Home, North Carolina, Tennessee

Goodbye Chattanooga

All good things must come to an end so on Saturday morning we were up and out of the campground headed for Clemmons. It was an uneventful trip back with good weather and light traffic. Emma has been really good about staying belted in during the trip to and from Chattanooga. Being in a Class A motor home gives one the advantage of getting up and moving around but that is pretty much a no-no for us. I get up occasionally to get Jerry a snack or something to drink but for the most part we are belted in.

We were staying at Tanglewood Campground in Clemmons again. I guess we really should apply to be workampers there since we are there so often! I thought Emma would want her parents to meet us at the campground but no, she wanted us to go to her home and surprise them so after we got set up we headed out again. No one can ever accuse us of letting grass grow under our feet!

Needless to say everyone was happy to be reunited and we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon outside with all of the family. After a quick dinner out Jerry and I headed back to Tanglewood for the night and then Sunday morning we headed home to Kinston. It was a grand trip, such the right length of time but as always the best part is coming home.

Home Away From Home, North Carolina

An Uneventful Trip to Clemmons!

Saturday, June 10 we headed out for Clemmons and Tanglewood Park. Since we knew that Jane and Emma would be involved in dance recital rehearsal we took our time leaving. Fortunately, this trip was very uneventful unlike our previous trip on Easter week-end! We arrived and got set up fairly quickly. The campground is filled with lots of campers on this pretty week-end but we didn’t have time to visit as we headed out to David and Jane’s as soon as we were set up. It’s so nice to be able to stay at a nice park and be close to their home as well. When Tanglewood was closed for the winter we stayed at Greystone RV Park in Pinnacle, also a nice campground but it’s a good 30 minute or more drive to their house with heavy traffic all of the way so Tanglewood is our campground of choice.

In addition to the campground Tanglewood has many other facilities that the campers can use free of charge. There is a nice dog park plus a vegetable/flower market on some Saturday mornings. There are a couple of pools, a lake for pedal boats (that’s not as easy as it looks), horse stables, playgrounds, lots of hiking trails and good places for bike rides as well. One of the highlights of the year is the Festival of Lights beginning the end of November and going through December. The entire park is transformed into a winter wonderland of giant, twinkling snowflakes and whimsical scenes! An event that began in 1992 has now become an annual tradition for many with an average of 250,000 visitors each year. There are now over a million individual lights and with the recent update all of them are LED. The campground is only open during the first few days of the Festival so always check before arriving.

Emma after her recital
We had a nice week-end visiting with the children and the grands plus seeing Emma perform in her dance recital. After dinner on Sunday evening we returned to Tanglewood fairly early knowing Monday would be a long day.

Home Away From Home, North Carolina

Tanglewood Park

The purpose of being in Clemmons for a week was to help with the grands and wow, they have kept us busy. Spending a day at the hospital when Baby Olivia was born and then shuttling back and forth for various reasons. It has been a good week but an interesting week.

When we are in Clemmons we stay at Tanglewood Park. It’s a grand park except for the poor Internet reception and it’s close to David and Jane’s. Unfortunately because it’s a county owned park they don’t take any discounts so it’s a full $33 a night. It really is a good deal if you can take advantage of all of the amenities that the park has to offer but unfortunately when we are here we are generally visiting Jane and David so are often gone from morning until night. We noticed on this trip that the week-ends have a full campground so it’s advisable to make reservations. In fact we would have come in on Friday, the 15th but they had no vacancies and neither did Greystone in Pinnacle. I guess everyone must be getting the camping fever as the weather is trying to warm up. It seems though that we had April weather in March, a big tease and then April has been more like March. It’s been cool and windy.

Monday morning Jerry and I took a nice walk on the walking path of the park. The weather was beautiful and couldn’t have been more perfect for a walk. I was hopeful that we’d be able to do that each day but that didn’t happen.

Tuesday dawned early as we had to be at David and Jane’s by 7:00. We headed to the hospital and the waiting room. Sitting in the waiting room with an energetic four year old and an anxious eight year old is quite the experience. It’s going to be a week! Olivia was born a little after 9:00 weighing 8 lbs., 9 oz and 21 inches long – a big girl! Blessings abound as mom and baby are fine!

