Posts Tagged With: Fulltime RV’ing

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

I was born in Massachusetts and lived there until I was almost 14. Coming back to my birth state was really fun. Our first stop was Cape Cod where my family used to go for vacations in the summertime.

While visiting Cape Cod we got to visit with some friends and family. My aunt Jackie came to see us a few times. The first time she brought her 2 boys (who are not so little anymore!), and Jake & I joined them for a deep sea fishing trip.

20180526_081629_Burst01

20180526_081654

20180526_103453

I would say I enjoyed it, and I did until the seasickness kicked in. Oh boy, I was so glad when we finally made it back to land! Anyway, it was fun for awhile and we caught lots of fish!

20180526_112634_HDR

FB_IMG_1527361585718

SavedImage_20180526_110238_07

20180526_141722_HDR

Plymouth is not far from Cape Cod so we went to see the famous Plymouth Rock. I remember going there on a field trip when I was a kid and I seem to remember the rock being bigger than it is now. I also seem to remember being able to stand on it. I think that it was eroding too much so they had to enclose it so people can’t stand on it anymore, and now it looks so small!

20180603_155631

Plymouth Rock – you can just barely make out the year 1620 engraved on it.

20180603_155808_HDR

20180603_155846_HDR

The rock is enclosed under those columns.

Jackie met us there for dinner. I had some wicked good lobstah and started working on trying to get my Boston accent back. 😉

20180603_182442_HDR

While at the cape we also got to visit with Robert & Trudy a couple of times. They used to come to see us in Fernandina Beach, but since we moved away we haven’t seen them in a long time. It was wonderful to catch up with them when they visited us at our campsite.

20180530_173642_Burst01

20180530_173744_HDR

We met up with them again another evening in the town of Dennis where Trudy lives. She and Robert treated us to a fabulous dinner where I had some more wicked good lobstah.

20180606_175519_Burst14

20180606_175650_HDR

And then Trudy gave us a tour of the town of Dennis which was so beautiful!

20180606_193128_HDR

Scargo Tower in Dennis

20180606_193344_HDR

View from Scargo Tower

20180606_193616_HDR

View from Scargo Tower

20180606_195206_HDR

20180606_195506

We also had the chance to visit a childhood friend who lived across the street from us in MA. Jessica suggested we meet at Gillette Stadium to see Patriot Place. If you know Chris, you know that this would be the LAST place he would want to go. 😉 He is a die-hard NY Jets fan and according to Chris Jets fans absolutely do not like the Patriots. In fact, when we got married he made it a house rule that I cannot be a Patriots fan, lol! Anyway, he shocked us and went along with the idea to meet Jessica and her daughter Olivia at Patriot Place.

20180603_134820_HDR

20180603_140114

Notice the photo bomber in the background with the thumbs-down gesture.

We stayed at Scusset Beach State Park right near the town of Sandwich. This park was lots of fun since it had the beach on one side and the canal on the other.

20180524_125603_HDR

I especially loved the 7 miles of paved bike trail along the canal! I rode one day down to the end and back, and another day I broke out my rollerblades that I haven’t used in quite awhile. I didn’t go quite as far with the rollerblades. There are some beautiful bridges to see along the bike trail.

20180529_171253_HDR

20180529_174207

The canal was also pretty at night during a full moon and seeing the lights across the water.

20180529_214105

Fat Cat loved this site since she found lots of chipmunks.

20180524_190713_HDR

Fat Cat thinks she’s the queen of the RV!

We had a great time visiting friends and family while we were in Cape Cod. Next we moved to my childhood hometown of Billerica where we had lots more fun times with friends and family. Stay tuned for that next.

Categories: Massachusetts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick Visits to 4 States

My purpose for keeping this blog is so that we have a journal of all of the places that we have visited in our travels. Visiting the northeast means we’re passing through several states quickly, unlike when we travel out west and it takes so long just to get from one state to the next. I feel like I just don’t have enough to say about some of these places to justify an entire post, but I don’t want to forget about this part of our trip either. So this post is just a place to record what we did in 4 states where we did not spend much time.

