Posts Tagged With: Fulltime RV’ing

Sixth Nomadiversary

Today we celebrate 6 years since we moved out of our house in Florida to start traveling fulltime in an RV. I know I say this every year, but how in the world did 6 years fly by so fast?!

Like for everyone, 2020 wasn’t the best year, but it wasn’t all bad either. We started out skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado — my favorite place in the country! Our time there was cut short when the mountains closed down on my birthday of all days. After that we spent 6 weeks with great friends in St. Louis.

Our original plans for 2020 included spending the summer in Michigan and also visiting Cedar Point in Ohio. We ended up canceling all those plans, but hope to try that again another time. Instead, we headed to the Georgia Mountains for the summer and spent lots of time with family. Then we headed back to Florida for the remainder of the year (except for holidays with family in Charlotte).

In Florida we spent time in our hometown of Fernandina Beach with friends, and also enjoyed lots of time parked at the Norstrem family ranch. We spent Jesse’s 14th birthday at Universal Orlando and also took another trip there in December, and spent Jake’s 16th birthday in the Keys.

So I really can’t complain! In spite of all the craziness that 2020 was, we still had a really good year. I hope you did too.

For this year’s nomadiversary video, we did something different. It starts with a homemade video that we sang along to, and continues with a quick slideshow to the song Holiday Road from National Lampoon’s Vacation movie. It’s a funny video and we had a lot of fun making it. The credit goes to my brother-in-law for his awesome video work, and my sister for writing the Brady Bunch song that we sang. I hope it gives you some laughter! πŸ˜‰

If you would like to see our Nomadiversary videos from the first 5 years you can see them here:

Categories: Roadschooling | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Florida Keys

Happy New Year! I guess we’re all glad that 2020 is in the rearview mirror, right? Well before I move on to the new year I need to catch up on one last blog post about our time in the Keys.

The first time we visited the Florida Keys 2 years ago we loved it so much, we decided it was time to go back. Especially because we had a milestone birthday to celebrate. Jake turned 16 in September and we had a blast celebrating his birthday with Sebago Watersports on an All-Day Watersports Adventure.

On the Sebago Catamaran heading out to snorkel.
I could not believe just how blue that water was!

We were blessed with a perfectly beautiful day for this adventure which included snorkeling, jet skiing, banana boat rides and our favorite — parasailing.

Jake and I parasailing.
Jesse and Chris parasailing. The crew members were lots of fun!
Getting ready to snorkel.
Chris and Jesse on the jet ski.
Jake driving me on the jet ski. This was the first day he was old enough to drive it! He was pretty excited about that.

We all agreed that Jake’s 16th birthday celebration was one of the best days ever!

We stayed at 2 different state parks while in the Keys. The first one was Bahia Honda which was probably one of my favorite state parks we’ve ever stayed at. It might have something to do with the fact that our RV backed up to the water where we could swim and snorkel and watch amazing sunsets right outside our back door.

The boys floating behind our campsite on tubes we bought for sledding last winter in Colorado. Unfortunately one windy night they blew away and we imagine they are now somewhere in Cuba. πŸ˜‰
Check out that backyard! I also took up gardening this year with my traveling Tower Garden.

My high school friend Shannan lives in Key West, and we got to spend some time with her and her husband David a few times while we were in the Keys. We had so much fun with them!

You know when you haven’t seen someone in like 30 years, and you just don’t know what it’s going to be like? I mean, will it be awkward, will we have anything to talk about? Does anyone else worry about stuff like that? No, just me?

Well, I needn’t have worried! It was like no time had passed, and Chris and I really enjoyed hanging out with them so much that we plan to go back and see them again later this year.

Sunset Grill with David and Shannan.
Sunset at the aptly named Sunset Grill.

After 2 blissful weeks at Bahia Honda we moved to Curry Hammock State Park. State parks in the Keys are so hard to get into! Even trying to reserve 11 months in advance when the spots become available to reserve is so difficult because many others are online at the same time trying to get the same spot. There have been many mornings when Chris & I have been on 2 devices just before 8am to try to reserve a spot, only to be disappointed because someone else was a quicker clicker than we were. Persistence pays off though because that’s how we eventually got the Bahia Honda site. People do frequently cancel however, so that’s how we later got a spot at Curry Hammock.

