On Thursday of the rally I got up bright and early and was prepared to be in charge!! Linda was taking the morning off (a really vote of confidence) and I was determined that nothing would go wrong. Well…let’s see. Right off the bat the toilet that should have been fixed the night before was “fixed” at 7:45am and then I saw it was still broken. I was not happy. Then one of the big coffee containers was being filled and completely overflowed all over the place back in the kitchen. Ok not the best start, but I have an MBA for heavens sakes I can handle morning coffee…then again maybe not 🙂 Thankfully the catering company rep that day was a very sweet girl named Crystal and she helped me get back on track. Truly, I would have been really lost without her.
The seminars that day were some of my favorites and I was really looking forward to the Financial Aspects of full-timing among others so I settled in and started taking notes. Things were going very well until we hit Healthcare. Hey I know this is super important topic, and there were lots of good questions, but we went over by 5 minutes, then 10 and finally I had to whisper loudly to Howard he was going to get me in trouble with Linda! That worked and the session wrapped up. The rest of the morning was pretty smooth but doing all of it was intense. Plus I was running the potluck that night and there were a lot of last-minute questions on what to bring.
Potlucks make me crazy, because without people to pull away the empties, the later you are in the line the worse the table looks. I had an idea that if we had one volunteer per table to watch over it, this problem could be solved. My volunteers Nicky (sides), Laura (apps and salads), Bobbi (entrees) and Phyllis (deserts) did a fantastic job and I stood by the door and directed folks who to talk to. The only problem (and it’s a good one to have) is so many people brought food we started to run out of table space. That worked beautifully, but we had so much participation that pretty early we started to run out of table space. This is where my wonderful husband came in. He noticed the problem while he was filming and he stopped and worked with catering to quickly setup two more tables. Awesome!! So everything went off without a hitch and I felt like it was a super successful pot luck.
After the potluck they played Road Tested the RV version of the Newlywed Game. This is one of my favorite moments from the rally two years ago because Cori and I both played it together. This time Lee videotaped and I took pictures, but I kept leaning over and asking him how he would have answered questions. Let me just say we would not have won lol. They do it in three rounds, Experienced RV owners, New RV owners, and Wannabee RV owners. Then those three winners compete in the finals. Linda made up all the questions and it is absolutely hilarious. What a great night.
Friday seminars were all about basic maintenance and since this is not my favorite subject Linda gave me the morning off. I spent the morning cleaning my house and relaxing a bit. Since it was another half day we were on our own for dinner and I was making some ziti when Linda came back. I was showing her my spruced up house and since we are good friends she started mentioning a few things she saw. Finally she just started dusting, apparently I did a lousy job of looking up and then had me laughing when she removed the AC filter and vacuumed it. I hadn’t touched the thing in two years (should be done every couple of months) so it needed it. Lee wandered by and quietly said he wasn’t comfortable but I said “Linda’s going to do what she’s going to do,” plus real friends can clean for each other. I did give her some ziti for all her hard work!
Saturday was the last day of seminars including some of my favorites like Finding Campgrounds and Working on the Road. Then we all broke for lunch and the first session of rig tours started at 1pm. Since we were right next to Linda and Howard we knew we would get some traffic and we had pre-staged to rig (doors open) for everyone to come in and look around. I also made home-made dog biscuits and gave them away and gave our cards and cards for RV Solar Solutions, the company (owned by our full timer friends Greg and Cori) that did our solar install. IT was really a fantastic experience. Everyone loved Lee’s modification and we both had a blast showing off the rig. Also, I pointed a lot of people to our DIY Mods page which has the step-by-step instructions on how to make their own similar modifications. The cargo netting was the biggest interest, probably because that idea can be used in any RV. It was so much fun and all the positive comments were great. After our session both Lee and I walked around and had a list of ideas of our own. Truly it is one of the best parts of the rally and I always walk away with new ideas.
The tours were great but we still had dinner and the Derby party. Everyone was invited to wear a derby hat and prizes were given out in several categories. Then we watched the derby, finished the horse race, and had dancing. It was a busy night for Lee and I (although I did get to dance The Electric Slide a little bit) and we were totally tired at the end of the night. Still what a wonderful end to a terrific week.
All I can say is whether you are and experienced RVer, a newbie, or a wannabee this rally offers something for everyone. And I really, really hope some of my fellow Class of 2014ers can make it to a rally. Paying it forward to the next group is so rewarding and there is absolutely still stuff to learn. Now I understand why Nancy and Bill got back so frequently. What a great experience. We met so many special people and we are very excited to see them on the road! Go Class of 2016…you got this!!!!!!
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What a wonderful time! I’m glad we did attend a second time also. Way to go Class of 2016!
Very cool, Trace! Any up and coming blogger’s in the group?
A lot of people want to do it but aren’t sure how to get started. One of us ( I vote you 😄) you should write. Blogging 101 how to get started. People ask me and unfortunately my answer is always my kid set me up. I am still not 100 percent sure how she got me started lol
Ooohhhhh…a challenge! Definitely something to consider down the road. So many things I need to learn myself first. And then there is the age old question: WordPress or Blogspot? I’ll ponder this subject, Trace…
We started a blog this year and would love any tips, pointers, and advice you can give us. Cliff and Laura Lovinlifeinour5thwheel.com
Please help. Thank you.
I was actually thinking about you guys when I wrote that!! I promise I will check it out once we are settled in Alaska. One thing about the crazy schedule is I completely fell behind on my blog reading 😄
Our email address is on our blog, Laura. I couldn’t find yours, so email me, if you would.
I love the container store, but I purchased handle baskets identical to the ones in your picture at Big Lots for a couple dollars. They have them in three different sizes. I have a few of each because they’re versatile. On one of my shelves the door wouldn’t close because of the handle and my husband was able to cut it off so I could still use it by just grabbing the edge.
Oooh thanks Robin..I love big lots ( worked for their corporate for many years in my youth) and I definitely love their prices. I’ll check them first
Tracey you did a wonderful job on these two posts. Really felt like I was there with you!! It is so special to go back to the rallies and be able to watch others get excited about their dreams. It is obvious that you and Lee really were a big help to Howard and Linda. I am always amazed how they do this. It is just so special to watch people become excited about their future!!!
Safe Travels to Alaska…can’t wait to read about this new adventure!!!
Thanks Nance. We really thought of you guys a lot that week and hopefully had a similar impact as you had on us!!
This rally is listed in bold on my list of things to do when I get closer or have jumped off. Unfortunately I’m still too far off I think for it to be worthwhile, but I will be attending at some point!