We can’t even believe our lifestyle sometimes. One week we are in Hawaii, the next in Vernon, Canada and a week later in Wells, Maine. How can this be in an RV? Well, it wasn’t in an RV in Hawaii. The planning and logistics of a fulltime RV’er can be complex at times. This blog will simply be a reconstruction of what we did, so I have a record and for those of you who are curious; it might be an interesting read.
My wonderful in-laws invited us to Hawaii to stay with them in their timeshare. “How long can you stay?” They asked. “How long do you want us?” We happen to be able to work no matter where we are, if we have an internet connection, so Hawaii is just as good as any other place with wifi.
On April 13 – 15, 2017 we had an event in Portland, Oregon so we made our way up from California to Portland, stopped over 1 night in Bend, Oregon so the boys could go to their orthodontist on April 11th, and then headed to the Pheasant Ridge RV Resort in Wilsonville, OR. We purchased a used car on the 12th. They agreed to keep the car until we returned from Hawaii. We ran around on the 13th getting the final items together for our big Chicks Connect Inspiration Celebration and attended the kick off the night of the 13th. The boys stayed with my parents during this event. This was the first one they missed but I wanted them to spend time with my folks.
The event was over at 5pm on the 15th, we cleaned up and headed to our Rig at Pheasant Ridge. Both of my sisters were kind enough to come over and give us hugs and help me clean out our refrigerator because you can’t store food in there when you put your rig in storage. The freezer and fridge need to be emptied and cleaned out so your refrigerator doesn’t get moldy. Packing up an RV takes time. Everything needs to be put away since it will be moving. Imagine everything on your counters throughout your home needing to be put away, all hanging items off the walls, everything cleaned out of your fridge, and then bringing in the walls of your living room. Those are called slides. We have 2 decks and 2 slides that also need to be put up and brought in. Oh, we also needed to pack for Hawaii. My mom brought the boys over, helped with the fridge, gave us big hugs goodbye.
MISTAKE ALERT – not on purpose of course, but I did make a big mistake while planning this and I want to warn others so they don’t do the same thing. When I was making the reservations, I booked the RV resort from the 11th to the 15th because I was checking into the hotel on the 15th so that seemed logical. What I didn’t compute was, check out at the RV park is at 11am and we were there until 7pm. I should have booked our RV stay until the 16th since we were so late in checking out. They had someone who wanted our spot and we were still there when they came to check in. They tried to call us but we were deep into our event and our phones were turned off. I felt terrible when I realized my mistake. They found another spot for them and they simply charged me for an extra night, but I don’t like making mistakes.
We drove the Rig to the Shilo Inn at the Portland Airport and TJ dropped us off with the luggage. We checked in and sorted and organized our clothes one more time so we could leave a suitcase and not pack as much. (We still packed way too many clothes). TJ took the Rig to the Storage facility, unhooked, and arrived back at the Shilo Inn at about 2am.
Staying at the Shilo Inn Airport Hotel was a good idea since we had to be up at 5am the following morning to get to the airport to catch our plane to Hawaii and we needed a place to keep our truck during our time away.
April 16 – May 4 – Kona, Hawaii
We had two separate reservations for our trip home. Jenson and Jewels going on one flight and TJ and Lukas on another. Side note: TJ’s parents had the same flight at TJ and Lukas. They offered to give up their seats on an Alaskan Airline flight from Kona, Hawaii to Redmond, Oregon.
They both received $800 cash, a convertible rental car, a hotel room, all food covered, and they scheduled them for the following night which added 1 ½ days to their trip not to mention $1600 cash! Wowza! Benefit of being flexible with your travel plans. You can offer to give up your spots for perks. These were some serious perks.
TJ and Lukas had many delays on their leg from Seattle to Portland due to nasty weather. They were supposed to arrive at 9:45pm but it was closer to midnight before they arrived at the Shilo Inn. Jenson and Jewels returned to Portland airport as scheduled coming through San Francisco, caught the shuttle, and arrived at the hotel around 1:30am on May 5th. We all slept and woke up early the next morning.
