Getting Settled in Prescott Valley

We have now lived in our home for 2.5 weeks. (has it only been 2.5 weeks?) What a whirlwind we have had.  

We had a snow storm this week.  It was actually very pretty.  It was fun to watch as it only lasted a few hours.  The snow is gone already, but on one of my walks I captured the mountains surrounding our neighborhood.  It was 35 degrees and sunny.  Honestly, it was so beautiful.  

We have had most of the furniture delivered.  We are waiting on my office furniture and a piece for the living room that goes under the mounted TV (to really hide all the cords, since we don’t have anything to put in the cabinet).  Jerry put together a wine bar I purchased from Wayfair (boy, did he have fun….NOT). I have 4 bottles of wine and went out and bought 4 wine glasses.  That’s it!  Looks a little bare, but hey, again only 2.5 weeks.

We are waiting on our window coverings.  Excited to have heard from my window dude that my blinds have shipped which means I might have window coverings next week.  Can’t wait to take the blankets off the windows in the bedroom!  

Jerry hung ceiling fans in the living room and all 3 bedrooms. Yes, he’s an amazing guy! We have no art on the walls, and no pictures in frames, but we do have throw rugs!   That helps with the echo in the house.  It is getting more and more comfortable to live in and is looking really lovely.  I swear I have never ordered more stuff on Amazon as I had in December.  Every day packages were showing up.  That’s been a lot of fun.

We met with the landscaper at the nursery this morning to pick out the plants we want, the color of the rock and pavers.  That was so fun!  His team has started the work!  It’s going to be really exciting once it’s done.  Then we will have to shop for outdoor furniture.  How sad. Possibly more Amazon shopping coming our way.

We also went to get our Arizona driver licenses.  Two states in less than 2 years.  Who would have thought?  It was as amazing as the experience we had in South Dakota. We did not have an appointment.  We were taking a chance.  We decided to go early just to be sure we beat the crowds.  When we drove into the parking lot, we laughed and said, “where is everyone?”  Tracy, who helped us, was very professional, kind and so helpful.  We were in and out in less than 30 min.  At one point, we were the only ones there.  We should be getting them in the mail in a couple of weeks.  

We have been getting established with our medical needs.  We really like our new primary Dr. Thomas.  He’s quite the character.  He was recommended to me by my OBGYN who actually goes to him.  That’s a GREAT recommendation!!  

There’s much to do when you move to a new state and city.  We are almost done getting established.  It helped that we were here in Nov waiting for the house to get finished.  

Jerry and I are talking about getting part-time jobs or doing something to keep us busy once everything settles down.  We went to the library today to get library cards for e-books and talked to the staff about volunteering to read.  I joined a knitting group that meets once a week from the Temple.  They make hats and scarfs for the shelter in Prescott. I donated about 12 hats I have made in the last few months.  

After the house is set up, we will start seriously exploring and hiking in the area and surrounding areas.  We are excited about that.  There really is much to do around here, we just need to go do it.  Which we will! 

I wanted to let you all know that this will be my last weekly blog.  I have done a lot of soul searching about this.  As much as I enjoy keeping in touch this way, I decided that since we are off the road, my life is not that exciting to be writing every week.  We will surprise you with a video, posts, or a blog every now and then.  I do not want you getting bored with us and our day to day life. Jerry and I want to thank you all for your continued support these past 18 months.  It has been so fun writing about our adventures, both  good and challenging.  We hope we kept you entertained for a bit.  We look forward to seeing you all when you least expect it!

Just One Last……blog (you never know when I will pop up in your inbox)

Time To Say Goodbye

Time to……Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli is singing in my ear)

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog during this holiday weekend!  We hope you have fun plans to celebrate 2023.

Last week I talked about going to the Hanukkah party at Temple B’rith Shalom.  It was very nice.  The food was great.  Always nice to eat potato pancakes that you don’t have to make (when I do, it’s quite messy). The people were lovely.  Many came up to us to welcome us to the area and temple.  We even found out a few couples live in the same neighborhood as we do.  

Many people were staring at me for a bit, then came up and asked, “has anyone told you you look like Liza Minnelli?”  Nope, never heard that before (Ha Ha)  Overall, it was a very fun evening.  Jerry really enjoyed himself as well.  He’s such a good sport.  Trust me, I have attended many Sunday morning church services in our 22 years of marriage.  We make it work!

Christmas weekend was a bit tough, to be honest.  We ended up going for sushi for our Christmas dinner.  Yes, even in a landlocked state, it was pretty darn good.  Normally, we would have had chinese, but W & Z Asian Bistro is an Asian Fusion place and we both felt like sushi.  Hey, gotta live it up a little on occasion.  Next year, we are hoping to be in CA with the family.  One can only hope and plan.  

An update on our new home.  We now have couches, dining table and chairs, refrigerator, washer/dryer, bedroom furniture for both master and guest, two TV’s (which have been mounted on walls), carpets, trash cans, bar stools, dishes, glasses, etc.  You get the drift.  We had to buy everything.  You just do not realize what you need in a home until you have nothing but what you had in the RV.  Living a minimal life is not so bad, trust me.  We did just fine for 18 months. But, when you are in a home, you need things.  A refrigerator is a good thing to have, don’t you think? 

The house is coming together. It’s looking quite nice actually.  We definitely need some art for the walls, but that will come later.  We had 4 estimates for the backyard landscaping.  YIKES!  That is going to be a process, but it will look great once it’s done.  Before pics here, after pictures later!!  

This week has been so incredibly crazy with getting ready to sell Madge (RV), and dealing with South Dakota releasing the title.  Fun fact!  SD has a paper shortage and I had to fill out a form to have them release it to be mailed to me so I can mail it to the new owners.  Yep, a bit stressful as the new owners need the title, of course.  Good news is that I gave them a SD bill of sale and will overnight the title as soon as I get it.  They are putting it in storage until April as they live in North Dakota and aren’t camping for a few months. 