We couldn’t walk out the door and into the water from this site, but at least we had a water view!
We were also graced with the presence of a couple of iguanas at our campsite. Can you see them?

A Fulltime Family that we met our first year on the road (the Reyes family) met up with us at Curry Hammock. Michele took this beautiful picture of our RV with a rainbow in the background. Michele and I had lots of fun snorkeling together.

Heading to the beach with Asher and Journey.
The boys playing ball at Curry Hammock.
The Reyes fishing.

I’ll leave you with this cute picture of Chris and Fat Cat that I took one night sitting outside on our back deck. She always looks so grumpy! πŸ˜‰

Categories: Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

20th Wedding Anniversary

Today Chris & I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I made this video to highlight the last 20 years. I don’t think either of us imagined 20 years ago that we would eventually be homeschooling our 2 kids and living in an RV for over 5 years. What an adventure this has been! Here’s to many more years of living, laughing, loving and adventuring!

| Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Summer in the Georgia Mountains

It sure has been a long time since I posted anything here, I guess I just haven’t felt motivated to post anything lately. Strange year we’re having, right?

We had originally planned to spend the summer exploring the Great Lakes around Michigan. We decided to cancel all of that, and got a site for the summer in Hiawassee, GA instead. With all the craziness going on in the country we thought it would be better to just stay in one place and not travel for awhile. The North Georgia mountains were perfect because it was close to family and not too hot in the summer.

We started out at a campground in Blue Ridge, GA just for Memorial Day weekend, and then moved on to Bald Mountain Camping Resort in Hiawassee where we stayed for 3 months.

Hanging out with family by the creek at our site in Blue Ridge. Notice a Fat Cat in the background?
Exploring the town of Blue Ridge, Georgia.

This was home for the summer in Hiawassee. Most of the time we had neighbors around us, but the day we moved there we had the whole section to ourselves.

Bald Mountain Camping Resort was a wonderful place to spend the summer. We enjoyed many visits from my parents and sister and brother-in-law. There were lots of fun activities at the campground to do like mini-golf, pedal boats, basketball, and a pool. Here are some pictures around the beautiful park.

20200525_172822~2

I took a picture of this shed/garage across the street from our site and played with some photo settings on my phone. I thought it looked really pretty.

Cheryl and Chris pedal boating.

I loved having so much time with my sister this summer! She came and stayed with us several times, and we just have so much fun being silly together. We might drive others around us crazy with our silliness, but we sure have fun together. At night before bed, we watched Brady Bunch episodes with the kids. Cheryl & I would sing the theme song to the Brady Bunch at the top of our lungs as each episode started. I know the boys thought we were crazy, lol! πŸ™‚

We went kayaking on nearby Lake Chatuge a few times. The mountain views around the lake are gorgeous!

One day we went to Helen, GA with Chris & Cheryl to go tubing down the Chattahoochee River. Doesn’t that make you want to sing along with the Alan Jackson song? πŸ™‚

After tubing we stopped for ice cream. Jesse still loves to wear his ice cream, lol! πŸ™‚

Do you notice anything different about Jesse? He got braces while we were in Georgia! You might wonder how someone who lives on the road gets braces. We started his treatment at Smile Doctors in Colorado last winter. Smile Doctors has offices all over the country, so we got an appointment in Georgia to continue treatment. During the summer he was able to get his braces and adjustments taken care of there. I cannot recommend Smile Doctors highly enough! They have been excellent to work with, and have been so flexible in working with us to keep up with his treatment no matter where are.

One time while my parents visited we went to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia. We could see the lookout tower from our campground.

Brasstown Bald lookout tower
View from Brasstown Bald.
My cute parents.

While my parents visited, the boys got to play lots of golf which they loved!

One time I went along with Chris and the boys to watch them play golf, and I got to be a caddy. That was fun, and the views from the golf course were beautiful.

Watching the boys in action.

Another fun place to go in Hiawassee is the inflatable water park, Splash Island. The first time we took the boys Chris & I just watched. We realized it looked like so much fun, so next time we played on the water park with them. It was so much fun, but wow! I had no idea how out of shape I was until I did that. That is hard work, and I was so sore for the next few days!

