Saturday through Wednesday, December 20-31—Central Arkansas and Return

We were up early Saturday morning, departing for central Arkansas by 5:15 AM.  The 13-hour trip was uneventful, and we enjoyed the lowest gasoline prices of our travels since beginning to RV in 2007.

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We spent Saturday evening, Sunday, and Sunday evening at Ron’s, and he had baked one of his famous blueberry pies for our enjoyment.   We snuck in a visit to the new house under construction on Sunday morning.  A neighbor stopped by to compliment us on the lot and house plan, and advised that it was a great, sociable neighborhood.  After lunch with Ron, Cheryl, and Kaden, we met with a decorator at Bassett Furniture, and identified “collections” and pieces for use in the great room, dining room, sun room, breakfast room, and master bed room.  The decorator is to develop a design for each of the rooms for our review on Friday.  This story is covered in the new HSV House blog.  We found central Arkansas to be cold, at least by our standards—guess our blood has become thin with the mostly 70s and 80s in the Rio Grande Valley. 141221 5354 

We returned to Hot Springs Village Monday to insure that our storage of household goods was paid up to date; pay for storage for the RV; take care of Property Owners’ Association business, including buying new stickers for the cars, kayaks, and canoe, and paying for tee time registration and the golf handicap system; and pick up some balk mark repair tools at the Coronado Golf Club.  And, of course, we snuck another look at the house construction (info on the house construction can be found in its own blog).  As we arrived another neighbor couple was inside looking at the house.  They asked questions about the floorpan and affirmed that the neighborhood was a good one.  We drove from there to spend the next few evenings at Karyn’s.

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Hot Springs Village was our destination again Tuesday morning, as we met with Brandon, Sam, and Cris of Renaissance Homes, Inc. (our builder) to discuss progress, verify electrical, television, and HDMI outlets, and view layouts of the various cabinets with the cabinet maker.  The plumbing subcontractor was there also, working on plumbing installation, but we did not meet with them.  Several changes were made on the advice of the Renaissance Homes, Inc. team, including changing the shower door location and restoring the television connections to the right shelving unit; we had moved it to the left on the advice of our decorator.  We also talked in generalities about the landscape plan and the grade of the driveway.  Regretfully, the motorhome is not going to fit the parking pad as originally conceived, but we’ll make adjustments and alter our plan of attack!  Late afternoon and early evening was spent celebrating the holiday meal and gift-giving with Kay’s side of the family.  Matt and Karyn served a delicious meal of pulled pork, beans, slaw, potato salad, chips, and cookies and pies.  Of course, Ridge was star of the show, opening and playing with his many gifts.

Christmas Eve, Wednesday, was a rest day for me and not necessarily by choice; I spent most of the day in bed, sick with a head cold.  Regular doses of ZyCam and Tylenol were the order of the day.  Kay, on the other hand, was busy all day helping Karyn get ready for the evening’s activities. Matt and his family allowed us to join their family celebration of the holiday as we all ate pizza, salad, and cookies and pies.

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We were up early Thursday, Christmas, for a trip to Memphis to celebrate the holiday with Jenny and her family.  Harper was in rare form, and enjoyed opening the many gifts from grandparents and Santa.  She had an assembly line going with DD (that’s me) taking the toys out of the packages—this involves cutting, untying, unscrewing, and sometimes tearing away packaging materials—while her dad put the toys together.  He spent several hours putting her kitchen together because the parts did not fit, and the instructions were pitiful; he did a great job, and she enjoyed it immensely.  Jenny and I prepared portions of the meal—I mainly assisted as she is a great cook.  Kay visited with the Simanks, taking Sandy a few pieces of hammered aluminum Kay picked up from a Canadian collector in the Rio Grande Valley.  After stuffing ourselves and cleaning up the kitchen, we drove back to central Arkansas.

Friday, we met with Kecia, our decorator at Bassett.  She was gracious enough to come in during her day off.  Before her presentation, we advised her of the construction changes we made Tuesday, and furniture preferences for the sunroom.  She quickly added and modified the design as necessary, and made an awesome presentation; we liked everything.  Now, it’s add a lamp here, a pillow there, a additional rug or two, a few televisions, and we should have a furnished house, or at least part of one.  While we were at Bassett, Ridge and his mom were at the zoo; he loves the zoo.  Afterwards, he and I played super heroes and race cars.  Now, his definition of playing is different than our—his definition is for me to sit with him on the floor while he plays!  Friday evening, Kay, Karyn, Ridge and I had dinner at The Pantry, a German restaurant in Little Rock.  The service was poor to fair, and while most of the food was very good, a few items, like onion rings on top of the dish I had, were so over battered and cooked that they were too hard to eat without breaking a tooth, seriously!  And, some of the food prices were quite high.

Ridge joined us in bed Saturday morning for an hour or so, before we all got us for playtime and breakfast.  We reluctantly said our goodbyes and departed, in the rain, for Corpus Christie, where we met Al and Sharon Crawford after their flight from Toronto, Canada, via Houston.  They arrived about 10 PM, and we drove the two and a half hours to BPVRV resort, arriving at 12:20 AM.  It rained almost the entire 800-mile drive. 

We were sluggish all day, Sunday, having had little sleep after the later/early arrival from central Arkansas yesterday.

A return to our routine Monday was the order of the day with Kay exercising early in the morning and Al and I playing golf, despite the cool, misty day.  Kay began turning a new bowl in the woodworking shop, this time from a solid piece of wood brought to her by Paul Graham, our next door neighbor and her “turning” instructor.  The maintenance folks in the RV resort turned the water off, did some never-ending repair work, and then turned the water back on.  141116 E 001Our potable water tank overflowed, and we think their turning the water back on created a surge that created havoc with the fill tank valve.  A call to Lichtsinn RV got us a new one in the mail; I do dread having to replace the valve again as it’s only been a few weeks since the last one was replaced.  The electrical and water supply infrastructure in this RV resort is unreliable, to say the least, in my opinion, as there are constant problems with blown circuits and leaks, respectively.  We did manage to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks football team demolish the University of Texas Longhorns in the Texas bowl in the evening.  Whoo, Pig, Sooie!  And, cold, wet weather returned to the Rio Grande Valley, not fit for outdoor activities.  And, it’s supposed to hang around for a week or more!  Oh well, beats freezing temperatures and ice!

I woke up with a horrendous back ache in the left shoulder area during the wee morning hours Tuesday.  It was so bad that I spent most of the day in bed, trying to get some comfort with a heating pad and ice rub, but not to much avail.   Kay continued “turning” the new bowl.  Cold and light rain continued.

I was in so much pain Wednesday, that I remained in the motorhome all day and evening; Kay did go to dinner with the Circle 3 group,  We both skipped the New Year’s Eve party, though.  Cold and light rain continued.  Happenings these last few days were a tough way to end a year that saw so much occur in our lives.

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