Two Year Update on Class of 2014

Here is the newbie class of 2014...all the people we have been hanging out with all week !!

Two years ago we attended our first RV -Dreams rally and the experience changed our life.  Not only did we walk away from the experience with confidence we could actually do this lifestyle, we made an incredible group of people that we are still friends with to this day.  Side Note: We have been lucky to have met many other people in the lifestyle, but to keep things manageable I have just been updating on this original small group.    Although 11 couples it is a small sample of people who become full timers but it is a diverse group of people and I do believe it is a nice cross section of the larger group as a whole.   Since the two year anniversary of when we met is fast approaching I wanted to share some statistics on how the experiences of the group over the last 12 month period.  Each couples experience is unique, but there have been some similarities in experiences which could be helpful for those contemplating the lifestyle.  If nothing else it certainly proves there are lots of way to live this lifestyle and there is no one true way.

 

Demographics

  • The age range of the group is 47 – 70 with the median age being 56 years old. 
  • 95% of the group is Caucasian
  • 82 % have been married over 10 years
  • 55% have been married over 20 years
  • 36% have been married over 30 years
  • 55% of the couples have only been married once
  • 73% of the couples have grown children
  • 27% of the couples have grandchildren

Domicile

  • 100% of the couples lived full-time in their RV for a portion of the last twelve months.
  • 82% of the couples have no sticks and bricks home
  • 27% of the couples own a “home base” piece of property or RV lot
  • 36% of the couples are currently full-timing in a different rig than they started with
    • Upgrade to newer model for more space/features (18%)
    • Change from a fifth wheel to Class A (9%)
    • Major repair issue necessitated replacement of rig (9%)  

Finances 

  • 45% of the couples had one or more partners working professional jobs on the road
  • 18% of the couples owned small businesses on the road
  • 27% of the couples work kamped during the last twelve months
  • 36% of the couples have at least one partner who is retired with social security and/or pension benefits
  • 27% of the couples lived primarily off of investments/savings

Travel

  • 100% of the couples have spent time visiting with at least one other couple from the group
  • 45% of the couples have spent 30 days or more assisting family (holidays, weddings, family illness, parent/child health issue)
  • 45% are traveling primarily in the west, 36% are based primarily in the east, and 18% have split their travel time somewhat equally between the two areas.
  • 18% of the couples have experienced changes to their travel plans due to major repair issues
  • 18% of the couples have experienced changes to their travel plans due to health issues
  • 100% of the couples have the capability to boon dock
  • 55% of the couples have solar

Pets

  • 73% of the couples travel with pets
    • One pet (46%)
    • Two or more pets (27%)
  • 55% had dogs only
  • 18% had dogs and cats
  • 18% lost a pet to illness in the last twelve months
  • 27% of the couples had to change their travel plans due to campground pet restrictions (ie: dog breeds; number of dogs) 

So what does this all mean?  Mainly I think it shows (ethnicity aside) that there is diversity in who full timers are and how they live the lifestyle.  It also proves that the lifestyle is sustainable at least for the first couple of years.  One couple will be taking a “reverse snowbird” approach and is in the process of building  a sticks and bricks in Florida.  The other couples have plans to continue full timing for the foreseeable future.   We are excited to see what the next 12 months looks like for us and everyone else.

 

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First Time in OBX

First off I would like to thank all the people who reached out to me publicly and privately to tell me my latest post either spoke to them, or to give me encouragement.  I heard from people who I didn’t even know were reading the blog and it was so nice to hear back from people, especially on a post that really opened up about my insecurities.  It gives me courage to not censor myself but keep telling my truth..so thanks again.  It even surprised Lee, which was interesting.  I mean, he lives with me so I thought he would have known, but apparently I am a better faker than I gave myself credit for. Plus it sparked some great conversation between Lee and I which is always a good thing.  While I was gone on one of my work trips, Lee added this amazing lettering to our rig with the blog address,  and part of the lyrics from our favorite song “The Way” which has become our anthem.  Made me so very very happy, I truly have the best husband ever. (It’s true, she really does. – Lee)

