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Parrottrek Journal 2014

Check out our map page to see where we've been

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I can't even remember the last time we were both on an airplane together

Finally, after 8+ hours, Maui is in sight!

Our gorgeous hotel from the beach, just steps away

The beach view from our hotel room. Yes, I could live here!

January 6th 2014 - Aloha! -
As it so happens, we were offered a fun vacation in Hawaii with some friends. Yes, it was actually a hard choice to make since the only way to get to Maui is aboard an airplane, and taking the birds was not an option. I know, I know, it's Hawaii, so why should we even second guess going, right? But we did second guess it, for about a half of a nano-second. And then we packed our bags, hooked up the nanny cam to peek in on our babies whenever we wanted, called our dear friends Cindy and Phil to bird sit, and headed to the airport!
The downside of traveling to Hawaii? A very, very long plane ride. I can sit in our motorhome for hours on end and travel this great country, but sitting in an airplane for 9 hours almost drove me crazy. I have a sneaky suspicion it's because in my motorhome I have full access to a comfy couch, a refrigerator, my very own potty and ample space to walk around and stretch, or work out if I want to. In a plane, with 357 other people, they look at you a little weird if you wander the aisles doing squats for very long, and the potties... well, let's just say I tried to avoid those as long as possible. On our flight out I don't think there was an empty seat in the house, so I suffered through the whole sitting still thing, feeling like a sardine, as quietly as possible. And according to Frank, I was fairly quiet about till the last 2 hours.
The upside of traveling to Hawaii? Well, you'll just have to read on and see all the fun times and activities we embarked on...

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Breakfast is served! By a brook, with everything you ever craved for breakfast.

Our morning visitor during breakfast. It makes us miss our babies!

A morning walk on the beach

It's January and the warm sun shines on us

January 7th - Our First Morning in Paradise - Makena Beach Resort -
We have enjoyed every moment of our time here, and it has only been a little over a day. There is something about this place that almost makes it feel as though time stands still, and we love it! Breakfast on the lanai is included every morning and the wildlife here makes me feel at home. The ocean is warm and the sand on the beach is like no other I have put my feet in. Reading on our back deck and listening to the waves crash all night long as we keep our french doors open makes slumber come so quickly and peacefully, I wonder how long it would take us to get Island Fever - if we chose to stay longer than our 9 day itinerary. I would love to fill you in on more of this great trip, but in order to do so I must go and do more Hawaii research. It's a rough job, but someone has got to write about it. Aloha!

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Walking through the beautiful lobby after a dip in the ocean

An afternoon whale watching trip where we saw more whales than there were people on the boat

Hawaii! The only other place where you can you wear shorts and dresses in January

Humpback whales as far as the eyes could see

January 11th - Whale Watching - Molokini -
The gorgeous weather continues. Today's agenda was sleeping in, taking a leisurely walk on the beach after sunrise, and then heading out on an afternoon whale watching tour with friends aboard a catamaran. Most of those things were checked off our to-do list, except for sleeping in. I haven't decided if the time change is a down-side or an up-side. Hawaii is 5 hours behind Florida, so when your body says it is eight o'clock in the morning and your brain thinks you might have just accomplished your plan of sleeping in, your eyes quickly open and realize that the clock tells a very different story. After shaking my watch, and the old fashioned digital clock on the hotel nightstand which stated the time of 3am, I realize it's too late to put up a fight with my mind and tell it to go back to sleep. Especially, since my body was out of bed before my brain knew it was ready for the day, even though there wasn't a speck of daylight within sight. I attempted to be as quiet as possible and not wake my sleeping husband, but as I rounded the corner and walked into the bathroom I came face to face with my wide awake husband who was already in his bathing suit holding two towels, and talking about how great it would be to go for a morning swim in the warm side of the Pacific. I quickly changed into my bathing suit, grabbed one the towels from him and we headed out.
Watching the sun rise as we floated in the water is something we have never done before, and quite a scene. After daylight hit, we walked back to the hotel, showered and headed to breakfast. After breakfast we met up with the others and boarded the Kai Kanani for our afternoon adventure where we saw about a dozen Humpback Whales leap out of the ocean, waves their tails at us, flip in every direction imaginable, play together and chase the opposite sex.
The evening was wrapped up with a dinner under the stars overlooking the beach. The Makena Beach Resort sure knows how to show their patrons a great time. If any of you have any plans to go to Maui, or even think you might want to go someday, I highly suggest you look here first. It's the only resort on the island that has its own catamaran that pulls up right to its own beach, its lobby is an acre of glorious plants in all colors and scents, an its Luau will take your breath away.

