Accord, NY and Clinton, CT (July-August 2023) Sometimes things just don’t work out and my all time favorite actor!)

We stayed at Thousand Trails Roundout Valley, in Accord, NY for two weeks. We had a spacious site in front of the pool. When we arrived they told us July was their busiest time of year – with “Christmas in July” and all the kiddos out of school. After the first week, many left and I was able so spend a relaxing lunch hour at the pool. We have stayed at a couple of campgrounds that had “adult” pools, which is always nice. And they had a big inflatable bouncy thing here – for the kids…which I tried out too! 🙂 No pics from that!

We love our upgraded awning which provides more coverage. We sit out here in the evenings and play Ticket to Ride, on our iPads And of course we love to cook outside – well G does. 🙂
The pups love “sunning” more then we do!
Nice lunch break – love the Catskills weather and look – almost no one there!
Look at all those cute Dachshunds!!! Garland met the parents & pups one evening.
We think having 2 and a Catahoula mix is a lot!
One thing you must do in the mountains of NY is visit some of the farms and markets!
This is Saunderskill Farm Market & Greenhouse.
All the pickled items are G’s favorite!
I opted for a cheddar and bacon scone – so good! And they had wonderful apple cider donuts!
The (formerly) World’s largest gnome is very close to the campground.
Was raining so just snapped a pic driving by.
On the Vanderbilt Mansion estate in Hyde Park, NY

So, sometime things just don’t work out – no matter how much preparation you put into it. We planned to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion in nearby Hyde Park, but we sat in traffic for about an hour and 1/2 and when we arrived all tickets for tours were sold out. I was very disappointed having visited Biltmore (the Vanderbilt’s country estate) in Asheville, NC many times. So…we decided to go down the road to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home and take a tour there. On the website they listed a later tour, but when we arrived were told there were no more that day. I guess there were just a lot of people from NYC escaping to the mountains that day – can’t blame them! But it was a beautiful day and a nice drive – when not sitting in traffic.

I’m forever taking pics of cool houses! When we quit this lifestyle we want something small like this one and we both love the rock!
This picture just makes me laugh – saw this beautiful HUGE structure from the road (surrounded by gorgeous mountains) and took a detour to find out what it was. It’s the Eastern New York Corrections Facility! We have never seen a jail/prison this pretty. You don’t see the fences until your closer. We drove around a little and I took a pic of the tall guard station. THEN I saw the sign, “ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED”. About that time, G notices the armed guard staring down at us! We high-tailed it out of there. Oops!
We had a power outage one evening and noticed all the neighbors were at the big fire pit.
Met some really nice people here. Making memories!

Our next stop for 2 weeks was a private (not Thousand Trails) campground in Clinton, CT called Riverdale Farm. It was a great location to visit historic towns and beaches.

Loved the Q Bridge in Connecticut!
The “Kate” Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook – definitely worth a visit!

Before visiting Connecticut, we watched a documentary on Katharine Hepburn, who has always been a favorite of mine. Two of my all-time favorite movies are “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” with Spencer Tracy playing Kate’s husband and “On Golden Pond”. I have watched “Guess…” so many times I can recite Christina Drayton’s (Kate’s character) speech when she dismisses “Hilary” because of her narrow views.

Spencer Tracy and Kate were together for 26 years and he passed away just 17 days after shooting his scenes for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”. Kate never saw the completed firm, saying it was too painful for her. For the most part they kept separate residences, but Kate said they spent the last two years of his life, “living a quiet life”, reading, painting and listening to music. Out of consideration for Tracy’s family, Kate did not attend his funeral. It may be hard to understand their relationship and that of Spencer’s with his wife, who did not want a divorce (and that he reportedly had another affair during the time with Kate), but Spencer and Kate’s love was apparent. After learning so much more about their long relationship, their scenes together in “Guess” have new meaning.

Katharine Hepburn was a very private person and not typical Hollywood. She is remembered for her headstrong independence, her spirited personality and for not conforming to society’s expectations of women. Our guide at the Kate Museum had lived in Old Saybrook all her life and remembers seeing Katharine in local stores, playing tennis and riding her bike down the street – how cool! Love seeing the exhibits of her clothing (her beloved pants) and some of her writing at the “Kate.” I was in heaven!

The Spirit of Katherine Hepburn Award – her famous pose.
Wonder if other people have done this? LOL
Painting by Henry Fonda. On the first day of filming “On Golden Pond”, Katharine gave Henry a brown fedora that had been Spencer’s “lucky” hat. This painting was a gift from Henry to Katharine.
Her famous style of dressing. That was her home in the background photo. to the right.
Grace Church in Old Saybrook, CT
Gorgeous homes on the water – close to the Hepburn estate.

Gloucester, VA (Yorktown) / Lebanon, PA (Hershey and a fantastic love story) June-July 2023

During our stay at Thousand Trails Chesapeake Bay (Gloucester, VA) – we visited Yorktown (the battlefield and visitor’s center) and waterfront Yorktown…it was so HOT! We forgot how hot and humid it is in the Southeast! And had my first blue crabs!

Picturesque Gloucester Village had lots of great murals.
They have a good sense of humor! I did not see the blue man fishing in the mural
until after I took the photo! 🙂
We went to the Blue Crab Arts & Crafts Festival at Chesapeake Bay Croquet Club.
G had to teach me how to open them.
My first blue crabs ever….and I concluded they are too much work! Tasty, but too much work!
These jumbo shrimp were much easier to eat – and they were so good!
Yorktown, VA
Had lunch and walked around Yorktown
Yorktown waterfront
Driving the battlefield of Yorktown
The Moore house is a historic building located within the National Historical Park. During the American Revolutionary War, it was the site of negotiations for British General Charles Cornwallis’s surrender at the Siege of Yorktown. Built in 1725. It was badly damaged during the 1862 Siege of Yorktown and restored between 1931 and 1934, using historic photos.
Moore House after the 1862 siege. Look at the soldiers out front.

