Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Progress

First and foremost, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and is looking forward to a safe Happy New Year.  I hope the coming year brings happiness and good health to all our family, friends, and new friends to come!

It's been a week since posting, but we have been very busy over the holidays, and had a blizzard thrown in for good measure! Blizzards are not very common here on Long Island, but it was a really good old-fashioned winter nor'easter with a good measure of snow thrown in. The snowfall accumulation could have been much worse, but the storm tracked closer to shore than forecast, and NYC and NJ really got the brunt of it. I don't mind :-). We did receive quite a bit of beach erosion though, as we have near hurricane force winds for a good long spell. Many homes are in danger, especially in Southold and Montauk.

Since it was so cold and ugly out, my mission for my 3 day weekend was to clean out the walk-in closet upstairs, sort clothes into keep/donate piles, go through piles of investment club paperwork dating back to the beginning, 1995 ( for those who were in the club, I found the colored-pencil graphed SSG's we did!!), and just get everything sorted out. And for the most part, mission accomplished. I can't believe the bags of clothing that went out for donation! And I still think I kept too much! We also started work in the garage again, I organized everything we had taken out of the Avalon when we traded it in, threw out a bunch of stuff, put what I'm giving to my sister's family in the car to take to them tomorrow, and I will say, between the closet and the garage, we filled a dumpster! Since it's suppose to be sunny and warmer (in the 40's!!) on Saturday, we will start packing the camping gear into the Cougar's basement. And I want to move my summer clothing into the closets, as it won't be warm enough here to wear them before I leave here, MARCH 26!

I also cleaned and packed the pictures off the walls upstairs, and packed all my Swarovski crystal and Disney figurines to go into storage. They will be relocated to Florida when the house sells. It is sad to start to see the vacant space in the house, but it means I'm making progress, and that makes me happy :-).

Technology wise, we have decided our internet option will be the Verizon 3G/4G aircard with 5gig service a month. Cradlepoint is working on the upgrade to our router so it will be compatible with 4G. Whereas 4G won't be rolled out on a wide basis when we leave, if we are in an area that has 4G it will be nice to have the higher speed. And we'll be ready when the nation-wide roll-out is complete. We were very undecided if we should try the Millenicom service first, as it is cheaper, no contract required, and has 20gig/month allowance, but it does use "leftover" bandwidth from verizon, and we're a little unsure how that will work out.

I will say, as we've been announcing our departure early next year from our business, it has been both gratifying and emotionally draining to hear the well wishes. I am most grateful for the customers that have been with us for so long, and who are taking the time to express their appreciation for the service we have rendered these past 30 years. It's so nice to know that we have made a small impression on so many people. It has always been my intention to keep the 'small-town" flavor of our shop, and even though our town of East Hampton has been taken over by big-name business for the most part, I feel we succeeded. I hope the new owners keep the same ideals, I feel that they will!

A last thought for the week, I have learned that a young girl in town has lost her battle to cancer today; please keep Katie in your prayers. It is difficult to lose anyone, but no parent should ever have to lose a young child to this insidious disease. May God willing, they find a cure for cancer someday!

Happy new year everyone! bring on 2011!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas day tomorrow!

This was Christmas at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World 2007. Such a wonderful place to enjoy the season!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I haven't forgotten!

I know it's been a week since I posted anything, but I can truly say I didn't have much to say!

The closing for the sale of the business will not take place by the end of the year, unfortunately. I had really hoped it would, so I wouldn't have all the accounting work and associated fees for doing the work for what should amount to only 2 weeks of being in business! But nothing I can do can alter the slow and tortuous path that paperwork takes, and of course the holidays are here now, and all work shall cease! We continue to work with the new owner and training new people, and saying good-bye to so many dear customers. That is the hard part for me...we have had some customers with us for over 30 years! I might be so bold as to say, that's a sign of loyalty that rarely happens in our current times! I feel as if perhaps, after all, I may have made some small impact on the community for all the years we've owned the store, and it deeply moves me to have so many heart-felt thank you's given to us. I am sure that I will meet many more wonderful and happy people as we change to this lifestyle, but I will miss my happy customers.

