Sarasota, FL: Paul and Nicole

We drove straight across the state of Florida … from Vero Beach to Sarasota, and arrived at Paul and Nicole’s house. Some of you may know Nicole as “Mrs. Pivec” of Golightly Place. When we arrived, we were greeted warmly with a chalk drawn “Welcome Friends” in the driveway. :) An entire crew of people answered the door when I rang the doorbell, and we got to meet everyone, including Paul’s brother’s family, who was down visiting from Minneapolis for a month.

That night we had a delicious meal…Nicole is a wonderful chef, and their family is vegetarian. We sat out on their back patio and enjoyed the fragrant orange blossoms as the smells wafted through the night air. We had big plans to go to the beach the next day…but when we woke up, it was raining. And the forecast said that there would be more “soaking” rain. We didn’t want to take the chance, so we had a day of thrifting and grocery store shopping. Before we headed out though, I got to use their VitaMix to make my green smoothie…weeeee! Love it. Later on, we made some magic carrot juice…oooooh the carrot juice! :)

Speaking of food, we also went to Veggie Magic (owned by Jenna Norwood of Supercharge Me!). It’s a new raw restaurant in Tampa and we were excited to go! We had a great time taking it all in…checking out all the raw goodies. One of my favorite things was the caramelized onion “bread”…but later on we found out that it didn’t really agree with our digestive systems :) hee hee. We had “living” pizza, a Mexican green wrap, curried cauliflower, and raw apple crisp. Delish!

On Easter Sunday, we enjoyed visiting their house church (which they just happen to live right next door to!)…and a crazy egg hunt in the backyard. Paul and Nicole’s home backs up to a small pond…which they assured us only has one small alligator…sometimes :) There are other exotic birds (or so it seems to us) and lots of lizards too. They have an orange tree, grapefruit tree, mango tree, and avocado tree! It was like the Garden of Eden! :) I’ve never had an orange straight off the tree and it was like juicy heaven. It was such a beautiful setting…perfect for celebrating the resurrection of King Jesus! After all that excitement, we had a potluck brunch, and then at the last minute decided to head to the beach!

I am sooooo glad we did. It was a GORGEOUS day at Siesta Key, which was just a short drive from their house. We were able to get a lot of sun, build several sand castles and get in a few boogie boarding runs by Bella. It’s just so relaxing being at the beach. It’s not something I’m familiar with…growing up in Iowa. I could lay there all day reading and listening to the sound of the waves. As we were leaving, we were able to see a drumming circle starting. Yet another thing that I could listen to all day! I love drums. We arrived home sandy and tired…but it was so worth it!

Bella really enjoyed playing with the “big girls”, whom she lovingly called “Friend” because she could never remember their names :) (i.e. “Hey FRIEND!! Where ARE YOU??!). They spent a lot of time on the swings and the trampoline. More swinging practice for Bella. I think we might have to figure out how to attach a swing to the RV!

Thank you to the Pivec Family for opening your home and hearts to us! Our Florida visit was wonderful!

Photo album here.

Composting on the Road…Help!

One of the best things about staying at the farm was their giant compost pile! Whenever I have access to a compost pile, I am absolutely giddy. You can imagine how many scraps and peels we produce while eating raw…it’s amazing. I try to keep it, so we can dump it strategically, but not everywhere we are staying has a compost pile. We’ve been very blessed that FOUR families have had compost piles this month…it’s been great being able to dump it.

However, this isn’t always the case. We are currently searching for a composting solution that is RV friendly! We found the NatureMill…and that is my DREAM composter! I saw one in person at Dwell Smart in Charleston, and oooooh how I loved it! I want one desperately…but alas, they are a little too spendy for our little budget. If you are looking for a composting solution for a small space, do check it out!

I have also looked into vermicomposting, but found that the temps need to stay in a range that probably isn’t do-able in the heat of the summer. I have even tried collecting it in bags and bringing it to coops, etc. who compost, but most will not take it unless it’s their own scraps.

We need your help! If you have solutions for us, we’d love to hear them. We need a way to store the scraps until we find a compost pile…or, preferably a way to compost it ourselves. C’mon all you green thinkin’ people…I know you have ideas!

