This Land Was Made For You and Me! Part 2

Sequoia National Park

With so many gorgeous State and National Parks to be seen in California, our travel agenda over Easter was simple. Park Hop. First destination was the wondrous Sequoia National Park, but before I share our journey, I need to have a Mommy moment.

As I sat posting pics of our trip, the song "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones was playing in the background. How perfect, and of course, I cried. Our everyday lives are so busy filled with all of the things that we enjoy doing (and some that we do not), but it's so important to have this time as a family to just be one. To share these visions of God's beauty while walking beside one another is a blessing in itself and I am so thankful! Just know, my angels, that I'll forever be asking you to Come Away With Me!  

you will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. isaiah 55:12

hiking Moro Rock

We took turns hiking Moro Rock because we did not want to bring our three year old on this excursion. While it is only a 1/4 mile in distance round trip, the climb is very steep. My eight year old daughter accompanied me on this exquisite hike and did very well! Should you have a need to rest, though, just tuck to the side and offer to take pics for the other hikers as you take a breather...that's always most appreciated! 

the Parker group

We must be visiting the right places because I find myself saying the same thing over and over, but it's true. We were in TOTAL AWE of the enormity of these trees. Like something out of a fairytale, we walked carefully with our heads tilted backwards and our mouths wide open. The magnitude of these trees is something I never imagined, and we knew we were mere visitors among these towering giants!

Meet me in the giant Forest: Visiting General Sherman

Tunnel Log 

The kids loved driving through and exploring the area around the Tunnel Log before dark. We had planned for two days at SNP, but the first day there was a fire and the entrance that we were at was temporarily closed, so we had to do as much as we could in one day. We were due to arrive in Big Sur the next day.

Reimer's Candies & Gifts was the perfect ending to our fabulous day in the park!

Our stay at club royal oak

While there are a couple of RV Resorts closer to Sequoia National Park, we decided to stay in Kingsburg, California, at Club Royal Oak which is about 45 minutes outside of SNP. We are Catholic and wanted to stay near a church, so that we could attend Easter services. The Holy Saturday Vigil at Holy Family Catholic Church was a beautiful, reverent, candle lit service that was standing room only. Arrive early if you want to sit in a pew and be able to fully participate in this beautiful Mass. 

Off the beaten path and away from road noice and traffic, the grounds at Club Royal Oak provided a nice little setting for our Easter Egg Festivities. Our neighbors even bought the kids bubbles which was a sweet gesture. I was able to get in a run around the grounds and that always makes me a happy camper! The kids also played down by the water for a bit each day and they enjoyed that. Two night stay here and then we were off to Big Sur!! (Be sure to read Part 1 of this entry because Big Sur has been my favorite RV trip so far, just being honest!)

easter Festivities on the road

bringing the real world back to the classroom! 

Look at Tripp in the pic on the left. He is the tiny image in the red shirt on the bottom right. So amazing! Appreciate that his teacher allowed him to share his experience with the class.

in his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:10

Disney Fort Wilderness Bound

Plane tickets for six plus rental car, plus hotel, plus baggage, plus dog boarding, plus all the things I'm not listing, too expensive! So, here is the way we choose to roll these days. Meet the 2014 Thor Motor Coach Ace 30.2 

RV travel: Thor Motor Coach 30.2

RV travel: Thor Motor Coach 30.2

After what seemed like an eternity of packing (it's hard to decide what shoes you are going to hide from your husband--packing tip #1 below in gallery!), it was finally time to begin our destination to the happiest place on Earth, Disney World! In addition to going to Disney World, we were so excited about our stay at The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and when it comes to campgrounds that place is amazing!

First up, a twelve hour drive to beautiful Kerrville, Texas, the heart of Texas Hill Country, where we set up camp for the night at Buckhorn Lake Resort. When I say "set up camp", I mean Joseph connected our RV to the campsite hook-ups, leveled the RV, opened the slide out, etc., while I typically tidy up the RV and get the kids ready for bed (no black water dealings for me--divide and conquer, my friends!) We settled in for a good night's sleep and thankfully, no one fell off the top bunk...excellent netting idea (see pic below), Babe!

We always try to get some exercise in before we hit the road in the morning and that's also the time that we really get to check out the site/amenities that the resort has to offer. And in case you are wondering, the one piece of equipment that I would NEVER leave home without when it comes to exercise and children is the B.O.B Sport Utility Stroller...oh, the places it's been! 

Buckhorn Lake Resort was the perfect stay for us--convenient location, beautiful grounds, excellent customer service, CLEAN comfort stations (I don't really like that term, though), and more! And guess where we stayed on the way back to Tucson? Yep, Buckhorn! 

And now, Boo's View

Lee Kids -1

HI! I'm Mary Rillens (the one in the middle) and I am 11 years old. My family and closest friends sometimes call me, "Boo".  I'm the oldest of four and typically Dad's co-pilot when Mom needs a break. Here is what I noticed about Buckhorn Lake Resort

  • It is cool how you can leave your trash out and the staff take it for you. Also, there are no stinky smells! 
  • The showers were great, clean, and by the pool.
  • They have two pools, one for adults and one for families with kids. I think they are heated, too!
  • The cabins look nice for a larger family and were away from the rest of the RV's and trailers, so it was quiet.
  • The grounds were clean, open, and pretty!
  • They also had a playground for the kids, plus you can go fishing right by the playground.
  • They had a mini mart and gift shop with great prices and desserts. Guess what we had? (For a hint, see Rien Rose's shirt in the top picture.) 
  • The only bad thing was that the restaurant was not open when we were there, so be sure to bring lots of food! 

Talk to you later! It's time to roll! 

Mary Rillens

we have arrived!

An Experience in Itself...The Campsites at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

What made our trip to Disney so memorable was having two totally different experiences in one! We stayed at a campsite at the beautiful Disney Fort Wilderness Resort. My husband had a conference to attend for a few days prior to us going to the Parks, so the kids and I were able to just explore and enjoy the beautiful grounds of this campground. Some of the outdoor activities include fishing, swimming, tennis, archery, horseback riding, arcade play, boat rentals, movies, sing-a-longs, and fireworks to name a few. It was just the relaxed, manageable, and beautiful setting that I desired for our family with the convenience of traveling to the Parks by bus or boat throughout the day. The Hubby and I were also able to get some training in which is always high on our priority list. We set the bikes up on trainers outside of the RV and also ran the gorgeous trails--a must!!  Humidity was crazy in July, but you adjust.  For a fee, you can pay to use the Health Club at Disney's Wilderness Lodge which is great, too!. We ate a few times at Trail's End Restaurant, but for the most part brought all the foods that we would need prior to arrival. One last thing, we chose a Preferred Campsite #929 and our loop location was very close to the Settlement Trading Post which I found to be very helpful for this fantastic "glamping' (glamorous camping) experience! 

Happy Trails to you! 

Magic Kingdom at Disney World

Making magical memories, Annie Pierce and her Daddy

Making magical memories, Annie Pierce and her Daddy

Aside from our time at The Wilderness Campgrounds, we visited the amazing Magic Kingdom where everything is a must see, Animal Kingdom--Festival of the Lion King is beyond fabulous, and then spent our last day at Typhoon Lagoon which was a blast! (Be sure to get there before the gates open, so that you can secure a shaded area around the awesome wave pool.) Our family's top favorites from this Park were The Surf PoolCrush N' Gusher, and the Shark Reef. There were tons of activities for the baby to do, as well, and even some that we all could enjoy together. It was just a great way to wrap up our trip!

Had a fantastic Disney vacation and we can't wait to go, again...just when everyone passes the height requirements!