Let me start by saying that I have the absolute best parents on the face of the planet. 🙂 They have been 100% supportive of our plans for full-time RVing from Day 1. We send them daily photos, videos, and updates from wherever we happen to be, sharing through photos, all of the fabulous places we go and things we get to experience. The problem with that is, you know that the photos don’t do these places and experiences justice.
I was so excited when my mom mentioned the idea of herself and my Daddy driving from Texas to meet up with us along our travels! I asked her beforehand to journal about her trip so I could share her viewpoint of the trip on our blog. It was so neat to experience new things with them and to watch their reactions to everything. Aren’t they cute?
The week they planned to meet up with us, we were going to be in Wisconsin. None of us had ever been there before, so it was going to be a great way for them to see how we live on the road and discover new places. What a precious time we had of discovering a new place. I know the memories made on that trip will be treasured by all of us for years to come. Not to mention, they brought us a supply of Julio’s Chips and salsa and an adorable cutting board my sister had sent with them! Thank you, Kelli! I love it!
Here is my mom’s recap of the week…Enjoy! It was so fun to see the trip through their eyes. They haven’t done many big road trips, and definitely not as far north as Wisconsin! Her writing is in blue. My interjections are in grey. 🙂 They sent us this photo as they were leaving to head our way. 🙂
OUR RECENT ADVENTURE! by Wynell Keel
In May of this year, I started thinking about a trip to Ohio to spend time with Candy & Paul of “Our Moving House” at the camp where they were staying for the summer. Candy & I texted & talked about costs, & locations, flying or driving, etc. We hadn’t seen them since they left in April and thought it would be fun to visit them half way through their time away from Texas.
We finally decided that Joe & I would drive the distance and then decided to take Jailynne, one of our granddaughters, with us. We planned on a 10-day trip from San Angelo, TX to Miamisburg, OH in July. Plans changed when Candy & Paul decided to leave the camp early & start their journey across to the west coast. They decided where they would be on the dates we had chosen, & we made our plans to meet them in WI — 2 days of driving, 6 days there, and 2 days of driving home. I made the reservations for us to stay the night in Emporia, KS for the trips going to WI and combing back home and for the week in LaCrosse, WI. Candy & Paul would be staying about 30 minutes south of us at Blackhawk Park in Desoto, WI.
We left on Friday morning, July 14th and very excitedly started our trip. Joe & I both hate traveling through Fort Worth, TX but we went that direction anyway to be on the Interstate all the way. There was construction (as usual!), and we spent about an hour trying to follow maps, GPS, and signs. We went in 1 circle 3 times before we finally figured out where to take the exit we needed!! We made it out and went through OK and into KS and stopped for the night in Emporia. From Wichita KS to Emporia was toll road. I hadn’t been on a toll road in lots of years, so I called Candy to ask what to expect in reference to cost and how to pay. It was a really long day of travel!
Saturday morning we got up and started out again after eating the hotel complimentary breakfast. Jailynne spotted a Starbucks across the parking lot and went there to get her breakfast. (Yes, she got a little bit spoiled on this trip!) We went through Kansas City, KS/MO. One side of the city is in KS and the other side of the city is in MO. We went from MO to Iowa. Everything was so green and beautiful landscape full of rolling hills. There was a green ground cover in lots of fields along the way. We couldn’t figure out what was planted there. Joe asked a man inside a convenience store where we stopped, and the man said it was soy beans. Interesting! We passed signs saying there was a wreck about 8 miles ahead of us so we stopped to eat lunch. When we got back on the road, the traffic was still merging into one lane and moving very slowly. We were about 3 miles from the wreck and at a standstill in the lane when Joe looked in the rear view mirror and saw what was happening, but Jailynne and I had no idea until…CRASH!!
The pickup behind us got hit from behind and hit the back of our car really hard. Then he hit it again, and I saw him come by us really fast on the shoulder and stop in front of us. Thankfully, the line of traffic in front of us had just started moving, and Joe still had his foot on the brake so we didn’t hit anyone else. A state trooper got there pretty quickly, and everyone was out of the 3 vehicles walking around. I was so glad no one was seriously hurt. We were all shaken up, but Jailynne was really shaken up and had a cut on the inside of her lower lip. We were there for about 45 minutes waiting for the trooper to get all of his paper work done. When he brought our paper to us, he commented that he had been in San Angelo for a family wedding recently. We didn’t know the family, but what are the odds?!? We, and the pickup that hit us could drive our vehicles but they weren’t very pretty from behind. The original truck had to be towed because of the damage to the front of his truck. Our back hatch door didn’t make good connection after that & showed to be open the rest of the trip. I was expecting it to come open and see luggage, etc. falling out the back of the car! (That didn’t happen, but I kept checking on the door!) (Candy adds…Hate it this happened, but so glad everyone was ok and they didn’t let it ruin their trip!)
