Our Big Decision

As we ended our second winter in Florida, we talked about wanting to stay put in one place in our third year.    At the time, we had two extensive trips in the planning phase:  2019 Maritimes where we would be gone for 10 weeks and Alaska 2020 where we will be out for just over 4 months.  While we love exploring Florida, reserving the top state parks and resorts is becoming more and more difficult with all the travelers and Florida residents seeking the same places.

In March we started looking for resorts in SW Florida where we could lease a spot for the entire winter.  We understood that we would have low seniority and would not be in a position to reserve a prime spot.  We also wanted to find a place where we felt welcome and could make new friends.  We explored a few options around Fort Myers and Naples.  Some we knew we would feel at home and others were too pretentious and not welcoming to our travel trailer.

We fell in love with Crystal Lake RV resort near Naples after spending a week there in March.  We even extended our stay by another week, cancelling a much-anticipated week in Disney Fort Wilderness.  We decided this was the one where we would “get on the list” for 2020. We even made an ownership offer on a lot, which was countered and we rejected.  We were not really ready for ownership anyway – or so we thought!

The months of April and May are nervous months for newer Florida snow bird planners, as resort reservation interests are collected, current renters are solicited and open spots are filled.   The anticipation is palpable.  We were already making reservations across the state in case we were not able to find a spot in Crystal Lake.

When we called the reservation office the first week in June, we were told there was a spot off lake for us! We were relieved.  During the course of the reservation confirmation call, we were asked if we were the individuals that had made the offer on a specific lakefront lot.  Well, yes we were.  And from that phone conversation, we are now on a new journey.

It seems that the current owners (who still had the lot up for sale), had not received the down payment required from their long term renters.  The office indicated that the owners were motivated.  We submitted another offer immediately and we are now the proud owners of our own slice of heaven!

We are excited to make this spot our new winter home.  We are property owners in Florida!  Can we say we are semi-Floridian?  Stay tuned for more details as we head south in a few days!


Following the NE Waterways and Coasts

Back in February 2019, we started to think about summer travels, as we continue our journey to visit all 50 states.  Ralph had never been to the northeastern most part of the continent.  We said, “what about Maine and Nova Scotia?” and our late summer trip was born.  Let’s follow the Great Lakes to the St Lawrence to the ocean!

We started our trip overnight at Pennwood Airstream park in PA.  No, they are not on Lake Erie, but we got to cross off Pennsylvania on our list of states we’ve visited!  This is a beautiful Airstream park off the toll way and worthy of a stopover.

From there we headed up to Lake Erie and followed the shore line staying at Hamlin State Park and a few private parks on our way to the 1,000 Islands area before heading east  through Vermont & New Hampshire into Maine and Canadian Maritimes.

Our plan had us continuing our waterway trip along the St Lawrence into Quebec, but we decided to head to the southernmost coast of Maine and begin our coastal “hopping”.  This is where our trip truly became one to remember.  The coast of Maine is full of small fishing communities and tons of fresh seafood. Our “Lobstah Coma” started in Maine and continued through our entire trip.

bwET+CO9Rfm4vpCNz7URDw          IMG_4244We explored little towns, harbors and restaurants all along the Maine shoreline that were more than “fried seafood”.  Wild blueberries were in season and we found them everywhere – even in a margarita.  Fresh road side farm stands brought us so many ears of corn and tomatoes at our dinner table.  Every campground we stayed at was privately owned and afforded exceptional views of the coast and ocean.  Our favorite stop was Moorings RV near Belfast ME.  We could see ourselves spending an entire summer there.  But, the highlight of our Maine experience was Acadia National Park.  Between the scenic drives, the intense hikes and the bike ride on the carriage roads, we fell in love with Acadia.  We made the trip over to the sister park, Schoodic, where an afternoon on the rocky shore would cap off a beautiful few days in the area.  Next time, we’ll spend more time in Acadia. 


We staged our travel to Canada in Eastport ME, which is pretty much the farthest east you can go in the US.  Our campsite was right on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.  We saw eagles on the shore at low tide and porpoises riding the tidal bores right from our campsite! WmGXfceuSjyJTLZNIfvq9Q

The little town of Lubec, ME is the easternmost point of the US, marked by a stately lighthouse.  Crossing to New Brunswick took about 20 minutes as we were pulled over for a visual accounting of our alcohol, of all things.  We lost two bottles of the cheapest I could pull out of the closet and went on our way.


