GO BABY GO, GO RVING

We were in a campground on the Washington coast the day we found out we were expecting our third baby. It was a cool summer day and the breeze carried the salty smell of the ocean. Having been traveling full time in our RV for almost two years, we were one state short of hitting our goal to see 48 contiguous states. Our plans for the future were now uncertain.

The question on our mind was would we continue to travel full time in our RV now that we were expecting a baby? As we contemplated the last 2 years of traveling, we realized if there was one thing RVing had done for our family, it had strengthened our relationships. Since everyone was thriving on the road, we decided to keep traveling. Given the age gap there would be between Thing 3 and our older boys, we knew RVing would give Thing 1 and Thing 2 a priceless opportunity to bond with their baby brother.

There is this notion that once a baby comes all adventures must be put on the back burner. We disagree and liked to use the phrase “expecting adventure” as we waited for our little bun to finish baking.

On April 12, 2014 our little bundle of adventure, Thing 3, arrived. We spent the next few weeks RVing not too far from our care providers and planning for our summer travels. Once we got the sign-off that we were both healthy, we initiated Thing 3 into the world of RVing with an epic trip from Key West, FL to Alaska. It was wild and wonderful, a trip we won’t ever forget. 

Thing 3 turns nine months old this week. During those 9 months he has been to 14 states and 3 provinces. We’ve learned a few things about RVing with a baby that we are happy to share with you so grab a sippee, errr….a cup a tea, and getting ready to plan your own RV adventures with your little one.

 

Patience Patience Patience 

Traveling with a baby is going to take more time than traveling without a baby. I have to admit this, along with less sleep at night, was probably the biggest adjustment. It didn’t take long to learn Thing 3’s limits. A typical travel day might start with a 2-3 hour drive followed by a 30-60 minute stop. In the afternoon, we may get in another 2-3 hours. When our GPS says 4 hours we know it will take us at least 6 hours. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to grow in patience. Really! Traveling with a baby has brought new meaning to the phrase “it’s about the journey not the destination”.

 

Planning

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IDEAL WEEKEND RV GETAWAYS IN WASHINGTON STATE

I LOVE Washington. And as a writer, I naturally love helping others learn about new places to explore in Washington. So grab the family, pack the RV and check out four of my favorite locations for a fun-packed RV getaway weekend.

 

1. Olympic Peninsula

The Olympic Peninsula is unique from the rest of the state. I truly could RV here all summer and never get bored.

Hurricane Ridge – From Port Angeles, a 17 mile drive elevates you to the mountain tops of the Olympic Mountains. Enjoy spectacular views of snow capped mountains and of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Plenty of hiking available for all endurance levels including many kid-friendly trails.

 

Marymere Falls – Want to hike to a waterfall? Get up close with a gentle waterfall cascading 90 feet into a small pool. A kid-friendly one mile trail leads you through the forest and over a log bridge. The steepest part of the trail lies near the end as you approach the waterfall.

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A NEW YEAR FOR NEW ADVENTURES

 

Fresh starts. New beginnings. A clean slate.

 

 

We rung in the New Year quietly around the RV table with sparkling cider and a family game. We spent some time contemplating the adventures of 2014 and shared our desires for a meaningful 2015.

 

Yes, the New Year is here and with it comes a chance to make this year the best yet. Some people fill their New Year with resolutions for exercising more and eating healthy. Those are all great things (I’m cutting down on sugar myself!) but this year we have a challenge for you.

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A FRESH START MEANS FRESH TRAVELS

Happy New Year, everyone! With the holidays behind us, and months of winter still to go, is there a better time to plan this year’s traveling adventures? As you make your resolutions for the new year, forget the old standbys of losing weight and organizing your house. Instead, focus on experiencing a little more of the world. Work towards your traveling goals. It’s too easy to put off our dreams for another year. Life is short and there are so many places to travel. Decide where you want to go this year and start making concrete plans. This is your year!

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RVING IN THE LOVE MACHINE

Twenty-four: The exact number of hours from the front door of our family home to Orlando.

Eleven: The amount years our family has made the journey from Ottawa to the Sunshine State in our RV.

One: The number of times we’ve made the trip without children, and dare I say, one of the best RV experiences yet.

Our annual journey south has always been a family affair, which is why we jumped into RVing in the first place. It’s the perfect way to spend time with children and my hope is to create vaults of memories for ours. Still, sometimes I envied RVers whose children had grown and left the nest. What would it be like to RV alone, I’d wonder. Is there more freedom? More care-free wandering? Less fighting and fewer bathroom breaks? Or are child-free travelers missing out? Perhaps adult-only vacations bring new challenges which balance any benefit. I wanted to find out.

So, with these questions in mind, my husband and I decided this year we’d dip our toes into the unknown waters of “kid-free RVing.” My parents – who cannot get enough of my children – accepted the “offer” to watch them for a week with the glee only grandparents can muster. And so it came that my husband and I would get a sans-children trip while delivering our RV south for the winter. With arrangements in place for our children to be spoiled rotten, err…be wrapped in loved for ten days, we hit the road. In case you’re wondering, a Type A Motorhome can indeed burn rubber in a suburban driveway. What can I say? We were excited.

In years past, the trip south has been – in a word – loud. I’d estimate that in the distance between Ottawa and Florida I hear “Mom!” over 16,000 times. I can also confirm that sibling rivalry packs light and makes an excellent traveler, because it always seems to find a seat in our family RV. Also, a One Direction CD can withstand the piercing glare of a pair of 40-something Eagles fans and when two pre-teen girls play it on loop they possess the collective power to cause temporary insanity. Yes; “loud” is exactly what best describes our family journey each year.

The first thing my husband and I noticed this time was the sound of silence. Sweet, sweet, silence. I was even able to drift off a few times without being startled awake with cries of “MOM! She touched me! And can you hit replay on that CD?” Hours would go by and not a word was uttered. It was heavenly.

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