Well, hello again, last time I wrote an entry I was at a hotel...lol, boy have things changed!
I made it to my new "home" in this state, TX , the following day (since my last blog). I am now in Livingston, TX where Escapees is located. Boy, what a great group of folks and what a great program they have here. I am officially listed as the youngest retiree to join...YES! Here, I got a permanant real mailing address, lots of cheap camping throughout the US and mail forwarding all for $188 a year, trust me, that is cheap!
Since I needed work done on the trailer (read my previous blog), I asked at the office who I could take my set up to for the work which included getting a weight distribution hitch and sway bar (for safety as I discovered on the road in a very scary situation), get my converter fixed so my lights worked properly off of "shore power" and have my brakes, tires and bearings inspected and fixed/replaced if needed. They referred me to Rick, so I stopped at his shop on my way to the State Park and made an appointment for Monday. Since my black water tank was "overflowing" per say, he decided to stay after hours and correct the problem then and there. Way cool! I was soooo embarrassed to find out, after his brief inspection that there was another (up under the trailer) outlet for the black water tank, even more embarrassed when they opened it and "poo" fell out as the valve had been opened repeatedly in an attempt to dump it. He was not phased and took the necessary steps to empty it for me....whoa, lesson learned along with embarrassment, thank you! He said he would do all the other work I needed in a day as I was living in my "rig". Cool, onto the state park, fully embarrassed! Oh, and he loved my dog and she love him, good sign, seemed like a great guy, good humor and good people in general there.
So, the first four days I was in Livingston, I figured I did NOT want to stay in an "old folks" RV park (Escapees)! So I opted to stay at Lake Livingston State Park, right on the lake, very beautiful. It was $28 a day to stay there, but I was under the impression that the Escapees RV Resort was quite a bit more, so that is where I stayed until Thursday, at the state park. Friday came and the park had full reservations so I had to go, I was disappointed as I had come to be comfortable, alas, I figured "everything happens for a reason", right? Since the only other place I was familiar with was the Escapees park, well, I called and the nice lady said "We always have a space for our members", how they pull that off with over 28,000 members, I am not sure. But it was refreshing to hear that I mattered and counted for something somewhere, since I was being booted from the park I had come to feel so comfortable in. I arrived here, completely looking like crap! It was hot and very humid and I had been through the couple hours it takes to get disconnected and reorganized to move, frankly, I think I looked homeless...LOL! In an attempt to remain cool, I had doned the least of the clothes I had brought out on the road. That day I was wearing blue and white checkered shorts and a black tank top, did not match, my hair was only semi looking okay because it was plastered to my scalp with sweat, my make-up had long ago disappeared into the humidity somehow, but I made it to Escapees!
When I first walked into the registration office, the great, great man behind the counter greeted me (lookin' homeless and all!) with a huge smile and a welcome greeting...maybe they are used to distressed out of towners not used to the humidity here, but he didn't even blink at my worn out appearance! Much releif in the cool A/C with such a friendly gentleman to take care of me! He was kinda round with a big mustache, and a Texas accent ta' boot! I was instantly relieved I had come here, actually, to my new "home", to stay. Even more relieved to find out that the daily rate is only $12.50 per day to members such as me! This nice gentleman, after hearing that I was quite new at backing up my trailer, assigned me a space that was "easy to back into". For most, anyway!
So, I headed out to claim my space, #44! I got to it and was pretty confident, with a bit of embarrassment and if I took my time, I could back in my newly acquired trailer! I was working it, still confident and about 30 seconds into my attempt when a nice elderly gentleman stopped his golf cart and hopped out and guided me into my spot, figuring I was new I am sure. I expressed my appreciation for his help and he expressed his admiration for my little Scamp (I have had at least 8 people admire or ask to take a look inside), and quipped that it was "perfect"! My best compliment yet on my choice! I was warned by other owners that they are popular and very interesting to "outsiders" who have never seen inside one, so I was proud, but not as surprised as I could have been by the interest in her (she's a girl, by the way). Once in my spot, the "locals" in the nearby area soon arrived and welcomed me and were interested in my story of retiring so young and all, they all loved my dog!
So, I have been here at Escapees since then...although I cannot forget to tell you about getting my trailer serviced!
So, Monday morning, I proceeded (or tried to...) get my trailer ready to move. I have gotten pretty good at it, it is not simple, but not difficult either. You just must remember many simple things, such as closing all the windows and roof vents, moving all your stuff to a place that won't allow it to end up on the floor, disconnect all (water, electric, sewer) and switch over the fridge from electric to propane and such. Soooo, as it goes, the interest in my trailer was in full mode at 7:30am, I had three couples come by to see it and comment and tell me their story of how they wanted one! So, being congenial as I am, and loving to talk to older people with stories I will one day tell, I stopped and talked and listened. I cannot tell you how important it is to listen! to those that are older than you, not because you have to, but because you want to! Some of the best stories I have ever heard! I am learning to slow down and hear people rather than just "put up" with being "nice" and hearing them. I love listening to people with so much more wisdom than me. BUT, in each of these cases, they seemed to think that I was the smart one for aquiring my cute little Scamp! Nice to hear from those that know!
I was finally ready to roll the 10 miles down the road to Rick, who promised to take good care of my new home! I arrived promptly 30 minutes late for my appointment as all the folks held me up wanting to comment or see my rig. Rick, nor his staff, complained, but were very nice about taking it into the shop. They gave me my Infiniti back so I had a places to go, although me and my dog were welcome to stay and observe or kick it in the lounge, but we chose to see a bit of Livingston...again, everyone loved my dog! So, we went and sampled too much of the local southern food, got a call from Rick to return the truck around 11am for it's turn. I was pleased that once they had my truck in the shop (to install it's portion of the weight distribution hitch and sway bar) that I was allowed in the shop to watch. They were having some difficulty with the converter inside the trailer and the A/C wouldn't work once the converter was installed, some tense stuff!! They talked of cutting my cute little fiberglass trailer in half to find the wiring problem, but only to freak me out I soon learned, and it worked, I freaked out on the suggestion of that one!!! LOL! All the guys in the shop apparently knew how attached I have already gotten to her and joked about cutting her in half, NOT FUNNY, until I learned they were kidding me! A few hours later they located the source of the problem with my A/C, a BARE WIRE! Scary! They got it fixed, no fire, and got the hitch and all attached...sent me home $1200 poorer, but much more confident in my safety with the rig! Rick called on Tuesday to make sure all went well while unhitching it all for the first time and gave me his home phone number in case I had any problems with the wiring. Really cool folks and I enjoyed the opportunity to watch the work in progress despite the big sign that said for insurance purposes, I was not allowed in the service area!
On Tuesday I took my dog to the vet to get her shots and on heart worm prevention, another $220, but what is a mom supposed to do, risk it? No way! Very expensive couple of days!
So, tomorrow, I take my trailer and tow vehicle (the Infiniti) down to get it all inspected and registered in Texas, if all goes well, I will be headed for Alabama to see my siblings, neice, nephew, great neice and two great nephews, haven't seen some of them ever (the younger ones) and the rest I haven't seen in 12 years, should be fun, will update you all on that!
Thanks for reading!
- I got smart when I got fed up with the day in and day out of "regular" life. I retired at age 37 and bought me a truck (well, an SUV, but who wants to say that all the time?) and a 16' Scamp travel trailer and my dog and I hit the road! These blogs are about my travels, my experiences and the people I meet. I am so far loving it!