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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The SAD Gazette

Craigs parents, Thelma and Bill, listen to us as we sit around the table, drinking coffee and telling stories about our travels. They know most of the stories, since we do include the majority of them in our blog. They've printed out each entry that we make in our blog. This has spawned a new idea for Bill. He has decided to write his own blog. It's called "The SAD Gazette".

Yes, The SAD Gazette was born today. What does SAD stand for? You'll have to go and see....and yes, it's quite comical. At least the title is. Bill follows the political processes of the world. But he says that the blog will not always be political. Today Egypt, then tomorrow it could be about his beloved dog, Ladybug. Or, he may delve into "other" things.

So here is where we would like to include our disclaimer. CraigNKarin do not share the same opinions and views as those that may be expressed on The SAD Gazette. This may include, but is not limited to: conspiracy theories, men in black, ufo's, a new world order, bigfoot or any other "Archie Bunker" style rants. Feel free to leave a comment on his blog. Address it to Bill, or if he really got to ya, you can address him as Willie.

We wish him the best of luck in his new venture. You go, Willie! By the way, Craig had no input to this blog...it was all Karin's idea.  :)


   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crapple

Hello everyone, it's Craig that will be writing the blog today. Usually Karin and I both put together our thoughts and then share them with you. Today, Karin is working hard on our other computer, the Crapple...er, I mean Apple.
I must say that I am a bit jealous when it comes to the Apple. Karin and I are truly in love with each other. But if Steve Jobs (co-founder and CEO of Apple) were to ever become available on the dating market, I could be in big trouble!

While Karin is in front of the Apple, pulling out her hair and swearing like a sailor, I'll bring you up-to-date on our travels.

We drove into Edenton yesterday and visited the library. Karin is an expert on genealogy and wanted to see if one branch of her family tree is possibly connected to this area of North Carolina. She won't admit to her expertise, but that's just the way that I see it. Anyway, as we pulled up the the library, the water was as smooth as glass. Edenton sits along the water of Edenton Bay, which connects the Chowan River to the Albemarle Sound. It was beautiful, but wouldn't you know it, I forgot the camera. So the next time we head there, I'll make sure and take some pictures for you.

Edenton is a beautiful little town. Revolutionary war cannons still line the waterfront. Cypress trees are seen throughout the bay. Edenton was established as the first colonial capitol of North Carolina in 1728. Many 1700 and 1800 historical homes are still standing and can be toured. By the way, the 1774 Edenton Tea Party is recognized as the first political action taken by women.

There was a major motion picture filmed here several years ago. The title of it is Dog Days of Summer, starring Will Patton. I'm not sure if it ever made it to the big screen, but it is available on DVD. My Father was an extra in the movie. You can see him several times, wandering down streets and in parks. He even makes a cameo appearance near the end of the movie, opening the door and being the first to enter a building. The movie was just ok, but if you are a Will Patton fan, Then you'll enjoy his character "Eli Cottonmouth".

By the way, Karin does some writing concerning finances, genealogy and other tidbits. If you'd like to read them, here are the links:

Simple Nomad
The Wiedeman-Fillebeck Family History
Make Your Money Matter


Whoops!!! I have to run! Karin has the window open and now she's trying to shove the Apple through it!! C'mon honey, it'll be ok.

I don't think I have to worry about Steve Jobs right now. :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Due To Popular Demand...another Blog???




Rut Row. We've created a monster!

Let us explain.
Josh and Maynii

Our last blog, titled "Living and Traveling on Minimum Wage", was a huge hit! We were definitely not expecting that kind of response. We received so many emails. The emails ranged from "let us take you to dinner" and "you must tell us more", to a little bit of "you're full of it" and "yer a couple of socialistic sex-crazed migrant workers". Huh?

Here's an example of how crazy this week has been. Our blog is a year old. Up until last week, we had about 900 visits over that year, mostly from friends and family following along. In the last week, since making our last blog entry, we've had nearly 1000 visits!

So....here is what we decided to do. We have created another blog: http://liveandtravelonminimumwage.blogspot.com/
This is where we will talk about how we live the lifestyle that we do. We'll share how we make money on the road. It's not all minimum wage....sometimes it even less than that :)
We want to keep this blog as our travel blog. Pictures, stories (sometimes embarrassing ones), where we are at and where we are going to. There will be a link on each blog to the other one.

Right now, we sit in Edenton, NC. It's been a little cold here, but we can handle it. We thought about heading south, but it's been cold down there also. And, it's hard to pass up the free facilities here. Many thanks to Craig's Mom and Dad, and their neighbors, Carolyn and Lloyd. Also many thanks to Josh for the wireless router. You rock!
We plan on seeing some local sites while we are here. We also have some minor repairs to make on the travel trailer and truck. Where to next? We're not sure. We have applications in places as far south as Florida, as far north as Ohio and a few local ones here.

Life is good. We are not in a hurry.

Here's something that Craig's Dad shared with us. In the year 2011, there are some unique dates: 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11 and 11/11/11. Also try this: take the last 2 digits from the year you were born and add those to the age you'll be in 2011. Those numbers will always total 111. Cya!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Live and Travel on Minimum Wage


We can already hear the responses to our title.....

