Day 2 - My niece and her two daughters were arriving today, so I took my first shower in my rental RV. It might have been difficult to use the toilet in such cramped space, but the shower was roomy with great hot water and water pressure. Although if I wanted to dry off properly I had to move into the main part of the rig. Something tells me this is quite common in RVs. The rental had a separate vanity area, which was nice.
|Fantastic Umbrella Factory|
That night the oldest girl decided she wanted to stay in her Grammy's trailer, while the youngest and Lindsay stayed in my rig. Lindsay took the upper bunk and after smacking her head a few times, decided to sleep on the dinette bed the next night.
Day 3 - Today Marlaine had a "mystery day" planned. First we drove to the Fantastic Umbrella Factory, in Charleston, RI, which was a collection of small shops on a farm, complete with chickens, goats, and emus. It had a definite '60s vibe and every shop was playing vintage music and burning incense. I bought a pair of Day of the Dead socks.
|Beavertail Point in RI|
But the day wasn't over yet. Next we drove to Beavertail Point State Park in Jamestown, RI, and plopped ourselves down on the grassy area above the sea in camp chairs. This was a very rocky and beautiful area with crashing waves beneath. Below the grassy flat was a table of rocky cliffs where the girls played and explored.
That night both girls and their mother stayed in my RV with the girls in the loft bed.
Teaching Moment #5: Children are exhausting, especially children recharged after a night's sleep.
Day 4 - After Lindsay and the girls went to Marlaine's trailer for breakfast, I settled in for some quiet time and a bowl of oatmeal (the only thing I cooked in my RV). I sat at the dinette, ate, and gazed out the window at the peaceful camp ground. I was also reminded of a dream I had several months ago when I was first thinking about RVing full-time. In the dream I was seated at a table inside a van RV and writing on my laptop. The door was open and through the wide screen door I could see a clearing in a wooded area. It was raining lightly, but not cold. But the most important thing I remember about that dream was how at home and at peace I felt. Sitting at the dinette eating oatmeal in a rental RV, I felt something similar.
Teaching Moment #6: I'm now sure full-time RVing is for me when I retire from my day job and turn to writing full-time. It feels like home.
|2 nephews, 1 niece, |
1 great nephew and 3 great nieces
Teaching Moment #7: Family is very important. While I have tons of cousins, I don't have much in the way of immediate family and have lived 3,000 miles from them for decades. About every two years I journey back for a visit and come home wishing I had more time with them. Once I retire, I plan on doing just that.
My last night in the RV, I listened to music, packed and cleaned. I was ready to go home but sad to leave. In spite of loving my time with my family, it would have been nice to have a few days alone in the campground, but that will come soon enough.
Day 5 - After another restful morning of oatmeal and reflection, I took my last shower in the rig, touched up the bathroom, dumped the black and gray tanks (again without incident!), unplugged the power and water, and gave goodbye hugs to Marlaine and Bob.
Unlike the drive to the campground, the drive back to Cruise America was uneventful and even relaxing, thanks to a fully charged phone/GPS. I wish I could say the same about the flights home, but air travel is anything but relaxing these days.
Teaching Moment #8 and last thoughts: I cannot wait until I retire, have my own RV, and hit the road to explore this beautiful country. Renting an RV was a great way to confirm my path. In spite of the initial ups and downs, it was a wonderful vacation.
As I write this, I have 590 days until retirement. But who's counting?