Goodbye 2017

It’s almost the end of another year.  Along with many others, I will be happy to start a new year.  This last year was a very difficult one for me, which also made it difficult for my family.  Being in remission is a good thing, but scary too.  You just never know how long it will last or even if you really are on the road to recovery.  I’m still not back to my old self.  I know it will take time, but I’m not very patient.  I’m ready now but my body has different ideas.  Ugh.

The year had its ups also.  We sold our home and moved into our motorhome to begin the full-time lifestyle.   We are on the road doing what we want, when we want for the first time ever.  I am looking forward to what the new year will bring our way; exploring new places and meeting new people.

We have enjoyed our stay here in the gulf shores of Alabama, but we are both ready to go and explore new places.  Many of those we’ve met come here and stay the entire winter, and have been doing it for years.  I am really amazed at the number of people from Michigan who are here.  Settling down here for the winter is something we might consider another year, but right now we are anxious to get on the road and see what we can see.  How will we know if this is where we want to spend more time if we haven’t investigated other areas first.  So, off we go.  For the next two months, January and February, we have made reservations at 3 different campgrounds in Texas.  We leave here Monday morning to head that way.  Stay tuned for more posts and pictures of our journey.

End of the Year Statistics.  I compiled our basic statistics for Winnie from this past year and thought you might find them helpful and/or interesting.

  1.  We spent 132 nights in Winnie.
    • 79 nights in Michigan State Parks
    • 6 nights in a Ohio State Park
    • 33 nights in an Alabama State Park
    • 7 nights in Kentucky – private park
    • 1 night in Tennessee – private park
    • 2 nights in Walmart parking lots – Ohio & Alabama
    • 4 nights in other free spots – in Michigan
  2. We spent $3,068 in camping fees
    • An average of $23.24 per night
  3. We traveled 2,106 miles
    • Only 195 more miles than last year
  4. We spent $698.99 in gasoline
  5. We spent $176.35 in propane

Goals for 2018.  Everything I’ve read and heard says slow down, don’t be in a rush.  Take your time and get to know the area where you are before moving on.  I believe we are doing just that.  Not only are we getting to know the area and the people here, it is also cheaper to extend your stay.  Many campgrounds have a monthly rate that is much lower than their nightly or weekly rates.  You also are spending less money on gas.

My goal is to lower our nightly camping fee average considerably.  I would love to see it under $20 per night.  As senior citizens living on social security it is essential.  We hope to accomplish this by staying more nights free when on the road and by utilizing our senior passes at corps of engineering campgrounds and national parks.  We will also ask for AARP and/or Good Sam discounts at any private parks we stay in if allowed.

Another thing I want to do is continue to take pictures and document our journey here on my blog.  It is one way for my family to keep up with what we are doing and for us to be able to look back and reminisce.

My big goal for the new year is to enjoy each and every day, look on the bright side of situations and take no one or no thing for granted.  So, be grateful for what you have.  Life is short.  Be kind to one another.  Live – love – laugh and smile.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy New Year!

Until next time,





Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone.  Today we will be attending a potluck held in the activities building of the campground at noon.  It will be nice to socialize and enjoy the company of others who also are without family today.

I am looking forward to FaceTiming with our family in Michigan and talking to our family in both Kentucky and Illinois today.  Even though we are not together physically we will be able to talk to them.

Just got a call from our son, Kevin in Michigan.  The little ones are up.  We were able to watch them excitedly empty their stockings.  So much excitement and chaos.  I love it.  We will chat with them again later when the other gifts have been opened.

They have lots of snow in Michigan, a beautiful white Christmas.  This is our first Christmas (winter) without snow or family.  It sure seems odd, but I don’t miss the extreme cold weather either.

I hope each of you have a day shared with family and friends, making memories and filled with love.

Until next time,


Plant Life in Alabama

Something that fascinates me down in this area is the variety of plant life.  We were amazed to see both pine trees and palm trees together.  As a northerner, I love my pine trees and pine cones.  When we owned our home I often decorated with pine cones.

Something we both commented on while taking a drive is how the scenery reminds us of driving up north in Michigan.  The same big trees, smell of the water and cool signs at the entrance of the driveways with their homes given names.

One thing we noticed that is different between up north and down south is the homes.  Up north you see many log cabin homes set back in the woods.  True country and so relaxing.  Down here we see homes on stilts and all painted in cool pastel colors.  I love the peach and turquoise colors.  I understand why the homes are on stilts, but I would hate to have to go up and down those stairs with groceries and stuff.