We really enjoyed our summer in Hiawassee so much! We actually liked the area enough that we considered settling down and buying a house there. I went to look at a few houses with Cheryl & Chris, but every time I brought it up at home, the kids said they definitely do NOT want to get a house. They love living in an RV and traveling, and had no desire to settle into a house. I was actually surprised; I thought since we were not traveling at the time, they might like to have a house with more space.

Well, I can honestly say I’m glad they would prefer to stay in an RV because I prefer that as well. It’s weird, you would think we’d want more space, especially if we’re not traveling as much, but I really like our tiny home. I also really love traveling and want to get back to it.

We loved spending summer in Georgia with so many visits from family, and spending time in an area that just seemed so normal in the midst of a country in chaos.

We left Georgia at the end of August because we had some appointments we needed to get back to Florida for. Since then we’ve been enjoying some time with friends in Florida as well as celebrating the kid’s birthdays at Universal Studios and the Keys. I’ll write about those later. Until then, I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

Categories: Georgia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Grand Teton National Park

After traveling for over 4 years, it was inevitable that we would eventually start repeating some favorites. Grand Teton National Park is one of those favorites we repeated this year, and it was just as awesome as the first time. If you’d like to read my post from our first time at Grand Teton you can see it here:Β Grand Teton National Park.

We tried a new hike this time to Taggart and Bradley Lakes. The views along the hike and the picturesque lakes were incredible.

20190604_170425_HDR~2

Starting our hike to Taggart Lake

20190604_164802_HDR (2)

Waterfall along the way to Taggart Lake

20190604_170815_HDR~2

20190604_173250_HDR~2

Gorgeous Taggart Lake

20190604_172339_HDR~2

Enjoying a snack break at Taggart Lake

Then we continued on to Bradley Lake which was a lot of uphill hiking making for a very good workout.

20190604_180845_HDR

Another snack break at Bradley Lake

20190604_181923~2

Bradley Lake

We also repeated some favorites like visiting the Chapel of the Transfiguration which is stunning!

20190605_155850

Chapel of the Transfiguration

20190605_155503_HDR

View from inside the Chapel of the Transfiguration

Another repeat was the hike halfway around Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls, but it was a little different this time. Last time the hiking trail was down by the lake, but this time that part of the trail was being repaired so we ended up hiking a different trail that was up much higher over the lake.

20190606_165334~2

Jenny Lake

20190606_184332_HDR~2

Hiking to Hidden Falls

20190606_173544_HDR~2

Hiking along Jenny Lake

Seeing Hidden Falls was also new because the last time we were there the trail to the Falls was closed. I’m so glad we got to see it this time! It was a beautiful and powerful waterfall, we could hear it long before it came into view.

20190606_180913_HDR~2

Hidden Falls

20190606_181248~2

Hidden Falls

20190606_182329_HDR~2

It started to look like stormy skies on the way back

20190606_182622_HDR~2

20190606_190731_HDR~2

Another view of Jenny Lake

One evening we hiked along Jackson Lake from the campground and saw a beaver come out of the water, then he chewed down a little tree and started to swim away with the tree. It was so cool to watch this!

20190603_194901~2

Beaver getting back in the water with the little tree he just chewed down

20190603_194906

Beaver swimming away

20190603_202332~2

Hiking along Jackson Lake

20190603_204220~2

Jackson Lake

We stayed at Colter Bay RV Park which is inside of the national park. We stayed there last time and had Verizon access from our campsite so we could work, but this time Verizon didn’t work from our site at all except in the middle of the night. Yikes! How are we supposed to work like this? We had to get creative that week, that’s for sure. Sometimes we got up in the middle of the night to get some work done while Verizon worked, sometimes we worked at the campground laundry room or the Jackson Lake Lodge where the internet worked great, and other times we worked at the Colter Bay marina and enjoyed this view.

20190602_181702~2

Not a bad office view, right?

It’s not often we get to a place where we have no cell coverage at our site. Usually I know about it ahead of time and we plan our vacations around lack of cell coverage areas. This time we were surprised to have no coverage especially since it worked last time we stayed there. Another surprise was waking up to snow one day while we were there, in June!

