Over the river and through the woods…

You may have heard on my various social media accounts, or if you’ve been anywhere near me in the past several months, but the Lapish crew is headed out on the open road in 10 days. We’re packing the three boys and two dogs into the car, driving to Pensacola, picking up a rented RV, and hitting the road for a month to see the country. To say we’re excited is an understatement; my 8 year old told me yesterday, “If we don’t leave soon I am going to EXPLODE.” I have games and books packed, notebooks full of reservation confirmations, endless lists written everywhere (“to do before we leave,” “to pack,” “to see/do along the way,” “capsule wardrobe” for each family member, etc). SO MUCH TO DO BEFORE MAY 25, y’all.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about our trip, so I thought I’d answer a few of them here, and let you know how you can follow along on our journey. Ready?

Where all are you going?

We’re starting in Pensacola, then on to New Orleans, then Houston, Austin, Lubbock, Albuquerque, Mesa Verde, Antelope Canyon/Horseshoe Bend, The Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, up the Pacific Coast Highway to McWay Falls/Monterey, San Francisco, Sonoma, Yosemite, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Fort Collins, through Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and back to Pensacola (gotta return that RV!).

How do you plan something like that? 

With a lot of guts and grace. There are so many unknowns; I’ve had to learn to let go of my need to control every detail. Roadtrippers.com is an awesome resource, and I’ve done most of my planning there. Pinterest has been great for helping me find blogs by people who have done this kind of thing before. I’ve left a few “flex days” in our schedule to accommodate for things like unpredictable traffic, tired cranky kiddos, and tired cranky parents (let’s hope to avoid those things!!).How come you can just take off for a whole month??

I work from home and make my own schedule. McGee works remotely and can work anywhere there’s data/wifi. So we’ll both be working from the road (some days; we’ve worked in vacation days throughout to help us relax and bond and enjoy the journey). I’ve booked sessions all along the way (which makes this trip tax deductible, and also helps finance it!), and I can’t wait to photograph families in new and fun locations.

As far as the kids are concerned, we’re leaving the same day they get out of school, so no one is missing any school, sports, or activities.

^^^My actual husband on an actual family outing during spring break, kicking ass and taking names on the clock.

The dogs are coming with us, and Cersei the cat (“squish” of #squishandpup) will be holding down the fort at home (she’ll be well looked after!! Don’t worry!!). We will miss our cozy house, but it will be looked after faithfully. 

How will you do laundry?

I have a big bag of quarters and a bin of detergent. Every RV park we’re staying in has laundry facilities, so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to keep clean. 🙂

Speaking of keeping clean…How do you plan on keeping clean?

Our RV has a shower! YAY!!! Also, we’ll have shower facilities every night at the campgrounds – so plenty of showering venues.
What about food? 

The RV has a full (TINY) kitchen, with microwave, oven, stovetop, fridge, and freezer. We’ll be doing plenty of cooking for ourselves. But never fear – we will be dining out from time to time to enjoy the local cuisine! True story: as I looked through all my lists of “must do” items in the main cities we’re exploring, somewhere around half of the items were local donut shops. So apparently we’re making an epic tour of the nation’s best donut establishments. I WILL REPORT ALL MY FINDINGS. I take this job very seriously. What about sleeping arrangements? 

There’s a “master bedroom” in the back of the RV that will, obviously, be for the hubs and me. In the main living area, there is a loft over the two front seats, and the dinette converts to a double bed. We’ll let the kids work out amongst themselves who sleeps where. And just like at home, I’m sure the dogs will be in bed with us.

How do you plan what to pack? 

Space is extremely limited, so I’m packing as minimalistically as possible. I’ve been using the Stylebook app to help me visualize outfits and what pieces would be most versatile to pack. I’m an EXTREMELY visual person, so just writing down what clothes items to take isn’t sufficient for me. In the app, you can put together outfits based on the items in your closet, see stats about usage, and make packing lists. It’s a visual learner/OCD sufferer’s dream come true.
As far as other stuff goes, my priorities are Things That Keep Us Entertained and Things That Are Strictly Necessary For Life. Everything else falls by the wayside. In the first category, I have a packing cube just for games, which includes Uno, several decks of playing cards, the Minecraft card game, the Oregon Trail card game, our Tabletopics set (we seriously love this), The Game of Things, and a few other random games. We have a case of art supplies. Each kid has a bin with their own things; top items include Harry Potter wands, notebooks, favorite legos, and headlamps. Diverse, I know. We also have a bin of playdough, bubble wands for stress relief, a giant beach frisbee, sand toys, and goggles for all the pool time. 

Strictly Necessary For Life includes every medicine known to man (let’s please avoid all Urgent Care visits, kthanxbai), chargers for all devices, daytimer, reservation notebook, first aid, flashlights, Eno hammocks (last Christmas will forever be known as The Christmas of The Eno Hammock, as every relative we have accidentally bought us the same thing. We love them!!), laundry supplies, dog food/leashes/toys, and of course, our clothes. The RV is fully stocked with linens and kitchen utensils, which is a huge relief not to have to worry about.

Where will you be staying? 

Mostly campgrounds with RV hookups. We have a KOA membership, which isn’t the most luxurious way to stay, but they consistently have pools, showers, and laundry facilities, so sign me up. 

How can I follow along? 

I’ll be Instagramming quite a bit. I plan to use a LOT of IG stories/IG live to share along the way, but also traditional posts. I’ll be blogging as well (fingers crossed, anyway! Blogging sometimes eludes me) right here.

I need a hashtag to keep all our trip posts organized and easily accessible – any thoughts?? Please suggest some! If we choose your suggestion, you’ll get one of our trip photos (your pick!) as an art print. Leave your suggestions below in the comments!

To be continued….


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  • Val


  • Bekah Larson

    Trip title ideas (since you have young wizards):

    Pursuingtheflightytemptress_Adventure (Dumbledore quote)

    Or to go Brene brown route: wildadventuresinvulnerability