Tuesday, July 31, 2012

North to Oregon

It has been a month since I last gave an update on our BIG ADVENTURE.

We spent some time at a great campsite in the Thousand Trails parks Called Rancho Oso. It was out side of Santa Barbara, Lily was in Heaven there, they had a working Ranch so she was down at the stables everyday, visiting with the horses.

 We went as a family on a trail ride. and also took a day and went for a hike up to a little waterfall. and of course we took a day and explored Santa Barbara and visited the Mission.

On our way to our next stop, Monterey, we detoured to the little town of Sulvang. Definately a stop worth taking. We had a nice couple hours touring the little shops and we even listened to a concert in the park by the California Air national Gaurd Band.

We drove the California Coast Hwy. or Hwy 1 to Monterey. Let me tell you.. That scared to crap out of me. It was beautiful don't get me wrong... but HOLY COW....I just took it really really slow. Lily was supper helpful. I have probably scared her for life.

We got to Carmel really late because of my really slow driving so we ended up doing our first "boondocking" We asked to stay at a Safeway parking lot. It was well lit and Everyone slept like a baby except for me. I had visions of intruders dancing through my head the whole time. In fact at 3 in the AM I watched a box truck pull up and off load something very mysterious  into waiting vehicles very Miami Vice. (it was probably just people picking up for a paper route) however it seamed very sketchy to me at the time.

To use the word BEAUTIFUL to describe Monterey would be an understatement.  We had an amazing time the couple of days we stayed there. Most memorable for me was riding bikes on their coastal trail.  See previous BEAUTIFUL. We brought along the kids bikes so were only going to have to rent 2 bikes but  ended up having to rent 4 instead. The boys had flat tiers from the prickly things in Rancho Oso.

We also visited out first lighthouse. This was supper cool. we hiked up 300 feet and over 3 miles to take the tour. It was worth every step. Ray and I have loved lighthouses from afar for many years. Probably from our time on boats but neither one of us had ever toured a lighthouse. So glad we did. Now Ray wants to stop at every one we pass. I don't think the kids loved it as much as we did. in fact there has been many a grown when we talk about visiting another one.

From Monterey we drove to Sacramento to visit my sister and her family in there brad new to them 4500 sq ft house. It was so great to spend time with them and to sleep in a real bed and cook in real size kitchen. The kids wore themselves out everyday playing with there cousins. Ray and I became addicted to the show American Pickers on the History channel. We now drive down the road making judgment on all the homes we pass... If they would be a good "free styling" stop.

We were with the Bushes on the 4th of July. We spent the day celebrating Floating on the River. Supper fun. No pics though did not want to lose the phone....

The next week Amanda, Lily, Katrina and I  went to the girls camp for our church. I got to go as Camp Nurse. That was an..... interesting experience which ended with me sending Lily home a day early and me leaving the last night because of a Bear in camp that was getting into the kitchen. I loved the girls and the leaders and made some great friends which is what camp is all about. So over all I will chalk that one up to doing something I have never done. ( which is what this trip is all about.) and add it to my list of things I do not want to do again.

Our plan was to leave Amanda's a couple of days after we gat back from camp...but we stayed almost another week. The kids were very sad to go and have had a hard time adjusting to being back "on the road".

We drove from Sacramento to Florence OR 511 miles the day we left Amanda. Spent 4 days enjoying "camping in the forest" thats what Gabby called it. I had a really bad asthma attack so missed out on some of the fun. Ray took the kids. Sand sledding at the beach. check another thing we have never done off the list.

We are now in Seaside OR. enjoying much cooler weather and trying our hand at being crafty....

Next stop Seattle....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

101 North... and our happy place

Oh to have WiFi, cell coverage  and 3G again!!
What an amazing time we are having.

I don't even know where to start to let you in on all out adventures. The Beach was.... perfect.
with the exception of not having good cell coverage. It is crazy how reliant I am on 3G.
 We stayed at Emma Woods state Beach. I highly recommend it. If you are not afraid to camp with out hookup. It was far more difficult in my head than it was to do. It just takes a little bit of planning and a lot of baby wipes. We did have a little hick up with the generator.... (We could not get it to turn on)

As soon as we drove into our spot Lily looked at me and said "this is our happy place" and she is so right.. All the tension that has been building up was washed out with the sounds of the surf. 
The kids were in love. They spent hours in the waves and sand. I had found Boogyboards at a thrift store before we left Utah. The best 4 dollars I ever spent. 
We took one day to visit Ventura. We love to spend time looking at the boats in the harboors and dreaming of  how we can move this adventure from land to sea.... 

Did you know that Ray and I met on board a ship? I was a steward and a deck hand and Ray was the Engineer.
And that after Rays brain injury when he could not remember having a family he remembered being "Chief engineer McKimmey" The rehab staff told me to bring things from our home that were important to him. So I brought a painting he had bought me of the ship we met on. He would stare at it for hours and say " thats were I belong, we need to go there." 
We often wonder how two people who are so at home and a peace at the water ended up with a house in Palmer AK.

The beach has definitely been the highlight of our trip so far. there is just something about the sound of the waves.... and laughing children.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1-15 north and finding JOY

I am very much like my mother... I stress about everything... almost to the point of ruining the trip for everyone. I don't mean to I just want every thing to be great!! I want to know that I made good plans and that we will be safe...I want to know before we go... I don't think that is to much to ask.

I need to let go. We are on an adventure of a lifetime. Most people will never get to do this. I want to share with you our journey. I think that helps me focus on the good and not on all my worry.

I will keep it real. I will tell you when something does not go the way we thought it would. But mostly I want to find the Joy in this trip so that is what I will be writing about.

