Sometimes I fear that my blog paints an ideal and perhaps inaccurate picture of the daily reality of our lives. What you see every couple of weeks is simply our “highlight reel” but that isn’t what every day looks like for us. As I look back on the many incredibly busy and way too stressful days since we left South Carolina, I sometimes have to take a deep breath (and look out the window to see where we are) and force myself to just close my eyes for a second and slow down. The past couple of months have been even more stressful than usual as Greg is working like crazy and more often than not is downright exhausted. He is under more stress and pressure with his work than he’s been under in several years. He’s trying to figure out how to balance his workload with actually getting the exercise and the mental breaks that he needs in order to be able to keep up the pace and it’s a hard balance to find. He’s still looking for it. Elijah and I are fully entrenched in homeschooling his first year of high school, which is a full load in itself. As for me, it seems like (and feels like) I am always working and rarely take/have the time to slow down and just enjoy this life. Between keeping up our personal and business bookkeeping, ongoing homeschool planning and grading duties, cooking 2-3 meals every day, grocery shopping (always at different stores), weekly laundromat visits, being a full-time travel agent (researching and booking our upcoming destinations, which is not nearly as fast nor easy as you might think), making sure we don’t miss out on any of the educational (preferably free) things to do in whatever area we are at any given time, and… I could go on… and on…. I too crawl into bed every night good and tired. Although I would consider Greg exhausted lately, I only consider myself good and tired. The truth is, I wake up each morning with more energy than I’ve had in years. More on that in a second…
My point is, even though it may appear by reading my blog and seeing all the pretty pictures that we are just out having fun and on some sort of a permanent vacation 24/7; The truth is, as much as we’d LOVE that to be the case, it isn’t. Do you know why? Because we are not on vacation and we are NOT retired! This is our lifestyle… by choice! We gave up A LOT to be here. Our house, our stability, being physically close and easily able to spend time with our friends and family, especially our adult children and our soon to be FIVE grandchildren (thank God for FaceTime!), and so much more. We went from a very comfortable, cushy, stable and predictable life in 2,600 square feet with a nice sailboat on the lake, surrounded by familiarity; to an ever changing, never sure what tomorrow is going to bring, more expensive then we ever imagined it would be, unpredictable life in 410 square feet. We chose this lifestyle, knowing it wouldn’t be easy. Nothing worth having ever is. We are adamant about making it a priority to go, see, do, and learn as much as we can (especially Elijah and I) everywhere we go. We have to do this often because we are moving 250-300 miles to a different location every 2-3 weeks. We do all of this exploring IN ADDITION TO all of our daily duties of life. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t say (either to myself or someone else) we are NOT retired! We’d love to be retired, but we aren’t and won’t be anytime soon. Greg and I are only fifty years old and we have many more working years ahead of us. Greg absolutely must put in the hours to keep this boat afloat. Speaking of boats, some days it feels like we are sailing right along and other days we seem to be sinking fast, but we are all three in this boat for the long haul and are happy to be on the journey, even if we do have to do some bailing every now and then.
Honestly, the workload (for both Greg and myself) is actually heavier than it was back in our S&B house. But, we aren’t complaining and are very grateful that God has blessed us with all the necessary components to make this lifestyle not only a possibility, but a reality. We chose this life for so many reasons and I simply can’t imagine going back. I love this life beyond words, and I am confident in saying that both Greg and Elijah share my sentiments. (Although I truly think I love it the most!) Although I certainly am busier than ever, I am also much healthier and happier than I have been in many years. With the lack of humidity, the increase in Vitamin D, the hiking, the nature, the constant new sights and sounds, and spending so much time exploring God’s gorgeous creation, I am in less pain and have more energy than I have had in over 16 years… since we lived out here in California years ago to be precise! Thank you, Jesus!
And now for our highlight reel….
Elijah and I took a day trip to Carson City, Nevada. Check it out…
Elijah loves wildlife, so he’s beary happy that we are on bear territory now.
We are now staying at Tahoe Valley Campground , which is an Encore resort that I had them include in our Thousand Trails (TT) membership. (It’s not normally included.) We upgraded our TT Membership to Elite during our stay so we are staying here three weeks now instead of just two. We now can stay three weeks at each TT park and go directly from one park to the next and we don’t have to pay any daily fees, it’s all included in our membership. Our upgraded TT membership will save us major money on campground fees in the end. Upgrading was a no-brainer for us. Here are some pictures of Tahoe Valley.
Our day trip to Truckee and North Lake Tahoe…
And now for a funny story… When we were staying at Ponderosa RV Campground, we drove up to the Dutch Flat area to check out our next campground and make sure it had a good cell signal. Greg and I went, just the two of us for a “date”. Afterwards, we drove on down south on I-80 and found this restaurant “Joe Caribe Bistro & Cafe” in Auburn in my GF Finder App. (See picture below). It got 12 – 5 star ratings, and a “Celiac Friendly” rating. So we decided to give it a try. It was an inexpensive, small restaurant and their food was absolutely delicious. We ate there and loved it. Their claim to fame is their fish tacos, which is one of my absolute FAVORITE dishes. About 3 weeks later, when we were staying up at Dutch Flat Campground, Greg and I were in dire need of a date night. On our way south on I-80 (there are no GF friendly restaurants in Dutch Flat) I opened up my GF Finder app and found this brand new restaurant. I didn’t even recognize the name of it. So I said to Greg, “Let’s check this out. It’s called Joe Caribe Bistro & Cafe. It has great ratings and only two dollar signs, so it should be reasonably priced.” We drove there, pulled up and looked at each other. “What?!?!?!” We both cracked up when we realized it was the exact same restaurant we went to three weeks ago! Still laughing we went in and I enjoyed MORE fish tacos! We even had the same waiter (he remembered us) and we sat in exact same booth. Our meal was once again excellent. Too Funny!!!!!
Finally, here are some miscellaneous shots including our fall decorations. I call these “disposable” fall decorations since I spent all of $10 on everything at the Dollar store. I didn’t bring any of my seasonal decorations with me, so I just bought some leaves and picks, etc. and then I used bowls and my vase and other stuff that I already had, in addition to pine cones that we scavenged here locally. Works for me!!!
That’s the end of our highlight reel and I have to go jump in the shower and return to our daily reality. Go enjoy YOUR daily reality and thank God for His many blessings.
Happy Trails and Sunny Sails!