Monday, April 20, 2009

Week end Update

We're still practicing our RV skills prior to road tripping. Over the week end we learned several things. We drove out to Turkey Lake Park near Universal Studios which is a pretty cool place with picnic areas, lake, jogging and biking and walking trails, and RV camping area. There, Danny did his first gray water dump. No disasters there, thank goodness. But, that's his area to comment on. I stocked the pantry with various canned goods, but haven't actually prepared any meals on board as yet. I did take my first shower in the bathroom aboard the Parakeet and I am happy to report that it was very easy, plenty of hot water, and my hair felt really soft and bouncy afterwards-- probably from the filtered water.

We watched the Peter Jackson version of King Kong on the built in DVD player/TV which works swell with the dogs on board and then on Saturday night decided to sleep there. We were parked in our driveway! That did not work out as well. Here's what we learned from that experience.

1. The overhead bunk is too claustrophobic for two people to actually sleep up there. I was on the inside next to the curved wall with the roof only a couple inches from my nose. I felt like I was in a cat scan machine. I couldn't get out without getting Danny up... and climbing down that bitty narrow metal ladder in the dark isn't fun. What was even worse was that a spider had somehow gotten in and I am seriously Arachnophobic. Even though I spotted it before we went to bed and Danny killed it, I kept lying there in the pitch black wondering if another one would come in and land on my face with me trapped up there. Needless to say, sleep eluded me. I lasted an hour and climbed down the ladder to park myself on the sofa. I didn't want to try to pull it out into a bed so I was pretty cramped, especially with a dog lying across my feet. So, I tried sleeping on the single bed that is created from the dining table and booth. Mattress was miserably uncomfortable. First I tried sleeping with my head towards the bathroom which didn't work because we were sloping down slightly in the driveway. I felt like I was on a slant board. So, I turned around. Nope sleeping on seat belts. Plus, I kept having to rearrange the dogs.

2. Then, there was Chili, my ADD Australian Cattle Dog. Abby and Ginny simply curled up tail to nose and went to sleep. Chili was up and down, up and down and up and down again. All night. Pacing, scratching, itching and rolling, yipping, banging the trash can lid up and down for her own entertainment. She even sat on my head and scratched. (She has spring allergies in addition to Hyperactivity and Epilepsy). Then, she wanted outside to pee and wouldn't come back in. Arrgh! I got, maybe four hours of sleep in total. Lesson here: Chili is not a good camper. At home, we don't notice what she does during the night. She roams the house. On the Parakeet, there was nowhere for her to go. So, I am looking into a good boarding facility for Chili. Day trips only for her or I will perish from lack of sleep.

3. It got cold late in the night with the windows open and we had to turn on the heater. The yard sprinklers came on around five and I had to get up and close the windows on one side. We need more blankets on board.

We've decided to sleep on the sofa bed from now on and get a memory foam thingy for the single bed just in case. Overhead bunk for storage and occasional one person naps only.

We took the Parakeet to her storage facility Sunday evening after dinner and reluctantly said good bye until next week end. Then, we hope to take our first overnight er, either to see the kids in Lakeland or to Atlantic Beach.

TTFN Over and out.

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