‘Twas a rolling feast!
We pureed pumpkins near the Mexican border, got stuffed with turkey near the Canadian border, and baked cookies for Santa after a return trip south.
But that’s what happens when ya roll from a SoCal Halloween, to a PNW Thanksgiving, to a desert Christmas.
Yes, it would have made far more sense to just stay in the southwest for the duration, but then we would have missed out on Thanksgiving with family (hadn’t seen our older boy and his girl for more than a year), and that was important enough to us to make the schlep back and forth through the brrrrr.
Escondido, CA, Oct 1 – Nov 4: What an orange blur October was. Our workamping experience at Pumpkin Station really deserved a blog post of its own, but I just didn’t get there. The quick facts:
- We worked 10-11 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the entire month.
- Service industry employment was basically new territory, since neither of us had worked directly with customers since college days. Quite a learning curve, that.
- Although our job title was Assistant Managers, we really had our hands in all kinds of tasks necessary to keep the business running: hay rides, tours, petting zoo, sales, stocking, cleaning, decorating, phone calls, hiring, scheduling and more.
- Our compensation included a salary and W/E hookups on-site with regularly scheduled tank pump-outs.
- Errands like laundry and grocery shopping meant late nights out after the work day was done, since we didn’t have weekends off.
- And that meant we used very little fuel and spent very little money during the month we were bound to the farm. Another bonus? Free home grown pumpkins after we closed for the season. I didn’t have to buy a single can of Libby’s for my holiday baking!
- It was both exhausting and rewarding, and we haven’t ruled out a return in 2020.
Las Vegas, NV, and Savannah, GA, Nov 4 -12: So what did we do to decompress after a month of working together day in and day out? We took separate vacations!
Tim held down the fort in the Las Vegas area (and even moved the fort successfully from one site to another without me) while I flew to Savannah, GA, to join the girls for our 25th annual gathering, which we call FriendFest.
The ten of us met when our husbands were serving as naval officers aboard the same ship in the 1990’s, and we’ve gone on our own “deployment” every year since 1995. We eat until our pants are tight, drink until we stumble, laugh until we pee, and we’re gonna keep doing it until we can’t keep doing it anymore.
Port Townsend, WA, Nov 14 – Dec 2: Although heading north in the winter is not our favorite thing, we do it to spend time with people who are some of our favorites. Fun fact: This trip made it so that we hit all four corner states in a single calendar year. Bam!
Southern AZ, Dec 7-31: We had no specific destination in mind upon leaving WA, so our goal was to head south until we could stand outside without coats on.
Where to next? Our experience at the August Escapees Hangout in Maine was so rewarding that we’ve signed up for two more in early 2020.
In mid-January, we’ll join a team of RVing volunteers in New Mexico at the Escapees Carlsbad Caverns Cleanup Hangout. Per the event description, we will “help the National Park Service preserve the wondrous formations of Carlsbad Caverns. On Monday through Friday of this Hangout, we will spend 4-5 hours each day underground, deep inside the heavily-visited parts of the caverns, cleaning lint and other debris from the formations.”
And to keep life in balance after our work time, we will then go spend part of February at play, at the Escapees Baja Mexico Hangout, with toes in sand, margaritas and tacos in hand.
¡Con sueños de la playa, hasta la próxima!
We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.