A Life of Changes

These days, the morning view out my window changes, but the window does not.  My window is not cracked or broken , nor is it tinted  or streaked.  It is a permanent fixture in my life of constant change.

Some mornings I wake up in a parking lot, the bright lights still illuminating the stillness of dawn, the sound of a busy freeway nearby, the smell of fresh coffee in the air.  As I take Daisy out for her walk,   I observe the suits and ties, the college students and the retirees, make their way into nearby establishments for some breakfast. Occasionally, I get some odd looks.

Other mornings, I wake up in a campground, the early sunlight bouncing off of the dew dropped landscape, the sound of birds communicating and the smell of  a campfire burning.  As I take Daisy out for her walk, I observe each campsite and the activities of the dwellers. Whether they’re cooking breakfast, packing up to leave or tending to energetic children, I almost always receive a good  morning greeting.

Of course, I do  prefer the latter scenario.   Knowing that we will stay put for a few days where I can inhale peace, exhale serenity and consume nature, invigorates my soul.  Nevertheless , I do admittedly feel a tinge of excitement every time we pull into a public place to sleep.

We left the east coast of Florida a couple of weeks ago where we spent close to a month in a gated retirement community on the beach.  It was quite luxurious, complete with heated pool, rec. center, and  wi-fi.  We found ourselves enjoyably amidst a sea of 65-year-old tanned bodies.  Whether they were congregating in the pool, walking a dog, or enjoying an early happy hour on a neighbors lot, the customary greeting went something like  “It doesn’t get better than this”.  Golf carts were the major mode of transportation, there was no activity post 7pm and there seemed to be some sort of communal alarm clock that went off between 6-6:30am that only the ears of that generation could hear.

Some of us still have to work!


Old school math methods?

From there we traveled down the coast  and across to the Everglades, spending 3 days in the heart of the  park .  River pretty much summed up our exciting activities in his post. I will add, that other than the wildlife we encountered, some interesting people also crossed our path.  On one hike, a canoe emerged from the canal unloading a slew of young passengers seeming a bit confused.  They happened to be traveling the U.S. together, each hailing from different countries, including  France, South Korea, Nigeria, and Scandinavia.  With English being the accepted language, we indulged in friendly conversation and  provided navigational and photographic assistance  before parting ways.  It pleases me that the kids were able to take part in this, as they later on became very inquisitive on the subject of foreign travel and language.  After all these years of talking about it and seeing photos, I feel that perhaps now they may have a better understanding of what it was like when Bri and I backpacked through Europe.

On the west coast, a necessary stop was St. Petersburg Beach, being the place that Bri and I first met 20 years ago.  We had been looking forward to going back to our old digs and  immediately after we set up camp, we headed out to cruise Gulf Blvd. in search of young love memories. We located the apartment we first rented together as roommates, the hotel we were both employed at as a cook and a bartender, and the bridge we dared each other to jump off of one crazy night!  It always astonishes me as to how places appear to be a lot smaller as you grow older!

The apartment
The Bridge

This past week has found us in travel mode.  That means logging more daytime driving miles, pulling off the interstate to utilize wi-fi  hotspots for work and school, and sleeping in various RV friendly parking lots.  Rather than “Are we there yet?” we quite often hear from the back seat “Where are we sleeping tonight?” Thankfully,the kids have become very adaptable to this lifestyle in just two short months.  Mercy even recently informed me that she enjoys boondocking almost as much as she does camping.  I get the feeling that she’s been peeking out my window.

McDonald’s…..we don’t eat the food but we do support the Ronald McDonald House and of course, FREE wi-fi

We have arrived in Louisiana, staying at Fontainebleau State Park, roughly 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. The plan is to stay here 4-5 days and explore the area. The campground is  bountiful in nature, wildlife and history and the hiking and biking trails will definitely keep us busy for an entire day.  The rates are affordable, and the amenities include free WiFi, hot showers and laundry facilities.  The Dunns are happy campers!

Photo taken in The Everglades by our foreign friends



14 thoughts on “A Life of Changes

  1. Double thumbs up!
    You write beautifully, Tan.

    I agree, you should compile all these posts into a book. Maybe the next project once you’re stationary again?!

  2. Great stuff, Tanya – wonderful to read – your words transport me back to our own RV travels in the early 80’s when our sons were young. Adventures we will never forget. Stay well and healthy. Our best to all…
    Barbara & Sheldon

  3. I seriously hope that you put all of your thoughts into a book. The talent that you all have of being able to put your feelings into words leaves me speechless. I look forward to more blogging. Safe travels and peace be with you all. Love AD

  4. Thanks for the update Tan, everyone looks happy and healthy. Can’t wait to here about New Orleans. Love you guys

  5. HI Guys! Julie here! As I sit looking out MY window, we are bearing down on the first winter storm of 2012. (6″-10″ where your house is). So thankyou! For your beautiful writing that can transport me to someplace a little warmer, a bit more cheery & wonderfully inspiring! Safe travels!

  6. There is something wonderful about getting to be inside your head a little bit on this trip! It reminds me of my childhood traveling days, which are incredibly fond memories! Way to live life Dunn’s and enjoy every little moment as a family! xoxo

  7. What a fine entry!!! I am extremely envious of this adventure !!!!
    And so happy fior you and yours to have made this work for your family!!!!
    Please tell River and Mercy I am awaiting their entry on what it Feels like to be on this vagabond sort of journey!!!! I am patient, but I wanted them to know that their words are eagerly awaited !!!
    Love, Alice, Nancy, Emily and Lexie

  8. awesome update! thanks tan! when will you have another mailing address? let me know, k? and, when will you be somewhere long enough so we can visit?
    missing you all-love, me

  9. Hi Dunn family! I am loving your adventure. I definitely want my class to hook up with your travels. Let’s talk!

  10. Tanya,

    What a beautifully written post. I feel that I am there with all of you! Enjoy Louisiana! I’m curious to hear about your experience in New Orleans…
    ( :

  11. I’m truley enjoying The Dunn family adventure.. I love that River , and Mercy are taking it all in, and enjoying these wonderful moments.
    Most of all, I feel the LOVE you have for each other. Continue to have safe travels.
    I always look forward to reading all of your blogs.. Peace & Love Colleen 🙂

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