Please excuse the big delay in posting to the blog. We have had a tremendous amount going on! And only read this when you have some time – I apologize for the length! I’ll try to post more often, with shorter posts from now on.
After Congress, AZ, we continued southward to Surprise, AZ (AZ has the strangest town names!) This is just outside of Peoria, and since it was spring training, there was not much to choose from in the way of RV parks. We found a place but it was awful. Couple that with 95 degree days, and I was NOT a happy camper. Neither was Maggie Mae. Poor thing – her coat is getting longer so the heat was brutal on her. I will be finding a groomer ASAP to ease her comfort a bit, but the heat wave seems to be over and we are enjoying 75-80 degree days for the most part.
As mentioned in the last post, we decided to go back to the Trilogy development in Vistancia, which is NW of Phoenix. We had visited this site in October, 2015 when I was down here for a conference. At the time, I thought it was fantastic, but I was not retired yet, so I put it out of my mind. This time, we went with the same realtor and looked again at the model homes and potential lots. VERY long story short, after much soul searching and discussion, we decided to buy a home there! Our first choice would have been for all of our family to remain around us and never leave! But since our children and their families are on opposite sides of the country, and our sisters are in CA, this seemed like the very best second choice. It will take 6-8 months to build, so our projected move-in time is end of October/early November, giving us plenty of opportunity to continue our travels.
We will stay there through the Fall, but will take Essie to FL for the holidays with Michael, Ryanne, and Ryanne’s family. Then we will come back, enjoy the rest of winter and some of spring, before hitting the road again until Fall, 2018. It will be nice to have a home base. Here is the link to the floor plan we purchased. Our New Home.
We know this is soon, but if we waited the full year, and then purchased, we would have to wait another 6-8 months to have it built, which we didn’t want to do.
So, that’s our big news!
A little shell-shocked, we then headed down to Escapade in Tucson, which was the 5-day conference we’ve been heading towards since we left town. 917 rigs attended this event, so close to 2,000 people, the majority of which are full-time RV’ers. On the very first afternoon, we headed into this very large room for the opening ceremonies. We sat next to a nice couple and started chatting. Within about one minute, I realized that we had sat next to an old high school friend, Tom Christman, and his wife Donna!
Out of about 1,600 people in the room, that’s who we sat next to. Amazing! Tom has converted an old city bus into an RV, a real labor of love. It was great fun to spend time with them, catching up with Tom and getting to know Donna.
Parked right next to us was a huge (45′) motor home with a very nice couple named Kimberly and Scott.
On the very first night, we got chatting with them, and it turns out they too are from WA and have been full time RV’ing for 5 years. They love it and have never looked back. Kimberly was braiding these interesting looking objects, so I asked what they were. She told us that she had lost her cocker spaniel two years prior and never really got over it. So for therapy, she buys used t-shirts from Goodwill, cuts them into strips and braids them into these awesome dog toys. Needless to say, she fell in love with Maggie Mae, and Miss Mags is now the proud owner of two of these wonderful toys.
We fully plan on meeting up again with Kimberly and Scott soon.
Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook know that I had a traumatic event while there – Maggie jumped out of my bike basket right into the path of my bike and I ran over her. She screamed, I was a wreck, but within a few minutes she seemed fine. But the next day, she wasn’t eating, and began vomiting, so we rushed her to the animal hospital. After x-rays and examination, the doctor didn’t see any evidence of internal problems, so they gave her some medication to calm her tummy down and said it was likely intestinal upset due to the trauma of what happened. It still took her a full 3 days after that to get back to her old self and I continue to watch her like a hawk. Lesson learned – never ride with her in the basket without harnessing her to it. 🙁
The rest of Escapade was terrific. We gathered a huge amount of information that we can apply right away. We had a lot of laughs with folks – including a story of two elderly ladies who decided to take their trailer on a six-week tour of the country. They told us of a time in Dallas when they filled up their tank and headed down the road, only to be pulled over by a policewoman. The policewoman calmly pointed out to them that they had forgotten to take the pump out of the vehicle before they drove away, so they were blissfully driving with the gas hose, ripped from the pump, sparking down the highway!
After Escapade, we reversed our route and now begin the very slow northward route. We are currently in Tucson, and Richard’s sister Pam joined us for a couple of days. The first evening, we connected with Pam and Richard’s first cousin Jim, who lives down here in Tucson.
Richard hadn’t seen Jim since he was about 8 years old. Jim brought a ton of old photos that he had of the family and we all had fun looking through them. He’s a great storyteller and kept us entertained for the evening. He took us out to dinner at a great Mexican restaurant which is a big treat for Richard and me, as WA state is not known for their great Mexican food.
Yesterday, the three of us headed up to Biosphere 2, an amazing project started in the mid-80’s.
You may recall this – they had a team of 8 people living in the biosphere for two years, from 1991-1993.
It was fascinating to take a tour of this and learn about the science projects they still run there.
Tomorrow we head for Cave Creek, near Scottsdale for a couple of days. Then we will head back to Peoria to get to know the area better and to have a 2-day design meeting to pick out everything that will go into our new home. We are so excited that our friend Brooke, and AMAZING designer, is going to join us to help with this endeavor. Neither Richard nor I are very good at this and could be easily overwhelmed with the choices. Brooke knows us and will help to keep us on track.
We’ve now been living in Essie for a month and been on the road for almost as long. We are learning to cohabitate in smaller places, work better together as a team, strategize how to get better RV sites, and the list goes on and on. There are 1.5 million people full-time RV’ing and we are happy to have joined the crowd.
Until next time!