Sunday, April 11, 2010

Nothing Could Be Finer Than to be in Carolina.... RV Dreams Rally

Hi all - Dianne here.  Roger and I had an uneventful trip to Longs, SC and got settled in at the Willow Tree RV Resort, site of the 2010 RV Dreams Rally.

South Carolina is beautiful in April!  The azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom, and everything is my favorite shade of spring green.  The weather has been perfect.

Willow Tree RV Resort is a beautiful facility.  The sites are large,  private, and beautifully
 landscaped.   It's very quiet; I love hearing the wind rush through the tall pine trees, the mockingbirds singing, and the woodpeckers drumming.   Last night I listened to Whip-poor-wills singing their evening song.

There is a lovely lake with a paved one-mile path for hiking, biking, and walking our dogs.   Fishing and paddle boats are available, along with a swimming beach and large pool area.

There are even some sites at this resort with individual hot tubs!  We are getting a special rally rate, so we're not in the deluxe sites, but even the site we have is large, private, and very, very nice indeed!  We opted to stay a few days after the rally just to enjoy this beautiful place.

 Howard and Linda Payne, who have the RV Dreams web site, are hosting the rally.  Howard and Linda hit the road back in 2005 after quitting the corporate rat race in their early 40s.  I came upon their web site in 2006, because that is about the time Roger and I started thinking about his retirement and how to hit the road ourselves.  

Howard does a better job of 
describing the events here, so if 
you would like to learn more about
 what we've been up to this week, 
check out his blog by clicking on
 "RV Dreams" on the left sidebar.  There's even a photo of Roger helping out with registration on the first day!

Here are a listing of seminars we've attended:

  • Emotional Aspects of the Full-Timing Decision
  • Selecting a "Home Base" and Insurance Considerations
  • What Does it Cost to Full-Time?
  • TV Options for RVers
  • High Speed Internet for RVers
  • Buying an RV - Pros, Cons & Must Haves
  • Boondocking/Solar
  • Working on the Road
  • Manage Your Digital Photos With Google's Picasa 2
  • RV Tire Safety
  • RV Weight Safety
    • (Roger: I have now been to three of these presentations.  This one, including the tire safety, by Walter Cannon may well have been the best.  Loved his sense of humor and very clear explanations.)
  • Choosing a Camp Site
  • Every RVer Needs a Blog
Even after a year and a half of full-timing, Roger and I learned some very important things in each and every seminar.  It also helps to refresh our memories on things we had already heard.  I had already taken the "blog," "Picasa," and "internet options" seminars last fall at the Gypsy Journal Rally.  These were presented again by "Geeks on Tour."  Their tutorials are available on line for everyone, not just RVers, so if you need help on computer issues, you can click on the link in the left sidebar and go to their web site.  I highly recommend them!   They are also living this lifestyle and traveling and working from their RV.

In addition to the educational seminars, there were social activities as well:

  • Catered Welcome Dinner
  • Chili Cook-Off
    • Roger here...  Dianne won't tell you this, but the organizers of the rally had her stand up for an ovation for the chocolate eclair dessert that she brought.  Mmmm!  I married a good "cooker"!
  • Favorite RV Gadgets "Show and Tell"
    • My anal-retentive system of storing and finding "stuff" drew a lot of comments from the other RVers.  People from my former employers (Hamilton Southeastern Schools) will probably not be too surprised by this.  By the way, Dianne referred to me as anal in front of the entire group.  Very embarrassing!  (Dianne:  If the shoe fits....)
    • We did a blog on Roger's organizational system when he did it; if you want to see that, click on "organization" in the left sidebar to bring that blog up.
    • My "show and tell" included two of my favorite gadgets that save weight and space in the motor home.  I'm including a link if you want to learn more:  
  • Potluck
    • Dianne's BLT salad was scraped clean before we got in line.
  • Family Feud (what a blast that was!)
  • Open Rig Walk-Throughs
  • Catered Steak & Shrimp Dinner
  • Golden Oldies Sock Hop
    • Dianne actually danced with me several times.  What fun!  Felt like I was in college again.
  • Catered Full Farewell Breakfast
As my friends will testify, I'm not usually all that "social," but I have to say, we really had a lot of fun at each and every activity!   I'm usually one to try to cut out early or skip, but I found myself wanting to attend every activity and staying to the end.  Roger even got me to dance at the sock hop!

We loved meeting and talking to folks who are going through the same process we just finished.  We actually felt like so-called "experts" as we answered some questions!  The people, including Howard and Linda, were great - fun people with common interests who felt like friends. 

All in all, it has been a great experience and we're really glad we came.  We have met some real characters and wonderful people this week and hope to stay in touch and follow their progress as they begin their own adventures.

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