Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Exercise and an invasion

Today, we decided it was time to exercise the motorhome. We have been sitting for 10 weeks with only cycling of the slides, jacks and running of the engine in place. It was definitely time to get all the moving parts into play. Normally, we spend a maximum of two weeks in one place, so there is no need for this kind of program. We headed out to the Gulf Islands National Seashore to enjoy the Gulf views and surf on this windy day. Halley is not allowed on the beach, so she had to be watched closely while she was outside. The last time we were here with Halley, a park ranger stopped us in the parking lot to just remind us that she could not put her paws in the sand.

We were able to enjoy the surf, run the generator and not get a fine for sandy paws. It was a nice few hours underway and lunch with a view.

When we returned I almost immediately had a conversation with one of the ladies in the park who was hobbling around with red and swollen feet. She had a nasty encounter with some red ants and was on the losing end of the meeting. Since I had a similar problem a few years ago in Brooksville, Fl, I immediately checked our campsite. Sure enough there were two fresh ant hills that had not been there yesterday. They certainly looked like the same as in Brooksville.

At the risk of offending those who think all creatures should co-exist, I immediately got out by Home Defense Max strength ant spray and sent at least several hundred ants on their way to their final reward. I have plenty of the stuff left in case I missed any.

All in all an enjoyable day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It finally happened!

The last week has seen a big change in Victoria’s mobility and curiosity about her surroundings. She is walking more steps every day and moves around the house without restriction. She has been watching the cat come and go thru the pet door to the garage for some time. She would sit in front of it and seemed to be thinking about a transit.

Today was the day that she made the big move to try the door. It was quite funny and we could not help but think about the Winnie the Pooh video where Pooh gets stuck in the rabbit hole.

There is more child proofing in the works as she expands her horizons of adventure. It must be great to have so many new things to explore with wonder and innocence.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A quick trip to Hawaii

Over the weekend, we broke out of the grandparents and house hunting modes for a short stint as snowbirds. We attended the campground Luau, which turned out to be a lot of fun. With cooperating weather with temps over 70, you could almost imagine that you were in the Islands –almost:)

The entertainment was provided by a U S Navy trained musical husband and wife team. They did a great job on the steel drums with songs from the islands, the keys and pop hits. There was dinner followed by the campground Hula dancers. They practiced for weeks before the event under the tutelage of one lady who grew up in Hawaii.

I have to mention that Anneke was one of the most colorfully dressed in the group. In a lucky find at the Salvation Army store, she found just the outfit for the occasion. I am pretty sure it was purchased originally for a cruise.

There was dancing inside and under the stars (once the overflow outside dinners moved around).

It was good to spend the evening in the RVing mode.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flirting with change

Since our return from the Netherlands, we have been concentrating on our possible lifestyle change and spending time with our granddaughter Victoria. We have spent a lot of our physical and mental energy on looking for that perfect house. While we are seriously thinking about giving up the full time lifestyle, we are still planning on traveling and exploring those many places we have not yet seen in the last five years or so, just not in the same way. We love what we do, but change is inevitable.

Having said that, the housing hunting has not been going that well. Our last experience was in 1999, when I was about to retire from the Coast Guard. Since my last duty station was overseas, we had to decide not only where we would live, but also find a job and a house. Once I had found a job, we made a quick trip to the states and found a house and made all the necessary arrangements in only four days.

This go around, there is no time pressure, as we are living in our moveable home of five years. So after over two months of on and off looking we are not much closer than when we started. Perhaps we are a bit smarter on the market here, but otherwise no closer.

During this process, we are still enjoying spending time with family. Victoria is getting to be a hand full. She is mobile now and has to be watched like a hawk. Turn your back and she is pulling stuff down on herself or taking diving lessons off the couch with Grandpa being held accountable for the black and blue injuries.

Today, we took a complete break from our schedule and sat on the beach and watched the waves braking on shore.

Tomorrow, we will hit the newest listing on the housing market.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Amsterdam trendy

Our last stop on our Netherlands trip was a hotel at Schipol Airport. This made our departure a lot easier in the morning, since we had mid AM departure. We could walk just a few minutes from the hotel to the airport. Additional we could check in the night before while shopping in the many airport stores.

After checking out the hotels near or on the airport, we settled on the CitizenM hotel, mostly because of location and cost. Some of the hotels wanted as much as 260 dollars. This relatively new chain of hotels is designed to be trendy hotel. It is also designed for primarily overnight guests. The first thing you notice when arriving is that there is no traditional check-in desk. As you enter the door, you are met by a bank of computer monitors, not unlike the new check-ins at airports. You check yourself in and create your own key.

The lobby consists of a self serve food and drink station. There are also four mini lounges with tv’s and chairs to relax. There is a computer lounge for internet access.

Upon entering your room you find a space that is as wide as the bed at the far end of the room, although it is not very far away. You see a “facility” in the open wide opaque sliding glass column for semi privacy if you feel the need. Ditto with the shower. Not a room that two relative strangers would care to share. A sink stand only a midget could love. Then you discover that the entire room’s controls are contained in the mood remote. I am sure some of those even younger than me would have a tough time making this minicomputer work. I admit that once I got the hang of it, I spent a lot of time playing with it and testing all the mood lighting.

For us, it was a fun one night stay. Long term, the restricted space would wear thin fast. If you are looking for a trendy hotel, this is apparently it! They have one downtown Amsterdam and apparently will be opening one in NYC soon.