Our Anthem

Our Anthem

Y007

Our blog address on the back of the camper

Y008

Our blog address on the front of the camper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we also finally finished the process of becoming State of Florida residents.   I sent my Letter of Domicile to the voting board and received a letter back that I was all set to vote, so that was good.  We also worked with this absolutely amazing woman Cheryl (at the DMV in Green Cove Springs) and she was a life saver.  The truck title came in quickly, but the RV title took a really long time (Bank of America really needs to get their act together) so Cheryl said we could fill out all the paperwork and she would process and mail us the tags when the title came in.  Talk about going above and beyond, and this allowed us to leave on our scheduled day of Sunday.  Came down to the wire (we were filling out papers Friday at 4:30pm) but we made it.  I was so grateful when Cheryl called on Monday and said the title had come in and everything was processed that I sent her some flowers to thank her.  Yes I know that’s a little weird, but people should be thanked for going above and beyond.  Here’s a picture of the bouquet I sent below. I called to make sure she got it and it made her day. (This was way more hassle than it should have been, by they way. In this day and age, documents should be electronic and easily transferred from anywhere to anywhere. We were able to prove Tracy’s identity to the state of Florida using her passport, a birth certificate, and, get this, a W-2 from 1989 that just happened to be in the bottom of an old taxes envelope that we thought was empty, and used to carry all the docs to the DMV to keep them all together. I’m not sure what we would have done to prove her SSN if it hadn’t been for that ancient W-2. But! Bank of America needed three weeks to get a certificate of title from Jacksonville to St. Augustine. On the plus side, Cheryl was the best, and it’s always fun to give someone flowers. – Lee)

Flowers we sent to Cheryl at the DMV

Flowers we sent to Cheryl at the DMV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday we finally  left Florida and I will say we were both happy to see it go.  We loved Florida in January and February but the weather kept getting hotter and muggier and we were both more than a little uncomfortable towards the end.  (Technically I’m always a little uncomfortable, but the heat and humidity made it worse. – Lee) Plus it was incredibly congested with spring break season and although we really liked Anastasia State Park Campground (see review below) we were both very excited about heading back up north to the Outer Banks (OBX). We did get to have an up close and personal experience with Rascal, our resident raccoon, before we left.  I know they don’t generally come out in the daytime but he didn’t appear sick; just really curious.  Both Lee and I got some great pictures before he decided we were not that interesting after all and wandered off. (This little guy definitely has a route that he follows. The first night we were there, Trace and I were just hanging out outside under the awning by the light of our Tiki torches and Tiki pots, and we heard a little rustling in the bushes, and he just strolled out. He seemed surprised to see us there, and scampered away. He came back several times, but on the second to last day we were there, he decided to try his luck during the day. – Lee)

Lee's picture

Lee’s picture

My pic...Rascal climbed on a tree and posed for me

My pic…Rascal climbed on a tree and posed for me

 

Because we had scheduled our route to stop in Ebenezer Park near my sister Wendy we had about 6 hours of driving ahead of us. Normally we would try to split that into two days, but decided to try to knock it all out on Sunday.  Turns out that was not the best decision, because of crazy heavy traffic it ended up taking us a full 10 hours to drive and the roads were extremely congested which made it much more stressful for Lee.  Since he drives the truck and rig (and I follow in my company car), he sets the pace and it really is not the same driving a truck and fifth wheel as driving a car.  You need to go slower for one thing (Lee tries to drive between 60 and 64 to help conserve fuel and maintain better control) and you are limited in what roads you can take due to a need for high overhead clearance. Well I won’t dwell but those who have done it know what it’s like and suffice it to say when we rolled into the campground at 6:30pm we were both tired and a  bit on edge. (I’m happy to do a little dwelling. It’s been two days and I’m still annoyed at those people who caused a 6 hour day to be a 10 hour day. Yeah, a little “on edge”. So here’s a pro tip, for all you assholes that don’t know how to drive (present company excluded, of course): when you see a sign that says “Lane Ends 1 Mile Ahead”, go on ahead and get the hell over while everything is flowing smoothly. Waiting until the last possible second so you can have a little more time without a car in front of you DOESN’T WORK. We sat in stop and go traffic for over an hour and a half at the Georgia-Florida line and again outside Columbia S.C., because: people. They’re the worst. – Lee) 

