On to Texas and our new "Home"
After leaving South Carolina we headed west and began our first visit to Tennessee by staying at a great little campground in Nashville that was right on a lake and very quiet. Our first visit downtown took us over to the Opryland Hotel & Convention Center where I spent some time many years ago while working at and attending an IBM conference. I had remembered it being a beautiful area full of gardens and shops and I wanted Claudia to see it. It was more beautiful than I remembered with walking paths through gardens, past dozens of fountains, along winding cobblestone roads and past many small shops, all inside a huge atrium. The following day we headed downtown to visit Nashville’s “Broadway”. While there we visited the Ryman Auditorium, better known as the original Grand Ole Opry, built back in 1892 and took a tour of the auditorium and exhibits displayed there. We didn’t have to be big country music fans to appreciate the significance of where we were. This was the Carnegie Hall of country music. We also strolled along Broadway and stopped in to several of the pubs and grills to listen to a variety of local musicians. For lunch I ordered the special of some local brew and a delicious grilled bologna sandwich. You don’t see that on a menu too much. Our next stop took us to Memphis where we camped directly across the street from the home of Elvis Presley. While there we took a great tour of Graceland, Elvis’s private home and many other Elvis exhibits. Claudia and I both enjoyed the tours and ended them with a better appreciation of Elvis himself, his music and the personal side of his life. That night we took a shuttle over to Beale Street for some dinner and some entertainment. Beale Street was closed to traffic and with dozens of cafes and bars; there was no limit to the places we could stop and enjoy. We did decide to finally settle in at a pub with an Elvis impersonator and he was very good. The following day we headed out about 11am for a noontime Pats game at Buffalo Wild Wings down in Mississippi about 8 miles from our campground. Claudia and I enjoyed lunch together and then she headed off for some shopping while I enjoyed the game with a new group of friends who were enjoying their own games. Following Memphis it was time to head south to Texas. We hesitated to mention our plans earlier to anyone since we didn’t want to set any expectations but we had been hoping to find a new motor home that better fit our full timing needs. As we headed south, we stopped at Motor Home Specialists in Alvarado, Texas after being impressed with the quantity and prices of their motor homes as well as the quality of their web site. Once we stopped in and met Brendon, our sales associate we spent a couple of hours browsing the various motor homes that fit our criteria. We had told him about one particular model that interested us online so he took us to see that model for our first stop. It exceeded our expectations but we continued to look at many other models. In the end, we decided that we just had to have our first choice so the next step was to go back to the campsite and return with the Daybreak in order to determine the actual trade in value. Once that was established we expressed our interest in the 2015 Thor Challenger we had looked at and an agreement was reached. This was followed by the process of purchasing, then transferring all our belongings. They had a great set up where both motor homes sat side by side with the new one connected to full hookups. Then, after only 3 days since our initial visit, we headed south in our new motor home and began the trip to Edinburg. After about 5 hours we made an overnight stop in San Antonio before heading out again the following morning. Shortly after noon we arrived at our winter home in Edinburg where we were thrilled to be immediately greeted by many of our friends from last year. Our permanent site was just completed a week ago with new concrete so we’re currently in the next site over until Monday, 11/10 while the concrete sets. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy making up for lost time with great friends as we continue the process of turning the Challenger into our new home by adding shelves, hanging pictures and all the other stuff that’s normal for any new home. It’s nice that time has slowed down and it’s so great to be back in Texas. Ed
Ed and Claudia always dreamed of retiring and travelling the country in their motorhome. They retired in 2013 and this is the continuing story of their adventures on the road.