Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's been a while-RV trip to East TN adventures

What a success! I've got funnies for you!

My trip to East TN from Nashville was exciting. Left out on Sat morning and the whole way I kept anticipating Monteagle Mountain, by the time I got there I felt like a pro behind the wheel. The mountain is a 6% grade and I just kept remembering Dennis Hill, RV Driving school, saying, "go slow." I did and let all the other people in a hurry speed past, I went the trucker speed and geared down to keep from burning up my brakes. No problem! Now I don't know about those Western Mountains of 10% I keep reading about but I guess by the time I get out there, I'll feel more confident.

My son and granddaughter really liked my new RV and were very proud that I went ahead and did it. We had a great place to celebrate Christmas together. Sedona loved being at my niece's house. She lives on a farm and she could run free.

My only problem with having my MH right now is that I want to start full timing right NOW. It kills me to unload and load knowing full well when I do full time, I won't have to do that at all.

Okay, ready for a funny??? 1st one-after the weekend it's time for me to drain my black/grey water tanks. Now remember this is only my second time doing this and this time I was all by myself. I pulled into the I-75 cg in Athens, TN and the sign said CLOSED. So I pull around and find the dump station. I pull up fairly close and get out of the MH. I get my rubber gloves and walk around to the dump. I opened the door and hooked everything up like it was supposed to be. My MH dealer gave me a new end to the sewer hose that didn't exactly fit the hole but it seemed to be okay. I slowly opened up the handle to the black water and swhoosh out it comes and it fills up the hose, the hose is getting bigger and bigger, all that crap is going nowhere so I picked it up to elevate it, you know, let gravity work for you?

Okay, some of you old timers are ahead of me in the story, I felt like I was playing a real-life part in RV-the movie.

Yep, you guessed it, there were the slightest pin hole holes in my sewer hose. Yep, I get sprayed real good down the front of my blouse and pants (thank goodness it missed my face.) Oh, go ahead and rotflmao, I did and I'm sure the people at the cg did too. Come to find out, that new end on the sewer hose was not turned "on" and all that "stuff" backed up and weakened my hose. OMG, what a mess. Once I figured all that out, everything worked like a charm. Grey Water-no problem. As it turned out the water faucet didn't work at this cg and I didn't have anything to clean up my surroundings so I went in to my MH (after removing shoes, gloves) started the generator, turned on the water pump and took my exterior shower and washed off the area at the dump station. Then I went back in and removed my clothes, took a quick shower and put fresh clothes on.

My, oh, my, what a hoot. I started the engine and a man came out and I rolled down my window and asked if he was the owner, he was the general manager, I asked if there was a charge and he said $7.00. Whew, I thought that was a lot for such a crappy (pun intended) place and I told him I had AAA and he said $5.00.

Next funny, well maybe not so funny but learning something I didn't know. I stopped and got gas once I was over the MTN. The pump stopped at $75.00 w/only 27 gals. I knew I had used more gas than that and called the cashier. She said I would have to put the hose up and start over as TN only allows $75.00 transaction at a time. So I properly did as I was told even though I doubted the story about TN only allowing $75.00. Armed with this knowledge I knew I would not be able to calculate my mileage on this trip. See I had put $75 in Nashville before my trip started and it didn't fill it up and I just thought I was parked on a slope, oh well, live and learn. My first time spending THAT much money on gas, guess I better get used to it, right? I'm not going to bore you with all my lessons on my first trip.

This Sat I leave with my YaYa's to spend New Years Eve at Montgomery Bell State Park so there is no telling what I'll have to tell about next. tee hee BTW, I got a cast iron dutch oven for Christmas and I will be breaking it in this weekend when I have a big fire and cook Adarondack Beans in them in, over, and under the fire. Whoopee!

Did I mention Christmas was great? We had a few MIA's from our group; Jerry & his family and then Mark, Jess & Addy so there were about 9 missing. We had a great time and the "dirty Santa" game was quite miled this year. Are we all getting too old? Naw, I think not. Hope you enjoy the slideshow.

Christmas 2007 with my family

Photobucket Album
Wanda & Don

Monday, December 17, 2007

What fabulous weekend!!

