FINALLY – Trip #1 (2017): Part 1

NOVEMBER 7, 2017

50 amp power cord

If you’ve been following this series of blog posts, you’ll remember that in It’s Getting Closer – Part 2 we left off with us being at RV General Store picking up our 5th Wheel after being in the shop for some repairs to the electrical system.  In short, it turned out that it was as simple fix . . . a new power cord and a new converter, that the old power cord fried, was all it needed.  This is the second one that has been replace because of a bad power cord.  The power cord had a burnt out the ground and it was unable to charge the batteries correctly.  So when we thought we were ‘plugged in’, we were not.  Thankfully, it wasn’t something worse!!  Just frustrating that it has kept us from being able to use our brand new 2016 Vilano 325RL for 5 months. . . until now!!!  We are FINALLY getting to take a real trip in our new baby!!

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In one of our trips back and forth from Amarillo, TX to Oklahoma City, OK to RV General Store, we decided to explore a State Park we kept seeing . . . Foss Lake State Park.  It is half way between Amarillo & Oklahoma City and we thought it might be a place we could stay to give the RV a good trial run.  Plus, we’d be close enough to RV General Store if we had any issues.   We LOVED it this State Park!!  There are several nice pull thru spots right on the lake and there are trees on most of them.  The only disappointment is there are no sewer connections at the sites but they do have a dump station.  Being new to this RVing thing, we’ll soon find out that is pretty much the case at most State Parks.

We picked up the RV and headed to Foss Lake State Park.  Once we got to the campground, we picked out our spot, #9, and then went up to the station to pay for our stay.  Our original plan was to stay 4 days.  However, with our one day delay at dealership, we could only stay 3 days.  The site we picked was booked on that fourth day.  We were okay with it because we really wanted to get back to Amarillo to pick up some more things before heading out to our next destination.  Each “trip” we’ve made, we have brought a few things.  We can’t really call them trips because they were full of issues and we ended up back at the dealership . . . so this was a REAL TRIP.   This trip to Foss Lake State Park was also to help us see what else we might need to load into or purchase for the RV since it was our first time to actually use the RV for any length of time over 1.5 days . . . that has been the time frame when all HELL would break loose!!

When we purchased our 2016 Vilano 324RL in May, we had planned on having to deal with HOT weather on our first trip(s).  This trip was so different . . . it was COLD! and WINDY!  Our first day there was spent inside the RV enjoying our beautiful views of the lake and just relaxing while we enjoyed finally getting to spend time in our new RV.  At first we just listened to music because we couldn’t figure out how to find TV Channels.  I had found them before at Fort Amarillo RV Park but for some reason I couldn’t figure it out here.  It was the second day before I finally figured out what to do.  OH . . . and we finally got to open up the nice bottle of Champagne that our realtor gave us when he sold our home to make this journey possible.

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I should be hanging out by the cozy fire, instead it’s via an electric heater.

Since this was our first trip to actually spend more than 1.5 days in the RV, we wanted to use this time to test out as many of the features and systems as we could.  Since it was so cold, the first thing we tried was the fireplace.  Guess what?  Yep, it didn’t work.  So we had to break out the small space heater that I threw in . . . just in case.  However, everything else seemed to work just fine.  It seems kind of silly to point out things like the TV, shower, the toilet, the stove, microwave/convection combo, refrigerator, furnace, water pump, black/grey tanks switches and the Maxx vents all worked.  Because the power cord fried two converters, we were surprised that nothing else got fried.  That we knew of at the time.  More about that later.  However, during this trip, those items didn’t hinder us from enjoying it.

Speaking of cold and heat . . . we were very impressed how ‘cozy’ we were in this Rig.  When we had a trailer before . . .  years and years and years ago, it was not insulated.  Knowing this is a recreational vehicle and not a home, we didn’t expect it to be so insulated. . . even tho it is advertised as being insulated for “full time living”.  It also helps that we have double pane windows as well as having the night shades to block even more cold air out.  So we were pleasantly surprised how comfortable we were in this colder weather.  We shall see how it holds up in the heat later on in the summer.

 

 

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Our second and third days were much better.  We got to walk around and explore the area.  It was kind of weird . . . when we first got there, we had two neighbors.  One left the second day and the other left on the third day.  So at one time, we were the only one in the campground.  In fact, the rangers (I think that’s what they were) drove by and when I stopped them to ask about a fishing license, one said “Did you run everyone off?”  LOL!!  I guess we did.

