Georgia, Home Away From Home

Perry, Georgia Take Two – FMCA International Rally

After we returned home from our long winter trip we knew we definitely had a problem with the coach so we called Howard RV in Wilmington. Because of a local RV show they were involved in they could not take our RV in until Tuesday, March 6. Since we had to be there at 8:00 that morning we elected to take it in on Monday. We explained the problems and told them that we had a scheduled trip and would like to have the RV back by Friday, March 9. We also said that if it worked out fine but if it didn’t that would be OK. I had called FMCA earlier to ask what I needed to do if we had to cancel. I discovered that I had until the day before the rally started to cancel our registration and get a full refund so that lessened the stress of making an immediate decision.

I cannot say enough good things about Howard RV. They apparently started to work immediately on our coach and within hours were calling Jerry to give him updates. When your coach is in the shop communication is so very important but there are so many dealerships that fail in that area. Howard RV is a shining example of good communication as they go above and beyond the norm. Although we had a hefty bill (had to buy a new inverter) Howard had our coach ready for pickup Friday afternoon. Finally we knew we were going to be able to go to Perry.

The next question – when were we going to leave. We had planned to leave on Sunday arriving at the Georgina National Fairgrounds on Monday. We had a meeting to attend on Tuesday at 4:30 but nothing else pressing enough to get us there earlier. If we arrived on Monday we would be in the holding area with no hookups so we decided to postpone our leaving until Monday morning.

Except for the last minute things had everything packed and ready to go by Sunday night. I had trouble going to sleep so Jerry moved to another bedroom to sleep. On Monday morning I woke up early and as I sat in the den doing my devotions, etc. I wondered why Jerry was sleeping so late. I just assumed he had had a bad night so I didn’t wake him. When he finally walked out he said he had awakened and wondered why I was up so early but then suddenly realized that there was one clock in the house that he had not reset to the new DST! Yep, the one in the guest room. So we left a bit later than anticipated.

We had no reservations because we really didn’t know how far we would drive. That’s becoming a usual situation for us and so far it has worked. After using Mapquest and projecting arrival times in various cities I called Heritage RV in Augusta and although their one pull through was taken they had one space left so we made the reservation. The manager remarked that there must be something going on in Perry, Georgia because he had a lot of people heading that way!

When we arrived there was a North Carolina coach pulling in right in front of us and as we parked I realized they were parked across from us. After we got set up we walked over to introduce ourselves. We visited briefly with Rougement residents, Travis and Linda and then returned to the RV for the rest of the evening. I had put beef stew in the crock pot at lunch so we had a nice dinner waiting for us and with some peas and rolls we had our last “good” dinner.

Up and out early Tuesday morning and on the way to Perry. Of course due to the freezing temps the car windshield was again frosted over so with my head hanging out of the window I carefully navigated the car behind the RV. Since we have a garage at home we’ve never had to worry about frosted windshields before but now we may need to invest in a covering for the windshield. Driving with my head out of the window on really cold mornings is must not fun! Just before we got to Perry we saw a Pilot gas station advertising “RV Friendly”. Wrong! They do not have an RV lane and the pump access is rather small. It took us about 20 minutes to get to a pump, much longer than it took us to pump the gas!

Can you imagine the logistics involved in parking 2900+ coaches?
We got to the fairgrounds a little after 11:00 and joined the line of coaches waiting to be parked. About 30 minutes later they led us to our spot in Lot B, Street 17. We found out a short time later that Travis and Linda were just a few coaches from us, Lot B, Street 19.

Jerry and I attended the Mentor’s meeting Tuesday afternoon and met up with Jan and Jim, our friends from Marietta, Ga. We decided to join them for dinner that night at Georgia Bob’s Barbecue. Well, actually that was our third choice as the other two restaurants on the list were either full or had an hour waiting list. We ran into Rick and Sandi, a Carolina Guroos couple and asked them to join us. We’d all meet at 6:00 at Georgia Bob’s. Jerry and I returned to the coach to get ready and ran into Travis and Linda and asked them to join us so off the four of us went to meet the other four. It took us a while to locate Georgia Bob’s and it was in an Exxon station! How surprised were we. We went in and got a table for eight and wondered why Jim and Jan who are never late weren’t there. About ten minutes after six Jan texted me and asked if we were coming. Yeah, we were there. Where were they? Oh, they were at the Georgia Bob’s in Perry while we were at the Georgia Bob’s in Warner Robbins so off we went to join them. We finally got there and eventually had a delightful dinner and great fellowship. I am so glad we got to spend time with Jan and Jim because we weren’t able to see them very much during the rest of the rally. By the way, Jan later told me if we were ever again meeting for dinner and we turned up at an Exxon station I could rest assured that I was in the wrong place!

Jerry and I both had meetings on Wednesday morning, his for training to be a seminar volunteer and mine, to volunteer in the FMCA store so we were up and walking around the grounds fairly early. The cold North Carolina weather had followed us to Georgia plus it was pretty windy so we weren’t outside very long.

On Thursday afternoon we were invited to a get together with the Peach State Travelers out of Georgia. Our friends, Jan and Jim encouraged us to join the group a couple of years ago so we did. Unfortunately due to distance we were only able to attend one rally so we decided not to renew our membership but we still love to see everyone. What a great group of people.

The rest of the week flew by with seminars, shopping at the vendor’s sites and meeting and making new friends. Perhaps one of the most informative sessions was about the FMCA benefits. The basic membership is filled with special perks for discounts but probably the most beneficial might be the Emergency Evacuation procedure if due to illness you are unable to continue your trip. Not only will FMCA assist in getting you home but will also get the coach home. This also included children under 18 traveling along plus a dog or cat. That in itself is more than worth the membership fee. Hopefully we will never have to use that benefit but it is reassuring to have it.

On Saturday evening we attended a Newmar Kountry Klub cookout sponsored by National Indoor RV where we enjoyed a good meal, some good entertainment and visited with folks we had met last year on our Williamsburg trip. As they say, a good time was had by all!

We topped off a great week on Sunday night by a performance by Jeanne Roberson. Before the show I got to go up and have my picture taken with her and when she realized I was from Kinston she asked about a mutual friend. Small world. It is so reassuring to listen to a comedic speaker who had everyone laughing until the tears rolled but who never used any profanity or off color jokes. Good clean humor – it is out there folks.

We didn’t rush Monday morning so didn’t leave until nearly 9:30 headed home. Again, we had no plans so I kept guesstimating how far we could drive. We finally decided on South of the Border at Pecos Campground. I called and apparently got the last pull through for the night. Having visited South of the Border briefly many years ago and still continuing to see the many signs that dot Interstate 95 I was a bit dubious of Pecos Campground but the ratings were good and I trusted them. Much to my surprise it is a delightful campground. After we set up we chatted with the fellow next door, a snow birder heading from Florida back to Maine. Then Jerry and I walked around the park and then over to the shops at South of the Border. I really didn’t want anything with Myrtle Beach written on it! Back to the coach and a very quiet night.

We didn’t get up until after 8:00 Tuesday morning and then we had to pull everything together for storing the RV for a while as no trips were planned at this time. I had washed three loads of clothes yesterday so all we had left were sheets and towels which could be done at home. Finally a bit after 10:00 we pulled out. Although we had a thunder storm and heavy rain during the night there was no rain this morning so Jerry was able to empty the tanks with no problems. I was a bit startled though when Jerry pointed out the Welcome mat at the steps. It was covered, literally covered in yellow pollen. Oh joy, allergy season here we come.

Since we have been having trouble with the braking lights we decided to stop by Campers Inn on the way home. To make a long story short, they could not determine the problem so we made an appointment to return and headed on home.

It was a great trip. We saw old friends and made new friends. FMCA is all about learning and teaching but it is also all about making life-long friends. Now, the question is do we make plans to attend the International Rally in Gillette, Wyoming in July? Um…

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Home Away From Home, North Carolina

Fun at an FMCA Chapter Rally

In July Jerry and I were in Indianapolis at the FMCA National Rally where we met a lovely couple from North Carolina. Since they were parked right behind us we ran into them frequently which led to evening visits and an enjoyable way to wind down after our busy days. They shared their involvement with one of the North Carolina chapters, the Carolina Guroos. After we got home we got an e-mail from the chapter president asking us if we were interested in joining and or attending a rally. We immediately decided to join and to attend the October rally in Waynesville, NC.

We arrived on Wednesday at Creekwood Campground and after setting up began to immediately meet members of the Carolina Guroos. After a short afternoon of visiting seven of us went out to eat at Maggie’s Galley. I had rainbow trout which was delicious but of course Jerry had to try something a bit different. He had gator tail. He thought it would be a large piece of gator but instead it resembled the gator bites we’d had several years ago. Actually it looked like fried oysters to me but he said they were good.

Thursday was another afternoon of visiting with everyone trying to escape the warm sun and sit in the shade. Jerry finally got out our NC State tent and we spent the afternoon there. People came and went bringing chairs and sometimes beverages with them. It was a great afternoon.

Thursday evening we all gathered at the meeting room for barbecue and then games. Our game that night was Left, Right and Center. It was a fun game.

