Semiahmoo Bay – Blaine, WA

We took advantage of the sunshine yesterday and strolled along the Semiahmoo Bay in Blaine, Washington.

Semiahmoo Bay, Blaine, WA

Semiahmoo Bay, Blaine, WA

That’s White Rock, Canada across the bay. Still no passports in hand, so traveling into Canada will have to wait for another day.

White Rock, Canada

White Rock, Canada

Semiahmoo Park has a great paved bike path as well as gravel trails along the peninsula that leads to The Resort and Marina. Drayton Harbor is to the east of the roadway.

Drayton Harbor, Blaine, Washington

Drayton Harbor, Blaine, Washington

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It was hard to capture the brilliant red of these berries but they were so pretty against the blue of the harbor …

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Semiahmoo Marina reflecting the setting sun …

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The shadows started getting longer, so it was time to head back. The walk from the parking lot at The Cannery Lodge to the Semiahmoo Resort is about 1.25 miles, a perfect 2.5 mile stroll round trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

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But not before I stopped to feed the “horse” … lol

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This was one of the coolest dead trees we’ve seen. It sort of looked like Pegasus to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

20141123_155410ย Happy Monday folks!

~Cheers~

Something New Here At Gypsy Gibberish!

There’s a new Page here at Gypsy Gibberish. See it up there? “Fit By 50 with Wendy” ๐Ÿ™‚

New you next exit

Hi Gang!

I want to take a minute to talk about something personal with you all. I know I don’t usually get too deep here on the blog, but this is something that has really taken center stage in our lives over the past few months. It has to do with our health and fitness.

As most of you know, even though we’ve set up “residency” in South Dakota, I’m actually a full-time gypsy. No, I donโ€™t dress in flouncy skirts, peasant blouses, big hoop earings and a plethora of bangles โ€ฆ most days anyway. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย Iโ€™m a gypsy in the sense that we’ve settled into a nomadic lifestyle; moving from place to place about every two weeks to two months.

This is a fabulous lifestyle for us. We are enjoying every day and all the wonderful sights weโ€™ve seen and people weโ€™ve met along the way. Unfortunately, I managed to pick up a few unwanted visitors along the way as well. The dreaded extra pounds, poor eating habits and a very sedentary lifestyle jumped on board somewhere along the line and had been getting a free ride. Until recently, that is. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my story in a nutshell … Okay, a big nutshell. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I woke up on the morning of my 48th birthday and realized I was less than two years away from hitting the Big 5-0. Fifty. How the heck did that happen?!? I suppose the notion had been lurking around for sometime before then. But, Iโ€™d been pushing the hour glass visual way back into the recesses of my mind.

I just always thought Iโ€™d have time to fix myself. You know what I mean? Time to get into better shape, eat right, exercise regularly. Basically adopt a healthy lifestyle so I could glide gracefully into the silver years.

Guess what? Time stops for no one and ignoring the hour glass certainly does not slow the sands of time. Trust me, I know.

I’ve always had to watch my weight, especially after having my children. I’ve been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for over 20 years and reached my goal weight twice. But I’ve never been able to maintain my goal weight.

Case in point, not all that long ago, about 4 years to be exact, (about a year before full-timing) I was in pretty good shape. Down to a size 8, my thighs didnโ€™t rub together, my back fat was in check, and I had enough energy to work 12 hour shifts and then hang out with friends before heading home. I was happy. I was confident. Life was good. I was still closer to 40 than 50! LoL

This was me then …

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Then life happened. I went through an amicable (if only in terms of it being uncontested, not financially) divorce. Thankfully, like the saying goes, when one door closes another door opens. Lucky for me, my new door opened into the arms of my best friend! Who knew, after over a decade of always being there for each other as buddies we would end up together on this amazing adventure of life?

Life was great again, better than it ever had been! But you know what happened when I was in the newlywed phase? I got content. Very, very content. The more content I got, the bigger I got. Up until three months ago I was about 45 pounds heavier and up into a size 14 – that was getting tight! WTH? Iโ€™d like to say I have no idea how this happened, but we all know. Iโ€™d been lazy and my choices for sustenance, at least in the nutritional sense, had been less than stellar. And portion control? Forget about it! Seriously, some days I think I had as much on my plate as my husband. Yikes!

This was me four and a half years later. (October 2013 I have a hard time finding before pics because basically if I saw one that was unflattering I ripped it up or un-tagged myself.

Me oct 2013

I knew I needed to make a change. Not for a few weeks or months at a time, but a complete lifestyle change. It wasn’t just about the number on the scale or the tag in my jeans. It was about a total transformation – mind, body, soul. I just wasn’t sure how to go about it being on the road. I tried going back to Weight Watchers Online but it just didn’t work. I felt alone, uninspired and unsupported.

