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Author: GrandmaLil Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 2374  
Subject: The Florida Trip Date: 4/9/2004 9:49 AM
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Hi Tooty, thanks for asking. Here's some info on my trip.
Many of the people that live in my 55+ community are snowbirds. They head to homes in Florida and spend 2-4 months down there each winter. Since I have a motorhome, I decided that getting away from Old Man Winter (here in NJ) would be a good idea.
My sister and her bubby have been doing Florida stuff for years. At first they would go for a month and stay in hotels. They graduated to a pop-up and were able to increase the stay to 2-3 months. They are now in their second trailer, and loving it. My brother and his wife also started with a pop-up, and went down one Winter and hooked up with our sister. They have also now got a trailer. So this year, I joined them in my rig and we spent 2 months traveling all over the state.
I must say that it was a lot of relaxation. We didn't spend all our time together, as we would get together around lunchtime (unless we had something specific planned), and stay together until after dinner. That gave everyone some private time, and allowed us to get along pretty well.
The motorhome worked fine. I had one incident with a tree branch and managed to pop a small hole in the side (sigh), but we filled it in with compound to prevent any water from getting in and I am looking for a decal of a flag or eagle to place over the spot. It really isn't very visible, but I know it's there.
The oddest thing that happened to us was that one night my brother's flashers started going off. He went out to the car to see what was up, but couldn't see anything at all. The next morning I came out of my place, and there was a large, very fat, raccoon sitting on his windshield (on the inside). Apparently when we had been unloading his Expedition after we got back from dinner, the raccoon sliped inside. He was attracted by the smell of some carmel apples that my sister had bought, and that she had forgotten in the car. Someone must have left the door open long enough while we were shuttling back and forth that the raccoon slipped inside. All the carmel apples were eaten at least partially, and the wiring under the driver's side got ripped out and chewed apart. Fortunately the only effect that we found was that the seat belt alarm no longer goes off. To make matter a little worse, this vehicle had about 400 miles on it when my brother left NY. Ouch!
So now I am back. My biggest concern before I go again is figuring out the best way to do computer hookup. Had a few late charges slapped on me because my son-in-law did not jump on the bills immediately when they came in, so I better handle that myself if I can.
Has anyone else on here ever had any issues with forwarded mail? It seems to take a very long time to get to the temporary address. Sometimes even passed the due date.
Any good hookup ideas? I tried AOL, but seemed to have a very difficult time getting it to logon properly, and when you are moving around, it is very difficult to find a good number to use. (Or so it seemed to me).
Grandma
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Author: tooty46 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1158 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/9/2004 10:15 AM
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Hi Grandma,
First, let me say how brave I think you are for tackling a trip like that all by yourself...you are a very brave woman....but, I always knew that by the simple fact that you survived many years at UPS....Ha. Glad you made a safe journey.....How far south did you get? Was the weather warm? Favorite stay? How you don't mind answering so many questions....but I've been so curious as to how well you were doing while you were gone.
As to computer hookup while on the road ...we use aol and have not had any problems with it....most campgrounds have local numbers posted in office. Most of our bills we can pay while we are gone, on line.,,,most everybody has web sites that allow you to pay on line.
Glad your back safe and sound....Tooty

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1159 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/9/2004 10:16 AM
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My biggest concern before I go again is figuring out the best way to do computer hookup. Had a few late charges slapped on me because my son-in-law did not jump on the bills immediately when they came in, so I better handle that myself if I can.

When we were on the road, we switched everything we could to being paid out of our credit card. Nearly all our regular expenses have a way to set that up (we don't have a mortgage, so I don't know about that one, and IIRC either "electric" or "water" didn't, but everybody else did.)

Anyway, that way we only had to worry about the one bill, i.e. "the credit card", and they have a toll-free number which you can call to get the balance. Mark your calendar for the 20th (or whatever is your "pay day" and call, get the total, send it in to them. All they need is your account number and the check. Easy. We used the laptop to transfer money from the Schwab account to the checking account, then sent a check to the credit card company.

Has anyone else on here ever had any issues with forwarded mail? It seems to take a very long time to get to the temporary address. Sometimes even passed the due date.

Yes. That's why we tried to move everything to a single payer - then we only had to deal with the single payer. You might be able to do this with "electronic deposit, electronic pay" at your bank out of a checking account. My bank offers something like that, but I haven't really investigated it so I don't know exactly how it works.

