Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ahh, back at our home park


We are at the Wal-Mart in New Castle, Delaware (map). We left my aunt and uncle's house in New City, NY around mid-day yesterday, and it was a pretty straight shot here down the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike. We did detour briefly onto US-1 in Edison, NJ, to fuel up, as the Raceway station there had diesel for $3.499 (cash), about the best we could find anywhere in the northeast. They had a high-speed truck nozzle, so it only took fifteen minutes to put in $500 worth.

We had a very nice visit with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, who came down from Argyle, NY for the Army game. My uncle volunteers for the Army athletic department in his retirement, which gets him on post any time he wants, and he gave us a nice tour of campus on Thursday. We had planned to arrive there early Saturday to tailgate before the game, as well as afterward, but the weather did not cooperate and we ended up just going for the game. Our seats were under cover, thankfully. It was a rout, with Army obliterating Tulane 48-6.

My uncle had fixed a giant batch of gumbo for the tailgate, in honor of the visiting team, and we instead had it for dinner at the house. I must say it was very good, even though my uncle does not have an Acadian bone in his body. We ended up with some of the leftovers here on the bus, and we had some for dinner last night as well.

While we were parked on the street in front of his house, we were using his 15-amp GFCI receptacle for power. It was tripped when we arrived and it tripped a few more times while we were there, so I ended up replacing all three of his outdoor GFCI outlets, which were probably due at seven years old. I also replaced his CO/smoke detector and three interconnected smoke detectors, since the CO detector quit (by design) at the seven year mark as well. As long as I had the tools out, I replaced the outside motion-sensing light over the garage, as the motion detector was intermittent at about that same age.

We are now en route to Trawler Fest in Baltimore. We stopped here for the night because we were trying to arrange an appointment to look at a boat in Annapolis either this afternoon or tomorrow, and we'd take a different route from here, down through the DelMarVa peninsula, to get there. That would put us in the Annapolis area overnight, and we'd roll into the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore Thursday morning some time.

As it turns out, though, our friend and yacht broker Curtis will also be attending the show, and he'll have a rental car. He's lined up the appointment for 3pm tomorrow, so we'll arrive in the Inner Harbor tomorrow mid-day and ride to Annapolis with him in the car instead. That will cost us an extra night of parking downtown for $15, but save us $30 or more in driving the bus. It does mean that we now have a full day to travel the mere 63 miles to our destination. As a result, we've been killing time here in the Wal-Mart lot, catching up on emails (and blog posts).

In a few minutes we will go into the store and do our shopping; this is our first Wal-Mart stay since we stopped in Dumfries, VA on our way north nearly a month ago. We often joke that Wal-Mart is our "home park," and spending some time at one actually signifies a return to normalcy for us, as odd as that may sound. It has been nice just having a relaxing morning with no office to go to or relatives to visit. We try not to stay even as long as 24 hours, though, so after our shopping we will move along, with our sights set on the Havre de Grace Elks lodge for tonight, about half way to Baltimore. That will give us plenty of time in the morning to get into position and squared away at the Inner Harbor before we head to Annapolis.

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