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Adelaide Shores, Avon Park, FL

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Taking a Deep Breath

Well, it’s been quite the few days. We spent from last Thursday through Monday at Harry’s 21739989_10208566110304896_8728492313913450163_nsister’s place in Jacksonville. Despite the fact that we were ready to get home by then, it was nice to have a few days to visit with Linda. On Monday we went to Publix to stock up for a while. We knew that everything in the fridge would have to be thrown out, and we weren’t sure about the state of the local grocery stores. We had brought our cooler with us, so we were able to get all the cold stuff packed away for the night.

On Tuesday morning we left bright and early at 6 am! We were so ready to be home we didn’t want to wait a moment longer. We had an uneventful trip, and only hit a couple small slow-downs. It was good to see our place, and the whole resort, generally looking none too worse for wear.

21908466_10215059522668249_1864423458_oI’ve spent the past couple of days getting some meals cooked up, restocking our freezer with spaghetti sauce and chili.

Last night I made a celebratory meal of stuffed pork chops and acorn squash, and we just took a deep breath, and had a nice meal while we enjoyed being home.

21908782_10215059372384492_730219857_oI took this picture today. Harry has already taken down the awning arms that were left attached when the awning was taken by the wind. It tore out the piece of siding from above the window where the awning had been attached.


We lost one piece of siding at the very top on the right side. The awning is bent, and Harry is going to take it down.

We had some skirting out, but we were so excited to find it all laying around the house undamaged. Harry has already replaced it.

Today we took a trip to the Mobile Home Depot. I saw it on our way home on Tuesday and saw a sign on the building that said they had siding, skirting etc. We were able to buy replacement pieces of siding for less than $10 each. Harry has never put up siding before, but I guess he is going to give it a try!

(On an aside…when we bought our place, of course we had to buy insurance to cover it. We have all of our other insurance through GEICO, but they don’t cover mobile homes, or at least they don’t in our part of Florida. We found two possible companies to buy insurance from. One offers a higher coverage limit than the other, but of course is more expensive. Both of them cover hurricane damage, but the hurricane deductible is 2% of your total insured value. For us, that is over $1k, and thankfully we don’t have that much damage. To cover floods, we would have to buy actual flood insurance, but we didn’t as we aren’t close enough to water to be concerned about flooding. Our park model policy costs $463/yr. )

21752150_10215048385989839_3089359832955819154_nYesterday we drove over to the storage place. The rig looked awesome. We didn’t even lose our wheel covers as we had expected. I guess they came off but didn’t go far, and the owner put them back on.


The only damage we had were bolts pulled loose from the roof where the vent covers were attached. Harry has already gone over and caulked the holes. He will replace the vent covers before we hit the road again next year.

Today, in other exciting news, our dresser finally arrived!

Just as a reminder, this is what the bedroom looked like when we bought the place…


And this is the finished product now…



I am so happy with the finished result.

Harry wants to get the repairs completed first, and then we will get back to working around here.

Hopefully we can just get back to normal life now.

Friday, September 15, 2017

What a Relief!

We have been so thankful throughout this whole experience to have such great park owners. The morning after the storm, one of the owners, who works in the office, took time first thing out of her day to drive around the park and post video of the park models. Even though our place was not shown, we were reassured to see what great shape the houses were in. A couple days ago I emailed her just to touch base, and yesterday afternoon I got a reply back, and she included pictures of our place.


The front awning is completely gone. We were going to have it taken down in October when we got the windows replaced, so that is no big loss. Harry will just have to take those hanging brackets down. He thinks he might be able to just snap that siding back together.


On this side we lost a little skirting towards the back. But it looks like it’s still there on the ground, so we may be able to just put it back up. And if not, it doesn’t look like an awful lot of skirting to replace. We are very blessed to have had hardly any damage from the storm!

We also found out that our power was restored yesterday! Harry signed in last night and was able to see the thermostat for our a/c. It is up and running. Another relief.

