Lower Antelope Canyon

While we were in Page, AZ we heard that Antelope Canyon is a “must see”. So I researched it and found out that we can’t just go and tour the canyon on our own, we have to go as part of a paid tour group. Since we prefer to do our own thing and not have to follow a crowd we were not all that interested in doing that. Besides the fact that it’s a little pricey. I know I say this often but we are not on vacation. We can’t do every fun activity available at every location we visit; we have to carefully pick and choose what we all want to do as a family. If it costs money we have to decide if it’s really worth it.

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There are actually 2 tours: Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon. We chose to do the lower canyon tour. I had a hard time finding much information online about this tour and how much it costs. I incorrectly learned that it would be approximately $80 for our family, and after seeing some pictures we decided we should do it.

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It turns out it was $116 for our family of 4. The ticket prices added up to $84 ($25/adult and $17/child), but this canyon is on Navajo land and we also had to pay a tribal fee of $8 each. Anyway, this ended up being a pretty expensive tour. It was also very crowded and we were really having second thoughts about our decision to do this.

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Well, I am happy to report that it was very much worth our time and money! This place was so incredible! I usually say pictures don’t do it justice, but I think these pictures actually turned out really great.

We did this tour with Ken’s Guided Tours of Lower Antelope Canyon. Our tour guide, Brook, was amazingly helpful. He helped me with my phone camera settings, he showed me the best angles to get the best pictures, and he even took my phone from me several times and took the best pictures. He was an awesome tour guide and I was so glad we got assigned to him.

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He took pictures that he said had been used as Apple and Microsoft screen savers, and he showed us some shots that famous photographers took that sold for millions of dollars!

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The waves and layers in these rocks were such an incredible site!

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The tour lasted for maybe an hour or two (I don’t really remember), but the crowd really thinned out as we started through the canyon. Around every corner we would find new angles and interesting rock formations. Being a slot canyon, there were many areas with narrow passageways to walk through.

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Brook took many pictures of the 4 of us together which was wonderful!

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He was even very creative with some pictures like this one where he made a sand waterfall.

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This last picture was right after we came up out of the canyon. We were down there in that tiny slot! It’s amazing to look back across the top and realize how much incredible scenery is down there below.

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Like I said earlier, we don’t usually splurge on tours like this, but I am so happy we decided to do this one. Touring Antelope Canyon is such a unique experience and I would highly recommend it if you’re in the area.

 

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Lake Powell and Glen Canyon

Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are in both Arizona and Utah. We stayed at the Wahweap Campground in Page, AZ. We actually stayed here in the summer of 2015 but left after only a couple of days because it was 105 degrees during the day. We loved the area and wanted to come back again and see more of it when it wasn’t so hot. March turned out to be a great time to visit. The weather was much nicer and it’s still the off-season at that time so it wasn’t very crowded at all.

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View from our campsite at Wahweap Campground

There is so much to do in this area! For starters, Lake Powell itself is absolutely gorgeous with the sky blue water and colorful rocks and cliffs in the background. It’s stunning!

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Lake Powell at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

The Glen Canyon dam and visitor center are close by so we went there to check out the dam and pick up Junior Ranger booklets. The dam is incredible to look at! You can walk across the bridge to get an amazing view looking down at the Colorado River. The visitor center also has great views of the dam and bridge and is very educational as well. The visitor center and bridge are free, but you can also take a paid tour of the dam which we did not do.

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View from inside the visitor center

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View of dam from bridge

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View of Colorado River from other side of bridge

New Junior Ranger badges. Their vests have gotten too heavy to wear for long and we now need to add badges to the back of their vests.

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Horseshoe Bend is another place that is a must-see in this area and it’s free! It is a section of the Colorado River that bends through the canyon. It is incredible, but also a little scary. There are no railings or anything to prevent people from falling off this cliff. I would be very hesitant to take small children here. Chris is afraid of heights and he didn’t like this very much, but I thought it was awesome! He was happy when I finished taking pictures and said we could go. 😉

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Horseshoe Bend

Notice the people laying down at the edge to the right of us in the picture below. That was a good way to look over the edge and see the river below. It was very scary to stand at the edge!

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Another fantastic place to visit in Page is Antelope Canyon, but that deserves a post of its own so stay tuned for that next.

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Grand Canyon National Park

On our way out west we are passing by some areas that we visited a couple of years ago. Grand Canyon is one of those that is worth repeating. We were excited to be there when they got a little bit of snow. We don’t see snow very often so this was a treat for us.

