Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Officially Full-Timers

Wowww!!!!  The last week was so much harder than I thought it would be in so many ways!  First off, we had to stop and thank God for the beautiful weather we had during the last week.  We had the 5th wheel open and we were able to take multiple trips hauling our essential belongings from the house to our new home without tracking in snow or mud or having to wear coats!  It was gorgeous weather for packing.
Monday morning we got up early and packed the last of our belongings then left to go sign the papers on the sale of the house.  We stopped at the bank then headed home to hook-up and leave.  The whole way into town to close on the house we were so giddy.  We talked about how exciting this was and how hard we had worked to make this happen.  No tears – just huge grins!  But, I will confess, when we got back to hook-up and pull out the tears started.  I made the mistake of walking through the house one more time…stupid, stupid, stupid!  I took pictures and cried as memories slammed me from everywhere.  I have to say right now, though, that there was never a time we ever doubted our decision.  Even in my sadness of leaving our home of 23 years where we raised our boys, I still knew that I wanted to continue down our chosen path, but the actual leaving was bittersweet.
Our Old Home and Our New Home

Clark preparing to start out on our new life!

We didn’t pull out until 2:00 in the afternoon.  Our destination was the Escapees’ Rainbow Park in Livingston, TX where we will officially become Texans.  We weren't sure of the specifics of the trip to get there.  We thought we had a plan but we changed our minds and decided to drive through Oklahoma City during the night to avoid the horrible traffic we have experienced there in the past on I-35. 

Driving through the gate one last time.

Pulling away...

Looking back one last time...

We saw quite a few other rigs on the road but they were all heading north.  We appeared to be fish swimming upstream!  I am sure they were thinking we were idiots and were heading the wrong way.  We know we were thinking that about them!  We were telling them to turn back – it was still cold up north!  The trip was pretty uneventful other than the wind.  We drove into the wind the entire way to Livingston.  We will not do that in the future unless we have to, but we felt the need to get down here so we could get our truck and 5th wheel licensed as our tags expire at the end of the month. 

Oh what a beautiful sunset we saw on our first night of freedom – from the cab of the truck but that was ok. 
The sky looked like it was burning.

  Anyway, we spend our first night in an Oklahoma rest stop between two semi-trucks.  We thought it was wonderful and it was within our budget!  
Our beautiful view at our first "site" (the Oklahoma rest stop)
We crawled into bed and snuggled under lots of blankets because it was pretty cold.  We lay there and talked about all of the thoughts still bouncing around in our heads.  Clark finally drifted off.  I know this because he began snoring and I thought, well, that’s it for me – no sleep’s gonna come my way!  I started singing 100 bottles of beer on the wall in my head, and got into the 70s but kept losing track where I was.  Thankfully, Sleeping Beauty finally rolled over from his back to his side and the snoring stopped.    Normally, I don’t have a problem poking the bear to get him to roll over, but since he was going to be driving me - and all of the things I decided I must have - down the road the next day while I slept, I thought maybe it would be best to let him sleep while he could! 
We woke up (yes, I did finally drift off) a tad chilly but finally forced ourselves to get up and at it.  Boy was it cold but we were so excited to be on the road again.  When we got to Fort Worth, we realized we would have been better off to drive all through the night to get through the traffic there!  Two words…road construction…we idled our way down the highway for more than an hour!  When we finally got to go 10 mph we thought we were flying!!!!  We didn't care; we didn't have to be anywhere, so we patiently got through that mess. 
Of course, that was enough to screw up our arrival time at the park.  We called ahead to let them know we would be in after office hours and asked what sites we could pick from when we got there – I told Sunny we planned to stay for 2 weeks.  Boy were we shocked when she said she only had one site available for that duration – and grateful that there was still one left.  We hadn't even thought about making reservations! This was all new to us because in the past when we traveled on the Harley we rode until we felt like stopping.  Reservations…we don’t need no stinking reservations!  (Think Sierra Madre).  Well, it turned out we didn't need reservations THIS time but we may need to rethink our opinion about reservations.  Again – thank you God for looking out for us! 
We arrived after dark (but not after quiet hours) and backed into our spot.  Not our brightest move (yes, pun intended.)  Our new neighbors were getting home about that same time so they pulled their truck in and left their headlights on for us so we could see better.  We got all set up without any issue but we don’t want to make a habit of setting up after dark!  We slept in this morning and boy did that feel good.  For awhile, we sat in our chairs, which we turned around to look out our big back window, and gazed out at all of the other rigs in the park and just smiled.  We were “home”. 
Tomorrow we will be more productive than we were today. We plan to talk to the Escapees people here in the park about what we need to do and where we need to go to become residents of Texas.  They help folks like us do this all of the time so we are grateful to have them as a resource.
Lulu was very happy when we made camp.  She has been out of sorts for the past few weeks and Monday morning when we were running back and forth carrying things out, she refused to come back into the house.  She just lay down by the truck and waited to leave.  She had been in the 5th wheel with us all week as we were packing our belongings away, and she knew nothing in the house was as it should be.  She may not have understood what exactly was happening but she at least thought we were going on a trip and she knew she wasn't going to be left behind.  Dogs are so smart!  Her happiness was short –lived though because she got a bath tonight!
The cost for this park for a 50 AMP site is $128.00 per week.  This includes electricity and is the price for Escapee members, which we are.