By Machelle James
Have you ever packed for a two-week vacation and wondered why you have three bags each at the end? I am experiencing this as we speak. AJ, Jenna and I are packing for a road trip and I had no idea how much stuff we use on a daily basis! Apparently, we take more vitamins than anyone I know. And we each have our own personal items: hair care, shave cream, razors, lotions, face wash, etc.
Well, AJ would be good with a bar of soap, normally, but he is having extremely itchy skin lately due to his eczema. Poor guy is a mess with an advanced case it and we are trying to get it under control. He needs to be covered in goo just to not scratch his arms off at night. He has all the prescriptions for it—he just needs it to start working.
Hard well water taking a toll
I have to say that having hard well water is finally taking a toll on us. We are definitely looking into a water softener when we get back, as Jenna and I are itchy too. She has eczema like AJ does, and she was bleeding from the hard water on her hands. It took a month to get her hands to get back to normal. Let’s just say she does NOT like wearing cotton gloves to bed and it took longer to heal since she wouldn’t wear them. It’s a tactile thing for her. She tried to do it for one night but just couldn’t handle it.
All the above issues and needing four days of clean clothes for travel, shoes and socks for all weather changes. Games, movies, headphones and food to go because there isn’t anywhere to eat when the urge hits. But I think we are possibly about ready to go. This our first cross-country road trip with Jenna. We are a little nervous with how she will handle being in the car for extended periods of time.
Lots to do with the park before we leave
What has hit us hard this week is the last-minute MUST-do items on our list before buttoning up the park. AJ had to finish the underlayment for the roof. It was so cold that the material wouldn’t stick, so he couldn’t work on that for days at a time. He worked on plumbing, and that job is all done as of today.
He also installed all of the interior light switches, light can kits, lines for three fans, exterior light boxes and exterior plugs. I cannot tell how lucky I am that AJ knows how to do all that stuff. It is saving us an arm and a leg in construction costs. Now, we are waiting to hear back from our local electric company as the specific 200-amp electrical panel that we were told we need is out 48 WEEKS! We are praying that they will come back with an alternative brand so we can keep on track and open as planned.
We’re going to have a billboard
We also just signed up with a billboard company to have us advertise on a billboard near our Campground. This is so exciting as it is in a great location and we can customize it to read something like, “Happy Campers, turn left in 500 feet and let your Family Vacation begin at AJ’s Getaway.” This should be completed and ready for installation on April 1st. What I like about it is we will have that location for 2 years with an option to renew when our contract is up.
We should have the metal roof here for when we get back, and we are ordering the siding for the store tomorrow. I picked out a company and a color for siding, but it takes four weeks for it to get delivered. We will be hustling when we get back to get the roof done and call for an inspection.
I won’t have any updates for you while we are gone as we will truly be enjoying this time with our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.
Any suggestions for places for the family to visit?
I will say, the route I chose will be quite an adventure, as we will be going through Amarillo, Texas, to Fort Smith, Arkansas, stopping in Memphis, Tennessee, then to Tupelo, Mississippi, and our final stop in Covington, Georgia. Yes, we will be visiting Elvis’ childhood home and we will be eating at B.B. King’s Blues Club. We also just got our passes from the Interagency Military Pass Program so we can visit National Parks along the way.
This is truly the first for all of us and we are so looking forward to it. Please offer your favorite places to stop if you are familiar with that route as we would love to hear from you!
Thank You for following our campground journey, and see you in the trees!
Read previous articles here.
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.