Arizona does not observe daylight savings time so at this time of the year they are on the same time as Pacific. That means that the sun comes up pretty early in the morning and we were up bright and early to witness our first snowy day of 2017. This was at the Trailer Village RV Park right inside the national park. We love staying right in the park because they have bus transportation to take you where you want to go. And they have restaurants and lodges that are fun to visit.

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I know it’s not much but it was better than nothing. This was Fat Cat’s first experience with snow ever. She didn’t know what to think of the stuff!

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Later in the afternoon the snow had already melted off the picnic table but it started snowing again so we brought Fat Cat back out to see how she liked it falling on her head. I think her expression in this picture is so funny!

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In the morning we headed out to check out the canyon before the snow melted.

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We saw lots of deer out at that time of the morning looking around for some breakfast.

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The snow on the trees was so pretty!

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The boys enjoyed a snowball fight.

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We enjoyed this so much! I know for those of you that live in cold climates where you see snow all winter, this would not be very exciting. I’m sure a warm and sunny beach scene with palm trees would be more appealing. As one of my friends told me, it’s all in your perspective. For us Floridians, snow is a novelty to us and we enjoy it so much when we see it.

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After our one day of snow the weather cleared up and we saw a spectacular Grand Canyon sunset the next evening.

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We did 2 hikes while we were there. The first one was the Bright Angel trail hike.

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We started down into the canyon and about a mile down we heard loud thunder and it started to storm and sleet. We know from our visit here 2 years ago that being inside the canyon during a lightning storm can be very dangerous so we abandoned the rest of that hike and went back up.

This was the start of the hike and the skies were a little cloudy but not too bad.

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But then the storm clouds rolled in and it looked pretty ominous.

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The next day was much better for hiking and we did our favorite hike down the South Kaibab trail. We did this hike 2 years ago, but only went as far as the Ooh Aah Point. This year we continued on down to the Cedar Ridge Point which was amazing!

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Starting down the South Kaibab trail

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Spectacular views every step of the way

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Ooh Aah Point

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Cedar Ridge Point

This was on the way back up. See those ants crawling up the cliff? Those are people, and would soon be us. I was so tired at this point I didn’t think I would make it up there, but I’m here to talk about it which means I made it. 😉

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Grand Canyon is such a magical place and definitely one of those places worth going back to again and again.

Next we moved on to Lake Powell in Page, AZ. Stay tuned…

Categories: National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Boondocking at the City of Rocks

Well we finally did it! We bought a generator and tried boondocking for the first time. Boondocking or dry camping is camping with no hookups, meaning no electricity, no water and no sewer. We have done no sewer many times, and even went without water a couple of times where we just had to fill our water tank before we got to the campsite, but this was the first time camping without electric. We quickly learned what we could and could not do with the generator. For instance, we learned we can’t use the A/C at all, and we can use the microwave oven briefly (like maybe 30 seconds). The coffee maker works, but you can hear the strain on the generator. Most campgrounds don’t want you running a generator all night, and we wouldn’t really want to run it that long anyway, so the nights are very dark and quiet.

All in all our first attempt at boondocking went very well. We had beautiful weather, and we couldn’t have picked a better place to try this out.

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Campsite among the rocks.

One of the benefits of boondocking is being able to camp in some pretty amazing spots out in the middle of nowhere.

City of Rocks State Park is in Faywood, New Mexico. We stayed at this park a couple of years ago in an electric and water hookup site, but these sites tucked in among the rocks are so much better! At night the skies were so dark we were able to see so many stars!

We had an interesting experience when we first pulled up to our site. A minivan was already parked there. I figured someone just stopped for a few minutes to take pictures or something so I got out of the truck to let them know we needed to pull into that site. The guy that was already there barely spoke English so I had a hard time communicating with him, but he basically said he was staying in that site and we were welcome to join him if we wanted to. Okay, that’s never happened before. This site was a reservation only site and I knew we had reserved it and there weren’t really that many sites in the park that we could fit in with our big rig. So I called the Visitor Center where I had just checked in and let the ranger know about this awkward situation. She sent some park rangers out to deal with it. They let us know that the guy just didn’t understand he couldn’t take reserved sites, so he went to find another one. Still, it made us feel really uncomfortable because it was like we had him kicked out of that spot, but what else were we supposed to do? He was only in a minivan and could basically fit in any site, and we didn’t really have any other options.

