Howard, PA

Now in Howard, PA

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Botched RV repair in Wakarusa IN / Wedding in Cincinnati OH

September 30 - October 07, 2018:  

We left New Jersey and headed west through Pennsylvania and Ohio to Elkhart Indiana, RV capital of America.  We made arrangements 3 months ago with Recreational Specialties to have our shower pan replaced on the 3rd of October.  We sent them pictures of the pan as well as the VIN number of our RV so they could get the correct part.  We were in a hurry as we were going to a wedding in Cincinnati Ohio the coming weekend.

Our first stop in Pennsylvania just off of I 80.  Not a bad state park but it only had Electric!  And was $36 for just Electric!

We arrived on the afternoon of the 2nd of October at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds for our appointment with Recreational Specialties in Wakarusa on the 3rd.  We traveled the 750 miles in a 3 day set of bump and run overnights to get here.  We were ready to get this over with and get to Ohio for the weekend.

Staying at the Elkhart fairgrounds is a different experience as far as campgrounds go.  First of all the place is huge with over 600 spaces!  Secondly, they don’t assign spaces here; they tell you where the spaces are and the type hookups available and then let you go find a place on your own.  We chose a full hookup site place inside the horse track for the next 2 nights.  The cost was $35 a night, not bad.

The next morning our appointment at Recreational Specialties was at 9am and we wanted to be early.  Since we can pick sites here we picked up our site like we wouldn’t be back; little did we know!  

Recreational Specialties was just 20 minutes away so we headed out at 8am and arrived by 8:30. Recreational Specialties is a fairly big place as far as RV repair places go.  We parked and I headed inside to get things moving.  Things were going pretty well as they knew who I was and they had the paperwork all ready.  We just had to wait on “Miss Megan” who was in a meeting.  I was told via phone and by e-mail that “Miss Megan” was the one who was in charge for the most part.  

Miss Megan came out and addressed me by name and knew I was the one for the shower pan replacement.  So far so good!  She wanted to inspect the old shower pan and see it for herself, hmmmm.  I just started to feel like this was going to go downhill.  We took a look at the shower pan in our RV and then she said she would need to see if they could get the pan today.  Ok, WTF!  We made the appointment 3 months ago so you could have the part.  You have the RV VIN number and pictures so you could make this happen.  She told me that they just can’t stock all of the shower pans that are out there.  Again, WTF!

She asked me to move the RV into their staging area while she went in to check on the pan availability.  After about 15 minutes she came out and told us that it would be 2-3 weeks before she could get the part.  She said that she was sorry that she could not help us and to have safe travels.  OK, I was pissed off!  This time I kept my cool and after telling her “we are done here” we pulled out to head south to Cincinnati a day early.

Patty, over the next few days posted on every internet site she could think of about our negative experiences at Recreational Specialties.  The next day she got a response from Scott at Recreational Specialties offering an apology of sorts.  He said that he could have gotten the part if we had not of rushed off.  W.T.F.!!  What did he think we were going to do after being told they couldn’t get the part and wished safe travels?!  He went on to say that if we come back he would install the shower pan for us at cost.  Now we are 200 miles south and have other plans.  We figure that Scott wrote this to us on a public site (Facebook) so he could look better.  Patty didn’t let that stand though and beat him up again after 4 attempts to contact him via phone and text.

Enough said for now about the botched RV repair and on to the Cincinnati wedding.  The wedding is for a childhood friend of Patty’s son Chas, Chris Chasty.  Chas and his friends used to hang out in our basement in New Jersey a lot.  Many times he had dinner with us too.  Anyway, he is marrying his longtime girlfriend Mary Thompson who he met in college at Rutgers. 

We stayed at the Oak Creek Campground in Verona Kentucky about 20 miles south of Cincinnati.  This was the closest campground we could find to Cincinnati.  It was about an hour from the wedding site but just 20 minutes from the reception which was held across the Ohio River in Kentucky.  Not the best of campgrounds either but it was adequate. It was also expensive at $35 a night without sewer and the dump station was not convenient either.  However, they did offer free pump out service, so OK.  

