The Delay…

Well as much as we don’t like it, Joe and I have decided to delay our trip for at least another week.  We have some time on the tail end of our adventure to stretch it out if we want to.  The decision to delay a week is mostly fueled by the need to rent the house before we go.  We had a couple of interested parties, but they didn’t pan out.  So we have been doing some work in the yard, mulching, fence painting, and packing up the house as much as possible and just hope to get a short-term renter soon!  Once we made this decision though, we feel good about it!  I mean, we still don’t even have our hiking shoes (Going to REI tonight for those.)!  This also gives us more time to reupholster all the cushions in the RV, install mods, hang curtains, pack, etc.  I also have a few real estate deals that still need to be closed and I would prefer to be here for those.  I have some friends coming over tonight to give me some interior decorating/space saving advice in the RV.  Yay!  So our new departure date is  March 10th-ish! 
Putting Dad to work painting the fence!
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The Maiden Voyage

Well we have just returned from our maiden voyage.  We went to Beuscher State Park in Smithville, just an hour away from home.   It rained.  A lot.  But it was good practice for what we have in store while traveling the west coast for 5+ months.  Loralai took a day to adjust.  And being cooped up with her for that day was hard.  But we did survive and things improved.  We got to camp and hooked up around 6pm in the dark and rain.  Joe did great!  I entertained the kids in the truck while he worked and got wet.  :)  Once in the RV, I made hamburgers and we all fell asleep around 8pm.  I then woke up at 2:30am from the very loud rain storm we were getting and stayed up until 4am when both the girls also woke up from the rain.  After some milk and cookies and books we all went back to sleep around 4:30am.  Day 2, up around 9am and made breakfast.  We had a break in the rain so we went fishing.  Really that amounted to Joe fishing, me holding a baby while she napped, and Loralai playing with the worms for an hour and a half.  We caught nothing and headed back to “home” for lunch.  Then I left for the store to get forgotten dinner supplies, honestly a very nice break from the kids!  The town store was so small I wanted to interview the check out girl about her life in a small town, but resisted.  Dinner and bed.  Day 3, great weather and we got a canoe to do more fishing.  We caught nothing, but the guy next to us had some live minnows as bait and gave one to Loralai.  So to her, we did catch a fish!  She named him Hooter, and played with him for an hour, covering him with mud and “teaching him to swim”.  We released Hooter and headed back home to pack up and eat lunch before departing.  Loralai made a friend while we were readying the RV for departure and they ran around the camp together.  The girls and I went on a tiny hike while Joe dumped the tanks.  We were back at Longhorn Skwy by 3pm.
Much was learned on this trip! 
1. An RV is MUCH smaller than home!!!
2. You are never alone and it’s never quiet!
3. My husband is AWESOME and so happy when camping, like a kid in a candy shop!
4. Loralai will take some time to adjust, but will be SO happy once she does!
5. Bean is happy anywhere!
6. It is possible to make friends while on the road (Thank you Loralai for showing me this!).
7. I love my family!  They are so much fun to be with.
8. Keep kids FED!  They throw less fits that way.
9. Fishing with kids is not very productive.
10. Setting up and breaking down camp takes a long dang time!!!!  Must plan for this!
11. MORE in the car activities are needed!  Are we there yet…….  Are we there yet…..
12. I will miss long, private showers.  I will miss them A LOT!
13. I will take some time to adjust as well, but seeing our beautiful country will be worth the adjustments needed.
14.  We need some more RV mods and supplies.  I’m thinking the outdoor patio extension that creates a second covered living space for $700 might just be worth it!
15. I have my work cut out for me!  But it will be an experience of a life time!
We depart in 2 weeks!
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RV Mods

Woohoo!  Figured out how to add myself as an author to the blog!  …this is Joe by the way.

I just clicked “Place My Order” on my huge Amazon order!  The order contains almost all of my cool RV mods!  I have to go to Home Depot for a few items as well.  The mods are mostly power and water related.  We’re adding a Power Inverter (so we can “boon-dock” a little), RV waste tank rinse valve (way better than dragging a hose inside the RV to rinse out the black water tank), Air Compressor/Digital Tire gauge (pressure on the truck tires is 80PSI cold)…ever tried to put that much air in something that big?  Also getting a water pressure tank (so water pump runs less often), Drinking Water filter, Some new upholstery for the Dinette (vinyl for easy cleaning), Curtains (RV decor sux!), and Couch (currently matches RV decor).

