Back in the states

We kept a pretty low profile while in London. Lots of Judge Judy and gas station food.

The day finally came and we boarded our very empty plane back to the states.

A quick, not really, ten hours later we had made it to Miami. After a few basic checks we were officially on the other side of immigration and had made it back “home”. Whew!

It was pretty exciting to be back on US soil. Just something about the comforts of the known.

While in London the kiddos and Dad had convinced me to book a house in Orlando with a pool and  spa while we awaited our flight back to the cold white North.

Oh man am I happy I humored them! Ha!

Not only did we get a deal because, well, Airbnb’s aren’t exactly thriving at the moment but it has given us a chance to “self isolate”.  And of course it’s been pretty awesome to soak up some sun and enjoy the water.

We’ve got a few more days here and then we head north. We’ll face a 14 day mandatory quarantine up there, but it sounds like there’s still a ridiculous amount of snow on the ground so what else are you going to do, right?!?

Today we made a video recapping our European Adventure.

I’m so grateful we got this experience. Even with a health crisis at our heels. I mean would the Cunningham’s do it any other way?!?


That’s a wrap!

Well, folks, we did it! Another season in the books. Whew, that was a fast one! By far, our best summer in Alaska to date. Our new summer jobs went awesomely well. We learned a lot, had fun, and made some paper dollars! The campground gig couldn’t have gone better, our hosts are absolutely amazing and coming back next year! And thanks to our very generous friends, our newfound offsite home made a world of difference.

The last couple of weeks have been busy getting the campgrounds wrapped up and preparing for our departure. We got most of the list done; there’s always a couple of things that we agree can wait until next year. It’s funny with RV’s. You get to this point where you have the best of intentions with repairs or maintenance, but then you fear that you might really screw things up with only hours left before you leave, those are the moments when we say next spring will do just fine!

Now we begin our 5-day journey to Florida. As the kiddos and I sit in our cozy little Anchorage hotel, Hubby is headed back to the peninsula to continue the shuffle of vehicles and such. To save a little cash, we opted to have Hubby drive us all to ANC, so then we’d only have to pay for one charter flight. Tomorrow we leave Alaska and head for where else other than Pigeon Forge, TN. Can you believe we are going back!?! HA! Well, that poor little truck has been sitting there since December of last year. Supposedly it’s all fixed and ready to go! I guess we’ll soon find out. No matter what happens, we’ll figure it out, but man, I have every part of my body crossed and hoping all goes well.

Once we pick up the truck, we’ll make our way south, a quick stop in Georgia for breakfast with friends then onto Orlando. Monday, we pick up the trailer and set up shop near Disney. The kiddos already have their fast passes set up for Monday, as they have zero interest in picking up the trailer with us. I kinda feel the same way. I am so over the actual moving part of RVing! But, I do love my house on wheels, and the way we’re set up, we move pretty rarely. Mostly we hope it summered well, and we don’t have any extra furry friends dead or alive inside!

We are so looking forward to our Disney time, and we even have a bit more time to relax before our next gig. We switched things up a bit, and finally, after all these years, we have secured ourselves an awesome tree lot gig. I am just so happy! And the kiddos are pretty excited too. I think it will be yet another fun family experience for all of us.

Until next time!

Summer time… And the livin’ is easy!

What a difference a season makes!

It was probably about this time last year that I was just about ready to pull the plug on the whole thing. The main issue was that darn rental property. Moreover, the lack of renters renting said property. But, all that is behind us now. There’s really not a day that goes by that I don’t think about how lucky we are and how grateful I am to no longer be a homeowner.

Honestly, this has been one of our best seasons yet! I am so grateful to our friends for literally hooking us up, to full hookups that is, and for our amazing camp hosts, we have such an excellent team this year, it really makes a world of difference.

The kiddos are having a pretty good go of it too! Ryder has thrived at his resident camp. I just can’t believe how much it has helped him transform from kid to adolescent, I think having that outside support really helped him emerge as an amazing young man. Don’t get me wrong he’s still all dark and broody, ha, but he seems a little more settled in his manliness, and perhaps “Peter Pan Syndrome” will evade him. A mom can hope! Ryder has already announced that he’ll do whatever it takes to get him back to summer camp next year!

And Livs. Well, she just kind of continues to be amazing! She clearly had a wonderful time abroad, and still has new stories to tell as she remembers little pockets of time. For the last month or so she’s been grinding away with her creative writing workshop, which she is proudly holding her own with a 96%, with no help from mom and dad, can you tell I’m a little proud!ย  Now she’ll be one half-credit closer to her high school diploma. She’s also my sole volunteer at the visitors center, perhaps not the most happening place, but she’s getting a feel for engaging with the public in a professional setting, and her boss is pretty particular when it comes to such things! HA! And following in my footsteps she’s already scheming about her next big adventure next summer, she’s leaning towards a multi-state half-friend time half-work excursion. Glad shes got some drive!

And for Hubby and me we’re just happy to be, well, just here, right where we’re at! The new jobs are great, the parks are trekking along smoothly, and showering whenever you want is something that will never get old! It’s been a busy summer, the time has really flown by, I can’t believe it! It feels like October is just around the corner, and we’ll be starting our next adventure. We’re already halfway through our time here in Alaska, and really once you get through July up here the time just seems to pass so quickly.

I love living in these six-month cycles. For someone who gets bored easily, this is definitely the lifestyle for me. Think about it, three months into whatever you’re doing, and it’s time to start thinking about packing up again, I kind of love it! Like the equivalent to an adrenaline junkie, but with a boring mom twist, planning pursuer, organizer extraordinaire, eh I don’t know I’ll have to work on a cool name, HA! Either way, October will come and then it’s go time. We’ve already got our flights out of Alaska, and then starts a rapid, but chaotic journey of picking up the truck and getting to our rig. Fingers crossed all will go well!

For now, we’ll just hang in Alaska and enjoy the summer.

And one of the perks of the new job is getting to go on trips when there’s room. I was so excited when my boss asked me to tag along on a bear viewing trip the other day. Katmai National Park is one of the places I’ve only ever dreamed of going, and Brooks Falls is that iconic Alaska “bear catching salmon” spot to be in the summer. It was pretty amazing, so thankful I got the experience.

Brooks is about an hour and a half from Homer, AK. This was my first time in a floatplane, pretty cool! Although I was a bit nervous, probably more because I didn’t want to say anything silly in front of my boss! HA!

We’ve had a ton of fires up here this year. And very little rain, it’s actually been bizarre! But even though it was a bit hazy out it was still pretty amazing. And watching the pilot manage all the instruments was spectacular, she’s been flying since she was 16! She’s incredible!

We landed in Naknek lake, and it was time for Bear School, then off to the platforms!

