Sunday, October 23, 2016

A New Chapter...

At of our favorite restaurants
We have been living on the road and traveling for over three years now. In that time we've crossed the country four times and visited thirty-four states. We've seen a lot of the country and yet there is much we haven't seen. I think one could travel this country for decades and still not see everything. We've had a lot of great times and we've had our share, maybe even more than our share, of mishaps...all of which have been chronicled in this blog.

Now it's time for a new chapter. For several reasons related to finances, getting older, and family, we are coming off the road. It's a big decision that has been formulating for some time.

I saw a question on Facebook the other day asking about people who quit full-timing. I don't feel like we're quitting because we never intended this to be permanent. We always knew it would come to an end, we just didn't know when...until now.

Our dream was not to live in an RV, it was to in the RV was the means to that end. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to do that.

Jack has checked a lot of things off his bucket list and I've checked off some of mine. One I haven't checked off yet is my goal of visiting the forty-eight contiguous states. But, between the thirty-four we've visited while RVing and the places I visited earlier in my life, I'm almost there...I lack only six states. We still want to do some traveling by car or plane and you can bet I'll be doing my best to visit the last six. Which six are they?  Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Maine and Idaho.

There are things we will miss about our RV life...the fun and excitement of planing trips, the pleasure of finding a great campground and the community of campground living are some...and there are things we won't black tanks, minimal kitchen space, black tanks, being away from family and did I mention black tanks?

We are settling down in Wilmington, NC, the place I've called home for over ten years. Coastal, four seasons, mild enough winters that we don't usually get snow, good restaurants, within a days drive from my son and brothers and minutes from my daughter and grandchildren. We are buying a small condo central to the beach and to downtown and are in the process of moving in.

We love the place and are looking forward to getting settled.  More on that later...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Birthday, An Anniversary and A Hurricane...

We left West Virginia, returned to Wilmington and settled in.

Katie started school right after we got back. Can't believe she's in seventh grade already...where did the time go?! She's not involved in competitive gymnastics this year, but has started Parkour and is doing advanced tumbling. I don't know much about Parkour, think I'm going to have to go watch one of these days. 

Jackson's 10th birthday rolled around in September...he's in double digits now. Not such a  little boy anymore. He's busy with soccer and tennis and is also doing Parkour, but we spent some good days together while he was on fall break. 

We've puppy-sat Scout a number of times, sometimes just for a few hours and then for five days while Becca, Davis and the kids went to Pawley's Island. He's five months now, house broken and cute as anything. While he was with us for five days we discovered he has only two speeds...high and off...and Jack is his favorite person after Becca and the kids. 

Jack and I celebrated out third anniversary by going back to the scene of the crime (lol). We had a wonderful dinner at the Oceanic. Now we're working on the next three years!

Three plus years RVing and we've never had to pack up and haul the RV out of here because of weather...until now. Hurricane Matthew came calling. He hit Wilmington as a Category One, not too bad if you live in a house but way too risky to ride it out in an RV. We decided to go west to Greensboro and take advantage of the opportunity to visit my brothers again.

What with a sporting event and some kind of a show in Greensboro, and the threatening weather on the coast, we were lucky to get one of the last available campsites at the Greensboro KOA. The sites there are not very level but this one was the worst. We ended up with two wheels off the ground and we were still listing a bit to the right. Thought we'd be okay anyway just for two days...until the rains came. We think being off level kept the door side slide from creating a good seal when it was opened because, when the rain started, it was raining inside the fifth wheel! We had pots, bowls and buckets all along the area where the slide meets the RV. Jack went up on the roof to check but there wasn't much he could do in the pouring rain. We brought the affected slide in, along with more water, and the leak stopped. So we spent the rest of the time with one slide closed. Cozy is a nice way to describe it. When the rain stopped two days later and we opened the slide again it was amazing how big the camper felt!

The rain Matthew brought crippled much of coastal NC (and other coastal states) though Wilmington fared better than many other areas. We had to delay coming home one day because I-40 was flooded and closed in several areas to the east. On the plus side we did get to enjoy a nice visit with Glen, Joanna, Ken and Ciera.

We are back at the Wilmington KOA...nice and level...but it hasn't rained yet so we don't know yet if our leak problems are gone. There's some rain in the forecast next week. Fingers crossed!

UPDATE: It's rained once, though not a driving rain like we experienced during Hurricane Matthew, and no leak.

Since Matthew came through we've been enjoying some great weather. Highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. The kind of days that make me really happy I live here.