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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Planning for the Weekend

We work for weekends.  It keeps us going, knowing we can "Get Outta Dodge", change the scenery and feel like we're on vacation.  In other words, we can relax.

I'm going to stop by a campground on the way home from work tomorrow and make a reservation for Saturday night.  Friday, instead of driving my car to work, I'll drive our toad, the Element and stop by the storage lot where we keep the Journey, hook up and drive it home.  I know Marti will be late, she usually has the greatest problematic issues happen Friday afternoons.


Fortunately, I have the DirecTV satellite dish, so I'll kick back and watch the History Channel until Marti gets home (She's not too fond of History, remember?).  We'll probably pick something up to eat and head on down the road.  Because it'll be late, we'll set out sights on doing a little "Blacktop Camping" at the on the way Flying J.


 Saturday morning we'll continue on down to the campground and set up once we get there.


We have plans for Saturday night, we're going to meet our fellow RV-Dreamers, Mike and Terri Young.


  We met at last April's RV-Dreams rally and hit it off.  Since then, we've had dinner together and have been encouraging each other as we both prepare to sell our houses and go full time.  It'll be another fun dinner as we get to hang out and talk "RV".

After dinner, we'll head back to the campground and probably stay up too late, but that's okay, we'll sleep in on Sunday.  I'll see if I can get a late checkout so we don't have to rush to leave and get home.  It'll give us a little time to kick back, relax, read and maybe even grill a meal.

Plus, I have a medical appointment on Monday, so I won't have to rush off to work, I can take the Journey back to the storage lot Monday afternoon.  If I'm lucky, I might have good enough weather to give it a good wash job.  I like to keep our investment well maintained and clean!  Fortunately, I can wash the Journey at our house.


I know our life sounds boring (and sometimes it is) but these little weekends certainly recharge our batteries and give back "R SANITY".  ;c)  Just think how much more sane we'll be (HA!) when we go full time...

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Writer's Block

Yep. I got it tonight.  This will be a whole lot easier when we're traveling full time.  We'll actually have new things to write about every day.  That will be cool.  Until then, I don't have much to write about tonight.  Don't know if that makes you sad...or glad? 

Brian (SIL), Andrew, Heather, Ryan & Amber (DIL), Amanda (DIL) & Corey

A picture of the kids from 2005, one of our favorites.  Andrew wasn't very happy here, he was about a year old (he's six now).

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Overnight Trip

We snuck off this Saturday for a quick overnight.  When you're not a fulltimer, you have to take whatever you can get.  We wandered off with no agenda, direction or time frame in mind, just getting out in the Journey made it feel like a vacation, as long as we were back Sunday night. :c(

The results?  We drove 300 miles in our wandering, spent too much on a campsite at a KOA (surprise) and ended up at the RV Candy Store on Sunday.


I wandered around and looked at all the upgrades we're going to do to our Journey to get it ready for our full time travels.  So many goodies, where to start?


An Extend-A-Stay propane hose connection for those times we stay for a while at our kids houses and don't have to move to fill the propane tank.  We'll use an external tank propane tank that can easily be refilled instead of moving the Journey.


Checked out the toad braking systems. Which to use?  Hmm.  Have to check the reviews on line and see what others have to say.  These are too expensive to buy the wrong one.


I want to install a surge protector in the electrical bay like Gin and Syl of  Wandering Sylville did to their Winnebago Brave.  I have a portable unit, but want the inside mount so I don't have to worry about it "walking off".


The queen bed in the Journey's bedroom lifts up, but there are no struts attached.  I guess Winnebago didn't want people storing things there because the bedroom slide mechanism is under there too.  I'll cover the mechanism with some plywood and use the space for storage.  I picked out some struts to install.


