Friday, October 20, 2006


Companion Blog!

We do not, as I have indicated before, travel all the time. While in the Tampa Bay area I am taking pictures and posting them on a new blog I initiated.....

You can take a gander at my local pics & enjoy the Tampa scenery. I know I do.....

With two weeks beginning tomorrow at "Mad Beach"......the local version of Madeira Beach......we will have lots of new picture opportunities, and also the use of my new 6.1 mega pixel camera with a nice German lens producing up to 380mm telephoto (10X) plus a 5 times digital zoom......

I will be experimenting and posting.



Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Bleeding Hearts

For those who liked the arch picture in the post is a closeup of the bleeding hearts in full bloom on the right side of the arch. I love these flowers and they bloom on and off all year, but mostly in Spring and Fall.



Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Home Sweet Home!

Between trips, and we are in that mode from now til early November, we still maintain our Tampa Home. Some of our friends have opted to sell and travel fulltime for a few years. We are not going to move to that extent. We enjoy home, and our activities in Tampa.....Elks Lodge.....Duchess' water aerobics and water volleyball, etc.

The picture is the arch over the front walk which I installed about 18 months ago, and now covered in Confederate Jasmine and Bleeding Hearts. It has been one of my gardening successes. I never dreamed it would cover so fast, and in fact I have to re-weave and trim the thing about every two weeks currently. (The plants along the sidewalk in front of the arch are crotans...There are at least three types)

While examining the picture a sharp eye will also note the evidence of my major yard problem......brown pine needles on the roof. Our yard has two huge Oak at left of the picture and one behind the house. In addition we have a stand of some 8-9 60-80 foot pines. These beauties drop pine needles year around, and also from time-to-time drop 20-30 foot limbs! Twice in recent years the limbs have wiped out our electric power to the house. The roof has to be de-needled at least twice yearly. I won't even begin with what the needles do to the guttering and downspouts.

Enough of this, as it does not relate to my RV stories....however, it does perhaps give the reader a sense of our overall life.....we love the road, but also our Tampa base.....especially in non-hurricane-producing years such as this one has been!

Have a great week.



Friday, October 06, 2006


How the Campgrounds Vary!

The differences are remarkable, and sometimes relate to type of campground....sometimes to the owner/operator.

This weekend we stayed at "Silver Springs Campers Gardens" across the road from Silver Springs ...the Silver Springs, Florida.

The campground is probably 75-85% permanent campers.....those with trailers with bases, and permanent connections. The few spots remaining are sprinkled about. The charges are mostly related to those permanent campers. The monthly rates are reasonable, and each camper pays their own electric. For we of the temporary class there is a set daily fee, and then daily additions for AC & Cable.

The park is sedate, and filled with reitred, or semi-retired folks with a few locals who just like the quiet.

Our cable did not work, and there was no wifi.....For me this is traumatic. I NEED to communicate.

Oh well, it was clean, and the folks at the office were nice.



Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Silver Springs, Florida

We took the touristy trip to Silver Springs....home of a huge freshwater spring which feeds the Silver River, and then into the Oklawaha River, and eventually into the Saint John's River. The Saint John's is one of five US rivers which flow North!

Silver Springs is famous for the glassbottom boats, and they are amazing for what you can see. Of course, they are assisted greatly by the most clear, sparkling water I have ever seen.

The water in the above picture is more than 20 feet deep. The clarity made it impossible to gauge depth, and thus 6 feet of water looked the same as 35 feet of water.

The boat trip was fun, and end of September is a great time with small crowds.



Monday, October 02, 2006


A Visit By a DeLand to DeLand!

We spent the weekend near DeLand, Florida. The town was named for Henry A. DeLand, a distant relative of mine. It was nice to see the DeLand home, already knowing the story of Henry and his foundation of both DeLand, and Stetson University (originally DeLand University, renamed for a friend of his).

The city sign, showing some typical Florida weather-wear, indicated the name, but nothing of the story.....not unexpected.

The house itself was a two-story home (three if including the attic), not pretentious at all....


Da Love Bug!

In my earlier post in anticipation of the Silver Springs, FL visit, I accepted as fact....given warning by the locals....a strong Love Bug presence for our trip. Man what an underestimation!

Here is a pic of the front of the Motorhome after an 85 miles trip from Ocala to Tampa this morning!Bugs at Large!

These critters are small black bugs, a bit larger than the typical mosquito (unless you are from Canada in which case they are much smaller than the mosquitos! They are large female/small male combos which unite in a life/death dance. Once connected for mating....rear-to-rear, they are forever conjoined! They swarm in Florida Spring and Fall.....usually mid-May and Mid-September for a couple of weeks. For some reason they are late this year.

It took me two hours to scrub these critters off my windshield and coach-front. Had I not chosen to remove them, they a matter of days... make a permanent hole in your paint!

Nice welcome to Florida!


UPDATE: Yes, I knew one of my astute readers would note I did not follow my own advice from the post below about coating the front of the coach with baby oil to keep the bugs from attaching. I just offered the advice, but then in ignorance felt I could get by without following my own directions!