On May 5th TJ dropped me off at my Organizing client’s home and I worked with her for 8 hours while TJ and the boys ran errands, picked up the dog, visited doctors, and went to my parent’s. We picked up the used car that we purchased and dropped it off at a storage facility to be picked up again sometime soon. (Not sure when this will happen). We said our goodbyes to my parents and headed to the storage facility to pick up our Rig. We hooked up and started on our way to Vernon, Canada. (It is about 10pm now on May 5th)
May 5th – Drove north from Portland from 10pm – 1am – Flat Tire on the rig so we pulled over for the night in a Walmart that had a tire shop. We got it patched in the morning. The boys learned how to remove and put on a tire.
May 6-7 – Driving to Vernon, Canada. No problem at the border. Boys are 15 and we used their birth certificates. We will need to get them passports when they turn 16 and mine expires this year as well.
May 13th we drove back down to the states and checked in at an RV park in Coeur de Alene, Idaho where TJ’s sister and family were visiting for Hunter’s soccer tournament. TJ’s parents also happened to be visiting so we saw both families and watched Hunter’s soccer game.
We were set to check out on May 14th, Mother’s Day, and start our trip to Boston, MA to see my niece graduate.
May 14th, We were all packed up and ready to bring in our slide so we could get on the road. When Jenson pushed the button, the slide didn’t move and we heard what sounded like a faucet spraying. Our hydraulic hose had a hole in it and was spraying hydraulic fluid everywhere. No one would come and fix it on a Sunday so we were stuck for another day. Luckily, May 15th at 4pm someone arrived and fixed our slide. We were back on the road around 8pm that day.
*During days of extended driving, we pull over to sleep in Truck stops, Walmart’s, or Rest Stops. You need to make sure that it is ok before you just pull over and stay. Some Walmart’s don’t let you stay overnight. You will see signage. You may also find that some Truck stops at gas stations are full so have a backup plan. Also, make sure you have water in your storage tank so you can wash up. Some of the truck stops have showers (We haven’t used those, we use our own very quickly) If your grey tank fills up on an extended trip, you can also find locations where you can dump; both grey and black tank. (I am not knowledgeable in this area as TJ is the lucky one that deals with this part so if you have questions, I can refer them to him)
May 15 – Coeur de Alene, Idaho – Missoula, Montana
May 17 – Dickinson, North Dakota – Duluth, Minnesota
May 18 – Duluth, Minnesota – Sault Ste Marie, Michigan
May 19 – Sault Ste Marie, Michigan – Rochester, New York (We took a short cut through Canada and back into the United States right around Niagara Falls.) This trip across the border, they did a full search on the Canadian side. We had to pull over, get out, open our rig, open the slides, while 4 people searched our entire rig. It didn’t take long and we were back on the road again. Make sure to always tell them the truth about what you have on board. We don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs so we always say no, but I think they probably assume we have some alcohol. Nope. Not in our rig! I think they also search rigs that come from states where Marijuana is legal. We have Oregon plates. Make sure to have your dog records as well. We didn’t have any trouble getting back into the United States.
May 20 – Rochester, New York – Cape Cod RV Resort Massachusetts – Cape Cod RV Resort is affiliated with the Thousand Trails Membership that we own. We purchased this membership over 5 years ago and we are still benefiting from the membership today! We arrived on a beautifully sunny day, got settled in, and took nice long warm showers.
May 21 – Erika’s Graduation in Boston, Massachusetts. It was exciting to see my sister, her husband and 2 of their 3 daughters. Erika graduated from Boston University in Health Studies and plans on coming back for an advanced degree in Physical Therapy in the fall. The graduation was wonderful and then we all enjoyed lunch at a local favorite restaurant.
May 22 – 25 – Visited with some business connections in Stoughton, Massachusetts
May 25 – May 30 – Wells, Maine for Memorial Day weekend – Today is Sunday, May 28th and I wanted to write this blog post so I would have a reference of our travels over the last month and I share it with you in case you are interested.
TJ and I are so grateful and amazed that we are living this lifestyle. It is not always easy but we are blessed to have family that invite us to celebrations, sports, and visits at their home and vacations. We have met so many wonderful people on the road that have become our lifetime friends. I want to be of support to any of you that may be interested in this type of lifestyle or creating a lifestyle that allows for flexibility in time and place. We call this lifestyle living.
