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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Remember the Alamo!

The problem is I didn’t. Remember the Alamo, that is. I remembered that we’re supposed to remember the Alamo, but I couldn’t remember why. As we crossed Texas, we spent a night at the San Antonio KOA and decided to spend part of the day checking out the Alamo before heading on to Houston. In between the time of our visit and when I’m actually writing this, I’ll admit that I’ve forgotten most of it Continue Reading →

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Old El Paso

Southbound again to another border town. El Paso is very rarely on recommended road trip lists and responses when we included it in our itinerary ranged from confusion to fear for our safety. No one shared tips for things to be sure to see, but we got a few suggestions of places to avoid. Admittedly, El Paso would probably never have made our list if not for a big claim on our hearts: friends. Good Continue Reading →

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The Impact of Hurricane Sandy

Travel Route

While Hurricane Sandy slammed the East Coast, we were high and dry in the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. Our media exposure was limited and while we’d heard there was a big “superstorm” back east, it took us a few days before we understood the impact the storm would have on our route. Recalculating route… Recalculating route… Our plan had been to start heading north just east of New Orleans, visit some friends in Continue Reading →

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Grand Canyon part 1: The adventures of Lukas

Meet Lukas. Lukas joined our family on Emelie’s first birthday and has more or less been a part of everything we’ve done since then. Although for over 2 years, Lukas didn’t have a name. Whenever anyone asked Emelie what her baby’s name was, she looked at them like they were crazy and said, “It’s a baby” or some variation of that. Lukas got her name (yes, her. Don’t let the name fool you. She is Continue Reading →

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Hoover Dam

Heading east from Las Vegas, our first stop was the Hoover Dam. An impressive feat of engineering, to be sure. But to be honest, we were disappointed by the Hoover Dam and in the end we didn’t stay long. It was difficult to find information about visiting the Hoover Dam online ahead of time, and even that which we did find wasn’t completely accurate when we got there. We walked across and looked around, but Continue Reading →

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Viva Las Vegas

A little known fact about Las Vegas: there is a campground on “the Strip”. There’s a wall around most of it for security and sound-dampening, so if you’re not looking for it, you probably wouldn’t see it. But nevertheless, there is a large parking lot behind Circus Circus, and it’s run by KOA. Really there’s very little about camping on the Strip that would usually be described as camping, outside of the fact that we Continue Reading →

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Zzyzx Rd

Zzyzx Road sign

When was the last time you saw a 5-letter word using only the last 3 letters of the alphabet? No? Me neither. It’s in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California, but the car ahead of us exited so apparently people go there. Imagine my surprise when I asked Mr. Google about this word and it turns out it has its own Wikipedia page. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zzyzx,_California if you’re interested) And it seems I’m not the Continue Reading →

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Hits and Misses in the California High Desert

Calico Ghost Town

(Fear not, loyal reader… after a brief hiatus when celebrating Christmas and the New Year with our families took priority over blogging, we’re back. We WILL continue sharing our trip and we’ll hopefully finish before memories start to fade. Thanks for sticking with us and for your patience!) Our last night spent in California was a stop at the KOA in Barstow, in the high desert enroute to Nevada. The scenery was beautiful and despite Continue Reading →

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Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove State Park is along the Coast Highway in the Laguna Beach area of California. We went there mostly to check out the tide pools and let the kids play in the sand on the beach while we waited for low tide. What we discovered was a beautiful beach, perfect conditions for a swim in the Pacific, and an overall wonderful place to spend the whole day. On all the beaches that we’d been Continue Reading →

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Hangin’ in the O.C.

Our friend Maggie lives in Orange County with her five kids. We connected over Facebook and she invited us to come and stay with them on our way through California. We happily took her up on the offer! A chance to catch up with an old friend and a free place to stay? Definitely! Here we met our first driveway that was too steep to set up our camper (probably – we didn’t technically try) Continue Reading →

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Hollywood Drive-by

We left Santa Barbara, headed for Orange County, California, and took a detour off the interstate to drive through Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Even on a Saturday, there was a lot of traffic and since we were towing the trailer it was nearly impossible to park. So Beverly Hills for us was a drive-by, and all our pictures were taken from the car except one. I wanted to take a picture of the stars on Continue Reading →

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On the eve of return…

Travel Route

Tomorrow we are heading back to my parents’ house in Pennsylvania. I know the blog is dreadfully behind and if you’re only seeing my blog posts, you’d think we were still in California. We’re not. With the exception of tonight’s post, I plan to “go back” to California and continue to add each post in chronological order of what we did on the trip. I don’t know how long it will take me, but the Continue Reading →

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Santa Barbara

In Santa Barbara we were hosted by the Parsons, some of the sweetest, most encouraging, most hospitable people we’ve ever met. Also some of the busiest – though they always seem present in the moment and you never get the sense that they’re overwhelmed or stressed when you’re with them. Someday I would like to learn that skill. Among other things, they oversee the Former Soviet Union region for Young Life and spend a whole Continue Reading →

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Oceano Washout

Travel Route

One more night on our way to Santa Barbara. We stayed at the Oceano Campground in Pismo Beach, which is a San Luis Obispo State Park. We weren’t far from Santa Barbara, but we were waiting for our friends to get home. We picked Oceano because it was easy walking distance to a beach, a duck pond and a large playground. The plan was to stay the night then spend as much time there as Continue Reading →

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Monterey

Our next stop in California was along the coast between Santa Cruz and Monterey, at the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay KOA (creative name, I know). At over $50 per night (before our member discount) for the most basic campsite, this was by far the most expensive campground we’d stayed in yet. In fact, we chose to stay an extra night in San Francisco because the weekend rate for the same site was over $70. On the Continue Reading →

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You Must Ask Mr. Google

Almost four years ago, Staffan and I were privileged to be a part of a group that was sitting on a rooftop terrace at a Coptic monastery in Egypt. We had the chance to ask questions of a wise old monk, who was willing to share the wisdom he’d gained from decades of monastic living. But to one question he answered, “That I do not know. You must ask Mr. Google.” It was the last Continue Reading →

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A San Francisco Treat (ding, ding!)

Our next stop was a visit with Staffan’s cousin, Olof, his wife Brandy, and their sons Henrik and Lukas, who live outside of San Fransisco. As we drove south from the Albion River, following the directions on the GPS toward their address, we suddenly found ourselves approaching the Golden Gate Bridge! Except just before we got on it, really thick clouds rolled in and we couldn’t actually see very much of the bridge. It was Continue Reading →

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Crescent City California & The Pacific Coast Highway

Heading south into California, our first stop was at the visitor center for Redwood National Park, which was surprisingly located downtown in Crescent City. What we hadn’t realized before is that, rather than being a national park with clearly defined boundaries, controlled entrances and all that we’ve come to expect from national parks, Redwood is actually a national park and several state parks spanning the area where the coastal redwoods grow. There are many entrances Continue Reading →

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Crater Lake

Sparkling and radiant blue and surrounded by rugged cliffs, Crater Lake is instantly captivating and breathtakingly beautiful. We visited Crater Lake National Park on a sunny Saturday and spent the day exploring the park and once again marveling at God’s amazing handiwork. We drove the loop around the lake, which seems to be very popular with cyclists, and stopped at various overlooks and view points. The lake appears so different from different perspectives, including an Continue Reading →

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