"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Monday, March 28, 2011

The house is going, going....

Well, the sale of the house is imminent. We got a decent offer from a sweet young couple who are having a baby any minute, and wanted a closing date of May 31. Perfect! We have a signed contract, and the inspection went smoothly. What a relief. We did take a hit on our overall investments in the house, but understood this was a possibility in the current real estate market. It's so worth it to know that we won't have to wait around for it to sell, try to rent it, or leave it empty.  It feels now like we are in this whirling vortex of preparations all heading toward the closing date. Whoooosh!!!

So, we are planning a bon voyage party for early June, at the KOA in Union, IL. Come back soon for the details!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Truck! The Truck!

Today our truck arrived at the dealer, Village Buick GMC in Naperville IL. Our salesman, Mark Oliver has been a trooper over the last year, fielding all our questions, and becoming a real truck expert along the way. The truck is a GMC, 3500 SLT crew cab dually. We went to see it and had a chance to sit in it to be sure it had all the features we expected. (It did.) It was covered in snow from its trip all the way from Flint, MI.  We do feel good about supporting US economy and all those GMC factory workers. We won't be able to pick it up until next week when we have our South Dakota address and license plates. It'll probably stay parked at the dealers for awhile, as we don't really have room in the driveway!  Here's a photo:

Monday, March 14, 2011


Spent the weekend in Madison, Wisconsin to shop at Canoetopia, a huge gathering for everything to do with canoeing and kayaking.  Many venders selling beautiful handmade and other kinds of both boats, as well as anything you could ever want to pimp your ride, in a very eco-friendly manner of course. We picked up two Werner paddles and two life vests. Now we are ready to try them out, as soon as it's warm enough to get on the water.

No, we didn't go to the capital to demonstrate or even observe. We skirted that part of town. On the way home we did stop at Rock Cut State Park, near Rockford IL to scope out its potential for camping this summer.  It's a lovely park, with a beautiful lake, and one of its camping loops looks like it has some sites that would be big enough. Sycamore, IL also has a small RV park with two ponds that would be perfect for trying out our kayaks. But the RV sites are really close together and it would be a tight squeeze during peak season, especially with our neophyte backing up skills. They seemed to have only a few pull-thru sites.  Its only advantage is that its the closest place to the dealer, Holiday Hour in Cortland, IL.

We need to find someplace to stay right after we pick up the RV, near the dealer so we can get back easily and quickly if we discover any problems or need help figuring out how something works. We think we'll spend at least a week nearby before we head out to South Dakota. During that time we are planning on having a party so our friends can see our new home.  Hope you'll come!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wish list

Family, loved ones and colleagues have been asking what they can give us as a Going Away/House Warming gift. That's a tough question. When asked "What do you need?" all I can think of is "Less!" I don't mean to be flip, but our heads are so into letting go, that it's hard to think of anything more.  In fact the first time someone asked me that question my first answer was "Health insurance," but then I figured out what she was really asking, and I've given the idea some more thought.

In this new life we are thinking along the lines of experiences rather than things. And consumables. I realize these options don't fit the bill for the "little thing that we will remember you always by," but they will make our adventure richer and more enjoyable in many ways.  For instance, our National Parks Senior Pass will allow us into all the National Parks at a much reduced rate for the rest of our lives! (But we have that already.)

So here are some ideas in case you are interested:

RV club memberships: For an annual fee we get reduced rates at many campgrounds. Here are the most popular ones.

           Passport America: http://www.passportamerica.com/
           Camp Club USA: http://www.campclubusa.com/

RV education: There are folks offering educational DVDs to help us learn how to drive the dang thing and keep it rolling safely.

            RV Education 101: http://rveducation101.com/rvtrainingproducts/

Consumables, gift cards: These are places that are almost everywhere in the US

            Camping World
            Shell (yes, gasoline)
            Walmart (The RVers best friend - I know, boring)
            Massage Envy
            Amazon (for Kindle books)
            Starbucks (got to have that espresso!)

Oh and one thing:

            A small, easy to use, all-weather digital camera with a small zoom lens.