Friday, March 20, 2009

The Class of 2007 Escapees Reunion Rally

Before retirement, I had found the Escapees Forum online, found that a group of people were all retiring and going full time in 2007, like us, and signed us up. We had been unable to attend the first rally, at Quartzite, in January of 2008, and had kind of forgotten about the group until we met Nancy and Jim Tidball, who shared with us the plans for a rally at Boerne, Texas. We were a little unsure of our decision to attend a rally as we had never been to one before. Would we fit in? Would the others be friendly and welcome us or would the group have formed a closed circle?
As we pulled into our spot, at Alamo Fiesta Rv in Boerne, Norah walked up and introduced herself to us. She was the wagon mistress for the rally, and invited us to join the group after we had parked and setup. The warm welcome meant a lot to us and all of our nervousness evaporated.
The motor homes and fifthwheels were parked the around the Rally Hall, where group coffees, meals, happy hours, and workshops were all planned. We finished parking and went over to meet the group, and after introductions, easily forgot about all of our concerns.
The first day of the rally officially opened with registration, followed by Happy Hour. It was our first introduction to Margarators. No kidding, these were actually machines that were set up and running, dispensing either margaritas or frozen strawberry daiquiris! Joe poured us a margarita and Marsha, Molly and Nancy styled their party sunglasses for us.
That evening we had Hobo Stew, a concoction of stew made from cans of food brought by each member of the rally. Bob, of Bob and Molly, explained to me how the stew was prepared, and we had a wonderful meal, after drawing a number for table seating(At each meal Bobbie had everyone draw a number for table seating, to help in meeting new people, an excellent idea).
We had volunteered to hold our star party that evening and so we went home and got our materials ready. We hoped people would enjoy the party and made it a game with silly prizes that people would get for being the first to sight the first eight stars and planets. Before long everyone was there and people were pointing out and shouting their discoveries of each star. It was so nice to see the people enjoying the workshop and I was barely able to keep up with the questions as Renita handed out the prizes.
The next two days were filled with workshops and endless tables of snacks and food. Hank gave a great workshop on Geocaching, an activity we had been meaning to start.
A genealogy workshop was presented by Marty, whose passion for genealogy was easily apparent. The final workshop on blogging, was led by Molly, who gathered us all together as we shared our blogs and helped each other with tricks and gadgets,(Perhaps you can notice the neat travel map, taught to me by Jim and Marsha).
We both learned so much from the activities!
The last evening was filled with a huge Thanksgiving meal,(deep friend turkeys cooked by Bob and Joe and a host of others), followed by a brown bag gift exchange! It was similar to the one held at Watersedge at Christmas. Renita ended up with a coffee grinder and coffee beans. I traded mine gift several times and finally got stuck with an oyster knife that I had tried to give away,(It was the gift that I had originally brought). How funny!
People ask us as to why we sold our house and went fulltime rving? We tried to explain the need to see all of the USA, to live on the coast, to cross the prairies and mountains, to feel the dry desert wind on our faces. All these are good enough reasons, but the best reasons for going full time is being able to make so many new friends. The rally was the best! Thank you all for your welcome and friendship. Clear skies.


Jim & Nanc said...

Great blog. So glad you decided to join the fun. Glad you had a good time. Thanks for the star party. It was great seeing you both and look forward to meeting up later this year. Safe travels. The Tidballs

Chasingthe70s said...

It was really great to meet you two, and I am glad you decided to join in on the fun at the rally.
I hope our paths cross again really soon.
Joe and Marcia

Bob and Molly said...

Mark and Renita, thanks so much for sharing the stargazing with was a huge hit and I now find myself studying the stars nightly as I walk!
It was truly great meeting both of you and we hope to see on the road soon. Stay in touch!
Bob & Molly
PS: Did you stay at Waters Edge in Rockport this winter?