Friday, November 6, 2015
Woke several times in the night to the pitter patter of rain on the top of the RV – it was on and off most the night and at about 4:30 am got really loud. From that point on, I really didn’t fall back to sleep but enjoyed the relaxing noise of the rain.
My alarm was set for 6:30 am anyway (and since on the road- I really haven’t been using my alarm) – in order to be up and log on to a FLORIDA Campsite website by 7 am to see if we could get some reservations as they release a percentage of sites every Friday am. So to back track a bit – we did a lot of planning for this trip but not as much in the category of “reserving spaces” for key locations for the winter months. However, I did get some advice from some folks that have traveled around the country not to book anything too far out. But last night at dinner – Dawson was freaked out about our Florida locations and getting some good or prime realestate as December begins the peak season in Florida. They call them snow birds that all fly down for the winter. We were given some advice from my friend, Meahgan at www.screwthebeatenpath.com to check out Port DeSoto in Florida. Well, they are fairly booked up but we got on their site and couldn’t get any reservations for more than 4 days in a row. So four days it is - we went ahead and booked a stay in mid December. Happy birthday to me, we will be staying there Dec 13 thru the 18th. And we have tentative plans for Fort Myers for Dec 18 -28th.
I am still going to do some more searching online – but if you know any good RV parks in Florida, or anyone who has a long driveway or anyone needing a house sitter (in Florida) to take care of their house & animals while off on vacation – let us know. We would be willing and able to help out. We hope to be in Florida in early December and stay enjoying the warm weather as long as we can find places to park and soak up some sun.
Dawson has me somewhat freaked out about it now too – but I am going to trust that it will all work out just how it has so far. I enjoyed the extra quiet time to myself that am and Summer and I took a walk in the rain after I made our FL reservations.
The kids were lazy getting going but finally ate and started some reading for school. Dawson and I started cleaning up for the road again. We all took a family morning walk around the camp with Summer as the rain let up. It is a cool camp and reminds us so much of our moutain cabin town, Cuchara. We should try to come back to visit sometime in the warmer months – I bet it is a hoppin place. This week it was like living out in the country by ourselves. But we really enjoyed our stay in Granville, Ohio and Lazy River Campground.
While walking, we saw the RV that has some major damage to the driver side of their rig. We all are curious what happened. I think they hit a deer, but none the less, hopefully they are all ok and can get it fixed soon. Dawson was waiting for Erica, that runs the camp with her family – to call us back about propaine and paying for the extra night that we stayed.
Back to the RV to pull in slides, unhook electric, water and sewer so we can hit the road. We are getting better at all the steps and are getting a good system down. Dawson even had Q out helping with the outside duties. We got everything done, I kept out some school work for all 3 of the kiddos to maybe do while we were driving. Don’t know if we will do it but want it out in reach in case.
We decided we would wait to attach the van until we got a little ways down the highway. Since it was such a crazy journey into the camp we thought we would wait. Although, now after being here several days, we feel better with our route out of here being easier than coming in. Out we pulled and met Erica and crew at the checkin office. It was nice to visit with her again. I had met her and her 2 little guys the day prior while walking summer – cute family. She is super nice and told us to come back with the kids during peak season so the kids can experience the fun activities at the camp. She shed some light on our fellow RV’ers with the damage to the driver side. They actually hit a truck. They were on windy roads in Virginia and came around a corner to traffic stopped and their options were they could 1. hit a car, 2. Hit a truck or 3. go off the road that was a high ridge….they hit the truck. Probably the best option but still damaging to their rig. Ugh – she said that it will be 8 weeks for them to get all the parts needed to fix it. She said they were deciding if they would go home until it is fixed or stay in Ohio. Great reminder to us to be super careful. So not what I needed to hear as I know we are getting back on the roads here in Ohio, West Virginia and into Pennsylvani….read online that this will be a trip with several steep hills (5-6% grades). Deep breathe!!! Makes me anxious. It is weird to drive in places you have never been – you don’t know what is up a head and you have your whole house and family on the RV….so those of you that get anxious in a car….multiply it by 10 or more in the RV. Remember too we are still “rookies” – babies if you will to this new lifestyle. God keep us safe and we welcome your continued thoughts and prayers for our safe journey.
Erica wrote down our website and wished us well. She had a Cherry Hill RV park brochure and told us it was a good park and to enjoy DC and the rest of our adventure. Loren and Trig – it would be a fun place for us all to come together with the kids.
