We’ve been hanging out with some friends the past week or so, and one couple, Debbie and Steve, who, in our opinion, are some pretty extreme hikers suggested a hike at the campground we were staying at. I (being Cori, not Greg) was pretty excited as it had been awhile since I’ve done any hiking. So, in preparation, I start getting ready and was struggling a bit to get everything together…..backpack? Hmmm…couldn’t find it? Hiking poles? Head scratch….Just got some new ones for Christmas, where are they? Then it hit me, not only had it been awhile since I had done any hiking, it had been awhile since I’d spent any amount of time in our home. I quickly started adding up my 2017 days, and as of the first of April, I’d spent 19 days in the RV, which I guess is why I was struggling a bit to find everything….which brings me to a quick recap of 2017 to-date.
We left Texas at the end of December (via plane) to visit with friends and family in Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania, we hit two RV shows where we did some seminars on RV’ing, solar and other fun topics. We really enjoyed those as we got to meet a lot of really great people who are excited about RV’ing, and it also reinforced that quick trips to really cold places are about all we’re good for these days! (The shows were in Milwaukee and Grand Rapids, so, brrrrr!!!) On our way back to Texas, we ended up spending the night in the airport because of some storms, again reinforcing why we like traveling in our RV. Eventually, we made it back to Texas…and our home! But, our time in our coach was short-lived as my mom was having surgery—femoral bypass surgery—ten days later.
The next several weeks were a blur as we spent time between the hospital and my parent’s house helping out, which, we were grateful to have the time to be able to assist. Ultimately this was one of the main reasons for our change in lifestyle…..flexibility. In our “past life” it would have been really difficult to break away for such a long period of time and it would have been extremely hard to carve out the time we needed in order to help out. While it's a situation like this that highlights our appreciation for the flexibility, we never want to lose sight how fortunate we are to have the ability to do what we do.
But, sometimes that flexibility clashes with running a business, as we plan installs months in advance. And, well, this just required us to be a little logistically creative as Greg had installs scheduled in Tucson in February, mom was still in a wheel chair for the most part…and I didn’t want him making the trek by himself (he was okay with it and would have done fine…but….) So, we need to get the coach to Tucson and I needed to get back to Texas quickly. So, we left New Braunfels on a Friday, got to Tucson on Saturday and I flew back to Texas on Sunday. My sister and niece were able to hang with my parents so that worked out great. But, before leaving Tucson on Sunday, we were able to sneak in a quick happy hour with our friends Barb and Jim, along with their kids who are also full timing.
Hanging out with Jim, Barb, Forrest, Summer and Lilly!
I left Greg in Tucson bachelor’ing it for about a month while he did some installs, had some fun, and got some “projects” done on the coach.
One of those "projects" was a trip to see the Retro Game Show night.
Greg brought a whole carload to the event this time!!
By the end of February, mom was getting around pretty good, so I felt comfortable leaving and flew to back Tucson to meet up with Greg. Ahhh….it was so good to be finally back home, but not for long!! Before we left, yet again, we did get to sneak in another visit or two with Jim and Barb, and our friends Guy and Sue who had been in Tucson for a couple of weeks, so that was really nice. Our next stop--another RV show in Denver where we were doing some more RV and Solar seminars, then....onto vacation!! Our friends Guy and Sue had invited us to go to Cabo with them and a two other couples and since all we had to do was get our plane tickets and pay for food, it sounded pretty awesome. (And since we had some airline points, we really just had to get our food....but those of you who know Greg, that could be a costly endeavor!!)
The Denver RV show was really nice, and the sessions were packed, but while we were there, both Greg and I started to get sick, so for the first time, we deployed our virtual Doctors on Demand service, which was incredible. It was so nice not to have to hunt for an urgent care and waste a couple of hours. I did a virtual doctors office visit from my laptop, got a prescription sent to a nearby pharmacy and the whole process took about 15 minutes. So easy and something that, if needed (but hopefully not!), we will continue to take advantage of.
Greg doing a little stand up comedy before the seminars started!
Frank Addington did his archery show between our seminars.
He could shoot an aspirin out the air with his bow and arrow. Quite impressive!!
We thought it was a good idea to make nice with him since he was such a good shot!!
After the show, we flew back to Phoenix, as that’s where we flew in and out of, and also where our truck was parked and where we had our second, suitcase stored. Our rig was in storage at an RV park in Tucson, and since we had just an overnight before flying to Cabo, careful logistical planning which included an overnight in a hotel (and a quick load of laundry) seemed to make more sense. . Our truck stayed at the hotel as part of their “stay and park” service, a decision that we regretted once we returned.
So Cabo. It was our first time we had gone to Cabo and it was a ton of fun. We had two very different experiences as we stayed off the beaten path for part of the time, and then moved into town, where we were in the middle of the beaten path. So relaxation coupled with a little bit of city life; it was great! We traveled with a total of four couples, one which we knew (Guy and Sue) and two others, who were totally fantastic and tons of fun, and overall, everyone was really chill, so it made for a nice relaxing vacation.
Just another tequila sunset....
Hanging out with a full moon and ocean in the background
The Cabo crew....fun times!!
