RV Adventures: A trip to the Upper Peninsula, Michigan Day 1

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

This morning we left early to get on the road to our first campground in Grayling, Michigan. It is located about 45 miles from Traverse City.

“Miss Daisy” is packed and ready to go!

Our dog, Matilda, went on this trip with us. She still is very scared of riding in the RV. We tried calming chews, a thunder coat, individually and together, but those solutions did not help her anxiety. We talked to our veterinarian and she now has a prescription that we give her at least 2 hours before we get on the road. So we got up at 3:00 AM to give her the prescribed dose and then tried to get a few hours of additional sleep before our departure at 6:00. We actually left our home at 6:15ish! Not bad!

Matilda in her dog seat resting!

Our drive was uneventful! We arrived at Headwaters Campground without any delays! We enjoyed walking around the area and it felt good to stretch our legs. Matilda was especially happy that the RV was stopped and we weren’t going anywhere! It was a nice campground. We noticed that most of the campgrounds in the lower and upper peninsula were closing at various times in October.

This evening was spent resting for our big day tomorrow where we will be exploring Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy” Day 3

Monday, September 7th, 2020 LABOR DAY

This morning Dave walked with Matilda and me around some of the lake. It was another beautiful morning for a walk.

After our walk, we started putting away the rest of our camping gear because we planned to be on the road close to noon so we would be ahead of the heavy traffic.

We enjoyed the rest of the morning enjoying the campfire and visiting with Doug and Sandy.

Matilda enjoying the outdoors!

Matilda was more comfortable for part of our ride home! We’re still working on the timing of her medicine and the correct amount.

It was such a relaxing weekend of camping and we were so lucky that Doug & Sandy let us park in their yard. We really enjoyed the hospitality and we look forward to the next time!

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy” Day 2

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

It was just a gorgeous sunrise as Matilda and I walked around the area!

Our walk led us to the Indian Lake State Park Moundwood Marina and picnic area.

We enjoyed the area to ourselves. It was quiet, no people, boats motoring or people fishing.

Each morning we were thrilled to have our hosts join us in the RV for coffee/tea and conversation! It was relaxing and comfortable.

Matilda makes herself at home anywhere!

We volunteered to cook breakfast for everyone this morning. Our menu consisted of muffins, toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes! Dave is particular about making sure the griddle is level before I start cooking the bacon.

Making sure it’s level!

The campfire is already started for the day and evening!

The fire is going strong!

Breakfast turned out well and really ended up being brunch! We didn’t eat until dinner because we were so full. After we were finished our nephew took some of us for a boat ride. The lake was much smoother today. There wasn’t the wind like we had on Saturday but we still had great temperatures for camping and being outdoors!

“Camp Doug & Sandy” also has a golf cart that their “guests” can use! The facilities here are awesome. 😁

Matilda’s Aunt Kathy got her a Halloween bee outfit so she needed to model it for everyone to see and make sure it fit her! 😅 She’s such a cutie.

At 9:00 PM Indian Lake does a “Ring of Fire”. Volunteers set flares around the lake and it is held every Sunday of Labor Day weekend. We walked over to the lake to watch it. It is beautiful!

What a beautiful way to end the day!

RV Adventures! “Campground Doug & Sandy”

Saturday, September 5, 2020

With the pandemic, being safe and staying healthy is our priority! It was going to be a great weekend with the weather. Since it was last minute, we were trying to decide where we could go with the RV. “Campground Doug & Sandy” was open and had a perfect spot for us to camp on their property at Indian Lake! Doug and Sandy (our brother and sister-in-law) live in a beautiful home that sits on a beautiful lot near the lake.

Late Friday we brought the RV home from where we store it so we could load it with our belongings and food for the weekend. Saturday morning we walked the dog and got ready to head to Indian Lake. It’s about a hour’s drive from our home. Earlier in the morning the dog was given a relaxing pill to help her with riding in the RV.

Matilda is still nervous about riding in the RV!

We arrived at our “campground” and our hosts helped us locate the perfect spot for the weekend.

Not long after we set up and leveled the RV our nephew and great-nephew and his friend arrived for the day and over night. They were going to put up a tent with an inflatable bed but instead we got out our screen gazebo. The boys enjoyed playing inside it and laying on our hammock! It’s always so much fun to watch the kids enjoy the outdoors!

Relaxing for a short time!

There was still some work that needed to be completed and Matilda is so tired!

