The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday June 18, 2007 continued…

Well, I took more than a potty break, sorry. When I got up, Paulie was hungry so I gave him some leftover burger from lunch yesterday. I passed…it didn’t appeal to me at all. By the time we finished our lunch (I will not reveal what I ate for lunch, suffice to say it wasn’t on my eating plan…), we were turning off the highway to get to the campground. It only took about 20 minutes to park and another 20 to set up. By this time I was really hurting and exhausted (so what else is new you ask?) so it was nap time for me. Paulie continued to set up the outside of the rig and put the awning out. He started putting together our new grill which will probably take him a while. I woke up about six and made us some pork tenderloin tips in au jus, (the Bob Evans precooked stuff) took some mushroom gravy and made dinner with the rest of the leftovers I had from the Cenois pork dinner. It really was a throw together dinner and it showed…it really sucked. Ah, well, I tried.

Anyways back to our long narrative. Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, dry camping at Camping World. We checked in with Dustin early and were off for the day. Zack would be coming in about 1:30 pm and we didn’t want to disrupt Jane and Carl’s morning schedules so we had some time to kill. I decided to explore IKEA. The Polish Prince was not so happy, but I want to add some racks for stuff in the kitchen, so he obliged without too much hassle. We walked the entire building and didn’t find anything to go with the measurements I had written down weeks ago. Paulie said he will re-measure when we get back to the rig. OK. So we headed out south to Orland Park. We stopped for some gas and before we knew it, were greeting Aunt Jane. Carl had taken a short trip out to the computer store.

We had a great visit and had some finger sandwiches and Aunt Jane’s fabulous apple slices. She was not happy as she felt the crust was tough because she had frozen it. I thought it was great. Paul left to get Zack (although we didn’t KNOW he left…I was in the bathroom and I think Jane was cleaning up the kitchen and he just left….hmmmmm.) Carl returned and had some lunch. We watched the Cub game for awhile and Zack and Paul came in from the airport. Aunt Jane heated up some Italian beef and we are again! We all visited for a while, and decided to view the pictures on my computer on the big screen TV. It took a while to get it set up…We looked at all kinds of pictures. Paul finally got a call back from Camping World; the rig was ready to pickup. It was about 4:30. Zack and Paulie left to get the rig and get it set up at the RV park at the Empress Casino, then drive back to Aunt Jane’s to get me and then go back to the Casino. This is just the beginning of a long sad tale of poor customer service, idiot technicians and short tempered Polish Princes. Long story takes Paulie and Zack almost two hours to get from Orland Park to Bolingbrook; Kingdome satellite installed. Not getting all channels. Paul has conniption fit. Techs all gone home for the evening. To calm irate Paulie, Camping world promises tech will be at rig 8 am. Paul livid. Paul gets CW to reconnect electric so kitty doesn’t die in heat. Paulie and Zack now tired and hungry…call me at Aunt Jane’s and I get an earful of stuff I can’t make heads nor tails of. Sigh. Paul and Zack go eat, Aunt Jane and I continue gabfest. Paul and Zack arrive, sweep me out the door and we head back to Camping world for the night.

Saturday morning….tech doesn’t show up till 9. Paul livid. Tech fixes problem. We hitch up and go to breakfast. Afterwards we head to RV park. Paul and Zack go to casino. Dennise takes short nap. Paul and Zack comeback and we all shower and get ready for party. We are one and one half hours late. Have great time at party. Dennise has too much to drink. We eat, drink and are merry. We leave at 2 am.

Sunday…Dennise sleeps in all day. Boys go out to eat, go to casino. We meet Karen, Mike and Sean Kraus, John, Eugenia and Johnny Morgan at Fuddruckers. We have great dinner and great conversation. After dinner we meet with Laurie at Bakers Square. After a nice visit, she and Zack take off…she will drop him off at Kathy’s house so they can take him to the airport Monday night. Paulie and I head back to the rig at the casino. Dennise goes to bed. Paulie goes to casino.

