A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

Saying Goodbye in Salt Lake City

We were supposed to say goodbye in Provo. We didn’t. We were supposed to say goodbye on Antelope Island. We didn’t. Instead, Brent and I decided to head back south…

We were supposed to say goodbye in Provo. We didn’t.

We were supposed to say goodbye on Antelope Island. We didn’t.

Instead, Brent and I decided to head back south to Salt Lake City to spend a few more days with our dear nomadic friends.

Temple Square Salt Lake City UT

We visited Temple Square where our friends proved how much they really do like us when Brent and I decided to ask our sisters, a.k.a. tour guides, two millions questions about Mormonism. Fascinating.

Friends Salt Lake City UT

We explored (and got lost) the streets of Salt Lake City and ate German food at Siegfried’s Deli. Highly recommended.

GMO March Salt Lake City UT

Never mind that we all live in RVs because you know you are really with like minded people when you come across an anti-GMO march and find yourself wildly chanting and cheering along with the protestors.

Trader Joe's Salt Lake City UT

Clementine and I cleared the shelves at Trader Joe’s.

The Grill Hero Salt Lake City UT

Brent played grill master.

After a few days in Salt Lake it was time to say goodbye and this time…

Another Group Hug Salt Lake City UT

…we did.

Goodbye Salt Lake City UT

Eli escorted us to the gate on his bike.

Sniff.

See you down the road friends!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Adventures on Antelope Island

So we thought we were going to say goodbye to our village friends Sunday morning in Provo. The RVs were packed so we took our goodbye group picture and gathered…

So we thought we were going to say goodbye to our village friends Sunday morning in Provo.

The RVs were packed so we took our goodbye group picture and gathered for hugs.

Then…

In an attempt to deal with my sadness and to throw out one last effort to put off having to say goodbye, I half jokingly said something about coming to Antelope Island with us.

Pause…

After some discussion the village decided to head to Antelope Island State Park for five more days together!!!!!!

YES!!!!!!!!!

The sun smiled and a bluebird came out to sit on my shoulder

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah-zip-a-dee-ay! My, oh my, what a wonderful day!!!!

Sunrise Antelope Island UT

Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. While Antelope Island is only a hop, skip, and a jump from Salt Lake City, it feels like a world apart with its nearly untouched beauty. Mountains surrounded by golden rolling plains overlook the glassy water of the lake.

Visiting Antelope Island State Park UT

An abundance of wildlife, most notably bison, call Antelope Island home. The bison were everywhere: dotting the hills, on the roads, cruising through the campground, and even on the beach.

Three in a Row Bridger Bay Campground Antelope Island UT

Bridger Bay Campground, while primitive, was a beautiful spot to call home for five days.

Morning Coffee Antelope Island UT

We sat on a hill overlooking the lake, a perfect place for morning coffee.

It was a relaxing week filled with bike rides, walks, and being with friends.

Swimming in Great Salt Lake Antelope Island UT

We even braved the cold and wind to take a quick dip in the Great Salt Lake.

Burrrr Antelope Island Great Salt Lake UT

Burrrrrrrr!

Buddies Antelope Island UT

Buddies!

Don't look behind you

I finally got to spend time with a blogging friend and her family who I met online over 5 years ago. Some bison cruised by at dinner.

Brent Biking Bison Antelope Island UT

Brent and I slipped away for some hiking and a bike ride.

Bison on the Beach Antelope Island State Park UT

I have this habit of calling beautiful places “magical” but right now, even with the bugs and the bison poop on the beach, I can’t think of a better word for Antelope Island.

Magical.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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People not Places – Provo, Utah

After leaving Moab we had to make a choice between heading down to Zion and Bryce Canyon or meeting up with our friends in Provo, Utah. We chose our friends…

After leaving Moab we had to make a choice between heading down to Zion and Bryce Canyon or meeting up with our friends in Provo, Utah.

We chose our friends because if we’ve learned one thing it’s the people not the places that really make the journey. Afterall I have a feeling Zion will be there for a while and who knows when we’ll cross paths with our friends again.

The boys were happy to get to spend a week with their friends. There was jumping, skating, sleepovers, bike riding, and a campfire.

DI Thrift Store Provo UT

Jema, Clementine, and I spent an eternity afternoon in the thrift store. Ahhh, women after my own heart.

Thrift Store Wedding Dress Provo UT

I considered renewing my vows just so we could were these dresses. 😉

That Jump Place Provo UT

Jump!

Buddies Provo UT

Silly skaters!

Popping Bottles Provo UT

Clearly, I’m not Mormon.

The Village Provo Utah UT

The Village Provo UT

The week passed and much too soon we were posing for a group picture before we said our goodbyes.

