I finally have WiFi where we are camped boondocking in Delaware. I have not updated my blog because (my excuse is) I have not had WiFi. I thought I would just get on today and knock out the last 7 states we have been through..haha… first I need to get the pics off my camera then off Scott’s phone then off my phone, sort through them for the best looking ones (side note, I need and would love to take a photography class) that aren’t too blurry or have a head cut off. Then I need to try and remember what we did in each state. That’s a lot and it overwhelmed me. Maybe I will just do a quick recap then when I have time..haha again… I can add each state. The only problem is we keep going to new states and I get further behind.
Also I have noticed I have stopped taking as many pictures or making sure I have my good camera with us. This is kinda sad as far as the documenting side of it goes. It’s also kind of nice because we aren’t posing for pics or stopping to smile at the camera. We just say “lock this in your memories ” and continue on adventuring. Yes I have forgotten a lot the this happened at this moment things that I would use the pictures to help me document but I have tried to not stress or be sad that I didn’t or couldn’t to get a picture of that.
Anyways we are currently in Delaware farm country. Across the street is a super smelly, chickens in the 10,000+ , packed in long barns with mist going into them. Those are everywhere. Advice- don’t, I repeat don’t get behind a semi full of chickens. On the side of us out our window is a beautiful field with thistles that right now have big purple flowers on them. The field is green, the sky is blue, the flowers are purple, the butterflies are white and the little barns are red. It’s almost perfect (remember the smell? And the humidity and the heat)!
We picked some flowers or weeds from the field today. I tried to get pictures of Aveyah in the field but she didn’t like the poky weeds.
Here are the pictures
Killen’s Pond State ParkHaircut . He saw a kid at the beach with this long top haircut. I tried to copy it. she is catching fire flies
Here are the places we like
3rd wave brewing, Dogfish Head Brewing, Amity coffee shop, Hasting Butcher Shop, Killen State Park
Two wrongs don’t make a right but what do two Wrights make?
We spent several hours learning about Orviel and Wilber Wright and the pure determination and will power they had that drove them on their crazy adventure to flight. We learned so much about them and the extreme challenges and events they had to endure in the years it took them to build, test and eventually fly the planes they created.
From where they lived to were they built the plane and tried to fly was a 7 day trip that involved train rides, boat rides and miles and miles of walking. For a time they had to pack their plane in pieces during that travel. The plane parts weighed over 100 lbs. Dayton to Outer Banks NC. Eventually they were able to move and build a shed to build and store their plane in. The lived in a tent but the humidity was so bad they couldn’t stand being in it but the mosquitos were so bad they had to be in it and covered with blankets.
The hill they packed their airplane glider with a rutter up to was 90 feet up. They had to walk across the field and up the hill every time they tested it. Guess how many times they did it? 1000. Do you think they had folks help them? Yes they did. That’s some determination!!
Long interesting story short they had a guy in their bike shop build a engine for their glider plane made the journey back to Outer Banks with the engine and spent months and months working in the plane and trying to fly. Then one day they did. 4 times with the longest flight being almost a minute.
We got to run down the strip where they flee stopping at easy marker where the flights landed. We got to run up the hill that they hiked those 1000s of times and we got to pretend/ see the event happen with the statues replicating the picture that was taken of the moment of the First Flight
Saturday the 5th at 3:20 am I am woken up by my alarm. Yay, I get to go “home” today. The checklist in my head begins with coffee, toothbrush, power charger, bags then wake boys up. I have energy because I know that in 12 hours I will be in Spokane.
