Where do I start this one... a couple of months ago, after we purchased our Leisure Travel Van, we joined the Leisure travel Van owners group which posts LTV events that are happening around the country. We figured since we would be in Portland, we might as well see if we could get an invite to the LTV Southwest roadrunners rally which was to be held in Napa, California. As you know Napa is where the wine comes from..Carol seemed very excited by the prospect of returning for a few days to be in such close proximity to where wine is produced.
I made contact and we were accepted by the leadership of the group and our attendance was confirmed. I don't think they thought it through too well but we didn't let on that we were such newbies and buffoons from little Rhode Island. After traveling through the Avenue of the Giants we headed for Napa and arrived at Skyline Park late on Saturday afternoon, a day early, before the official start of the rally.
It only took a few minutes to get settled in slot number eight and soon we were chatting with Gordon and Suzi, and Bob and Val and Leonard, all LTV owners and all eager to make us feel welcome. And they did. Soon we felt as though we were with old friends and we chatted into the evening until I just couldn't talk any more, and this is a real stretch for me...
In the morning we had chores to do and shopping and getting down to Napa proper and stocking up on some tourist literature. Which we did, but as we crossed over the bridge into Napa to find a parking spot we saw yet another LTV in the parking lot so like a moth to a flame we steered that way. We met Bob and Darryl who were waiting for the right hour to check into the park..there are rules you know and apparently at this park 1:00 means 1:00! They were another charming couple, about our age with a rig like ours, and a love of travel and adventure. However Bob seemed to have a fascination with the public toilet in the parking lot. "You gotta go check it out." He said, at least a few timed during our conversation. Once we said our good-byes we headed directly for the public toilet and it was AMAZING! First off, the whole thing seemed to have been made of stainless steel, the opening mechanism was a ring of green lights that when you touched it the door opened and you got a welcome message, and instructions. While you do what you came in there to do, music played and when you stand up you get instructions that it will flush automatically when you wash your hands! As you leave the toilet thanks you for coming.. it was amazing...
Back at the park we met even more Leisure Travel Van people and each one seemed nicer than the last. All in all I think there was about 30 LTV's in the park so 60 people or so. Our days there were spent with activities, cocktail hours, planning sessions, mechanical seminar, hiking, biking and games.
We also filled all of our free time visiting vineyards and tasting new wines. Some of the vineyard are totally beyond description. At our very first visit we chatted with a young man who is a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and us being Patriot fans it became a lively discussion. In the end he gave us a complementary tasting..no charge - which is really something in Napa as they don't give away the tastings.
Tastings here are at least four times the price of a New England tasting, but much better wines as well. One day we visited a couple of vineyards with a couple of new friends and other days we traveled alone but sometimes ran into other members of the group.
Carol also managed to get in a four mile hike one day as I went on a bike ride down into town and all around. And on another day Carol and I both road the bike trail along the Napa River.. what a great place. As wonderful as the place was, the rally just made the whole five days extra special.
I learned so much. Dennis, the last president that just stepped down, helped teach Eddie the newbie about awnings, hinges, refrigerators, stabilizers and on and on. Dennis is a very patient man. There is not enough time and I don't have enough word to adequately describe the good time we had with the Leisure travel van group. It was awesome and I certainly will make every effort to get together with the group at some future event.
Enjoy these photos. . . .