Friday morning we made our one trip out of the campground to go to the grocery store. Jerry had heard from one of the other members about a wood distributor close to the campground. That definitely peaked his interest so after the grocery store run we headed to Oak Unlimited. Jerry went in to talk with the owner to see what they had available for sale. They had ends for $2.00 a piece so Jerry decided to get five. When the fellow asked Jerry what kind of wood work he did Jerry brought him out to the car to see the walking sticks we had been lugging around. The fellow asked if Jerry sold them and if so for how much. When Jerry responded $20 the guy’s response was “take 10 pieces of wood and give me a walking stick and we’ll call it even”. Needless to say that put a big smile on Jerry’s face.

Another afternoon of visiting and then everyone went out to eat at Rendevous Restaurant. Because it was leaf peeping season it was difficult to find a restaurant that would take a reservation for 20 people so our choices were limited.

A nice view for the afternoon or for an evening campfire
After we returned to the campground we joined the couple across from us at their campfire. Several couples sat out by the creekside in the cold (cold enough for me to have a blanket) and listened to jokes and I’m quite sure a few “fish stories”. Every RVer has an interesting anecdote or experience to share. Around the campfire in the flickering light most are funny but some have a lesson behind them. For example, don’t go through a yellow caution light when towing your car behind your RV. The car will go through on the red light and yes, the camera will get a picture. Upon returning home you mayfind a ticket waiting in your mailbox! True story.

Saturday afternoon a couple of the guys were carving pumpkins for the pumpkin contest later in the evening. The ladies all joined to watch our president show us how to tie dye a small pumpkin with nail polish. That was very simple with a lovely outcome. Definitely something to try with the grands! Update: I tried it the next week with the grands – colossal fail!

Instead of going out to dinner Saturday night we all gathered in the meeting room for pizza and salad. After that we played Five Seconds. Dividing up into teams of two, men against women we were asked a question that had 3 answers and 5 seconds to answer. There was so much laughter that at times it was difficult to even hear the answers!

Saturday evening concluded with another campfire. It was a little warmer so no blanket was necessary.

The rally concluded Sunday morning with biscuits from Bojangles and a devotion by Sandy who along with her husband Rick was the wagon master for the week-end. They did a great job, one usually done by two couples and set the bar high for the next week-end rally. The Christmas party will be lunch in Clemmons in December and then Florida in February. We are planning to attend the lunch in Clemmons but will have to see if Florida works in our plans.

Carolina Guroos Week-end
After a fun filled week-end with great people I can truthfully say joining Carolina Guroos was one of our better decisions. I have often described us as “travelers” rather than “campers” but this week-end we were campers! Traveling and touring as we do means we often leave the campground early in the morning and return late in the afternoon collapsing from fatigue. That doesn’t give much time to enjoy the camaraderie of the other travelers/campers in the campground so this was an even more special time. The only time we left the campground was to go to the grocery store and a short stop at Oak Unlimited. Otherwise we slept in, had lazy mornings and evening campfires, played fun games filled with laughter with new friends and did a lot of visiting. Can’t wait to get together again! Now on our way to Williamsburg for the Newmar Kountry Klub Region 5 Rally!

Home Away From Home

Sauder Village, Ohio

Up and out at 6:00 again. Doug, the technician told us that it was a five hour job so we knew we wouldn’t be leaving Nappanee today. We headed over to the lounge along with the other displaced RVer’s, drank our coffee and chatted for a while. Finally about 7:30 it had begun to rain and Jerry suggested we go to a nearby restaurant, the Dutch Restaurant for breakfast. It was very good but I definitely got my week’s worth of salt.

I looked up the weather in Archbold, home of Sauder Village (where we were supposed to spend last night) and the weather was good. Since the forecast for Nappanee was all day rain we decided to go to Archbold despite it being 100 miles away. We didn’t have anything else to do or anywhere else to go and we didn’t want to spend the day in the lounge.

We started out in moderate rain and it kept up for about an hour but gradually began to clear as we got closer to Ohio. I nearly missed the “Welcome to Ohio” sign but hopefully I can get another tomorrow as we head to Port Clinton.

We arrived at Sauder Village a little after 11:00 and went directly to the Welcome Center. We wandered around there for just a bit plus roamed around the gift shop. I saw a magnet I wanted but decided to wait until later to buy it.

