Decisions Decisions…

Even though we are entering the dog days of summer, our thoughts are turned to our winter trip.  Our first year  as “snow birds”.  Personally, I don’t want anything to do with snow.. so I’ll just call it our first winter as “sun birds”!

It is amazing how much work traveling to Florida for the winter is.   The actual work effort to find spots for 4 months as we make our way around the Florida coastline is a story I’ll share another time.  Today I am writing about our current conundrum – do we leave before or after Christmas?  Our original plan had us either taking Stella to Nashville and storing her there in November and picking her up after Christmas or storing here here in Michigan and leaving the week after Christmas.

I love Christmas.   I love Christmas at home.  Christmas Eve with the Massa/Koscielny family has become a wonderful annual tradition.  Christmas morning with a fire roaring in the fireplace, not getting out of pajamas until absolutely necessary, listening to Handel’s Messiah and enjoying mimosa’s.  I love spending time with Sam and, now, Jordan.


Taking a November trip to Nashville sounds like fun.  But it involves a lot of driving – and extra drive south and back. Leaving after Christmas with the truck and cats makes sense from a safety perspective.  But we are not sure we want to leave her so far away without knowing whether she is safe and secure.

The thought of towing Stella south from Michigan after Christmas has both Ralph and I on edge.  We know people who hit the road that week.  They say “no problem” but they are seasoned travelers.  We are newbies to towing Stella and the thought of passing through the “ice belt” is giving us pause.

We have a third option – leave earlier in December before Mother Nature begins her icy dance.

We have time to decide.  It is not difficult finding a place to stay for the night as we make the run as far south as we feel like traveling.  We have our first stop in Jackson Center Ohio at the Airstream Factory – belovedly referred to the “Mother Ship” by the airstream community.  After that anywhere within 300-400 miles can be our next spot. Our destination is the pan handle by New Years Eve.  Even if it is 40 there, it will be better than 20s in Michigan.  The idea of Christmas in Nashville or father south, maybe Galveston, sounds inviting.

This week, I will be doing 3 options for leaving prior to Christmas – different routes and different timelines.  That is my Father’s genes alive in me – plan, evaluate, replan, finalize..  We can mull it over for the next 3 months.

Christmas at home or Christmas away?



Shake Down

Finally, Stella found her wheels and hit the road.  Our first trip was few day trip only 50 miles from our dealer.  Stella hitched beautifully to the Beast, our 2017 GMC 2500 Denali. Hitch on Hitch off, Hitch on Hitch off..  Counting the links – 9 down and power through the sway distribution hook up.    A few nervous moments and we head north to Muskegon State Park.    The weather wasn’t going to play nice – cooler temperatures and rain, but we had lots to do to get to know our “home away from home”.

The winds were blustering so we changed our plans and instead of heading to Grand Haven, we found a spot in Holland for the next few days..

Nervous on the road, but both Ralph and I drove part of the way.  Need to get used to the feeling of having 9,000 lbs behind us.

I guess it was a good shake down, since nothing major happened, no one was hurt and nothing broke…

Trip one logged in the books…..