Repairs, woodland walks and the world’s best rolls

And in the blink of an eye, before you know it, two things have occurred – first, we’ve made it to Louisiana and second, on this day last year I arrived here in America to start this hobo RV road trip adventure around the USA.

Boy, time does sure fly.

Because I don’t want to start reminiscing about home right now, I may as well just crack on and update you on our goings on.

When last I left you, it was as I was happily waving goodbye to St Pete (and Florida in general) and looking ahead to entering Georgia and stopping in for some repairs to Belle. I do feel that I should pause for a moment and do justice to the Sunshine State and tell you that if you choose to visit, I would advise sticking with the picturesque northern part of the state. While the south seems to have been mostly overrun with large cities, strip malls and just far too many people and cars for my liking, the northern part is still plentiful enough with horse farms, massive old oak trees and verdant fields. It really is rather stunning.

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Freedom and Frolicking with Friends

Bleh.

Bleh and meh.

That’s slightly how I feel today. And you know what it is? Laziness. Yes, laziness has set in.

This is what happens as you approach the one year anniversary of not working and let your 37th birthday just slide on by. You suddenly realise how goddamn lazy you feel and it gets to you. And the slightly annoying thing is that it’s not like I’m letting life pass me by sitting on the sofa watching TV all day and drinking tea or anything. Though admittedly I do drink a fair amount of tea these days, and with the saga of the vanilla flavoured soy milk weighing on my mind, well that in itself is a whole other worrying scenario.

Right, well, I’m not quite sure where all that came from, but let’s get caught up to speed shall we?

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As South as South Can Be

It turns out we finally finished our ‘winter break’ in the most glamorous of style, by camping for a week in our friend Ryan’s driveway. There’s nothing that makes you feel more like a total hobo than living in your bus in someone else’s driveway I can tell you.

But after the Bluebird Rally, Loops decided the very last of the maintenance needed to be completed, and Ryan kindly offered us the concrete space we needed to change out the coolant hoses, do a final engine compartment sealing (to try and keep the engine smell that developed last year from permeating into the bus), and to get the towing braking system for The Beast properly fitted.

With our overall travel plan resting on the decision not to leave the state until the end of February, plus still needing to visit our friends Bunny and Phil down in Miami, Loops and I decided that we would start our 2017 travels of by heading are far south as you can go in the continental US, we are off to see Key West!

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The Most Magical Place on Earth

I returned from the Land of Eng to find Belle and Loops living in a field just outside of DeLand, Florida. That makes them sound pretty dejected doesn’t it? I promise they weren’t.

In my absence it turns out that Loops had made friends with yet another older gentleman Bluebirder, who owns a nice bit of farmland and invited him to park the bus there while he waited for me to return from the UK. Additionally it also proved a handy place for a brief rendezvous with Martha, a friend of my dad’s, who is very sweet and kind and likes to check in on us when we are in the area.

It turns out that Loops and I however are in this location for a more particular reason though because, unbeknownst to me, as a treat for my return Loops has booked us in down the road in Orlando for four days at Disney’s Fort Wilderness RV campground; with accompanying four day, all Disney park passes!

Wow, I guess he really was really excited I came back to America, huh?

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Winter, such as it is

In true RV fulltime fashion, Loops and I have, in some respects, become snowbirds – travelling when the weather is temperate and then heading south to avoid the harshness of a northern winter; which wouldn’t suit Belle, or Loops, at all.

So, in such fashion, we find ourselves parked for the two month winter season down in Florida; only someone forgot to tell the state of Florida that winter has arrived, it’s still 95oc by the time Christmas Day arrives.

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A Confession…and our final miles

Ok, so without making you ‘um’ and ‘ah’ over what my confession *shock horror* might be, here it is…
I sucked at blogging this trip.

And I say this simply because today is the 25th January 2017 and the events that I have been recently writing about, and will be hopefully finishing up today, actually took place back in mid-October 2016.
Yes, that’s right; I have completely crap time management skills when it comes to blogging while travelling. And for this I apologise. Profusely. Sorry.

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Delmarva

For those who are unfamiliar with US geography, it seems that I may have forgotten to mention in my last entry that when I made the statement that we were in Delaware, I should have also mentioned that Delaware is part of the Delmarva Peninsula; an offshoot of the mainland USA that hangs like a small appendage surrounded by the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. I find it interesting because the name Delmarva is made up from the fact that the upper and mid portion of the peninsula is comprised of the states Delaware and Maryland (Del and Mar) and the bottom portion is actually a part of Virginia (Va – the state’s initials). So by travelling down it, we actually pass very quickly through three states.

Right, geography lesson over folks, now onto natural history….

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In For a Surprise

For those of you who don’t know – despite all my whinging about tea and biscuits, missing British Bake Off and of course, the need for some cooler weather; I was actually born in the good ‘ole US of A, right here in the state of Pennsylvania as it turns out. All of my family were born and raised here too.

It just so happens that by a fluke of fate, my dad, mum, sister and I moved to England when I was young and is where I’ve spent my whole life, thereby now making me extremely culturally British.

The only memories I can conjure up about Pennsylvania include a couple visits to the row home of my dad’s parents in the centre of Philadelphia, visiting my mum’s mother as a surprise one snowy Christmas and hiking the Appalachian Trail through the state; so that means most of my recollections of PA are either of a city/town type scenery or rocks, rocks and more rocks. My body equates PA with painful feet.

So once again, rather unfairly I realise, I’m not expecting a lot from my ‘home’ state.

And once again, I should just learn to shut up and not pass judgements so easily.

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