Next stop, Nova Scotia and the full experience of the Bay of Fundy.  Now, if you’ve never seen the Bay of Fundy, you’re in for a surprise.  The tides are up to 40’ and walking on the ocean floor is something remarkable!  We saw eagles feeding at low tide as well as harbor seals.  We spent a few days on a sliver of land called Spencer’s Island which basically was a pile of rock with the ocean on both sides. Twice a day, the ocean tides create a large body of land but at high tide, the backend of our Classic was hanging over the water – our storage, bumper and bikes not accessible!  The road to get to Spencer’s Island was a twisty hilly set of switchbacks!   We were able to do some exploration of the shoreline and the fossil cliffs.

Next we went to the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia, intending on exploring the harbors and coves before heading up to Baddeck to experience Cape Breton.    We spent two days at King Neptune Campground right on the shore on St Margaret’s bay just south of Halifax.  We were able to explore famous Peggy’s Cove and the coves and harbors on the ride to Lunenberg.  We even tried our hand at finding treasure on Oak Island!



That week we started to watch the weather forecast, as hurricane Dorian was making its way up the east coast.  And as we got closer to the weekend, it became clear that Nova Scotia was in Dorian’s path.  Friday before Dorian’s expected Saturday landfall (Saturday was our travel day to Baddeck, Cape Breton), we decided to head inland outside of what was the anticipated hurricane’s “cone”, because there was no way we were going to ride out Dorian broadside to the ocean with Halifax forecasted to be the direct hit and Cape Breton on the Northeast side of the wind bands.


Driving 4 hours, we called every campground from Moncton to Sussex, New Brunswick to take shelter. We found a KOA in Sussex to ride out the storm.  It was fun to find out that we had landed right in the middle of their Hot Air Balloon Festival and we were able to see @30 balloons ride the sky Friday night. We spent the afternoon getting ready for the rains.  Dorian was a monster sized storm and she headed farther west – heading straight for the coast of New Brunswick.  We hunkered down.  We survived 12 hours of beating winds and driving rains without power for 12 hours.  We used our truck to block the worst of the winds and we had full tanks for ballast. We survived our first hurricane! Who would have thought.

To say it simply, Nova Scotia is a beautiful province and definitely worthy of an extended stay again in the future.  Unfortunately, the trip to Baddeck and Cape Breton had to be cancelled, as there was considerable damage to the area and power was not expected to be restored for a few days.  Instead we headed to Prince Edward Island.  The Cornwall/Charlottetown KOA’s power was restored after 48 hours and we had a spot right on the shore!  PEI is a beautiful province full of harbors, farmlands and hills.  Oysters and mussels were harvested right off the campground shore at low tide.  The title picture is of our spot on PEI. The west and northern coastal ride is worth every hour spent on the road.  Not many are able to say they ate Malpeque oysters while sitting on the shore of Malpeque Bay!  Leaving PEI was bittersweet because it signaled the beginning of the end of our adventure.

Rather than continue home through Quebec, away from the ocean, we headed back to southern NB, staying at a Kiwanis campground in St Andrews and re-entered the US at Calais ME.  Our destinations were the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Lake Champlain Vermont.



We are ended our adventure by heading north to North Bay Ontario, entering Michigan at Sault Ste Marie. Our final leg, was spent relaxing on the shores of Lake Michigan in St Ignace within view of the Mighty Mac, a week at Magnus Park Petoskey right on Lake Michigan.  The high Lake Michigan waters have exposed countless new sources for petoskey stones!    While in Petoskey, we were able to reconnect with friends we had met in Florida and in Tennessee, along with one of Ralph’s high school friends.


You can tell from our trip that we love the ocean and our Great Lakes.    Now we begin to plan Stella’s Great Alaskan Adventure 2020!

The Forgotten Coast


We started our Winter 2019 visit to Florida on the eastern side of the panhandle.  We made these reservations 11 months ago, as that is how far in advance you have to plan for winter in Florida.    We intended to explore the Forgotten Coast which we were not able to see last winter.

Our hearts were heavy as we watched the devastating Hurricane Michael head straight for our destinations    We were lucky enough that every place we had reserved survived and was able to get up and running within a month of the storm.

