October 16, 2016 – This is the last day of our seventh year of travel. Although we no longer “full-time,” we continue to travel more than six months per year. Here is a little summary of our seventh year of travel.
We began the year in Fort Myers, FL, in the middle of a whirlwind tour of Florida. We traveled on both coasts of the state. The Fort Myers area was one of our favorite spots. Later in the month of October, we met up with friends Jeri and Terry Williams and Jan and Jerry Hyde in Santa Rosa Beach. We met both these couple the first year of our travels, and we've renewed friendship occasionally ever since.
November found us in our second home, at the Elks Lodge CG in Houston, TX. We usually spend the Thanksgiving holiday through December there to visit with our daughter, Carrie. We will continue that tradition this year. Then Marsha flies back to Ohio early in December, and Paul and Carrie join her a few weeks before Christmas.
January found us with RV friends in Mission, TX, part of the Texas Rio Grande Valley on the Texas– Mexico borders. We really enjoyed our time with old friends.
We also visited our dentist in Nuevo Progresso, Mexico. We had significant dental work performed this past year at a mere fraction of what we were quoted in the States. We will only need cleaning this winter and will have it taken care of that when visiting Los Algodones, MX across the border from Yuma, AZ later in January 2017.
After our visit to the Rio Grande Valley, we returned to spend the rest of the winter in the Houston, area. Paul had been having problems with his right knee and had arthroscopic surgery in February.
Paul did recover enough from the arthroscopic surgery to attend the Houston Barbecue Cook-off and the Houston Rodeo in March. What a great time we have visiting both of these events.
April found us in Springfield, IL, to visit “Everything Lincoln.” This is something Marsha has been looking forward to for some time. We had a great time and recommend this stop to anyone interested in historical areas.
Winter caught up with us in Illinois. We tried to outrun some cold temperatures and a few snow flurries, but unfortunately we failed. The good news, it was only for one night and only a little snow stuck to the ground!
Back in our summer home in Canton, Ohio, Paul dove into a remodeling project. He had plans to build a second bathroom in the basement, which is a common project in our neighborhood. It ended up being a bigger project then planned. He had to bust up some of the concrete floor to install under-ground plumbing. But alas, he was able to finish the bathroom before his total knee replacement surgery in mid-July.
Marsha kept busy with her many crafts, volunteering at her Church, working in the yard, visiting with her dad and the rest of her family and catching up with her many friends.
We enjoyed visits with our daughter, Kelly and her husband, Dave. They live in NE Ohio in wine country, so that meant visiting several wineries. What fun! Our Texas daughter, Carrie, arrived for a visit over the July 4th holiday. What a great time to have the entire family together.
We even had a visit in Ohio with Paul's brother, John and Karen, from Augusta, GA. We had a fun get-together at Linda and Dave's home (Paul's other brother) in Barberton, OH. Most of the family was able to be there, so it was like a family reunion.
Of course, we had to attend a Cleveland Indians baseball game! We did this with Kelly and Dave and a couple of Marsha’s brothers and their wives. We helped cheer the Tribe to a victory and eventually Central Division Champs.
Paul did enjoy working with Dave and Kelly in a bathroom remodeling project of their own. They did a beautiful master bathroom remodel in their gorgeous home in Chardon, Ohio. Dave is quite the hobby tiler and did a huge tiling job in the new bathroom. Paul was his “cut-man” trimming the tiles where needed. A fun couple of weekends.
We finished the summer with a visit from Angie and Rick, our Mission, Texas, friends. They were on their way to Chicago and swung a little bit our of their way to stop for a few days and visit with us. It was a nice visit. We enjoyed having them as house guests.
We had hoped to leave Ohio around the first of September, but Paul's knee was still giving him some discomfort, so we postponed our departure and changed our travel plans. We eventually departed near the end of September and experienced a travel week full of problems. The air-conditioner on the 5th wheel died; we had a check engine light on our Ford truck requiring cleaning of the exhaust filter; our new tire pressure monitor failed; we needed to replace our shower fixture; Marsha's Kindle reader wouldn't charge and was replaced under warranty; and to add insult to injury, Paul's rear bike tire blew out on our first bike ride on the beautiful trails in Gulf Coast, AL.
After an abbreviated visit to many of our favorite areas in the Gulf of Mexico, we limped into the Houston Elks Lodge in Stafford, TX. There was only one RV site open, and we quickly settled in for the next couple of months.
We successfully completed many of the needed repairs and are moving forward with plans to visit Arizona and the Southwestern part of the U.S. in 2017.
SOME INTERESTING STATISTICS FROM OUR 7TH YEAR ON THE ROAD:
Starting Date: 10/17/15
Starting Location: Alva, Florida
Ending Location: Houston, Texas
Number of different cities visited: 19
Average length of stay per visit: 8.53 days
Average campground cost: $13.52
Truck miles driven: 11044
Highest price paid for diesel fuel: $2.54 (Cedar Creek, FL)
Lowest price paid for diesel fuel: $1.59 (Houston, TX)
Average price for diesel fuel: $2.04
Average miles per gallon: 10.361
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. have a great day!