Today was a busy day! Our group was invited by Gulf Stream, the manufacturer of our motor homes to come to the company's sports and meeting pavilion for the day. We arrived around 9am and were greeted by some friendly faces that we've met over the years. Dave Middleton spoke to us about the RV industry in general and how Gulf Stream has made important strategic decisions to help them stay in business while so many other motor home manufacturers are failing. Gulf Stream is family owned and all the manufacturing facilities are completely paid for with the company having a $30 million dollar line of credit. It was good to hear that they expect to be in business for some time by diversifying their business, yet keeping their core business of motor homes.
Then we went for a factory tour and had a great lunch getting to meet some of the key people in the organization. We played games for a while and we played golf with Rose Mary and Ed on the company golf course, while others went swimming in the pool or just sat inside and talked. Golf was fun, although I lost one ball in the pond. Oops... but all our scores were good and we had fun.
After golf, we came back to the motor home to rest up, as all 8 of us were going out to dinner at Amish Acres, which serves family style Amish food. We left around 6pm in two carpools and looked around the Amish store until they were ready to seat us. There was plenty of home style food and lots of fun company as usual.
When our carpool of the two of us, plus Les and Suzanne, arrived back at the RV park, we decided we all needed to walk off our dinner, so the 4 of us took Duke out for a long walk around the RV park.
Rose Mary had been cooking apple butter all day and we all got to take home samples. Then the 8 of us sat outside and talked about....what else? Our motor homes and trips.
By 10pm a storm was really headed our way and as the lightening and thunder got closer, we all decided to call it a night.
Maryann and Bill leave tomorrow for Bowling Green, as Bill is the Director of our organization and he needs to get there early. So we said good-bye to them and told them we'd see them on Saturday when the rest of us arrive.
On Friday, the guys worked on the RV's in the morning, as Jay helped Les hook up his new TV converter box to his antenna. The women were all washing clothes to prep for next week when we'll be dry camping. Dry camping means we have no electricity, water or sewer hookups, so we need to be self-contained which means conserving on everything. It's not all that rough, as we all have large generators that allow us to run all our appliances including 2 air conditioners, but we are limited to the water we carry in the RV (about 100 gallons) and our waste water content. Although we're not exactly roughing it, it's also best to catch up on the wash ahead of time.
Then in the afternoon, we all went to see the new Harry Potter movie, which we all enjoyed. For dinner we all contributed side dishes and brought our own meat to grill. We finished dinner just as another rain storm hit. So we headed in and got ready for our travel day tomorrow to Bowling Green, Ohio.