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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

A Dear Friend & a Calendar

~Saturday, March 4, 2023~

Day 994

Happy Birthday to my dearest, most amazing friend Michelle. We’ve been through so much together over the years and know our friendship is a special bond that can never be broken no matter the distance. I just wish I was there to give you a birthday hug, as opposed to a phone call which I guess will have to suffice. Ironically, this photo was taken on MY last birthday during Jeff’s and my last visit to California in October. So I definitely owe you one girlfriend! Have a wonderful day celebrating the special woman you are and hope all your wishes come true, looking to the future!

These last 6 days in The Everglades without one day of exploring, seems a bit strange, unless you call a drive to pick up your favorite fruit milkshake from a local roadside stand, an adventure. Anything to help combat the heat. Having a more leisurely pace this week is probably a good thing since we have a heavy agenda for the remainder of our time here in Florida.

One goal we had this week was locking in our campground reservations for North Carolina. We end our time in Florida in mid-April, heading directly to Beaufort, South Carolina, where we’ll meet up with our RV friends, the Alonzi’s and the Bacher’s whom we met at our boondocking spot in Sedona, AZ, back in 2021. Being that they already have their reservations through a Thousand Trails campground, we followed their lead, snagging a campsite in close proximity to theirs. It will be great to spend 3 days together hanging out and touring the Charleston/Savannah areas. Continuing our short visit in South Carolina, we’ll stay at a Harvest Host brewery for 1 night, hoping to end up the following day in Asheville, N.C. We scored on booking 2 of our desired campgrounds in the Asheville area, allowing us a concentrated chunk of time to meet with real estate agents and really “sink our teeth” into Asheville and its satellite communities that have intrigued us for so long. The last time we visited, it was only a week’s stay. Amazing how the short time we spent there made such an impression on us. If we don’t find a property in that timeframe, we’ll either store the trailer, or drop it off with Dexter for axle repairs while we drive to Illinois to spend a month with Hannah, Devin and the grandkids. If a fantastic property comes up while we’re in Illinois, we’ll be within a day’s drive to check it out. If we’re not homeowner’s by then, we’ll make our way back to the states that interest us. We’re hoping by the end of summer 2023, we’ll be in new digs, preferably with a property big enough to store Billie Jean.

Choosing my nice, shady spot under our trusty awnings with an ice-cold beverage in hand, I enjoyed a lengthy, way overdue phone conversation with my dear friend Karena (I think my Iphone said 2 hours 😳❤️). On my last visit to California, I had every intention for us to spend more time together other than the 1 lovely dinner invitation I had at her charming abode. But with my preoccupation of getting things ready for my mom’s move, it just didn’t work out. So here we are, catching up on an abundance of things since November. Where do you begin, right? Kids, travel, hearing all about the goings on in Napa, talking about our shared interests of gardening and cooking, etc. So great to hear that she’s continuing to find so much joy from playing pickleball, keeping her body and mind in tip-top shape. Did you know that it’s the fastest growing sport in the country, particularly for retirees. In addition to the exercise benefits, the cornerstone to the sport is the socialization aspect. She’s met so many wonderful people through the sport. Then I got to thinking how important it is for all of us to have connections with people, especially the older we get. In my opinion, it’s vital to our overall health; we are social beings after all. So naturally, this makes me reflect a little bit on how this “road life” affects us in that way. Yes, it’s full of exciting moments, but at the same time, can be quite lonely. Being away from our life-long friends and family on an on-going basis hasn’t been easy. Maybe that’s why we seek out new relationships on the road, filling a void so to speak. As most of you know, meeting new people is not a challenge for me. In fact, I know most people’s whole life story in about 5 minutes. But seriously, even if it’s a simple “hello”, or even just a small form of interaction, it keeps me happy. Jeff is also pretty social though a little more reserved than I, which is one of the many reasons we balance each other quite well. Opposites do attract, right?

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