Sunday, March 8, 2020

Update: We Arrive

So, first off please excuse me for not having written for the past couple of days. It took me a little while to regain my sunny disposition (only kidding) But we did have a couple more “adventures” and I thought you might be growing tired of them so I decided to wait until I could share them in a spirit of good cheer. So here goes.

Now where were we? In South Carolina I do believe. So once we left South Carolina (where our parting gift was being told by the campground management — a campground that we have stayed at repeatedly over the years— that it was South Carolina state law that all dogs must be on leashes at all times — this after we had played ball with the dogs on a gigantic lawn area well removed from all the other campers for like literally seven minutes of that — after having been ratted out by a nasty-looking woman with four ill-behaved boxers who were also off-leash but inside the tiny campground pet area yet jumping like gazelles to get at our dogs) we proceeded to north Florida. Jacksonville specifically. The drive there was thankfully uneventful. The wind that had been a problem abated and the traffic wasn’t so bad so we had a good day. As for the campground Russell had warned me not to expect much. This place apparently was his third or perhaps fourth choice (this being March in Florida campgrounds are tending to the full side of the spectrum).  The “campground” was basically a trailer park/mobile home park on the less desirable side of town. However, having said that it was not as bad as that might sound even though that is indeed an accurate description of what it was. Oh, and did I mention the four lane state highway out front and the fact that the vast majority of the folks staying there were residents and not travelers? No, I thought I might have forgotten to mention that. But hey buck up you latte-drinking city slickers y’all know me, I’m down with the people — I can handle this, no problem. Heavy sigh.
From my seat
Only $150 because of credit card authorization NOT because we were full!

So, that night, Russell asks me where the keys to the car are to which I confidently reply that they are in the dashboard drawer which is where he had explained to me that he wanted them kept. For sure I had put them there right after I turned off the car from re-charging the battery when we arrived at the campground (this is one of my assigned duties if you will). So we sleep and the next morning I go to get the keys so I can put the car into the proper mode for towing. Only problem is that they are not in the drawer where I had confidently declared that they would be. Strange. So I go to the car. And the door is unlocked. Also strange. Are the keys in the car? Why, yes they are! Huh. That’s really odd. Did I ...leave the car running? Did I forget to turn the car off after I turned it on to re-charge the batteries? I try to start the car. Nothing. Has the car run out of gas? Oh no! This is not good. “Uhmmm, Russell. Can you come over here for a second? You see ... the thing is ... you remember when I said the keys were ...and now it won’t ... it might be out of gas” Russell, to his credit, doesn’t freak out on me (in large part because he is pre-occupied with some other pressing matter the nature of which I cannot recall right now) but he also quickly concludes that the car is not, in fact, out of gas, but rather that the battery is dead for apparently I did not even start the car to re-charge the battery in the first place. So, my malfeasance actually preceded what I had supposed! Amazing. Usually I overestimate my degree of culpability but in this instance I actually underestimated it. Impressive.  Anyhow, we got a “jump” from a nice guy who I think worked for the trailer park but I’m not totally sure. He didn’t want to take any money but I think Russell was able to get him to accept some. I sure hope so because he helped us out but even so we were not able to get on the road until eleven because we had to wait twenty minutes to let the battery re-charge (but it was actually probably more like fifteen minutes a detail which will become important later on). tape — it’s the new band-aid!
Don’t buy a new RV if stuff like this going to drive you crazy

The drive from Jacksonville to our final destination the Palm Beach Motor Coach Resort in Jupiter was stressful. For one thing the wind was back up again and this mini bus doesn’t handle too well in the wind. Russell is used to driving luxury coaches with three axles and this one only has two and it’s very top heavy plus there is a lot of play in the steering which makes keeping the vehicle in its lane in the wind a challenge. Add that to traffic and drivers who cannot maintain a consistent speed and you’ve got yourself a whole bunch of stress. But we arrived. Alive. And with our remaining nineteen fingers intact. Hah. So that’s a good thing.
Our current campsite 

The campground is nice. Most people would say it’s very very nice. And it is. But to be honest I’ve seen better. Not many mind you but still the design is kind of basic (one big loop) with lots going off on both sides and a big artificial lake in the middle complete with the requisite illuminated fountain. It’s a own/rent situation so some of the owners are beginning to invest in improving their lots with landscaping and lighting. In other places like this they have cabanas that are outfitted with all kinds of amenities or landscaping and pavers that are way over the top. Even custom golf carts. People are crazy. Anyway they can compete they will. It’s all about showing off. There is some of that here, of course, but it hasn’t gotten too out of control which now that I think about it is a good thing though if you are just dropping in I got to tell you that the out-of-control, “can you top this?” competition is pretty fun to gawk at (and criticize) for a week or so but I digress. Land is at left — the wine store at right says it’s “Open for Business”
Note temp on dashboard display — 90 degrees today

