Dictionary Definitions

va·ca·tion  [ vay káysh’n ]  break from work or study usually devoted to pleasure, rest, recreation or travel; a recess or holiday

re·lax·a·tion  [ re lak sáysh’n ]  enjoyable activity: a form of activity that provides a change and relief from effort, work, or tension, and gives pleasure.
 
I’m so glad I looked these up because I really felt it necessary to clairfy in my own mind how these very important words are defined.
 
 

Phase or Folly-Going Forward

  1. Part One:  Putting the Crap Back In

After a rugged, or more insane beginning to this trip, where several times along the way we considered turning the RV around and returning home, we couldn’t believe we’d finally arrived in our beloved Arizona.  There was no elation, excitement or high-fiving going on here, just somber relief that the ordeal was over except for getting the RV unpacked.

So, a mere 2.5 hours and 52 trips up and down the stairs, everything was out of the RV and inside the condo, placed in gigantic heaps in every availabale space we could find. Our hope that somewhere in this mess, was one cat and one dog!  More about the trials and tribulations in future posts.

But this, the 50th day of our stay arrived, and we must start packing for our return to Michigan with the horrifying realization that we had to put all those gigantic heaps of crap back in the RV.  The task should be easier since we’ll be carrying stuff down this time BUT there is a significant difference in the weather.  Today, the 50th day, is also the first time this year Arizona will reach triple digit temperatures!

 

Tomorrow, we’ll make a last run through the condo, check for items left behind, secure Kate and Sassy in their crates, close the doors behind us and hope the return trip will be kinder to us.  Our hearts are sad to leave this beautiful place but ecstatic to reunite with family and friends we love and miss so much, especially our three awesome girls, Missy, Ashley and Sarah.

Michigan or bust!

Where Did It Begin Exactly?

I’ve decided this saga actually began when we adopted our dog Katie. Having her come into our life is a story onto itself and I’ll tell you about later. First, I need to piece together the how and why of us getting into this RV thing! 

We bought a small condo in Arizona 7 years ago.  We’d rent it out to some very nice people as well as play host to family and friends, but we spent very little time there ourselves. That had to do with two definite issues: (1) how could we leave our 3 best girls, Missy, Ashley and Sarah for so long, and (2) we were mama and papa to 5 cats, three having some serious health issues. For short trips we’d hire the pet sitter, hop a quick flight to Phoenix and be back in a week or two – well before the girls and pets could even miss us.  Our dream, however, was to join the ranks of snowbirds and spend a couple of months far from the harsh Michigan winters. As long as we had 5 cats, there was no chance as we could never leave them behind with a sitter for that length of time.  Well, over the years, our family of cats dwindled to just one; CutiePie – a feisty, outspoken old girl with a few manageable health issues.  Now we were looking at just one cat and one dog traveling with us for our desired 2 months to the glorious warmth of the Arizona sun.  And, as for our beautiful girls, we promised them we’d learn all the new technology to keep us in touch with them every day. This was more than just a possibility, it was something we could actually do!!  YES!!  Time to start making travel plans!!  It’s already June 1st and we want to leave February 1, 2012!  Lots to think about – finding a housesitter, get through the holidays, get the house and gardens in order, pack, etc…Oh wow!  So much to do and so little time!  Arizona here we come!

The Blue Trucks

As I laid in bed this morning in a half-sleep, I heard the sound of a large truck  lifting, lowering and banging down the large brown trash receptacles that we, along with our neighbors, rolled out to the curb last night. The truck stopped at our home and went through it’s ritual then moved along the curb to the home next door picking up what remained of everyone’s Thanksgiving celebration and feast. I felt sad thinking of turkey carcasses, colorful paper napkins and plates that were all part of the beautiful table set to celebrate the day with loved ones less than 48 hours ago and are now being carted off in an oversized blue truck destined for a landfill. Our minds have a way of putting things behind us and moving to the next event or holiday which is only 3 short weeks away. Once again families will gather, share meals, memories, gifts and within 48 hours the blue trucks will once again return.  It’s necessary to move on, to accept the “blue trucks” and realize that even though the physical evidence of the holiday is gone, the memory of the joy of the day with loved ones will live in my heart forever.   Wishing all family and friends joy and love in the holiday season and throughout the year

Starting in the Middle

The following is a Public Service Announcement:

“Due to technical, personal and miscellaneous difficulties, this blog will be starting somewhere in the middle.

