Happy 2019!

We are ringing in another new year in Albuquerque…. a full year and half of NM life and I have been a total slacker in the blogging department. Our life here is truly incredible! I could not imagine these changes and the impacts they would/could/have/do make on our lives. This coming year, I feel a muse coming on! Watch out! Nakitababy is taking on a revamp and you’ll be hearing from me more often than maybe you’d like!  😀 I’m soooooo excited with the bursting creativity oozing from my crevices…. now only to find the time to get ALLLLL the things done! Till then…. ENJOY your new year’s with your loved ones! Welcome in ALL possibilities into your life! Will met ya on the flipside!!!

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Cathartic

Seems to be the word of the month….

I know it’s been awhile…. I have been recuperating….. regrouping….. and thinking….. a LOT.

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Apparently after my last post, and even with my new found outlook on ‘home’-owning…. The universe felt we (namely * I * ) need another swift kick in the a$$.

After having the very kind soles in OH take extremely good care of us and being given another clean ‘bill of health’… I slapped a new rubber roof on our rig and felt very helpful for the adventures ahead. I was still nervous, mind you, of (a) what the oil gauge may do to us on our way to AZ and (b) whether my roof job would truly hold or not… but nonetheless, this was where we were and I was feeling really good. There was only one way to figure it all out, and that was to live it!

So off we traveled. Saying another fair well to our dear friends in OH and beginning our trek southwest. I was feeling quite at ease when a good two hours into the trek the oil seemed to be strong and steady. I was feeling good about the engine and knowing that if I held a sturdy 60mph then I’d be a-okay getting down to AZ. With the amount of time we had to get to AZ and the fact that the RV was holding strong, I figured I’d just keep on driving till I needed a sleep. After all, my crew mates could sleep as they needed and were quite comfortable, so I could get the miles behind us and keep on moving.

At that time, that seemed like the best laid plan until about 11p – 12a just on the outskirts of Indianapolis I started to hear something flapping. It was a strange noise…. One I had trouble identifying. At the beginning of it all I was pretty sure something up top the rig was flapping around and needed to be secured once more. I turned to K and said “oh no! I think something is flying off the rough!!!” He says the noise did not sound to him like it was up top. Then I began to panic. A huge massive semi passes us to the left, as they have been most of the day. The pull from the semi’s are quite grand on our rickety rig. This was what seemed to be the final straw, however. When this rig passed us to the left there was this huge explosive noise… a loud bang…. And then somewhat silenced. I freaked and immediately got off the highway. We seemed okay but still sort of clueless about what had just happened. Until, that is, we begin to accelerate again at the stop light. I knew then…. We had tire issues.

20160925_090602We pulled off to investigate. Searched on top and below. And finally came to see that it was one of our interior rear tires…. Not only a flat, but a complete and utter blow out. And it’s the middle of the night…. AND…. We are quite clearly in not the best part of Indianapolis.

I ask K to map us a Walmart. I just need to get us somewhere we can boondock, regroup and think things through. We hobbled our way to a Walmart and went in to get some water, food and use the facilities. The guard asked us if that was our rig over there and instructed us that this was not typically a spot for RV’s. He says, “we don’t usually allow overnights. We are not a 24hrs. spot and, well, this is not the best part of town you know.” Oh great…. You just had to say that in front my kids did ya?

We climb back in and hunker down for the night. I notice the Walmart tire and car repair garage and figure we ask them in the AM what they may be able to do for us.

Early AM I race outta the RV and into the car care area. I point through the window and let them know what had happened. They look at our rig and shake their heads saying…. “Oh man that’s a BIG RV…. I don’t think we can even fit that in here…. Let alone have the right tires for it.” The woman behind the desk is quite friendly and offering other information about spots in Indy that may be able to help. The gentleman goes out to the RV and checks out the tire ID and comes back saying he’s not seen that kind of tire in many many moons. My hope deflates quickly and I begin to worry again…. I can barely move on this tire and if I have to take it elsewhere I may loose my you-know-what.

