Thursday, April 26, 2012

These are busy days

I really did want to do this....and I really am looking forward to beginning the adventure.  And now I realize that the adventure has already begun!  I am pulling Paul, Fiona and me out of our comfort zone and into unchartered territory.  We have not been out of the cz (comfort zone) for almost 20 years and that is quite a long time, too long.  I was not comfortable in my cz, that is what prompted me to begin dreaming of another way to do my life.  If I think about all the reasons why this idea is crazy I would not have even started and I am so glad I started.  I don't think Paul was as restless as I was, he was more content to stay status quo, which is fine for him....but me, notsomuch.  I am forever greatful for a mister who loves me enough to go along with my wild ideas. I will always try to be honest in my posts about what we are experiencing on this adventure, even if it is painful and I have to admit a blunder or mistake. 
We have been re-thinking our storage options for the road life....everything is different from living in a house compared to a home on rolling wheels.  We chose a smaller footprint for lots of reasons, cost being the number one, ease of driving, accessibility of national and state parks camping locations, and also we admire and desire a life that is less cluttered with "things".  (Please do not look into our storage unit full of the "things" I could not part with while on the road.....ahem...) Seriously, I am so looking forward to a simple life that is full of beautiful scenery, historic locations, faces I have missed and love seeing once again and new faces to get to know and love!!!  Paul and I talk all the time about what we must take along and what we will have to reconsider and where and how will we store whatever......and all the while we are packing up our belongings and getting ready to store them for two years, at least!
I will store my bright red Kitchen aid stand mixer that weighs 100 lbs. (at least it feels like a hundred), I will take my Cuissinart food processor (must have salsa), I will leave behind our 50+ boxes of Christmas decor, and take.....memories and will probably do a bit of decorating in December, I will store all my garden pots and containers and take along a couple of real-looking artificial white petunias to stick in a jar for the look of real flowers, I boxed up all my cookbooks and will take one binder I have combined all my favorites into...just in case I have to bake monkey bread!  And on and are not what you are what you do!
Heading off for our visit to NYC, Christmas 2011
Cathy, Zion, Paul

So, when was the last time you stepped out of your "cz"?

Monday, April 23, 2012

We Have Renters....almost!

Our home for almost 24 years!  We were living in Boston, MA when Paul got orders to move to Raleigh, NC and become a member of the MEPS team. (that stands for Military Entrance Processing Center).  We made a very short trip down to the area to find a home....and we did! We have been the only owners of this home, moved into it in July 1988.   Military families are very comfortable with relocating on a regular surprising that we have owned this home for so long!  We still own, but now someone else will be enjoying our home and we will be traveling full-time!!! Hooray!!!
Now, back to packing..................................................

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going Nowhere....FAST

Packing up feels never-ending.  Where did all this stuff come from??? I am sure I tossed it the last time I packed up and yet, here it all is once again!  Get ready Goodwill....we are coming over with a ton of good stuff for someone else to have to deal with. 
Today is Friday, Paul will go to work, I will pack, oh, and we will both pack BEFORE he goes to work too.  :-)
Details.  Hope we get some action on the rental of our home.  That would be so big!  This may be the shortest full-time on the road living adventure known to man!  I have to be a positive thinker here, but our track record with this house is kinda like trying to get hot bubble gum off the bottom of your shoe....we cannot seem to pull away!
Fact.  The movers will be here in less than a week and that is for sure.  Our Pearl is waiting to be on the road and we are making all our plans to head out....
Fear.  I have no fear.  (right.....)
Excitement.  See dear friends and family.  Visit places I have always dreamed about seeing.  Meet new people and share life with my very best friend, Paul and very best dog, Fiona!
Thrill.  To actually DO IT
Now, for a nice cup of tea and then to work....packing of course!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Notice anything Different???

