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Ohio in April

Ohio in April

I don’t have a towed car, so my visit to family in Ohio required either a campground close to Sherry’s house or being able to park right in her driveway.  Often driveways have a slant or are far from electrical outlets and water.  There are several campgrounds in the area, but none were open until May 1st.  That left just the driveway option.  I drove all the way not sure it would work out, but it DID!  The driveway slant was minor and the RV’s auto levels did their job!  There was water and electric so that I was able to use adapters and connect the RV to one outlet and hook my separate 20 amp outlet to the other.  That gave me a separate outlet to use for a heater.  I wasn’t sure if the 15 amp service would power the gas furnace AND other things like computer and lights.  It exceeded my expectations.  I was able to find an easy balance.  The heat was only needed at night so during the day I was able to use everything else I needed.  Even on a particularly cold day, I was able to use the furnace and everything else.  It was awesome.

My visit was so absolutely fantastic.  We did lots of relaxing, some shopping, went to a movie (I Can Only Imagine), and had a girls pajama party (movies, pizza, popcorn and all while wearing our pajamas).  I got to spend time with Sherry and her sister Norma (and Norma’s awesome little dog, Maggie) and met a new friend, Bonnie.

The RV celebrated some new additions; a surge protector for out at the post (on sale!), a silver ware tray that actually fits, a mug that will keep my tea hot, and a coffee table in which the top easily lifts up to become a computer desk.  It gives me more options for where to work.  There is the fold out wooden desk up at the passenger seat, the dinette, and now the table by the couch.  That’s where I am at this moment. 

On the way to Ohio, Einstein stepped on the water bucket and tipped it over.  Water everywhere!  At the Camper World store I found a bowl that is unspillable.  When I put water in it the first time, Einstein kept trying to bite it and pick it up.  I’m not sure where that came from.  So far no spills.  We’ll see how it works when we’re on the move.

Yesterday I came 17 miles south of Sherry’s place so I could empty my tanks and get propane.  I arrived around 1:00 and there was someone waiting for me to put propane into the RV.  He then guided me with manipulating the RV and get turned around to head to my campsite.  This is a KOA campground; my first time at a KOA.  It’s an active place with people coming and going.  I ended up paying for two nights.  I was supposed to head home today, but my hair appointment isn’t until Tuesday so I could stay an extra day.  I really needed this extra time. 

The dogs are used to being in the RV and the routine.  They are difficult to travel with.  Emma wants to be looking out the front window.  I’m glad that she likes that, but she gets in the way and Einstein wants to be up front, laying on the engine cover.  Sometimes he manages to get in between the passenger seat and the dash.  He whines and pants and gets in the way of my being able to see the camera monitor and controls for heat and fans.

After spending a week or so with Sherry, my tanks needed emptying.  I found a campground about twenty miles south of her place that is actually open – a KOA.  It would have been too far for her to be driving to fetch me every time, but it’s close enough to safely drive to with full tanks.

Here at the campground, Emma loves to sneak into the cab area and watch out the front window for strangers and their pets.  I put the divider up out of the way for a while and she just parked herself up there to watch for action outside.  I made the divider from the bedspread that came with the RV.  I don’t use that kind of spread, but didn’t want to waste it.  The “Moving Forward Adventure” folks did something similar.  I think they used the curtains from their apartment.  They now live full time in their RV.  They found that when they drive after dark, the light from the living area reflected in the windshield and was a bit distracting.  We found the same thing and so followed their awesome example.  Emma found a LOT of things to bark at, so I put down the divider.  She still finds a way to sneak into the cab from time to time.

The campground has cable (a wonderful treat for me…with HGTV!) so I’m sitting at the couch with my computer on the desk and HGTV right there in front of me.  Its so nice that I’ve decided to stay an extra day.

So.  My trip to Ohio has been awesome.  I’m sad to have to leave.  I did just fine without a car to drive.  It forced me to stay put and accomplish some work on a current children’s book layout project.  The project is a little more difficult than I expected, because I want the book to be fantastic.  I spent several hours on one page.  I want the book to have an overall theme with its layout, but I do want to make each of the amazing illustrations the absolute best it can be.

However, I think I’d like to have a car.  When I’m visiting someone who is willing to drive me to the places I need to go, that’s great, but usually I’m going to be at a place where there is no one to transport me anywhere.  I try to buy everything I need ahead of time, but my whole purpose in traveling is to experience wherever I am.  The campground itself is probably not my goal.  It’s my place to sleep and unwind.  Sometimes it might be possible to catch public transportation from the campground, but I have seldom encountered that.  When we’re at Disney we’ll be sure to have most of what we need food-wise, but there are camp stores at the campground.  Items are pricey, but at least they are available.  We won’t starve.

So there you have it.  Ohio in April.  I give it a thumbs up.  I want to come back SOON!

Ok! Lets go!

Ok! Lets go!

Einstein is dreaming of our first adventure.

We’re heading to Ohio for two and a half weeks.  Gonna spend time with some very special people – Donald Ziccardi (Grandpa), Sherry Ziccardi (Aunt Sherry), and Ron and Kim Boyd.

The surprise is that we find a campground in Marlboro, Ohio – my childhood village.  The drive to Ohio usually takes about 8 1/2 hours, but this first trip hauling a travel trailer takes 11 hours.  We arrive at 11:00 pm.  I was told there would be an envelope for me at the security gate.  The envelope includes the phone number of the campground owner.  I’m tired.  Should I call him at this late hour?  YES!  I call him and he says he was waiting for my call.  He heads straight over and backs my trailer up into the campsite.  He hooks everything up and I’m all set.  The visit is wonderful.  Its great to have lots of time for many visits with family.

Right away I realize that I failed to bring along food, clothes for cool weather, jackets, and many other items.  I’m having to make trips to local stores and Camping World.  The weather in Ohio is wonderful, with lots of sunny, warm days.  I enjoy talking with the people that work at the little camp store.  I also enjoy daily swims in the round swimming pool.  The campground is a place that I visited often during my childhood.  The original swimming pool is still there, though its being renovated to become a fishing hole for catch and release.

A special treat was to fix my first real meal in the trailer and that it was for my dad, Don.

Our first trip with the travel trailer was a wonderful success.  I felt safe and supported by the campground and by family.  Einstein and I got to spend time at the dog park there at the campground and going for many walks.  It was a great experience.