Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
We are extensively traveling around...working and having a blast...Life is Grand!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Much Nicer Week Two

We had 4 days to get to the next event which was only 250 miles so we had time to relax and check out some of the sights along our way.

On Monday we had errands to run along our travels and chose to drive under a hundred miles to Austintown, Ohio and stayed at Sleep Inn where we took advantage of the Jacuzzi tub in the room and even though the customer service was fantastic there was a time during our evening when the smoke smell was overpowering for a short time and for this reason we choose to stay in totally non-smoking establishments.

We ate one night at a Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in Austintown and it was so good that when we were in Canton, Ohio the very next night we enjoyed another meal there and both visits we experienced fantastic service and really delicious food. 

I had…
Southwest Avocado Salad – Blackened Chicken, black bean corn relish, tortilla straws and Chipotle Ranch dressing.

Ragin’ Cajun Big Bowl – Cajun-seasoned medley of smoked sausage, shrimp and chicken, all grilled together with peppers and onions then tossed with a spicy creole sauce and served over herb rice.

And Jerry had…
The Tangler - Cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, crunchy Onion Tanglers®, bistro sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles.

Steak Medallions with Mushrooms - Tender medallions of beef with mushrooms and onions, all topped with garlic butter. Add fried shrimp for an additional charge.

On Tuesday we decided to drive to Canton, Ohio to check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame and it did not disappoint. We were ok with the price of $24 per person but we were not happy with the additional charge of $10 for parking. If we were just shopping at the store there would not be a parking charge…for some reason we felt that was reversed.

Besides being a bit pricey, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves taking in all the movies and all the exhibits. The photos were exquisite and some were just so breathtaking. After checking out the first floor at first we thought it was not going to be worth the price but the second floor there was a lot to see and well worth the charge. Be sure to check out all of our photos on our Google Photo Albums.

After visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame we drove just a short few miles to our hotel for the night and ate our second meal at Perkins. We stayed at Ramada and had a King Size Bed Suite and the customer service again was marvelous, the room was clean, the bathroom was smaller than a closet and the bed had another padding on top which made it the most comfortable bed we had so far. The only complaint we had would be that in the morning while we were enjoying our coffee and relaxing in our room the neighbors decided to have some sort of argument which got a little heated and threatening which made us pack up early and leave. We know that is NOT the hotel’s fault but it was unnerving for us.

On our Wednesday drive, a little over a hundred miles as we headed to the shores of Lake Erie to spend a few nights we stopped at a Walmart in Sheffield, Ohio and just because we are anal about traveling still after all these years we do an inspection of our vehicles and I seen a nail in the truck tire. Perfect as usual since this Walmart was able to take care of it for us without any incident. Life is Grand!

Spending a few days on the water was just what the doctor ordered…the water has always been a calming factor in my life and since I introduced the Great Lakes to Jerry he feels the same and it doesn’t have to be the ocean for him anymore.

We got a really great deal on a room for two nights at the Best Western in Port Clinton, Ohio located across the street from Lake Erie and the view and sounds are fantastic, especially since the weather was perfect to leave our window open all night. The customer service, especially from Joel was over the top. It was also perfect since the entire hotel was non-smoking so breathing was wonderful.

We had lunch the first night at Jolly Roger’s Seafood House which had great reviews and we can see why. The perch was the best I have had in such a long, long time, the shrimp was firm and big pieces, the coleslaw was diced with a slight taste of pickles and the tartar sauce was creamy with a superb taste. Jerry had the Walleye and it was juicy and flavorful.

Our second day we had lunch at Big Boy’s and we were disappointed. They did not have Slim Jim’s and the so called Big Boy Burger was not big, nor was it served on a sesame seed bun and the sauce was more like a tartar sauce then a thousand island sauce that I have always had. We did order desert and the Hot Fudge Sundae was excellent.


Just enjoying our evening with a glass of wine, window open and watching Lake Erie calming and preparing us for our second weekend…Life most certainly is the grandest it has ever been for us!

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

This is the Way to Travel

This is definitely better than any other sort of travel we have done, except of course for the extensive travel to our first event. 