We bought our tickets and headed on out to view “Ohio’s Largest Living History Destination”. The village consists of 40 buildings and they were numbered so we just followed the path. Each shop had a volunteer who could tell us a bit of history about the shop and the surrounding area. Sauder Village is actually located in the Black Swamp. It was the last part of Ohio to be developed and when the people moved to the area they had to dig trenches around their homes so the swamp waters could recede. This was a continuous process until they had enough land to live on and farm. Some of the shops included a tinsmith’s shop, a barber shop, a basket shop, a cabinet shop, a spinning shop and an herb shop. There were also two schools and a couple of churches. After we had visited about half of them we decided it was way past lunch. Jerry wanted to try the Barn where they had a buffet until 2:00. It was 1:50 so we hustled over there. After the disappointing buffet we had on Sunday I was reluctant to try the buffet so I had the salad bar which was very good. Again we were served rolls with apple butter. They were really good. Jerry said his meal was the best meal he’d gotten in a restaurant on the entire trip. I sampled some of his and it was very good. He even asked the very nice waitress for the recipe for one of the desserts. She didn’t give it to him but did tell him how he might be able to make a diabetic version of it.

Relaxing by the Grist Mill
We went back to the village and continued to wander around. We ended up at the Grist Mill where we sat on a bench and enjoyed the cool breeze and shade. Since we had just finished lunch we passed by the ice cream shop even though they had some sugar free ice cream. After visiting the toy shop we decided that it was about time to head back to Newmar.

During the afternoon we got a call from the service technician saying our RV was ready. Since we were over two hours away we couldn’t get back today but told him we’d be ready to check out at 8:00 tomorrow morning. Since we will only have the afternoon in Port Clinton we want to get an early start. Hoping for pretty weather.

We got back to the campground a little after 5:00, got everything set up again and then stood outside talking to our neighbor Don who owns a Bay Star. Interestingly enough he is from Concord, North Carolina. It’s amazing how we have parked twice next to neighbors from North Carolina and when we were on the tour at Notre Dame there were people from North Carolina on the tour and to top it off, they were NC State fans! Again, small world. We talked to Don until it just got too hot to stay outside. Since he and his wife had only been RVing since October we offered what little knowledge we had gained in three years.

We had decided that since we had such a nice lunch we wouldn’t have a big dinner so when we came in we just got on the sofa and started reading. A knock on the door and it was Don. We had suggested that they might like visiting Sauder Village but he had forgotten where it was. This time he was armed with his notepad and wrote down some of our suggestions.

Probably our first suggestion to any new RVer is to to join FMCA. The benefits are well worth the minimal cost. We also recommend getting the America the Beautiful pass to the national parks. Right now it is $10 but is going up to $80 August 29, still an amazing deal at that. Oh, you have to be over 62 years of age. With the pass you get access to all of the national parks plus access to all Corps of Engineer parks at half price which is usually about $11 and so far every place we have ever been has been beautiful. Of course by joining Passport you can get half off of your site but you need to do your homework and look at the reviews before you choose one. We have stayed in several and broken even with our $40 yearly fee and only once have we elected not to stay at one because of its appearance. With Good Sam’s you get a 10% discount each night which isn’t much but it adds up so you can quickly get your $25 yearly fee. We forgot to tell Don about KOA but it too offers a discount for each night. KOA generally has a lot that we are not interested in, i.e. playgrounds, etc but you can usually rest assured that you are staying in a nice clean and safe place.

It felt good going to bed knowing we didn’t have to be up at 5:00 in the morning although we did plan to leave as early as possible. Doug had called and scheduled check out for 8:00 so we hope to be on the road to Port Clinton, Ohio well before 9:00.

Indiana

Last Day in Indianapolis

Since I had to be at the FMCA store by 8:45 we had to move a little faster this morning. We have been taking showers one right after the other this week so the water would remain hot and we would hopefully use less water but this morning Jerry told me to go on and shower. He planned to pull the outside rug and try to get it dry enough to put up. Since we will be pulling out early tomorrow he wanted to get as much done as possible today.

There were three of us working the store plus the volunteer coordinator who stayed pretty close. They didn’t anticipate much business as it was the last day but we stayed pretty busy. At 11:00 they announced $5 off if you bought three sale items so even more people came in. The time went by quickly but I was really tired after standing and walking around that small space for four hours.

When I got back to the coach we decided to go out to lunch as we had nothing in the coach to eat. We tried to find a new restaurant and we did but despite the reviews saying to ignore the sketchy neighborhood we decided it was a little too rough for us so we headed right back to Moe and Johnny’s. I got one of their delicious house salads again along with wings and Jerry got a club sandwich. It was all good!

When we returned to the fairgrounds we folded up a very dirty rug and Jerry put it up. Then he wanted to put the bikes on the rack but before he could do that we had to go BACK to the vendors building to determine if he had the correct sprayer for the oil he needed to use on the bikes. As tired as I was I went with him. God bless the man on the golf cart who offered us a ride. I told him he was my new best friend! Jerry did have the right nozzle. He also took the tray to my chair over to the folks selling super duper glue and they glued it together for him. I don’t think it’ll hold though if we put anything heavy on it, like my Yeti tea glass.

