Our next travel adventure in Pennsylvania, while in New Stanton, took us to Ohiopyle State Park. When Bill was a senior in High School, some friends asked him one day if he wanted to skip school and go to the rapids to ride a raft. He was always game to skip school – so off they went – with a rubber raft. A cheap rubber raft. I’ve heard this story for years – how he almost drowned! Now I get to see where he almost met his waterloo. Here he is looking at the place they jumped in with their rubber raft: Continue Reading
Bill is from the New Stanton/Greensburg, Pennsylvania area. Sadly, it takes funerals to reconnect with family in our culture today. We all seem to move and it’s not easy to go back – until we grow up. So we returned on May 23, 2018.
After we were married, we lived in Bill’s hometown – for 1 1/2 years. I’m so grateful as it gave me an opportunity to get to know Bill’s parents and extended family. We both come from small families so it is nice to remain close to the few family members we have – and that is not easy since we all live so far apart. But for the funeral of Bill’s Uncle Warren in November 2016….
We drove our car up from Myrtle Beach to attend Uncle Warren’s funeral – our motor home was safe there for a few days. We reconnected with many and it was as if we hadn’t been apart for 40 years! One second cousin has a fifth wheel Recreational Vehicle (RV). They camp in it at Myrtle Beach every summer. So it was easy for us to connect and share adventures! She also said there is some good RV campgrounds in the New Stanton area if we ever decide to bring our motor home. So that started the wheels turning our heads….
We are enjoying our short drives from location to location to maximize our adventure days this summer. (Click here to see our short drive in our last post.) We never know what we may be facing driving our 40′ motor home towing our car, so Bill likes to be cautious with the routes he takes. This may not have been the most direct route, but in the mountains, we needed the safest.
The 119 mile drive to Shawnee State Park was uneventful so we made record time, arriving by noon time on May 17, 2018. On the way, we decided to call the office to ask if there had been any cancellations. For the six days we would stay here, we initially booked two sites, our first two days we’d be on an electric only site and then we’d move to a full hook up site. We’ve noticed in most state parks (and many federal parks as well), the weekends are always booked, which means we may have to change sites for our week-long stays. It seems the prime spots in this case, sites with full hook ups are booked on the weekends during “peak” season. We know this is a reality so we’ve learned how to work around it. The weather forecast wasn’t
We will be flying to attend a wedding in Sacramento on 7/8/18. This has dictated our summer plans – we don’t want to be too far from our home base, Fredericksburg for multiple reasons. More on that later.
Our summer travels will be to see as much of Pennsylvania as we can in 52 days! Although Bill is from Pennsylvania, he has never appreciated the state like we now do after traveling to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Bill’s goal is to see enough of a state to really grasp it’s essence. We’ve had grand plans, but a month has passed as I write this and we haven’t begun to see the state as we originally hoped. Mainly, because we are traveling “slo-mo” to really enjoy each stop. Continue Reading
We started RVing, right after our first grandson’s birth, in September 2013. We were living in South Central Florida at that time and our daughter and family were (are) in Fredericksburg, VA. So we were 900 miles away or a 14 hour drive! Once we decided to travel full time, Bill promised our daughter we’d come see them at least four months a year.
We decided to come in the month of April because it’s our daughter’s birth month and our first wedding anniversary (married 4/11/1975). The next month we visit is August – both of our grandsons birth month and our second wedding anniversary (8/19/1989). Then we visit a week before Thanksgiving and usually through New Years. We add on a week or two to our times in April and August because of extenuating circumstances.
If you follow us on our public FaceBook page, you know what is coming! Bill had offered to remodel the boys (and guests) bathroom. He thought it would be simple job – would only take two weeks to finish. WRONG. Best laid plans…..
He has remodeled more bathrooms than I can count! He said he wanted to see if he still had it in him….Well, he still has it in him, but he had a few obstacles: tools, tools and the right tools makes a huge difference! When we went full time, he sold most of his tools. Plus, the fact the family was living in the area, so he had to clean up everything every night. Of course, for safety, so the boys wouldn’t get hurt and to keep it somewhat livable.
Let’s stir in that deadline matter…but a bit of background. It took us two years, but we finally found a place to park our motorhome hassle free with full hook ups and no other amenities – which is ideal for us. There are only six RV spots. They used to have maybe 30 or 40. They’ve changed to a manufactured homes park. We managed to snag a spot which gives us the flexibility we need with our comings and goings. It’s complicated and we are not at liberty to share the details of our “deal” but let us say, our “deal” expired on April 30 – so we knew we needed to leave by that date.
