Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We are home!

We are back home after being gone for almost a month!  How time flies!  We left Friday March 25, 2011 and returned today, Wednesday April 20, 2011.

We left Kissimmee, Florida to return to Canada on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. and arrived home today, Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m.  The direct drive home was 2,382 km.  It took as long as it did because we made a number of stops along the way - we are not yet very disciplined travellers, but we had fun!

We left Monroe, Michigan at 9:30 this morning, travelled about 550 km today and arrived home about 5:30 p.m.  It was really cold there, only about 40 degrees in the van when we got up.  It rained cats and dogs all night, so I was glad to be in a hotel for the night.  And it's really cold back home!  We crossed the border around lunchtime at Port Huron/Sarnia this time, and were through in about 5 minutes, so it is definitely faster than trying to cross at Detroit/Windsor.

"Bridge to Canada" sign at Port Huron.

Bridge to Canada from Port Huron to Sarnia.

Border crossing with Canadian flags!

We did a lot on this adventure - we saw Nashville, Memphis, Tupelo, Destin, and Kissimmee.  We camped, we stayed in hotels, we rented a house.  It all happened so fast, it seems like a dream!  We met up with old friends in Kissimmee, Michelle Hill and Alicia and Jordan Cox, and made new friends there too, Emily's cousin Erin and her husband Glen and their two children.  And we had a wonderful vacation with Rob and Emily!

One of the reasons I wanted to do this trip so soon after last year's was to test drive my new bionic knee, which I had had replaced in September 2010 specifically to be able to walk around Disney.  I am happy to say that the new knee is a peach!  It works great in the warmer climate.

I also wanted to definitively decide if the surgery for the second knee is absolutely necessary or not, given that I have already scheduled the surgery for September 2011.  Based on this trip, I was able to do a considerable amount of walking, severe arthritis notwithstanding, and am leaning towards cancelling the second surgery.  Before I do that though I want to evaluate it in the colder Canadian climate.

Although it is fun to go away, it is good to get back home.  Everything here is as it should be.  The ice on the lake has gone, and it seems funny to be seeing water again!  I am looking forward to putting the dock and boats in the lake, and going kayaking again!

First view of the lake water for 2011!!

Thanks for everyone's support and inquiries, and a special thanks to George for all his interest and value-added suggestions and advice for our travels and the blog itself!

I have already started to plan our next adventure!

Thanks for stopping by, and as they say at Disney, have a magical day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Roof Inn, Monroe, Michigan, near Detroit. About 45 degrees now!

We left Lexington, Kentucky wearing shorts & T-shirts.  By the end of the day, we were almost at Detroit, and now wearing long pants and sweatshirts and winter coats!  We travelled 476 km today.

We stopped to have lunch with George & Sue at their campground in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  We were there for about 2 hours, then got  back on the road again.  That was fun!

George at Wapakoneta, Ohio.

Paul & George.

Sue.

Lou & Paul in the beautiful pool area.

We have stopped in Monroe, Michigan at a Red Roof Inn that gives you dinner (pizza), breakfast, a decent room with king size bed and easy chair and desk, wifi, fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and is pet friendly, all for $49.00!  Cheaper than some of the campgrounds we have been in, and a lot warmer!  Apparently they had snow here yesterday!

We drove through a lot of windy rainy weather today, so were travelling a little slower than usual.  I took a photo of the stormy sky at 9 a.m. as we left Kentucky, and that was before the storms started.

Stormy sky at 9 a.m. near Lexington, Ky.

We hope to have a decent day for travelling and to be back home tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Days Inn just north of Lexington, Kentucky. Mid-70's today!

It was only 64 degrees in the van this morning when we got up.  Abby crawled into the sleeping bag with me about 4 a.m. because she was cold!  So we put the heater on for a few minutes to take the chill off!

We left at 8:30 a.m., travelled through Georgia (Atlanta traffic is horrible), then into Tennessee and finally stopped at 7:30 p.m. just north of Lexington, Kentucky.  Since the weather is a bit cooler, and Paul has a cold again, we decided to hotel tonight.  We travelled about 745 km today.