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Our boat sits on the shore after our exit and right as the sun set.

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Dinner under the stars. If only our birds were here, I might not ever leave

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We took a long drive around the island

The sky and the ocean were the same color - Amazing!!

A day at the pool

And an evening at the Tiki Bar

January 12th - A Few More Snapshots of Our Week -
We took one day to drive around the perimeter of Maui and take in all the views of the lush and green hills and valleys, and the amazing shades of blue in the ocean. Each pull out we stopped at we could see whales leaping through the waters. Other days we spent time by the pool, in town with friends, or at the tiki bar on property. As the days tick by, items get checked off our wish list, and we realize we were in fact crazy to ever think of not coming here. I do miss the birds, but with modern technology and a two way camera, we can watch them, listen to them, and talk to them any time day or night.

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Ready to board the helicopter

Hello, amazing views

The waterfalls went on forever

Whales jumping below us in the ocean

January 14th - Our Last Day in Paradise -
Since our plane doesn't leave until 6 this evening, we figured we would throw in one last fun outing, since returning to the 50th state might not be our agenda for another 16 years. What better way to see all of Maui than by helicopter? So we found a place that would take us all above Maui and over to Molokai, which was located at the airport.
WOW!! I knew it would be a great and scenic trip, but I had no idea how great, and we had front row seats to it all. The waterfalls looked as though they were a mile high and the color of the water next to the green mountains was indescribable. Some of the spaces we flew through, between mountain ranges, were so narrow I found myself sucking in my breath!

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Us in our funny looking headsets, but at least we could talk to each other

We flew in between mountain ranges super close together

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One day while we were sitting outside a beautiful hawk landed about 50 feet from us

Cody helping Frank drive the golf cart around TGO, glad to have us home

Ummmm, Mama, what is this thing you brought back from Hawaii??

Look close at the amazing colors of her feathers.

January 16th - It's Good to Be Home - The Great Outdoors -
As fun as Island Life was, it quickly came to our realization that the extent of traveling from one side of the land in Maui to the other is about 180 miles. And only available to cars. The extent of traveling from one side of the mainland to the other, is endless. So we will stay where to roads go on forever and our gigantic motorhome can take pretty much all of them. Not to mention we are back in the presence of our sweet feathered friends who missed us greatly. And some amazing feathered friends that we missed seeing soaring overhead. Our birds were so happy to see us when we returned, and they are not letting us out of their sight too long, for fear we may escape again.

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We arrive for our week at Disney World, staying at Fort Wilderness. From the beach here you can watch Magic Kingdom's fireworks

Our annual passes and Fast Passes are all set up on our Magic Bands and we are ready for a week of fun

Our tranquil campsite with a flowing brook behind it and shade trees all around so the birds can sit outside

Outside Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Where watching EPCOT's fireworks is AWESOME!

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February 9th - Hello Walt Disney World -
Frank's dad is here visiting us for a couple weeks, so we decided to do everything Florida-ish! And what isn't more Florida-like than spending an entire week at Walt Disney World! We made reservations at Fort Wilderness Resort, a beautiful RV park that is in the middle of the magic. From here, we can take a boat, a bus, a car, or a bike and explore the entire 40 square miles of Disney World, yes, 40 square miles! That's pretty much the size of San Francisco! Needless to say, within these 40 square miles they have everything you can possibly imagine to do on vacation, and we plan on hitting as many of these things as humanly possible within the next 7 days. Who needs sleep?
Frank and I have had annual passes for Disney World each year during the time we spend in Florida over the last few years, so we pretty much know what to hit, what to miss, what we want to see/visit and haven't, and where the best places to play tourist are.

