Happy Turkey Week friends and family! It can be a whole week right? We’re smack dab in the midst of the holiday season now, with Christmas just around the corner…we even got our first Christmas decorations for Bertha, a Cousin Eddie RV (from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) and figurine, complete with the shitter hose – thanks mom!. The temperatures have been all over the place in Florida this week, with some beautiful, warm, 75 degree days…but some mornings we’ve woken up to our indoor temperature gauge reading 47 degrees. Brr!
We last left you after a long couple of work days and trying to sort out our wifi/electrical problems in Gainesville. That Tuesday, we woke up and started the drive back north from Gainesville. We had booked an RV park for the next two nights, with the idea that we’d have electricity again and be able to continue the productivity we’d been so enjoying. Before arriving at the RV park, we stopped at a delicious local BBQ joint for some pulled pork sandwiches and a flight of beer. We were in BBQ heaven, the spicy BBQ sauce was to die for! Once we were adequately full, we headed up the road to check into the RV park. It was RIGHT on the water (The Gulf of Mexico) and as we were checking in, the ladies in the front office had pictures of this one time a BEAR wandered into the park…and another time that an ALLIGATOR was hanging out underneath a guy’s truck when the man went to get into it and didn’t realize it was there. So yeah, that was comforting information to be armed with. We got all settled into the park and commenced with the productivity. We did break in the evening for a sunset stroll on the beach, all the while scanning the landscape for gators.
Wednesday was a full day in the RV park of work, webinars, homework, research, and planning. Heather did manage to escape for a little while to squeeze in a short run, but aside from that we were in Bertha almost the entire day. We spent some time talking about what our short term future looks like, as in 2017. We really hadn’t yet established any plans beyond January. We ran through a variety of scenarios, none of which are finalized yet, but it seems that neither of us are ready to give up life on the road just yet, and we’re going to pursue options that will allow us to continue this lifestyle for at least the first few months of the new year.
Thursday we spent the morning having a late breakfast and preparing Bertha to leave the RV park. We pulled out at noon and drove to a local community, where we scouted out a library and continued with the work theme even more. That evening, we decided to take a break and wander down to the beach with a bottle of vodka-soda in hand. It was an absolutely perfect night and we had the entire beach to ourselves. It was well-lit by the moonlight and clear enough to see the stars; we found a wooden swing and listened to the waves while talking, laughing, and running through the sand.
The next morning, Friday, we again sought out a library and spent our last day getting as much as we could done, as we planned to return to Jim’s family in Lynn Haven that evening. All week, Jim had been working on a swim course for his USAT coaching certification, and Friday was his last day for webinars and testing. Once they kicked us out of the library that evening, we drove to brother Morgan’s house and set Bertha back up in his yard – the Griswold’s have returned! The wives turned in early, but the husbands stayed up into the wee hours of the night watching the full moon through Morgan’s telescope, it was pretty amazing!
Saturday morning was cool and overcast so we all had a slow, lazy start to the day. Jim and Morgan ended up spending a lot of the day working on the motorcycle, since it had been acting up lately. They replaced the spark plugs, gave it an oil change, and tweaked some of the electronics, making it run almost like new again. Heather played with the nieces and snuck in a run as well, before we all headed over to Jim’s folks that evening – sister Farren, husband Wolfgang, and adorable niece Baby Elliot had just arrived from Connecticut! We spent the evening eating Sheila’s delicious pasta dinner and Jim Sr’s homemade bread and watching the cousins have a ball playing together.
Sunday morning was uncle Jim’s famous pancake day! The whole crew came over to Morgan’s while Jim whipped up some pink, purple, and teal pancakes for the nieces..and even some special pink and purple Mickey Mouse pancakes! After the breakfast feast, cousin Alaina came over to give Heather a haircut (it had been six months!). During the haircut, Jim was plotting an elaborate prank against Myleigh…he superimposed his face over her school photo next to her bed. She was NOT happy and her reaction was caught on tape, it was priceless! You can see her reaction here: https://youtu.be/V2JLOnTEUNc
That evening, everyone came back over for a chili dinner and more playtime with the nieces. It’s a whole week of Thanksgiving festivities!
Monday’s are Jim’s biggest work day so we started the day with an agenda. We had a morning appointment, followed by his dentist appointment in the afternoon. He had cracked a back tooth over a year ago that he was finally able to get repaired with a big filling, rather than a crown, luckily. Heather got in a run again while he was at the dentist, then we finished up some work before reconvening with the family for a night of Chinese food and more quality time.
And finally, today, Tuesday, was another big chore day for Heather and another big work day for Jim. Jim was able to get in a nice, long run in the morning, before heading to the library for a few hours to get some certification work done. And this evening, the group came over for a delicious homemade chicken marsala, courtesy of Erica, and some shenanigans that included a nerf gun fight and sister Farren half-sheeting our bed without our knowing.
Clearly, we’re getting in a lot of family time this week as we approach Thanksgiving. We’ll be here for about another week before hitting the road and heading west toward Phoenix!
We hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, we certainly all have a lot to be thankful for. And we’re really looking forward to seeing our friends and family out west very soon! Love you all!
Total RV Trip Miles: 10,672