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Friday, 1/12/01 - Drive to Central Florida

The first order of business was to hook up the sewer hose and empty the tanks before getting on the road. But guess what? My sewer pipe was gone.

I realized that when I had backed into the driveway the other day, I must have hit the sewer pipe. And then when I heard something fall on the highway the following evening, it must have been the sewer pipe falling away.

The first thing I did was laugh - I mean, after everything that has happened to the RV mechanically, at least it wasn't an expensive engine problem! Then I called an RV repair place for help. They wouldn't repair anything until I emptied the tanks.

So here I was, with full tanks and no sewer pipe. My big dilemma of the day: how to dump the tanks.

After having breakfast with my Mom, I decided to hit the road and figure it out on the way to Tampa. On the way, I began calling campgrounds between Orlando and Tampa, asking for permission to drive over their dump station to empty my tanks. "I promise I'll clean up!" I told one after the other, but no one would agree.

Discouraged, I finally pulled into a KOA campground as the sun began to set. What could I do? Well, what else could an RV Girl do but figure it out. So with two rolls of duct tape, I attached the sewer hose to the broken end of the sewer pipe, then opened the valves. It worked!

Mission: Sewer Dilemma. Status: Solved.

Saturday, 1/13/01 - Tampa, FL

Had to get to Tampa no later than 10:00am to be live on a women's business radio show. But on the drive between Orlando and Tampa, I really wanted to see the college that Frank Lloyd Wright had designed.

The last time I had crossed over I-4, I had noted that Exit 18 led to the college and had decided I was going to stop off to take some photographs as soon as I started my book tour. So I got an early start and turned off at Exit 18, following the sign right off the highway that pointed out the direction of the college 9 miles away.

I drove through the town of Lakeland and continued driving, looking everywhere for signs. Eight miles, nine miles, ten miles - no sign of the college. I was torn - I wanted to find the college and take photographs but knew I had to get back on the highway and get to the radio station.

I felt like I was chasing the Holy Grail. Where was the college? I figured there would be signs throughout town pointing the way to this incredibly historical site, but it was as if it did not exist.

Finally, I turned around, drove back through town and got back onto I-4 and went to Tampa. Mission: See Another Frank Lloyd Wright Building. Status: Failed.

I met Alison Berke Morano at the radio station. Alison has been helping me book and plan my book tour. We've coordinated practically everything via email. She was the chapter leader for Long Island Webgrrls in New York before moving to Tampa. She and I went on the air together, talking about women and the Internet.

Then, Alison took me to the China Buffet restaurant for lunch. All-you-can-eat sushi and Chinese food. What could be better?

The Berts and I stayed at Alison's house overnight.

Sunday, 1/14/01 - Clearwater, FL

Alison, the Berts and I headed to Clearwater in the morning, had breakfast at IHOP (Alison and I, not the Berts) and then went to the Barnes and Noble in Clearwater for a book signing.

The audience was great, and I signed several books right after speaking (Alison also spoke with me). Even two men who attended my lecture because they were looking for ways to start a business using the Internet each bought a book.

Then the Barnes and Noble manager had me sit at a table at the front of the store, and I greeted people as they walked in. Being at the front of the store was a strange thing - most people avoided looking at me, afraid I would try to sell them something.

But I did sign a few more books, including one to a man who bought it for his wife and a copy of my first book and new book to a woman who was recently divorced and was looking to transform her career and life.

Then I bought a few books. Barnes and Noble gives a generous discount to authors who speak so I couldn't resist picking up a few books including one about traveling with dogs that lists hotels that allow dogs.

That night, we went back to the China Buffet for dinner. Hey, who could resist?

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