A Map of travels (I will keep this up to date)

Our RV Map

It has been suggested it is difficult just reading the blog to visualise where we are and have been.

So I have started a Google Map. Google doesn’t always plot the exact roads we used but this is near enough.

Because of the way Google maps work I have had to split it up, so the first A-J shows Jupiter and most of the Florida trip. Then it is the trip to Houston and on up to Dallas, and finally our loop around Texas.

You can use the names on the left to reposition the map and get more detail or get rid of it altogether by clicking on the 3 little dots and selecting “Collapse Map Legend”.

Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018 and new adventures….

Now Christmas 2017 is over I thought it was time to update the blog on leaving the RV in Fort Worth, our Christmas and New Year in the UK, and our plans for 2018.

As I said in my previous post we had to get back from Abilene to Shady Creek to prepare to put the RV in storage. That took an overnight stop, so we booked in at Solid Rock RV Park in Eastland, Texas. Very nice site with views over Lake Leon.

Panoramic view of our pitch to lake. Looked like a Portakabin next to us although it was on wheels!!
Lake Leon
Sunset over Lake Leon
Nearly gone!
Gone! You can tell there hasn’t been much rain.

The next day we arrived at Shady Creek where we started to prepare for our journey home to the UK, packing cases, cleaning and preparing the RV to put it into storage. As the long range weather forecast for Texas was predicting sub zero temperatures (technically sub 32F!!), we decided to winterise the RV which meant buying 5 gallons of RV friendly (i.e. non-toxic antifreeze which doesn’t contain Ethylene glycol which can poison you if you put into the drinking water tank!!). It also meant reading the 6 or so pages in the manual about ┬áwinterising an RV. This would have to be done once we were at the Storage facility so I made sure I knew where all the relevant points were for sucking the antifreeze into the water system with the water pump and bypassing the water heater which just had to be drained.

The RV and the Spark also got a good clean up prior to storage, probably be all dusty when we get it back!!

All polished up ready to store!!

Got everything ready and we said goodbye to all at Shady Creek and drove down to the storage unit near Fort Worth. Parked it up and started the task of winterising it. As it was our first time doing this it took about 4 hours but eventually everything was ready and parked and we caught a Taxi to our hotel for the overnight stay. We left for DFW airport at 12 0’clock on the 14th December and left Texas at 5pm where the temperature was 21C, to arrive at Heathrow on the morning of the 15th December where it was 0C!! Ouch.

Picked up the hire car and drove round to Alan & Jakx to collect our mail and say hello, then drove home to Somerset arriving at about 2pm. As I had managed to get a Golf estate and we didn’t have to return it until the next day, we used it for getting the essentials (milk, bread, butter and a Christmas tree!!).

We then did what most people were doing getting ready for Christmas, ordering food, buying final presents (although most had been bought in the USA), and preparing the house for invasion by kids and grandkids ­čÖé !!

Tree was put up and decorated.

Christmas day arrived and we entertained Rashied & Caroline (plus Zaid and Zara), Claire and Anne’s mother Marian.

Zara was asleep when the photo was taken!!

Alan, Jakx & Ella came down on the day after Boxing Day and there was more present opening!!

Ella in her new cowboy hat and boots.
Zaid playing a build your own house toy.
Zara puts in an appearance.

The more observant of you may have noticed Jakx’s bump, our 4th grandchild who is due on the February 6th.

And Zara had a brother to sell!!

Rashied and I moved Marian’s shed from her old house in Holcombe to their back garden in Bellingham on the two days before New Years Day. And that is the other news, Marian has moved from Holcombe in Somerset to Ivybridge in Devon to be closer to Julie.

As I am writing this everyone has left to go home except for Caroline, Zaid and Zara, and then Zaid caught chickenpox and Caroline is now staying for a further week.

As to our plans in 2018, we have booked our return flights and we leave on the 14th February (Valentine’s day as everyone keeps reminding me) and we will stay again at Shady Creek while we get a towing braking system fitted to the Spark (a requirement in California and Canada).┬áThen, if everything works out, on the 1st March we set off for Vancouver via El Paso, Tucson, Phoenix and San Diego and then up the West Coast to arrive in Vancouver by 28th June. There we meet up with Tim, and Rashied and Caroline and Family who will be visiting on a two week holiday.

After that we will cross a bit of Canada to come back down the Mid West to via Las Vegas and Flagstaff to arrive in New Orleans in mid October where we will meet up with Anne Mallach and Kathy Pearson, who are going to be RVing with us for a couple of weeks.

If it all works out we will be back for Christmas on the 12th December.

Well that is all for now, the next post will be after the 14th February when we return to the USA.