After that uncomfortable start, it took us FOREVER to get leveled in this site because it was on a slope. Finally we got set up and learned how to use the generator. Then we had a nice surprise! Our good friends from Ditching Suburbia just happened to be passing through this area on their way back to Texas and stopped in to spend the night with us.

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Hanging out with Mike & Crissa Boyink of Ditching Suburbia

We enjoyed beautiful sunsets and wide open spaces at this campground.

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Our campsite had a cute little nook tucked in the rocks with a picnic table and fire pit.

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Fat Cat liked climbing on the rocks.

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This park has a whole bunch of rocks to climb on, it’s like a playground of rocks!

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Our campsite is way back there in a cluster of rocks

City of Rocks was such a fun place to try out our first time dry camping. Now I guess we’ll have to get more adventurous and seek out some free BLM lands to camp on.

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Texas State Parks Part 2

This post covers the next two state parks we visited in Texas. If you missed part 1 you can view it here: Texas State Parks Part 1.

Monahans Sandhills State Park (my personal favorite of the 4)

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This park was all about sledding on sand dunes in the middle of west Texas, and it was so much fun! Our campsite was right at the dunes and we were able to head out and go sledding from our site.

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Notice Fat Cat on the sled with Jake. 🙂

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The dunes were so pretty, they looked like snow.

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Resting… climbing up those hills is exhausting!

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The boys made their own water slide at our site.

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I loved the look of the ripples in the sand!

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The sunsets were amazing!

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Along with the almost full moon on the other side…

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Not to be outdone, the sunrise was pretty spectacular too!

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In the morning the moon was on the other side.

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Fat Cat came out to wander around with us while we were out in the early morning watching the sunrise.

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I hated to leave Monahans (I loved that park!), but it was time to move on.

Balmorhea State Park

Next we went to Balmorhea State Park. You can swim in the San Solomon Springs pool at this park. The spring-fed pool is a constant 72-76 degrees year-round, but if the outdoor temperature had not been so warm I doubt we would have been brave enough to go for a swim. Thankfully the weather was really hot while we were there so the pool was very refreshing.

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Jake jumping off the high dive.

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I loved swimming under water and looking at all the fish. Some parts of this pool go as far as 25 feet deep!

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This was my FAVORITE underwater picture I got! Jake and I tried so many times to get a good picture of him under water, and we finally got this one. I love it!

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There was a little wetlands area over near our campsite where we could watch turtles, fish and ducks, and a beautiful sunset.

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We loved visiting some of the Texas State Parks and hope to come back and visit some more another time. If you plan to camp for more than a night or two at any of these parks it is recommended that you purchase a Texas State Parks annual pass for $70. Otherwise you have to pay a daily entrance fee for each person in your party. That would add up quickly after just a few days.

 

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places, Roadschooling | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Texas State Parks Part 1

We recently stayed at 3 Texas State Parks and visited one other. This post will cover 2 of those parks.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island near Corpus Christi was a great place to stay to visit both Port Aransas and Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf Coast of Texas because the park was located halfway between each location. The park itself is just okay as it is basically a parking lot and the sites are very close together. We were blessed with the best site in the park though on the end so we did not have anyone camped on our outdoor living side.

We spent one day at Padre Island National Seashore which was beautiful. This park was about 15 miles south of our campground.

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At the visitor center we learned about sea turtles and why there is so much trash on the beach. Because of where this beach is located within the Gulf of Mexico, trash washes up on the beach constantly. The boys earned their Junior Ranger badges here and one of the activities was to pick up trash on the beach. This ranger was really nice and helpful as the kids filled out their booklets.

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Vehicles are allowed on a long stretch of this beach so we drove out onto a section and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon relaxing on the beach. Unfortunately some vehicles drive way too fast down this beach though, so you have to be really careful not to get run over!

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We spent some time on the beach behind the campsites where we stayed on Mustang Island also.

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Port Aransas is a cute beach town about 15 miles north of the campground. We spent the afternoon at Roberts Point Park which has a couple of playgrounds, picnic areas and lots of areas for fishing.

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I loved watching this huge ship sail by as dolphins jumped and played in the waves made by the ship.

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Two other Fulltime Families joined us at this campground which made it even more fun. We enjoyed a pot luck dinner, an afternoon at the movies to see Moana, a birthday celebration and more. The other 2 families each have 5 kids so with our 2 we had a total of 12 kids playing in the cul-de-sac at the end of the campground road. They had foot races and bicycle races and played games at the picnic table.

