Elephant Butte Lake

Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte Lake

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend...Visiting grandkids

We hadn't made any reservations to go camping on Memorial Day weekend since knew it would be crazy busy so it was a great opportunity to visit the grandkids. The older grandkids were with their Dad(daughter is divorced) however the younger granddaughter, Ryleigh(different father) was still at home. Our younger daughter lives in Osceola, IN near South Bend. So when I got off work on Friday we headed out with just about every other person on the planet. We took I-55 to Dwight, IL and then took the detour on Route 47 to avoid a road construction up to Morris, IL and onto I-80 East. Once we got past Gary, IN and took the IN toll road the traffic was much more tolerable. Sommer and Todd had ordered pizza for dinner in anticipation of our arrival. Todd and Sommer had to work on Saturday so we didn't stay up too late. On Saturday we had our breakfast, set out some patio furniture for them and after lunch we took Ryleigh to the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend.

The zoo has a pretty good assortment of animals and we had a great time.
 





The lion looked like he was sizing everyone up for a meal.
 
 
After the zoo we headed back our daughters for some dinner. We grilled out some steaks, chicken and brats. We like to make potato packets to grill out when we are camping so we made some to go with our meal. The food was delicious but we saved some room for dessert. Last summer we brought our 22 foot Jayco over and stayed at Potato Creek State Park south of Mishawaka, IN. While we were there our daughter had seen a show on the Food Network about an ice cream place in Nappanee, IN where they make the ice cream individually by using liquid nitrogen. Here is my post about our time there, Potato Creek Park Camping.  So after the dishes were put in the dishwasher and everything was cleaned up we headed to Nappanee. We made it just in time before they closed. We all enjoyed our favorite flavors.
Ryleigh
 
 
We had a nice drive through the country and saw a lot of farmers in the fields. Once we got home we relaxed with full bellies and watched some TV. We got to sleep in a little on Sunday morning but once we got around we packed up to travel over to Streamwood, IL to see our youngest grandson, Aiden. We got on the road about noon EDT for a 2 and a half hour drive to Streamwood, IL.
 
It was a typical Chicago type drive with cars buzzing by and really having to watch out for the other guy. We stopped and had some lunch on the way over to Paul and Heathers home and Aiden was just getting up from a nap. We took a walk around the townhouse complex with their two dogs, Zeus and Izzy and had Aiden in the stroller. It was day to be outside. After the walk Heather and Glenda went to the local Target store and got some food to grill out. We had a great evening watching Aiden play and catching up on what is going on. Heather and Paul are also trying to sell their townhouse and buy a home where Aiden and the dogs will have some room to play. We are hoping they are able to sell soon. Aiden got pretty tired around 8pm so off to bed he went and we enjoyed more catching up.
 
 Aiden having some breakfast
 
 Aiden and Grandma
 
Aiden and Grandma on the swing

 
Monday morning Paul and Heather went to the gym to work out and we stayed with Aiden. I had forgotten how much energy it takes to keep up with a 1 year old. After a couple of hours they were back with some Starbucks Coffee and we got our reinforcements to help occupy Aiden. We took one more walk around the complex and stopped at the park in the middle of the complex so Aiden could swing with Grandma and then we had to head home. Of course we stopped at Portillo's Italian Eatery for some lunch and then onto the Interstate.  On the way home we decided to detour and headed west on I-80 toward Utica, IL. We haven't been to Hickory Hollow Campground the last two years and we wanted to ride our bikes on the I&M Canal Towpath so we stopped at the campground and made a reservation for this weekend. Looks like the weather will be good and we got a nice pull through site with some shade in the afternoon. It was a great weekend even though we didn't get to see all the grandkids. It was fun to spend some time with the youngest ones.
 
P.S.....We had our home inspection today and passed with flying colors. Now if the Radon test goes well and the appraisal comes back good we should be home free. We also made a reservation at a local campground in Carlock, IL called Kamp Komfort for July and August. The plan is to have everything out of the house around July 1 and move into the Bighorn. The house closing isn't until mid-July but this may save us some money by moving into the 5'er and get organized. Three more months and it's retirement and the full time life. Really looking forward to it and it won't be long.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

We have a contract

I posted last week or so that we listed the house and it started off pretty slow. 1 whole week and no one came to look. We had a realtor call earlier in the week about an appointment but the person decided they didn't want to pay any HOA fees per month so they cancelled. Glenda and I decided to go camping over the weekend to get our minds off the house and not having any showings. We decided to go to our favorite campground here in IL. Forrest "BO" Wood COE at Lake Shelbyville. I took some time off on Friday and we left Thursday evening and were able to snag site #103. We had been there before and it is an end site with no one on the awning side and a big yard area, so to speak.

