Friday, June 21, 2013

Bittersweet

The new owners of our fifth wheel and truck flew in to town on Wednesday, spent the night in the trailer and had hitched up before we could make it over to help in the morning.  John and Carol were anxious, nervous and excited about heading out on the road to work their way back to Massachusetts.  Denny and I gave them a couple of last minute pointers, sprayed some silicon on the jacks which had been sitting in one place in the heat for two months after which I did my final walk around (old habits are hard to break) and then we waved as the happy new owners pulled out of the campground.
John and Carol aren't new to camping or rving, nor are they even new to us; we first met this wonderful couple in 2011.  The two of them had flown down a month ago to look at the rig again and assure themselves that they still wanted to purchase the combo of truck and rig and Denny and I showed them around The Villages while they were here.  When they flew back home a couple of days later, it was agreed that a smiling John and Carol would be the new owners of the The Beast and Black Beauty.

And so I've reached the final post in this eighth year of blogging.  One more and it would have been post 1998--the year we started our fulltime journey.  But that's okay--I've never liked things all neat and tidy anyway.  I've created a new blog but I have a sneaking suspicion that I won't be writing many posts for a while because I'm just a bit burned out on blogging.  We're still making the transition from rather irresponsible RVers to responsible homeowners (being a grown up isn't all that's it's cracked up to be) and realizing how in so many ways life on the road is easier.  But Denny and I are working on settling in and creating a new lifestyle here--heck, I've even gotten Denny to agree to a 7 AM tee time in order to beat the heat and that's quite a sacrifice on his part since 7 AM is normally about the time he's rolling out of bed.  Hee. Life is still good, it's just different and that's just fine with us.

Happy trails to those of you on the road.
The End

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Settling In and Settling Down


Since Denny and I are selling Black Beauty and The Beast, we were in need of transportation.  Here in The Villages, hereafter known as TV in Village speak, one's main mode of transportation is a golf cart or LSV (low speed vehicle which is a very much souped up golf cart/cart based vehicle.)  Therefore this week our cart was delivered.  Introducing The Tortoise and The Hare. 
Learning our way around the golf cart trails is an experience in itself, but so far we've managed to find our way to Sumter Landing and The Paddock for shopping and evenings of drinks and music, as well as visiting with our friends who moved into TV about four miles south of us.  All of this is reachable without driving along main roadways or interfering with traffic which is cool.  Of course, we've already been passed by other residents in their golf carts because Denny and I have a tendency to enjoy the scenery as we're be-bopping along and will stop to look at the great blue herons or to search for alligators in the marshes and that's apparently just simply not done here.  It is a bit surprising to find that retired people are very much in a hurry to get to wherever it is they are going, even at 20mph.  Which is the average speed of the ramped up carts here.  Officially our electric golf cart has been modified to go 19.2 mph, up from the normal speed of 15mph in a regular golf cart.  Gas powered golf carts are a bit faster at 21-22 mph.  Here in TV, much faster than that (25mph) and you'll be getting a speeding ticket.  Seriously.

I've already asked Denny to transplant some bushes that the builders of the house had planted in odd places.  Next year we'll think about a tiny vegetable garden.  I will have to learn what flowers are happy here in Zone 9 before I start investing in a lot of plants, but they have classes for that down here too and I'll be arranging to attend one soon.  Down here there's pretty much a class for everything, actually.  The important one will be the care and feeding of citrus fruit trees and palm trees; that's not something we ever had up in Ohio and we're clueless in how to keep these trees alive and producing.

When we did our walk through with the previous owners of the house, I pointed out an empty nest in the lime tree, which the owners hadn't noticed.  Four weeks later the fledgling mockingbirds left the next.  I was amazed at how quickly the entire process of egg laying to hatching to feeding to pushing the little ones out of the nest occurred.  What I haven't been able to do yet is attract any hummingbirds, which is extremely disappointing because both Denny and I enjoy the antics of these fiercely territorial little birds.
As you can see, Patches is settling in.  Wherever she can.  We have found her on the floorboard of the driver's seat, in the trunk if the convertible top is up and the windows are down or perched on the roof of the car.  What she hasn't done is ride in the car, which won't happen again until we find a veterinarian for her check up and shots.  I don't think she misses traveling very much although she still seems to be searching for The Beast on our nightly walks.

