How could we have ever envisioned when we arrived home from California a year ago last April, that we would just now begin to really feel like “normal” is within reach. We have been so blessed in our cocoons – but the butterflies are more than ready to emerge!
We did take Contessa to the west coast of Florida for most of the winter, but like everything else in this world, it was strange and limited. Contessa did her part on our way down – when she had an issue with the transmission, she made sure it was within 25 miles of the absolutely best place on the eastern seaboard to resolve the issue! What could have been disastrous was instead a pleasant and prompt resolution and we have found the right people to service her in Savannah for the foreseeable future.
January, February & March was spent near St. Petersburg and Anna Maria Island which allowed us to have socially distanced visits with a few friends and relatives. Our site at the Tides RV Resort was lovely and while many were open for partying, we kept our distance, which seemed really strange but necessary. We truly tried to keep a balance between safety & sanity!
We returned to DryDock for the spring – and on Thursday, June 10, we “sprung the lines” (that’s a boating term) and pointed Contessa west. Having missed the Alaska Adventure last season, we originally thought we would make that our 2021 trip. As we looked at “things” in January, which is when planning had to occur, there were so many unknowns about traveling, Canadian border limitations, time away from home, etc. that we decided to savor a shorter trip this summer – and target the Pacific & Canadian Northwest in 2022.
So, this Adventure is the Ratts Reunion & the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! We’ll spend a weekend with Niece Christy & Chris in Nashville TN before heading to North Central Arkansas. We’ll spend most of a week there on the property of Cousin Pam and Leslie Cooper, where some 35 Ratts Cousins will converge!
One thing you NEVER do on a boat is to leave on a voyage/trip on Friday. It is simply bad “juju”!! With Contessa, we also plan our first day to be a short one, allowing us to easily close up the cabin, finish any preparations, make sure everything is right with the coach — all without stress and pressure. So, we launched on Thursday, June 10.
We packed the “final” load into the truck to take to Contessa across the river and started to pull up the driveway, only to be met with a wall of trees!
A storm the previous night evidently was all the old maple tree could handle. Unfortunately, as she came down, she took a tulip poplar and part of a rhododendron with it. So, back to the cabin for work clothes & gloves, loppers and chain saw. About an hour and a half later, we had the driveway cleared. Bill was able to cut the trunk of the maple such that we could roll pieces to the side of the drive – as there was no way we could pick them up! Thankfully, our reliable friend Kim Bishop & Crew will finish the job while we are gone. They have the equipment to handle it and we don’t have to face it when we return.
We were able to depart Brevard at 1:00p and, with our shortened schedule (~100 miles & fuel stop), arrive at our first overnight destination before 4:00p. Bill says it is always the last mile that is the challenge of every day and this one was low hanging branches & power lines. He navigated around them and we got to our site without issue. The leveling system on Contessa had her workout, but was able to level on a fairly steep site – all is good!
The next morning we delayed departure to avoid “rush hour” traffic thru Knoxville and arrived Nashville at 2:15p CDT. We’ll be here until Monday visiting with Christy & Chris and enjoying the hot but exciting city of Nashville!
View from Contessa’s front window of J Percy Priest Reservoir