• sparkfireswan

A&A Week 30 Life Updates & Happy Holidays From The RV!

Updated: Jan 13

End of Week #30


Jamaica Beach RV Resort, Galveston TX


Miles traveled since last week’s post = 0


Total miles traveled to date = 4,884 with trailer


Merry Christmas Eve Eve! Can you believe the last holidays of the year are here already!? It has seemingly appeared in a blink of an eye this year, and this holiday season couldn’t be more different than any other one we have ever known. I’ve had a hard enough time remembering what day it is each morning when I wake up, and all day today I had to remind myself that tomorrow is already Christmas Eve too!


Today was a picture perfect day here in Galveston, without a cloud in the sky. Adam and I walked down to the Bay in the back of the RV park and noticed a lot more families and campers pulling in this afternoon. Seems as though a lot of people have decided to escape for the holidays. 🙂


On our way back to our site this afternoon we received a surprise package from our dear friends back in MN. And two Christmas cards too! Such a simple way to put a smile on our faces today and make us feel like we are connected with everyone back home.

End Of Week 30 Life Updates & Happy Holidays!


In spirit of Christmas this week we are keeping thing simple and providing some life updates for you all. I will also let you know how we will be spending the week too!


7 months going strong


But first things first …. Last Friday, December 20th, we celebrated 30 weeks in the RV – and reached the 7 month marker. We have spent more time living in the RV this year than in our ‘old life’ with our townhome in Woodbury, MN. The memories of this year are now more heavily reflected from a couple hundred square feet of a wobbly box moving across mountains, deserts, sand dunes and ocean shores – than from the stable walls of the city we lived in for almost 8 years of our relationship.

To celebrate our new milestone, we went to happy hour in Galveston on Friday and over the weekend we took the Bengal babes to the beach! They had never seen the beach or ocean before and in my mind I had an image of them frolicking in the surf and perhaps chasing after seagulls too, ha! However, if you saw my Facebook post then you know that is not at all how this experience went – and it was an experience nonetheless. At least we tried it! I think they were more so just confused as to why we went in the van and worried we were making a long trip, so maybe next time we will wait to do it when we can just walk out to the beach instead.


Celebrating Christmas in Galveston


Now don’t you worry – we won’t be missing out on celebrations this week, and we even started them early last week with the RV Park Holiday party on Thursday. Adam and I showed up about 6:55 PM, for a 7:00 PM start… to find out we were the very last ones to arrive and we had to walk into a room full of like 50+ people with all eyes on us because the announcer had already started announcing things too. (We were also very much so the youngest people there besides the owner’s children.) It was only minorly embarrassing and was quickly forgotten when things started kicking off and everyone ate food and picked a present to open. There was more than enough snacks to go around and we played a weird style of “white elephant” with the gifts. But we had a ton of fun and met some cool new people too!

On Christmas Day this week we will kick things off with some more impressive holiday RV meals by Chef Adam – he will be making another seafood spread (apparently our new tradition for holidays). Over the weekend we went down to the Port/Bay area where all the cruise ships are and picked up some scallops and shrimp from a market right on the water. Then later in the afternoon on Christmas there is a social mixer here at the RV Park for those that don’t have family gatherings, so we will definitely check that out too!


It will be a sad week to be away from family – normally we go to 3 different Christmas’s over the course of 2 days. But this year we will most definitely video call them all to check in and say hello. All the other holidays we have been away from home this year have not felt as sad as this one, but I’m doing my best to remember that we are doing something new and exciting this year and creating our own new memories. (Plus we are taking time to pause and not rush rush rush everywhere, which is a nice change of pace!) Our family is very understanding and obviously misses us too, but we know they are happy for us!


One thing is for sure though …. I really don’t miss the snow or the cold! I am just fine with Christmas lights on palm trees and white sand at the beach this year. 🙂


Where to next?


I always make plans and they of course always change! Originally we were going to stay here in Galveston until January 3rd, but that would require us to switch sites for just 2 days, so instead we are just going to depart on January 1st. We also originally were going to just head towards Austin, TX after this but now we will actually be going a little further south for the first few weeks of the New Year.


After much consideration and asking for opinions from the Full Time RV Living group we are in on Facebook, we will be camping out for 2 weeks at Mustang Island State Park on Padre Island and the National Seashore. We have heard super great things about this area and Port Aransas too. I have been to South Padre Island before in college, and I am excited to go back to this area to explore more. We just want to do our best to avoid cold weather for as long as possible!


After that we will definitely head up near Austin, and check out San Antonio and this amazing Elephant Sanctuary we learned about from my mom’s cousins Rusty & Chris. From there we will make our way over to the western part of Texas to Big Bend National Park before finally departing Texas near the end of January.


