We began the process of moving out of our 3 story, 3/3 townhouse on August 1st. We gave ourselves a full week to make the transition, and we needed every bit of that week. Life and work don't stop just because you are moving. Family was in town to celebrate Grammy's 97th birthday, and clients were calling, so we had to juggle our time and responsibilities wisely.
We had been storing Thor at Pop's home out in the country. We brought it over to TY Park in Hollywood, FL, to make it easier for us to move into it. It was too large to fit into our townhouse complex, and TY Park was the safest and closest place to us. And by closest, I mean 17 miles away from the townhouse through heavy highway traffic in the heat of August.
Moving into an RV is not like moving into another house. You can't just load up a Uhaul, and unload everything in the middle of your new home and sort it out during the course of a week. There just isn't room for that. You have to load up your car and break it down into many small trips, and put everything away before you bring in the next load.
One of the biggest frustrations for me was realizing that although my clothing drawers measure 26x7 on the outside, the are actually only 23x4.5 on the inside. I'm still crying a little on the inside over this deception.
We were hoping to keep what we put into storage very minimal, but still ended up with a 5x10 unit in Palm Beach (64 miles from the townhouse). We felt keeping it close to family was smart and would allow us to visit family and our storage unit in the same trip if need be. We still probably put too much in storage, but considering the vast amount we got rid of, and the huge change of life this is, I think we did pretty good. I'm sure in a year we will realize that most of that stuff is not needed too, and reduce it down to a 4x4.
So, after daily trips from the RV to the townhouse and to storage, we felt as if we were moving everyday for an entire week. We were so happy to turn in our townhouse keys on Monday and officially be done moving. But then on Tuesday we had to move again, this time to take the RV to CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, FL. While Broward County has some amazing parks, their websites only let you make arrangements for 7 day stays. Being newbies at this, we were just trying to follow the rules and learn as we go. Upon checking in at CB Smith, I asked if it was possible to stay beyond the 7 days, or if we need to check out and check in again with a new reservation after 7 days. Turns out that you can stay at a single Broward County park for up to 6 consecutive months! Lesson learned: Call the park, don't trust the online reservation process.
We were so busy and physically exhausted from the move, that we didn't get to take advantage of the beautiful trails and amenities at TY Park while we were there. But yesterday we finally got to get a taste of the life style that inspired this transition. A bike ride through the park on a beautiful evening with a gentle breeze. While TY Park has more charm to me, the RV parking area feels more like a cement parking lot with sparse trees and shade. CB Smith RV parking is lush and beautiful. Great shade and a view of the lakes.
So much more to learn, and you can only learn it by getting out there and doing it. We'll be at CB Smith till Tuesday, then we head up to Kentucky for the Solar Eclipse.
See you on the road!
We just got back from our first road trip in the new RV. This was sort of a practice run to get to know the RV (now called The Mighty Thor), before actually moving into it full time. It took us four days to drive to Virginia Beach from Miami; two days longer than normal. We were hoping to pick up the tow dolly we ordered in Atlanta, but it just wasn’t ready yet. So that meant I had to follow Al in the Jeep as he drove Thor. Sirius radio made for a very enjoyable drive, switching back and forth between The Spectrum, The Garth Channel, and Road Trip Radio (I’ll definitely be missing Sirius radio while driving Thor).
Because we were taking our time and getting familiar with the RV, we opted for shorter driving days in order to get to camp sites before their check-in offices closed at 5pm. This had its positives and negatives. It allowed us to practice set-ups and breakdowns repeatedly, and learn what needs to be absolutely locked down to keep if from flying all over the place. Al enjoyed the process. Me, not so much. I don’t like being on the road day in and day out. I need time to get into my own routine and find my own structure and grounding. I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing a lot the days we were just driving. Al has assured me that it will be quite different once we have the tow dolly since we won’t both be driving at the same time, and we won’t always be on the road. There will be plenty of times when we’ll be able to put our jacks down for a week or more (hopefully!).
We did run into some technical difficulty. On the first day out, the trim that goes around Our Big Windshield came loose and was flapping in the wind as we were driving 70mph down the turnpike (oh, the irony). Our automatic steps stopped working and were stuck in (better than stuck out), the emergency escape window started to come off its hinges, and we had a toilet clog. A big THANK YOU to the US Navy (my brother) for helping us fix the steps and emergency window. He tried to add the trim back to the windshield, but all the old silicone in the crevice made that task impossible. He assured us that it was just to give it a finished look and make it a bit more weather resistant, but that the glass itself was very secure (since he repairs fighter jets, I’ll take his word for it). Al still wants to get someone to look at it and see what the cost is to replace it, but we may just end up filling the crevice with a black silicone to seal it completely.
This trip did give me a bit of a reality check. It made me realize how little room there really is and that I need to cut back even more on clothes and books. There were moments when I was like “Holy shit! I’m going to be living in this thing!”. It’s starting to freak me out a bit, but there’s no turning back now. It’ll mess with your head when you realize that your home is flying down the road going over 70mph and vulnerable. Luckily, Al is so excited and loves learning about, and taking care of, his new toy. He was sweeping 3 times a day! I’ve never seen him sweep before. A girl can get used to that!
We don’t have a date yet for the full move in, but it will be sometime in August. We’ll keep you posted. Till then, we are getting down to the nitty gritty of clearing stuff out, and we have a big trip planned in July to Iceland and Scotland. So our plate is pretty full. It’s going to be an amazing summer!
Blog entry by Elizabeth DiPace