Thursday, November 24, 2022

'22/#28 Happy Thanksgiving

 It is that time of year again. The holidays are here and we will be getting together with family and friends. And on this day that starts the holiday season we would like to look at all the good things in our life and give thanks.

This summer started off a little rough but turned into an adventure to look back on. We saw good friends in Pennsylvania and New York and made new friends in Maine as the summer went by. After leaving Maine our travels south took us near friends in North and South Carolina that we had not seen in a while and got chance to catch up. Even the actual trip down so late in the season was challenging with so many RV parks closed for the winter but, we were able to take advantage of the perks from our summer job and turn the trip into another adventure. All of this we look back on and agree that we have much to be thankful for.

Once in Florida we have seen the kids and grandkids, seen many of our friends, and have made plans to see more of them this winter. These family members and all of our friends are all part of our extended family and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have all of them in our lives. And the thing we are most greatful for is to have each other to share the adventures, the troubles, the family, the friends, and all that makes this life uniquely ours.

As usual we will have a Thanksgiving Day dinner with all the trimmings scaled down for two in our home in Zephyrhills because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Thursday, November 10, 2022

'22/#27 Home Again

 We are back in Florida after our seven month adventure. We are getting settled in after a long trip that took  us through ten states (some more than once) and almost five thousand miles. Another successful summer adventure. I know that I always say home is where we park it and that is usually the case. As I mentioned this trip south was going to be different. Hotels all the way from Bar Harbor to Zephyrhills with the Hampton Inn employee discount meant a full week of not staying in the RV. It just didn't feel like home.

Now that we are back at our winter location and also back in the RV it is home again, both in our home on wheels and near friends and family that make it feel like home.So home again it is, times two! Traveling without staying in the RV had it's challenges and we don't want to do it again. RVs are meant to be used or stored properly until the next trip. We did neither, therefore we had a few issues. 

The house battery went dead and we lost most of the food in the refridgerator. Fortunately we weren't planning on eating in the RV and didn't have to throw away too much. The battery also operates everything in the RV when not plugged in or on a generator. We have a generator but that needs the battery to start so that had to be jumped before we could use it. We let the generator run while we were on the road to charge  the battery but the damage was done. Lesson learned.

On top of all that we are welcomed back to Florida by Nicole. The hurricane season should be over by now but Mother Nature wanted to give us a big old Florida welcome with a late season hurricane. The storm wasn't too bad by the time it reached Zephyrhills but it was a good day to stay inside and just rest up from our travels.

Well I will sign off now from our home near those that make it feel like home because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Sunday, October 30, 2022

'22/#26 A New Twist On The RV Life

 We are four days from leaving Bar Harbor Maine and it is definitely time to leave. We have had a great time this summer even with the issues in New York. We still spent time with our friends at Darien Lake and then got to make new ones here in Maine. We have exchanged info with locals, transient workers, and the J-1s and are keeping in touch with those who have left already. 

Now the new twist I mentioned. This is the latest we have stayed at a summer job in our workcamping career and have decided it won't happen again. We had planned a tentative route south but now is the time to nail down the particulars such as overnight stops, miles per day, fueling stations, etc. Well we were surprised by how many RV parks and campgrounds had already shut down for the winter. They do need to clean up after the tourist/camping season and winterize the facilities in preparation for the opening of the 2023 season and all this takes time. There were not many options for us until we reached the Carolina's. It just never dawned on us that we wouldn't find places to stop, but that is the case. If a park is open they are charging some steep rates due to supply and demand. But we have a solution.

Working at the Hampton Inn, which is part of the Hilton Hotel family, we are eligible for an employee discount. We can pay as little as $40 dollars a night at most Hilton/Hampton hotels. The big question, and the emphasis is on big, is can we park our RV in the parking lot of the hotel? Hotels don't usually have 60' parking spots but a big enough lot will allow us to park away from the building. 

Well our plans are made, all the reservation are in place, and we will be staying in hotels all the way to Florida while our RV sits in the parking lot. Forty bucks a night, no hooking up, and free breakfast? I will never again laugh at people who are at a hotel with a perfectly good RV sitting in the parking lot. I'm sure each situation is different but everyone has their reasons.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow we will be getting everything in and around the rig ready to travel. We will work until November 1st and hit the road the next day on the strangest RV trip we have ever taken. I will end this blog to start those preparations to our home in Bar Harbor because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, October 10, 2022

'22/#25 Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock

 No, it's not the croc from Peter Pan. It is the clock counting down the time we have left in Maine. On the calendar it is just three more weeks. On Mary's calendar it is just twelve more work days. In my mind I am already on the road. Hitch-itch is settling in, and one form or another is running rampant through the hotel. It is almost, dare I say it?, an epidemic! The hotel shuts down for the winter on November 1st and everyone is looking forward to heading out on their next adventure. Some are going home, some are going to other jobs, and some are just traveling before another leg of their journey through life.