We plan to do as much boondocking as we can and a Wave 8 Heater which uses no electricity to heat the Journey, is on the list.  It will help us keep the battery charge up for other things, like my laptop to make blog posts. ;c)


We left Camping World without buying any of those items.  We have to juggle the budget between getting the Journey upgraded and getting the house ready to sell.  Right now, the house is the priority for new paint, tiles, rugs and kitchen counters.  So we headed down the road to a nearby Flying J and topped off the Journey's fuel tank.


As we pulled out of the Flying J, Zoe took up her favorite place to ride, between the slide wall and my driver's seat...


...where she periodically blessed us with eye tearing blasts of her "air freshener" all the way home.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marti's Musings: ohhh, how time changes things

So, you have now seen regular pictures of me on my cell phone, with work related calls.  I vividly remember, some 15 years ago - back when I had a life, er, before I worked full time outside of the home - saying: "I will never have a phone in my car - I am so glad I can get away from the phone when I leave the house.."


Uh-huh - Now??  Not only do I travel with my cell phone (not-so-fondly referred to as my 5th appendage) - that daggone phone is next to my bed each and every night.  And yes, I often get those middle-of-the-night calls. And... we have been known to pull chocks from a campground, because I don't have cell service - and being on-call 24/7...

So, just one more motivating factor to retirement.  Cell phones are a wonderful and useful invention - I just can't wait to have family and friends be the only ones to be calling me.... or to be the one to make a call ot a loved one, or google something fun, or....or....or....  y'know....  anything but w-o-r-k. 

So, even though I have my phone with me all.the.time - our precious weekends when we can slip away for a brief time are truly RSanity times.  It is amazing to us that time seems to double when we get away - even for overnight, or weekend... 

By the way, not sure we have thanked our faithful followers before this.  It is gratifying to know that folks are following, and enjoying, our journey to retirement.  We sure appreciate you folks!  :-D  ~Marti

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Stinky Day

We saw Corey and daughter-in-law Amanda off today and Marti put forth the suggestion that maybe we should hop in the Journey and just go somewhere.  It's scary how she can read my mind.

We got to the Journey and opened it up, getting ready to leave and we saw THEM!


Stink Bugs!  Yuck!  It seems this year the Washington, DC area is infested with them.  If you squish them, they stink. ( Maybe this is the life form that DC politicians evolved from?) 

They were inside the Journey and we spent several minutes chasing them down and quickly grabbing them in some tissues and doing away (flushing) them.  Finally we started down the road.

We thought we were rid of them, but they kept showing up, not inside the motor home, but outside, making loud splats sounds as they plastered themselves all over the windshield.  At least we were helping to control the population.

We stopped for lunch and the usual happened.


Marti spent time on the phone with her office, solving more of the never ending issues that come up whenever she's not there.  Ain't gonna' miss that.

We drove South and ended up at a KOA for the evening.  A mere $48.  No wonder we don't stay at them too often.  At least we had a nice, level pull through site.


We didn't see any more stink bugs, maybe we got them all with the windshield.  But something still smelled stinky.  Zoe, to show how much she loves us gave us a special treat.  She rolled in a pile of doggie poop.

You know what had to come next.


Why do I have to scrub the dog and Marti gets to take all the pictures?

Later, after Zoe was certified clean as a whistle, we went for a walk around the campground.  Marti made friends with an old timer at the KOA.  He didn't talk much.


Here's hoping for a better smelling night.  Don't know how well that's going to work out, we had beans and franks for dinner...

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.  Gas Mask not included. ;c)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Too Much Like Work

We've jumped in and are starting to pare down the things in the house.  Today I took a day of leave and my son, Corey came down from NJ to help me move some of the larger pieces of junk that I can't move by myself.  I used to think rabbits bred fast, but I now know that junk breeds even faster.  To make matters worse, we still have boxes in the basement from our last move over 12 years ago that we've never even opened.  I think I'll just chuck them without looking in them

Corey and I loaded up my good old Jeep pickup and took four or five loads to the dump/recycling center.  We lost track.


