When I visit Walt Disney World, I see and do things I just don't see and do anywhere else. Here's some of the things I saw and did this week:
Wonder what I'll see and do next month...
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Last year I visited Walt Disney World for the first time in many, many years (like, the early 80's). I had forgotten how wonderful the Disney experience is and I enjoyed it so much I bought a Florida Resident Weekday Only Annual Pass. It cost $190 and I can go to any of the four parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom) any Monday through Friday excluding certain holiday blackout periods. Since I work primarily weekends and don't particularly want to go to WDW during busy holiday periods, this passport fits my lifestyle perfectly.
I've used the passport at least 10 times since I've bought it, including going to EPCOT's Food & Wine Festival last October. I had planned on going to that three days in a row, but I ate and drank so much the first two days that I threw in the towel and came home one day early. Too much really is too much.
This week I drove over late Monday afternoon and went to Ft. Wilderness for dinner at the Trail's End Restaurant in Ft. Wilderness. It's a buffet, so again I ate way too much, but it's so good. Then I took the boat over to the Transportation & Ticket Center where I picked up a monorail to EPCOT. I had a sangria at Cava Del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion then proceeded to walk off some of my dinner by circling around World Showcase. I'd forgotten how pretty EPCOT is at night, with all the lights around the various country pavilions.
I stayed to watch Illuminations, the fireworks show at 9 pm, then took a bus back to Ft. Wilderness. Although I've camped at Ft. Wilderness before and it's very nice, it is pretty pricey for someone like me who just needs a place to park and sleep for the night. So off to Cracker Barrel I went to park for the night.
The next morning I was up before 0600 and off to the EPCOT parking lot. I parked in my usual spot in the RV lot, right in up front, and took a shower before catching a bus to Hollywood Studios. I like to get there right when they open so I can get onto the Tower of Terror before the line gets too long. I rode that, then jumped on the Rock N' Roller Coaster before walking around a bit. I thought about eating at the Brown Derby, which I've done before, but decided to wait and try out the Tangerine Cafe in the Morocco Pavilion back at EPCOT instead.
I took the boat ride from Hollywood Studios back to EPCOT and got to Morocco right before noon. Upon a recommendation from a cast member I tried the chicken and lamb platter. It wasn't horrible, but I regretted not eating at the Brown Derby. The price was comparable and I already knew I liked the food at the Brown Derby. Oh, well, next time. I did, however, not miss the chocolate mousse at the Boulangerie Patisserie in the France Pavilion. That dessert, to me, is the best thing going in all of EPCOT. Talk about death by chocolate.
I stayed in France and watched the 20-minute movie showing beautiful scenes from the country. It was good, but I was starting to doze in my seat, so I went back to My Way for a little nap before heading back into the park for the evening. I had a late dinner of the Teriyaki Chicken Bowl in Japan, then sat and enjoyed the warm evening air and people-watching. I considered staying for the fireworks show, but decided instead to head on home to Tampa. I'd seen (and eaten) enough for one trip. I'll probably go back again next month.
Monday, January 23, 2012
My good friend Lynnette was born without a left arm below the elbow. She believes her mother took Thalidomide, a sedative used by pregnant women in the 1950's to treat morning sickness that was later blamed on birth defects such as Lynnette's. Having never known what it's like to have two arms or hands, Lynnette does everything any two-armed person can do. One of her many hobbies is to buy and refurbish old Scamp-type campers. I tell her she's always "busy as a one-armed camper restorer. Oh, that's right, you ARE a one-armed camper restorer!"
A couple weeks ago we were at an RVing Women Rally at Highlands Hammock State Park and she was showing me that her clock had broken. I took a picture of it and sent a text to a mutual friend saying, "There's been a horrible accident! Lynnette lost her second hand!" While our friend was initially panicked at reading the text, she laughed when she saw the picture. Technically, though, it wouldn't have been Lynnie's "second" hand, since she's only ever had one. She says if she talks to you in sign language, you only get half the story.
Attitude is everything.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
When I bought my Pleasure-Way RV in July, 2009 I knew right away what I wanted to name her: My Way. It's a play on the brand name plus a nod to the song of the same name. I've always liked that song because it pretty much is "me". Right or wrong, good or bad, like it or not, everyone who knows me knows I live my life my way, exactly the way the song says. And yes, just as the song says, I've made mistakes along the way, but they have been (and continue to be) MY mistakes and I'll own up to them every time.