Bandit travelled in the sink again for most of the day, funny little guy!  We saw some beautiful scenic mountains in north Georgia and Tennessee.

Sink Bandit, giving me "the look"!

Georgia mountains.

Tennessee mountains.

More Tennessee mountains.

Stinking Creek Road!

Elvis in the Tennessee Mountains.


The weather has been mid-70's today, but cooled off noticeably about 6:00 p.m.

Tomorrow we'll continue heading north on I75, with a plan to be home probably Wednesday.

Thanks for stopping by, have a magical day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

KOA campground in Forsyth, Georgia. Mid-70's temperatures all day!

"On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again..."


We left our rental house in Kissimmee, Florida at about 10:15 this morning.  As soon as we started stacking things by the door, the kit kats very quietly went into their travel crates and waited.  They did not want to be left behind!


Kit kats are packed and ready to go!

We got an e-mail from Rob at about 2:30 in the morning saying they arrived safely after a delay on the runway in Orlando.  We miss them already!  And are going to miss the hot sunny Florida weather and good times!

We drove 611 km today.  Weather was warm (mid 70's) and sunny all day, beautiful!

We stopped and made our lunch in Ocala, Florida, where we met a couple from Baden, Ontario (Karen & Helmut).  They saw our Ontario plates and came and introduced themselves, and we discussed our RV's for a couple of minutes.  Theirs is a 2004 Leisure Travel 210B on a Sprinter chassis, so a class B similar to ours but a bit bigger.  They bought it used a couple of weeks ago.  They said it is from Manitoba.  I want to investigate this unit a bit more, it looks very nice.

During the drive today, Bandit re-discovered his own little spot in the sink and was quite content to snooze there most of the day.  Abby curled up in her favorite spot in her travel crate and barely said a word all day!

Bandit in the sink!

Sink Bandit!

We were tentatively planning to camp north of Atlanta today, but by 7 p.m. decided to stop at the KOA campground in Forsyth, which is between Macon and Atlanta, Georgia.  Nice little place with a catch & release fishing pond.  And they brought us warm home-made cookies about 15 minutes after we got set up as a thank you for choosing their campground.  They also provide free coffee in the morning, and have a wonderful-smelling pizza place at their office.

Fishing pond.

We will hit the road again tomorrow and see how far we get.  We plan to be home Tuesday or Wednesday.  We don't have a definite route planned yet, we are just moseying north on I75.

Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rental house on Sunset Lakes Blvd., Kissimmee. 85 degrees today!

Today we all went to the Florida Mall to shop.  It is about half an hour away, and has I think several hundred stores.  The coolest one was M&M World, devoted to M&M candies!

Lou at M&M World!

Inside M&M World.

M&M Chess Set.

Rob & Emily intended to go back to Downtown Disney, but opted instead to relax by the pool on their last day here.  It was very nice out, mid-80's and sunny!

Rob relaxing by the pool.

Emily swimming.

Rob has Abby in his arms!

They had a snack about 5 p.m. before they left to go to the airport and return the rental car.  Their flight leaves around 9 p.m. and they get in to Toronto Airport around midnight.  They'll have time tomorrow to rest after today's long day.

After they left, Paul & I started packing up to get ready to leave tomorrow morning.

It has been a great trip.  We have had a great time, and enjoyed visiting with them.  We have however been away for nearly a month and are ready to head for home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rental house on Sunset Lakes Blvd., Kissimmee. 85 degrees today!

This morning, Rob & Emily left early to go back to the Magic Kingdom.  Right after they left, Bandit was having a fit looking out the window at a gecko!

Bandit and the gecko on the screen outside.

We got an e-mail from Jim Hill early this morning saying he was having tooth problems and would not be able to join us for dinner as planned.  As it turned out, Michelle, Alicia and Jordan came for dinner (pizza) and left about 9:45 p.m.  We were disappointed to have missed seeing Jim, but had a good time with Michelle, Alicia and Jordan.