This afternoon Doug and Sandy took us for a ride on their pontoon boat. Our ride was quite short because it was really windy! The lake was very choppy and the wind broke the canopy that provides shade. The pictures below were taken in Dunn’s Pond which is a cove of Indian Lake. It was quiet and the water was tranquil! We didn’t take any pictures out on the rough lake because we didn’t want to lose our phone!

The evening ended with a campfire and the boys had the must have S’mores!

RV Traveling! A Weekend Getaway!

On the road again!

Friday, August 7th – Sunday, August 9th

Dave looked for a campground that was not too far from home.  “Lazy River” Campground met the requirement.  This campground was located about an hour from where we live.

An employee in a golf cart led us to our campsite!

It was a pretty big campground with probably around 200 sites which includes primitive sites up to cabins!  Our site was a pull thru with electric and water.  We weren’t worried about the sewage hook up since we were only going to be there for two nights.  We were impressed with all that they had to offer.  We kept our social distance but they offered two pools, playgrounds, dog park, snack shop, convenience store, fitness room, and much more!  This place is definitely a place for families.  Even though it was just us and our dog we still had a relaxing weekend.

Our campsite looked out at the little creek. We would sit in our mosquito barrier gazebo and read and watch the creek! Matilda enjoyed the freedom in there also.

Matilda also enjoyed walking the trails and playing in the dog park!

Both evenings we enjoyed our own campfire and of course had some of our homemade wine!

Our last night at the campground our neighbors had a portable screen and asked if it would bother us if they showed a movie. It was nice of them to ask. We enjoyed watching The Great Outdoors!

The campground also had activities that you could participate in if you were interested. On Saturday evening they did a luminary lighting after dark. Many of us participated. The campground provided the items so they made it very easy to do.

It was a great weekend away! We look forward to our next adventure!

RV Traveling! Fifth Adventure

Sunday, July 19th- Friday, July 24th

Sunday to Thursday was spent babysitting our granddaughter so the kids could work uninterrupted unpacking and organizing their new home!  We definitely had the easiest and most fun job!  Our granddaughter enjoys smiling and trying to roll over.

Our stay at the Newport News Park Campground was uneventful.  We had a lot of shade which was very helpful.

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“Miss Daisy” enjoying her week of rest!

We did walk some of the trails early in the morning because the temperature was up to the high 90s when we were there.  On our first walk we passed some Civil War Earthworks!

We read on the Newport News Park Park Campground website that along one of the walking/biking loops crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park and you can view a placard on the site of where George Washington’s headquarters were during the American Revolutionary War.  From our campsite it was a 4.73 mile roundtrip walk.  It was a shaded walk but it was very humid even early in the morning.

Thursday evening we said our goodbyes which was difficult.  Friday morning we packed up our RV and we were on the road by 8:45 AM.  We didn’t have any long delays or issues on our drive home.  We stopped for lunch at a rest area and cooked grilled cheese sandwiches and soup in the RV.  We are being very cautious due to COVID-19.  We only used the RV restroom and ate our meals in the RV.  When we needed gas, we wore our masks and sanitized our hands after filling the tank.  We were home by dinnertime and had the RV unloaded before dark!  We didn’t do the cleaning of the RV until the next day.

“Miss Daisy” is back in her spot at the RV storage lot until our next adventure with her.  Who knows what will be next?IMG_3731

RV Traveling! Fourth Adventure

Wednesday, July 15th – Saturday, July 18th

Today we leave Ohio for Virginia with Dave driving the RV and carrying our daughter-in-law, granddaughter and the 3 cats.  Our son and I were driving the cars.  We are the same caravan as before but with one MAJOR difference.  The three cats are in a cat playpen that was placed on the bed in the RV and it has a bottom and top enclosure!  I should have taken a picture of the cats in the playpen.  It gave the cats room to move and held a portable litter box.  All of us felt much better about this arrangement!  It did its job in keeping the cats safe and our nerves calmed.

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Traffic wasn’t bad but there was a lot of construction slow downs.

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Miss Daisy, and the trailer up ahead!

We arrived at the Newport News Park Campground and were settled before dark!  We rented the campsite next to us to store the loaded car and trailer and the other car was parked in front of the RV.  Once we were settled the cats were freed from their playpen and were able to explore the camper!  Of course all of those crevices were still blocked with towels, boxes and suitcases!  The cats did find that they could jump behind the recliner chairs and hide underneath but that was much easier to get them out!  No more searching everywhere for cats in the RV!