Vero Beach, FL: White Rabbit Organic Farm

We first heard about White Rabbit from our friends, Jim and Rene…they had done some workamping there. You can read about there experience here. We were going to be passing right by it, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. The farm is located down a long dirt road, just minutes from the ocean. The road itself was so washboarded…I was catching falling items in the RV all the way down! When we arrived, we introduced ourselves to Valerie and Brian, the owners, and also to Mike and Nick, who were living there and working for a short time before they headed on in their own travels. They provide housing and meals in exchange for work on the farm (similar to WWOOFing).

Matt got the RV parked and then got on his work clothes so he could pitch in with whatever they had for him to do! There is nothing Matt loves more than a good project to dig into…so he was in his element! Bella and I enjoyed the farm atmosphere…we checked out the goats, sheep, chickens, and dogs. It was so nice to have the open space to just run and play games and play. The sunsets were heavenly and the orange groves smelled delicious!

We had a great nights sleep…and woke up to a very loud and persistent rooster right outside our window! Now, I’m somewhat of a chicken/rooster fanatic, I’ve always wanted some of my own. I love being around them…and actually don’t even mind having one as an alarm clock! Bella loved checking out the rooster and his hens too. I think they inspired her to scratch in the dirt…because she did a lot of that while we were there…creating masterpieces like this one.

Valerie and Brian also run a farm store there on site that is stocked with organic produce and other natural products. It was so much fun to load up our fridge with an abundance of organic goodies…especially knowing that our money was going DIRECTLY to the farmer! The tomatoes were like candy…and the lettuce mix so tasty!! I loved that they have a self-service/trust based system…people would come and go all day, writing out their own ticket and leaving a check. There was just something so earthy and old fashioned about it. Good stuff. In addition to that, they produce biodiesel on site and sell it. Matt was able to spend a lot of time with Brian talking about biodiesel vs. straight veggie and learning how his system worked. He had a GIANT stockpile of veggie oil…it was amazing!

Bella really hit it off with Mike and Nick…she loved their dogs and was always wanting to take them on a walk. They were so sweet with her and would always stop to engage her in conversation. She, of course, had a million questions about everything that was happening at the farm. It was a learning experience for everyone!

While we were in town the first night, we ran into another traveling family, Anna and Nathanial. They had just arrived in Florida after a long trip from Ohio…so we invited them to come over to our place for some showers, food, and movies. We had a delightful time talking, laughing, and eating…and stayed up LATE! It was a fun night!

We ended up staying for 2 nights…and it was one of the best unexpected stops of the tour! They work SO HARD at the farm, doing something that they are passionate about. It was completely inspiring. Thank you to Brian, Valerie, Mike, and Nick for welcoming us with open arms!

Photo album here.

Edgewater, FL: Kevin and Lori

Kevin, Lori, Justin, and Josie are old friends of ours from Minnesota. Kevin was the youth pastor at Matt’s church in Brainerd, and now is the youth pastor at a church there in Florida. They were only the 2nd family that we’ve stayed with on the tour that we’ve known them in real life (not just online) before we arrived! It was a super quick stop…just an overnight stay, but we were able to catch up, show them the rig, spread some green/raw food love, and then hit the road again. We loved the huge palm trees in front of their house and all the crazy lizards and birds that reside in their backyard! Thanks for the hospitality guys…it was so fun to see you!

Photo album here.

Savannah, GA: RVTV

RVTV contacted us several months ago about doing an interview/filming while we were on the road for their upcoming eco-travel segment. Of course, we were thrilled to be able to spread the love and branch out to a wider audience! Our schedules just happened to align perfectly to meet up near Savannah, GA. We did the interviews over 2 days and we had a blast getting to know Rob (the host) and Paul (the cameraman extraordinaire), and can’t wait to see the show, which will air sometime this summer (stay tuned for details!). During the shoot, I made some green smoothies and raw chocolate brownies for them…I think they were surprised and delighted that they tasted really good! :)

We spent 3 days on Tybee Island…enjoying the beach (which was just 3 blocks from the campground). It was a very relaxing stop…time to catch up on some family time (of just the three of us!) and to enjoy Savannah. We didn’t spend too much time in town, however, because it was also St. Patrick’s Day, and Savannah has the 2nd largest celebration in the U.S. after Boston. It was a little busy out there! We were able to check out the Brighter Day Foods (tiny, but fabulous!) and Kao Thai Cuisine. Be sure to check out both on your next trip to Savannah!

