Update – Life After Full Time RVing


Bike riding with our grandsons in our district. Our oldest grandson likes to strike a crazy pose to show his “crazy” side. He gets that from his dad! Our youngest learned how to ride without training wheels this summer!

I can’t believe I never finished our last series (click here) about our first automobile road trip after we stopped RVing. For some reason, it’s harder to blog now that we live back in a sticks and bricks home….I have a draft blog started on the end of that road trip which stopped with us traveling through Indiana. I just have to select the pictures and finalize it. And as usual, I have an abundance of photos. Hopefully, I’ll finish it one day as it includes a stop with a tour of the State Capitol. In the meantime I am compelled to write an update.  Continue Reading

We do love Myrtle Beach


He’s just too cute isn’t he? I am sorry, I just can’t help but be one of those typical grandmas who carry too many pictures of their grandchildren.

We’re still here in Myrtle Beach! We arrived on October 24, 2018 with our three year old grandson. You can read about his trip by clicking here. What a treat it was for all of us to have him here. This blog post is supposed to be “Myrtle Beach Through the Eyes of a Three Year Old” – and it will be in part. We have written so many posts about Myrtle Beach, we will add a list of all the posts from the 10 times we have been here since we started RVing five years and four months ago, but who is counting? ūüėŹ

Believe it or not, as of the date of this post (12/12/2018) we have been here in total 207 days, nearly seven months since September 2013.¬†The only place we’ve spent more time is in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The reason we started this journey was to be with our grandsons (and their parents) – and that’s where they live! Continue Reading

Midway Into Our 2018 Winter Travels (warning: Cute photos overload)


Continuing our journey, now along the Florida Panhandle and along the Gulf of Mexico. First stay was at the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, Gregory E. Moore Campground, then onto Fort Pickens Campground. While it was only 65 miles, it took nearly two hours due to construction, stop lights and general traffic along Highway 98.

Wow, it’s been a month since we last updated our winter travelogue! As we said in an earlier post, click here if you missed it, we really weren’t sure what our travels plans would look like this winter – so we’re glad we didn’t set any expectations. This past month has been a whirlwind.

We love the beach and knew we wanted to spend a month on the beautiful beaches off of the Gulf of Mexico. This much we knew and planned back in July. My mom lives in the panhandle with my oldest sister so we knew this was a primary destination in January. To get good sites for the two weeks in each location, you have to reserve six months ahead. First stop is Topsail Hill State Preserve Park Gregory E. Moore RV Campground.

Our first day here! It was a cool 51 degrees with a nice breeze. This is the walkway over the sand dunes from the campground to the beach. It’s nearly a mile walk from our campsite. They do run trolleys from the campground to the beach – but we aim for walking 5 miles every day.

This year, we arrived on January 16 and stayed until January 30, 2018. Two weeks is allowed per camper in the Florida State Parks. Once I get as old as Bill, we can stay for a month here, two weeks under his driver’s license (proof of Florida Residency and our age) and two under mine. But no rush! LOL

Here is a slide show to put things in perspective a bit:

So now you may see why this is a favorite destination for us! We fell in love with it our first visit in March 2015. We talked to a couple there who were work campers. It sounded like something we would like to do. My mom would only be an hour or so away so we could spend a month or two or three here! We interviewed for the job and it looked like we were in….but then the Ranger who “hired” us (it’s a volunteer job with free “rent” in exchange) ended up changing jobs before we could cinch the deal. We’ve pretty much decided it probably wouldn’t have worked out for us….ūüėĘ

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park beach on the Gulf of Mexico our second day here.

This year, we had a real treat – something we have wanted for a while, to bring a grandson on another road trip! We had our oldest grandson, Colin, with us for ten days in Myrtle Beach soon after his brother, Bryce was born. We wrote a little about that wonderful time here, in case you missed it. ¬†We cherished that time with him and look forward to another journey with him. Our decision to go get our youngest, he’s nearly 2 1/2 years old now, was a bit spontaneous. We had to have a luxury car just for situations like this. So the biggest downside of Topsail for us is it’s a LONG way from our grandsons (and their beloved parents)! So this month, we drove our car 2,300 miles to get him and return him, taking us 36 hours of driving time! But it was so worth it. Both of our grandsons also love the beach so we look forward to many more fun travel days ahead!

We were on site #66. Bryce felt right at home!

We really weren’t sure how Bryce would travel.¬† Thankfully, he did great as long as we let him out to stretch his legs every few hours. He’s potty trained so it helped us make sure he got his exercise. He is also a GREAT sleeper, needing 2 to 3 hour naps and he sleeps 10 to 12 hours a night. So we got the rest we needed as well.

This one pictures says it all!!! It was a bit cold, but so sunny and this kid loves it!!!

Bryce’s response when he realized we were leaving the beach for the day!

But he was easy to get back on track! He loved riding around the park on his trike

There was a playground near our site so of course, Bryce had to go every chance he got!

Bryce wanted to “touch” every dog he saw! He made lots of friends as he learned how to safely approach a new dog! He’s probably a dog whisperer…

What little boy can resist climbing a ladder? He loves helping his papa!

Bryce was actually only at this location for one week. Bill and I had a week here by ourselves when we decided to go get him. Then it was time to move closer to see my mom and sister, only about 65 miles away, still on the Gulf of Mexico.

On January 30, 2018, we moved onto Fort Pickens Campground on the Gulf Islands National Seashore Park.¬†We stayed here last year, but didn’t discover it until near the end of my time with my mom. We wrote about our time in the Florida Panhandle – when we discovered this treasure – written about here.

I drove Bryce in the car and we left ahead of Bill so he could disconnect everything without a little “helper.” If you know what we mean! Bryce and I stopped in to see my mom, sister and her dog Ruby before we met Bill at the campground. Bryce is my mom’s 7th great grand child. It was time she met him.

Bill and Bryce checking out our new homesite. We thought it was longer than in reality. We just fit. And now having Bryce on a blind corner will mean he must not be out of an arms length. Thankfully, the speed limit was 5 MPH and most every drove very slow.

We arrived here in Fort Pickens on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Our reservation was for two weeks, ending on February 13. My mom saw Bryce twice, but fortunately it was before she was contagious. Mom wasn’t feeling very good our third day there, so I went to see her alone. Sadly, my mom had contracted the flu and was hospitalized that night. The hospital was close by, so I spent two days visiting her there – and then I came down with it! What a miracle neither Bill, Bryce nor my sister caught it.

Our walking here was on the nature trails. This entrance was right by our site. Bryce enjoyed our nature walks and especially all the dogs who were also out for their exercise.

Bill is compelled to walk at least five miles every day. Bryce accompanied him everyday, by giving Bill an “extra” good workout once Bryce’s legs needed a break.

This campground had lots of doggies! So of course, Bryce got to meet each and every one!

Boys will be boys! Bryce managed to break the kitchen sink sprayer connector, just being a boy! Thank goodness for Amazon, we found the replacement part and Bill repaired it quickly. While Bryce was napping!

Bryce loved riding around the campground, checking out the other vehicles. This one sure caught his attention!

Bryce kept asking to go to the beach. It wasn’t as convenient from our campsite to get to the Gulf of Mexico. But this trail was close by to the sound. It was sandy, so he was happy!

We were just exploring so we didn’t know what to expect. Bill took him back another time with his bucket and shovel

There wasn’t a playground at this campground. But we found something just as much fun. A hill of pebble gravel when it was too cool for the beach.

But he asked daily to go back to the beach. He loved playing in the sand.

The water was crystal clear on the sound side as well. Much calmer, too.

So how did I get sick while Bill and Bryce were OK? As soon as my¬†symptoms started, I saw a doctor and was put on¬†Tamiflu – was told to rest for a week and wear a mask. It was recommended Bill get on it as well, so his doctor got him started. And then I wore a surgical mask to keep the germs to myself. I also wore it in the hospital, but I must have contracted it before she was in the hospital. (Do you think I rested? Oh how I wanted to….)

