CAUTION: CRAZY CAMPER LADY AHEAD…

When Atlanta area mom, Jacki Wicker, was raising her son and daughter she was too busy to think about what life would look like when they grew up and moved out. When they flew the coop her initial reaction was, “Whew…done!” Then a little time passed and the reality of her new life sunk in. “Whew…done,” was replaced with, “What now?”

Jacki grew up in rugged South Dakota where her Air Force dad and social worker mother took her and her two younger brothers camping all the time. They tent camped until her dad bought a homemade pop-up trailer that had a big bed for her parents and enough floor space for three sleeping bags.

 

 Although Jacki’s daughter did not grow up camping she is game to start three generation campouts with her mom and daughter, Presley.

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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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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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TAKE A SNEAK PEAK

The Sisters on the Fly will be thrilling the attendees at the Country Living Fair again this year with their beautiful trailers and tales of the road. The Fair takes place at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia the weekend of October 24-26.  The sisters will also be the featured speakers at the Main Stage Saturday afternoon.

If you can’t make it to the fair, take a sneak peak at some of the re-vamped vintage campers the Sisters have created.

This clever trailer belongs to Sister on the Fly #3825, Debbie Smoot. It’s a 1964 Gypsy. Now that’s a ‘canned ham’!

Smoot Canned Ham1

SISTERS

Here’s the front of Debbie’s trailer. It has a front kitchen and a dining table that folds down into a very large bed! So cheerful! I want to stay for lunch!

Smoot Canned Ham

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SMILES AND SETBACKS IN MINNESOTA AND NORTH DAKOTA

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If the weather wasn’t cooperating in Minneapolis, it more than made up for itself as we traveled north. Our destination was to stop north of Brainerd, MN for a few days to meet up with some wonderful friends we met while RVing in Georgia a few years ago.

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