We never did get a fishing license because Walmart told us that Oklahoma no longer sold one day licenses.  Then when I talked to the ranger, he said they did.  By that time, it was too late to get one because we were leaving the next day.  However, next Spring, we will be back and will be doing some fishing.

 

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This was just the beginning of our “first trip” . . .

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .

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It’s Getting Closer; Part 2

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I know . . . it’s been a little over a month since my last . . . update.  I bet you thought I was going to say something else huh?

Well, a lot has happened in a month and it’s all . . . mostly . . . good news!  I hope you enjoy our journey on this “real” first maiden trip as I divide it into parts for easier reading at your leisure.  Enjoy!

 

Continuing from the previous post of our RVing saga,  we were in Dallas getting the truck fitted with a new computer system and cruise control and our stay in Carrollton, Tx was longer than we wanted it to be but pretty much how I expected it to be.  Instead of just a couple of days, we were there for about a week.  As I explained in my last post, we got a GREAT deal on a room at a Homewood Suites nearby the dealership.  And that they gave us a loaner to use while we were there.

The  Homewood Suites, as I mentioned in my previous post of our RVing saga, was an AWESOME place to stay.  It had a full kitchen, a separate bedroom w/TV, large bathroom and large closet.  The other amenities included an AWESOME hot breakfast every morning and a SUPER AWESOME Evening Social Mon thru Thurs. nights.  Each night was a themed . . . Cheese/Fruit, Octoberfest, build your own PHO and Nacho night that included a soup, salad, beer and wine . . . for FREE!!!  Oh . . . how could I forget . . . bottomless coffee, tea and lemon water at the front. As well as, all the freshly baked cookies you could eat!!!  Unfortunately, I ate way too many of them . . . they were soooo yummy!!!

The day after we got to Dallas, we met with some friends for lunch.  It was so great to get caught up since we haven’t seen each other in several years.  Then we pretty much hung around the hotel the rest of the week.  Why?  Well . . . to save money and we hate driving in this town!!  But we love Zoos and it’s been years since we’ve been to the Dallas Zoo . . . so we ventured out one day to check it out.  It was a beautiful day and it was cool enough that the animals were out and about.  We have NEVER been to a Zoo where the animals were so active.  We also grabbed lunch there too and got to see the lion family while we ate.  It was a great day!  Until we headed back to the hotel . . .

Dallas . . .didn’t disappoint, traffic wise!!!!  On the way back to the hotel, we had to get off the highway because my nerves were fraying due to the crazy traffic . . . not to mention the wreck that happened right behind us before getting off.

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I saw this on a car in Dallas and thought it was funny!! If you need this bumper sticker, you probably shouldn’t be driving!! Just sayin’ !!

We decided to take the slower back roads back to the hotel!!!!!  Just as we got onto the frontage road . . . which was also crazy busy . . .  we had to squeeze over . . .  not move over . . . SQUUEEEZZEEE over . . . to let an ambulance get by us.

Geeze Louise!!!

Once we got out of that traffic, I used the GPS to weave in/out of the side streets to get us back to the hotel.  Of course the GPS is telling me to get back towards the highway . . . NO WAY!!!

 

On Saturday, we picked up the truck and, even though the RV General Store service center wouldn’t have anyone we were dealing with working over the weekend, we headed to Oklahoma.  We wanted to be there when the doors opened on Monday . . . can you tell we’re excited to get our RV back and actually use it?  LOL!  We are so confident that we’ll be able to use the RV that we have the truck loaded with boxes that have items to be loaded into the RV to use on this first trip.

We found a hotel a little closer to the dealership in Norman, OK.  The Embassy Suites Hotel & Convention Center  which was beautiful but the rooms were not as nice as the Homewood Suites . . . it only had a microwave and mini refrigerator.  Having said that . . . the breakfast was better.  Not only did you have a buffet of items to choose from, they had ‘cook to order’ omelets!!  Their “Evening Reception” wasn’t any where near as good as the  Homewood Suites.  They only had cheese, fruit, hummus, chips and dip every night.  Nor did they have the bottomless coffee, tea and lemon water . . . and, the most sad part was . . . no cookies!!  However, it was pretty much a full bar service for 2 hrs . . . for FREE!!  Who doesn’t love FREE cocktails?