Whew…it was getting very long winded and I needed to cut the fluff. Now you are all caught up! And so am I, thank goodness! Keeping a blog is fun but if you miss a day, you have lots of writin’ to do!

I will try very, very hard to update daily since I have aircard/cellphone access. I don’t have to drive to Barnes and Noble like I did last year, LOL!

Looking forward to tomorrow…we have no plans except to do some laundry and hit the grocery store. Gene will arrive on Wednesday I think. The pod was unloaded down in Weslaco and picked up today. Whew, at least that part of the equation worked! Now, all we need is the settlement check from the house to pay off all the stuff we have been using the plastic for!

Take care, and lots of hugs


Monday June 18, 2007

Well, this is technically our first day of our full time lifestyle. Last week was a kinda mishmash of house related stuff, doing the June Rally for Cenois and then traveling up to Chicago to visit friends and relatives. We had a great weekend. Zack flew in from St. Louis and we had a nice visit with him also. He and Paulie went to the casino a coupla times…losers, both of ‘em.

Well, for you nosey types (just kidding…I love you all!!!) here is a little recap of our last week as sticks and bricks homeowners and weekend campers.


Geesh, a week ago and I cannot remember what the heck we did. Oh yeah, we had set up the rig at Riverside Park in Springfield. The pods (we ordered three, thinking we’d just make it with three pods….we actually used one…same price for one as for two!). I don’t think we really did anything else as I was having mini-spins much of the day, leftover from Sunday. Finally after Paulie had finished running some errands, we decided to go to Taco Bell for some dinner. We usually split the chaulpa big meal and get an extra small drink. Dinner for two for under six bucks. Not bad. When we arrived back at the Asylum, Mom and Cecil were waiting for us. We had promised our friends Hank and Elizabeth that we would sit outside for the evening, but then we had unexpected visitors, they decided to pass. Elizabeth has been have some back pain so it was probably best for her to rest up for the upcoming rally. We couldn't face the banking stuff, so we will deal with all that right now...too much stress!


Before going to Zeile’s to sign the house paperwork, we stopped at the house to open the doors for the cleaning crew. Four gals loaded to the gills with vac’s, cleaning buckets etc were just arriving. We had taken the laundry with us to use the washer and dryer one last time. The ladies offered to do the second load and put the first load in the dryer. How nice that was! Off to the title company. I got sick with tummy troubles and Paulie had to stop at Hardee’s for me to use the facilities. Nervous stomach I guess.

We signed all our papers and were a bit dismayed at the final number that will be our settlement. Of course, the taxes had already been paid, but on the worksheet of expenses, they charged us for both the first and second payments. Then, there was another item, which I don’t remember but it will be refunded to us after the July 2 escrow closing. Argh. Paulie had hoped for more, but at least we are out from under the mortgage, utilities and all the other related expenses of an empty house.

I am starting a budget worksheet to track our expenses. This should be VERY interesting…we have really never done this too carefully. Now that we are on the road we do need to see what are the big drains on our budget. I am certain it won’t be fuel for the first month…we are sitting still on the beach in Muskegon so all the gas we will use will be for the Vue and sightseeing and exploring the things we missed last year.

Tuesday afternoon finds us back at Riverside awaiting our Cenois Prairielanders to arrive for our first midweek rally. Normally we have them on weekends, but we were trying something new…most of our members, actually all but two families, are retired. Campgrounds are usually less crowded during the week (and the price is lower…they charge premium prices for weekends and holidays) so we thought every now and then a midweek rally would be nice…easier to get into restraunts for dinners with a larger group, fewer campers, etc.