Ugh, the first time I’ve had the flu in decades! So this was how I kept from spreading it.

Bryce had to get into the act and copy his MeMe! He was so funny wearing it and it helped him not be afraid of me!

We arrived here in Fort Pickens on Tuesday, January 30, 2018. Our reservation was for two weeks, ending on February 13. She had two days to see Bryce, but fortunately it was before she was contagious. Mom wasn’t feeling very good our third day there, so I went to see her alone. Sadly, my mom had contracted the flu and was hospitalized for five days. The hospital was close by, so I spent two days visiting her – and then I came down with it! What a miracle neither Bill, Bryce nor my sister caught it.

Using FaceTime, Bryce spoke to and saw his mom, dad, brother and his doggie, Ollie, every night. He especially was excited to talk to Ollie and kissed him good night! He really loves dogs. All good things had to come to an end, so it was time to get him home. Since I was still sick, our daughter decided to fly to Atlanta and we meet her there to return him. Bryce enjoyed the airport and was so happy to see his mom. He wouldn’t let go of her for a minute – except to hug us good bye! We loved our time with him in spite of me being sick.

We knew we needed to extend our time here so I could see my mom more. Sadly, this very popular campground was booked, but miraculously we found a really good site back in Campground A – where we stayed last year. At first, only two nights were available – then we checked it the next day and managed to get three nights in a row on the same site.

We stayed on this site from 2/13-16/2018. It’s in Campground A, site #16. It’s a smaller campground as you can tell. Our neighbors had moved out. We have more room on the right because the nature trail path is there, but not shown in the picture. The dump station, dumpster and bath house are only a few hundred yards from any site. Very convenient, but smaller sites and the trees can interfere with your parking.

Mom was finally feeling good enough for a little outdoor time. So I brought her over to see our new campsite.

There are a few of downsides to Fort Pickens.¬†Mainly,¬†it only has water and electric, no sewer. Last year in Campground A, we were close to the dump station, so Bill just carried a five pound bucket of gray water over each day. And we were right by the showers. But in Campground E, we were as far as you could be from the dump station. So he broke down and bought a blue tote tank. Sadly, the weather was so cold here our first week or so, we didn’t use the bathhouse – besides it wasn’t that close to us either.

This is a National Park, so they honor the “America the Beautiful” Passes. We didn’t mind only paying $10/night last year, but the price doubled this year. And it’s really a drive to go to the grocery store. But there are a few restaurants nearby. We haven’t tried them, but others said they were good. Here is the link to the campground for more information and reservations: ¬†Recreation.gov< strong>After that whirlwind of a month, we headed Montgomery, Alabama. We stayed here last year and decided we would return for 10 days on our way to the Tiffin Service Center for a few minor repairs to our home.

Grandchildren are the crown of the elderly….Proverbs 17:6¬†

The Start of Our Winter 2018 Travels


Connect this to our last map. We arrived from Dillon, SC to the Jacksonville area, first stop over New Years Eve long weekend at Sunny Oaks mobile home and RV Campground, then Hanna Park & Campground for two weeks, to Jellystone RV Park, Madison for one night to Topsail Hill State Preserve Park, where we’ll stay for two weeks..

In our last post, we said we may talk some about what is ahead for us for 2018. We only dropped a hint or two and to be honest, we don’t really know what is ahead for us! I recently read the blogs of two couples we have been following since we began on the road: The Lowe’s – what we love about their blog is their details about all of their hikes – which we also love to do; and, Wheelin’ It – they give such practical advice and great tips for the full – time RV lifestyle. The Lowe’s just posted their 2018 travel map and plans – which we all know is always subject to change, but at least they know their general direction. As for Wheelin’ It – they usually do the same! But their current blog tells us why they are not this year and that they are selling their motor home, car and all that goes with it – to move to Europe and travel there. If you want a fully decked out rig with all the latest and greatest plus a car and hitch, check out their blog! Be sure to mention you learned about it from us and we can split the $150 “referral fee.” LOL

So it is with a little envy we read others exciting travel plans. ¬†It seems we are now in a routine and so far, our¬†travels aren’t changing much from last winter. ¬†We enjoyed our time this year (January 1 – 15, 2018) in Hanna Park and Campground, we planned to write a post about it. But never had time! We did write a bit about it some last winter, first here where we discovered it, and then here, when we stayed for a week last March. We (Debbie) vowed to return! Bill, not so much since he’s the one who drives the motor home and was concerned about taking a tree down – or it taking us out. Anyway, there isn’t much to add to the two posts, except one thing. And it is still that slice of heaven we found last year! The only difference is the sustained freezing cold weather here – but then the whole east coast and probably the midwest are in the same freezing boat. ūüėĪ That wasn’t the one thing, btw.

The year 2017 was a game changer for us.¬†Bill had to learn how to live with heart disease. He has done exceptionally well and his doctor is his biggest fan (next to me, of course) and knows he can continue on. What it has meant in addition to how he eats and exercises is how he manages stress. Now that’s been a battle, especially when things happen he can’t control like two flat tires on Interstate 95 (one of the busiest highways on the east coast). Actually, he did much better than he did with our first blowout on a state road in Florida – but also a busy highway. And now with sustained freezing cold weather – since we LEFT Virginia on December 26 – when we thought we were fleeing freezing cold weather. Actually it just hitched up to our bumper and has followed us. ‚ĚĄÔłŹ‚ĚĄÔłŹ

This new life style has meant we had to change how we travel – more or less! We had decided before hand, we prefer to only drive the motor home roughly 200 miles between stays and to stay about two weeks. This is most desirable. But there are times it isn’t feasible. We have to balance our travels with our budget and still try to keep our nightly stays around $20. We learned if you stay a week or two, you get a good discount – thus our desire for that as well as we want to get to know the area and see all we can see.

But this past year, we seemed to be consumed with our exercise routine and cooking fresh. ¬†So we aren’t sightseeing as much as we once did – although we hit a home run in Wisconsin this past summer. It’s ideal to be able to get in his “mandated” walk of five miles a day straight out our door. We did that beautifully in Hanna Park – and we do that at Pirateland. And then we still remember how disappointed that Wilmington, NC won’t be our future home when it is time to get off the road. We continue to obsess a bit over it….so that means while at Hanna Park, we had a revelation.

The beach at Hanna Park is every bit as good if not better than Myrtle Beach!¬†And like we did at Myrtle Beach, we decided to look up the beach to see if there isn’t a place we could call home. We did look down to the south and decided that lifestyle wouldn’t fit us. So what beach is up the coast? Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island:

Fernandina Beach is on Amelia Island at Florida’s northeast border. Fernandina Beach hosts the popular Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival and is known for great golf. Downtown Fernandina Beach also offers boutique shopping and a range of scrumptious restaurants. With 13 miles of pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and clear, calm waters, Amelia Island with its quaint charm has been a beloved destination for generations. Its upscale resorts and world-class spas combine with a charming collection of bed and breakfasts, historic sites and captivating festivals for an experience that‚Äôs uniquely Floridian. Come experience why Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island have consistently been among Florida‚Äôs highest-ranked island destinations.¬†

It was love at first sight – or actually a re-look. We did visit Amelia Island years ago. It didn’t really strike us as a future home. For whatever reason, this time, after we really checked out the beach, did we see the potential. GRANTED, it is way too far from our daughter and her family. We do still hope and dream they will see the light and move to Florida….

Our first view approaching Amelia Island from A1A. We approached it from a different road when we came a few years ago. What’s not to love?

Then we began to drive on a beautiful road like this – with a walking trail next to it the entire length!

We saw the sign for this, so looked it up on the web. Looks fabulous, but we want some place realistic….This is “just” a resort!

Of course, we had to hit the beach! We didn’t see this when we came before….didn’t really know what we missed.

We could easily walk five miles on this beach. And like Atlantic Beach at Hanna Park, the tides didn’t really affect the times of our walks.

