Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!

Where We've Been (46 out of 50 States)...Where We Are!
Traveling...Resting...Relaxing...Working...On Our Way Out West Somewhere...Where We Land Nobody Knows...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Z – Zen


This has to be our favorite place to travel; it has the best of everything!  We are not always able to reach there exactly when we need to, but we are getting so much better at getting there sooner than before.

Living this lifestyle has taken some getting used to, and one of the biggest changes for us was to become calmer, not so intense with our lives.  In the stationary lifestyle, we were constantly on the go, we had places to go, people to see and things to do.  We never took the time to stop and smell the roses, we were always in too much of a hurry to reach our next goal in our lives or our next dollar to waste by stopping to smell anything.

That has been the biggest change for us, we are not making nearly as much money as we were in that lifestyle, but now we do not have all the stuff.  We do not carry any notes, what we have is all ours, paid in full so the need for all that money is not our goal any longer.

We do not need the biggest, the most or the best of everything, what we have works for us.  Living this lifestyle has enlightened our lives!  It simpler, it’s living in the moment, knowing that everything will take care of itself once we relax and get into our Zen to get our answers.

NOTE:  This is the final day for the A to Z Challenge, we hope you all enjoyed our writings as much as we enjoyed sharing them and please continue to follow our blog, and we love having you all on our journey!  We have some really exciting adventures planned for the upcoming summer!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

No Longer in Utah


We have moved on and are no longer in Kanab.  It just wasn’t a fit for us.   What we were hired for and what the actual job ended up being were two very different things. 

There was also a first time manager that did not know how or who to delegate the work upon and who needed to do or supervise everything in the gift shop.  She is a beautiful person but lacking in management skills.  She will eventually learn, but life is way too short for us to wait on that.

Jerry was supposed to be doing light maintenance and photography, but was instead doing construction.  If this would have been conveyed to us prior to us beginning our job, we would have definitely negotiated a much higher rate of pay for him and probably would not have accepted this job, but this was not told to us until after we arrived.

Our site was in a trailer home park, we were cramped in, no room to even set up our patio and it was just not the kind of place we wanted to spend months in.  Our other choice was miles out of town with the other workers and that was not good choice either.

We have learned in our years out here so far that things usually do not get any better, they usually just get worse.  We were just not happy and decided to cut our losses before things went any further.  We do not feel we should change ourselves to those extremes and it is not our place to change others.  Things usually mesh well or they don’t…this job did not!

Once we gave the owner our notice, he informed us that he will be taking our site charge from our final check.  This confirmed to us that we made the right decision.  Some people just try to get every little thing from us and give back nothing in return.  This is the sort of person he is and we are especially happy about our decision and have no guilt within us.  We will pursue this matter if we do not get our full paychecks, but for now we hope he will see that he cannot do that according to our contract and to the state laws.  Time will tell!

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y – Yes We Can


The naysayers told us we could not do this…they said it could not be done, but we have proved them all wrong now for over 8 years.

We have also learned that we do not always get to live our dreams the way we have them in our minds, but the outcome that actually takes place is good…not always better but still good!

We don't seem to be the kind of people that get handed the golden eggs, we have to make our own which doesn’t always turn out as we planned.  But, by us being persistent we end up with something close to what we expected.

There are people who fall into a pile of crap and come out smelling like roses.  We on the other hand fall into that pile and not only come out smelling like crap but we are covered with it.

Some people when they say they are broke means they are down to their last thousands, we on the other hand mean that we are down to our last dollar and nothing left to sell or pawn.

But through it all, we never give up…we will always maintain that yes we can attitude and when it doesn’t work out, we will regroup and try another approach because if we are not living our dream, then what is life all about?

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums, also check out the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

Friday, April 27, 2012

X – Xenophobia


“Fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign.”

Living this lifestyle there is no way we would survive if we had this phobia.  Every day we meet new strangers and are in foreign places.

Are there too many phobias out there? 

Do the doctors label people with these phobias too easily? 

Do we have to label every little incident in our lives and then create a drug to cure it, which only makes things worse with the side effects?

Just saying…that last one is a subject that deserves an entire blog on its own…make note for future blog!

Life is way too short to give into the fear and hatred (such a harsh word) of strangers or foreigners.  Do not give into the fear and hatred as many have by labeling people and then before even getting to know them making a judgment about them.  Be open and stop all the labels.  Let’s all make an effort to take each person we meet today for whom they are and not who we think they are!  If everyone would do that, what a lovely world it would be.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out all the other bloggers doing the A to Z Challenge.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

W - Wine Tasting


Our new hobby is not only tasting different brands, types and flavors, but then sharing our findings with our readers with our reviews.  We will post a new blog the first of each month with all the reviews of the past month of our wine tastings.


Many years ago when we quit smoking we found out that drinking and smoking went hand and hand, so we had to give up both of them, and we did for many years.  We realized about a year ago that the two no longer go hand and hand in our lives, so we are able to taste different wines without having to smoke.  It feels good that we can do this and we are having so much fun tasting the many different types of wines that are on the market.  We do have a tendency to stay under $10 per bottle, but there have been a few times we went over that amount.


Lately we have been wrestling with the idea of getting a tow vehicle and it has been in our conversations a lot.  Well, the other night Jerry had a dream that we bought a Rhino for our transportation and we painted it purple with grapes on it, instead of dangling dice, we had dangling grapes, we had a wine rack in it and called it our Wino.  Sounds like a great idea that we will have to research further!


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out what the other bloggers are doing at the A to Z Challenge.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V – Vagabond


Gypsies, tramps, hobos and so many other names we have been labeled and to tell you the truth we do not care what they call us since we are having the time of our lives.

Moving from place to place without a home is the definition for a vagabond, but we do have a home.  It’s on wheels and we can come and go as we please.

It makes for an interesting lifestyle, one that not everyone would feel comfortable living, but for us it is exactly the greatest lifestyle ever imagined.  We love the freedom, we love the adventures, we love having nobody but one another to answer to, we love that if the grass grows too long or our neighbors are too loud, we just need to roll on to our next destination.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge...it's almost over!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U – Umbilical Cord


Too many people we speak with say they have a dream but…But what?  There are always reasons, excuses, things or people that will stand in your way, the trick is to see beyond the fear and move forward.

We are true believers of cutting the umbilical cord and getting on with living your life!  What are you waiting for?  It’s not just about getting an RV and traveling the country, it’s about your dreams.  Waiting for the exact right moment, when that moment may never come.  Get out there and make those dreams your reality.  Do not keep putting it off until that perfect scenario happens, or when you have enough of this or that or whatever.  Do it now before it is too late.

Follow your heart and make your dreams come true.  You know what they are and only you can make them happen.  Make it a point to move toward your dream a moment at a time, not allowing the naysayers to keep you down for too long.  If you get knocked down…get up and start again and again and again for as long as it takes until you are finally living your dream, whatever that may be.

Look at us, we never thought we would be here, we are not done yet either.  We still have many more dreams that we want to fulfill, so stay tuned for all the others that are just about to become our reality.  

Life is too short to allow time to wither away while you sit by and watch your life pass by.  Life is grand when you take the reins and begin to live your life to the fullest!

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out all the other bloggers making it through the A to Z Challenge, some really interesting reading.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T – Tee-Shirts


Many of ours are NASCAR shirts, but we also try to find others of interest.  There are state shirts, event shirts, funny shirts, serious shirts and all the others too!


My favorite one is the one with the map of the USA that we purchased a few years ago in Quartzsite.  At the time you give them the list of all the states you have visited and they iron on the bling.  Then they give you more bling to iron on yourself when you visit the states in the future.  The stones stay on through hundreds of washing and the first shirt I bought was a high quality shirt that has withheld all of those washing for so many years.  Unfortunately this last time we were in Quartzsite I purchased 2 more and the quality was way down and will not be lasting as long as the first one did, they have already shrunk in just a few washings.


