Parrottrek Journal 2016

IMG6980 IMG6981 IMG6776 IMG6805

One of our favorite campgrounds in the entire country.

One of our favorite rides. This week it had nice short lines

It was good to see no trees were lost in the hurricane

Checking off another country in our passport around the world

A Week Long Disney Birthday - Disney World -
Since Matthew shortened our last Disney World trip, we decided to come back and spent a whole week here. I flew in from New York and the wedding festivities late Sunday night, so we woke up bright and early Monday morning and made our way here. Lucky for us it is only about a 40 minute drive so visiting Mickey is a breeze, and since we have Florida resident passes, admission to the parks is pretty much free on this trip. Our good friends, Rick and LaVerne, who live on the west coast of Florida came over for a few days to enjoy Disney themselves, and spent my birthday with us. Weekdays here at Disney in the middle of the school year are awesome.

IMG7002 IMG7006

LaVerne and I tour England

In Paris with Rick and LaVerne

The longest line we stood in was 30 min, and with a few Fast Passes some lines were as short as 5. We tasted our way all around the worlds of EPCOT since they are having their annual Food & Wine Festival, and finished off the evening watching the fireworks from the campground.

IMG7043 IMG7068 IMG2664 IMG7022

A fun Halloween picture during the parade

See, Olaf won't melt here in Florida

Enjoying the Magic Kingdom

Splash Mountain

Throughout the week Frank and I went back to EPCOT to taste a few places we had missed, explored Disney's Hollywood Studios, hit the Magic Kingdom, and enjoyed all the Fast Passes that Holly and her family weren't able to get to on their trip, which pretty much got us on all of the good rides with a very short wait. To top off the week, Holly and Jon included us in their Disney Photo Pass, so we were able to access all the fun photos they take of you on rides as well as a few creative ones they shoot of you in various locations around the park for no additional fee, Love ya Holly! I was happily surprised we didn't look like total screaming dorks on the candid shots on Splash Mountain, The Seven Dwarf's Mine Ride, and Space Mountain. One photographer even got a great shot of us right as the dragon from Sleeping Beauty was passing us during the parade, and a really fun shot with Olaf at EPCOT. Pretty sure the week couldn't have been any better.

IMG6970 IMG6966 n2 IMG6977

Setting up for the reception, four stories up to create the magic

The old theatre is starting to look like an amazing show

The final production with floating books and all. I feel honored to be a part of this set up

The beautiful bride is all ready for her magical day


October 15th - The Event of the Year - Poughkeepsie, New York -
Gina and I have been great friends for three decades. We have seen each other through so many adventures, life events, heartache, ups, downs, and everything in between. We survived high school together, talked all through college, and have kept in touch ever since. She is one of those people that I can go months without seeing, and at times years, but when we do see each other again it is like seventeen seconds have past since our last get together. This weekend she got married to an amazing man, and they had the most amazing wedding I have been to. Mike, the groom, is a lighting director in New York City, so he turned the little theater at Vassar, where they both attended college, into an amazing broadway scene. I was lucky enough to be able to help. My job included hooking up lights and chords into the top of the theatre which just happened to be four stories up and the only floor was tension wire, so it sort of made me feel like I was flying since I could see straight down to the floor that was about 100 feet below. FUN!

Mike and Gina walk to the gorgeous chapel on the Vassar campus

IMG6959 IMG6945 IMG6979 n1

Hooray!!! It's official. I know they will enjoy decades and decades of happiness

The married couple make their grand entrance with confetti and loved ones

We all danced the night away. it was the most amazing reception ever!

The bride and groom dance under the floating books

Once most of the lights were ready and the tables were somewhat set, Gina and I snuck off while the rest of the set up crew of family and friends finished the job. The two of us walked all around the campus, caught up on each others lives, had a great lunch together, and took in all the sights of the picture perfect campus of Vassar. We soon realized there were just a couple hours left in the day before the rehearsal, so I walked Gina to her hotel room so she could relax a bit and clean up after our morning of playing in the theatre and met back up later at the rehearsal dinner.
We all knew this wedding and reception would be a sight to see, but I don't think any of us imagined it would be as perfectly amazing as it was. The chapel they were married in was beautiful, the exchange of vows brought most of us to tears, and the reception was something out of a fairy tale. Each table was decorated to the theme of a love story as the books floating above us. The bride and groom were smiling and dancing all around us, and the heartfelt toasts from friends and family made it feel as though we were in the middle of the greatest love story yet. Outside the weather was crisp and comfortable, the leaves on all of the trees around the campus were changing colors while inside the D.J. played a great set of 80's and 90's dance songs which kept the dance floor full all night. The reception ended around 10:30, but none of us felt like going home, so a group of us headed to a little pub around the corner for another couple hours of toasting in the newlyweds and then walked the very short distance to all of our rooms. None of the wedding festivities were out of walking distance the entire weekend.

