We’re busily preparing for our first trip after this very long pause, and I’m feeling alternately excited and anxious. I’m a very good traveler. Or at least, I used to be. But at the moment, I feel out of practice. Eric is doing better than I am. He doesn’t fret about things like the Delta variant, or traveling with THE CAT.
More Big Decisions
Honestly, if not for the fact that we promised ourselves we would NOT spend another summer in Florida, we might just stay put. But after our hellacious summer last year (see Sweltering In Place) I made reservations for a small park in North Carolina six months ago, just in case we were still here.
Well, not only are we still here, but we’ve decided to make this our home. I never thought I would return to live in Florida, and Eric never dreamed that he would become a Floridian. But here we are.
Our intention when we finished our full timing adventure was to return to our home in Southern Oregon and our beloved community of friends there. But the continuing drought, wildfires, and smoke that are plaguing the west have made us rethink our plans. We’re in the process of selling our home in Oregon, and have completed the long process of probate here, so the house in Florida is now officially ours. It’s another life altering change in a year-and-a-half of life altering changes.
The past few months we’ve been busy with continuing projects on the house, including a new screened porch, a new roof, and major tree work. There are so many ‘surprises’ when you’re a homeowner. Think you need new screening? Nope, you need an entire new screened porch. Think you need just a bit of tree trimming? Surprise! You need to have three trees taken down in addition to the trimming.
We still have a long list of projects to do on the house, but the summer heat and humidity has arrived, and it’s time for a break. I think it will do us good to get away, and as Eric says, we need to get back out there before we forget how to do it.
Preparing For Take Off
Preparing for a long road trip is an enormous amount of work. After such a long hiatus, we’re basically starting from scratch. When the pandemic stranded us in March 2020, we unloaded everything from the trailer and settled into my folks’ house (which has now become our home). As I deep clean and organize and restock our RV, I’m trying to remember how in the heck we fit our lives into a 27-foot long trailer.
And as you know, there are now three of us. Ready or not, Magnolia is going on her first road trip.
Along with finishing up projects on the house, we’ve been doing some projects on the trailer. The pull-out sofa bit the dust (not sorry to see it go!), so we bought two new recliners (so much better!). And we bought a travel-sized cat tree for our furry companion. Because who doesn’t want a cat tree stuck right in their face?
Magnolia does not travel lightly. She has a stash of her favorite food, her bed, her litter box, and her favorite toys, including her fishing rod with a feather lure, her catnip stuffed squirrel, and her carousel with colorful balls. And we’ve been trying to teach her to walk on a leash.
That’s going well, as you can see.
We also bought Magnolia a travel pet pen so that she can be safely outdoors with us when we’re just hanging around the campsite. We were delighted that she liked it right away, and delighted that it’s lightweight, durable and folds up easily for travel. Except that is a big fat lie!
The lightweight and durable part seems true, but it does NOT fold up easily and the instructions are the most frustrating thing I’ve ever encountered in the realm of instructions.
Eric spent an hour working on it last night and finally gave up, moving on to more important things. “It can ride on the bed,” he said. I got stubborn, and spent the next two hours sweating and swearing, trying to collapse the damned thing. After watching six YouTube videos a dozen times I finally got it wrestled back into some semblance of flat at 11:00 last night. It doesn’t fit in the carry bag, but who cares.
Wish us luck. We take off today!