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,


The Bright's said...

There you are! I have been wondering about you two. I had been excited with you as you were preparing for your new life... then you disappeared!
We had to laugh at your comment about the RV Social life of Happy Hours. We have been at this full-timing thing for 2 years now, and have "quit drinking" several times. Obviously it never lasted long, but we are right there with you with our intentions!
Sounds like you are a bit more disciplined than we are. Good for you!!
Isnt this RV life great!

Deborah said...

Hello Jeff and Cheryl....looks like we just missed you being in or near Yuma. We do love the RV life - even without alcohol! Good to hear things are going well with you guys....happy trails!

Judy and Emma said...

Welcome back to blogland.

TexCyn said...

Welcome back - keep blogging! Sounds like life is really good for ya'll.

Michael and Dee said...

Welcome back!

Mike and Dee

Merikay said...

It took me several weeks to get back to not drinking wine every day after we got home from our two rally trip in January. Nobody said we had to drink at the happy hour every night, but we did. If we do it again I'm going to start bring a bottle of Pelligrino!

Teri said...

Glad to see you are back to the blog. We all have to find what fits us best. I'm still trying to decide what types of RV parks I'm happiest in. I've been 6 weeks in a very nice park close to the beach, with a bus to town, but the park is full of couples and I feel out of place. I leave here on Wed for more adventures.

BamaGurl said...

So Alabama girl, which part of Alabama r u from? I grew up here in Montgomery but am ready to hit the road again. Sounds like u 2 r having a great time and that's what life is all about, especially this lifestyle. Do keep us informed on how u like the vegan change...I would love to try it but am way too hooked on bacon and a few other things. It is sooo much better for us tho. Welcome back to blogland...looking forward to seeing more of ur traveling experience.

Laurie and George said...

Glad to see your words again. Good idea on the vegan/no alcohol thing. Not sure we could do it, but we should :) Glad I see you on facebook so I keep up with things!

Deborah said...

Thanks all for stopping by. BamaGurl, I am from the Shoals area. Lived in Chattanooga last 10 years before fulltiming. Love it!

Rorik said...

Good to hear from you!! You are fairly close to us. We have been at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument since November and we will be here through April. If your site seeing has you near Organ Pipe let us know, it would be great to see you.

Deborah said...

Rorik - good to hear from you! You guys have some good gigs going! We head out of here end of March and head to Lake Havasu for some warranty work. We'd love to head over to Organ Pipe and see you guys and the park. Are you headed back to Grand Canyon for the summer? Hello to Sherry!

Anonymous said...

But wine is really fruit is'nt it?
Glad your back to the blog. We got our insurance all taken care of and enjoying our stay in RGV. We plan on wintering in Arizona next winter at least part of time, not sure as we are pretty flexible and spent to many years on schedules so we are winging it fior now, Tell Phill we talk think of him everytime we have our Southwest egg rolls, thanks for the recipe.

Bob and Janet

Gypsy Boho said...

Welcome back!

grammykay said...

Just stumbled on to your blog. Love the title!

daxkitten said...

I love reading your posts. What have you been up to? Surely it must be time for another installment.

We love farmer's markets. When we lived in Hawaii every Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m., I was at the market purchasing, lettuce, beets, pineapple, dragon fruit, apples, oranges, broccoli, celery, green peppers and sometimes herb plants for my garden.

Now that we're on the road, I've got to figure out how to find the local farmer's markets. Any tips?


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Van Dweller said...

I agree you figure out what you can live with and what you can't being on the road. What you can do isn't necessarily what you want to do. But knowing what you need to make the journey a good one is half the battle. I agree though that it's not easy finding the things all the time like a good campground. Most sandwich you in and give you no privacy or space for leisure.

Hope you are still around. An update would be nice.

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