Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Other Side Of The Vacation

So, we left Big Hart Campground last Monday. We were a little tight in our space so we re did our hand signals, as not to kill each other, and I started to proceed to back Roger and Ci Ci Blue out of our site.  He did fantastic. I climbed back in and off we went. Our plan was to stop in town at Love's truck stop to fill our tank and get our front tires up to snuff. Perfect plan because as we went in our check engine light came on. We proceeded around to the rear of the parking area and as we pulled in the stop engine light came on then, we shut down totally.

The positive thing was we were safe. The "Duh" moment was we forgot to renew our Coach Net ,

Ci Ci Blue in her submarine mode!

Roger is an ex submariner so CiCi Blue in her Sub mode is very comfy for him. I, on the other hand, had to learn how to survive in closed in quarters with 3 large dogs and a hubby. The bed was a challenge. Lola sleeps on the end of the bed on the floor so she was confused and I on the inside felt claustrophobic.  Lola and I slept in the living room on the couch, accompanied by Ozzie on my feet and Sam on the chair next to me. Geez Louise. 

The next day Couch Net sent us a mechanic.

JonJ. He had all the testing equipment so to work he went.  His computer program showed that our oil pressure without the sensor, was good, but with the sensor in it wasn't.  The check engine light would be on without it but with it in, the coach shut down.  What should we do?? Stay one more night and drive up to Cummins, our engine "god" to have them recheck and see what they could do. I called and made an appointment for 8 A.M. the next morning. We got there at 7:45! Please make note of that! 

8 A.M. and walking the kids. We are hoping they find something so we can be on the road soon.

11:00 A.M. and Ci Ci Blue hasn't budged from that spot! We got up at 6:00 A.M. so we could get ready and drive the 1/2 hour to where they were located giving some time for going slow and worrying. 

Finally they took her in and put her on the computer for analysis. (It takes about 2 minutes at most). At 4:00P.M. the guy saw us out walking the dog and gave us news. Sell it!!! Sell CiCi BLue was what he said. We heard the Charlie Brown grown up speech for the next few minutes which we were able to sort out after we gathered ourselves. I said to the guy we've only had it for a year to which he repeated that we should get rid of it. Oil pressure is an issue and with the rust on the bottom and not being able to get parts it's ridiculous to keep it. Sell it and get another.  He added he'll change the oil and oil filter and send us back to Florida and "Hopefully you will make it!". 

For about an hour Roger and I couldn't speak. Finally I said exactly what he had been thinking. We gave up our sticks and bricks house, my studio space, my artwork sold, our furnishings, things we have had for years to get our dream and live it together. Roger added, well we could still live in it. True, but that's not our dream....! At this point I wasn't sure if I'd crawl up in a ball or just cry. Then Roger said.."We won't let anyone steal our dream".

We then went into manifesting mode and positive thinking along with a few prayers to cover all bases. 

They unplugged the sensor so the coach wouldn't shut down and told us that as long as the gauge was reading 20 psi, ( it wasn't working correctly so it was actually 40), we would be ok to reach Florida. Off we went and CiCi Blue was running smooth. We made it to our next stop for the night.

Fuzzy because we went over a bump but it says "Welcome to Florida".

Feeling confident that we will get back ok!

 So, I'm firing up my Etsy site and getting ready to do everything we can to get CiCi fixed and healthy. Our friends, Jeanette and Mike called us today. Mike is good at mechanics and after I told him what was going on he told me that it could probably be a ground to the chassis or bad electrics causing the problem. Funny, that's what Roger thought too.  We all came to the conclusion that the man at Cummins in Augusta just wanted us to leave.  Last year we were at the Cummins in South Carolina for our Coolant pump and they thought something was off and asked us to stay. What a difference. 

We are doing tons of laundry today and watching our team play football. Go Pats!!! Lola turned 3 today so we sang and had Hoodsies now the kids are sleeping. Good day. My FB friends have been so supportive as well as my Florida friends. Much appreciation and gratitude.

Keep you updated..for now we just need to take a breath and sort things out. 

Have a great day..

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Fun Part Of The Adventure

Ci Ci Blue. We arrived mid day to Big Hart Campground in Thomson, Georgia. Got her in her spot then figured we would worry later how to get her out. It was stated that a 45 foot rig could fit in this site. We are 40' and it was a tight squeeze..but we got her in. Chairs out and we were ready!!!

And this was our view. Big Hart Campground is one a few campsites on Strom Thurman Lake. It's an Army Corps of Engineers Campground which allows you to stay for 14 days. It's inexpensive, but with our "senior"  National Park discount it's half price. The site itself is probably over 50' with woods the same width in between sites. Quiet and serene. We put fold up chairs down by the water and sat there to watch the sunset and drink our wine.

A photo from inside the coach. So beautiful.

The road behind our site.

Looking down the side of the "beach". The first week the lake was higher. Remember I bought the 3, 50' leads for the kids? Well, I got those out and the kids ran into the lake with such glee. Ozzie had a blast with Lola but Sammy went in once then came back and sat in the folding chair. I turned around again and Sammy had his big squished volley ball in his mouth and was heading back up the hill to go home. The reason?? Same one that I felt. The Georgia lake is muck red clay. Shoe sucking off muck. The second week the lake was lower and even Ozzie wasn't interested and poor Lola needed a complete wash after each swim. She was a brown and white and red clay dog!

