Trip Anticipation!

I got our mail handling account set up with St. Brendan’s Isle in Green Cove Springs, Florida last week.  It’s so exciting!  Now I won’t have to worry about trying to find someone to collect and forward our mail when we are on the road.  And I won’t have to worry about getting home within the 30 day window the Post Office will hold our mail — whether I’m ready to go home or not.

Between trips, the account goes inactive, but can be reactivated any time we get itchy feet.

A scene similar to ones I remember from early childhood.  Photo is from

A scene similar to ones I remember from early childhood in Green Cove. Photo is from

What is really fantastic about having a Green Cove Springs address is that was my home when I was a little girl.  We moved away before I went into first grade, and very rarely went back there.  So I don’t remember too much about it.  And I certainly couldn’t find my way around in it now.  (I’ve also read that has become run-down and a little seedy over the years.) But it’s kind of cool to have that anchor to my roots again.

Ron and I are both enjoying a Thanksgiving afterglow of peace and contentment.

Thanksgiving.  Gratitude.  It really does do wonders for the soul.

And relationships!



  1. EmilyO

     /  November 30, 2013

    Wahoo, it’s working out for you. Am so glad that step has been taking care of and with ease. Okay, what’s next? Are “we” about ready to go yet?

    I am going to attempt to bring my Eggie home from storage next week. I have this incline that has been of a concern to me; and my neighbor lady across the alley, who is my age and the owner of a 30+ foot motor home and spry as a spring twig, gave me a suggestion to try – so I am gain since it really sounds so easy.

    • EmilyO

       /  November 30, 2013

      I like that little “quilt-like thingy” by my name. It reminds me of my trailer quilt pattern called Four Winds.

      • They randomly generate those little avatars. How cool that yours actually matches your quilt pattern!

    • We are planning to head toward Texas on December 16th to driveway camp at my sister Gail’s house, with a couple of camping stops along the way. Then we’ll leave her house on December 26 and meander toward Florida. No plans after we leave her house. Maybe some Wallydocking on the way to Florida. Then finding cheap federal campgrounds in central and north Florida.

      Hope to meet up with Kim and Peggy at Stephen Foster State Park in January. Visit friends and relatives in central and north Florida. And stay until we run out of travel money. 🙂

      Oh, Emily! How wonderful it will be to have Eggie that close! I bet you are having withdrawals while he is in storage! 🙂

  2. Time to hit the road 🙂

  3. Luna

     /  November 30, 2013

    I never thought about using a mail forwarding service like SBI just for trips (when then coming back home). How does that work? Do you just “turn it on” with SBI and then use the post office’s form to forward your home e-mail to SBI? I take it you do not have to be a Florida resident or domiciled person?

    (I’m on the road but still using the PO box in my domicile state, and it doesn’t work very well; but not ready to move domicile to FL.)

    • Luna, no, you do not have to be a Florida resident. We are not. If you are a fulltimer, it can be your permanent address. Otherwise, you just file a Temporary Forwarding Order with your post office and they forward any mail that comes to your home address to St. Brendan’s Isle.

      Normally, you can’t get an account for just one short trip. But if you plan to do other trips, even if they are months apart, you can do it. That’s what we are doing.

      You call them (or set up an account online). You give them a credit card number and they debit it for $100. Then they just draw your monthly fees and the postage for mailing you your mail out of that amount. If you continue traveling and they use all of that $100, they will debit your credit card for another $100.

      As long as mail is arriving there, your account is active, and you will be charged the monthly service fee. When no mail comes in for a month, the account goes inactive. I plan to leave any remaining balance in my account because I know we will be using the service again eventually. But I think you can get a refund on unused funds in your account.

      • Luna

         /  November 30, 2013

        Thanks so much for the additional detail. I seem to have become full time without initially planning it 🙂 Really need to decide on a domicile as my previous home state is not a convenient one (and I haven’t even been back!). BUT, it’s taking time to work through the various options, and in the meantime my mail is going haywire so I would like to get it professionally forwarded ASAP. I thought I had to choose my new domicile before I could do that. I mean, I didn’t know I could have a mail forwarder in a different state from my home. Thanks! Also I’ve heard great things about SBI, so that’s another plus.

        • So very glad it was helpful to you, Luna!

          And, intentional or not, I really do envy your being full time. Maybe my time will come someday! 🙂

          • Luna

             /  December 2, 2013

            Just thought I’d let you know I signed up at SBI today. The only difference from what you described (and I’m not sure why) was that I had to fill in a form and have it notarized and then send it in along with copies of two forms of ID. Because of the notarizing it was a “print some paper and then post office thing” vs. just being able to do it online.

            Hopefully I didn’t get something wrong – that’s always possible.

            Next to do the change at the post office. Speaking of which… maybe that is why mine was different? I’m forwarding from a PO box vs. a residential address (my home place doesn’t have mail delivery).

            Anyway… ahhh, getting that big hurdle over with. 🙂

            • Luna, I had to do the form and the two forms of ID, too. That’s a legal requirement by the post office for someone else to handle your mail.

              Sorry I didn’t mention it. It slipped my mind when I was writing about it.

              • Luna

                 /  December 3, 2013

                Thanks for letting me know. Main thing is, thanks to your “jog” here on your blog, I got it done. Yay!