We talked to a resident of the area. These condos are each a cool million or more! So much for that lifestyle….

uh oh, what are we doing? This neighborhood is in our price range….

I won’t elaborate any more except to say, we are now going to look at more places up and down the east coast, in South Carolina and Georgia, as potential places to eventually settle. We think we have now ruled out North Carolina. While it will be farther than I would prefer, Bill just can’t handle continuous freezing weather. We’ve acclimated but it’s just been one miserable winter.

And now, back to our plans for 2018? Not that we feel we need to have that exit plan in place should we need to get off the road, let’s just say it has a less stressful feel to it to think about it. For now, we just hope to enjoy each place we visit – which now seems to be more for a purpose than just “adventure” – although we still think life is nothing but full of adventure!

Next up, we’re back in¬†Topsail Hill Preserve State Park!

‚ÄúBut he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.‚ÄĚ James 1:6

Our 2017 Travels Reviewed and What’s Ahead for 2018?


We are starting 2018 on the same route as we did in 2017! It’s “Trip One” to start our warm winter travels! Fredericksburg, Virginia to Dillon, SC to Jacksonville, Florida.

It’s that time of the year, so Happy New Year!¬†We enjoy reading a snapshot of others’ year end blogs so hope others enjoy ours as well. And writing ours helps us keep our travels in perspective. We are still enjoying our lifestyle in spite of the challenges we’ve had this year. But that’s why it’s even more important to look back.

First, it helped us to look at what we wrote last year (click here if you missed it).WOW, our start this is is the same as last year. Once again, we started the New Year fleeing freezing cold temperatures in Virginia. We forgot how bad it was last year when we tried to close our slides to leave Fredericksburg. The slide toppers were frozen with a sheet of ice! This year, we had the slides pulled in for over two weeks to stay warm which we have never had to do before. The winter storm Benji arrived ahead of any other storms we’ve fled from in these four years of traveling. Continue Reading

We Really Wanted to Love It!


From Google Maps

A sweet, quaint college town on the coast! Near several beaches. Mild Climate. Low (sort of) taxes. An airport. Shopping. Health care. Not much traffic. Only five hours from our daughter and her family. That’s all we are looking for.

That was our vision about Wilmington, North Carolina.¬†When it is time to switch from our dream life traveling in our motor home, we are dreaming about the perfect little dream town to settle down. How we hoped it was Wilmington. It has been on our radar for years, we just never could get there. A few times while here in Myrtle Beach, we thought about running up there. We thought it was only an hour or so away (in fact it’s 80 miles and took us nearly two hours). We just never could justify leaving this beautiful beach….Yes, we are still in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Until the horses returned to the beach for three days last week. That means, no walking on the beach as it’s too trampled and people and horses don’t really know how to share the “beach” to our satisfaction. You can read here our write up about it last time we tried to share the beach and one “hot dog” challenged me! We pretty much vowed we wouldn’t be here at the same time. Even if it is for a worthy Continue Reading

What does it take to “live the dream?”


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Sunrise, 7:00 am at Myrtle Beach State Park Pier taken on our daily walk

While trying to think about our next blog post, we reviewed our year (and then our past four years on the road). People have asked if this lifestyle is cheaper than living in a “sticks n bricks” house. The general guideline is, if you are like us, it’s about the same cost. If you want to live cheaper, there are ways (such as installing up front expensive solar panels and then live cheap “boon docking”) but that’s for others to write about. We know those ways weren’t for us. Our basic budget is about the same now as before we hit the road. We are striving to live at the same or slightly cheaper lifestyle while traveling full time. And just like in a house, RVs need major repairs. You hope to spread them out! Continue Reading

Making hard decisions….


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Our reward at the end of the day at check in.

After our two posts on “living the dream” (here and here if you missed them) we came to a crossroads! We want to share not only all the mountain tops, but the valleys we experience. ¬†As we mentioned in our last post, we were heading to Wilmington, NC, the elusive Wilmington we should say.

One reason we want to visit, is to see if this could be our future home when we get off the road. But the elusive part is because we haven’t been able to find a place to stay in our motor home. We’ve actually been looking for at least three years – and it has just never been in our travel path. Granted, there is a KOA there, but Bill has a thing against KOA. It’s sad, one manager could spoil it for all others. ¬†We never could strike a deal with the one near our daughter ($1,200/month is a bit too much to just “park”) when we said we will be here four to five months a year. The one in Wilmington wanted to charge us $800/month whereas the other RV parks, which are near or on the beach, only wanted to charge us $500/month. We do prefer the lower prices! Continue Reading

Are we living the dream?


Photo by friend, Gerald Voigt “Hawkeye” on July 6, 2017 in Omro, Wisconsin. He and his wife are amazing photographers. Visit their FaceBook page to get connected: https://www.facebook.com/rvnomads/

Finally, I have been inspired and have the time to write a blog post after two months. We are so overdue and are so grateful for new followers – although we haven’t written anything to follow for two months! We had hoped to write more about our travels in Wisconsin and about the end of our summer travels back to our “home” base, Fredericksburg, Virginia. ¬†We have been on the go since we arrived here, not a spare minute to compose a post (nor the energy)…. Continue Reading

Reflections on our 2017 Winter Travels


We are traveling in part, to be honest,¬†because we can’t agree where we want to live! As we celebrated our 42nd¬†wedding¬†anniversary (4/11/1975), we can say we don’t do¬†anything¬†without praying over it and both of us agreeing to it.¬†Of course, it may seem obvious, why not settle in Fredericksburg near our daughter and family? We certainly do want to be near them, but we lived in Fredericksburg for 10 years. When we moved there, it was a sleepy rural county. We loved it! But by the time we left, it was becoming a boom town. And now, it has outgrown its roads. It is just one big traffic jam! We recently heard a sermon titled, “Never say never!” But Bill does tend to say, we’ll never live there….time will tell.

So what do we really want? We love mountains for challenging hikes and clean mountain air – but we could never handle the winters there. And really, driving winding and steep roads isn’t comfortable for us. We also love the beach. But what great beach area doesn’t have a busy season? And remember, we don’t like traffic. This winter we experienced EVERYTHING we love about our full-time lifestyle. Continue Reading

Fort Pickens, On a Barrier Island (Winter 2017, Pt. 6)


Our travel from Three Rivers State Park, to Emerald Beach, to Fort Pickens.

Our travel from Three Rivers State Park (green dot), to Emerald Beach (B) in Navarre, to Fort Pickens (checked dot).

When we started our winter travels from Virginia on January 4, 2017, to stay somewhat warm, we really had no idea how our travels would turn out. We are still a bit gun-shy, so we don’t like to make reservations until we are on our way to a particular RV park/campground. We’ve had four family emergencies in our three years on the road where we’ve had to cancel our reservations, turn around or set aside our travel agenda for a time. When we started this winter series, I wasn’t too optimistic about coming up with a way to label our travels. So if you have been following along, you can see I have modified our titles, which means things are getting a bit more exciting!

We are now in our eight RV Park/campground since we left¬†fled the snow in Virginia. We know reservations in the warmer parts of Florida between January and March are tight, slim, and expensive. Thus, we have been bouncing along, not staying anywhere too long. Although, we have not paid the high prices we thought. ¬†Anyway, we had planned to spend a month in Gulf Shores, Alabama with friends we made last time we were at the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay, Alabama. We called the couple a few days before we made the reservations in Fort Pickens. They said they would have the scoop on where we could stay….only to learn the husband had just passed away. ūüėĘ You know, it just puts life into perspective! So our plans have again changed, but then, we really didn’t have any plans set in stone.

Continue Reading

The Dunes Being Restored at Myrtle Beach! (Part 3)


High Tide

High tide, 10:08 am, Saturday, November 19, 2016, five days after the “superman.”

Just when we thought we ran out of things to write about the dunes….I was going to write about the high tides, the airplanes and the projects Bill has done. 