Next, we stayed at a Thousand Trails in Lebanon – very close to Hershey (that sweet town!)

Loved all the farms/farm land in and around Lebanon, PA
The town of Hershey – love their street lights!
This fantastic light fixture was once in a soda shop in Hershey!

We highly recommend the Hershey Story Museum – lots of information on how Milton & Catherine “Kitty” Hershey formed the town with tree-lined streets, handsome homes, inexpensive public transportation and first-rate public schools. He opened what is now known as Hershey Park (for the recreation of his employees and families) and the nations largest private zoo.

Catherine “Kitty’ Hershey was a force to be reckoned with! She was a working-class girl from western New York and met a rich Lancaster, PA businessman fourteen years older than her at the turn of the 20th century. They fell in love (had a year long courtship), got married (at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC in 1898) and moved to the farmlands of central Pennsylvania. As his company became world-famous, just three years after their marriage, Kitty showed her first signs of the debilitating muscular disease, that would eventually leave her paralyzed.

During her illness Kitty never stopped living life to the fullest. She never let her illness stop her from what she considered her responsibilities and she supervised the construction and landscaping of their new home in Hershey. Their home was not ostentatious and definitely did not reflect millionaire taste of the time.

A friend remembered: “She suffered from a kind of creeping paralysis, but she was very plucky and never made you feel uncomfortable about it. She loved to go and to dress. She loved gaiety and she never complained about her illness.”

Kitty and Milton were at Atlantic City in March 1915, when he was called away on business. Kitty made arrangements to return to Hershey, with a nurse driving her back in a convertible. The numbness in her limbs made Kitty oblivious to the heat and cold, and she insisted on driving with the top down. Her health deteriorated with every mile and by the time they made it to Philadelphia, she was checked into a hospital with pneumonia. Milton hurried to Philadelphia, arriving that same afternoon. After greeting him, Kitty requested a glass of champagne which her husband went personally to get for her. By the time he returned to her room, she had died. He had not realized the extent of her illness. True to form, Kitty had known how ill she was, but had not told anyone, not even Milton. She didn’t want to make a fuss.

Kitty was described as a beautiful woman, graceful and elegant with a bubbly and happy personality. Milton Hershey never remarried. He spent the next thirty years expanding his company and the Milton Hershey School, which he always said was “Kitty’s idea”. I did not know about Catherine “Kitty” Sweeney Hersey before this trip – what a great but short 44 years she lived! And what a legacy!

(this above information is from the Hershey Community Archives)

Hershey and Kitty Hershey

Back in NC (April – June 2023) with a cruise to Canada sprinkled in!

After being gone for so long, it was great to be back on the East Coast! No matter what time zone we’re in, I work East Coast time – so not getting up at 5am is a treat! And NC will always be “home” no matter where we roam. While in Fletcher, NC we visited with family and G and his brother added new batteries and Victron components to our 5th wheel.

Garland and his brother Randy – caching up and doing what they love!
Just like a “sticks and bricks” home, there are always things to upgrade and/or fix! 🙂

We stayed a few days at Lake Norman, NC. We lived in Denver, NC when we were first married, very close to this campground, so always nice to go there.

Stayed in this same campground, in same site right before going full time in 2021.
Dixie Moon came over for a reunion! Also had dinner with one of my Besties and our Cousin.
Next time, we’ll stay longer – too many things to do and people to see!
G also got to jam with Cumberland County Line Bluegrass at dinner one night.
Amazing how they all fall right back into step after so long!

On to the Raleigh area for my work and needed appointments. Oh…and to fly to Newark for a CRUISE to Canada! (our first time in Canada – we will definitely go back)

Stayed at a no-frills campground in the Raleigh area. But we had our own trash can (usually you have to take trash to a dumpster in campgrounds). And as you can see, we had PLENTY of space.

We went on a cruise with YouTubers, “Today is Someday” (Phil & Stacy). We started watching their videos (along with others) before going full time. They were all our inspirations for this lifestyle we love! We had about 100 people in our group, so it was a blast!

Absolutely loved leaving from the Cape Liberty Cruise port.
Went under the GW Bridge – the one we drove across (by mistake) in September 2021
when GPS stopped talking to us!
Bye bye NYC – here we come Canada (New Brunswick and Halifax)
One of the coolest sites we saw in Saint John, New Brunswick was the reversing rapids. It’s a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. At low tide the river empties into the bay causing a series of rapids and whirlpools.
This picture is in the morning – with calm water.
This was later that day in the PM – with rushing water. So cool!
The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world This was a low tide.
Caves at the Bay of Fundy – you can only access at low tide.
Fishing boats – can only go out when the tide comes in!
Saw two covered bridges in Saint Martins – one is large enough for an 18 wheeler to drive through!
Halifax – drunken light posts
Old Burial Grounds in Halifax
St. Mary’s Cathedral in Halifax
We met so many new friends on the cruise – great fun!
My handsome hubby!
Our group scavenger hunt was a blast!
I’m sure other people thought we were crazy! This is our pyramid, in front of a specific restaurant.
The Aqua show on Oasis was the best cruise show we’ve ever seen! Look at those heals in the water!
This show had great music with dancing, synchronized swimming, diving and aerial dance!
We had group events – like this where the WOMEN won! So much fun!
We did a tour of Manhattan the last day of the cruise – love visiting NYC!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral – covered in flowers!
911 Memorial
Sunset on the water

Peaceful New Hampshire day today – got me reminiscing on all the places I’ve seen (from my moving desk) the past 2 years. Not a bad place to work! (these pics are not in any particular order :))

Love the trees here in NH (and cooler weather) and we can’t wait to explore this weekend.
For now I am one with nature!
One of our favorites – View from our deck right outside of Glacier National Park – of St. Mary’s Lake
View from my desk of Cottonwood, AZ
View from our deck – Cottonwood AZ
View from my desk at Monument Valley – Wow!
View from G’s desk at Monument Valley!
Clouds around Mt. Hood, OR – from my desk
View from my desk – Lake Havasu Rodeo grounds.
Snow in La Pine, OR. We still laugh at this one. We left the OR coast to escape the rain and fog and got this snow for two weeks. We are supposed to be chasing 70!!!
Snow capped mountains in CA
I’ve turned into a bird watcher…rural MT
Our deck is our happy place.
For ALL of us!
Garland loves to cook on his smoker – on the deck!
We upgraded our awning area – allows us more time outside in the shade. This is where we battle each other with “Ticket to Ride” on our iPads! (Accord, NY)
But some of us still prefer the sun!

