The Sights Unseen

Sensenig Family RV Adventures


January 06, 2018

5 Year Nomadiversary

December 1, 2017 marked 5 years that we have been traveling together in our RV. So much has changed in those 5 years and so many opportunities have been opened for us. The opportunity to connect with those that we love, opportunities tied to our passions in life and opportunities to see new places and reconnect with some old ones, too.

Most of this year’s traveling has been driven by Steve’s musical opportunties. For much of the year, he was playing keys for Classic Nashville Roadshow, which is a touring show. We stayed mostly on the east coast, but also ventured into Iowa, Indiana, and Texas. We attempted some sight seeing as he was touring, but were unable to stay too long in those particular places.

He also had a couple of music opportunities at Florida Southern College. Those were extended stays, so there was more of an opportunity to see friends, visit the beach (one trip to Sarasota and another to Cocoa Beach where we  were able to watch a rocket launch!) and explore the areas we were visiting. One particular stop in NC allowed us to visit and do some sight seeing in Asheville, which was wonderful. Such a beautiful town, full of creative energy…and so close to Boone, which was really nice.

We enjoyed some time in Texas visiting friends with an extended stay in a new (to us!) town: Fredricksburg. We loved exploring the town and visited a wildflower center as well. We just missed the bluebonnets blooming, though! We attended an unschooling conference and also spoke about RVing and learning together as we travel. It was really great to reconnect with some people that we love and enjoyed meeting new friends as well.

By the end of April, the touring schedule started to slow down and we took some time to visit family in Boone and in PA, before heading off to Maine for the month of May. During our stay in PA, both Steve and Calista had a hair color change, which they both loved!

Maine was simply amazing, We all fell in love with it. Exploring the coastal area of Maine was particularly wonderful, with its breathtaking views and quaint towns within walking distance. We were also within driving distance to friends in Massachussetts, so that was an extra special gift. Being able to connect with others while we travel is a pretty incredible feeling and every time those connections are of great depth, care and love, it makes us want to stay a little bit longer. We definitely felt that pull during our time in Maine. We celebrated Steve’s birthday at the beginning of the month in Boone and in PA and then celebrated Christy’s in Maine.

Our next stop was Missouri. We stayed there for a month for Steve to play keys for a musical at Southeastern Missouri State University and we also were able to take a trip to St. Louis and took a ride inside the arch. That was so cool! To view St Louis from the top of the arch was so amazing and wonderful. On one side you see the city of St Louis, on the other, you can view the Mississippi River.  We also visited the St. Louis Zoo which was wonderful as well. You have to pay to park, but the zoo is free. All in all, St. Louis is a great place to visit!

July was packed full for us. Performances for Steve in Kingsport, TN and in Blowing Rock, NC and a week long voice academy for Calista at Lisa Kelly Voice Academy in Peachtree City, GA, a short stay in Boone and Advance, NC before ending it with a family concert (along with our dear friend, Krista!) in Blowing Rock, NC.  We needed a LONG nap afterwards, for sure.

At the beginning of August, we traveled to Michigan so that we could park the RV as close to Canada as possible. Steve had a 1 week gig with another touring show and he needed to be able to cross the border to perform. Calista was able to celebrate her birthday in Canada. We took a trip to Niagara Falls during our stay which was on one hand an incredible sight as a beautiful natural wonder, but on the other hand very commercialized, which we were not expecting. We had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with a dear friend in London, Ontario, which was a very fulfilling and connecting time.

During September, we stayed in Pennsylvania and were pleasantly surprised at how much we loved staying near Lancaster. We have visited there so many times over the years, but never really explored downtown Lancaster. We fell in love with it! So many coffee shops, a bead studio and a co working space, plus we had some wonderful connected time with family and friends, too. It was truly a time we hold close to our hearts. We celebrated Dylan with a very low key birthday celebration.

Steve had the opportunity to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams of playing Rhapsody In Blue with a Symphony Orchestra. This opportunity came to be through the partnership with Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, TN. Our families were able to come see the performance and we also were surprised by our dear friends, The Church’s (another traveling family that we LOVE!) He was so brilliant and the collaboration with Symphony of the Mountains was perfect!

Georgia, Kentucky and Florida were next on our calendar, for more performances for Steve before heading toward New Orleans for a few days. We had the opportunity to go to a BBQ and Blues Festival where we saw the amazing Robert Cray perform. And we ate beignets!

We ended up in Texas again and enjoyed exploring Houston, Katy and Austin, mostly. Connected with friends, made some new amazing new ones, ate great BBQ and visited a museum in Austin, enjoyed some amazing city parks in the middle of Houston, enjoyed coffee and craft beer in Katy and mostly enjoyed being with one another.

It seems like a lot of things packed into a year and I suppose it is, but we don’t regret a minute. Living this life journey is exactly where we want to be and hopefully, our paths will cross yours in the year to come.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

Enjoy the video below. It is a complilation of photos from the last year. A huge thank you to Dylan for helping me get this video together. Without his help, you would not be viewing it now! Thank you, Dylan! You are amazing!!!

 

3 Year Nomadiversary!

It’s very hard to believe that we have been traveling for 3 years now. We have so much to be thankful for, have seen so many amazing places and met the most incredible people. One step toward a long awaited dream helped us discover a life full of joy, adventure and friends…so many wonderful friends!

There is really no way to contain all the memories that we have experienced in a single blog post, so we put together a video to show a few sights (definitely not all!!) that we have seen on this amazing journey.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our past 3 years…you may even see yourself in the video!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

December 03, 2014

2 Years and Counting

Happy 2 years-traveling-learning-and-growing-together-aversary to us!

So hard to believe we have been traveling this long. It seems that not too long ago, we were traveling across the country to pick up our RV in Canyonville, OR.

December 2012--Oregon

December 2012–Oregon

We have driven across the country 3 times now and visited 27 states. So many amazing sites that we have seen that we would not have, if we had not taken this leap of faith. Grateful for every moment….even the challenging ones have been welcome. They show us that we are always learning and growing…would not trade the experience of learning alongside my family for anything.

Ventura Beach, CA December 2012

Ventura Beach, CA December 2012

Being interviewed for a news segment Los Angeles, CA

Being interviewed for a news segment Los Angeles, CA

Grand Canyon, AZ December 2012

Grand Canyon, AZ December 2012

Winslow, AZ December 2012

Winslow, AZ December 2012

North Little Rock, AZ December 2012

North Little Rock, AZ December 2012

Pennsylvania December 2012

Pennsylvania December 2012

North Carolina December 2012

North Carolina December 2012

Disney World, Florida January 2013

Disney World, Florida January 2013

Gainesville, Florida February 2013

Gainesville, Florida February 2013

Legoland, Florida February 2013

Legoland, Florida February 2013

St. Augustine, Florida March 2013

St. Augustine, Florida March 2013

Bristol, TN May, 2013

Bristol, TN May, 2013

Blountville, TN July 2013

Blountville, TN July 2013

Dollywood, TN November  2013

Dollywood, TN August 2013

Butterfly House in Huntsville, AL November 2013

Butterfly House in Huntsville, AL August 2013

New Braunfels, TX December 2013

New Braunfels, TX September 2013

Space Center Huntsville, AL September 2013

Space Center Huntsville, AL September 2013

North Carolina October 2013

North Carolina October 2013

Pennsylvania October 2013

Pennsylvania October 2013

San Antonio, TX December 2013

San Antonio, TX December 2013

Blue Bell Factory, Brenham, TX January 2014

Blue Bell Factory, Brenham, TX January 2014

Potluck at Lake Conroe, TX February 2014

Potluck at Lake Conroe, TX February 2014

Wolf Santuary in Montgomery, TX March 2014

Wolf Sanctuary in Montgomery, TX March 2014

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park, TX March 2014

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park, TX March 2014

Balmorhea State Park, TX March 2014

Balmorhea State Park, TX March 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park, TX March 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park, TX March 2014

City of Rocks, New Mexico, March 2014

City of Rocks, New Mexico, March 2014

Tucson, AZ April 2014

Tucson, AZ April 2014

Sedona, AZ May 2014

Sedona, AZ May 2014

Coronado, CA May 2014

Coronado, CA May 2014

Las Vegas, NV June 2014

Las Vegas, NV June 2014

Utah June 2014

Utah June 2014

Fireworks over Boone, NC July 2014

Fireworks over Boone, NC July 2014

Watauga Lake, TN September 2014

Watauga Lake, TN September 2014

Nashville, TN October 2014

Nashville, TN October 2014

Nashville Zoo, TN October 2014

Nashville Zoo, TN October 2014

Darth Vader and Cat Woman, TN October 2014

Darth Vader and Cat Woman, TN October 2014

Drama Perfomance in Abingdon, VA , November 2014

Drama Perfomance in Abingdon, VA , November 2014

Thanksgiving, Boone, NC November 2014

Thanksgiving, Boone, NC November 2014

Well, that is our first 2 years, in a nutshell….a very large nutshell, but there it is! We are looking forward to seeing what the next year brings, the new friends we will meet and the old friends we will see again.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

November 17, 2014

Drama Time!

When we returned to the Bristol/Abingdon area, Hannah let us know what was on her list of things to do and acting class was one of her top picks! Unfortunately, there were not any classes available at first but about a month ago, a class became available at Barter Youth Academy in Abingdon, VA. When I asked her if she wanted to attend it, there was an immediate YES! She was so excited.

