Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vacation – Day 1

Our view out of the windshield - the empty spot has been occupied since this was taken.

As is typical when we're planning on going somewhere, hubby says we're not in a hurry to leave this morning, he's not going to rush me (rushing me results in a panic attack), yadda yadda. He got up shortly after I finished feeding the dogs this morning. We're not supposed to leave until between 7 and 8. At 4am - while I'm still groggy and working on my first cup of coffee - he wants to load the refrigerated foods into the RV.

After some dirty looks and total disinterest from me, he decided to go upstairs to play on his computer for awhile.  I had more coffee and did my normal postings to my Facebook page.  Once I had about 3 cups of coffee in me and beginning to feel more civilized, I put together the refrigerated foods.  Then I started gathering the last minute stuff – and of course I kept finding things that I had not yet packed.  There was also a last minute, quick run to the grocery store for a couple of items hubby didn’t pick up last night.  By the time we left … well within our target time frame at 7:40am I might add … I was a frazzled mess. 

The drive to Florala State Park was uneventful, although the narrow 2 lane road that made up most of the last 2/3 of the trip gave us a few “oh s**t” moments.  Hubby still needs to learn that when he looks right, he does not necessarily need to turn the wheel right.  I spent a fair amount of time telling him “LEFT!” whenever he drifted right.  The pack was well-behaved, although that could be due to the fact they were in their crates.  It could also be due in part to the Benadryl we gave them before we left.  We figured it would be easier on all of us if they were a tad sleepy.  I think Sassy was the only one who actually went to sleep.  Angel doesn’t like car rides, and Merlin typically rides co-pilot.  I’m pretty sure he was wondering why he wasn’t in the passenger seat.

We arrived, found a spot, backed the RV in without a problem, and proceeded to set up.  We didn’t’ do a whole lot, just some basic necessities such as electric hook up, the “landing gear” (I’m sure that’s not what they’re called, but it works for me), and putting the crates away.  They’re those little things you need to do before you can do anything else.  Then the dogs were fed, and I spent some time locating some things before we had lunch.  Hubby had pretty much stuck everything somewhere with little rhyme or reason and absolutely no organization.  The remainder of the afternoon was spent doing some organizing, taking the pack for walks, and generally just relaxing. 

It has rained at least 3 times since we arrived.  Clouds rolled in and out, there were a few thunder rumbles (although no lightening or boom-booms), and the rain was brief, belying the initial downpour.  Sassy spent her time under either the ‘dinette table’ or the steering wheel.  Angel huddled either on the sofa or the floor next to the table.  Merlin laid on the couch or tried to climb into daddy’s lap (for attention, not because of the rain).  Sassy and Merlin like to step onto the console between the driver and passenger seats to look out the windshield.  Most of the time they just look, occasionally it results in barking at a passerby – especially if said passerby is walking a dog.  We don’t think they’ve noticed the resident ducks yet.

Cooking in the RV for the first time was an experience, and one that I’m not sure I liked.  The limited counter space is a challenge, as is the small cutting board and stove.  The bok choy was longer than the cutting board, which made trimming and slicing an exercise in shuffling everything around as I went in order to get it done.  Cutting the onions wasn’t bad except these were STRONG.  Thank goodness there’s a vent right above the counter area.  We opened that and the odor problem was solved.  Cooking the rice was not an issue.  Cooking the bok choy (stir fried with onions, garlic, ginger root, and Sweet Thai Chili Sauce) and the pork chops (marinated in Yoshida Sauce) was another matter. 

We got the stove lit and I pre-heated the skillet on high, then turned it down a smidge.  Added the oil, the onions, garlic and ginger.  Apparently the fire/smoke alarm – which is situated on the ceiling less than 2 feet from the stove – is very sensitive.  I did not see any smoke coming from the skillet, and I use a high smoke point oil.  The alarm went off, scaring the bejeezus out of us as it pierced our ear drums (especially mine since I was at the stove).  I turned off the burners and hubby opened the window.  Everything was fine other than the skillet was cooling off and the rice was not bubbling.  I assume the heat from the cooking, and maybe the fumes from the cooking onion, set it off.  I started cooking again.  Finished the stir fry, which took longer than it does at home and started the pork chops.  The rice was finished cooking and set aside to steam until we were ready to eat.  Despite using a stainless steel skillet, cooking the pork chops wasn’t as quick or as easy as it is at home.  The flame on the RV stove has a small diameter, and trying to pre-heat your skillet so it’s screaming hot to make up for that sets off the smoke/fire alarm.  But dinner was finally done, and other than needing to zap the pork chops in the microwave for 30 seconds, it came out rather well.

The park has satellite hook-ups, but sadly the number of channels is very limited.  When we checked (over the course of about 20 minutes), all we found were The Weather Channel, an old movie channel, 4 sports channels, and 2 or 3 that we have no idea about since all we ever saw on them were commercials.  I’m sure those channels show something other than commercials during the course of their broadcasting day, but I was tired of flipping channels.  So we left it on TWC since it was running “specialty programs” such as hurricane hunters and true-life weather emergency stories.  About 8:30, hubby decided he wanted to watch one of the movies we brought.  Nope, didn’t happen.  The DVD player wouldn’t work.  While we brought a few VCR movies, and the VCR works, hubby decided we should just go to bed.

We went to bed, but I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  While Angel and Sassy slept on the floor, Merlin insisted on sleeping in the bed with us.  At home this is not a problem since we have a California King.  The RV has a queen.  The bedroom was either hot or cold, depending on whether the air conditioning had kicked on or not.  The bed is quite firm (almost hard).  Merlin is a bed hog.  Needless to say, I’m not a very happy camper this morning.  Thank goodness for the Keurig and coffee.