Yes, they drove to AZ from ND to pick up Madge!  I just found out they hit a horrible ice storm in New Mexico on their way back.  Took them 9 hours to drive 200 miles.  How scary!!  Very, very nice people!  I only hope they enjoy Madge (sure they will change the name) as much as we did.  They have been looking at this model for quite a while and really wanted it.  Of course, the price I listed it for was also enticing.  We made out ok as well!

Saying goodbye was very tough for me!  I don’t mean to keep on about this, but this was my dream and it only lasted 18 months.  I know, I know, at least we did it.  I can absolutely feel very good about that.  I will NEVER say, “what if.”  It was amazing.

I cried as I saw Madge leave, I cried when I got home, and I cried myself to sleep.  Not really sure why I was so upset after really soul searching this.  I know this is the right move for us.  Especially for Jerry.  I just loved the lifestyle, just not the travel days.  Ok, enough of the pity party.  Time to move on!  

I’m back to walking every day (Thank goodness).  Jerry and I walked to the clubhouse this morning to work out at the incredible gym we have and then had a great walk back.  They have all types of activities.  You’re only as bored as you want to be.  We plan on taking some classes and participating in a few activities to meet people.  We shall see how long that lasts, but in the meantime, why not take advantage of all that is available, right? 

We have been invited over for dinner at a couple’s place in Prescott for tonight’s New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Prescott at the courthouse.  They drop a 6 foot boot (like in NYC with the ball).  We met Phyllis and Ross at the temple last week.  They have a home about a mile from the courthouse downtown.  They are kind enough to be bringing food from Chompies, a NY deli with locations all over Arizona, just not in Prescott.  I cannot wait for pastrami and corn beef!!  It’s been a while.  Then we will walk to the courthouse to experience the festivities of Prescott for New Year’s.  Live music and fireworks, should be a fun time. We hope you have a fun time as well whatever you are doing after you read this blog! 

Just One More….New Year’s celebration (our first in Prescott)

The Big Move

First, let me wish all of you who continue to follow us (and THANK YOU!) Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa.  I hope you will be enjoying your weekend with friends and family.

We, on the other hand, will be unpacking and nesting in our new home.  Our first year without our families in 20 years.  We were supposed to be in Florida for 3 months, so it’s not so sad as we weren’t going to be with them anyway.  It is also the first year I’m missing my niece’s birthday which is the 24th. That makes me sad, but thank goodness for FaceTime. The only big difference is that we are so close (but yet so far).  We were able to go to a Hanukkah party though Friday evening at the temple in Prescott.  I’ll write more about that next week!

There is, and was, just too much going on this week for us to fly to CA.  What, you ask?  Well, let me fill you in.  On Monday, the 19th, Jerry drove to the Honda dealer who let us “borrow” Hunky (the Ram Truck we used to own) to move the RV into storage.  What great service this dealership provides!  When we traded the truck in for our two vehicles, we explained that we had to move our RV into storage with the Ram.  They were so kind to say, “no problem, come get it when you need it.”  

We then picked up a U-Haul, as we realized we were not going to be able to drive Madge (RV) to the house and park in front to move everything in.  When we drove up to the house last weekend we were parked in front and a 18 wheel semi truck came down the street. Lots of construction going on in the neighborhood. Jerry and I looked at each other and started laughing. There is NO WAY we were going to be able to park Madge and open the 5 slides to move everything out.  Plan B: Rent a U-Haul!  So, on Monday we packed EVERYTHING we own into the U-Haul, except our mattress and toothbrushes, since we still had to spend one more night in the RV

Tuesday morning Jerry and a neighbor, Eric, finished filling up the U-Haul and we drove it to the house and parked it there. We had our final walk through at 12:00 and were hoping we could move in after that.  We had to wait for all the documents to be recorded, along with the Certificate of Occupancy needed to be filed.  This is where the stress really started.  

The city had to inspect the house for that Certificate of Occupancy, the escrow papers had to be recorded, and we had to get the U-haul back that evening. I digress, and will continue explaining all this in a minute.

I followed him in the Ridgeline truck (although, Jerry does not call it a truck). It’s name is now Hunky Jr. We drove back to the RV Park. Jerry then winterized the RV (emptying the water from all the tanks, and adding antifreeze).  Next we drove to the RV storage and parked Madge there for the new owners to come get her next week.  They are driving from North Dakota if the weather holds out for them.

Yes, I cried when putting her in storage.  And, I will probably sob when I see her drive away with new owners.  I mean, being a full-time RVer was a 40 year dream for me.  I really didn’t think we would have ended this quickly.  18 months!!  But, Jerry and I agreed when we started this adventure, if one of us was no longer enjoying it, then we had to make a decision on where to end up.  A new adventure has begun.

Back to the house closing adventure.  We had just enough time to get to the 12 o’clock walk through after dropping Madge at the storage facility.  The walk-through was great!  We made our “punch list” of things we saw that needed attention (cracks in front bricks, missing areas of paint around the outside of the house, etc.) They encouraged us to keep a punch list for 90 days then submit things to be repaired at the end of the 90 days.  The house is under warranty for 2 years, so we’ll submit a list after each of those two years.  Really great service.

This is where the fun begins.  Moving in was put on hold until all papers were recorded.  In fact, the city inspector was waiting outside during the walk through.  Our customer service people said, go have lunch and the title company will be in touch when everything records.  Again, if things didn’t record on Tuesday we would have had to move everything from the U-Haul we rented to a different size one, because the one we had was reserved for another person. We weren’t told that when we rented it.  We would have also had to sleep in a hotel.  

Do I have you in suspense?  At 3:00 we were sitting in front of the Universal Home Sales Office going through all the scenarios of what we might have to do if escrow did not close.

Finally I received a call from the title company saying everything recorded and go get your keys.  The office was closed and no one was there.  Yep, we looked at each other and just said #$#%$^  Now what?  Jerry started walking around looking for anyone to help us and found the customer service person that was on our walk through.  He called the manager at home and told them we were there and asked if he could give us the keys.  If you know me, you know that I was sitting there completely losing it.

