Hello all and Welcome to our new blog! I have been wanting (threatening!) to start to start a blog for a while and finally, here it is. If you read our welcome on the Home Page, you got a brief overview of who we are and what we are about. If you’re like me and are always looking for more information, grab a cup of coffee or tea (or something stronger, we won’t judge). Now get comfy, and we will get to know each other better. Warning: We’re all talkers so this is kind of a long post.
The Adventure Dawgs is made up of myself, my hubby Tom, our 13 year old daughter Rhiannon, our crazy dog Scout, and our grumpy 17 year old cat MIA. People laugh that we take our pets with us most of the time, especially the cat. They are our family too and both of them love to go with us. Their favorite thing to do is go camping in our RV (Best purchase ever! For more on that check out this post). We also have two grown children and two grandchildren who we also love to have join us. Oh! And let’s not forget Uncle Hippo and Uncle Troy! Trips with one or both of them are always a treat and you never know what will happen. There’s a saying with our family that “it’s not an adventure until somebody bleeds” but that’s a story for another time! Our adventures are even more fun when they are shared so we love to have friends and family along with us. Occasionally, Mom and Dad Dawg get a romantic adventure to themselves but normally it’s the more the merrier!
Cheryl: I’ve Been Everywhere, My Big, Fat Gypsy Childhood
My love for travel started almost from birth. My father had to travel with his job so we lived in a travel trailer so my Mom and I could be with him. My early life was very gypsy like and I’m not only grateful for it, but proud of it. I lived in 16 states before I was a year old! We had our adopted family that traveled with us in our “caravan” and it was a wonderful way to grow up. It not only gave me a massive case of wanderlust, it also made sure that I made friends easily, loved history, and had a huge appreciation for the USA. There is so much to see in our incredible country, you don’t realize how huge and diverse it is until you get out and see it!
Even though my father worked a lot, he made sure we got to experience the areas we lived in, no matter how briefly. We visited parks and hiked, explored landmarks and monuments, and immersed ourselves in the local cultures through their histories, food, and arts. This greatly influenced the way I travel even today.
At 11, my parents divorced and my mom moved us closer to her family in southwest Georgia. This was the first time I ever had a single place to call “home”. It was night and day different from my first 11 years. The small town living was ok, but got a little boring at times.
At 16 I joined a band and came back full circle to my gypsy childhood. I traveled around with my band and I loved every minute of it. Music has always been a special and important part of my life. We traveled and performed all over the southeast until 8 crazy years later when my life changed again.
For as long as I could remember I had the name Rhiannon picked out for a daughter. My favorite band is Fleetwood Mac and my favorite singer (hero, idol) is Stevie Nicks. I am also of Scottish and Irish decent and Rhiannon is the goddess of inspiration in Celtic mythology. They say becoming a mother changes and you and that is so true, but it is entirely for the better. Rhiannon was and still is the best thing to ever happen to me and I’m thankful for her every day.
The last major change in my life was meeting wonderful my husband Tom. I finally met someone who loves to travel as much as I do. Tom and I had similar upbringings. We both spent part of our childhood in rural South Georgia towns and both of our fathers instilled in us a love of travel and adventure. We traveled from the very beginning of our relationship, and he shares my love of the outdoors, riding the motorcycle, history, and adventure.
Tom: No Box in Sight
Hello Everyone I am Tom Anderson, husband of the head blogger in this family.
I knew from an early age that I would never fit my life in a box. Growing up in an urban setting, I would always head into the woods behind our trailer in Cincinnati, where I spent my early years. The woods held the secrets to the world for me. I could be Daniel Boone hunting bears, a knight going to slay the dragon, or just got sit and enjoy the quiet with my dad while hunting for bugs. The ponds behind the house were a breeding ground for adventure in the summer. Chasing tad poles and frogs or fishing in the summer months. In the winter it became the place for skating with my mom and a sanctuary for our time together. I got my sense of adventure from my dad and from my mom I learned to live every day to the fullest.
