Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year and Looking Back at 2016

We would like to take this moment to 
Wish Everyone Reading this a
Happy and Blessed New Year!
May you find Happiness and Joy
as you Travel through 2017.

Looking back on this past year the first word that comes to mind is fun.  We are living our retirement dream, loving it, and enjoying the days as they unfold. Sadly many people never get to live their dream so we get up grateful every morning for the day ahead. 

Highlights of 2016:

January: We welcomed 2016 at the Saddle Mountain RV Park in Tonapah, AZ. While there we met some very nice couples Linda and Len (our neighbors), Joyce and Jerry, and Molly and Charlie, all of whom we hope to see again. 
We attended the second Blogger Fest in Quartzsite, organized by George and Suzie Yates of Our Awesome Travels, and it was so nice to be able to put faces to bloggers whose blogs we have been reading the last few years. 
We are hoping to be able to attend again this year. It is being planned by Sue and Lorne Green of  A Place Called "Away" and will take place on January 28, 2017 again in Quartzsite at the La Posa South LTVA.

February: By the 12th we were parked out in the desert where we spent about 4 weeks enjoying the quiet that is the desert. We did take the time to explore some of the area and I took some beading classes but mostly we were just content to be sitting in the sun, watching sunsets and sunrises, or looking at the night sky filled with stars. When we had a full moon it was so bright we felt like someone had turned the lights on.
We also drove over to Joshua Tree National Park which was beautiful. Our hope is to go back now that we have a vehicle which can handle some of the off road trails.

March:  We left the Quartzsite area on the 8th and headed to Lake Havasu City for the Annual Yooper Picnic-definitely a fun time. 
We also spent time in the Kingman area and connected with fellow yoopers, Jill and Rick. They have a wonderful home in a beautiful spot and it was nice to get to see it. 
We again drove down Route 66 and this time we stopped in Oatman. 
We started our slow trek East towards home on the 21st. One of our stops was the Petrified Forrest National Park. We drove through, stopping at several lookouts, on a cool windy day. 
We spent a week near Albuquerque which is where we spent Easter.  While there we drove the Turquoise Trail up to Santa Fe. (Another place it will be nice to visit now that we have a smaller vehicle to maneuver through the old streets.)

April: Still traveling East we stopped in Amarillo for a couple of days, visited The Big Texan and watched three young men try to conquer the 72 ounce steak meal. 
We also drove over to the Texas Panhandle War Memorial and it ended up being the day they were having a welcome home ceremony for Vietnam Veterans. Tom is a Vietnam Veteran so it was a special moment for him. 
Continuing East we stopped at the Little Rock High School Historical Site in Arkansas. 
We spent a week at the Escapees Raccoon Valley RV Park near Heiskell, TN.  From there we drove to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cumberland Gap National Park.
On the 17th we officially pointed the truck north on I 75 and headed towards Michigan. We spent the 20th through the 28th visiting with our son and his family in St. Clair Shores. 

May: We pulled into our driveway on the 2nd. We had been gone 200 days and put 15,291 miles on the truck. Our Second Adventure had come to a close but will always be remembered.

June, July, August, September:  During these months we spent time going through stuff. In 47 years we have accumulated a lot more stuff then either of us imagined. Since, it was not the only thing we did during this time we did not quite finish but this coming summer it will be done. 
We also went through the Crusader and pulled out what we did not absolutely need in anticipation of purchasing a motor home. (We started looking last year taking our time as we wanted it to be the right and only one we purchase.) 
The 4th of July our son, daughter-in-law, and their three children visited and we did family pictures. During this time some of our extended family gathered at our home for what was a great day of visiting. 
August 1st our newest grandchild, Adelaide Ann, arrived. 
In September we gathered to celebrate Nathaniel and Adelaide's baptism. 
It was a busy summer and it just flew by. We were able to spend time with family and friends and that is the best part of being in Escanaba.

October: On the 20th Tom backed the Crusader out of our driveway at 5:45AM and we drove a short distance over to the Family Inn to have breakfast with our daughter, Rachel, and grandchildren, Charlotte, Nathaniel, Adelaide, Aden, and Nolan. At 7:50AM we left Escanaba behind and began our Third Adventure . 
We spent the first night in Frankenmuth and found out we had lost the bottom plate on one of the front stabilizers so we could not unhook. Dinner went from a nice restaurant to hot dogs from the freezer.
We spent 12 days at the Riverview Marina and RV Park in Algonac so we could visit with our son, Thomas, or daughter-in-law, Nadine and grandchildren, Noah, Jonah, and Marcella.  Our time there included Halloween so it was fun to watch them get dressed up and go out trick or treating.  Though it ended up being the coldest night during our visit.