Making Mickey Mouse eggs on the grill each morning got us in the Disney spirit

The best part of these annual passes is that Disney now offers wonderful little bracelets called Magic Bands that let you link your tickets, set up Fast Passes (which translates to being able to go on three big rides each day per park and pretty much jump in the front of the line and avoid the 30 minute to 90 minute wait the average tourist has to wait! YIPPEE!!) Day One included checking into Fort Wilderness, and taking a boat ride over to a couple of the elaborate hotels that sprinkle the property of Walt Disney World. Next stop was hitting the giftshop where Frank's dad stocked up on t-shirts for the week, and I bought a couple Mickey cooking tins to make our week of Disney even more festive.

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Headed to the Magic Kingdom via the monorail

The entrance to the Magic Kingdom is steps away

We introduced Frank's dad to sushi, and he loved it

The view from the restaurant was all of the Magic Kingdom below! Awesome!

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February 11th - The Fun Continues - Exploring the Magic -
Today we hit The Magic Kingdom, rode every single ride we wanted since we somehow lucked out on picking a week where the lines are short and the people are scarce, which makes it nice when you want to hit the big rides once, twice or three times in a day. The Magic Kingdom is pretty much identical to Disneyland, for those of you who have been to Mickey's California home, except that it's missing the Matterhorn, and Indiana Jones. Don't worry too much, we do have both those activities out here, only our Matterhorn is about 20 years newer, called Everest, has super realistic Yetis and is a lot more fun and interactive than the West Coast version.

And then back for the fireworks show and parade! Color me happy!

The song from the Electrical Parade makes my inner child smile ear to ear

Our Indiana Jones is quite different as well, since it is an actual stunt show, which I personally don't like as much as the California 4-wheelin' Jeep version. Another thing similar to California's Disneyland is Fantasmic, however it's in another park. But something very different that we have and the Cali park doesn't? The California Grill. It is an amazing restaurant located on the 15th floor of the Contemporary Hotel and looks out over the entire Magic Kingdom, two enormous hotels, lots of waterways, and a skyline like nothing you have ever seen before. And if you're lucky enough to catch it at sunset, and get a table by the window, you'll be hard up to find a more beautiful view anywhere on this continent, at least that we've seen so far. After dinner we headed back to Magic Kingdom and watched one of my favorite things since childhood... The Main Street Electrical Parade! Just thinking about the song makes me grin and brings back fun family memories.

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Next stop - Animal Kingdom

Animals lurking all around us on Kilimanjaro Safari including this giraffe that stopped traffic

Then... Disney's Hollywood Studio's

A shoot out in outer space aboard Buzz Lightyear's space ships

February 14th - A Great Place to Spend Valentine's Day -
Over the last few days, we have visited all the other non water parks in the World of Disney, including Animal Kingdom, where our traffic on the Safari was literally stopped by a giraffe, and where we saw a male and female lion walking through the Serengeti. We had a lazer gun fight with Emperor Zurg and the little green aliens, followed by a trip over to Disney's Hollywood Studio's where we rode The Tower of Terror about 42 times, hung out with Aerosmith on their Rockin' Roller coaster, which takes you through LA traffic at about 80 miles an hour, and finished off the evening once the sun went down with Fantasmic.
The last few days I have worn my Fitbit, which is pretty much a somewhat fancy pedometer that links to your iPhone and tells you how far you walk each day. Over the last few days we have averaged 25,000 steps each day, which translates to a little over 10 miles. No wonder once we get home each night and have dinner, we are ready for bed! What more could you ask for? Not only are we having a great vacation, but we all might get a little skinnier while having so much fun. As long as we stay out of Mexico in EPCOT.

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Fantasmic! And yes its name says it all. Fireworks, light show, stunts, lasers

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A selfie at Dale Sr.'s memorial. Frank's dad favorite driver of all time

Front row seats at a Dale Jr. interview. It paid of getting here early just to see how happy his dad was to watch this

Time to get some souvenirs, For those of you long time parrottrek followers, this might look a little familiar

Third row seats, with views of three turns, and a straight shot of Pit Row!

