Rally Ends

Tonight was the last night of the Rally. I have met some really nice people here. Met some that come with the stupid comment or whispers — I can’t decided which, if I feel sorry for them or just want to make fun of them.

Tonight was the farewell dinner with raffle prizes and dueling pianos. Good time. had by all.

Tomorrow is a lazy day — then Monday morning first then we have to head over to Heartland RV to get some warranty work done. Then off for home. Long freakin’ week. I am spent!!

Oh yeah .. we are parked between two rigs from Michigan, both rooting for the wings — guess who has been rubbing in the GWINS!!!! hells yah!!

A Little Behind

The wifi at this campground is beyond suckage. So I haven’t had a lot of online time. Sorry this is late.

We are attending the 2009 Heartland RV Owners Rally. We got into Goshen, IN on Monday morning. Checked in, hung out a bit, got set up and then went to dinner with a few early arrivals to Dandino’s in town. Good steak! Lots of laughs.

Tuesday morning Twila and I got up and headed south to Fairmount, IN. The birthplace of cool. James B. Dean and the cool you can stand. I must say for being a tiny little museum with just a few items by comparison to Graceland, it was more personal. Great hand written notes and little stories from the volunteers – friends of Jimmy. His cousin Marcus still lives in town. It was very moving.

After the museum we went out to his grave. Made a few rubbings of his name. I left a 2009 Porsche Speedster matchbox car for him.

Wednesday we drove down to Lafayette and met up with Uncle Ron and his wife that we had not met yet (Aunt Sharon) for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Then Tommy and Shirley showed up – got a bite to eat and we all headed to Wolf Park. It was a warm day and a bit of a trek but it was a lot of fun to see Monty and the wolves again. It has been so long. I keep saying I need to get up there more often but life and time slips by so fast.

We are in “Amish Paradise” aka Puppy Mill Mecca (BLECH!!) for a few more days. Then it is back home. At least for a little while.

Howls.

The Devil’s Playground

That’s right guys and dolls .. LOUP is heading to Amish Country. LK and I are attending the International Heartland RV Rally in Elkhart, IN. We are picking up Twila on the way and since I am not a RV club kind of gal. Twila and I have plans.

What kind of plans you ask?

Visit my Uncle Ron – I haven’t seen him since 1988. Visit Wolf Park!!! (Here I come Orca!!), James Dean’s home town of Fairmount – – – also apparently the home of Garfield the Cat and Jim Davis. Also something I have wanted to do since I was 13 – but in life didn’t get the chance. I wanted to meet Ryan White. So I am going to visit his grave.

Not the weirdest thing I have ever done – but not something on every one’s THINGS TO DO IN INDIANA list either.

We are leaving next Sunday … so I have to get some plans made and some cleaning done.

Berea, KY

We pulled into camp yesterday around 4 pm. I am spoiled. RV Parks should be like Country Waye in Luray – or KY Horse Park in Lexington. We are right off 21 and next to a car wash. Pretty bleak. But I am here for visiting and checking out the town.

LKs sister and her family came down from Lexington yesterday for a quick visit. I feel bad we didn’t just sit around a campfire and talk but we were hungry and tired. So Cracker Barrel it was. She found a yummy goat milk lotion – the scent was “Blue Ridge Wildflowers” and having lived on the Blue Ridge Mountains for 10 year  — they got the smell right. I bought a few things. = 0)

My uncle started having some heart flutters. We didn’t hesitate and took him to the ER. He is fine but better safe than sorry. His new thyroid med is the culprit.

Sitting in the waiting room LK has his laptop, I had my netbook, my aunt had her iPhone, I showed her my iTouch — then some unsavory looking man said “Where y’all staying?” WTF? Maybe I am just not as trusting as I should be but really WHAT THE FUCK! LK said over by the interstate. I would NOT have been so nice.

I haven’t seen much of Berea but I am hopeful today’s visiting puts it in a better light. I feel like I could have gone to any small town in NC with some craft shops and saved the 8 hour drive.

Saw little carnage inside upon arrival. I am learning where to stow things when we are mobile. I lost a horse head figurine I bought several years ago during my first trip to Kentucky Horse Park. Sad moment. Swapping my desk and futon really helped keep the disarray down.

While on the road a fellow WolfPack fan spotted my flag hanging in the window and gave us the HOWL hand signal. Very cool — other than that the trip here was (as we like it) uneventful.

RV – getting here

Until last week we didn’t even own a truck. We put the cart way before the horse.

There are so many people and companies that deliver and move RV trailers around that we thought better get the place to live before we worry about the way to get it anywhere.

Like I said before LK got really involved with the Heartland RV group. He was connected with a guy who moves coaches around from the factory to a dealer in — I think it is Tennessee. Been a while. Anyhow, guy showed up and after a bit of trouble getting started thanks to all of the rain / mud we were hooked up.

We had to take the coach into a local RV shop to have some work done on her before the big move. The hauler was cool with it. Yeah, something was wrong with the coach.

No matter what coach you buy you will run into shit breaking, and things needing fixed. The difference between them all is how the companies deal with it. Customer service is a top priority with Heartland. We have had several things over the last year that needed dealt with and it has always been swift and courteous. I am all about customer service. If you make and sell a product that you don’t stand behind 100% I don’t want to buy that product I don’t even want to deal with yah. But Heartland has and continues to impress me on that level.

