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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Birthday and a Milestone

~Friday, March 10, 2023~

Day 1,000 🍾🎉🎊

Today’s a huge milestone. How is it that we’re already at DAY 1,000? And there’s still more to go. Never did we imagine that we would hit this number, since the plan was originally to do this for only one year. But after a year in, still enjoying the RV lifestyle but witnessing the insanity of the housing market, we decided to extend our time and wait for things to calm down. There was no way we were going to be a part of the craziness. Plus, we were fortunate to not be in a rush. Though prices will never come down to what they were before, we hope that we’ve timed it better by playing the waiting game. Overall, we have so much to be thankful for with so much to celebrate in our 24,000 hours of being full-timers. But today, we also celebrate my sister who I am proud to call my best friend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!🥳🎈🎁Tracy, you’re my light in times of need and the first person I want to tell when amazing things happen. And I’ve certainly missed you since being on this road trip. I can’t imagine anyone better than you to fill the sister role. Have a wonderful, relaxing day celebrating you!!

One thing about being at an RV resort in The Keys…..they are busy. And with our “end unit”, it’s not short on entertainment. Today, the morning is bustling with everyone having a variety of missions…….some people heading out for the day with kayaks or boats in tow, dog owners walking their precious pets (some even in their own strollers), and laundry do’ers flocking to the now reopened laundry. Now that one is certainly on our agenda, and a nice facility just steps from our campsite. But it is pricey as everything is in The Keys…….$4.00/load. Luckily they’re high capacity so I can make the most of each load. Even better, they’re new machines so I should be able to get by with only 1 cycle of drying instead of 2.🤞

To begin the day, we had a celebratory breakfast of huervos rancheros, patioside. Scrumptious and so needed since

dinner the night before was only a bowl of cereal. And even though our campsite is 4 rows back from the ocean,

we still have a slight view of it from our vantage point, and does it ever stand out with its brilliant turquoise color.

Following breakfast, Jeff gave me the official tour of the place now that he knows his way around the place (he saw it all last night while I was out grocery shopping). Though the campsites themselves are nothing to write home about, especially being packed in like sardines, it’s the amenities and location of Jolly Roger that makes it so special (I mentioned the details in yesterday’s blog). Once you arrive at the beach area, you truly feel like you’re in paradise.

Hey, we’re only 259 miles from the Bahamas. Side trip anyone? So then we got to thinking more about our next reservation at Hickory Hammock. What if we just skip our 3-day stay at Hickory Hammock all together and stay an extra 3 days here? Yes, we’d be sacrificing free lodging at HH, and yes, it would have been nice to break up the long drive to our next destination of Tampa. But how often are we in utter bliss in The Keys? We marched right over to the office and to our surprise, it was available!

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why they don’t assign campsites before arrival so they have more flexibility in accommodating a lengthier stay. I’m sure they get that request all the time. So now we have 10 days in The Keys!!

With a load of laundry going in the washing machine and Sadie worn out from her run at the dog park, it was pool time. Having a little trouble getting in the gate, I asked this lovely couple, already enjoying their time in the pool, what the trick was in opening the darn thing. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one who thought it challenging. 90 minutes later we knew their life story. Stacy and Ken mostly shared information about their son, Caleb, who is soon to finish high school, already in pursuit of being an EMT pilot. Since he was at a training seminar for the week, mom and dad decided to take a quick 7-day trip to The Keys from their hometown of Tampa. They were intrigued with our story as well since they’ve contemplated being full-timers once Caleb is in college. Hopefully we convinced them. Ken’s worry is that he’d be tagged “homeless” not having a permanent residence where Stacy, alternatively, is SO ready. If they do decide to give the RV life a try more than their occasional weekend getaway, all she’d want in the way of a home is 1,300 square feet tops on a few acres. Hmmm..sounds familiar!

Where did the time go? In order to make the magic sunset hour at the resort’s Tiki Island, we had to say our goodbyes to Ken and Stacy for the time being, but ended up connecting again during the ceremonious conch shell blowing as the sun said its goodbyes. Ken even offered to take a picture of us

with our celebratory bubbly in hand. Hopefully we see them again before our departure. Why is it that everyone is in such a hurry to leave once the sun goes away? Maybe they still have dinner to prepare or they think the excitement is over. But, we know to stick around after “the show” when the magic really begins. The sun sinking on the horizon is just the beginning. The sky continues to vary in color before darkness sets in. And an added bonus for us was being able to hear the live band playing some great Floridian tunes from the Sun Marathon RV Park, next door, and not a bug to be seen! My kind of evening. We enjoyed it so much, we didn’t get back to our campsite until 8:30 which meant a very late dinner. Having already had a bottle of bubbly, we decided it best to eat in with a quick pesto/ravioli dinner thanks to Bertoli. We’ll have plenty of evenings (especially in Key West) to dine out.

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