Tee-Shirts are always a way to see where everyone has been or what they like and such a conversational piece.  What do your tee-shirts say about you?


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

S – Swimming with the Dolphins

Our Life List, others call it their Bucket List because of the movie, but we have been calling it our Life List long before the movie ever came out so we will stick with our name for it. One thing that has been at the top of my list has been swimming with the dolphins and what a great thing to be able to share with Jerry.



While we were in the Orlando, Florida area we completed many things on our list, including Walt Disney World Resort, Sea World, UniversalStudios and so much more.  Many of the places I had done before but it was the first for Jerry, but my favorite of it all was Discovery Cove where we swam with the dolphins.


The entire day there was like being on a different planet.  They catered to our every whim and to be able to swim, not only with the dolphins but the stingrays and some other creatures of the water as well.


If we had not begun living our dream lifestyle, this and so much more would not have ever been a part of our lives.  It would still be in a file marked dreams to someday fulfill.




For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge.

Friday, April 20, 2012

R – Restaurants Along the Way


Tasting local cuisine is something we do often.  Our favorite is the mom and pops spots, but sometimes the different chains are interesting because you can't always find them everywhere. 


White Castle Hamburgers was a big one for us, it was Jerry’s first taste and for me it was a long awaited craving fulfilled.  We buy them by the case and fill up with them so much that it calms the craving until the next time we are in the area.



Pasties (similar to a beef pot pie…but not) was something that I shared with Jerry as well when we were in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  My mother made the best but we did try a few different ones while traveling and I have to admit they were pretty darn good.





Dixie Crossroads in Titusville, Florida was one of our favorite places for Rock Shrimp, and we enjoyed the Seafood Platter for two.  We left full and very satisfied and would highly recommend this place.


There are foods along the way that we love, others not so much, but tasting different foods is just another great benefit we do while traveling. 

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and see what the other bloggers are doing in the A to Z Challenge.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q - Quartzsite, Arizona

Every RVer needs to check it out at least once; we have been there several times and always know that we can find work when we arrive.


This town is desolate, except for December through February, with January being the prime , busy month.  If you need something for your RV, you will find it there and if you can’t find it there, you really do not need it.


We have been there several times and each time we find a different experience.  We have stayed in a few of the parks and we have dry camped on BLM land, both having their own perks about them.
 

It is the ideal place to meet up with groups, friends, bloggers and even family.  The weather is usually fair, with some days windy and possibly rain…not very often but it can happen.



As anything in life, it’s not for everyone, but we believe that every RVer should check it out at least once.


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and be sure to check how the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge are doing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P - Pacific Coast Drive

This was one of the big ones for us!  It had been on my life list for so many years and accomplishing it was an exciting time, not just because it is a spectacular view but also because we feel we are crossing things off our list that we never imagined we would ever do together.



The fog was thick many of the mornings, so thick that we missed a lot of the wonderful scenery but we were able to see some fabulous areas that were breathtaking.




We took our time meandering up the coast and then back down again, the things we missed going up, we completed on our way back south.




Jerry was familiar with these signs, but I had no idea this could even happen so it was a bit unnerving for me to be in an area that if we felt an earthquake we were to head out of there immediately.  Needless to say there were a few sleepless nights.


This was definitely one of those times where the actual driving of this long awaited dream was even better than the anticipation of the drive.  It was wonderful and we would highly recommend it to everyone.  We would advise not to put in too many miles per day, take the time and explore all the many gems along the drive.


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O - Outer Banks of North Carolina


One of our favorite places we have ever spent any time and worked has to be the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Yes, we were on a sandbar, but it was so laid back and just a great place to spend a summer.  I was in flip-flop heaven.

It was not at all planned.  We were in the middle of fulfilling our dream at the NASCAR tracks when things once again took an ugly turn.  When we left Martinsville Speedway with little money and no prospect for employment with the next NASCAR track we were unsure of our next move. 
  

