A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

Tag: Adventure

Why Our Family Stopped Full Time RVing

A few months ago, after four years of full time RVing with our family, we made the very difficult decision to settle down. Settle down. Oh man…I’m still getting used…

A few months ago, after four years of full time RVing with our family, we made the very difficult decision to settle down.

Settle down.

Oh man…I’m still getting used to the idea. I knew settling down would be hard. I didn’t know it would be this hard. Every cell in my gypsy heart still tightens when I look out the window and see the same. view. every. day.

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Did you ever read those Choose Your Own Adventure books? I’ve been been wishing I could read ahead and see how different choices would affect the boys. Would they end up angry at us always wishing they had a chance to experience “normal” teenage life if we kept full timing in our RV? Or would they look back and say, “Man, my parents were great and knew what was best. I spent most of my life living in an RV seeing all these cool places!”

Alas, all we have is now. And right now a life with more routine and opportunities that come with living in community seems like the best option in our own Choose Your Own Adventure story.

George Washington Birthplace Jr Rangers

We are still struggling with all the changes and if you want to hear more of our reasons for putting the jacks down on our full time RV adventure keep reading. But be warned, I’m still wrestling with my emotions and our choices and at times, I feel like I’m defending our choice from my own inner critic.

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Brent and I so badly wanted to raise our oldest boys out of the box and in the slow lane of full time RVing until it was time for them to take flight on their own. We had so many ideas and plans for our family. During the first three years it seemed possible that they would grow up on the road happy and fulfilled but then they and their needs, particularly Thing 1, started to change. It was gradual but it became clear that full time RVing was no longer the best fit for our family. We were reluctant to admit it because Brent and I enjoyed our life as it was but we knew in our hearts that continuing to full time RV as a family would be…well…selfish. It wasn’t like we had to stay on the road. We weren’t following Brent’s work. We weren’t living in a RV because we were going through hard times. We were doing it because we loved the simplicity of life and it was fun. Crazy fun!

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Change is hard.

For the past year, we felt the wind shifting but we were in denial. We tried to continue on course against the wind hoping that things would return to what they were. However, in the quiet of night, I knew the change I was hoping for wasn’t going to happen. In those silent moments of raw honesty with myself what I wanted, as ridiculous as it sounds, was for the older boys to quit getting older. I wanted them to stay my babies forever and shelter them from life’s hardships. Living in the RV seemed to slow down time and kept them close. Kept them safe.

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Thing 1 and 2 are not the boys they were when our family decided full time RV in 2011. Every day they were and are becoming more men than boys. And every day they have ideas on how they want to live. As hard as it is for Brent and I, we must gradually let go and let them follow their own paths and those paths were limited on the road.

They wanted experiences we couldn’t easily offer them. They wanted to experience school. They wanted to take piano lessons and martial arts classes. Most of all, they wanted friends, a community, who they can spend time with regularly. They were tired of saying “see ya later” without knowing when later might be.

As much as I want it to be, life isn’t about me. (<==This kinda sucks.)

Brothers at Petrified National Forest

In short, we decided to stop RVing full time for love of Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Brent and I chose to put our desires on hold for a few years to launch these two amazing young men into the world from a stationary foundation because after many long talks, hard cries (on my part), and prayers we felt settling down was the most loving decision for them. Unfortunately, we can’t read ahead like in the Choose Your Own Adventure books and make a decisions on the best of two outcomes. The thing is we will never know what was the “best” for them because we can’t live two lives and compare. Maybe one day we will wish we would have stayed on the road. Maybe not. It’s impossible to know. All we can do is make the most loving decision based on our present knowledge while considering what we have learned from the past and then hope for the best in the future. In other words, I can’t control everything as much I’d like to. Damn.

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When they are grown men and looking back at their childhoods, our biggest hope is that they know they were loved. An older wiser mom once told me that kids have “fuel tanks” and to make sure it’s filled with love every day because if it’s filled with love they are less likely to look for other things to fill it. Despite all our parental imperfections, baggage, and failures, we want them to know we love them “bigger than the sky times infinity”. We want them to leave home with filled love tanks. Our me-culture may tell us to do what’s best for us and “radical self love” is almost a religion these days. (BTW I’m all for “radical self love” when it’s not at the expense of others.) However, selflessness acted out with pure intentions in regard to the other may not be sexy but it is still and will always be one of the purest forms of love. And one of the hardest. Selflessness doesn’t come easy for me. I usually scoop myself the biggest bowl of ice cream. And take the biggest piece of cake. And tend towards putting my feelings above others.

