right in the heart of thee island and was a wonderful spot  Wild iguanas roam the grounds and a huge orange one named "Coastie" is the station's mascot.  He lived in the tree above our RV and would often drop onto the roof at night to get to the ground.  Impressive.

Becky, Leo and Robert joined us for a few days and we enjoyed some bike rides, lots of great food, and a fun New Year's celebration at the Hyatt Hotel next door.

Days 91 to 97 - Christmas in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

We drove the famous Alligator Alley (I-75) from Ft. Myers to the east coast.

Once in Ft. Lauderdale we settled into a lovely county-run RV camp a few blocks from Bobbie's sister. Becky, Leo, and Robert made a wonderful welcome dinner and we enjoyed catching up with the family.  Both are still working so we had a couple of quiet days enjoying some down time before the holiday.  The park has a full list of amenities, including this wonderful running and biking path.

We spent the next few days enjoying the company, taking a few walks on the beach, and enjoying some nice lunches.  We had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner with Becky and Leo's extended family and got to see two more of Bobbie's nephews and a NEW baby!!!