A view from the electro-fence, where it’s safe to eat.

We saw this sow and cubs when we first arrived. Cubs are born in January, these little guys were born in January of 2018. They’ll hang with mom for 3-4 years and nurse the entire time. The shore acts a little bit like a nursery. The females can relax a bit while cubs play and not worry too much about adult males, they almost use the humans as a bit of a buffer, plus the big guys are about a mile or so away in the falls.

After bear school and you store away any food and gear in the cache you begin down the trail. First, you come to the lower platform, calm waters, and several bears swimming around and grazing in the meadows.

The trails are on the ground and on elevated boardwalks, like a skyway. It’s a very unique experience, nothing like I pictured. It kind of has a zoo feel to it, and then all of a sudden you’ll have a bear run past you on the trail. The video below is of “The Riffles.” It’s only about a mile to the falls, but first, you come to this platform. You’ll get your “Olive Gardenesque” pager here because sometimes there’s a two-hour wait to get on the falls platform, crazy right! This area is suitable for sub-adult bears, like this guy. He certainly is special. He knows he can’t keep up with the big guys upriver, but the whole point of a bears day is to eat, and save energy, this guy was all over the place. Fun to watch, though!

Once our pager buzzed and our party was free to frequent the falls, we made the short walk over. You get one hour to stand at the falls and try and get the same snapshot every other person here wants! It’s called Shutterstock people! HA! Just enjoy! Sometimes people get so hung up on pictures they don’t look around and take it all in, plus there’s some pretty fantastic stuff all around you here. In any case…

See little “Grandpa Bear” on the lower right. He’s obviously been doing this a long time. Not only is he the beefiest guy here, but watching him catch fish is like time is moving in slow motion. He barely even moves, the salmon hit his legs and he just casually reaches down and scoops one up. It was pretty amazing!

Not wanting to take up too much space on the platform, my boss and I headed for the lodge. On the way, we got passed by a cub and took the marsh route to avoid being held up by a sow and cubs on the trail. This is when you realize these really are wild animals, it’s not Disney!

And while everyone comes for the bears, I find the salmon pretty amazing. Here they are holding in the water waiting to make their big journey up the falls.

A seldomly frequented spot here at Brooks. Native people inhabited the areas as early as 6000 BC.

After about 4 hours on the ground, it was back in the air! This time we were able to fly a bit lower, and we got some incredible views of Augustine Volcano! Truly a once in a lifetime experience. So thankful to be a part of it!

Alaska summer is in full swing

Per usual there’s lots to do when we first arrive in Alaska. And as I write this I can’t believe we’ve already been back over 2 months. Whew! It’s been an amazing season so far. I am so grateful for the opportunities that have come our way. For starters, Hubby was on a mission to take on a new summer gig. Now that we’d sold the rental he had time to take on a little something extra. And in our truly codependent way that something turned out to be yet another job we work together. Ha! I think we shock people at how much we really do as a team. Yes sometimes he drives me crazy, and I’m sure I have the same effect on him, but we’ve made it this far. Almost 2 decades in! Anyways, the new gigs are great. I’m all remote and Hubby is very part time onsite. It’s really a perfect fit. Another reason we were able to take on a bit more is because we have officially moved to full hook-ups in the RV! This is huge!!!! I mean for someone who doesn’t know it’s so hard to explain just how much of a difference this makes. It’s not super hard or anything living without water and sewer. But it is definitely something that you think about daily and address often. So this is a huge step in the right direction. So to answer the inevitable question yes we still work our summer campground gig and we’re actually still on the river. We just secured a new place to park “home”.

This is home now and that’s Ryder’s totally awesome “gaming tent”.

So with everything running smoothly we moved on to the next part of our summer. That independence for the kiddos that I eluded to.

Ryder spent his first week at resident camp and is headed back for another tomorrow. He’ll do this week on few days off thing for pretty much the remainder of the summer. He was pretty apprehensive about his first week but he did great and he’s up for more. So I couldn’t be happier.

And just prior to dropping off my little guy at camp it was Liv’s turn to experience a little or a lot of freedom…

Her bags were packed and she was headed to Europe!

Here’s the proof! Ha!

She’s been gone just about 2 weeks and tonight we’ll pick her up. I’m still amazed that she had this awesome adventure! England, France, and Spain. I’m sure she’ll have lots to write about in her creative writing workshop this summer.

So as you can see we really do have an abundance of things to be grateful for. And I try and account for them often. Should be a great rest of the season. And then it’s on to another lower 48 adventure. But for now. I’ll just sit back and enjoy what’s ” in the now”.

One Adventure Closes…

Well, we said goodbye to Florida and all of our Disney shenanigans last Wednesday. We all had such a great time down there, and we can’t wait for October to come around and embark on another new journey!

Our last night at the Magic Kingdom was magical as usual! Surprisingly this is the first time we have ever posed for a pic on Main Street, can you believe that?!? The parks had gotten significantly crowded during our last couple of weeks, crowds that we’ve never really been a part of, I still can’t believe people do this in such a short amount of time. As you know we hit the parks pretty leisurely. Other than a water park day you won’t really catch us in the parks much before two or three in the afternoon, and then we love to close the place down. Less heat and better crowds.

We were so happy to have Nana join us at the parks. We had an amazing time. Meals out, catching up on the Bachelor, tons of Twistee Treat, shopping sprees, new rides…

And we hit the Starbucks Like A LOT!!!! Thanks, Nana!

After Nana left, we had just about a week to go before it was time to hop on a plane back up North. We knew we were going to have a few days of chores and such to prepare for our travel day, but before that, it was time to hit some rides and soak up the last few days of vacation! We hit the big rides, made a list of our must do meals, and stocked up on a few last minute shopping items, things are so much cheaper down there!

Once Saturday hit it was time to move into full travel mode. It was a mellow day of packing and having the rig washed, and UV treated. Since the truck still isn’t in a driveable condition we opted to store the rig in FL and the truck will sit in TN until October. Crazy right?!? Anyways, we thought about purchasing a cover for the trailer, but upon reading through various blogs, and talking to the locals, we decided against it. They are expensive, can trap in the moisture and humidity, and at our price point, we would probably need to buy a new one every year because it just wouldn’t last in the FL sun. So instead of investing in a cover, we will have the trailer UV treated every year, seems like a fair compromise. On Sunday the kiddos and dad decided to hit Typhoon Lagoon while I cleaned. Other than it taking me a hell of a lot longer than I anticipated it went really well. So Sunday night it was off to a local motel so we could officially wrap up the trailer and get it into storage on Monday. We prepared the RV for moisture by laying down pans of kitty litter and charcoal, and tossed bay leaves and flea collars around, and of course my favorite…dryer sheets galore! Hopefully, we come back to a mold-free, critter free, nice smelling RV!

By the time we checked into the hotel, I think we were all feeling a bit anxious. It’s hard not knowing what you might be coming home to. Anchor Point saw a ton of snow this winter and knowing we had to move into our RV the day we flew in was a bit daunting. We always try to live in the moment but sometimes at “transition time” we all get a little anxious. With that said, Monday came early, and it was time for Dad to accompany the trailer to storage. All went well with that, and now we just hope for the best! We took it easy the rest of the day enjoying lazing around the room and eating all the junk food we could before we headed back.

Tuesday, the big day! So initially we had planned to drive to Atlanta, store the rig and truck there, and catch a plane back to AK. Well, that plan was made months ago when we thought we had a working truck. So we did the best we could. Instead of paying a ton of money to change our flights we opted to swap our rental car with a one way rental to Atlanta and drive overnight to catch our early AM flight. But in true Cunningham fashion, we had to hit the water park just one more time before we left. So we dropped the kiddos off at Typhoon Lagoon, drove to MCO to pick up the new rental car, drove over to the old rental car place to drop the first rental, picked up food, and met the kiddos for some fun in the sun.

I would be lying if I said my tummy wasn’t in knots at this point, but it sure looks like we’re having a lot of fun!

So after a few trips down Miss Adventure Falls, a couple of loops in the lazy river, and catching some serious waves in the pool, it was officially time to say goodbye to Disney! Man, it was fun!

A quick drive back to the hotel and we got all showered up, another round of fast food and we were on the road to Atlanta. The kiddos made it to about 1am before they hit recline on the seats and Hubby and I cranked up the tunes and enjoyed a spectacular lightning show in the distance.

We made a quick stop at the gas station to top off the rental and grab a few snacks for the plane. I was pretty exhausted at this point, and we still had 3 planes and a couple of layovers to go. Honestly, it’s all kind of a blur. The plan was for Dad to catch a charter flight before the rest of us so he could stop at the chamber, grab the truck batteries, drive those over to where his truck was parked, get the truck up and running, go scope out the campgrounds to see if we could even drive in, and then go get the rig out of storage and set up shop.

Well…

Most of it went according to plan. As the kiddos and I sat in the Anchorage airport, we awaited good news texts from Dad with progress updates. Everything was going pretty good until the storage place dropped the ball. The RV was very much stuck. So with the kids and I getting on a plane to Homer, Dad had to make some executive decisions, and I would just have to see what he came up with once I got off the plane. We opted for a night in a hotel in hopes that he could get the RV out the next day! Mostly we just wanted a hot shower and to fall over and crash for the night, by this time we had been going about 30 hours, so that’s just what we did. Of course, Dad was awesome and made sure the kiddos had dinner and all the things they needed, once I hit the water it was mere minutes before I passed out, HA, he really is something else!

Thursday morning he took me into work at the tax office and set off to rescue our little house on wheels. By the time he picked me up he had the rig set up, filled with water, and all was pretty much right with the world. Amazing right!

It still feels a little weird to be back, and I certainly didn’t miss it up here. But it pays the bills! So I definitely can’t complain about that! And tomorrow we formally ditch the Alaska house, I couldn’t be happier. It was a cool experience, and I’m so glad that we did the Airbnb thing, but we are ready to be even more unburdened, and selling this house is huge! We’re already scheming about our winter plans, but in the meantime, we are prepping for a great summer. We are going to shake things up a bit! A new home for the RV and the kiddos are going to experience some serious independence!

How you ask… Well, that’s for another post!

 

 

 

 

Let the adventure begin…

Wow, what a couple of weeks. So we last left you with 2 weeks to go, and a whole lot has happened since then.

Hubby and I successfully got the campgrounds wrapped up and all the “things” checked off the list. As we expected the last week was quite intense. A few unexpected hurdles, as well as the tasks we knew, had to wait until the last minute. It’s funny when you prepare for a big transition. It seems like it’s a lot of sitting around then all the sudden the time comes, and it’s like a sprint to get it all done. And somehow you manage to get everything in order, or if you don’t, you figure out how to live with what’s left undone.

For us, our last week was quite a whirlwind, and it felt as though the universe was not thrilled with our plans, doing everything it possibly could to set us back. But in true Cunningham style, we got it all in order just in time for wheels up!

Travel Day Photos

 

The flights were fairly easy, just one layover at Sea Tac and then we touched down in muggy Detroit. Did you know it was so hot and humid there? After being exhausted from our week, and slightly jet-lagged, the kiddos were so confused, everyone could swear that we were headed to the jungles of Cahuita, not the big city of Detroit, considering how humid it was.

Anyways, it was off to the hotel in our fancy new rental car, man every time I get in one of these rentals I feel like I’m flying a spaceship, and the first time I came to a stop the car just truned off! Guess that is an emissions thing because it would start right up when I took my foot off the brake, seemed so odd, and way too fancy for me, but whatever. We pulled into the hotel, nothing fancy, just the way we like it, safe and cheap. Then it was off to find food. It’s one of our biggest pleasures in the lower 48, all the yummy food at a moments notice! Pizza Hut was our dinner treat, and it was delicious! After a full belly, it was shower time then into bed.

Monday morning came, and it was time to head about an hour north and pick up our “new to us” truck. I was a little apprehensive, it’s tough to buy something sight unseen, but you do what ya gotta do, to make all the dreams happen! So off we went. I was also really excited because today was the day we were going to explore Detroit. I have been trying to get Hubby to take us to Detroit for years!

We pulled into the dealership, and there it was, prettier than I remember it, and it looked so much better in person. The interior, everything was just awesome! I can’t say enough aboutย Mashburn Motors they are AMAZING!!! Kevin is so great, and easy to work with, and they are truly an upstanding dealership. I would travel far and wide to purchase from them again, more about how amazing they are later!

Anyways, so Kevin offered for us to leave the rental at his place for a bit as we wanted to drive into Flint and do a little driving tour. Pics and such to come. Fortunately, the truck drove like a dream. So much more comfortable than our Ford! Quiet, Hubby said it had tons of power. It was great. We couldn’t be happier. A few hours later it was time to take the rental back to the airport and start our Detroit driving tour. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time, I loved our tour around the city. Pics to come.

Now it’s Tuesday, and it was finally time to pick up the RV. There’s been a lot of tension with the pickup of our trailer, a few unforeseen hurdles, and quite honestly I was so nervous about how our pickup day was going to go, I was so ready to get it over with. It was about a 2-hour drive to the dealership, and everything was going great UNTIL the truck’s check engine light came on. Are you kidding me?!? I was so surprised considering how well it had driven the day before, but so goes. We were literally minutes from the dealership, already nervous about the pickup, but we decided to push through the pickup process and deal with the truck in a bit.

