Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Instead, the vast majority of our fellow campers have been retirees. We might exchange a few pleasantries here and there, but that is usually about it.
And now we’re in Felton, California, the friendliest place we’ve been since Bardstown, Kentucky, last July. We officially know more people here than we did in the neighborhood we lived in for 12 years! We literally can’t step outside our door without greeting Ryan or Deacon or Sam or Greg or Jill (yes, another Jill!) or Emma or Liam or…well, you get the idea.
To our great amazement, there is even another full-timing, homeschooling family here. And they just happen to have a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old, much to Erika’s and Madelyn’s great excitement (poor Victoria always gets left out!). It was surreal to get a knock on the door during lunch today from children asking if the girls could play, something that probably happens in neighborhoods every single day.
The girls have had such fun playing with this other family and they came along with us to our playground/covered bridge outing today. Needless to say, the adults have also had a lot in common and have had a ton of fun comparing notes on our uncommon lifestyle.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Jill's Journal: Felton, the little town we’re staying in, is quintessential, stereotypical California. It’s overtly friendly, it’s laid-back as can be, and we’re getting an absolute kick out of it. The first person we met today, a fellow camper, is a 4th-generation surfer from Santa Cruz who is unfortunately down on his luck at the moment. Within five seconds of our first conversation, he said in response to something, “That’s so gnarly!” I haven’t heard that word since high school. It was awesome. Dude.
Friday, March 25, 2011
A few random thoughts:
*As we left the Monterey Peninsula yesterday, I neglected to say again how much we enjoyed it there. We may be back. In fact, we tucked a little piece of information into our collective back pockets as we left. Laguna Seca has volunteer opportunities where a family can commit for up to six months. You give 10 hours a week of your time, split between spouses, if need be, for free camping. Hmmmm…that is definitely something we’ll be thinking about for a possible future winter down the road.
*Homeschooling, or roadschooling as it can be called in our situation, rocks! Once again, the timing has been amazing when we least expect it. Today, Erika was learning about plants and how they drink water in 1st grade science. The textbook mentioned redwood trees and how water must travel up to 300 feet up their trunks to their leaves. Two days ago, that would have meant nothing to Erika. Today, we just looked out the window as understanding dawned in her eyes. So cool!
*In a similar vein, the curriculum we use is very big on geography. Anytime a certain place (anywhere in the world) is mentioned in any subject, we get out a large, foldable map. One of Erika’s jobs is to find the place and officially write it on the map in erasable pen. So many times, including today in literature, a place has been mentioned that we’ve actually been to already here in the U.S. It’s so exciting to her to be able to picture the place in her mind and immediately identify it on the map.
*And one last homeschooling note. We’re studying ancient cultures in 1st grade history, which means the two little girls have absorbed a tremendous amount as well. Erika is absolutely obsessed with ancient Egyptian anything. (Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire have done nothing yet to sway her love for Egypt.) We were recently discussing ethnicity at the dinner table and the girls know my heritage is Dutch. We told them Rob is all American, meaning the best of possibly lots of cultures. The girls asked if he had any Egyptian in him and we teased that yes, he just might. They have latched onto that like you wouldn’t believe and somehow they now believe their Daddy is “half Egyptian.” As if they didn’t already think he walked on water, this has elevated him even more in their eyes! Hilarious.
*Somehow we lucked out and have television at this campground, which means we just got to enjoy the intense Kentucky game. How awesome to see UK make it to the Elite Eight in a year no one expected it. C-A-T-S, C-A-T-S, C-A-T-S!
I may be an Arizona State alumni, but my heart is in Kentucky. Go Big Blue!!
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Our two youngest children were crabby little monsters for no apparent reason. It poured rain for what feels like the 873rd consecutive day, with no projected break in sight. And we moved for the first time in that rain (which ranks up there with dental work for pure enjoyment purposes).
Our destination was a campground in the Santa Cruz area and after the stress of negotiating too-narrow streets with a big rig, we arrived to find it was a bit, um, unsavory. We said thank you very much and quickly headed to a different campground, negotiating even worse streets and far too much traffic and crabby children and the pouring rain. Let’s just say the second campground was even worse and we moved on again. That’s how we ended up in Felton, about five miles or so away from Santa Cruz.
On the bright side, we survived and the crabby kids are in bed. And, if that’s the worst day we have traveling, we’re doing just fine. It’s still raining and it’s cold, very cold, but we’re eager to explore. And sometimes you’ve just got to have a not-so-fun day to truly appreciate all the good ones. Tomorrow is another day, a fresh start.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Rob’s truck is back from the mechanic, although it was ready too late this afternoon for us to leave today. The sensor is fixed, the oil in changed, and Rob left with recommendations from the shop for so many other things that should be done it made our heads spin. We’ve heard it before, but apparently big Ford engines spend more time than usual visiting mechanics. UGH.
Monday, March 21, 2011
A truck update: the mechanic believes it to be some sort of sensor issue. They finally got it running right at the close of business. Hopefully it’ll be finished in the morning.
And a random moment from today: A very contemplative Erika asked me how much longer we’ll be doing “this” (traveling). When I answered that I honestly didn’t know, but it would probably be a while, she said, “Well, in the beginning you said about three years and I think it’s pretty close to one already. That means two years more. It’s fun, but I really, really want a horse.”
When I was a kid, I had a horse and really, really wanted to travel. Isn't it funny how the grass is always greener on the other side?
Sunday, March 20, 2011
It’s amazing how all three can be so different from each other.