Day 22 – The Road Home

We got up after a good nights sleep and got ready for the day. Then headed down to breakfast. We had purchased a “breakfast package” so went for the buffet rather than the snack shop that has coffee and muffins/cookies/donuts.

Jude found the waffles and ice cream and made a breakfast sandwich; and Siah worked on a pile of bacon. Cause nothing says “Good morning” like a bacon coma.

Jon and his wolf ears enjoyed an omelet.

We had picked up our wolf ears the night before and at first the boys were too cool for them but I’m not sure how it’s possible to be too cool for wolf ears.

After breakfast, Jon and I packed up the room and the boys headed back to the water park.

While Jon took our bags back to the trailer, I took the boys clothes and went to find them.

They eventually noticed me and came out to get dressed. They LOVE swimming but they also want to go home. So it wasn’t a tough sell to get them out of the water, this time.

Yesterday, they got caught by this bucket of water dumping on them unexpectedly. We were headed to the hot tub which is sort of behind this structure and when Jon and the boys walked passed, it dumped on them. It was perfect timing. Not planned at all. It’s a lot of water.

We were going to take a selfie but a sweet lady offered to take a photo for us. Not sure that’s a wolf, maybe an eagle. I dunno but it was nice to get a photo with all of us that wasn’t a selfie. The wolf ears are just a bonus.

We got in the truck for our last family selfie before we hit the road home. It was just a short 3.7 hours to home.

It’s weird to be thinking that tomorrow we’ll wake up at home in our bed and not be driving anywhere. There are no more routes to plan or RV parks to book; just regular life stuff.

I’d love to brag about this guy for a moment. He has driven almost every one of the 9919 kms on this trip. He fixed the RV when it was broken. He hooked up and dumped every black water tank. He stayed calm and present when we dealt with frustration and meltdowns. He white knuckled our way through every wind gust and kept us on the straight and narrow. He had plans and strategies for issues that never happened but if they had, we would have been totally taken care of. He was a rock star and I’m so very thankful for him and the way he takes care of us.

This particular drive seemed to fly by. We missed traffic in Seattle which was fabulous and as we neared the border, everyone was excited to get home.

When we crossed the border, Siah exclaimed. “It even smells like Canada; smell that fresh smell of cow poop.”

Welcome to Aldergrove!

We got home and began to unload the trailer. Somehow it’s always more fun and seems easier to load a trailer than it does to unload it. We made quick work of it though. Siah was a HUGE help and made a number of trips packing boxes of stuff from the trailer to the house. It probably only took 45 mins to empty it into the foyer, front room and kitchen of our house. And now we begin the process of putting it all away. That’s a HUGE job.

We managed to get good portion put away and most of everything is in close proximity to where it should eventually go. For example all the food and kitchen stuff is in the kitchen, bathroom stuff is on the counter in the bathroom and 18 Hundred loads of laundry and bedding are in the hallway upstairs next to the laundry machine. Since we got home, I’ve already done 5 loads of laundry and haven’t even hit the bedding yet!

Gia was happy to have us home.

I laid down on my bed for a moment and was so thankful to be home; and even more thankful for the wonderful opportunity to get to go on a road trip like this. Being able to spend this time with my family and being able to see where Jon grew up and experience things that he’s talked about and shared over the past 27 years, was so special.

This time was truly a gift and definitely a cherished and Core Memory that we will hold onto forever

Oh, I hear the laundry calling me!

Day 21 – 3 Weeks on the Road

It’s crazy to think that we’ve been on the road for 3 entire weeks, as of today. So far we’ve travelled about 9,000 km and by the time we make it home we should be close to 10,000 km.

We left the Pendleton KOA just after 9am and we were headed for Grand Mound, Washington. We planned to wrap up our trip with a night at the Great Wolf Lodge.

As we left Pendleton, we had crazy headwinds and lots of clouds but as we carried on towards Portland, the clouds burned off but the wind intensified

We drove along the Columbia River and noticed the incredible rock formations along the river; Jon and I pointed them out to the boys as looking fascinating and wondering what they were.

