Sunday, July 21, 2024

Highway Journey! NJ To Florida, In search of Countless Summer season


As you understand we’ve launched into both one of the best highway journey of our lives, or the worst concept we’ve ever had, solely time will inform. We lastly acquired on the highway, dwelling the RV Life about two months in the past with the intention of dwelling like hippies on their strategy to Woodstock. We weren’t going to emphasize about something ever once more, we have been simply going to wing it and make it up as we go, it was going to be a pleasant enjoyable journey across the nation following 70 diploma excellent climate days. Simply Me, My Spouse, and Our Canine.

You hear tales like ours on a regular basis, perhaps not from actual individuals you truly meet, however undoubtedly on these cable journey channels. It’s often somebody who was once a butterfly photographer that simply bought their home for 1.5 Million, however not Actual individuals.

Sounds nice proper? Pile of money within the financial institution, wind in your hair as you go down the highway, flipping 1 / 4 at each cease signal to see which approach you’re going subsequent…

To date it hasn’t gone like that in any respect.

My birthday is in early March, and in New Jersey which means typically you’re fantastic with only a sweatshirt for the day, and typically there’s two toes of snow for my birthday. This yr I don’t need to be chilly. I’m uninterested in it. I haven’t been simple on my physique the previous 40 years, and the chilly jogs my memory of each single damage. No, This yr we aren’t freezing for my birthday, We’re going to be sitting on a seashore in Miami.

We booked a spot for a month from Valentines day to St Pats in Florida Metropolis in order that we had loads of time to discover the Keys, and Miami, and the Everglades, and simply not be chilly this winter. That is going to be excellent, we’ve over a month to make it from Jersey to Florida, greater than sufficient time to see household and mates alongside the best way with out ever feeling rushed.

We hitched up the fifth wheel and headed for the border. We have been lastly leaving New Jersey. Nothing can cease us now, the truck is filled with gas and I’m not stopping till it must get topped off once more, we ought to be properly out of the “North East Area” earlier than even needing to consider stopping.

Nicely if you understand my Spouse, you understand there isn’t a restroom alongside the interstate freeway system that she hasn’t been in. A couple of half an hour into our 2 yr journey I hear the notorious, “Can we cease for espresso?”, which is Spouse Communicate for “I have to pee, however I do know it’s too quickly to ask to cease for that”.

As lovingly as I might, I replied “Honey, I’ve 500 horses pulling 10,000 kilos and so they ain’t stoppin for something”.

5 minutes later I used to be getting us espresso whereas she was checking off one other cease on her lavatory world tour map. No massive deal, we aren’t vacation spot time primarily based anymore, we’re simply on a highway journey with no plans. No should be in a rush anymore, we’ve the time to cease. We don’t have to do a 20 hour haul from Roswell New Mexico to Las Vegas Nevada as a result of we’re delayed and our son solely has 2 weeks off of college anymore.

This primary potty break was an indication of how the following month was going to go and I by no means even realized it till I used to be trying again on the journey to this point. There have been going to be plenty of issues that we Knew that we have been going to should Relearn. Far more than simply “Doug isn’t stopping till we get there”, transitioning into “Positive, we are able to cease”.

Our first 300 miles from NJ to Shenandoah River State Park ought to have taken round 5 hours. It was nearer to 7. We should always have had loads of daylight left to get parked and arrange. After we backed into our website, I used to be glad that I had put in further reverse lights on the camper as a result of it was pitch black within the valley already.

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The following morning, we took our canine Lagertha (lag-a-tha) for a stroll to take a look at our new again yard, and the journey switched from annoying gradual to completely price it.

Road Trip to Shenandoah River State Park
View from our ‘again porch’ in Shenandoah River State Park

The solar rose brighter, the air smelled cleaner, even the animals have been happier right here. Or, perhaps it was me. Both approach, waking up within the mountains of Virginia was nonetheless higher than any morning caught at residence.

Usually we might have completed strolling the canine after which attached and headed out on our strategy to the following cease, however this time, this journey, we’re slowing issues down. We’re going to keep one other night time and simply get pleasure from not having a schedule to maintain and the truth that there isn’t any snow on the bottom.

The morning is brisk, however by the afternoon the temperature will get heat sufficient to exit and do some path mountaineering and simply loosen up earlier than we hit the highway, not fairly 70, however nearer, and approach higher than the 30 levels again residence. The next morning the temps are within the 20s, nowhere close to 70. Time to go.

