In the beginning…

This is how it all began, finally … (sorry I am a few months late with this LOL)

We flew out of Seattle (location of our Stuff no longer home) August 28th, 2010 and into South Dakota to sign up for residency, and then out to Colorado to pick up our new home. I have read about dozens of people starting out and how much “fun” it can be.

We arrived at the BOAT company that had taken our new home in on a trade for a boat. This is the first RV they have ever had and knew little about anything, luckily Bill and I attended Life on Wheels a few years back and came prepared (or what we THOUGHT was prepared). We tried calling all the local RV places to find someone to inspect the coach for us and got nothing. We had a few offers for help from others, which was wonderful, but the people would not be available until October and we are on a time crunch to get it back to Seattle and loaded before snow starts to fall. So we pulled out all of our paperwork from our classes and went over what we could.

While on the lot we noticed a few minor issues. First off upon entry and starting to look things over I tugged on the shower door not apparently knowing my own strength and the safety glass in the door shattered into a million pieces. Ouch… my arm was not badly injured but now… we don’t have a shower door. The Boat Company owner explained that the handle that was drilled into the safety glass had likely weakened the glass so they had a rush job done to have plexi-glass put in the frame as a make-shift door until we can have it replaced. So we looked over more of the coach and left for the day. Day 2 we go back and over-night someone had tested the awnings and the awning over the front door’s gear busted. So they pulled it down but it would take at least a week to have the part shipped. Okay so we toss the awning in the bay and they said “just bill us once it is fixed”. Great. We decided to test the fridge and freezer. I bought some Otter Pops so if it didn’t work it wouldnt be a mess. After several hours it wasn’t cold…. hmmm. Okay so we left for the day and decided to come back early the next. Day 3, we start up the fridge as soon as we get in. we do a more thorough walk through checking more things out. We spend the entire day waiting for the bank to send us the papers and are becoming a bit perturbed because it is Thursday before Labor day and we have to sign the papers and over night them to the bank or we are stuck in hotels until Tuesday. 3:45 the papers come through we sign them and get everything in order, drop at the Fedex by 5:30. We come back and realize the fridge is still not cold. So we decide to leave it on overnight. Friday morning still nothing, the boat folks (who have been AWESOME through all of this) have their tech look at it and there is nothing he can do. There is power but the compressor is not coming on. Okay so we are planning to stop at the Coach Care facility in Boise or when we get back to Seattle so we will just have it looked at there.

The paperwork comes through and the bank contacts us about 4pm to let us know we are good to go. The Boat folks say we can stay in the lot overnight if we would like since we are nervous about finding a CG on Friday before Labor Day at 4pm. So we move to a back part of the lot out of the way and stay. How wonderful to finally be in our new home.

We wake up on our first official day on the coach and go pick up a cooler and ice for food so we don’t have to eat out again. I can handle the fridge not working, it will be inconvenient but whatever. So we get on the road. We know we are going to have issues finding somewhere to stay because so many people who RV on weekends will be out for Labor Day so after driving 4 hours we find a nice quiet rest area in north Colorado and crash out for the night. We get up early and head into Wyoming. As we are driving Bill is realizing that we are not going to make the 400 miles we had planned because the wind is atrocious and he is getting tired quicker. I look through our EXIT NOW book and find a KOA in Rawlins, WY. Bill calls and we find out they have a spot for us and it’s a pull through (camp spots are often back ins and we were a little worried about backing into our first spot, pull throughs are much easier) WOOHOO! We arrive the camp hosts are AWESOME. They help walk us through getting parked and let us know if we need anything to let them know. We level and put the slides out. Bill hooks us up to our first night or hookups and I hear an odd noise… a spraying noise… coming from under the couch.

After a little investigation and turning the water off we have sprung a leak and not just a leak but a leak in a tight little corner of the slide under the couch. Oy! All the water is now off to the rig. It is Sunday of Labor Day weekend, it is after 4 pm.

At this point I am beginning to lose my mind. I remind myself of all the threads I have read and I knew this could be what happened. The coach had been un-used for quite some time and we knew we would have some trouble.

