Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping Up the Year in the Florida Keys

Last year at this time we were in Quartzsite, Arizona—one month into our extended trip meant to determine if RVing was the life for us. We decided it was and we haven't looked back. Well, actually, I have looked back. I've looked back to test myself. The test was to take my emotional temperature if you will—to find out if I missed anything that would cause me to wish to turn back the clock. The result is I have no regrets. None. Nada. Nyet. That is not to say I don't miss our daughters and sons-in-law, or my mom, or our siblings or grandchildren. I do miss them. Surprisingly, Thanksgiving was relatively easy. Christmas was hard. Sometimes I miss my neighbors and friends. Sometimes I miss my kitchen, my own washer and dryer and my dishwasher. None of it is enough to make me want to turn back and take back all that has thus far transpired. 

It is said that at the end of one's life, a person doesn't regret what they did but what they didn't do. We are blessed to be in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure—one that I thought I'd never be able to experience. I've always said that I couldn't quite understand people being so enamored with visiting other countries when they haven't seen their own. I want to one day say that I've visited and, to a degree, gotten to know every state in the union. Then maybe I'll see other countries. But I have to say that there is one thing I've noticed: So far, I have been nowhere that smells as good as the Sierra Nevadas.

We were honored with the opportunity to be featured in CampingRoadTrip.com newsletter's 50th issue. It was fun to give thought to and answer the questions posed. I hope my experiences help someone else who may be looking to live the full-time RV lifestyle. If you haven't seen it, you can find it at http://www.campingroadtrip.com/outdoor-living-newsletter-december-2013/rob-and-linda-cook-the-class-a-boomers.

We are in the Florida Keys right now. It is beautiful. When the sun is high, the shallows are such a vibrant shade of aqua that it takes my breath away. It is brighter and more pure a color than even in Hawaii. The vibe here is laid-back and easy. But the negative for me is the humidity. I have a hard time handling it. I makes feel so wrung out and sweaty and unclean. It feels like a perpetual hot flash. I want to spend my time indoors with the air conditioning. Then in early evening with the breeze blowing through, it is wonderful to sit outside with a cocktail and watch the pelicans fly by or dive into the water for their dinner—except you have to douse yourself with insect repellent so you're not eaten up by mosquitoes and, ugh, no-see-ums, which are the worst! No-see-um bites itch up to a week or more. But it is all part of the experience—and it tells me where I'd enjoy visiting but not live.

As always, though, the people we've met are wonderful folks. In fact, when we checked into Grassy Key RV Resort, we were told that there were to be cocktails at the Tiki Hut at 6pm. We maneuvered into our spot, got set up and headed over to the Tiki Hut. Then arrived Debbie and Bob with their margarita machine in which Debbie produced some yummy daiquiris and shared them with all. Besides Bob and Debbie, we've met Alan and Bev, Bob and Brenda, Bob and Stacy, Bob and Cheryl—ummm, do we see a pattern here? Bob Bob Bob. Sounds like something you do in a swimming pool! 

We haven't been down to Key West, yet. That will be tomorrow or the next. We've had a daily threat of rain, a few short drizzles, lots of wind, and poor Rob has had a cold for the last few days. I told him I might just have to go down there by myself. Wouldn't that be sad to come all this way and miss out on a special place like Key West? He'll go, even if I have to bribe him with the promise of more cigars.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a prosperous, good-health-filled, peaceful New Year! Hello 2014.

Heading onto the Keys. The K walls are painted aqua.

One of the resorts year round residents.

Taking a swim.

Evening fish watch.

Chips and salsa at Morada Bay Beach Cafe.

Rob at Morada Bay Beach Cafe.

Our lunch guest.

Rob next to a surf board similar to what he used as a kid when living on Oahu.

Blessed with a rainbow.

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