Our trip from Dallas to Oklahoma wasn’t without incident!!  We were about 15 miles from Norman and traffic came to a stand still!!  It took us about an hour to go that last 15 miles!!!  We never saw what happened but the traffic never got above 60 mph but mostly we were able to go about 50 mpg or less!! What is with us and wrecks???  It’s kind of scary . . . knowing that we’re going to be doing a lot of traveling once we get our RV back.  We just try not to think about . . . but it’s always in the back of both of our minds.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at RV General Store, the lady we’d been dealing with was out sick and nobody knew what was going on.  Apparently, she didn’t inform anyone that we were coming and the reception lady in the service center couldn’t believe that we didn’t have an appointment!!

We decided to get a hotel for another night.  Here we are supposed to be saving money by having an RV to travel and stay in, yet we are paying for hotels!!  NO BUENO!!!

We found an inexpensive hotel near by called the Candlewood Suites (no website to link to) in Moore, OK.   Even tho this one didn’t have all the ‘swanky’ amenities as the other two hotels we stayed at, this was a great place for a lot less money.  It is mainly ‘rented’ out to people who live there and this room was the last one they had for us.  That was all we needed.  It had some GREAT amenities for an inexpensive hotel thought.  For example . . . the guest laundry facilities are FREE!!!  Did you read that?  FREE!!!  AND they were nice ones too. We looked to do laundry at one of the other places we stayed at but it was like $2 per load.  We decided to wait until we got home.  That is, until we found this place. If you live there, you get weekly maid service, there is a really nice fitness center, however, no pool.  They have a convenience store that is open 24/7 and there is a nice propane BBQ grill under a gazebo with a table for guests to use.  The guy at the front desk was super friendly and helpful.

We hope that is our last hotel that we will have to stay in.  Because tomorrow we pick up the RV . . . hopefully, for the last time.

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .

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It’s Getting Closer

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When will the issues with this truck ever end??  It has been a crazy ride but I think we are getting closer to actually being able to take a trip before winter sets in.

During this time we’ve had the truck in the shop a couple of times for basically the same thing . . . a new transmission.  Well, we had a lot more work done on it but this woman has no idea what was done . . . just that everything should be . . . “should” being the operative word . . . should be brand new.  However, after a trip to take the RV back to Oklahoma City for the needed repairs, we had to put the truck back in the shop.  Why?  Well, initially, we were taking it in to get a ‘blinker light’ replaced.  As I was leaving the apartment complex the truck made a terrible ‘clunk’ sound.  Then I noticed that I was in 4th gear and when I’d try to put it into Drive, it dropped back to 4th gear.  I pulled over and hubby, who was following me, saw me and pulled over to see what was wrong.   I told him what happened and he said “Just go ahead and take it in to the mechanic and we’ll have him fix the bulb and see what else is going on.”  Almost 2 weeks later and a new ‘solenoid’ installed, we get the truck back.  Thankfully, it was covered by the warranty on the new transmission we had put it.

At the writing of this post, we are in Dallas getting the cruise control put in the truck.  This is something that we’ve been waiting to do since we purchased it in May 2017!!  On our way home from purchasing it, we realized that the cruise control didn’t work and we’ve been in contact with the dealer ever since to get it fixed.  However, with all the time the truck and RV have been at their respective shops we haven’t been able to make it back to Dallas to get it done.

We got to Dallas on Sunday and dropped the truck off at the shop on Monday.  They were able to get a loaner vehicle for us to use.  It was funny because they didn’t realize that we were going to stay here while they worked on the truck.  At first, they weren’t going to give us a loaner because they’d have to take their ‘inventory’ offline . . . they deal with mostly online sales  . . . which is how we found the truck we bought from them.  Then when they found out we were staying in Dallas, they found an SUV for us to use.

The auto dealer did their own diagnosis on the truck, tried one fix that didn’t work and ended up putting a new computer system in the truck yesterday.  Now they are waiting on a company to come program it.  Again, we are waiting.

