Gut-Check Tour – Day 4

This entry is part of a series recounting our experiences on a two-week RV trip we took to southern Mississippi, Alabama and northern Florida. The goal of this trip was to test ourselves, our two cats, and our rig to make sure we all have what it takes to be full-timers. While we posted highlights of our trip on Instagram and Facebook, these entries are some behind-the-scenes notes on our trip and experiences.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – Paul B. Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

It’s been such a beautiful day!

I started out the day early this morning by setting up my GoPro to try and capture a time lapse of the sunrise. It was actually pretty non-eventful, but I did learn how to use the software to stitch almost 3000 photos together into a short video.

I did some research and located our first out-of-Mississippi destination. We have reservations at Rainbow Plantation near Summerdale, Alabama for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. It’s an Escapees park, so we got a rate of $21/night for full hookups, swimming pool, laundry, etc. While we’re in that area, we’re going to try and catch a performance by Kyle of Drivin’ and Vibin’ (YouTube favorites of ours), as he has gigs in the area each of those days.

After spending all that time on the computer, I took a long walk around the campground, and then came back and made homemade hummus for lunch. Andy cut up a bunch of raw veggies and we chowed down on a pretty healthy meal (except for the Nutter Butter cookies that I picked up a Walmart in Wiggins yesterday).

After cleaning up the dishes we spent the afternoon reading and enjoying the outdoor patio. Today’s weather was the best we’ve had since we’ve been on this trip, with highs in the low 70’s and just enough breeze to keep it comfortable. There are still rigs arriving and leaving, but it’s not nearly as crowded as it was over the weekend.

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Time for an afternoon nap. #rvlife #lifeisgood #vacation

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For dinner we had the leftover curry from Saturday night over a baked potato, and it was super yummy. And tonight we’re sitting here in the RV, listening to the geese and the crickets as the day draws to a close.

I’m going to hate leaving this place tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to spending a little time in Biloxi. We need to make a run to the grocery store for a few things (nothing urgent, but just to make sure we have what we need to fix the dishes I have on the menu). I think I’m still over-thinking the meal-planning, but I don’t get to cook very often and I like trying out new dishes with various spices. When Andy cooks for us at home, he keeps things very, very simple, and that’s fine; but I like to be a little more adventurous with my food when I have the opportunity.

So far this trip is only confirming that we definitely want to go full time in our RV, the sooner the better. Nothing has dissuaded us yet. 🙂

Gut-Check Tour – Day 2

This entry is part of a series recounting our experiences on a two-week RV trip we took to southern Mississippi, Alabama and northern Florida. The goal of this trip was to test ourselves, our two cats, and our rig to make sure we all have what it takes to be full-timers. While we posted highlights of our trip on Instagram and Facebook, these entries are some behind-the-scenes notes on our trip and experiences.

Sunday, April 8, 2018, Paul B. Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, Mississippi

We had a nice relaxing day here at Paul B. Johnson State Park. Meals were oatmeal for breakfast; salad, black beans, an orange and an oatmeal banana cookie for lunch; dried fruit and nuts for snacks; and tofurkey hobo packs for dinner with a glass of wine.

We took a long walk through the park this morning, dodging all the disc golf players who were flinging frisbees everywhere. Lots of folks left today since the weekend’s over, so it’s not quite as crowded.

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Good morning! #lifeisgood #rvlife

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This afternoon I set up the GoPro to do a time lapse, which turned out just OK.

We plan to drive down to Gulfport and Biloxi tomorrow to just look around. Maybe we’ll see an RV Park where we might want to move next.

I’m concerned about Molly’s right front paw. She still doesn’t want to put any weight on it. She slept most of the day, but she did take her treats this evening. If it doesn’t get better in the next day or so we may need to find a vet down here.

I reorganized all the groceries in the RV this morning since I couldn’t find things easily (Andy packed the groceries in here before we left.) I’m trying to train myself to keep things put away in their proper place…so important in this small living space.

