So far…

This blog starts where the last one left off – with the death of my beautiful Mother Betty.

Mom passed away in October of 2019 on the one year anniversary of Dave & Lisa’s house being destroyed by hurricane Michael. My cousin Sandra came down from Delaware for her funeral service.

Mom's Funeral
The three brothers, Carl, Adam, Sandra, Myhra and Lisa in Rick & Myhra’s backyard

Then 2020 hit like a Tsunami! Dave and Lisa made a trip in the Summer to check out Rick & Myhra’s new digs in Rockledge. We were able to get together at Mom’s final resting spot at St Josephs in Palm Bay.

Dave, Ed & Rick at the Cemetery tag St Joseph’s in Palm Bay.

Several years before my retirement I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have always had in the back of my mind that it would be fun to travel the USA in a RV of some sort. The idea began to take shape and I created a map with all of the places I could think of to visit. Over the next couple of years I would add places to the map.

Where to go?

Now that I own a boat my initial idea was to buy a small motor home of some sort. I started looking at those but at the same time didn’t care much for the idea of have a large vehicle like that as a tow vehicle. I also felt it would really restrict what I could do on the road.

Dan & Maggie in Port Canaveral

In late 2019 I got a visit from my good friends Dan and Maggie Matheson from Colorado. They visited in their Winnebago RV that they have owned now for several years and made many trips. I was very impressed and started thinking this might be the way to go.

I have owned some sort of SUV since my days in Colorado in the 1990s. I had seen the BMW X6 a few times and was instantly drawn to it’s unique styling. I checked into it as a tow vehicle and determine it would fit my bill perfectly. I could tow it to the destination and then enjoy the X6 to drive and see the sites.

I started looking right at the peak of the pandemic and found a low-mileage, red (of course) 2016 X6 in South Florida. Research told me to stay away from the bigger motor and everything I read said the V6 had plenty of power (boy howdy!) For a month they wouldn’t even talk to me because of the shutdowns. I was finally able to pick it up around Memorial Day. It was of course a blast to drive although a very different ride than my past Porsche and Mercedes SUVs. And yes – plenty of power and awesome stick with a twin-turbo 3 liter through a 8 speed high tech wizardry transmission and drive systems.

2016 BMW X6 xDrive 35i
Flamenco Red Metallic 🀩

Does one actually take vacations when they are retired?

Me to Jake

Later that Summer Jake & I did our first trip in the X6 to North Carolina to spend my birthday with Brother Dave and Lisa. We enjoyed the idea of getting away (even in retirement) I decided to start looking for a RV. I started to embrace my Dad’s concept of going on vacation when you are retired!

Jake & Eddie in North Carolina

By the end of the summer I was set. I research and found a Micro Minnie slightly smaller than Dan & Maggies and new 2021 model. I was very impressed with the quality of fit and finish when I looked at it. It took me a while to figure out the equipment I needed to safely tow the trailer including lowering the suspension to be more compatible with the X6.

Winnebago Micro Minnie 1808FBS
Winnebago Mico Minnie 1808FBS

The rest of 2020 was spent outfitting the trailer. In March of this year we took a shakedown trip to a campground just north of Gainesville. I was very happy with the way the X6 and trailer handled although not so much with the nearly 50% drop in fuel mileage! The layout and features fit Jake and I very well it seems.

Jake & Eddie's Excellent Adventure
Jake & Eddie’s Excellent Adventure

Meanwhile back at the Beach

Before any of this transpired I first started taking the steps to build my dream workshop out in the backyard. Also something that I had been thinking about since my brother Dave planted the seed at Mom’s funeral. He suggested I look into a portable shed to put in my backyard and build out a workshop. After some research I found what I was looking for with a 12 x 20 foot shed built in south Georgia and shipped by truck to yours truly in Cocoa Beach.

The execution was straight forward – I opened a part of the back fence and made sure they could get the shed down the drop in the back of my yard. It all went well and soon the shed was in place.

I added a 100 amp power circuit and proceeded to insulate and panel the shed, build shelving and hang the appropriate tools after figuring out how to put all the tools jammed into the garage into the new digs. I was worried that it would be too tight but ultimately those fears were dispelled after optimizing the layout.

Workshop today

As an added bonus I got the garage back! The M Coupe is much happier being inside these days and I actually drive it a lot more now that it’s easier to do. I also have been able to setup a second workshop for household and auto work saving the workshop for more refined activities!

Orlando Garage
Happy M Coupe!