Monday, April 30, 2012

Last week in Branson

Today started off very rainy.  It didn't look like we would get anything done outside.  But a little before noon it cleared up.  Good thing because we went from having one arriving camper this week to 4 within a couple of hours.  

Kevin was able to get the sites cleaned up and burned a couple of piles of leaves.   There are SO many leaves here we can't keep blowing them over the hill!  At this point they just keep blowing back so he's gone to plan B... Controlled burns.

I spent the day doing month end reports and trying to get a few more things wrapped up.  I was finally able to get the old domain name for the park transferred so we could use it for the website/blog.  It should all be working correctly here in a few more hours.  Try  It should get you to the campground website. 

I also uploaded a park map on the website.  We had a local graphic artist redraw it so that we could use it in marketing pieces.  All the sites are named after local acts here in Branson.  We've been in site 20 (easy to get in and out of) and now we're in site 24.   We can look out over the city from our patio.  In a few weeks we'll be looking out over the lake in North Dakota.  

We're busy training Ali and Ron to take over managing the park.  We're really trying to make sure that nothing misses a beat with the transition.  We've worked really hard to get things organized and running here so it's good to know that we're handing it over to some folks who can keep things going and move further forward.

Tomorrow it's laundry and starting to get things organized to head up the road...

Friday, April 27, 2012

And our next stop is...

Well our time in Branson, MO has been interesting.  Seems like work has taken more time than we'd like and there hasn't been much time for seeing too much of the area.  We're handing over the reins here at Branson View Campground to Ali and Ron Workentin.  We hired them to be our part time back ups and now we're training them to take over the management.  

We tried to go fishing one day, but it was windy and my reel broke so that didn't work out too well.  We did make a trip to Talking Rock Caverns.  It was Kevin's first cave tour and we both declared the hour long tour worth it.
Kevin's sister came to visit from Columbia, MO last weekend.  It was great to finally meet her in person.  Just his brother and sister-in-law to meet now and we will both have met all the immediate family.

Our next stop is Indian Hills Resort on Lake Sakakawea near Garrison, North Dakota.  We've been offered jobs there and they pay better than what we're getting here.  And we'll be only about 50 miles from my brother and his wife for the summer so that is a nice bonus.  We'll be there for the big Centennial Celebration in Velva, North Dakota and the state fair which will be fun.  I haven't spent any real time in North Dakota in over 20 years so it will be a nice change of pace.  And maybe since we'll be right on the lake we can get some fishing in...

We'll be at Indian Hills until the middle of September and then we will either work the sugar beet harvest or we'll head directly to Amazon in Coffeyville, Kansas.  Unless plans change again.. we're nothing if not flexible.

On our way to North Dakota we plan to stop in Kansas City area for a few days -- hopefully check out a Royals baseball game and some other sites.  We think we're going to stay at Weston Bend State Park.  Then we'll stop and see Kevin's kids in Maryville, MO.  We'll head up I29 through South Dakota to Fargo.  We can stop and see my nieces in Fargo and then make the last leg over to Garrison.  We're supposed to start there no later than May 15th and our last day here in May 5th so we have a little time to make the trip.  It will be the first trip we've made where we didn't have to rush.  Should be a nice change of pace.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We Have a Website and Help!!!

Our first workamping assignment as a couple has been rolling along.  

Kevin has made a lot of progress on cleaning up the campground.  He's still working on the mowing situation.  None of the lawn equipment here works and rather than buying a new mower the lender wanted us to get bids from landscape companies for the weekly maintenance.   Well, we have lots of trees and things to trim around so the bids aren't cheap.  Hopefully we can get things mowed this week.  So far it's not too bad, but if we get more rain it may become critical.

I've finally got a handle on the office operations.  We have installed Campground Master to manage the campground.  I think I will qualify as a Campground Master expert at the end of this.  And we've got the daily, weekly and monthly reports under control for the management company.  

We got a new computer and a new all-in-one printer, scanner, fax that have both made a huge difference in being able to do anything here.  Of course Kevin is complaining that I got a new computer and he can't get a new mower... lol

My big frustration for the week was finding out that there has been voicemail on the phone that we didn't know how to get into... or even that it existed.  Apparently when the management company took over they set up the phone service.  They had voicemail put on the line, but didn't tell us it was there or how to access it.  You think that might've been important for the folks on site to know.  I finally got in and called everyone who had left messages.  Unfortunately we lost out on a few reservations, but people were glad I took the time to call and apologize so maybe it will pay off down the road.

And for the headline news... 

We have a website!  Check us out at Branson View Campground.  I'm still working on the domain name, but at least we can point people to some sort of website!  Now if I can just figure out what is up with the online reservation stuff I think we will be in pretty good shape.  We also are on Twitter.  You can follow BransonViewRV and see what we're up to between posts.

We also found some office help.  I was reading blogs one day and noticed that someone I had been following was looking for a new workamping assignment.  A couple of emails and phone calls later, they are on their way to Branson.  They expect to arrive tomorrow and will start training on Monday.  So hopefully we can take Tuesday off without getting any knocks on the door from folks needing something in the office.  Lesson learned here is don't be afraid to put it out to the blog-sphere when you are looking for something!  You never know what it will yield.

Welcome our newest follower and soon to be employee, Ali Workentin!  Safe travels and we're looking forward to meeting you in person tomorrow.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all!  We're working a few hours today as it is still just us here at the park.  Hopefully we can find some help soon.

It has cooled off considerably this week in Branson.  We were up in the 80's and now back down in the 60's.  That's okay, I don't mind not having the air conditioner on one bit!  And I'm sure it will be hot as blazes soon enough...

The view from our campsite our first full day at Branson View Campground -- March 24
Kevin checking the view of Lake Taneycomo.
We're starting to get things cleaned up and got the window boxes planted
Part of the view from the lower sites

There are some nice spots to sit and enjoy the view here.
Our campsite... And look!  We have neighbors!
The view from our campsite now.  This is why we picked a spot at the top of the hill rather than down by the office.

As you can see... we have leaves on the trees now.  Hope you all are enjoying your Easter Sunday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finally Time to Breath

We finally have a minute to breath!  It's been crazy since my last post.

The first part of March was completely overwhelming with getting the house emptied and set to go on the market in Austin, TX.  We opted to put some things in storage -- basically the good furniture and family keepsakes.  So we have 1 10x10 storage facility and 1 5x5.   

We're now in Branson, Missouri on our first workamping job together.  We're managing Branson View Campground here.  I would include a link to the website, but I haven't managed to get that working yet.  I HAVE installed Campground Master and have been setting that up.  The previous reservation system consisted of a bunch of slips of paper and a 3 ring binder with notes in pencil.  So I should be set for any future opportunities that say "must have Campground Master experience!"

The park has been neglected over the past few years so we're having to do some catch up.  We hired a company to come blow out all the leaves from the campsites.  They started on Friday... they finally finished on Monday.  Kevin is a bit frustrated because none of the equipment seems to work and no one shows up when they say they are coming.  I think we are getting cured of any desire to own a RV park someday... lol

We're taking today and tomorrow off.  First days off since we got here on March 23rd.  Maybe we can do something fun today and have cool things to report tomorrow...