Roger read non stop. The vacation was much needed for all of us. I even got to read a whole book too. 

I also attempted plein air. Tomorrow I will show you the first to the final and the in between of my week. I went from totally discouraged to starting to get into the rhythm. I finally believe there's hope!!! 

There was no internet where we were but we found if we rode our bikes to the top of a clearing we could get mail. We did buy a signal booster before we left but not a high end one. I could do some texting from the coach but not much else. When we do more traveling we will get a better one. 

As we were entering the park our check engine light came on with a quick red, shut down engine beep, but that shut right off again. Texted our son asking what he thought and he finally said what we needed was a computerized program to let us know. DUH...we have a Silverleaf! Off to find the Silverleaf Bible, very small, it it told us what to do. It kept reading ECM fault, low volt. Then another just a code and it said "active". So for two weeks we really didn't worry and all was just fine. 

My favorite thing, well one of two favorite things. One was having the window open at night while we slept, it was chilly, and you heard animal sounds all night. I will say the one night I heard steps in the crunchy leaves it was a little unnerving but all was well.  The other favorite thing was I found my daily creativity urge again. Drawing, pens, watercolors, was wonderful. 

We arrived back at the RV park this afternoon. The dogs loved the dog park ,we got our favorite site back and we took a nap! 

Tomorrow you will hear about our extended vacation with truck stops, mechanics and Wendy's Chicken Assiago Club Sandwhich. Oh yes!!!!

Have a great night, glad to be back in the internet world once again!!


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Our First Day On The Road And First Stop

We finally left about 1:15 P.M. A little later than our 11:00 A.M. estimated departure. Ah, those small pesky things, do they come, do they stay? A little bit of both!

It was my first time riding in CiCi Blue as well as Sammy's and Lola. Buckled in and off we went.

Lola watched the road making sure we weren't going to hit those funny sounding bumps even though if we came close Mumma would do a funny, "Lalalalala" song so Dad would know. Better than OMG you're going to go over the funny sounding bumps.

Finally Lola settled down at my feet. For three and a half hours. 

Sammy finally settled and feel asleep. They all were wearing their collars and their leads are right beside me. My goal is to have them all wear their harnesses and be buckled in. I knew the stress level would be high this trip and knew they needed to be close.  Needless to say last night we were all in bed and asleep at 8:30. 

Passing Daytona. Absolutely loving the ride!!!! The tape in front is covering a gap that the wind comes in.  Poor CiCi Blue....but she ran beautifully!!! (Roger and I both put the white light all around her before we left the park)

Looking out our front window at our site in Golden Isles RV Park.  This is the over nighter area. The full time people, and there are many, are separated by rows of day lilies.  When we parked and got everything settled both Roger and I were dizzy as we walked through the coach. Tired we thought. After taking the dogs out this morning we noticed one side in front was higher than the rest so we were at a tilt. Ah those sneaky air bags. Roger lowered them and we are level.

So here we sit. Not a thing to do!!!! Hahaha. Not a thing to worry about.  It's 77 out and feels like 77. I'm actually chilly. I'm accustomed to 95 and feels like 113.  Not one bead of perspiration is on me, and, I may put on a shirt, with long sleeves!!!!  People with cars have gone traveling for the day but we are just happy to do..nothing. (Ok, I am going to do some laundry and probably a painting while watching the weather channel. ) Once we get to Big Hart Campground we have to watch our water use since we only have electric and water but no sewer.

Where is Ozzie's picture you ask? He was sound asleep on the couch behind me as he is a seasoned traveler in the Coach.

Oh, going to the loo while in motion. Similar to being in an airplane, wobbling down the aisle. But unlike being in a closed box with no windows in an airplane, the rig has you sitting with you moving backwards, with a window beside you as you watch the world passing very quickly and trucks speeding by. Yes, I started to get seasick.  Will I ever do that again...NO.  I was feeling like I was in Robin Williams Movie "RV".  I even had trouble with my seat belt.  Hysterical.

How do I like traveling in our Allure?  I LOVE it. 

Have a great day..


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Tightening Down The Hatches And Stowing The Gear

Ah, love that Navy talk...and you should hear the songs I know!!!!! Those Submariners sure know how to sing!

So today we are off on another Sea Trial. We had the A/C units blown out last week but they are still leaking. So Sub like isn't it? There is another leak going down beside the front door, (the only door), and we have plastic steps to let us go in and out. Roger jury rigged a plastic tupperware bottom to swing under the bedroom leak, it works, but oh my heart we look like gypsies.  We are though aren't we in a way?

Took Ozzie to his vet to get his shots and told Dr. Mike about them all scratching. He couldn't see any fleas so thought a possible flea allergy. Benedryl for all. It will help on our voyage today because they are sensing we are doing something important and they are stressing. Or is it us stressing.!!!

Hoping to have an internet signal at the campground so I can still chat with you but if not....sigh, boo,hiss.

Our Grandson Logan's first High School football game.

My son Jamie with me coming up the rear. I look so tiny. First time ever. hahaha.

A 10" x 10" finished commission. So sweet. 

Now on vacation I get to paint anything I want.  Ha, probably other commissions so I can get them done! Love it!!

Ok, off to polish the periscope and secure the galley. If we take a turn we don't want the dishes to jump out at us.  

Have a great day and we will chat soon!!!