Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Today...

Where am I today???

Traveling from south TX to Denver

TexasPlainsTrail.com

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mississippi

Friday, April 29th    Sunny and cool in Mississippi

Carrabelle Beach, FL  RV park in background


Friday morning I left Destin, FL and headed towards Ocean Springs, MS to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. I didn't have time to take the ferry to the Island. I went to the Visitor Center and walked some of the paths. I picked up the sticker for my National Parks Passport.




I passed many Wildlife Refuges and State Parks in Florida and Mississippi that I didn't have time to visit. Sometime down the road I will probably spend a winter in Florida so that I can visit more with my friend Sophia. I will have to research these areas, so that I can spend more time in these natural areas instead of fighting the crowds in the larger cities. I would like to spend a fall in the North East and then I could head down to Florida again.

After Ocean Springs, I headed North and stopped for the night in Byram, Misssissippi at the Swinging Bridge RV Park, this is a very nice wooded park, close to a town and shopping and restaurants.

It is on the frontage road of I55 - easy access for tomorrow morning. They have seasonal sites, but they use a different area for short term visitors. I had a pull through site near the office and laundry area. The man in the RV next to me helped me hook up the sewer connection, as this was the first time I was using it. They are full-timers, his wife was inside cooking and I didn't meet her.
I was leaving early the next morning and I was able to empty the tanks and disconnect everything after watching him.

A cute boxer pup followed me while I walked around the park.
Boxer photos from my cell phone

Friday, April 29, 2011

A gray cloudy day

Thursday, April 28th            in rainy Florida

Long high Toll Bridges over the water, long tunnels under the water, scenic Coastal Highways and Interstates. I took my coach on all of these routes. And throw in a washboard road to keep me alert.

I am surprised the driving and backing up are easier than what I thought it would be.  I am getting used to using the side mirrors, I really think that the driving course is the reason I feel better about driving the coach around. I keep repeating some of the phrases from the instructor to help me remember what to do.  I don't like being navigator and driver at the same time.  The GPS is a big help, but I sometimes have to pull over and look over notes or maps. The GPS doesn't show the whole picture,  just where you are and what your next move is.

Lazydays started me out with 7/8 tank of gas. I have been filling up when its at a half tank, this also gives me a chance to figure out where I am heading next.

I needed to get moving on my trek back to Illinois. I decided to stop in Carrabelle Beach, FL for lunch (in the coach) and then stop for the night at Panama City Beach.  I was following the route along the coast, it added extra miles, but I wanted to stop along the shore.

I have a NOAA weather band on the cab stereo, and it starting beeping and giving a warning when I was in Perry, FL.  I pulled over into a truck stop and parked and waited out the storm. High winds, lightning and hail were coming through the area.  There were dark, heavy clouds and wind but no rain or hail where I was. The cab radio has a switch to run it off the house batteries, so I kept it on the NOAA band. When I got the all clear, I continued on.  I did hit some rain along the way, but it was scattered.

There was hardly anyone on Carrabelle Beach, and I soon found out why. As I walked along the shore, I saw what appears to be remnants of the BP oil spill. Or its a very dirty beach.  A few people sat on the benches to feed the birds. One couple was sitting in lounge chairs on the sand, but no one else was there. There was a very packed RV park just across the road, too crowded for me.








I continued on to Panama City Beach, lots of motorcycles on the road. I found out that a bikers rally was going on near the campground I had chosen. Too many people, too crowded for me. Thousands of bikes and people everywhere, waiting in lines and walking around. Even the Walmart parking lot was crowded with RV's and trailers.

I found another campground in the next town. After a phone call, I was given directions and a site number and was told someone would meet me at the site. I found it down a road just off the highway, a nice wooded park. It advertised river and bay access, I didn't see any water, maybe it was beyond the trees. I pulled into the site and waited. It appeared that they had long term residents in some of the sites. No one came to meet me. The site next to mine had a pile of shoes and clothes (I'm thinking homeless person), no sign of a tent or camper in that sight.  I didn't like the looks of things and left. I pulled into a gas station to find another park in the next town.

