Closing on House is Complete

The closing was on October 4th and of course we had a few bumps in the road right at the end, but we survived it. Just made it where neither of us really want to get bogged down with another house again. Now we have 2 storage units full of furniture and stuff that we have to figure out what to do with it. When we went full-time the first time back in 2014, we sold all of our furniture so when we bought the new house, we had to buy everything again and at the time we thought we would end up selling the RV and stay in a site built house, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I want to sell it all, but husband says he wants to hold onto it for a while in case we change our minds again and want to get another house. After he pays storage fees for a year, maybe he will change his mind. Its better to get some money out of it all than get nothing and pay storage fees for the rest of our lives.

Renovations have been very slow as it is harder to do things when you live in the house. Hopefully we will have it all completed by the end of the year.

Right before we moved back into the RV, I was having some health issues which has taken away from me being able to do much painting. It’s hard to paint above your head or bend over when it makes you dizzy every time you do so. I woke up a couple days in September feeling like the room was spinning. This went on for several days and then were times when my chest hurt as well.  Sometimes I would have these spells when I was sitting at my desk at work. I would be in the middle of something and the room would spin, I’d feel like I was going to pass out. I was nauseated sometimes and feel like I was in another world. It was crazy.

Well it happened again over the last weekend of September and I ended up in the emergency room on the 30th after I went to work, and they wouldn’t let me stay. They all freaked out knowing I drove while dizzy and feeling as crappy as I was. We had been working on the renovations over the previous weeks working late nights and Saturday and Sunday, so I really thought I was just tired and the stress of selling the house, moving and all that was just getting the best of me.

The visit to the ER didn’t provide any answers. Their first reaction was an EKG because they thought it was my heart. I kept telling them I’m dizzy, nauseated, spacey, but no matter what I said they wanted to test everything to do with a potential heart attack, so after a CT Scan, x-rays and blood work they said it’s not a heart attack.  Well duh I told you that. They give me IV fluids and said I was probably just severally dehydrated, which I might have been due to all the work I was doing and because I hate water I don’t drink enough, and it was during some hot days and we were back and forth in and out of the house.

House Officially on the Market

We officially listed our house for sale on the 4th. We had two showings by the end of the day, which led to our first offer, but on day 2 we received a cash offer from an agent who hadn’t even shown the house. The buyer saw the listing online, liked what they saw and wanted another investment property. We accepted their offer because it would give us the quickest closing and less headaches. The first offer we had received wanted us to pay over $10k in closing cost for the buyer alone, not including our closing costs. There was no way we would accept that.

We didn’t expect to sale as fast as we did and had started renovating the RV in hopes of having it all done before we found a buyer. However, when everything happened so fast, we ended up having to find a place to move the RV almost overnight as it had been in storage for nine months. Renovations were put on hold and off we went.

By the 16th we had moved 60 miles away so I could be closer to my job, which was the main reason for us moving in the first place.

Time to Sell Our House Again

In the beginning August we decided we were going to sale our sticks and bricks house and move back into the RV. It has been less than a year since we bought this house and were afraid, we would never get what we needed out of it.  In the last couple weeks, a realtor came by asking if we would consider selling and my husband was like no we could never get enough money out of it to make a deal. He happened to have some comps for the area and said that the market was really booming in our community. I started looking into it and sure enough several houses were being sold for $10k more than what we had paid for our house less than a year before.

We didn’t really care if we made any money off the sale, but we had to get what we owed on it. I kept researching and because I have a background in real estate, I decided I would list the house myself as a For Sale by Owner. After more research I decided to go with an MLS Listing Broker who would list our house on the MLS to get us a better opportunity to get showings and get us listed in all the major publications. In addition, we wouldn’t have to pay a commission to a listing broker. Instead we just paid the MLS Listing broker a flat fee, which was only $499. Way cheaper than paying 3% commission.

Since the house was brand new when we moved in, there was nothing that had to be done except find a listing broker, do some staging, take pics and get it listed.

Our Trip North, Part I

The first big stop on our trip north was Maggie Valley, NC, but before we got there we had two stops to make.  The first was in Fort Benning, GA. We stayed at the MWR Campgrounds available to military personnel on the Alabama side of Fort Benning in Fort Mitchell. The name of the campground is Uchee Creek Army Campground and Marina. It was a gorgeous place to stay. We enjoyed our evenings sitting out in front of the RV watching the deer eat. They would wonder throughout the park all day and night.

In the campgrounds @ Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

In the campgrounds @ Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Right at our campsite at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Right at our campsite at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Deer at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Deer at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Our site was number 404, which was right off a great parking area where we could watch the paratroopers do jump maneuvers. Being that both my husband and son were both in Fort Benning, it made this stop very emotional. My husband went through basic training and Ranger School at Fort Benning back in 1984 and my son went through basic and Airborne School here in 2009. We spent time driving through the base seeing what had changed since Greg was here 32 years ago. We saw lots of soldiers going through obstacle courses and range practice. Another highlight of the trip was going through the National Infantry Museum. Although I had toured the museum back in 2009, it was special to get to share this with my husband who had more knowledge to share of the different things to be seen. Of course anybody military related knows that you don’t go near a base without going to the PX and Commissary. This was my first time at a PX like this and boy was I surprised by all the things you could buy. 