IMG6936 IMG6924 IMG6933 IMG6956

A photo with the bride

The amazing colors of the trees around us

Just one of the many tables decorated

Dancing with life long friends

n IMG7062
IMG7013 IMG6870

On the boat off to see Holly and family

Selfie in line for The Land

The Norths, such a cute family

Disney World Halloween style

October 3rd - 7th - Mickey, Matthew, and Fun with the Norths - Walt Disney World -
What was supposed to be a fun long week at Walt Disney World turned out to be an abridged trip thanks to Hurricane Matthew. Frank and I were camped at Fort Wilderness, the campground in the middle of all of the magic of Disney World. It is an amazing place to spend a week, even if you don't go into the parks. You are surrounded by trees and streams and all sorts of nature with miles and miles of trails and bike paths. Apparently since Hurricane Matthew was supposed to come towards Orlando with 80 mph winds Mickey decided to have all of us leave Thursday morning in hopes that we wouldn't be struck by the hundreds of tall pine and palm trees that make this place so pretty. Figuring we would get ahead of the crowds Frank and I left Wednesday night, and a good choice that was. We hit very little traffic as we made our way further west and away from the angry storm, but not before spending two wonderful days with the North family who we have been lucky enough to spend time with almost every year for the past few years whether we visit them at their home in New York, or they make a stop in Florida. These last few days we have enjoyed rides, and photos, and making new memories but will have to wait a couple more years before we see each other again.

IMG6862 IMG6869 IMG6845 IMG6857

What the storm looked like on the radar

What they were saying the winds would be

Mickey's evacuation letter to us

And the rain began as we left Disney

IMG6736 IMG6738 IMG6742 IMG6744

Walks on the beach as the sun rises

It was heaven having it to ourselves

Selfies with my new waterproof bag

The water was perfect for swimming

September 22st - 24th - Morning Swims in the Ocean - Jetty Park -
One of our favorite places to camp in at the port here in Cape Canaveral. We can walk to restaurants, watch cruise ships float by in front of us, walk for miles on the beach each morning watching the sun rise, and swim and paddle board in the ocean. The outside temperature is about 80 degrees and the water is about 74 degrees, so it is absolutely perfect beach weather. I recently purchased a waterproof bag that allows me to take my phone, cash, debit card, keys, and chap-stick along with me on our paddle board excursions so we can be out all day and have all we need if we find ourselves at a shop or a restaurant, and keep everything safe. We tested out my bag today to see how good the camera on my phone can see through the plastic, and the photos turned out pretty darn good. I can even take calls, send texts, and use every aspect of my phone while it is safely in the waterproof bag. and if I fall off the paddle board, the wallet floats, so there is no way to loose it. For the record, the only time I have fallen off my paddle board is when I attempted to do a Yoga tree pose, otherwise I've pretty much got the hang of it.

DSC0716 DSC0652 DSC0674 DSC0708

We spent the day exploring nature and mermaid habitats

The water is so clear you can see the fish swimming 20 feet below you

This guy was ready at the picnic table to be served lunch

After lunch we enjoyed the animal show

September 21st - Watching Mermaids Play - Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida -
In a little tiny town, population four, off a fairly small highway sits one of the most intriguing places we have heard about, and since we have to wait a full 48 hours for the glue on our windows to dry we figured this would be a great place to kill some time. Weeki Wachee Springs, which means winding river, is virtually a bottomless spring since they haven't been able to find the bottom of it since 1946 when Newton Perry bought the spring and turned it into a theme park. Perhaps if they did find the bottom they would also find where mermaids come from since we saw them alive and well and performing here for all of Weeki Wachee's guests. The theatre where the mermaids perform is fed by a spring that releases 117 million gallons of fresh 74 degree water everyday from the caverns below. Once the water leaves the spring it flows down the Weeki Wachee River and into the Gulf of Mexico. You can take a boat ride down part of the Weeki Wachee River and see for yourself just how clear the water is. As we floated by swimming fish and diving turtles that looked as though they are just inches below the surface since you can see them plain as day, we were told by our boat tour guide that since most of the fish are bottom swimmers, and the bottom was almost thirty feet below us it was quite the optical illusion of how close the fish and turtles are.
Once our boat ride was over we stopped off to have lunch and were greeted by a very friendly family of peacocks that wanted to join in on our picnic. Their mama even climbed up onto the picnic table for a closer look. They are apparently not afraid of people one bit since everywhere we went they seemed to be right there, but they were a bit skittish when we tried to scratch their heads. After lunch we look in an animal show and then a live mermaid show where the girls stayed submersed under water the whole time without any oxygen tanks on them. Yes, we realize they aren't real mermaids, and the oxygen is in tubes, but if you just happen to be a fan of mermaids and are around 7 years old, you just might believe they are real. Next time we will have to bring our bathing suits since there is a huge area with water slides, sandy beaches, and a lazy river where people can enjoy the 74 degree fresh water for themselves