  4. Wishing you well on your getaway. I’m like Luna. How do you use a mail forwarding service part time? Is you mail forwarded to them from you local address? Have you changed you mailing address to the forwarding service? Is definitely something I would be interested in pursuing.

    • Jerry, we cross posted. I think I answered most of your questions in my reply to Luna.

      No, we did not change our home address. We are just having our mail forwarded to St. Brendan’s Isle. Then they send it to us.

      We opted for the Mail Scanning. We can choose which mail we want them to open and scan. They will save it to a pdf file that we can read online. Then we can have them shred that mail or send it to us. We can choose online which mail to forward and which we would like them to just shred. So being able to read the mail online will probably cut down on postage fees because we will have a lot less mail sent to us.

      I have heard very good things about St. Brendans from other people. I’m glad I went with them. And if we ever did decide to fulltime, we already have our address set up. They will also help you with establishing Florida residency if you are ever interested in that.

      • Luna

         /  November 30, 2013

        And I just figured out another huge plus to this: I don’t have to change any of my addresses with various people, because they will still be sending to my “home” address, and that will simply be forwarded to SBI. So then I only have to do the hard labor once (when I officially move). Wow, fantastic! So glad you mentioned this detail in your blog!

        • That’s the best part. Not having to change your address! But you can use that address if you ever want to!

      • Thanks for the explanation of the process. I wasn’t aware that one could do a “temporary” forwarding. Do you know how many times, and how often it can be done.

        • Jerry, if you are talking about temporary forwarding with the post office, I don’t think there is any limit on how often you can do it. We drive them crazy with our Hold Mail and Temporary Forwarding (to relatives) orders. 🙂

          (Actually they are very gracious about it and often give us helpful suggestions.)

  5. Let’s hear it for peace and contentment! Doesn’t it just warm your heart when you achieve a bureaucratic victory? Really hope to see you in January.

    • You don’t know how glad I am to have that taken care of! Now our only travel constraints are our budget!

      I plan to meet up with you if at all possible. It is VERY important to me! 🙂

  6. Getting the mail taken care of is really nice. I had that done every summer.
    Oh the excitement of a trip.

  7. MarciaGB

     /  December 1, 2013

    I haven’ heard of St. Brendan’s before, so I’m very glad you posted about it. After looking over their website, I think it’s a good option. Going to try it this winter. Since we spend every winter in Fl, moving around every week or two, it makes sense for us to do this. Last year our daughter was living at our house, so I just had her open our mail and let us know about any out of the ordinary bills, etc. All our regular bills are online so no worries there.

    • Marcia, St Brendan’s does have a good reputation. I especially love their Mail Scan Pro feature so we can actually read our mail online.

      I had my Mom handle my mail last time we were in Florida, but that was a little nerve wracking for both of us. 🙂

      Glad this information was helpful to you. 🙂

  8. Great information! Not aware of St Brendans….looks like you may be getting them more business!

    • Well, I hope that they don’t get so big that they lose the personal touch. 🙂

      Lynne, this is one less thing to worry about when we are traveling. I am going to go ahead and drain the water lines in the house this time so if the electricity goes off our pipes won’t develop leaks.

      Usually we are ready to come home in 6 weeks. I’d love to see if we could be happy staying out longer.

  9. I know you are getting excited about your upcoming trip!!!! I know we are excited about leaving next week for Stephen Foster State Park.
    We used the mail forwarding from Escapees in Texas when we were full-timers. It always worked out very well. Thanks for the info regarding temporary service. Not sure we will ever need it but nice to know just the same.
    Have fun getting ready for you trip!!

    • Hope you have a wonderful time on your trip south, Gerri!

      I’ve heard only good about the Escapees mail service. I thought of checking with them, but St. Brendan’s is closer to home and I thought I would like a Florida address if the day should ever come that we cut the cords in Georgia.

      I love the way the excitement starts growing before a trip. It’s a big part of the fun! 🙂

  10. lynne

     /  December 1, 2013

    Last winter We turned the water off at the street, drained the lines, turned off the water heater and put heat at 50F. Try to not come back too soon….it snowed more in march!

    • I wasn’t sure what I should leave the thermostat on. Thanks for that info!

      The instructions I found for winterizing a house mentioned draining the lines, but they didn’t mention the water heater. I’m sure that must have been an oversight. Did you drain yours?

      We will probably have to come home earlier than March. Doctors and stuff. But we wlll stretch it out as long as we can! 🙂

  11. Horst Kelly

     /  December 2, 2013

    I goggled St. Brendan’s Isle…seems I got another place to visit…if you Guys are out until March, there should be a place/time to share a campfire… FIL asked about my thoughts on mushrooms this morning and I told him I’m learning a lot about them through a “great mushroom expert”…told him about your vast knowledge…I digress…have a terrific trip…Horst sends

    • Wow! The experts on my mushroom board would howl if they knew someone called me an expert! But thanks for the compliment! 🙂

      Not sure we’ll end up being in Florida until March, but we do plan to be there in January and at least part of February. This trip will be an experiment in how long we can enjoy being out in the Casita together with the dogs. If we make it till March, I would love to meet up with you!

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