It was a beautiful day as we drove north on the 101 freeway towards Santa Barbara. The rugged sandy bluffs rose high along the California coast while the sunshine sparkled across the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Thing 1 and Thing 2, then 8 and 5, were trying to sit patiently in the backseat as we drove towards our campground. This was our first outing in our new-to-us folding camping trailer.

To say my heart was happy would be an understatement. I was giddy with excitement. I couldn’t wait to start making fun family camping memories. Brent and I already had so many from when we were kids and we wanted to give the same thing to our boys. Not only that, we were ready to relax for the weekend after a long week of work. We were ready to kick up our heels, sit by the fire, and maybe go on a few hikes in the Los Padres National Forest.

An hour later we arrived at our campsite and the boys jumped out of the van. They were busy checking out the campsite when I noticed Thing 2 wasn’t wearing shoes.

“Put on your shoes, honey. There might be something sharp.”

“I don’t have them,” he replied playing in the dirt.


No shoes?

Of course, he has shoes. What sort of parent forgets shoes when they go camping? I started searching the van but no luck. In our excitement to hit the road for our first camping experience, we had let him run out the door happy but barefoot.


Determined not to let this ruin our weekend, we headed up to the camp store. There we bought a pair of flip-flops that he could wear to protect his feet. We may not be going on any long hikes over the weekend but they would be perfect to wear to the swimming hole on the Santa Ynez River.

Wondering if there are things to do (besides remember your child’s shoes!) to make your first time out in your new RV go more smoothly? Read on!

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Our weather in the Pacific Northwest has been nothing short of amazing. Perfect time to hook up the trailer and head out on a road trip. This time we drove east of the Cascade Mountains to explore the Wenatchee area.

Our basecamp was the Wenatchee River County Park, or WRCP. We love this place. WRCP is just off the highway and is laid out like a park with large lawns for spreading out and plenty of room for the kids to run. My favorite is loop B due to its proximity to the play park. I can relax in my lounge chair right outside my RV and watch the kids all day at the merry-go-round. A nice benefit of this park is the low traffic giving me peace of mind while the kids wander on their toys. Forget your bike?  No worries, WRCP has bikes to check out.  They offer several amenities like free WiFi, laundry, showers, bathrooms, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball hoop, golfing cage, free movie and book check-out, work-out areas, and a Ping-Pong table. One downside to WRCP are the passing trains that pass through all hours of the day and night.



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It isn’t easy to explain the GoPro MountainGames, but I will try. Vail, Colorado is the home of the games and is no stranger to big events, hosting the World Cup and World Championships for skiing, biking, climbing, kayaking, etc. They even hosted a TedX event last winter, where my daughter Emily gave a presentation called “Uncompromised.”



But this is about the GoPro Mountain Games, an amazing mix of outdoor-loving athletes, enthusiasts, spectators, and companies. No event would be complete without the gear that you use for outdoor fun being displayed, sold, and generally shown off and the GoPro Mountain Games has the awesome toys of the outdoors in spades! Some of my favorites: Winnebago had their “Travado,” a new very cool RV.


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Summer time is officially here and that means we have set off on our Great Lakes Summer Tour!  We’ve already made some great discoveries as we started driving to our first location, Niagara Falls!


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Once we got into Colorado, we made it from Denver to Buena Vista for our first event of what we call the “Colorado Tour”, the BV Pro Freestyle Kayaking event and CKS Paddlefest. The drive from Denver to “BV” really is a reminder that “we are not in Kansas anymore, Toto.” We go up in the mountains and the snow goes from what you see “up there” to what you see all around you. The open valleys when you come out of the passes are my favorite part of the drive. You can see for miles and miles in what looks like a big bowl surrounded by mountains, snow, and water. Springtime is my favorite time for driving through Colorado as the snow is still covering the peaks, but the driving is easy. We did have one short burst of rain and then snow in our final pass on the way into BV that slowed down our drive a little due to limited visibility. It adds to the adventure, however, and is something you remember. Just a few miles from BV is where I start to get excited about being in that awesome “river town.” Restaurants like Eddyline Brewery, Evergreen Café, and the Asian Palate are favorites of ours that, in combination with Kristine’s cooking in the RV, give us something to really look forward to. The Eddyline Brewery has epic burgers and pizza, and they make their own beer. The “River Runner’s Pale Ale” always gets my attention. If you can get a table, the Evergreen Café is the place for breakfast. The Princeton Benedict (sausage eggs benedict) is amazing. At the Asian Palate, everything is good, including their Mojito and their specialty Sushi Rolls.


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