Maps, beaches and a bucket list

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VisitedStatesMap Lg 1.2016
UU Communities Visited

As we continue to work our way to even more UU communities, I can’t help but take joy in the loving and accepting people our faith attracts!  Our growth from your shared knowledge is immense and will be with us always.

2015 ended with my 14-year-old son, Austin, marking his 43rd state visited!  As a homeschooling mom, I can’t imagine a better life experience for him than physically seeing the many places in our history books.

I’ve also now visited all but one state, and I can’t wait to take that trip to Alaska to complete my map.  (Still on my bucket list!)  But with 2016, comes a move to Hawai’i.  Of course it won’t be so simple, but we plan to keep our summers busy with mainland travel.  The motorhome will still be waiting us each time we set foot on the lower-48.

Here’s to a wondrous 2016!





Visiting Boise

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After spending the last week in Elko & on the Shoshone-Paiute Tribal Lands, Nevada, enjoying the local cuisine and time with family, we are now at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, and will be attending services at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Garden City, Idaho, this coming Sunday.

Omaha’s The Old Market

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Under a beautiful night sky filled with the mixed clouds of converging fronts, Austin and I met up with an old friend and toured the vibrant Omaha downtown known as The Old Market.  After steak dinners and local brew at Upstream Brewing Company, we walked about and then found the unique and fun Hollywood Candy store, an old-fashioned candy and antique basement store.  The night ended with a cruise downtown enjoying the wonderful architecture of the city.

It’s a world of trees!

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Spending the night in Nebraska City, Nebraska.  We are just next to the Missouri River and the Arbor Day Farm!

Arbor Day Farm Lodge, Photo Credit:
Arbor Day Farm Lodge, Photo Credit:

Fall 2015 Route = Heading west!

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Fall 2015 Route

Our route is locked in.  Didn’t plan on the extra miles for Oregon and Washington this trip but just couldn’t see going all the way to Berkeley and not hitting them!  Taking it easy as we go, so we’ll announce actual visits as they come.

See you on the road!

Launch Date Announced

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UU Austin with map

Launching August 19th!

We are so excited to be headed back on the road and visiting with everyone again!  This next trip will cover four months and a travel route spanning from California to Massachusetts.

Exact visit dates with locations will be announced as we travel.



Come June

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Come June, the lilies will be blooming, the summer birds will return, and I will be back in the RV headed to New England!

Visited States
UU Visited States

Checking in!

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Okay, so I made it two months sans the blogging. Not very long, but long enough to separate myself from the daily feeling that I just had to check my email and blogs and Twitter every single day. What a great feeling!

The two months have not gone without my being busy though. I traveled to Nevada/California for my niece’s wedding to her beautiful partner Alyssa. I even took the Amtrak train round-trip from Indy to Reno and got to see some great views along the Colorado River, and the most beautiful sunrise over the mountains at one of my old hometown’s in Nevada.  Of course, there was flooding in Nebraska and that spoiled my transportation to GA (train took too long plus rerouting that made me miss my ride) but I wouldn’t have missed the wedding for the world!

Butterfly feeding on a late blooming lily at the edge of my woods.  (Note the poison ivy nearby!)
Butterfly feeding on a late blooming lily at the edge of my woods. (Note the poison ivy nearby!)

Family things happened, some good like above, but some not so good and I had to make a trip to Northeast Ohio for a funeral.  But, as life is, that same week I went to an ultrasound for an expected grandbaby in November.

Got to spend a few nights at an Alpaca Farm, really!  A Bed & Breakfast with three dogs that adopted us, one at all times and the other two mainly when breakfast arrived each morning. 😉

Spent lots and lots of hours playing in my gardens with flowers literally everywhere and may apples and pawpaws growing.  Deer in the yard everyday, squirrels and a full moon spotting of a beautiful red fox in the driveway.  Summer has been good.

So now I settle a bit because I have a new part-time job teaching English for the school year.  I’m taking graduate courses and of course I’m still volunteering with the Master Gardeners, and I’m working to start a local UU group in my nearest town.

The only way to live is moving forward!

Favorite RV Travel Apps 2013

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Traveling fulltime requires a constant stream of preparation.  In the old days that meant pulling out a road atlas, an enormous campground directory and a CB radio.  But these days, apps are a traveler’s best friend. Not only are the databases much larger than the printed directories, but the good ones are updated regularly with comments and more information than one could possibly use.

Two things are most important to me when finding and using any app:

Firstly, I want it to be either free or only have a one-time nominal fee.  I won’t pay high prices or monthly subscriptions.

Secondly, I want the location-based apps to be map based.  This means that when I click on one, the first screen I see is a map with my current location flagged and with flags of whatever I’m searching for surrounding it.  There is nothing worse than having to work your way through lists to only find that there are none of what you’re looking for in the direct area you are searching.

My favorite RV travel apps in 2013
My favorite RV travel apps in 2013

1. WeatherBug: I absolutely love this app.  I have the free version yet it keeps me up to date on multiple locations with active weather alerts and can be enabled to keep a constant watch on “My Location” as one is traveling.  I keep alerts active on my home base, my close family locations, my current location and wherever I happen to be heading to next.

2. We Camp Here: This is the best all-inclusive campground directory I found that is also map based.

3. Scanner Radio: This app allows one to listen in on local emergency radios.  It is more useful in larger metro areas and I liked to use it when in extreme weather.

4. Fandango: Who doesn’t need a good movie break every now and then?  This app works nationwide and I could always find the chains that I prefer.

5. Allstays CRV Military: There are many categories of Allstays apps.  The military app lists campgrounds and areas open to military and DOD civilian personnel.  These locations usually have required identification and specific affiliation for use.

6. Allstays Walmart: Lists all Walmart and Sam’s Club locations and whether or not they have allowed overnight RV and/or semi-truck parking.  There are often notes for individual locations, and app users can add notes about where to park, friendliness of staff, noise, lighting, etc.

7. Allstays RV Dumps: Lists both free and fee-based RV dumps, including campgrounds that allow specific services on a fee basis.

8. Allstays Rest Stops: Lets one know where state rest stops are located and often has notes about allowed length stays and whether overnight parking is allowed.

9. Domino’s: Our favorite pizza chain with all of our favorite pizza and order combinations saved in one place.  Simply enter your current location.  If there is a Domino’s in your area you’ll be able to find out if delivery and/or pick-up services available.

10. History Here: Ever wonder what there is to do or go see where you are?  This app can be set to automatically alert you to nearby sights.  A similar app that many roadschooling families(homeschooling families rv’ing fulltime) use is “Field trip.”  Be careful with these though, if you turn on he automatic alerts you might get more of an earful in notices than what you would prefer.

11. WordPress: My favorite place to write about traveling tUUsome!

12. myPilot: This app lists locations for both Pilot and Flying J travel stations.  Especially great are the Flying J stations with dedicated RV lanes.  These lanes normally provide unleaded gas and diesel, propane, dump stations, air and longer windshield cleaners in easy in-and-out lanes.  With a free myPilot card for rv’ers, one can also get gas and store discounts and half-price dump station use.

So what are your favorite travel apps? 

Share them here or on our Facebook page.  We’d love to try them!