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376  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: December 09, 2012, 06:58:02 am
Greg, thank you for the inside info. We will definitely add Cedar key to our must see list. Enjoy your trip to Paine`s Prarie. I hope the bison and other critters let you get a peek at them.
377  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: December 07, 2012, 07:53:35 am
I LOVE the Kayak snuggle picture. I wonder if he/she thought they'd found a friend or if they just wanted a ride. We also snorkeled with rays and sharks and squid and barracuda and lobsters and all sorts of other critters in Belize. We booked with Hugh Parkey's Belize Adventures. Absolutely awesome trip. They have a private island in the calm waters behind the reef with over the water cabanas, a restaurant, manatee museum (they do manatee research there) and a full padi dive shop (we don't dive but had a blast snorkeling). We found them at the National Geographic Travel and Adventure Show that comes to DC every year (as well as other cities in the U.S.) Their guides and trips and accomodations were excellent. The food and service were great;  the price was great. They totally took care of us from the time we landed at the airport to the time they dropped us back for our flight home. We can't say enough good things about them and the cool things we did. We stayed on the island for several days with snorkeling, kayaking (booked one sunset kayak tour with them and their guests have full use of their kayaks whenever they want), manatee tour, etc. We then did three days in San Ignacio with guided tours of the Belize Zoo, several Mayan ruins, a horseback ride through the "jungle", cave tubing, zip lining, etc. We were supposed to finish after our three days in San Pedro where we did a bit of shopping, snorkeled with sharks, rays, turtles, and took a sunset sailing cruise but I didn't want to leave so we quickly booked a few days back on the island for relaxation. Nothing beats laying in a hammock under the palm trees on a white sand beach with azure water lapping the shore. I swear I'm going back some day.
378  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Morning sex on: December 06, 2012, 03:53:08 pm
Absolutely AWESOME Billy!  rolling on the floor
379  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: December 06, 2012, 03:44:36 pm
Ron, we've done a similar search on the east and west coast. Went to the power plant outflows near Ft. Lauderdale (warm water, hundreds gather), no manatees.  Drove up to a spring on the east coast, reports of mother and child playing at the boat ramp the whole week before... but they apparently left just before we got there. Hit the gulf coast on another vacation and checked out a power plant that has actually set up viewing platforms for the crowds of people watching the crowds of manatees but the gulf had warmed up and they had left days before. Went to the gulf and kayaked where they feed on the grasses... no manatees. This time we are camping for a whole week near a place called Manatee Spring. I'm hoping my luck improves. If it does, I'll post pictures. Meanwhile you can google "manatees gather at power plant" and select images to see just how many we missed!
380  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: December 06, 2012, 07:16:51 am
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. We finally booked and ARE going to Florida but more north than south. We're renting from CruiseAmerica in Gainesville and staying in two different state parks near there. One is Manatee Springs and I am on my never ending quest to watch Manatee happily playing in the water. We saw some in Belize but we kept our distance so as not to disturb so we really only got a quick look at one that swam under our boat and checked us out super briefly. With any luck some will be hanging out in the warm, clear spring water where I can watch them. The other park is Paynes Prarie - they have Bison. Now I've been in the midst of hundreds of Bison in South Dakota but Bison in Florida is rather intriguing. Who woulda thought you'd find them there amidst the alligators?
381  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Von's receipt on: December 06, 2012, 07:08:24 am
Sorry Billy, my fingers don't always type everything my brain is trying to say. Those massive receipts probably MAKE money for the store. The ones I get have ads and coupons on them so somebody is paying the store to print all that stuff and give it to you (no way they can claim environmental reasons on those). Reusable bags probably cost them more money in time for the cashiers. Have you watched those poor people try to bag groceries using the customer's wad of miscellaneous bags? I try to organize and make it easy on them but my wad of reusable bags is just as much a PIA as the other guys... when I remember to take them in. AND they all seem to have a collection of looong receipts in the bottom - go figure!
382  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Von's receipt on: December 04, 2012, 05:59:44 pm
No Billy, they are eliminating them to help the environment. Our county is doing the same thing. Now it costs 5 cents for a bag if you don't bring your own. I'm a tree hugger so I am good with that...except that the memory is not cooperating so I keep leaving all those wonderful reusable bags in the car. I truly miss my brain.
383  Main Forum / General Discussion / Silicone Cookware on: December 02, 2012, 06:21:14 am
I'm wondering if anyone has done extensive cooking with silicone cookware. It seems to me that it would be perfect for the RV as it is lightweight, non-stick for quick easy cleaning, can be used in the microwave, freezer and oven and it doesn't rattle. I bought my granddaughter a cookbook/bakeware set called "Bake it in a Cup" that came with small to standard size muffin cups and we had fun making eggs, lasagna, ham and cheese rolls (her ABSOLUTE favorite), frozen yogurt snacks, desserts, etc. You do have to set the silicone on a sturdy pan since they flex when you move them but I figured I'd be toting a baking sheet anyhow. I purchased mega-size baking cups and plan to experiment with those. The added bonus of baking in the cups is individual servings that cook a bit quicker and store easily (think meatloaf,lasagna, meat  or veggie pies, etc.) AND you can set the whole meal on one tray in the oven/microwave as the cups keep the different foods separated. SOUNDS perfect but reality doesn't always follow my logic. So before I buy more squishy cookware, I thought I'd tap the RV Brain Trust on this forum. Anyone with silicone COOKWARE experience?
384  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Re: Missing Money - A helpful sight to look for money beng held by the state on: November 30, 2012, 05:20:01 pm
I've lived in several states but there doesn't seem to be any money for me, however, I found some for my sister and sent her the link. So, does that count as her Christmas present or do I still need to go shopping?
385  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: November 17, 2012, 08:53:50 pm
We definitely will fly south somewhere then rent. It sounds like Florida is everyone`s favorite. It`s looking like January now that the holiday season is on us. We appreciate the suggestions and are checking availability now. If you see a couple of pale northerners driving a rattling rental rig around Florida looking like lost newbies, honk! It just might be us.

