In my last post, I told you about our muddy arrival to visit my family in South-East Georgia. Our stay ended up being a little more than 5 weeks (not 2) and it was an incredible visit. It was really awesome to have everyone a few steps outside our door, and lots of opportunity to hang out and talk together. At the same time, we were happy to have our “home” with us, so we had our own space to work, relax, and not feel like burdensome over-staying house guests. Everyday routines continued on (for us and them), but we also spent a lot of time together. It was also much more uplifting than expected to move out of the deepening Maryland winter into the mild, almost spring-like weather in St Marys.
My brother Dan and I made significant progress on our fledgling project, Carpet Cleaning Jumpstart, and we had a lot of time to get to know each other better and bond more than we have in years. Dan even asked me to tag along and help out on a few carpet cleaning jobs. It was also nice to spend some relaxed and extended time with my sister-in-law Angela and my niece and nephew, Marilyn and Warren. The kids were a lot of fun to hang out with and talk to in their everyday lives – we have made short trips out to visit each other a number of times, but those trips never seem long enough, and they are different than an extended stay.
I also took advantage of the opportunity to hang out with and connect with my parents every day – we took daily walks and enjoyed wide ranging conversations together. My mom dubbed our time there, “Spiritual Boot Camp” because we all shared a few motivational books and had some in-depth discussions around purpose, intentionality, wealth, freedom, gratitude, entrepreneurship, health, and life. Overall, everyone was in good spirits, and there was an atmosphere of excitement about being together. For me, I was energized by having friends to connect with every day, and overall the visit was good for my soul.
Even though we weren’t really in “tourist” mode, we visited the always cool Okefenokee Swamp for some gator spotting, and we took advantage of our proximity to Florida to do a quick 2 night trip (without the trailer or pup) to Universal Studios in Orlando. Carrie has always wanted to visit the Harry Potter theme parks, so we made it happen!
In between social sessions and little trips, Carrie worked on getting everything submitted for her California PTA license (one of our potential destinations for the summer), and I stayed pretty busy with freelance work.
Parking in a driveway for over a month was a great way to reduce our expenses while we awaited more work for Carrie, and I am incredibly grateful that we were welcome to stay for so long and mooch electricity and water. We were plugged into a 20 amp circuit, so we had to be careful about switching on too many things at once, but we were happy to be able to run our air conditioner. We didn’t have an adjacent sewer or septic hookup, so we showered in the guest shower, and bought a nifty tote tank (affiliate link) for everything else.
It took a few weeks longer than we had hoped, but Carrie landed another gig in the area: 13 weeks at a facility in Rome, Georgia. Her new assignment started on March 12th, and we took a few days to travel from one corner of the state to the other. Along the way we had another great stay with a Boondocker’s Welcome host for two nights – we were happy to spend a nice evening drinking a few glasses of wine and chatting about RV travel with our hosts, and resting for a day between our two long travel days.
It took a bit of digging to find a good campground within a reasonable driving distance from Carrie’s new job, but we finally scored a really nice monthly spot at a lakeside campground just over the border in Alabama. We are 60 seconds by foot from the water of Weiss Lake, and I am excited about possibly staying here for the Spring. We have been here for 2 weeks so far, but for some odd reason it already feels like much longer.
Last weekend I decided that I wanted to capitalize on the fact that we’re living lakeside, and I bought a used kayak. It is a 10 foot recreational kayak, and seems perfect for a beginner like me. I’ll likely have to re-sell it before we leave here (unless I can somehow figure out a good way to haul it with everything else), but it is convenient to “own” and much cheaper than a rental if I use it often enough.
I’ve been out testing the waters twice in the past week, and I expect getting out onto the water will be a regular part of my routine while we’re here. I might even try some kayak fishing.
Carrie quickly adapted to her new job and she is really enjoying the new facility, patients, and coworkers. Her commute is a breeze compared to the nightmare of D.C. area traffic, and her weekly pay is higher as well! Overall, I feel like we’ve really gotten lucky with this assignment and the campground we landed at.
We’re excited to explore the area around us – we are likely to visit Atlanta in Georgia, and Chattanooga and Nashville in Tennessee. There are also a lot of opportunities to get out into nearby nature, so there’s at least a few hikes in our future as well. Have you visited this area before? What should we make sure to see while we’re here?