Our blog is back!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-01-2014

 

The beginning of our RV trip in 2008!

The beginning of our RV trip in 2008!

The last time I posted on our miura-adventure website, Andrew was a sophomore at Morro Bay High School, Nikki was a freshman and Lauren was still in elementary school.   A lot has happened since then and our family adventure continues.  In an effort to keep from being completely overwhelmed with starting where I left off,  I am writing with the most recent events and going back from there.

Since our days on the road in an RV,  much has changed.  The kids and I lived with my mom (“silly grandma”) for a year while Ken returned back to work with Praxair.   In July 2012, we moved back to Curitiba Brazil, a city we lived for 3 years  from 1999 to 2002. Ken has always said, “You can never go back”, meaning how difficult it can be to move back to a place where you lived before. Curitiba was always the exception to the rule so when the opportunity came up to move back here, we jumped at the chance.

It was a tougher transition this time with the kids being older.  But I can happily say that we have all adapted well and we are enjoying our time in Brazil. Andrew is weeding through his options for universities in the states, Nikki is preparing her top 20 university list and Lauren will be going into high school in August.  They all attend the same school, the “International School of Curitiba.” We are living in the middle of the city in a 9th floor apartment.  We have a lovely view and love to  explore all the different “barrios” of the city. The food here is fabulous and we often take pictures of the different dishes we are enjoying.  We will include some of these pictures as it’s all so darn yummy! Thanks for coming along on the ride with us!

Our family (with Austen Browne) along the Rio coast January 2014

Our family (with Austen Browne) along the Rio coast January 2014

 

School’s back in session!

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-08-2011

Well, the kids are now back in school after a fun summer on the central coast.  It’s so great to have two kids at the same school now (Morro Bay HS) .  Last year, all three kids went to different schools and it made for a tight taxi schedule.  Andrew loves being a Sophomore and not being a “newby” anymore.  He is loving playing football and enjoys the discipline of working out 5 days a week.  He always has a project in the works (or 2 or 3).  Right now, he is working on restoring Poohnut’s latest purchase – a old Stingray bicycle.  Andrew has stripped the whole thing down, painted it, bought a new chain and is polishing the metal parts.  He loves jobs like this (especially when there’s a few bucks in it for him!)  He is also working on his RC car, making another longboard and I do believe that’s it.  .  . for now!

Nikki is busy getting used to the rigors of high school  – juggling the academic aspect with the social and athletic aspects.  She is on the Freshman volleyball team and has gotten pretty good at “digging”.  They are a great group of girls on the volleyball team and the games are so fun to watch!  She is now taller than me (5’9″) and likes to infer that I am actually shrinking.  Oh the complements of teenagers.  Most of her friends live within walking distance so I don’t see her often as friends rule in her world right now.

Poohnut still enjoys being with me and I enjoy spending time with her.  There is just a small window left before she is a full fledged teenager and I am holding out all hope that she stays sweet and kind.  The big kids are still pretty good but alas, I am constantly reminded how utterly moronic my behavior is on a routine basis.  Can’t say theirs is any better but I don’t dare tell them that – rather pointless and their ears aren’t always open to my voice   Poohnut continues to love to write. She’s so darn creative (where does she get these story lines?) and even had one of her stories read over the loud speaker at school yesterday.  It was about her favorite tree and her dreams of turning it into a tree house where she could spend time looking out on the bay.  She used a lot of imagery and it was great fun to read.