Our first site at Oak Creek

We only had this site the first night and then we had to move sites.

Our second site came with a black rooster

On my walk I found this decked out Halloween permanent site

On Thursday the 4th we picked Chas up at the airport in Kentucky.  He flew up from our house in Florida.  Not much of a difference in weather for him as this area was having a heat wave, hottest in over 20 years for this area!  We were having 90+ days with overnights in the 70s in October in Ohio!  The great thing was that this was to continue all through the wedding weekend!

That evening we got together with the Groom Chris and the bride Mary and Chas at a Cincinnati Brewery called the Madtree.  This place was huge and great.  Don't think I have ever been in a larger microbrewery!  Oh yeah, they have great thin crust coal-fired pizza. What more can one ask for!

Arriving at Madtree

I get hungry just looking at this picture

Basically on Friday Patty and I just did some everyday chores.  We went to Walmart in Florence KY.  Weird Walmart as it was really modern on the outside but very old on the inside!  Got what we needed so it was fine.

The wedding was at a Russian Orthodox Church.  This was a first for us as it was for most who attended.  The entire service was done standing up; the church does not have pews.  All of their services are done standing up! The actual service lasted a little over an hour but we were there about 2 hours due to an attendee falling down with a seizure in the beginning of the service! Yeah, that added some drama to the event!  The service was basically sung too!  Very different from any weddings we have been too.

Priest waiting on the groom to arrive

OK we have the groom

Then the groomsmen arrive.  Chas is fourth back

Next the bride and her maids arrive

After a short ceremony at the entrance,
the bride and groom are moved to the center of the church


Groomsmen.  Chas is third from the left.

Now the priest ties the groom and bride together and leads them around

They are led around the altar to the left a few times
and then around to the right a few times.

Lastly they complete the marriage at the front of the church.

The reception was held at the Metropolitan Club in Covington Kentucky right on the Ohio River.  The place had great views of the river!  I think the toasts were some of the most emotional we had heard at a wedding too!  Chris and his new wife certainly have some very great friends.  It was a very good time indeed and many thanks to Chris and Mary for inviting us!

The Metropolitan Club

View from the reception windows of the Ohio River

The wedding party

First dance

A great picture of the wedding party but have no idea what they are doing

The next day we are set to leave and head to Crawfordsville where my son Tony and family are.  It is just a short 180 mile trip.  However, there was an after reception party that Chas attended and now he needed a ride to the airport from where he was in Covington KY.  

So we left at 10am to get him 20 minutes away and deliver him to the airport another 20 minutes away.  Overall the trip would be an hour to hour and a half and our check out at Oak Creek was at noon.  It was doable but would be close.  

It wasn’t to be though as Chas had issues getting himself out of the hotel he was in so we got back to the campsite just a few minutes before noon.  I decided it was just too much to hurry out so we stayed another night and made an early start the next morning.

That is it from Cincinnati/Verona Kentucky.

Stay Tuned!

Back to NJ for a few weeks and Unexpected Family Sickness

August 25 – September 30, 2018:  

It’s been a month since we have made a post, just waiting for a good time to mark a timeframe.  So we are making this for the entire time we here in NJ before leaving to head west and then ultimately back to Florida.  

The thing is we haven’t done a lot since we have been back.  However, a lot has happened around us!  First, my son Tony has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver and he is just 41!  Yes, that was 3 weeks ago and a major shock!  He had been having appetite issues and then nausea and blood in the stool.  The blood in the stool and vomiting blood took him to to the emergency room.  He had lost so much blood that he was airlifted to a hospital 50 miles away in Indianapolis IN where they had more blood for him.  He was in the hospital for about a week.

He is having a lot of fluid buildup in his abdomen that is related to the cirrhosis that needs to be drained periodically. So far this has been about twice a week for him.  The hope is that this can be brought under control and the draining will not happen so frequently.  Being end-stage liver disease, he will be on a transplant list in a few months. We are planning to visit him and his family (wife & grandkids) before heading down to Florida in October.