We left AL yesterday morning around 8 and traveled to Jacksonville. Once we got to I-10, traffic was a little on the heavy side, but it never backed up at all. We had to stop a few times but the trip was uneventful. We are settled in for a few days probably. Now that the resort is back to normal functioning, we can go back anytime. However, we understand that the grocery stores here are still working to get stocked up, and we will have to buy food here before we head back to the Sebring area. From the updates we have seen online, food and gas continue to be in pretty short supply in Highlands county, so we don’t want to go back until we can bring everything we need with us. Hopefully by Monday we will be able to go home!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Good News

Well, we have had some updates from back home and so far all of the news about our property is good. The owner of Adelaide Shores put up some video on facebook of the park and while we didn’t see our place in it, we were relieved to see overall how good it looked. The major damage to the park models seemed to be shingle damage, so we are happier than ever with our decision to do the Roofover back in May. We heard through a friend that someone had looked at our place and said that we lost some skirting and an awning, so sounds like we fared pretty well. Then yesterday I got an email through to the owner of the storage place. She said that from the outside of the lot our rig looked good. She didn’t actually walk in and examine it, but at least it’s upright! At some point, soon hopefully, we will be able to get down there and see for ourselves. Right now the fuel situation is so bad that we could get down there, but then we wouldn’t be able to leave again.

The park itself seemed to fare pretty well also. They lost some fencing and there has been some damage to the sewer system. They will start repairing the sewer system as soon as they have power, which sounds like it might take a week or more. Highlands County was pretty badly hit with the storm, and the electric system has to actually be rebuilt, according to Duke. They aren’t even providing an estimate of when residents of Highland County can hope to have electric. Hopefully we will know something more next week.

We are still in AL. We were planning to leave today, but I-10 and I-75 were pretty jammed up yesterday, and with fuel still in such short supply, we are concerned about getting caught in a lot of slow traffic. So hopefully by tomorrow or the weekend, we will be able to make our way to Jacksonville to Harry’s sister’s place. A little bit closer to home!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Watching Irma

We traveled to Alabama on Thursday. We got up at 1:30 am and were on the road right around 3. It was very weird to be walking around trying to see if there were any last minute additions to throw into the truck just in case everything is gone when we go back.

We ended up not taking any highways until we got up to I-10. The secondary roads were clear and I could see many traffic slowdowns on Google Maps on my phone so we just stayed off the highway. Harry and I switched off driving  every few hours so the other person could nap for a bit. It was a really long day of traveling – a little over 12 hours later when we arrived at our destination in Cullman, AL. The cats were so good – hardly a peep out of them and no accidents. I wouldn’t have blamed them since they spent almost 13 hours in their carriers.

21368911_10214934471182040_426701554928254537_oWe are settled down for the weekend. The cats have somewhat adjusted to another new location. I feel sorry for them since they don’t know what’s going on, and just feel confused to be out of their normal space.

We have been watching the weather coverage of Irma. Now that the storm has shifted a bit to the west as opposed to going through the center of the state, we have a little bit of hope that our house might make it through. And maybe even the rv, although I don’t even want to imagine what 75 – 90 mph winds would feel like in an rv.  Just keeping up the hope and waiting to see where Irma ends up going tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hope For the Best, Plan For the Worst

For the past few days, we’ve been keeping our eyes on Irma as she has developed into what looks to be a major hurricane event for FL. When it became evident that FL was definitely in her sights, we started thinking about which direction we should head. We were very thankful to get an invitation from Phyllis (My Own Highways In My Mind) to come and stay with her and Len while the storm is passing through, which we have gratefully accepted. We have packed up some of our more important items, a few irreplaceable things - pictures and such, and will be heading out before bright and early tomorrow morning for Alabama. We are hoping that our home will be here to come back to after the storm moves through.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Month of Changes

20960945_10214734439861382_904790804_oAs we come to the end of August, I was thinking back about what a whirlwind month it’s been. We started out this month in Ohio, spent a week in Charlotte, and then for the past 15 days we’ve been down at our new place in Avon Park. We spent a few days hooked up on the area they call “the hill” while we got the place cleared out, and then we moved it to storage. A couple days ago, we swung by there just to check things out and all was good there. Having the rig in storage only a couple miles from here is going to be so convenient.

I still don’t want to do any pictures of the bedroom because our dresser still hasn’t come in. We called Badcock to check on the progress and it sounds like we may get it next Thursday. I am really pleased with how the room looks already. Even though a king sized bed is not the usual size for the room, it fits really well, and we have more room on either side than we have around the bed in the rv. So it feels plenty roomy to us. It will be nice though, when our dresser comes in, so we can get some of our clothes out of the closet.

We’ve also painted the hall and an accent wall in our guest area/sitting room, taken out the valences over the windows and replaced all the window shades. A lot of the changes are little ones, but we really like the overall effect.