Or so we thought….

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Arches and Adventures in Moab, Utah

When we hit the road in 2011, we each had the places we most wanted to see. Brent was excited about Maine. Thing One couldn’t wait for New York City….

When we hit the road in 2011, we each had the places we most wanted to see. Brent was excited about Maine. Thing One couldn’t wait for New York City. And Thing Two insisted we go to Egypt. Maybe someday, Thing Two.

Utah was my promised land. No, we aren’t Mormon but I had seen enough pictures of red rock arches and sheer cut canyons to know I would love it. And I did.

Moab was crazy beautiful.

BLM land moab UT

Our home for the week was a desolate spot on BLM land. This may be my favorite “backyard” yet.

Arches National Park Moab Utah

We spent a few days exploring Arches National Park. Arches National Park is known…well…for its arches. There are more than 2000 in the park.

Double Arch Moab Utah

Thing One wasn’t that into standing under arches after seeing the movie at the visitor’s center. He kept saying matter of factly, “You saw how that thing was formed. That (pieces of rock falling) could still happen.” It was just an excuse to not have to walk so much. Nice try, buddy.

Shoving me into a puddle!

He was, however, into trying to shove me into a mud puddle. Anything to avoid hiking I suppose.

Delicate Arch

State Symbol of Utah Delicate Arch

We did hike to Delicate Arch, the most famous arch in the park. We couldn’t let the Utah license plate be our only view of the arch.

Canyonlands National Park with friends

While in Moab, we also spend a day in Canyonlands National Park with full time RVing friends, Rachel and Spencer, who we met in Breckenridge.  Canyonlands is divided into four districts most of which are not easily accessible by car. Just another reason to come back, next time with a 4-wheel drive.

Arch in Canyonlands National Park

It was nice to not have to ask strangers for family photos.

Slick Rock Moab

Jeeps in Moab

Jeeps Slick Rock Moab

We tried mountain biking on Slick Rock Trail but decided it was out of our league after about…100 feet.

It was fun to watch the jeeps though. And another reason to come back.

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We did find some easier trails to bike.

Family Mountain Bike Ride Moab

Mountain Biking Moab Sunset

Nothing beats a red desert sunset.

Mothers Day

Except for maybe a red desert Mother’s Day followed by lunch at an authentic Mexican dive with my two favorite kids.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Farewell from the Colorado National Monument

I’m going to just say it. Colorado is my favorite state so far. I know it’s not nice to play favorites but, purple mountain majesty, she is beautiful! That might…

I’m going to just say it.

Colorado is my favorite state so far.

I know it’s not nice to play favorites but, purple mountain majesty, she is beautiful!

That might explain why we were there for five months.

Yes, we’ve moved on.

But we didn’t go without Colorado giving us a glorious goodbye.

Visiting Colorado National Monument

Before crossing the state line to Utah, which very well be my second favorite state, we spent a day at the Colorado National Monument.

Thing One and Nico Colorado National Monument

Thing Two Colorado National Monument

Monkey Dad Colorado National Monument

What a wonderful farewell!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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More Fun and Friends in Colorado Springs

Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Olympian? Perhaps you’ve imagined yourself standing at the edge of the high dive or kneeling in the starting blocks with an empty track stretched…

Who hasn’t dreamed of being an Olympian?

Perhaps you’ve imagined yourself standing at the edge of the high dive or kneeling in the starting blocks with an empty track stretched out before you.

I don’t want to speak for the boys (Dream big fellows!) but it’s probably safe to say that visiting the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is the closest Brent and I will ever get to being in the Olympics. Even if I can throw a pretty solid side kick.

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No doubt, the best part of our day was getting to see the Martin family again. We met the Martins last Fourth of July when I tweeted them after parking next to their truck on our way to the Boston Pops.

Chapel Airforce Academy Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Airforce Academy Chapel

Maybe you have never dreamt of being an Olympic Athlete but I bet you wanted to fly a jet after seeing Top Gun?

Yeah, me too.

Our second must-see-spot in Colorado Springs was the Airforce Academy where we learned about the daily life of the cadets. While the visitor center was cool, we’d all agree that the chapel was the best part. That is if you don’t count the falconry club.

O'Dells Colorado Springs

Then two days before we left Colorado Springs I got a text from our dear friends, the O’Dells!!!

Over the winter they had stayed with us in our RV in Breckenridge proving what I already knew: they are, indeed, kindred spirits.

Now they were on their way back home to Minnesota but wanted to stop and see us en route.

Hike Colorado Springs

Buddies Colorado Springs

We hung out. We hiked. Three of the boys slept outside in tent.

Colorado Springs Thing Two

And much too soon we had to say another goodbye.

