Sunday, July 16, 2017

More visiting family and back to our home park

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Today, we made plans to visit with my folks at El Chico (see the trend?) in Rockwall. We had a nice visit with them, then went to check on our storage units and drop off some items.

Eileen at Bluebonnet Ridge RV Resort, Terrell, TX

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

We packed up and pulled out about 10:30am, so we could get home and Tony could get back to work. We had no troubles getting home and set up again. Sadly, our trip is over, but we had a great time!

Back in our home site. Note the Road Runner on the right, by the tree.

Back 'home' to Terrell

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Today, we headed towards Terrell. Tony had plans to go with his dad to the casino in Durant, OK, so we wanted to get there early.

We decided to take a Texas 19 to cut down from I-30 to I-20, that goes through Emory. Sadly, there was a lot of construction on this road, and it wasn't too much fun. But it was different scenery.

We arrived at Bluebonnet Ridge RV Resort about 11:45, and luckily our site was available.  We got set up and ate lunch, then Tony headed out with his dad, while I did some laundry and caught up on some work that had been pushed back due to our traveling and shock repair.

Our site at Bluebonnet Ridge RV Resort

Tony got home about 10pm, and said he had a great time. We'll see some more family tomorrow!

On the road again, TexMex here we come.

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

This morning, we got up and didn't have too much to do to be on the road, as we had done a lot of it yesterday. We pulled out about 8:30am, our goal was to make it to Texarkana. Since we were now behind a day, we decided to go a little further today, and pull into Terrell on Sunday morning.

The drive was much easier than our previous from Indiana to Tennessee. The roads were better, and the only big cities to pass through were Memphis and Little Rock, both of which were not too bad.

We stopped at a rest stop in Arkansas to eat lunch, and continued on our way. We made good time, and once closer to the Texas border, we noticed an El Chico sign. Tony's favorite chain TexMex! We had not had good TexMex since we left June 2, so we decided that was our goal when we got to Texarkana-- get set up and go eat Mexican food.

We called ahead and made reservations at the Sunrise RV Park, on the Arkansas side of Texarkana. Someone told us it is a former drive-in movie theater. The sites are set up in concentric arcs, and it is all gravel. We were in a row all by ourselves.

Sunrise RV Park, Texarkana, AR

Out site

We got set up fairly quickly, and then headed to El Chico, about 5 miles away. We had a great meal, then stopped for a little fuel and then went back home and collapsed. Today was an excellent travel day, compared to many!

Eileen at Sunrise RV Park, Texarkana, AR

Errands, Wash and a Shock Replacement

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Today was the day we were supposed to vacate the KOA, but we needed a few food items, so Tony ran over to WalMart and to Camping World (I had a coupon for $25 off), before we got hitched up. While I was prepping the rig some more, I decided to call the KOA office and found out we could stay an extra night in our site!  Whoohoo! That will make doing the work on the rig so much easier.

So I went ahead and started some laundry at the KOA laundry facilities, as we waited for our parts to arrive.  The facility was pretty busy, but I found two machines available, so I put stuff in. By the time is was tome to dry, no one had come to remove their dryer items, in the washers above mine, and all the others were full. I HATE THIS about using campground facilities. You never know if they will return soon, or not! So I waited and asked everyone that came in if those were their clothes, to no avail. Finally, I moved the clothes so I could use the dryers. They never did appear to claim their articles. OH WELL!

The parts arrived about 11:30AM, and I finished the laundry soon after. We ate lunch, and then started the repairs, which included hitching the rig as if for travel, so that we could make sure we could lift one side with our Level-up system safely. It was sprinkling on and off today, but that was OK, it did help keep the temperatures down!

It took about 3 hours to complete the work, only because we really had not done this sort of thing before. It never fails, you never have the tool you need! A lot of digging in the basement for tools, going inside the rig for other tools and parts.

After all that had transpired today, we were cranky and tired. We ate dinner and relaxed for the evening. Tomorrow, we head for Texas.

A Nashville Dash

Thursday, June 2, 2017

Today we got up and decided it's finally time for some fun. We knew we'd be getting our parts for the shock replacement tomorrow, so we decided today is our day to sight-see. We took the shuttle service from the KOA to downtown to Broadway street, which is where all of the bars and honky tonks and touristy places are.

It was again somewhat cloudy and rainy, but that was OK. Temps weren't too bad. We decided to find us a place to eat, based on the comments from the driver. We decided to try Demo's Steak and Spaghetti House.

Tony had the chicken pasta, and I had the sirloin sandwich. Both were pretty good! Mine came with a side, so I decided to try the spaghett with mushroom brown butter sauce, their "signature" dish. It was good, but I am not a fan of salty mixed with sweet, and that is what was happening in this sauce.

After lunch we walked a few blocks over to the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman (formerly Grand Ole Opry House and Union Gospel Tabernacle) is a 2,362-seat live performance venue . Click here for more.

We got our tickets, and saw a short film about the history of the building. Then, we got to self-guide our tour around the place. It was very interesting!

Signed Hatch Show Prints on display

The auditorium from the balcony

Tony on the balcony

The lighter wood is the original stage


Exhibit of the restoration 

Tony found a cool hat in the gift shop. Probably should have bought it!

Hatch Show Print Posters for sale in the Ryman Gift Shop

After the Ryman, we headed over a few more blocks to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Notice the large windows make a keyboard!