All status quo with the trailer, it was a little hard to focus because I was so upset about the truck, so it’s kind of all a blur. Thank goodness we’ve done this before because I probably wouldn’t know how anything worked if I was relying on that morning to learn. But we covered the basics, mostly the hitch, since it’s quite different than our 5th wheel hitch, and a few nuances for this particular unit, and of course some upgrades that RV’s have seen since 2012 when we purchased the last one.

At this point we were fairly comfortable with the unit, nail pops and all, HA, and wanted to get the codes read on the truck. So we decided to leave the unit at the dealer and see what we could figure out about the truck. Got the codes read, a bunch of gibberish about fuel injectors, great this again, and so we had to make a decision. I really, really didn’t want to spend the night in the Terry Town RV parking lot, so we opted to hitch up and make the 2-hour drive to our next RV park. Plus the check engine light had cleared itself, so I thought well, maybe it’s just a fluke, you know a little wishful thinking. Well, as we were exiting the freeway to our RV park there went the check engine light again and a super rough idle. Great! We make it to the campground, everyone’s gotta pee, it’s crazy hot outside, and we’re dressed for the Arctic because we haven’t gotten into our bags of crap yet.

It’s open parking, so we drive the loop a couple of times, and finally find a spot we’re comfortable with, mostly because it’s a pull through, sometimes it’s just nice not to have to back up and deal with that shit show, especially at this point in our travels. Well, once we get parked, it turns out the site doesn’t have sewer, SHIT! So we evaluate another spot and agree to move there, but it’s a back-in. OK. So we review our exit plan and well, long story short that doesn’t work out either, so now Hubby is backing up onto a dirt road to get us the fuck out of this mess! HA! We finally make the loop, back to the site we want and start backing in, all in all, Hubby does a great job, but this 37-foot thing moves a hell of a lot different than the 5th wheel. Anyways, we get in, and all is good, until… All of the sudden I hear hubby yelling, “get out of the trailer, get out of the trailer,” turns out we had no chocks, no nothing to keep this beast from rolling backwards and so it did… Oh my god, we are so stupid. But in all fairness, we have never, ever had this issue with the 5th wheel. Luckily hubby was able to steal some chocks from a neighbor, and is able to back up and catch the trailer with his receiver, whew! Crisis averted! And in hindsight, the first site we picked was on a serious incline, sooooo perhaps the universe does still like me, cause this trailer would have been long gone had we parked there.

And for those of you who know me, you probably think I’m sobbing by now, and honestly, if it were 5 years ago, I absolutely would have been. But not this time, I was still laughing with hubby because what the fuck else are you supposed to do at this point! HA! In fact, there wasn’t even much yelling, I totally think we are rocking this whole shit show!!

So after we agree that the trailer is mostly stationary, we head to Walmart to buy out the store. The truck’s check engine light is still on, and as we drive I do cry a little because ya know, I’m just kinda done. Plus I’m still dealing with a 3-day root canal, that just got wrapped up the day before we got on a plane, because that’s just how life goes.

So Wednesday comes around, and I’d love to be enjoying the new house because it is kind of totally beautiful, but we’ve got the truck shit pressing on us. So I send hubby to a nearby town in hopes that the diesel shop will tell us it will all be ok. I’ve also gotten the truck dealer involved at this point, who is great about the whole thing! Again Kevin at Mashburn Motors is a super standup guy! By the end of Wednesday, we find out that the truck is in great shape, other than Fuel Injector 4 needing to be replaced. Honestly, that’s about the best thing it could have been, based on all my internet research, man those forums are scary! Anyways, we get the quote, ouch, and opt to move ahead with the repairs. Hoping that Mashburn would pitch in with the costs. Thursday morning rolls around, and Mashburn has said they will pay for the entire repair. Finally, someone knows how to do business, and this totally makes my day! Can’t say enough great things about them!

So here we are on Friday, waiting to hear about our truck, should be ready any minute now. And then it’s back to Walmart to continue furnishing the RV. Tomorrow is our 5-hour drive down to our Amazon RV park, and then we start our season on Monday.

Sometimes it’s hard to live this life. Sometimes I wish I could be content with just sitting in an office and collecting my W2 salary. Sometimes I wish I didn’t want so much out of life. And sometimes I wish things would just go a little easier. Then I realize, especially after spending a day inย  Detroit, that I’ve got it fucking made! How dare I complain even a little about my first world problems. But so goes the globe spinning round and round with or without my woes and triumphs. All I know is that I’ve got Hubby, and I’ve got these amazing kiddos, and really what else could a gal ask for?

2 Weeks to go!!! Whoo hoo!!!

That’s right folks, less than 2 weeks and its wheels up! And it can’t come soon enough. We are all so ready to start this next adventure, and with every day that passes, it gets a little harder to wait it out. For that reason, I like to prepare for the trip on a daily basis. The past few days have been a full-blown evaluation of the kid’s room and ALL THE BOOKS. Oh man, you know I hate stuff, but books are my downfall. Surprisingly both of the kiddos have been really great about letting go of some of their less used things, so that’s been super helpful.

Today we were able to get into the loft and pull out all the bags that I packed for the Winter RV. Now understand that I packed these bags sometime in February, right before we moved out of the big house and into the loft. So as you can imagine I was pretty excited to see what I deemed necessary to take south.

Quite honestly we did a hell of a job! After all the crap was sorted through and repacked, we only wound up with a small grocery sack of…wait for it….wait for it…BOOKS, shocking I know, that we decided to pass on. So kudos to us for being so awesome.

And in other great news, I think I have us down to just 13 bags, way better than the 16 that I’ve been preparing for! Now you’re probably thinking 13 bags, what the hell, that’s still a ton of crap! Our hope is though that once we get all this stuff moved down there, we’ll just have a few bags to take back and forth every year. We’ll see what it really shakes out to be, but that’s the hope.

I’m really excited to have this whole dual residence thing going on, although I have to admit getting your head wrapped around what you will really need when you leave one home for your other home for 6 months at a time is a little daunting but definitely super-duper exciting!

Aside from all the prep, we’re busy with the campgrounds, it’s crazy sunny up here, like totally unbelievable weather for this time of year, so there’s no shortage of campers at the moment, and the kiddos are getting in plenty of school. This week should go by fast, I’m heading into the tax office to work for a few days, and then on the 1st we’ll lock up the gates and get the park all buttoned up for winter.

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Weeks to go…

Oh man, I am soooooo ready to get outta here!

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The kiddos were so cool and made us a loop countdown as a surprise! I’m so happy to see it’s so short!

Our daily rounds have been easy. Not too many campers around. Although the weather has been AMAZING! We don’t get long stretches of sun up here, but we haven’t had a drop of precipitation or clouds in weeks!

