An Unsettling Week

As a general rule I am not a huge fan of the first week of the New Year.  There is too much pressure on making resolutions, which I am not a huge fan of, and it’s also the time when people (news outlets) complete a retrospective on the closing year.  In general I am a person who likes to look forward, so I am not a big fan of that, and for 2020 in particular the retrospective is pretty depressing.  Personally I think Lee and I did the best we could with the information we had, and thankfully to the best of our knowledge we managed to avoid COVID.  This is no small feat considering how much travel we managed to squeeze in this year and some of that is due to luck, but it is also due to the extreme precautions we have taken. 

Maybe because of the year, or maybe not, we actually made a joint resolution this year.  We were watching a morning show and heard about picking one day a week as a “non-spend day”.  It sounded interesting and since our costs have been steadily going up we decided to give it a try.  We picked Monday, and its too early to tell if this will have any impact at all on our overall spending, but its an interesting experiment. 

I also committed to finding a cheaper solution for my e-cigarettes.  I was surprised to learn I spent more last year than both of us were spending previously on real cigarettes, and am attempting to switch from cartridges (which are expensive and sometimes difficult to find) to Vape juice. The added benefit of switching also adds “friction” to the system.  I listened to a really good NPR story about breaking habits and they have done scientific studies to show adding friction matters.  Their example was people whose gym is less than 3 miles away go 5 times a month, where people who have to travel 5 or more mile only go 1 time a month.  Essentially, people are kind of lazy, and if you make things harder they are less likely to do it.  I certainly resemble that remark, so having to fill a vape pod manually adds friction to the system, which will hopefully help me quit over time. 

All of those types of thing paled in comparison to the upcoming layoffs at my job.  One of the negatives of corporate work versus work-kamping is layoffs and restructuring are pretty common.  It was general knowledge that COVID was continuing to impact our business and right after the holidays is a pretty common time for changes to be made.  Normally in these circumstances I assess my position in my group (based on what my boss values) and I have a general idea of whether my number will come up depending on how deep the cuts go.  Unfortunately in my particular group there has been a ton of turmoil over the last several months and I really had no idea where I stood. 

In situations like this our lifestyle can really help us.  Having proven to ourselves we can live on far less money makes keeping my job less of an imperative than it would have been as a home owner, and we are truly mobile which means I can look for work anywhere.  The only downside is depending on who I am working for there may be a bias against all my travel.  Although I am getting better at explaining the lifestyle to my bosses, it takes time to prove to them that it really won’t impact my productivity.  As I often say, you shouldn’t notice anything other than a different view from my window, but that’s easier to say and takes some time to prove.  I am currently presenting the situation as a fact rather than an ask which has helped lower my stress rate quite a bit.  Since I was hired in with this understanding and we all work remote anyway to this point those conversations have gone well.  An unspoken bias against the travel could exist though, which might put me higher on a list of people to lay off.  I really have no way of knowing.

So that was my situation on Weds, when word started trickling in that people in my group were being let go.  After a few tense hours it became clear that the management team were the only people directly impacted and I called Lee to let him know.  His response was “have you turned on the television?” and that’s how I found out about the people being in the capital building.  Normally we don’t have TV in places we are staying, so I never have it on, and I was shocked when I saw the images.  I have to say at that point my brain just sort of shut down.  I have very strong feelings about what happened in the Capital, but I was also talking to people I cared about who had suddenly found themselves out of a job.  Since there wasn’t anything I could do about DC I focused on the people closest to me, and it took a couple of days for what happened in DC to really sink in. 

As someone who for the first time in her life participated in a peaceful protest this year, I was horrified by what I saw.  I will also say that when we marched to the Supreme Court building we couldn’t get anywhere close to the doors and we were largely a group of middle aged women.  That being said, there was no way the police could have kept us out if we really wanted to because there were so many of us and few of them.  What stopped us?  Patriotism.   

This is what it looked like when we approached the Supreme Court.  They wouldn’t let us anywhere close.

 

We certainly had enough people to push through this barrier.  Instead we peacefully protested outside it.

 

Contrast with this scene from last Weds (picture from Vox new site)

 

I am going to leave it at that.  I am grateful I still have a job.  I am saddened and disgusted by what I saw on Wednesday, and I fervently hope that 2021 is better than 2020 for all of us.  