Featured Families – The Suda Family
Hi! I’m Jewels Muller and I am starting a new blog series called Featured Families. My family and I have been traveling for over 5 years now and we have had the privilege of meeting many interesting families across the country. I want to introduce you to them as well. As you will see in the video and photos below, we are visiting a farm. We met the Suda family in Grafton, North Dakota while TJ was working the Sugar Beet Harvest. I attended a yoga session at the local spa and everyone told me that I needed to meet Dawn Keeley. Dawn invited me to a community gathering where I was introduced to Amy. Amy and her family invited us over for dinner one night and while we were there, I decided to start the Featured Family series of interviews. The Suda’s were so gracious and without any planning on their part, they invited us to video and ask them questions regarding their life on the farm. Let’s get to know them and what farm life is like.
Here is the most recent family photo of the Suda’s! John, Amy, Sydney-9, Noah-7, Jack-4, Isaak-1 Trigger-1, Sugar-6 months. Evan is the newborn below. Let’s meet the entire family via the YouTube Video Link below.
Tell us more about your businesses, Amy.
I am not sure how much I talked about Isagenix in the video-my plans are to include all of my business ventures on my website www.amysuda.com
What we are most excited about currently is being part of the launch of a new health & wellness technology product. It is wearable technology; like a Fitbit on steroids! There’s nothing on the market like it right now as far as wearable technology goes. New to the US as of September. We are looking for people who see the vision and would like to partner with us in launching it. Anyone interested can check out more information at www.busynblessed.helo.life
I am also in the process of starting a Beauty on The Go business venturing into providing further aesthetic services, injectables and eventually a skin care line right from my website!🤗
As a fellow entrepreneur and people open to all things new, exciting, and advanced we want to expose you to a new opportunity! We are excited about this so if you are interested don’t wait..the time is now for this type of product! It’s new to the US as of September so great potential. Interested in taking a look at a short video to learn more? #wearabletechnology
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, amysuda.com
We would love to thank the Suda Family for a wonderful dinner, amazing hospitality, and their willingness to be open and share their lives with us.
Much love to all of you,
Every few years we are blessed by my inlaws who invite us to join them in Kona, Hawaii. There are many things that I really love.
1. Being warm
2. Swimming in the ocean
3. Being with family
4. The vibrant colors and fragrant flowers
I snapped some photos today that I want to share. I love stopping to smell the flowers and take in all of their delicate intricacies. So beautiful.
Happy Saturday ♡♡♡
I’m having a great time at Dr Emily Letran’s event in Costa Mesa, CA and I am out to dinner with some of the members of Chicks Connect and they are going to introduce themselves.
Hi this is Alesa Flowers, from Henderson, NV and I am The Money Mama.
Hi this is Lila Holley, from Killeen, TX, creator of Camouflage Sisterhood.
Hey this is Linda Foote, from upstate New York, creator of Fun with Foote.
We will all be back adding links to these amazing women’s blogs, websites and fanpages so that you can get to know them and follow them for information on sharing your stories with Camouflage Sisterhood information from The Money Mama and information on how to have Fun with Foote through the use of essential oils, Healthy Living techniques, and do it yourself crafts and creations.
I am mainly writing this blog so we can remember the RV park that allowed people under 55 years old. We called numerous parks in the Phoenix area and finally found this one.
They have a nice pool although we didn’t use it. They have brand new Pickleball courts which we did use almost daily. The dog park area is great and Harley had a lot of fun there. They have a ton of activities going on but we were so busy we didn’t participate. We were able to put our side deck down but not our back deck. The majority of the sites are pull through and you share a common space. The sites are 50 amp and a bit natrow. Bathrooms are new and clean. Club house is really nice. Outdoor common area with picnic tables and a swinging chair.
It takes about 30 minutes to get to Phoenix. A Walmart is only 5 minutes away. Verizon and Sprint both work well.
This park was out of our system so we did have to pay for it. Water tasted funny. Hard water. They have a machine to get water for big jugs. Laundry room was nice and big.
We would come back to this park. Everyone was very friendly as well.
The Mace Family Blog is the first of a series of articles about featured families that Jewels Muller meets while traveling.
The big “Why”
The primary reason that we feel led to live this lifestyle comes from our desire to simplify our lives. Our previous lives were full of activities and events, and even though each one of those things had a good “purpose”, their collective dominance left us exhausted and stressed. We realized that we needed to take a break and reconnect as a family, while we still had time. We want to recapture the joy of being a family.
