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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

So far....

The journey has been interesting up to this point to say the least. I've lived in Florida all my life and never knew there were mountains. Okay, they actually call them bluffs but still...I discovered that the panhandle is my favorite part of the state and if we come back I sure wouldn't mind living there. It is unbelievably quiet and peaceful and my favorite part is no gated communities and cookie cutter subdivisions all over the place, lol....just trailers and old cracker houses.

I've learned a few things so far. If a campground is described as rustic you will have to drive at least ten miles out of your way to get to it, maybe more, which wouldn't be so bad if we weren't driving a vehicle that gets 5 mpg. I guess that is the tradeoff to being at a not so nice crowded campground where you can hear traffic in the distance.

The second thing we've discovered is that free wifi means either you will occasionally get a connection which might last five minutes and then go back out or that you will only get internet by going to a central location in the park, even if they tell you each site has it.

The other thing is that we are so grateful for our Passport America membership. Although we prefer the state park experience, even state parks are often more expensive than campgrounds with our membership discount. We are eyeing one now in Louisiana for $11 a night.

I feel a little tired right now. Being on the road at the pace we are now which is every few days or so is a little exhausting for me. It is also hard to get into a homeschooling rhythm that works when you feel like you are always coming and going. We are hoping to slow down as we get further west and find more opportunities for boondocking. Riki is still iffy about it but I'm hoping we'll find our niche and save some money that way. New Orleans is going to be crazy busy I think, especially since it is a little expensive for us to stay longer than a few nights. Then we are hoping to relax for at least a week or so on the way to Texas.

I'm wondering how people manage to eat healthy all the time. I am finding it hard, especially with no health food stores nearby. I'm such a food snob as much as I hate to admit it. It's one thing I just can't let go of. We walked out of a Piggly Wiggly because the food looked so bad. Nevertheless the best thing we've come by is a Winn Dixie which would usually be the bottom of my priorities. Produce won't keep in our fridge because it keeps freezing everything so we have been eating a mostly meat based diet which is not normally like us. Plus, making meals from scratch means I have to wash dishes like four times a day, lol. The sink is super tiny! So we haven't found a way to eat real healthy yet. Things like microwaveable ramen noodles start looking real good in an rv, lol....and we didn't even own a microwave before moving into the rv.

We were excited to visit Biloxi while we were stuck but silly me, I didn't realize that kids aren't allowed in casinos. I thought Ellery might get a kick out of playing a few slots. It isn't like I know anything about gambling but I doubt we will go through Vegas so I figured this was our chance but the nice security man quickly told me the kids couldn't go on the floor. Bummer. I was too intimidated to go out there by myself while Riki watched the kids so we ended up eating an overpriced meal instead at the Hard Rock.

Hopefully we will be fixed tomorrow and on our way to New Orleans. I've learned to roll with the punches though because everything changes constantly. I am a lot better at that now it is harder for the kids to understand that things change and you don't always get to go where you planned right on that day or even the next day sometimes. We'll get there when we get there.

Then I would like to make a long stop near Austin if we can. There is a Buddhist center there I would like to spend some time at and a whole lot of other things like health food stores and live music I hear! Sounds pretty good to me. We'll just have to see where the universe takes us next.

15 comments:

Tammy said...

I remember the first time we stayed in Vegas with the kids at the Excalibur. We checked in and were headed to our room. The lobby (connected to the casino) was super crowded, so to avoid a group of people we walked around a pole to get to the other part of the lobby. The security guy was on us in a flash because the kids had *stepped* into the casino for like MAYBE 4 seconds. Yikes. lol.

Little House On Wheels said...

Yeah, see I never knew that before or we wouldn't have gone. Without a babysitter it doesn't look like I'll get the chance to go again anytime soon either, haha.

dawaioser said...

Hey there - it's Misha stopping by here to catch up on your adventures.

Regarding the food thing: do you have a Crock Pot? They are wonderful for cooking in and easy cleanup. Besides rice-n-beans or soup/stews, you can cook chicken & veggies. Of course there's always a RAW diet but it's so hard to locate inexpensive, good produce unless you stumble across a farmers market.

The Valentine's said...

Casinos are a great place for a reasonably cheap buffet if you need a meal out. Our kids loved the one we went to in New York state. The kids are allowed in for food and along the corridors. There are apparently lots of free things for kids in Vegas so I found out from another FOTR - yet to get there though.

I tend to make a lot from scratch - if your fridge freezes stuff, then find a day with extra time - buy your veggies (I'm vegetarian so we tend to do this quite a bit), make up some soups and sauces and then fridge/freeze those to have with bread, pasta, rice etc to bulk them up.

You could get frozen veggie organic burgers or other things that are supposed to be frozen. We mostly eat in the camper and grill a lot of different things, rarely use the microwave...and yes, wash up a LOT! If you boondock, then wash up outside or in a bowl in the sink that you can then use the water to give the plants a drink and not fill your tanks!

Try to avoid those Ramen noodles, LOL! I don't think we've ever eaten those, very occasionally use boxed mac n cheese but I like to make that from scratch - less fake!

Have you looked at Slab City? We were there last w/e, a lot of amazing people with great ideas of how to live without hook-ups, it was so cool (and free!). I need to update our blog but we listened to a cool jam session there on Friday night.

I remember in Reno that even supermarkets have slot machines so you could try your luck then, LOL!

In New Orleans, the Bayou Segnette State Park is only $18 and has free w/d facilities so check that out! I saw that a couple of campgrounds in Oregon were looking for workcampers - too far north?

Enjoy, Ali (touringbrits.blogspot)

The Valentine's said...

