Hippie Van Travels: Camping on St. George Island

Remembering a wonderful stop along our Hippie Van Road Trip — St. George Island in the Florida panhandle!

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A Place To Call Home

Cozumel Caravan

Cozumel Caravan

Sometimes we take the smallest things for granted in life, including ‘life’ itself.  But in the end, if a lesson has been learned, we find that the simpleness of living is priceless.  This is what I’ve come to find since we up-rooted from my hometown of Fort Worth, and relocated to Gulf-Coastal Texas.  It has been a long road to plow (as my dear Mother used to put it), but I find now that our ‘garden’ (the garden that is life) is beginning to come-in quite nicely. 

It all began the day we pulled out of Jamaica Beach RV Resort; happy to be leaving the paved-but-posh confines of the best RV park on Galveston Island.  (Our opinions…and we’re sticking to it!)  I have to admit, our past experiences with campgrounds has left us with a bitter taste for such surroundings.  JBRV would have to be an exception…if you ask me.

Either way, and even though we would miss the hot tub, laundromat, pool…playground, and the charming little Seven Seas Grocery just across the road, we remained hopeful that we’d be well-on-our-way to actually gaining a semi-permanent address on Galveston Island.  The Blessings we’ve been met with since that day have been abundant.  We have been at our island home ever since; being lucky to have a very understanding landlord who knows what it means to start from the bottom and work your way up.  He has become somewhat of a friend since we’ve gotten to know him better. He has also taken Nico under his wing by teaching him a trade that my husband had never-before learned.  It brings to mind a saying I hold close to my thoughts: We never stop learning until we are no more. 

So there we were– we had a place…but not entirely.  Our very understanding landlord had taken a chance on us–renting us a lot, even though I know we appeared a rogue bunch.  We had made a deal that if we could rent the place ‘temporarily’, and set up Camp Peniki, we’d be hard-at-it to find a better-suited living quarters…to keep up appearances mostly, since we’d live in our old Campervan full-time if society allowed.  Had it just been us (Nico and I), we would still be out there…giving in to Wanderlust.  But most vandwelling souls with little n’s find out the hard way–like we have–that we really aren’t free after all when it comes to the way we are ‘allowed’ to live or be. 

So…we had a limited time to find a larger place to put on our really great lot…with a priceless view of the sunset…out over the bayou.  I set to work searching and combing the internet, selling everything we didn’t need in storage to raise the money for our new home.  Two weeks later, with half of our belongings sold and our storage half empty, we were on our way to get our new/old place: a vintage caravan in major need of some love.  Perhaps it was the way I had called and called the man to see if our ‘home’ was still there (I had already claimed it in my mind).  Maybe it was the desperation in my voice (I’ve never been very subtle with my emotions).  I guess I’ll never truly know.  All I do know is that he (the seller) took pity on us and ended up knocking $200 bucks off the price when we showed up with cash-in-hand.  It’s a very good thing too, cause without that extra money…we wouldn’t have made it back to Galveston with our new place. 

I know I’m just one of the numerous folks who believes that Blessings often come in disquise.  This was so true for us when it came to getting our caravan-home…home.   More than 24 hours later we finally pulled into our lot with what would become a full-time remodeling job.  As that day before had gone, we’d suffered a major blow out in Liberty, Texas…right in front of a church, where the pastor had just arrived, on Memorial Day weekend.  Due to the holiday and the late hour, no tire shops were open anywhere near the small town.  The nice preacher man Blessed us with the offering of allowing us to park our travel trailer there…safely in the church parking lot for the evening.  We all headed back to my Mother-in-law’s to stay the night, with hopes that we’d find a place to buy some spare trailer tires on a holiday Sunday.  It’s great to know people when you are in a desperate state to do business when everyone else is on vacation or just off work. 

Thank God we have good family to help us pull heavy things our old VW Van can’t; nice folks who know Nico’s family back in his home town; nice sellers on C List who don’t mind taking less and giving more to a family who was in need of a place to call home.  And even though it has been a steady stream of remodeling our badly damaged and neglected caravan, I can honestly say…”It sure is a great feeling to actually ‘own’ our home.  Bought and paid for; it may be small and not so pretty to some, but to us…it’s perfect! 

It’s all in how you look at things.  From where I’m sitting, this place is really coming around.  I’ll gladly be sharing photos of our remod when the time is right.  I hope it inspires some family…somewhere, to step off the crazy train of keeping up with the Jones’s, and live within (or below) their means.  We are so-very glad we made that leap! 

Blessings your way, from our Vagabond family to yours! 

.V.. (Peace),

GVR    

Crossing Texas In A VW Campervan

Lunching With My Chitlins at Hollywood and Vine in Glen Rose, Texas.

