Yep, I’m right on track… my typical month delay in an updated blog post! We’ve been so busy having fun that time slipped away and adventure (or sleep) typically beat out keeping everyone up to date on what we’ve been up to. And since our blog is primarily used to share what we are doing with everyone and keep a journal of sorts for ourselves, that’s exactly how I’m going to write this edition of our blog. I’m sure there are blog rules or something that I’m not aware of, but maybe this method will keep me from waiting a month from now on. 😊
We last left off heading west from New Orleans to see some of our absolute favorite people in The Woodlands, TX… the Dodds! And with that brief little recap, here we go!
February 9 – 14th, 2017 – The Woodlands, TX
Keeping with our tradition when it comes to invading Craig and Rae Anne’s, we arrived a day early and took over their neighborhood turnaround area. What we love most about hanging out with these two is that there is never the expectation of entertainment so we get to spend quality time catching up and relaxing. Per usual they spoiled us rotten with amazing meals that we cooked together (ok, Craig, Shea and RAD cooked and I did the prep work) and lots of giggles. We even ventured out to the Taste of the Woodlands event to stuff our faces even more and it was amazing. I know that Taste of MN was cancelled for good, they probably could have learned a thing or two from the folks who put The Woodlands’ event on. I think a month later, our bellies are still full from our time there. And like any true RV’er, we did hordes of laundry – seriously, I’m not sure if their city has any water left after all our laundry. And like the last time we were with the Doddsssss, a gnarly storm came through in the morning delaying our departure for the Corpus Christi area. Love you guys! ❤
February 15 – 17th, 2017 – Rockport, TX
We originally intended to stay at a state park along the Gulf Coast, but their last-minute fill up left us scrambling for a new place to stay. Fortunately, we found a great little RV park with great Passport America rates so we hung out for a few days to explore the area with amenities… and wifi. The first day was spent working for both of us so it was fairly boring. We did, however, make the best of the next day by taking a trip to Padre Island National Seashore. To be completely honest, the Florida side of the Gulf is prettier, but we loved how serene and empty the beaches were. The only bright side of the weather being a little crummier was that it gave us time to complete some work and join some meetings with decent signal.
February 18 – 19th, 2017 – San Antonio, TX
The weather has been a little unstable and storm filled for about a week up until the day we left to head to San Antonio where it was forecasted to be 85 and sunny; so for us that meant pool weather! When we rolled into our new RV park, we set up in no time flat and headed right to the pool and were the only idiots to jump into the cold water. It was awesome! Since I’m a ginger and don’t really do well in the sun for too long, we figured we would take the rest of the day to explore the city. We headed to the San Jose Mission National Park to see the preserved Franciscan grounds and church. Since we had a schedule to keep, we woke up early the next morning to explore the touristy sites of San Antonio. We did the typical stroll along the River Walk, tour of The Alamo and City Market. We did a little research and found that the old Pearl Brewery district may be right up our alley and it certainly was. The area had been restored to lofts, restaurants and a particularly great bakery with delightful treats and coffee! After a great day of touring, the storms rolled in yet again and we had another tornadic situation close to where we were staying. Being the weather junky that I am, I was fully prepared for the midnight dash that we made to the main building when the tornado alerts went off on our phones. Fortunately for us, the southern portion of the city only received some hail so we could go back to our camper, but there was a tornado that touched down about ten miles north of us. Seriously, Texas, lay off the tornadoes!! We know that there is a lot more that we need to see in San Antonio, so we will certainly be back.
February 20 – 27th, 2017 – Fredericksburg, TX
If it seems like we have been rushing through this rather large state with lots to see, it’s because we have. Back around the time that we were in the Florida Keys, we decided to attend Heath and Alyssa’s RV Entrepreneur Summit in Fredericksburg, Texas. The Summit was focused on building a business on the road along with finding community, and boy did we. From the moment we arrived, everything started to have the feeling of a home away from home. Not because we were in a park with a lot of amenities (which we were) but because we were all birds of the same feather. We all made a choice to live on the road and without knowing much about one another early on, instantly championed one another. While we were loving our travels up to this point, we found a community that we didn’t really know we were looking for and since then our travels have only been enhanced.
The Summit itself was composed of speakers, breakout sessions and lots of breaks to socialize and have fun. We were so grateful to all the speakers for sharing their knowledge and passions. We have several take-aways from our weekend learning from our peers that we can’t wait to put into practice. So many of our new friends have put together amazing recaps of the weekend and we feel like we would simply be echoing everything they have said; so, we invite you to check them out here (HeathAndAlyssa.com – 12 Things We Learned During the First RV Entrepreneur Summit). We could write for days about how amazing the experience was, but truth be told, it was one of those “you had to be there” sort of things; which made it even more special to us.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the Summit was in wine country?!? Because it was. Which was awesome. We actually kicked off our time in the area by staying at the Messina Hof Winery about a half mile from where we would be staying the rest of the week. We even ventured to Luckenbach (population 3) with the amazingly talented and fantastic Hendricksssss. 😊 We loved walking around this little town/concert venue/post office/bar with our new friends while being greeted by all sorts of characters, and even some roosters. Before reluctantly leaving the area, we stopped over to the neighboring vineyard and as luck would have it, we ran into Bud, Cathie and Shawn from Escapees and had a blast during our wine tasting. Our departure was certainly bittersweet and we were sad to be leaving our new friends, but we can’t wait to meet up with everyone on the road again someday… or at RVE 2018 😉
February 28th – March 2nd, 2017 – Austin, TX
Fortunately, our funk over leaving new friends quickly dissipated when we arrived in Austin. After getting settled into McKinney Falls State Park, we explored a little bit of the city before meeting up with Shawn, Georgianne and Bobby (from Escapees) for dinner. Dinner was fantastic but the company was even better – I’m pretty sure even our server wanted to hang out at our table. After eating our way through the city the next day, we wandered back to the camper to freshen up before meeting some more friends and to our delight, Bryanna and Craig from Crazy Family Adventure were set up right across from us! They must have missed us! That evening we met up with the Mandelbaums for some family style BBQ to die for and equally as excellent conversation. And, if you are a hockey person, you should check out their company, Twig Tape! We can’t wait to see them again when we roll back through in December! During our short stint in the area we were able to take in the great city vibe and check out a bunch the eccentric neighborhoods and spectacular eateries; but knowing that SXSW was quickly approaching, we wanted to escape before prices skyrocketed and traffic became even crazier than it is on a regular day.
