about the nest

THEN: Family hike at Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park in 2012 the week before the nest was vacated.
NOW: Dalton, Anna, Mandy, Scott and Andy at our 35th anniversary gathering in 2021.


After twenty incredibly wonderful and busy years of life centered around my kids, they flew the coop. Two years later in 2014, we sold the coop and hit the road in our RV!

Our year on the road was amazing. Because we knew we had limited time on this adventure, we went as many places as possible. From coast to coast, 27 states and 23,000 miles. Along the way, we spent a lot of time with family…in Colorado, Oregon, Wyoming, Missouri and Arizona. We watched my cousin’s son play football with my Uncle Ed and Aunt Charlotte, attended our son’s graduation in Laramie, were there to celebrate my brother’s wedding in Kansas City, my nephew’s wedding in St. Louis, more family time in Kansas City and then in Arizona. 

Our hottest temp was in Medford, Oregon, at 105. Our coldest was -9 in Larkspur, Colorado, when we decided to spend Thanksgiving there with our kids. (We bailed and stayed at a hotel after a couple of days of this!)

I had my knee replaced in Phoenix. That was something. We spent the winter there at a 55+ RV park with my father-in-law. We weren’t 55, but they let us in anyway. Fortunately, my husband’s aunt’s sister lived in a one-story home in Scottsdale, and I was able to spend the first week recuperating there. 

After three plus months there, we got homesick and ended up coming back to the Roaring Fork Valley and settled in New Castle, Colorado. And then we bought a liquor store. Bam! You didn’t see that coming, did you? We didn’t either, but New Castle Liquors has turned out to be an excellent investment. 

Since we returned in 2015, we’ve lost my brother-in-law Kevin, my mom and my brother, which is a lot of loss. We’ve gained a son-in-law who we adore and a pandemic Goldendoodle puppy. We adore him sometimes, too. jk  

Fast forward to 2021. After nine years with an empty nest, our youngest has returned home. We couldn’t be happier. Andy is 28 and works full-time at our store, which is a godsend. He’s also a truly incredible cook and is insanely funny. It’s such a gift to get to spend this time with him. 

These are my tales from the empty nest. Read more

the cast:

Mandy Gauldin — author, wife, mom, public relations professional and newly licensed biker

Scott — husband, Dad, biker and lover of all things that go vroom

Anna & Andy — our extraordinary kiddos 

Dalton — Anna’s husband as of 2018, a wonderful addition

Jackson — the dog (RIP 2019)

Walden — our pandemic puppy joined us Thanksgiving or 2021


Somewhere between New Castle and Silt, Colorado, in a land they call Peach Valley. 

© 2015 Mandy Gauldin — All content on this site, including copy and photographs, are the property of Mandy Gauldin and may not be used or copied without permission.

2 thoughts on “about the nest

  1. Just read your latest blog. I can’t imagine recuperating from knee replacement surgery in a RV. More power to you. Looking forward to more of your stories


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