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Don’t Make Me Read That

Don’t Make Me Read That

Tonopah, NV
32° / 55° Sunny ☀
OUR RATING: 5 Stars – a well thought out RV resort complete with private golf course, large dog run and upgraded free WIFI. Bonus for being a 4 minute Uber from the Strip
PRICE: $36/day FHU

Just arrived in Tonopah this afternoon by way of a very long two lane highway with very little to distract the eye.  Highway 95 weaved in and out of various hills with small towns scattered about 100 miles apart.  “Small” and “towns” aren’t quite the right words.  A couple looked like a small outpost. Complete with wandering donkeys.  Tonopah itself could be considered a small town though.  It has a high school and a Rotary club sign as we came in.  Just down the road from our RV park is a cute distraction.  Some kind of famous “Clown Motel”.   Supposedly a clown museum passing itself off as an old western inn or motel.  Our treat for the day came from an unexpected A&W Rootbeer stand.  I’m a sucker for A&W Rootbeer, so we got a couple…. to go.

Steve really surprised me today.  Apparently, he, completely on his own, suggested we download a particular audiobook for the next leg of the journey.

Know this, I’m an avid reader.  In a typical year, I will read a book a week – more if I’m in a good series – like the recent Bridgerton books.  Parveen and I have fun one-upping each other on our reading lists and accomplishments.  We are both similar, in that we can only read 1 book at a time.  If the book is a dud, I will race through it, to get to the next one.  Parveen likes to race through all her books, just to get a gist of the story line, or maybe her brain just works 10x faster then mine.  I, on the other hand, enjoy reading slowly.   About an hour at a time, looking for interesting phrases.  Stopping constantly to build character maps on the inside book covers, or just to sit and reflect on a particular passage.

Steve is the complete opposite.  Unless the book ahs colorful pictures of food or recipes, he’s not likely to read it.

About 4 years ago, I discovered audiobooks and quickly fell in love with them.  I eagerly listened to them on long car rides to business appointments or meetings.  I binged them on longer road trips when I used to routinely drive from Tampa to Dallas, alone.  On several occasions, my kids (not together) would be on a road trip with me and we’d listen to books I thought they’d enjoy.

My son, Efren, used to be a science nerd.  So on our first road trip together, we listened to The Martian.  A highly scientific book, that later, the movie didn’t even scratch the surface of.  On our latest road trip together, we listened to Danielle Steele’s Friends Forever.  A story about life long friends.  Efren, having a life long childhood friend, was naturally hooked on the story.

Last year, when we started out, I took a risk and played an audiobook on our RV test trip.  It too was a Danielle Steele.  Steve OK’d the book, more just to satisfy my need to read, as it quickly became evident that its impossible to read a book while towing.  Way too much tugging, something we soon became accustomed to.

When that first book ran out, I was surprised when Steve asked “What’s next?”  While driving, we explored different genres and listened to trailers.  Knowing Steve wouldn’t want to listen to another girly romance novel, although after 13 years of being together, he knows  full well my attraction to Danielle Steele novels.  I’ve even read one aloud to him on a previous road trip (not towing).  He needed to find a genre all his own and one that I’d enjoy too.

As it turns out, Steve and I are both “West Wing” fans.  We often fall into binging season after season, year after year.  We’ve long ago lost count how many times we’ve watched all 7 seasons, as we can each recite all the episodes word for word and enjoy the political drama that seems so relevant today.  Even more so during the Obama years, when it seemed to be the playbook.  Not surprising, the Clinton Administration consulted on BOTH the Bartlet and Obama administrations.  One of the little games we enjoy playing is seeing who can spot the first West Wing alumn in a movie or show… there is always AT LEAST ONE!  And if there are two… that’s a West Wing Reunion!  Amy Adams has the most reunions so far by our count.

We tip-toed through the legal thrillers, and of late, have come to really enjoy John Grisham.  His most recent releases feature famous B actors doing the readings – probably to stay working during Covid.

Imagine our great surprise, when we downloaded the latest John Grisham, narrated by none other then Mary-Louise Parker.  A favorited West Wing alumn.

Oops!  I think I may have turned Steve into a “reader”!!!



Family Double Dates

Las Vegas, NV
56° / 88° Sunny ☀
OUR RATING: 5 Stars – a well thought out RV resort complete with private golf course, large dog run and upgraded free WIFI. Bonus for being a 4 minute Uber from the Strip
PRICE: $65/day with Good Sam discount

A few years ago, my best friend taught me how to make plans a month or so out, so that I always have something on the calendar to look forward to. The get togethers this weekend have been on the calendar for over a month, and we have been looking forward to catching up with family and friends.