Visiting Friends and Family in SoCal

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 06-08-2010

We were happy to have time to visit our family and friends in the Southern Caifornia area.  We started off  in Dana Point  and had a great get together at the Coty’s beautiful house – the house that Brian built!  We got to sit down and dine with the Coty’s and the Litwinski and Lynch family.  We have some wonderful memories with this whole group and it was good to relax and reminisce.  Ken and I visited the place where Ken asked me to marry him,overlooking the harbor in Dana Point.  I remember it well. . . I had to ask him to repeat his question as he was a bit soft spoken in his approach!  (Was there some underlying fear there?!)  We visited  our nephew, Paul, (now 20 years old) as well as my sister Robin and her husband Steve.  Oh how I wish we could all live close to each other again!  Poohnut always seemed to find a good tree to climb and dreams of having a house one day with a big tree house.  We trekked down to Los Angeles one day and visited Ken’s Mom’s grave site.  We  have so many wonderful memories with “Tun”.  It was really nice to sit in the sun and remember our great time with this special mother and grandmother.   After our time with Tun, we had a super yummy lunch at one of Ken’s favorite eateries, the original Tommy’s.   While heading up north, we were  happy to host the Jaeger boys at our campground one night.  The following day, the kids all went over to their house in Wood Ranch and had fun swimming in their pool.   Great times with some very special people!

Trading places with the Pear family

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 29-06-2010

 

When we first talked to our good friend Jonathan about helping us lease our AZ house, he came up with a “deal”.  In exchange for his work , we would allow him to borrow our RV for up to a month near the end of our trip.  Deal!  The planning consisting for the turnover consisted of driving lessons which Jonathan passed with flying colors.  (Although I think he still wondered (as do I) how this big (huge) house makes it down the highway, especiallly around corners with little shoulder!  Ken and I worked hard to prep our baby and turned it over to the pears one sunny and HOT (talking 105 degrees) AZ day.  They were so excited and we were so happy to get to have them fulfill a dream.  It was surreal to see our RV with the van take off down the street!  While they were on the road, we stayed in their 3500 sq ft house for a few days where we kept losing Hobie.  Really!  Then we headed up to the central coast to spend time with my mom.  We celebrated Nikki’s 13th birthday and she got the camera she’s been dreaming of for months.   While the Pears had a great time, they lasted only about 2 weeks and were happy to return to the creature comforts of their AZ home.  The RV lifestyle isn’t for everyone but we are happy to have shared the experience with this wonderful family!

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Fools Hollow State Park AZ

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 22-06-2010

It’s HOT in Phoenix but the mountains above Phoenix are the perfect escape as it’s usually 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Phoenix. We’ve heard great things about Show Low and now we know why.  Fools Hollow State Park in Show Low is one of the nicest state parks we have visited and we were lucky to find a camping spot right on the lake.  We parked in a double spot, designed to be shared when you travel with other families. The park was fairly empty as it was mid week so we had no fear that someone would choose to park right next to us. Well, a day into our stay a nice older couple with a new RV and not much experience in the whole camping etiquette thing, decided the spot right next to us (and I mean TWO feet from our front door) was perfect for them. I tried to persuade them to consider other spots as after all, did they really want to be that CLOSE to us? We aren’t that friendly! My talk was futile and they went about setting up all their stuff.  Then their children and grandchildren arrived. Yippee!!  At least we only had one night left to spend at the park and were planning on taking off early the next day.  When we ventured out of our RV at 6AM to enjoy our last morning coffee overlooking the lake, we woke up all their little yappy dogs and thus woke up their whole camp. Unintentional of course!  Maybe next time they will decide not to park so close to another family.

We were almost scared to travel down the mountains and into the heart of the Phoenix area. We weren’t used to the heat and hoped we wouldn’t all shrivel up into raisins!  We stayed at Desert’s Edge RV Park and, while the kids play with their friends, Ken and I prepped our RV for the Pear Family to use for the month of July. Jonathan managed our property in Anthem AZ for the last two years. His only payment was the use of our RV during the summer of 2010. We were happy with the exchange as we would love to share this wonderful lifestyle with another family.

Standing on the corner in Winslow AZ

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 20-06-2010

We loved being able to literally stand on the corner in Winslow AZ highlighted in one of our favorite Eagles songs.  The town was surprisingly upbeat with a fun little downtown consisting of a main street.  We enjoyed some great Mexican food and sat at the same booth where Harrison Ford dined some years ago.  Definitely worth a stop if you find yourself en route from New Mexico to Arizona!

