Wow, what a year. Leeanne joined Gary in retirement. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Gary turned 60. Andy, Gary’s son married. We sold almost all our “stuff”. We sold our condo, although that took several months longer than we had hoped and delayed our departure a few months. We moved into our motor home in early August and began the new chapter in our life of traveling about the country. We visited 15 states and between the motor home and toad, we drove nearly10,000 miles in our full timing travels (and half of that was two trips north to the Midwest). We probably adjusted better than we had expected. And we are glad we “practiced” as much as we did before attempting this. One of our main travel goals was to spend some time at the ocean/beach and we at least got started early enough to accomplish that. We lost our former exercise routine and didn’t fully make for it with hiking/walking and biking. Alley cat has adjusted very well too and now walks on her leash/harness for as much as a quarter mile at a time.
We became Texans and both passed our driving exams in the motor home. We saw some of the fires along the roads in our travels and regularly smelled the smoke in the air. We hunted for diamonds in Arkansas. We explored the Smokey mountains. We toured the historic cities of Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah. We saw a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral.
Valve stems and extensions were a real problem with our new tires and we seriously had to fret about losing air for the first several weeks until we finally had to change them out which fixed the problem. The vehicles seem to be performing about as well as we could expect. The new accessories – the satellite dish, the washer/dryer, the toad braking system, the protect a tow, the water softener, etc. – are all working out very well and we are very glad we added them.
It was a great surprise to have Gary’s sister and brother in law stop by to see us in Myrtle Beach. And we really enjoyed meeting a couple of our “classmates” of full timers. Most of our family seems to be on board with what we are doing but there are a few who we wish were more understanding/supportive.
We hope everyone else had a 2011 for which they can be thankful too!