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What's New from January 2002

 January 1, 2002
  • I have just uploaded the following pages:

  • Quizlet
    I have posted a new quizlet which is about red roads (U.S. and primary State Routes) and how much you travel them in your RV. Please go to our main menu to vote. 

    Results of the last quizlet
    What method will/do you use to get email as a full-timer?

    • 31% campground connections
    • 24% cell phone with cable to laptop
    • 19% a combination of the above two methods
    • 10% pocket mail
    • 9% satellite
    • 7% libraries
    A Unique Experience
    When I got my permanent in West Palm Beach, my hairdresser found out that we were going to be going to Tampa. He suggested that we go to Bern's Steak House for a special evening. Judy and Cec are just down the road in a campground and we thought that before we start our month of working we would treat ourselves to a New Years Eve dinner. We made reservations and for the first time in our life had to give a $25.00 per person deposit. Little did we know that this would be our best dining experience ever.
    What we didn't know is that Bern's Steak House is world renowned and after having been there we certainly understand why. To start with they grow their own vegetables (organically) and have on the premises a 2500 pound live fish capacity tank so that the fish is guaranteed fresh. The waiters train for one year, working at almost every station in the restaurant, workshops and on the farm and then train for another 8-12 weeks in the dining rooms before they wait on diners by themselves. And then they still wear red jackets for perhaps a year before Bern's feels that they are fully knowledgeable to answer every single question properly. 

    They boast about accumulating the largest selection of wines ever assembled anywhere in the world---more than 7,000 individual selections and a half million bottles, listed and bound into a five pound volume (larger than the Tampa phone book) and wired to each dining table. 

    Bern Laxer started the restaurant with a meager $1,400 back in the 50's. It wasn't long before he was able to attract investors and the rest is history. The 320 seat restaurant is garishly decorated (Victorian style) and there is always a wait for a table. Laxer's reputation has been built around steaks and he goes to great lengths to secure the best beef and he then ages it to exact specifications. Steaks are ordered by weight and thickness and only after being ordered are they cut. Everything was superb right down to the vegetables.

    But the crowning glory was the dessert room. When we finished dinner we were escorted upstairs to a separate dessert area. Another set of servers handled our every request. Again we were presented with another huge list of wines (dessert wines) and a menu of exotic desserts. On the wall in each alcove was a set of push buttons which allowed the diners to choose their own style of music. The choices ranged from classical to jazz and included live music from the piano bar yet another floor above. Our evening at Bern's is something that we will remember fondly for the rest of our life. We highly recommend this for a special occasion.

    What we have been doing
    We knew ahead of time that my daughter, Glenda, and grandson, Erkki, were leaving for Chicago on Christmas Eve. But our friends, Judy and Cec, made plans to be with us so we would have family at Christmas. They arrived well before Christmas so we could show them around. 

    We ate out a lot. Our favorite place was Toojays in Lake Worth. I think we ate there four times. But the very best place was John G's right on the beach in Lake Worth. It's been there for 30 years and although they are only there for breakfast and lunch (to 3 p.m.) they are always busy. Cec and I had the scallops and fruit plate and Ron and Judy enjoyed the shrimp and fruit plate. The seafood was broiled (so it was healthy) and the amount of fruit was astounding. There was a half of each of the following: apple. pear, kiwi, orange which were skewered together. The plate also included several large slices of pineapple, two large slices of two different melons and a bunch of grapes. As I write it my mouth waters; it was that good. Over the years we have eaten breakfast at John G's for breakfast and they are to die for, but not on our Weight Watchers plan. We celebrated our 17th anniversary and Glenda's 45th birthday by dining at the 361 Bomb Squadron which has long been a favorite of ours. It is on Southern Ave. near the airport and parked out in front are old army planes and an old military ambulance. Usually they play music from the 40's but since it was the Christmas season the music was all modern holiday music. That disappointed me (I love pretending to go back in time), but the food was still very good. 