We were frightened and whenever I get scared the best thing for me to do is breathe and meditate…which I did!  During meditation, I got the feeling we needed to head to the ocean.  Water always calms me and helps me to reconnect to my life.  Jerry thought I had lost my mind but he has witnessed this in me so many times that he knew we would be alright.

We found work at Camp Hatteras RV Resort, Jerry was in maintenance and I worked the front desk and we had the best summer ever.  We met friends that we continue to stay in contact with and now every job we work, we compare it to this one.  Jeanette has been managing this resort for over 20 years and she has a knack of making each and every one of us feel special, treating all people fair. 

This was one of those moments in our lives that we just went with the flow and it turned out to be one of the greatest moments in our lives.  Now if we can just learn to do this every other moment of our lives, everything would work out great for us.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and don't forget to check out how the other bloggers in the A to Z Challenge are doing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

N - NASCAR

One of our goals while traveling is to go to each race track on the Sprint Cup series, take a photo of us in front of the track, buy a pin for our states/places visited board, buy a small flag for our flag display and a sticker to put on Maggie.

We have accomplished 11 tracks which is a little less than half on the series, but we might go further with this goal and add some of the Nationwide and Camping World  Truck series to this list.

At first we were working many of them, but we like it much better going as fans.  Some of our experiences are beyond words.

While we were in Bristol, Tennessee at the Bristol Motor Speedway we were invited to the NASCAR suite and watched the Nationwide race with the President, Mike Helton.  Then enjoyed ourselves in the stands for the Sprint Cup series and my first short track race…what a rush!



Last year we were able to check off a few of our favorite tracks off our list.

We went to Michigan International Speedway and were able to get our rig into the infield.  This is my home track and it was nice to share this wonderful experience with Jerry.  We met wonderful neighbors as we usually do at these events and stayed up late each night enjoying the company at the bonfire and watching the race from our roof was fantastic. 





Then we went to the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis MotorSpeedway.  We camped right across the road at one of their camping areas and were treated absolutely wonderfully.  Since they only have one event, the main race on Sunday, we spent our time visiting the museum and a car show they had going on.  The race was fabulous and we had a blast.







We do not have any planned for this season, but as usual things often change with us and attending a NASCAR event could be in our future before this season ends.

These are just a few of the hundreds of photos we took during all of our NASCAR experiences, check out our Picasa Web Albums and check out what the other bloggers at the A to Z Challenge are up to with their writings.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

M - Making the Best of Every Situation


Originally we had another plan for M, but when we woke to this white stuff this morning this topic seemed much more appropriate. 

We are true believers of making the best of every situation and always try to find the good in everything.  That is not always easy, especially when snow is one of our least favorite things in life. 

To make matters worse, our job is not at all what we thought and hoped it would be…I caught a cold...and now this…


I know, I know, it could be worse…but please what lesson is it that the Universe is trying to teach us right now?  Inquiring minds want to know.

We always say that we do not get sick and for the most part it has always been true.  We tried to convince ourselves when my sniffling/sniveling began that it was just my allergies…NOT…it is a full blown head cold…sneezing, coughing, runny nose and body aches…great!

The good news is that we have a short shift tonight and then two days off…Calgon Take Me Away!  Oh no...we don’t have a tub, oh well, nice thought anyway!

Just in case you are wondering, it is still snowing...



Friday, April 13, 2012

L - Living in a Small Space


It can be difficult during any disagreements which is one of the reasons we have learned to pick our arguments very carefully.  A dear friend of ours gave us great advice prior to us getting married, she said, “Always pick your arguments and never ever use the “D” word…Divorce is never an option.”  We try to live by that daily.  It makes our drives so much nicer when we chose to let go of that little argument instead of allowing it to fester into a crummy day.

Some other great advice we got from Dr. Phil was something along the lines of remembering that to be a winner of that argument will make your mate a loser.  We never want the other to feel like a loser so we end those stupid arguments quickly by agreeing to disagree.

We reconstructed the interior of our rig to fit our needs and even though it is only 27’ motorhome we still make it work for us.  We live by the rule, something in, something out and we purge our “stuff” all the time.

