People often wonder what our typical day on the road is like. Well, we’re just over a month into our new lifestyle and still not sure what a typical day is, or even if such a thing exists. That said, here’s a rundown of a recent day that we hope will be the first of many like it.
We woke at 7:30 AM. This alone is a huge change from our previous routine of getting up at 5:30 AM. The boys watched TV for an hour – a National Geographic program about the physics of Great White Shark breaching and then some Undercover Boss. TV reception can spotty, but we’re pretty sure all of us have watched more TV since living in the RV than in the three years prior living in a house. Apparently, we are still in a “vacation” mindset when it comes to TV.
After venturing outside, Ben and Aidan led the family in some parkour-inspired exercises. We did the bear crawl, side monkey, ninja-ups, over/unders, and more (not sure if these are “official” names, but that’s what Aidan called them). We hope to make morning exercises part of our routine. For example, Ethan will take us through soccer warm ups and drills and I can teach yoga or Zumba (although the boys are not real enthusiastic about Zumba). In the meantime, we are already walking and hiking a lot more than before, and the boys constantly ride their bikes around the campground – making space for their bikes was a huge win!
For breakfast we had our usual green smoothies. Our “recipe” changes day to day depending on what’s available, but always includes spinach or the bagged “Power Blend” from Costco. Add a banana, frozen blueberries, frozen mango, pineapple and/or an apple and you’ve got an RV-friendly and fairly affordable vitamin boost for the whole family.
After breakfast the boys knocked out an hour of math on their laptops (we use the Teaching Textbooks curriculum) and then did some spelling and grammar work. To maximize our road-schooling, we bought an affordable (code for junky?) laptop for each of them. We have only had the laptops for a few weeks and we’re already having some troubles. Not sure of it’s the laptops, or just user error in figuring out Windows 8. We think we fixed the issue (fingers crossed). Incidentally, finding reliable technology while staying in RV parks is proving to be a huge challenge. When WiFi is available, it is weak – as in 90’s dial up speed weak. We’re exploring tools to fix this, which will be critical to work remotely on the road.
We wrapped up the first part of our day with more typical “life stuff” – walking the dog and doing dishes – before packing a picnic for a mini-road trip to Grayland State Beach, WA. We camped in Grayland back in November 2007, but the boys were pretty young and don’t remember much of it. Though that trip included an amazing midnight hailstorm, this trip we just hoped to enjoy some summer beach fun. After a quick picnic in the campground we headed to the overcast, gray beach. Grayland certainly lived up to its name! It was chilly, but the boys still had fun with the water and each other – a little bit of wrestling here, some push-ups there.
After Grayland we stopped by two more Washington State Parks. We recently invested $30 for an annual pass and are now officially “saving” money by not needing to pay the $10 day use fee. Our favorite spot was Westhaven State Park & Beach in Westport, WA, where it was sunnier and we could watch kite surfers do their thing. We could also look across the jetty-guarded inlet to Ocean Shores, WA, another favorite vacation spot. Aidan disclosed that one of his bucket list items is to walk the full length of the jetty rocks. Jack the Boxer would have been worried out of his mind seeing Aidan out on the rocks, so we tabled that challenge for another day…maybe.
While driving back home, we got in a little more homeschooling by listening to a history podcast that Ben has been a fan of for years – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Carlin is not a history professor, but a fan of history and a terrific story teller. Through his podcasts, history comes alive such that I cannot believe it’s the same boring subject I took in school. On this day, we listened to a “Nazi Tidbits” podcast, which discussed the circumstances that facilitated Hitler’s rise to power, tying in nicely with Aidan’s interest in all things WWII. Some tidbits I found fascinating – Hitler had wanted to be an artist or architect but was not accepted into Art/Architecture school (too bad, who knows how things might have been different) and even made a few dollars selling his watercolors to frame stores as the “stock” picture in the display frames. These podcasts are a fun way to learn history together!
After grabbing some groceries in Aberdeen, WA, we made it home in time for dinner, swimming and a bit more TV – America’s Got Talent – although our jury is still out as to whether the show’s title is accurate.
So, that was it. A typical day? Not sure yet. A great day? Yes. It felt great to do so much “normal” stuff – breakfast, exercise, (home)schooling – while still being able to get outside and explore as a family.
After two weeks in one spot, we’ll be be leaving our current location soon and heading to Idaho and beyond. We hoped being hunkered down for a while would allow us to work out the kinks and establish a new routine. We don’t feel like we’re there yet, but maybe that’s expecting too much. In fact, escaping our routine was part of the reason we wanted to do this in the first place.