Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Top Five

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu

So we have spent the last two years selling our house in BC, moving to Ontario, fixing up a three season cottage to be a year round home (see that process HERE), and now have decided to sell it.

Our hope was to have our Ontario residence as a home base and travel in the winter but it hasn't worked out. The first winter we couldn't travel as we weren't allowed to leave the province for more than 30 days until we were residents for 6 months for our health care. The second winter we were still doing renovations and that second winter was brutal! So brutal in fact, we decided we can't bare to stay here another winter and listed the house for sale this Spring.

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

Selling leaves us with another choice...move back to BC to have a warmer winter home base for years when we can not travel for what ever reason or say to heck with a brick and motor house and just live life on the road. We home school our girls now so it wouldn't really affect them until later years and now would be as good as any of a time to try it. We loved our 4 1/2 month Maiden Voyage in 2011 and the travel bug is chattering away in my ear so I have been reminiscing about past travels and thinking about where we would go if we did hit the road this fall.

"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it." - Rosalia de Castro

While reminiscing I stumbled upon THIS post entitled 'My Top Five' and since my thoughts seem to be all about past travels  lately I thought I'd do up my own top five list and continue down memory lane.

My top five places I have been to but want to go back to again are:

1) Assateague National Seashore (see our visit HERE):
me and my girls in front of a wild pony and her foal at Assateague National Seashore

I grew up reading the Marguerite Henry's books including Misty of Chincoteague and have always wanted to visit here since I was a child. We got to spend a few hours here one after noon as the camping spaces were all filled up. Since we normally boondock I had no idea you had to book so far in advance for a campsite.
Someday I will go back here again and I will capture more beautiful memories of these wonderful horses. My girls loved being able to be so close to them as well as they (and we) walked through the park. Hopefully when we have more time we may even get to see some on the beach.

2) Sedona (and nearby areas), Arizona (See my post HERE):

Both my husband and I loved Sedona. We loved the red rocks against the blue sky and there was really just something magical about the area.

Who wouldn't love camping for FREE near HERE.
Our actual camping spot had this same view in the background but looked more like this below from our vantage point.

Our girls were very young when we were there and we hope to do some exploring and hiking in and around Sedona the next time, now that they are older.

We did explore the Palatki Ruins and Slide Rock State Park nearby while in Sedona.

We also boondocked HERE which is still in the Coconino National Forest and is about 20-30 minutes (if my memory serves me correctly) away from Sedona but in the opposite direction (in case you don't want to take the back mountain entrance to get to the above mentioned camping place). We had no idea we were as close as we were, or we might have just stayed here. I am glad though that we got to see both places.

From here we visited Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well.

Sedona is one area I could spend a lot of time in walking more trails and soaking in all those beautiful red rock formations.

3) Goblin State Park (see my post HERE)
This was my children's favourite part of our trip I think. Sierra actually talks about it more than even visiting Walt Disney World.

They loved being able to climb on, over and through all the rock formations.

 I loved the camping area we boondocked at just a few minutes up the road and I'd love to go back and explore some of the trails I know are nearby.

5) Moab Area...we boondocked HERE.

I was able to do Delicate Arch quickly one night (it's at the end of the Goblin State park post above)

I had Aayla with me and it was windy and the trail was tricky carrying her part way so I left just before the sun set for both of our safety. I would love to go back again someday and stay for a full sunset.

The next day we all went to Arches National Park and did a little hiking but now that our girls are older I would love to go back and explore some more.

I also only did  a drive by for Canyonlands National Park as it was a rainy grey day and the girls were not interested in getting out of the truck this time so although we were here...I don't really feel like I was there!

5) The islands of Hawaii...I wasn't blogging when we went to Hawaii but it was amazing! We stayed in Oahu and travelled only this one island but loved each and every minute here. We rented a car as I knew I wanted to see as much of the island as we many of these wonderful beaches as possible.
We stayed in Waikiki and had a good view of Diamond Head.

I Loved Hanuama Bay Nature Preserve
 We were able to see a couple sea turtles while snorkelling here.

We also got to see a couple sea turtles on turtle beach on the top of the island. I actually drove there twice as the first day there were no turtles present. I thought maybe I had my directions wrong. On our next try we saw three turtles in total. There are always people there guarding the turtles to make sure no one hurts them but you can get to within about 15 feet of them.

The Polynesian Cultural Centre was a lot of fun and the girls loved their outfits!

We tried swimming with dolphins and enjoyed the aquarium at Sea Life Park.

I hiked with the girls to Makapu`u Point Lighthouse... no one else wanted to go but I was determined...people thought I was crazy pushing a stroller up most of this trail with two young kids in it but it was oh so worth it!

Someday I will get back to these beaches... so my sand and surf loving girls and I can make some more glorious memories. Hopefully daddy will be able to join us longer too as at the time he could only meet us there for a couple days due to his work and we went with some friends instead for this trip.
Hawaii has some very beautiful sunsets too...

An expensive place to travel but one trip I loved and know I have to go back someday...if only we could get there by RV :)

As well here are 5 places on my bucket list...all involve places I want to capture in photos

1) I want to visit Stonehenge...someday and all the beautiful castles in that part of the world.