On our walk through the campground I saw these plants and thought they were so unusual and very pretty.  Well, at least to this northerner they are.  I have no idea what they are.  They look like fans.

Still enjoying the lifestyle.

Until next time,



A Drive to Florida

Day 30.  I can’t believe we have been on our journey for 30 days now and living the full-time lifestyle for 94 days.  I can honestly say I do not miss having a house or a yard.  What I do miss is my washing machine and dryer.  I also miss my family, but I like being able to travel and see my out-of-state family more often.

I thought I would miss my kitchen, but I don’t.  I like my little kitchen area.  Everything is close by and handy.  I do wish I had a little bit more counter space, but I make do.  I love my spice racks and the hooks used to hang my utensils.  I like my pantry area also.  I just need a better way to organize it.  I’m working on that.

Another thing I thought I would miss was my shower, but Winnie’s is just fine.  We have full hookups right now so I can take as long and as hot a shower as I want.  When we don’t have full hookups I either take shorter showers or use the campground showers.  Clyde prefers to use the campground shower.  He has more room to maneuver.  I don’t blame him.

Today we decided to get out and go for a ride to Florida.  It is not a very long ride from here and the drive is along the coastline, which makes for an enjoyable trip.  The weather today is overcast and humid with temps in the low 70’s.

We drove up to where the Navel Base entrance was but did not go in.  The Blue Angels do not put on a show in the month of December which is why we would want to go there.  We did stop at a public access area to the beach.  It was called Snorkel Cove.  We watched the sandpipers run up and down the water’s edge and I collected a few more shells.  The water was cold and the beach was not as clean as the area we are staying at in Alabama.  I enjoyed myself anyway.  The water is always relaxing to me.

Until next time,




Fort Morgan

This past week has been cold and rainy.  A good time to get stuff done inside and just relax, which we did.  Other than the mundane routine chores, we played cards ( and Phase 10), watched TV (football and Christmas movies) and I bought some yarn while at Walmart to make dishcloths which I can make while chatting or watching TV.

Day 23.  Finally a nice sunny day with temperatures in the low 60’s.  A good day to get out and do something.  We decided to take a drive along the water to the end of the peninsula where Fort Morgan is located.  It is also where you can take the ferry to Dauphin Island.  As senior citizens we got in the fort for $5 each.

We visited the museum first where we learned about the history of the fort.  I didn’t take pictures inside the museum.  Something I found interesting and funny was the Christmas menus they had on display.  At the bottom of the menu under desserts were listed cigars and cigarettes along with plum pudding and other holiday desserts.

After walking through the museum we ventured outside to see the fort.  Although the sun was out and the temperature was reading low 60’s, it felt much colder with the wind blowing off the water.  I did take pictures outside.  Enjoy.

Until next time,


Gathering Together to Chat and Craft

Day 17.  Each Tuesday morning a group of women from the campground gather together in the activities room to chat and craft.  This was my first opportunity to join them.  There were about 14 of us with a variety of different craft projects in the works.


A few of them were working on knitting and crochet projects of varying degrees of difficulty.  Others were working on a group project that one of the women brought the supplies for.  They were making Christmas ornaments that were apropos to the area.

Another lady was working on a cut glass project.  But, the craft I was particularly interested in was the pine needle basket another woman was working on.  I forgot to take a picture of it.  Maybe next week.  This is also apropos to the area, as she finds the pine needles here in the park. She is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and said the pine trees in Michigan do not have long enough needles to work for this craft.  Her work is beautiful.  It is a craft I would really like to learn.  I took an embroidery project to work on, but I didn’t get much accomplished.

I really enjoyed my time with these women and I look forward to going again.  Many of them come here every year for a few months at a time.  Even though they all seemed to know each other quite well, they made a newbie like me feel welcome.

Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,



Christmas Decorations

Day 16.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – in Winnie.  I’ve completed decorating our motorhome for Christmas.  I didn’t go all out, just enough to help us get into the holiday spirit.  Just remember, whatever I use to decorate with has to be stored somewhere in the motorhome as this is our only home.

It’s going to seem funny not having any snow at Christmas this year.  It is our first Christmas away from family and cold winter weather.   The family I will miss (already do), the cold weather-not so much.  I do love snow, just not the cold.

Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,