Well we didn't officially name our new ride the SS Brewster but it sounded catchy as a title of this blog post!! : )
We did it!!! We took our maiden voyage in our RV (insert fireworks here) and we survived (insert huge sigh of relief here!)!!! We went for an overnight trip to work out the kinks and determine what other RV items we might need before we head out on our big Spring Break trip. One thing I learned is that I need to get organized. This was just a mini trip so thankfully we didn't have much we needed to bring with so it wasn't too crazy however, the little that we did have ended up in a heap on the booth that then needed to find its way to its RV home before departure. I had a week's notice and was up all morning..... why, oh why, did I wait to the last minute to pack up/load up??
I knew our first trip would be super exciting for the kids so I wanted them on the tired side to help keep them "calm". We went to 2 birthday celebrations this morning, Uncle Ryan's and Walker's, before heading out of town. On the way home they were falling asleep and I tried SO hard to keep them awake. As soon as we got in the RV they were WIDE awake... I had a feeling that was going to happen!
"Mom, I'm not tired anymore!"
Hoping they would eventually fall asleep we went ahead and set up the RV as two beds so they could buckle up and lay down. I actually really liked this way of traveling. I felt like we had a lot of space and the kids ended up sleeping most of the way there and they way home! Our original plan was to drive to a no-name camping site in Sarcoxie, MO, stay the night, and then get up and drive to BassPro shop in the morning. Owen fell asleep 30 minutes outside of Fayetteville, Ethan 45 minutes outside of Fayetteville, and Addyson fell asleep 10 minutes from the camp site... UGH!!! Since everyone was finally sleeping I told Brad to keep driving!
We knew there was a KOA in Springfield and that would let the kids get a good nap in before stopping. We wanted to avoid paying the extra $25 for a trial night (hence the original stop at the no-name site) but, in the end I'm glad we did!!! As we got off the highway the kids woke up and were SO excited we were almost there!!! As we pulled into the KOA we were all ready for our big adventure!!!
Brad bought a membership to the KOA campgrounds (I think this is the 3rd campground we have a membership to.... I hope we get our money's worth out of all of them!) which ended up saving us $4 this trip so I think it will pay for itself before too long and really, I was impressed with this campground so we will be staying at another KOA before long! The gentleman drove us to our site (he rode ahead in his cart) and then stayed with Brad to help him hook up and answered his questions since this was our first time doing this. I was thankful for that!!! Unfortunately he left before we asked how to turn on the hot water heater so this trip we survived on only cold (VERY cold) water..... that means I'll be showering tonight at home!! : )
See, this is why we took this mini trip. To work out the kinks, know what we need to learn, and learn what we need to buy before we spend a week without hot water or have to chase Shilo for the uptenth time. See, our door gets left open a lot (as we learned) and when the door is open Shilo jumps out and runs.... and runs.... and runs!!! We chased him for 15 minutes before we finally caught him. Note to self, leave a leash on Shilo until we are all in for the night and the door is locked!
After leashing up Shilo, the kids and I headed to the park to play while daddy finished setting up and started cooking dinner.
I was totally impressed with the clean playground and so were the kids!!! One thing we made note of is to request a site closer to the playground so the kids can play while we are at our site instead of one of us having to walk the kids over to play. In addition to a kids' playground they had a puppy playground!!! Shilo was just as impressed as I was! This was when I knew the extra $25 was worth it!
The sun was going down and I could tell that Shilo and Ethan were getting cool so we headed back to the campsite to see what daddy was up to! Owen wanted to be big and walk Shilo back to the campsite by himself. As I was walking behind him he told me he wanted to go alone, like a big boy, he had this so, I had to pretend to be walking a different way and then just sort of walk a few more steps back. There are lot of signs posted about walkers and speed limits of 9mph and there were not many campers there so I didn't worry to much about him.
While we were playing daddy made an impressive dinner for our first dinner as a camping family! I laid Ethan down to nap and joined them for a dinner of hamburgers, noodles, and salad!!! Dinner ended up being a minor disaster... it got cold and we weren't prepared! I packed during the day when the temperature was 65 so I didn't think about cooler evening temperatures! Oops!!!
