Warmer Temperatures

While we enjoyed our few days in the snow, we were happy to enjoy the balance of warm mornings and cool evenings of Arizona and into Nevada.

The kids have finally gotten back adjusted after a long Christmas break doing school again each morning (without complaining) and then going out to enjoy our campground or the surrounding city. Whenever we get the chance, we like to enjoy a picnic lunch by the water. We had Pizza Hut on the Colorado River!

The last time we traveled to Las Vegas, we didn’t explore much with the kids, so they were looking forward to seeing the city.

Everyone had something they wanted to see:

Madison (our chef) wanted to visit Gordon Ramsey’s Hell Kitchen and Carlos’ Bake Shop.

Mackenzie (our fashionista) wanted to see the high end stores, like Louis Vuitton and Gucci (actually she wanted to buy something but that wasn’t happening).

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The little ones just wanted to eat hamburgers! So we went to In-N-Out since we can’t get that back at home.

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For us, we were just looking forward to the sites…

…and taking pics of and with the kids.

As we planned our monthly date, 18thfor18th, we made sure we’d be in Las Vegas.

We enjoyed seeing the city.  We looked at RVs and stopped by the Vegas Harley.

Then we spent a few hours walking on the strip before eating lunch!

Normally, we leave the strip before it gets dark, but we stayed into evening, enjoying some time away from the kids and enjoying the lights.

Before heading into California, we checked out a flea market (swap meet) the next morning. We’re always on the look out for good deals, and picked some vinyls, puzzles, and some DVDs.

Until next time…

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Snow: Enjoyed It And Then Escaped It!

Driving into and through New Mexico, we were ecstatic to see the snow all over the ground and in the mountains.

 

 

We were able to enjoy the snow for a few days…9441~29442~29444~2

img_20190110_170959306img_20190111_135250226_hdrimg_20190111_133854489img_20190110_163938014img_20190111_135501876…and hiked to Church Rock in it!

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We enjoyed some authentic Mexican Food in Gallup.

 

 

And, learned about the Navajo Code Talkers while in town.img_20190111_134305376_burst000_cover_top

Snow is fun to play in and look at, it’s not a favorite of ours to drive in.  So we (once again) changed our plans and decided to leave beautiful New Mexico a couple days early.screenshot_20190111-173852  We drove all the way across Arizona in one day to run from a major storm.

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That didn’t prevent us from visiting a few spots though.

We stopped by the Petrified Forest National Park, and while we couldn’t get in, it was on the way, so we took a chance.

 

 

Visited Wigwam Hotel, inspiration for the movie “Cars.”

 

 

Stopped at a couple Harley Dealerships.

 

 

After a longer than normal driving day, we got to our campground for the next couple days, got some laundry done, and let the kids play in the little area behind our site!

 

 

Until next time…

Old Friends and New Friends…and more rain!

It’s amazing how many friends we have in the state of Texas.  Sadly, we aren’t able to see all of them, yet we were fortunate to have a meal and visit with two families in the Dallas area.

William grew up with Ebony in Massillon, Ohio and hadn’t seen each other in about 16 years.  It was great to meet them for breakfast, meet her husband for the first time, and for them to meet our children (Ebony met Madison when she was a newborn).

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Somehow, though none of us are really sure how, we connected with a family on Facebook a couple years ago, Dan and Emily Crutchfield. We have really enjoyed our social media relationship with them. They were welcoming enough to have us come over to their home and they cooked a fantastic Greek meal for us as we visited with them for a few hours.

(In all of our fun, though, we forgot to take a picture!)

The rain seems like it’s been following us since we left. We’ve driven in it and  many of our campsites have had some big puddles around it. At least our sites have been private, spacious, and beautiful, including this latest one.

We got a little reprieve from the rain to explore downtown Dallas…

…as well as picking up two additional Harley Davidson poker chips…

…and making our daily grocery trip.

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The weather report is looking sunny and warmer over the next few days and we’re looking forward to it!

Howdy Y’all!

Everything is bigger in Texas!

The signs…

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…the buildings…

 

…the hats…

 

…and the Harley Dealerships!

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Right on the border of Arkansas and Texas is the second most photographed Federal building (we’ll let you find out the first), the Texarkana Post Office.  The post office is separated right down the middle: one side is in Arkansas and the other is in Texas.

 

The clerk there provided us with some great information and history of the building and we even mailed some of William’s client packages from there with a special stamp (only Post Office that has two states on its stamp)

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To this point, we’ve had less than stellar weather, but the sun decided to come out for a bit while we were in Sulphur Springs. They have a quaint downtown area, but are known for their Glass Public Bathrooms. You can see out but can’t see in!

 

Heading west to California will keep us in Texas for about a week.  We’ll finally start hiking in the coming days and weeks and we’re super stoked about that.

Until next time!

Family, Fun, and the Fair-OhioSummer2018

DISCLAIMER: LONG POST ALERT

Normally we try to take a big summer trip.  In 2015, we took a trip across the country (#48statesover48dates).  In 2016, we went west to Galveston and Houston through New Orleans, and then to cooler weather in the Upper Peninsula to Mackinac Island in Michigan.  In 2017, we went back up to Michigan and Ohio to escape the heat.

But, this year, we have a teenager, who started working a “real job” at Chick-fil-A, so now we are grounded more than we like.  However, we were able to sneak away for a two-week vacation to Ohio at the end of the summer break.

