Friday, December 23, 2016

Part 1, RV into storage. Brrrrr!

Saying good bye to family
The last week is spending time with family & friends.  Saying good bye to the Grandbaby is especially difficult.  She always makes us smile, but the thought of how much she'll grow before we see her again makes us a little weepy so it's quick hugs and we're gone.

Happy birthday Colonel!
Phew!  This is the hard part of our hurricane plan, logistically.  Prep & store the RV, hotel, airline, hotel, airline, rental car, rental house, prep boat, splash, slip at the marina, leave marina.

I am excited to head back to somewhere warm along the water.  El Capitan?  "I have a lot of work to do"...Yep.  Here we go!

Birthday, anniversary & Christmas presents are supposed to be waived since we retired.  However, The Colonel's birthday just so happened to coincide with a Camping World trip.  Thanks to our friends who gave us their Camping World gift card!

One of everything
RV forums, much like sailing forums, will convince you that extreme measures are necessary to store an RV.  We have the double problem that we won't be able to check on it for six months (although friends will be stopping by).  "Irish Spring."  "Zest not Irish Spring but it has to be the original scent!"  "Fresh Cab is awesome."  "Fresh Cab doesn't work!"  "Fabric softener sheets."  "My mice made a bed out of the fabric softener sheets!"  "Coyote urine!"  (Uhmmm, they don't have that at Amazon or WalMart...)  "Steel wool in every crevice."  We don't have any crevices (he said, turns out we do.  Back to the store!)  Once again, I guess we'll learn the hard way.

We don't need ice trays.  Just chip it off the walls!
On the boat, the fridge starts to get warmer & warmer if I don't defrost.  Since The Colonel doesn't drink warm beer, I'm forced to stay on schedule.  However, O the Winnebago keeps cranking away until I have this waiting for me...

We have airline tickets on Monday.  We are moving the RV to storage on Sunday.  Saturday is dedicated to cleaning every crevice.  Fridge cleaned out, wiped down and left open to air dry.  Cabinets cleaned out & wiped down (a few essentials stored in snap-top plastic bins).  However, two people can only clean an rv for so long, before we meet in the middle.  SO, I'm off to run some last minute errands--the prescription that had to be called into a different pharmacy, some steel wool (see above), etc.

At the end of the day, with nothing left in the fridge, we walk along the Katy Trail towards the Brewery for a quiet dinner.  We earned it!

Dang it

We wake up on Sunday to heavy frost!  We're leaving 2 days too late (next year we'll be gone by Nov 1)!  I could see my breath on the way to do laundry.  Not cool.  Sheets, towels & winter clothes are packed away with dryer sheets and/or in plastic bins.  Water is shut off & tanks/lines are winterized.  "Hey, look it works.  That was easy."  Now what do we do the rest of the morning...

We check out of the RV park ahead of schedule (getting a refund on our electric instead of paying was nice).

Twitter:  "Hearing our Cat 330 horse roar to life this morning is bittersweet!"  (I was parked in front of him in the car.  It turns out he revved the engine as he went by to test the new manifold pressure boost gauge.  It still sounded cool.)

Tons of room!
Our Plan A for the RV was a new facility just outside town that didn't quite get opened in time (they call two weeks after we arrive at the boat) so we made last minute arrangements at a place farther out.  Cheap.  Not visible from the road (safer from crime).  The entry road is a little rough but we only need to go in & out once.  We're in the back row against the fence, in an angled slot but the alley is so wide, we can back straight in.  We've made a dry run but we leave plenty of time for unknowns.  (It turns out the unknown was we should have stopped for plywood to put under the tires.  We will start slowly sinking, which our friends are left to deal with.)

It's supposed to be 15 ft wide, but it's really only 13 ft once you take the markers into consideration & the pontoon boat next to us parked at an angle.  Luckily, the boat on the other side is gone and we're in on the first try.

Open cabinets for ventilation.  Place last minute mice deterrents.  Load bags & cat into car.  Chock wheels & whatever else The Colonel did while I fussed.  

Another reason to use the Breeze litter pan?  Put urine soaked pad under the RV!  Move along mice!  A cat lives here.

A friend is going to store our car.  We swing by his house on the way to our airport hotel to pick him up (he's also got someone to pick up at the airport.  Bonus!).  He drops us off at the hotel & takes our car home.  We're done.  Settled into a nicer than we expected hotel by the airport that allows pets by 1:00 pm.  Turns out we probably could have made our flight.  Maybe next year.

"Hey, Mama.  Where's my food bowl?"  We realize, in our attempt to deter mice, we've left a bowl of dry cat food at the RV.  Dang it!

2 duffles, 2 backpacks & a cat.  We have 50% less baggage than a lot of people checking in for flights.  2 rollers each?!

Stay tuned for Amelia the Cat's version:  "Holy Shit, batman!  I don't like traveling by airplane!"

Yes, we have a cat.  We do stupid things for the Princess aka Gator Bait.  We're airlining over two days to make it shorter days for our elderly cat.  (Although, honestly we couldn't change our FLL-SJJ ticket).  We are staying one night at a hotel in St. Louis, then STL to Ft Lauderdale, another night in a hotel, FLL to San Juan.  Maybe next year we'll try to do it in one day (we paid the "pet in cabin" fee twice.  Oops).  Although, honestly, we were still exhausted by the time we got to San Juan.  The time change is a total of two hours later with a temperature and culture adjustment.

Cheesy, touristy side of Florida
You know you're a cruiser when:  You see your reflection in a window and think--that's the outfit I'm wandering around in public in?  Whoopsie!  (This was actually the last day in the rv 😆)

You know you're a cruiser when"  You look down at yourself (& your significant other) at the airport--in your best/cleanest clothes--and see stains.  Whoopsie!

Stay tuned for Part 2, splashing Odin the Sailboat.

(Yes, I know the font is all over the place.  I tried to fix it.  Mea culpa)

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