The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #40 in MD, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL
2,293 miles this trip, odometer now 52,930 total miles this year 20,895.
From , Niceville, FL Hi Everyone!
Thanksgiving went well, got my first taste of turkey at Jeff & Alexis’. They had won a turkey for spending enough money at the store where they buy groceries. Alexis is a manager of a Things Remembered Store in the Mall and she would be busy there on Thanksgiving day so they had no big plans for the holiday. We ate the turkey before the day arrived. Next I went to Jenny’s place for a delicious Thanksgiving day dinner and followed that up with the annual Thanksgiving dinner in VA Beach at Susie’s on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She fed 22 people, after she prepared the turkey John would fry it in a deep fat fryer in the backyard. After he brought the first turkey in it didn’t last long and was consumed by tasters before dinner. In the meantime he fried two more for dinner and that was besides ham and roast beef. I believe everyone ate too much, it happens every year.
After counting my blessings and remembering everything I am thankful for, I had to wait for the dentist to finish the second upper plate, the first one was a disaster. I finally cranked up the old GMC and headed south. The temperature was in the 20s and there was ice on the water in the ditches, I had to find some higher temps. After making some stops for good-byes I thought I was finally headed to higher temps but I was wrong. The next morning I woke up just north of the Florida border and the temp was in the 20s and there was ice in the ditches. In Florida I saw heavy frost till the sun got high enough to melt it. I finally found the 80 degree temps I was looking for when I stopped in Kissimmee for the GMC rally. The rally went well, a lot of good visits, good chow and good weather. I’m going to have to get down here sooner next year so I can enjoy the high temps.
After the rally ended, I paid for three more days, as I had made an appointment with a Cardiology place to get my defibrillator checked. I called my Navy buddy in Sarasota and found out that the oranges and grapefruit are not yet ready for picking so it looks like I’ll have to do some sight seeing to kill time, I can’t head west till I get a good load of fruit. I had been paying 50 cents each for oranges and grapefruit in Maryland and the oranges were very poor quality.
I had an interesting adventure at the Cardiology place. After filling out all the forms I was escorted to the examining room to wait. In a short time this beautiful blond appeared, now this is not normal, it is usually an ordinary nurse in ordinary cloths that does the defibrillator checks. They are friendly and I enjoy visiting with them while the computer is checking out my defibrillator. This blond was the best proportioned woman I have seen in a long time. She knew she was well proportioned and she wanted me to know that she was well proportioned. She had a very short skirt, white panty hose to show off those beautiful legs and a very low cut blouse to show off her cleavage. Needles to say, I was impressed. I didn’t know just how impressed I was till she took my blood pressure. It was somewhat elevated, it supprised me, after getting on some high priced pills I could always predict that it would be about 110 over 60. It was now 120 over 70. The ordinary nurse finally shows up and I find out that the beautiful blond is a tech rep for the defibrillator company. My blood pressure returns to normal and I am told that everything looks good. A doctor shows up (to justify the Medicare charge) and tells me he will send a report to Dr. Olson in Sioux Falls and ask them for my records so they will be better informed when I show up next year. I suppose I should send Dr. Olson a note to tell him why my blood pressure went up all at once so he won’t want to increase the dosage of those expensive pills.
I checked in with my nephew Dale Sterling and his family here in Kissimmee. Had a nice visit and helped him troubleshoot some electrical problems on a old motorcycle that he had just bought. I plugged into electric and phone lines so I could get on the internet. He put me to work on some things to help out on getting a Cub scout float ready for a Christmas Parade. After the parade I helped take the float apart. I am looking forward to a visit next year.
My next adventure was in trying to stay off toll roads as I headed to Patrick Airforce Base to watch the shuttle launch. This was not easy, they are spending so much building new toll roads that they don’t have any money to maintain the regular roads. Maybe they do this on purpose to make us use the toll roads. I checked into a nice Camp ground on Patrick AFB and paid for extra days just in case the shuttle didn’t go up on Thursday. I thought I would be able to get some pictures of it from the camp ground (about 20 miles from the Site). It didn’t go up as planed so I did some checking and found I could get a pass that would get me inside the gate of the Air Base at Canaveral (about 8 miles from the site), this is where I was, in the rain, on Friday night, again
the shuttle didn’t go up. The pass I had was good till the shuttle went up, so I checked out of the campground and went back to Canaveral on Saturday (said to be the last widow for launch this year) After I was parked a security car came by and informed me that the launch was now set for Sunday. I figured that the shuttle was not going to go up while I was there so I just as well Get out of town so things could get back to normal and the shuttle could be launched. I headed to Sarasota and checked in with the Headleys Dick & Janet. This is where the best oranges and grapefruit in the world are, and of course what makes them even better is the price, they are free. Dick was under the weather with a bad back he had injured at work. Had a nice short visit with them and Janet was soon off to see her granddaughter in the Nutcracker program. She had told me that she thought I would have stayed one more day to see the shuttle go up. I got to thinking about it and I wondered if I could sneak back over there without taking the bad weather with me and see it go up. This might be the only time I would have the chance to watch one go up, and if NASA don’t get their act together it may be a long time before another one goes up. I was soon headed back to Canaveral and I’m too damn tight to go on the toll roads so I took the long way.
When I got to Canaveral they were just setting up the traffic control for the big crowd they were expecting. I was directed to turn right at the sign and park in that area. After I turned at the sign there was no one there to give me further directions and I followed the road to the parking area by the gate house. I walked over to the bleachers to check things out and I soon see a cop directing traffic that were turning where I did to a grassy parking area, I looked over at my motorhome and a Navy bus was parked next to it and I wondered if I would have to move it. I went over and asked the cop if he wanted me to move it to the grassy area. He looked at it and told me it would be OK there, then he asked me if I was retired Navy, I told him I was and he told me to go over and ask the Navy bus driver if I could get on the bus. I got to the bus, showed my ID and asked if I could get on the bus, he said yes. I then asked him where we were going and he informed me he would take me as close to the shuttle as any one could get.

HOW LUCKY CAN I BE ! the bus was soon filled with navy families and we were taken to the causeway about half the distance from the shuttle as I would have been. I was one among thousands. I understand that if my name was Bill Clinton I could have gotten a little closer. The launch was spectacular but the pictures I took were not.
Looks like I’m out of room and before I close I want to wish you all A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Till next time, Dallas or Dad if it fits.


Me & My Shadow, with Gertrude, Gus & Keith on the road.

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