Vacation – defined as an extended period of recreation, especially one spent away from home or in traveling. Wow, stop and think about that sentence from the perspective of a fulltime RVer. The original title of this article began with We are Taking a Vacation. I decided to change the title after further review. The intent is to describe the process we went through when leaving the RV behind and taking a quick out of town trip. Also, offer a suggestion should you need a break from RVing.
Do your best not to find, infer, or attribute some additional meaning or different interpretation based on what is presented. I’m in a good mood and feel like having some fun when writing. We have no plans to leave the road.
At this point in the blog post, I should insert a “read more line.” You would have to click on the words to continue. That way I can can come back later and check for errors before some have a chance to read them. I just figured that trick out a few months ago. I might also delete half of what I’ve written but you will never know.
Hay – Chapter 3 Travels Blog – if you are reading this. Loved the blog you wrote along the lines of taking time off. I could not find a specific post about your daily life in Austin during that time. Camper Chronicles Blog recently posted the status of their original group who hit the road in 2014. Here is a link.
Myself, having stayed two months in one RV park, which is way easier than moving around, I find at least a three month break would be what I’d need from the rigors of travel, especially the planning process. Maybe more if Karen thinks so. However, we are looking forward to the summer trip to the upper peninsula of Michigan then out west. We have also been chipping away at the fall trip for another winter stay in Florida.
I could have titled this blog differently, maybe roping a few more in to reading it. Having been a business major with a emphasis in marketing I certainly learned how to create a heading. For casual reading, I don’t believe in click-bait headings where the reader gets excited about the articles potential content and is left disappointed after reading what followed. Frankly, and not to upset any real journalist, I find much of what I read online, by what should be paid journalist, to be lazy writing where more time is spent coming up with a catchy title then creating original content. Almost as if the writer is paid for eight hours of work and finds a way to get it done in two hours. Then again, maybe they are paid by the article. I’d be rich if I was paid by the word. Na, getting paid to write should be too much work.
I have my faults when it comes to writing, for sure I do. For example I am a terrible editor and should spend more time proofe reading. I’d have to lookup the definition of sentence structure to know anything about it 🙂 Nouns, verbs, adjectives – who cares… By now, they are either a part of the way I speak or never will be used correctly. You all are my friends and know that about me by now. I also tend to wonder from the topic at times. I used to keep a list of topics to write about, especially when it comes to planning for a future in an RV. That way I’d not miss any important information. Now, for the most part, I just throw whatever I’m thinking into the current blog post. Like I have just done.. I still have one list for an article that I’ve been keeping since we hit the road. It’s a special list. I should make you wait until the end of the post to describe it. I’ve written about that list a couple times within obscure side comments. I’ll get around to forming that list into an article when the time is right which will probably hit me in a dream or depressed moment. Once again, I’m referring to a future article where I’ll flat out tell you the crappy part of living in an RV. And hopefully in a way others have not. I’ll write a good article because I’m good at complaining which is what I suspect some may read as the focus of the article, even if it’s not. I’ll write it when the mood hits me and I have more experience with this lifestyle.
For now – we are taking a side trip away from the RV because the opportunity presented itself. Not because we needed a vacation! My old job called me back to Kansas City for court yet again. I’ve been told to expect that to happen well into 2022. I’ve come up with a term of my own. Its called the COVID Excuse. This is where people who should have been finding a way to get their job done despite the pandemic failed to do so. Now they just tell everyone the pandemic put them behind. I’ve invented another term. They should use it in advertising.. “Get a Vaccine or Eventually Get Sick.” I don’t care if people get a vaccine or not. That’s a personal decision just like wearing a mask most of the time at this point. Soon all mask laws, mandates or whatever will change. I wear mine when appropriate but in the next few weeks, frankly speaking, I’m no longer willing to put my lifestyle on hold. In a few weeks, I’ll be using another term which I did not invent. It’s known as “ya, you and whose army?” The guy at the rental car place (Karen got a loaner) probably will be telling the story of the big bad man that reminded him to ask, not tell, me or my wife what to do. He said he asked her to put on a mask but only after I puffed up like a toad and demanded he repeat what he said. I had my mask on inside the building because I felt like for others it was the right thing to do. If I were to get political in this article I’d write something much different. I get it why folks would be nervous about a new vaccine and are waiting for herd immunity. But do this, ask 10 random people if they have had or are going to get vaccinated. For every person of the 10 that says no, then 10% of the population will be vulnerable. Okay, I got the virus thing update topic out of the way for this post and will move on to the real story.
And now – More about our vacation/side trip and the steps we took to get here.
Because we could stay near our old neighborhood and visit family, we decided to extend our stay for two weeks living in an Airbnb. I hope I got those initials correct. Why not just call it a furnished apartment? After more thought, does Airbnb stand for airbed and breakfast? No one cooks breakfast for us here…. Yes, I read the origin of the initials and I’m not impressed in terms of this being a new idea for a place to sleep. The building we are staying in right now used to be a boarding house – in 1910. I only included the initials in this article to pass along there are plenty of places you can go to take a long vacation in a “real” house and only have to tote along your clothing.
And what really is a vacation? An escape from realty? If so, heroine is cheaper. For us it turns out just to be time away from home. Karen says it does not seem like a vacation to her. Maybe it’s not but seems like the term fits. Life goes on in a different place for sure.
