Tag Archives: Fulltime Families
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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October 7, 2012

Horseshoe Lakes – first 3 weeks.

We planned to be at Horseshoe Lakes for three weeks, and then move on to Pennsylvania.  But, as the move day drew closer, we started hearing about some bugs and things being at the park we were heading to.  Also, I was going to be gone for 2 weeks of the time at that park, and Diane and Molly would need to deal with the bugs themselves.  We investigated what it would take, and then decided to just go ahead and stay at Horseshoe Lakes for an additional 3 weeks.  This meant paying for one week, where we should be out of the park, and then two more weeks of our normal Thousand Trails reservations.  For this post, we’ll cover some of the activities and scenes from the first three weeks.

First, I grew up (age 5 to 18) about a quarter mile from the RV park.  I had only been in the park twice before.  Once before it became Thousand Trails, and the second for my 10 year class reunion.  I was pretty excited at the idea to be able to ride bikes with Molly, up and down the streets that I spent so much time on.  I had a paper route for something like 5-7 years, and put some serious seat time delivering the paper 5 days a week.

Upon arrival, there were some differences here.  Most notable was that you don’t check in at the gate, but rather at the office, which is on a side road before you enter the gate.  Ok, no problem.  We got in, got a basic briefing of what all the site groups had to offer, and we headed out to pick a spot.  The biggest “issue” was the number of tree’s, and how low on the horizon the satellites are here in this part of the country.  We found one site, but couldn’t get the dish to latch on, so we moved a couple sites over, and got a lock.  Another interesting thing about this park, is the number of Seasonal Sites that are occupied.  With the price they charge, and the fact you could stay there from park open to close (April to end of October), there are several people in the program.  Some parents of one of my classmates have their camper there in a spot as well.  It made for a nice community, and likely the park would be a ghost town without them.  I also saw how they basically ran the facility.  Some of them officially, and others unofficially.  It wouldn’t be as nice a place without them.


Now, all the visiting and fun.

We had a visits from family of course, and also another Fulltime Family came to stay at the park.  We had met this other family (The Pickett’s) in California at Wilderness Lakes.  They have three younger kids, but they all enjoyed spending time with Molly whenever we’d go over for a campfire. It was great to catch up with John and Mary, and do some in-person smack talk for our Fantasy Football league.  John was starting one at the beginning of Football season, and I was able to join.  It was my first, and it has been a lot of fun.

During this first three weeks, we got to go over and see the great Pumpkin Works that we’d heard so much about over the years.  This is a pig farm turned Halloween extravaganza, near Paris, IL.  The farm is owned by my Aunt’s family.  They started Pumpkin Works 20 years ago, and it is even on the map!   My Aunt and Uncle have also started their own horse carriage company, offering carriage’s for weddings, parades, and such, and they also give horse wagon rides at Pumpkin Works.  So, we got to go see them as well as the great Pumpkin Works.

Not sure if it has been mentioned before, but Molly is a great fan of horses.  She’s had several lessons while we lived in Orange County, and she was very happy to be able to get a ride with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Cathy’s horses.  Even better, she got to DRIVE!  And even better than that, she went back and worked as “Uncle Jeff the Great” (a name he recommended) assistant on several days.  The J&C horses were only there on the weekends, but Molly spent as much time as possible working with them.



Also during this time, we got some Woopie Pie’s from the Amish, took lot’s of fall color photo’s, rode bikes in the old neighborhood, took care of my Mom’s “honey do list”, installed a new bike rack on the back of the RV, and got a “Stay-a-while” gas line kit so we can use portable tanks and attach them to the RV Propane system.  A very productive few weeks.  More on the next three weeks in a later post.

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August 11, 2012

Morgan Hill

After leaving Sacramento, we headed to a Thousand Trails park in Morgan Hill, CA.  We left later in the day on Sunday, giving Molly and Diane time to participate in all the sessions they wanted to see at the conference.  It took a couple hours to get to Morgan Hill, and we got there just in time to get a spot and hooked up before it was totally dark.

Morgan hill is in a nice area, in that it’s not near any highways, railroad tracks, airport, or other noise generating equipment.  The sites all look pretty level, and there are lot’s of tree’s.  It has a huge pool, especially compared to the number of available sites in the park.  All the sites have water and electric, but none have sewer.  They do have a honey wagon service, but it could get old paying $25 every few days to dump the gray tank.  I would invest in one of those portable tanks if I planned on staying here longer than just a week.

Internet and cellular services worked fine.  I think we were right on the edge of Sprint coverage, and a booster might have helped.  The AT&T and Verizon phones worked just fine.  We got Satellite TV too, but that is a tough one here for the roof mounted dishes.  Not too many spots with the right clearing.  The spaces here can be kinda tight too.

We may be spoiled by our experiences with staff at Lake Conroe, Wilderness Lakes, Idyllwild, and even Pio Pico, in that they’ve all had some pretty friendly staff.  At Wilderness Lakes, you cannot drive, walk, or ride a bike, and not have one of the staff wave at you when they see you.  Even if they’re off scooting around on the golf carts, they’ll throw a wave and a smile at you.  Pretty much the same thing at Idyllwild.  But, at Morgan Hill, it was hard to even know who the staff were, let alone get a wave, or a smile.  Not sure if they’re more seasonal, and just getting worn down by what seems to be a constant state of being filled with campers, or what.  Nothing bad really, just not as friendly.  All in all, I got most of what I want in a site.  Respectful neighbors, electricity, level, some shade, water, and a generally calm atmosphere.  Oh, and good Internet for the worker type, and the YouTube watcher.