 


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2020 Annual Budget

2020 was an unusual year.  Not only because of COVID but also because this was the first full year since 2015 that I had a corporate income.  Both of these factors impacted our spending, but overall I was somewhat surprised at how little the costs varied.  There were some big changes of course, but it wasn’t as stark a contrast as I thought it would be.  Before diving into 2020 in detail I wanted to show the comparison between the years. 

I think the most interesting fact is the averages.  When looking at trends, when we made more we spent more, and when we traveled more we spent more, but the averages take all that into account.  The six year view is not perfect, btw, as not all expenses are included in the main categories.   An example of an expense left off was when I paid for my daughter’s wedding for example, but the basic costs are all included.  In my opinion, that makes the $4,058 average monthly costs figure pretty accurate.  You can certainly use that figure as a base cost if you live frugally and do some volunteer/work kamping along the way.  If you would like to see detailed posts for previous years you can access that on our Budget page here

Below is a summary of this year, with some high level details.  As always we will be adjusting our budget going forward using past data. 

 

Campground Fees – This year we spent an all time high, $6,266 in campground fees.  This is actually pretty similar to what we spent the first year when we did minimal work-kamping.  It is definitely a concern though because we spent this in 6 months.

Groceries – This year we hit an all time high of $10,521 in groceries.  This was absolutely influenced by COVID as we stocked up on groceries several times when there were empty shelves.  We also paid what we had to for a variety of items we wouldn’t normally buy (ie: sanitizer, disinfecting wipes).

Gifts – This year there was a huge spike in this category, mainly because of my new grandson.  I expect another big year in 2021 because I am having another grandbaby.  Obviously this is completely discretionary (as you can see from prior years ). 

Healthcare – If you are seeing a difference between the 2020 totals here and in the year over year comparisons this is a big reason why.  Generally I do not include healthcare expenses in the basic categories because it varies so much from person to person.  I did include additional healthcare expenses in our budget this year though, because those costs have gone up for us as we have gotten older. 

Home Improvement – We have seen a stark uptick in the costs we spend on home improvement over the last two years.  Part of this was  voluntary improvements, but the other factor was things starting breaking at the 5 year mark and they keep breaking.  I will be interested to see if the bulk of the items have been taken care of at this point or the trend will continue. 

Tolls and Parking – This is another item that is absolutely an anomaly. Because there is very little of that in prior years this total of $1039 is also not included in the year over year comparison.

Truck Fuel – This figure was also absolutely impacted by COVID.  We did VERY little travel the first half of the year and it shows in the all time low spend of $3616.  

So that’s the main information.  I have included a more detailed view including Min, Max, and Averages for the year. 

 

For those of you who made it this far, I hope this was helpful.   Will be interesting to see what happens in 2021!

 

 


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Christmas with an 18 month old…it doesn’t get any better than this!

Despite the crazy year and all its challenges all I really wanted was to have Christmas with my Grandson.  18 months is a magical age and the day went beautifully.  The key, by the way, with kids this age is to let them go at their own pace and to not get caught up in any one particular thing.  Plus naps…a long nap is essential for a happy day 🙂

Since my son-in-law was working Christmas Eve we went over and helped Kyrston put some presents together.  I have been wrapping presents for a long time, but even I was challenged by the trampoline.  It turned out OK though!

 

 

The next day we went to Kyrston’s house at noon and started a Zoom clal with the other kids at 1pm.  It was amazing for us all to be together in some small way even more because my second daughter Kat (in Minneapolis) officially announced she was pregnant!!!  All her tests look great and she had passed the 12 week mark which was a wonderful Christmas present in and of itself. 

Jeremy, Oliver, and Kyrston in matching Christmas PJ’s…so cute

 

All Oliver really wanted was the phone in Lee’s pocket

 

Setting up the zoom call

 

Our daughter Kay calling in from Connecticut.

 

Opening presents

 

While the family watched

 

Here’s a screen shot of us from their view

 

The trampoline from Aunt Kat and Uncle Adrian was a big hit

 

And this giant present was from Grandma and Grandpa

 

Hooray a Fisher Price Food Truck!!!

 

Jeremy bought him this cool bike

 

Which he immediately climbed up on 🙂

 

But the best present was the large slide!