I Googled our blog title and found a whole lotta "gypsies" out after much thought, above is our new title.  We have used Disney's "IT's a small world" theme changing the world to wood for many years as a fun joke, but really, this title does fit us and what we are about now and I like it, it feels more us and so here it is!  Also added the photo of our Willie Nelson (Pathfinder) and MiniPearl (Casita) after our first night in a WalMart parking lot! 
Still packing, throwing, sorting and slowly but surely we are getting the upstairs all packed up.  The books, dvds, and cds were a chore.  But, they are done!  Lots of boxes, but we are also tossing lots of stuff.  Remember, 7 years ago we had a house fire and from that point on we have been ridding ourselves of a whole lot of STUFF.  This has been a process.  I won't go into detail, many of you already know the story, but we arrived at this point through lots of garage sales, craigslist, goodwill, guardian angel, plain ol give it away to anyone who wants it activities!!!!! I have packed and boxed this stuff three times now and each time there really are fewer boxes ;-)
I will post a photo of the place with boxes soon....not very interesting I know, but proof that we are moving ahead!  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Image Detail


We agreed the best direction to head in the month of June was NORTH....we also agreed that we would keep our travel time as close to four hour stretches as we could realistically plan.  We also hope to take less busy highways....but, our first day out will be on major highways in order to get to Washington, DC in around 5 hours from Cary.  We also hope to stay at least 4 days in many places in order to see and do as much as we can while in the area.  Staying on military instillations is a real plus for us as they are reasonable, safe, easily found and even in remote locations....two in North Dakota!  Of course, we look forward to staying in lots of State and Federal parks and other points of interest....but for our first three weeks, we will be on two Air Force Bases and the UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY....AT WEST POINT!  Andrews AFB is located in Washington, DC and is very easy to get to a metro stop for a short trip into the middle of town!  We also want to make a day trip to Gettysburg and perhaps into Baltimore (for a bb game...) but we do plan to see the Nationals play the Yankees while there! Maybe into Philly since we have been to Baltimore already.
West Point is in the heart of the Hudson Valley and close to many wonderful sights of interest and also very close to NYC, we plan on at least two full days in the city and then lots of side trips around West Point.  Up the road from West Point is our old stomping grounds of Hanscom AFB, in Bedford, MA.  Bedford is in the heart of patriot history and we have always enjoyed Boston, we will be there over the 4th and plan on hearing the reading of the Declaration of Independance once again!  From Boston we head to Bar Harbor and our first week NOT in a military fam-camp....but have heard Acadia National Park is not to be missed.....will definately let you know!
I am getting a new camera and will be learning as I go on taking good photos to share.  Paul is getting an IPad, I think....or another laptop, which will be great as he has been using mine and I am not a good sharer (is that a word?)  I have the verizon internal air card and pay $60 a month for 5gigs.We have already fulfilled our contract, so we pay by the month now and I can quit anytime I want.  Not the best, have looked into Millenicom (SP) which is unlimited, but linked to Sprint and I just don't know how good coverage will be for that.  We might get it for Paul as there is no contract, see how it works and then I can switch down the road if it turns out to do ok. The beauty of no limit is in downloading movies, itunes, youtube and such which take up lots of gigs.  So much to consider and expensive mistakes can be made!  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Packing up