We kicked off the trip with a hike in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (last blog post-https://thomas6travels.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/our-8th-national-park-cuyahoga-valley-np/) and headed down to Massillon, Ohio for William’s grandfather’s family reunion.

It was a good time, between the food, kickball game, fellowship, and meeting some family and seeing some that William had not seen in 20 yrs.

 

 

Though it was supposed to rain, we were glad it didn’t.

From there, we headed to Westerville, Ohio for the duration of our vacation.

As usual, we had to make a trip to Easton Mall for Red Robin and See’s Candies. Plus, the kids like to walk around and ask for things that they know they’re not gonna get.

 

 

While we always have fun on our vacations, we like to make sure our kids are learning something.  And, if you can add free ice cream along with that learning, we are certainly down for it. We took a tour at Velvet Ice Cream Factory in Utica, Ohio. We learned the history of the company, which once was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

 

 

The town of Westerville had their 4th Friday celebration with vendors, food, sweets, and some of everything else, so we spent an evening enjoying the activities.

 

 

Of all times we have been to the city of Columbus, we’ve never visited downtown, so we made sure to this time.  Our first stop was to the Harley where Dad bought his bike and picked up another poker chip to add to our collection.

 

 

Then we walked around, enjoyed the German Village, the sights, sounds, food, and architecture of downtown.

 

 

Before heading back home to get ready for school to start, we spent the day at the Ohio State Fair. Grandma Shonen spoiled the kids with unlimited rides and money to buy whatever they wanted! They took full advantage of it and loaded up on cotton candy, candy apples, slushies, lemonade, and funnel cakes.

 

 

This was our 2nd year going to the Ohio State Fair and we look forward to going back again next year! Until next time…

#FloridaForty We’ve Made It Home

2 parents…4 children…40 cities…40 days…27 Harley Davidson dealerships stopped at…14 RV parks…4,152.6 miles driven…71 hours and 2 minutes driving…418.1 gallons of gas…35 new Christmas ornaments for our travel tree…way too many Walmart stops…

=1 grand trip!

Thanks again for joining us on our 40 day journey through the state of Florida.

(and to think that it rained for that many days straight while Noah was on the ark and Jesus fasted for that long while in the wilderness)

Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

Along the way, we made some great memories, had a lot of fun, tasted new food, talked with some fantastic people, and grew closer together as a family.  It is these times that we hope have the greatest impact on our children.

So that we can keep a record of our trip, as well as to share with those who are wanting to know, we decided to share our itinerary as well as the names of the RV/Campgrounds/State Parks/National Parks we camped in.

Feature City                            RV Park

Day 1           Jacksonville                           Little Talbot State Park Jacksonville, FL

Day 2           Ponte Vedra Beach               Faver-Dykes State Park St. Augustine, FL

Day 3           St. Augustine                         Faver-Dykes State Park

Day 4           Mt. Dora                                 Bee’s RV Resort Clermont, FL

Day 5           Howey-in-the-Hills              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 6           Eatonville                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 7           Lady Lake                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 8           Clermont                                Bee’s RV Resort

Day 9           Groveland                              Bee’s RV Resort

Day 10         Frostproof                              Kissimmee Prairie Preserve S.P. Okeechobee, FL

Day 11         Okeechobee                           Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 12         Taylor Creek                          Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

Day 13         Dania Beach                          Fiesta Key Rv and Marina Layton, FL

Day 14         Key West                                Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 15          Marathon                              Fiesta Key Rv and Marina

Day 16         Islamorada                             C.B. Smith Park Pembroke Pines, FL

Day 17         Miami Beach                          C.B. Smith Park

Day 18         Pembroke Pines                    C.B. Smith Park

Day 19         Davie                                       C.B. Smith Park

Day 20         Miramar                                 C.B. Smith Park

Day 21         Everglades City                     Collier Seminole State Park Naples, FL

Day 22          Naples                                    Collier Seminole State Park

Day 23          Fort Myers Beach                 Little Manatee River State Park Wimauma, FL

Day 24          Winter Haven                       Little Manatee River State Park

Day 25         Clearwater                              Mary’s Fish Camp Weeki Wachee, FL

Day 26          Weeki Wachee                      Mary’s Fish Camp

Day 27          Alachua                                   Suwanee River State Park Live Oak, FL

Day 28          Live Oak                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 29          Madison                                  Suwanee River State Park

Day 30          Lee                                           Suwanee River State Park

Day 31          Carrabelle                              St. George Island State Park, St. George Island, FL

Day 32          St. George Island                  St. Andrews State Rec Area Panama City Beach, FL

Day 33          Panama City Beach              St. Andrews State Recreation Area

Day 34         Niceville                                  Fred Gannon State Park Niceville, FL

Day 35          Destin                                     Fred Gannon State Park

Day 36          Valparaiso                             Fred Gannon State Park

Day 37          Gulf Breeze                           Fort Pickens Recreation Area-  Gulf Islands National Seashore Pensacola, FL

Day 38          Pensacola Beach                  Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 39          Molino                                   Fort Pickens Recreation Area

Day 40          Century                                   N/A Home

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#FloridaForty Day 37 Valparaiso to Gulf Breeze

Kelly has been needing to get to Kohl’s to use $5 Kohl’s Cash that was going to expire on January 31. She kept putting it off until the last day but now has a new pair of leggings.  And there was a Harley right next door, so we knocked out two birds with one stone.

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We made it back to one of our favorite campgrounds…

…with one of the most beautiful beaches!

Ran into this little guy on the way to the beach.

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