It’s time for the next chapter…..
In June 2017 we left Palisade, CO with everything we owned packed inside of our 45 ft. “home”. We traveled almost constantly the first year, then we learned that traveling every week or two weeks was exhausting! So, we slowed down and began spending 2-4 weeks in locations that we had read about or heard about from others. We discovered Lake Havasu, Arizona and made lifelong friends, we traveled from coast to coast and stayed overnight at everything from a high-end resort for RV’s to the Walmart parking lot to casinos. In all the years we traveled, one thing we never did do was stay at a truck stop or a rest area.
We had spent 5 months on the road in 2016 and 4 months in 2015. Add all of that up and we’ve been full-timing for 7 years! Now, in case you haven’t heard, we have a new Grandson in Ohio!
We’ve decided to sell the RV and our small casita and RV pad in Florida and live like 99% of the population. Our travels have taken us to every location we had planned except the far northeast. We planned that trip to Prince Edward Island, Maine and the Bay of Fundy for summer 2020 and we all know what happened that year!
It all worked out though because we needed to be with Laura and Chad to await Enzo’s birth and then we were settled and ready when he arrived in September 2020. Our traveling lifestyle has allowed us to see friends and family that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise! We’ve visited work colleagues all over the country, Tonya’s high school band director in California and even “camped” back next door to our house in PA with Scott and Nancy!
It’s bittersweet as we close this chapter and open the next one. For now, we are moving to Wadsworth, OH and will be ~10 minutes from Enzo (and Laura and Chad of course). They bought a house and will move to Rittman, OH and leave their city life in downtown Cleveland for their next chapter. It’s central Ohio for us, just outside of Akron. We have rented an apartment until we get there and see the area and decide on our house. We’re not sure if we want a condo type (no maintenance outside) or a house, but either way, I get a craft room!!!!
Our plan is to rent homes/VRBO type set-ups sometimes during winters and still visit some of our favorite locations. And, I need to see the Bay of Fundy! It’s been on the “list” since day 1!
Many times, people ask us our favorite place we’ve visited. I don’t know that we have a favorite. What I do know is that it was always awkward leaving one location if we were leaving loved ones, because to us, the next location was exciting again and may be with more loved ones.
Some highlights of our journey include…..
Standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona (Tonya cried)
Seeing the Grand Canyon from a helicopter
Parking our rig amongst the redwoods of California
Spending time back in Florida with Tonya’s family and loving every minute of it!
Staying on the coast in Oregon and Washington and both loving the coast and wishing for sun
Visiting, crafting and drinking Fireball with friends at the Islander in Lake Havasu and enjoying every minute of being old when the younger folks entertained us in the channel. (pasties at a whole new level)
Off-roading to the Desert Bar and enjoying the experience of eating and drinking with NO electricity
Kayaking through the channel at Lake Havasu
Discovering the incredible friendliness of truckers
Realizing you can indeed drive across Texas in one very long day!
Going to Algadones, Mexico for lunch and dentistry (with the full support of our daughter… lol)
Riding the Hiawatha Trail in Montana/Idaho
Whale watching up and down the west coast and being in awe (we even saw a feeding frenzy two times)
Jet boating the Snake River in Idaho where the boat is so powerful it is temporarily submerged with the flow of the river
Glacier National Park where Lake McDonald looks exactly like the pictures and the water is so clear you can’t even tell it’s there when you look at the pictures later!
Planning a wedding remotely and being one of 98% of the guests from “out of town”
Discovering that Ohio is a hidden gem
Seeing that the upper peninsula of Michigan is indeed one of the most beautiful places in the country and learning how to describe our travels using the “mitt”
Maintaining our “west connection” and returning home to Colorado annually
Visiting Farragut State Park in Idaho where Roger’s dad had been stationed for boot camp
An airboat ride in Louisiana where we learned about goats and spiders (and gators of course)
Visiting the incredibly scenic Mackinac Island and stepping back in time
Mardi Gras like a local and even seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales unloading
Hiking Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho
Riding bikes in more areas than we can list and enjoying the slower pace
Going through the locks on the mighty Mississippi with our dear friends
Trying to find whiskey in TN
Seeing the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman with Tonya’s Mom and seeing Charlie Pride in concert
Living (at least temporarily) near my childhood friend and having a movie date!
Seeing our PA friends around the country when they visited us in various locations
The food….where do I start? Maybe with the realization that funnel cake and beignets are nearly identical and now we can say we’ve had both!, crawfish in LA, seafood in the east and west, hushpuppies made by us to serve in Oregon because they’d never heard of them!, oysters in Apalachicola, FL, visting some of the Diner, Drive-in and Dives locations, using our coach to ‘drive thru’ Krystals because Tonya was desperate, BBQ in Kansas City, but our favorite has to be the many picnics while bike-riding!
You see…. We could go on and on. In the end, it’s been an incredible experience and we’re excited for the next chapter. 7 amazing years with incredible memories.
Love to all! Tonya, Roger and Maverick
Our on-going debate has been which states to “claim” on our map. Tonya’s from Florida and we just claimed it last year! Some people say if you drove through it or spent the night you can claim it. Nope, not us… We have to have experienced the state and at least the highlights. So, you’ll see there are states we we clearly did visit or drive thru, but we didn’t really experience them, so they are not filled in our map. We had to remove the map today, because the next people to have our “Dutch” will start their own stories and journey.
If you know anyone looking for a 45 ft. great motorhome and a place in Florida with a casita, please send them our way! LOL