Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fernwood Renovations....

This week did not see too much progress...we finished tidying the flower beds, washing the outside windows, shutters and siding, purged and spring cleaned on the bedroom level. But the best thing about the week was the wonderful time I had to spend with my daughters and grandchildren. My son-in-law had a business trip so the "girls" came to our house to hang out when they could.

We visited Louise at her Airstream and although this was an extremely busy week for her with her Yoga business, she took a bit of time to chat with us. Her Airstream is a 23 foot Safari Special Edition 2008 model and it is very cozy...I will try to get a picture of it to add this week...

Week ahead sees Lisa's birthday and our milestone of painting the shutters, getting the masonry work completed and completing the upstairs work (flooring and painting) if all goes well.

I have started to put up Kijiji ads for items for sale..know anyone who wants to buy a great snow blower, looked after meticulously by Richard....?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Renovating on the Home Front!


The Airstream Chronicles will be taking a bit of a break from travels since we are home in Ottawa getting our house ready for sale. We have lived here for 25 years almost, it was (and is) a wonderful home in a great neighbourhood, but we don't need all the space anymore and the real estate market in our neighbourhood is hot! Houses are being sold as quickly as they go on the market. Since we have been living months at a time in the Airstream we know we will be happy with something much smaller... As the weeks go by in our purging, cleaning, de-cluttering and renovating we will keep the blog up to date every Sunday as we take a break from the fun! new mantra...LOL :-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reunions are Fun!

Since we have been home it has been organized chaos...if there is such a thing....Thursday dinner with Lisa, Louise and the girls; Friday at the Airstream in Storage to bring needed things home and we went to a couple of movies we have been dying to see; Saturday breakfast at Fernwood and then babysit all three girls while their parents went fence shopping; Sunday breakfast club with Louise and Rachel! Rudy is very happy to see Brooklyn again and he is very interested in her teddy bear...

Derek and Madison catching a glimpse of one another after she has made the rounds with everyone else!
Grandpa meets Madison for the second time and is enjoying her happy demeanour. What a sweetie.

Lisa with Payton and Brooklyn in Nana's kitchen.

Auntie Louise with Baby Madison.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Final Leg - Airstream Plant to Ottawa - 12 Hours of Driving

Well we left the Airstream plant after a two night stay there, we had planned a third night but the threat of hail had us "biting our nails" and deciding to hit the road. Hail on an Aluminum skin leaves golf ball dimples all over ... not pretty, I am told, and the only solution is to re-skin the whole rig. Richard and I are working on a quick and ready damage prevention approach for hail threats
and I am pretty sure we have the answer.
Our travels took us from the Airstream Plant, North on I 75 to the border crossing at Detroit/Windsor. What a pleasure that was...There was an involved circling dance that we had to do to get the toll paid for the Ambassador bridge but it went okay so we were happy. We stayed overnight at the Flying J in London, Ontario. From London we travelled to Kingston Ontario and thank goodness our favourite campground there was open, with full hook-ups! Sweet!
Home is wonderful and my next post will include grandchildren photos.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chattanooga to Bowling Green, KY; Bowling Green to Jackson Centre OH

We took I 24 through the "mountains" of Tennessee West of Chattanooga and on to Nashville and then on to Bowling Green,KY for the third day of our travels. It was a relatively short day for us and we were grateful for that. I 24 was a really wonderful highway, very well maintained, no construction and the one climb we had went from 1000 to 2000 feet but without being too steep in either the up or down portion so we were glad of that. The key is being able to slow the Airstream on the down grade and Richard had no problems at all.
We always enjoy our site at Bowling Green KY, the KOA park there is quiet and restful, the sites are long and level and many have a concrete patio. Sunday morning the park ladies were laying out an Easter Egg hunt for the small campers.
We had thought that we might stay a couple of nights there because we were getting a little tired of the daily routine of getting up, having quick showers and breakfast, stowing anything that could shift position and then hurrying on along the highway for the next stop, whatever it would be... But when we got up Richard thought that with good weather ahead and the Airstream factory as the next stop perhaps we should take advantage of the fact that it was Sunday to get safely through Cincinnati,
and Dayton today, Day 4. We opted to take the beltway around Cincinnati and we were really glad we did. It adds ten minutes to the trip but no big deal...Happy Easter everyone.
Being Easter we were remembering that there was a huge statue of Jesus (at least I think it is meant to be Jesus) at the roadside near Dayton and I got a picture of it.

I thought it was a little ironic that the statue of Jesus was right next to a huge flea market and you can see I caught the sign in this shot.

This is Dayton OH skyline.

We made it to Airstream Factory in Jackson Centre, OH at 5 pm EST and after setting up I made dinner of Joe Patti's Clam Chowder, and we reminisced about the beach a little and about the winter behind us. How quickly the time passes these days. We enjoyed the winter even though it was the coldest Florida has had in recent history.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Columbia, SC to Chattanooga TN - April 2nd

Oriented for Chattanooga...Good Friday Traffic....
Heavy in both directions...
Rest stop...
One of these wheels is not like the other...

The Story Unfolds...

