Mark and dad went to Washington D.C. via the Amtrak train which took 13 hours each way. They definitely found out it was NOT ADA accessible enough to navigate where they wanted, but with Mark's help, they made it all work. It was a very treasured trip together. One of their main goals was the see the International Bible Museum. They were able to see hundreds of scrolls and bibles, along with the historical record of its preservation.
Back on Mother's, I planted a Lily for mom. It finally bloomed this week! :-)
During our stay at mom & dads, Mark's sister Beth made us a beautiful doily for our table. What an awesome job and a LOT of work!
As we were hooking up the RV in preparation for travel day, mom & dad came out to visit and watch. To them, it's amazing how far (and big) campers have gotten, but it was awesome for us to share all the information they wanted to know. We're starting to feel like pros at this! I was also very lucky to get this pretty awesome picture of them.
This was one of the best travel days yet. Neither of us got very much sleep though, so we were looking forward to taking a quick break at a rest area. Pica was tired too, as you can see her snoozing in her bicycle basket. At the rest area, the bedroom slide is in, so the foot of the bed is right against the dresser. Pica LOVES that spot because she can look out and stay on patrol. We had a beautiful cool breeze with very little traffic at the rest area, so it was quiet! Needless to say, it was a VERY good nap. :-)
To make our driving days a bit shorter, we always try to stop after 200-300 miles, then stay for a few days. We always love stopping at Arrowhead Lakes on our way home. This is a resort that is affiliated with our home resort membership. We get to enjoy the amenities of a very nice pool, putt putt, and nice daily walks.
We invited the kids down to be with us here, and Maria was able to squeeze in the time. We enjoyed the pool, putt putt and just plain catching up. :-)
OMG! I cannot express enough how much we enjoy our bi-annual camping trips with Katie, Tony and the kids, and this was no exception. We all decided to meet up at the Mammoth Cave to give the kids a new caving experience. The weather was super awesome (actually a little too warm), but the kids had their usual water time outside, and we all grilled, ate, and just got caught up on life.
The cave tour was the "Domes and Dripstones" tour. A 2-hour long moderate level tour that took us through a mile of cave. We enjoyed watching the kids see everything for the first time!
This is the 3rd cave we visited this year, and even though Mammoth is the largest, we still vote for Carlsbad as the prettiest. :-)
Thank you Katie & Tony for taking the time to come out and spend the night & day with us!
During our stay, on one of our trips to the garbage, we were stopped by a couple that wanted to talk about dogs.. This is pretty normal. What's not normal, was during that visit, another couple tapped us on the shoulder and told us that they had met us earlier this winter! Where? At Palatki Heritage Site! It was within our first week there, and we had really connected with them about camping and full-time RV living. We met up several more times during this stay, but how AWESOME to meet up with such a wonderful couple after touring half the country and five months later! I sure hope we get to visit with them more! Thank you so much Mark & Debbie for stopping to say HI! You definitely made our day! :-).
* Check out Mark & Debbie's website HERE!
Stay Details: Mammoth Cave Campground - Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. A dry-camping campground that has water available around each loop, and a dump station. It is a mere 10-minute walk from the Mammoth Cave visitor center which is where all tours depart. We chose site 82, which was a pull-through spot right next to the restrooms. It also gave us a very large site to house the clam tent, and 2 sleeping tents.
The campground itself has a lot of trees, so be prepared to have very little sun, or have a generator. We needed to use our generator twice each day even though we have 1000 watts of solar. Generator hours are 8am-8pm, and the campground is VERY quiet after that. Sites are large, restrooms are clean, and cell service is minimal, but we both had enough to upload these pictures. :-)
Such a beautiful day, we needed to take an excursion to Hot Springs to see what all the Hoopla was about. Come to find out, there are hot springs leaking out of the ground everywhere around this little city, and people have made it a place of spas, relaxation and FREE water!
The photos below show the old spa houses there were used by some pretty famous people. Also took a trip up the tower to take in the beautiful views of the area.
There's nothing like meeting new friends and Indycar!
We always like to visit churches when we're traveling, and this was one of our favorites! Not because they let Mark sing our 2nd & 3rd weeks there, but because their members are all extremely friendly and welcomed us as family! LOVE our new friends!
This was also the 2nd race of the season for Indycar at the Texas Motor Speedway. It's always fun hearing the cars in person, and it was a beautiful day!
No, we are NOT looking for another RV.. But it's certainly fun looking!
Went to the big RV Weekend at the AT&T Stadium in Fort Worth. Didn't see anything we liked, but it was a fun outing.
Mark hasn't seen his cousin Eric for quite some time, but a little birdie told us they were traveling south-west, so after a few messages back n forth, here we are! What a totally awesome visit with our cousins and new friends for life! Shared a few meals together and a nice day out at Tombstone taking the mine tour and seeing the sites.
May the Lord Bless their journey west, and may we meet up again MANY times in the future! Love you Eric & Michelle!
While visiting the area south-east of Tucson, we decided to stay the week and enjoy some history of the old west.
Today was a trip to Mescal Movie set, just north of Benson, AZ. They made movies here such as Tombstone, Rawhide, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, The Outlaw Josey Wales, How the West was Won, Little House on the Prairie, The Gambler, Desperado, Billy the Kid, Maverick, Buffalo Soldiers, Magnificent Seven, and many many more..
We arrived at the 3pm show, and because it was cold and windy, we had the tour to ourselves. It was pretty cool to see the real-life sets of movies we'd seen, and to see how things look a lot nicer in the movies! :-)
This holiday was FULL of surprises for us!
1st.. After being at Palatki for 8 weeks, we finally had a beautiful rain and snow storm, which intensifies the beauty in the area. However, this also means the roads getting to our location are extremely muddy and mostly impassable, so Palatki has to close. This raised some tense moments, as we had planned on spending our days off with Maria and her family, and did not expect a storm.
However, Maria drove the 28-hrs strait to arrive, and because the roads were not as bad as the day before, she braved the mud and 4 miles of back road to meet us at Palatki. We had a quick dinner, gave them a tour of our site, then opened gifts. It was a spectacular evening, but we had to send them to their hotel before dark.
The next 2 days were magical. We spent time in a neighboring hotel with them, and toured Sedona, Jerome, Montezuma Castle & Tuzigoot. We treated her for a birthday dinner out at the Haunted Hamburger in Jerome. I can't believe Maria is 40 already!! WoW! We celebrated with a cake in the hotel, then spent the evening swimming. We saw them off Tuesday, as we took a quick drive to Phoenix and browsed some shops.
Below are some photos of this Christmas and Birthday week.
Left early to see some area points of interest and to learn more about the native people that lived here years ago.
Wukoki Ruins: Just north of Flagstaff, these ruins also housed the Sinagua people, the same people we had at Palatki. It was really neat to see and learn more about the natives that used these lands years ago.
Wupatki Ruins: Part of the National Park service, these protected ruins also housed the Sinagua and Hopi people years ago.
Sunset Crater: Just because we wanted to go see it. :-)
Grand Canyon: We were close enough, so why not? Haven't seen the canyon since we went with the kids, so it was neat to reminisce at the same rocks we took photos with the kids.
Lowell Observatory: In the spur of the moment, we wanted to go see the stars through those beautiful large telescopes. We bought a membership which includes many more observatories, and we were blessed with seeing some awesome things in the solar system we've never seen before. Looks like we'll be looking for a new telescope! :-)
Walnut Canyon Ruins: This was a spectacular excursion to protected pueblos from years past. Many different native Americans lived in these pueblos that were built deep in the canyons. This is an amazing adventure for anyone!