Photo album here.

Statesboro, GA: Matt and Laurel

Three Boys and a Cute House in Georgia
“Three boys?!” Bella exclaimed as we pulled into Statesboro, GA…”I don’t like boys!”. I assured her that boys are super fun and they love to play games and run outside…and that she would have a wonderful time. I didn’t lead her astray…we had a lovely stay with Matt and Laurel, and Bella was warmly welcomed by Caedmon, Landing, and Bauer…the three young men of the house. They taught her how to get dirty, run fast, jump high, and swing until dark!

Statesboro is a quaint little town of 25,000 with big trees and big hospitality. Home of Georgia Southern University, it’s the ONLY city in the U.S. by the name of Statesboro…and if you travel much, you know that pretty much every state has the same city names repeated over and over! I love fun little facts…so there you go.

New Friends and Pumping
The first night we arrived, Laurel had arranged for a potluck with her friends and family. We had a great time showing them the RV, feeding them raw snacks in the RV, and watching the kids run wild in the backyard. Speaking of that…they have an amazing wooded lot (a beautiful place to park for a few days!) with a large swing set, trampoline, and other toys. Bella has been working on learning how to “pump” on the swings, and it was in Statesboro that she mastered the art of getting herself up on it by herself and launching herself into a full swing by just using her legs (no help!). We were so proud. :)

During the rest of our time there, the kids spent most of their time in the backyard playing. If they weren’t outside, they were up in the boys’ room playing house or doctor. Bella was thrilled to find new friends who loved to PRETEND and PLAY as much as she does.

Laurel and I have been online friends for a long time…and we had so much fun chatting the days away. I helped her (and her friends) try on some of my non-traditional baby carriers (such as the Storchenwiege, The Kozy), The Kangaroo Korner Pouch, and The Hotsling. Babywearing is definitely a passion of mine…and anytime I can help make a mama’s life easier, I jump at the chance!

Feelin’ The Love
A few days before we arrived in Statesboro, I received an email from the friend of a friend of Laurel’s. :) Her name was Kim and after checking out our site, she generously offered to give me a free one hour massage while we were in town. Of course, I jumped at the chance. I met her at her office early one morning that we were there, and had the best massage ever! Then, I accompanied her to her yoga class…taught by a retired English professor, Fred. It was my first “real” yoga class and it was both relaxing and energizing. Combine that with the massage, and I was set up for the perfect day…I was practically floating. After the class, Fred and two others from the class took me out for lunch at a local cafe. It was so fun to chat about life, seeking simplicity, and travel.

Kim has trained with Dayna at New Day Yoga in Atlanta, which I think is the only Christian yoga certification in the country. Kim gave me a copy of Dayna’s CD, Yoga Basics, which walks you through an entire session of Christ-focused yoga…perfect for going yoga on the road. Thank you so much Kim! Click here to open the order form (in .pdf) to order your own.

While Kim is a restorative yoga instructor, her main focus right now is The Omm Center. She is the founder of OMM Center and leads Still Journey, a mind/body/Holy Spirit experience utilizing OMM Center’s Still Journey CD. The practice combines restorative yoga, breath-work and guided imagery to relax the body and mind, and is followed by 20-minutes of contemplative (silent) prayer to strengthen your spirit. Check out her website here.

Other highlights of Statesboro:

Coffee Night: Laurel and I enjoyed a mama’s night out and went for coffee. We got there around 10 and stayed until they closed…then we went back to the house and talked more! It was a late night…but we had SO much fun chatting and getting to know each other better. We talked A LOT about raw/living foods…and held a mini class in the RV. I taught Laurel how to make almond milk and green smoothies. Yum yum! Before we left Laurel decided to take the Happy Food Raw Challenge…and has been doing amazing on it! Yay Laurel! She also just ran her very first 5K…go girl!

