First Two Rally Days

Current Location: Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, Virginia

Thursday was the first official day of the rally. It was also apparently the first official day of the rainy season here. It rained on and off during the day, causing various activities to be a little wet at times. The vendor hall opened up and folks could go shop for items from various vendors or leave their items for sale on the sale tables. We sold our rock tamer mudflaps and our original RV Lock electronic door lock, which we replaced with a newer version.

There were various sessions going on during the day. Val went to a couple of the sessions on cooking with induction. Malcolm wandered around and took pictures as well as worked on a longer video that encapsulates all of the activities during the week. The evening program was a dessert kick-off. Various announcements were made and we all shared in some catered desserts.

Dessert tables

Dessert tables

Crowd gathering

Crowd gathering

Good crowd

Good crowd

Today there were more sessions, the vendors were active and Malcolm was able to slip inside the new Landmark Newport for a private photo session. In case you are wondering what this new trailer will look like, here are some good pictures for your enjoyment. This is the front bath version that everyone here had been waiting to see. This is the very first unit off the assembly line and it is still considered a prototype.

Front bath looking towards the front.

Front bath looking towards the front.

Front bath looking toward the back

Front bath looking toward the back

Bed (this coach was equipped with a queen)

Bed (this coach was equipped with a queen)

The mirror over the window seat is a two-way mirror hiding the TV set behind it.

The mirror over the window seat is a two-way mirror hiding the TV set behind it.

Looking towards the rear of the coach through the kitchen and into the living room.

Looking towards the rear of the coach through the kitchen and into the living room.

View from the rear couch looking forward

View from the rear couch looking forward

Half bath

Half bath

Another living/kitchen view

Another living/kitchen view

No gas stove here. A two burner induction cooktop and convection microwave make up the cooking appliances.

No gas stove here. A two burner induction cooktop and convection microwave make up the cooking appliances.

The dealer showing all the new Heartland fifth wheels here at the show, McGeorge’s Rolling Hills RV, provided a few service technicians to go around and service items on our trailers. We had them adjust our off-door side living room slide as well as our awning that has never rolled up straight since it was replaced more than a year ago. They were great, efficient and did a super job on both our tasks.

This evening’s program was a catered dinner of fried chicken, lasagna, salad, mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and rolls. It was pretty tasty. The smaller door prizes were given out after dinner. We won a $10 Amazon.com gift card. Most of the prizes were in the $10 to $25 range. Tomorrow night there will be fewer but more expensive door prizes.

The evening’s entertainment was comedian Rik Roberts, who does a pretty darn good Barney Fife imitation. He was wandering around before dinner in his full uniform and taking pictures with people. After dinner, he put on a great, clean comedy show, even involving one of our members in his last little musical number. After the show, we headed back to the trailer (in the rain) and just took it easy inside.

Everyone wore their green rally shirts tonight

Everyone wore their green rally shirts tonight

Barney Fife posing for pictures

Barney Fife posing for pictures

Salad bar

Salad bar

Lined up for dinner

Lined up for dinner

Rik Roberts

Rik Roberts

The final number, with audience participation

The final number, with audience participation

Monday Pre-Rally

Current Location: Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, Virginia

This morning, Nelly was making her famous muffins for breakfast. We wandered over and visited, but both of us woke up early and were too hungry to wait, so we both had our cereal in the trailer. We had fun visiting with folks, since more have arrived. It was a pretty big crowd. Malcolm took pictures with his camera but hadn’t unloaded them onto the computer yet.

At one point, Malcolm hopped into the golf cart to run to the trailer for something and found that it was dead. The battery was charged, it just didn’t want to go anywhere. We borrowed the Beletti’s golf cart and ran over to the office to let them know. They called maintenance over and they pulled it off to the shop, then came back and picked up Malcolm. He rode over to the office and they issued us a replacement cart.

We ended up just visiting with different folks until noon, then headed back to the trailer to eat lunch. After lunch, we took it easy and sat outside in our “patio” for a while. Then we decided to head to the pool. We put our swimwear on and went to the pool. Val waded around a bit, then ended up talking to Dottie while her grandson played in the pool. Malcolm braved the different water slides and had a great time.