Needless to say, everything turned out just peachy.  We got the keys, and called our RV neighbor, Eric, who came over to help us unload the U-Haul.  We were unloaded in less than two hours. Remember, we sold EVERYTHING when we left CA and had only a desk chair and a mattress for furniture. We were in the house Tuesday evening with no appliances or furniture, but so excited to be there.  

We slept on the mattress on the floor of the guest room for 2 nights, and used 2 coolers to store the food we had.  We actually put the coolers outside as the evenings were in the 20’s and during the day only got up to low 40’s.  One of the coolers was the small refrigerator that plugged into the truck we used for the last 18 months for travel days.  It kept all of our frozen food frozen for 2 days.

Our furniture and appliances we ordered were delivered on Thursday.  We are now unpacking, decorating and making lists of all that we need.  My theory is just because we have lots of empty cabinets, we do not need to fill them up!!!  We lived a minimal life for 18 months.  No need to have a bunch of stuff just to have a bunch of stuff!  We will see how long that lasts. But, what I can say is, I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE A GARBAGE DISPOSAL, DISHWASHER AND HUGE WASHER AND DRYER AGAIN!!!  You don’t realize what you miss until you don’t have it and get it back again!  Oh, and did I mention having my independence back again with having my own vehicle?  For 18 months Jerry had to drive me everywhere.  Nails, haircut, grocery store.  I drove Hunky a few times, but I know Jerry preferred being my chauffeur (not that he didn’t trust me or anything).

We have appointments with landscapers, window covering experts, doctors and dentist appointments, changing our domicile from South Dakota to Arizona (after the 1st of the year)… It’s a full time job relocating to a new state and city.  Now to get acclimated, explore and meet people.  First, I need my house in order!!!  

Just One More…..MOVE (not saying it’s the last one of our lives.  You just never know with me)

The Long Winding Road

Jerry wanted to write the blog this week to give you his perspective of our trip to Arizona!  Thanks for continuing to read about our adventures!  We will continue to keep you entertained with our crazy life!!  

Atlanta, GA to Prescott Valley, Arizona 2,200 miles, 7 days of focusing on the road.  With Susan navigating and me driving, we made an amazing team!

We had the opportunity to spend two nights in Baytown, TX to visit with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle John.  We couldn’t go through Texas without visiting the Buc-ee’s in Baytown.  We stopped for fuel, food and souvenirs! Buc-ee’s started as a fuel station known for having clean bathrooms! The chain has grown and is thriving! We almost had tears in our eyes and we said goodbye to Buc-ee’s.  Not sure when we will see another one. 

Back on the road! Traveling through Georgia was surprisingly good as the highway was in good shape. That all changed when we finally traveled south far enough to get on I-10, the East West interstate highway. We traveled a majority of our trip on I-10. This highway is busy 24 hours a day every day!

Truckers dominate the road which isn’t too bad! The most challenging part is how congested I-10 is through Houston and San Antonio! Even though our GPS routed us around these two cities the traffic was still congested. The most annoying thing is the highway construction! The fact that the speed limit was not restricted through construction zones, coupled with nonexistent safety lights made the drive the most stressful and dangerous!

Little did we know that the section from Tucson to Prescott Valley was going to be EPIC! All because of a monsoon storm! We managed to make it to Eloy, AZ! After seeing numerous cars spun out on the highway, in the ditch, and drivers driving like the road was dry, Susan and I simultaneously said we are getting off the road and waiting out the storm!!! Ahhh!  I believe you read last week about the light pole in the middle of the highway.  Yeah, that was fun.

We pulled into a truck stop with one spot left! The truckers were smarter than us! God obviously answered our prayers that keep us safe from harm and accidents! I’m pretty sure the angel sitting on the hood of our truck was relieved when we got off the road seeking safety from the monsoon!

Driving Highway 17 through Phoenix wasn’t too bad, mostly an uphill pull for Hunky! We had been warned this highway can be shut down from accidents. True to its reputation we came to a traffic stop due to a single car spin out. We weren’t surprised; people drive like they are superman! (I’m being nice!)

We finally pulled into the RV Resort that will be our home until we move into our new home here in Prescott Valley! (Dec 20th) After setting up Madge, we headed straight to our house! Susan gave me the grand tour of the house and three community activity locations included in our HOA!

Now the fun begins! It is in the 20’s at night causing me to get up to speed NOW on how to avoid freezing water piping and keeping my incredible wifey warm! We started using an electric blanket, actually a great addition to our arsenal! I drain and shut off the water and drain the piping! I got up to speed FAST! Amazing how being cold, and the potential of burst pipes will motivate a person!

Our New Home in Prescott Valley! Prescott is pronounced Preskitt not Prescott! We found the best Asian, and Mexican food. The locals are friendly and smile a lot! They drive like they are from LA on your bumper and fast!! I have been to Home Depot several times. The first trip, I was walking down an aisle looking for something and a HD employee asked me if she could help me!!!!! I was blown away! Asking me if I wanted help!!! REALLY!! I told the person thank you. It was the first time someone had helped me without having to ask first! I have come to expect friendly service and look forward to my trip into Home Depot.

I’m looking out a large window in Madge. There is a hill that has had snow for the last 4 days. We can’t wait for the sun to come up and melt the ice on our cars! What cars???? Yes we no longer have Hunky we traded him in for a Honda Civic and Ridge Line. Kind of strange not having a mega truck! We don’t call the Ridgeline a truck, it is “Hunky Jr”

We are anxiously waiting to move into our new home. We signed the loan docs this week and are just waiting to close and do the final walk through on the 20th!  Our first time buying a brand new home.  How strange it will be to be the first owner of a home.  Kind of exciting!

It’s cold in our RV but we are coping! We are tough! Do we miss traveling in the RV? Certain aspects yes, but really, not so much! For example, driving on crowded, pothole freeways and overpaying for diesel is not missed! We miss the beautiful mountains, forests, oceans. America is a beautiful country! The people we have met have been incredible! We have friends for life!

Just One More…..20 degree night (Only 3 more to go before we move into our new home)

We Made It!