Delaware

After a very busy week in Washington D.C. we spent a weekend relaxing at Lums Pond State Park in Delaware. We didn’t do anything else in DE except just rest and enjoy the state park. Our site backed up to Lums Pond which looked more like a lake to me. We had a fishing dock behind us and Jake & I took the kayak out on the lake pond.

0413181501a_HDR

0414181330_Burst14

This was the perfect spot to rest after such a busy few days in DC.

New Jersey

We actually spent a week in New Jersey, but did not get out much during the week. Besides the fact that the weather wasn’t that great, we needed some downtime for work and school. I know it may look like we’re always on vacation, but in reality we have real-life stuff to do during the week. This was the week after we took time off work to visit D.C. so it was nice to just get back into a “normal” routine, whatever that means. 😉

Once the weekend rolled around we had a nice sunny day and decided to go check out one of the boardwalks along the Jersey Shore. We walked along the boardwalk in Ocean City, the kids got to ride one ride (because the rides are not cheap), they played for a bit in an arcade and then had some ice cream.

0421181406_HDR

0421181339_HDR

0421181402a_Burst02

0421181413a_HDR

0421181415_HDR

This store reminds me of a certain Fat Cat, also known as Bad Kitty.

0421181432_HDR

After NJ, we spent some time in Pennsylvania and New York which I already blogged about previously.

Connecticut

After NY, we had a quick stop in Mystic, CT. Are you old enough to remember the Julia Roberts movie Mystic Pizza? I thought it was fun to eat at that pizza place even though the movie was not really filmed there.

20180521_182454_HDR

The town of Mystic is super cute!

20180521_194539_HDR

20180521_194836_HDR

20180521_195227_HDR

20180521_194935_HDR

Rhode Island

I saved the best for last. After CT, we had another quick stop in Narragansett, RI where we stayed at a beautiful state park called Fishermen’s Memorial State Park. I loved Rhode Island, especially the Cliff Walk! We went to Newport to hike along the Cliff Walk that I had heard about from some other Fulltime Families. This was gorgeous and made me excited to eventually get to Maine where I think we’ll see lots more beautiful ocean views over rocky cliffs.

20180523_175804

This is called Forty Steps and is where we started our hike.

20180523_170344_HDR

20180523_170603

20180523_172301_HDR

20180523_172419_HDR

20180523_172555_HDR

20180523_173435_HDR

20180523_174207_HDR

Newport, RI is known for some really extravagant mansions. You can see some of them along this Cliff Walk. I was thankful to have such a beautiful day to see this.

That wraps up my recap of our quick visits to these 4 states. On to Massachusetts next.

Categories: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Amish Country and Chocolate World

We enjoyed 3 great weeks in Pennsylvania! The first week we spent in Lancaster, also known as Amish Country. As soon as we pulled into town we started to see horses and buggies on the roads. I was completely fascinated by this and the Amish way of life. It was like stepping back in time but with a strange 21st century feel since there were also many cars on the road. I found myself actually being afraid that the horse and buggy carts would get hit by a car. It’s hard to describe but it literally was like being in a town where the 19th and 21st centuries exist side-by-side.

SavedImage_0426181457_24~2

SavedImage_0426181502_24~2

An Amish cart even rode through our campground one day selling homemade goodies. We purchased some chocolate chip cookies and fresh-squeezed lemonade that were delicious!

0428181812_Burst03

I know the picture above is a little fuzzy. I took it as they rode by our site. When we purchased some goodies from the man he told me he doesn’t mind that I took a picture of them riding by, but they don’t believe in having their picture taken where you can recognize their face. I really wish I could have talked with him and his family and learned more about their lifestyle, but they really seemed to value their privacy and do not want to be exploited by tourists.

It was fun to spend time with another Fulltime Family while we were in PA. We met the Bauman family over 2 years ago and have been able to meet up with them a few times since then. We met them for a field trip to Lapp Valley Farm one day.

0426181538_HDR

0426181542a_HDR

Gorgeous peacock roaming around the farm

0426181543a_HDR

0426181543c_HDR

0426181549a_HDR

I had no idea that Pennsylvania was so beautiful!

