- See You Soon March 28, 2018
This has been an incredible four years. Four years ago Chloe and Brendan planted the seed of full timing in an RV in our brains. Three years ago, we sold our house and took the plunge by buying our 2016 Tiffin Bus. We toured the nation, seeing places (and falling love with them), seeing other places (and running as fast as we could away), making friends, making memories.
By the end of year two in full timing, the best way we can describe what we were feeling was malaise. We started getting into a routine of going to Colorado, then Florida, back to Colorado. We’d visited many areas and of everywhere, there were the two places we kept going back to. We thought about buying lots in both but from an investment standpoint, couldn’t justify it. Buying land and developing it for the rig was also not something we wanted to do. From an investment standpoint, we knew that if we were to buy, we’d buy a house. We’d bought two already and we were starting to become experts at it.
When push came to shove, we knew that we wanted a home base. We found ourselves spending a ton of money for campgrounds that were never quite perfect for us. We visited friends at their full time home and found ourselves longing for that and found ourselves looking at homes. Then we found ourselves going to open houses. And then we found a home we fell in love with.
We found ourselves making an offer, having it be accepted and going through the process in thirty days.
One thing we know a lot of people ask when they’re about to full time is “What if I need an exit strategy?” For us, we never really thought about it. We were fortunate enough to have enough disposible income that the exit strategy was relatively painless. We had funds for the downpayment. We got some of our items moved out of storage. Some items came with the house (washer, dryer, refrigerator, living room couch). We went to furniture stores and purchased a master bedroom set, dining set, two desks and kitchen set. Honestly, it was much more easy than we anticipated, most likely due to the fact that we have full time jobs to sustain us through those large costs.
So what’s the next step? This is the last week we’ll be full timing. We will either sell the rig or rent it out (while the latter has tremendous risk, it also allows us to be more mobile when we want to be). We want the ability to travel when we want so keeping the rig that we customized and built for us is important.
Last night we went out to dinner with Chloe and Brendan in a case of going full circle.
On our last day as full timers, we drove an hour to our final destination to place that is gorgeous. It’s an RV resort as well as a equine facility. We overlook fields as we hear horses whinny. We took Piper for a long walk as she smelled all the wonderful smells (from a dog’s perspective). It’s a beautiful sunny and cool day for Florida – 71 degrees – as we played bocce in the side and back of our coach. It was a perfect day with perfect views, perfect surroundings and perfect weather. We both felt a sadness that full timing was over but on the other hand look forward to our next adventure. We lost two family members on this great adventure and as we move on, we’ll think of them. We gained friends on this great adventure and as we move on, we’ll think of them. We visited family members on this great adventure and as we move on, we’ll think of them. We will take the places, the people, the animals, the sights, the food, the everything and take it with us no matter what.
That’s the beauty of this life – it isn’t a matter of “this is how it is”. Instead it’s a matter of “this is how it is…for now”.
Ever fluid, ready to change and pivot is something we’ve enjoyed about this life. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Until the next trip, we’ll be updating with fun house stuff. See you soon!
- Spare Tire On the Back February 16, 2018
It happens. After spending a week in what we thought was an overrated and overpriced park in New Orleans, we happily left a day zcwearly to get to our next destination a day early. Yippee!
Life then happened and then said “Well, not so fast, geeks!” While we were anxious to leave New Orleans, it was on the very infamous I-10, notorious for construction and potholes. We caught a shredded tire on the road, aka “road gators”, with our tow. No, we didn’t have the TPMS system (we have it but the one we bought wasn’t that good) but a kindly stranger really good at mouthing “Your tire is shredded!” from another car. The inevitable result was this beauty.
We had a spare tire but on I-10, didn’t want to change it alone as I-10 doesn’t exactly have a wide breakdown lane. We called trusty Geico for roadside service. Despite telling them where we were, they insisted on doing geolocation and sent the first roadside service. Big mistake, as Geico sent the first servicer to the completely wrong place. The first servicer stated since we were on I-10 they couldn’t come to us. Finally, three hours later, we received the service and were on our way.
It was a bit disconcerting being on the side of I-10 for that long but we managed. We were delayed by three hours and arrived in Gulf Shores 6 hours after departing so it was dark. Luckily we had a pull-through so parking the rig wasn’t tough at all. No life lesson here, only to have a flexible (enough) schedule and identify places to stop along the way if you need. Also? Don’t plan too long of a day. We never plan to go longer than four hours. We’ve done longer (unplanned) as a pleasant surprise rather than planning too long and having to cut the trip shorter than needed. That way there’s no disappointment if you don’t reach your goal. It also cuts yourself some slack. We learned this lesson in our maiden voyage where we planned on going from Pennsylvania to North Carolina in one trip. That’s seven hours via 95, eight hours via 81 (we opted for 81). After encountering torrential rainstorms and seeing at least six accidents, we were forced to stop for the night at Walmart. We underestimated how draining driving the rig was going to be, and in retrospect would’ve planned a halfway stop.
- New Year’s Day January 2, 2018
We’ve kind of dropped off the face of the earth, so it seems, and don’t worry – we haven’t. We could use the same old excuses – we’ve been busy with work, we’ve been busy traveling, the holidays were crazy, the dog ate our posts – but in actuality we’ve just been lazy.
Two months is an awfully long time but also a blink of the eye.
For New Year’s we like to keep it low-key. When you travel all the time and have excitement year-round, it’s a blessing to say “we’re enjoying the quiet”. We experimented in the kitchen with those Instant Pot recipes we’d been dying to try. We caught up on those shows we’ve been neglecting on the Apple TV. We had a nice dinner (this was a gamble, depending on the Instant Pot results, and paid off) and had some nice wine (that was a guarantee, thanks to our travels we’d collected some nice bottles).
Being honest, New Years has always been a time of sadness as well as a time of hope. Kim lost her birthmother to breast cancer on December 30th one year. Last year we lost Nala on December 31st. Every year the park where we stay has a New Years party and we opt to stay in, spending the time with each other, thinking about the previous year and about the year to come.
Looking back on the year, we started out with sadness with Nala’s death. She was such a wonderful little kitty with a meow that was extremely distinctive. Now and then, when a sound on the TV is just so, we hear her. We still miss her. We still have her Christmas twin but it just isn’t the same.
We spent a couple months in Vegas, freezing our keisters off but enjoying the confines of Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort. We celebrated our anniversary by taking a helicopter ride and found someone to build the desk. While it was sad to leave, we became too comfortable there and knew that the weather (freezing in the winter) would be hot hot hot in the summer. We moved onto Newport Beach, CA and then onto San Francisco. We saw Hamilton twice , ate a ton of food and drank a lot of wine and then moved onto Oregon.We encountered our first snowfall while driving the rig there and saw some family for Easter. It rained a LOT in Oregon and were glad to escape it by way of Wyoming.
While in Oregon we noticed that Ally’s symptoms came back and confirmed her diagnosis in Oregon. We rushed to Colorado to say our goodbyes. She was such a great RV dog up until the last days. She was our heart dog and we are happy we were able to make it to one of our favorite states to properly say goodbye.
Summer was spent in Colorado: Fort Collins, Aurora (Cherry Creek), Central City, Colorado Springs and Breckenridge, of which most of our summer was spent in Breck. There we encountered our second snow but saw it warm up to ride many bike miles, see the Continental Divide, attended several festivals, and saw the eclipse, among other things.
From there we went to New Mexico for a quick stop over, not seeing much of it. Then we went to Texas and ate like Texans both in restaurants and the Texas State Fair. We then stopped in Louisiana/New Orleans and then Alabama for our final destination for the year in Florida. Ten states in a year – not bad (not even counting our brief stints to different locales for work in Wisconsin, Las Vegas and Colorado). While in Florida we saw the new Star Wars movie, went to Key West, got stuck in Key West (that’s another story), had several fixes done while here (that’s yet another story) and will be leaving to go to Clermont, where we started out two years ago, to prepare for our east coast tour.
Happy New Years everyone!