Friday, July 31, 2009

Glendale OR to South Beach OR

Today was a much shorter travel day, and was a smooth trip the whole way. We are settled into Whaler's Rest Thousand Trails resort.

We have noticed a trend since hitting the west coast and that is that the RV's are much smaller as a whole than we've experienced on the east coast. After driving here, we understand why. I would personally be checking into something about the size of a pop-up if we lived here and had to pull it often.

When we pulled into the campground the guy working said he'd never seen an RV as big as ours. Which made us nervous because that meant the sites were probably not large enough to easily accommodate our rig. They did point us to a site that was long/wide enough but it took some work to get in. We provided lots of entertainment for the sites next to us and the three cars that were stuck while waiting for us to get parked.The people both working and camping here were all so friendly that it helped it be a bit less embarrassing to us. This is a gorgeous resort, and the kids are already begging to stay longer. We'll see, although the access to the beach is enough to have me wanting to stay. I could soak up the sea air all day long and never tire of it.Living the life in cool Oregon!

Oregon House CA to Glendale OR

Today we said goodbye to California and headed to Oregon. We have two long driving days back to back, which we normally never do. We were hoping for smooth travel days since it is hard to travel like that even under the best of circumstances.

We loved the scenery along the way. We were thrilled to have internet while driving since we've been without it for a few weeks now. I even got to talk to Diana, which was especially nice after no phone service for two weeks.

We loved seeing this:And then 28 miles from our destination, this happened:
Which meant we spent over an hour doing this:
Did I mention that it is really, really hot here right now? That didn't help matters. We are back in business though, ready for another long day tomorrow!

Living the life in gorgeous Oregon!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Meeting Fellow FOTR Friends

I can't recall exactly how I met Carolyn, but we clicked right away when we did meet. She is another Family on the Road mom, although they are staying put for the time being while her hubby attends school. Today, I was able to meet up with her in person.We also got to meet her husband Rich. You can't tell from this picture, but he is rocking a kilt in this picture. My guys were very impressed with that.
And the sons:
Due to me not having internet/phone connection, it made it very hard to coordinate plans so we had very little time together this visit. I'm hoping we can meet up again and have more time with them.

They are not only inspiring people, they are down to earth and so friendly. I love meeting families that get what we are doing, and they are definitely souls that follow the same type of path in life that we do.

Living the life in CA!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It is sooooooo HOT here!

This is what we say ten times a day, at least. Or the variation of this-it is SO HOT.

I know, we are from Florida, so we should be used to the heat. There are two factors that have affected us here though. In Florida, we expect the heat each year and we plan to mostly stay inside during the worst of it. Think winters up north, and reverse it. We came here during those super hot months, thinking we could get out and do tons of stuff. Not.

The other factor is in Florida, we ran the air all day long and it was cool inside. At best, our air is keeping the inside of the RV an oh so cool 85-90 degrees during the middle of the day. It got down to 80 one day and Auburn went to turn the air off, deeming 80 the perfect temperature. Again, I say "not"! I think her brain melted due to the heat or something!

Luckily there is this here: So this is where we plant ourselves, book in hand, and moving as little as possible.

It's not too rough. I have finished three books since getting here!

Living the life in California!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails

I had a friend recently say to me something along the lines of "oh, you all like to camp in the parking lot type of campgrounds" and it threw me for a minute because we really don't. Then I realized the Thousand Trails closest to her is more like that so that is why she thought that. We'd have never signed up for a membership if they all were that way.
Normally, they are like the one here. And this is what we do like:
And a large part of why we like them to be like that, is so we can see this:
and have time to sit in awe over this:Living the life in VERY HOT California!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday Nights in the Summer

Thousand Trails has so many more activities in the summer months and we have enjoyed taking advantage of some of them. Tonight we went down to hear live music and as I sat and watched the people I was so touched by some of the things I saw. Daddies dancing with their little girls, husbands slow dancing with their wives, women and the few rare men line dancing, a man next to me opening beer bottles with his teeth and kids of all ages getting to dance and run and play in that way that only kids can do. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I thought it was beautiful.

