We spent the first days of the new year traveling, boondocking and traveling some more as we made our journey from PA to SC. We were able to use Walmart parking lots for those stops and actually enjoyed the opportunity to stop for an evening, grab some food and travel again the next day…although too many of those days and we definitely feel the need to stay put for a bit longer.
We arrived in Fair Play, SC at Carolina Landing RV Resort and were greeted with a sign with our name that said ‘guests of the day’. We have never had that happen and in fact, have never seen that kind of sign before at a Thousand Trails park. It was nice, though and very much a predictor of how our stay has been so far. Everyone is super nice and helpful. We absolutely love it.
Another awesome perk is meeting some great people while we are at Carolina Landing . Some very special friendships are forming and we are so thankful for the opportunities that we have to connect with new people along our journey.
Our main reason for coming to this area was for Calista to attend Lisa Kelly Voice Academy in Peachtree City, GA (near Atlanta). Our original plan was to stay closer to Atlanta, but that plan didn’t quite pan out, which was disappointing at first, but we now realize was a blessing in disguise. The class has been an amazing experience so far and Calista loves being able to focus on her singing and has enjoyed telling us about her experiences there. We are all very excited for her!!
We decided to stay closer to her class during our week out (with our TT membership we can stay three weeks, but have to be out one to return to the same park), so we found Sweetwater Creek RV Reserve in Austell, GA. We really enjoyed our stay there and we had closer access to places in Atlanta.
We visited Sandy Springs Playable Art Park on the Abernathy Greenway in Sandy Springs, GA. It was such a cool park! We loved it! Every structure was a piece of art created by local artists, but also meant to be playable. There was also a walking trail, but we ended up spending lots of time on the swings and climbing structures. If you are ever in the Atlanta area, we highly recommend experiencing this park!
We are really looking forward to what February will bring us…several adventures planned on the horizon, so stay tuned!
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!
We enjoyed making the previous video so much, we decided to make one recapping all the events of 2015. Well, maybe not all, it is hard to capture all of our memories from the year! Steve had an amazing opportunity this year to arrange some music for Chloë Agnew to perform with the Atlanta Pops Orchestra in September of 2015. We used an arrangement for that concert in this video. We hope you enjoy our year in pictures!!
We arrived in Lancaster in time to celebrate my 48th birthday, which was awesome because we had the added surprise of meeting up with some sweet RVing friends, The Denkins. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time with them and to see our family and friends that live in the Lancaster area.
By the way, you will see me reference Hannah as Calista from now on. She has decided to change her first name. I’ll write more on that later because there is a story behind the name change that is really cool, or at least we think so!
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!
It has been amazing to be surrounded by so much history. To be able to expose our family to connections being made through reading about and watching history. Being able to BE where our people were, to walk where they walked, is just priceless.
Historic Jamestowne is one of those places that I could continue to visit time and time again and never tire of being there, in its rich history. I realize that not everyone in the family feels the same, which is why we didn’t return every day, but I appreciate their willingness to give it a try! Connecting with history isn’t something you can force and there needs to be a definite passion toward the learning so that the information is a living, breathing experience. And I did see moments such as this happening, spontaneous questions being asked and those lights of connection being turned on. I love seeing those moments happen. Totally worth it in every way.
We had the wonderful privilege of spending our time there with our precious friends, The Lincoln Family. It was wonderful to be able to spend time together in person after many months of being friends online. Beautiful family.
Here are a few highlights from our time in Historic Jamestowne:
Beauty and Blessing Awaits.
We had been planning a trip to Nashville for MONTHS. An opportunity to visit with some fantastic friends (and make some new ones), take some sights in, enjoy the incredible fall scenery and be able to change locations (it’s kinda hard for this nomadic family to sit still for very long!) Nashville did not disappoint. Even though, it did rain for several days while we were there, we also had many days of sunshine.
We have stayed in this particular park three times, but this was the first time that we stayed more than a few days. We loved it, rain and all. It was so beautiful and peaceful, even when it was busier on the weekend. Cedars of Lebanon State Park is a wonderful place to stay.
