Day 18

2.25.17

Last night we couldn’t go outside because apparently there is a chicken farm across the street and they open the barn doors twice a day to release the gases. The fumes took over the campground and lingered for hours. We could NOT go outside, open any windows and we were even scared in the middle of the night to run the heat because of the fear of fumes leaking in. This smell was not like being on a farm. Oh no, the smell was so pungent and concentrated that if you dared to step outside it would cause a gag reflex. The smell was still lingering when we woke up this morning. This campground has earned the nickname of “Chicken sh*% resort”.

Before we headed out for our trip to California we all helped clean, reset and pack for the next week. We are going to be parking the camper for a few weeks when we arrive. Whenever we leave on a trip my favorite thing is to clean the house so when we return it is fresh. Coming back to a clean home is my favorite. Since our camper is our home, we cleaned it, reorganized and made sure it would be amazing for us. It is crazy how I reorganized and repurposed storage containers that I originally bought for one thing, yet living in this space I realized it could be much better used in another area.

Heading west cactus types, earth colors and mountain ranges changed along the way. The beauty never ends. The sky gets wider, bluer and it is speaking to my soul. Along the road I have been journaling and loving this time to think.

We took a quick pit stop for lunch. Beginning this journey our goal was to only eat local. My version of that is ONLY eat local for dinner. Breakfast, lunch and on the road doesn’t work for this pace. We have stopped at McDonalds a few times, gas station stops and eating our groceries. The local spots have been amazing and we are so thankful for the flexibility.

CALIFORNIA. I honestly can’t believe we made it to the west coast. Everyone in our car was excited, fidgety and longing to see our people and stretch our legs! Taking a break from each other is high on all our lists!

Our sweet family met up with us when we exited the freeway to greet us with the biggest hugs and a quick camper tour. We are so thankful to be safe, out of the car and with our people. We have just spent the past 18 days in the most intensive quality time you could ever imagine, breaking us up this week would be the best gift for each of us.

We had arrangements to park the camper in a local yard. When we arrived they couldn’t find the key for the fence. They wanted us to try and back our unit In through a small fence and park in a corner. We decided to pass. Finding ourself at 4:45 with no where to park we busted out our phones and called almost every local storage place. The storage units were either all full, closing or couldn’t fit our size. One storage unit that Sean’s Dad had found for us wasn’t answering. On our last call they answered. We drove out about 30 minutes, registered, parked and secured the unit. We drove away around 6:45 feeling lighter.

Praying that a good nights rest and two weeks away from our home on wheels will give us fresh perspective and joy. For Sean he is feeling a little trapped by the thought of still having to drive home. He is one that likes to work until the job is done. This trip is not that kinda work. It is daily, constantly and never ends. Each day it actually starts up again. In his mind this project isn’t finished until we reach Knoxville in April. The daily pace and thought of thousands more miles is overwhelming.

Tonight we had cousin time, family time, pizza and loved all being in one house. I held my great niece Scout for the first time. She is such a love. Madison had a slumber party with Grandma. Emerson watched a movie stretched out on the couch. Ellington had a sleep over in Emma’s room. Sean was thrilled to go to bed. I was thrilled to catch up till the late hours with one of my best friends, Julie. It was amazing that for the first time in 18 days we all had our own space and agendas. Heading to bed thankful.