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Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Update on the Flying Faustini’s or, “ So That’s Why They Call Them “Snowbirds”

April 13, 2011 by · 8 Comments 


Some of you  knew we were going to sell the whole enchilada (house, etc.), downsize to a postage stamp, live full time in an RV, and have asked me what happened to that plan. You may not be remotely surprised to learn we’ve changed our plans… because you do it, too. That’s us…the Flying Faustini’s. We change plans!I’ll skip the myriad permutations under which our RV plans have gone in the past few months;  I’m sure your own life is infinitely more fascinating to you. Instead, I’ll just tell you about today. For isn’t today all any of us really have?

 We decided we love our home in Prescott, Arizona too much to let it go (can’t beat four seasons light) so we’re keeping it as a base.  Because we miss our friends and family in Whitefish, Montana  beyond measure ,  we’ve decided (like the zillions of pioneers before us) to become official birds of snow…Snowbirdius Americanus. I know, I know.  I recently wrote about how we sold and gave away a ton of stuff in preparation for full time RV living. Do I regret it? How loud can I say “NO!”  The only question I ask myself is, “What was all that stuff we let go?” I can’t even remember (my husband can, however…he calls it “tools”).  I’m happy knowing others are happy having my stuff. Our home is much lovelier and far more orderly  with literally half the contents gone.

You might take a look around your own home. Can you picture the change if you got rid of acres of doo dads, duplications of Wal-Mart whatevers,  and general layers of stuff ? What I found amazing is our  home still retains its great personality and intimate influences of loved ones near and far. Get your home ready to put on the market;  you’ll see how good it can really look.

 So, we’re not full timing;  we’re snowbirding. We have awesome options for docking the RV once we get to Whitefish, Montana  and I’ll let you in on some of those secret Big Sky places once we arrive.

Our RV won’t be very crowded, as it’ll just be the two of us, and we think we’re quite wonderful.  Summer will find our 16 year old cruising the entire USA with his sister and her family in a Bluebird bus. It’s an incredible adventure story focused on organic farms across the USA, and guaranteed to be worth following.  Nicole’s book on self-sufficiency alone is worth checking out, especially if you think someone may run our country into a ditch and that the bad guys could start running the show.  I, personally, don’t think that’ll happen, but due to my faith, family, and  stored crates of dehydrated food and canned water up the yin yang, it’s all good with me. Note: please skip any comments about whether it’s “yin yang” or “ying yang.” I read the debate and am going with my ear and my Ohio roots.

Early summer will find us heading north through Utah, Idaho and Montana. You’ll see lots of photos, that’s for sure. There is, officially, no place like the Flathead Valley of northwest Montana in the summer; 45 minutes from Glacier Park.  What’s not to love?

I’d get a kick out of hearing your Utah, Idaho or Montana stories. If youwrite back we can all get involved with them!

Happy Tales to you and yours,



8 Responses to “Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Update on the Flying Faustini’s or, “ So That’s Why They Call Them “Snowbirds””
  1. Alden says:

    Craters of the Moon national monument in ID is worth making a drive through. Make it a day trip though… I saw the camping areas there, and they seemed really devoid of trees, and not the best for camping (in my opinion).

    The US-30 can be a really fun way to skip parts of the 84 too. Some really neat little towns along it, and some amazing fishing along that area too (not sure if you or the hubby are into fishing).

    I’ve only been through southern ID a couple times, but I love it every time I go through.

    Sounds like a great trip you guys have planned!

    And wouldn’t you be like… inverse snowbirds? Most of the snow-birds I know have their home in a colder climate and go to AZ, NM, FL, TX, etc during the winter in their RV… either way, sounds fun!

    I’ll look forward to seeing the stories. Also curious to see what you find in MO to do and see!