The class was for 1st and 2nd grade kiddos and the play that was chosen for them was Tortoise and the Hare. The play ended up being re-written by the kids, which was so awesome. I think they all felt like the play was theirs and really had some ownership in how it was presented. W eek after week, Hannah looked forward to going to her class and seeing her classmates. She loved being asked for her ideas and having them being used in the play. She instantly memorized her lines and delivered them beautifully. She has a definite love of theatre.

Pre-performance at Bob's at Barter

Pre-performance at Bob’s at Barter

Hannah loves my hugs!

Hannah loves my hugs! Too funny…

Another before pic with her Barter T-Shirt on...she loves that shirt!!

Another before pic with her Barter T-Shirt on…she loves that shirt!!

During the performance of Tortoise and the Hare as Fox B of the Trixie Trio

During the performance of Tortoise and the Hare as Fox B of the Trixie Trio

Hannah and Allison Woods, her instructor

Hannah and Allison Woods, her instructor

Hannah receive a special star from her Nana!

Hannah received a special star from her Nana!

With some of her friends at the reception

With some of her friends at the reception

We were so sad to see this come to an end. We won’t be able to make the next round of classes in the spring because we are not planning to be in the area, but we are hoping to make it for next fall when we return.

This experience has definitely left an impression with Hannah and a continued love for theatre. We can’t wait until the next season of classes and to see how this love blossoms.

Great job, Hannah! You rocked it, love.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

May 05, 2014

Tucson, AZ

There is so much to wrap up in this post as we spent quite a bit  of time in Tucson, but I will try to tie it together somehow!

We arrived in Tucson with some time to kill before the World’s Best Roadschool Convention, so we stayed at Voyager RV Resort before making our way over there. It was a gorgeous park with lots of activities, several pools, a library and beautiful scenery. It was a fabulous place to park for a few days. The peak season was coming to a close there, so it wasn’t very crowded at all.

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As we made our way to the convention at Lazy Days/KOA Campground, we prepared for all the events that were getting ready to happen. Seeing lots of friends, making lots of friends, giving a presentation on our product, My Homeschool Transcripts and taking part in an unschooling panel for the convention. There was also a rally happening at the same time, so there were lots of festivities in the evening as well.

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A couple of very cool things that happened while we were at the convention/rally: an air show could be seen overhead from the campground and the lunar eclipse could be seen very clearly from our campsite. These are the types of things that make living on the road so incredibly fulfilling…those serendipitous moments that allow us to reflect on the beauty of where we are at any given time.

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After all our connecting with friends and enjoying the festivities, it was time to leave. So, we headed back over to Voyager to regroup and make some decisions about our travel plans. We spent enjoyed the pool some more, decorated eggs and took in some more beautiful evenings.

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Upon leaving Voyager, we decided to take another trip over to Lazy Days and check out a camper that we were particularly fond of! This one is totally going on the vision board! We really love the layout of the living area. The two couches fold out to create one huge sleeping area…a co-sleeping dream!

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All in all, we had a fabulous time in spectacular Tucson. There was so much that we wanted to do, but didn’t have the opportunity or ability to do, so we really hope that we can make it back again soon. It is a beautiful place to be!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

 

 

November 18, 2013

Our Trip to PA

I have been neglecting this post for awhile, no particular reason except that there was so much packed in this trip that I really didn’t know where to begin.

Our reason for coming to PA was for Steve to provide a concert for the church that he grew up attending, but there was so much to experience in that reason alone. The family that brought him there had been very blessed by his music over the years and wanted to share it with the church again. It was a very precious time and a very beautiful concert. We knew after that concert that coming to PA was absolutely the right thing to do.

A few days before the concert, we were able to reconnect with some friends and make new ones as well.  We spent some time at Circle M Campground near Millersville, PA and had a great time enjoying campfires, potlucks, laundromat parties and farmer’s market trips. We also connected with family and celebrated Halloween with them.

 

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The following week, we parked the RV in Steve’s parents driveway in Gap, PA. We were very fortunate to have everything that we needed and the hospitality that they displayed was so amazing. We had a problem happen with the transfer switch in the RV, which meant we couldn’t use the generator. The temperature dipped into the low 30’s at night and we ended up relying on them a bit more than we intended. We are incredibly thankful for their generosity.

We were so amazed at the fall foliage that we were seeing. When we traveled through TN and NC and even VA, the colors were just not very vivid. But in PA, the colors were amazing. Many rides were taken just to admire the scenery 🙂

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We took at trip to Hershey, PA to visit a friend that I have known for quite a while online. We have been wanting to get together for a long time, but this trip we were able to make it happen. It was SO wonderful to connect and meet her kids. We ended up meeting at Chocolate World, but made out way to Pizza Hut, the local library and finally out to finish the day with some ice cream. Good times 🙂

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We stayed in PA long enough for Steve to perform in another church concert. It was a great concert and thanks to a friend bringing her daughter for Hannah to be with, I was actually able to sit through the entire concert! It was wonderful!

