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Jul 01

First Things First!

The Mayflower

The Mayflower

Doing things for the First Time can be kinda scary … no matter what your age … and, boy, have we pushed the envelope on this one!  Of course, not all of it has been “Fun Firsts” but for the First Blog of our U.S. Adventure we want you to come along and experience it through our eyes.  Are you ready?!

OK. Let’s set the scene:  We’ve never owned an RV of any type before.  We have no idea what it is like to pull a 25 foot RV trailer either on a Highway or negotiating tight turns i.e. getting in and out of gas stations.  Our plan is to be “long termers” – living in the RV for months rather than just weekends so, of course, we’re looking for comfort, space and ease of living. We’re also looking at doing this on a reasonable budget!   Is this too much to ask?

Bill & Priscilla

Bill & Priscilla

Now to reality … The First thing we’re going to do is forget about the 6 weeks of getting the RV to the standard we want.  After all, it is going to be our ‘home’ for who knows how many months!  Without dear friends and family we might never have made it!  We focused on Safety and Ease of Operation.  Remember, at our age we don’t want Bill to be manually cranking levelers every time we overnight somewhere!    Once those things were out of the way – along with more $$$ than we originally figured – we were ready to leave.  As we were outfitting the RV, the “weight and space” mantra was ringing in our heads and we are finding out that we left behind things we need, and brought some things we don’t need!  But we figure we are flexible enough to make everything work, regardless, and with the help of Walmart  and Dollar Stores we can add essentials as we go!

The First Day:  Despite quite an early start to the day, we were not ready to leave St. Augustine until nearly Noon on our way to Savannah, GA.  Our ‘Departure Check List’ took a little longer than we anticipated but we were soon on our way north on I-95.  After a few miles Bill realized the sway bars needed tightening so we pulled into a rest stop to take care of that.  Every time a large truck passed us, Bill had to hang on to the wheel to keep us steady in our lane to avoid fishtailing!  Trucks move at quite a pace and it can get pretty wild out there!

P1050372Our First Picnic: By 2:30pm we were getting pretty hungry and ready for the sandwich that Priscilla’s sister had made for us.  However, keeping an RV trailer on the road does not allow the driver to eat and drink, so we planned to stop in a Rest Stop that Priscilla found on the map.  As we approached, we found it was on the opposite side of the Highway so we went to Plan B which turned out to be an empty Outlet Mall Parking lot!  We pulled under some shade trees, set up our chairs and enjoyed our sandwich and soft drink until the ants found us and moved us on!

Our First Campsite: Before we left on our trip we become members of Good Sam’s Club!  In return we receive discounts at various stores as well as Good Sam affiliated campgrounds.  We also received an excellent resource book – a huge 8lb, 5” thick RV Guide and Campground Directory.  If you can’t find something you like in this book (or online) you should stay home!  The directory tells you exactly how to get to each campground and we were pleasantly surprised at the ease with which we were able to find our first campground, register at the office and set up at our tree-shaded site.  Due to our late start, the afternoon rains caught us just as Bill was finishing setting up outside, however, with a dry shirt and a glass of wine in our cool new ‘house’ our concerns started to fade away and we were ready to start enjoying ourselves.

Cooking OutsideOur First Dinner:  The next day we decided to use our electric skillet to cook dinner.  We set up outside the trailer (to avoid going to sleep to cooking smells!) and Bill cooked up pork chops, onions and green peppers.  We added a salad and had a simple but tasty meal accompanied, of course, by more wine!

Our First camping friends:  When we returned from our sightseeing, we found that we had new neighbors!  In the evening, after a walk around the campground, we stopped and chatted with a couple from Wisconsin, Bill and Deb.  We were soon sitting around under their awning, sipping beer and wine and getting to know each other!  They are experienced campers and gave us lots of great tips.  We knew we’d meet some great people on our travels – in this case, they were Cheese Heads!

Cheese Heads

Cheese Heads

An indication of how nice they were is that the following morning Bill got some valuable assistance with our First “dump” experience – a necessary evil of camping!

Our First Impressions: After 3 days “on the road” we know we have a lot yet to learn but also great experiences ahead of us.  Bill already has a “To Do” list to take care of in the RV so he will be busy for a while and Priscilla has a lot of computer work to catch up on.

