Tag Archives: georgia

Working at Vogel State Park

This past winter, we became hosts at Vogel State Park in North Georgia.  The RV is not a fan of cold weather, so it is necessary for us to find a job in a warmer climate each winter.  Unfortunately, it is the same story for all full timers, which make winter jobs difficult to find.

Vogel State park in north Georgia
Vogel State Park

Paying winter jobs, that is.  It seems that most parks in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other warmer weather locations have decided that the influx of Full Timers every winter means free labor.  And they are not wrong about that.  There are many full timers that are happy to have a warm RV spot for so many hours of work each week.

We are not in the position to not have any money coming in yet.  My websites pay the bills, but without some sort of extra income, we start to dig into the savings.

I like to line our jobs up about 6 months in advance and during our summer job in Montana, I was doing a ton of research looking for that illusive paying winter job.  Sending out resume after resume and filling out multiple applications, only to be ignored.

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Full Time RV Living- The Highs and Lows

Three days ago, we hit the road heading to our next destination, Boston/Cape Cod, MA.  It was a rainy day in Atlanta and was going to prove to be a rainy trip to our first stop in Gaffney, SC.  But we were headed out ahead of the tropical storm that would hit the gulf coast the next day.

Upon our arrival in South Carolina,  we discovered that the full wall slide will not go out. Apparently the motor has broken (for the second time in two years). This means that our roughly 400 square foot motorhome is now about half that size.  

Then I dropped an entire glass jar of pickles on the floor resulting in pickles and broken glass everywhere.  The final straw? We forgot Ralph’s insulin in Atlanta. 

We had to unhook the car (did I mention it is pouring rain?), go to Walmart for the insulin and then spend the evening trying to make my coach floor unsticky.

And to think we left this sweet thing to deal with faulty equipment, pickle juice and rainy Walmart runs.

This is our second issue with the slide mechanism on this coach.  Winnebago is aware of the problem.  Apparently the motor which operates the slide is too small for the weight of the full wall slide.  They have solution.  Which means a trip to Iowa to the Winnebago Industries facility.

So there you go.  Plans are changed instantly.  As full timers, we are getting used to the highs and lows of this lifestyle.  With that in mind, I thought I’d put together a list of those highs and lows in order to put this past experience into perspective.  I mean, at least we aren’t stranded on the side of the road, right?  (Knock on wood).

Let’s Start with the Lows

Broken Finger

living full time in a rvThis little incident that happened at our first campground of residence in Bar Harbor, ME.  Word to the wise, don’t wrap the leashes around your finger while walking the dogs.  You see, an errant squirrel can cause quite a bit of havoc.  One little 20 pound dog totally broke my finger.

Medical insurance is not what it used to be.  We are currently on Obamacare and with the latest changes and the fact that we have next to no selection for healthcare, we are limited to seeing only doctors in our home of record- Atlanta, GA.  That doesn’t help us much when we are dealing with a broken finger in Maine.

We ended up paying for this injury in full.  On the bright side, I have to say that the folks at the hospital in Ellsworth are amazingly friendly.

Bad Employment Experiences

two guns ghost town in arizona

With any job you have to expect that you are not going to get along with everyone.  There will be things you don’t particularly want to do.  There will be days that you won’t want to go to work and days where everything seems to go wrong.

More often than not, those experiences are balanced by good experiences, people that you love to work with, great employers, and beautiful places to work.

We have been lucky in the fact that in the two years that we have been on the road, we have only experienced one place that made us regret our decision to work there.  But I have to say that we learned a whole lot from that experience.

Pet Illness

Our dog Ralph has been through the ringer this past year.  In early 2016, he was diagnosed with bladder stones and diabetes.  He had surgery to remove the stones and then was put on insulin twice a day.

Learning to give him shots was pretty traumatic for both of us.  And getting his diabetes under control was a whole other issue.  It wasn’t long before he went blind.

After much thought, we opted for eye surgery to remove his cataracts.  It took months of recovery and a huge dent in our wallet, but Ralph can now see again, and his diabetes is under control.

Click here for a look at the Highs from the past two years

Taking a break in Georgia

It has been family time in Georgia for the past three months.  I cannot believe that time has passed so quickly.  When we showed up here at the end of March, there weren’t even leaves on the trees.

Now we are in mid summer.  The coach has been parked in my daughter’s driveway snug as a bug, waiting for us to take on our next adventure.  But I have to say that this adventure here has been exciting also!

I mean, just look at the nice backyard that we have gotten to enjoy this summer!

My daughter was concerned that we would have a bit of trouble getting used to living in a regular home for a few months.  So, they prepared a nice little apartment in the basement of their home for us.  We have been quite comfortable here.