When we made hotel arrangements before coming here, we were unsure of how long it would take them but assumed that we would be here until Thursday and then head to OKC to get the RV.  Well, it’s Friday and we are still here. Which means we’ve extended our hotel stay.   Even tho we are paying for a hotel for a week, we are saving lots of money on food.  This hotel not only has a great breakfast in the morning but they have a themed ‘Social Hour’ in the evening.  We have had Oktoberfest night, make your own Pho night, Nacho night and Cheese & Fruit night.  Each night has a make your own salad, freshly baked cookies, beer, wine, lemonade, tea and coffee.  So far, not including the cost of the room, we have only spend $50!!  That includes going the the Dallas Zoo, lunch at the Zoo and a small trip to Walmart for some drinks and snacks for the room.

Speaking of the Zoo . . . we had a great afternoon there.  When we travel, we try to go see the local Zoo because we both love animals!!  Yet when we go, we never really get to see many animals being very active.  Mainly because we go in the summer time when we would take our vacations and it was just too hot and the animals were hot and just laid around.  This time they were ALL active!!  It was awesome!!

The drive to the Zoo wasn’t bad . . . remember, we are in Dallas!!!!  The drive back to the hotel was AWFUL!!!  We were on the highway and it was 5 o’clock traffic . . . well, it was actually only about 4:15pm!!!!  At one point, we had to come to a pretty quick stop and we heard screeching of tires and then a crash behind us!!!  I never saw the wreck but I saw a truck & car pull off the road beside us.  I quickly got off the highway and took the back roads back to the hotel!!  We will continue to stay off the highways while here in Dallas . . . they are just too dangerous!!!  On the plus side . . . when we came into Dallas, all the construction that was going on in this area when we were here in May was completed.  Thank GOODNESS!!!!

Our next hurdle is to get the Vilano back.  After we get done here, we have made reservations in Norman, Ok, which is near the RV Dealership, to stay a couple of nights while we go check out the repairs on the Vilano.  If all goes well, the repairs will be completed and acceptable and we can head to Foss State Park, between Clinton & Elk City, OK, to spend our first week in the Vilano.  Hopefully we will be able to check out all the other features of the RV that we haven’t been able to try.  This will also give us a chance to take inventory and access what else we might need to load into the RV from home, or what we may need to purchase, before our next trip.  If everything works, we’ll head back to Amarillo for a night to get those additional items and then head to New Mexico for a couple of weeks where we hope to spend Thanksgiving with our family.

I’m hoping that my next post will be from Foss State Park next week.  Until then . . .

Stay tuned for more excitement to come from “The Ole Rooster and his Hen” . . .

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Are you following our new adventure?

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Well, it’s been a crazy month or two!!!  We’ve sold the house, had the “estate sale”, donated, handed down all of our belongings, moved to an apartment and will do the final closing tomorrow!!  WHEW!!

If you have been following us, then I hope you will keep following our journey as we transition to living full time in a 5th wheel and travel the country.  I have decided to use this platform, instead of directly to Facebook (these blog posts will link to FB), to keep everyone updated on our adventures.

I still have to get this apartment unboxed and organized before we can seriously start looking for the perfect 5th Wheel and truck.  We will be one step closer tomorrow when we close on the house to start looking.

While we are sad to leave our old life, house and family, this is a VERY exciting time for us and a MUCH deserved time for Ted to become stress free as he goes into his retirment years.  He has been working harder than anyone I know for about 50 years and it is time for him to have some fun!! And for us to become a couple again instead of strangers in the same house.

I hope you will enjoy following us as we begin this journey.  Be sure to subscribe to this blog so that you will get emails when we update it.

Stay tuned for much more to come from the ‘ole Rooster and his hen” !

Ole Rooster and his hen

Welcome to 2017!!!

Happy New Year 5 days late!  The above picture sums up our New Years Eve because we celebrated it and Xmas at the same time this year.  Our daughter Krystal, her husband Jon Nite (song writer), our grand daughter Ashley (singer/songwriter) and our grand son Carter came in from Nashville to spend Xmas with us.  However, with their busy touring, writing and school schedules, it had to be on New Years Eve.  That was fine with us because we got to see them for the first time in a long time for Xmas.  Normally we celebrate it with them in Nashville over the Thanksgiving holiday.

