Trying a New Lifestyle

It has been a long time since I have posted anything here.  The main reason for that is our choice to give Workamping a try.  We have been a little busy and preoccupied.

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Workamping is a lifestyle that many full-time RVrs embrace.  RV resorts and parks join into a “contract” to provide (for the most part) a place to stay, utilities, WIFI etc., in exchange for work done by the campers.  imgres

Our first stab at it was in March of 2015 (about when I stopped posting here).  We entered into an agreement to provide “some” weeding and maintaining of flower beds.  What a deal!  I do miss my sticks and bricks yard and my flowers.  The resort we were going to was close to the home city we retired from…able to see friends and family.  Well, low and behold, the amount of work needed at this resort was beyond “some”as it had been described to us.  It had not been maintained for 3 years!  Back breaking work to say the least.  That gig was a 3 month deal with the option to stay an additional 3 months and yes, we definitely left at the end of that 3rd month.

We are now finishing up a 6 month job at another resort which we stayed at last winter. Not back breaking at all.  But it does have it’s issue’s, as I assume most places do.  More along the lines of drama and personalities.

After much thought, I have come to realize that it is just not for us.  I guess I am too old for the back breaking work that parks expect out of people like us (in our 50’s).  And I know I am too old for all the drama!

Don’t get me wrong, a LOT of people do this and love it.  I think that is great…it is just not our thing at this time in our lives.

Someday in the future we may try it again, but for now we will finish this job up at the end of March and will be moving on to keep moving on.  Places to go and things to do!

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Do You Know About Mardi Gras??? I Didn’t…Till Now.

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When it is Mardi Gras time, most people think of New Orleans…

But did you know that Mardi Gras originated in Alabama.  Yes, that is right.  Here in LA (Lower Alabama); Mobile, AL to be exact.  According to locals and Wikipedia “It is the oldest annual Carnival celebration in the United States, having started in 1703. This was fifteen years before New Orleans was founded, although today their celebrations are much more widely known.”

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So, with that being said along with the fact that we are in LA…although not Mobile.  We are not far from the birthplace of Mardi Gras.  The Alabama folks go all out for Mardi Gras.  From the stores to the RV park golf garts.  Even with rains moving into the Gulf Shores area, they still held the Mardi Gras Parade.  And yes, I got a lot of beads!!!!!  🙂

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Yummy Gyro!

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I have to admit that I never thought that staying in the Pensacola FL area would lead me to a love of Gyro’s.

Well it has. We went on base at NAS Pensacola yesterday and there is a vendor stand there by the Exchange buildings. We had not had breakfast and stopped in to to get a quick bite.

FABULOUS! It was one of the best foods I have tasted in a long time!

I am now addicted and want another one…NOW!

A Year in Review!

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We started out this year living in a hotel due to a wiring fire that forced us to leave our motor home in the dead of Winter in the KC area.

The KC RV show came to town and we jumped to trade the then repaired/winterized motor home for another.

I retired 31 January 2014.  Hubby left his job mid February, already drawing a military retirement.

We had a week’s window of good (no snow or ice) weather and got out of town to head South for the remainder of the “polar vortex”.

Our adventures took us to Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and then Alabama.  (I have a refrigerator magnet for each state we stayed in.)

Now….after 10 months we are sitting here in LA (lower Alabama).  Just 8 miles from the Gulf Shores beach.  We have been staying at Lake Osprey RV Resort since the beginning of November 2014.  This is a wonderful resort and we got a great deal on the lot rent for staying multiple months.

I can’t say how much we have enjoyed this first leg of our adventure.  We succeeded in dealing with fixing issues with our motor home.  We succeeded in becoming familiar and comfortable in a lifestyle we dreamed of.  We succeeded in missing out on any more “polar vortexes”….knock on wood!  I would hope if it reaches the Gulf Coast, it would be only a brief dip in temp for a day or two.  Nothing like the KC area!

Now on to our next adventure.

More to follow…Happy New Year everyone!

A Little Toast To Indiana…Vevay Indiana To Be Precise

It has been a while since I posted anything. Truth is, there has not been anything “special” to blog about…until now.

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We left Wisconsin and spent some time in Champaign IL. In all fairness, Illinois was great. We were there for only a week, but I made it to see all things Lincoln, to include the family crypt. That was cool. Then on to Indianapolis where we spent a month and shared some special times with wonderful friends we knew from our Marine Corps years…good food, lots of laughs and reminiscing days of old…a wonderful time!

