Saturday, December 23, 2006

12/18 - 12/23/06 “The Shakedown Cruise”

Less than one month after taking delivery of the 39-foot long Fleetwood Providence RV, we decided to take a first “practice” trip somewhere close and fun. Off we went to Campland, on Mission Bay in San Diego. Not having a tow hitch yet, we brought the Suburban down with us – I drove the coach and Mary Ann drove behind us.

We arrived in the dark…that was sure fun – backing into a dark space sandwiched between overhanging trees. I managed to not hit the post holding the power connections, but we couldn’t open one of our “slides” without it hitting an overhead branch (the next morning, we repositioned the coach).

Less than 18 hours after arriving, our plans changed. Unfortunately, a dear friend of ours had some medical complications and, in her wisdom, Mary Ann decided (rightly so) that not only was I better at running all of the coach’s water, electrical, mechanical and other systems because of my years living on a boat, but she had become a wiz at all things medical and should take the car and head “back to town.”

Well, we all learned a lot…moving the coach around to avoid posts, plugs, sewer drains and tree branches. We also – the second night – figured out how to run the heater correctly. Luckily, this was San Diego, so it wasn’t too cold outside. We also learned that what you planned may not be what happens: like Mary Ann having to leave; like not having any wheels (aside from the coach itself) to go to Sea World, a synagogue in La Jolla, out to lunch, etc.; like needing to read the manuals on some things – which were still at home. You get the picture.

Nonetheless, we had a fun week, and headed back to join up with Mary Ann at home. We were getting a taste of the coach, how the sleeping, cooking and living arrangements worked, and how to live in CLOSE proximity to one another. And, it looked, for a time, like we would have another driver for the road trip; alas, Dave said “Just Kidding!”

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