Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lots of family time

Hi all,
 Holy cow, it's been a while since our last post so time to catch up.
 Our son Nate and grandson Alex came down from Wisconsin for a few days. Alex is Amanda's son and has been here a few times but it was the first trip here for Nate so we planned a busy few days for them.
 We took one day to relax out by the beach by Jacksonville, the boys enjoying the warm weather and cold ocean temp really showed they were northerners.

 Wendy and Amanda took the boys on a kayak ride on the Ichetucknee River. They got a special surprise as manatee were cruising the river and they got some nice close up views.

We saw 12 manatee

We took a new venture to check out Cedar Key, a gulf coast town that had taken a good hit from hurricane Hermine September 2nd. They suffered a lot of damage but are working extremely hard to get things in order for the spring tourist they so rely on. The area is most noted for the abundance of clams although not in season at this time.
Watched a few dolphins

Backside of stores on the main street

Alex and Nate
 We rented a pontoon boat and cruised around some of the nearby islands. We beached at Atsena Otie Key for a short walk, this small island is noted as a birthing site for horseshoe crabs.
 Amanda said the boys needed a work day on the farm, have to earn your keep here you know.)
We had them dig and install the water line to the RV. A mere 200 feet, they did a great job and no leaks!

a cool day, good for working
 Amanda had made the plan that they would fly out of Orlando early Wednesday, and as we were headed that way to meet up with our other daughter Colleen we would just go down early and enjoy some pool time at the hotel.
 So the boys left out Wednesday and Amanda and Pat drove down that evening, Colleen, her hubby Goyo, and sons Lukas, and Isaiah arrived after midnight.
 Amanda had laid out plans for four full days at Disney. Amanda takes after her mother in planning vacations, it is go, go, and go. But really she did a great job getting things figured out.
 Day one had us touring Animal Kingdom, that was a good plan as we didn't have to arrive to early and that park closes early. I will let Wendy's pics tell about the parks.
 Day two we got going early and hit Magic Kingdom. With the entry passes we had we were allowed to schedule 3 fast track passes allowing you to bypass some long waits. But you also had to schedule these in a one hour time frame so again the planning part was key.

 That day we headed out of the park for supper, Wendy and I headed back to the hotel to relax but the kids returned to the park for more rides and the night closing show.
 Up again early day 3 had at Epcot, we had planned on hitting one of the popular rides early before long lines formed. Bad luck as the ride was having issues and would not open til after 10.

 We enjoyed Epcot and most notably the Soaring ride, although we learned you might not want to do this on a Saturday. Pre wedding parties and groups seemed to make drinking around the park quite the game.
 Last day!! we still had Hollywood Park left. This day Amanda switched a early fast pass to allow a little sleep in. We had a nice time there and really enjoyed the Fantasmic closing ceremony there.
Trading Disney pins

Jedi training

Fantasmic show

 One other nice feature we took in while at the parks was a Disney photo pass service, they have photographers placed at entrances and various locations. We could walk and easily get our whole group shots plus they had features for some fun shots adding images.
 We were so happy to be able to spend this time with the kids, what great fun and the memories we will have.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Looking Back

Hi all,
First off I want to thank everyone for the get better wishes, it seems to be working as I feel better every day. A return trip to the doctor was positive I can start weaning off oxygen and get exercise.
 So as I was recouping Wendy and I spent some time reflecting on where we have been and what we have done since beginning our fulltime RV lifestyle. (Lots of pictures, click on them to see them bigger)
We are now into year five, which that alone is hard to believe. Seems we had planned so many years before we did it and then never thought the day would get here, and now you know the saying time flies when you're having fun.
 So here we go with a short recap. We have traveled through 26 of the states, while a decent number, we know we have a whole lot more to explore.
 Our work camping has helped allow us to do this but does settle us down for three to four months at a time. Also our love of returning to the Black Hills of South Dakota four summers has been great but we know it is time to move on.
 We spent two great winters volunteering at Roper Lake State Park in Safford Arizona. We loved exploring the area, with Chiricahua National Monument a favorite.
Roper Lake SP

