We set off with Lucille on Saturday, May 11th after an arduous moving of all of our "we-live-in-a-2-bedroom-house" belongings into a smattering of friends' homes, parents' basements, and distant storage units. Two bits of advice:
1. When you "reserve" a moving truck, make sure it's an actual reservation, rather than some mystical promise of unicorn-like moving equipment that will disappear only 2 hours before your scheduled pick-up, leaving you "moving" without a "truck" because your "reservation" wasn't an actual reservation.
2. Do not let your smug self-satisfaction of your supremely efficient packing of your storage unit distract you from checking to make sure that said unit has a latch that can be locked on it. Otherwise, all those perfectly positioned earthly possessions will be stacked into a unit that CANNOT BE LOCKED. If this happens, don't panic. Sit on the edge of your empty moving truck, and drink a warm beer.
After a stopover in Blacksburg on Saturday night and a fine breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes provided by our excellent host Old Man Kelly, we took to 460 West, the weather glorious, the views stupendous, and the baby... well, she did just fine, considering everything. Pulled up in the City of Pikeville RV Park, hooked up the electric and water, and since Jeff starts at the hospital in the morning, we put the baby to bed, and packed it in. The real work started tomorrow.
Captain's Log, Day 1: Monday in Pikeville, KY
Finding a place for the things of 3 human beings in a 27-foot motorhome is no easy feat, but we managed. After removing one of the on-board "lounge" chairs in the coach to make room for the nursery (*ahem* Pack 'n' Play), we found stowage for Addie's Things. Ohsomany things a baby requires. Cloth diapers, wipes, clothes, burp cloths, swaddle blankets, diaper lotion, toys, books, changing pad, sippee cup. Even with our modest packing, Addie's stuff takes up a fair bit of space. By comparison, our clothing items fit in the back bedroom with room to spare. Our "office" items are limited to our laptops and one file box with important papers, a few paper clips, and a stapler. No books. No media. No knickknacks. Only the essentials.
Oh, and then there's the kitchen.
When it comes to material possessions, I am not a collector of things, but I have a weakness for kitchen doo-dads. However, to my great shock (and Jefferson's delight) I have managed to pack a PERFECTLY APPROPRIATE AMOUNT of cooking tools, dinnerwear, and pantry items into our new home. (Jefferson made me leave the 6 quart cast-iron Lodge dutch oven at home. He's very smart.)
Monday supper was sweet potato-black bean tacos, our first motorhome-made meal.
Captain's Log, Day 2: Long Day's Journey into Naptime
Addie is awesome, but I'll be honest: she sucks at sleeping during the day. It's gotta be DARK, it's gotta be QUIET. How do you achieve this in a 27-foot RV, and still have somewhere to be? Turns out: lots of blackout curtains. Naptime goes like this: asleep for 30 minutes, awaken crying. Spend 1 hour trying to get her to fall back asleep. Give up. Deal with pissy baby for 2 hours. Try again. Sleep for 30 minutes, wash, rinse, repeat. Do not get groceries. Do not pass go. Do not cook dinner. Proceed directly to Dairy Cheer for Smashburgers and milkshakes. Actually, "Smasharue" burgers, which are fully loaded, but also include the bonus of scary cheddar cheese sauce and bacon bits. Feel considerably better about Day 2.
Captain's Log, Day 3 & 4: Wednesday & Thursday
Aside from Jeff's bike's affliction of flat tires (!), we start to settle in. We find a rhythm. Addie sleeps a bit longer. I FINALLY figure out how to put out the awning and pull it in again (a very complicated process requiring an advanced mechanical engineering degree or MENSA membership). Addie chills in her bouncer on the concrete pad on a little rug, bouncing and smiling like a fiend. The whole thing is pretty freakin' adorable.
Wednesday dinner is smashed chickpea pasta salad, and Thursday we have bison burgers on the grill and a big green salad. Lots of beer. Jeff has Friday off, so we stay up late (10pm!!) chatting in the back, delighted with our adventure.
Captain's Log, Day 5: Wherein Our Parade is Rained Upon
Everything was going splendidly. Went for our first hike with Addie in the morning, up a giant radiotower road. I swear, the last half mile we climbed 400 feet. I got my heart rate up for the first time since 2012, and Jefferson, LIKE A BOSS, wore Addie in a backpack all the way up and down. Thunderstorms were forecast for afternoon, and the weather delivered. A good long, strong rain shower for about an hour. Addie and I were snug in the RV while Jefferson visited his new barber, Jimmy. Songs were sung. Toys were chewed. Fun was had by all. Once the rain stops, we'll go to the laundromat to do our pile of dirty diaper laundry.
Until we checked that spot up by the overcab window. You know the one. The one we thought we'd fixed a few weeks back. Erm, not so much. Actually, more like, water trickling into our RV, water working its way into the wooden walls, finding it's way into our "attic" space. NOT GOOD, PEOPLE. Jeff triaged the situation, soaking up the incoming stream with cloth-diaper-burp-cloths while I called the nearest RV repair shop. The tarp is re-purposed as a temporary roof band-aid, because of course, chance of showers for the next 4 days. Jeff hustles to the RV repair shop to get some info and materials for resealing the window. Laundry will fester in the trunk of the Mazda for another day, and we console ourselves with a (delicious) supper of drunken beans with tortillas and avocados.
No really, it's gonna be FINE. Good thing our neighbors, Bill and Sheila, are handy with RV repairs. And are willing to lend us their hair dryer.