The woman is quite kind and gives us a number to call. The RV spot is *very* hard to get a hold of. In the meantime, I call our AAA can they explain to me that I need to ‘up’ my membership to RV status and even IF I do that, it would not be valid for 72 hours. I finally reach the Indy RV spot who tells me that he does not do tires there, but refers me to a spot who may be able to help. At the very least, they offer on-site service. Phew…. Feeling a bit better.

That is… until I call them. They tell me they don’t have the tire. And that most places will not have the tire. That having that specific tire means we need to order it and won’t likely receive it till later that week, being that it was a Saturday and the tire could not be ordered till Monday. MONDAY?!?!? LATER THAT WEEK!?!?!? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I can’t sit in the not-best-part-of-town-Walmart with my kids for the WEEK!!!!!

I called a few other places and seem to be receiving the same information. So I opt for the 1st service to come on out and at the very least put our spare tire on. If the spare is on there, I can head back to Chicago and figure it out there. Perhaps someone in Chicago operates on a Saturday, but even, at the very least, we would have friends to stay with and figure it all out…. Verses sit in the Indy Walmart for a week or longer.

The service comes out and begins working. He mentions another spot that may be able to help and true to the other spots, they do nothing for people on a Saturday. World stops in Indy on a Saturday folks. Just keep that in mind should you be traveling through town. He puts the spare on for me and say, “Well… the spare is likely the next to blow, I feel I should warn you. It’s in bad shape as well. But it will carry you to a spot to get it fixed.” I am thinking…. “a spot to get it fixed?!?!” I had NO intentions of staying in Indianapolis at this point. I was burnt out. Fried. Crispy. WELL-over done. I was emotionally a wreck and totally spent on all we had been through with this rig to this point in time.

I ask him if he feels it’s ok driving up to 45-50mph. He seems to think it’s just fine. So that solidified my decision…. I was going to drive back roads at 45 mph all the way back to Chicago. Once I could feel safe and secure again, I could make next plans and figure out what to do.

A mere 6.5 hours later, we pull into a friend’s driveway. Nothing like open arms and feeling like you are safe again. I know I slept VERY well that night. Like a rock. But now the decision making had to happen. What to do? Replace the tires? Sell the RV? Still go to AZ and make it to Free to Be?

The decision is made at the very last second…. We opt to rent a car and make it to AZ for the conference. We rented a truly fabulous Ford Transit 350, which I have to say, was the BEST decision at that moment. I needed to be free of the rig to regroup. I need to cathartic trip to sooth the mind and sole. I need a *smooth* ride! I needed to visit Arizona. I needed the cathartic adventure to figure out where my mind and sole rested with this entire thing.

The conference was great. Arizona was fabulous! The time away even more so! After the conference we took some time to check out some local neighborhoods that I had been eyeing on Craigslist. It was good to narrow down options and ideas should the idea of settling somewhere become the main topic. What surprised me most, however, was how much I would fall in love with Albuquerque!!!

We opted to go for a night there as K wanted to create a self-tour of all of the Breaking Bad filming spots. I was excited about this too as I had watched the series along with him. It was going to be super fun to see the filming spots! What I did not realize though, was that we just happened to land there the week of the International Balloon Fiesta! So we then opted to stay two nights in order to see and check it all out. First day we see all of the Breaking Bad sites, check out some local neighborhoods (as I was already falling in love with the place!), and visited Old Town. It was such a great time! Next morning, before sunrise I drive us to a spot where we can see both sunrise and the balloon fest start. It was such a truly magical morning! We began our trek home from there…. But as we pulled out I felt very sad to leave. The spirit, the atmosphere, the nature, climate…. Just about everything we experienced felt wonderful. The one and only thing I did not check into was the unschooling community. (I did check the homeschool laws though 😉 I just did not reach out to the community just yet.)

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Onward and upward, homeward bound. We pass by Amarillo to see Cadillac Ranch and leave our mark. Oh! Forgot to mention, just prior to Albuquerque we passed by the Zuni nation and nearly came home with a stray dog 😉 I wanted to visit because I had a friend who lived there for some time, long ago and I wanted to visit and see the reservation. While we were there the kids fell in love with a stray and even called SBJ to see if he’d be up for us bringing him home. When we went back for it, he seemed to sort of be hanging around a house so we were not sure he was completely stray to begin with. I told the kids they needed to ask to avoid the police chasing us out of town. But they were kinda chicken to go ask 😉 I will whole-heartedly admit I was a-okay with that cause I could not envision this journey with a new found friend! They were a wee annoyed with me, but at that point in time, I could not fathom the drastic change in family membership.

From there…. many other cool stops. We spent a night in St. Louis. We visited Lincoln’s home in Springfield, IL. After picking our rig back up we had some super fun nights in a local hotel with friends. And then it was time to get back to reality. K had an orthodontist appointment and we needed to figure out the ‘what’s next’ to our story here.

That’s where we seem to be at this moment…. The what’s next portion. We are good, locally, on our tires, but we need to replace them to take off again. We had been doing quite a bit of boondocking in the city but quite frankly…. It’s super stressful. Chicago is *not* (even in the slightest) a very RV-friendly spot. We also still need our generator connected, so that makes it a bit more challenging in that we are not totally contained/sufficient just yet. Once we have power and tires, we are in pretty good standing. We just are very (very) low on funds to do so with everything else we have had to put into it. So are here, regrouping and figuring it all out.

Through it all we celebrated a second birthday of our little C and a sixth birthday or our special M. M lost a first tooth in AZ! And we’ve been enjoying the Halloween season upon us!

OH…. Also…. Let’s throw this into the mix. As we thought we were preparing for the CampForce Amazong job in KY, we received word that SBJ did not get it due to some paperwork being missing (on time). Then…. Just as we are regrouping on that turn of events, I begin interviewing for a very fabulous online/virtual position that I would love to have, and he gets a “wait we still have space in KY for you” email from Amazon, AND he’s in negotiations regarding a promotion at current work position! So the other monkey wrench is whether he joins us or not. Does he forego promotion for the Amazon? OR take the promotion over Amazon? And then if he stays, where will he stay? Housing has been a huge issue since we began. And it was ok for the time being because he was joining us in a few short weeks. But at this point, if he stays for the promotion and more permanent solution needs to happen.

AND…. Then if he stays, do we travel short term and relocate back to Chicago? Do we eventually try to move to Albuquerque? AHHHHH!?!? The choices!!!

All the while, we left the city and have been staying at Illinois Beach State Park for a period. It’s been SOOOOOO much better than the city. Cathartic really. It’s been lovely. Chilly. But lovely. The current attempt is to (a) figure out what SBJ will do regarding work, (b) try to fix our generator and tires, and (c) plan to stay an extended period with friends on their farm in OH. That time will also likely be the most necessary and cathartic to figuring out the ‘what next’ from there.

Till then…. I’m off to enjoy this insanely warm October day (for Chicago that it is)… and the rest will hopefully reveal itself to us as the end of this month comes, and the new moon enters! We intend to enjoy a ghostly Halloween above all else! Our most favorite holiday will be the priority and the rest will come to us as it needs. Perhaps I will begin a “support Nakita Baby Nomads” campaign to help us acquire new tires 😉

Happy Halloween All!!!!

 

 

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Lemons

lemonToday was a lemon kinda day……

We’ve been on such a high lately it felt like kinda a brief blow. But the most amazing thing came from ‘the blow’ and that was an immediate high!!! Nothin’ is stopping this bucket-list-dream-of-how-life is-supposed-to-be manifest stand in our way.

So…. first off let me be perfectly frank and say we are doing this with literally nothing. We are purging all earthly possessions, both giveaway or selling, and simply dumping. One of the biggest motivations is learning how important life is and not the actual *stuff* in it. That said, my kiddos already have a pretty good grip of this life-fulfilling notion, but even for myself who ‘knows’ it, it’s always good to ‘practice’ it. Let’s face it, sometimes it is far easier said than done. And to practice in life verses in theory is a whole new ballgame… brings on new meanings.

At any rate, another motivation is to expose ourselves to the world around us. We have traveled quite a bit with the kids already but at a pace that was more or less on a timely schedule. Often we could move at our pace, but there were plenty of times we just needed to measure up to someone else’s schedules and/or expectations. So this adventure will take on a whole new beast of it’s own. And for that I am eager and grateful. It feels much more how life is intended (and needing) to be for our troop.

And then, there is the financial factor. We expect that living frugally with little-to-nothing and very little expenses will end up saving money and building us back up to where we prefer/desire to be. We have had a super rough financial go of things since 2010 when SBJ was laid off. We never seemed to fully recover living off of nothing and it seems like this plan will pick us back up again and set us right. This is a very exciting prospect for us as parents who long to provide the best, but also to set up a better future so that SBJ is not working to his grave!

All that said, we had a plan. We are starting this adventure with nothing…. in all sense of the word….. nothing. The plan was to take what little we made from selling all earthly possessions, the sale and pay-off of the van, and then turn around and find an RV suitable enough to take our family on a journey. If a small loan was needed it would not be for much and would not take long to pay off because we would have no overhead bills to deal with, with SBJ’s still full time income.

As it all transpired it seemed we would need a small loan just to tied us over. We could afford something outright by October, or we could aim for the loan now and see what happened.

This morning I woke up to what seemed like a very positive response (via email at least). To be perfectly frank, our credit history is not one lenders will fall in love with, so I was a bit skeptical, but still hopeful. But as I opened my email and began to read other news…. like several things listed on Ebay had not sold and were being relisted…. The person who intended to come pick up an item from a FB garage sale site was no longer coming…. Ebay (and/or PayPal) were holding funds pending from sales I have already completed because I am a new seller and they deem 21 days sufficient time for me to “think about how to be a #1 seller”… or something like that. It was beach day, we needed to pack a few things to ready for our new storage locker tomorrow, and packing over beach did not seem like happy thoughts to me. Not to mention…. there was literally *no* food in the house for breakfast cause…. well…. cause I have just not realized that groceries may possibly be essential this week.

Yea. Whelp. You guessed it…. the bank denied the small loan. I was bummed…. but shockingly I did not (even in the slightest) take it as personally as I typically take things 😉 I was actually a-okay with it. Cause…. well…. when I pondered the game plan a bit more…. there was no reason not afford something very shortly, on our own, without a loan. Come October we could have a very nice selection and take off in style. And since we need to come back to Chicago twice between now and then, then we are not in any way not able to do it in the vehicle we have at this moment! We take our two week vacation to Portland. Then after a week back here, we take another two week vacation to Phoenix. Upon return, we can scour for the RV we deem our dream, and set forth from there!

In fact…. i’m taking that lemon and making even MORE lemonade, because this just leaves one less thing on my plate between now and the end of the month! I can now concentrate purging and moving. Selling and selling. I pocket away and forget about it. It’s a secret stash for our RV. And…. it’s certainly not to say that we aren’t still peeking around 😉 I have an appointment to look at something tomorrow even! I just feel far less pressured about it. We are getting a sense for what we want to move into more permanently by scoping things out. So these little vacations before the ‘full timing’ begins is a real treat! OH…. and the freedom we will have to be widdled aaaallllllllllll the way down to just a few storage boxes!

