Friday, September 28, 2012

Just pondering.......

Diane here...
Sitting in KC, under an almost full moon.  Arrived safe and sound, staying at a beautiful green campsite about 15 minutes from Nick ~~ we get to see him tomorrow.  (yeah ;-)  )

I was thinking today how much I enjoyed a quiet walk in Iowa. 

Something I am learning along the way ~~ I need quiet time.  Alone time. I am an introvert, which means: though I love people,  I recharge, refill, refresh, with quiet time.  I think to some extent,  this is true of each of us on this journey, (except our golden retrievers).  Getting alone time can be a bit challenging in 31 ft of living space, esp. on travel days.  Challenging to figure out. Alone time, quiet time , doesn't just happen.  I (each of us) has to purpose to make it happen, and sometimes that can feel sort of awkward.   I like you, I love you ~~ but I need to be alone for a bit. I am learning how to do this so I am not a grumphead. I don't want to be a grumphead.  And I don't like feeling like a grumphead. 

Another thing I am learning.  How much I love love love Abby's cooking & creativity in the kitchen.  OHMYGOODNESS. She can whip up a fantastic gourmet meal in a Mini-Maxine-Kitchen, effortlessly,  and she fully enjoys the process.  It's just another expression of the artistic person God designed her to be, and I'm so thankful for who she is.  Did I mention she also enjoys grocery shopping???  I think I am in heaven. Seriously. Thank you Abby for blessing your mamma's socks off....   

Just pondering.....



Never really thought too much about this little state, but WOW, is it beautiful this time of year!  Just passing through, on our way to Kansas City to spend some time with my brother.

Stayed overnight at a Rock Creek State Park – BEAUTIFUL—on a lake.  Here’s what we enjoyed:
Keith – COLORS!  Unbelievable colors!
Diane – Fall colors. Peacefulness.  Early a.m. walk/run with Chester. Sitting. Quiet. Listening.
Kai—Trees turning to Fall
Chester & Bailey – SWIM SWIM SWIM!
Derek – Reflection of beautiful scenery in water. Morning walk with Jack & Abs. Grilling on charcoal & gas: steak, broccoli, potatoes, bananas & Gritas for our aperitif! 
 Abby -- Beautiful morning walk, amazing fall color reflections on the lake, delicious dinner. Peaceful.

the tractor mom told you about earlier =)

Iowa travel thoughts.....

Diane here…

Just a few thoughts as we are traveling through BEAUTIFUL Iowa on our way to Kansas City …..We are excited to plant ourselves in KC for a few days to spend time with our son, Nicholas, or as Kai says with giant smiles, “Uncle Nick!”

So thankful to have had time with Joe and Sandy (we met Joe, Sandy, SaraH, and Chloe when we lived in Hawaii) in their Wisconsin homeland ~~ land of good friends, cheese, and THE PACKERS.  How wonderful it is to have friends who really know you, love you, AND like you….that would be Joe ‘n Sandy.  Loved our window of time God gave us with you!

Madison, Wisconsin, with our friends, Joe and Sandy.
Now we are in Iowa….

I thought  Iowa would be just Iowa.  But it is truly gorgeous, dazzling fall colors, golden farmland IOWA. And our campground at River Creek was over-the-top spectacular with autumn bursting forth everywhere.  (and a lake for doggies WOOF WOOF).

Abby is going to post more thoughts and PICS from our dazzling Iowa Rock River Campsite...

But before I sign off – just have to share this story.

We stopped to fill up Maxine before gettin’ on the highway (gas is  $3.79/gallon in Iowa …in case you are askin’ the question).  The gas station was also a local burger hang-out place and it was filled with farmers in their caps and dusty overalls enjoying lunch and their latest  stories.  As we were almost ready to leave there was a woman who came out carrying big brown paper bags, obviously filled with lots of lunch.  She headed toward a GIANT tractor that pulled a large grain type trailer/wagon (I know there is an official name for that harvest-hauler----sorry I don’t know what it’s called …. Harrumph).  I waved to her, she held the brown bags high-up into the air and yelled to me, “Lunch for the harvest crew….!” I thought, you totally rock J, lunch catered via tractor….   

I had to snap of picture of her…. at the very same moment she grabbed her camera and snapped a pic of us.  She gave us a thumbs-up as she looked at Dori, our very non-Iowa aloha-eurovan!    Smile

Love to all…….

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A combine ride...

We are at another 'somewhere between HERE & THERE'....a sweet little, corn-field town in Illinois. Mom & Dad are meeting friends just north of us in Wisconsin -- CHEESE COUNTRY!  Hope they bring back some cheese curds for us!  We are chillin' with the dogs and hanging out not doing too much.  Enjoying a little down time and 'just us' family time.

Yesterday, the big FUN of the day was getting to watch the combine through the corn fields just on the edge of our campground. The SUPER FUN thing was Don (the really nice combine driver) asked if we wanted to go for a ride!  Derek & Jack were ALL over that!  It took Derek back a few years to when he met some friends out west who were harvesting wheat too.  What a fun time for him then, and now getting to share it with his family & son (who was SO in AWE).  I was stoked!

Derek's thoughts .... I was so thankful that Jack and I were able to ride along with  Don as he harvested his crop.   What an honor to meet a generational farmer and be on his land.  He told me, "We are not getting as much corn this year, but at least we are getting some."  I thought about the drought and hardships and I was just thinking that as he takes his corn in to be weighed,  I hoped his harvest would be MORE than he expected.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana

Pokagon State Park, Angola, Indiana
You just never know what beauty is around the next corner.  Here is one of those places.  This gorgeously green park, loaded with trees  and trails, sits on the shores of Lake James and Snow Lake.  Whether you are in need of a stopover ,or a place to retreat for a  longer bit ~~~ this is the spot to "park" in northern Indiana off of Route 80/90.

Ok, a little history ~~ The Potawatomi Indian people lived and ruled here for many years, and the park "Pokagon" gets her name from their last two most notable and respected leaders, who happened to be father and son ~  Leopold and Simon Pokagon. What a beautiful land they lived in & called home.  The lodge and park are named in their honor.

We pulled in, late afternoon,  ~~Maxine rollin' along with her new tire. We got here just in time to bundle up (brrrr, a bit CHILLY) and run around a bit before dinner & bedtime.  It's been rainy /chilly these last few days, and this morning we awoke to bright sunshine and a crisp blue sky AND warming temperatures (woohoo)

With the rising of the sun, Derek, Abby, Jack, Chester 'n Bailey ,took an early morning hike along a gorgeously wooded trail out to the lake  ~~ (where the dogs did not see the no swimming-sign and took their early a.m. plunge into icy waters). Keith, Kai, and I grabbed a few more winks.

Before heading out, we all ate breakfast at the Potawatomi Inn in the Park  ~~ What a beautiful lodge~~ old canoes displayed, huge stone fireplaces, log furniture, magnificent views out the sparkling & dancing across the lake.  Such a gorgeous setting and a peaceful way to begin the day.

There were two women in the dining room...enjoying tea and breakfast, Bibles and journals open. We spoke with them before leaving, they had shared countless waves and smiles with Jack and Kai as we walked around the lodge before eating. Two of the nicest ladies, soaking in God's creation, their friendship, and a day of prayer.  Before leaving, we all prayed together and they blessed us on our journey.  They prayed, asking the Lord to give us "serendipity moments" wherever we traveled.

                                                         He just did.   (smile)

We are now headed toward Illinois, planning to stay a few days.

Keith and are traveling from there up into Wisconsin to meet our dear friends, Joe & Sandy, for dinner and a sleep-over (as Kai calls it!).

Derek and Abby, kiddos 'n pups, will hang out in the spot God leads us to today, and enjoy some Illinois treasures.

 We are so thankful for His loving care and kindness each day, along the way ~~ and the people we get to meet on the journey.      

Pressing "pause" for now.
"Blue skies....smilen' at me....nothin' but blue skies do I see...."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Niagara pics & Flat tires....

Hi it's me again! (Abby here)

Sorry you don't hear from me much....this full-time, road-trippin' mamma thing is HARD work!  I usually sit to write a blog and I get a fraction of the way through it and duties call.  (Not the type of 'duties' that call after you eat wings) but you know motherly duties! =) So thank you MOM for keeping connected!

Soooooo, here are a few pics of Niagara, our buffalo wing date in BUFFALO!..... and yes, our first FLAT TIRE! 