Once we were on the road it was less than 8 hours before we made it to the campground. Cost us less than renting the truck from VA to KY with our stuff in it to move our whole house!! Very cool. Imagine how cheap it will be when we just have to hook up our truck and buy diesel. = )

RV part 2

Shortly after our RV showed up we made a trek to VA to get some things. Our eyes were bigger than our coach. We had rented a truck and came back with so much stuff that boxes were literally stacked floor to ceiling all over with a mere path to the fridge and front door.

You find out you can live without a lot of things once you make the choice to life full time in an RV.

For instance … books. Heavy space sucking books. I love books too. The way they feel, smell – the turn of a crisp page. Yeah I’m crazy like that. But 10 boxes of books wasn’t at all practical to keep. So I sold most of them to a used media store. Same went for CDs and DVDs. We paired down a lot of stuff in a short time.

I was so proud of LK – after years of collecting parts and bits of technology – tools and pieces of projects that he might “need again someday” – he left 99.9% behind.

Living in an RV full time has done a lot for my shopping habits as well. I still tend to pick up items I think I want / need and carry them around the store. As I shop I think about the use of the item, how much space will it take up, can it be multitasked. 9 out of 10 times it gets put back. Clutter can not be part of your life when you live in 400 sq ft of space.

= )

It’s been a year of RVing full time and I love it. I love it even more now that we have a truck and we CAN actually go somewhere. But it really is a comfortable home.

After a few weeks of unpacking, donating, selling and giving away things we made a dent and the boxes were gone. Some things were gone that we weren’t willing to part with.

Our generator was stolen – while we were home, asleep. It was attached to the RV by a very large cable. Unfortunately, this coach is insulated so well not even the dogs heard the theives working to cut the cable. It was gnarled pretty bad so we know it took them some time to cut it.

Living in that trailer park was awful. About the time LK figured out the job there wasn’t what they sold him on the SWAT team showed up to the trailer park to stop a man with a shotgun from killing himself. Not just the SWAT team – but pretty much the entire Lexington police force along with the MAYOR – talk about small town tactics. It was time to leave.

Before Spring sprung LK had interviewed in Raleigh, NC for his current job and we were making plans to escape Lexington before anything else happened to us.

We hired someone to tow the coach to our new “lot” in NC. We secured anything that would fall over, rattle and pulled in the slides and away we went. Woke up in our own bed – drove to our new place – slept in our own bed. Easiest move we’ve ever had.

to be continued

The story of the RV

BLUE asked for me details so I thought others may be interested too.

Summer 2007.

During a frustrating bout with idiot drivers, traffic and plain idiots in Hampton Roads, VA on a sunny Saturday in June we make the commitment to get out of VA asap. That Monday LK had freshened his resume and put up FSBO posts in several online spots as well has staked a sign in our yard.

Quickly he got a job offer in Lexington, KY. He is from KY and it was a good distance from my family. Easy to get up there to see the ones I love and far enough that the genetically linked idiots wouldn’t make the effort to drive down for a visit.

We had borrowed the motorhome my aunt and uncle own to stay for a bit. It is a 15 year old 30′ Class A Fleetwood Stormwind, too small for us and the dogs but better than paying for hotels while we look for a place to stay long term. LK at this point is not a fan of the idea of living in an RV full time. I have always wanted to shed the shackles of owning a lot of stuff and just go go go. LK, only having experience with this one RV is against it.

One day a couple come to KY Horse Park with a Heartland 5th Wheel. They offer a tour of their place. LK is smitten – starts researching Heartland immediately.

It is becoming apparent at this point (October) that the house is not going to sell any time soon. So we had to move from the beautiful campground at Kentucky Horse Park to some shanty town trailer park that allowed RVs. There really needs to be more campgrounds in this country.

So back and forth we go on renting an apartment -staying in the RV. The Stormwind is for weekend travel really. It is 30′ long with no slide outs and with one car and LK working I am going stir crazy. We start talking about getting our own place. There are several apartment / condos that I like. None that LK likes. There was a great house with a couple of acres just outside of Lexington that was the same exterior, and layout on the inside as Graceland. No kidding. Minus the out there Elvis decor. It was awesome. I fell in love. LK did not.

We started looking into getting an RV of our own. LK didn’t want a motor home – thinking it would be too small like the one we were in. My Aunt Mollie has a very nice motor home with slides and such but LK doesn’t remember what that one looked like and besides tow-able coaches are in the price range we are willing to pay. (It amazes me that some RVs and land yachts are close to a million $US. WTF!)

Nothing we see locally sparks an interest like the Heartland did. So we find one in Springfield, OH (thaaaaa Simpsooooonssss) and go check it out in person.

LK was beyond smitten – corian countertops, convection/microwave, W/D, 2 flat screen tvs, king bed —

2008 Heartland Landmark w/ Augusta Floorplan <— you can see why it was impressing us in these pictures.

We made the deal in December and got a fantastic price and deal. LK has become more involved with the Heartland community. They really do take care of their people and take great pride in their customer service – if you are looking for an RV – either weekender or fulltiming it — check out Heartland RVs.

Ok, back to the story. LK goes up to sign all of the paperwork and to follow the delivery truck of the coach down to Lexington. Uncle J went with him while Aunt P and I start getting things in her RV packed up and ready to swap over to our new place.

The payment on the RV is far less than even the crack house rental we found in downtown Lexington. We made the choice to get the RV because it would be ours, we wouldn’t have to deal with all that comes with renting a place and we just weren’t sold on Lexington enough to buy a house there.

to be continued