2019 In Review

This was the year when all our plans for full time RV life became a reality. We sold the house, convinced our jobs we could still be rock stars on the road. Took our time at our home base getting used to full time RV living. Then began the life of a nomad.

RV Camping Sites in 2019

February

We started our full time life in the Spring of 2019, and began the year with a boon docking test run at FrostBurn. This is the only regional burn that we have attended, but its great fun, especially if you are ready to let nature test your mettle with potentially dangerous Winter weather. Luckily this year was quite mild, also sleeping in a 4-season RV with a generator pretty much made it a cake walk.

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Walking the cat at Lake Fairfax Park, a lot of chilly days. The shower house at this park is quite nice, only electric on the sites, but otherwise we enjoyed it. The drive from the RV spots to the park exit seemed to take forever. At this point we were finishing up selling the house, commuting into the office, and finalizing our status as remote employees.

April

We high-tailed it to Texas, sans trailer, to become Texans and visit the Livingston Escapees address that is our new domicile. Made a detour to Galveston, TX to see the sites.

A small detour to see Hot Springs, AR and looked around on our way back to West Virginia after becoming Texans.

We spent time off and on at our friends farm in West Virginia and visited lots of local locations. At this point we were making sure we had everything we needed to be full time RV’ers and getting used to living and working in a very small space.

Things we did while in the area:

May

A group camping outing with friends to Stonewall Resort in Roanoke WV. This park has a little bit of everything out in the middle of nowhere, and its beautiful in this part of West Virginia.

June

Another group camping outing in Bedford PA, stayed at the Friendship Village RV park. It does not take long to see all there is to see in Bedford, and hopefully you don’t mind the racing engines of dirt track racing on weekend evenings. But we did get to hook up again with Full-Timer friends and get tips for living on the road.

July

We stayed at Rose Point Park for a week before RV’ing Pennsic for the two week event. Stopped by McConnells Mill State Park, which is definitely worth an afternoon.

If your still in the Slippery Rock area, its worth checking out Moraine State Park. It has a great walking/bike trail that meanders along the lake. We saw a lot of wildlife while just biking the paved trail.

If you are into medieval history, combat, arts, classes, or just partying, then Pennsic is a great place to get your hobby on. We have been going off and on for many years, and made many friends and fond memories.

August

Something super weird happened in the region, dense swarms of dragonflies filled the air for several hours one afternoon. We had never seen anything quite like it. A video for your viewing pleasure, it does not quite catch the massive numbers of them, but all those swooping little black dots were EVERYWHERE. Apparently the swarms showed up on weather radar.

September

We went to Cowans Gap State Park for a weekend and it was quite nice, but zero cell phone reception. Hiked/biked around the lake and enjoyed a drizzly and quiet weekend.

October

We finally begin our trek south following the east coast, first stop near Colonial Beach VA at the Harbor View RV park because we had a credit from a prior cancelled trip where they got flooded.

Stayed a week in Virginia Beach at the Holiday Trav-L-Park. This place is MASSIVE, and on the weekends it fills up to capacity and is party central. The RV’ers at this park take Halloween VERY seriously. We had stayed at the KOA that is across the street a few years prior, and decided to give the Trav-L-Park a try, during the week its very quiet, but on the weekend it was like a dance club but with gulf carts everywhere.

Next up New Bern NC and the New Bern KOA. This was a lovely little park, and we arrived in New Bern just in time to see their MumFest, which was small town festival at its best.

If your looking for a quiet place in the middle of nowhere, but 45ish minutes away from Myrtle Beach, then checkout Carrollwoods RV campground and winery. Tasty local wine, friendly neighbors, and peace and quiet.

November

The next week we were at Mt Pleasant KOA near Charleston SC. We saw lots of sites, probably could have spent more time and seen more, but we were getting to like the one week at a place pace. The campground had a nice hiking/bike trail, a large lake, and of course you are within easy driving distance to all things Charleston SC.

The best thing by far, which I’d never seen before, was they gave us a wireless router that plugged into the power pole via a network cable and we got to enjoy blazing fast wired internet the whole week.

Next up Savannah GA and the CreekFire RV Resort. This campground was quite nice, but had a lot of construction going on to expand the amount of spots. They made up for it with the impressive hot tub and heated pool.

