Time to Roll!!

Today marks one week since we were officially done with Amazon for the season. After your exit date, you are given one additional day at your RV park in order to pack up and roll out, but with Christmas only a few days away, and no rush to get to North Carolina, we decided to stay for an extra week. That week ends tomorrow, so we are getting ready to roll.

Yesterday was filled with cleaning up the house and putting decorations away, organizing the basement, vacuuming out the van and taking a load of donate items over to Goodwill. I am always amazed at just how much we spread out when we are parked for a few months, and just how long it takes to put it all back away.

Today we drove Waldo over to get him filled up with propane. It was quite a treat for me because, since I drive the chase vehicle, I rarely get to ride in Waldo. We decided to fuel him up while we were out, and Rob let me drive him the final three blocks home. I spun him around in a parking lot once when we were still in Great Falls, but this was my first on-the-road driving experience with Waldo. I even backed him into our RV spot without running anything over!

We finished up a few small projects this afternoon, and I think now we are ready to roll. Our original plan was to slowly make our way over to the North Carolina coast, but we were invited by a dear friend to spend a few days with her and her family in Virginia. (I will share more about her soon. She is so special she is going to need her own post.) So we are heading over to Virginia first, and then on to the coast. We are also going to stop at the Cumberland Gap along the way. The Gap is the last stamp I need to complete the state of Kentucky in my National Parks Passport.

One of my favorite things about travel days is crossing state borders. So tomorrow, if you hear a squeal in the early afternoon, it is probably just me as we enter the state of Virginia. 🙂

Catching Up… Again

And just like that, our second season as part of Amazon’s CamperForce has come to an end. We spent three months watching campers pull into the RV park as their start dates approached, and the last two days watching as almost everyone pulled back out again. There are a handful of campers still here, but not many. Some people chose to leave their RVs here while traveling for the holidays, others are just waiting until after the holidays to head out, and there are some who stayed on with Amazon to help with holiday returns and inventory.

Rob and I stayed on until mid-January last year but this year we decided to exit with the masses. We have been done working for a few days now but have chosen to stay put here in Kentucky until after Christmas. We are not due to arrive at our next destination until January 6, so we have some time to rest and recuperate as well as get Waldo ready to roll again. It is next to impossible to drive with a tree between the seats and stockings swinging in your face…

We have had a change of plans since I last updated you. Not too long ago I posted that we were headed down to Florida when we were finished here, but have since come upon an opportunity that fits us better. We will be driving to the Outer Banks in North Carolina to volunteer at a wildlife refuge until April. Well, Rob will be volunteering while I finish up the school year with the kids. I will probably find a small job on the side as well. The area seems amazing and will be nice and quiet since it is the off-season.

The only down side to not going all the way down to Florida, (besides not getting to add a new state to our state map) is that I will not be able to run the Disney World Marathon. This is probably a good thing since I have not had any time for running these past couple of months, but I was rather looking forward to running through all the parks and seeing Mickey Mouse and Pooh Bear along the way. The timing is just not right this year, but I know that we will make it down there one of these days. I will turn my focus now to the run my aunt and I are going to do together in May.

As for Amazon, we will most likely return at least one more year. They take really good care of us while we are here and the experience is a good one overall. The work itself is pretty tough on the body, especially as pickers. According to my pedometer, my longest night (which was a 12-hour shift) was 17.53 miles. On average, though, we walked about 12 miles in a 10-hour shift. So, if nothing else, we leave here a little tougher, a little stronger than we arrived. That is definitely not a bad thing.

I am still amazed at just how fast the season went. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am convinced that there must be some mistake, but my quarter-dozen giggling kiddos remind me that there is no mistake. No mistake at all…

Charbie the Wander Dog

I don’t have much experience with dogs.

I do know this, though. Charbie is insane. Completely. Insane.

Never in my life have I met such a character. This dog snuffles everything. Grass. Dirt. Rocks. Shoes. He snuffles the cat constantly. He eats cat food and cat treats and cat toys. And sometimes even the cat. He loves Remington so much that as soon as he is done snuffling him, he love-nibbles up and down his back. He follows this up with some more snuffling, just for good measure. (Don’t tell Remi that I told you this, but I think he secretly enjoys it. I have watched that cat sneak up onto the couch and slide under Charbie’s chin so he could lay with him. Remington knows perfectly well that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, lies beside Charbie without being snuffled. And if the snuffling involves Remi, then nibbles are sure to follow.)

He is also a hoarder. I think he has close to a dozen tennis balls by now. He started out with a couple, and now he snags every one he can find. Even those that were intended for, oh, I don’t know, tennis. I am pretty sure that he counts his stash throughout the day to ensure that nobody is stealing his balls. He then throws said balls around the house and chases them. I often catch him batting one around while another is still in his mouth. He also enjoys dissecting stuffies.

I pick up his toys and he immediately pulls them all back out again. I wash the windows and he follows behind me smearing his nose all over them. (And yes, I am pretty sure he does this on purpose.) I stand up from the couch and he steals my warm spot before I have a chance to sit back down again. His latest accomplishment is photo-bombing. The dog should seriously receive an award for his skills.

DSC_1032 Charbie

Our little photo-bomber. Yes, he is part cow. Grazing is one of his favorite past times.

Most mornings he wakes me up by trying to push one of his toys into my hand. Or shoving his face under my hand so that I will pet him. Or dropping his chew bone on the floor. (Over and over and over again.) Or stepping on my bladder or chewing on his toenails or playing tag with Remington P. Cat. My favorite part of the morning is making the bed because I never know what is going to fall out of it. I usually find a ball or two, a squeaky pig, a kong and a slobbery tuggy. All failed attempts at waking me up.

He seems to think that he is the coolest thing since shirt pockets and that everyone in the world wants to be his friend.

And he would be right.

I have a confession to make: Remington P. Cat is not the only one who enjoys Charbie’s love-nibbles. He is so sweet and dainty about it and while he is showering me with unmistakable affection, he is looking up at me with those big brown eyes that just melt my heart. There is absolutely no doubt about it. I am in love with this little dog.

I don’t have much experience with dogs.

I do know this, though. Charbie is perfect. Absolutely. Perfect.

(And, yes, completely insane…)

Happy Halloween!!

Themes are always fun on Halloween, and this year was no exception. In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, the kids decided to go as characters from the story. Charlie B. even joined in the fun and posed as Toto. Rob took the kids over to the University for treats and games, but with severe weather in the area, the city decided the safest thing to do was postpone trick-or-treating until Saturday night, which worked out well for the kids because they were able to head out for treats twice. Unfortunately, I had to work both nights so I missed all the fun, but the kids shared some chocolate with me. 🙂

DSC_1006 halloween