A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

This camping couple — and UK fans — likes life on the road and celebrated a stop at the Citrus Bowl

By Keith Taylor
Kentucky Today

ORLANDO, Fla. (KT) — Patrick Webb was tired of a normal routine.


Following a 13-year career at Valvoline, Webb, formerly of Lexington, packed his bags and left for the Virgin Islands to start a new life.
 

“I loved it, but just wanted a change and wanted out of that lifestyle,” he said. “I sold everything, my house, my car and saved money for a year and a half and just moved down there. I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have a job and I just wanted to live near the beach.”


After Hurricane Irma swept through the region more than a year ago, Webb found himself starting all over again, only this time, his plans involved his future wife, Rhianna, whom he met before moving back to the United States. The pair didn’t become a couple until they later met in Boston went back to the Virgin Islands, became engaged and “that was it.”

This is the life for Patrick Webb.


This time, Webb, a longtime Kentucky fan, opted to buy a home on wheels — a used 1989 Volkswagon Westfalia — and travel the country with their two dogs Jacques and Ditto.


“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “We just started doing it in April. My wife and I got married in July and we just drive around and see different places. We both just talked about how we wanted to take a trip across the United States. She loves it, probably just as much as I do. You get to see something different every day and met a lot of cool people.”


The goal is to “stay in warmer climates because never one of us like the cold (weather).”


“She used to the cold weather but she’s tired of it,” he said. “She spent Christmas at Vero Beach at a campground.”


The latest stop for Webb and his wife Rhianna is Orlando, where they spent New Year’s Eve before attending the Citrus Bowl matchup between Kentucky and Penn State. It will be Rhianna’s first college football game, while it will be a step back in time for Patrick, who lived on Mount Vernon Street near Kroger Field and was a former season ticket holder for seven years before making a life-changing transition.


“I’m a big sports fan and a big UK fan,” he said, before the game. “She’s from Connecticut, so this is her first taste of it — seeing everybody wear blue everywhere. She’s a good sport about it.

“She goes along with anything. She has never been to a college football game and this will be her first college football game. She’s excited about it. We have a refrigerator and a stove in our van, so we’re going tailgate and she’s going to get to tailgate out of her home for the first time. It’s been cool.”


Patrick and his friends Ryan Patterson and Josh Alexander have taken several college football road trips together and both were in Orlando for somewhat of a reunion between the longtime friends. 


“We’ve been to been to Southeastern Conference Tournaments, NCAA Tournaments and when they announced this game, we were already going to be down here,” he said. “It’s been like a reunion.”


He topped it all off with a Kentucky win over Penn State Tuesday.


Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.

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