Long story short, he didn’t anticipate how off the walls were, so he thought, why not also tear out and install new dry wall? Dry walling isn’t his favorite way to remodel, but he knows how to do it. Thus the two weeks he anticipated it taking turned into five! Bill was sweating bullets because he was no where near ready to leave as the month began to wind down. He always aims for 30 days but this time, it was 43 days.
We arrived on Thursday, March 29, 2018 and left on May 9, 2018. Bill set some parameters with me – no weekends – that was before he tore out the walls! Our tradition upon arriving is to set up our “home” which includes washing the car, cleaning the bugs off the front of the bus and putting on our window sun screens and cover the tires (when we stay anywhere for two weeks or more). Then we go to their house, let the dog out, get the car seats and then pick the boys up, getting them out early. We also cook dinner unless Jessica has it already planned for our first night. But this time, as soon as we arrived, Bill was anxious, so he didn’t take time to clean the bugs off the front of our bus – always mandatory so anything else. In fact, he never did. But in the end, our daughter and son-in-law were pleased and the boys we really excited about it (because their PeePaw did it and they got to touch his tools).
Bill had most of the bathroom emptied by Saturday, in time for our son in law to finish it up. Sunday was Easter, but Bill ended up working some more on it in the afternoon. He took the next weekend off and they realized, he would never finish by April 30 – so he began to work seven days a week. Granted, he only worked 4-6 hours a day. He had a good pace once he started each day. Another hindrance was the fact it was on the second floor and our daughter wanted the shower and floor tiled. Bill uses a “wet” saw so that was set up in the garage – each day while he was cutting some of the tiles to fit. We wish had a step tracker – he must of went up and down the stairs a dozen times a day!
I forgot to mention, in addition to the deadline, Jessica and Shane had new flooring installed downstairs, during this same time! Of course, they had scheduled it before the two week project became five weeks. So that meant Jessica and Shane had a huge project as well. They emptied out all the furniture – then after done, they put it all back. Then Shane put down all the new quarter round. Of course, no project is just one easy day install. We had to have the installers back twice! So we handled the additional things for them.
Here is a slide show of some of the remodeling and finished product. No one thought to take a “before” picture. It was a dated bathroom, very basic with a leak somewhere….It needed a new floor!
While Bill and our son and law worked on the weekends, our daughter and I took the boys on a few excursions to have fun. Please note I had over 600 photos of the boys and our fun to pick from. So here are just a few pictures to capture some of our fun moments:
We like to let the boys take turns spending the night with us over the weekend. They require a lot of energy – so we had to cut back on how much we had them over. Since Bill was fully engaged in the remodel, I took over the responsibility of cooking dinner during the week. Jessica cooked every Sunday. If you know us, I stopped cooking a decade or two ago – so I am slow and it zapped me! Because Bill is now particular about what he eats, we give them a break – while we can stay on target with his heart healthy diet. Needless to say, we limped out of Virginia and are now trying to get back into the travel groove. But we can’t wait to get back in August for Bill to make up for some lost time with the boys!
Next up, our summer travels! We’re not going too far away this summer. But we’re going high….
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
It’s officially Spring so time to end our Winter Series posts! As mentioned in a few previous posts, we really weren’t sure how our winter would go – but we never imagined all the freezing, literally freezing weather we were in and that we dodged a tornado! That post, it is written here if you missed it.
But first, let’s look at the conundrum Bill felt. He is the “driver” and the one most knowledgeable about what he can handle on our journeys. He does ask for my input but I usually say, “whatever you can handle (driving) is fine with me.” He does a spectacular job and since we want to do this for a long as possible, why should I try to muck it up? Continue Reading
It was time for our annual trek to Red Bay, Alabama, home of our Tiffin Motorhome, named Tiffany after our precious tween dachshund (1982-2006). We had a few pressing things Bill wanted to get done and if the weather cooperated, we would go this winter in March, rather than May. We didn’t set any winter travel expectations – it depended on the weather. And it looked like the weather would cooperate. As with most full time RVers, we avoid snow and freezing weather. But we never thought we had to consider tornados in March!!! This post will be in three parts: 1) RV repairs/maintenance/remodeling; 2) Hiking in Tishomingo State Park; 3) Weather issues such as a tornado!