Well, I picked up my MH on Friday, did my walk through and went over to the CG for two nights to work out any "kinks." OMG. OMG. OMG. I am so excited. It is everything I have ever dreamed of. The walk through went smoothly, very knowledgeable Service Manager for Cullum & Maxey went over every little detail. I had my nephew and a friend there, one for another set of ears and one to video tape. I would highly recommend that. After the walk through it was time to move it and set it up. This was done at dusk and could barely see. Ah Ha! That's why I brought my head lamp, to free up the both hands. (I highly recommend one of these for everyone.)

A funny thing happened during my walk through. I was outside the rig and Theda came out and said, "Carolyn, you don't have a bathroom door!" I said, "oh yes I do." She said, "no you don't." I said, "yes I do, its a pocket door, I'll show you in a few minutes." I went into the rig and sure enough NO BATHROOM DOOR, how in the heck did I miss that?? How did Roy miss that? How did Margie miss that? How did Bud (owner of dealership)miss that? How did Mike (salesman) miss that? Needless to say it has been a joke about how non observant we all are. What to do, what to do? I would say shower curtain, folding door, still trying to decide but for right now it will be a shower curtain with a statement, I can always change my mind and the curtain. It's just for privacy anyway.

I used every appliance, took a shower, entertained and then the rains came. Oops no awning, it was windy too. I had as many as 8 people in my rig at one time and we were not crowded. Margie came over early Sat morning, she's my new RV friend from Gallatin. Then Randy, Debbie and Melissa and in a little while, Ron and Becky came. Enough room and had a good time, eating popcorn and drinking a little wine.

Sedona did not like the rig. Too many new sounds and distractions for her. Finally by Sat evening, she was either "dog" tired and nothing would have awakened her at that point because she slept all night. By Sunday she was an old pro at finding her comfort spot so she could she the comings and going of people. She was just too funny to watch.

A part for the ice maker did not come it and there was a leak at the outside shower but other than those two things, every thing was hunkydorey! I'm pleased as punch! Oh, probably the most important thing, I emptied the crapper all by myself and didn't have an "RV" incident!

Yippeeeee I'll head to East TN for Christmas in her and then my ya ya's and I (and Sedona, of course) are going to a state park, Montgomery Bell, to celebrate New Year's Eve in her. Maybe after a few Maragritas and she will have a name! lol

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Count Down

Wow, I am so excited and can't wait until Dec 14 when I get to pick up my RV, have got to come up with a name for her. Help me out!

I had packed everything into one room and now all that stuff is loaded into my car, am I anxious or what? I still have a little room to add the dishes and food I plan on preparing for our meals. I have to try everything out.

I borrowed a video camera from Randy & Debbie so I can tape everything during my walk through, just in case I forget something and have to refer back to it. Either Roy or Theda will video, just depends on which one will be available. Theda has had a back procedure done this week so will be unable to bend so I may end up doing it, who knows, I know it will get done. I thought video taping was a good idea.

OMG, do you know what they did at work today? They blocked access to this website! Yes, and Craigslist. Man, they take all the fun away.

Can't decide if I am going to leave Sedona home this weekend or not. She definitely doesn't need to be there on Friday, my walk through. The weather is supposed to very cold on Sat & Sun so I'll have to play it by ear on her presence.

Did I tell you that I am going to get to leave my rig at the center for a few days and then I can bring it home for a few more days before I leave for Etowah and Christmas vacation. That has worked out so great! I can get it really ready for my trip and those who want to can see it. Then after Christmas it goes to Clarksville.

I made my and Theda's appointment today for the RV Driving School in Bowling Green in May during Life on Wheels. I figure she will be going with me some and if I get tired, I want someone who I know has been trained to drive and not just someone who has been driving for drivings sake. We will probably stay for the LOW conference or at least I will, don't know about her yet. I will be going to the pre-conference which is where RV technicians go over the rig with a fine tooth comb and then teach you more. I will probably be the best educated RV owner around. At least I'm trying to do it right. Something else to look forward to.