Subsequent cease, Croft State Park , not tremendous removed from Greenville SC so I can see my brother and his household, who we don’t get to see fairly often in any respect. We’ve lived within the RV for nearly 6 months now, and now we’re in no rush in any respect, this leg of the journey ought to be tremendous simple.

Nicely, we lived within the RV stationary for six months at an RV park again in NJ, guess what we weren’t within the behavior of doing? Locking the fridge…

Know once we realized it? About 10 miles down the highway once we left Shenandoah.

Know once we discovered a spot to drag over alongside the facet of the twisty, turning, steep mountain roads? About one other 15 miles down the highway…

So… That was cool. However, all is properly now, again on the highway.

We spent the following couple days, catching up with Mike and Jen and the children, and making up for misplaced time with the laughs we haven’t gotten to share collectively the final couple years and had a terrific enjoyable go to. However, alas, its time to go once more.

Subsequent cease Charleston to go to Loretta’s greatest buddy Jenny. We’re solely staying right here two or three days too then its on to Georgia. 10 days later we might truly be on the highway.

We had a good time visiting with Jen and Brandon and the children, and so they even allow us to Moochdock of their driveway, so we’re saving a ton of cash on campsites. Loretta had been to Charleston to go to Jen up to now, however I had by no means been there and didn’t thoughts the additional time testing a brand new metropolis, and with Jen and Brandon dwelling there, it was like having our private tour guides so we acquired to see stuff some individuals may miss out on.

Someplace alongside the road these 10 days, our son and his greatest buddy satisfied us to begin a youtube channel. This seems like a terrific concept! Simply shoot some video, submit it on-line, subsequent factor ya know we will likely be wealthy and well-known and dwelling in Ibiza. It isn’t that simple in any respect actually.

Don’t get me unsuitable, we’re LOVING doing the movies each week, and studying new issues with the video editor, however we’re alleged to be retired now. How did our Son trick us again right into a full time job that we don’t even receives a commission for? Regardless of, he wins this spherical, and if you wish to see a few of the cool stuff we discovered within the Charleston space, try the video under.

We mentioned our goodbyes and acquired again on the highway. We’re 2 weeks in now, and beginning actually really feel the comfort that comes with not having wherever to be and on a regular basis on this planet to get there. Our subsequent cease is in Georgia to go to our mates Kim and Austin.

We arrange store in Excessive Falls State Park for five days. The park was stunning, there have been a lot of nice trails to go mountaineering on, the climate is beginning to be persistently hotter daily. Issues are trying up. We have been solely about an hour from Senoia, which is the place they movie The Strolling Useless, and have executed plenty of different television reveals and flicks, so lets go test it out.

When you haven’t been there, undoubtedly add it to you listing of stops, even when you aren’t a fan of The Strolling Useless. The city is an ideal mix of small city and vacationer city. There’s a cool most important avenue with outlets and even a restaurant owned by Greg Nicotero and Norman Reedus from the present.

Nic And Normans
Actually Good Meals

We spent the remainder of the time in Georgia hanging out with Kim and Austin, catching up on outdated instances and making some new recollections. The women went out and acquired their nails executed whereas Austin and I went and had a couple of drinks and checked out a brand new restaurant. Even with going out to eat a couple of further instances the final couple weeks, we’re nonetheless on finances because of Jen letting us Moochdock, and utilizing the state parks as a substitute of RV Resorts.

That gave us an concept for our second youtube video, on highway journey on a finances.

We wrapped up manufacturing on our second video, and began all the way down to Chewacla State Park for a couple of days. There’s a terrific waterfall hike, and we are going to get to see our Nieces, and Sister in regulation. The park was superior, the verify in workers was nice, and we’re even practising what we preach in our newest youtube video. Hell, we’re even right here forward of schedule for a change, so we’re going to have the ability to shock the women and choose them up from faculty!

As quickly as we parked, the complications began.

It took us nearly an hour simply to get the RV unhooked from the truck. The entrance jacks on the Fifth Wheel have been taking turns not working. As an alternative of lifting the entrance of the RV, they’d rotate it over to at least one facet or the opposite.

I can really feel it beginning to come again now. That stress stage and perspective of a building boss who’s crew is delayed and each time he appears round they’re all “on break” once more. A number of hammer blows to the touchdown gear and some alternative phrases of encouragement, each legs lastly come down and we are able to unhook the truck. Simply should stage it, runs the slides out and plug in. We are able to nonetheless make it to the college on time…

We swap again to our regular routine. I hit the Auto Degree button. Loretta grabs the water hose, I seize the ability twine. Then we hear the beeping error from the jacks once more. Mom Fu…

Shut sufficient to stage. Run the rattling slides out and lets go.