When we got back we put the bikes on the rack and then ended up walking over to talk with Larry and Debra, our back door neighbors from High Point. We have really enjoyed visiting with them this week. They have asked us to join their FMCA chapter and to join them in West Virginia in October for the Eastern area meeting. Both Jerry and I were interested in attending but after I looked up the dates and realized that State is playing Louisville on that Thursday night I knew there was no chance we’d be going. They also asked us to join them on a caravan trip to Alaska. It’s a 62 day trip next summer. There’s no way either of us could be away from home that long although I will agree that it’s a grand way to see Alaska.

Suddenly it was after 7:00 and we needed to head over to the auditorium for the entertainment. Tonight it was Cirque de Poloosa. It was good but I was so tired I could hardly enjoy it. In addition, I got several texts from my sweet Eva so my attention was very divided.

A long walk back to the coach and bedtime for me!

Home Away From Home, Indiana

More FMCA

Jerry started off his day by going to the Beanbag Toss and I went to the “Introduction to FMCA University” seminar. This fairground is so very large and I had to hike quite a distance to get there. I later found out that I could access those buildings by going through another tunnel but it’s still a walk. No doubt about it, I got my FitBit steps in this week!

The seminar was good as it talked about a new online learning tool on the FMCA site. They are putting selected articles from the FMCA magazines online. By using a search tool various topics can be easily located.

In the afternoon we got a call from our realtor informing us that the house inspection had been done and we would have to have significant work done on the house before it could be sold. That knocked the socks off of both of us. After talking with the realtor several times I went on to the Devotion service but Jerry stayed in the coach. Afterward we had a pretty bad storm just as I was getting back so we ended up the evening staying in the coach.

Friday we got a late start. There were three seminars that I wanted to attend and wouldn’t you know – they were all at the same time and I missed all of them. After strolling through the vendors again I went to hear Mac the Fire Guy talk about fire and life safety in the motor home. Unfortunately the sound was not good. He sat down for the entire presentation, did not use a mic and used no audio visual aids. I finally left after about an hour and headed over to the devotions where I met Jerry.

Hook’s Drug Store
During a lull in the afternoon we decided to walk over to Hook’s Drug Store where the Hook’s Museum is located on the fairgrounds. The first ”Deutsche Apotheke “ was opened in 1900 by John Hook and was the first in a chain of drug stores. The museum was originally planned as a “temporary” 3 month exhibit by both Hook’s and the Indiana State Fair when it opened in 1966 however as a result of huge attendance and interest after it opened, Hook’s and the Fair re-considered the future of the exhibit and agreed to keep it open. Today it is opened during the fair and during special occasions. In addition to the interesting exhibits it has an authentic soda bar complete with ice cream and ice cream sodas. Unfortunately we had just had lunch so had to pass on all of the goodies.

After Devotions we quickly went back to the coach and ate a bowl of chili and then headed over to the auditorium to hear Pamela G and Jackie B. We had heard them in Perry and quite frankly I don’t think they have changed their act since then. They are very gifted musicians though and watching and listening to Jackie B. play the keyboard is a treat.

After we got back to the coach we walked over to our neighbors, Larry and Debra and sat outside and visited with them until I realized it was 10:30. I later told Jerry that it was a shame when your evening had to end at 10:30 so you could get to bed!

Home Away From Home, Indiana

First Day of FMCA

Mud, mud, mud! As Jerry was parking the motor home on Monday one the volunteers told me that I didn’t have to park the car too close to the coach as no one would be parking next to us and then he mumbled some reason that I couldn’t understand. Now, I know. It’s mud. We are parked in a mud hole. When we walk on our rug it just squishes and we know there is a sheet of water (and mud) beneath. Next to the rug is a huge mud puddle. It makes getting out of the door and to the street or to the car a bit difficult. Oh well!

My first seminar was entitled “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda” presented by Camco/Right Now Services. He had a lot of good tips on how to care for the coaches. Sometimes they were good tips and sometimes they were good tips accompanied by products that he sold in his booth. Since I had heard the same session in Perry most of it was not new to me.

Jerry and I met back at the coach for lunch and then headed over to the Vendors Building which opened at 1:00. Initially we just wandered down each aisle to see what was there. I was a bit disappointed with the number of vendors there as there were noticeably fewer than at Perry for the rally in 2016. The good news is that we didn’t buy as much this time!