Daddy started a fire and the kids sat next to that wrapped up in their blankets and then they were warm enough to finish dinner. Knowing what was for dessert help motivate them a bit as well!! : ) The nice thing about the RV verses tent camping is that we don't really have to pack light. I need to go ahead a make a drawer just for warm evening gear/ rain gear so we have it when we need it!
Another thing we learned, keep an eye on Shilo and the grill!!!! He thought it was him job to clean up after Brad cook. I appreciate his willingness to help however, he was then covered in stinky grease and we had NO warm water to clean him up!!! It seemed like every new event in the evening we were learning something new about what do to or not do or a tool we would need to make life easier. Note to self- when traveling with a dog make sure to bring along doggie shampoo!!!
Once we had everything cleaned up it was time for dessert!!! Owen said our s'mores tonight were better than Hu Hot's!!! The atmosphere probably had something to do with that!!!
After seeing them in the light after desert maybe I need to pack along s'mores clothes as well!!! Their jackets, pants, and faces were covered in chocolate... and so was mine!!! : ) This was when I was glad we were RV camping with our little ones and not tent camping. The ease of having soap and running water in the warmth of our RV was SO nice on this cold evening!
The downside... the sink full of dishes!! : ( Too bad we didn't buy the fancier RV that came with a dishwasher!!! We try to do things as environmentally friendly as possible, I can't remember the last time we bought paper plates. Even when we throw parties we use re-usable plastic plates that we wash along with the bowls and plasticware. However, I think we might be looking into some sort of plates and bowls that are decomposable and as environmentally friendly as possible to help cut down on some of the work after a meal. This trip, since it was just one night, I was going to leave the dirty dishes and take them home and put them in the dishwasher but I ended up not having to do that. Apparently I did bring my dishwasher with me, my sweet husband did the dishes after making me coffee this morning!!! : )
After a long day we were ready for bed!!! Well, I'm not sure if anyone was "ready" but, it was an hour past bedtime so we had the kids brush their teeth and go to bed. As we were getting ready for bed I was thankful we had gone for the bigger RV, the 30 foot verses 24 foot!!! The couch serving as an extra bed was nice to be able to split up the kids. Not only that but, the door from the bathroom opens up and serves as a divider between our "room" and the lounge room where the kids slept! There is also a curtain between the bathroom and our room that we can open which makes the bathroom more private when the door is swung open and allows up to turn the bathroom light on to act as a nightlight. We tucked the kids in and retreated to our room to read/blog. All was well until I hear counting and giggles and realized that Addyson was jumping from bed to bed in the dark... it was now 9pm... where those kids ever going to go to sleep????
Yes, they were.... it just took a while! Finally by 9:30 everyone was asleep and everyone slept!!! Ethan woke up at 5 and I was shocked that we had all made it through the night despite being right next to the train tracks that had trains coming and going every 30 minutes!!! I was thankful we had remember to pack our sound machine!!! We fell back asleep and everyone was up at 6 and ready to go!!!
And after this.... I was ready to go too!!! We almost ended up having to make coffee in our room! The outlets in the kitchen are on the ceiling and the coffee maker we bought was the smallest one we could find and with the small size came a small cord that didn't reach to the ceiling! Ugh! I was glad we had this empty bin that had yet to be filled. Not sure what we are going to do for our next trip, get some kinds of small extension or find a different coffee maker but that too is on our list to figure out before the next big adventure! All in all, I'd say this was a successful trip!
Owen said his favorite part was eating dinner next to the fire last night. My favorite part was that I didn't see Brad have his phone once this whole trip and I only used my phone to play games while putting Ethan to bed and the quality time we had with the kids in this 24 hour period was priceless!!! I'm no longer overwhelmed at the thought of spending a week plus in this small space with 3 kids, a husband, and a dog!!! I'm looking forward to it!!!! Owen is counting down the days until our next trip and so am I!!
And it must have been a great trip... all kids were asleep within 20 minutes of being on the road.... even Addyson!!! : )