Our first time in Oklahoma with friends – what a fun time Mooch-docking! March 2023

In between TX and TN, we spent a few weeks with dear friends, whom we met in South Dakota in 2021! As I’ve said before, one of the best parts and most rewarding about traveling is the people you meet and Dwaine & Eldora are just the perfect example. They made a detour last year and had dinner with us in Montana and we finally worked out a time to visit them in OK. We enjoyed all our time with them, exploring the area, learning about OK and meeting some of their friends!

Our first night with our friends and G was invited to join their music jam – so much fun – music and stories!
Beautiful sunsets in OK and we were introduced to Braum’s Ice cream – G wanted to go everyday!
Notice what road we’re on?
Not something we’re used to seeing (being from NC) – Bison instead of cows.
We toured the Stafford Air and Space Museum. Lots of informative exhibits. (this tells about the next pic)
Actual flown Gemini – so cool!
A big kid
Actual simulator from NASA.
G was able to turn some things in our friend’s wood shop – he was in heaven!
And I got to do what I love, thanks to our gracious hosts!
Dinner at a local casino
And the best part – meeting great people! What a fun lunch!
First time we’ve seen lots of wind mills at night – had no idea their red lights are so bright after dark.
Until next time OK…we’ll be back!

Cottonwood, AZ, Amarillo, TX and a TORNADO in TN! February – March 2023

After we left Las Vegas we headed back to one of our favorite campgrounds, Thousand Trails Verde Valley in Cottonwood, AZ. A great location, close to Sedona. The largest RV sites we’ve seen in over 2 years on the road and we finally visited Alcantara Winery right next door – don’t miss it!

Yes that’s one site – just love it! And right on the edge of a hill – can’t get more privacy.
Beautiful high desert views – loved the snow capped mountains.
A little cold – had to wear a heavy jacket for walks and bike rides.
Beautiful day in the sun at Alcantara. You’ll notice G is already wearing his hat from the winery – this is one thing we buy as souvenirs – we don’t buy knick-knacks – no room in our tiny home but hats are also wearable!
Music at Alcantara. This might be us in a few years – I can accompany G with a tambourine.
Loved his guitar and their hats and it was good music!
We met up with our fiend Rodney’s sister (at Alcantara Winery) and they invited us to their cousin’s new distillery – Redwall Lounge in Sedona. (say all that twice!!!) It’s who you know – even on the road!
Would highly recommend a visit – a gorgeous location and really good spirits!
Enjoyed Redwall’s outside lounge.
Even got a personal tour of the distillery.
Love dog friendly places!
Sorry if I offend anyone who is from Amarillo but we were not impressed. It’s very dirty looking with paper bags in all the trees, from being blown around and no greenery to speak of. The wind is relentless – I realize they call this the “dust bowl” for that reason and it didn’t help right after I snapped this photo we had an 83 mile an hour wind gust – talk about dirt everywhere!
And then the rain came and we had mud. I don’t like my sky the same color as the ground.
Tip: don’t leave your truck window down…we still have red dirt in cervices everywhere in the truck!
The Cadillac Ranch was just about the only sightseeing we did here. Maybe we missed something in this area…

Our last stop before getting back to NC was Tennessee. I didn’t know we were heading to part of “tornado alley” but we did. We stayed at Thousand Trails Natchez Trace. Huge campground! The parkway right outside the campground was really pretty – nice to see so much forest and greenery. This is where Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition died and was buried.

Right outside our campground in Hohenwald, TN
Damage from the tornado that was 5 miles from our campground – on the ground for appx 40 minutes. We were in the storm shelter (lower level racket ball court) with tons of other families and everyone’s wet dogs for over an hour – nerve racking and the first time we’ve ever had to take shelter. When that alarm goes off on all your devices, you need to move quickly, to seek shelter somewhere other than your 5th wheel! I always take notice of where we can go in the event of a bad storm, when getting to a new location.
This was a storm with hail, our second week in Hohenwald. Nerve racking after the tornado the week before! You’ll notice on campground information with a map – if they list where the storm shelter is…you’re in a location where you might get bad weather.
This is a bridge right before you get to Nachez Trace – luckily it’s not the only way to the campground entrance…but as you can see people have come that way and not noticed the height warning AND lost air conditioners and other things from the top of their RVs. You HAVE to know what your height limit is people!
We stay at Harvest Hosts as much as we can for overnights on travel weekends. You are encouraged to spend $20 with the business. This is the most RVs (of all sizes) we seen staying at one – it was Crafty Bastard Brewery in Knoxville, TN – good food!
And of course we NEVER pass up a Buc-ee’s! Best bathrooms and brisket sandwiches EVER!
If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and go!

Vegas Baby (January – February 2023)

This was Garland’s first time in Las Vegas and I had not been since the 90s. We saw a couple of great shows, ate really good food, more food, took in the lights AND weird spectacles and a visit to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Moulin Rouge was our first show – what a great musical!
But…Love, the Beatles Cirque du Soleil was one of the best shows either of us have EVER seen! Highly recommend it – the music was awesome and there are no bad seats in this theater!
I’ve seen a few Cirques before, but this was the best one yet!
Recently found out that it’s illegal to take photos of the “real” Eiffel tower lite up at night. You can, but just don’t ever try to sell that photo!
The famous fountains at the Bellagio are always fun!

