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July 1, 2013

Video about Wilderness Lakes

WAY back when we were first thinking about living fulltime in an RV, I found, and began reading about Jason and Nikki’s adventures.  They too had decided to sell all their stuff, move into an RV, and travel the US.  While we were on a trial run in Northern California, we ran into them at Pacifica.  Molly and I got to talk to them about various things, and we continued to follow their adventures online.  Well, we ran into them again last April, while they were here at our “home” park of Wilderness Lakes, in Menifee, CA.  We volunteered, along with our friends the Ewing’s, to be in their photo’s and videos of the campground.  One of the ways they earn money on the road is to produce these videos and reviews for RV Parks.

In their blog post, you’ll see some info about the local town of Temecula.  We’ve discovered it to be a great place to go ourselves, and it always amazes my what kinds of stores and entertainment we find there.  At the bottom of the post, there’s a final picture of all of us.  I don’t know what kind of pose I was going for.  In the video, you can see the Ewing’s, and Molly is in there with Hester, fishing and golfing.


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February 24, 2013

Carlsbad, NM

So, we left Medina Lake, and headed towards Carlsbad.  We had a planned detour based on a recommendation from some good friends.  They’d told us about the Monahan’s Sand Hills State Park. Since we didn’t plan on going to White Sands, this was going to give us a bit of a taste of the sand dunes.  It turned out to be a great stop.  Based on the timing, and our future plans for snow, we went ahead and purchased one of the saucer sleds they have.  Molly had a blast going down some of the sandy slopes.  Not much fun going up, but I agree with her on that part.



We then got back on the road, and headed to Carlsbad.  We had a reservation for the Carlsbad KOA, which is about 30 miles or so north of the main town area.  But, IT finally happened to us.  This particular IT, is a tire blow out.  Fortunately, it was one of the rear dually tires, on the outside.  Unfortunately, CoachNet picked the wrong intersection of Derrick and 285.  Seems there is one WAY north of where we were, and they chose that one, even though I said I was almost in Carlsbad.  That mistake cost me 7 hours of sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tire repair guy, when there was a shop, literally, 5 miles away.  Anyway, enough about that.  We got it fixed up, and headed to the KOA.  Diane and Molly had some time on the side of the road, and had also gone ahead to the KOA to let them know we’d be late, and get our check-in stuff.

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We’d planned to spend our one full day in Carlsbad by going to the Caverns in the morning, then up to Roswell for the afternoon.  Since we’d gotten into the park so late, we opted to sleep in a bit, and just go to the Caverns.  Diane was in the bat cave spirit with her hat, and we were all impressed with the size and beauty of the Caverns.

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The people at the Carlsbad KOA were fantastic.  They have a restaurant there, and even deliver to your RV after you order!  We were grateful for their understanding the first night, and overall hospitality.


Next stop, Tucson, AZ.

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February 21, 2013

San Antonio

After a stay in Livingston to get mail, car inspection, etc., we headed over to San Antonio.  There, we stayed at a couple places.  First, we spent a couple days in town at the Carefree Travelers World RV Resort in San Antonio.  This was a pretty nice, clean park.  They were pretty full, and the spot we got barely fit our RV length.  The location of the park was what we were after, as it was close to the Alamo, and provided a good launch pad to get to the local Sea World, and up to Austin.  Our first day there, we headed into town for the Alamo, and we were all surprised the the size, location, and such.  It’s quite the tourist attraction.  After milling about there for a while, we headed to the river walk sections, and had fun with more crowds and detours around work areas.  Eventually we found a fantastic Mexican restaurant called the Guadalajara Grill, and got some dinner. It had a fun atmosphere, and great Mexican food that hit the spot.

The next day, we went up to Auston.  The main purpose was to visit a work colleague of mine, but we took some time to also visit the capital building of my state of residency. Molly was able to add another stamp in her “State Capital Passport” book.  The capital buildings are all running together, but this one seemed pretty nice, with lot’s of information and historic photo’s on the walls.  We were able to get in to see all the buildings too, since we were there on a Sunday.  For the afternoon and evening, we enjoyed a great visit and meal with a fantastic family there in Austin.  

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While still “in town” in San Antonio, we hit up Sea World.  It was a bit of an off season time for them, but we were still able to see much of the park, and get a good feel for it.  I bet it’s hoping in the Summer, with ski shows and a water park area.  Molly got a caricature done as well. This visit also means that Diane, and Molly have now been to all three of the Sea World locations.  I haven’t been to Orlando, or it would have been for me too.

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Once our “in town” tasks were done, we headed to the famous Texas Hill Country, and stayed at the Thousand Trails park called Medina Lake, in Lakehills, TX.  We were there for a few days, working, and enjoying the quiet of the hills.  We also had LOTS of activity with deer.  We even picked up a big bag of feed corn for them on one trip to the market.


