Before baby nomad gets here we decided to head out to the beach with a tripod and camera to get some pictures while we are still, sort of, a family…
Before baby nomad gets here we decided to head out to the beach with a tripod and camera to get some pictures while we are still, sort of, a family of four.
We are really excited about the new baby but along with that joy there is some, for lack of a better word, “sadness” in saying goodbye to the life that we have known for the last eleven years as a family of four.
I hope that doesn’t sound bad.
I’m so thankful that we’ve had these past two and a half years on the road to slow down, explore, and create memories to numerous to count with Thing 1 and Thing 2.
I’m also thankful for this new family member on his way and look forward to the joy he will bring and the many adventures that lie ahead.
Now it’s time to get this show on the road. I’m ready to hold a baby in my arms instead of a 40 lb bowling ball in my belly!
Bear with me as we hitch up our time machine and head back in time for Throwback Thursday. The amount of pictures we take borders on absurdity and it’s impossible…
Bear with me as we hitch up our time machine and head back in time for Throwback Thursday. The amount of pictures we take borders on absurdity and it’s impossible for me to keep up without an assistant. So until the boys can be trusted to pick the best pictures of me, I’ll have to do all the photo management which could be a full time job in and of itself.
The visitor center, like most national park visitor centers, was filled with information and hands on exhibits. We learned about the sacrifices and hardships the soldiers of the Continental Army endured in their fight for our country’s independence.
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.
If you’ve ever wondered what life as a full time RVing family is like watch this short video Brent put together for Go RVing. I think it captures the last…
If you’ve ever wondered what life as a full time RVing family is like watch this short video Brent put together for Go RVing. I think it captures the last few years of our life really well. In fact, every time I watch it I get a little teary eyed and feel so grateful.
Thank you to all our family and friends who add so much to this adventure. Thank you for meeting up with us in random locations. Thank you for letting us park in your driveways. Thank you for inviting us to your table. Thank you for sharing cool places to visit. Thank you for remembering us while we travel. You are always the highlights of our travels! You can visit two other full time RVing families in the video at The Lundy 5 and Studio Jema.
We’ve been enjoying sharing our family’s full time RV life with the Go RVing audience. You can read our other posts here.
After much, literally months of deliberation, and over 8 weeks of living out of bags after selling our old RV, we decided to purchase a brand new fifth wheel. This…
After much, literally months of deliberation, and over 8 weeks of living out of bags after selling our old RV, we decided to purchase a brand new fifth wheel. This is the first time we have ever made a large brand-new purchase. For the last fourteen and a half years of our marriage we’ve always bought used cars and fixer-upper houses. To give you an idea on how hard this decision was for us, it took me over 6 months of research to buy a nice blender and three days of putting it in my online shopping cart only to delete it before I finally hit “check out”.
So why did we decide to go with a new fifth wheel? Two reasons, floor plan and Dixie RV Superstores. We first saw the Heartland Gateway 3650BH in Texas and, despite the hotel-like appearance of the interior, we immediately we fell in love with the floor plan. At the time we still had our old RV and thought there was no way we could buy a new RV so we kept looking at used ones. The Gateway is a new line from Heartland so there weren’t any used ones available. We found a used Cedar Creek Silverback we liked not loved in Michigan but the weather was not cooperating to go pick it up.
A few weeks later while waiting for a break in the nasty weather, we went to the Indianapolis RV show and saw the Heartland Gateway 3650BH again. We walked in and every one of us knew it was a perfect floor plan for our family. We sat in it for about 30 minutes imagining what it would be like to live in it. It had EVERYTHING we wanted: a full size refrigerator, tons of kitchen counter space, a gas stove and oven, a pantry, a huge bunk room with two slides, a booth dinette (we didn’t want a table and chairs), washer and dryer hook ups (which we decided to use as a place for Brent’s office), a second half bath, and a bathtub in the full bath. It’s so cute to watch babies play in the tub!
The next morning I got up early and started contacting RV dealerships. I made a few offers and Dixie RV got back to me. Dixie RV was awesome. Not only are the prices on their rigs great, the customer service is phenomenal. (We are going to write a post with video detailing the entire process of buying a new RV from Dixie soon so stayed tuned.)
Anyway, as you may know the weather in the midwest was horrendous so it took us almost two weeks before we could get down to Dixie RV to pick up our new rig. In the meantime, I needed to see my doctor so it was more cost effective for Thing Two and I to fly down to Florida than for us all to drive all the way down and then back up to Dixie in Louisiana. Plus it gave us some special one on one time with the boys. Our family was apart for 10 days which was really hard but eventually we reunited late one night in Pensacola during that crazy ice storm. The next morning we drove to Dixie to pick up our new RV.
Lots of counter space is going to make preparing meals much more enjoyable.
It’s hard to tell in the picture but there is a lot of open floor space in front of the couches. If we wanted we could comfortably fit a coffee table. Many of the fifth wheels we looked at had an island but then the floor space in the living room felt cramped.
The Master Bedroom
Meow Cow thinks the “king bed” means it was made for him. (He’s on the top right pillow.)
The washer and dryer hookups are behind the louvered doors. We orginally thought we would install a washer/dryer combo but decided it would be more space effective to use it as Brent’s office.
The Full Bathroom
Again it’s hard to tell but the bathtub is actually quite large.
The Bunk Room and Half Bath
There is a ton of space in the middle of the bunkhouse.
The half bath taken from the outside door.
As far as renovations and decorating goes, we aren’t sure what we are going to do yet. While we had a blast painting and reupholstering everything in our old rig, we just don’t feel comfortable sanding and painting brand new cabinets or tearing off perfectly good fabric. To be honest, we don’t have the time for a full renovation anyway with the baby on the way. Another reason we decided to go with a new rig. We do know we’ll make new curtains and get a new bedspread. Gold is not our thing. We also have to come up with a solution for the leather couches and headboard because Meow Cow will turn them all into his own personal scratching posts and getting him declawed is not an option. So we may swap out the reclining couch and recover the lounge and headboard with fabric that could easily be removed by a new owner if we decide to sell the rig in the future. Lastly, we are going to build desks spaces for the boys in the bunk room and add another storage cabinet.
So that’s the new RV, a Heartland Gateway 3650BH. We filmed a tour for those of you who prefer video over pictures but haven’t had time to edit it. We’ll get that posted next week.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to raise a family on an island with lots fresh fish, play dates at the beach, and calypso music. Since I don’t…
I’ve always wondered what it would be like to raise a family on an island with lots fresh fish, play dates at the beach, and calypso music. Since I don’t think we will be moving to an island anytime soon, the next best thing is visiting a family who lives on an island.
Family life on Orcas Island was everything I imagined minus the calypso music. Orcas Island is part of the San Jaun Islands off the coast of Washington. It is accessible by boat or sea plane. We took the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes. You can take your car on the ferry but since Brent’s friend, Ryan, was picking us up we left the truck.
It was a gorgeous day spent exploring and learning about life on an island. Brent enjoyed catching up with old friends and the boys and I enjoyed making new ones. Ryan and his brother, Matt, own the Deer Harbor Inn and restaurant. That evening we enjoyed a most delicious meal on the patio with Ryan and his family. (There was fresh seafood just how I imagined island life.) Seriously, the food was amazing!
After dinner Ryan took us back to the ferry with homemade blackberry pie and we watched the sunset from the ferry. A lovely ending to a lovely day.