Greetings from Prescott Valley, AZ!  What a whirlwind of a road trip we had!  If you read last week’s blog (and thank you so much), you know that we traveled 8 days from Atlanta to Arizona. 

Now, let me tell you about the very last road trip adventure we had from Tucson to Prescott Valley!  The morning we were to leave it was raining in Tucson.  Jerry thought we should stay another night in Tucson and, of course, I said, “no way!”  Let’s get going.  It wasn’t raining in Phoenix which was about 1.5 hours away.  We waited for a break in the rain and got on the road around 7:30-8:00 am.

All was fine driving through Tucson.  It was raining, but not horribly until we entered the city of Eloy, suddenly a HUGE downpour started like we have never seen.  As we are looking for an offramp to get off Highway 10, we see a car FACING US!!!  Not only was the car facing us there was a light pole that had fallen from across Highway 10 East to our side of the highway!  Thank goodness for Jerry’s quick reaction.  He stopped while flashing his lights for the cars behind us and started to go around the light pole when I screamed that a semi was coming at us on the right at 65 MPH honking his horn and waving from his cab!  HOLY #$%$^@%$

Happy to say, we didn’t hit anything and we were NOT hit, and we immediately got off the highway to a truck stop to wait out the monsoon!  Both of us were shaking and looked at each other and said, “is this a sign?”  We have never traveled in RAIN!  Not even a little.  Can you believe that?  Unbelievable that it was our last long trip towing the 5th wheel!!  WTH??????

We arrived in Prescott Valley where it was not raining and have never been more ecstatic to get to a campground in our 18 months.  We were so happy to open all the slides, clean the RV after not being able to do that in 8 days.

We are living in the RV until Dec 20th when we have our final walkthrough in our new home.  Talking about the new home!  Jerry loves it.  As you know, he did not see the house I purchased in person, only on FaceTime!!  We immediately went to the house and the first place he looked at was the garage!  He is so happy and excited to be off the road and has a 2.5 car garage! 

This week has been nuts!!!  We sold the RV in 4 days to a couple in SD who will be driving here at the end of Dec to pick it up.  That gives us time to detail the inside and outside, and store it after the 20th.  We also traded in Hunky (the dually truck) and walked out with two vehicles with no money out of pocket.  I’m driving a Honda Civic 2019 with only 12,000 miles on it and Jerry got a brand new Honda Ridgeline Truck (although, Jerry says, that’s NO truck, but he likes the way it drives).  Honda is keeping the Ram truck on the lot so on the 20th we can “borrow” it and move the RV to the new house and unload it then move the RV to a RV storage facility.  Great customer service.  

We couldn’t pass up the deal they gave us, as long as we could use the truck to tow Madge around on the 20th.  Nothing like trading in one vehicle for two without money exchange.  That same day we traded in the Ram, we sold the RV, so we had a very happy day.

In the meantime, our friends Marlene and Jim, who we met in Quartzsite, AZ a year ago as we were walking into the RV Show from the parking lot (seriously, that’s how we met them and have kept in touch throughout the year), came to visit for a few nights.  They are parked right next to us.  We showed them the new house and the 4 of us have been exploring the area.  Marlene and I got our haircuts together from my new stylist, Tim.  Yes, he did a great job.  I even booked my next appointment.  

We have much to do before the 20th.  This week we also purchased a new bed and have been looking at furniture.  We have a washer/dryer and refrigerator being delivered on the 22nd, along with a couch and two recliners being delivered on the 21st.  Can I just say how expensive everything is?  I know you know this.  It’s been years since we have been furniture and bed shopping.  Man Oh Man were we blown away!!  But, hey, what are you going to do?  We need a bed!!!  The furniture we know we will have to order.  In the meantime, we will sit on our camping chairs and use our folding tables.  (pictures at a later blog)

It is a bit cold here.  Jerry’s been diligent making sure he keeps the RV hoses, and underneath warm as it is going to snow here on Monday.  We might have to drain all the water at night and put antifreeze in the drains to make sure nothing bursts.  It is a process for sure.  Thank God Jerry is so on top of this stuff.  He’s truly amazing.  We have only 10 days left to live in the RV.  Please send positive thoughts and prayers that nothing freezes over, including ourselves.  (thank goodness for electric heaters and blankets)

It doesn’t feel real yet that we are in our home city or even state.  Because we are living in our RV right now, we still feel like we are “camping”.  As we drive around we are checking out the area and cannot wait to explore.  That will come way after we move in.  So much to do and so many appointments booked with window people, landscapers, etc., etc.,   It’s actually very exciting.  

Just One More…..20 degree night in an RV (YIKES)

Greetings from Interstate 10

We are on the road to Arizona!  When you read this, we will be in Tucson, arriving in Prescott Valley on Sunday.  Thank you for continuing to follow this very crazy adventure!

Let me share with you this exhausting week of travel.  We left Georgia on Saturday heading to Arizona.  The first place we stayed was in Alabama.  We stayed at The Wind Creek Casino RV Park. It was pretty nice actually.  The campground was small but the sites were large and very clean.  We walked to the casino to grab some food.  

Let me digress a minute about the food situation.  We are trying not to open the slides and keep the truck connected to the RV to make the travel much faster in the mornings.  Now, saying this, it is a bit challenging when it comes to food as we do not have access to the kitchen.  We do, however, have access to the bathroom and bedroom.  We open the slide of the bedroom but that’s the only one.  

We have been grocery shopping for fruit and whatever else can fit in the refrigerator cooler we have that’s plugged into the truck in the back seat, but when you are traveling every day, eating healthy is VERY challenging.  Trust me, I do have sliced veggies and lots of fruit, but that doesn’t fulfill the need for a warm meal. So, we are doing our best when we eat out and know that once we get settled at the RV park in Prescott Valley, we will be back to cooking and shopping!!

The great thing is I am walking at every stop since we arrive around 2:00 each day.  That gives me plenty of time to walk 3 miles. Especially after driving for 4 – 5 hours.  

Back to the casino.  The food was horrible!!!!!  But, we did win $17.00 on the Wheel of Fortune machine. It has been a very long time since we were in a casino.  The nice thing about this one, was no smoking allowed, thank goodness.  We really didn’t stay long in the casino, just enough to grab some food and get back to the RV

The next day we were right outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  It was a very nice KOA campground.  We went out for our beloved seafood!  Jerry had seafood gumbo and I had crawfish!!  I was in heaven.  Yes, this is all about the food!!!

After that we were in Baytown, Texas where we stayed two days to visit with Jerry’s Aunt Kathy and Uncle John who live in Baytown right on the water.  We are so glad we were able to visit them on this trip.  It was great spending time with them.  You just never know when the next time will be, you know?

We were so excited to be able to go shopping in our favorite convenience store, BUC-EE’s!!  We LOVE Buc-ee’s!!!  It has the best bathrooms (yes, it does) and the most amazing food and shopping mecca!   

The next stop was past San Antonio, TX.  This is where it gets pretty hairy.  The traffic around Houston was HORRIBLE!!!!   Remember, we are over 64 feet in length.  Driving in traffic when you have to change lanes is unbelievably challenging when you do not know the roads.  Jerry is amazing, that’s all I have to say.  Of course, when we finally arrived at the RV park, he was completely beat up.  We were both in bed at 7:30, totally done!!  

When I planned this route, I made sure we were only driving 4-5 hours a day, no more than 300 miles.  When you are driving every day for a week, it’s not smart to drive more than that.  That’s our opinion and we are sticking to it.  It takes 3 days to cross Texas!!!!!!

The last stop in Texas was Fort Stockton.  It’s the 3rd time we’ve stayed there.  It is right off Interstate 10 and, thank goodness, has a restaurant on the grounds, as there is not a lot in Fort Stockton and we did not want to disconnect.  It’s not much, but it is clean and convenient.

The next two stops are also places we have been to twice before:  Las Cruces and Tucson. 

We definitely disconnected as we went to our favorite restaurants in both cities.  In Las Cruces we went to Las Posta

I have talked about this place before.  We ate there this past March!  Incredible. 

In Tucson, we must go to Rosa’s.  When my niece, Katie, went to UofA, this was her favorite Mexican Restaurant, and we never miss an opportunity to eat there.  I have talked about this place as well a couple of times.  If you get to Tucson, this is a MUST! 

When we arrive in Prescott Valley, after Tucson, we will be staying in the RV for 16 days in a RV park while the house is being finished and escrow closes.  This will be interesting as the weather at night can drop all the way down into the 20’s.  We have to be very careful that the hoses and pipes don’t freeze and burst.  We are watching the weather every day.  Who knows, we might have to move into a VRBO….  I’ll keep you posted!!  

I placed my last state on my map in Louisiana.  As you can see on the map the places we spent the night with Madge (our RV).  That was my criteria.  We had to spend the night, not just drive through.  As you can see, we stayed the night in 25 states.  Yes, I am a bit disappointed we didn’t get to Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minneapolis and South Dakota (that was the original plan before we made our decision to stop the full-time RV life).  That’s ok!!  We will get there, but now, we will stay in VRBO’s.  LOL!!

Next week I will share showing Jerry the house I purchased without him.  He will see it on December 4th, right after we arrive and set up.  Stay tuned for that!!

Just One More… through Texas (I’m done 🙂) 

Hello from Atlanta!

Jerry and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We are so grateful to all of you who have been following our journey these past almost 18 months!  

We have had the best time in Georgia visiting with my relatives on my mom’s side, and meeting cousins I had no idea about.  My cousin Susan and her family, Ken, Max and Haley, have been amazing to us.  Susan’s father, Herb is 97 years old, with a memory that is completely unbelievable!  He was married to my mom’s cousin Helen.  Unfortunately, Helen passed right after my mom passed in 2020.

Herb continues to remind me of when my parents and I visited them in Charleston 40+ years ago.  He served in WWII in the navy and tells us so many stories from that time.  Truly inspirational!!  We are so grateful to be spending time with family during Thanksgiving as this is the first in years that we have not been with our immediate families.  It has been wonderful.

We have eaten very well here, and it’s been very international.  Malaysian, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Cuban and of course, Jewish bagels, lox and cream cheese.  We were in heaven.  Susan is a wonderful cook.  So is the rest of her family.  I had the best time swapping recipes with her son, Max.  We had dinner together pretty much every night, except maybe one.  Family dinners! We have totally missed those.

Susan is very crafty and has a wonderful business. Please check out my cousin’s beautiful gifts.

She taught me to make these beautiful blankets, and I taught her how to make knitted caps.  We had the best time sitting around knitting, talking, and just spending time with family.  

As you are reading this, we are heading west.  For those of you who have been following us this entire time, you might remember that we were going to Florida for the winter.  Well, we have a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! 

Jerry and I decided that we are ready to get off the road and back into a home.  There have been many factors to this decision; the main one being the travel days.  As exciting as it is to get to a new destination, the reality is that the travel days are pretty stressful.  Especially when you do not know the area you are driving.  We have had numerous GPS malfunctions that would give anyone nightmares.  Also, we both actually miss living in a home.  Which, I did not think I would feel that way. I really thought I would never live in a home again.  Well, remember being taught, never say never??  Lesson learned (again).

We miss having a community. As I have mentioned numerous times, this lifestyle can be lonely. Jerry misses his garden and a garage (the new home has a 2.5 car garage, so Jerry’s ecstatic) I’m excited to meet new friends.  We found a ukulele group we will see about joining! For those of you who are new, we used to belong to a ukulele band! 

After numerous discussions and soul searching, we made the decision to settle in Prescott Valley, AZ.  Why there, you ask?  After spending 3.5 months in Maine, I really thought we would end up there.  But, honestly, I cannot live in 6 months of winter.  We actually thought of buying a place there and then leaving in winter for Florida.  We even thought of living in the RV for 6 months in Maine and 6 months in Florida.

After really thinking about that, we decided that wouldn’t work for us.  I love Maine and would have lived there in a minute, but the winters… We also have our families and many lifelong friends that are on the west coast.  We knew when we left California, we would not go back for numerous reasons.  We thought about Oregon and Washington, and ended up deciding that Prescott was the place for us.  

Why?  It has 4 seasons.  It doesn’t get extreme weather. The elevation is 5367, which is great.  As you know, I would never live in extreme heat.  There are a few days in summer it will get in the 90’s and maybe a 100 here and there, but it cools down at night.  The winters get cold, but when it snows, it doesn’t last long.  Prescott has great medical care (very important at this age).  There are a lot of outdoor activities and history to explore.  We will be 1 hour from Sedona, 1.5 to Flagstaff, 1.5 hours from Phoenix.

Two weeks ago, I left Jerry in Charleston and flew to Prescott to look at homes.  It was the first time I had flown since 2019. This from someone who flew every month on business.  Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive.  It was fine! The planes were packed however. But, I got there and back with no issues (thank goodness).

This is the first time we have ever shopped for a home without both of us looking together.  The reason we did this was the fact that there is a development there that was selling out.  We needed to see the area.  So, Jerry said, “You go, you know what you like.” Uh, ok…….

Jerry had reached out to a real estate agent there months ago while we were kicking around where we would end up.  Kristy was amazing.  She picked me up the minute I reached the Hampton Inn in Prescott Valley and had a list of pre-owned homes to look at, as well as brand new builds.  

After not liking any of the pre-owned homes, she took me to the development.  There was a home that was almost finished that, unfortunately, the woman had to back out on.  I thought I was only going to be looking at the lots and the model homes.  Well, when I walked into this home I knew this was the place.  

It was not quite finished, but I could visualize us living there.  I immediately got Jerry on FaceTime and showed him around.  I put a deposit on it right then and there.  Escrow will close on December 20th.  We changed our entire winter plans to head to Arizona right after Thanksgiving.  I had reservations all the way to Oct 8th of 2023.  That was a fun time canceling everything.  NOT!  But, we decided, “Why stay on the east coast, let’s get to Prescott.”

Remember, we sold EVERYTHING!!!  We have no furniture or appliances and get to start completely over.  We will be selling the RV and the truck. Then we need to purchase 2 cars as well!.

We will arrive on December 4th and start shopping.  We have already ordered our washer/dryer and refrigerator from Costco to be delivered on December 22nd (hopefully).  We will live in the RV for 16 days (might be a challenge as it is cold there in December ).  The final walk through is on December 20th, and we can move in right away.  

The home is in Prescott Valley, where my best friend, CJ’s grandson, Seth, lives.  While in Prescott, Seth showed me around, and we had dinner on Whiskey Row, which is the historic area of Prescott. There is a lot of history there.  Also, another friend of mine, Alice, is moving there as well.  How fun to know at least a couple of people.  

We have a granddaughter that lives in Scottsdale, and our soon to be niece, her parents, have a winter home in the Phoenix area along with other friends we have met along the way that live in different cities in AZ.  The best part, it’s only a 1.5 hour flight to CA. 

We will be traveling for 7 days to get to Prescott, so please make sure to tune in next week for more adventures.  We will be continuing the blog and YouTube as we transition from RV back to a home!  This should be very interesting!!  

We are excited to start another chapter of our lives.  It is never boring with The Sappingtons. 

Just One More… to decorate (this will be 6 in 22 years of marriage)

Capping off Charleston

Thank you for joining us this week as we finish our time in South Carolina!  

Hard to believe we have been here 23 days.  What a whirlwind of weather, sightseeing, visits with friends and just enjoying the history of the area.

I will say, we are excited to get on the road and head to Georgia.  Charleston is lovely, but I am very tired of the warm weather and the humidity.  Do I sound like a broken record?  Please forgive me.  I will get off my weather rant and just recap the things we really enjoyed.

The people are incredibly friendly and kind. We had an amazing time at the campground where they have the best camp hosts and employees. Everyone is incredibly helpful and wants to make sure you have the best experience. If you are an RVer and want to visit Charleston, please consider staying here! It is one of the top 3 KOA’s we have stayed in.

We loved visiting downtown Charleston.  The food tour we had was so fun.  The food was just ok, but the guide was so knowledgeable about the city’s history.  That’s what we love to do, as you know, when visiting a new area: learn the history of an area.

We walked along the Battery looking at the incredible homes and the Atlantic.  Truly beautiful homes that have been in families for generations.  Mansions everywhere!  

We got to experience the Charleston City Market. The history is amazing. I must share it with you!

In 1788, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney ceded the land to the City of Charleston for the express use as a public market, and he stipulated that the land must remain in use as a market for perpetuity.

To fulfill this requirement, the low buildings—sheds—that stretch from Market Hall to the waterfront were built between 1804 and the 1830s. These sheds originally housed meat, vegetable, and fish vendors; each booth rented for $1.00 per day, or $2.00 if the booth had a slab of marble used to keep the meat or fish cold. Butchers often threw meat scraps into the street, much to the delight of local buzzards, which were nicknamed Charleston Eagles. Over the years, the sheds have survived many disasters, including fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and bombardment.

In 1841, three years after the Masonic Hall on the corner of Meeting and Market Streets was destroyed by fire, the current Market Hall was erected. Architect Edward Brickwell White was paid $300 to create the building’s blueprints, which paid homage to the Temple of the Wingless Victory in Athens. The resulting handsome structure was originally used by the Market Commissioners for meetings and social functions, while the space beneath the hall housed vendors.

Since the 1970s, the original sheds and surrounding neighborhood have housed many small and unique shops. Of special note are the more than 50 sweetgrass basket weavers who carry forth a special Charleston tradition.

The Charleston City Market, recognized as one of the oldest in the country, is part of a permanent exhibit entitled “Life in Coastal South Carolina c. 1840” at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C

We loved Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palm. Enjoyed visiting two plantations, eating great bbq, fried pickles and lots and lots of shrimp! We even made our own low country boil! Here’s the recipe we used and will continue to use it wherever we go. It’s so easy!

We loved touring the Patriot Point museums.  I know that was the highlight for Jerry.  Taking the ferry to Fort Sumter.  And, we didn’t get seasick!  Trust me, that’s huge for both of us!  