DSC0713 DSC0679 DSC0711

Everywhere we went we were followed around by beautiful peacocks

Time for the mermaid show

The ladies were quite amazing to watch

IMG6714 IMG6715 IMG2609 IMG6728

We found a great restaurant with a great logo

Our view the first day when we went for lunch

A perfect day in the shade

It was the perfect place to watch the sunset

September 18th - 22nd - Sittin' on the Dock of the Gulf - Hudson, Florida-
We are spending this week on the west coast of Florida and getting a couple windows in the coach defogged. The place we are getting the repairs done let us stay right here in it, with full hook ups, and a short drive to one of the greatest outdoor restaurants overlooking the water. We went for lunch our first day, brought our computers and worked a couple hours... well actually we stared at the water for a couple hours and didn't get much done. The second day we went back for dinner, sat at one of the tiki bars, and watched the sunset. Since our windows needed a little more time to dry, and we wanted another day to explore this area we stayed a couple extra days and somehow ended up here each night for dinner. The food was great, very reasonably priced, the weather was amazing, and the staff was friendly.

IMG6685 IMG2580 DSC0637 IMG2585

Versaci's house in Miami

Dinner on the intracoastal

Wild parrots all around us

Enjoying the weather and playing cards

September 10th - Frank's Birthday Celebration - Miami, Florida -
The conversation went something like this... Suzy -"Where do you want to go for your birthday?"
Frank - "Hmmmm, I'm not sure, where have we never been in Florida?"
Suzy - "Lots of places, so pick anywhere."
Frank - "How about Miami?"
Suzy - "Sounds perfect." So off to Miami we went with a couple of very good friends to celebrate Frank's 42nd birthday. We camped at TY Park, which is an amazing state park. We are so used to California State Parks where if your RV is longer than 30 feet you are pretty much out of luck on getting in. Here we had enormous sites, lots of room to maneuver, and all sorts of activities around us including a two mile trail that we walked around in the mornings and rode our bikes around in the afternoon, and some great bird watching. Each day we would drive around and explore all the little towns that are around us. Day one we found Versaci's house and a great little restaurant on the water with live music and a pretty sunset. Day two we explored Jimmy Buffet's hotel and enjoyed views of the ocean, and day three we lounged around, played a few card games and when the day heated up too much for us to be outside, we hit the movie theater.

DSC0643 IMG6689 IMG6681 IMG6682

We took advantage of this two mile trail every morning

Our very spacious sites

The view on the deck of Jimmy Buffet's hotel

The inside of Jimmy Buffet's hotel

IMG6746 DSC0721 DSC0727 IMG6663

And a huge turtle snuggled in the grass

Our backyard is all set up

We found a sleeping bat in our umbrella.

Scooter ride along the beach to breakfast

September 5th - At Our Home Base - The Great Outdoors -
People ask us all the time on our travels "where is home?" Well, considering we are "home" every night this answer often varies. We usually answer "Home is wherever we're parked" and most people are in awe of this, in a good way of course. Most people totally get what we are doing and why we are doing it. But every so often we get that look. The look that basically says "You don't have a stick built home anywhere? This does not compute in our minds." So we tell these individuals that home is Florida. And while we love being here, enjoying the amazing winter weather that still makes the beach comfortable, has amazing locations to eat, swim, and paddle board, we still don't really call it home, other than the fact that the government is one of these entities that feel we need a "real location" to call home and have mail sent to. So I guess you could say we are "home" for the winter, but keep an eye on our travels since our motorhome will remain in Florida until late February, but our location is going to change a lot, and boy are we excited about it.


