December, 2000

We returned from Europe to find a cold front moving south.  As you can see, our pipes froze at night.  The strange thing is we took this picture in Orlando.  We enjoyed staying in one place for a month, but we seemed to pick the year that Orlando had record cold temperatures.
Each year for Christmas the boys make candy (gingerbread) houses and this year was no exception.  Mitch is working on a tree for the front yard of his house.

But, as you'll see below, Max's idea of a house has changed a little.

Yes, it's a fifth-wheel trailer complete with rear ladder, TV antenna and solar panels.

The Saturday before Christmas we joined many other Full-time RVer's and Snowbirds for a Christmas dinner in the activity center of the RV Park.
We missed our usual gathering with family, but the boys still prepared a spread of food that lasted for days.
There's nothing like opening Christmas presents to bring on a smile.
We've found that the boys enjoy tools more than toys, so our gifts to them consisted of wood working tools, (an electric jig saw, a roto-zip, a dremmel cutting, grinding and sanding tool,) and a small gas welding torch.  Since then they have turned into a couple of devoted woodworkers.

Anhinga, (the Thunderbird)

We've added to our list of different animals that we've seen.
How cold was it in Orlando?  Ask this fellow.  He kept flying up to our window, bumping into the glass and hanging onto the edges.  Even though we were standing right at the window he really looked like he wanted to come in.  So I opened the window and lifted the screen.  A minute later he came back to the window and to his surprise it was open.  He sat there for about 15 seconds, looking unsure as to what he should do next.  Cocoa was surprised too.  Then he flew back to the nearby tree. 

Disney World
During the Christmas season the prices at the Walt Disney World RV park are $75 a night, but on January 3rd the prices drop to $35 a night.  The Disney RV Park is called Fort Wilderness and it is the nicest RV Park we've ever stayed in.  The Park is beautifully landscaped and has a "western wilderness" feeling.  It's very large and has country stores, restaurants, swimming pools, tennis courts, bike paths, boat rentals and nightly entertainment.  Shuttle buses are continuously running through the campground, so you can hop on one and go to any of the Disney resorts or attractions.

There was even a bay for fishing and we manage to drag in this shark.  We nicknamed him Jaws.

OK, we didn't actually "catch" this shark.  The photo above was taken at Universal Studios in Orlando.  One of the attractions the boys really enjoyed at Universal Studios was this room full of balls and air guns.  In this picture a very large basket is dumping hundreds of balls.  There are several vacuum tubes that either shoot the balls into the basket or blow them up to people on the balcony.

Below is a young fellow and his mom blasting me with balls as I take their picture with the camcorder.

The other picture is Max with a scatter gun.  You load a couple dozen balls into this one and then blast them out all at once onto the people on the balcony.

A cute fellow from Disney/MGM Studios

Southern Florida
We wanted to get out of the cold so we left Orlando for a week and headed South.  One place that we really liked was Hollywood Beach, just north of Miami.  The sand is fairly white, the water is very clear with a brilliant aquamarine color.  The temperature was about 80.  (OK, this was during the second week of January, and here I sit, the first week of May in Monroe, Washington typing this webpage.  It's cold, 45 degrees, cloudy, a little foggy, raining.  Yuk!  But only two weeks and we're headed south to Los Angeles for a homeschool conference.)

(Late note:  I'm proof reading this page before putting it out.  We are now in Sedona, Arizona, its May 28 and last week it was in the 90's.  Can you seen the benefit of having wheels under your house?)
Max was pretty jazzed when he got through on the contest line of Radio Disney and then won the contest as well.  He had been trying for months and always got a busy signal.  This time it rang and he was the third caller.  He enjoyed hearing himself on the radio too.

What did he win?  A Pete's Dragon video.  He thought it'd be kind of dumb, but he actually has enjoyed watching it a couple of times.

After a week in Key West and the Everglades, we returned to Orlando.  The boys had made friends with a family at the Orlando Thousand Trails campground and they were looking forward to playing with them again.  We ended up in an RV spot right across from them that had some great climbing trees.  In the picture on the right Mitch is riding on what he called an "airboard".  He tied a skate board onto a rope and they would take turns swinging and spinning around on it.  Looks a little like the floating skateboard in the movie "Back to the Future."

Hi guys, are you still in Texas?

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