Well, it's that time again, boys and girls! This year, our adventures will take us across the South to Florida. From there? Who knows? Our itinerary is wide open and so are our hearts and minds. Hope you enjoy traveling with us. Wish you were here. Please give us feedback or comments, as we love knowing that you are along for the ride. . .

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blog 5 Titusville – Orlando ( dedicated to Pam. . .)

While in Titusville for the shuttle launch (see Blog 4), we thought we would drive around and see the rest of what the area had to share. We found out that Merritt Island, which also held the Shuttle launch pad, was quite vast and a great part was a nature preserve and open to the public. We explored the preserve, saw birds and manatees. Really would have been great to stay longer and explore by boat, but alas, Uncle Walt was calling, and Fraidy Cat, you remember Fraidy Cat, thought that there would be alligators and our boat would be bitten in half and nobody would find our remains. As we all know, every drop of water in Florida has alligators teeming underneath!!

If you ever find yourselves in Titusville, Florida, make it a point to visit Leoncito’s Mexican Restaurant. You might be asking, good Mexican food in Florida?! Well, the original home of this place is Whittier, California. Got your attention now, didn’t I? Happy Hour, margaritas and nachos. Dos mas, por favor. Enough said.

We did detour south to Cocoa Beach one day. Remember Major Tony Nelson? He lived in Cocoa Beach. OK, everybody, cross your arms, nod your head. . . Boing! (sound effect). By the time we got there our truck was covered in Love Bugs!! Not a few, but thousands! After talking with locals, the bugs come out about twice a year, but have never been as prolific as they were this year. We concur. We have been here during Love Bug season before, and they were merely a nuisance. This time it seemed more like a plague!! Stopping once to walk out to the water, we had to keep our mouths closed, faces blocked and heads down. They don’t bite, they just ARE!! And this whole process is for mating. Hence the term, Love Bugs. So if you get hit in the face by one, it’s usually two, attached. Talk about a buzz kill for them!! The shoreline was a line of black along the edge of the water, composed of the casualties of wind and water. Picture the scene on the beach in “From Here to Eternity”, only Love Bugs. And that’s how far the line stretched, from here to eternity! Capped off the day with Shepherd’s Pie and Bass Ale at the Pig & Whistle English Pub. Mmmm HP Sauce. . . .

I woke up one morning with a very red eye, so I made an appointment with an ophthalmologist for an exam, got a prescription for antibiotics. While we there, we decided to have our eyes tested. Guess who needs glasses now? Normie!!!

When we got back to Orlando, we drove around inspecting different RV parks for their potential as landing sites for our LOVE SHACK. After cruising through several, we were sure that we would be driving much further out of town than we had hoped. However, we saw a KOA sign, usually not a good thought to us, not because of quality, but because of price. We drove through, fell in love and then asked, “how much?”. To our amazement, they had a monthly rate that was almost exactly half of what we pay to stay home in Newport Beach!! Cha-ching!!!$$$!! So, here we are, for at least a month, maybe more. Our stay here, including proximity and gas savings, will help offset the cost of the Premier Passes we so desperately needed. (sigh) Normie is not thrilled that we have to sit and stay at Disneyworld for at least another month just to save money. Yeah, right!!!

Over the last few years the weather has taken its toll on our roll-out awning to the point that we couldn’t use it. Being in Florida dictated the need for shade. I did a search for new awning replacements on the internet. Usually they are $200-$300. I love shopping for a bargain so was happy to see a sale for $185 online, plus shipping. Then, the Holy Grail, Craigslist. An RV wholesaler selling “2nds” for $95!!!! Yeah, but they were “2nds”, sight unseen. Oh, but wait, what?! They are 45 minutes away? We can come sift through your stock? Today? OK, you all know the rest of the story. . .

Ahh, installation. Imagine a 16ft awning roller, two fifty-something installers, one a Fraidy Cat, and one an adventurer. Got it? Well, suffice it to say, this was a generally comical, tense, funny, tense, team-building, tense, experience. Did I mention tense? Well, the tension subsided greatly when it was successfully installed to perfection with the knowledge that we had saved at least $250 because we didn’t have to pay Camping World to install it! Ahhh, Do-it-yourself projects, FUN. Did I mention tense? I love Fraidy Cat, but I’ll bet Jesus had an easier time with Doubting Thomas.

We like to keep track of events happening in and around the Walt Disney World complex. Serendipity, remember? This includes the surrounding cities and parks. We found out that we would be here for the 30th annual Gay Days celebration at the Magic Kingdom. For those of you who know us, this may sound out of character. Having many very good friends who would have attended if they were here, Normie and I decided to attend and “represent” as a sign of support. Having had firsthand experience as a child of what it’s like to live in a world where you are “different” to those around you, I have a special place in my heart for the underdog in any situation. Whatever your personal views and opinions, sometimes life is not a choice. I was crippled and on crutches for most of my childhood. As put by Lady Gaga, “I was born this way”.

The tradition is to attend the park and wear a red shirt. We, of course, wore our red shirts. Many had slogans, sayings and humor. But all were in good taste and good fun. It was amazing to see the sea of red shirts on Main Street from the train station depot overlooking the area. Many other “supporters” were in attendance as well and the day was vibrant, lively and good fun! Best shirt of the day. . .”Would Jesus discriminate?”



  1. So Glad you lived through the process of putting up the new awning.. now you can really enjoy sitting under it knowing and apprececiating the time and effort into installing it.. Enjoy.. Always such a good read.. Thanks..

  2. Nice dedication! Loved reading the blog again! We really enjoy reading about your adventures and the pictures......keep em coming. Take care. The Ramseys

  3. You're braver than we are. We had to install a new spring on our awning and that was a big enough job. I don't know that we could replace the whole thing.