Saturday, February 21, 2015

Florida Fever!


We heard it was cold, flu and fever season but we never thought we would catch such an illness down here in Florida. After all, those are illnesses for folks in the northern states where the snow and cold are contributing factors.
So we were confused and bewildered the other day when we found ourselves getting hot and sweaty one minute and having the chills just seconds later. It all started one day while Barb and I were at a patio restaurant baking in the hot sun. We soon found ourselves with a fever-like heat running throughout our bodies. As soon as we took a sip of our icy cold piña coladas we got the chills. A very perplexing situation indeed. Soon, we would find ourselves sweating again and again after a sip of our drinks we got the chills! After numerous repeated episodes with the same effect we came to the startling conclusion that we had FLORIDA FEVER! We quickly looked it up on the internet and found that this specific strain of fever inflicts northerners when they come into the area. Symptoms included hot sweats followed by the chills after sipping an icy drink. Yup, that is exactly what we had! Reading on we discovered there is only known cure for this epidemic……..continue to drink piña coladas while gorging yourself with delicious food followed by a few hours of rest…..so that is exactly what we did.  Eat, drink, rest, eat, drink, and rest. It was a grueling few days but we managed to break the cycle and soon we could drink our piña coladas without getting the chills. Whew!

So that is how we spent our week visiting my sister Judy and her husband Mike. Along with their Balsam Lake friends, Steve and Sherry, Pam and Arnie and Sherry’s dad Bill we had a great time visiting and sampling some of the local restaurants; The Tiki Hut, Gator Bites Tail and Ale, Doc Fords, Bonita Bills, Harpoon Harry’s, Lani Kai, Nemo’s, The Beach Pub, The McGregor Grill, Red’s Seafood…….The seafood in this area is incredible! I don’t know if it is the variety of shrimp or just the “off the boat” freshness but we had some of the best shrimp of our lives. We tried to decide what our favorite meals of the week. Mine was the Crab Crowned Grouper at Red’s and Barb’s Shrimp/Spinach/Gorgonzola Pasta also at Red’s. The shrimp and clam strips from Harpoon Harry’s were a close second.

Mike, Judy and us hanging at The Beach Pub
 
This guy was swimming off of Fort Myers Beach.....Dolphin or Shark????
 
Arnie, Steve, Bill and Mike having a brew at Bonita Bill's
Food aside, the best part of the week was seeing our family and friends. We put the rig in storage for the week and stayed at Judy and Mike’s house. If you can find a site, RV Parks in this area start at about $50/night and $70+/night is not uncommon. The storage facility we used was only $5/night and was within 5 minutes of Judy’s house! More money for going out! We also visited with two other couples who were in the area; Roger and Judy, our neighbors on Bone Lake in Wisconsin were in the area so we caught up with them for lunch one afternoon. We also met up with a former Washington County co-worker of Barb’s. Shirley and her husband Alan have a home in Port Charlotte about an hour away from Fort Myers. We met up with them one afternoon for some great food and shopping.
A couple of fisherman cleaning their catch........

.......and feeding the pelicans scraps

Look what Barb caught!

Shirley and Alan at Harpoon Harry's
We also had a huge change in plans for the summer. We had originally planned on spending the summer in Canada like we did last year but after hearing about an awesome job that our friends Steve and Joan landed we decided to apply for one of the remaining couples positions and got it! Steve described the position so eloquently I decided to steal a paragraph from their blog rather than try and describe it myself.
From Steve’s blog:  The job being offered would have us working in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and possibly Utah & eastern Oregon this summer. We would work 40 hours/week, drive our personal 4-wheel drive vehicle, utilize a provided tablet and GPS device to map BLM roads throughout the designated areas. Joan and I (and now us!) would be one team in a group of multiple teams that traveled and worked together for the season. The entire group would move to an area and set up in the same campground. Then each individual team would be assigned their own BLM roads to cover. Once an area was completed, the entire group would relocate to the next area to be mapped. The company picks up our campground fees, fuel costs for relocations, fuel costs for personal vehicle use, per diem for each day your personal vehicle is used and a generous hourly pay rate for both Joan & I. We would be in an area for a few weeks before moving on to another”.

Although we are going to miss the fishing, hunting, adventuring and all our friends in Canada, we are really looking forward to this opportunity. And bonus……we get to spend the summer with some great friends!

So…….we rearranged all our plans for the next two months. We need to head up to Wisconsin early (ya in March!) to pick up the Jeep and Ranger then head out west to wherever we start for the year. Not really looking forward to driving in the snow again. We are also going to take advantage of this northern trek to stop by Mor/Ryde in Indiana and get a new suspension system installed. This will fix our overweight issue, beats going on a diet!

The week went really quick and before we knew it, it was time to move on to our next destination. We hit the road, looked at a map and decided to stop in the Osceola National Forest for the night where we will look at the extended forecast and plan our route north.

17 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great summer! Leave yourself enough travel days to pick and choose to drive on dry roads...and scope out open campgrounds ahead of time. Most aren't.

    I'm laughing that your sister's name is Judy, Jim. So is mine. :)

    Jim

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    1. Good advice, we are going to watch the forecast, winterize the rig and drive two 5 hours days up to Indiana. We are probably just going to stay in a Walmart somewhere along the way. Once we get to Indiana we are going to leave the rig with Mor/Ryde for the week and just take the truck to Wisconsin to pick up our Jeep.

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  2. You people are having entirely TOO MUCH FUN! LOL. Sorry you had to go thorugh Florida Fever.. (wink) FYI..the snowplow just went down my road. Enjoy your "jobs" this summer..does sound like fun..while the money will be a nice bonus!
    Cheers to you both.
    Carol

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    1. Is there such a thing as too much fun? When we started we did not know if we would be working or not. We were not against it but just did not know. This job sounds so interesting we just could not pass it up and you are right, getting paid to explore is a bonus!

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  3. Florida Fever...Here its called The Polar Blast and has a much different effect.
    Enjoy your summer job, it sounds like a great time>
    Mike

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    1. I am guessing the cure for the Polar Blast would be something like a Hot Tottie?

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  4. Well, at least we can say the snow is melting in Missouri. Can't wait to catch the Florida flu however.

    That is a very interesting job assignment a sounds like a great way to learn your way around BLM areas as well.

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    1. Good to know the snow is melting there, we will be passing through MO the in mid March. I just saw you blog and will read it and leave some comments on what we did and our decision making.

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  5. Looks like you guys are still having a blast! That summer job sounds great...what a great way to explore areas in those states. I'm very envious as I'll be cleaning bathrooms at my summer job.:-((
    Safe travels!

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    1. We are really looking forward to it. You will at least be in Canada! When you come back down next fall you will have to bring us some walleye!

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  6. No doubt, FL seafood is wonderful. It is what I do enjoy about returning to the area. I love riding my bike a half mile across the rode to pick up a fresh catch for dinner. We fell in love with Grouper Cheeks during our stay last winter.

    Sounds like you are having a wonderful time socializing and eating great food!!

    How neat that you will be joining Steve and Joan for the summer job! Good times ahead for sure:)

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    1. That was my first time eating Grouper, it was very good! I am betting the cheeks are even better.

      Cannot wait to get out west to start this new opportunity!

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  7. What great sounding job. It'll be great getting out in the wilderness with a purpose and a paycheck!

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    1. Does it get any better than that?!?!?! I think not.

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  8. That will be awesome! Except for the driving up north part in the snow. If Steve was retired that's the kind of job we'd love to do! I don't think you could've got a better area either!

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    1. Who knows, maybe we will be in the same area and we can get together!

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  9. Sounds like an interesting job. I look forward to following along!

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