Welcome to our blog… A place that was brought on by an idea, a “goal”… a dream some would say. So I thought it would be fun to document the life we have trying everything in our power to achieve this goal(s).
First… Let me give you a little back story.
This is us… Andy and Darlene. We’re from Washington State. We met back in 2007 online on what then was known as ‘Cherry Tap’ now ‘Fubar’ it was like an online bar. Was pretty much an instant connection when we met in person. Wasn’t a week after we met we moved in together. While our relationship came under interesting circumstances we knew that it was meant to be and stuck it out through the hard times. Hard times meaning we were both still legally married. It provided some pretty interesting times in the very beginning… Nothing was going to hold us back from the tremendous attraction that we had for one another.
Andy brought two daughters to our relationship and I brought one. His girls lived with their mothers at the time and my daughter lived with me/us. (Eventually in 2012 his second daughter would end up moving in with us.) Things were going great in July 2008 Andy purposed to me which was pretty interesting to say the least. At the time I was staying home with Cheyenne, keeping up on the house. Getting her ready for school. Andy was our provider. Working regular 7-4 times a day. One day he thought it would be great to come home (I was doing the dishes) he had a small box of chocolate. He tried giving it to me. But unfortunately I was dealing with a terrible toothache and I wasn’t feeling chocolate. He ended up throwing it on the counter yelling, “There is a ring in there!” I totally blew his proposal. I felt like absolute crap for that. Went off in a huff and pouted. Not long after that we found out we were pregnant. Summer of 2009 came and I was already six months along in our pregnancy, one week away from finding out what we were having. Unfortunately the worst happened. We miscarried. It was one of the worst experiences in my life, our lives… Something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. While an experience as that would usually bring hardships to couples, we grew closer than before, we had a stronger relationship. Took me sometime to overcome the miscarriage.
While it wasn’t something I talked much about, nor really do, it was something constantly on my mind. It didn’t take us long to decide to try again. We were hoping for that rainbow baby. April of 2010 we got just that. Another daughter.
2010 was also the year both of our previous marriages were finally something of the past and we both could move on and make things final for the two of us. In 2013 on April 2nd in the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas we sealed the deal. Was a great way to celebrate the two of us. Extremely memorable, the trip there, the time we spent there, our ceremony… It was amazing and I couldn’t of found someone better to of married.
During all the family building I was also working on building a very successful photography business. Andy was there by my side. Aiding in the growth of this business, encouraging me and giving amazing suggestions. 2011 we made the business official. We never thought that when we started this venture it would get as big as it is today. It’s crazy all the places we have got to shoot, the places we have seen, all the different people, their styles… Its definitely been an awesome experience getting to work in this business. Really this business was a foot print of things to come. I started out shooting nature. I really enjoy landscapes and capturing all the wonderful natural elements. Then I decided to try my hand with people and we have been doing that ever since.
It wasn’t long into our relationship that the two of us came up with the dream to travel the States all while living in a van. Living as a minimalist the two of us traveling America taking in the sights seeing new places, discovering new religions, people and traditions. We’ve done a few road trips in our days, in 2011 we went to Santa Monica, drove the California coast and played tourist in Hollywood and L.A.. Then in 2014 for our one year we decided to go back to Vegas and go through Zion, Hoover Dam, Red Rocks, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, to Arizona and about everywhere in between heading back to Vegas. It was an absolute wonderful trip probably hands down my favorite trip I have ever went on. And I’ve been pretty lucky to go on some pretty amazing trips in my life. We’ve done plenty of rides localized to Washington, Oregon and Idaho but this one was one of the best. Then the many trips growing up with adventurous families. But now WE want to get out and see the sights together.
We both love the outdoors. For our entire relationship we have been outside. Discovering places, driving some where new, enjoying life, hiking and discovering. Our first road trip was to Seaside, Oregon just a couple months after we met. And now we have this ambition. Our dream is to have a van like this…
So here it is June 21st 2018. We have finally taken the plunge a couple days ago into finally starting the planning for this trip. We are thinking about making this journey in 2023/24. Reason for picking then is because it’s going to allow for our nest to empty a little more. Three of our four girls will be wrapping up and done with school, we thought that summer our youngest could spend a month with her grandma or nana, maybe even one of her cousins while we take on this journey. Also, I’m kind of a planner. So I wanted to make sure I had our complete itinerary figured out along with all the details so there wasn’t any last minute unexpected mishaps.
We just thought a blog to document our happenings. Our plans and ambitions would be great. Something for our girls to look back on later in life. I plan on this not strictly starting out as a travel blog, but slowly evolving into that one day. For now, it’s the planning period. It’s our lives now, what we do day to day, the growth of all of us as a whole, as a family, our businesses, the girls, the up’s the down’s of everyday life, which in the end results from a spontaneous goal!