So we arrived. And it’s a nice place. Palm trees. Crabgrass. Expensive RVs. Rules. Gates. You get the picture. We are in site 37. It’s a back-in. So we have to disconnect the car. No problem. Except ... the car is dead — again. So we need a jump — again.  And we’ve only just arrived and we look like two rubes who don’t know how to properly tow a car (because if you knew how to tow a car properly it wouldn’t be dead on arrival) but never mind that sir can we just get a jump for our 2015 Subaru from your hundred thousand dollar Escalade? Idiots. But he does it and that’s great. (Later we find out from our friend that the car requires at least forty-five minutes to properly recharge the battery) 
Russell backs into the site but not before he receives a few dirty looks from the neighbors after he turns the wheel too sharply and goes way up onto the grass. Ooops. There goes that perfect landscaping. Oh well it’s Florida wait five minutes it’ll grow back. 
So, I decide to take the dogs for a walk and at some point yet another crisis develops — the mystery of the non-functioning toilet. This, although never fully expressed to me, seems to have gained a fair bit of urgency I’m guessing now from having recently been used, let’s just say. And I think we all know that I was taking a walk with the dogs, right? So ... the toilet isn’t working and it’s a crisis and Russell is on the phone with the RV manufacturer — their emergency line but all of their operators are assisting other callers please wait on the line your call is important to us and I have been ordered (and I do mean ordered) to call the RV park office to get their electrician to come. The park electrician arrives and he is clearly perplexed about how he is supposed to help with a plumbing-related situation inside someone’s coach let alone a someone who maybe is just a little bit intense and the plumber guy isn’t the sort of person who is inclined to be that helpful anyway and he may also be just a little bit homophobic too so he decides to skeedaddle PDQ. Which forces Mr. Russell to put back on his thinking cap and this time for real because it doesn’t look like the cavalry is going to be riding in to save the day anytime soon. To whit he discovers a loose wire which he unplugs then plugs back in and voila problem solved. Hallelujah.

So, that was our arrival here at the Palm Beach Motor Coach Resort. What, you may ask, have we been doing since we arrived?A legitimate question, for sure. One for which I’m afraid I haven’t a great answer. Decompressing mostly which I think we can all agree was very much needed. We’ve both been needlepointing. And we’ve gone to do some errands. I took the dogs to the dog park today. It was quite a lovely dog park too. So lucky that these places exist now. I’m telling you when I lived in Fairmount thirty years ago there was nothing. Now they have these dog parks with agility set-ups and benches and dog fountains and doggie bathing facilities. It’s amazing. So nice. Anyhow, we’ve been taking the dogs for a lot of walks. And they went to get their hair done. OMG — they looked so good afterwards. Especially Winnie! She was like a different dog. So elegant and beautiful. And Tigger was so white. They did a really nice job and they were super nice. But let me tell you two dogs (especially one that’s only a little over a year old) in a modest-sized RV is a whole lot of dog! And I’m not really used to having them around me twenty-four, seven. It’s a lot.

In fact, it’s a lot of togetherness. I got to be honest. I like my space and it can be hard sometimes. But Russell is good. He puts on his headphones and he watches TV on his tablet so I can read or do needlepoint in peace and quiet and that works well for me (and I hope for him as well, at least he says it does!) But that time he says, and I agree, is sort of our “separate time” even though we may actually be physically in the same space. Also I tend to stay up later in the evening so I can read while he sleeps and he very kindly has learned how to go to sleep with me having the light on.

Anyhow back to what we’ve been doing. Today, and you will never believe this, but today we went to a needlepoint store. I know. Too ridiculous but I did not bring enough thread with me to complete my ANG project. I do not know what I was thinking. Well, clearly I wasn’t thinking or I would have brought an adequate amount. But not to worry we found a lovely store in Stuart, FL call Needlepoint Land and the owner Erin was really nice to us and I found loads of thread to finish my piece. It was so nice because we don’t always get such a warm reception at needlepoint stores. I know it’s hard to believe but there are people out there who don’t like us (even me!) and well we won’t go there but Erin was really nice and she showed us her grandmother’s needlework and her mom’s needlework and it was just amazing. So if you are ever in the Stuart, FL area, stop in to see her. It’s a nice shop and she’s a nice person. And she’s got a good selection of thread.

Well I’ve talked too much. First nothing and now all this! It’s too much. Give us a break. I know, I know. Sorry. I’ll try to keep it briefer tomorrow. Briefer. That’s a funny word. I wonder if it is a word. Maybe I should say more brief. Probably safer. I’ll try to keep it more brief tomorrow. No briefer. I think briefer. What do you think? You know what? I am going to be succinct tomorrow. There. Good night.


  1. I was beginning to wonder if you guys were ok. But, I was hoping that no news is good news. And, it's generally good news especially for your gorgeous dogs! It is a dog's life after all. The camp ground sounds nice. And, with a needlepoint store and wine, you deserve a rest! Enjoy.

  2. Thanks for the update - it’s good to know that you’ve arrived! First things first- I agree with ‘briefer’ vs ‘more brief’. Now that we have that important grammatical issue issue sorted out, let’s talk about how beautiful the dogs look. Wow!

    A note to Russell - I recommend the Dream Zone sleep mask for surviving life with one who shares your bed and must read/watch tv after you want to go to sleep....

  3. Welcome! I started to say welcome to the South! Instead, welcome to Florida! Here in Georgia, we consider Florida to be simply a place where Yankees go to enjoy some sunshine! 🥴😊I have throughly enjoyed reading about your exploits. Continue to enjoy your adventures, stay safe and avoid this durn Virus! Ciao, Joy in Saint Simons Island, Georgia.