Has another year rolled by already?

Yes, and what a journey it was! Our second year of living on the road is winding down as 2013 comes to an end.  We pause to reflect and look back at where we’ve been, the many new friends we’ve made, the old friends we’ve reconnected with and the challenges we overcame as we rolled along.  We started this year in Arizona, traveled across the southern states and the gulf coast, then headed all the way north to the northeast Canadian Maritime provinces. Finally, we came back down through the eastern seaboard and the outer banks to winter in Florida, where we are now.  Betsy accrued 9,000 miles and we stayed at 79 RV parks with no major mechanical problems – we can’t hope for much better than that! As shown below, our route going northeast is marked with fuchsia pins, while the purple pins show our trek back down south.  We are now more than halfway through our goal of visiting all 49 states, after adding 23 to our list this year.  We estimate it will take a couple more years to check out the last 20 states, then we’ll decide if we want to do it all over again!

Here are some highlights of our fantastic 2013 travels:

~ Betsy’s woes – While we enjoyed the many perks and benefits of our home on wheels, the constant movement and shaking brought some challenges.  Along the way we dealt with minor water leaks, a dead video camera, an intermittent engine cooling issue, fluctuating refrigerator temperatures, an out of the country repair and getting locked out of our coach.  Our hellish approach into New Orleans, the stressful drive around New York City and getting stuck briefly on the New Jersey Turnpike were driving realities that we prefer not to go through again, but on the upside – we survived!

~ Weather, weather, weather – As we all know, the eastern section of the U.S. is famous for its humidity and muggy days. And yes, we sweated a lot and had to ratchet up the frequency of showers.  This was our first experience with severe storm warnings involving tornadoes and thunderstorms, and we even had visits from park hosts reminding us to be prepared.  We were doused with some torrential rains as well – all part of the experience.

~ History lessons galore – Traveling east of the Mississippi means experiencing the rich history belt of our country. We are not really history buffs, but we found ourselves immersed in the stories of our founding fathers as we visited their historical homes in several states.  We enjoyed so much learning more about the american revolutionary past in Boston, and enhancing our understanding of the civil war in Gettysburg.  We topped off our history lesson during our wonderful visit to our nation’s capital.

~ Tasty local/regional cuisine – Our appetites were satiated so many times with great local foods, from the cajun and creole cuisine in Louisana, to the cheeses in Vermont, to the succulent lobsters in Maine, to the barbecues in the Carolinas, the hearty southern comfort foods in Georgia and Alabama and the freshest mussels at Prince Edward Island.  And we won’t soon forget the many unique and refreshing local brews we enjoyed along the way!

~ Natural and man-made wonders – The eastern states may not have the majestic mountains or amazing gigantic rock formations of the west, but we explored and enjoyed its unique collection of beautiful and diverse natural wonders.  These included the mighty Niagara Falls, the hundreds of barrier islands along the Atlantic coast with its rugged cliffs and miles of white sandy beaches, the fabulous Acadia NP, the haunting swamps in Louisiana and the dreamy moss draped live oak trees in Georgia and Florida.  We discovered several hidden gems that were not regular tourist destinations.  We were amazed by the high rises in Manhattan, NYC, the White Sands Missile Range in Alamogordo, NM and the Apollo/Saturn rockets and space shuttles at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

~ Traveling abroad – We took Betsy across the border to explore the Canadian Maritimes, and were wowed by the picturesque coastline of Nova Scotia, the colorful fishing hamlets of Prince Edward Island and all of the astounding natural beauty in New Brunswick.  I took a “time out” to fly all the way to the Philippines to visit my 95-year-old mom and play tourist in the Philippines.  At the end of the year, Steve got some time off from driving Betsy as we hopped on a really big boat to cruise the southern caribbean (more to come on that).

~ Friendships – One of the wonderful rewards of traveling on the road is the many new friends we meet along the way.  Some are like-minded folks we meet at RV parks or other places along the way, others become friends via our blogs.  Blogging has become a great instrument in connecting us to wonderful people – folks with similar interests and a lust for adventure.  We cherish all of our new friendships, cheers!

Reconnecting with our friends to catch up and reminiscing about good times – it was so nice to hang out with these great people during our journey this year!

As we look forward to another year of adventures, we want to THANK YOU for “jamming along” with us and turning our memories into travel references and inspirations to see these many places.  We have many more to see, but we hope you’re enjoying our tales from the road.  We’ll strive to continue sharing our stories in an interesting way as we experience and capture them. We wish you a great year ahead, good health and safe travels!!!



 

30 Comments »

  1. Thank you for posting. I’ve loved reading about your experiences. I’ve made many notes of places I would like to visit in the future. Safe travels to you.

    Like

  2. So much great memories. And I really love how you set up this post. Did I miss any of your posts? I was reading this post. I seem to remember everything. The map trail looks so impressive. I know it may not sound genuine in writing, but really, have fun and travel safe! Here’s to more adventure, indeed!

    Like

  3. You two have had a whirlwind year. Glad that Terry and I could be a part of it and hope to meet you both in person this winter. We wish for you both many more grand adventures, safe travels, much laughter, and stunning images for you to share with us. Happy New Year! 🙂

    Like

    • Likewise LuAnn, We are so glad to have you on our fun ride. Where you are right now Blackwater SP is where we will be in March. We will keep an eye on your route and will make sure we meet up this winter.
      Have a great year ahead and continued good health. Cheers!

      Like

      • Hopefully you will have warmer weather than we are having. It is only in the 40’s today and if it weren’t so difficult to get other reservations, we might opt to press on further south. Oh well, it is giving me an excuse to get caught up on some blogs I have been sorely missing. Happy New Year to you both! 🙂

        Like

  4. Great review … you certainly made good headway on your goal. I considered doing a review of our first year, but couldn’t figure out where to get started, so I gave up!

    Like

  5. Happy Old Year and the new one too!! What a wonderful year you have had. We’re re-enjoying your posts as we travel the spots you visited earlier this year. Life is good – can’t wait to read about your cruise.

    Like

  6. What a great post! It’s so much fun looking back thru your year…I have enjoyed your adventures thru your blog and so look forward to another year of traveling with you. Maybe, just maybe Betsy and Belle will be parked close by to each other in the coming year.

    Happy New Year!

    Like

  7. What a fantastic post! You remind us all what a wonderful life we have and what a beautiful country we live in. As we approach this New Year I want to thank you for sharing your travels and friendship with us. We look forward to crossing paths again soon. Sue

    Like

  8. Looks like you’ve had a fabulous year and I’m so glad we got to meet you inn the West! Here’s wishing you another happy, healthy and stress free year ahead!

    Like

  9. Isn’t amazing all that one sees and learns in a year living this life style! I can’t imagine a better way to retire and enjoy all this country (and Canada) have to offer.

    Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Like