South by Southeast late 2018 - early 2019 travel blog


When we retired we knew that we wanted to spend the winter in warmer places than Chicagoland. Over the years we have been fortunate to explore Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Mexico by RV. We quickly learned that there are no guarantees of shirt sleeve weather anywhere in January, even in Mexico. One confounding factor is altitude, which tripped us up there. It also quickly drove us out of New Mexico for the same reason. More recently we have been alternating between the site we bought here in Florida and Tucson, a metropolitan area large enough to offer the amenities we enjoy at home without bogging down in traffic. There are more interesting things to do, but even our favorite campground there has us cheek to jowl with our neighbors. Here we are surrounded by jungle and don't inadvertently eavesdrop on our neighbor's conversations. But the retail opportunities here need to be heavily supplemented by Amazon. And Arizona is a long drive away. Driving here gives us the opportunity to visit family in South Carolina along the way. Driving back and forth for the holidays from here was not fun, but we could bring a car load of things back and forth, getting rid of the cruise clothes we needed in the fall and bringing Antarctic clothes for our future trip. From out west we would have to fly and the vagaries of weather and the political situation with the TSA and air traffic controllers working for free could be worrying. in the Tucson vs Titusville debate the weather is a teeter totter. So far it looks like we guessed right this year. The weather has been beautiful here with much lower humidity and shorts temperatures; Tucson had inches of snow this month for the first time in years and it is still much colder there than here.

I was happy that the motor home was already here and we would not have to worry about driving through snow drifts, having frozen water lines and closed campgrounds with nowhere to stay as we returned south after the holidays. But leaving the motor home here did not turn out to be an unmitigated blessing either. Our recent engine malfunction was probably caused by all the sitting still in this humid environment. When the motor home has a chance to freeze thoroughly, any critters that may have invaded are exterminated. Yesterday I found a dead frog under a throw rug. Somehow that wasn't as distressing as finding mice, I guess because frogs don't invade the food larder, but we have no idea who else is living with us at the moment.

Because we have been in tourist mode for our previous visits here, we have been doing less of that and more just living so far this month. It is easy to stay here in our comfortable campground bubble. There are twenty miles of road to bike ride, a much improved golf course, water aerobics, tennis, etc. etc. Our friends from home are staying in our executive suite site and podcast listeners who have also become friends are here as well so we have someone to talk to besides each other.

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