Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting Organized

This morning I called SECU trying the automated stuff (a no-go), so looked up the local number and got that done – for free because I am a ‘golden circle’ member (read: older than 50 – hey I saved $6.50!) Then we got painting (doing the wash in between) It looks great, even though it is white. Then we ran over the BJ’s to pick up the flooring we are starting tomorrow. Tonight we started planning our trip back from Texas with a motorhome – if we have one. Hey, no one ever said I don’t plan things ahead! It’s now after midnight, and we have to lay a floor tomorrow. So, nighty-night.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Busy Day

I called Stewart at Motorhomes of Texas who we talked to earlier about a Dutchstar on his lot. We are so interested, we decided to go out and see it. So we put down a deposit to hold it for us. Then I met the fence guy to get an estimate for our community pool new fence. Got that squared away, then picked up some paint for the front room now that we ripped up the carpet, underlay and managed to save the baseboard. Tomorrow we paint! I spent the next 3 hours making reservations at a Sheraton in Tampa (courtesy of our AMEX starpoints) the night before we leave at 6 am for Houston on American using the miles, renting a car (discount through AAA), and a Sheraton at the Houston airport. Whew. After dinner, we discussed our strategy to get to the Rally on April 7. Gary made the observation that the rally starts on the day we planned to arrive (bad idea) so I will call them tomorrow and extend our reservation a day earlier so we are ready to join in on day one. Tomorrow we will have our money in place. We fell into bed.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Presents

My birthday was on Wednesday and we went to the new Kumo restaurant down the street. We haven’t had sushi in months because there aren’t a lot of our-priced sushi restaurants around. The parking lot looked really busy, but the sushi bar had room for two. First impression: beautiful! I love the look of all the fresh fish lined up glistening just on the other side of the glass. The waterfall behind me and the low lighting put us in a really relaxed mood. Pencil and menu in hand, we started our decision-making process. I like to judge the food by the chef who offers a taste of their creations and explains the ingredients. We ordered our favorites to be able to compare to other restaurants and we were not disappointed, it was delicious! Gary gave me a card reader for my camera – yay – and a Toblerone which lasted 2 days. Friday, we drove down to North Trail RV Center near Ft. Meyers. They had nothing, but I will send our list of deal breakers. Saturday, Michelle invited us for a birthday dinner and when she told the children we were coming, Graham went upstairs and pulled his suitcase out of the closet. HE was staying at our house for sure! We had a really nice chicken parmesan dinner, chocolate cake and then we were off with Graham in the back seat. No sleep. I decided to make Sunday ‘potty training’ day. We kept him naked, and told him to use the potty because it was little and just his size. I ran over to Walmart to find some big boy undies, and he chose the ones with Wall-e and Mr. Incredible pictures on them. Then we went to McDonald’s to check out their bathroom (and have lunch) and he did great. Then we walked down to the pond to feed the ducks (great), visited Rilla’s parakeets and sang all the way home. Mom and siblings arrived, and he proudly showed her what he could do. Awesome, little dude. I love that kid.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tampa RV Show - Day 2

We didn’t quite get there in time for the 10 am seminar on RV maintenance, but did catch the Choosing your RV. Bob Marx’s best hint was to narrow your search to three and choose from them. We’ve narrowed it down to the Damon Tuscany, the Newmar DutchStar and the Monaco Cayman. We would like a 36-38 footer, but it seems they are harder to find. We will seriously start looking to purchase around beginning of March. We want a good dealer and someone trustworthy to inspect it for us. I know now is the time to buy – something we’ve always missed in our past major purchases. So we’re hoping to get this right. *sigh* We wandered around and inspected every 40 and under footer of every manufacturer (except gas) and we limited our choice to the above three, otherwise, Bob said, you go nuts trying to decide between too many little factors instead of the big picture. I tend to go with the ‘walk-in factor’ which basically means I walk in and if it feels right, I look further. I find that I check out the sofa/chair ratio, the table/buffet (I like that), the fridge and microwave/convection oven, the bed (must be a king, remember) and the storage. Those are the main things I care about. I believe the above brands have quality, and all have different HP, generator size, etc, that tend to match the size of the rig, so I assume that all that stuff is adequate. I like light color wood so that on a rainy day we won’t feel like we’re in a cave. We’d love a fireplace, but that’s not very common in MHs. And all this is for a bargain. We will continue to do our homework. Meanwhile I plan to give Gary a haircut even shorter than Howard’s. He’s losing so much hair he’s beginning to look a little on the mangy side. So tomorrow morning it’s all coming off. On the bright side, all his spots are looking better. Our dream life is getting closer – he has finished half his treatments!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tampa RV Show

