Saturday, January 19, 2013


THE most difficult subjects to photograph - right?!

Well how about to TRAVEL with? Same goes?

I think SO. I KNOW so.

Since our days here at Playa La Ropa seem to be on an endless cycle of beach - van - beach - van, I'll have a few posts coming up to fill with subjects I've been meaning to cover for some time now.

ACTUALLY, I did mean to write a post entitled 'Traveling with a now 3 1/2 Year Old" way back on November 28th, the day that Cassia turned 3.5, as I did on that date last year - Traveling with a now 2 1/2 Year Old. But alas - I was still trying to catch up on my posts and somehow it got lost in the process.

To be completely honest - reading that post tonight - I realize that not a whole lot has changed in the last year and in the way we travel with Cassia. We still stick out like sore thumbs in snowbird RV Parks, we still stop for  playgrounds, and there is still a difference between traveling by ourselves, as we did in the winter of 2008, and now with Cassia in tow.

Like us - Cassia is getting better at traveling. Really, it's all she's known. We started traveling with her at six weeks old when we moved from Saskatchewan back to BC. There, we lived in our trailer until she was six months old. We took a break for the next twelve months and rented a big ol' farm house.

(Cassia had to learn to walk well REALLY fast when we got to the desert in the fall of 2010. Here she is at Quartzsite, Arizona.)

I feel good about the fact that Cassia had a large place - with carpeting - to learn to roll, crawl and walk. She even had her own room. Funny, when we went back on the road when she was 18 months old - it was me that felt bad that she was losing her room and crib for a bed and a trailer. No longer living a 'normal' life. I've long gotten passed that - I mean how many kids - or people in history for that matter - have ACTUALLY experienced sleeping in a crib or having their own room?!

Not many - right!? Really.

Anyway -- there are TONS of websites dedicated to teaching parents how to 'deal' with or 'handle' their children while on the road. I haven't spent much time on them since they seem to be about distraction. I've never thought to do that with Cassia. Because she knows how to 'go the distance' as in - travel for 5, 6, 7 even 8 hours a day sitting in her seat watching the scenery go by, I've never felt that I had to resort to such measures. That is changing though.

This year, we will have to admit to finally pulling at the dvd player at times to give her a bit of a hand. However, it is seldom and usually she is happy with a few of her toys to talk to and move around.

It WAS a bit easier though the first year when we could cart her around in the backpack.

How many kids can say that they've hung out at Slab City? Eating with the disenfranchised at the Karma Kitchen, listening to music at The Range, or sitting at the base of Salvation Mountain.

Apart from the actual traveling - how about the rest?! 

I suppose that our life with a young child is the same as all other parents - good days, bad days, good minutes and bad, and everything in between. The MAJOR difference is that we are doing it in 95 square feet. We can't exactly tell Cassia to go to her room - and we can't go to ours! Sometimes the space gets to small for the three of us - fast! As us parents do, Derek and I know the signs that the other is about to lose their minds, and make a quick exit with Cassia. The beach is always a good place to cool off - in more ways then one!

Ok - so most kids roll their baby strollers around their backyard or the block. Not Cassia - this was in a park with an RV parking area in Brownsfield, Texas - last year.

Derek and I have had it easy though. Cassia has always been good at entertaining herself and being happy to play with the simplest items. During the first two winters stick and rocks were her constant companions. I wish I could STILL say that, but this year Cassia has Caballito filled to the brim with her toys. 

I suppose the main difference being on the road with Cassia, is just that - we LIVE on the road - for six months out of the year. For us it isn't a two week vacation where 'real life' is put on hold. Daycare/preschool or school is stopped, routines broken, regular bed time dropped and so forth. Life - with all it's events - such as potty training - take place while we travel. Gee - I wonder what all the folks around here are thinking as Cassia and I head to the washroom with her special seat in hand! Bet they don't see THAT in many winter RV Parks.

AND playtime is ..... a constant.

Cassia's toy cargo. Boy do I wish I could say that this is how it looks all the time. Nope - almost every piece in these containers is spread in and around our van.

Cassia is ALWAYS up for sitting down to a picnic.

So - that's the kid aspect to our lives - so what about the animals!

You may have noticed that apart from the odd picture here and there - I generally don't talk about the fact that we travel with a dog (a large one at that) AND a cat. Not sure why - guess they just kinda blend in.

ROOFOUS is his name.

We've had Roofous since he was born. Derek and I were the proud surrogate parents - via Chinook and Nanuq - of six itty bitty Husky pups. Roofous if you can believe, was the runt, the least Husky looking and the last puppy to go. Except that he didn't go anywhere. By that time Derek wasn't going to let him go. 

The best picture to date of Cassia and Roofous - taken last year in San Augustine, Texas. Roofous is only 2 months older than Cassia.

He is VERY patient with her!

Poor Roofous, I have been saying for a few years now. A desert Husky, a beach Husky but never a snow Husky. He is VERY popular on the road - last year he pretty much stopped traffic in Louisana. Not much different here in Mexico. Roofous IS a nice looking dog and gets a TON of attention. 

Most wonder how he deals with the heat....

THIS is how! Today during our 28C afternoon.

 'What do you think about the heat, Roofous?' 

