As some of you may remember, we want to head out west in an RV this summer. However, Scott and I had never driven one before so my brilliant husband suggested we take a practice trip over Spring Break. Even though I really just like to  jump into things, I agreed.

We rented the RV from our local Cruise America and took off for the Shenandoah National Park and Luray Caverns.

RV 30 foot rental

Our 30 foot RV

Exploring the RV

When we picked up the RV, the kids freaked out with happiness.

RV and map

Where we were heading, no cell phone can follow!

After getting used to the RV making me feel like its going way faster than it is and learning to catch things on the turns, I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

View from the RV

A view from along the drive.

Crafting in the RV

Staying occupied while we twisted and turned through Greene County, Virginia

We stayed at a KOA in Luray, which felt like staying with family. Everyone was so nice and helpful. Plus, the place was beautiful.

Sunset at Luray KOA

This is what our KOA campsite looked like at sunset from inside the RV.

Sunset at KOA Luray

And of course, the sunset brought me outside.

Bedtime in the RV

This is where the kids slept and the happiest I’ve ever them at bedtime.

The next day we went for a hike up to Mary’s Rock. Because we were parking the RV in the Shenandoah National Park, we had to start at the trailhead further away than we had anticipated, but the kids, especially E, walked almost all the 3.8 miles! And everyone thought it was worth it when we saw the view at the top.

Scott and N hiking

Off we go!

E hiking

E scouting ahead.

N on Scott's shoulders

Someone got tired…

Duck!

And that someone was Scott.

Almost to Mary's Rock

This isn’t quite Mary’s Rock, but it’s a nice view.

Scott and E on Mary's Rock

We finally made it, and Scott could barely go to the edge even though he picked the hike.

Mary's Rock Shenandoah

But I agreed to climb to the tippy top of Mary’s Rock with E.

My son at the top of Mary's Rock

I’m having a heart attack at the top of Mary’s Rock while E is all: WHAT A GREAT VIEW!

We came back tired and happy and spent the afternoon and evening exploring the KOA’s friendly cows while we cooked dinner over the fire and dyed Easter eggs.

Kool Aid egg dyeing

Our first year using Kool-Aid so I went a little crazy with purchasing flavors. I would get less reds next year. And I forgot to take a photo of the actual eggs, but they looked lovely.

Tending the fire

Tending to a fire is my favorite — perhaps I was born in the wrong century.

My son is now a professional hot dog cooker.

My son is now a professional hot dog cooker.

Cows in the distance

The cows were interested in our fire and all came to the fence. I was just glad we weren’t cooking hamburgers.

Greeting cows

The universal sign of: We won’t hurt you. Also, their hands are covered in Kool Aid from the egg dyeing.

Cow kiss

The cows loved licking and sniffing the kids.

The next day the Easter Bunny visited the RV, which was a huge hit with the kids, and afterwards, we went to Luray Caverns.

Tour guide at Luray caverns

My kids loved Luray Caverns and stayed up front of the group listening and asking great questions. I was impressed since their first reaction to the idea of an hour-long tour was THAT’S SO BORING.

Luray Caverns and Bunny ears

We brought a bunny on the tour!

Luray Caverns

The caverns were amazing. The oldest formation is 7 million years old!

Luray Caverns

OOH! AHH!

Reflection pool Luray Caverns

Those aren’t stalagmites. They are a perfect reflection of the ceiling in an underground pool!

After the caverns, we ate lunch and rested in the RV before hitting up the rest of fun including a ropes course, a maze and museums.

Garden Maze Luray

If you don’t use the hints, the maze is awesome.

Luray Museum

Of course, E found a cat to love on at the Luray Museum.

The trip was so fun that the kids still wanted to sleep in the RV when we got home! Of course, once Scott mentioned we could RV to Disney World, too, I’m having a hard time not buying one. Whatever we decide (rent or buy), we have a better idea how to organize for the big trip out west this summer and we cannot wait to get started!

