We have just completed our first week at Sigsbee Campground on NAS Key West, and it has been a fantastic time and a great learning experience. After a couple of days of rainy weather, things have settled down into beautiful days and peaceful nights, allowing us to take full advantage of our incredible luck in our specific site assignment on the ocean front.
Aside from taking dips in the ocean right in front of our RV, biking the base, and generally enjoying being in Key West during the winter, Rosemarie attended her first craft show as a seller since we started RVing. The naval station hosts a monthly mixed craft/garage sale event that only costs $3 to rent a sale space. Attending had several positive aspects: it forced us to take inventory of Rosemarie’s finished, in progress, and imagined jewelry items and her excess supplies, then sort them, assign revised prices, and prepare a display method. I even cleaned up to sell the now excess portable O-Grill we have been using and abusing for the last year now that Gloria bought us a brand new Weber Q-1000 (the overwhelming favorite among RVers). We did a dry run on Friday, then loaded up Loki bright and early, and set up at the base recreation center parking lot by 0730.
They had a pretty good turn out, about 25 sellers and a constant flow of buyers. Rosemarie received a lot of positive feedback, but the nature of the show, combined as it was with a “garage sale” element, seemed to result in people really looking for the very inexpensive $1 or $2 items. We were there for the experience, and enjoyed meeting the other sellers, most of whom are also residing in the RV campground, so we were not disappointed at having sold only a limited amount. Besides, once home I posted the grill on Craig’s List and sold it within 24 hours for even more than I had asked at the craft show.
The next day we attended an off base Key West artisan market, also held monthly, and were very impressed with the offerings, particularly the food and wine. Aside from buying a a delicious Shepard’s Pie for our dinner, a to-die-for tiramisu for desert, and some awesome goat cheese, there were also three different wine tasting tables offering 15 different samples between them. We ended up with a couple of bottles of reasonably priced vino to help build back our mysteriously diminishing rack.
As if that amount of craft oriented stuff was not enough, Rosemarie also started attending the twice a week craft gatherings at the community center. Featuring jewelry making, knitting, crocheting, wood carving, and others, this free gathering allows for novices and the experienced alike to gather together and enjoy their hobbies.
On Monday we took Pad Kee Meow in for a vet check, having received a somewhat urgent call from the adoption service that she might have been exposed to Feline HIV. They paid for the exam and test (negative, thankfully,) but the vet suggested that our one year old, 12.5 pound kitty was already a touch pudgy (big boned!) I have no idea what causes this sort of thing, but we will need to address it somehow.
We completed our first week with a dump and resupply run: we did not show up at Key West in the best situation, having partially full grey and black water tanks, partially empty propane, and 2/3 of a tank of gasoline (which supplies our large generator as well as the Ford Triton engine.) So we remedied that on day seven with a trip to the waste dump station, the fresh water fill station, and the gas station on the next key to the north for propane and gasoline. Fully prepped, this will allow us to assess how Serenity handles drycamping. We grew pretty knowledgeable about The Big Kahuna’s main limitations under various conditions, but we are still learning the new rig, so this next couple of weeks will really give us a handle on how to dry camp efficiently, hopefully allowing us to stay in one place for two weeks without having to refill or empty.
Also, I have discovered that the pull strap on our awning, a nylon strip cord attached to the center top of the spring loaded extension roller that can slide from one end of the long awning to the other, works great as a cat lead when tied to Pad Kee Meow’s harness. She can explore without getting tangled nearly as much as a rope tied to a ground level object. A time lapse example: