Whether traveling around the world or around the block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness on our journey , so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Lady Traveler Fever

Lake Michigan @ Silver Lake Park sand dunes 2016

Anything, everything, little or big
becomes an adventure
when the right person shares it.

I'm sitting in my living room, sipping water and taking my morning vitamins,
daydreaming of our past road trips, 
and planning for our next big road trip to California.
Rob walks in from our screened porch and notices that familiar look on my face.
"Where are you now? Here? Myrtle Beach? Lake Michigan? California?"
"All of the above. I feel that vagabond spirit coming over me."
"And I can see it. I have an idea.
Why don't we go to Dreyer Island next week for a few days?"
Yes!

Upon returning home a few weeks ago, we decided to stay home for the summer.
The decision sounded good at the moment.
Traveling in our home-on-wheels three weeks after my knee replacement surgery
was the perfect Physical Therapy for me.
But now, the thought of lounging around our home for two months,
sitting in our screened porch in the evenings 
while thunder storms surround us.
Ahh, nothing could be finah
than to be in Carolina...

Daydreaming in Springfield, Missouri 2015
Shawn Watson Photography

That lasted until mid-July.
Hot July. Hotter August on the way.

Now we shall pack a few items,
and off we'll go,
just an hour north on Lake Murray,
to Dreyer Island.

Everywhere I go people say to me,
"I wish I could travel like you."
Last week at a writers conference
I met a woman face-to-face that 
friended me on Facebook.
Smiling, she told me,
"When I grow up I want to be just like you."
Smiling, I simply answered,
"We never know where our journey will take us.
We must learn to be happy right where we are.
We must be happy with who we are.
Then we can enjoy our journey
wherever it takes us."

Dreaming of Myrtle Beach, SC
God has given each of us a unique journey.
Through good times and challenges
your journey will change you, and will influence those around you,
even those you have never met face-to-face.

Always take a moment to encourage those who seem lost,
or someone who just might need a hug.

Now Popcorn must take me for my morning walk,
which is part of my PT.

I wish you oceans of cool summer blessings!

Share each other's burdens,
and in this way
obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lady Leaf is Traveling the USA to Lake Michigan and Other Delightful Destinations, Part 2

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lighthouse at Silver Lake, Michigan
Before leaving Decatur, Indiana, our new 'rally friends' suggested that,
instead of heading east to West Virginia as we had planned,
we should travel north to Lake Michigan.
Rob looked at me, and I asked,
"Why not?"

So away we go!
Lake Michigan, here we come,
crossing yet another state line
--Indiana to Michigan--
The countryside is beautiful,
green farmland as far as these eyes can see.
I'm so glad to be traveling through
this part of the USA for the first time.

The driving has been easy on the highways and interstates
for our 40-foot RV plus towing our Ford Escape.
There have been a few areas where
'road work in progress' has caused lanes to narrow.
That is when we take a deep breath, slow down, and look straight ahead.
This procedure has worked every time.

We arrive at Silver Lake State Park in late afternoon,
get settled, admire the large sand dunes,
then drive over to the lighthouse near sunset.
Hungry? Yes.
And we love to try new places along the way.

Typical Mom and Pop place. I enjoyed a Monte Cristo Sandwich and freshly brewed coffee.
But we also enjoy eating at home in our home-on-wheels.
Breakfast almost ready
The next day we drove our Escape north to several towns,
including Manistee Beach and a nearby charming Victorian village.
Manistee Beach, near Lake Michigan
Meanwhile, back at the campsite:
Popcorn is a real trooper
Popcorn: "Can I go for a boat ride too?"
Several nights later, a fierce thunderstorm and heavy winds
came off Lake Michigan.
The tenters broke camp; we were planning on leaving anyway.
When traveling, you never know what the weather is going to bring.
Sun, clouds, rain, hail, tornados, hurricanes, flooding ...
That's where your trust in the Lord comes in,
and continuous watching of local weather reports.
After the storm, fog rolling in from Lake Michigan.
Time to go.
On the road again ...
Heading to Wheeling, West Virginia via the Ohio Turnpike.
(Total cost: $25.00)
We stayed the night ... yes, at a Super Walmart in Macedonia, OH,
a Cleveland suburb.
More shopping and people watching.

The next day we crossed the border to West Virginia,
arriving at our destination, Wheeling, WV.
As planned, we stayed in the RV section of the beautiful Cabela's.
My Robinski in Cabela's, Wheeling, West Virginia
Eight years ago after moving from southern California to South Carolina,
I worked for Books-A-Million.
Did I tell you that I had always wanted to work in a book store?
I traveled here with an awesome gal, Jacqui Lee.
Part of her job description is opening new BAM's across the country
and I was honored to travel with her on several trips.
Our nicknames were Thelma and Louise (smile).
Since I had never been to these northern states,
I was thrilled to either fly or drive
to these various cities.
"I want to bring Rob to Wheeling some day," I said to Jacqui.
God heard,
So here we are, eight years later, in Wheeling.
Boy, has this town grown!
Many stores now surround Books-A-Million.
Me standing in front of BAM in Wheeling, WV 2016
Later, Rob and I drove downtown for dinner at the restaurant where
Jacqui and I ate eight years ago.
Nice memories. Now, new memories.

