Sunday, May 28, 2023

'23/#14 Settling In

 Work has started and like any new job there is a learning curve. Not that cleaning is foreign to us but there is the way we do it and the way the boss wants it done. Also finding all the supplies and using the products that they supply will take time. It takes time to  get into work mode also.  As old people we have to ease into the physical activity needed on the job. Can't over do right out of the gate.

Mary and I have to get into a routine then everything will be easier. We will make this job our own like we do everywhere we go. For example, housekeeping has the key ring from hell. Everything is in order but the markings are hard to read and all the keys are on one big ring. I took the keys and separated them into three groups, put them on separate rings, and put them on one clip. Now I don't spend half my day sorting through keys to get into the cabins.

Like I said in the last blog the people here are very nice. The manager makes a point of having a little social gathering for special occasions. One of the girls has a birthday coming up so we will all get together for treats and just socialize and get to know each other better. Workcamping is more than travel, it is about the people you meet. Over the years we have made friends from all over the country and around the world that we still keep in touch with.Occasionally we meet up  out on the road. We've been told we are living the dream and there are no arguments from us.

It was a long day and dinner will be ready soon so I will sign off from our home in St Ignace because......

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, May 22, 2023

'23/#13 The Summer Adventure Begins

 Sunday we arrived at the campground in St Ignace that will be our home for the summer. It was an easy trip up from the casino and we we weren't tired from travel. The plan worked!

We met the manager and found a site that will be our home for a few days before we move to our regular site for the season. The campground is very nice and all the people we have met so far seem nice. It feels like it is going to be another good experience for us. We don't start work for a couple of days so we are driving around and getting the "lay of the land" so to speak. Grocery stores, post office, restaurants, and any thing else we might need while we are here. 

Tomorrow we will take a ride to Sault Ste Marie and see what is there that will be of interest to us. It's a bigger town with more shopping and major chain stores for the things that we can't find locally. It is about an hour or so away so it won't be a weeky trip but close enough if we need something. 

We just had dinner at a local bar. Food was great and the prices were better. They also invited us to participate in their triva night. We said why not? If full bellys and an entertaining night weren't enough we also won the trivia contest and came away with a gift card to come back! A great way to end the day.

I am going to sign off now and call it a night. So good night from our home in the Upper Peninsula because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Saturday, May 20, 2023

'23/#12 Right State, Wrong Town

 When I left off in the last blog we had made it to Michigan. We are staying at the casino RV park on the indian reservation. The last two legs of our journey are short ones. This was planned so we could arrive at our summer destination earlier in the day and a little less tired. 

The two days we planned on staying on the "res" turned into three. We enjoyed relaxing and the break from just trying to put miles behind us. The only chore we did was the laundry that we had accumulated on the road. Other than that we checked out some of the cheese shops in the area and spent our complimentary credits in the casino. It's not Las Vegas or even the Hard Rock in Tampa but it seems like a nice place if gambling is your thing. It's not something I care to do but we support the places that we stay at in our travels.

One more night here in Standish and in the morning we are St Ignace bound. Looking forward to settling in for a few months and exploring the U.P. of Michigan. I will sign off now from our home on the reservation (the RV,not a teepee) because ....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Friday, May 19, 2023

'23/#11 Almost There

 It doesn't seem like only six days since we left Zephyrhills. With a couple of long days, some very early mornings, amd a mapping miscue or two the days have flown by so fast that our concept of time is completely thrown off. Five days in a row of travel has earned us a rest. We are at an indian casino campground near Standish Michigan. It is only twenty-one dollars a night and they give us free credits to use in the casino. Can't beat that.

Now let me recap the last two non-blog days. Let's see, after the giant skillet we stayed in Columbia TN and were able to get together with Mary's friends from high school. This was my first time meeting them and they were very nice people. It was fun to watch Mary and Alanna reminisce while Rick and I talked about life in general. I learned about their family and Rick had questions about our RV lifestyle. It was a good night with good food and even better people.

Tuesday was a shorter travel day so we didn't have to leave at the crack of dawn. Next stop was Berea Kentucky. There was a little confusion between Google Maps and outdated Garmin but we made it to OH Kentucky campground. The place looked familiar and we agreed we had stayed here before but couldn't remember when or where we were going at the time. It was raining off and on and sirens were going off but nobody seemed too concerned. Apparently there is one siren for severe thunder storms and another for tornados. We found out which building was for storm shelter and went to our site to set up since the rain had stopped for the moment. We got some rain but the winds had died down. All was good.

 By morning the rain was gone but was replaced by fog. A short trip down the highway and we stopped at another Bucees for fuel and breakfast. 320 miles that day turned out to be just about the ideal amount of travel for us these days. Still trying to catch up on sleep from the graduation whirlwind but doing fine. As much as Google screwed up the day before it redeemed itself this day. Google notified us of a road closure ahead and automatically routed us around it. It was a good day for Google Maps. The KOA in Perrysburg would be our last stop before entering Michigan.

I'm going to stop here and see what we have planned for the day, whatever day it is. I will continue later from our home near Saginaw because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Monday, May 15, 2023

'23/#10 It's All About Timing

 The second leg of our journey is now in the books. It was a shorter trip but still needed adjustments along the way.I'm not as young as I once was so it takes me a bit longer to bounce back from a two day whirlwind than it used to. Then there is traffic to consider and all that comes with traveling over the road.