Life Coaching and Photos: I had the opportunity to do some life coaching and a photo session while we were there…it’s such a joy to be able to do something that I am so passionate about. I do life coaching (and raw food coaching) by phone as well…book your consultation here!

Jeep Rides: Matt and Matt went out for a ride in Matt’s restored CJ7 Jeep…now that’s trouble :)

Center for Wildlife Education: We met several of Laurel’s delightful friends and their children at a nature center on the Georgia Southern campus. It was such a fun time…my camera battery died, so I only have a few that I took on the iphone, but be sure to check out the photo of Matt and Bella posing with the python. Good stuff.

Good Grease: Matt found TONS of good grease at a local restaurant…so we left Statesboro with our tank filled the brim and then some. Speaking of grease…after we left, I got an email from Laurel saying that they had purchased an old/restored Mercedes diesel to convert to run on veggie oil! Spreadin’ the love baby! We’re excited to see how it goes for them.

American Idol: We’ve loved American Idol over the years…but never get to watch it anymore. We had a fun time watching the TIVO’ed version while we were with Matt and Laurel :) Nothing like some AI for a relaxing evening!

Overall…we had a wild and wonderful time in Statesboro! The scenery was beautiful, the company was divine, and the grease was clean. Three for three! Thanks Matt and Laurel for everything…happy grease hunting and raw eatin’!

Photo album here.

Charleston, SC: Eric and Kristi

We arrived in Charleston just in time for Matt to take off for the church to meet Eric for a young adult worship night. Eric is the worship pastor at East Cooper Baptist Church…so he and Matt had a lot to talk about! Kristi and I stayed at home with the kiddos and enjoyed getting to know each other “in real life”. She and I have exchanged many, many emails and it was so fun seeing her face to face. She is a stay at home mama and web designer….among other things. You can see her blog here and her business, Poco Creative, here.Eric and Kristi’s home is delightful and their kids are so fun! The oldest, Lydia, is just a little older than Bella…so as soon as we walked in the door, they were off playing. Steven, their middle child, is possibly the biggest sweetie ever…check out the photos and you’ll agree! I loved how he called Matt “Mr. Matt”. That is something new to us … in the Midwest we don’t call people Mr. and Miss the way they do in the South. We’ve caught on quickly though! Mr. Matt and Miss Sara in the house! Hee hee. Their youngest, Meredith followed the kids around all weekend yelling “Ella!!….Ella!!”. She wanted so badly to be a part of the big kid’s action!

There was never a dull moment with so many young kids running around all the time! They especially loved to come into the RV and just “be”. The RV is especially attractive to children…I think because it’s a small home and it’s the perfect size for them. It almost feels like a playhouse! Steven would head straight for the driver’s seat every time he walked in…he felt so big and grown up in that spot! Our bed is often turned into a “playroom” and the girls were quick to find the Polly Pockets and dress up clothes and had a party going on back there much of the time. Eric and Kristi have a great yard too…and the kids spent time running and playing in the sun. It’s so nice to finally be in warm weather…sunshine makes everything better!

On Saturday, we had a demo at Earth Fare. We were located in a really busy parking lot with lots of surrounding businesses, so we had a great flow of people and interesting conversations. A young lady named Sarah brought her mom and friends to see the RV…Sarah had interviewed us a few days prior for a newspaper she writes. We enjoyed chatting about all kinds of green things, and also how our faith and environmental concerns mesh together. She’s just one of the many cool people we had the chance to interact with that day…I wish I could write about them all!

We headed to downtown Charleston, where they took us out for an AMAZING dinner of Thai food at Basil Thai Restaurant. If you’ve been following along on this blog for awhile, then you know of my obsession with Thai food. Oooooh how I love it…Matt loves it too, so I’m lucky! If I’m going to eat cooked foods; I want it to be Thai!! The green curry with tofu is my favorite…although the traditional pad thai is a close second. Oooh…I get hungry just thinking about it. Eric ordered some mango sticky rice to go…and we all nibbled on that as the kids played outside. We had never had sticky rice before, and it was very tasty!