Jude pipes up from the back seat and nonchalantly says, “Oh that’s basalt.”

What??? So I google and sure enough the Columbia River Basalt Group is what we were looking at. Basalt is a dark, fine-grained volcanic rock that sometimes displays a columnar structure. (According to Wikipedia)

How did Jude know that?


Apparently, Basalt is a type of rock found in more than one game that he plays. It’s been incredible to have this time together. There is so much that both boys have shared that I had no idea that they knew and lots of the information is stuff that I didn’t even know.

One of the sights I have loved seeing is the graffiti on the different train cars. We saw a surprising number of trains on our travels. I took these two photos yesterday but these are not even remotely the most complicated nor the most colourful tags we saw. There are some incredibly talented artists out there playing with shapes and colours in stunning ways.

We made it to the Great Wolf Lodge around 3:30pm and were able to check in a little early as our room was ready. The boys were thrilled to have a real bed, decent wifi and to go crashing in the wave pool. I only got 2 photos of our time in water park. We were just too busy having fun.

Jon and Siah went on a water slide that free fall dropped them down a chute; and they said it was AWESOME!

This was a great ending to a fabulous trip. We have one more day of driving to get home. It’s exciting and sad that our trip is over. I kind of love the duality of life. That we can hold space for conflicting emotions and that it’s okay to be both happy and sad in regard to the same event.

Day 20 – Utah, Idaho and Oregon

We’ve started retracing our steps heading back home. The plan today was to go from Snowville, Utah to Pendleton, Oregon.

It’s a 6.5 hour trip BUT…we get to cross a time zone so we gain an hour. It’s much nicer going this way because losing an hour sucks. Although honestly, by 9pm we were tired because it would have been 10pm. Or maybe it’s just exhausting navigating 4 people and their feelings and emotions inside of a truck and trailer for 3 weeks.

I was up by 7:30am and made coffee and set the trailer straight. I actually LOVE the simplicity and straightforwardness of trailer living. Everything has a place. You only have what you need. You use something, you put it back in its place so it’s easy to find when you need it next. It’s easier to do that on a small scale. I need to find a way to scale that for our house. I do have lots of things set up like that but it’s harder to stay on top of it when it’s a larger home and there are more people involved.

We got on the road just after 10am. The boys are ready to go home. They miss good internet and the comfort of their own bedrooms. First world problems.

We stopped for gas at a station in Sublett called “Middle of Nowhere” and they had a pen on the property with goats and alpacas and donkeys. They were adorable. It was a nice surprise and opportunity to stretch our legs and see cute animals.

We carried on driving through Idaho. We had the most fabulous tailwinds and just cruised our way through Idaho toward Oregon.

Between navigating Google Maps (like a boss), planning our routes, booking RV sites, writing blog posts and looking up interesting facts of information about our travels; I have also knit or crochet 5 dishcloths. I’ve even tried patterns that I’ve never made before. Crazy, right?

We’ve also listened to a variety of podcasts while on the road. From murder mysteries, to unsolved mysteries, medical mysteries, stand up comedy, talk shows and even the above one about women of the Wild West. It’s been an eclectic mix interspersed with current pop hits, country music, classic rock and our favourite, radio roulette. You just keep hitting the button until something comes on clear.

The weather has been pretty good for us but we can definitely tell that we are getting closer to the Pacific Northwest. It’s colder and wetter and there’s a whole lot more evergreens than we have seen. The skies have been cloudy and stormy looking for most of today. Still beautiful in their moody brooding way though.

Siah exclaimed, “Well, this looks familiar.” as we approached Pendleton. He didn’t mean the city but the landscape as we were passing through forests of evergreens interspersed with packs of snow on the ground. It definitely looks like home.

We pulled into the Pendleton KOA around 5:30pm and off towards the Blue Mountains a storm was looming. We even got a storm warning on the weather app. There was a gorgeous double rainbow that Jon called us outside to see.

We ordered pizza delivery to our campsite – how fun is that – and even watched a few shows that we had previously downloaded. We hunkered in expecting the storm to blow through overnight but it, thankfully, missed us.

It was a quiet night and we only have a few more days ‘till we’re home. This time has been such a gift and we have so many incredible memories that we will treasure for a lifetime. I’m so grateful that we were able to do this.

Day 19 – Utah

It wasn’t a HUGE travel day but we are tired and definitely feeling our almost 3 weeks on the road. We left Moab at 10:30am and the plan was to head towards Garland, Utah.

Look at all the smiles.

We drove North West up through Provo and Salt Lake City.

The red in the rocks are from rust and the green is created when the iron in the rock reacted differently and at a lower concentration than the iron that caused the orange. It’s all just so pretty; and so different than what we typically see in BC.

We travelled out of the desert and into snow dusted mountains. There were lots of dead zones with no coverage as we drove through Utah.

I find it absolutely fascinating how the landscape can so dramatically change as you drive within only a few hours.

We decided to not go to Garland but to head to Snowville which is only about 10 mins from the Idaho border. It’s an interesting aspect of our journey. Trying to find a location to travel to that’s not too far away but has a decent looking RV park. It’s lots to juggle especially because once you book a spot you are kind of committed and hoping that everything goes smoothly between where you are and where you’re headed. Along the way there’s gas to get, bathroom visits to be made, food to eat and sometimes a break because you’re tired and feeling way too close to a meltdown.

We made it to The Hitching Post in Snowville, Utah sometime after 6pm. I’ve got to give a huge shout out to Jonathan for his graciousness with my navigating skills. I can organize and plan like a Fortune 500’s top Administrator but Google maps confounds me. We have needed to reroute more times than I can count because I struggle to read the map and follow Google’s directions. Trying to find The Hitching Post in Snowville was no exception. But in my defence, we have gotten to travel some of the cutest and bumpy back roads as we circle around and we would never have had that opportunity without my exceptional navigation skills.

So I’d like to think it’s a win for all and really what’s a few extra moments when you get to see the sights that hide off the main roads.

We pulled into the bustling RV park. If you look really hard, you can find our rig in the photo.

There was the cutest diner back on the Main Street and it has real food. So we went there for dinner.

If you get a chance, you should ask my boys about these cute little houses that the owner’s son makes. They were surprising and so adorable.

We enjoyed our food and then headed back to the quiet campsite. We are not too far away from home now. It’s only going to be a few more days and I’m feeling all the feels. I have loved this trip and I’m ready and not ready to go home. We have learned a lot and if we have another opportunity to do a road trip, I would jump at the chance. It’s definitely a core memory!

Day 18 – Broken Arch (Part 4)

We left Sand Dune arch and walked towards Broken Arch.

It was quite a bit further than any of the walks we’d done up till now and if Siah wasn’t hobbling, it wouldn’t have been an issue at all.

It wasn’t a difficult walk. Mostly sandy pathways. Sometimes there was hard rock or loose shale.

There were times when you had to climb up the jagged rocks or down over smoothed out formations but nothing terribly difficult.

I was wearing my Birkenstock sandals and had no issues navigating anywhere I wanted to go.

There were all these little holes in the ground. I’m guessing some kind of prairie dog or gopher.

The guys were pretty pumped that there was a campground in the park and if it weren’t close to 6pm at this point, we may have gone and investigated.

It took about 10-15 minutes of meandering to get to Broken Arch. Jon took this panoramic shot from a bluff just above the small canyon that sits below the Arch. Fantastic, isn’t it?

The boys were in heaven. Climbing and taking photos. Chattering at each other and finding new, interesting things to show each other and us.

It was a bit of a climb up to Broken Arch and I didn’t feel like making it so I hung out in the little canyon while Jon and the boys explored.

The way the water and wind has worn down parts of the earth is fascinating and gorgeous.

You could spend days here and keep finding new things to be in awe of. I’m SO glad it worked out that we were able to visit.

Through the arch there is a loop that leads to another arch but it was getting later, boys were tired, Siah’s leg hurt, there was an impending bathroom break and we decided to head back the way we came.

The sensory aspect of the sand was just too fabulous and so our walk back took longer than expected.

The colors and shapes of the plants always captures my attention This trip has been absolutely filled with beautiful plants and wildflowers.

We got back to our vehicle and drove through the rest of the park.

I have so many more photos that I haven’t shared but will definitely be in a photo book that we will treasure forever. One of my favourite moments was when Jude said, “This is going to be a cherished memory when we get back to Canada. It’s definitely a core memory.”

I love it when he shares his thoughts and feelings with us. We slowly drove out of the park and back into the city of Moab. We stopped at a grocery store to grab a few things and then we headed back to our campsite.

I put the groceries away and made some dinner while the boys went swimming and Jon did a load of laundry. It was a nice relaxing end to an incredible day.

Day 18 – Sand Dune Arch (Part 3)

Even when just driving from station to station within the Park the views are incredible.

We pulled into the parking lot and we’re greeted by this stunning view.

To gain some perspective, Jon got this picture of Siah standing at the base of this giant.

Inside of this landform is Sand Dune Arch. It was my favourite experience of the park. We walked towards this landform on a gravel path.

You see a narrow space in between the columns and with no idea what you’re walking into, you head inside.

The pathway in, is squishy and awkward. The ground is slightly sloped and there’s sand on top of hardened rock and you really should use both hands to steady yourself as you slip through the opening into the magical world inside.

The temperature drops a few degrees and the wind is cool and blows steady against you. The pathway opens up into this quiet space that feels sacred. It’s awe inspiring.

The sand is cool and powdery soft. It’s a sensory delight. You kind of want to lay down and just soak it all in. I know that sounds weird but it was amazing.

The first space widens into an open sky chamber and you can hear your voice echo slightly as you call out to each other. I had the most incredible urge to sing. To join my voice with sounds and beings that have gone before and are here now, in gratitude for this incredible wonder.

As the walls narrow to lead you into the next chamber , the strength of the wind blowing through and against you, increases. It reminded me of the times when life seems narrow and restricted and the things coming at you seem to intensify. If you can press on and press through, you just don’t know what will open up for you; or what wonders you are about to step in to.

The space opened up and revealed wonders that aren’t visible from the outside. It’s only when you press in, that you get to see the beauty that’s here and available, if you’re willing.

There were other visitors in the area with us and although everyone was quiet and respectful; I wished I could have had a moment alone in this place. To just sit down and be quiet and BE in this place.

As you carry on passed the arch, the crevasse gets smaller and smaller.

Siah squished in as far as he could go. Silly boy. It’s amazing to see how happy the boys were; no screens, no devices, just nature.

We stayed for a while longer but then headed out to go and see Broken Arch.

I’m gonna break this up into one more post. We got a lot of pictures from our hike towards Broken Arch; and it’s easier than creating a super long extended post.

Day 18 – Moab – Arches National Park (Part 2)

We drove into the park and up and up and up. When we entered the park, we were given a map. It’s a huge park. HUGE! You could easy spend days here and not be disappointed or bored.

Our first stop was at the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint. We pulled off to the viewing area and parked.

There are so many pictures that we took and I honestly don’t even know how to narrow them down.

This is just the first viewpoint that we stopped at and there is so much more.

We got back in the car and carried on until we came to this formation called “The Organ”

The photo doesn’t do this justice. We took a video and it’s incredible and even then, still doesn’t translate.

We drove past The Great Wall and the Petrified Dunes and headed to Balanced Rock because the boys were desperate to get out of the vehicle and walk around.

There was a short easy walk around the base of Balanced Rock and we started with that.

It started out on a cement path and progressed to more of a trampled pathway through the the sand and brush.

It doesn’t matter which way you turn or what you look at; the colors, the shapes, the textures – everything is so incredibly gorgeous!

Even dead trees are gorgeous.

Look, it’s true! I really was here!

