As with many other people my Thanksgiving plans got totally screwed up this year. Initially my brother’s family, sister’s family, and I were going to all meet at my Dad’s for the first time in years. Since Dad had COVID recently we initially thought it was something we could do relatively safely but a week before the holiday things got crazy in Columbus. After agonizing over my decision, I ultimately decided not to go and we were scrambling to figure out last minute what we could do.
We’ve spent holidays alone before (seems to be part of this lifestyle), but we wanted to do something, anything special so I wouldn’t be so sad. I started looking at really nice restaurants in the area to see if we could eat a fancy dinner out, but everything (and I mean everything) was already booked. I didn’t really want to cook for just the two of us and was considering getting take out from Cracker Barrel when we learned our campground was doing a Thanksgiving dinner.
At this point we were in the Richmond area and were staying at Americamps. We picked this campground mainly for its location, and to be honest it wasn’t one of my favorites. It was mostly seasonal, and although our sites were deep, side to side people were pretty close. Thanksgiving dinner was pretty cool though and I called and signed us up for it. Initially I was told we could either have it delivered or pick it up at 3:00 pm so I went for delivery. To supplement I even made Lee some deviled eggs which are his absolute favorite.
An additional bonus was we had strong cell signal and I could watch the annual dog show. This is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving and I am not in a position every year to had a strong enough TV signal to get the programming. It was different of course because of COVID but I was so happy they did it and even picked the winner out of the final group of dogs. I am getting pretty good at that!
As the day wore on, I started to get hungrier, because the grill they were cooking on was right behind our RV.
At 3:30pm I finally went up to the office and was told I couldn’t pick up but had to wait for delivery. There were tons of people inside and they were working on packing everything up so I went back and waited. At 4:00 pm I sent Lee up, but they said our was out for delivery. At 4:50pm I drove around to find the delivery cart and caught her coming back. Our order was not on the cart, but she had another one she couldn’t find the owners for so took pity and gave us that. Don’t get me wrong getting a free meal is pretty cool but this level of disorganization drives me nuts.
All in the day was a bust and frankly I was tired of Richmond. Some towns have a vibe that doesn’t work for individuals and those of us who full time know what I mean. Not every place is for everybody and we learn that in our travels. Our next stop was Raleigh though, another town we hadn’t spent any time in and we were going to get to see our friends Kat and Bert.
Lee had booked us into the North Carolina State Fair campground, which apparently we had stayed in for one night several years ago. I didn’t like it the first time (according to the blog I honestly don’t remember it), and unfortunately I didn’t like it the second time much better. There are lots of working folks staying there, which is fine, but for me at least it is the kind of place you keep your doors locked during the day. Again, if you full time you know what I mean. The one positive was the grounds were huge and Lee was able to take Jack on some really long walks.
Paying was also a hassle. We followed the directions on the website, which said wait until someone came around to take payment, but the sheriff who came to do that scolded me because we hadn’t paid online. He was honest and said there had been some COVID cases in the campground, which I appreciated but was not a great first impression. In general, I would have to say I didn’t feel super safe in Raleigh. Lots of maskless people and ultimately we chose to do very little there except see our friends Kat and Bert.
Visiting people with COVID is kind of weird. We are super worried that we might inadvertently bring it to someone and of course we want to be protected as well. The social dance of what people are willing to do is super awkward, but Kat cut through all that by sending me a text laying out exactly what they were willing to do. Frankly I appreciated the honesty and it made the whole visit so much easier. The gist was we would stay outside, and if we entered the house to go to the bathroom we would wear masks. They also put Clorox wipes in the bathroom which I really appreciated.
Despite the challenges our two visits were amazing. Their porch is super cool and they have a nice heater that helped keep us warm. It was also Jack friendly with a fenced in yard so we were able to not only bring Jack but let him run around a bit. And did I mention the food!! The meals were amazing and their hospitality was over the top. Loved, loved seeing them.
It was so wonderful seeing them and catching up and we were really grateful for the hospitality. Since Raleigh is relatively close to where my daughter and sister live we hope to explore more in the COVID free future, but the visit was very special even without that.
Next up I finally get to see my sister as we make our way south for Christmas!
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