Wheeling Artisan Center and Restaurant
Me and my cane
Every leg of a road trip is exciting for me for many reasons.
New state.  New scenery.  New people.  New experiences.

After departing Wheeling and staying at our last
Super Walmart of this trip in Mount Airy--home of Mayberry,
we glamped at Tanglewood Park for a few days, near Winston-Salem, NC.
We stayed here last month on our way home from Myrtle Beach, SC and
we wanted to stop here again to visit our daughter, Carrie.
Like I said, traveling is all about the people you meet along the way.
Relaxing at Tanglewood Park before daughter Carrie arrives
I love beauty.
Beauty comes in different packages.
Scenery.  Fabrics.  Art. Animals.  Music.  People.
I try to look for the beauty in all things, big and small.
My greatest beauty is my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
My second greatest beauty is the love of my family and friends.
Everything else falls into place.

This has been a long blog but I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures of
Lady Traveler, the 70-year-old almost-famous author.

Here's wishing you oceans of summer traveling blessings, whether near or far.

I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for 
Your truth and Your wisdom.
Psalm 119:45  the Message

Lady traveling the USA to Lake Michigan and Other Delightful Destinations, Part 2

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lighthouse at Silver Lake, Michigan
Before leaving Decatur, our new 'rally friends' suggested that,
instead of heading east to West Virginia as we had planned,
we should travel north to Lake Michigan.
Rob looked at me, and I asked,
"Why not?"

So away we go!
Lake Michigan, here we come,
crossing yet another state line
--Indiana to Michigan--
The countryside is beautiful,
green farmland as far as these eyes can see.
I'm so glad to be traveling through
this part of the USA for the first time.

The driving has been easy on the highways and interstates
for our 40-foot RV plus towing the Ford Escape.
There have been a few areas where
'road work in progress' has caused lanes to narrow.
That is when we take a deep breath, slow down, and look straight ahead.
This procedure has worked every time.

We arrive at Silver Lake State Park in late afternoon,
get settled, admire the large sand dunes,
then drive over to the lighthouse near sunset.
Hungry? Yes.
And we love to try new places along the way.

Typical Mom and Pop place. I enjoyed my Monte Cristo Sandwich and coffee.
But we also enjoy eating at home.
Breakfast almost ready
The next day we drove our Escape north to several towns,
including Manistee Beach and a nearby charming Victorian village.
Manistee Beach, near Lake Michigan
Meanwhile, back at the campsite:
Popcorn is a real trooper
Popcorn: "Can I go for a boat ride too?"
Several nights later, a fierce thunderstorm and heavy winds
came off Lake Michigan.
The tenters broke camp; we were planning on leaving anyway.
When traveling, you never know what the weather is going to bring.
Sun, clouds, rain, hail, tornados, hurricanes, flooding ...
That's where your trust in the Lord comes in.
After the storm, fog coming in from Lake Michigan.
Time to go.
On the road again ...
Heading to Wheeling, West Virginia via the Ohio Turnpike.
(Cost: $25.00)
We stayed the night ... yes, at a Super Walmart in Macedonia, OH,
a Cleveland, OH suburb.
More shopping and people watching.

The next day we crossed the border to West Virginia,
arriving at our destination, Wheeling, WV.
As planned, we stayed in the RV section of the beautiful Cabela's.
My Robinski in Cabela's, Wheeling, West Virginia
Eight years ago after moving from southern California to South Carolina,
I worked for Books-A-Million.
Did I tell you that I had always wanted to work in a book store?
I traveled here with an awesome gal, Jacqui Lee.
Part of her job description opening new BAM's across the country
and I was honored to travel with her on several trips.
Our nicknames were Thelma and Louise (smile).
Since I had never been to these northern states,
I was thrilled beyond measure to either fly or drive
to these various cities.
"I want to bring Rob to Wheeling some day," I said to myself.
God heard,
So here we are, eight years later, in Wheeling.
Boy, has this town grown!
Many stores now surround Books-A-Million.
Me standing in front of BAM in Wheeling, WV 2016
Later, Rob and I drove downtown for dinner at the restaurant where
Jacqui and I ate eight years ago.
Nice memories. Now, new memories.

Wheeling Artisan Center and Restaurant
Me and my cane
Every leg of a trip is exciting for me for many reasons.
New state.  New scenery.  New people.  New experiences.