We are somewhere in OHIO at a little campground on Lake Huron (side note...oopsie daisy, we actually are not anywhere close to lake HURON, but we are on lake Erie at a Huron campground along some river... WHY WOULD BE CONFUSED???  ( Anyways I mistakenly pronounced it heroin last night -- LOL!!!!) We left NY yesterday, skipped through the top corner of PA, drove around Lake Erie and ended up in a little river-rat campground with a flat tire.  So just waiting for someone to come change the dually.  The girls decided we could probably shower, have makeup on, hair done, breakfast made, and nails done by the time the tire gets fixed!  And let me tell you, sometimes just getting dressed before we get on the road is an accomplishment for this mamma!

 So I better post these pics before my computer shuts down on me....AGAIN...... or DUTIES call!!!! 

Us at Niagra Falls

eatin' buffalo wings at Duff's

so much fun driving with daddy

what you THINK I do while we are on this trip!

our brave & fearless warriors 

Until next time......

PS  (this reads best if you read with a southern slow drawwwwwwl twang) Just sayin' I did not even begin to explain to you about the redneck dudes on their golf carts that spit chaw.... and the two wedding parties that happened last night in the campground.  We do not know who chris and jeff are but we wish them the best.  the cans were jigglin' behind their golf cart as they left for their honeymoon on the otherside of whatever river we are on.

PS.PS. Kai is havin' a little quiet time this mornin', layin' on her bed readin' Grace For Today by Max Lucado.  I think we should join her.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

On the road again..... Saturday the 22nd of Sept.

Yesterday, Friday, we spent the day relaxing at our campground,
The dazzling Four Mile Creek State Park, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Bike Rides

Met new friends from NY and Alaska

Our “neighbor” shared home-grown tomatoes with us

Doggies swimmin’ in Lake Ontario, more than once

Morning runs

Sittin’ in the sun

Quiet moments by the lake

Derek & Abby had a lunch-date at Duff’s –authentic Buffalo Wings…oohhh Baby

They brought us some. (ye-hah)

And then……


Peek-a-boo view from our campsite of Toronto city lights, 32 miles across the lake, ah-mazing

A few twinkling stars poked out

Then rain pattered and pounded atop Maxine throughout the night

And now Saturday….. with good Niagara memories,

We are on the road again. On the road again.

PS….I am going through extreme lobster withdrawals. Just sayin’.

playing at Lake Ontario with Papa

Dog-gone happy at Lake Ontario

The dogs finally convinced us to let them have a bed. :-)
Pawsitively pooped out pups

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Woo Hoo Niagara Falls

Diane thoughts ~~  (it's long....grab a cup -o coffee)

Thursday ~~We are in Niagara Falls and it is more amazing than I imagined. 

(side note --- I think my last post was in Herkimer, NY, where I was cryin' a river by the river. Sometimes you just need a good cry, and life gets brighter.  It did. And it is.)

We arrived here on Tuesday, stayed one night in a way toooooo expensive non-impressive KOA.  Next day we moved to a beautiful State Park on the shores of Lake Ontario.  If you come to Niagara Falls and are camping..... STAY HERE!  Green, gorgeous, lots of trails and from many sites like ours, you can see the lake.  Kai is learning to ask the right questions as we pull into campgrounds.... she says "Does it have hook-ups?"  ha ha.  Yes it has hook-ups.

So, Niagara Falls has been on my bucket list.  And yesterday was THE DAY.  Keith and I spent the afternoon being tourists while Derek and Abby and kiddos and doggies relaxed around camp.  (that is... relaxed until Chester took off after a squirrel while he was tied up to the picnic table and well, he  sort of "moved camp")

Back to the falls. First of all I was a bit confused. (how strange is that?) I thought there was a Niagara Falls.  And so when the ranger lady said, "American Falls is this way, Horseshoe Falls is this way, and Bridal Veil Falls is this way..."  I'm like, BUT WHERE IS NIAGARA FALLS, I came to see NIAGARA FALLS, HELLO!!!. (don't laugh)  I was confused, but after a bit got unconfused and came to understand....that collectively they ARE Niagara Falls.  Whew, then I could breath.

I must have said WOW 5,387 times. They were spectacular.  We went on the boat , The Maid of The Mist, and wore those cute and necessary blue poncho thingies.  There were rainbows and humungous and ROARING falls , and when we got right up close to and next to Horseshoe Falls I felt like Moses looking up at the Red Sea.  And I said OH WOW really loudly.....and I screamed (I did) YEEEE HAH. I was so 'cited.  It was so over the top incredible.

