As 2013 comes to an end we find ourselves not where we had anticipated being at this time. Literally that is. We had a problem with the captain side front wheel brake on the Suite Pea & called ahead to Lazydays RV Service in Seffner, Florida to see if they could fix it. We found out it’s a caliper on the brake that needs replacing but the service center doesn’t have any in stock. That means we must wait to have the part shipped from Oregon before it can be repaired. With tomorrow being New Years Day, it may be Thursday or Friday before we’re fixed & on our way. Disappointing yes but it could be worse. We are parked in a comfortable secure spot. We have 50 amp electric & potable water close at hand. Que sera, sera.
Our Highlights for 2013
Don retiring from Allison Transmission after 39 years of service.
6 years of planning & preparing to become full time RVers finally coming to fruition.
Being able to visit with family & friends that we seldom see.
Camping within view of the magnificent Mackinac Bridge, especially while lit at night.
Spending an entire week parked just behind a dune on one of America’s most beautiful ocean beaches.
Don states that this may not be a highlight but it certainly was momentous for him. He’s referring of course to his bear encounter on the family property in June. He says that although the experience was very exciting, he hopes never to repeat it again. At least not in such close proximity.
Cedar Key’s Parade of Boats on the Gulf. We’d never seen anything like this before. We took pleasure in celebrating this Christmas tradition with the locals.
The Low Points for 2013
Starting 2013 with a knee replacement. Don had known for years that it was inevitable but still dreaded the time it would need to be done. As a side note though, he’s glad he did it. He’s pain free & has found he can do everything he once did, except run. He wasn’t much of a runner before he had knee problems either, just ask his old softball teammates.
Having to sit tight for 3 months after Don’s retirement because of a miscommunication between Allison Transmission & General Motors. It took that long before his pension payouts were implemented.
BREAKDOWNS! 3 OF THEM! However we’re learning to accept the inescapable. Sure, they’re stressful & annoying but it’s to be expected when your home is in constant motion. We’ve come to realize that having maintenance issues will occur whether the home is mobile or a stationary stick & brick abode.
It’s unanimous that for us the highlights of our travels thus far has made the low points fade in comparison.
Favorite campgrounds/RV parks for 2013–
Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground in Mackinaw City, Michigan
The cleanliness of the campground, the scenery, the Lake Huron beach, the variety of campsites, the terrain & layout were great for walking & biking, the natural beauty of the surrounding area, the abundance of things to see & do nearby, the pasties….need I say more.
Rainbow Plantation Escapee Park in Summerdale, Alabama
The layout was fantastic for walking & biking around, the camaraderie with fellow Escapees, the convenience to great places to eat & visit, the proximity to beautiful Gulf Shores & Orange Beach beaches, the Live Oaks & Magnolias, the activities, the cleanliness of the park.
T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Port St. Joe, Florida
The pristine white sand beach, the nature trails, seashelling, the beach, the cleanliness, the palm trees, the beach, the natural beauty, the quiet, did I mention the beach?
Favorite Eateries for 2013–
Northern Indiana is a tough one, it’s like where do I begin. Let’s see, there’s Chicago Joe’s in LaGrange. Absolutely delicious Chicago style hotdogs. We couldn’t get enough of this restaurant. Jo Jo’s Pretzels in Shipshewana. If you like huge, fresh baked pretzels this is the place for you. The variety is the best part & to wash it down, nothing beats a REAL vanilla coke. We can’t forget Amish owned Rocket Science Ice Cream in Nappanee for the ice cream lover & we are indeed. This is by far the very best ice cream we have ever tasted. Great variety here as well, makes choosing a flavor very difficult.
Back in Michigan, the state of our birth, is our favorite all time restaurant. We never miss an opportunity to dine at The Matador in the city of Taylor whenever we are in town. The Botana is to die for! If there’s anything else on the menu we don’t know what it is, we haven’t looked at a menu here in, hmm, 50 years.
Also found in Michigan is Gobbler’s of Gaylord for turkey. They do turkey like Bubba Gump’s does shrimp. Roasted fresh daily. The soups, the sides, the desserts, all made from scratch every single day. Across the Mighty Mac in St. Ignace is Clyde’s Drive-In. An old time favorite with Yoopers & Trolls alike. We can’t visit the U.P. without stopping for a Big Cee. It would be sacrilegious. The best pasties, a U.P. staple, can only be had at Muldoon’s in Munising & let’s not forget the one pound cinnamon rolls from The Hilltop in L’Anse. Last but not least, for a truly awesome dinner, albeit a tad pricey, is Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor.
In Tennessee Don’s aunt Bev introduced us to the Old Mill Restaurant in Sieverville. We ate one of the best breakfasts we can recall ever having. You won’t leave here feeling unsatisfied.
Florida’s offerings were a unique Heart of Palms salad at The Pickled Pelican in Cedar Key & the 3 time World Champion Clam Chowder at Tony’s Seafood, also in Cedar Key. Tony’s had the best breaded shrimp we’ve ever sampled too. The breading was light, not thick & heavy like we normally find.
So there you have it. Our 2013 in a nutshell. We hope your 2013 was just as wonderful as ours was & that your New Year promises to be exciting & full of new adventures for you to enjoy.