After departing Wheeling and staying at our last
Super Walmart of this trip in Mount Airy--home of Mayberry,
we glamped at Tanglewood Park for a few days, near Winston-Salem, NC.
We stayed here last month on our way home from Myrtle Beach, SC and
we wanted to stop here again to visit our daughter, Carrie.
Like I said, traveling is all about the people you meet along the way.
Relaxing at Tanglewood Park before daughter Carrie arrives
I love beauty.
Beauty comes in different packages.
Scenery.  Fabrics.  Art.  Animals. Music.  People...
I try to look for the beauty in all things, big and small.
My greatest beauty is my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
My second greatest beauty is the love of my family and friends.
Everything else falls into place.

This has been a long blog but I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures of
Lady Traveler, the 70-year-old almost-famous author.

Here's wishing you oceans of summer traveling blessings, whether near or far.

I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for 
Your truth and Your wisdom.
Psalm 119:45  the Message

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lady is traveling the USA--North to Indiana and Other Delightful Destinations, Part 1

I'll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for 
Your truth and Your wisdom.
Psalm 119:45 the Message

One of many cities we traveled through on our recent road trip

I started out trying to blog once a week.
Didn't work.
How about every other week?
Nope.
So I'm shooting for once a month.
I'm trying.
Okay, now that's over ...
lets hit the road!

We left June 4th.  Our destination:  a Fleetwood RV rally in Decatur, Indiana.

We are considered RVNewbies since we just bought our
40' American Tradition in January ... almost on a whim.
We blame it God for dropping this 2004 beauty in our laps.

After three jaunts to a few local favorite places in our home state of South Carolina
--Myrtle Beach, Hunting Island, Dreyer Island--
we decided to take it a step further.
After all, we're considered 'glampers' now, so here we go ...

After hours of traveling through the beautiful Appalachian Mountains,
we spent the first night at a Super Walmart just north of Knoxville, Tennessee,
the town where my Daddy was born.
(We have decided to drive no more than five hours a day,
stopping at rest strops for lunch, walks, and short naps.
Lovely, and fun!)

We loved driving through green Kentucky where
horses--and bourbon--abound.
Again, we stayed at another fun-friendly Super Walmart
where we shop for food and necessities.
Note: If you want an entertaining evening of 'people-watching',
then you must plan to stop at a Super Walmart.
Another Note: Always call Walmart before you arrive to make sure they allow RV overnighters
because each state varies.

The next day we crossed the state line to Ohio
where we spent the afternoon and night
at a nice KOA in Wapakoneta, Ohio.
(you might have to get your map out for this one)
The pool was just what my bionic knee needed.
Nine weeks after my knee replacement surgery,
I'm still in pain and swollen and I'm still learning to pace myself.
I use my magic walking cane, when needed,
and lots of prayer, always.

My first swim since my April knee replacement surgery...feels so good!

The next morning we were ready to hit the road to our destination,
The Fleetwood Rally in Decatur, Indiana,
but first we had to cross the Ohio/Indiana state line.
It's always fun to cross state lines.
I took lots of videos, which I shall post when I figure out how to do it.

The Fleetwood Rally... 200+ of these big beautiful babies!

Berne, Indiana is a lovely Amish town near Decatur
that was founded in 1820 by a large group from Switzerland.
Berne, IN reminds us of Solvang, CA

The 'rowdy rally ladies' loaded into two buses for Fort Wayne IN for
afternoon tea at a beautiful downtown museum and gardens.
Away we go to Fort Wayne!

Butterflies galore among the gardens

That evening there was wine tasting on Main Street,
all from the local farmers.
(they have to have something to do in their off-season)
Afternoon tea and evening wine...ya can't beat that.
YUM!

Decatur is a lovely artsy town.
Main Street is scattered with various art work
from the locals. 



Y'all know how I love to travel.
We have met some brave and adventurous people
who are full-time RVers.
I admit that I'm often tempted to throw all cares to the wind,
sell everything, and take off to places unknown.
But so far I have come back to my senses and I smile big
as we slowly pull into our posh neighborhood.
On a golf course, I might add. But we don't golf.
And we don't live in one of those posh houses.
We fell in love with one of those cozy brick patio homes that overlooks a pond
filled with fish,
and deer grazing just before dawn.

I sigh as we continue to drive down to the end of our street
(which happens to be a convenient culdesac for us to load and unload our 40-foot coach)
and pull into our somewhat snug driveway.

Ahh, home sweet home.
So that's why we are not 'full-timers' ... yet.

My new friend!
Yes, we travel to beautiful places across the USA
but my favorite part is meeting all of the
beautiful people along the way.
I love listening to their stories,
then sharing mine for anyone who will listen.
When I corner them long enough,
(one of my famous marketing skills)
they want to buy my book
LADY and the SEA*.


Next time in Part 2, we'll travel north to Lake Michigan,
south to Wheeling, West Virginia,
Winston-Salem, NC and more,
so stay tuned.
Until then,

I wish you oceans of safe travels!


God invites you to vacation in His splendor.
He invites you to feel the touch of His hand.
He invites you to feast at His table.
He wants to spend time with you.

*To order LADY and the SEA, go to: www.sharonleaf.com