Goats, Cattle, Sailors, Purses, Summer Plans

It’s been a winter for introverts and extroverts, with little in-between.

It’s a rainy, windy, stay indoors sort of day - so I thought I’d throw an update on the blog with details about how we’ve been filling our days in this new year.

Goats to Cattle

Just before the holidays we wrapped up our WWOOFing stay at the goat farm. It was a good six weeks and the girls both learned a lot. MsBoyink put together a wrap up post if you want to know more of the specifics.

Once done there we moved the RV 30 miles south to an organic dairy farm that sells both grass-fed beef and raw milk.

This isn’t a WWOOFing gig. Instead we pay a modest nightly fee for a full hookup site and then can choose what farm activities to get involved with.

Surf and Turf

We met the Gifford family of Sailing Totem. They’ve been on their boat for over 8 years - the surf to our turf. Their winter route put them in Jacksonville - just a couple hours from where we are parked.

Behan is one of the co-authors of Voyaging With Kids - A Guide to Family Life Afloat - which is a great reference for any family looking into the cruising lifestyle.

We drove over three times to spend the day with SailingTotem. We:

  • Attended a local presentation they gave at a Marine school
  • Hung out on Totem
  • Had fun comparing and contrasting RV and Boat life
  • Commiserated and rejoiced over raising traveling teens
  • Played games
  • Went used book shopping
  • Met lots of other boat folks

If you are an RV family we’d highly suggest making connections to the sailing world - we’re much more similar than we are different.

Vintage Tech Revisions

I’ve had that magic combination of time, weather, and outdoor table space to take up working on my hobby of re-working vintage tech gear into something new.

This time it’s a portable reel-to-reel tape deck from 1968. I’ve:

  • Gutted it
  • Re-worked how it opens and latches
  • Added a shoulder strap
  • Added a Bluetooth speaker

Once finished with a lined interior it’ll be an unusual retro-style purse. It will be for sale (price TBD).

Where To Go Map

I’ve often wished I could find blog posts by starting with a map. I wanted to click a destination on the map and be able to link through to read about the experience a family had at that location.

So we used some of our introvert time to build just that on DitchingSuburbia.com, We call it our Where To Go Map.

We love to promote other family travel blogs and the map is also a great way to do that. Each destination on the map is an opportunity to link to your blog and get a traffic boost from us.

We’re putting together a blogger outreach program to let others know about the map and invite them to become contributors.

The Boyink and Gifford teens.

The Boyink and Gifford teens.

Introducing the Giffords to Deer in the Headlights.

Introducing the Giffords to Deer in the Headlights.

The girls compare travel stories.

The girls compare travel stories.

Behan teaching while Jamie waits for his cue.

Behan teaching while Jamie waits for his cue.

Moon over Miami. Or Jacksonville.

Moon over Miami. Or Jacksonville.

MsBoyink tries SUPing. She's interested but needs to work on her core.

MsBoyink tries SUPing. She's interested but needs to work on her core.

Cruisers, live-aboards, and RV families connect over a meal.

Cruisers, live-aboards, and RV families connect over a meal.

MsBoyink lost in the 1M used books at Chamblin Bookmine.

MsBoyink lost in the 1M used books at Chamblin Bookmine.

Beef - it's what's for dinner. Eventually.

Beef - it's what's for dinner. Eventually.

Beef on the hoof.

Beef on the hoof.

Look. Miranda found a dog.

Look. Miranda found a dog.

This is really part of my gym plan - it's a workout to get all the gear out and put away again.

This is really part of my gym plan - it's a workout to get all the gear out and put away again.

It's smaller than the photo makes it look. Yes, I mean the tape deck. Gosh!

It's smaller than the photo makes it look. Yes, I mean the tape deck. Gosh!

A little taste of a past summer in Ludington.

A little taste of a past summer in Ludington.

Summer Sorted

We’re actively preparing Miranda for her exit from the trailer. Part of that is getting her a drivers license and a summer job.

That meant we needed to be back in Michigan. We’ve had two nice summers in Fremont, MI. We just couldn’t do another.

I looked for a different campground with roughly the same advantages as Fremont:

  • City owned
  • Reasonable seasonal rates
  • Bikeable to potential jobs

I found 3 serious candidates. One excited us more than the others, so we went with our gut and booked a site in Ludington, MI. We’ll have the site from May 1 to October 15th.

We love Ludington. It was the last stop before home our first year out. We’ve returned again and again.

We’ll be at the city campground. It’s just north of the downtown area which puts a lot of potential retail jobs in range for Miranda.

We’ll be just 5 miles south of Ludington State Park, so we expect many day trips in for hiking and kayaking. Our site will back up to a boat ramp where we can launch our kayak and paddle down a river out to Lake Michigan.

Expect lots of photos of sunsets over Lake Michigan.

Upcoming Events

We’re front-loading introvert time because we have two social events coming up:

Travel Plans

We’ve route-planned from Florida to Texas. I’m looking forward to another date night in New Orleans (Valentines Day, even!).

From Texas home is up in the air yet. We’ll have March and April to fill. Let us know if you have any ideas!

All the News that Isn’t

You have our update - what’s up with you? Will we see you at either of the two events we listed?

3 Comments Goats, Cattle, Sailors, Purses, Summer Plans

  1. Picture of Liz Liz February 01, 2017

    Ludington is the best! I am also from Northern Michigan and the best days of summer was when Mom agreed to drive over there to play in the sand and check out the lighthouse.

    I love how much time you spent with Totem. Oh, how I would love to live on a sailboat… Too bad my husband gets wicked sick. I suppose the RV will do.

  2. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink February 01, 2017

    We’re not sure we could do the boat either! It’s not that sailing families don’t get seasick..they just deal with it as part of the experience.

  3. Picture of Bill Currie Bill Currie March 27, 2017

    Hello to you all.  I met Miranda on a recent flight to Texas to visit a friend that I worked with in Iraq. I mentioned to her that I have a small hobby farm in upstate New York. She shared with me her experiences working on a goat farm. I told her that I may be looking for a farm hand to help with the workings of the farm. Miranda stated that she might be interested in joining our teem. If she is still interested, I would love to talk to her further. My cell is (***)***-****, or you have my email address. Wishing you all well in your future endeavors.  And may God continue to bless you all. Bill

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