Not this time.

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The boys are only teenagers once (For their sake…thank God Almighty) and they both wanted more “normal” lives. We’ve tried to convince them that “normal” is overrated 🙂 but no amount of talk was going to change their minds. They wanted to experience normal for themselves.

Brothers-at-Colorado-National-Monument-CO2

Sure we considered the this-is-our-life-and-sorry-it’s-not-what-you-want-but-try-to-appreciate-and-learn-from-it approach. As parents we have that right to make the choices we think our best for our kids and family. The road may be “best” for Brent and I but, God willing, we have many years left as a couple to explore and experience life as we want but the older boys only have few years left as kids. They didn’t want to spend their teenage years living in an RV full time.

Sigh.

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There are so many wonderful things about RVing full time with kids and teens but the fact of the matter is full time RV was beyond amazing when they were younger but RV life could no longer provide for their expanding needs and interests. (Disclaimer: The pursuit of the following activities is a struggle because we are fully aware these actives are a privilege that comes with being middle class and certainly not necessary for a fulfilled life but they are fun, rewarding, and teach their own lessons.)

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Thing 1 Student Talent Show IMC ND

Thing 1 isn’t just good at playing the piano. We recognized he really has a gift as a classical pianist and needed a teacher and real piano if he was going to continue to grow. He could only learn so much online with a keyboard. (Keyboards, even weighted ones, don’t have the same dynamics as grand pianos.) To not recognize and nurture this gift would cause us and him real future regret. This is a special period in life where he has the time to sit and play for hours without adult worries. 

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Thing 2 wanted to spend more time with kids his age, try drama, and would like to eventually take up martial arts again. We also recently discovered since we’ve been stationary, that he has a knack for art. He has been invited to take a high school drawing class as a middle schooler and he had a blast performing in his first play last weekend.

These kinds of activities are difficult to do when you pack up and move every week or two. They require a long term commitment. We could have sat still for months at a time in campgrounds but that isn’t why we bought a house with wheels. And even if we did stay put for months at a time, it wouldn’t address the real issue consistency and friendship. The boys would know that goodbye was just around the corner and that was hard for them.

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Brent and I gave it our best to make full time RVing work for them as teens. We met up with road friends and family regularly. We traveled with other families when the opportunity arose. We spent two winters in the mountains snowboarding. We took Thing 1 to a music camp. We sought out opportunities for Thing 2 to pursue interests like gold panning. We let them have a say in the travel planning. We found online classes when we felt like we couldn’t meet their educational needs. 

Despite our efforts, full time RVing didn’t provide the one thing they craved more than anything which was consistency. Consistent friends. Consistent activities. And even more important, consistent wi-fi. 😉

Telescopes Egle Bay CA

There is only one of Brent and one of me and we couldn’t and didn’t want to be peers, piano teachers, math teachers, art teachers, spiritual mentors, and parents at the same time.  Not only did we feel that we needed more resources and consistency to help them grow into young men, RVing full time was losing some of its luster in their eyes. New places and new things had become mundane to them in a way. There were days they resented packing and days they rolled their eyes at the mention of visiting a national park. We tried to see our full time RV life from their perspective. They have visited every state except Hawaii, many of them multiple times. They have been to over one hundred national parks. I’ve lost count of how many museums they have visited. They’ve been to almost every major city and some of them more than once or twice or even three times. The third time to New Orleans Things 1 and 2 were leading us around the French Quarter! You might think the only thing to do in New Orleans is eat beignets. 😉 

Evening Kayak Fl

The boys certainly don’t dislike traveling (They keep reminding us we haven’t been to Hawaii and asking if there’s a chance we can go to Europe soon.) but they were developing a “been there and done that” attitude and were ready for new challenges, the challenges that come with dealing with teachers other than mom and relationships that are more face to face than virtual. Traveling full time in the RV gave them so many experiences and the life lessons are still unfolding, teaching us even now as we adapt to a stationary life, but there are lessons to learn from living in community as well.

