Oct 23, 2009

The beginning - From Vineyard to B&B to RV

It all begun about a year ago, at the end of 2008, in central MN.

Wine, don’t Whine

Friday 10/23/2009 - An old friend of ours from PA introduced us to a friend of his, thinking we may be able to work together on a winery in North Eastern PA. The idea fell on us like a thunder on a sunny day. Winery? Us? we know nothing about it...

We didn't throw the idea away. We slept on it few days, and I think that the idea fell in a perfect time. Our dog breeding kennel did not succeed as the recession started and people didn't buy. We sadly had to close the doors and sell all our dogs for pennies. We were somewhat tired from our long career in IT, so we thought that this might be a not be a bad idea after all. We can help with business management, administration, computerizing the business and develop a web site, while helping in the field work. We even thought to open a small bistro on site, and embed Patti's passion for cooking.

We want to be Inn Keepers

So we started to travel to PA and plot our dreams of owning a winery. We even started to look for a house close by. And we did find a house. We found an Inn! It was a 10 bedroom house on a mountains in the endless mountain region of PA. Amazing. So we thought wow! it could be a bed and breakfast! The more we thought about it, the more we liked the idea. Charming cozy place, meeting people, decorating and making people vacation memorable. Sounds like a perfect business to develop and promote before our retirement.

But things started to get complicated. By the time we got approved, the house was sold. But the idea of owning B&B was already in our blood, and so we started a long journey of looking for houses that would fit our model of B&B.

It was a long year of searches and excitements and disappointments. We had couple houses that we really liked, but they were foreclosed and damaged. On other - it took the bank too long to respond, or we simply lost the house to someone else.

So we ended up with RV

A full year has passed and our plans to purchase a house before the winter did not succeed. We had to find a solution, and fast...

We decided that it was too much to fly to PA every time we found a house, just to lose it again. Why can't we open a B&B in MN?2009 06 12_MN_BAB_CrossLake_B_9998 The searches and the move will be so much easier. We will not be close to our friends in PA, true, but we still have family in MN, and we can visit. So we looked for a place in MN and found a dream house with a private lake shore in a highly visited area of MN - Cross Lake - the  middle of the recreation area in the north. WOW. We were happy, and put an offer right away.

It was a short sale. So we were told that this kind of sale may take a while.

In the meantime we lived in our 40 acres farm in MN, and we thought that we are paying way too much every month for a property we don't use and don't need anymore (as the dog kennel was closed). The economy got worse by the day, and our company cut our salary.

It was spring time, so we thought that we will find a short term solution until we will get the house and we will be in our new house before winter comes. Maybe even open the B&B for the winter sport season...

We packed our house and put it in storage, and started to look for a short term rent. But with the economy and the people losing their houses, a house for rent was not easy to find, particularly not for short term.

Here comes the RV Idea -
Why not buy a used RV, and instead of renting a place for 3 months and moving everything - we can travel for the summer, and have an RV to keep. What a great idea!!

P1510090000 When we bought our RV, in July, we thought that by now it will be winterized and we will be in our new home. But plans are one thing, and reality is another. The bank did not give us an answer yet and we had to find a solution, and fast. But camping in the winter in MN or PA did not sound like fun, so we thought we will run away from the weather.

At that time the government changed their criteria for loans, so when the bank finaly OK'd the deal, we had no loan lined up. Patti was diagnosed with a disease that prevented us from opening the B&B, so we had to forget about that dream anyways.

With this fast sequence of events, we found ourselves without a house, without a loan but with an RV.

And that’s how it started

with our love to nature put together with our work that allows us to work remotely, it was just a natural choice. So we went to the drawing table and planned a very generic plan. Knowing that there is much we don't know, we did not put any strict days or specific locations, but general idea of where and when we want to be. We drove to our good friend Jon the winery owner, and left the boat and car in his winery, until we are back. Grabbed some wine bottles, and started driving. South.

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