Quite a change from our recent Amish camping and State Park camping, this campout was smack dab in the middle of downtown Columbus – Urban camping at it’s best! This was a repeat of the “Share the Dream” rally from two years ago at Haydocy Airstream dealership – with upgrades! The deal is this: Haydocy invites our NOVA group to set up camp in their front parking lot for the weekend – Haydocy proceeds to sell Airstreams while NOVA shows off the WBCCI lifestyle. It is a win/win situation for both Haydocy and NOVA.
Tom and I earned an early entry to the parking lot with a few little warranty items that needed serviced, and we arrived at 10:30. Not long after we got in line for service, rally host and hostess Terry and Sue arrived, and not long after that several more trickled in. So much for arrival any time after 1:00! It didn't matter, because the parking lot had been cleared out to make room for our entourage.
The weather cooperated with coolish temperatures, but no rain. As Airstreams trickled In during the afternoon the parking lot filled up! During the course of the weekend we had about 12 Airstreams "camping" on the lot . . . with a million dollar inventory of other Airstreams that were for sale!
For those that arrived in time for lunch, the Haydocy Land Yacht BBQ food stand was on site and serving! Wonderful BBQ pork and brisket, beans and cole slaw.
Mid-afternoon a detail truck arrived and started at one end of our Airstream formation and washed their way down to the other end! All of our Airstreams got a bath, as well as any tow vehicle that was parked in the way! In the process the parking lot also got a good wet-down!
Later in the afternoon A fire pit materialized in the parking lot, and soon a ring of chairs circled the campfire. . . just like in a real campground. Tables appeared, and at 6:00 hot dogs, beans, all the fixins’ and ample side-dishes filled the tables for a parking lot picnic.
After dinner followed the usual camping routine – sitting around the fire and enjoying stories and company. Temperatures cooled off even more as the sun went down, and at 7:30 a light sprinkle started. It was enough to motivate a flurry to put everything away and move into the comfort of the Haydocy showroom. I don’t know how long that pow-wow went on, but I soon retired to the Silvermine to read more of that new David Baldachi book!
Friday morning I didn’t hit the showroom floor until 8:30 a.m.to find that most were up and about. Coffee and donuts, compliments of Haydocy, were on tap. Within an hour we collected Alan and headed off for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) It is one of our favorite stores, and I especially like their promotional vibe “Made on Purpose.” We came out empty-handed (even the clearance sale clothing was way beyond Tom’s mind-set!)
Because it was 11:15 we started looking for a good salad bar for lunch – ended up at the Hollywood Casino Buffet. As we walked in, the hostess/greeter wished us “good luck” – obviously she didn’t know we were just visiting the buffet? (Casino note: In most places you have to walk through all the food to get to the “things to do”; at the casino you have to walk through all the “things to do” to get to the food.)
Back on the blacktop new people were joining the fun. Pendleton Special Edition #96 had been delivered early in the morning and the family, up from Kentucky, had arrived to play in their new trailer. Suzie and John came in their recently acquired 16’ with an interest in trading for something a bit bigger. (Before the weekend was out they moved out of the 16' and into a 25'.) New NOVA members Chris and Randy Shiplett, from just 15 minutes away in Plain City, did a drive-by to meet their NOVA family, and long-time NOVA members Brad and Jane showed up to say hello.
Tim Maxwell (a regional Airstream representative) planted his 2-stroke, John Deer propelled ice cream maker on the front stoop of Haydocy, and everyone was drawn to the distinct bursts of the little engine as it churned away
Alan brought out the Segways and a pack stood in line for instructions and to take a turn around the parking lot.
By middle of the afternoon a DJ showed up to gauge the “type” of crowd gathered and to entertain us with properly profiled music. The fire pit was fired up . . . . and the chairs formed another ring. And the busy comings and goings went on like that all afternoon! At one point, Tom and Rick dodged out to a local go-cart racetrack to do a few laps against each other.
At 6:30 Haydocy manager Mike Harlan, Regional manager Tim Maxwell, and ace salesman Eric Davis herded us toward the showroom where Bar-B-Q from the Land Yacht was set up for our dinner. This expanded into a bigger fire and a larger circle, and a “State of the Airstream” message from Tim Maxwell.
I surprised myself by staying out until 10:00; at 11:30 I peeked out my wrap-around window to see at least 8 people still in the circle with more tossing a football in the parking lot. (Nice catch to whoever made that last minute snag to keep the football from hitting my bedroom window!)
Tom and I did not have electric hook-ups, and we made the decision to go without the furnace for the night! I already had my fleece map of the USA blanket on the bed, and I added for Tom his heavy log-cabin quilt. Over all of this I layered the heavy, wool, Yellowstone edition, kingsize Pendleton blanket. As the temps dipped down in the low 40’s overnight – we were comfy.
Saturday was to be the big sales day with hopes of people coming in off the streets to look at the Airstreams and see the NOVA/ WBCCI backdrop. Starting out it was cold; later in the morning it dribbled. The parking-lot setting broke up, and small groups relocated here and there to take cover. The good news was that wheelin’ and Airstream dealin’ were going on inside on the showroom floor, and outside on the front lot – all day long! NOVA members had some good opportunities to inject some WBCCI speechifying. Three Airstreams were sold on Saturday as three new couples "joined the dream."
Late afternoon the rally turned to food consumption as we met in the showroom to caravan to Der Dutchman for dinner. It was still raining as we returned, but we snuggled in the showroom for the evening to chew the fat one last time. (We'll need some new fat before the next rally!)
Sunday morning was a slow get-away, but Tom and I were still home by noon. As we pulled in the driveway we realized that the calendar was empty for the next weekend, and Tom promptly took care of that little detail by making reservations for Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky! Just the two of us (Home Alone in the new Silvermine)!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown