It has been months since I have seen my parents and children. My trip to Louisiana was canceled back in March due to COVID-19 and I was at the point that I needed a break from all the bullshit and was ready to take a trip. Because we live in our RV full-time we are able to take our house with us, so on Thursday, May 14th we headed to Florida. We only drove to the other side of Montgomery as we usually only drive around 4-5 hours before we stop. We don’t like doing 8-9 hour drives. We thought the worse roads we had ever been on were in Louisiana, but going through Birmingham about beat us to death. It hasn’t been that long since we drove through there, but the first time in several years since we drove with the RV attached. It makes a big difference.
We stayed at the first park we stayed in back in 2015 when we began our RV journey the first time in full-time travel mode, Montgomery South RV Park. The park has expanded since 2015 as they have installed several more lots. It was nice to get a pull-through, which all their sites are and it was long enough that we didn’t have to unhook as we would be back on the road before 8:00 am Friday morning. We only drove about two exits before getting off on Exit 142 at Priester’s Pecans. I had ordered some pecans in the mail back in April, but my mom talked about wanting some, so I stopped to get her a 5 pound bag. It would have been cheaper to order online and have them shipped. Found out the sister runs the physical store while a brother runs the online shop and since they don’t get along too well, there is more competition to see who can make more money than they other.
Once we were back on interstate, it wasn’t long before we were pulling into my parents house, arriving around 11:00 am. We only have electric hook up there, but our holding tanks hold the waste and we dump once we’re back on interstate in Alabama. Unfortunately only one daughter was able to join us and she only had 1 kid with her, but we made the most of our time together. On Friday night, we grilled steaks and had everybody over in the RV. I had to do a makeshift table to sit at, but we made it work. One thing I forgot about traveling in the RV is how much it takes to set up and take down each time you move it. I will have to get used to that again if we make too many more trips as it took a lot more time than I remember it taking to complete those tasks.
On Saturday, us girls went for a much needed pedicure while the guys worked on our A/C’s that are not functioning the way they should be. They needed some freon added and 1 of them needs a new mother board. Still having trouble finding the replacement part, but not giving up. We also went to Kohl’s to do some shopping and I’m happy to report that the clothes I bought fit perfectly when I got home. Due to COVID they won’t allow people to try on clothes, so I was taking a chance with all the weightloss as to what size to get. I picked this one correctly. After some shopping we ended up at Joe Patti Seafood to get some shrimp, not only for dinner, but also for me to put in my freezer for the future. Nothing better than fresh ocean shrimp. I also got the hubby some oysters, which he got to enjoy when we got back home.
We were supposed to split our return trip into Sunday and Monday, but we decided we would do the entire drive back on Sunday. I didn’t do any of the driving, but was extremely exhausted by the time we got home around 6:00 pm. It took a few tries to get the RV back in its spot, but without either of us killing each other, we got it done.
Just about every time I am around my Florida child, she wants a photo shoot of either the family or the kids and this trip was no different. She only wanted pics of Madi done, which I was more than happy to do, as she is a gem to photograph and is changing and growing up so fast that I want to have the memories of her childhood as much as her Momma does, if not more.
My 3 favorite poses are below. I can’t believe she is almost 7 years old. She is not a little baby anymore, instead she’s becoming a little girl who is growing up way too fast. She’ll be in second grade next year.
Now that we are back living in the RV full-time and life has returned to normal, we are in the process of planning a summer vacation so we can take the RV somewhere and have a little fun. We will be going to both WV and AL over a 10-day span. My in-laws always spend the 4th of July at their camp on the New River just outside Hinton, West Virginia, which is close to where my husband grew up. I made my first trip there in 2014. You can read all about that in a previous blog post. This will be the first time that we are taking our RV with us to WV as in previous times we stayed in a camper on his parents’ property. I prefer having my own stuff, especially my own bed and I want my dogs to be safe and they would not be if we stayed with the in-laws.
Our plan is to pull out on the 3rd of July and drive all the way to our destination. We are staying at Pipestem RV Park & Campgrounds. It’s right off Hwy 20, which is right off the interstate so the drive shouldn’t be too bad. While there we hope to visit Barnwood Builders place that’s about 1 ½ hours away and visit one of the state parks that has a beautiful gristmill. We’ll stay for five nights before heading down to Alabama.
Back in 2015 when we were full-time traveling, we stayed at Honeycomb Campgrounds right on Lake Guntersville. You can read about that trip HERE. We’ll only have 4 nights here and by the time the week is over we will probably wish we had a lot more days that we could stay here. I remember our last stay here so vividly. We were in our first few months of traveling full-time and was at an in between stage of trying to figure out what we wanted to do when out the blue one day we decided to go to this place. Our site was right on the water, #68. It was perfect. The sunsets and sunrises each morning and night were just beautiful. We were able to get in and out of our kayaks right at our site, which was great considering we had a new puppy at the time, and he loved going out on the water as much as we did. Unfortunately, we sold our kayaks several years back, but have since bought some paddle boats that hopefully will serve the same purpose. Personally I would rather have my kayak, but considering I don’t have money for that right now, I’ll settle for what the hubster bought and just be glad to be back on the water doing something I love…..fishing!
Hope all of you are planning some wonderful trips. Let me know where your headed or any good places you’ve already been to that we should add to our list for the future.
Time Flies When Your Having Fun!!!
I can’t believe it’s already August of 2019. It’s been several months since I’ve written anything and didn’t share much about 2018. I definitely had a lot more to say and share when we were living in the RV full-time and driving around seeing the countryside. I miss our travel days and long for the day when we can get back out on the road. 2018 was filled with change. I went back to work in February and the drive was roughly an hour plus in one direction so come March 1st we moved our RV into Safe Harbor RV Park right on Percy Priest Lake. The views of the lake were awesome. Unfortunately they only allow people to stay 9 months out of the year, March to November, so we knew going in that come November 30th we would have to find a place to stay. The location was perfect as it was only 15 minutes to my job. I didn’t have to get in any traffic at all. As we mulled over our choices for the next location we actually decided to buy a site built house. It would give the dogs more room to roam and give us the chance to develop some stability. In October we signed the papers after finding a house in Clarksville. The good news is we could buy new construction and have a nice house for less money, but the bad news was my commute would now be over an hour in one direction. I was determined I would make it work because we both wanted a site built house. Looking back now we ask ourselves why did we do that? We had things in mind as to what we wanted in our house and the only two things we got that we wanted was a garage and a backyard for the dogs. No front porch, an HOA that we hate and neighbors that drive us crazy is what we are now putting up with. The first few months were good though. I especially liked Christmas time when I could hang lights up outside and put a big tree up, but then again I could have put lights on the RV (I’ve done that before) and we always had a tree, it was just smaller. Once the new year started, we started asking ourselves more and more why we bought this house as we were just as happy in the RV as we are in the house and it’s a lot less to clean. In addition, the RV just sits in a storage lot getting dusty and seems pointless to own when we never use it. We tried selling it, but no one wanted it, which I took as a sign that we are supposed to keep it, live in it and see the world in it. The first six months of 2019 have been spent working mostly. I did take a few weekends to paint the house as it seems I have to put my stamp on every house I live in. The wall color is pretty much the same gray tone that the builder used, but I used a different sheen that would be easier to clean. I also done a red accent wall that I think turned out really good and with our entertainment center sitting in front of that wall it really looks good. In March I went to Florida to see my parents. I hadn’t been there in quiet some time, so the visit was long overdue. We had a great weekend. In June we traveled to Florida where I was able to see 4 of my grandkids and my daughters. It was a great trip and I look forward to many more. In July I started a new job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Vanderbilt was where I got my first job at when I moved to Nashville back in 2009. I’m in a different department and job and love it. Now if I could just get us moved back closer to my work, life would be grand. Speaking of getting closer, we are in the process of making that happen. Just this weekend we started doing renovations on the RV so we can move back in. Although the RV is a 2017 model, I want to make it look more homey so I am painting it. Remember me saying I have to put my stamp on every house we live in, well that includes the RV. When we bought this one, my husband said I couldn’t paint it, but has now changed his mind. Not only will I be painting the walls though. I will also be painting the cabinets and putting down new floors and changing out the window blinds. I will document everything has we go and will post accordingly. Hopefully it won’t take 9 months after the fact for me to post. Once the renovations are done, which I hope to have finished by November, then we will be putting the house on the market and moving back into the RV.