Excitement continues to mount and I intend to enjoy that lemonade! 😉

 

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Plans…. change

So…. our intended gypsy year is slowly dwindling. Well, it was obvious that this was likely the outcome once we planned/decided to travel only find out moments later we were pregnant. I think I, out the lot of us, held on the hope that we could still maintain the adventure concept, so perhaps I am adjusting to the changes the most. I am the type of personality to stick my guns when I decide something, so if/when plans change, I feel that I am truly pretty flexible with the changes. I am one to go with the flow with changes in life, and…. I am also the one to feel it the most. I like to see things through when they are decided. And yet I’m am truly open to the changed and altered path. I feel that if the plan changes, it’s for a reason…. I suppose it’s the initial desire to see a commitment through, but also the curiosity of the ‘what if’ that could have been if we saw this initial plan through… and…. the excitement to the new path that is laid before me due to the necessary changes.

Any rate, our gypsy year is clearly being pushed to a near future point in time. As the gaps between travel get larger and fewer adventures planned, we sat around this weekend and made brand new plans for the next six-ish months. We had our wonderful east coast trip this past spring-summer that led us back here to a summer on the beach, and welcoming our precious baby C to the mix. It’s felt like quite a whirlwind since then. I had a clear “plan” in place for when she was arriving and fall activities were kicking in, yet she had a plan all of her own. She arrived two weeks later than intended, and it has been non-stop pretty much since. It is only now that I’ve had some breathing time to recap, reanalyze and regroup.

We had hoped to be on the road once more by now, but that has not happened just yet. We stuck around to take a few more classes, connect with community, and get to know baby C’s temperament and personality. We were so eager to hit the road late November into December. I had mapped out this awesome adventure to the furthest, most southern tip of Florida. I found a wonderful National Park for us to explore in the Everglades, and many a stops would have made along the way, including a jog over to New Orleans as some point on the adventure there or home. As I was getting ready to click “book,” a revelation was had. I had picked K up from one homeschool activity in Niles and had to drive him over to Lincoln Square for another (a mere 25-30 minute drive), and it was at that moment that a revelation was had by all in the car. Baby C is just not going to make a 21 hour drive. She has trouble driving just 25-30 minutes without getting upset. Sometimes, she sleeps so well and it’s a very peaceful (if short) drive. Most often, however, she is upset and does not want to be strapped down. A twenty-one hour drive could take us nearly six weeks to accomplish. Not too much fun when stopping every few minutes to console or nurse.

So….. we sat as a family to regroup and reanalyz the options. We still really wanted to travel someplace at the very least. Amtrak is a nice idea, however the expense of that, plus lodging becomes way out of our budget. The same with Greyhound or flying. When you seek out other means of transport, more than half your budget is shot, you loose your flexibility to stop and see things along the way, and then you can only get away for such a short bit of time. (To me, 2-3 nights away is not really worth the effort… just to experience the warmer temps.) I found a nice little waterpark getaway on groupon that’s less than 3.5 hours away. Not the most ideal when it comes to wanting to experience warm weather temps, but at the very least, it will be a nice little getaway to cut up the monotony of what feels like is already the start of a very long winter.

We’ll travel the first week of December and that will be a lovely little getaway. A test-run on how a long drive would/will be with baby C. Then we’ll be back for the holidays and classes in January-February. The hope is that with baby C being much older by February, we will be able to do our southbound trip, be able to spend several weeks on the adventure, and get outta dodge for the yuckiest part of the winter (the part where it just feels like it will never ever end).

We’re excited with the new changes and decisions made. It’s always nice to have some sort of plan, and the flexibility to welcome whatever will come our way. One other exciting development (and another reason we only had the few weeks in December to travel) is that D got into this Young Entrepreneurs group and will be selling her wares at Made in Chicago in December! It’s a wonderful adventure for her, learning about business development and having the outside support of young women as well. It’s a very exciting and empowering time for her!

So…. now looking forward to a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving feast at home, and super fun little getaway with the kids.  I just hope I can grin and bare the amount of winter we will be here for afterwards!!! (I will keep the Everglades steadfast on horizon :) )

 

 

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Ho-Hummm

We’re back!