Our friends who introduced us to The Villages have purchased a weed wacker and we've purchased a hedge trimmer--I foresee some trading in our future as storage space is at a premium here.  One of the not-so-good things in the covenants is that you are not supposed to place any storage units or sheds anywhere on your property, so any and all gardening supplies and tools have to be able to fit into the one and a half car garage with the car, the golf cart, tools and "stuff".   Perhaps a good project for Denny will be building some creative shelving for the "stuff" and tools we simply cannot live without for the maintenance of the house and yard.  Building things is something that Denny has missed during our years of RVing.  Certainly we've learned how to put the maximum amount of stuff in the minimum amount of space over the past few years.

And one of these days we'll actually have the time to figure out the golf system here and check out some of the various clubs that are available to broaden our horizons a bit.  Maybe next week...

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Assimilating

Life is slowing down a tad.  We are assimilating.  Kinda.

When Denny turns over in bed, I wait for the oh-so-slight rocking of The Beast.  The bed is still.

I still occasionally reach for the foot pedal to flush the toilet.

Twice now the wood laminate flooring of the bedroom has gotten soaked because we can't hear the sound of rain on the roof so we sleep through the rain with the window wide open. 
Stick and brick homes have roofs that don't sound like drums being beaten when it rains.  There is no sound at all and that is strange to us after all these years.  It's not better, it's just different.

I have opened the front door and tried to step down onto the set of four steps that don't exist here.  That can be a jarring experience.

Making the bed is a pleasure because I can walk around all three sides and the mattress isn't jammed up against a wall on one side and a built in cupboard on the other so that Denny and I would have to pull the mattress down towards us to be able to change the sheets.  

We have found ourselves a sparkling red convertible and have ordered our "mystic teal" colored golf cart.  Denny and I both have to learn how to gracefully exit the new car; Black Beauty allowed me to simply slide out and step down on the running board to make an exit.  Denny of course could simply step right out with his much longer legs.  At this point, with the convertible it's more a matter of clawing our way out of it.  But we both agree that after all these years without, we still look good in a convertible. *wink*

Here at The Villages, the primary mode of transportation is the golf cart and we've already had our maiden voyage in our loaner golf cart and gotten ourselves turned around and lost using the rather rudimentary maps provided to us.  Fortunately, what Denny and I had been told is true; if you sit there in your cart looking confused and/or frustrated another person in a golf cart will stop and either tell you which way you need to go or as in our case, the nice ladies actually led us to the store we were trying to find.  I'm sure it won't be the last time we'll need assistance.  

One perk has been filling up the gas tank--sixteen gallons of regular gas opposed to eighty-eight gallons of diesel fuel.  That savings will allow us to go out to dinner a couple more times a month!

Next up will be trying to find and schedule the various instructional classes on local plants and flowers, how to maintain our irrigation system, how to work with the system to make tee times at one of the 30+ executive courses and just what recreation center has what class at what time and how long will it take me to get from here to there

The house still echos a bit; we're still without our living room furniture other than the loaner couch given to us by the furniture store but we did get our dining room set so we're no longer eating on the lanai at our folding table except by choice.  The lanai is turning out to be my favorite place because I can enjoy the breeze and people watch.  The cat enjoys it more because the floor is carpeted; she's not fond of the fact that the rest of the house is wood flooring.  Strangely enough, the garage is carpeted so that's the cat's second go-to place.  And no, I have no idea why someone would carpet the garage and I didn't ask the previous owners.  I guess I was almost afraid of the answer.  

Is it weird to be waking up in a house instead of the RV?  Yes, it is.  Are we enjoying the house?  Yes we are.   Will we travel again sometime?  You betcha.  

But for right now, life is pretty darned good.  
 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stuff

This afternoon Denny and I started cleaning out Black Beauty so we can clean her up for her next owners.  Can you explain why I have six milkshake sized straws and 2 inches of fast food napkins in the console?  And five pens, a golf pencil, three note pads, Tic Tacs and toothpicks in the overhead storage tray?  Don't get me started on the things that were stashed in the pockets of the front seats and behind and under the rear passenger seats but suffice to say we filled two large boxes with "stuff".  Yes, "stuff".  Remember when we got rid of all of our "stuff" when we sold our house?  It crept back into our lives at some point.

Granted, I used those note pads and pens and napkins and plastic rain ponchos and atlases and hiking boots and golf shoes and whisk brooms and....well, you get the idea.  There was a lot of "stuff" in there.  And now I have to winnow out the extras and the worn outs and the superfluous for our next vehicle which will no doubt have a lot less room for "stuff".  

