Maybe We Shouldn’t Have Had That Second Glass Of Wine – Celebrate Life Tour
Did you ever have one of those days where you and your honey are having a glass of wine, and you come up with this great idea to go on an RV trip for 3 months, take all the animals with you, and put on Celebrate Life Tour events along the way, then 9 months later you look at each other and say, ” What in the world were we thinking” ?
Back when we owned a custom sign company, we’d close the shop over the year end holidays and take our sanity vacation. We figured out early on that we had two choices, a funny farm or a vacation, and the vacation was cheaper. If you have owned or managed a small business you know exactly what I’m talking about. Anyway, the weeks preceding the trip were insane to the point we’d start questioning whether it was really worth it, but of course as soon as we got on the plane, all the madness faded from memory. Little did I know that would turn out to be our basic training for this trip. What makes this one especially challenging is not only the time length of it, or the number of furry ones we’re taking, or trying to outfit a new rig when we’re in Hawaii and it’s in Oregon, but also organizing the Celebrate Life events that we’ll be doing along the way.
Let’s take a minute to go over the beginnings of this crazy adventure, so those that are just joining us will have a better idea what all the fuss is about. Last July, Don and I had a few hours to kill in Kalispell, Montana, and on a whim decided to go to an RV dealership just to window shop. We’d been kicking the idea around for a few years on how fun it would be to travel the U.S. in a ” home ” away from home, but figured we’d do a lot of research to find the right rig at the right price, and blah, blah, blah. Well to make a long story short, we spent the next 2 days at the dealership and headed back to Hawaii the proud owners of a Winnebago Scorpion Toy Hauler. Now your question at this point would be, ” What on earth do 2 people need with a 45′ long, 8 1/2′ wide, and 13′ 3″ tall monster rig ? “. The answer, is that we have 7 cats and 1 dog, and live in Hawaii. Because taking short trips to and from Hawaii is not practical, because there’s no way we would leave our animals for months at a time, and that’s even if we could afford the pet sitting fees, and because there’s absolutely no way we’re going to have litter boxes in our living room, we needed something that could accommodate all of us. This unit has a 14′ long garage that was intended for carrying motorcycles, or ATV’s etc., so it makes the perfect home for our 4 legged friends, and after a long day of fun, we can close the door and have the main living area of the RV all to ourselves. Ahhhh, peace and quiet.
In October, we took a few days and moved the RV to it’s winter storage home in Oregon, where the Celebrate Life Tour will begin, which unexpectedly turned into quite an adventure. If you want a couple of good giggles, check out the blog posts between August and November in ” The Celebration Tour & RV Adventures” category. The best way is to scroll all the way to the end of that category and read backward so to speak, that way you’re reading them in the proper order.
OK, flash forward. There were still some warranty issues left undone when we stored the RV, so I found a great company in Bend that agreed to pick it up, do the work, and drop it back off again, and I set up an appointment in March to make sure everything would be done long before we started the trip. The day before the scheduled pick up, they called to let me know that they were no longer an authorized Winnebago repair shop. **** ( insert expletive of your choice ). Several days and a ton of phone calls to Winnebago and all the RV repair shops in the area finally produced a company that would do the work, but they couldn’t do the repair on the generator, nor would they do any transporting of the trailer. **** ( same expletive ). Fortunately, we had some odds and ends that needed to be done outside of the warranty work, so here’s how it went down. The original company picked it up and took it to the authorized trailer repair company, then picked it up and took it to the authorized generator repair company, then picked it up, did the odds and ends work, and took it back to storage. Phewww.
The next issue that we needed to address was storage. If we were planning a weekender or even a week trip, or if we were the Bear Grylls type that can spend a month in the wilderness with a pocketknife and a bag of potato chips, no problem, but unfortunately we weren’t checking any of those boxes, so we definitely had to come up with a solution. Our trailer was the first generation of this particular model, and considering the garage has much better layout than the kitchen, no doubt the designer was a man. After getting customer feedback, no doubt primarily by women, ( see I’m an equal opportunity smart *** ), they made some great improvements in kitchen storage, but that of course didn’t solve our problem. Outside of a few kitchen drawers and 2 very high and very, very short upper cabinets, we have 1 wall cabinet that is 8″ wide x 10″ deep on the inside . To give you an idea what that means, a standard dinner plate is 9″ to 10″ in diameter, and a standard paper plate is 9″, so basically that cabinet is barely big enough to hold a salad plate.
Fortunately the answer to this was fairy easy. First, right around the corner of the island there is a nice triangular space not doing anything that is perfect for a tall triangular shaped pantry, so woohoo, we’ll have a place to put food. Second, which unfortunately you can’t see in the picture, they put this enormous crown molding at the top of the cabinet, so we can make a new replacement cabinet that uses the same amount of wall , but gives us considerably more usable space inside. Yeah, kitchen solved !
Another spot that really needed to be looked at was the half bath, which for some reason has no cabinet or mirror. So that means the extra rolls of toilet paper have to sit on the floor ? I don’t think so. Well that little kitchen cabinet that we’re replacing is at least big enough to hold a few rolls of TP, so guess where it’s going. And finally, there’s a great wardrobe closet in the bedroom with it’s lower half occupied by the little washer/dryer combo and an upper area that’s just screaming for shelving. So with 2 cabinets, and some shelving, we made lots of extra storage, we just needed to find a carpenter to do it. I did find what I hope to be the right company in Bend, but after a few phone calls to see how it’s going, I get the ” I haven’t started it yet, but don’t worry, no problem.” I don’t know if you’ve found this to be true, but usually when someone tells me not to worry, that’s when I really should be. We’ll see, I’ll keep you updated.
Next Post: “The Critters are Coming “. Look for it in a couple of days.
Heather M Spencer
Mission Positive Films – Celebrate Life Tour