20190608_110829_HDR

A snowy day at Grand Teton in June

Grand Teton National Park is such an incredibly beautiful place, and my pictures definitely do not do it justice. You just have to come and see it for yourself.

 

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

An Epic Winter in Breckenridge Part 2

As much as we loved staying at Tiger Run RV Resort in our own comfy home on wheels, sometimes it’s nice to stay even closer to the slopes. I’m talking ski-in/ski-out type of close. We had the chance to do that twice during our time in Breckenridge.

First, we stayed in a slope-side condo at the base of Peak 7 in Crystal Peak Lodge. We did this to celebrate my birthday. Not just any birthday mind you, but the big one. The big 50! Believe it or not, I turned a half a century in March. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate that milestone than to spend it at a slope-side condo and ski as much as my heart desired.

20190427_113049_HDR

Crystal Peak Lodge at the base of Peak 7

In addition, I had the pleasure of a friend from New England come out to stay with us. Unfortunately her original flight was canceled because there was a huge “bomb cyclone” blizzard going on in Denver that day (Google it, I had never heard of a bomb cyclone). Anyway, she was persistent and thankfully made it to our rental place at 1am on the morning of my birthday.

Like me, she grew up skiing in the northeast and really wanted to try out some Colorado skiing. I don’t think she was disappointed!

20190315_091703

20190315_101804_HDR

20190315_101835_HDR

While Lauren was with us we enjoyed the best weather and surprisingly light crowds, especially considering it was spring break. Maybe the canceled flights to Denver had something to do with that.

We also got more adventurous while she was with us and went up to the highest point, Imperial Express which is also the highest lift in North America.

20190315_121408_HDR

Top of Peak 8

20190316_140739

Top of Peak 6

One of the expert lifts at Breck is the T-Bar. We hadn’t tried that previously either, but with Lauren we must have felt braver for some reason. The funny thing is that back in New England the T-Bar was on the easy slopes, typically called the “bunny slopes”. It was funny to see that the T-Bar here at Breck is for experts only and goes up to some very advanced trails.

20190407_115419

T-Bar

We have a very funny story about riding up this T-Bar. Jake and I were riding up together and Lauren was behind us by a bit. Jake and I noticed some people a few T-Bars ahead of us fell off (that is not unusual on the T-Bar, it’s difficult to stay on that thing the whole way up). There are signs all over the side instructing you to move off to the side quickly if you fall off. So Jake and I assumed they had plenty of time to get out of the way before we caught up to them. Wrong! They started rolling down the hill towards us! They took out the people in front of us, then continued rolling and crashed into us as well. Once we finally got ourselves under control and got out of the way of the other oncoming T-Bar riders, Lauren rode by and saw a mess of people and skis all over the place. I so wish I had that on video! It was really quite funny and we laughed about it for a long time afterwards.

20190323_115713

Jake started to get really brave when Lauren was visiting and that’s when he wanted to start trying some double-black diamond trails. Lauren pointed out some interesting sounding trail names on the map like Devil’s Crotch and Pergatory. None of those sounded even remotely like something I wanted to try, but we did try a couple of double-blacks with names like Cucumber Bowl and Southern Cross. Those names don’t sound nearly so intimidating, right? About a week after Lauren left though, Chris and Jake found Devil’s Crotch and decided to give it a try. Not me though!

You know, turning 50 is not so bad. I can honestly say that was one of my best birthdays ever!

IMG_2321

A few weeks later we had the opportunity to spend a whole week at another ski-in/ski-out lodge. I joined an RV club called RVillage a few years ago. They gave out gift certificates to some of us who joined way back when they first started. The gift certificates were for a Dream Vacation Week at certain hotels around the country for a greatly reduced price. I thought it was a scam or too good to be true when I first received it, so I discarded it and forgot about it. I received a reminder that it was about to expire in April, so out of curiosity I checked to see if there were any hotels in Breckenridge included in this deal. There were a couple, but I still thought it was a scam so I contacted someone at RVillage to confirm it was legitimate. It turns out it was for real and we enjoyed a fantastic week at Grand Timber Lodge.

20190406_182055_HDR

Heated outdoor pool at Grand Timber Lodge

20190407_200745

One of the indoor/outdoor pools at Grand Timber Lodge

The pools were awesome! You could swim under the flap to go to the outdoor part of the pool, and even though it was cold and snowing outside, the pool was so warm. They also had several hot tubs to enjoy!

