Posts in USA
Final Stat List: 1 Year Of "Hitting Pause"

If you've been following our journey, then you know I'm a sucker for stats and fun facts (the boys would chime in here: "did somebody say suckers?!"). On June 15, 2017 we jumped in Spud, our '86 Westfalia, drove through a start line made of toilet paper (thanks neighbors!), and peaced goodbye to the tenants that were going to be taking over our house for the year. Thus began our adventure that took us to many beautiful spots, reunited us with family and friends, and created long-lasting memories for our family. And let me tell you, the trip was so freaking fantastic I can't even find the right words other than that to describe it. So let's get to it - I've gone ahead and compiled a juicy stat and fact list rounding out our one year on the road. You're welcome!

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Aloha

I warned you that it wouldn't be long before we were throwing surf, sun, and sea stoke your way. I tried to hold off for as long as possible but with snow in the forecast (on the mainland, of course), now seems like an appropriate time. So turn your space heater on high, throw on that tank top that's been collecting dust since August, and envision yourself seated at the base of a palm tree with a coconut drink in your right hand and some sunscreen in your left.

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Halfway Between Here & There: Stat Edition!

The second half of our trip is upon us, which I can hardly even believe. We are taking it up and over the 6th month hump by ditching Spud for 6 weeks(ish) and hopping on a plane. Where to, you ask? To the palm tree laiden, shave ice devouring, bikini clad state of HAWAII, of course! Cue joke about taking a vacation from the vacation now.

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Standing Beneath Giants: California Redwoods

We were awestruck by the energy and beauty during our travels through the California Redwood parks, we decided they deserve a post devoted solely to them. The Redwoods have been sitting in my bucket list for over a decade waiting patiently for me to make the trip. I always heard people speak of these grand trees and couldn't wait to be standing at the base of them peering (way!) up. Driving down the California coast we were lucky enough to visit three different redwood areas: Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Avenue of the Giants, and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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Amateur Video Edition: Oregon in a Nutshell

I am still having a hard time processing our time in Oregon. It is hard to come up with new words and phrases to describe yet ANOTHER place that we've been to that is so remarkable. This one, however, blew our socks off. So far off that they're still in the trees dangling somewhere. Maybe that means part of my heart is still there. I think it might always be. 

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Oregon Part 1: Northern Coastline Must-Sees

One of the most exhilarating feelings on the road is the day we cruise into new territory. For us, that typically involves windows rolled down, excitement in our voices, and music bumping as we drive along about to cross a state line or border. We had a memorable last night in Washington but were thrilled to be taking the route into Oregon, a bucket list destination we've both wanted to visit for years.

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Washington Was...

To our faithful readers (eh um, that's you friends & family!!)  :-) ,

For those of you that know me, then you know how much I enjoy blogging about life, adventures, people, and places. I pour my heart and time into a blog post. And anyone who has done something similar knows the time and energy it takes to keep up with it. I'm afraid with Washington though, I am unable to devote much time (for now). You see, the sun, sand, and sea have been calling my name ever since we hit the beautiful West coast last month. I'm finding it harder and harder to pull myself away from time with family and am doing my best to soak it all up, so to speak.

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Musings From Spud: 10 things We've Learned on the Road

Well, here we are. I can hardly believe what I'm about to write, but we have officially spent a third of the year on the road. Crazy to think we drove away from Durango on June 15th with knots in our stomachs but excitement in our hearts. All in a short amount of time has been everything we hoped it would be, and sometimes more. Sure, we have rocky moments with kids in tow but at the end of the day we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. With the constant change we've surely had many opportunities for growth over the last few months. So we compiled a list. You know I love me a good list! Behold the list of: 10 Things We've Learned on the Road...

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7 Family-Friendly adventures in Glacier National Park

Oh Glacier. Our diminishing Glacier National Park. Filled with so much beauty, yet my heart aches as the years pass and the glaciers continue to disappear. Do you know there are only 25 left? With global warming continuing to have a huge impact on these survivors, it is estimated there will be none remaining after 2030. You heard me right. None. Geez, what will they do...change the name?! I

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A Grand Time in the Tetons

As I sit on uncomfortable, patterned carpet that is lining the hallway of our hotel I can't help but reflect on our busy but enjoyable time in Grand Teton National Park. Chip and I are plopped outside our room not because we want to socialize with other hotel guests, but because we are seeking the complete opposite. Silence. Time Alone. Time to decompress. Take in the sights and sounds from this past week (and maybe do a little laundry too). To take a dip in the pool and hot tub (umm, sure we showered beforehand.... a week ago). We learned early on that we need this down time alone and often. Sometimes to escape the kids. Sometimes to catch up on sleep. Sometimes to blog, to work, or to have reliable internet service. And sometimes to simply recharge our bodies' batteries. Joke if you must about taking a "vacation from your vacation", but there it is.

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Gratitude

We are coming off a huge high after spending time in the midwest. When we first got serious about taking this trip, we excitedly spoke about seeing family and friends we hadn't seen in awhile, about making it a goal to reconnect with family and friends who were once part of our everyday lives. And, boy, were we ever surprised by the amount of you that offered up a driveway or home to sleep in. Leaving our home, friends, and neighborhood in Durango was difficult. But having welcoming hugs and familiar faces greet us along the way has been so refreshing and made the transition to life on the road much easier. We are humbled and grateful for the generosity that you all have shown us.

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"Water Wonderland" Michigan

Michigan snuck up on us like a cool summer breeze. One minute we were seeing family and friends in Ohio and the next we were relaxing poolside at a vacation rental in Mirror Lake with Chip's family. We spent six lazy days here going on bike rides, hunting for mulberries with grandpa, swimming in the pool, fishing, and plumping ourselves up with a lot of wonderful food. But, as always, all good things must come to an end and after a week we had to say goodbye to the comforts of a big, cozy home and help from family. We hopped back in Spud and ugly-cried out of the vacation rental driveway. It is always hard leaving family but after giving my cheek a swift slap of the hand, I snapped out of it and immediately grew eager to explore the rest of Michigan. 

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Staying Connected in Lake of the Ozarks

About a week into our road trip I started having nagging thoughts indicating something wasn't quite right. The intrusive feeling would hit me like an ocean wave, take hold of my brain for a few seconds, and then wash ashore as I'd forget about it for awhile. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was that was making me feel a little uneasy. Finally, though, on our last morning at a random Missouri State Park I was able to connect the dots. 

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Embark

I'm sitting in the passenger seat of our '86 Westy staring out the window at the endless wheat fields, towering windmills, and straight, flat roads of Kansas. It is dead silent in Spud (well, as silent as he gets at 65 mph), which is rare with jabbering twin boys. But it's naptime. Hallelujah! I unbuckle my seatbelt and like a flight attendant head to the back and sneak out two M&M ice cream bars from our mini freezer. I deliver one to Chip, then we cackle while waving them in the air at the boys' sleeping faces and scarf them down in celebration of quiet time. If only they knew what we did when they were asleep. I digress...

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