I am not the type that worries or gets nervous but I was nervous. I was nervous because I didn’t know how Aveyah, who never wants to sit still and is not quiet, would do on my lap on airplanes for hours. I also feared her running off at the airport during check in or during our layover at the huge, busy, Dallas airport. I asked my friend for ideas and made sure I had all the toys and snacks she suggested. I also had my carrier and stroller. I was armed but nervous. Her best advice was that she told me she always prays about how she wants it to go and for who she has to sit next to. So I started praying whenever I started thinking about the what if’s. Praise God the flights were just as I prayed and I didn’t have anyone sit next to us on either flight, Aveyah didn’t scream very much, she didn’t want to run up and down the isles and she stayed in the stroller at the airports. Aww. I was so thankful for the reminder to pray and allow God to work out the details that I can’t control. She ate her snacks, looked at her book, colored, napped and played on my phone. The seatbelt and safety brochure were probably her favorite things though
Saturday evening my mom when to my Brother and Sister in Laws to meet my niece. She is the smallest baby, only 5-15lbs, that I have ever held. She is so cute and has long fingers and legs and soft blond hair. She sleep good and gaining her weight now. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to come home, see family and friends and meet Addi.
Aveyah is loving all the one on one attention she gets. She just runs around my moms house, jumps on the couch, want to always go outside and pet Nicki.
The boys have been in Tennessee playing and working with Scott. He has the huge task of packing up and hauling our home to a storage unit all before picking up his parents from the airport then going to a cabin for a week of vacation. I am excited to get back and see his parents and they are excited to soak up some Aveyah snuggles.
I have been excited to get to Alabama the whole trip. I didn’t really have any specific reason but I wanted to see it because of how I picture the south in my head. Oh it was better than what I thought in my mind. We stayed out on country roads surrounded by thick trees, green fields and the cutest homes with front porches and yards. The folks were all so friendly and had great “accents” and respond respectfully yes sir and yes ma’am’s. The food, well it’s fried, extra sweet and not colorful; but we did learn about conecuh sausage that is really good.
Mobile- We went and explored the USS Alabama Destroyer War Ship and The Drum Submarine. We learned a lot and got to walk around the whole ship.
Blakeley- state park that is a civil war battlefield. We learned about the war and Confederate and Union sides. What the way was about. We also got to run around and pretend what it would have been like as we hid in trenches, saw sharp tree spike guard fences and the pits and walls where soldiers were. Walked on the ground that men lost their lives for us for our freedom. It was powerful and impactful for us all.
We boondocked at Big Daddy’s Grill. Great spot. Fun for kids to play at sand pit while parents have a beer or eat. On the river with a dock to go out on. We met some great friends that we connected with very quickly. Can’t wait to hang out again. We even had them all over to our house for dinner. It was a great time.
Good Coffee: Refuge
Good Breweries: Fairhope Brewing
Good Libraries: Fairhope= AMAZING Could spend all day every day there. Kids have their own area and can be normal, roam, use computers, great story times. LOVE IT!.
Gulf Shore= big hotels and beach house rows. Eat at Flip Flop Deli. Watch out for sand gnats- noseeums- they itch bad. We like Fort Morgan beach area. It was less tourist hangout and commercialized
We made it to Florida. Its busy everywhere we are looking at going to. Also we didn’t plan or pay attention enough to Spring Break dates. We were there with all the Spring Break campers and travelers. We found a great spot for only 3 days in Niceville FL, which is north of Destin, along a Bayou. Good Coffee: Tango 3 Good Brewery in Destin: Destin Brewing Good Parks: Fred Gannon State Park. Destin has some awesome blue water and white sand beaches. We found a great spot over the bridge and a short walk around the jetty.
I hope everyone is not tired of looking at beach/ocean photos yet because I have more!!! I am trying to get better at taking more pictures but I also don’t want to always have my camera when we go exploring.