March 3 – 4th, 2017 – Lampasas, TX
After another Minnesota goodbye with Bryanna and Craig, we made our way out of the city with a quick stop for some meetings and fast internet before heading to our Harvest Host destination for the night. And after rolling through the beautiful hill country and driving down a windy, ranch filled road we landed at the winery and wouldn’t you know it… Bryanna and Craig were there! HA! We knew that we were both heading north and staying at a Harvest Host location, but it wasn’t until they were on their way before they knew we would be at the same one. We were all laughing when we pulled in and parked right next to them – it was awesome! The main reason we were there was to see Becca and Landen in an effort to keep them distracted from her hubby’s deployment the night before. We know what it’s like to move somewhere without knowing anyone so we just wanted to bring a little MN to TX for her. While we were enjoying some surprisingly good Malbec for Texas wine, Landen became fast friends with the munchkins from Crazy Family Adventure and climbed the hay bales like it was their job.
Despite the ongoing rainy conditions, we powered through and headed out the next morning to explore the Hamilton Pool and we were blown away by how beautiful it was. The color of the hill country’s waterways is gorgeous to begin with but throw in a waterfall and giant swimming pool, it couldn’t be beat. We had ventured to Jacob’s Well a few days before, but Hamilton Pool will have us coming back time and time again.
March 5 – 7th, 2017 – Kerrville, TX
Just so everyone doesn’t think that all we do is play and tour the city, these three days were filled with nothing but work and laundry. Seriously. Shea’s days were filled with meetings and I had the “joy” of completing mandatory continuing education classes. I wish we could say that we got out and went for a hike, but really all we did was work.
March 8 – 9th, 2017 – Brackettville, TX
Regardless of how the day started, we were excited to get up and moving again once Shea’s morning meetings were done since we had been stationary and focused solely on work. We were all ready to head out and see Rhonda and Joe when we made it a whole 3 miles down the road before getting our first flat tire. Thankfully, our tire pressure monitors did their job and alerted us; and even better is the fact that we have tandem axels. After discovering the lovely new screw we picked up along the way, we threw a little more air in to see if we could hobble to the nearest tire shop. We made it to Discount Tire and they fixed that tire and another… for FREE! I had no idea that they did that, and with their team being as fabulous and speedy as they were, you can bet that we will be visiting another location for the upgrade they told us about. After that fun little scare, we made it down to Brackettville/Fort Clark to the Hendricks’ home base. The town/neighborhoods are made up of converted barracks and commander housing along with all these tiny homes with giant RV ports – it is fascinating! We even took the grand tour by golf cart! The rest of the evening was spent winding up their little munchkin (weird, right?!?!) and hanging out until we were all ready to crash. And in true mom style, Rhonda was up and making us all pancakes the next day to send us off with full bellies. It was a quick stay, but lucky for us, we get to travel Utah together in a couple weeks!
March 10 – 11th, 2017 – Marathon, TX > Marfa, TX > Carlsbad, NM
In keeping with our time in Texas already, we crammed a lot of western Texas into a couple short days. Again, knowing full well that we will be spending at least a month down here again next winter to explore everything we saved for the next trip. We started off by making our way to Big Bend National Park by way of Marathon, Texas. Once we arrived in the park after the loooooonnnnngggg drive to get there, we instantly knew that we were going to need to come back and stay when the crowds were gone. Spring break had the park so flooded with people that even in the vast expansion of the land, it still seemed like there was another traveler right next to you. But, we made the best of the day and took our time exploring the eastern side of the park. The mountains were, of course, breathtaking and as always the Rio Grande stole the show.
Since we decided to make a change to our plans and head west to spend more time in New Mexico before Utah, we headed out to explore Marfa since it had been on my bucket list for a few years. What’s in Marfa, you ask? And where the heck is it? Well, it is a tiny little town in southwest Texas known for the mysterious Marfa Lights – and I have wanted to see them since watching a documentary about them a few years back. The crummy part is that they only show up between 10 and 20 times per year so as much as I would have liked to sit around and wait for them, it didn’t seem like a good use of time. We finished checking out the town where we were the only non-hipster people within a 10 mile radius before hitting the road yet again.
We landed in New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, and I couldn’t be happier to be here and leave off here until the next blog. Now let’s see if I can keep up on this by doing an updated blog in a week rather than a month! New Mexico didn’t disappoint us and greeted us with a spectacular sunset…