Category Archives: Fun Stuff

‘Quick Hits’ Video: an overhead view of Sunset Isle RV Park in Cedar Key

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We’ll have a more detailed post on the delightful Sunset Isle RV Park in Cedar Key, Florida, very soon. Until then, we wanted to share a quick video of our rig, the park and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico area – taken by Mike with the Phantom DJI.

The rig next to us is a more modern version of ours. Our motorhome is a 2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor, and our neighbor’s is a 2006. How funny that we’re parked side-by-side!

Choices in QuadRotor/QuadCopter camera platforms…plus an overhead view of Cherry Hill Park

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Mike uses a DJI Phantom QuadRotor with a Tarot Dual Axis Gimbal and a Gopro Hero 3 Silver. The DJI Phantom already comes with a GoPro mount. The Gimbal just allows the quad rotor to move without disturbing the camera – for smoother video.

The gimbal also allows remote tilting of the camera.

It does take some RC mechanical skill and understanding to attach this gimbal.  The Phantom comes with a transmitter’ however, Mike connected it to the higher-end transmitter, a Spektrum DX7s  he already had for his helies. So all of his RC Aircraft fly with the same transmitter. DJI does have a plug-n-play Gimbal ZenMuse, but it costs more.  DJI has released a new Quad Rotor, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with Integrated FPV Camcorder. It comes with everything built in Camera, Gimbal, even a mount for your phone on the transmitter, so it can transmit the video nearly live to your phone. That way, you can see what the camera sees.

Blade is one of his favorite RC heli companies; their GoPro platform 350 QX RTF is a good one as well.  But, like his Phantom, if you want better video from it you will have to add a gimbal. Although he hasn’t flown this Blade 350 yet, he has a couple of their helis, and it would be his guess that it would be the easiest to fly and work on.

Our first videocast is out!

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We’re so excited. Our first videocast is out!

We’ve been wanting to do a podcast and video since we started the RV lifestyle, but it’s been tricky to pull it all together – what with traveling so much, dealing with winter challenges, and figuring out what formats we wanted to use. We finally decided to just go for it. At 37 minutes, our first vid is a bit long, but we needed to catch everyone up on our first 7 1/2 months.

Going forward, they’ll mostly be short, quick hits, and we’ll show you all kinds of cool stuff – like how the rig is decorated, how we handle various RV chores, what our campground experiences are like, product reviews and more.

So, please take a few moments to watch us and share, share, share!  Thank you!

Milwaukee to Cedar Key in Instagrams

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travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

Before we left Milwaukee, probably for the last time this “season”, we had dinner with our good friends Larry and Maribeth at Mo’s Irish Pub. The company was awesome; the steamed veggies were crisp; and I was digging the light fixtures.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

In the morning before we left town, we stocked up at the grocery store so that we’d have healthy stuff and save money by not shopping at the truck stops.  We also popped into Hobby Town, so Mike could pick up something airsoft-related. I can’t keep track of all those gizmos!  At the checkout counter, I spotted these freaky snacks. If these are what the early bird gets, I think I’ll sleep in from now on!

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

It’s amazing how impressive a city’s skyline can be as you motor by in the RV.  The Chicago skyline was enchanting.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

It’s not every day that you see a dinosaur as you roll down the interstate!

 boondocking, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Florida, fresh-squeezed, Georgia, grapefruit juice, Instagram, iPhoneography, Milwaukee, orange juice, pecans, photography, Roadside America, roadside attraction, Sunset Isle, travel, Walmart, Wisconsin

The Corvette is Mike’s favorite car, so we had to stop at The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. We didn’t buy the $10 per-person tix because we were meeting Stevi for lunch in Smyrna and didn’t have time to do the full tour. That meant that we didn’t get to see the sink hole either. The docent told us there was plexiglass around the hole so museum goers could see it, and apparently there’s a live webcam of the repairs.

 boondocking, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Florida, fresh-squeezed, Georgia, grapefruit juice, Instagram, iPhoneography, Milwaukee, orange juice, pecans, photography, Roadside America, roadside attraction, Sunset Isle, travel, Walmart, Wisconsin

One of the very best things about our RVing adventure is reconnecting with friends we haven’t seen in forever.  Mike worked with Brian at MMI; they were both instructors. But Mike hadn’t seen Brian and his wife Donna since 1997! So, after we had lunch with Stevi, we caught up with Brian, Donna and their grandson Bowe for a late dinner at the Montana Saloon & Grill in Talladega. I was delighted to meet them – such nice people! – and was sad when Donna had to take Bowe home since she had to be up early the next day. Thankfully, Brian was able to hang out for a while, and he and Mike visited over a couple of beers in the rig.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

