Off to RV

I’m Back!

I’m back after taking most of the summer off of writing.

I wish I had some sort of interesting reason for my absence. I tried! I thought: Am I too happy to blog? Too depressed? Lost? Dazed? Confused?

I finally gave up on being reasonable and starting writing this post.

TADA!

I actually have so much to tell everyone.

Off to RV

We went on our big RV trip and 5000 miles later, we’ve been to Yellowstone and back. I’ll need to write about it state-by-state though because we did so much in every state we visited so stay tuned for RV Trip Part 1: West Virginia (or some version of that exciting title). We had such a good time that we will probably be RV owners by the time I hit publish, and Late Enough can finally become the RV blog it was always meant to be.

Speaking of Late Enough, this blog was chosen as the best local blog by Richmond Family Magazine. I made Scott read the blurb to me because I was too anxious to hear how it was characterized, but the writer, Mary Helen Sheriff, perfectly captured this space.

I’m so far behind in telling stories that I never got to show off my sister’s wedding (or my matron of honor speech) from March although it got picked up by so many magazines, I’m sure everyone in the South has seen it. (That’s not going to stop me though!)

Of course, the wider world has seen so much turmoil as of late, and I obviously have opinions although I feel myself focusing less on the political side and more on the humanitarian side again. Did you know our last name, Iwashyna, is Ukrainian? I’ve run into a lot of interesting conversations because of it.

While I’ve missed writing in this space, our summer was definitely easier with me just focused on home and family rather than trading off work time with Scott. We’ve had tea parties, ice skating and rock climbing camps, general mayhem, and Pikachus. We had cookouts over fire pits and almost had the Virginia Beach Dog Mafia reject Lars. We had so many days in the high 70s and low 80s that I forgot to hate summer.

Maybe what I’ve realized is that I don’t NEED to write. I want to blog regularly but it’s not something I need to feel settled? I don’t know. I do know that in general, I feel less attached to having to do this or that. Buddhism, here I come! (Actually, we are trying out a new Christian church in the country, and the organist invited my son to play! Compliment my kids and I’ll be a fan for life!)

Okay, I hope that your July was wonderful and I’ll see you here more often for sure.

PS. It’s hard to hit publish after 8 weeks. Here we go! WHEEEEEEE

 

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View from the RV

Our First (Practice) RV Trip Was Awesome!

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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