The lake at Medina Lake is very low.  I read up on it a bit, and it seems to be a normal cycle of drought and flood.  A few more years, and they should be back to a full/too full lake again.  It’s already a nice place in the woods, but the lake would make it that much better.


Our next stop is Carlsbad, NM.

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February 10, 2013

West Monroe, LA

First stop, Duck Commander / Buck Commander HQ.  We started watching the show several months ago after I caught it on TV.  It is really entertaining, and everyone here enjoys the show.  So, when we saw some friends “check in” there via one of the social media apps, we looked to see where it was, and if we could drop by as well.  Turns out, for our trip from Georgia to Livingston, it only took us about 5 miles out of our way.  That made it a must see in our book! We assumed we were going to swing in on our way out of town, as we’d arrive before they closed Saturday, but we made some good time and got there with 30 minutes of shopping and picture taking in.

The parking lot was quite crowded, but we found a spot for the RV with the car in tow at a neighboring Car Wash.  The girls had a great time, but were unable to spot any of the “stars” of the show.  Still, a fun stop.  And, we got a couple souvenirs.

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Bayou D’Arbonne Camping, provided a nice overnight stop.  For $20, and it was nice and quiet, with good hookups.  Neighbors are a mix of residents, long term campers, and even some in a tent.  Felt sorry for the tent people as it began to pour rain while we left.  The owners of the campground were pleasant to deal with.  We did have to call to reserve, but he was also kind enough to come over when we arrived and get us into the right site, and to make sure the hookups were all ok.  The name just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?


Next stop, Livingston.

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December 15, 2012

Florida…Part 1

Ok, so, our Florida visit consists of several parts.  We have a few weeks at Orlando Thousand Trails, then a couple weeks at our Orlando timeshare (with a side trip to Tampa), then a weekend in Fort Pierce, back to Orlando Thousand Trails, and then up to Live Oak for the Fulltime Families Rally.  So, we’ll start with the first 3 weeks at Orlando Thousand Trails.

We arrived at Orlando Thousand trails, in Clermont, FL, on December 2, and picked out a spot in the office.  It was a fabulous spot, C-21.  If you can choose it, you’ll be pleased.  Close to everything, and a big “yard” right out front.

The first “thing” up, was to let Molly know that on December 3, she and Diane would be heading up to New York to get their trip that Hurricane Sandy prevented back in November.  I dropped them off at the airport Monday, and they returned late Friday.  They had a GREAT time.  I’ll get Diane to create her own post on that trip, someday.

While they were away, I got to explore a bit of the RV park, get some pieces parts to repair a few odds and ends, and generally hang out.  The weather was AWESOME.  I spent a couple of my lunch hours and post-work time in the hammock.  After the couple of months in the cold fall weather of the east coast, it was quite nice to have 72 degree days, with a light breeze.

After their week away, the girls came back.  The next week, I flew up to Rochester, NY, to provide some training for a customer.  The next week, Megan arrived for a couple weeks of college time Christmas Vacation.  Once Megan arrived, the girls were off to explore, and to hit a couple of the theme parks.  They were able to spend a couple days at Universal Studios and see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and a special night at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

On December 22, we moved into the Orlando timeshare.  We were putting the RV in storage, so all the fridge and freezer stuff had to come with us, as well as most of the other food, and lot’s of cloths, and stuff, and presents, and more stuff, and… The move out and back in was crazy.  But, after a failed attempt to store the RV in Orlando, we were able to get it over to Diane’s Uncle’s shop in Fort Pierce, and it was there for them to work on when they had time.

Orlando Thousand Trails…


We setup some Christmas decorations, and rented a golf cart for a week.



My close up pictures did not turn out well, but there were plenty of these birds (Sand Hill Crane’s I believe) walking about.  Some tortoises as well.

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I heard a loud “whooshing” sound early one morning, and found there were a few hot-air balloons flying over.

I saw this little guy wandering in the middle of the road while I was out for a bike ride.  Picked him up, and put him in one of the nests that was nearby.  Hopefully it was the right one.


We also had a great time re-visiting with the Pickett’s that we’d first met in California, and then saw again in Indiana.  We also got to meet several other families, and Molly was not lacking for people to hang out with here.

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December 2, 2012

Newnan Georgia

On our way from Cumming to Orlando, we made a weekend stop in Newnan, GA, to visit with some other Fulltime Family friends.  The Garrisons, originally from Newnan, have come off the road so we got to see them.  We also got to see the McClosky’s, who we first met in Menifee, CA.  And, we finally met the Lundy’s!  We’d been following their blog for some time before we went on the road, and Margie was very helpful with input on Internet options, as well as with getting our Thousand Trails membership.

