Monday, March 29, 2010

First Official Moving Day - What an Experience!

Today was our first moving day! Moving days are always on Mondays.

We moved from Kelso, WA to Lacey, WA. We are at South Sound Center Mall, exit 108 off I5.


There was excitement in the air this morning as we woke. Our first moving day with the carnival. We had all of 70 miles to go. I think the excitement was mine and Ron's as everyone else just seemed anxious to get things ready to move and then do it.

Weather wise the day looked good. A bit overcast with peeks made by the sun. The goal was to be on the road by 11:00 a.m.

We woke up about 9:30 this morning. Ron made hazel nut coffee - boy did it smell good. Ron tried to hook Maggie (our Magellan GPS system ~ thanks Jamie and Suzanne ~ we expect to get lots of use out of it) up so we could plan the route from Kelso to Lacey. It would not stay powered on. So Ron tried to start the motor home - it wouldn't budge. In looking for things that could be wrong, Ron figured out we had left the levelers in the on position (something to add to our check list when we set up). So he did what needed to be done. He jumped the engine battery with the house batteries (good thing we have a double set up). It started right up ~ yippee!!

We programmed Maggie for the trip to Lacey including a stop to do laundry. We then readied the motor home for travel: moving stuff on the counters into the sinks in the bathroom and kitchen, locking the fridge and freezer so they don't swing open unexpectedly, rolled the rug that goes outside the front door, unlocked the step so it would retract whenever the door is closed, moved the laundry hamper from the front seat to the back of the motor home, disconnected the water and electricity and finally took the curtain off the front window and raised the levelers.

A couple of the guys wanted to ride with us so in jumped James and Michael. Michael knew where we were going and what rest area to stop at to dump the holding tanks. We pulled out at 11:02 a.m. Right on schedule.

We had an uneventful trip to Lacey though James got a little frustrated when we said no smoking in our rig. He was so thankful when we stopped at the rest area to dump our tanks. Don't know if he will ride with us again. But our rules are our rules. And not smoking in our motor home is one rule I am not negotiable on. Michael is a smoker but he did not seem to mind. It was nice to have Michael along for the ride as we learned a little more about life with the carnival.

Michael told us the plan is that we all convene where we park our rigs and the condo's and everyone helps set up. He had a word for it but I can't remember what it's called. I will find out and share that with you after our next move. It took from about 12:30 to 4:30 to get all the trailers, fifth wheels, and the only motor home (ours) set up with electricity and water. It takes everyone to pull electrical lines from the electrical box to behind the rigs. Each rig is set up by those who live in it. The people who live in the condo's have to help set up their condo. It is easy to tell who has done this before and those who are new at this. Lots of bossiness from those who know what they are doing to those who don't. It started raining about 3:30. I came into the motor home where it was warm ~ Ron stayed out and helped to finish up the water and electricity set up. Another job that had to be done was to move the porta-pottys over to behind the rigs. They had been put along the fence at the end of the parking lot.

After all the rigs were hooked up to water and electricity. People went to their own rigs or condo to get set up. We are going to be here for two week so in our rig we set up the TV and Wii, moved stuff from out of the sinks and back onto the counters. We thought the plan was going to be that we would go do laundry and pick up groceries after everyone was set up. We had made plans to go with Diane, Rose and Marva to do that. After waiting around for about an hour ~ it was now about 5:30 p.m. Diane came over to our rig and asked if we could go and do laundry and grocery shopping tomorrow. I told her that would be fine as she and I are both off tomorrow. She was waiting for Eric to show up with their trailer and it would be another couple of hours before he arrived. He had run into some problems and had to get some electrical wiring fixed before he could leave Vancouver. He did not work last week so stayed in Vancouver until today. So instead of going to do laundry and grocery shopping I got out the computer and started reading emails and catching up here on my blog.

About 6:00 Ron came into the motor home. He had been out walking around and burning off some energy. Ron set up the DVD player so we could watch a movie tonight. While he was doing that I made dinner. Nothing fancy tonight as I was going to buy some chicken at the store but that is put off till tomorrow. So we had rice, hot dogs and cheesy tortillas.

One of my observations about moving day ~ you hurry and wait a lot. Everyone is anxious to get out of the old campsite but not everyone moves at the same speed. So we hurried to Lacey to only have to wait for someone to tell us where to park. They definitely have a system to how things are done. I just kept telling myself I was so thankful I was not the one in charge. Leave that to someone else. That way if there are problems no one will be yelling at me.

One story from today ~ Pat, one of the ride managers and the one in charge of setting up the camp today had gotten his fifth wheel into place. Set up his Direct TV which was no easy task as we are backed up to some trees and then threatened anyone who bumped his set up. A couple of the younger guys were not watching where they were walking and almost walked right into his set up. Pat yelled, they jumped and moved quickly away. I heard rumors that Pat's threat was if anyone knocked down his satellite system they would be in big trouble. Boy did those boys move away fast. Don't know what Pat would have done but no one wanted to find out.

One of the rules we found out about working/traveling with the carnival is that we are not allowed to wander the malls or eat at certain restaurants. Here in Lacey it is Applebees. We are not sure of the reason behind the rules, no one seems to know why, just that we are not to do that. Good thing we did not know that last Tuesday when we pulled into Kelso because the first thing Ron and I did was walk through Three Rivers Mall and go shopping at Target. They are right next to each other. Sometime when I am working with Theresa I will ask her the reason for that rule. Ron and I wonder if it is the negative atmosphere that has been associated with carnivals in the past.

Another rule we found out about is that we are fortunate to have our own rig and not live in the condos. If you live in the condos you cannot have any visitors to your condo room. There is no drinking or smoking in them either. Because we are in our own rig we can smoke if we want - we don't! and there are no rules about drinking. A good thing because Ron has had a beer a couple of times after working. We can understand about the no smoking and no drinking in the condos because of liability issues. One of the things we noticed was that if a smoker dropped a cigarette but someone was yelling at them to pick up their trash. Us and visitors ~ we can have visitors in our own rig ~ so if you are in the area sometime give me a call and if we are off we would love to get together. In speaking with Theresa, the owners of Fantastic Shows, the Burbanks, run a tight ship and they don't tolerate people who abuse the rules and for that Ron and I are thankful.

We are all settled in now. We have had dinner, Ron got the DVD player working and so now we are watching a movie and doing stuff on the computer.

Sure hope you enjoyed reading about moving day.

4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading your moving day experiences, glad you have your own rig!

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  2. Ali, this post was so interesting! Thanks for sharing all of that great info on how the carnivals operate. Too bad we aren't in Tumwater right now as it is very near Lacey and I could stop by and meet you!

    I totally agree with you about NO smoking in the RV. It just stinks everything up. It is your rig and it was nice of you to offer the guys the ride.

    Can't wait to read more about this great adventure of yours.

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  3. This is a great post, Alice. Love the interesting details and you are writing just like we are having a visit telling me things I would not even know to ask! Wonder what would be the closest location to us that you will be at. I'll have to get the map of Washington and Oregon out so that Jonathan, Noah, Ethan and I can find where you are and where you'll be going! I will send you an email today also. It is raining here and that seems like a great thing to do, write about what is happening! Thank you for the inspiration! God Bless You! Roxine

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  4. great post with such interesting info about the carnival life. It will be very interesting to learn why you are not allowed to eat at certain places. Hmmmmm....

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