I ended up at Geronimo RV Resort in Destin, FL on the Emerald Coast of Florida, a 2 block walk to the beaches.  It was a newer park, very clean, nice owners - but not the type of place I would usually want to park. It was basically a parking lot. I was going to walk to the beach after I got setup, but the wind picked up and it got cool out.  I sat down to read and research my route for the next day, and fell asleep until morning.  I woke up to 59* and decided against walking to the beach.

This area is too built up and too commercialized, where are the nice quiet beaches to walk along. I think I will have to stay with the lazy rivers and forget about the beaches.


Yankeetown, FL

Wednesday Evening.......... cloudy, no rain

B's Marina and Campground.........Yankeetown, FL

I left Lazydays on Wednesday afternoon and only drove a few hours. The campground for tonight is on a river that leads into the bay. Many come to this campground only on the weekends. After I arrived, I sat by the river until dark. I enjoy finding places along the water to sit.



This campground is very similar to where we had a travel trailer parked near the Illinois River in Marseilles, IL for several years.




Janine asked about the make and model of my coach.
It's a 2008 Winnebago Aspect 23D, it was originally built as a mobile office. Most of the 23D Aspects that I have seen have a slide for the couch/bed. I do not have a slide in mine. My coach does not have the kitchen sink or stovetop installed. It has a small, electric only refrigerator under the counter.
Enjoy your day, Teri

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the road...........

Wednesday, April 27th       Sunny and Hot Florida

I woke up to a pleasant sight this morning, a crane was walking around on the little patch of grass beside my coach. By the time I got the camera and went outside he had moved away, but not too far. Across the road from where I am parked is a fenced in "wetland area", this is where the cranes are nesting. This is all part of Lazydays property. They were doing their dance, I took pictures but there was a lot of stuff in the way.



I know I should crop the pics, but don't feel like playing with them.

This morning was the classroom instruction part of the Driver Confidence Class. I then sat in on the next class, Charging Systems. He explained the converter/inverter that is in my coach. And they talked a little about solar and generators. He answered questions specific to each persons coach.  He had samples of various converters, inverters, etc. - he had one like I have in my coach. I have one outlet in my coach that is labeled inverter.
          * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After lunch at 1pm, we met in the campground for some actual driving time. I went first in my group, so that I could leave. I wanted to leave the RV lot and start my trip back to Illinois. We drove a 40' bus around the campground, low speed, but to learn about taking the turns correctly and going around curves. There were people walking around and cars parked in front of the coaches, so it was real life driving. I thought we would be in a vacant parking lot. We also had to pull into/out of a long diagonal space like in a rest area, without hitting cones or the other coach that was parked next to us. I am happy to report I did not hit any cones or fall into any imaginary water on the turns. Maybe I can get a job as a bus driver. Haha!  We didn't back up this RV, but they gave good instructions about how to line yourself up. They have videos on their website  http://www.betterrving.com/   search BARNEY, he is the instructor.

I left Lazydays this afternoon, no more practice, I-4 is two blocks away from the RV lot. I drove a few hours and parked for the night.

              This is where I parked for the night.
I am happy to report, with the campground owners signals,
I parked on my first try. Beginners Luck!
I'm sure I'll have some days where it's not so easy...........

Have a good day, Teri

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RV Gadgets and Pictures

Tuesday, April 25th                Seffner, FL  92*, sunny - no rain today

Thanks to everyone for the comments on my new "coach". I have decided to refer to it as a coach instead of an RV, since that is what all of the employees at Lazy Days RV Center do.



I am staying on the delivery lot again tonite, and I am very lucky, they put me on the corner lot, with a grassy area and a tree for shade. Most of the coaches in this lot are parked very close together, surrounded by blacktop.

A service department tech stopped by this morning and we did the walk around and he explained everything to me.  I forgot to use my new camera to take notes. Hopefully I will remember what to do. I asked them to grease the power step and there is one storage area they need to vacuum, they will do this in the morning. I don't like the manual awning on this coach, and will eventually upgrade to an automatic one. The manual ones are a pain for one person to open and close.

I still need to buy a mattress and make cushions for the back and sides of the daybed.


Now, the gadgets: so many things to add to make life easier and safer.  Camping World has a great location, right on this property with the RV dealer.

