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Tuesday December 1 - Wednesday December 2:
to report on the first of December. We worked and then relaxed in
the evening. Mac had picked up steak at the commissary so we had a
great steak dinner this evening.
Wednesday the 2nd we worked in the morning and then around 2 we left to
go visit Macís mom. We had a good visit with her and her husband
Harry. We even watched the DVD postcard that weíd sent them from
Yellowstone. It really made me want to go back there again.
Yellowstone is so awesome; Iím ready to go back, except of course itís
too cold there now.
Mac had some more work to do this evening for west coast clients so we
left after a few hours and headed back towards the RV. We did stop
at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries for some dinner and those burgers and fries
are really great.
I have a fasting blood test in the morning and I told Mac that if my
cholesterol is high itís because of all this beef Iíve been eating
lately. I donít usually eat much beef and here Iíve had a lot
lately. After dinner we went home and Mac made the phone calls he
needed to make this evening.
Guys Burgers and Fries
Chris mentioned that we stopped here to
eat. They're all over the East coast and if you're from California
you'll understand if I say they're similar to an In-n-Out. Fresh
high quality food served quickly. A couple of twists; they give
you free roasted peanuts to eat while you wait and they give you an
extra order of fries dumped into the bag , so for 4 people you really
only need 2 orders of fries. They also have a few items besides
burgers, like Hot Dogs and grilled cheese.
Thursday, December 3rd:
I had a doctorís appointment and the fasting blood test this morning so
we left and headed out to the doctorís office. Finally itís all
done and we went to eat breakfast. We had a few stops to make this
morning too and a Cracker Barrel is convenient for breakfast this
morning. I know a lot of people really love Cracker Barrel but I
donít care for them that much. I thought my grits were thinned out
too much; there wasnít a lot of grit to my grits. Also, the gravy
had way too much smoke flavor in it. One bite was all I could take
of that stuff. I couldnít get Mac to taste it though.
After breakfast we drove over to visit Macís mom after her pacemaker
surgery. Sheís doing well and recovering wonderfully from that so
it was great to see that sheís doing well.
Mac was supposed to have had a doctorís appointment this afternoon but
when he called to confirm it the other day they didnít have it on the
books so he had to schedule one for tomorrow afternoon. So after
visiting with his mom for a while we headed towards home. We
stopped along the way and did some errands but finally we got back to
Mac had ordered our mail and it arrived today. We had fun going
through our casino offers and checking them out. Nothing so great
that we want to rethink our plans though. We got movies too so
weíll have some to watch the next few days.
Later in the evening we left and drove to Brandon to have a birthday
dinner with daughter Nicole, husband Aaron and our cute grandson Austin.
Heís grown so much since we saw him in February before we left Tampa.
We had dinner at Olive Garden which was Nicoleís pick for her dinner.
We had a great time visiting and talking. After dinner we drove
back to the RV.
Friday, December 4:
This morning I have an appointment to see my surgeon. This is a
yearly visit to see how my knee is doing. X-rays and doctor
confirm that my knee replacement is doing wonderfully. Hopefully,
that will be the report for a couple of decades.
After the doctorís office visit I stopped at two thrift stores and found
a couple of books that Iíve been looking for. Thatís always nice
to find some books that Iíll enjoy reading. I even found a couple
of books that I thought Mac would enjoy and bought them for him.
I then had to hurry home so that Mac could use the car to go to his
doctor appointment this afternoon. Itís been a rainy day sometimes
quite heavy so I worried a little while he was gone that some roads
might close but that didnít happen and he got home safely.
This evening since the weather is cold and rainy we watch a DVD that had
come in the mail for us. I think we watched 16 Blocks with Bruce
Willis. It was a pretty good movie, not quite what I was expecting
Saturday, December 5:
Iíve been goofing off on the internet and talking on the phone to family
members this morning. Boy the day sure flies by when talking on
the phone! Mac has been busy making the list of things we need to
get done and heís motivated now to start checking things off the list.
He called and scheduled both of us eye exams for this afternoon.
Not what I wanted to do on a dreary Saturday afternoon but oh well,
thatís what we did.
Our appointments were at 3 and 3:15 and we didnít get done there until
after 5. We both had our eyes dilated and a through exam by the
doctor. I thought this doctor did a great job and took his time
and thoroughly examined our eyes. Unlike the doctor we went to in
Vegas who probably had been a Vegas showgirl to pay her way through
school. I donít want to see my doctorís cleavage while having any
kind of checkup and thatís what she showed; lots of cleavage. Mac
doesnít remember which I find odd; perhaps heís lying to me about
noticing her cleavage. Or maybe he really did need an eye exam!