After supper, we explored the downtown a bit and then headed down to Folly Beach. We had been told by several people that Folly Beach was the BEST beach on the east coast. We got there just at sunset and it was, of course, GORGEOUS. And COLD! We’ve been freezing cold during all of our ocean experiences…someday we’ll actually get to be in some warm water. Despite being cold, the HUGENESS of the ocean is always sobering and awe-inspiring and brings to mind how vast the hand of God is and how far He reaches. Throughout our tour, we have been reminded over and over of His artistic creations in nature. Amazing.

On Sunday, we brought the RV to Eric and Kristi’s church and had a demo there after each of the services. East Cooper is a fabulous church, and if you like to listen to online sermons, be sure to check out their pastor, Buster. He’s passionate about what he does…and is a dynamic speaker. The weekend we were there the sermon was called “A Life of Abundance”. Check out their sermons here.

On Monday night, we did demo for their small group that meets at their home…we had a great time sharing with them about the tour and our thoughts on green living, possessions, Christianity and how they all mix. We also had some great discussion about healthy eating and raw foods.

On Tuesday, on our way out of town…we all went to The Sprout, a raw restaurant in Charleston. It was totally random that we even found out about it…I saw it announced as “Best Burger Made of Seeds” in The Best of Charleston issue of an alternative newspaper. The Sprout is owned by Chef Mickey and his lovely wife Caroline. They moved to Charleston from California…Mickey worked at CafĂ© Gratitude while there, and Caroline was a yoga instructor and had her own business as well. You can read more about them here. I’ve read a lot about Cafe Gratitude…we will definitely be stopping there when we get to San Francisco! I’m excited to get their cookbook as well. When we walked into The Sprout, I knew it was going to be a great experience! It was bright and spacious and I could just smell the deliciousness! Mickey greeted us and after we told him what we were doing (the tour, raw foods, etc)…he brought us back for a little tour of their operations. Have you ever seen a dehydrator this big? Wow.

We met all of their friendly staff…including Aaron (who has a sweet tattoo)…he and his wife, and their 2 kids just got back from WWOOF’ing in Hawaii. Talk about a dream! We’ve looked into WWOOF’ing and it was fun to talk to him a bit about it. His wife has an Etsy store called Myopic Visions selling her felted wool goodies…she has a buy one, get one free sale, so be sure to go check out her stuff!

Our meals were predictably amazing and we enjoyed them thoroughly! Their nut burgers are out of this world. Yum. I had the pad thai…and it inspired me to get my own spiralizer for squash/zucchini so we can have pad thai noodles too! Wow. After we ate, the whole crew came out to the RV for an impromptu demo … along with the team from Dwell Smart, a green living store just next door. They have a huge variety of all kinds of green goodies. I could get lost in there for hours!

Mickey surprised us as we were leaving with a HUGE box of organic produce (apples, oranges, kale, celery, ginger, cucumbers, and more) and every kind of raw cookie, burger, desserts, crackers etc. that you can imagine. We are still eating the giant bin of flax crackers that he gave us…what an amazing blessing! To top it off, he gave us 2 travel mugs that are made from corn! We were so blown away by their generosity and kindness. Thank you to The Sprout team for fueling our bodies with delicious raw goodness and for spreading the raw love around the Charleston area. If you are nearby…go in and see them today!

Charleston was a blessing of abundance for us…abundant fellowship, abundant fun, and abundant FOOD! Thank you Eric, Kristi, and kiddos (and everyone else we met!) for being our “temporary neighbors”…and friends for life!

A rather large photo album here. :)

Lexington, SC: Mike and Aimee

We arrived in Lexington, SC on a beautiful afternoon…greeted by little faces anxious to see a big blue bus arrive in their driveway! Aimee and her crew were ready and waiting and helped us get settled…we felt so welcome (especially when we walked in and saw this!). Aimee is the amazing mama who writes the blog Living, Loving, and Learning Simply (which I know many of you read faithfully!). She is every bit as amazing in person…and her house just as organized! Mike and Aimee were previously on staff with Campus Crusade for 10 years before moving to Lexington.