Beginning tonight there was a 5:00 devotion service each day culminating on Saturday with a “church” service since it would not be possible to have church on Sunday. We drove over since we were going out to eat afterward. The service began with the Singing Auctioneer, Dane whom we had heard in Perry, Ga last year. He sings all of the old hymns that everyone knows so many of us sang along with him. Afterward our friend Jim whom we met at the Gathering a couple of years ago and who is now the FMCA chaplain preached on the Prodigal Son. He brought up such an interesting point talking about the servants whom the father trusted to take care of the details of the dinner. I had never thought of the servants before.

After the service about 20 of us went back to Moe and Johnny’s for dinner. Jerry and I ended up sitting at a table with a newly wed couple from Oregon. In fact they had just been married four days. Jerry and I both asked them who planned the honeymoon! They are attending as vendors. Both are Christians and she is a contemporary music singer. We enjoyed visiting with them and exchanging ideas.

Home Away From Home, Indiana

Rainy Day In Indianapolis

During the night I heard the rain pounding the top of the RV and knew we were settling in for a rainy, stormy day and I was right. The entire morning was either a light rain or a heavy rain along with one good storm with heavy thunder and lightning. I had planned to ride my bike and then take my shower but the rain had surely prevented that. By 11:00 there were only a few people, very few walking around but most of them seem to be repairmen of some kind. While at FMCA rallys there are a number of repairmen who will work on your rig right where it’s parked. Very convenient. Yesterday we saw an awning repairman that appeared to line up about five coaches to work however due to the rain I doubt they are out and about today.

Can you see the rain pouring through the rims of the tires?
We just sat around the coach for the morning as there was no going outside but since I had signed up to volunteer I had a training meeting at 2:00. I talked Jerry into driving me over to the building since I had no idea where it was located and didn’t want to wander around in the rain looking for it. The fairground is enormous and it will probably take me until Saturday to find my way around. Fortunately I had my Hunter boots with me so with my boots, a rain jacket and a rain coat I walked out the door and when I stepped off of the bottom step the water came up over my ankles, probably about four inches. Thank goodness for my boots.

Jerry took me over to the meeting which was brief and then picked me up when it was over. I will be working Saturday from 9:00 – 1:00 in the FMCA store. We won’t be handling any money, just helping people locate items.

When I got back to the coach I just laid on the sofa and read and then there was a knock on the door. A neighbor a couple of coaches down asked if we were going to the dinner for the Volunteers so we jumped up and went. By that time I was looking like I needed to spend some time getting presentable but there was no time so off we went with Steve and Nancy from Illinois. The dinner was a good buffet and the Frustrated Maestros entertained with real golden oldies while we ate. Afterward we went all went over to play card bingo. Neither Jerry nor I had ever even heard of it before much less ever played but it was quite simple. We didn’t win anything but it was fun.

By the time we got back to the coach it was after 9:00 and time to settle in for the night.

Home Away From Home, Indiana

Arriving in Indianapolis

Although we got up early it was just after 8:00 when we left headed for Indianapolis. We didn’t rush especially as we showered as we knew this would be the last long shower we would have for a week! Navy showers here we come! Fortunately, the sky is clear and it looks like a great day for traveling. I adjusted my GPS to the fastest route rather than shorter so for once both GPS’s are on the same route. The shortest route had us going through Ohio and the fastest (which by the way is 38 miles longer) has us going through Kentucky. We had an uneventful ride except for the crazies on the highway. Trying to dodge a girl in a white truck that was texting was a bit harrowing and we couldn’t seem to get away from her. We’d pass her and then she’d catch up and pass us. Only one of many nuts on the highway.

We arrived at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the FMCA Headquarters for the week around 3:00 after missing our exit. As we entered there were volunteers waiting for us to lead us to our parking place but first we had to unhook the toad. Again, thanks for four down instead of a tow dolly! For some reason the space next to us is not going to be filled so we have a lot of room among the already 1400+ coaches here!

Set up was quick since all Jerry had to do after we leveled was plug in the electric. Amazingly, although we’re on grass, leveling was good. Hope it stays that way. Because there is a lot of rain in the forecast we may sink some!

After we got settled I called Jim and Jan and they are only about four coaches away from us. In fact I can see their coach when sitting in my seat. Jim walked over and after a few minutes catching up we decided to have dinner together tonight.

Jerry had set up the outside with the rug and the chairs and we had put the awning out. It wasn’t too hot so we sat outside for a while. The wind picked up so we pulled in the awning though. Our neighbor, Larry, behind us is from High Point and he came over and visited with us and then his wife, Deborah came over. They are selling their house and downsizing when they move to Myrtle Beach. Going from 5000 square feet to 3000! Try 1600!