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That was me in late August 2014. This was right before my niece introduced me to the 21 Day Fix and Shakeology. I know it sounds corny. But honestly it’s had such a profound and positive impact on my life I want to tell everyone I see about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The picture below was taken after two rounds of the 21 Day Fix – down about 15 lbs.

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Since starting The Fix I’ve lost *26.4 pounds and over 15 inches!ย (*As of 11/21/14) I believe it’s due in large part to the personal coaching and Facebook Challenge Groups that are included with the Beachbody programs. I didn’t have to do it alone in our little camper no matter where we were at any given moment.

Never before has learning portion control been easier or more fun for me. The unique color coded container system is genius! There’s no need to count calories, fats or carbs. It’s all done for you. The workout DVDs in the package are challenging but easily modified. So, if you’re like me and just starting a fitness program (and even if you have limited floor space in an RV) they are doable. Not only are they doable, but if you stick with the program, even doing the modifications, you will see results after the first round of the 21 Day Fix.

As you can see in this pic, I have really limited space in our 26′ camper.But it doesn’t stop me from working up a sweat! LoL

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I can’t remember the last time I felt this good or had this much energy and I’m not even at my goal weight yet. As a matter of fact, I’ve got my final goal set for another 20 pounds. But the great thing about this lifestyle change is just that – it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Yes, I’ve got my goal set and I know I’ll celebrate when I get there. But it won’t be the end of my journey, far from it! Chances are I’ll celebrate by buying a new fitness program challenge pack! LoL

Here’s my half-way pic taken on 11/14/14. Last year’s vest is too big and those baggy jeans are fresh out of the dryer. LoL

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Now, while all of this is great, really great, you know what the best part of this journey for me is? It’s seeing and being a part of all the positive changes for challengers and coaches alike in the support groups. There’s just something magical that happens when people get together and motivate each other to reach their goals. The enthusiasm is contagious! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, if you happen to be stressing about an approaching age milestone or simply noticed you’re not as comfortable in your jeans anymore, now you know you’re not alone. Have you ever considered purchasing a Beachbody challenge pack and joining a Facebook Accountability Group? I’d love to have you participate in one with me. Whether we’re talking about recipes, workouts or heck even hot flashes at this stage of the game (LOL!) we’ll do it with fitness, fun and clean eating in mind.

By the way, if we’re not friends on Facebook yet let’s connect! You can find me by searching for Wendy Estelle. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’d like more information about The 21 Day Fix or Shakeology I have short videos available on my Fit By 50 website. (You can click that link or use this URL www.FitBy50.us in your address bar)

As always, if you’re still with me after this really big nutshell … thank you for dropping by!!

Feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or would like to chat about the 21 Day Fix.

~Cheers~

Travel Days and Boondocking Stays

Seems hard to believe that just a couple weeks ago I was sitting poolside working on my tan in sublimely warm and sunny New Orleans. Now here we are in Ferndale, Washington 2,800 miles away and I’m working on my laptop bundled under the covers at 6:00 in the morning. No, I’m still not a morning person, but this is about the only time we get half-way decent internet service. Yes, that’s a big bummer. ๐Ÿ™

But, I wanted to share a few pics from our whirlwind travel days. So before I lose my window of opportunity here, let me see how many I can download. ๐Ÿ™‚

So long for now mighty Mississippi River … and humidity!

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We’re headed through the high dessert for a few days. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve passed the Continental Divide signs. But this is the first time I’ve had my phone close enough to snap a picture. Not very good quality, but I got it! LoL

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There’s just something about freight trains rumbling along the tracks I just love.

Freight trains in New Mexico.

Freight trains in New Mexico.

Sunset in Shiprock, New Mexico

Sunset in Shiprock, New Mexico

Sunset Shiprock, NM

Sunset Shiprock, NM

We made a quick stop at the Four Corners Monument. I think I had built myself up a little too much for this stop. It was cool, no doubt. But it seemed a little run down and dirty. I’m guessing maybe it was due to being off season?

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4 Corners Monument

4 Corners Monument

It wasn’t very crowded, but I still wasn’t able to get a picture without people or random feet in it.

Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument

From there we went on to Moab, Utah. The scenery on the way was stunning as ever.

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Beehive Rock, Utah

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(For anyone keeping score on the time, it’s been 3.5 hours since I started this post. Uggg)

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We spent the night at Klondike Bluff, a BLM area about 16 miles north of Moab on Hwy 191. It’s a trail head parking area as well, so there was a bit a traffic around sunset. It’s a perfect spot for an overnight stay. Dinner with a view of the snowy mountains in the background. There are so many opportunities for outdoor activities there and it’s so gorgeous! We will definitely plan a trip when we can enjoy the area for a few days.

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When we headed out of Moab on Monday morning we started to get a little nervous about some of the steeper grades ahead. So, in an effort to minimize any serious damage to our beloved F150 (with nearly 260,000 miles on her) we rented a truck in Provo, UT to do the heavy hauling for the rest of the way.