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Bubble Gum Love

Motherhood
Gum Ball Machine

“Can I have gum?” (repeat 500 times) “No, sweetie.” (repeat 500 times) “BUT I HAD GUM YESTERDAY!” “Ah, remember yesterday, when I loved you enough to give you gum?”

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My Son Writes A Poem And Typing It Here Means I Cannot Steal It

My Son
Poetry for Young People: The Seasons

It seems like every month is dedicated to enough issues for me to ignore the entire concept, but April is National Poetry Month, and my son broke out the shortest, wittiest, loveliest poem I’ve heard in a very long time. In a world of two, There is no ‘who?’ It actually took me a minute to get it, and I googled to make sure the lines weren’t from some poem I didn’t know. Instead, I found out what it’s like […]

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Frozen Plus Whatever Your Kid Loves Equals A Cake From Arendelle (Close To Heaven)

Food (Looks Bad Tastes Good)
Cake Frozen

My daughter has gone from one favorite thing in the world, puppies, to two: puppies and the movie, Frozen. While we still stop to pet every dog we pass and almost every game we play is a variation of puppies — puppy princesses, puppy family, puppy tag — we are also singing Frozen tunes and possibly going by the names Elsa and Anna while we do it. We saw the movie twice in theaters (once for the singalong!) and at […]

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I Ask: How Do You Treat Your Migraine?

I Ask Advice
Late Enough I Ask Advice Button

I had a migraine last night so I stayed in and went to bed. I slept 10 hours and during this, I dreamed. I dreamed that I went to the book group I was supposed to attend Wednesday night and I couldn’t concentrate and I wasn’t very nice because my head hurt so much during the dream. I woke up thinking: I did the right thing going to bed. Thanks brain. I’m back to getting migraines at least once a […]

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We Will Tell Them They Are Clouds, But We Will Know They Are Farts

My Family
My son drawing farts

Just so you don’t think I only post stories to give you guy money, here’s an update on our bathroom redo. We hired a princess to help. And I picked out samples of two possible background colors. My kids helped me to incorporate the gorgeous accent color. When I explained that while I loved it, farts may be more appropriate in their bathroom than the downstairs one used by our guests, my 4-year-old shrugged and said: You can tell them […]

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Pain Does Not Lead To Joy

Cultural Norms (that are abnormal)
John Green Pain and Joy

I have been thinking too much about dichotomy.  The songs which swear, hand over heart, we don’t know happiness without sadness. The philosophers who contend we don’t appreciate something until it’s lost. That physics is in our souls so the most profound heartbreak must be followed by an equal and opposite joy. I’ve thought about it more because in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green the main character, while dying, dismisses the notion. It seems to me appreciation […]

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My Sister Is Getting Married!

Fashion and Flare
getting hair colored

My daughter wakes up every morning and says: HOORAY! WE ARE HEADING TO AUNT KATIE’S WEDDING! Her life will be much less disappointing when she can read a calendar, but my sister’s wedding is quite soon, which is why I won’t be blogging much this week. I need to save my best for my Matron of Honor speech — the pressure is on when you’ve been pretending to be a writer for four years. Besides being the Matron of Honor, […]

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I Thought The First Kiss Video Was Creepy. Don’t Kick Me Out Of Humanity.

Awkward
FirstKissScreenShot

Confession: the 20 Strangers Kissing For The First Time video mostly creeped me out even before I heard it was an ad with mostly models, actors and musicians. But once I did know, I expected communal backlash. Instead I still see it posted on everywhere with BEAUTY! LOVE! HUMANITY! Maybe I’m missing the humanity chromosome, but I don’t see a human connection. I’ve never been pulled off the street, dressed by an Los Angeles boutique and paired with a stranger […]

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Television Messages

Awkward
Bloody car message 1

I woke up one morning late last week and went out to my garage only to be greeted by a dripping red message written on my car. OMG WHAT THE !?!? IS THAT BLOOD? DID I PISS SOMEONE OFF? AM I ALONE RIGHT NOW? QUICK! START SPINNING AROUND AND FLAILING FOR A WEAPON. As I was about to fend off my probable attacker, I refocused on the entire picture of terror: Later that day Scott asked: Did you get my […]

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