0426181601a_Burst02

The boys enjoyed playing with their friend Austin a few times and were excited for him to join us when we visited Dutch Wonderland. This amusement park was connected to our campground. We happened to be there for opening weekend and spent a Saturday enjoying that park.

0428180943b_HDR

0428181108a_Burst09

0428181336_HDR~2

0428181359b_Burst05

From Lancaster we moved on to Hershey and stayed at the Thousand Trails park there. Thousand Trails parks do not reserve specific sites in advance, but all sites are first-come-first-served. I was very happy to snag this awesome site right next to the pond the day we got there, and we were visited by a family of geese several times during our stay.

0502181829a_HDR~4

SavedImage_0504181553_01~2

Aren’t they so cute??

Of course our main purpose for visiting Hershey was to visit Chocolate World and Hershey Park. Chocolate World has a free ride tour that was interesting, although it went too fast to really be able to fully absorb what they were teaching. On the ride you learn the process that goes into making a Hershey candy bar. At the end of the ride you get a free candy bar and then enter a store with an overwhelming amount of Hershey candy, including my favorite Reese’s.

20180508_163343_Burst02

20180508_165824

Milton Hershey

20180508_165815

20180508_171205~2

We got a good deal on 2-day tickets to Hersheypark which included a 2.5 hour preview the night before our first visit. We had a blast riding all the thrill rides at this park!

0504181734_HDR

Jesse just reached the Twizzler line which meant he was tall enough to ride everything!

SavedImage_0505181059_11

Chris and Jake at the end of Fahrenheit

0504181904_Burst03~2

Jake and I were on this ride near the back row — it was scary!

SavedImage_0505181806_06

All of us agree that the ride behind us was our favorite — it’s called Great Bear

We got to meet up with the Bauman family one more time to visit Troegs Brewery. They had delicious food including a cheese fondue that was so yummy! And we tried a few different beers that were really good.

0506181705_HDR

The adult’s table

0506181706_Burst05

The kid’s table

We had such a wonderful time visiting Pennsylvania! Next up, we headed to New York City. Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon was one of my favorite places we visited in our first year of travels, and it is definitely worth a return visit. This is one of those places that I could return to again and again. I could never tire of hiking through the beautiful hoodoos.

If you’ve been following along you might remember that we got to enjoy some snow at Grand Canyon just a couple of weeks before coming here. We were so excited to get even more snow while we were at Bryce Canyon.

0403171103c_HDR

0403171107f_HDR

0403171127_Burst01

0403171130d_HDR

0403171112a_HDR

0403171143b_HDR

The boys got to enjoy sledding down a little hill at the campground. When we bought these sleds for the sand dunes in Texas we had no idea we would get to use them again so soon, or that we would be able to use them for snow this time!

0403171740_Burst27

0403171736a_HDR

We had one good day of snow, but most of it melted the next day. The rest of the week we were able to go for several hikes in the evenings after work. I love daylight savings time since it gets dark later in the day now so we have time to hike in the evenings.

Our first hike of the week was a repeat of one of our favorite hikes at this park: Queens Garden. This hike can be combined with the Navajo Loop trail, but since we wanted to do shorter hikes each evening, we did not combine them this time. The views on this hike are so incredible which means I took way too many pictures.

0405171636a_HDR

0405171649_HDR

0405171653d_HDR

0405171654a_HDR

0405171655a_HDR

0405171656_HDR

0405171700a_HDR

0405171712a_Burst01

0405171713b_HDR

The next day we did the Navajo Loop trail, but it ended up not being a loop because the Wall Street section was closed. So we hiked out and back. This hike includes going down a bunch of switchbacks which you later have to hike back up. Hiking back up is exhausting! On the way down most people passing me on the way back up were out of breath. I knew that would be me on our way back up, and sure enough it was!

0406171646c_HDR

0406171723_HDR

0406171724a_HDR

The last hike we did that week was the Peek-a-Boo Loop trail starting from Bryce Point. This hike was new to us this time and we all loved it! That has become our new favorite hike at Bryce. The hike down from Bryce Point was a little tricky with all the ice and snow still on the trail. It was wet, muddy and slippery in some sections, but so worth the effort to get to the bottom for the Peek-a-Boo Loop. This hike is a total of 5 miles: 1 mile down from Bryce Point, a 3 mile loop and then a mile climb back up.