I realized today that I have become my mother, who was like so many others a child of the Depression era and therefore prone to hoarding extras.  Of everything.  Therefore I am going to work extra hard to change that habit and throw away/recycle/give away all of those "in case" items that have turned into "stuff". 

I also changed purses today; what a horror that was as I kept pulling items out of my very small purse to place into a hobo style bag.  I apparently am a wizard at putting the maximum number of items in a minimal amount of space.  Sadly, one of the first things I did was remove all the grocery store courtesy cards from my keyring; I had twenty-four of them from across the U.S.  Twenty-four grocery courtesy cards.  But I can tell you where all those oddball small town and large town stores are when you flip through that stack of cards.  Which stores carry our favorite brands or some of our hometown foods to enjoy while we were hundreds of miles from what was once home or where we discovered a new local favorite to enjoy.  Memories locked in grocery store cards--who knew?

Right now Denny and I are in a state of stasis; we are waiting on a lot of furniture to arrive but it's a good thing that it's not here because in ten days the painters will arrive to do in one day what would take the two of us several weeks to do.  So boxes of items will remain stored in the closets a while longer to be out of the way when the painters arrive, although I really should go through them again and get rid of the old, the tired, the never-used and the what-was-I-thinking?  And the two of us need to get serious about purchasing a golf cart--I'm going green with electric despite all the naysayers who say gas is the way to go in this ever growing city of seniors.

While we're still working on making that transition between being full time travelers to full time homeowners, Denny and I discovered today that our travels allowed us to recognize locations in the paintings and works of art that were being displayed today at one of the town squares.  It was fun to talk to the artists and compare notes on favorite areas that they had recreated in oils, watercolors, pencil and even as oversized photographs.  And it was nice to get away from all that "stuff", even if just for an afternoon.

Tomorrow?  Once more into the fray.  Linda versus "stuff."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Transitioning





As of this morning, Denny and I have been homeowners for ten days.  To say it's been hectic would certainly be a bit of an understatement.

There have been moments where you grin ruefully, (and this will be TMI for some folks) like when you finish using the toilet and reach out with your foot to hit the flush pedal.  Every darn time for three solid days.  Or when I transferred the food from our four door RV refrigerator to our side by side refrigerator in the house only to find I was out of room for the food I had.  The RV refrigerator is larger.  Same with our RV kitchen cabinets and pantry; what was comfortably stored in our rig now is split between the kitchen and the storage cupboard in the garage of the house.  Wow.  Now I have to admit I don't have everything stacked on top of each other in the cupboards of the house as I did in the RV, so there will have to be some reshuffling and rearranging now that we're getting settled in and that should help but it does tickle me to realize that more space isn't necessarily more storage.  As our RVing friends Don and Vicki, who have also moved into The Villages, are finding out as well.

We've pretty much emptied out The Beast.  A final cleaning and he'll be ready for when his new owners come down to look at him next month.  It is bittersweet to see The Beast empty of those things that made it ours, but I foresee a lot of new adventures for him down the road.

As you can see from the photo above, we're still awaiting furniture.  The leather couch is on loan from the furniture company until our living room furniture is built and delivered.  The house is a bit "echo-y" at the moment due to all the empty space around us, but within a few more weeks the place will look more like a home.  On a minimalist RVer style, of course, with few knick-knacks and gewgaws.

Certainly the transition is expensive.  All an RVer brings to a house is linens, kitchenware, tools and clothing.  The list of things one needs is huge, from furniture for several rooms to bedding for an extra bedroom to multiple trash cans--stuff RVers normally don't worry about because one of everything is more than sufficient.  The more big box stores Denny and I walk into, the more things we see that "we could use."  I'm already working on reining that in for a few months.

Soon the two of us will have to start looking for a car and a golf cart and already my tree hugging self is fighting with my logical self.  The tree hugger wants an ecologically correct electric cart while 80% of the people here have a gasoline powered cart due to the size of The Villages. I'm told that many electric golf carts can be found stranded daily on the cart paths which line the city while stranded gas powered carts are rare.  So I waffle, because at this stage of simply trying to pull the house together I have no clue how much running around I'll do in The Villages attending classes, playing golf (someday), shopping and just joy-riding.  Here in The Villages your golf cart is your primary vehicle and your car is your secondary vehicle.  It is indeed an unusual lifestyle.

