Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Best of 2016 (Part 2)


In June we said farewell to our gate attendant positions and began our duties as camp hosts. Positions that we were much better suited for! We also increased our number of work hours from 10-15 hours per week to 30 hours per week. The added hours limited our free time but were a welcome addition to our paychecks! Toward the middle of the month Mindi, Chris, Sarah and Mike came for a visit. They spent a day in the park enjoying the amusement rides and the water rides. Another day we all piled into our truck, crossed the border and toured the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. While we were working the kids spent a couple of days touring the Toronto area. They were very impressed with the city and its inhabitants. 

July, August, September:

Worked, tended and harvested my container garden, enjoyed a day visit from Bob's sister and her kids and grandkids and spent a day in Tioga PA (our home town) for its annual Old Home Day. Even the cats started looking ready to move on! After Labor Day the park is only open weekends so many of the employees had left. We stayed to the end of September when the park closed for the winter.


On our way back to FL we spent a few days in Murphy NC visiting good friends. We attended an Arts and Craft show where I found the perfect Christmas present for Mindi. She lives in Oviedo FL which is famous for its "free range" chickens. Of course we had to visit the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company to restock our oil and vinegar collection! A new stop for us was Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge GA. What a fantastic apple orchard and farm market. We bought three half-bushels of apples. I did a lot of canning when I got back home! We returned home just in time to "hunker down" for Hurricane Matthew. Thankfully he changed his mind at the last minute and stayed just off shore so damage was less severe than expected. Spending almost 6 months in the motor home made us aware of some desired/needed changes. Our first project - new bathroom and kitchen faucets.


November saw us continuing with our motor home updates. After 10 years and many trips with our cats the window valances and shades were beginning to look quite shabby. Solution? Plantation blinds and oak valances. As of this post we still have 4 more to do. When we bought this motor home we were so excited that it came with a 4-door refrigerator. So much room! Worked great when you were on vacation and eating out a lot. Not so roomy when you are preparing most of your meals at home. The final straw came when we discovered a 12 inch pizza would not fit. So we did a lot of research on installing residential refrigerators in RVs. We decided it was doable and found the recommended refrig at Lowes, on sale even! The only negative was that it had to be special ordered from the manufacturer and wouldn't be available for at least a month. We ordered it anyways, removed the old refrigerator and started retrofitting the cabinet.

Family Thanksgiving was held at our house this year. I love family gatherings and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Our niece has moved back to Florida and it was fun having a little one around again.

And of course Thanksgiving means it's time to start decorating for Christmas!


One afternoon we had some very unexpected visitors! Two bald eagles took up short term residence  in a tree behind our house. They stayed in the tree for a couple of hours observing the neighborhood. One was feeding on a small animal. We enjoyed watching them through the binoculars but it was hard to get good pictures because of the scrub trees.

The refrigerator for the motor home was delivered sooner than expected. We were able to get it in through the door and into place without too much difficulty. It really does have a freezer drawer (Lol!) and the trim work is now all in place. We finally installed the main bath's tile back splash. It only took about two years to complete! We also helped Bob's sister tile her kitchen back splash. I finished up all my Christmas gift projects and even found time to make Christmas cookies. 

Some pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The tricycle that Sarah is riding in the picture below was hers when she was little. It was re-gifted to our great niece.

And that was 2016! Wonder what 2017 will bring?

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Best of 2016 (Part 1)


While we were working at Amazon Michael bought new living room furniture. When we returned home, we found that the new furniture did not fit the current room configuration. So . . . what to do? Take down a wall of course! Later in the year we patched the walls, repainted and added chair rail. 

We have owned our current motor home since 2006. After 10 years of wear and repeated shampooing the carpet was definitely becoming shabby. Time for a refresh so out with the carpet and in with vinyl plank flooring. What an improvement and so much easier to care for!

After all that remodeling the cats needed some R and R!


In February we made our annual pilgrimage to DIS for the Daytona 500. Had a great time as usual.

When we removed the wall in the living room I lost storage space so we built a custom storage unit in the bedroom to hold all of my craft supplies . . . and the cats. Lol!


March saw us attending some of our granddaughter Sarah's Winter Guard competitions. . .

and spending a day at Bike Week.

We also used some recycled materials to build a gazebo for Bob's mom. It will provide her fish with shade and some protection from the weather.


We spent the month of April enjoying an early retirement party for a dear friend, getting together with family to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday, repurposing a storage cabinet to become a media cabinet, attending more of Sarah's competitions, completing all the necessary semi-annual doctor and dental appointments and finally heading north for our summer workamping job. Along the way we stopped to visit good friends in North Carolina.


Our summer workamping job was at Darien Lake Resort and Amusement Park. Darien Lake is located about 20 miles east of Buffalo NY. The complex has an amusement park, a water park, a hotel and a campground. The campground has several types of accommodations. There are guest houses, cabins, rental rv units, clamping tents and regular campsites. It opens at the beginning of May and closes at the end of September. Our initial job was working the gate house at the entrance to the campground and hotel but we soon discovered that it was not our preferred position. So we became camp hosts which we loved! We assisted the guests to their sites if needed, answered their questions, acted as a liaison between the camping office and the guests and cleaned up around the units and campsites after the guests departed. Our job was not glamorous and sometimes it was dirty but it was rewarding and much less stressful!

Some views of the amusement park, the water park and some of the rental accommodations.

Geese and babies, our motor home site, baby grapes behind the mh and the beginnings of my container garden.

In May the park was open only on the weekends so we had time during the week to do some sight-seeing.  We spent a day at Letchworth State Park and another day touring Fort Niagara.

More to come!