Leaving the Lone Star State

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Welcome to the border of Mexico

Even though Damon and I’d been sick for a few days, I was more than ready to get on the road. Seminole Canyon State Park was a beautiful park, but being 40 miles away from everything starts to wear on you (I’ve also started to have an all new respect for Walmart’s).

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All he wanted to do was sleep on me

Unfortunately, I was up most of the night trying to keep little-dude asleep, so I was exhausted. Instead of delaying another day, Damon took little-dude so I could get a few hours of sleep. Around 9:00, I was ok enough to get on the road.

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you know he doesn’t feel good when he wants to be held in the store

About half-way to our destination, mini-man got sick. Trying to take care of a sick toddler and a baby while I was sick and exhausted was definitely trying. And, oh ya, we were driving too

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mini-man loves his bean bag

We arrived at our destination, Lajitas RV Resort, ready to just collapse. We had to the choice to stay one night or two – I opted for two. Man, was that the right decision.

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Word

After another long night, we spent the morning lounging and napping. At this point, we’d spent close to a week cooped up in side the RV. Despite not feeling great, we needed to get out.

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The mayor was very nice. I can see why he was elected

Luckily, it was beautiful outside, so we decided to go for a walk. Just down the street from our resort was the home of the local mayor, Henry Clay. So we got out the wagon and went for a short walk to visit him.

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Lunch on the porch of the General Store

After visiting with the mayor, we visited the general store next door to grab some lunch. It was really great to be out and enjoying the atmosphere.

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It it had water, mini-man wants to be in it

Came back and attempted to give little-dude a bath after he had crawled through a lot of dust and started to look a little like pig pen. Sadly, he didn’t feel well, so a bath really didn’t sit well with him. Luckily, mini-man, the lover of all things water, was more than happy to use the bath water. Damon placed the bathtub outside and he proceeded to have a blast with the water.

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This is the grandfather RV to our RV!

Our next leg started late again due to continued illness – this time mini-man and little-dude were sick. This, combined with multiple stops, meant that we got into our lunch stop, in Ft. Stockton, TX, around 2:30p. Once we ate, shopped, and refueled, it was just after four. With three, of the four, of us sick, I thought it was a really bad idea to try to continue.

And, once again, the decision to take things slow wins again! A few minutes after we pulled into an RV park for the night, mini-man had an explosive diaper (that would not have been fun to deal with while driving).

After we all had some rest, I wanted to give mini-man a bath. Since we don’t have a bathtub in our RV, I purchased a collapsible mini-tub, and use it in the parks showers. It’s great because mini-man can make as big a mess as he wants and no one is bothered. Added bonus, I was able to grab a shower for myself.

After, yet another, long night, we were hoping this leg would be easier since we were less than three hours away from our destination. Ha! What we thought would be an straight, flat road turned out to be a windy, rocky road that was constantly covered in dust! The dust got so bad at one point that we could feel ourselves breathing it in. This hecticness did not help with any of our illnesses.

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I was very happy to pull into our campsite in the early afternoon. Not only is it beautiful, but we are here for a week! Plus, after 10 weeks in Texas, were in a new state – New Mexico.

Fingers crossed this is enough time for all of us too finally get better. At this point, Damon and I are thinking that his doctors might have been wrong about his food poisoning diagnosis. The fact that each of us, the boys included, have gotten sick and none of us ate the same thing, leads us to believe that we probably got the stomach flu. I guess we’ll never know.

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Hittin’the Road – Part III

After six weeks in San Antonio, it’s time for us to get back on the road. It was great to have a break and get so much accomplished. Now that the batteries are recharged and we’re reorganized, were ready to go!

  1. San Antonio, TX: Ok, so we’re only going 30 minutes away but we have somethings we want installed and fixed before we truly hit the road. Plus we can visit Gruene.
  2. Seminole County State Park, TX: Rio Grande!
  3. Maverick Ranch, TX: because Texas is big and takes a while to get out if 😋
  4. Brantley Lake, NM: Home of Carlsbad Caverns.
  5. Albuquerque, NM: Everyone says it’s beautiful
  6. Navajo State Park, NM: Close to Four Corners (cause why not!). Plus, close to snow areas in Colorado to take the kids sledding!
  7. Grand Canyon, AZ: Never been and heard it’s a fun stop.
  8. Southern California: no exact stops, yet, but excited to explore
  9. Sequoia National Forest: I’ve always wanted to visit
  10. Lake Tahoe, CA: Another beautiful place to visit
  11. Northern California: Still researching stops but really excited to explore this area
  12. Redwood National Forest, CA: Another place I’ve always wanted to visit
  13. Coastal Oregon: Still researching the area but need to go through this area to get to our final stop
  14. Seattle, Washington: Damon and I visited here a few years ago and loved it! Plus, it’s a short ferry ride from Victoria, home to the Butchart Gardens

San Antonio – Week 4, Part I

No days off from being a mom

Sure, cause who wouldn’t want to move during the holiday while sick with kids 😝 But we only had a few days to get everything moved – thank goodness we had some help.