The awesome scenery with the beautiful leaves and peaceful setting provided the perfect background for a family photo shoot. We had some fun with it 🙂
The park also provided a great place to experience community with some fellow travelers in our faith journey. Hannah and I were not able to take part in every activity, but we definitely felt connected and loved. Steve and Dylan worked alongside each other recording and listening to some great speakers, but the best part was being able to get to know others in true community. Beautiful experience all around.
We are so grateful to our friends, Raborn and Erica (and their beautiful kiddos), for their amazing hospitality…the dinners, the meetups to play, storytime, zoo visit, providing a place to do laundry, late night chats…you guys are wonderful and we love you.
One of the rainy days, we were looking for an indoor activity and found the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro, TN. It was a fun place, even though we had to dodge a few animals hanging on the wall (those of you who know us will know exactly what I am talking about!)
We also were able to experience the Nashville Zoo. Hannah really wanted to see the Meerkat exhibit. Unfortunately, one of our friends was sick and he was unable to enjoy it. But he was a trooper and perked up for the time at the zoo playground. Wow, that is one amazing playground. Worth the price of admission just to go there!
So, as you can see, we had a fabulous time. So much so, that we had a hard time leaving. We are already making plans to return, very soon!
Thank you, Nashville. We will definitely make space for you in our future travels.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits.
Upon arriving in California, we decided to stay at one of the Thousand Trails parks there, Wilderness Lakes in Menifee, CA. The drive there was really beautiful. The terrain was rocky, yet green. It reminded us a bit of pictures we have seen of Ireland. Once we arrived at the campground, the view was different, yet still very lovely.
Hannah had received a swimsuit from my parents in the mail while we were in AZ and she was happy to try it out. So, while at the campground, we took advantage of the pool area. She loved the suit and also the snorkeling gear that we bought her! She is such a natural swimmer. She knew immediately how to use it and had a blast!
Our next stop in California was to see the Pacific Ocean. We made plans to stay right on the beach at Silver Strand State Beach in Coronado and it was amazing! We just walked outside of the RV and onto the beach. Sunset, swimming in the ocean, visiting the bay…it was all just perfect.
Our next stop was at Oakzanita Springs to have the opportunity to spend time with some dear friends that live in San Diego. It was SO wonderful to see them again. Just wish our time hadn’t been so short. Love this family so much.
We really enjoyed this campground. Even though it was a tight squeeze to get in, it provided some much needed solitude and beautiful scenery.
We really had a fabulous time in California. We wish that we had more time ( and money) to spend there, but we were so glad we took the time to see the ocean and visit with our fabulous friends. We’ll be back, I’m sure of it.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits.
Taking a trip to Sedona was something that we had been looking forward to since we entered Arizona. I had visited there before and was really looking forward to sharing the experience with the entire family, plus we had the added bonus of knowing there were some other fulltime families there.
We stayed at Verde Valley Thousand Trails in Cottonwood. We did get to see some friends while staying there, but we also made some new friends. We had such a refreshing time with our new friends from Allergy Tribe. We connected on so many levels and really can’t wait until our paths cross again!
We also were able to celebrate Steve’s birthday while we were there. It was very low key with just our new friends over for dessert, but it was a simple and special time of celebrating Steve.
My parents sent us a package for both of our birthdays and it arrived while we were at Verde Valley. We were so pleased when we opened the package…what amazing work my mom does. It was the perfect gift for us and will find a place in our RV very soon. We still have some rearranging to do, but we can’t wait to get it up!
We had some difficulty with internet connection there at the campground, so we had to cut our time there short, but as we were leaving we took a day trip into the town of Sedona. It is really one of the most beautiful places to visit in our country. I am so glad that we all were able to experience it together.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Sedona, just wished we had more time there to explore. We would have loved to go on one of the jeep tours, but couldn’t swing it this time. Lots more to do for our next visit!
After leaving Hueco Tanks, we had an amazing ride through El Paso, TX and crossed the border into New Mexico. What an amazing view and welcome into the beautiful mountain range in the southern part of NM. We fell in love instantly with it’s beauty. Our plan was to meet back up with friends at City of Rocks Park and dry camp for a few days. There were no electric sites available so we were definitely there for the experience and for the view.