I picked up our documents for Cancun yesterday. Now we only have 2 months to wait. Feb will get here fast.

I am still having problems with my Craigslist sale. The guy who bought it paid through paypal and they have not deposited my $$ yet. I'm gonna give it a few more days before I file a complaint. I just sold my Lady Vols/Lady Dores tickets and the person paid me cash. I love green!

Out of the blue, my nephew Jimmy called me, seems he has been in Nashville today for some research at the Library & Archives. He is into our geneaology and was seeing if anything else had showed up. Of course he had other things going on. How I knew he was in town? Roy called me and said guess who I ran into at Opry Mills? I said how would I know and he said he's from our side of the family, I thought and said Derek (simply because he is in M'boro going to school) but no it was Jimmy. Now what are the chance of them running into each other in a huge mall with lot of people. It was meant to be.

Until next post...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Jonathan's & Taylor's-Kingsland GA

My goodness, much has been going on. Sorry I haven't posted in a few days but...

I went to Jonathan's for the TRF Family day this weekend. I flew into Jacksonville and he picked me up. It's only about 20 minutes from his house to the airport. Not bad. Taylor was not home when we got there but in about 30 minutes here she came, hot, sweaty and out of breath. She had run most of the way from school because she wanted to see her Gran so bad. That made me feel good.

TAYLOR COOKED BREAKFAST FOR ME! Two mornings to be exact. She is growing up so fast.

Jonathan is the environmental/safety supervisor for the Trident Refit Facility which keeps the submarine in tip top shape. Huge responsibility and I didn't know how much until I went there. There were two checkpoints we had to go through and show our ID's before even getting to where we needed to be. First I got to see his office and meet some of his staff. They thought highly and were quick to tell me how good it was to work for him. Now, you all know how that makes a mother feel. He is quite the young man. I think I did good.

We next went to the diver station and the navy guys let me put on their current model of the bubble helmet. The big thing they put over their heads to dive while working on the subs. My goodness it was heavy and a little too confining for my sake.

It was time for some lunch and we got over to their pavillion and had hamburgers and hotdogs. It was quite the celebration. They had a Navy Dixieland Band (Becky, Ron would have loved this) playing. Made my legs want to dance. I think I embarassed Jonathan just a little during the dancing part.

Then we headed down to the Waterfront. OMG, this is where the dry dock is where they bring in those big Trident Submarines in and work on them. It is huge and is the largest covered drydock in the world. I'm not sure how much I can say about this place here but it is just amazing. We toured the machine shops, wood shop, and lab. They make all their tools and fix all the broken equipment right on base. These folks are very talented. I can imagine that it would be an environmental/safety nightmare to those who are trying to enforce all the federal rules. What a team it would take!

Our very special treat next was Taylor's idea. When Jonathan told her about family day she said why don't you take us down to where the dolphins are. Well, though contacts, Jonathan was able to get his team and their families a special private showing of the marine mammal program at the base. We got to see the dolphins and sea lions work their magic. The trainers are so talented and patient with these animals. Taylor got to feed and pet the dolphin. They did tricks and the trainers put their harnesses on so they could show us how they work. What a treat indeed! What a day! I was fortunate to get to go down there, it worked out great.

When we left the base we were tired & hungry. We stopped at Aunt B's in St Mary's where her motto is "Aunt B's where you get your fat back!" It was buffett and sure enough, there was fat back on the buffett. OMG, her motto was literal. Good southern food. Fried everything!

It was so good to visit with Jonathan, Taylor and her 6 American girl dolls. I'm sure I should remember their names but I don't, I'm sorry to say. There was a fashion show and then of course they had to go to the beauty shop to get their hair styled. It was fun.

When I got to the airport the plane was delayed because of the snow in Ohio. Had to wait about an hour. I wanted to continue watching the Titans game but when I got to the airport they were playing the Jaguars, imagine that! In Jacksonville and watching the Jaguars? Go figure! LOL Titans lost in OT anyway.

On Monday I took Theda to the hospital for a procedure on her back. She will be with me a few days recruperating. Hopefully this will get her back to GO!

