Time to fly the Rainbow Flag! Although we had to go up the mountain to the main Lodge to get phone and internet, we had a good time hanging out at the pool and meeting lots of men at this gay campground in northeast Tennessee. It wasn't a good weekend weather-wise, so we also took time to visit Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC.
We explored downtown Knoxville, had lunch and stopped by the alma mater of Ron's College friend, Joe, who did graduate work at The University of Tennessee. The campus was beautiful.
It was quickly evident why so many people have been in love with Asheville. We visited our friends Lyn and Alex. Lyn runs a successful real estate company, Bulldog Real Estate, and has acquired several properties that he's cleverly renovated including his own beautiful house. We were invited to a low country shrimp boil at a fellow (Naples, FL) realtor's amazing house. We had a great time with fun people and a fantastic meal.
This was a travel break stop over on our way to the Knoxville area of TN. Good, clean, nice RV park and the pool felt great after a day of travel.
If you're keeping up with our story, here we are for the Family Reunion and the reason we started our "Epic Adventure" three weeks early; to meet the newest member of our Family, Harrison. The weekend started with a "meet and drink" at Erica & Harold's house in Purcellville, VA Friday afternoon followed by dinner at Magnolia's At The Mill in town. By Saturday the rest of the gang had arrived. After breakfast and a trip by some to the Air and Space Museum in DC we gathered for more "meet and drink" followed by a cookout at E&H's homestead. The Kronick 'girls' (Myndi, Leeza and Jan) where old family friends and surprise guests. It was really great being with them again
The kids played on the slip and slide, trampoline, and ganged up on the elders with water balloons! Sunday morning we all regrouped at at our Motor Coach parked in Watermelon Park and went for a two hour float trip in tubes on the Shenandoah River before Mike & Ron did their "Trailer Trash Brunch" for all those worked-up appetites!
It was a great get together and we all left with great experiences and fond memories. Harrison was sheer baby delight. He's one of the most good natured, expressive and happy infants ever and his Sister, Scarlet, absolutely adores him. Here's is the link to a slide show featuring Harrison and our time together. Plenty more photos of the event are also posted by Kristin Seitz and Erica Tawney on Facebook.
We only planned to be here one day to visit Mike's college friend Gayle and her husband Carey, but felt so comfortable at Tanglewood Park and all it offered, we ended up staying 3 days! The park was the old estate of the R.J. Reynolds Family. Carey was a private jet pilot and used to work for R.J. Reynolds. He had a fascinating career with them and we enjoyed his work stories about all the famous people he met and the places he went.
We bicycled each day in the park and one misty morning we awoke and watched a deer and her three fawn frolicking in the field outside our coach.
Similar to Savannah, Charleston is a beautiful old city. We toured Historic Downtown and more particularly the Market Street area.
We utilize a lot of helpful apps on the road. One that's particularly useful and fun is TV FOOD MAPS which lists nearby restaurants that have been featured on numerous television shows. The first two we visited were the Glass Onion and Swig & Swine. Both were great.
Got to Savannah hoping to meet up with old neighbors from West Palm Beach Bruce and Jane, but a family emergency took them out of town. We're sorry we missed them. Had a great time touring the Historic Downtown and along the Riverfront. We had some great meals including Huey's a Riverfront landmark restaurant.
Red Gate Farm was a lovely place to stay. Many trails, farm animals, vintage barns and outbuildings and a nice pool. On certain mornings they allow guests to 'raid' the chicken coup for fresh eggs. They host weddings on the property and it's conveniently located just outside Savannah.
Our first stop was just up the road. Neither of us had ever been to Titusville and we were excited to visit the Kennedy Space Center.
Ron's father, Clifford, worked for Grumman Aerospace and specialized in 'Human Engineering' which later became known as 'Ergonomics'. One of his more interesting projects was working for NASA on the first LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) which was first launched on Apollo 11, January 22, 1968. It was very exciting to see the LEM and tour the facility.
We parked at Sunshine RV park and had some good seafood at the World Famous Dixie Crossroads restaurant.
Ron had some experience driving Greyhound-style buses as a part time job while he was in college and also did some RVing with his first wife, Nan, in the early seventies.
I didn't know it at the time, but he's been 'lobbying' me for this trip for some time now. A couple years before his planned retirement, we started going to RV shows just for fun. Yeah, right.
We saw just about every size, shape and company that makes them over time and finally decided on a size, make and model that would make sense for us. Around the same time, we sold the small commuter house we were living in and moved to a large modern house in Wilton Manors with the intent of only staying there a couple of years. While living there, we continued to hone in on our dream RV. Ron retired January of 2015 and it was time for a full press court to make "our" RV dreams a reality.
We put together a plan with target dates, started downsizing, decided on the car we would tow and in January 2016, ordered a brand new Class A Thor Motor Coach.
Ron made friends with a representative from Thor and we were able to customize (to a point) our new home. The rep even went down to the factory floor and took pictures of our coach while on the assembly line.
We took delivery in early April and planned several shake-down trips to test and learn all the systems and get acclimated to our soon-to-be new reality.
Our first trip was a splurge and a treat. Late April we spent a week in the Keys staying at one of the nicest and most popular RV resorts in the country, Bluewater Key Resort, at mile marker 14 on the overseas highway.
We did have some warranty issues and after serveral trips back to our dealer in Fort Myers, we were all systems go, confident and ready to hit the road. Originally, our departure date was August 1, but as we were making plane, hotel and car rental reservations for a late July Family reunion in Virginia, it occurred to us just to back up our date three weeks and take our new home.
So after purging a lot of unnecessary 'baggage', we packed most of our worldly belongings into a POD and a fraction into our new Challenger and hit the road.
We realize what a ballsy move this is, specially at our age. And leaving Family and friends is unnerving as well as being 'untethered' as full time RVers. But, while we still have relatively good health and the energy to do it, we're heading out to have an epic adventure across the country. Along the way we hope to visit many of you, our Family and friends.
This blog post is being written after having been on the road for seven weeks. Creating this website took a lot longer than anticipated due to circumstances beyond our control and we're playing catch up. Also, blogging (well) isn't as easy as one might think and we hope to get better at it over time.
It's our goal to have and provide a written record of our trip and hope our 'audience' enjoys following along. We also hope you will interact by commenting on our blog posts, suggesting places to go and making time to visit with us when we are near your neck of the woods.
We do have a rough idea and time schedule for our journey but we're told it's best to stay as flexible as possible (shit happens!). You'll find information about some of our stops that require advance reservations and planning on the 'Future Plans' page and the 'Travel Map' details where we've been to date. You can also watch 'Ian' give a video tour of a Coach almost exactly like ours.
So, get caught up on our travels to date and we look forward to staying in touch via this blog.
Mike & Ron
"Home is where we park it!"
Our RV Adventure
Here's a record of our travels as we explore the USA. Blog posts are listed by month in descending order.