Did not take long, though was bit of a torture. M has been in real rare form these days, so the tantrums going 70mph down the highway made the 16 hour trek home a wee-bit treacherous. Not to mention my completely swollen tree-trunk-of-legs. The kids were eager…. once we had gotten all of the “to-do’s” done on the list, and made lists for the new adventures to come, they were eager to get back to daddy, summer, and beachin’ with friends. They really did encourage me to plunge right through hours and hours of driving at a time. I had to admit that one night in the car vs. two did sound much more appealing. Though, the M-factor did weight in quite heavily on this end-o-journey home.

We made it home by Thursday, which was amazing timing. We drove straight to SBJ’s work and surprised him. He had called the night before and thought because we were in Erie, PA that we would never make it home till Friday. Little did he realize we were only 7 hours out. So, we did make it Thursday, early evening and his jaw dropped when we walked into his work. He was pretty elated to see us all.

After even the very first night home, my smexy ankles began to return. Each night a little more rest accumulated and feeling way-back to my normal preggy self. Enjoying a lazy-summer schedule with eating later, staying up later, sleeping later. Lots of DIY projects going on and strolls to the local parks. Trying to get the Airbnb in a more “homey” shape for upcoming guests we have coming to stay. And eager to have our first beach day with friends. Hopefully this week…. weather permitting!! Sure feels like a very mild summer so far.

With all of that, feeling tons better, and such, makes me a wee-bit-bummed that we needed to return. Longing and wishing that we could still be about on our adventure, seeing the beautiful spots we’ve ventured to a lot longer than a skip-through. Wanting my cake-and-eat-it-too factor….. the preggy and the travel all working out copasetic. Why ‘o’ why can it not? Budget has it that we boondock or camp, and preggy-self has it we hotel-it.

It’s hard being back and having that itchy travel bug running all through me. Trying hard to concentrate on the here and now, and realize that a healthy preggy body is leading to a healthy freebirth. Far more important on the “want” list at the moment and sole concentration given to that foremost. Then we can enjoy the travel and body will be far more ‘game’ to agree after baby’s here.

In the meantime, lots of fun planning the next adventure, and enjoying the very end of this pregnancy. I am officially in the third trimester and the homestretch will fly by I am certain of that. We have one more camping trip with homeschool families coming up, and that’ll likely be the last outing we have before wee-one is on the scene. Hoping this mild summer warms up a bit so we can thoroughly enjoy the beach for the majority of the season.  We sure do love warmth and sunshine!

 

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Homeward Bound!

So…… After a whirlwind couple of days, we are homeward bound tomorrow! Much (much!) earlier than I had planned in my head, however, the kids were onboard with the homeward motion and we accomplished all of our planned activities, so we are on our way!

I personally give myself and A+ for effort. This mama, as pregnant as I am, got everyone’s wishes/wants/desires for this trip accomplished. We definitely saw enough and experienced enough to make this trip completely amazing, AND we saw enough and experienced enough to water our travel-buds even more. There are several places we want to go back to and spend more time, and experience more, and there are places we learned we could do the “drive-through” to get to where we’re going. It’s been quite a wonderful experience.

From Hershey, we landed in NJ’s Liberty State Park an hour before our ferry take-off time. We had snacks in the car and prepped for the journey. The boat first took us off to Ellis Island where we enjoyed the little museum and searched family history in the library. After, we headed on to Liberty Island where we had pedestal tickets to go up inside! Fortunately, the had an elevator to take us up, and then we walked back down. With the mood that M was in, and the state I was in, I knew we would not have made it all the way up. So, we lucked out with the working elevator and thoroughly enjoyed the view and the sites. Got some wonderful pictures and memories to boot. I think the kids will always equate that journey to the mood that M was in that day…. it was quite a doozy :)

Since we ended the journey in by 4pm, we decided it would be worth driving by Carlos’ Bakery to see how the line was looking and if it was something we should attempt that evening, or wait until the AM. We drove the short 15 minutes over to Hoboken and the kids spotted the bakery in seconds. We decided it was meant to be to attempt the visit that evening. However…… Hoboken had another idea in mind. Being a Sunday evening, the town was HOPPING! Literally. It took over and hour to find a parking spot. There were a few times I was about to give up. I think the only reason I did keep going was thinking that I certainly did not want to try to do this again the following morning :) We persevered and lucked out with a spot just a block and a half away.