0407171531b_HDR

0407171532_HDR

0407171534_HDR

0407171535b_HDR

0407171536_HDR

0407171542_HDR

0407171542g_HDR

0407171546b_HDR

0407171555c_HDR

0407171624_HDR

0407171633_HDR

0407171751a_HDR

We stayed at Ruby’s Inn RV Park. We really like to stay there while visiting Bryce because it’s right outside the entrance to the park. There is also a shuttle bus to take you into the park from the campground, but it wasn’t running yet when we were there in April. The shuttle bus service runs from May through September.

This last picture was taken on scenic highway 12 on the way to Bryce as you go past Red Canyon. When we came here 2 years ago we weren’t sure if we could fit under this tunnel so we pulled over to measure before going under. This time I wanted to get a picture of Chris driving the rig under the tunnel and I can see we had plenty of room!

0402171417a_Burst13

Categories: National Parks, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Lower Antelope Canyon

While we were in Page, AZ we heard that Antelope Canyon is a “must see”. So I researched it and found out that we can’t just go and tour the canyon on our own, we have to go as part of a paid tour group. Since we prefer to do our own thing and not have to follow a crowd we were not all that interested in doing that. Besides the fact that it’s a little pricey. I know I say this often but we are not on vacation. We can’t do every fun activity available at every location we visit; we have to carefully pick and choose what we all want to do as a family. If it costs money we have to decide if it’s really worth it.

0329171511_HDR

0329171514c_HDR

There are actually 2 tours: Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon. We chose to do the lower canyon tour. I had a hard time finding much information online about this tour and how much it costs. I incorrectly learned that it would be approximately $80 for our family, and after seeing some pictures we decided we should do it.

0329171509b_HDR

It turns out it was $116 for our family of 4. The ticket prices added up to $84 ($25/adult and $17/child), but this canyon is on Navajo land and we also had to pay a tribal fee of $8 each. Anyway, this ended up being a pretty expensive tour. It was also very crowded and we were really having second thoughts about our decision to do this.

0329171534_HDR

Well, I am happy to report that it was very much worth our time and money! This place was so incredible! I usually say pictures don’t do it justice, but I think these pictures actually turned out really great.

We did this tour with Ken’s Guided Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon. Our tour guide, Brook, was amazingly helpful. He helped me with my phone camera settings, he showed me the best angles to get the best pictures, and he even took my phone from me several times and took the best pictures. He was an awesome tour guide and I was so glad we got assigned to him.

0329171511a_HDR

He took pictures that he said had been used as Apple and Microsoft screen savers, and he showed us some shots that famous photographers took that sold for millions of dollars!

0329171526_HDR

The waves and layers in these rocks were such an incredible site!

0329171523_HDR

The tour lasted for maybe an hour or two (I don’t really remember), but the crowd really thinned out as we started through the canyon. Around every corner we would find new angles and interesting rock formations. Being a slot canyon, there were many areas with narrow passageways to walk through.

0329171537_Burst01

0329171533_HDR

0329171536a_Burst04

Brook took many pictures of the 4 of us together which was wonderful!

0329171519b_HDR

0329171529b_HDR

0329171544a_HDR

He was even very creative with some pictures like this one where he made a sand waterfall.

0329171555a_HDR

0329171516c_HDR

0329171541a_HDR

0329171543_HDR

0329171551b_HDR

0329171556_HDR

This last picture was right after we came up out of the canyon. We were down there in that tiny slot! It’s amazing to look back across the top and realize how much incredible scenery is down there below.

0329171557_HDR

Like I said earlier, we don’t usually splurge on tours like this, but I am so happy we decided to do this one. Touring Antelope Canyon is such a unique experience and I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.

 

Categories: Arizona | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are in both Arizona and Utah. We stayed at the Wahweap Campground in Page, AZ. We actually stayed here in the summer of 2015 but left after only a couple of days because it was 105 degrees during the day. We loved the area and wanted to come back again and see more of it when it wasn’t so hot. March turned out to be a great time to visit. The weather was much nicer and it’s still the off-season at that time so it wasn’t very crowded at all.

