2006
Seven Years After We Hit the Road


 
As this is being written, we are on a six week trip to check off our final four "unslept-in states".  All we have to do is spend the night in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota, and then we can say that we've slept in all 50 states!  This is a goal we'd like to accomplish, and, as Mitch will turn 18 in January and has lots of other interests, it might be hard to convince him to join us for another long RV trip.

 
 
When we started traveling "full-time" our boys were 6 and 9.  As they have grown, their interests have changed and their educational endeavors have become more complex.

 In 2003, they said, "Are you guys just going to talk to us about real estate investing, or are we actually going to do something?"  So we bought a fixer-upper at the beach in San Diego.

By spring we found ourselves living in the house.


 

Mitch, Max and Friends
January 17, 2006
San Diego is Cheryl's hometown and the location of Campland on the Bay -- the boy's favorite RV Park.  During our years of full-time RVing we were here often and the boys made friends with the local kids.

From left to right are Mitch, Max, Micah, and Jahvin.  We met Jahvin in 1999 at Campland and Micah shortly after that.  Today, they're still best friends. 
 

 


 
Have you seen the TV shows about the homemade radio controlled battling robots, or custom motorcycle and hot rod building?  Mitch and Max have.  That spurred on their interest to cut, bend, and weld metal, so several months ago they built two small dune buggies.

We thought we'd get a small piece of property near Cheryl's Dad's place in Sedona, Arizona where we could drop a septic tank, build a small pole barn, and do a little welding when we were in town.  We ended up with a large irrigated property on the Verde River with a 1500 sq. ft workshop, large house and full hookup RV parking.


 
 
Over the two years we owned the property in Arizona, we only stayed there for six months.  We finished the buggies and then sold the place in 2006.  As the summer of 2006 approaches, Max has signed up for his fourth season of Junior Lifeguards.  Mitch, having completed three sessions of Lifeguarding, has decided that he'd rather spend his summer surfing.  They both play guitar, and along with their friend, Micah, have formed a garage band; (see their video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6315008829291713155&q=garage+band).

Their roots to the San Diego beach area grow stronger and their interest in full-time travel wane. 


 
We have continued to travel over the last couple of years, but not full-time.  We spent a month in Germany, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland in 2004, enjoyed a two month tour of the Appalachian area in 2005, and made a few other shorter trips during during the past three years.

So today we are "permanently parked" in San Diego.  We are torn between squeezing out a few more big trips with our sons or engaging in activities that require staying in one place.

Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe, 11,782 ft ( and darn cold )

There are places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do that probably won't happen with Mitch and Max.  We haven't made it to the Canadian Maritime provinces.  Didn't see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. We didn't try out the Olympic luge training track in Musgegon.

On the other hand, the guys would like to start a business.  They express interest in acquiring a multi-unit fixer upper, starting a manufacturing plant, an online sales business, or other endeavor.  We just bought a second old house in San Diego.  Like the first one, it's a block from the beach and in need of major remodeling.  This will be our project over the next several months.

Soon the last of our children will be moving on with their own lives and adventures.  At that time Cheryl and I will most likely get back into our truck and fifth-wheel and hit the road.  We'll probably sell or rent any homes and be full-timers again.  But for now,  it's a mix between traveling adventures and having the boys experience "community" in San Diego.
 
And what an experience that can be.  Here's a photo of the beach on July 4th last year.

 
 
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