Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Upon Approval....."

The last week has been a real roller coaster of emotions for us.

Wednesday we headed to the General RV store north of us to look at RV's and see the outlet stores that are located next door.   Connie had made a list over the last few weeks of models and brands that were appealing at least via the pictures, layouts, etc.  General RV had a few of them, so we thought we'd touch and feel.

Salesperson Tom was incredibly helpful, took plenty of time with us, showed us everything we wanted and then some.  After we came back to the rig, we had narrowed down to a couple of Heartland models, and the one we liked the most (a Big Horn 3670RL) they didn't have in stock in Chicago, but did have a 2012 at one of their other locations.

What did become apparent was this was going to be the future, whether it was a near future or a far future, it was the direction we were heading.  And the scooter didn't fit into those plans -- no way to haul it.

We thought that to make that commitment to the future, we were in the perfect time/place to make that happen.  Where else but a college town as the students are coming back to school to sell a Chinese scooter?  We placed our first Craigslist ad Thursday, got a response that night, and by Friday at dinner time, it was loaded in the back of a guys truck and leaving the park.  Just like that, the end of an era.

Lo and behold the model we wanted was located at our friends (long story for another time) RV dealership in Batavia, about a 40 minute drive from Connie's parents and our hometown of Wilmington, Ohio.  They were kind enough to run down on Thursday and take a look at the model and THEY fell in love with it, too.

Long story short, here we are on Sunday, figuring to hear back from the dealership on Monday about loan approval and taking delivery plans.  So for the last 48 hours, as we're thinking about where this or that would go, we try to preface every sentence with "upon approval" so as not to jinx ourselves.

Hoping for the best!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Road Trip to Medinah!

Pretty rainy, gloomy day here which means:  Road Trip!

Headed over to Medinah Country Club to get our lay of the land for the Ryder Cup.  Thought it would be a lot less stressful to have been there once, than later when there will be all kinds of people around.

We'll be doing our meetings and uniform credential handouts next Saturday/Sunday at a high school across from the golf course, and actually shuttled to the course from a baseball field a few miles down the road.  There's NO parking around Medinah except for the high school.  Going to be a real sight when the Ryder Cup is held there at the end of September.  Can't wait!

We were amazed at how much construction had already gone on.  Stuck our heads into a few of the construction gates (and promptly got chased out) to see all the corporate tents, hospitality tents, event tents, and more.  Looks like the next big projects are the grandstands judging by all the lumber laying around.  It will be here before you know it!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hey! The Boat Drunks are at Navy Pier today....

Bob was just getting set to relax and watch the PGA Championship on DirecTV outside when Connie says:  "Hey, the Boat Drunks are at Navy Pier today at 5:30!"

The Boat Drunks are a Trop Rock band that can be heard on Radio Margaritaville and are often featured at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville's around the country, but especially the Key West restaurant when the Meeting of the Minds is being held.

This was at 1:25p on a Saturday when the trains leave every two hours and the next train was going out at 2:25p which was a half hour away, not dressed to go into town and no showers done.  We caught a big break when Bob got an email alert that the train was going to be late because, as it turns out, the earliest we could have gotten there was 2:28p.

Train left at 2:55 and we were off to Navy Pier (again!)

Maybe one of the few things we dislike about Chicago is it's cash only, or it's not, or it's exact change, or it's..... you get the picture.  Part of the hustle to get ready was having $1.25 exact change to park at the train terminal, $7.00 per person exactly for the weekend METRA pass, and $2.25 per person per ride exactly for the CTA busses.  Got lucky that there's no charge to park on the weekend.  Got unlucky when we got to the METRA station and the CTA card vender wouldn't take bills or credit cards.  Walked over to Union Station, and there machine wouldn't add more credit to our CTA cards.  Just such a pain.  We like the old school of the conductors and trains, but their system for paying just sucks and is so inconsistent!

We got to Navy Pier just as the Boat Drunks were starting, had a few Landsharks, met some great people who were just back from the Cubs game, and was a nice little Parrothead getaway, plus a bonus, Mike Miller rejoined the band for this set.

It was a great night, but since we bought weekend passes for the METRA, we decided on the way back to head back in on Sunday and just hang around Wrigleyville since the Cubs were in town for a day game against the Reds -- double bonus.

We had driven around Wrigley on a couple of our trips to Chicago, Bob had been to a game.  Bob's game was probably 20 years ago on a baseball trip:  drove in, parked, did the game and left.  We both wanted to experience the bars and the OUTSIDE of Wrigley Field without having to worry about getting into the game, out on time, etc.

Got a few tips the night before from the girls we met, so we were kind of prepared.  No issues with the trains and we decided to take a nice walk from the METRA station over to the Red Line through downtown.  The Red Line drops you off right at Addison and the right field bleachers.  Headed down to Murphy's Bleachers bar, met some nice Reds fans.  Great place to start your day.

Went down the left field outfield to Bernie's which is down the 3rd base line for lunch.  Some gift shops highlighted our walk down to the Cubby Bear, which was our least favorite with no outside space.

Came back around the corner (where you could actually look in on the game from a double fence in the Right Field wall) and had a couple more beers at Murphy's before we hopped the Red Line back to downtown.

Took a different route to walk to the METRA station and found them blocking off a street and filming down by the Chicago Board of Trade building.  Couldn't tell what/when/how was going on, but it was drawing a crowd.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back into Chicago, Storms here again....

Thursday, we took a ride into Chicago to Navy Pier to hear the Dueling Pianos on the Pier and meet with a former student of Bob's who went to Loyola and has lived in Chicago for a few years.  Was fun catching up.

Not much drama traveling this time, just missed our first stop on the return ride, so a little bit of jogging to make the 9:40p Metra train back to Elburn.  Biggest drama was when we turned on the Garmin Nuvvi we got really bad news.  It must have gotten smacked when we put it away in the glove compartment and the result was a disaster as you can see.  Sent it in Friday to see if there's anything they can do.

Also Friday, we got our new Maxxi tires for the rig.  Hopefully will allieviate the Carlisle Tire blowout problems.  We made an appointment a the local Farm and Fleet to have them put on Monday, so we'll have a mini tear down and roll.

Friday night, Sycamore RV Resort was pretty electric with weekend campers and kids everywhere.  Probably trying to get that last run out before school starts.  Met a great couple (Scott and Leslie) in their new RV (moving in their daughter to NIU) staying here from Detroit.

Saturday, since we're moving on Monday for tires, we chalked off the first big "To Do" by finishing repairing the damage from the Iowa tire blow out.  Was a lot of work getting glue to hold, holes sealed, etc.  That Great Stuff expanding foam is good stuff but really messy.  We both threw away our work clothes at the end of the run.

Later we were going to go to the MooseFest here in town, but the Severe Thunderstorm Warnings came out around 3:00p and sure enough, around 3:30p we had sheets of rain, hard driving wind and lots of lightning and thunder.  Couple of the weekenders learned about their awnings in storms, and will be learning this week how expensive they are.

Scott and Leslie came over after dinner and 'the girls' made them feel right at home.  Night of Olympics watching after they left along with planning for the quasi move on Monday, and the weekend is pretty well over!