Archive for April, 2007

Escapees Rally, Tuesday 4-24-2007

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007


I wrote a journal yesterday but then couldn’t find it to post.  I deleted it, I guess.   We arrived here Sunday about 10:30 AM.  It was like arriving at a Dallas Cowboy game and trying to park except instead of cars pulling in to find a place to park it was all motor homes and 5th wheels.  That takes a lot of space for each rig.  It was a little overwhelming at first.  We were so busy driving and watching the traffic we forgot to take a picture. This is Escapees 46th Rally so they are experienced in moving everyone into a camping spot quickly.   

A camping spot is just a parking place in the fairgrounds parking lot.  We are parked near a fence that has an electric plug near it that we are sharing with another RV.  We have 7 amps.  What does that mean?  We can not use our microwave or anything that takes a lot of electricity.   Our lights run on batteries and we can watch TV with our 7 amps electricity.  We have a tank underneath our rig somewhere that holds fresh water so that is where we get our running water for the week. Some people are not plugged into any electricity but are using their generator for electricity.  We have one but are not quite brave enough to depend on it just yet.

The seminars or workshops are great and we have learned new things or reaffirmed things we know about RVing.

Friday when we pull out of here they will weigh our truck and 5th wheel.  They will tell us if we are under or overweight.  (This means our rig, unfortunately, we already know about our bodies.) We need to be a certain weight balanced all over and an even weight on each tire.  So we may be having a garage sale on the fairgrounds before we pull out to go down the road to be safe and keep from being overweight.

Repair Month – April 2007

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Yesterday we made it up to the Sacramento area.

We will be attending an Escapees Rally next week.  This is a group that works with full-time RVers and the organization that we use for our permanent Livingston, TX address and mail forwarding.  They will be having several seminars on critical functions about which all RVers should be knowledgable.

Well, the truck should be in pretty good shape now.  First, we ended March with replacing the thermostat, flushing the cleaning system and cleaning the air filter, about $150.00.  Next came two new front brake rotors and new front brakes, $350.00.  Then it was time for a couple of new tires for the truck, $455.00. We finished up the month with a change of synthetic motor oil, $120.00.

That’s $1,075.00 for the month, not including a few hundred dollars of fuel.  We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’re in good shape for several months.

Stumbling into a Fun Surprise 4-16-2007 Monday

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

A few Montanas pulled out this morning.  I guess those were the ones that had to go back to work.  One of the representatives for Montanas was supposed to show up sometime during the Rally.  He showed up today.  He went from rig to rig answering questions and problems each rig had.  We heard he had to leave by 2:00 PM and would not meet with us as a group.  So about 1:00 we left and went to tour 2 more towns, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. 

We had several things planned to visit in these towns.  We did not pay attention to the days and times they would be open.  The places we had planned to tour were closed until closer to the weekend.  So we just drove through the towns and then out in the beautiful countryside looking at the vineyards, farms and homes.  As we were finished and ready to head back to Buellton and were just entering Highway 101 we saw a sign for Firestone Winery Adopt a Highway.  That name sounded familiar.  How and why do I know that name?  At the same time Rick saw the real sign for the Firestone Winery and made a comment about it.  Click-Click Click—my mind is working.  Every season I watch The Bachelor on TV.  Rick watched it the first season and now he only watches the last couple of shows of each season.  I know FIRESTONE Winery from Andrew Firestone who was advertised as the rich bachelor on season 2003.  The family used to own Firestone Tires.

Rick turned around and we drove out in the country to the winery.  It was open and they had a beautiful tasting room.  We went in and sampled 3 white and 3 red wines. Through a big picture window we could see a big, old white house across some vineyards while we were enjoying the wines.  We asked if the family lived on their land and the girl pointed to the house we had been looking at during the wine tasting.  As we were finishing up, Rick went to take some pictures.  When he returned he told me to go check out a room with some photographs of the older generation of Firestones with Presidents and other dignitaries.  While I was in there I heard Rick laughing and talking to someone.  I came out and he introduces me to Kate Firestone who we figured was Andrew’s mother.  As we were leaving we pulled over and let a dirty white Volvo pass us. It was the same lady we had talked to in the winery. We followed the car down to the main road and watched her turn into the Firestone’s driveway.  It really was his mother. For a botched up planned day, it ended up being an unexpected entertaining experience.

Firestone Vineyard Entrance


Vinyard and Wine Tasting Room from Road


Firestone Home  aafirestone-home.jpg Room of Famous People

 aaroom-of-famous-people.jpg aawall.jpgWe returned to the RV Park and passed the clubhouse that we have been using for the Rally.  They were having a meeting and we were missing it!  So we parked and walked to the clubhouse to see what was going on there.  The Montana rep. had decided (or been urged) to stay and held an impromptu gathering to improve the dialogue between owners and the factory regarding positive and negative feedback. 

Another fun day.

Show and Tell 4-15-2007

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Happy Birthday Justin!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Hope you have a great day.

The Montana Rally had a pot luck scramble.  This is the same thing as Breakfast in a Bag.  You put your eggs (crack them first) in a small plastic bag and squish them up and then  put whatever you want in your omelet such as cheese, green peppers, bacon and etc.  Squish that up again, squeeze the air out and put in boiling water for about 12 minutes. You have an omelet. We did this one summer when we had a large family gathering.  It is lots of fun and easy to cook and serve breakfast for a large crowd. One gal had an ostrich egg which is the size of 24 eggs. (pictured below)


Next on the schedule was Show and Tell.  You remember that from elementary school, don’t you?  As a teacher this was not one of my favorite activities.  Students brought silly things and pretty soon you lost the crowd’s (class’s) attention.  BUT, a grown up Show and Tell is fun.  What did we show and tell?  Our MONTANAS, of course.!!!!  Everyone held open house for all the other owners to come through their 5th wheel and see the modification, floor plans and how we decorated it differently from other Montanas. It is amazing how people can change them to be so individualized.

When that was over we drove over to another town called Lompoc.  This town’s personality is murals.  There are about 40 murals painted on buildings and big signs.  The landscape is gorgeous. (Click on picture for full size)





Then we drove back to Buellton and ate at Pea Soup Anderson’s.  Guess what Buellton and that restaurant is famous for around here?  Split Pea Soup.  It was delicious!!!!!

Montana Rally 4-14-2007

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

We didn’t have to be anywhere with the Montana group until 5:00 PM.   Good time to do our touristy thing!  We are in the Saint Ynez Valley.  There are 7 towns that are just a few miles from each other.  Each town is different and has its own personality.  We chose to go to Solvang today.  It is only 2 miles from Buellton.  Its personality is that it is a Danish town. This is wine country also.  There are wine tasting shops and farms all over the valley.  We passed several as we drove to Solvang.  You can definitely tell the Danish influence by looking at the pictures.  There were a lot of Danish bakeries and chocolate candy stores.  We had a great lunch at Café Angelica. On our way to a wine tasting place we stopped at a chocolate candy store and bought a few little morsels of chocolate.  I don’t believe they are on our diet.  Oh, well, who cares?



Then we returned back to Buellton to our get together.  We had a social hour, catered dinner and a white elephant exchange.  It was great getting to know all the Montana owners.  Then a few of us stayed in the clubhouse and played Mexican Train.

Tomorrow is Show and Tell.  We will explain tomorrow.