We had originally thought that this would be a good weekend to take people from Quincy over and back the same day to see an EIU game. As it turns out we didn't have much interest from folks wanting to get up at 6am and spend 8-plus hours on the road for a game.
With limited interest, Ken suggested we cancel that idea since he was beginning to get 'cold feet' about being able to handle doing all that in one day himself. He was concerned we'd get to Charleston, he'd get sick from too long a day, and we'd be stranded with only me (who has never driven over an hour or at night) as the only RV driver.
As it turns out, it was a very good idea that we didn't do a one-day turnaround trip. It was in the 90's, and with all the heat and activity, Ken was totally exhausted before the game was ever over.
One really great thing did come of our aborted plans. My friend, Cheryl Ift, decided that she'd still like to go even if it meant spending 2 nights with Ken and me in the RV. Having Cheryl along turned out to be a wonderful change of pace, although Ken commented that I talked more on that trip with Cheryl than he thinks I've talked in the entire 6 months of trips previously! Something about the 'old hens can't seem to stop cackling'... was closer to the way he put it!
Cheryl got the full RVer's treatment since we stayed at Trevor's house without any hookups beyond 110 electricity. That meant that the 3 of us had to ration water and time our use of air conditioning, microwave and blow dryers to when we were running the generator. Luckily while the days were scorching, the night's cooled off nicely and we were able to sleep with window open and a breeze provided with the help of our dual Fantastic fans.
We insisted that Cheryl take the bedroom so I got my first experience of sleeping on the dinette-made-out-to-bed while Ken slept on the couch. We could have made out the sofa sleeper but this way it is easier for us to move around without the sleeper sofa taking up so much room. We have discussed that we will probably someday replace the sofa sleeper with a jack-knife sofa so that it doesn't take up so much room on the rare occasions when we need to use it for a bed for a night or two.
Kyle and Luke drove down from DeKalb late Friday night to join us and sacked out in Trevor's basement.
Ken fixed everyone his class 'big breakfast' of sausage, eggs, fried potatoes, toast, coffee and juice each morning. For the first time in 6 month's I've had to decline. It seems that while these month's since we've gotten the RV have been some of our best together ever, Ken and my eating habits, and I believe particularly his 'big breakfasts' have played havoc on my once healthy cholesterol numbers. It just so happens that in these past six months while my HDL and Triglycerides remain in good shape, my LDL (the bad lipids) number has jumped a whopping 44 points. So needless to say, besides foregoing Ken's great morning cooking, I'm also now back on my Nordic Track regime.
Saturday morning we arrived at the stadium parking lot at 10:00am where we were greeted by John Smith, Associate Athletic Director, who had a spot reserved for 'Baby'. The staff at EIU is always very helpful and he told us he would also have tables and chairs set up for us when the 75 QND football players come to tailgate with us on Oct. 20th.
Here's Kyle setting up outside.
Luke manned the grill to get onions sauteed for the brats.
Friends began to congregate.
Sox and Ditka, in their official EIU panther outfits, decided that it was too hot to be sociable and hid out under the RV where it was cooler.
We got inside this time for kickoff and saw a close game.
Here's Trev and Andre going head-on with the Eastern Kentucky defense as the Kentucky Colonel looks on.
Trevor and Pug (59) sharing a tackle.
Here's Cheryl and Andre's Mom taking a half-time break back at the RV.
Unfortunately, the game ended up with us behind by a touchdown. We had a lot of lost opportunities on our side such as not scoring twice when we twice had first-and-10 inside the 5 yard line and didn't score.
The losing score didn't deter young Panther fans from tracking down Andre for his autograph.
...and Ken snapped this shot our Trevor, Andre and mom's after the game.
There was one definite lesson learned on this day. We were totally exhausted by the time we got packed up and back to Trev's house. The idea of doing 4 hours to the stadium, tailgating, and driving 4 hours back all in one day--- that ain't gonna happen.
With the loss, none of the players were in a particularly festive mood, so we parents picked up items to do on the grill and fed the guys at home. Larson's used our grill for steaks, while we did pork loin, and yet another group had spaghetti going in the house. Everybody shared food and had a nice meal together. We did have one minor mishap. We left the food sitting on the table while we went inside for awhile and it happened to be at the same time that someone left Drew's dog Rosco out for a run.
Rosco being the disriminating sort, found the plate of remaining steaks and made short work of them, while leaving all of the other food untouched. Luckily the pork loin was out of his reach. But then that leftover meet didn't last long either since when Ken went up to the guys rec room to play some beer pong, he took the remaining meat, coming back an hour later with only the empty plate.
Kyle and Luke decided the loss had dulled the Charleston party scene and decided to head back to DeKalb. However, Jenna Brink, arrived from Quincy shortly after so Trev's fan base wasn't considerably diminished for the evening.
Cheryl and I decided to forego the beer bong tournaments and sat around the RV doing what we do best - talking.
The full day of heat and activities had us all done in before midnight.
Sunday morning, Cheryl and I drove in to Walgreen's to get a prescription filled for Trevor while Ken started packing up.
Jenna and Trev joined Ken, Cheryl and I for another of Ken's 'big breakfasts'. I stuck with whole wheat toast.Trev had to be back in to the stadium by noon so shortly before that we headed out with Jenna following until we got to I-72 to make sure she found all the smalltown turns.
This was probably the first time we'd driven for any distance with an almost full gray water tank and we noticed that it was giving off a smell. Closing the drain covers in the sink seemed to resolve that but convinced Ken to do some major tank flushing this week before the next trip.
We altered our route home slightly to go past Siloam Springs State Park so that we could dump tanks. This worked out really well and didn't seem to add time to the trip.
When we got home, the dogs said their good-byes to their new 'best bud' Cheryl and I took her home in the convertible since her small subdivision street would have been a bit much for 'Baby' to negotiate.
Ken and I were unloaded in record time and I was even able to get in a session on the Nordic Track before calling it a day.
Stay tuned...next weekend is our longest trip ever...and 'Baby' gets to mark off a new state as we travel to Murray State in Kentuckly.