We got going around 10 and joined the throngs of people from all over the country at the gate to the Florida State Fairgounds in Tampa. Howard and Linda and all the RV Dreamers were meeting outside the seminar tent at 11 am, so when we noticed a group of people standing and talking I put on my “spot Howard and Linda” eyeballs and sure enough – there was Howard (we identified him from his new haircut) and, oh- there’s Linda! We introduced ourselves to Linda first and she remembered us from the Forum mentioning that we had met another Dreamer, John Shea, about a month ago floating on the Myakka River in our SeaEagle 380x. Hugs all around and we had our picture taken with Howard and Linda. We met so many people that we hope to run into again at the rally and we talked at length with Debbie Goode who asked me if we had a blog. I said we were doing a kind of ‘diary’ thing and that no one would be interested in reading this stuff, but she said that was not true, and to get it all out there. Really? Alrighty then. Holly and Bob Pinner and Bob and Nancy Albert were wonderful with their confirmation that a class A was what we should get. What great people! They gave us lots of encouragement and information, and we can’t wait to see them all again at the rally. But now it was time to cruise all the beautiful new rigs over the many acres of the fairgounds. We started with the Class A’s and noted all the great new things, like basement doors opening out, not up, and double bathrooms with four sinks. Well, I don’t think that’s so great. Who’s going to clean all those sinks? But we do need a king bed, which has really limited our search for a used rig. However, they are out there and the perfect one will show up just when we’re ready. We’ll be back tomorrow!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Backup Plans

I do not have as much power as I thought I had, much to my chagrin, so my resolution for this year is to learn to go with the flow. Plan A: When the Dr. saw Gary’s test results, he wanted to start Gary on treatments again today, which cut short our plans of driving to Raleigh and staying until Tuesday. So we picked up the U-Haul on Thursday thinking we could load it, lift the hitch up off the car, drive to the Tampa Airport, re-hitch, and head out early on Friday. Nope. That was not recommended by Frank at U-Haul. Plan B: So we decided to drive the Jeep to the airport. We loaded it with the walker and suitcase, spent 30 minutes trying to get the windows and roof up because it was so COLD, backed it out, and it died. We needed to leave pronto, so (Plan C) I called my friend, Jan, and she graciously offered her car. Hurray, we will be warm and comfortable, but most important, we will make it home again. At the airport we said goodbye to Granny, got home, filled up the car and stopped for some flowers for Jan. Her husband, Mike, gave us some suggestions on what might be wrong with Mesa, so we pushed Mesa into the garage, wrecking my back and doing in Gary’s leg. We threw some Tylenol down our throats and hit the sack. Morning came and we left at 7:30 stopping at Panera for our traditional bagel and coffee. Pulling the U-Haul made us drive at 65 mph so it took 13 hours to get to Raleigh, but at least the traffic was light.
We had fun with the grands, got to eat at Bruegger’s, babysat the kids while the grownups went with friends to see Tristan play at the Berkley cafĂ© in downtown Raleigh. Sunday, we got up at 7 and drove home ALONE. It only took 12 hours and we stopped at a Chinese restaurant for takeout eating it in bed later. Below freezing temps this morning, so we had oatmeal and while I worked on putting away Christmas stuff, Gary went for his treatment then worked on trying to jump Mesa. No luck, so tomorrow we will call AAA. Did I mention that the dryer is not working, either? One good thing: we might get to meet Linda and Howard on Thursday as Gary asked Dr. P if we could move his appointment to Friday, but the only thing they could do is move Thursday’s to 8:30 am, so we will still go to the Tampa RV show on Thursday and Friday!

A New Year

Happy New Year. It passed uneventful as we passed out around 11:30. At least until the power went off at around 1:30 am for a few minutes, then it went off again. It was only the beep of the smoke alarm battery backups that woke us up every 20 minutes until the power came back on an hour later. Fortunately we could stay in bed until 8:30.
We enjoyed an afternoon get-together at Kathy’s with a lot of her old friends whom we met last year, so it was fun seeing them and eating the yummy appetizers and chocolate desserts. It was not warm today or for the last week, but the sun did peek out around 4 pm. Freezing temperatures at night was a weather warning up until tomorrow night. Thursday will be the first day that is barely over 60 degrees. That is also the day that Granny flies to Raleigh. Jean had a nice little coffee with the neighborhood gals that was so much fun we should do this on a regular basis.
But today, Gary had his appt. with Dr. Eakles regarding his PET/CAT scan. We were both relieved (but not surprised) that everything was A-OK. She doesn’t want to see him again until April! Until then, his treatments have been suspended until next week, so we will be able to drive our rented U-Haul trailer up to Raleigh on Friday, and return on Tuesday as I have my long-awaited Eye Dr. appointment on Wednesday. Life is changing again.