This place is huge, and there are tons of folks visiting.

Tons of country and western memorabilia. It was too crowded to get lots of pictures.

The hall of fame (3 pics)

There was also a tour of the Hatch Show Print Letterpress facility, which has been moved to the same building as the CMHOF. We didn't get done with the Hall of Fame in time to go on that tour, but we did visit their gift shop and got to see the facility behind large glass windows. I was giddy! Anything printing-related, I love.

Watching the tour through the glass....

A woman was demonstrating on a smaller press, in the gift shop.

Small samples for sale

Love this!

After that, we headed back to where our shuttle would pick us up. We walked a bit on Lower Broadway, and enjoyed the sights and sounds. It was too early for dinner, so we stopped and had some ice cream, then waited another 15 minutes before the shuttle arrived.

Broadway street

More Broadway street

We headed back home, tired and happy to have experienced a tiny bit of Nashville. We had hoped to visit my old High School friend Bill and his family, but it just didn't line up this trip. Maybe another time!

We ate dinner and collapsed for a while, then prepped the trailer for our move tomorrow. Apparently, this KOA is FULL, and though we inquired about staying an extra day, we were told no, no room at the inn. So we looked into moving to another RV park, just a 1/4 mile away. However, we had to just "show up" to see if we can get a one night stay. They had a 2 night minimum for reservations. We'll hope our parts come in sooner, rather than later!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Heading to Nashville, A shocking revelation, and a Grand Ol' time

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Today, we got going a little slow since we were suffering from the lack of sleep the night before. We did, however, get on the road pretty quickly, I think by 9:30am. We headed south toward Indianapolis, and then through Louisville Kentucky, and on into Nashville. The roads were pretty rough a lot of the trip, and it seemed as though our new suspension was not doing what it was supposed to do, which was soften the bounce. 

We stopped a few times along the way as customary, for pitstops, and checked on things inside. It seems MORE bounce was occurring! And, we noticed the bushings on the shocks were showing signs of being "beat up" and "super-compressed."

The black rubber bushing looks torn up.

We made it to the Nashville KOA, and got set up. We were really tired from the drive, and there was some rain in the area, so we didn't do much. We hit the hay pretty early!

Our site at the Nashville KOA

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

This evening, we had tickets to go to the Grand Ol' Opry. But first, we needed to inspect our shocks and what was going on. We discovered once we arrived that much more bouncing had occurred on the trip, dislodging the tv from it's mount slightly, dumping items into the floor, breaking the closet latch, and other things, not normal.

Tony crawled under the rig to inspect it and we found one of the shocks was busted and leaking. We'd have to find a replacement. So we got searching on the internet, went by a couple of RV dealers, and made a bunch of calls. No one had these shocks or others that would suit a trailer like ours, in stock. So we ordered some on Amazon, but they would not be able to be there until Friday.

notice liquid at top of blue boot, and on frame and tire

After dinner at home, we got ready to go to our evening out at the Opry. It's not too far from the campground. We had a great time, seeing Charlie Daniels, Brett Eldredge, CeCe Winans, Rhonda Vincent, Daryle Singltary, Thomson Square and the Eli Young Band.

We were wiped out by the time we got home, but boy, was it worth it!

Up before dawn, sitting in a truck, back to where we started.

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Up at 4AM, we prepped quickly to get on the road and over to MorRyde before 6AM.  We were scheduled to have the SRE4000 suspension system put on, as well as shocks that we supplied.

We rolled in about 5:50am!  Perfect! The MorRyde salesman that was supposed to help us was on vacation, but they had another guy there to help us out. They pulled our rig in about 6:15, and got to work. We sat out in the truck with the cats, since pets were not allowed in the lounge. Luckily it was partly cloudy and not too hot.

Getting worked on

New shocks

We moved over to in the shade of the building, and sat and surfed our phones, I did a little work, and made a few trips back and forth to the customer lounge for restroom breaks and snacks.The cats slept the whole time. About 10AM, I went over to the lounge to inquire about lunch, and place our order.

At 11:30, lunch was supposed to arrive but it was a little late. About that time, they said our rig was ready! So we moved the rig, and I paid.

Moved out of the bay

MorRyde employees measure our new height.

Our new suspension, shackles and wet bolts!

Tony headed back to the lounge to get our lunch, and while he was gone, a guy came and asked us to move our rig so he could put a vehicle in the bay that we were close to. So, instead, we decided to take our lunch and go back to the campground.

When we arrived back at Elkhart Campground, we went back to the site we were in before. And behold, Jim Beletti, the Heartland Owners Club president & Nancy, his wife, were parked next to us! We saw them a little later, as they were headed to get a rental car and head to Chicago to catch a plane overseas!

Eileen at Elkhart Campground, Elkhart, IN

We collapsed from the day and napped some. In the late afternoon, we noticed our friends Lisa and Dan were parked there at the Beletti's trailer, and I saw Lisa standing on the steps, so we went out to say hi. Turns out, they were rig-sitting for Jim and Nancy for a few days. While we were talking, a fellow Heartlander had come up to Jim's rig looking for help, so Tony offered to help him.

After a short visit with Lisa, Dan came home with food for them, so I headed back home and Tony and I had dinner.  After dinner, we headed over to get fuel and some things at WalMart.  We head out to Nashville in the morning!