Even though it seemed like we just got home from our Eastern Adventure, it was time for the FCA National Convention. Another business trip!
Once again, we packed way too much stuff. This was the first trip we’ve taken that to prepare for it, I have actually removed stuff from the bus instead of just adding it. We had a lot of food and clothes still in place from our monthlong excursion to the east, so we tried to pare it down some. Of course, we still took too much!
It was hot! Smoking Hot! We got there Wednesday and when we arrived it was 104 in the shade. We met up with the host and followed him in his golf cart to a great space for the bus. We had some of the only shade around on the grass in the trailer lot. Trailers make good neighbors. They are quiet, no doors slamming or banging around going on. And not being on asphalt was a blessing as the weekend went on and the parking lot heated up.
As it turned out, we had plenty of “entertainment” just watching the very busy parking lot and the seemingly frequent security/police/fire encounters with various suspicious individuals. I had the hotel desk on speed dial by the end of the weekend – kidding!
One evening we watched an obviously messed up guy lurch around the parking lot, going up and down the lot examining the cars and meeting up with and doing a handshake drug deal with another guy who appeared and disappeared just as fast. The last morning we were there, we heard loud voices, arguing, right outside the bus. Some guy was loudly berating his girlfriend (?) who was sitting at the base of a tree. It looked like it could get physical anytime. When the security guy came over and called the cops, I said, “Got a lot of activity around here.” He said that it was mostly at night.
Of course, the first night the FCA Security patrol drove the FCA Patrol Car built by Tim Sutherland over to the bus, spotlighted it and said “Get out of the bus.” It was around midnight and Jim was already in bed. I fell asleep in my chair and didn’t hear a thing. The chair is really comfy though. Mine is the red one. I’m sure those guys in the Falcon scared away a few “bad guys.”
And did I mention that it was hot? The hottest place in the country over the weekend. After New York and Michigan, it took a little getting used to again. We used the AC in the bus for practically the first time and it was good to have. Didn’t take long to cool things off, especially with both of them on. The kitties liked it too. In the evening, when we got back to the bus and turned on the AC, they all emerged sleepily from their hiding places for food, brushing and playtime. We weren’t too worried about them overheating during the day. We were in the shade, awnings out, windows open, breeze flowing through. Astrid, the black cat, actually lays in the full sun at home until she gets so hot you can hardly touch her. No wonder she seems to have a bit of brain damage…
The cats got into a pretty good routine, both this trip and the previous long one. When we drive, Carmella goes into the closet, and rides on the second shelf until the engine shuts down. She comes out once in a while and squeaks a little, but not much. Tikita wants to eat while the bus is rolling and she jumps up and looks out the windows before settling down to catch any cool air leaking onto the floor in front of the refrigerator. She also wants Pounce. Astrid starts out in the closet, then moves to her “fort” under Jim’s chair. Every once and a while she will appear and belch out an earsplitting meow. She is good with a little brushing before she goes back under the chair. One of our goals on the last trip was to be able to have the pantry door completely closed so they used the cat door into and out of their litter box. We had been leaving it ajar to make sure they found it. It worked! By the end of the trip, they were in and out of the cat door, which doubles as the entry to the bedroom area as well as pantry door. Our kitties are so smart!
The rest of the weekend was a little cooler, only reaching 99 degrees. It was so nice to see and catch up with everybody. It always seems like the whole convention stretches out in front of you, then the next thing you know, it is over.
Thanks to Russ Welty and the host committee, who scored us a really good spot for the bus; we were even able to stay in it! We have had some mis-communication on that little sticking point in the past.
More Falcon photos here.