My favorite holiday because…

  1. (Click the link to see all the pictures.) Freedom is awesome!
  2. Thomas Jefferson is 1 through 8 of my top ten favorite presidents.
  3. All the family fun of thanksgiving, but with 5% of the work.
  4. I look great in red, white, AND blue.
  5. Epic America-themed playlists.
  6. Fireworks regulations in Idaho are, shall we say, highly non-intrusive, libertarian, even.
  7. The grass is so soft here. Sorry, Florida, you’ve really messed that up.
  8. Red, white, & blue Jell-O!
  9. Kids waving flags. That’s just good optics.
  10. We were all strangers in a strange land. This is how we show we are home.

Patriotic nail art

Starts those nerdlings young!

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Day 5 update

Day 1, 568 miles to Chattanooga.

Day 2, 324 miles to Benton, IL.

Day 3, 348 miles to Kansas City where we picked up another grandma to match the one we brought from Florida. We’re so lucky our moms are best friends!

Day 4, early start for 692 miles to Laramie, WY.

With so many grandmothers in the RV, Jack has gotten pretty creative with his sleep solutions.

So excited for Brandon’s graduation from police academy tomorrow!!

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Don’t know much geology

(Click the link to see all the photos.) Our Day One (568 miles) ended in Chattanooga with a visit to Ruby Falls. I won’t name names, but some of our party got extensive practice in self-calming and panic avoidance. I do wish I understood more about the formations and the time scale involved.

This was my view for my morning walk and meditation. It was lovely, thank you.

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2018 countdown

60 hours to departure and we are picking up the Universal Space Bus from our friends at Alliance Coach. We had annual service maintenance done and,wait for it….a brand new stainless steel fridge installed! It’s gorgeous! And it’ll make the trip so much easier! This year’s trip is for family reunion fun. I’m in charge of cookbooks for one and t shirts for another and catering for a third. Yay!

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And the Curtain Falls

Many thanks to all who made this year’s adventure possible. 802 miles yesterday and 395 miles today have brought us all the way from Sandusky, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie, to our home base in Florida. Special recognition to Ohio for the lovely weather. 

Henry will NOT look at the camera. He detests posed, group shots, preferring candids or action shots instead.

Batman didn’t get to go on any roller coasters. He still has to be careful. And stern, apparently.

While the crowd hit the roller coasters, I found every antique dealer in a 30 mile radius!

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St. Joseph, Missouri, were the greatest hosts imaginable! Their event planning and execution were top notch. We had heavy cloud cover for most of the morning. Then it started to rain and I began to feel the deep disappointment of missing something for which I’d worked so hard. Then, moments before totality, a brief thinning of clouds revealed a nearly obscured sun. Then seven seconds of totality appeared in another patch of lighter cover! The crowds screamed with delight as the darkness fell faster than the rain. The 360 degree sunset was mind blowing! I saw it. With my own eyes, I saw it. #stjomoeclipse

Note the sea of cars in the day pass lot.

Cloud cover. Ugh.

My usual selfie skill as I record this fun moment with our cool neighbors.

Me = weird face. Neighbors = cool.

Mom at the neighbor’s telescope.

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We made it the last 54 miles (zero traffic congestion) to St. Joseph, Missouri. Rosecrans Airport is hosting parking and overnight camping less than 1000 feet from the center of the path of totality. Several hundred RVs and tents cover the outer areas, while food trucks, media vans, and port-a-johns ring the central viewing area. 

We are watching movies and relaxing in air-conditioned comfort.  Cellular speeds have slowed slightly, but are still adequate. That will likely change when the day trippers arrive tomorrow.

We’ve already made several friends by accidentally making too much homemade ice cream. “Quick! Bring a spoon! It’s melting!” Instant friends. 

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Weeping Muscles

Nothing nerdy happening here today, folks. Just unspeakably difficult work. Batman is still without use of his arm, so to distract him, I sent him to watch Jack ride roller coasters. Mom came out to be my ground support, and I spent 3.5 hours on the RV roof in 95 degree heat. At only 67%, Missouri’s humidity did not reach full Floridian suffocation levels. However, it was sufficient to induce heat exhaustion, also muscle exhaustion, sunlight overload, white (paint) line fever, and severe hat hair. Of all the impossible things I’ve done, this was the “impossible-est.” Nevertheless, I persisted. 

After. Sorry that it’s blurry. I took it from the top of the ladder as I was descending. Also I was crying, but gross crying without any liquid discharge because I was so dehydrated.


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Roof Project

I spent yesterday getting the roof cleaned and prepped. Today my kind nephew agreed to help me apply the first coat of sealant. He is a wizard with the paint roller! Batman remains sidelined from surgery, though he has climbed a rung or six on the ladder when he thought I wasn’t looking. (Seriously, don’t encourage him!)

I’m using Henry’s Tropi-Cool sealant, a thick, white, silicone paint made to hold up to Florida UV rays. So far, their product support line has been very helpful answering each and every one of my dozen or so questions. 

We also managed to squeeze in our family tradition of girls’ pedicures and lunch!


A flock of Canada geese wheeling over the campground.

Jack had to noel out all my tools.

Girl time!

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A Break from Driving, Not Necessarily a Break

380 miles, ending with dinner at my mom’s. She made my favorite dessert, German chocolate cake. Batman did all the driving today, knowing that the next few days will be a struggle for me as I try to do everything on my list. Stay tuned. 

Batman driving with a pillow to support his recently repaired elbow.

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