Malcolm ran back to the trailer and found that he had a missed call. It was the campground letting us know we had some mail at the office. We picked that up and found that it was our mail forwarded from our mail service. Malcolm picked up Val at the pool and we stopped by to grab the mail. Once back at the trailer, there was a knock at the door and Kevin Wolbeck dropped off two boxes from Amazon that had arrived, as well.

After cleaning up from the swim, we made cookies to take to the Southeast chapter’s cookout and pitch-in. We headed over there with our drinks, cookies and other stuff. Malcolm had to run back to get our chairs. There was a pretty big crowd and plenty of food. There were enough left-overs that it was decided to have another pitch-in tomorrow evening, open to everyone at the rally.

After dinner, we went driving around the park and ran across the couple that is here selling stained glass replacement windows for the trailer door. We found a design we loved and bought it. Malcolm decided to go ahead and install it since we had a little sunlight left. He was done within about 15 minutes. Rather than post the pictures here, Malcolm is going to create another post with just the installation procedure in it.

After the window was installed, we resumed our drive around the park and ended up picking up Bette Dick who wanted to come see the window. We ended up mixing up bourbon cream and root beer floats and sitting around on the “patio” talking. Then we visited our neighbors for a bit and took Bette back home before plopping down in the trailer after 10:30 pm. Phew, what a busy day.

Onward to the Rally

Current Location: Bethpage Camp Resort, Urbanna, Virginia

We rolled out of Misty Mountain about 8:30 am and hit the road toward Urbanna. It was a generally uneventful drive and we rolled into Bethpage between 11:00 and noon. They checked us in at the gate and had us pull forward to wait for someone on a golf cart to lead us to the site. We waited a couple minutes and followed the gentleman on the cart to our site, which we were able to pull through.

The sites are essentially double-wide, so we have a 55 foot by 55 foot site. Whoever ends up in the site behind us will pull through the side of our site without our trailer, so we’re staggered. It’s complicated to explain in words. Regardless, here we are all pulled into our site.

After arrival

After arrival

After getting set up, we decided to put out our EZ Up near the back of the trailer. After that was set up and we had lunch, we hopped on our bikes and rode around visiting others that were out and about. We eventually ended up over near the camp store and office. We ended up deciding to rent a golf cart for the week, something we don’t typically do because of cost. Rally participants did get about 20% off the price of a daily rental, so we decided to splurge this one time. Here’s our site with the EZ Up and the golf cart parked outside.

More complete setup

More complete setup

We heard that the ice cream shop on site was offering sundaes for $2 each, so we got directions from someone on where it was and headed there later in the afternoon. It was a small sundae, but it was just enough for a pre-dinner snack. There is a miniature golf course right next to the ice cream shop. One of the rally activities is a mini golf tournament, so we’ll be back here again this week.

Ice cream and mini golf

Ice cream and mini golf

We rode around in our cart and visited folks for a bit before heading back to the trailer to cook dinner. Our original menu plan was chicken pot pies that would have taken an hour to prepare and it was already nearly 6:00 when we decided to eat. Instead, Malcolm grilled hot dogs on the grill and we had macaroni and cheese and hot dogs for dinner. Considering we had ice cream sundaes a couple hours earlier, that was just enough for dinner.

Cooking out on the "patio"

Cooking out on the “patio”

We relaxed on our “patio” the rest of the evening. Some folks wandered by and stopped to chat. We also hung some lights around the EZ Up for decoration. We took one more quick drive around the park on the golf cart but it was getting chilly, so we headed back to the trailer to relax and unwind inside.

 

A Day of Sightseeing

Current Location: Misty Mountain Camp Resort, Greenwood, Virginia

Today was spent sightseeing around the area. We were out the door about 8:30 am and drove to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where we had 9:35 house tour tickets. We boarded the bus and rode to the top. We wandered around for a while until it was time for our tour. They are working on part of the grounds, restoring the original road that went along one side of the property to all the buildings that are no longer there. They are also starting to rebuild the missing buildings. Should be nice when they are done.