English Ship Replicas Jamestown Settlement

Stocks Williamsburg VA

I’ll never regret our four years of full time RVing. The education and life experiences the boys received are priceless. The memories are too numerous to count. Our relationships grew in so many ways. We squeezed every last delicious drop out of full time RVing. So far they have been the best four years of our life but I’m hopeful we will seek out new adventures and the lessons we learned we will carry into our new chapter.

The last few months of adjusting to our new life have been hard but we keep remembering that this is a season. The winds of change never stop blowing and it won’t be long until we can pack up the RV and hit the road full time again.

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I remember a year or so ago Thing 1 and I were talking. He was having a hard time wanting both the adventure of RV life and the stability of being stationary. He missed our life in California but at the same time enjoyed our life of travel. It was a conversation we had often as we gauged the boys’ needs to make sure full time RVing was still working for everyone. During this one particular conversation his big brown eyes were contemplative and he asked,

“Mama, do you think someday I’ll be nostalgic for our life on the road?”

His thoughtful question made me smile and I said, “Yes. Yes, I do.”

PicMonkey-Collage-brothers-then-and-now

Today memories may still be fresh but the bittersweet ache of nostalgia has already set in.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

Love and Laughter,
Jenn and Brent

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Farewell to Full Time RVing with Family

Looking in rearview mirror of the last four years of our full time RV adventures, I see a road littered with memories… The emotional up and downs of going through years…

Family on the Road in RV

Looking in rearview mirror of the last four years of our full time RV adventures, I see a road littered with memories…

PicMonkey Collage Stuff Before the Road

The emotional up and downs of going through years of stuff and young boys sorting through piles of toys pondering what to store and what to give away. Little did we know that they would outgrow them before those boxes would be opened again.

5th Wheel LOOK!

Thing 1’s face at the sight of our new (used) RV being delivered. The RV I had to decide to buy without Brent because he was too busy with work to go look at it!

Downtown Ventura

The lights of Ventura disappearing behind the mountains as we drove north on the 101 exchanging the known for the unknown.

Boys in Tree Houston

Chasing deer, catching frogs, climbing trees, skipping rocks, getting stuck in mud, and building forts.

Father Son Nakomis Beach

Collecting sharks teeth and seashells along the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Brothers at Fredericksburg National Battlefield

A trove of plastic gold Junior Ranger badges earned by once eager little boys who pinned them to their vests with pride.

Jennn Boys Couch RV

Cozy afternoons spent cuddling on the couch.

Family at Capital Washington DC

The history of our country coming to life as we visited places like Jamestown, Boston (where we were evacuated to an under ground tunnel),Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Snowboard Family Epic Mix

Our “epic” four months camping with friends and learning to snowboard in the wildly beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Hike to Delicate Arch Moab

Long and short hikes, steep and flat hikes, wet and dry hikes, hot and cold hikes…each one a stamp on my soul reminding me of the majesty of our Creator.

RV Walmart Calgarly Canada

Overnight stops in parking lots and rest areas where I forgot what was outside our RV windows because family, not a place, is home.

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Two pink lines on a white stick that turned a quiet morning after a long night along the coast of Washington upside down.

Dixie RV Heartland Gateway 3650BH

Searching for and finding the perfect new RV.

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A surprise baby shower thrown by a group of wonderful gypsy mamas.

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A baby boy born at home

Thing 1 Piano Alaska

The sound of Thing 1’s keyboard filling the RV.

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The 6000 mile drive from Key West to Alaska with a 6 week old baby.

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Being surrounded by the sublime wild that is Alaska.

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Pulling into campgrounds after dark and waking up to glassy lakes and mountain vistas.

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A pug who made it to 49 states before giving in to his failing body and saying goodbye in Portland, Oregon.

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White knuckles and held breath while taking hairpin turns on Highway 1. (Note: don’t take Highway 1 to Fort Bragg if you are towing a 40’ fifth wheel. Take Highway 20 instead. TRUST me.)

friends

Traveling with fellow RVers and the friendships that grew.

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Big brothers bonding with with their little brother.

Snowboard Couple Epic Mix

Snowboarding dates with my love. (How I loved living in a small space with this man.)

Presque Isle Family Bikes OH

Bike rides through forests, down paths, and over desert rocks.

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The smiling faces of friends, from Washington to Florida and everywhere in between, who graciously opened up their driveways and homes so we could reconnect.

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Games of chess and family movie nights.

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A family who is now complete.