 

 

After presents we had a fantastic meal of Prime Rib and tons of side dishes.  It was a lovely Christmas and we feel so blessed to get to spend it with Kyrston, Jeremy, and

Oliver.

 

 

 

 

After we came home that night Jack bone. He was in dog heaven and yes, we kept a close eye out to make sure no splinters.

 


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First Time at South Carolina Aquarium

I love aquariums, and since Kyrston has a year long membership to the South Carolina Aquarium  I was excited about the chance to take Oliver there.  It’s not that I don’t remember the challenges of taking a toddler places, but that’s what Grandmas are good for and I was excited to see how it went.  

It was a drizzly day when we pulled up but at least it wasn’t raining

The aquarium is on the small side, but plenty to explore for a little guy, so off we went.  I definitely got my steps in keeping up with him, but it was a ton of fun, so let me just share the pictures. 

He really liked the huge aquarium

And the little ones too

I liked this bald eagle…we could get really close

 

There were a couple of outside areas

 

 

The inside was on the small side, but lots of areas for Oliver to run along.  He’s tough to catch, but between the two of us we managed (barely) to keep up.

 

Woah…big teeth!

 

Oliver loved the jelly fish

 

And the giant turtle statues

 

But wasn’t crazy about the area where we could touch a fish.  He liked the water just fine, the manta ray not so much. 

Washing our hands

My biggest disappointment was how small the little kids area was.  They could double this easily for the smaller kids.  There was a nice section along one wall though with bubble lights that worked on a motion sensor. 

Actually my favorite part was the giftshop.  I have been waiting to buy him his first present and ultimately we settled on a drink cup and a book with an orca finger puppet in it.  Decisions…decisions. 

We had a great time!!

 


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December 2020 Budget

December wasn’t so bad, especially considering Christmas.  We spent $6,731 this month with extremely high gift, campground fee, and grocery categories.  One thing I wanted to mention is Lee and I were watching a morning TV show and we saw this idea to make one day a week a completely non-spending day.  We are going to give that a try on Mondays and see if it makes any difference at all in our spending habits.  I also wanted to mention that it is time for my annual budget review.  Hopefully I will have that out soon.  More details for the month of December are below.



Campground Fees – This was one of our highest months ever because of the place we are staying.  It is super close to our daughter and we really like it, but you have to stay at $400 a week (yes per week) until they have a monthly slot open up.  Thankfully it was just one week for us but then we paid the $960 monthly rate in advance, hence the high price in December. 

Clothing – I splurged and got some work shirts this month, taking advantage of the numerous sales.  Thrift stores are great for jeans and more casual wear but I am finding it necessary to buy new clothing for work.

Dining Out – We went over budget by $315.  Part of that was eating out when we were at my sisters, and part was with Kyrston.

Gifts – We spent around $1100.  This included the calendars we gave to friends and family and money and presents for our core family.

Groceries – I am convinced that this category is going up because of the Keurig coffee maker.  Lee said he would start tracking coffee separately so maybe he can give some insight here. Nothing else really stands out.  Again will be working on our annual review so look for that soon.  

Additional monthly data from Lee…

For December we used 557 GB of data on our AT&T unlimited plan, across all of our devices. (Total for the year is 40.154 terrabytes)

We took 553 pictures, bringing our total for the year to 17,240.

This month we only stayed in three locations. The least expensive was the NC state fairgrounds at $30 per night. Our favorite was Ebenezer Park, and it’s only $34 per night for nice big sites with full hookups. The most expensive was Oak Plantation in Charleston, SC at $ 57.98 per night. But those are also huge sites, and it’s a beautiful RV park with lots of massive live oak trees and moss hanging from the limbs. Part of the reason for the price is that they do not reserve monthly sites until you arrive, and so we had to pay the regular weekly rate for the first week. The price goes down considerably when you are monthly. We also had one night where we had already paid for Ebenezer Park but decided to leave a day early and so we ended up also paying for the first night at Oak Plantation. And there was one night where we had a reservation at two different locations in Charleston and had to pay for one night at the location we chose not to go to because I didn’t want to risk arriving in Charleston and having nowhere to go. It was worth the extra expense for peace of mind. The total cost for our “rent” was $1205, which averaged out to $38.87, a little less than last month.

