Well, I am back on my journey and although I had been feeling much trepidation at the prospect of leaving the comfort of my home, my husband and my daughter in exchange for this tin box, I find that I have quickly eased back in to this life style. I did have a bit of a rocky start, however. Setting out for the first time of the year I had to check two cases of brochures plus my suitcase. Since I was traveling on Southwest my first two bags were free but the 3rd cost $50 which I would have spent shipping my brochures anyway, so I didn’t have a problem with that. The problem arose after I was checked in I had to stand in a second line to pay the fee which took about 20 additional minutes to get through. Once inside the terminal I found the line to security to be at least 300 people long. I was sure I was going to miss my flight but alas, it had been delayed so I made it. That delay, however, made for a nervous flight into Las Vegas to catch my connection, which I too barely made. I had planned to grab lunch there but that didn’t happen and since the airlines don’t serve food on their flights any longer I went all day without eating.
I had decided prior to leaving home to stay at a hotel near the aiport rather than have to rush over to pick up the RV and then set up camping for the night after a long travel day and boy was I glad for that decision. I took the shuttle to the hotel and got checked in by 4:30 and still had to wait another 1/2 hour for their restaurant to open. I really could have used a cocktail too, but although the information in my room stated the bar opened at 4:00, was told it didn’t open until 5:00 either. The bartender was nonexistent until 5:30 so needless to say there were quite a few disgruntled hotel patrons besides myself. Once I had dinner and a glass of wine I retreated to my room and turned on the news and learned of a severe thunderstorm advisory with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour in effect for the remainder of the night. I was again glad that I opted to wait to pick up the RV. Within the hour the storm hit and the intensity was quite nerve wracking. Several tornado watches came and went throughout the night so needless to say, I didn’t sleep very well. That was Monday, April 11th.
Tuesday morning I took a taxi to pick up the RV and was relieved to find it in one piece. I had to call AAA for a jump and noticed a few things had been knocked over from what I suspected was the wind, but other than that everything was peachy. The tap handle to the kitchen sink was lying in the sink, but since I was able to reattach it didn’t think much about it. I made it to all eight of my stops in Birmingham and was received quite well at all of them. Surprisingly so, in fact, which was so encouraging for my first day back in the trenches.
Tuesday night I camped at this lovely place. After hooking up to the electricity and water I stepped inside tofind a geyser shooting straight up from the faucet and the tap handle lying in the sink again. Oops. I did not have the RV professionally winterized because it doesn’t normally get or stay all that cold in Birmingham, normally. So although I drained everything the best I could there was still water left in the sink lines, which apparently froze and cracked. I couldn’t hook up the plumbing until I got that fixed and was lucky to find an RV repair just a few miles from where I was camping. They installed a new, and better tap, for the price of the part and waived the labor fee. I was off and running again in less than an hour and headed to my stops in Pell City and Anniston enroute to Atlanta. I kept hearing reports on the radio about more tornado watches that seemed to be just trailing my route. Wednesday night I camped in the most run down park I have ever seen but that was the only place in miles to camp so I just bucked up and endured. This time when I hooked up my water it was dripping from the underside of the carriage so I got to spend the next morning in another RV garage. They quickly determined that it was now leaking from the bathroom faucet, which should have been checked out at the first place I went. By now the floor was saturated. All said and done, it was minor compared to what I thought it might be which I was thankful for, although it now put me a half day behind schedule. I still managed to visit 5 facilities before heading to Marietta to camp for the night. It was quite a bit out of my way but I didn’t want to stay in the hell hole I stayed in the previous night again, so it was worth the drive, traffic and all.
Atlanta is so huge. I had no idea although I was here a few years ago for the American Academy of Pediatrics conference. On that visit I flew in, took a taxi to my hotel and just walked between there and the convention center so I never got beyond those few blocks. But now it makes San Diego seem small in comparison. I went to 10 facilities yesterday which included the marketing department for Wellstar Medical that runs numerous hospitals and urgent cares and employs many pediatricians and they are going to distribute my brochures to them all. Other facilities have offered to scan my brochure and e-mail it out to all of their department heads, put it on their website and have them available at their health fairs. I even met with the admin director at the Cumberland Kaiser Permanente Medical Center who took enough brochures to get to all of the physicians at the center and then personally escorted me to the parking lot. I hope the whole trip continues to be so successful.
Now I am camped for the weekend at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta. There were more tornado warnings all night again with several touching down in counties that I had been in over the past week including Marietta where I had just camped. It poured with serious thunder and lightening which kept me glued to the news all night but we never got the high winds, thankfully. Today the sun is shining (although it is quite brisk) and should continue to do so for at least the coming week. My life is not boring, haha.
I’m glad to have the weekend to rest up, get some housekeeping and laundry done and enjoy the park. Tonight there is a laser show over the lake. I’ll spend Monday and Tuesday in the Atlanta area and then head eastward toward South Carolina with many visits between here and there. So Ciao for now.