This is a longish post, but I’m playing catch-up here.
Our RV trip officially resumed on Tuesday morning when we said goodbye to my mom and headed off to the airport at 4:45am.
Southwest has a 50 pound limit on checked bags. Two of ours were at 51 pounds. Our 3rd bag, however, was at 48 pounds, so some clever on-the-spot reshuffling of contents got all 3 bags past the gatekeeper.
After that, it was a pretty smooth trip. I’m not at all afraid to fly, but whenever I safely land somewhere I feel like I’ve cheated death once again.
Had a layover in Las Vegas. Slot machines evvvverywhere.
Once in Tacoma Washington, Debbie (read all about Bruce and Debbie here) picked us up from the airport and drove us to the storage facility where our RV and car were parked.
Going back to the RV was…heavy. It brought back so many memories of August 1st (the day my dad died). The scene inside the RV felt like a family had abandoned it in haste. It was pretty trashed.
Later that afternoon we returned the luggage that we had borrowed from Bruce and Debbie.
Bruce had alerted us earlier via email that one of our tires was low and that he had it filled. It turned out, however, that 3 of our rear tires were completely trashed. The tread had always been fine, but the sides had these huge bulges in them that I could not see until they were off the RV. I can’t believe we had been rolling around on those. They were awful. I guess you can’t judge a tire by tread alone.
Unfortunately, the guy who was going to put on new tires didn’t have the right tires (something he didn’t tell me until he had already taken the old tires off) and his “new” tires were actually almost 3 years old.
Let me do a little public service announcement on tire replacement. When you get new tires, you can make sure they are actually new. Every tire manufactured since 2000 has a coded date like this:
We had the guy put the old tires back on and I paid him for his time (he was, after all, the one that discovered our tire problem in the first place, so I feel he still did my family a service). We rolled down the road to Camping World and had the right tires put on the next morning. It cost a lot more ($1600!!!) but, as I said, they are the right tires, they are actually NEW, and they smell amazing.
This is us at a nearby Starbucks waiting for our RV tire job to be completed. The kids are doing school and I’m doing work. It had the feeling of a family running from the law, which was sort of fun.
Once we had our wheels back, we drove to an RV park in Bellevue Washington, which is just outside of Seattle. It was as nice as a parking lot next to a noisy freeway could possibly be. We spent 4 nights there.
I’m not going to lie: up until this weekend, we weren’t really having much fun. Coming back to the RV was hard, the RV was a mess, everyone was grumpy, the weather had been mostly rainy, and my fix-it list was as long as ever. Clearly, it’s going to take us some time get our RV groove back.
But the metaphorical and actual clouds lifted on Saturday when we spent the day in downtown Seattle. What a town!
We hit the public market:
These guys sold us the best fresh fruit I’ve ever had in my entire life:
Seattle, as viewed from the Space Needle:
One of the many, many street musicians and groups around Seattle. Most of the ones I heard were quite good:
Behold, the original Starbucks:
It was a fun day (finally).
Today my mom flew into Seattle to join us for 10 days on the road. While Amy, Carrie, and Natalie went to pick her up, Emily and I went to the Museum of Flight (Amy and the girls went earlier in the week but I had to work). Glad I got to go; it was very cool.
Since Emily had been there earlier in the week, it was like having my own little tour guide. She took me straight to the good stuff like the Concord and the first Air Force One:
We spent the rest of the day traveling and landed in Sequim Bay State Park, just outside of Olympic National Park. We are surrounded by pine trees.
We got here sort of late and the light was fading, so no good photos yet. But when we got out of the RV and took in a deep breath of crisp pine-filled air, Amy and I commented to each other that this finally felt right. Hopefully we’re one breath closer now to getting our groove back.
It’s good to have my mom here with us. I’m looking forward to a great week.