Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Grandbaby Reveal Party

We happened to be here to attend the 'Goldman Baby Reveal Party' over the weekend.
Things have sure changed in the last 30+ years.  It was a lot of fun to see all Jon and Kelly's friends get excited over their baby-to-be born.  Of course we are too, but it is not the same...

For this event, they included the timing for the University of Georgia vs. University of South Caroline football game.
And there was also the annual Cobbler Pie Contest complete with prizes.
So there was lots of exciting things going on at once.
Folks started arriving mid afternoon.  There must have been over 30 people there by the time it was in the early evening.

There was lots of food
And plenty of pie/cobbler ish variations for the multiple judging categories.
While all that was going on, Jon was outside firing up the Egg Grill and getting ready to cook the Tri-Tip.
With Jon's special Red Dirt and Sweet-Smoky Rubs over mesquite charcoal, it turned out really well!

Then on to the reveal--
Everyone had a small cardboard mug box with a balloon in it for the gender of the baby.
I'd say there was a 60-40 breakdown who thought the baby was going to be a boy.
And a name:  Brooks Carter Goldman

Kelly made the announcement yesterday in her blog and included a computer generated picture of what their baby will look like:
How do they do this  ???

We continued eating for a while as the judges made it over to the cobbler table to taste and judge.  I think they had 8 or 9 categories, most of which I don't remember.  
Kelly chose the recipe, and Pam put together and baked the ingredients of the Blackberry Peach Cobbler.  It was a bit tangy and won the "Life of the Party Award".
The overall winning cobbler was the Pumpkin Cobbler.  The award winner gets a rotating 'trophy' for a year and then it is award to the next winner.  Can't remember why Jon and Kelly got it last year but they were glad to pass it on.
This random work of  art will continue to make its rounds for years to come I am sure.  

That pretty much concluded the festivities but we hung around and cleaned up while the football game finished up.  Pretty exciting game with South Carolina edging the Georgia Bulldogs 38-35.  It was a great game with both teams having plenty of chances to put it away.  

That's all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles ~ Thanks for joining us!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

In Place at Little Creek...

We have been here at Little Creek MWR Campground for over a week now.  So far so good -- we are again about 3 blocks away from Kelly and Jon's place so that makes for easy access.

We got here in time to enjoy a visit from Jon's parent's who drove up from Augusta, GA for a few days.
 It's always good to spend time with them and we got a photo of our time at Logan's Roadhouse.

As it happened, our friends from New Holland, PA (Mike and Sue) had made reservations months ago for a little R&R in Virginia Beach so we got to meet them for lunch last week too!
Even though we just saw them a couple of weeks ago, we had plenty of things to talk about and had a another great time together.  We had lunch at Tortuga's on the Oceanfront which was about 100 yards from their hotel room.  It was quite nice and we had a long and leisurely lunch.  And we decided to continue next door for a while.  We made it inside before the rains came and finished up our drinks.  It was fun to place the tourist again and act as if we had all afternoon....

Meanwhile, over the last week or so, I have been getting my work done online and had to go where the internet is good.  For some reason, when we arrived the day after Labor Day, I could log on and use our Mifi on base.  But then things changed and I had to split my time between the Starbucks on base and Kelly and Jon's to connect online.

Just a theory, but I think the military base electro magnetic atmosphere is highly charged and doesn't like extraneous internet connections like those coming from vehicles like RV's.  So, we find a different way to connect and get our things done.

We've had fun watching daughter Kelly with her creative DIY mind going.  She was asked to decorate a stage and wanted some simple lights to place about and we went over to Home Depot and picked up the parts that all came together.

Jon made the stands and routered them and Kelly wrote about it here in her blog:  House of Gold VB.

We've been doing a little work on the house.  Today Pam did some wash and is putting another coat of stain on a toy chest.  We also took time out to make some campground reservations in October and November.
We keep our plans on our master calendar which looks a lot like the calendar we used to keep on the side of the refrigerator in our home.  We will be staying in the Murfreesboro at Cedars of Lebanon State Park.  We did some research, picked a site and then found out we qualify for a 'Senior Discount' of 50%.  Yaaaay!  That day will have finally come in mid-November.  We are also looking forward to the Senior Pass / America the Beautiful National Parks.

I also did some more work online and then installed a front-door viewer.
With a little care and a 9/16 " drill bit, there was nothing to it!

That's all for now on the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's There to See?

There is always something to see, no matter where we are.  We went for a drive on Sunday morning while still at Kiptopeke State Park and drove a few miles north on Highway 13 to Cape Charles.

Cape Charles is a town with a lot of history and charm and it was a nice day to drive around.
We had took a quick drive around town and decided to go see the marina.  Lots of different boats were there and we strolled along the docks to get a closer look.
One immediately notices the pedestals that provide shore electrical power to the boats.  They are the same kind we find at many RV campgrounds for 50 and 30 amp service.  Another thing you see are number of Garmin units on the boats.

