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Friday, May 30, 2014

Meeting Family in Orlando Before Leaving for Port St Lucie

Aloha Everyone,

We love seeing family and friends on our adventure across the country. This morning, J.J.'s niece, Marlyn and her family from Vancouver were visiting Florida and we had a chance to get together at a Panera Bread shop near the Disney World.

They came on board to see the Honu in the restaurant's parking lot.

Panera Bread is a franchised operation that is known for serving products that are suitable for health conscious consumers. I recall that this company was also one of the first to voluntarily post calorie counts of the items they serve. Another reason why I like this restaurant chain is that their owners and franchisees are big on community involvement.

The interior of the restaurant is well designed and functional and the minute customer opens the door, employees cheerfully call out "Good morning! Welcome to Panera Bread!" It's a great way to start your day. Here J.J. is ordering our breakfast.

The Sun Pass is a prepaid toll program in Florida. It is suppose to save the consumer time and money. Since we are discovering that there are many toll roads and bridges in Florida, we decided to purchase the Sun Pass transponder Mini which is adhered to inside of our windshield.

The concept was that this would simplify our driving as each time you come to a toll gate, since you don't have to look for the right amount of cash payment. The salesclerk was smiling as she sold us the package, but we couldn't understand a word she said. We did not want to appear rude, so we left with our Sun Pass thinking, "How difficult could it be to set up?"  The sales clerk mentioned something about going on the internet to activate it. Well, it took us 45 minutes and 2 phone calls to finally activate our EasyPay account.

Chagrined and bit humbled from the experience, we resumed our driving only to experience one of the worst tropical thunderstorm. It lasted 11 minutes and 26 seconds. Many motorists with smaller cars parked on the shoulders to wait out the storm but, the Honu bravely drove on.

There are RV parks and then there are RV RESORTS and tonight we are staying at one of the cleanest and most welcoming places. No, I'm not going to rate all of the RV parks that we have been to. Many of the more "rustic" parks still had very clean facilities and gave us wonderful, personal receptions. Still, at tonight's resort, we were greeted by two of the most enthusiastic life-loving people, Kitty and Rich. So eager am I to return, I am asking J.J. if we could use this as our base of operation in Florida.

Rich showed us the route to the closest Walmart which is about 5 minutes away.  Our reliable Honu is hard to miss as he is usually the tallest vehicle where passenger cars are permitted to park.

Our assigned pad is just across from the office, swimming pool, club house, laundry and shower facilities.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to seeing the Atlantic Ocean.

Aloha -- Cathi