While the excitement of the getting on the road was high, there was a sadness in having to say “see you later” to my parents. We don’t know when we will be seeing them again. Over the years (almost 22 since I left home), I always kind of knew when I’d make the trek back to my parents for the next visit. I also knew that the summer we had with them was such a gift and something that may not happen again the same way. I’m so thankful they allowed us to literally unload our moving truck in their garage and begin the most insane pair down in history…at least our history!
We headed out on Tuesday, October 8th – my brothers weren’t sure we were EVER going to leave as we delayed our departure a few times. But it did indeed happen! 😎 We had a little send off party with my nephew’s family and my parents.
After a longer-than-we-hoped stop at Keuka State Park to empty holding tanks and fill up on fresh water, we headed down the road. Our first stop was at my Mom’s cousin Maggie’s farm – Hamilton Heights Dairy Farm…at least that was the sign by the road. 😉 We, unfortunately, arrived after dark but Cliff directed Matthew to a nice level spot that didn’t require adjustments. We slept with the slides all tucked in – I’ll do a introduction of our camper soon so you know what I’m referring to. Speaking of our camper – it’s big – and while I was driving on the way to Maggie’s, had I not been in the wrong lane, I would have headed for a low clearance bridge. By low I mean 2 feet too low! 😳🤦♀️
We woke to a peaceful farm setting. We could hear the recently separated/weaned calves & their mamas volleying moo’s throughout the night. Lucas & I wandered around to see the animals – a dog, 2 kittens, calves and lots of grass-fed cows – which produce milk for Organic Valley. It was a toss-up of whether Lucas’s favorite part was watching the kittens drink their milk or the ride on the four-wheeler with Cliff to check the meadows for new calves.
After being treated to breakfast with Maggie at a local restaurant, we headed south again. Passing through Maryland, West Virginia and on to Virginia we went straight to a shop to have our trailer inspected. We had purchased the trailer in NY and were driving on temporary registration. After the quick inspection, we headed to our friends to park the trailer in their driveway and then to the DMV to make it all official.
You know you have a good friend when they come meet you at the DMV and watch your child outside so they don’t go stir crazy! Thanks, Danielle. Of course, our sons have missed each other this summer and it was fun to see them playing a game of football in the field next to the DMV!
That evening our hosts, Crystal & Caleb, invited us in for a delicious dinner of Potato Chowder. To Matthew’s surprise & delight, Caleb is a fellow LA Dodgers fan. They enjoyed watching the game together that evening…although sadly the Dodgers lost and we’re eliminated from the playoffs.
Days 3 – 6…
Time with friends was on the agenda…and if you know me – there will never be enough time with friends. But I’m so thankful for the time we did have together. A few highlights were a park play-date, dinner with our old neighbors, the Carpenters, popping in on a Mom’s Night Out with friends, Lucas being able to watch a friend’s soccer practice & football game and attending a local airfest – I had a hard time watching the wing walker!
After attending our former church and seeing a few more friends, we packed up and headed a bit further south. Stopping for the night in yet another driveway – yay for mooch-docking – in Bowling Green, VA. Our dear friends, Rick & Louise, were instrumental in us beginning the RV life. They also get credit for introducing Matthew and I back in 2003.
Heading south again, we aim for Virginia Beach to again, visit friends and park in a driveway! (I promise this trend is about to end….) We arrived at our friends, Kendra & Ricardo, who’s landlord graciously allowed us to park on a concrete slab next to his house and hook up to electric. He was a former RVer with a wealth of knowledge and Matthew appreciated having someone to ask a few questions of.
On the way we passed through the Hampton Bridge Tunnel which Lucas was fascinated with. He was, however, disappointed there were no windows in the top of the tunnel.
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast with Kendra & Ricardo before venturing out to see a few sites. Attempting to visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse & First Landing site on Fort Story, I wasn’t able to locate my ID. We were turned away much to Lucas’s displeasure. So we headed for a vacuum cleaner store because we needed a vacuum, of course. The purchase was made and we went back to the RV to look for my ID. It was located in a jacket pocket…which was in the backseat of the truck! So off to the lighthouse we went again!
Upon arrival at the lighthouse, Lucas was so excited to climb it until he went inside and saw the rustic, circular staircase that stretched as far as his little eyes could see. It took several minutes of a pep talk to convince him to climb. I was so proud of him for doing it…even if he would only stand in one place when we reached the top. See, I’m still overcoming a lifelong fear of heights and have been giving myself the same pep talks the last several years.
Our day ended by giving our hosts a tour of our house after food & lots of fellowship.
After breakfast with our friends, we gave hugs and loaded up and set our sights on the Outer Banks of NC. This time our destination was our FIRST campground!! Stay tuned to hear how that went.
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