We were having a good time even with the rain that followed us there. It was a little cool for this time of year too. High on Friday was only 53 degrees. It made for some nice sleeping though since we had our fleece sheets and a warm comforter. Saturday was supposed to be better and it was but still not as much sun and warmth as we had hoped for. As we were getting ready to take a walk around the campground Saturday afternoon we got a call from a realtor that wanted to show the house. Finally some action. We didn't hear any more until we were parking the Bighorn at the storage lot this afternoon. It was our realtor and he said we had an offer. It, of course, was a low bid so we countered with a decent counter. They came back with something more reasonable but not in our range so we countered again. They came closer but not enough so we said here is our finally offer. Finally we got a call and they accepted our price but wanted us to pay the premium for a home warranty. It takes about $500 more out of our pocket but it's close enough.

We discussed it with our realtor and admittedly the home is 15 years old. We accepted the offer and will pay for the home warranty. Now we just have to wait for the person to get their financing and pass a home inspection and appraisal. The tentative closing is mid July. If all goes as we hope we should be moving into the Bighorn around the first of July and have a couple of months to get the rig ready for traveling and our full time life. Another chapter in the story of our transition. It feels good but still some unfinished business. I don't expect to be able to relax until after the closing. Now it's time to plan the garage sales and continue purging and moving into the Bighorn. We appreciate the encouragement and well wishes from those that follow our quest. So as always, I continue to work to retirement and it won't be long.

Monday, May 12, 2014

House is Listed

Well it's taken us a while but we finally contacted a realtor and listed the house last Friday. Of course with it being Mother's Day weekend there wasn't any activity. So now the waiting game begins. We feel we have it priced about right and hope we don't have to do much negotiating if someone decides to make an offer. Tomorrow the realtors from the local ReMax agency will come through on their realtor tour and get a better look at what we have to offer. Of course our family and friends think it will sell fast but it's still a nerve wracking feeling. We spend Mother's Day weekend at our local county park and enjoyed very nice weather. Getting more and more used to being In the rig and feeling like we live there. We continue to purge and add things from home to the new home. If you're interested in seeing some photos of what we are trading in the MLS number is 2141624. Please send some good vibes our way. We're ready to get on the road. So I'll continue to work toward retirement and the clock says it won't be long. P.S. - I'll update when we have some news.

Monday, May 5, 2014

House ready to sell....meeting fellow RV'ers

Ok, the last time I posted I mentioned that we should be ready to put the house on the market at the end of the month(April). Well we didn't quite make that timeline but we will be contacting a realtor this week. We have had difficulty getting contractors to call back and get some work done but we finally got the call backs and tomorrow all the contractor work will be finished. We still have a small area of the basement floor to paint and bring everything from the basement up to the garage. That will make it easier to organize as we get ready for garage sales once the house is sold. Everything is looking fresh and clean as we have painted and put finishing touches on d├ęcor. I'm finally feeling like some light at the end of the tunnel.

I had a nice comment from Debbie at Down the Road on a recent post and she and her husband, Steve, are at right about the same position we are toward full timing. Debbie and Steve are from California and the funniest thing is they are buying their truck from a Dodge dealer in Clinton, IL about 25 miles south of Normal, IL where we live. Debbie and Steve also contacted us through RVillage. It's a new RV specific social media where RV'ers can see where fellow RV'ers are camping and set up get togethers and join groups with like minded folks. RV-Dreams has a group within RVillage and a link to their forum. Anyway, I replied to Debbie's comment and saw that she was a blogger too. She mentioned that they were going to the spring RV-Dreams Rally in Sevierville, TN and then would be traveling up to Clinton to pick up their truck. They had booked a room in a local motel in Normal. As time got closer we conversed more and I found out the motel was about a mile and a half from our home.

We exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and we waited to see how their progress was in getting to Normal. (Is anyone really normal?) HaHa. Well, they left the rally yesterday morning and made good time on their way here. I told them if they had not had supper we could meet at a local Mexican grill called Moe's. (Welcome to Moe's) They got into town around 7:30 and we drove to Moe's to meet them and had a nice meal and great conversation. The only problem was...Moe's closed at 9 pm. We could have talked for another 2 hours I'm sure. The conversation flowed and we had a great opportunity to compare notes on our progress and fun talking about our trucks and rigs and our feelings about full timing.

Debbie and Steve gave us some good information about the RV-Dreams rally since we will all be attending the fall rally in Goshen, IN in Sept. It really whet our appetite to attend this fall. This time they will have their 5th wheel with them and we will also be bringing ours. We hope that the house will sell quickly and we will be living in the Bighorn this summer. I'm so ready for a new lifestyle and meeting more new friends. Debbie and Steve have many of the same interests that we have and we hope to get together again in the future somewhere where we can do some kayaking, hiking and biking. I just know that there are so many more folks like them on the road. I love to follow the blogs of others that are going out there now or have been out on the road for some time. You are my inspiration and I continue to thank you for your comments and encouragement. Thank you Debbie and Steve for making the effort to meet yesterday. Thank you Howard and Linda Payne for all that you do on your website RV-Dreams and at your rallies. I wish you all could see the smile on my face right now as I type this post. I will continue to work toward retirement and it won't be long.