We also changed our approach this year and headed straight down I-75 rather than explore the “ice belt”. We arrived in Florida 2 ½ days after leaving – during a perfect weather window and just ahead of winter storm Diego that left a ton of ice and snow in the southeast.  Angels were watching over our trip this year, for sure.


Sunset at Ochlockonee Bay

Our first stop was Panacea which is on the Ochlockonee Bay.  Holiday Campground and RV park sits right on the bay with a number of back in water front sites.  They were still doing some work to fix their damage.  They are mostly seasonal campers, with the water front sites for transients.  The staff were very nice as were the other campers we met.  We made friends with Lil’ Bit, a cute calico feral cat cared for by the residents.  Seems like I’m always making a friend of some stray!  We were able to explore Alligator Point, which was demolished by the storm.  And this was our first view into the power of the hurricane and the devastation it left behind.

Our next stop was Eastpoint, which we used as our base for exploring the Apalachicola, St George and Port St Johns areas.  The extent of the hurricane damage increased as we headed west.  Roads were being repaired, old waterfront businesses destroyed, houses damaged and debris everywhere.  The state parks on both St. George and Port St Joe were closed indefinitely.

Apalachicola is the Oyster headquarters for Florida.  We were able to visit the quaint town and few times.  The small shops and restaurants were happy to have visitors, as the town has not seen the same level of tourism as is typical for this time of year.

Our campground, Coastline RV, is more like a resort.  We had a waterfront view (on the road as well). We saw the most amazing sunrises from our patio.  We were almost the only one here for a while.  There was the occasional one nighter but no one was staying for any length of time until January.  The sister park, which is more like a campground, just down the street, had far more visitors.  The bathhouse here is like any 4 star hotel spa and the staff are very accommodating. We even had a Thursday night happy hour in the rec hall where we met a family from Minnesota, now full timing across the US with their teenage  children. We also met a family of 5 traveling in a converted school bus who had just returned from a trip in Africa.  We are finding that there is an entire community of home schoolers who are giving their children the experience of a lifetime as they travel the US and the globe.

We took the truck as far west as Port St. Joe, and the damage and wreckage from the storm brought me to tears.  Houses blown apart as if a bomb exploded.  Vacant lots now occupied where businesses used to thrive.  We saw a beautiful church whose roof was completely missing, but whose stained glass windows had been spared, I’m sure because of the parish’s work to cover them with boards.  The debris and wreckage hauled to the sides of the streets were a testimony to the amount of destruction and the magnitude of work still remaining to clean up and get back to normal.  We canceled our plans to continue to Mexico Beach, where Michael made landfall, because I was too emotional.  I don’t know how they survived but signs everywhere showed the area’s commitment and fortitude to not let Michael win.

The seafood in Apalachicola and Port St Joes is the best we’ve had for a long time.  Apalachicola is Florida’s oyster capital.  The hurricane destroyed the oyster beds so oysters were being imported daily from Texas.  It will take probably 3 years for the beds to replenish and for the fishing industry to come back to normal.  I found this article interesting as it tells the story of the struggle to maintain the local oyster industry.

LINK: Florida’s Oyster Challenge

Our next stop was near Destin, so leaving the sleepy Forgotten Coast meant more traffic and more congestion.  We took the route through the Apalachicola Forest and as we approached north of Panama City the devastation to the forest was immense.  Trees standing like broken toothpicks.  We tried to get pictures but the iPhone was simply not able to capture the complete destruction of parts of the forest.


Hurricane Michael destruction in Apalachicola Forest

After a couple weeks in Destin area, we will head around the Big Bend to Sarasota.  While we love the Destin area, returning to Apalachicola is definitely on a future itinerary.




Winter Retrospective Part 2 – Resorts?

We’ve been asked what type of Campground/resort we liked most.  The answer really depends on how long we are staying,  what the area has to offer, the weather patterns and what our mood is at the time.    When planning for the winter trip, we didn’t really know any of the above considerations.  So, we relied on what we’ve liked in Michigan and made reservations using services like Campendium and Allstays (a great app).

We used our Michigan glamping experiences to set the tone for the majority of our reservations.  We love the state parks in Michigan.  We prefer not to be close to other RVs and to have trees and foliage to enjoy.  And we actually found quite a few places that we loved that gave us our Michigan experience – like Top Sail State Park, St Andrews, Gunterhill and O’Leno State Park.


