Eastward to Alabama and Florida
Trip Start May 21, 2008
11Trip End Dec 31, 2008
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We continued rather quickly on to Red Bay, Alabama where the factory and Service Center for our Tiffin Allegro Bus RV is located. Besides the damaged left rear bumper area, we needed the left half of our windshield replaced (due to a rock hit and subsequent spider crack and luckily fully covered by FL insurance) and a few other repairs and/or service. It took over three weeks because they would do a little something and then it could be days before they would do something else. Oh well, we didn't have to pay for staying there and insurance covered most everything, so it wasn't too bad.
Finally, we went on down to our friend PJ's place in Vernon, FL just south of the I-10 and north of Panama City. We've been there a few times before and sort of use it as our 'East Coast home base'. PJ had some serious health battles a few months back, but was looking fabulous.
We only stayed a little over two weeks but had fun catching up on news, both of there in FL and also about Maui. For those of you that might not know, or remember, her business is a reservations service for many different fun activities (luaus, boat trips, shows, etc.) on Maui (which I used not only used to own that business but also worked with the activities for over 20 years while both Terry and I lived on Maui).
Tourism on Maui has suffered quite a bit. My daughter, Sandi, who is a manager of Maui Downhill (bike rides down the Haleakala Mtn.) keeps me informed, as well as, some other former friends and collegues that are still on Maui. A lot of businesses have had to close. In some ways it's very sad, in others, it brings back memories of times past, before the Time-share companies and Expedia invaded like Attila the Hun and have tried to destroy the Aloha spirit. Unfortunately, they're still mostly in control, but even they have had to cut back a lot.
While there we had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with just the four of us, PJ, Vinny (a friend who lives and works there), Terry and I, followed by a fun evening at the Bingo parlour in nearby Chipley. We also went a couple of times to another Bingo parlour in another nearby town of Bonify, where they also have computerized machines besides the normal ink 'daubers' on paper bingo sheets. It was all fun.
We had originally thought that we might stay in Florida for the winter, however, we found out that the rents in Florida are at least twice as expensive as in Texas.
We also had hoped to meet with Carlos, Carlyna-Bella and Tracy's family, who were going to be in Florida for Tracy's dad, Gary, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a college softball coach. However, the induction was in Marco Island, which is south of Ft. Myers on the far southwest coast of Florida and about 400+ miles OW from Vernon. They were also going to Orlando, but again, that's far and would have been too expensive for us. So we gave up trying to stay in Florida.