Coach Upgrades Then a Visit with Friends in Ohio

Oxford, OH

When we first started full-timing in 2010, we attended a Fleetwood (manufacturer of our motorhome) Rally in central Illinois.  While there we met Kevin Mallory, owner of Cruising America RV in Celina, OH.   Later that summer we drove to Celina to have some work completed and were very pleased with the results.  Since then we have returned on a number of occasions to have other work completed.  When our satellite dish died in Utah, we decided to wait until we were traveling east to have a new one installed so we could have it done by Kevin.  Later, when we developed a loud noise in our washer/dryer combination we called Kevin to schedule installation of a new one while we were replacing the satellite dome.

Our appointment day finally arrived and we drove from Indianapolis to Celina, which is just 30 miles from the Indiana state line.  During our last visit three years ago we were one of only two motorhomes in the lot.  But business is good at Cruising America and we were surprised to find a line of motorhomes parked awaiting attention.

Our “site” in the Cruising America lot

The first task for Kevin and John (his trusted assistant) was the replacement of the dead satellite dome.  The dome had worked flawlessly for many years, but a dish in a dome does not have the ability to receive HD channels.  We always considered replacing it but since it worked so well we put off an upgrade.   Since the dome died a natural death, an upgrade was in order.

The original dome satellite dish

The new dish is not under a dome as it has an oval shape, allowing it to “see” three different satellites required for HD reception.  The dome could only see one satellite, limiting it to standard definition reception.  We’ve now moved into the 21st century in TV viewing!

The new Winegard Trav’ler dish

The following morning Kevin and John tackled the next project, replacing the Splendide washer/dryer combination unit with a new, upgraded model.  Since the combination unit has a small drum it doesn’t hold many clothes, requiring more loads than a residential unit.  We use ours almost daily so when it developed a loud knocking sound during high speed spins (and this unit had really high speed spins!) we decided it was time to replace it.

Yes, no more laundromats!

As we planned our route back toward Pennsylvania, we heard from our dog friend, Cody (OK, from his owners David and Karen) that they would be traveling through Ohio and were stopping to visit friends, Herschel and Pam, in the town of Oxford, OH, just 70 miles south of Celina.  We know both couples from our numerous winter stays in Cortez, FL and couldn’t pass up a chance to see them.  But the real reason was to get our doggie fix.  Herschel and Pam have two cool dogs, Casey and Mia, and David and Karen travel with our buddy, Cody.

We have spent a great deal of time with Cody (and David and Karen) both in Florida and hiking in Utah last year.  We had not seen them since that hiking trip so it was really fun to see if Cody remembered us.  And there is no doubt that he did, as he went crazy running around and jumping up on us when he first saw us.

Cody and the “Treat Lady”

Herschel, Pam, Karen, David, Cody, and John

We stayed in a site near David and Karen in Hueston Woods State Park, just north of the town of Oxford.  The park, named for the original owners of the property, surrounds man-made Lake Acton and has 12 miles of trails, a 96 room lodge, and an eighteen hole golf course.  It also has a nature center with a bird sanctuary.


Over the course of our weekend stay we went in to the town of Oxford a number of times to enjoy meals at a couple of the local restaurants and to visit a very nice farmers market on Saturday morning.  During one of those visits we drove around the beautiful campus of Miami University, which is adjacent to the town.  Founded in 1809, Miami University is the 10th oldest public university in the United States and the second oldest university in Ohio.  In its 2016 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university 82nd among national universities, the 34th top public school, and 5th for best undergraduate teaching preparation at national universities.  One of their favorite sayings is “Miami was a university in Ohio while Florida was still part of Spain.”

On Saturday we drove a few miles south of Oxford to visit Herschel and Pam’s beautiful home.  The visit turned into a bit of a dogfest, as we also had to visit with Mia and Casey.

Casey (the Bulldog) and Mia visit the Treat Lady while Cody keeps an eye on things

Bulldogs are even cool when they sit!

