Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tampa RV Supershow–What a Crowd

1a

Ok, here is our new motorhome.  Had a spare $1.5 mil laying around, figured what the heck.  Oh, and we won the lottery, and oh ya, April Fools Day came 75 days early this year, so happy birthday dad.  (Yes, my dad was really born on April 1st….the only truthful thing I’ve said so far in today’s post….so no kids, don’t call me up with your hands out!  lol)

1b

Picked up Skruffy and took her to to the show.  She was so happy, she jumped right out of that black hair of hers and right into a tanned one.  Ok, so I’m still stuck in April Fool mode….the one good thing about the show is that they do allow you to bring your dogs…and many people did.  We thought about it, and decided that it would be too hard with the crowd, with the GoGo, and decided not to.

1c

They had all sorts of strange people there as part of the “show”, including this guy sitting in the chair, above center of picture, covered in leaves.

1d

Now there, you thought I was joking around again didn’t you?  Ten years ago down along the wharf in San Francisco there is a guy they called “The Bush Man”.  He would hide among the shrubs around the wharf and then jump out and scare the unsuspecting tourist who happened to walk by.  This guy just sat around talking to himself…..

1e

I asked the man with the halo what he was going to do about that park in San Antonio…but he just kept ignoring me…. (yes, back to my joking again….)

1f

I told you it was crowded…and this was taken when we got there at 10:30….it only got worse.

1g

Marcia did threaten to buy this to pull instead of the car….she said it would be the perfect place to put me when smarted off….as you can tell, I've been a bit of a Smart A$$ today….just one of those moods I get into (daily).

2a

On the serious side, we attended one of the many seminars they offered.  This one was presented by personal “idols” Howard and Linda Payne, of RV-Dreams.  I have read every blog posting they have posted, well at least I think I have…might have missed just a handful.  They quit their high paying, high stress jobs back around 2005 and started fulltiming in a 5th wheel.  They provide meticulous income and expense records from that time through last year (when they get all their bank statements from last year…it should be very soon now.)  They hold rallies, and help inform those who are interested how to make the lifestyle change from living in a house to living in a RV….and they do it in a very professional and responsible way.  This was my first meeting face-to-face, but I have had email contact with them for a number of years now.

2b

Howard was the main presenter, although Linda added a few items here and there.  They have a variety of presentations which they give at RV shows, but while here in Tampa the focus is on Weight and Tire Safety for all types of RVs.  They have partnered with and been trained by the RV Safety & Education Foundation, the safety education leader in the RV world, to provide wheel by wheel RV weighing services.  They are weighing RV’s on Saturday and Sunday, and had we not unloaded our motorhome, we would have signed up and driven it over there on Saturday to be weighed.  But it is important that it is weighed in the condition it is normally used in…and we are not going to load all of our clothing, food, etc back into it just for a weighing…but one of these times we will catch up to them or there colleagues while we are on the road and have it weighed.  They weigh each and every axel so that you have a precise weight for the entire rig, each axel on your rig, and also, in our case, the tow vehicle.  
CrackerBarrel
After we couldn’t take the crowds, and Marcia couldn’t take the 50+ degree weather, we left and headed over to Cracker Barrel, just a few miles away from the RV Show.  We had not been to a Cracker Barrel for at least 7 or 8 months we figured….maybe more.  The food was the normal Cracker Barrel quality, which for a chain restaurant like this is pretty good, although our waitress was a bit less attentive than either of us expect.  As a former restaurant manager (worked in restaurants for 14 years) I try to be fairly easy on the staff…but when it is bad, especially because their attention is focused on a table which either has family or friends at it while ignoring other tables, well, that just does not go with me.  Instead of leaving my minimum 10% to my maximum of 20%, I left less than 5% for the tip and told the cashier to let her know that “I always tip at least 10%…unless it is bad.”  As Marcia is shopping around the “Country Store” this waitresses favorite little table comes out to pays their bill with a $25 gift card, and when told they have a little over $6 left they say, “Oh, give it to [waitresses name] for a tip.” and they walk out.  Can’t win them all….I’m just glad that I won’t have her again since we probably won’t be back to that Cracker Barrel anytime soon.

Note:  Had a real late posting last night of a stunning sunset.  Click here if you missed it.

6 comments:

  1. Well Dave we were there yesterday and at that seminar and later standing outside talking to Howard and Linda with some other RV Dreamers. Wish you'd come on Wednesday so you could have joined the group. This is a great little write up on them, way better than the one I did tonight. Have you been to some of their rallys where I also didn't meet you? We've got to quit not meeting like this. Folks will begin to talk!! :-)

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    Replies
    1. We have not made a rally yet...I want to do one, but it always seems to be in the way of our other travel plans. Was hoping to do the Boondocking one, but that does not seem to be working out either. It looks like you all might be south of Tampa for a little while, unless you move closer to the Moffit Center. Either way, we will have to get out in the motorhome for a few days soon just to be with the dogs again! Perhaps we will meet soon...we won't want to go too far because Marcia has some regular doctor appointments and dentist appointment over the next month.

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  2. Hi Dave:
    I'd love to meet Howard and Linda as I've been reading Howard's blog since you turned me on to them. Their situation is a little different than mine as they're really working to earn money - because they're so much younger than I. But, I'm interested in how Linda is doing on Weight Watchers, which I've been on since the 2nd of January. I'm not grossly overweight, but about 10-15 pounds higher than my normal adult weight. This time around, I'm thinking more along the lines of lifestyle change rather than DIET; I'm such a sugar addict, a little sugar sets me in a sugar spin. So, I'm essentially doing two things . . . journaling and restricting simple sugars. I've reduced about 3+ pounds since the 2nd and, although that's not rapid by any means, I know it's healthier. Now there's my rant - and it came from your post this morning!!!

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    Replies
    1. Mary-Pat,

      You would benefit so much by attending one of their rallies. I know they have openings for the February Boondocking Rally east of Fort Myers, I think their spring rally is full, but their fall rally just opened for registration and likely will be one of their larger ones. They offer many seminars during their spring and fall rallies, and the networking with them and others who attend would be invaluable to you. If we were not headed to Alaska and then through California, I think we would be doing the fall rally ourselves.

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  3. Hey Dave,

    Great seeing you at the Florida Supershow and thank you for all the very kind words. Hope to see you in a campground down the road somewhere and we can talk more. :)

    Howard & Linda

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Howard. I know you are headed to Michigan today...enjoy the cold weather. Dave

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