The dealer supplied a basic RV kit with a 15' water hose, and some hoses and clamps for draining the tanks, tank chemicals and an adapter for the Power Cord.

I purchased the following: Surge Protector, Water Pressure Regulator, elbows for the water hoses, Easy Coupler Kit for the waste tanks, Deluxe Tire Gauge, and screens for the water heater and furnace vents.
I also purchased a 12V coffee maker, the house batteries are behind the drivers seat, with an access panel in the floor, 2 sealed marine batteries.  Others have blogged about the type of batteries that need to have water added, but I guess these will work just fine.

Keys:  I have 6 keys and none are duplicates, 2 different deadbolts on the back door, spare tire lock, storage door locks, house battery access panel lock, and of course the key to start the coach.
No beepers here, it has manual door locks.

I am really enjoying this coach, I love the open feel to it. It has more storage than I expected and is very comfortable to be in.

Enjoy your day, Teri


Monday, April 25, 2011

First Night in the RV

Monday, April 25        Seffner, FL  90* scattered showers

Lazy Days RV Center

I was finally able to get a look at the RV this morning, everything looked good. I signed all of the paperwork and secured insurance and then waited while they detailed and finished up a few things.

The service waiting area, which looks like a lobby in a five star hotel, has one side for those with dogs, and the other side for those that don't want to be bothered by dogs. They have free wi-fi throughout the entire complex.

It started to rain around 5:30pm, just about the time that they put the RV on a spot with an electric hookup for the night.  They couldn't walk around to show me how everything works, so they plugged it in, turned on the water heater and said they would be back in the morning. I'm not sure if I will be staying on this site until I leave here, or if I will move to the campground tomorrow. This is the delivery area, I am not in the campground, there are several rows of RV's in this area tonight.

No pictures today as it has been raining on and off.

I loaded my bags and things into the RV. I will return the rental car tomorrow.  I did some shopping at Camping World and Walmart.  I picked up a salad at Quizno's for dinner and have been sitting in the "coach" figuring out things and putting things away. My salesman refers to the RV as the "coach".

I found a huge package of the original instruction manuals and papers from Winnebago. I found the front curtain and snapped it into place behind the cab. There are day/night blinds for the two larger windows, not sure if I am going to like these. I like to open my windows and the brackets seem to deter this.

Lazy Days RV Center is a great place for anyone that is a first time RV buyer. They know exactly what we need. They have 3 different classes every day on a variety of subjects. They also offer a "free driver confidence class". I will attend this on Wednesday morning. They also offer a free breakfast and lunch in their cafe. It is a very limited menu, but it is a good meal.

The entire complex includes the Sales and Service area, a hotel, several restaurants, Flying J. fuel, Lazy Days Campground and Camping World.  Walmart is just down the highway a few miles.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be busy with classes and learning all of the systems of the RV. I will be leaving here Wednesday afternoon.

The next step is driving home, finding campsites along the way, and backing up (with the help of the backup camera).

I do not have the A/C on, I opened the ceiling vents and am sitting here enjoying a cup of tea before going to sleep.

To be continued.......................

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sitting by the water

H A P P Y    E A S T E R

Saturday, April 23     Tampa Bay, FL            
Still warm and sunny with a nice breeze

Went looking for places to sit by the water this morning. I looked at the maps and Apollo Beach is about 20 miles south of the hotel. I googled marinas in the area, put the address into my GPS and ended up finding Apollo Beach Nature Park near the marina.




I drove past gated communities and 'Do Not Enter' signs and went down a dead end road - the park was at the end of the road. There is no "beach", there are walking trails and a rocky steep shore, with 2 sets of stairs going directly into the water. With shallow water at the bottom of the stairs, I saw some people walking down into the water and some guys were standing in the water fishing with poles and nets. I didn't go into the water.  I just sat on a bench and enjoyed the view and the sound of the water and took pictures.


I drove around the area and found a sign for a boat ramp and I followed the sign to a County Park, there was a fee to get in and too many boats moving around the parking lot so I did not stay.

