I love our lifestyle. We see so many wonderful sights and meet fascinating and fun people. It really is like being on vacation all the time with some boat problems and routine maintenance thrown in. The only down side I can think of is not being able to see the grandchildren often enough. Oh, and there is the heat and humidity to deal with when holed up below the 12th parallel. Hurricane season is officially 5 months long and many boats drop the anchor (or two) and sit in either Grenada or Trinidad for the entire time. Actual daytime temperatures don't alter much but the damp air of the rainy season can make a boat feel like an oven.
And so, for the last few years we have been talking about buying a motorhome and traveling the U.S. during the session. And then one day we saw a new ad pop up on Craigs List and actually bought a motorhome 'sight unseen'. I should back up a bit here, we were sitting around a campfire that night in the Virgins and someone knew someone in St Petersburg that could go look at this fantastic deal and he said it looked like a great buy. Even still, as we were getting within a few miles of seeing her for the first time I was a bit nervous. All for naught. Our new home for the summer months is a 20 year old 33' Fleetwood Southwind. With less than 50,000 miles she is lightly used and in perfect working condition. SLOTH seamed like a perfect name for two 'Sailors Living On The Hard' in a slow moving land yacht.
After a week of intense cleaning and system checks we headed out for our tour of the grandkids. The first destination was a gruelling 30 mile trip that we managed to do straight through without a stop. We visited my son's family and my two adorable granddaughters in Tampa. Riley (age 5) thought she had a new playhouse while her little sister Avery mimicked everything her idol did. We had a fabulous visit and I miss the girls already.
Wal-Mart? Really? Did you know you can camp in their parking lots? While this isn't my idea of a perfect setting if you are only pulling in to spend the night and moving on at first light you can save money and stock up on needed groceries at the same time . Heading north we honed our driveway camping skills while visiting cruising friends in the panhandle and then my dear friend (and former boss) in Georgia, finding it easy to borrow electricity and fresh water as well. We left them feeling a bit like the Griswalds even if we didn't dump our holding tank in the gutter. We also visited out first national campground in Kentucky.
Chippewa Falls is my home town and we spent three weeks visiting my family there. I cherished the time with my grandson Collin, spoiled my father and worked my son Josh. Josh cleaned and polished the outside of SLOTH until it shined.Colin had a chance to go camping with us and I was able to see him daily. We took my father on a road trip to Iowa to see my brother Dave for father's day and were treated like royalty.
Visits with old friends, a wedding attended, games and cards played at the veterans home and time to move on. I am truly blessed.