On Wednesday morning, we woke up to the sound of light rain on the roof. Previously, we thought we could hang around the campground for a little bit that morning, since its pictures online showed a pool and some other fun things. Most mornings, we had to get on the road fairly quickly, so we were excited to actually stay and enjoy it before heading home.
The rain put a bit of a wrench in that plan…but so did stepping out of the RV and seeing the campground for the first time in the daylight. It looked NOTHING like the pictures!! You guys, how is it that we made it all the way across the country, staying at beautiful homes and campgrounds without ONE weird experience?!?! Amazing!
But that streak was over. I keep laughing, thinking about how the rest of the morning played out.
It was hard to tell if there were actual people staying in the campsites around us…but they were all very cluttered and covered with junk! I’m not talking lawn ornaments or decorations for their campsite…I’m talking literal junk. Piles and piles of stuff leaning on each other and up against the trailers. Huh?? There were many rusty old cars all around. It was very strange…and a little creepy.
I didn’t even think to get a picture because we were so freaked out! 😉 After seeing this (and the fact that it was raining) we decided not to stay and hang out there, but instead, get on the road after showers. The boys were still asleep, at this point, so Joe decided to go by himself.
On the website, it said they had “limited wifi in select areas.” Usually, when Joe and the boys would leave for showers is when I would work on the blog. I started to get the laptop out and I mentioned this to Joe. He said, “Oh yeah, I asked the guy about this last night while I was in the office. He said, ‘You’re looking at it.'”
“What?” Joe asked.
The owner pointed to a rickety, old bench sitting in front of the tiny office and said, “This is where you can get the wifi.”
Ooooooookaaay… We should have known what we were in for then, but it was late, dark, and we were tired.
I certainly wasn’t walking down to that bench by myself *now*…especially while Joe was in the shower and the boys were still asleep. Let me clarify, we never felt scared, like we were unsafe…it was just all so bizarre!! 😉
Joe left (I begged him to take his phone) and I started to make the bed and get dressed.
A few minutes later, I get this text from Joe:
Ooooohhh my goodness – WEIRD!!!
I was freaked out, but I could not stop laughing…
THEN (I was not expecting this) he sent a picture…
I nearly spit out my coffee!
You can’t make this stuff up!!
Aren’t we all glad I begged Joe to take his phone, so he could capture this crazy moment?? 😉
I was more than ready to roll out when he got back! We transferred the boys from the overhead area to our bed and got the heck out of there. I didn’t even make breakfast! We needed gas, anyway, so we figured we’d find a place to stop for everything.
Along the way, we passed a travel center. Perfect. Starbucks, gas, bathrooms, and wifi – that’s all we need! We had breakfast, then I worked on the blog while Joe and the boys read books. At one point, Aiden said, “Mommy, my tooth is really loose!” Joe and I looked up and he was playing with it and it popped out!!
A few years ago, we started our own “tooth tradition” (after the old one was revealed). We wanted it to still feel fun, because the boys were pretty young when that happened. 😉 They get to choose if they want to go for a slurpee or a milkshake when they lose a tooth. The whole family goes together and the whole family wins! Haha!
Aiden chose milkshakes and we told him we would look for a place to stop on our way home. Secretly, we had one more quick (but special) stop planned before pulling into Maryland. We cleaned him up, I published the post, and we got back on the road.
Another tradition we have is – any time we are driving by the area – we stop in here for a quick (free) ride and a treat!
We have so many pictures of the boys, in this same spot, from over the years! And we thought it would be a great last stop on our epic adventure.
It was around 5:00, so it was a little busier than we were used to. I guess people were coming in after a day at the park. Nevertheless, we made it through the line, got on the ride, sang the song, and got our free piece of chocolate at the end. Just lovely!!
And what better place to get a milkshake??
By now, we were so close to home, we could taste it. What’s an hour and a half drive, when you’ve been on the road for over 7000 miles?? 😉 We were happy to be back on good ole’ 83 and we decided to stop for dinner, on the way, to have our favorite pizza in the Hereford Zone. As we approached the exit, this was a beautiful site: ❤ ❤
There’s NO place like home…
As we were coming down York Road, approaching the pizza place, we saw all these arms waving and holding a sign in the parking lot!
Our beloved Earps had come to greet us! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
I will never forget that sight!! What a special surprise!!
Even though we were happy to be home, the drive down 83 was a bit sad. We loved our trip (even with all its difficulties) and we loved the time together. Now…it was back to reality. But how about one last pizza party?? PERFECT!! ❤
We had a great time catching up and the boys loved seeing their friends. In fact, they couldn’t wait to show them the RV after dinner and I asked Tom and Nicole if the kids could ride home with us. (It’s only a few exits). It was hilarious and super fun!!
They met us at our house and helped us get Rigby situated in the driveway, so we could start unloading. It was almost 9:00, by now. After they left, we just started cranking. Joe set up a place in the garage for all the outside stuff to get unloaded. I pushed back the dining room table to have a place for all the inside stuff. As the boys would bring in the kitchen stuff, I would try to put that right away. It was soooo much, you guys. And so much stuff I forgot about too. A month is a long time!! 😉
At one point, I heard a huge thunder clap outside…and then it just started DUMPING!! Adapt, proceed, overcome…
Great thinking, Joe!
An hour and a half later, Rigby was all unpacked. We plopped in our beds for the first time and had a great night’s sleep.
On Thursday morning, I went out to check on Rigby with fresh eyes. I did one last wipe down and sweep before we left to drop her off in Manassass, VA. My old girl scout leader would be proud, because we definitely left it better than we found it. [cringe emoji]
I followed Joe in my car, with the boys, and we made our way to Virginia. We were determined to avoid D.C. traffic…and we did, for the most part. After finding the Cruise America office, the boys and I went inside the lobby and Joe took Rigby around the corner to fill up the propane. In those few short minutes, the skies opened and it started pouring!! So I do not have a final picture of us with Rigby. But after she was all checked in and we were free to go, we snapped this one in the lobby. What a ride!!
America, you are beautiful. And not just because of your mighty mountains, your gorgeous canyons, and your amber waves of grain. But also, because of your people. Our bellies may be a little bigger, after this trip, but so are our hearts…because of who we’ve met in your towns and cities over the last month. ❤
We listened to several audio books on our trip. The last one was “A Wrinkle in Time.” In the beginning, they had a reader share what the book meant to her. At one point, she said, “Joy, hope, and love are little words. But they are some of the most powerful forces in the universe.”
Amen and amen!
The people we’ve met and the love we’ve been shown, along the way, have restored our faith in humanity. They were helpful, supportive, encouraging, comforting, thoughtful, generous, and kind beyond belief. And they had nothing to gain from these encounters. It was just pure, sometimes sacrificial, love.
Please friend, turn off the news. Or at least get what you need in limited amounts. Sure, there are difficult issues and difficult people, but the news makes a very small percentage of what’s out there seem like the majority. Get out, go see some beautiful things, have a conversation with an unexpected person…you never know what it can do for your soul. We’re all in this together.
This may be the end of our trip, but our new adventure is just beginning. We have LOVED sharing this chapter with you and we hope you will stay tuned for the next one.
So happy to be home!
Love, The Raab Four
| This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. |
– 1 John 4:10-12