Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home For The Holidays

After a very long day of waiting on our repairs to be completed, and an exciting commute across town in afternoon rush hour traffic, we are back at our "home" park in suburban Kansas City.

Our fingers are crossed that the area will be blessed with a much warmer and drier than average holiday season. And, we'll keep 'em crossed, even if we have to put gloves on!

We're looking forward to fun times with family and friends, and at last spending some time getting settled in our new rolling home.

Happy holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back to Worlds of Fun

We are one of just two RV's parked at Worlds of Fun Village tonight. We logged over 350 miles to get here tonight, so it was a long day. From our site here we can literally see Kansas City Freightliner, with whom we have a date at 8:00 in the morning.

We're glad to be back in our old stomping grounds. And, our fingers are crossed that all will go well tomorrow and we'll be parked in more familiar surrounds tomorrow.

Then, we'll be ready for the holidays to begin!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Whittington, IL

We're parked overnight at Whittington Woods Campground in Whittington, IL. It's a lovely spot that's just off the highway and much quieter than your standard "just off the highway" place.

Today's 330 miles were eventless, which is just the way we like them. The new, improved Bullwinkle has, however, handed us a mechanical problem that needs to be taken care of before we park in cold weather for six weeks. So, we have another 350 miles ahead of us tomorrow where our goal is to park in the shadow of the Kansas City Freightliner service facility. The moose will go in for repair early Tuesday. And, with any luck at all, we should be in our home park in suburban Kansas City later that afternoon.

We're really looking forward to bringing our new moose home for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crossville, TN

We're still in Tennessee. But, now we're in the Golf Cart Capital of the US.

And, no, we're not planning on buying one.

We're parked at Springlake RV Resort. It's lovely. And the people who run the place are an absolute delight.

We've paid up for two nights. But, we're trying to figure out how to make it three and still get to Kansas City in time for our reservation there.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blountville, TN

The new moose is loose!

We wrapped everything up at the dealership yesterday afternoon. After a restful night at our all too familiar KOA, we headed out this morning on our maiden voyage. The 339 miles flew by. This moose is fun and easy to drive. Paul and I shared driving duties and had a whole lot of fun.

The ride is so smooth! I just kicked back and relaxed and did a little reading. You should see the big black bag full of manuals we have. That'll keep us busy for awhile!

The only tricky part of our trip was the road from the interstate to the KOA here in Blountville, TN. It was just a bit more twisty and turny than we really wanted to tackle in a brand new 40-footer! But, Paul did great.

We are definitely in the hills of Tennessee! Our campground is nestled in rolling hills. And, the sites are painfully unlevel. It took a bit, but the new Bullwinkle finally found a position in this sloping slice of gravel to level up. With a Kansas game on the agenda for tonight, we quickly locked on to a satellite and brought ESPN up on the 37-inch flat screen. Thanks to Mark, the amazing technician at our dealership, we're able to kick back and enjoy the game. It seems the good folks at Winnebago were asleep on the assembly line when they installed the TVs in this coach. It was all very screwy. But, Mark sorted through it all and made it work like a charm.

As we head west to enjoy the holidays with our families, we are so grateful for the good folks at McGeorge Rolling Hills RV in Ashland, VA. Everyone - and we mean everyone - was professional, courteous and very skilled. They're great people. If you're looking for an RV, give Taz a call. And, tell him we sent you. Thanks to everyone at McGeorge for helping us make the most of our 600-mile detour. We absolutely love our new Tour. Ya'll definitely made it worth the trip.

We're thinking we'll just be here a night. But, since we invested so much time in setting up here, we might just have to make it two. Who knows?

Right now, we're ready to kick back, relax and watch the game. Rock chalk!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two Moose

We are still hanging in Ashland, VA, after a very busy (and blurry) week. We've been taking care of two moose. (Or is that "mooses"?) On Friday, Bullwinkle made his final departure from a campground with us. Here he is getting ready to make the two mile trip to the dealership. (Yes, we were a little sad!)

The folks at McGeorge Rolling Hills RV Center were great to work with. Taking delivery of our new RV on a wet and windy day made things a bit more challenging. McGeorge set both rigs up in a couple of detail bays and we went to work at making the move under cover from the weather.

While we were moving in the good folks at McGeorge were working on our punch list. This was one of the items. Not too pretty, huh?

Friday night we spent our first night in the new moose in the shadow of the lil' moose. Here's Paul emptying the last bit of trash out of the two. The new moose was loaded up, but we still have to take care of getting our tow bar and bike rack moved over. Don't these two moose look cozy?

The new moose is just this much longer than the old one. That's all!

Late Saturday afternoon we decided to head back to the campground. I led the way in the squirrel and Paul followed behind in the new moose.

Minutes later we were back at the same campground with a new moose. With a nice wide pull-through set up was a snap. As happy as we were to have our new motorhome, we were even happier to see some sunshine at last.

This new moose has enough awning for a big party. We can't wait!

Even the cats are making themselves at home. Here's our boy kitty checking out the new front door.

And our girl kitty quickly found her favorite spot.

And, what about these two? They look pretty comfortable for the first night in a real campground with a new rolling home. Don't they? Yes, we think we're going to like it here.

Between all of our moving, we did manage to make a stop at a quilt shop in Richmond to find the fabrics of Virginia. The second from right reminds us of our new moose. And, the fabric on the right reminds us of the broken window on the old moose that literally exploded into a million pieces as we drove through Richmond.