What happens next proves to me that God has a sense of humor.  After writing about how comfortable I was in my little home and how the claustrophobia was practically a non issue, one of our slide outs refused to slide out.  Let me say we’ve been having some minor issues with our desk slide out for a while and finally it decided enough was enough.  This is the first truly major issue we have had with the Open Range since we bought it and it’s interesting it is a slide because that was one of our biggest concerns when we bought the rig.  The Open Range is significantly less expensive than the same Montana and has a motor/gear/pulley system slide out versus the more traditional types on most rigs. The company passes those savings along to its consumers and we saved more than $10K on almost the same rig as the Montana.  Lee likes the slide out system because it’s open to inspection and has a back up manual option to bring slide outs in with a hand drill and a tool they provide if the motor fails or there’s no electricity. In this case though, the gearbox is the problem, so the drill solution would not work. (I’m actually a big fan of this type of slide mechanism, because the workings are easily accessible, and you can visually inspect the entire system any time. And the parts are not that complicated, and relatively easily replaced. (Stay tune for more detailed information on that, which should include rare photos of me laying on top of the slide out box.) However, there really should be an option to bypass the gearbox, and manually bring in/out the slide. – Lee)  Luckily it was stuck in the “in” position though because we could in theory live with this issue indefinitely.  Lee called Open Range and described the problem over the phone and the gear box definitely needs replaced.  He’s working with them to coordinate service when we are in OBX.  I will say here that this situation really didn’t upset us too much.  Everyone we know has had a major issue at some point or another and truly it’s a question of the levels of difficulty they cause, and if can you function while you are waiting to get it fixed.  Since we have a two-year manufacturers warranty and another five years extended warranty on top of that, we know we are covered, it’s just a matter of getting the parts and the labor to do it.  Since Lee is a certified tech they are going to send him the part so he can do the repair himself.   I am just thankful it’s not a “stop everything” emergency.  I am working at the kitchen table for the time being…hooray for laptops… and I will definitely be spending more time outside which is why I said God had a sense of humor. (As an added bonus, since she’s at the kitchen table, I get to use the desk, because I have no claustrophobic tendencies, which will come in handy when I’m crammed between the slide out and the ceiling. Anyway, the desk is where the computer is, so I get to actually use the computer in the daytime, so that’s something. If she didn’t know better, she might wonder if I had somehow sabotaged the gearbox on purpose. And it would be a shame if it took weeks and weeks for the part to get here and she had to continue working from the kitchen table. – Lee)

My slide "in" rather than slide "out" lol

My slide “in” rather than slide “out” lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We went over to see Wendy Monday night and I couldn’t believe how much Abram (the child she is in the process of adopting) has grown.  He didn’t remember us at first, which was a bit sad, but warmed up quickly and we got to watch him do all kinds of cool things.  He is an active crawler now, sits easily, and eats real food with a ferocious appetite.  Seriously, that boy can eat, and we had a lovely time catching up with Wendy, Josh, and the kids.  She made us dinner and if I haven’t mentioned it before Wendy and her husband Josh met in cooking school and wow, can they cook.  She made homemade chicken pot pie from a rotisserie chicken which was to die for.  She tried to explain the steps but I glazed over at some point and she said “You know, like when you make a regular pie.”  She looked a bit horrified when I admitted I have never made a pie in my life.  One great piece of budget advice she gave that I wanted to pass along to my friends on a budget is she looks for the sale day for rotisserie chicken and buys the maximum of 2 when they are $4.99.  She then cuts them up and uses them all week in other recipes like chicken enchiladas, etc.  Really smart, and as she said, that price for well cooked chicken is cheaper than the non cooked price per pound.  My sister is super smart and I’ll be trying that tip out next time I see those chickens on sale.  Wish I could post some pics of Abram but because of the adoption process we have to be careful.  Lee crawling on the floor with him was absolutely adorable.   (In addition to being ruggedly handsome, I am also adorable. It’s a hard balance to maintain, but I manage. – Lee) So here’s aside shot of us and Abram and a picture of Wendy’s chicken pot pie.  Just looking at the picture of the pie makes my mouth water. (For scale, that stone dish is like 14″ across. That’s a big damn pot pit. And Abram ate the whole thing all by himself. – Lee) 

Wendy's Chicken Pot Pie

Wendy’s Chicken Pot Pie

 

 

 

 

 

Abram, me, and Lee...can you tell we love our newest nephew

Abram, me, and Lee…can you tell we love our newest nephew

 

We left early Tuesday morning and drove a few hours to Raleigh which was the halfway point between OBX and Rock Hill.  We are getting pretty good at packing up and rolling out with minimal fuss and the traffic wasn’t too bad along the way.  There wasn’t much in the way of campgrounds in and immediately surrounding Raleigh available, so we stopped at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. It’s not really a campground in the traditional sense, it’s basically a large field with a hundred or so full hookups that the vendors stay in during fair ground events.  It’s open to the public, but there are no amenities at all, and they don’t take reservations, and they only take cash. Currently it was almost filled by people working on a new power plant and the state employee who let us in was very nice.  It’s $25 a night though (way overpriced for what you get) and cash only, which is always a pain.  I wouldn’t stay here again unless I didn’t have any other choice since it really had no redeeming qualities other than a strong ATT signal. (I completely disagree here. I would rather stay in a place like this for a half day/overnight, because it was cheap, had full hookups, was easy to get in and out of, and close to the interstate without being within earshot of it. – Lee)

