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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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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GATHER UP YOUR LOVED ONES AND GO RVING

RVing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My very first RV memory is sleeping on the convertible dinette bed in a borrowed truck camper. When I was in middle school, my parents bought a 1970s Starcraft travel trailer that my dad towed with a gold 1969 Buick station wagon. I’d take along a friend on family camping trips and we would cram ourselves into the tiny bathroom spraying Aqua Net onto our teased bangs. Clearly, I knew how to “glamp” even before “#glamping” was a thing.

 

By the time I was in high school, my parents had changed RVs again and I had changed my hairstyle. (Thank goodness, four-inch tall bird nest shaped bangs aren’t flattering on anyone.) This RV was a Type C. It was our first motorized RV and I can remember hanging out with my siblings or reading in the back bedroom while we traveled to our destination. Cool beans!

 

Once my parents even let me drive it while they took a nap in the back (before seat belt laws required all passengers to be buckled in). That was back in the day when kids could stay out wandering the neighborhoods alone until dark. My brother sat shotgun and we chatted away until my dad woke up from the rough ride and decided I wasn’t ready to be driving the RV after all. More than 20 years later, we still laugh about it. Today I wouldn’t even dream of letting Thing 1 drive while we even relaxed in the back, let alone sleep, but that was a different, more innocent time…

 

The RV I supposedly drove “100 MPH” when I was a teenager. Right!!!

 

The cousins and my sister (I was way cooler in middle school ;-)) camping with Papaw.

 

My parents were not and still are not the only ones in our family with an RV. For as long as I can remember, my mom’s parents, Junebug and Papaw, had an RV. If a weekend at grandma’s house was fun, a weekend in grandma’s RV was even better.

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