Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Novel RV Lives!

Novella and Me, Together At Last!
I have not updated Babble 'n Blog in three months, but in my defense, I have been very very busy.

You may recall that I was planning on buying a Winnebago Travato, downsizing all my stuff, and moving into the van full-time in preparation of retirement. Well, guess what? That's exactly what I've been doing!

I started getting rid of all my extra belongings in mid-February and didn't stop until it was all gone. Some went to charity, some were sold, much of it was given away. Most of it I didn't care about. The stuff I did went to friends and family. All my books went to a local library and a senior center. The biggest pain in the butt were my clothes. I purged and purged and purged, and I still had way more clothing than I could fit into the van. I gave away even more, and finally I had my wardrobe pared down to the clothing I really did need and little more. The same went for my shoes and handbags. Even my jewelry.

On March 17th, I flew to North Carolina and took possession of a 2016 Winnebago Travato 59K Touring Coach, which was purchased from a friend. That same day, after he gave me a thorough crash course in the vehicle, I hit the road for the long drive back to California. My first stop for the night was a Walmart parking lot, where I not only camped for the night, but also spent a nice wad of cash on things like sheets, blankets, a mattress pad, shelf liner, soap, and food.

The trip wasn't without its mishaps, but all were small and manageable. The largest being when my black tank overflowed because I left the water pump and a faucet on one day while driving. Trust me, you haven't lived until you are stopped in a rest stop wearing rubber gloves and scouring sewer water from your tiny bathroom/shower.

In fact there were a lot of things I did along the way that I never thought I'd ever do:

  • Scrubbing sewer water from my bathroom somewhere along a highway
  • Washing my panties out in a rest stop ladies room because I didn't pack enough (Yeah, I know, I should have added those to my Walmart shopping list.)
  • Taking a shower at a truck stop
  • Sleeping in parking lots of Walmarts and truck stops. (Only one night was spent at a friend's home, all the others were spent in parking lots.)

Once I got back to California, I parked Novella at an RV park at Dockweiler Beach and went back to work, living in the semi-set up van while continuing to empty my apartment mornings and evenings. A week later, the apartment in my rear view mirror, I moved to my semi-permanent spot in an RV park, where I'll stay until I actually retire from my job in less than a year.

Novella is all set up now. She's decorated inside and my stuff is pretty well settled. I really enjoy living in her. She's cozy and cute. We even took our first camping trip. It was to Yosemite for four days to meet up with other Travato owners. Next week, we'll take another trip. The plan is to take long weekend camping trips to get use to it until it's time to hit the road permanently.

If you would like to follow the adventures of  The Novel RV, Novella, and me, you can do so on Instagram (thenovelrv), The Novel RV Facebook page, and The Novel RV website (which is still under construction.) The full story of my maiden trip from North Carolina to California is posted on The Novel RV Facebook page.  Please stop by and catch yourself up. There are also lots of photos of the van inside and out.
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In all this there was one major change that wasn't fun, but expected. B, my beloved sweet cat, had to be put down. She was 19-1/2 years old. She had feline dementia and was starting to really fail. She did manage to get moved into the van with mixed reviews on her part. As long as the van was still, she seemed to be okay. When it moved, she lost her mind. I was worried she would die while I was on the road from North Carolina and she was under the care of a friend, but she lasted a few more weeks. She died with me by her side rubbing her belly.