First, as you all know, Dan and I have been trying to sell the 5th wheel since last August when we bought the house. A lot of things that we have been wanting to do have all been hinged on getting the 5th wheel sold. Well, it has finally happened, and not exactly the way we thought it would.
Last week Dan and I were up in Lakeland for doctor's appointments - our regular annual appointments that we have been waiting to have (actually, it's my first appointment in almost 2 years, but because of our schedule last year, and the good ole insurance company, I couldn't get my annual before we left for Alaska - so the last time I saw a doctor was in April of 2009!). Anyway, the doctor's appointments went fine - got our blood work done and everything - except I will be going back next week for the gyno. appointment and then in March for my bone density and mammogram. After the doctor's we met Dan's cousins over in Plant City. Norm has cancer and he is not doing well - in fact, he was flying back home to Michigan the next day. So, it was good to see him and his sister, Faye. We had a nice visit before he had to leave to get to the airport and check in with the airlines with his oxygen tanks. Anyway, after the visit with the cousins we decided to go by Bartow Ford and see our friend that works there and see how he is doing.
We pulled into the dealership and saw Marty - after catching up with news we starting talking cars and trucks and one thing led to another and Marty said - "Well, why don't you trade the 5th wheel into us and get your vehicle now." I said, "You'll take the 5th wheel in trade?" and he came back with "We'll take anything in trade except husbands and wives!" Well, to make a long story somewhat short Marty found a dealer to buy the 5th wheel and we came to an agreement on the price as well as a price for the trade in of the 350 dually. Dan picked out a truck that he was interested in and I even drove a Ford Edge. We got all the figures together and told Marty we would be back in touch after we talked about our different options. The truck Dan looked at was a used 150 and pretty "plain Jane". I didn't think that he would be happy, but he kept saying that it would be "fine".
Dan and I talked everything out and decided that our best option at this point was to pick up the 5th wheel and get out from under the debt - I mean, it's one thing when that is your only payment and it's your house - but when it is on top of the house and all the things that goes along with the house it was a little much - so, we decided to call the dealership that had the Montana and give them a figure that they could buy the rig outright (and we wouldn't have to go pick it up either). They took a day and then came back and said they just couldn't do it right then - they had 6 on the lot. So we told them we would be down to pick it up on Saturday. Dan called Marty and told him that we would take a white truck that Dan had seen on the Internet - it was a real stripped down model - didn't even have carpet, but it was a "new" 2010 and a "manager's special". I didn't think this was such a good idea, I didn't think it was much better than the used truck we drove when we were up in Bartow - but it was really cheap and Dan said that he could "live with it". (I knew better!)
Saturday morning we were up bright and early and headed down to Ft. Myers to pick up the Montana. We got there right at 9 am, and they didn't have the unit ready to pick up - they had it closed up, but no keys or all the manuals on the unit, or the remote for the unit. Anyway, it took about an hour to get everything together and get hooked up (they had let the battery run down and we couldn't get the jacks to work - we had to get a jump box to get everything running!), but finally, after an hour we pulled out of the dealership with the Montana in tow.
Dan had planned out the quickest route to Bartow from Ft. Myers, but he didn't bring any map or the Garmin with us because we had everything cleaned out of the dually. So, we are driving down the interstate and he misses the turn - no big deal, we have another way we can go. After 45 minutes on the interstate, we turn off to go toward Wauchula. Dan says that we are going to need some fuel before we get to Bartow, but he didn't seem in a hurry to buy any, so I don't think I need to worry. We head across country and guess what - no fuel stations - nothing but wide open land. Now, if you know anything about Florida you will know that you have populated areas and then you have areas where there is NOTHING - well, we were in the second of those two options. We finally see a mile post and we are 25 miles from Wauchula and 7 miles to empty in the truck. Now, we are both starting to panic - you just can NOT run out of fuel in a diesel truck. We are driving and the truck is saying that we have 0 miles to empty and it is 5 miles to this little crossroads called Ona. I'm praying that we make it to Ona and that Ona will have a fuel station that is 1)open, and 2) have diesel fuel. At this point I was thinking I don't care what it costs! Well, we make it to Ona and there is a fuel station that is open and they have diesel ($3.51 a gallon - not too bad!) - Dan pulls in and almost cuts another car off, but when he gets out he apologizes and explains the situation and the other driver is not upset. So, we are able to put about $40.00 worth of diesel in the truck and make it to Bartow with no further problems. I just had to tease Dan and tell him that he just had to make this outing our "one last adventure" with the Montana since we never just go on trips - we have "adventures"!
We finally make it to the Ford dealership about 1:00 in the afternoon and pull the rig over to the side lot. Dan goes over and looks at the truck and I can tell he is not a happy boy - so I told him to look at other options. So, we look at a couple of used trucks that are completely loaded, but even with the trade ins were WAY too much money. Now, I'm starting to get worried that he is not going to find something he wants and we are going to end up with having to take the unit back to Lake Placid, when Marty said - let's look at another new 2010 truck - Ford is offering some really good rebates on these trucks. So, off we go to the new car lot and Dan falls in love - well, maybe that's a little overboard, but he falls in like with this --------------------------------
A brand new - 2010 F150 - with almost all the bells and whistles. I have to admit, it's a really nice truck and I'm sure that he will be much happier with this truck then with the one he was originally looking at.
So, we no longer own a Montana 5th wheel or, for that matter, a F-350 dually. Dan has a new truck and we are looking at being able to hire a contractor to come in and do all the remodeling work on the house AND there is a very good possibility that I won't have to work next year. If things work out the way I think they can - Dan will even have his pontoon boat this summer - it won't be a new one, but it will be a boat. Hopefully this will all come together in the next few weeks - I'll keep you posted.
While I am sad that one door has definitely closed for us (there is no way that we will go back to the full time lifestyle), it is exciting to think that there are other things that will be happening in the next few months that we have been wanting to do. We might not be full timing anymore but that doesn't mean that we won't travel some and they will still be adventures for us in the future - heh! - I have Dan and life is ALWAYS an adventure with Dan!
Hope things are going well with you all and -------------------
I'll talk to you next week!