With the help from The 3G store, we have our internet system set up in the trailer now. We are waiting at this point for the cradlepoint router to come out with an upgrade for 4G service. I am hoping this will work well for us, and anxiously wait for Howard from R-V Dreams to post his review of using the new 4G service.

Other than that, we are just getting ready for Christmas like everyone else. Wrapping presents, cooking, etc. take up the free time we have. I do have a 3 day weekend for Christmas, and have my game plan on for getting my walk-in closet completely cleared out, packed up, and ready for painting! Wish me well in that endeavor!

Well, Merry Christmas to all, and may everyone have a happy, healthy and wealthy 2011 :-).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Cougar has landed!

Forgive me, Neil Armstrong :-).

The Cougar has made it back home from it's first foray into warranty service land :-). I can honestly say that we are very pleased with Camping World of Lakewood NJ. Their service representatives were very professional, dealt with our problems quickly and efficiently, and had our trailer ready for us within 2 days! Once we decided to have the satellite antennae installed for DirectTV since they had it, that also went quickly. They did an excellent job of installation, neatly wiring it so that wires were hidden. The price was good, and the service friendly, what more can one ask for? I know that it is alot easier to knock a place for bad service, so I really wanted to send a shout out to them for service well rendered!

The weather was terrible here over the weekend, but thankfully not the snowfall they had in the midwest and the great lake region. We had alot of rain on Sunday, which we drove through early Sunday evening to Lakewood. We wanted to go down Sunday night so we could pick the Cougar up early Monday morning, and get back through NYC before the afternoon rush hour. I'm so glad we did that, because if we had left here Monday early a.m., there was a terrible 7 tractor-trailer accident on the GWB that closed it for hours, and also a 6 car accident on the LIE at exit 61!. It would have been an awful trip west through the city, and we would have hit the late afternoon rush on the way home. Now, there's really NO good time to go through NYC, but mid-day seems the best. I WILL NOT miss having to drive through NYC once we leave Long Island :-).

I accomplished a bit of paper organizing, shredding and filing this weekend prior to going to NJ, and Al cleaned out the section of the basement where the oil tank is going to be put, and painted the walls. In Suffolk County, it's now a requirement that your home heating oil tank be removed from underground, and placed either in the basement, garage, or otherwise above ground. They are worried about the tank leaking and oil seeping into the groundwater. So this is one step we need to do before the house can be put on the market. So the area is prepared, and the heating company can come and install the new tank. Check off another step!

Other than that, not too much to report. I would like to ask anyone reading who knows, I wish to put a picture in my "follower" box, but I can't figure out how to size it so that it is not too big? I had also tried to put a picture of my own at the header of my blog like other have done, but it also comes out huge! I sure would appreciate any assistance on that!

Since it's so cold, dark and nasty around here lately, I tried to find a happy sunny picture to leave you with.
How's this? Special note to anyone who can guess where it is :-)!

Have a happy day, everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Catch-up Time

It's been a quiet, cold week here, without much interesting to tell. I've been busy at work (3 weeks to go, but who's counting?), and at night Al's been out teaching his EMT classes and I've been doing paperwork. He's getting ready to leave tonight, at MIDNIGHT, to go fishing, in 30 degree temperatures....I haven't told you all that sometimes he's a little out of his mind :-)....so I decided to catch up on some long over due photo organizing.


This past summer, as in the last few years, we take short camping hops on the weekend to get away from the shop for a few hours. I do mean short...we would leave the shop at lunchtime Saturday, and return home Monday evening. But it was a break of sorts. In August, we decided to go to the Berkshires, MA. looking for some cooler weather and a pleasant diversion. We take the Cross Sound Ferry from Orient Point on the north fork of Long Island, and it was a 2 hour drive to Plainfield, MA., where we stayed at Peppermint Park Camping Resort. It was very nice, with spacious sites for a private campground, was close to our intended destination for Sunday, Mount Greylock State Reservation, and they allowed 2 dogs per site. Now, we were just starting to use Microsoft's Streets and Trips, and I ended up bring us there the "back way". As we were chugging up the road, past industrial areas, desolate farms and the such, I was getting a few sidelong glances from Al, and finally the query, "how did you find this place?". Once we reached it, all was good :-). It was very pretty, and quiet, and the folks at the office were very pleasant, always a nice way to start a stay! The site was very nice, as you can see below.

