365: His perch

photo of zachary playing with toys on steps

His perch is quite possibly the most inconvenient, high traffic, spot to sit and play in our 420 square feet.  But he’s so cute sitting here playing with all his random favorites.  Today he carried them around in his hiking backpack and took them out here to inspect, play and imagine for a good 45 minutes.  Notice the TWO Buzz Lightyears and the random garlic peeler lol!

2020-02-07T22:44:04-06:00February 7th, 2020|365 Projects, 366 - 2020, My Family, RV Life, Zachary|

365: Today is the day!

photo of jason smiling at sunset

This guy is officially employed!  He received and accepted an offer for a job even more perfect than what we prayed for!  God had a plan that was so much bigger than ours!  Today has been a dream.  Good news, happy surprises and it felt like a two ton weight lifted off our shoulders.  So many happy tears today.  I love seeing Jason so happy, he is so excited about the work and company.  The last two years have been a rollercoaster.  Four months after launching in to full time travel, Jason was laid off through a reduction of force from a job he’d been at for over 11 years.  It was terrifying because I had just walked away from my full time business and loyal client base in Austin.  While the job search has been going on for 2 years, there were also stretches where it wasn’t the biggest priority.  Stretches where his focus was on preparing IAPBP for sale.  Stretches where we were doing ok with me working.  Stretches of contract work.  We have been stretched so thin, struggled, disagreed about our path, felt stuck in the waiting, impatient with the timing.  There were moments of straight up panic and fear.  We hit some of our lowest moments last year….it was not easy.   The weight on both of us felt crushing at times, day by day it felt heavier.  We often wondered what this day would look and feel like.  It’s finally here!  Today is the day!  And this opportunity is totally worth the wait!

2020-02-06T22:50:50-06:00February 6th, 2020|365 Projects, 366 - 2020, My Family, RV Life|

365: RV life with a teenager

photo of teenage girl drawing

Our new site has a tree trunk seat in the field surrounding us.  It is the perfect place to escape when you’re a teenager with feral brothers everywhere.  Ha!  There was a time when she was all tutus, pink cowboys boots, pigtails and tea parties.  But it doesn’t surprise us a bit that she’s skipping the typical teenage clothes obsession, makeup, being boy crazy, etc.  I guess with four brothers it is a bit expected.  This girl can handle a room a boys!  She’d rather be writing, drawing, bird watching, talking Jude’s ear off and emailing her bff.  I love that she can grow up spending a ton of time outside, not giving a flip about getting dirty or how she looks (not wearing shoes ha!) or what other people think of her.  The middle school years can be brutal.  She missed out on it.  And if you ask her, she’ll tell you she is so happy about that.  She’s always the first to tell everyone how much she loves life on the road!

2020-02-04T22:13:52-06:00February 4th, 2020|365 Projects, 366 - 2020, My Family, RV Life, Taryn|

365: Arted

photo of teen girl artist watercolor painting

We have a hunch that our RV is overweight again so Taryn, Jonah and I cleaned out our homeschool / game / art cabinet today.  It didn’t take long for them to dive in to the watercolors.  We should have made a trip to the storage unit since we are close by, but instead, we arted.

2020-02-03T23:08:19-06:00February 3rd, 2020|365 Projects, 366 - 2020, My Family, RV Life, Taryn|

Top 5 Favorite Campgrounds from 2019

I recently asked a few favorite fulltime family bloggers if they wanted to share their top 5 favorite campgrounds from 2019 and I am so excited they said yes!  Click on their logos below to see their fave campgrounds this year as well.  Thank you Way Beyond The Norm, Incredible Dash, Prodigal Overland (more coming soon) for sharing!  I am definitely saving these for the future!  Scroll down to see our favorites from 2019!

Way Beyond The Norm Blog
1. Four Mile Creek State Park, New York
collage of photos of four mile creek state park near Niagara Falls

Four Mile Creek State Park is a 248-acre state park located in the Town of Porter in Niagara County, New York. The park is at the mouth of Four Mile Creek on the shore of Lake Ontario, approximately 15 miles north of the Niagara Falls.  While the RV hookups are electric only, the site itself, combined with the location and campground, makes this one of our top picks for 2019.  We stayed for 4 nights and filled up our fresh tanks with water at the park before getting settled in.  We backed in to a very large, well maintained, field for the kids to play in.  It was so nice knowing they had room to move and play soccer, nerf gun wars, etc.  We were there on 4th of July weekend and the park was totally full, but we still had plenty of room.  It really shocked us how quiet the park was even on a holiday.  People were out enjoying themselves in every spot, but nothing out of control or loud parties until 2 am.  We loved that!  It was a short walk down to the shoreline to see the sunset every evening and we definitely recommend taking it in as often as you can.  Niagara falls is just a short drive away, it was so nice to be able to pop over there multiple times during our stay. We also drove out to Tuscarora Beach at Tuscarora State Park to hunt for seaglass.  I highly recommend going in the evening, it was stunning and successful!  See our Niagara Falls YouTube videos here.

