What a year this has been! Celebrating 40 years of marriage, milestone birthdays, new jobs for the kids, Alex’s engagement, Becca buying a house, traveling thousands of miles getting to our 50th state, and seeing some of the most beautiful parts of this continent. We are so grateful for our family and the friends we have made along the road who have helped us celebrate this incredible year. There were many challenges along the way, Covid came to call, accidents, weathering storms, maintenance issues, and lots of bumpy roads but we overcame it all to not only survive but to thrive.
Getting back to the last post, after spending Hal-Thanks-Mas (Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas combined) with Becca, Jason, Alex, and Erin in Virginia Beach in mid-October we headed south to our winter hideout.
We are spending this winter at the beautiful Olde Mill Stream RV Resort on Lake Pearl in Umatilla, FL. This is definitely a snowbird park and has everything a snowbird could want – from shuffleboard, to card games, to exercise programs, to dances and group dinners. We are getting involved with the pickleball, kayaking, biking, and hiking groups as we prefer to be more active.
Unfortunately, we returned to Florida before the end of hurricane season, so we ended up having to battened down the hatches and ride out Hurricane Nicole. Fortunately, the winds never got over 40 mph here and we only got about 4” of rain. Neither the park nor our RV received any damage but we were pounded by the number of acorns from the oak behind us that hit our coach. It sounded like a machine gun going off!
One of the reasons we chose to come back to Central Florida was that we could return to volunteering at the Barberville Pioneer Settlement. Though this time we are not workamping as we did not want to work quite as much as when we were last here in 2020. We have been helping at festivals, doing the school programs, & even played Santa & Mrs. Claus again. Though Jon was on his own for most of the Christmas programs as I caught a bad cold from the kids.
We chose to not work full-time at Barberville so that we could travel a bit more around the area and getting out to local events like Ren Faires, art shows, & an Asian Lantern Festival and, even a week long mini-vaca at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World. It was so much fun to return to the place where we honeymooned 40 years ago!
We have took a trip down to Ft. Lauderdale to see Jon’s sister and her partner Inez to celebrate the holidays with them in early December. And we also had a lovely lunch with our friends Fred & Joanne whom we originally met when we lived in England. Fred’s mom is now in Tampa, and as they had come down from their home in Dallas for the holidays, we were able to get together, each driving halfway to meet at the cute Rooster’s Café in Brooksville.
We have finally gotten the rear bumper on the Jeep fixed. Fortunately, when we got rear ended in
Palmer, Alaska this summer, we were able to wait until we got down here to get the work done. There was more damage than originally thought so we ended up with a rental for a couple of weeks, but they were able to make it look like new!
This year we have traveled farther, stayed at more campgrounds, and explored more of this country and Canada than we have done in any previous year since we started RVing 22 years ago!
- 19 States
- 3 Canadian Provinces
- 15,076 Miles in the RV
- 7925 miles exploring in the Jeep
- 59 Campsites
- 1 Hurricane
There were many challenges along the way, but we feel so fortunate to have been able to enjoy this dream of living life on the road. We will be here in Umatilla until the first week of April so if you are heading south come see us! We will leave here April 6th and will be heading south for a month in the Keys and then we will head north with the ultimate goal of being in Pennsylvania for Alex and Erin’s wedding at the end of August.
We hope that everyone has had time to be with family and friends and enjoyed the holiday season. We wish you all a very happy, prosperous, joyous, and loving New Year!
Till next time,