Siah twisted his ankle while monkeying around Balanced Rock. He probably should have quit at that point but he kept going. We packed back into the truck and headed to the Lower and Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoints. I believed that the hike to the actual Delicate Arch would be too much for Siah’s ankle.

Quartz on a rock on the pathway up

The Lower Viewpoint was nothing and both boys swore they could make the Upper Viewpoint, although they seemed quite happy to stop about 3/4’s of the way up the path. It’s a decent incline on a sandy, rocky path.

Delicate Arch from the Upper Viewpoint

After we made it back down the path and to our truck; we headed to the Fiery Furnace Viewpoint to use the toilets and from there we headed to see the Sand Dune Arch and planned to do the circuit of Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch.

I’m going to split this into another part because otherwise it’s going to be just too long……to be continued!

Day 15 – Texas Trouble

We left Round Rock around 10am with plans to head to Inner Space Cavern which was only 20 mins away in Georgetown.

When we arrived, the parking lot was FULL, the overflow parking was filled with school busses and there were millions of little children running around like feral cats.

We tried to find a place to park our truck and trailer in the overflow lot but it was difficult to navigate and in our efforts, the brake cable got pinched and short circuited, triggering the brakes to lock in place.

At that point, we were parked, whether we wanted to be or not. So in a super avoidant maneuver, we decided to go for the tour of the caverns and deal with the issue after.

We sidestepped through the chaos and went inside, only to be told that the next public tour was at 12:50pm.

So, it looked like we were going to deal with the trailer electrical first. I looked up RV service centres and there was one 2 minutes up the road. With the brakes being locked up, Jon cut the brake cable to release it and we carefully drove up the street and into the RV lot.

Jon took the cut piece of cable into the shop and bought a new one…..rather than doing a hack job and splicing the new cable onto the old cable, Jon decided to replace the cable properly.

Once replaced, the lights would turn on but not the turning signals.

While Jon was working on the truck, I was eating my feelings.

So Jon checked out the fuses and sure enough, we had blown fuses. So we had to buy and replace 6 fuses. But, Jon got it all figured out and working and at this point it was 1pm, so we decided to head back to the caves. Oh what fun!

We paid the admission and the next tour was leaving right away. So we headed into the caves.

The tour guide was funny and interesting. You walk further and further underground and it gets darker and warmer and more humid. They warn you to not touch anything in the cave because the oils on your hands destroy the formations ability to grow and develop. There is this one place where you are allowed to touch the formations as it had been touched when the caves were first found.

The ground is wet and damp and they have railings to hold onto and rugs nailed down into the ground so that you have better grip and don’t slip.

About half way into the tour, Jude did slip and fell onto his right arm, hurting it. And then he started to panic. Jon took him back above ground and got him an ice pack from the trailer.

Siah and I finished the cave tour and found Jon and Jude waiting for us.

It’s a good thing that we had a light day of travel planned because these two events, while nothing huge or horrible were unexpected and wearing. We packed back into the car and headed towards Brady, Texas where I had reserved a spot at an RV Park.

As we travelled further into Texas, it got hot and windy. It was beautiful with the wild flowers and cacti growing and the wide open spaces and rolling landscape.

We pulled into “The Heart of Texas RV Park”. It is such a cute little place. The wind blows warm. There are quail in the neighbouring yard cooing along with the hooting owls. The grounds are filled with wild flowers and brush and the most gorgeous trees.

We sat outside in the sun for a bit, before each of us ran through the shower in the guest house; and then made some dinner. After dinner, I had time to put the trailer in order – it felt a bit chaotic as we had spent time with family and friends over the past few days, rather than stay on top of keeping it neat.

Jon did a bit of schoolwork with Siah and then we settled for the night. A chaotic and unplanned day ended much more calmly than it began and for that I am so thankful.

Day 12 – New Orleans, Louisana

We woke up this morning expecting a thunderstorm to blow through during the day and sure enough, the sky was grey and cloudy.