Location:  Youngstown, NY 14174
Website:  Four Mile Creek State Park
Cost per night: $36.00

2.  Hershey Thousand Trails in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
collage of photos at hershey rv park thousand trails in pennsylvania

While many people hit this destination for the chocolate themed amusement park, that’s not what we loved about it.  My kids are allergic to milk so we didn’t even go.  Honestly, this campground was so great, we didn’t miss it a bit.  This area of Pennsylvania surprised me!  The green rolling green hills and spring blooms were so beautiful and unexpected.  We loved the heart of amish country!  We had a back in, full hookup, spot with a little hill behind it that the kids loved rolling down.  The weather was perfect and Thousand Trails had a lot of activities in the park over Easter weekend.  The kids quickly made friends and we spent so many hours outside.  The kids also loved fishing.  View our Hershey YouTube video here.

Location:  Lebanon, PA 17042
Website:  Hershey Thousand Trails
Cost per night: $0.00 with our Thousand Trails membership

3. Letchworth State Park in Castile, New York
photo collage of letchworth state park in new york state

Letchworth State Park is a 14,427-acre state park located in Livingston and Wyoming counties in New York. The park is roughly 17 miles long, following the course of the Genesee River as it flows north through a deep gorge and over several large waterfalls.  With abundant hiking trails and overlooks, it is easy to see why this State Park was rated #1 in the nation!  While the spot was electric only, it was spacious, wooded, and felt very private.   We were just passing through and really wish we had planned to stay here longer.  Book early as spots go quickly!  View our YouTube video about this stop here.

Location:  Castile, NY 14427
Website:  Letchworth State Park
Cost per night: $33.50

4. Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
photo collage at ocean lake rv campground

Our favorite thing about Ocean Lakes Family Campground was the location!  Our RV was parked just steps away from the ocean and we had such easy access.  Myrtle Beach is a great little town and this campground is right in the middle of it all.  This is a true family campground / resort with a big pool, water slides, an arcade and planned activities.  The arcade came in very handy on rainy days!  My favorite part was hitting the beach with our homeschool lessons.  It was easy to just wander over for a bit whenever we felt like it.  This campground is huge and very, very popular so book early!  View our YouTube video about this stop here.

Location: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Website:  Ocean Lakes Family Campground
Cost per night: $44.00

5. Holiday Park Campground in Traverse City, Michigan
photo collage of sleeping bear dunes and holiday park campground

Traverse City was one of our favorite stops of the year!  Close to Sleeping Bear Dunes, it’s a great location.  We loved the friendly people and big spots in this campground.  Total bonus that we had access to the lake and swimming!  One of my favorite memories from the year was watching the little kids (and Jason) paddle around in the little boat provided by the campground.  Not technically inside the campground, but still worth the short drive, is the city park and splash pad, my kids had a blast!  Check out our YouTube video about this stay here.

Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Website:  Holiday Park Campground
Cost per night: $57.00

Honorable Mentions

We visited 69 campgrounds in 2019 and it was so hard to narrow down to our top 5 faves!  We are so lucky to have stayed in some really great places.  I thought I’d share a few more as honorable mentions just in case you want to check them out.  These include:

Tiki RV Resort
We stayed here while visiting Mackinac Island in Michigan.  We loved it so much we extended our stay!  Also, we got 50% off our rate with our Escapees discount!

Cherry Hill
This is the best park close to Washington DC.  It’s not cheap, but it worth it.  Tip:  ask for a spot away from the noisy road.

Gettysburg Farm
This is an awesome farm in the Thousand Trails system.  My kids loved the farm and it was close to Gettysburg National Park.

Rippling River RV Resort
When we hit the Michigan Upper Peninsula we landed at a KOA that was so awful we turned around and immediately left.  We landed at Rippling River RV Resort and I am so glad we did!  Big sites, close to the river and hiking, and if you bike there are tons of trails right next door.

Gulf State Park
This is a gorgeous state park right along the shores of the gulf in-between Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama.  You can easily ride your bike to the beach.

photo collage of laclare creamery harvest host

Harvest Hosts in a membership program that gives you access to businesses, museums, farms and golf courses around the country that allow you to boondock or dry camp on their land for one night for free.  This was such an incredible stop for us!  We were told to park right next to the goats for the night, we visited the viewing area while the goats were milked and shopped for a few items in their shop.  We loved it so much we dedicated an entire youtube episode to it.  Check it out!

Location: LaClare Creamery in Malone, Wisconsin
Website:  Harvest Hosts / LaClare Creamery
Cost per night: $0.00 with Harvest Host Membership

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2020-01-29T22:34:07-06:00January 29th, 2020|My Family, Camping Adventures, National Parks, RV Life|
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