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…


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


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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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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