After we finally got done with the eye exams and deciding if we wanted
to buy new glasses we headed over to
for dinner. This is my first time eating at one but Mac has been a
few times before. We split a couple of appetizers and shared some
pork lo mein. It was pretty busy which was to be expected on a
Saturday night at dinner time. I will visit one again to try some
different items before making up my mind as to whether or not I like the
restaurant. Mac likes Changís a lot so weíll be going again for
sure because he likes the food.
After dinner we stopped at Blockbuster and picked up a movie for the
evening. We got one in Blu-ray. Mac has done some research
and decided that weíre buying a Blu-Ray player at the BX tonight while
theyíre on sale. We stopped in at the BX and picked up a Blu-Ray
player and picked up a few other needed items while there.
After finally getting home Mac hooked up the Blu-Ray player and our
movie in. I must say the quality of the picture is outstanding.
Turns out we watched 2 movies this evening. After the first movie,
Wolverine, which was in Blu-Ray, was over we watched a regular DVD on
the Blu-Ray to see what it would look like. Turns out the regular
DVDs look outstanding on it also; not quite as great of quality as one
made for Blu-Ray but better than on a regular DVD player. I think
weíre going to enjoy this new Blu-Ray player.
Sunday, December 6:
Finally we have a day without rain. We had a few family phone
calls this morning and then we finally got around to getting some
laundry done. I think it was 3 weeks since we last did laundry but
we got it done today.
After that was done we left the base and ran a few errands. After
all the errands were done and dinner was over we watched a movie that we
picked up at Blockbuster while out today. It was the Taking of
Pelham 123. It was a pretty good movie, suspenseful but way too
many curse words.
Monday, December 7:
Well, another work week has started. Thatís about all that we did
today was work, work and work. Not much else but work today.
Did I mention that we worked today?
Tuesday, December 8:
We had dentist appointments today around 12. After we finally got
done there we had a late lunch. Then ran some more errands and
back to the RV. Since we had such a late lunch I had cereal for
dinner, and Mac cooked himself something.
This evening we started going through our clothes and managed to fill 3
bags of stuff to donate. We feel that weíre making great progress
on getting rid of some of the clutter and reorganizing. Mac was
pleased that weíre making progress on the list heís made of things to
accomplish while here in Tampa.
Wednesday, December 9:
We have an appointment at 12:30 to drop the RV off to replace the
windshield. They say it will only be about 30 minutes but could
take a couple of hours if problems arise. So while they were doing that
Mac and I drove the car over to the mall and met Nicole and Austin for
After lunch we went shopping and bought Austin a late birthday present.
We also got ideas for Christmas gifts. Had fun walking around with
Austin and looking at toys.
We went and picked up the RV and the new windshield looks nice. We
drove up to the Flying J and Mac had the propane tank filled. We
also went to Camping World and bought a few items and had fun looking
We left and headed back to MacDill AFB. I was way ahead of Mac so
I stopped at the BX and looked around. When he finally got to the
base we met up at the commissary and did some grocery shopping and of
course Mac bought some wine at the Class 6 store. Then finally to
the RV Park and got all set up again on our site.
Thursday, December 10:
It rained today and was pretty dreary all day. Also started
getting pretty darn chilly too! Neither of us went out today;
stayed inside and worked then goofed off indoors.
Friday, December 11:
Another windy and chilly day today; we didnít go outside much today.
Though Mac did run over to Ticket and Tours and paid for a park hopper
for me and the free one for him. Last night I noticed that The
Disney Parks are again having the free passes for active and retired
military. This time itís for 5 days and last till December 23 and
we thought it would be fun to run over and visit the parks a couple of
times. The free pass for Mac would be for 5 days; doesnít have to
be consecutive, which is nice. We hope to visit a couple of times
at least before 23rd. Disney does a great job of decorating for
the holidays and that would be fun to see again.
Saturday, December 12:
A pretty day today, no rain and the highs today were in the 70ís.
We ran around today doing errands and some shopping. Have to get
all the Christmas shopping done so the gifts can go in the mail this
week for the out-of-town parts of the family.