I found this fabric at the store and just had to pick up a fat quarter. There were RVs of all shapes and sizes. It'll be fun to find a special place for this fabric in our fulltiming quilt.

After resting up a bit over the weekend, we're ready to head back to the dealership tomorrow to take care of a few loose ends. With any luck at all we'll be back on the road sometime tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest.

We can't wait!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bullwinkle, Too

Paul and Mary are proud to announce the arrival of their new moose! Weighing in at 32,350 pounds, he is about 13 feet tall, 8 1/2 feet wide and 40 feet long.

We spotted this 2009 Winnebago Tour 40TD online while we were in Asheville. We decided to make a 380-mile detour to Ashland, VA, to see this dream machine. We spent the day with it yesterday and decided to make it home.

Our new moose is powered by a 400hp Cummins diesel engine with an Allison transmission and is built on a Freightliner chassis. Put all that together and you get a ride that feels like you're gliding on air.

Eight feet longer than our first moose, this thing is big. Really big!

This big moose has tons of space inside and out. Here's a look from the front of the coach.

Here's the view looking toward the front. (Apologies for the crummy pictures, but it was late in the day before we inked the deal. I remembered to take a few pictures as the sun was going down.)

There are so many switches, buttons, dials and gauges! It'll take awhile to figure out how they all work.

We love everything about this big moose. But, here are a few of our favorite little things. We both appreciate lighting, and think the soft accent lighting above the kitchen cabinets and other spots makes it feel much more homey.

Speaking of homey. How about that fireplace? We know a couple of cats who are going to love napping in this spot. And, we can't wait to catch some KU basketball on that 37-inch flat screen!

Paul has claimed his favorite spot. No doubt about it.

Moving starts tomorrow afternoon or Thursday morning. Lots to do, but we're looking forward to it. We'll have lots of pictures, of course. And you can look forward to a video tour of our Tour.

In case you're wondering, we're naming this coach Bullwinkle, too. But, we think we might just call him Big Bull.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ashland, VA

We have arrived at our destination, Ashland, VA. We'll be here a couple of nights. Maybe more.

Watch this space.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Durham, NC

We enjoyed a sunny day across North Carolina, and have landed at the Birchwood RV Park in Durham, NC. It's an "interesting" park. Not the kind of place we'd want to stay for any length of time, but it'll do for just one night.

I-40 is closed west of Asheville, so we decided to head east and go on a bit of a detour from our original itinerary. Tomorrow we're planning to have breakfast with some RVing friends at Cracker Barrel. (I'm dreaming of biscuits and gravy!) Then we will head to Ashland, VA.

More to come from Virginia.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Throughout our travels many people have asked where we're headed. Whenever we've mentioned that Asheville was on our agenda everyone - and we mean everyone - told us "You must go to the Biltmore!" So, today's Asheville adventures took us to the 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate. The centerpiece of this picturesque estate is Biltmore House, a 175,000 square foot, 250 room French Renaissance-style mansion. Opened Christmas Eve in 1895, this architectural masterpiece was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II. Today it is known simply as "America's Castle".

We could not have asked for a better tour day. After a chilly night, today brought bright sunshine and very pleasant temperatures. On this early November Wednesday the crowds were quite manageable. And, something very special was going on at the house this morning.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were at the doorway to greet us. So, we knew something was up. Holiday preparations at the house are in full swing, as "Christmas at Biltmore" kicks off this weekend. The couple in the red suits were here today to oversee the delivery of the Biltmore's Christmas Tree, which arrived this morning. The 40-foot Douglas Fir was erected in the banquet hall as we walked in, and a busy crew of elves went straight to work draping the tree in white lights. By Friday it will be covered with ornaments and surrounded by gifts.

With our audio tours (a must have) in tow, and our cameras not allowed, we took the self-guided trip through 50-some rooms from the basement to the fourth floor. Each room has been painstakingly preserved to reflect life in the house for George Vanderbilt, his wife Edith, their daughter Cornelia, household staff and frequent guests. This time of year each room also features Christmas decorations in keeping with each room's purpose and decor. It was all very grand, and still amazingly comfortable.

The loggia, just off the tapestry room on the first floor, was one area where cameras were allowed. What a marvelous place to spend an afternoon.

A series of arches on the loggia frames the colorful landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Even though it is past its autumnal peak, the forest of trees on the estate is still quite striking.

After our two-hour tour inside we roamed around the grounds soaking in the sights and the sun. This is part of the roof of the carriage house.

This is an exterior view of the home's grand staircase. Suspended from the center of this light-filled space inside is a four-story iron chandelier.

A beautiful wisteria arbor shades the library terrace and frames the forested mountains.

Here we are on the steps "out back". Paul has really enjoyed wearing Kansas attire here in North Carolina! (And, as always, shorts everyday.)

This is a view of the library terrace and one side of the house.

The grandeur of the house is matched by the surrounding Biltmore Gardens, designed by Central Park landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The four-acre walled garden, bursting with colorful chrysanthemums, sits just above the glass-roofed conservatory, which is filled with exotics and flowers and plants for the house.

Outside the very quaint gardener's cottage sat bushes with these simply lovely blooms.

After being shuttled back to the Jeep, we began our three-mile road trip off the estate. Even on the way out, the beauty of Biltmore continued to wow us. During this special week between Autumn and Christmas at Biltmore, we enjoyed the very best of two colorful seasons.

Now that we've seen this magnificent place, we'll join the throngs of people who encourage all who are headed to Asheville. You must go to the Biltmore!

We're sure glad we did.