Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mt. Vernon, Washington

We had made an appointment to get the RV serviced after the Alaska trip, at a dealer in Mt. Vernon, near Anacortes, where we had left it after the week on San Juan Island.  Our plan was to get it serviced, then head to Glacier National Park for a week before going to Las Vegas.  We had planned on driving east directly from Anacortes, to take a road we had not been on before, as we had heard it was really beautiful, so it made sense to get the work done up there.  We found a dealer, Poulsbo RV, who sold our brand of RV, so we knew they would be a good choice.  Turned out that they were super, super nice, friendly and did excellent work.  They had just moved from their old location down a couple of blocks to a new place, so that meant they had a huge parking lot at the old place with electric and water hookups where we could spend the night in the coach, since we knew it would take a couple of days to get all the work done.  We wanted to make sure they went over the whole coach to make sure we took care of anything that may have shaken loose on our thousands of miles along the Alcan!

An added benefit was that our dear friend, Jenny and her husband, Mico, along with their two precious little girls, Aneke and Aurelia, had just moved to the Everett, Washington area and we got to see them.  Mico works for Boeing, and they had been living in Italy, where Mico grew up, but had just moved back here.  Aurelia is just a few months old and we hadn't seen Aneke since she was a baby.  Jenny is the daughter of our good friends Jon and Chris, from our Atlanta neighborhood, and we've known her since the day she was born.  So it was great to be close enough to get this visit.  A couple of years ago, I did a Santa Skype visit with Aneke when they were still in Italy, and had so much fun.  Well, she is just the most precocious child--so expressive, with these huge brown eyes, and so entertaining.  She wanted to dance for us, and then had to go change into her Elsa dress so she could dance to Let It Go--she had the expressions down pat and was just a hoot.  She also had me down on the floor playing Leggos with her, and she also got a kick out of walking Sophie around their neighborhood, showing off for her friends.  She is just starting kindergarten this week, but she is just a beautiful child!  Trisha had knitted her a hat, and had knitted a little lamb, like a lovey Jenny had had when she was a baby.  

At the RV dealership when we dropped off the coach, I asked the folks for a breakfast recommendation, and boy did they hit the ball out of the park!  They sent us to a place called the Calico Cupboard in downtown Mt. Vernon.  What a wonderful place!  It's in an old warehouse building, with lots of interesting furnishings, but the food was just outstanding--lots of vegan choices, with wonderful fresh baked bread.  We had a delicious veggie scramble and just enjoyed relaxing over coffee afterwards.  Later that morning we drove to La Conner, a gorgeous little fishing town on the coast, not far from Mt. Vernon.  We found one of the best yarn shops we've seen in a while there, and Trisha got lots of new and beautiful yarns, so that was a find.  And we saw the most incredible woodwork gallery and shop--some absolutely beautiful crafted furniture and other items by artists primarily in this area.  Just love seeing beautiful wood art and this was some of the best we've seen.  Then we discovered that Calico Cupboard had a location in La Conner, as well, so we went there for lunch.  We split a delicious veggie sandwich and vegan chili, and they had two different kinds of bread--yummy good!

The next morning just as we were heading out Trisha got an email from our Cherry Log neighbors, Toni and Ed, and they were in Mt. Vernon!  They have a travel trailer and have been out west for a while, and were visiting her mother who lives in this area.  So we went back to the Calico Cupboard to meet them for breakfast.  A wonderful visit with them, and before we left, Sophie and their dog, Annie, had their own little reunion!  What a delightful surprise!

We drove back to La Conner for the afternoon and found a super vegetable and fruit stand on the way, so we got some delicious corn and a very unusual melon that was delicious!  Just love finding these fresh veggies and fruit, especially when we can discover something new!  They didn't finish the RV until the end of the day so we spent Friday night in the parking lot again, planning to head out Saturday morning toward Glacier.  Well, Saturday morning when we hooked up, there was a problem with the electrical connection between the RV and the tow car.  We had experienced some problems with this on the caravan and had asked them to replace one end of the connection at this dealer, which we thought would solve the problem.  Well, it turned out that the problem was with the part to the connection that's actually on the tow car, and the dealer in Georgia where we bought the RV had not set it up right and it finally failed.  Of course these things only happen at the beginning of a long holiday weekend, right, so none of the service folks were in until Tuesday.  So, once again recalling the sage advice of our friend Wendell, who told us when we first started RVing that the main thing you need if you are gonna do the RV thing is a big dose of patience, we realized we were going to have to rearrange our plans.  Due to the time it would take to drive to Glacier, and then the time to drive to Las Vegas, we had to adjust to the fact that there just wasn't enough time now to make it work.  Disappointed that this meant that we wouldn't get to visit Wendell and Jennifer in Montana, but hey, remember this is the No Hurries, No Worries tour, so we just decided to start heading more south, once we got fixed.  

So we just settled into "Camp Poulsbo" the dealer's parking lot, now campground, for the weekend and made the most of it.  We went to see Robert Redford and Nick Nolte in A Walk in the Woods--based on Bill Bryson's book about walking the Appalachian trail.  While it was fun to see some familiar scenery, the movie was pretty disappointing.  Afraid Redford has lost more than a step or two in his acting abilities.  But we also met another couple who were camped out in the parking lot--they had also just returned from a caravan to Alaska, but they related an absolutely horrible take of how disorganized and unfun it was, due to the fact that their group's wagonmaster and tailgunner had neither one been to Alaska before and thus knew nothing to tell them.  We were once again so happy we had decided to go with Fantasy RV Tours, as they have the program down pat.  Anyway, these folks were in a fifth wheel, but by the time the weekend was over they had traded it in for a Tiffin Class A at the dealer!  We were raving about the wonderful service record Tiffin has and they said they had heard the same thing, and voila, they made the leap!  Also found a gym in town and they had my kind of rowing machine, so was able to go there a couple days--sure do miss my rower!!

So, bright and early Tuesday morning we were back at the service department and the folks there were just super--they diagnosed the problem and had us fixed and ready to roll in record time.  If anyone out there is an RVer and is ever in this area of the country in need of service, we can't say enough good things about Poulsbo RV in Mt. Vernon.  Everyone there was so helpful, nice and accommodating, we heartily recommend them!!

So we decided to head down into Oregon and go toward Crater Lake National Park, one park we've not visited and where we've always wanted to go.

Aneke, showing off her dance moves--note the sparkly pink shoes!

 Now she's Elsa and Letting it Go!!

 Trisha, Toni, Ed, Sophie and Annie, in the Calico Cupboard parking lot
 Some of the fruit we bought!
 The countryside around La Conner

 Downtown in La Conner

 This house has a ship's bow design!!
 On the waterfront
 Interesting pavilions across the river
 Beautiful old sailboat docked at the wharf

 Enjoying a late afternoon refreshment at a waterside cafe

 Driving back to Mt. Vernon from La Conner

 Trisha got this great pic of a rainbow, and then some fabulous sunset photos!

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