Homemaker Day

10/23/14 Thursday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

Cold this morning, so I felt like baking; granola bars and cornmeal muffins. Even though I was extremely careful with my measurements and button pushing on the microwave, they still didn’t cook like they should have. I’m now suspecting my LoMix program may not be working well. It alternates Convection energy with Microwave energy. The Convection alone and Microwave alone seem to work just fine.

Getting ready for our trip to West Virginia tomorrow I also did 3 loads of laundry. Note: our little combo washer/dryer does 4 t-shirts at a time, 2 bath towels plus hand towel and wash cloth at a time. John ran into issues on his computer. He was figuring out our path to Hurricane,WV and his Google Chrome stopped working. His computer has Windows XP, so it’s not being supported any more. He REALLY doesn’t want to buy a new computer and deal with Windows 8……

We washed the CRV this afternoon, so it’ll look sharp in West Virginia. Next we had a wonderful walk around this great campground on this crisp fall day.

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I took a nap while John enjoyed his METV and Antenna TV of old shows.

We’ll be guests at my niece’s wedding on Saturday, so we’re taking a long drive there at the west end of West Virginia tomorrow. Thus I’m taking a blog break for the next few days: Wedding Time

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Ken in the Morning and a Kenneth in the Afternoon

10/22/14 Wednesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

Ready for another quiet day, John cleaned our front end cap (windshield) and while doing that he met our next door neighbor, Ken. As they talked about RV issues I was inside working on the blog, then typing up our maintenance checklist, wondering what I was missing (in their conversation). I got busy with an item I noticed was up for cleaning: heat pump/ac filters and microwave filters. When I got out to join them, they were just about finished talking. I asked John, did you find out what he’d recommend doing around here, what year is his RV? Nope, just RV antennas.

I called the RV dealers I’d found on the Internet yesterday. One had a couple RVs he wanted to show us. So after lunch we decided to go check them out. Plus John thought maybe they’d have a cup holder to replace the one that he’d broken a few days ago. Before leaving, we enjoyed another good conversation with our neighbor, Ken. This time I was there to ask MY questions.

Our Rand McNalley GPS got lost as we arrived in Mocksville (crazy name, I’d say), but my Waze (phone app GPS) did just fine. The rigs were very nice: 2013 Tiffin Phaeton (40′) and 2013 Thor Tuscany (40′). The big problem for me was that they both had a bathroom in the rear. Something about all that plumbing (especially when they add the washer/dryer weight) at the rear where the most effect is felt from “rodeo” roads (as we call them), bothers me. We’re noticing that they’re putting refrigerators and washer/dryer sets in slides sometimes. That weight in a slide makes me nervous too. I’m not an engineer, so it would be good to know what they would think about that. Those 2 rigs also cost more than we could afford, at least the Tiffin was $209,000. Oh, yes, our salesman was Kenneth!  The best news: we found the perfect replacement cup holder!!

Back home we relaxed with TV and books.  John of course installed his cup holder.

Isn’t our lake lovely in the morning?

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Moved to New Site

10/21/14 Tuesday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

I slept in this morning, then we got talking to our neighbors who love sitting by their fire early on a very cold morning (in the 40’s). They are truckers (all men gathered), some of whom have been to Washington. Anyway, we mentioned that we needed a really level site. They noted a nice long pull through site that someone had just vacated this morning.

We went back to Miss Zanzibar, ate breakfast, then walked to the office to ask about being able to leave the rig for 2 nights while we attend my niece’s wedding. They said fine, as long as it was just for that and that we were letting them know. Knowing now that we wouldn’t have to put our RV into storage for those 2 nights, we wanted to move to a more level site.

