Sunday, February 13, 2022

All My Bags are Packed, I'm Ready to Go!

As the old John Denver song says…”All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go”.

We are FINALLY on the road and heading South! After spending the past week with freezing cold temps, we got Big Eddie and the C.O.W. hitched up together, and  got them both packed with a few essentials. You know things like ebikes, a guitar, a ukulele, and a  strum stick. And of course the instantpot/airfryer and all the winter gear and clothing to get us to the point of “South enough” to pull out the Summer gear.

This is a totally new journey for us. We are now traveling retirement style. We planned to leave on a Saturday, but if we didn’t get it all packed and stuff done to be ready, well there was always Sunday. We could get up at 4 am or 8 am and hit the road. Or even leave at noon. It is so weird to be able to time our vacations on our schedule these days. It is definitely going to take some getting used to. 

After final checks of Big Eddie and the C.O.W. and a final sweep of the living room where all the stuff had been accumulating the past few weeks to pack up we were ready to go. Everything loaded and secured:check, toilet is not running:check, security cameras on:check, neighbors around us notified:check, purse in Big Eddie…ope still on kitchen table. Ok now we were on our way.

After driving a few hours driving and heading towards the Iowa border, I dug out my phone and started looking for things we will actually be able to stop and see and look at on the way to Texas. There have been so many things we have had to drive by in the past years, planning to someday stop and look at. But we have always had to get from home to our destination as fast as we could, driving well into the late night, just so we would have more time to spend at the destination. And then we would spend our brief time and drive like we were in the Indy 500 to get home in time to get back to work. This is definitely a test in being truly retired. We have all the time we want from leaving home until we are back again. A totally new and a little bit weird experience. It is definitely going to take some practice on our part. 

I have to say I am not the most relaxed rider when driving 100’s of miles like we used to in the past, so I am looking forward to stops along the way to and from the destination point. I’m just wondering how many stops my Best Half will allow before realizing we aren't making much progress on the journey. I’m thinking every 150-250 miles will be a good time to stop and stretch and gas up and hopefully take a minute to sightsee something in the area. And as we get more comfortable with the pace maybe I can throw some extra stops in between the planned stops. If you haven't realized by now, I am a person who isn’t into long drives. I like to get out and walk around or I get pretty restless. I find myself rearranging my legs 50 times a minute, or looking at my cell phone for anything to  occupy my time. I know for me it is going to take some time to get into the retirement traveling  mode just as much as my Best Half.

For now 3-4 hours into our trip, I have the radio playing, my cell phone out looking up stuff and watching the Iowa scenery of fields, meat packing plants and the ever present smell of hog farms. It is always so much fun to watch the landscape and towns change with every passing mile we go. And to watch the thermometer climb as we head South. Look out Texas here we come!

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