Under Condo Construction – Part Dos (2)

It’s been another busy day at Carrie’s new beach condo. Today, Carrie shows off the progress of her condo’s makeover. Since she couldn’t be in the unit while construction was underway, Carrie fills you in on all the places she toured while killing time in Myrtle Beach!

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Recently, I felt the Lord call me to the beach. Specifically, Myrtle Beach. Initially, I resisted, but eventually gave in. Turns out this mountain girl favored the beach for once! Not that I am opposed to any beach (except Ocean City, MD…to me that is, Ocean Pity!). In general, I prefer the woods over sand, but to my surprise I thoroughly enjoyed myself at Myrtle Beach. The last time I was there I was just a kid and all I really remember is getting caught in a wave’s undertow. Not too fun!

Nevertheless, while there, per the Lord’s leading,  I even got to prophecy and pray for a pastor as well as an unsuspecting, but receptive woman. Both seemed to be pleased with the love of the Lord through prophetic prayer.

That is what it is about! Going where He leads even though you don’t know why or what it will look like. Just go! Consequently, I see in my future beach evangelism, prophecy, free hugs, praying for people, leading worship on the beach, and baptisms in the Atlantic. How cool would that be?

If you haven’t been to Myrtle Beach, it is a gem.

Dreamy Destinations

Recently, through a dream, God outlined the path I’m apparently supposed to sojourn along as I embark on this calling. Brings a whole new meaning to the expression, “If God calls ya to it, He’ll get ya through it!” 😉 To learn more about this wild dream I had giving me directions as to where I am to go, read Dream of Direction. Initially, I was less than thrilled by this change of plans as I thought I was headed South to Florida first…Certainly not West to South Dakota. But upon exploring the path God gave me in a dream a little more closely, I was overjoyed to discover He has us driving by some incredible sights! Here’s a list of the exciting places I’ve found so far we’ll be coming across thanks to God’s genius intervention!

  1. Sioux Falls, South Dakotaview-of-the-falls-from

2.Badlands National Park, South Dakota badlands-national-park-photo

3. Mount Rushmore, South Dakota mtrushmore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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5. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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6. Idaho Falls, Idaho

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7. Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

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8. Manti-La Sal National Forest, Utah

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9. Arches National Park, Utah

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10. Canyonlands, Utah

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10. Monument Valley, Arizona

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11. Grand Canyon, Arizona

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11 Flagstaff, Arizona

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12. Petrified Forest National Park

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13. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Maybe we can time it just right to see their International Hot Air Balloon Festival in early October!

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14. Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Perhaps we’ll need to take a dip in this spring!

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15. Amarillo, Texas “Cadillac Ranch”

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16. Wichita Falls, Texas

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Wichita Falls concludes our first adventurous itinerary!

imagesDo you have any sight-suggestions along the way?

I didn’t put in any from our journey from York, Pennsylvania to Sioux Falls, South Dakota… Looks like we will be driving on 90 West in the northern parts of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and southern parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Write a comment below if you have any recommendations of places to camp at or see!

Not everybody can travel or live in a camper full time, but you can still enjoy the ride through viCARRIEous adventures.com!

 

O, Little town of Bethlehem!

As part of tradition, I try to go somewhere neat for Christmas. This year, I took an easy trip to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Seemed appropriate anyway! 😉

I spent Christmas Eve walking around seeing the sights and went into some quaint shops including the oldest operating bookstore in the world. The Moravian Bookshop has been opened since 1745, but it was more of a gift shop than a bookstore. I enjoyed a delicious and expensive dinner at Corked and stayed at The Hotel Bethlehem. I thought the hotel would be dead on Christmas, but evidently in “Christmas City” this is the place to be! Hotel Bethlehem exceeded my expectations with it’s marble-everywhere bathroom, beautiful room, and probably is the fanciest hotel my dog and I have ever stayed together. The hotel also had fabulous Christmas decor everywhere you looked. I equally appreciated the town’s star hanging from the sky while surrounded by mountains. How nice to be in the little town of Bethlehem for Christmas!

I hope you are having a memorable and merry Christmas as well!

Dream of Direction

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This may sound crazy, especially if it doesn’t happen to you, but God often speaks to me through dreams. Specifically, He gives me directions of my future or future events in general (not necessarily my future events) through snapshots of the future within my dream. He sometimes will directly speak to me in the dreams as well. Additionally, I can hear His Spirit speak to me (in my being, not audibly) just fine, but I suppose He knows I am a visual learner so He often gives me visual impressions through my dreams as well as the dream’s interpretation when I ask.

I find it comical when some Christians say  dreams are a low-level revelatory way God speaks. When I hear someone report such explanations, all it does is reveal to me they haven’t knowingly experienced God through dreams and therefore, should let their words be few, if not silent, on the matter. 4caf85b6966ad1bb60f4b539f2d99dac After all, the Bible reflects otherwise…. The Nation of Israel or 12 tribes of Israel (Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 37:1-11) as well as Jesus Himself (Matthew 1:20-2:23) would not exist had God not given some monumental dreams. Not to mention directions given to the Apostle Paul came through dreams as well (Acts 16:6-10; Acts 27:22-26). In other words, God chose to reveal His plans through dreams to the founding fathers of Judaism and Christianity so clearly such things should not be labeled as low level revelations of God.

With that said, this mission of selling our home and relocating into a RV to do God’s work while seeing our beautiful country started through my dreams.

As mentioned in my previous post, You’ve Got Mail, I had planned on heading South to Florida once the house sells to register my vehicles and set up my state residency. Going to Florida was my logical reasoning. However, apparently, God has other plans. Story of my life!!

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In my dream last night, or earlier this morning to be exact, God showed me a map of the US with the path we are to take. I even questioned God on what He was showing me, Wait a second, we planned on heading to Florida first. Nope! God said in my dream to set up our mail, vehicles, and residency in South Dakota. I instantly awoke and sat up, thinking to myself, South Dakota? Seriously? Images of a barren cold land came to mind. Ha!

Upon making myself a fresh brew of coffee and feeding the dog, I began to research what would be involved in setting up our mail, the vehicles, etc. in South Dakota. I proceeded to research various mail services within South Dakota. While checking out DakotaPost.net, I noticed our new mailing address would start with 3916 should we choose to go with that service. This stood out to me as I thought, Humm..that is similar to our current house number.

Because this mailing service and our address would be in Sioux Falls, SD, I decided to google the city of Sioux Falls. Upon seeing images of a town centered around waterfalls, my spirit lit up, which tends to happen when you are on the right track (or when the Spirit of God is revealing something).

greenvillescBut before I go any further, just last night I was thinking,  I wouldn’t mind settling in Greenville, South Carolina when all this is said and done.  Jerry and I visited there a couple of years ago and we just loved how an entire town is built around charming waterfalls. We are suckers for waterfalls.

So there I am investigating South Dakota, which I know essentially nothing about. But when images of Sioux Falls populate in my search, I am immediately intrigued as I notice Sioux Falls looks eerily similar to Greenville. OK, maybe this is a better plan after all…

After concluding my research on South Dakota, I decided to try to duplicate the map I saw in my dream using Google Maps. I didn’t know the exact cities we’d be in, but I had a good idea of the general areas. The final stop was somewhere along the Texas / Oklahoma line, according to the image in my dream. So as I looked at a generic, non-descriptive map of the United States to try to pinpoint the last stop on my dream’s map, I hear in my spirit, “Wichita Falls.”

So I ask, “Wichita Falls? Isn’t that in Kansas?

“No, Texas.”,  the Holy Spirit responds.

“What? I don’t think that even exist, God…” As I add in Wichita Falls within the Google map directions I’m using to duplicate the map in my dream, Wichita Falls, Texas automatically pops up.  “OK! Never mind, God, evidently, it does exist.” {I wonder if God ever rolls His eyes at me?}

What will be my new mailing address?

Your Name(s)
3916 N Potsdam Ave #_____________
Sioux Falls, SD 57104-7048

Why did the map stop there? I have no idea! Maybe that is where we will permanently settle? I suppose that will be revealed in time. Long story short (too late!), when I printed the map, the total number of miles listed at the top of the page jumped out at me for the journey is exactly 3,916 miles!  I had to do a double take and thought to myself, Wait. Where did I see this number before? And instantly, I remembered… the South Dakota mailing address street number. No way! What are the chances of that?

