Monday, October 21, 2013

Now We're Getting Back Into The Swing Of It

Life is an Adventure

It has been 9 months since we have updated our blog; alot has happened so let’s get everyone up to date.

Going back to February 1st and our trip to Jamaica with the kids…The trip was amazing!  The kids flew out of Minnesota and we flew from Orlando. The only regret was Brandon (middle son 21 now) not being able to join us because of a commitment he had back in Minnesota that he couldn’t break. We stayed at Legends on the Beach in Negril. Legends on the Beach is an all-inclusive hotel that has a sister hotel “Samsara” on the cliffs. The weather was perfect every day; we went cliff jumping at the cliffs, swam and laid at the beach a bunch. The highlight of our trip was on our last day while snorkeling we saw a 6’ reef shark next to us, very scary but very cool.
 
 
Finishing up February we attended the Daytona 500. We have never been to a NASCAR race and would highly recommend going to a race. The amount of people at the race is mind boggling…185,000 people attended the race. We were able to get into the Daytona Beach KOA for the 2 days of the race so we didn’t have to drive very much that weekend during the race.  

 
 
 
Leaving Orlando

The second week of March we pulled up stakes in Florida and dead headed to Phoenix Arizona. It was kind of sad leaving Florida as we had such a good time and simply loved our time in Florida, we will definitely be back next winter.

Six days of traveling from Florida stopping every night along the way at a Passport America campgrounds or a casino. Lately we prefer to stay at a Passport America campground for $10 or $15 a night vs. a Wal-Mart parking lot or a truck stop. The problem with Wal-Mart is you end up going into the store and spending $100. With the campgrounds we like that we can plug in for power and are able to have the water hooked up to take a shower in the morning before we head out. We plan the Casino stays on days that we have a full day of traveling and if there isn’t a PA campground around. This way we don’t have to worry about what time we pull in and we usually pull out early in the morning.

Our destination Seyenna Vistas Rv Resort in Mesa Arizona for 1 month. The park was nice, great location close to Scottsdale and Phoenix. The park is going through a transition from a trailer park to a full-fledged RV Resort. Very nice pool and club house with a great fitness center. We found that 90% of all the RV parks in the Arizona area are 55 and older parks which makes it difficult to find a place to stay. While in Arizona we had to put our big dog “Jack” to sleep. Jack was 14 years old and had been suffering from diabetes. In Arizona they have a wonderful vet “Happy Endings” that comes to you and performs the euthanasia. Very sad but there couldn’t have been a better way. We will miss you Jack.


On April 10th our nephew Edward and his wife Missy flew in from Minneapolis to Phoenix to spend some time and travel with us. While they were in Phoenix we took them to a couple of places we discovered while being there, South Mountain, and Greasewood Flats are just a couple of the highlights. Ed and Missy only spent 3 days with us in Phoenix and now we are all heading to the Grand Canyon. We drove into Williams Arizona to the Grand Canyon RV Park for 1 night. We parked the RV in Williams and drove into the Grand Canyon (about an hour away from Williams) with the car for the day. None of us have ever seen the Grand Canyon, we all were amazed at the beauty and the majesty of the Canyon. The next day we headed to Laughlin Nevada to the Riverside RV Park for 1 night. We all really liked Laughlin, it’s old school Vegas with real nickel slots and lots of free drinks.

Viva Las Vegas

The next day we headed to Las Vegas, Thousand Trails Las Vegas. The park is a few miles from the strip and downtown with a nice pool, hot tub and lounge. The park is kind of tight but what the heck you’re in Vegas. We liked the down town/ Freemont area the best when it came to hitting the casino’s. While in Vegas we visited a few TV shows that are on the History channel, Pawn Stars, American Restoration and Kounts Kustoms were all very cool to see in person. Ed and Missy have a friend that winters in Meadville Arizona, we took a drive from LV to Meadville one day to check out Lake Mead and the start/end of the Grand Canyon. The town of Meadville is very remote but there is no shortage of great scenery. And you can’t go to Las Vegas without stopping by the Hoover Dam. After their 10 days traveling with us Ed and Missy flew back to Minnesota from Las Vegas, sad to see them go and it was really great spending time with them.

The first week of May we were at the beautiful Thousand Trails Palm Springs Park in Palm Desert California, the temperatures here were in the 100’s every day. The first day we got to the campsite the temperature toped at 109* Actually at this park they close the park for the season on May 15th as it gets way to hot here in the summer. This is a beautiful park, it was a date orchard years ago, nice pool and well cared for grounds. A lot of snow-birds winter here because the winters are very mild. Lots of beautiful landscaping in the Palm Springs area and it seems like there is a golf course on every corner. We left Palm Springs and headed to Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, CA for a 2 night stay. The park was nice with a beautiful fitness center and pool. On the right side of the park is a feed lot that at times smells but it didn’t seem to bother us, we stayed on the left side of the park. On our way to San Diego California, Thousand Trails Pio Pico in Jamul, CA. We liked the park, nice pool and hot tub. No Verizon cell service but they do have free internet. This park is only about 30 miles from San Diego but is in the middle of nowhere.