Again, got up early the next morning and drove to the Ocean Waves Campground in the Outer Banks.  I have never been here and I was so impressed by the wildness of it.  After the carefully coiffed beaches of Florida it was cool to see the wild and untamed dunes.  Our campground is absolutely amazing with its own little patch of dunes and beach less than 100 yards away.  We checked in and quickly got set up for our month-long stay.  So glad we won’t be moving for a while!  I enjoy staying in one place and there is so much to do here, I can’t wait for the weekend to do some exploring. We are spending the month here with our friends Jo and Craig, Kelly and Bill, and Cori and Greg.  And then later Sue and Guy, Eileen and Gene, and Red and Pam may drop in as well.  I’m excited about being with RV-Dreams folks again and looking forward to catching up with everyone and exploring this beautiful place.

Campground

Ocean Waves Campground

 

Morning on the beach

Morning on the beach

Lee staring at the sunrise

Lee staring at the sunrise

Campground Reviews 

St. John RV Park and Flea Market   2493 State Rd St. Augustine   3 out of 5 pine cones

The site was well maintained with full hookups and with the Passport America discount only $17 a night, unlimited.  The people that worked there were extremely friendly and helpful and they had strong and free WiFi.  I liked having the flea market next door as it was very large and fun to walk around on the weekend.  It also had easy access to the freeway (the road to the entrance is literally next to the interstate ramp) and wasn’t that far from St. Augustine proper.  The only problem with the campground is there were quite a few permanent trailers that look really trashy because they are just not well maintained. It’s a shame, because it has a lot of potential and I vacillated between a 2 and 3 but finally gave it a 3 because it was quiet, I felt very safe there, and the price was so good.

Anastasia State Park Campground  300 Anastasia Park Road St. Augustine 5 out of 5 pine cones

Deep, well wooded sites with 30 AMP electric and water.  The facilities in each loop are extremely clean and the park has a huge beach, walking trails, and bike paths for those who stay there.  Getting on and off the island can be a bit time consuming if you use the Bridge of Lions. We recommend using Rte 312 instead. It’s the same distance from the park entrance. The amphitheater next door played some particularly loud music one night, but overall it was a great experience.   They have no WiFi and ATT cell service was a little low but strong enough to work.  There is a free boat launching area and a vendor that rents boats if you don’t have your own.  If you have a large rig be careful about what sites you reserve.  There are not very manage that can handle the really big rigs. We stayed in #72 which was a bit tight width wise but very deep.   Definitely a must try if you are in the St. Augustine area for any length of time, but book in advance because they fill up quickly and it’s tough to get a spot.

North Carolina State Fair Campgrounds  1025 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raleigh NC 2 out of 5 pine cones (+1/2)

Large field where vendors stay.  The fair grounds are not in the best neighborhood and it was a little hard to find the actual campsites.  Cash only and $25 a night for full hookups which is high for a field.  The website says free WiFi but it doesn’t actually connect to the internet and although the area is gate controlled and protected by state employees I didn’t feel super safe, not unsafe exactly just not very comfortable.   The sites were full of construction workers working on the nearby power plant.   There was a noisy train that ran close by and even though it was for one  night not a place I would return to.  In a pinch you can make it work but I wouldn’t recommend it. (Pay no attention to her, she drinks. This is a perfectly serviceable overnight spot. – Lee) 

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First Time Full Timing

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but we made it, and as of today we are officially full timers!!!  We are sitting in the beautiful Brandywine Creek Campground in Pennsylvania with our friends Cori and Greg, with our new lives stretched out in front of us.  It’s an amazing feeling and very difficult to describe.  This whole journey started with our best friend Mike dying two years ago and coincidentally (or not so much) today would have been Mike’s 47th birthday.  We have always felt he has been watching over us and I have no doubt he is smiling right now seeing us make our dream come true. We love you Mike.

Let me back up a bit and tell you about the last couple of weeks and how we got here.  By the way, if you are interested in the full year-long journey I have added a new page on the website called Becoming Full Timers – Step by Step  which chronicles the year-long journey, but on this post I am just going to talk about the last couple of weeks.

