A Whirlwind of Heartland Family Visits

Posted by on April 16, 2018

Looks like Wisconsin!

Our main supplier for disc brake parts has a plant in Winchester, Tennessee which is about 60 miles northeast of Huntsville so we couldn’t resist taking a drive to meet some of the people we work with via email/phone on a daily basis.

It was a pretty drive with lots of green, trees, farms which made the hour and a quarter trip enjoyable.  It reminded me a lot of the Wisconsin countryside.  Before I knew it we arrived at our destination.

Colby, Jackie, Cindy, Tami

We were able to sit down and chat with Colby and Tami who we work pretty closely with.  Colby and Lon receive our purchase orders and process them and answer any questions we might have.  Tami deals mostly with warranty issues and customers who aren’t as happy as they should be.  Unfortunately, Lon left early and we weren’t able to meet him.  We also met Cindy, the Customer Service lead, as well as Jackie who is in sales.

We asked several questions which they were kind enough to give us understandable answers.  We learned a lot we didn’t know and confirmed things we thought we knew.  We visited about 45 minutes or so but finally let them all get back to work.
Before leaving town stopped at Wal-Mart for DEF and a few odds and ends before heading back to Huntsville.  Winchester is just a small town of about 8500 people but it seemed to have most everything you’d need.  A little fun fact we learned while driving down one of the main streets – Dinah Shore Boulevard.  Yep…that’s right.  Dinah Shore was born in Winchester back in 1916.

Glad there wasn’t a real issue after all

On our way back home, we came upon a line of traffic backed up on the highway with a jack-knifed truck in the middle of the road.  It didn’t look like there was any damage to the truck or an accident.  I wondered if we’d be delayed very long but it only took a few minutes before he ended up backing up and going forward since the turn he was trying to makes was too tight.  Crisis averted!

We were back home shortly after 4:00 pm – giving us a chance to do some catching up on emails – thankfully Friday’s aren’t normally too busy – before we were out the door and headed to meet friend for dinner at 6:00 pm.

Huge place…and super busy!

I’d received a message, earlier in the day, from our old Heartland friends Wyndy and Pat checking to see if we’d have time to get together.  We LOVE those kind of messages!  We made plans to meet at Rosie’s Cantina for dinner.

We absolutely LOVE getting together with friends and family while we travel

We met Wyndy and Pat at a Heartland rally in Gulf Shores back in 2012 (read about it HERE) and have crossed paths a couple of times since.  Back in July 2015 they popped up at the same campground we were at in Elkhart, Indiana!  (read about it HERE)  Sadly, Wyndy and Pat are no longer Heartland owners but that doesn’t make us love them any less!

We had a really great visit – discussing travel, neighboring pets that come for dinner, their recent wedding, our grandkids, RVing, etc etc etc.  As usual our meal last over two hours but those two hours went fast!  To top it all off the food was excellent.  Michael surprised the heck out of me when he ordered a spinach enchilada.  Years ago he’d turn his nose up at most vegetables and couldn’t have cared less if they were on his plate or not.  Now he almost expects there to be some sort of vegetable on his plate.   He’s come a long way, baby!

U.S.A. – says it all!

On our way back home we passed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, which we visited back in 2012 (and I visited when I was about 13 or so).  I had to take a couple of pictures as it’s lit up so pretty at night and I wanted to share with those of you that may not have ever visited.  If you haven’t, you should.

We were back home about 8:30 pm and while I went inside to do a few things, Michael battened down the hatches outside (put chairs, tubs, etc away) in preparation of storms that were due to arrive early Saturday morning.  The storms were supposed to start about 5:00 am but when I got up at 8:00 am nothing was going on.  However, about five minutes after I got up it started to sprinkle.
It started to sprinkle a bit ever now and again around 9:00 am.  And then it rained intermittently all day but no torrential down pours but at some points the rain came down pretty hard.  It rained all night and was still raining when we woke up Sunday morning.

Bob & Barb

Saturday evening we were blessed to be invited to our friend Bob & Barb’s home for dinner.  Bob and Barb are also former Heartland Owners who we met for the very first time in the fall of 2011 at our very first rally ever in Mississippi.  We were all members of the AlaMissibamassippi Chapter and will forever hold those first rally memories close to our hearts.