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As you can, I got the light load. Nothing but the bikes left in our truck. Thankfully the trip went smoothly for the final 900 miles of our journey. ๐Ÿ™‚ How about that Provo sky though, huh? So pretty there!

This is the first time I’ve ever been behind the camper so it was a different perspective for me. Now I have an entire album of the rear end of our rig. ย LoL

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Finally, hitting Seattle was sort of like coming home … if there is such a thing for full-timers. It was a perfectly sunny day and traffic was a breeze.

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I know home is where we park it and technically South Dakota is “home” now. But I really love how the Pacific Northwest feels, if that makes any sense at all. It’s such an odd thing for me to wrap my head around because I’m a total beach lover. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Well, this is the second day now that I’ve been working on this little post and I’m about out of patience so I’ll stop here. I think a little trip to see if we can find a park with better Verizon service may be in order on Sunday. I’m going crazy not being readily connected at all times! Yikes, I think I may be addicted. Ya think?!?

Thanks for stopping by.

~Cheers~

 

Oh by the way!

Here are the addresses for our ย boondocking spots ย – (With temps in the teens for our last two nights on the road we stayed in hotels ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Night 1 – Camping World in Katy, Texas. Easy access to spaces,safe area, a bit of road noise but not too bad. ย (27905 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77494)

Night 2 – Walmart, Clovis, New Mexico – Friendly manager, minimal parking lot traffic, just a few big rigs, safe area. (3728 N Prince St, Clovis, NM 88101)

Night 3 – Walmart, Farmington, New Mexico – The manager was very nice, no big rigs the night of our stay, just a handful of other RVs, safe area. With the exception of some kids riding through at about midnight blaring their horns for fun, it was very quiet. (4600 E. Main Street, 87402)

Night 4 – Klondike Bluffs North Parking Area – BLM Trail Head – 16 miles north of Moab on Hwy 191.

 

Last Minute Travel Plans and the New Orleans West KOA

West New Orleans KOA

New Orleans West KOA

Getting last-minute travel plans and notification of a change in job site isn’t exactly a rare occurrence, so you’d think I’d be used to it. But sometimes bouncing from RV Park to RV Park can be a little lot stressful, like on this last transfer.

Mr. G. got the transfer orders on a Tuesday afternoon saying he would have to be in New Orleans that Friday at 6:00 a.m. – we were in Artesia, NM. Roughly 1,000 miles away.

Making tracks to get to the next gig in time isn’t even the biggest stress inducer with these last-minute changes. Finding a decent RV park that has room for a potential “long-term” (longer than 3 weeks) guest can be difficult if not impossible.

That was the case when we started looking for a place to park our H.O.W. while in route to New Orleans. After exhausting the RV parks that came up as oil worker friendly in Jefferson Parish, which were naturally all full seeing as we were probably the last ones to the party, I called the New Orleans West KOA.

From the very first phone conversation I had with Roberta I knew I wanted to stay there if we could. What a breath of fresh air she was after the folks I had talked to earlier in the day! Although we weren’t able to get in at a monthly rate, it worked out fine. When you pay the regular rate (minus the membership discount) you’re able to accrue points toward future stays with KOA. ๐Ÿ™‚

Roberta was able to finagle a spot for us in what she called The Garden District. We spent our four weeks in site #28, a little area just passed the pool, in a grove of mature oak trees. The shady spot was perfect to keep the rig cool in the incredible New Orleans humidity. ๐Ÿ™‚

West New Orleans KOA - Site #28

New Orleans West KOA – Site #28

The New Orleans West KOA has a great selection of sites ranging from tent spaces

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To perfectly level extra-long concrete pads for the big rigs.

Laundry room in the background.

Laundry room in the background.

There’s plenty of beautifully maintained grass between rows.

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In addition to a lovely pool …

West New Orleans KOA - pool area

West New Orleans KOA – pool area

And laundry room …

West New Orleans KOA - laundry room

New Orleans West KOA – laundry room

The New Orleans West KOA has spotless restrooms & showers, a gift shop in the office for souvenirs, camping supplies and a few food items, a shuttle that runs from the park down to the French Quarter daily and a dog walking service so you don’t have to worry about your four-legged friends when you’re off enjoying the Big Easy!

The French Quarter is only about a 20 minute drive from the park so we always drove into the city. But if you prefer not to drive or take the shuttle there is public transportation available as well.

This was the perfect spot for us to call home for the month of October. The grounds, the proximity to the French Quarter, the amenities and the entire team of camp hosts made this our favorite KOA stay to date. If you’re going to be visiting New Orleans in an RV and want an awesome, quiet and safe location to stay, the New Orleans West KOA is the place to call.

New Orleans West KOA – 11129 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge, LA 70123 (504-467-1792 For more information, rates and reservations you can reach their website by clicking >>>HERE<<<

New Orleans West KOA

New Orleans West KOA

Thanks for stopping by!

~Cheers~