WHY I HATE SPORTS CARS

One of my favorite movies is Two for the Road, staring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney.  The film follows a couple over Europe as young lovers, honeymooners, parents, and finally successful but not necessarily happily married.   Who doesn’t love Audrey Hepburn?  There is a restaurant scene in the film where Finney and Hepburn comment on a couple eating dinner in silence.  Their analysis is “married people” no longer talk to one another.

In 1995, I rode as a passenger in the brand new MG Spitfire, with my boyfriend Sam.  He had purchased the sports car in London and we drove to Scotland and Wales, boarded the ferry in Dover and crossed the English Channel.  Camped in a public campground in Paris (no kidding).  Saw that stupid auto race in Monaco.  Traveled through Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland.  We were both students spending our days sketching.  We stayed in cheap hotels, and hostels, and we camped in a tent.  I have hated sports cars ever since, and I was never fond of tents.  

The day we picked up the car I told Sam, I want my backpack on top of all the gear, so I could walk away and not listen to the shouting and recriminations should there be an accident.  Cramming all our gear compete with sleeping bags and tent, into the incredibly small trunk and tiny space behind the seats was never fun.  

Years later another friend Bill bought a really stupid Mazda Miata.  Bill was a great golfer, but he couldn’t even get one set of clubs in the trunk.   We drove to the golf course with both set of clubs between my legs in the passenger seat.  Bill was not a practical sort of fellow.  

Sam was in his 20s, Bill was in his late 60s.  What is it with men and sports cars?  I also hate motorcycles, but will leave that for another blog post.

Driving with the top down, wind in your hair and no storage space is not my dream — more like a nightmare.  I like to have a bed, a toilet, kitchen, closet and storage.  Not a lot, but enough for comfort.  That is why an Airstream is my idea of heaven.  I even dream of moving from my 19 foot to a 20ft!  One foot can make a huge difference in an Airstream. Check out the floor plan of the 20 foot Flying Cloud, look at ALL that amazing kitchen counter space  Now that is a dream!

Kitchen counter vs. male sexual organ?  I will take the counter space.

No PERMANENT ADDRESS. Tips for Insurance and voting.

The definition of a banker is: “They give you an umbrella when the sun is shining, and take it away when it begins to rain.”  I think this also may describe insurance.  I have no permanent address and 3 vehicles.  A 2005 Jeep Cherokee registered in Washington, D.C.  My former permanent address.  A 2010 Toyota Prius purchased in Florida.   Scout, my 2008 Airstream purchased on EBay in Texas.  The Prius is in New York, the Jeep and Airstream are in California.

Since I don’t live in any of those states, talking to insurance representatives, you would have thought this was a unique situation.  I got the distinct feeling of the umbrella being jerked from my hand, when I was explaining this to GEICO.  

In June, I registered the Airstream in North Carolina using my sister Becky’s address, but I can’t register the Jeep until it arrives in NC in October, because NC requires a vehicle inspection.  I got a NC driver’s license, and register to vote, while I was registering Scout.  I registered the Prius in New York, and got a New York driver’s license so I could get a Suffolk County Resident’s Green Key Card, for golf discounts at the county course.  Why not registered to vote since I was here?  I suspect I am still registered to vote in D.C. where lived until June 2016.  I was in Florida for the 2016 election and voted for Hilary, because I was living there temporarily, housesitting.

Yes Donald, it is very easy to register to vote in multiple states as a U.S.citizen.  Like your family and Advisor Bannon. However, I have no intention of voting in all of them.  Lots of people have multiple houses and addresses – winter and summer homes.  But what happens when you have no permanent address?   Thank goodness for my family and friends who are forwarding my mail and letting me use their addresses.

Many full-time RVers register their rigs in South Dakota, apparently, it is “really” easy to register vehicles there.  Also, there is a mailboxes outfit in SD or Good Sam many RVers use to forward mail.  The US Postal Service charges $20 a week, but that service won’t work for RVers like me, because we are moving from place to place.  While I love the U.S. Postal Service, I am thankful for electronic banking and bill pay.

As for insurance, I saved (or will save) a bunch of money registering in NC, but not with GEICO.  Florida, TX or NY are expensive insurance states.  The rates are super cheap in NC.  By switching my Airstream policy to NC the premiums are paid in full until December and they even refunded me some money.  However, to get the full value of the Airstream, if it were to get wrecked, I need a full replacement value RV policy, which GEICO doesn’t offer. 

What is a 2008 Airstream worth?  I wasn’t going to leave it to any insurance company to determine value, so based on the bill of sale, I will get what I paid for Scout.  Goodbye GEICO and hello Progressive.  Unlike those box type travel trailers, Airstreams retain their value.  Why Airstreams costs more up-front, but you are more likely to get your money back when you sell.  Just look at EBay and what used Airstreams go for, compared to other RVs.

As for registering to vote in multiple states, my friend John Lindback (recently retired) helped create ERIC, Electronic Registration Information Center.  ERIC offers state election officials cross matching of voter records to stop duplicate voter registration and other errors such as death of the voter using modern database matching.  GOP Florida Governor Rick Scott refuses to pay the $100,000 to participate, so stay tune for more FL voter problems.   The GOP is the party always screaming about voter fraud, so why won’t GOP Governor Scott enroll Florida?  Maybe he wants to be able to dispute any future election results?  Or, allow Trump advisor Bannon to vote twice?  Two good reasons to not live or vote in Florida, I am certain there are many more.

