Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Adventure Really Begins

Well, so much has happened it would take a week just to write it all down. In a nutshell, we rented our house to a couple with no kids/pets and the lease is in the works. We sold our car to CarMax on Friday, the 26th at 8 pm, had the rest of our garage sale on Saturday and sold all the stuff we really wanted to, picked up the U-Haul truck (not without problems, but of course, all problems work out for the best), had the guys come and move us into our 10x10 spaces – and we did it so well, that we had room to spare (a little). The next day, we cleaned out and tidied the house, got groceries, loaded the coach with the rest of the stuff, and headed out just as the thunderstorms started. We didn’t have to go too far – just Ocala – but it wasn’t a pleasurable trip. Our convex mirror fell off on Hwy 75 (fortunately it didn’t hit anyone) and we were still wearing our winter coats in the CG that night, and didn’t unhitch Mesa.
BUT it was our first day fulltiming and in our comfortable, cozy bed that night, we held hands and said – 'we did it'. We are on our way to anything and anywhere. The feeling of freedom that I felt was like nothing I ever felt before. The USA is so huge and magnificent, I can’t wait to see it all – something new every day. Meeting new people that are naturally friendly because they enjoy this lifestyle that is so liberating, and so comforting because you know help is just a few steps away. We are still a little anxious driving this big thing, but we’ll get used to it.
The next day was beautiful, and we ended the day at Kingsland (King George CG in Georgia) where we attended their weekly Potluck dinner. We met so many nice people and learned a lot about tunnels and propane gas allowances and other road things. Met Doug (a woodworker) and wife, Pat from Nova Scotia parked next to us for 9 days in their beautiful MountainAire ’02. Would have loved to hang out with them for a few more days, but onward we go to Colleton State Park, in Canadys, SC. Route 95 is horrible! Pot holes, two lanes, tractor trailers line up to pass you. One beeped at us, and Gary thought he was saying hello. I thought truckers don’t usually do that. Another beeped and Gary leaned way up because we lost our convex mirror, remember, and noticed a bay door open on the drivers side, no less. Jeeeeeze. We had to pull over on the side of the road, thank god there was a large shoulder, he jumped out, locked it, and we got back on the road easily. That was a minute in my life I could have done without. Mental note: add ‘shut, lock and test door’ to Departure List. We continued to route 61, then 15 and into Colleton State Park. FABULOUS. There was one other popup there and we had the best site right on the Edisto River! It was a little hairy getting between the trees, but we had a pullthru site, and parked Bella with no problem. Ah, this is what I was looking forward to: the smell of the woods, dappled sun through the trees, peace and quiet.
Now this will change as it is Easter weekend and James, the ‘flunkie’ and Larry, the ranger say the park will be full. Gary is worried about drunks and noise, but Larry assured him that he has a no tolerance policy, and he will not hesitate to throw rowdy people out of the park. Tomorrow we are going to take an 8.6 mile river trip in our kayak but today, we have to replace this mirror thingy and get groceries, etc. The only problem we have right now is our grey tank is nearly full, and we have four more days till we leave. So we decided to take showers at the public facilities, wash dishes outside, and that should do it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Income is Overrated?

We have been home for a week already, and in high gear every single day. We have had a couple of showings for renters. The lady with three dogs loved our house, but since our neighborhood bylaw limit is 2 dogs, she was out. Another person viewed it on Sunday, but no report on it yet. We have another scheduled for tomorrow, which is good, as we are going to Casting to fill out our applications for the fall at Disney World. We’d better get some kind of job, because when we register Bella on Wednesday the total spent on her will be close to 15K between her new shoes, sales tax, hitch, warranty, and insurance. Whew.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Funny Story