They even performed at Tascosa Golf Club one evening for the club members.  Our son Derek works there and sets all this up for the members.  They really enjoy hearing Jon perform his hit songs, learning what inspired the songs and also they get to hear his wife and daughter sing too.  As do we . . . we don’t get to hear our daughter sing unless she does it at one of these events . . . that are VERY FAR and FEW between.  We miss hearing her beautiful voice.

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Our daughter and her family along with her High School Choir Director, Mr Talley and her voice coach, Paige Brown.   R to L:  Paige Brown (Voice Coach), Ashley Nite (Founder of the band REIGN, singer, songwriter), Jon Nite (Top song writer in Nashville), Krystal Nite (daughter, wife, mother, singer – even tho she won’t admit it and Jill of All Trades), Mr Billy Talley (Tascosa Choir Director)

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https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkaren.ohnleiterwhitney%2Fvideos%2F10207899032258083%2F&show_text=0&width=400” target=”_blank”>CLICK HERE . . . to hear our daughter sing “Strip it Down” with Jon Nite.  Co-written by Jon Nite and cut by Luke Bryan.

Some of Jons #1 hit songs are:  2013 #1 – Keith Urban & Miranda Lambert, We Were Us; 2014 #1 – David Nail, Whatever She’s Got; 2014 #1 – Jake Owen, Beachin’; 2014 #1 – Dierks Bently, Tip it on Back; 2015 #1 – A Thousand Horses, Smoke; 2016 #1 – Keith Urban, Break on Me.
Other hits you might know:  Kenny Chesney – Noise; Chase Rice – Whisper; Darius Rucker – If I Told You; Dallas Smith – Wasting Gas; Chase Rice – Gunna Wanna; Glorianna – Trouble and lots more!!!

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkaren.ohnleiterwhitney%2Fvideos%2F10207898952416087%2F&show_text=0&width=400” target=”_blank”>aj-singing

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkaren.ohnleiterwhitney%2Fvideos%2F10207898952416087%2F&show_text=0&width=400“>CLICK HERE . . . to hear our grand daughter sing “Glass” with her dad. Co-written by Jon Nite and cut by Thompson Square.

Ashley is the founder of the band REIGN.  They perform all around the Nashville, Franklin & Murfeesburo, TN areas.  They may be branding out to some near by colleges in the near future.  Go find them HERE on Facebook.

 

Christmas/New Years Celebration

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So 2017 has already been very busy for me and it’s only day 5 of the new year. We had NYE/Xmas with the family, had lunch at Malcolms (our daughters “must visit” place when she comes home), drove down to #PaloDuroCanyon and then just hung out with the family.

Watching the Boys & ‘Girls’

After our daughter and her family left, I spent 3 days at my sons house babysitting the grand kids, the house and their ‘girls’ (dogs) so he and his wife could join his sister and family in Santa Fe to do some skiing. When the kids went to bed, Nana got to relax by working on her Xmas present . . . a planner . . . with her new colored pencils.

Goodbye Christmas!

The rest of this week will be spent taking down the Xmas decor.  NOT my favorite thing to do . . . however, it must be done.  As I am putting all of it away, I will be doing some thinning out of my collection .   It means you have way too much stuff when you don’t even put it all out.  So “thinning” it will be.

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Hello 2017!!

The next thing on my agenda for the first month of 2017 is to work on my 2017 goals for my Avon & SendOutCard businesses.  I did not make any of my 2016 goals for either business s0 2017 will mean working harder to make sure I reach them this year.  Oh . . . and in the process, I will need to start working on my taxes . . . that is such a nasty word to me.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I put this off until the VERY LAST minute.  But I am really going to try and get it done on time this year.  I wouldn’t hold my breath though because I think I have said that for the last 2 yrs and it just hasn’t happened.
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Changes Happening

The next thing on the agenda for 2017 is a secret.  The only thing I will say here is that hubby and I will be working on some great & exciting things for the new year and we are pretty excited about it. The changes will have some challenges we’ll have to deal with but we are so ready to see what they will be and how we will handle them as they pop up along the way.  So stay tuned . . .

Happy New Year!!

31525_20131223_132506_newyear27It is my hope that you will also have great things happen for you in 2017, that you will have all the happiness, prosperity, good health and most of all, lots of fun in 2017!!!!

Happy New Year and thanks for following my blog.

Stay tuned for all the greatness

I will be sharing with you in 2017!!!  

It will be EXCITING!!!!stay-tuned