I NEED A CO-PILOT

GPS is no co-pilot.  Especially, the system in my 2010 Prius, which Toyota no longer supports.  Several weeks ago, I ended up in a neighborhood instead of a general aviation airport where my friends Tim and Liz had landed.  Yesterday, the QUICK option from NJ to Long Island took a short-cut through Flushing, Highland Park and Flatbush!  Exiting from the Long Island Expressway onto surface streets.  What was my GPS thinking?  There was a moment on the first block sitting at a red light, I thought turn around, go back!  Instead of QUICK this route should have been called SCENIC.

I love maps.  Maps show where you are in context.  You can see the big picture.  GPS displays a route.

Driving through Brooklyn on a cool summer Saturday evening is a wonderful view of New York diversity.  The exit took me right into Koreatown, then the neighborhood changed to Hasidic Jews, and with each block more multi-cultural people on the stoops, Black, Hispanic, Muslim, young and old.  On a day where the news media was full of covering the sad events in Charlottesville, VA. Where hate and racism is on display.  New York City, Brooklyn and Queens are uplifting because people of all nations are living together and enjoying a beautiful summer evening together.

While it took me an extra hour to get back onto Route 27 and my temporary home in Westhampton, my GPS was reminding me about what is right in this country, not what is terribly wrong.

Montauk vs. Indian Island

There is nothing better than a public course with a great view.  Indian Island Country Club Golf Course, Riverhead, NY is one of my favorites.  Only 20 minutes from my sister’s house in Westhampton, NY.  Don’t let Country Club in the name fool you, this is a public course.  Suffolk County residents get a great rate with a Green Key Card, $26 resident and $44 non-resident.  The front 9 runs along Peconic River offering beautiful water views of boats and swans.  Indian Island is a great course to walk.  Forward tees are 5445, slope71.3, and rating 118.  The Outer Banks Restaurant has some of the very best bar food in the area, including a great hamburger.  On Tuesdays you get a free draft beer with purchase of a burger.  Yum!

Montauk Downs State Park Golf Course is certainly more famous as Long Island public courses go, but the price isn’t worth the drive.  $91 plus $20 for cart, I just don’t think it is worth the price.  The course is not exceptional, and certainly not worth the money.  It is a long course for woman 5797 yardage, slope 132 and rating 74.2.  The Regulation yardage is 6289, slope 130, rating 71.2.

I’ll stick with playing Indian Island.  I love the walk spoiled.

I Admire You

“I admire you” the grandmother said to me while drying my hair in the bathroom of the KOA San Luis Obispo, CA.  As a single woman in a RV, I get some attention in campgrounds.   The Airstream helps.  Certainly, there are more men than woman out there enjoying the road, but I am not alone as a single woman.  And there are hundreds of websites, YouTube videos and blogs for full-time RVers.   I told the grandmother, I couldn’t wait around to find a man to do it with me, not for lack of trying.

My favorite site is of course AllStays, which lists all campgrounds, Walmart’s, propane stations and dump sites.  DoItYourselfRV offers tips on how-to, and other interesting stories of RVers.  Today there was a list of celebrates that own RVs.  Matthew McConaughey has a vintage Airstream in Malibu, and Jeff Daniels drives a Gulf Stream Tour Master in Upper Michigan in the winter.  According to Daniels, “You aren’t a real American if you have never been behind the wheel of an RV”.

When asked where I live, and I say an Airstream, the most often response is, “that is my dream”. 

 “Baby boomers” retiring, moving into RVs and seeing the country.  We were the first generation to travel in trailers, so going back to camping in retirement seems the perfect way to complete the circle of life.

3 tips: 1) You don’t need all that stuff – clutter doesn’t work in an RV; 2) It takes longer than you planned – stuff happens that you weren’t expecting; and, 3) Don’t drive more than 200 miles in a day – driving is exhausting when you are towing a trailer.   The fear of a flat tire or even worse a blow out, not to mention crazy or inconsiderate drivers.  Merge is a foreign concept.

What is the hardest thing, or the thing I hadn’t expected?  Loneliness – although expected.  My solidarity nature is a benefit.  Also, I prefer urban life to wilderness.  My idea of a hike is walking 18 holes of golf.  So, finding a nice coffee shop or sidewalk cafe to watch people and write or read, is a regular activity and provides social interaction to ward off loneliness.  But hanging out in a campground under trees or on a beach is a wonderful way to enjoy the day.  People in campgrounds are exceedingly friendly and helpful.  Especially when backing into a campsite.

Another interesting blog is Workers on Wheels, where jobs are posted in campgrounds.  This month there is an ad for workers to come to Wyoming RV park for short-term help — a couple of weeks — to help with their solar eclipse events in mid-August.  Someday I might work as a campground host when I want to stay put for several months.

Mostly I am looking forward to hearing Diane and John’s experience driving Scout across country for me in September, and returning to my road to reinvention.  

Until then, I am madly sewing Scout’s new decor, pillows, quilt, curtains and cushions.   And, dreaming of the day my friends and family who keep talking about RVing will join me.