The Sights Unseen

Sensenig Family RV Adventures


August 07, 2014

Friends, Fun and Fireworks

During our stay in the NC High Country, we were able to spend time with some precious friends that drove from Asheville to visit with us. We chose to meet at a community park in Valle Crucis, NC and enjoy the beautiful day together and then watched the fireworks in Boone. We loved every minute and can’t wait to get together again soon!

Hannah and Jonah enjoying the sun and the grass

Hannah and Jonah enjoying the sun and the grass

Valle Crucis, NC

Valle Crucis, NC

Maryn and Hannah in the river

Maryn and Hannah in the river

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Fun Day!

Fun Day!

Sun setting in the Valle

Sun setting in the Valle

Fireworks over Boone

Fireworks over Boone

And we closed the day with some yummy cake

And we closed the day with some yummy cake

Thank you, Michael and Missy, for a fun day with your amazing family. Next time, we come to you!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

July 02, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada

We decided to visit Las Vegas solely based on the Thousand Trails campground located there, but when we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised to meet up with some wonderful new friends and we spent our entire time connecting with them and simply having an amazing time.

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View from our campsite...not too bad!

View from our campsite…not too bad!

When we first met our new friends, they came to our rescue in an amazing way! The lock on our door broke and we could not open it at all. Luckily, three of us were outside while one was inside, so windows could be opened to get in, but once we were in, we could not get out unless we used the emergency window. Not exactly ideal. We were looking to stay inside the RV over the weekend (100+ degree temps, by the way) until Chris and Jen came to our aid. Chris helped us get the door open (not an easy task, mind you) and get the new lock on. Amazing people to do so much for people they barely knew. We were SO grateful for their help! The next day, they parked across from us and we enjoyed getting to know them more each day we were there. It was such a blessing to meet this precious family.

They took us on quite a tour of Las Vegas and we saw parts of the city that we probably would not have seen otherwise.

View of the Wynn Hotel and Casino from the parking deck

View of the Wynn Hotel and Casino from the parking deck

Beautiful mosaic floor

Beautiful mosaic floor

Kids in the casino

Kids in the casino

Tulips

Tulips

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As we walked through the Bellagio Hotel, we came upon a beautiful garden area with sculptures consisting of gorgeous flowers.

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Chocolate Fountain in the cafe in the Bellagio

Chocolate Fountain in the cafe in the Bellagio

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In the lobby of the hotel

In the lobby of the hotel

Bellagio fountain

Bellagio fountain

Bellagio hotel

Bellagio hotel

Outside the Wynn

Outside the Wynn

Our new friends, Chris and Jen

Our new friends, Chris and Jen

Inside the Venetian

Inside the Venetian

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At the Pinball Hall of Fame

At the Pinball Hall of Fame

Fremont Street was our next stop. So much music and entertainment. Loved it!

Sax player on the street...he was very talented!

Sax player on the street…he was very talented!

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Praying mantis at Container Park

Praying mantis at Container Park

At the campground, lots of pool time was happening….and gaming and movie night. Lots of fun was had by all!

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Thanks so much, Jen and Chris, for making our time in Las Vegas so fun! It was very hard to leave  you guys, but we know we’ll cross paths again!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

 

May 10, 2014

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix. It  had been 17 years since I had visited the city of Phoenix. Dylan was almost 4 at the time, and we saw so much in our time so many years ago. I wondered if parts of it would look the same or maybe we would see a completely different view of the area.

Our first stop was in Tempe at IKEA. Our first time and wow, was it overwhelming. But amazing…until Steve started feeling a little queasy. IKEA is not the place to be stuck when you are feeling a little queasy. I thought we would never find our way to the end of the maze! We got lots of ideas…and some really cool drinking straws. Hannah was super happy to have those purple straws! We will return to IKEA, I am sure.

Next stop, Paradise Valley. We ended up boondocking in a church parking lot before getting ready for Steve’s house concert. What an amazing area. Beautiful beyond words and the house was exquisite with a breathtaking view.

IKEA in Tempe, AZ

IKEA in Tempe, AZ

Playing on the playground at the church

Playing on the playground at the church

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View from our front window in the church parking lot

View from our front window in the church parking lot

Surrounded by beauty...

Surrounded by beauty…

Steve was amazing, as usual…and I was double impressed as I knew how badly he was feeling. But he played beautifully and everyone was so blessed by his music.

The following day we made plans to meet up with some friends before heading out of town. These are friends that I have known online and connected through some unschooling groups over the years. It was such an incredible joy to meet them in person. Connecting with like-minded people as we travel is absolutely my favorite part of the journey and I can’t wait until we cross paths with these ladies and their families again. Beautiful, inside and out! Thank you, Carrie and Rosy…until next time, dear gals!