Speaking of the Bellagio (my fav in Vegas) – the atrium is gorgeous and adds new themes every few months.
Pictures don’t do it justice!
And the Bellagio lobby – where I first saw Dale Chihuly’s glass work!
Just breath-taking! Such a classy resort and casino!
Love trying new things – like quail at the Bellagio buffet. G loved the oyster bar!
Yum, making you hungry?
Dinner and drinks at the Osteria Costa Italian restaurant at the Mirage –
wonderful food and you must try the Lemon!
Totally different atmosphere at Freemont Street – be prepared for the performers on the street!
The Wynn
We loved the Wynn Buffet as much as Bellagio!
Love all the good desserts you can try.
Don’t hesitate to venture off the strip for great food. Someone recommended Scrambled in Henderson, NV and it was worth the short ride there! They have “multiple” different eggs benedict –
I was in heaven choosing two 1/2 orders.
Hoover Dam
High Bridge at Hoover Dam – this was not here when I came in the 90s.
Lake Mead – way down below is the where we had dinner – cause we always eat!
Dinner at Lake Mead Marina at sunset.

Alas, we will continue working remotely as we travel…since we can’t live off Vegas winnings!

Xscapers Annual Bash – This ain’t your grandma’s RV rally! (January 2023)

In the middle of January we headed to Lake Havasu, AZ for the Xscapers Annual BASH. Xscapers is a group, under Escapees, geared more toward working-age RVers and many who travel with children. The Annual BASH is their largest event and is a week-long party, with tons of events for everyone. They have fitness classes, RV seminars, events for kids…but the nighttime is when the real fun begins. Themed nights with live music (the bands were awesome), a lip sync battle and the lot crawl was epic. The Xscapers Olympics was a blast – think bouncy castles for adults! I found I’m really good at flipping a solo cup! The common theme at this event is Work hard – Play hard! We took a few days off that week – just too much happening to work!

Waiting for the LyteBryte band to come on, someone decided to entertain the crowd by fire jumping on an electric bike! No adult was harmed in this stunt!
People decked out in neon – we were very understated compared to most! But I had “shiny” pants!
Will have to “step” it up next time! Wow!
We met Dave, from the Boarder Hookups – one of the You tubers we watch! They also played at Bash!
Garland also played, after the Lip sinc battle!
Fun getting to know our neighbors!
The best part is making new friends!
I learned I’m REALLY good at cup flipping!
“People” foosball during the Olympics!
The Chill space at main camp.
Drone view of BASH – boondocking for one week at Lake Havasu Rodeo grounds!
You have to go see the London Bridge when in Lake Havasu – brought over from England!

Christmas and New Year’s in California (the Rose Bowl Parade) December 2022-January 2023

We spent the 2022 Christmas holiday in a little town called Coalinga, CA, in the San Joaquin Valley. It was formerly known as Coaling Station A. If you have been there I’m sure you’re wondering why we stayed there! Pretty much the only things in Coalinga are pistachio and orange orchards, cows and a State Prison. Oh and starting around November until Spring, they have what’s called Tule fog. The fog is different in this area, if you look up in the sky you don’t see it, it hangs low to the ground. Can’t imaging dealing with that every year for many months. This was just a good distance for us to stop and work, on our way to the Rose Bowl Parade further south!

We put up Christmas lights on the pup fence outside and that made me happy! And I have small decorations for inside the 5th wheel. We had ham biscuits for Christmas eve – a family tradition and G smoked a prime rack of ribs for Christmas day. Like I said before, keep as many of your traditions that you can, even on the road. Also a funny tradition I keep is Sociable crackers with can-spray (yes I said can) cheese. I have many memories of having this at my Mom’s house and fighting over the “fake” cheese and crackers with my cousin Jonathan. 🙂

Love garlands (and my Garland!) they don’t take up valuable room in your tiny home!

As I’ve mentioned before, we are members of Escapees RV Club and for the last week in December and New Year’s we attended our first HOP (Head Out Program) with this group. We stayed in Santa Clarita, CA and attended the Rose Bowl Parade and events, mostly held in Pasadena, CA. We loved the Santa Clarita / Castaic area. I grew up watching the parade with my Mom, so this was very special for me. Garland had a ball helping decorate the floats – he worked on the Blue Diamond Almond float. (I was working that day so I didn’t have to be at the bus at o’Dark:30 in the am to drive to Pasadena!) They start designing the floats in February – 10 months ahead of the actual flower decorating part. Every single float is decorated in purely organic material – flowers, seeds, rice, coffee beans, etc. Just amazing! Such detail work all done by volunteers.

Garland and our group had a great time decorating the floats!
Flowers and more flower for the floats!
I would not want the tedious job of cutting the flower petals! And they are multiple warehouses full of flowers and organic material.
What a process – cutting the flowers!
This is the float Richard Petty rode on.
Coffee going on one of the float horses.

I went to the Rose Bowl EquestFest. All the horses and riders participating in the parade put on a show at the LA Equestrian Center. It was FANTASTIC! I could watch horses all day! Bonus, I got to see the field where the polo scene in Pretty Woman was filmed!

The Express Clydesdales at EquestFest
I love all the patriotic parts of a show! And the horses were all gorgeous!
And it was THAT exciting to watch too!
All the groups that preformed their routines were great!
Wow – look at those tails AND saddles!
Biggest / fluffy tail I’ve ever seen!
The Painted Ladies group was my fav…ok I’ll stop with the horse pictures. I bet I took 200 pics!

We had catered dinners every night but New Year’s Eve was of course more of a party. AND we always have a great time celebrating our Anniversary (on January 1st) on New Year’s Eve! Garland says the reason he wanted to get married on New Year’s day is: #1 he’ll never forget the date and #2 everyone helps us celebrate and ring in our special day!