Bill goes over to the camp hosts to find out if anyone might be able to help, even if its just duct tape. They have a number for a repair guy that works 24/7. What LUCK? We call him and he comes out. The slide rubs along a series of hoses from the bathroom that run over into the kitchen. He runs out to a store that is just about to close and gets a splice. He manages to get down in this tiny little hole and splices the hose.

We realize we should have brought a few more tools than we did but we could only bring what fit in 2 suitcases and weighed under 100 pounds since we flew on an airplane. Each day I made a list of things we were missing so when we got back in Seattle I made sure those items got into the rig.

We have had a wonderful time even with the trials. We stayed at a nice campground in Ogden, Utah the next night and nothing leaked, or exploded.

Since then we still do not have a working fridge. The shower door still needs replacing and the awning is still in the basement. We are going to be heading out of Seattle in a week or so and will stop in Oregon to see what we can do about the fridge and a few minor things. We are planning to drive out to Florida to see my new baby niece (who is due today) and figure we will stop at the manufacturer along the way to have the other items taken care of.

Interior Designer I am not…

Neither Bill nor I care a whole lot about decorating our homes much more than a nice duvet on the bed. You could ask our real estate agent or the lovely Lisa, our house stager, we have no talent for it. LOL In the RV we have a stone tile floor through the entry, kitchen, living area, and bathroom with carpet only in the bedroom. This is the cause of cold feet. I am sure when we are in warmer weather we will be happier having the tile but knowing we will be staying in areas where it will be cold I knew we had to get a carpet for the living area and a couple small rugs for the bathroom and hall. While running around we saw there was a tent with rugs on sale in front of Home Depot so we went home and measured and went to find a 5×8 rug to help in the living area. We got to the tent and all the rugs were kinda blah… nothing hit me. When I asked Bill for his opinion he pulled a typical male, “I don’t care.” So I kept showing him other rugs and he just didn’t care and I didn’t see anything I liked. We gave up and went over to Fred Meyer to pick up a few more organizing containers and I went to look at their rugs. As I went through them I found one I didn’t hate and Bill still saying he didn’t care I went to see if they had it in stock. Luckily they were sold out. I went back and continued through the hanging rugs looking when I spotted it… Bill and I both love color. For those that don’t know we have a “Detonator Yellow” Jeep. We are both drawn to things that are bright (kinda like moths). I knew on sight I loved this rug but most sane people would hate it so I didn’t assume Bill would like it and with my frustration rising with his “I don’t care” attitude I wasn’t looking for excitement from the man. He walks over to look at it and he liked it… no longer did he “Not care”. We go over and look in the rack and there is no rug. Bill goes to the customer phone to ask someone to come back and help us. The lovely lady comes back and tells us she will check in back but since it is on clearance it is unlikely to be back there. Bill and I stood there hoping that might have one. The lady comes back carrying my rug. I was so excited. It was on sale $20 off the original price and I thought I had a great deal. We get to the register and find out it is an ADDITIONAL 40% off. So our $120 rug cost us a mere $60. Not only do I love the obnoxiously colorful rug but I truly loved the price. :-D

Once I find my camera and get things cleaned up I will post a picture of the rug. :-)

Moving In

I have never moved and unpacked all my boxes in a short period of time. Generally I will pile them in a corner and unpack them, as I need things. Moving into the RV this is not an option. We have spent the last 5 years getting rid of things and boy I had no idea how much was going to have to go. LOL Goodwill is my biggest fan. They have received completely working computers, monitors, full sheet sets, pillows, fans, etc. This is all after friends and family picked through and took what they wanted. Gobs of stuff, Halloween costumes from years past, all manner of goodies that I just cannot justify keeping. Every box must be gone through and repacked. We have 3 areas. We have boxes to be unpacked for stuff we will have in the RV. We have boxes to repack and put in the basement (storage under the RV) and a small amount of boxes to go into storage of things we do not need but just can not justify getting rid of. So over the course of the last month I have touched everything in the world that I own. For those of you that live in houses and have been there for years stop and think about how long it would take you to do this.

