Camper…boat, such decisions.

The big dilemma at our house today was whether or not it is smarter to buy an RV and drive the US or buy a boat and cruise the world.  Planning around Florida’s hurricane season seems to be the major calculation of the day. Do we buy in Florida and explore there from Nov-June, passing through the Panama Canal right before storm season starts, or do we buy in the Great Lakes in June and spend June-November heading through Montreal (is that the Inter-continental waterway?) and down the East Coast, ending up in Florida in November. Being that it’s December now, I think I prefer plan B because that means I don’t need to wait a year to leave. I want to go NOW.
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RV park discounts

Do serious full-time RV families use these programs?  I’ve come across a few. The KOA rewards program is $25 a year and you get 10% off of your daily fee, plus you earn points you can use for free nights. You also get discounts on insurance, they waive the application fee for RV financing and a few other things. You get access to opportunities to work at RV resorts in exchange for… it doesn’t say very clearly.

KOA ValuKard (I just hate that it’s mis spelled)

The Passport America program gives members 50% off their nightly fees at 1600 RV resorts in the US, Canada and Mexico. Membership is around $50 a year and comes with a  directory (I imagine KOA does, too. )  The directory is on a CD or hard copy, which is nice I guess if you’re in an area without internet or don’t want to use electricity to find a camp.  It would be nice if it were downloadable for updates or whatever. Dues include a subscription to RV America magazine (nice touch)
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Did you know…

That in the UK, an RV is called a caravan and RV parks are called Caravan sites.  isn’t that interesting.  Gypsies have caravans. Coincidence?   I think not. I wonder what they’re called in Canada.

Gulf of Mexico RV Travel

I know the Gulf of Mexico isn’t in our immediate itinerary but a mom can dream, right?  As I sit here snuggled up under blankets with the heat on, I wish I could be wading in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico with my kids. They’ve never been before and I have such fond memories of my time in Saint Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida. If I had a camper and the cash we’d leave today. I’m writing about RV parks (because writing is my job) and my topics today all seem to be about Florida and Texas RV Parks and resorts. I feel like my heart is just going to explode if I don’t go NOW.  It’s totally not hurricane season either, we’d be fine.  Plus, my husband is shopping for luxury yachts, so that’s making me want the sea even more.  I can’t wait to hit the road. One thing I am learning is that a lot of RVfamilies take advantage of free opportunities to camp, and I don’t mean parking at Wal Mart (although, they’re just about everywhere and just because you spend the night there, it doesn’t mean you need to spend your paycheck there, right? Anyhow, I found this website called FreeCampgrounds.com that lists over 1900 free places to cap or park in the US.  Also, VisitUSA.com is another one I found. And probably my favorite site so far, Happy Vagabonds, helps people get jobs on the road, mostly caretaking for Campsites, but there are others, too.  I clicked on my state and discovered that “my dream town,” the place I am just itching to move to, could be mine for free for a month if I had an RV to live in, because the state park gives free hookups to the person who volunteers to work the gift shop at the state park.  I can’t recall a time when I’ve only had to work those short hours. The rest of the day (and the weekends) being free to BE.  Imagine.

Greetings, fellow travelers

As I research and plan, research and plan, trying to envision what life on the road will be like, I find comfort in reading the journeys of other families.

The Watkins family (Where the Fuhkaui) inspires me. I just love the name of their blog, I think I mentioned it before.  She posts great pictures, too.

Tara  (The organic Sister) and Justin (Not too simple) inspire me.  She’s a sweetheart and he just started blogging. They planned to set out on this journey, as part of a 5 yr plan and because of the economy, his lay-off, they’re leaving a lot sooner. They’ve renovated an old RV and are leaving their Las Vegas home to explore.
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Kids need to travel

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely. Broad, wholesome, charitable views can not be acquired by vegetating in one’s little corner of Earth.” – Mark Twain

I keep feeling an urgency to get on the road as fast as possible.  My husband is holding out for a big camper (we do have a large family) but cramped quarters don’t seem like the end of the world to me.

When I was a kid I’d say we traveled a lot. Looking forward to a trip was always exciting, each day held more “hope” than the previous day and the longing to just GO already was sometimes uncontrollable. I’d lay in bed at night, every night, imagining what fun things were in store. Who would I meet? What would I see? Where would we eat?  The excitement before a trip was always close to maddening.
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Ocean Shores, Washington

Ocean Shores will be one of our first stops. I’m looking forward to strolling the beach with the kids. I definitely need a new camera.  The town looks interesting, I was surprised that I didn’t find many seafood restaurants. I also need to look up what the clam season is, apparently clam digging is a “thing to do” in ocean Shores. We’ll probably end up putting them back, I’m not a big clam fan. Maybe the kids will llike them. Clam chowder is tasty, as long as it doesn’t have too many clams in it. Maybe fresh clam chowder is better. Campbells soup clams are rubbery.

We’re rolling

Not literally, yet, but so far we have assembled a super professional team of people who are excited about the project and working their butts off to make it happen.  I love it when we have an idea that other people are enthusiastic about. This video is such a huge opportunity for travel, for helping small businesses and for learning and exploring the USA. I wish we could leave tomorrow and just start exploring. So far we’ve done a lot of research on Cape Disappointment, Ocean Shores and Long Beach, Washington. We’ll be visiting with the Quinault Indians and learning the history of the area. 
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Waiting for things to happen

I have a really hard time being patient. I got sick of waiting to hear which cities we’d be visiting, so I just took it upon myself to make a list. THEN, we get an email saying that the cities are confirmed. It’s been like 3 weeks and I still haven’t heard. I have a lot of work to do with that list, I need to map it, I need to research the history of the area, I plan to put together little lesson packets to distribute through the show’s website, and write several articles in addition to an outline for the script. Since it’s reality, a lot of the writing for the narration is done afterward, just to tie in the live footage.
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What is a Gypsy?

Apparently people have really different imaages in their minds about what gypsies are.  Clearly I have a lot of affection for the term, I used it as part of my screen name from 1997 to 2001, when I discovered that my husband felt the word implied prostitution and thievery.  Wow, I was shocked.  To me, it meant nomadic (I love to travel) creative, artistic, dancing, colorful,  bohemian, happy, go-with-the-flow, adventurous, wise with plants, independent, self sufficient and free.

I’m hoping that GypsyMom.com speaks of all the positive and exciting aspects of gypsies that I envision. I learned, as we researched (because when we disagree about something, that’s what we do) that Gypsies are all the things I imagined and that his vision was the stereotype that people have of gypsies.
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