Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie
Heidi (in front) - The Staff to Rylie

Monday, March 29, 2010

Road Trip

Tonight I am parked in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans. I have begun my cross-country road trip -- destination, Las Vegas. I have only a week or so to travel the approximately 2,500 miles, but I still plan to do a little sightseeing along the way. More on that later.

I was sad to leave Southern Florida, and the friends that I made there. I really enjoyed spending the winter in such a nice place. I was camped in Punta Gorda, but spent most of my work and social time in Cape Coral and Fort Myers.

I did an article for Examiner.com on Punta Gorda, and am providing the link to the article in case you want to learn more about it: Punta Gorda.

I stayed at the Sun N Shade RV Resort mentioned in the article. Florida can be a pretty expensive place to stay in the winter, but this park was a little less expensive than most of the other RV parks. Still more than I'm used to paying, but now the cheaper rates have kicked in. It's located south of town on the way to Fort Myers, and what I really liked about it were the trails going through the woods and along the canals. Rylie and I had some nice morning trots along the trails, when they weren't flooded from the rains. The park was nothing fancy, but it had a pool, clubhouse, and a lot of activities. The campsites were not especially spacious, but most of the time I was there I didn't have next-door neighbors.

I had a last get-together with my Florida group of friends. There were about 28 of us that gathered at Sundown Tiki for dinner and dancing, and it was a lot of fun. I was so busy having fun that I forgot to take photos, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I'm finding that the goodbyes are becoming increasingly more difficult. I really liked Southern Florida.

FYI, there are some incredible deals on houses down there. I was amazed at how many homes are for sale at considerably less than $100,000, and some of them are nice! There are also a lot of homes for sale on the canals with gulf access. If I had a more predictable source of income, I would probably invest in a home down there. It's a great place to winter.

Rylie's Notes:

It was sad for me too, saying goodbye to Barnie, the squirrels, and the pair of sandhill cranes. I never did manage to get that cat to budge. I hate leaving unfinished work.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My New Wardrobe

I have been busy finishing my Air Photo work and making my preparations to hit the road for my cross-country journey. This involves some repairs and service on the car and motorhome. I have also had to completely replace my technology wardrobe. I now have a new laptop, printer, and Blackberry. Yes, that's right, I am joining the ranks of the Crackberries. Now I can view my emails right there on my cell phone. I can see how this can be addicting.

I hated to give up my old LG phone, and probably would have kept it longer, had I not dropped it and broken it so that it was hanging together by a mere thread. But it still worked! I just had to hold it together while I placed or received phone calls. I held on to it so long because everyone (Verizon employees included) kept telling me that they just don't make phones that good any more, and they are right. I have proven that you just can't kill that phone.

After a few days with the new Blackberry I had to bring it back and get another, because my contacts mysteriously disappeared and refused to be reloaded. Although I like the features and ease of use of my Blackberry Curve2, the jury is still out on whether it will be reliable. I have decided that you can't buy anything technology-related in one visit any more. Everything requires at least one more visit to the store to fix problems or replace the original purchase. You just can't get good products and service any more.

The same goes for my repairs on the car and motorhome. I had the water pump on the motorhome replaced last week because it just stopped working. I haven't even had this pump for three years. The first water pump started leaking while I was in Baja after only six months, but it was replaced under warranty. The RV tech who replaced the pump last week, tried to put in the wrong pump, even after I made it extremely clear which pump I wanted. He had the wrong pump almost installed before I caught him and pointed out that it was the wrong pump. Now it's leaking, so I am dragging him back here tomorrow. Where is a Canadian when you need one? (Lorna will understand this. We frequently had Canadians helping us out with problems when we were in Baja.)

I had another situation when I got two new tires for my car. The tire shop told me one of the other tires was low, but apparently did not check to see why. I found out the next day there was a screw in it. I have completely lost faith in mankind. By mankind I mean the men who do service and repairs. It seems I have to babysit everything they do, otherwise they screw something up, try to fool me, or just plain do poor work. Men! Yes, I'm irritated. I hire the professionals because I am not mechanically inclined, but the problem is, the professionals are not very professional. There seems to be no pride in workmanship. Okay, enough of my griping. Now for some fun.

The other night I went out for Thai food with a group of friends at Chaang Thai in Port Charlotte. The food was tasty and we had a good time. Below are a couple of photos of the dinner gang. I am on the right toward the back in the first photo. I took the second photo from the other end of the table, but of course, at least one person has to shut their eyes in a group photo.

I will be leaving Florida toward the end of the week to head West. I am sad to say goodbye to my new friends here, but excited about my new work opportunity. I know I'll be having fun with Amy in Las Vegas, and then I'll probably head to California to park and work for the summer.