This evening we watched a movie that we picked up at Blockbuster while
out. We watched Terminator Salvation. Itís not as good as
the rest of the Terminator movies but it was okay for mindless
Sunday, December 13:
After a relaxing morning we drove to Orlando and visited Disneyís Epcot
today. It was warm but not too incredibly hot. I think high
was around 85 and partly cloudy so that the sun wasnít always beating
down on our heads.
We had fun walking around all the countries. We spent more time in
Germany, France and Italy so that Mac could try some wines from these
countries. After visiting the different countries we walked over
and saw all the fish in The Seas with Nemo and Friends before riding
Soaring over California. This is just an awesome ride, we both
really enjoy it.
After the ride we decided to leave the park and have some dinner.
We stopped at Carrabbaís
Italian restaurant and had a nice dinner before driving back to
Tampa and the RV. We had a great time and look forward to going
again next weekend.
Monday, December 14:
Mac had a doctor appointment around noon today so we worked
before and after the appointment. Later in the afternoon we went for a
walk on the beach. We saw a couple of dolphins, a beautiful dark pink
spoonbill, and lots of shore birds while on our walk. It was a very nice
relaxing walk before heading back to the RV for dinner and down time.
Tuesday, December 15:
After work today we drove up to visit Macís mom and her husband Harry.
They took us to the Olive Garden restaurant for dinner this evening. After
visiting some more we left and stopped at Wal-Mart before heading back to the
Wednesday, December 16:
Both pairs of glasses are in finally so we picked them up today. Before we
did that though we stopped at the UPS shipping center and shipped out the
Christmas presents for out of town family. After picking up our glasses we
again had dinner at P.F. Changís. We split some shrimp and lobster sauce
and egg rolls and it was delicious!
This evening we watched the Transporter 3 movie we received in the mail.
It wasnít as good as the first two Transporter movies. But Jason Statham
is easy on the eyes so who cares about the plot of the movie?
Thursday, December 17:
Mac had 2 appointments this afternoon. We met Nicole and Austin for lunch
at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. After Mac left for his appointments Nicole
drove us around shopping. We stopped at a couple of thrift stores before
heading back to the RV. Austin was so much fun to be around. Heís 4
now; such a cute age.
After Nicole and Austin left Mac and I had pizza for dinner. We also did a
few loads of laundry. Then some down time watching Into The Wild on DVD.
It was a good movie but it made us a little sad.
Friday, December 18:
Woke up to rain this morning, yuck! After working most of the day we
packed up and hit the road for Orlando. Weíre staying at the
Buena Vista Palace Hotel for the
weekend. After checking in and getting set up in our room we decided to
have dinner right here at the hotel. We ate at the Outback Restaurant,
which is not affiliated with the Outback Steakhouse. Bummer, we were going
to share a blooming onion. But thatís about a gazillion calories so itís
probably a good thing they donít have them. We split an entrťe and some
appetizers. It was a good dinner but not fantastic.
We then rode the shuttle bus over to Downtown Disney. We had a fun time
looking around and managed to not spend any money either. We really
enjoyed looking at the huge Lego items that are there and all the pretty
Christmas lights. I think the stores closed at around 11 tonight and after
riding the shuttle back to the hotel we finally got to bed around midnight.
We only had a few sprinkles of rain while there so that was nice that it finally
quit raining. But the weather is much cooler and will be chilly this
weekend while weíre here.
Saturday, December 19
We had the breakfast buffet this morning at the hotel. Afterwards we drove
to a couple of the outlet malls around the Orlando area. While we were
shopping Macís temporary cap came off his teeth. Thankfully, Mac found a
24 hour dentist online and called about getting it glued back on. So off
to the dentist we went.
We had lunch at the Panda Express buffet. Itís the only Panda Express with
a buffet so we had to eat there. It was served the same as any other Panda
Express just you could eat as much as you wanted.
After lunch we drove over to Disneyís Animal Kingdom and had a great time
walking around the park. We saw some pretty cool animals and also watched
We then went back to our hotel and rested up for about an hour before heading
out to dinner. We ate at the Golden Corral buffet this evening. It
was very good, especially the hot rolls. They are yummy!
We were going to go to Magic Kingdom after dinner but we changed our minds.
Weíve had a full day already and it will be a little chilly tonight in the park.
Now that the sun is down itís cooling off fast. Itís forecasted to be
around 40 tonight. So we decided to go back to our room and relax the rest
of the evening in preparation for tomorrowís adventures.
||Photos: At left, Mickey says "Merry Christmas".