I looked at the maps again, and decided to take Hwy 41 North to Tampa, near the Florida Aquarium. The Aquarium is in an area near the cruise ship docks and other large shipping industries. A strange place to put a family oriented museum, but good for interesting pictures.  I parked in the Aquarium parking lot (the cheapest parking in the area at $6.00) but did not go into the Aquarium, it is $21.95 a person and I was there 10 years ago when my daughter lived in Tampa. I walked around behind the building to where a Navy Ship is on display, and then I walked around the shops and restaurants in the area called Channelside.




One of the restaurants is called Stump's, a place we had been to before. I couldn't go in today, they didn't open until 4pm. 


I had lunch at a Greek Cafe, the outside tables were right alongside a Carnival Cruise ship that was getting ready to depart, it was interesting to watch them load the luggage, etc. and listen to the announcements they were making. I like ships and water, but these ships are way to big for me, I like the small cruise ships that only have 200 passengers.



When I left this area it was too early to head back to the hotel.  I had been texting my daughter and she suggested Bayshore Blvd.  I headed to that road and followed the signs for a boat pier.  I found "Battery Point Park", a nice city park with a small restaurant, a boat launching site and a long pier for fishing. This park has a playground, picnic areas and trails along the water. The cruise ship that had departed the dock earlier had just floated by.  I stayed here for a couple of hours - walked along the pier, ate some ice cream and sat and watched the water and birds. 


It was time to head back to the hotel. I'll have to remember to follow the signs for boats when I am looking for a place to sit by the water. I'm not interested in sunbathing or swimming.  I just like to walk along the shore and sit and watch the water and ships and birds.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beaches and Bridges

Friday, April 22nd    Pinellas County, FL  90* & Sunny


There are many bridges connecting all of the land around this area of Tampa Bay and the Gulf.
Today I spent the afternoon at Fort DeSoto County Park. It is a chain of five interconnected islands, or keys, providing 1,136 acres of beautiful parkland and beaches in Pinellas County.
I missed the ferry ride to Egmont Key as it only departs once or twice a day in the morning.

You do not need to have a fishing license to fish off of the piers in this county park. The birds were anxiously awaiting any dropped fish. I also saw dolphins  - swimming near the pier. I managed to get a partial picture. They were too fast for me to get a good picture.

I walked along the beach and walked the 1,000 foot Gulf Pier and 500' Bay Pier, people watching and watching for dolphins.


I found a shady picnic table to rest for awhile and enjoy a large glass of lemonade, before walking back along the beach to the parking lot. A very enjoyable day.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Warmth and Sunshine

Thursday, April 21st   Tampa, FL   90* and sunny.

It is so nice to feel the warmth of the sun. I arrived in Tampa and picked up a rental car.  The RV is not ready for me.

I originally told the salesman I would pick it up around the 3rd week of May, then last week I told him I wanted to pick it up this week.  They started work on it, but discovered they needed some parts from Winnebago, they received the parts and are still working on it. They are hoping it will be ready by Monday.

Today they asked if I wanted to add some striping to the outside, it is solid white, very plain. I told him no -  I hope to do a wrap of photos on the outside at some time in the future.

I originally planned to leave Tampa on Monday, but can stay a few more days and still have about 6 days to drive home, before my scheduled trip to Colorado with my Dad. We have driven this route in a car in two days, but I wanted to take my time and not rush.

They are also working on the larger dinette to make it into a permanent twin bed. I asked them for some measurements and asked them how the table was attached, I told them I wanted to get a piece of plywood to put across the seats so I could add a real mattress, they said they would do it, so that everything matches.  If I did it myself, I would have to find a Home Depot nearby to cut the wood to size and may need a trim piece to cover up where the table was mounted to the wall. I only packed a few tools in my suitcase, so I was very happy that they said they could do this. Most dinettes have a fold down table, but this RV was built as a mobile office not for sleeping.

I have been very happy so far with this company, the delay is partly my fault for rushing to get here, but before I left home they said they were on schedule to finish on time. I know that things can happen to delay a project.

Now I can visit with my friend, Sophia, have Easter dinner at her house, and I can be a tourist for a few days.

I am still very anxious to get into the RV and to drive it around, but I am taking a deep breath and relaxing and enjoying my time in the SUNSHINE.