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February 23rd - A Surprise Trip to The Daytona 500 -
All throughout his trip to Florida, Frank's dad has been glancing at the TV guide, making sure our humble selection of TV channels will have The Daytona 500. Frank and I aren't big TV watchers, so we don't subscribe to any service. However with 4 dozen channels on free cable, we usually have more than our share of shows to watch, when we desire. As the days towards the Great Race ticked down, we could tell his dad was getting a little nervous about missing it. Reassuring him that we would find a place to watch it, he perked up. Our original "plan" or at least what we told him, was we would head to one of the local restaurants and see it on the big screen TV.

He can hardly believe he is here,and the weather looks good... ... so far

Standing outside the HUGE facility that holds the race

It was just a matter of choosing which place to watch. This morning, bright and early, 4:30am early, we turned on all the lights in his room and announced that we had in fact found a place to watch the race. As he groggily woke up, and asked where, we produced three tickets to the event that just happens to be about 45 minutes away from our house. He looked like a five year old on Christmas day that had just met Santa himself. We all quickly got dressed, grabbed some breakfast and got in the car a little before 7:00, since the gates opened at 8:00 on the dot.

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The cars go zipping by us, and each time our hats almost blow off

We rented a device that let us see Dale's in car camera, and listen to him talk to his spotter

After a brief rain delay... of 6 hours! The race finally starts again

Hooorayyy!!! His favorite driver wins the race. We couldn't have planned a better day

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Hail! Hail! The Gang's all Here! Great friends come from the west

The buses all got a bath, after their cross country drive

A perfect day for a long kayak and nature tour

Wildlife all around, including this gorgeous great horned owl

March 1st - The Hansons Hit The Great Outdoors -
For all you longtime readers of parrottrek.com will recognize a couple of the faces in the above photos. Our dear, long time friends Kurt and Philly, who we used to travel the country with and wreak in little bit of havoc with. Together, the four of us have seen more of the country in 5 years than most people will see in two lifetimes, and boy was it fun. Since we have slowed our travels down a bit, and Kurt and Philly haven't, we have been lucky enough to still cross paths a few times a year, and on this trip they brought our friends Lee and Kathy with them.
Their week long visit included the motorhomes getting a bath to remove all the dirt that their cross country trip accumulated, a rented six passenger golf cart on which we put about 200 miles on and a fun kayak trip along the Banana River where our guide told us all about the nature that surrounds us and why all the bushes are different shades of green. Frank and I unfortunately had to hop on a plane and head to California before our friends left town, so hopefully when we return TGO is still standing.

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Don't we look like a bunch of studious folks? Good thing we can fool y'all

All our fellow newbies with Good Sam. We are going to rock this continent this summer

I met some of the greatest ladies this week

A group shot with the panoramic setting of my iPhone

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March 10th - Good Sam Training - Oxnard, California -
This summer we are going to embark on a new adventure. We have been offered a position with Good Sam. This will entail driving throughout parts of New England rating various campgrounds and RV resorts. There is this ginormous book, which looks like a phonebook on steroids, that has a description and rating of pretty much every RV park in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, and there are about 36 couples that each have a territory somewhere on the North American continent. We were able to spend this week training for our new endeavor with the other new couples that will be heading out to their own territory this spring and summer. And as luck would have it, the home office and training grounds for Good Sam, just happen to be in Oxnard, California, a town about 40 minutes from where I grew up and a little over an hour to Frank's home town. What could be better than to have to take a trip home? Since the training goes from Monday- Friday, Good Sam let us tack on a few days before and after in order to spend some quality time with friends and family around our training schedule, and agreed to fly us into Santa Barbara instead of LAX.

Thanks to all our all Good Sam support team in California for a wonderful week. You sure know how to treat people well!

This made for a quick pick up from my dad, and will cut down greatly on our transportation to and from the airport, let alone having to check in on our return home. All the support staff at Good Sam has been awesome this week. They treated us all like kings, they put us up in a nice hotel, fed us such great meals, I may not be able to return to common life again, and have told us they are there for any issues that come up while on our travels. We learned so much this week, and are even more excited about trek up north. The only I hope for is that the snow in Connecticut and Rhode Island melt before the middle of June.

