Tag Archives: RV

True Love

He loves me,

He loves me not;

He loves me,

He loves me not …

Well, maybe it worked as a young schoolgirl, but I don’t think this is a very accurate way to determine someone’s love!

So, how do you know when someone really does love you?

(And if you love them?)

I’ve been reading through Philip Yancey’s book, Disappointment With God, over the last couple months. When I came across the following quote, it stirred up a lot of emotions and got me thinking about my current marriage – and how it is vastly different from my past marriage. Here’s the quote from page 122:

“Love is most persuasive when it involves sacrifice.”

Sacrifice.

To forfeit (one thing) for another thing considered to be of greater value.

Free Dictionary

It’s a word that has a lot of negativity connected to it. And yet, is the “giving up” always difficult, or is the love that prompts us so much stronger than the sacrifice that it doesn’t feel like anything has been lost?

Looking Back

Originally, our top 5 reasons for moving to Mexico were:

5. To give our kids an overseas experience (and have our own, too!)

4. To get out of the “Rat Race” (which leads to #3)

3. To be able to live off less money than we earn (which leads to #2)

2. To buy a sailboat and learn how to sail (which leads to #1)

1. To travel and recreate our lives!

We have certainly traveled a lot with our 39′ sailboat and 37′ motorhome. Summer trips, sailing adventures, and lots of flights to see family during the holidays have filled our vacation time. We have also enjoyed the slower paced life here (#4 above).

Our Family

But, we had to re-evaluate our priorities after having kids. Realistically, the impact that #5 will have on our ability to see family, especially the grandparents, over the next 18 years of our precious children’s lives, has prompted us to make some BIG changes.

This past June, we decided to move from Mexico up to Flagstaff, AZ. We want to provide our kids with a stable and familiar place to call home. And we want to be able to afford the time and money needed to visit with family. But to do that, we had to consider our financial situation. So, here’s the big question:

How affordable is it to own and maintain a sailboat, RV, and a home?

Well, if you’re a millionaire, it’s probably just fine! But for us normal folk … it’s just not realistic. While discussing this reality a few months ago, I asked my husband which one he would prefer to not have.

And without a thought, he said,

“We’re selling the sailboat.”

He’s sacrificing the dream that led us to Mexico, but he’s replacing it with the greater dream of having a family – OUR FAMILY. (Even now, I’m moved to tears by his love for me and our kids.) I told him I appreciated his sacrifice, but he simply turned it around and acknowledged how much I sacrificed to move here by giving up my booming business and the wonderful life I had in Colorado.

His love is so real to me. Every day I see him working hard to provide for us, spending time loving on our son, giving me hugs and kisses all the time, and telling me how beautiful I am. Washing the cars, taking out the trash, folding the laundry, and the list goes on.

Is it a sacrifice, or is it simply allowing previous dreams to be exchanged for what is “considered to be of greater value”?

“Love is most persuasive when it involves sacrifice.”

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Moving to U.S., Travel

Summer Road Trip – Part 2 (Through the Sand Storm)

Quick recap …

We left San Carlos on Sunday, May 29th, and returned 5 weeks later on Sunday, July 3rd, with many free overnights at WalMart in between.

Day 1 – San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, to Buckeye, AZ; 470 miles; Mexico Hwy 15 to US I-19 to I-10

Day 8 – Buckeye, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ; 178 miles; I-10 to I-17

Day 9 – Flagstaff, AZ to Telluride, CO; 338 miles; SR-89 to US 160 to CO-145

We pulled out of the WalMart parking lot early in the morning and headed for Colorado. After several hours, we were crossing the Arizona desert with over 60 mph winds. M. was working hard to keep the motorhome in our lane as we continued down the highway. Visibility was limited with all the red sand blowing furiously around us. That’s when it happened! M. looked in the passenger side mirror and noticed that our roll-up awning was flapping around, when it should have been cozily wrapped up in its protective cover. We found a place to pull over and M. carefully opened the door to check on the awning.

Sadly, there were two tears … one seemed irreparable. The awning had flopped up onto the roof, caught on the wind vane and tore it off, then ripped on the remaining metal rod. We spent at least an hour rolling up the awning in the raging sand. It was definitely one of our least pleasant road trip experiences! And yes, we’ll have to buy a new awning at some point.

