Sunday, November 2, 2008

What a Long Strange Trip its BEEN

Moving on from TX where we spent about a week we drove pretty quickly through Louisiana. We had intentions of touring New Orleans but instead decided to drive and drive and drive to get to Florida as the kids were wanting to see their cousins and family more than site see.
What we did witness in New Orleans was the damage that still exists three years later from hurricane Katrina. We got lost in a badly damaged area and it's something both John and I will never forget.  There were entire neighborhoods that were abandoned. John pointed out the spray paint on the front of the houses to indicate when a house was searched for survivors. It was a very overwheming feeling to be there but I believe God allowed us to experience this for a reason.  If nothing else that we should never forget the people that lost their lives, their families and their homes in this tragedy.
 We drove quickly through Mississippi and Alabama. Not that there weren't wonderful things to see and do in each state just that we were feeling the need to get settled in Florida before having this bouncing baby boy.
Last Saturday we pulled into the Melbourne FL, area around 4 pm. A bitter sweet feeling for John and I as this meant the end of one chapter in our lives and the beginning of another. All three of the kids said they were ready to stop traveling for now and have not said contrary to that since we have been here. 
We are currently staying at an RV park across the street from the Ocean at Indian Harbor Beach. We surprised our family by showing up a week before they expected. It was really wonderful for the kids to see their cousins again and to be with my sisters after so long was a beautiful moment.  My parents suspected we were coming early but none the less were excited to see us as well.
It is odd not driving the RV but living in it knowing that we won't be doing much traveling in the near future. But we have so much to think about with  a new baby and John looking for work that we know we are where God wants us right now. A new season in our lives. 
I am not sure how much I will blog on here now that we are parked and I do apologize for not writing on here for two weeks. It has been very busy with a flurry of new activities that more closely resemble normal life. 
We want to thank everyone for the prayers and interest in our journey. You have all been in our heart and traveled with us. We appreciate and love you all so much. 
Onward and Upward 
The 5 soon to be 6 Cashmans       

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Pictures of everyone waiting to board the Grand Canyon Railway, the lovely Grand Canyon, Another view of the Canyon and the train robber on the way back from the Grand Canyon.
We had a fantastic time with mam and pap. The week really did just fly by. When we got to the Grand Canyon area it was so cold that at night the temperature was a balmy 13 degrees. We were in shock when our hoses froze for the water supply. My parents were in total disbelief and dad had a hard time getting warm. The day we left for the Grand Canyon was chilly but not too bad. The train ride there was fun with cowboys singing to us and entertaining both there and home. We had a few hours to tour the canyon, not enough really but at least the kids and mam and pap got to experience the overwhelming beauty of it. It is truly surreal to the naked eye.
Once we left the Grand Canyon we drove south and returned to Phoenix. The weather there was spectacular to say the least. Again lots of swimming and skatepark riding. Mom and Dad left us on Tuesday evening late as they caught the red eye home. It was sad to see them go I know the kids really liked having them here as did John and I. They are so supportive and loving in all their ways. Thank you for everything mom and dad we love you. Look forward to seeing you real soon.
Now we are in western Texas and man there isn't much here but driving through this part is necessary to get to our destination of Florida. We are at a really nice state park in a city I don't even know how to pronounce. We arrived late last evening after spending the previous night in El Paso, TX.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still loving AZ

Pictures of Bowen and Dad, Dad and kids and slide rock. Sedona skatepark.

We picked up my parents on Tuesday at the PHX airport and my were we all excited to see them. The kids were about to bust they were so happy. Their flight arrived on time and from the airport we drove back to our RV. This campground in Phoenix was by far one of the nicest we have been to. We were happy to share this current location of our home with mom and dad. For most of the day we hung out and talked in addition to swim in the cool pool waters.
The next day was John's 37 birthday. We ate cake again for breakfast and gave him his presents. We swam again and went to the skatepark. One of the best we have visited. It was a moderated park so the kids had to get passes to skate but it was worth it as it was well maintained. We then took John out for his birthday dinner where he was so happy to be sung to by the waiters and waitresses-NOT.
We left Phoenix on Thursday and behind it the gorgeous hot weather. We are now in Sedona, AZ where the views are stunning but with 50 mile per hour winds this morning and temps in the 40's my parents are having a hard time adjusting being the Floridians they are. My dad is asking if we can skip the grand canyon and head to the south of AZ. I am assuring them it will be worth one day of frigid weather to see what God has made for their enjoyment. I hope this works or we will be heading south again. HA HA.
Yesterday I had a midwife appointment the last one until we hit Florida. Everything is fine and our little boy seems to be growing just fine. The midwife herself was pregnant with her fourth and was very accommodating to our travel situation. I really liked her and would use her to deliver this next baby if we would be hanging out in Sedona.
We took the kids to Slide Rock State Park yesterday. This is an 80 foot natural waterslide through the redrocks in Sedona. Needless to say I don't have to tell you how cold the water was. It was a beautiful area and Gabe really liked sliding down the rock. Bowie not so much and Jadon did it one time. Then we had to hit up the local skatepark. It was a really nice one and gets the vote for best backdrop. The landscape was to die for here.
Today we are headed to Williams AZ where tomorrow we will take the train to the Grand Canyon. We'll let you know how that turns out.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Pictures are Gabe riding in the desert, Kids at the skatepark in Moab, Monument Valley, the dog for the day and Bowen on his 5th birthday.

From Moab Utah we drove south through Monument Valley and spent the night at a campground on the Navajo reservation. It was stunning with all the red rocks around and the huge rocks that formed the landscape. We inherited a stray dog for the night and oddly enough looked just like the stray John and I took home from our trip years ago. The kids loved playing with him, feeding him and taking him for walks. He even spent the night outside of our RV. They were sad to say to goodbye to him the next day but we prayed over him and hoped he would be protected in his nomadic life.
We made it to Flagsgtaff Arizona the day before Bowen's fifth birthday. It was a shock to have such cool weather in AZ. I had no idea it would only be in the 50's here. Bowen enjoyed his day with a cake, presents and a movie. Hard to believe how fast five years goes by.
Now we are home is in Phoenix. I was able to go see a friend of mine from graduate school last night. The first familiar person other than the family that I have seen since we left PA. But tomorrow my parents will arrive from Florida to spend the week hanging out with us. The kids are so excited I am not sure how they will get through this next day. We will be sightseeing in Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

Yesterday was our 100th day on the road. How exciting that DREAMS DO COME TRUE. We are at our 50th campground and we have driven over 8100 miles.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Utah is Rocking

Pictures of the four Cashmans in the Colorado, Bryce Canyon Hoodoos, Window Arch at Arches NP, and John and Bowen near Balancing Rock.

Bryce Canyon in Utah was an awesome display of God's handiwork. We took the shuttle throughout the park, apparently more environmentally friendly, and hit a bunch of the overlooks that are most popular. We watched the movie first at the visitor center so that the kids and adults both could understand what caused this amazing park. If you don't know what a hoodoo is this is where you find one. They are found in these deep amphitheaters filled with these flame colored rock formations called HOODOOS. At this campground we had a little glitch in our water system, as some plug broke and caused a temporary water shut off. But my amazing husband found what he needed at the local car repair shop and had it up and running before I could finish the laundry. This was even on a Sunday in the middle of nowhere Utah. What a guy.
From Bryce we drove the three hours in order to get to Moab, Utah where Arches and Canyonlands National Park is located. Moab was one of our favorite spots when we traveled on our first trip so it was great to bring the kids to this beautiful small town. This whole area with its red rock canyons and towers of rock formations is just to difficult to explain. Another one of those you gotta see it to believe it places. And if you have been reading this blog for any length of time we have had quite a few of those. This being one of the many reasons we wanted to share this American countryside with our children. Pictures just don't do these places justice.
Last night we visited Arches National Park. This place has the highest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world. This area is known to many people whether they know it or not by the over 500 movies and 1000+ commercials that have been filmed here. Think Thelma and Louise, City Slickers and John Wayne movies and many car commercials. We went went the sun was setting so it really provided dramatic light effects on the rocks.
Today we went white water rafting. We reserved our spot last night for a half day tour down the Colorado river. The kids thought this was the best and really liked riding the rapids and getting splashed over and over. They even got to get off of the raft and swim through a rapid called TRASH COMPACTER. I watched from the raft and did notice some looks of panic but overall they enjoyed it and John made it back in the boat after a short time spent UNDER the raft. This raft trip was a gift to Bowen for his fifth birthday coming up in a few days.
If you love to mountain bike, off road with a 4x4 or go rafting Moab is the place to be. There are even trails right from our campground to ride your dirtbike or ATV soooo, Gabe has been antsy to get that 65 out is these here dessert trails. Next we are headed south toward AZ in hopes of seeing some more of the beautiful southwest.

Friday, September 26, 2008

These pictures are of the lions at MGM, we were under them looking up through glass, Gabe at Lake Elsinore mx track, J and Bowen in front of New York, New York in Las Vegas and the skateboard competition in CA.
Our last few days on the coast were lovely. We attended a skateboarding competition in San Clemente and more time on the beach. From the coast of CA we headed to Lake Elsinore where the MX mecca in the US is located. John and Gabe rode on the track and were able to see some pros riding as well. All of the factory tracks are located out here but we couldn't seem to find any. From there we headed to Las Vegas, NV. We past through the Mojave Desert on our way and man did it get hot. In Vegas we had to use our air conditioning, our first time in months. The temperature was well into the 90's. We did go into Vegas and saw the lions at the MGM and walked through the New York, New York Hotel/Casino. These facilities are enormous and unbelievable in their attention to detail and appeal. Vegas however is not a place for kids and we had to do a lot of explaining about inappropriate things that were thrown in your face, like it or not, so we didn't spend any more time in the downtown are. The kids loved swimming in the pool and Gabe skated at a local park. Vegas alone has 11 skateparks.
Now we are in Utah near Bryce Canyon. Our plan is to visit several of the National Parks in Utah before heading to AZ to meet up with my parents.
One word of advice, if you ride bikes in Utah, don't ride in the grass. Last night after bike riding we have a total of five flat tires on three bikes from thorns hidden in the grass.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

California Dreamin

Pictures of the Santa Cruz skatepark, Natural Bridges State Park, Johns tattoo (see the J's on the inside?) and the boogie boarders.

From San Francisco we stayed for three nights in Santa Cruz. This was the city in which surfing was brought to the US by the Polynesians. We got to watch the surfers in their wet suits taking in the big waves, as the seals and sea lions sat on the rocks and howled. It was still to cold really to hang on the beach although we did that for a few hours at the Natural Bridges State Park. John decided to get a tatoo in honor of his little girl since he read good things about the tattoo parlor in Santa Cruz. While he got hammered with needles for two hours me and the kids went to the local skatepark. It was a great park with a little bit of everything.
We settled on the idea that we would continue down the coast instead of going to Yosemite. I had read that many of the waterfalls there were dried up this time of year so the CA coast won out. Our next stop was at Pismo Beach. This was our first go at boondocking/dry camping. That means no electricity or water. It was not bad and the location of being only a few feet from the ocean made it worth it. Jadon gathered tons of sand dollars here and all three kids had a blast boogie boarding. I still couldn't get out of my sweatshirt as it was too chilly. Sometimes I think our children are part eskimos. This was a beautiful place to spend our 13th wedding anniversary. Our kids enjoyed the day playing in the sand and getting along wonderfully so it really was a date for us on our special day.
Our next location was south of Santa Barbara and just as lovely as the previous. Here the kids were able to explore the tidepools with sea anenomes, starfish and shore crabs. Again they boogie boarded for hours. Our camper was steps from the sand and we could watch the water from our front window.
Now we are living just about and hour north of San Diego. It is warm and sunny here and it is a surfers paradise. We are debating going into San Diego or heading east.
The kids are getting excited to see their mam and pap who will be flying out in Oct to visit us in Phoenix. They are staying for the week and we will be visiting Sedona and the Grand Canyon. It will be wonderful to spend time with people we know and love. We are hoping to get to Utah before hitting AZ.
Today is clean up the CA coast day so we are planning to hit the beach and pick up some trash.