Now we are spending a week at Follow the River RV Resort in Florence IN. A little place along the Ohio river.

To the West of the RV park is a town named Vevay, IN (pronounced VEEvee). It happened that today the Historical Museum was hosting an art fair. So as hubby was watching The Open golf tournament on TV, I ventured to Vevay for the fair. Not a big town, so found it easily.

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One boat name the UP Schenck

I went through the museums, one which boasted the history of the river boats from days of old. This town is Swiss settled and the Swiss produced hay using a hay press and sent their hay up and down the river. The other museum held artifacts donated by family members of the founding fathers of this small town in Switzerland County IN.

Museum Item

Museum Item

Postal General Delivery

I was enlightened with an immense amount of information by the museum guides who were very passionate about what they were speaking about. They bent over backwards to share their wealth of knowledge on their history. I was also introduced to the wife of one of the guides who was more than enthused to share her knowledge and excitement of the area and spoke of other places in town that she thought I would enjoy. Not only that, we got to speaking about our destination of Florida for the winter and she was quite excited to tell me of things to do in the Pensacola area…they go there 2 months of every winter.

After leaving the museums and art fair, I began the walking tour in town and ran into the nicest gal who thought I might be lost. I explained that I was following the walking tour guide. We spoke briefly and she was so very nice!

I walked to the Schenck Mansion which is said to be haunted. I did not go in but took a photo of the grounds…beautiful even on a cloudy, overcast day.

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I then wandered back to Main St and found myself at the business of the gal who thought I was lost. I decided to enter her establishment to see what it was about and to my delight, it was all about wine! She was redoing the place but recognized me and could not believe I did not actually go inside the mansion. I told her I would probably go back before we leave. I then decided I just had to taste her wine! I got 3 tastings for the price of 1 since the one I liked was out of stock. We talked and shared opinions of wine, etc. I ended up buying a bottle of Cabernet with a twist…forward fruit is how she put it. Meaning it had a fruity taste but not enough to make it sweet…still dry 🙂 All her wines were from Indiana. Shop local right?

I guess the take away from this lengthy post is that so far, of all the places we have been, the folks of Vevay, IN in small town America are THE NICEST strangers you’ll ever want to meet and get to know! I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them and highly recommend that you stop and meet the locals if you are ever passing through along the Ohio River Scenic Byway.

Cheers! IMG_3845

Mirror Lake State Park, WI

Sunshine!!!!

Sunshine!!!!

This morning we had the opportunity to get out before the clouds and chance of rain moved in…again! I wanted to take the dogs to the nearby state park and walk the trails.

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Now you need to understand, we do not have “trail” type dogs. We have Missy, a Shi-Tzu and Max, a Maltese…house dogs that are very spoiled.

Bubbies exploring.

Bubbies exploring.

But I wanted to get out in the sun and enjoy the fresh air. The dogs love to go for walks, but maybe this was a little too much for the big girl… 🙂

Daddy carrying the baby.   "It's too faaarrrr Daddy!

Daddy carrying the baby.
“It’s too faaarrrr Daddy!

Nice park outside of the Wisconsin Dells. A little pricey to get in for a day if you are out of state though, in our opinion. I would have gone back to take more pics later in the day to take advantage of the 1 day pass, but the clouds and temps kept me in the motor home.

Isn’t it supposed to be warm during Spring? My prediction will be from cold and rainy Spring to searing hot Summer…time will tell.

Where To Now?

Sunset in Minnesota.
Sunset in Minnesota on our way to…where ever! 🙂

Well it has been a while since I posted anything regarding our new lifestyle.

To be quite honest I, only now, feel we have really begun. Yes, we lived in our RV for a year before leaving Missouri in February and have been mobile since that time. We spent a month in Texas to escape the MO winter. But we wanted to head to various places from there. After all, that is what we can do now right? Well, we still had to get to South Dakota to get our driver’s licenses. That was the last piece of officially becoming SD residents. But it felt like such a burden.

I mean, who wants to go to South Dakota while the temps are still chilly?! So we took our time working our way back up through Missouri, then to Nebraska spending a few days at the Offutt AFB military Fam Camp. That was nice but cold and rainy. Way to cold to try and fish in the base lake for sure.

Clouds in Carthage, MO.

Clouds in Carthage, MO.

Camp site in Osage Beach, MO.

Camp site in Osage Beach, MO.

One nasty Spring storm heading our way in Osage Beach, MO.

One nasty Spring storm heading our way in Osage Beach, MO.