Enough about the park…

While there, we all went out to dinner one night with a colleague, his wife, and daughters (he has a new tiny one!)  We had a fantastic dinner at Maggiano’s in San Jose, CA.  The food was very good, and there was lot’s of it.  Both families walked away with a couple days worth of leftovers.  It was great to see Thao, and spend some non-work time with the families.

Another family outing was off to the Santa Cruz boardwalk.  This is like the runway of a larger county fair, with permanent rides, food vendors, and games.  We went on dollar hot dog and soda night, so dinner was cheap.  You buy tickets for the rides, and this night had some special ticket prices as well.  Molly had a great time on some of the rides by herself, a couple with Diane, and then one final “see if we can make him hurl” ride with Dad.  Ugh.  The ride home was on some twisty roads too.  It was all I could do to keep from letting loose of the cheap hot dog and soda.  I’m officially too old for such things now.  If you’re in the area, it’s a great spot to hang out.  There’s no fee to get in, so you have some hooligan’s hanging around that you need to keep an eye out for, but there’s lot’s of families there too, till it gets dark and cold.


Since the boardwalk rides were not quite enough, Molly and Diane also headed out to San Jose to California’s Great America (http://www.cagreatamerica.com/)  We had gotten some great tickets from another Fulltime family that was not going to be able to use them.  They both had a great time, rode several rides, and spent nearly the whole day there at the park.  It sounds like it is similar to Knott’s Berry Farm that is in Southern California, and they do have some affiliation as well.  If you’re in the area, and it’s open, it would be some good fun for the kids.  Way cheaper than the Disney prices.


Our stay at Morgan Hill ends Sunday, August 12, and we’re booking it down to SoCal that day to stay back at our favorite, Wilderness Lakes in Menifee.  We’ve got some appointments lined up before we head east, plus moving Megan into an apartment, and a couple RV projects.  Sorry this post is so late, but I’ve been working on those projects, and time has gotten away.

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May 22, 2012

Feeling Hot Hot Hot…

It’s a HOT time in Menifee, CA.  Temps last week got into the 80’s, but we were at 95+ for most of the past few days.  Summer time here at Wilderness Lakes means hot, more hot, and some flies.  With all the “food” next door at the dairy, and the summer time heat, the flies just multiple like mad.  We’re fortunate on our timing for arrival, and are able to stay in areas that are furthest from the source of the flies.  Only a few stragglers make it over here.

We’ll be leaving here Friday afternoon, and staying at another park near hear called Elsinore Hills RV.  We’ve stayed there a couple months ago, and it will be a good spot for a week or so.  We have some scheduling issues with the rest of our summer plans and the Thousand Trails reservation limitations, so we need to be out of their system for Memorial Day weekend.  We’ve also got another Komfort Kruiser event the first weekend in June.  Busy summer.

As we were getting ready to head here, we found out via Facebook that another fulltime family was going to be here.  We’ve been able to meet them and enjoyed some conversations and an evening of snacks and drinks.  They had also met another family that was here, so it was a nice evening of sharing stories and getting to know everyone.

We’ve also got some things in works for some business ventures to make some extra bucks…hopefully.  I’ve been managing our website through several hosting companies and variations, as well as some sites for family.  I see a possible opportunity to also help out some other fulltime RV families, or others, who’d also like to have their own sites.  So, I’ve opened up a new frontend for people to come and get their website domains and hosting platforms.  I’ve got a few more tweeks I want to do on it over the next few weeks, and then it will be ready for prime time.  If you’re curious though, and are looking to create your own website, just let me know and I’ll make sure to get you the details.

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February 25, 2012

February wrap up

We had a great time during the month of February, but didn’t do much posting here. 🙂  At the beginning of the month, we were able to meet up with several other Fulltime Families that we’ve met via Facebook, here… http://www.facebook.com/groups/FulltimeFamilies/  You would need a Facebook account, and then request to join the group in order to see all the postings.  IF you are in anyway interested in living in an RV and traveling fulltime, it’s a good resource for information.

So, we met the Travaglino’s, who run http://www.fulltimefamilies.com/  I just saw that we are in a picture taken at Quartzsite, which is where we met them.  We also met the Seeley’s who own http://rvsunshadecompany.com/.  I expect we’ll be getting some of these sun shades in the next month or two, when they are back in AZ.  The McCloskey’s were there as well, and about 6 or more other family’s.  Our RV was in the shop then, so we only visited for a few hours that evening, and then parted ways.  But, as happens in this fulltime RV lifestyle, plans changed for some.  They decided to head to Pio Pico, then back up to Wilderness Lakes in Meniffee.  So, we adjusted as well, and caught up with 3 other families in Pio Pico.

With all the different plans and types of Thousand Trails memberships, people are in and out of these parks all the time.  The Garrisons were at Pio Pico, but then needed to leave because of their type of membership.  We had to get to better cell phone and internet, plus a planned get together with the Komfort Kruisers, so we took off to Pechanga.  After Pechanga, we headed back to Meniffee, and the Garrisons were already there, with an open spot right next to them.  Perfect!  A few days later, the McCloskey’s and Travaglino’s were there, and in adjacent spots as well.  After a few more days, in came Northam family came back after getting their truck all fixed up, and then the day before we left yet another (new) family arrived.  We had some good times swapping stories, laughing at ourselves and our kids.  Pre-teen behavior is kinda funny, even from adults. 🙂  A few field trips were held during the month, Sea World, a local Dairy, and some shopping outings. All the kids had a blast swimming, watching movies, playing mini-golf, and just hanging out.

But, life and work call, and it was time for us to head out.  I have a class next week for work, in Las Vegas.  We won’t be without company for long though.  Some of those families are heading out from Southern California for other adventures, as warmer weather north should be here soon.  We expect to see a couple of them here in Las Vegas in a couple days.