Sunday, September 09, 2018

Have I told you how much we like Walmart?

They're no dummies! When you use Walmart's parking lot for your campsite overnight, you're bound to go shopping. We park overnight at Walmarts all the time and we've always spent money shopping there.
There's always a Walmart. When we're on the road and just getting from point A to point B, it's very comforting to know that we'll always be able to find a place to park along the way. We use the Allstays Camp & RV app, or the website to find the Walmarts that allow overnight parking.
Walmarts are a convenient place to park, when you're not in a "camping" mood, you just need a place to park and sleep.
Walmarts are familiar, you know it's OK to park there, you usually see one or two other RVs there. You can almost always find a level spot. There are lights overnight, there are some security vehicles that occasionally patrol, you can come or go at any time, and - if there's anything you need it's right there.
Thank you Walmart for making lengthy travel less stressful.

Cracker Barrel

Another of our favorites for a stop-along-the-highway is Cracker Barrel. Nice parking lot, some lights, usually pretty quiet, and you get dinner AND breakfast! also shows us all the Cracker Barrels.

We stayed in Walmarts and Cracker Barrels with our big RV as well as our current little RV. Whatever type of RV we had, what we don't do is set up camp. Walmart or Cracker Barrel are NOT campgrounds, they are overnight parking. Do not get out your camp chairs. Do not set up your grill. Do not put your jacks down on the asphalt and do not put out your slides. You should be able to drive away with only needing to open the curtains on your front windshield.
When I see the jacks down on a big rig in a Walmart or Cracker Barrel lot, I am so tempted to go knock on their door and tell them they are being very disrespectful. Those jacks can actually damage the asphalt. The parking lot was not designed for this use. These RVers can ruin it for the rest of us. Their actions have caused some stores to say, "No more." No more overnight parking allowed for anyone because of the actions of a few.

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Friday, September 07, 2018

Deja Vu - Springfield, Illinois Fairgrounds

In June we had a rally in Sedalia, Missouri, then traveled to the next one in Allegan, Michigan. That took us right thru Springfield, Illinois where there's a very nice campground at the fairgrounds. In September, after having flown to the Caribbean and back, driven to Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma, we found ourselves right back on that same route. So we stayed in the same campground.

In June, we stayed several days, did tourist things, and produced one of our YouTube shows. This time it was just 2 nights. We got the exact same site as last time, can you see why? Hint: look in the sky.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Tulsa, Oklahoma

When we completed the Safari rally in Shawnee, it was the beginning of September and we were on part two of our summer tour. The next rally was in Goshen, Indiana and we had 9 days to travel the 900 miles to get there, so we weren't in any hurry.
Here' the map from our RVParky plan-Summer Tour Part II. How do we make this plan? See my article about planning road trips.

Summer Tour part 2, as planned with
If you read that article, you'll see that we also like to use to find places to stay - especially Elks lodges - and to find interesting things to see and do.
With all those tools at our disposal, we decided to just travel 100 miles after leaving Shawnee and go to Tulsa, OK. There was an Elks Lodge with electric hookups for us to stay, and an Aquarium to go visit.

What we hadn't planned on was Jim feeling ill. We think it had to do with the corn on the cob he ate at Chili's the day we arrived in Tulsa, but we really have no idea. And, it was an ill-feeling that he's never experienced before. He just stopped eating. He wasn't exactly nauseous, but he just had a total loss of appetite. The really weird part was he got claustrophobic - he simply couldn't be inside the RV! He had to go outside, he was restless. He got up in the morning - made coffee - then went outside and sat in a chair, or went for a walk. This is a problem! How does eating something bad affect your brain? What else could it be? When the feeling didn't go away after 2 days, I started looking for a health clinic. We were in luck! Within a few miles of the Elks lodge was St. Francis medical center, including a walkin clinic. They were fast, efficient, and had all the equipment to perform blood tests and ekg's right there. They couldn't find anything wrong with him. That put our minds at ease, and we went about our lives. Within another couple days, he was fine.

The Aquarium

Who'd-a-thunk-it? A fabulous aquarium, complete with a world-class shark tank, in Tulsa, Oklahoma! We had to go, and we're glad we did.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Safari RV Rally - 30th Anniversary

We've attended many Safari rallies because our first RV was a Safari. We presented our seminars at their 20th anniversary in Amana Colonies in 2008. Now it was their 30th Anniversary and the rally was in Shawnee Oklahoma at a location called the Heart of Oklahoma conference center. What a fitting way to kick off the rally - a blood drive!

Safari RVs are known for their wonderful murals custom-painted on the back of the RVs.

We presented a few seminars and scheduled private smartphone helpdesk sessions. It was a good rally.

We did have an odd experience with our Verizon signal that I want to remember - When we first got there, we tested the speed on our phones and were quite happy with the 10-20Mbps speed. Once we were parked and settled, we were using our phones as hotspots and the Internet came to a crawl. We considered moving to another section, we took our phones up there and tested and it was nice and fast. That was really weird. I tested it again back at our site, but outside rather than inside the rig. Very weird indeed. The speed outside was 10-20, inside was less than 1. So we rigged up a way to put the phone outside and plugged into power, then put it into a cooler with some ice in a ziplock (because it was hot outside) We could then use our computers inside, connecting to the phone's hotspot outside and all worked fine. We still have no idea what the interference was. That's a first!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On American Soil, by an American Veteran

We've driven thru the Oklahoma City area in the past but didn't stop, even though friends have told us that the memorial to the 1995 bombing there was a must-see. Well we couldn't drive past it again - this time we stopped. They were right - it was very well done - and gut-wrenching.

The memorial leads you thru the event - you start in a meeting room listening to a recording of a meeting that took place on the morning of the bombing. A normal meeting, the time is recorded and the names of the people talking. Then, BAM - you hear the explosion. Next you are led to another room, where you witness the chaos that ensued.

On 19 April 1995, a disaffected veteran named Timothy McVeigh drove a Ryder truck stuffed with explosives into downtown Oklahoma City and destroyed a federal office building, killing 168 people, including 19 children, and maiming hundreds of others. That much we know. Learn more at the memorial's website.

It was a very moving experience

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