We left our motorhome here for a week to be with family after the death of Bill’s uncle (age 97 – so he had a fabulous life) and spent Thanksgiving (November 24, 2016) with our grandsons, their parents, and with our son-in-law’s mom, step dad, sister and nephew. We had a fantastic time and came back to a major surprise….hang on.

The fencing posts you see in this picture show where the dunes used to be, prior to Hurricane Matthew. The high tide only reached up to the darkened areas of the beach.  Hopefully, you can see where the row of beach front houses only have a smattering of the beach. I tried to zoom in to better show, but this was the best I could get. Continue Reading

The Dunes at Myrtle Beach (Part 2)


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October 2015. We were so blessed to have our oldest grandson here with us for 10 days. We can’t wait to bring him and his little brother back!

As mentioned in our last post, we will now look at the dunes as we walk north – which has been our walking beach route since we started staying here in 2013.

This most precious picture of our oldest grandson, then two years old, which shows the north view as we hit the beach. I’d love to recreate this picture with him, one day!

We’ve now been here for 10 days so we are¬†seeing more clearly the damage from Hurricane Matthew. As soon as we arrived back here after our evacuation, we managed to get in four long walks, one going south and the rest back up north. Then we hit a bad spell….it seems that the sand surface has definitely changed and my knees will testify to it! ¬† Continue Reading

The Dunes at Myrtle Beach! (part 1)


Amazing that we captured this picture of the sand dunes at between Myrtle Beach State Park and Springmaid Beach.

Amazing that we captured this picture of the sand dunes at Myrtle Beach State Park. We couldn’t find where we took this picture as these dunes are gone!

We’re in our sixth, or really seventh, stay in Myrtle Beach¬†since we began RVing in 2013. What we love the most is the wide and flat beach – we can easily walk five miles! We’ve been mesmerized by the dunes and how much they protect not only the beach, but the campgrounds, houses and hotels that line the beach front. So of course, we were anxious to see the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew in October, 2016. ¬†I’ve tried to find old pictures for comparison, but after took pictures upon our arrival and subsequent beach walks.

Hurricane Matthew‚Äôs storm surge and waves overwashed about 15 percent of the sand dunes on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 30 percent along Georgia‚Äôs coastline, and 42 percent of dunes on South Carolina‚Äôs sandy beaches as the powerful storm brushed past the Southeastern states October 6-9, according to USGS experts’ preliminary review of USGS low-altitude before-and-after images along of the coast and NOAA photographs collected after the storm.” (www.usgs.gov)

Continue Reading

Our September/October and Hurricane Matthew


Myrtle Beach has the most beautiful sunsets!

Myrtle Beach has the most beautiful sunsets!

We mentioned in our last post, in order to be a successful/happy/content full-time RVer, one must be flexible! Bill likes life a bit orderly, no surprise to those who know him, “let’s plan and do it!” I’m more of a spontaneous person, ready to rock and roll to most of life’s punches. Or is it the other way around? ¬†ūüėČ, anyway, we are a great team!

We continue to reflect back on what an ideal summer we had in Kentucky!¬†(If you missed the posts, start reading here¬†or just for our recap, read about it here.) A well needed action-packed summer full of lots of miles, parks, hiking, sightseeing, etc. We thought after nearly two months of family time, six weeks in Myrtle Beach would be a relaxing break. And besides, we planned to be back in Fredericksburg for six weeks, from Thanksgiving to the New Year (to include the all important Christmas with family). We’d get in at least a five mile beach walk most days, Bill would complete a number of minor repairs/modifications to our RV, plus finish polishing it! Ah, life is good ūüėä! Continue Reading

Wrapping up our time in Myrtle Beach


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Overflow between PirateLand and Lakewood Campgrounds

We’ll be leaving here in a few days. ūüėā BUT what makes it really OK is that we are heading back to Virginia to spend the next month or so near our daughter and with our grandsons! ūüėć

We just counted up how many days we have spent here since we started we started traveling in September 2013. When we leave here, it will be 77 days. That was not really what we thought we would be doing when we started our adventure travels. But there is something about Myrtle Beach in the “off-season” that is very appealing to us. ¬†And this month, March, is really Spring Break season but we never really felt the crowds. Although the locals did complain a bit about seasonal traffic. Continue Reading

The Tides at Myrtle Beach


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We’re even back on the same site as our last visit. Sunset with a family of ducks crossing the street in front of our home!

Yes, we are back! We can’t believe it’s our sixth time since we began our Adventure Travels. There is something comforting about returning to a favorite place. When we started our¬†recreation vehicle (RV) travels¬†in September 2013, we really had no expectations (other than adventure) and no real goals. Well, maybe a lofty goal of visiting all 48 states and parts of Canada!

We are a bit envious when we look at the fabulous travels of two of our favorite hiking bloggers, The Lowe’s RV Adventures (their latest update: They are celebrating five years on the road and “We‚Äôve explored 45 states and 6 Canadian provinces during our journey since March, 2012, crossing the U.S./Canadian border 20 times.”) ¬†and Oh The Places They Go, who¬†started their travels in 2010. I’m not sure if they count their states, etc. But let’s just say they have been a lot of places! There are a few others, but these two couples are really living the ultimate full-timer RV hiker/adventure dream.

But then, I am sure there are many who are envious of our lifestyle! The grass is always greener on the other side, or better yet, what does the Bible say?

Proverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.

Ok, we are not envious, let’s say we admire their travels. ¬†And we know people admire ours!

We are staying on the south-eastern part of the U.S. for now, just because. ¬†While we want to see new places and experience new things, we find ourselves¬†returning to two places which are really the ultimate for us in our quest to find adventure, fun and relaxation as we continue our full-time Adventure Travels. One is at the beach, Myrtle Beach, and one near mountains, Mt. Airy, NC (we’ve never written a post about how awesome it is. ūüėě)

If you are new to following our blog (and thank you to all who are encouraging us on by keeping up with our blog), here are the few posts about our previous times here in Myrtle Beach:

  1. ¬†Our very first time in our recreational vehicle, in October 2013. Wouldn’t you know some of our first travels were to the beach!¬†¬†We stayed in the Ocean Lakes Campground which appears to be the largest beach campground. Maybe too large for us….
  2. The last time we were here, we wrote a number of posts.
  3. The most popular one we’ve written, Horses on Myrtle Beach!

Why do we love it here so much? It’s all about the beach! Our site is just yards away from it, a short walk and the beach in front of this campground is the best one we’ve EVER found for long walks. In fact, we can walk five miles and have nearly each day we are here. ¬†We also are next to the Myrtle Beach State Park which offers restrooms, a store, food, and a pier.

Using Map My Walk app

Using Map My Walk app

Sadly, we are “hemmed” in a little bit at the beginning of the walk and at the 2 1/2 mile mark where we turn around, otherwise, we’d probably go farther. ¬†The term is called “overflow” water or “over spill.” Since we are into our walks for exercise, we wear shoes and the water temp is too cold to walk through it at this time of the year!

The first thing we do when we arrive, after setting up, is getting the tide charts so we can plan our 5 mile walking schedule. Yep, we are able to walk 5 miles on this fabulous beach daily!

The day we arrived, March 2, 2016, it was a long travel day, over 300 miles and 6 hours. We decided to push it to have an extra day here. I really didn’t think we would do much after setting up, but we checked the tides and guess what? It was low enough of a tide so we walked 3 miles. Phew, we needed it and slept great our first night here.

It was a cool 50 degrees so we bundled up! The sunsets here are amazing!

It was a cool 50 degrees so we bundled up! The sunsets here are amazing!

The first few days were were here, the daily highs were in the low 60s (15.55 C) and the lows hit about 37 F (2.22 C). But every day it has warmed up and now it really feels like spring. We are no longer wearing our winter gear (as of March 10).

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The tide is receding.

I’ve tried getting a few pictures of high tide so you can see how the beach disappears, but we just have a hard time being on the beach at that time. I only have the above one and this one:

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Use your imagination and see the water/tide line.

