Letters From a Bus
May 2007: Our New Bus
1st entry for May
Driving to Pick Up Our Bus.

May 9-15, 2007 — On the road in the Ford 250 pickup truck with new camper shell installed. We drove with the dogs and some of our goods from Los Altos the San Francisco Bay Area to Burbank, CA in the Los Angeles area for doctor's visits. Then we turned eastward to Huntsville, AL

We left Los Altos on Wednesday, May 9th and stopped in Burbank at the Holiday Inn so that Dennis could have a CT scan and see his cancer doctor at USC Norris Cancer Research Center in Los Angeles. Dennis got a clean bill of health and we made plans to see Dr. Weber next November in his new research facility in Tampa, FL.

Immediately after seeing Dr. Weber, we left LA and drove to Kingman, AR on Friday, 5/11 . On Saturday the 12th we drove to Albuquerque, NM where we found time to see Old Town and have dinner in the oldest private residence in the city. On Sunday 5/13 we drove to Amarillo, TX and on Monday 5/14 we made it to Clarksville, AR. On Tuesday 5/15 we arrived in Huntsville, AL.

On Wednesday morning, May 16th, we finally got to go to Bankston Motor Homes to meet our salesman, Ray Cyree and to see our new bus. Ray had it hooked up to power and water and told us to move into our new home that very day. On Thursday Ray moved us in our new bus, across the street and set us up in their trailer sales lot. We were hooked up to power but not water so we learned to live on our reserves. The lot was quiet and other than a few shoppers wandering around, we had the place to ourselves. Everyday Ray took us out for a drive and the Bankston technician, James Wallace, gave us new lessons on how to manage the bus. We stayed at Bankston for five days while we learned the basics and got settled into our new home.

Elsa Walton — Huntsville, AL, 5/17/07

Dale Dunlap, our friend and personal trainer and my sister, Sally Barlow-Perez, are not so happy to see us go. Sally worked each day of our five estate sale days as cashier and handled all our sale signs. Everyone is tired and it is a bitter-sweet evening. Dinner at the Olive Garden, Palo Alto, CA 5/8/07
Friends, James Boyer & Becky Pieper are happy to see us go. My friend Becky was my volunteer Estate Sale Planner and had worked with me daily since February. James spent a week helping us move and he re-painted the interior of our house. This is our last night dinner at the Olive Garden, Palo Alto, CA 5/8/07
Fourth day on the road and the first time we've left the dogs alone in a motel. On Saturday night, we go out to see Old Town in Albuquerque, NM. At 6:00 PM it was warm but with a cool breeze. Most of the shops were closed but it was fun to walk around. We saw the Plaza and the old church. We ate at a cafe on Church St. in the oldest building in Albuquerque (built in 1706). Here they label Mexican food as "New Mexican" cuisine. Old Town, Albuquerque, NM 5/12/07
Fifth day on the road. "Smile! We're celebrating our freedom." Same restaurant: opposite sides of the booth. You can tell we are both very tired after months of packing and organizing yard sales and then days of driving. Early dinner at Carrino's Italian on Mother's Day. (Yes, the boys all remembered to call me.) Amarillo, TX 5/13/07
Dennis says, "Leave me alone." But the dogs want to snuggle. Our last night in a motel. America's Best Inns, Huntsville, AL, 5/15/07
"Here's to you. We did it." Appetizers at the Red Lobster on our first night in Huntsville . We try to celebrate our arrival with polynesian drinks and stuffed mushrooms — but we are dead tired. 5/15/07
Parked in the trailer lot at Bankston Motor Homes, we start to unload the truck and move our gear into the bus. There are two storage bays with slides that pull out in the "basement." Huntsville, AL, 5/17/07
Ray Cyree, our Bankston Motor Homes Sales Rep, introduces us to our new home. Rudi makes himself comfortable on the sofa/bed. On board our Allegro Bus, Huntsville, AL, 5/16/07
Dennis unloads the truck. Elsa unpacks the boxes. Bankston Trailer Sales Lot, Huntsville, AL, 5/16/07
Whoops — Elsa is taking a break. Rudi keeps her company. Bankston Trailer Sales Lot, Huntsville, AL, 5/16/07
Elsa Walton, Bankston Motorhomes, Huntsvillle, AL, Thursday, May 17, 2007