From there we got to our new home base, Sioux Falls SD. We got our drivers licenses’ and got back to the RV and it felt like a huge monkey was off our back. Now we can go! No “requirements” to be anywhere by any specific time.

Mr. Lanny at Falls Park.

Mr. Lanny at Falls Park.

Mrs. Lanny at Falls Park.

Mrs. Lanny at Falls Park.

We really like Sioux Falls. It is a great city to live in. It felt right. We had RV’d there before, but this was different…it was our city now. We quickly learned our way around as opposed to staying close to camp as we had done before.

So we are working our way Eastward since we had already made the decision to winter in Florida this year. First stop, Wisconsin. Staying a month in a park geared toward adults that is near the Wisconsin Dells. If you are not aware, the Dells is a tourist destination so finding this park seems to be a good fit for us…we’ll see.

Since I work on genealogy, the month-long stay in WI should be nice. My mom was born and raised there and I hope to be able to find some more info for the family tree.

More to come from Wisconsin!

Texas Observations

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As we sit in Texarkana TX after leaving Terrell TX yesterday, I was thinking about the things that I believe will stick with me once we leave Texas tomorrow to head north.

They may call Montana big sky county, but I was amazed at the number of stars and planets I could see!

Also the size of the state lends to a few different land types. In Terrell, we were in flat pasture land with a lot of cattle. IMG_3205Here in Texarkana, we are surrounded by trees… a lot of tall pines with the pollen to go along. Green stuff all over my car 🙂

If you own land you must have one of those overhead name signs.

This one was interesting.  Instead of a name it says "We Don't Call 911"

This one was interesting. Instead of a name it says “We Don’t Call 911”

If you don’t have that you at least have to have the Texas star hanging on the front of your house or building. IMG_3352

WINDY! I thought Kansas City was windy…Terrell TX had the fastest winds of the “Metroplex” area!

We enjoyed our time in Terrell at the RV park. It was quiet and loved the fishing pond! I do not think a day went by that we did not attempt to catch “Walter”. Though he was elusive, we had fun catching his little buddies.

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Not quite Walter, but it was fun catching him.

Not quite Walter, but it was fun catching him.

A little on the negative side: Texas has the shortest exit and entrance ramps I have experienced with you exiting onto a 2 way road. You have to pray the the traffic actually notices and yields to the cars, RVs, trucks, etc., exiting from the highway onto the frontage road. Texas also does not understand what a rest stop should be. We stopped at one yesterday and it was one drive lane with 2 shoulders that you could pull over on…IF you could find space and hopefully you do not get run over by a semi pulling off the highway onto the short exit ramp into the 1 lane driveway of the “rest stop”.

Overall I have only seen or experienced a small piece of Texas. I am sure the state differs by area as it is so large it is like a country of it’s own. I definitely want to come back to stay in other parts of the state in the future. But now we must move on north to South Dakota and then eastward bound and then Florida for the winter!

Woohoo! Lovin’ the lifestyle 🙂

Happy Anniversary!

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No, it is not our wedding anniversary. Today marks one year of living in our RV full-time! Woohoooo!!!

We had a plan. We set it in motion and we successfully implemented it.

Today, we sit inside while the rain is passing but that is O.K. We are retired and we are living as we want doing things when we want.

We are currently in Texas. I little town named Terrell. The RV park, Bluebonnet Ridge RV Park and Cottages is a great place to stay. We are in a head in site with our windshield view being the nice pond that we have had fun fishing in.

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We even get visitor’s…our dog Missy isn’t quite sure what to think about those feathered things around her daddy while his is cooking outside.

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We have had a few issues with our new rig. The manufacturer leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to quality control…not big stuff, but enough little things that we should not have had to fix ourselves. But we did and believe me when I say, I did not give positive feedback on their survey they sent me. We took it into a dealer here the other day for a couple of issues we could not do on our own and were treated very well and were taught a few things about this rig the dealer we bought it from should have told us….

All in all, we are having a wonderful time and adjusting to this new retired lifestyle. Always looking for our next adventure!

What Do We Do Now?”

We are “retired”…what that means, I am not sure.

We have both asked the question of “Are we retired or are we on vacation?”

I keep saying that I do not know. What am I supposed to feel like? I feel great 🙂 We are not going back to the jobs we had. Hubby says that every night is a Saturday night.

What do retired folks feel like? All I know is that we are enjoying our “new” lives. We are ready to figure it all out. We do not want to become stagnant. We want to experience as much of this country that our small retirement pensions will allow us…”Retirement” 🙂search