Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010


Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on the sacrifices and services of the American soldiers and veterans and the U.S. military men and women. The American military is, has always been and will always recruit the best and finest of the crop of young men and women of the country and we must continue to shower them with appreciation, support and prayers, as we have always done. Memorial Day is just an opportunity for us to express the special places they have in the hearts of American citizens and more by honoring the people who work in the various branches of the military.

The "Memorial" in Memorial Day has been ignored by too many of us who are beneficiaries of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Often we do not observe the day as it should be, a day where we actively remember our ancestors, our family members, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice:

  • by visiting cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes.
  • by visiting memorials.
  • by flying the U.S. Flag at half-staff until noon.
  • by flying the 'POW/MIA Flag' as well (Section 1082 of the 1998 Defense Authorization Act).
  • by participating in a "National Moment of Remembrance": at 3 p.m. to pause and think upon the true meaning of the day, and for Taps to be played.
  • by renewing a pledge to aid the widows, widowers, and orphans of our falled dead, and to aid the disabled veterans.

This day never passes without me playing one specific song, rising to my feet and singing along with my favorite song of all……………..

“And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me and I'll proudly stand up next to him to defend her still today, 'cuz there ain't no doubt I love this land, God Bless the USA.” -Lee Greenwood


‘Til next time…………………

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Another item on our “to do” list of tasks to get done prior to our leaving Florida for Dillard, GA was to retrieve our golf cart which has been sitting on our rv site at Rock Crusher Canyon (RCC) RV Park, in Crystal River, Florida. Oh yeah, I haven’t mentioned anything about our site at RCC in this blog yet have I ? You ask and you shall receive. Here are some photos of the site from when it was purchased with no additions, to one of the most recent photos. REMEMBER: if you click on the photo, you will see it enlarged. Since we purchased the site in January 2008, we have installed the paver bricks on the rv pad itself, added the planter, used landscape timbers to frame part of the site, built a fire pit out of leftover paver bricks, added cypress mulch to landscape and oh yes, purchased a golf cart. That would be the one we went to retrieve today.


Jan 2008







Picture 006 Sept 2008










March 2009










July 2009










March 2010










April 2010









This catches us up to today, when we went to Crystal River with a UHaul trailer and brought the golf cart home to Valrico to place under cover until we return to Florida in Nov/Dec. Then, we’ll take the cart back up to RCC to use this winter. Feel free to click the “Comment” button below at the end of any posting if you feel compelled to let us know what you think. “Til next time…………………..

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Technology and Mother Nature

Well, as we cross the days off the calendar until Barbie’s official retirement begins (June 14), we continue to add to the list of things to do before departure. And, we do cross a couple of items off of the list thank goodness. We took the motorhome to Classic Coach Works in Lakeland this week to have the two new digital flat screen televisions installed complete with some rebuilt cabinetry. The main tv in the front living will be placed where the previous tv was but with new cabinetry. The bedroom tv will be placed on a new cabinet door that will cover a newly created storage area where the previous tv was located. The job should be completed by the end of this next week. Then, the “Castle” should be ready to roll.

To pass the time during the day I have fallen into a routine of following about thirty (30) rvers blogs. In my “surfin” a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a fascinating find. I am now a regular follower of “The Eagles of Hornby Island.” These are two exciting eagle cams coming LIVE from Hornby Island in the Georgia Strait off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. Both cams are positioned in a tree on a piece of land that belongs to Doug Carrick. It was Doug who first installed the cam over looking the nest and then worked with HWF and several others to begin broadcasting this amazing story in 2005. Almost straight away the pair of bald eagles and their mission to breed, captured the imagination of the world. It has been said that these cams were the most watched LIVE Internet streaming event up until that time. I’m tellin’ ya it is addictive! This use of technology truly allows us to view the wonders of Mother Nature. Phoenix, the eaglet, was born April 29. Watching the interaction with his parents on a daily basis is priceless. If you do NOT want to get hooked, don’t check it out.

Phoenix as baby

Phoenix with parentsThis past Friday evening, Dad Hornby flew in with 5(?) herring clutched in both feet. Mom was very pleased and "baby" Phoenix swallowed one whole! Click on this must-see video "hotspot" below.

