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!!!
Planning a trip to NYC is always an amazingly fun activity, knowing the possibilities are endless regarding all that we can do in a given day. We only had one day to spend there and we wanted to make it worth our time and also wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy.
As we were looking at all the possibilities that we had within our reach, a dear friend suggested a nice place to stop and enjoy something to eat as we explore. A place that she and her daughter had enjoyed as well. That place was Alice’s Tea Cup.
There were several locations to choose from and once we narrowed down which place was closest to our sight-seeing activities, we made definite plans to go, after getting the approval of the rest of the family! We went to Chapter II, the location on E 64th St., by the way!
When we walked into the restaurant, we were immediately taken in by the whimsical decor. A very quaint, peaceful and even magical place to enter into.
We were taken to a small table with a variety of beautiful tea cups placed on the table. The variety of teas available to try was seemingly endless, but we managed to narrow down a perfect choice for our family, Mango Flip. Our server was extremely helpful when we had certain questions about the tea, it’s origin and the type of flavor that we would experience. We also loved this tea so much that we bought some extra to share with our dear friends we would be visiting within the next week.
We loved the choices of food as well. So many sandwiches, burgers and salads to choose from, and all with their unique style. These were not choices you can find just anywhere. They were true to the Alice in Wonderland theme, and we felt like we were most definitely living in quite the dream.
As we finished our meal and prepared to leave, we began a conversation with Ramon, the manager of Alice’s Tea Cup. He asked where we were from and we talked about our journey, living and traveling in an RV. He was so excited to learn more, so we chatted for a few minutes and talked about how we do what we do. Since it was later in the day and the restaurant had a plentiful amount of scones left, he offered us two boxes of scones for our journey! They were so amazingly good and Ramon was a pleasure to talk to!
Alice’s Tea Cup is definitely on our list of places to return and hope that we have the opportunity to make it back again. If you are planning a trip to NYC in the future, we would like to encourage you to give Alice’s Tea Cup a try.
Tea, scones, wonderful food, amazing people and a setting that provides a unique and whimsical experience. All within walking distance from the heart and pulse of NYC. What more reason do you need?
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!