We have the coach right nearby if we need anything, and are able to plug the refrigerator into an outside outlet.  A perfect spot for a few months visit.

Of course, this post will be peppered with baby photos.  The main reason for our visit was our new granddaughter, Esme.  She was born on April 20.

Being grandparents has been a wonderful experience.  Esme is good-natured (with the exception of the occasional evening tantrum), and such a beautiful little girl.

We will miss her so much when we hit the road again.  Life changes sometimes make for even more life changes.  We will roll with it and be visiting Georgia much more often than we have in the past couple of years.

The great thing about our lifestyle is that we are (for the most part), free to decide where and when we will be living.

So what have we been doing these past three months besides loving on that baby?

Well, of course we needed to check out some of our local favorite places to eat.  I mean, you gotta eat, right?  There is nothing better on a hot Georgia day than a raspberry chocolate chip shake from Steak ‘N Shake.

Click here for more!

Back home to Atlanta and a new grandbaby!

We left Tucson in mid March and headed back to Atlanta, GA.  The main reason?  Well, we were expecting the arrival of our first grandchild!  Our trek to Atlanta took us through some great stops and I will definitely take the time to share them with you here over the next few weeks.

When we travel long distances, we like to go with the 3-3-3 Rule.  Basically, it means no more than 3 hours of driving per day; or 300 miles per day; or arrival at a campground no later than 3:00 PM.  Following one of those options each day means that Dave doesn’t get too tired and at the same time, we both get to enjoy the sights along the way.

So the route home to Atlanta took about three weeks, and included stops in Alamogordo, NM; Carlsbad, NM; Galveston, TX; Mobile, AL; and Martin Lake, AL.  Stay tuned for more posts about the sites that we visited along the way!

We parked our coach in my daughter’s driveway and began baby watch.  Meet our daughter, Amanda and her husband, Daniel.  This photo was taken about a week before Esme was born.

Our daughter went into labor on Wednesday and it was wonderful to be there with her for this amazing experience.


Esmeralda was born on April 20, 2017 at 8:35 AM after a long sleepless night.  She weighed 6 lbs. 1 oz. A beautiful perfect little baby girl!

She looks like a little doll, doesn’t she?  Me?  Well, I look like I’ve been up all night.  But it wasn’t nearly as exhausting for me as her mom!

Baby Esme is a beautiful addition to our family!  She is the first grandchild on my family’s side, and the first girl grandchild on Daniels family’s side.

Did I mention before how excited we are to be here?  That is one of the best advantages of full time RVing!

We will be in Atlanta until around the end of June when we will start our next campground job.  I am currently working on making that one official and will let you know as soon as we have something on paper.

In the meantime, we are enjoying the Atlanta area, our wonderful family and our beautiful granddaughter!


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Top 10 Things to See and Do in Tybee Island, Georgia

When you think about the state of Georgia, you most likely won’t think about beaches.  Heck, we all go to Florida for that, right?  But I have to tell you that there is one hidden jewel located right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia that will take your breath away.

Tybee Island Is a barrier island located 18 miles off the coast of Savannah, GA.  Tybee is rich in history and beauty, and hosts great restaurants, accommodations and three full miles of uninterrupted public beach.

If you are interested in checking the island out, we have put together a list of the top 10 things to see and do in Tybee Island!

1. Tybee Island Lighthouse 

tybee island lighthouse georgia

I’m sure you already know I’m a fan of lighthouses.  If I find myself near one, I just have to check it out.  Tybee Lighthouse has been guiding mariners safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years.

This beautiful lighthouse is surrounded by all of its historic support buildings, including the Tybee Museum, which was established in 1961.

top 10 things to see and do in tybee island georgia

For a small fee, you can gain entrance to the lighthouse, climb all 178 stairs and see a magnificent view of the surrounding area.

Note: Here and throughout most of the island, parking fees are required.  (You can obtain a parking pass from most hotels and campgrounds in the area).


2. The Crab Shack

top 10 things to see and do in tybee island georgia

When we first starting going to the Crab Shack, 20 years ago, it was true to it’s name.  It was really a shack.  Over the years, this little restaurant has become a major tourist attraction, featuring large screened in dining rooms, outdoor dining under the trees, a gift shop, aviary, and even an alligator enclosure!

top 10 things to see and do in tybee island georgia

The atmosphere at this little restaurant is surely a draw.  Heck, even Hollywood noticed!

The movie The General’s Daughter, starring John Travolta was filmed here.

top 10 things to see and do in tybee island georgia

But the biggest draw for us is the Seafood Platter.  This one?  This is a platter for two!

