2012-02

Route 66 – The Mother Road … so many icons from its’ heyday are still visible or in use today.  And visiting many of them is on our bucket list.  Some of our friends and family members can remember travelling Route 66 “back in the day”.  The old “filling stations”  and roadside cafes we have seen on calendar pages and blogs symbolize the freedom of travel and exploration to many of us.  As such Terry and I have made an effort to check out some of the locations in person as we travel the heartland. 

While working in Oklahoma in January, 2012, we discovered many of the Route 66 places are a short drive off the main highway, or on our way to a work project, so we stopped.

MIAMI, OK – when we first arrived in town for a 2 day job, we passed right by Waylan’s Ku Ku Burgers so made that our first Route 66 experience. Later that evening we visited the Coleman Theater beautiful, but since it was after hours, we couldn’t go inside.

TULSA, OK – There are many, many Route 66 resources easily reached by a google search.  Our recommendation is to do a little preliminary research and then either go see them, or at least put it on your bucket list like we did.  We drove thru the historic Fairgrounds and saw their homage to the oil industry started in the area, and enjoyed a meal at a historic Route 66 diner. 

In Kansas for a few jobs, we toured quite a few fifth-wheel RVs at the Nu Wa factory.  Nu Wa RVs are highly rated for full-time living and they reburbish traded-in RV’s to resell on their used lot.  It’s a great source for those looking for a full-time RV and need or want to save on the dealer mark-up.  Nu Wa also done sales prep for CrossRoads RV’s. 

In Missouri, we walked thru brand new Open Range RVs and were really impressed.  I really like the front living room RV floorplan, but am not interested in the Montana by Keystone.  The Joplin RV dealer we visited also has a very nice RV park behind the dealership that we would stay in when back in the area.

When in Omaha, Nebraksa we discovered an authentic Cuban restaurant, Gusto’s Cuban Café – that was a real thrill for me, because I am of Cuban decent.  It has been almost 10 years since I left Miami, Florida so I have REALLY REALLY been missing the local food.  Cuban food is completely different than Mexican food.  Cuban food is seasoned similar to carribbean food, and it is not spicy, like Mexican food.  We visited with the owners and thumbed through a 1958 yellow pages directory. 

We ended the month back in our favorite hotel stay, Candlewood Suites – Olathe, KS.  Having been in and out of KCMO every other month or so, we are able to stock up on our favorite products at the new Trader Joes.

We also had RV Anywhere install our repaired propane heater in the testing trailer. We met Mike with RVAnywhere on Facebook and were pleased with his services.

Click here for our 2011 recap

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New Job + New Locations = More Enjoyment for Us

When Ryan & Natalie from  Mind Movies.com came out with a new software version I purchased it and made my 2nd Mind Movie ever. Having recently reached a frustration level with our employer and taken the property to the highest level ever in many years, we were ready for a change – BIG change. Not knowing what or where the change was going to come from, now HOW we were going to make it happen, I decided to let The Universe handle it again.

This is the 2nd time in my life I’ve made a huge lifestyle change, and I could have never pulled either change off myself. First, Terry and I decided – together – what we REALLY wanted at this stage of our lives. How we wanted to live, where, what kind of day we would experience. It was hard NOT stating the minute details of the work we would do, but we focused on what our day was like and the general details rather than the specifics.

Example: TRAVEL FULLTIME vs. we want a 32′ motorhome; GOOD PAY vs. $50K a year; ENJOY OUR WORK vs. the kind of work we would do. It only took a couple hours – mostly thinking vs. creating, but before I knew it, there it was – my new Mind Movie, complete with sound, affirmations and pictures that represented what my life would be like.

That was in November – in June it materialized. Could it have happened sooner? Maybe. Did we hit some detours? Possibly. At the end of the day, we now think our perceived delays and detours were simply tests we needed to pass to determine that THIS direction is the right one for us.  Destiny is a matter of CHOICE, not chance.

So ….. what DO we DO – actually?

We are now certified OSHA hearing conservationists. I didn’t even realize there WAS such a position, so I KNOW this opportunity came NOT from my own creation. We travel full-time – so yes, we are technically homeless – working around the country (mostly east of the Mississippi) at different manufacturing plants performing annual hearing tests for their employees. 

Our employer pays us well, provides the tractor and nicely equipped office in a 40′ fifth-wheel trailer with sound booths. ALL our business expenses are covered by the company, plus we receive a per diem, insurance and 3 weeks paid vacation a year. It’s a great package, and gives us the mobility we love. We stay in very nice motels  that we book ourselves, keeping the points to use during vacations (3 weeks a year) and with low personal bills, we can bank most of our income.

The REAL perk to this job for us, is that when we have the right RV, we will be able to drive it along and receive an additional per diem for staying in our own RV instead of motels! How SWEET is that?!

With weekends off, we get to visit places we never had time to see when we were truck drivers. Monday thru Friday is a normal work schedule for us, staying in a regional area. When we do have to drive to a new location, that is scheduled into our Monday thru Friday work schedule.

Other teams have been able to purchase homes & cars as well as visit places they never would have seen in a more location based job.

The only negative we have found is that sometimes we  have long days because we might start at 4am and finish at 6pm  (but there is a 4-5 hour break in the middle of the day for naps); and we aren’t connected to a fixed neighborhood.

The positives are many: we can eat at restaurants or cook meals in the motels; we keep any points earned on motel stays-even tho the company picks up the tab;  living frugally, we can bank most of our income (we have FEW expenses); we get to enjoy the change of seasons. 

UPDATE: It’s been a month on the road and we are enjoying it all ….. we’ve been full-time OSHA certified hearing technicians for over a month now and we really like it.  We spent a week travelling from AZ to IL for training and certification. After a week in class we trained for 2 weeks working near the office with a couple who have been with the company for over 15 years.  Judy & Harry train most of the new couples with this company. 

In 1 month so far we’ve worked in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. We were able to check off a couple of our bucket list items, such as the

NRA’s Worthington Center, the RV MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN and the Great Platte River Monument in Nebraska.  Making stops to shop at Cabelas’ and participating in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit have been highlights along the way.  Seems there is something fun to do most every weekend.  As long as we are in the area, we love to be adventurous and enjoy the sights.

We’ve been able to take a tour of the Newmar RV manufacturing plant in Nappanee, IN and the Ford Rouge plant in Detroit. Sometimes we just chill in the motel spa.

This job is fun and rewarding – it’s a great fit and LIG – Life is Good.