No really deep thoughts right now, just grateful that I don’t have to report to work tomorrow.

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@silverlap and the Bear #lifeisgood

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The Gut-Check Tour – Day 1

This entry is part of a series recounting our experiences on a two-week RV trip we took to southern Mississippi, Alabama and northern Florida. The goal of this trip was to test ourselves, our two cats, and our rig to make sure we all have what it takes to be full-timers. While we posted highlights of our trip on Instagram and Facebook, these entries are some behind-the-scenes notes on our trip and experiences.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Our vacation has officially started, and it has been a wonderful day!

Fortunately this morning the rain held off, so we were able to bring Lizzy to the house to load her up. We pulled away from the house around 9:45 A.M. and headed south. We had Maggie and Molly crated for the drive, and Andy said they did fine. He drove Lizzy and I followed behind in the truck (now named Vern).

We made it to Meridian about 12:30 and stopped for lunch at Bonita Reservoir Park. This is a city park, and I had researched it on Google when looking for a lunch destination. But Google Earth did not do it justice. The park is beautiful! There is a good-sized lake that is split by a levee that we drove across to get to the boat launch parking lot. There are hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, and lots of picnic tables and pavilions with restrooms. We saw lots of geese and ducks, as well as numerous other types of birds.

While parked in the parking lot we had our salad and pinto beans, as usual, for lunch, followed by some oatmeal banana cookies that I made yesterday. After lunch we walked around the area enjoying the sights, although the breeze was pretty cool, especially coming off the water. It was overcast so we didn’t get the best view of the park, but it was still beautiful, all lush and green with flowers blooming along the split-rail fence.

We stayed in the parking lot for almost two hours and then hit the road again traveling south. We made it to Paul B. Johnson State Park around 4:20 P.M. This park is large, I believe it’s even larger than Tishomingo SP (I know it has more camping sites than Tish does). There was a big disc golf tournament going on when we got here, so there was a lot of traffic. We checked in at the office to get the parking permit for the truck and then found our campsite, number 75.

I love, love, love this campsite. It’s on a straight stretch of road between two camping loops, right along the lakeshore. We’re on the side of the road across from the lake, but there are no campsites directly across the road from us, so there’s no one blocking our view of the lake through our front window. Behind us there are only trees. The campsites in this area are well-spaced so we’re not looking directly into our neighbors’ windows.

It was overcast when we got here, and right about the time Andy finished all the hookups outside, it started to pour down rain. Perfect timing! We settled in for the evening, both of us enjoying a glass of wine. I made a lentil curry dish in the Instant Pot (Curry In A F@cking Hurry) along with some brown rice cooked on the stovetop. I used the new 3-quart Instant Pot, but the recipe calls for more ingredients than this smaller unit can accomodate. I had to leave out about half of the water called for in the recipe, but that actually made the curry even better. It was thick and flavorful, especially over the rice. It looked like it was just starting to possibly stick and scorch on the bottom, but I got it out in time. We have plenty of the curry and rice leftover for other meals later this week.

While we were waiting for our dinner to cook, we sat and talked about the day. I realized that I am so happy!! It was such a perfect day! Well, almost perfect…there was a small problem with the window shade by the bed, but Andy fixed that. And Molly is limping on her right front paw, not sure what’s going on there. But otherwise, it was just a perfect day, the kind of day that I fantasized about when thinking about full-time RV travel.

We’ll be in this park for four nights, leaving on Wednesday morning for parts unknown. We have no plans, no agenda, no reservations. And it feels so freeing on the one hand, but on the other hand I can feel myself wanting–needing–to do something, plan something, clean something. I need to relax.

I used the GoPro and gimbel today and got some pretty good footage at Bonita Reservoir, along with a little bit from the road and from our campsite here at PBJ. That will give me something to play with as I try to hone my skills at creating video content.

Good times!!

Travels on Day 1 of the Gut-Check Tour