The J-1's from overseas have already left and are seeing some of America before their visas send them home. We got to know them pretty well and are staying in touch.  It is good to see them having fun at a lot of the places we've been to and some that are still on our list. We miss them and they miss us also but our adventures continue and usually on different paths. Maybe we will see some of them in the future but we will have social media to keep in contact.

Around the rig we are getting things cleaned up and stored for travel. Mary is also cooking and freezing meals for the road. If we start now we will be ready on D-Day. "D" is for departure! 

Well that is enough for now from our home in Bar Harbor because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, September 26, 2022

'22/#24 So Soon?

 Second blog of the day! First a month between blogs now only hours. Anyway....

It has come to my attention that today is an anniversary of sorts.  Just a short seventeen years ago we started this adventure with our first full time RV.

Two trailers, two trucks, thousands of miles, millions of adventures, and more new friends than we can count. It IS a wonderful life! Hopefully another seventeen years in our home on wheels? 

From our home somewhere across America because home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

'22/#23 Short Time-itis

 With just a little over a month left here in Bar Harbor we are starting to look forward to our travels south. That is only eighteen more work days at the hotel. But who's counting? HAHA! As much as we have enjoyed our time in Maine it is time to move on. After all our house is on wheels and wheels are meant to roll.

This past Friday was the last day we would be working with the international kids. Their J-1 visas are expiring and they only have so much time after they are done working to head home. All of them have travel plans to see more of the United States than Maine with some of them having itineraries that make us jealous. Portland, Boston, New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Miami as well as the Grand Canyon, Utah, and Hawaii are just part of  the list of places they will see. 

With our travel experience we were able to help them plan to get the most out of their travels. Having been to many of the places they are going and knowing people in those areas we have given them a head start prior to their arrival. To all our friends and family who gave us information to pass on, thank you from us as well as our J-1 friends. 

Yes, they have become friends even though we are old enough to be parents and sometimes grandparents to all of them. Many have exchanged contact information with us. If our past experience with J-1s is any indication I am sure we will keep in touch. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have friends not only across the country but also around the world!

Just some of our new friends!

To these young people all I wish for them is to have a wonderful and safe adventure and maybe think of us on occasion and smile. Today we will try and catch up with a few that we did not say our goodbyes to before they leave on Tuesday morning.

I will sign off now, having checked and double checked the calendar, from or now short term home in Bar Harbor because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

'22/#22 Catching Up-Part Two

 Ok, where did I leave off? We got sick, got well, back to work, chores, lighthouse, lobster, and continuing....

There was a local fair about an hour away and the kids we work with were going. They all were asking us to go along so we did. I don't know what they mean, but they keep saying we aren't like most old people. Maybe it's because we don't treat them like kids, we treat them like people. They are our coworkers after all. We didn't stay as late as they did but everyone had a great time.

On our day off we decided to go into Acadia National Park. We had simultanious brain farts. Who goes into a national park on Labor Day? EVERYBODY! We got out of the traffic jam going in and headed home to do some tasks that needed to be done around the rig.

Later in the week the temperatures started dropping, the rain moved in, and decided to stick around. Lots of rain and lots of rest. Sometimes Mother Nature needs to tell us to recharge.

The following week we took advantage of the Hilton employee discount program and booked a night in Portland Maine. It was nice to get away for a little bit and we bagged three more lighthouses on Mary's list. Then it was back to Bar Harbor and the laundry room.

Mary has been keeping track and announced that we only have 21 work days left before we hit the road. That is just about five weeks on the calander. The international kids are leaving in the next week to ten days. Needless to say with us looking forward to heading south and the kids doing some traveling before heading home there is an epidemic of short-time-itis at the hotel. We will miss them and hope that they also have fond memories of their time with us.

Well I think I am all caught up. The weather is turning chilly and rainy again and we are enjoying our fireplace and just relaxing. So I will put myself in the recliner in front of the electric fire and sign off from our home in Bar Harbor because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary