Valentine’s Day

We have a long-standing tradition in our family: we always go to Panera on Valentine’s Day. It started either right before or after Andrew was born and we don’t usually miss.

Well, there is no Panera in Las Cruces, so we went to La Posta de Mesilla. Mesilla is an historic part of las Cruces that dates back to the Wild West. The restaurant is famous for its history and its food. 

Christmas in San Diego

Christmas in San Diego was a lot like Christmas back home. The kids were up early and we started the day by going through the stockings that Santa filled for the kids. After stockings we had our traditional breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes. Then it was back to the tree to open the rest of the presents. Normally at this point we spend a few hours playing with our new toys and then head to the Reagens’ for Nate’s Birthday, but this year we had to settle for a 15-minute skype session late in the afternoon. That was definitely the strangest thing about being on the road.

Christmas Eve in San Diego

Holidays on the road are interesting. We haven’t found another family to hang out with in San Diego, so we pretty much do our own thing the whole time. 

For Christmas Eve that meant finding something to do in the afternoon, to take advantage of being in San Diego, and then the usual church and Christmas lights at night. 

We went to an organ concert in Balboa Park, that ended with a Christmas sing-along on stage.
The kids loved playing with bubbles from a street performer.
We went to church in Chula Vista, in a community that is still building their permanent church.
After church we found a place to drive around and see the Christmas lights. They take it very seriously, with a special street sign and traffic flow.

Christmas Eve



Susan had the good idea of looking up some holiday lights in Palm Springs, so we could cap off our day of decorating. She found Robolights, which was awesome. Words cannot describe the scale of this place, which was at a private residence just a few blocks from downtown Palm Springs.


Christmas Decorations

Traditionally we decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, or as soon as we are home after Thanksgiving, if we are traveling. This year was no exception. We had already bought a small tree and some decorations at our last stay so we were all ready for the decorating. The kids were very excited to listen to Christmas music and to decorate.

Lucia, Rose, & Mari decorating.
Elliot hanging an ornament.

RV Thanksgiving

One of the strangest things about being on the road is celebrating major holidays. Normally we spend most of Thanksgiving with family, but on the road it is just us. We try to make the most of it. Today was easy because after spending the morning doing food prep, we were able to spend the whole afternoon at the pool. It was definitely a different Thanksgiving.

Pandowdy Prep
Susan & Rose
Trying to fit through the fence.
The Menu
Dinner Aftermath

Halloween in Santa Cruz

Halloween in Santa Cruz

We had a fun Halloween in Santa Cruz! We asked a few locals for the best things to do and our plan ended up working out well. In the afternoon we went trick-or-treating in downtown Santa Cruz. They close down the street and all of the shops hand out candy. It was fun and crowded. 

Trick-or-treating in downtown Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Thriller flashmob

After downtown we headed back to the RV for a break and dinner, walking tacos. Then it was on to ‘The Vineyards’ a neighborhood just down the road from our RV park. Holy Cow was it busy! We saw a few people walking there as we approached and as we turned into the neighborhood it was just flooded with people. We found a nice place to park and spent about 90 minutes there. 

Trick-or-treating in Scotts Valley

This year Mari was definitely the leader, directing us where to go and keeping everyone moving. Elliot and Lucia stayed up with her. Andrew would have, but his costume forced him to move slowly so he usually lagged behind with me, Susan, and Rose in the stroller. Rose would ride in the strolled in between houses and when we would approach the house she would hop out and run up with the other kids, who were always eager to help her out. Rose ate most of her candy as we went, so we tried to skip as many houses as we could, for her.

A good shot of Elliot’s boat.

Pumpkin Carving

Last night we carved pumpkins. It took a little longer than normal because we did not have as many carving knives as we usually do. The kids had fun and Lucia especially had enjoyed helping to clean out everyone’s pumpkin.