LOOK BACK ON THE JOURNEY
As we have started a new year, I find myself hopeful and expectant. Word on the street is 2016 was a rough year for many of us. I have found myself almost wanting to dismiss the year in its entirety, but I know better. Even in the hardest of seasons, there are still beautiful moments. I have been spending time going back and seeing all those moments that I have to be grateful for.
One of my favorite things about 2016 is the RV trip I got take with my family. It’s no secret that my family loves to explore which is why we get out often and enjoy taking long road trips. Being that my husband and I are both from Alaska, nature is something we love and cherish. It’s a love we always knew we wanted to pass on to our children and we are blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful part of the country.
We have explored much of the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. One of the things that had been on our list for a while was doing the scenic North Cascade Highway Loop. After looking at our schedule this past fall, we decided that it was the perfect time to finally make that beautiful drive. And while we were at it, why not go ahead and make it extra special by making this trip in an RV?
The morning of the trip, we grabbed breakfast sandwiches, which is a tradition that goes back to family road trips from my childhood. Egg sandwiches in hand, we started our journey in Everett, Washington. We drove the first two hours straight with small pit stops mainly because it was pouring rain outside. We didn’t mind. The rain, fog, and chill music we had playing only added to the relaxing mood. It was like we stepped into a moody picture and got to experience it firsthand. The girls marveled at all the trees and watched the rain drops race each other down the window.
The rain would stop briefly and in those moments we would jump out of the RV and take in the beauty surrounding us. My kids would find puddles and scream as they jumped in them. I laughed as I watched them play and was quietly thankful that the RV had a shower and clean clothes for them to change into. After letting the kids get out some of their wiggles, we piled back in the in the RV and drove until we hit Leavenworth.
Leavenworth is a cute little town that looks like a Bavarian village. We have been there before and it’s one of our favorite places to visit. We knew that Leavenworth is a beautiful place, but what we didn’t know is that we would be stopping in right in the middle of Oktoberfest. This was a win for us because we had been wanting to check Oktoberfest out for a while, but managed to keep missing it for one reason or the other. We thought we were going to miss it again when we couldn’t find parking, but luck was on our side that day. There was one spot left that was big enough to fit our RV. We snatched it up and immediately started exploring.
The air was full of live music and heavenly smells coming from the nearby restaurants. The girls were hungry so we decided to stop in this little place to get a fresh hot pretzel. We ate those pretzels so fast we practically inhaled them. We continued to explore the town, stopping in little shops all along the way. We had a blast, but knew we needed to get back on the road. We made one last stop in a taffy shop, loaded up on some treats and before you knew it we were back on the road.
We drove for a while more, taking in scenery and playing games of “I spy”. The busy day was starting to take its toll and we knew we would be running out of daylight soon. We decided to stay the night in a little RV Park in Twisp, Washington. We ate dinner and watched a movie until bedtime. We got the girls all settled into their beds, and I slept good that night knowing that thanks to the heat in the RV, they wouldn’t be cold.
The next day we woke up to silence and lovely fog. We decided to take it easy that morning. We had a hot breakfast and then proceeded to play board games as a family. After a bit the girls got restless so we decided to go outside. We walked to the water and they threw rocks until their hearts were content. Eventually, we packed everything up to head out on the road again.
Our next stop was at Winthrop, Washington. It’s a little western themed town, which my daughters loved! They sat on pretend saddles and posed near statues of cowboys. They had so much fun exploring the shops they had to offer. As we continued on our journey down the Cascade Highway we experienced so many special moments. We saw snowcapped mountains and waterfalls. We stared in wonder at the striking color of Diablo Lake. We even stopped for ice cream at Cascadian Farm.
I know that we will go on many more trips as a family, but this one in particular will always have a special place in my heart. It was most likely our last big road trip as a family of four before our baby joins us this spring. It was the first time I got to experience exploring nature from the comfort and convenience of a RV. Lastly, it was one of the few refreshingly positive moments in the midst of a very tough 2016 for my family. I know this trip will stay with my girls forever too. My 4-year-old is always asking when we can go adventure in the “house car” again. I laugh and say “Soon, Love. Soon.”
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