Travel Log – 10/12/2007
Ahhh… time to relax, exercise, and catch up on our personal lives. This week we stayed in a private RV park a block from the beach in Miramar Beach, which is about 10 miles east of Destin, Florida. Our days were pretty much the same: wake about 6:00am, start exercising by 6:30am (otherwise, it was too hot and humid to finish before exhaustion set in!), clean up, eat a light breakfast, and doodle around the RV. Most days we enjoyed a lunch out at one of the many seafood restaurants, located on the beach. Yum. Our days always included a long bike ride and a walk on the beach. In fact we road our bikes everywhere including the post office, grocery store and for play. The beach here is beautiful — white delicate sand, warm water, and miles and miles in either direction. The weekend we arrived was the three-day Columbus holiday weekend so the beaches were full of families. As the week progressed, we noticed fewer people. It was still very populated since it was unusually warm, with afternoons in the high 80’s and low 90’s. Even the locals were ready for cooler fall weather!
Our “doodling” around the RV consisted of many well-needed activities: personal accounting, deep cleaning (including removing the “love bugs” from the outside of the fifth wheel), laundry (it stacks up more quickly than at home since we have fewer clothes and a much smaller washer/dryer), reading, and watching a movie or two. Rick also squeezed in a nap on two days! What luxury!
The break also gave us time to reflect on our road trip adventure. We added up the positives and negatives and easily reached consensus:
- Positive: We love road travel. Rick likes to drive and Lisa to study maps and navigate. The Blackberry and Internet offer an extra benefit as, provided we have cell service, we can research the local history and discuss its impact on what we experience that day.
- Negative: We are not seeing as much of the countryside as we wanted to. Given the size of our “rig” we are staying on major highways and stopping primarily at truck stops and rest stops. (We don’t have to turn off the propane if we fuel up at a diesel only pump. The propane is very important since it runs the refrigerator when we’re traveling.) We typically fill our Alliance lunch boxes for the day’s travel so we don’t have to navigate off the interstate.
- Positive: We enjoy working on-site with our customers again. It’s been at least a year since Lisa’s been on-site and even longer for Rick (since he’s been “locked” in the back room working on v5). We love the public VR agency mission and find our customers consistently committed to providing excellent customer service. They are also the best information source for how Alliance can improve our product and services.
- Negative: Working with customers during the week and then breaking down/traveling/setting up on the weekends is exhausting! We knew it would be a challenge, but overestimated how much down time we’d have between customer visits. We’re pooped!
- Positive: We like having our environment with us. We now know where everything is (printer, clothes, dishes, etc). We are very pleased with the RV we purchased. We love the high definition 40″ TV and want one for home now too!
- Negative: It takes a lot of time, energy and money to maintain an environment on the road. Everything needs upkeep just like at home, but more often and at a higher cost. AND since we typically travel on or more days on the weekend, our “days off” are spent cleaning and servicing our environment. In summary, a lot more work than we want to do! (For example, what is a quick trip to the grocery store at home equates to 2-3 hours on the road. First you have to find a grocery store – thank goodness for the Internet. Then it takes extra time to navigate through a store you’re not familiar with. And yes, we have to do this a couple times a week since our refrigerator is pretty small. Sometimes we say “heck with it, let’s just eat out!”) Hotel camping seems really nice right now!
Adding up the positives and negatives led us to an easy conclusion: we’re ready to give up the RV. Instead of waiting to sell the RV when we return home to Olympia, we posted For Sale signs now. Where are our potential buyers? At RV resorts! We had a serious inquiry about 3 hours later! We developed a plan to replace the truck with a SUV and the 5th wheel with a trailer (one that can carry the motorcycles when we return home) and complete the road trip on the planned schedule. But instead of staying in RV parks, we’ll stay in those lovely places where someone else does the linen laundry and cleaning: hotels!
Refreshed and revitalized, we’re back on the road!
~Lisa and Rick
Miramar Beach, Florida