Living our lives less complicated, less stress and the opportunity to see so much of this country are some of the reasons we chose to live this life and learning to live together peacefully in such a small space is just part of the adventure.


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

J & K – Jerry & Kimberly

There is no way that we could do this challenge without doing one blog for J&K, they fit together as we do in our marriage and since you are traveling “Along the Way With J&K” we felt it was a perfect fit.

When Jerry and I first met, we hung out together all the time but just as friends.  There were times for both of us that we thought maybe we should turn it into something more but when we approached one another the other was involved in a relationship so we just maintained our friendship.

Then the time came when we were both available at the same time and Jerry asked me to go to the lake with him as a date.  From that day forward, we both knew that we were meant to be.

We both come from families of many divorces and we could see the effect it can have on innocent lives and we did not want that to be us.  Jerry had a first marriage and did not want to make the same mistakes.  I made a decision at a very young age that I would only marry once, so I waited for the right one to come along, we were 39.

Our love is unconditional, we bring out the best in one another, we have a friendship that keeps us together in those trying times, and our love is strong.  Together we keep one another focused on what we want to do, and we believe in one another which help us to continue growing and becoming all we can possibly be together and as individuals. 

We know each other’s deepest secrets and we keep them safe, never using them against one another.  We pick up where the other drops the ball at times without losing a step.  We finish one another’s sentences because we know what is in each other’s hearts.  There is nothing that we cannot tell the other, the silly things we think about, the way out there ideas we come up with and of course our deepest dreams and desires in our lives.

Our love grows daily, even when we feel we could not love each other any deeper, the next day surprises us with an even deeper love for one another.  We continue to be grateful every moment of our lives and thank the Universe for bringing us together.


For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I - Independent Contractors


Many folks that travel full time and work call themselves Workampers; they even have a website and magazine for it.  We prefer to use the term of independent contractors.  We typically prefer to work short term jobs, such as weekends, a week or less than a month at any particular place before moving onto our next adventure.  There are also times when we do choose to work somewhere for longer periods of time and on our days off we enjoy the area.







We are very proactive in how we find work and we always negotiate all of our terms.  Our experience level has reached an all-time high, but we still learn something new with each new job.  Many people feel as we did when we first began living this lifestyle that we did not have the experience for many of the jobs they were offering, but we soon found out just how wrong we were. 


To manage any business, a campground, gift store, or a vendor, all we need to know is how to run a successful business, which we do.  Most of the positions in this lifestyle are customer oriented which we feel we have great customer service ethics.  Not everyone does and we have met many who say they have it but within minutes it is obvious they just do not like people.  But for most folks, the experience they had in their stationary lives can continue into this lifestyle by just being open to new ideas.


Since we became full time travelers we have held positions in management, not just of campgrounds but seasonal businesses as well.  We have been cooks and bakers at a dude ranch and at vendor booths at different types of shows.  We have worked several types of positions at NASCAR events; we have been ticket takers, security, tram and shuttle drivers, and even worked as souvenir sellers.  We are always open to new experiences and love doing new things.

We tell folks all the time that they just need to believe in their own abilities and remember when you begin a job that you will only be there for a few months and the owner will be there a lot longer, so be flexible and do it their way…even when you think your way is better!



For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums and also the other challengers at the A to Z Challenge.

Monday, April 09, 2012

H - Houston Quilt Show

We worked with Scootaround at this show back a few years and we were hooked on working with this company.  The work is not hard and it is very short term, just the way we like it.  We have worked at so many different types of jobs in these past 8 years, but by far, working for Scootaround is at the top of our list.

The Houston Quilt Show was a new and different experience for us.  We are not quilt people but this show and others we have attended since has showed us that we do not have to be into quilts to enjoy it.  The quilt displays are artwork and just viewing some of them is breathtaking.





The event is usually held in the fall at the end of October, early November at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.  If you are a quilter, then you know about it since it is one of the biggest shows.

For more photos, check out our Picasa Web Albums.