Ready to move!

Thursday: Damon’s parents showed up in the morning and we got to work moving into our new RV. Fortunately, we were able to park both trailers near each other, so we didn’t have to move our stuff too far. 

Me and my boys ❤️

It is very interesting to try to move when you have two kids and you love to be the one organizing everything. After some trial and error, I ended up at the new RV directing people where to put stuff.

I think they were trying to tell me something

After a fairly productive day, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to the San Antonio Zoo to see their Christmas lights. 

Amazing lights!

It was nice to walk around the zoo and enjoy the atomosphere. 

Building a fort

Friday: We managed to 90% of the trailer enpty by the end of the day. Which gave us time to relax outside and enjoy the day. It’s nice to move without too much stress.

Three men standing around the RV with the hood open … This can’t be good

During this time, we realized that the batteries on the RV weren’t holding a charge! Luckily, people in the RV community are very friendly and we had someone helping us instantly. After charging the driving battery all night, we learned that we needed a new one. Glad we learned that now while we have time to fix it than in the middle of nowhere, like we did in the past.

Back to a minivan!!!

Saturday: New RV means we didn’t need our Chevy Suburban any more. Now we have a 2009 Honda Odyssey. To be honest, I’m not going to miss the suburban and thrilled to be back in a mini van – it’s quiet, more fuel efficient, much more comfortable and there’s room for me to be near both kids in the back.

Playing with the grandparents

Sunday:  As the old saying goes ‘All good things must come to an end’. We managed to clean out the trailer and get her ready to sell by the end of the afternoon (not too bad for four days of work). And after spending some time in the new RV, I’m not going to miss our old one. I love our adventures in it but I’m thrilled to have our new one and can’t wait for new adventures to come. 

First, big drink in a long time – let’s just say it ended in giggles

We capped off the trip at the RiverWalk and eating at a fabulous Mexican restaurant, called Rita’s (Very good!).
Now to get everything organized and ready for the road in just two weeks! 

Surprise!!!

Our new home!

Meet our new ride – 2016 Thor Challenger 37KT.

We want to play more and clean less

A few weeks ago, we stayed in a rental house while we got our trailer fixed. When we came back we realized there were some things that were missing in our current setup.

The day after we got our trailer back, Damon showed me photos a Class A motorhome with a layout similar to what we have now, a rarity in bus style RVs. It had more storage, room to move about while we’re on the road, and a washer/dryer!

Much more storage than what we have now

Fortunately, a dealer nearby had one on hand so we were able to look at it in person the very next day.

We. Fell. In. Love. And, thanks to Bitcoin, we could afford it.

Look at all that storage! And that’s only half of it!

However, we are practical people and didn’t want to spend money just because we could afford it. We found two other units with better prices to help with negotiation efforts, but the dealer wouldn’t come down so we walked away.

Mini-man going over the paperwork 😄

We got in touch with a seller in Michigan who was selling a slightly older model for a great price. We were all set to fly up there with the kids to get it when a government decision affected the deal.

Nice, big living area

Turns out the land that the seller was about buy  in giving up their RV had a view of a recently announced steel mill development. He was really sad but thought it was best not to sell. I have to say, I don’t blame him.

A King sized bed!!!

During all this, we stumbled upon the same RV as the one we first toured for an amazing price, just four hours away. After an inspection found the RV to be almost brand new,  so we bought it!

Fun Fact: we bought this RV for $99,900 using Bitcoin worth only $8000 this past January. Wow!

By Tuesday, we finally all had recovered from colds, so we decided to jump and go pick her up. A bank transfer, a rental car, a four our drive, walk through, paperwork and four hour drive back wiped us out. It was a bit much, but we did it.

The closet I’ll ever come to driving this monster

And this is only the beginning. Now we need to move our stuff and sell our current setup. Fortunately, Damons parents are visiting for a few days to help us get everything done!

San Antonio – Week 3, Part II

As we headed into the middle of the week, we were all starting to feel better. During our illness, Damon and I started something exciting.

Our new ride!

Tuesday: After some research, we found a new RV! A Thor Challenger 37KT. Unlike our travel trailer, this is a class A, which allows us to travel much more comfortably and has much better storage. 

I like it!

Excited to be feeling better, we jumped in the car and drove four hours in a small rental car to pick her up. It was a lot of work to to get her, but we did it.

Playing with the grandparents

Wednesday: Moving is always a challenge. Add in two kids and a short timeline and it moves to a whole new level. To make things easier, we invited Damon’s parents to visit us and help us move.