Most of the peaks are never visible! It’s crazy to think that most visitors never get a chance to see these! In between cleaning toilets and collecting fees we always make sure to take a moment to realize just how lucky we are to spend our summers in such a beautiful place. It’s easy to take nature for granted, and our jobs for that matter. I’m a big believer in taking a moment to just breathe it all in and make sure the universe knows just how grateful you are for all the “things.”

Yesterday brought gloom and rain, which honestly I’m quite happy with! The mornings are brisk, and it seems that the leaves are completely taking over the park, we’re not much for blowing in the fall, we save it all for the new season. We begin the shutdown process this week. Then finally all the gates get locked up on the 1st. It’s a little different for us this year, which I probably say that every year, but this is the first year we didn’t move into the big house for winter, and we’ve stayed at the campgrounds for the entire season. And no winter in Alaska is seriously a dream come true! The logistics of getting to this point have been tough at times, but we’re mostly there, just a few minor details to sort through, and we’ll be all set.

5 Weeks to go…

So excited that our summer is coming to an end and we get to embark on our next adventure.

We took a quick trip to Anchorage to complete our drug screens for Amazon, everyone is officially hired, so that’s good news, and did a little touring of the big city of Anchorage! We don’t get up there very often, it’s about a 4-hour drive one way, and well, it’s not the most awesome place in Alaska, but it was kind of fun to eat greasy fast food and drive on a 4 lane highway.ย  We had to make an obligatory tourist stop in Portage Valley, one of my absolute favorite places.

Middle Glacier, Portage

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We didn’t make any trails, or anything just stretched our legs, admired some glaciers, and checked out the spawning salmon. It’s always a special feeling to watch the salmon. It’s really a magical Alaska moment that never gets old.

Fish Viewing Platform – Williwaw Campground, Portage

It’s pretty neat to watch them do their little dance. Whether it’s making their redd or fighting for their territory, it’s incredible that these little guys even made it here, and all in the name of procreating. They swam for miles, jumped the falls, escaped anglers and wildlife alike. Scarred and exhausted they’ve fulfilled their life’s destiny and can now meet their inevitable demise. So amazingly cool!

Lifecycle of a Pacific Salmon

Fish Viewing Platform – Williwaw Campground, Portage

After our brief overnighter in the city, it was time to head back to Anchor Point!

Now that we were back in town it was time for the kiddos and me to get caught up on school and Hubby was going to put the finishing touches on the Big House for a 9/1 move-in. Whoo hoo!

Speaking of school…

Olivia is now officially a freshman in High School. Super exciting. We will still be homeschooling her, but she opted for a few “distance learning” classes. So far so good with a few surprises. Maybe not surprises per say but this is certainly the first time are working on others’ schedules. Good practice, as I’m sure this is how the “real world” operates. Ha! And of course, I was curious as a teacher-mom to see if we were even prepared for high school curriculum. It’s definitely not what I thought it would be. Spanish is easy, Language Arts is fun, and her science is…odd… Lots of subjective assignments and I’m trying to be patient because I still don’t totally feel like we’re learning anything about science, but maybe this is just the “new school” that everyone’s talking about. Either way, it’s exposing us to new things, which can only help us along our educational path!

Ryder is pretty buried in Language Arts right now, naturally, we cover everything, but he’s really taken to a new grammar program we purchased, and he loves his Wordly Wise, and when I say loves it really means tolerates, but a mom can embellish! Ha! But seriously, when a kid takes off with a subject, there’s no need to distract them with other things. We’ve schooled in so many different ways over the years, and the one thing I’ve learned is to just let the learning happen when and how it can, pretty simple!

I mean look at those kiddos…

Olivia’s First Day of School

Ryder’s First Day of School

First Day of RV School

And now…

Becuase no matter what these kiddos are growing up one way or another…

And that’s pretty OK with me!

While we were working through school Hubby was busy winterizing the property and tying up any loose ends. We have been waiting a long time for the house to finally resolve itself, and I couldn’t be happier. I think both of us feel like all the rest of the “things” that need to happen before we go are pretty manageable now that we have the rental property square.

Hooray for some mailbox money!

So now we hurry up and wait! Well, not exactly, but we will continue to pick away at the list and enjoy these last quiet days around camp. Although I have to say that in our 5 seasons up here this has got to be the sunniest, driest August/September we have ever experienced. Quite honestly I’m ready for rain. And lots of it. I mean I’m super happy for the campers and of course my boss, but selfishly…well you get the point! In any case, the countdown continues. We’ll keep you posted!

 

 

 

 

RV Showers…New Hair…and our Oxygenics Shower Head

So…

Olivia and I took the leap and went to a hair salon in Alaska. We only ever get our hair cut in the states, but we were so done with our long locks that we just had to do it!

And I have to say that we are more than a little impressed!

In fact, this is the BEST cut I’ve gotten in years!

So now as we move towards RV showers, which yes that means we officially have renters in the big house, our hair will be a little more manageable.

Plus, we invested in a new Shower Head…

 

The ETL 26781 White Body Spa Oxygenics Shower with 60″ Hose

I’m so excited to check it out. I’ve heard nothing but great reviews, and when we tested the pressure, it was pretty promising. So we’ll soon find out!

The Great Alaskan Summer is quickly fading…

Summer in Alaska is unofficially coming to an end. Sure the calendar still has a few weeks to go but there’s a nip in the air that tells you winter isn’t far. Not only has the weather turned but a sense of urgency seemed to hit both hubby and me at the same time. Every summer there’s a moment where we both take a breath and realize that it’s just about time to head out for the winter.

So yesterday, along with our morning coffee routine, we grabbed a notebook and a fancy pen and started making some lists. I know, I know, you guys are thinking, “but I thought she loved spreadsheets,” and that’s true, I do, but when I’m in panic mode there’s nothing more comforting than a hard paper list. And per usual, once we got all “the things” down on paper, it all seemed a little more manageable.

At least in my world.

But for Hubby, well, he’s a lot more of a “doer” than I am, so off he went so we could actually start checking some shit off. I really love him for that! Meanwhile, the kiddos and I updated our online school websites, made a list of our upcoming curriculum, and talked about their future responsibilities.

One of the awesome things that this lifestyle forces us to do is to continually evaluate. I often wonder how people get through life without regularly assessing the rest of their days.

I feel like I just talked about this, but as you can tell it’s pretty freaking vital. It’s so easy to get comfortable and ride it out, but the next thing you know you’re coming up on a decade later and you’re not quite sure where it all went. I can honestly and proudly say I can not relate.

“Where has the time gone?”

“They grow up so fast.”

“It feels like yesterday.”

It actually doesn’t. These common phrases just don’t have time to apply when you live life in seasons.

