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!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

BOA Week Two

The great news is our next two events are in Ohio, so hundreds…not thousands of miles to traveling between, so we will get plenty of rest.

Once all our errands were done on Monday, we opted to travel 90 miles to Columbus, Ohio and stayed at Fairfield Inn. Huge suite with all the comforts, nice relaxing couch, such a comfortable bed, wonderful walk-in shower, and so spacious. We were very happy with our stay and the customer service was excellent.



Our first day there we relaxed in the hot tub for HOURS and our bodies totally appreciated it. The second day we reorganized our stuff and the truck and a plan to do the same to the trailer this weekend when we unload it.  There were extra items we took that is just making the load terribly hard, so Jerry has a plan! Unfortunately, the plan didn’t work and we are still too packed. Trying something new next week.


Thank goodness we only had 20 miles to drive, it rained all day, and we had a slight issue with our reservations so our room for the first night was a Double Queen until they could move us to our King room the 2nd night. Our stay was nice in our King room, a little cramped but the shower head was wonderful and the bed was so comfortable. We also had free HBO stations so we movie binged several days.


We also spoiled ourselves and had lunch at Outback and had our steak fix…








This week’s event was eventful as usual, and we are still having plenty of issues with our helpers. But, luckily we trained a new PepRep Team so we had several good helpers with us. The Fortress is an awesome stadium that made our setup and teardown so much easier.







 

 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

BOA Begins…FINALLY!

For the first two weeks we worked in the warehouse getting the stores ready to begin our travels. Weather was hot and sticky, but we were in an AirBnB and our truck, both with great air conditioning. We were good except for working in the warehouse, even with the huge fan, it is stifling, so we drank plenty of frozen waters and our neck coolies helped.










Our first travel day was challenging. We always ask to leave early in case of any incidents and this year was no exception. We left on Sunday from Cedar Hill, Texas to drive the 1200 miles to arrive on Thursday, with only 200 miles planned for the first day. When we arrived at the warehouse to pick up our packed trailer that we had finished loading on Saturday we had this to deal with…

Unfortunately these trailer tires cannot be changed by just anybody, it needs a special torquing, so we called Love’s and they were 3 hours out, so we waited. Finally on the road for just over an hour and we came into a 45 minute traffic delay with nowhere else to detour, so again we passed the patience test. What was supposed to be just over a three hour drive had turned into almost 8 hours, but we made it to our destination safely and that is what matters.


We love staying at casino hotels because we have everything we need within walking distance…food, great parking, and some playtime and this part of our journey just happens to include several of them.


Our first night was at Riverwind Hotel & Casino in Norman, Oklahoma. Convenient parking, but also a big space at checkin to unload our suitcases before moving the truck and trailer to the big rig parking area. Very efficient and friendly front desk staff that gave us candy and cookies and free coffee in the morning. Room was exceptionally clean with all the needed comforts and a wonderfully comfortable bed.



Our next day was much easier, we drove 240 miles to River Bend Hotel & Casino in Wyandotte, Oklahoma. We had stayed here several years ago and is still a good stop. Great customer service, clean rooms, comfortable beds, and a perfectly wonderful walk-in shower. Our only complaint is no refrigerator or microwave in the room.




A longer drive on Tuesday through the Missouri hills and we made it just over 300 miles to Saint Louis, Illinois and stayed at the Casino Queen Hotel. We’ve stayed here several times in the hotel and in the RV Park and it’s a good stop. Nice king size bed and shower with a fridge in a spacious room but the place is getting a little worn. We had some wicked storms come through the area but they were gone at about 10pm when the hotel lost power in the rooms. It was strange that all outside lights, including the casino were on and the hall lights too, but the rooms were without any power, so it got warm quickly without the air conditioning. We fell asleep around 11pm and the power came back on around midnight with the ac unit spewing out heat, that got me up quickly to switch it to cool since it was 81 degrees in the room.


