Brand New Motor Home
Brand New Motor Home
This was our first trip in the brand new motor home. I'll admit, I was kind of excited. My husband had owned an RV in his first marriage, so when he first mentioned the possibility of us getting our own, I was feeling a little bit put out. Even when I had first met him, he talked about their old RV frequently, and lamented about how she had ended up with it in the divorce. All sorts of jealous thoughts had crossed my mind. I wasn't sure whether to feel like he was trying to turn me into her or if he had genuinely enjoyed it and just wanted to do something that we could both enjoy together.
About a month later, we were driving through town and happened to drive past an RV show going on in the parking lot of an area grocery store. The twinkle in my husband's eye when he asked if I wanted to just "stop in and check it out for a few minutes" suggested that he had already known it was going buy here and suggested our outing today on purpose. And it's definitely true that the light switch covers we had picked up could have waited for a while. But seeing the smile on his face had been enough to get me excited about the idea of picking one out. Clearly, this was something he enjoyed, and he was excited to share it with me. I nodded my consent, and, almost giddy with excitement, he started looking for a place to park.
When we got up to the actual motor homes, I was amazed at how nice the insides of them were. I guess I was kind of picturing something a bit seedier. But these things were really homey. The beds weren't huge, but they were certianly comfortable enough. The kitchen was tiny, but more in the way that made me think "quaint" than "cramped". It seemed to whisper to me of adventure. The kind of place I could see myself living in for a week, even. When my husband offered that we could go ahead and leave if I wasn't having fun, I told him I was ok with staying for a while longer.
That's when he knew he had completely won me over.
And that's how we came to be heading across the country in our brand new Winnebago. Having lived in the same town my whole life, and rarely travelling out of it, the feeling of pulling out of our driveway for the first time for an adventure like this was equal parts amazing and scary. It didn't take long to settle into a routine, though. He would drive for a few hours, while I fixed us some breakfast in the little kitchen of the motor home. As soon as it was ready, he'd find a rest area and we'd stop, eat, and look at the map to decide what we wanted to see that day. Once we had made a choice, I would sit next to him and navigate until we'd reached our destination. Some were classics, like the Grand Canyon, or Niagara Falls. Others were little random places that drew our attention on the map for no good reason, like the trip to a little area marked only as "Leap-The-Dips", which turned out to be the world's oldest operating wooden roller coaster. The ride itself was fairly boring, but the history was pretty cool.
After our outing, we generally found a nice little spot to enjoy a good lunch, then it was my turn to drive. Driving something that big was frightening, I'll admit, but I knew there was no way my husband could drive all day every day. So he'd head back to rest, and I'd battle my fears and the other cars on the road for a few hours. Then we'd find ourself some dinner, either a restaurant or something from our kitchen, whatever mood we were in, maybe do a little grocery or toiletry shopping if there was a need for it, then find a spot to park for the night and discuss what we'd do the next day before showering and going to bed.
We had been travelling for almost a week when we ended up in California. Our original plan had been to make the first trip short, only two or three days long, but the closer we got to leaving and the more we looked at the maps, we had realized that there was so much we wanted to see, and we didn't want to have to save any of it for the "next trip". And with both of us being retired, there was nothing holding us back from travelling until we were satisfied, then going back home when we were done. But we had both agreed that the "halfway point"- the point where we would turn around and head back towards home when we had finished there- was going to be a beach in Claifornia. And so, after six days, we pulled the motor home into a parking lot bordering Corona del Mar State Beach in Orange County. The place was packed with volleyball nets, picnic tables, concession stands- and people. We found a small empty space, set up our chairs and umbrellas, pulled out our books, and stayed until the sun went down. And did the same the next day, and the next.
Finally, on the morning nine days into our trip, we woke up from the winnebago's bunk beds, sat down at the little table with our breakfast, and looked up at each other.
"Are you ready to start heading home?" He asked me.
"I am, are you?"
"I think so. This is fun, but I'll admit that I am a little but homesick. Just a little, though. So, was this a good idea?"
"The best one you've ever had. Now let's figure out what comes next."
And he pulled out a map, and we started planning our new adventures for the day.