Rob, Emily, Alicia, Jordan

Michelle


Pizza for dinner!

In the meantime, Paul & I went back to Downtown Disney to shop.  We had lunch at the Earl of Sandwich, and came home around 2:30 p.m. 

Earl of Sandwich

Paul at the Earl of Sandwich.

Fulton's Crab House.

Donald & Daisy Duck.

Brooms from Fantasia.

Lego serpent.

After a brief rest, I went out to pick up a couple of groceries, and shortly after I returned our company arrived.

We are all tired from another full day in the sunny south.  Having a great time though!
Two princesses!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rental house on Sunset Lakes Blvd., Kissimmee. 85 degrees today!

Paul started the day by going fishing, and caught a nice large bass (catch & release), so he was very happy!

Paul with the bass he caught.

While he was doing that, I did a couple of loads of laundry.  Once he got home, we went to the pet store to get a new collar for Bandit because his was broken.

We came home and made lunch, rested for a bit, then went to Downtown Disney to shop for about an hour.

Rob & Emily resting by the pool.


Downtown Disney entrance.

Crystal Castle for sale at Downtown Disney.

Castle & figures for sale at Downtown Disney.

We came back home, then went to meet Emily's cousin Erin, her husband Glen and kids Alexis & Dylan.  They are renting a huge 7 bedroom house in the next subdivision over from us. 

We had a very nice visit, then came home.  Paul barbecued chicken for me, and I baked a potato and cooked some asparagus for my dinner.  Rob, Emily & Paul ordered takeout steak from the Outback Steakhouse.  They were all happy to have their Outback steaks.  Paul and Rob had theirs rare, and they looked raw to me, but they enjoyed them.

Tomorrow I want to go back to spend more time at Downtown Disney.  Paul wants to go fishing again.  Rob & Emily plan to go to a Disney park again.  And at dinner time, we are expecting Jim and Michelle and Alicia and Jordan.

Another full day in the sunny south!

Have a Magical Day!

Rental house on Sunset Lakes Blvd., Kissimmee. 85 degrees today!

This post is for Wednesday, April 13.  We went to the House of Mouse and by the time we got home, it was too late to be bloggin'!

Cinderella's Castle

Our friend Alicia arrived at our house at about 8:30 a.m., and we all went to the Magic Kingdom for the day.  By the time we left the house and got to the park it was about 9:30 a.m.  We walked all over the park till finally at about 5:30 p.m. we left to go home for a bite to eat, planning to return to the park in time for the 9 p.m. Main Street Electrical Parade (Spectromagic Parade is not running at this time, Disney has instead substituted Main Street Electrical Parade).

Alicia & Emily went on the roller-coaster type rides - Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain.  They had a great time.  We also went on the Railroad that circles the park (to minimize the walking from the entrance to the rides), the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion (TWICE! of course), It's a Small World (Emily & I), the Mad Hatter Party (the teacup ride), the Tomorrowland PeopleMover, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin!

Alicia, Emily & Rob on the train.

Paul & Lou on the train.

Splash Mountain.


Big Thunder Mountain Railway.

Jungle Cruise.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Haunted Mansion.

It's a Small World.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party Teacup Ride.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Ride.

We stopped long enough for lunch at Pecos Bill's in Frontierland, where they made a gluten-free salad for me.  And late in the afternoon we paused to have lemonade & lemonade-raspberry slushies, which were great!

We had a quick bite to eat at home around 6:30, some leftovers I had prepared the day before, then went back to the park at about 8:00 p.m.  We watched the parade on Main Street, then made our way out of the park, watching the fireworks as we left.

Cinderella's Castle at night.

Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade.

Parade float.

Needless to say we were all exhausted when we got home after this magical day!

Paul & Lou in front of castle.

Rob & Emily in front of castle.

Paul & Lou, Rob & Emily in front of castle.

Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse in front of Cinderella's Castle.

Thanks for stopping by, have a Magical Day!