Any good hookup ideas? I tried AOL, but seemed to have a very difficult time getting it to logon properly

Then you have a computer issue, I thnk.

and when you are moving around, it is very difficult to find a good number to use. (Or so it seemed to me).

We had no trouble, it's just a pain in the butt to log on and have to access the toll free number, get a new "local" number, then enter it and redial in.

But we did it. However for casual mail we subscribed to PocketMail, which works from any telephone anywhere, including pay phones. It will even access your AOL (or other) e-mail account, download the mail, and then bring it into the PocketMail unit, which is roughly the size of two cigarette packs laid end to end. Easy enough to carry in a jacket pocket or in your car; operates on batteries which last forever. Costs about $15/mo, I think.

We found it worthwhile, otherwise we were standing in line at the campgrounds, lugging the laptop in, finding access numbers, etc. Much more convenient, but at a price. (www.pocketmail.com)

We would use the pocketmail every day, but only bother to hook up the laptop every week or two.

I had one incident with a tree branch and managed to pop a small hole in the side (sigh), but we filled it in with compound to prevent any water from getting in and I am looking for a decal of a flag or eagle to place over the spot.

I think there could be a good business in designing some of these with a harder "backing" - more than a decal, less than an aluminum panel, for precisely this use. I'd buy about 3 of them myself <grin>.
 


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Author: EJDubya Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1160 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/9/2004 2:12 PM
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My biggest concern before I go again is figuring out the best way to do computer hookup. Had a few late charges slapped on me because my son-in-law did not jump on the bills immediately when they came in, so I better handle that myself if I can.

We used to tote our laptops around when we traveled, but seldom do that anymore.

For email, we use USA.net (www.netaddress.com) and we can either download the email to our laptops if we have it along, or just access the email from any computer with internet access.

If we can't find a computer to "borrow" we just stop at Kinkos(r) and rent one of theirs for a few minutes. Also, there are still quite a few "internet cafes" where you can get a cuppa joe and a computer terminal for a reasonable rental, so we use those. Most hotels these days have a busines center where they have computer terminals that you can rent by the minute as well.

If we are out for an extended time, we take the laptop, since we pay most bills through Quicken(r) online bill paying.

EJDubya




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Author: GrandmaLil Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1161 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/10/2004 11:32 AM
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Goofyhoofy, thanks for all the advice. I second your motion on nice, firm decal to cover the 'sins'. Ha-ha

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Author: GrandmaLil Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1162 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/10/2004 11:34 AM
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While I was in Florida I did borrow some computer time from a few relatives, and then I found an internet cafe which I used. I used the internet cafes while I was in Maine last year and found it excellent to use.

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Author: GrandmaLil Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1163 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/10/2004 11:42 AM
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We took a day trip down to Key West, so I guess you can say I got all the way South. My favorite spot is a campground called Ft. DeSoto State Park. It's a toughy to get into though. Reservations can only be made 30 days in advance, and only in person. Fortunately my niece's mother-in-law lives not too far away, and she goes over and makes our reservations for us. Sometimes it's tough at different campgrounds to get three sites together, but we managed to do it at all except two.
At one campground the sites were so large that I was able to pull the motorhome in frontwards and was actually on my brother's site, but hooked up to my site which was next to him. That enabled us to sit with our awnings about six feet apart or so, and was a very cozy setup.
The weather was pretty decent. We had a couple of days that were 'cool' (even 50-ish), and many nights we would run our small portable electric heaters, but weather between 65 and 80 was the most common. Only had one real 'rainout' day. That was okay. It was a good day for playing cards and doing some shopping.
I am now mapping out my next trip which will be in a couple of months. I plan to hit the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon). Have already been to Yellowstone twice, but I don't think I can pass by without making another trip there. Also plan to hit a couple of other National Parks on my out and back. One of my retirement goals is to hit as many National Parks as I can (particularly those I can drive to).
Grandma

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1164 of 2374
Subject: Re: The Florida Trip Date: 4/12/2004 1:49 PM
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If we can't find a computer to "borrow" we just stop at Kinkos(r) and rent one of theirs for a few minutes. Also, there are still quite a few "internet cafes" where you can get a cuppa joe and a computer terminal for a reasonable rental, so we use those.

Wouldn't hurt to check public libraries. (Particularly if you can go during school hours.)

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