Sometimes I hear so much negative about our world and the state that it is in that it can be scary to imagine my grandchildren growing up in it. Then I sit and watch people on a night like tonight and remember that people can still enjoy the simple things in life and love and enjoy each other. It put a smile on my face and made my heart sing along with the great music.

Living the life in California!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Groveland CA to Oregon House CA

Today we left Groveland to head to Lake of the Springs TT in Oregon House, CA. I am beginning to sound like a broken record in saying the drive was gorgeous, but it really was. I am not loving the pulling the RV through the mountains since we've hit California, but the views are incredible.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rafting in Yosemite

Today we rented a raft and went down the Merced River. This was one of the neatest things we've done so far due to the breathtaking views the whole time. And I had to laugh at the irony of some of our family dynamics when doing things like this.

I'm not sure if it is due to having teens or that we've been doing this for a year now, or both, but it amazes me that we can be in a place like Yosemite and my brain is screaming wow, I can't believe we are here and I can't get over the beauty I am seeing...the teens on the other hand are focusing on things like who has the paddles for the raft. We spent most of the ride down the river with me freaking out that we were going to break the raft or capsize, the teens rivaling for power of the paddles and Nathan trying to ignore all of us. If he had his iPod, he'd have probably been successful.Most days I love this lifestyle. There is so much good to it that I tend to just feel incredibly lucky to be able to live this way. Other days, like today, I want to leave all of them by the side of the road and continue on alone. I share all of that to laugh at the reality that our humanity rises to the top no matter where we are, what we are doing and how marvelous are surroundings are. Petty still rivals spectacular in our lives, and sadly, sometimes it wins. It keeps me really humble. Or at least when I get past being frustrated at myself and them, it helps me stay humble.

I'm counting this as one of my "faves", even with the frustrations involved!

Living the life in California!

Reach the World

Along with our one year anniversary this week, we have another big announcement. We originally said we'd try this seeing the world this way for one year before deciding whether to continue or not. That was mostly due to me telling myself to give it at least a year before deciding whether it is for me or not. It didn't take me a year to know whether or not I did want to continue, but I'm glad we did commit to that one year before quitting.

As of right now, we are going to continue on and will do this for as long as it is working for us. So, on to year two! We will head back to the east in the fall/winter and stick on the east coast until next summer. We hope to have lots of time with family that way.

Along with this decision, we have decided to team up with a wonderful organization to do some volunteer work with them. We will be sharing our travels so that children in inner city classrooms can do virtual travel along with us. At the end of the school year, we will be able to visit the children in person. We are the first USA correspondents with is very cool to us. This is a very touching thing for me personally, and I feel honored to be involved with this project. If you want to know more about Reach the World, you can click on the logo above. If you want to donate: click here

Living the life in USA!

Yosemite~Lower Falls

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One of these things is not like the others....

I have always thought I was incredibly lucky to have a husband who helps so much with cooking. I'm now wondering if this is less about kindness and more about his own ulterior motives. This is what our lunch wraps, assembled and packed by "N", look like:

His response: What? I made two for everyone.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

One Year Anniversary!

Today is our one year anniversary. I'm wanting to write a very sentimental post to share all that this last year has given to us both as individuals and as a family but there really is no way to share all of the different dimensions in words without spending hours and thousands of words. It's been incredible. We will never forget it. We are better people for it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Banning CA to Tulare CA

Today we left Banning, CA and headed to Tulare, CA so we could be closer to Sequoia and King's Canyon. It was a smooth ride the whole way except for one way too close call with a tractor trailer. The mountains were incredible during this stretch. We are in RV heaven tonight because we have 50 amp service which means we can run both air conditioners.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two Guys and Their Guitars

Yesterday we spent more time having fun with our friends. I'll blog more about it tomorrow. Before I head off to bed though, I had to share some video clips of the "sons".

Patti and Roland's son Matt spent the day with us and graciously spent time showing Austin some guitar playing tips.