We tried to get them to change our training so we did not have to do 1300 miles in 4 days but there was no way to change that so we drove from Cedar Hill, Texas to Monroeville, Pennsylvania in 4 days. The good news is there is no other event that will have us doing this much travel in these many days…phew!

We left on Tuesday morning and drove 324 miles to Bryant, Arkansas where we had dinner at TaMolly’s Mexican restaurant that had excellent authentic food, the ambiance was perfect and the service was superb. 

Our stay at La Quinta Inn & Suites in Bryant was also excellent, the room was clean, the bed was so comfortable and we absolutely love staying at places where there is NO smoking throughout, not just some rooms and/or floors…the smoke travels into the non-smoking rooms and it is hard to sleep.

Traveling this way, we have NO worries about breakdowns, driving a brand new truck makes it easier to believe that there will not be any issues. No worries about the heat, just turn on the air and drive. No worries about hearing and feeling every bump when we drive, the shocks on this vehicle takes most of them without any issues. No worries about our funds since it is all covered with the company charge card…life is really good!

Now on Wednesday we did have a slight issue with the trailer hitch. I-40 east was a nightmare through Arkansas and if we were in Maggie she would have lost it all but in this truck it was just a bit rough but it did end up shearing off one of the pins that was holding up the jack plate and it began to drag so once we were through the construction area and was able to safely pull it over to check it out we made a quick fix by tying it up until we found a Walmart a few miles up the road to get the necessary pin replacements. We learned from when Maggie was towing May that we never use those pins that always comes with the hitches, instead we put on master locks. Not for the theft of them but for the safety, they do not shear nor do they jump out of the holes, they stay locked on tight and do not disconnect during rough roads. Guess we weren’t thinking but when we stopped we bought locks for all of the connections at the hitch.

We made it to our next destination, Dickson, Tennessee. Driving 327 miles we first stopped for dinner at Ruby Tuesday, our food was scrumptious and the service was outstanding.

We then checked into the Comfort Inn, though not as nice as the others and was actually border line but it was still adequate even though the entrance door was flimsy, there were scratchings in many common areas like the elevators, a few guys hanging out in the parking lot drinking beers and the toilet was in a closet which was even smaller then our setup in Maggie...imagine that!

Our 3rd day we drove 311 miles where we found a great deal at Wingate by Windham in Florence, Kentucky and had Papa John’s Pizza delivered.

The difference in our hotel stays from one night to the next was unbelievable, this was a wonderful find for us. The customer service was outstanding...they have an extra parking area a little away from the hotel but since it was a slow night they advised us we could stay where we were at the side of the parking lot where we could see our vehicle from our window. We felt safe and had a well needed resting night.

So glad that once this major drive is complete that we will be able to drive at a nice leisurely pace and enjoy ourselves with what we love to do, travel and sightsee but for now it’s drive, sleep and repeat for one more day.

We do make most, if not all of our reservations through Hotels.com and found it to be one of the best apps and website to use for our hotel stays. We have a budget to stay under $100 including taxes which so far we have been able to stay within that budget. That is also where we have been submitting our reviews of the places we stay. If any of you are traveling and using hotels this app is priceless…we have attempted to use many of the others but always return to Hotels.com because of the convenience and the great prices for some pretty sweet establishments. We highly recommend it over Priceline, Travelocity, Trivago, Hotel Tonight, and even TripAdvisor.

Our 4th and final day found us stopping at a White Castle to begin the trip. Since we are in White Castle country we needed to get our fix…got our suitcase and plan to have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It was such a relief to finally arrive at the school to drop off the trailer and then the plan is to check into our hotel, rest and be back at the trailer in the morning to begin our first event. 

Things did not go exactly as planned. Our first weekend hotel stay was made by PepWear and it was not a good fit. Once the event was over and we pack up it will usually be after midnight and we first noticed that parking the trailer was going to be an issue but it might have been something we could have worked around but then the huge red flags were abundant. The room they gave us was located WAY in the back…to get to it we had to go down a few steps through a side door, then into a dark hall and down more steps, then down a ramp and another dark hall to our room which was on the first floor and had a broken screen door which faced a brick wall and some broken concrete. We had passed several broken and ripped screen doors, shady characters smoking outside on the patios, and too many empty beer cans for us to feel safe to return after the event on Saturday night so we went back to the desk and cancelled our stay.

