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!
Homer, Alaska

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Settling In

Friday and Saturday were settling in days, getting oriented and doing paperwork. The weather has been good, or at least no rain! It's in the upper 50's during the day, and cloudy on and off.

The really really good news, however, that as of Friday afternoon, all the closing paperwork on the business has been signed, and the deal is finally done! Just small mop-up details left, and a few phone calls to my accountant and lawyer, and we should be completely done! It feels really good to have that unknown weight off my mind, as it has always been in the back of my mind that it wasn't going to work out, and we'd have to go back to Long Island to deal with a huge mess! Don't get me wrong, I love my customers, and I love my employees, who were so much more than employees to me, but it is no longer my responsibility. I know they'll do well, it's just that it wasn't the thing for us any longer. I still have issues to deal with ( health insurance!!!!GRRR) and everyday life is with us, that never goes away, but overall, I think there will be a lot less stress, which will make us much healthier overall. Here's hoping, anyway :-).

Friday afternoon we also learned more about our upcoming work here at Waldenwoods. We're both working in the campground, just separate areas. Waldenwoods is a large complex, right off of Highway 23 in Hartland MI. There's a conference center, where a lot of weddings are held, a small hotel and restaurant, several villas and cabins, and a 320-site membership campground. There's also a 27-hole golf course that surrounds the other 3 sides of the lake. Recreation areas include a pool area, tennis courts, children's playground, horseshoes, beach and boat launch. We've walked around the campground several times now, and once around the lake. It seems very nice, although quiet right now. Some members had their campers set up on permanent winter sites, and came up here all winter, and this weekend they must be moved off those sites, so that is the most activity we've seen. Probably a dozen or so campers came in these past two days to set up for a few days' stay.

After much discussion with David, our supervisor, we determined that I will be working in the park store this summer as a store manager. This will give me the most hours, but also entails the responsibility of ordering merchandise, tagging it in, scheduling the part-time employees, and generally keeping the park store in ship-shape condition. I start training on Wednesday and Thursday, and will have my notepad with me to take copious notes! The park store is right on the lake, overlooking the beach, and I'm sure when summer hits it will be quite busy with people all day! I'm looking forward to the challenge, and a new experience.

Al will be a full-time ranger here in the campground, but sadly, he does not get a ranger hat, only a ball cap! His job entails a lot of walking throughout the campground, making sure that everything is being done correctly, the rules are being followed ( and there are plenty of rules!), helping members with anything they need help with. He will also have some gate duty; this is a gated campground, where you need to check in and have everything verified and paperwork done. There are 3 different shifts for rangers, and he'll most likely be working the late afternoon/evening shifts, and the evening shifts will also involve enforcing the quiet hour rules. He is also looking forward to the new experience, and meeting so many new people. I'm sure he's going to be great at it!

Friday afternoon after our meeting with David, we went to do some errands. Another thing I like about here is that it feels quite quiet here, even with the highway not too far away, but we access the campground via a service road off the highway, Old Business 23, and just a mile away is a wonderful shopping area with everything we need...a big new Krogers grocery store, WalMart :-), Target, Meijers (a department store I believe), several food places ( we tried Gus's Carryout already and it was very good...we got a baked rigatoni dinner, 1/4 chicken & ribs dinner, bread sticks and a Greek salad for $12.60!) a UPS store ( we now have a mailbox for up here for the summer) CVS, a dry cleaners ( they need help...NO!) and others we haven't seen yet. So I can take the truck myself to go shopping without hitting any major roads LOL!! And it's alot easier than in Hocking Hills or Bailey's Point where shopping of any kind was 10 miles away. We also drove to Howell Friday, looking for dog food, but have been unable to find the cans that the pups are use to, so we are trying them out on Iams. So far, in their ravenous state, they are both gobbling it down, but I'll have to keep an eye on them as sometimes a change of diet can lead to tummy aches. But so far so good.

Saturday morning after breakfast we took a walk around the lake. It's a 3 mile walk from point to point, but we have to go around the beach area as the dogs are not allowed there.

It was really a nice walk. The lake is on your left, and the golf course on the right most of the way. Sometimes the hiking trail crosses the golf cart roads, and you have to wait for golfers to finish their drive so you don't bother them :).I did not take my camera this time, as I wanted to just enjoy the walk for the first time, but will definitely take pictures for you next time out. When we got close to the end, near the lodges, we took a side spur that David told us was a good place to let the dogs swim, and it was really nice, a little peninsula jutting out into the lake, but at the end was a bench, and a mama goose sitting on a nest right next to it. We certainly didn't want to bother her, so we'll take them back there for a swim later in the season! There were a lot of birds along the walk as well, so I need to bring the binoculars with me as well.

Saturday afternoon, was laundry day, we were very dirty from our week of rain in Ohio, and running out of clean pants! We also moved things around on our site, trying to determine how we want our outdoor room set up for the summer. I'll take some pictures of that as well when the sun comes out again! We met some co-workers as well, and had a neighbor arrive to the back side of us as well. Her name is Tonda, she's by herself right now, and had her trailer set up on a winter site. So she here's now, moved it next to us for the next 2 weeks ( the maximum stay at any one time for a member; they can come back for another 2 weeks after 2 weeks has lapsed in-between stays) and was cleaning all her gear from the winter muck. She's very nice, as has been everyone we've met so far!

I have some video that I've taken with the Flip, and as soon as I figure out how to get that posted, I'll put it up here. Maybe I'll work on that later today, it's a bit cloudy again today, but warmer. We'll see what happens today, tomorrow! Until then, have a great day!


  1. Sounds like a great place to work for the summer.We will look foward to seeing pictures of the place.Good luck and have some fun.

  2. It sounds like you'll both stay plenty busy this summer! That place sounds huge :)

  3. WOW, Karen....what a relief it must be for you guys knowing that the business is now behind you. I know that it weighed heavily on your mind. Congratulations, one less thing to worry about.

    Your new "home" sounds lovely. I'm sure you will be making lots of new friends this summer. I sure you will enjoy your new job. It sounds like it is right up your alley, as does Alberts. Glad to hear that the pups are also doing well with your new adventure.

    Looking forward to your next post.

    P.S. Bill want to know if non-members can camp at Waldenwoods, just in case we find ourselves in your area.

  4. No ranger hat? I'm so disappointed!


  5. I'm with Kim on the hat!!! Sounds like everything is working out just fine. The boys say "hi" and they're hoping for an adventure sometime this summer to see you guys. Did I forget to mention we're sending them to you alone? Just kidding!!!!

  6. Good job settling in and leaving all the past behind. Sounds like you will be in a beautiful place, welcoming new and exciting experiences. Wish you both the best on this new chapter of your lives. Look forward to scenic photos/videos of the park :) Thanks for sharing!