Josh and Sarah Mace
Savannah (14) and Eli (10)
Launched from Columbia, South Carolina, United States
It was challenging to make this transition, both logistically and emotionally. We wanted to be sure that this was the right path for our family. We did about a year of research. We looked at hundreds of RVs, different kinds of trucks, and even communicating with other people living this lifestyle. We sold the house that we loved and went from 2,800 sq ft to less than 300 sq ft of living space. We also had to learn how to use, maintain, and transport our new home on wheels. Then, I lost my job the same week we closed on the house! Finally we had to travel to Texas to establish residency while I searched for a new job. Looking back it seems crazy to think about, but it was all worth it.
My favorite memories are small things, like sitting at our picnic table playing a board game… and meeting up with our friends from Nomadic Homeschoolers and all the memories that those experiences create are what sustain us in this lifestyle. However, not every memorable story is from a fun experience… three words: Black Water Tank. 🙁
Our income comes from my job as an Interface Designer, which is way more fun than it sounds. As long as I have internet access, I can work.
Please follow the Mace Family on their Instagram Account
It’s 7 a.m. my nose is numb but the rest of my body is cozy snuggled down in my sleeping bag. We have been in a tent for over a week now waiting for my husband to finish up the Sugar Beet Harvest in North Dakota. I wanted to bring the boys down to Park City, Kentucky for a Nomadic Homeschoolers rally. We are really grateful we made the trip in the rental car, because the Sugar Beet Harvest extended beyond the normal time frame and TJ still needs to take the rig to get fixed. The repair should only take 3 days and he’ll do that in Elkhart, Indiana.
It’s Sunday morning 7 a.m. and I needed to use the restroom so I re positioned my snuggle buddy, Harley my Boston Terrier, down in the sleeping bag, put on my Uggs and headed to the RV Park Restroom. Upon my return, I grabbed my coffee pot and filled it up with water from my neighbor’s (The Burrell’s) outdoor kitchen. While my coffee was brewing, I took the dog out for a short walk. Someone neglected to pick up their dogs poop which was spread over a 7 foot span. They probably didn’t realize that their dog was going so they didn’t stop to pick it up, yes, I am giving them the benefit of the doubt. Luckily, I didn’t step in it and I picked it up because it was in front of the Perry’s rig and I didn’t want any of them to step in it. Harley did her business, I picked it up, and then she quickly snuggled back down into the sleeping bag.
My coffee was almost ready as I started up my computer. I was able to set up a table and chairs, plug into electricity, and be able to have all of the luxuries that we would have in our rig; aside from a bathroom, running water, and my own bed! Haha! I went through some emails, found a video of an interview of Marie Forleo and Seth Godin and played that while I looked through some of my spreadsheets regarding Chicks Connect membership. I had a busy morning and was able to make it down to the showers about quarter to ten. That’s when I decided to start my personal blog again. The main reason for writing again is to keep track of what I’m doing and if it interests someone else to read it, then so be it. I believe the Burrell’s are ready to do the outdoor church service and so I’m going to head up there right now after I brush my teeth.
Last week’s sermon was really great. I’ll see if I can find a link and post it. They stream an online church out of California. They didn’t stream the same service this week because more of the traveling families arrived so they held their own service as a big group. One of the families has produced their own songs. You can see their website here. Trent and Siobhan.
You may notice that we aren’t pictured in the big circle. We were enjoying the service from our tent. I think I should write an entire Blog post on my feelings of being a Newbie in the Church Space. I am very spiritual. I believe in God. I love the LOVE but I haven’t read and memorized the Bible, I haven’t attended a church of any type for any extended period of time, and I feel like I am putting on a pair of pants that don’t quite fit. Uncomfortable. The language doesn’t flow easily from my mouth. I feel like I don’t know all of the rules. I feel as though I am going to mess up and be figured out. Weird. I have so much love and I appreciate the stories of Jesus when they talk about him loving All People. That part is easy for me to grasp and follow. I can easily find my fellowship in the rooms of AA. I am open. I am willing. I will ease into it and continue to be curious of my comfort level without judgement. The Church Blog will come at a later date. I would love comments if any of you have ever felt this way about any type of group. I seem to be all over the board this morning but I have a lot I want to say so I guess I will continue again tomorrow or perhaps later on today! Much love to all of you! Check out my Fanpage below to see all of the great photos! xoxo Jewels
We have had a busy week with the Kentucky Unit Study and the Teen and Almost Teen activities. You can see many photos by checking out my Facebook Fanpage Jewels Muller