4A16F753 F7E4 400F A77F 54335DED06B1 e1516805990957 - Moving 5 Feet in 4 Weeks

Moving 5 Feet in 4 Weeks

We bought our new-to-us bus, a 2002 Prevost Liberty, on December 22. The big question was, “How do you move your home-on-wheel-belongings from one bus to the another?” Do you do it outside in the parking lot working in the weather? How long will it take? Will you need to get it done fast (a day?) so the dealer can reclaim the parking space for other buses? Do you pack like you pack when you’re moving a house (labeled boxes)?

Austin Hicks, the general manager of Olympia Luxury Coaches, said that on average, most people move their bus home in one or two days. Tick… tock….

Christmas in Nashville

First things first though. It was just two days before Christmas and we were in Nashville where the Gaylord’s Opryland was “stylin'”! With more than three million sprinkling lights, the Opryland hotel was a sight we wanted to see. Yes, we know it’s totally tourist, but it fit our energy level after shopping million-dollar buses for days.

Opryland Christmas
The Opryland Gaylord had over three million lights as part of its Christmas display.

Okay, the Gaylord does not allow dogs (only Service Dogs… man, I need to get that training!) so I had to stay home while my parents played tourists.

The Gaylord met their expectations. It was an indoor Christmas wonderland! They had a happy walk around the river walk (which kind of reminded them of San Antonio except less energetic and diverse), sipped hot chocolate, and reveled in the odd feeling of a rain forest dressed in Christmas lights and decorations.

Indoor Christmas tree
A Christmas tree amongst palm trees was just one of the strange and beautiful spectacles in the Gaylord’s Opryland hotel complex in Nashville.

Time to Mooooove

The thought of moo-ving between COWS filled my parents with a bit of angst. It was a new experience and filled with unknowns. We were lucky because Olympia has a showroom that fits two buses, a garage that houses up to five buses, and a parking lot that can hold up to 20 buses. Austin offered us the use of the showroom over the Christmas holiday. We parked our bus and our new-to-us bus side-by-side in an enclosed, heated, clean, safe showroom.

Country Coach Magna
We parked our bus in Olympia’s showroom so we could easily move our belongings to our new bus without worrying about rain, snow or cold weather.

Where to start? The nice mechanics at Olympia gave us some large bins and bid us good luck as they began their Christmas holiday. The clock began to tick…

Prevost Liberty
Brigitte stands in the entryway to Olympia’s showroom, ready to make her grand entrance.

We started by acknowledging that nothing is set in stone. Where we put things now, during the move, is not where they have to stay once we are settled. And so, Mom began pulling things out of cabinets inside the COW…

moving between buses
How to move from one bus to another? One cabinet or drawer at a time…

…. while Dad began emptying the bays in the basement.

Bus move
The move between buses went pretty smooth. We’d fill one or two bins at a time, move them over, and then unpack them.

CoCo and I kept each other company in Brigitte while the moving took place. Thank goodness the couch is full size.

dog and cat on couch
CoCo and I hung out on the couch during the move. I think it’s the only time we’ve shared the couch…

Here is a joke one of the mechanics shared with me:

When you feed a dog, the dog thinks, Wow! They are feeding me. They are gods!

When you feed a cat, the cat thinks, They are feeding me. I must be a god! I think that joke is probably true!

Anyway, while the move was happening, Mom and Dad were learning new things about our new home.

Moving into a bus
As we moved things into the new bus, we had to decide where to put things. I made sure my toy box had a happy home up front near the couch and desk.

Dad’s biggest dilemma was where to put the coffee maker and the espresso machine. I was happy we found a place for my toy box.

Once the initial move was done, we came up with a list (to add to the list that Olympia already had) of things that needed to be done before we could hit the road.

dog in bus on couch
After we moved in and got settled, we made a list of things that we had questions about. I like our new couch; it is perfect for looking out of the windows!

The list included “needs” (such as fine-tuning the house electronic system) and “wants” (such as replacing the trash compactor with a beverage cooler).

trash compactor replaced with cooler
We decided to replace the 15-year-old trash compactor with a new beverage cooler. This makes a lot more room in the refrigerator and is handy when we’re on the road.

Merry Christmas!

We had a fun surprise for Christmas! But first, on Christmas Eve, my Dad cooked our inaugural meal in the new bus: Beef Wellington (courtesy of my favorite grocery store: Wegmans)!

christmas in a bus
We celebrated Christmas Eve with Beef Wellington (my parents’ favorite!)

