Colder Temps, The Toad, Projects, and Time with Family + Friends

During the back half of October and through November we had plenty to keep us busy. Hence why I’m behind on my blog posts. I’m finally finding time to catch up a bit.

While visiting family in Michigan we finally found our “toad”. That’s RV speak for the vehicle to flat tow behind our RV. Shane just happened to be perusing used vehicles for sale online and found one in Toledo, OH. On a Tuesday we drove the 2 hours to look at it and decided it was the one for us. The price was right, it was clean, and no rust in the usual spots for a mid-western vehicle. It had 4wd and could be flat towed, meaning I could finally ride along instead of driving separately. For those of you following the blog, you know this is the final piece of the puzzle. With 6 months under our belt it was nice to finally have it complete. The toad hook-up would come a month later as there was work to be done to get it ready but at least we had it.

Now we only had a few days to sell the gold Volvo as we had plans to depart the end of the week. We asked Shane’s brother if he would handle the transaction if we did the advertising so we could leave the car behind. He said “of course”. But it seems fate had other plans for us. While running the gold Volvo through the carwash we jokingly told the guy “you know you want to buy this car”, it was practically as old as he was. Long story short, we drove it around for him to get some pictures for some guys he knew who might be interested. But it turned out he was interested. By Friday of the same week it was sold and gone to the carwash guy!

For those who do not know, we traded our nicer/newer Volvo wagon for this older gold Volvo sedan to get rid of the car payment. That was back in July.

That in itself is a funny side story. Please feel free to skip ahead if you aren’t interested but I must say Shane has a knack for selling Volvo’s without ever advertising them. Back in late spring/early summer Shane met a couple at the water spigot in McCormick’s Creek. The gentleman, Bill commented on the car and Shane told him it was for sale. Long story short again. He came by that afternoon and said he wanted to buy our car and he was willing to wait until we found a replacement. A couple of months later he offered the option to buy his older Volvo as a stop gap vehicle until we found our toad. And that is exactly what we did in July. And now its come full circle, 2 Volvo’s later we finally have our Jeep Grand Cherokee, a flat towable and off road capable vehicle. Although if you’ve been following the blog you know we took the gold car off road quite by accident and it survived.

Now with the toad secured it was time to head back through Indianapolis to take care of some business, work on projects, and visit people near and dear to our hearts.

A special thanks to Kitty and Fargo for the hospitality as I needed an overnight stay on the northside of Indy. I had some family photography sessions scheduled near them. Shane stayed behind with Ralphie in Michigan for this short trip. This was one of the resident kitties snuggling with me. I already forgot his/her name (middle aged brain). I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with our friends while also getting the opportunity to do some photography work.

With one of the photo sessions cancelled due to rain and some Miata work to do while on the northside of Indy, we spent the following weekend at this campground in the country. A perfect spot to park it while taking care of business. Mick was a joy to work with and gave us the best spot. Too bad it rained most of the weekend and we couldn’t fully enjoy all of the space we had. Glowood Campground was perfect for our needs and near our friends’ house making it the perfect weekend spot.

From there it was finally time to venture back to the southside of Indianapolis to see the kids after 4 months away. We made up for lost time. Lunch everyday with Amanda (she works from home), shared dinners at night, cocktails to unwind, and plenty of three dog nights. (Click on the images to make them larger.)

While parked at their place we finally worked on the flooring and painting projects. Our time at their house was broke up into two separate stays as we had other things to tackle and friends to see. The first stint, finishing our painting project was the top priority. We wanted to make the rig more homelike with paint covering the normal boring RV walls. Our bedroom became a construction zone (we slept in the over cab area during this phase). Turns out picking the paint for the bedroom turned out to be a bit tougher than expected. We couldn’t decide on a blue. The first one we picked was not the right one. Back to the drawing board and we finally found the right one.

One night we took a break. The kids’ took us to their favorite spots downtown on Mass Ave. A winery and duckpin bowling, all were dog friendly. The four humans and the three dogs had a blast!

Next up we had some work to do to the Jeep and we had access to a shop. That proved to be an interesting stay. What was supposed to be a one night stay turned into 2 nights and 2 trips to the auto parts store in the RV (the Jeep was on the lift). What an adventure. With FedEx planes flying right overhead all hours of the day and night and parked in an industrial park it was not ideal but we survived.

Next we parked it at our friend Troy’s place in the country, not far from our old place. It was wonderful to catch up with him and other friends during our stay. Shane worked on finishing the flooring project and reorganizing his “shop” area with a better slightly bigger toolbox (not pictured).

Our final week in Indiana was during the Thanksgiving holiday. The weather was trying to force us out but we hung on with plenty of propane used to heat the rig. Some nights the low was in the upper 20’s/lower 30’s (Fahrenheit). Sure we could have slept in the kids’ house in the spare bedroom but we love sleeping in our “house”. Despite the colder temperatures we loved the quality time spent with the kids. A ton of time with the three dogs & we loved every minute both at “our place” and theirs. We even managed to harvest some solar during our stay.

Our time spent In Indiana was priceless. Sure we were ready to move on to warmer temperatures and more exploration. However, the time spent with family and friends was worth the colder temperatures.

I made gumbo one night to keep us warm. Homemade sushi on thanksgiving day was awesome. Followed by Friendsgiving complete with turkey and a fried duck and all of the fixings (not pictured). Finally getting around to hanging one of our UP decorations and somehow I managed to win NaNoWriMo. (The goal: to write 50,000 words in the month of November). It was a whirlwind month filled with laughter, good food and company.

While we were in Indiana we had the privilege of catching up with the following friends & family: Kitty, Fargo, Triston + Amanda, Heather + Woody, Craig + Cindy, Mike, Bruce M, Troy + Toni + Alex, Finney, Justin, Bruce C, Jeannie, Bruce D + Brenda, Lisa + Mike, Tyler, Edwin, Baruch + Nicole , and Dean. And our canine friends, Justice, Drax, Cooper, Lucy and Havarti.

Finally, a special thanks to Troy, Bruce D + Brenda and Lisa for our alcoholic gifts , you know Shamy all too well. Thanks to the kids and Troy for the place to park it during our stay in Indiana. And thanks to Mike for the use of the shop and lift.

Tequila, Tequila liqueur, moonshine, and Snoop Dog wine (wish I had a picture of the bottle)

And the final piece of the puzzle was put into place as we departed the kids on November 29, 2021, the toad found it’s rightful place.

We hooked it up and tested everything out in a church parking lot. Off we go in search of warmer temperatures!

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