Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Holding our own

There are a number of things that have changed since we swapped our full time lifestyle for a house and travel as the urge hits.  One of those things is spending more time with our granddaughter.  We enjoy taking care of her for a day whenever the need arises, but have discovered that she has a lot more energy than we do.  This requires that we have an agenda when she comes over to keep her busy without wearing us to a frazzle.  This time we were also working on our departure plans for a trip to LA for a Cajun rally.

First Victoria became fully engaged in one of our new projects, which is to try to get away from all these commercial dog treats, which are really not very healthy.  Someday  I may tackle the topic of the current rage of feeding dogs only dog food under the theory that it is better than real food, even though it is full of fillers and chemicals, not to mention the unwanted chemical poisons the manufacturers find it convenient to get rid of via their products.  I always figure when something does not make sense, you just have to follow the money.  Using a recipe given to us by an RVing friend, Anneke decided to let Victoria help make dog cookies.  If she does well, she may advance to the human food station. Victoria really enjoyed doing this and we spent a lot more time than we thought she could handle.  She had a blast! 

Anneke collected a lot of Lake Superior Agates from the south shore of the lake during our tour of Michigan three years ago or so.  While I thought carrying these around was a bit much, we finally got to use them at the house.  Victoria helped properly place them in our front yard.  She even watered them to bring out the bright color The neighbors might think what we are doing ...watering rocks?

As we get ready for another anytime travel event, the preparations remind me of all those years we had sailboats for our main hobby.  It seemed like we were always packing and unpacking, loading and unloading.  It is a tiring process, and we are at it again.  We were spoiled for those five plus  years, where our life and travels were all contained in that small 39 foot vehicle.  Never a need to move stuff from one place to another, never think about start up of water systems, and all the other small stuff that any timers have to think about.  It was just part of the everyday routine.  I think I may have to go back to checklists.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Unexpected encounters

My blog reading  list is fairly long and if I neglect it for a few days, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the number of unread blog posts that stare back at me when I go to Google reader.  In order to get the number down I take short cuts.  Last Monday was such a day and luckily I did not apply drastic measures to reduce the number.  I opened one of my favorite blogs and found that Erin and Mui were in Pensacola for a few days.  This is a very short drive from our house.  After making contact, we were able to meet them at one of the popular restaurants in town and enjoyed a great visit. When you meet fellow RV bloggers, you already know a bit about them and can skip all the normal meet and greet conversations.  They are great people and it was very enjoyable to talk with them about their plans to soon become full timers.  It brought back some of our excitement as we  prepared to do the same nearly six years ago now.  It was a fun time and look forward to meeting up with them again down the road.

The other surprise encounter came a few days earlier when our daughter and family were having dinner at our house.  As the meal was concluding our SIL looked out the window and said we had deer in the backyard.  Since we our property backs up to several hundred acres of   wooded land, I knew we had deer, bear and other less desirable creatures like  snakes nearby.  But so far, we had not actually seen much large wildlife.  This was Victoria's first sight of deer in the wild and she seemed to find it very interesting.  I am sure we will see more of them as time goes by.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Motorhome issues with toddlers

Once Isaac Passed us by with no damage, we reverted to our plan to visit our grandson over the labor day weekend.  Since it was a long weekend, our daughter Heather and granddaughter Victoria wanted to go along.  The original plan was to leave on Friday AM, but due to Isaac, Heather could not find a substitute teacher for Friday. So we departed late afternoon for the journey to our grandson's home.

We never carried any passengers with us in the 39' diesel motorhome over five years on the road, so this was going to be a new experience.  We first became aware of some of the issues in carrying children who are required to be in these modern car seats that resemble a space shuttle seat at a rally in AL with our new small motorhome.  The dealer sponsoring the rally asked us to talk to a potential buyer about how great it would be to travel with small children in a motorhome.   They were looking at a larger class C than our little 24'.  So before we talked to them, we asked ourselves if we could carry any kids in ours.  We discovered that there is only one seat in the dinette approved for a child seat and in order to use that the table had to be in the down position.  In our little motorhome that meant a parent could not go along or have to sit on the other side of the dinette with their legs straight. Then we checked the model they were interested in and found it was exactly the same.  So we declined to encourage them since they had three small children and could not legally carry them in the motorhome.  Then I looked at the arrangement of our old motorhome that was much larger with more seats , but found essentially the same problem.

 Before this trip we reviewed our limited options and our daughter decided she could sit in the dinette with her feet up for the 400 mile journey each way.  Better her than me! After an overnight stop in Montgomery, we arrived at our destination early Saturday.

We had great visit and the two grandchildren had a chance to look each other over.  Aleister has a small collection of electric driven vehicles and Victoria had her first ride in one of these.  I think she enjoyed it but Aleister had the pedal to the metal and it may have been a little intimating for her.

The trip home was uneventful and the new motorhome continues to impress us.  We have already done a number of things with this little one that we never did with the bigger one. 

Back home our week has been spent working on getting the house in more order and deciding which paintings and pictures go where.  We also have spent a few days looking after Victoria, while her regular baby sitter deals with some family issues.  We are glad that we did not toss everything out when we went full time. Now Victoria can play with a small wooden store set that was made by her Great Grandfather more than sixty years ago in the far away land of the Netherlands.

Yesterday we sat out on the back porch and enjoyed the cooler weather that has shifted south at least for a few days.  I can see that  we will be spending a lot of time here in the coming months.

The end.