Soon after we got there, people started arriving for the potluck (including Mike…husband to Aimee and loving daddy to the clan!). We had a delicious spread of goodies and great fellowship. We met so many wonderful, passionate people and had a such fun talking late into the night about everything from raw food to travel to ministry. We had the chance to meet Rebecca and her family…Rebecca was a huge help during our planning process and helped to set up our demo location at 14 Carrot. We also met Bjorn and Michelle and their daughter, India. This lovely couple met in India doing ministry and are now in nursing school. I had the opportunity to capture them before we left town.

Aimee and Mike took us out for a DELICIOUS meal at Miyos. The veggies there were the freshest I’ve ever seen! It was great. The kids all had a fun time learning how to use chopsticks. After that, Aimee and I headed downtown to Earthfare, where the Holistic Moms Network Open House was being held. I talked with some really fun moms there, and even got a free chair massage. Aahhhhhh! Bliss. I enjoyed a fresh carrot, juice at their juice bar and went grocery shopping before we headed out into the raging thunderstorm. We barely made it back to the house before the electricity went out and stayed out for quite awhile! Luckily, our solar bank powered our 12 volt power and we continued to have electricity (and our generator would have powered us beyond that)…one of the joys of RV living! Of course, we might have blown away in the storm, but at least we would have lights on inside to enjoy the ride!

Our demo in Lexington was at 14 Carrot, a locally owned health food store. Ed and his team welcomed us and we got set up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had an extensive raw foods/ingredients section. I was able to pick up 3 different varieties of dates from The Date People, raw carob powder, and other raw goodies. I was in raw heaven! During the demo, we had the chance to meet some truly wonderful people! Gwen and her kiddos came by to say hello. Gwen has read my blog for quite awhile and it was so great to meet her face to face! She made Bella and I the cutest grocery bags from t-shirts…Bella asks to use hers everyday. :)

We also had the chance to talk for several hours to Melissa and her 3 boys, as well as Katie and her 2 girls. Both of them are into raw food…in fact Melissa and her family have been raw for over a year! It was so cool to see a family who is passionate about raw foods and is so full of life and energy. Her boys were so excited when I pulled the dates out of the fridge! What fun. Katie and her husband just got back from a year at IHOP in Kansas City and we had a nice time talking about their experience there. That’s the International House of Prayer, not the restaurant! :) I’ve been in contact with these mamas back and forth a few times since leaving Lexington. It’s so fun when we connect that way randomly at a demo…God brings us such beautiful people on this journey.

While we were there, Matt spent pretty much every day, all day working on Mike and Aimee’s master bathroom, which he tore down a wall and installed white bead board throughout. It’s now a gorgeous getaway for Aimee and she loves it. Matt LOVES doing projects…so if you have some (and you’re on our tour route), contact us.

Bella had so much fun playing with Aimee and Mike’s kids…they are a delightful and inquisitive bunch. We especially had fun doing a little mini yoga/stretching class in the backyard in the sunshine and playing on their swing set. Bella also loved all of their princess “gear” and good DVD’s!

Our time in Lexington, SC was so relaxing and filled to the brim with new friends. And now we’re off to another South Carolina gem…Charleston!

Photo album of all the good times here.

Florence, SC: Coming “Home”

After we flew back into Raleigh from Minneapolis, we headed back down to Florence, SC where the RV was parked (see our previous visit here). Becky and Rocky had generously offered to let us park it there for the 2 ½ months that we were gone.

Becky is absolutely one of my most favorite people in the entire world. For those of you who are new here…Becky is the one who did my dreads back while we were in Boulder, CO. She is one of those people who when you are not with them, you really, really miss them deep down in your heart of hearts. She has such a gentle, sweet spirit and is so completely unique. She is a talented artist, a grace-filled mother, and generous friend. She makes me laugh so hard…especially when she is impersonating the Canadian Border Patrol. Oh my word. Every time I watch that now…I can’t watch it without dying laughing, thinking of Becky impersonating him all around the house (“I can’t go back! It’s so cold!”).