Below, Mac & Chris at Animal Kingdom.
At our hotel they have Disney characters that visit the tables during
the breakfast buffet. Pluto came to our table and he was such fun.
We had called him over to visit a girl less than two who was in the
corner near our table. While Pluto was playing with the little
girl who wouldnít leave her motherís lap Mac took pictures for the mom.
Pluto and the girl played peek-a-boo and it was so much fun to watch how
well these characters react with children; even us big kids had fun with
After breakfast we headed over to Magic Kingdom. It was very busy
but still magical. I really love this park. Seeing the
castle and the parade is so great!
More Disney Photos
From Magic Kingdom we took the monorail over to Epcot around
lunch time. We rode the boat over to the countries and had lunch in Italy.
All the staff in the various countries are from those countries. Before
working at Disney representing their country they learn to speak English.
Our waitress spoke so quickly and had such an accent that we didnít understand a
word she spoke. Just about every time she came to our table we had to ask
her to repeat herself. I think she was just so busy that she didnít slow
down even to speak. The food was very good; we enjoyed our lunch and saw a
few items on other tables that weíd like to try when we visit again.
After lunch Mac went to France and had some wine. I walked slowly along
and visited a few shops that I wanted to look in again before joining up with
him there. We watched a film about France that was about 18 minutes long.
It was a very good film showing various points of interest in France.
After walking around some more and visiting a few places we headed back towards
the front of the park where we rode the monorail back to Magic Kingdom. We
walked around Magic Kingdom and had a blast. We saw plenty of characters
this weekend while visiting the parks including The Princess and The Frog from
the newest movie that opened yesterday in theaters.
We left Magic Kingdom just after dark. The lights are so pretty and the castle
changing colors is just awesome to see. But itís getting quite chilly so
weíre ready to leave.
We were tired when we finally got back to the room and we decided to have pizza
for dinner. Mac had asked downstairs for their recommendations and they
had recommended Flipperís Pizzeria.
Mac called several times but the line was always busy so since it was so close
we decided to drive over and have dinner there.
It was a very tasty pizza and we shared an antipasto salad and breadsticks that
were outstanding! Way too much food but it was delicious. Weíll have
to remember this place when we come back to Orlando again.
Monday, December 21:
We had the buffet again for breakfast this morning and then worked till around
11 from our room. Mac is working shorter hours this week and I too didnít
have much work this morning. After packing our bags we left around 12 and
headed west to Tampa.
We stopped for lunch in Lakeland at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. We really
love this burger place, the food is freshly cooked and taste great made with
We then continued on driving to Tampa. We stopped at Best Buy to pick up a
few Christmas presents. Then on to the thrift store where Mac dropped me
off while he went to a doctorís appointment. After he was done and picked
me up we drove to MacDill and stopped at the commissary for a few needed items.
Then finally back home to our RV. Like Dorothy said ďThereís no place like
homeĒ. We had a great weekend getaway but there really is no place like
We had dinner and then relaxed this evening watching a movie that Mac had
ordered from Blockbuster, The French Connection. I think this is the first
time weíve watched an older movie and you can tell the film quality is not as
good as now.
Tuesday, December 22:
We both had dental appointments this afternoon so after about 3-4 hours at the
dentist we finally got to leave. We rented the movie The Polar Express
this evening and it was a very relaxing movie. I actually fell asleep a
couple of times while watching it.
Wednesday, December 23:
After working today we wrapped presents and did a few loads of laundry.
Itís been a tad chilly and dreary too today. It rained too and wasnít
predicted to rain either! This evening we watched the movie The Missing
with Tommy Lee Jones. It was a good movie, not quite what I was expecting
but I didnít fall asleep like last night!
Thursday, December 24:
Our daughter Nicole married into a large family. Weíve discovered over the
years that itís just too much for her household to visit all the families on
Christmas Day and spend any quality time at each location. So weíve
started celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve and itís worked out great.
Today we had our Christmas and it was wonderful to be with our family that lives
here in the Tampa area. We did miss everyone that could not be here today
but thatís the way it is when family lives all around the country.
We had a blast watching grandson Austin who is 4 opening his presents.
Heís at such a cute age. Small children appreciate and take pleasure in
simple items such as pajamaís and a robe. He was thrilled with his
presents and it gave us joy to watch his enthusiasm.
In the evening we went to the candlelight service with our extended family.