The view at breakfast overlooking the Indian River, part of the ICW

IMG2270 IMG6586 IMG2545 IMG2521

A stop off at Apple Headquarters in CA to see their unique Apple products

Suzy drives a dirt moving tractor in Iowa, luckily not over a cliff

Meeting up with long time friends in Connecticut

Our generator gets a check-up in Ohio and a spa day

A Fun and Slow Drive Across the Country -
As we made our way east this summer, we took the northern route. We left California, went through Nevada to visit clients, then drove through Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Iowa, where we stopped off to see some great friends who have 90 acres of land, where we drove tractors, four wheelers, and had great bar-b-ques. We spent a couple days in Ohio at Martin Diesel so our ever hard working generator could get its bi-annual check-up and have all of its fluids and filters replaced and then hit a fun Elks Lodge for a few days where we relaxed by the banks of Lake Erie and enjoyed a great band. After Ohio we headed to the east coast and visited more friends in Connecticut and Georgia.

IMG0389 IMG2288

Lounging in Savannah with Cody

Buck Owen's Crystal Palace and Elvis' old car

IMG6616 IMG6611 IMG6614 IMG2526

We stopped off for the night at an Elks Lodge on Lake Erie

We found a walkway down to the water

The lake looks quite a bit like the ocean due to its size

He were entertained by a great live band as the sun went down

IMG2542 IMG6623 IMG2540 DSC0611

Frank has been watching Cheers on Netflix, so we had to check it out

The weather was a little warm, but no rain so we took a double decker bus tour

We had lunch at the second Cheers by the water

The infamous Fenway Park where the statue of four legends stand


August 14th- 16th -Boston, Massachusetts -
As much as we have traveled this country, and as often as we have been on the east coast, you'd think we would have been to Boston a few times, but we have not. We even visited all of the campgrounds in the whole state of Massachusetts three years ago, but since we were so busy with work we weren't ever able to hit the actual heart of the city, just the outlying areas. On this trip we made sure to visit the city, and we did so for three days. Day one we took a double decker bus around the city to hear all about the history and see what spots we wanted to visit in more detail. The first place we hopped off the bus was Cheers. Yes, it is the epitome of a tourist trap, but a must see when in Boston.


We took a tour of the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides

397 Massachusetts Ave - Where Martin Luther King lived

DSC0587 DSC0549 IMG6630

The city is full of amazing architecture

Sushi over Boston Harbor

A view of the city from the water

A statue of Edgar Allan Poe

The second place we hopped off was at the USS Constitution, nick named Old Ironsides, which is the ship that gave the Navy their start back in 1797 and is still the oldest Naval ship still officially commissioned. For the rest of the bus loop we stayed on the bus and listened as the driver told us all about the famous statue of Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Ted Williams that stands outside of Fenway Park, and all about the stadium. We passed by a statue in memory of Edgar Allan Poe, the home of where Martin Luther King Jr. lived, the beautiful Boston Statehouse, and all sorts of amazing buildings with gorgeous architecture. After we finished our loop, we headed back to the subway that took us back to our car which took us back to the very friendly and hospitable Elks Lodge that put us up for the week. We went inside the lodge for some dinner when we got back, and thanked the very nice bartender and other patrons that gave us the tips on how to get around Boston and never have to drive our car into the city. We had read some horrid reviews on how hard the city was to get around in, but with the help of our new friends we drove 5 minutes from the lodge, parked at a subway stations, rode an 8 minute subway into the city and was dropped off right in the middle of all of the action, which made day two just as easy and fun to explore the city, however today we got off at a stop closer to Fenway Park, had lunch on the water, and explored more of the city on foot.

DSC0628 DSC0606 DSC0613

The Boston Fire Museum

Where the Boston Tea Party occurred

Berklee School of Music

We had the double decker bus almost to ourselves

IMG2509 IMG2511 IMG2515 IMG6575

A tribute to Buddy Holly marks the beginning of the path

The memorial that has made in the performer's memory

The plaque that stands outside the Surf Ballroom

The Surf Ballroom, where the three last performed


August 7th - The Day the Music Died - Clear Lake, IA -
Back in 1959, before our time here on planet earth, the music world lost three very talented and popular artists. The Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and Buddy Holly were all performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa to crowds of screaming fans. In order to get to their next destination a bit quicker than in a car, the men boarded a plane. Unfortunately the plane hit some bad weather almost immediately after take off and crashed into a field. All three men, and the pilot, were killed on impact. To show his respect and let all of the fans create and visit the memorial that stands for the men, the farmer still to this day plows out a walkway leading to this tragic spot. On the road, where the path begins, stands a large set of "Buddy Holly" glasses to let all the fans, and inquiring minds, know just where to park and start their trek to the memorial. After we visited the memorial we stopped off at the Surf Ballrom to explore the venue of these men's last live performance. It's a great little theatre that still looks like it is straight out of the 50's

The ticket booth in front of the Surf Ballroom where there are still big names performing

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Previous Journal Page  |