Late Departures and Casino Parking Lots – Living the #RVlifestyle

Just about a month ago, we were a bit eager to be on our way south.   With the dropping temps in Canada, things were getting a little chilly in the old RV.  Nothing on the RV had frozen yet, but it was only a matter of time.  So eager were we that we would not be stopped by the snow falling or the darkening sky as we left (as usual) later than planned.

The next day, after a restful nights sleep in a casino parking lot somewhere south of Seattle, we arrived in the familiar and wet town of Cannon Beach, Oregon.  Warmth is a relative thing and we found ourselves reveling in the above freezing temps on the coast.  We thawed out declaring triumphantly that we were going to wear flip-flops while dodging the rain between the RV and the front door of my good-as-gold old friend Lizzy Spiger’s (now Liz Menke’s) house.

The iconic Haystack Rock – I grew up with this as an image associated with spiritual growth and summer breaks.
Lizzy and Jason’s Bakery and Coffee Shop. It’s worth a detour.

The rain didn’t phase us one bit.  After being in work mode in Canada and Napa during the harvest this was a lovely little vacation weekend.  We walked on the beach (in the rain), ate at Sealevel bakery (Lizzy and Jason’s bakery) EVERY DAY… and it was DELICIOUS!, spent evenings with her family and got a bit of school done.  The girls loved making some new friends (Lizzy’s super fun kids) and we loved reconnecting with Lizzy and spending time with her husband, Jason.

Southbound we were though, so after a quick stop in Ashland, Oregon at my Uncle John’s, we were off to work in Napa.  We driveway surfed a bit, saw beloved friends, checked a few doctor appointments off the list, worked on a few projects in Napa and then, it was time for family.

My family – my whole family, is hard to get all in one place.  This is the product of three siblings all with kids; one living in Montana, one in Hawaii and then, there is me…  So, being all together is a special treat.  For Thanksgiving, we were all together at my Mom’s Mom’s home ranch in the Sacramento River Delta.  Oma turned 99 so we celebrated her, got to see lots of our family and generally ate tons and played even more.  Evenings were peppered with charades, a spontaneous joke night, command performances, and sing-a-longs.  Oma even recited a poem.. seriously?  At 99 she recited a super long poem.  Now that is a life smackdown.

The Bruce and The Isa flashing smiles on Thanksgiving day. For the record. Poppy DID throw Isa on the couch… it may be the last recorded incident. “Poppi, trow me on du couch”


Aunty Kim Joined!!! She was the star of the show naturally, a true Master of Ceremonies and held court with all the kids angling for her attention. Loved having her and her boyfriend Colin join in the celebrations.


The McKendry Clan

Sadly, this couldn’t last forever and it was time for everyone to fly home.  Cameron and I stayed a few more nights.  We didn’t want to go against our reputation and actually leave on the day we had planned to leave.

So, late one day we left the Delta, bound for Arizona.  After one lovely night in yet another Casino parking lot, we arrived at the beautiful Organ Pipe National Monument, our jumping off place into Mexico.  If you read this previous post, you know a little about this spot.  Again, we were enchanted by this special part of the world for all the same reasons.

A word about Casino parking lots and Walmart.  Cameron and I have never been big fans of Casinos or Walmart.  We try to avoid gambling and retailers that put moms and pops out of business.  But in our RV?… well…  When we are traveling we usually do about 5 – 6 hours of actual drive time.  For us, this feels like ALL DAY.  We get up, make breakfast, pull in the slide and start driving by about 10 am.  We sleep… a lot.  We may have a stop or two and stopping for lunch is a must whether we make it or find a local eatery.  By about 6 pm, we are hungry for dinner.  We don’t need a picnic table, green grass, and a hookup.  All we need is a flat place to park that allows for overnight parking.  At 32 ft we are rather conspicuous and can’t just park anywhere.  Walmart and Casinos tend to be a safe place which allows RV’s to drop the hook for the night.  This is a wise business practice as we have probably darkened the door of Walmart more than we ever had before.  Casinos?  Well, we have been tempted by the $2.99 all-you-can-eat breakfast, but we have refrained, they have yet to see a penny.

We have just spent a fast and furious week in Mexico, transferring all the RV stuff back onto the boat, measuring stuff, making lists, inventorying and much more.  The girls have been amazing troopers, sticking to a great schooling schedule and having fabulous attitudes.  We had a few other little adventures with a ladder and with the Policía Turística…  They both left us lighter in our wallets.  But hey, that is the cost of doing business right?  All I can say is, good thing Cameron can cry on command.

We hope you have all had a lovely Thanksgiving with your families and friends.  We are certainly Thankful for so so many things, not least of which, is you.


We celebrated Isa’s birthday. She, Cameron and Fiona made this cake… It was delicious.


She wanted to go roller skating for her Birthday so we all went to the same rink that my mom used to go to as a girl. Classic.


For Oma’s 99th, I painted a Family Tree. Let me know if your name is not spelled correctly, I can fix it:)


From my nature journal during our time at Cannon Beach.


  1. Bruce McKendry says:

    Enjoyed your update…as usual.
    Especially enjoyed seeing Lizzy and her cute kids. I take it her husband’s not so cute??? No pic. (insert smiley face)

  2. Elizabeth Vianna says:

    Love reading your blogs and adventures. You are an extraordinary quartet!!! Lots of love to you and many great travels ahead to you!

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