Overall, we loved it here.  What’s not to love?  There’s so much to do and we did a lot, but, there’s so much more to see and do.  We will be back.

We had the best time visiting with friends who drove to Charleston to visit with us.  We felt so incredibly special that they would travel to see us!  Thank you David and Cindy. 

Annie and Elene came to grab lunch with us this week from Myrtle Beach.  We were fortunate enough to have been in the site next to them in Myrtle Beach for a week. They are full-time RVers who just started this adventure. We know we will keep in touch and hopefully see them down the road!

We had a great lunch together at the first funky restaurant we ate on the first day we arrived in Charleston. Seewee is a local place with the best fried pickles!!

Moving on…the night before we left, Jerry was checking the brake lights on the RV while hooked up to Hunky.  Guess what?  The left ones didn’t work.  Yep, another fun “adventure”.  Something was wrong with a wire in the outlet on the truck.  Thank goodness Jerry figured out how to plug the RV into another outlet on the truck, but only for the trip to Georgia.  He has to take the truck into the Dodge Service Center in Georgia where we are staying.  There’s always something.  Thank goodness my husband is so diligent when it comes to checking everything before we leave.  I will keep you updated on this “adventure”.

We will be in Georgia when you read this.  Very excited to be visiting with relatives on my mother’s side.  My cousin Susan (which we need to figure out how we are cousins) has invited us for Thanksgiving with lots of family I have not met.  We plan on spending a lot of time together as we will be there for 8 days.  She has many plans for us.  Looking forward to meeting with a relative that is doing a family tree.  

This will be our first Thanksgiving away from our family in CA, so the fact we can be with family is so important for us!  

The RV park we are staying at is very close to Atlanta.  We will definitely be going there to check it out.  Of course, driving Hunky in major cities is always a challenge.  We shall see how that turns out.  Trust me, you will be hearing all about it.

We want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and know how grateful we are to each and every one of you!  

Just One More….State to put on the Map

Charleston Continues

Thanks so much for joining us this week as our adventures continue in Charleston, SC.  Jerry decided he would like to share his experience with you this week!

We have 5 more days to make sure we get all that Charleston has to offer, including hurricane and tornado watches. Yep, as Californians, we are so not used to having to continually watch the weather channel, and freak out every time we get a notification that there is a tropical storm warning or a tornado warning.  The last couple of days have been very interesting for us.  

Thank goodness Mt. Pleasant was not affected, except for heavy rains.  As mentioned in the past blogs and videos, the noise from the rain in the RV can be VERY loud on the slide outs.  So loud that we could not sleep Thursday night.  Of course, that’s no big deal compared to what people are dealing with in Florida.  Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Ian and Nicole.  

What we have realized is that we are definitely not east coast people.  Not only do the hurricane and tornado warnings stress us out, the humidity has been horrible.  I know, humidity is great for the skin as Susan has told me, but wearing shorts in November is not our thing. I know, whine, whine, whine.  Poor us! 

Experiencing this lifestyle has shown us where we DO NOT want to live.  This is very important for us as we travel and experience the USA.  It has been an amazing experience so far!

We had a great time last weekend with friends that were visiting us here.  David W. drove 4 hours to come have lunch with us.  We know David from Susan’s Lazarex Cancer Foundation days.  David is a Marathon Maniac (yes, there is an actual organization).  He is a running freak in a very good way.  

David helped raise money for Lazarex during Susan’s time there.  He ran in The Big Sur and New York Marathons a few years ago for Lazarex.  Susan has maintained contact with David, and when he saw we were in SC, he wanted to come visit us. That was such a great lunch with amazing memories.  We were so blown away that he wanted to drive 4 hours to see us.  His mom is in an assisted living facility in Charleston, so he was able to visit with her as well.  

Another friend, Cindy, was in Parris Island and drove to meet us at Middleton Plantation for lunch. Cindy is a full-time RVer as well.  We knew her from Clayton, CA where we both used to live. We have amazing mutual friends, Carin and Howard, who came to visit us in Acadia National Park.  (We’ve talked about that visit in past blogs and videos)  Always great seeing friends!  

This week, as the history lessons continue in this amazing area, we visited the CV-10 USS Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, Charleston SC. The tour was amazing! We were able to ramble all over the ship taking our time looking at the various compartments and exhibitions.

As an Army Veteran, I was impressed by the incredible size of the ship, from the flight deck to the boiler rooms and various compartments! The first was Yorktown. It sank at the battle of Midway during WWII, June 15, 1943. The battle of Midway was documented with photographs and stories of heroism!  This Yorktown was involved in the Pacific offensive starting in late 1943, and ending with Japan’s surrender in 1945. 

The Yorktown received the presidential unit citation and earned 11 battle stars for service in WWII! When we first went aboard, I visited the information desk and shook the hands of one of the navy volunteers, thanking him for his service! I told him Go Army Beat Navy! He laughed and said “you probably couldn’t qualify for the Navy.” He cracked me up!! 

The Yorktown was modernized in the early 50’s for jet aircraft and anti-submarine duty.  Serving with distinction in Vietnam (19654-68) earning 5 battle stars. The ship recovered the Apollo 8 astronauts and the capsule in December, 1968. The Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and placed in reserve! 

Overall the Yorktown was an amazing tour! I was impressed by the size and complexity! The ship had many fighter planes from WWII and Vietnam all restored! If you get a chance, visit and enjoy our country’s history! 

The last stop on the Yorktown was the fantail, where I stood trying to understand how a sailor felt being aboard the mighty Yorktown!  After we left the USS Yorktown we visited the Vietnam experience and museum. This was incredible, providing sound effects of helicopters flying in and taking off! 

There was video of various combat engagements with realistic sound. The highlight was the Khe Shan base that was under siege, but never overrun! The Air Force and Navy fighters, and B-52 bombers dropped more bombs during this battle than the entire WWII. President Johnson ordered the base to be saved no matter the cost! The video of this battle was shocking and amazing! 