0328171937_HDR

View from our campsite at Wahweap Campground

There is so much to do in this area! For starters, Lake Powell itself is absolutely gorgeous with the sky blue water and colorful rocks and cliffs in the background. It’s stunning!

0329171624_HDR

Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Glen Canyon dam and visitor center are close by so we went there to check out the dam and pick up Junior Ranger booklets. The dam is incredible to look at! You can walk across the bridge to get an amazing view looking down at the Colorado River. The visitor center also has great views of the dam and bridge and is very educational as well. The visitor center and bridge are free, but you can also take a paid tour of the dam which we did not do.

0329171230_HDR

View from inside the visitor center

0329171232a_HDR

0329171242a_HDR

0329171248_HDR

0329171252a_Burst04

0329171250_HDR

View of dam from bridge

0329171255a_HDR

View of Colorado River from other side of bridge

New Junior Ranger badges. Their vests have gotten too heavy to wear for long and we now need to add badges to the back of their vests.

0402171012_HDR

Horseshoe Bend is another place that is a must-see in this area and it’s free! It is a section of the Colorado River that bends through the canyon. It is incredible, but also a little scary. There are no railings or anything to prevent people from falling off this cliff. I would be very hesitant to take small children here. Chris is afraid of heights and he didn’t like this very much, but I thought it was awesome! He was happy when I finished taking pictures and said we could go. 😉

0329171334_HDR

Horseshoe Bend

Notice the people laying down at the edge to the right of us in the picture below. That was a good way to look over the edge and see the river below. It was very scary to stand at the edge!

0329171428_Burst02

0329171436_HDR

Another fantastic place to visit in Page is Antelope Canyon, but that deserves a post of its own so stay tuned for that next.

Categories: Arizona, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Grand Canyon National Park

On our way out west we are passing by some areas that we visited a couple of years ago. Grand Canyon is one of those that is worth repeating. We were excited to be there when they got a little bit of snow. We don’t see snow very often so this was a treat for us.

Arizona does not observe daylight savings time so at this time of the year they are on the same time as Pacific. That means that the sun comes up pretty early in the morning and we were up bright and early to witness our first snowy day of 2017. This was at the Trailer Village RV Park right inside the national park. We love staying right in the park because they have bus transportation to take you where you want to go. And they have restaurants and lodges that are fun to visit.

0323170632_HDR

I know it’s not much but it was better than nothing. This was Fat Cat’s first experience with snow ever. She didn’t know what to think of the stuff!

0323170632d_HDR

Later in the afternoon the snow had already melted off the picnic table but it started snowing again so we brought Fat Cat back out to see how she liked it falling on her head. I think her expression in this picture is so funny!

0323171514d_HDR

In the morning we headed out to check out the canyon before the snow melted.

0323170801b_HDR

0323170834_HDR

We saw lots of deer out at that time of the morning looking around for some breakfast.

0323170805a_Burst01

The snow on the trees was so pretty!

0323170823_HDR

The boys enjoyed a snowball fight.

0323170819a_Burst01

We enjoyed this so much! I know for those of you that live in cold climates where you see snow all winter, this would not be very exciting. I’m sure a warm and sunny beach scene with palm trees would be more appealing. As one of my friends told me, it’s all in your perspective. For us Floridians, snow is a novelty to us and we enjoy it so much when we see it.

0323170833a_HDR

After our one day of snow the weather cleared up and we saw a spectacular Grand Canyon sunset the next evening.

0324171838_HDR~2

We did 2 hikes while we were there. The first one was the Bright Angel trail hike.

0325171218_HDR

We started down into the canyon and about a mile down we heard loud thunder and it started to storm and sleet. We know from our visit here 2 years ago that being inside the canyon during a lightning storm can be very dangerous so we abandoned the rest of that hike and went back up.

This was the start of the hike and the skies were a little cloudy but not too bad.

0325171225a_HDR

But then the storm clouds rolled in and it looked pretty ominous.