Selling the house was an absolute must for us to make this work, but until the actual paperwork was signed there was still a small piece of me that was holding back.  Closings fall through or get delayed, so everything I did was knowing that it wasn’t real until the ink was dry. One of the nicest and most difficult parts of the transition was all the many goodbyes.  I am a “rip the band-aid off” kind of person, and as my kids will tell you, long goodbyes are definitely not my thing, but because it was over the course of 14 days there were so many goodbyes and it was all stretched out.  Don’t get me wrong, both Lee and I are incredibly grateful that folks cared enough about us to want to say goodbye, but it was sad.  We had goodbye meals with our friends Mark and Cricket, Nick and Georgia, and Lee’s Board of Directors.  Rick and his mom Sandra came over to wish us off and our neighbor across the street stopped by to say goodbye and thank us for being such good neighbors.  Lee has been such a huge part of our little community that they actually wrote an article about his leaving in our paper and everywhere he went people talked to him about it.  I even got questioned when I went to vote by the lady who looked my name up.  What can I say, it’s a small town, and the idea of going on the road really seems to appeals to people. Several people sent us gifts, which was so sweet, and my favorite was a wonderful card from a retired woman who is on Lee’s board.  She wrote some very nice things to him and added a note to me.  It said, “My mother always said: ‘Retirement is twice as much husband, and half as much money.’  It’s true, but it’s absolutely wonderful.”  It was such a sweet sentiment and although we aren’t exactly retired it certainly applies to our new life on the road.

Along with the goodbyes we also had a lot of “lasts”.  Last time going to our favorite restaurant, Luca’s. Very sad but the meal was fantastic! Last time getting a haircut (my stylist Maria wrote down all my color and cut information for me and I was very touched), etc.  (Last time eating at the Chinese buffet. Remember, kids, it’s not the BEST Chinese food, but it is the MOST Chinese food.-Lee) Plus, just driving through town, last time seeing this place or that place.  We have no particular sentimental attachment to our house but it was where we raised our kids and Keene, NH has been a huge part of our life for the last 13 years.

So, while we were dealing with the emotions of leaving, we also had A LOT of work left to do.  We had been preparing for months but wow the last few days were chaotic.  I can’t believe how much little stuff was left to go through and in the end we ended up filling the camper and both the car and truck with “incidentals.”  Will we throw most of that away? …sure ..but the combination of time pressure and sentimentality had us keeping a few things we probably don’t need.  Lee made multiple last-minute trips to the dump and the storage building and even so we were still doing a last-minute clean/fire drill the morning of the walk-through and closing.  Luckily we got it all done with about 20 minutes to spare and I finally got to meet the couple who is buying our house.  They are a great young couple who have been renting a duplex, with her parents in the other half. Needless to say they were super excited and because they don’t have much to start with, were willing to take anything we left over.  This was a HUGE benefit for us because not only could we pay it forward a bit with this nice young couple, we didn’t need to worry about Craig’s List or garage sales in the middle of all the other things going on.

They were truly grateful for everything we left behind and I felt so good when they told us they had looked at many houses but ours felt like “home” to them.  It was a very nice house to raise kids in and I am so glad it will be in such good hands.  The closing went extremely well although it did take a while as they were first time home buyers.  Finally we were done at 11:20 am and Lee handed them the keys.  By the way you should have seen the look on their face when Lee gave them 8 (yes eight) keys to the back door.  My husband is a crazy person 🙂 (For those of you who understand, that is the officially sanctioned correct number of keys. Anything less is not enough, anything more is just silly.-Lee)

My original mental picture of leaving was after the closing we would jump in the car and go.  Of course that didn’t happen, we had to go to the bank to deposit the check, drop off cable boxes, and eat some McDonald’s, so it was 1:00 pm by the time we got to the camper.  I started to get a little nervous, because I knew we had a 9 hour drive in front of us, but Lee felt adamant that we needed to take our time and make sure everything was right before we left.  I probably would have been a nervous wreck but Kyrston (our oldest daughter) came and stayed with us for the last hour.  She has been absolutely wonderful through this whole process.  Although I am sure it was very difficult for her losing her childhood home and watching her parents leave town, she was incredibly positive, generous, and supportive as we worked through the transition.  Our child has an amazing heart and we absolutely adore her. (She’s alright, that kid.-Lee)