We put a total of only 379 miles on the trailer, pulling it for only two days the entire month. Our shortest travel day was 185 miles, and our longest was 193 miles. Our total travel miles year to date is 6,019.

We put a total (travel and non-travel) of 1,254 miles on the truck, 875 of those miles were without the trailer.

Year to date we’ve put 14,163 miles on the truck , 6,019 of which was pulling the trailer.

We burned a total of 101 gallons of diesel, and averaged 12.3 mpg for all of our travel, with a year to date total of 1,407 gallons at 11.9 avg mpg.

We only used the TSD Logistics card once this month. 

Here’s the breakdown of our visit to truck stops using the TSD card. The “street” price is the price on the pump, and the actual price is what we ended up paying, including the fees.

 

DATE Location Gallons Actual PG Street Actual  Savings  % Saved
12/5/2020   34.64 2.17 95.58 75.13 20.45 21.40

We LOVE using the card. If you haven’t already read about the TSD Logistics card, you can read our post about it here.

Here’s the December travel map:


And the map for the full year of travel. One giant circle!

Oliver says Happy New Year!!!

 


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Playing with Ollie

Over the next week we got to spend lots of time with Oliver.  I had a three day work event that kept me pretty busy, but Lee and Kyrston went one of those days to an indoor play area called InSlide Out.  Kyrston did a ton of research about COVID protections before agreeing to go and they arrived close to when it opened to be extra safe.  Turned out that was a non issue because they had lots of employees sanitizing throughout the visit and at $8 per kid (adults are free) it was a great bargain.  Lee loved playing with his grandson especially in the little kid area.

 

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Huge “sand” pit

 

 

Oliver’s favorite was putting the balls in these tubes…he did it for a long time

 

Grocery store play area

 

And veterinarian

 

Loved this sign

 

And this one even better

I can’t wait until it’s my turn to go.  Thankfully I went on vacation and was able to meet Kyrston at Chili’s for lunch.  It was my first Grandma lunch and he did a terrific job.

 

First tortilla chip

 

Trying some chicken enchilada soup…not a fan

 

Playing/eating crayons 🙂

 

But he did like his bite of molten lava cake. Kyrston only allowed one bite because nap time was coming up…she’s no fun 🙂

 

 

This picture says it all

 

Oliver even came over to the RV after we were done but this was a little challenging.  We are definitely not baby proofed, but he had a good time anyways.  Probably at this age being at his house is better though.

 

He loved the fan

 

And the remote

 

But being with Grandpa was the best

Finally we went to the restaurant Kyrston works at…Acme Low Country Kitchen on Isle of Palms.  We got to meet her boss and her co workers and I thanked her boss for the strong COVID precautions they have put in place.

Loved the sign

 

Kyrston and her Papa

 

Fried green tomatoes

 

Lee’s wedge salad

 

And my yummy platter with a crab cake, scallops, and local shrimp!

 


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Finally Seeing Oliver and the Beach!

After so many months of waiting and cancelled plans to see him we were finally going to see Oliver.  We ended up leaving Rock Hill on Saturday so we were going to have an extra day with him.  I had waited and waited and finally the day had come but I was worried he wouldn’t recognize me.  I was also worried about how Jack would react but that was for another day because we decided to leave him at home for the first visit. Since he was born I have been singing this little silly song every time we Facetime and my plan was to sing it when he saw me in person in the hopes he would recognize me.  I was however fully prepared for him to be shy though, because he hadn’t seen me in person since he was a tiny baby.  Turns out he was initially shy when we walked in the door but when I started singing the song he completely lit up.  Within a few minutes he was in my arms and all was right with the world.  That may sound a bit melodramatic, but all you grandmas out there know what I mean.

 

 

My daughter was thrilled to see us too, especially because we came bearing gifts.  Over the past several months I have scoured thrift stores for good deals on clothes and my sister sent two bags as well.  We filled her living room with clothes sized all the way up until age 5 so over the next few years she will only need to supplement.  That felt great!

 

The next day we brought Jack over and thankfully that all went well.  Jack isn’t fond of little kids, but he is also super jealous so he was more than happy to share my lap with Oliver.  Since it was a beautiful sunny day we decided to head to the beach so we piled three adults and two dogs into Kyrston’s car.