One of the worries I have and a question that I am sure is on of the minds that know our "situation" is how are they affording to do this?
This is the one thing that I hope to find joy in. They say you can travel and see the places you have always wanted to. There are a million and one blogs and web sites out there to tell you how to do it.... on a budget....  with a million dollars and every thing in between.

I don't have all the answers and every family is unique.  I will share with you how we are doing it and maybe that will give you inspiration to do something like this with your family or just prove that we are crazy.

We try and do local things. I also scour the  internet to find coupons on activities. Using the little community paper that was lying on a counter in the laundry mat. We found out about this great free activity happening at a library.

This guy was fantastic! His name is Duffy Husdon he is a Broadway and film actor. I had never heard of him but he did a great job. It was so fun. He told the great stories of Dr. Suess.

We also went to a car show for fathers day. Ray found out about it on a bulletin board. Oh my heck!
This was totally Awesome!! Rays favorite thing so far on the road. If you are ever in Murrieta CA on Fathers Day you should GO! It was free and soooo COOL.

I joined Goldstar http://www.goldstar.com/events/ it was free to join and it gives you discounts on events. There is a handling charge that makes it more than you were expecting, but we still saved money buying our tickets to the Renaissance Fair we went to.
They said it was a "little Fair" but it was bigger then anything that you can find in Alaska. The kids have never been to one. (Our mantra on OUR BIG ADVENTURE is "things we have never done before"). This gave me an excuse to put my geek on and go. We spent the afternoon there, Gabby really like watching the "battle" from a tree. 
To save more money we went to the grocery store before we went and I got fried chicken, some really yummy...garlic crusty bread and some big bakery cookies. I wanted the family to eat with our hands and have food "like" we could buy there, but not spend $9 on a turkey leg. It work out fabulously!

Of course we take advantage of all the fun activities at the camp grounds we are staying at...we have already paid for those.....

 my tips
1. be flexible
 2. check community papers
3. online deals
4. shop at the grocery stores
5. take advantage of what you already paid for
6. let go and try not to stress


Sunday, June 17, 2012

14 days in an RV

I knew that it was going to be hard... well at least I thought it would not be easy. I think that at night  it is the hardest. We have such a good time during the day... just hanging out mostly. enjoying the company of each other. At night everyone seams to be a little home sick.

Last night we had a sleep over in a tent. who knew that you could have a sleepover while you are RVing. The girls and there friend slept out. It was kind of nice to not have to put down the table to make the girls bed and worry about stepping on there heads when  Ray or I need to get out of the bunk. It was funny to see them tucked into there tent with a laptop playing Flika 3 from a Red Box.... what you do not have to give up when on the road.
Like I said before we are taking it easy these last 2 weeks just hanging by the pool....Playing games.... watching movies.... Going to Sea World....

Sea World was supper fun and we had never gone before so we did not know what to expect. It did not disappoint the weather was perfect not to hot....maybe even a little cold at the end.

So far living in a shoebox has not been that bad.
And of course we spend a lot of time out doors. 
We are headed to a new camp ground today. It is only about 20 miles from where we are now and we are only going to be staying there 2 nights then we are headed to the coast for 5 days to dry-camp...EEK.
I am a little nervous about this. I know it will be fine we have done the dry-camp thing before but new things freak me out.. So we will have to see.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

i-15 south

We are in Menifee CA. At a camp ground that is part of the Thousand Trails membership. If you are thinking about taking off and spending any amount of time in an RV. I would recommend you look into it.
The first few days on the road after leaving Utah were full of anxiety for me. Would the motorhome make it to our destination? Would we be able to work the google maps thing on our phones and not get lost? Would we kill each other in our sleep?
All of these question swirled in my head.

We sped through Las Vegas it was to hot and well to hot. So we set out sights on California. This was another VERY HOT drive for poor Ray and Kyle. The AC unit is not working in the cab of the motorhome and it got as hot as 110 going through the desert. The girls road with me mostly. Kaden would get in and cool off every once in a while.

One thing that I know about myself is that I hate to drive in traffic. (So why are you traveling in an RV? Good question. And one that I asked myself many times while driving.) Well I am here to tell you that there is traffic all the way from Las Vegas to Las Angeles. If you have ever driven this you know what I mean. I was scared out of my mind. Lily look over at me once and said, "are you stressed Mom because you look stressed." I am sure that I did.

I have several FB groups that are dedicated to full time RV Families. I would recommend Fulltime Families. They also have a web sight http://fulltimefamilies.com that is a great resource for families that are thinking about hitting the road.

 Anyway through this group we met a family that is staying at the same camp ground and has a daughter that is right between Gabby and Lily. They invited us to a BBQ... gulp.... totally out side my comfort zone.

 I put on my big girl pants and took my family to meet them. SUPPER GLAD we did. The girls became fast friends, and Diane is really cool. It is so nice to talk to some one that is really living full time in their RV for real. She has been a wealth of knowledge and needed friend. I don't feel so alone.

With our new friends we have spent time at the pool,  and berry picking, and they introduced us to candy bar BINGO!

We were going to hop from camp ground to camp ground every 4 days. but have decided to stay here for 2 weeks. I think mostly for my sanity. I needed to just decompress and wrap my head around what we are doing. It was such a whirl wind month before we left. Packing and studding for my boards. Which I passed by the way. I am an RN now. I have been just trying to come down off the ceiling. I think I am slowly very slowly. I even read my first novel in 2 years. Thank you Keri for The WALK. I cried and cried by the pool. It was awesome.

So that is it so far. I will check in soon.

Oh we are sending post cards to our friends through out our travels if you would like one leave your address.