    On Christmas Day we cooked for ourselves. I did the turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. Judy and Cec did the sweet potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pies. Yes two pies; that is Judy's recipe. Ron's son Karl and his family had dropped by on Christmas Eve day so Judy sent them home with one of the pies. Karl was down from Michigan to spend Christmas with his mother who lives in Boca Raton. 

    And with all of this eating out, Ron and I still lost weight. Weight Watchers is a wonderful way to get healthy. We are both on maintenance after having lost well over 20 pounds. 

    A New Book by Terri & Mike Church
    A couple of years ago, we purchased Mike and Terri's book on the Pacific Northwest and found it to be very helpful as we traveled Oregon and Washington. If we were planning to go to Mexico, we wouldn't even start out without the Mexican Camping book. This 436 page book is full of thoroughly researched information which will make your trip enjoyable. 

    Other books by Mike and Terri include: Camping Mexico's Baja; Alaskan Camping; European Camping and the Pacific Northwest book I mentioned earlier. This talented couple also teaches at the Life on Wheels Conference in Moscow, Idaho. 

    Please visit their web site at www.rollinghomes.com

    Mystery Picture
    No one guessed our mystery picture last month. I guess that I really stumped everyone, but I  though that we might have some readers from Columbia, South Carolina, who could identify the huge fire hydrant and tell us the reason for it. We only took the picture, but haven't a clue as to why it is there. So now you know; we found it in Columbia when we were just driving around down town. We were really trying to find the visitor's center when we found the hydrant. 

    I had a whole CD full of photos from years back up to the recent ones and suddenly the CD wouldn't work any longer. It wasn't backed up so I lost the whole bunch. I don't have a picture for this month. At least I don't have one at the moment. Stay tuned.

    January 7, 2002
    We are really enjoying our seminars here and our campsite in the Crown Club campground at LazyDays. The weather has been less than desirable (cold and rainy much of the time) but we are still having a good time.

    Today Ron got weighed in for the last time at Weight Watchers and after reaching his goal (22 pounds) and keeping it off for 6 weeks he is now a lifetime member. He will still weigh in (for free) every month but he looks great. I have four more weeks to go on maintenance before I become a lifetime member also. I have lost 26 pounds so far. 

    Mystery Picture
    Ron decided to celebrate by eating a huge strawberry shortcake (not really), but I thought this might make a good Mystery Picture. I'll give you a hint. We are still in Florida and this city is famous for its strawberries. What city did we visit?

     If you want to play the game from this and other months please go to our Guess page. 

    January 17,
    On our day off yesterday, we (Judy, Cec, Ron and I) went to Tarpon Springs (a little north of Tampa) which is known as the capitol of the sponge industry. Tarpon Springs is also a center  for a lot of retirees and the town has a large Greek community. In fact it is the Greek spongers who developed the sponge industry in the early 1900's. The  sponge dock area is full of interesting shops and eateries. The first thing we did was purcharse our ticket for the St Nicholas sponge diving exhibitation. During this short ride, we learned a little about the different kinds of sponges and how they are harvested then we watched as a diver went under and actually found a sponge to harvest. It was fun and educational.

    We couldn't pass up the chance to try some of the local fare, and we had planned a nice Greek salad for lunch until we happened into the Taste of Greece Restaurant, Bakery and Pizzeria. Actually we stopped in this shop while we were waiting for our boat tour and it just seemed right to have coffee and a little treat. Take a look and see what we had to choose from.

    You are right, we can't do this all the time and maintain our weight loss, but once in a blue moon it is okay. 

    Shopping for sponges

    The Greek Fisherman? No, it's just Ron. 
    We are still having a ball here and wish all of you could attend one of the rallies over at the Rally Park. The food looks terrific and the entertainment is fantastic. Many enjoy the nice hot tub in the cool evenings. Even the pool is like a bathtub. Everyone seems to be having a good time and so far Lazy Days has sold over 600 RVs. Their goal is to sell 1200 this month. You still have time to come on down and help them out by buying a new one or just come to say "hi" to us.

    Copyright © 2002, Movin' On with Ron & BarbTM- All Rights Reserved
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