Funny New Year’s eve photos – was trying to show my pretty shoes!
Our new friend Wendy – loved meeting her and her Mom Jan! They worked so hard being our hosts.
G jamming with new friends at the HOP

On our Anniversary we drove to the Santa Monica pier. I really wanted to go onto the pier but didn’t realize the amount of people who would be there on New Year’s day! Wow, was it crowded – too crowded with 3 dogs! I definitely want to go back someday as this is the end of Route 66 and it’s just a really cool landmark – not to mention a lot of movies and TV shows have been filmed there. But…we settled for walking on the beach with a view of the pier. It was raining that day, but the pups didn’t care – they love the beach. We also drove to the Griffith Observatory, but once again, it was too crowded. We couldn’t even find a parking spot – doesn’t help when you have such a HUGE truck. Funny, not long ago I mentioned that the Observatory was where Adelle had her television concert, which we loved. G said if he had known that was the place, we would have tried harder to find parking. Go figure! 🙂

G with the pups at Santa Monica Beach
Its like herding cats, trying to get everyone to pose! They want to dig in the sand!
Orso said that’s as good as it gets – his tongue out!
Iconic CA life guard shack.

The Rose Bowl Parade was held on January 2 this year since the first was on a Sunday. We left the campground VERY early to get parked before 6:30am with the parade starting at 11am. As part of our group package we had VIP seats for the parade and they were awesome and of course we ate some donuts while waiting on the parade to start. Tip: don’t forget to bring a blanket – its rather chilly in the morning. The parade is something I never thought I would see live and it did not disappoint! Loved seeing the floats, bands and horses come down the street in all their glory, especially the float G worked on.

B-1B Lancers flying over the parade – so cool!
Cold morning waiting for the parade to start! You know it’s cold when G wears a hoodie!
Blue Diamond float that G worked on!
G’s bee in parade – on the back of the float.
So colorful!

Loved the moving parts on the floats – larger pic of float above.
Look at the trees on this float!
The Riverside Sherriff’s dept honored a Motorcycle Deputy recently killed in a traffic stop.
Gorgeous horses in the parade! Just imagine when this parade started in 1890 horses pulled ALL the floats and carriages.

Richard Petty on the NASCAR float.
Costumes for the performers and bands were great!
High School and College bands participated.
I love the Color Guards with the bands – I did this for a while in high school. G also played in the band.
What a crowd and I was so happy they provided us with cushions for our seats! A great day!

Oregon (Snow and more snow) and California (October – November 2022)

After the Oregon coast, we headed to Mt. Hood, OR, staying at Mt. Hood Village RV Resort – would highly recommend it. They have a lovely restaurant and we even played some ping pong. Sites here were nicely spaced apart and they have yurts in the more wooded area, if you prefer that style of “glamping”. We also camped right beside a friend who we saw in Seaside – enjoying a meal and drinks together.

Moss covered trees in Mt. Hood RV resort
Some campgrounds have interesting “cabins”. Very cool yurts.

We of course went to a few really good restaurants in the area (and found our new favorite “Mexican Cabbage salsa”). We even had dinner with a friend from home – Rick, who played in a bluegrass band with Garland. Rick was visiting and we took advantage – always great to catch up. This was at one of our favorite chain restaurants – Black Bear Diner. There are no Waffle Houses in this part of the country, so Black Bear is our elevated Waffle House go to. 🙂

Dinner with Rick at Black Bear Diner (elevated Waffle House) 🙂
Highly recommend SkyWay Bar & Grill in Zigzag, OR – what a cool name for a town!
SkyWay – pretty inside and out

We drove up to Mt. Hood and it’s just beautiful. I should have tried skiing again, but another time. Mt. Hood is one of the only places you can ski all year long.

Mt. Hood – year-round skiing

Snow covered trees near Mt. Hood

We left the Mt. Hood area and went inland to La Pine, OR. We were escaping the rainy weather and did not know we were moving into SNOW. Obviously needed to go further inland! Week one, we had 4 inches and week two, we had 5 inches. This may not seem a lot for you more Northern people, but to us Southerners, it’s a lot….especially living in a 5th wheel. When purchasing some newer campers, they will tell you it’s made for 4-Season living. Not really. Thank goodness for the fire place beside my desk and we definitely went through some propane keeping the underbelly of our rig warm. This is when you’re happy to have full hook-ups with 50amp power, to be able to use electric heaters if needed. Also, we would recommend tank heaters.

First snow in La Pine, OR (pups thought we were chasing 70 degrees – what happened!?!)
Loved the snow covered trees!

FIRST time in California for this NC girl! Crossed into CA at the Siskiyou County line. Not long after crossing into CA Garland and I both agree, we saw the most amazing, awe inspiring sight we’ve seen in our travels so far. It was a very overcast day with lots of darkish clouds – not very pretty. I was taking pictures of some burnt areas beside the highway and of tumbleweeds. In front of us, without warning, a diamond shaped mountain covered in snow and ice just appeared out of the clouds. Since we were not expecting this, we were speechless. I think we said “WOW” quite a few times!

Our fist view of Mount Shasta – I may say this quite often…but this picture does not due this justice. We had no idea we were close to the awesome site, until the clouds parted. WOW! It looked like a diamond in the sky!

Mount Shasta is a potentially active volcano at the southern end of the Cascade Range at an elevation of 14,179 feet – not even the tallest in CA but so impressive! Native Americans believe in the mountain’s sanctity. They think of it as being the center of the universe and legend has it some believe it to be on the most sacred site and is the home of the Creator. The mountain flanks the territories of various American tribes.

These are some views of Mount Shasta as we left the area! Wow!

We stayed in Yreka, CA and then Oroville, CA. Had a great Thanksgiving dinner for two with smoked turkey and traditional sides and then G tried out his new drone at Lake Oroville State Recreation area. There are a lot of places you can’t fly a drone – like National parks and lots of restricted air space so this was a great location for him to practice. Plus, it was a gorgeous November day!

Tip for new full-time RVers – make time to keep up your holiday traditions, even if they’re scaled down. While you will miss your family and friend’s back home, this life is so rewarding and probably a once-in-a lifetime opportunity.