Then compare the beach to these pictures:

And finally, we like the diversity of this beach. It changes with every tide! Close to our site, the beach is almost always shell free. When we first arrived, there were a number of shells, then they all washed away. The other day, there were oodles of shells!

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And now that I’ve made you wish you were here, here is a bit of the beach for you to enjoy. First is about a minute long video as we walk to the beach from our motorhome. ¬†And then a 40 second clip of just the waves and beach!

Our walk to the beach. 

And here are the waves as you listen!

As I sit here typing this, I am listening to the waves gently slapping the beach. And we hear them when we go to sleep and when we wake up. ¬†And now, it’s time to hit the beach for our daily walk.

Next up, what a blessing RVillage is on our journey as we wrap up our time in Myrtle Beach!

Getting Hitched: “Flat Tow” our “Dinghy” or TOAD


Happy campers!

Our motorhome and toad, fully hitched.

For those who were following our journey last May and June, you will know this is a big deal for us. If you do not know what we are talking about in this title, it all has to do with driving a motorhome and towing an automobile behind it.

Our home is 40′ and is on wheels. When we park in a new location, we need a vehicle (referred to as a dinghy or toad) to drive around in, such as to the store, to church, to go sightseeing, etc. We bought our motorhome in May and until we came to Myrtle Beach in October, we couldn’t find anyone to hitch us up! So I’ve followed Bill while he drove the motorhome for about 2,200 miles: ¬†from Cocoa, Florida; to Troy, Alabama; to Red Bay, Alabama; to Jasper, Tennessee; to Bristol, Tennessee; to Waynesboro, Virginia; to Milford, Virginia; to Florence, North Carolina; to our current destination, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. That means we put 2,200 unnecessary miles on our car.

I was upset when I saw this ugly bar on the front of our new (used) car!

I was upset when I saw this ugly bar on the front of our new (used) car!

There are several ways to tow a vehicle: Trailer Tow (i.e. put a car in a utility trailer), Dolly Tow (two front tires on a dolly while back wheels spin) and Flat Tow (our choice to have all four wheels down). ¬†There are many professional and good quality articles on this subject. ¬†Trust us, we’ve read them all and watched many YouTube videos on “how to.” We did our research. We knew what we were getting into…but until we actually did it, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. (Understand?) So we hope by sharing our experiences, it might help someone else. We hope you’ll laugh with us, now that it’s over. During the process, a few tears were shed. ūüėā

We also watched a number of videos which helped us learn more about towing. We also have talked to so many people about their hitches and how they like how they are towing their vehicle. But no one shared a story with us like what happened to us. One thing we have learned in this RVing lifestyle is that everyone has a story of something crazy happening to them. This is one of our crazy stories.

First, just to let you know how the name “toad” came about: ¬†Tow-ed = toad. ¬†And dinghy is affectionally what little boats are called. So it’s a play on words.

The hitch is on the back of our motorhome.

The hitch is on the back of our motorhome. It’s a Falcon by Roadmaster. It came with our motorhome.

Once we knew we were buying a motorhome, we formed an opinion, we would “flat tow.” ¬†That means we would have an (ugly) tow bar on the front of the car, attached to a hitch on the back of the RV. ¬†By flat towing, we probably would have to make modifications to our car. ¬†But the downside to a dolly or trailer, is that you have to “store” them and possibly have to hoist around, park and stash when you are on a campsite. Not every campsite has the room for them. But somehow, everyone makes it work. Bill has a back issue, so we just decided we couldn’t handle having to hoist either around. Yes, Bill does the heavy lifting¬†in our family. Plus, I have a few back/neck issues, too.

Hooking the hitch to the tow bar.

We did test drive a few jeeps (probably one of the most popular Toads) a few months earlier when we first thought about changing from a truck and 5th wheel RV to the motorhome. We loved the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It was everything we needed and more. Spacious (we wanted to carry four adults and two children), comfortable and more than anything, easy to flat tow. BUT, we later learned, they don’t get the best gas mileage and for long trips (which we’ve done three times since owning it), and it’s really not “luxury” comfortable. With our back issues (and aging bodies), we need a comfortable ride. So we compromised. ¬†The vehicle we bought, a crossover SUV and car, Cadillac SRX, will only fit four adults and one child. Or three adults and two children. But we first eliminated all the other flat towable vehicles before we even thought about the SRX. There is a yearly on-line publication that says which cars are flat towable.¬†The slogan for our motorhome is “Roughing it smoothly.” And that fits us with our little Cadillac!

We stayed in Myrtle Beach for a full month, not only to enjoy a month at the beach but to get our car and RV “hitched.” Parts have to be ordered but we learned, no one wants to hook up a used “hitch.” Except Camping World. And Myrtle Beach was our first location since buying our motorhome that had one. We also needed to have our washing machine replaced, which they did. ¬†We were very happy with that install, so thought the hitch would also go smoothly.

Well, we were a bit concerned when it took twice as long to rig the car up to tow. We had “face plates” installed, modification to the bumper and grill, installation of a bracket for the “invisi-brake,” made connections for the air brakes,¬† installed a wiring harness, and probably a few more things I don’t know about (or understand). ¬†In the end, it took a day and a half on the car and 1/2 day on the RV. ¬†So all in all, we spent four days of our 35 days in Myrtle Beach in the waiting room at Camping World, which includes the washing machine install and then to fix that which didn’t work properly on our car. And that is what this post is about. Something had to go wrong, right? Or this would be boring – although it probably is unless you want flat tow one day.

We have learned a lot from other full-timers, but especially one young couple. They not only live in an RV full-time, traveling all over the US and Canada, they are also working professionals. In fact, they inspired us to give ourselves a catchy nickname: The TumbleLees. They are Jason and Nicky Wynn or “Gone with the Wynns!” ¬†Here is their video to learn from my (Jason’s) mistakes, and “How to Properly Connect and RV Tow Car.” We watched these several times, when we started our education on what we were going to do and then while we were getting our hitch set up.

So we now have the set up we’ve wanted. We’re educated. Bill is confident in his ability to hook the toad up. I’m learning and watching….and praying all goes well! ¬†When it took them so long to rig the car, we both had a few misgivings. But Camping World guarantees their work.

Hitched and on the way out of the campground!

Hitched and on the way out of the campground!

We do try to travel without pressures and for this to be adventure travel, right? Well, not all adventures are fun. It was time to leave and our daughter has made a lot of preparations for us to come visit. She has our grandson counting down the days (he’s learned to count to 10! Smart guy). And we are ready to go.

So once we are all hitched and rigged to go, we tested the lights. Humm, the blinkers are not working. But the lights are on. Then we tested the brake, brake lights not on. And there is a beeping noise in the RV.  We called Camping World and they said to bring it on in. So off we go.

We arrive and Bill is exhausted from the 10 minute, five-mile drive. He doesn’t say anything to me, but he is wondering if our 360 diesel engine can tow. ¬†ūüėĖ Upon arrival, we looked at the car and see smoke pouring out of the front tires (brake area). ¬†YIKES! We begin to panic. Bill says get me a cup of water, it looked like a fire could start. I grabbed our cups of water, then he throws the water on the wheels like it was a campfire. ¬†It hardly affects the smoke, so I ran back and got a pitcher of water. ¬†Slowly, the smoke stopped. ¬†Our Service Writer then tells us¬†to unhook the car so they drive our RV into a bay.

Wouldn’t you know, it won’t unhook! ¬†(We have since learned, that is a common problem. You just need a drift pin and a hammer to knock out the pins.) The hitch seemed frozen and the brakes appeared to be ¬†gone, pedal to the floor. We are thinking worst case scenario. I posted a plea for prayers on FaceBook. This can’t be happening!

We were prayed up, praying daily for the Lord’s protection – oh, I’m sure that is what happened…HE did protect us! What if the blinkers worked ok and we just thought the beeping sound was how it is supposed to be? What if we just went on the nearly 200-mile drive we planned to travel? That would have been a disaster. So in reality, disaster was averted.

