RV SURFING THE WEST COAST

An RV trip is always an adventure, but sometimes you need to turn up the adventure even more. This was one of those times and we decided to travel from the Mexican border all the way up the west coast to the Canadian border, surfing along the way on a mega RV surfing trip!

 

 

I’ve heard and read about people doing this trip before, but almost always it’s in a camper van and they’re roughing it. We did it a little differently, heading up this absolutely breathtaking coast, with all the conveniences of home. There’s no way to express some of the memories that are etched into my mind from this RV trip, truly a once in a lifetime experience.

 

The Start – San Diego

 

 

We left Minnesota in December shortly after Ella was born to sunny San Diego. I couldn’t wait to hit the waves! We were staying at a campsite where there was nothing between us and Mexico other than a mountain. My goal was to start surfing right at the Mexican border in Imperial Beach. When we got there, we found that it had rained and it washed a bunch of sewage and toxic waste from Tijuana into the ocean causing them to shut down the beach…

 

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SHALL WE GATHER AT THE RIVER?

Shall we gather at the river?

Where bright angel feet have trod

With its crystal tide forever

Flowing by the throne of God

Robert Lowry, 1864

 

The subtle influence of grandmothers is a topic for poets and psychologists alike. It can supply strength when you think you have none.  It can also carry a loving imprint that tells you who you are no matter what the world seems to be telling you. More often than not, this benevolence comes in the form of an unconditional love. It’s conveyed by the mere “doing” of grandmotherly things. The ironing of a special dress, the unasked for purchase of the item you’ve been eyeing, the cookies on the porch when you most need a friend. Grandmothers have a way of filling the gap. It’s what makes us still miss them decades after they are gone, still think of them when eating a family recipe perfected by them, and still wish we had one more afternoon to just be with them.

Debra Facer, like so many of us, had such a Grandma. Her life would have seemed ordinary to many but she planted seeds of comfort in Debra. Those seeds would bloom when needed and the fragrance of that bloom would remind her of just how extraordinary her grandmother was. The seeds that Debra’s grandmother Dealia, and also her mother Joann, planted in her would bloom and help her to survive childlessness, widowhood at 37 and an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Dealia the way Debra remembers her – loving life!

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GO RVING WITH A BABY

Our plan was to leave Orange County, California where we lived for 8 years and move near family on the East Coast. We wanted to settle down in a brick & mortar house and have babies. I convinced Danielle we should have one last hurrah by buying an RV and traveling for 6 months on our way out east.

We quickly realized that living in an RV can be just as “normal” as living in a brick & mortar house, except you get to enjoy scenery and experiences that would never happen living in a traditional house. About a year into our full-time RV travels we found ourselves pregnant while in Texas. It was exciting, but we had to make a big decision…do we settle down, or do we continue the incredible life to which we’ve become accustomed?

For me it was a no-brainer, CONTINUE RVing! Danielle had a few things she wanted to get cleared up before committing:

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9 NATIONAL PARKS (NOT ONE OF THE MAJOR 59) YOU SHOULDN’T MISS

Did you know that there are 412 national park areas out there? A lot of people have a bucket list item of visiting the 59 main national parks like Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yosemite, but ever since learning that there are so many more, we’ve decided to upgrade that bucket list item to visiting all 412.

We are still a long way off, but we’re starting to chip away at the list. We’ve enjoyed exploring some of the lesser known parks because they are typically far less crowded and you can easily see most of them in a day or two. Here are 9 that we’ve visited that you shouldn’t miss.

 

White Sand Dunes National Monument, New Mexico

 

This is easily one of our favorites. Walk, hike, or sled on what seems to be endless rolling hills of white sand. It’s a great site for photographers and you can see more about our visit here.

Pro Tip: Avoid visiting in the summer, since it gets brutally hot.


Cabrillo National Monument, California

While living in San Diego for a year, we had a lot of fun exploring Cabrillo National Monument. You can go tide pooling, check out the lighthouse, or enjoy amazing views of the city.

 

Tide pooling at Cabrillo National Monument in California

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ONE RV ADVENTURE TO HAVE WITH YOUR KIDS IN EVERY STATE BEFORE THEY GROW UP

Image via Flickr/H. Micheal Miley

 

Alabama

Go to Space Camp. Rocket scientist Dr. Wernher von Braun wanted a place to inspire kids about space travel, and the result was Space Camp, where kids participate in simulated missions, experience what gravity feels like on the moon, and spin themselves silly on the multi-axis trainer.

 

Alaska

Go dogsledding. Whether you want to see the northern lights, explore Denali National Park or visit a glacier, get there by dogsled. The cold air in your face as you glide across the snow…there’s nothing else like it. Mush!

 

Arizona

Camp out in the Grand Canyon. But don’t stare at it for five minutes and then wonder, “Now what?” There are plenty of wonders waiting to be discovered inside the canyon. Climb down and explore, then spend the night under the stars at Mather Campground.

 

Arkansas

Dig for diamonds. Visit Crater of Diamonds State Park to find your own gemstones. It’s the only diamond-producing site in the world that is open to the public, so start digging!

 

California

 

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