November: We left Michigan on the 2nd and on the 3rd we stopped at an Urgent Care and found out Tom had Bronchitis. Which, considering just about everyone was sick at our son's house when we left, was inevitable. At this point we decided to spend one more night traveling south and on the 4th we parked at the Zooland Family Campground near Asheboro, NC and stayed for 7 nights resting and recuperating.
After spending two nights in Walmart parking lots we parked at the Arbor Terrace RV Resort in Bradenton, FL. Our next door neighbors in Escanaba, Joan and Ross, had recently purchased a winter home near where we were parked and it was nice to be able to get together with Joan and see their new place. She had been busy remodeling and is making it into a beautiful home. 
The rest of this month and December we spent looking at motor homes. 
Leaving this park was not the best moment and we learned a valuable lesson. (Information in December post.)
We then parked at the Zephyr Palms RV Park in Zephyrhills until the 17th of December. 

December: On the 13th we quietly celebrated 47 years of marriage. 
On the 10th we saw for the first time, in person, the motor home which would become our new home on wheels. We walked in and immediately knew we had found the one. Even after talking about it, a lot, we still had no doubts about it being the one. (I had said all along we would know immediately when we walked in if it was home. Over the past year we walked into a lot of motor homes that for one reason or another did not make the cut.)   On the 17th before we signed the papers after yet again opening up cupboards, closets, checking out the bathroom, and standing in the shower, I sat on the couch and it felt like home. Luckily it also had what Tom was looking for as far as the engine etc...It is a 2007 Coachman Pathfinder, we have named the Stinger B. After signing the papers we spent the rest of the day moving everything out of the Crusader into the Stinger B. Then the morning of the 18th we said goodbye to the Crusader for the last time and headed north for the holidays. 
On the way home, on the 21st, we stopped in Abrams, WI and purchased a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk to tow behind the Stinger B. 
We are still in Escanaba as I write this but if the backup plan goes as expected we should be headed downstate on January 4th and back in Florida on 13th.

All in all it was a great year. We did have some bumps in the road but that is part of life. We are looking forward to 2017 and the new adventures ahead. Remembering, as we go, it is not just about the destination it is about the trip and being open to the detours that happen along the way. After all sometimes the detours are the best part of the trip.

The Last Day of 2016 and We are Still in the Frozen North

We are still in Escanaba waiting for things to resolve so we can go downstate and spend some time with the rest of our grandchildren and children. Then we will be on our way to Florida and our new home on wheels.

It was special spending Christmas with our daughter and her family. The only thing that could have made it better would have been our son, daughter-in-law and their children being here also.

Our grandson was not impressed with sitting on Santa.

It snowed last night and if there is one thing I have always loved about living up here is watching the beautiful white flakes come down and blanket the ground with pure white softness. I loved taking walks in the peaceful glow of the street lights; it always seemed like a soft, fluffy fairyland. These days I still like to watch but from the warmth of our den through the patio windows and if I was to be totally truthful looking at pictures from the desert would be just fine.

Out our kitchen window.
Looking out the patio windows.

This is our side yard where the
Crusader was parked and the Stinger B
will be parked this summer.
For now the Jeep is being covered in white.

Our daughter playing with her son, Nathaniel, in our backyard this morning.

"Looking out our windows the snow keeps falling 
encasing our world in little twinkly stars of white."

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Traveling North for the Holidays

December 18, 2016

We got up moving somewhat slower after a long day of moving the day before. Who would have thought we had that much stuff in the Crusader. Especially considering we had downsized knowing part of the plan this year was to find our motor home.

After a few last minute chores we bid our final farewells to the Crusader.

We stopped for gas and coffee, then pulled out onto I 75 at 7:30AM and started our trek north. The temperature was 76 degrees.

Leaving Florida

Entering Georgia

Driving North through Atlanta.

I missed the Tennessee sign. When we stopped for dinner we changed into winter boots and coats. Just before we reached Chattanooga we left I 75 and switched over to I 24.

About 12 hours after leaving the Crusader and driving 571 miles we stopped for the night in Chattanooga, TN and it was 32 degrees.

December 19, 2016

We were up, crossed the street, gassed up the truck, bought coffee, and were back on I 24 by 6:30AM. Just north of Nashville we left I 24 and continued onto I 65.

Driving through Louisville, Kentucky
Passing through Indianapolis we see snow.

