We have been on the road for almost 2 months now. Eight weeks and three days to be exact. Some days it seems like we’ve been doing this forever and other days I walk out of this motorhome door bewildered. We’ve spent our time in nine states so far- Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and a corner of Minnesota.

I have had friends write to me and say, yeah, but I want to know the truth. I want to know what’s really going on behind this blog of yours. The truth? I’ve been giving it to you. If you know me, you know I am not one to sugarcoat things. I am absolutely ok with being vulnerable.

On the other hand, I am a pretty positive and flexible person (as much as a Type A first-born woman can be) who can acclimate to most surroundings and happenings that come my way. I think this comes from the sporadic lifestyle I lived for years moving around for modeling. Then, I marry an NHL guy and life continued to be on the move forcing me into embracing changes I really didn’t want to make. I’m pretty good at regulating my positivity and happiness and quickly getting myself out of any funk I may find myself in. With that being said…

The truth is….

This is my master bedroom by day. There is nothing Pinterest worthy about it whatsoever. It also sometimes serves as my laundry room and storage unit for the kids’ beds and bedding. I just try to look past it all because it could make me nuts if I didn’t.

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We have been having as much fun as you have seen here. I keep us moving. I keep us adventurous and exploring. We had a lot of downtime in Coeur d’Alene, ID because two of the boys were in a hockey camp taking up most of our family time there. I actually enjoyed the downtime as we have been on the go ever since we pulled out of our driveway on June 2. I’m not sure what this camping lifestyle is doing to me. Hmmm..

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I have only threatened to drive this rig back to Paradise Valley one time in the 4000 miles we’ve traveled. Not bad out of 8 weeks on the road in a small amount of living space with four children and a husband. Thank goodness there are no pets in this equation. We are good with the 6 breathing beings we have here. In my head I do sometimes question our sanity and if we can actually keep this up. I don’t really voice it though because I feel it’s like using the word divorce during your worst marital spat. You just can’t do it. Once you put the negative out there, it’s hard to take it back. Read more

One of the places that I was most excited about staying along our journey was on the Serenity Sheep Farm in Belgrade, Montana. Mind you, I am not a farm girl. When you grow up in Indiana everyone concludes that you must’ve grown up surrounded by Kubota tractors and pigs. Sorry to disappoint, but growing up in Indianapolis kept me a city girl!

But, I wanted our family to experience staying on a working farm during our US travels as I think it’s such a beautiful part of our countries culture. With the unbelievable internet at my fingertips, I found what looked like the perfect farm for us. Lavonne’s Serenity Sheep Farm was exactly what I had hoped for and more.

Also, one of our best friends is a farmer and is always talking about how important it is to introduce your children to the rural way of life so I wanted to show her that we could give it our best shot. Just the other day she was telling us about how she has purchased a new tractor after finding kubota tractors for sale online. With this in mind, and with my newfound farming skills in tow, I am already thinking that next time we go to visit her I might be able to take a ride on her tractor!

This was our first time boondocking ( def: To camp in a dry brushy location; To stay in a recreational vehicle in a remote location, without connections to water, power, or sewer services.) We are able to go a couple of days without hooking up and relying on our generator. I don’t understand the process at all, but I just know we did it with no problem. We can proudly say that our big rig was the first of it’s kind to stay on the property! LaVonne, her husband Chris and her father-in-law were amazingly accommodating and made us feel very relaxed and welcome.

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The cool surprise for us was the amazing outdoor shower and fun outhouse right in front of our RV that we could use. Animals were always just wandering around us at all times.

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The kids just loved the friendly goats on the property! They were able to pet them anytime they wanted as well as milk one both mornings we were there!

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The kids couldn’t keep themselves away from Lavonne’s backyard where all of the poultry animals live! They helped collect eggs and chased the chicken around for hours!

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After the morning farm chores, Lavonne sat down with the kids and taught them a needle felting project. They all made adorable little owls from the sheeps wool, all under the beautiful shade trees in her backyard.

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The turkeys kept a close eye on Morgan’s work!

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The finished project!

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More and more animal fun…

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The kids also loved riding bikes just up the street to jump off the bridge into the East Gallatin River!

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We had to drag the kids out of here and they are already asking if we can stay on another farm or definitely come back here one day! We all highly recommend visiting Serenity Sheep Farm if you are looking for a relaxed, really affordable authentic farm experience. LaVonne has these two adorable wagons on the property that you can stay in or set up your own tent stay! I’m even thinking of coming back here with just a girlfriend to relax and visit the nearby town of Bozeman. We feel so blessed to have been surrounded by such beauty, even for only a couple of days!

