Friday, August 29, 2008

Paradise Resort, Silver Creek, WA

I guess everyone wants to be in Paradise. Well, we decided to make a 2 week reservation at that campground resort beginning 8/16/08. Our granddaughters, Zoey and Mackenzie, were coming along for the first several days. We set out from Tumwater on one of the hottest days of the year. The thermometer topped 95 degrees, which is very warm for Western Washington.

Paradise Resort is located in the small town of Silver Creek, WA. If you blink you'll miss the so-called town. It is located on the eastbound Hwy. 12 heading toward Mt. Rainier and a turn off to Mt. St. Helen's. The resort is about 3 miles north of Hwy. 12. The resort's listing in the camp guide says it is "nestled in the middle of God's Country". I guess that is true but it is also nestled in the middle of freaking nowhere !! Ahhhh....but we were going for some peace and quiet, right?

We got there on Saturday afternoon. How could experienced RVer's like us have been so stupid? We know better than to try to get into a good site in a campground (even with a reservation) in the middle of a weekend. Well, we were instructed that all the full hook-up sites were full but we could drive through and find a water & electric site for the one night and then move to a full hook-up on Sunday afternoon. Many people were planning to leave Sunday so we could get a better space. It was still about 90 degrees there in God's Country so we felt lucky to get a space with electric.

It was a tight fit getting that 40-footer into a small W/E space but I managed to navigate Bruce into one after making 2 attempts. We got ourselves all leveled out and hooked up and the slide outs adjusted. Now to turn on that A/C and get some cool air going. Huh?? The darn breaker outside at the plug for this site kept clicking off. It wouldn't hold !!! No other sites available either. OK, we're true campers....we can do without A/C for one night. We'll go swimming and cool off.

With perspiration pouring off my forehead I got the girls into their swim suits as did Bruce and I. We grabbed our towels and set off to one of the 3 pools on property. Just as we got to the gate at 3:55 pm we hear over the loud speaker...."Hello Campers. Just a reminder that we will be closing the pools at 4:00 for 1 hour to clean them." Okay. About face and go back to the RV for an hour. While we waited, the girls played with some kids camped next to us and Bruce and I played more of our gin rummy tournament. At 5:00 sharp we went back to the pool and finally felt some wonderful, cool water. Of course, there were about 50 screaming kids and adults too, so we didn't have that peace and quiet I had hoped for.

We did see an interesting sight at the pool. There was a woman lounging in a deck chair reading a newspaper and she had a fully dressed monkey on a leash with her. The little monkey was climbing all over her back and the top of her head while she sat there reading the paper. That was a first for me in a campground that's for sure.

We did survive the heat of the night and the next day around 1 pm we moved the rig over to a nice, level and wide site with full hook-ups and an electrical breaker that worked. A/C was finally ours to enjoy. Well, for a day anyway. By Monday afternoon it clouded up, got a lot cooler and rained. So much for Paradise I guess.

The girls went home on Wednesday evening. We kept them amused indoors with lots of crafts, games, Disney movies and we even baked a cake. They had lots of fun and look forward to going "camping" with us again.

Bruce and I stayed there in Paradise until it was time to leave and go back up to Tumwater for the Labor Day weekend. It is Mackenzie's birthday on September 1st and we want to be with her to celebrate the big day. This is where we are now....Tumwater again.

We leave here on Tuesday, September 2nd and will be driving to Pismo Beach, California for 2 1/2 months of real peace and quiet. We can't wait to get there. It is one of our most favorite spots to hang out and just enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

I'll post more in the days ahead. Hope everyone that finds this blog is enjoying it. Let me know, please.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting Ready for Life on the Road

We have been slowly getting ready for this adventure for a couple of years. We began going as "paperless" as we could in paying our bills and doing our banking. This eliminates so much mail that needs to be forwarded to us by our daughter. We can get mail through General Delivery any place there is a Post Office. We also pay as many of our bills with the credit card as we can. This helps to earn more Disney reward points each month. Of course, we pay the card balance each month since interest charges would far exceed any benefit to the reward points!

Before our house closed escrow we had 3 major garage sales to rid ourselves of so much stuff. Any RV comes furnished so we had no need for any of our furniture. Between the garage sale and our neighbors that bought stuff we managed to get rid of everything. Our kids didn't want any of it.....oh, please it just wasn't their style! We also sold lots of household goods that would have exceeded the space limitations of our small kitchen. It was a process in determining just how many tools, household items, and other "stuff" we needed to bring.

We love to read, so naturally we had to bring lots of books. Currently we have around 100 paperback or hardcover books on board. As we read them we will drop them off at the libraries in the various RV parks or campgrounds we visit. This is a good way to recycle and let somebody else enjoy a good book.

A few years ago we also bought into a campground membership program that will benefit us greatly as full-timers. With this program we have hundreds of RV parks or resorts available to us with a daily cost from "nothing" to $10.00 a night. We've tried several of the parks in the program on vacation trips the past couple of years and they have been most satisfactory. We look forward to using that program extensively now.

I also had to bring along my scrapbooking supplies. Those fit neatly into 4 large plastic bins which are stored in our basement of the motorhome. As I finish my projects I'll be able to use up some supplies and then pare down the bins to only 2. We stored some family heirlooms and family treasures in other sturdy bins at our daughter's house. When I want them they will be there for me.

Living out on the road prevents us from attending our hometown church on a regular basis. However, we have visited churches from Yuma, Arizona to Fairbanks, Alaska, to Nova Scotia in Canada and the experience has been great. We have met some wonderful and friendly people that have always made us feel welcome.

We have always been in love with road trips and traveling vacations. This dream come true will allow us to continue with that love affair. There are compromises with this lifestyle but the benefits to us far outweigh them. We're having a blast!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Why did we do this anyway??

Good question. Unless you are an avid RVer, like Bruce and I, you may not understand the answer to that question. We began traveling in a motorhome for vacation trips in 1988. I guess you could say that was the beginning of a love affair with the RV life. The desire to be on the road for longer periods of time just keep growing and growing.

In 1993 our daughter graduated from high school in California and we were no longer tied to that area. Our son had graduated in 1990 so now we were free to leave the rat race of Southern California living. In late 1994 our daughter decided she did want to go to college after all so we decided to make the Olympia/Tumwater area of Washington state our permanent home. We bought a house and Stephanie went to college there.

Over the next few years she graduated, got married and moved out of our home. We had been vacation traveling through the years but one thing led to another and we couldn't get to that full time lifestyle that we craved. Eventually the obstacles of ailing parents needing care were over (you can figure out what that means, sadly) and we became totally free this year in 2008.

To us, the freedom of not owning a fixed home (as opposed to one on wheels) is grand. We can go anywhere and stay as long or as short a time as we like. Since we travel in our "home" we always have our own bed, bathroom and all of our "stuff" with us. All the comforts of home actually.

On this blog we will document our travels for any and all who are interested to read. Hopefully, you'll find something interesting withing these postings. Stay tuned for our "big time adventures" with this new lifestyle.