We had some honey do’s to take care of, so we only drove about 100 miles to Effingham, Illinois where we stayed once again at LaQuinta. The room and bathroom is very cramped but the bed was really comfortable and all the conveniences like microwave and fridge are available. Customer service was good, allowing us an early arrival, but they still only have grab n go breakfast.


Our final travel day got us to this weeks destination in Troy, Ohio where we stayed at Hampton Inn. The room was a bit cramped, the bed was comfortable, the shower was good, customer service was great, and overall the cleanliness was excellent.


As for our event at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Ohio, it had its issues and for the first time in the 7 years we have been doing this, we actually asked ourselves if it was worth it. There was a time we had enough helpers scheduled but then it began to fall apart and only hours before it was to start, they began to drop or did not show up at all and we ended up with 1 person to help us set up this elaborate Popup store. It brought such excruciating pain on our bodies and our souls. Eventually, we did get some helpers but the damage had already been done. That has always been our biggest complaint, getting qualified and enough helpers, so that we are not doing it all. The good news is we surpassed our goal by over $20,000 which will give us a fabulous bonus.







The first week is always the worst due to traveling over 1200 miles to get there and then not getting any helpers, but now that’s over and our next few weeks our travel is not so much and hopefully our helper situation improves. 
Our finances did for sure, not only a great bonus but we bought a few $10 Ohio Lottery Scratchers and we got a $1,000 winner…YIPPEE! Life is literally grand! We also got our White Castle Crave On…Found my Faygo Rock n Rye Pop and are in Moscato Sangria part of the country…LIFE IS GOOD!







Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Our Journey to Cedar Hill, Texas

We left our motorhome in Albuquerque for the next 3 months while we stay in hotels, eat out everyday and no cleaning. The events this year are pretty similar to the past 7 years, Ohio, Maryland, Alabama, Missouri, Texas, and Indiana, beginning in Cedar Hill, Texas to get our truck and trailer road worthy.

After we stored our motorhome, we opted to stay in Albuquerque at the Hampton Inn by the airport. It was a very spacious room with a comfortable bed and all the amenities, even a FULL breakfast. That was shocking since New Mexico is so far behind on their restrictions of masks and social distancing, nothing like we had been experiencing in the past few months up in Montana and Wyoming.





We ordered a Detroit Pizza and trust me…IT WAS NOT…it was good but it was not a Detroit Style Pizza or it would have had crispier edges with cheese baked into it and a much more buttery flavor. We also ordered the wings extra extra crispy and they were soggy. Not our best experience with Pizza Hut.


We had our first Uber experience and we were quite impressed, maybe it’s because it’s their own vehicle they use so they aren’t as crazy as taxi drivers have been. The car was clean, the driver was personable without being intrusive and he drove as if he took pride in his driving. We will be using Uber for all our future rides.

We loaded up the rental car with our personal stuff to take with us while we travel and headed to Tucumcari, New Mexico where we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. We had the spa and pool to ourselves and even though the pool was warm and the bubbles in the spa were wimpy, we enjoyed ourselves. The room had everything we needed, a comfortable bed, nice seatings, and the most vigorating shower head we’ve ever enjoyed.







It’s so nice traveling with a smooth ride, air conditioning and music, we drove 300 miles easily to get to Vernon, Texas for our next stay at a Hampton Inn. Comfortable bed, huge shower and a great laundry facility, everything we needed at this stop. 





We also tried Taco Casa, which is just like a Taco Bell but their sauce does not compare.



Our last day of travel of 190 miles took us into Cedar Hill, Texas to pick up the truck so we could return the rental car and have our first experience with AirBnB. It is definitely different not being in a hotel, but instead for the next few weeks we are staying in an InLaws Suite for a lot cheaper than any hotel stay. We have our own kitchen with all the conveniences, bathroom, bed, TV, couch, and a shared spa and pool with a barbecue area. It’s in a rural area, but close to everything we need. We love it.