20190410_201323

Swimming outside while it was snowing!

The lodge has private family movie theaters so we reserved one for an evening and watched The Greatest Showman. What a great movie, and also a great time having this theater all to ourselves!

20190412_182330

20190406_195227

We also enjoyed playing some pool.

There were 2 moose hanging out at the lodge that we saw often. Once they were hanging out right outside our window!

20190407_162454_HDR

20190407_162754_HDR

I could have reached out the window to touch this cutie, but of course I did not.

20190407_183035_HDR

20190407_205758

Sadly, they were taken away by wildlife control while we were there. Apparently there was an incident between the moose and a guest staying at the lodge. I was sad to see them go. They didn’t seem to be bothering anyone as far as I could tell.

I did a lot of skiing with Jake that week and he really challenged me on the double-black diamond trails. By the end of the week I think my skills had improved.

20190412_141050

This trail was so steep! It’s hard to see how steep it is in this picture, but trust me!

20190409_135204_HDR

We had a snow storm that week also which was pretty cool to see in April!

20190410_143120

I mentioned in my previous post that we skied at 5 ski areas included on our season pass. We bought the Epic Local Pass which includes the ski areas we went to as well as several others that were too far away including Park City, Whistler and even a ski area in Vermont and Japan! The Epic Local Pass was perfect for us since we were planning to be in the area for 3 months.

I will write about the other ski areas in my next 2 posts, but first a few helpful hints for anyone planning to winter in Breck at some point.

The town of Breckenridge is at 9600 feet. Some people can be affected by altitude sickness. It’s important to drink plenty of water before heading to Breck and while you’re there. We didn’t suffer from altitude sickness, but I did feel out of breath frequently. Sometimes just walking from the truck to the slopes carrying skis felt like such a workout! Everything seems harder at that altitude.

Another way to help prevent altitude sickness besides staying well hydrated is to climb to that elevation slowly if at all possible. If you are flying to Denver and heading straight to Breck you wouldn’t have that option, but if you are driving or RV’ing, take your time with the climb. We stopped in Denver for 3 nights before continuing on to Breckenridge which I think helped a lot.

20190427_093245_HDR

It was also nice to stay in Denver for a few days to take care of getting all of our ski equipment. Epic Mountain Sports sells inexpensive kids equipment on a buy-back program. We were able to get the kids skis and boots for $99/each and at the end of the season trade it back in for 50% store credit. Chris and I got seasonal rentals from Breeze Rentals. It was about $225/person for the season which was a lot less expensive than buying equipment, and we were able to return the rentals to the store in Breckenridge rather than take them back to Denver. We really don’t have room to carry around ski equipment year-round, so rentals and the kid’s trade-ins worked perfectly. Also, we learned that by the time we were heading to Breckenridge they no longer had any seasonal rentals so it was good to get them in Denver. Another tip: if you need any other equipment like helmets, goggles, etc., get them in Denver. Everything is more expensive in Breck.

20190129_165742_HDR-EFFECTS

A small preview of snow in Denver at Cherry Creek State Park

Incidentally, while staying in Denver we met the nicest couple! It just so happens they were dealing with cracks in their RV just like we dealt with last year. We were able to share our story with them about how Heartless Heartland refused to help us. Thankfully their story had a better ending. Their RV was manufactured by Forest River who apparently cares more about their customers than Heartland does because Forest River took the RV back to Indiana and repaired everything for them. It didn’t hurt that they also had a lot of help from their dealer, unlike our dealer (Dick Gore’s RV World in Jacksonville) who did not help us at all. This is my shameless reminder to you to not buy a Heartland RV and be very careful about the dealer you purchase from. It’s so important to have a dealer who will back you up if you need it.

One last tip for getting to Breckenridge. This website was very helpful in planning our travel days: https://cotrip.org/home.htm. We watched the weather and the road conditions to make sure we traveled on a day when the roads would be clear.

I hope you find these tips helpful if you ever plan to make the trip. I’m also happy to answer any questions so feel free to email me.

