The rally is over.....back to real life now

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What an amazing time we much fun & laughter, too much money spent, not enough hugs shared (never enough hugs!!), plenty of education and information shared, way too much good food shared and many, many friendships started and renewed.

We won't be able to attend next year's rally here in Yuma (unless our plans drastically change and of course we know that never happens....LOL!) since we will be in Florida. But we do plan to attend his next rally in Elkhart, IN. It's two weeks before the Escapade and if we plan it right we will be able to do both...maybe. But we will go to the Eastern GJR at a minimum. Hope to see some of you there! [NOTE: Ignore the details on that page for a bit, Nick hasn't had time to update it from last year. The 2010 dates are Aug 30th to Sep 2nd. I promise to post here in the blog when the page is updated and ready for registration.]

I didn't get any photos other than the ones taken on parking day...but many of my blogging friends have posted theirs with their write-ups, so enjoy!
So what did we buy? Quite a variety of things. First the big ones, things for the Freightliner: a performance upgrade (computer chip & muffler upgrade), a Pac-Brake upgrade and an air filter upgrade. Stu is hoping we'll do better in these western mountains and he'll definitely feel safer with braking.

We moved from regular USAA comprehensive & liability insurance to Victoria with full contents coverage and a million dollar umbrella to help protect us. We dealt with Cheryl Howarth at Miller Insurance....what a pleasure that was! If you contact her, tell her that Stu & Donna McNicol referred you.

We joined a new membership plan....Harvest Hosts. They have participating wineries, farms & ranches that will allow you (space permitting) to stay overnight for hookups. This is a new company so they are still actively recruiting hosts but for $20 it will pay for itself with a couple of uses.

I added to my Mary Kay stash...tried two new lipsticks and one new blush. Sondra Nelson was vendor and really helped me choose the best products. Trying some of their new anti-aging facial products. The one for around the eyes has already helped. Can you say WOW?

I attended two seminars given by Phil May. He and his wife run where you can find some products that you have never seen before. Stu &  I both salivated over several items but restrained ourselves to just getting a mini Pico solar charger that we can use when traveling on our motorcycles to keep our phones charged. It will work with any device that will charge by USB so also handy with our iPods and eventually even my Kindle. Needless to say, I had to add their blog to my ever-growing list that I follow. LOL!

Quick sidebar....while helping Nick Russell out with the seminar on blogging, I mentioned that I "follow" close to 200 blogs. Now remember, not everyone blogs every day...that helps a lot. So how do I keep track of them all and make sure I don't miss any updates? I use Google Reader...that lets me only see those with updates as well as allowing me to group them in any way I want. If you want to try and get confused, give me a shout and I'd be glad to help.

One other question is why do I follow so many. As a person of varied interests I follow RVing blogs (personal and commercial), motorcycle blogs, computer blogs (especially those for software or websites I use), camera blogs, some hobby blogs, some on living a simpler life, as well as any family blogs. It does add up. I will admit that I don't always read everything, especially when I get behind but I have a much better chance of staying up to date with the reader. LOL!

Oh, and for those of you who are reading THIS blog with a sure to visit the actual blog to see our new page header photo. It was taken at Valley of the Fire state park in Nevada.

Back to the rally & purchases....we had to get the requisite rally t-shirts, I picked up several waffle weave dishcloths from Rick & Joyce Lang, the folks from RVSEF who do the rig weighing (yes, we got on). They have expanded into other areas to keep them busy during shows since most folks weigh when the come to or leave a rally. I'm sure there are other odds & ends but that's all the comes to mind right now.

Let's see, we had three nights of great entertainment following the door prize drawings (of which there were MANY prizes given out), a couple of nights of catching a quick dinner with Nick & Terry as well as Greg & Jan, and a great evening of Korean food cooked by a new couple of friends we made, Ed & Christina. What a treat that was! We enjoyed the morning coffee, if there was any left by the time we got over to the vendor hall but we did abstain from the donuts...well, until the final morning. LOL!

We got weighed on our way out Friday....we were really pleased to find that we have about 1000# to spare, that when the trailer is loaded, the truck is balanced from side to side and that our only real issue is the passenger side of the trailer being a little heavier than the driver side. Factor in the refrigerator being on that side, along with the stack washer/dryer and the six AGM 6 volt batteries....I think you can see why. My bike is also on that side. Not much we can do. But at least we know all our hard work on cleaning out unneeded items (including books that I will replace when I get my Kindle) as well as moving as much heavy stuff from the back of the RV to the front, really paid off.

Now the bad....we discovered when we came in to the rally that we had a fresh water tank leak. We hope it's just the overflow tube has come loose but until Stu has time to get underneath, we won't know. When we parked on the RV lot here in Yuma yesterday, I used up all the water in the tank (doing laundry) so now it's dry. Keeping our fingers crossed that it's something simple.

The second night of the rally we noticed a propane smell...Stu turned off the propane and that needs to be looked at. He suspects it's just the fitting where he added the tee for the blue flame heater, maybe jiggled loose and needs to be tightened. Again, keeping our fingers crossed that it's something simple.

Yesterday we moved over the the same RV lot we were in several weeks ago, before Las Vegas. Gives us a good place to be to take care of all these things. We got here, set up, unloaded the trike and headed off to a late lunch/early dinner and then we caught a movie. When we got back we got on the computers to catch up on things. Eventually we turned on the TV. Hmmm, not getting signal....long story short, after several hours on the phone with DirecTV, three phone calls this morning to various folks, we are now waiting for Winegard to call us back. The guy that installed it thinks our controller for the dish may have an issue. Sigh.....never a dull moment in the life of RVers!

So, enough blathering for today....if you have read this far I'm impressed! LOL! Over the next week I will try to post about our Las Vegas visit and our trip to the Valley of the Fire state park. I'll also keep you updated on our "fixes".

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna & Stu


  1. I added a "Google Reader" gadget to my Google/ig home page and blog update show and when I click on the blog subject, you go right to the actual blog and not just seeing the brief glimpse on just the Google Reader. You might want to add that gadget to whatever home page you have. Bobbie

  2. I've got the gadget to subscribe to the blog or comments. Hopefully folks will give it a try.

  3. OVer 200 blogs? Lordy, I don't have time to follow and read the ten or so I follow! Maybe I lead a different life. But as with Rick and Paulete, I'm free to choose how I do my RVing, just as you guys are. Yay freedom of choice!

  4. Donna, if you plan things right you can catch the HDT Rally too. Hutchinson, KS, after Escapade.....


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