By Machelle James
I think I could have had a heart attack last week. The stress level for us to get the store opened and the sites cleaned before our guests arrived for Memorial Day weekend was more than I bargained for. First off, our landscapers canceled and I could not get anyone to come in at such short notice to weed-whack and clean up the sites. Let’s just say, the new landscaper is the one typing this article.
I’m pretty good at weed-whacking, but our electrical whacker was not working well. The string ran out and I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the cap off, let alone re-string it. AJ had to drive to the valley that day and I was ALONE, trying to figure out what to do. I watched YouTube videos and I still couldn’t do it! Needless to say, I called AJ and asked him to get me a new weed eater.
Another interesting fact I learned while landscaping is which weeds grow into being what I call “Devil Weeds”. The ones that turn into burrs, the ones that have sharp edges and poke you, the ones that are bad for dogs. I am learning WAY more than I ever anticipated about the weeds. Honestly, I am calling a company that offers a non-toxic alternative to killing these weeds. We do not want any sick pets, so we will schedule when we do not have Campers coming into sites to get it done.
Now, about the store and check-in area. AJ worked until at least 8:00 p.m. every day until the walls were up, the switch plates were on and the cabinets were in place. He made a top for the counters out of plywood until the wood countertops are done. The store looks AMAZING, and we aren’t even truly finished yet!
My friends came in to help stock the store and organize the items. PepsiCo came in with the refrigerator and brought us the drinks for stocking. We had the whole store ready to go by Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend—right in the middle of 17 arrivals for that day.
Our regulars came into the store and were BLOWN AWAY with how much work had been done in such a short time. We sold hats, T-shirts, goggles for off-road riding, ice cream, insulated drink cups, sodas and snacks. One HUGE disappointment was that we did not get our ice cube freezer delivered with bagged ice in it. We need it so badly, and that was the only bummer with the weekend.
One thing we learned about the coffee machine was that we DO NOT get to have the grinder type of machine unless we get a ton of customers. We have to prove ourselves before we get the top-notch equipment. For now, we received two commercial drip, air pot coffee makers. So, for now, we have to wait another week for the approval from the Health Department before we can sell coffee. We wait and look at how pretty the coffee bar area is instead. I’ll take pictures when the countertops come in this week.
Happy Campers over Memorial Day weekend
We had a full house of Happy Campers over Memorial Day weekend! There were no issues or complaints, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. AJ and I were FINALLY able to relax on Sunday when we finished stocking the store. We had friends over for a BBQ and they were telling us how WONDERFUL the store and porch area was and, you know what? We have been so busy getting it all done, that we truly didn’t even stop to appreciate all the hard work that went into this project. It is GORGEOUS! The bar tops outside, the patio chairs, the inside décor, the whole process came together and DANG, it looks amazing! We did this—and we do deserve a pat on the back as we didn’t even have time to sit and soak it all in yet.
As we waved goodbye and said our “See ya laters”, we took a deep breath and went to bed early that night. We were exhausted, yet on Cloud 9 at the same time. We love this lifestyle and are so happy with the people we are meeting.
I have to give a huge “Thank You” to you RVTravel.com readers as we have seen a whole bunch of you lately! We cannot thank you enough for supporting us and trusting us to help you along the way to your next destination. Please come visit us if you’re traveling in North Eastern Arizona!
Thank you for following our Campground Journey and See You in the Trees!
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AJ, Machelle and Jenna
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Machelle James and her husband, AJ, built, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them at their website, or on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park, or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.