Matt has to be the most awesome guy I've met for a guy his age, alongside my brother Steven. It is a rare thing to find a guy who is good looking, funny, talented and smart. Oh yeah, and very kind on top of it all. Matt has it all. Can you tell he won me over? I'm wanting a Matt son-in-law.

It was really something special to me to hear the two of them playing together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Joshua Tree National Park, CA

We spent another day with Dennis and Eileen, Patti and Roland and their son Matt. Our first stop was Joshua Tree National Park. My friend Laurie told me this was a must see place so I was excited about finally seeing it.

General Patton Memorial Museum

After Joshua Tree, we stopped here. There was a bunch of interesting history starting from the civil war and ending with the Iraq Freedom. I liked the tank yard best of all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Picnic and Pickle Ball with Friends

I've heard people that do a RTW tour talk about hitting the wall-a time when you don't want to continue on and you want to go back home. I didn't suspect we'd have the same issue for two reasons. One, we are home (in the US) and two, we still get to see people we know along the way. Sure, we hit a few times when we wondered why on earth we ever attempted to do this, but it would last a few hours and we'd be over it. I hit a wall right before I went to my retreat though.

Daryl and Diana were talking about flying out and spending time at Yosemite with us and then her grandmother broke her hip, so they called and said they can't come after all. I cried. I thought I'd be sad and move on. I didn't. I hit a wall and wanted to head back east. I was tired of being in places where we didn't have friends and family around. Or maybe it's more I had gotten spoiled by usually having friends or family around and in San Diego we didn't have either. Either way, I was moody and wanted to go back to a place where I can count on seeing friends and family when I want. I missed our kids not with us. I really, really missed our grandchildren. I didn't care that we hadn't even made it through California, let alone went up the whole coast. I wanted to go home. Not US home. But home-home.

Then I went to my retreat. Normally I attend the work part and head back home. This time I stayed a few extra days just for fun. It was just what the doctor ordered. I came back tired, but full again. Ready to head out again. Ready to indulge the explorer in me. I thought, wow-that was more than enough to get me back on track.Then, to make things even sweeter, a few of my friends and their men folk came up to the campground we were camping at and hung out with us. I think I've shared here a time or ten that I love these kinds of things best of all. Austin and I were giddy while preparing for them. This was the first we'd had someone come to the campground just to hang with us. Usually they are already at the campground or we meet them somewhere else. We loved it. Good food, good fun and good conversation. I am sometimes a spaz about such things so I tried to maintain my cool and just kept it inside my own head that my brain was going WOOHOO this is so incredibly awesome! Well, I might not have kept it inside my head. You'd have to ask our guests. That's not the important part though. The important part is, I loved it and they said they had a good time too.

Nathan cooked dinner and the guys cleaned up while we gals chatted. Auburn showed off her 1001 dog tricks that she has taught Ace. The guys all played pickleball while we gals chatted. Austin played guitar for them and we all chatted some. Good stuff!

Our friends pictured here are Eileen and Dennis, and Patti and Roland. Patti and Roland live near here in Indio and Eileen and Dennis live in Wisconsin. Thanks guys for coming up and hanging out with us. We felt so loved by all of you!

Living the life in CA!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shields Date Gardens~Indio CA

Today we headed out for some fun and we stopped at this neat place. I've seen a lot of unique things over the past year, and this had one of the more interesting ones:I never thought about the date having a romantic life, but apparently they do. I watched a bit of this movie and found it interesting that they hand pollinate the trees. I wish I could tell you more, but I was too busy gabbing with my friends to absorb much. I did have a date milkshake and it was very sweet which to me equals very good.

Idyllwild, California

Today we drove up to Idyllwild to have some fun. This was such a quaint little town with rustic buildings and incredible views. The drive up and down was as interesting as the town. Idyllwild is nestled in the San Jacinto mountains. Set among tall pines, sweet smelling cedars and Legendary rocks. The town has kept its "small town" atmosphere. Locally owned shops and restaurants are all you will find here. We really enjoyed the peace and quiet of Idyllwild.