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Swimming with manatees, snorkeling, horseback rides on the beach, campfires, museums, glaciers, sunsets, battlefields, RVing at the beach, amusement parks, detours, breakdowns, gold panning, getting lost, boat rides, mountain ranges, wildlife, small towns, huge cities, a reality show episode, new friends…

I could go on and on about the places we’ve been and the things we’ve done but the last four years have not really been about places and things, they’ve been about simplicity and family.

A picture may be worth a thousand words but even that’s not enough to describe the love we have for our boys.

Brothers Jamestown Settlement VA

Our boys.

Our boys, who in four short years, became young men. Young men who tilt their heads downward to give me a kiss. Our boys who have not only grown in size but in number with the addition of Things 3 and 4.

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Our boys.

They’ve taught us so much about ourselves, sometimes more than we wanted to know. Living in an RV has been challenging at times and every so often I wondered what the hell we were doing but mostly it was amazing. We wouldn’t trade anything for these four years spent exploring the country in the RV with our boys.

There is nothing we wouldn’t do if we knew it was best for them.

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Even give up the life we love so much, our life on the road.

Soon I’ll share the details of why we have chosen to give up RVing with our family full time and later I’ll share what’s next for us but today I’m just going to remember and give thanks for the time we had on the road together.

Thank you for being part of the journey. We hope you stick around as we figure out the next chapter.

PicMonkey Collage first and last family

Love and Laughter (and tears),
Jenn and Brent

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A Crazy 24 Hours

It was a driving day with our final destination a mere 4 hours away. However 4 turned into 12 because… You can’t pass up climbing a tree that looks like…

It was a driving day with our final destination a mere 4 hours away.

However 4 turned into 12 because…

You can’t pass up climbing a tree that looks like it’s from Endor.

Nor could we pass up a quick stop at the Hoh Rain Forest, a part of Olympic National Park and one of the largest temperate rainforests in North America. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know there were any rain forests North America.

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sun rays hoh rainforest wa

brothers hoh rainforest wa

Or  a stop at Ruby Beach where we stacked rocks and had dinner.

Brother Love Ruby Beach WA Dinner at Ruby Beach WA Stacking Rocks Ruby Beach WA Rock Piles Ruby Beach WA Rock Climbing Ruby Beach WA Brothers Ruby Beach WA

Finally around 10 pm the real adventure began when we arrived at our campground. We try really hard to not get into places after dark because once the sun sets there seems to be holes, poles, fences, guard rails, zombies, you name it, appearing out of nowhere.

We took a turn too tight and the wheels of the trailer got stuck in a ditch that appeared out of nowhere. Thankfully there wasn’t any major damage to the trailer, just a small crack, and a dent on the bed of the truck. However, to prevent further damage we decided to call a tow truck to pull us out backwards.  It was 2 am before the trailer was out and we got to bed.

As if that wasn’t adventure enough. The next day we needed to decide if we were going to buy our season passes to go back to Breckenridge for the upcoming winter. We had mixed feelings. On one hand we really wanted to go but on the other we weren’t sure if we should spend the money.

As it turned out the decision was made for us when I decided to take a pregnancy test that afternoon “just in case” because I was a few days late.

And…

=

Two pink lines.

Guess we wouldn’t going back to Breck. I’m adventurous but snowboarding while pregnant? No thanks.

To say we were surprised would be an understatement but as the news soaked in we got excited. We weren’t the only ones excited. My dad sent me this super sweet text.

Dad Text Message

And here I am 9 months later on his due date and still waiting for this little guy to arrive!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Hiking Hurricane Hill at Olympic National Park

After a few days of exploring Seattle we were ready for a change of pace. Olympic National Park, located in the Olympic Peninsula, was a perfect place to slow down…

After a few days of exploring Seattle we were ready for a change of pace. Olympic National Park, located in the Olympic Peninsula, was a perfect place to slow down and take in the beauty of God’s creation. The highlight of our visit was hiking the Hurricane Hill Trail. I’m not sure which was more beautiful the views of the ocean and mountains or the fact that our boys hardly complained the entire hike. Perhaps the abundance of wildlife kept them smiling. It’s hard to have a bad attitude when a curious marmot is following you from a distance or when you stumble upon a heard of mountain goats. Full Time RV Family Olympic National Park WA 1 Deer and Trail Sign Olympic NP WA 1 Funny Marmot Olympic NP WA 1 Hiking Olympic National Park WA 1 Family on the Road Olympic NP WA 1 Mountain Goat Family Olympic National Park WA 1 Mountain Goat Olympic National Park WA 1 Visiting Olympic National Park WA 1  Peek a Boo Marmot Olympic National Park WA 1 Sunrays Olympic National Park WA 1 Deer Olympic NP WA 1 Deer Olympic National Park WA 1 Thing 1 Vista Olympic NP WA 1 Sunburst Olympic NP WA 1

