A friend of mine asked me how I had been enjoying living in an RV for the past several months and I have to say, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I grew up in a gypsy type of life-style. The family joke is that my mother would move us every time the oven needed cleaning. In reality I think it was even more often than that. LOL Before I was even two years old my parents moved from one house to another just 4 blocks away. When I was eight we moved from Saint Petersburg to Tampa about 2 hours away. When I was 12 (3 weeks before my 13th birthday which I made sure they realized was ridiculous) we moved from Urban Tampa, Florida to rural Acton, Massachusetts. I hated that move. Before a year had past we moved to Bedford, MA closer to my dad’s job at the air force base. Two more years and they moved us back to Florida. Two years after that I left home as soon as I had a diploma in my hand. In the next 3 years I moved five more times. All in all I went to 11 schools from Kindergarten through my senior year. I never really had roots to any given place. The longest I have lived in a single abode was from 18 months old to eight years old but I don’t remember much of that time.
In my life I like to experience things. When I move somewhere new I make sure to see what there is to see because I don’t know how long it will be before I am gone. Each new day has something new to experience when you live in an RV. If you do not like bugs you may have a problem in an RV if you want to stay in rural areas. I now always check the shower before getting in because it is a rude surprise to have soap in your eyes and turn around and be staring down a spider or large flying insect.
Knowing how much power you have at different parks is also an experience. When they tell you they have 30 Amp service but you pop the breaker every time you turn on the microwave, chances are they are lying. LOL Parking under large trees that we have had in many parks is quite lovely when it is 90 degrees out but also tends to block your satellite so you may not get TV shows for a week or month.
The biggest challenge we had at the beginning of our adventure is Internet. About 1/3 of the parks we stay at have Internet that is useable and about ¼ of those charge for it. The other 2/3 either does not have it at all or it is so slow it really doesn’t count. About 3-4 years ago if you went to Verizon or Sprint and bought an air card your download was unlimited. With the addition of Netflix online and other lovely bandwidth hoarders those times are gone. When we first bought the RV the largest air card we could find was 5 GB a month. This for Bill and I is a joke. When we were in the house we were probably using 2-4 GB a week. We considered installing a MotoSat Satellite Internet system but that would cost us $10,000 just to install, and then an additional LARGE monthly fee on top and that still is not unlimited. A few weeks after we got the RV I went back to Verizon with the intent of purchasing two of the 5 GB cards and when they had just released the new 10 GB account. 10 GB is still less than we would like but with the RV parks that DO offer service it has been acceptable to now. We are always looking for a new option for this though.
Traveling the country though has been a dream come true. We left Seattle in November spent a week getting some work done in Eugene, OR and then we have not really stopped much since. We spent early December in San Francisco. We spent mid-December in Death Valley, Christmas and New Years in Phoenix with friends. We spent January in San Antonio discovering Missions, in New Orleans gaining a few pounds on the rich fabulous food of the Creole and Cajun people. Spent February, March, and April touring Florida visiting family and friends and, of course, Disney World.
Since April we have had an amazing tour of the east coast. We travel about 200 miles and stay for a week. We have seen the Old Spanish Saint Augustine and learned about the history of the Spanish in America. We loved Savannah, GA and the learned that in the 1700s slavery was illegal in Georgia long before the Civil War. A week in Charleston, SC allotted us time to enjoy mustard bbq and to see where the Civil War started at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie where one of the first battles with the English happened in 1775 even before Independence had been declared.
A week in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina made me truly appreciate the inventors in our great nation that have changed our lives and how we live them. I can’t even imagine how hard life was keeping in touch with family when you couldn’t hop a plane and go visit them. It also showed us the wonders of the Life-saving Stations that were in place that became the Coast Guard. Men that were told they had to go out to save the boat but were never told they had to come back. The bravery and heart of the people that are willing to give their own life to save another. That theme continued with us to Williamsburg, Virginia. Seeing Williamsburg and living the past when people gave their lives because they believed we should all be free from the tyranny of another government. Washington D.C. we saw the memorials to those great men that changed our nation not the presidents but the men that stood up and said I will not be a victim. The men that stand for the rights of those being oppressed. I do not like war but I do know that at times we have to protect our own.
I am blessed to be able to see these sites and explore the wonder that is the United States.
Of the things I have enjoyed during our travels the most important thing has become seeing the people. I know I don’t have time to visit all my friends but the ones we are able to see make the parks and history pale a little in comparison. The first week of August Bill and I spent at a gaming convention called Gen Con. It is a fun and interesting place but most importantly it is where so many of my friends visit and we all get together and play games and just have fun. I was able to see dozens of people that I met through WizKids (a company I used to work for) and it is just a great time to catch up.
Last week Bill and I made it to Cleveland, Ohio where my dear friend Lee lives with his lovely family. I was able to meet his daughter that I have spoken with dozens of times on the phone but is all grown up now! I got to meet his significant other, Angie, a very sweet woman that can bake up a storm!
His two Dalmatian puppies Boris and Natasha
and of course Franklin, his Russian Blue,
that looks remarkably like my sweet Shadow that I lost a few years ago. We cooked together and played games together and even grocery shopped together. They showed us some of the local sites and we got to meet some of their friends and play more games. This is one of my favorite parts of traveling!
There are so many challenges when it comes to RVing. This is one of the greatest pleasures.