I bought a power cord and can plug in my netbook and catch up on your blogs, but today the Sprint WI-FI won't turn on, I have plugged it into several outlets in the hotel room, but the lites do not come on.  I will have to find a Sprint store tomorrow. Of course, the hotel has wi-fi, but I wanted my own secure connection with my own password.

Several readers asked about sleeping on a train, I have been traveling on trains for many years.  The tracks between Chicago and Denver (The California Zephyr) are in bad shape, so sometimes it is difficult to sleep good, too much rocking and rolling and bouncing around.  I enjoy the ride between Chicago and Albuquerque, on the Southwest Chief, better than the California Zephyr.

The train ride this week from Chicago to Washington D.C. was wonderful, no problem sleeping. The tracks are in better shape, and it is a very scenic route through mountains and past several rivers.

I could not arrange a sleeper for the 2nd part of the trip from D.C. to Orlando (on such short notice and just days before a holiday), so I had to sleep in a reclining seat, not as comfortable but it is still a good way to travel. 

Have a good day, Teri

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Forgot my power cord

I forgot to pack the power cord for my laptop/netbook so this will be a short post. Not to much time left on the battery.

I am happy to report that I am using my new Sprint Mobile HotSpot WiFi. I am traveling on Amtrak relaxing in my sleeper car, traveling through the Cumberland Gap, the "Queen of the Alleghanies".

I will have time for a longer post after I go shopping for a new power cord, then I'll have a power cord I can leave in the RV, and this should not happen again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stay tuned for more info............

In around 7 hours, I'll be on my way to pick up the RV.  The last few days of doing tax returns was very hectic, and I am looking forward to relaxing on a beach somewhere.

I went to Sprint yesterday and bought a mobile hot spot for the internet. Hopefully, I will have it up and running before I leave.

I will post some info and pics as soon as I can.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Gift from the Post Office

There was a box in the mail Saturday

a gift from the Post Office

The box was printed "Sample Showcase"
"A selection of free Product Samples"
"Brought to you by the U.S. Postal Service"
It came at a good time, its all stuff I can take on my trip

I hope the Post Office is
making money doing this,
If they are spending
taxpayer dollars
then I don't want this stuff.

Has anyone else received anything like this
from the Post Office?


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Another Gadget

Today, while printing all the tax returns, I ran out of ink for my printer.

I went to Staples to get ink and came home with a new gadget.



It's a tradition to buy myself a gift after April 15th
I would work so many hours that I never went shopping.
I would work, eat and sleep during tax season
 and not much of anything else.
I don't work that much anymore,
 but still like to get myself a gift.

The Kodak PlaySport HD Waterproof Pocket Video Camera, was on clearance and I also used a $10.00 coupon.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to set it up before I leave, but want to be able take pics and videos while traveling.

Some of the features:  Its the size of a cellphone and will work up to 10' under water. I love that its waterproof.  Full 1080p HD Video and 5MP HD still pictures.


Also, glare shield and image stabilization, I remember my husband had problems with these two issues with his cameras.  The package includes a HDMI cable and an USB cable for easy sharing on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. I may put some stuff on Facebook for my family, but not to sure about Twitter or You Tube.  It uses an optional Video Memory Card, so I'll be looking for one of these on sale.



Planning a Route Back to Illinois

I'm planning the route from the RV dealer to my home.

I am picking up the RV in Seffner, FL (near Tampa). If everything is ready for me on time when I get there, I should have 6 days to get home. I can take my time and not have to drive 8 hours a day.

I want to stop at some beaches. I will not take the default route through Georgia and Tennessee that the map programs suggest.

I ordered a copy of Microsoft Streets & Trips with the GPS locator from Amazon, I have to get it installed on my Netbook before Tuesday. I also have to stop at Sprint and get one of those Wi-Fi devices so I can have access to the internet all of the time.

I'll go through the panhandle of FL and through the southern end of AL and MS. Does anyone know what the Mobile (Alabama) Tunnel is?  I probably need to make sure I can drive an RV through there. 

Then head north through MS, and keep going north...
This route is 295 miles longer than the other way. Of course, all of this is subject to change......... depending on time and weather.

I thought I would stop in these cities and probably some others:
Port Richey, FL
Panama City Beach, FL
Ocean Springs, MS
Bay St. Louis, MS
Tupelo, MS
not to sure which way to head after this, have to study my maps.