 We also volunteered one winter at Suwannee River State Park. A nice place and was close by our daughter Amanda's new location in Live Oak, Fla.
Suwannee River
 We have never had a bucket list but do say if there is one thing we always make a point seeing are our national parks and monuments. These are definitely things we try to hit upon when in a given area and Wendy collects stamps for her national park passport.
 So how have we done there? Not taking the time to sit and count each I will give a short list of our favorites.
 In Utah, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Zion, and Capitol Reef are all places that rate high. Arizona has Organ Pipe, Saguaro, Grand Canyon, Chircahua, Fort Bowie, and Monument Valley.
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon
Organ Pipe
We have not spent a great deal of time in Texas but Big Bend National Park was special, also The Alamo and Lyndon B. Johnson Historical Park were worthy. We only touched slightly into California but Death Valley was amazing. Nevada holds Lake Mead National Rec. Area that we spent time checking out this past spring. In New Mexico we toured the famous Carlsbad Cavern and believe all other caves may not quite match up and also White Sands National Monument was breath taking.
White Sands
Death Valley

Big Bend
 Again, I am not close to naming all and we could have lists with refuges, fish hatcheries, and forts. We also could make a page list of state parks, another thing we check out frequently.
 Now while great being able to travel and see new things the best part of this lifestyle is meeting some of the greatest people along the way. We have met people from so many states and always enjoy the interactions that work camping presents. We have made many friends for life in some of our jobs. We have also met other bloggers whom we have made good friends with.
  Abbeville in Louisiana, specifically Betty's RV and the people we have met there stand as one of our favorite stops. The food, music, and people are just like no where else.
Group of new friends from Betty's
 Also a big part of this lifestyle is still remaining a part of our families and friends lives that we had before. We have returned back to our Wisconsin area each year for a couple months to spend time with them. That time is most cherished and we always can't wait to get back to be with our kids and grandsons.
Our grandsons
Our kids- Mandy, Nate and Colleen
So on we go well in our fifth year with no regrets and looking forward to continue with new adventures and new friends. We are truly blessed to have been able to do this.
 We appreciate you all for following along and feel free to comment in anytime.
                Thanks again, Ray and Wendy

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bad News / Goood News

Hi all,
Dang, dang, and dang. Thought I was doing pretty good even started needing oxygen only at night,and then around new years something hit me again.
 Monday morning I ended back at hospital with  severe breathing difficulties. So now I will get treated for pneumonia. With my COPD condition they have a difficult time diagnosing pneumonia.
It was slower healing this time and we finally started to get better towards Thursday. I was released the following Sunday.
 I dang well take my time to recoup this time, although I didn't think I was pushing it last time.
I thank God I have Wendy and Amanda and Pat here to help us get through this.
 Further out I will be seeing specialist in Jacksonville for more pulmonary care.
So life goes on at the farm, a couple more baby goats making 6 since just before Christmas. Man, they are a blast to watch when little at the bouncing around they do. We got some interesting colors in a couple to. Rose a black goat who had 3 births in the past gave birth to tawny colored baby, her previous were black like her. Another tan colored goat gave birth to a chocolate and white goat, man that's a pretty goat.


Tippy and momma Daisy
 Kinda weird liking these goats, I worked on a dairy farm and Wendy was raised on a farm but we never had anything to do with goats.

Holly and Jolly born on Christmas


 Pat and Amanda took control of our lean to project and finished it off. Pat and I had gotten pretty far before I started to get sick. The lean to was to give the Alpaca cover in rain or shade from the sun. Great success we see the alpaca staying there most nights.

nice using the neighbors tractor- beam was 4x8x24feet

 Got more great news as our son Nate and grandson Alex will be flying down for a couple days at the end of the month. That along with our other daughter Colleen and her hubby and 2 younger grandkids flying down for a Disney vacation in February, looking forward to that. So I better get my health in check so we can have fun.
 Wendy continues to do some basket work and help around the house. She also helped Amanda repaint and decorate a bathroom, and all while running to see me. Yeah, I owe big time.
Thanks all for the well health wishes, very much appreciated.