WOW!  The maiden voyage in the rig is HERE!  Yes!  It is raining and it is supposed to do this continuously until Saturday night. :-(  I don’t care though!  I’m bring the fishing rods, some night crawlers, and a big umbrella!  The lake is a boat-motor free lake, so the fishing will at least be peaceful (with a chance of 4 year old).  Wish us luck!

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We have the Rig!

Last Thursday we went to Houston to pick up our new home!  After a minor hiccup with the hitch and few extra bills, we were able to drive her home!  We got the RV from PPL in Houston.  It’s a consignment place that only sells used RV’s and they have a TON of them!!!  Everyone there was so nice and friendly, even when I got a little crazy when told our hitch was not going to work.  They really work like a family there and helped us to come to the most cost effective option.  So they will be getting a lovely post card from us once we’re on the road (grin).

Driving her home was an experience!  But Joe did great!  As a passenger, I couldn’t even feel the difference driving with the RV attached.  You should have seen us trying to back her into my mom’s tiny little parking place at night!  Joe and I both needed a few drinks after that!!!  But she’s all tucked away and waiting for our practice camping trip next weekend! 

Now I’m faced with WHAT TO PACK?!?!?!  I’ve seriously googled “What to pack in an RV”.  Joe has some good advice though, start with the kitchen, then to beds, then go from there.  Too bad I can’t get passed thinking that I need to buy smaller salt and pepper shakers.  I know there’s got to be more to it then that!

Thinking of filling up the RV has FINALLY led me to start packing up our house!  OVERWHELMED!!!!  There’s more than you think, every time!  And it doesn’t help when your 4 year old comes right behind you and unpacks every box to either play dress up with your old cloths or to sit in the boxes and play house.  My first trip to Goodwill is tomorrow.  I’m finally getting rid of the graduation gown and “the green dress”.  Also purging the girls toys and saying goodbye to all VHS tapes!

Of course we are also trying to lease the house out, so we can’t exactly have rooms torn apart and boxes laying all over the place when people come to look at the house.  So we are “neatly” packing.  :)  Ha!  Like there’s such a thing!  But really, WE NEED TO LEASE THE HOUSE OUT, quick!  Just vamped up the internet marketing on it today.  Fingers crossed! 

It will all come together…..right?  :)

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It’s All Happening!!!!

We are getting SO CLOSE to leaving!!!  Now that we have found our RV and have the truck, we have the WORST (packing) and BEST (planning trip destinations) ahead of us!!! 

Tonight we will pack and rummage through Camping Magazines like most nights here at the Shaw house. 

Our departure date is now set for March 4th!  MARCH 4TH!!!!!

We pick up our RV this week from  Houston and take our first and ONLY practice camping trip the weekend of Feb 17th.  Not sure where we will be taking her yet, somewhere near by (Suggestions Welcome).  Hopefully we find all the kinks on that trip, cause it’s the open road from there!  

We still need to sell our investment property (Closing this Friday?) and find a renter for the house, but it will all come together.  :)

We’ve mapped out trip and so far, here’s what it looks like…

3/4- Big Bend
3/11- Albuquerque (Some State Park Near There)
3/18- Grand Canyon (South Rim)
3/25- Grand Canyon
4/1- Zion National Park in Utah
4/8- Vegas BABY!
4/15- Disney Land
4/22- Yosemite/Death Valley
4/29- Yosemite/Death Valley
5/6- Lake Tahoe
5/13- Ashland Oregon (Redwood NP)
5/20- Portland OR
5/27- Olympic NP in Washington
6/3- Olympic NP in Washington
6/10- Seattle WA
6/17- Spokane WA
6/24- Glacier NP in MO
7/1- Great Falls MO
7/8- Yellow Stone
7/15- Yellow Stone
7/22- Yellow Stone/Grand Tetons
7/29- Estes Park CO (Rocky Mountains NP)
8/5- Lake George CO (The Lodge)
8/12- Homeward Bound

8/27- SCHOOL STARTS FOR LORALAI!!!!  Ahhhhh…..

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