We took our tour and walked around the grounds for a bit. Afterwards, we walked back down to the parking lot area and browsed the gift shop before leaving. Here are pictures from Monticello (they don’t allow photography inside the house):

Statue of Jefferson at the bus loading area

Statue of Jefferson at the bus loading area

Monticello main house from the front

Monticello main house from the front

Cool sun dial on the porch. You move the semi-circular metal bar until there is no shadow on the side, which then shows the time.

Cool sun dial on the porch. You move the semi-circular metal bar until there is no shadow on the side, which then shows the time.

Monticello from the back

Monticello from the back

The wine cellar (photography allowed here).

The wine cellar (photography allowed here).

Gorgeous views all around.

Gorgeous views all around.

After visiting Monticello, we headed just down the road to Michie Tavern. We had visited here on Monday for lunch, but today we took a tour of the tavern (as well as eating lunch again). We found out from the tour guide that the tavern actually used to sit 17 miles away but when traffic had died down, the owner at the time had the building dismantled and moved to just down the hill from Monticello (in the 1920’s) to take advantage of the tourist traffic. It appears to have been a wise financial decision. Here are some pictures.

Guest room

Guest room

Game room and bar

Game room and bar

Dining room

Dining room

View of the building from outside

View of the building from outside

After our tour at Michie Tavern, we headed back up the road to visit Ash Lawn – Highland, which was the home of President James Monroe. It wasn’t as big and elegant as Monticello, but the guide told us a lot of history about James Monroe as well as some history on the house. Later owners purchased the house and added onto it over time, then left it in their estate to William and Mary college, which now owns the property and runs the tours and gift shops. It was an interesting place to visit. Pictures follow (as with Monticello, photography was not allowed in the main house).

Guest room in an exterior building.

Guest room in an exterior building.

Statue of James Monroe

Statue of James Monroe

Plaque

Plaque

The actual house (later additions to the left).

The actual house (later additions to the left).

Requisite artsy shot from the garden path.

Requisite artsy shot from the garden path.

After our trifecta of historical sightseeing, we headed into Charlottesville to find a Walgreens to fill one of Malcolm’s prescriptions. Once we had that in hand, we drove down to historic downtown Charlottesville and walked up and down the Main Street area, which has long been closed to traffic, making it a nice stroll among the shops and restaurants lining the road.

We had dinner at Citizen Burger Bar. It was really good and we ended up each bringing half of our burgers home with us. They were big. Once back at the trailer, Malcolm emptied tanks and started unhooking the cable and water (we will run on the pump and tank). He also stowed the bikes on the carrier and covered them up. That leaves us less to do in the morning when we hook up to head to Urbanna.

 

End of the Week

Current Location: Misty Mountain Camp Resort, Greenwood, Virginia

Not a whole lot going on the last two days. Malcolm worked both yesterday and today but is now done for three weeks. Val did chores around the trailer, Malcolm helped some. We’ve gotten some cleaning done, the laundry is done, groceries are bought for the next week or so.

Yesterday about all we did away from the trailer was to run to the grocery store and pick up a few things for next week. Today, we trekked into town and had beverages at Starbucks and updated our devices using their wifi.

Malcolm has been trying to remember everyone to change our address since our house is no longer our house. Some places are more challenging than others to change an address. Our health and dental insurance providers tended to be more difficult than others. Most everyone else lets you change your address online. Malcolm also submitted our new address to his employer, who will make it effective starting next pay period (Texas, no state income tax, woohoo!).

One picture for today, the scenic farm in the valley on the way to the Greenwood, Virginia post office:

Scenery

Scenery

The plan for tomorrow is to visit Monticello, Mitchie Tavern (for the tour this time) and Highland-Ash Lawn. We purchased a multi-ticket for all three locations online this evening. Those are printed out and ready to go.