That's a glimpse of why posting is still sparse.  This makes post 1993--seven more and I think the RV Vagabonds blog will end as such.  Perhaps the next blog can be Not RV Vagabonds?

Friday, April 05, 2013

Looking Back While Moving Forward

Do you remember your first apartment or house?  When I moved out as soon as I turned twenty-one (because that was the age one became legally an adult back in the dark ages) I started out with very little.  I bought myself a new queen sized bed, I took my little antique student desk as a dresser, I borrowed a daybed and added those big armed pillows to create a sofa and had an inflatable chair to act as my living room furniture.  Borrowed fiberboard end tables completed the look there and my parents loaned me a set of their ice cream tables and chairs from their soda fountain business as my dinette set.  I was good to go!

Now, forty years later I am doing that all over again--starting life in a house with no furniture, just some kitchenware, linens and office stuff.  I have to say, it's a bit intimidating to walk into furniture stores these days--when asked what style I like I have no clue.  I've lived in less than 400 square feet with furniture in various tones of browns, beiges, grays and blacks for the last fifteen years--the idea of color is exhilarating!

Denny is being driven nuts in the meantime, being asked "do you like this?  What do you think of that?  Is this table too big for the space?"  Given his druthers, he'd go for the whole house package deal.  Just give him his electric recliner (on order) and his new, much larger TV and he'll be happy.  For a while, I'll once again be living with a loaner couch (yes, the furniture store that has ordered our living room furniture is providing us with a loaner couch until our stuff can be delivered in another four or five weeks) and a lot of bare space.  We won't be ready for guests for a while yet, but once The Beast and Black Beauty are sold we will be able to finish all the shopping and getting.

Speaking of our RV and truck, we have a wonderful couple interested in the pair of them.  Denny and I met the two of them when we were touring the eastern seaboard a couple of years ago and they were curious to see what a Heartland Landmark Grand Canyon looked like so we had them come by for a look.  Serendipity has thrown us together again and The Beast may soon have new owners.  In the past, I've always wondered where our previous RVs ended up and what kind of adventures the owners were having and if this all works out, I'll be able to follow The Beast's future travels.  How fun is that?

In the meantime, Denny and I close on our new-to-us sticks and bricks on Monday.  Photo story to follow.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hanging Up the Keys

Well, we've done it.  Denny and I have signed a contract to purchase a dollhouse in The Villages.

To many people the house that we are buying would be very small but after living in a RV for fifteen years we think it will be very comfortable and cozy with room to stretch our legs, which is kind of a big thing.

I have to admit, The Villages is not a place we would have thought to check out if it hadn't been for our friends Don and Vicki.  I remember years ago my parents requested information on the development but never came down to Florida to check it out.  I had always envisioned living by the beach or near the mountains when we finally settled down but after seeing all the healthy, active and youthful seniors here Denny and I decided that this would be a good place for us.  You see, we both have a family history of dementia and we wanted a place where both our minds and bodies would have the opportunity for stimulation and with 32 free nine hole executive golf courses on the grounds along with 2,000 clubs of various interests, swimming pools and rec centers in every village (plat) and plenty of walking/biking/golf cart trails we should be able to stay active.  

Originally we had given ourselves this final year to travel but housing prices are going back up as are mortgage interest rates so making a decision to purchase now seemed wise.  In addition, The Villages will stop building new homes within the next two years so home prices will only continue to rise.  Thus our decision (for once) was not a gut reaction but a logical one and boy is that weird for us!  That actually made it harder because Denny and I do go with our instincts and we had to sit down and discus all the pros and cons of this area versus what our dream location had been.  Because you see, at this point we won't be able to keep Black Beauty and The Beast so we won't be traveling for a while.  And that is a bit difficult to wrap our minds around.

So next month we'll be homeowners once again.  However I can assure you that at some point, the RV Vagabonds will hit the road for at least some part time travel on a much scaled down level.  Because we're still curious as to what is around that next bend in the road.

 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Will I Make 2,000?

My original post title was going to be "Hanging Up The Keys" but when I saw that after this post I am only ten posts away from hitting 2,000 total posts since I started this blog I changed my mind.

Two thousand posts--that's a lot of blather over the years.  It's probably also a good place to end after eight years of blogging about our full time travels in our various RVs.  Certainly I've enjoyed sharing our stories of life on the road and posting photographs of some of the great people we've met and places we've seen.