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Flags at half mass, National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Paratroopers doing jumps

Our last day here we sat and watched the paratroopers do several jumps. I can’t believe my son was doing jumps like this just a few short years ago. It amazes me what these soldiers go through to train to protect our freedom. Each night as we sat in the RV chilling from the day, we could hear C-130’s fly over our house. We speculated that they were doing night jumps as that is also part of the training.

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

The second stopover was in Cumming, GA at Bald Ridge Creek Lake on Lake Lanier. I had hoped we would be able to get in some fishing on the full day we had here, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very well, so I spent the day recuperating, so I would be more than ready for our time in Maggie Valley.

Maggie Valley

Our stay in Maggie Valley started on Friday the 15th of July having arrived around 2:30 pm. We enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant the first evening, Garrett’s. I had trout for the first time and didn’t realize it taste and looked a lot like salmon. It was great.

On Saturday we took off for Cherokee, NC to see the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual, Inc. and the Museum of the Cherokee Indians. Everywhere we went we learned more and more about the way of the Cherokee. 

Of course a trip to Cherokee would not be complete without seeing waterfalls and we saw two of them. The first was Mingo Falls, which is actually in Cherokee. You have to walk .04 miles to get to it, but it is so worth it.  There is a platform to stand on and see the falls from the top, but you can also go down the mountain to get to the bottom. I wasn’t brave enough to go all the way to the bottom, but we did make our way about half way down. 

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Since it was raining on our way back to Maggie Valley, we postponed seeing the second waterfall until Sunday morning as it is actually closer to Maggie Valley than Cherokee. You could hear the roar of the falls as soon as you get out of your vehicle. The walk is not that far and the beauty of the falls is grand. My pictures don’t do it justice.

Soco Falls, NC

Soco Falls, NC

Cataloochee Valley

On Sunday afternoon, with our two dogs in the backseat, we headed for Cataloochee Valley hoping to see Elk. After waiting for what seemed like all day, finally after a few rain showers the Elk started coming out of the woods. At the first location we were at we saw a total of 8, which included two babies. They were totally adorable running and playing together just like children. At one point, a mommy and baby drifted from the rest of the herd and made their way to where a couple trucks were sitting just below us. Although the baby laid down in the grass, the mommy kept drifting until she ended up crossing the road to the creek. After about 45 minutes or so of viewing these magnificent creatures we started our trek out of there. Greg was disappointed that we didn’t see any bulls, but we weren’t down the mountain yet. Sure enough we came upon another open field to several cars sitting still on the side of the road and sure enough there were 6 more cows (females) and 2 bulls (males). While Greg drove along ever so slowly I jumped on the back of the truck for better photo opportunities. I’m sure I looked crazy to the other viewers, but it was worth it for these up close pics.  In addition to the elk, we also saw twelve turkeys.

6 Cows and 2 Babies at Cataloochee Valley, NC

6 Cows and 2 Babies at Cataloochee Valley, NC

Mommy who drifted from the herd for the creek for water.

Mommy who drifted from the herd for the creek for water.

Mister Bull....Mister Bull....You look so good!!!

Mister Bull….Mister Bull….You look so good!!!

Love the rack on this Elk, Cataloochee Valley, NC

Love the rack on this Elk, Cataloochee Valley, NC

The scariest part of this trip was the ride up the side of the mountain and back down. I was totally wishing I had a brake on my side of the truck because the road was very narrow and at some points there was only one lane and you could not see around the corner, so you had to pray there was not another car coming at you.

This road is a lot smaller than it appears especially when passing another car!

This road is a lot smaller than it appears especially when passing another car!

Wheels Through Time

Our visit through Maggie Valley included a fantastic museum devoted to motorcycles called Wheels Through Time. There are over 300 bikes including a double bicycle from 1896 to motorcycles in the early 1900’s. If you’re a lover of motorcycles, especially Harley’s then you would love to tour this museum. In addition to the motorcycles, there are automobiles from the early 1900’s as well as lots of memorabilia that was very impressive to be seen.

Our last day was filled with a trip to Asheville for a trolley ride. We started at the visitor’s center and done the hop on hop off trip that included 10 stops throughout Asheville. The driver was very informative and he shared a lot of information about the city. The one thing that stood out the most was when we drove past a McDonald’s and the driver said it was the swankiest McDonald’s you would ever see as it has a piano and marble columns. Made me want to jump off the trolley and see for myself, but instead I just took his word for it.

The first leg may be over, but we still have lots of miles to cover before this 4 month adventure is over. Our next big stop will be in Ohio with a couple stops on the way. Hope you will continue to follow our trip and see where we end up.

