Venture Out - Cudjoe Key

Venture Out - Cudjoe Key
Fox at Quail Run

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Milestone and Year End Recap

 

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 72, low 54)

 

It occurred to me that we recently reached a milestone.  On December 11th, we have been living in our motorhome full-time for three years. 

We left southern Georgia on that date and never lived in our home again.  When we left, the house was up for sale.  We spent the winter in Florida as snowbirds, hoping for the house to sell while we were gone.  My wish was for it to sell in April so that it wouldn’t ruin our winter vacation.  I didn’t quite get my wish, as it sold in March!  

Once we had a contract on the house, we headed back to Georgia, finished purging stuff and closed on the house in June.  We still think of December as our anniversary date for being full timers, even though we still owned a home.

 

So, on to 2013 and a recap of our year.

Although we haven’t yet been able to travel as much as we would like, we have enjoyed every place we’ve been and always find plenty to entertain us.   I am not comfortable getting too far away from the Tampa area, due to the health issues that my Mom has.

January found us here at Quail Run Rv Park in the Tampa Bay area.  This is our Tampa area home base and we keep the site there so that we can come and go when we like.  Getting a campground reservation in Florida in the winter can be tricky, and we need to be able to be here when needed.

We got to meet fellow bloggers Pam and Vic  from Traveling in the Big EZ, on New Years Day.  

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We stayed in the Tampa area for a while and made it to the big Tampa Rv Supershow, where we discovered that Al was a “celebrity.”

One of my pictures was being used by Thousand Trails and was plastered around the show in quite a few places.

Here is the celebrity, posing in front of a picture of himself.

Al posing in front of Thousand Trails photo of him

I had entered one of the quarterly photo contests from Thousand Trails, so they used the picture extensively in the show.   If you go to any Rv shows this year, be sure to look for Al.  I’ll bet they will be using that photo again.

 

Late January, we managed to get back down to one of our all time favorite places,  Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

We love all the wildlife there and of course I took tons of pictures.

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mating Red Shouldered Hawk on Prairie

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We also met fellow bloggers Tricia and Dan and enjoyed getting to know them during a few happy hours.

Dan and Tricia

We stayed in the prairie a couple weeks and then headed back to Tampa.  My Mom was having some medical issues, so we came back to try and help her.

We weren’t able to get back down to the Keys until mid March.   We had last been there before Christmas.  Al finally got his wish (after much whining and online shopping) and got another boat.

We had always owned boats and the agreement was that when we started fulltiming, we would be out of the boat business.

Wrong.  Here is our wonderful used Proline boat.   The price was right, the hull was right and I loved it too.

our Proline boat at marina

We spent our days offshore,  snorkeling, cruising, and relaxing in the boat and admiring all the beautiful clear water.

Al with two Conch shells

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We had a wonderful month in the beautiful Florida Keys but too soon, it was time to head back towards Tampa.

Due to some more health issues with Mom, we didn’t get back out of Tampa until early June, when we ended up at the very beautiful Lake Greenwood Rv Resort, in Cross Hill, South Carolina.

It was truly a resort, unlike many rv parks that claim to be resorts.

Lake Greenwood Resort and Marina

We stayed 8 days at Lake Greenwood, but it was getting pretty warm and we were dreaming of the mountains.

We finally ended up in Cleveland, Georgia and spent our 40th anniversary in the north Georgia  mountains.

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Soon after, we were the proud owners of a beautiful RV lot in Blairsville, Georgia at Rivers Edge Rv Park.

Rivers Edge

We stayed in Georgia a few weeks, but soon it was time to get back to Tampa so that Al could complete the sale of his pest control business.   He had still been working the pest control business part time, but July 25th was his last day of work.

We didn’t make it back up to Georgia until late August, when we closed on the RV lot and moved in.

Soon after we arrived, a hot tub followed us home.

new hot tub

 

We spent the rest of the summer in the Georgia mountains, enjoying the cooler mountain temperatures.  It was SO nice to be away from the heat and humidity of Florida summers.

There are so  many things to do in the area and we spent many days sightseeing. 

Lots of waterfalls and whitewater.

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beautiful trails.

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beautiful lakes

 

scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

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scenic overlook at Carters Lake,  Ellijay, Georgia

Our hope was to be able to stay in the mountains through the fall so that we could see the beautiful fall foliage.

We did!

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The foliage wasn’t quite as impressive as some years, due to the heavy rain they had during the early summer (before we got there).

Some of the trees in our campground, never really changed colors, but the two Bradford Pears on each side of our site, were gorgeous.

Rivers Edge

Rivers Edge

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We managed to live through some very cold weather with temperatures going down to 17 degrees a few nights.  We finally drug ourselves away from the mountains and reluctantly headed back to Florida.   We can’t wait to get back up there next summer.   If any of you plan a trip to that area, come see us.  We purchased a second RV lot that we will be renting out!   It’s a lovely area with so much to do.

On the way back to Florida, we stopped at Rainbow Springs State Park in Florida for a few days.   It was nice to see the beautiful spring fed Florida rivers again.

Rainbow River from Swampys restaurant

 

We ended the year with a nice paddle at Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River.

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So, although we didn’t cover much ground over the past year, we did have a lot of fun and saw some amazing places.  We met several other RV’ers over the year, and had quite a few visitors at our place in Georgia.  

We hope 2014 will be much the same, starting with a trip to the Keys this month.  (hopefully)

17 comments:

  1. How in the heck did the anniversary date get by you two. Happy Anniversary!

    Great year in review. I think we were with you on almost all your 2013 adventures. Wishing you a fun-filled 2014.

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  2. This is a great year recap Karen with terrific pictures. I have been following you since before you sold the house. You have really done a lot without going very far this year. A new boat, TWO new RV lots and a new hot tub. I think anyone who lives on the road full time whether they own a house or not is a full time RVer, but then I would, wouldn't ? So December is definitely your full time anniversary. Happy anniversary and Happy New Year. Hope 2014 can top 2013 for you but it's going to have a run for its money. :-)

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  3. Nice recap, Karen. Congratulations on 3 years and here's to many more!

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  4. What a nice year in review post! Your sites are awesome in both states, and you have found the best of all ways to live in your RV full time and still be close to your mom.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard
    http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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  5. As I've said on other blogs, I really enjoy these end of year recaps. Nice job.

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  6. I'm with Judy - I really like the end of year wrap ups. Not sure why I don't do one. Congrats on three years. Hopefully 2014 won't hold so many health issues for your Mom.

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  7. Now is this not an amazing lifestyle?
    Glad you enjoy it.
    Happy Anniversary!

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  8. Congrats on your 3 yr. full-timing anniversary. Great recap of 2013 and I look forward to more of your adventures in 2014.

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  9. What a great review and what a fantastic year!! Congratulations on your anniversary!! Time flies when you're having fun!! :-)

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  10. Wow, I feel honored to be a part of your year in review. It's going to be tough to outdo all that you accomplished in 2013, but now you have all these new purchases to simply enjoy. Hope to catch up with you in the Keys this time!

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  11. Great review nice photos, might have to take you up on that rental rv lot sometime!

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  12. Great to see your review! Love the Georgia fall photos…hope we can go there next summer for a quick visit when it's too hot here...

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  13. That certainly was a full fulltime year! And that's what this lifestyle is all about.

    Hopefully 2014 will bring us a face-to-face meeting. And if your hot tub comes up missing after we leave, I won't know anything about it.... ;c)

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  14. Happy Travels in 2014!! Great recap.

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  15. Enjoyed the recap. Sometimes I think you have the best full time experiences because you really explore an area rather than pass interesting things to see or do.

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