Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Camper Life with the Dogs

Full-timing in the camper has been a difficult transition, much more difficult than I anticipated. No question, the worst part is the change in routine with our dogs.

In our house in East Texas, we have a big, shaded fenced-in yard and we have a doggie door. The dogs had complete access to the backyard at all times of the day and night.

What?! This place has no doggie door?!?
 In the camper, we have no fenced-in yard and dogs have to be leashed at all times. For potty time, we have two options: walks or leads. For early morning and late at night, I use the leads because they're just going out there for a short while. I also use the leads when we're sitting outside hanging out (they are never tied out when we're not with them).

Yeah, no. I don't do grass, Custer. 

Just take the lead off, Mama. I promise I won't go anywhere. Promise ;-)

But walking several times a day is really important for them. First of all, it's stimulating. Being in the camper or sitting out on their leads in the "yard" has to be really boring for them. Walks let them sniff and smell and pee on every other vertical object they come across. Also, the exercise is really good for them. Even though they're all older and less active than they used to be, keeping their weight in check and keeping their joints mobile is really important to me. I think they actually probably walk more now that we're here because we schedule at least three walks each day. At home, I think they got a little lazy and really went outside only to do their bidness.

Camper life with dogs is not optimal at all, but we're all making the best of it. These doggies are handling it so, so well. Much better than I am. They're just such wonderful little souls. I'm so lucky to have them in my life.

Monday, June 8, 2015

5 Crappy Things About Camper Living - Initial Reactions

After I wrote this post, I read through it and it sounds so whiny. I stand by the first two complaints, but the last three (and my bonus sixth; you're welcome) are pretty big one-percenter problems.

This is the number one worst. I hate it. I feel so guilty for taking the doggies away from their big yard and their doggie door. I'm trying to make the best of it and make them feel as comfortable and normal as possible. I got some leads and a stake and we can sit outside in our "yard" together. On the weekends we can go to the dog park. We gets lots of walks in, at least three each day. Most importantly, I know they're happy being with their humans and I'm happy having them with me.

I read a lot of stuff on the interwebs about campers. Apparently, it's a truth universally acknowledged by all RVers that there is always something to be fixed.
Yay! Water pouring out of the bottom of the camper!
It's like owning a house, but stuff seems to break more frequently and repairs are practically as expensive as their real-house counterparts would be. Also, there seems to be only one person in the whole area who will repair your camper on site. He never answers his phone and his voicemail box is full, but it's ok cause he doesn't return texts. Oh, and when he does show up on a Friday night at 9 pm unannounced to fix what's broken, be prepared to offer up your first born, or the entire balance of your 401(k).

Having our own washer and dryer in our house right next to the kitchen was a massive luxury. There is a laundry room in the clubhouse, so we don't have to go anywhere to do it, but we do have to have quarters and lug everything up there and hope that there are machines open. Waaaaa! Waaaaa! Waaaaa!

I hate low, constant noises, like fans and air conditioners. This one never shuts off until you manually shut it off (in other words, you can't set it to go off once the ambient temperature reaches a certain level). And I think it's loud. I don't think it bothers Chris, so I guess we need a third party to weigh in on that.

Our real bed is a tempurpedic and it's king sized. This one is a pretty generic spring mattress and it's a full. My back hurts.


I'll see myself out now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

San Antonio Sights: Mission San Jose

San Antonio has five Missions that were established in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with varying numbers of their original structures still remaining. These Missions, which include the famous Alamo, have been preserved and are now important cultural and tourist sites in the city.

On Sunday, Chris and I visited the largest one, Mission San Jose (Saint Joseph).

It is so, so cool. It was established in 1720 and there are so many of the original structures remaining. It is actually still an active Catholic Parish (except for the Alamo, they all are). We've made it our goal to see all five Missions. One down, four to go!