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“That There’s An RV” — Our Little Adventure

2017 July 10
by Becky

FamilyRV-FourthofJuly

Here’s hoping everyone has had a wonderful holiday…you know that recent one that for some reason spanned two weekends because of it’s Tuesday occurrence?

We did our annual visit to Nebraska before the holiday and I’d had my fill of explosions by Monday. Fireworks didn’t stop filling the sky until yesterday.

I’m officially becoming a fireworks scrooge.

But as you can see from the picture above, we changed things up a little this year by means of a new mode of transportation. This RV rental idea was Stu’s, let’s call it a bucket list item. He planned this trip all by himself for about six months and was SO excited.

I was terrified.

Let’s be honest, that thing is HUGE. But I agreed it seemed like a great opportunity since we were doing things a little more “rural” this year (that’s right, MORE rural. In Nebraska) so I let him plan away and before we knew it, the big day was here.

BoysRV-FourthofJuly

Since they’d been hearing about this for months, the kids were stoked. They climbed aboard ready to party. They initially buckled in but with the idea they could get up and move around while we made our first four hour drive—rookie mistake.

Two hours in, things got super stressful. It was dinner time and the kids were up and down and asking for things constantly, I was full-on car sick from getting up every three minutes to help them, Stu was still getting the hang of driving this beast so he missed a turn, and we realized exactly how dangerous it is to stand up in a moving vehicle.

I know, we should have known better, but this was our first time. We learned fast. We stopped for the night a little earlier than planned because I may have demanded Stu stop on the side of the road so I could call an Uber to take me home. (His response: “I don’t think there’s Uber in the middle of Missouri…”) Finn was overtired and in a full blown screaming tantrum, and it was starting to rain. There may have been a tornado siren in the distance.

We found a place to stop—a Walmart parking lot right of the interstate—and got everyone to bed. Funny thing, while several RV sites had recommended Walmart for overnight stops, we pulled in to find a sign saying “No overnight parking”. A quick pop into the store got us the unofficial permission to do so and we were extremely grateful. We were nestled between several semi trucks, all hunkered down for a torrential downpour that lasted all night.

Wine was consumed. Things were good again.

FinnCarseatRV-FourthofJuly

The next day, we started fresh with a new rule: Finn in a carseat, Ethan in a seatbelt. We did eventually let Ethan sneak back for a nap in his bed. It was MUCH better, even while Finn fussed for a solid 1.5 hours about our adjustment. The boys snoozed and watched movies and played with stickers until we arrived at our destination: Burwell, Nebraska.

BunkHouse-FourthofJuly

Wide open spaces in what can only be described as the middle of nowhere. I knew it was beautiful at the time, but it wasn’t until I edited the photos that I remembered just how incredible that sky really was.

BunkHouse2-FourthofJuly

Endless blue with fluffy clouds was our daily backdrop for all things outdoors: fishing, splashing in the river, paddle boating, walking up the road to visit the little farm of ducks, peacocks, and chickens, as well as bonfires and water balloon fights. And eating. OMG I ate so much.

The kids were in heaven.

EthanAnnette-FourthofJuly

And Ethan got to spend a whole week with one of his favorite people in the world, cousin Annette. Though they see each other only once a year, they are like twins, playing together each day until they dropped from exhaustion. I’ve never seen two kids get along as well as these two.

FishingWithDad-FourthofJuly

Smores-FourthofJuly

Though the driving was tough, the RV more than served it’s purpose as a cozy place for our family to sleep. It was like we brought our own hotel room! Between the RV, three cabins, and a tent, this little fishing camp slept 30 people…it was quite the crowd.

After three nights in “cowboy country” (that’s what Stu’s grandma calls it), we headed back to Lincoln for more cousin fun, including Finn’s first firefly hunt! He’s usually asleep by 7:30 so waiting till almost 10 for those silly bugs to start lighting up was a stretch. He filled his jar and tucked it next to his pillow for a “night light”. No big surprise, the jar was somehow opened and a dozen fire flies set up residence in the RV with us for a couple days. Most were caught and safely released.

FirstFireflies-FourthofJuly

FinnTrev-FourthofJuly

We parked the RV in front of Stu’s aunt and uncle’s house and slept in it every night amidst the sounds of fireworks throughout the neighborhood. Our kids are great sleepers anywhere, but it was nice for them to have designated beds every night of our trip, a place to pass out after playing so hard all day.

If you’re curious, here’s a look at the RV inside…panoramic mode gives a pretty good idea!

RVInside-FourthofJuly

At the far left corner of the picture is the bathroom and fridge. This is the RV “popped out”, meaning the side is all the way extended. You close that up to drive.

There was a full kitchen with stove and oven, but I doubt I’d ever be inclined to use them. Anything you cooked would smell up the whole place and the last thing we wanted to do in this tight space was wash dishes. The shower was pretty awesome though! The toilet was convenient but pretty disgusting and sometimes smelled bad. Stu had to dump the “black water” once and I steered clear of the situation…yuck.

So would we do it again? I vote no. It was very uncomfortable to ride in this thing. It was loud and bumpy all the time, so if you are at all prone to car sickness, run screaming from this option. If we drove more than a couple hours in it we got off feeling dizzy and still rocking, like we’d been on a boat. Plus, having all that space is just too enticing to kids, making them want to move around. I think we’d opt for pulling a trailer next time, either behind my SUV (so a much smaller one) or behind a rented truck (if that’s a thing). Everyone comfortably strapped into seat belts/car seats and a smoother ride while still having the luxury of a nice place to sleep would be ideal.

But it was an adventure nonetheless!

Who else has gone crazy and rented one of these beasts for a vacation? How was it? 

One Response leave one →
  1. Linda Johnson permalink
    July 11, 2017

    Great pictures Becky! It was so much fun and the kids had a blast! (hahah, a big blast)
    Thanks for coming to the wild west of Nebraska! Missing those grandkids!!

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