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Our time was short, but oh so sweet in the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington! Keith and I had both been to the city before but not with the kids. It was fun to see everything through their eyes and enjoy beautiful sunny weather here as well!

Here’s how we enjoyed our first 24 hours in Seattle

Sea glass hunting and fish and chips for a sunset dinner at Alki Beach!IMG_5697

A perfect way to start any day in Seattle… in Pike Place Market

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and you of course have to have a coffee drink at the original Starbucks!

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I love wandering around the market. There’s amazing art and foods. Frank’s is one of my favorites for produce. I bought one of their hand painted canvas shopping bags the first time I came to Seattle and I use it for my groceries at home all of the time!

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I’d never been to the gum wall, let alone heard of it, until the kids took me here! Yuck!

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Can you spot the Carney crew amidst the mayhem of ABC gum? If you too want to visit this lovely spot when you come to Seattle, just take the stairs down from the popular Pike Place Fish Co., where they throw the fish around, and turn left down Post Alley.

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We ended our day with the infamous Ride the Duck Tour, which takes you on a tour by land and then into Lake Union for part of the trip. It was lots of fun and we enjoyed seeing Gasworks Park from the Lake. We even had a picnic over there the next day!

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Our 2nd 24 hours…..

We are a family who loves our donuts, so we had to try Seattle’s Top Pot Donuts. They used to make the donuts for Starbucks until a few years ago.

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We then headed to Fremont for most of the day. Our kids are big into the Geocaching craze and we were able to set up a visit to the Geocaching Headquarters here. It’s a pretty hip and fun place with over 70 employees now working for their parent company Groundspeak.

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There are beautiful views of the waterfront behind the Geocaching Headquarters too.  You could see Mount Rainier in the distance. Can you spot it?

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Fremont’s Troll Under the Bridge is a fun find! I’m so glad Geocaching brought us over to this side of the city. It was a fun area with interesting shops and restaurants too!

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We decided to catch the monorail from Westlake Center Mall over to see the Space Needle. It was a quick, inexpensive and fun way to get over there. We did not spend the money to go up to the top of the Needle or to do any of the awesome museums in that area. It gives us a good reason to come back one day!

From the Space Needle we walked down to Olympic Sculpture Park for another gorgeous sunset.

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Goodnight Seattle! We had a blast exploring your beauty!

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  1. Check out Kampgrounds of America’s website to read all about what’s happening around their almost 500 locations, and find your next camping adventure!
  2. Share what you find behind the yellow sign! Click here for three ways to share your favorite camping photos and videos with the world.
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  1. VKR RewardsPurchase a Valuekard Rewards Membership for only $27 a year. You save 10% off every KOA stay with this as well as other additional benefits! VKR Member Appreciation Weekend is coming up September 12-13, so it’s the perfect time to purchase your membership, if you haven’t already
  2. You definitely want to have a copy of KOA’s campground directory for yourself. You can view/download it online or order a hard copy. Our kids even love to flip through our hard copy while on the road!
  3. Check out the KOA Work Kamper program. If you are willing to roll up your sleeves you can make a short-term commitment as a Work Kamper and earn pay while you stay.
  4. Want to purchase your own KOA? Check out how to go about it here!

Kids with KOA SLC sign

We spent the last two weeks in Idaho hanging out in Wallace and Coeur d’Alene. Wallace was a cute, small town walkable from our RV park, which was great. We had a blast conquering the Route of the Hiawatha bike trail. We just came out of the first tunnel here and I was very happy to see the sunlight again. The ride starts out with almost 2 miles of riding through a pitch black and wet tunnel, meaning you have to have headlamps attached to your helmet to see in front of you!

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 The 15-mile trail is quite bumpy, but the scenery was gorgeous. It takes you through ten tunnels and seven high steel bridges. We opted to take the last shuttle of the day to take all of us back up.

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The town of Wallace is an adorable stop and has some fun antique shops and restaurants. We were able to do another bike trail from here, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s. We got a lot of bike time in here!

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This is honestly how we spent most of our time in Coeur d’Alene. Hockey camp took up our weekdays while Keith played in his first NHL charity legends game on the Friday night, which was a lot of fun to watch him having fun on the ice again!

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We took the boat across the lake a couple of times to Gozzer Ranch to hang out with our old hockey friends.

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You can see why the kids loved going over to Gozzer’s Lake Club!

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There is so much to do in Coeur d’Alene that we left untouched. Lots of amusement and waterparks and plenty of indoor fun to be found too. Luckily, we didn’t encounter any bad weather so we spent the majority of our time hanging out at the beach at our RV park and riding bikes into downtown. The kids loved renting canoes and water bikes and heading out on their own.