My cousin Jerilyn was visiting her sister (my other cousin Jill) in Huntsville, which is just two hours from Nashville! How special is that?! Just one of the many benefits of living on the road and enjoying opportunities as they arise!!

We decided to take Brigitte to Huntsville for her maiden voyage and see if there were any issues we needed to add to our small list of things to be fixed/changed at Olympia.

We had a fun Christmas with them and spent the night parked outside their house, inside Brigitte. The neighbors were asking Jill who the celebrity in the big bus was. She had fun telling them, It is nobody. Just my friend Shania.

Time to Get to Work

We found a few things that needed to be addressed (some were nits, some were things we just didn’t know). We were glad we took the trip to Huntsville and now were back in Nashville to ask a ton of questions at Olympia.

Some of the things that we addressed included:

  • Putting LED lights on the outside of the bus
  • Continuing to update and synchronize the Crestron electronics
  • Upgrading the lights in the bays to LED
  • Checking the monitors for the holding and fresh water tanks
  • Exchanging the 15-year-old microwave/convection oven in the bus with the new microwave/convection oven we put in our bus this past year
  • Putting a protective film cover on the front of the bus

In the scheme of things, these are small items than can be done relatively quickly (although nothing is quick when it comes to bus repairs). Everything went smoothly…

moving from a bus
The microwave/convection oven barely fit through the door.
Discussion about buses
There was a lot of discussion about how to get our oven into Brigitte. We had to create a bigger opening and foundation for the new oven because the old oven was a bit smaller. The Olympian experts did a great job making it look like the new oven had always been there.

It took the brains and brawn of four men to do it…

Bus construction
Dad tried to direct… the Olympians knew what they were doing and squeezed the new oven right in…

And CoCo’s oversight…

cat watching oven put in bus
CoCo, the chief overseer.

Items were being checked off the list like clockwork. Everything was going smoothly… until we started looking into why the tank sensors were not working right.

Bus tank issue
Uh oh. This is when we found the tank issue…

And that is when we discovered the aluminum tank’s connectors to the macerator were corroded. This was a good thing to find out while we were still at the dealership. It would have been a messy, stinky and expensive thing to have happen out on the road!

Not surprisingly, Olympia did the right thing and immediately hired an expert welder to build a new tank out of stainless steel. Even my Dad cannot corrode that!

Of course getting a new tank built is not something that can be done in a day. Especially over the holidays.

And so, we spent New Year’s Eve in Nashville.

A Country Music New Year’s Eve

After having been in the garage for over a week, we were becoming pretty good friends with the Olympia crew and with Austin. In fact, Austin invited us to his family’s New Year’s Eve party. It was a beautiful Nashville New Year’s with a small gathering of fun friends.

Charades
My parents spent New Year’s Eve at Austin’s parent’s house in Nashville. They played a spirited game of charades. I’m not sure if you can see it in the picture but Austin’s team is acting out “Raging Bull.”

This being Nashville, of course there is a recording studio in the house!

home recording studio
What home in Nashville doesn’t have a professional recording studio?

Austin and his friend Bailey Rose, two talented singers!, sang and played the guitar until the clock struck midnight. It was a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a great way to ring in 2018!

singing and guitar playing
Austin and Bailey sang and played guitar to ring in 2018. They are quite talented and perform professionally in venues around Nashville.

Our Home Away From Home

While waiting for the tank, and while other work was being done on the bus, we spent our time in the garage…

bus garage
This is the garage where we spent four weeks while our bus was undergoing work to get us ready for the road.

… in our bus (without water since the tank was out)

dog on bed
I spent a lot of time hanging out on the bed at the back of the bus while repairs were being done. CoCo hung out in the front of the bus.

… and in the company customer lounge.

hanging out in the lounge
We spent a lot of time in the customer lounge since we didn’t have water or television in our bus while repairs were being done.

The lounge was comfortable, and since it was over the holidays, we did not have to share it with any other customers. We spread out and made ourselves at home!

dog in lounge area
All we need is an exercise mat and a television to amuse us for hours…

Sometimes managers would come and join us to watch exciting football games and to play with me.

lounge television watching
Sometimes on the weekends we were joined in the lounge by Jim, a member of Olympia’s senior management team.