We met up with Jim and Jan and two other couples, Clint and his wife and another couple whose names I just can’t remember. Clint is head of Coaches for Christ. The other couple are Peach State Travelers and have just put everything in storage and are hitting the road full-time.

As we were all going on Trip Advisor trying to find a good restaurant we realized that the first one selected was only opened for breakfast and brunch so we started again. We ended up at Moe and Johnny’s which was fairly close by if you went the direct route which of course we didn’t. It didn’t take nearly as long to get back to the fairgrounds after dinner! Jerry got his regular pizza, a meat lover’s delight and wow, was it very full of meat! I got spicy mac and cheese with chicken and yes, it was spicy but it was good. Glad I got a salad to go along with it.

After we returned to the fairgrounds we sat outside for a while and then although pretty tired we decided to take a walk. By this time it was 9:00 but still light. Memories of Michigan. We walked around for a few minutes admiring the other coaches. Everywhere you look there are coaches but I haven’t seen two alike yet. To our left are the coaches with no power, just generators. That is too rough for me. Going without water and septic for a week is going to be a big enough stretch. Along the walk we ran into Jan and Jim and again and chatted with them along with their neighbors. That is a large part of what I like about RVing, meeting and visiting with old and new friends.

Home Away From Home

The Last Day of FMCA in Perry

What a great day. We got an early start again but this time it was to attend church on the fairgrounds. It was such a great service. The FMCA Chaplain, George Archer began the service with congregational singing with his wife playing the keyboard. They both did a grand job. Following that The Singing Auctioneer sang two beautiful songs and then Mr. Archer gave the sermon about what our purpose in life is. The scripture was from Ephesians 3. Two things he said stuck in my mind. One, “Keep me in Your Will Jesus so I won’t be in Your way” and two, “You are the glove that Jesus fits into.” What a way to end a great week.

Jerry and I had some shopping to do today so off we went to the exhibits. He bought a TPMS from TechnoRV. He had looked at other vendors but decided on buying from Eric mainly because of the support we have received on the Wi-Fi booster. When Jerry was at the Almost Heaven seminar they had thrown out a small rubber chicken and Jerry caught it. If he wore it all week he could get a free micro fiber drying towel. Well, he got some strange glances but he wore it the entire time so we went to pick that up. I bought four of the cleaning cloths and am hoping to use them tomorrow. Having the windows open with all of the pollen around means a cleaning job ahead. I wanted a couple of things from Tupperware so we headed over there to get those. While in that exhibition hall we relaxed in the massage chairs selling for about $3000.00. It would be nice if we could afford one because they were great!

While walking around Jerry saw a flag pole that he liked. He has been looking for one for a while but had not found one he liked until this one but we decided to pass on it.

We went back to the coach to get a quick lunch and then headed back to the fairgrounds. After having attended the session on the Velcro we wanted to get some of that. At $7 we thought we had a bargain.

I asked Jerry if he wanted the flag pole for his birthday gift. I’ve already gotten him a little something but was planning to get something else and this fit the bill. He said he thought that would be perfect so we went back over to the hall and bought that.

We were planning to attend the Eastern Region meeting for FMCA at 3:00 and we had plenty of time so we went back over to look at the new motor homes. We went in Entegras, American Tradition and Tiffin. While I saw floor plans that I liked maybe a little better than ours they were all diesel and unless I change my mind or win the lottery (which will be difficult having never bought a ticket) I will stick with our gas engine.

The meeting for the Eastern Region was interesting and we learned more about FMCA. They announced a rally that is going to be held in West Virginia in October the same week-end State has a home game against Notre Dame. What do you think our changes of attending the rally are? After the rally a guy from the Carolina Pelicans came over and told us about his group. Although it is basically a South Carolina group they do have some members from North Carolina. They were extremely friendly and even invited us over to a social at 5:00.

We came by to the RV and put on some warmer clothes (it’s a bit chilly in Georgia tonight – down to 39), grabbed a couple of chairs and something to drink and headed back out to the fairgrounds to the social. I think my car could drive that route automatically! What a nice group of people. We met many new friendly people, had a good meal and joined the group! It only cost $12. They will be sending us additional information. Some of the folks were leaving Perry and going to Hilton Head for the week. The next rally will be at St. James Island in Charleston, SC the first week-end in June. I asked Jerry if he wanted to go and he said it didn’t matter. Actually I think all of the sites are taken so there won’t be any room but I think it would be fun to go.