0325171257_HDR

The next day was much better for hiking and we did our favorite hike down the South Kaibab trail. We did this hike 2 years ago, but only went as far as the Ooh Aah Point. This year we continued on down to the Cedar Ridge Point which was amazing!

0326171311a_HDR

Starting down the South Kaibab trail

0326171312_HDR

Spectacular views every step of the way

0326171415_Burst02

Ooh Aah Point

0326171321_HDR

0326171322c_HDR

0326171325a_HDR

0326171328a_HDR

0326171335_HDR

0326171338c_HDR

Cedar Ridge Point

This was on the way back up. See those ants crawling up the cliff? Those are people, and would soon be us. I was so tired at this point I didn’t think I would make it up there, but I’m here to talk about it which means I made it. 😉

0326171436_HDR

Grand Canyon is such a magical place and definitely one of those places worth going back to again and again.

Next we moved on to Lake Powell in Page, AZ. Stay tuned…

Categories: Arizona, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Boondocking at the City of Rocks

Well we finally did it! We bought a generator and tried boondocking for the first time. Boondocking or dry camping is camping with no hookups, meaning no electricity, no water and no sewer. We have done no sewer many times, and even went without water a couple of times where we just had to fill our water tank before we got to the campsite, but this was the first time camping without electric. We quickly learned what we could and could not do with the generator. For instance, we learned we can’t use the A/C at all, and we can use the microwave oven briefly (like maybe 30 seconds). The coffee maker works, but you can hear the strain on the generator. Most campgrounds don’t want you running a generator all night, and we wouldn’t really want to run it that long anyway, so the nights are very dark and quiet.

All in all our first attempt at boondocking went very well. We had beautiful weather, and we couldn’t have picked a better place to try this out.

0318171919a_HDR

Campsite among the rocks.

One of the benefits of boondocking is being able to camp in some pretty amazing spots out in the middle of nowhere.

City of Rocks State Park is in Faywood, New Mexico. We stayed at this park a couple of years ago in an electric and water hookup site, but these sites tucked in among the rocks are so much better! At night the skies were so dark we were able to see so many stars!

We had an interesting experience when we first pulled up to our site. A minivan was already parked there. I figured someone just stopped for a few minutes to take pictures or something so I got out of the truck to let them know we needed to pull into that site. The guy that was already there barely spoke English so I had a hard time communicating with him, but he basically said he was staying in that site and we were welcome to join him if we wanted to. Okay, that’s never happened before. This site was a reservation only site and I knew we had reserved it and there weren’t really that many sites in the park that we could fit in with our big rig. So I called the Visitor Center where I had just checked in and let the ranger know about this awkward situation. She sent some park rangers out to deal with it. They let us know that the guy just didn’t understand he couldn’t take reserved sites, so he went to find another one. Still, it made us feel really uncomfortable because it was like we had him kicked out of that spot, but what else were we supposed to do? He was only in a minivan and could basically fit in any site, and we didn’t really have any other options.

After that uncomfortable start, it took us FOREVER to get leveled in this site because it was on a slope. Finally we got set up and learned how to use the generator. Then we had a nice surprise! Our good friends from Ditching Suburbia just happened to be passing through this area on their way back to Texas and stopped in to spend the night with us.

0317171927_HDR

Hanging out with Mike & Crissa Boyink of Ditching Suburbia

We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and wide open spaces at this campground.

0317171912_HDR

0318171918_HDR

0317171918

Our campsite had a cute little nook tucked in the rocks with a picnic table and fire pit.

0318171654a_HDR

0318172002a_HDR

Fat Cat liked climbing on the rocks.

0318171115f_HDR

0318171851e_HDR

This park has a whole bunch of rocks to climb on, it’s like a playground of rocks!

0318170936a_HDR

0318170957_Burst04

0318170941_HDR

0318171001a_Burst01

0318171014a_HDR

0318170930a_HDR

0318170930_HDR

0318170932_HDR

0318170931c_HDR

0318170927_HDR

Our campsite is way back there in a cluster of rocks

City of Rocks was such a fun place to try out our first time dry camping. Now I guess we’ll have to get more adventurous and seek out some free BLM lands to camp on.