I have the Escapees 2011 Travel Guide. It lists discounted RV Parks, I don't think I'll be boondocking on this trip.

Any suggestions for things to see or places to stop overnite along this route?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Last Minute Rush

Trying to get ready for my trip to pick up the RV.

Last minute rush of tax returns to do.  Why am I still doing taxes???
I sold my tax practice in January of 2008, but slowly I have been accumulating more clients. I did it because I really didn't have too much of anything else to do.

Hurry up........and wait.......because I am missing information from my clients.

This last minute rush of requests for me to do taxes is getting really frustrating, it's slowing down my packing and preparations for my trip.  And to make matters worse, the deadline is Monday the 18th, so more people put off filing and now I have to try and finish up their returns before Monday, and I leave Tuesday afternoon for Florida.

E-X-T-E-N-S-I-O-N...... don't really want to do that either, because I will be traveling for most of the summer.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Getting ready

Sometimes you have to take a risk
 and step off the cliff.
Then grow your wings on the way down!


Good News Today:RV loan is approved.

ONE WAY ticket to Florida is reserved.


Getting excited, I want to leave now.

But I have things to do:
Pack a bag
I'll need to bring some things for the RV
a sleeping bag, flashlight, mini pillow
teabags, coffeebags, snacks

Don't want to buy a lot of stuff in Florida
I have things at home that will go into the RV
Will have to "camp" on the way home.

I need a "wifi" gadget to use in the RV
I need to upgrade my ancient cell phone

Call RV Insurance Company
Decide if I need an extended warranty

and......................have fun!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New plans.........Too much to do

I'm working part time at a Income Tax office and the owner told me today.......
He has some projects, problem returns and late filers that need to be worked on after the 15th.  Told him I can't do it, I have 3 different trips planned in the next 6 weeks.

The RV is in Florida, and I need to go get it and don't want to rush home in it. Easter week is coming up.
I couldn't find an RV here in the Midwest that wasn't rusty.  I am happy with the RV I found in Florida, but it makes it more challenging to get it, and my first RV driving trip will be longer than I anticipated.
The timing isn't ideal, but I am determined to make all of this work out.

I am taking my Dad to Colorado to visit my daughter - May 5th to May 13th.

I am meeting my daughter and son in law and his family in Texas on June 1st for a week. I want to drive the RV to Texas and then spend some time in Texas and a few other states after my daughter and son in law go home to Colorado.

If I go to FL to get the RV (at the end of May) and drive straight to Texas, I won't have my cat with me. I would be away from home for about a month and my cat is 16 1/2 years old and has been ill for the past few weeks. The vet thinks its just old age and her body is failing, I have to take her back to the vet on Friday, April 15th. I really want to take her with me to Texas, I don't want to leave her "home alone" for that long.

So......this is the plan.......

1.   Take cat to vet and finish my tax work this week, get ready for Florida. I have a niece and a friend that will check in on the cat when I am in Florida.

2.   Leave for Florida on the 19th to get RV, spend 2 days at RV dealers campground, visit friend in FL and head back to Illinois.  I will be on the road for Easter, but my thought was "this is a rebirth" and Easter is a time of rebirth.  My daughter just texted me and said this same thought. Very strange.........

3.  Home for a week

4. Trip to Colorado with my Dad. Not in the RV, we will travel via Amtrak, easier for him.  Hopefully the cat will be ok with her kitty sitters.

5.  Home for 2 weeks, get the RV ready for a longer trip, maybe take a few overnite trips (with the cat) to some small state or county parks around Illinois.

6.  RV trip to Texas........Leave at least a week before the date I am meeting the kids in Texas, so I can take my time getting there. Take my cat to Texas with me, hopefully she will be ok, and won't be too freaked out in the RV.

7. Arrive back home after one month of travel.

8. Garage Sale, Selling House and making arrangements to travel for the remainder of 2011.  Make plans to be SOUTH for the winter of 2011. Set up workamping sites for 2012.

In between all of this, continue to move stuff out to the garage, and take care of all paperwork and loose ends to consolidate things to make my life easier.


