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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #171  
Old 02-14-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCSS View Post
Something to be said for that 5 gallon bucket out behind the trees
Ha!
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Dawn Hollis
David's wife
Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #172  
Old 02-16-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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I didn't sleep very well that night on our queen sized foam mattress. We had clean sheets on the bed, several blankets and even a comforter if we needed it in the air-conditioned night. David and I like our bedroom to be as cool as possible when we sleep and the BMC's air conditioners (one each in the bedroom and the living area) work very well. They put out the chill.

I tried to sleep, but my worries about meeting the other campers kept me awake. On nights when I worry, I will read a book to get my mind off of whatever nags me or until I get drowsy. That night, I wasn't worried about how long I read because we were on vacation and could sleep in!

Our BMC has a queen sized bed in the center of the back wall. A built-in padded blue headboard is centered under overhead bins. Small lights mounted under the bins are convenient for reading, writing or just finding your way to bed at night.

There are tiny nightstands on either side of the bed: tiny drawers topped with a little bitty piece of same white Corian that's in the kitchen and bathroom. An outlet on the wall above each nightstand is handy to charge our phones at night.

My phone has Amazon's kindle app on it and it allows me to read any one of the 5,421 books on my list. I like to read, but I'm also cheap so most of those books were free. I subscribe to and take advantage of several free book deal-of-the-day emails.

Giving away a free book is a great marketing tool. Most of the free books are the first in a series. If it's a good story, you naturally want to continue reading about the characters and their challenges and triumphs. So, you would buy the rest of the series.

But wait! There's more! Amazon has a great subscription, called Kindle Unlimited you can buy for a small monthly amount. It allows you to read even more books for free. I think it's a great deal. Many of the series' continuations are in that subscription. Without the subscription, books are anywhere from .99 to $13.

Sometimes, the first book is free, but the rest of the series is NOT on the Unlimited list. In that case, I regretfully say goodbye to the characters, wish them well in their adventures and then I choose my next book.
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Dawn Hollis
David's wife
Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #173  
Old 02-20-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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Location: Sherman
Posts: 140
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Eventually, I dropped off to sleep after reading for several hours. We woke up late and got ready for the day. I took a deep breath and voyaged out into the campground with David.

We walked around a little bit looking at the different coaches. They were just beautiful. All different colors, styles, and shapes. I noticed that in the front windows of nearly all the Blue Birds, there was a lovely piece of art with names on them. They were all interesting, creative and beautiful. David would point to one and say he'd met that couple at a previous rally, or regularly talked to this guy on the WOG forum.

As we walked, I made a mental note to look on Amazon or Etsy for name signs like some of those I saw. David had printed our names on a piece of notebook paper and stuck it in our front window the night before. Now I saw why he had done that.

The campground seemed deserted until we got to the little clubhouse. We stopped and talked to a couple walking by. They told us that most of the men had gone shopping at the surplus stores. While we were talking, the lady who had come out of the little building stopped to talk and invite us to her painting class. I decided to do that so David could go shopping at the mechanical salvage and surplus stores with the rest of the guys.

David wanted to go with the rest of the men to but we had left the bus too late. I wanted him to have fun and go, but he was content walking with me until I was comfortable. I felt pretty foolish because my anxiety for all these weeks had been completely pointless. Now that we had walked around a little and encountered some nice people, I knew I would be fine. I encouraged him to go find the men and hit the stores. He knew where they were.

I was surprised when I saw what we were painting in the class. It was one of those pictures with our name on it that was in the front windows of all the Blue Birds. How fun!

There were several designs to choose from in the class and I chose to paint 2 cuddling bluebirds in a nest. I thought that when I chose it, there would be a template or something. Nope. I was given a canvas, a pencil and the example. I had to copy it freehand as best as I could, using my previously untried artistic ability. I did my best, but, oh my, I was unsure about how it was going to turn out. My pencil drawing was a mess.
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Dawn Hollis
David's wife
Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #174  
Old 02-23-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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I was in the painting class at the campground and sketched out a pencil drawing on a canvas. I am no artist so I made a mess of my little canvas.

The talented lady doing the class assured me that the paint would cover all the pencil stuff right up and it would be beautiful. I trusted her and started painting.

I mixed some colors for my background, birds and nest. I even sketched in the lettering for our names, but I used a big sharpie marker to do the letters.

What a wonderful and relaxing way to spend the day, creating and bonding with some ladies. When we were all finished, we took turns touring each other's Blue Birds. One lady had an older bus than ours and another had a newer bus. I still liked ours best.

I carried my new painted name thing back to the bus and put it on the table to dry. I was so excited that I couldn't nap so I read a bit. When David came back, he admired my art piece and proudly put it in the front window.

He had had a good time when he caught up to the rest of the men, but had missed much of the shopping. David took a little snooze and I read a book before we headed out to meet the rest of the Blue Bird folks at a restaurant in a nearby town.

One of the ladies in the painting class and her husband rode with us to the restaurant and we sat at a table together. I really enjoyed the food and the company. Afterward, we all walked around the huge parking lot next door where they were having a car show. I'm not a car kind of girl, but those old cars and trucks were just gorgeous.

David had a great time talking cars and gearhead stuff with all the guys while I bonded with the women. We liked the colors and the shapes of the cars while the guys liked the engines.

We got back early enough to take a walk through the campground and look at a bunch of the Blue Birds. We stopped at a bus where the owner was selling some items and he showed us what cool things he had done to improve his bus. We bought some little yellow boxes from him. The innovation and imagination of these folks is impressive.
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Dawn Hollis
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Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #175  
Old 02-23-2017
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Skidder Skidder is offline
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Dawn:

I think you missed your calling. Real nice painting to put in your window while at rallies.

Although I don't own my own bird, (can't get my wife on board), I have been monitoring this forum nearly every day for many years now, and can attest to your good fortune in meeting up with these other bird owners.m,

Even though I have never met any of them, after years of reading their post's and especially there providing help and encouragement to "new bird owners", you are in good hand. Good luck to your and David in your travels. God Bless.
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  #176  
Old 02-24-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so sorry that your wife that your wife isn't interested in Blue Birds. They are the most fun and the best built motorhomes ever! We hope that she changes her mind and we see you soon!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidder View Post
Dawn:

I think you missed your calling. Real nice painting to put in your window while at rallies.

Although I don't own my own bird, (can't get my wife on board), I have been monitoring this forum nearly every day for many years now, and can attest to your good fortune in meeting up with these other bird owners.m,

Even though I have never met any of them, after years of reading their post's and especially there providing help and encouragement to "new bird owners", you are in good hand. Good luck to your and David in your travels. God Bless.
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Dawn Hollis
David's wife
Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #177  
Old 02-27-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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That night, we both slept well and we slept in the next morning. When I got up, I was marveling about how much fun this camping business is as I got ready for the day.

The night before, we had decided to go to the very cool RV museum in Elkhart, Indiana with the couple who rode with us to the restaurant. They were from Sarasota, Florida. He is a guy that traveled around the country putting together big dollar charity motorcycle races and such a great guy. She is the epitome of a Southern woman. She drawls just as sweet as can be. I loved listening to her talk. She could have recited the phone book and I would have sat there with a smile on my face, listening to her voice. She had worked for the sheriff's dept in Sarasota. They're interesting and lovely people and I just loved them both. The guys both seemed to enjoy talking about motors and mechanical stuff. We ladies talked about everything else.

By the time we got out of the museum, it was way past lunch and we were famished. We stopped to eat at the first random restaurant we came to and it ended up having fairly good food.

When we got back, we dropped them off at the RV park so they could walk their dog and David and I went shopping for the potluck planned for the next day. We went to 2 grocery stores before we found a few quarts of strawberries. These Amish stores are not well stocked like I'm used to. People in Shipshewana must be mostly Amish and grow all their own produce because there was hardly any produce of any kind in any of the grocery stores.

As you drive by the farms, you can see the Amish working in their huge gardens. They look like pretty amazing workers. That night, after we had been to the store, a little pony-drawn cart came through the RV park with 3 little kids in it selling jams, strawberries and eggs. The little salesman was about 10 years old and the other 2 were younger. The 2 younger kids seemed to be terrified of all the campers because they watched us all warily like we were going to turn into spiders in front of them and attack.

The rest of the evening was spent visiting with Blue Bird folks, touring buses including a newly redone and poshly decorated Vogue...which is another kind of motorhome but is NOT a Blue Bird. There's nothing like a Blue Bird! I love ours. What a great time we were having in Amish country!
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Dawn Hollis
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1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #178  
Old 03-02-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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In Shipshewana, we slept in every day until 9am or beyond. This was unprecedented because David was up every day at 430am. Every day. Even Sundays. The first time we slept in til 10am, I panicked and checked to see that David was still breathing next to me. He was. So I went back to sleep.

I may have written about showering in the bus previously. If so, please forgive me. It impressed me so much that I made several notes of it.

Before I showered in the bus, I imagined that the shower would spray an unsatisfactory mixture of mostly air and water or maybe it would have such low pressure that it would dribble a little stream of water that would make showering frustrating, but I was completely wrong.

At home we have a well and we try to conserve water because the water supply is not endless. I usually wet myself down, wash my face, shampoo, rinse, then condition and shut the water off. I soap my body, turn the water back on and rinse everything. I'm done in 10 minutes. Well, on the bus, it's much like that, except that I turn the water off while I shampoo and wash my face too. The water stream in the shower on the bus is actually pretty strong and it takes less time to rinse off than it does in our house shower. It was nice to be wrong about that.

On Saturday afternoon, we had the Blue Bird Pot Luck. What a hoot! People from all over the USA were there, so we had lots of regional dishes to sample. There was a ton of food and as more people came, there was even more food. It was a feast! I brought strawberry fluff salad because we love it and it was gone quickly. It's sweet and kind of healthy (strawberries are in it...that's fruit. Supposed to be good for you, ya know!)

There were people sitting on picnic tables under the shelter, but they couldn't hold everyone. Many lawn chairs were scattered on the grass in circles and waves and groups. It was so much fun to sit down and talk to someone we hadn't met yet. And then someone we had met sat down and joined in the conversation and laughter.

What a joy these rallies are. The thing everyone has in common is their love and fascination for the Blue Bird motor coaches. It was so much fun. Sharing time with so many different people with that one thing in common was indescribable. The closest thing I can come up with is that it was like a big family. I've never experienced anything like it.
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Dawn Hollis
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1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #179  
Old 03-09-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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After the potluck, a couple of the Blue Bird owners who lived nearby invited everyone to their barn for dessert and games. They said they had some old arcade games in their barn.

In my head I pictured wandering around a hay dusted dirt floor petting the horses in a few stalls. In a couple of the unoccupied stalls, there might be some pinball machines from some old honky tonk bar with beer and peanut shells still stuck to the legs. They might have a bowling game from Chuck E. Cheese with dried up french fries inside and maybe a classic midwestern plywood cornhole/beanbag toss game scattered around. I imagined old farm tools decorating the walls from generations past.

The invitation came from a down to earth, kind and humble couple who just happened to have a Blue Bird that was nearly identical to ours. You know that they were just awesome and had exquisite taste!

I was pretty tired from all the activities we had done all week, and wasn't sure I wanted to play games in a barn. We washed our potluck dishes and rested a few minutes and decided we would go and stay just a few minutes. I planned to pet all the animals and help out with some chores if things needed to be done. It wouldn't be the first time this small town girl has helped out in a barn.

We followed the directions and parked across the road from the house. There was no barn on the property that we could see. We followed some other late-comers to the back of the house and entered the lower level.

Walking through the sliding glass doors was like entering another world. It took my breath away and I just stood in the doorway with my mouth hanging open.
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Dawn Hollis
David's wife
Sherman, Illinois
1994 Blue Bird BMC
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  #180  
Old 03-13-2017
dawnhollis dawnhollis is offline
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Walking through the sliding glass doors was like entering another world. At first, we just stood in the doorway and took in all the sights and sounds.

Dinging and pinging were coming from every side of the room. Clanging bells, whistles and loud electronic music bombarded us as we walked in.

Pinball machines lined the back left side of the room with another row visible beyond the door to the next room. To the left of the door was a big screen TV and more arcade game machines lining the wall. Stadium seats filled with people faced the TV that was blaring out a car race. To the right of the door were people playing more arcade games and those machines whirred and played music.

Because we were blocking the door, David and I walked to the right, around the air hockey table in the middle of the room toward the jukebox on the right wall. We were headed to the back right side of the room where the desserts and drinks were set up on a big bar. Some folks were sitting on bar stools, eating.

Beyond the bar was the staircase, and more people playing pinball on the machines underneath the stairs. We heard a TV on upstairs with some kind of sports game playing but I didn't go upstairs because I didn't want to disturb what I assumed was their family.

What a fun thing to fill your basement with arcade games. I bet the kids in their family loved being here! I would have never thought of doing that! Wow! They called this their barn! It was incredible!

We had some dessert and had a water while we watched people play games and enjoy themselves. I saw the hostess and thanked her for inviting us all here to her barn. She said it was a lot of fun for her and her husband. They loved to be able to use the property for fun get-togethers with family and friends. They actually lived next door and bought the property when it was put on the market to give their large family space and privacy when they were visiting the area.

She gave us a little tour of the place. It was a lovely house and such a great place for guests. The tour wound up, and we went back downstairs.

I saw that everyone was gone, so I thanked our hostess once again and told her we should be on our way back to the campground. She looked a little disappointed and a little confused, as well. And then she asked us if we were going to go down to the barn. The barn? I thought that's what you were calling this house. Oh no, she laughed, her eyes gleaming mischievously. She said it was next door. She walked out the door with us and we followed her through the trees.
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1994 Blue Bird BMC
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