Have you ever watched “What Not To Wear”? After deciding to put herself in the hands of “professional stylists”, a woman spends two days shopping in New York City for new clothes on a budget provided by the TV show. Needless to say, the budget for our interior renovations are not provided by a TV show… but in many ways, our experience has been similar these past two days.
On day one, we sallied forth to begin our “shopping process” – and ended up exhausted, overloaded, and wondering what the heck we were doing! On day two we awoke optimistic, rallied, and ended up feeling positive about the experience. Time will tell whether or not this is reality!
We arrived at RV Renovators in Mesa, AZ, around 3:30 pm on Monday. This is a highly recommended, moderately sized RV repair and renovation facility with a tightly jammed parking/work area. Before long, we were settled in amongst the other RV’s with a 50 amp electric cord snaking across the parking lot. Workers bustled around, moving RV’s, large pieces of equipment, and rolling toolboxes from place to place. Lots of movement, generators, noise.
Once settled, we finalized our Master List of “Things to Be Done” (14 items ranging from “replace windshield” to “new knob on the bathroom door”), wandered through the office and customer lounge, met the service manager, and walked a couple blocks to the carpet/fabric/window covering shop he recommended. After scheduling an appointment with the service manager for 8:30 on Tuesday morning, we spent a happy, innocent night in the motorhome.
7:00 to 8:30 Tuesday morning: up and showered, a bit of computer time, breakfast… ready for our 8:30 appointment.
8:30: waiting for the service manager.
8:45: still waiting for the service manager.
9:00: waiting, waiting, waiting… raising our eyebrows, rolling our eyes…
9:15 to 12:45: talk, talk, talk with the service manager. Get an idea of what we have let ourselves in for – YIKES! Talk expenses. Talk budget. Tour a few RV’s looking at recently installed laminate floors and TV cabinet remodels. Get really, really hungry and overloaded with ideas and conversation. Start to crash. Become withdrawn and crabby.
12:45: step back into our own quiet, familiar, lovely, comfortable, almost-paid-for motorhome and realize how much we LOVE carpet – warm, soft, pretty, comfortable, cozy carpet. Eat ham sandwiches; alternately zone out and talk non-stop. Make two or three additional lists. Add more items to Master List.
1:30: walk back to the flooring shop to pick up samples of carpet and rolled vinyl flooring. Ask questions about grades of carpet. Ask questions about vinyl flooring. Ask questions about different kinds of window coverings. Ask how to decide between 879 carpet possibilities. Walk home, remembering things we forget to put on our lists.
3:30: revisit past discussions. Revise our Master List. Refocus on our priorities. Make notes on our individual “to do” lists. Wonder what is on each other’s lists. Wonder what we are forgetting.
4:00: move the motorhome to a vacant piece of blacktop that is near a sewer hookup – it is obvious we will be here for another couple of nights.
4:30: walk back to the flooring shop, exchange carpet samples, ask more questions, forget the answers, look at fabric for new curtains. Discuss possibilities for cockpit curtains.
5:30: eat leftovers found in our refrigerator. Slurp cocktails. Sit quietly. Eat chocolate. Look at our lists. Eat more chocolate. Ponder.
7:30: I fell on the bed, turned on PBS, and drifted off to the soothing monotone of a documentary about… something! Robert E. Lee? John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln’s assassin? Felt great gratitude for my comfortable bed.
End of Day One.
6:00 am: start whispering to each other about our thoughts during the night. Jump out of bed, all fired up. Make tea. Computer time. Ah, good, a lead on a place to stay (out of the motorhome) during the renovation. Consult our lists. Fire off a couple of emails to keep things moving. Wonder aloud where we will put everything we have to move out of the motorhome.
7:00 am: Showers. Breakfast. Constant chit-chat and reminders.
8:00 am: Consult and combine lists. Highlight those items that are our responsibility – window coverings, carpet selection, TV purchase. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
9:00 am: try to talk to the service manager, who is on the phone and busy. Walk back to the carpet store, exchange small carpet samples for large ones, smile and say hello to those employees who now recognize us, get samples of possible curtain fabrics.
10:30 am: service manager arrives and we resume discussions. Lots of details. Longer lists. Service manager walks through motorhome, estimating the time needed for each job. Total number of hours: approximately 90. Estimated cost for labor: $9000. Within budget – yay!
11:30 am: leftovers for lunch.
12:00: off to The Blind Company, Inc. to pick up samples for day/night shades and get cost estimate. More education.
12:30: Run through our lists again. Have we done everything critical while still on the lot? YES! Can we put off the remaining decisions until later? YES! Is it warm enough for a hike? YES!
So, we headed off to Usery Mountain Park to see whether they had a site suitable for us to move into tomorrow when we leave RV Renovators parking lot. Maybe, we’ll see. Did a nice hike in the warmest weather we’ve experienced in a several weeks. After a short rest back at home, off to a delicious dinner with Margaret and Ian at the Blue Adobe. Excellent food, excellent company, excellent margarita. Good lead for a one-month rental in their loft building in downtown Phoenix. Everything is looking up.
9:00: Odel hit the sack, and now here I go, too. All this research and decision making is TOUGH stuff!
End of Day Two.