ESCAPE FROM THE WINTER BLUES

 

Have the winter doldrums set in yet? It’s been a cold one so far, even for the lucky residents of the southern states. If everything at home seems dull and dreary, but the rest of the world seems shiny and new, indulge your wanderlust. Winter can get you down, but sometimes a little distance from your at-home life will give you a fresh perspective. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a spontaneous ski weekend, or a family gathering, a little travel is just what the doctor ordered. Pack your bags, grab your sweetie, and hit the road.

 

 

The most romantic gift you can give this Valentine’s Day is your time and a treasured memory. And winter is a wonderful time for romance. A few of the most romantic spots in the US might surprise you. USA Today named St. Paul the most romantic getaway city in North America last year. There’s fine dining, especially of the seafood variety, a vibrant nightlife, luxurious spa experiences, and plenty of outdoor activities.  But if your idea of romance doesn’t include snow, definitely consider heading down to Texas.  Check out the Padre Island National Seashore for 65 miles of shoreline.  It may not always be sunbathing weather, but it is frequently the warmest spot in the continental US during the dead of winter.

Read More

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.

Read More

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

Editor’s Note: Together with her husband and young son, Monica Bennett seeks out non-stop RVing adventures and culinary discoveries in the Pacific Northwest.  Her travels on the road inspires her work as a photographer and writer for her blog, “Just 5 More Minutes,” where she shares her passion for cooking in her RV, demonstrates creative d.i.y. crafting projects and writes about mastering the art of RVing domesticity.  The RVing lifestyle is Monica’s escape from her 9-5 as a graphic designer in busy corporate America.   

From the East Coast to the West Coast and all across our land, there is no question that the holiday season is upon us.

The anticipation of holiday celebrations are enough to make children, both young and old giddy with excitement.  There are cakes to be baked, gifts to be wrapped, decorations to be hung and lights to be strung.  Traditions both old and new run strong this time of year.

One of our family traditions is adventuring with our trailer here in the Pacific Northwest, specifically to the San Juan Islands of Washington state.  We board the ferry, sit back and if we are lucky, have some pretty incredible wild life viewing opportunities.  If you ever come, make sure to bring your binoculars.  It’s an experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

Read More

ROAD TRIPPIN’ FROM OTTAWA TO ORLANDO

Editor’s note: Candace Derickx has been RVing now for 11 years with her outdoorsman husband and their three children. Candace’s life now revolves around when and where she can escape to next with her family. 

When I tell people my husband and I often drive our RV from Ottawa to Florida, we get a lot blank stares. We know what they’re thinking.  Yes, we understand that a plane could have us there in three hours but still we choose to take three days to get there. But those who stare and wonder if we’re crazy? They don’t know what they’re missing.

Many Canadians move their RVs south in the winter, and we’re no exception. Snow squalls and sub-zero temperatures aren’t favorable RVing conditions and can take a toll on your RV if you don’t have proper storage facilities. And you’d also miss out on the chance for one last drive south – something not to be missed when the opportunity arises. After eleven years making this journey south we continue to be amazed by the beauty of America and the boundless hospitality its people possess.

Every time we leave the house in our RV we set out with a general idea of where we’d like to end up. From there on, it’s a connect-the-dots adventure to our final destination. We are free to roam for as long as we’d like on the trip to Florida. Adopting this nomadic lifestyle on our journey is easy because we know no matter what route we choose, we’ll feel safe and welcome in America. We are not bound by a schedule, nor are we hostage to hotel reservations. Airline cancellations have no effect on us, and our vacation starts as soon as we leave the house – not after standing in countless boarding lines and custom booths.

Read More

MILE “0” AND COUNTING ON THE ALASKA HIGHWAY

Untitled

Tucked in the campsites, our little caravan of two found a “home” among the pines and aspens in Whistlers campground of Jasper National Park.

Untitled1

Most days were flexible, as our routine would naturally spring into action. On a nice evening, Brent often “manned” the grill while I chopped and diced vegetables picked up from the store or if we had been lucky, a local farmers market.

Read More