Here is “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” of my month-long trial run at full timing in the Austin Pecan Grove RV Park. (It’s every new RVers rite of passage to use that title just once, right? )
Location, Location, Location – The Pecan Grove Campground could not be in a better place for entertainment value. You see all the traffic streaming in from all directions to go to Zilker Park, attend the Reggae festival or Thursday night live music at the Shady Grove, and you realize you don’t need to jockey for a place to park – you are already parked there!
AT&T sucks pretty much everywhere. I spent way too much time worrying about my data plan through Verizon, and not enough time worrying about the phone service over this new, fan dangled fancy iphone5. I love it for a “mini-computer,” but it sure makes a lousy telephone!
In prepping to take my virtual job on the road, all I had to say was “As a company, we are not a telephone culture” for them to schedule five conference calls a day while I was here. Finally, brother Don crafted a way for me to load an app on the iphone using AT&T service to make a call over my VOIP service provider, using Verizon Millenicom data. Double-dipping? Yes. But at least I did not have to answer every call with “Can ya hear me now?”
My objective during my trial month of full timing was to learn as much about the RV as possible while parked in a city with resources readily available. And learn, I did.
During the wide temperature swings here in Austin, from 90 down to 40 and back a few times, I learned a lot about climate control. I have two heaters! One 110V and one propane! I have two hot water heaters! One 110V and one propane! Lesson learned: Always look around for a second button that looks different before you run through all your propane in the first week.
I learned that you cannot stay in a city RV park without a “sewer donut.” (Just that name sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?) It is a handy screw mechanism that makes it virtually impossible to have a hazardous waste spill, even for me! I had to ask the Manager a question about its use, to which he responded by glaring at me and saying, “You been here three weeks. You just now dumpin’???” I replied, “New RVer. “ He just shook his head and laughed.
I learned that regardless of what the weather forecast is, if I have a conference call scheduled with the boss or the client, the skies are going to open up and all hell is going to break loose, pelting buckets from every direction and even a few small hailstones thrown in, just to make them ask, “Suzanne? Where you calling from? Baghdad??” I even went so far as building a fort over my head with my duvet at one point to try to block out the noise.
When I first moved to Manhattan back in 1993, someone told me you couldn’t call yourself a “true Manhattan-ite” until you had moved twice. I wonder if the same holds for calling oneself a “full timer?”
After a beautiful month here in Austin, I am pulling in the slide and heading to the next destination. I will swing by the “domicile” and check on the parents, pack up the rest of my belongings and clear out of the last year’s house sitting gig, and then I guess it’s official….I am a “full timer!” Eastward Ho!