Look big?

top 10 things to see and do in tybee island georgia

You aren’t kidding!

This restaurant is the one that we compare every other one to.  So far, nobody has beaten it.

So where do you fish?  Click here for more!

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Saying goodbye to Atlanta!

It has been a rough couple weeks.  We finally managed to sell all of our belongings and even survived a free Facebook free-for-all.   As tough as it was paring ourselves down to only the RV and what is in it, the hardest part was leaving friends and family behind.

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You know, saying goodbye is hard.  Even though we know that the world is much smaller these days with the internet and cell phones.  Everyone is just a touch of a keypad away.  But I will miss hugging my family.

Now that this dream of ours is a reality; seems that reality has a few drawbacks.

the hil logo

We got together at the Hil Restaurant in Serenbe in Palmetto, GA, for a family get together the day before we left town.  This unique restaurant offers a diverse menu, guided heavily by produce from Serenbe Organic Farm located just around the corner.  It is owned and operated by Chef Hilary White and her husband Jim White.

We highly recommend it if you are in the south Atlanta area and looking for a memorable meal.  Our girls group did a Sunday brunch there about a month ago and I have to tell you, the Chef’s Cinnamon Roll is amazing!

wedding dress photo

While we were there, my daughter showed off a photo of her wedding gown!  She will be getting married in early November.  We just love our future son-in-law and look forward to being back in Georgia in time for Dave to walk her down the aisle!

wedding dress photo

See, don’t they look great together?

A group of family, led by my sister, are also planning on coming to Maine to visit us in June.  They already have flights arranged and a rental house booked.  And apparently they also booked a lobster boat tour because you certainly can’t visit Maine without a lobster boat tour!

Just saying.

It will be fun showing them around our new temporary “home”!

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In the meantime, we leave Atlanta behind and begin heading north.  I can tell you one thing, we will not miss the traffic!  We had delayed a day leaving due to weather.  This time of year in the south is generally stormy.  Something about April rains bringing May flowers.  Right?

Yeah.  We are already tired of the rain.  And a bit tired of cleaning red Georgia mud out of my white RV.

dogs traveling rv camping

The dogs settled into traveling pretty quickly.  They love their new envelope dog bed that I made them, and sleep at my feet the entire trip.

Our trip to Statesville, NC took about six hours.  Unfortunately, that is about an hour longer than it should have.  An accident just north of Charlotte had us in stop and go traffic for the last 30 miles of our trip.

And we thought we had left traffic behind in Atlanta!

We were very glad to roll into the Statesville, NC KOA just before dark.

statesville north carolina koa camping

And here the journey begins!

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Never say “FREE” on Facebook…

It has been a tough few weeks.  Part of becoming full timers of course involves getting rid of about 99% of your possessions.  It can be a very draining and emotional task.  You don’t really realize how attached you are to some things until you have to get rid of them.

There are all the things we have accumulated over the past 23 years of marriage.  All the things that we bought and used and loved.  What to do with photos and personal items?  What about all my artwork?  Dave’s tools?  His truck?  So many things!

never say free on Facebook estate sale

Our first step was to hire an Estate Sale company.  In came Kimy from Peachtree Estate Sales.  Kimy was upbeat and energetic and said she could sell about 90% of our property in a three day sale.

moving into our rv

So we went through the house with a fine toothed comb, pulling out everything that we wanted to take and loaded it on the RV.  Then we removed personal things such as photos and other momentos, which my sister was nice enough to store.

How much stuff could a person own?

Well you may be surprised.

We spent an entire two days hauling junk from under the house into the garage.  The garage became so full that you could hardly get around in it.

We then handed Kimy the keys to the house and closed our eyes and let go.  Over a period of three days, she and her crew successfully emptied our house of furniture and decor.

never say free on Facebook estate sale

Well, mostly.  When we returned, there was about 10% left.  Just as she said.   She had also warned that the house would look like a tornado went through it.  She wasn’t kidding.

never say free on Facebook estate sale

What to do with the rest?

So I had a bright idea.  I would advertise on Facebook.  I found a local flea market group and advertised that I had FREE stuff.

never say free on Facebook estate sale

The ad went something like this:  Recently we had an estate sale.  We have some things left over.  Home decor, ladders, Christmas decor, clothing, and a few pieces of furniture.  All items are free.  Will be at the house on Thursday from noon until 4:00 PM only.  First come first served.

And then it began.