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Epic Winter in Breckenridge Part 1

It has been a long time since I posted anything here, I think it’s about time I catch up on what we’ve been up to lately. We just spent a fabulous 3 months in Breckenridge, Colorado skiing and playing in the snow. RV’ing in the snow is a novelty to us being from Florida. We weren’t quite sure what to expect and if we would be warm enough in the RV. I am happy to report that our Grand Design RV was plenty warm enough and we had the most amazing 3 months ever!

20190209_101136_HDR

20190223_093457_HDR

Chris and I have skied before, but it had been 11 years since we last skied. Also, we have only ever skied in New England so skiing in Colorado was a totally new experience. The kids have never skied so they took lessons the first day. I’ll talk more about their lessons in a later post, but suffice it to say they had an excellent instructor. By the end of the season they were taking us down double-black diamond trails (if you’re not familiar with ski terminology, those are the hardest for sure!)

20190304_090352

20190304_090953

We skied at 5 ski areas that were all included on our season pass (more about that later as well). After 3 months of skiing, I’m sure you can imagine I had tons of pictures to sort through. I can’t possibly fit everything into one post as that would be way too long, so I’ll try to organize this into a few smaller posts. This first post is about skiing at Breckenridge and also includes where we stayed.

20190304_095704

20190304_084832

The Breckenridge ski area is huge! There are 5 peaks and so many lifts and trails, it was several visits before we had explored most of it. At first we stuck to the easier green (beginner) and blue (intermediate) trails, but eventually our kids wanted to venture onto the black (expert) trails.

20190304_103744_HDR

20190304_084521

I’m glad they advanced in their skills and enjoyed it so much, but I have to admit there were times I wish they would have stuck to the greens and blues. Those black trails were quite challenging for me. I got better as the season went on, but there were times I was praying I would make it down alive! πŸ˜‰

20190304_103753_HDR

20190304_100337

There were some trails called Kid’s Adventure Zones which were basically trails through the woods with fun props along the way. We loved those! I was glad we had kids with us because the sign states adults must be accompanied by a child. πŸ™‚ At Breck our favorites were the Haunted Forest and Ripperoos Forest.

20190209_102527_HDR

20190216_115914_HDR

We stayed at Tiger Run RV Resort. It was a great place to call home for 3 months. It was a 10 minute drive to Breck, 15 minutes to Keystone, 25 minutes to Arapahoe Basin and about 40-50 minutes to Vail and Beaver Creek. I’ll write about those other ski areas in a later post. There were several other Fulltime Families staying at Tiger Run. In fact, we learned all about how to winter RV in the snow from a family that we had previously met at a couple of FtF rallies. That family was staying at Tiger Run also, and we had so much fun hanging out with them.

20190303_084329 (2)

Home Sweet Home

Fat Cat was not crazy about this snow thing. She loves to go outside, but she did NOT love it here. I think she was mad at us for staying so long in a place where she did not enjoy going outside. By late April however, most of the snow at our site had melted and she was happy to be back outside again.

20190303_084206~2 (3)

20190303_084221 (3)

The kids loved playing outside in the snow with their friend Jacob.

20190303_150553 (2)

20190303_151310 (2)

I also loved playing in the snow! The snow was so soft and there was so much of it!

20190303_152123 (2)

The whole bottom half of my body is buried in snow!

The RV park has a really nice indoor pool and hot tub which we enjoyed frequently.

20190303_194312

20190303_200539

Not all Fulltime Families fly south for the winter!

One day we even saw a moose wandering through the campground!

20190306_134250(2)

Another fun thing to do in Breckenridge is sledding at Carter Park.

20190328_183538_HDR

20190328_184223_HDR

20190328_191223_HDR

Chris being his usual silly self. πŸ˜‰

20190328_192913

View of the ski slopes at Breck from the sledding hill.

I can’t even describe what an incredible 3 months this was, it was a season I wish could have lasted forever. However, I don’t want to give the impression that life is always perfect like social media tends to portray. We had our share of challenges — RV’ing in the snow is not the easiest thing to do.

There are a lot of preparations necessary for RV’ing in the cold and snow. We had to put up foam board skirting along the outside of the RV to keep the underneath part of the RV from getting too cold. We had to use heated hoses and heat tape to keep the outside water and sewer hoses from freezing, but that didn’t always work which is why we sometimes had no water in the morning.

