My name is Andrea and I want you to know a little about my wonderful family. We are a blended family of 7. I have 3 children, Nick (23), Aidan (17) and Lily (15) and my husband has 2 children, Kailey (23) and Cullen (20). My husband, Sean is a Finance Manager for a large international company and I am an Advanced Practice Nurse serving the mentally ill, previously homeless and individuals with substance use disorder. When we blended our family our oldest child was 11 years old. We have been together many years and have so many fun memories of doing things as a family. Also a part of our crew are 3 dogs named Tatum (13), Charlie(9) and Hank(4). We have one cat named Bill (7). Aren’t they cute???
My husband and I have fallen in love with camping! We started taking our kids camping more than 10 years ago. It was the occasional tent camping weekends at local state parks. Then, the kids became teens and had other interests, so we packed the camping gear away in storage. Little did I know that I would be pulling those items out of storage. But, for reasons I could have never imagined.
My older brother was a camper, fly fisherman, mountain climber, white water rafter, hunter, hiker, skier and overall amazing outdoorsman. He passed away suddenly in 2014 at the age of 50. He had a massive hemorrhage of his brain stem, called a pontine stroke. As you can imagine, this was a terrible shock. Making this situation even more devastating was the fact that we were arguing at the time of his death. In the first years after his passing, I found myself looking for ways to feel closer to him. I was overwhelmed with anger, guilt and regret. I needed to find a way to honor him, to always keep him close in my memory.
My husband was very excited about how I planned to honor Mark’s memory, as he has always loved camping and the outdoors. I have been more of an “indoor girl”for most of my life. We started our adventure with a couple of tent trips bringing a couple of the youngest kids with us. By the way, I have the utmost respect for those who can tent camp! My brother could pop a tent anywhere and set up an amazing campsite. He would have rolled his eyes if I told him that I wanted a RV. He would have then proceeded to tell me “that is not real camping”. But, I am pretty sure that he would have popped his tent next to our RV and stuck around.
How it all started….
We started with a 16′ travel trailer and caught “the bug”. We were going out several times per month, joining clubs and meeting a lot of people. At that point, we were camping so frequently that we knew we wanted to take longer trips. We wanted to be able to include friends and family, so we upgraded to our new class A. I think the “indoor girl” stepped in a little on that decision. We are now camping twice per month in our little house on wheels and loving it…..well, almost loving it……
There are certainly challenges when navigating this BEAST! Yes, my 27.5′ motor home is a beast…..for us newbies at least. Kudos to all of you 35′-40′ drivers. I can tell you that based on the past 2 months, this will NOT be us. Hop on over to Sean’s RV Challenges Corner. You will get a glimpse of my husband as he is trying to NOT KILL US!!! https://rv-camping-adventures.com/seans-rv-challenges-corner/