Bangor City Forest

Bangor City Forest
Bangor City Forest

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We saw a Bighorn....ours

I already posted some photos that the salesman at Great Lakes RV Center sent to us and we planned on going to see our new home this last weekend to sign the papers and actually make it OURS. Well the finance guy decided that the papers needed to be signed before the weekend so he could get them to the bank ASAP. So he send them to us FedEx overnight last Monday, we signed them and sent them back so our trip to Elkhart would only be to see the Bighorn. That's fine with us. We got a call from our son in laws mother and she wanted to know if there would be room for her in our car to go with us for a visit. We, of course, planned on staying at our daughters house over the weekend in Osceola, IN just down the road. We said Yes, come on along. We left Friday evening with a threat of snow as we got closer to the IN border and sure enough the snow began. It wasn't as bad as when we came home from our Christmas celebration at the beginning of January but it did slow us down a little. We made it there safely and had a good visit that evening in anticipation of seeing the rig the next day. Over the night the snow continued to fall and ended up accumulating about 6 inches or so. We had planned on meeting Mike at the dealership at 9:30 but we got a call and he said it took longer for him to get there so we moved it back to 10:30. We piled into the car and headed over. Mike was waiting for us and said that he had to have the service guys bring the rig back in from the storage lot so we could view our home in relative comfort. It was cold outside. He took us back to the service area and there it was. In all it's glory.


It is ours...We own it now. No turning back from this adventure.
 
 
I walked around the rig as if I had to be sure it was real. It is real and it is REAL BIG. Mike opened the door and we climbed in and took our first look at where we will be living soon. (Still pinching myself) After going inside I was so happy we kept the light fixture as it was and for the décor we decided on. It feels and looks so rich. Just like a home.
 

Remington décor
 
 No TV since it will be stored outside
 
 Love the light fixture over the island
 
 We had the washer/dryer installed....hmmmm
 
 There it is....Glenda is very happy
 
 This couch is actually very comfortable
 
You can see I like it.
 
 
We spent a good long time in the rig just looking at everything, opening and closing doors, drawers and the slides just got a feel for it all. We noticed that we could still access the bathroom and bedroom with the slide closed in the front. Good to know for those overnights where you may not open the slides. The MCD shades are even impressive. Mike also told us that there are only 2 Bighorns in the country that have disc brakes installed.  That is an upgrade that is found on the Landmark model for Heartland but they just happened to be offering it when we ordered the Bighorn and then found out that it slowed the line down so they stopped after 2 units were built - ours and someone else's. So we are glad we ordered when we did. After enjoying our new home we had to leave and let Mike get back home and we could enjoy our time at our daughters.
 
We found out the truck is scheduled to be built on February 10th and should be delivered a 1-2 weeks later. This waiting is beginning to get to me. We seem so close yet so far  away. Glenda's last day at work in on Friday. I know that once that happens the real work begins as we get the house ready for sale in the spring. Fortunately we aren't hoarders and have downsized from our home a few years ago after the kids all moved out and on their own. Still there is a lot to do....but we are up for the task and it will help the time pass too. I'm beginning to ramble so I will just say we had a great time at our daughters house even though all the grandkids weren't there.(That's another story) We had more snow over the weekend but once we got on the road and headed west and south the temperatures improved and there wasn't as much snow so we made good time. You might have noticed I moved the countdown clock up one more month to Sept 1. We figured if we are going to go to the RV Dreams Fall Rally we could just save the vacation time and apply it to the retirement date and end this work thing a month earlier. So that's what we're doing. We keep working the plan and I know retirement is just around the corner and it won't be long. Thanks 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Family Christmas, Snow and Cold

We finally were able to get the family together for our Christmas 2013. Chris came to our home and rode over to Indiana with us on Jan. 4th and Heather, Paul and Aiden drove over from Streamwood, IL. We all met at our daughter's house in Osceola, IN. The only one that didn't make it from the family was Todd's son Mason. We certainly missed him. We knew there was a chance of snow since Sommer and Todd live in a lake effect area of NW Indiana. More on that later.

We got to Sommer's house and Glenda started to get the food ready that we had brought. She made some Italian Beef the night before so all we had to do was heat it back up. Sommer had made some cheesy potatoes and Heather brought a cheese and veggie tray. We munched on the veggies and enjoyed catching up with each other. Aiden had a bit of a cold but he was smiling and playing without much problem. He has a new skill....He is beginning to crawl.

 
It was so much fun to watch him. Once the food was ready everyone got their fill. Of course after the food it was time for present opening. Everyone took their turn going from youngest to oldest. Guess who went last.  :-) Everyone took a turn showing what they got.

Ryleigh got some stuffed animals

Brooklyne got a One Direction blanket

Jasmyne got a case for her laptop

Chris got some tools

Paul got a set of wine balls

Todd got wine balls and a Lowe's gift card

Sommer got some new boots

Heather got a Bears T shirt
 
Caden got a new video game

Aiden started to play with his toys
 
The kids all went in together and got us some KOA gift certificates so this summer and on our way down south next winter we will have some paid for campgrounds. We typically don't use KOA's for camping due to the cost and the sardine style campsites however we really do appreciate the kids thinking of us and this will allow us to get some free camping as we travel.
 
After the presents were opened and we cleaned up the living room a little the guys watched a couple of NFL playoff football games and our daughters went out to make a couple of exchanges. Once everyone was back we had some leftovers and snacks. As the night progressed the kids wanted to play some card games that Ryleigh had gotten as gifts. So they sat in a circle and played Old Maid, Crazy 8's and Go Fish.
 

We stayed up late playing cards, watching movies, surfing the internet and enjoying our family time.

It had started to snow a little during the evening and when we woke up this is what we saw out the window.

A look from the back deck

A look from the front door
 
During the night it had snowed about 4-6 inches. Todd, Paul and I get our coats and boots on and drove to the nearby Martin's grocery store with a Starbuck's inside. We got everyone either a coffee, a Latte or a non coffee drink(for the kids). We also got some donuts as a special treat. We continued to keep an eye on the weather and all we could see was more snow. So mid morning Heather, Paul and Aiden decided it was time to get on the road. Glenda, Chris and I started to get our things together too. But before I would let anyone go I had to get a good photo of the whole family(minus Mason...sorry Mason). I know with Chris moving to Mesa, AZ and us beginning the process to sell the house and move into the 5th wheel this spring it will be hard to get the family together again for a while. So here they are. Click on any of the pictures to enlarge.
 
Caden, Todd, Jasmyne, Brooklyne, Ryleigh, Sommer, ME, Glenda, Paul, Aiden, Heather and Chris

After the photo op we said our good byes with some hugs, kisses and a few tears. Once we got on the road we could tell the weather was deteriorating and the wind was beginning to pick up. It wasn't too bad at first but as we went farther west and then south it was pretty much getting to whiteout conditions at times.






There's an Interstate somewhere out there.
 
It took us over 5 1/2 hours to travel the usual 3 hour distance. We texted Heather and they made it home safely. Temperatures really began to drop and by that evening wind chills were well below zero. Not fit for anyone to be on the road. Yesterday due to the sub zero wind chill(-33F) and snow many companies and schools were closed including my company and Glenda's school. They had also called a state of emergency(over 12 inches of additional snow) in Indiana so Sommer and Todd and the family had the day off too. It was a great snow day. Still I'm really looking forward to next winter in a warm climate. It was the best Christmas we've had in the last 3 years. Nothing like having your family all together to make things right. I was back to work today and I just keep thinking about our future as we work toward retirement and it won't be long. Thanks for reading.