Wild Flowers Olympic National Park WA 1 Marmot Olympic National Park WA 1

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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So Much to See – Seattle Part II

So we spent three days in Seattle. I think. Maybe it was four. Regardless, here is the rest of what we did after the first day. Future of Flight &…

So we spent three days in Seattle. I think. Maybe it was four. Regardless, here is the rest of what we did after the first day.

Future of Flight & Boeing Factory Tour

Boeing Factory Tour WA

Okay so the Boeing Factory tour isn’t exactly in Seattle. It’s about 25 miles north but it’s is SO WORTH the drive and the price of admission. Two years ago we visited Kitty Hawk, the site of the Wright brothers first flight, and seeing the progression of flight from the Wright Flyer (original is located at the National Air and Space Museum ) to the 787 plane at the Boeing Factory was almost overwhelming. So cool.

Experience Music Project Museum

Experience Music Seattle WA Family Experience Music Project Seattle WA

Boys EMP Musuem Seattle WA

At the Experience Music Project Museum the boys were schooled in grunge music while Brent and I took a trip down memory lane. (A few days later, we drove through Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain’s hometown, listening to Nirvana and the boys recalled some of what they learned in the museum.) Despite what it may seem like there are actually a lot of thought provoking exhibits pertaining to pop culture.

Woodland Park Zoo

monkey seattle wa

We always feel torn about going to zoos. On one hand, we love to see the animals and always have a great time. On the other hand, it can be hard to see animals in cages. I suppose that’s how most people feel. Ultimately, we hope that by seeing animals in real life our boys learn to appreciate and love wildlife and value the resources on our planet. Anyway, Woodland Park Zoo was lovely.

Fremont Troll

Freemont Troll Seattle WA

It’s a gigantic cement troll under a bridge and totally worth the stop. If you can find parking.

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park WA

 

 

 

Gas Works park is located where the Seattle Gas Light Company used to be. There are remnants of the old plant and gorgeous views of Seattle.

Just Explore

Eating outside at Little Uncle Seattle WA Thing Two Little Uncle Seattle WA

In every city we make time to just wander, try new restaurants, and meet up with friends who might live in the area. It often turns out that these days become some of our favorites.

Backlit Seattle Space Needle WA

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Sunsets and Sugar – Seattle Part I

Seattle is one of Brent’s and my favorite cities and we couldn’t wait to take the boys there. Our first day started off late at the public market and Brent,…

Seattle is one of Brent’s and my favorite cities and we couldn’t wait to take the boys there.

Our first day started off late at the public market and Brent, being a righteous coffee lover, insisted we made a pilgrimage to the first Starbucks. As we explored the market we came across Beechers Handmade Cheese and couldn’t resist a sampling of the “world’s best macaroni and cheese”. Yes, it was divine. You would think that would be enough decadence for a day but then we passed Cupcake Royale where they serve homemade cupcakes and ice cream?

Ummm…yes, please.

Clearly, we were running low on will power that day.

Good thing we like to explore by foot so we hoofed it down to the Seattle Center because a trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Space Needle. What better time to to visit Seattle’s most famous landmark than at sunset. The views were incredible. Mount Rainier loomed in the distance, a beautiful contrast to the Seattle skyline and a perfect ending to our first day in Seattle.

Public Market Seattle WA

Thing Two Looking at Fish Seattle WAIce Cream in Seatlle Yum WAIce Cream in Seattle WA

 Boys Space Needle WAMt Rainier and Seattle Skyline WAFamily on Space Needle WA Sunset over Seattle WASeattle Skyline from Space Needle with Mt Rainier WASeattle Space Needle at Dusk WA Space Needle From Below

Golden Sunset Space Needle WA

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Canada, Crash, and Cats: Crossing the Border

While in Washington we made two quick trips across the border into Canada, one to Vancouver and one to Point Roberts which is actually a part of the US but…

While in Washington we made two quick trips across the border into Canada, one to Vancouver and one to Point Roberts which is actually a part of the US but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Vancouver

Despite the weather being perfect and an endless array of possibilities, we only have four decent pictures to show for the day.

