Sunday, July 14, 2013

Basketball and DC

This morning we made a trip to Walmart and found a great deal on a really good sewer hose for the motorhome. That was a real relief to me. Then we drove to the Basketball Hall of Fame, where Kaleb and BJ and I went and spent a great couple of hours. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. It was a truly enjoyable experience. In the meantime Julianne had to run back to the hotel to get some things we accidentally left there. 

Kaleb's foot compared to Shaq's
Dad and Kaleb next to Stockton's jersey

BJ next to a Heat championship ring


Dad next to Stockton's Olympic Dream Team jersey

Kaleb rebounding at 7'6"
BJ and Kaleb next to some Heat memorabilia

BJ and Kaleb shooting hoops at the Hall of Fame

Then we hit the road. We drove through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania. We spent several hours of the drive trying to find a place where we could dump our sewer since it was getting full. I would never have imagined it would be so difficult. We were about to give up when we saw a Pilot gas station off the freeway. We circled around and went to it, just hoping. They did not, but they knew there was an RV park nearby. So we went there. It was not very nice facilities, and they charged too much, but we had success. 

I have been surprised at how little time for relaxation or work I have had. Driving the motorhome is more stressful than I had imagined. It isn’t too bad on a wide open freeway in the wide open West or Midwest. I think the first two days weren’t bad. But once we got into a bit more crowded places it has been stressful. The whole east coast has been unpleasant. It makes everything just a bit less enjoyable. Kaleb has gotten good at sitting in the passenger seat and helping me know if I can get over since there is a huge blind spot on that side. BJ and Tashara have gotten good at helping me to back up. We can’t use just every gas station, and each time we pull in we have to turn off the fridge, turn off the gas, pump, pull away, and then turn it all back on again. The kids have lots of needs and we are always dealing with food, etc. for them. I have ended up doing about 80% of the driving. Julianne could drive more, but she is usually so busy doing things that need to be done that if we switched I would just be doing that instead. Her mom has been wonderful and helps so much. I am not sure how well we would be making it without her. I thought I would get all sorts of stuff done while traveling, but instead I find myself getting further and further behind in my work. I use the computer when we stop in the evening and before we go in the morning, yet I am not keeping up well. But I am keeping up well enough. We are doing okay.

Today we plotted our drive so that it took about an hour longer, but did not go through NYC, Philadelphia, etc. I think in the end that avoiding that traffic made it so we were faster, but I will never know. I do know that we avoided driving in places it is not easy to drive our RV in, and that we saw beautiful country. It was a nice drive for the most part. We just kept driving, finally making it to Maryland. We were going to spend the next several days at my friend, Stacey Bailey’s, house. As we were getting close we came across a problem. Our route took us through some tunnels, and they wouldn’t let our propane tanks through. We pulled over and spent half an hour trying to figure out if we could, and if not what route we should take. We eventually called Stacey (even though it was getting very late), and they helped us plot a route that didn’t need a tunnel. By now the kids were falling asleep, but we eventually made it. We pulled up and met Stacey and her husband and went to bed, very happy that the motorhome is still working and that we actually made it to a place we can stay peacefully for a few days. Again, we are blessed.
I spend a great deal of time praying each morning and night that we will make it okay, that the motorhome will keep working, and that we will get along. I am grateful that I can turn to the Lord.

This morning I got up and John Bailey showed me how to get to the train station. It is literally half a block away and within two stops you are at Union Station, right next to the Capitol building at the beginning of the national mall. It couldn’t be more simple. I had no idea how convenient their place would be for that kind of thing. Sweet Stacey baked us some fresh blueberry muffins for part of our breakfast. Their kids met ours and seemed to hit it off. We got everyone all ready and headed out to the train station. Then the train was an hour late. Julianne came back to the motorhome and made a lunch for us, helped clear out some of the things that had gotten wet so that they would dry, and then we even got a bite to eat at a little diner. 

Sabrina on the MARC train

The train was fun for the kids and easy to use. When we got off we made our way to the Smithsonian Postal Museum, which is right next door. It was fun. Then we went to the Capitol building. They would not let us in with our food, so Kaleb and I stayed out while the others toured it. I even fell asleep a bit, which was needed. 

In the postal museum

Jacob in the Postal Museum

The family at the Capitol Building
Walking around the Mall

It was a very hot day. We stopped in a few places to cool off. We did the Botanical museum, the American Indian museum, and the Air and Space museum. That one was so cool we spent the rest of the day in there. The kids loved it. Since it was one of my biggest memories from our time in DC, I was glad to see them enjoy it so much. It really is cool. 

Alexia in the Air and Space Museum

We went down to the sculpture garden, where there is a big pool in which everyone puts their feet. That really cooled us off and refreshed us. After that we made our way back to the train station and figured out how to get back. In the end it was pretty simple. 

Jacob at the sculpture Garden

Cooling off at the pool at the sculpture garden

When we got there the kids got to playing. Wow, they enjoyed each other. We enjoyed visiting with Stacey and John, and the kids played and played. They have a great back yard, and just a fun place. Stacey made some cookies for us all. She is taking such good care of us. We did laundry, cleaned up and dried up some things, etc. It was nice to have a place we could do some things, spread out a bit, and be with kind people. So nice.

That night we slept with five inside their house and four outside in the motorhome. It worked well. It is such a great feeling to be among such good and caring people. Stacey, John, and their family made this part of the trip seem like we were safe, at home, and peaceful. We will always be grateful to them.

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