Countdown, picking up my RV on Friday. Still haven't named her but I'm sure we will all come up with something. I did get her insurance. I think I told you about Farm Bureau. Well, I went with them. Their price was just right. I got two other quotes from RV Insurance companies and one was $951 the other was $949. I just couldn't afford that so I'll be keeping my RV in Clarksville instead of in Hendersonville. It's only about 20 more miles from my house but saving $600 per year, it was a no brainer. So that is done. I getting my stuff put in one part of my house so I can load it up when I head out on Friday. So much to do. It's fun though.

More later!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007-I DID IT!

As you can tell from my title, I did it! I am now the proud owner of a 2003 Itasca Sunrise 36M motorhome. Yes I chose a class A motorhome (MH). I'll post pictures of course. It has 2 slides, V10 Chevy engine, man it up and moves. It has been well taken care of and only has 14,000 miles on it. I have been very busy, as you can imagine, doing research, talking to people, test driving and all that goes into making a huge purchase such as this.

The salesman, Bud, told me if I had waited until April or May I would be spending a considerable amount more money. I have to tell you about my test drive. I was so nervous, the tension in my neck and back was horrible for the first 3 miles or so and then I began to relax. I went on Briley Parkway, onto I65 north to Long Hollow Pike and then over to Conference drive and back to Briley Pkwy. I pulled into Two Rivers Baptist Church parking lot where I was able to back up, pull forward and reback and continue until I got it where it was supposed to be. All I kept hearing was Dick Reed's voice in my ear saying, "slow, go slow, slow." He was the driving instructor at the Life on Wheels Conference in Bowling Green. I have those notes and reviewed them before my big day.

I tell you that conference really helped me be prepared. I am planning on going again this year. I'll know more this year and it will mean much more. I have a different perspective and mission this time than last.

My MH has 2 slides, 1 in the LR and 1 in the BR. The sofa makes a bed and I have another side chair in the lounge area. The kitchen has corian counter tops with a fold down for more counter space. It has a large refrigerator with and icemaker and beside the refer is a pull out pantry. Then there is a little shelf with mirror behind it for something. Then there is the booth dinette that also makes a bed (Taylor?) and has storage under the booths. There is a side hallway and in the hallway is a place for a washer/dryer (all in one) and the plumbing for that. Next is the bathroom, which has the usual. The bedroom has a TV, desk huge wardrobe (3 doors) and six drawers. The bed is on hydralic lifts and there is storage underneath. The colors are muted and I am going to have to do something to bring out my personality. I'll figure it out and I have plenty of time to do that. Missi already bought me patio lights for my b'day last year and now I get to use them.

My MH will be ready on Friday, Dec 14. I will go to the dealership to do a walk through and will become familiar with all the systems. They said it would take about 4 hours. Then they want me to stay in the campgroung (cg) for two nights and get familiar with it, you know, take shower, cook (?what's that?) use all the systems and then if anything goes wrong, they will hop across the fence and help me out. Sounds like a terrific plan to me. Bud said I could take it over and back it into the campsite, who me? That will be interesting.

That's about all I can report right now, I'm busy making lists. What to take out with me, what I will need to buy, gift list on, on, on, you get the idea! So many lists, hope I can keep them up.

Oh, I am going to keep it out at my friend, Becky, house. They have a huge driveway and I believe it will be out of the way, at least as out of the way as a 36' MH can be out of the way. I believe that Ron, Becky's DH (darling husband) is excited. He said he would start it for me every once in a while. Becky thinks DH might get the bug if it sits out there. I hope he doesn't get too much of a bug because then I would have to find someplace to put it! lol No, really it is great to have friends such as them.

The other thing, I called Farm Bureau today for my insurance. I have everything thing with them and have been a member since about 1978. They will not insure my rig because it is going to be kept away from me. Now, tell me, where in the heck am I going to put my rig since I live in a condo, which is what I told Andy. I told him if I had to get my RV insurance somewhere else I would move everything, didn't seem to bother them. Guess they have gotten too big now. Guess I'll do insurance shopping now. Gosh, if it's not one thing it's another.