Casinos are a great place for a reasonably cheap buffet if you need a meal out. Our kids loved the one we went to in New York state. The kids are allowed in for food and along the corridors. There are apparently lots of free things for kids in Vegas so I found out from another FOTR - yet to get there though.

I tend to make a lot from scratch - if your fridge freezes stuff, then find a day with extra time - buy your veggies (I'm vegetarian so we tend to do this quite a bit), make up some soups and sauces and then fridge/freeze those to have with bread, pasta, rice etc to bulk them up.

You could get frozen veggie organic burgers or other things that are supposed to be frozen. We mostly eat in the camper and grill a lot of different things, rarely use the microwave...and yes, wash up a LOT! If you boondock, then wash up outside or in a bowl in the sink that you can then use the water to give the plants a drink and not fill your tanks!

Try to avoid those Ramen noodles, LOL! I don't think we've ever eaten those, very occasionally use boxed mac n cheese but I like to make that from scratch - less fake!

Have you looked at Slab City? We were there last w/e, a lot of amazing people with great ideas of how to live without hook-ups, it was so cool (and free!). I need to update our blog but we listened to a cool jam session there on Friday night.

I remember in Reno that even supermarkets have slot machines so you could try your luck then, LOL!

In New Orleans, the Bayou Segnette State Park is only $18 and has free w/d facilities so check that out! I saw that a couple of campgrounds in Oregon were looking for workcampers - too far north?

Enjoy, Ali (touringbrits.blogspot)

Garnet said...

We found that we can pick up wifi open connections at freebie spots like some hotels, McDonalds (no, I do not eat fast food), bookstores, malls, and yes, truck stops. Just wait until you find a full campground and find out you have to share your tiny wifi with 100 other people. heh Google wifi spots and you will find links to directories that show them.

On casino visiting, don't fret visiting. There are a lot of places to camp with casinos that make it darn cheap to go from poing A to B, usually giving a slot coupon. Easiest thing to do is one of you heads in and spends an hour of alone time in a crowded casino. Might not be as fun as the two of you going in or the whole family but it does give breaks and who knows, you might win $50 off those slot coupons. :)

We loved having Passport America with the class a we had. Only big gripe is that you have to read the fine print before signing anything at each campground. Some change the rules depending when you show up how long you stay, how busy they are, etc. Careful there.

tlgfliz said...

out west in a lot of places they have slots in mcdonalds and convenient stores.. etc.. i played some in a truck stop in Reno, while your dad was in the shower. i made enough to do laundry that day..ha.. anyhow, if you find them there.. you can play for a minute or two, (thats all the time you need before you go broke anyhow).. riki can keep the kids on the other end of the building for a bit.

tlgfliz said...

as i read further down i liked the food ideas i read. i was going to say the same thing..go buy your food for the week and cook it up the same day..you would have to set aside one day for cooking.. if you cook your fresh veggies the day you get them and then freeze and eat as you go.. then you only have heat up later and you feel better because its made from scratch. with a little effort you can eat healthy..

Garnet said...

Food stuff... if that frig was mine, I'd rip the bugger out and put in one of those 10 day coolers. We did months on end with one of those, stored vegies great. I don't advise doing mayo or eggs in them though. Don't ask. lol

We tend to be picky buyers, too, so have made a habbit of asking locals where the best produce in town can be bought, is there a co-op or farmer's market. We buy food for 4 to 6 days at a time and store in the big cooler so we've plenty of vegies.

Also check into Trader Joe's shops where you can get a lot of dried vegies and fruits, even complete meals. A store not to miss!

Baking from scratch is pretty much only way we do things so our days are planned around food prep, relaxed eating, and clean up. Might sound odd but alotting 2 to 3 hours a day to meals has done us wonders in slowing down and eating better.

Dishes... go in a dish pan with water and sit there all day until we clean them as a team because I HATE doing dishes. If you have to, get one big enough to sit in the shower so when driving the sloshing doesn't ruin anything. :)

"I am a lot better at that now it is harder for the kids to understand that things change and you don't always get to go where you planned right on that day or even the next day sometimes."
oh yeah... ours still have trouble with that but thankfully they are not as horrible as they were. Nothing is permanent, even plans, eh.

Austin -- Home of a zillion goddess worshippers and Buddhists. Lovely place but too big of a city for my comfort zone, though.

Anonymous said...

If your frig is freezing stuff try unblocking a vent or get better circulation in your fridge. Sometimes that's all it takes, a pieace of cheese is blocking your vent.
You're taking an interesting trip, thanks for sharing. Happy Travels! -Stuart

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your trip. Sometimes if your fridge is freezing stuff your vents are blocked, so just unblock them; sometimes its a piece of cheese just move it out of the way.
NO will rock, go to the jazz fest if possible and send me the recordings if I don't get there - Stuart

Marlan at RV52 said...

The tip on Passport America (and no I'm not affiliated with them!) was a good one. I have to learn more about them.

darlahood said...

Dude, you balked at my local Publix here in Plant City so I knew as soon as you left FL that Piggly Wiggly karma would get you! Heehee!!

Lisa@VisionaryMom.com said...

We just moved into our RV and are figuring out the food thing too. So different than having a full sized kitchen when we are really used to cooking from scratch. I do feel challenged there.. maybe we can start a support group of something. A "we vow to not break down and use the microwave" group or something? Love reading your journey.. can't wait until we officially hit the road in June! :)

Garnet said...

Found this today. Something I'll be doing for fresh greens. http://rvtravel.com/publish/gardening_demaris.shtml