I'll try to save the blog from being too wordy since it's 2020 and only like 2% of people can read now. If you've made it this far, *fist bump*. I'll reward you with a basic table of contents.
1. Do we like being full-time?
2. Belle Ridge Retreat
5. Savannah/Bonaventure cemetery
6. Back to home base (Paducah)
1. It has been four months since we sold our house and got promoted from part-time to full-time RVers. Verdict? LOVE IT. We can't see ourselves abandoning this lifestyle any time soon, if ever. There are minor things we had to adjust to, of course.
Dishes are done by hand. It only took a couple of times doing the dishes by hand to realize that when you add up the time it takes to rinse off a sink full of dishes, load the dishwasher and unload it, it's probably faster to just do the dishes by hand. It might even be less work and it's actually kind of relaxing.
We don't have a washer or dryer because we opted to keep the closet space that the washer/dryer would have taken, so we simply use campground laundry facilities. Totally a non-issue and the right decision.
These are incredibly small tradeoffs for being able to change your scenery any time you want. When we leave, there is ZERO thought about what to pack because everything is with us. After a long day of exploring a new place, we come back to the comforts of our home. We use OUR bathroom, make OUR coffee, cook OUR food (if we choose), sleep in OUR bed. No more trying to guess what the mystery stain is in the bed of our $150 hotel room.
We spend far more time outside. Lots of campfires, riding bikes, hiking, fishing, and kayaking. We don't have to do ANY lawn care. No more payments for lawn treatments, internet, TV, electricity, water, gas, HOA dues, property tax - the list goes on and on. I could rattle on for twenty paragraphs describing how liberating and healthy it is to rid yourself of these burdens but I think you get the point.
Now don't let me mislead you into thinking we are roughing it here. We are undeniably glamping. Our 43 foot Jayco North Point has bunks, a loft, king size bed, a fireplace, outdoor kitchen, full size shower and tons of other wonderful amenities. It is extremely comfortable and suits all of our needs, but we just started the process of making it "ours", which includes different furniture, shiplap, subway tile, paint, etc. A tour of our home will be coming up in the next blog!
2. Our first trip lasted about three and a half weeks and included Nashville, Chattanooga, Ashville, Charlotte, and Savannah. We wanted a slow and relaxed pace so we only drove about three hours a day. Our first stop and overnight stay was Belle Ridge Retreat in Monterey, TN.
This place was gorgeous. The short driving day allowed us plenty of time to explore all the natural beauty that Belle Ridge had to offer. A one hour round trip hike took us to an amazing waterfall with tons of cool rocks to climb.
3. The next morning we got up, had coffee and breakfast, showered, pulled the slides in, unplugged and hit the road to Ashville, NC. It takes us about ten minutes to go from living to hitting the road, and less than ten minutes to set up at a destination. Our campground in Ashville was Mama Gertie's Hideaway and it was at the top of a mountain.
If you ever want to test your skills of maneuvering a massive fifth wheel straight uphill through narrow and winding campground roads, go here. There were times where I had my F-350 nearly floored in 1st gear to make the climb. I'm pulling our home behind us and it weighs almost 17,000 pounds so it was slightly unnerving.
Our particular campsite was at the very top of the mountain and offered a beautiful view with crisp mountain air. It was a pleasure to cook bacon and eggs on my Blackstone griddle at Mama Gertie's. We also had this deck view:
The next day was a visit to the Biltmore. We've been there before and if you've never been, it's a must see, but I don't really have any pictures to share.
I planned on getting some cool pictures, but that plan was thwarted by 120 year old Betty of the Blue-haired Biltmore Anti-photography Force.
When we first walked in, there was a striking spiral staircase that was begging to be photographed from the floor looking straight up. We were the only people in that area so I grabbed my camera, laid down in the floor and started adjusting my camera settings as I looked up at the staircase. Betty literally came RUNNING over while yelling, "SIR, SIR, YOU CANNOT DO THAT!". Confused, I asked, "can't do...…what?" Betty replied, "Lay on the floor!". I got up to see if I had accidentally laid on some priceless mosaic or random floor painting, but to my surprise it was a regular ass floor. I asked Betty if the floor was in danger of being damaged by my cotton shirt or if there was another issue I was unaware of. She couldn't offer an explanation outside of, "you just can't do that". It was so bizarre it actually ruined my experience at the Biltmore. I did, however, take a picture of this statue because it reminds me of how Tate (our youngest son) and my wife dance together topless. Tate also has that same third nipple on his forehead.
4. The next stop was Charlotte to visit some fam. Great time, enough said. We had a little too much to drink the night before we were supposed to leave so we ended up staying an extra day and hitting up IKEA.
5. Savannah is gorgeous and full of history. It's also known as the most haunted city in the United States. The only thing we got haunted by was the flu. We still got to experience a lot of Savannah but, unfortunately, I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.
Most of my pictures are from Bonaventure cemetery, which is arguably the most beautiful, serene place we have ever visited. It needs to be on your bucket list. Here's a few of our favorite pictures from Bonaventure.
Our last visit in Savannah was to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and it was stunning.
6. That pretty much concludes our trip. We took an extra week in Nashville on the way home to recover from the flu. We met some awesome people and found our absolute favorite campground in Nashville. Now we are back in Paducah for a short time to do some work, visit family and friends, remodel our camper, and then hit the road again in a few weeks! Next trip will be out west and I plan on blogging a little at a time and trying some video, too.
So what do you think of what our family is doing? Are we crazy? Is this your dream? We love feedback and are happy to answer questions!