I also met up with one of my Air Photo co-workers this week. I have met two AP co-workers here in Florida, and we've had a good time swapping stories.

Wildlife of the week: wild pigs. I often see young pigs along the road when I am driving home from work. They're cute!

Rylie's Notes:

Pigs are not cute. I've looked in a mirror. I know what cute is.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Subscribing to My Examiner.com Articles

Someone asked me how to subscribe to my articles on Examiner.com, so I am posting the instructions again, in case anyone needs them. Go to my page at http://www.examiner.com/x-35849-Ft-Myers-RV-Travel-Examiner and click on the Subscribe button toward the top of the page. This will prompt you to put in your email address, which will send you an email notification when I publish a new article. There is no charge to subscribe.

Here is a link to my latest article:


Thanks to all of my subscribers and readers for your support!

Rylie's Notes:

It's still flooded here, which means I am not getting my usual amount of exercise. Someone is going to be sorry.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another New Endeavor

The wind is blowing in a new direction again. I have accepted a four month contract position working with my sister Amy on a project she has been working in Las Vegas. I will be doing instructional design/training work, and will be taking a break from my Air Photo work. I hope to continue my RV travel writing for Examiner.com. Although most of my work will be telecommuting, I will need to be in Las Vegas for the first few weeks and last couple of weeks of the project. That means I will be leaving Florida in a couple of weeks. I am excited about this opportunity, and to spend time with Amy. This will also put me closer to Cammie, so I will be seeing her soon.

I'm so glad that I got a new laptop -- it's a whole new, wonderful world! I knew my old one had gotten slow, but this one is soooooo much faster. I am in the process of migrating to my new email, but I guess that will take awhile.

We got a bunch of rain on Friday -- four inches -- and it's all flooded everywhere. Rylie and I have not been able to do our usual trot on the trails around here because of all of the water, and they have had to pump the water out of the park and into the canal.

I have so much to do before I leave Florida, and I was really hoping to do some more exploring before I left the state, but that doesn't look likely now. I have enjoyed being in Florida for the winter, even though I'm told this is the coldest winter they have had in 30-40 years.

Rylie's Notes:

I'm getting the itch to hit the road.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Computer Attack

While I was out shopping for a new laptop computer yesterday, my old laptop was apparently sending out an email to everyone in my contacts with a link to a Canadian website. If you are in my contacts and you received this email, do not click on the link. Apparently, I have been attacked by the computer monsters, despite my anti-virus software.

I will be sending out a new email address soon, to those of you in my contacts. I hope this doesn't cause anyone else problems.

Rylie's Notes:

What can I say? I was bored.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Olympic Games

Rylie's Notes:

Day 78 of my Olympic games. The cat is fearless. He refuses to run when I charge him, instead assuming the bobsled position under the car. Surely if I tackle him, I will be disqualified. It is a test of wills to see who can hold their composure the longest.

The squirrels continue to taunt me with their half pipe routines on the palm trees, and their high jump maneuvers to the neighboring trees. They laugh hysterically at me and sometimes pelt me with their nuts. The judges ignore their breach of the rules. All that I need is a few minutes off the leash to be victorious.

The sandhill cranes continue with their "own the podium" strategy, but I am much better suited to the cross country course. However, what they lack in speed, they make up in attitude. And then there is the matter of those wings -- they do gain an advantage when they put those into play. It will take courage and endurance to get the gold with those yakkers on stilts in the game.

Now I would like to discuss the unsportsmanlike conduct of the bull terrier puppy, Laila. She broke free from her staff and tackled me in the middle of my downhill run. I was trapped by The Staff on leash as she tried to capture the overly enthusiastic pup. My composure and concentration were completely shattered. This young athlete should be disqualified. I would even recommend drug testing. She is WAY too energetic and strong.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Night at the Ballet

Last night I went to the ballet at the Philharmonic in Naples. The Moscow Ballet was performing Coppelia, and it was wonderful! The Philharmonic is a neat theater, and the dancing, and the costumes, well, they were superb. It has been years since I've been to the ballet, and I had forgotten how romantic it is. That was such a treat.

When Cammie was younger, we used to see The Nutcracker in San Francisco, and I used to enjoy going to the ballet when I lived in Duluth, but most of my theater experiences in recent years consisted of musicals and plays. I need to get back to the ballet more often.

Now for my weather report. Rainy and cool, although it's supposed to warm up this weekend. I could use another day at the beach.

Rylie made a new friend this week. He likes Barney.

Rylie's Notes:

Yeah, Barney is all right, but he's still young and thinks he's going to get me to play. Hahahahahaha!