Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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We will return to Iowa!

What a relaxing trip! Visiting with friends that seemed more like family! Christopher and I, unfortunately woke up feeling under the weather and this was the perfect stop at the perfect time. Veronica just cooked up a storm, letting Christopher take a nap on her couch and I ended up taking a few hour snooze on the other one myself. We woke up to lunch and then we visited and her children and grandchildren stopped by for an amazing dinner.
Her grandson, Tyson, took a shine to Christopher and just played with him all afternoon!

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After dinner, Marty took us to his workshop to show us his hit and miss engine he built and the firehouse he volunteers at and their Main Street. Such a step into the past for us.

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See how desolate hwy 30 was on a Monday night? I was able to stand right in the middle of the road for minutes for photos without getting hit.
I am so not used to that.

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Just a good ol’ town!

We will miss our time spent here.  It was peaceful, relaxing and spent with loving friends.

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We will definitely return!

As Tyson put it… “travel safe, Chrissy!” “Bye, Chrissy… Catch more pirates (they were playing pirates)” As he hopped in his Daddy’s car and drove off.

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Iowan hospitality!

We are at the Nelson Park in Dow City, Iowa currently.

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Friends of ours that we have known via an online word game called Acrophobia for about 16 years now live near here. Ivan and I met playing that same word game. We pulled into their very small town of about 1,200 population yesterday (Dunlap, Iowa) and it was like stepping into the past. Stores shut down, due to it being Sunday. The nearest Wal-Mart is 18 miles away in Dennisen, Iowa.
Our friends, Veronica and Marty, invited us into their home after our travels… By the way… What a beautiful state Iowa is! The rolling hills are lovely! The wind turbines are mesmerizing, as well. And huge!

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Veronica made us a lovely fried chicken meal with mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet, locally grown corn. Delicious!

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I feel like she is part of my family, I have known her so long! We were offered to do our laundry, which was much appreciated! We talked till our eyes couldn’t stay open.
This morning, back at our campsite, we decided to take a quick morning walk to check out our surroundings. Found the prairie trail…

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We are going back to Veronica and Marty’s today to hang out and relax. She is inviting her children over to dinner tonight for a great meal and we will head to Sioux Falls, SD tomorrow.
Christopher and I woke up with sore throats this morning, but hope to stay on top of that. Ivan is still sick, so we are sure he is the one who graciously shared his sickness with us. Need to get meds on way up to SD tomorrow.
Having a great time here in the heartland of America!


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We have hit the road!

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On the highway, a blue Prius and a ’98 Damon Intruder… Pennsylvania to California, with stops along the way to visit, laugh, enjoy the sites and just relax!
We are starting out our fifth full day on the road and we have already been too busy to post anything or put our feet up and this is our first morning we can actually breathe just a little.
Day one was spent driving 378 mi to Brunswick, Oh. Beautiful, sunny day driving. We stayed at a campground called Willow Lake ($40/night full hu, .50 showers). I had friends I wanted to see that I worked with at UPS-SCS. We met at Applebees and had a great time catching up!

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(Pic of Willow Creek)

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Day Two, off to Valparaiso, Indiana. Today was cloudy and the weather was turning to rain. 306 miles and we thought we’d save money and drycamp at the Wal-Mart near where my cousin’s were staying. When we pulled up, my cousin, Herman was there waiting for us. He drove up from Florida with his wife, Mickey. They were headed up to Michigan to visit family and wanted to see us and the new rig! We got settled a bit then they took us to dinner at Broadway Cafe, nice place with great food. Next day, we met up again and they took us to the Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan… We got to go to the beach! Very cool!

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Afterwards, Ivan, who has been fighting a cold all week, went back to the rig, and the four of us went to the University of Valparaiso (Valpo) where Herman’s father graduated in ’37 (My mother’s uncle) to see the gorgeous chapel and the Bull Pen, which he helped build in 1936… Google it. Pretty cool.

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We were able to meet my other cousin, Nancy, and her husband, Richard, for dinner. We enjoyed catching up with the family!

Day Three was spent leaving my cousin’s, and the rain in Valparaiso, In and heading west to Iowa. The sun was out all day for us. We drove to F.W. Kent County Park, which was 271.5 miles. $20 for electrical hookup. Free showers. Beautiful lake with trails to walk. Relaxed after a nice walk, Chris had a great run, Ivan still getting over his cold and then I made a nice salad for dinner. Threw some black beans and corn in it with some tomatoes and avocados. It was delicious! Dessert was sliced strawberries. Trying to get healthier on this journey of ours. Chris and I have made it a point to go out at least once a day. As soon as Ivan is feeling better, we are dragging him along.
This park has beautiful walking trails…

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And dinner

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After dinner entertainment… Game of Cribbage.

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This morning, we hear a light rain. We want to walk the lake, hit the showers and then head out for Dunlap, Ia to visit with a friend… 228 miles. Shouldn’t be too bad of a drive.

Toodles!


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Stress is in this house…

Well, hard to keep a blog going when you are finalizing three lives in a state that you’ve called your home for over eleven years.
I moved to the East Coast over eighteen years ago when I discovered I was pregnant. My son’s father lived out here. Leaving my family in Southern California was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
Now, my son graduates in a couple of weeks and my parents need me back home. So, we have been preparing for the past two years mentally, but only physically in the last seven months or so. It is exhausting!
To wrap things up is hard enough. To do it when your only child is graduating high school is insane.
Our stress levels are through the roof and we are all dealing with it in our own different ways. Arguments happen when they haven’t before, from all of us being on edge. Tears seem to be at the ready for me from time to time when I last expect them. Diets have been thrown out the window, when comfort eating seems to calm the soul. Headaches come a bit easier, so keep the Tylenol ready.
I am giving things away and selling things I have had forever for $1.
My child is young and even though he chose his own future, he is torn up with thoughts of leaving his childhood friends behind. There is nothing my husband or I can say that will ease this natural transition in life that all kids go through when they go from high school to college. He will understand in a year, he just doesn’t understand it now.
I have six work days left. I have left friends in other states before. I have many friends that I have kept in contact with, yet I know that it takes two… So, I know that I will lose friends with this move. It is part of life. It is the friends that keep in touch that were meant to be in your life. For that, I am grateful for my moves… It has given me that bit of eye-opening… True friendship is a wonderful thing!
I am excited about our journey across this beautiful country and can’t wait to reunite with my mother, father and brother.
If we can just get through these next few weeks!