We made it through Four Corners without too much more excitement. Though I must admit, Four Corners was quite, well, unsatisfying. There isn’t much to see, despite it being  the only point in the United States shared by four states – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.

Toward evening, we headed into the mountains of Colorado, passing through Dolores, CO. The brakes started to overheat after a couple hours of mountain driving. Not to mention that it was getting quite dark. M. wisely decided to stop for the night in the parking lot of a gas station and let the brakes cool off. I crawled into bed, exhausted from the long day. M. stayed up for awhile longer reading through the RV manual. By morning he was ready to conquer the rest of the mountain driving and had learned how to keep the brakes from overheating. The answer … not only using the jake brake, but also switching into the lower gear of the two speed rear axle!

Day 10 – Telluride, CO to Elizabeth, CO; 370 miles; CO-145 to SH-62 to US-550 to US-50 to I-25 to CO-86

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

We got another early start, eager to make it to Elizabeth to have dinner with our friends. We stopped for lunch in beautiful Gunnison at a large park near Western State College of Colorado.

40 miles east of Gunnison is Monarch Pass, peaking at 11,312 feet and located on the continental divide. We continued on, winding through the mountains. M. did an excellent job driving and kept the brakes from overheating by using the jake brake. What a lifesaver!

Monarch Pass

M. driving through Monarch Pass

So, we made it Elizabeth, CO, by dinner time. Another successful day of driving! 

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Summer Road Trip – Part 1 (RV Travel – not just for old folks!)

How do I love to travel? Let me count the ways …

planes, trains, automobiles, sailboats, and now … our motorhome!

Lunch in Gunnison

We left San Carlos on Sunday, May 29th, and returned 5 weeks later on Sunday, July 3rd.

Day 1 – San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, to Buckeye, AZ; 470 miles; Mexico Hwy 15 to US I-19 to I-10

We headed up to Buckeye, AZ, in our Honda CR-V for the first leg of our journey. I stayed at my Uncle’s place while M. flew to Sacramento, CA, to purchase our new (used) motorhome. (Check out this post for more details on what type of RV we bought.) M. then drove back to Buckeye with the RV while I spent the week shopping – no, not for girl stuff, but to outfit the motorhome! We couldn’t believe how much stuff we ‘needed’ for our 37 foot RV. We tried to stick with the basics – sheets, towels, toiletries, trash cans, plates/cups/utensils, one pot and two pans, three mixing/serving bowls, food for basic meals, a couple rugs (to keep the imitation wood floors cleaner and more feet-friendly), cleaning supplies, and a bunch of maintenance stuff that M. bought. (Being the wife, I didn’t keep track of all the ‘guy’ stuff he bought, so I can’t offer more info on that. Maybe M. will blog about the details later.) So, after several hundred dollars and many hours of elbow grease getting the motorhome ready …

… we were off for our summer road trip!

Day 8 – Buckeye, AZ to Flagstaff, AZ; 178 miles ; I-10 to I-17

We got a late start, so we stayed overnight in a WalMart parking lot.  This may sound odd, but if you are taking three nights to travel from location A to B and simply need a place to lay your head during the nights in between, it’s a great place to stay – and it’s free! (Most WalMarts allow RVs, campers, trailers, and semis to stay overnight in their parking lots.)

Imagine this … you are driving down the highway, ready to pull over for the night to get some grub and get out of the chairs you’ve been sitting in all day. It’s just about dark and you want to leave by 7:00 am the next morning to get closer to your next destination. So, you see a sign for an RV park/campground. You exit the highway, drive 4 miles down a small paved road, pull in to the campground and discover that they don’t have any spaces big enough for your 37′ RV pulling your small SUV. So, you drive back to the highway and drive farther down the road. Your stomach is grumbling and your eyes are tired. You see another sign for another campground with RV spaces. You pull off the highway, follow the signs 3 miles down the road, pull in to the campground and its now 8:42 pm. There is no one in the office, but there is a sign with the empty spaces posted. You spend 20 minutes negotiating how to get into the space, unhook the car to park easier, spend another 10 minutes leveling the motorhome, and don’t even bother to hook up to the sewer, power, or water. Now it is 9:18 pm, you haven’t eaten dinner and you’re exhausted. You heat up a cup of soup, then crawl into bed.