Then....we went over to Canada and ate dinner at the top of the revolving restaurant which is at the very top of the sky, almost.  We did not time our dinner atop the revolving-sky-restaurant at all, but God did....we were seated at just the right spot, to see the falls, and then the ah-------maze-------ing orange-sky sunset, and then the falls lit-up in rainbow colors against the night sky.   We were dazzled by His creation and His kindness to put us at just the right place at just the right time.

We got home way after dark, and our kids left the light on for us. (seems a little backwards huh? --- they are so thoughtful).  At breakfast this morning, when we all told stories about our day (which was when we learned about Chester/squirrel and the doggies swimmin' in Lake Ontario), we learned that our kiddos ordered, and had delivered I might add, ....buffalo wings from Buffalo....and they did not save us any.  hello?

Today....Keith and I have a day at camp with doggies and Jack, while D&A&Kai tour THE FALLS.

So, that's the latest up-to-date travel news


Bit's and pieces.....To answer some questions we've been gettin'

For those wondering about the vehicles (mostly the guys) Maxine is a champ and she is a great motor home.  She travels well (a bit bouncy in the back....whoa), and pulls Dori with ease. Dori likes touring around the small places and is running super-duper.

The most we've paid for gas is ....GULP $4.15/gallon and Maxine drank 44 gallons at that stop ..which was in Crown Point, NY.

And for those students out there who are mapping our journey.... 
From Bar Harbor we went to Dexfield, Maine.  (memories....laughing til we cried around the campfire, making slammin' chili, and the mountains at sunset and sunrise)

From Dexfield, Maine to Crown Point, NY.  On the shores of Lake Champlain.  We traveled through a corner of New Hampshire and then Vermont.  BEAUTIFUL.  (memories at Lake Champlain State Park (super spot to stay---no hook-ups)...riding bikes and hiking through  the ruins of a French & British fort  built early in the 1730's during French & Indian War... and climbing the stairs up to the top of the lighthouse)

From Crown Point, NY , to Herkimer, NY.  Herkimer KOA on the river is a beautiful park...with hook-ups :-)  (....memories....doggies swimming in the river til they were pooped pups and watching them figure out how to doggie paddle upstream.... good talks and a good cry by the riverside)

From Herkimer NY to Niagara Falls.  (do not stay anyplace but the STATE PARK on Lake Ontario!!!)

I am SOOOOOOOO excited!

With my sweetie, Horseshoe Falls and Canada in background

On the boat! American Falls

Looking up at Horseshoe Falls...I totally felt like Moses in this one....

dinner view at sunset ...from atop the revolving "Sky " restaurant  in Canada

Monday, September 17, 2012

Herkimer, NY

Diane thoughts...
I've enjoyed Abby's pics so much.... reliving some of the places and moments. :-) 
 It IS a great journey, with each beautiful bend in the road, even the bumps. 
Tonight, Monday, we are camped in Herkimer, NY, with a gorgeous river out our back door (guess that would be our front door too). Never knew there was a  town in NY named Herkimer. Did you?
  It is a stop on our travels toward Niagara Falls, and a beautiful one.
The leaves are just beginning to change color, and the sound of the river is deee-lightful.
You know, in moves.....there are days when you just miss friends extra much.
Heart tender.  Eyes wet.
Today is one of those days for me.
Abby reminded me.... "Mamma said there'd  be days like this...."
Glad to have a family that I can sit by the river with,
share the real me with,
leak tears with,
 and have them understand and love me.
What a gift.
Love my family.

Pictures of Maine & Beyond...

 Here are some pics of our journey through Maine & beyond!

Local Blueberry Beer!  Cheers!
usually i take all the pics, so here is one of me in Camden, of my fav spots so far

Kai enjoying the BEST Blueberry pancakes EVER!

good times riding in the motorhome!

Chester 'trying' to relax while driving ;)

Morning walk as a family along the Maine Coast -- beautiful!

what a breakfast in the motorhome looks like...sometimes... =)

Kai in her glory...ahhhh, at the BEACH! Life is Good

cute Diane & Keith enjoying Sand Beach in Acadia

Sand Dollar treasures in Acadia.  We found 8 of them!

The BEST icecream spot in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Thanks Dwight for the suggestion!

Jack checkin' out a 4 lb lobster! 

Fun at the harbor

Bar Harbor, Maine

And..... what do beautiful fall colors, cool crisp air, Strawberry Cheesecake, Late Night Snack, Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz, & Pina Colada have in common?  Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Vermont!  We just HAD to stop of course!  And it was quite delicious!!!  If it seems we are grazing through the states while we head west....well, we ARE =)  It is very F.U.N!!! Defineitly recommend! LOTS of yummy places along the way.