But when near the beach or in the Keys, having lots of space just isn’t going to be possible because the resorts tend to maximize the space.  So we knew we would be close and in open settings for a few of the areas, like Fort Myers and the Keys.  But we were not prepared for what we actually experienced!

The first time we were in the typical RV Parking Lot was the KOA in Lake Okechobee.  We were shocked at first.  It was odd to see the slide outs of the neighbor right outside the windows and to hear every conversation when sitting outside.  When we were at Woodsmoke in Fort Myers area, the spots were so close and the road so narrow, that we had to have a tractor back Stella into her spot.  However, there were still trees and landscaping that made the areas less of a parking lot.   The Pine Island KOA felt like we were camping in an open field (full of Noseeums unfortunately).  Fiesta Key was perhaps the most crowded and essentially a large open gravel parking lot with many RVs crammed in.

What I discovered, to my surprise, is that the larger and more dense resorts were the ones where we made new friends more easily and where we socialized more.  We met some wonderful people in these parks.  We learned so much about places to see and things to do.  We had social campfires, happy hours and shared dinners.  We shared stories and experiences.


We had great times in each type of location.  We learned to appreciate the uniqueness of each location.  And, in the end, we are revisiting both types of resorts. The places that we are reserving for the longer durations next year are the larger more dense parks/resorts.  The state parks are still on our itinerary and will be great for the stays of a week or less — They will give us some moments of privacy and beauty.

And we always have Michigan to return to for our forested beautiful camping locations…..


Winter Retrospective – Part 1 What’s Important?

Our first winter south is over.  It was a fun learning experience.  There are things that we  will continue to do and things we will change.  Here’s our retrospective on what we needed on our trip.

What Is Truly Important?

It is true that living in 200 square feet changes your perspective on what is important and what is not.  When we packed we tried to think about all the possible scenarios of we might need or what might happen.  We were frugal in our planning, but we found that we definitely over packed.

  1.  Clothes:  We had to pack for 3 seasons – winter, spring and summer.  Even though we were strict on what we would pack, we still packed too many clothes.  Ended up being able to do laundry frequently and didn’t need so many t-shirts or shorts/pants.  We would pick up t-shirt souvenirs along the way too.  Definitely didn’t need all the shoes.  Don’t over pack clothes.
  2. Alchohol:  We took 6 bottles of wine and a mini bar.  But we never opened some of the liquor bottles.  In the future, we’ll take only the alcohol that we really think we will drink (which for us is what is needed for margaritas and mai tai’s).  We can always pack a few of the smaller airplane size bottles if we need to make a drink for a guest. Don’t need to overpack wine.  Publix has an exceptional wine department (much like our nearby Krogers).
  3. Food:  Before we left, we fully stocked our pantry with canned goods, etc.  Didn’t need to do that.  A few cans of soup and some taco makings is about all we really needed. For anything else, we could run out to Publix or replenish what we used.

What did we Need and didn’t Have?

There were a few things that we ended up purchasing along the way.

  1. Dehumidifier:  When the inside humidity got above 45% and it was only in the mid to upper 70s outside, we knew we would be in trouble later on.  We had small portable table top models (two in bedroom and one on the dinette), but they could not keep up.  Off to Home Depot for a smaller floor model.  The first night it filled to capacity within a couple hours.  Here is the link to the one we bought  GE Dehumidifier
  2. Tire Covers:  Many of our spots were in direct sun with no shade.  The blazing sun does bad things to RV tires.  We bought a set of tire covers (wrong size), bought a second set (wrong size) and ended up with a set that fit perfectly by the time we hit the keys and the weather was hot hot hot.  Here is the link to the ones we ended up getting:  Dual Axle Tire Covers
  3. Bug Spray:  We had some onboard containing DEET that we use infrequently in the Michigan summer. But after Barb got eaten alive by the Noseeums on Pine Island, we went online and bought some natural repellant, since the frequent use of DEET didn’t appeal to us.  Avon makes an awesome repellant – AVON Bug Repellant
  4. Blender:  We debated about taking a blender.  Ours is so big, we decided not to bring it.  But we missed our smoothies.  Finally, we gave in and bought a blender that was smaller but able to crush ice like we needed.  We ended up with the Aicok Blender) that made our morning breakfasts a little healthier.  It crushed spinach so that you didn’t know it was there aside from the green tint.