Tuesday afternoon we brought Emma and Eli back to the campground and we all went on a walk. We split up and Jerry and Eli took the walking path and Emma and I started through the woods. We eventually met back up and finished the walk together with Eli on Jerry’s shoulders for a while. His little legs just can’t quite keep up! We only got to take one more walk during our time there and this time it was jut Emma and me. We had rain one day and then Emma had a dance competition one day so we were too busy to enjoy the campground.

Off to the mountains of North Carolina on Sunday!

Home Away From Home, North Carolina

Did we have tire problems before?

Since we were not on any schedule and didn’t have a long drive today we just took it slow this morning. Although we were both up around 6:30 we just lolled around until nearly 8:00 and even then we didn’t move too fast!

After showers there was still the last minute packing to do plus putting the car on the dolly. We finally pulled out just before 11:00 and we hadn’t even gotten out of the neighborhood before the TPMS started beeping. We drove on for a few miles and then stopped at Mallard’s on 70E where we knew we could easily get in and out plus they had air. One tire was a little slack, the same tire that has given us trouble before. Jerry had taken the coach out to the tire place and they checked it and said that other than a loose stem everything was OK. While the coach was still there we bought a longer stem hoping that would solve the problem.

We finally left and headed to Clemmons both of us listening to audio books. It really does make the travel time pass by quickly. I was also cross stitching. Just before we got to South Pointe Mall the TPMS started beeping again. While I ran into the mall on an errand Jerry added some air to the tire.

We were there about 45 minutes while I did a bit of shopping, Jerry added some more air to the tire and we ate a wonderful lunch – Cliff bars – and then hit the road again. The TPMS beeped one more time but Jerry said nothing was wrong. While we are in Clemmons he will recalibrate it and see if that helps. We’ve driven about 25,000 miles without a TPMS – guess we were just blessed not to have had an accident.

We arrived at Tanglewood just before 4:00 and boy is it crowded. Everyone in Clemmons who can walk, ride a bike or play with a dog is bound to be here. The campground itself is only about half full. We had preselected site 20 because it was close to the router and we were hopeful that the Internet signal would be stronger. Apparently we were more concerned about the Internet than with the slope of the site. Site 20 is really sloped for this part of the country. It took us about 20 minutes to get level and only then by doing it manually. We even considered changing sites but the park is going to be so full that that wasn’t a possibility. We finally did get it level though by Jerry standing outside giving me directions and me adjusting the jacks manually. We’ve tried this before with limited and confusing results but today I hit the right button and it worked!

After we set up we went over to David and Jane’s to check on everyone. Jane is really ready to have her baby but Emma is not! There is definitely going to be some adjustment there. I talked to Jane about the possibility of taking Emma to Chattanooga when school is out and she said nothing was scheduled for that time. Hopefully we’ll be able to work it out.

Home Away From Home

Once Again Headed to Clemmons

Finally! Getting ready to take off on another long awaited trip. Well, truthfully it hasn’t been that long since we were on the road but it surely seems like it. When we returned from Perry, Ga we emptied the coach of nearly everything and then took it to Wilmington, NC to Howard RV where we were assured everything that needed attention would be repaired. After driving four hours each way for earlier repairs (that were not completed) the two hour drive to Wilmington was great.

We left our coach on Tuesday afternoon and by noon on Wednesday we had a call discussing every issue that we had discussed! My word, it wasn’t even 24 hours and they were already on it. Quite a difference and my only regret is that I didn’t know about them sooner. It would surely have made the last year easier. We had told them we’d like to have it back by April 15 if possible as we needed to go to Clemmons for the birth of our sixth grandchild! From past experience with another dealer we felt like we might be asking a lot but heck, it doesn’t hurt to ask. We also knew they had to order parts and that does take a while so although we’d be disappointed we were prepared for a longer time.

We called to check on the status on Tuesday, April 12 and were told that the person that had that information was out but they would check on it and call us back – and they did! Never under estimate the value of a returned call even if they don’t know the answer to your question. They didn’t know but they let us know that and said they would find out and call us Wednesday morning.

They called Wednesday morning, said our rig was ready for pick up so off we went to Wilmington. I had hoped to go early in the day so we could visit Airlee Gardens as they are so beautiful this time of the year but we had to get on the road. We were in and out of there very quickly but while we were there one of the technicians went over a few things with Jerry. Although we’ve been RVing over two years and have had this coach for a year we are still newbies with a lot to learn.