And there they are!

the view from our campsite last night -- Lake Champlain, NY looking at Vermont

We crossed over Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and now making our way through New York.  Back in Yankee country!  Jack's careful not to where his Phillies hat here! Jack slept from 3pm to 5:30am yesterday/last night after his icecream at Ben & Jerry's....either he was pooped from not sleeping great for the last 2 weeks or they put something in that icecream!  If so, I want more!!!

Pics Posted!  Enjoy!  More details to follow!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Acadia Days

Hope to post some pictures tomorrow.....or sooner than later.....

Pictures will paint a thousand words better than I could ever say them.

I will tell you a weee bit.  (but the pictures WILL say it better, you will see)

Acadia....rugged coastline, clear-blue-sea, pines, rock cliffs, sandy beach, surprise sand dollars tucked in the sand, breathtaking views, rocks, driftwood, islands, blueberry ice cream cones, more lobster, campfires, star-filled nights, wet doggies lovin' swimmin' in the harbor, Bar Harbor, fishing boats, sandy toes, and sun-kissed nose  ................

Yesterday we ate a picnic lunch at Sand Beach.... where we played in the sand, climbed on the rocks, Kai twirled & danced & sang songs of joy,  we put our toes in the cold sea,  and  then drove the scenic loop through the park.

Today we window shopped in Bar Harbor, ate more lobster rolls & tasted fresh blueberry ice cream, Jack chased after pigeons, & then we all strolled a sea-cliff trail with Kai as tour guide. After naps, we headed up to Cadillac Mtn. to watch the sunset and eat a picnic dinner prepared by Chef Abby ~~amazing cook we have on board :-).   The fog rolled in a little before sunset.  No sunset to be seen. hmm.

Plan B was to go to Jordan Pond to enjoy FAMOUS pop-overs & tea after picnic dinner. Long story short.... plan B did not work out either.  bummer dude  No pop-overs, no tea, no pond after the fog swallowed it up.  We ate picnic dinner in fast....and then went to plan "c"

Plan C was campfire back at camp.  Plan C it was. Sometimes that's life, plan "c"....

And now it is bedtime.

PS Robert, just lettin' you know, I was BEEin' really careful eating this ice cream cone. ;-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Acadia.....We made it!

Monday ~ We left Plymouth, driving our way up the spectacular coast of Maine, through  rocky coast line and little fishing villages.  Spent the night in Wells, Maine.  We were all TOTALLY ready to get out of Maxine…so ….~ as soon as we could get the bikes off the racks, we rode to the harbor, and played played played in the sand and the doggies swam swam swam.  And then some.  It smelled like the sea…. Ahhhh.

We passed this little roadside diner place on our bike ride that was packed with peoples…..ordered take out ~~homemade clam chowdah J, and lobster stew with the the honkenest hunks of lobster I have ever seen (honkin delicous too)---- and fresh clams steamed &  dipped in butter.   Ohmygoodness.  Sooooooooo good.

Tuesday ~ 9/11 ~ In each little fishing village we drove through, we saw flags flying at half-mast .  A day of remembrance ….  Prayers…. Pondering how that day changed us all, how we each have our memories, our “pictures” that keep our heart tender towards prayer for our nation, our world.

We  stopped early in the afternoon at Camden Hills State Park to spend the afternoon and night.  A beautiful park on the edge of the sea.  The inlet is dotted with islands, sailboats, gulls ~~ and the view from the cliffs, out into the bay, well, the peacefulness and beauty is  breathtaking, Holy.  There are no words.  We just absorbed the peace and calm and beauty, as we walked the trails and listened to the quiet.  

Derek and Abby had a date night in Camden,  overlooking the harbor, fishing boats, sunset  reflecting across the sea.

Campfire.  Smores.  And kazillions and bazillions of stars against a dark night sky.  In the stars His Handiwork I See…

Which brings us to today….Wednesday, I think it would be…..

Some highlights of our morning…  Walking quickly through Camden shops and harbor.  You don’t really s---t----r---o---l----l with two doggies and a super-fast-explorer-toddler. We got food to-go and quickly ate at a park bench overlooking the harbor. Kai & Jack had THE BEST and  blueberriest pancakes I have ever tasted. (They kindly shared a couple ‘o bites).    Crab rolls.   Bites of blueberry pie ~~ we did a taste-test from two different places. (I don’t mean to keep talking about FOOD, but it IS important to savor the tastiness of the land, and support the locals, don’t ya think?).  And the view from the summit of Mt. Battie was AMAZING, you can see forever up and down the coast. 