We continued on I 65 until we intersected with I 94. I 94 brought us to 294 which took us around Chicago and $9.20 later we were in Wisconsin and back on I 94. After about 671 miles we stopped for the night in Kenosha, WI.

December 20, 2016

Our last travel day would only be about 264 miles so we took our time leaving and we were on the road around 8:30AM. In Milwaukee we connected with I 43 which would take us to just north of Green Bay.
We did stop in Sheboygan, WI briefly to spend some time with my sister who had just gotten home from Switzerland the night before. It was fun learning about her and her husband's trip and we are looking forward to hearing more about it next time we get together.

Snowbank outside motel in Kenosha, now we are seeing snow.

Driving through Milwaukee
Looking out at the mouth of the Fox River and the Green Bay (Lake Michigan)
as we cross the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge in Green Bay. 

 Just north of Green Bay I 43 ends and we turned onto US 41.

We had one more stop in Wisconsin and that was at Chrysler World in Abrams. After we purchased the Stinger B the next step was replacing our truck with a vehicle more suitable for towing. Tom had been doing research on what type of vehicle we would tow pretty much from the time we decided to start looking for a motor home. Our first thought was a Jeep Wrangler, which would be nice for doing off roading, the problem for us was comfort. Especially if we decided, like this year, to travel back to Michigan for the holidays. Once we decided on the type of vehicle, and it needed to be flat tow-able, Tom started the search for the right one for us. He found it at this dealership and after several back and forth conversations we were pretty convinced it was the right one. After seeing it we knew it and on December 20th it became ours. Since, the truck was fully loaded with stuff including the 5th wheel hitch they arranged for it to be delivered to us on Thursday the 22nd.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

It is trail rated, so though it will not take us where a wrangler would, we feel it will work to get us out on some back roads we could not reach with the truck. We are looking forward to the adventures it will take us on.

Back on our way north, though US 41 would take us all the way to Escanaba, we opted to switch to M 35 just north of Menominee, MI. We pulled into our driveway around 9:30PM.

Our welcome home table set up by our daughter and granddaughter.

"We travel not to escape life, 
but for life not to escape us."

The Stinger "B"

December 17, 2016

Two posts back our blog was about a "Lesson Learned". What I did not mention was what I had said to Tom as we drove down the back roads towards the RV park in Zephyrhills, FL, If we look at the bright side maybe there is a reason for what has happened and that reason is our motor home is in Florida.

On December 10th we got our first, in person, look at what would become our new, to us, home on wheels.

2007 Coachman Pathfinder

December 17th the papers were signed and it officially became ours. We have decided, since we both thought it looked like a large bumblebee the first time we saw it, to affectionately call our new home on wheels the Stinger "B".

After finishing all the paperwork, with the Crusader and the Stinger "B" parked side by side we started moving all our belongings into our new home on wheels.

Getting ready to pull out of the last site we spent in the Crusader.
Parked side by side waiting for the move.

The huge task of organizing will be when we get back. The next morning we headed for the UP to spend Christmas with our Daughter and her children and then, according to the plan, onto lower Michigan to spend New Years with our Son, Daughter-in-law, and their children then back to Florida by the 6th or 7th. (Side note: as of today, the 29th those plans have had to change for reasons I will not be talking about at this time. Except to say it looks like our time line will be changed by about one week.)

We are excited about this new home and are anxious to make it ours. When we get back to Florida we will have, with help, time to learn about how everything operates. Then Tom, and if I brave up, will be going to driving school to learn how to confidently drive our new home. After about a week we hope to be on the road and heading west so we can spend time in the desert.

"Don't be afraid to CHANGE.
You may lose something good
but you may gain
something better."

Some Background

We want to start this post by saying, 
we hope everyone 
who reads this had a
Very Special Christmas!

When Tom and I got married back in December of 1969 one of things we had not discussed about our life ahead was camping. Growing up my parents had a rustic cabin on the lake, (Pump for water, gas lights, and outhouse), but it was a log cabin and we slept on beds. The only time I had ever slept on the ground in a tent was a couple of nights at Girl Scout camp and out in our back yard as a young child. Tom on the other hand had camped in a tent many, many times and was anxious to take me out on this adventure. 

