The Sights Unseen

Sensenig Family RV Adventures


Fall is Here

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.

The yellow leaves changing at the top of the trees

The yellow leaves changing at the top of the trees

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!

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Chestnuts

Chestnuts

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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.

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I think  Hannah wanted her own kayak after seeing this guy get in his

I think Hannah wanted her own kayak after seeing this guy get in his

You can see some red colors popping out in this pic

You can see some red colors popping out in this pic

"Look at those huge sailboats!"

“Look at those huge sailboats!”

Naptime! A perfect day for it.

Naptime! A perfect day for it.

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.

 

September 22, 2014

Catching Up, Again!

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.

Concert in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC

Concert in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC

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!

Celebrating Hannah's 8th Birthday in TN

Celebrating Hannah’s 8th Birthday in TN

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??

Celebrating Dylan's 22nd Birthday in NC

Celebrating Dylan’s 22nd Birthday in NC

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!

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!

August 07, 2014

Refreshing Time in NC

Getting to NC was a relief. After traveling SO much in the previous weeks, we were ready to rest and enjoy time with family and friends. It was a great time of refreshment and we savored each moment.

Playing in the water!

Playing in the water!

One of the best spots on earth.

One of the best spots on earth.

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Hammock time with Aunt Monnie (or aka, Mia!)

Hammock time with Aunt Monnie (or aka, Mia!)

Me and my other mama!

Me and my other mama!

Matching day!

Matching day!

Hannah and PaJohn

Hannah and PaJohn

A watermelon afternoon

A watermelon afternoon

Me and my PaJohn--I treasure this photo

Me and my PaJohn–I treasure this photo

Happy cousin time

Happy cousin time

Me and my cousin, Jackie

Me and my cousin, Jackie

A family pic before we headed out for our campground in TN

A family pic before we headed out for our campground in TN

We had several other events take place while we were in NC, which I will write about in separate posts. Our time here was wonderful and relaxing and just what we needed. Thanks to everyone we saw and spent time with for a spectacular time in the mountains of NC. We love you all.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.

Traveling from West to East

Traveling from Nevada to Illinois within a week–whew! What a challenge! Then, from Illinois to North Carolina within a few days. Lots of miles and lots of sights were seen.  Sharing a few with you :

Entering Utah...what a beautiful state!

Entering Utah…what a beautiful state!

We had to stop at this overlook along our journey. It was just too gorgeous to pass up!

We had to stop at this overlook along our journey. It was just too gorgeous to pass up!

A sweet family offered to take our picture for us....and we returned the favor :)

A sweet family offered to take our picture for us….and we returned the favor 🙂

Splash pad at the campground in Grand Junction, CO.

Splash pad at the campground in Grand Junction, CO.

Hannah's anniversary gift to us <3

Hannah’s anniversary gift to us <3

Our campsite in Rifle, CO. Gorgeous state park. One of our faves!

Our campsite in Rifle, CO. Gorgeous state park. One of our faves!

A closer view of the lake at Rifle Gap State Park in CO.

A closer view of the lake at Rifle Gap State Park in CO.

View in Vail, CO at 11,000 feet above sea level.

View in Vail, CO at 11,000 feet above sea level.

Nebraska...and tornado watches. Not our fave place.

Nebraska…and tornado watches. Not our fave place.

Iowa...we enjoyed an overnight stay in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot.

Iowa…we enjoyed an overnight stay in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot.

Hannah's Happy Father's Day gift for Steve :)

Hannah’s Happy Father’s Day gift for Steve 🙂

Lost another tooth along the way!

Lost another tooth along the way!

Ahh...finally to our destination!

Ahh…finally to our destination!

Sweet cousin time!

Sweet cousin time!

Our spot in The Nicely's driveway.

Our spot in The Nicely’s driveway.

After leaving Illinois, we traveled through Indiana and Kentucky and then finally arriving in North Carolina. We traveled through 9 states in less than 2 weeks. We definitely had our share of recuperating to do, but it was wonderful to see the sights that we did, although we wished that we could have stayed a bit longer in AZ, UT and CO. We had a wonderful time seeing our precious family in IL and are so glad that we made that trip happen. More to come about our time in NC….

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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TJandH

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.

April 09, 2014

Hueco Tanks State Park

We had one more opportunity to stay in a state park in Texas before entering New Mexico and Hueco Tanks was our destination.

Hueco Tanks is not your ordinary state park. Located not too far from El Paso, the view is amazingly beautiful. The landforms and mountain ranges are just breathtaking. This particular park has some sacred qualities as well and the park rangers make sure to give you guidelines as you enter the park. In fact, we were required to watch a 15 minute video regarding the sacredness of the park and some of the important things to be aware of while staying there. Once we found our site, we were in awe with all the beauty surrounding us. Lots of time rock climbing and exploring the area. It was one of those places that you just don’t want to leave.

At the entrance to the park. We were waiting outside while Steve and Dylan watched the video.

At the entrance to the park. We were waiting outside while Steve and Dylan watched the video.

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The sunset on our first evening there

The sunset on our first evening there

On a walk to check out a few of the trails

On a walk to check out a few of the trails

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Some of the pictographs were covered in graffiti, which is one of the reasons why there are strict guidelines now about visiting the sites

Some of the pictographs were covered in graffiti, which is one of the reasons why there are strict guidelines now about visiting the sites

Hannah and I went on a evening walk around the loop at our campsite

Hannah and I went on a evening walk around the loop at our campsite

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Our campsite at Hueco Tanks

Our campsite at Hueco Tanks

Our view as we went rock climbing

Our view as we went rock climbing

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Quite the motley crew...

Quite the motley crew…

I just love this picture...

I just love this picture…

The visit to Hueco Tanks was a time to connect and just enjoy being together in a beautiful, amazing place. Moments such as these are just so precious to us. This is why we do what we do.

Beauty and Blessing Awaits.