We left Camden around 2:30, our destination…….Acadia Nat’l Park. 

I am writing as we drive the scenic route,  & I have said more than once “this is gorgeous….oh wow….”  It is true. Harbors and boats and seaside towns and pines and bridges and bright blue sky and deep blue sea and ……..

I love the sea.

 PS  One last note before we go to bed. Made it to Acadia.!! Woo hoo.  We toasted with champaigne & thanked God for bringing us here!  Grilled fresh swordfish on the charcoal grill….smelled liked Dwight’s grill….and we talked about our dear friends.   And……..there are a kazillion more stars in the night sky in Acadia.  Just sayin’ it is breathtakinglybeautiful and we are thankful.

Monday, September 10, 2012

On our way up the coast... Monday Mornin'

Monday Morning.
On our way up the coast toward Acadia Nat'l Park,
listening to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe while cruizen' in Maxine.
 Last night I was not sleeping so much.  Thinking about those Pilgrims on the Mayflower.
Smushed in tight quarters.
Animal fur and stinkiness....
People noises ~ ~ Snores, Burps...and OTHER noises and fragrances ;-)
....not sure why I was thinken' about that..... eh-hem....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday evening ~ Still in Plymouth

Saturday was Mayflower Day. Ohmy, the day was gorgeous, bright blue sky with crisp white clouds, and a brisk wind that whipped the flags and sails.  Kai informed us she did NOT want to go on the ship.  Nuh-uh and no way.  We asked her why. Through a bit of conversation, we finally understood that because she had just seen JONAH at Sight and Sound Theater, she was not at all interested in  climbing on a ship and getting swallowed up by a large fish.  The ships looked A LOT the same to her. We assured her all would be ok, and nervously she agreed she would venture on board. Thankfully, no big fish swallowed us up and we all survived the journey. whew........... ;-)

To think that 103 passengers were on this tiny sailing vessel + animals + supplies, traveling from September 6 - November 11, 66 long days and nights on the open and bouncy sea  ~~ makes life in Maxine (2 seniors, 2 adults, 2 children, 2 dogs, hot water and microwave and frig and oven and bathroom and shower) seem like a luxury cruise.  The courage and faith of these men and women inspire me onward.

We went from  the ship to Plymouth Rock.   1620 is the date inscribed on this stone. The date the Pilgrims landed on American soil. I (we) oohed and awed over what took place on this spot, picturing men of long ago, steadying their small shallop against the rock, setting foot on this land and thanking their God. Kai liked the rock (a lot), and really liked the lady's teal earrings who was standing next to us. (they were dazzling------------ both the rock and the earrings :-).

From there we went to The Crabby Shack and ate lobster rolls and clam chow-dah. mmmmm.  

And was back to Maxine for naps.

We planned to do more.  You know, see more monuments, museums, walk the streets of Plymouth, shop.....

We are learning. LEARNING that we need to do "less" and take more time to do "less" with little ones.    I guess that would sort of mean ... take time to really smell the flowers (or Mayflowers ha ha). And choose which flowers to sniff, otherwise we all get tooo pooped to smell/enjoy the fragrance of anything.



We spent much of the morning resting at the campsite. The afternoon, we took a long drive and explored Cape Cod a bit.

Ate lunch  (I ate more lobster... yes I did :-)  ) in Sandwich, (the oldest town on the Cape), and walked on the beach and picked up rocks and took a kazillion pictures of Jack and Kai.   We continued on through Hyannis Port and followed the coast for awhile~~ white beaches, blowing sea grass, lighthouses, charming cape cod style homes........then headed back to Plymouth. Followed by a rainbow in our rear view mirror.

Our Plan "A" was to make it to Provincetown..............  that would have been toooooooooooo many flowers to sniff in one day.  As we say in Hawaii, the kids were "pau" ---  meaning: done, finished, tired, pooped (literally!), and so were the big people. We were all happy to get back to our "Mayflower"...our "Maxine" --- get the kids ready for bed, do a few loads of laundry, enjoy a little campfire time.......

Morning will come early, so I best find my pillow and snooze too.

Not sure what tomorrow will hold, but thankful for Who holds tomorrow..........

