Tag Archives: Big First Trip
December 18, 2011

Back in California

We made it!  The drive from AZ to OC CA was pretty uneventful.  I started out just after 6 in the morning, and Diane made it to the front of the RV a little ways before we crossed into California.  Got a little bit of rain which made a significant mess on the CRV, but no real trouble for the drive.

The plan had been to say at a recently started RV park / campground that is on a retreat center back in Black Star Canyon.  Well, we got there, though it seemed we were offroading to do it, but then found that the cell reception, and therefore Internet connections, did not exist there.  It was good we found this out before we went through the even bigger efforts of getting the RV to the site.

So, quick couple phone calls, and we drove over to our local favorite, Canyon RV Park in Yorba Linda.  This is where we started from way back in late October.  We’ll be here till after Christmas, but not sure where we’ll be for the week between Christmas and New Years.  Could be here, or Thousand Trails in Menifee, or could be in Anaheim.  We will be moving to Anaheim for New Years and the week after.  I’m now signed up for a VMWare class in the area that week.

But for now, Diane got to see her girls for her birthday, Molly is back “home” in the RV, and we’re settled in for work and activities.  We’ll be working on our storage situation this week, and picking up a couple things that we stored, and dropping off some things that we can now store.  Hoping to get the bikes with us from now on, and a ladder.  Oh, and the bread machine.  Yummmm.

We’ll call this the last post for the “First Big Trip” series.  From this point on, we’ll be in regular fulltime mode, moving from one Thousand Trails park to the other, with some “vacation” spots mixed in with the Komfort Kruisers or family.

Merry Christmas everyone!

December 17, 2011

Overnight in Marana, AZ (north of Tucson)

We took a different approach today, where we stopped for a good break around lunch time.  This gave Francie a bit of time to come out from the back bedroom and tell us exactly how unhappy she was at the situation.  Oh, and to get a bite to eat, drink, and make a couple deposit’s in the stinky kitty box.  Nice. It seemed to make her happier for the rest of the day, as there was less complaining later on during gas stops.

We had a bit of a mission to get a little something for the little human at a Cracker Barrel, so we stopped for dinner just north of Tucson.  I had told Diane about “chicken fried chicken” during dinner the previous night, so, had to have some.  Also, could be the last chance for a while, so I also had some fried okra. Mmmmmm.  Diane opted for more French Toast, and got just what she ordered, eventually. Fun times.

After dinner and some brief shopping, we used the iPhone apps and found Valley of the Sun RV Resort in Marana, AZ.  It is an interesting place as you pull in, and see that it is a mobile home park up front, but all RV park in the back.  They had a nice setup with laundry, clubhouse, showers, etc.  Hookups were excellent.  We had called ahead just to make sure they had space, and were told that we’d likely find the office empty, and to just take any space on the right.  They were nice long pull through’s.  At the office, I found a do-it-yourself sheet and envelope for getting them payment. Love the trusting RV gang!

Tomorrow will be a SUPER early departure.  It’ll be Diane’s birthday, and she really wants to spend time with Molly and Megan, so I’ll do my best to give her as much time with them as possible.

December 16, 2011

Overnight in East Texas

We left Livingston around 8:30 in the morning today.  A little later than I’d hoped, but Escapee’s do things a tad different.  You pay on your way out.  I guess you don’t have to worry about paying up front when you might just leave, but, it means my departure was delayed.  Also, the electricity was metered here, so you pay for that too.  Still, a very nice place to stay, and was less than $20 a night in the expensive spot. 🙂

So, Diane was up most of the day today.  It’s just the two of us and Francie (cat) and we’re getting back into the groove of rolling down the road.  Nice flat drive, with no winds / tail winds, and 70 mph speed limits.  Got some good gas mileage, and still made great time.

Our overnight is in Fort Stockton, TX, at the well named Fort Stockton RV Park.  Inexpensive, nice people, and an onsite cafe!  We made it 15 minutes before the cafe closed, and had a great take-home dinner of chicken fried steak, barbecue ribs, green beans, mashed potatoes, and drinks.  All for $6.00 each.  Oh, plus a slice of pound cake for desert.  Excellent!

Off to bed.  Will be an early out in the morning.

December 16, 2011

Texas wrapup…

Well, we’re closing out our stay here in Texas.  We arrived last Sunday in Willis Texas at the Lake Conroe resort by Thousand Trails, and spent two nights there.  The drive between Willis and Livingston was about an hour each way, and after we had no luck getting the car registration transferred the first day, we decided to just move to Livingston and stay at the Escapee’s resort.  It’s $15.50 a day plus electricity, versus free at Thousand Trails, but the gas was going to cost a couple nights stay just to go back and forth.

We DID eventually have success getting both the RV and the car registered in Texas.  We also now have Texas insurance (significantly more expensive) and I have a Texas drivers license.  It’s amazing the hoops.  I had to show proof of insurance for the inspection, for the registration, and even to get the drivers license.  Each one wanted more “stuff”.  But, not much money.  The main reason we went through all of this was for me to be a resident of Texas.  The income tax savings will pay for the registration and drivers license in one month, and the next two months will pay for the extra insurance. So, I get 9 months of that extra dough for us. 🙂

We’re heading out tomorrow morning.  It will be a slightly later start than we usually have because we need to settle up with the RV park office on our way out and pay for our site and electricity.  Should also be a fun time, with rain in the forecast for most of our trek.  The goal is to be in Orange County sometime late(ish) Sunday.  Fingers crossed that all works out well and we don’t run into troubles on the way.