We have seriously figured out how to stop time. And I would say that most travelers feel the same way. Our longest stretches of time come entirely from continuous travel, and I love the feeling that it brings me. Who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re getting the most out of their 100 years?

Anyways…We’ll continue to check off the list and slowly fine-tune the logistics. You just gotta take it one thing at a time, and it always comes together.

And……..I totally forgot to mention. We finally have a renter for the big house!!!!! Hooray!!!!!!

I can not convey how much stress this relieves. I mean the whole winter planning thing really got put on the back burner. It got to the point where I wasn’t sure of anything anymore. The loft, the rentals, I really thought I had made all the wrong decisions and just kinda sucked at life. It’s amazing how quickly your emotional state can sway from one extreme to another, or maybe that’s just me ๐Ÿ™‚

In any case, we are quite happy to be back on track. And now that life’s a little less overwhelming it makes the planning all the more fun and a little easier to comprehend. I often feel guilty about being stressed out over what I call our “first world problems,” but then I remind myself it’s all relative. You should never be ashamed of your accomplishments, but I do believe it is absolutely necessary to express gratitude. I’m a big believer in showing the universe that you’re worthy of your dreams, it definitely doesn’t hurt to suffer just a little, it actually tends to build some character, and when those goals do come to fruition embrace it graciously and just keep moving and shaking to make the world a little more awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ford VS Dodge – What will be towing our new rig?

Truck shopping is hard to do. Especially when you’re trying to purchase something 4 thousand miles away!

I now know way more than I ever wanted about diesel trucks. Probably something I should have done before we purchased our 2006 Ford! Ha, hold the laughter folks ๐Ÿ™‚

When we started seriously researching we were only looking at Fords. I’m not totally sure why, I guess we’ve just always been Ford people. But during my research I could really only find 2006 Fords in our price range, hmmm I wonder why?!? HA! So off I went to the blogs to do a little digging on other years, engines, and of course the Ram.

Wow, those Ford vs Dodge blogs get nasty!

As with any endeavor we always have a loose budget in mind, and for the truck, we were hoping to keep it at about 10K. Pretty early on I realized that this number wasn’t going to be possible. I mean sure anythings possible. We also talked about scooping up a 1983 GMC Van and seeing how far that got us… But if there is one thing I have learned about our travel style over the years is that we aren’t the rugged, let’s just see what happens, kind of family. We like a little more security, and we’re willing to pay for it. I like to blame it on the kids, but I guess we’ll find out who really needs the security in a few more years ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyways…

So the blogs led me in all sorts of different directions. But the Dodge Ram 2500 was getting pretty high on my list. Yes, I know they have transmission problems. But I’m a little biased seeing as how our 2006 Ford did all the terrible things the blogs said it would. Once we got a little more info I settled in at an out the door price of 15K for the truck.

I was still in the process of finding the rig so all the searches were still nationwide. The US is a big place, just in case you didn’t know. And the logistics of getting a family of four with 12 bags from Alaska to somewhere in the lower 48 to pick up a truck and trailer can be a little daunting.

I kept narrowing my searches for the truck and then finally one day we came across the best deal on the rig. So now, I had at least one location nailed down. Grand Rapids, MI. Terrytown RV. Travis is amazing! At this point, we had pretty much given up on the Ford because anything with a decent engine either had too many miles or was way out of our price range. And I really didn’t want to go through the “bullet proofing” process again. But within a few days of getting the rig set, a truck popped up in Mt.Clemens, MI. Mashburn Motors. Kevin is Great! I thought wow, this is pretty perfect! The Car Fax looked great, their reviews were outstanding, which is REALLY important when purchasing from afar, and it got a thumbs up from Jill and George, who mean the world to me. Everyone should be so lucky to have RV friends like them! Sooooooo while we are in the lower 48 we are proudly going to be Dodge people!

 

2004 Dodge RAM 2500 Short Bed w/Camper Shell!

 

 

2019 Crossroads Zinger 333DB – Meet our New Rig

So…many of you know that we are finally able to make the transition to 6 months in Alaska and 6 months outside. It’s been in the works for awhile now and we are so excited to make the switch. We always knew that Alaska in winter was not a part of the long term plan, but in this lifestyle, at least the way we do it, we have to follow the money sometimes. I’m still a bit nervous as we STILL don’t have a renter for the big house, but I’m just putting all my faith into this dream. Maybe a little “cart before the horse” happening, but sometimes you just have to take the leap and hope it all shakes out the way you need/want it to.

5 Reasons we chose a Travel Trailer

We dream of the days when we can travel in a Class C like in the movie RV, but our version of long term living is just more comfortable in a trailer.

  1. The Kiddos – Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels offer a tremendous amount of space. The bunkhouses are spacious and have lots of room for all the extras. Plus we have learned that having 3 dedicated living areas works best for our family. The ability to close a “realish door” is hugely beneficial in a house that has cardboard walls ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Working Afar – Because Amazon is now a part of our long term plan we need a dedicated vehicle to make the commute. Sure you could tow behind the rig but again it’s the whole picture that makes it all happen.
  3. Cost – Huge bang for your buck! As usual most things come down to cost. When we first started looking we were researching used travel trailers. Around a 2013 for 15K. We were trying to keep the total cost for the truck and trailer around 25K. Our specific situation required us to purchase sight unseen, unless we wanted to travel to scope things out, but that process could get costly very quickly. We purchased our current 5th wheel new, and yes, I said I would never buy new again. However, I also say “never say never”. Between the great deal, floor plan, and warranty I couldn’t pass up purchasing new. We kept the trailer at 22K, yes a little higher than we would have liked, but the floor plan really sold us, plus we didn’t have to worry about making an extra trip to the states to play “find that smell”.
  4. Floor Plan – I’m a great researcher. There’s no question about it. I take it very seriously and spend the equivalent of a full time job hunting for a good value. Obviously the floor plans of today are just way cooler than they were several years ago. Specifically, we found a unit that uses the space exceptionally well AND it has an extra 1/2 bath. And when you have a teenager this is a great place for all her “beauty things”. Plus having another dedicated closed off space is just awesome! I honestly could care less about the extra toilet, it’s really another the door that closes that excites me! Plus this unit has one of the best placed entertainment centers I’ve ever seen in a basic “budget” trailer. Real doors, a huge pantry, a linen closet, a dinette, and a couch. And my most favorite thing of all….wait for it…wait for it… A corner shower with REAL doors. Can you tell I’m excited?!
  5. Separate Units – Having traveled in our 5th wheel and experiencing all the “kinks” in that first year I have learned that having two separate units works best for our family. We have situations where we have to rent a car and stay in the rig while the trucks getting work done and the opposite situation where the rigs in the shop and we get to glam it up in a hotel. For us either situation is more comfortable with a truck and trailer setup.