"No way"!

"You've got to be kidding".

"Ha Ha...dream on".

But, if your response is.....

"How"?

Then read on. We are doing it. We are coming up to our one year anniversary of travel and leaving behind those stressful careers and horrendous commutes. We are living just about debt free. We've traveled through 17 states along our journey. Are we frugal? Absolutely! Do we get to see and do what we want, whenever we want to? Again, absolutely! Are we retired? Nope, not even close. We have about 15 years (or more) to go before retirement. There are many retirees out on the road, but we're also seeing quite a few "youngsters" out here too. Did we go out and buy a brand new RV? No way. Our 26' travel trailer is 10 years old, yet it is in wonderful shape. We pull it with our 2004 Dodge Durango.

The jobs that we take (when we want to) are mostly minimum wage. Some jobs pay a little more than that. Some include a campsite with all the amenities, electric, water, sewer, WiFi and maybe even cable TV. So we work for a few months, then take a few months off. We have seen so many places in such a short amount of time. And the journey has only just begun.

We've received so many emails asking us questions about our lifestyle. We've thought about writing a book, but we are just having too much fun traveling in our RV! Maybe we will write a book down the road...who knows. But what we'd like to do now is share with you two of the travel and RV resources that we have used to get us to this point in our lives. These resources are in e-book format. To write, or blog about these e-books would take a very long time. We will just include a quick summary concerning each particular resource.

First, and deservedly so, is a wonderful e-book written by Jason and Kelly Odom. This is the e-book that helped us "look outside the box". Here it is:
Vanabode™ - how to happily camp, travel and live forever on $20 a day

Next: Well, we are traveling in a RV. With no experience with one whatsoever, we did purchase a couple of books from RV expert Mark Polk. We are so glad that we did! Here is a list of several books/ DVDs:
RV Education 101

If you haven't traveled along with us and are new to this blog, then follow us from the beginning at: CraigNKarin.blogspot.com
There you can see how it all began, check out some great photos and read about some funny situations that we've found ourselves in.

We'd like to thank everyone that reads along. For those of you that would love to "get your wheels on the road", then come on! And if you truly want to know "how"......then check out those e-books.






Sunday, January 9, 2011

A New Year











Happy New Year! We hope that all of you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. On that note, it is time for us to change the title of our blog to 2011. So let's begin where we left off.
Amazon.com is NOT for the weak or weary. The bottom line is.....we worked our arses off! Yes, that is just the simplest way to put it. 55 to 60 hours per week. Lots of mileage and exercise! But, in the end, we made it! We both agree that the pros at this job outweigh the cons. The cons were just the hours worked and the "colder than expected" weather that we had to deal with. The pros were....again the hours worked, the weather, the pay including bonus, the free site with full hook-ups, the free lunches, the wonderful people that we met, and the friendships that have been established. The hours worked actually helped us lose some weight and exercise some muscles. The bad weather taught us how to overcome some difficult situations when living in an RV amongst freezing temperatures. So anyone that may be thinking about working at Amazon.com seasonally, get yourself mentally and physically prepared. As for us, we do plan to return next year.

We finished up on the 23rd of December, saying goodbye to friends and exchanging email addresses. The RV was packed and ready to go. We pulled out the next morning. Our destination was Edenton, North Carolina to spend the holidays with family. We stayed in Asheville, NC on Christmas Eve. We awoke Christmas morning to a bit of ice on the road. Craig was a little nervous, but we found some trucks spreading salt on the highway and followed them. That afternoon, about two hours from Edenton.....BOOM.....a flat tire on the Durango. Have you ever heard of someone that's "not a happy camper"? That was Craig's profile at that very moment. He began singing a sarcastic "Jingle Bells" that would give Cartman from South Park a run for his money. As he unloaded the rear of the Durango to access the spare tire, Karin calmly dodged the items as they flew through the air. Evetually the tire got changed...but wait....the pressure in the spare is too low. And here's a bonus: no air compressor. Sigh.
Now here is where we throw a "plug" in for a service that we have. It is emergency travel insurance that we have to cover both the Durango and camper. It is called Coach-Net. Craig called them (remember, this is Christmas Day). They had someone there within 40 minutes to pump up our tire! Oh happy day!!
So we arrived at Craig's parents house. Christmas lights and decorations galore. After a long journey, Christmas turned out to be beautiful.
We were planning to run to Virginia to pick up Craig's son Josh and his brother DJ the next day. Well, it starting snowing, and it didn't stop until the day after. So with 10 inches of snow, which this area hasn't seen for 30 years, we had to wait a few days to go and get them.
Craig finally did pick them up and it was a wonderful gathering. It is rather rural here in Edenton, but it seems like both Josh and DJ enjoyed the rest and relaxation. It was rather short-lived, as they went back to Virginia. Josh was on the way back to Iraq, with only a few months left there. And DJ, with guitar in hand, promised Grandpa to stop into a recruiting station to talk to the Coast Guard.

So what now? Well, now we are just looking for work. We'd like to go South, if possible. We just prefer to have things lined up before hitting the road. So we may stay in NC for a bit and see what comes up. It's a little cold here now. But now that we're a little more "seasoned" on the cold weather, it actually feels pretty comfy.

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