Our equipment was mostly what he had used over the years and to this we added a sleeping bag, tent, and a small grill. Memorial Weekend 1971 was our first adventure. When we left the sun was shining and by the time we arrived at Corner Lake, a Hiawatha National Forest Campground, it was raining. Since, the campground was filled I suggested we turn around and go home. He said just wait a site will open up. Sure enough more then one group of campers packed up and left, after all as I mentioned it was raining. So we set up the tent, which is where the cat and I spent most of the next two rainy days, in what Tom called a prime lake site. Then on the third day the sun came out and that night Tom built a campfire. As we sat there on the ground looking up through the trees at the inky black sky filled with twinkling stars I was hooked.  Over the next several years we spent many nights sleeping in that tent. We explored most of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, visited the Black Hills of South Dakota, and saw Niagara Falls. 

Then we moved up to a pop-up camper and we no longer were sleeping on the ground. We visited Toronto, Montreal, and Lake Placid with the pop-up following us. We also spent more then one Oktoberfest in the Door Peninsula, one of our favorite destinations. 

Then for a few years we did very little camping and with the arrival of our son we went back to tenting, only now with an air mattress. Then our daughter arrived and we used our tent to take them out to the Black Hills.

The next step was a travel trailer that had belonged to my parents. They could no longer use it for health reasons and we purchased it. Not only were we no longer sleeping on the ground but we had running warm water and a bathroom. That travel trailer took us into Ontario where we visited the Shrine of the Martyrs, Toronto, Niagara Falls, and a few other places I cannot remember the names of. It also took us to Yogi Bear Parks, which our children loved, and camping in the UP. Then our children became more and more involved in school and summer activities and camping went by the wayside.

Many times over the years we had the...when we retire talk...and those talks always were about traveling in a motor home and seeing this great country of ours.  As the time came to fulfill that dream we decided maybe a 5th wheel would be a better choice and soon after Tom retired we made the purchase. A 36-foot Crusader Prime Time 5th wheel and a three-quarter ton Chevrolet Silverado to tow it. We became snowbirds in 2014 and fell in love with the lifestyle. We loved our Crusader but after two years of snowbirding we knew our original plan of a motor home would have been a better choice for the way we like to travel.

That brings us to our next post. 

"If nothing ever changed, 
there'd be no butterfllies."

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Forty-Seven Years!

Today we celebrated our 47th Wedding Anniversary. This is the third anniversary we have celebrated as snowbirds and it hardly seems possible that three years have gone by since we started this journey. A journey by the way we are thoroughly enjoying. Lets face it, though, what really does not seem possible is it has been 47 years since we stood together in front of family and friends at St. Anne's Church and said "I do".

A question, I am sure, we are not alone in asking is where did the time go. So many memories of a life lived together. Raising our two children and now watching as they raise theirs. I remember one particular day we were riding by a RV place and we started talking about one day owning one and spending winters where it was warm. Both our children, visibly upset, wanted to know where they would sleep, what about their stuff, and their friends. We tried to explain that by the time we would buy the RV and go south in the winter they would be all grown up and not want to live with us any more. They would have nothing to do with that idea so we finally told them not to worry we would not be doing that. Now we have grandchildren that do not understand why Papa and Nana have to be gone all winter. It is funny how things change but not really.

It was a quiet day of packing and getting ready for our next adventure together. Tom grilled steaks, I put a potato and vegetables in the oven to roast, added salads and we enjoyed a nice meal. Not a bad way to celebrate 47 years of marriage!

"An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, 
the memories of yesterday, 
and the hopes of tomorrow."

 ~Author unknown

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Lesson Learned.

November 20, 2016

We have been lucky as far as things going wrong in our home on wheels. Even the first year out when we had a tire blow on I 85 just East of Atlanta, GA we were close to an exit, and besides a slightly scratched wheel there was no damage to the Crusader. Plus we had an extremely nice gentleman come out on a Saturday night to help us. Even though as he explained, when Tom asked what do we owe you, I am not sure I don't change tires. I have a tow service but I could tell you really needed help and couldn't leave you stranded.

After looking at several motor homes in the area, Tom's constant research, we talked, and made the decision to head to Texas. The "plan" was to be somewhere near Tallahassee, Fl Sunday evening.

