Road Trip #12 – The Panhandle

Looks like it’s time to run my mouth or rattle my fingers on the keyboard.  Road Trip #10 was a fun Christmas visit with the family on the east coast of Florida.

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Road Trip #11 was a warranty service trip to Fort Myers and unremarkable so no blog entry.  We also had a tow-bar mounted on our “Toad”, a 2015 Chevy Equinox.

Road Trip #12 was in April and May and served as a recuperation and rest period after my March hospitalization.  We spent two nights on the road getting to Pensacola, a day drive to Carrabelle Beach and a night out going home.  Spending a week at each location made this a trip of total relaxation.  At Pensacola we stayed at the Blue Angels Navy Recreation Area campground right on Big Lagoon and only a couple of miles from Corry Station.

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While there we spent a day touring the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  To top it off, an F14 from my former squadron, VF-41 is displayed at the entrance to the museum.

While there we spent a day touring the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  To top it off, an F14 from my former squadron, VF-41 is displayed at the entrance to the museum.

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What an awesome collection of aircraft.  We were fortunate enough to watch a “Winging Ceremony” while we were there.  One female and seven male flight students were in the graduating class and their assigned nicknames at the ceremony were Snow White, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy and you can figure out the rest.  Can you imagine Top Gun with pilots by those names?

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The rest of the week at Pensacola was thoroughly relaxing.

It took us a day to travel across US-98 from Pensacola to Carrabelle in the Big Bend and we stayed at the Carrabelle Beach Resort, an encore visit.  This is really a nice campground.  I let Barb drive our “Toad” and she cut the sidewall of the left front tire.  My fault though because I wanted to go down to the docks and see the fishing boats and it was a dirt road with a lot of potholes.  Otherwise Carrabelle was uneventful.  We found a couple of new restaurants to make an encore visit the next time we’re up there.  Here’s a sunset picture from the campground.

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And now we head back home to Parrish via an overnight stop at Sandy Oaks RV Park in Beverly Hills near Old Town.

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Road Trip #9, Part 7 – Daytona to Parrish

I guess I’ve kept everyone in suspense for long enough.  Some of it wasn’t intentional as I was confined to the hospital.  The last hospital visit in March of this year (2017) was the most beneficial and my breathing has improved immensely.  Anyway, here’s the conclusion of Road Trip #9.

She said “that grinding noise.”  I listened carefully and although I didn’t want to hear a noise, YES I could hear a grinding noise when I applied gas.  So……. We found a place to pull off, and made reservations for one night at the Speedway KOA in Daytona, called AAA RV Plus again and had the truck taken to a repair shop.

The diagnosis on the truck was the straw that broke our back:  At some point the left rear wheel seal failed, our axle grease leaked out and we burned up the differential.  Repair was going to be exxxx-pen-sive and would take about 2 weeks.  The replacement “chunk” would have to come from California and we had no choice but to get the truck repaired in order to get home.

With the camper set up at the KOA we rented a car and waited for the truck to be repaired.  This is when we got into trouble.  To prevent boredom from settling in and to sightsee an area we had never been to we drove around Daytona.

Back at the trailer we decided that the truck was too old (20 years) and had too many miles (141,000); and the driver and navigator were also in the same condition as the truck.  We discussed the pros and cons of trading in our year and a half old 2016 travel trailer for a 2017, Class C Motorhome.  This will surely make our setups and teardowns a lot easier, and Barb will be able to share the driving with me.  The Pros won.  Done deal!!  La Mesa RV has a sales lot a couple of miles from the KOA and we visited the lot and looked at some motorhomes.  We found a Thor 2017, 32 foot Class C motorhome that we fell in love with. With 46 years of RV experience and NINE prior units we decided to make the step up to our first motorhome.  On November 11, we made the trade and finally on November 16 we made the trip across the state to Parrish and Home with our new motorhome and brought Road Trip #9 to a close.

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Our original 45 night trip turned out to be 83 nights, of which 40 were spent at 13 different KOAs and we covered 5700 miles by the time it was all over.  We learned that we’re not getting any younger and to continue our traveling life style, we had to make things easier.  Barb says she wishes we had traded to a motorhome a couple of years ago.

Now it’s time to lay back a little bit with the exception of a short Christmas Road Trip (#10)and a stack of Doctor Appointment cards that will keep us busy until March.  Then more Livin’ the Dream” with George & Barb”, but shorter trips.

Stay tuned for future Road Trips