I arrived home, in San Diego on Friday night. I feel like I kind of limped home as my check engine light came on about 45 minutes from the house. Oh no!! I am finding it easy to write blogs at the Mercedes dealerships. Heh, Heh.
This morning I am sitting, once again, at the Mercedes service department. This time I am in San Diego. The people here are nice and I get free coffee and water so I am content. I am also waiting for the latest diagnosis. Sigh.
It is hard to believe that my first RV trip is over. I was gone 2 1/2 months. Me and my Roadtrek. I had a terrific trip, saw so many long time friends and met many new ones. I visited with over 20 friends and still missed some. I often take for granted the caring and love given to me by so many. I hope I do a better job remembering all those who include me in their lives. It certainly makes my heart feel full.
I was in big cities and small towns. I loved the rural areas the best. I did happen upon a terrific exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. It talked of the influence of the Impressionists on fashion. It was amazing. They had designer dresses and men's wear that were replicas of the clothing in the paintings. Just standing among all the paintings was a breath taking experience.
I visited four National Parks on this trip. I love our parks. It was fun to explore new ones, Great San Dunes National Monument and Preserve. I returned to many I have been to often. I love these unique open spaces. I am glad that our country has recognized the effort of preserving and protecting these unique national treasures.
I realize I am not done yet. My next adventure will be to travel up the west coast. I still have friends to visit and thank for their love and on-going support and friendship. There are also so many places to explore and see.
First, though I need to get my life in order here and then it will be time to venture forth again.
There are many things I have learned about being on the road. I would like to share them with you.Then you can add your own under comments:
- Pack Less. I took way too much clothing with me. I did not practice my tour escorting principle on this trip and I should have. What is that principle? Pack about a week before the trip. Let it sit for a couple days then unpack and divided the load in half. Wait a few more days and do it again.
- Take layers. I love the Ice Breaker and Ibex light wool tops. You can wear them for a few days before they need to be laundered. They wash in cold water and dry quickly.
- Plan my packing so I know where everything is in the RT.
- If I use something return it to it's original spot right away.
- Always use my check list for setting up and tearing down camp. I have mine laminated so I can check things off with a marker, then erase them for the next time.
- If a light comes on the dashboard, don't be afraid to ask for assistance.
- Keep the manuals handy. Read them frequently.
- Duct tape and the non-residue tape is good if the locks break on the storage doors.
- Keep a tool kit handy at all times. There are many uses for the varied tools. (wrench, flathead & phillips screwdriver, hammer, scissors, trowel, and others I can't remember right now.)
- Chock blocks and leveling blocks are a must.
- Don't overwhelm myself with food. It is fun to shop in different places and, oh my, the farmers markets this summer were delightful. I found a pint of fresh goat yogurt that I nursed along through most of the rest of the trip.
- Don't wait until the gas tank is almost empty to refill. When I am driving rurally the gas stations sometimes were few and far between. Remember not all gas stations offer diesel.
- Take a step stool sometimes it helps to reach places I can't always reach. I am short and sometimes vertically challenged.
- Take dryer sheets to clean the love bugs off when in the south. It works very well. Wet one and that is all it takes.
- Wipe down the shower after I use it. That way it stays clean and looking new.
- When I empty my black water I flush it right through with fresh water and empty again. So far no smells.
- Set my alarm on my cell phone to remind myself to get out and stretch every 2 hours on the long drive days. It also made me find unique things to do or see. I hiked to the end of the bluffs in the Gloss Mountains west of Oklahoma City. It was
- Only take DVD's that will play in the DVD player. No Blu-ray's with the player installed by Road Trek.
- Sometimes it is fun to let your GPS pick your campground. Sometimes it is not.
- If someone invites you to dinner, go.
- Exercise every day. For me yoga and swimming or hiking was imperative.
- Read a book.
- Keep the camera handy at all times.
- Clean my windows and vehicle frequently. I love it looking new. Don't forget the front end of the awning. Bug City!!. I really appreciate the extra long handled window washer I found at a local store.
- It is OK to join the parade. I drove at the end of a parade in rural southern Wisconsin. Instead of being impatient I took a deep breath and decided to have fun.
I know there is more that I can add to this list but, at the moment, this is all I can remember. This trip has been very healing for me. As many of you know my husband, Jim, died a year ago coming up in October. I have carried him close this whole trip. He would have loved it. We had often talked of getting a conversion van. This is just one step up. His photo and our wedding bands rode with me on this first journey. I thought of him often and I miss him still. I realize there is room for both sadness and grief and happiness and joy in the same moment. I am honored to have known him and thank him for the impetus to buy my cute RT and getting on the road and seeing the amazing in the simplest of moments. Life is too short. I am planning to join the parade as often as I possibly can.
It is important to celebrate the mundane and the magical moment. I am planning to do that often and aim for all the time. I will add a link to my photos with my next post.