Slides went out simply fantastic, we go to replenish the canine water bowl and the pipes are banging like a cop serving a search warrant. The ability is flickering like we’re in the course of a Halloween haunted home. And my persistence stage is nearing an all time low for the day.

Loretta takes the canine for a stroll and calls Kayla to let her know we lastly acquired the camper and truck separated, I’ve a dialogue with our camper about how drained I’m of its bullshit at present.

Loretta comes again and says “Kayla mentioned this was Jasons favourite place to come back tenting”. Now all of it is sensible. Jason and I used to bust every others chops on a regular basis when he was nonetheless with us, and now we’re at his favourite park. I don’t put a lot inventory on this kinda factor, however after listening to that, I regarded to the sky and mentioned “Okay, you bought me bro, good one.” All the pieces mounted itself at that second and we haven’t had a difficulty with the RV since.

We did make it to the college on time to select up the women and spent the following 3 days realizing how completely satisfied we have been we solely had one boy. My nieces ran me by way of the ringer, and the youngest by some means satisfied me to do gymnastic stretches along with her, I feel I’m nonetheless strolling crooked.

After we go away right here we’re within the residence stretch on our journey all the way down to Miami for a couple of weeks to flee the chilly. We’re heading south into the west facet of Florida, then East over to St Augustine to go to with Aunt Stacy and Uncle Mark and take a look at Previous Metropolis. Once more, one other metropolis I’ve by no means been too and we’ve private tour guides.

That is one other metropolis I might extremely advocate going to when you’ve by no means been earlier than. It’s like Pirates Of The Caribbean meets Nashville. There’s cool stuff to do for each age group within the household, and the climate is gorgeous even in January.

Throughout our tour of the town, I hopped over a small guard rail to take an image and popped one thing in my knee. Now I’m doing the peg leg pirate stroll across the metropolis, the remainder of this journey ought to be enjoyable…

From right here we solely have a pair stops left. We’re heading west in the direction of Tampa and stopping to go to Lorettas dad and mom alongside the best way, then on to see my cousin Katie and her husband Jimmy, and if we are able to squeeze it in, a go to with our mates Kristen and Craig and seeing some sights across the metropolis. Then its off to Fort Myers to go to Lorettas brother Daniel and sister Rebecca and our niece and nephews.

We managed to make the schedule work to see everybody, and even squeezed in an hour to sit down on the seashore in February, as a result of when you can sit on the seashore in February, why wouldn’t you?

Know what occurs we you go from bundled up in winter garments within the north east to half bare within the decrease latitudes and overlook sunblock as a result of its February? Yup…

Regardless of. Tomorrow we’re on the final leg, and I might fairly be a bit itchy from a sunburn than residence shoveling snow.

At this level we’ve been on the highway a month and a half and each of us are trying ahead to being stationary for a short while so we are able to simply take a minute to catch our breath and simply loosen up.

I’ll be trustworthy. We haven’t relaxed but. I don’t assume we have been even arrange for 10 minutes earlier than our new neighbor David pointed and yelled “You guys acquired winners, seize a beer and prepare” and we haven’t stopped since.

We’re right here for a month from Valentines to St Pats, we’ve acquired loads of time to get some stuff executed, can’t damage to go meet the brand new neighbors and throw some cornhole for a bit proper?

We’ve been right here 3 weeks and haven’t gotten any of our “chores” executed but. The individuals listed below are superior, and it nearly seems like residence. All of us hang around like “regular” neighbors, and exit and do issues collectively, and meet up within the pool or the on website tiki bar on the finish of the day and commerce tales of our adventures for the day.

We nonetheless have to ensure Lagertha will get her Mother & Dad time, and her day by day excursions. We had a complete listing of issues we have been going to do once we acquired down right here, and didn’t do a single considered one of them for two weeks. We have been simply having enjoyable with our new “Florida Household” and time began to get away from us.

We realized it one Saturday morning and informed ourselves we couldn’t go outdoors and play with our mates till we acquired some stuff on the calendar so we might truly go verify it off. We took the following 2 hours and acquired some adventures lined up. Now we are able to go hang around, and we’ve “days off” once we can go do stuff.

We have now made some superior new mates and are actually having a good time taking part in within the Florida solar, but when there’s one factor that Life On The Highway is instructing me, its that I actually miss my sofa…

Perhaps the following campground we are able to simply sit across the fireplace and catch our breath? Nah…


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