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A Day in the Life

Usually, I write about blogging, not my life. Occasionally, I will fit in a story or something going on, when it relates. However, yesterday was just one of those days, and I feel it’s necessary to blog about it.

I am in the middle of a 100-day blogging challenge and yesterday was the first day I didn’t publish a post. I made it 25 straight days with 25 posts in the bag before missing a day.

Now, I have two options: move forward and get today’s post done without worrying about missing one day OR quit. Some would quit due to their need for perfection, but not me. I won’t be quitting, as I set out to finish this challenge, no matter the end results.

Moving Forward

Before I talk about yesterday and the circumstancing surrounding the missed blog post, I want to tell you how I am going to adjust my challenge. It’s really pretty simple.

I set out to write 100 blog posts in 100 days. Now, I will be writing 100 blog posts in 100 days, but one of the days, I will be writing 2 blog posts.

I don’t know which day it will be, but I will get my missed post up, at some point. Now, onto yesterday and the RV issues, Pizza Hut Drama, & Sore Muscles.

Travel Day + RV Issues = Stress

We live in an RV full-time. We move from one campground to another to keep out cost down, as we have a membership allowing us to do so. Yesterday was a travel day.

Since we don’t have some fancy rig with all the bells and whistles, we worry on travel days. We worry something will happen and we won’t make it to our next destination, even if it’s just down the road. Moving a 20+ year old machine is a bit stressful.

Yesterday was no ordinary travel day. Our schedule has been all sorts of wacky and we didn’t go to bed until very late. This meant we would either wake up late or go into travel day without enough sleep.

For me, it turned out to be both!

As I was trying to sleep the night before, my mind was racing all over the place. I prayed a full rosary (I usually pray myself to sleep) before realizing I had to calm my mind down.

What was I thinking about?

This blog, my plans for it in the future, how I want to proceed, and the mountain of work ahead. After about an hour without falling asleep, I grabbed my phone and watched a sit-com. Usually, this does the trick and it did as I finally got to sleep around 4:30am.

Waking up about 5 hours later meant I was going into a travel day lacking sleep and struggling already. Not to mention, the day before I had done my longest swim yet in my 100-days of swimming challenge (still haven’t missed a day in that one).

I was sore and tired.

Now, travel day may not seem like a big deal if you’ve never packed up an RV to move. IT seems like you should already be packed since you live in it, right?

WRONG!

There are several things to do from making sure everything inside is secure to unhooking the sewer connection to putting up the awning. The inside is my wife’s domain, for the most part, so for me, I get to do all the outdoor things, which is great, but not when it’s about 95-degrees outside.

The Big, Stinky RV Issue

When I say stinky, I mean it. Living in an RV means you deal with a black tank. Nobody enjoys it, but it’s part of the lifestyle.

We’ve had issues in the past with our black tank, but not in this rig, outside of minor clogs. Yesterday, the issue was a major clog, and then a leak.

Yes, poop water was leaking out of our black tank and all over the gas tanks, which sits directly below it. Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as I had first thought.

Let me try to paint the stinky picture for you.

It all started as I went outside to get us prepared to travel. I opened the valve to dump our black tank into the campground sewer through our red and black sewer hoses coming out one of the back compartments on the driver’s side of our Class A RV (The kind that looks like a big bus).

Everything was moving along just fine, so I hooked up our white hose to our on-board sanitary sprayer system. This is basically a system that sprays the inside of the black tank to get it good and clean.

The process takes several minutes, so while the sprayer was going; I climbed on the roof to remove the pool noodles from under our slide cover. Pool noodles are an RVers best friend, but that’s a story for another time.

I had no idea, at the time, but we had a clog. The black tank was filling up and nothing was draining out.

I raced inside to see how full it was and raced back outside to turn off the sprayer system. Then, I grabbed my trusty toilet wand (another lovely thing RVers get the privilege of using) and proceeded to push through the toilet hoping to break the clog.

In and out, in and out, in and out, I went as I tried to get the clog to come loose. I am not sure exactly when it started, but we sprung a leak.

I looked under the RV and saw something dripping down the gas tank. Immediately, I ran to the largest compartment for outside storage on the front side of the passenger side of our rig. I grabbed a one-gallon bucket and ran back to catch the dripping poop water (I know, gross).