Three of the city.

Spinyx Cat Outfit Canada

And a one of an angry Sphynx cat outfit.

Why so few pictures when there is so much to do in Vancouver, you ask?

So the morning started off well enough if you don’t mind being questioned like a criminal at the border crossing because your husband forgot about the time he was 21 years old and deported. At the time, he was in a band. They were playing a show in Canada but didn’t realize they weren’t allowed to bring merchandise into the country without a work visa. Anyway, they had to drive out and drive back in with proper documentation. It wasn’t a big deal until 20 years later and someone asks at the border crossing if he had ever been asked to leave Canada and, forgetting,  he said no. Oooops.

After a few extra questions we were cleared and on our way. Sort of.

We knew we wouldn’t have data on our cells phones in Canada but we didn’t realize exactly how much we use our phones for travel until we turned them off. I’m surprised we could still breath without an app. Regardless, we made it to the city without too much confusion.

However, things were about to get interesting.

A few minutes after arriving downtown a man ran a stop sign and hit the front of our truck.

Crash.

After nearly two years of travel and 40,000 miles, we were in our first accident. In another country.

Welcome to Canada.

The man was extremely nice. He was very apologetic and asked if he could just pay cash for the damage. We were feeling overwhelmed in the moment and agreed that would be fine. It didn’t even occur to us to get an accident report.

After the accident, I was ready to turn around head back to the US.  The crash and metric system were making me feel incompetent. Brent insisted we enjoy our day.

I did my best. We explored Stanley Park, walked along the harbor to Gastown (which was very cool), and waited almost an hour in line for steamed buns at New Town Bakery and Restaurant.

But into the afternoon, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was consumed with worry about the accident. What if the guy said we ran the stop sign. Why oh why didn’t we just get an accident report?  We also realized we should have brought our bikes. It would have been a perfect day to explore the city by bike and I was too shaken up from the accident to drive around so we explored by foot. A lot. By the time we got back to the truck we were exhausted and headed back to the US without incident.

(As it turned out the man who hit us kept his word and paid for the minor damage. People can be so awesome!!!)

Point Roberts

Point Roberts is part of the mainland of the United States but, oddly, not connected to it. It lies at the tip of a peninsula accessible by driving through Canada or taking a boat. A woman at the campground we were staying at told us it was “kinda neat” so we decided to find out for ourselves one evening.

We left a few hours later that we should have because by the time we reached the border crossing there was a long line presumably on their way home for the evening. Reaching the entrance, we were questioned but this time we just got a strange look when we said we were going to Point Roberts for “dessert”.

Little did we know that there wasn’t a place to have dessert or anything to eat that we could find. Had we done our research we probably could have guessed that a place that doesn’t even have a dentists might not have a large assortment of dessert places. We drove around looking at nothing and ended up at the beach to watch the sunset.

Sunset Point Roberts in Canada

I’m thinking we need to head to Canada one more time because you know third time’s a charm and I hear those Canadian Rockies are breathtaking.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Our Backyard: Driftwood Cabana BBQ in La Connor, WA

Sure we love visiting  iconic places like Yellowstone National Park  or Washington DC. But simple “backyard” moments built from driftwood, salty air, laughter, and the smell of bbq are the…

Sure we love visiting  iconic places like Yellowstone National Park  or Washington DC.

But simple “backyard” moments built from driftwood, salty air, laughter, and the smell of bbq are the moments that send my soul soaring. I wouldn’t trade these sort of days for a trip to see the Taj Mahal.

La Connor Thousand Trails WA

Jenn in Fort WA

Climb WA

Raccoon La Connor Thousand Trails WA Standing Raccoon WA

Peek A Boo WA Chillaxin WA Sleepy Black Pug WA   Couch in Fort WA Spider Web WA

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Hiking in North Cascades National Park

While we are searching for a new RV and before we get busy taking on next year’s adventures, I’m going to finish catching up on our travels from over the…

While we are searching for a new RV and before we get busy taking on next year’s adventures, I’m going to finish catching up on our travels from over the summer.