After setting up camp we enjoyed relaxing outside in our portable gazebo!  It was too warm to build a fire.  During the day the temperature highs were in the upper 90s! 😅

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In our gazebo enjoying the outdoors without the mosquitos joining us!

This morning we had some visitors beside our campsite!

Thursday the kids had their final walk through before closing on their new home the next day.  The final walk through today was also the first time that they actually saw their home in person.  They had only viewed the house with their agent FaceTiming with them!  We kept the baby and hoped they liked their new home!  Thank goodness when they returned to the campsite they were pleased with the house and they had the opportunity to meet the owners.

Friday was closing day!  We babysat when they went to close on their new home and after closing they emptied out one of the cars and then returned to the campsite.  We all went to their new home with the cats included and the car with the loaded trailer!  It didn’t take long for us to unload the SUV and the trailer!

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Both cars and the trailer are emptied!

We ran back to the RV and loaded up the SUV with more of their belongings.  Several trips and they had all of their things that traveled from Florida to Ohio to Virginia.

The moving van will arrive tomorrow with all of their furniture and boxes.  But in the meantime, getting the mattress from the U-Haul upstairs for them to sleep on tonight was a challenge! IMG_5537

Everyone tried to get a good night’s rest because it will be very busy tomorrow with the moving van arriving around 9:00 AM.

On Saturday morning, the movers arrived on time, a washer and dryer was delivered, and the internet was installed.  The kids dealt with the movers and everyone was wearing masks, including the movers.  Dave purchased a garage door opener because the house never had one and he worked on installing that and I had the best job of all, watching our granddaughter in a spare bedroom where the movers wouldn’t be bringing any boxes or furniture.

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Our hangout!

The cats were closed up in the primary bathroom with the doors taped so the movers would know not to open the doors!

Everything was going smoothly until Amy went to check on the cats and one was missing!  Luna took her paw and opened one of the under the sink cabinets and went in to explore and there was an opening around the tub pipe and you can guess what she did.  She was no where to be found!  They were envisioning her down a wall and them having to saw into their new home wall or even something worse!  That darn cat! Another long story made short, they left a treat trail and catnip to lure her out and the other two cats were now brought in with me.  After many hours Amy went in to the bathroom to check and there sat Luna!  She was picked up and put in the bedroom with us.

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Luna the trouble maker!

After a long day of them trying to unpack some boxes and direct the movers, the kids are so tired but before going to bed they had to find the box with the child-proof cabinet locks and attached them to all of the bathroom cabinets to keep a nosy little cat safe!!!

RV Traveling! Third Trip

Wednesday, July 8- Saturday, July 11

This third trip in the RV is to help the kids move from Florida to Virginia and a theme of 2 hour delays!!!  The RV would be where we slept, ate our meals, and the best transportation for our granddaughter and their not one, not two, but three cats!

Our plan was to begin our drive from Ohio to Florida mid to late morning.  W-e-l-l, that did not happen.  You see when we were packed and ready to head out the RV equalizer system would not retract the levelers!  Every light was blinking and we didn’t know why.  We were reading the manual, which by the way was useless.  Dave is calling the repair department where we bought the RV and I’m googling why won’t the equalizer system work?

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One of the equalizer levelers that wouldn’t retract and therefore making us immobile!

To make a long story short as I’m sure you get the idea of the frustration, Dave finally talked to one of the mechanics who helped him locate the reset switch.  Once that was found, the equalizer lifted the levelers.  Of course, this cost us 2 hours of drive time. 😩

The drive for the rest of the day thank goodness was uneventful!

We stopped for the night at the South Carolina Welcome Center rest area.  We tried to get a decent night’s sleep.

We were on the road early Thursday morning and we were making good time.  We were just outside Jacksonville, Florida when a pick up truck pulled up beside us and motioned for Dave to put down his window.  He said we had a flat tire and needed to pull over immediately.  Dave did and we were on a slight slant so we couldn’t tell which tire was flat.  We got off the highway at the next stop and saw that it was the back inside tire that was very low!  Dave asked at the truck stop repair center if they could fix the tire and it is too small of a tire for them and they sent us to an auto shop across the street.  We go there and they don’t repair RV tires!  They gave us the name and address of an RV repair shop that was a couple of exits farther down and wasn’t out of our way.  This guy doesn’t do tires but he did put air in the tire and after losing about 2 hours we are on our way again.  He suggested we check the pressure of that tire when we get to our stop this evening.