 

 

Unfortunately right before we hit the beach we ran into a fog bank.  It was beautifully sunny until 5 miles away, but then it was like being in a cloud.  We were committed though and Oliver didn’t seem to mind at all especially because Kyrston thought ahead and brought warm clothes for him.  I will say that the adults were a bit outnumbered with dogs and baby running around, but it was a fantastic time.  Lee had been wanting to do this for months and I was so glad we all got to be there together. 

 

Grandpa getting him ready

 

,

 

Finn hasn’t been to the beach since Oliver was born and had a great time

 

He will get in the water but Jack is a chicken

 

Jack did photo bomb us though

 

 

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Love this picture

 

 

 

Lee’s pic

 

Amazing day with Grandpa


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Seeing My Sister

A little over a year ago we lost my nephew to suicide.  Although I have stayed in close contact with my sister we have not been able to see each other in person, and I was so glad that we would finally be able to see her in person.  Unfortunately because of COVID and the proximity to Christmas, we had to be careful about social distancing and not being able to hug her or my sic year old nephew was frankly brutal.  At least we had plenty of time to spend together, because my work event was cancelled due to heightened COVID restrictions after Thanksgiving.

One really great piece of the event was we all got to meet 3 month old Lulu.  My sister adopted a bulldog and I have to say she was incredibly cute.  Spunky and solid, watching her and Jack play was amazing, although she did inadvertently knock Jack over a few times.  Even at three months she is SOLID and our little fluffernutter went flying a few times, which was hysterical.   I didn’t get many good pictures because they were constantly in motion.  Jack is a lot faster than she is and spent a ton of time making her chase him. 

My brother-in-law Josh, his epic beard, and Lee and LuLu

 

I got them to sort of sit still for this picture

 

I brought presents including this apron for Josh.  The quote is from Jamestown and he loved it!

 

We also got to spend time with my other nephews Alec and Abram.  Alec’s team just won all state in soccer and I can’t believe how grown he is.  Abram is also incredibly tall for being 6 years old and he did a nice job of social distancing although it’s tough with a 6 year old.  To be honest I would have thrown caution to the winds except we were due to see our grandson the week after.  If we got sick we would miss Christmas with him and that was a risk I was not willing to take.  The very last day, on an impulse, Lee threw a blanket over Abram and we were both able to give him super big blanket hugs before we left!!  Highly recommend this if you are in a similar situation. 

Alec…he looks quite a bit like my brother looked at that age.

 

Abram has adored Lee since he was born. They are good buddies.

 

Wendy and Josh

 

 

Although the house was decorated and all was in order, there was a definite sadness.  I was hoping since it had been a full year some of that would have lifted, but this is going to take some time.  I mention it because Wendy said everyone was expecting her to get back to normal, but that was never going to happen.  I will admit I was a person who hoped for that as well, but simply put this is a pain she will always carry with her.  The best news is she and her husband are doing a good job taking care of each other.  COVID has been a blessing to them in some respects, because Josh has been able to work from home and they are healing in their little bubble with less outside distractions.  All I can say is it incredibly difficult to watch people you love be in that much pain.  We did everything we could to show them our love and Lee did a wonderful job of lightening the mood a little and even made them laugh a few times.  

And if nothing else I was able to give Wendy my present.  For the last six months I have been working on a cross stitch picture for her.  I poured a lot of my love and grief into it and it said what I wanted to say to her. God bless her family. 

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

COVID Thanksgiving and Seeing Kat and Bert

   As with many other people my Thanksgiving plans got totally screwed up this year.  Initially my brother’s family, sister’s family, and I were going to all meet at my Dad’s for the first time in years.  Since Dad had COVID recently we initially thought it was something we could do relatively safely but a week before the holiday things got crazy in Columbus.  After agonizing over my decision, I ultimately decided not to go and we were scrambling to figure out last minute what we could do.  

We’ve spent holidays alone before (seems to be part of this lifestyle), but we wanted to do something, anything special so I wouldn’t be so sad.  I started looking at really nice restaurants in the area to see if we could eat a fancy dinner out, but everything (and I mean everything) was already booked.  I didn’t really want to cook for just the two of us and was considering getting take out from Cracker Barrel when we learned our campground was doing a Thanksgiving dinner.  