This is why G’s friend’s call him “Gadget”

Lake Oroville – prefect for drone fun!

The last weekend in November, we visited Bidwell Mansion State Historic park, in Chico, CA. This was the home of General John Bidwell (who founded the town of Chico) and Annie Bidwell from the late 1868 until 1918. When constructed, Bidwell Mansion featured modern plumbing, gas lighting and water systems. You can see the bell system in the kitchen – kind of like the system they used in Downton Abbey – for the upper floor occupants to notify staff of services needed – like tea, dressing help, etc. The tour was great and it’s a treat getting to see into that kind of life. They have actual photos of parties where the house was decorated in flowers and also a typical dinner menu – just amazing! Hard to believe they ate that much – very decadent!

Bidwell Mansion – great tour
Most interesting toilet EVER – when most did not have indoor plumbing!
Loved the photos they had of the Mansion in its day – this was a party, decorated with flowers.
Typical dinner menu – not for a party! Wow!
Wedding present to Annie from Gen. Bidwell

They had some of the actual carriages used during the Bidwell’s lifetime and a massive Ginkgo biloba tree. Loved the unusual shaped leaves of this colorful tree.

Gingko tree and leaf – I love trees!

Garland built me a stand-up desk while we were in OR! I’m spoiled – working like this (even) on the road! Helps to have your own IT dept!

The West Coast: Oregon (September – October 2022)

On the top of my bucket list was going to the Oregon Coast. Growing up in the Southeast, I’m very familiar with a certain style of beach – like NC/SC and even Florida – with sand dunes and flowing grasses. I traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2009 and fell in love with the rocky terrain at the beaches there….so I knew I would love the Pacific Coast. Plus, I’m a huge movie geek, so visiting film locations is always a kick!

Cannon Beach in Seaside is a huge expanse of a beach and beautiful, even on overcast/rainy days. Some movies filmed at or around the “Haystacks” are “The Goonies”, “Twilight” and “Point Break”.

The Haystacks on Cannon Beach
Houses at Cannon Beach
Hello Pacific Ocean – it was a cold overcast day…but made for gorgeous pics!

Seaside, OR was a place of firsts for both of us: -first time dipping our toes into the Pacific, -first time being in a campground with a Tsunami Evacuation plan and last but not least -first time driving our truck on the beach! I even did this one day when I was exploring by myself…Garland was not too happy when I told him after…guess I can’t blame him considering I couldn’t figure out how to turn on 4-wheel drive AND I admitted it. But I made it off the beach unscathed. 🙂

We stayed at Seaside Thousand Trails and when you arrive they give you a two page pamphlet with important Tsunami information and our site was directly across from the evacuation trail – which you have to walk – no vehicles allowed. One thing I would recommend is they should list (on the pamphlet) that the first Wednesday of the month (at Noon) the town of Seaside tests their Tsunami warning siren. Talk about giving me a heart-attack…until I released what it was!

We had dinner a couple of times with a co-worker of Garland’s (Mike) and were very grateful for his knowledge of the area. Enjoyed restaurants in Seaside near the merry-go-round and also the Sandrap Bar & Grill beside the beach. On our traveling weekend before this campground, we met a really nice couple at a Harvest Host, who we now call friends and had dinner with them also. Chris & John introduced us to Camp 18 Restaurant – “A Dining & Logging Experience”. Would definitely recommend! We also ran into a couple we met in Quincy, WA (at the hot tub there) (Julie & Gary) and joined them in the hot tub one evening in Seaside. This campground also has an indoor pool, which is great for families. You realize how small the world is – meeting up with new and old friends on the road.

Having fun at Camp 18 Restaurant
If you are a “lover” of wood like Garland, you’ll love the interior of Camp 18. The owners milled all the wood!
Front desk at Camp 18

We spent a day exploring Astoria and the nearby Cape Disappointment State Park (which is actually in WA). First we had lunch at a local restaurant (can’t fool anyone- trying local restaurants is one of our favorite things especially when there’s fresh seafood!), then we visited the Columbia River Maritime Museum and both loved it. Definitely worth the time.

At the Columbia River Maritime museum

We drove around Astoria to see some of the “Goonies” filming locations – the county jail where they have the black jeep seen in the movie and the Flavel House. Plus, Astoria is just a really cute town.

After going over the metal bridge (back into WA), we hiked one of the prettiest trails I’ve ever been on – in Cape Disappointment State Park. The massive trees, all the moss and magical light – transports you to another place. And the views of Long Beach at the lookout will take your breath away. We went to Waikiki Beach and had a view of the lighthouse there. Next went to the Benson Beach trail – don’t miss this one! We were the only ones on the trail and then were afforded the most magnificent sunset – on a practically deserted beach. Just magical – although a little chilly on the beach.

Hike at Cape Disappoint – was magical!

We don’t have trees or moss like this in NC!
Lookout with view of Long Beach
Waikiki Beach with light house in distance.
Closer view of Cape Disappoint Lighthouse
Benson beach – beautiful but very chilly!

Seaside will definitely be someplace we visit again and again. Still need to ride our eBikes on Cannon Beach. 🙂

One night at a Harvest Host in Idaho – and on to Washington state. (August/September 2022)

We have utilized Harvest Host a lot this past year, since we have a 5th wheel that’s has more boondocking capabilities. You have to be self contained to stay with HH. Mostly wineries, breweries and farms with some golf courses and other businesses sprinkled in. They just ask you spend $20 with the host business. Such a hard thing – tasting some wine and or having a good meal. 🙂

We stayed at a farm in Bonners Ferry, Idaho – beautiful country! Would definitely go back to Idaho to see more.

Wait for me!!! At the HH farm in Bonners Ferry, ID
Out HH greeters – you never know what animals you’ll see!

Next stop was Colbert, WA – close to Spokane. We liked this area and the campground was adorable with a pick-your-own veggie garden. We would recommend visiting High Country Orchard, nearby for lunch and Frank’s Diner (an old railway dining car) in Spokane for breakfast/brunch!

