There were three police cars. As van dwellers, we are used to interactions with the police. But the last place we want to encounter the authorities is at a friend’s house where we are staying.
As I mentioned before, our trip to Florida didn’t go as planned. We thought we could zip down to southern Florida, do some sightseeing, visit some friends, and get physicals in about three weeks’ time. But the physicals turned into more doctor’s visits, appointments got canceled and rescheduled, more appointments got added, and no one was in a hurry but us.
If we had known how long everything was going to take we would have found other accommodations and wouldn’t have imposed on our friend, Brenda, so long. I know she didn’t mind. She is one of the nicest people you’ll meet. But we like to give more than we get and by May we felt like we’d been camping out at the end of her driveway for way too long. Perhaps someone in the neighborhood felt like that too because they called the cops and told them that there were people living in a van across from her house. That’s when the three police cars showed up.
Brenda straightened the cops out right away. Actually, by that time it had gotten so hot we were staying inside her house and not in the van.
Everything about being in Florida had become stressful, the doctors’ appointments, the heat, the feeling like we needed to be somewhere else, the desire not to be stuck in limbo. We took off that afternoon and drove to the west coast where we were hopeful a breeze would keep us cool (it did) while we camped in Ballena Blanca. Then we came back, had a nice dinner out with Brenda, went to my last doctor’s appointment, and finally headed north to visit all those friends that we told we’d visit over a month earlier.
BTW – after all the doctors and tests, Greg and I both have a few health issues to address, nothing serious, and nothing that will be keeping us from the road any longer.
And our total expenses for May were…
Here is the breakdown of categories…
Trip to the west coast of Florida
That gas expense blew the budget for the month. We covered over 3000 miles in May. On the second we drove from Greenville SC, where we had escaped to our friends’ house in between doctors’ appointments, back down to Hobe Sound, Florida to our friend’s house where we had been staying during all our doctor visits. We made a weekend trip to the Tampa/St. Pete area, then back to Hobe Sound. When we left Florida we drove to Charleston, SC via Jacksonville, FL where we visited with a sailing friend and his family. We spent the weekend in Charleston with Greg’s daughter, son-in-law, and grandson then drove from there to Cabbagetown in Atlanta, GA to visit with friends. At the end of that week, we drove to Greg’s parents’ house in Stanley NC to help them with a few things. Then we went south again to Columbia, SC to visit more friends, and then north to Pumpkintown, SC to visit even more friends. On the last day of the month, we returned to Cabbagetown for another week in our favorite neighborhood before we seriously start heading north.
All this visiting meant our drinks/eating out expenses were a bit high – but totally worth it.
We also had extra expenses for doctors’ visits last month. And expenses for all the new drugs and devices we need to keep us healthy. Because of all our new drugs and devices, I built a new shelf in the van (Upgrade/Repairs to Upfit Expense) to house some of these new things.
A few stats you might be interested in
Camping totals (all camping is free unless otherwise indicated):
18 – nights inside a house
8 – nights in a friend’s driveway
3 – nights at a county park (paid)
1 – along side of a bridge
1 – night at Walmart
Number of gallons of water bought/acquired for the van: 15.
Number of miles driven: 3053 (this makes our May gas cost about 19¢ per mile)
One year’s total value we have gotten out of our annual $80 National Park pass that we bought in May 2020: $503.50. This means we saved $423.50 by buying the pass and got to visit some amazing public parks, monuments, historical sites, and more!
To see all of our expense reports, click here.
If you are interested in reading other expense reports from nomads who really know how to live cheaply while still having a good time, check out the blog from our friends Mark, Liesbet, and Maya at Roaming About.
* All pictures are click to enlarge. Once enlarged they can be viewed in a slideshow. Hover over the pictures in tiled mosaics for captions. Click pictures in the tiled mosaic to see full captions.