Cynthia/ Sunny and 85
08/19/2013, Eden, ID
I will do a little background before I start into my random thoughts... Robert and I gave notice at our jobs at the end of July. No, we don't have other jobs lined up. No, we don't really know what that means long term. What it means short term is that we are no longer going to work 8-5ish and running ourselves ragged trying to keep up with the rat race.
We purchased a fifth wheel. It is an Elkridge 37 Ulta. It is about 42 foot long and has four slide outs and is really quite roomy for a fifth wheel. It has 411 square feet of living space and several cargo holds underneath. Our "ranch" sold in April and we had been living in a rental home. The lease is up the end of October. My oldest, Brandon and his roomies are living in our rental home until the end of October. In the middle of October, we will head back to OKC to finish cleaning out the rental home and permanently move into the RV.
We drove up to Yellowstone with our twins, Whitley and Grant, for a couple weeks and had a great time. After we sent them back to OKC on a plane to start school, we headed over to Brueanu, ID to visit with Robert's stepfather for a week. We have now met up with my parents in Idaho and are slowly working our way back to Yellowstone to spend a week there with Robert's sister and her husband. After that... well, it's a work in progress as we only know where we have to be at the middle of October.
Anyway after living in the RV since July 31st, I have a few thoughts to share with you. I am sure I will have more as time goes on:
1. We packed in a hurry. The RV was in the shop until three days before we left on this adventure. This has several impacts:
a. Our RV has lots of storage, lots of closets and lots of cabinets. Sometimes I can't remember where we put things, Lots of time is spent looking for an item that I know we have.
b. We packed things that we don't need and will never need. I would say the circular saw, but I am sure that Robert will disagree. There will be a clean out that goes on when we get back to OKC in October. That is if the items don't get "left" somewhere along the way.
2. 411 Square feet is a significant downgrade from the ranch with its sprawling 5,000 square feet and the rent house which is 2,000 square feet.
a. The "kitchen" just has room for one and if one person is making coffee, no other activities can go on. There just isn't enough counter space, even with all the wonderful inventions people have come up with to improve this situation.
b. The bathroom is small. Again, one person at a time. Luckily we have a bath and a half, so at least there is some reprieve.
c. The RV gets VERY dirty. Something about the space being small and you go immediately into the living space. You are constantly sweeping and wiping up messes.
3. If you cook something smelly, the whole RV smells. Fish and onions have been the worst so far. I have the crockpot outside in the outdoor kitchen with a turkey breast. The smell inside was getting to me, so out it went.
4. Water - There are lots of water tanks. Drinking water tanks, gray water tanks that hold the shower, sink and washing machine water and black water tanks that store, well, you know. If you aren't connected to drainage, you have to constantly monitor the levels of the tanks. Dumping the tanks is just connecting tubes and pulling levers, but something about it just takes some getting used to.
5. Electricity - something you have to get used to. RV parks have different types of hook ups. 30 or 50 Amp. On 30 Amp I can only run one air conditioner and can't turn on the microwave and the coffee pot at the same time. You take this for granted in your house.
6. Necessities, I am not talking about the routine stuff like hoses, clothes, etc. I am talking the stuff that you wouldn't necessarily think of...
a. A vacuum cleaner - not a shop vacuum, which you probably need as well, but one that doesn't require you to crawl on your hands and knees to clean up the mud and grass that everyone tracks in.
b. A fly swatter - there are always flies... too many people going in and out and not closing the doors quick enough.
c. A crock pot - the joys of coming back from a day of sight-seeing and dinner being done is not to be downplayed. Although, going back to the cooking something smelly part above, you might want to put it outside if you can.
d. Paper towels... lots of paper towels.
e. Some type of activity to occupy you on rainy days. Games, books, crafts (cross stitch, knitting) and electronic readers, etc.
f. Extension cords - there are not enough power outlets in a RV and they are in very odd places. You have to plan where to plug in your devices and if their cords are long enough to reach.
g. Fans - to move the air around in the RV and to drown out the highway noise in case your park is too close to the highway.
h. LOTS of Jack pads - these are used to help level the RV when the site is not level. We had one place that was at least 6 inches higher on one side than the other.
i. A way to store stuff - see through plastic bins are the best. This helps when you are looking for items that are "lost". Ziplocks are great for keeping things in their proper place and can double as leftover storage in the fridge.
j. Bungee cords - to keep stuff where it belongs while traveling. Items to tend to shift while the RV is in motion.
k. Dish drying pad - don't bother with the fancy collapsible dish drainer. You won't like storing it or getting out. These pads are fabulous and just fold up all nice and neat in the cabinet.
7. In case, you think I am too whiny... Things I LOVE
a. You are going to laugh, but I love the toilets. They have a foot peddle to flush. I have wondered why they don't have this kind in boats. The ones in boats have this horrible handle that you have to use to pump in water and out the waste. I am going to do some research to see if the RV kind can be installed in the boat.
b. Lots of storage and beautiful woodwork in every room.
c. We have a fake fireplace that has a little space heater in it. It just makes the living/dining/kitchen feel warm and cozy.
d. We have a king size bed in our bedroom. Speaking of beds, RV sheets are the BEST! The flat sheet is fitted on the bottom just like the fitted sheet. It keeps the sheets where they belong. Why don't sheets for regular beds have this???
e. The views out the window change. I like sitting in the living room and watching the goings on of the fellow RVers. Most of the parks we have stayed at have had lovely trees and grassy areas. Right now I am sitting outside on a sunny, 75 degree day, looking over a field of corn that is about 6 foot high.
f. I have time to take walks, write post cards, work on some crafts and most of all think my own thoughts.
Change of venue.
