Summer Crush and Jupiter

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Summer Crush Winery

December 28 – 29, 2016

For the first time on this trip, Margot took on the role as The Hare riding the motorcycle from Sebastian Inlet to Summer Crush Winery while James was the Tortoise, safely towing Nellie.

Margot acting as The Hare, leaving the beach at Sebastian Inlet enroute to Summer Crush Winery
Margot acting as The Hare, leaving the beach at Sebastian Inlet enroute to Summer Crush Winery

It was a short ride/drive, about an hour to Summer Crush Winery just outside of Fort Pierce where we stayed as members of the Harvest Hosts program. The property was beautiful, with the laneway lined with tall palm trees on both sides.

They have beautiful sunsets here!
They have beautiful sunsets here!

They also had a pond with porch swings which Margot enjoyed sitting on while listening to podcasts. She saw baby alligators in the pond, but the manager assured us there were no gators. Who was right? Of course they also had vineyards out back where they grew their own grapes.

Florida muscadine grapes at Summer Crush Winery
Florida muscadine grapes at Summer Crush Winery

We did a wine tasting and Margot’s favourites were the sweet wines made from the local Muscadine grapes.

While boondocking at Summer Crush, we went into Fort Pierce and saw a wild manatee swimming around at the manatee observation area! How lucky! It was hard to get a good photo with the glare
While boondocking at Summer Crush, we went into Fort Pierce and saw a wild manatee swimming around at the manatee observation area! How lucky! It was hard to get a good photo with the glare

Jupiter

December 30, 2016 – January 3, 2017

We continued south to visit our friends, Shawn and Victoria in Jupiter which was the perfect spot to recharge. They were fantastic hosts, showing us a good time and allowing us to shower, use their facilities including laundry with impunity. Their driveway was long enough for us to fit our rig and they had a backyard where James could park his bike for added security. Margot expertly backed in the trailer even though the entrance was off a narrow bend!

Parked in Shawn and Victoria's driveway in Jupiter. How beautiful!
Parked in Shawn and Victoria’s driveway in Jupiter. How beautiful! BTW, the driveway has a bend and the trailer is perfectly parallel to it.
A gorgeous sunset from Shawn and Victoria’s driveway! Shawn just got home from work.
A gorgeous sunset from Shawn and Victoria’s driveway! Shawn just got home from work.

On our first night, James made an off-comment to Shawn asking if he knew an RV A/C repair person. Within a couple hours, Shawn’s good friend Mark was on our trailer roof, torch in hand, fixing our A/C unit! It turns out Mark was an HVAC repair technician specializing in marine (basically the same as RV): what are the chances?! A true professional, Mark was all done in about an hour, draining the system, repairing the leak, installing a fill valve, and refilling the refrigerant. Unfortunately, we couldn’t test it that night because the ambient temperature was too cold, about 11 C (about 51 F) but the next day it performed perfectly! We were so grateful for the help – we could not have fixed this ourselves. Thank you Shawn and Mark!

Within a couple hours of making a comment about our broken air conditioner, Shawn’s friend Mark was on our roof fixing it! Incidentally, we called some RV stores from Sebastian Inlet to repair our A/C but they were booked for at least a couple weeks. However, they were happy to sell and install a new unit right away! Lesson learned: Find independent repair people!
Within a couple hours of making a comment about our broken air conditioner, Shawn’s friend Mark was on our roof fixing it! Incidentally, we called some RV stores from Sebastian Inlet to repair our A/C but they were booked for at least a couple weeks. However, they were happy to sell and install a new unit right away! Lesson learned: Know somebody who is friends with an independent repair person!

Shawn having his own business and being a motorcycle nut, has a nearby warehouse with a bike lift and tons of tools!

Shawn's warehouse, aka Man Cave
Shawn’s warehouse, aka Man Cave

It turns out there were a few issues with the motorcycle that had to be dealt with: James noticed a couple rust spots on his forks, and Shawn’s friend DJ who owns a local motorcycle shop, Jupiter Cycle, observed the chain was worn out, and there was a dent in the front rim.

Motorcycle problems: Rust on the front forks caused by the salty sea air.
Motorcycle problems: Rust on the front forks caused by the salty sea air.

For the rust spots, DJ said this was a problem in Florida for bikes that are stored outside caused by the salty sea air. He recommended to keep polishing it with WD-40. James bought and installed a motorcycle chain (about 14,000 km’s or 9,400 miles if you’re wondering) taking advantage of Shawn’s warehouse and tools.

Dent on front wheel from hitting a giant pothole, ironically right after getting the tires changed in Jacksonville
Dent on front wheel from hitting a giant pothole, ironically right after getting the tires changed in Jacksonville

As for the dent, it was still holding air so we are planning to replace it when at our next tire change. Ironically, James recalls hitting a huge pothole on the way home from his tire change in Jacksonville.

Shawn and Victoria took us to an amazing fireworks display at West Palm Beach! Also, this is the first New Year’s celebration we rode our motorcycle to!

Margot and Victoria in front of the Breakers Hotel, originally built in 1896. The rich and famous, presidents and European nobility vacationed here since the 19th century.
Margot and Victoria in front of the Breakers Hotel, originally built in 1896. The rich and famous, presidents and European nobility vacationed here since the 19th century.
Margot and Victoria look around to see if it's nice enough here to rent a room
Margot and Victoria look around to see if it’s nice enough here to rent a room

Victoria drove us around on a guided tour of Jupiter and Palm Beach, and we just had a good time visiting with each other. Topics we chatted about included but were not limited to Trump (we both agreed we didn’t like him, but hoped he might make some positive changes), guns (Shawn is an enthusiast), motorcycles (for James and Shawn), beautiful mansions (for Margot and Victoria), our aging parents, etc. etc.

We spent an afternoon riding our motorcycles around town. Shawn lent me his Shadow 750 with forward controls
We spent an afternoon riding our motorcycles around town. Shawn lent me his Shadow 750 with forward controls
It was a great day for a 108' foot view of Jthe inlet from the Jupiter Lighthouse
It was a great day for a 108′ foot view of Jthe inlet from the Jupiter Lighthouse

We really enjoyed our time spent with Shawn and Victoria and are learning that sometimes it’s not where you stay, but who you’re staying with.

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