We checked out the one near our fire lovers and another by the lake; the lake site won. It wasn’t perfectly level, similar issues to our other site, but we now have both slides out, FHU, great/strong 50 amp power ($3/night), face North, with lovely lake views. This campground is really nice; very friendly staff and campers, clean bathrooms, gorgeous pools (yes, one for adults and another for families), even 2 hot tubs. Lots of critters: birds, squirrels, ducks. Some of the roads have bad potholes and rough gravel, others are asphalt. They have lots of trees so few satellite sites and more short than long sites.

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Then I got my light housecleaning done. Believe it or not, it was lunch time already. In the afternoon I worked on the blog and caught up on Internet research (RV dealers, things to do/see, route to next destination). The perfect relaxing day. I’d set my chair out under the shade of a tree by the lake but never managed to get there. Even though it was pretty cold this morning, the sun brought wonderful warmth (low 70’s) later.

Nothing special for our evening except adjusting to no DVR. John watched “Person of Interest” in the bedroom while I watched “Frontline” in the living room.

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Moving on – to Advance, NC and Dentist Visit

10/20/14 Monday in Advance, NC (Forest Lake-TT)

On our way by 8:15 am. We had a little excitement when, on our way, John realized he’d never input the address into his GPS. Would we find a wide spot to stop and set it? He did, before I-64W, thank heavens.

Long trip, but mostly freeway roads so we were hoping our trip would be pretty endurable. I-64W, I-1295S, I-85S. The intersection of I-64 to I-295 went smoothly, although the road was pretty rough around there and for several miles, even on I-85S for several more miles. Plus we had the refrigerator break open and drop out a couple items. Finally, the road got decent. Ah, North Carolina – it’s beautiful.

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We had a little excitement when John saw a sign for Pilot (fuel). He’d seen the paperwork for this Pilot saying there were no pumps, but he so wanted to get our fuel in Virginia because it’s cheaper than in North Carolina. Well, after pulling off we couldn’t find a Pilot. There was an Exxon with diesel, so John had to finagle some tight spaces to get to the pumps, only to realize that he’d driven onto the wrong side of the pump for our RV. At that point I suggested we just get back on I-85S, so we did.

I called the dentist. An appointment was available Tuesday. Good, no pressure. Later the dentist called. There was a cancellation for 3:30pm today. We might make it, but it would be tight. She said she’d leave my appointment for Tuesday and I could call around 1 or 2 if I thought we could make the 3:30 one. Meanwhile I’m to connect to the Internet and print some paperwork, bringing it to the office completed. In the interest of efficiency, I used my smart phone hotspot to connect and tell my computer to print. When we stopped at a rest area, I connected to the printer and printed them. Wouldn’t you know, it looked like we’d get to the campground at 2 pm, so we called to let them know we’d come to the 3:30 pm appointment.

Once we arrived, it took an hour to check in, unhook the car, find a place and get level. Off we went to the dentist in Lexington. They were wonderful and the great news is: No filling came out! My teeth are fine!!! On our way back we picked up some groceries.

Need I say, we were really tired then and glad we just had to heat up our leftover taco soup from yesterday. We couldn’t get satellite TV but we did get the locals so we were happy to enjoy “Dancing With The Stars” then hit the sack. You know, like the sacks of straw that the slaves had to sleep on in our colonial times……

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Entry Door Problem

10/19/14 Sunday in Gloucester,VA (Chesapeake Bay RV Resort-TT)

Normal Sunday: pancakes for breakfast and Mass. After Mass a nice lady asked for information regarding our CRV as a tow car and what tow bar we use (Falcon II). We were happy to let her know how happy we are with our CRV. It’s been very reliable, the Honda service centers are great, it has lots of storage room and it gets very good gas mileage for an all wheel drive vehicle (25 mpg).

For the afternoon I worked on the blog as John began pre-travel day chores, until the front door wouldn’t open for him! Thanks heavens I was inside and could open it easily. Such a cold windy day to have to struggle with that issue. Especially nerve wracking the day before we’re to leave. Especially since the last 2 times this happened, John struggled a long time, then had a Mobile RV guy come to figure it out. This time he struggled about an hour or more and solved it!!! He had to bend some plate inside the mechanism. It looks like a Rube Goldberg set up in there, I’d say.

