We didn't have much going on today.
Walter & Amy were going to have a casual dinner this evening and Linda decided to make some potato salad.
My only real plan was to watch the Louisville vs. Kentucky basketball game and get some exercise.
Once again, we got off track from eating healthy and exercising, so it's time to get that going again. It's been a lifelong pattern for us that we can't seem to break. Perhaps one of these years we'll finally have the discipline to keep it going. :)
There is a really nice park not far from where we are staying, so we rode our bikes over there. We walked and jogged about three miles and it felt good to get some focused exercise on another beautiful day.
I didn't take the camera, but there were ponds with water birds and a couple of alligators. We'll do a wildlife day while we are here as there seems to be lots of opportunities to do some paddling and see manatees and dolphins. Linda saw a few dolphins last night as we drove to visit Lee & Edie.
Once we got back from exercising and got our showers, Linda visited with Walter & Amy while I did the sports thing from my recliner ... and took an afternoon nap. :)
Firecrackers and bottle rockets started popping around us around 6:00. That went on all evening with the biggest round of fireworks I remember being around 11:00. We weren't awake for midnight. :)
As 2011, turns into 2012, we looked back on our year. The other night, Jim asked us about our 2011 highlights.
Of course our trip to Africa was the biggest highlight, but we looked back fondly on our winter in Florida swimming with manatees, our time in the Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp, the time we spent with Lee & Edie in Key Largo when we rented a fishing boat for a week was so much fun - fishing, shrimping in the dark, wildlife watching, etc.
We'll remember the days in Cedar Key with Pat & Cindy and others at the Low-Key Hideaway.
Of course, we love our Rallies and the people we meet. The enthusiasm that the attendees bring makes those events so much fun for us and all who attend. Flooding and threats of flooding at both 2011 Rallies made for some interesting, hand-wringing days, but we were thrilled with the results.
Learning to weigh RVs was memorable in a different way. But we really enjoy the safety and education aspect and the knowledge we've gained and can pass on.
Our time in Maine at Moosehead Lake and hiking the coastline near the town of Lubec was certainly memorable.
And those are just the really big highlights. There are so many more places and people and activities in the span of a year.
Sometimes it seems like we are spending a lot of time "working" and our traveling pace has picked up with the RV weighing. But, just sitting here today recalling everything we've done and going back through photos and Journal entries from the year makes us realize how blessed we are.
I was going to throw in some photos from 2011 in this entry, but it would have taken me hours to narrow it down to just a few. :)
In a year that may not have been as "leisurely" as past years on the road, we have experienced so many wonderful things that we can't remember them all without going back through the photos and Journal entries. In our corporate lives, it was easy to remember the highlights of the year - a vacation week here, a weekend or two there, a business success now and then.
It is really hard to believe that we have been living in an RV for six and a half years. Every day is certainly not 75 degrees and sunny with a fantastic new experience, but it sure is nice having months of outstanding days rather than a couple of weeks of outstanding days each year.
One of the biggest dangers of being in the RV lifestyle for several years is taking it for granted. I suppose that is human nature. So, it does a body good here at the end of the year to stop and reflect. It's reinvigorating to look back on all the things we've done, the places we've been, and the people we've met. And then to take it a step further, we imagine what our lives might be like now if we hadn't taken the chance to go on the road back in 2005. That thought makes me shudder. :)
So, we've taken time to appreciate where we are in our lives here at the end of another calendar year. And with that we will just say: Goodbye 2011 - it was a fantastic ride! :)