Next morning … the alarm wakes you up at 6:00 am. You crawl out of bed, throw some clothes on, eat a bowl of cereal, raise the leveling system, and pull out of the campground. On the way out you pay $35-45 to the office and you’re back on the road by 7:00 am as planned.

Or … you are driving down the highway, ready to pull over for the night to get some grub and get out of the chairs you’ve been sitting in all day. It’s just about dark and you want to leave by 7:00 am the next morning to get closer to your next destination. You see a WalMart sign (or look one up on your GPS), pull off the highway and park in the back of the lot. You spend 10 minutes leveling the motorhome, and don’t need to hook up to the sewer, power, or water because your motorhome is self-contained (generator and a 100 gallon water tank). You need milk and eggs, so you walk over to WalMart for a quick purchase and are back ‘home’ in 20 minutes. It’s now 6:38 pm. You have a yummy stir-fry that the wife prepared while you went in to get the groceries. You pull the shades and spend the next couple hours relaxing – reading a book or watching a movie – then head to bed.

Next morning … the alarm wakes you up at 6:00 am. You spring out of bed feeling refreshed, take a shower, throw some clothes on, eat a bowl of cereal and make some coffee, open the shades, raise the leveling system, and pull out of the parking lot. On the way out you pay $0 and you’re back on the road by 7:00 am as planned.

So, what was the point of paying $35-45 to sleep in a place that might have a parking spot big enough for you, is possibly located near where you are ready to stop, has hook-ups and a dump station that you don’t need, and has some trees?

WalMart definitely offers a great service to travelers. We took advantage of their parking lots and in turn gave them business. We did spend several nights enjoying some beautiful places … but you’ll have to read the rest of the Summer Road Trip posts to find out about them.

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Back home for the countdown!

Only 5 weeks to go until we expect our little one to arrive on the scene! If you have been following my blog, you’ll know that I haven’t posted for 9 weeks. Well, life gets busy sometimes … but I’m back! In the last 9 weeks we moved houses (still living in San Carlos), bought a motorhome, and visited friends and family (and had 3 baby showers) during a 5 week road trip around the western U.S.

Being pregnant and traveling in a car would not have been nearly as comfortable. I love the motorhome! I could get up at any moment to get a snack, use the restroom, change clothes, get a book, or whatever I wanted. What a great way to travel!

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

We decided to get an older RV and tow our Honda CR-V behind. The motorhome is a 1990 37′ long diesel Monaco Crown Royale, has a 9K diesel Kohler generator, air bag suspension, air brakes, a jake brake, air leveling, bus style storage bins underneath, and tons of interior storage. It has a bedroom in the back with a queen bed, two closets, and plenty of storage cabinets and drawers; a large bathroom (bigger than our current house) with a corner shower, toilet, sink, and room to put in a washer/dryer unit; a kitchen with a 4-burner stove, a convection oven/microwave, a built in blender, a large sink, a refrigerator/freezer, and an extra small freezer; a living/dining area with a jacknife couch and a stowaway table with leaves; and two amazingly comfy, plush captain’s chairs to enjoy the views from. Our RV retailed for $290,000 in 1990 brand new – and we got it for a steal!

We’re planning to enjoy summers in the U.S. (to get away from the heat and humidity here) and the RV gives us a way to take our home with us, especially with kids coming on board.

Lunch in Gunnison, CO

So, here we are, back in San Carlos, enjoying the sailboat again and getting ourselves situated in our new home.

Our little green house

Living here allows us to travel and enjoy a mobile lifestyle – the whole reason we moved to Mexico! Eventually, we want to sail off into the sunset (so to speak) and visit other areas of the world. But for now, we’re happy to enjoy land travel and gain better sailing skills.

Anchored in Martini Cove for an afternoon swim and lunch with friends

And of course, the random horses wandering by in the afternoon, nibbling on grass wherever they can. Yes, we love San Carlos!

Horses wandering by in front of our house

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Filed under Life Journal, Living in Mexico, Pregnant in Mexico, Sailing, Travel