Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Living The Dream...

Hello faithful followers!
Well we’ve hit the road again! This time we’re embarking on a different sort of adventure. With Rick’s retirement we decided to live our dream, even though my health isn’t 100%. So this past October we sold our house, and decided to take our newly purchased motor home on a road trip before we start to build our new home on my parents property.
We have affectionately named it Chillax’n. Our plan is to hang out south of the border for the winter months, and I mean where the palm trees grow and where you can get a regular healthy dose of vitamin D.  
Although we will be stationary from December through to March in Sarasota Florida we will be on the road for most of November and part of March as we make our way back what will be our new home in Bradford, Ontario in the spring.
It is our intention to blog about our adventure, well at least the interesting parts that is, so I really hope you’ll take the time to follow us.
We headed south on November 7th - destination Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; odometer reading 3998.6.
Our first day on the road was not without trial or tribulation. At first little things happened, for instance, we arrived at the Fort Erie border crossing only to wait in the queue for the better part of one hour. It seemed like the Americans were on high security alert this day.  90 percent of the vehicles attempting to cross over were being thoroughly searched, for example vehicle trunks and trailers opened and thoroughly searched etc.
Chillax’n was boarded by a young border patrol officer, and after it was all said and done we were minus one package of “President’s Choice” Cocktail Tomatoes. Seems our Canadian crop this year has some sort of blight, and what were to be our future bacon and tomato sandwiches was duly confiscated before we were allowed entry into the United States.
Shortly after that as we headed south on Interstate 79 we had some unwelcomed stress, or more like Rick did that is. Seems the weatherman got it all wrong (go figure), we hit freezing rain and very high winds which made driving our 37 foot bus with our vehicle in tow a little more nerve racking for the poor guy.
Next up, we hit a huge traffic jam that had us driving well after dusk, something we did not want to do. While we sat in this jam we had one of those “close encounters of the third kind” experiences. Our instrument panel started flashing, all the gauges glowing brighter and then dimming again, ABS and check engine lights started flashing and buzzing too. There we were sitting on a ramp from Interstate 79 to Interstate 77 in the middle of a traffic jam with what we thought was going to be a dead in the water, figuratively speaking of course motor home. Luckily that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs was short lived as Chillax’n decided to reset everything and we were able to continue on our way.   
Because it was now dark, we were hungry and tired we decided against looking for an RV park for the night instead opting to do what a lot of motor home owners in America do, and park overnight at Wal-Mart.
So just south of Pittsburgh somewhere around Waynesville PA I programed the GPS for the nearest Wal-Mart. As we exited the highway and followed the directions of our “trusty” GPS, (note the emphasis on the word trusty) instead of taking us to Wal-Mart, we ended up driving into the local county prison parking lot! Yup, you heard right, THE COUNTY PRISON!!!!
There we were stopped outside the front entrance to the prison with no room to turn around. For those that have ever towed a motor vehicle on a dolly you will know you can’t back up either. It wasn’t long before a very nice jail guard came outside to inquire as to what the hell we were doing there. We enlightened her of our wrong turn and she did mention that we weren't the first to make the error either. Some how I think that was meant to make us feel a bit better even though poor Rick had to take the car off the dolly, unhitch it from the motor home, and then proceed to do a gazillion point turn to get Chillax’n turned around. Hitch the dolly back and load the car back on again. Bare in mind doing this all the while in the dark and freezing cold.  The F-bomb was used many times to say the least as I tried to keep him calm and look at the situation as one for the books.
We eventually made it to Wal-Mart, actually with an escort from that nice prison guard who was now off duty.  We quickly learned that we missed the actual driveway to Wal-Mart by about 25-30 feet or so UGH!!! Lesson: don't always trust your GPS!
Now one would think that would have been the end to our problems, but we did have just one more problem after that. Seemed that close encounter of the third kind actually did some electrical damage to our furnace and we discovered that we had no propane heat. Not having any electrical power either because Wal-Mart comes without full hook-up service obviously we ended up sleeping in the cold that night. The thermostat read 40 degrees inside Chillax'n the next morning. Double UGH!
Needless to say the next day, November 8th, we hit the road early so we could get some heat inside from the engine heater. Our destination was the Virginia/North Carolina state line so we didn’t have to freeze for another night. We spent the night in a lovely KOA in Wytheville, Virginia where we had 50 amp service. Electric heat and hot water for a nice long hot shower.
Sandra took a few pictures with her Blackberry camera as we drove along. They're just a few out of the window scenery shots taken in Virginia, North Carolina into South Carolina. There will be much better ones to follow as we make a pit stop for about a week in Myrtle Beach and give Rick's camera out for a workout. Hopefully we will get our furnace problem rectified because there still might be a need for it here and there, not to mention Chillax'n is still under warranty! Hopefully we'll enjoy some warmer temps, so stay tuned for more adventures with Chillax’n.
Rick, Sandra, Toby and Wee Shaemus
The above photo shows you that the further south we drove the scenery looked more like October in Canada verses what we left behind. 

The above photo was taken for those that have never seen a cotton field before. 

Harvested cotton; that’s one big cotton ball!
We'll leave you with this photo of Toby taking in the scenery as well!