We are still working on our YouTube channel and social media presence through Instagram and Facebook with the hopes of having everything up and running by May 1. We’ve had a lot to learn! With the help of our great coach, Dr. Gena Lester, of RedesigningYourPurpose (onYouTube) I think we’ll make it. Our channel is called Escaping Normal RV.

As we travel about in our motorhome, we’ve been able to volunteer at Christian non-profits through the SOWER ministry https://sowerministry.org/, visit some amazing places, some unique places, aka “Roadside Oddities”, make some new friends, meet up with some long term friends, and have some quality conversations as we travel together from one location to another. To break up the drive time, we both drive the motorhome and plan to go no more than 300 miles per day.

Just this year, so far, we’ve put 1,122 miles on the motorhome. We worked a SOWER project at Realife, Vero Beach, FL https://realife.org/ in December. It was a great project, a great ministry and a great staff.

Mid-December we left there and spent Christmas break with our younger son, Adam, our daughter-in-law, Rebekah, and our grandson, Caleb. We met in Titusville at an RV resort there and spent 2 days exploring NASA at Cape Canaveral.

From there, Dave and I went to Port Richey, Florida to Ja-Mar R V Park. The park was booked full primarily with Snow Birds so we could only stay a week. The park was OK but we were a little disappointed in that neither the hot tub nor the heated pool was available due to maintenance issues and the Wifi was only available in a couple spots in the park.

While there we made a day trip over to Tarpon Springs, Florida and learned a lot about the sponge industry. Who knew the Gulf of Mexico is a prime location for harvesting sponges of several different types?!

In the early 1900’s Tarpon Springs was fully established as the Sponge Capital in Florida. At the time, there were over 500 Greek Sponge divers working no less than 50 boats. We watched a film about harvesting sponges and were told that the divers immigrated from Greece when they discovered the abundance of sponges in the Gulf of Mexico. Many ships and divers are still active today. And, as we left there we purchased a small Caribbean sponge. There are many different shops to visit, AND, if you love Greek food this is the place to go.

New Year’s Eve Day we went over to a cute little restaurant on the water in Hudson, Florida. The weather was a little dreary and the restaurant was closing early for New Year’s Eve, but we had a nice waterfront dinner and watched the fishing boats go in and out. The waterfront was picturesque and relaxing.

We had to leave the Port Richey R V park on New Year’s Day since our spot was booked for someone arriving that day. This was OK with us since we were able to move to our next SOWER project – Sherry White Ministries in Wauchula, Florida http://www.sherrywhiteministries.com. Sherry White Ministries funds Lydia’s House. Lydia’s House is a Christian Home Program where hurting women will be saved, delivered, and freed from destructive lifestyles through God’s transforming power. It’s an amazing ministry.

One day we went to the TECO Manatee viewing center in Tampa https://www.florida-guidebook.com/manatee-viewing-center-tampa/. The manatees come in from the Gulf waters near the power plant where the viewing area was created and we got some great pictures. See below.

Thanks to Facebook, we found that some long term Ohio friends were in Sarasota (not too far from Wauchula) so we met up with them and had a great lunch together at the Linger Lodge https://www.lingerlodge.com

One of my sisters lives in Florida. We got to meet up with her and her husband and spend an enjoyable day with them.

We’ve wanted to go to the RV Supershow in Tampa for several years and we happened to be close enough this year. We purchased a 2 day ticket and so that we didn’t have to drive back and forth to Wauchula, we rented an Airbnb in Tampa. Between all the RVs to look at, the seminars, the vendors, and the entertainment we enjoyed it so much we plan to go back again next year. There were hundreds of RVs there of all sizes. We didn’t get very many pictures, but we got these two of these “teeny tiny trailers”.

When it was time to leave Sherry White Ministries, we headed up to Live Oak Florida to the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch Sower project. February is always when they have their Open House/Homecoming Weekend. We helped prepare for that, met up with some staff that we formerly worked with, spent time with one of the boys that we still know. At the end of the project we were able to stay and enjoy the horse competitions.

Camp Baldwin in Elberta Alabama is another SOWER project and we spent March and April there. SOWERS helped with maintenance issues and updates preparing the camp for their summer campers. Over the weekends while we were there, they had a couple retreat groups there so we helped prepare for them as well. SOWER projects are scheduled as month long projects. SOWERS spend three weeks working on a project and the last week of the month can be spent traveling to the next project, touring the area or just relaxing at your R V.

In about five days from now, we will be taking the week traveling to and SOWER project in the Asheville North Carolina area. We will be stopping at an R V park in Northern Alabama for two days and another couple days in Bristol Tennessee before we get there. We have another son and daughter in law in North Carolina along with our three granddaughters. We are looking forward to spending time with them for the next couple months.

So, that ‘s pretty much it on our updates for the first few months on 2023. As the year goes on, we’ll be sharing on this blog, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

We would love to hear about you. Where do you like to go? What do you like to do? Do you travel in an R V? Tell us about you in the comments.

Until the next time…