Welcome Ernie and Pattie.....and Merry Christmas!
We have a 2014 2552 and can echo what Bruce/Sharon have said.
Like you've indicated you will be doing, we use our PC for short to mid range 'touring' trips (a few weeks to a few months at a clip). Mostly RV resorts/parks, a good sprinkling of National/State Parks, and very little dry camping/boondocking unless it can't be helped.
From the factory, we needed to get the front end aligned and had Safe-T-Plus steering stabilizers installed. Even very long days of driving (8+ hours) in some challenging conditions were (mostly) pleasurable. I am 6' tall 175 lbs and find the cab extremely comfortable. We have the power drivers seat. My wife finds the passenger side pretty comfy as well.
I had no previous RV experience before our PC and found that getting in and out of tight spots or maneuvering around in parking lots and gas stations to be a lot less difficult than I had imagined. And that is while towing a large SUV, which I understand you won't be doing. I still over-worry at times, but have only gotten into one semi-difficult situation so far and even then it just took some small adjustments to resolve.
We live on the West Coast and have family and other interests on the East Coast. This means if we want to keep a coast-coast trip down to a few months we need to do a bunch of over nighters along the way at some point. The PC is well equipped and efficient in this regard. It takes us very little time to set up and tear down at full hookup sites and it's nice having the auto levelers, four way water control valve and macerator in this regard.
Regarding cooking and eating.....I love both and I cook extensively in the PC. Our 2552 is pretty darned nice for cooking. There is (subjectively) a lot of counter space if I flip up the counter extension and slide out the large cutting board. The convection microwave is large enough for just about anything I want to roast or bake (and it has an option to run the oven without the turntable on, which some ovens do not). The refrigerator and freezer are right-sized, in my opinion, for someone that cooks a lot. The pantry is also handy. One extra item we purchased and love is a Fagor Magnetic Induction Portable Cooktop. It has a pretty small footprint, but provides for a lot of versatility. You can boil, fry, stir fry and even use it as a food warmer. We use it both inside and outside (next to the BBQ for side dishes). It does require induction compatible cookware (if a magnet sticks to it, basically) The nesting cookware we already had work great with it.
As far as eating.....we have the sofa and tv table arrangement like Bruce/Sharon. We went with this arrangement for a couple reasons and are happy with it. We lounge for much more time than we eat, the sofas are much more comfortable than dinette seats and a good percentage of the time we like to eat outdoors anyway. The Tablemate 2 tv tables can be easily moved around, even outside, are adjustable in many ways and come in many colors. The legs fit underneath the sofa nicely. You can view them here: http://www.qvc.com/Tablemate-II-Adjustable-Multi-Purpose-Folding-T.product.V33755.html?upsh=1&sc=V33755-CSWB
Hope this helps.....again, Merry Christmas!