Occasionally, I would wander into various offices, especially Austin’s. Sometimes he would have his dogs in there with him and we would have a dog party!

office dogs
I loved Austin’s office… especially when he brought his dogs in to visit!

Happy Birthday Dad!

After Christmas came New Years and after New Years came my Dad’s birthday!

birthday cake
We celebrated my dad’s birthday in Brigitte and with Olympia’s mechanics.

Mom had fun with the cake… the cashier at the checkout almost would not sell it to my mom. The cashier was horrified that the store would sell a “mistake” cake! Mom had to explain she ordered it that way… it is a long-running joke with my parents to call my dad Bob. They are strange people.

birthday cake mistake
Mom got Dad’s birthday cake for half price (just kidding!)

The mechanics got together and sang Happy Birthday to Bob and enjoyed some purple and gold (Skol Vikings!) cake with us.

And then, surprise! Austin had fun giving my dad a very special, light-up scarf!

football fans
Austin gave Dad a Vikings scarf that lights up for my dad’s birthday!

I think the scarf makes my dad look handsome. We just need to do something about those black socks with sandals…

vikings fan with dog
The Vikings scarf looks sharp but the black socks with sandals is a definite fashion faux pas (even I know that!)

I like to think of all the different experiences and fun people we have met these past few weeks. These are things, places and people we never would have experienced had my parents not taken the leap and jumped onto the road two years ago. We are so grateful for all of the wonderful memories!

Tanks A Lot!

A few days later, the new tank arrived.

Corroded bus tank
The aluminum holding tank’s fittings were corroded. My dad is pretty impressed by anyone who can corrode a bus tank.

The City of Nashville held a parade, Vince Gill gave a benefit concert, and North Korea disarmed all of its nuclear weapons.

Well, maybe not all of that happened, but we certainly celebrated!

Now, for the hard part… putting the tank Into the plumbing bay.

putting the tank back into the bus
It took a team to squeeze the tank back into place.

It was challenging but the Olympiads did it!

bus tank
Man was that a tight fit!

It looks as good as new and will be even stronger than new!

prevost plumbing bay
Is that a pretty plumbing bay or what?

Yay! We now had water again! And no leaks!

And then it was time for the protective film covering… this protects the front of our beautiful bus from rock dings, road debris damage, and suicidal deer destruction to our paint job (only partially kidding!)

protective film on bus front
Putting the protective covering on the front of the bus requires a lot of attention to detail. Olympia did a good job. Now Brigitte won’t have to worry about rock dings or other road scars.

Naturally, CoCo watched oversaw all of the work.

cat in bus window
CoCo watched everything going on outside of the bus from her perch on the driver’s seat.

Time to Say Goodbye to Nashville

We were at Olympia in Nashville for almost a month: from December 22 through January 18. We broke all of the company’s previous records for the longest stay by a customer! Yay!

Yes, it is true we spent more than three weeks in the Music City Capitol and only went to two shows… butttt… we are glad we got to spend time at Olympia (maybe not glad that it was 27 days though!) and really get to know the bus, work out the kinks, and, most importantly, get to spend time with expert mechanics who know Prevosts. Dad soaked up knowledge like a sponge. I soaked up attention from the guys… I think they agree I was the best darn shop dog in the world! I am sure we will be back in Nashville and at Olympia (for yearly service) and we will take in more live music shows then!

Olympia Luxury Coaches staff with clients
We cannot say enough positive things about the people of Olympia Luxury Coaches: talented professionals who take great pride in their work and their client relationships.

Olympia Luxury Coaches was a good host and steadfastly stood by the product they sold, which was refreshing (especially considering you almost always buy a used motorcoach “as is” with no warranty). Thank you to Austin and the Olympia Team!

On the Road Again!

Now we are on the road again (hey, did I tell you that our bus horn actually plays that tune?!), heading west! Onward ho to Albuquerque, Tucson and San Diego and anywhere we happen to stop along the way!

Be sure to subscribe so you can follow along with us – and share your comments! – on our travels!

Woof Out!

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6 comments

  1. Leave it to you guys to make moving fun! Can’t wait to see your new home. Happy and safe travels now that you are on the road again…as Willie would say!

  2. Great blog Austin! Can’t wait to read the next one!! Y’all should be speaking Southern by now… 😉👍

Can’t wait to see what you say! Woof!