|Wed, 23 Oct: We're finally getting ready to do some Cruisin'!
Following a very productive six days at the SKP Florida Cooperative in Wauchila it is time to get serious about this cruise. Monday we got Dinkum serviced with spanking new oil, filter, and lube. Yesterday we finally broke down and got our hair cut. It seriously reminded us of watching the sheep shearing demonstration in Chili.
We got packed up, went thru our checklists, connected Dinkum, and were present, check book in hand, when the office opened. Once we got our bill squared away it was time to roll wheels and Sandi got us out of the park and heading east on Florida 66 toward Sebring.
South of Sebring FL 66 becomes US 98 to Okeechobee where we picked up FL 710 to Indiantown and then FL 76 to FL 508 east to the coast. At a convenient train crossing (a train had traffic stopped) we switched drivers so Bob got to bring us in.
At 1145 we pulled into the parking lot at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound. We've stayed here before and consider it one of our favorite state parks. Wide open (re., few trees) with new full service pads that are huge. We love this place.
Following lunch Sandi took the car to the storage facility and got all the paperwork and payment details out of the way. Meanwhile, Bob dug the suitcases out of the basement and started staging stuff for packing.
We drove to North Palm Beach to meet John and Eileen Frerking for dinner at one of our favorite BBQs, Park Avenue. John had to officiate at a funeral, so after we dropped Eileen at home we drove to a nearby Men's Wearhouse to buy Bob some new tuxedo shirts. His old (pre diet) shirt was way too big so it was time... They were having a buy one get one (BOGO) promotion so he ended up with two tux shirts and two sets of new shirt studs and cufflinks.
Back to the coach and packing. This is not our favorite part of travel and the main reason we like to take all our stuff with us in the motorhome. We finally finished about ten, showered, and fell in bed exhausted.
Thu, 24 Oct: Carpe and Dinkum to storage and we're off to Hollywood...
... Florida, that is.
Somehow we made it this far. We set the alarm for 0600 and spent the time getting Carpe ready for storage and us ready for a 42-day cruise. Following breakfast we finished packing and moved two large and very heavy suitcases, two heavy carry ons, and two duffles, to the car.
Then it was time to clean the fridge, dump the holding tanks, top off the water, and generally prepare the coach for six weeks of storage. Thankfully, the weather is getting a bit cooler so we won't be storing during Florida's oppresive summer heat. Barring a hurricane (and don't rule that out) she should be just fine.
We rolled wheels at 0900 exactly and drove north on US 1 a few miles to Hobe Sound and a 7-Eleven with enough room and a diesel pump so we could top off Carpe's tank. We do not like to leave our vehicles any length of time with partial fuel loads as the humid Florida weather lends itself to condensation.
Once topped off we drove another mile to the storage facility where we backed the coach into her storage slot. We started our storage tasks: cover the tires, cover vent openings, cover the windows, put ant poison near the tires, prop the fridge open, etc., etc., etc.
We managed to finish ahead of schedule and headed south along US 1 to the Frerking's home in North Palm Beach. After stopping to top off Dinkum's tank we transferred the bags to the pickup and headed south on I 95 toward Hollywood. We made good time and arrived at our hotel. Once checked in we went next door for lunch and chatted with John and Eileen for another hour. We do so enjoy talking with them.
After lunch we hugged John and Eileen good bye and wished them safe journey home before the notorious Southern Florida Rush Hour begins. We retired to our room where we are as this is being penned.
Dinner tonite will be with Bernie and Carol Kaplan, our travel agents. We've been using Bernie & Carol for quite a number of years now and they book almost all of our cruises. We have not visited with them since 2010 so it'll be good to catch up.
Tomorrow morning we'll get shuttled to the pier and board the ms Maasdam for a six week cruise to North Africa, Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, and return. We will not be updating this Journal during the cruise as this is for "land cruising" only.
Please check back in early December when we'll return, extract Carpe from storage, and continue our land travels.
Fri, 06 Dec: We're baaaaaackkkk!!!!
We disembarked the ship this morning, took Tri-Rail north to North Palm Beach where John Frerking picked us up for the drive to their home. Luggage transfer to Dinkum and then north on US 1 to Hobe Sound where we extracted Carpe from storage. She seems to have weathered six weeks in storage with little more than dust and dirt. We did notice a battery problem that will require further investigation.
We're now back at Dickerson and will remain here till next Friday. We have some doc appointments and need to get the fridge victualed.
It's good to be back...