Explore

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

We haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on our list! Meanwhile, you can read about the places we have been, what we thought, learned, and did, as well as more practical tips like campground reviews. So please, explore!

 US Roadtrip 2012 National Parks Campground Reviews

Along the Oregon Trail: Chimney Rock

Oregon Trail

After week upon week of flat, open landscapes, its appearance is startling and unmistakable. Chimney Rock rises out of the prairie like the tall spire of a hidden cathedral, a landmark unchanged since the days of the pioneers in covered wagons. Its message to us was the same as to them: the landscape is changing. There are mountains ahead. We’d started telling the kids about the Oregon Trail. They have some context for understanding what Continue Reading →

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Exploring Central Nebraska

Edgerton Explorit

Continuing west after our visit to Omaha, we met up with friends in central Nebraska and spent a couple of days with them there. These are friends that we met through Full-time Families and camped beside in Florida last winter. In the spring, we met up with them to explore Mammoth Cave. This time, our itineraries didn’t sync quite as easily, but spending time with them made it worth it for us to take an Continue Reading →

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Discovering Omaha

rainy day fun

There aren’t too many states left where we can say it’s a new state for all 5 of us. Iowa was one. Nebraska was another. I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Nebraska before we started planning our fall itinerary. After spending more than two weeks there, we can now say that it is so much more than a “fly-over state” and definitely worth a visit if you get the opportunity! Our first stop was Continue Reading →

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Reconnecting with an Old Friend in Missouri

Most people who know us know that Staffan and I met while working at Kirkwood Camp in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. If you haven’t heard it, the story is equal parts funny and sweet – and long, so we’ll save that for another time. The summers we spent at Kirkwood were and are an important part of our story, and naturally so are all the people we shared them with. Even though we Continue Reading →

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Midwestern Homecomings

parade

Homecoming wasn’t really a thing in my high school. I guess we had a thing that we called Homecoming, but it was on Thanksgiving Day and since my family generally traveled for Thanksgiving, I usually missed it. One year, because I was in the marching band, I was there for the football game in the morning but my family was waiting in the car and we left from there. I don’t remember it being a Continue Reading →

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Living History Farms

farm equipment

After our amazing weekend diving into the world of modern farming, our next stop was to learn more about farming the way it used to be done. Before the climate controlled tractors and combines that harvest 12 rows at a time, like those we experienced in Stratford, people were farming land in central Iowa by much more simple means. A visit to the Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa formed a perfect segue between our Continue Reading →

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Stratford upon Iowa

Stratford

Our kids went through a phase – a relatively long phase – during which every time we sat down to eat, they wanted to know where all their food came from. They were not satisfied with “the egg came from a chicken” or “meatballs come from cows” but wanted to know how on earth a macaroni could come from a plant, how cheese is made from milk, where salt comes from, and a myriad of Continue Reading →

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Disabled Vehicle in the Right Lane

shredded tire

After visiting the Wright brothers’ old stomping grounds in Ohio, we headed for Iowa. Yes, I know there are two states between Ohio and Iowa. Indiana and Illinois both have plenty to offer, but we’re learning that we can’t do everything. At least not all at once. So with a series of long driving days and short stops, we found ourselves in Iowa – a new state for all five of us. We were headed Continue Reading →

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The Wright Place at the Right Time

every kid in a park

If mention of the Wright brothers makes you think of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, you’re not alone. In the excitement about their first successful flight taking place there, I seemed to have missed that the Wrights were actually from Dayton, Ohio. Orville and Wilbur’s bike shop and newspaper offices remain in downtown Dayton, and the National Park Service operates them as Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.   About the Park We stayed at a Continue Reading →

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Gettysburg Farm

Gettysburg

When you think of a farm, lots of images come to mind… barns and tractors, rows of corn swaying in the breeze, grassy pastures full of animals. You can almost hear the mooing of cows, the bleating of goats or the crow of a rooster. You can almost smell the… well, never mind the smells. It is rare that one imagines a bunch of RVs and other campers into this idyllic scene, but so it Continue Reading →