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Today is Saturday, yesterday (I think that would be Friday), we arrived in Plymouth.  A short 2 hr drive from Connecticut ..... Jack slept most of the journey while Derek and Kai played,  & Abby scoped out Plymouth campsites on the computer. Our plan A was to set up camp, and then begin exploring Plymouth, the Mayflower and a few other historical sites.  What actually took place........setting up camp, (which included the hammock between 2 pine trees...yes Dwight the hammock is here!), and then all afternoon Kai, Jack, and I snoozed and rested.  Children have a way of helping you do what is really important. Rest when you need it.  

A friend emailed me yesterday... she asked if I was frightened with the whole bee sting event, even though I wrote the blog pretty light-heartedly.  Honest and true, yes I was. I knew what signs to look for in others, just never had this happen to me.  And...when the Dr asked me if I'd ever had a breathing tube inserted --- my eyes got WIDE and my internal fear-meter rose a bazillion notches.   At the same time, I knew I was in good hands, and the miracle of the Emergency Hospital within site when I needed it was evidence of that. Adrenaline certainly kicks in for us during these times --- but yesterday the adrenaline was gone and I was tired and snoozed the day away. 

After my snooze and rest, ..the day after our anniversary, Keith surprised me with a night at a hotel and dinner in Plymouth.  The Bee Bumbled his plan A..... sorry I couldn't resist, celebrate our Anniv on THE day, but we flowed easily to Plan B. It was wonderful and romantic....a bottle of wine,  fresh swordfish, & scallops, blueberry something for dessert, overlooking Plymouth Harbor while the sun set behind us.

We talked about the Pilgrims and their long journey here. Following God's Word to them.  God put this dream in their hearts, and they followed. Getting ready to go wasn't easy ~ there were countless setbacks and challenges. They left all that was familiar behind them.......and set off across the sea in a very tiny ship to sail to a new land.  When doubts arose, and they did, they did not turn back, but clung to God and the dream He put in their hearts.  They arrived here a weary group.  Their first act in this land was to pray together,  giving thanks for His presence and His provision .....And to give this new land to God for His plan and purpose. The beginning.  I am so thankful they sailed the sea to arrive here.  I do love this land.

What a great  "stop" on our journey.  We will be here a few days (plan A :-) , exploring Plymouth and Boston.

Yesterday, as I rested and heart was tender as I thought of all God had done in our lives and hearts during our season of time in PA. We were planted on Sterling Place a short 5 1/2 years --- yet He did so much in us, enriching our lives with dear friends and family, meaningful work, pet therapy, a church family (that we did not know long enough!). ... being Gigi and Papa mind and heart were reliving the moments and my eyes got leaky.  And I felt so thankful that tears came and my heart hurt.   

And still, there is joy set before us.......and I am thankful for the journey that is ahead :-)

Today, exploring Plymouth is 'plan A'

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Bee Sting

Today had an interesting turn of events..... We ended up staying about 2 hours from our plan "A" destination.

We stopped for lunch in East Hampton, Connecticut, right next to a su-weet pink ice cream house with a pond. As I was eating positively the best toasted coconut ice cream cone I had ever had in my entire life, a bee or hornet snuck up and stung my sticky hand.  It hurt hurt like frog squat, yikes,  and I shouted "sakamoto" and flung my cone across the lawn.

Ya know, I've never had an allergic reaction to a bee sting....until today.

It wasn't too long before I was itching, and hives were erupting. We all went back to Maxine, I popped two benadryl, put my hand on ice,  and decided to lay down for a bit. We got underway for the final leg of our journey.

We weren't driving 3 minutes before my ear and face began to swell.......and I thought, this is not good.  Immediately I told our fabulous driver & navigator that I needed to see a Doctor.  As God would have it, at the moment I spoke, there was an Emergency Medical Center right across the street.  Derek zipped in. Keith and I went in---- and within moments of my feet stepping through their front door  I was hooked up to an IV and getting lots of attention.  

While I was resting and getting my bee-allergy-reaction-meds-IV-drip, Keith sat with me, & Derek and Abby and kiddos and dogs went to find a campsite ~~ we decided this was indeed a nice place to stay for the night.  Not plan "A" but a good plan "Bee". (ha ha)  Two hours later, all was well and I was back to "normal" (whatever that is).

So thankful to God for His provision today. I mean, how amazing is that?? to have exactly what we needed at exactly the right moment.  Oh, &so  thankful my icecream cone was not completely smushed when I flung it.