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And of course nighttime smores around the campfire with friends can’t be beat after a long week of hockey camp.

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Tubbs Hill is a fun little hike right past the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Marina. The kids loved jumping from the different cliffs and rocks, while we floated in tubes in the lake to watch them.

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We loved Saturday’s Farmer’s Market in Hayden. Plenty of organic produce to take home, treats to eat right away and all under beautiful shade trees!

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What are your favorite things you’ve done in this area?

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We didn’t know that our visit to West Glacier, Montana was just a bit too early in the summer season for nice weather. Unfortunately, it rained the entire three days of late June that we were here. Our Jackson Hole, WY weather must’ve conditioned us, because we didn’t let the rain keep us down!

We headed into Glacier National Park and found out that the infamous Road to the Sun was closed as they were still trying to remove all of the snow from a recent avalanche! This meant we were only able to drive 14 miles in to Avalanche Creek and hike the Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake. It was gorgeous and just slightly drizzling on our hike in. Once we got to the lake, it down poured and continued all the way back getting us completely soaked and muddy. What can you do but laugh and go with it?

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This is for my soccer mom friends. Thought you would enjoy seeing my Lululemon pants and Ecco boots soaked in mud. Definitely out of my league here.

Our final day in the area we spent in Whitefish. What a gorgeous area this is! We chose to spend the day at Whitefish Mountain Resort. They invited us to try the Aerial Adventure Park and the kids were stoked to try another mountain adventure. I was a bit apprehensive to do the course, but figured since I was going to write about it, I’d better join in on the fun. I was good with all of the climbing apparatus’ but it was the zip lining platforms that I had a hard time throwing myself off of. I don’t think I ever got 100% comfortable with it but I did have a great time and am proud of myself for testing my limits. How can you not enjoy yourself amidst such beauty?

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We honestly went through all four seasons in our time on this course. It started off like fall, with cool, but pleasant temperatures. Then, it turned really hot before the weather took a change and we found ourselves in the middle of a rain/hail storm. How in the world did I end up zip lining through hail and rain? Thankfully it wasn’t much and it’s a good job really as the chances of people who live in the area needing construction work done to their roofs could be very high. I’ve been told to use a company similar to Ace Roofing Company who are based in Texas if I needed to have any work done. Hopefully, I won’t need too though.

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I had to take a picture of the hail falling on my platform as proof.

Then, the weather cleared and it was gorgeous. We wanted to check out Whitefish’s alpine slide but it was closed due to the rain. The Whitefish Mountain Resort is awesome and offers many options for summer fun. We want to come back and try the zipline course and the alpine slide for sure but next time we’ll come in July!

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Of course our travel day leaving West Glacier to Wallace, ID was perfectly sunny. We stopped at The Amazing Fun Center so the kids could try out their mile and a half long maze and bankshot basketball. The kids had a blast here before the adults said enough is enough and off to Idaho we went!

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We’ll be back West Glacier and Whitefish. We only scratched the surface of your beauty!

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Aladdin-plasticware

I don’t even know where to begin with how much I love Aladdin’s Mason Entertaining Collection! Let’s start with the obvious..it’s cute factor. These lightweight plastic tumblers are perfect for outdoor entertaining and come in a variety of 5 different fun colors to choose from! I love that you can swap out the lids and colorful straws for everyone’s unique look. I was so excited that Aladdin sent me this collection for our family as I adore everything about it! The kids use these four different colored water tumblers every day now.

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Everything is lightweight plastic as well, making it a perfect choice for camping and time at the beach!

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Check out this adorable 2 gallon container that we make fruit infused water for all of us to draw from during our days spent lakeside. I was able to throw this jug into my bicycle basket and ride it down to the beach here in Coeur d’Alene for the 4th of July. It is so lightweight, yet durable and is made of BPA free plastic, so you can’t go wrong. This is perfect when entertaining a large group!

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This 2.5 quart classic mason pitcher is a perfect choice for any picnic. Notice how you can use your extra mason tumblers for decorative purposes as well. It does seem like this pitcher should have a lid, but it does not.

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I love my 16 oz classic insulated mason tumbler when we are cruising along in our motorhome. It fits perfectly in my side cup holder and is just oh too cute with a little morning mimosa in it. It makes me happy just looking at it! The tumblers are also dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. Gotta love that!

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Cheers to summertime and Aladdin’s Mason Entertaining Collection! These pieces can be purchased at Walmart stores and online in Aladdin’s shop. Take it from me, you will be so happy holding your own cute mason tumbler too.

