Tag Archives: RecreationalVehicle

Let the Fireworks Begin!

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There’s one big event I’ve heard about for years–Thunder Over Louisville.  I’ve never attended, but I’ve decided this is the year for me. 

Thunder Over Louisville

Thunder Over Louisville Fireworks!

Thunder Over Louisville is billed as the world’s largest fireworks show and is the official kick-off to the Kentucky Derby Festival.  The Festival itself spans the weeks leading up to the Kentucky Derby (always the first Saturday in May) and includes events like a steamboat race and a balloon race. Sounds like my kind of fun!

“Thunder” is more than just a fireworks display, though. It is a day-long Saturday event (April 21 this year) on the banks of the Ohio River with more than half a million people hanging out and watching an air show during the afternoon while they wait for the fireworks to start.  I’ve heard it’s pretty amazing, especially when it gets dark.  A friend of mine who’s been to it says the fireworks are set to music, and they have things like a “waterfall of fire” from one of the bridges.

I’ve seen pictures of Thunder Over Louisville and heard stories about it. I’ve always wanted to see it in person, and now in a few days I’ll be pulling my Airstream, Max, up to Louisville to meet some RV friends of like mind – three couples I’ve known for years – and we’ll attend together.

Unfortunately, having been cautioned by friends who’ve attended, I’m going to have to leave Scamp and Rambler behind in Nashville.  Pets aren’t allowed at the event and they’d be frightened by the noise anyway so my good friends, Anne and Chet, offered to give Scamp and Rambler a vacation at their place for a week or so, depending on how many of the Derby Festival Events I want to attend.  The dogs will no doubt enjoy the change of pace themselves – I mean, everybody needs some time away, right?

We’ve booked adjoining spaces in a nice RV park just south of Louisville and will take two cars into town for the festivities.  We’ll make the RV park our base of operations, so to speak.  I’ve always enjoyed the “group camp” and all it brings with it, especially the division of labor.  You get to share the cooking chores and inevitably you learn some new recipes.  I like the group dynamic, too–card playing after dinner, a few convivial libations, and trading stories. 

One of the other couples who has been to Thunder before says the RV park we’ve booked has a really nice picnic grounds.  It’s somewhat removed from the main RV area and sits under a wonderful stand of shade trees, but it doesn’t have power.  We’ve talked about sharing a few meals there, so I’m looking forward to trying out my latest acquisition, my new Dometic portable generator.  We’re such an electricity-dependent society, aren’t we?  It will be nice to be able to plug in useful appliances (like my blender) when we’re “roughing it” away from the RVs.

I’m really looking forward to Thunder Over Louisville and the rest of the Kentucky Derby Festival.  I’ve always heard those Kentuckians know how to throw a party.  Any place that is the home of thoroughbred horse racing and bourbon knows how to show visitors a good time.  I’ll let you know how it all went in a few weeks.

Livin’ the love,

Robin

A Request For “Rookie” Tips

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Tips for First Time RVers

Follow the signs and follow the rules!

I got the nicest response to my last blog entry from a woman named Debra, and I’m just now taking the time to acknowledge it.  Because of what she asked, I thought it might be nice to share my answer through the blog since it concerns something a lot of people – well, at least the people who like to read my blog! – might wish to know. 

She wrote that she and her husband were going to be renting an RV for the first time this summer and she was looking for some “rookie” tips from an old hand like me.

So here goes…

As I was thinking about what to tell Debra, it occurred to me that there is one overriding theme that seems to be common to every situation and to every interaction you’ll have. It has to do with courtesy. Since most of us RVers tend to stay in campgrounds or RV parks, that’s a good place to start. 

  • The first tip I’d pass along is to learn the campground’s or park’s rules as soon as you get there (or even before, if they have a website). You’ll find they’re usually written to insure you enjoy your stay and to allow others to enjoy theirs. 
  • When you get there, take a look at how others are parked.  Generally, you’ll want to try to orient your RV the same as others
  • Are you pulling in late at night or leaving especially early?  Try to make as little noise as possible or not burn lights too late or too early that may disturb others. 
  • Have a firepot there in the space?  Use it for fire only, not as a makeshift garbage can. 
  • Got pets? (Boy, do I have pets!)  I love my dogs, Scamp and Rambler, but I realize not everyone else likes pets, so I’m always careful to keep them under control

It’s just simple courtesy when you think about it. Try to conduct yourself so that you leave nothing behind but a good memory of your visit for those you get to know on the road. If you are looking for more tips for beginner RVers or for tips for camping on your own like I do, check out RV.com’s RV Lifestyle Tips.

I’ll conclude with one of my favorite memories about being an RVer and the whole idea of treating others as you would like to be treated. 

I was spending the night in a campground in a swamp on the Louisiana-Texas border a few years back when I first started the RV life.  The campground was pretty bare-bones, it was miles to the nearest grocery store and it was the middle of the week.  There were only a few RVs there.  The couple from the next occupied space – about four down from where I was parked- was trying to prepare their dinner.  He was manning the grill, she was in their galley.  A few minutes later, the wife walked over to my Airstream, Max, and, after apologizing for intruding, asked if I had any cumin (the spice) I could spare.  As luck would have it, I had about two teaspoons left in a spice tin and offered it to her.  She protested that she couldn’t take the last of what I had but I insisted, since I wasn’t going to use it anytime soon.  She thanked me repeatedly and went back to their motor home.

About a year later, I was at a campground outside Austin, relaxing in a canvas chair under my awning one evening, when, to my great surprise, the woman I had met the year before in the swamp walked up and, with a big smile, handed me an unopened spice tin of cumin.  Laughing, she said, “I was hoping we’d run into you again some day.”

Do unto others…that’s the one tip I’d pass along as essential.  Keep that in mind and you’ll be fine.

Livin’ the love,

Robin

*Disclaimer: RV.com, which is owned by Dometic Corporation, sponsors On the Road with Robin.  Neither Dometic Corporation, nor RV.com, provide this blogger with free Dometic products, and this blogger does not receive a commission on click-throughs from links on this blog to RV.com, Dometic.com, or any other site.  All references made to product brands are made in an attempt to provide readers with the knowledge necessary to recreate the experiences mentioned in this blog.