I followed Dawson in the car with Franki and Summer for about 50 miles or so before we pulled into a truck stop for fuel, mega million ticket and to hook the van back up. Franki was disappointed she had to ride with me but the kids were bickering while we were getting ready to hit the road and so I separated them. She didn’t talk to me for a while and then we found a fun radio station and jammed to some good tunes while we followed the rv. It was nice to get alone time with her.
On to Washington, Pennsylvania. It was a hilly ride but it was beautiful even with the cloud coverage. It never rained on us but the sun didn’t shine either. Then we exited the high way onto some more skinny, curvey roads again and once again wondered were the heck the nuvi was taking us. It is crazy -some of the locations of these campgrounds. This one took us through some hilly neighborhood that once again felt so random – we even had one lady wave us with a fingerand a honk, like what are you doing on this road with that RV. But after several tight turns and windy, hilly roads with cars and houses all over - we found the KOA entrance sign on then up a huge hill we went. This park was literally on the side of a hill. It was wild – they even had a sign that said keep constant speed to get up and around the loop. Once at the top you then wind back down to the spots that sit sideways along the hill in 3 rows. Craziness!
At least this time we didn’t do it in the dark. That really helped keep the anxiety levels down. It is also nice when we arrive for the kids to take out to the playground and run Summer too. This one had a great area down the hill for the kids and the dog. They were off and we were not too far away. There weren’t too many folks around -some campers up at the top of the hill but not many cars around. Once we got all hooked up I rallied the kids to come finish up school for the week - Dawson had a few calls and one he was waiting for at 3:30 – so dad could have a quiet rv for his important work call. While we were down there a very nice lady named Shirley came down with her sweet 1 year old granddaughter named, Aubrey. She was super sweet and the girls liked playing with her.
Shirley had just moved to the area from a small down in New York – so she was living in the camper while she could find an apartment. Her son and his family was there in an apartment and building a house that would be ready in December. She was fun to visit with and thought what we were doing was great. She wished us well and took the baby back for a bottle and rest. She was sweet and reminded us that “family is everything!” It was a pleasure to meet you, Shirley. Moving can be hard but you are doing the right thing and we wish you well – may God bless you and keep you.
After daddy wrapped up his work week – we headed out to find a post office, a book for Q and maybe a Walmart or target to look for a few items for the RV to make it more like our home. It was fun to go out of the RV park and come in a different route – it too had crazy narrow roads. The Northeast is just so different than what we are use to at home with roads and neighborhoods. It is fun but is seems so odd and random (there is that word again!)
We found home depot first – got some led lights for various spots in the RV and some night lights. We then went to Walmart and had fun looking around, laughing and thinking it was crazy that all the Christmas stuff was already out. Tim Suttle you would be proud, a great moment to talk about consumerism - and what our focus needs to be on this Holiday Season....it's going to be about our "family togetherness" and not stuff this season!
We exited Walmart to a little chaos. Police were yelling at some guy to get on the ground and instead of listening – he decide to run. Well, that got a little crazy as about 7 cop cars came into the parking lot soon after looking for him. He wasn’t fast so I’m pretty sure that they got him. The kids were asking many questions and it was a great opportunity for some lessons from that situation. Mena was super distressed by the situation. We left WalMart - on to Sam's club to get dad more protein. No need for us
We had another fun evening with lots of laughter. It was awesome family time. We ended back at the RV without a book and without food. We ended up making dinner and thanks to our visit with the Belinder’s back in Wisconsin – we had pulled pork and left over pasta with the delicious sauce. Thanks Jenny - I need that sauce recipe for sure!
We met another neighbor from Florida that had pulled into the site and she wanted to meet Summer. I can not remember her name but she was a dog lover. Once she got her fill of giving Summer some love she went back into her RV. She was a sweet older lady – expecting her first grandchild in December but not really interested too much with us or our story. So you just listen and let her talk and move on.
Well, we decided if the DC camp ground had room for us to check in early that we would leave tomorrow and probably just go all the way. It was about a 4 to 5 hour drive with the biggest hills ahead according to what I read online. We will head out around 10 in the morning! I know there is probably much to do and see here in Pennsylvania but I want to get to DC and just chill there for awhile. The weather is getting cooler – the trees are empty of their leaves and the day is going to be cloudy. So my gut tells me we should go. Dawson will confirm with the Cherry Hill RV park in DC in the am if all is a go we will be off again!
Good night family and friends!
Tiff & Family