We moved a lot slower in the morning than I had expected. Siah really enjoyed the spicy Jimmy Dean sausage that we had at Xani’s and we had bought some more. Jon made eggs and sausage for us, for breakfast.

Siah was pretty happy and really, it was pretty delicious.

We tidied up and headed into New Orleans and down to the French Quarter. It’s just about an hour away from Bay St. Louis.

We drove across Lake Ponchartrain and planned to come back over the Ponchartrain Causeway. It was pretty grey and definitely felt like it was gonna rain although it was holding off.

The Ponchartrain

Driving into New Orleans was fun as Jon shared memories of where they lived when Pastor Charles Green brought them back from Indonesia and pointed out where the church was.

Driving down into the French Quarter was amazing. The trees hanging way out over the roads and the colourful houses with their offsetting colourful window shutters. The wrought iron balconies are gorgeous too. There is stunning graffiti art all over and it’s just a riot of color and creativity.

We found a parking spot right on Decatur Street about a block away from the Cafe Du Monde.

The boys were a little overwhelmed with the smells and sounds and the sheer number of people around; but it sounded and felt like excitement and anticipation and creativity to me. Smelled like weed and BO!

We found the line up for the sit down part of the Cafe and it wasn’t very long at all. So we queued up.

Jude is happier then he looks, I promise. It’s hard to catch a smiling picture of him. He pointed out this artist sitting on the bench beside us. Look at the saturation of color on his pages. It’s incredible.

While we waited a few light drops of rain started to fall and Jon ran back to the truck to grab an umbrella. He came back just before they seated us.

There was an incredible busker serenading the line up with his Karoke machine. He was joined by a gentleman dancing along. The dancer definitely looked down on his luck but he had the kindest smile and eyes!

We were seated in the cafe and our waiter came over to get our order.

We ordered 3 orders of Beignets, 2 Cafe au Lait and 2 Sprites. As soon as we ordered, the heavens opened up and the floods came.

The Thunderstorm that we had been expecting arrived with a bang. A lot of bangs. There was thunder and lightening and SO MUCH RAIN. It was awesome!

You can see the sheets of rain in the above video. And even though it’s pouring and storming, it’s warm. When the rain started all the people that had been in the streets and parks moved into the covered sidewalks and it got even more crowded, loud and pungent. The beignets and cafe au lait was delicious and the boys would have ordered another 3 orders if we said yes.

We stopped in a few of the stores along the way back to the truck. We had planned to walk through the Market but when we got back to our truck, the boys were done and just wanted to head back to the trailer.

Our boys do so well travelling but we must adjust our wants to accommodate their needs and that often means cutting our plans short. So we hold plans loosely so as not to be disappointed and even then, it can be frustrating and disappointing to want to see or do something and not get to but going to an emotional breaking point is not worth any “attempt” to “make a memory”.

We headed back to Bay St Louis and seeing as both boys were on the edge of meltdowns we didn’t go over the Ponchartrain Causeway as it added an extra hour to the trip. We also did not communicate that well enough and the lack of communication did trigger a meltdown. That’s hard. It’s really hard. It was just the last straw that an “already at his breaking point” kid reached!

To read a great explanation of dealing with a meltdown, go to Jon’s blog and read this post he wrote.

Part of the stress was mounting internal pressure of undone schoolwork, so we found a McDonalds with wifi and the boys did some school while I shopped at Walmart for a few groceries for the trailer.

The battery in Siah’s computer died and the Walmart McDonald’s didn’t have plugs available for customers. He wasn’t quite finished so I finished shopping quickly and we headed to a different McDonald’s that did have outlets.

We headed back to the trailer and the storm had settled some.

Siah wanted to go back in the water. Jude wanted to try fishing again and I wanted to tidy the trailer and take a shower if possible.

So Siah went in the water. It was quite a bit colder than the previous day, thanks to the storm so that didn’t last long and he was actually the first to try out the shower!

Jon took Jude to a pier down the road to try and catch a fish one last time. They had no luck but it’s still fun though.