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Something you don't see in Florida, hills! What a great cross training for Frank and his up and coming 170 mile ride

Frank's California bike. Our good friend Joe found him a killer deal on Craigslist. This one is even nicer than his current one

Here come the boys. Since I didn't have a bike, I drove the SAG vehicle, quite a bit easier than peddling 100 miles

A bar-b-que at John's after the ride. I love how time stands still with friendship between our visits

100 Miles of Fun - The Solvang Century -
As Frank continues his training for the Cross Florida Ride, which will consist of pedaling his road bike from Cocoa Beach to Tampa Bay and covering 170 miles in one day, he couldn't say no the joining his pack of boys in California and riding in the Solvang Century, which seems like a joy ride now in comparison to what is coming up. The difference of pedaling in California and in Florida is pretty big. California you have some gnarly hills, which will push even the most in shape rider, but the up-side is that you get to coast downhill and rest your weary legs once you hit the top. pedaling in the flatlands of Florida might sound easier, but when you realize there is no down time at all and you are literally pedaling the entire time you are in the saddle, it's hard to distinguish which is preferable.
A good friend of ours who buys and sells bikes on Craigslist found Frank a gen of a bike, one that he likes even more than his one back home in Florida, so that made for an even better ride. Since I didn't have wheels to my avail, I played SAG (supplies and gear) vehicle for the 6 of them and carried enough water, food, spare parts, and accessories to mend anything that might have happened on their ride.

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A walk along the beach at Hendry's Beach, one of my childhood stomping grounds

We stopped for lunch at The Boathouse, for a delish lunch and perfect weather

A picture perfect view on a clear summer-like day in Santa Barbara

My dad and his Juliana celebrate three years together. I love them dearly

March 17th - A Weekend of Happiness - Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara on a Monday afternoon pretty much translates to having the beach to yourself, especially in the middle of what is called winter. I apologize to those of you who are buried in snow right now, but we are loving this west coast weather and plan to spend the day outside, and what better place to hang out than Hendry's Beach where half of my summers as a kid and teenager were spent. W walked along the beach and realized that our stomach were growling as loud as the waves were crashing, so we stopped off at The Boathouse for lunch and spent a lazy afternoon watching the surf.
Later this evening we went to dinner with my dad, his sweetheart Juliana, her daughter and son-in-law. Three years ago, after both loosing their lifelong loves, these two delightful people met while walking in a Montecito park one day, struck up a conversation about her dogs and the nice day. After four or five chance meetings, my dad finally got up the nerve to ask her out to lunch, and the two of them have been dear friends ever since. Watching and listening to these two love birds talk and interact warms my heart beyond description, and I thank the stars that they found each other.

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Frank at mile 134, and still going strong. He met up with a group of other riders.

Frank at the starting line, waiting to begin the 170 mile ride across Florida

His new jersey with all three birds on it, and a lucky number

These markers were painted all along the roads to lead riders across Florida

April 6th - Frank Pedals His Heart Out - Spacecoast Freewheelers Ride Across Florida -
170 miles, well 167.89 miles to be exact, is the distance that it takes you to get from one coast of Florida to the other, assuming you don't hit any major freeways or Interstates. How did we find this out you ask? This is the distance that Frank and 240 other cyclists road today with The Spacecoast Freewheelers, a bicycle club here in our town. The ride began at 7:00 in the morning from Alan Shephard Park in Cocoa Beach, which is on the Atlantic side of Florida, followed numerous side streets, cobblestone roads, neighborhood blocks, and small highways, many of them quite scenic, and ended up by the Gulf of Mexico at Bayport Park. Frank has been training pretty hard for this over the last few months, which has included various Centuries (100 mile rides) along with his Saturday rides of 60 miles and Sunday rides of 40 miles. In between these long rides, his weekday evenings were sprinkled with 20-30 mile rides.
Knowing that a 170 mile ride would take almost all he had in him and more, we, along with two great friends and one pooch, packed up everything we could possibly think of that he might need in these 10 or so hours in the van, and had the van accessible to him every 20 or so miles. The ride started out with a police escort through the busy streets of Cocoa Beach which was great since this allowed the group of cyclists to not have to stop for one red light. Once the roads got smaller and less trafficked, the six police cars and motorcycles let them all loose. We would stop our SAG (Support and Gear) vehicle every couple dozen miles, and let Frank choose when to stop and when to not. In the early miles of the race he and his group of riders would usually cruise right on past us, but as the miles ticked away, and the warmth of the day kicked in, the times they pulled off increased, which was precisely why we were there. A little over 9 hours of pedaling time (and 10 1/2 hours with stops), Frank finally saw the greatest sight he could imagine... the finish line! He cruised into the finish line a little after 5:30pm with the biggest smile I think I have ever seen on his face, and the most proud SAG team out there. After getting his legs used to walking again, we had a delicious dinner that the Freewheelers had set up with lots of protein, carbs and a victory t-shirt! Since we were over 2 hours of driving time away and sitting still that long would not be good for his legs, we stayed in a hotel close to the finish line and spent most of the evening in the jacuzzi. And we are happy to report that the next day Frank's legs were still in working order. And I am even happier to report, he plans on doing the ride again next year.