We really enjoyed Savannah, we also made a day trip to Tybee Island and biked down the strip. Savannah was our first non-New Orleans town where open carry alcohol was allowed, also an unlimited liquor/wine tasting is at the same time a great and terrible idea, FYI.

Met up with friends at the Tropical Palms RV Resort, and stayed for a month. Got to see lots of sites in and around Kissimmee FL, even became members of the Bok Tower Gardens which gives us reciprocal discounts at botanical gardens all over the US.

Took a non-RV detour weekend to St Augustine FL, and had a great time.

More day trip adventures in FL, this time to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Made a couple pit-stops at Disney Springs for dinners and drinks.

December

Now heading west, and happy to be on the road again, we spent one night at a lovely little place outside of Tallahassee FL (Tallahassee RV park). Then finished the drive to spend a week at Topsail Hill State Park. Topsail was well worth it, lots of biking/hiking and the beach is amazing. Had a lunch and saw tons of alligators at Fudpuckers. (It’s as silly as it sounds, but… alligators.)

Enter the biggest hot tub I’ve ever seen at Reunion Lake RV Resort. Sadly the lazy river was not being heated or the pools, but we took full advantage of the hot tub. Also a day trip into New Orleans LA to see the French Quarter.

Back to Galveston TX, this time with the RV, for a week of exploring. Stayed effectively on the beach at the Dellanera RV Park. Not many extras, but the beach was right there. We biked, explored the island, and got to see some very impressive fog events, as well as several great sunrise/sunset events. Could do much worse than a Christmas Eve fire on the beach with friends.

Finally a week in San Antonio TX for New Years at the Travelers World. The park has a great game room and pool/hot tub, but by far the best thing is its right on the San Antonio River Walk trail. We got to bike to almost all the missions, explored downtown a bit. By car visited the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden (free) and the San Antonio Botanical Garden (free, with our reciprocal garden membership). New Years fireworks were happening in every direction. San Antonio was our first taste of a drier climate, and we are feeling pretty great about winter in Texas so far.

January 2020

That is the whole of 2019. The plans for 2020 are pretty fluid but we plan to continue to head west and then loop back to the east coast. I feel this full time RV life definitely suits us and the adventure has been very satisfying. I’m thankful for the support we have received from work/friends/family. All our planning to make this life happen has paid off and I hope for many more years of wanderlust ahead.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

A pinned map with the places we have traveled in our RV’s.

Book Report for Learning Basic CSS

Do you want to pick up some CSS and don’t know where to start? Have you asked yourself… [self] what is this CSS thing? Then the book CSS & CSS3: 20 Lessons to Successful Web Development by Robin Nixon could be for you.

I wanted to re-familiarize myself with CSS and the minutiae of its details, so I picked up this book at the library. Overall I would say it starts at a good pace for beginner’s, explaining an HTML document and how CSS can be used. The book gives good tips throughout for things to do and not do.

All of the examples were toy examples, which I feel was fine for the introduction of the topic. If you want to follow along, there is code available that could really help a person on the color and animation related sections.

The pace was good, and the topics were introduced in a very discrete and isolated way. If you are looking to get introduced to CSS styles in a bite size way without getting too many details then this book does the job. A person could easily skip around in the book without much trouble, if you were interested in a specific concept.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone wishing to start from knowing nothing about CSS, and moving to a place where you can be comfortable creating, understanding and modifying CSS. This is a great primer for getting the basics, and it was easy reading.

What the book was not… I did wish there was a CSS troubleshooting section that gave tips on how to deal with interacting and resolving situations when using 3rd party CSS libraries. That might be an advanced topic for most, but once your in the weeds of that kind of situation it is good to know what to do to get the job done. The book did not promise advanced CSS, and it did not deliver that, but I can still wish it was practically perfect in every way.

For next time I need to find a book that covers the more advanced situations in which I find myself.

Installing home-assistant on a Raspberry Pi 2

Home automation is something I have been trying to pursue for many years. As a person that is technical but sometimes not very savvy I have tried other open source solutions and met with defeat. This is my successful attempt at installing Home Assistant on the Raspberry Pi 2. I also included the steps to install Z-Wave support because I have some Z-Wave devices, and the Aeotek Z-Stick which I wanted to integrate into this system. Continue reading “Installing home-assistant on a Raspberry Pi 2”