Now for the Big Reveal – Meet our new 2019 Crossroads Zinger 333DB

*This isn’t actually our unit…He’s still at the factory being built!

Exterior Image

2019 Crossroads Zinger 333DB Living Area Slide

Exterior Back Image

2019 Crossroads Zinger 333DB Kids Slide

Outdoor Kitchen Image

Outdoor Kitchen

Main Living Image

Main Living Area

Living Room Image

Dinette and Couch

Ent and Kitchen Image

Kitchen/Entertainment Center/Electric Fireplace

Pantry Image

Look at that Pantry!

Master Bath Image

Master Bath w/Corner Shower!!!!!!

Master Bed Image

Master Bedroom

Olivias Bed Image

Olivia’s Side of their Bedroom

Ryders Bed Image

Ryder’s Side

Kids Bath Image

Kid’s 1/2 Bath “Mostly Olivia’s :)”

Is everyone in Alaska?

Fire

We came to Alaska in 2014 for our little camp host gig and sure enough it became a foundation for our new RV life. Lately I’ve been trying to spruce up the blog and immerse myself in the travel blogger community. What I have found is that there are an extraordinary number of people who are in Alaska, like right now! Ha! It’s really all about perspective. Before we made the long trek up here, as with anything you embark upon for the first time, there’s this sense of mystery and excitement and Alaska was no exception. I remember growing up thinking it was something only old, rich people in an RV would ever accomplish. A typical bucket list item. That’s certainly not what we found once we got up here though. And every summer comes a new wave of explorers. It’s funny that the road to Alaska still has to be “debunked”. I do remember though how magical Alaska felt when we first came up here, how surprised we were at the lack of remoteness and just how far away we felt from the rest of the world! But now to us it’s just a place to park it for the summer. As average as any other city “outside”.

July already ?!?

Can you believe it’s our fifth season in Alaska? That’s really kind of crazy. It’s been a good summer so far. Easy for the most part with a little shenanigans thrown in every now and again to keep us on our toes. We’re officially losing day light, that happened fast, and we are anxiously awaiting our departure. Just a few months to go for the most part.

We’ve got our Amazon Camperforce positions all locked in and our truck and trailer are purchased and waiting for pick up. I’m so excited that we were finally able to make it happen. It took a good amount of logistics, and of course that loft was a big hurdle. Still trying to rent out our big house but I’m sure something will come along soon. Probably. Hopefully. HA! Even with that little setback we are still pressing forward. If we’ve learned anything over the years it’s that we’ll figure out whatever comes are way. Thankfully nothing too crazy has come down the tracks so we’ll just keep plugging along.

I’m excited and maybe a little anxious to see how the whole Amazon thing shakes out. Hubby and I will both be working so I see a whole “two ships passing in the night” scenario happening. But, you can do almost anything for a few months and we’ll just remember to keep our eye on the prize, beaches and bloody marys! HA! As for the kiddos, Olivia is officially a Freshman next month. Whoa! And she’s decided to do some “distance learning” through our school. Guess we’ll find out just how prepared she is for the real world ish… She’s got a great 4 year plan, and it involves some travel so that makes mom happy, I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. As for Ryder he’s having a great summer. Truly a summer of friends, sleepovers, and fun! Every time the kids yell from outside that they’re going to “go play down by the river” it makes me giggle a little. Plus I think it’s pretty awesome that his backyard is an amazing river in Alaska. Kinda why we do this I suppose.

With that said we are all so excited to head south for the winter. It feels so good to know that we won’t be coming back to Alaska until the snow and cold have dissipated. Still quite a few specifics to hash out, but that’s the fun part. Hubby says that if I wasn’t planning/researching/worrying then I’d be dead. He’s probably right. HA! I feel like living this life and constantly evaluating budgets/lodging/travel/etc… is what makes me feel alive. Honestly I’m happiest when the musics playing, the incense and candle are going, I’ve got a hot cup of coffee, and a new spreadsheet to work with. HA!

One thing that’s really been on my mind lately is the whole concept of the fulltimer. I am so passionate about this lifestyle and the one thing people always comment on is the fact that you have to love the great outdoors. And I just don’t think that’s the case. I LOVE our RV. I LOVE exploring new places. I also really LOVE sitting. Just because you’re a fulltimer does not mean you’re outdoorsy. I would much rather sit in my cozy RV and go spreadsheet crazy than sit by a campfire. Hubby and I love our Netflix. Love our board games. Love our modern indoor conveniences. The cool thing about RVing though, is that it allows you to change the backdrop in a matter of hours. That’s what really makes rving awesome. You can pack up and roll down the road to experience something completely new. And slowly I think people are starting to get it. There’s nothing I love more than having a great conversation with a wannabe fulltimer. There’s this moment during the conversation where they go from picturing it to totally realizing that they could be doing it too! It’s kinda cool!

All in all it’s whatever makes you happy. Right?! You get your 100 years so you better have a good time with them. And for us it’s living in a little box on wheels!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t fucking believe it!

The loft is finally finished! Can you believe it?!?! Neither can we! Most of you know what a challenging process this has been. So I am so happy to say that this chapter is closed. Hubby nor I have any desire to ever, ever, ever, do anything like this again, especially up here. It’s not like it was some life long dream or anything and going through this has really shown that we are not the “fixer upper” types, shocker I know. But it really is beautiful! My amazing hubby has poured his blood and sweat, and I’ve offered many tears, to this project. So I can’t say enough just how amazing it turned out. And how happy I am that it’s done. Just a couple of minor things left to do. A little cleanup, a few oven and dryer cords to add, who know the appliances didn’t come with these things, but other than that it is very much move in ready.

So now we start the process of moving from the big house to the loft, then from the loft to the RV…Whew! We sure do love things simple don’t we!!! It’s funny…When we left San Diego all those years ago, we’re going on 6 years now, all we wanted was to be together, as a family and as a couple, and live life to its fullest, simply and easily. While this particular project really pushed our limits financially and emotionally, the payoff should be more than we ever dreamed of. I am so ready for our next adventure. We are so thankful this is our last winter in Alaska and my last season at the tax office. Summer in Alaska is beautiful and magical, and I truly think that once we are on a summers only schedule a lot of that magic will come back. It was never our long term plan to spend winters up here, so I am grateful that we were able to see our plan through. We could have easily stuck with the same old grind, it’s not like we had a bad life up here in Alaska, it’s just not totally what we wanted, and of course those of you who know us, know that our “plans” are always changing.

