Niagara Falls and NYC

Our kids flew up from Texas and Kansas City for the Labor Day weekend, and we were able to visit Niagara Falls for a day.  Even though it was a little rainy, we had a great time.  We enjoyed walking around and then having some BeaverTails for dessert.  Game nights and time with family – some of our favorite things!

This past week we headed into NYC to meet up with our friends Kerrie & Michael.  We stayed in the Liberty Harbor RV Park just across from Manhattan in Jersey City, NJ.  It was an adventure and a half getting there, but we made it. Yes, I use three different types of GPS / maps.  We also drove our truck right through Manhattan to get to and from the airport to pick them up and drop them off.  Again – an adventure.


The weekend was a blast, and we enjoyed checking out the Lego Store, Nintendo Store, Microsoft Store, the 9/11 Memorial, and some fun playgrounds. The boys really wanted to see the Statue of Liberty so we took the Staten Island Ferry for a ride right by it.


Next up – New Jersey and Pennsylvania!

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Upstate New York

It’s been about a month since I last updated.  We’ve been parked in the driveway at Jeff’s parents’ house in Rochester, NY.   Being able to visit family and still sleep in our own bed every night is a definite blessing of this RV life.


Jeff finished striping off the peeling decals on the trailer so it’s almost plain white now and looks much better.  We’ve also enjoyed eating at some favorite restaurants in the area and having game nights with family.



We’ve had a few day trips to enjoy fun stuff in the area.  We went to visit Tiffany exhibit at the Corning Museum in Corning, NY.  The kids had been several times years ago when they would spend summers visiting Grandpa and Grandma, and Jeff had been, but I’d never visited. The entire museum was very beautiful, and the glass blowing shows were awesome.


Jeff and I took a couple of days and drove over to Schroon Lake, NY to visit some friends from my high school days in Oklahoma. We got to see most of the Word of Life properties and camps.


This past weekend we went camping.  Yes, we may live in an RV, but we don’t camp all the time.  Jeff’s dad has an old GMC motorhome, and his cousin has a pop-up.  We were able to get spots right next to each other at the Hamlin Beach State Park and spend 3 nights enjoying visits, naps, campfires, s’mores and mosquito bites (not so enjoyable.)  There was a Civil War reenactment going on over the weekend that we were able to watch.



Next up – New York City!

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We only had a few days in Michigan so I know we will definitely need to come back again. We stayed at the Van Buren State Park and got to watch the sun set on Lake Michigan.

Early on in this adventure we started following the Boyink’s blog – DitchingSuburbia.  It has been very helpful, and we felt like they were a couple who we could really connect with. When we realized that we were only an hour or so away from where they were this summer, we made plans to meet up in South Haven for lunch.  It was a great time of sharing life and encouraging each other – kids, homeschooling, empty nesting, traveling, 5th wheel vs. van life, doing / not doing church on the road, health, all kinds of stuff. Thanks for making the time to meet up with us!  Hopefully we’ll be in the same place again somewhere down the road.


We are now headed to New York to spend a couple of months with Jeff’s family.  We are very thankful for the way God has blessed us to be able to work and live this way so that we can visit friends and family. People and relationships are so important. Don’t waste the time you have with those you love!

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Elkhart, Indiana

Elkhart, Indiana – the RV capital of the US.  There are over ten different RV manufacturers in the Elkhart area and lots of the companies in the area make various RV parts.  We wanted to tour the Keystone Cougar plant which is the type of fifth-wheel we currently own. We also wanted to see a couple of others to compare the quality of craftsmanship.   Because we unfortunately timed our week in Elkhart during “shut down week” when the manufacturers do inventory and repairs, we were only able to set up two other tours – Thor and Grand Design.

I forgot to take photos of the Thor and Grand Design plants, but all three of the companies seemed somewhat similar.  It was pretty cool to see the process even though no one was currently working on the assembly.


While in the area, we toured the RV Hall of Fame and Museum. It was fun to see so many different types of campers used over the years. We are very thankful for the modern conveniences that we have!




We spent Saturday morning at the Farmer’s Market in South Bend – so many beautiful vegetables, flowers, and MUSHROOMS! I’ve never seen so many different types in one place. Of course we had to buy several to try.  They were delicious!


We then spent the afternoon in downtown Elkhart. They have some really cool art currently displayed all around the county.  There was a “treasure hunt guide” at the botanical gardens, but we didn’t’ go get a copy.


Some friends of ours who we’ve known since before we got married in Albuquerque live about a hour away from Elkhart so we called them up to meet us for lunch. We ended up going to walk around The University of Notre Dame after we ate. What a beautiful campus!


Next we head north into Michigan for a few days to meet up with some new friends…

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South Dakota and Iowa

We were so thankful able to spend a few days in the eastern part of South Dakota and visit with our friend Karen who is headed out next week to spend a year in Papua New Guinea.  We also visited the Corn Palace and an active archaeological dig in Mitchell, SD.


We then drove east through Iowa where we saw lots of corn fields and wind farms.  We spent the night at the Iowa 80 truckstop in their separate parking area for RVs and toured the Trucking Museum which was very interesting and worth a stop if you’re ever in the area.


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Family Reunion in Nebraska

On the way from Kansas City to North Platte, NE we were able to stop in Wichita, KS. We spent the night in the Cracker Barrel parking lot and had breakfast the next morning with some dear friends we hadn’t seen in a while.


The time in Nebraska was wonderful. We had three days with Marcia’s extended family – grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.  There were 48 of us all hanging out in the lawn at grandma’s house.  There was a campground at the end of her street where many of us were able to stay so we could walk back and forth. It was so nice.  After everyone else went home, we were able to stay a few extra days while Jeff worked, and I got to visit with Grandma. I will treasure that time forever.




Now we head north and east – slowly working our way towards New York.


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Kansas City visit

We were able to spend three weeks in Kansas City visiting friends (most of whom I forgot to get pictures with – sorry!), and Jeff was able to spend some time working in the office and setting things up for his next remote project.

Our spot at the Peculiar Park Place RV park was much nicer than we thought it would be. It looks like a big parking lot from the highway, but the back part of the park is shaded and very nice.



Great food at some of our favorite restaurants as well as trying some new ones was on our list while in town.  We had never been to the original Joe’s KC in the gas station in Kansas City, KS.  It was worth the hour-plus wait!  Delicious!  We also got to try out the donuts at Donutology. Very fun place.



Lots of fun times with friends – Little Mermaid at Starlight, S’more night, game nights, and so much more.


It was great to be able to catch up with so many different people during our quick visit, but we are ready to be on the road again.

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Oklahoma – Visiting family

After our trip back to Arkansas in a rental car, we spent a day in Tulsa before heading out separately. This time Jeff flew to New York to spend a week with his mom and was able to surprise her for Mother’s Day.  Marcia rode with her parents to Nebraska to visit her grandmother in North Platte.


Once we all arrived back in Tulsa, we spent a couple of weeks helping Marcia’s parents clean their garage and have a huge garage sale. It was a lot of work but very worth it!


While in Tulsa we had to eat at some of the favorite local places…  Oklahoma Joe’s, Braum’s, Goldie’s, and others we forgot to take photos of.

Next up – Kansas City!


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Arkansas Adventure

We had planned to spend a few days in the Memphis area once we left Nashville. But the Tom Sawyer RV Park where we had reservations called us and let us know that because of the flooding, they were evacuating, closing, and cancelling our reservation.  We were able to stop and spend a few hours in Memphis, but didn’t see too much. We ate some good barbeque, accidentally took a wrong exit and drove right through downtown (wow!) and toured the Mud Island River Park.



We then headed towards Mountain Home, AR where we planned to visit our good friends. Because of the flooding and lots of closed roads, we had to take a different route than we had originally planned. We spent the night in a truck stop in Searcy. The next morning we ate breakfast and headed out hoping to make it to Mt. Home around noon.  About 15 min into our drive we hit a deer!  Well, he hit us.  Thankfully, he hit the driver mirror / windshield area and only damaged the driver’s side of the truck. No damage to the wheel wells, engine, or even the trailer (other than the deer poo squirted all over it.)  After we pulled over and assessed the damage, we decided to reroute and head directly to Tulsa where we would have more options for getting it fixed and be able to park the trailer at Marcia’s parents’ house while the truck was in the shop.

A couple days later once the truck was in the shop, we rented a car and made the trip back over to Mt. Home to visit our friends and do some sight-seeing.  So glad we were still able to see some fun stuff in Arkansas even though it was rainy a good part of the time.



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Nashville, TN

After leaving Gatlinburg, we spent a few days in the Nashville area.  We camped at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch about an hour west of Nashville.  It was very quiet and not busy at all.


We took a day-trip into town and toured the Opryland Resort, took the behind the scenes tour of the Grand Ole Opry, and attended the show where Aaron Tippin, Dailey and Vincent, and Rascal Flatts and more performed. It was a very fun day!




Some of the dressing rooms:


The Artist Entrance and the “Family Room” (green room):   

During the show:


Moving on…  Heading towards Arkansas and Oklahoma – routes to be determined by what roads aren’t closed for flooding.  Our reservation at the Tom Sawyer RV Park on the Mississippi River in Memphis just got cancelled because the park is flooded. So, adjusting our plans…

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