The RiverWalk is beautiful during the holidays

We met up with them at the San Antonio RiverWalk for som food and discuss what we planned to do the next day.

So even when we’re sick, we don’t slow down. Now we gotta move.

San Antonio – Week 3, Part I

Ready to go outside

We started our third week with each of us in various stages of illness. Guess that’s what happens when you go full speed for two weeks 😆

Beautiful day and I’m sick 😞

Thursday: Since we were all sick, and it was rainy and cold outside, we decided to stay in and take it easy. 

Our tree looks festive in the snow

After putting the kids to bed, we experienced a wonderful surprise – snow! 

It’s snowing!!!

I threw on a jacket and ran outside with Damon and my camera. I’m a California/Florida girl, so experiencing snow for me usually involved a car trip. 

Well that didn’t last long

Friday: by the morning the snow had started to melt. At least we had it for a while. 

Ready to roll

Since we were all still sick, we took things slow but still ventured out for lunch and some errands. 

Needed to get out of the trailer

Sunday/Monday: All sick, so we spent our time recovering. Kinda nice to slow down but starting to get antsy. We were ready to jump on something that we’d been working on. 

San Antonio – Week 2, Part II

The boys helping Damon put up Christmas decorations

By Monday, it was hard to believe that so much had happened during our short time in San Antonio – the RiverWalk, SeaWorld, rental houses – and yet, we somehow managed to make things even more interesting

Were movin’ on up!

Monday: we spent the morning doing research for the next leg of our journey and came to a big decision that we’ll tell you about very soon.

Pool time!

By the afternoon, we realized that we owed the boys some fun, and seeing as it was the last warm day for a while, we took them to the pool (mini-man’s favorite activity)

Me and my sous chef

Tuesday: After all of our activities, our RV was starting to looking like a tornado hit it (or an unsupervised toddler), so we spent the majority of the day cleaning and organizing – and man, do I feel so much better!

So you can eat and play at the same time

Wednesday: after a long night with a sick, teething baby, I became a home body trying to catch up on sleep and help little-dude feel better.

Have you seen my corn bread?

What a way to end the week.

San Antonio – Week 2, Part I

As busy as week 1 was, week 2 seemed even more eventful.

Hello from the Alamo

Thursday: another good night’s rest enabled us to do some more exploring. We spent the morning at the playground to give the boys some play time. Then we headed for the famous Alamo.

Did you know this was originally a church? 

I have to say, for a city that promotes this fort so much, it really was a let down.  First off, we’d been passing it all week and I had no idea. Second, for all the talk of the Alamo, it was actually a huge defeat for the city, which they try to gloss over.

What happens when you can’t get any sleep during the night

After our visit, we headed to the store  to get some stuff for dinner, which turned into a very long walk. While it was tiring, the days activities helped tire out the boys and get them to bed early that night. However, we were met with an unpleasant surprise. Apparently, Thursday night is music night at a nearby restaurant. And. They. We’re. LOUD!

Keeping him asleep was difficult, to say the least

I’m all for music but not at 9p on a Thursday night near an neighborhood!! When we complained, they basically said ‘well they’re booked til 11. There’s nothing we can do’. So we called the police to complain. However, we have no idea if it worked as they did stop after 11p. (Not great for my sleep).

According to a neighbor we met during all this, this happens every week and Fridays are worse, since more restaurants hosts their music nights. Definitely not information that was included on Airbnb when we rented the house.

So happy to have our baby back

Friday: Thank goodness our car and RV were ready – I was NOT going to try to get my kids to sleep with so much loud music planned for the evening. So while I spent the morning with the boys (mini-man fell asleep), Damon picked up and delivered our RV back to our RV resort. I’ve never been so happy to see my RV in a long time. 

Saturday: Even though we just got the RV back to the RV resort, this was our final day. Due to availability, we booked ourselves at two different sites while were in San Antonio. 

Having fun at Walmart

So after some morning errands, we spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying our resort.

We got some cascarones, or confetti eggs, at a local store, which mini-man loved destroying

Enjoying the pool

Then we went to the pool, which mini-man adored and little-dude, not so much (he preferred to nap).

Im ready to drive

All of these activities added up to early bedtimes for the boys. Good thing, too, since we’re moving in the morning. 

Sunday: although we had a slow start, we managed to get out of our campsite on time. However, we didn’t realize that most of our path would be blocked by the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon. Slightly annoyed, we had to figure out where we could go while the marathon finished.

Hanging out while we wait

Thank goodness for Walmart. There was one accessible and close to our campsite with plenty of parking. We were able to pickup something’s and have lunch while we waited for the roads to clear up.

Christmas decorations up!

After setting up and Naptime, we decided to decorate the RV for Christmas.