December 12, 2011

First Thousand Trails park visit – Willis TX

We’ve now used our recent Thousand Trails membership purchase, and we’re parked at their Lake Conroe facility in Willis, TX (about an hour north of Houston).  The drive from Louisiana was filled with LONG flat bridges over the bayou’s and such.  Lot’s of signs for Boudin and Cracklin, but we didn’t stop.  The GPS and other sources for directions suggested taking the non-Interstate route, which provided for some adventure and scenery, and did get us there in a timely manner.  Probably saved $20 or more in gas due to it being shorter.

This place has an interesting procedure for check in.  You start at the gate, and give them your member card.  For that, you get a map, and instructions to go pick out a site.  Not good after a long drive, with the sun about to set.  We found a spot, and then had to deal with the CRV having a dead battery.  Need to solve that one, as the towing setup was supposed to feed DC power back to the car so it wouldn’t drain the CRV battery.

Anyway, got a spot, got setup, got all the paperwork sorted, and found where the Laundry facilities are located.  Today is work, and investigation into the possible Texas drivers license and such.  Fridge needs some restocking too.  Oh, and there’s a place nearby that has BINGO… We might have to check it out.

Diane is still trying to recover from her cold.  Molly reports that she is much better, and enjoying her time with friends and grand-parents in California.  I’m just pushing on.  Hope to get the dash shelf, WiFi link, XM Radio, and CB Radio setup while we’re here, or at least as much as possible.

December 10, 2011

Overnight in Louisiana

Diane and I had a nice drive from Georgia to Louisiana today.  Since our travels were taking us so close to Florida, we made a slight detour so that we could drive through Florida, and add another state sticker to our map.  Yeah, kinda cheating, but oh well. 🙂

We also made a bit of a detour and stayed on Interstate 10 so that we would drive down to New Orleans.  It was farther out of the way than I’d expected, but still cool to have done.  We talked about maybe hitting it up for a driving tour Sunday morning, but it’s just too far from our campsite.

I had found a Camping World that allowed overnight stays, but just not quite ready for that.  So, we stayed in Livingston, LA, at Lakeside RV Park.  Not the cheapest park, but VERY nice!  All the spaces are super level concrete pads with some form of picnic table and full hookups.  We didn’t make use of their facilities for the showers, but based on everything else I assume they were great as well.  Staff was friendly and cheapest propane on this trip so far.  Their posted monthly rates were really reasonable too.  Anyone planning on staying in the are for a bit would find it a great spot.

We’re off in the morning for the last bit to Texas.

December 9, 2011

Wrapping up the Georgia visit

We had a great time staying in Georgia.  Even though there was a bit of rain, and cold, and illness, it was a good stay.  Diane was able to re-meet her cousin and his family, and I got to meet and have dinner with them as well.  The RV Park we stayed at, Twin Lakes RV Park in Cumming, GA, was just a basic spot with hook ups and a flat space, but a good value.  I’m sure it’s even better in spring/summer when the tree’s a full of green leaves.  Molly and I enjoyed walking around the lakes while she was with us there.  The location worked well for us to in that it was close to most things we needed, and close to my companies office in Alpharetta.

So, we’ll be leaving here tomorrow, and off to Texas eventually.  Not sure where our mid-way overnight stop will be.

November 27, 2011

Trip into Georgia

We left Sunday morning for the trip from Heiskell, TN to Cumming, GA.  I was being lazy and slow this morning, which led to a wet environment for me to deal with while hooking up the car, and disconnecting shore power.  Also made for a SLOW drive down.  It finally started to calm down about 30 miles into the Georgia border.  The GPS kept trying to take me down some “shorter” 2+ lane highways across Tennessee and Georgia, but I wasn’t falling for it.  Stayed on 75 to the loop, then 400 up.  Worked out great, and still came in only 10 minutes after the predicted GPS time from before my detour.

We pulled into the Twin Lakes RV Park with no issues, and found our name on a map and a spot set aside for us.  It is quite full here right now compared to the other times I came by to check it out.  Should be just fine.  We’ll hang out here this week for me to work in Alpharetta, and for the girls to explore and learn new stuff.

November 26, 2011

On our way to GA – overnight in Tennessee

We headed out Saturday morning from Chellie’s, and started making the trek to Georgia.  It’s a 9 hour drive, which would need 2 gas stops, and likely take 10-11 hours in reality, and rain is forecast, so, we decided to take two days and stop in Heiskell, TN for the overnight.  There is an Escapee’s RV Park there.  Since we joined Escapee’s to use their mail forwarding service, we decided to try out one of their parks too.  It was definitely OK for the money.  Only $17 for the night, with full hook ups and cable.  I didn’t check out the restroom’s or showers due to the pouring rain Sunday morning, but I’m sure they were fine.  Very friendly staff for sure.


November 18, 2011

Hanging out at sister’s till Thanksgiving

Well, we arrived at Chellie’s in Morgantown near sundown on Veteran’s Day.  A fairly nice state/county highway drive up from Evansville.  We’ve got a level spot here with electricity.  The facilities are really nice, with clean bathrooms and shower, and even a kitchen to use!  Best RV park ever! And so Exclusive!

We’ll have Thanksgiving at the clubhouse near Mom and Dad over in Terre Haute.  We saw them a couple days ago, and left Molly there for some Granny and Poppi alone time.

It’s nice and relaxing here, except for the lack of nearby dump site.

Not much more posting till we get going down to GA.  We bought a Thousand Trails membership, and are just waiting for the paperwork.  We expect to hang at many of their sites once we get back to CA/AZ area.