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We call this the  contemplative tree ;)

We call this the contemplative tree 😉

It was a very quick trip through the Phoenix area, but a fun one! Thanks to all that made it so wonderful!

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!

 

 

Benson, AZ

We had some time to kill before arriving at our next destination and as we were researching places to stay, we came upon an Escapees Park in Benson, AZ.  SKP Saguaro Co-op was an incredible find! As first time visitors, we paid only $50 plus electric for an entire week and it was probably the friendliest park we have stayed at in a long time. We were guided to our site and greeted shortly after by a resident in the park letting us know all about the area and what the park had to offer.

Our site in Benson, AZ

Our site in Benson, AZ

We had access to an incredible clubhouse with a wonderful library and many classes and activities to attend.  Hannah was very excited to take a line dancing class with her new friend, Ms Linda ( the resident that greeted us when we first arrived) and I was able to take advantage of the beading group that met 3 days a week. These ladies really know how to bead and challenged me to learn more and advance my skills! We were also able to watch Saving Mr. Banks for their movie night and took advantage of the pool room and other recreation area. There was also a shuttle that went through the town of Benson and we found the people of the town to be just as friendly as the residents of the rv park. Just a great place to visit if you are passing through….oh, and only about a half hour drive to Tombstone!

View from the clubhouse

View from the clubhouse

In the clubhouse during our visit

In the clubhouse during our visit

Line dancing class

Line dancing class

My project during the beading group

My project during the beading group

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We had some time to explore some interests that the park provided and some interests we explored on our own. Hannah started telling some elaborate stories on her own, so I asked her if she wanted to put them into a “book” and draw some pictures to go along with the stories.

Meet Crayon, the fire breathing dragon

Meet Crayon, the fire breathing dragon

We also explored the scenery at the park by hiking to the water tower and the view was amazing. A beautiful place to be, for sure.

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Each site had it’s own special flair, decorated with whatever interested the owners of the lot. Some had elaborate train tracks or painted rocks. They all showed a little bit of the personality of each person living there.

This is a site we walked by every day to get to the clubhouse

This is a site we walked by every day to get to the clubhouse

And we visited with our new friends…

Hannah and Ms Linda

Hannah and Ms Linda

Even though there were no other kids to be found, Hannah had the best time at this park. In fact, Hannah and Dylan (and Steve and I) are really looking forward to the day that we can return. Everyone…and I do mean everyone here was a joy to know and a blessing to our family. It was very refreshing to be somewhere that truly welcomed everyone into their community with open arms.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

Monahans Sandhills State Park

I have completely fallen in love with Texas state parks. We have loved every single one that we have stayed in, which begs the question…”why did we wait until NOW to enjoy these places?” One reason is that the campgrounds that we stayed in provided a place to stay that had everything we needed and at low cost. But I am starting to wonder if it is worth it to save money, if we miss out on some of the best places to see. Either way, it is a good thing we found them!

We had a couple of friends suggest Monahans Sandhills State Park in Monahans, TX and it did not disappoint at all. It was a little cold and windy when we arrived, but it warmed up some over the next few days.

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park

The entrance to Monahans Sandhills State Park

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On our second day…. We were able to hang out with some fabulous people, picnic and slide (or at least try to) on the sandhills. So. much. fun.

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We had to opportunity to hang out with more friends over the following days, but no pictures were taken….why? I have no clue. But we are hoping to meet up in a few days, so I’ll be sure to take them then!! I’m still kicking myself for that one…

As we were leaving the park, we took a short detour to the visitor center to get a state pass…because we just knew that this would not be the last Texas park that we would visit….and to catch a bit of history as well.

Shin Oak is shrubbery  that you will see all over the park...it's root system supports the sand dunes. Fascinating.

Shin Oak is a tree that you will see all over the park…it’s root system supports the sand dunes. Fascinating.

The sand that is found at Monahans is 98% quartz crystal. No wonder it feels so magical.

The sand that is found at Monahans is 98% quartz crystal. No wonder it feels so magical.

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Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves immensely! This is one place that we will be returning to visit, for sure!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits!

 

March 10, 2014

Lake Conroe, Texas

At our next destination, a package was waiting for us in time for Valentine’s Day. Hannah has been waiting for this package from my parents for a while and was so excited to open her ‘surprise’. There were a few extra goodies in there for us, too.

Hannah's doll, Emily received some matching pajamas

Hannah’s doll, Emily received some matching pajamas

Emily received a necklace, thanks to Hannah's new rainbow loom

Emily received a necklace, thanks to Hannah’s new rainbow loom

Later on Valentine’s Day, Hannah wrote some notes to us…

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We decided to return to Lake Conroe, in hopes of meeting up with some other fulltime family friends….and we got our wish. Lots of friends and lots of fun times were had together.