Their neighbor’s across the road were having an engagement picnic and we were all invited to attend.  The neighbor (can’t remember his name) is a retired auto mechanic and, for a retirement gift to himself, built a large garage out back of his house, complete with a lift.  One of his prized possessions is a 1964 Chevrolet Impala with a rare 409 engine that his grandfather bought brand new.  When his grandfather died, he took ownership (he wasn’t old enough to drive) and has had it ever since.  Pretty cool!

1964 Chevy Impala

His “American Graffiti” style roadster on the lift

Every cool garage needs a shiny Corvette

We left the picnic early and took Cody with us so David and Karen could stay there a bit longer.  Cody loves to hang out in our motorhome, especially with the “Treat Lady” at work!

Oh boy, a chicken snack!

A little “after snack” rest after a long day!

We said our good-byes to Herschel and Pam on Saturday and to David and Karen (and Cody) on Sunday morning as we pulled out of the campground and headed west on I-70.  We’ll make a couple of overnight stops along the way as we continue our journey back to our hometown of York, PA for an extended stay.

More on that later . . .

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38 Responses to Coach Upgrades Then a Visit with Friends in Ohio

  1. Jeff says:

    That neighbor’s garage is a dream Man Cave! I’d like to add an floor drain and urinal, and it’d be done. We spend a bit of our time in the Dayton area, where Fran’s extended is spread out. Thanks for the tip on Kevin in Celina – things break and good service is not always easy to find.

  2. montanaclarks says:

    The cowboy is drooling over that garage and vehicles!!! Hope your new washer/dryer works as well as the old one. We have one in the motorhome and I love the thing–couldn’t do without it!

    • placestheygo says:

      Lots of drooling was going that evening, Janna, by all the guys:) The new washer/dryer is wonderful! The drum is quite a bit bigger and it is so quiet we forget it is on. I am a happy camper:)

  3. Jodee Gravel says:

    Welcome to the “remember to bring down the dish before you leave” crowd! It’s great they could everything in one place – and that you have your laundryroom once again. I know you were in heaven with all the doggie pals to spoil. They’re all adorable. Pam looks good in that drivers seat!!

    • placestheygo says:

      A new task added to the departure list! The “dome dish club” was much easier:) We are loving having all shows in HD, especially sports. We can actual see the ball now:) I was in heaven with all my dog buddies:)

  4. LuAnn says:

    Great to have your upgrades out of the way but probably bittersweet to be heading back east. Enjoy your time with family.

    • placestheygo says:

      It is nice to have all the conveniences at our finger tips. Setting up the portable dish every stop was getting very old for John, as was the laundromat for both of us. Spoiled we were. It will be nice to see family and friends…the bright side to a trip east:)

  5. Ahhh Cody! He looks like such a sweetie. I’m sure he makes any trip to the East a little bit more enjoyable!

  6. Gay says:

    You will LOVE your new satellite dish. And the new washer is a dream to use…so quiet and “calm” compared to the older one.

    Cody is so cute…the back of the sofa is one of Dover’s favorite places to,watch the world go by.

    Safe travels as you continue on your journey to York….

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Gay! We only have one more stop before we arrive in York on Thursday. We are loving both upgrades! Having HD for every show is so nice, especially sports. And you are so right about the new washer being quiet and calm. We forget it is even on!

  7. Sherry says:

    Thanks for the tip on the good RV place in Celina. I was born in Ohio but seldom return. No family left there, but you never know and it’s always good to have a reference. We may need to check out Cortez if you meet us h great people with very cool dogs. Hueston Woods is one of my favorite state parks in Ohio.

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, it is nice to have reliable service recommendations. We enjoyed our stay at Hueston Woods. We didn’t do much in the park since it was so hot and humid. It is a tired campground that could some major sprucing up.

  8. I know we should get back to PA one of these years, but just hate to leave the west. Have a great time visiting with family and friends!

  9. pmbweaver says:

    Love the header photo.
    The hiking trail by our house also is a bird sanctuary…really an animal sanctuary. They do such awesome work with the animals.
    I thought Casey was saying her prayers before she went to bed.
    Looks like Cody just made himself right at home.

  10. Jim and Barb says:

    Love the upgrades! We have the same dish, you are going to like it. So cool that the dogs remembered you, it is so neat to see dogs react like that.