At this time we still had the Fleetwood Avalon pop-up towed by the GMC Yukon. It was the perfect set-up for short trips. Because it was buggy there at dusk, we set up the Eureka Breezeway Screenhouse, which we love. It only takes maybe 10 minutes to set up or tear down, and so easy with the 2 of us, it's worth doing only for a weekend. It's definitely coming with us!

One of the things about having the pups with us, it forces us to do alot of walking around the campgrounds! I really enjoyed walking here. There were alot of seasonal sites, but it was obvious they took great pride in keeping the sites and trailers in tip-top shape. The lawns were very neat and well tended, several gardens were set up; I wish my own lawn looked as nice as some of these :-). My favorite decoration is shown here:

Someone was really into frogs! They had at least five separate displays of frogs set up :-).

Sunday after breakfast we went to visit Mount Greylock. We picked up a driving tour guide at the entrance, and started off. There are several hiking trails within the park, and we did do the Bradley Farm Interpretive Trail loop at the visitor's center. It was quite warm that day, even at the higher elevation, so in the interest of not having the 4 of us drop from heat exhaustion, that was the only hike we did that day. We would like to return during the fall some time and do some more extensive hiking. The road was beautiful as we climbed up the mountianside, with beautiful vistas:

Not quite as awesome as the views out west, but quite nice in their own right :-).

We reached the summit, after winding around for several miles, and stopping here and there to get out and look at stuff. The summit is an elevation of 3491' and was a bit cooler. Very nice views up here. The prominebt feature at the summit is the Veteran's War Memorial Tower, dedicated by the state in 1933 to honor Massachusetts men and women who gave their lives in time of war. You can climb the 92-foot tower as well for a 360 degree view of almost 80 miles! This has been designated by the U.S. Department of the Interior as a National Historic District in 1998, and was a very nice stopping off point.


We then continued down the mountian on the north side. I would say we spent a good 4 hours in the park, enjoying the scenery. It did make for a pleasant, relaxing day. About a 45 minute drive back to the campground for the evening. I could easily see spending several days just at Mount Greylock, hiking the various trails. In the fall during the leaf changeover it must be beautiful!

Well, Monday we head off to New Jersey to take possession of the Cougar once again. I hope to have a glowing report of Lakewood Camping World to post here; so far, they have been most pleasant to deal with! I also hope by next week to have a closing date for the sale of the business set, so stay posted. And thanks to all my new followers, and I hope you find my ramblings and pictures enjoyable. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Uneventful Week

Another week down, and we are in the last month of owning the business. Mixed feelings, it's been the major part of our lives for the last 30 years, but we are so ready to move on from it! The last piece of business before getting the contracts finished, testing the water in the septic system, was postponed until Monday due to some heavy rains we had Wednesday. After that, we should be good to go to finalizing the agreements!

We've made the final decision on our TV system for the Cougar. We're going with the Winegard TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Ka/Ku Multi-Satellite TV Antenna and the Direct TV  Choice Extra package. Camping World has it on sale at this time, and 1/2 off installation, so we decided so long as the trailer was there, might as well have it installed while we're waiting for the propane detector to come in. That was this week's big decision :-).

It's getting cold here now, but at least the sun has been out for the last day or so. I always feel better when the sun is out :-). Today is the "welcome baby Johnathan" party at my sister Amy's house, so I'm getting ready to spend the afternoon there. Al is winterizing the boat today, and it will be pulled out of the water tomorrow. We sure do wish we could get it sold before we leave in March, but the latest prospective buyer has pulled back. A boat is a terribly difficult thing to sell, especially in tough economic times!

Other than that, it's just sorting through drawers and closets, deciding what is going in what pile. It kind of looks like a hurricane is going through here....why do you always have to make a bigger mess before getting more organized? It will get there, I'm sure, and after the first of the year we'll have much more time to deal with it. I have to make a list for each day's activities, and stick to it! 110 days until departure!

I'm going to leave you today with a picture of my pups on a hike with us. They have such a good time!
This is a short hike in a neighboring town to us in Bridgehampton, called Whiskey Hill. Once you climb out of the woods, there's a beautiful panoramic view of the farmlands, and the ocean in the distance. We have been fortunate to live in a beautiful area of the country :-). Have a great Sunday!