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!!!
I meant to post this here a few months ago. I was able to place it on our facebook page, but forgot to post here! We celebrated our 4 Year Nomadiversary on December 1 and we are looking forward to many more adventures!!!
Calista informed us at the first of the month that it was time to say goodbye to her beloved barbies. These barbies have been her friends for many, many months so we were quite surprised to hear that she wanted to give them away. She not only wanted to give them away, but she wanted to make sure that they were given to children that lived in a children’s home. We were not very familiar with the options in the area, but we found a children’s home that operated a thrift store, so we bundled them up and delivered them to the Collins Children’s Home Thrift Store in Seneca, SC.
We explored the local area a bit and visited The Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, SC. It was a really fun museum and they had an exhibit that encouraged interactivity with all 50 states called Trivial Pursuit, A 50 State Adventure. It was fun to interact with the states and even be able to recognize some places that we have visited.
We also enjoyed a very fun Valentine’s Day as Steve had a gig with Katie Deal and Chris Wright in Gainesville, GA at Brenau University, just about an hour from the campground. It was such an amazing concert with so many outstanding musicians. We went out together and celebrated as a family at Mellow Mushroom. I think we have visited at least 10 different Mellow Mushroom restaurants in our travels and every one of them is unique! We topped off the night with a cheesecake that I made for everyone.
So, now to the exciting part of the month…well, all that happened prior was pretty exciting, but…
We had a flood. In our RV. Thank you non-working toilet that decided to work while we were gone for the day. Lots of water on the floor and in the carpet. We tried valiantly to remove all the water, but we just couldn’t. So, we removed the carpet and put down the new flooring we have been wanting for 3 years. So, all in all a blessing in disguise, just not the route that we planned to take.
It was really quite the project, but we were so happy to be able to complete it ourselves and it is exactly what we wanted. We love our new floor!
We topped off February with a very fun and refreshing trip to Florida to visit with friends and just enjoy a change of scenery. It turned out to be so much more refreshing than we thought it would be. It was a such an encouraging and uplifting week. We did not want to leave!
Even with the ups and downs of figuring out the flooring issue, we had such a fabulous February! We are filled with so much gratitude for every experience that comes our way. It is a beautiful life!
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!
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!
I’m going to backtrack a bit and write some posts from our summer in PA. I hope you don’t mind!
When we arrived in PA last Spring, our first stop was Gettysburg Farm RV Park near Hanover, PA. We were not sure what to expect as we had not stayed there before. All we knew was that there was a working farm located at the campground, which made us super excited! And I have to say, and I think I speak for the family when I say this…it is one of our favorite places to stay. The scenery is so peaceful and the people that camped there were very friendly….and so were the animals. We loved being able to walk out and visit the animals every day.
We celebrated Steve’s birthday while we were there! We enjoyed some Boston Cream Pie…who says you can’t bake in an RV?
It was also nice to be so close to PA family so they could come visit and enjoy the farm with us! One of the blessings of our summer, for sure!
We made a regular trip into Hanover to visit the Amish market for coffee, milk and other goodies. One of the lovely things about visiting PA is that you can find farm fresh food from a variety of markets the area.
Gettysburg Farm is a beautiful and peaceful farm that is a wonderful place to spend some extended time with the family. Next time we are in PA you can guarantee that we will be staying there again.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits.
Yes, it has been 4 months since I have blogged. Not that there has been nothing to blog about, but just finding the time to write when we are out and about living life has been a slight challenge. But I know that there are those of you that like to read what we are doing and I like keeping a record of what we are doing, so…here is our latest!
We have been spending several weeks in the Williamsburg, VA area and really loving it! Warmer weather, making new friends, meeting up with online friends in person and seeing so. much. history. It is such a lovely place.
We took a little day trip today to First Landing State Park near Virginia Beach. On our way there, we went through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Amazing construction created for an underwater roadway to get from Hampton Roads to Norfolk, VA. Here is a link to some info about the tunnel and it’s history.
