Merlin’s Memorial Day Weekend

We decided that Memorial Day weekend would be a good time to take Merlin out for another trip and this time we’d bring Gemma and Schnabbies (G&P) to finally meet Merlin! Plus – it’s nicer doing work in the RV when we have power, water, an operating toilet – you know, just the basics – ha ha. Thankfully we found a great campground up in Tehachapi (Mountain Valley RV Park) that had available spots for the holiday weekend.

G&P were not real thrilled with the ride from home to Merlin’s storage yard and were even less happy being moved into a rattling, home box on wheels to drive another hour +. They told us a lot of stories on this trip and made an already stressful drive a bit worse. I really hope they get more used to traveling as the time goes on.

Once we arrived and got ourselves settled, we let the girls out of their cat travel tube to begin exploring Merlin. Gemma took to the RV almost immediately (which was no surprise). She quickly realized that she could jump from the couch to the cabin chairs to the dinette and back without having to touch the ground. Plus Merlin is almost all windows – she was beyond happy with the views. There just happened to be a tree right outside of the couch window where a bird was very busy building a nest. He occupied Gemma for the 3 days we were there. If cats smile – Gemma was smiling from ear to ear.

Schnabbies, on the other hand, was absolutely terrified and only wanted to hide (also, not surprising – thankfully she eventually acclimated a little bit). This was fine until she found a small hole under the MASSIVE dashboard and climbed up inside. We were not aware of this hole – so it took us a while to figure out that’s where she’d gone. This threw us into an absolute panic since we didn’t know if this led to the outside or to the hot engine or both. After running around, in and out of Merlin, frantically searching and unscrewing every single screw of the dashboard – we finally found her nestled in the tiniest spot just to the right of the steering column. She was FINE! We prodded her out of her hiding spot and quickly sealed up that area with a box and a blanket. This scary episode wiped us out and took whatever little bit of energy we had left. Saturday ended up with us doing very little reno work. Instead we hung out with the kitties and made sure there were no more mishaps. We also got a chance to do a little walk over to the glider port behind the campground. If you don’t know (and I didn’t until we camped here), gliders are super-light aircrafts that have no engines or not ones strong enough for take-off. Instead, they are tethered to an actual airplane and essentially towed up into the air, let loose, and then glide back to the airstrip. It’s really awesome to watch and, to me, was a big perk to this particular campground.

With no reno work done on Saturday, we got started with the back-splash install before 8am on Sunday. This was a big project and thank goodness Bryan had some experience making very specific cuts with tiles. He did an awesome job at cutting out all the little notches of the kitchen area. The back-splash took about 7 hours – but turned out amazing!

With the back-splash done, it was time to start making some curtains. As you may recall, we removed the big wooden boxes. ornate valances, and blinds from the windows early on. Since then, we have been using windshield sun shades from our cars as temporary window coverings. Curtains are desperately needed! We hadn’t gotten too far into this next project when there was a very serious medical emergency at the campsite next door. We were involved with this for quite a while and once we came back were too shaken to continue. The curtain project was packed up and we spent the rest of the night being very thankful for our lives and health and being reminded of why were doing this trip – you only live once. By this time, Schnabbies was feeling a bit more comfortable in Merlin and was out from under her chair some – it was a relief to see her more comfortable. Gemma, again, was having the time of her life!

We managed to fit in a few more small reno projects Monday morning, but then it was time to pack up and head back to storage and then home. The drive back was even worse for G&P and with us both already on edge after such a stressful weekend, we couldn’t get home fast enough. Somehow this trip managed to be a contrasting mix of great and horrible. We really loved this campground and would like to explore Tehachapi. It’s really a beautiful place – rolling hills and grasslands. Plus I’m really thinking that a glider ride is in my near future! We’d like to hit this place up before we head off at the end of July and/or it may be where we stay when we come back to visit friends in So Cal down the road.

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