Based on the theory that “if it can happen, it will happen to Mick and Patti”, I don’t find this PSA the least bit surprising.

The original intent of this blog was to keep concerned family and friends in contact with us as we RV’d for the first time to Arizona, towing a vehicle and traveling with pets. Now that doesn’t sound like anything unusual. After all,  thousands of couples and families have been doing this forever, but because of the above theory your concerns were validated.

The technical difficulties resulted in having to write the trip experiences by hand and transfer it to posts here. My goal is to post at least twice a day under the title “Phase or Folly-The Beginning”, stories and pictures from the when the RV idea was born through the trip and arrival in Arizona, and “Phase or Folly-Going Forward”  starting with today’s activities as we prepare to travel back to Michigan.

In the meanime, we both want to thank our loving and supportive family and friends who followed us along the path of our newest misadventure, this crazy roadtrip. We’re grateful for your concerns, your hand wringing, your asking begging us to cancel and stay home, finally your acceptance as you shook your heads and chalked it up to “it’s just another Mick and Patti”.  We love you!

So, let’s not delay any further – allow me a few minutes to gather my notes and thoughts so I can “get this blog on the road”!!

Well, it might take just a teensie, weensie, tiny bit longer……

 

Phase or Folly – The Beginning

PART ONE: The Dream

Keeping a journal has been an on-and-off thing ever since I can remember but blogging has fascinated me for quite some time.  So starting a blog sounded like a great way to segue into the newest chapter in the life and adventures misadventures of Mick and Patti; the world of RV travel.  You know, it’s where you gather up the pets, get in the driver’s seat of your home-on-wheels and travel free as a bird, visiting fun and exciting places, where magnificent scenery surrounds you and the skyline of a great city lies in the distance.  It’s where you’ll meet the friendliest people who share the same sense of independence and adventure as you do.

Imagine the freedom of starting off in a direction with no demands on when you arrive wherever it is you want to go and choose to stay as long as you wish before moving on.  The opportunities for discovery are endless as you take a detour from the main highway to venture into and explore a place you’ve never visited or find something you never knew existed.

The thought of this type of travel is exhilarating; no ties, no deadlines – just total freedom!

I can close my eyes and imagine the delicious smell of bacon, eggs and toast, and the aroma of fresh brewed coffee filling the crisp morning air.  After a day on the road, you look forward to stopping for the night, building a campfire and putting a couple of steaks on the grill. The smell makes your mouth water and your stomach beg for dinner.

Afterward, it’s time to sit together by the fire, sip a glass of wine or drink a cold beer, toast s’mores and reflect on the beauty of the day while gazing at the stars.  PART ONE SUMMARY:  Travel Nirvana!

Hello world!

JUST DO IT!

That shoe company had it right!  Those magical words are the kick-in-the-pants I so often need!  Quit over-thinking it!  Stop “getting ready to get ready”!  Time to “get off the pot” and JUST DO IT!!  If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, this is it – my very first official blog post.  It isn’t that I haven’t been blogging and writing stories in my head for many years, or even transferring these thoughts to little scraps of paper and notebooks; it’s the first time I’m putting it out there for all to see,  and for some reason THAT scares me to death.  Anyone who knows me would have to agree I’m a pretty confident person who is quick to express an opinion or share a story or two, but for some reason going public is unnerving.  Being judged or criticized really doesn’t bother me (well, maybe a little), so I had to ponder (over-thinking again) exactly what I was afraid of and came to the conclusion it’s one of two things: (1) disappointing you with boring “stuff”, or (2) being arrested by the Literary & Journalism Police.  It’s definitely the police!  I’m back in the 5th grade at St. Francis de Sales, nervously waiting for Sister Mary Damien to hand back my corrected English homework, and mortified to see and wondering how there could be so much red ink on one piece of paper.  I still ask myself how it can be so hard to figure out when to use commas vs. semi-colons.  As with other questions I had in Catholic school, the answers pretty much went into the “that’s a mystery of the Bible” folder.  But, that’s another whole blog – don’t get me started on it now!

So, I’m venturing out!  Openly and publicly!  For whatever it’s worth!  I hope you enjoy my ramblings and rumblings, my stories and reflections, and find a few tidbits of information along the way.  My goal is to make this a fun place for both you and me.  I welcome your comments openly and really hope the teachers out there will finally set me straight on the use of commas and semi-colons.  I’m all grown up now and not so afraid of that red checking pencil – in fact, I welcome it!

Just Do It – what a great line!  I feel great because – I JUST DID!