That plan ended in a blink of an eye as we pulled out of our RV site. I mentioned in the previous post we both had second thoughts about pulling into our assigned site but we made the decision to go ahead. (The office was closed on Sunday and we did not want to set up in a different site and then have to move the next morning. Hindsight says, that would have been a much better decision.) The sites were very tight. No more then two feet between our's and the next RV's slide. On our left was a board, between two posts, with the electrical boxes attached and the way this was positioned it was going to be even tighter to pull out of the site. Of course, now we realize Tom should have backed out of the site but after thinking about it we both really thought it would be tight but he would be able to pull out to the right. I was on the right watching the large cement pads we where hoping to avoid. We both thought there was enough room to miss the electrical board and by the time I realized we didn't have the room it was to late to get Tom to stop. We didn't do any damage to their electrical set up but I will include pictures of what it did to the Crusader. Now Tom had to make a tight turn to avoid a tree and not re-connect with the pole and board as he backed up. I was standing behind watching his progress when I heard a loud pop. Yes, that noise was the trucks back window.  At this point he backed up and made the decision to go up and over two of the cement pads which again hindsight says we should have done right from the start.

Now we are out on the highway looking for a place to stop and every time we go over a bump more of the window falls out. Yes, again hindsight says why didn't we just tape the window right away and that is a good question with no answer. After some fun at a Walmart we could not fit into and a one way turn we finally landed in Medical Office parking lot and called the insurance. The next step was to find a place to park and stay for at least three days until the window could be fixed. After some searching we found the park we are at now, Zephyr Palms RV Park in Zephyrhills, FL. We were able to get here using back roads which was the priority when selecting the spot. So we took a leisurely Sunday ride down Florida back roads and because of no back window had a nice breeze and did not need to use the air conditioning. It really was a nice ride and I never even took one picture. (Side note: this is a nice park and is on our list if we are back in this area.)

Our insurance did their job and someone was here Tuesday and the window was replaced and only cost us about half of what we thought it would. After several calls we were able to take the Crusader in for the body work estimate and the insurance will cover it minus our deductible. So in the end we learned a valuable lesson and it did not cost us an arm and a leg.

With everything that happened we have decided to stay here until we head back to Michigan and celebrate Christmas with our daughter and her family and then downstate for New Years with our son and his family. In the end this is a better place, distance wise, for the trip back. The "plan", I do love how we keep making plans this year, was to go back to watch our son receive his Masters on the 10th spend time with them and then head to our daughter's for a few days. It ended up that graduation was his National Guard weekend and he will not be walking. So we decided to still drive back but for the holidays instead. When we get back the "plan", because we are those optimists, is to head west.

"Good Times become good memories.
Bad Times become good lessons."

Going Further South to Bradenton, Florida

We left Ashbero, NC on 11th of November after spending 7 days resting and relaxing. We drove as far as Walterboro, SC and spent the night in a Walmart parking lot.

On the 12th we crossed into Florida and stopped for the night in Starke, FL at their Walmart.

On Sunday we made it to Arbor Terrace RV Resort in Bradenton, FL. We found the site we had been assigned and though we both had second thoughts went ahead and pulled in. (In the next post I will explain why we will never do this again.)

After getting set up we rode over to Palmetto, Florida. Our next door neighbor back home in Escanaba recently bought a place in one of the community's in the area and invited us over to see how she has been remodeling the place. We got to see it before her husband. They had rented a place down here last year, fell in love with the people, and the area. An opportunity arose and now they have a place of their own. She is putting together a really nice second home where they will be able to spend their winters and get away from the snow.  We are so happy for them and hope they enjoy their new place for many years to come.

Out to dinner at Popi's Place with Joan Rhoads.
Thank you for dinner Joan. It was great having the opportunity to get together. 

We took a ride over to the Gulf of Mexico and had plans to go back and watch a sunset. Then they had, if I remember the name correctly, a red tide warning. An organism is present that can cause respiratory irritation. I checked further and the dots of red covered pretty much the whole coast where we were. After talking we decided there would be more sunsets and why take a chance.

One of the reasons we traveled to Florida this season was to look at motor homes. Tom had been talking to a salesman down here and there were several that looked promising. This has been an ongoing search that started last spring. We have looked at more motor homes then I care to remember but with each one we learn more about what we want and don't want. So since we wanted to stay east to start out this year we decided to check what was available. After looking at several we decided they were not the ones. We were continuing to look and by now Tom was talking to two different people in Texas. So we decided maybe we should head towards Texas. This is a big decision for us and we want it to be the right one. We really love our Crusader but after two years snowbirding we can see the advantage of being in a motor home. In the meantime we are enjoying the rig we have.

"To be content doesn't mean you don't desire more,
it means you're thankful for what you have
and patient for what's to come."
~Tony Gaskins

Heading South

The goal for next few days is to put the miles behind us and land in North Carolina.

We left Michigan on November 2nd and drove as far as Delaware, OH where we spent the night in a Walmart parking lot.

On the 3rd we spent the night in a Walmart in Quincy, WV.