In April we decided to move to Texas to live on Lake Fork. I also decided I would go back to work as sitting at home day in and day out is not my idea of fun and excitement. Living near the lake is great, but if I can’t be on the lake every day, then I need something to occupy my time and making a little money to add to the nest egg doesn’t hurt either.
We found this quiet little place to park the RV and in the beginning had planned on living in the RV, but after seeing the beautiful park model homes that the people living on the waterfront lots have it was easy to decide we wanted one of them as well. So we put the Montana up for sale and have been anxiously waiting for a buyer before all the good lots are taken. We thought we had found someone who really wanted the RV and our truck as well, but she is now just giving us the run around, which really aggravates me more than anything. I don’t like other people dictating what I can do with my life; but right now this person has us in a tailspin.
We’ve been out on the boat as much as possible, although I wish we could be out there more than we are, but we both have bad days where we just don’t want to do anything and then of course there’s the rain and wind to contend with some days as well. The lake is pretty, but is very stumpy in some areas, which makes it hard to get around, but we are figuring out the best places to go to avoid them. We’ve been thinking about hiring a guide to take us out so we can find out where the big ones are as my husband loves to bass fish. I tried the last time we were out, but I had no luck. I prefer fishing for bream anyway.
Here’s a few pics I’ve taken on the lake with my iPhone.
After we completed our visit through the New England states we spent a couple of weeks in Pennsylvania. Our first stop was only for a couple of days in the Pocono area so we could visit the Pocono NASCAR track. At some point we plan on chasing NASCAR all over the country to see the races live, but in the meantime we’ll keep visiting the tracks along the way. We actually got to ride in a pace car from the fan store to the track for a tour.
NASCAR Pace Car
On days that the track is not hot, they actually take you on the track, but unfortunately the track was being used on the day we visited. At this particular track you can drive a stock car by yourself around the track. They put you through a training session before they put you in the car, but then your strapped in and able to drive as fast as you want to go. Our tour guide said an 84-year-old lady had done it and went 135 MPH around the track. Neither of us participated in this activity, but it was tempting and something we might give into in the future. I mean why not what have you got to lose?
More pics from our trip to the Pocono Raceway…
From here we headed to Lancaster county. I was looking to see some Amish country and more. We took a day to head to Lancaster where we went on a buggy ride that took us through farmland, a working farm and more. We both enjoyed the tour and wished it had actually been longer. If you ever get a chance to go, do yourself a favor and do the private ride, so you don’t have to share your time with others as some people are not always polite during events like this and when you pay money for something, if your like me, you want to get your money’s worth, which means I like to hear the tour guide talk, not the others on the tour.
At the farm, we stopped and got to walk through several of the barns, one being where the calves are stored once removed from their momma. Some were barely a month old. As you can see from the pics below, they were completely adorable. The next barn was the milking barn, which had all the milk cows. The milk cows produce as much as 10 gallons of milk per day. The Amish use a machine on the udders to gather the milk, which goes into a big vat that houses the milk until the trucks show up to get it and take to the factory for further processing. The cows are only given an hour of outside time per day.
In addition to the cows, we saw chickens, mules and miniature horses. The children attach a wagon to the miniature horses to be pulled around. One of the things that sets an Amish property apart from others is the long clothesline in the yard. I miss having an outside clothesline as when I was growing up that was the only way we dried clothes.
I put the pics below in black and white as it gives them that ole’ time look and reminds me of days gone by.
We spent a day at Hershey’s Chocolate World. We were thinking the tour would be more of a behind the scenes type of tour, instead it’s a narrated ride telling you how things are done. There are several types of tours you can do as well as a trolley ride through Hershey; however, we opted to spend money on gifts for the grandkids, no chocolate, but something just as good.
We spent time looking at covered bridges, the farmlands and just resting up for the rest of our journey. Overall it was a great stay and one that I could do again. From here we head back to Ohio to pick up the new RV before getting back on our journey in Washington DC and then down the eastern coastline.