Thankful ~~Diane

 P.S. Happy 37th Anniversary  to my sweetie, and thanks for holdin' my hand one more time :-)  It was quite a memorable day....         

PsPs And thank you, each one of you blog-friends,  for reading our IncredibleJourneyTails.  You bless us totally.  ......still trying to figure out how to find the link so you can leave comments. Can't seem to get it set up right.  Any help you can give would be great.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We are in Montgomery, New York, at a county park ...Winding Hills Park. It is gorgeous and green with huge oaks, and a lovely lake...The pups and Jack loved taking a dip after we arrived.

The drive here (about 5 hrs) was amazingly dazzling, lush, green, bright blue sky with white puffy clouds (Honestly I did not know NY Yankee country could be so dog-gone beautiful... ha ha)

Around 1:00ish we stopped at a wide spot in the road to stretch our legs, do jumping jacks, eat lunch, let the doggies chase tennis balls, etc. It was here I heard my favorite quote of the day...
Kai popped her head out the door, looked up at the sky and yelled, "Are we in California?!!!!"   umm, not yet sweetie

Our campsite is great, and we are just about the only ones here. Except for the falling acorns, it is pretty quiet and oh-so- peaceful. Falling is a mild term, they are more like plummeting hail pellets.  I don't know if they are really falling, or if crazed squirrels are hurling them at us.  Kai got bonked on her arm big time..... Papa told her that he was gonna climb the tree to get Merle the Squirrel, no one throws acorns at his Kai!!!  Bad squirrel.

Abby is going to share more on the day .....and in writing about our IncredibleJourneyTails.  I love to read her writing,  hear her heart, and her perspective.  I just love her to pieces ....and her sweet sweet family.  How blessed we are to share this journey together. Totally.

Signing off for now~~

Bailey enjoying the ride
Jack checkin' out the puddle he just stepped in!

beautiful blue sky

Abby's Thoughts

2 days ago I said goodbye to my best friend.  Had I known it would hurt this much to leave a place I’ve known for the last 11 years, I think I would have bagged this whole ‘great’ idea a few months ago!  To leave familiar is not easy.  To miss all that you love hurts.  Although, 11 years ago I never thought I would be saying this.  Time has a way of opening your heart.  God has a way of taking time and making cherished moments.  And those moments are what my heart is full of right now.  Thank you Friends.  Thank you Family.  Thank you Moments.  You have been engraved forever on my heart.  Through sobs of good-byes, my dear friend told me, “You have to go.  You have to go to find out why it is you are meant to be there.”  So here I am.  On the journey.  I’m on my way. 

So…..TODAY….Welcome to New York State!  We drove a few hours, stopped for lunch and a few jumping jacks.  Ended our day in a beautiful campground off of interstate 84.  We are 1 of 2 campers in Winding Hills campground.  We had our pick of campsites!  What a beautiful place to unwind from the last week of packing & moving 2 households.  My brain still cannot compute what just took place.  So tonight I sit.  I sit quietly.  Kai & Jack in their bunks.  I decompress.  This is perfect place to enjoy the now. Crystal clear blue sky peaks through the tall trees that stand above us with their green, lacey leaves offering a canopy of cover.  The air is mild.  Just comfy enough for jeans and a long sleeve—my fav!  And there’s nothing like the smell of campfire. The crickets are chirping, fire flickering, acorns dropping from the trees (look out!) This was our today.

I am not where I once was, nor am I where I am going.  I am here.  I am now.  I am in the moment.  Why is this so weird?  May I borrow some good advice from our four-legged, tail-wagging friends?  (Paraphrased from Blind Hope) “In matters of life, dogs just get it. They know how to maximize the moment.  Ten minutes ago is already in the past, so why think about the future when right now is so much fun?! Their exuberance for life shows me how to really enjoy the rich and simple pleasures found within each moment of my days.” Bailey and Chester totally live in the moment. Wahoo, we’re camping by the lake, let’s go swimming!  Holy schnikies, the motor home on the move.  Oh Boy, there’s a ball, let’s go catch it!  It’s the simple moments in life that can escape all too quickly if I don’t live now. 
 Here we are.  On the journey.  “Are we in California?!” Kai say’s excitedly.  We are here today. And that is all I need to enjoy.  Yesterday will live in my heart.  Today is for now.  And tomorrow will come (hopefully with a good cup of coffee for the morning!)  

Good night today.  Good night dear friend.