Sunday, January 31, 2016

January 4-8, 2016 - Jacksonville, FL

January 4
  • We picked up the mail at the Post Office that was put on hold while we were out of town. We needed to get new health insurance cards from Blue Cross/Blue Shield and it was in the mail. Erwin needed it for his two medical appointments today.
  • We stopped at Southern Photo Tech to pick up Edith’s old camera that had a damaged shutter blade. The guy said it was a major repair and the camera is now working fine.  Edith could have bought a new camera, but it will cost her $400-$500 more than if she had her old camera repaired.
  • Erwin’s first medical appointment was at 10:40, but when he checked in they told him that the appointment was for January 8.  Oh well.
  • We took the Jeep to Jacksonville Chrysler for oil change and to ask them to check the engine light that came on a couple days ago.  The air filter and battery were replaced and the engine light went off.  They told us we need new windshield wipers (we will replace them ourselves).
  • Erwin’s second medical appointment was at 2:30 pm. Edith was dropped off at Starbucks not too far from the doctor’s office, so she can take care of business transactions.  Erwin had complete physical examination and blood drawn.  The results will not come in until about a week.
  • We stopped at Target to return an item Edith did not want to keep.  
  • After getting back to the house we pulled out weeds in the front lawn. There were a lot of dandelions and some strange looking weeds.
  • Early in the evening Edith went back to Starbucks at Tapestry to work on notes, pay bills and check emails
January 5
  • It was the coldest day since we got back in town. It was 49˚ and the sky was still gray.
  • We had to turn the furnace on in our Lil’ Home for a while. First time we ever turned it on.  We were surprised at how fast it got warm inside.
  • Erwin took the Lil’ Home (LH) to Camping World near the airport to have them do a 22 point maintenance check-up.  The appointment was at 10:30 am, but they did not start working on LH until after noon.  Erwin told them about ice build-up in the refrigerator.  There was a recall on a part that we did not know about. It was replaced for free.
  • Edith likes to use Starbucks’ wifi for uploading pictures/videos for our travel blog because it is so much quicker.

January 6
  • Edith had few business transactions to take care of.  Since the wifi service is not available at our house she had to go to Starbucks again.  There was one transaction she was concerned about and wanted to act on it as soon as possible. Two days ago she transferred $ from one account to another, and it usually takes two business days to effect the transfer.  However, it was already two days and the deposit had not been made.  After checking on the internet she found out that she transferred $ to a different account that is in Washington, DC and she did not have debit card for it. However, all is good after making some changes.
  • The rest of the day found us tidying the front and back lawn, cleaning up inside the house, did the laundry.

January 7 
  • Weather was still very gloomy, but not as cold or windy as it was in the past few days.
  • We washed/waxed the front and back panels of our LH to get rid of bugs. 
  • Edith pulled out weeds in the front yard.  Dandelions were growing like crazy.  There were other whatnots.  We wanted to keep the front lawn nice.
  • While Erwin went out for a walk Edith spent time checking for campgrounds in FL and AL for this coming March. We hope to begin our trip to Central US first week of March.
  • Our good friends, Audrey and Harold, stopped by for a chat and to pick kumquats from our tree.  Kumquats are plentiful.
  • We shopped at Costco to get foods for the next trip. We were there around suppertime and the store was still packed!

January 8
  • It rained during the night while we slept.  Another gloomy morning, but it felt warmer than yesterday.  The sun had not peeked out since we came back home on Jan 4th. Erwin mentioned that each time we come back to Jacksonville the weather gets lousy
  •  Erwin had a 10:40 am follow-up appointment with the doctor  to check on his right knee. He injured it last summer while we were visiting Philipsburg, MT. He dropped Edith off at Starbucks on his way.
  • We had a lunch date with Bon and Marilyn at Tapestry Cafe. It was good to see them again.  The sandwiches were good. We used Groupon certificate to order $14 worth for only $8.  We four chatted for about 3 hours before bidding each other good-bye.
  • Edith had $100 debit in her RedTarget card, so we shopped at Target to get what we needed for our upcoming trip.
  • There was a showing at our house. Erwin found out that the realtor from Ponte Vedra, FL forgot to lock the front door. It was a good thing that we were here to check to be sure the door is locked, but it can happen when we are out of town.  Our realtor was informed of the situation.
  • We did the laundry again because we will be leaving for a 17 day trip .  
Erwin's right knee X-ray

Bon, Marilyn, Edith & Erwin at Tapestry Cafe

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 3, 2016 - Sebastian, FL to Jacksonville, FL

A very gloomy and windy morning. And it was COLD at 52˚. Last day of camping for us at Sebastian Inlet State Park.  We will definitely come back here another time.  Erwin has two medical appointments tomorrow and we need to take our Lil’ Home to Camping World on Tuesday for general maintenance check-up. Erwin helped a fellow camper from Quebec on sights to visit in Florida.

Erwin sharing travel tips with our next door camper

We were planning on visiting Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville, FL on way back home, but decided not to because of the weather. Edith read reports that there is a lot of shore birds that are migrating to the refuge, making it ideal for photography.

We decided to stay on I-95 after we left Melbourne Beach, FL instead of staying on A1A because of the weather.  If it was much nicer we would love driving alongside the ocean.   

