• Inger and Jeff Latreille

Troubleshooting in Paradise

~Tuesday, January 19, 2021~

Day 219


This girl needs a shower to put me in an awesome mood. We found out there is a shower station just a hop, skip, jump from our campsite, so there we go until our water pump situation is fixed.


Waking up to the tall pines, ferns and Palmetto palms surrounding our campsite, with a beautiful sunny day, at our lovely campsite just can’t be beat.

Which begs the question, why are we spending for 3 days in The Keys what we’re getting here for 10 days? The max you’re allowed to stay at Long Pine is 14 consecutive days, but are allowed up to 30 days in a season. Not sure if we could get in again, but the idea sounds tempting. There is a little caveat...we’re about 45-60 minutes north of The Keys. So stay tuned. We still have time to cancel The Keys reservation.


While Jeff investigated a few more things on the water pump,

one which included the drastic measure of taking apart the whole water pump, I prepared our bikes for a bike trip tomorrow. My speedometer hasn’t been acting quite right, so I made some adjustments on that. I also put up our fun outdoor lights in a new way. Normally we have these little clips that slide into the awning with the strand connected to those. So this time, I did a swag from each end and it looks pretty cool. Now that we have our DC outlet working outside (one of the repairs done in Riverside), we don’t have to connect to the inside through a window.


The latest developments on the water pump……..NONE! The pump is making a sound, like a purr sound which it’s never sounded like. It normally makes more of a grunt sound in trying to pull water from the fresh water tank through the pump to the hoses inside. The purr sound tells us that it just doesn’t have the umph to move it. We can’t do any further research while we’re at the campsite without cell reception (darn….should have bought the WiBoost!). But we have some errands to run anyway, so off to Wal-Mart we go for some grocery shopping.


Soon after we exited the park, there is a town called Homestead. You know how you see little roadside produce stands on the side of a country road that begs you to stop on in to check out the recently harvested merchandise? “Robert is Here” is just like that but bigger. And you won’t forget the name...right? And it has one thing that NOBODY has!. The best fresh fruit milkshakes/smoothies anywhere in town, or in Florida...period! I had just read a woman’s travel blog and said it was one of the top things to do while visiting The Everglades. And here we are. Even though we’ll be passing this corner produce stand likely everyday we’re here, we had to stop. But, he also has one more commodity that is running scarce these days around the Homestead area…….firewood, or so we thought. No firewood for another month, anywhere. The surge in RVer’s in the winter and more people enjoying their outdoor fire pits has exhausted the supply. But we’re here, so let’s check out the joint. As we found ourselves putting everything in our basket, this polite, older masked man behind the counter asked us if we’ve ever had an avocado. We said “yes.” His reply…..”Have you really ever had an avocado?” Is this a trick question? Sort of. He asked us if we’d like to try one of HIS avacados which are the size of mangos. How could we turn him down? As he eagerly sliced up this amazing ripe avocado I couldn’t help but ask about the proudly displayed photo of him shaking hands with Obama. Ah, this was the owner of the joint; Robert himself. “Earth Day 2015”, he replied. He went on to say that avocados and much of the produce we get in the grocery stores (especially during the winter), is 15-18 months old. What? Especially when it comes from another country, like Mexico. It’s harvested and sitting in a cold storage facility until it’s ready to hit the supermarket shelf. I forgot to ask when this avocado was picked but I know it wasn’t 18 months ago. As opposed to Jeff, I’m normally not one to eat an avocado without it being on or with something, but with a little sprinkle of sea salt and a squirt of fresh key lime juice, I would eat one of these plain, anytime. It really was like no other avocado I’d ever tasted. He is absolutely proud of his heaven of a market, excitedly telling you about each piece of fruit or vegetable and the best way to let it ripen and prepare it. Nothing like talking to the owner himself. And there’s something very satisfying about purchasing your fruits/veggies from a produce stand or farmer’s market…..knowing that you’re likely getting the freshest that’s out there. Now onto the shake/smoothie portion of our trip. Overhearing what locals were ordering at the counter and what I had read in reviews, Jeff ordered a banana, key lime and coconut combination. And I ordered the guanabana fruit shake. Apparently, the staff get up in the wee hours of the morning to peel, slice, and chop their fresh fruit, for the freshest, most delicious smoothie shake you can buy. Just fresh fruit and milk or ice-nothing else. At about $7.00 a piece, they are soooooooo worth it! If you look at it as a meal, you don’t mind dropping this kind of dough for this enticing beverage. Maybe he should have a sign that reads, “A day without a guanabana shake, is like a day without sunshine”.


As for the water pump…...we’ll be back in business (hopefully) by Thursday evening. They had the exact same water pump on Amazon with 2-day shipping. What doesn’t Amazon sell? We’ve never used a UPS store to hold our mail for pickup, but we’re limited in our options in receiving mail. Apparently UPS has a $10.00 “holding fee” to receive packages….so there goes our free shipping charge. Crossing our fingers that we’ll get back to some normalcy by the end of the week. Jeff thinks this is a good pump. We just didn’t do the proper steps in maintenance:

  1. Clean out the strainer more regularly

  2. When not using it, run it for a few minutes anyway to keep parts moving

  3. Make sure it’s anchored well. When they installed the original pump, they only anchored it with 2 out of 4 screws, and the 2 that were most accessible. Cutting corners guys.

  4. Sanitize the fresh water tank maybe once a month or so by adding a weak solution of bleach, then flush it out.

Stay tuned!



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