In yesterday's comments, Brian and Nancy asked 'what we do with Roofous while we are out and does he like the ocean'. Well, first, while we are out on the town, Roofous is tied to the van and probably doing exactly what he's doing above - sleeping. Sometimes when we walk a short distance away we'll take him with us - depends on the time and the place. 

We hear that he howls while we are gone but I think that's just a rumour!

Ha! So not true! He DEFINITELY howls at times. But most seem good about it. Rob in Mazatlan enjoyed listening to Roofous - saying that it was a beautiful melancholic song, and Art, here at El Manglar just comes over to talk with Roofous to ease his pain over our departure.

And the ocean? Roofous is ok with the ocean - ok with water in general. He's not a - I've waited all day to get to the water and now I'm going to run in and out like a maniac - kind of dog. He'll go in a little bit a splash around, especially with Derek's prompting - but really - he'd rather just run up and down the beach sniffing all there is to smell.

On beaches like that at Mazatlan or Troncones we can let Roofous off of his leash.

But here at Playa La Ropa - NEVER off of the leash. Too many people and too many hotels and restaurants - Roofous would be up and in them in no time.

And what about food? We've had that question before and it was something we questioned ourselves before we entered into Mexico. First, because we stocked up at Trader Joe's in the USA we didn't even have to think about buying food for Roofous until the end of December. When we did - it wasn't an issue at all since all the large grocery stores - and even the smallest stores in the smallest towns, carry dog food.

MOONASHEE is my name - but you can call me Moonie.

Ok - so you all knew that Roofous was around - but how about Moonie? Do you even know what he looks like? Probably not!

 How Moonie deals with the heat.

Moonie is the last of our five cats. Yes, we used to travel with FIVE cats! In the last few years we have sadly lost two to the road - in Canada. Technically we still own three cats, but my mom is graciously fostering Snow Toes and Willow for the winter. Whereas Moonie thinks he's a dog and literally won't go further than say 25 feet from the van - we thought that Snow Toes would be lost to Mexico somewhere. She's a runner. 

Actually, I say that but traveling with our cats has never been a problem. We would let them out often and never lost one - while traveling. Last year we had the three cats with us - here we are on a walk. You can see how far we are from the trailer. 

Although we thought that Moonie would be pretty much trapped in the van for the better part of the winter, we are happy to report that at every RV Park he has been able to come and go as he pleases. They've all been away from a major road and really, as I said - Moonie is happy enough to be within 5 feet of the van. Same goes with cat food - readily available in Mexico.

Kids & Animals - not so difficult to photograph and not so difficult to travel with. 


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: We are definitely not alone! Most snowbirds travel with dogs and cats. And traveling with kids! Heck there are whole families living on the road - full time! There are two associations based on that - Fulltime Familes and Families on the Road


  1. It is certainly an interesting lifestyle to travel in that small space, with all 5 of you. But you are sure getting to see some awesome places too.

    1. And that's why we do it - nothing better than seeing what we do!

  2. I've told you this before in a comment to a post, but it deserves repeating.....this journey you are all on together is creating memories that Cassia will have tucked away in her mind for her entire life! Someday, when you and Derek are old and gray, with grandkids on your laps looking back at this blog and showing where you were in her formative years, Cassia will smile and tell you she remembers all of it! Won't that be something wonderful to look forward to!!

    Safe Travels...........

    1. Thanks BlackSheep - yup - I remember that we've talked about this before - so so so true. That's one of the reasons why we love what we are doing - not really by accident of course.

      We are old and grey now! LOL! Derek and I were saying that Cassia will have to be a young mum for that to happen. Dare to dream!

    2. And welcome back to commenting by the way - we've missed you!

  3. The enduring memory of this year's journey through Mexico will be Cassia walking by herself across the RV park to come and visit Norma and I. You have done an excellent job raising her into the little adult she has already become.

    As Black Sheep says, this great life you are exposing her to will be stored away and will become valuable to her in years to come. Congratulations to both of you!

    1. A bold little turkey isn't she! Thanks for the GREAT compliment Croft. We take our job parenting Cassia very seriously - so that means a lot.

  4. Thanks for answering our questions about Roofous, Nancy's the dog person of our house and treats ours as a human. We are also amazed Moonie stays so close to the van when you guys are traveling, my cats have mostly been runners. Never found them on the side of the road, but definitely gained a few wrinkles trying to find them. Not sure how much Cassia will remember at this age (I personally don't remember much at 3, 4 or even 5), however Cassias character is definitely being shaped by exposing her to such rich cultural diversity. She'll be the next Megan McCormick :)

    1. Well, I have to admit that I had to google Megan McCormick! EXACTLY! I hope that Cassia does something like that one day - I'll be her assistant and Derek security! The we could be paid to travel! I used to watch that Ian guy - LOVE watching shows like that!

      I don't think she'll remember much either - a moment here and there. But we do know that it will be a part of her - already she is very flexible, very social and easy going.

  5. Awwww, we love getting these "snapshots" into your family life.

    I am sure it must take great patience some days !! Like you said, this is not a vacation, but life on the road.

    What beautiful pets you travel with ....

    Take care ... TnT

    1. Thanks TnT! Snapshots - exactly - love that! Ahhh patience - yes - something they should sell at the parent store.


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