With the technology we have today, these wonders of nature can educate and entertain us all. ‘Til next time………………

Monday, May 17, 2010

Next on the List

Well, as I mentioned in the last post, getting a new lcd flat screen tv to replace the old crt in the living area of the motorhome would be the next priority  to address as we prepare to head out on our rv journeys. The initial plan was to address this issue later in the summer. Well, we convinced each other “the future is now”. So Best Buy in Brandon has one less LG , 26 inch, ultra thin, lcd tv on their shelves this morning. Of course that solves one problem but creates another. The current crt tv in the motorhome must be removed from the cabinet it is in and the new one mounted and installed in its place. That will mean some cabinetry and wood trim work. That quite honestly will be the tough part-finish and trim. Now we are considering all options as to who to have tackle this assignment. The challenge to do it myself intrigues me, however, I don’t know if I have the tools and talent to do the job I expect. Time, of course, is an issue as there is no way we’ll delay our departure in June. It must be done before we leave. Ah, decisions, decisions. And I thought I was free of stress when I retired. We’ll keep you posted. Here’s the “before” picture.

Original TV‘Til next time………….

Thursday, May 13, 2010

“To Do” List Shorter

The “to do” list of things to get done before “the Castle” leaves Florida in mid-June continues to get shorter. We picked the motorhome up Tuesday early evening from Sterling Tampa Truck Center. The oil change, lube, filters, fluid checks and general service were all completed. A new tailpipe was put on to replace the rusted one with hole in it. The rear tail light issue was corrected. Seems as though there was a bad ground. Finally, I asked them to check out the house batteries as the battery disconnect was acting slow and erratic lately. Sure enough we had bad cells, so we had to get two new batteries. The coach being a 2001 has never had house battery issues so I don’t feel bad about having to get new ones. Saturday, the coach and the Terrain go to have the new Brakemaster braking system installed. Then “Boldt’s RV Castle” will be ready to roll. Being that we’ll be in the motorhome nearly fulltime for the next year there are a couple of improvements we would like to make. First and foremost a new flat screen lcd digital tv up front is tops on that list. We’d also like to replace the sofa area with a comfortable chair and computer table/desk area. We’ll definitely be exploring those items and work when we arrive in the Elkhart, Indiana area in late August/September when we are in that area for the Escapees Rally and Gypsy Journal Rally. I have several Amish shops researched already.

Finally, the other item,  a “biggie”,  checked off the “to do”  list was Barbie making it official. I accompanied her yesterday to the Hillsborough County School District offices to attend her retirement meeting and sign her papers. This is her 30th year as a classroom teacher. Her official date of retirement will be June 18, 2010. She has lots of great memories and has left her mark on thousands of young peoples lives. I’m proud of her and wish her much happiness in her retirement. After all, if she’s happy I will be too. :-)


Monday, May 10, 2010

New Week – More Preparations

Early this morning we took our “castle”, the motorhome, to Sterling Tampa Truck Center to be serviced prior to heading north in about six (6) weeks. Sterling is about 30 minutes from home and has serviced our motorhome for years. They have always worked well for us because of the quality of their work and the convenience of their service hours. Would your believe 7AM-midnight? For working folks it don’t get much better. They’ll do an oil change, lube, check belts and fluid levels, air pressures etc. We also have what I believe is a short in the left rear tail lights (since replacing bulbs didn’t cure it) that they’ll check out. Finally, they’ll replace a rusted tailpipe for us. After we dropped the rig off, we had a drive-thru fast food breakfast and I dropped Barbie off at work so I could have the car. As she says, “only three (3) more Mondays” for her. In fact, I will accompany her to the school district offices Wednesday when she will sign her retirement papers. Friday I have a dental appointment and Saturday we take the motorhome and Terrain to have the new Brakemaster braking system installed. Like I labeled this post, new week-more preparations. I’ll close by  including a couple of snapshots of the Dillard, GA area we’ll be heading to before we know it. See why we love the area?

From Scaly Mtn River Vista off in distance from scenic overlook on way to Highlands, NC.

River Vista Falls 

The falls as seen from River Vista in winter.

Thru windshield

The view thru “Castle” window from our site in River Vista.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Look at the Calendar

Since we won’t be leaving our permanent home (Valrico, FL) until shortly after the school year ends for Barbie on June 11, we’re in the planning and preparation mode now. Last week we had a baseplate put on our new, 2010 GMC Terrain that we bought recently so we could tow it behind the motorhome. Next week the motorhome goes to the shop for an oil change, lube and to have all belts and hoses checked. After that, a brakemaster braking system will be installed between the motorhome and Terrain. Then the “Castle” will be ready to roll.

We’ll head first to our rv site in Dillard, GA that we purchased six (6) years ago. It is in the Falls View section of River Vista Mountain Village RV Resort. River Vista is in the northeast corner of Georgia, less than two (2) miles from the North Carolina state line.


