celebrating & encapsulating the season

This month in San Diego has been filled with all the things we were hoping for: Christmas celebrations, Christmas food, Christmas fun, Christmas movies, and lots of friends and family time. (In fact, we had so much fun being in the moment(s), we took very few pics – so sorry this post won’t be as captivating as usual!)

We celebrated a 40th birthday (Katherine), a bride-to-be (Loran), and a new birth (sweet baby Rose Foreman); enjoyed coffee get-togethers, an annual pumpkin-baking date and a poker game, shared home-cooked and restaurant meals with loved ones, watched movies in the theater, and worshiped in church in person; devoted some time to being San Diego tourists; and spent quality puzzle time appreciating the beautiful sunsets and relaxing rain in Alpine (all the resulting mud, not so much, LOL).

Christmas looked different this year with minimal décor (comprised of a simple miniature rosemary tree with one ornament), and no cards, gifts or stockings; it was hard to not feel like it was “less than” it should be. But on the other hand, because we’re not working, we were able to participate in more of the traditions we love (attending Christmas Eve candlelight service, viewing all the local lights, giving away Deron’s delicious spice blend, enjoying Christmas dinner and wild Apples-to-Apples with family). It was a real reminder that celebrating the Christmas season is not about all the Christmas trappings, but about gratitude for the gift God gave us 2000 years ago, and for all the love He surrounds us with every day, wherever we’re at.

As we closed out 2021, the most-asked question of “what was your favorite place?” caused us to look back fondly at our 5-month journey and reminisce about all the places we’ve been.

In no particular order, here are the highlights:

Beauty we appreciated:

  • Arizona: Grand Canyon, Painted Desert
  • Colorado: Mesa Verde, Pike’s Peak, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Garden of the Gods, Devil’s Backbone, Zapata Falls, Great Sand Dunes
  • New Mexico: White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, Lincoln National Forest
  • Texas: Palo Duro Canyon
  • Oregon: Sweet Creek Falls, Wahkeena Falls

Towns we loved:

Prescott, AZ

Bartlesville, OK

Pawhuska, OK

Florence, OR

Colorado Springs, CO

Loveland, CO

Cool places we enjoyed:

Benson Sculpture Garden, Four by Brother Luck (CO)

Cross Ministries, Magnolia Market at the Silos, Buccee’s (TX)

Pioneer Woman Mercantile (OK)

The coolest thing was we found so many of these awesome places completely spontaneously! We’re currently in the midst of planning our 2022 journey, and though we’ve lined up lots of places we want to see, we’re anticipating many more hidden gems – and we can’t wait to share with you! As for the near future, we’re still in San Diego throughout January, so I’ll wait and share one last post in early February just before we head out, and then resume weekly posts once we’re on the road.

learning curve summary

For those of you who might be considering the #nomadlife here’s what we learned:

  • It’s a really good idea to have places to stay lined up for at least a few weeks, but also to realize any delay means a lot of rescheduling – so write everything down!
  • Long days of travel are not that fun, so plan accordingly
  • There will always be something in the RV to improve or fix or add or get rid of
  • Always open cabinets slowly after a day of travel
  • It’s super cool to have a washer/dryer in the RV! But…tiny washer/dryer + tiny hamper = much creativity and diligence to keep up with the laundry
  • Leaving the RV at the mechanic requires much pre-planning
  • Running certain electric appliances is tricky – the system can only tolerate so much, i.e., toasters, blow dryers, A/C, etc. should not be used in conjunction with each other
  • Insulation is super important – add more when necessary
  • It’s probably a good idea to keep the water tanks full, even when you’re connected – just in case the RV park randomly decides to turn off the water line
  • On the other hand, it’s best to travel with the grey and black tanks empty
  • Great things to have on hand: hose heater, water pressure regulator, extra hose, water pressure tester, digital multimeter, tire chocks, sewage hose supporter, level, and rubber gloves
  • When you pull into a gas station, you better know you have room to pull back out again
  • Not every town has great grocery options – you might not be able to find all the produce or herbs or meats you’re looking for – so always be ready to adjust your meal plans
  • Contrary to popular belief, Verizon does NOT cover most of the country
  • Buy a National Parks Annual Pass before you visit 5 National Parks
  • Get Good Sam, Escapees and KOA memberships – they do save lots of money
  • Even with a mail scanning/forwarding service, getting mail is difficult – the chances of you actually being where they send it when they send it are slim
  • It’s a good idea to develop setting up/tearing down routines – so that you don’t accidentally leave the parking brake on in the tow car, etc.
  • There are sooo many more beautiful things in this world than there are photo ops, so don’t be disappointed – just enjoy!!

9 thoughts on “celebrating & encapsulating the season

  1. 🥰  The picture of you in front of the big Christmas tree…where was that? It is a great picture!Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


  2. Good recap. Happy New Year you two!

    Did you see 89 cruise ships had Covid outbreaks and everyone is required to be jabbed.

    Have you heard from Dad? Do you know if their ship was one of the infirmaries? 🥴 hope not.

    I think he gets back in a few days. If you talk to him tell him to send a note so we k ow they are ok.

    Stephanie 310-409-3322



  3. Hello Allison!

    You are really doing a great job on these reports! I am enjoying hearing all about the travels. Thanks for taking the time.


    > WordPress.com


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