Facebook person #1:  How much are the ladders?
Facebook person #2: How much is the desk?
Facebook person #3: I’m coming to get the ladders right now.
Me: NO! Will be there from noon until 4:00 pm only.
Facebook person #4: Call me at xxx-xxxx- I need those ladders!
Facebook person #5:  I’ll PM you.  I have no job.  I need that stuff!
Facebook person #6: I have first dibs on the ladders!
Facebook person #7: No you don’t, she said first come first serve!
Facebook person #8:  So who is going to stop the fights?
Me: I would assume I’m dealing with adults.  Any fighting and I’ll close the doors!
Facebook person #9: I’m coming just to film the fights!
Facebook person #10: I’ll be there at 11:30AM for the ladders.
Facebook person #11: I’ll be there at 11:00 AM to sell the ladders to Facebook person #10.

Things got very ugly on Facebook.  We were a bit worried at this point…

The next day, we arrived at the house about 10:00 to deal with the cleaning people.  Folks started showing up for the Facebook giveaway at 10:30.  By 11:00  the street was lined with cars.  Occasionally someone would venture up the driveway and try to start “shopping” and I’d have to go down there and move them back.

The crowd was getting ugly…in more ways than one…

At some point a large older woman showed up.  For the benefit of this story, I’m going to call her Bertha.  Bertha weighed about 500 pounds, with large bosoms that hung nearly to her knees.  She made her way up the driveway where I stopped her.  We still had about a half hour.

Bertha said, “So is everything free or are there some things for sale too?”

With that she patted her left boob, which jingled loudly while swinging back and forth.  “I brought some money just in case”.

Ummm….no.  Everything will be free.  Sigh…this was going to be interesting.

I placed Dave in the garage and then I signaled for everyone to go in.

Yes.  That.

Folks running, folks grabbing, folks tugging at things.  The majority of my leftover furniture was upstairs.  Believe it or not, Bertha managed to get there first.  And Bertha yelled,

“I saw it first, it’s all mine!”

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She ran from room to room, yelling at people, panting heavily and sweating profusely and looking like she was going to pass out at any moment.  At one point, she was ordering strangers to load furniture for her.  Her husband showed up and began hauling things out for her as she guarded each piece like a pit bull.

One step too close, and Bertha was gonna take you out…

never say free on Facebook estate sale

My house cleared out of everything within 45 minutes.  Flat.  Nothing left but dust.

As the last car drove off with the rest of our stuff, we sat down together and made one promise to each other.

Never again.

Oh, and never, ever utter the word “Free” on Facebook.

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Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, Bremen, GA

three starsOverall Rating: Needs Work


Jellystone Park is located just off of I-20, about 45 minutes west of Atlanta in the town of Bremen, GA.  We chose this location because it was the closest campground to our house in Villa Rica.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia

We stayed here for about a week, but were busy dealing with an Estate Sale and a ton of packing at the house.  The majority of our days were spent running around and we didn’t get to enjoy Jellystone as much as we would liked to have.

Fortunately, we had one day of relative leisure to stop and look around.

two starsSetting: We would love to be able to give better scores here, because the staff was wonderful.  However, truth be known, it left much to be desired.  No pretty views, lots of gravel and red mud, uneven lots, and red ant hills.  Many of the folks staying there (about 60%) were living there full time.  Which means many campers in poor repair and lots of clutter.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia

The park consists of a central building which houses a game room, office, laundry room and restrooms.  The camping lots are placed in a large circle around the central building.

Notes:  All pads are gravel. Many are very uneven.  They have chosen to add additional gravel in some areas to try and level the sites, but in some cases it resulted in a pile of gravel on one end of the pad, creating a huge drop when you would want to exit your camper.

Red Ants!  True it is a Georgia problem, but they can be controlled if kept at bay.  We had to constantly be aware so that the dogs wouldn’t get into a hill of ants.  For those that are not familiar, red ants are rather vicious and have a painful bite.

Roads leading to the campsites have many grates and drainage ditches, causing issues while trying to maneuver a large rig with a car in tow.

Trains!  Although it is no fault of the campground, it is important to note that they are near a very active railroad track.  I grew up listening to train whistles and sleep heavy, so it didn’t bother me, but the husband wakes easily.  Trains go through about once an hour all night.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia5


four starsBathrooms were clean, but access was limited.  You need a key code to get in.  Apparently they have issues with folks smoking in them as there were warning signs all over.

five starsWIFI- The park offers it for free and while it might be different during peak times, I never had an issue getting on line.

four starsLaundry- They have a nice laundry room available 24 hours a day.  Again, access is only with an individual key code.

five starsActivities- Where this campground may suffer regarding scenery, it definitely has lots of plusses where activities are concerned.  They have a splashpark, large kiddie pool, and huge swimming pool.  They offer a gameroom, gem mining, horseshoes, mini-golf, pedal carts and three playgrounds.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia5