The rest of the week has been spent packing, cooking, planning the trip and looking for interesting things to see and good campgrounds to stay at after we leave Clemmons as we are going to knock around the NC mountains for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t find any COE campgrounds in the area where we are going so we will be staying in private campgrounds on this trip but fortunately two of them are Passport. One only takes Passport for one night but the another takes it for all nights. Yea!

We’ll end our trip in Franklin at an FMCA chapter rally. We met so many nice Georgia people at the FMCA International Rally that we decided to join our friends Jim and Jan and become members of their chapter, the Peach State Travelers. They often have rallies in North Carolina. Unfortunately the next one is in August, the week-end of my nephew’s wedding and around the time for Julie’s baby to make his arrival – yes, another grand. Our seventh and I’m pretty sure our last! 🙂

Sunday morning is the time of departure. Except for a few last minute items everything is packed – I think, so we’ll soon be on our way to Clemmons where we will revel in the arrival of our precious Olivia. We are one blessed family. We already have three granddaughters and two grandsons and now are waiting for another granddaughter and then a grandson in August. I didn’t understand when people would say there’s nothing like a grandchild but now I do and I do relish every second we are able to spend with them.

On to Clemmons!

Home Away From Home

What Were We Thinking – or Were We?

Just let me say – It was a morning!

Knowing how much Emma loves eastern NC barbeque we always try to get her some for her birthday but I realized last night that we had not gotten it yet.  Jerry checked the website this morning to see what time Kings opened and it said 9:00 so off he went while I was showering and getting dressed.  Apparently the website is incorrect because when he got there no one was there and it was dark so no barbeque for Emma this time.

Sometimes it’s just not fun to be right!  Jerry built Emma a very pretty and not so small bookcase for her birthday so we’re taking it to Clemmons this week-end.  It won’t fit into the Avalon so Jerry said we would just tow the Forerunner.  I told him that I had read that it wouldn’t tow but he assured me that it was just like the Avalon and would tow with no problem.  Right!  We got everything loaded and then put the Forerunner on the dolly.  I was a bit nervous about driving it up on the dolly since it is much bigger and heavier than the Avalon but it went up with no problem.  Jerry hooked it up and then went in to get his shower so we could leave.

Everything was  ready and we were in the RV and pulling out at 10:12.  Wait, what was that squealing sound?  Jerry asked if I had put on the emergency brake on the forerunner.  Well, duh – of course not.  He got out and looked around and then told me to drive up a bit.  He immediately told me to stop as the back wheels on the Forerunner were not turning.  Guess what – the Forerunner won’t tow.  Like Jerry, I don’t understand why as it’s supposed to be front wheeled drive but it really doesn’t matter to me why – I just know it won’t tow.

Back to the drawing board.  It looked like we were going to have to put the bookcase in the coach as it wouldn’t fit in the car.  We put the living room slide out and pretty easily got the bookcase in.  Then we had to take the Forerunner off of the dolly and then put the Avalon on.  We often learn lessons each time and this time we learned that a Forerunner will not tow!  Hopefully that is the only lesson we learn on this trip.

We finally pulled out of the driveway at 10:40, a little later than I had hoped but on the way.  We were trying a new route.  Because the beltline in Raleigh is under construction and the highway is absolutely awful we decided to try going 264.  The last time we were on the beltline in the RV I was afraid that every screw and bolt was going to come loose not to mention that every dish would be broken.  This should be a lot easier.

Also just after passing Stantonsburg we realized that we got nothing out of the fridge.  There wasn’t much but we’ll have to make a trip to the grocery store sooner than we expected.  Like I said, it was a morning!

We got to Tanglewood RV Park a little after 3:00 and got set up in site 14.  I had asked for a site closer to the router so our Internet would be better but the lady taking the reservations didn’t know where the routers were located.  Apparently they are not near site 14!  (I did talk briefly to someone who told me the sites nearer the bathhouse had stronger signals.  Next time we’ll be more specific.)

Fortunately the rest of the trip and the week-end was uneventful.  We had a delightful time at Emma’s party which was at Cash Lovell Stables and then Jane, David, Emma, Eli and Jane’s parents came over Saturday night for hamburgers on the grill.

Sunday we were able to go to Emma’s riding lesson.  She’s doing so well and I am really proud of her.  Hope she keeps it up!

Monday morning we were up and out before 9:00 as we had a 3:00 appointment in Kinston to get the oil changed in the coach in preparation for our Finger Lakes trip next month.

Happy RVing!