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After leaving Mustang Island we headed up to Kerrville near San Antonio and stayed at Jellystone Park of the Guadalupe River. This was one of the nicest Jellystone Parks we have been to. We had a beautiful site backed up to the river with a jump pad right behind us. Of course the boys loved that!

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Jesse and Chris playing catch

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Jake walking Fat Cat

This park also had a brand new mini golf course that was beautifully landscaped and an indoor pool with a hot tub. They are in the process of building a new water park with water slides and splash pads. It was not open yet when we were there, but it looks like it will be really fun once it opens in time for this summer.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and National Historic Site

While we were in Kerrville we spent a day in historic Fredericksburg and visited the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park which was fantastic.

At this park  you can tour the ranch where President Lyndon B. Johnson was born and raised. He and his family are also buried there.

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One room school house where President Johnson attended school.

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There was a hangar and landing strip right on the ranch property.

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Connected to the ranch is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Here you can tour the farm house and property where costumed interpreters carry out daily chores as if they were living here in the early 1900s. We learned about what life was like there on the farm over a century ago. One of the Sauer children served as midwife at President Johnson’s birth.

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These ladies taught us about the farm and kitchen, as well as duties that kids would have had in those days like collecting eggs. They sent us out on assignment to collect some eggs, but we didn’t find any.

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Jake busy working on his Junior Ranger book

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Earning some more Junior Ranger badges:

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Posing with a picture of the former president and first lady

On our way back to the campground we passed by the town of Luckenbach and since we’re country music fans and love Waylon Jennings’ song “Let’s Go To Luckenbach Texas” we had to stop in for a couple of pictures.

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This post has gotten quite long so I’ll stop now and write about the next 2 Texas state parks we visited in the next post. Stay tuned…

 

 

Categories: Roadschooling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

More Random Thoughts

It’s been quite a while since I first posted some random thoughts about life on the road. You can view that post here: Random Thoughts about Life on the Road. I figured it’s time for an update now that we’ve been on the road for a little over 2 years. I usually only post about destinations we visit, but I think some people like to hear what it’s like to live in an RV fulltime.

I’ll start with some funny things that have happened. Living in campgrounds and RV parks means you get up close and personal with neighbors sometimes. I remember one time sitting at our kitchen table eating lunch while I watched our neighbor out the window in his bathrobe letting his dogs take care of their business. Still in his bathrobe after noon? Sure why not? I sometimes stay in pajama pants all day!

Another time we had one of the only campsites with a porch swing. One day Chris left to go somewhere, and I guess our neighbor assumed we all left with him because he used that time to make himself comfortable on our porch swing. I thought it was cute and hilarious! I didn’t want to embarrass him by letting him know the kids and I were still inside, so I just took his picture out the window so I could show Chris when he got home. 🙂

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Then there was the time our GPS took us down a dirt road on the way to a campground in Idaho. Oh boy was that a mistake! If I hadn’t been so nervous at the time I might have thought to take some pictures, but you’ll just have to use your imagination. This was a long one lane dirt road up and down hills and over a narrow wooden bridge. There was no way for us to possibly turn around so we just had to keep going and hope for the best. Thankfully we made it to the campground safely, although with a very dirty truck and RV. At least the campground let us wash the vehicles there and they let us know of a better road to take when we left.

Another funny thing happened in Dodge City, Kansas. We were on a very long drive and needed a place to spend one night before we continued on the next day. We pulled into a cute little RV park right off the highway in Dodge City called Gunsmoke RV Park. The lady that checked me in was quite interesting. She informed me that checkout time was at noon sharp! If we planned to stay until 12:01 or later we better pay up or get outta “dodge”. I suppose that was supposed to be a funny play on words since this place was in Dodge City. Anyway, since we were just passing through for the night, she didn’t have to worry about us overstaying our welcome, we were on our way bright and early the next morning. Besides the strange welcome, she read me a super long list of rules for the park. One of the weirdest rules was that our truck must be perfectly lined up in front of the RV. It could not be parked sideways or diagonal; it must be perfectly lined up. What?!? I wonder if they come out with a yardstick and make sure everyone’s RV and truck are perfectly in line? There were so many other weird rules that I don’t remember now, but that was definitely not the most welcoming place we have been to.

I spend countless hours trip planning and trying to book us into the best possible campsites with lots of space, privacy and amazing views. But every once in awhile we end up in a very crowded RV park so close to neighbors that you don’t even want to sit outside unless you enjoy sitting beside your neighbor’s sewer hose. Yuck! We were recently at a campground where a truck camper pulled in next to us as close as he could possibly get. We still can’t figure out the logic behind why he did that. He had to squeeze himself in between us every time he needed to get something out of his storage compartment. I could see the top of his head every time I looked out the window and I could have handed them ketchup through our windows if they needed any. Talk about being up close and personal!

