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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
…. while Dad began emptying the bays in the basement.
CoCo and I kept each other company in Brigitte while the moving took place. Thank goodness the couch is full size.
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.
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.
The list included “needs” (such as fine-tuning the house electronic system) and “wants” (such as replacing the trash compactor with a beverage cooler).
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)!
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…
It took the brains and brawn of four men to do it…
And CoCo’s oversight…
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.
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.
This being Nashville, of course there is a recording studio in the house!
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!
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…
… in our bus (without water since the tank was out)
… and in the company customer lounge.
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!
Sometimes managers would come and join us to watch exciting football games and to play with me.
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!
Happy Birthday Dad!
After Christmas came New Years and after New Years came my Dad’s birthday!
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.
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!
I think the scarf makes my dad look handsome. We just need to do something about those black socks with sandals…
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.
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.
It was challenging but the Olympiads did it!
It looks as good as new and will be even stronger than new!
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!)
Naturally, CoCo watched oversaw all of the work.
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 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!
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