Our journey began in Nashville Tennessee. Well, really in Florida where we take six weeks to slink our way to Tennessee. I’ve got to say, having been to Nashville four times, the traffic is worse than ever. The city would be low on my list of destinations. Possibly because I toured it on vacation in 1991. Looking back on my photos the tour of Hermitage and dinner cruise with show on the General Jackson Riverboat were fun. Back then I stayed at the Opryland Resort and then continued on to the Knoxville area. Even attended the Grand Old Opry. Years later I received a special tour of all music row and historical locations curtesy of my brother-in-law. Steve played on Broadway Street for years in the most popular location. He knew all the bands and we walked from door to door, stopping without paying the cover charge to listen to his friends play. Been here to testify in federal court as well. Fortunately, Karen nor I really target large cities as a destination. We found a spot in the woods, about 40 minutes from downtown at Cedar of Lebanon State Park for a seven day stay. Campfires with Steve and good friends he introduced us to would follow.
I initially decided upon Nashville as a destination because I could get a direct flight to Kansas City for a court appearance. I have trouble flying as it makes me dizzy. Nashville was also a days drive to Kansas City which is what we decided to do. A couple months earlier, I researched places in Nashville to store our RV and found a tour bus storage area that I believe would be safe. Knowing we would put the RV in storage on the same day we had to make about a nine hour drive to Kansas City, I also had to find an overnight camping spot within a short distance of the storage lot. Yes, we could have hauled the RV to Kansas City but as we tend to travel 200 miles or less per day with two stops per week, that was not practical. Besides, our next RV destination is Michigan and taking the trailer to Kansas City would have added something like 700 miles to the RV trip. The Prosecutor’s Office would be paying for my gas and part of the hotel stay anyway as I reminded them when receiving the Subpoena.
So we packed all of what we were taking to Kansas City in a single duffle bag and trash bags. Then hitched up and towed the trailer from the state park to Grand Old RV Park, located in Goodlettsville Tennessee on the north side of Nashville for an overnight stay. Darn, this would have been a good park, at a relatively reasonable price, to tour Nashville from. Finally, a park that was still holding get togethers with music at night, dinner and breakfast at their headquarters. They put us in a great pull through spot with a sewer connection where I was able to backflush (clean) our waste water tanks for the two weeks of storage. We had driven from the state park earlier in the week to look over and sign the contract for storage of our RV (at $146 a month) across the street from the RV park.
Fortunately, our truck bed has a cover we can close to keep the rain out. We loaded the back seat with all our junk until we could unhitch the trailer the next day at the storage lot. Then moved stuff to the bed of truck to give the dog much of the back seat. We had a few things to put in storage back in Kansas City which was going with us. Failed to defrost the fridge days earlier but had done it maybe a month ago. The morning we were to put the RV in storage I defrosted the fridge in about 15 minutes. Anything perishable in the fridge or pantry went in the trash, we gave to others or toted to Kansas City in a trash bag within a box with ice. This is proof you don’t need to keep a lot of luggage in an RV to take future trips. Had we needed more luggage we would have bought it at a thrift store and donated it back later. We do not own a cooler. For an additional $50 the storage lot would have hooked the trailer to electricity and left the fridge on. We decided just to empty the fridge and turn it off.
Of course we had booked a room in Kansas City prior to departure. We also planned on a single night in a motel in Nashville upon our return, near the RV storage lot. That way we can hitch up the next morning and make the 80 mile journey to our next camping spot near Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The RV storage lot is next to the interstate leading north to Kentucky. Karen and I both made a list of what to take to Kansas City so as not to forget anything. I checked items off the list at the time I placed them in the truck. Forgot the key to the small fire safe! Oh well, we did not need to get in it anyway. Took way too many clothes as the place we are staying in Kansas City has a washer and dryer. And a dishwasher, and a “real bed LOL” and our dog Wyatt for the first time ever can run more than 20 feet indoors.
In Kansas City Karen rented a car for a week at $365. It’s well worth it to give her freedom to run wherever she wants as she does not drive the big truck. I suspect if we had kept a second car during our RV journey we would be paying fees to park it, gas, insurance, depreciation and maintenance. First time in some 18 months of having a second vehicle so $365 is cheap for a week. I suspect someday when we slow down in our travels we will get a permanent second vehicle and store it when traveling.
This side trip brings me to a conclusion. If we ever want to test the waters to make sure we might want to come off the road or become a snowbird, traveling seasonally, I believe renting a furnished home, apartment or whatever would be a good idea. Or maybe next time, we will leave the RV behind for a more exotic place other than our old neighborhood for a vacation. I made a big deal out of this in this blog post because it is a big deal to us. I also wanted to better explain how a short break from the RV life can happen if that needs to be part of the journey. Heck, someday if we find a place we might want to settle down, renting a room for six months might be a good way to confirm we want to be there. I’ll also sign up for a police ride-along and get the cops to show me the good neighborhoods or empty lots to build upon 🙂
And finally, Wyatt got his balls cut off at one years of age. He has grown to 35 pounds! Knew he was going to be a big boy. He is from a Missouri kennel so why not leave his nuts in Missouri! He has never known what its like to live anywhere other than an RV or a truck. He barks at all the new noises from the surrounding apartments. Located across the street from a Police Station where I know the Chief of Police but stay away so I don’t get the urge to get back in the business. It has been fun watching from the window as the young officers leave on patrol. At my old office in the city, I walked over to have lunch with the guys in my investigative unit. They have an interesting murder case I’d love to take on for a couple months. I wished them all well and returned to my simpler life of obscurity. It has made me happy to see Karen come home from our daughter’s house with dirt on her jeans. She has made good use of the rental car making the drive to our daughter’s and plays in the dirt while getting her gardening fix.