  Bob and Barb are originally from he New Jersey area and Bob loves to play the Mafia card.  When we first met, his favorite saying was “I’ll break your legs”.  He’s a great story-teller and you can never be too sure where his stories will take you.
Barb prepared a delicious dinner of pork tenderloin, potato casserole and salad and then strawberry shortcake to top it off.  We visited for several hours, enjoyed the highlights of their new home and also toured their new Mobile Suites RV….it sure has us thinking.  The Mobile Suites are just gorgeous with out of the park options/standards and the quality is awesome.
We finally had to say our goodbyes and make our way back home (in the rain).  We got back home around 9:30 and we immediately went about doing some move day prep inside the coach.  Not much to be done but whatever we did was that much less we had to do in the morning.  It wasn’t long and we were turning the light off and letting the sound of the rain lull us to sleep.
Sunday morning we had a rather leisurely morning.  We had chores to do to prepare to pull out but it was still raining when we got up at 7:30 am.  So we did a little work, had breakfast and relaxed hoping that the rain would finally stop as taking down the satellite, stowing the hoses etc is not the funnest just to do in the rain.

Comfortably parked in site 2

We pulled out of the Redstone Arsenal campground around 11:00 am and made our way to I-565 which turned into US 72 and followed it to our friends, Wayne and Anita’s home in Scottsboro.  Wayne and Anita graciously invited us to park in their very spacious driveway alongside their Bighorn for a few days so that we could spend some time together.

After a quick stop for a burger we arrived at Wayne and Nita’s about 1:00 pm.  Nita had given us excellent directions (even how to get turned around so we could easily back into their driveway, right along side their Bighorn.  We got set up quickly (nothing to do really) and we were in the house visiting with Wayne and Nita.

Anita, Wayne & Mikey

Nita made a delicious dinner of pot roast, potatoes, cole slaw, green beans and macaroni & cheese.  She even made dessert….times two!…Butterfinger cake (delicious) and a lemon bundt cake (too full to try).

After dinner, Grandbaby number three, Cameron, turned five on Monday so we got together via video chat to watch him open the presents we’d sent and then were back in the ‘big’ house with Wayne and Nita playing Mexican Train.  We played for a couple of hours, giving everyone a chance to win at least one round and then called it a night.

Delicious egg ‘muffins’ with meat, cheese, hash browns, etc

Anita, being the most excellent hostess that she is, prepared breakfast for us Monday morning.  Unfortunately, Wayne had to work and was missed but we really enjoyed breakfast and visiting with Anita.  She tried out a couple of new recipes on out us and both were excellent….one of which I plan to fix myself.

After breakfast Michael and I went home for a few hours to do some work – answer emails, make phone calls etc.

Kindles, Nooks, tablets…you name it

Early afternoon Anita took us to ‘Unclaimed Baggage’.  Home to all that baggage that gets lost at the airports.  You wouldn’t believe the things you find!  Lots of clothes (of course), golf clubs, oodles and oodles of electronics (phones, tablets, laptops, video game systems), purses, housewares (pots & pans!), sporting goods (bowling balls, wake boards), jewelry (costume & the real thing!), toiletries, etc etc etc.  My favorite thing was rocks!  You know all those rocks and sea shells that people take home with them.

Lots and Lots of jewelry

It was really interesting and we spent several hours roaming the place as it’s huge!  We took home a case for my sunglasses, a case for Michael’s satellite finder, a portfolio for my paperwork and a brand new bathroom scale.

Wayne and Anita out did themselves for dinner.  Wayne grilled steaks (ribeyes for he and I and t-bones for Michael and Nita) on his Traeger.  Oh my gosh…best steak I’ve had in ages.  Nita made baked potatoes, salad and sugar snap peas to accompany the steaks.  Everything was out of this world yummy.

LOVE this silly woman to death!

Anita gifted us with some awesome stainless steel straws to go with our insulated cups.  I never knew what I was missing out on…wow…they’re awesome.  That metal straw gets your drink to your mouth COLD.  We’ll be buying some more for backups.

We spent the remainder of the night just visiting.  We had the best visit and have made promises to do it again as soon as we can.  Maybe we’ll even get them to come out to Texas for our November rally…we’ll cross our fingers and say a few prayers that the stars align just right and then can make the trek.
Tomorrow we continue our journey west to our final westward destination.  Sadly, we have to leave Wayne and Nita behind.

4 Responses to A Whirlwind of Heartland Family Visits

  1. Wyndy & Pat

    Sounds like great visits all the way around. We really enjoyed seeing you again & catching up – even though we are faithful blog followers. Safe travels & enjoy Stone Mountain.

  2. getnbyeAnita

    Kelly and Michael, Wayne and I are so happy that y’all took time out of your busy schedule with the new business to come and visit with us.
    We relived so many old memories of our AlaMissiBamaSippi first rally where we meet and made new memories too.
    So much laughter and it was much needed. Perhaps someone on high was in charge of the planning of this visit more than either of us.
    We love y’all and we will miss you when you roll out of the yard, but we make sure that we see you again. Weather you like it or not! Safe travels friends.

    • Kelly

      We WILL be back! We love you two so much and had such a wonderful time! Thank you so much for eveyrthing!

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