Alaska is home, but we aren't there this winter. We've spent the past nine winters in Alaska (and the winter before that in South Dakota). This winter we are traveling, doing the snowbird thing.
"As a long time reader, I have always enjoyed your notes about when and where you travel. I may have missed it, but I am curious about the change this year where you are not spending the winter in Alaska. What was the reason? I think that would be interesting for everyone, if it is not too personal."
We love Alaska in the wintertime. You see a completely different side of Alaska than you do in the summer. Life slows down from the somewhat hurried summer pace. Locals come out of the woodwork. Alaska is absolutely beautiful in the winter -- and cold.
As much as we love living in Alaska, we missed being on the road. Bob has enjoyed having a shop and a permanent home base. I, however, have been antsy. Alaska is huge and we have toured our new home state, seeing much more of it than many native Alaskans ever see. We flew back to the Midwest a couple times to visit family. And, we have taken a couple of fantastic non-RVing trips, courtesy of Watkins, to Mexico and Belize. But, my antsy-ness to return by RV to some of the other places we had been, and to see new places, kept gnawing at me. Bob finally caught hitch-itch, also. So this winter, we are RVing the lower 48.
We also thought it was time to visit family. Bob's mom lives in Fargo, ND. My mother is in South Dakota. They aren't getting any younger. We hadn't seen my sister and brother-in-law for ten years. The last time we saw Bob's sisters and brother was at his dad's funeral. So, this trip is giving us time to visit both mothers. We had a relaxing stay with his sister and her family in North Dakota. His brother and two kids were there, so we got to see them, as well. My sister in Wyoming invited us for Thanksgiving. Bob's sister and her husband live in Corpus Christi, so visiting them in on the agenda for one of our next stops. Visiting family is so much easier when we have an RV with us. We can be close, but still have our own retreat to give everyone some breathing room.
Oh, yes, did I mention that it is cold in Alaska in the winter? That did play a part in our travel plans. In our area of Alaska, temperatures in the 70 degree range are record breaking, even in the summer. I'm looking forward to short sleeves and bare feet in January instead of parkas and insulated winter boots.
The USA has so much to offer! We both really like southern Louisiana with the Cajun people, food, and music. Bob wants to go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico again. We hadn't been to Branson, Missouri, and I was curious to see what all was there. It was just time to return to some favorite places and to explore some new country.
Thanks for asking. I'll be posting more about our trip. We hope you join us as armchair travelers.