Linda stayed home this morning during our first seminar to get organized for our "Open Rig Tour" later today.
So, I had to take care of a couple of things that she usually does while I prepare for the seminars. No problem. It was all under control .... until I booted up the laptop and the projector (attached to the ceiling) wasn't recognizing it. Uh oh.
Usually, I test everything about a half an hour early each day, but today I was confident since everything was working properly up to this point. I plugged in about five minutes before the first seminar.
So, we had to call for some technical support. But they couldn't identify the problem. We were half an hour late getting started, and I had to work off the laptop screen. Plus, all the work I did last night adding photos to the presentations was for naught.
Fortunately, we had detailed handouts so everyone could follow along for:
- Internet On The Road
- Boondocking & Solar
- Choosing Campgrounds & RV Parks
Also, it was nice to have Greg Young with us for the solar portion of the second seminar.
Greg & Cori flew from Pennsylvania to Texas to pick up their "new-to-them" motorhome, and then drove to Tennessee to attend the Rally. Greg has residential and commercial solar installation experience, and they intend to do RV solar installations when they start full-timing within the next year.
Their website, RVSolarSolutions.com, is still in its infancy, but Greg has several installations scheduled this summer in Pennsylvania. We're certainly interested to hear the details of how those go.
When the seminars were over, there was a little time for lunch before the "Open Rig Tours" kicked off at 1:00. We had a 1:00 - 3:00 session and a 3:00 - 5:00 session, and we were fortunate to have a gorgeous day.
This is always a highlight of our Rallies. The attendees get to see different types of RVs as they look in a "lived in" state, and they get to ask questions about the various set-ups and modifications that people have made.
Later, we headed back to the Conference Center where Linda and her decorating committee, Linda K., Nancy M. & Di G., got the room ready for the evening activities.
While the ladies were doing their thing, I worked on making sure we could show the Derby on the big screen. The RV park staff discovered there was a bad wire in the wall, so they ran a temporary cable to the projector, and we were back in business.
I also put together a slideshow of some of our best boondocking spots over the years, so we had that ready to go for before and after the race. Click on the link below to see the slideshow.
During our preparations, the caterer and the DJ arrived and started getting set up.
Once everything was ready to go, Linda & I went home to change into our Derby party clothes. She made us hats, and we posed by our Rally horseshoe for photos.
She called her hat the "Mint Julep" with the shot glass, bourbon, and mint included. :)
We were happy to see that several folks arrived with terrific hats and outfits. Though it wasn't part of our contest, the best overall couples' outfit had to be Lisa & Dino.
As everyone arrived, we quickly got the buffet lines started. We had chicken, ribs, and pulled pork along with salads and different side dishes.
And Linda got the caterer to try their hand at Derby Pie - a rich, chocolate nut pie with a hint of bourbon - for one of our desserts. It turned out great.
Our goal was to get everyone seated prior to the start of the Derby which had a post time of 6:24.
We understoond that most people probably didn't know or care too much about the Derby, but we tried to make it fun, and most everyone really got into the spirit. Some had to do internet searches to see what it was all about. :)
We had several pools ranging from $1 to $20 so everyone could participate - a pool is like a raffle where you draw a horse's name and you get the pot if it wins. No handicapping, just luck of the draw.
Soon after the playing of "My Old Kentucky Home", we turned the lights down so everyone could see the race and cheer for their horse. There were 19 horses in the race.
The favorite, California Chrome, won and we invited the winners to the front to collect their prizes.
We had several $19 winners, a couple of $95 winners, a $190 winner, and one lucky winner of $380. :)
After the Derby, we finished eating while the DJ played some softer background music. I went around and took photos of some of the wonderful hats.
Soon, it was time for the parade of hats.
Our hat contest included these categories:
- Most glamorous
- Best couples hats
- I'm Clearly An RVer
- Best use of recycled materials
- Best Derby themed
We started with the glamorous gals, and they strutted their stuff on the dance floor to "Pretty Woman". :)
With the loudest cheering from the audience, Sue won the "glam" category. :)
Our "Best Couples Hats" was a toss-up between Bill & Nancy ....
and David & Tricia.
The lights tipped the scales. :)
Linda S. ran away with the Derby themed hat ....
which Linda P. modeled later.
It was a close decision for the "Funniest" hat, .....
but Jeff took the prize with his "RV Plumbing Expert" hat.
We had more great, creative entries in the "I'm Clearly An RVer" category ....
but, interestingly, the plumbing theme won again as Jo & Ben prevailed with their sewer hose themed hats ....
with disposable gloves as accessories hanging off the back. :)
For our "Best Use of Recycled Materials", our contestants came out to the "Sanford & Son" theme song. :)
Connie pulled out the victory in our final category. :)
After the hat contest, the DJ picked things up and we danced.
We danced and mingled until it was time for our final RV-Dreams race. Our winning jockeys from Tuesday drew for post positions, and took their positions in the "starting gate".
Three horses got out to a quick start, but Steve B., our friskiest horse/jockey combination, got left behind.
At the wire, Rex won the garland of roses. :)
His team joined him in the winner's circle and also received prizes. :)
After the race, the grandstands had emptied out, but there were enough of us left for more dancing ....
and, eventually, a conga line. :)
A good time was had by all. :)
Of course, we've learned over the years that our Rally attendees are pretty much worn out by 9:00 on Saturday night. And that held true this time as well. So, we wrapped things up, cleaned up after ourselves and called it a night.
Linda & I had to wait for the DJ to get loaded up, and then we finally got home a little after 10:00. We were exhausted and should sleep good tonight. :)
Tomorrow morning, we have our traditional farewell breakfast and say our goodbyes. At least from our viewpoint, it was another RV-Dreams Rally success. :)