Monday, May 19, 2014

On the Road to Indianapolis...

We packed up in Wilmington on Wednesday morning to head to Greensboro and discovered one of our black tanks wouldn't empty when we opened it.  We emptied the other black and both grey tanks and headed to Greensboro with a full black tank...hoping that traveling might jog things loose.  No such luck.  In fact, once we got there, not only would the black tank not empty, but the toilet bowl was not holding water.  Every time we added water, it seeped down into the holding tank.

Started calling RV techs for help.  The first guy we called, Bud, told us he'd just retired and the rest of them told us they were overbooked due to Bud's retiring!  One of them did tell us we needed to call a porta-potty service to empty the tank before anyone could work on it.  Called around and and were finally directed to someone who could do it. Oddly enough it was The Ward Brothers Septic relation, but a good omen!  They came out and drained the tank on Friday and got rid of whatever caused the clog.  On advice from someone from Facebook, I scrubbed the trap with a brush and cleared whatever was interfering with the seal.  By the time we left Greensboro, all was well with our plumbing.

The purpose of a stop in Greensboro was to see my brothers.  We had dinner Thursday at Elizabeth's, an old favorite, with Ken, Matthew and Ciera.  On Friday, Glen and Joanna showed up with ice cream after Jack installed an Intervac central vac for me...yay!!!  I love my vacuum!  On Saturday, we caught up on laundry at Glen and Joanna's (as I still don't have a washer/dryer) and Glen cleaned up my laptop, then dinner at Darryl's, which has become Jack's go-to place in Greensboro.  It was a good, all-too-short visit!

I-40 West in Tennessee
Our first stop after leaving Greensboro was in Tennessee. Stayed overnight at the Fox Fire Riverside Campground.  A small, peaceful place right off the Interstate.  Some traffic noise and minimal TV reception, but a pretty setting.  No real checking in, the guy hosting just stops you as you're driving in and collects the fee...preferably in cash!  It sits in a valley and as we approached the entrance, it felt like we were at the top of a roller intimidating entrance, but much less intimidating leaving the next morning.

Today we drove into Kentucky.  We're at the Elkhorn Campground in Frankfort and plan to stay two nights and relax a bit before going to Indianapolis.  Very pretty setting here, but an odd configuration of hookups.  We got a pull-thru, but only because we were the first ones in.  We drove through a site to reach ours, the guy behind us had to back in...and we share hook ups, which means his are on the wrong side.  Our neighbor arrived with a brand new travel trailer and asked us to help guide him backing in, which we did, as well as showing him how to lower his jacks.  But, when he asked to borrow two potatoes, he was out of luck as we had sandwiches for dinner!

At Elkhorn Campground

I'm not sure what we will do with our free day in Frankfort tomorrow...sight-see...or sit outside with cold drink and a good book, but whatever we do, it will include adding two states to my travel map!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Month of Physicians, Food and Family...

Jackson and Katie relaxing after school...Katie loves my reading chair
Seems this visit to Wilmington has gone quickly but we squeezed a lot in.

Our electrical fiasco swallowed the first week in a flash. Calls to the insurance company, finding an RV Tech, shopping for TVs and appliances and getting them installed took a big chunk of time.

Our primary reason for this visit was Jack's back pain and his arm pain. He had so many medical visits that we started to feel like part of the geriatric set...running from doctor appointment to doctor appointment. There was a visit to his primary care MD, then an x-ray and an MRI, then a visit with a pain management physician.  There were two visits to establish with a new urologist, which brought the happy news that he is now six years cancer-free.  The MRI resulted in a visit to a neurosurgeon who then referred him to physical therapy.  Yikes...I'm tired just recounting it all!

Grandpa Jack and Jackson
at Mickey D's
The short story on his back is two to four (depends upon who you ask) bulging lumbar discs...not a candidate for surgery at this point...currently being managed with meds and good body mechanics.  If it hurts when you do that, don't do that.  The arm pain is coming from cervical stenosis and some muscle issues that are responding well to physical therapy and he's learned exercises he can do himself to relieve the pain.  Unfortunately, he was only able to have a few PT sessions before our time to leave Wilmington. The upside is that the PT is something called the McKenzie System and his therapist said he can see any McKenzie therapist as we travel and they will be able to access his records and continue treatment.  We'll see how that works out.
Jackson and Grandma

High-swinging Katie
at the KOA Playground
We did get in some good time with Katie and Jackson.  We babysat a few times so Becca and Davis could go out and we picked them up from school a couple of times when Becca had to work late.  We took Jackson to his favorite eating establishment (McDonald's) and I had a girls' day going with Becca and Katie to an appointment in Chapel Hill.  We all went out to dinner at the Ogden Tap Room, we had a BBQ here at the campground, we had a Mother's Day Brunch at Hops and our last night (tonight) will be a pizza night from our favorite place...Brooklyn Pizza (while I do more laundry!).

I met a woman on an online RV page and we had an enjoyable coffee meeting at my favorite bagel place...Empire Deli and Bagels.  She lives here in Wilmington and RVs at intervals so, who knows, we may meet up again.

Becca, Jackson, Grandma & Katie
Mother's Day
In addition to the places I mentioned above, Jack and I hit a few other breakfast at the Causeway Cafe on Wrightsville Beach and at the Goody Goody Omelet House.  Jack loves the sweet potato fries at Two Guys Grille and I love the crab dip at Elijah's downtown on the river and we visited both, as well as more visits to Brooklyn Pizza!  When we leave tomorrow we expect to be gone quite some time, so we "stocked up' on Wilmington places although I can think of a few we missed!

Oh, and I also got my hair done...twice :)

I am going to hate saying good bye to Becca and the kids tonight.  So far, the longest I've been away from them has been three months...this will be longer.  I feel so sad knowing I won't see them for quite some time...I'm going to miss everyone's birthday this summer.  But, I do have to add that I am excited about our upcoming adventures as we travel cross country!

First stop...a visit to Greensboro to see my brothers, then on to the INDY 500!

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Ups and Downs of Replacing Appliances...

The insurance was great...had check in hand less than a week after I made the claim!  They covered the cost of replacements as well as installation charges.

We got a new Sony TV to replace the Sony in the living room and a Samsung to replace the Sansui in the bedroom.  Unfortunately the back configurations of both TVs did not match the swing arm mounting brackets already in place :(  Fortunately Jack was able to move the brackets higher, which solved the bedroom problem, but the plate that holds the living room TV covered most of the connections.  He took it to a welder and had spots cut to allow access to the connections. Both TVs are now up and working beautifully.  Jack did a great job!

I never did like the Frigidaire convection/microwave that came with our RV.  It was 900 watts and I always had to add to cook times to get food completely cooked, so I took this opportunity to upgrade to a GE Profile Convection stainless!  It was more expensive, but the money we saved by Jack installing the TVs made up the difference, so it's all good. I love my new cooks well and the stainless is so pretty!

I never realized just how much I love my washer/dryer combo until I was without it!  There is not a Splendide 2100XC to be found anywhere in the country.  I hate laundromats, I mean I really hate laundromats!  Apparently the Splendide distributor is back-ordered on stock coming in from Germany. I called today and they told me to look for retailers to start getting them in mid June. I've been without a washer/dryer for a month now and it looks like I will continue to be without for at least another month...or more.

Actually, I have been able to do laundry at Becca's, which is way better than a laundromat but still requires gathering things up and going out to do laundry.  It's nice when I can visit while I do laundry, but not much fun when she's at work and the kids are in school.  Still, I do appreciate being able to do laundry there. Trouble is we are hitting the road in two days so now I will be forced to go the laundromat route.  Did I say I hate laundromats?