As we drove through the rolling green hills then the thick woods of West Virginia, our excitement rose higher and higher with each mile. After all the months of hard work restoring the Airstream, after all the work to pack our things and sell our house, and after the last couple weeks of driving across the country, it was this very minute we had really been waiting for.
The plan had always been to travel full time not on our own, but with Tom’s brother and his family. They were ready to go months before us (apparently renovating an Airstream takes longer than you think.) So we had been heading east to meet them and holding out on our full feelings of being finished and settling into our new life until this very day…we were so very excited!
As we pulled into camp we were greeted with such a sweet housewarming party! They decorated and welcomed us with cheers, hugs and enthusiasm as they played “Country Roads” – a perfect song for West Virginia.
We had a taco feast complete with bacon-wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and Margaritas. We had a Champagne toast and shared heart-filled cheers to this new life. Before bed, cuddled under our tie-dyed sheets and vintage quilt, I turned to Tom and asked him how he felt, he simply replied, “happy” and we slept well with peace and joy in our hearts.
We spent the next week settling into our new normal. The kids quickly adjusted and are thriving. In my opinion, days like these are a perfect picture of what childhood should look like. They shot the BB guns and the slingshot. We rode bikes, hiked and played by the river. We stayed up late and learned new card games and laughed together with our extended family.
Juliette is 12 and over the last couple of preteen years I’ve watched her childhood slip away little by little with every fashion trend and the cool new thing she picks up and every toy she puts down. I’ve witnessed friends she made and things she saw that have made me want to just pull her close, keep her safe and keep her from growing too much too fast, even though I know it doesn’t really work like that. Watching her braid her cousin’s hair, build fairy gardens and play in the teepee has felt like a big beautiful pause button to hold on to this last sliver of being a kid and it’s everything my mamma heart hoped for her.
Where we Stayed:
Grandview Sandbar Campground, Prince WV: This was a gem of a place for a free campground that we found on Campendium. There were designated spots with lots of trees and space between each one. Each site had fire pits and picnic tables. There were lovely trails directly from the campground as well as river access. The downsides were that there wasn’t water, the pit toilets were rather stinky and there was zero cell service. It’s also worth noting that there is a train nearby. Trains are far from silent but it was far enough away that it didn’t really bother us. It was actually really cool to watch it across the river.