For more photos from each of our stops click on the links below:

Uchee Creek Campground, Ft Mitchell, AL

Paratrooper Jumps, Ft Benning, GA

Ranger School, Ft. Benning, GA

National Infantry Museum, Ft Benning, GA

Cherokee, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Soco Falls, NC

Cataloochee Valley, NC

Wheels Through Time, Maggie Valley, NC

Asheville, NC

Memorable Moments from 2015

March 2nd marked a year ago that we started our RV journey that would take us from Tennessee to Florida and back several times before setting down in Tallahassee back in October. During those first few months we had some very memorable moments. Some of which we have been reminiscing about these past few days, so I decided I would share those moments with all of you.

1. March 15th. We drove all the way to Mississippi to pick up our eight week old fur baby, Oscar. He was born with beautiful blue eyes (they changed as he got older) and milk chocolate fur. I don’t know what we were thinking at the time in getting a dog, a puppy none the less when we were just starting our adventure. Looking back now, I’m glad we did, because he has been a big blessing for Greg. Pets are just like children in the fact that you make whatever sacrifices you need to make them happy and healthy.

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On the way home!

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2. March 27th – April 10th. We were staying in Moore Haven which was about a 15- 20 minute drive from Lake Okeechobee, which meant fishing. There’s just something about being on the water, the calmness and serenity of it makes life so much easier to deal with.

We spent several days on the lake in our kayaks. I only caught one or two a day, but always caught the biggest. On what would be our last day on the water, Greg spotted an alligator about 5-6 feet from his kayak. I was probably about 15-20 feet away. He was not having any of that and we were out of that water real quick. Had we been in a boat, it wouldn’t have been as scary, but in a kayak, the last thing you want to encounter is an alligator. Plus he was not a little one, he was a BIG one. 

Anna's bass

Anna’s bass

3. June 3rd- 6th.  A few days on Lake Guntersville in Alabama will help take all your worries away. This was absolutely the best place we have stayed at. Our site was right at the water’s edge and the sunsets and sunrises were beyond amazing. We were able to fish every morning and afternoon. Our Hobie kayaks were the paddle type so you just sit back paddle with your feet and use the steering handle to maneuver all around. It was amazing. Oscar loved sunning himself, looking over the edge or enjoying time in my lap. He truly does the water. The amount of fish we caught was not enough to get excited about, but the fact that we were on the water enjoying the beauty of nature was what made our time there memorable.

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4. June 24-28th. We wanted to take our oldest grandson on a summer trip. We had originally wanted to go to Louisiana, but our plans had to be rearranged so TN it was. Our drive there included a flat tire which was a memory in itself that I don’t want to relive. The memorable moment was our trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. Our grandson loves animals, especially sea life so we thought this place would be a great destination.

Because we have to have a way to carry the kayaks we had a rack on top of the truck. The rack adds height and can be a problem when you park in a garage parking lot. I’m the guilty party doing the driving that day and not thinking I pulled into the parking garage. Luckily I found a spot on the top floor, which meant I didn’t have to drive down into the garage…for now. Thinking ahead we knew we would have to remove the rack in order to get out at the end of the day, but for now we planned to enjoy the aquarium. Once we viewed all the animals and enjoyed our visit, we headed down the strip to find lunch. Unbeknown to us the place we were headed to had closed so we had to find something else. By this time we had walked the entire strip. Now mind you my grandson is not athletic, never exercises and we are taking him way out of his comfort zone. We chose a place to eat, which was the worse place I’ve ever eaten at and the most expensive for what we ordered. The grandson wouldn’t even eat. While looking for a place to eat, we were also looking for a place that might sell a tool we could use to remove the rack, but had not spotted one, so I used my phone to search for an auto parts store.. The only thing we could find was Ace Hardware, which per the GPS was on our way back to where the truck was. So we walked and walked, but never saw ACE Hardware. I called them to confirm address, clerk confirmed and told me we were close so we kept walking. Eventually we were past where the truck was, so I called ACE again, spoke to another clerk and again was told they were just down from where we were. I guess what they didn’t understand was we were walking, not driving. After several more blocks we give up, went back to the garage we parked at and asked security for help. If only we had done that in the fist place we would have saved ourselves a lot of walking, but this memory wouldn’t have been as funny. Our grandson was so mad knowing that we could have saved all that walking and just gone back to the garage in the beginning. We thought it was funny and still laugh about it today.

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5. July 9th. Having one furbaby wasn’t enough, as daddy Greg thought Oscar needed a playmate, so on this day we drove to Mississippi again, different breeder to pick up our baby girl, Harley. She is Hershey chocolate and a tubby tail now. Hard to believe considering how tiny she was the day we picked her up. It took a while for the two of them to get use to each other, but now they are inseparable.

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There were many moments that were special to us, but these 5 ring out on top. We long to add to these memories and in time we will. Feel free to share a memorable moment you have had on your adventures in the comments below.