The Dining Out Dilemma In Our Full-Time RV Life

We are loving our full-time RV life.  We are a little over two weeks in, and the freedom is wonderful, even though there is a day-to-day routine since Mike is still working.  We are eaters, unfortunately, so we’ve gotten into the habit of willy-nilly decisions to eat local–just because it’s so darn good.



img_8910While in Foley, Alabama, we got to experience the local restaurants.  One of our favorites was Lambert’s Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls recommended by our friend Patrick.  It was a bustling atmosphere with lots of roll throwing, black-eyed-peas and fried okra offers, yummy comfort cooking, and good conversation.  It’s a must-do fun family restaurant to visit.

img_8952We also visited the Magnolia Blossom Cafe in Robertsdale, Alabama, with Patrick for Friday night live music and prime rib, and we were surprised to find a cornucopia of scrumptious seafood.  The owner personally visited our table to inquire about our satisfaction and talked to the three of us about our RV lifestyle.


As mentioned in a previous post, Mike and I celebrated our anniversary at the Derailed Diner, which is a wonderful Alabama diner worth mentioning at least one more time.


Now we are in Houston, Texas, and there are so many choices that it is mind-boggling to narrow down a selection.  We’ve had amazing recommendations thanks to our friends Bobby and Tammy, who are long-time Houstonians.


Our first meal out was Crazy Alan’s Swamp Shack in Kemah, Texas, where we shared a crawfish/seafood boil.  It was spicy hot with crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausage–it was wonderful.  We left full as ticks with spices still lingering on our tastebuds.  It was a lively place shared with good friends.





Mike and I had an impromptu date night at Papasito’s Cantina, a Tex-Mex restaurant.  It was the only place Mike wanted to revisit while in his old stomping grounds.   He had delicious steak fajitas while I had habanero shrimp tacos.  My sinuses were cleared by the spices at the end of this meal, but it was good stuff, indeed.

While taking a long Sunday drive along the Gulf Coast into Galveston, there were many interesting stops.  We ended up at the Sand Bar at the West End Marina and Restaurant where we shared appetizers and drank Shiner Bock beers.  It was a laid-back marina bar where we enjoyed a Sunday afternoon with our friends.

I had never heard of a Texas tradition called a kolachi, but it seems to be very popular.  We had to stop to get at least one with a doughnut chaser at Shipley Do-Nuts.   Here’s what a ham and cheese kolachi looks like:

We are enjoying the food with vigor, but it’s starting to put a dent in the budget and a little more meat on the hips.  While it still feels somewhat of a vacation, we have to get a handle on when to treat ourselves and when to utilize our cooking skills at home.  We’ll have to find a balance on it shortly.

To more experienced full-timers, how long does it take before vacation mode wears off?  The struggle is real!

Safe travels.  With love, Dawn.


  1. It took me to the end of the post to realize what your dilemma was! All those places sounded very cool. I am definitely not a traveler and not retired or on vacation but my thought would be to pick a day or two and make those be the dining out days and the other days eat at home. Also, lunch is most often cheaper than dinner, so you could try that. As far as packing on extra pounds, I’m still struggling with that one myself. I’m following Hungry Girl and that is helping me.

    1. We have started to pare down and pick and choose for more budget-friendly options. There are so many tempting selections. 🙂 We are trying some local recipes at home now, so that might help. I need to check out Hungry Girl, for sure! I have been adding walking at least 2 miles every day to try of offset the caloric intake, but the older we get…

  2. We’ve been full timers for nearly 4 years now. It takes at least 4 months to realize: this is it. Sure is fun, though, going to so many different restaurants. It hit our pocket book pretty hard too. Just enjoy it while it lasts.

    1. Thank you. We are enjoying ourselves so much, but do know that reality has to hit sometime. Would love to be independently wealthy and keep at the pace we are, but that’s not the case. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  3. I think I’d have a hard time getting out of vacation mode too! We have a Lamberts here in town. It’s a little too chaotic for us, but it is fun for vacation. We had a Shipley’s in AR. So good!!!

  4. We started in August and we’re still trying to decide when to blow the budget for great local eats. You’re right the struggle is real! Two days of gulf coast seafood. Hah!

  5. I guess we are in a very small minority of those who never felt like it was a vacation – just a continuation of our fairly quiet life.

    We seldom ate out at home before fulltiming for eight years, so that carried over; didn’t travel great distances; and stayed put in places for a month or sometimes (a lot) longer.

    We did eat lunch out occasionally if we were out and about unexpectedly and had not packed a lunch, but were so often disappointed with the food, that homemade granola bars (or some fruit) were routinely kept in my purse to hold us over until we could get back to the rig to eat our meal.

    This mode was not entirely fiscally motivated; we likely would have eaten out more if we had had some guidance as to good places such as you write about. This was also ten years ago, so maybe restaurants have improved in that time.

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Thank you for reading, Judie. We are slowly getting a handle on it. When we lived in sticks and bricks, we didn’t eat out a whole lot. We saved for our vacations and ate out while traveling based on recommendations from family and friends. Since we always vacationed in the motorhome, I think it’s taken a little while to get out of that mode. We are loving living in it full-time and we do feel a release of stress in doing so, but the “we’re on vacation so it’s okay to splurge a little,” is finally halted. We are learning the budget restrictions so we are free to travel to the places on our bucket list. It just took a little adjustment at first. We are learning a lot of lessons in our first month! Again, thank you so much for reading and commenting your thoughts. I so appreciate it. Dawn

  6. A good problem to have. Similar to Judilyn, a previous commenter, we hardly ate out before going full-time. Our problem was that we had too many happy hours that put too much weight on our bellies too fast. So we had to drastically cut back on those.

  7. We hit the road just a few weeks before you did. Similar situation – my husband is still working fulltime. So weekdays are pretty “normal” with staying in, but on weekends we try to get out more to see the sights, and that leads to more meals out.

    I love the concept and subheading of your blog. I hope we’ll meet in person sometime, as we seem to have a lot in common, Safe travels!

    1. It makes sightseeing tricky when our husbands are working during the week. I decided to get out and explore some things on my own like nearby parks, etc. We are now in Austin and somewhat near my husband’s parent’s home–we’ve been getting fed wonderful home-cooked comfort meals and loving it, but know we’ll be in the same situation at our next destination. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting–the feedback is appreciated. I hope we do meet on the road–would love to swap experiences! Safe travels to you, too! Dawn

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