Now to find another hotel in the area when there was a Sunday Pittsburgh Steelers game in the immediate area was not a fun thing to do. We finally found and booked at the Extended Stay which by then was way over our budget but because of the situation we were given approval for the stay. We learned never again to have anybody else book our rooms, we do it ourselves now since we have parking needs and especially our safety needs as well. Now to be fair we were told by PepWear during training that if that situation ever happened on our arrival to do exactly as we did since our safety is a priority to them too.

The set up and the event was going really nice, until about 7pm when the rain threat came and it was a major downpour that dampened our sales and everything else but we made it through and are looking forward to doing the next few events on our own and hopefully the weather will be more cooperative.

Getting back to our room at about 1am on Sunday, we slept for a few hours then got up to work on our paperwork, a few hours later we were ready for lunch. Primanti Bros was located next door and it was a fantastic choice. The sandwiches were loaded with tender meat, scrumptious coleslaw and French fries and we both soon realized we do not like fries on our sandwiches, the side of onion rings had a different coating that was delicious.

Left Monroeville, Pennsylvania Monday to begin our second week which will include much more sight-seeing and we will be updating our blog along the way…

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

On the Road Again…

Sorry to keep you all in the dark for so long but things do not always have a way of working out for us and we were just not sure if this was going to be one of those times so we needed to keep Plan B and C alive until we were sure. We did not want to be up that creek without any paddles. We have been keeping notes and writing our stories while we traveled and will begin to share them all with you now.

New and exciting adventures are happening so we are once again on the road traveling and what a difference a day made. We left Bryce Canyon on Saturday, August 29th and our first stop was just over 150 miles to Page, Arizona and the weather was hot. Our summer was definitely cooler than the few weeks of traveling to our new adventure were, so we puddled jumped to get to Cedar Hill, Texas to pick up our new ride that we will be driving for the next several months. 

We have accepted the position with PepWear for at least the next 8 weeks to drive their truck and pull their trailer of merchandise to the several events on the calendar. We had a few days of training at the main office and then we are off traveling and working the events.

They talked about giving us the west route but plans changed and our route goes like this…first we travel from Cedar Hill, Texas to Monroeville, Pennsylvania…then to Bowling Green, Ohio…then to Dayton, Ohio…then to Winston-Salem, North Carolina…then to Newark, Delaware…then to Indianapolis, Indiana…then to Atlanta, Georgia…then back to Indianapolis, Indiana for the Grand National Finale before we have to head back to Cedar Hill, Texas to drop off the trailer.

After that we are open to new and exciting possibilities. One of the things we are attempting to do is to get onboard with more jobs along the way with this company so we can then work more with Scootaround too and live the lifestyle we love so much which includes extensive traveling. This current adventure will have Maggie in storage for a few months while we stay in hotels along our travels. For us it is a perfect fit and we are looking forward to adding more work like this to our schedules.

In the meantime in the next few months we will travel to each location and setup the trailer and then work the trailer for the one day events on Saturdays, then some paperwork to complete the event and the rest of the time we will be traveling but with enough time in between to do some sight-seeing in these areas. We are so stoked about the possibilities and are quite sure it will fit into the lifestyle we have been wanting to live for so long.

We are also in the stage, or should we say Maggie is in the stage where she either needs extensive body work or we have to take the next step of letting her go so we can get something that will fit our needs. There are a few choices but it will all depend on how our work fits into our lives. Quite possibly if we do more of what we are now doing now we could get by with just a Class B or something smaller with better gas mileage. We are at the wait and see stages and only time will tell.

In the meantime we will be reviewing hotels instead of campgrounds, definitely reviewing many more restaurants on our travels and now being referred to as full time travelers, not full time RVers.

For more photos, check out our Google + Web Albums.