So much of this life is observing, acknowledging, and then most importantly reacting. It’s pretty easy to identify the things you want to change, but the whole “turning a dream into a plan thing” gets tricky. I am so very thankful I have a partner to not only dream with but turn that dream into a reality. And the coolest thing about it is that even if it all falls apart we’re still just the same two kids trying to figure it all out, at least that’s what hubby says, I have a harder time letting it all go, but he couldn’t be more right! Hubby’s grandpa always used to tell us… ” it’s a good thing you have the rest of your life to do X”… it didn’t matter what it was, that was his go to line. I try and really embrace that when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and feel a lack of control. Easier said than done though, that’s for sure!

So onto the next chapter. This fall will be filled with a new set of challenges, finding a rig and truck, and getting ourselves to Amazon in a timely manner for season, but I’m pretty sure we can do ANYTHING after this whole ordeal.

So that’s just what we’ll do.

Christmas in Alaska 2017

We finally made it back!! Whew! After our 6 hour bus ride from Samara to San Jose we finally arrived at the airport in time for our 5pm LAX flight. But the flight was cancelled so we didn’t leave until the next day. We made it to LAX. Took advantage of the FREE car rental shuttles to and from the airport. Ate at Carl’s Jr. And then waited and waited for yet another midnight departure. Lucky for us once in Anchorage the charter flight crew was able to get us on early so we arrived in Kenai about 7am. A trip to Walmart and an hour and a half taxi ride later we were finally back in the Alaska house. Unfortunately it turned out that our water heater needed to be repaired. So our long awaited hot shower after days of traveling didn’t quite happen as expected. But so goes life. Luckily hubby persevered, and is super smart, and he was able to repair it himself. So we finally got a nice hot shower ๐Ÿ™‚ it felt so good!!!! And now we’re ready for Santa!!! So excited for Christmas Day!!!!!!!!

Counting down the days…

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So the equinox came and went but as you can see it didn’t take any of the snow with it. It’s a slow melt this year. The temps are still swinging quite low, but were hitting mid 30’s during the day. At least it will make for a super green summer. Everything is prettyย  standard around here. We move to the campgrounds in about a month or so and start our summer adventure. We’re all excited for a change. Tax day is just a few short weeks away, always a plus. Can’t wait to see what summer holds, it’s always kind of a magical time here. Love the energy!!

Snow

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Hubby is still adamant that spring is quickly approaching, the eagles told him so, but the snow and cold are still dominating the last frontier. Definitely a snowier typical Alaska winter this year. The days are getting longer though, a noticeable difference for sure. Everyday we’re picking up about 6 minutes or so. And we’re only about a month away from the equinox. It’s funny, growing up in San Diego such things weren’t really a topic of conversation but up here it’s absolutely part of casual chit chat. So the tax job rolls on, as well as the kiddos getting a little smarter, and hubby just being awesome. Spring will come and in the meantime we will enjoy our winter wonderland. Of course I’ll be enjoying it from the passenger seat, because they only way I can even stomach leaving the house is with hubby as my driver. Thank goodness he’s just that amazing!

Spring is coming…I can feel it

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Although there is still snow on the ground spring feels like it’s right around the corner. We did have a few days this past week that were full of sunshine and it felt so good. It’s kinda fun to experience the seasons, however next year we hope to come back to Alaska just a touch later, more travel time and less snow time. Pretty much status quo around here, lots of learning, a lot of working, and some serious karaoke weekends, because belting out some Weezer so totally rocks! Other than missing hubby and the kiddos terribly when I’m away at work we are all just plugging away. We talk about summer plans, and of course our next adventure often. Lots of board games to fill the time. Our new favorite right now is Evolution, love this game. So fun! I’m sticking to my goal of posting a new piece every week in regard to our Central American adventure, the pages are coming along quite nicely! Other than that just can’t wait to move back into the RV. Campground shenanigans here we come!

And the long winter continues…

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Another week down, and not too much going on…Although I am really excited about the changes to the blog. My hope is to really make some progress on the Disney site, and add lots of content to my Central America page. Much easier said than done but I figure if I can make a little progress every week, I’ll get there. Who knows, maybe I’ll even find the motivation to publish another book. I’ve got so many ideas and dreams sometimes they get a little overwhelming and I just can’t seem to focus, and then of course there’s the whole, I’m a complete slacker thing. Damn those glowing screens ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyways, life is good so we can’t complain. Still searching for jobs abroad, and looking forward to a great Alaskan summer. Until then tax time just keeps ticking by, and the kiddos and Dad are diligently working to get a little smarter. Whoo hoo!

Alaskan Winter Continued…

One week down and 14 to go! But who’s counting ๐Ÿ™‚ Despite being unreasonably nervous last Sunday my work week went fairly well. Pretty much status quo all around. Although Hubby and the kiddos did an exceptional job getting off to a great start with school and house duties. They totally rocked and they seem to be finding a good groove. It’s crazy how close this little family is, if just one of us is out of the mix it seems a little odd. Thank goodness it’s only for a short time!

So needless to say in my off time I’m diligently crunching numbers and poring over amazing job offers abroad, to see if there’s any possible way we can spend even more time together. Once again we learned something new on our adventure, and that’s the world of hostel jobs. Who knew all these amazing opportunities were out there. I’m just now finding out about these at 33, I sure hope the kiddos have a bit of a head start considering they are actually living them at 10 and 12.ย Ryder’s pretty excited about the idea, and Olivia is already researching airfare and jobs for her “down year” once she graduates high school and while she is waiting to enter the Disney College Program. I love the enthusiasm. In my opinion it’s never to early to get excited about all the things that life has to offer. So I am really excited to maybe possibly make this dream a reality come our next adventure.

So you know, per usual I’m dreaming big and we’ll just have to see what shakes out at the end of the day. But I think something big is around the bend, I can feel it. All I ever hope for is that it’s happy and healthy.

Yeah for 2017

Well we made it to midnight!! So excited for another year of adventure. Back to work and school today. Can’t complain. Although the kiddos and I hit the internet immediately after I got home to check out what cool places we could go once we were able to leave again. I think it’s fair to say we all live to travel! Happy New Year. And don’t forget, the world is a magical place, choose your own adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

Ice Balls on New Years

So. As most of you know I hate stuff. So I refuse to own ice trays. In the summer when we need them we score ice from a friend or whatever. In the winter when we’re in the house we just don’t need them. Well tonight is a cocktail kind of night and we didn’t want to go to the store for ice. So I decided to make ice cubes. I wasn’t quite sure how it would all work out but so far so good!!! 

Christmas in Alaska 2016

We are all getting ready for the big changes at the first of the year. The kiddos and Dad will be focused on school and I go back to work for awhile. We are all happy to be back, and of course happy to plan the next great adventure! Who knows what 2017 has in store, all I can hope for is a happy healthy family, anything after that is just a bonus ๐Ÿ™‚