  2. Patti Faustini says:

    Thanks for the tips, Alden. I’ve printed and filed for the trip. Inverse snowbirds…hadn’t thought of that! Or, are we sunbirds? People that head north to escape the sun? All kinds of possibilities. If my dad were still alive he’d name us a bird that begins with a “t” but I’ll spare all the details!

    Happy Tales, Patti

  3. Gary Gebhardt says:

    Hi Patty, I’ve been reading your blogs only to find myself very disappointed. You have been handing out advice on full-timing, from creating an income on the road to selling your house and even “Downsizing Christmas to an RV”. Only to find out that you don’t even a full-time! You have done nothing but break the trust that we all expect from Woodall’s by miss leading every reader out there. How are we to ever believe anything that Woodall’s are allowing their Bloggers to put in print? It’s a shame that you need to see your name in print to make you feel important. Rather than just enjoying the experiences that full timing has to offer. I’m sorry for coming across so harsh but you really have taken the trust away from all Bloggers and I will have a hard time believing anything that was printed here again.
    Looking forward to full timing,

  4. Hi Gary~

    While we appreciate the issue you are bringing up, we do not feel that Patti is misleading any of the readers at all. In fact, many readers have expressed how much they can relate to Patti’s journey of embracing the RV lifestyle more and more. And she has been nothing but honest–as evidenced by this recent blog post–about her choices and decisions involving “Full Time RVing.” Everyone of the Woodall’s regular bloggers are people who love RVing, Camping, and the Outdoors, and what to share what they have learned (or are learning) with others in the Camping Community. While you may not agree with Patti’s choices, I hope you can see the commitment Patti has to promoting an active, outdoor lifestyle.

  5. Corey says:

    @Gary Gebhardt
    Just because someone doesn’t “full time” doesn’t mean that they do not have goods things to say about RVing or traveling. Your comment sounds elitist and mean-spirited. Perhaps you should spend more time camping and enjoying nature than tearing people down. There is no place for that in the RV lifestyle.

  6. Patti Faustini says:

    Dear Gary and Readers, I hate to disappoint my readers, but I appear to have done so by changing our full time RVing plans. Life, and in this case, Death, can unfortunately require us to adjust our plans. Just ask my husband, who is not happy either, that we’re not fulltiming yet. We would love to be doing so.

    As I’ve learned well, we have in truth, very little control over what happens in our lives. My prayer is always that I can adjust to what Life throws at me, and deal with it in a positive, productive way.

    In this case, we so hope that someday our snowbirding days will utlimately result in full time RVing days. We had hoped it would be sooner, but that was not to be.

    I truly love hearing from Woodall’s readers. Yes, our plans may change, but I’ll always be telling you the truth about our RV life, and our experiences in God’s great outoors. What a joy and privilege it is to be able to RV around this great United States of American with total freedom, on whatever basis we can.
    Happy Tales to you and yours,


  7. Richard says:

    We’ve been camping as RVers for over 30 years. Over that period of time we have encountered some of the best and some the worst that RV living, and camping, has to offer, both part time and full time. We’ve enjoyed travel trailer camping and camping with a 5th wheel, family camping as well as just the two of us and even with all of that time spent on the road, we haven’t grown tired of it. There’s so much to learn and to do and there really isn’t anything we enjoy more than traveling to a campground that we’ve never been to before and see what’s there, and at the end of the day, come back to the comfort of own RV – our home away from home. When we look out of our windows, we see totally different surroundings to the home that we love while the inside is completely familiar, warm and welcoming.

  8. Patti Faustini says:

    Oh Richard! It is so exciting and encouraging to read your comments! Even though my husband and I are big time newbies, we love RVing. I’m “to the manor born” as my parents were major RV addicts and I grew up with that mind set.

    Our RV really became a home, very very quickly. And already, we have that security and sense of no matter how goofy things may be in the campground, on the highway, etc. we always have our own “familiar, warm and welcoming” home on wheels. You said it perfectly.

    I hope to hear more from you, and I loved your comments.

    Happy tales to you and yours, Patti

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