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I definitely prefer a view more like this one.

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I’ve learned that I absolutely love the west, but I miss friends and family in the east so we end up doing a lot of back and forth. Whenever our truck and home take a turn onto an interstate going west I get super excited!

Some people assume we are on a permanent vacation, but that is just not the case. When people we meet at campgrounds realize we fulltime RV they think we won the lottery or are somehow independently wealthy. No, we still work and it’s a constant balancing act between getting our work done and fully enjoying our current location. And trip planning is like a second job for me. Imagine having to find where you’re going to park your home every single night of the year. And I’m picky! I don’t want to park at some junky run down RV park. I like amazing views and space and kid friendly locations. And of course I have to make sure wherever we go that there is Verizon coverage.

Some days are just regular days; we’re not out exploring and doing exciting things every day. We have real life like everyone else. We work, we do school, we clean and do laundry, etc. We just replaced all 4 tires on the RV, had annual maintenance done which included re-sealing the roof, and we had to replace our refrigerator. There seems to be no shortage of things that need fixing or replacing in a house or an RV, so in that respect it’s not all that different from living in a house.

The #1 question people ask me is “how do you get your mail??” Good question, and I wondered that too before we embarked on this adventure. The RV community has already figured that out for us. There are several mail-forwarding services that cater to fulltime RV’ers and boaters. We have a mailing address in Florida which is the address we use for our driver’s license and registration. All of our mail goes there and when we receive mail the service scans the envelope and sends me an email so I can view it online. I can select the option to have them open it and scan the contents, or hold it until I can have it forwarded or have them shred it. Most RV parks allow us to receive packages so when I’m at a location that will allow that I can have the mail forwarding service send our mail to us there. I also make heavy use out of my Amazon Prime membership when I’m at a campground that allows deliveries.

Life on the road can certainly be challenging, but it is so worth it! I absolutely love waking up to new and exciting places and adventures every week or so. I love that we have been able to see so much of this beautiful country, places we never would have seen if not for living in an RV, including some hidden gems that I would never have even known about. I love the priceless memories Chris and I are making with our children. I love the close family bonding we experience living in such close quarters 24/7. Okay, so maybe I don’t always love that when the kids are fighting, lol! But I honestly would not trade this life for anything! I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to live this way.

If you have any questions, send them on. I’m happy to answer questions people have about this lifestyle.

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

USS Alabama Battleship

The last 2 times we passed through Alabama we stayed in Gulf Shores. I had wanted to visit the USS Alabama battleship but we didn’t make it either time. So this time through Alabama we stayed right in Mobile, only 5 minutes away from the battleship which made it easier to make sure we got around to touring it.

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Our good friends from Fernandina Beach, the Norstrem family came to join us for the weekend and we all toured the ship together.

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park is a really neat place to visit for the whole family. You can tour almost the entire ship and climb on everything which is lots of fun for the kids. They also have a naval aircraft museum and a submarine to tour. It costs $15 for each person aged 12 and up, $6 for ages 6-11 and 5 and under are free. Although we all enjoyed our time there, we weren’t excited to have to pay for 3 adults now that Jake is 12. It would be more affordable for families if the children’s prices applied to all children, not just under 12.

Anyway, we still enjoyed our time there exploring this ship which served in World War II.

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Charlie got the award for the most excited of the day, he is really interested in battleships!

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The interior was really cool to walk through. We saw living quarters, kitchens, laundry facilities and even an ice cream parlor! It was hard to imagine what it must have been like for those living on this ship during such an important time in our nation’s history.

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They have rooms like this for scouting troups to spend the night on the ship. That would be quite an adventure!

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After touring the battleship we walked through the naval aircraft museum.

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And then toured the submarine.

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I have to say, if I was in the military I think I would prefer living on the battleship over the submarine. I can’t imagine being underwater for so many months in such cramped quarters!

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We stayed at Meaher State Park right on Mobile Bay which was so beautiful, and enjoyed gorgeous sunsets most evenings. Chris & Ken wasted no time in getting into a cribbage game as soon as they got there.

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It was a nice surprise to meet my friend Doug’s brother and sister-in-law Ron and Brenda who were also staying there that week. We had fun playing dominoes with them one night and Ron is very good at entertaining kids with trick questions!

