Monday, August 27, 2012

Typical Travel Day

We like to get moving before 8:00 A.M. and we able to do so today.  We got up and at 'em by about 6:30 and ate some cereal and oatmeal for breakfast.  I had to unhook the power, wind up the hoses and retract the awnings over the windows.

To leave fairly quickly, I usually pack up most of our things a day or two in advance.  On Saturday I repacked the golf clubs, folded and cleaned the lawn chairs, cleaned the side tables and Pam cleaned the grill.  On Sunday, I emptied the tanks, unhooked the sewer hose and accordion stand and packed them away in the basement.  I unhooked the extra hoses and wound those up and stowed them too.

I also took down the flag and disassembled the flagpole and stand, and took down our "Another Day in Paradise" sign.  I packed them away along with the extra bucket and tray and clothes line we keep folded up.

So this morning I only had to turn off the water, while Pam brought in the the slides and raised the jacks.  I collected the plastic pads and stowed them.   Once the HWH buttons read 'green' we were ready to pull out and hook up the car.  That took about 10 minutes.  We checked the turn signals and brakes and rolled out at 7:29 A.M.

We were leaving Virginia Beach (Ocean Pines Campground at Oceana NAS) heading for Maynardville Tennessee.  My trusty iPhone tells me that is about a 10 hour drive of 535 miles.  Add the need to stop a few times to stretch the legs and to fill up with diesel--and it would be a very long day.

So we decided to make it into a couple of easy days.  We left Virginia Beach for an overnight stop in Greensboro, N.C.  My iPhone says it is about a 5 hour drive and 253 miles.  Sounded like a better way to do it, so we did.

We stopped for diesel at Suffolk, VA.  We found diesel at $3.84/gallon.  I had let the tank get near 1/4 and got the 'Low Fuel' sign on the dash.  Not good.  I have done that once or twice before.  I said, "Never Again!" but this time I mean it.  I know it is not too smart to let it get that low and I hate the stress, so…"Never Again!".

We went to a BP station that was fairly easy to get into.  We ran into gas pump problems.  They were VERY slow.  Three of us in the big truck section were pumping at a trickle.  One guy had been there before and said we all needed to turn off the pumps, go in and tell the clerk and then start pumping again.  Sure enough, somehow the pumps 'reset' and it was filling like it was supposed to.

Our tank holds 150 gallons and we put in 116.  It was a $445 bill but we have paid more for less last summer.  We continued on and stopped across the North Carolina border for a few minutes.  Pam drove a couple hours.  Lunch time came, so I fixed sandwiches while she drove.   And we changed again and arrived at Greensboro Campground about 1:30 P.M.  It is a nice summer day and the pool was very inviting.

After we got set up at a pull-through site, I went over to the pool and enjoyed it for a while.  I met a couple from Pittsburgh who have a Phaeton.  They are in the area dropping their daughter off at Elon University, then heading for Florida.  It was fun to chat with them for a while and take advantage of the pool and nice weather.

Later, we are scheduled to meet some of Kelly's friends for dinner.  They live in Greensboro and said, "Anytime you are in the area, stop by…".  So we called and look forward to seeing them later this evening.

So there is a typical travel day for us.  One more tomorrow and we'll be in Maynardville to see Pam's sister and family for about 10 days.

That's all for now on this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us.   Until next time...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Roadrunner Repairs

Since we have been here a while in Virginia Beach, I needed to get caught up on some maintenance and repair items.

The easy maintenance items included washing and polishing the RV.  I scrubbed the top of the roof and also cleaned the topper awnings over the slideouts.  I believe if we keep up on the maintenance this motorhome can last for years and years.  Friends have a motorhome that was built in the 1990's and it is in great shape so I figure there is no reason why ours can't be like that too.

One morning I got up and notice a large puddle under the Roadrunner.  I thought it had rained during the night but traced it back to a hole in the water hose that is connected to the outside faucet.  I think the hose had fatigued after coiling around the automatic reel for the last 7 years.  We found a replacement hose in the RV section of Walmart and replaced it.

Another repair/maintenance item I have been putting off is the Pressure Pro Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).  We bought new tires last September and I never went through the trouble to get the system recalibrated.  I tried a couple of times, even got on the phone with the tech rep and almost got the tires reset but…never had enough time to get all 10 reset.  I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing so that factored into things. As with some projects that become frustrating, I kept putting it off.  Finally, last week, I tinkered with it until it all read the tires and we are back in business.

I also put some removed the inside over at the passenger inside corner of the windshield and front side.  For some reason, we can hear squeaking/creaking as we barrel down the highway over bumpy roads.  After pinpointing it to that corner of the coach, we will see if we were successful.

About six weeks ago, while in Maine, we were going over one of those bumpy roads (bumpy highway roads) and I noticed the bottom part of our front mounted TV came loose.  It was like the whole bottom part of the TV was swinging front to back and only secure at the top.  Yikes!  I got out the duct tape and secure it for now so it wouldn't fall out.
I mulled over how to get at the inside and see where it had come loose.  I started with a Yahoo Group of which I am a member.  Briefly stated my issue and in a couple of days I got a very useful step by step explanation.  The guy who responded also suggested I ask the question on forum.  After his brief explanation, I didn't need to ask on the forum.

