Well, despite the circumstances, we actually managed to have a very merry Christmas indeed.
The nice cranberry-apple pie helped of course ...
All in all, as James likes to say "it could have been worse".
"Not by a whole lot though", I would say ..
Reason being .. the new engine is leaking water!! !@#$%&!
Can you believe it? Look, we were so close ..
But, no cigar .. when they fired up the truck for the first time after installing the new engine, it only took 10 minutes before it started to drip water!
They think the head-gasket is leaking, which should be under warranty, but we're not sure .. and because of the holidays and most mechanics are off, we probably won't know anything for sure until January!
Which also meant we had to extend our stay here, or somewhere, which was an almost impossible task, since all campgrounds around Melbourne, including the one we're staying right now, were full for the holidays.
After calling and driving around Melbourne all Saturday, we finally managed to snatch up the one and only site available at Camelot RV Park in Malabar, just a few miles south of here.
And we're very fortunate that Rob, the guy who towed us to our current spot, is willing to tow us all the way over there as well!
Also fortunate, James has work and the truck we are borrowing is ours for as long as we need it.
So, yes, it could have been worse, but jeez .. I wouldn't call us very lucky either!
We'd hoped to be on our way by now, and had made reservations for the next 2 campgrounds we were going to stay. So we had to cancel them .. again.
It's anybodies guess how long we'll have to stay here, it could be weeks ..
Oh well .. let's move on to something nicer, shall we?
From the site we are in now we have a view of one of the small lakes, and early yesterday morning there were 4 different 'wading birds' in it!
(I couldn't get the 4th one in the shot but it was there, scouts honor. It was a Snowy Egret, btw)
Besides the more common Great Blue Heron and the Cattle Egret, I was thrilled to see this Wood Stork, a first for me!
Pretty black and white feathers, like the common stork, but a rather ugly head ...
Talking about ugly heads .. these are Black Vultures!
I've never seen them either, they're pretty impressive from up close!
But .. let's hope for the best .. like everything will be under warranty, a new engine will come our way soon, or this one will be repaired, and we'll be on our way in a couple of weeks!
Like I said, we're OK, James has work, we have a truck, we have a place to stay, Merlin is almost back to his own self (yes!) and we're actually in Florida for the winter, just like we wanted!
Life is good ..