Every street in the campground had cute bird houses and flowers.
Frank’s Diner in Spokane – go there!
Riverfront Park in Spokane, WA
I think his is the coolest idea. I’m not a good painter but would love to do this!
Riverfront Park

We went to Riverfront park in Spokane – what a beautiful day and lots of things to see there. Many families and people with their dogs, enjoying the day.

Our next stop was Crescent Bar RV Resort on the Columbia River Gorge, in Quincy, WA. We absolutely loved this park. We love hearing and seeing the fighter jets that use the gorge as a training ground. Nothing like the sound of freedom! And our camp site didn’t hurt either – just mere steps from a hot tub. And like normal we made new friends there.

View of the Columbia River Gorge AND the hot tub.

From Crescent Bar, we took a day trip to Leavenworth, WA. A Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains. Loved all the Alpine-style buildings with German restaurants and tasting rooms. Would absolutely love to go back during the holidays and when they have snow!

Leavenworth, WA

Glacier National Park in Montana (August 2022)

I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think you can spend any time in or around Glacier National Park and not be awed by the beauty and wonder of our great land. To me, it’s simply God’s country and we have the pleasure of visiting for a while. Garland had this on his bucket list even before we went full time and it did not disappoint. This was also another place we had friends come and visit, which is always a BONUS!

This was our first look at Many Glacier – pictures don’t do the water color justice!

We stayed at a campground over looking Saint Mary’s lake in Babb and ate at St. Mary’s restaurant a few times. Take time to look around at all the history at the restaurant. We drove to the Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake. Absolutely gorgeous “Swiss” style hotel with awe-inspiring majesty outside and a magnificent towering lobby.

Young Moose (with fur still on his antlers) at our campground – we saw him twice. He was about 7 feet tall!
G enjoying dessert at St. Mary’s restaurant
When snow melts, this becomes a double water fall.

We visited Running Eagle falls. During the wet season it’s a double waterfall with water coming from above and from inside the mountain. We only saw the single but a great short hike.

One or our stops on the Red Bus – Logan Pass
Sunset on Going to the Sun Road
Look how close you get to the rocks on Red Bus!
Many Glacier hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake
Lobby of Many Glacier Hotel

We took two tours during the week with Roger and Corina – the Red Bus tour and the boat tour on Many Glacier lake and Lake McDonald. There is a bit of walking in between the two lakes, so just be prepared or you can just do one of the boat tours. Would very much commend both! You learn so much about the park on both the Red Bus and Boat tours. We also had great meals at both Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald – would recommend both. And always try the “Huckleberry” desserts and drinks. 🙂

On our boat tour.
Water color was just beautiful – this is no filter.
Walking to the second boat – this is right before we saw a Mama bear and her two cubs on the trail. Luckily they were not interested in us – they were headed to swim.
Lake McDonald – second boat
From the safety of our boat – watched Mama bear and her two cubs play in the water. Notice the 2nd cub to the left and he is a black color where the Mama and other cub look brown.
Lake McDonald and glaciers

If the only thing you do in Glacier is driving the Going to the Sun road, you won’t be disappointed. Luckily Roger rented a truck (smaller than our dually) so we were able to to drive this gorgeous road a few times – maximum length is 21 feet. Tip – if you have a reservation for a tour or dinning in the park, you can access the Going to the Sun road or you’ll need to purchase an entrance time.

Mountain Goats on Sun Road

Leaving Wyoming to gorgeous Montana and lots of history (July 2022)

From Cody, WY we went to Custer, Montana. If you don’t take it with you, you won’t have it – not much in Custer but this was just a stopover for us on the way to Glacier. We stayed at The Fort @ 49. Full hookup RV sites (in a field) and the Fort @ 49 restaurant. Would definitely recommend eating there but make a reservation! People drive from hours away for the great food. Bonus, we had friends that detoured to us for a night’s stay and dinner at the restaurant – best part of being on the road is meeting new friends. We had some beautiful sunsets and the night sky is vivid with very little light pollution. We were able to see multiple Star Link satellites being launched – very cool!

Garland’s favorite place to be in the afternoon – especially smoking meat!

Always great food at the Fort @ 49

Our next stop was Fort Benton, MT. Very cool town – it is the oldest continuously occupied settlement in Montana and at one time their main street was considered the “Bloodiest block in the West” with gunslingers walking the street. Poker was played with six-guns atop the tables and females from the brothels were as tough as the men. A lot of history at their waterfront, including the first bridge in Montana to cross the Missouri river and the story of Shep’s vigil – dog stories always get us. We would also recommend eating at Wake Cup for breakfast or brunch!

Actual picture of Shep

Epic Wyoming (Yellowstone and Cody) July 2022

Garland and I took vacation for the week of July 4th and our Faux kids Nathan and Mackenzie came out to visit. They flew in to Billings, MT and we stayed in Cody, WY. We drove into Yellowstone for two days. If you don’t stay in the park you have to travel quite a ways to just get there – but it’s so worth it! We hired someone to come and take care of the pups those days – too long to leave them. 🙂

Cody Rodeo on the Forth of July! What a way to celebrate our country!
The Cody Firearms experience – we all shot the Gaitling gun!
All smiles – at the beginning of a 13 hour day in Yellowstone!
Grizzlies Blueberry and her cub – we watched them playing together – at a distance!
We took this with a scope and cell phone.
Up-close pic of Blueberry and her cub. A ranger gave me this pic taken a few days before we saw them!
Huge Elk right beside the road!
Old Faithful was late, but she finally blew!
Blue Star Spring – color was even prettier in person!
Grand Canyon of Yellowsone
One of our favorite stops in Yellowstone – just massive!
Mammoth Springs
Grand Prismatic Spring – WOW
Next time we go to Yellowstone, we’ll go to the higher overlook for better pics! We definitely want to go back, since we could not go to Hayden Valley – due to all the flooding the park had just experienced.
Horseback riding in Cody
At Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody – G almost has the wingspan of a Golden Eagle! G and the kids liked the Firearms Museum – I loved the paintings and sculptures. Something for everyone.

