Through the Everglades, From Pompano Beach, Florida to Tampa, Florida

Now that Thanksgiving 2020 was over, we were excited for our next trip. The drive, from Pompano Beach, Florida to Tampa, Florida would take us through the Everglades. Years ago we had taken a fun airboat ride through the Everglades and I loved seeing the wildlife. This time we would be driving our 2010 Allegro Tiffin bus through the Everglades on land. Would we see any gators? Other wildlife? I was hopeful.

My view from the passenger seat.
Mike’s view

One thing about riding in this big bus is, we sit up fairly high, so we have a better view than we would have sitting lower down in a car. That combined with great big windows up front made this trip memorable.

There were many little white birds by the side of the road, fishing in the water, or drinking. I tried to capture them in a picture, but most flew off the moment before, eluding me. This is the only picture I have which captured one. Still, one of my favorite memories of this drive was watching those birds. They have a slender white elegance I am unable to fully capture in a photo.

The original airboat tour. Years ago we took a fun airboat ride through the Everglades. I don’t remember the name of the company we hired.

We stepped to fix lunch meat sandwiches at Big Cypress National Preserve visitor center and got out to walk around. We had the place pretty much to ourselves, as you can see. There were no X’s to stand on, marking a six feet apart rule, or masks. Just us and a sprinkling of raindrops.

On the wooden walk in front of the building as we walked across we looked down into the foliage and there we saw my gator. Can you see him?

Can you see the gator hiding?

This gator was sleeping or hiding. I wonder if he was dreaming of his next meal, as he did not move. It began to rain again so we dashed back to the bus to get inside out of the chilly air and rain and back on the road again.

There were signs that said panther crossing, next five miles, though we didn’t see any. We passed an Indian reservation, and Ten Thousand Island National Refuge.

This was a fun trip. Our next journey would be to Tampa, but that is another post.

I’ll be back with more of our story and our travels soon, so stay tuned and remember that every day we are alive is a beautiful day!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog! https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

For Debra’s RV videos follow https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

The Big Downsize: Moving From Our House to a Motorhome

I’ll always remember this move as the big downsize, when we sold our 1,100 square foot house and 40 foot by 50 foot garage on 1.4 acres in Bartlett, TN and moved into our first RV, a 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus/motorhome.

I’d been downsizing for a long time and thought I would be ready, but I was still surprised by how many things we had squirreled away in the spaces we’d lived in for 23 years, and I was still trying to sort through things as we were moving out.

Our sons came to stay with us and they worked on the house before we listed it and then helped us move things into the store and lock, and I really do not know what we would have done without all their help. We would not have been ready.

The backyard always had deer in the evening.

The house sold six days after we listed it and we had two buyers bidding. On Monday, Nov. 23rd we closed on the house and the buyers took immediate possession, so we had to have everything out and ready to go before then. That would have been a lot even if there were nothing else added on.

40 x 50 garage which housed my husband’s business.

But as the ads on television say, “But wait! There’s more!” My husband also housed his business, Whistle Clean Incorporated, in that big garage, so there was an office to dismantle and a business to move out of that garage, everything from office furniture and files to business equipment and chemicals.

Our new 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus beside our old garage.

The guys worked on Friday the 20th, a regular work day to finish the work, then they collected their last paychecks, and the business closed for any more work. I listed office furniture and equipment for sale and my husband moved everything Whistle Clean into a store and lock. This would be our second store and lock as I already had one for our household things. I am keeping things that mean something to me, antiques and momentos. No, I will not be a person who “gets rid of everything” but in each case these are things I would want around me as I get older and want to be surrounded by my memory things. The question I asked myself was, “If there’d been a house fire, would I be upset at the loss of this?” Having lived through a house fire, I had a pretty good idea of what I’d be upset about and what I wouldn’t. So the decisions were easy for me, and my treasured things are in a temperature controlled storage unit.

Downsizing from this house and garage into this motorhome. “The big downsize.”

So, now we had two store and locks. Whistle Clean was officially done cleaning houses and my husband had retired. He had previously tried to sell the business with no luck (guys wanted to run it but didn’t want to work, or sweat and that is not the way a pressure cleaning service company works) and then he had planned to keep the business going, running it from the road while he retired from doing the heavy work, but that was not to be. One employee had a heart attack the week before we closed and the other announced he was going to Mexico for two months. There would be no one left in Memphis to do the work. The doors would have to close. It wasn’t the optimal way to end, but the signs were clear that it was time to move on. We had a new lifestyle to begin and we were both ready to get on with it.

Everything in the garage had to go, from office furniture and files, a van, a truck, pressure wash equipment, tools, etc..

