Trip Notes

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March 25, 2009


By Lynn Difley
We just got back from a family shared vacation in Hawaii, a celebration of the end of a long, difficult two years, and the beginning of a new page in all our lives. It is the first vacation I can remember that was not in our beloved RV and that pointed up some of the good and bad to be found in our wonderful home on wheels lifestyle.

My own bed. This was a big deal for me, bigger than I thought. When I was younger, I could sleep any time, any place. I could and frequently did, flop down on the floor with a blow up mattress and I was good for 7-8 hours of sleep. I found out those days are gone. Another bed is just not your own bed. Whether you like it hard or soft, double wide or a single, flannel sheets or percale, piles of blankets or a duvet, a pile of pillows or one small neck ring, even the familiar lumps of your own sleeping platform
welcomes and encourages total relaxation and rejuvenating rest in a way an unfamiliar bed does not.

maui_group_iao_needle_04706The lights, the noises, the smells and the temperature. These have all changed with a change in bedroom, and this change, whether good or bad can be unsettling to the unconscious mind.

The kitchen. Our condo offered a completely stocked kitchen, down to condiments donated by previous guests, but they were not our own (albeit not up to Martha Stewart standards) familiar kitchen supplies. The teakettle, for example, had a bad leak somewhere on the spout. Now ours is old and the paint is chipped off what was once a whimsical Pennsylvania Dutch design, but it doesn’t leak. Believe me, dodging scalding hot water first thing in the morning is not a welcome way to start out the day. We quickly learned to place the coffee cups in the sink and pour from a distance, to avoid a front of body scald.

lynn_and laurie_maui_condoThe laundry facilities. Here the condo wins out, hands down. To be able to dump wet towels and suits in the drier, muddy hiking clothes in the washer, and set it off for a spin while you shower and reconnoiter is a delicious luxury. The thought of hauling it all down to the local Laundromat and sitting around watching the spin cycle instead of taking another snorkeling trip was horrifying. Maybe that’s why I wait until the last sock has been worn before I head to the Laundromat–just not my favorite of chores.

Along those lines, having clean linens and towels, and a generous supply of big beach towels was a deeply appreciated difference. Instead of recycling the towels one drying as the other is being used, we could go in and out of the water and shower without worrying about having to use damp towels. Wow! That’s a luxury we don’t have in the motor home.

All in all, a vacation is a vacation; we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other as playmates rather than caregivers, and had lots of laughs and fun. The vacation did its job, rejuvenating us, relaxing us, and making us ready and eager to get home to our own daily lives, perhaps with a new appreciation of what surrounds us.

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  1. Barbara Kirkhart Palmer

    Dear Lynn,

    Sounds like a great vacation, despite the challenges of bed, kitchen, and noise!

    I’m sorry to hear that you and Bob have had a rough few years – we were looking forward to more of your sessions at Life on Wheels this June, but of course LOW is no more. Tom and I really miss not only the learning opportunity, but of course the camraderie of LOW. We only went for 2 years, but thanks in great part to what we learned, we are now retired and sitting in our 2009 Newmar Dutch Star at our first Newmar Kountry Klub get together, in sweltering Oklahoma. I appreciate your posts here on the RV net blog!


  2. Fred

    Hi Lynn (and Bob),
    Very interesting! Three things really stood out. The teakettle, the strange bed and the noise.

    I could picture you both having words with that teakettle, and you are so right about sleeping in your own bed – when you already know where the lump is, you don’t even notice it. But, when it is in a different place or not there at all, you’re glad the vacation only lasts a week or so.

    NOISE; I take a small shoe-box size air cleaner wherever I go. It is placed near the bed and gives off a constant “white noise” that drowns out the other strange noises. I sleep like a baby this way.

    Now that I “live” in Arizona, I hope to see you all on the road sometime in the next few months. Take care, Fred

  3. Mark & Kay Ulm

    We are heading out tomorrow on a 5 week roadtrip in our BT Cruiser. We were just saying that as much as we love the motorhome , it’s been ages since we’ve gone on any other type of vacation. We use to go to Mexico or a Caribbean island every year or two but it’s hard to justify not using the coach when you’ve invested so much in it and it is sitting in the driveway ready to go.