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F M C A Bowling Green - Thursday, July 23, 2009

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Today is the final day of the FMCA 2009 International Convention in Bowling Green, Ohio. We woke this morning to dripping rain. Not heavy but definitely wet. I left the bicycle at home today as our first meeting was at the stadium - or so we thought. Since it was raining they moved the general meeting of FMCA to an indoor location. Makes sense but no one told us. Worse, we didn't find a notice posted anywhere near the stadium so after exploring a bit around the stadium to ensure that the meeting wasn't there, we headed for the big tent. The big tent is where the morning coffee and donuts are doled out every morning. I figured there would be notice of the change in venue there. Before we got there we finally found an official who knew where the meeting was. He offered us a ride in his golf cart. A few hundred feet down the sidewalk we encountered another couple who asked our question and got a ride also. We arrived in time to get in on the drawing for the door prizes, cash money! We didn't win, oh well. But I did hear the name of Roger Marble called but Roger wasn't there!

After the general meeting we hoofed it over to the vendors. I talked to Martin Perlot of Silver Leaf Electronics to let him know that he had solved my problem with the install on my new system. Then we renewed our Coach Net Membership for a sizable discount. We saw many people in the vendor area and noted many carrying goods out of the venue. I think the vendors had a pretty good convention. The official numbers on the convention were 2725 coaches, of which 299 were commercial coaches. Not a bad turn-out but slightly less than hoped for. I didn't see an official number but heard that there were more than 1000 volunteers who made this convention work for the rest of us. From an attendees viewpoint, this has been a wonderful convention.

After visiting the vendors, we went to the session on Full Timing. Presented by the Full Timers Chapter of FMCA, this workshop addressed many aspects of living full time in an RV. There were four presenters and a moderator. Unfortunately, there was no time left for questions. The level of attendance suggested that there could be more done here. I suspect that this chapter could face substantial growth with the wave of baby boomers retiring in the next ten years. While retirement factors currently look discouraging, time may change the equation and I suspect there are many who would love to move to full time life in a motor home.

We returned to the motor home and began preparations for breaking camp Friday morning. The electric goes off about 9:00 a.m. Friday and we hope to be ready to roll by that time. I made a quick trip to town for a few groceries. These trips are always easier when you know where you are going. We had been around Bowling Green long enough to find the basic stores. Karen Rambow called before I returned to check with me for departure time. Finishing our headlights required dry weather and while it had been dry for a while, there were still large cumulus clouds about. I asked Karen to go ahead with the job and we'd take a chance on the weather. She arrived within a few minutes of my return. The job was finished and the skies kindly cleared. I'll have clear headlights again. One more problem solved at this convention.

Louise took a walk to the recycling and trash and busied herself with preparing the indoors for travel. I got the toad and motor home ready to go. We are essentially boondocking with electric right now. Tomorrow we'll get breakfast, hook up and be on our way. Many of our neighbors left during the day today. Maybe 20% of the attendees are gone by this evening. The grounds will be clear tomorrow. Those who want to stay in Bowling Green can stay at the fairgrounds. We will be on our way to Fremont, Ohio to visit the Hayes Presidential Center. There was a scheduled tour to the center but not enough interest so I told Louise we'd make that our first stop. We plan to park the RV somewhere near the center and spend some time touring before going on to the Lazy J Family Campground near Norwalk, Ohio.

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