386  Main Forum / General Discussion / Need suggestions for "test" camping in an RV on: November 14, 2012, 01:02:30 pm
I am looking for suggestions: We've camped in tents and cabins but never "lived" or "camped" in an RV. Since we plan to buy one soon we wanted to spend a few weeks in a rented RV so we can see what works for us and what doesn't in the hope that we can get the right unit or right mods to fit our lifestyle. Evil work has conspired to ruin our plans by delaying our test trip until the campgrounds around here have closed and the freeze factor has gone up considerably. We hope to escape our desks within the next month so we are now looking for a destination to drive or fly to for our test weeks. We also figure the rented RV might not have (functional) heating ability so we don't want to go too frigid. Does anyone have a favorite area that would have moderate temps in December and is big enough to find an RV rental? Our plan is to camp a bit, unhook, drive, camp, repeat a few times so we get the feel for that part also. We can't totally escape work so we'll need to be somewhere we can get internet access either through wi-fi or tethered phones. It can be anywhere in the country as we will likely fly vs drive due to loss of days on the road. We do have to fit in a trip to Elkhardt and Phoenix to order an RV before we return home. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.
387  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: November 08, 2012, 03:43:56 pm
Maybe someday the "dream" configuration will come along and we'll be trying to convince ourselves we don't need the new model. In the meanwhile, compromise is key and we won't know if what we chose works until we get out there and give it a go. I guess all the indecision you see for the wannabe's is actually a tip of the hat to Phoenix. They have so many great models and options, it makes it hard to choose.
388  Main Forum / Around the Campfire / Foil packet cooking and the magic of frozen bread dough on: November 08, 2012, 03:05:42 pm
Here are a few websites with great campfire or oven recipes. The first is foil dinners a Boy Scout classic... except these are actually GOOD. You can cook everything from meat to fish to biscuits to dessert in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. The packets can be cooked on coals, a grill or in your oven. I wont claim to have tried all of these but I have tried quite a few that were quite good. One added benefit of packet cooking is that you can allow each person to customize their packet. The second link is how to fold the packets so you dont have to buy those expensive Reynolds cooking bags. Just remember that the foil must be rolled tightly to keep the steam inside as it helps cook the food AND prevent burning. If you puncture the foil, you have to put another unbroken layer over it and seal it tight. Leave a little extra space inside for the steam. Your packet should puff up while cooking. BE CAREFUL when opening the packet the steam will burn you.