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The minivan loaded up with everything imaginable that he might need on his ride, including a back up bike

Frank's support team - Me, Cindy, Tim and our mascot Rocco followed him in the van the whole way

Hooray!!! He finished 170 miles in just over 9 hours! Way to go Frank!

He has been waiting and training for this moment for months! Follow the arrow to a great dinner!

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Dinner on a beautiful Florida day overlooking the water with friends

The boys enjoy on of our last days together in Florida

Aaacckkk! Cindy and I have been abducted by giant alligators! HELP!

There is nothing quite as amazing as a Florida sunset with all the colors

April 9th - Saying Goodbye to The Sunshine State -
As the time here in Florida ticks away, and our new summer adventure looms in front of us, we made sure we got together one last time with as many friends as possible. This evening a group of us met at New York, New York, a great little tiki restaurant on the Indian river with unbelievable views of all the rocket launches that go off at Kennedy Space Center. Since there wasn't a launch scheduled for tonight we had to suffer through only having the views of the water and all the wildlife around us. We've heard a few rumors that there are some places here in Florida the wildlife greatly outweighs the people, but lucky for us the only ones we ran into this week were made of plastic, Whew!!

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We headed to Prevost to get an oil change and a check up on the coach

45,000 lbs of steel 7 feet in the air with a mechanic inspecting the underneath, quite a sight

We got a clean bill of health on the coach and are officially on the road with Good Sam

Savannah Georgia, our first stop, and a great place to relax and plan our up and coming workload

April 17th - Color Us Happy - We're On The Road Again -
We have been so excited about this day for a few months now. Ever since we got the call to ask us to join The Good Sam group of rep teams that scurry all about the country visiting and rating RV parks, we have been planning our summer travels and looking forward to exploring and working in New England. In anticipation of working on the road again and putting all sorts of new miles on the coach, we set up an appointment at Prevost in Jacksonville to get an oil change and a "check up" to make sure there aren't any issues that might hold us back from completing our mission. Also while planning our trip, we came across a "Good Sam" mascot to help us along the way. Wish us well as we hit the road again and explore a part of the country that we have only, up to this point, glimpsed at.

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Posing with the 97 foot tall and 77 ton Pedro that welcomes you to South of the Border

Riding a giant jackalope while being chased by a miniature dinosaur

The world's tallest sombrero, as they say... everything is bigger in Texas

A helicopter passes us as we drive down the highway

April 20th - Camp Pedro - South of The Border - Dillon, South Carolina -
All throughout our travels, we have seen huge signs all along I-20 telling travelers they must stop at South of the Border for all the activities they have. Some signs are right side up, some signs are upside down, but each sign is unique and looks hand made. All throughout our travels we have been curious what this place is like. The signs state that there are "great restaurants", "fun to be had by all ages" "an alligator petting zoo", "Camp Pedro", "the tallest sombrero in the world", but the one that intrigued us most was "Drive through Pedro's legs".... .... Hmmmm!?! How tall is this Pedro guy? (I think to myself). Since the day is almost half over, and we don't have any plans on being anywhere for a few days, we decided to pull off the highway and check out South of the Border ourselves. We checked in at Camp Pedro and walked across the street where all the attractions are. We didn't have a chance to drive through Pedro's legs, but we did walk through them and stopped to take a self portrait with him holding is big welcoming sign. Next stop was the tallest sombrero, which was Pedro's creative way of painting one of his water towers, the other one has S.O.B. in huge letters, and before you get offended please realize that it doesn't stand for what pops in your mind. Nope! It stands for what else? South of the Border. We had dinner here, which wasn't terrible, but I would suggest that they get someone who actually knows how to make real enchiladas. Other than the lack of true authentic Mexican food, we had a fun evening with Pedro and all his animals.