Ax/sunny and hot
08/19/2013, Pacific North West
Hi guys, first let me apologize up front for two things. First, sorry for not posting often. Second, we are doing some rv'ing and so for the next few posts it will be about our travels in the RV and not about sailing or boating. Don't disparity, we will get back to sailing.
We startedef out on our road trip to the Pacific Northwest on 1st of August. The plan was to take the twins to Yellowstone by way of Mt Rushmore. So we sat down and mapped out our trip step bby step and made our reservations along the way. Before starting I must back up a step. Cynthia travelled the same route as a teen and was subjected to random stops by her parents. By random I mean, "hey kids there is the biggest ball of yarn attraction" so they made many many stops. Corn palace in Nebraska seems to be mentioned many times in conversation. So Cynthia figured the torture her parents put her through would be a great way to pay revenge back in the form of doing the same to her kids. Besides we are making memories here so why not?
Grant our boy twin got word of this torture and tried to plead for mercy to his Mom. Almost to no avail. Torture was to be had in a 30 delay from when Cynthia was last to visit every attraction between Oklahoma and Wyoming. Grant's next attempt went by with slight success. He bargained a deal that his mother could have 10 random stops along the way. These did not include food or gas stops. They only included spur of the moment roadside attraction stops. His mother agreed and so we have set out on our "Timberlake making memories Tour", oh and I have learned that there are many many rules to this random stop game. Like, if you stop and don't get out of the car... That is not an official stop.
I must say that along the trip, Cynthia gave mercy to the 10 stops and we only used 2 or 3. Again those were only "official" stops. The first night found us at Salina Kansas. We pulled into a nice rv park and grant found a small pond to fish. It was a catch and release pond and he had great luck. Caught two and really enjoyed our first stop.
Next post is our second day the arrival in Yellowstone.
The rest of the story
07/26/2013, Port Charolette, Florida
So... Robert went below to try to figure out why the engine died. He asked me to stay up top and keep the boat in the center of the canal. We know that the edges of the canal are very shallow and we could get stuck in the sand. So I try to steer, but with no power it was useless. It wasn't long before we were cross-ways in the canal and the bow was over land. I could tell we were stuck, because we were no longer drifting along the canal. There was no reason to announce this to the frantic captain below, as he was busily trying everything he could think of to get the motor restarted.
Come to find out, there is a switch that changes which tank the engine pulls from - it is labeled backwards. We were pulling from the nearly empty tank rather than the tank that was ¼ full. He got it switched over and the engine still wouldn't start up. There was air in the fuel line. So he drug out the manuals and figured out how to prime the fuel pump. We had been having trouble for a couple months with the generator. It was acting like it wasn't getting enough fuel, which was confusing since the engine had been running fine. While Robert was digging around trying to find the fuel pump, he discovered a cutoff valve to the generator had not been switched over. Soon the generator was humming right along to recharge the batteries we had run down trying to start the engine. He got the fuel pump primed and the engine started right up. Yeah!! So he comes up top and says "why are we up against the shore?" I shot him a dirty look and that was the end of the discussion. We pulled right out of the sand were headed on our way. So we didn't have to call the tow company. YEAH!!
The rest of the trip to the storage place was uneventful. Although getting a boat ready to go up on the hard is not easy. You have to take down the sails and put the dingy up on the deck and get everything on the deck put away for the season. We had to do some of this in the pouring rain. We got a total of 15 hours sleep in the 3 nights we were in Florida. We got it all done in time for our early morning haul out. At 8 am sharp, they pulled us out of the water and put it on land. The crane that they use is run by remote control. Kind of like a game with a 54 foot boat weighing 48,000 lbs. By 11am we had to be on our way to the airport for a 3pm flight. Tired and sore...
It's always a little sad to put a boat on land. She looks sad and a little lonely. Boats are meant to float. Until November, that is where she will sleep.
I found out this evening at Robert's going away party for work that we have some that look forward to posts on this blog. So to our fans, this catch up post is for you!
Majestic dreams is up on the hard for the hurricane season. This required motoring about 3 hours to the dreaded lock. You have to hit the lock at high tide, because its only 7.5 ft deep at high tide and our keel drafts 6.5 feet. So it's a tight fit. You have to go through the lock with minimum fuel and water, since that adds weigh and makes the draft deeper.
We had lovely weather and saw five different pods of dolphins in the bay. It's always a treat! They love majestic dream and swim along side almost every time we are out. We arrive at the lock at the perfect time go through it with no problem. The boat is 54 feet and the lock is 65 feet. Not much wiggle room. I am so relieved and am looking forward to a smooth motoring through the canal to the storage place.
I fix some sandwiches and we are munching on some grapes when the engine sputters and comes to a stop. We are in a canal that us about 60 foot wide and 8 foot deep with no power for steering...
Ok fans, tune in tomorrow to find out if Boat US gets to tow us AGAIN!
Working in tight quarters.
Opened up one of the galley drawers and out poured about a liter of water. Hmmmm where is that coming from? So I had to get into some strange positions to see up in the cupboard where the water was coming from. Found it......was coming from the deck shower head hose. What was happening was the shower head has a button to press for water to be turned on. Well while in the holder it was pressed up against something and the cupboards were getting a shower. LOL Replaced the shower head and all is well on Majestic Dreams.
New Home for Majestic Dream
Very Nice, sunny 74 and light breeze
04/01/2013, Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda FL
Tied up in Fisherman's Village, Punta Gorda Florida. This will be the home of Majestic Dreams for a little while. We plan on leaving her here and then returning to Oklahoma City. Then in a month we will bring the kids back down with us and do some day sailing to get some of the kinks out of her and let her get used to us. Very happy with our decision.