Santa Fe New Mexico

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 16-06-2010

Santa Fe New Mexico

We’ve always wanted to check out Santa Fe as it seemed like a great combination of artisans, culture and desert beauty.  Our campground, on an Indian reservation was simple but clean and was a great base for visiting Santa Fe.  Santa Fe is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the foothills of the Rockies.  The town  didn’t disappoint and it was more than we expected.  The main street gave us a feel of authentic Mexico and the churches were old, beautiful and full of history and character.   Ken and I visited the city one day on our own and strolled down each street, popping into little courtyards full of shops and little cafes.   It truly gave us a feel of being in another country and we look forward to visiting the town of Santa Fe again in the future, perhaps staying in the beautiful “La Fonda” hotel as well!

Great Sand Dunes NP

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 15-06-2010

Our stop at the Great Sand Dunes NP was one of our most memorable.  How beautiful sand dunes are silhouetted again a bright blue sky and bordered by mountains and streams.  Breathtaking really.  We arrived to quite a windstorm (not fun when there’s sand involved) but it calmed down the following morning and we started our trek up the side of one of the bigger dunes.  We did some dumper diving and found some cardboard to use as makeshift sleds.  The kids were in position and ready to ski down the side of the dune.  Speeds of 25 MPH were anticipated.  “Countdown. . 5.4.3.2.1 and GO!”  There goes Andrew and there he goes. . .about 2 feet and. . .that was the end of that ride!  Guess the sand wasn’t really sliding sand as it took almost as long to go down as it did to go up!  We took a picture of the shadows our bodies cast on the dunes and wished we were all really that tall and skinny! 

Denver area state campgrounds

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 14-06-2010

We love almost everything about  Colorado.  It was so great to come back to the state campgrounds outside of Denver we visited at the beginning of our RV adventure.  You would never guess that a big city was so close by as the campgrounds are  vast and full of nature.   I took the girls into Boulder one day and we had such fun.  Amazing how Poohnut can balance herself against two stone walls!    We encountered a couple of large storms while at Cherry Creek and we were happy not to have washed away with all the rain we got one night!   Andrew took off at the beginning of the month to visit his buddy Austen in Ariona.  His family included Andrew on their trip south of the border to Rocky Mountain Mexico!  We could see ourselves living in Colorado one day as the culture is one of outdoor activity with beautiful vistas and open skies as far as the eye can see. 

Rocky Mountain NP and Estes Park

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Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 31-05-2010

A return visit to the Rocky Mountains was at the top of our list.  Ken was able to book us for two nights in Rocky Mountain National Park which was great.  We arrived on a Wednesday and found out that a mere two days earlier, they had had “white out” conditions.  Not quite spring yet in the Rockies!  We found our camp spot and set up the Motosat  to ensure we had a clear connection to our Direct TV set up.  We weren’t very optimistic as our spot was in the WOODS with no real clear view of the southern sky, a requirement to get a solid satellite connection.  Why was it so important to access our Direct TV?  I have to admit that the girls and I are big fans of American Idol.  We just HAD to see the Finale!!  Well, we could not get a clear shot of the southern sky so I went to the headquarters to see if any other spots were available that might yield a clearer view of the sky.  We were in luck , moved our rig and settled in to  watch all TWO hours of the finale.  We were so happy when our favorite, Lee Dewyze won!
 
Enough of that!  Now back to nature and being in the Rockies!  We took a drive up 12,000 feet to the tip top of the highest paved road in the U.S.  The temp dropped to a mere 46 degrees and the parking lot of the Visitor Center was still being shoveled out from all the recent snow.  National Parks are our favorite places to camp and this one is by far one of the most beautiful.    Given it was Memorial weekend, we were unable to get reservations past Thursday night so onto Estes park and Mary’s Lake Campground.
We stayed at Mary’s Lake campground two years ago, when we were mere novices at the whole full time RVing thing.  It’s now a county campground so it was a little better than last time but the spaces were still very cramped.  On the upside, it’s just across the street from Mary’s Lake and a short drive into the town of Estes Park.   We took a family bike ride around Estes Lake and enjoyed ice cream after visiting the famed Stanley Hotel, where the movie “The Shining” was filmed.  This whole area is so beautiful and we look forward to returning again one day, maybe with some of our RV friends!