I have a freezer in the garage that died about six months ago.  Of course it was full at the time.  I cleaned it out and left it with a rag holding the door ajar until I had Corey's help loading it on the truck to take to the dump.

I opened it and found it was on and had iced over because the door was ajar.  We dragged it out to the driveway to let all the ice melt out and we'll have to see if it works okay.  I'm really puzzled over that.


Please don't dime me out to Al Gore over my contribution to Global Warming by running my freezer for all those months with the door ajar. ;c)

In the meantime, we've finished painting out the kitchen in neutral colors and it looks pretty good.  Now we see these mysterious spots developing on the family room walls.


The kitchen table is buried under things that were on the walls.  What do you do with it all?


I'm thinking it will fit nicely in the back of the pickup...

We're making it happen.  One room freshly painted, nine more to go!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Birds are Flying and there is no Snow Yet

I like living where there are seasons each year.  You can tell Summer is over, the kids have returned to school, the leaves on the trees are beginning to turn colors and the days are starting to get noticeably cooler and shorter.  As I drive up and down I-95 to work each day, I see another sign.  The birds are flying.


No, not these birds...these birds.


Here are the RV Snowbirds at the Carmel Church, VA Flying J at 5 in the morning.  Yes I go to work that early.  It is fun to see the different rigs overnighting there.

During the day there is a never ending stream of RVs at the Flying J fuel islands.


Some of the Snowbirds bring their RV and everything else with them.  I bet there's a kitchen sink in that trailer somewhere.


A littler further down I-95 is a Walmart.  It does not allow overnight parking.

So the RVs go around the corner and are gladly welcomed to overnight at the Cracker Barrel.



It's the start of the Snowbird exodus.  It's fun to watch them head South for the winter and then in the Spring see them come North again.  One of these days, we'll be heading out too, but we'll keep on going.
Can't wait!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Favorite Place

Traveling along the main East-West route, I-90 in South Dakota, the highway is pretty flat and boring, occasionally the monotony is broken up by a corn field or a well weathered billboard.  One little gem of a stop we've discovered is the 1880's Town in Murdo, South Dakota. 



It is a collection of buildings from the Old West that date from the mid to late 1800's that were collected and moved to Murdo instead of being torn down.  They are arranged in an actual town. 


Along with the buildings, Old West artifacts populate the buildings, the school house has authentic desks and a coal stove that kept the students warm in winter.  The blacksmith shop has the tools that were used to forge implements that helped win the West.

A saloon has a stage where dancing girls performed for the cowboys in from the range and has a bar that today serves soft drinks and snack. Our granddaughters, Taylor and Kierra danced on the stage, they twirled so fast the camera couldn't keep up.


There is even a costume shop where, for a minimal charge, children can dress up like cowboys and frontier ladies.

A collection of props that were used in the movie Dances With Wolves are on display, including some of the sets.  Here Taylor tries out Keven Costner's tent,


and she stands next to one of the prop horses.


A buckboard on the main street invited the girls to climb aboard.


Across the street is a huge parking lot for even the largest RV.


Just down the street is a KOA, too. 

The 1880 Town is a fun stop for several hours, the admission fee is reasonable and gives an authentic taste of the Old West.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sad and Glad

Looking at our house that we're going to leave behind, we become very sad.


Looking at our Winnebago Journey, our very near future full time home on wheels, we become glad.


Cascade Locks KOA, Oregon

Painting our favorite blue kitchen a neutral color to help the house sell makes us sad.


Finding great campgrounds to set up "home" makes us glad.


The thought of painting all the rooms in the house a neutral color makes us sad.


Looking at all the beautiful colors on the Journey makes us glad.


Taking down our backyard inflatable pool for the very last time makes us sad.


Remembering in pictures the good times we had in it makes us glad.


Looking at some of the nearby faces we'll leave behind makes us sad.


Being able to see these smiling faces anytime makes us very glad.



And never having to come home from work again so tired you fall asleep before you get your shoes off...

PRICELESS!!!


Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.