The last time I postedJames and I had just sold our old RV (sadness), and hit the road, headed to Forest City, Iowa to pick up our brand new Travato 59G (excitement!). A few weeks and almost 3,000 miles later, we'd like to introduce you to "Lance," our new RV:

James & Stef standing with Russ Garfin with their new yellow Winnebago Travato.Meet our new baby. The RV I mean, not Russ. (That's Russ Garfin standing with us, the product manager of all the small WGO coaches and all around super awesome guy.)

For those of you who have followed the process to build our brand new motorhome, you already know how important inside bike storage was for us. It was a huge part of why we chose the Travato. So of course, it was only fitting that our first trip as brand new Travato owners ( AKA "Travatians?") was a cycling event in Clear Lake, Iowa called the Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival.

James among other bikers riding a race.

Both James and I participated in some of the racing events over the weekend. I know you're all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear how we did. We, uh, had "fun." I probably should just leave it at that. But, I do have to say that Lance performed beautifully in his new role as our racing soigneur. For those of you who have ever competed in any sort amateur sporting event -- doing it with an RV is definitely the way to go. No more standing in line for port-a-potties, your own familiar pre-race meal, you can camp right at the race start, and enjoy a hot shower when you're done. NO WONDER the pros all do it this way!

James loading biking gear into Winnebago Travato.

James and I, being the overachievers that we are, (well...HE is, I'm just an overachiever by proxy) couldn't stop with just one shakedown cruise with Lance. Two more back-to-back trips directly followed the bike festival. Our first big trip with Lance was the "Driftless Tour," a fantastic group RV trip organized by Winnebago Outdoor Adventures.

Line of Winnebago motorhomes lined up waiting for a train to pass by."RVs, Trains, and Automobiles..."

Eleven small RVs caravanned through Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, and made fun little stops along the way. I'm sure you can imagine what happens when you get 20 fellow RV enthusiasts together with good food and "adult" beverages. Let's just say "what happens in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota stays in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota..." The whole trip was pleasantly refreshing, and that's all I'm saying.

After our adventures of the Driftless (or Dripless, as my auto-correct keeps trying to call it), we said, "G'day Mates!" and headed "Down Under" to WIT Club's Grand National Rally. (This year's theme was Australia, though I didn't see a single kangaroo...)

Crowd gathered in front of a stage at Grand National Rally.Opening ceremonies at GNR 2015.

If you're wondering how a small coach like ours fits in amongst all the big Class A's at an RV rally, the answer is...AWESOMELY. The rally was filled with events all day going late into the night. We even hosted a 1 mile Fun Run/Walk.

Man and dog heading toward finish line on a path.Here's one of the medal winners in the Dog Category, pulling his dad to victory: congrats, Missey!

I'm quite proud of myself because I was able to get up ridiculously early each morning of the rally (jet lag... Winnebago lag?) to lead sunrise exercise class. And I'm even more impressed with all my fitness class attendees. They didn't HAVE to be there, but because exercise is important to them, they showed up. I always say, one of the hardest parts of staying fit is just "showing up." Kudos to my WIT Rally fitness gang for showing up. I'm looking forward to seeing an even bigger class next year. But how about we start a little later?

Yellow Winnebago Travato parked next to Winnebago Brave with yellow detailing with beautiful sunrise overhead.And suddenly, getting up at 5am to lead exercise is totally worth it.

Now that we've attended, we're pretty much GNR pros. Next year, we'll know which side of the road to walk on, where the best coffee can be found, and how to not get run over by golf carts.

So, as you can see, Lance was pretty busy his first month with us, and WE were pretty busy with lots of adventures. And the best part? So much socializing this summer allowed me to deposit several coins to the "Stef Longevity Bank." What's that, you ask? There is actual scientific evidence that proves being social adds years to our lives. I like to think of it as a bank. The more social I am, the more coins I earn.

In the meantime, do yourself a favor, go call a friend and take a walk together. Or better yet, check out Winnebago Outdoor Adventures and sign up for one of their awesome group RV trips (they aren't just for Winnebago owners). And soon you'll be depositing more coins into your own Longevity Bank.

Wishing you health and happiness!


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User commented on October 18, 2021 12:21 PM
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User commented on October 18, 2021 12:32 PM