We took our special pics in front of the bakery, and walked in to a number counter. I pulled out number 70…. they were on number 31 😐  I already thought I might have peed my pants. I was driving around for an hour looking for parking, I walked into 2 establishments to try to use a bathroom and no luck. So we walked to the bakery with the hopes that we would not be there long. After all, there was no line outside, so how long could it be?! Well….. at first it seemed liked we’d be there for hours, but then it seemed that many had taken numbers and given up on their wait. So numbers flew by quickly and everyone picked out their treats. D, being her big bday wish of all times, wanted a cannoli and a lobster tail. Unfortunately, they were fresh out of the lobster tails, so she picked a cannoli and an éclair (I got an éclair too and man was it yummy!).

So, with both of our “to-do’s” knocked off our list, we decided to being our trek northward. We had our first night in our car, at a Walmart, in the north portion of NJ so we could (1) just get some rest before heading out of town, and (2) get some food in our bellies. The night at Walmart was a brand new experience for all of us. I had heard before, from many, that you can sleep in your car, camper, or RV at a Walmart free of charge and not be pestered. We were all a wee-bit nervous that this was really so, but….. really it was. It was quite peaceful, and quite easy, and well-worth the saved money! We all seemed to have a nice system down from our 1st experience, that doing it the next night was a piece of cake!

After NJ, the only other things we had on our check list were (1) visiting the ocean in Maine, and (2) a hotel we had already booked in Danvers, MA (just because it was just outside of Boston and we could not get a refund on this purchase…. might as well enjoy it!). Since we had the booked hotel visit, we were working around that timeframe. We decide we’d plug right through and do a full 5 hour drive up to ME and enjoy the Oceanside. It was really a ton of fun. Far colder than I would have liked, but we had a blast anyway. We enjoyed the shiver as we watched the locals half naked, swimming, boogy-boarding, surfing and more. We were shocked that they could tolerate the chill! The area was beautiful, so we opted to make dinner there and enjoy the bay and sunset before finding our second Walmart for the night.

From there, the intent was head to a Walmart not far from the beach so we could return the next day, but we got kinda lost from the GPS directions and ended up paying a $3.00 toll…. yet again. Does not seem like much, but MAN, we have been paying a TON OF TOLLS on this trip. Not something I really considered because all of travels westward we’d never pay a cent once we left Chicago. However, eastward, we seem to pay a toll just to set tire on the road! I was pretty fed up with this toll situation and decided we’d just move forward to NH and pick a Walmart there. We found this great little spot, quiet. Walmart actually closed at 10pm so it was super quiet after that. And, the next day found Rye Bay/Beach where we enjoyed another day on the Oceanside before heading to our hotel in Danvers, MA.

Fortunately, we have had some really awesome weather as of late, so it’s all been super enjoyable. The only major bummer to the day is arriving at this hotel to find they have yet to open their pool for the season. The kids were super disappointed about that. They were really counting on one more swim before our big journey home. Since we are pretty much going much of the same route we did coming out here, we are pretty much just plugging through the drive as quickly as we are able. Everyone has their own intentions about how long we will be able to go in one day, but we’ll see how it goes. I’d imagine we need at least three days (two nights) to do it. I’d hate to push it much more than that, but who knows. Everyone is now really eager to get home and enjoy their beds, daddy, and summer with friends. So we’ll see how much we can handle.

Till then, everyone is enjoying a clean shower, and some TV time. Going to cook up some food and get some good rest before we set out tomorrow. See y’all soon!

 

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