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One other fun thing we did that week was to visit the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center. We were able to get in free with our reciprocal zoo and science center membership. We met up with another family there that we had met 2 years ago at a Jellystone Park.

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After a great time in Mobile we spent a few days in Louisiana and then headed to Texas.

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places, Roadschooling | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fulltime Families Tally Rally

We attended our 5th Fulltime Families (FtF) rally in Tallahassee, FL at the North Florida Fairgrounds. Affectionately known as the “Tally Rally”, this was the biggest rally we have attended so far at approximately 85 families. I have to admit, being an introvert, I was quite overwhelmed by this many people at first. When we first pulled into the giant field where we all camped for the week, I really had second thoughts about whether or not we should have come. But I needn’t have worried about that. Within an hour or so some good friends from previous rallies stopped by and we got out and about meeting old and new friends. We ended up having a blast!

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Here is a cool video that a rally attendee made early in the week:

The rally week started with a field trip to the Mission San Luis where we were transported back to the year 1703 and learned about how the Apalachee Indians lived.

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The next day we had a field trip to the Tallahassee Museum and Tree to Tree Adventures. The boys had their first experience on a ropes course. Jesse was not yet tall enough for us all to do the larger ropes course with zip lines, so Jake and Jesse did the ropes course for smaller adventurers. The larger one looked like lots of fun so once Jesse is a little bit taller we will look for a place for us all to do this together.

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Besides the ropes courses, the museum was fun to explore. It was more like a zoo and gardens.

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One of the really fun activities for kids at the rally was building a box city. Many thanks to the mom who came up with this idea! It was a big hit with all the kids. They built a city out of boxes and then had to sell stuff and earn “money” to spend at other businesses in the city. Some of the kids thought it was funny to commit crimes so they would be arrested and brought to the city jail. 🙂

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One afternoon some of the adults played bubble soccer. This was hilarious to watch! Chris played, but I did not. It looked pretty dangerous and painful, and you even had to sign a waiver in order to play because you could get seriously hurt or even die. No thanks, I’ll just watch. 🙂

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One evening the moms attended a Pampered Chef party, other evenings were spent having potluck dinners followed by games or dancing. After all the other festivities, we usually could be found at one of many campfires around the fairgrounds while the kids ran around and played until they crashed from exhaustion.

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We had such a great time at this rally! If you are a fulltime traveling family or planning to be, I would highly recommend attending one of these rallies. For us it has been a great way to get to know other families living this lifestyle.

 

Categories: Roadschooling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

St. Andrew’s State Park – Take 2

Last year I wrote a post about the not-so-great experience we had at St. Andrew’s State Park in Panama City Beach, FL. The manager offered us 3 free nights if we would come back again sometime, so we took him up on that and I am so glad we did! This time we ended up with the best site in the park and it was amazing! Our site was on the end so we didn’t have a neighbor on one side which gave us so much space, and it was right on the water. I was up early our first morning there and was rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise. It was like God was painting the sky before my eyes that morning for about 30 minutes. The colors and reflections in the sky constantly changed while I watched the Master Artist at work.

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Our campsite was on the lagoon side, but the state park is also on the Gulf of Mexico so in the evenings we went over to the ocean side to watch the sunset and play on the beach.

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We were surprised to find out that our friends Kym and Galen from Fernandina Beach were in Panama City at the same time as we were. We kept missing them in Fernandina so it was so nice to finally catch up with them somewhere else.

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My parents came to visit us there too which was lots of fun. The boys got Grampa out playing football on the beach with them. These pictures mean so much to me because my dad is 72 years old, and it’s so awesome to see him so energetic and playing on the beach with his grandkids. Just before Jake was born (over 12 years ago) my dad had quintuple bypass heart surgery. Every time I am reminded of that time, I am so thankful that he is still around to play with his grandkids. He is such a blessing to them!

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Jake and Grampa walked way out almost to the end of this jetty before they had to turn around because it was getting dark.

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I stayed behind on the rocks and watched the boats and birds.

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We went on a short hike at the campground on Gator Lake, but we didn’t see any gators.

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My sister always likes to pose my kids in front of signs like this to make it look like they’re breaking the rules, so we took this one for her. 🙂

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Chris got to do some fishing while we were there too, but it was all catch-and-release since every fish he caught was so small.

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We had a great time at St. Andrews and I’m so glad we came back to give it another try. Next up another Fulltime Families rally in Tallahassee!

 

Categories: Fun and Interesting Places, Our Travels | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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