Much later I am writing because we have been unbelievably busy. We left on March 8 by taxi and two planes, the first from Sarasota airport (our first flight from there ever) and the second from Atlanta into Shreveport, LA. When we landed in Shreveport, I called Stewart who was planning to meet us with his car, but instead he met us in our new coach just outside the arrivals door. There aren’t too many airports that you can drive up to and park these days, but there he was and there was Bella! She was even more beautiful than we remembered. Stewart told us that the parking attendant asked where he wanted to park that thing, and when he said ‘at arrivals’, she saw the sign on the door “sold to Peggy Moore” and she asked “Who is Peggy Moore?” He said “didn’t you see the Oscars last night?” “Oh, no,” she said, “I didn’t”. And he said “well, this is her coach and I get to pick her up myself”. “In that case,” she said, “go right up front there, and she shouldn’t have to walk too far”. Surprise - I’m a celebrity! Stewart started driving out of the city, and it began raining, but by then, Gary was driving and he drove it all the way ‘home’. We thought we would be there the rest of that day, one more and leave on Wednesday, but it was not to be. There was a major slide issue, ‘no ice’ maker issue, wiper washer issue that were all fixed, and we went through all the things that were left in the coach.
We finally left on Friday morning and headed out into fierce winds, making it to Breaux Bridge before we called it quits. We pulled into our spot on the lake, met our nice neighbors (he worked in the Congo with oil rigs) peeked into their cool 5ver with twin bunkbeds in the rear, and snuggled in our cozy new bed. Got up ‘early’ and left around 9:30 planning to make it to DeFuniak Springs, FL. Battled the wind all day, and a horrible Rte 10, but we made it, parking with the help of Bill into a pull-thru near the road. We watched the sun set through the trees, had great cable TV, and crashed again! Gary has done all the driving so far. He’s great at it, even getting into a gas station for diesel. What a guy! The next day was an all day affair, battling the wind once more, but Bill had recommended a new route he said was easy and empty. What a great route, thanks, Bill! We arrived at our last stop in Ocala, we got there in time for a wine walk. As we walked by the deep black muddy areas near a farm, I remembered the smell from home after Dad plowed the field for planting. We called Jimmy and Rubye to see if they would like to meet our new home, but they were in bad shape both needing back surgery soon. So we wished them well and promised we’d catch up with them later. The next morning we dumped all the tanks, and headed out for our big arrival at the Storage Compound. We decided to take University to Tuttle to Tallevast, and it was a piece of cake to back into spot number 26. Fantastic job, Honey!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Almost Time

I can’t believe that next Monday we will be on our way to pick up our new home! She is getting new shoes today, has had her surge protector hardwired, and our bed and stuff we need for our trip home was delivered and is in the coach. I spent all day today making reservations at campgrounds from TX to home and home to the Rally. Howard never does this, but it would be too nerve wracking to just show up at a CG hoping we could get in. It doesn’t cost anything to make a reservation at private CGs, but it does at government areas, so I probably will continue to do it for a while, at least. Everyone was SO friendly. In DeFuniak Springs, the owner said to call when we were at exit 85 so he could come out to meet us and guide us in. Can you see a hotel doing this? I also signed us up with CoachNet to protect our baby on the road. On the website, there was a spot for ‘promo code’ which meant ‘discount’ and I wanted one, but didn’t have a code. So I called. Denise offered to register me over the phone to save the $10 registration fee. I didn’t have to be asked twice. At least once a day we visit our storage units. But, I think we will have JUST enough room for everything. If not, it stays or gets chucked.
Lance’s and Charlie’s Bday party was on Sunday. It was great because the Games2U truck came and entertained all the boys and us! We didn’t even serve cake – we just opened presents inside and sang happy birthday to them both. It was a sunny, cool, breezy day – just perfect for kids running non-stop. The piƱatas were a hit as was the silly string and confetti. Everyone had a great time.
I looked at the realtor website to see our listing, and our house is really beautiful! I would rent it! Here’s hoping for a really good renter. Girl’s Club was fun as everyone wanted to know our progress, and we planned to have the next one IN the coach while parked in storage spot #26. That’ll be fun!
Well, the Olympics are over for another 2 years, and we were the leader in Golds, but it was, as usual, amazing what these athletes accomplished.
I wish it would get WARM.