We arrived and within a few days, we met up with several of our friends for a potluck at our RV. Some old friends, some new….

Potluck at Lake Conroe

Potluck at Lake Conroe

We were able to enjoy several field trips together. The St. Francis Wolf Sanctuary in Montgomery was really amazing. Such a special time there…we learned so much about wolves and specifically about the background of those living there. And we were able to pet several of these beautiful animals. An extraordinary experience…

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We also went along on another trip to Blue Bell. Apparently, we cant resist another opportunity to have lots and lots of ice cream. We really enjoyed ourselves…it was even more enjoyable to experience it with our friends. Rainy, wet, fun, amazing, sugary day!!

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And then we continued the fun back at the campground with a game night!

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Lots more to do at Lake Conroe with more  friend time and games and pizza and parties….

We will remember our time there as a time of joy and lots and lots of fun. Thank you all for the memories. We carry you in our hearts and wish a safe journey to you all!!

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

February 08, 2014

Are We in Texas?

We truly were trying to avoid the cold weather by wintering in Texas, but it really has not worked out that way at all!! Although, if we had stayed on the East Coast, it would be much colder, we still have not had the weather we were hoping for!

Even so, we have found lots to do and see.

Playgrounds, of course.

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And libraries….we have been able to get 3 different library cards in the state of Texas. Apparently, if you are a resident of Texas, you are eligible to get a card in just about any library in the state. Good for us!!

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I just loved this tree beside the library!

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We also were able to connect with friends locally that were putting together a Kids Fashion Show in their home. It was such a fun time! We had a great time connecting with new and not-so-new friends.

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We had such a great time, we made plans for Hannah to attend a gymnastics class and park day on the following day. She was able to get in lots of social time, which she loved!

As we are closing in on our time here at Colorado River, we are thankful for our experiences and are looking forward to more at our next location! And hopefully warmer temps…pretty please??

Blessing and Beauty Awaits!

 

January 28, 2014

Columbus, TX

On the playground at Colorado River

On the playground at Colorado River

About an hour west of Katy, TX, Columbus is a small town located near the Colorado River.  We have joined in on an ice cream social (when it was actually warm!), made friends with quite a few deer, and we have been enjoying being here, together.

Time on the playground has been something we have taken advantage of, although Hannah was a little frustrated that they did not have ‘real’ swings. She was able to adjust to the tire swing though and actually ended up liking it. She also decided to climb on top of the monkey bars and walked across with her eyes closed. Brave girl.

Speaking of playgrounds, we did make a trip over to Katy to visit our favorite spot to hang out and play, Katy Play Station.

"Real" swings

“Real” swings

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After the trip to the playground, we drove over to Katy Mills and treated ourselves to some Dippin’ Dots and enjoyed the some mall walking.

As the days rolled on, we created some fun in the RV! Hannah and I had a great time painting and creating some art together.

Artistic fun

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And lots of skating happened. In the RV. Storytelling and songwriting while skating. MLK’s birthday was one topic that was covered. Actually, after a while, she was taking requests and would make up songs on the spot.

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As awesome would have it this week, we were able to hang out with some new friends that we met online that have just started their fulltiming journey. So fun to be able to hang out and get to know them. They definitely helped in making the time here so very enjoyable and made the colder days much more bearable. Our families got along famously and we hope to enjoy more time with them in the future!

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And the sunshine returned. Which was a much needed reprise from the cold snap we experienced. Sunshine, I will take it any day of week!

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Beauty and Blessing Awaits!!

January 21, 2014

One Month in San Antonio

One month. Other than our 4 1/2 month stay in East TN last summer, this is the longest we have stayed in one location. We stayed at a campground in the Thousand Trails system called Medina Lake. We planned to be there for 3 weeks, but after Christmas, spending time with friends (which was awesome!!) and wanting to see more of the area, we decided to extend our stay a week.

Medina Lake is kind of awesome. There isn’t actually a lake….well, there is, but it is only at 3 % capacity so we could not see it from our site. We saw trees growing where the lake used to be and actual roads forming as well. The scenery is definitely changing there. It is difficult to see first hand what can happen to a community when drought occurs. The campground itself is managing to stay open and does a seemingly good business, but when we took a drive to see the actual lake and ALL the businesses that were once thriving, shut down…only the signs and the empty closed and boarded up buildings remain, yet beyond in the distance you see the view of the hill country in all its beauty. Breathtaking, yet desolate.

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Yet, in the midst of this, we are able to enjoy the company of friends. Friends that you connect with in so many ways that you wish you could travel together all the time. We were able to see the beauty around us and to gather a few memories that could be found in no other place. And for this we are thankful.

Thank you, San Antonio, for providing that space for us.

“Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation.” Neil Armstrong