April 21st - Virginia Beach, Virginia -
So I must admit that as we approach our area of the country to be let loose on the RV parks of the northeast, a few butterflies are kicking in. Lucky for us, there are over two dozen other couples who work for Good Sam who have been in our shoes of their inaugural year and are now somewhere between their 2nd and 24th year of roaming the country helping RV parks market themselves better, and wouldn't dream of doing anything else. Even luckier for us, one of these couples invited us to stop by their place for the weekend and pick their brains and ask them any last minute questions we might have. As you might have guessed we took them up on their offer before their sentence was complete and took a slight twenty minute detour to Virginia Beach.

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We spent an evening with another Good Sam couple

Their beautiful garden and views

We learned a few secrets and new ins and outs of our up and coming adventure. We also had a great time getting to know each other better and enjoying the jaw dropping views of their gardens and the waterways that surround their home. But best of all was the fact that not only does their motorhome fit in their long, long, long driveway but ours does as well, at the same time might I add. That's an RVers dream come true. Now that the butterflies have been mostly squelched, we are headed north to one more week of off time to explore some new locations and take some down time to get even more organized before we officially begin the next chapter in our traveling lives... ... ... stay tuned!

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Camped on The Eastern Shore

Not too shabby of a place to work

A nice evening by the fire

The sunsets were amazing over the water

April 22nd - The Eastern Shore of Virginia -
Observing all of our beautiful surroundings as we drive through what the locals call 'The Eastern Shore', we realize we might just have to put Maryland off for a few days and stop and enjoy some time here. After talking to a couple friends who live in the area, we decided to stay at a campground called Cherrystone, where we pretty much have the place to ourselves. This place is just what the doctor ordered. We spent our days outside looking at the tranquil waters and getting ourselves super organized for our exploration of all the campgrounds we have to hit in New Jersey. Our days were filled with phone calls to the various places we plan on staying and setting up appointments to sit down with campground owners. Our evenings were filled with a bit of exploring the area, eating at some delicious seafood spots that all had water views, enjoying some fun family time by the fire, and taking in the stunning sunsets.

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We head to Maryland via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

We notice up ahead that the road disappears... Hmmmmm!?!

All of a sudden we see a big hole in the road, which sounds crazy, but is a good thing

Into the tunnel we go, and under the water. Quite an odd feeling

Over the Bridge and Through the Water to Maryland We Go -
On all of our travels one thing we have never seen is the road disappear in front of us as we are driving on it. I've always assumed this is a good thing, right? I mean who really wants to watch the road in front of them disappear, especially into a body of water? THAT would be frightening! Unless of course there was a handy man made tunnel that took you under that large gap in the road and through the 100 foot body of water that lays between you and the next visible roadway. This contraption is the amazing project that was constructed in the 60's going north and the 90's going south. Each side took 4 years to build and $200 million, Yikes! But on a positive note, not a single dollar of that came from tax dollars, just a few revenue bonds were sold.

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Hooray! We see the light at the end of the tunnel

And we are back above the water.

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It's official! We have now Headed to Ocean City, Maryland The balloon festival was in Just think how much crabmeat

April 24th - Under The Boardwalk - Ocean City, MD -
Our last week of relaxation before our Summer of Good Sam begins. We aren't quite sure how our schedules will be after May starts, so we are packing in as much sight-seeing as possible now. Ocean City has turned out to be a really fun place with a lot of things to do and see. The best part of it all is that most of the things are open, but the crowds aren't here yet, so we pretty much have the whole place to ourselves. We bought some fresh shrimp right off a shrimp boat the other day, took them home and cooked them up right away. They were the best tasting shrimp ever! Our evenings have been spent sitting around the fire with some neighbors cooking up marshmallows and relaxing.

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Lunch overlooking the beach Lots of rides lined the
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The boardwalk had all sorts We bought some fresh shrimp We took them home and The evening was finished off
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