We spent the winter in Clearwater FL where Mark went to school to be a Certified RV Technician. Ah Florida you say, it must have been warm, well not really. Yes the weather was better than what the folks experienced up North but that darn jet stream kept dipping down to us bringing rain and cold temps. All in all it wasn't too bad and we did have some nice weather. With Mark being in school 5 days a week and studying all the time we didn't really do any exploring. We did make a trip to Winter Park, FL where I attended a jewelry class on making rings then we visited Ray and Kathie who we worked with doing the Sugar Beet Harvest last fall. One weekend we visited Honeymoon Beach spending some time on the beach and doing metal detecting.
Clearwater/Tampa is not an area we would winter in again as the traffic is horrible with on going construction on HWY 19 and it is just too congested. We will travel farther south this winter around Lake Okeechobee. This was the largest class that the school has had.
Our campground of choice was Avalon RV Resort as it was 1.5 miles from the school. The sites are small only leaving room for one vehicle but they had storage space for the trailer ($35 a month) and we parked Marks truck at the school. Several days Mark rode his pedal bike to school as it was quicker than driving because the traffic was horrible.
Near the end of March we headed back to Wilmington as I had my Beach Week with my Sistah Peeps. As always a great time was had with my Sistahs but it was a sad time as well. On January 19 Sistah Gini passed leaving a hole in everyone's heart. She had lymphoma cancer for 7 years and handled it with grace and dignity. Our YSA group will never be the same, you will be greatly missed Sistah Gini but never forgotten.
We have spent our summer in Bracey VA where my Aunt Ruthie and Uncle Cliff live on Lake Gaston. Cliff had a stroke last August and is in the rehab stages but sill unable to do certain things. I have maintained the yard all summer and every time I mow it just reassures me that we have made the right decision, we will never own sticks and bricks again. It has been a pleasure to be able to help them with anything that needs to be done around the house. I have painted the outside shutters, her bathroom, her bedroom, his bath and bedroom, the foyer and the kitchen cabinets. What a pleasure it is to see the smiles on their faces.
I feel blessed to have been able to spend the summer with them (no picture of Cliff as he is camera shy).
The campground we are staying in is Lake Gaston Americamps. It is right on the lake and is a popular destination.
There is two parts to the campground one being the campground itself and the other section is for year round residents. The campground side has several permanent sights and man do these folks fix these places up nice. They are not allowed to live here year round but many spend their summers here. We are only an hour from Raleigh NC so it is a perfect get away. Every Saturday night they have a DJ that plays from 8-11 so folks load up their golf carts and head to the field for a good time. Mark works on Friday and Saturday night doing a security gig showing campers to their sites, delivering firewood, handling problems and trying to keep party goers quite after midnight. Its not too bad except for when he works all day doing RV repairs.
We have a nice site with a deck and lots of room for parking. It is right next to the bath house and laundry room. There is no view of the lake but we look out onto the open field, a nice change from Florida as we were packed in like sardines.
During the summer our friends and sistah peep Karen and Stuart came to visit us. We got them a premo spot looking out on the lake. This really is a pretty location with boating and fishing. One night we dinned on fresh caught catfish given to us by a friend but they had to be cleaned.
Stuart, Mark & Karen did a fine job!
During their stay we visited Rosemont Vineyard and did a tasting. The winery is about 4 miles from the campground. They grow all of the grapes making this an Estate Winery. The next morning we all went kayaking on the lake.
A few weeks later our friends Lori and Greg Rooker and their boys come for a visit. They stayed in a cabin and brought their boat. They spent two wonderful days wake boarding and skiing. So glad they enjoyed their time on the lake. Both couples are from Wilmington NC and they had never been to Lake Gaston so now they know all about "Lake Life".
The end of August was Peep Week at Sistah Julie's in West Virginia. This will be the last time we will go to WV as she has her house on the market, we have had alot of fun in that wonderful house. Sistah Kari sold her house this past winter and just purchased a new home in Woodsboro MD so we all loaded up in the car a drove to see the new location for Peep Week. It is a wonderful home sitting on 17 acres in the country. We were all pleased with Kari and Clays selection and had to christen their new home by lighting off a sky lantern with messages written on it.
Never a dull moment with the Sistahs. We can make a production out of the smallest things.
It's called "Sistah Life".
Our time on the lake is coming to an end. We have been busy wrapping up last minute jobs, washing the rig, packing up and making one last trip to Wilmington to put Mark's work van in storage.
Moving with 3 vehicles and 2 drivers requires some more planning. Once we settle in Florida for the winter Mark will fly home and drive the van down. But in the mean time we will be in vacation mode! We both have hitch itch and are ready to be back on the road seeing new things.
Thanks for following our travels and have a great day!
Check out my handmade bangles on my etsy store