Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Ain't Dead Yet

Wow, 4 months since my last post. Well, in case you have wondered - "I ain't dead yet"! We have had a whirlwind 4 months, traveling across country becoming residents of South Dakota, exploring the Black Hills, and meeting up with friends gathering in Denver. We also spent a month in Santa Fe, which was a real treat, and ended up in Yuma, AZ for the winter months. Living life didn't seem to leave a lot of blog time, but now I find that I miss the connection of so many friends in Blogville, and want to say "hello".

Phil, Hanni and I are loving life in our little RV. I did find that I was ready to sit still for awhile, and am glad we reserved 5 months in Yuma. It has given me a chance to reconnect with myself - if that makes sense. It seems that when we were constantly on the go, we were always looking for the next campground, gas station and grocery store. And, once we got to our destination, we were tourists trying to pack in as much as we could in the short time that we were there. I have always preferred living like the locals rather than like a tourist.

I have had enough time on the road to know my priorities. I need access to good food, good weather, and good campgrounds. That sounds easy enough, but it's not always a given. I loved being in Santa Fe, NM for a month. Santa Fe has awesome farmers markets. We would go each Saturday and load up on roasted green chiles, breads, apples, lettuces, tomatoes - beautiful produce! For those of you that don't know me well, I am an old Alabama girl whose roots are small family farmers that knew the value of "poke sallet" and "turnip greens". I, too, spent several years gardening and spent lots of time squirrelling away food for winter. Access to good food is important enough to me that I know that I don't want to be too far from fresh local organic fruits and vegetables. Yuma has acres and acres of broccoli, kale, and lettuces. There are buses pulling "portable johnny's" with loads of Mexicans that come across the border each day to work the fields. But, most of the produce is shipped out of Yuma. There are a few roadside stands but their produce is not necessarily from Yuma. Even the local grocery stores don't support local farmers. I get the feeling that the local farms are so big that they don't need the support of their town. To be fair, there are a few citrus farms here where we can buy oranges, lemons and grapefruit. And, there are date farms that have the most wonderful medjool dates I have ever eaten. But, that is about it. So, I recently made a 175 mile trip to San Diego to Whole Foods for a grocery run. It was worth the trip!

As for the weather, we try to avoid the extremes. That is why we are in Yuma for the winter. Almost every day has been sunny. The wind is not excessive, and there is very little rain and low humidity. The nights are cool and the days warm up. Our plans are to spend next winter in Florida, and I am hopeful that we enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed the weather here in Yuma.

As for the campgrounds, we really like the developed campgrounds. As long as we have the means, my preference is full hookups. We can go a week without hookups, but I prefer not to have to worry about it. The campground here, Yuma Palms RV Resort, makes up for the lack of access to good food. It has been a great place to stay for five months. Their amenities are awesome, from 2 heated salt water pools, 2 hot tubs, zumba, pilates, yoga, tennis, volleyball, pickle ball, cards, shuffleboard, power walking, pottery classes - you name it - they have it. And, everyones favorite - Saturday Beer Bash with music, free beer and burgers. We have done it all and love it. Even Hanni enjoys the dog parks and walking paths.

Phil and I are very happy and are definitely loving life and the fulltiming lifestyle. This is the year that we both enter a new decade, as we turn 60. We decided that life is so good, that we want to make it last as long as we can, maybe even 30 more years! So we are trying to be as active and healthy as possible. The social aspect of the RV lifestyle seems to revolve around alcohol. People gather as early as 4:00 for happy hour, which is a great way to get to know people but not so great for maintaining weight. So, we stopped drinking. And, after seeing "Forks Over Knives", a documentary about the clinical aspects of the typical American diet, we became vegan. We gave away all of our meat and cheese. We did this with two other couples, which made us feel a little less crazy, I guess! So, our diet is totally plant-based whole foods. No milk, cheese, meat, fish, butter, nor eggs. We were both overweight and have lost and continue to lose everyday. And, we feel better!

So, we ain't dead yet! We are very much alive and loving life. I am anxious to poke around and see what my fellow bloggers have been up to.....I hope it is all good!!

New Year's Eve 2011
Happy Trails,