They came back to the trailer and Jon and I both made it through the shower although it’s more of a bird bath situation and less of a luxurious relaxing experience but clean hair and parts are worth it.

After showers, we made hot chocolate for the boys and I had a tea.

There are times when things feel more peaceful and normal and other times when it just feels more chaotic than anything. I really love peace and calm.

The boys chattered and played together before bed and Jon chilled and it was such a nice evening. We are up bright and early tomorrow headed to Texas to see family and friends. It gonna be another great day of travel and I’m so thankful that we had this special time to see where Jon grew up and to see first hand things, places and people that he’s talked about for years.

Day 11 – Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Coming to Bay St Louis is a home-coming for Jon. He spent his childhood here before coming to Canada when he was 13. He was back in the South for a couple of weeks when he was 15 but other than a one day stop a couple of years ago, he hasn’t been back. So this is a special visit.

We were fortunate to have a gorgeous day lined up for us, with clear sunny skies and temps around 24 degrees. We woke up at 6am to catch the sunrise and was it ever stunning.

It was amazing how fast it rose up out of the horizon once it started.

Our RV pad is right behind this little beach area. The sand is white; the water is warm and it’s SO shallow. It’s a small piece of heaven.

Our trailer is behind Jon and Jude!

After the sunrise, Jon and Jude walked out a little further on the beachfront; and Siah and I headed back to the trailer.

I was still in my pyjamas wrapped in a blanket.

As the sun and the temperatures continued to climb, we made coffee and had some breakfast. Jon connected with a family friend who had some fishing gear so He and the boys popped over to grab them and I had some quiet time to set the trailer straight and enjoy my coffee.

Isn’t this a gorgeous place to base ourselves from for the next few days? Look at that sunshine. Look at that view.

The boys came back with the fishing gear, donuts and a pound of shrimp as bait; and Jon took them down to the water.

They tried a few different spots with no luck. Oh actually, Jude caught a 2 in wide crab!

I went down and joined them as they came closer back to our RV pad and found a whole bunch of blackberries already ripe and ready to eat.

We relaxed in the sun for a bit. FYI – When you wake up at 6am there is a whole lot more day to fill up.

And then we headed to Long Beach to have lunch at Steve’s Marina with Ron and Phyllis. Sadly we got NO photos of our time with them because we were too busy being loved on and talking. Jon was able to get some Gumbo and Blackened Red Fish. I had a Fried Shrimp Po Boy, Siah had a Cheese burger and Jude had Chicken Strips and fries. It was delicious and the time spent together was SO incredible. The boys started to get antsy to leave and so we reluctantly said good bye.

I lied. I took a picture of a pelican from the restaurant patio. We ate outside & it was windy.

We drove back to Bay St. Louis and through some of Jon’s old neighborhood. His childhood home is still there and is so cute.

The boys headed back down to the beach. Jude to try fishing again and Siah to swim.

When did my baby grow up? He was such a tiny little button and now he’s morphing into a man.

At dinner time, we headed over to Word of Faith Christian Fellowship to see the church that Jon’s dad started 44 years ago. It was fun to see some more of Jon’s history and where he grew up. The current pastors were long time family friends and we went out for a good Southern meal with them. Again, we got almost no pictures except I did grab a photo of Jon’s HUGE shrimp Po Boy.

It was so lovely to connect with Tyrone and Carol and have dinner and hear from their hearts. I can see why Jon loves these people so dearly. They are amazing, amazing people with incredible hearts. After dinner, we stopped by their house to get some crawfish to take with us. Jon was so excited about that and I was so surprised that both boys tried one. Siah said it was okay and I managed to get Jude’s reaction on video.

They gave us a dozen eggs straight out of the coop, showed us their property; and the best part of the night was that they had 3 big dogs who the boys loved on for about half an hour. Big highlight for them.

We headed back to the trailer exhausted but happy. It was a huge day that filled our hearts and our tummies. Jude had been awake since 2am and we barely got his bed made before he fell asleep still in his clothes.

Tomorrow we head into New Orleans and to Cafe Du Monde. It’s SO exciting!