Lunching With My Chitlins at Hollywood and Vine in Glen Rose, Texas.

I guess when you have no where to be at any given time, you lose all track of the hours, days, weeks…months.  That’s pretty much how we had been until we drove back across the Texas state line.  Even if we did enjoy our drive on the biways of Tejas, we realized with each mile we came closer to home, that our journey would soon be ending and we’d once again be back in the rat-race.

Some years back, I finally realized that me and the rat race…don’t mix.  People are always in a hurry, they cut you off; even flip you off at times, and they really have no good reason to race to the finish line.  We’ll all have our day at the finish line.  I’m in no hurry to get there.  Which is why our old girl Peniki is the perfect mode of transportation for our little family.

I swear, that old VW can get around town just fine, but she has to go at her own speed.  Being a classic Volkswagen Westfalia, I’d like to think our van has earned seniority in mileage.  Either way, she got us back home…safe and sound.

So many miles we had traveled, and by the end of the day…we were pulling into Fort Worth.  I could hardly wait to see my kids, even though I was already missing the travel…and the next destination; knowing we’d no longer be spending our nights in Peniki.  I was sad for that.

It wasn’t long after our return that we settled back into the old routine, but our journey was still fresh on our minds.  We knew we would have to go again, but we didn’t know quite when.

Here we are, almost 2 years later, and the wanderlust is swelling up inside of us both, though we realize we have responsibilities and Baby is now older with a mind of her own.  It was so easy when she was in her playpen.  We could set up camp while she played safely in her space.

Now, she wanders everywhere and is like a little octopus with too many hands in too many things.  But, she comes by that honestly.  Nico and I are both exploring spirits with curious minds as well.  And there is still so much more to explore.

*Live The Life You Love*

Sunday Mornings at the Club…

It’s a beautiful Autumn morning here at the Sailing Club; I’ve been walking along the shore admiring all of nature’s bounty in the trees…filled with pinecones just waiting to fall; the shrubs brimming with berries of red…purple…blue. 

I’ve already polished off my first cup o’ joe…and I’m hankering for another.  Little Blanca, our bratty schnauzer, didn’t mind me sharing my cold tamale with her; we both like ’em that way. 

I hear another dog—not qute as content as my little dog laying quietly beside my chair—barking off in the distance…over across the cove.  I feel the breeze brushing my hair, the sun on my face.  I hear the wind rustling the leaves on the half-bare trees, the waves lapping ashore.  And all is right in my world. 

Nico and Baby sleep soundly inside our old camper van, though I know I don’t have much longer to be alone with my thoughts.  I think I hear a rustling inside…baby is now waking.  My morning is fast-turning into day.  I sigh a farewell to peaceful morning. 

Blessings to all this Sunday. 

.V..

 

Key West Road Trip — The Journey Home

{Journal Entry}

DAY 4:

‘Pulled out of St. Joseph’s Peninsula at around 1:30 or so, headed West on Scenic 98 to 71 North.  We’re planning to visit the Southern Tip of Georgia before we head home on El Camino 84 to Texas 287.  That’s the plan anyway.

*Update*

We ended up at a rest stop off of Interstate Highway 65 at 1 AM in the morning.  Ugh!  ‘Drove all night, but we didn’t want to pay the $$$ on a room for just a few hours of sleep.  So…after stopping numerous times at various motels–and trekking out to the ONLY (what seemed like it) National Forest in Alabama, we settle for a nice…much safer, rest stop.  It was the best choice, and one we should’ve made much earlier in the evening. 

*What I Learned*  Sleeping at rest stops isn’t half as bad as I suspected.  Guess it pays to listen to Nico sometimes; as much as I hate to admit it.  lol

The Beaches of St. Joe Peninsula

~ VIDEO ~

 

 

St. Joe Peninsula — Day 3 of Journey Home

{Journal Entry}

‘Pulled out around 11 am and headed North on 301/27/441, we will take 441 N/W when we see it and hopefully hit 98.  *Camped at St. Joe Peninsula last night.  I met a nice Mother-Daughter (Rebecca & Nicole) camping team, set up right beside us in a Classic Serro Scotty Vintage Travel Trailer.  I loved their rig as much as they loved ours!

We sat up ’til way into the early morning….laughing and talking, tossing back a few cold ones, just having girl time.  Lucky for me, Nico is great with Baby….so I kinda had the night off.  Come to find out, they are Florida ladies.  I exchanged emails with Rebecca so we can keep in touch.

*About St. Joe*

Beautiful beach.  Had Fun fun fun!  Watched a show-stopping sunset!  We hope to return someday soon.  Loved the beach and company, though the sites are really close together and very hard to get.  I’d definitely make reservations for out next visit.