I’m writing this on December 17th and just today Mike finished emptying the Whistle Clean store and lock. Part of the delay has been the first trip we took, down to Florida to see his mother for Thanksgiving as she was alone there and we hadn’t taken a trip in the motorhome anywhere yet! I’ll write about that in another post, as this one is just for the big downsize.

Are you ready? Let’s go!

Tomorrow we get on the road from Memphis to Kentucky. He will drive the motorhome, pulling my car while I drive his truck full of tools and equipment he is keeping to Kentucky, where he will store them along with woodworking equipment and wood for his projects. While we will be living in the motorhome full time, we do have things we are keeping, here and there.

Towing my convertible behind the motorhome.

Once we unload his things in KY, the downsizing will be officially done and then we can head for the warm sunshine and our next adventure. And that, I suspect, will feel awesome.

I’ll be back with more of our story and our travels soon, so stay tuned and remember that every day we are alive is a beautiful day!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog!  Debra’s Beautiful Day Traveler travel & writing blog https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

RV travel pics will also go up on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

For videos of Debra’s RV travels follow Debra’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

To Catch an Elf: Debra Parmley’s Creepy Shelf Elf Group! 12 days of creepy elf party https://www.facebook.com/groups/793115644206381/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Holidays in the Motorhome – Decorating for Halloween 2020

I have always loved Halloween; from the time I was small and dad would take me out trick or treating. I loved very girly costumes, though one year I had a Batman mask and even a batman lunchbox. Dad loved Halloween too and I have great memories of him taking me and my best friend Ginny through haunted houses. In his later years he wore his skeleton costume and passed out candy to neighborhood children. For me, Halloween will always bring memories of my dad.

Shifting into the RV/motorhome lifestyle, one of the things I must do is make sure the decorations fit into our new 2010 Tiffin Allegro bus as we are going on the road fulltime.

Everything in the RV must earn its place, holidays are no exception. We will celebrate holidays on the road, whether visiting family or seeing beautiful spots in the U.S. The challenge while downsizing is to keep decorations that will fit into our newly downsized lifestyle. I have decorated the motorhome for Halloween and here is how she looks all trick-or-treated out.

Captain Jack, my favorite Jack-O-Lantern, thinks he is the captain of this earth-based ship, and we will just let him think that until captain Michael takes over. Then he can duke it out with co-captain Debra for the passenger seat. (I think I can take him. He is more a lover than a fighter, likes hugs and his little sword is not sharp.)

Snoopy, who I love, does the Snoopy dance it you press his foot and sitting with him is his little buddy, named Batty. They are listening to the talking candle flame that lights up.

If you hang around with me you will learn that I love polka dotted things, so I had to have this witch hat with pink polka dots. (Next to Snoopy and Batty.) Yes, there are other polka dotted things in my must keep these things basket. lol

 What is Halloween without a black cat? Since I’m trying to lose weight, I have a tiny trick or treat basket, a miniature Frankenstein’s head. Not sure where the rest of him has wandered off to. Maybe in search of the candy I shouldn’t be eating?

This little spider is stowing away on the motorhome but I am keeping all the other spiders out.

These are the little things that brighten up our new motorhome and make it feel homier to me.  It’s fun sharing them with you. What little things brighten up your Halloween? Are they new things things this year or traditional? If you are in an RV, how do you decorate?

Below are all my links. Soon you will see other posts on my pages as we get on the road. Closing on our house is Nov. 20th so, just 24 days to go! It’s going to be a busy week here but I will still celebrate Halloween. Wishing you a Happy Halloween!

With love,

Debra Parmley, your Beautiful Day Traveler

For Debra’s RV travels follow this blog!  Debra’s Beautiful Day Traveler travel & writing blog https://beautifuldaytraveler.wordpress.com/

RV travel pics will also go up on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/debraparmley/

For videos of Debra’s RV travels follow Debra’s Beautiful Day YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC27hTWse4gLJxTETQw6i7xw/

For more about Debra and her books go to www.debraparmley.com

FB page https://www.facebook.com/debra.parmley.7

FB fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/debraparmley/

FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/authordebraparmley/

To Catch an Elf: Debra Parmley’s Creepy Shelf Elf Group! 12 days of creepy elf party https://www.facebook.com/groups/793115644206381/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/debraparmley/

Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/debra-parmley

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/debraparmley

Newsletter sign up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/w9s9h0

Cover Model Corner blog: https://covermodelcorner.wordpress.com/

Medium where Debra posts articles: https://medium.com/@debraparmley1

Kof-fi page: Where Debra posts her poems: https://ko-fi.com/debraparmley

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Parmley/e/B002BM9H4A%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share