Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Heading North for the Winter

We got back with only a day to finish packing and get the rig loaded on the truck and ready to roll north along the interstate. This was absolutely no easy feat to accomplish, but we had been in this exact position so many times in the past that we were getting really quick at it. There were a few tears from a few neighbors, and plenty from our lil one as we were leaving the lil one's home town and brother, again. I think there was some jealousy that he got to stay and enjoy all that Jacksonville had to offer, but we knew we’d always look for ways to visit as much as possible. With the rig packed, everything tied down, movies in the truck for the ride, snacks and drinks in the cooler, the dog taken out for the last time and loaded up; we were ready to pull out of Pecan Park RV Park and head to a much cooler climate. I wasn’t looking forward to this part of the adventure; I loved the warmth and sunshine all year round.

     We slept with the rig hooked up to the truck and slid in mostly, this way we could leave at the crack of dawn. It sounds like a good plan and we think it is a good plan every single time that we prepare to pull out, I can’t count how many times we have made these plans. These plans are all good and actually work if you live in Fantasy Land. In the real world this is what happens, we wake up at the butt crack of dawn, make coffee, and enjoy a cup with the sunrise. Refill the cup of coffee, enjoy more sunrise, slowly start putting up all of the little things I hadn’t got around to yet, toss everything else in the first bag/box/basket that I lay my hands on and toss it under the table. 
     There have been times that we have had to pack and move so quickly that I’ll look under the table and it is slam packed full of what seems like 50 bags and containers; enough that we dare not try to put our legs under it for a family dinner. After landing it takes me weeks to get around to unpacking these bags/boxes/baskets that are filled to the gills with miscellaneous stuff that sits on any flat surface of any American home. We being able to go without these items for these long stretches of time makes me wonder just how much we really need it to begin with.
     This trip was a very long trip, truthfully it should’ve been stretched out into 2 days; but if you’ve gotten to know how we travel, you know we don’t roll that way. We tackled it all in one day. It turned out to be a very dull, uneventful trip; these I have begun to enjoy. When we have trips with no surprises it only means that our pockets are a little fatter when we get there, this gives me a couple of days to stay out of the kitchen and explore the local cuisine (and possible get some leg room back under the table).

 We landed in a little town called Dillwyn, in the backwoods of Virginia close to midnight. What we were expecting to be an RV park ended up being an elderly couple that had a couple RV hookups positioned around their yard. The best part was that it was only 15 minutes from the job site. The other points are that it was very secluded, we had no bath house to use if an emergency arose in ours (luckily one didn’t), we were on well water in the middle of coal country; just to name a few.  

     We stayed about 12 minutes outside of Dillwyn; this was a typical one horse town in the middle of nowhere. It had two grocery stores, how it supported two I’ll never know; one wasn’t a favorite as it only sold their off brands, similar to Aldi’s. We had about five restaurants, two quickly became our favorites.  A Mexican place that had amazing cheese dip and burritos and an Italian place that had one of the best pizzas I’ve ever tasted. If they could crisp up the crust just a bit before putting on a pound of cheese and ½ lb. of meats on top it would’ve been hands down the very best. We never really tried anything else from there, only their pizza; there was no Domino’s, Pizza Hut or Papa Johns to call if you didn’t like theirs; you made your own, simple as that.
     I learned how to make a few of our favorite restaurant dishes during these winter months locked inside the rig in the frigid Virginia hills. One of them being Pasquale’s roast beef sandwich, Granny D gave us her famous recipe from when she worked there; it was delicious but not as good as her personal sandwiches were. To finish out the town there were about three gas stations, two hair dressers, four thrift stores and two dentists, plus a small downtown that stretched all of two blocks with a pharmacy and lawyer to anchor it alongside the library.
Our view on most trips to anywhere, these were very enjoyable
journeys thru the rollings hills.

     Most days we stayed around the house or went to Dillwyn, usually to Food Lion or to lunch at McDonald’s. When we did venture out farther to get certain things like dark roast coffee, we had to drive 45 minutes to a bigger town called Farmville; it was the nearest one with a Walmart and many more options for dining out. If you’re one of the ones that play the game on Facebook, as my family does, you get the irony here; right? It was a miniature Florence, AL in my mind.
     Because we had already went to universal studios at the first of November to celebrate the lil one’s birthday early, I had forgotten to bake a cake and dinner until the day of the birthday. I woke up and realized that I didn’t have anything special planned; the days had slipped away from me. I ended up cooking our favorite meal, spaghetti. We got dinner finished and while waiting on daddy, it dawned on me about the same time this came out of the lil one’s mouth, “What about the cake?”  As we were running out the door headed to the nearest bakery at Food Lion, daddy got home from work just in time to ride with us.
     I was in disbelief that I had forgotten the lil one’s birthday cake until time to sit down for dinner. I explained the situation to the deli lady and I think she felt sorry for the lil one, having a mother that forgot the birthday cake. We looked at the measly options and chose one with pretty flowers on top. The deli lady got out her recently cleaned icing bag and dug around until she found enough icing to write the birthday wishes on it.  She even tossed in a light up fairy princess for free to go on top of the cake with flowers on it. Like I said I think she felt sorry for the lil one to have such a forgetful mom.
     We got back and had our small family dinner of all the favorites, and very simple too. After a trip to Universal I was aiming for as simple as I could get at this point, I was still exhausted after those whirlwind days. The lil one enjoyed the tablet we picked up as an extra gift, I know the trip was supposed to be the present but I couldn’t resist.  This was what occupied while I sorted thru the numerous bags/boxes/crates of miscellaneous BS if you ask me, and I got my dinner table back.

Until next time….

No quote today, just my most favorite picture from the trips thru the backwoods…..

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