20190307_095007 (2)

In addition to the preparations, it seemed like our RV home was in a constant state of chaos and mess for 3 months. We were always tracking snow into the house when we came inside, and there were jackets, boots, ski pants, hats, gloves, etc. always taking up space because there is just no extra space for that kind of stuff in an RV. I am one of those people that is very organized and likes everything neat and in it’s place. The mess of those 3 months could have driven me crazy if I let it, but I had to remind myself that it was worth it, the memories we were making far outweighed any of the inconveniences!

20190427_094030_HDR

I’ll admit we were nervous about how we would survive spending 3 months in an RV in the cold and snow. Many times we came close to canceling and going someplace warmer. But I’ve come to realize that if we didn’t do things because of fear of the unknown, we would have missed out on some amazing experiences. This is one of those amazing experiences I’m so glad we didn’t miss out on due to fear of trying something new.

So, is there something in your life that you want to try but are letting fear hold you back? Please allow me to encourage you to give it a try. Don’t let fear prevent you from experiencing something new. It’s possible it may turn out to be a mistake, but it’s also possible it may turn out to be something amazing and incredible. You’ll never know until you give it a try. πŸ™‚

 

Categories: Colorado | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

On the Road Again

We have big news! We have a new RV and we are so excited to be back on the road. First I will assure you that our new RV is definitely NOT a Heartland. After our Heartless Heartland disaster we did lots of research and listened to lots of feedback. We decided to go with Grand Design, a company that I know is not perfect because nobody is, but from what I hear they are a company that stands behind their product. So far we are very happy with our choice.

So please allow me to introduce you to our new home on wheels… umm, I don’t really have a name to call this RV. You know what? We never named our old Heartland either (at this point I think we would call the old one “the big rolling turd” — a joke from the Robin Williams’ movie ‘RV’). πŸ˜‰

I think the new one needs a name; I’m open to suggestions, so please feel free to send any name ideas along. I will do another post later with a tour of our new home.

20181109_151317_HDR

Grand Design Momentum

After moving into our new home we headed back to our home state of Florida. We still had annual passes to Disney so we went back to our favorite campground Ft. Wilderness before the passes expired.

Then we went to a new-to-us location, the Florida Keys. Even though we lived in Florida for many years we had never been to the Keys. It was so amazing and beautiful and such a wonderful place to reconnect as a family and de-stress after all of the stress we went through with the stupid Heartland experience.

20181014_121449_HDR

Key West

It’s very difficult to get a campground reservation at any of the state parks in the Keys, which is why we hadn’t made it there until now. I was blessed to come across a cancellation for a week long stay at Curry Hammock State Park. Our campsite backed up to the water and it was a beautiful place to spend the week.

20180930_163411_HDR

20180930_175055_HDR

20181004_173543

Boys playing ball in the water behind our campsite

20181004_173625

Next we moved to Fiesta Key which is included in our Thousand Trails (Trails Collection) membership. We loved it there! The pool was fun, the onsite restaurant had delicious seafood, and the sunsets were glorious.

20181008_175816

Fiesta Key

20181008_164629

Walking to dinner at the campground.

20181008_165210_HDR

Cute Tiki huts for dinner.

20181014_192407

But those sunsets!

We thought it was so cool to see so many iguanas roaming around the campground!

20181015_152949

20181015_153051

One day we even got to see 2 manatees swimming in the marina.

20181016_160458

One evening we went to the Sunset Grille for dinner. They have a pool at the restaurant which our kids enjoyed while waiting for our dinner.

20181002_172641

Sunset Grille

20181002_172727_HDR

20181002_185954_HDR

Sunset over the Seven Mile Bridge from the Sunset Grille

We drove down to Key West to do some sightseeing one day.

20181014_110258_HDR

20181014_120632_HDR

20181014_140620

Seven Mile Bridge

Jake and I went snorkeling at Sombrero Reef with Spirit Snorkeling. That was lots of fun!

1020181025d

1020181110c

We loved visiting the Keys and hope to return again someday.

But more than that we are so happy to be back on the road. After our Heartland fell apart we talked about whether we should settle down and buy another house. All 4 of us agreed that we are not ready to stop traveling. We love this lifestyle so much and we were not about to let a bad RV experience stop us from living our dream.