Camping World was very busy, every bay tied up when we arrived. But the Shop Foreman took our job to get ‘er done. It turned out that the air brake flow was one way. When the RV brakes were on, the car brakes were off. And when the RV brakes were off, the car brakes were on. It took about 5 hours to diagnose it and repair it. ¬†Fortunately, the car brakes were fine, just overheated, and we are now on the road to our daughter’s home. She’s a bit sad as her maternity leave is ending and she wanted to hang out with us a few days before she returns to work. It’s so great to be loved and your only child wants to spend time with you!

So in the end, what lesson did we learn? Expect the unexpected! And what does the Bible say about planning? We have to have faith, we may have been spared something worse. It just wasn’t our time to leave Myrtle Beach.

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sunset after we settled back into the campground, on this Veterans Day! Loved seeing the flag flying.

The Wind on Myrtle Beach


sand-windWe’ve had so many “lookers” at our last post about the Horses On Myrtle Beach, thought we’d also talk a bit about the wind and more. ¬†Especially, since early this morning, we were wakened up to wind gusts to 32 mph! The wind is not the friend of recreational vehicles.

What beach doesn’t have the wind? Actually, it’s a good thing as it keeps the mosquitoes away, for the most part. It helps with a cool breeze on those really hot, sunny days. But for our four times now in Myrtle Beach, granted, during the fall and winter, the wind has kept us from actually sitting on the beach and reading a book.

After our first time here, the post is located here, Bill actually considered settling down here in Myrtle Beach when the time comes to move back into the brick and sticks lifestyle. In fact, we know a couple from our former church in New Jersey who bought their “retirement” home here. The wife is still working, but they bring their children and grandchildren here from time to time on their vacations and holidays. The husband comes from periodically alone, and we met up with him on once such time. He gave us an inside view of living here from a retiree’s perspective.

What we have liked: for the most part, moderate temperatures; walking on the pristine, white sandy beach (we can easily do five miles a day); the Brookgreen Gardens and state parks; the professionalism and helpfulness of various businesses we have interacted with such as bank tellers, clerks at Walmart (sorry, but us full-time RVers have no choice but to be faithful Walmart shoppers….), twice we had to visit a “doc in the box” which gave excellent service, and most recently, Camping World really stepped up to the plate for us! But even more importantly, we have really liked the various churches we have attended.

What we have not liked:¬†As our most recent post says, the 1,200 horses on the beach over a five day period. They post the dates they will be here in January. We will make sure we don’t stay here during that event. ¬†While it isn’t all that annoying, the constant helicopters riding along the beach for only $20/ride and the airport. ¬†But our friends love having the airport here, it’s just that occasionally, the planes fly low. I can never get my camera up in time when a low one flys overhead during our walks. But here is the best I could get:

Flying out of Myrtle Beach Airport

Flying out of Myrtle Beach Airport. This is actually a positive as we do like to be near airports. But maybe not this close….

And another thing we aren’t so keen on are the weather extremes! Granted, we’ve only been here in the fall and winter, so what should we expect? Maybe not such high highs then low lows! We’ve been here twice in October, once in January and once in March. I decided to take a historical look at just THIS month, our current stay. What is cool is this website will let you look at any dates, months, years or customize it. Granted, there is NO snowfall in this, but remember, we are home based out of Florida. That means we don’t like snow….

Averages for October 7 to Nov 8, 2015

Averages for October 7 to Nov 8, 2015. NOTE: Maximum wind gusts of 32 mph!

We were awakened at 4 am this morning, which made me want to write this post. Bill had to go outside to put in our little window awnings (we only have two). I checked the weather app at that time and it said the wind was 22 mph from the north. But see what the averages were:

This was from this morning

This was the averages from this morning. NOTE: that’s when it hit at 32 mph.

We were actually delayed in arriving here for this current stay. We wanted to be here a few days earlier than October 7, but we had to wait for the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin to settle down. Our neighbors here arrived the day before the rain started. They were then rained in for six days. When they checked the “flooding” outside their camper door, it was 10″ deep. But that was an unusual weather event. What location doesn’t have those?

So to be fair, let’s compare this same month to our favorite beach location when we lived in Florida, Vero Beach. And note, the highest wind gusts were 37 mph! YIKES!

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So I guess, all in all, we don’t have THAT much to complain about. We have decided this is NOT where we will settle down, however. Why? We’re too far from the reason we now do what we do….

Horses on Myrtle Beach!


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The very thought that I could ride my horse on the pristine white sand beaches along the gently rolling surf gave me goose bumps. I snapped this picture Thursday morning.

Ah, that sounds so romantic, doesn’t it? There is an allure to beaches and horses. When we went on our second honeymoon in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, we decided to go horseback riding. But decided against the beach ride for some reason. ¬†Instead, we ended up on the side of a mountain on a very narrow path. But that’s not related to this post….

Honeymoon in Ocho Rios

Honeymoon in Ocho Rios

Did you know 1,200 horses take over the beach for five days to raise funds for the American Heart Association Beach Ride? We didn’t either, but we did know there was some horseback riding on the beach. This is the 34th year of this fundraiser. And allegedly, they have raised over $3 million dollars. There is no question, this is a worthy cause. Who hasn’t been affected by a family member or friend who has suffered from heart disease? I know we have lost a very dear relative to an early death due to a heart attack.

In the promotional information for this fundraiser, a woman shares her “testimony” in the left-hand column, “A Rider’s Perspective” in part when she first heard of the event:

The very thought that I could ride my horse on the pristine white sand beaches along the gently rolling surf gave me goose bumps.

We wanted to stay in Lakewood Family RV Campground this year. We visited it last time we were here and learned they have a nightly price of $25 if we stayed 30 days or longer. This is for full hookup (water, electricity, sewer and WiFi). While that is a bit higher than our desired per night price, to be on the beach, you expect it pay more $$$. ¬†We generally don’t make reservations until the day before or day of our arrival. We are pretty astute about “prime time” and we know October is considered off season here. ¬†So what a shock when we were told they were booked solid over the last weekend we wanted to be here. ¬† Little did we know what a HUGE blessing it was that we were not able to get that reservation! We don’t want to be negative about this event, but there are a few problems.

We are actually “next door” to Lakewood, staying in PirateLand RV Campground. As it turns out, they also have the same price for 28 days or more. ¬†And then we quickly learned this campground is actually better for our needs. For one, the campsites are bigger. And that is important now that we have a 40′ motorhome! But even better, the beach is so much wider and flatter. ¬†We’ve walked up this beach for 2 1/2 miles, then back for a 5-mile walk nearly every morning. And this is worth paying a bit more per night!

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This is at the very end of PirateLand’s ocean front.

The horses began to arrive on Wednesday, a very rainy and dreary day. But Thursday morning, it was a glorious day as you can see from the above picture! We didn’t really think about walking with horses when we got on the beach, but realized quickly, we were glad we were there early – only because we are watching high tide. ¬†And not many horses were, yet. You can see the horses do affect the beach. For a few horses, it wasn’t bad, until you begin to see horse manure! And they do like to poop on the beach….So the romance was over….But who can blame them? Doesn’t this look like fun?

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This was on our way back Thursday. The sun disappeared. Doesn’t this look like fun?

We stopped and talked to two women at one point. They were from New York and were appalled that the riders didn’t have to clean up the manure. Or that the horses didn’t wear bun-bags! They have to in New York apparently. And then they weren’t the only ones who were concerned. Other people we saw said it didn’t seem right dog owners are fined if they don’t pick up after their dogs.

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This was interesting to see on the beach! Can you see all the trampling caused by the horses now? The beach is really affected.

So now you may have guessed, all these horses can cause a bit of a disturbance to non-horse back riders. So aside from the trampling, which really impacted our ability to walk comfortably on the beach, and dodging all the manure, there were a few other issues. So much for the “pristine white sand.” We loved her thoughts for us as we walked barefoot on the beach….