Sebastain Inlet Bridge
Atlantic Ocean
Shark Mural 
Edith texted our good friend, Michael Stultz, a deaf photographer, to see if it was possible for us to meet him and his lovely wife Jessica for a chat at Starbucks in St. Augustine later in the afternoon.  Michael replied back and said he and Jessica could meet us. We were hoping to be in St Augustine around 2 pm, but we were hungry and pulled into a rest area near Mims, FL to fix lunch.

Fellow traveler stopping in rest area alongside us
to feed and water her horses
We did not get to St. Augustine ’til almost 3 pm.  We were able to find a parking space large enough for our Lil’ Home.  Michael and Jessica were already inside Starbucks when we walked in.  It was good to see them again and we chatted for almost two hours. Of course, Edith and Michael got a chance to talk about photography.  Check out Michael’s website: and you can view his awesome photo gallery. When we were ready to leave we invited them to come take a look inside our LH.  They were surprised to see how big the LH is.

Edith, Erwin, Jessica and Michael at Starbucks
It stopped raining when we left St. Augustine, which was a good thing because it started to get dark around 5 pm.    

The garage light was on when we arrived back at our house. Our neighbor informed us that it had been left on for a long while.  Apparently, the realtor left it on when he/she had people look at the house.  

We rested after supper.  We were really tired. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day, so we need all the rest we can get.  

Let’s hope the weather gets better tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2016

January 2, 2016 - Melbourne Beach and Sebastian, FL

The sky was grey not blue. :(  More RVs and campers sleeping in tents were leaving early in the morning. Guess they were trying to get out before it starts to rain if that happens.  

We went to Barrier Island Sanctuary that was closed yesterday. As we were getting ready to step out of the car to go to the center Edith checked her camera and realized she left the battery at “home” that was being charged, so she used Erwin’s IPhone to take pictures.

The building where the Barrier Island Sanctuary is in was once a restaurant with a great view of the ocean, but abandoned years ago.  The footprint of the building was not changed at all and was converted into the educational and management center.  No admission fee, but donation is appreciated.  The area is in the heart of Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a major nesting sites for sea turtles (loggerhead, green, leatherback).  The center’s main goal is to educate visitors about the importance of protecting nesting sites and people’s responsibility in taking care of fragile barrier island.  Lots of interpretive information on charts and signs that were very helpful to us to find out information on how to help the turtles survive. One BIG info we learned was to minimize lights and not to shine a flashlight in the turtles' faces or they will return/go back to sea and come back another night.

Male seahorse with pouch and fry (baby seahorses)
When mating, the female seahorse deposits up to 1,500 eggs
in the male's pouch.  The male carries the eggs for 9 to 45 days
until the fry are fully developed. (Source:wiki)

Whale's Jawbone 

We watched some movies, but all were not closed captioned. The receptionist tried to find the settings to turn captions on, but was not successful. 

After looking around inside the center we went on the boardwalk toward the beach.  There was an elderly couple making out.  Nice to see that they are still doing it and in public!  Erwin was tempted to tell them to “Get a room!”

At the beach a guy was surf fishing and caught two whitings, both nice sized.  There was a guy who had body scope to check for shore birds.  It started to mist a bit and we decided not to go on a one mile trail.  We will come visit here another time.

On our way back to the center the elderly couple was still at it!  Either they are married to each other or are having an affair and agreed to meet there to make out? The guy’s left eye glasses lens was fogged up! LOL!

We went back “home” to fix lunch and to put the stuff away that were outside because Erwin heard on the radio that it might rain after midnight.

The sun was finally making its appearance in the mid afternoon, but it did not last long.  It was very windy at the inlet.  Edith went to Inlet Grill on the north side of the jetty to use wifi, but the service was very slow and she was not able to open the blog to upload pictures.

Edith decided to walk up to the end of the fishing pier to watch the action. It was packed with lots of anglers. Some of them were lucky to be catching fish.  One guy was so good at catching mackerel and bluefish, both oily types.  One guy caught a nice sized sheepshead.  One young lady was catching a lot of Lookdown fish. She must have at least 10 in a bucket when Edith stopped by to take pictures of her catch.  She asked the lady if it is a table fare. “Yes, it is good”, she said.  “How do you prepare it?”, Edith asked her.  Her mother chimed in and said “Pan fried”.  Edith did not know that Lockdown can be eaten as she always thought it as a trash fish.

Sebastain Inlet Fishing Pier (northside)
After Edith got back from the inlet she and Erwin went out for a good long bike ride within the park.  The wind was still blowing hard making it difficult to pedal when it is against you.  We biked to the inlet, parked our bicycles, walked up the pier. A guy caught a beautiful 28” redfish, but had to throw it back in the ocean. You can keep it if it is 18”-27”. Yeah, the fish was 1” over the slot.

Sebastain Inlet Bridge (A1A)

A bucket full of Spanish Mackerels
Very toothy!

Very crowded with fishing carts, coolers, etc  

Sebastain Inlet Fishing Pier (southside)
Stuffed sweet baby peppers has now become our favorite for mid afternoon snack.  Sweet baby peppers, cut in half and seeds removed, are stuffed with Alouette Garlic and Herb cheese spread and baked in 375˚oven for 12-15 minutes.

After supper Edith checked for campsite availability for January 9-11 before we check into Tampa, FL on January 12 for Newmar RV Rally event. We finally finished the cat puzzle after working on it for 4 days. We did not think we were going to finish before checking out tomorrow morning.