My love of travel started very early on in life with my Mom and Dad. My dad would always save up his vacation time and take the family on an adventure to some place we had never been before. Be it a 100 or 1000 miles away, it was still an adventure. I remember the big box my dad made to hold the heavy tent poles and can still smell the canvass of the tent as we crawled into our sleeping bags at night. This was after gazing at the stars while sitting around the campfire made from the wood us kids gathered.
My dad and mom later got divorced but it didn’t stop the traveling. My dad bought a VW “hippie” bus and he and I converted it into the best camper ever. The first trip we ever took was to the Badlands of South Dakota then on to Mount Rushmore. In between we stopped in Minnesota for fishing and Wisconsin to visit family on a Diary farm.
I ended up living on a farm in Georgia with my mom but still took trips with her to Florida to see places like Walt Disney World and the everglades. One of the most adventurous things I did while with her was when she let me go on a three day fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico by myself at 14 years old. My dad would still get us kids during the summer and head of to the unknown to see more of this great country.
When I graduated from High School I had no idea what I wanted to do so the USAF seemed like a logical choice, since I could see the world on Uncle Sam’s dime. I took full advantage of the opportunity too, seeing places in Europe, South and Central America, as well as US assignments. I would not just stay in the barracks if there was a chance to go see something for a few days. I was gone sometimes with friends most times by myself. Thanks to the US Air Force I was able to meet my best friend, a brother from another mother as we always say, John Todd (Uncle Hippo). We have had so many great times in the past 40 years traveling around on motorcycles and seeing this awesome country. You will hear about our crazy adventures on this blog site. We plan our family vacations every year and John is always included because he is our family.
Our children have that sense of adventure in them as well whether it is heading to the beach, the mountains, or hopping on a plane to see a concert for the weekend. Always be willing to take the kids and hit the road, even it is only for the weekend. My motto is never stay in the box, go out and do what you may think is not possible whether it is hot air ballooning, white water rafting, or taking that hike as high as you can. You may never know what is on the other side until you try and see for yourself. In the meantime, join us and hang on to your seat for our next great adventure is just around the corner!
Rhiannon: Adventure Dawg, the Next Generation
At 13, I am very lucky to be able to do the things I have done, and still get to do. My parents really teach me how get the most out of every moment. Most teenagers are busy but I think I’m busier than most! Besides being an honor student, on the Student Council, and bowling in 2 leagues, we adventure every chance we get.
I’ve been to numerous sporting events, both local, college, and professional. I love soccer and going to cheer on our local soccer team, the Mutiny. Abby Wambach is my favorite soccer player. Like my parents, I’m a huge GA Bulldogs fan, and I also love the Cincinnati Bengals. I really love to talk smack to friends/teachers/and strangers who are fans of rival teams. My favorite teacher, Mr. Campman, is a Steelers fan but I guess nobody’s perfect, lol. I love teasing him about it.
I’ve been to lots of concerts. Like my mom, I love music. Singing, dancing, karaoke, anything to do with music is good with me. My parents have given me a love for classic rock but I like all kinds of music. Maybe I’ll get to see Bruno Mars in the near future.
Another favorite of mine is visiting National and State parks to get Junior Ranger badges. I have about 30 so far and I’m very proud of them. Amusement parks are fun too.
One of the best trips so far was getting to spend my thirteenth birthday in New York City. We went to a Bengals/Jets game, the 9/11 memorial, and Macy’s. I love New York and can’t wait to go back. I think I’d like to live there one day. You can read about that trip here.
I’m going to have my own special section on the blog, Rhiannon’s Junior Travel Journal. Stay tuned to get my side of our adventures and if you have children who might like to check it out, it’s something you can read together. Mom is always trying to get me to read more, maybe you have that problem with your children and this will help encourage them.
I hope you enjoyed meeting us and we’d love to hear from you. Send us a comment or email about your love of travel and who/what influenced it, any tips, or just to say hello! We love hearing from fellow adventurers and until next time: Live Your Adventure!