Then we went to a Chuck Wagon cook out!
Visited the Old Trail Town
Watched the shoot out show at the Irma while having dinner.

Park City and Coalville, UT (May – June 2022) Riverton, WY – on the way to Cody

I fell in love with Park City! Could see us retiring there…if housing prices were not so high! Wow. Just gorgeous everywhere you go. Weather was awesome and it even snowed on Labor Day! I got up at the usual 6am to take the pups out and we had about an inch and 1/2 and it was snowing like crazy – big wet flakes – beautiful. Of course since it was a holiday, so we went back to bed and by the time we got up a few hours later all the snow was gone. But everywhere you looked you can see snow-capped mountains. Don’t think I would ever get tired of seeing that. We could look at our windows and see the Olympic Ski Jumps from the 2002 games!

Peaceful stream at our RV park. There were streams like this all over the place!
Snow on Memorial Day 🙂
Gorgeous Park City, UT

One of the best parts of Park City was having our friends (Leslie & Scott) join us for the holiday weekend – we had so much fun and love sharing places with our friends!

We drove up to appx 10,000 feet and found BIG snow! We laughed so much getting this epic selfie!

The Great Salt Lake and beautiful landscape
And Buffalo on Antelope Island

Stayed next in Coalville, UT – very restful and Garland took advantage of another stream.

Riverton, WY (our stop on the way to Cody) Enjoyed a nice quiet stay at Stilson RV Sites. Got to know our hosts – very nice and helpful and we enjoyed riding on the trail behind our site – very convenient to shopping in town. The drive to Cody through Shoshoni and and Thermopolis is very pretty.

Bike path through the small town of Riverton, WY
Driving to Cody
Driving to Cody

Utah (April – May 2022)

The fabulous Monument Valley, UT. I visited here with girl friends in 2007 and could not wait for G to experience the “out of worldlyness” of the monuments! Highly recommend the tours offered at Goulding’s – worth it and more!

The Left Mitton
John Ford’s point
The million $ picture our guide Jamison helped us get! 🙂
Even views from the visitor center are out of this world!
View from visitor center – you can see the road you take to go through the park.

We drove out to Goosenecks, past Mexican hat and drove the 17 mile road through Valley of the Gods. And of course stopped at Forest Gump’s point, where the speed limit drops to 35 mph since so many people have been hit by cars – you just have to get that picture in the middle of the road!

Driving in Valley of the Gods
Forest Gump’s point
And had to stop one more time on the way out for a pic!

Moab: Canyonlands National Park and Arches (just WOW)

We both think Canyonlands Islands in the Sky is more impressive than the Grand Canyon –
you can’t see the end!
Such a cool drive….IF you have a jeep! 🙂

This was a great hike up to Upheaval Dome – it’s a mystery how it was formed.
We took an evening/photography tour of Arches – unfortunately it was cloudy but still beautiful! Our guide was great – even wrote a book on “faces you see in rocks in Arches” which is called Pareidolia.
Skyline Arch
Sand Dunn Arch – tip: don’t go when it’s windy!
We couldn’t see from the sand in our faces, walking to this Arch!
Walking to Sand Dunn Arch
An Elephant
Balanced Rock

We did not get close to Delicate Arch – that’s the most famous one and most recognizable. There were just too many people.

Arizona (March & April 2022)

Spent a full month with the snow birds in Picacho Peak – one of our favorite campgrounds ever and met some really great people. Very much a resort park with many activities!

Loved riding our bikes at Picacho peek
We spent so much time at the pool and hot tub here!

Visited Rooster Gogburn Ostrich Ranch (right beside Picacho Peak RV Resort). G and I both loved the Rainbow Lorikeets, all the different goats and I fed the Cownose Stingrays!

Saguaro, saguaro and more saguaro – my new favorite cactus!

Cottonwood, AZ We stayed at Verde Valley Thousand Trails – the sites are huge and we like the high desert. Location couldn’t be better – 30 minutes from Sedona.

Nite view from our deck at Verde Valley

We visited Sedona, Montezuma Castle National Monument and Jerome!

Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village in Sedona
Jeep tour in Sedona – I did not get to drive, just posing 🙂
Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona

Chapel of the Holy Cross
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Orso didn’t last long walking around Montezuma!

And while in AZ, we upgraded to a bigger 5th wheel – oh moving even from one tiny space to another is NOT fun. 🙂

Goodbye Sabre – had you for less than a year!
HELLO washer and dryer!
Hard to believe we got all this stuff put away!
But, it was worth it. We love our deck and the pups think we got it just for them!

Gettysburg, PA (October 2021)

We headed back out on the road after my Mother-in-law’s funeral – to Pennsylvania.

Stayed at Gettysburg Farm in Dover, PA. Great location and we were lucky to have some friends came to visit from Maryland for the Halloween celebration. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate, but we had a good time anyway…with less trick or treaters. More candy for us! Loved the animals they have at the campground, including Alpacas! Great paths to ride bikes also – through the corn fields.

Love having family and friends visit!

Would highly recommend purchasing an audio tour when visiting the Gettysburg battleground. We learned so much of the history driving through the park. Twice we went into the town of Gettysburg, dining at a local Distillery and the famous Dobbin’s House – oldest house in Gettysburg and was used in the Underground Railroad. Make reservations early – wait was over 2 hours! Friends we met in Kansas drove to have dinner and visit. That’s the best about meeting new friends on the road – seeing them again!

Having dinner with friends at The Dobbin’s House
There were a few monuments with dogs – loved that!

Home for the Holidays (Nov-Dec 2021)

We were home from Thanksgiving to right before Christmas – doing a lot in a short time!

Hometown Christmas Parade
Christmas party with Framily 🙂
Small trees are a must in small spaces!

Went to the Chinese Lantern Festival – first time for both of us and it was Beautiful!

Fun times with our good friends!