Land Yachts and RV Pets and People

July 8th, 2016

We’ve been on the road for just over seven months now.  We didn’t plan on becoming part-time gypsy RV-ers.  It all happened so innocently one rainy Saturday mid-winter morning when we couldn’t go to the beach on Tybee Island and were lazing around following a belly-filling breakfast at Clary’s (diner) in Savannah. As we were stepping through the puddled parking lot, I suggested, “Let’s go check out RVs”, so we looked at two used models (meh) and then we found one we both immediately fell in love with.  It suited all our needs.  As Doug said, “They make it really easy to buy one”. The next thing we knew we were filling out a mountain of paperwork and a multitude of forms and driving home in Blanca saying to ourselves, “What the heck have we done”?  We traded in Blanca, the VW van we loved so much, for a 25′ more modern and spacious motor home.  Doug named her Hula Girl.

We’d met a couple at the dog park on Tybee who said they’d never had so much fun RV-ing for their first time; young retirees, they’d been on the road for a few weeks and didn’t want to stop. So we found an RV Park that fit all our needs, dog-friendly and in a location that would allow us to go off in many directions and explore new places. During our stay at River’s End RV Park on Tybee Island, GA, we developed many friendships and made wonderful memories.  Then we moved on to Western North Carolina where people like to go in the heat of Summer to enjoy the fresh mountain air and moderate temps and we’ve been having a blast here.  Super people.   In fact, we can’t seem to leave.  We’re able to travel from here with the car and we’re seeing a lot of WNC and TN. Best of all, we meet the most fantastic people (and dogs …. and parrots (!)) every day. RVers are just the nicest people. They share their stories, their travels …. their pets …. and we all look out for each other.  These are wonderful, genuine people.

Oops, wait, that’s not an RV-er, it’s a Bernie cut-out Zuma met in Savannah.  She happily bounded over to this cut-out thinking it was a real person and was all about meeting this happy smiling man ….
Boy, was she surprised!
She slammed on the brakes when he didn’t move and made
a lot of onlookers laugh out loud!

In truth, right now, it’s time to ‘turn the tires’ and move on BUT we’ve had a family of Carolina Wrens nesting under Hula Girl so it stalled our departure for a few weeks while we were waiting for them to fledge (see The Little Birds blog) and allowed us to do the same.  We didn’t mind. We love it here too.  And they gratefully serenaded us in the mornings.

We met some fun people in Ocean City and Carol from Lewes, Delaware calls RVs Land Yachts.  So true!  Thanks, Carol!  We’ve spent some time living on a sailboat, this is not a lot different!

As I have said before, the BEST part of traveling in an RV is meeting the most fantastic people.  We’re all wanderers, travelers. We’re not really looking for anything in particular, we don’t have high expectations, we’re just taking it all in, enjoying the moments, making memories.

So now we’re here in Western North Carolina. The Park’s population is always changing; the RV scenery and people keep life interesting.  Models of every era and description pull in and out for days or weeks at a time.  Some are funky older models, some are restored old-timers, some are reproductions of the older styles:

Others are brand new and roomy:

We’ve met people who said they tried traveling the continent in a small RV and fell in love with the traveling culture, the freedom of the changing scenery and fun fab people they meet so they opted for retirement, held a huge estate sale, sold their homes, grabbed a map, filled the tank and hit the road full-time.  Some people we’ve met have been touring the continent for ten, twenty or more years.
They’ve seen so much and been to many places, huge tourist attractions, small side trips, famous sightseeing spots, secret, beautiful destinations most people have never heard of.  They enjoy it all. It’s an addictive lifestyle.  No regrets. And they still love it.
We all have a few things in common:  Tripadvisor.com and BringFido.com.  These apps really help you know where to go.  Especially if you are traveling with a dog.
Of all the people we’ve met, the ones who have slowed down or given up the gypsy lifestyle (mostly due to ties with grandchildren); confess they envy us for doing what they did ten years ago and wish they could do it all over again.  We are so thankful for this opportunity.
To do this (which is totally against my “go forward at high speed” personality”) is a real life changer.  Gear down.  Think tiny house. Your back yard and front yard is always evolving.  Ya gotta just let it happen.
Some motor homes so huge they’re equipped with everything but a helicopter landing pad.  These are real “homes on wheels”.
They are well set up for luxury living.  These are full-time homes.
Others are tiny and it amazes me when 6 or 8 people pour out with a Newfoundland dog, a cat and a ferret.  We met a really fun couple here who have a pair of traveling (rescue) parrots with them!
This is Oscar Meyer, a beautiful Green African Parrot:
He likes to roll over on his back and have his belly scratched.  Oscar talks and sings opera.
They also have a sweet Conure traveling with them.
He likes to cozy up on his owner’s shoulder:
There are campers and motor homes of all shapes and sizes here:
Last month, a group of 20 Airstream owners stopped by for a few days.  It was so nice to meet the people (who were having a blast) and to see the new and lovingly restored Airstreams:
There are organizations and groups that plan trips, make reservations at RV Parks for everybody and set up excursions for people.  We’re learning of many groups who partake; they’ve invited us to join in for some RVV groups, but we’re so new to this lifestyle …. we are just plodding along for a while …. and, we love Asheville and WNC so much we’re not quite ready to leave yet!
 This older Motor Home is called the Mother Ship!
Doug working (at the Helm of what I’ve dubbed the Starship Enterprise here) in Hula Girl:

And this is Donna.  For more about the Fabulous Donna, see the THE WNDRLND on Facebook and/or my blog about WNDRLND!

Last night I was going to go for a swim in the pool and had a quick nap beforehand.  This morning on our early walk, everyone in the park expressed how they were shocked and completely caught off guard when thunder clouds rolled in suddenly and we were deluged with a walloping rainstorm. Mountain thunderstorms are loud and powerful; it feels like like this Spam can is going to rock off it’s blocks.  The booming thunderclaps woke me up and I raced outside, heart pounding, because my laptop was exposed to the elements on the picnic table. My super kindly neighbor had wrapped it in a garbage bag to protect it.  I almost burst into tears. How thoughtful.  I am truly thankful for the kindness.

We like to “gussy it up” at night, fire up the grill, turn on the “patio lights”:

We haven’t decided when we’ll go back to Maine ….
The gypsy lifestyle is really fun and, while we miss our fabulous friends and neighbors back home in Maine, we are loving the many gestures of friendship and kindness of RV-ers.
In Maine, when we meet good people,
Mainers call them “The Finest Kind”.
Yup, got that right.
We are torn between going home and keepin’ on going.
Despite all the hatred we’ve experienced in the world of late,
we feel truly blessed with good people back in Maine
and here, at our home away from home.
Finest Kind.

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