The other thing happening here is the weather.  We have not been in the northeast this time of year for the past 7 years so it is a little different for us.  It went from being in the 90s and actually hotter than our place in Florida to now barely getting to 70 and raining.  We are now having temperatures in the 50s at night.  The good thing is that we are getting to experience a little fall but hopefully not any more than that before heading south in another couple weeks.

As stated in our last post, we have our RV and truck up for sale.  We have had some inquiries but no offers as of yet.  We have made arrangements at a campground near our house in Florida to park for a few days while we unload and clean it up.  Then we are moving it to a storage lot.  Just writing that feels sad!  It has been our home for the past 6+ years!  The thing that helps is that after we get it sold we plan to purchase another RV, just smaller.  We also plan to purchase another tow vehicle, a large SUV.  The transition out of full time RVing is not near as much fun as the starting out phase! We had similar feelings when we sold our home in northern New Jersey before we started our full-time life in our current RV.  We will get through it!

OK, back here in NJ over the past few weeks I have accomplished a few maintenance items on the RV.   I finished the last of the roof seam resealing jobs.  Last year I resealed with Dicor all but one of the roof seams. The exception was the large front one that connects the rubber roof to the fiberglass front cap.  This seal was a year newer than the other roof seals.  It had been replaced when the front of the RV was reinforced during the warranty.

And there is the finished resealed roof seam

Also fixed a small hole from a tree limb on the bedroom slide

Just picture of the length of sewer hose needed to dump here. 
It's around 70 feet!

I also replaced all of the roof vent caps.  The sun takes a toll on these caps and they are not very expensive so I just replaced them.  I think the cost was under $40 for all of the caps.  

Another thing I replaced was the remaining exterior slide seals.  Last year I replaced most, like 70% of them and left the ones that still looked good.  After another 16 months the remaining seals were showing signs of degradation so I replaced them.  Again, it is the sun that just eats these rubber seals up.  They tend to age according to how long they have been pointed toward the sun.  The first ones last year were the ones that were in the sun the most while we wintered in Texas.  

Replacing these seals is also not a difficult task to do.  Remove a top and bottom retaining screw and then slide the rubber seal down a channel on the RV and off.  Then, use the old seal to measure the amount you need from the roll of new sealing material and cut. Now reverse and slide the new one on where the old one was.  Re-attach the new seal with the top and bottom retaining screws and you are done. Each slide has 3 of these seals, a top and 2 sides. I replaced one side seal on each of the 4 slides.

We have had a few fun outings while here in NJ too.  We went one night to hear a relatively new local band called Back Track at the Old Village Pub in Middletown, that was a fun evening.  We also went to Long Branch NJ to the Ocean Place Hotel with friends to hear another band called the West End Dogs one afternoon.  

The West End Dogs

Then, this past week we went to see The Book Of Mormon on Broadway in New York City.  We have wanted to see this show ever since it came out about 7 years ago.  Now the prices are just expensive instead of ludicrous and we don’t need to wait for months to get a seat!

We took the train (NJ TRANSIT) to uptown Manhattan

The newest of NJT passenger cars, the multilevel car.  

Dinner in Manhattan at Lillie's Victorian Pub.  We really liked this place.  The food was good and the prices were reasonable for NYC.

Very interesting seating at Lillie's

Loads of stained glass

Not bad seats for the musical.  Still cost $150 each though!

Lastly, we went to see Lewis Black at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank NJ.  We went with our friends Cindy and Rob and my daughter Jennifer and her husband Christian.  We got these tickets way back in February.  

Just a cool landmark in Red Bank that we passed on the way
to the restaurant and theater

Our group for the event from L to R: Me, Patty, Cindy, Rob,
Son-in-law Christian and my daughter Jennifer

Pretty neat, a free shuttle from a few of the parking lots to the theater

Our first time in a balcony seat.  We liked it and the price was great here

And that is it for NJ this year!  Our next stop is in Elkhart Indiana to have the shower floor pan replaced and then off to Cincinnati Ohio/Covington, Kentucky for a wedding.

Stay Tuned!