After all of that excitement, we drove through Iowa into Minnesota then across to WI. We just couldn’t get used to all the rolling hills, and green trees and fields. It as beautiful and not at all what we are used to in Central West Texas!! We got to our hotel after another long day of travel and got settled in and found a place close by to eat. We ordered food, and the waitress talked us into ordering fried cheese curds. The food was good, and the cheese curds weren’t bad, but they were very chewy (think bubble gum) and took a while to eat! (Candy adds….We tried some at a couple of different places, though, and they were GOOD!)
Sunday, we relaxed at the hotel waiting for Candy & Paul to get to the park & get settled. Jailynne went swimming in the indoor swimming pool at the hotel. When Candy & Paul got their RV set up & settled, we went out to the park. It was beautiful!! We were driving right along the Mississippi River from LaCrosse to the park. The road was called The Great River Road. All along the drive were streets and driveways that were very steep inclines to get to houses. I’m not sure I would want to have to go up one of them to get to my house! We ate supper with them, and the kids played in the huge area outside of their RV. It was fun, and we all enjoyed the visit. (We also enjoyed the gorgeous sunset that evening!)
Monday and Tuesday we stayed in town during the day, and Jailynne went swimming in the pool each day. Paul was working those days, so Candy and the kids came into town so the kids could swim with Jailynne. We went back to their “house” each night to eat supper. Tuesday, the pool was getting some maintenance done and was unavailable. They originally said it would be about an hour, but it took a lot longer. Jailynne was disappointed, but the manager of the hotel came to our room later in the afternoon and gave us a handwritten note of apology and a gift card to a local ice cream parlor, The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor and Coffee House, a couple of blocks away. Candy & I took the kids to get ice cream. It was a really neat retro kind of place. Downtown LaCrosse had such a casual and fun feel. The buildings were old but really artsy decorated on the outside. And there were 1-way streets everywhere!! When we got back to the hotel, the pool was ready so the kids went swimming. Candy went back to the park to get supper ready, and the kids rode with us when we went to eat supper. Tyler came back to the hotel with us to stay the night. It was fun watching the lightning bugs all along the roadside when we were going back into town.
Wednesday and Thursday were our site seeing days. We had to take both vehicles everywhere, but we had fun trying to keep up with each other and not get lost. Wednesday, we went on a paddle riverboat cruise up the Mississippi River on the La Crosse Queen .
It was very interesting, and the guide really knew her stories and information and was funny too. After that, we drove a little ways to a restaurant called Huck Finn’s On the Water to eat seafood. It was in a marina with lots of boats of all sizes and kinds all around us. The food was very good and filling. Emily and Tyler came back to the hotel with us. We picked up pizza to take to the park for supper. It started raining while we were getting pizza and got really hard with lots of wind all the way to the park. Sometimes, we couldn’t see the road in front of us. We made it through, enjoyed the pizza, and left when the storm calmed down. There was lots of tree damage. It rained again during the night and light mist the next morning.
Thursday, we met Candy & Paul & the kids and drove to an Amish area and shopped in The Old Country Cheese Store. Between Candy & me, we got so much cheese! (Candy adds – We actually went back a second time and restocked before leaving Wisconsin! It was so good!) We headed back to LaCrosse to go to Granddad Bluff. We took a wrong turn and were on a very narrow road going down in elevation and mostly trees and cliffs on each side of us. (Candy adds – We were following them in our truck and got to laughing so hard. Paul was like, “This is awesome! Mama never lets me take these roads! Go Paw Paw, go!” The kids were laughing hysterically. I’m not sure it was really THAT funny, but it was definitely “a scenic route” and we got tickled to say the least. Darn GPS cannot always be trusted!) We finally got to a place where we could back into a driveway to turn around and go back to the highway.
We made it to the lookout bluff, and it was amazing! You can see Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all from that spot!
Friday, we relaxed at the hotel, getting packed up and ready to leave the next morning. Candy and Paul and the kids came into town to tell us bye and get hugs and kisses. We won’t see them again until October. (Candy adds….or maybe November! LOL! Sorry, Mom! So many places to see!)
Saturday, we left and started the long trip home. Trips home are always the longest. We stayed in Emporia, KS again and came home Sunday. We didn’t go through Fort Worth again. We took some TX state highways instead of the Interstate. It was a nice trip, but Jailynne was getting restless.
We got just outside of San Angelo, and Joe told Jailynne that we had made a wrong turn and still had 100 miles to go to get home. LOL! She told him that we didn’t, because she knew the road we were on led to her house! 😉
It was good to see the Sinars & see so many different things, but it was good to be back home too!! Joe said he doesn’t want to take any more long trips for a long time!!
It was so much fun to have them join us on our adventures. I loved every minute of it! So thankful for them and for the memories made. We hung out, ate good food, did a lot of talking, playing, watched sunsets, gave haircuts (LOL! It was a long way to come for a haircut, but I didn’t mind one bit!) and explored somewhere new together.
I will treasure those moments in my heart forever. Maybe we’ll talk them into joining us again sometime. 🙂 What fun!