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This morning we worked on a change that I have really been looking forward to. As a reminder, here is what the kitchen looked like in April.

17992315_10213391331084502_2145928069459821080_nThere wasn’t a ton of counter space, and what there was wasn’t very functional because of the way the cabinet space was configured.

Here is Harry at Easter trying to carve the ham without bonking his head or hand on the cabinet.


We removed the doors to the cabinet a couple weeks ago.


Today Harry first removed all the trim and paneling, so he could see how the cabinets were attached.


Then he placed blocks underneath the cabinet to support it, and used his drill to removed all the screws anchoring it to the ceiling and walls.21277807_10214863289762549_1583305257_o

Then we carefully lifted it down onto the countertop below, and Harry just took it apart, piece by piece. I didn’t get any pictures of that last step though.

21267689_10214864614595669_2016600844_oI just love the open concept look. It feels so roomy. Eventually we will paint the cabinets and update different parts of the kitchen. But for right now we’re just going to do some painting, (you can see the new color on the wall), and put up a shelf on the wall to hold some pots and pans.

I love how the place is coming together!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Becoming Florida Residents

First of all, just a note of support to all those dealing with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Harry and I are thinking about those who are still in harm’s way this afternoon. Sure hope that they don’t get the amounts of rain that they are possibly anticipating!

We’ve been prepping the next area of the house for painting. We have the hallway and one wall of the sitting room area taped up and ready to go. So the plan for tomorrow is to do a little more painting. Harry also finished up replacing the towel bar and other bathroom accessories to something a little less gold. We still have to paint in the bathroom, as the walls in there have more of those “lovely” flowers that we had in the bedroom. But that project is down the road a bit.

A reader left a question on the last blog post about our changing our domicile to Florida and what was involved with that. This address change has been the easiest of all of them because we were already Florida residents.

We started out back in 2010 doing lots of research about which state we should make our domicile after we sold the house. We knew for sure we didn’t want it to be NY!! According to the research we did, the “best” three for rv’ers seemed to be Texas, South Dakota, and Florida, mainly due to the fact that they don’t have state income tax there, and they seem to make becoming residents a little easier for people who don’t actually have a physical home in the state. We were leaning towards FL, when we went to a seminar about choosing a state for domicile, and SD seemed to have a little more going for it because supposedly the insurance rates in FL were more expensive. So, after going back and forth, we decided to use SD.

In hindsight, we would have been so much better going with our original thought. For us, at least, SD didn’t end up being very convenient. They had originally changed the law so that your license could be renewed online. What they didn’t mention was that you had to have stayed a night in the state within the year. Also the license expired on your birthday. You could renew it so much ahead of time and so much after. However, with Harry’s birthday being in Feb and mine in October, they were just far enough away from each other that we would have to make two trips to SD, in the same year. So we decided that when our licenses came up for renewal we would switch to FL. Then our plan was accelerated when our mailing service moved, and since we had to do an address change anyway, we went ahead and switched.

When we “moved” to Florida, we went with St. Brendan’s in Green Cove Springs, FL for our mail service. They were really good about answering any questions we had, although most of the process was pretty clearly explained on their webpage. (We will continue to use them during the summer season to have our mail forwarded to us, as they have been very convenient, and we have always appreciated their excellent service.) When we started going through the process of becoming residents, we discovered that while the insurance was a little more expensive, the yearly registration fees were much cheaper. So it ended up being a wash. The costs involved were the charge to file the domicile documents, to get our licenses and register our vehicles (our truck and fifth wheel). That was a few years ago now and I can’t remember exactly, but I would estimate that the costs to do everything at DMV totaled around $500, give or take a little. The only thing I didn’t like about FL is that they passed a law a couple years ago, that if your address is a mail order facility, they put the registration number for the RV as your physical address on your license. While it never caused any problems, I just didn’t like how it looked on my license.

Anyway, this past week, when we went to change our address, it made it really simple since we were already Florida residents. We just went to the webpage, supplied the identifying information so they could pull up our record, and changed our address – as well as giving our credit card information for the fee, of course! (Florida is really up to date on online access. It is really easy to order absentee ballots, and you can even go back in after you send your ballot back and see what date it was received.) We think we now have most of our address changes done, and it feels good to know we’ve changed our address for the last time for hopefully quite a while.