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,

Kathryn

 

 

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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,

Kathryn

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,

Kathryn

 

 

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 (Skip.bo 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,

Kathryn

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Today we will be at our daughter Karen’s relaxing and enjoying good company and a delicious meal.  The last couple of years we went to the Lion’s football game on Thanksgiving Day.  It was a fun-filled time with family as well.  This year we will have to watch the game on TV.  That’s just fine with me. I just enjoy being with family wherever we are.

This year I am extremely thankful to be alive, able to enjoy time with family and friends.  I am able to travel and see America with improved health.  I hope you all have much to be thankful for too.

Loving the lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Vacation in Ohio

 

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Indian Lake State Park, Lakeview, Ohio-site B062

 

We arrived at Indian Lake State Park in Lakeview, Ohio around 12:30 pm on Monday in time for lunch.  We left home at 8 am and with a stop 1/2 way for breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Maumee, Ohio. It made it an easy relaxing trip of only 158 miles.  I hope to keep all of our travel days under 200/250 miles.

The campground is huge with 443 nice size sites.  Our site was 50 amps and $27 per night with both sun and shade.  Water is available at the restrooms which were very nice and kept clean. Playgrounds are dispersed throughout the campground, each a little different from the others, which our grandson Wyatt thoroughly enjoyed.  Many campers brought their boats and fishing poles to enjoy.  A large pool is being built by the commissary that is scheduled to be finished later this summer.

A nice size sand beach was within walking distance from our site, which we enjoyed a few days later with our daughter Karen and her family and our grandson Tristan who drove down on Thursday night after work for a couple of days.

Karen and family came on Tuesday from Kentucky with their new to them pop-up camper and set up in the site next to ours.

It sure was good to see them again.  Our times together are too far apart.

Clyde watched the Stanley Cup playoffs while the grandkids played a game of Trouble.

We couldn’t believe how brave the squirrels and birds were.

We really enjoyed our week together with campfires every day and night.  The wood in our new box was just the right amount for our trip.  Thanks again Kevin for our box.  It worked perfectly.  I had the best corn on the cob cooked over the fire.  We hadn’t had it cooked like that in years.  My dad used to cook it that way for us.  Thanks Rob, it was delicious!

Sunday came too soon.  Time to say good-bye and head home.  Vacation wasn’t long enough.  Can’t wait until we are full-time!

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

1st Campout of the Year

Our first campout this year was very enjoyable.  We didn’t go far, only 10 miles in total to Brighton Recreation Area, Bishop Lake Campground.  We were on site #4 in the upper level, a nice level site backing up to trees.  We only got the site because we decided to go a few days early and found out they had a cancelation which was probably do to the rainy cold weather.  Being the hardy campers we are it didn’t bother us.  I had faith that the weather would change, this is Michigan after all.  And change it did.

On Friday our grandson Tristan came to visit for a while before he headed up north for the weekend with his buddy.  Friday afternoon Kevin and the triplets joined us for a couple of nights.  They had a good time doing many activities.

IMG_1236 They road their big wheels, roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.

 

While on a bike ride they met a local policeman who let them sit in his patrol car.

IMG_1247They made lanterns at the parks recreation program.

IMG_1256Play dough is always a fun activity.

 

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Painting is fun too.

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IMG_1265While the little ones painted the adults played bean bags.  It was a relaxing enjoyable time that I hated to see end.

Until next time,

Kathryn