And then another when we spent our last night (unfortunately we didn’t get a picture) with our longtime friends, the Fields.

Such is a life on wheels.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Surprise!!!!!!!!!

Life on the road is not always fun and games. Especially when you are an about-to-be-a-teenager and your birthday comes around. Especially when you are an about-to-be-teenager who is used…

Life on the road is not always fun and games.

Especially when you are an about-to-be-a-teenager and your birthday comes around. Especially when you are an about-to-be-teenager who is used to having birthday parties with lots of friends and family.

Last year, we spent Thing One’s birthday at the Biltmore Mansion.

This year, he was going to be 13 so we wanted to try and make it special.

Thing One is a family guy. He asked if we could go back to Indiana to celebrate his birthday with my family so he didn’t have to be with “just us” this year.  I said, “Sorry but we just can’t do that right now.”

Little did he know I was plotting.

For a month and a half, I hid in the bathroom to text or slipped away to the campground clubhouse to make calls for the surprise birthday I was planning.

It worked.

Thing One and Two were a bit confused when we asked them if they would like to go to Denny’s for ice cream at 10 pm. (I’m not sure if they were more surprised that we said Denny’s or that it was 10 pm.)

Regardless, they were even more surprised when we drove up and saw a couple that looked like GG and TT (my grandparents) walking into the restaurant. Oh no!!! However, much to my relief, they were distracted by ice cream and didn’t think it was really them. I mean GG and TT were in Indiana not Colorado. Right?

Wrong!

Surprise TT CO

They were in Colorado Springs for his birthday!

Dennys GG TT Boys CO

Saying he was happy is an understatement.

The birthday week kept getting better.

Two days later on our way up to GG and TT’s hotel room, I suggested we check out the conference rooms as a potential place to celebrate his birthday. He reluctantly agreed.

Who is that! Bday CO

When we got to the conference room, we discovered it was locked. Like crazy woman I started jerking on the handle. The caterer opened the door and told me there was a party going on. She didn’t realize it was our party.

Uh oh.

So I stubbornly politely threatened said, “Well we might want to have a party here so we’ll just take a quick peek at the room.”

What!!! Bday CO

Thing One was mortified as I pushed past the caterer and told him to take a look. That was until he saw Weewah and Papaw (my mom and dad), GG and TT, and our very good friends waiting for him.

Weewah Papaw Bday CO

He was shocked to tears.

Surprise Bday CO

Elated!

Later, he told me it was one of the best birthdays ever. I think it was even better than the time I made the dilapidated limo cake.

Thing Two Weewah CO

Thing One wasn’t the only one we managed to surprise. Earlier in the day, I had dropped Thing Two off at the hotel for some alone time with GG and TT and he was shocked to see Weewah and Papaw had joined us!

It was a special weekend, indeed!

Airplane Restaurant CO

We ate in an airplane.

Molly Kathleen Cripple Creek CO

Miners CO

Mineshaft COGoing Down CO

We all crammed into an elevator shaft and went 1000 feet under ground at the Mollie Kathleen Mine.

Bakery Victor CO

On our way home from the mine, we stumbled upon a delicious little bakery run by German immigrants in a town of just 300 people and ate the most delicious food.

Grandparents

Family Pic CO

Mostly, we spent time just being together and then, much too soon, the weekend was over.

I love my TT CO549

Silly Thing Two CO

And it was time to say goodbye.

So sad but so thankful they came to spend time with us and make the birthday of a teenager so special.

Thirteen Years Old CO

Thirteen.

Family Bday Party

We can’t believe our baby is thirteen.

blue

This just seems like yesterday.

Time is turbo charged and shows no mercy.

It makes us that much more grateful for our life on the road together.

Even if it means living in a small space with a teenager. 😉

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Winter by Instagram

And this is the last of our Colorado winter. Hello spring! Love and Laughter, Jenn If you enjoyed this post you can follow one of three ways! 1. Sign up…

And this is the last of our Colorado winter.

Hello spring!

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 (Make sure to check subscribe if you want it to show up in your feed.) Simple dimple!

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The People We Meet – Breckenridge

Yes, snowboarding was amazing. And we made Breck our home for four and half months. But. Breckenridge wouldn’t have been the same without all the people. The people, with each…

Yes, snowboarding was amazing.

And we made Breck our home for four and half months.

But.

Breckenridge wouldn’t have been the same without all the people.

Friends Imperial Breckenridge

The people, with each of their unique gifts, filled this winter with even more beauty.
Old Friends

Our time in Colorado began with a stay with longtime friends from Ventura who moved to Colorado Springs four years ago.

I remember going over to their apartment when they had their firstborn with his little mohawk hair. Now here we are in the middle of the country with our not-so-little littles.