The other thing we learned is that Amazon is a god-send.  We had numerous times where we had items shipped – like Ralph’s coffee (Illy) and Dude Body wipes (a definite need for our long trip home: Dude Wipes)  Our cat food is one thing that is easily shipped to an upcoming campground, since it is not available through supermarkets.

Upgrades Scheduled

A few things we decided we need require work to be done by our dealer.  This means enhancements to Stella before our first trip North in June.

  1.  Sun Shade:  Boy does it get hot in south Florida.  You can’t always plan on the door and patio facing North to get the shade from the trailer and awning.  When the set up had the curb side facing South, we roasted.  Even our awning didn’t always provide the shade needed because of the sun’s angle.  We bought a Sun Shade from ZipDee Awnings and will have it installed.   Zip Dee Solar Shade
  2. Side Tables:  Our sofa is great and we love the recliners, but we do not have any place for “stuff” and cups.  We have asked our dealer to install two folding “tables” that match the corian counter tops.  They will fit in a space that serves no real purpose and because they will be on hinges, they will be out of the way when not needed.
  3. TV Antenna:  OK, so yes, we are supposed to be enjoying the great warm outdoors.  But sometimes it is raining or cold and sometimes we just want to watch some TV (Ralph got hooked on an old western channel in Alabama).  Our current antenna doesn’t cut it.  We are upgrading to the King Antenna.

We are happy with our choice in the Airstream Classic.  She’s a beautiful home away from home. IMG_1674



Winter Wonderland

We began our trip south on December 15th.  The day before, while doing the final packing, we had to break into Stella with a hairdryer, as she was frozen shut.  Her batteries were low and she had 8” of snow on her roof, which includes the two solar panels now unable to charge the two AGM batteries.  So, clearly it was time to go.  Bikes were locked down, litter box installed in shower and house was prepped for her long winter.  All systems were “go”.  Our first major destination is Gulf Shores State Park on the gulf of Alabama just east of Mobile.  Christmas on the Gulf…..

Continue Reading


It’s been almost two months since our last outing in Northern Michigan.    We dropped Stella off at Woodland Travel in Grand Rapids to have her winterized, washed and waxed and to have a new external cellular booster antenna installed.

For five weeks we were home which was the longest time without travel since we started traveling in June.   I didn’t know how much I missed being on Stella until we towed her closer to home just before Thanksgiving.    She’s all locked up near by and we’ve been to visit twice to pack for winter.  So we are in our “downtime”  but it really isn’t that “down”..

We still have three big “issues” we are trying to solve for our five months away.

  1.  Securing the litter box in the shower.  We do not plan on using our onboard shower so it seems a perfect place for the cat box.  Only one issue, our Classic has a molded “chair” which encroaches into the shower and no decent litter box will fit on the floor.  Ralph is engineering a solution on his “down time”.
  2. Securing our two hybrid Specialized bikes inside.  We will not travel with our bikes on the external rack when there is bad weather or salt on the road.  We need to design a solution to lock them into place inside.  If you have ever seen the movie the “long long trailer” with Lucy and Desi Arnez, you know how much movement occurs inside the trailer while under tow.  Lorna and Ralph are engineering this solution.
  3. Denali bed slide:  We had this installed a couple weeks ago.  It is supposed to make my life much easier when packing and unpacking.  You really do not want to see me climbing around the bed (look more like a circus performer).  It works great.. but… the 5” it takes means that the generator doesn’t fit — Too tall by 1”. Ralph is engineering a solution to lift the diamondback topper up a couple inches.

My main job is to pack and be ready.  To think about everything we may need, how to distribute weight and to ensure that we are not overpacking.  Storage space and weight are big considerations.  We are traveling during two seasons – Weather will be cold, cool, hot, cool, and finally possibly cold again in late April. So there are more considerations for clothes than the typical trip up North.  Stocking the tool box means doing research on common challenges and fixes – making sure we have minimally what we need either to fix or to get us to a dealer for repair.  I installed the tire pressure/temperature monitoring system, programmed it and still debugging why some sensors work while others do not.  I need to make sure we have the cats travel gear, meds and papers.  I learned how to download library books for free so we have some entertainment on our 4 hour drives.

I guess what I am trying to say is the downtime between fall travel and winter clearly requires a lot of thought and work.  Not that I’m complaining.. it keeps me busy.