It was fun to walk on the different docks and see all the kinds of boats.  Since we are not seamen, we find it curious and interesting how these people operate these things.  And like RVs, there are a lot different kinds and models.
And many different ways to enjoy the water and boat life.

Over by the boathouse and community building, there were showers  and restroom facilities.  We came upon a morning pot luck and asked what was going on.

The Seaford Yacht Club was having a brunch and what looked a lot like a little RV rally.  
Except it is for the yacht club.  The group of probably 15 boats were all in port for the Labor Day Weekend and were enjoying the beautiful day.

Next, we drove over to the upscale housing development - Bay Creek - with two championship courses.  Apparently this was the first place in the U.S. where a development has both an Arnold Palmer and a Jack Nicklaus Championship Course.  It also has a large and private beach with lots of empty lots.

Then we drove over to Cape Charles about 2 miles away and wandered among the shops and galleries.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ugh Oh...No Hot Water!

Have you ever turned on the hot water in your RV and had the strange sensation of no hot water out of the water?

When we did this a few weeks ago it was a mystery...

The cold water was fine.  When we turned it on it ran fine.  But there was no response, no water, no anything out of the hot water faucet!

Has that every happened to you?

We did all the trouble shooting we could think of and checked connections, the water line, hose and ended up calling the Tiffin Motor Homes Service Center.  They seem like they always come through and had an answer for us.

They thought it was a hot water heater check valve that probably had sediment in it.  Once the sediment collected, the spring loaded valve.

All we needed to do was get down into the bay and take the valve off the hot water PEX line and replace it.  It was suggested we could find it at Home Depot or something like that...

I found the valve but it took some doing to get to it.
First I had to empty the basement area right next to the water heater.

Then I had to remove the sides of the water heater enclosure.
The small panel that the light and junction box were attached to was secured with four small screws and no big deal to take out.

Next, we emptied the hot water from the water heater.
Once the water was drained, I crawled back into the basement and removed the check value with simple hand turns on the fixture.

Then we set out on a search for a replacement part.
Not one here...
Nor here...
Nor could we find one at Home Depot...

We called the Service Center at Tiffin again and they indicated we could take the spring loaded piece out of the check valve and it would work OK for a while.  Meanwhile we ordered the piece from their parts department.

We put the old valve back in place and turned everything on and YES - we had hot water.

We had the part sent to our daughter's in Virginia Beach and it was waiting for us when we returned from our travels to the DC Area and Lancaster County and the Eastern Shore.

The good news was that the $12.18 part was waiting for us.  The bad news was that it cost $15.77 to ship to us!  Yikes!

But what are you going to do??  All in all we were glad to have hot water again!  And if you'd told us when this issue first came up, we could get it fixed for under $30, we wouldn't have hesitated.

So, we went through the same drill again and took off the old valve and put on the new one.
I swapped it out and Pam turned on the water.  I wanted to be careful and not strip the plastic turn fittings.  Pam turned on the water and it only took me a couple of seconds to yell 'Turn it Off!'
The check valve can only go one way and I had a 50-50 chance of getting it right the first time...

After some towel work and cleaning up a little water, I turned it around, secured it in place and --Success!!

It took us a month from initial "No Hot Water" to getting the replacement part and things fixed, but we got it done and learned some more things about the pieces and parts and maintenance on our beloved Roadrunner.

That it for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Roadrunner Financials - Aug 2014

Roadrunner Recap
We spent the month of August in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
We started out the month in the Washington DC area at Fort Meade, MD.  We stayed at the Army Travel Camp there while visiting Adam and Melissa, then left toward the middle of the month to see friends Mike and Sue in Lancaster County, PA.  We stayed at the Beacon Hill Camping campground. Next, we made our way back down the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, first spending a few days at Assateague State Park - MD, then on to Kiptopeke State Park - VA where we finished up the month.

Good News Areas We Are Under Budget
We were under budget in most areas and got our averages down to where we like them.  Our year fiscal year starts in June, so for June - August, we are averaging a little over $300 Under Budget.

For August, we are under for:

  • Diesel
  • RV & Car Maintenance (thank goodness...)
  • Groceries (which means we didn't do a lot of entertaining)
  • Misc spending
  • and 1 Time Costs

We like months where we are $1,241 under budget!

Biggest Expenses
Our biggest expenses this month were for campgrounds.  I upped our budget from under $25 to a little over $28 and we actually spent on average $31.54/day.  This is to be expected since it is high season for campers and we stayed in some State Parks (which are normally a little higher than what we pay at commercial or military parks if we have the choice.)

Large One Time Cost Item
None this month.

Monthly Average

We pay our car insurance quarterly so that will change next month.  Most of our other monthly expenses look pretty good.

That's a snapshot of how we're feeling about the cost of things on this Full-Time Journey.  We are in month 63 of doing it.

Hopefully, some of the thoughts and figures are of some interest/value/curiosity.  If you'd like a blank spreadsheet of what I use I'd be glad to send you it at no charge to do with what you wish.  

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!