Words are not enough to express how much this family means to us. You will meet none more thoughtful, creative, and devoted.

Fitness Friends

I met up with fitness friends who I had only known online for a number of years.Niki Wynn and Jenn

 We met up with, fellow RVers, Jason and Nikki Wynn. Nikki and Jason are an adorable and creative couple with enough energy to fuel their RV.

(You must check out their site, Gone with the Wynns. So fun!)
Jenn Helen Rick

There was Rick, my favorite snowboarding instructor, who help me go from falling down the bunny slopes to falling down black diamonds. 😉

And spunky Helen from Australia, who I met in my snowboard class.Helen Jenn Keystone Outback

Helen and I spent a day together exploring Keystone and A-Basin.O'dells Keystone

Early March, the O’Dells came for a visit.

We met the O’Dells on a walk through a campground in Savannah Georgia last April. Then in the fall, we stayed five days at their house in Minnesota.

When they got to Breckenridge they learned that their RV didn’t meet the “length requirement” for the campground.

So…..

So they stayed with us in our RV.

It was tight. It was crazy. It was wonderful.

Nothing tests “compatibility” more than staying in an RV together for four nights.

They are truly kindred spirits.

The Village Brecks Adults

Last but certainly not least is “The Village”.

John and his kind caring spirit.

Jema and her thoughtful questions.

Pieter and his generosity.

Clementine and her free “happy-go-lucky” sense of adventure.

Matt and his wicked clever sense of humor.

Wendy and her mad cooking skills.

I could go on but each one of our fellow gypsy friends are brave, unique, caring, and people we feel blessed to call friends.

Dinner with Friends

Of course, there are the kids. Kids who are sweet, kind, and bright. They are missed.

Village Breck

 These are the people I have photos of but there were others who regularly, though unwittingly, made Breck meaningful. Debbie at the front desk, Spencer and Rachel, Casey and Marshall, many ski and snowboard instructors, librarians, friends I met at the fitness center, and even clerks at the grocery store (Can you imagine if I whipped out a camera at the grocery check out line and said, “I know this is weird but I write this blog and you make me smile so do you mind becauseI want to remember you.) all brought a sense of community and familiarity, something that is sometimes missing when you are moving from place to place.

As we travel and live a life full of change, there is one thing that stays the same.

It’s the people who bring this journey to life.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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A Bittersweet Goodbye

The other day on our walk Brent and I saw blades of green grass bravely poking up through the ground where the snow had been waiting all winter. It’s amazing…

The other day on our walk Brent and I saw blades of green grass bravely poking up through the ground where the snow had been waiting all winter.

It’s amazing how fast the snow goes when it gets warm.

Kinda like life.

Heading up To Breck

It just seems like last week we drove up to our home in the mountains.

 We were uncertain and nervous of how we would handle wintering in the RV, would our California boys like snowboarding, and can we stay put for three months?

Leaving Breckenridge

Then, like the receding snow, the months passed, three became four, and we said a bittersweet goodbye to Breckenridge.

Empty Site Breckenridge

 And left behind a spot we called home for four and a half months.

A spot that will be filled with others who will make their own memories.

We came to the mountains to snowboard but left with so much more.

Christmas Morning 2012

We celebrated our first Christmas away from family and we survived by decorating the RV, making cookies and snowflakes,and visiting longtime dear friends.

Virginia Out of Hibernation

We were away the day our heater broke and had a scare with Virginia. We came home stone cold and frozen stiff little turtle. Thing Two (Virgina is his turtle.) and I sat on the couch sobbing hysterically crying trying to warm her little shell in our hands. I may or may not have prayed for her to come back to life. I mean if Jesus brought Lazarus back to life he can certainly revive a frozen box turtle.  😉 A few hours later she moved her legs. Shortly after that she said, “Enough already!” and went back into hiberation for a good 3 months. A few weeks ago she “woke up” and we’ve been enjoying her every day since.

In January, we enjoyed the International Snow Sculpture by day and night.

Hamster Snow Ball

There was plenty of fun for the kids in the snow.

Teva Review Colorado Trail Hiking with the Boys

The Colorado Trail ran nearby our campground where we could find a deeper solitude and an even more stunning view than the one out our window.

Jezebel and Thing One

Thing One got his first job walking a sweet dog named Jezebel. He referred to her owners as his “clients”.

And a million other moments of ordinary beauty and togetherness.

Fresh Powder Breckenridge

To top off an incredible winter God sent the powder fairy on our last day at the mountain.

Family on the Road

We came. We survived. We thrived.

(even in -20 degree weather) Jumping Nomads

And now we are moving on to the next adventure.

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 (Make sure to check subscribe if you want it to show up in your feed.) Simple dimple!

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