Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Launch Day

Shady Pines RV Park, Texarkana, Texas...

Since we haven’t had the option before of preparing for an extended RV trip with no firm ending date, we were a bit unsure of how much “stuff” we should take.  For Sandy, “stuff’ equals clothes and shoes, and it is always a mystery.  

Sandy insists that, due to the existence of a vast undefined conspiracy, the clothes and shoes she chooses will always be the wrong ones. So, I made what I thought was a logical suggestion:  Take only those items that she knows are inappropriate.  She’ll be sure, then, to have the right ones.  This was met with an icy stare, followed by hands on her hips and then a general admonishment against my ever verbalizing a thought again. 

After much of what I assume were meditation and prayer in her closet, she chose a collection of outfits that I dutifully loaded into Phannie, wisely without further comment.  Surprisingly, the items she chose occupied slightly more than half of the available closet space, leaving more than enough room for my things, which numbered about a dozen and were selected in about five minutes...but who’s keeping score?

Food items are my responsibility.  In dealing with food, I think it is much easier to be a full timer than a part timer.  Since we don’t leave any perishable food in Phannie between trips to help reduce the likelihood of spoilage and pests, we must refill the refrigerator and restock missing items from the pantry before each trip.  We wind up transferring all of the perishables from the house fridge to Phannie at the beginning of a trip and vice versa at the end.  I try to guess what pantry items will be needed, but this is not hypercritical, as we don’t do boondocking in the wilderness; there are always grocery stores around. Neither of us likes to be very far away from all the amenities that civilization has to offer.

In consideration of the above, departure day went surprisingly well.  We left a trifle later than usual but traversed quickly the short leg on I-30 to Texarkana, arriving in the late afternoon at Shady Pines RV Park, perhaps one of the most manicured places we have ever seen.  An uncut blade of grass would die of loneliness here, and it was a bargain at $25.

After setting up, we enjoyed a fine catfish dinner at Wayne’s Family Cafe, a real hole-in-the-wall place where the people are friendly and they know their way around a deep fryer.  

So like me to take a photo of the food and nothing else today.  How lame is that?

On the road again...and retired to boot!  It was a good day for sure.


  1. Some times lessons need to be reinforced.

    Repeat after me:
    "Never offer advise to a spouse when it comes to clothing or accessories."
    Oh, and that's not just "unsolicited" advise either. Even if asked, just decline...

    At least you didn't have to stand in the corner.
    Happy trails.

  2. Your "conversation" with Sandy sounds an awful like what goes on in our household... AKA Lazy Daze Motorhome. Bill can't understand why I need a minimum of a dozen pairs of shoes, but gave up offering "suggestions" years ago. Hey... I don't ask him why he needs 2 drills or a whole set of socket wrenches!

  3. Enjoy your retirement trip. You've worked hard and now it's time to play. Have you considered keeping a log of information about your campground stops for those of us who dream of doing the same thing to refer to? Bon voyage.

    1. That's a good idea, Jill. I may do that now that I have more time. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. When we started full timing we both took way toooooo many clothes and shoes. Every place we stayed for more than a day or two we found the Goodwill and dropped stuff off. After almost five years I think we finally have it figured out. Maybe. Also, please be sure to post your reviews of campgrounds on RV Parks Review. Most of us use that web site all the time.

  5. Since you are heading east on I-30 and maybe I-40, two campground recommendations that I can make are Maumelle State Park in Little Rock and Tom Sawyer in West Memphis, AR. The first is along the river, but close enough to Little Rock to allow sight seeing. Tom Sawyer is along the Mississippi River and you can sit and watch river traffic.

    If you want to tour downtown Little Rock and the Clinton Library, you can stay at the North Little Rock Downtown Riverside RV Park. It is really convenient to the city.

    Safe Travels,
    Richard and Patsy

  6. I highly recommend retirement to all my friends! So happy for you. I really enjoy reading your blog. Looking forward to hear about your travels. Congratulations!


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