At this point we were in the Richmond area and were staying at Americamps.  We picked this campground mainly for its location, and to be honest it wasn’t one of my favorites.  It was mostly seasonal, and although our sites were deep, side to side people were pretty close. Thanksgiving dinner was pretty cool though and I called and signed us up for it.  Initially I was told we could either have it delivered or pick it up at 3:00 pm so I went for delivery.  To supplement I even made Lee some deviled eggs which are his absolute favorite. 

 

An additional bonus was we had strong cell signal and I could watch the annual dog show.  This is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving and I am not in a position every year to had a strong enough TV signal to get the programming.  It was different of course because of COVID but I was so happy they did it and even picked the winner out of the final group of dogs.  I am getting pretty good at that!

As the day wore on, I started to get hungrier, because the grill they were cooking on was right behind our RV. 

 

 

 

Side note, one of our neighbors had this cool cook stove. Never seen this in a campground before

At 3:30pm I finally went up to the office and was told I  couldn’t pick up but had to wait for delivery.  There were tons of people inside and they were working on packing everything up so I went back and waited.  At 4:00 pm I sent Lee up, but they said our was out for delivery.  At 4:50pm I drove around to find the delivery cart and caught her coming back.  Our order was not on the cart, but she had another one she couldn’t find the owners for so took pity and gave us that. Don’t get me wrong getting a free meal is pretty cool but this level of disorganization drives me nuts. 

There was a large variety of food but it was pretty mediocre. Still it was free and I didn’t have to cook.

All in the day was a bust and frankly I was tired of Richmond.  Some towns have a vibe that doesn’t work for individuals and those of us who full time know what I mean.  Not every place is for everybody and we learn that in our travels.  Our next stop was Raleigh though, another town we hadn’t spent any time in and we were going to get to see our friends  Kat and Bert. 

Lee had booked us into the North Carolina State Fair campground, which apparently we had stayed in for one night several years ago.  I didn’t like it the first time (according to the blog I honestly don’t remember it), and unfortunately I didn’t like it the second time much better.  There are lots of working folks staying there, which is fine, but for me at least it is the kind of place you keep your doors locked during the day.  Again, if you full time you know what I mean.  The one positive was the grounds were huge and Lee was able to take Jack on some really long walks.  

The sites are very tight and I thought $30 a night was pretty steep.

 

Although we were on the back row so had a nice area across form us.

Paying was also a hassle.  We followed the directions on the website, which said wait until someone came around to take payment, but the sheriff who came to do that scolded me because we hadn’t paid online.  He was honest and said there had been some COVID cases in the campground, which I appreciated but was not a great first impression.  In general, I would have to say I didn’t feel super safe in Raleigh.  Lots of maskless people and ultimately we chose to do very little there except see our friends Kat and Bert. 

Visiting people with COVID is kind of weird.  We are super worried that we might inadvertently bring it to someone and of course we want to be protected as well.  The social dance of what people are willing to do is super awkward, but Kat cut through all that by sending me a text laying out exactly what they were willing to do.  Frankly I appreciated the honesty and it made the whole visit so much easier.  The gist was we would stay outside, and if we entered the house to go to the bathroom we would wear masks.  They also put Clorox wipes in the bathroom which I really appreciated. 

Despite the challenges our two visits were amazing.  Their porch is super cool and they have a nice heater that helped keep us warm.  It was also Jack friendly with a fenced in yard so we were able to not only bring Jack but let him run around a bit. And did I mention the food!!  The meals were amazing and their hospitality was over the top.  Loved, loved seeing them. 

Wonderful porch area to hang out

 

From Left: Kat and Bert with a head a brocolli they plucked from their garden that we ate

 

Oh did I mention the steaks they hand cut. The one on the left was Lee’s!!!

 

Plus charcuterie. Cori they gave you a run for your money.

 

Dinner one night

 

Lunch a second trip was homemade Bolognese

 

And Kat made me my own loaf of sour dough bread

It was so wonderful seeing them and catching up and we were really grateful for the hospitality.  Since Raleigh is relatively close to where my daughter and sister live we hope to explore more in the COVID free future, but the visit was very special even without that.  

