Wow, guys! I’m sorry. I am WAY behind on the blogging! The World Series and the Election were really distracting for me. And tiring. But I’m back and I have a lot to catch up on!
First of all, we hit the one month on the road mark on Nov 3rd. Zac and I had a debrief after the first week and then subsequently, had another after the first month. The one week mark was a pretty easy discussion. “How do you think it’s going?” “GREAT! This is so fun!”. Well, duh. It was only the first week. It still felt like vacation! The first month one was a little harder. We had just said goodbye to my parents and the reality of being on the road for nine more months away from family and friends was really sinking in. There were some tears shed at the one month debrief. Not going to lie. Don’t get me wrong. We are still having fun and I am so grateful for this opportunity. But we miss our family and friends and our life back at home. It’s hard and our feelings can be very conflicted sometimes between loving our adventure and missing home.
On a completely opposite note, we also have been talking about how hard it may be to acclimate back to normal life once this trip is all over. Zac left us for the first time this past weekend to go on a retreat. We had been together pretty much non-stop for a whole month and his absence was felt by all of us. I took the kids to the zoo while he was gone and Brody said, “Something’s missing. I wish Daddy were here. It would be more fun with Daddy.” And we are having a LOT of fun. Once we get back home and it’s back to business as usual, I’m a little concerned that it may be a bit depressing. But, I suppose we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Just wanted to share a little bit of our hearts and how we’ve been feeling.
Now, let me fill you in on the places we’ve been since Hershey! Williamsburg, VA, Wilmington, NC, Asheville, NC, and Knoxville, TN.
We spent four nights in Williamsburg and really decided to slow down a bit. Which was good because this was the week of the final games of the World Series. It was tough. Up late at night and I am not kidding you, we were all in pretty lousy moods the day after game seven when our Indians lost in extra innings. But, we did get to watch one of the games with our friend, Jason. He was the best man in our wedding and it had been a couple of years since we’d seen him. And, it was his birthday! So, I obviously had to make a yummy dessert for him! We had a great time catching up, even though our team lost that night, too.
Our highlights from Williamsburg itself were trick or treating on DoG Street and exploring the town one day. We had already done some trick or treating at Hershey park and you can imagine the kids got good quality candy there! Well, the trick or treating on DoG Street (Duke of Gloucester) was sponsored by Mars candy. So we were left with two bags full of really good quality candy. The trick or treating on DoG Street was on Halloween, which is also Caydence’s birthday.
It was a really fun experience. They had all of the costumed colonials handing out candy and skeleton men on horseback. Even the horses were stenciled to look like skeletons. And there was what looked like a sea monster coming out of the capital lawn. It was a really fun way to see the town.
Two days later, we went into the town during the day. There is a lot to see and do and we could have spent much more time there. But we had fun exploring the governor’s palace, the jail, the courthouse, and the many tradesmen shops throughout the town.
After Williamsburg, we headed south to visit friends in Wilmington for the weekend. The McNaughtons were in our community group over 10 years ago. We see them from time to time when they visit Ohio, but it was really wonderful to see them and their home in North Carolina. The kids had a blast making friends with their kids and jumping on the trampoline in the backyard and watching fun movies on the couch.
The weekend was full of good food, relaxing, hot tubbing, and a visit to the minute clinic… Yes, our first sickness had befallen us. Phoenix had a sinus infection and bronchitis. He sounded like he had been smoking a pack a day for 30 years! But with the right meds, he was better in no time. We were so thankful for this relaxing time with our friends!
We only did one thing in Asheville: The Biltmore. I had been wanting to go since my mom told me about it a year ago. Yes, I live under a rock and had only heard about it a year ago. I’m SO glad we were there when their Christmas decoration were up! It was so amazingly beautiful and HUGE!
I would totally get lost in that place if I were left to wander. And just as fun as the mansion was the Antler Hill Village. They had fun things for the kids like a petting zoo, a playground, and demonstrations in blacksmithing and broom making. I know. Broom making sounds like it might be boring, but it was really cool. Zac and I went into the winery for a free wine tasting and the kids sat quietly on the floor watching a movie so that we could enjoy ourselves. And it actually worked! Zac and I both agreed that we want to go back just the two of us sometime. It was great.
So, we were in Knoxville only because it was about an hour and a half outside of where Zac was having his conference and there was enough around to keep me and the kids busy. As I mentioned before, this was the first time Zac was leaving us on this trip. I have this weird tendency to imagine all sorts of terrifying scenarios at nighttime. The night before he left, I was absolutely certain that a mad man would wander off the highway into our campground and pick our RV to attack. Or that one of the wildfires that were in the area would find it’s way to us. Or that one of the kids would get seriously injured. He assured me that I was completely crazy and that none of those things would happen. So, I sucked it up and put on my big girl pants the next day when we dropped him off at the rental car place. We stayed busy during the day going to the Zoo and Chick-Fil-A.
The Knoxville Zoo was very crowded, but the animals were all putting on quite a show and the kids really enjoyed it. And then evening fell. Those two nights, I only imagined a serial killer banging on the door… wait. Strike that. It was definitely a killer clown. With an axe. I only imagined that a few times. I didn’t loose too much sleep and we welcomed Zac back GLADLY and celebrated by going to the mall to shop for our upcoming Disney trip! It was glorious.
So that’s that, folks. I’ll try to keep up with the blogging a little bit better in the future so that the posts aren’t so long.