I've wanted to get a name tag for the front of the van for a long time, but never quite got around to it. Last weekend I was at the flea market and found a booth that made the tags, so I finally got one. I think it looks pretty sharp.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
In my eternal quest to find products that suit my RV living, I am happy to report I have found yet another handy item.
I have to defrost the freezer in my tiny refrigerator every couple of months or so. It takes several hours to do this, between the actual defrosting and then the re-cooling of the fridge, so I have to put my food items on ice. Having a regular cooler, even a light styrofoam one, isn't a great solution because it takes up too much space when I'm not using it. I needed something large enough and sturdy enough to hold my food items, yet collapsible so it can be tucked out of the way when I'm done.
I found this Coleman Collapsible Cooler at Amazon and it works great. It's plenty large enough to hold all my food items plus a bag of ice to keep things cold. It has a collapsible insert that unfolds to support the bottom and sides. The cover zips closed with two zippers. It even has a hatch in the top with a velcro closing so I can access things inside without unzipping the whole cover. It was a bit pricey: just under $50 with shipping. But as we RVers all know, sometimes these specialty items are a bit more expensive, but can definitely be worth it. As it is, this cooler resides in the trunk of my car when I'm not using it. It folds flat so it takes up very little space and adds virtually no weight. It kept my food cold with minimal ice melting and no leakage whatsoever. It's a winner for me.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
OMG, what a month this has been. My plans to sell the trailer I had been living in were squelched when the owner of that park sprung the news that I had to REMOVE that trailer from the park if I left. Nice, huh? The chances of finding someone who wanted to buy the trailer AND pay to move it were pretty slim (since I had paid less than $5000 for it just one year earlier), so I gave it to a neighbor who was able to remove it (at no cost to me) and use it himself for a hunting camp. Win-win. I chalked up my original cost of buying that trailer as still less than apartment rent for that year.
Then I move over to this new park and the manager starts making noises about my RV. She's concerned that it's too short (?), too old (it's a 1998), "is it self-contained?" she asks. This new park is under new ownership and the manager doesn't seem to have a clear picture of what they want. I'd like to think they want clean, quiet, employed people who will pay the rent in a timely fashion, but what do I know? After two weeks of not knowing if I could stay or not, I enlisted the assistance of one of the maintenance guys here who helped clarify things between the owner and the manager and now I have THE BEST SITE!
I am in "the ghetto", as they call it here. It's in the far back of the park, on a cul-de-sac, ON THE BAYOU (yeah, waterfront, baby), and pretty much all permanent renters here, versus older, retired snowbirds. We're all around the same age +/-, we all work, and we all like to hang out and just get along with each other. If there's a downside, it's that Hillsborough Avenue is within a few hundred yards of this section. After living off I-75, though, this highway is nothing. It has already become white noise.
I can launch my kayak right from my backyard. I can sit here and look at the water and I even heard we get manatees going by. Yes, this park and this site are a bit more expensive than my last place, but it's still less than $500 per month for site rent. The cost of electric for the first two weeks I've been here, in the dog days of summer with the a/c running? $20.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
I am SO not into commitment. After one full year of living in a 26' travel trailer in an RV park in Wesley Chapel, I have decided to divorce the trailer, move back into My Way (my class B) and move to a different RV park on the far west side of Tampa (Westchase).
The park where I've lived for the past almost-two-years is becoming less "RV park" and more "trailer park", with an increase in questionable folks coming in and a decrease in budget on maintenance and staff. Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but I'm not happy with what the park is becoming ,so I'm getting out of here before it gets any worse.
The park I am moving to is at the top of Tampa Bay and I'll be able to put in my kayak right from the park and paddle the creek to Tampa Bay. The park is more spacious, less crowded, better staffed and cleaner than where I am now living. And yes, it is more expensive, but I'm willing to pay more to live in a nicer park. It's closer to my work, restaurants, shopping and to my friends and the beaches in Pinellas County.
My rent here is paid through mid-September and I'm going to start my lease at the new park on September 1, so I'll have time to transition. The first thing I need to do is get a shed on the new lot for storage. After that I'll be all ready to move.
So I'll be back to fulltiming it in the Class B. Actually, I've missed that and have really enjoyed the times I've taken off in it for several days at a time. I just love the simplicity of living in that really, REALLY, small space. Stay tuned.