Tonight we are staying at an RV park that is about half an hour from the kids house.  We get set up and our son picks us up and we head to their place to help finish the last bit of packing that we can and have some dinner together.  The moving company had left earlier in the day with all of their furniture and boxes.

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A very empty room except for one of the cats!

On Friday morning we are up early to check out of the RV park and head to the kids house.  We park the RV out front while the kids head to close on the sell of their home.  We babysit the baby and also help load what still needs to go into the cars and RV.  Everything is loaded including the 3 cats who are closed off in the back part of the RV where they would be safe.

By late morning we are on the road.  The RV is the leader, then I’m following driving one of their cars which is completely full except for the driver’s seat and Ryan’s taking up the rear driving his car which is completely packed and pulling a small U-Haul trailer.  We are definitely quite the sight heading North.  Our plan is to drive until 8:30 PM, pull in to the nearest rest area, have dinner, relax and get some sleep!IMG_6867

You know how the best laid plans work out.  As I’m following the RV, I notice that the tire that was low yesterday looks very low.  When we stop for gas and lunch, Dave checks the pressure and it is flat no air at all.  So we have to call and get the warranty service to get a mobile service there to pull off the flat tire and put on the spare.  When the tire change was finished we were ready to get on the road again.  The kids did a cat check and the youngest of the cats, Stella, couldn’t be found.  We are all searching for her.  Well, after quite a while, she was located and our daughter-in-law, Amy, was small enough to grab her and pull her out of the tight corner she had pushed herself into.  There is a little opening under the bedside built in and she had squeezed herself into that space.  What a scary moment for all of us.  The cat was fine but panting!

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Stella

Again we lost at least 2 hours sitting in the RV waiting to get the tire replaced and locating the missing cat!  Thank heavens, the man who was sent was quick and did a great job and the cat rescued.  At least there weren’t any accidents or construction closures to slow us down.

Saturday morning we are up and ready to go and on time.  We made sure all of the cats are in the front of the camper so we can pull in the back bedroom slide.  Next is to bring in the “living area” slide.  We check for all 3 cats to move them to the back and one is missing, Luna!  Oh no, not again!  We are searching high and low.  She is nowhere to be found.  Our granddaughter is enjoying a break from her car seatIMG_0245 Erin

Our best guess is that she climbed somewhere under the bed through an opening where the slide goes in and out!  Dave and our son, Ryan, take the bed apart and still don’t see the cat.  Ryan takes his phone and reaches as far as he can where the water tank is located below the top of the bed area and we can’t remove it.  With his phone he is stretching his arm under there and snapping pictures.  A photo shows her stuffed up in by the boards and the water tank!  Now they are trying to coax her out!  Again after much effort they grab her.

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Luna

We can now tell you where every crevice is that a silly cat could climb into!   They proceeded to stuff towels, boxes, and anything they can to block where a cat could get trapped again!  Needless to say we had planned to leave by 7:30 and it was about 9:30 before all of the cats were safe and our caravan began to head to our final destination of Ohio, another 2 hour delay!  The rest of the day was uneventful.  Whew!

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Sunset in Ohio! We’re almost home.

Everyone was going to stay with us until midweek when we would caravan to their new location in Virginia.  What will happen on our next adventure?????

New Mode: RV Traveling! First Trip

Meet our new mode of travel purchased during the Covid-19 pandemic when our international travel came to a complete halt!

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MISS DAISY

We knew that eventually we wanted to travel the USA in a motorhome but it was further away for us.  Well, circumstances changed.  The pandemic hit and our youngest son took a new job in Virginia and they currently live in southeast Florida.  They have a newborn and were trying to figure out how they both could safely look for a new home and do some exploration of their new city!  Well, “Miss Daisy” our class C, 33 foot Gulfstream Conquest came to the rescue!  She became ours the first week in May!

Our first adventure with our new mode of transportation was to travel from Ohio to SE Florida, Newport News, Va, back down to Florida, and then home the third week of May!  We really learned quickly what we needed for traveling in the RV, what was working properly and needed fixed.  On our way to Florida it was the two of us with our rescue dog Matilda.  She was quite nervous when the RV was moving.  When we made it to the Ft. Lauderdale area we picked up our newest granddaughter and her parents for a trip to Virginia!  Now it was 4 adults, a 7- week old baby, and our 15 pound dog.IMG_2278

We camped at the beautiful Newport News State Park!

It was perfect for keeping safe.  We prepared and ate all of our meals in the camper or at our campsite.  We watched the baby while the kids wore their masks and looked for a new home!