Monday, January 17, 2011

RV Shows & Football Games

Yes, both of the key words in the title of this blog entry are plural. Since my last post we have been to two RV shows, the Tampa Supershow and a small winter show in Bushnell. And, of course, like many Americans we watched all four football playoff games over the weekend. So it has been a busy last few days…at least that is my best excuse for the 5 day break since my last enrty. So let’s get caught up……

Last Wednesday afternoon we left our “Castle” here in Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park (RCC) for our stix-n-brix home in Valrico which is just 10 miles from the Florida State Fairgrounds outside of Tampa and home of the Florida RV Supershow. The 100 minute drive was uneventful except for the number of rvers headed south on I-75 like us. A quick stop at Zaxbys was in order in Valrico since there was no food in the house. We really enjoy the “zalads” and chicken at Zaxbys Restaurants and unfortunately we do not have one in the Homosassa, Inverness or Crystal River areas …yet. We retired early so we could get up early Thursday morn and head to the RV Supershow.

Our plan was to get up early, stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for some coffee (their coffee is a favorite of ours) and a bagel and get to the fairgrounds shortly after opening at 9:00am. The beauty of retirement is timelines are extremely flexible—there is no hurrying and NO set schedules to follow. Good thing, because we arrived at the Supershow a little after 10:00. Our plan was to visit the vendors areas first before the crowds arrived and it became bumper-to-bumper up and down the aisles. When that happens I feel obligated to keep moving instead of stopping and “window shopping” or asking about products and services. On our first pass through the Expo Hall vendor area we stopped and chatted with Steve and Judy in the River Vista Mountain Village booth. River Vista in Dillard, Georgia, is where we own our 2nd rv site and was our “home” from last June until just before Thanksgiving. Steve showed me some photos of the eight inches or so of snow that had just fallen there last week. Again, the beauty of rving…can’t imagine sitting there and adding 8 inches of snow to this picture.

011 Now, we’ve been there and seen some flurries, like below in December of 2004, but not 8+ inches!

   Barbie in snow    Jeff in snow

After chatting with Steve and Judy and getting caught up on River Vista happenings since we left, we went through the remainder of the hall and only purchased a book, 2011 The RVer’s Friend, the North American Diesel/Parking Directory. It lists all rv accessible diesel fuel and service locations including places with overnight parking available and dump sites. For $10 I couldn’t pass on it.

We no more moved outside to head to the other vendor building and we ran into fellow Roamin’ Rigs (FMCA Tampa Bay area chapter) members Jim and Wilma, who we hadn’t seen since last spring. They were working with an outside vendor. Needless to say that was a lengthy conversation but most enjoyable. We then moved towards the other vendor building which really contained many displays for rv campgrounds and resorts. Before we entered the building we met Tom and Sharon, our current President of the Roamin’ Rigs and his wife. Once we entered the building, we saw Keith from ELITE  Resorts (the former owners of Rock Crusher) whom we met last year when he worked at RCC. It wasn’t soon after that we met friends Bruce, Carol and Florie from RCC who made the day trip down to the Supershow. They are our park “chefs” responsible for doing the cooking for all dinners, soup and salad nights and dessert evenings at Rock Crusher. And what a fabulous job they do. After moving thru that vendor building we met up with great friends Pat and Sandie, also Roamin’ Rigs members and neighbors in both the Valrico/Brandon area of Florida and the Dillard, GA/Franklin NC areas. Their Brandon home is about 6 miles from us in Valrico and their Franklin rv site is about 20 miles from our Dillard site. We also all were employees of the Hillsborough County (FL) School System during our careers. Wouldn’t you know as we were sitting chatting, another of our Roamin’ Rigs members, Doug, walks up. I’m telling ya it’s a small world.

We were to have met up with a group of fellow rv bloggers at the Floating Restaurant area in the Supershow around noon but we never made it unfortunately. After our visit with Pat, Sandie and Doug I looked at my watch and it was already 1:30pm. Time flies when you’re having fun huh? Well, we’ll certainly keep in touch with our blogger co-horts and meet them in person down the road somewhere.

By this time my back and legs were getting pretty tired as I continue to build up my strength and endurance following my summer back issues. Barbie went in several fifth wheels to check them out as we have been toying with moving in that direction as we spend more and more time on the road and tend to stay in places for more than just a few days at a time. Barbie found more than one 5’er she could call home. By the time she was through looking at rigs we decided it was time to head out. Well, wouldn’t you know we met up with more Roamin’ Rigs members. We chatted with friends Steve and Linda, also both fellow educators, and now fulltimers for the past few years. I actually taught math at the same school with Linda, and later I taught and coached football with Steve at the high school level. It was great talking with them in person and not just thru emails. As the four of us were chatting, Paula and Barry, also Roamin’ Rigs members walked up and we got caught up on their world travels over the past year or so. What a great full day it was at the Supershow. And, we made it thru without spending the “BIG” bucks!

Friday morn we traveled back north to Crystal River and spent the rest of the day relaxing except for a trip out for a pizza for dinner.

Saturday we went out to breakfast early then drove the 40 miles over to Bushnell where there was a small winter rv show across from Blueberry Hill RV Resort. We explored about a half a dozen fifth wheels before enjoying a leisurely drive back to RCC around Lake Panasoffkee and thru Inverness. I don’t know what was happening southbound on I-75 from Bushnell but traffic was not moving and it was backed up for miles. I’m glad we headed northbound. We made it back to the “Castle” just in time for the first of the two football games. Our “winter neighbors” here at RCC, Jim and Russ, from Michigan, arrived Saturday and after setting up their 5’er came over and visited for awhile. Sunday was much of the same, i.e. football games on tv,  except we did break during the games to drive the golf cart down to the clubhouse for strawberry shortcake. As I said earlier, Bruce, Carol and Florie do a great job. They gave us a choice of cake or biscuit for the base and then ice cream, whipped cream or BOTH to go on the strawberries. It was great I’m tellin’ ya! After a little chatting with others it was back to the football. Being a longtime Steeler fan I am quite pleased they are still in it after a scare from the Ravens.

So I think that has me caught up. I apologize for the length of this post. That’s what I get for waiting 5 days. Thanks for hanging in there with me and following our blog.

‘Til next time……

1 comment:

squawmama said...

Hi Jeff & Barbie... First of all THANKS for stopping by my blog and visiting. I knew I recognized your name as I once checked into your FMCA group Roamin Rigs. We ended up joining Mid Week Flamingos because they were closer to our winter place. I am adding you to my favorites so I can keep up with your adventures...
HAve fun & Travel Safe