We celebrated (hugs and the like), then after cleaning up he came inside to see if he could find a score for the Seahawks game today. He was sure they’d be featuring some east coast team, but he was rewarded with the sight of the Seahawks!! They were behind at that moment, but made a touchdown soon after. I’m glad he got this fun TV (for him) after getting our door to work. Unfortunately, they lost that game, by 2 points.

We got both our big slides in, although we “cheated” by leaving the jacks (levelers) down. Manual and tech people are firm about the need to have the jacks up when we move the slides in or out.

Goodbye Chesapeake Bay (actually we’re on the Piankatank River)

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Colonial Williamsburg: Milliner, Music, and History

10/18/14 Saturday in Gloucester,VA (Chesapeake Bay RV Resort-TT)

On our way out we canceled our last day here, to leave on Monday. We’d decided that would give us some chance for a dentist appointment on Monday as well as put us a day ahead of the Tuesday rains. But the ranger couldn’t get us into another park.

On our way to Williamsburg we stopped at a Home Depot and bought a GFI receptacle. We realize that one of our “rules” is to stay at the campground during weekends, to keep away from the crowds. There were more people around, but we survived. This way we got a rest on Friday.

At the Milliner’s we discovered that factory workers in England would embroider such things as a waist coat (called a vest today) that could be cut out to fit the gentleman.

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On the left is a slipcover, always worn underneath the dress, yet with marvelous embroidery. They wore many things that were unseen, yet beautifully decorated. On the right is a “pocket”, also work underneath their dress.

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In summer the gentlemen could wear a banyan, a robe of lightweight material from India, with designs printed in India also.

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On up the street we went to a program “The Gamut of Music”. No photography allowed. We learned that the first musical note, what we call a “G”, they called “Gamma”. Then the next note in the first chord of 4 notes was called “ut”, thus the term gamut, which means in a linear progression. 2 Gentlemen played the harpsichord and a sort of short cello. A lady played the guitar (sort of like a mandolin). She said women could play small instruments, but not anything that came near the face or neck like violins or horn instruments because they would interfere with the beauty of their face.

Then we just made it for a public audience with Patrick Henry, the great orator of his time. People remember his words “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”. He was an excellent speaker, but not quite up to LaFayette’s inspiration. As he was answering individual questions at the end, we ate our picnic lunch. It’s a great time saver!

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We then got in on a tour of the Capitol. I was amazed at how similar their system worked to ours. They had the House of Burgesses (2 representatives from each village), plus the legislators (chosen by the Governor) and the Governor. Of course, no checks and balances; all laws had to be approved by the King. Worse, Parliament (not even asking the King) was enacting punishing laws on the colonists with no representation by the King.

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The House of Burgess met here (the Speaker’s chair at the end is the original that survived when the first Capitol burned). The next photo is of where the legislators met. Notice how much richer their room is.

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The Burgesses were dissolved by the Governor, so they continued to meet in secret, when he was out of town. They wanted to create a list for the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. George Mason realized how hard it is for a committee to come up with ideas they agree on, so he drew up 10 points for them to begin with. This is what they developed and presented at the Congress:

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This is the courtroom at the Capitol, for felonies like murder, grand theft and treason. The other courtroom we’d been to was the County Court for smaller offenses. In those days the jail (gaol) just held people until their trial. After the trial they are pronounced guilty (hung) or innocent (set free). They did have an option to plea “mercy” from the Judge. If the Judge grants them mercy, then they are branded on the fleshy part of their left hand and they are set free. The next time, they won’t get any mercy.

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Right when we finished our Capitol tour, we heard the fifes and drums. They started their march right outside the Capitol (we actually knew that and planned on it). So we had a great time listening and, for awhile, following them.