We wound up having 7 rigs. We found out late Tuesday afternoon that our new Prez ,Dory Talbot's, husband Al, had gone in for some heart testing and wound up having two stents put in. We had a bit of a problem with the folks at Cheddars with them telling us they don’t take reservations, (ah but they do, just for parties over ten…nobody told us that. I raked the manger over the coals and we wound up getting a 10% discount….I know BFD… )
After arriving at the shelter early Wednesday morning where Paulie and the guys had set up the coffee pot and flag and our supplies Tuesday night, we discovered that some morons had burned our American flag. We were shocked and right away contacted the campground host who called the park district police and the head of the park district. They were there for a while and the police guy collected the fragments left, just like CSI only Springpatch style not NY or Las Vegas, lol…the goofs must have used an accelerate as the flag was nylon and would not have burned easily. The fire also made two large burn holes in the shelter tent. We decided to dump the premade coffee as who knew what these goofs may have added to our coffee…rat poison or antifreeze were the first things I thought of….The Park Commissioner (I think that’s who he was)…was quite aghast that anyone would do this…and the Riverside campground has never had anything like vandalism in the last five years since the park was taken over by the Springfield Park districk. The committee of Joyce and Dick Jones and me and Paulie did the breakfast thing with omelets in bags…they were perfect and everyone enjoyed them. We had our first business meeting of 2007. There was some discussion that several folks in the group were concerned that having weekday rallies would result in the loss of member ship…so motions were discussed to make some on weekdays, some on weekends. Geesh, you can’t please everyone. Once again, the Park guy returned and presented our Pres, Dory Talbot with a new flag courtsy of the City of Springfield. It was a very nice gesture and well appreciated. After the meeting, we all headed back to our rigs to get ready for the ladies Red Hat luncheon. There were only five rehatters so we all fit in one car. We had wonderful fruit plates with chicken salad at one of my fav tearooms, Tea Thyme Tea room. Good food, good service and a beautiful setting of antiques and Victorian décor. Back at the campground, I needed to nap…Paul had fixed one part of the committee dinner, the stuffing for the pork roast, and since some of the gals were already bringing desserts, I decided to scrap the blueberry cobbler I had planned and pulled out some cranberry sauce, pork gravy and instant mashed taters, the good instant ones not the soupy ones we remember as kids.

Dinner was great, the pork was delicious (Good job Joyce and Dick) the stuffing made in the crockpot was a bit overdone but still delish (good job Paulie) and there was plenty to eat. The gnats were just awful so we packed and cleaned up quickly so we could sit near the rigs and get away from the bugs. Some of us weaklings sprayed ourselves with bug spray and we all sat outside and talked until dark.


Paul was up and out by 6:30 to start the coffee and go get the donuts.
We had a nice fruit bowl that everyone contributed to….and plain old fashioned mello crèmes. YUM. Hank gave a lovely talk, as he always does and we all headed back to visit for awhile. Since no one seemed to be in a hurry, although the Williams’ did have to leave early to pickup grandkids we all sat around and talked. It never ceases to amaze me how much we have to talk about!

Since we were heading out for our new “life” we had a lot of stuff to do. I think we finally pulled out of Springfield sometime around 2 or maybe three. Since I had really worked hard to clean the rig and was hurting and wiped out…I hate arriving at a new campsite and have to clean…so I hit the couch. I don’t remember how long it took to get to Camping World in Bolingbrook. But they were open…and we checked the rig in with our Customer service guy, Dustin. We were having a satellite dish installed….another long story which I won’t go into detail here…The polish prince wanted it…I didn’t. I lost. No big deal, whatever makes him happy, he’ been under so much stress lately…

They dropped an electric cord for us as we would drycamp in the parking lot. Our appointment was for 10:30 Friday. We asked them to check the coach batteries, and install the dish We also wanted them to measure for window awnings so we could order them at this Camping World and have them delivered and installed at the CW in Grand Rapids. Dustin was very helpful and we were starving so off to dinner we went.

We had a nice dinner(of course we ordered the same sandwich and brought a whole one home…just why can’t we order one and split it? We are goofy that’s why. )

When we returned to the rig parked at Camping World, we discovered that the electric line they dropped was dead. Poor Snickers was in that hot rig…she was an unhappy kitty for a while. Aparently they pulled out the plug when they closed the overhead door where the cord was located. Well, THAT was stupid, but the store is now closed so we have to run the generator all night…it is 90 degrees and 80% humidity…plus all these ugly cicadas are flying around like a hive of bees. God they are gross.

OK, I am gonna take a potty break so you’ll have to come back later and read the rest of the story.