Every book, every towel, every utensil, every piece of jewelry, every dish, every article of clothing it all had to be gone through and placed where it will belong. This is a daunting task even when you have been doing this over and over for years. Narrowing down again and again what things to keep and what to toss, what to donate and what to recycle. No box left unopened. 6 years ago when I moved to Seattle I moved with 15 boxes and 2 cats; it is amazing what you can accumulate in a short period of time. Not to mention the amount of stuff Bill had after 20 years in the Maple Valley house. We combined 2 households into a massive empty house and now we have to move all those belonging that we want to keep into a 40-foot block of a moving house. LOL The one thing I can say is… I AM NOT giving up any of my DVDs. LOL I shrank them down but I will not get rid of them. They will just have to fit… somewhere…

My Giant Killer

So I do not relate everything in my life to something theme park… sometimes it is a cartoon. LOL A few weeks ago Bill and I were staying on a farm with friends (Char and Forrest) in Eastern Washington. While there we were having a fly infestation. Char and Forrest have an electronic fly swatter that works wonders since you don’t end up with fly guts wherever you caught them. I had found this to be a very useful tool and one of the nights we were staying there we were playing cards and the flies were a buzzing. Bill and Forrest were taking turns attacking the flies with the swatter. At one point Bill hollers “I got 3 with one swipe.” My brain pops on a memory of an old Mickey Mouse cartoon “The Brave Little Tailor”. In the story Mickey Mouse is a tailor and there are flies annoying him to no end. Unbeknownst to him the whole town is a buzz with news of a giant that is terrorizing the area. Mickey grabs his 2 fly swatters one in each hand and proceeds to kill 7 flies with 1 blow. He pokes his head out the window of his shop and shouts that he killed 7 with 1 blow and all the town assumes he is talking about giants and send poor Mickey off to handle the giant.

With this I have now named Bill: The Giant Killer. Hehe

3 with 1 blow… the record so far.
The Brave Little Tailor

The Dream That You Wish…

So the other day I added the Cinderella song “A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes” and that has always been one of my favorite songs. I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw Cinderella but I have always been a dreamer. People in my life did quite a bit to stomp on my dreams but some encouraged them.  Dreams are interesting creatures. What makes us dream what we dream? As little kids we have experiences and those experiences have an affect on our dreams. They make us want to be teachers, cops, firemen, or as in my case… a truck driver. You heard me right, I wanted to be a truck driver. As I grew up my parents would take me on a variety of road trips. The first I remember was the trip from our home in Florida to Louisiana to pick up my newly adopted baby brother. My parents took my older brother and I out of school so that as a family we could make the trip. This would be the first of many road trips we would make. We drove from Florida to Michigan, when we moved to Massachusetts we drove. When we moved back to Florida we drove. At 16 several of my best friends and I hopped in a Volkswagen Van and drove from Boston to Chicago and back for a fun trip. In the process I realized I loved being on the road so being a truck driver seemed logical, however, everyone I told this treated me like I was crazy and so I slowly let go of the dream.

That did not change the fact that I love to travel. I love experiencing new places and learning about new areas (we won’t even get into eating new foods yet). Growing up in Florida I learned about American History from the Floridian perspective. When at 12 I moved to Boston the History was so much more extensive. I learned about Lexington and the Shot Heard Around the World. I learned about the Battle of Concord. I saw the gravesites of the founders of our country. At 25 I visited Louisiana and realized their History is newer. When I moved to Seattle I loved learning about the Natives that lived here for decades, nearly a century, while the White Men conquered the East. It makes me giggle to see stores that have signs that they were “Established in 1920”, this is so NEW compared to the houses I visited that were 200-300 years old in New England. America is such a diverse nation. We have so much we could learn from each other. I want to learn it all.

To do this you need to actually go there. Reading about it is one thing but going there you get to see things from a whole different perspective. I want to walk where the people that made this country walked. Bill and I both have a passion to travel so we bought an RV and we are going to start living out our dream.

I hope you will come along for our journey, hope to see you on the road someday.