Not a good way to start the day.

Staff and Stress made it Worse

As I said before, we already worry on travel days. We knew we were running late and the black tank issue only slowed us down more.

A worker from the campground came to knock on our door and start the dance we have been a part of before. She was just doing her job, but it just adds stress when you’re dealing with issues.

We were past check out time, which doesn’t bother us, of course, but bothers the campground, sometimes. They don’t always notice or care as much since it’s not the busy season, but this day they cared.

Unclogged and Down the Road We Go

Since I was able to get the black tank unclogged, I was able to empty the tank and we were able to leave. Of course, I still had to put up or leveling jacks and one of them is a bit finicky. This was the day it needed a little bit of help, just to add to the stressful pile.Since I’ve never dealt with a black tank leak, my first thoughts were a crack in the tank, which would mean a pretty large repair. I tried to stay calm as we drove down to the next stop.

We made it safely, got hooked up, and I went to work trying to solve the issue. Once I discovered a way to access the pipe leading from the black tank to the valve to our red sewer hose, I was able to discover where the leak was coming from.

The hardest part was gaining access as every screw to the access panel was in that perfect spot where you have to do a contortionist move just to get a screwdriver to the screw.

My mind calmed when I realized this was going to be an annoying, but a pretty easy fix. I only say annoying because I am a tall guy and the access to this area of our RV is a rather small space.

Anyway, I had a plan and we could move forward with our day.

The Leaky Pipe

This was the pipe I had to pull out to fix the leak.

Canceled Disney & Went for Supplies

Originally, we were supposed to go to Disney World for a bit of fun. We have annual passes and our current passes are about to be up. Our renewal will take us into blackout dates for the majority of the summer, so we are trying to go as much as we can right now.

Yesterday just wasn’t the day for Disney. It’s already hard to get to Disney on a travel day because they wear us out pretty good, but we were going to try. My wife decided it was best if we cancel, and I agreed.

Instead, we figured we could go out to lunch and I needed to hit the store for some supplies, anyway.

Pizza Hut Drama Here We Come

My wife loves Pizza Hut. I like it, too, but not the way she does. We don’t get it very often because it’s just not that convenient to where we stay most of the time.

However, since I had to go out of my way to check a Camping World for supplies, we were going to be near a Pizza Hut. We decided to stop in and the drama began from the very moment we walked in, sort of.

Drama may be a strong word, but I am going to use it, anyway.

Let Me Preface This…

Before I go any further, it’s important for you to understand, I spend more than a decade working in restaurants. I worked at everything from a buffet restaurant to a fine dining establishment to a sports bar. As a former server/bartender, I know what to expect. While my expectations for service at Pizza Hut are not super high, I still expect at least average service.

Poor Service, Burnt Pizza, Pathetic Management, & Feeling Like an Afterthought

As my brilliant wife has pointed out, it would have been easier for me to list off what went right during this experience. However, I am giving you the full story, enjoy.

I’ve had some bad experiences at restaurants in my life, who hasn’t?

This one, at Pizza Hut, may be the worst, or at least top three for me.

We walked in to be greeted by a sign saying “please wait to be seated.” There wasn’t a single customer in the restaurant, at this time.

A few moments later, the mumbling server came out and sort of told us to pick any seat we wanted. I’m not trying to be mean, but the entire time she mumbled and was hard to understand.

We were given menus and she walked away returning a few minutes later to take our drink order. At this point, we asked about specials, and she mumbled about a $5.99 deal, but couldn’t really remember what it included.

She was struggling to remember her specials and it was a bit embarrassing, to be honest. I wouldn’t be so hard on her, but we haven’t ordered Pizza Hut in about 8 months and I knew the specials she was referring to better than she did. They are not new.

Anyway, we weren’t ready to order, so she left to return with our drinks. Speed of service, up to this point, was fine and overall, it was average.

It’s all downhill from here!

Our server came back with our drinks. I ordered water with no ice and said no ice at least twice. I got ice.

This isn’t something I ever complain about, but more of just something I put up with and notice. Usually, I don’t even consider it bad service, just not above and beyond by any means.

We ordered our pizzas and she left. Now, we get to play the waiting game.

My wife looked at me about 20 minutes later (could have been longer or shorter, I don’t really know, but it was far too long for two pizzas to be made when we were the only customers in the building) and said it seemed like it was taking forever.