    • placestheygo says:

      Well, Jim, right now we are a little frustrated with the dish. It isn’t getting all the signals it should get. Every day is different:(

      It doesn’t take the dogs long when the treats appear:) But Cody knows my name. His dad says, “Want to go see Pam?” and he heads to the door, even after a year:)

  11. Larry says:

    Seems like there is always something needing repaired/replaced. We replaced our dome with a Winegard and glad we did.

  12. Laurel says:

    Awww….so nice you got to visit with your fan club, Pam! They’re all so cute. :-)) Sounds like you had fun with your two-legged friends, too. Glad to hear you got your upgrades taken care of. I’m sooo envious of your washer/dryer. I see years of laundromats still in my future….

    • placestheygo says:

      Laurel, it was wonderful to see my four legged pals and our two legged friends, as well. The two legged friends didn’t get as excited as my furry friends:) We are very excited to have HD TV finally that we can record and fast forward through commercials. The new washer/dryer is wonderful! It has a larger drum and spins without sounding like a jet taking off!

  13. walterpond says:

    Ahhhh…grandma Panama to Cody! Adorable pix waiting for chicken snack.

  14. Looks like you are traveling first class now. Love the bulldog.

  15. geogypsy2u says:

    Good to have things all fixed up and ready to roll especially with friends nearby.

  16. Sue says:

    Interesting to see you in the driver’s seat Pam! I shielded Lewis from the computer screen while I read this post, I don’t know if he would understand his gramma pamma showing that kind of affection for “others”….. Seriously, nice that you got to have a good visit with friends while you are back east. I’m envious of your new, quiet washer. Our old one practically screws Beluga into the ground when it does that final energetic spin! A replacement is probably in our future. Cool Cars!

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, please don’t let Lew see the other dogs! He wouldn’t understand especially since I am not around to reassure him:) I see a new washer in your future!! It is SO quiet and calm. The drum is quite a bit larger so I can do a little bigger load:) On your way to NY next spring, swing into Celina, OH and have Kevin at Cruising America put one in!

  17. Debbie L says:

    Now that’s a dream garage for my hubby if we ever get off the road!
    We’re going to upgrade to HD when we get out of contract with Direct TV on Nov 2. We’re counting down the days! Do you have Dish? We’d like the new plan we’re seeing where you pick the channels you want and it’s no contract. How’s the new Travelr working?
    Hope your time in York is better than our “routine” medical visits! What a nightmare but thankfully we’ve checked out ok….
    Hope you tell us about York, the campground (or maybe you did) and the Harley factory. We need to visit!

    • placestheygo says:

      Debbie, we have Direct TV. Our new dish isn’t working on all the satellites. John had to take photos of the dish and email them to Winguard. Turns out the arm is bent and they are sending a new one. Hopefully that will fix things and we can get all the channels.

      So far all is going well our appointments. Fingers crossed it continues!

      We have posted on the park we stay in but I’m sure John will mention it again for new followers. We did the Harley tour many years ago when we had our motorcycle. It is a great tour. Make sure you take it:)

      • Debbie L says:

        We planned to ride ours there when we lived in Fredericksburg. Just one of those unfortunate things-life got in the way! But it’s still on our bucket list. We’ve got to visit several places in PA, Bill’s home state!
        So Direct is working for you? They keep going up $$$ and we only watch a FEW channels! Less than 10 for us but add 3 more when we have the grandsons!

  18. Have an appt. with Kevin on Sept. 30th. Since we are only a two hour drive away, leaving it for the week for upgrades and some preventive maintenance. Wrestling with the decision of installing a dish (don’t have one now). Notice your says Direct… you prefer that over Dish? Have not been on the road for over a year, due to family commitments, but hoping a start up again in Nov….so just trying to decide if a dish is in our future…… And a good Buckeye surely can’t miss the Buckeyes and that team up north, even if we are on the road.

    • placestheygo says:

      Hope all goes well with your work with Kevin. We’ve always had Direct TV. We couldn’t get Dish where we lived previously because of the trees, so we’ve just stayed with Direct TV. We are big TV fans and can’t stand commercials. We record almost everything, so satellite is important. We even carry a portable dish in case there are trees our rooftop won’t get through:) Good luck with your decision:)

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