Back to Minnesota

While in the San Diego we had received some bad news, Laurie’s mom (Carol)  would be having a medical test in a week. Carol had been having some unusual pains in her rib area, other than that she was in very good shape. Laurie wanted to be with her mom for her test and thought we should head to Minnesota. We have always said if we want/need to go back to Minnesota for any reason it won’t be a problem for either of us. Four days on the road and we made it back for Carol’s doctor’s appointment. The outcome was terrible, Carol was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. We spent time with Carol at her house before she left us after a very short fight with cancer. We will miss you so much Carol..

The remainder of the summer we spent time with the kids, family and friends. We took the kids to a concert in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin to see Jimmy Buffett and Jackson Brown. We also rented a huge pontoon on Lake Minnetonka for a day of Minnesota summer boating fun. In our original plans we planned on spending the month of August in Minnesota but now having spent 4 months in Minnesota this summer we will be changing next summer’s pans to include at least a couple of months devoted to Minnesota and family and friends. Minnesota is beautiful in the summer and being with family and friends is priceless. Can’t wait until next summer.

 
New Coach
 
While back in Minnesota we bought a new coach, we bought a 2005 Itasca Suncruiser 37B. It is bigger than our last one, this coach has 3 slides, a double door fridge and 2 chairs in the bedroom. The coach has only 6,000 miles on it and is in like new condition. We also upgraded our toad with a 2013 Jeep Wrangler.

 
Back on the road again

On September 20th 2013 we are back on the road again, our first stop Hidden Bluffs Resort in Spring Grove MN. As we are pulling into the campground we noticed we had blown a rear axle seal and we won’t be going anywhere until it gets fixed. The campground was very accommodating in letting us fix it at our campsite. The only thing we hated about this campground is the 2 mile dirt road into the park. Last summer I vowed I would never go to a campground on a dirt road, we had no idea of the dirt road, I hate dirt roads. Back on the “paved” road after 4 days and on our way to Saint Louis, MO. We stayed at the Casino Queen in East St. Louis IL. For 2 days. It’s a nice park right across the river from the “Arch” the park is clean and has no amenities but they do have lots of security. While in St. Louis we loved the Budweiser Brewery tour and walking around near the Arch.

All my life I’ve wanted to see Elvis Presley’s home at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee and we’re finally here. Staying 4 days at the Graceland RV Park right across the road from Graceland is great. It’s a very nice park with a heated pool, clean and secure. The Graceland tour is very well done and worth the money, you go through Elvis’s house and airplanes on a self-guided audio tour, we liked it a lot. We also made it to Beale Street a couple of nights in downtown Memphis. Beale Street is a mini Bourbon Street with lots of Elvis and Jazz music and bar-b-q food. We left Memphis and are staying at Cherokee Landing in Saulsbury, TN a Thousand Trails park (about an hour and a half east of Memphis for 2 weeks. This park is very large with a dozen other people staying here. The pool is closed and there isn’t much to do in the area, that’s alright with us as we want to get things organized and clean. We had a nice campfire with the dozen people staying here the other night and really enjoyed it.

Now we are getting back into the swing of it

A lot has happened in the last year and it has made us even more motivated to continue Full Time RVing. We love traveling and seeing the country.

We plan on spending most of the winter in Florida this year including Orlando and Key West. In the spring we plan on traveling up the east coast making our way back to Minnesota for a good part of the summer.


Twins Game with BEST friends (Kevin & Laita)
Safe travels, Jeff and Laurie



Thousand Trails Pio Pico
Grand Canyon
Boat trip with Family & Friends
Laurie and Elvis
Standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona
Budweiser Saint Louis, Mo
Saint Louis Arch
Como Zoo with the kids on Fathers Day
 
 
That's the Hollywood sign in the background
Grand Canyon start / Lake Mead intersection
                 

4 comments:

  1. we're in Florida for the winter and also thinking of going to Key West next spring/early summer

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  2. Loved reading your updates. I am so very sorry for your two losses this year. I pray that next year will be a year of peace and fun times with no losses for you. Blessings!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Have enjoyed your blog - Inspired to start my own!

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  4. I am definitely getting that spice rack, a yoga mat and the thermal cooker.
    I put a bamboo wine glass rack inside my cupboard over the coffee cups and it works great! I use a magazine holder for shelves to hold my tupperwear lids.
    campervan hire airlie beach

    ReplyDelete

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