If you read the info on the AHA website, they tell the riders a few things to do to make this a good experience for everyone. For one, they HAVE to clean up the manure at their campground sites…but not on the beach. Interesting.

Then they are told to not “cowboy” on the beach. Which means running the horses, etc. And as groups approach people on the beach, to all go to one side of them, not to put the people in the middle. The horses may not know how to properly react in this new situation. So we had a few “confrontations.”

Beach Walking

These riders were our first “scare” as they were at a slow gallop and a bit too close for comfort.

Not being horse people, it was unnerving. The first day, we heard the sound of galloping approaching us and one of the horses neighing. While there were only two riders this time, they were a bit too close for our comfort. So now we are being cautious. We managed ok until our 4th mile. And then we hear galloping again, but this almost sounded like a stampede! There were more than two and I glanced behind to see them heading right towards us! So I tried to jump out of the way (I am a bit of a jumpy person anyway) but in the soft, trampled sand, I couldn’t. I actually “fell” into Bill. ¬†I was glad he could handle all my weight! Then the horse back riders nearly come to a stop right in front of us! What’s going on???? ¬†This was very upsetting. But the last straw was the cowboying. ¬†One rider, as you can see below, was running his horse in “circles.” ¬†We were trying to stay in one path, but the horse, seemed to want to get in our path, so we moved, then he followed….Are you getting the picture?

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Cowboying!

Ok, we’re not happy campers. In the beginning, we were very friendly, but by the time we finished our five miles, we didn’t even want to look at these riders. So we vowed the next morning to get out earlier and not have to share the beach. So today, we did better, got out before the herd…and it was better.

We talked to a neighbor of ours as we came off the beach. He said he was in Lakewood last year during the event. He said it was so crowded, he couldn’t leave the campground to get groceries. And even worse, he couldn’t even walk around the campground for five days! He told a few other stories about what a nightmare it was to be there and not be a horse person.

We don’t want to be negative about this event, but think about it! When they started this 34 years ago, Myrtle Beach in 1981 was a little-known destination. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that it began to grow. However, according to the Myrtle Beach Tourism website,

The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.

We’ve decided that 1,200 horses on a little beach area and all us beach goers don’t really mix very well. And we aren’t even addressing the potential ecological problems of all the manure and urine. One person said he wouldn’t go in this water for at least 6 months!

We hope and pray common sense begins to reign and this event is moved to a more remote location. So our recommendation, do your research if you are not a horse person. Don’t be here during this event! We’ll plan to not be here next year if they are at the same time….

If you are a horse person and want to attend, please read the literature and follow the instructions!

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This is their day two, beautiful weather. High tide was coming in at 4:00 pm so we thought no horses would be on the beach. So we are in beach chairs as this group ride by….

The scoop on Myrtle Beach!


We took our grandson to Brookgreen Gardens

We took our oldest grandson to Brookgreen Gardens in October 2015

There is more to Myrtle Beach than the¬†beach! But it’s taken us a while to figure that out. For us, the beach is the main attraction. ¬†If it wasn’t too far from Fredericksburg, VA, this is a location we would consider living in once we get off the road. But as far as I am concerned (Debbie), that (getting off the road) won’t happen anytime soon!

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Myrtle Beach. Have you been? What did you like besides the beach? If you haven’t been, what have you heard about it, or what do you imagine it is like?

This is our fourth stay in Myrtle Beach in an RV (recreational vehicle). We wrote one post about our first time here, and two short posts here and most recently, here. Although we have mentioned it in a few other posts, we have never really shared more about the essence of this town.

Usually, where ever we go, we love to learn about the history of the area. For some reason, Myrtle Beach is one area we initially didn’t after a quick search of Trip Advisor for Myrtle Beach didn’t show any cultural museums of interest to us. Little did we realize we could have expanded the search to surrounding communities. ¬†But we were focused on the beach as it is amazing!

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What an eye opener when we decided to learn more about the area to write this blog. I’m not sure why we didn’t discover this website before. ¬†Here’s a summary from the website, but do be sure and visit it and watch the five-minute video of a quick history of the area.

Early History. The area’s first inhabitants were the Waccamaw and Winyah Indians, who named the region Chicora, meaning “the land.” Kings Highway – a major thoroughfare through the Myrtle Beach area – began as an Indian trail long before Europeans settled along the Grand Strand. Later, this trail became the route from the northern states to Charleston and Savannah. These first inhabitants are the subject of the oldest and perhaps most elusive stories. While much has been written about Native Americans, documented facts about local tribes in the Myrtle Beach area are scarce. Physical evidence of their existence and way of life has been more forthcoming, however, as arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts continue to turn up.

Spanish Settlement. Early attempts by European explorers to settle the Grand Strand were disastrous. Spaniard Lucas Vasques de Allyon founded the first colony in North America here in 1526, but the settlement was ravaged by disease, and the inhabitants perished within a year.

English Settlement & Colonial History. A new chapter in the area’s history and lore was introduced after English colonists settled in the area. Suddenly, goods and supplies needed to be imported and exported across the ocean. By the 1700s, scores of pirates had taken to the high seas to intercept cargo vessels and make off with the goods. The South Carolina coastal waters were especially productive for pirates – and the coves and inlets along the Grand Strand provided great hiding places for these marauders. Pirates who became local legends include Edward Teach, called Blackbeard because of his coal-black beard, and Drunken Jack, who was left behind on an island with a huge stash of stolen rum – and was rumored to have died with a smile on his face. Meanwhile, English colonists formed Prince George Parish and laid out plans for Georgetown, the state’s third oldest city, in 1730. Surrounded by rivers and marshlands, Georgetown became the center of America’s colonial rice empire.

Initial Development. Until the 1900s, the beaches of Horry County were virtually uninhabited due to the county’s geographical inaccessibility and poor economy. Near the turn of the century, the Burroughs & Collins Company – a timber / turpentine firm with extensive beachfront holdings – began developing the Myrtle Beach area as a resort. In 1901, the company built the beach’s first hotel, the Seaside Inn. At that time, oceanfront lots sold for $25, and buyers received an extra lot if they built a house valued at $500 or more. Previously known as Long Bay, Withers, or Withers Big Swamp, the fledgling beach community was simply called “New Town” – until the Horry Herald sponsored a contest to officially name the area. Mrs. F.E. Burroughs – wife of the founder of Burroughs & Collins – won with the name “Myrtle Beach,” which she chose for the many wax myrtle trees growing wild along the shore.

Further Development & Expansion. In the 1920s, a group of businessmen began building an upscale resort called Arcady, at the north end of the community. Arcady featured the present Pine Lakes International Country Club — home of the Strand’s first golf club and birthplace of the magazine Sports Illustrated — as well as the legendary Ocean Forest Hotel. Several major developments took place along the Grand Strand during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1936 the Intracoastal Waterway was opened to pleasure boats and commercial shipping. During the 1940s, an Air Force base was established and used for training and coastal patrols during World War II. The base was closed in 1993. The Myrtle Beach Pavilion was built in 1949, and the historic band organ and carousel were installed in 1954. Myrtle Beach was incorporated in 1938 and became a city in 1957.

Hurricane Hazel & Reconstruction. In 1954, Hurricane Hazel demolished buildings and trees along the Grand Strand, clearing the way for new hotels and homes. During the rebuilding phase of the 1960s, a golf boom began, with new courses being built each year. The number of golf courses along the Grand Strand now totals around 115.

Modern History & Development. The Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which houses the official South Carolina Hall of Fame, opened in 1970. During the 1970s, new construction in the area topped $75 million, and the permanent population tripled. In the 1970s and 1980s, construction of attractions, homes, retail shops and other amenities increased steadily, paving the way for another boom in the early 1990s. The Grand Strand currently attracts over 14 million visitors and thousands of new residents to the area, each year. The Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed as the ninth-fastest growing area in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released in March 2011. The area has grown 37 percent over the past decade.