We left Atlanta/South RV Park by 5am so we could get through Atlanta before Monday morning rush hour. By 6:30 we were at our second Bucees of this adventure. If you've never been to a Bucees it is something to see. Fuel pumps as far as the eye can see, a convenience store with everything you need (and don't need) for your trip down the road, and don't forget the cleanest bathrooms on the highway. How many pumps could there be? Well I used pump #201 this morning and this is not the bigest Bucees we have seen.

After breakfast in the truck we got back on the road. Apparently six hours of sleep wasn't enough to recharge after the Saturday and Sunday I described in the last blog. Also, because we left so early we would get to our destination by 10am, well before check in. So we found a rest area and stopped for another roadside siesta to recharge. Two hours later we were back on the road. We checked the mapping software, Google maps, the GPS and realized we were in a different time zone.We would arrive way too early. This set our timing was off a bit. So what could we do to kill some time. Nope, not another nap but a little unplanned side trip. 

What screams American road trip more than a visit to the Worldest Largest (fill-in-the-blank). We were passing Pittsburg, TN the home of Lodge cast iron cookware and the Worlds Largest Cast Iron Skillet, factory, and museum. Most people have used a cast iron skillet or griddle or camp pot, and in the USA when you say cast iron you think Lodge, a company that has been in business since 1896. We checked out the history of the company and the manufacturing process. We also saw the record breaking skillet that weighs in at 14360 pounds and 18 feet from handle to handle!

We also checked out their store and saw tons of thing we would have if we didn't live in an RV. Cast iron is too heavy when you have to watch the weight you carry in an RV. We do have two skillets, by Lodge of course, and that is our limit.
I call this "Ham-n-Egg"

By the time we finished in Pittsburg we had killed enough time to reach our next RV park at check in time. We ran in and out of ran but it stopped long enough for us to set everything up for our overnight stay. We will have dinner tonight with Mary's high school friend and be back on the road tommorrow. We can sleep in and take our time since it will be a short trip to Kentucky. The rest of our days will be short jaunts so we can arrive at our summer destination reasonably rested.

I will sign off now so we can get ready for dinner near our home in Columbia Tennessee because....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Sunday, May 14, 2023

'23/#9 Plans In Jello, HAHAHA

 Well we are just south of Atlanta after a few crazy days. Things worked out, just not as well as we had planned. Graduation, drop off a car, hook up the truck, get some sleep, and get on the road early. Yeah, right. It all happened but we are paying for it now.

Graduation was awesome. We are so proud of our grandson and wouldn't have missed it for the world. Graduation was at 7pm on Saturday. Five hundred graduates, at least fifty staff, and guests I am guessing around three thousand or more all migrating around Trpicana Field. It was as organized as that many people can be but the ceremony started around 7:30. We got out around 9pm and couldn't find the graduate in the sea of humanity until 10pm. Then we headed home around 10:30. Got back to Zephyrhills close to 11pm and dropped off a friends car we had been using. Then back to our rig to hook-up the truck and get some sleep. Sleep didn't come until after midnight and the alarm was set for 3am.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! It's 3am and we are up and moving. We pulled out of Zephyrhills before 4am. We wanted nothing to do with I-75 around Tampa once the world started to wake up. We made good time and stopped at a rest area in Georgia and napped for a couple of hours. Then it was back on the road. We had to stop at the Bucees near Perry Georgia. With the truck full of diesel and a couple of brisket sandwiches for dinner it was back on the road for the last stretch. 

We arrived in McDonough aroud 4pm. That put 420 miles behind us and that much closer to Michigan. We normally don't drive more than 350 mile a day but do make an exception on the first day. Our reasoning is we are so hyped about our new adventure that the adrenaline will cover the difference. That would have worked out fine but for Saturday's insanity and the lack of sleep that ensued. Oh well, we will sleep good tonight.

Tommorrow we will be in Tennessee to see one of Mary's high school friends. So I will say good night from our home in McDonough because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary

Saturday, May 13, 2023

'23/#8 And The Seasons Change

 It has been a while since the last blog so I will do some catching up. The winter in Florida or Snow Bird season is over and it is time for us to hit the road. We have been very busy this winter. We did lots of work in the park for our rent and electric. Lot numbers were painted for the 400+ sites as well as intersection "STOP" lines. That took most of the time in the park. There was the March Rally, routine maintenance on the rig, and a trip to the shop for a suspension upgrade. The last few weeks was getting the rig ready for travel and getting together with friends for the last time until our return.

We are just about ready to hit the road. A few last day tasks and and early night should get us headed toward our new adventure. The trip north will be all about the travel and putting miles behind us. We will make one stop to see one of Mary's high school friends, but that will not add any time to our travels.

The only other thing we have to do before we leave is make one more trip to Pinellas county. We are still in Florida for one reason and that is to be at our grandson's graduation. That will be tonight and we will say our last goodbyes to family and get back to Zephyrhills. We will try to ge to bed early and get some sleep before we head out early in the morning. With the excitement of a new adventure and rerunning all our check lists in our heads sleep may be elusive but adrenaline will be the fuel for day one on the road.

So this is the last good bye this season from our home in Zephyrhills because.....

Home is where we park it,

Frank and Mary