Categories: New Mexico | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

More Random Thoughts

It’s been quite a while since I first posted some random thoughts about life on the road. You can view that post here: Random Thoughts about Life on the Road. I figured it’s time for an update now that we’ve been on the road for a little over 2 years. I usually only post about destinations we visit, but I think some people like to hear what it’s like to live in an RV fulltime.

I’ll start with some funny things that have happened. Living in campgrounds and RV parks means you get up close and personal with neighbors sometimes. I remember one time sitting at our kitchen table eating lunch while I watched our neighbor out the window in his bathrobe letting his dogs take care of their business. Still in his bathrobe after noon? Sure why not? I sometimes stay in pajama pants all day!

Another time we had one of the only campsites with a porch swing. One day Chris left to go somewhere, and I guess our neighbor assumed we all left with him because he used that time to make himself comfortable on our porch swing. I thought it was cute and hilarious! I didn’t want to embarrass him by letting him know the kids and I were still inside, so I just took his picture out the window so I could show Chris when he got home. 🙂

0515151218

Then there was the time our GPS took us down a dirt road on the way to a campground in Idaho. Oh boy was that a mistake! If I hadn’t been so nervous at the time I might have thought to take some pictures, but you’ll just have to use your imagination. This was a long one lane dirt road up and down hills and over a narrow wooden bridge. There was no way for us to possibly turn around so we just had to keep going and hope for the best. Thankfully we made it to the campground safely, although with a very dirty truck and RV. At least the campground let us wash the vehicles there and they let us know of a better road to take when we left.

Another funny thing happened in Dodge City, Kansas. We were on a very long drive and needed a place to spend one night before we continued on the next day. We pulled into a cute little RV park right off the highway in Dodge City called Gunsmoke RV Park. The lady that checked me in was quite interesting. She informed me that checkout time was at noon sharp! If we planned to stay until 12:01 or later we better pay up or get outta “dodge”. I suppose that was supposed to be a funny play on words since this place was in Dodge City. Anyway, since we were just passing through for the night, she didn’t have to worry about us overstaying our welcome, we were on our way bright and early the next morning. Besides the strange welcome, she read me a super long list of rules for the park. One of the weirdest rules was that our truck must be perfectly lined up in front of the RV. It could not be parked sideways or diagonal; it must be perfectly lined up. What?!? I wonder if they come out with a yardstick and make sure everyone’s RV and truck are perfectly in line? There were so many other weird rules that I don’t remember now, but that was definitely not the most welcoming place we have been to.

I spend countless hours trip planning and trying to book us into the best possible campsites with lots of space, privacy and amazing views. But every once in awhile we end up in a very crowded RV park so close to neighbors that you don’t even want to sit outside unless you enjoy sitting beside your neighbor’s sewer hose. Yuck! We were recently at a campground where a truck camper pulled in next to us as close as he could possibly get. We still can’t figure out the logic behind why he did that. He had to squeeze himself in between us every time he needed to get something out of his storage compartment. I could see the top of his head every time I looked out the window and I could have handed them ketchup through our windows if they needed any. Talk about being up close and personal!

0221170856_hdr2

I definitely prefer a view more like this one.

0901161952_hdr

I’ve learned that I absolutely love the west, but I miss friends and family in the east so we end up doing a lot of back and forth. Whenever our truck and home take a turn onto an interstate going west I get super excited!

Some people assume we are on a permanent vacation, but that is just not the case. When people we meet at campgrounds realize we fulltime RV they think we won the lottery or are somehow independently wealthy. No, we still work and it’s a constant balancing act between getting our work done and fully enjoying our current location. And trip planning is like a second job for me. Imagine having to find where you’re going to park your home every single night of the year. And I’m picky! I don’t want to park at some junky run down RV park. I like amazing views and space and kid friendly locations. And of course I have to make sure wherever we go that there is Verizon coverage.