No drive down I-75 in Georgia is complete without a stop at the World’s Largest Peanut. There’s a picnic table and plenty of grass to walk the bark babies. As a bonus, it’s right next to Carroll’s Sausage & Meats, which has an adjacent RV park.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

We knew we were outta the cold when we saw this orange-and-pecan stand in the parking lot of the Flying J at the Georgia/Florida border. We bought a bag of fresh oranges, a bag of homegrown raw pecans and a bag of pralines from Moses himself. $30 well spent!

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

Complimentary fresh-squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice at the Florida Welcome Center. We picked up a Sun Pass while we there to cover those pesky tolls that are so easy to miss when you’re driving.

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

We arrived in Florida two days before our campground reservation. Sunset Isle in Cedar Key couldn’t squeeze us in, so we boondocked in the Walmart parking lot in Chiefland. We snagged a lovely spot next to the water. Practicing good boondocking etiquette, we asked management’s permission, didn’t put down our jacks or push out our slide. Feel free to send us a gold star!

travel, photography, iPhoneography, Instagram, roadside America, roadside attraction, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia, pecans, fresh-squeezed, orange juice, grapefruit juice, Cedar Key, Chiefland, boondocking, Walmart, Sunset Isle

Our boondocking parking lot not only had a Walmart but also a hair salon, a Radio Shack, a clothing boutique and a Mexican AND a Chinese restaurant. Viejo Amigo was a surprisingly charming eatery. It was the first time we’d been served a salsa carafe.

We’re super excited to move into our camp spot – with full hook-ups! – for a week. Bring on the famous Cedar Key sunsets!  But it sure has been a fun trip getting here.

Sunrise at The Vineyards

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 Grapevine, photography, sunrise, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel, water views, marina

In between our stay in Austin and our return to Milwaukee, we spent a couple more days at The Vineyards in Grapevine, Texas. It now officially qualifies as one our favorite campgrounds, and we haven’t even been there in the nice season when we could take advantage of all the cool stuff to do! One of the reasons we love it? The views out the RV window. I took these pics the morning we left. The stunning sunrise made it that much harder to go.

 Grapevine, photography, sunrise, Texas, The Vineyards Campground, travel, water views, marina

A walk through Memorial Park

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Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

We’re back in Milwaukee this week, in the middle of a snowstorm, so my jaunt through Memorial Park in Round Rock, Texas, a couple of weeks ago seems like a dream. Thank heavens for photographic evidence!

Memorial Park is home to the rock that gave Round Rock, Texas, its name.  The park is right off of I-35. Brushy Creek runs through the middle of it, and a pedestrian bridge under the highway connects both sides. There’s a playground on one side and the Sunset Strip apartment complex on the other. It’s a very pretty park although a little bit seedy.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

I stopped there with the dogs after I saw the park off the highway when I was dropping Mike off for work. I had no idea that the famous rock was there, so I missed it entirely. I guess I was close, though. From what I’ve read, if you want to see the rock, you need to walk over the low water crossing near the parking lot and go along the north side of the creek.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

I strolled in that direction but got sidetracked by the granite stadium stairs by the softball field. I just had to climb ’em! I did two sets with the dogs, but then Sadie refused to do any more. I wasn’t going to let our little diva hold me back, so I parked the bark babies in the Jeep and did another 13 sets for a total of 15.

Memorial Park, Round Rock, Texas, dog walking, memorials, history, WWII, Vietnam, Brushy Creek, river walk, stairs, workout, outdoors, dogs, exercise,

The rock isn’t the only cool piece of history in the park. There’s also a Vietnam War memorial and a commemorative WWII torpedo to honor Round Rock residents who fought on behalf of their town and country.

What a fun outing to remind me that there’s more to life than the deep freeze!

Every day is Valentine’s Day

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 happy couple, husband, love, marital relations, marriage, marriage tips, photography, positive relationships, travel, Valentine's Day, wife

Some say that spending every moment together kills the romance. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Not for us.

Mike’s never been a flowers-and-chocolate kinda guy, and he’s still not. Instead, he’s a subtle sweet talker. He woos me with simple words that show his love more than a pretty bauble ever could. Constant togetherness equals more wooing. It means every day can be Valentine’s Day.

words by mike daniels | photo by elisabeth daniels | photo editing by picmonkey