The Pine Lakes RV Park (New name.  Formerly Pine Acres Mobile Home Park) was challenging to work with and get a reservation.  I actually made all our reservations and site choice through the McClosky’s.  It was mildly funny.  The park its self was fine.  Good power, water, sewer hookups, and a level site.  There’s a train nearby, but there’s always a train nearby the RV Parks it seems.

We had a GREAT time visiting with our old friends, and meeting the Lundy’s.  I was also able to get the antennae for TV reception fixed, repair a loose panel on the side of the RV, and replace a hose that had gone bad.

On Sunday, we headed out early, and made our way to Orlando, FL.

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December 1, 2012

Georgia…again. :)

So we left North Carolina, and headed through South Carolina, and over to Cumming, GA.  Work had requested me and a few others to head into the office for a couple days of meetings, and I needed to prepare some equipment that I would be shipping up to Rochester, NY, so I could train a customer up there.

We stayed at the Twin Lakes RV Park in Cumming, again.  This time, we made reservations, and got a spot that did not put our bedroom right next to the road, and the bottom of the hill, that everyone drove up at 5 am with their diesel trucks.  Had a nice, pleasant, and quiet stay as a result.

Molly came into the office and helped me out with getting some of the equipment prepared for the training.  She had a good time, and my co-workers enjoyed (I believe) the unusual visit in the office.

The President of my company has a few kids, and one of them is active with a horse rescue facility.  We got some information and were able to arrange for Molly to hang out there with his daughter and care for some of the horses.  Molly had a great time, and even got to ride one or two of the animals.

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Next stop… Florida!

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November 17, 2012


After D.C., we headed for Gloucester, VA, to stay at the Thousand Trails Chesapeake Bay Preserve.  Our visit here was just a little over a week, and the location is close to Richmond (the state Capital) and Colonial Williamsburg, as well as the Jamestown Colony site.

Our first weekend there, we headed over to Williamsburg.  Now, we’ve been to a few different places that provide an interactive “back in time” type setup for their location, and they recreate life back in the 1800’s.  In Indiana, we have been to Conner Prairie a couple times, and there was a “one weekend only” recreation near Terre Haute that Molly got to participate in during our last visit.  So, the idea of paying theme park prices for one of these, was not on the top of our To-Do list.  Also, you can tour the grounds, shop in all the shops, and eat in all the restaurants, for free.  That’s what we did.  We did have a great late lunch.  Best “Bangers and Mash” I’ve ever had.  Love the simple meat and potatoes stuff.  We walked around, but we were feeling a bit overloaded on even more history, so we only spent a couple hours, and headed out.

There was a Yankee Candle Company store there however, and so we had to stop, I’m told.  One item we picked up was some wax hands, where Molly was the model for the hands.  Hopefully these survive our journey!

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The RV Park itself was right on one of the waterways that lead to the Chesapeake Bay, and the Fall Colors were in full form while we were there.  It was “off-season” of sorts, and so they didn’t have any activities, and the pool, store, etc., were closed.  Still, nice place, pretty, and quiet.  Oh, and we saw an RV there that we know we’ve seen at a couple places in CA.  The park here was recovering from some flooding they experienced during Sandy, but it was drying out nicely.  Only one section of the campground was impacted, and it was an area with mostly long term sites.  Oh, and they got fresh pavement for the main roads just before we left.  You can see it in the photo on the right below.

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Also while here, Diane and Molly headed over to Richmond to add another State Capitol to their passport booklet.  Diane was very impressed with this one, and thought it was pretty cool.  They even used this location for some of the filming of the movie “Lincoln” that is out right now.  They also visited the Confederate “White House”, which is located in Richmond as well.

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And, our last visit in Virginia came on the day we headed out of town.  We had communicated with my sister, who’s been doing some genealogy research in the last couple years.  We had known that my Grandmother (Granny, Dad’s Mom) was part Native American.  However, Granny never wanted to really talk about the past, especially things related to her childhood and relatives.  She passed away a few years ago, but Chellie (my sister) was able to find out that our Native American ancestors were from the Pamunkey tribe.  She also knew that they had a reservation in Virginia, and it was pretty close to where we were.  We had hoped to visit earlier, but as it turned out, we could only visit on the day we were leaving.

It was quite a journey to get out there, and driving in the RV was extra fun.  Diane followed in the car, and it was a bit easier being separated.  The museum is small, but nice, and they have a gift shop with locally made jewelry and other items, as well as books about their history.

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We had a nice visit, and then hit the road for North Carolina.

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November 9, 2012

Washington D.C.