We retuned to Phoenix on a Sunday, with the intent of leaving right away and heading back to Texas. We wanted to check on mom, but we also left Hobie there, so we thought we probably should retrieve him. (And Greg was having total Hobie withdrawal!!) Surprisingly, the whole travel process was very smooth…until we returned to the hotel where our truck was parked. We loaded up the truck with our luggage, backed up and something didn’t feel right. Greg drove forward and knew immediately that there was an issue. He parked the truck and got out and confirmed his suspicion—someone had attempted to steal our tires and had taken all of the lug nuts off except for one on three of our tires, and one lug off the other tire. Driving the truck, even just a short distance (about 10 ft) with limited lugs did a number on the truck. Long story short, we got some lugs, had the truck towed to the local GMC dealership, and stayed the night in Phoenix so we could be at the dealership first thing in the morning.
The wheels on the truck don't go round and round.....
The other challenging piece of the puzzle was I had a flight booked out of Texas on Tuesday for a quick work trip. Seeing how there was no easy way to get to Texas by Tuesday (which is where I was flying out of) at this point, I started doing some work on the computer to look at options, with my ultimate solution being that I would fly out of Tucson on Tuesday.
The dealership and insurance company were great, and by late morning, we had a rental car and an estimation on when our truck may be fixed, which initially was about three days and they just needed the adjuster to come onsite to review. We hopped in the rental and headed back to Tucson with a goal of unpacking, repacking for my quick trip, and Greg would drop me at the airport the following day, and then he would drive to Texas and I would fly back into Texas after my trip as originally planned, the following day. Again, some serious logistical planning!!
About 45 minutes after we arrived back at our rig, I got a call that my trip had been cancelled because the gentleman I was meeting with was sick. Whew!! I know it sounds mean, but if someone is going to get sick with the flu, he picked the perfect time!! So at that point, we jumped in the truck and made it halfway to Texas, stayed in a hotel, arriving in Texas the following day.
Greg was reunited with his little buddy (so all was finally right with the world) and we were both glad to see mom moving around a lot better, with only an occasional use of a cane.
Reunited and it feels so good!!
Both were very very very happy!!
For the next few days, we puttered around the house and did a few projects while we waited for an update on the truck, which eventually came and unfortunately they needed more time as they found more damage. Sigh.
We reworked our travel plans and hunkered down in Texas for a few more days. The good news was that we were able to squeeze in a few things that we didn't get done in the winter. We FINALLY made a trip to visit our favorite vodka distillery—Deep Eddy--outside of Austin. They have a great outdoor area where you can sample their various vodkas and grab a bite to eat from various food trucks. They also do tours, but since it was a last minute trip, we didn’t plan ahead and reservations were required. Last year in Tucson, we met a great couple, RVLuckyorwhat, who introduced us to Deep Eddy, so it’s been on our list of things to do for awhile. So.... while life was giving us lemons….we drank some lemon vodka (which I highly recommend!!) in an attempt to make it all better!! And it helped!! :-)
Do you think we could tow this behind the coach?!
We also got a quick visit in with our friends Eric and Brittany, and got to meet Caspian, aka, Baby Nomad. We brought a pizza over to their campsite, which was just about 20 minutes from where we were, so it worked out great and it was awesome to see them and meet their new little one!
Also before we left Texas, we checked another thing off our list, which was a visit to the Phoenix Saloon in New Braunfels. The Phoenix Saloon is famous for a couple of reasons. First, it was the place where chili powder was invented in 1894 and it was also the first bar in Texas that offered service to women….although no lady who valued her reputation would dare be seen in a saloon, so the proprietor set up a ladies beer garden with bells in the trees for service. Also, back in the day, there was a deer pen and an alligator pit and badger fights. There was even a parrot on a perch just inside the front door that was taught to say, “Have you paid your bill!?” in German!
During our visit to the Phoenix Saloon, however, they just had a band playing, the basketball tournament on a ten foot screen, and we scored a decent dinner....and we also got the parents out of the house for a bit. Even with all that, thinking it would have been a whole lot more fun to visit that place in the late 1800’s as badger fights trump a band any day…and well, a German speaking parrot is just icing on the cake!!
Imagine the crowd they could have gotten if they had badger fights!!
Phoenix Saloon is known for their chili and burgers.
We opted for the burgers, but next time we'll try the chili!!
After all that excitement and getting word that our truck would be done in a couple of days, we packed up the rental and headed back to Tucson. We made the trip all in a long day this time and for the first time since January, we were all (inclusive of Hobie) under one roof again! Ahhh...so nice!! The next day, we returned to Phoenix to pick up our truck and were extremely pleased with the job they did.
Sort of ironic, as we are picking up our truck in Phoenix, we pass this poor SUV, being towed...without any wheels. Guess we were lucky they didn't get our!!
We followed the truck pick up with a grocery run and planned for a departure the following day, where we were meeting up with our extreme hiking friends Deb and Steve…which brings us full circle.
A pretty detailed and long explanation of why I couldn’t find my backpack, but also catches us up on why we’ve been a little silent on our blog. Oh, and by the way, I eventually found the backpack and it is now back at home in its backpack bin!!
AND...about that hike….stay tuned for the next post, with some details about our time in Arizona with friends.