We’re headed to friends north of Atlanta for the 4th of July weekend but before then will spend three nights 20 miles north of Macon at a place call Forsyth.  We have a special treat in store there which we’ll share with you later!forsyth

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15 comments

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  1. Henry

    Wow, fun read! Fun adventure! The boys and I would like to come and stay for a visit – we were thinking maybe a fortnight. When would that work out for you?

    Cheeseheads are awesome, wherever they may be, so when you reach the upper midwest, be sure to stop in Milwaukee. If you park it in my driveway, the exterior will be stripped bare of all metallic parts by morning which will make the RV much simpler to maintain.

    Drive safely and party on!

    Much love,

    Henry

  2. Geri Davis

    Good luck you two! Sounds like a great start to what will be great adventures! We miss you!

  3. Robin Butler

    Hey Bill and Pricilla
    good to see you are back in the States. if you make back to Florida why not check out our campgrounds. Nelsons Outdoor Resort 19400 SE Hwy 42, Umatilla, Florida we are only 9 miles east of the Villages.
    Bonnie and i are leaving Friday to drive to Gettysburg Pa.for the 150th anniversary of the reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg.

    We’ll wave as we go through Georgia.

    robin

  4. Hunter

    It is awesome to catch up with you guys. Deb and I do miss you. I was hoping to see you when you came back to the states. I guess the idea of looking at our office and doing some good old work scared you.LOL
    It is a joy to see you guys traveling and enjoying the states. That is exactly what Deb and I are going to do some day. By that time you will be experts and can offer us some ideas and things to do and see. We hope to see you on the road as well one day soon so keep us abreast of where u are and are planning to go.
    Love you guys
    Deb and Hunter

  5. Mike

    Hey there B & P

    Nice to hear from you…and wow, that looks like an adventure…

    I’m sure once you get the hang of things, you’ll enjoy the lifestyle even more.

    Please let me know when you make it back to Florida…

    Mike O’Sullivan

  6. Mike Collins

    You guys are my hero’s.

    I love your travelin life..

    Keep the surprises coming.

    MC

  7. Mike Loader

    Glad you guys got off to a good start. I am so happy for you and jealous at the same time. Have a beautiful, safe journey. We love you guys.

  8. Ian Chambler

    Dear Bill and Pris. Thanks for the new blog and I will follow you around the USA…a country I am not that familiar with . I am sure the rural side is going to be fun . It sounds like large cities should be avoided . Love Ian Byrne . KZN . South Africa.

  9. Isabel Black

    Why don’t you plan eventually to come North and see us in Canada!!! Happy travels!

  10. Mark

    Great to see you’re having more fun adventures! 🙂 Priscilla it wasn’t us dragging Bill on our visit to Lazy Days that created this idea…. Bill doesn’t need any help with ideas for wild adventures – LOL

    Don’t forget we have 165 acres in Western Massachusetts when you’re ready to visit – sorry no dumping facility 🙂 It’s not far from where Peter does his annual party, if you don’t have plans yet for August 3rd, let’s go!!!

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/PeteBaker/events/

    Can’t wait to join you on the road, looking forward learning from all your experiences so we’re properly prepared!!

    Love and miss you guys!!
    Mark & Lyn-Dee

  11. Walt

    Having fun ? Walmarts will let you stay overnight in their parking lots if you can not find places. See you in a month.

  12. shirley fennell

    Travel in our 5th wheel were some of the best times we had. Stay safe and have fun

    Lv Aunt Shirley & uncle Don

  13. Florence Lince

    Love the new site and the adventures – keep the photo’s of your two smiling faces coming. We miss getting together but we understand the travel bug. We’ll be reading and I owe Priscilla a mongo email.

    Hugs from me and Mike – Florence
    (Currently in Edinburgh, Scotland)

  14. Mike Lince

    Bill looks happy, and I know he can cook! What a great start to a great adventure.
    Mike

  15. Marrcia

    Hi Pris & Bill, Happy travelling, I enjoy your blog . Would love to do what you are doing, first round Auzzi, then USA. Glad you enjoyed the Whistle stop Café. lots of love Marcia xxx

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