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!!!
We almost didn’t make it to Kentucky.
What seems to be an endless saga of repairs happening for the RV just about kept us from our Halloween plans, but we persevered and were so glad that we did! We were able to meet up with our fantastic friends, The Church Family, and spent some great quality time with them. We took the time to enjoy so much on this trip. Lots of great memories were made!
Our first outing was a walk through the visitor center at Mammoth Cave National Park and a walk on one of the trails near the park. It was a gorgeous day and we timed it just perfectly to be able to see the sun setting.
The following day we visited the National Corvette Museum and Plant Tour in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We had a fabulous time! So much fun and the tour was simply amazing. We were able to see the process of creating a corvette from the beginning to the end. One of our friends was chosen to start one of the cars as it completed coming through the processing line. Cool opportunity for a 12 year old! We also were able to see where a massive sinkhole swallowed up several classic cars in 2014. They have turned it into a major part of their museum. Here is a news article from USA Today about the event.
Trick or treating was planned at the campground early in the weekend and the kids took part in the festivities…and they of course received lots of candy.
The next day we visited the Lincoln Birthplace which is also part of the National Park system. This was located in Hodgenville, KY. The kids were able to work through the Junior Ranger workbook to earn a badge from their time exploring the park. We visited the memorial, walked some trails and walked through the museum. We also drove to Lincoln’s boyhood home and walked around that area. It was a very fascinating learning experience.
We experienced another night of trick or treating that was planned by the Nomadica group (a group of other families that travel full time and enjoy various activities together). The kids loved having an extra day of trick or treating!!
We had many more times of hiking, campfires and coffee time with our sweet friends. This time was just priceless to us.
The saying is true…home is where you feel loved and valued. And if that is true, and I believe that it is, we were home this week in Kentucky.
“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”