I removed the books I had stored in the left cabinet
and the wii equipment that was in the right cabinet next to the TV.
Then I removed two screws from the left and right bottom inside the cabinets.

Next, I took off the wood frame around the TV and unhooked the ir sensor.
From there, I could move the TV a little more out.  It was secured at the top, but the bottom metal mount were missing four 1" screws that had worked themselves loose.

I went to Home Depot and got fatter 1" screws and secured the TV mount back into the wooden TV frame.  It was done in a couple of minutes.
So that was my recent list of maintenance and repair items:
- Wash and polish the Roadrunner
- Reset and calibrate TPMS
- Repair/replace main water hose
- Put insulation over squeaking windshield/corner panel channel
- Secure TV brackets and mounts

Now I'm ready to start another list -

That's all for now on this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time (from the mountains of Tennessee)...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kelly and Jon's Wedding - After the Ceremony

Here are some pictures and thoughts of Kelly and Jon's wedding.
Amber took this one of us before we got ready to walk down the aisle.  It is one of my favorite.

In my last post, I showed some pictures of beginning and during the wedding.  Now for some after the ceremony:
The wedding party moved over to the garden for some pictures while everyone else was getting some food and drink.
And one of the Kelly's side of the family:
And Jon and his folks:
We were very happy to have all Kelly's uncles and aunts and some nephews and nieces there from the Warner side:
Reid and Amy, Adam, Heidi, Lesley and Ben with Ezra, Pam and me, Brad and Sue, Marty and Elena

It was a beautiful setting and thank God the we escaped the rain!

I had a few words and a toast

And the dancing started!
Something special about the Father-Daughter dance...
There was a lot of dancing going on with Brannon and the Big Mighty - they were great!
 It was fun to watch and listen
We had something to eat and tried to talk to everyone.  
And then the cake…
And they made their get away on bikes….
It was a glorious night and we have more pictures to share!

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jon and Kelly's Wedding

Kelly Warner became Kelly Goldman on Sunday, August 12 at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, VA.  It was a fantastic venue, a beautiful afternoon and evening and a momentous occasion!  We don't have all the photos yet… as the Father of the Bride, I had some other duties during the ceremony and didn't get some ones I wanted but here are a few:
The area where the wedding party gathered before the ceremony
On our way down the aisle.
Wes did a great job in the ceremony! I love weddings because they remind me how it was and can be and I try to take note of things I can do better in our marriage.
After they said their vows and Wes talked, Brannon came to sing 
While the wedding party gathered to pray for Kelly and Jon.  (I have to say, contrary to my natural tendencies, I held it together throughout the ceremony.  Here I did get a little choked up.)
And a little flair…everyone in the wedding party paused to don their shades and:

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Goldman
And the wedding party got into and busted out in some fun too!

During the ceremony Wes used one-word descriptors of Kelly and the same for Jon.  For Kelly he said, "Decorative".  For Jon he said, "Driven".  I'd say for them:  "Fun"!  Among other things they share the same sense of enjoyment, having a great time and doing it with each other.  So in the midst of one of the most deeply moving, spiritual, emotional, important and profound days of their lives -- they interjected a degree of 'fun' for themselves and every one there.  

More pictures later on the rest of the evening.  But for now,

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Roadrunner Financials - July 2012

Roadrunner Recap
 This was a pretty fantastic month!  We spent the Fourth of July in Bar Harbor ME watching the parade and then going over to the fairgrounds for the lobster races.

Our specific stops along the way:
  • Hadleys Point Campground, Bar Harbor ME
  • Pumpkin Patch RV Resort, Herman ME
  • Camping la Cle des Champs, Saint-Philippe, Quebec CA
  • Camping Alouette, Montreal Quebec
  • Lacawanna State Park, Dalton, PA
  • Iroquois Campground, Rome NY
  • Sea Mist Military RV Campground, Virginia Beach VA
Here's an interactive map of where we camped during the month. Click on the letters (waypoints) to see locations:

Or if you prefer, a static map of travels during the month:

Good News Areas We Are Under Budget
Here's a snapshot of our spending for the month:

We 'saved' a lot of money this money on 'Campgrounds', purchase of 'Household Items', and '1 Time Costs'.

Biggest Expenses
Had a second visit to Portsmouth to repair a leak cause by support that was wearing through the casing.
We also spent a lot on Diesel fuel since we put in a lot of miles on the road.

Large One Time Cost Item
$708 on the RV repair.

Monthly Average

Even with a big repair bill once we got back to Virginia Beach, we were able to stay well below our target monthly spending.  We were glad about that!  
I have often said this is more of a tracking tool and an estimate than a budget -- this month's spending proves it.  That's what our spending looked like for the month.  Thanks for taking a peek.  Hopefully they provide help or entertainment of some sort...  If you'd like a free copy of the spreadsheet I use, drop me a note and I will be glad to send it along.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!