Well, it looks like our decision to winter in Florida this year was a good one. There are several RVer's blogs and several online RV discussion forums that we follow, and there are many people complaining about the cold weather in the southwest. For the most part, the temperatures here in Florida have been in the 70s with lows in the 50s and 60s, but we have had several cool days. Paul and Molly walk the trash to the dumpster almost every day, even when it's downright chilly. :)
We have had a lot of sun, but we have also had a some rain. The rain is welcomed by the locals since the area is in a drought. The photo below shows a rainbow that appeared right after a storm. It was one of the most vivid we had ever seen.
As we mentioned in our last post, the site we had at Blueberry Hill RV Resort wasn't available for as long as we wanted to stay so we had to move to another site on Jan. 15. The new site looks pretty much like our old site, so rather than bore you with another picture of a similar site, we thought we would show a couple of shots of the rest of the campground. In the photo below, the large building is the club house with the pool area to the right surrounded by palm trees. The horseshoe pits are in the center of the picture.
The next photo shows the newly built ponds in front of the shower house. Even though all the sites at Blueberry Hill have full hookups and even though almost all the RVs are larger motor homes and 5th wheels, the showers are very nice and are used by a quite a few people.
Since we were only about an hour from the Florida State Fairgrounds near Tampa, we drove down for the big Tampa RV Super Show. We still aren't in the market for a new RV, but we just wanted to see what was new just like last we did last September at the Hershey Show. Our test drive of a motor home on the new Workhorse UFO (Universal Fuel Option) chassis was canceled at Hershey because of electrical problems with the coach, but Paul finally got to drive one at Tampa. He was impressed at the excellent handling and quietness of the coach.
We also signed up for a Spanish class at The Villages. The Villages is a community development about 30 minutes from our campground here in Bushnell. The Villages consists of numerous gated housing plans, each with its own pool and community center. Each plan has areas of homes in several price ranges. There are two major shopping districts in The Villages (Spanish Springs and Lake Sumter Landing), numerous golf courses, a woodworking shop, a polo field, fitness centers, a community garden, an archery range, libraries, schools, and numerous medical facilities including a hospital. The Spanish classes, along with a number of other classes, are sponsored by The Villages Lifelong Learning College. After an initial enrollment period for residents of The Villages, any remaining openings in the classes are opened up to the surrounding community. The class is total immersion which means the instructor speaks in Spanish for most of the class. Paul has a natural propensity for languages and is picking it up very well which makes him a great tutor for Margery who's waiting for the Spanish light to come on...which the instructor promises will happen. We'll see. :)
We have been enjoying our stationary time here in Florida. In addition to swimming, biking, and learning Spanish, we also joined a Tai Chi class here at the campground. Tai Chi is the short name for Tai Chi Chuan (meaning supreme ultimate force), which is based on a Chinese martial art. In the western world, the name has been shortened to Tai Chi, and it is practiced as an exercise for its health benefits and the martial art aspect is deemphasized. It is a slow-motion excercise of various movements which build muscle tone, strength, and balance. It is also supposed to reduce stress, but retirment went a long way toward that for us. Although Margery's bad knees prevent her from doing all the moves, she does those that she can. The photo below shows Paul learning one of the moves for Tai Chi called Parting the Horse's Mane.
Speaking of Margery's knees, we attended an informational seminar sponsored by the Florida Knee and Orthopedic Center regarding knee resurfacing. We decided to schedule an evaluation, and it turns out that Margery is an excellent candidate for partial knee resurfacing of both knees. Her doctor up north recommended waiting until the pain was unbearable before doing anything about her knees but the progressive debilitation has been frustrating. Since partial resurfacing is not as extensive or as invasive a procedure as knee replacement, it opened up new possibilities. Although partial resurfacing has been around for something like 28 years, many doctors don't do it, perhaps because early surgeries had mixed successes. This particular medical practice, though, has been on the cutting edge (no pun intended) of knee replacements since 1983 and improvements in implant design, instrumentation, and surgical technique has given them a very high success rate. Anyway, without getting into all the pros and cons, we decided now was a good time for Margery to proceed with partial resurfacing and the first knee is scheduled for January 29. If all goes well, we will only have to extend our stay here in Florida a week or two in the spring. The second knee is scheduled to be done 4 weeks after the first and she should be well on her way to recovery by the time we get back on the road just before Easter. The possibility of being able to hike some trails in Yellowstone and the Tetons this summer has her really excited.