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So let me get this straight. First, I have a dream showing me the map of our path, where it ends, and the Voice of God telling me to set up our mail and residency in South Dakota. Secondly, I discover our address in South Dakota would start with 3916, similar to our current address. Thirdly, the exact number of miles of the journey would be 3,916 matching the street number of our new address – coincidence? Fourthly (is that even a word?), the two primary cities we would be spending considerable time in (Sioux Falls and Wichita Falls) both are towns centered around waterfalls and look remarkably similar to the town we were interested in settling in (Greenville). That, my friends, is mind-boggling confirmation! I can’t make this stuff up! Before today, I never thought once about Sioux Falls and never even heard of Wichita Falls. THAT, my friend, is the kind of personal and detailed God I serve!

Needless to say, there’s been a change of plans.

 

The Cheaper, The Better

downloadLet’s face it. Staying in RV parks full-time can add up quick. Thankfully, you can get discounts for longer stays at RV parks (i.e. 1 week, 2 weeks, or a month) as well as discounts for belonging to popular RV camping clubs like Passport America, Good Sam, and Escapees. But it’s even better when you can find somewhere free or at least significantly cheaper overnight stays.

Here is a list of some helpful info and links to refer to when looking for more affordable places to camp.

  • Campendium offers info on not just free camping, but National Parks, US Forest Service areas, State Parks, and RV parks.
  • Boondockers Welcome “Boondocker” is a term that refers to living off the grid temporarily. Depending on your fresh/grey/black tanks as well as your generator/batteries/solar panels, you could go from days to weeks living unplugged. Boondockers Welcome is essentially an RV match-making site where they provide info on you as a camper as well as potential sites to host you. You can search various areas and contact sites to see if you and the host are a match. There is a annual membership fee for this match-making service.
  • Harvest Host Offers self-contained, boondocking RVers unique places to stay such as wineries, farms, and agri-tourists sites, and museums. There is an annual membership fee, but no cost to stay at the site’s listed.
  • Allstays is an app that cost a bit of money ($9.99) to download, but it has loads of information on all sorts of sites.
  • RV With Me is another match-making site that connects you the RV camper with hosts. There is no fee to sign up, but there are guest fees when you book a site.
  • Walmart. Do I really need to put a link for Walmart? Ha! No, but seriously, Walmart does let you crash in their parking lot (let’s hope not literally!). 😉
  • National Parks, US Forest Service, and State Parks are another fabulous option. See my blog “Park It!” for helpful information on these options.
  • Make nice with family, friends, churches, etc.

As I discover other affordable options, I’ll update this post. In the meantime, I hope you found this information as helpful as I did!

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Park It!

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If you are looking for a bit more privacy and spectacular views when camping, you may want to pass on the typical RV parks. Instead, you could explore the plethora of other public parks our beautiful country boasts!

Before you hit the road though, you may want to investigate the intended park’s campsites and if your RV will fit. Camper Report did extensive research saving you time and potential embarrassing moments. Click here for Camper Report’s video on what lengths are best for parks like these. You can also check out Camper Report’s full report here.

After you know your RV size, here are a few options of camping wilderness to consider…

National Park Service

highwayCheck out this link to search for National Parks in your state or any other state you are thinking of visiting. If you already know the names of the parks you are interested in, this same link will provide more information about the park you selected.

If you are like us and plan on visiting many National Parks within the next year, you may want to invest in their annual pass giving you access to all the National Parks. This expense is just $80 and well worth it. National Park Service also offers other passes that may suit your adventurous needs.

US Forest Service

mfSimilarly, camping at a National Forest may beckon your adventurous spirit. If so, check out the US Forest Service’s site for more information. You can also search for places to see and things to do through their site. Check it out here!

You may also find this link with various maps helpful courtesy of the US Forest Service.

State Parks

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What about if you want to visit or camp in a state park? Here is a helpful site to get you started. It’s called America’s Parks.  What I love about this site is once you click on the State you are interested it, if you click on the region, this site will list for you the State parks within that specific region of the State, which saves you much research time. Be sure to find out what the fees are to camp and what the deal is with RVs staying there. Some states offer annual passes saving you bundles – this is particularly appealing to full-timers like us!

Overall, National Parks, US Forest Parks, and State Parks are some pretty sweet and affordable options just waiting for you to explore or even to call home!

Christmas in New York City

Last Christmas, I spent the day in New York City. I hadn’t been to NYC in nearly 20 years and never at Christmas so it was a real treat. It also was a record-breaking warm day for winter in New York at 62 degrees. You can watch a brief cheery video of it here {Merry Christmas In New York City}. Stay tuned for where we go this Christmas…