Some of you may wonder why we stay at Flying J's when they do not all give you the same sense of security. Well, the answer is simple, the Flying J's are all just off the Interstates, they have RV lanes where it is easy to fuel up, lanes to park the rig in and grassy areas (at least in the East) to walk the dogs...oh and they have WIFI that usually works well!
Yesterday while Richard was on the mission to get a new tire and I found myself at the Flying J without the truck attached (read the post) and I met 'Brad Pitt', I can tell you that my mission was to find a campground to move to if Richard felt uneasy too. The one I found was called Barnyard Campground...okay, I know that doesn't conjure up very good images but their web site looked nice, they were located right behind the Barnyard Flea Market (not that that is good when you only have 287 square feet to live in you tend to not buy much stuff!). When I called them they were full! Where did I put my KOA (Kampgrounds of America) guide again? I must find that quick! we don't usually like Wallmarts but it worked out okay and soon we were on the Interstate 20 again headed for Atlanta and then North West to Chattanooga on I 75.

Once I found the KOA guide we stopped for the day (day 2) at around 4 pm at the Chattanooga South KOA. It was hilly, noisy from the Interstate behind us, and the sites were uneven gravel. We changed sites and found one that seemed okay but the place was mainly gravel and Reggie the Pekingese we travel with did not like the feel of it on his paws... At ten pm Richard said to me "come out and see this" ..I thought the moon might have been up but he was showing me that I 75 northbound was blocked, at a standstill, and it was like that at 3 am when he walked Rudy. What a mess! Glad we never drive in the dark...

We debated staying on I 75 all the way to Ohio and the exit for the Airstream Plant, and passing though Knoxville rather than Nashville but in the end we opted for I 24 to Nashville. Day three would be Chattanooga to Bowling Green Kentucky (4 hr drive).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Myrtle Beach to Columbia, SC

We woke up at the Wallmart in a nice neighbourhood to start our second day of travels.

This is the front view at the Flying J without the truck hitched up...never thought I would see that!
This is the motel with the drive up window that we parked in front of to wait for the help from the CAA. It was noon, hot and a little remote ...

The Story Goes...
Chapter 1 saw Richard and I heading to Birmingham, AL from Perdido Key, FL in early March and then east to take a coastal route home originally. That changed and we enjoyed a restful time in Myrtle Beach for three weeks. The rain in the east meant we moved west again for the trip back. April fool's day we set out, bound for home again. With Airebella readied for the trip, the pets all safely placed for travel, we only got an hour along Route 501 towards I 95 (and then I 20 W) when a pick-up truck driver pulled up next to us and at 60 mph going down the highway he gave us the bad news that we had a flat, middle left tire on Airstream. Too bad!
We pulled over, assessed the damage to the tire and tried to figure out exactly how we would describe where we were when we called for help. Note to self, do that before you dial the number.... Well let me sing the praises of the CAA who answered our call right away and came out within 30 minutes to put on the spare...We also tried Good Sam because we have their "Platinum" service and I was put on hold for 15 minutes...soooo the Platinum is really Tin!!! We were pulled over just east of Florence by a Motel drive through window...I know how that sounds and it was really a little weird but the lady running the motel said it was okay for us to park there. I expect she wasn't hopeful for customers, at least not this early in the day.

Once we were on the road again we needed to get a new spare and ended up doing that from the Flying J in Columbia, South Carolina. Okay, I have sung the praises of Flying J before and they are a port in the storm for sure. But the fact is, this one said they had tire service but the best you could get was a little air for a good tire. Then, they sent Richard to a dump of a tire shop that would have charged him $180 US to drive the half mile over to see us at the Flying J.
Richard had to unhitch, leave me in the Airstream with the pets and the weirdos wandering around while he set out. He eventually found a Wallmart (!!!) that had exactly the right tire, with the heavy rating for RV's and would replace it for us...i.e. put it on the rim....imagine that! Wallmart over a truck stop to fix an RV tire...well now I have heard everything...

So, as to my plight at the Flying J while there alone, it was at least 90 F, there was a guy wandering around that looked like Brad Pitt and he did a pass of the Airstream muttering " that's a sweet ride..." and " cool ". All I could think about was the movie Brad Pitt did in his early days called "Kalifornia" where he was a deranged killer on the road with three other losers, killing people at gas stops and hotels etc along the way. Okay, so I made sure the door to the Airstream was locked but that reduced the interior airflow so I used the fans running on battery to cool the place down when it got too hot. Later, this fellow approached Richard and while he didn't see the Brad Pitt resemblance, he did get an uneasy feeling about the surroundings.
Then, there was a fellow who was shouting at no-one in particular and running all around the parking lot sharing obscenities and chastising anyone he saw for imaginary infractions...nice...hmmm where could Richard be all this time???

Okay as for Richard, he was using the GPS to get to the Wallmart and darn if that little wonder of technology didn't take him to a closed down Wallmart in a really bad looking part of town...glad he had the maneuverability of the truck without the trailer!
We ended up moving at ten pm after a long and interesting day to the Wallmart for the night when Richard got back from his successful expedition to get a new spare. We had a restful night amongst 7 or 8 other rigs. The funny thing is, when I was doing the light check from the outside of the trailer as we hitched up at the Flying J, the "Brad Pitt" guy came out of an RV from, I am pretty sure it couldn't have been the real Brad...he has an Airstream 345 Motorhome. :-)