Friday, September 6, 2013

Places To Visit

I have compiled a list of people/things/places we would like to see on our journey.  We asked each of the kids to contribute with some places they would like to visit too.

  • Snuggle Bug: Statue of Liberty and David Copperfield Show in Vegas(he saw it on TV once)
  • Sissy: She sited several family members across the country, a fellow adoptive family in Alaska and the Ozarks(we read Where the Red Fern Grows)
  • Bubba: World Trade Center Memorial, family, Alaska and Niagara Falls.
When Bubba was littler and first saw the movie CARS, we had a discussion about Route 66.  He asked if one day I would take him on the real Route 66 and I said I would.  So that is also something we plan to do.

Here are some other noteable on our lists:

  • DC
  • Mount Vernon
  • Fredericksburdg VA
  • Biltmore Mansion  (we have seen it once but would like to take the kids along this time)
  • Creation Museum 
  • Hershey PA
  • Lincoln's Log Cabin IL
  • Mayflower Landing 
  • Grand Canyon
  • Caves
  • Redwoods
  • Ripleys Museum
  • Hoover Dam
  • A Plantation( think Forrest Gump)
  • Universal
  • Four Corners
  • Our town's 'sister' town in PA
  • Family/Friends in OH,VA,TX,MN,AK,KY,OR,WA,WI
But the best places will be those not planned.  Things we see going down the road that we will stop at, people we will meet.  We really do not want to use interstates and such.  Those road are wonderful for getting you somewhere quickly but no great for experiencing what the country has to offer.  And we are in no rush =)

I found this great site thanks to my friend R that tells you some unique sites you might go by on your way to your destination.

If anyone has any other things they think are must see's (or must do's) around the country or in western Canada comment and let me know!  I would like to go to Philadelphia on our way through to see the Liberty Bell and all that.  Bubba and Sissy have already been there on a missions trip through our church but I would still like to stop real quick.  I love history.

Oh, I kind of think it will be cool to meet the Roloff's on our trip(Little People Big World), if they still have their farm.  Have a great week!

Many Blessings
The Mama

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What We Need in an RV

1st off, I find it very peculiar that you use the word "an" before "RV".  The 'R' is not a vowel so why use "an"?  Strange, but I digress...

So here are the things we have to have in a Travel Trailer(TT).

  1. 2 SLIDE OUTS ( part that extends out farther for additional room):  A slide in the living area and one in the master bedroom area that slides out the side NOT the end of the TT.  This is referred to as an east-west bedroom.  Why do we need that particular slide?  So we can fit Little Miss's play yard at the foot of the bed to sleep.  There simple is not enough room otherwise. 

  2.  FULL SIZE FRIDGE: A lot of TT come with very small refrigerators that barely hold a days worth of foodstuffs.  I would really rather not shop every single day. I hate shopping once a week as is.
  3. BUNKHOUSE:  At first we thought we had to have quad bunks but then we saw some TT that had 2 bunks on one side of the room and then a dinette table on the other that folded down to a full bed. The kids really liked that and the boys said they would share a bed, which they often end up doing anyhow.

  4. 34ft + : For a family of 7 we really need a TT that is 34 feet long or more.  We do need a little room to breathe.
  5. UNDER 10,500 GVWR: " the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer[1] including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo." wikipedia.   So in other words, how heavy it can be and still tow it with our vehicle!
  6. REAL DOORS:  This may sound strange but so many RV's have accordion doors or just curtains.  That just won't do with a sleeping baby or a sleeping special needs child.  In both cases, once they are awake, they are awake.  We need REAL doors to keep as much noise out as possible during nap and bedtimes!
  7. AWNING: This is really pretty standard but you come across some older ones that don't have them.  It's just the awning for the outside to give some shade.
  8. LESS THAN 15K:  That's our budget.  We would love it to be 20k, but since we will be paying for it out of pocket, there is just no way besides an act of God( a girl can pray!) that we will get enough out of our house to afford that.

  1. OUTSIDE KITCHEN:  Man I would love this one but have yet to find a TT that fits our above need that has one.  The whole side flips up on the outside and has a small fridge, sink and grill that you can use when you are at a campsite.   

    2. BANQUETTE SEATING: Instead of just having a booth dinette which can get a little cramped, it would be ideal to have banquette seating.  But most of the TT we have looked at have a couple stools at a little kitchen peninsula so we can make do with a booth.

     3.OUTSIDE ACCESS TO BATHROOM: Some TT have a door in the bathroom to the outside.  That way when you are at your campsite and everyone is outside most of the time, kids don't have to traipse through the TT to go to the bathroom.  There is an access door from the outside straight to the loo!  Genius.  But potentially embarrassing if you are using it and a kid opens it from the outside and the whole RV park sees you on the pot...


There are some other things we have been mindful of too.  Like, 'Is the location of the toilet going to be close enough to Little Miss to wake her up?'  Having those real doors will help with noise but we have seen some layouts that would have Little Miss up with every slamming of the toilet lid.  Ok most lids are plastic in an RV, but knowing Princess, she would find a way to slam it.

We tend to like the Innsbruck model a lot and have a found a few of those.  One is a 2007 and one is a 2000.  The 2000 needs updating of course but is half the price of the 2007 with the same floor plan. But the sellers have mentioned the WD word. *mouthing the words WATER DAMAGE*

~Insert psycho shower music~

It is supposedly just a little on the corner of the living area slide but anyone who knows anything about RV's knows that water damage can cost way more to repair that what the whole RV is worth.  So we'll see.

We have lowered the price on our home about 7k once we decided we could go for an older TT model( as long as it's been maintained well) and just spruce it up inside.  We have had a surge in interest since we dropped the price the other week so that is good.  Still no shows though.  That is so incredibly rude.

Because of so many people who have come down with this rudeness plague, we have adopted a new strategy: If someone calls or stops by to schedule a showing we do it immediately.  That can be hard with 5 kids who are home all day with you but we just have made a very conscious effort to keep the house very tidy. 

 So far that strategy has paid off.  We had some very interested people stop by today.  I just asked that they give up 15 minutes to straighten up. In other words- run around like a chicken with our heads cut off chucking things in cabinets and under beds while I tug my lounge pants off with one hand and apply mascara with the other one.  

Even if the people today who came through don't pan out, it sure did my soul good.  It is easy to become discouraged in the times when God is silent( seems silent).  With lots of no shows, it just felt good to have someone come through and to express interest.  I feel like we are on the right track and it reminds me at how quickly our house could sell, even when it feels like it will never happen. It just takes one buyer to show up.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; 

wait for the Lord!

                                                                                                Psalm 27:14

Many Blessings,

The Mama