This exhibit was well worth the time. I was in the Army from ‘73-’76 and recognized many of the vehicles and weapons in this museum! One of the memorable things was the music that played from the 60’s and 70’s! Susan said that, “we had the best music.”  I know our parents said the same thing!   

If you served in the Navy, thank you for your Service!  But, I still have to say, “GO ARMY, BEAT NAVY” 

As we finished touring Charleston, we were so happy we decided to stay as long as we did.  There is so much to do and learn here.  We are excited to get back on the road and head to Georgia to spend Thanksgiving with Susan’s relatives.  More about that next week!

Just One More….Museum (we will be counting how many we have visited on this adventure).

The Beautiful City of Charleston

Jerry’s turn this week!  His take on Charleston, SC!  Thanks for joining us!  

We are in the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina. We are staying at the Mt. Pleasant/Charleston KOA RV Campground, which is owned by the Oakland Plantation. The drive from St. Helena Island was relatively easy as we covered the same route going to Charleston. We were able to travel on secondary roads that were in excellent shape and not crowded.  Our GPS was awesome!  We arrived perfectly with no hysterics!!  Always a plus in our world now!

Charleston is a return to “Susan’s mother’s roots”.  For those of you who knew about Susan’s incredible mom, she was from Brooklyn but had a slew of relatives in Charleston. She would come visit them as a young girl. Last week Susan showed you the boulevard sign for her mom’s uncle, Sam Rittenberg, who was a state senator.  I guess he was Susan’s uncle also.  That was pretty cool for me to see!  

Susan was fortunate enough to meet many of the relatives when she was following her parents in their RV back in the 80’s.  If you do not know the story, Susan’s mom and dad were full-time RVers back in the day, towing a travel trailer. How the heck did they do it without GPS???? Using paper maps, of course!  That is how Susan knew she wanted to live this life.  

She has been to Charleston a few times in her life.  One other time was with her best friend, CJ, who lives in Southern California.  Ever since that time, she has wanted me to see Charleston.  

Susan dragged me to King Street on my birthday!  I say this because she had the entire day planned to celebrate my birthday which is great, however, she wanted to go to a store that is owned by a cast member of the Southern Charm reality show on Bravo! Sewing Down South.  It’s a pillow store. (What??)  Yes, Susan bought a pillow for my birthday.  Really?  Actually, it looks great in the RV.   

We then had a drink and ate at a restaurant that is featured on this show.  Hey, I thought it was my birthday?  Jokes aside, it was pretty cool. The restaurant is called Mesu, a really eclectic place that serves both Mexican and Sushi.  Yes, it was a great birthday dinner!  We also had a drink at another place that is owned by the same cast member called Republic.  Great outdoor bar!   She actually owns four restaurants on King Street.  I believe her name is Leva, but what do I know? 

Of course, I learned all about this from Susan.  The crazy thing is, outside the store there were a couple of women taking pictures of the store sign. Susan started talking to them about the show.  I, of course, was just standing there going…”Hello, birthday boy here.  It’s all about me, remember?”  

Susan and I toured the Boone Hall Plantation as part of my birthday celebration. We were amazed at the reenactors talent and story telling of the slaves of the Boone Hall Plantation. The plantation mansion was amazing and is an active house of the current owners. The plantation was bought by two German men as brick manufacturers. The plantation labor force was used to produce bricks for construction of Charleston and surrounding areas. Children were used to make bricks. In fact, there are places where small fingerprints can be seen on bricks all over the City!

We took a tour in a wagon towed by a John Deere tractor. The tour guide provided details of the history of the plantation.  The plantation is mainly a tourist destination and with a large u-pick vegetable business. The plantation grows produce for the local restaurants. We were enthralled by a lady who is a descendant of the slaves brought to the plantation in the 1600’s. Not only could this lady sing and give us chills, but her storytelling was captivating! I had to give her a hug at the end of her presentation! 

We learned that the name for the slaves was the Gullah Geechee and are known for preserving their language and cultural heritage. This group of people had their own language. They also used singing as a way to communicate what was happening, for example if a group of slaves were planning on escaping but the slave master knew about it. The slaves would sing about it while working the fields using phrases like “not tonight no go away not tonight going to go away.” This was a way to warn each other and avoid harsh punishment, which could even include being whipped or hung! We were educated to the point of tears as we heard the stories and saw the slave quarters. I had to give the amazing lady who entertained and educated us a big hug!

Overall, I had a great birthday in Charleston!  

We have been to Sullivan’s Island where Susan’s aunt had a home that she visited years ago.  What a beautiful beach. We had GREAT BBQ at this funky restaurant called Home Team.  They had the best shrimp tacos and pulled pork nachos!  Can you believe it?  The service was amazing.  Check it out! 

In Charleston there is so much history. We toured Fort Sumter and learned about the bombardment of the fort as the civil war started. Fascinating history and incredible artifacts on this man made island at the opening of the Charleston harbor. We walked around the really small fortress discovering three locations where cannon balls and rifled rounds are stuck in the brick walls. We saw bricks that had finger prints on them here as well.  We were told the bricks could have been from the Boone Farm Plantation slaves.

The Fort was where the first shots of the civil war were fired! After being relentlessly bombarded by the confederates, setting on fire and demolishing most of the fort, Major Anderson surrendered. Major Anderson was allowed to lower the flag and render a 100 gun salute and leave moving to New York where he was hailed as a hero! The fort was built as a 3 story fortress, however after the bombing by  the confederates the fort was reduced to a one story building.

We also enjoyed the Island of Palm Beach.  Another beautiful beach.  We are trying to hit all the beaches before we leave here.  I mean, it’s 77 degrees and sunny.  What else do you do during November in the south but hit the beach? 

Of course this is only a small sample of the history of Charleston!  We are experiencing so much more about the Civil War even after all the time we spent in Washington DC and Gettysburg there is still so much to learn!

We have many more tours we are going on.  Susan is an amazing concierge!  She plans everything we do in each city!  Stay tuned next week for more of our Charleston adventures!

Just One More…..history lesson (obviously, you cannot have too many)