Thursday, March 15, 2012

5,479 miles later…

March 12, 2012—We are home again! Yea!

I started anticipating getting home as soon as we crossed over the Florida border. At the sight of the first sign saying “Jacksonville” my heart started to beat a little faster. It’s not that I’m in love with Florida or with Jacksonville. It’s just that it is currently home. And home is where I wanted to be.

We spent two more nights traveling in Florida—the first (March 10) in Carrabelle, a Gulf Coast town, and the second (last night) in Green Cove Springs, about 30 miles southwest of here. (We did not have a place to park and store “Baby” so we stayed that in the RV park so we could find a safe storage place the next morning.)

Incidentally, most people lost only one hour’s sleep when they turned their clocks forward on Sunday morning. We lost two. Carrabelle is just over the time zone change (Central to Eastern time), so we lost one hour by changing time zones, and another because of daylight savings time. I’m still tired!)

I’m happy we’re home. Jim is not. He would rather be out on the road yet. I don’t think he has the “homing gene” in him. Instead, he has the “roaming gene.”

Some observations about our very lengthy trip:

  • We left on January 8 and returned today, March 12, for a total of 64 nights on the road. We spent time wandering around Texas, Arizona, a bit of southern California (not much), New Mexico, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Florida for a total of 5,479 miles. We took in a lot of sites. We had a good time.
  • Not including food or restaurant meals, we spent approximately $2,600 on RV resorts (not including the membership we bought) and diesel. That comes to roughly $40 a day traveling expenses for the two of us. I didn’t track food costs; we brought a lot of food with us, supplementing whenever we needed to. We probably ate out a little more often than we do at home, but not that much more, so the cost of food (home-prepared and restaurant) was about the same as if we had stayed home.
  • I also did not add up miscellaneous expenses, but I remember most of them: entrance to Sonora Caverns ($40), two coffee mugs ($16), tee shirts from Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns, and Quartzsite (probably about $60), a sweater from the space museum in Las Cruces ($20); sightseeing in San Antonio (about $60); ride up the “space needle” in San Antonio (about $10); admission to B.B. King Museum in Biloxi ($10), and a ride in a flight simulator in Biloxi ($8). We obviously don’t go overboard on souvenirs and mementos.
  • We learned that the adage “the best things in life are free” is true. Thanks to Jim’s Golden Passport (a national parks pass for seniors), we did not have to pay admission to many of the places we enjoyed the most, such as Carlsbad Caverns, Fort Pickens, and other places.
  • The cats finally became travelers—Charlie especially. After a week or so of traveling, he would come out of his hiding place behind the kitchen cabinets and would usually go into the bedroom. He had a favorite place to sleep, curled up under the back cabinet. Xena usually came out of hiding a few minutes after “take off,” and curled up in the living room. The last few days I was especially proud of Charlie. He would jump up and sit in my lap (or Jim’s) for long periods of time while we were traveling.
  • I’m going to have to figure out some way to fix up an office area in the motorhome. Working with the laptop on my lap is fine for writing a blog, but I have been commissioned to write a book within the next six months as well as to edit for about 15 hours a week for the next few months. I need a decent workspace. We’ll figure something out.
  • We’ll probably shop for a larger towable vehicle. We miss our Murano; it was the perfect size and a comfortable car. Our HHR is comfortable, but it is small. Jim wanted to park the motorhome somewhere in Arkansas, drive home, and then return in a few weeks. Since we want to go back to Arkansas and explore it more fully (as well as other states), that would have been a good idea—except that our current car is much too small to pack up food, clothes, cats, and golf clubs. So, we’re toying with the idea of trading it in for a bigger vehicle.
  • We are still married! (And plan to keep it that way.) It can be trying for two strong-willed people to be together 24/7 in what is essentially a tin can, but we survived. We had a good time (98% of the time)!

I call this blog the Reluctant RoVer. Am I still reluctant? Yep, but not as much as before. This is still Jim's dream, not mine (can't say I have any!). I wouldn't be RVing if it weren't for him. I still see RVs as hotels on wheels. I really would not want to live in a tin can full time. And I don’t understand people who just go out and camp. What do they do? Why do they do it? I prefer to have the small luxuries my house provides me, which include space, my swim spa, more space… you get it.

Everywhere we go, though, we meet people who do this full-time. Jim would like to; I want a house. If we sell our house, I’m willing to go full-time only until we find a new place to live…but only until that time. So, I guess you can say I am still …

Your Reluctant RoVer,


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