I emailed the pics of the RV to my daughter, her first comment was..."It looks like an ambulance".
I would think ambulances are built sturdy, so I'm assuming mine is built nice and sturdy, also.

I have the above schedule in a 'word document'. I printed it and will give it to my Dad today and explain to him what I will be doing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Northern Exposure

Do you remember the TV show, "Northern Exposure" about a small Alaskan town?

I liked this show, although I probably only saw a dozen episodes. I don't own any DVD's, but was thinking of getting the entire series of this show on DVD, to take in the RV. It would give me something to watch on rainy days or on days I can't get an internet signal.

I recently came across some quotes or sayings from the show.

A person has three choices in life.
You can swim against the tide,
and get exhausted
or
You can tread water and
let the tide sweep you away
or
You can swim with the tide,
and let it take you where it wants to go.

It's just human.
We all have the jungle inside of us.
We all have wants and needs and desires,
strange as they may seem.
If you stop to think about it,
we're all pretty creative,
cooking up all of these fantasies,
it's like a kind of poetry.

I guess what I am trying to say is,
I don't think you can
measure life in terms of years.
I think longevity doesn't necessarily
have anything to do with happiness.
I mean happiness comes from
facing challenges and
going out on a limb and taking risks.
If you're not willing to take a risk
for something you really care about,
you might as well be dead.

We hold in our hands,
the most precious gift of all:
FREEDOM
The freedom to express our art. Our Love.
The freedom to be who we want to be.
We are not going to give that freedom away
and no one shall take it from us!

I don't remember the actors name, on the show he would
 report the town news and offer up this type of advice
 on the towns radio station.




Saturday, April 9, 2011

What kind of RV????



Officially, its not mine yet. But I feel like I own it, still have to do the paperwork and all that fun stuff.

I decided to go with the RV that has an unusual floorplan.

It's a 2008 Winnebago Aspect 23D, 23'8" long. It was custom built as a mobile office. It looks like it has some extra outlets, easier to plug in computers and stuff without cords all over the place. It has less than 8,000 miles. It has a backup camera. I asked for the VIN and ran a carfax report on it. Carfax lists it as a 2007 Ford E450 Super Duty Cutaway  6.8L V10 FI.



I like the neutral colors, no ugly print fabrics.
Because of the unusual floorplan, the price is a lot less than the NADA value (I like to look at this guide when pricing things - http://www.nadaguides.com/). 

If I paid more or bought something newer, I would be less likely to make changes. This way I can customize it to my needs. The thing is, I liked this RV from the minute I saw it and called about it right away (even with the price they had on the internet, which was ridiculously high).  I think they do that on purpose, and let you negotiate a lower price, so you think you are getting a bargain.  I imagine I will be needing to buy tires within the year. I keep reading about old tires drying out even if they don't have a lot of wear.

I have been bugging the salesman with questions, so he keeps making little videos and emailing them to me. I have asked him to measure some things for me, also.

When I went over my lists of wants and needs, the #1 item that I kept going back to was a decent size bath. Everything else I could work around.

My RV has the rear bath and kitchen in the middle, except the kitchen does not have a sink or cooktop. When I was looking at RV's, I would think to myself, it would be nice to get one without the cooktop. It did not have the shower installed, but they are putting it in for me. I asked for the shower before we came up with a price, and its included in the price. There was a cabinet where the shower should be. It does have the ceiling vents/fans. It has a small fridge and a microwave/convection oven. It has 2 dinettes, I will eventually change out one or both of the dinettes.

I also like that it has a tile floor, the only carpet is in the cab area.

I like that it does not have tall cabinets along both sides, which gives the feeling of a hallway, the only tall cabinet is on the back wall by the bath. All of the other cabinets are around the top or they are counter height.

I will make up one of the dinettes as a daybed/couch - for lounging and sleeping. I will wait until I take several trips in it before I make any major changes.  

It's plain on the outside, but I have always considered doing a "wrap" of my husband's photography. http://www.wrapvehicles.com/

I wish I didn't have to wait 6 weeks, but I have some things to finish up around here. I was spending a lot of time each day looking for an RV, now I can use that time to get ready to travel and get the house sold. My friend lives in Bradenton, FL and I will be able to visit with her when I pick up the RV.

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb