Monday, October 10, 2011

Life is a Big Adventure - October 10, 2011

Quite a bit has happened in our lives since we last "talked."

Bob and I were both laid off our jobs
within four days of each other (from two different companies) at the end of June. Lay offs for both of us were due to "elimination of position due to budget cuts."

At that point we had a couple of options as to how we wanted to live our lives: 1) stay in Hawaii, rent an apartment, and get new jobs (security) or 2) move to the mainland, buy a 5th wheel and truck, travel the mainland and work our way across the country for a few years (adventure). We chose the latter.

Bob went back to work temporarily for his former company (the one before the one he was laid off from) after an eight-month absence. He is now a project manager at a greatly reduced rate of pay (his choice), but it's way MORE than unemployment was paying him. 

I've been offered three jobs, one of which I would have LOVED at The Plaza Club in downtown Honolulu, but I couldn't accept it as we made our decision right at that time to go to the mainland.

At the end of September we used Hawaiian Air Miles and flew to Portland where we stayed with my mom for two weeks. During that time, we bought a sapphire blue, 2000 Ford F350, 7.3 liter, extended-cab pickup truck and a 2003 33' 5th wheel trailer. Our truck is currently getting the 5th wheel installed to tow the trailer.

Finding the 5th wheel was the most fun. We went to the Fall RV show at the Portland, OR Expo Center and RV dealerships all over the Portland/Vancouver area, criss-crossing the town a few times. We liked a number of the 5th wheels we saw and most were in very good condition. On our way back to Tigard, Oregon from Sandy, Oregon, I saw a Camping World in Wood Village which had a lot of 5th wheels and RVs on the lot. I was already in the left-hand turn lane to get on the freeway, but decided the units looked good enough for a detour. People were nice enough to let me cross two lanes of traffic to go to Camping World. I think the 5th wheel was calling my name. 

Camping World had a whole row of 5th wheels. We liked the 33' Presidential Holiday Rambler, BUT there were still two more 5th wheels on the other side of town in Hillsboro that we wanted to see; one we were going back for a second look (33' Jayco Eagle) and one we hadn't seen--a 38' something or other. 

The next day we were up early to go to Hillsboro and re-look at the Jayco Eagle and a couple of other rigs at Curtis. Then we went to Hillsboro Camping World to check out the 38' rig. To me, the 38' rig was just too big for our first 5th wheel...the thing was sooooo long! I couldn't imagine towing it. It also was the most different of all the 5th wheels we'd seen. The living room was in the front, up a couple of steps, over the 5th wheel and was open to the kitchen and living room below. To its credit, there was a fireplace in the living room. The bedroom was in the back, with a second exterior door that went right into the bedroom! I thought that was kind of weird. 

We narrowed our choice to the 33' Jayco Eagle and the 33' Presidential Holiday Rambler. In the end, we decided on the Holiday Rambler and drove all the way back across town to seal the deal. Now we needed a pickup truck to pull it. 

Here's our story about how we got our used pickup truck: Bob saw an ad on craigslist for a blue, 2000, Ford F350, 7.3 liter at a small dealership in Portland. We had been having a hard time finding that particular truck with a 7.3 liter engine. We went to the lot and searched for the truck. The salesperson who helped us didn't know anything about it. (He was new, only at the lot three days.) 

We got into our car and started to pull away from the curb. Coming onto the small side street we were leaving, was a beautiful sapphire blue Ford F350 extended cab pickup truck and it pulled into the lot we had just left. We re-parked the car and marched right back into the dealership to ask if that was the truck advertised on craigslist. Sure enough, it was. If we had left two minutes sooner we would have missed "our" truck. Apparently they had it out for detailing which was why it looked so shiny and beautiful.

We got back together with our salesperson, examined the truck, took it for a test drive and called a friend of ours who lived about 1/4 mile away to take a look at it for us. (He is a pretty good mechanic and takes pickups and airplanes apart and rebuilds them.) He told us the truck had been used pretty heavily. To me, that meant it had been broken in. LOL. He had us take it to a transmission shop for a pull test, which the truck passed. We bought it on the spot.

Back  home in Hawaii, we went to Defcon 1. A lot needed to be done to get ourselves moved.

This past week our Matson shipping container was in front of our home from Tuesday to Thursday and we loaded it with belongings which will either go in our storage unit, go with us in the 5th wheel or go to family members.

Once the Matson container was taken to the dock, I spent two days getting all our remaining possessions ready for a two-day moving sale. I had already sold most of our furniture on craigslist so we had to rent six 8' tables to put our smaller stuff on. What a chore! On Friday night, I got two hours sleep and on Saturday night I didn't sleep at all. (Although we did take about a three-hour nap on Saturday afternoon.)

We sold Bob's Honda Ridgeline about a month ago to pay off the Honda loan. This Wednesday my car is being shipped to Seattle. My car is also paid off.

Bob's last day at work will most likely be Oct. 21 which is when our house is expected to close. We will fly to Portland around Oct. 21, pick up our truck and trailer, put our container contents in storage, load our 5th wheel, go to Seattle to get my car, then we will both drive to Fallon, NV (about an hour southeast of Reno) to our campsite.

Both of us have jobs from Oct. 30 to Dec. 23 at's warehouse in Fernley, NV for the Christmas season.
We're going to be "elves," fulfilling people's Christmas wishes (orders). We will work four 10-hour days with some overtime and could walk up to ten miles a day! Look for leaner, meaner versions of us by December 23. LOL.

After that job, we will most likely go to Las Vegas and spend Christmas/New Year's with Bob's family. We may stay in Vegas for tax season and Bob can do taxes and I can work for a temp agency doing admin work. In the summer, we think it would be awesome to work at Yellowstone National Park, a place we both love.

So it looks like we're on our way to our life's new adventure! I am so excited!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that IS an adventure, and a big step. Amazing decision that you made to turn what could have been a terrible time into a new exciting future for yourselves.


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