Animals!  Including huge turtles, alligators, chickens, miniature horses, and lizards.  They even offer a reptile show on the weekends to entertain the kids, along with wagon rides and train rides.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia5

Oh, and there are two talking parrots on either side of the entrance to the main building that are happy to greet you.

five starsStaff is very friendly and helpful when needed.  We were delayed twice getting there, and they were very helpful with our reservations.  They seem great with kids. In true Yogi Bear form, every one of them had name badges with “Ranger” in front of their name.  Cute.

one starDog Friendly– I have to say for such a kid friendly and animal oriented park, I was surprised at how little they had for dogs.  No dog park.  No doggie waste cans.  No doggie waste bags available.  Literally very little area to walk your dogs unless you wanted to walk along the road.  Not cool, really.  Especially when I’m having to dodge red ants along the way.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia5


The positives?  If you have children, they will love this place!  Lots for them to do!  In fact, I’ve never seen a park with so much to offer for the kids.

However, if you are looking for a view, have dogs and no children ; you may want to look elsewhere.

In the area and don’t feel like cooking?  We recommend The Chat and Chew for a wonderful breakfast, and Evans Barbeque for a fabulous lunch or dinner!  Both restaurants are located in the nearby town of Villa Rica.

For more information on Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Bremen, be sure to check out their website!

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River’s End Campground & RV Park

four starsOverall Rating: Nearly Perfect


River’s End Campground & RV Park is located on the Georgia coast near the South Carolina/Georgia border on a little island called Tybee Island.  With the historic town of Savannah within a 15 minute drive, there is lots to do here.

rivers end campground tybee island georgia

Since purchasing our RV in 2013, we have stayed at River’s End Campground about 5 times.  We love the fact that it is so close to the beach, an easy commute to Savannah, and just blocks from the beach!

rivers end campground and rv park tybee island georgia

five starsSetting: Lots of moss covered hardwoods offering shade, picnic tables, fire pits, level gravel lots.  The park offers full hook up and the park in general is big rig friendly. You are only three blocks from the beach, and the Tybee Island light house.

rivers end campground tybee island

This photo was taken during the off season in late fall.  During the busy time of the year, this park is pretty darn slammed.  And we have to tell you that spots are very close.  We very much prefer the spots along the main road.  They are easy to pull in and out of and give a little more space.

Notes: Big rigs need to be particular careful of the hanging branches.  While we cleared nicely, it was still a bit nerve wracking if you happened to be parked underneath one of these huge tree branches.  Also, during peak season, maneuvering through the park in a big rig can be very tight.

While we do prefer the roadside lots, we need to note that traffic on that road is busy at times.  It can get noisy as the police station is right next door to the campground.   Care is needed when using the road for biking to the beach.


four starsBathhouses are easy access and during our stays seemed very clean, while rustic.

five starsWIFI- The park offers it for free and while it might be different during peak times, I never had an issue getting on line.

four starsLaundry- They have a nice laundry room available 24 hours a day.  Personally, I do not do laundry in the middle of the night, but if you wanted to, you certainly could.

four starsSwimming Pool- River’s End boasts the largest swimming pool on Tybee Island.  And it is very nice.  It is only open during the peak season from about April to September.  And they do not offer lifeguards, so supervision of children is a must.

five starsStaff is very friendly and helpful when needed.  They even delivered wood to our doorstep on our last stay.    When we were hit by an unusual snow storm in Atlanta last year, we needed to postpone our trip to Tybee.  The staff was very supportive and at our request, held our deposit until we were ready to reschedule a few months later.

three starsDog Friendly– the park itself offers two different dog parks, one for small and one for large dogs.  Folks don’t necessarily pay much attention to the size restrictions as the smaller dog park is much closer than the other.  They do offer bags and trash cans in the dog park to dispose of waste.

On the negative side, they do not offer dog waste cans and bags in the campground itself, which I definitely prefer.  And the main stickler (while it is no fault of the campground) is the fact that dogs are not allowed on any of Tybee Island’s beaches.
rivers end campground and rv park tybee island georgia

The positives?  Well check out the beautiful lighthouse that is only three blocks from the campground!  Further down the beach are a fishing pier, lots of shopping, and some fantastic restaurants.

rivers end campground and rv park tybee island georgia
Don’t feel like cooking?  The North Beach Bar and Grill is located right by the lighthouse, three blocks from the campground.  They serve a fabulous margarita.  Just saying.

For more information on River’s End Campground & RV Park, be sure to check out their website!

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