Next up I finally get to see my sister as we make our way south for Christmas!

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.

First Time at Richmond Art Museum

Richmond, Virginia is a town with a very complicated history and since neither of us had spent any time there we weren’t sure what we would find.  Turns out it is one of those smaller cities that looks much like many others we have seen in our travel.  The big difference is Richmond, VA was the home of the confederacy and there are LOTS of Civil war confederate memorials everywhere.  By choice we decided to skip those and instead we went to visit the Art Museum.

Richmond has it’s own museum district and many of those museums are free.  The big draw for me though was this particular museum has a Faberge collection and I absolutely love Faberge anything.  Turned out to be a great choice because for a smallish town they had an excellent and varied collection.  The museum was 100% masks and since we went early the crowds were very small.  Plus did I mention free 🙂 Here is a pictorial tour of what we saw and although I didn’t include everything it will give you a feel for what they have.  I really enjoyed it.    

Outside of the museum

 

Right across the street from a well to do neighborhood

 

Interior…It is a bit of a maze and easy to miss a section if you don’t use the map

 

 

 

   

The Asian sections were broken up by country which I appreciated. Many of the sections were from private collections that had been donated over the years.  Others were loans from different museums, which I also thought was pretty cool. 

 

 

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Loved this bath…took up an entire room

 

Lee only got in trouble once for getting too close to the exhibits 🙂

 

This is a super cool sculpture of a chariot pulled by 7 horses. Love the way they made that work. It’s amazing this survived to present day.

 

The layout is in chronological order, but  I say roughly because it was definitely not a straight line from one room to another.  Still we started with the oldest and as much as possible worked our way up through history. 

 

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I found this statue particularly interesting. It was a saint who had his head chopped off. I don’t think I have ever seen a statue that was holding his own head like this.

When we hit the Faberge section I was thrilled. All the items came from one person’s collection and although the five eggs were definitely the star there were tons of examples of other types of work.  That was just as interesting and this area (for me) was worth the visit. 

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The eggs all had their own special cases

 

The detail on the eggs was extraordinary and not really captured by the pictures although Lee did his best.  This one was devoted to the Red Cross.

 

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The inside piece is taken out and displayed in the next picture

 

This was my favorite

 

The small paintings that rotated were stunning.

Along with the eggs there were small figurines, religious icons and even furniture.  I spent a ton of time in this area. 

One of the rare pieces of furniture made

 

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This is a caviar serving platter

Across from the Faberge area was a silver area.  I didn’t find this nearly as impressive although I did like a couple of items. 

These salt holders were really cool

 

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I loved loved this painting

Lee loved this one

 

 

I loved this picture. It is supposed to represent a good marriage and the various things in the picture stand for a variety of temptations

 

This was my absolute favorite though. Again the picture does not come close to showing the delicacy of the rainbow at the bottom of the falls

They had a mummy and keeping in mind how I felt about the skeleton at Jamestown I didn’t stay and gawk much

 

Here’s the reproduction of the head. This is an odd thing they are doing now.

There was a large African and Columbian art section as well. 

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This is a death mask. I really liked how she is smiling in it. Really spoke to me

 

And I loved these woven foot covers. I own a pair of socks that looks kind of like this

 

Neither one of us really liked the modern art section that much

 

Although this Andy Warhol was pretty cool

 

And I really liked this picture

 

Most of it was just kind of weird though like this. Seriously. I just don’t get it.

We both loved the Art Deco section though.  

 

One of the most interesting things was a bedroom of a person who was born in Richmond and moved to New York. It was the complete bedroom and very opulent

 

This couch was amazing

 

This chair made me do a double take, which is weird because it’s just a chair. But its also a Frank Lloyd-Wright which is why he is so amazing.

 

But the stain glass window was spectacular

 

Oh and this desk. Never seem anything quite like that before.

I am really glad we had a chance to go here because the rest of our time in Richmond was not so great.  Next up Thanksgiving, and seeing Kat and Bert!

One final note, the winner of our annual calendar was Cindy. She wrote an absolutely lovely email about the impact our blog has had on her and it meant so much to both of us.  For the record she won because she was the first to reply, but her email was really lovely and much appreciated.  Good luck on your journey Cindy and we hope to see you down the road!


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on iTunes.