The rocks were simply amazing to view and the sunset was breathtaking as well. It was quite windy there, so we had to bundle up at night, but we are so glad we experienced the park!
We had several friends tell us that if we were near City of Rocks that we needed to go to Faywood Hot Springs. In fact, one friend said, “Don’t even think about it, just go!” With an endorsement like that, how could we not go!
So, we gathered all three families and made a day of it! It was amazing. The water was heavenly!
From the website regarding the history of the hot springs:
“The hot water flows from an opening in the top of a distinct mound of material known as “tufa.” The tufa dome was created over countless centuries from endless gallons of flowing mineral water deposited on the nearly flat desert floor. This unusual geologic phenomenon is a remnant of extremely violent episodes of volcanic activity occurring in this part of the world some 20 to 45 million years ago, in an era when the nearby City of Rocks State Park was formed.
Prehistoric peoples probably revered the hot springs as a sacred healing place. The presence of circular depressions or mortar holes in the tufa dome suggests early use of the springs by these nomadic hunter-gatherers. Pottery and other artifacts found in the vicinity attests that the villagers from the nearby Mimbres pueblos knew of these warm healing waters, as did the later Apaches. It was an ideal place to erase the winter chill before migrating to the mountains for the summer.”
There are also RV and tent camping sites available for those that want to stay for an extended time. We did not take advantage of those sites because we were just minutes away at the state park, but we were so glad we experienced the hot springs. Everyone there was very accommodating and welcoming. I would highly recommend putting this destination on your list of places to visit. You will not regret it.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits!
Life has been quite busy for us. We have been traveling, attending concerts, meeting old and new friends and preparing for Christmas.
Christmas, In San Antonio. It was quite a different holiday, being apart from our families. We missed them very much, but thankfully we were able to keep in touch via skype and phone calls. Not the same, I know, but we were feeling very thankful for the technology that we have!
We were also very fortunate to be parked next to some dear friends, which means lots of play time for Hannah and lots of great conversation for the rest of us!
Here is a small glimpse of our Christmas:
It was a lovely Christmas Day and we continue to enjoy our time in San Antonio with our friends. Looking forward to bringing in the New Year!
We hope you all had a blessed Christmas and that it was complete with the joy and peace that this holiday brings!
A year ago today, we embarked on an adventure. After catching a flight to Oregon and picking up our new home, we began the journey of living life full time in our 38 ft motor home. At the time, we really didn’t know what the next year would bring…we were just excited to be living a dream that we had envisioned for over 2 years.
At first, we enjoyed the thrill of seeing new places that we had not seen before and creating new experiences for our kiddos…but it soon became more than that…
As we navigated the challenges and joys that happened throughout the year, we came to realize that what we were experiencing was really unique. The experiences and the people were what we were seeking, not necessarily the places themselves (although the scenery is definitely an added bonus!)
All of this became crystal clear just a month ago when we realized what we loved most was connecting with people and allowing that connection to flow naturally, not worrying where we will be or who will be there….just letting the experience happen as it’s supposed to happen. And we have been incredibly blessed, but we have also felt so much more peace in living this way.
We are often asked what our biggest challenge has been. There is no denying that there have been challenges, but I think what is more important to focus on is not the challenge itself, but how we overcome. Coming together to face a challenge as a family is a beautiful thing and is something we will continue to do.
I realize I am speaking for myself here, but as I reflect on the past year, the thing I am the most thankful for is the ability to be with humanity and with nature…I mean, really see it and experience it with my complete being. We don’t just read about what we want to learn about our world…we experience it, fully.
I’ll let the rest of family speak about what it has been like for them….and you will probably get different answers.
But that is the beauty of this life. My journey is my journey….Your journey is your journey. And when we come together, we will add to each others lives by sharing our experiences and passions and love for living.
I look forward to seeing what the next year brings. Whatever it brings for you…I hope you embrace the moment and know that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Beauty and Blessing Awaits,