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

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Yes, I have made it! I was done at the end of my shift, Monday night. Al finishes tonight at the end of his shift. He was originally scheduled to work Friday, but we have finally received word that the correct holding tank has arrived, and will be installed upon our arrival at Sunrise RV on Friday. Not knowing how long the install will take, Al arranged to have Thursday as his last night. So this afternoon, in the rain, we packed everything up and got the trailer ready to roll bright and early tomorrow morning.

So, as of this moment, two out of my three items have been ticked off...we have survived peak at Amazon,and  the New York house has closed. Tomorrow should be the end of the black tank saga as well. I am so happy to get it finished here, as I'm sure it would have been a hassle to start all over again in Florida.

Thoughts on the Amazon experience: I am really surprised at the number of folks who have stated that they won't be back, the work was too hard, or that we were treated badly. Yes, it was physically hard on your body, no matter what job you had. It shouldn't have been a surprise, though, if you had read the job description you were sent when applying. It specifically stated you would be on your feet for 10 hours, more during overtime. There is no sitting down job there. I found the overnight shift difficult to adjust to at first, and certainly would not want to do it full-time! It was especially hard being that we didn't work the same nights, and we only had one night off together to get our errands and chores done for the week. And I am sorry that we didn't have the opportunity to explore the area more than we did.

On the positives, I think Amazon did try to make a hard job as pleasant as possible. I mean, let's face it, its a warehouse job, how much fun can it be? The breakrooms had plenty of drink and snack vending machines, a ton of microwaves, and condiments and utensils if you forgot yours. We had two dinners, a turkey dinner during Thanksgiving week, and a chili&baked potato dinner in mid-December during our meal breaks. The last two weeks they had boxes of fruit put out for us to snack on during our last break. The local high school choir came over and sang Christmas carols during the meal break. Tokens for the vending machines and gift cards to Kroger's grocery store were given out for good performance, sometimes the whole shift receiving a gift card if the department met or exceeded goals for the night. We were given gloves, kneepads, earplugs, whatever would make work more comfortable for us. Communication could have been better, particularly for our group of workampers that were shuttled around to different departments, but it was getting better towards the end.

Some of the statistics they showed us that we broke the week ending 12/18/2011:

·         Pick:  2.54M units picked, crushing the old record of 2.26M
·         Sortation:  1.467M units through Crisplant and Rebin
·         VDF: 303K though VDF, first time every over 300K.  The old record of 239K was broken with one day tied behind our backs.  We only needed six to break it.
·         Toys:  496K…WOW.  I should have packed faster so we could have gotten 500K.  That’s my fault.  The old record was 357K……+39%. 
·         Gift Wrap: Although not a record, we wrapped 68,537 units last week, which is the most in one week since 2005. 

·         Shipped:  And the big boy record, 2.24M units shipped in one week from SDF1!  The old record was 2.11M from last year. 

That's a lot of stuff! And from just one fulfillment center! American consumerism appears to be alive and well.

Will we return? The question on everyone's lips as we say our good-byes. Yes, at this time we do plan on returning here to Campbellsville next year. They are especially happy with Al's work in AmCare, and I believe I have proven myself to be a pretty decent worker. There's a board on the wall as you go through security showing the associates who have met or exceeded goals each week, and my name has been on the board each week since starting. I've received two progress reports (when they could find me...I keep joking they could never find me the way they keep moving me from department to department) that showed I was working over 100%. And Sunday night I was one of the top "chuters" for the night (packing an average of 167 orders an hour). Monday I ended in my favorite department with my favorite manager, Bart in ReBin. He gave me a hug at the end of shift and told me to request assignment right away with him next year :-).

It won't be my favorite two months of the year for sure, but we have made some good friends here...Laura and Nona who worked with me and were my carpool buddies, Brenda and Bill Mims...really nice folks!, Joy and Shawn Creasy, or next door neighbors at the park, Cheyenne and her golden retriever Helo, who had great times playing with Casey, Lana and Michael whom we may see again in Florida, Gary who worked as a safety officer (thanks for the earplugs, I really appreciated them!) and of course the folks who worked with Al in AmCare, Terri and Jaimie. And so many others that we chatted with during breaks.

We should be arriving in sunny Florida for Christmas Day. We report to Otter Springs on the 30th to start our winter camphost gig, and I promise, we will have many more pictures to come soon! I plan on thoroughly exploring the area while there this winter, as well as a quick trip to Disney the end of January, and a trip down to the Everglades in March. Can't miss the RV Supershow in Tampa either! We will also be buying a house in Sugarmill Woods, and setting up domicile in Florida before heading off to Colorado in April.

So, lots of excitement still to come, interesting things to do and see, pictures to be taken and experiences to be recorded. Stay tuned, life is still good!


  1. Congratulations to the both of you. I'm not sure if I could have finished out those 7 weeks on that job. But you certainly showed that perseverance pays off. Glad to hear that the black tank should be fixed very soon. Wheeew, that certainly is one very important item to have working correctly in an RV. Have a safe trip down to Florida. We are looking forward to seeing you guys once again at the end of January. Can't wait to hear about all your travel stories to date. Wishing you and Al a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy New Year.

  2. Good for you for finishing. I would not even want to attempt to fill one of those positions, but I appreciate your reporting on them.

  3. Just want you to know that I did my part to keep you busy at Amazon buying nearly all my gifts on line and from Amazon - I have a Mastercard that gives thank you points which I turn in to Amazon gift cards and spend on gifts at the end of the year. Thank you Citibank and thank you Amazon for great service. Everything arrived quickly and in perfect condition.

    But I sure don't think I'd want to work as hard as you did. And the list of things coming up in Florida makes it sound like no rest for the weary. We'll be down there too by the new year. Wish we could run into you to say HI!

  4. Well, job WELL DONE!! Working in retail, I can relate to how physical standing on concrete for 9-10 hours per day can be!! You do get use to it in time, but it still takes it toll.

    Sounds like everything is getting done and you can head to Florida to start some new activities;o)) Let us know when you are going to the Tampa RV show and maybe we can meet you there.

    Safe Travels and Merry Christmas

  5. Thanks for you great reporting during your stay at Amazon. One question, no one has indicated just how lucrative the 9 weeks were. How much can you earn during a stint at Amazon?

  6. Congratulations on finishing. Travel safely to Florida.

  7. Great summary of the Amazon experience. We're among those who won't be back, it was harder on our bodies than we thought it would be. But, Amazon's job description was right on the money. Amazon is a good employer and looks after their people, but, like you said, it's a warehouse job. However, it is a great way to make some good money is a short period of time and we would return if we had a serious financial need.

    Glad to have met you and Al and hope to meet up with you again as we travel about the country.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.

    May God Bless,

  8. Merry Christmas to you both! Thank you for the updates on Amazon..it will help us decide whether we have the mettle to do it when we're finally out there. Sounds like we could :)

  9. I have enjoyed reading your experiences at Amazon and look forward to following y'all in the future. We, too, will be Colorado from 5/10/12-10/1/12 (at Estes Park), and would love to have a chance to meet y'all.

  10. We look forward to being your neighbors again next fall. :) Safe travels!

  11. Glad to hear you survived the "season"..now off for a nice Christmas in Florida and more new adventures!!
    Just wanted to wish you and Al, the family and of course the pups too, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!! <3


  12. Congrats on completing Amazon!! We once owned a home in Sugarmill Woods...what a pretty area. Enjoy & best wishes!

  13. Having worked at UPS for 30 years I know what hard work is all about, especially at Christmas time. Congratulations on a job well done.
    Enjoy the holidays!!!!