Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Greetings from Nashua, New Hampshire

Bad day: Tuesday (read yesterday's blog). Good day: Wednesday!! Read more "Lorraine's Believe It Or Not."

I was a nervous wreck yesterday!! I got very little sleep last night because construction noise nearby, and fear that one of the trucks I heard was coming to tow me away. I had permission to park, from two Customer Service Associates at Wal-Mart, but signs in the parking lot said "No Overnight Parking, Vehicles Will be Towed at Owner's Expense." I was up early... and in the parking lot of Forrest Marine and RV at 6 AM. They didn't open until 8, and service personnel didn't arrive until 9.

Things went very well for me today!! A competent young man made the repairs so I have the trailer right-turn signal again. Fearing my propane tank was almost empty, I had it filled before I departed. I was given the location where I could dump the porta-potty. It was such a relief to have trustworthy turn signals; I didn't object to the premium cost for repairs!! I resented being charged $5.00 for one gallon of propane!! Two thumbs down for Forrest Marine and RV in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

I drove less than one mile and found a place to park--under shade trees--in the parking lot of the Pheasant Lane Mall. I browsed the Mall for about an hour and bought coffee and a muffin. Back in the trailer, I moved things outside so I could place things in their designated places (jiggled by driving the rough streets of Lowell yesterday). I was relaxed; I was in no hurry. Then I enjoyed the salad greens from Tuesday morning shopping in Lebanon.

A Security Guard drove by several times and I anticipated that I would be told to leave. "No Overnight Parking" or some such phrase. When I was approached by the Guard it was because he wanted to see "the cute little trailer." A very affirming conversation followed because he is a Christian. I needed his kind words and parting prayer. (Thanks Gary!)

With things reasonably tidy in the T@B, I started for the Nashua Sewage Treatment Plant. My GPS wanted a street number and I was told there is no street number. A lady was very patient and gave me directions (on the phone). I made a few wrong turns but eventually arrived--and took care of dumping the porta-potty.

It had been my intention to meander back to the Wal-Mart, and Panera, where I spent last night. Less than five miles from the Sewage Treatment Plant, I spotted a Barnes & Noble. Goody, goody!! Next door was (is) a Panera Bread. Seriously!! I have access to two WiFi signals!! ~~ I've driven a total of 23 miles today--but they were VERY GOOD MILES !! According to Carmen (my Garmin) there is a Wal-Mart less than two miles away where I will (hopefully) spend the night. I AM SO BLESSED !!!!!!!!!!!

Speaking of Wal-Mart, I recall the kindness of the lady that repaired my glasses (in Williston, VT) free of charge. Some people are generous; some people are greedy.

Oh yes, it has been a perfect day, weather-wise!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Greetings from Lowell, Massachusetts

When I logged off in Lebanon, New Hampshire, I did not dream that I would be back in a Panera Bread today!! It has been a nerve-racking day!! If Carmen (my Garmin GPS) were a real person, I would cut out her tongue!!!!!!!!! While in a rest stop in New Hampshire (almost to Massachusetts), I studied my Atlas. Then I tried to program the GPS for a Wal-Mart in Massachusetts. None. My Wal-Mart Atlas (with the location of many of their stores) indicated one near Lowell. So I programmed the address... and Carmen took me through every tiny, narrow, cobblestone street, and through "roundabouts." ***I was a major nervous wreck!!*** Then Carmen said Wal-Mart was on the left but I could plainly see there wasn't a Wal-Mart. A Hannaford Markets truck was parked at the rear of the building (on the right) and I swung into their parking lot. I hiked down the road (behind the buildings) looking for Wal-Mart. None. Then I hiked around to the front of the shopping complex. Hannaford and Wal-Mart under the same roof. And--only a few feet away--a Panera Bread. I repeat: I'm a nervous wreck!! Guess what: An Interstate highway runs behind this shopping center. Carmen (my Garmin) really failed me today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are "No Overnight Parking" signs in the parking lot. I've checked with Wal-Mart and have permission to park at the extreme corner of the lot. Frankly, I had hoped to locate a campgrounds for tonight--and maybe for several days. I'm not driving another mile until I'm "calm, cool, and collected."

To add insult to injury: My KIA wouldn't start this morning. The refrigerator had drained the trailer battery, and ultimately my car battery. I had turned on the refrigerator (last night) because I planned to buy groceries before leaving Lebanon. I did purchase groceries (fruit and veggies). ~~ I got out my nifty "jump start" machine and quickly solved the problem.

My right turn signal isn't working on the T@B. I've purchased and replaced the bulb. Tomorrow I'll take to a Marine / RV dealership.

Would you agree with me that this has NOT been one of my better days?? With these negative circumstances, all I need is more rain!!

Greetings from Lebanon, New Hampshire

Twenty-four hours ago (in Montpelier, Vermont), I has held captive by continuing, HARD rain!! I was "ready" to depart but refused to make the dash from the T@B to the driver's seat; I would have been soaked!! Here's a picture through the front window of the T@B. **AND,** wouldn't you think the volume of water would wash the mud off the car and trailer?? No!! I still need to find a self-service car wash.

It's a beautiful, sunny morning!! I'm back in Panera Bread (in Lebanon, New Hampshire) to accomplish last-minute details on my blog--and check e-mail messages. Later... I'll continue down Interstate 89 toward Boston, Massachusetts. I plan to see some of the historic sights, AND hear the Boston Pops concert on July 4th.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lorraine's Believe It Or Not !!

The following paragraph was originally published prior to noon June 28th. Rather than having it buried below the blogs regarding Sunday's activities, I've moved it here.

I was en route to a Barnes & Noble location in central New Hampshire (or was it Massachusetts?). I stopped at the New Hampshire Information Center and Rest Stop about six miles from the Vermont / New Hampshire state line. Without any forethought, when I returned to the KIA I typed "Panera Bread" into my GPS. Less than four miles away, in Lebanon, was a Panera. When I arrived... there is a Wal-Mart in the adjoining parking lot. No lie!! Am I blessed?? You better believe it; I'm blessed!! I'm here for an extended period of time. I'll bring you up-to-date regarding my awesome day (yesterday) at the
Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. ~~ Picture two and three were taken in the same location; I just pivoted when I took the pictures. That corner building is Panera Bread.

Postscript, 7:00 PM: I'm still glued to my chair--in Panera Bread. I haven't been near a window so I don't know whether we have had rain or not.

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont

On Sunday, June 27th, 2010, I allowed myself the luxury of the Continental Breakfast at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. It is such a charming building in a beautiful location!! Can you see my car and trailer in the parking lot (picture three)?? I could see them from my seat in the dining room.

History Tour, long walks & more food !!

Sunday, June 27th, 2010, at the Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont.
This is the family celebrated in the movie "The Sound of Music."

I backed up the T@B !!

I pulled through the "upper" parking lot of the Trapp Family Lodge and there was no place to park. I drove in the "lower" parking lot--to the very end--and found it was not a circle drive. I was forced to back the T@B a frustratingly long distance (for me!!). Later in the day I took pictures of the location of my blunder (last two pictures). ~~ A pleasant gentleman offered to back up the KIA and T@B; I thanked him and said it is imperative that I master the technique of backing the trailer. Even as he was offering to help, I had the "feeling" he was one of the von Trapp family. Talking to myself: "Lorraine, you are turning down assistance from a famous man." Later it was confirmed that Johannes von Trapp, Chief Executive Officer of the Trapp enterprises, was my Sir Galahad.