Some days are just regular days; we’re not out exploring and doing exciting things every day. We have real life like everyone else. We work, we do school, we clean and do laundry, etc. We just replaced all 4 tires on the RV, had annual maintenance done which included re-sealing the roof, and we had to replace our refrigerator. There seems to be no shortage of things that need fixing or replacing in a house or an RV, so in that respect it’s not all that different from living in a house.

The #1 question people ask me is “how do you get your mail??” Good question, and I wondered that too before we embarked on this adventure. The RV community has already figured that out for us. There are several mail-forwarding services that cater to fulltime RV’ers and boaters. We have a mailing address in Florida which is the address we use for our driver’s license and registration. All of our mail goes there and when we receive mail the service scans the envelope and sends me an email so I can view it online. I can select the option to have them open it and scan the contents, or hold it until I can have it forwarded or have them shred it. Most RV parks allow us to receive packages so when I’m at a location that will allow that I can have the mail forwarding service send our mail to us there. I also make heavy use out of my Amazon Prime membership when I’m at a campground that allows deliveries.

Life on the road can certainly be challenging, but it is so worth it! I absolutely love waking up to new and exciting places and adventures every week or so. I love that we have been able to see so much of this beautiful country, places we never would have seen if not for living in an RV, including some hidden gems that I would never have even known about. I love the priceless memories Chris and I are making with our children. I love the close family bonding we experience living in such close quarters 24/7. Okay, so maybe I don’t always love that when the kids are fighting, lol! But I honestly would not trade this life for anything! I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to live this way.

If you have any questions, send them on. I’m happy to answer questions people have about this lifestyle.

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Fulltime Families Tally Rally

We attended our 5th Fulltime Families (FtF) rally in Tallahassee, FL at the North Florida Fairgrounds. Affectionately known as the “Tally Rally”, this was the biggest rally we have attended so far at approximately 85 families. I have to admit, being an introvert, I was quite overwhelmed by this many people at first. When we first pulled into the giant field where we all camped for the week, I really had second thoughts about whether or not we should have come. But I needn’t have worried about that. Within an hour or so some good friends from previous rallies stopped by and we got out and about meeting old and new friends. We ended up having a blast!

0202171155_hdr

fb_img_1486607387358

Here is a cool video that a rally attendee made early in the week:

The rally week started with a field trip to the Mission San Luis where we were transported back to the year 1703 and learned about how the Apalachee Indians lived.

0131171502a_hdr

0131171529a_hdr

fb_img_1485903089716

The next day we had a field trip to the Tallahassee Museum and Tree to Tree Adventures. The boys had their first experience on a ropes course. Jesse was not yet tall enough for us all to do the larger ropes course with zip lines, so Jake and Jesse did the ropes course for smaller adventurers. The larger one looked like lots of fun so once Jesse is a little bit taller we will look for a place for us all to do this together.

0201171409c_hdr

Besides the ropes courses, the museum was fun to explore. It was more like a zoo and gardens.

0201171518b_hdr

0201171530_hdr

fb_img_1485989957912

One of the really fun activities for kids at the rally was building a box city. Many thanks to the mom who came up with this idea! It was a big hit with all the kids. They built a city out of boxes and then had to sell stuff and earn “money” to spend at other businesses in the city. Some of the kids thought it was funny to commit crimes so they would be arrested and brought to the city jail. 🙂

0202171418a_hdr

0203171045a_hdr

0203171106a_hdr

One afternoon some of the adults played bubble soccer. This was hilarious to watch! Chris played, but I did not. It looked pretty dangerous and painful, and you even had to sign a waiver in order to play because you could get seriously hurt or even die. No thanks, I’ll just watch. 🙂

0204171538c_hdr

0204171538e_hdr

fb_img_1486607235603

fb_img_1486607298513

One evening the moms attended a Pampered Chef party, other evenings were spent having potluck dinners followed by games or dancing. After all the other festivities, we usually could be found at one of many campfires around the fairgrounds while the kids ran around and played until they crashed from exhaustion.

0131172126a_hdr

fb_img_1486744358215

We had such a great time at this rally! If you are a fulltime traveling family or planning to be, I would highly recommend attending one of these rallies. For us it has been a great way to get to know other families living this lifestyle.

 

Categories: Florida, Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.