Crossing into West Virginia in the rain.

While waiting to take off the sun hit the hill across the Walmart parking lot.

The drive on November 4th.

Driving through West Virginia.

Crossing into Virginia

The windshield is dirty but the sign says we have reached
North Carolina.

We drove as far as the Zooland Family Campground near Ashbero, NC we parked here for 7 nights.

I am going to take the time to explain why we have decided to stay here for a week. When we were visiting our son and his family downstate both Nadine and Noah were sick and the day we left our son found out he had pneumonia. While we were there I ended up in Urgent Care. I had compromised my lungs which triggered my asthma and I could not stop coughing. After stopping the first night on the road Tom was coughing, tired, and generally not feeling well. We stopped at an Urgent Care where we found out he had bronchitis. At that point we looked at the direction we were heading and decided to drive as far as North Carolina, find a place to stay, and rest. We were headed in that direction because I was hoping to be able to visit a lifelong friend there. As it turns out, though we did get rested, the visit because of how we were feeling never happened. We did not want to pass anything on. Conclusion this year is not starting out exactly as we planned. The good news, this was a Passport America Park and the rate was good for 5 nights. Except for the first night this was a quiet park so it did end up being a restful place to land. It doesn't matter on the road or stationary in a house we all get sick and plans change.

"Take a deep breath and just enjoy life."

The Beginning of Our 3rd Adventure

October 20, 2016 through the Morning of November 2, 2016

Tom backed the Crusader out of the driveway at 5:45am.

Parked at the Family Inn for breakfast.

Enjoyed breakfast with this crew and pulled out of Escanaba at 7:50am

Crossing the Mackinaw Bridge; we have left the UP.
We drove as far as Frankenmuth the first day. Stopped to pickup Christmas ornaments at Bronner's Christmas store. We then spent our first night at Pine Ridge RV campground. When Tom went to unhook the Crusader he found out we had lost the front landing gear pad on the drive. Since, we could not unhook and we did not want to take the Crusader out to dinner those plans changed quickly. Luckily there was a RV store nearby, that had what we needed, and it became our second stop in the morning. First stop breakfast at the nearby Cracker Barrel, they have RV parking.

After picking up what we needed we proceeded on our way to the Riverview RV and Marina our home for the next 12 days. We will be spending time with our son, our daughter-in-law and their three kids, two dogs and cat.

Obviously something very important on the tablet.

Captain Kirk with Dr. McCoy resting on him.
(Captain and Bones)

Pumpkin Carving

Nadine did a nice job decorating for Halloween!

Heading out to go trick or treating.
Two ninjas with mom and dad.
One little pumpkin with papa.
I manned the candy bowl.

All to soon it was time to leave and on the 2nd of November we headed south. Now we will leave Michigan behind and miss all our children and grandchildren. We love this lifestyle but the downside is the leaving them behind.

"Each day is a blessing 
never pass up the opportunity you've been given."

May, June, July, August, September, October 2016

We arrived home on May 2, 2016 and left Escanaba for our 3rd Adventure on October 20, 2016.

This time was filled with family(children and grandchildren) activities, visiting with family and friends, and going through stuff with the goal of putting the house on the market. Plus cleaning and sorting through the Crusader as the goal this year is to trade it in for a motor home. Therefore, we needed to leave things behind that were not absolutely necessary to live our daily lives. It is amazing how each year we find we need less and less stuff. Except for not finishing going through stuff in the house it was a successful and enjoyable summer. There is always next year.

We made it home in time for our granddaughter, Charlotte's first dance recital in May.

In July our son, daughter-in-law and there three children came for the 4th of July. We had family pictures taken during this time and where able to celebrate birthdays with extended family.  Our son left with a uhaul of  stuff on the 5th and Nadine, Noah, Jonah, and Marcella stayed with us for another week.

Taking Family Pictures

On August 1st our daughter, Rachel, gave birth to the newest member of our family, Adelaide Ann.

We celebrated the baptism of Nathaniel and Adelaide on October 1st.

Timothy holding Nathaniel, Rachel, Father DeGroot, Nadine holding Adelaide
and Tom who stood in for our son, Thomas, who could not make it.

And because we did not have enough fun in July we did the family picture thing again in October.

This time Adelaide joined us.








This is a quick overview of our summer in Escanaba. It flew by; it honestly seemed like we pulled into the driveway and before we knew it Tom was backing the Crusader out of the yard.

"When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. Its to enjoy each step along the way."
~Wayne Dyer