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Finding our Footing at the Jersey Shore

Life’s a beach. While I can’t say I ever really understood this expression, lately it has felt relevant in my life. I’m not sure, though, if the meaning I’m attaching to it is quite what anyone originally intended. Change is a normal part of life for everyone. Some resist it while others crave it. It will surprise no one when I say that we tend to fall into the latter category. But for the last Continue Reading →

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Summer in Sweden

Nordanå

Vi hade iallafall tur med vädret. Roughly translated: At least we had good luck with the weather. Our Swedish readers are already chuckling to themselves a little bit. In the (somewhat likely) event that you’re not Swedish, allow me to explain. This is a well-known expression in Sweden that comes from the title of a made-for-TV movie from 1980. The film is a comedy of errors about a family on vacation where everything that can Continue Reading →

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Full Circle at Circle M

state of independence

We wrapped up the first season of our full-time traveling life at the Circle M Thousand Trails in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For the time being, Pennsylvania is our “home” state – where we have our mailing address, our vehicles registered, and most of our family this side of the Atlantic. Returning to Pennsylvania brought our first leg full circle. Circle M Our first impressions as we pulled in to Circle M on a sunny Saturday were Continue Reading →

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3 Days, 5 States, 2 Walmarts and 1 Fiddler

RV life

When we planned our spring itinerary, it worked out that we would get back to Pennsylvania on May 1, giving us about 3 weeks to spend time with family and get ready to head back to Sweden for the summer. The details changed a few times along the way, which is one of the benefits of our lifestyle – to be able to change and be flexible according to circumstances – but we were still Continue Reading →

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Mammoth Cave: Caves, Camping, Community

domes and dripstones tour

After our misadventures in Tennessee, we were really looking forward to a good week visiting Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. And we got it! The Caves Visiting the caves can only be done as part of a tour. There are a large variety of different tours available, with varying lengths, levels of difficulty and costs. We were lucky enough to arrive on a national park weekend which meant that tickets to tour the Rotunda Continue Reading →

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More Thousand Trails Fails: Tennessee

Tennessee Thousand Trails

As we’ve mentioned previously, not all Thousand Trails campgrounds are created equal. Our standards are not too high, especially when we’re not paying more than our membership fees to stay there, but even we have limits. There are two Thousand Trails campgrounds in Tennessee: Cherokee Landing and Natchez Trace. We stayed at both, and while neither is a place we would particularly recommend, the first moved to top of our list of places to avoid. Continue Reading →

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Hot Springs National Park

Bathhouse Row

Our kids have a couple of those laminated map placemats. One is a world map and one is a map of the United States. They fight over who gets to eat with which one (siblings!) and most recently the world map has been the coveted mat. We love them. They inspire spontaneous learning, memories of places we’ve traveled, and imagining new trips and adventures. They’re placemats, so they’re not super detailed. The US map has Continue Reading →

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Casino Camping

Bossier City Casino camping

After exactly a month in Texas, it was time to start working our way back north and east. Our flight reservation from New York back to Sweden for the summer was just over a month away and we wanted some time with family and friends in Pennsylvania before we left the country again. It was sad to leave our friends in Dallas, but thankfully we had another visit with friends to look forward to in Continue Reading →

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I’m Not 20 Anymore

Catan

I’m definitely not 20 anymore. But it was fun to pretend for a while. It’s a real thing documented by social scientists – when adult children visit their parents, for example, everyone reverts to their old familiar roles. You know you’re not a teenager anymore but find yourself acting like one. Similarly, when you are hanging out with your friends from college, without thinking you revert to your 20 year old self. It’s lots of fun Continue Reading →

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A Tale of Two Campgrounds, aka the Dallas Wifi Quest

Texas

One bittersweet Monday morning, we packed up our things, hooked up our camper, and waved good bye to friends new and old in Houston. It was sad to leave but there were more good times to be had and more memories to be made. We were headed to the Dallas area, where we planned to explore a new city and visit with more friends that we hadn’t seen in far too long. There are four Continue Reading →

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