On our drive back home we stopped at Blockbuster to turn in our movie and pick
up another one. We watched District 9 tonight and it was quite
Friday, December 25:
Christmas day and itís rainy, damp, and chilly today. We had a relaxing
day watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas carols, and enjoying
leftovers from our Christmas dinner of yesterday.
Saturday, December 26 Ė Sunday, December 27:
We were going to go to some after Christmas sales this weekend but we decided
that we really donít need anything so weíll just save that money. We spent
the weekend working on getting rid of stuff and reorganizing. We took
everything out from under the bed and went through it and managed to fill 4 bags
with stuff to donate. We also did laundry and thatís always just a fun
We did go and take back our Blockbuster movie and picked up another one.
This weekend we watched Knowing starring Nicholas Cage. It was a good
movie and kept us wondering what was going on and how it would end.
December 28, 2009
Back to work today and we both put in some long hours today. Later
we went for a walk and it was pretty chilly and windy. Thankfully,
I had a hoodie on my sweatshirt/jacket, kept my ears warm. But Mac
doesnít have anything to cover his ears. Weíll have to get him
Tonight there is a chance of frost around the Tampa Bay area. What
the hey, who comes to Florida for this weather? Itís supposed to
be warm in Florida!
We watched Crank on DVD tonight. What a stupid waste of time movie
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Mac had a fasting blood test this morning. I worked while he was
gone and we both worked when he returned. Not too much work to do
lately but still there is work to get done.
Later in the afternoon we left and ran some errands such as opening a
savings account just for our gambling money. All gambling wins
(hopefully many) will go in this account and we will withdraw our
gambling budget dollars from this account. Hopefully, we wonít
need to withdraw much but will make deposits.
We went to pick up the new lens for Macís glasses. When we had
picked up our new glasses recently Mac noticed that one of his lenses
was scratched so the company sent another lens which came in today.
It will take about an hour to get the new lens put into his glasses.
While that work was being done we went to a few stores in the mall.
We bought a few bargains at Pennyís. I really had not intended to
buy anything but with the clearance sales some of the bargains are just
too good to resist. Mac found a few slacks on sale which we
bought. He really needs more long pants. Heís lost so much
weight that heís donated most of his clothes. Anytime we can find
a bargain on needed items it makes it a pleasure to shop.
We still had about $30 left on a Sears gift card that weíd gotten from
Harrahís back in May this year. Mac has wanted a slow cooker for
some time now. Since many stores are having sales and we have this
gift card with us we bought one at Sears.
After picking up Macís glasses we had dinner at P.F. Chang's again.
We ate outside this evening. There were heaters around to keep us
warm and with a jacket on it wasnít too cold to enjoy our dinner.
Wednesday, December 30:
After work today Mac went to the commissary. He wanted to pick up
ingredients to make beef stew in the slow cooker. And of course he
picked up other grocery items as well.
Today turned out to be a lovely day, high about 71. We went for a
walk on the beach. It was really nice. There wasnít much
wind at all so the water looked like glass. We enjoyed walking at
the waterís edge. We didnít walk in the water today because it was
pretty durn cold water! Amazing how much colder the water has
gotten in only a few weeks. Last time we walked on the beach in
the water and it was chilly but this water is down right cold.
This evening we watched the movie Wanted. Another stupid movie
that is a total waste of time to watch!
Thursday, December 31
We worked this morning. Mac had another dental appointment this
afternoon so while he was gone I finished my work day and read my book.
Mac stopped at the commissary and picked up some snack items for
We watched a few movies on DVD, and a few programs on TV also. Mac
went down to the beach around midnight to see fireworks from other
locations but I stayed home. I was content watching TV and
thinking what my resolutions would be for the new year.
2009 Year Campsites in Review
only set one new record this year, and it wasn't a good
one. This was our most expensive year yet for camping fees. Our
least expensive year was 2007 at $9.12 per night, and at $9.66 2009 was our most
expensive. Still, we camped free 107 nights so that's not bad, and when
you consider that we averaged $13.68 per paid night we saved over $1460 with our
107 free nights.
||Avg $ per Nite
||Avg $ per Paid Nite
Where we camped the most again this year was at military bases (191
nights) followed by casinos (60 nights) and Escapee Club RV parks (50
115 days at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, NV
67 days at MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL
9 days at Seal Beach Navy Base, Seal Beach, CA
Public RV Parks