But as you all know, Denny and I have been searching for a place to settle and we've found it.

But that's another post. ;)
 

Friday, March 01, 2013

Unintentionally Rude

To the gentleman who stopped by yesterday as Denny and I were breaking camp--I'm sorry.  I know you came down to tell us you had been reading my blog for years and wanted to chat.  Unfortunately Denny and I were on a tight schedule yesterday as we had an appointment in a town two hours away and needed to get to our next campground and get at least partially set up before we had to get to our appointment so we didn't stop to talk with you as we normally would have done.

So again, I apologize; we're normally not rude folks but we just didn't have the extra time to chat this time around.  Perhaps we'll run into you again--if you see my wi-fi network online again please give us another chance to make your acquaintance.  We love to meet new people and exchange views on the RVing lifestyle.  This time it was just bad timing.

Happy Trails!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Walk in the Park


 Denny and I are staying at a campground that's far from shopping, museums, golf courses, attractions, activities--well, pretty much everything.  We're here to visit with friends who are workamping for the season at this very quiet, very new campground that has little going for it other than a great view of the night sky and nice sized camp sites.  After two weeks here of a promised month long stay, the two of us just had to get out to do something so I picked a morning drive to Manatee Springs State Park, about 55 miles away.  The storms that had been predicted for the day were passing well north of us and I thought it was a good time to take advantage of a rare warm day.
A six dollar entry fee allows you access to several miles of biking/hiking trails as well as the opportunity to scuba dive.  The park is home to one of the largest fresh water springs in Florida; between 35 and 150 million gallons of water flow from the spring each day.  The water is crystal clear and there is a system of aquatic caves in the limestone below the water.






A handicap accessible boardwalk leads out to the Suwannee River where the manatees gather to feed.  Cypress trees and tall pines line the walkway from the beginning to the spring to the outlet at the Suwannee.  There's even an area roped off for swimmers for those brave enough for the cool, clear water--and the alligators that may lurk in the area.  Although today the only carnivorous types we found were the black vultures


Better eyes than ours spotted two young deer resting far back in the trees.  The older was well camouflaged with a coloring that was the same dull brown of the trees while this younger fawn was a richer brown and a bit easier to see, especially once he stood up to watch us all watching him.

But my primary reason for coming was to see the manatees.  And we did see a couple, but they were about 100 yards out from us in the wind-whipped waters which made them difficult to see.  When the sun came out and the wind slowed for a moment you could pick out their shape as they rose to the surface to breathe but once the water got rough again the manatees blended in as just a pale shape.



So I've cheated and included a couple of shots from our visit to the Homasassa Springs Wildlife State Park from a few years ago.  There the waters of the Homasassa River are shallower so I was able to get a better shot of these gentle creatures.  Click to enbiggen 'em, folks.


Below is a manatee rolling onto his side.  They seem to like to interact with humans, although this has a downside; many hundreds are gouged and maimed by boat propellers annually.


 Of course, part of our fun today was running into a young couple who are taking a year off from their everyday life and traveling by RV with their two young children.  The mother is homeschooling the kids, using their travels for the geology, history and geography lessons.  So Denny and I offered our suggestions of places they might like to see or the kids would enjoy (noticing a few eavesdroppers at the same time ;))  They were thrilled with the information and we were glad to be able to encourage their interest in the RV lifestyle.

This park does have a few water and electric campsites tucked away in the trees.  It's a beautifully quiet park this time of year and a nice place to spend a few hours to reflect, watch for manatees, swim, fish, hike or just sit and watch the aquatic plants wave in the clear spring water.

Just pick a day when the wind isn't blowing.  Sigh.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living on Beach Time