I have always heard that if you didn’t like the weather in North Carolina to just wait because it would change. Well, we found out that was true in Louisiana and guess what, it’s true in Georgia as well. Last week when we arrived it was HOT. We were trying to get set up and the air conditioner was not working and we were dying. Today was breezy and cool, cooler, and cold. I changed clothes three times dressing a little warmer each time. In fact we came back to the campground after the Carolina Pelicans social and got some coffee and then you’re right – we headed back to the fairgrounds to hear Pamela G and Jackie B., the Sweethearts of Mountain View, Arkansas.

They were absolutely fantastic singing different genres of music. At one point we even got up and danced to one of their songs. They ended with a set of gospel songs and then the last song was a tribute to the different branches of service with a finale of God Bless America. What a way to end a convention. Church in the morning and then these ladies at night.

It has been a great convention and as “first timers” we are surely hoping we’ll be able to attend more. Next year it will be in Indianapolis and then in 2018 back in Perry.

Home Away From Home

Another Busy Day in Perry at FMCA Reunion

Another early start as Jerry had the conclusion of his driving class. I decided to go to a seminar entitled “Women and RV’s”. I’m not quite sure what I expected but it wasn’t what I got although it turned out to be very interesting. The initial question was “what are you going to do when something happens to your spouse?” Wow – I hadn’t really thought about that. We’ve just been worried about getting home in case something happened to someone at home. The presenter Fran Marynik along with her husband Ed said they didn’t want women to be scrambling and having people take advantage of them in case something life changing did occur. Their main suggestion was to have a plan. Fortunately since everyone there was a member of FMCA we have the advantage of being able to call them and they will assist with arrangements even to get a driver to take you or you and/or your coach home.

She urged everyone to know the vital statistics of their coach: Make, model and year, Chassis, Engine and the length, width and weight of your coach. Additionally you should know who to call if you should experience any trouble with any of those items along with jacks, housing, transmission, etc.

An app that was recommended was glimpse which is a locator. It can send a link of a google map to others to let them know where you are. This is especially helpful to those traveling alone. Leaving a television on at night when you’re away makes it appear that someone is home and some even put men’s shoes outside the door to indicate there is a man at home.

We have heard many times this week about the things that should be regularly checked like air pressure in the tires, oil, water in the batteries, etc. Safe places to overnight in lieu of campgrounds are hospital parking lots and church parking lots. When parking do not park so that the door is next to the curb because that hides your entrance or exit from others who may be around and presents an opportunity for something to happen.

The next seminar was about cooking for two in an RV. The feisty 82 year Tupperware saleslady had numerous recipes and ideas and soldiered on despite a number of technical difficulties. I definitely will be trying some of her suggestions and the first one will be a quiche in the microwave.

I joined Jerry in the next seminar about using Velcro in the RV. This Velcro is high temp acrylic and can be used to hang pictures, secure hoses, secure things kept on the counter tops plus many other uses. After the initial application it has to cure for 24 hours before using. I suggested to Jerry that we could possibly use it to secure the Garmin that I use as it falls off of the counter quite frequently as we travel.

After the seminar we came back to the coach for a quick lunch and then back to the fairgrounds intending to look at the new Newmars. We saw a tram so Jerry suggested we get on. Well, the trams are for the people staying on the grounds so instead of going to the new coach section we rode around the camping area. There are about 2400 units out there! Amazing!

We talked with the representatives about the possibility of having lights added to our awning and how it could be done. Not sure if we’ll be purchasing them at this point as we are probably going to buy a TPMS and that will blow the budget for the trip! We also wandered through some of their new coaches and they are nice and then on our way to the next seminar we went in a Phaeton. Wow, just wow. Lesson learned here – if you are happy with your coach don’t go looking at new ones. I really am happy with our coach and I am not interested in a diesel.

Jerry went to a seminar on tires and I went to hear Mac the Fire Guy. The top four reasons for RV fires are diesel engines, Norcold refrigerators, wiring under the dash and tires. Gas coaches are the safest. He said that if you hit the rumble strip when driving you should always check your tires on your next stop to see if any damage has been done. He talked about fire extinguishers and CO alarms. He recommended the Atwood CO alarm and said to have the tallest person in the rig put the alarms at his level. It is safer to sleep in the bedroom with the door to the main part of the coach closed.

We drug our tired bodies back to the coach for a brief rest before heading back over for a get together with Jan, Jim and their group from the Atlanta area. We met two new couples and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them.
Before heading over to the concert we raced back to the motor home to put up the awning and the chairs as it looked like we might have a storm (we didn’t).

We finished up the night with a concert with Mark Chestnutt, Lori Morgan and Joe Diffie. Thought I don’t know much about country music I enjoyed the concert.

Back to the coach and ready for bed. Church in the morning at 8:00. Man, these 8:00 mornings are killing us!