Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reflections On 2012

On April 19th of this year we transitioned to a full time RV lifestyle.  We spent the first 30 days in a local RV Park while we sold all of our stuff and closed on the house.  Then we embarked on a journey through Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and California.  We have pulled the camper 4,843  miles since we started full timing.  We have camped in the woods, by lakes, on the beach and in town.  The shortest stay was one night, the longest is 51 days here at the Ventura Oaks KOA in Santa Paula, CA.   The shortest mileage day was 12 miles, the longest was 342 miles.  Overnight fees ranged from free to $37.00 with an average of about $20 per night.

When we considered full timing, I was under the impression that it would be like one long camping trip; going to great destinations and feeling like we would be on one continuous vacation.  After eight plus months, I am realizing that our lifestyle is similar to having a home.  The difference is our camper is our home, we just move it around.  Staying in one place for an extended period ( a month or more) is like living at a home; we set up shopping routines, get the local paper on Sunday, take care of maintenance on the truck and the camper, plan our next move, etc.   Then, when the weather is agreeable and the funds are available, we hit the road to new destinations and experiences.  That is like going on vacation.

One high point of our year was visiting with my siblings, cousins, etc. in South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado.  The other high point was spending the Holidays with our kids and grandkids in California.  We also really enjoyed the trip through Oregon, particularly the coast (except for the rain part).  The low point was Rosie’s accident in September when she fell and broke six ribs and cracked two vertebrae in her back.  Fortunately she has fully recovered; but it was very scary at the time.

On new years day, we are headed for a week at Lake Skinner County Park near Temecula, CA, then a week in Anza Borrego State Park before settling in on January 17th at the Caravan Oasis RV Resort in Yuma, AZ.  The resort has 550 sites, multiple swimming pools, club house, scheduled social activities and so forth.  We will probably be there for four months.  That seems to me to be a lot like stick house living in a community.  In the spring we will head north and be “on vacation”; traveling greater distances, moving more frequently, camping in the woods, etc.  Then we will return to the Ventura KOA in November and start the winter routine all over again.  Or maybe not!  We do have the option of doing something entirely different.  We will have to see how it shakes out from here.  I know there are a lot of places to go in the winter months other than Yuma, but we are on a budget that constrains our travel and activities.

Blogging has also turned out different than I expected.  When we were “vacation camping”, I blogged several times a week.  We were moving around, seeing different sights and having different experiences.  As soon as we settled in here at the Ventura KOA, I found there was a lot less to blog about.  I really admire RV Sue and Her Canine Crew, Gypsy Journal RV Travel, Our Awesome Travels, and Wheeling It.  These folks blog every day and they make it interesting.  I haven’t blogged since early December because I can’t seem to find anything interesting to say about what we are doing.  I am giving a lot of thought to that process.  Maybe I need to find interesting things to do; or just blog about our day, no matter how mundane it may seem to me.  If anybody has any advice on this topic, I would love to hear from you.

Here are the RV Budget numbers for December:

Camping – $720 ($24 per night) Monthly rate at this KOA

Diesel Fuel when pulling – $0.00

Truck Service/Repairs – $75 (Oil change)

RV  Repairs/Service – $0

Generator Gas/Propane - $25 (all propane)

Satellite TV/Radio – $103

Total = $923.00

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Murals of Santa Paula

Santa Paula is a small community about 10 miles inland from the Pacific Coast.  Their next door neighbor, Ventura, is more well known.  Santa Paula was founded as a town  with a population under 200 in 1872, named after the Catholic Saint Paula.  The current population is around 30,000.  It is known as the Citrus Capital of the World.

The Ventura Oaks KOA, where we have set up temporary residence, is about 4 miles north of town.  In our wanderings through town running errands, we noticed a number of very attractive murals adorning some of the retail buildings downtown.  Rosie thought it would be a great subject for a blog.  So today, we drove around town capturing highlights.  Here are some pictures:









This is the old train station.  It is now the Chamber of Commerce.

Here are the RV Budget numbers for November:

Camping – $585 ($19.50 per night)

Diesel Fuel when pulling – $298.00

RV  Repairs/Service – $27 (toilet repair kit)

Generator Gas/Propane - $65 (all propane)

Satellite TV/Radio – $103

Total = $1,078.00

Thanks for stopping by!