I am not comfortable in a tent. Or at least I don’t think I am. I’m not sure if I’ve really ever overnighted in one though. Possibly as a child a couple of times in Indiana, but the memories have all faded, if they were ever really a reality. As an adult, tent camping honestly just doesn’t look that fun to me. In Ally B (our motorhome) I have all the amenities of home packed into this small space we now call home. I’m pretty sure I could not do this happily otherwise. We’ve been reading up on loads of reviews from offgridspot.com to ensure we can make the trip as enjoyable as possible. Before this trip, I didn’t think this would be a possibility, as I had left it last minute to get the vehicle insured. I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to do, until I was recommended by a friend to find affordable van insurance. This way, at least I knew that I was covered by the minimum requirements and knew that the trip was 100% likely to go ahead. Even though camping isn’t really my thing, I could appreciate it from the motor home.

I’m learning about this camping lifestyle as I go. Remember our family had not camped together a day in our existence before this trip. I am a lover of travel in general and on my carry on luggage for flights I used to have a luggage tag that said “I love not camping.” True story. Now I’m traveling from campground to campground across the US for 7 months. Go figure. Although I would say we’re not exactly “camping” in the way that I always envisioned camping to be. In a tent. Sleeping on the ground. Using public restrooms or going in the woods. I still walk by the tent set ups and I’m baffled. It’s just not in me. For today anyway, it’s not in my camping comfort zone. Friends of mine know that camping really isn’t my go to activity. But I am giving it a go. Despite everything I have said, before this trip, I was advised to look into a site like campingcooks.com, to find out how to stay safe while creating a camp fire. No doubt will this benefit someone on this trip. I might even give it a go.

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Especially as the rain pours here in West Glacier, Montana. I am very happy to have my comfy couches and heat blowing, as I make myself a cup of coffee in our Nespresso machine on the counter. I’m definitely spoiled out here in the wilderness. No denying that. I absolutely commend those who know how to pitch a tent for sure. I seriously want to clap for those people when I walk by. It’s kind of how I feel about Moms with quadruplets. You are better than me Sister! There’s always people in life that help you remember just how good you have it. Those tent campers definitely keep things in perspective for me. My hat’s off to you. If you need a warm retreat, I’m your girl. Look me up.

The one thing we all have in common out here though is our love of being surrounded by nature and the ease of walking out all of our front doors into the same beautiful space. Our environments can be changed whenever we’re called to move on. Overall, campers are really easy going, friendly, social people. We have met so many fun people along the road already. Some will most likely even be lifelong friends. We ran into the same family at our first three campgrounds of the trip and had a lot of fun connecting with them. They’ve now booked a spot for a few days to meet back up with us in Coeur d’Alene, ID next week. No matter how we find ourselves camping, we’re all out here doing life together. Pretty cool stuff if you ask this girl but I’m going to stick to my house on wheels for now.

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There is no denying the beauty of this West Glacier, Montana KOA. The property is quite special in many ways. Greg and Theresa McClure’s campground received KOA’s President’s and Founder’s Awards for 2013. “Excellence always happens on purpose and this campground is cutting edge with a strong vision, said Mike Atkinson, KOA’s Senior Business Development Consultant. One morning I was able to grab breakfast with Mike, who was on property working for the week, and owner Greg. One of the things that I love about KOA is the friendliness of their owners and staff and the pride that they have in their properties!

West Glacier grounds

This Holiday branded KOA is unlike your run of the mill campground in many ways. The kids loved Scoops ice cream shop being on site as well as the game room, heated pool and park. You can come to the lodge to have breakfast or dinner with Gene. The grounds are gorgeously landscaped and meticulously maintained. Many pull thru RV sites were redone over the offseason and ground has been broken for the addition of 36 more spots to open up next summer. The owners are constantly looking for areas to improve on their already gorgeous park. Obviously, their location can’t be beat if you’re here to explore Glacier National Park. The West entrance is only 2 1/2 miles up the road. 

KOA Bench at West Glacier

New friends and family tent spots just opened up while we were there and are the first of their kind in the KOA brand. They feature 3 pads for tent camping so you can be right next to your favorite people, which sounds like fun. Or at least the kids would have a ball doing this! There are lots of cabins to stay in here as well!

West Glacier worship

We loved that this KOA offered non denominational worship service here in the log-fashioned pavilion lodge. Sue, who has been an employee at this KOA for almost 30 years, led the worship and we just loved starting out our Sunday morning with her.

West Glacier Tepee

The kids loved working on this tepee nestled in the lodgepole pine trees right behind our RV site. We had a hard time pulling them away from there to head into Glacier National Park! We did have a lot of rain and cold temps during our few days here unfortunately. We still thoroughly loved our time in this area, but will have to come back in July next time!

Rainy day in West Glacier

Rainbow at West Glacier