Finally it was time to go, and Kyrston, knowing how I feel about goodbyes kept it short but sweet.  At 2pm we were on the road…hooray!!!  Unfortunately from a traffic standpoint we could not have picked a worse time.  (Not so much hooray.) This had us hitting Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York on a Friday with rush hour traffic.  It was also the first time we had driven in two cars and frankly we did a lousy job of working out our route up front.  Lee’s GPS is designed for campers and allows you to put in the height of the vehicle to avoid low bridge,  as well as the width for narrow construction zones, and other details. My GPS reroutes based on traffic,  but doesn’t have the RV specific features. I knew we would have some differences but I had no idea how very different the routes would be. (For example, hers took her more or less to where we were going, mine took me to Newark, presumably just as a punishment for something.- Lee)

We recognized the problem and thanks to my friend Cori (who navigated over the phone) we managed to get on a route that would NOT take us through NYC.  Things were going much better but we started to get low on gas and there wasn’t a truck stop for more miles than we had in remaining fuel. Now at this point folks, we should have stopped.  We know better, but we were excited and anxious to get to our friends so we just kept plowing along.  When we only had around 120 miles of gas left, I decided to go ahead and try to scout out a gas station Lee could get in and out of.  Many miles went by and nothing.  Finally I called him and discovered his GPS had rerouted him and he was on a totally different highway.  (Newark, baby. What an interesting odor. – Lee) Now we are screwed…no way I can go back and catch up and I can’t help him find diesel. It was a tense conversation, but I will say we both kept it together and weren’t too terribly mean to each other.  My ETA was 9:31 and his was 9:50 so we just told each other we would meet at the campground.  By this time I was down to 50 miles left and the gas light had come on.   It was also 7:30 and I was starving so the first exit with gas and food I got off.   Let me say this about New Jersey exits…the stuff is not close to the exit at all.  I did find gas and finally 3 miles down the road a Wendy’s and thankfully Lee texted me he had found gas as well. Throughout the Odyssey, Cori was ground control and I am sure we were making her very nervous with the craziness!!

While at the Wendy’s I looked at my GPS and it now said arrival time 9:52.  What????  Apparently I got off at an exit where you couldn’t get back on and I added 20 minutes to my drive.  At this point I just followed the GPS and went on some crazy back roads in the middle of absolutely no where.  Seriously, I came VERY close to hitting a deer which was casually walking in the middle of one of these country roads I was on.  (Even the deer in New Jersey have attitudes.- Lee) Finally after 20 minutes of this kind of driving I hit a 2 lane highway and felt more comfortable.  I called Lee and he was doing fine (the GPS took him by the Newark Airport) and I was near Trenton, but seemed to be heading in the right direction.

When we were about an hour away, I called Lee again and said Cori and Greg wanted to meet him when he got off the freeway and guide him in.  He said he was at mile marker 350 on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  I looked down at my GPS and I was getting on the same turnpike in 5 miles.  When I got on the turnpike the first mile marker I saw was 351.  What??  Lee slowed down, I sped up and after about 15 minutes we were back together in our own little adorable convoy. So here’s the thing about this story…it is a perfect allegory for our life together.  Yes, there is stress and we often go in totally different directions, but we also end up back together at the end.  When I was behind Lee I called he said, “Even the universe cannot keep us apart,” and yes that is why I love this man. (Can’t really blame her, I’m awesome.-Lee)

The rest of the trip was a piece of cake.  Our friends met us and brought us to their campground, we hugged, talked, had a drink, and went to bed.  Today starts the first day of our new lives.  I know it won’t always be easy and we will certainly go in opposite directions again, but as long as we always end up back on the same path it will be a beautiful life.

 Lessons Learned

  • It will take you longer than you think to finish last-minute items on departure day
  • Route your trip in advance including gas stops especially if you are in two different cars
  • Different GPS’s will take you different routes so be careful
  • Have your walkie talkies when driving in two separate vehicles
  • If you get separated, don’t panic.  Remember your going to the same place
  • It doesn’t matter how much purging you did, you WILL have a pile of stuff just dumped in the camper at the end.  Make your peace with it 🙂

 

Brandywine Creek Campground   1091 Creek Road Downington, PA Rating:  3 out of 5 pine cones (2014)

Small family owned campground with a fishing pond and nice creek running along the perimeter.  Large pull through sites and numerous seasonal campers.  Wifi is included and campground is wooded without being dense.  My only complaint was while we were there the water was a little discolored, but this may have been because they purged the water lines in the back right before we got there.  Quiet and well-managed.

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