I will have another post to share about Heartland. Unfortunately they have been horrible and absolutely refuse to help us in any way. Since many people reading this might buy RVs I feel I have an obligation to share our experience to hopefully educate others on the dangers of buying from Heartland. In my next post I will share with you the results of Heartland and Lippert’s latest inspection report. It has actually given us a reason to find humor in this otherwise awful situation. The inspection report is so ridiculous that it’s actually funny. It’s hard to believe it was written by “experts”. I’ll share it with you soon and give you a good laugh.

Until then, we’ll be enjoying time with family for the holidays. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Categories: Florida, Our Rig | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

We’re Going to be on a Radio Show

This is just a quick post for anyone who is interested in updates about our RV disaster. We still have no resolution from Heartland, but we are being heard by the RV community. The RV Show USA invited us to be on their show to tell our story. RV consumers are getting pretty tired of the poor quality of RVs that are being manufactured these days and the lack of customer service. This show is calling the manufacturers out on that.

If you feel like tuning in to listen to the show, here are the details. The show airs live Wednesday night, October 10th at 8pm EST. It’s a 2 hour show and we will be on during the 2nd hour which starts around 9pm EST. It will also be recorded so you can listen at another time if you would like.Β To watch the show visit the RV Show USA Facebook pageΒ or the RV Show USA websiteΒ Β or the RV Show USA YouTube Channel.

This is a quick video promo for the show.

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing, Our Rig | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Learning Family History in Nova Scotia

My Dad is from Nova Scotia so we had a great opportunity to learn some family history on his side of the family while we were there.

20180722_135921_HDR

Dad has a very interesting history that makes me think about how if certain events hadn’t happened in his past, my sister and I wouldn’t exist and therefore neither would Jake and Jesse. It’s kind of mind boggling when you think about how past events determine what today looks like.

My grandfather was a coal miner in Springhill, Nova Scotia. He was one of the survivors of the 1958 Bump. My sister wrote a really good book about it if you are interested in the story: Song of Springhill. This is actually a 2-book set, one is the non-fiction historical account and the other is a fictionalized story.

20180730_145438

After surviving the bump, my grandfather (known as Dado to us grandkids) decided he was done with coal mining so he moved with my grandmother and father to Boston, MA. If he hadn’t moved to Boston my dad would not have met my mom and I wouldn’t exist. Isn’t it weird to think of stuff like that? We had a great time showing the kids the Springhill Miners Museum and the plaque honoring their great-grandfather.

20180730_131231_HDR

20180730_145258_HDR

20180730_141336

20180730_134605

20180730_141307

It’s a tradition whenever we’re in Springhill… someone has to sit on the Liars’ Bench

Going back a little further in history we visited the town of Pictou, the birthplace of New Scotland. We toured the museum of the Hector which is the ship that sailed from Scotland to what is now called Nova Scotia. One of my great great (not sure how many greats) grandfathers sailed over on that ship.

20180729_135405

Jake is pointing out one of the passengers whose last name was MacKay. At some point the family name was changed to McKay.

20180729_134737

While visiting this area we stayed with my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Gerald at their beach cottage.

20180801_110911

20180801_110936_HDR

We had our own private bunk house!

20180721_181004_Burst09

Fat Cat liked chasing the birds.

20180721_183445_HDR

The beach and sunsets were beautiful!

20180730_200310

20180730_202326_HDR

My parents kissing in front of the sunset

20180730_202809_HDR

20180721_200315

Skipping rocks at high tide

20180801_110242

20180801_110210

20180801_110134

We had a great time hanging out with Joyce & Gerald and relaxing at the beach. Chris misses his early morning coffee talks with Joyce and I’m missing our evening happy hours.

This last picture was not taken in Nova Scotia, but I just don’t know where else to include it. This is my cousin Janet and her husband Steve. While we were stranded in Calais, ME we drove up to visit them one evening in New Brunswick. They showed us such wonderful hospitality and gave us a much needed break from the stress we were dealing with in Maine with the RV. I was hoping to see them again while we were in Nova Scotia but it didn’t work out. I’m glad we were able to at least have this time with them.

20180710_174341a

Categories: canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.