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Then we hustled back beyond the Capitol to Bassett Hall. The part to the right was built in 1760, the part left of it in 1770, then when it was restored another part left of that was added in 1930. This is the Williamsburg home of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., where they stayed every spring (when the tulips came) and fall (when the mums were in bloom). He was inspired to support the restoration of this, at the time, sleepy village. It took years, but is truly a fabulous experience of history. They loved this home because of its intimacy and ease. It was more a home than a palace, like their others. Each morning he loved to go down Duke of Gloucester Street and talk with the workers (they wouldn’t know who he was) and she loved to invite the ladies from William and Mary College and the village to her place for tea. When she died their son took photos of everything, placing furniture and the like in storage. After he died it was then restored to how it was in 1948, when she died. The last image is of a warming oven.

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At this point we gave our tired feet a treat and caught the shuttle back to the Visitor Center.

As we made our way home, I got a call from the dentist (responding to my message yesterday). Since I wasn’t experiencing any pain it was fine to wait until Monday to see if they had an opening then or Tuesday.

When we got back we treated ourselves to more yummy “Moose Tracks” ice cream. (Since we couldn’t find any true crack in my tooth via photos, I decided that I wouldn’t suffer if I had some ice cream…) While at the store John spotted the Manager, so we asked her if she could get us into Forest Lake a day earlier. She could and did, explaining that many managers can’t. All this was necessary because TT doesn’t answer phone calls (the only way to make CHANGES to your reservations) on the weekend.

When we got back to Miss Zanzibar John got ambitious, turning off all our power and taking out the old GFI outlet. At that point he found that one of its wires was not completely connected. Once he got it secure, we had our power. Nice job John!!!

Such a relief: no worries about a place to stay Monday, the dentist will find a time for me when I call Monday and our GFI issue is solved..at least it looks like it!

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What Dentist Will Take Me?

10/17/14 Friday in Gloucester,VA (Chesapeake Bay RV Resort-TT)

Quiet morning getting the blog caught up and Internet business. Then I checked the Internet for what to do when you think a filling has fallen out. Hmm. See a dentist ASAP. It’s Friday. I got one office (at Sentara, actually), but he would only do an exam with x rays of that one tooth. The treatment would have to happen in another appointment. They don’t work on the weekend and Monday is full. We leave Tuesday. We only have a few days before the wedding, so we can’t commit to being here even another week. So I decided to try for a dentist near our next place in NC. I called our TT campground there, asking the person who answered for a dentist recommendation. She gave me one. I called the dentist office next. They’re closed until Monday, so I left a message. I’ll just have to try again then. We’re thinking of leaving on Sunday to give ourselves another day for dental efforts. Life is just not so simple when you are on the road, but it is flexible.

John drove himself to Sentara to give them a lab test (FIT) he needed to hand deliver. I spent that time getting my Facebook security in shape and attending to emails. Then I realized the printer wasn’t printing. After awhile I thought of our GFI situation. Sure enough, that dining room light didn’t come on. I reset the GFI. Oh Oh. The electricity still won’t come through. I had to give John the bad news when he got back. He checked a few things and simply connected the extension cord. Guess he’ll ruminate on it for a while. He thinks maybe the GFI outlet has issues.

We took a brisk walk around the campground, discussing our travel options as we went. That felt good.

We may be breaking a couple of our travel rules if we left Sunday; 1-not to drive much the day before traveling (we’re going to Williamsburg Saturday) and 2-driving Miss Zanzibar over 200 miles (this trip will be 290 miles).

John asked about getting ice cream. I said I thought I shouldn’t because of my filling issue. He was sad; he knew he shouldn’t have any, so my not having any took away his excuse.

I baked corn muffins but something went wrong-they didn’t quite cook completely. Not sure if I did something wrong or the Microwave did. The Microwave worked fine as a Convection oven for supper, so we’ll see how things go the next time I make those muffins.

Back at home we settled in to our leftover pork supper and the “The Roosevelts…”

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