Counting Stars- One Republic
Banana Pancakes- Jack Johnson
Ain't Enough Blacktop- Rick Huckaby
(Because music is the perfect backdrop for everything...click on the links above to listen)
Last year, my husband and I set out on a search to buy a camper. I have wanted one for years and always thought it would be great to have a seasonal campsite. It was so fun to look around and a much-needed distraction in our lives at the time (a few months after Kacie passed away). I have always loved to go inside the campers and see all the different types and am in awe of how fancy they have become. This time, we really were in the market to buy one and it was so exciting. We looked at a ton of RV dealerships and pictures of hundreds of campers on Craigslist, and finally found the perfect one for us. It had only had one owner and it was immaculate. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was the one I wanted and it didn't take me long to start figuring out how I could decorate it. Decorate a camper? I know, sounds crazy but camping is not what it used to be. Here are a few pictures we took the day we went and looked at it. It is a 32 foot Jayco Jayflight model with a bunkhouse and an outdoor kitchen. (I had to learn all that lingo...this was all new to me.) It sleeps about 10-12 people.
When we picked up the camper in Columbus, we took it straight to Spring Valley Campground in Cambridge, Ohio, which was on the way home. We wanted to learn all the ins and outs of hooking up the hoses and leveling the camper, etc. so we left it there for two weeks. We had a few chances to camp during that time and I LOVED IT! Of course, we knew nothing about owning a camper but I didn't let that intimidate me. I started getting on YouTube and watching videos to learn everything I could. There is so much information out there; I seriously think someone could learn to be a doctor by watching videos online. I also got lots of advice and help from a very kind neighbor.
After a thorough cleaning, I was itching to decorate and organize. With the hopes of seasonal camping for next year on my radar, I wanted to make the camper feel like our home away from home. Naturally, I wanted my decorations to reflect my personality and the way I would decorate my own home. I also knew that with a family of eight plus guests, it would have to be super organized. I found some great videos online with suggestions and got some great ideas from Pinterest too. One channel I found extremely helpful on YouTube was Becky's Feathered Nest, which has some great ideas for homes and RV's. She too decorated her camper and had everything meticulously in order. I took notes (nerd alert) and then got started. Here are a few pictures of our first outings as new campers.
Fall quickly came and our abbreviated camping excursions wrapped up for the year. The campground didn't have a seasonal site available so we couldn't leave our camper there. We hauled it home and put it in our yard until we could find winter storage. All winter, I prayed that a seasonal spot would open up at Spring Valley and at the end of March we were notified that we got one. I was ecstatic! A few weeks later, we hauled it back to the campground and set it up on a "permanent" lot. While we waited for the weather to break, I started to plan for all the things we would need to do to establish our lot and make it look nice. If you have never driven around a campground, people put decks and landscaping, outbuildings, lights, and all sorts of upgrades when they are staying awhile.
It is now June and we have begun our first full camping season. Of course (for all you "real" campers out there), we know that it is more like "glamping". Don't judge. Our campground has a pool, wifi and cable. Like I said before, it is our home away from home. I have been stayed a few times so far and am writing from my camper as we speak; it is ABSOLUTELY my happy place. There is a peace that exists here and a comfort I can't explain. We named our camper "Kacie's Dream" because she, out of everyone in our family, would have loved having a camper the most. In fact, she wanted to ask for one from Make-a-Wish so she could live in it at the beach when she got older. I so wish we would have done this while she was still here but in an odd way, I feel like it is honoring her to provide our family with this opportunity...the chance to be outside and to embrace the beauty of nature. To see the kids running and playing, fishing and catching bugs. These are all the things that she would have been doing. I feel close to her when I am here, as crazy as that probably sounds. Maybe it is because the sights and sounds I experience when I am here take me back to the times before she was sick. Maybe it is because I feel God's presence magnified through nature. Maybe that's where the unexplained peace comes from. Here are a few pictures of what our camper looks like now and a few more pictures of some of our recent outings.
I am so anxious to see what this summer brings and what kinds of tales we will have by the end of the season. We have tons of work to do this season to our site that will pay off in the years to come. I will take tons of pictures and I have started keeping a journal each time I spend the night here. I hope you will stick around and read about our adventures in camping! In an upcoming post, I will go into detail about how my RV is organized in case you need some ideas for your camper or other small space. Until next time...
Hello and WELCOME to my site! My name is Amanda Yates and I am a 41 year-old mom of six children from a blended family. I am a middle school teacher and a passionate follower of Christ. In my "free" time, I love finding and decorating my home with country antiques, organizing, studying scripture, and making every attempt to get my life "just right." I am blessed beyond measure!
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