2) The Wave- one day I would love to win the lotto to be permitted to visit the Wave.

3) Zion National Park- we were short of time on our travels when wevisited the Grand Canyon (we boondocked HERE) and Bryce Canyon but skipped by Zion because our RV Truck combination is too long to go through the Carmel tunnel. Next time we are in the area we will be sure to allow more time to disconnect and explore. Yes it will be a bit extra gas to do a loop around to pick up the trailer but from everything I have read, every photo I have seen I know I have to visit here someday.

4) Joshua Tree National Park We haven't spent a lot of time in California and if we move back to the West coast that will definitely be easier to do. I hear so many mentions on other blogs about Joshua Tree that I can hardly wait to go.

5) Anywhere and everywhere else we haven't been...

What are your top five's? Care to share?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Inspirational Quotes and Travel Photos

This morning I read an article called 9 Truths you should know by now that I found very inspirational.

I loved the first quote in it so much that it sent me on a search of my photos of our travels looking for one picture in particular...a picture of a heart shaped cactus. This quote immediately made me think of this picture because the heart shaped cactus full of love, warmth and goodness is covered in a prickly lesson. I made it and shared it on the facebook page for my other blog Imagination Station.

After I posted the above photo I continued looking through photos and reminiscing about past travels. As I searched through the pictures other quotes popped into my head and well I got a bit carried away creating inspirational quote pictures...

All this is good timing though as this week is National Park Week in the States and I so wish we were close to a National Park so we could visit instead of just reminisce.

I will add a link to show you where each picture came from in case you want to see other photos from the places shown.

Arches National Park...see my post HERE.
There are more photos from my hike to Delicate Arch shown above HERE  which also is the post for Goblin State Park where the photo below is from.
Bryce Canyon National park... my posts HERE and HERE.
Grand Canyon National posts HERE.
There are more Grand Canyon pics HERE as well as the post for Horseshoe Bend pictured below.
Canyonlands National Park was rainy and wet when we visited (see HERE)but still beautiful.
This sunset at Rockhound State park was one of my favourite sunsets ever and somehow I didn't even post a picture of it except in the review I did  HERE. That is the problem with taking so many never make use of them all.
I Loved our time spent at Assateague Island National Seashore and seeing all the wild horses. Lots more pictures HERE. This is a place I will spend more time at the next time we are in the area.
The beautiful red beaches at North Rustico Beach in the PEI National Park can be seen HERE.
The lushness on this trail at Clam Harbour Beach Park in NS was magical... post found HERE.

We loved snorkling with the manatees with Birds Underwater Tours in Florida...HERE.

and this last picture came from us trying to get a bit of reprieve from the heat at Amistad National recreation Area...see HERE.

See all the above mentioned National Parks we visited HERE plus lots more posts of other National Parks we visited! If you live near a US National Park don't forget this is National Parks week...find out more info HERE.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Do you travel with kids?

Do you travel with kids?

I just came across this wonderful post with links to 12 AWESOME family travel blogs. I'm only familiar with two of them:

The Ticknor Tribe

Gone With The Family

You can also check out Gone With the Family on facebook HERE.

and LoVe them both so I am looking forward to exploring the others in greater detail. If you travel with kids I recommend having a look...

Check all 12 blogs out HERE!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Have you heard of the Frugal RV Guides for boondocking?

I've spoken about Frugal RV guides in past posts as we had these four guides for our Maiden Voyage.
source Frugal RV
Since we purchased our guides they have written a California guide which had to be broken into two guides as the State was too vast to cram all the info into one guide. While purchasing these two guides the other day I noticed they had an affiliate program for recommending sales of their guides.

So please click on the link in my side bar or here:
 Click here to visit Frugal Shunpikers Guides to RV Boondocking. Half size banner Frugal Shunpiker's RV Boondocking Guides
and see what you think. If you are at all interested in boondocking in California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah or Arizona these guides will be a wealth of information and savings on camping fees. I haven't read through the California guides yet but if they are anything like the previous four they will be an amazing too!

Your purchase will benefit me but I offer it to you as an amazing resource. We have used these guides in the past. We will use them again in the future and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for wonderful bookdocking ideas as well as information on attractions, hikes etc near these boondocking areas.

Happy Travels everyone!

Don't forget to click the link to go to Frugal RV's site and learn more information about these wonderful guides. They also provide lots of other information on their site.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Have you heard about RVillage?

Have you heard about RVillage? I was just popping in on The Roadrunner Chronicles and read THIS post about it so I took a look and signed us up!

Want to learn about this new social media for RVer's? Click on this RVilliage link and go have a look. I think it's a brilliant idea!

We aren't on the road right now but I think this will be an amazing resource for when we are and maybe you will think so too. It's in the Beta stage but I'm sure it will be sticking around! It's an amazing idea to learn about who you are camping near by with similar interests. It's a great way to meet people to socialize with or ask local information about. Kids will be happy to meet other kids in the park before they even arrive!

Pop on over, come back and let me know what you think.