While this was happening, little-dude achieved a major milestone – he started crawling!!!

And, if you can believe it, even more happened during the rest of the week. 

San Antonio – Week 1, Part II

Our temporary home while the RV was in the shop

Since our RV was in the shop, we spent the second half of the week in a rental house, near downtown. 

The famous San Antonio RiverWalk

Monday: After relaxing in the morning, we decided to take advantage of our proximity to downtown and headed to the RiverWalk. I’ve heard wonderful stories about the RiverWalk, and it did not disappoint – it was beautiful and really lovely place to walk around (although I could imagine it’s not so nice when it’s busy). 

Happy to get some good Mexican food. Not the greatest I’ve ever had, but still satisfying

Mini-man fell asleep, so we decided to stop and have some food. It was enjoyable to eat and drink by the river front. The food was good but the service was terrible – we ordered just appetizers, which hadn’t come when I saw another table receive their entree’s, which were ordered after ours. We didn’t get anything until we complained. Super annoying

Mini-man made himself at home in the rental house. Nice layout, but too big for us

Tuesday: What. A. Rough. Day. Little-dude hit the peak of teething, so I was up most of the night nursing him. I was exhausted. When I finally got him to sleep, mini-man woke up and started making tons of noise. Resigned to no sleep, Damon and I traded kids – I played with mini-man and he carried little-dude. 

Little-dude loves playing with the other baby

But of course, when mini-man got tired, we switched back – mini-man went down for a nap with Damon and little-dude woke up wanting to play. Don’t know how I ended up with the awake child all day. By the end of the day, I was tired and very cranky. Fortunately, Damon and I stopped and talked, which always helps. We eventually got both kids to bed and I managed to catch up on sleep.

This playground was just a short walk from our rental and was great for mini-man

Wednesday: This time, everyone got great sleep, which means energy. We took advantage and headed out to play. We found this amazing playground the mini-man loved. Lots of things to touch, splash, climb, and play on. And it was empty! It also gave Damon and me some ideas for a future project. 

Huge slide!

Interesting story: while mini-man was playing on the splash pad, some people come by with their dogs and were high on something. They start letting their dogs go into the water (which isn’t allowed), intentionally scaring them, and let them drink the water. I’m an animal person and hate seeing animals harmed, so I mentioned that the dogs could get sick from drinking the water. Two of the group were nice about it, but the third (obviously the dumbest of the group), took offense and started arguing that I was accusing him of mistreating his dog. 

The playground was so amazing, Damon couldn’t resist playing on it himself

Luckily, the other two pulled him away before anything could happen, but I really couldn’t believe what was happening and got very upset. I was trying to help and get attacked. I truly feel sorry for the dogs. 
Fortunately, we didn’t let that little episode ruin our day. We spent the rest of the morning, enjoying the playground. 

Lovin’ my new clothes

After a lunch break, we head to the mall for a much needed shopping trip for me. My body’s changed since having two kids and many of my clothes are either maternity or nursing tops. I was ready for some new clothes that fit better but still allowed me to nurse. I feel so much better with my new clothes!

One week down, four to go and so many more things that we want to do.

San Antonio – Week 1, Part I

Welcome to San Antonio

We’ve been in San Antonio for a full week and a lot has happened. 

Mini-man didnt care that the water was cold, he went straight in

Thursday: This is the first stop in a long time that’s had an opened pool. So once we set up, we had to visit, much to mini-man’s delight.

Watching big brother, who’s almost ready for a bicycle, is fun!

Friday: A much needed shopping day. After weeks of small towns with small grocery stores, it was wonderful to get back into a Costco and Sam’s Club to stock up on some basic supplies.

Saturday: We met up with my Uncle Sherif and Aunt Coral for lunch at In-and-Out Burger and enjoyed catching up. 

Then we took our kids to SeaWorld. With this visit, I’ve officially visited all the SeaWorld parks. Although it’s the smallest, that worked for us since we had two small kids. We enjoyed seeing the lights but wished  there were more animal exhibits. See more in our Visiting SeaWorld San Antonio blog post.

We love our trailer, but she needed some help

Sunday: As you may recall, we’ve had some issues with our RV for a while (electrical, water, just a couple of small things) and FINALLY got it into a repair place. The day was rough as both kids had horrible nights and we were all tired and cranky. Luckily, Damon and I regrouped and managed to get our things together and move into a rental house. 

Fun fact: my dad and Uncle Sherif, one of his best childhood friends, were born on the same day 😄

After a quick drop off, we headed to my Uncle and Aunt’s house for dinner. It was fun to see them for a few hours and have a delicious meal, prepared by my Uncle. 

Not quite done!

All that in just half a week! See what we did during the second half, in our San Antonio, Week 1, part II blog post.