Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Highs and Lowe's

The answer is "YES" I did sleep like a baby Monday night.....the night before moving day.  Getting better at not over analyzing what needs to be done the morning of moving day.

Tuesday morning was much warmer, and much more humid than it had been the previous 3 days.  Since we had not "deployed" too much equipment in the 5 days we had been at Jolly Roger Travel Park there was not as much to do.   As you will recall, however, when we were put in our site the manager had to use his tractor to put our trailer in our site.  For us to have  done it would have taken a long time, and put small animals and children at risk.

To refresh your minds, here is what we looked like (see above) in our site.....rather tight fit, huh?  I kind of walked off the possibilities of how we would pull out, hook up the trailer, and load the car without needing assistance again.  I took time to explain to TLE my plan and she gave it a thumbs up.  Here it is.....first move the car out of the site. Second, pull the coach out of the site, do a 3 point turn so I end up to the right of the trailer.  Three, back up to the trailer and drop the tongue on the hitch. Four, attach the anti-sway and leveling bars.  Five, load the 'Bird.  Well, imagine this.....it went exactly as planned!  The most difficult part of the morning ended up being us trying to merge 62 feet of coach and trailer into northbound traffic on Highway 1.......there are just tooooo many people out here on the Keys!  Okay, that our plan to extricate ourselves from site 65 went sooo smoothly was the "High" of the day.

Northbound traffic at 11:45 (our departure time) was heavy all the way back to the mainland.  Most of the time the speed limit was 45 mph, and once and a while it would get up to 55 mph, but we were rarely ever able to achieve the allowable limit.  One thing I did learn is that my "fix" to the cruise control cable is working like a charm.....I was even able to set it at 45 mph and it held!

It took close to 90 minutes to reach the entrance of the 821 Expressway......expressway is a euphemism for "this freeway will cost you money to drive on".  Most of the tolls Tuesday were the "Bill by License Plate" type....we've probably wracked up $30 in those tolls in the past 10 days.....that bill will come due later.  We shelled out around $5.00 out of pocket.  

All in all the drive on the "expressways" was very smooth, with very low traffic volume.  We did have to exit the expressway once for about 2 miles because of a bad accident, but there were multiple signs warning us of what was coming and we just exited one exit before the accident, went around it and got back on the "expressway".  

Our goal for the day was Boca Raton.....about 143 miles from our starting point.  TLE has a friend from her workaday life back in California that now lives in Boca Raton, and they both really wanted to get together.  I had spent part of Monday evening, and Tuesday morning checking out possible campgrounds in the area.....the ones who had availability didn't have a site long enough for us, and I didn't want to unhook the trailer for one night.  The ones that had large pull throughs were booked until the "12th of never", so I asked TLE to work her magic and find us a dry camp spot for the night.

Most of the Walmarts on the east coast of Florida, along the I-95 corridor, do not allow overnight parking.  The Cracker Barrels parking lots were too small.  Finally she came up with a Lowe's Home Improvement Center right in Boca Raton.  We've never stayed at a Lowe's before, so I was a little nervous about whether they would let us stay over night.  They, however, do provide excellent guest WiFi (which I am using to write this blog entry).

We figured the worst that would happen is that we would park there, go have dinner, and then leave for another location if we couldn't spend the night.  Well, we arrived at the Lowe's around 3:15 found a nice quiet spot near the back, and on the north side of the store, then I went inside to ask the manager if it was okay if we spent the night.  I met Sylvia at the Customer Service desk, and she called Randy, the manager, who quickly answered "Yes!" to our request....great!  Meanwhile a lady saw us pull in and stopped by on her way out of the parking lot to let us know this was a safe place to park, and that she and her husband also travel much of the year and stay in Walmarts and Lowe's.  Nice to know this is a safe neighborhood!  So, finding this spot was the "Lowe's" of the day......:D


Here is what our "safe neighborhood" looks like this morning.......it did rain quite a bit last night so there is a lot of moisture in the air still......like 100% humidity!


Around 5 pm we got in the car and drove about 7 miles to Lilliana and Todd's Boca Raton home. It has been about 5 years since Lilliana and Elaine have seen each other so there was lots of serial hugging going on.  They took us to a Cuban restaurant called "Little Havana" in Deerfield Beach.  I had the Palamillo Steak, and TLE had the Rebozado (fish)....both were excellent.  Both dishes came with a bowl of black beans (yummy) and a bowl of yucca....I have never had yucca before, but it was very good.

We got back to our "home" around 8:30.  I had some insurance work to attend to.....with the 3 hour time difference between east and west coasts I often get e-mails around 8 pm east coast time, but just at the end of business on the west coast.  After that was taken care of we settled in to watch a few recorded shows.

We fell asleep with the windows open, listening to the rain on the aluminum roof, and smelling the scent  of fresh rain on the surrounding vegetation.....what a great way to fall asleep!

Wednesday will find us back in Stuart courtesy parking at our friend Ernie's home again....you will recall we were here 11 months ago near the end of March  for about 10 days. It promises to be much cooler this time since we are here over a month earlier than last time.

Thanks for stopping by!

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