Updated (tentative) travel route & plans


Moving on after January, I am still trying to solidify how we will tackle Arizona and New Mexico. The problem I’ve been facing is that Arizona will be MUCH warmer than New Mexico during February and again we want to avoid the cold for as long as possible. So we hope to try to do another month stay in southern Arizona for February or mid-February to mid-March (if we can find a good park that isn’t just 55+ age limit or isn’t a million dollars), and then probably a nice circle effect to get us back into New Mexico and around northern Arizona. Our route is going to look goofy but it’s the only way to make it all happen. 🙂


I’ve also been spending a lot of time working on the route we will take to travel up the west coast to the PNW – and then onward to Montana. Our route will take us back through to the Badlands and family in South Dakota – which we are very excited for. Then next late summer we will head back to our home state of Minnesota for a bit as I am making it a goal to go to the MN State Fair next year and to spend Labor Day weekend at Sturgeon Lake. We will also head back to Stone Lake, WI to spend some extended time before the snow flies and we have to rush down south again. The plan, as of now, is to spend several months in Florida next winter staying as warm as possible before tackling the East Coast and East side of the country.


Here is an updated scribble map of what I’m trying to plan out:

In case you missed the link to the route we have already taken, you can find that here: Map (Includes our next destination at Mustang Island State Park.)


You may notice that so far it looks like we are skipping states like Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas… maybe even Oklahoma… and you are correct! They aren’t in the plans right now, so we will probably just have to figure those ones out later.


Do you know the way to Sante Fe?


Some super exciting news for us is that we recently learned that two of our closest friends will be moving to Santa Fe, NM in late January!! We have not seen them since July and obviously miss them a ton. They are not huge fans of the weather in MN and now have jobs lined up that they will be relocating to. They will be nice and settled by the time we arrive there – likely around March when the temperatures rise a bit. Adam and I are super excited to see them again and in their new element. It will be such a fun experience for all of us, and they can then show us around and explore the mountains with us too!

New website coming for Spark Fire Swan!


On a more technical note, I wanted to let you guys know that I’m creating a new website! I started Spark Fire Swan just about 2 years ago, on January 1st 2018. I had no idea (& still don’t know) what I’m doing and picked WordPress as a site host because it was the only one I had heard of before. Honestly, it’s quite a complicated site to navigate as a blogger without many computer technical skills, and the end result isn’t as ‘professional’ as I’d like it to be. The time has come for me to upgrade to something new and fresh. I’ve recently started building a new site on a new host, Wix, and I am super excited to launch this site early January 2020! I am not entirely sure how the transition will go with my domain moving from one host to another, but I will plan to announce the final switch once it is made.


Since I am in the process of figuring out a new website, this has been another reason I have been behind on catching up on all the travel reviews I want to do from this fall. I hope to have this all sorted out by the time my new site launches so that I can start fresh and be caught up for our new travels this spring.


Updated wedding planning ideas


OK, so I figured some people might like an update about this one since it has been some time since I have talked about it. Originally I really wanted to find a place to elope on the road but I’m going to take that off my forefront for now and my new plan is to just make sure that we can take some fun, professional style engagement photos while we are in Sedona, AZ. I still would love to elope, but if that is something I would plan I would want to make absolutely sure that our closest friends and family could be there and give them ample time to prepare.


Another idea that I have had lately would be to plan a party and possible ceremony with friends and family when we return back to MN next fall. But we would really need a lot of things to align in a relatively short amount of time to make that happen – such as an available venue, funds for the party, and enough notice to give everyone we invite so they can go. So stay tuned on that one (I would need to have it all planned out probably by March or so if it is going to happen.) But for now I am not rushing anything and doing my best to let it all unfold how it is meant to. ❤

Video call from yesterday with family!

Sending you love (& sunshine) this holiday season!


We just want you all to know that we are sending all of our love, and abundant sunshine this holiday season. This is a time to cuddle up, eat good food, drink good drinks, and be extra merry and bright. We hope you all get everything you want from Santa this year and get to spend a lot of time with your loved ones. (Make sure you hug them tight and hold them close!)


From the white sandy wavy beaches of Galveston, TX – to wherever you are in the world – we are wishing you a VERY Merry Christmas!

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NEXT WEEK:


& then it was the last few days of 2019…. I am someone who likes to take time at the end of each year to reflect on what I have done, what I have accomplished, and then set intentions for the year ahead. Next week’s post will share our goals for the new 2020 decade ahead and the lessons and accomplishments we have had from 2019.


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xoxo





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About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda. Thanks for visiting my page!

I was born & raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived there for 30 years of my life, and always dreamed of warmer winters, mountains & palm trees, and life outside of what I always knew. 

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