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There is so much to be said about the trip. So many emotions were felt by us all…lots of happy connecting times with friends and family, but also some sadness because of some illnesses that were very much a part of Steve needing to perform the concerts urgently. So many more blessings that were given to us that would take many other posts to explain.

All in all, we were blessed and in return many people were blessed by Steve’s music. We are thankful and have deep gratitude for it all and are looking for opportunities to share and give back to those we come in contact with in our travels.

John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy

February 16, 2013

Music Camp or Play with a New Friend?

We returned to music camp at the same location of the rally we attended in the previous weeks. This music camp was free to attend, you just needed to choose your instrument. Hannah decided to choose vocals.

The premise of the camp was actually a great idea…they just lacked some organization. With all the kids there, we needed to know some sort of plan. Instructors didn’t show and all the events started 30 minutes late. Needless to say, this scenario did not sit well with Hannah girl and she quickly lost interest. At the same time, another gal, who was camping close to us, decided she didn’t want to attend the camp, either.

So, they devised a plan. It was play time for the rest of the weekend. And you know what? It was fine with us. They were having fun exploring and connecting, so they were free to just have fun together. That’s what I love about this life we are living. Giving our children the freedom to explore (or not explore) what interests them. It makes for a happier life, for sure.

A view of Suwannee River

A view of Suwannee River

Playing with a new friend

Playing with a new friend

Look at those happy faces…the best sight in the world!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits,

Christy

 

September 25, 2012

Late Night Learning

Learning happens all the time around here. It just does. Because we want our kiddos to learn how to regulate their own bodies when they need rest, we do not have specific bedtimes. That is not to say that we just stay up til the wee hours every single night. We are partners with our children in helping them regulate their own bodies. This does mean that sometimes we stay up late, because it is important to them to do so. Recently, Hannah was up and wanted to watch Tinkerbell. She spontaneously wanted to make something after see the fairies ‘tinkering’. So, she grabbed a plastic bottle, some paint and construction paper and went to work making a handmade flower vase. And made me a picture with a heart and her name painted on it. I love my life and connection with my family. I can’t imagine living my life any other way.

September 21, 2012

Creative Expression

In our journey into unschooling and allowing our kids the freedom to choose their own passions and to follow their plan for their day, we have discovered many things that I am not sure would have been given the true value it deserves if we had been following a different plan (namely, a plan that we would choose for our kids). I have loved seeing what interests develop. Some interests have come and gone quickly and some have lingered on, but each choice is giving them the freedom to see where their heart and desire leads them.

After our trip to Boone, Hannah still was thinking about apples and we had quite a few left over. So, we made an apple pie to enjoy at home. She  really enjoyed helping me and wanted to carve the letter “H”  in the middle of the pie. It was very yummy. This is an activity that Hannah loves…cooking and baking with Mommy. And Mommy loves it, too!

Photography is another area that Hannah loves. She very easily adapts to the camera and has a great eye for an excellent photo. I have a very versatile camera, a Nikon D-3000. At first I was a little nervous letting her use it, and sometimes I do need to remind her not to bump it on the table, but overall she uses it with great care. She has her own camera that she also loves, but likes to use Mommy’s camera, too.  She takes pictures of me, the cats and really anything that interests her. I love seeing what her eye captures!

Something else that Hannah has been exploring is her ability to write letters and put them together to form words. She has been able to use various mediums for creating pictures with words and I love seeing what she creates!

Honestly, given the freedom to learn and express herself, she amazes me each and every day. I am so grateful to be by her side, watching her grow and learn. And I get to learn so much in the process as well. It’s  a blessed life, for sure.

September 13, 2012

A Milestone Passed

Today was a very happy day for our family, but mostly for our sweet son, Dylan. Getting a driver’s license has been on the top of his to-do list for 2 years. With his learner’s permit in hand, he has been practicing, taking the classwork needed and practicing some more. There were times that I wondered if he truly wanted to go through with this task, as I would see him get discouraged at times, challenged with processing the information that needs to be processed in the driving skill. But he continued to work hard to get better and more confident and after 2 years he has completed the driving test and now has his license! As he reaches his 20th birthday next week, he can enter it with confidence that he has completed this amazing goal!

At our local DMV, they do not issue the card that day, so he will have it mailed to him in about a week. Rest assured, when it comes in, there WILL be pictures 🙂

So, we are rejoicing in our home today and it helps set the tone for this weekend and next week, celebrating our wonderful son and our thankfulness of walking with him through this part of his journey.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
-Mahatma Ghandi