Dirtbiking- Clifton FL at Hard Labor Track. Camped next to a great family and we all became quick friends and learned a lot from them. The boys all got so much better and confident in their riding. they all rode different sizes and types of bikes. Scott go to get his adrenaline fix and ride with a teen boy. They both pushed each other to be better and improved their skills as they rode together. We spend 3 days here riding dirt bikes, riding bikes, playing catch, and hanging out with others. It was great to find a quick community that rejuvenated us as we were struggling with loneliness, stress and overwhelmed by the never ending needs. (Still need to blog about this reality)
Small town along the bayou/rivers is great for fishing and is providing us with amazing new experiences and scenery. In Wewa we are camping along ponds with fish, turtles, ducks and even a water moccasin (unwanted). We have a story about the snake but it ends with the camp host shooting it and it being about 6 feet long. In Sopchoppy we were camped in a park along the river that had a nature trail. I totally expected to be eaten by an alligator or attacked by snakes, opossums or something but we saw NO wildlife. Actually, we have seen very little as far as critters go but have found plenty of fire ants, sand gnats, no-see-ums, and mosquitoes. We didn’t get to explore all the Old-Florida small towns along the route like we would have loved to do but we are saying Florida is a state we will come back to and devote much more time and shorter distances with longer stays per area. Oh and we should probably make reservations in advance if we want to find spots.
Last place we stayed was Hart Springs Campground where there are natural springs that come up above ground and provide warmer water that is clear and usually green or blue. Manatees like to go into the springs to find the warmer water and algae. We got to briefly see a mom and baby swim off and got to watch another one eat and then come up for breath then eat again. We still are amazed at the different landscape of the marshy, thick treed river banks and forests with trees that grow in perfect lines. Why?
Alright I don’t know what happened but every time I update this and add more content and pictures it doesn’t save. So I give up. I will add some pictures and call it good. Not very detailed and we did a lot more in these two states then I wrote about.
We felt like we have entered into a new planet. We have never been in an environment like this. The ground is swampy then there are thick palms then there are huge trees and vines grounding and hanging from them. Also there are huge bare trees with Spanish moss growing on them. They look all spooky like from a dark movie, especially in the areas the mist is rolling in.
We experienced a lot of firsts here such as
First time eating crawfish
We drove over the Mississippi River
We drove through Baton Rouge at 5 miles an hour,on the interstate
We learned to avoid I-10, it’s so rough
We also drove past the church Scott came down to help rebuild with a mission trip in 2005. The church had since been rebuilt on stilts. We were shocked at the amount of damage and the amount of vacant places there are now. A Sheriff told us that we would probably not see more then 10 folks on the road over our next 2 hour stretch. He was right. It’s a odd feeling driving a coastal highway that is empty and properties that are just stilts or foundations instead of homes.
We learned that in the south the states all have a welcome center right when you enter the state. That’s helpful. We enjoyed the welcome center and even got a lot of info about the up coming Mardi Gras. We didn’t know we were in Mardi Gras week. We went to 2 parades and learned that they are not what we northerners have heard or believe them to be. Well at least not all of them. They are full of joy, culture, traditions and history. We have never had that much fun at a parade before. We also came home with pounds and pounds of beads. We met a lot of folks that were so friendly and kind. It was nice. Also as a northerner, did anyone else not realize there is so much coast line in Mississippi? (and later we learn the same in Alabama). The Gulf Coast here has miles of beaches, bike trails and even an island of the coast that we hear has amazing blue water on the other side.
We spent a little over 2 weeks here after we randomly decided to come down here to escape the freezing temps coming to the Austin Area. We didn’t want to deal with, nor prepared to deal with those types of temperatures. We stated at Padre Balli City Park. It’s not much right one because of hurricane damage. They are making a nice area with pave sites and grass. Currently it’s just a old paved parking lot with picnic tables. BUT the ocean is only a sand dune away. It’s right across from Mika’s seafood on the pier.
You can enter Padre Island National Park and drive 53 miles of undeveloped ocean coast line all whiling looking for tons of shells and sea turtles. We drove it twice and 4 wheel drive is a must. We had to pull a truck out that got stuck. We had several times we thought we may get stuck. I watched a video on what to do in the area from Day Tripper. He had great information.
We met another family who had a kiddo the boys age and those boys spent every second together out there exploring and making caves. The family has paddle boards and let Scott and I take them out into the ocean. It was a blast and so peaceful being out there with nothing but water around. It was still and quiet and kinda blue. I was kinda nervous because I have a weird mental fear of what could be under me. It was worth it and overcoming fear is a powerful thing. I won’t let it hold me back or miss out.