Our pizzas (if you could call them that) arrived a few minutes later and they were burnt, not anywhere near hot, and they looked pathetic. The cheese was black and her thin pizza looked a lot like my pan pizza, which shouldn’t happen.

The Pizza Arrives, FInally, Inspection Time

Our server told us the pizzas were burnt and mumbled that we should ask to have them redone. This is simply ridiculous to me and from my experience in the restaurant business; everything went south the second this server decided to bring these burnt pizzas out to us.

She went and got a manager to inspect our pizzas and okay the remake. She also offered to give us half off, which was fine.

Burnt Pizza

It may be hard to tell, but the onion was black and the bubbles from the cheese were also black. Plus the crust was like a stale cracker. At least the dogs liked it, but no onion for them, of course.

At this point, a good manager would have been coming out empty-handed, telling us what happened, offering to comp our entire meal, and offering to give us a coupon for pizza in the future. A quick appetizer may have been a good idea, too.

Simply put, food that isn’t good should never make it to a table at ANY restaurant, even Pizza Hut. Obviously, the server knew it wasn’t good, but brought it anyway.

Burnt Pizza isn’t Appetizing

We kept the burnt pizzas and munched on them a bit, but they really were not enjoyable. I hate wasting food, so we did box them up to take home for our dogs (lucky dogs for sure!).

The new pizzas came out about 10 minutes later (a reasonable amount of time to make a pizza when your pizza restaurant is super slow). They were fine, but they still seemed a bit off. At least these two pizzas were hot, though.

When the new pizzas arrived, we asked for a box knowing we would need one. We both ate a few slices and no box had arrived, nor had our server ever came back to check on us.

Finally, my wife decided to go up and get us a couple of boxes for the leftovers. Another worker gave her the boxes and she spotted our server in the back on her phone.

The entire time we were in this Pizza Hut, we could hear employees goofing off in the back as they made us feel like our existence in their restaurant didn’t matter at all.

This was enough of a bad experience, but we even had trouble getting the check (not our server’s fault, however).

Our server was trying to print the check with her manager literally 3 feet away and had to ask her for a code for the discount at least four times. The manager was counting a drawer of money (mind you, right out in the open, which is a big no, no, in my experience) and couldn’t take a minute to enter a code for a table that has already been treated like garbage.

Never did the manager apologize and never did anybody actually check to see if the new pizza was good for us.

By far, this was the worst experience I’ve had at a Pizza Hut and it had to happen on a day that was already a struggle.

In addition, I was reminded that the following also occurred:

  • We were never offered refills on our drinks
  • We ate pizza for at least 5 minutes without any plates, silverware, or napkins
  • One of the employees was sitting at a table near us watching TV during our visit

Sore Muscles From A Strange Work Day

I thought I would still get my blog post done yesterday. I got my swim in after discovering where our poop leak (I can’t believe I just published that) was coming from.

When I got in the pool, I realized my body was so sore that swimming much more than a few laps was going to be a challenge. I did what I could and relaxed in the pool for about an hour before we left for the Pizza Hut drama and the shopping.

I think my muscles were already sore from a lack of sleep and a longer swim the day before. Of course, it didn’t help when I had to contort my body into spaces it simply doesn’t fit into in order to find the leak.

Small Spaces

I had to get my 6’3″ body up into this space. Luckily I am not fat.

Fixed Leak, Crushed Ice, but No Blog Post

My plan, after we arrived back home, was simple. Relax for an hour, fix the leak, and write my blog post. All went well until I sat down and struggled to get up to even fix the leak.

Two hours later, I did get up and I did get the leak fixed. Not sure how I managed to do it as I was completely drained, but I did.

In addition, our freezer wasn’t really freezing things so well because it needed to be defrosted. Instead, I decided to take a pair of metal cooking tongs and chop away the ice from inside our freeze.

However, as you already know, the blog post for the day didn’t get created.

That’s my story and while I titled this “A Day in the Life” this is not a normal or common day for me. It was a day in my life, though and we survived it. Sometimes, surviving is all you can do when you have one of those days where things just don’t go as planned.

The only thing that made the day better was two dog heads next to each other. If you don’t find this cute, there’s something wrong with you!

Two Cute Dog Heads