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Published: March 18th 2012
Full moon over the desert
Most of the trip home was spent behind the wheel, watching the desert go by. The cameras were packed and I didn't want to stop. But at our motel in Palm Springs, CA, a full moon came up and I dug out my trusted Nikon and got this picture. I thought it a fitting way to finish this year's blogs and say goodbye
We've had a great winter here in S. TX. But with the coming of Spring along this beautiful portion of the Gulf Coast, and the realization that we have about 2700 miles to drive to get home, we figured it was time to go. Besides the fact that this is the time that this area becomes over-run with students on Spring Break, the warm weather was making me wish for yet just a touch of winter.
Well, we are home now and we are getting that "touch of winter". The winter's storms have done their damage to the trees around here and I will find my next week or so cleaning up. It's good to be home and it's good to have many great memories and pictures of a fun winter.
And now for the summery. Like I did for Snowbirding 101 (last year's travel blog), I will again try to summarize the facts and feelings related to this year's travels. Some of you may be considering doing something like we have done last year, or this year. Here goes:
OBSERVATIONS AND DATA FROM OUR "CLASS" – SNOWBIRDING 102 or WINTER TEXANS 102
Data from trip
• 9935.3 total miles; 32.1 MPG; 18 weeks (to the day) gone from home
• We enjoyed our trip very much. We approached it as a college class. I logged all data regularly on my Excel spread sheet. We analyzed every aspect of what we did. Here is what we came up with.
• We found that our hypothesis from last year's summary and conclusion was accurate. (refer to last year's link http://jcsc.travellerspoint.com/
). We could do our winter's trips w/o an RV just as cheaply as w/ an RV (this year's cost was $.41/day less than last year's). We traveled (check photos in blogs) with a 2011 Toyota Corolla and a rooftop carrier....all FULLY packed. We stayed in motels or extended stay type motels while traveling, and a condo for 2 months. We were careful as we chose our lodging so as to not spend excessively.
• I found that I enjoyed driving a smaller unit much better than driving/pulling what I had last winter. And Susie enjoyed not living in a trailer for the winter. By the way, I sold last year's trailer when I got home last year and bought a new, smaller one that we will use around the NW for spring, summer, fall shorter trips. I will always be a camper/RVer until I die. But it's getting more, and more expensive to RV for any distance. So inspite of the downside of the way we traveled this year (#4), I suspect this is the way we will travel for the winters.
• But nothing is perfect. We found that there were things that were not as good as last year. It was not as convenient. We had to move in each time we stopped = lots of excercise for me. There was seldom a "just right" motel room. Cigarette smoke travels between rooms....uggggg. And then there is noise from adjoining rooms, etc.
• And relating to the 2 month stay at a condo (Corpus Christi), I found that 2 months is too long for me. One month is more than enough time for me to have checked out everything within 20 miles or so. I'm the kinda guy that gets tired of the same place/stuff all the time. I need a change, and move on.
• We have learned that if we excercised certain financial planning and constraints, we could afford our dream as easily as staying home.
• We loved seeing and learning about all the areas we visited. Many of the places we want to go back to and spend more time. Oh, yea, I had plenty of photo ops too…..took 22,800 pictures……now for the editing!
• And finally, yes, we plan to do it again next winter. But we don't know where (we've talked of Florida; maybe Hawaii....but that's a long, wet drive). What we did both year's worked well at basically the same cost. We have a while to figure it out..........any ideas? Email address below.
I hope you have enjoyed this vicarious snowbirding adventure that I have led you on this winter. I've read and appreciated each and every comment you have made on my blog. It has made all my efforts worthwhile. I also have enjoyed your ideas of which pictures you like the most. If you want to comment, you can do so at my personal email account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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