July was a perfect month to spend in Washington. The skies were blue, the weather mild, and the foliage lush.  And what better way to take advantage of the spectacular weather than by spending a day exploring North Cascades National Park.

North Cascades is home to over 300 glaciers, approximately 1/3 of all the glaciers in the contiguous 48 states. We were surprised to learn that there are more glaciers in North Cascades National Park than in Glacier National Park. Although many of the glaciers can’t be seen from the parts of the park that are easily accessible.

We spent our day driving the North Cascades Highway with stops at the visitor’s center for a ranger talk, Diablo Lake Overlook to take in the sweeping vistas and to hike Thunder Knob Trail.

Sunlight North Cascades NP WA

Hiking in North Cascades National Park WA

Family North Cascades National Park WA

Hiking with my Boys North Cascades NP WA

Cascade National Park WA

Cascade Farm WA

It was a beautiful day and to put the cherry, or rather the blueberry, on top, we passed Cascadian Farm on the way home where we picked over 8 pounds of organic blueberries and raspberries as the sun set around us.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

If you enjoyed this post you can follow one of three ways! 1. Sign up to have posts emailed to your inbox. 2. Subscribe to the RSS Feed or 3. “like” Newschool Nomads on Facebook  Simple dimple!

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Sold Our RV!!!!! And RV Makeover Pictures. (Better late than never!)

There has been a lot of change lately. First, I found out I was pregnant. Whoa!!! Next we visited our hometown, Ventura, CA, after two years of living on the…

There has been a lot of change lately. First, I found out I was pregnant. Whoa!!! Next we visited our hometown, Ventura, CA, after two years of living on the road and decided we wanted to stay on the road. (Our decision to keep our family on the road full time deserves its own post.)

Then Saturday we had stopped for propane on our way out of Austin when I checked my email. In my inbox was a message from a couple who really wanted to see our RV which I had listed on Craigslist a few days before not really thinking I’d get a response. Posting the ad was kinda of a “let’s just see what happens” sort of thing.

Undecided if we should just keep on driving, we sat in the parking lot of the propane place discussing whether I should call the number in the email. My first response was no let’s just keep going. Afterall, we just had 10 wonderful days at our friend’s house and had spent the morning packing, cleaning, and saying our goodbyes. We were ready to move on and get to our next destination, New Orleans. Then Brent said I could call the number and just explain our situation and they could meet us on our way out of town, assuming, of course, they wouldn’t want to do that.

I called the number and the person who answered told me it was the wrong number. I sent an email explaining I tried calling but the number was wrong and we were headed out of Austin. I mentioned if they got the email soon they could call me back. Then we headed on our way.

A few minutes later my phone rang and a woman explained she and her husband were really interested and they could meet us right away. Thirty minutes later, after a mad cleaning spree, we were showing the RV. Thirty minutes later they made an offer.

What?!?!?!

That was Saturday and they couldn’t get a check until Monday or Tuesday so we went back to my best friend’s house. Sunday morning the buyers sent over a deposit. Today, we spent the day trying to pack up all of our stuff into a much too small U-Haul trailer.

Now here we are still in Austin waiting and wondering….what have we done?!?!?!  Yes, we wanted to sell this RV. It’s been on our radar since we found out we were having another baby and deciding to stay on the road. The back bedroom is a little cramped for Thing One and Thing Two. We want a double slide out in their room so they can have their own space to study, create, and play. We’d also love a little more counter space and a second bathroom. If budget wasn’t a limiting factor, we’d also have a washer and dryer, bathtub, and kitchen island. A girl can dream! Right now our priorities are a bigger back bedroom and a space where Brent can work.

BUT…

What’s next? Unless we find a new rig here in Texas in the next few days we are going to head to Florida with our stuff in a U-Haul. We’ll stay at my parent’s place until we find a new home.

AND…

Even though we have wanted a new RV for a few months, I’m still sad. Really sad actually. This RV is our home where created incredible memories and tomorrow we will say goodbye.

I realized this weekend as I was cleaning the RV up getting her ready to go I never shared pictures of our RV redecorating makeover project.

Like most RVs, ours was lacking in decor. If we were going to use our RV for the occasional weekend trip we would have kept our RV interior design as it was but this was our home. Brent and I wanted to feel like we were in our home and not staying at a hotel. So we spent the next month and a half sanding, painting, sewing, and doing some minor remodeling. It was a lot of work but I don’t regret a minute of it.