OOH, I forgot to mention that my neice Deborah, is going let me park my rig in her driveway during Christmas there with the family. She has a 30 amp plug and I can just set it up quite nicely. Jonathan, Taylor and I will have our own little house to have Christmas together after the big family of 52 gathers. We have missed that since Mama passed. My sister, Wanda is great, don't get me wrong, we have enjoyed our Christmases with her but this just allows everyone their privacy. I hope the weather will be good because if it's not, my MH will remain parked. lol

I have got to name her! Any suggestions? Let me know, I'll narrow them down and then we can all vote. That should be fun!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Well, I know it has been a while since I have been here but I have been a little busy.

Thursday night, Roy, Theda and I went to Zaney's Comedy Club. OMG, it was such a good time. I can't remember when I have laughed that hard. The comedian was Lavelle Crawford, 2nd place winner on Last Comic Standing. His show was a little more risque than the NBC version but let me tell you, it was good. I was so glad we went. Theda had been at my house because she is having very bad back problems and she was going to see a Nashville Dr. He did some tests and then she had to return for the results and to discuss what was going to happen. Since she was here, we decided to go to Zaney's. Glad we did because it helped all of us get our endorphins going.

Friday was a ho hum day. All that was different was the fact that I picked up Cindy from the airport. She had gone to Orlando for a business trip which I usually go but I didn't this time. She is going again in April and it would be nice to go then but I think I am going to be in the thros of our new computer system transition, Edison, and I won't be doing anything much but working.

Today, I met a forum friend who RV's. We had hoped there would be about four of us but it ended up being just me and her. We met for lunch at Cracker Barrel at Music Valley Dr. That's close to some RV places so I thought I would pass the time and check some out in person that I had seen on the internet. I went to Cullum & Maxey to see the Winnebago Voyager 32H. I liked the idea of that because it's fairly short and it has a full wall slide. Once I saw it, it's not for me. Not enough room for me to full time in. I'm sure it would be okay if I were going camping in it but not for living. Margie said something today that made me think, are you going to travel or live in it. Both would be my answer but I will use my toad (word for the vehicle towed behind an RV). Now you may be asking yourself about now, Isn't a Winnebago a class A motor home? Yep, you are right. Changed my mind again. Hey it's my prerogative, right?

I have given it more thought and I believe Jonathan and Theda have some very good points. I think I have found a brand that is suited for me.

While at Cullum & Maxey, Bud, the salesman said, have you ever done this before? I said no. He highly suggested I get a used MH, try it out before I retire and by the time I do retire I will have figured out what I want and what I don't want in a MH or if I even want a MH. He said it would also give me more confidence in driving it around and towing with it. Now, you know what, that makes a lot of sense to me. He happened to have one that he had just gotten. It is an Itasca (made by Winnebago) Sunrise 36M, it has 14,000 miles on it, is a 2003 model and is just as cute as can be. I am thinking it over. It has much of what I have on my list of wants. I'll go to the credit union on Monday and see what I can work out. I believe things are working out okay.

Talked to Jonathan tonight and told him about it. I told him that we may just have a place to have our Christmas this year when they come up. See since my Mama died a few years ago, Jonathan, Taylor and I have stayed with Wanda & Don and had our Christmas there. That was not a problem but it just seemed like we were intruding. This way, we will have our own little place. I think that is just such a cool idea, if it works out.

I also thought that it would be a great little place to have a new years eve party. Get a few friends, have a bond fire, have a fairly quite evening. What a way to welcome 2008. Time will tell if all this works out.

I have to find a place to park/store it. I can't keep it here at my condo so I'll have to research to find out what's available. I have read on some forums and RV websites that the worst vandalism takes place in locked, gated storage areas. That's a little disturbing.

After I got finished at the RV place, I went to Vanderbilt. My nephew, Darrell Jr and his son Corey were there. Corey is going to baseball camp. It was good to see them. At this baseball camp were 38 colleges and 4 pro teams represented. Guess they were scouting the best of the best. I am so glad that Corey is part of the best.

Came home and watched that horrible UT vs LSU SEC championship game. We lost. We played horribly. Guess we will have to wait till next year, right?