Why We Fly Old Glory

On our last trip up North, I noticed that we were the only travelers flying the American flag in our campground loop.  I was surprised, since we typically find a few that have a flag at their campsite and I enjoy seeing the flags during my morning walks.  I got to thinking… why do we fly our flag at our campsite?

To us is it the symbol of freedom.  Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom from oppression…..a symbol of our individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  You can call her Old Glory, Stars and Stripes,  the Red, White & Blue or our Star Spangled Banner.  To us, she is the perpetual symbol of what is means to be an American.

When we fly the flag we remind ourselves that we can disagree with each other, we can speak our minds, have our own views, and practice our religions or not.  We have the right to dream big dreams, to seek an education, and to make a living.  The American Dream is why people keep coming to the US.  Our flag is the glorious beacon of a better promise..

For us, this is what it means when we fly the flag at home and while on the road.  We remind ourselves of how blessed we are to be a part of this great nation and for all that we have worked hard to achieve that we could not have had in some other country.  We remember what it means to be an American and what binds us together.

Long may she wave….



Decisions Decisions…

Even though we are entering the dog days of summer, our thoughts are turned to our winter trip.  Our first year  as “snow birds”.  Personally, I don’t want anything to do with snow.. so I’ll just call it our first winter as “sun birds”!

It is amazing how much work traveling to Florida for the winter is.   The actual work effort to find spots for 4 months as we make our way around the Florida coastline is a story I’ll share another time.  Today I am writing about our current conundrum – do we leave before or after Christmas?  Our original plan had us either taking Stella to Nashville and storing her there in November and picking her up after Christmas or storing here here in Michigan and leaving the week after Christmas.

I love Christmas.   I love Christmas at home.  Christmas Eve with the Massa/Koscielny family has become a wonderful annual tradition.  Christmas morning with a fire roaring in the fireplace, not getting out of pajamas until absolutely necessary, listening to Handel’s Messiah and enjoying mimosa’s.  I love spending time with Sam and, now, Jordan.


Taking a November trip to Nashville sounds like fun.  But it involves a lot of driving – and extra drive south and back. Leaving after Christmas with the truck and cats makes sense from a safety perspective.  But we are not sure we want to leave her so far away without knowing whether she is safe and secure.

The thought of towing Stella south from Michigan after Christmas has both Ralph and I on edge.  We know people who hit the road that week.  They say “no problem” but they are seasoned travelers.  We are newbies to towing Stella and the thought of passing through the “ice belt” is giving us pause.

We have a third option – leave earlier in December before Mother Nature begins her icy dance.

We have time to decide.  It is not difficult finding a place to stay for the night as we make the run as far south as we feel like traveling.  We have our first stop in Jackson Center Ohio at the Airstream Factory – belovedly referred to the “Mother Ship” by the airstream community.  After that anywhere within 300-400 miles can be our next spot. Our destination is the pan handle by New Years Eve.  Even if it is 40 there, it will be better than 20s in Michigan.  The idea of Christmas in Nashville or father south, maybe Galveston, sounds inviting.

This week, I will be doing 3 options for leaving prior to Christmas – different routes and different timelines.  That is my Father’s genes alive in me – plan, evaluate, replan, finalize..  We can mull it over for the next 3 months.

Christmas at home or Christmas away?



Third Time is a Charm

This is our first official “retirement” trip and our third time out with Stella.  Ten days will be the longest we’ve been out so far. And we are ready for more fun on the road as we head to East Jordan and then to Empire, Michigan.   In the middle, we join the Michigander cycle ride in Traverse City.  I’m still in semi-work mode, needing to do something pretty much every minute – I am truly trying to decompress from 36 years in business.  Being in leadership for so long at Blue Cross, it is not easy to find the way to “mindfulness” every day.  What have I learned so far?

1.  Life happens.  Stuff goes wrong.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just figure it out and document it for the next time.  Learn from our mistakes.

2.  Breathe.  No more $10 million dollar budgets, no more strategy papers, no more employee issues, no more corporate politics.  Take a deep breath and just be calm as often as I can.

3.  Listen.   The world speaks a beautiful language that everyone can understand.  Birds, trees, wind, rain..  Find peace in the quietude.

4.  Plan or don’t plan.  I still schedule all our campgrounds and plan our meals – but I’m getting better at being open to spontaneity.  Because there are so many things to experience that are not “on the plan”.

It’s a beautiful time to be free to explore..