Fall Foliage, Day 63 - Greenbelt, Maryland to Dallas, Texas
Today was a VERY long drive. jk we flew! And boy, are our arms tired.
Okay for real now. I woke up at 5:30 to take Alfie for a walk and just barely remembered to use the ‘comfort stations’ instead of our toilet ( we already emptied the tanks last night and put in antifreeze to prep the RV for being left in a parking lot for two weeks).
Christian’s new headlamp came in handy on our walk since the sun hadn’t risen yet - it was a little eerie looking out into the empty spots and seeing half a dozen glowing eyes staring back at you, but we’d been seeing deer around so I wasn’t too concerned. I did stay on the road though!
Once we got back, Alfie tried to go back to sleep on the beanbag while I wrapped up a few final leaving tasks, likely cleaning out the recently-defrosted fridge, attaching the tow car safety chains, and getting some fanfiction on my Kindle for the flight.
Christian got up at about 6:30, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then we were off.
Living in an RV makes traveling by road so much more comfortable - all of our clothes, pots/pans, gadgets… really everything we own in the world (aside from some larger kitchen appliances) is right there with us. Having to pack a bag for two weeks without fully knowing what we’ll be doing in those weeks was tough for me.
Figuring out where to leave our house for two weeks was a little tricky, too. We wound up finding a long-term lot with enough space that would only charge $8/day for our whole rig. This was our first stop, after a little more re-routing to avoid those pesky anti-RV parkways.
We found the lot and our spot with no problem. Christian turned off the propane and the batteries while I took Alfie for his final walk before the flight. Once the shuttle bus arrived, it was into the travel crate for him - he was a real trooper the whole time! All told, he was probably in there for about five hours without whining once.
The shuttle bus dropped us off with no problems, we got checked in, flew through security (carrying Alfie let me go through the old-school metal detector), and made it to the gate with an hour to go before boarding. Alfie just curled up in his little crate while I read and Christian computer-ed.
Having paid for a carry-on (we flew Spirit, you pay for everything!) we were able to board in Zone 1. I had been waiting for the hammer to drop this whole time, and the moment finally arrived when I handed the gate attendant my boarding pass - “your pet isn’t on here.” OH NOOO Alfie’s going to have to Homeward-Bound it to Texas oh wait he’s on Christian’s whew aaand we were on the plane. We’d been assigned an aisle and middle seat next to each other. I breathed yet another sigh of relief as Alfie’s carrier fit under the seat with no problem.
He was an absolute angel the whole flight and we finally arrived in Dallas to 70º weather. Our Uber ride to my parents’ house was lovely - our driver was a published author who homeschooled her eight children (!) and is now writing a book about meeting strangers. We chatted about baking bread, education, and raising Arabian horses, before Christian showed her how to use VoiceOver to have books read to her.
We got in the house and the Farrell poodle pack went nuts - even more so when they realized there was a new dog in their midst. I let them out of their crates and it was basically a butt-sniffing-free-for-all.
After some outdoor time, a little tag in the house, and a few pack-heirarchy-settling scuffles, I was settled on the couch with four dogs all around. Mom thinks that Alfie is not quite a poodle, leaning towards some Schnauzer or terrier.
He ate dinner with no problem and made another quick trip outside, then we (Christian, Alfie, and I) drove into Dallas to a friend’s house for a mystery event.
I’d ordered a temporary crate for the two weeks we’re in Dallas that fold down flat and is quite portable, though made of a canvas material so probably not a long-term solution. It came in quite handy at the event, which turned out to be an ASL lesson! It was fun/challenging to get dropped into an intensive learning experience - we were all wearing earplugs and there was no talking allowed for the two-and-a-half hours we were there.
We returned to Coppell for some homemade Italian beef and relaxation with blazing fast Internet and enough space for Alfie to be out of my line of sight. He curled up in his temp-crate with no complaints while Christian researched Hennessy Hammocks and I read on the couch. Once we left the room to go to bed, though, he started complaining - I came out to get him to settle down and found him in the process of escaping, somehow unzipping the front door of the crate.
I moved the crate into our bedroom and he settled down. I plan to work on his separation issues when any complaints won’t wake up the whole household.