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Living the free life! Where shall we go today?

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TBUTLER

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Here is how our travel decisions occur. As full timers we don't have a home to return to, so none of those pressures factor in.

We hadn't set a definite date for our departure from Sandpipers Resort in south Texas until today. Several days ago I picked up a message that mentioned the dates for the Sun 'n Fun Airshow in Lakeland, Florida. We were planning to be in Florida for the launch of STS 125 and STS 127. Those are two Space Shuttle launches scheduled for May 12 and 15. The dates for the Sun 'n Fun are April 21 through 26. So I checked out the RV camping facilities and it looked good. We talked about it, thought about it and today made a decision to go. We'll move our departure date up about a week from what we were initially thinking.

I scheduled some work at Camping World for Tuesday the 14th. They will install a new sine wave inverter/charger in our 2004 motor home. Our old modified sine wave inverter had a few things that wouldn't work; in fact it destroyed the electronics in several inexpensive items. I tried an infinite number of doorbells but none would work with the modified sine wave inverter. We also like our heated mattress pad and we've ruined several of them, forgetting to unplug them before disconnecting the shore power. With several new TVs and an ever-increasing list of electronics on board, the risk becomes greater. Last year the generator auto start function failed so we decided to replace the old inverter. Camping World had a sale a few weeks ago and that pushed us over the edge. We'll leave the bay with access to the inverter open for the repair work and then do the final packing up when we return to Sandpipers for a final night before departing on the 16th for Florida. We will have 5 days to travel just over 1,600 miles.

Our original plans were to spend some time exploring along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle, but we'll sacrifice that for the chance to walk the flight line and see all the vintage aircraft, warbirds and current military hardware. We'll enjoy some spectacular air shows and just visiting with a multitude of other pilots. With the motor home we'll be able to eat many meals "at home." The camping is dry camping which is no problem with our motor home. We'll watch our water consumption and may have to restrict our generator use depending on where we are parked. Our costs will be less than the motel costs alone for someone staying there for the week. After the airshow we'll spend two weeks exploring Florida before we head for Cape Canaveral and our reserved spot at Jetty Park to watch the launch(s) of the shuttles. Sure hope they go off on schedule!

So now we begin the final push to get everything in the motor home ready for travel. You can really get settled in when you park somewhere for five months. The motor home needs a good wash. I'll flush the water heater before we go. The water filters in the basement compartment will be changed, batteries and engine fluids checked. The tire pressure will be checked and the Pressure Pro sensors will be tested. There are things to be stored in the shed on our leased lot and things that have been stored in the shed to be loaded into the motor home.

So when we get an opportunity, we are free to chase the dream! Look out Florida, here we come!

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Tom,

We are leaving Texas City on the 18th. Texas City is 40 miles south of Houston. We'll spend one night in Louisiana then on to NAS P'Cola. We have reservations through the 25th and will leave on 26th for J'Ville, then Savannah. DW has to go to Paula Deen's resturant Lady & Sons. I'll be the one standing in line very, very early in the morning to get reservations for lunch or/and dinner. DW will decide which one. I want to tour Parris Island, but this time the Drill Instructors will not be yelling at ME!

After Savannah it is off to Virginia. My son just happenes to be stationed at Quantico and our reason for going, of course, is to see our two granddaughters. From there, after two weeks (I figure that's enough - it's nice to be able to pick up and leave when you want to.) it will be up to New England. My brother lives in Mass. and we will spend a few weeks there. Then it is up into the Adirondacks, into Quebec, Canada, then over to Ontario, Canada, and back down the trail to home.

I really hope that we can cross paths along the way.

Happy trails.

Wayne & Earlene

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Wayne,

Surely would enjoy getting together. Unfortunately, everything I wrote was changed when Louise got a call from her sister. Louise's mother had a heart attack last Friday and we immediately changed plans. We may yet get to Florida and if it hits your time frame, we'll try to get together. Right now we are in Denver, Colorado! Louise's mom is doing well and may be released from the hospital in the next few days. I hope I am that plucky when I get to 88! Enjoy your trip!

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God bless you both. You are in my prayers.

Another time, another place. It's in the making.

I'll stay in touch.

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