We had looked at a few different options for places to stay near Washington DC.  All of them involved the use of public transportation, as that was just going to be easier for some of the places we wanted to visit.  In the end, we decided to go ahead and stay at the Cherry Hill RV park, which is one that comes up while searching, and is the closest to DC.  It seems to be expensive, but given that you can jump on the public transportation right at the park entrance, you’re actually doing pretty good.  No parking fees, and the staff will gladly help you figure out how to get where you’re going.  I must say, this is probably the absolute best RV park that we’ve stayed at so far.  The sites are all super clean and level, there are many there, and the services are phenomenal   There’s a restaurant  huge laundry, pool, big activities center, and the largest onsite store we’ve seen.  All of these things have hours that will work for any schedule, even though we were there in the off-season period.

On the first full day there, Diane and Molly headed up to Gettysburg, PA, to visit one of the planned sites for our cancelled PA stop.  They had a great time, and extended some of the Lincoln history theme that has been in most of our stops.

On the next day, election day, we had a scheduled tour for the White House.  We got up early, and headed into the city, to the Ronald Reagan building.  It’s an International Trade building, and has public parking that is near the White House and other area sites.  Our early start helped us avoid traffic, and we had time to grab some coffee and pastries, then headed over towards the White House.  We weren’t sure exactly what to expect, and we were glad to see that we could just head on into the security maze, even though we were early.

The tour basically took us through a few of the common areas of the White House, and provided access to a few rooms with historical furniture and paintings on the main floor, and then we were able to go through everywhere up on the State Floor, which is just above the main floor.  It was pretty cool to see the actual rooms, furnishings, and paintings that have been there for decades.  No pictures inside, but we got a couple shots outside once we were done.

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We then went over to check out the White House Visitor Center.  Well, the main building is under renovation, so we got to tour the temp building up on jacks.  It was closer to the White House, and still had a great video that showed a lot of the history and features of the White House.

Next on the agenda, was to tour the “Mall”, and see the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.  The Washington Monument is closed, and likely will be for a long time.  It was damaged pretty good during an earthquake a while back, and has not yet been repaired.

Heading down the way, we got to see the World War II memorial, and see all the fountains.  We also walked along the reflecting pool, and made our way to the Lincoln Memorial.  We spent some time here, and tried the photo trick with a $5 bill.


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From the Lincoln Memorial, we headed over to see the Einstein Statue.  I had visited this on a previous trip to D.C. Back in the early 90’s.  I remember it being hidden by tree’s at that point, but it has a bit more prominent role, and is highly visible now. (Or, my memory is out of whack)

Next up, a LONG walk back the other way.  We headed over to a couple of the Smithsonian buildings, had lunch, and checked out a few of the more interesting items that we had on our list of “must see”.  Some were there, some not, but it was nice to see all of the items they’ve collected over the years.  Free admittance is pretty nice too.

Next stop, the National Archives building.  This one had the longest line of anything we’d visited.  This building houses and display’s some of the original copies of items like the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.  There are others as well, but I don’t remember all of them.  There was just SO MUCH history and stuff for my brain to consume!  It was a bit full.  After this, we headed home.

The next day, Diane and Molly went back into town for a tour of the Capital Building.  They took advantage of the bus system that picked up right at the RV park, and had a good time for Molly’s first public bus ride.



The girls had a decent time touring the Capital, but were really impressed with Ford’s Theater, and the home across the street.  They still have the bloody pillow from the bed where they laid Lincoln after he was shot.  Lot’s more history!

The Cherry Hill RV Park was AWESOME.  It is expensive compared to your average RV park, but, it’s not your average RV Park.  I would say it is likely one of the best we have stayed at, as far as having everything you could want.  Granted, our visit was during cold weather, so we didn’t get to be outside at the pool and such, but it was wonderful in every way.

We left town the day after the Capital visit, and headed to Virginia, and the next post.

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November 4, 2012

Drive to DC – Wolfies Kampground

The drive from Indianapolis area to Washington D.C. is about 12 hours if going by car, and not stopping. Seeing as how we’re in an RV, pulling a car, and need gas once in a while, it was expected to be longer, and we planned on taking two days to get there.  This meant an overnight somewhere along the way.

I know some of our readers are fans of boondocking, but we’re not at this point.  We need to make some modifications to the electrical abilities of the RV, and then I might be ready to do this for some of our long haul overnights.

As such, and given the area we were traveling, and the time of year, finding an RV park that was open, and not priced too crazy, was challenging.  There were some other options that might have saved us $10-20, but they were usually farther from the Interstate, and had other difficulties.  Wolfies was easy. We got there early enough to be able to see, and found our spot easy to setup and get into.  It was also right next to the playground, so Molly took advantage of the situation and daylight, and played on the equipment.

If you find yourself in need of a nice place to stay in the Zanesville, Ohio area, give Wolfies a look.

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