We arrived at the state park and although there were many more people there than we experienced the times before (it was the first sunny day all week!), we enjoyed the beach experience, picking up seashells, jumping over waves in the freezing water (Hannah didn’t mind at all!) and soaking up the sunshine.
After washing off all the sand, and Hannah was covered in sand because she decided to roll in it on the way back to the shower, we decided to grab a bite to eat at a wonderful seafood restaurant, Captain Groovy’s in Norfolk, VA. If you are EVER in Norfolk and you love seafood, you must go! Great, fresh seafood. Loved it!!
A stop at Authentic Guitars to check on the status of Dylan’s guitar, a few drinks at Starbucks and race home to beat the thunderstorms ended our very fun day! We do love Williamsburg and the surrounding area. I’m glad we are able to see so much in this short amount of time. And whatever we don’t see will have to wait for the next time we visit!
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fall is definitely happening around here. We started the week off with some cooler temperatures and the colors of the leaves began to change as well. As I looked over the water at the lake, I started to see some yellow peeping out…then I started noticing other colors as we traveled through SW VA and Western NC. I love this time of the year. Something about the beauty of the colors but also realizing what it symbolizes is refreshing. The dying off of the old to make room for the new. It is a beautiful thing to see and experience.
We took at trip to Boone, NC to take care of some car maintenance and we enjoyed the added bonus of seeing my parents and picking some apples from their yard. We had a great time finding just the right apples to bring home and those apples have now been turned into applesauce!
As the week progressed, the temperatures rose again and we were able to put our shorts on and enjoy the sunshine. The weather has been absolutely beautiful and we are taking advantage of each moment. We took some time to visit Watauga Lake in Tennessee and have a little picnic together.
We ended the week with a great visit from our friends that live in Hampton, TN. They are our forever camping friends, I believe. We love hanging out with them and look forward to each time they can come over to the campground for a weekend.
So, the fall festivities have definitely begun and we are looking forward to embracing everything that the season brings us.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits.
This post is going to be an attempt to catch up on all that we have done in the past several months since being back in Tennessee. It seems that we have had less time for writing these days, but I would love to catch up on where we are and what we are doing.
Musically, Steve has been quite busy! When we visited NC, he had the opportunity to play several times at Music in the Park in Blowing Rock. He played with some fantastic musicians. He also took part in the production of Ring of Fire at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA and also in a performance at the Carter Fold, which was the last venue that Johnny Cash had played before he died. It was a very special night for him. He just finished up a performance with Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, TN for Sax and the Symphony. It was an amazing opportunity for him!
Since being in TN, we have mostly been catching up with friends, learning together and experiencing the beauty of the area.
I have been trying to find time to make jewelry, read, explore my world, but have mostly been learning alongside my kiddos as they explore their passions, which I absolutely love because they take me down paths that I never would go on my own! And I’m fitting in work (on my multiple projects!) when I can.
Hannah celebrated her 8th birthday in August and had a great group of friends spend the day with her. It was a fantastic, My Little Pony (Equestria Girls) kind of day. She wanted to celebrate her birthday in Bristol with her closest friends and that is exactly what she did! She has also been spending lots of time swimming, enjoying play dates, visiting the library, rat sitting and is getting ready to start a drama class. Lots going on with this kiddo!
Dylan has been playing his guitar, a few games of golf here and there and discovering a love caring for animals. He is totally in his element when he can spend a day with animals he has been asked to care for. This guy is 22 now….how did that happen??
We have spent time with family: my parents, brother and sister-in-law, my grandfather, cousins, aunts, uncles and Steve’s parents ( that came to visit from PA). Lots of family time, which is so awesome! We are definitely taking advantage of seeing them while we can!
Now that Steve’s finished with his contract at Barter Theatre and the performance in Kingsport, we are looking forward to embracing the time that we have with our family and friends.
Stay tuned for more posts as we continue our time in Tri-State region in NC, TN and VA. We will try not to wait too long for the next post!
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!