Last night, my Aunt Corrine and Uncle Art took us out for a lovely double-date kind of evening.

Aunt Corrine is my grandma’s youngest sister, the last of 12.  Rightfully so, my grandma has a strong fondness for this sister and maintains a close relationship with her.  Them and their other sister are the last three siblings left of their generation, and with every visit they take care to recite family heritage.  Who begat who.  Who married, or divorced who.   With 12 brothers and sisters, and each with 4 or 5 kids of their own, its easy to forget when all the names are similar.  Several “Edwards” mixed in with and “Edgar”.  And don’t forget a couple of “Frances” in there, one for each gender.  Aunt Lee gave me a blank family tree map to record all that begatting, it’s surely going to take several drafts!

There are some family members that are easy to get along with, and some that take effort to prepare to be around and time to recover from.  Fortunately, Aunt Corrine has always been very easy to get along with.  In some ways, this can be a hazardous trap.  She is well known as the family gossip and isn’t that one family member you tell your secrets to.  She’s nice to everyone, and makes it easy to fall into conversation with her.  She asks insightful questions prompting thoughtful answers.  Perhaps it was her 40 years as a high school guidance counselor.  At any rate, its easy to say too much to her.

I was prepared for this and was careful.  Sometimes the kindest thing to say is nothing at all, and to keep my big mouth shut.  Redirecting questions to “why are so many casinos shut down”?  Surely, a long-winded easy answer for a long-time Vegas resident.

My mind has moved on to our next calendared get together.  A highly anticipated reunion with an old high school girlfriend.  In school, we hung out often as we were both in marching band and shared common friends.  Since high school, I’ve only seen her at our 10 and 20 year reunions.  Our 30th was cancelled due to Covid, so our get together is just in time!

If it weren’t for our new lifestyle, I’d still be just keeping tabs on Facebook and watching events unfold.  Now, we are part of the events and reconnecting face-to-face.  I don’t, for a single moment, forget how lucky we are and how fortunate we are to be so privelaged to live this type of life – if only for a few years.

Destination Goal 2 – Achieved!

Destination Goal 2 – Achieved!

Beaumont, CA
44° / 53° Rainy

TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

Yesterday was a perfect Sunday for a day trip to San Diego.  Clear blue skies and clear freeways.  Despite this area being known for its clogged freeways – we were in much luck yesterday!

Every adventure needs to have a goal or destination, else you are just aimlessly wandering.  I’m a goal-oriented person, and one thing I’ve learned through all my goal settings – failures and winners – is that it really doesn’t matter what the goal is.  A goal is simply something to work toward.  An area to focus your time, effort and energy on.  Goals give me a sense of purpose and a feeling of achievement in life.  Feelings that are very important to type-A folk like myself.  I’m also a tad bit of a control freak – so there’s that need too.

When we decided to set out on RV life, we really didn’t have a specific plan in mind, other then to just go out and see America.  Which felt a bit too vague for me.  One of the benefits of living the RV life is to chase the good weather, so as to always live where the climate is mild. That sounded real nice to me, so as we looked at the map, we noticed how the weather seemed to have a unique pattern with the shape of the country.  That’s when the idea of this year’s 2022 RV goal came to us.  We’d visit all four corners of the country.  Starting our adventure near home with Key West.  Then the San Diego / Tijuana boarder.  Followed by Washington in the summer and Maine in the fall.  I’m most looking forward to New England in October as that’s my favorite time of year.  It’s also why we deliberately got married in October.

Last Thanksgiving, we spent the holiday with Tara in The Keys.  It was a wonderful time and a great way to enjoy Tara’s company before we ditched her for the open road.

Key west Mile Marker 0The interesting fact is that Tara’s most favorite place in the world is The Keys.  She and Laurence vacation there at least twice a year.  Mostly for the fishing.  Tara is quite the fisherman and really enjoys the sport – she can outfish most men.  She has even caught the same fish twice!  So, last November we had our own personal tour guide to all things Florida Keys.  We fished off the bridges, we rode an airboat lookin for gators and we even stumbled down Duvall Street – tipsy and having a ball.

To officially mark the start of our travels, we took a snapshot at the famed Mile Marker 0 buouy at the end of Duvall Street.

Yesterday, in San Diego, we took a picture near at the border town to mark our second goal post of 2022.

Checking things off a goal list feels great!  It’s only April and half this year’s goals are already done!

We plan to be in Washington by mid-May.

More on San Diego tomorrow.  Today’s Monday and duty calls.