I didn't know what else to call this chapter. I thought the title "One of those times when you really appreciate the value of your RV" was too long. Early in January, we had one of those times. My wife, Joyce,  got a phone call telling her that her mother in Alabama was really sick. Now if you don't have an RV and this happens, what do you do? You either pack some clothes, hop in your car, then move in with a relative when you get to your destination -- Or you start calling the airlines, pack some clothes, fly, get picked up at the airport or rent a car, then move in with a relative (or rent a motel room) at your destination. Either way, you probably end up without all the clothes and other essentials that you need, and end up either imposing on a relative or living in a motel and driving back and forth to whereever it is that you're needed. Oh Yes! And if you have four little dogs like we do, you contact the vet to see if he can take them in for some unknown period of time. haha -- our dogs would have a heart attack if we put them in the vet. NOT NECESSARY IF YOU HAVE AN RV!

What did we do? Well, it took us a few hours to get all of our clothes and other essentials packed into the RV -- since we do this often, we don't usually miss many of the essentials. Then, first thing the next morning, we piled the dogs in and drove on up to Alabama. By that night, we were parked in my sister-in-law's yard (where Joyce's mother is now living), hooked up to her extra phone line, plugged in the electricity, and were ready to stay as long as necessary. We didn't have to impose on anyone to pick us up at the airport, find a place for us to stay, or worry about if we were comfortable. Just point us to a place to park and we're set. Plus, with the phone line and electricity, I was able to continue my computer work while Joyce assisted in the care of her mom. And the cost was probably significantly less than a quick flight, rental car, motel, etc. After about a week, mom was feeling better and we were ready to head back home.
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Here are a couple of views of the parking area, which provides plenty of space for RVs. Across the street and around the plant, there were many acres of orchards. Don't know if they were peaches or pecans or both, since they weren't blooming at the time. If you can plan ahead, you might want to try to go when the orchards are blooming.
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A Willie Visit
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Parked in sister-in-law's yard in Arab, Alabama
Happy campers in Forest Glen Estates
Fresh Produce and the Guided Tour through the packing plant
Gift Shop, Mail Order, and Gourmet shop
A mural in the cafe, much like those that Joyce has on her website
Cafe with scrumptious salad bar and tasty Cheeseburgers
Now let me tell you about Joyce's tiny pocket of happiness. For those who haven't yet read the new book, that's the title of Joyce's chapter, where she explains that she considers a trip in the RV a success if she's able to find a few tiny pockets of happiness during the trip. Well, our stop at Lane Packing near Ft. Valley, Georgia, was just that. We were rolling down I-75 soon after leaving the campground mentioned above, when we saw a sign advertising a Peach and Pecan company coming up at Exit 142. I forget what the sign said that caught our attention, but I think it invited us to stop in and take a tour or something like that. So we did!

True to the ad, it was only about 5 minutes off the interstate, West on Georgia Highway 96. It turned out to be a really impressive place, had plenty of parking for cars, buses, and RVs, plenty of great Peach and Pecan products to buy, and the Peachtree Cafe. We wandered around, selected some bread, jelly, candy, and a few other goodies, then went to eat in the cafe. Joyce was pleased to find a scrumptious salad bar and I was also when I was able to get a very tasty Cheeseburger and Onion Rings (Vidalia, no doubt). Joyce had a wonderful time shopping around, I enjoyed my Cheeseburger, and the stop only took about 45 minutes out of our day. We were still able to get home by the end of the second day without hurrying much, so were both glad that we made the stop. It's little things like that that I refer to in my final book chapter, when I say I'm going to try to change my approach to RVing in an attempt to have Joyce enjoy it a little more now and then. Below, I've included some photos I took at our "tourist" stop.
Just because I have one, I've included a photo of us parked in sister-in-law's back yard. It's in a really rural area, but that's not a problem if you're prepared. We've got a 100' phone cord, 100' electric cord, and 100' TV cable. As long as we can get within 100' of the service, we're fine. Plus, my ISP has a toll-free 800 number, so internet access isn't a problem, even way out in the sticks. In my latest book (yes, I'll be mentioning that a lot hoping to interest more of you in purchasing a copy), these are just a few of the things that I recommend you get as you prepare to go on the road in your RV. Speaking of my book, in the last chapter, I mention that it's my intent to make my future RVing a little more casual and less scheduled, stopping at some interesting places so Joyce can find some of her tiny pockets of happiness. Well, we did just that on the way home -- read on!

First, let me mention something else I noticed on this trip. If you're cheap like me, and you're a member of Passport America, you sometimes push things a little to get to where one of those money-saving PA parks is. In doing so, you might save a few dollars, but you may at the same time frustrate your travel partner, who doesn't like to ride that long. So-o-o, I was toying with the idea of trying to make it to a PA park south of Macon. As we rolled down I-75 and it approached 4:30 and we got more tired, we decided to just look for a campground on one of those "here's what's at this exit" signs. We saw one just outside of Macon and adventurously exited the interstate. The park was called Forest Glen Estates, it had all pull-through paved sites, and was only $20 -- not too bad for random picking. To the right is a photo of our campsite -- really quite nice, only .3 miles off the interstate, and we got settled in well before we were too tired to enjoy supper and a little TV. Just a suggestion to all you RV drivers out there -- sometimes you can just pick a campground at random and come out smelling like a rose!
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There we are! Parked in front of Lane Packing
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See the orchards across the street? Probably beautiful when in bloom
54. Really Glad We Have An RV
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