St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

St. Augustine – On The Road To Florida

  We rolled down I-95 past St. Augustine, Florida, on Thursday about twelve noon and found our campground just south of there off SR 207. I had picked it out of the Passport America directory and was curious to see how the description jibed with the actual place. As you might expect, things always look better on paper than they do in person. However, in this case, some of the sites were paved and level, a big plus for me. Unfortunately, no one was in the office when we arrived, and still not there when we returned from lunch and the outlet malls up the road at five-fifteen that evening. So, the next morning at eight-thirty I walked over to find that someone was actually in. Turns out the site I had picked was reserved for someone else arriving Friday evening...

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Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Surviving The Time-Share Pitch

Many of you have probably sat through a time-share presentation. Some of you may have bought a time-share. I imagine a lot of you who bought one are perfectly happy with it. But I’ve mostly heard about those of you who aren’t happy. And who want to get out of their time-share, but can’t. There are even time-share resale brokers out there. So, we weren’t in the market for a time-share, but we agreed to listen to the pitch in exchange for a three-night stay at a two-bedroom condo in Williamsburg, Virginia, for $189 plus tax. A nice deal for roomy comfortable accommodations in that historic area. We had seen this ‘vacation’ offer at a home show in Raleigh. Of course, the pitch at the home show and the reality we found at the actual...

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I Learned About RVing From That – Do It Yourself Repairs

I Learned About RVing From That – Do It Yourself Repairs

I got my first non-tent camping unit in 1994 – a used slide-in truck camper – and have had seven more RVs of various kinds since then, so I’ve been at this for a while. Over the years I’ve learned a thing or three about RVing, often the hard way. In the hope of keeping you from making the same mistakes, I’m periodically writing about some of my experiences. My first (and only) motorhome was eighteen years old in 1997 when I acquired it for five-thousand dollars cash. I’d actually been in it before when a friend borrowed it for several of us boys to go to central Florida for an aviation event. It got us there and back so I felt pretty confident buying it a couple of years later. Besides, it belonged to a good friend’s sister-in-law...

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Saying Goodbye To The Two-Year Contract

Saying Goodbye To The Two-Year Contract

Like most everyone else, since getting my first cell phone in early 1990, I’ve signed a service contract. That first one was for a year, but now they’re all mostly two-year contracts. But when our last contract ran out a year ago, we didn’t rush in to get a newer – read: more expensive – phone because we just didn’t want to sign up for another two years. We’re getting more resistant in our… (cough)… maturity. Whenever we’d talk to our provider and ask about new phones over the past year, we’d learn that we’d have to buy a minimum data package which would push our monthly bill up to $130 between us, and that would be with limited minutes and data, plus that ubiquitous two-year contract. We had looked...

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Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, American Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, American Virgin Islands

  Three days into our cruise, we docked in the Virgin Islands right about sunrise, shortly after seven a.m. There was a little bit of sprinkle in the air but the clouds were already beginning to scatter and promise a clear day to come. We went to the big cafeteria on Deck 14 for breakfast so we could get off the ship before the day got too hot. Since our snorkeling with the turtles excursion had been canceled, we were free to do whatever we wanted. So, we were going to prowl the shops at the pier. Yeah, I’m a guy and I like to shop. So sue me. Luckily, we got the obligatory shirts-for-kids purchases out of the way pretty quickly, so won’t have to worry about that for the rest of the trip. There were jewelry stores, watch stores, jewelry and watch...

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Still-Life Masterpieces at NC Museum of Art

Still-Life Masterpieces at NC Museum of Art

File this under the heading of things to do when out-of-town company visits in the Raleigh area. You know how you hate to just sit around the house or go shopping? This is an inexpensive (relatively) way to get out and burn a couple of hours and maybe tack on lunch, the way we did recently. The exhibition, on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, features a bunch of artists I’ve never heard of plus a few that I have. In the interest of full disclosure, I was not an art major in college, although I did take an Art Appreciation class one quarter. That’s probably why I’ve heard of Georgia O’Keefe and so was interested in her painting titled Sunflower from Maggie, painted in 1937. I also am familiar with (well, I’ve heard of)...

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