We are deep in the throes of transition.....Decisions, decisions, decisions....minutia up the wazoo. Painful is one word to define the moment.  We put our head down and plow through never looking left or right, but fix our minds on straight ahead, phew, this is rough.  After 25 years of moving, you would think I would be a pro at this, and, I am pretty darn good at it, but....still the process of boxing up, sorting through, giving away, always is a challenge.  I make piles, keep, take, store, give away, throw away.  We are running out of boxes.  Hope to rent the house before the first of May.  What if we don't, plan B???? We also have plan C and D!  That Little Casita is looking better and better! We have filled the Pathfinder aka Willie Nelson, to the brim with bags for Goodwill and will drop them off this morning while someone looks at our house....which is very chaotic right now and I hope they can visualize the place cuz it is pretty scary right now....Worked all weekend on the yard which looks, in my humble opinion, fabulous!  Pine pollen is an inch thick on the back porch and has changed the color of everything to a dirty yellow, yuck.  I am sure my lungs are the same shade....
We have made a punch list of small handyman jobs that need to be done and the fellow is coming this afternoon to give us an estimate on the cost, the movers come NEXT WEEK!!!  Amy, Sarah and kids were over Sunday to look thru some of my "give away" piles and to help clean out our freezer.  So much on my mind that I cannot sleep very well. Dr. appointments, Vet, hair, eyes and car.  We go over our plans, re-check our budget, re arrange our schedules, mark our calenders....make lists, then more lists!  I remind myself that this is an adventure and will be worth the efforts we are making.
Paul and I spend several hours in our closets and wind up with 4 huge bags of clothing for goodwill and four plastic tubs to take on the trip...this will not work and we have major reevaluations ahead
  This photo is taken in our MiniPearl.  We took out two captains chairs and a small table and built in this wonderful "galley".  Lots of storage and counter top.  On the far right is part of our ice machine.  Under that is the microwave, the green cube is our Cabelas camp kitchen we have fashioned into counter top and storage, there are two shelves behind the green enclosure!  To the left of that is built in tiered shelving and on the bottom are Fiona's food and water dishes.  We are thrilled at how well this "mod" turned out since we are not woodworkers in any way.  I knew, if I was going to be living full-time in any sort of home on wheels, I would have to have storage and counter top and those are two hard to come by commodities in the world of recreational vehicles at least in our price range!  So, we thought outside the box once again and are pretty pleased with the outcome.  I have already made some very tasty meals and am enjoying my gas stove top!  The refrigerator is small, but I am hoping to change my grocery shopping paradigm.  I will keep you posted on how that turns out.  The beauty of a small space is that it forces you to adhere to a simpler range of choices.  You must eat what you buy, you must use what you have and if you don't, then get rid of it.  You must keep only what you will use and hope that whatever you keep can be used for more than one purpose!
We have "camped" in Pearl several times now, but camping and living are two different animals...I am glad we will be staying around for a while before heading out on the big adventure so that we can refine our choices and repack.  I have a feeling there is more "pain" ahead!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Bit of Background Info...

Who are we?  Paul and Cathy are your typical middle-class couple in their 60s and shocked that life has moved so fast.....We embrace change and acknowledge that change is an ever-present fact of life!  We spent 25 years of our married life moving on a regular basis as Paul served our country in the USAF.  Cathy loved moving and has missed that part of military life the most since Paul's retirement.  We have family in  North Carolina, Ohio, Georgia and Missouri and friends all over the USA, so we have decided to take advantage of our changed situation and embark on an exciting, albiet scarry at times, adventure!  We don't know exactly what will happen down the road, but have we ever???? We put our faith and trust in God and ask His blessing as we journey....wherever.
What....made you decide to travel in a camper?  Well, we love camping.  We camped seriously while living in Germany in the 70s and enjoyed ourselves and were able to see and do so much.  We also like the thought of bringing our bed with us!  Also having our food available and the luxury of being very flexible in living locations ;-) 
...will you take with you?  We will pull a 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe travel trailer.  We are driving a Nissan Pathfinder and will lower the two sets of back seats to give us lots of storage space.  We will have a Pack Right Cargo carrier hanging from the back of our Nissan for more storage.  We will take our westie Fiona!  Our computer, and Garmon Nuvi, and lots of other stuff we will share with you as we travel.
Why....did you pick the Casita Freedom?  First major factor was the size/weight.  With gas prices going higher and higher, Casita's light-weight profile made big sense.  Cathy will be the major driver and hauling a smaller trailer made points.  The Casita has all the amenities of a BIG RIG without all the "systems" and weight!  We also are very fond of the simple life-style and knew a trailer this size would force us to size-down big time!  The Casita is a two-piece totally fiberglass rust, no caulking or joints that will wiggle loose, no rubber roof....ah....she's a beauty our MiniPearl! 
When.....will your adventure begin?  Well, it already has....we picked up Pearl on Valentine's Day....she is the best gift!!! Drove back to NC from  We have been doing some major "enhancements" or as they say in the world of camping "MODS"  Our tentative schedule is as follows:  Leave NC on June 12, spend a week in DC, then a week in the Hudson Valley at West Point, then a week in Boston, then Bar Harbor, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, then head west thru Canada and the Northern US all the way to Seattle, then south to San Fransisco, back east to be in Arkansas for War Eagle in October...then a while in KC for Thanksgiving, then south to Florida via Georgia and family visits, then Christmas at Disney!!! then January we head back west and eventually end up in San Diego...from there we will figure out what next!  Should keep us busy and entertained and we hope to bring YOU along!
Paul and Cathy