This was our home and how we brought it to life.

Living/Dining/Kitchen

RV Before Living Room

RV Redecorated Living Room 2

RV Before Bedroom

RV Redecorated Living Room 3

RV Recovered Couch 2

You know you have good friends when they spend 12 hours at your house helping you reupholster your RV couch. I got the fabric for the couch, dinette, and most of the curtain fabric in the LA Garment district, one of the most fun places in LA!

RV Redecorate Kitchen

RV Fruit BasketMeow Cow the Black Cat

Since we have a small fridge I try to buy lots of fruits that will keep at room temperature.

livig-room2

LEFT: The chandelier was the the last thing to be hung. It was another Ikea purchase from years ago that I had been planning to hang in our house bedroom. I hung it at midnight the night before our “open house“. RIGHT: Small details

livig-room3

TOP LEFT: Glass bowl from Target that has since cracked. BOTTOM LEFT: School books and a basket to store dish towels. RIGHT: Small vintage globe on loan from my mom. 🙂

livig-room1

LEFT: Apron hooks from World Market. MIDDLE: Map garland was a gift from a friend who I met for the first time in person when we hit the road. RIGHT: Bird curtains and wall sconce. We painted the metal of the sconce and glued a little trim around the bottom of the shade to give it character.

living-room-4

LEFT: This is the moulding around the slide. It was covered in the same fabric as the couch. Instead of taking all the fabric off, I took of the wood trim and stapled burlap over the fabric and painted the wood. TOP RIGHT: Key holder from Urban Outfitters. BOTTOM RIGHT: Glass knobs on all the kitchen cabinets. I really liked these because I had the same knobs in a different color in my sticks and bricks kitchen so they felt “homey”.

Bedroom/Office

RV Before Bed

RV London Bridge Headboard

towerbridge

In place of the headboard we painted with help from another friend a silhouette of the London Bridge. We were engaged in London and that morning after I said “yes” we walked along the Thames River where we took this picture. The quilt was made by my grandmother using an Amy Butler pattern and fabric.

IMG_9352

Across from the bed is our dresser, office, and shower. When we bought the RV there was a sink where the desk is now. We bought an small Ikea sink and put it in the water closet (toilet room).

RV Shower Before

IMG_9371

RV Remodel Curtains

My friend, the same one who helped with the couch, helped me sew (Okay…she did most of the sewing.) new curtains for every window in the RV but these turned out to be my favorite.

bedroom2

LEFT: I didn’t keep many things from our old house but couldn’t part with this metal cat that I found at a thrift shop. It opens up and I store jewelry in it. RIGHT: The knobs and drawer pulls were on sale at Anthropologie and I love having impressions of nature inside since a big part of this trip is about exploring the outdoors.

bedroom1

LEFT: When Brent and I met he said, “we fit together like Legos”. For our first Valentine’s Day I made him the “I <3 U” out of Legos because we were too broke to buy each other real gifts. We eventually decided to quite celebrating Valentine’s Day altogether but he still kept my Lego message.  TOP RIGHT: I painted an old mirror white and bought some organizers from Ikea to make a little makeup vanity. RIGHT: It’s true. 🙂

Bathroom

RV Before Toilet

IMG_1230

IMG_1240

We didn’t do much to this room except paint and add the the Ikea sink. Changing the sink plumbing was much easier than you would think!

IMG_1234

The photo frames are a mixture of Ikea purchases and painted thrift shop finds.

Bunk Room

RV Before Bunk Room

IMG_1246

Thing One wanted to keep all the cabinetry its original color but we painted the room and made new curtains.

bunkroom

Two years and 48 states later, I never got tired of nor regretted our RV makeover. It made it home.

Now it’s time to say goodbye and move on to a new chapter and another blank canvas.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

If you enjoyed this post you can follow one of three ways! 1. Sign up to have posts emailed to your inbox. 2. Subscribe to the RSS Feed or 3. “like” Newschool Nomads on Facebook  Simple dimple!

Like food and fitness? Follow along as I film a workout in every state and explore finding a healthy balance on the road at Girl Heroes!

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49 Comments on Sold Our RV!!!!! And RV Makeover Pictures. (Better late than never!)

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