Another fun site is from a frozen bread dough company. All that bread isnt good for you but it is OH SO GOOD! They have holiday recipes that are really fun and creative too.
389  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: November 08, 2012, 02:09:40 pm
Judi (Gradygal) and GoPhoenix - Thanks for your input. I agree that you both have great coaches. We really love the roomy bath in the back and the flexibility of the twin beds in the 2552 and 3100 (in case one of us travels with a friend or just the grandchild) and we love the double euro-chairs with table between in the 2910. I had not realized the 2910 had that awesome window also, now I keep looking at floor plans and photos again. You guys aren't making this any easier. I wish the RV Fairy would wave her wand and create a hybrid with the rear bath, twin beds and reclining couch of the 2552/3100 but have the front match the 2910 with the big window and double euro chairs. We originally planned to stay under 25' so we could get into almost all of the national park campgrounds and most twisty mountain passes but it seemed a bit tight for two people living and working full time so we decided we could manage the 27'5" of the 2552... now I'm wondering if we could handle the 30'6" of your rigs.

Does anyone have input on size restrictions for western mountain passes and National Park campgrounds? I've been making lists but you have to go to each website and pull up each campground and check restricitons... tedious. We know there will be times we will have to drop the toad and drive the two vehicles separately for some of the roads but we would still need to be able to get into the campsites. Any input is greatly appreciated.
390  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself! on: November 06, 2012, 08:37:09 am
John and Holly here - or as our handle states: "2 Frazzled." We chose that name years ago for Geo-Caching and unfortunately it still fits. We are considering the 2552 as our home for a steady year or more with long jaunts after that - all in the pursuit of less frazzledness and general joy of life. We originally decided that a long stint in an RV in the area we think we want to retire will help us decide if we found the right place. Then we started thinking of ALL the places we wanted to see if we got an RV. That list keeps getting longer so we aren't sure when we'll get back on the retirement location search, maybe we will just fall into it while wandering around and forget to leave. We decided to start shopping for an RV and see if it still seemed like a good idea after we saw what was out there. We saw the Phoenix Cruisers at Hershey, found this forum and then got an excellent tour of a 2552 from Tom Hanlon (thanks to Aimee's matchmaker service.) Somewhere down the line John's brain clicked over to retirement mode (hitting 60, talking to really happy full time RVers at the show, sitting in the PC and thinking "this could work.") We have never owned an RV, never used an RV except as the spare room at a reunion BUT have spent untold time in tents. We were Boy Scout leaders for 18 years so camping isn't new to us. We've hauled all our gear on our backs for miles on end and did stationery camping in every weather imaginable with our high adventure troop. My favorite perfume is wood smoke and everything tastes better cooked over a fire even with that added crunch of ashes (don't tell John but I'm sneaking my much too heavy dutch oven on board.) We both want to see so many things in so many places. I want to spend my days playing in the woods and John wants his comfortable armchair to come home to instead of wet sleeping bags. We think we found the solution for both of us in the PC (with a toad carrying those backpacks just in case.) I've been reading your posts and dreaming and making lists and we hope to get out to Elkhardt and make this happen soon. We will still be working part time to keep that all-important health insurance active but the deal has been struck with the boss so it will be while we are on the road. I'm personally confident I can balance my computer on my lap while warming my feet by the fire and gazing at the stars... and I'll work inside when I have to though John already has dibs on that euro chair... and our granddaughter has dibs on my twin bed when she is with us. She was told she'd have a choice of couch or bed and said Grandma can sleep on the couch (would that be the comfy, memory foam, adjustable, reclining couch out there with the coffee pot? - bummer for morning person Grandma.)  So I come up with wild ideas and John survives them and Chloe joyfully comes along for the ride. If all goes well, we'll be adding to the number of PCs on the road and will get to meet many of you soon. We hope to have the RV by late winter/early spring to practice camp before the long trip and my goal is to be homeless by 10/1/13 (the delay is to get affairs in order and is part of negotiation with boss. Anyone want to rent a furnished house in the DC area for a year?... or more... don't tell John about the more dream. He isn't ready to become a gypsy.) PC dreaming -

NOTE: I tried to post this before but it said I couldn't because I was logged off. I checked, I was logged in. I hit post again, it said I couldn't because I already submitted the post but it wasn't on the Forum. Soooo if anyone finds my original post let me know so I can delete the duplicate... see 2 Frazzled fits. 

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