River Vista Mountain Village is located between Clayton, Georgia and Highlands and Franklin, North Carolina. River Vista sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Smoky Mountains to the east and Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.  A clubhouse offers a full kitchen, TV and reading area, card/game tables, computer stations, fitness room, and rocking chairs and checkers tables on the front porch facing Little Estatoah Falls in the Smoky Mountains. The heated pool and spa are located at the main pavilion which also features a large fireplace, picnic tables, and restroom facilities. An indoor pool for adults sits next to the outdoor pool. The Mountain Center, a large indoor facility with kichen, stage, tables and two sided fireplace, can host large rallies or gatherings. River Vista offers full hook-ups at all RV sites including cable TV and telephone. In addition to RV sites fully furnished luxury lodge style cabins may be rented that sleep 4 to 6 people. We love the area.

There is a great slide show of River Vista on the website link I included above. Check those out to see all the features of the campground.

The photos below are ones of our site, from what it looked like when we purchased it and subsequent improvements and additions we’ve made:

Site 212, #1 Blog

#1 is the site as we purchased it.







Rig on site 2, #2 Blog

#2 shows our first addition, a 12X12 storage shed.






Rig with shed & gravel pad, #3 Blog

#3 with the addition of the leveled gravel rv pad with landscape timber framing.






deck with gravel pad, #4 Blog

#4 includes the large deck addition.







Now back to the calendar. After spending most of the summer in Dillard, our plans call for us to be in Elkhart, Indiana, at the end of August to attend a Gypsy Journal RV Rally from August 30 ‘til September 2. We’ll then play tourists for the next week, staying in Shipshewana and touring the Amish stores, the huge flea market, restaurants etc. Then it is a few miles over to Goshen where we will attend the 50th Anniversary Escapade , September 10-17, a rally traditionally for Escapee members but open to anyone for this event. We’ve attended Good Sam and FMCA rallies in the past but never Gypsy Journal or Escapees Rallies. This being the rv center of the universe, we may try to get some “new” additions to the “Castle” while there. We’ll take the next three (3) weeks or so to travel east playing tourists in Ohio, then visiting family in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before finding our way back to Dillard by mid-October to watch the leaves change. That’s the plans for now anyway. The beautiful thing about this rv lifestyle and retirement is they can be changed on a whim. That’s quite different from following lesson plans and a strict syllabus to get all material covered in nine week grading periods as educators. I (Jeff) can leave the concrete sequential days behind!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Evolution of Boldt’s RV Castle

This blog will be written by Jeff and Barbie Boldt. It is intended to be a record of our retirement travels and adventures in our “RV Castle.” Jeff retired officially on February 28, 2010 after serving 36+ years as an educator in the Hillsborough County Public School System in Florida. He served as a junior high school math teacher then high school math teacher and department head prior to moving into administration. He also coached football, basketball and track. He served as an Assistant Principal for Student Affairs and as an Assistant Principal for Curriculum before being appointed to the position of Principal of Chamberlain High School, Tampa, Florida, in February 2006. Barbara will retire in June 2010 after 30 years as a classroom teacher of learning disabled students for 6 years and the remainder as a middle school math teacher at Mann Middle School in Brandon, Florida.

Our current “RV Castle” is the recreational vehicle (RV) purchased in 2004, in which we are currently traveling—a 2001 Newmar Kountry Star diesel pusher Class A motorhome. The motorhome is 38 feet long and has two slideouts. One slideout houses the sofa and kitchen area (stove, sink and counter area). The second slideout is in the bedroom. This motorhome is the latest rv since our involvement in rving began. The evolution of Boldt’s RV Castle began with the purchase of a used 23 foot Real Lite travel trailer in 1989.  With the addiction to the rv lifestyle taking hold, in 1991, we purchased a new 30 foot Mallard Sport travel trailer. In 1997, we jumped to a new 34 foot Thor Infinity Class A motorhome. In 2000, we purchased a new Winnebago Itasca Suncruiser Class A gas motorhome that was 37 feet in length with one living room/dinette slideout. That brings us to the present day Boldt’s RV Castle, our current rv, the 2001 Newmar Kountry Star we purchased in 2004.

The pictorial evolution of Boldt’s RV Castle follows:

Real Lite 1989

 moonshine creek 1991

Thor Infinity 1997

Itasca Suncruiser 2000

Kountry Star 2004 – present


So there you have it---who we are, what Boldt’s RV Castle is and what you’ll find ahead as this blog evolves. We hope you will enjoy the ride as much as we will.