 Once we left Myrtle Beach, Denny and I made a brief stopover in the Savannah, Georgia area to visit River Street near old Savannah.  The roadways in the photo below show the rock that paves the roads here; the rock itself was the rock used for ballast in sailing ships that brought cargo and goods to Savannah.
 Cargo ships still travel the river in Savannah, bringing stack after stack of containers full of goods to the port.
 After a couple of days of adjusting to the lack of the sound of surf outside our bedroom windows we moved on to the Flagler Beach area.  Here we're three miles from the beach instead of 50 feet.  *Insert sad face emoticon.*
But it's a lovely beach of cinnamon colored sand created from crushed coquina shell.  Not only does it line the beaches, but it can be found in large formations guarding the tee boxes and along some of the fairways at the Halifax Plantation Golf Course.  Plus coquina was used to build the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida which is about 45 minutes up the road.
Denny and I have been wandering around the general area here checking out houses, townhouses and condos.  Upon reflection, we feel we would be comfortable here because it's a bit less touristy than most beach towns.  But once again as we started making plans to look seriously at homes we backed off once we got to talking about the places we still wanted to see out west.  Thus we're going to tuck this area in the back of our minds and prepare ourselves to head out in a few days.  We have some friends to visit here in Florida and a couple more beaches to visit not only here in Florida but in Alabama and Mississippi as well before we head north to visit kids and take care of medical/dental check ups before turning Black Beauty's nose to the northwest.  A vague checklist of things to see/places to go includes Banff National Park in Canada, the Tetons, the Oregon coastline and, well, who knows?  For now, all we know is that we're going to give this lifestyle until the end of the year before we start looking at houses again.  That is, once we've done a "are we really ready to settle down?" check again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Wrapping Up 2012

The photo above is the very first photo I took in 2012.  Sunset in Arizona.  Me taking a photograph of a sunset--go figure.  I guess I should start a blog post about our year's travels with a photo of a sunrise but oh well.
 
First, the boring facts; we traveled 7,019.9 miles this year with The Beast.  We started the year in Arizona and ended it in South Carolina.  We visited the Pacific Ocean coastline and have stayed three months on the Atlantic Ocean coastline.  During our cross country travels Denny and I stayed at forty-three different campgrounds in eighteen states.  Of those forty-three campgrounds, twenty-two were membership campgrounds or affiliated with our member parks so we either stayed for free or at a greatly reduced ($10 a night for example) price.  Of the remaining twenty-one parks, I'm sure probably one third of those were Passport America parks where the cost of the stay is discounted at 50%.   We don't boondock, dry camp or spend the night in Walmart parking lots.  When counting up our restaurant stops I was surprised to see that Denny and I tried one hundred and nine different restaurants, cafes, diners or bars over the course of a year.   Hmmm, I can see right now where we could cut our expenses a bit!  I think Denny and I managed to play about ten new golf courses before I injured my back.   And as is usual with The Beast, we had numerous repairs to be made to the furnace, to leaking slide outs, lights, propane regulators and hoses and right at the end of the year the microwave/convection oven blew for the second time in one year (thank goodness for extended warranties.)

Ah, but the good part of traveling by RV comes next; we saw full moons over the ocean, over rivers, over lakes and over the desert.

Over the past year Denny and I have seen birds and critters and flowers galore, except when we specifically went to see something special like the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve where there were no poppies.  Sigh.  At the Mesa flea market in Arizona Denny splurged on a pair of 20 x 70 binoculars and boy have we had fun with those.  They allow you to see rock climbers and soaring birds and things you just wouldn't be able to see normally or with a regular pair of binoculars.

  






During this year's travels in California we were finally able to see the Lone Cypress and to drive Seventeen Mile Drive in Monterey.


After fourteen years on the road we finally made it to Yosemite National Park.

And the Reno/Lake Tahoe area.



I rode a duck for the first time in Wisconsin Dells.  It was there that I slipped and fell, ending up with compression fractures in two vertebra which ended our travels for six weeks while we saw a back surgeon and had our normal check ups with our family physician and dentist in Ohio.  Because it was so uncomfortable for me to ride in the truck for the long distance to our hometown from our campground Denny and I didn't get to visit with as many of our friends and family members that we would have liked.

After the back surgeon cleared me for travel Denny and I headed north to visit both sets of sons and their families before turning the nose of the truck towards Myrtle Beach.  Our intent was to check out homes in the area as a possible location to settle down, but when we found a place that we liked Denny and I found ourselves getting cold feet about the whole idea of staying in one place.  Together we realized that there are still coastlines to explore, lakes to picnic beside, bends in the roadway to follow.  Yes, if we bought a house we could always fly or drive to other areas and stay in motels but traveling in a RV allows us to take the cat with us without worrying about her care (or if she's clawing her caretaker to shreds), sleep in our own bed, cook local produce in our own kitchen and enjoy having a different view out of our windows every week.

So while we will continue to look at houses as we travel I have a sneaking suspicion that at the end of next year we'll be nestled among the saguaro cacti with a view of the Superstition Mountains out of the rear window of The Beast.  While missing the sound of the surf at Myrtle Beach.  And so it goes....






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