It took a few days when it just wasn’t “beach” weather to finally research the area and discovered there is much more in the surrounding areas. So far, we have really only explored four areas:

  1. ¬†We visited historic Georgetown¬†¬†when we were here in March 2014. We arrived in summer clothes, coming from Florida, so quickly had to bundle up. We were excited to discover there was the Georgetown County Museum (our favorite type). ¬†We drove the nearly 30 miles. ¬†It was a very brisk and cold day. We parked a bit far from it, imaging limited parking. Not smart as we had to fight the cold wind, trekking our way there….only to learn, it was closed on Mondays. And so are most county museums. ¬†Fortunately, we remembered there was another even smaller museum which gave us tours of three historic houses as well. The main thing we learned was the history of the rice plantations. We didn‚Äôt know that this area was the rice capital of the US until after the Civil War. We enjoyed strolling around town and waterfront as the wind didn’t seem as strong by the time we were visiting the other locations. This is a very small town and historic district. We did enjoy it but haven’t ventured back to the county museum. Click here if you would like to see a photo album of our pictures.

2. ¬†We do love gardens and Brookgreen Gardens doesn’t disappoint. If you don’t mind a few nude statues mixed in. ¬†The initial cost may seem high, $15, but that is good for seven days. And we recommend visiting it over a few days. We spent two leisurely days here twice when we were in the area. Our grandson was oblivious to the statutes but loved the open green spaces, water fountains and the zoo. The gardens are also known as a public sculpture garden which displays ¬†the figurative sculpture works of American sculptors, including many pieces by Anne Hyatt Huntington.

Registered as a National Historic Landmark, Brookgreen Gardens is a wonder of native flora, fauna, and American sculpture. Considered by many to be the jewel of the Grand Strand, Brookgreen Gardens has been delighting visitors since its creation (and donated land) in 1931 by Anne and Archer Huntington. Located off Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet, the entrance is conveniently marked by a larger-than-life statue of a horse and rider.

Among the nine-thousand lush acres of South Carolina history and lowcountry landscapes you will find the most significant collection of outdoor figurative sculpture by American artists in the world. At Brookgreen Gardens you will learn about the rice plantations of the 1800s and the Gullah culture of the enslaved Africans who worked them. Guests are able to see animals in scenic enclosures that respect the animals and the surrounding environment at the Lowcountry Zoo and Native Animal Habitat. The little ones will love the Butterfly House and the Peace Garden Room for Children along with the fountains, reflecting pools, and hidden pathways. There are plenty of open, green spaces to enjoy a picnic or lay back and watch the clouds go by at Brookgreen Gardens. Guests can explore all Brookgreen Gardens has to offer on foot, by boat tour or by the Trekker tour vehicle.

3. ¬†Across from the gardens, on the beach side of Kings Highway, is Huntington Beach State Park. The Huntington’s donated this land as well and helped to create Brookgreen Gardens. A portion of Brookgreen Gardens is a nature reserve, and another section is leased to the state for Huntington Beach State Park. The gardens, historic plantation sites, and their adjacent residence ‘Atalaya Castle‘ are a National Historic Landmark, and on the National Register of Historic Places. Sadly, it was a dreary day when we visited and we don’t have any pictures. But this is a lovely and quaint place to explore the lives of the Huntington’s. They were kind and generous people.

4. ¬†We explored the area by driving around. Looking at condos and villa’s for sale (we really like the area), drove around North Myrtle Beach and to the Boardwalk and Flywheel.

Myrtle Beach FlywheelWe’ve only been here in off season, October, January, and March. We can’t imagine what it must be like during the summer season. There is very little traffic except at some shopping and highway intersections. ¬†After looking all around, we really like staying in the area we have stayed the most, Pirateland. We are between Surfside Beach and ¬†Myrtle Beach State Park. There is also a nice hike in the State Park. ¬†The beach is just wonderful, but we do have to watch the times we go walking. The beach does “shrink” during high tide.

Since we are here in the off-season, many restaurants and activities are closed. We aren’t golfers. But did you know this area started the “golfing packages?” Hotel stay plus golfing? It’s also a fisherman’s paradise. And now we have learned there is kayaking, so we do hope to try that next time.

The biggest disappointment to us, as non-foodies, are the restaurants. We don’t eat out much, but when we do, we would like a good meal. That has been lacking here. Except we did have to eat breakfast out when we took our motorhome in to have our washing machine installed. We ate at the Omega Restuarant and it was superb! It is open for breakfast and lunch.

One other distractions are the $20 helicopter rides along the beach and being near the airport. We do hear the helicopters and jets flying over when we are out on the beach. Our grandson loves to shout and point AIRPLANE, so we noticed them more when he was here.

Grandson pointing and shouting, AIRPLANE!

At Brookgreen Gardens, our grandson pointing and shouting AIRPLANE!

Finally, we have enjoyed the church services we have attended here. Last winter, we met up with a man we attended church with in New Jersey. We attended his church and had lunch. We did like that restaurant but can’t recall the name of it. ¬†We really do feel close to the Lord here because we are outside and on the go most of the time here. We love hearing the ocean slapping the beach!

Psalm 96:11-13 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his truth.

We’re in Myrtle Beach!


Matthew 11 28

MATTHEW 11:28

We’re on “vacation” or are full-time RVers ever on vacation? Isn’t our life one big vacation now? ¬†No matter, this place is one of our favorite places to rejuvenate. We thought you might enjoy some pictures and a video of the ocean. We haven’t had a chance to see the fall foliage at Brook Green Gardens. But we will. All we’ve done so far is organize our motorhome, get our washing machine installed, washed clothes, and taken long walks every day. More to come!

Ocean Lakes Campground, Myrtle Beach, SC, 10/7-10/2013


Myrtle BeachWe weren’t sure about camping in Myrtle Beach, but Bill selected it¬† because we could camp on the beach! ¬†We had vacationed there in 2000, taking our daughter and two of her friends. ¬†We rented a condo on the beach and to put it kindly, we weren’t impressed! ¬†Maybe because we had three wild and crazy high school graduates!
But after this stay, I can tell you that we ended up falling in love with it! Because we were right on the beach and we do love the beach. We discovered this is the best beach to walk on that we’ve seen in all of our years of visiting beaches. Bill’s parents told us it was their favorite beach as well-and for that very reason.

This is a picture of the walk way from our campsite to the beach.  We were able to walk on it twice a day, except one night when it did get too cold and windy.

We really liked the campground, but the sites were a bit too close and was more expensive than we would have preferred!  BUT, we were right on the beach.

We had brought own prepared dinner, baked ziti, but ran out the last night. ¬†So we had to decide what to buy for dinner. ¬†And this is why we decided we didn’t like Myrtle Beach the first time, we weren’t impressed with the restaurants. ¬†So we decided just to get a pizza since we had lots of fresh salad. ¬†Can you believe we couldn’t get a decent pizza? ¬†So we have to make sure we plan our home made meals better next time!

We were more or less under time constraints to get to our daughters to take care of our new grandson.  Plus we were really just learning how to camp and travel with our new RV.  She had two months off and he was going into daycare.  I thought it best to keep him out another month, so that was really what the push was for us to buy and RV!  I needed a place to live for a month.  Our daughter had converted the guest bedroom into the nursery.

We really didn’t do much and found out you can’t in three day and two nights. ¬†So other than checking out the campground, walking on the beach, and finding no decent pizza, we went to Camping World when it rained one of the two days we were there!

We decided we would return and come for a longer time next time.  But we decided we would try the other large campground next time, for comparison purposes.

IMG_3411Campsite
We are continuing to praise and thank God for His many blessings! ¬†In spite of the not so great weather for a beach visit, we had a great time! We continue to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”¬†1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

Here is the latest picture of Colin, sent to us the day we were heading to see him!  Look at that great smile!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!

Colin is ready for his grandparents visits!