We had decided to spend an additional 2 weeks with them in Florence…because we love them, and boy did that time just fly by! I suppose it was probably the closet thing we’ve had to true communal living … and of course that is a dream of mine, so it was delightful. It was so fun to have someone to share every moment with…and yet have our own living space. Bella and Lilli became best of buddies…and even now I catch Bella saying things with a little southern accent, just like Lilli :) It was great for her to have a friend that we didn’t have to say goodbye to in just a few short days!

In the mornings, we enjoyed our leisurely family routine of making green smoothies together. On several mornings, I would step out our door and into their back door to give the lovely Becky some green goodness of her own. Over the weeks that we were there, Becky and I shared many delicious raw meals together, mock tuna, mushroom sushi rolls with citrus miso dipping sauce, chocolate smoothies, quinoa tabouli…and the infamous “magic carrot juice”. Oh my goodness. Since we’ve departed Florence, Becky has continued on a raw diet and has gone gourmet on me! She taunts (encourages :) ) me by calling and telling me all of the amazing raw treats she’s making in her dehydrator…but she did say she would mail me a raw care package with some of them! :) Yay!

Rocky and Matt had some fun times together as well…they both play guitar (Rocky runs a music store), so they had plenty of time to play. They also installed a dishwasher…and only made a few sparks fly (ack!!). They enjoyed some “boy movie nights” together and in general, had fun picking on all of the girls.

Some of our favorite memories from Florence:
• The Rope Swing…this was definitely Bella’s highlight of the entire 2 weeks. She LOVED that thing. Even the adults would get in on the action…Rocky would break out the ladder and we would stand up on top and jump off into a blissful “weeeeeeeee” across the front yard.
• Yoga class with Becky…I had wanted to learn more yoga so that I could use it while we are on the road to relax and stretch. Becky has been practicing yoga for quite awhile and taught me the basics and blessed me with a yoga mat for me and for Bella. We have having so much fun with it!
• The Midnight Rooster…we went here on our previous visit and just had to go back and see the lovely Jessie and her amazingly cool coffeehouse. She serves up a mean salad…yum yum! We had the pleasure of meeting several more of Becky’s friends while we were there. So fun.
• Out For Coffee with The Girls…the night before we left, we headed out with the girls. Becky’s friends Tami and Ranney helped to keep the conversation lively. We talked about raw food, travel, dreams, our futures…it was a night I thoroughly enjoyed. Becky and I also spent another night listening to music and sipping tea at a local coffee shop the week before…laughing so hard and finding the jackpot of all banana hunts.
• The Hammock Chair on the front porch is something that I DREAMED about when I was freezing in the -50 windchills of Minnesota. I love hammocks and I love front porches. I loved to sit here and just think. One day, Becky came out and read short stories to me as I closed my eyes and rested in the sunshine. What a good friend.
• Worship Night…we were able to enjoy a night of worship at Rocky and Becky’s church. It was the first night they had it…a mixture of art, music, poetry, and scripture. Becky did colorful large drawings on stage DURING the singing portion of the worship and it was so powerful and moving. I cried! Matt and I both had such a powerful time with the Lord there…it was such a blessing for us.

It was so bittersweet to leave Florence. On the one hand, we were definitely excited to get on the road again and continue the tour…on the other hand, we had SO MUCH fun with Becky, Rocky, Lilli, and Juniper. We will always remember those days with fondness…such sweet fellowship.

Photo album here.

Raleigh, NC: Back Again!

Our first time through Raleigh, we had a wonderful dinner with Jen, Patrick, Luke, and Lauren…but we were short on time and were only able to spend a few hours with them! We knew we wanted to spend a little more time getting to know this great family when we came back through.

Jen graciously offered to pick us up from the airport when we flew in from Minneapolis. We landed safely, found Jen, arrived at their house and enjoyed a wonderful meal. We spent the night in their guest room…which is something we haven’t done for awhile on the road (we’re always in our RV!). We had a great time making green smoothies (and talking about raw food eatin’!) together the next day before we headed off to Florence.

Jen dropped us off at our car (parked at Bart’s work)…and we found that the battery was deader than dead. After quite some time, we got it running and we were off! It was a quick but GREAT visit with Jen and her family.

Photo album here. Both visits included in this set.