Monday, November 26, 2012

It has actually begun

Des Moines
We left Minot, North Dakota on Thursday October 26th and spent 4 days with family in Minneapolis…it sure was great seeing everyone but was hard to say goodbye. Thanks Ed & Missy...
We stayed at a couple of places on the way to Texas; our 1st stop being Des Moines, Iowa. We stayed at a Passport America campground (Cutty’s Campground)…. it was a nice place! The bathrooms were all closed because of the cold weather, low 30’s at night and 50’s during the day. It also had an indoor pool that we didn’t get a chance to use

Our next stop was supposed to be a PA (Passport America) in Grantville, Kansas. The campground was about 10 miles off I-35 with a dirt road that was 1-1/4 miles long. If we have learned anything it’s “don’t drive on dirt roads”! Everything in the basement storage compartments were covered with a layer of dust. We pulled in and the camp host was followed by a dozen or so cats, she pointed out the last full hook up site that was available. We drove around to look at the sites (cats followed us) and realized
this place wasn’t for us, the camper on one side had garbage stacked to the top of the camper. We drove back by the office and told the host that we needed to go to the store and we would be right back, we never looked back. We decided to keep driving until we found a casino or something.

We decided to keep driving and ended up at a casino in Kansas (Kansas Star). We like to use casino’s vs. truck stops or Wal-Mart parking lot. We can justify the money we spend in the casino as the money we would have spent had we stayed at an RV park and it’s fun cheap entertainment. Casino’s usually have live entertainment, free soda and cheap food; we only spend around $20 unless we decide to have a couple cocktails.

The next stop was a Thousand Trails preserve in Lake Whitney, Texas just south of Dallas. It was our first Thousand trails campground. It was a nice campground, the bathrooms were nice and clean. We only stayed one night and didn’t have much time to explore.

Thousand Trails (TT) is a membership camping resort system that we joined this last summer, we purchased a membership from a couple that was getting out of full timing. We purchased their membership they had paid nearly $10,000 for in the 80’s. We paid $250 + the transfer fee of $450. We can stay free for 50 nights a year at any one of the 53 preserves (they call them preserves) for our dues of $50 monthly. Or we can opt for the unlimited nights for $100 per month. The other membership we have is Passport America (PA). The membership fee was $44 per year and it gives us 50% off campground fees on thousands of campgrounds that are everywhere.

We spent 2 weeks at our second Thousand Trails campground “Medina Lake” in Lake Hills Texas, 30 miles west of San Antonio. The campground was nice, with a lot of deer, nice pool and hot tub.

Deer at Medina Lake
Deer at Medina

Medina Lake was a huge lake that has completely dried up. The area has suffered a 4 year drought, it is amazing how an entire lake can dry up like this 

Medina Lake

The weather was beautiful, low 80’s during the day and low 60’s at night. We found a local pub down the road from the campground that turned us on to Diablos. Diablos are a jalapeño cut in half, stuffed with chicken and wrapped with bacon then deep fried, they are so good. We would go there for an order of Diablos and a couple Lone Star beers.

Next stop was 2 nights at a (PA) RV resort in San Antonio 
San Antonio River Walk

(Travelers Carefree RV resort)  Just a couple of miles from the Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk. It was a nice place that we really loved, we had our own palm tree. We hopped on a bus just outside the resort that took us right downtown for only $1.10 each way. The Alamo was a very cool place with lots of cool things to see. The River Walk was really cool and was the highlight of San Antonio,we went there twice and loved all the interesting food and cool bars 

Pecans at Colorado River
On Friday (11/16) we headed to a Thousand Trails preserve “Colorado River” in Columbus Texas. It was a nice clean open park right on the Colorado river. The park had a dozen or so pecan trees and they were ready for harvesting. Laurie and I filled up a couple of bags of nuts; they were awesome. We only stayed here 3 nights.

Our next stop was a campground resort (French Quarter RV Resort) in the French Quarter of New Orleans, its only 2 blocks from the French Quarter. This is where we spent Thanksgiving this year. We have been having a great time exploring New Orleans, the French Quarter, Bourbon street and trying all kinds of interesting food and drinks. The city has an amazing amount of culture and all of the people are very friendly. 

Laurie in New Orleans
We have moved on to a different resort after only spending 3 nights at the French Quarter RV Resort, the $79.00 per night was a little steep. The resort we moved to (Ponchatrain Landing) has a shuttle that takes you into the French Quarter and back 3 times a day and is also a very nice place on the shores of Lake Ponchatrain. We are staying here 5 nights then we will have 3 days to get from here to our next destination in Orlando Florida for 2 weeks.

By the way we have Pensacola & Orlando Florida, Miami Beach and Key West all coming up in the month of December. We will try to post more often so keep checking back on our progress.

More pictures:

At the cowboy capital of the world, Bandera Texas
Laurie at Colorado River

In New Orleans at the river


  1. Hi - thanks for sharing your great new life with those of us who wish we could just take off too. Looks like you've planned well--it's always good to be prepared for most anything. My parents camped from as far back as I can remember and started with a pop-up, several different travel trailers, then moved up to several different coaches similar to yours. Before my dad passed in '99 they traveled from FL to Maine to Alaska and back several different times and directions...and that's what I want to do too. It's in my blood (ha!) and I look forward to sharing your lives until my husband and I can actually leave town for any exteneded time. When you get down to FL I can recommend Anastasia SP and North Beach Resort (near St. Augustine where we live), Sebastian Inlet SP, and our favorite spot..Bahia Honda SP. On our last trip to Bahia Honda we found a great spot right near the Miami Zoo called Larry & Penny Thompson CG that'll now be our annual stopover on the way to/from the Keys. Coming back up the west coast we also love Ft. Desoto Campground just outside of St. Pete...they've got a great dog park and dog beach!! Best of luck to you both, and thanks again for sharing - love the photos!! Lydia & Barry Dunaway-St. Augustine, FL

  2. Good luck on your trip. I plan to go full time in 2 years and look forward to reading about your experiences


  3. It's great to read of young people thinking about doing the RV full time lifestyle. We love it! For anyone looking into Thousand Trails membership, the best deals are at the Tampa RV show each January. We're staying at the Keys in Florida for 42.00 for two weeks. Do you know about Corps of Engineer parks? They are relatively inexpensive, and even more so for seniors with the lifetime pass of 10.00...Gets you in half price to national parks and government owned campgrounds, forest preserves, etc. I know you guys are too young for that! :-)

  4. Keep the blog going! We too are looking to full time in the next 5 years. Happy Travels

  5. Keep the blog going! We too are looking to full time in the next 5 years. Happy Travels

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  7. Have been enjoying learning from your website! Thank you- was wondering if Thousand Trails have age restrictions on rv's or vans? I have been looking at their website but haven't seen anything on that
    Thanks, Margie