From Pine Trees to Palms

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post for the blog. But this vacation deserves a post from me. As you know, last winter we got season passes to the world of fun called Disney. While down in the south for the winter, we visited almost every weekday (we can’t go on weekends) afternoon.

Wanting to get full usage of out passes (I’m pretty sure we did while we were there over the winter, but Disney is awesome, okay?) we decided to drive back down in August. So Disney wasn’t the full reason we went, we had some personal reasons too, but it played a large part.

We got together with my Uncle and his family, and they wanted to come down in August as well. We lined up the dates and booked our room. They, unlike us, were flying and only staying one week. Our plans held a second week, and a couple day drive either way.

I think, now that we are nearing the end of our trip, that I can say I am a near master at sleeping in the car. After spending the night at Aunt Krysta  and Uncle Bill’s, we officially reached Florida on August 12th, the same day as the other Perry Family flew in. With 10 people, we were a large group. And ya know what? We did the Disney thing and had matching shirts one of our 5 days in the parks. The week was FUN. To top it all of with the sweetness of chocolate, we had tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Marc and I went with the rest of the family, while Mom and Dad ate a Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant.

At the party, you could dress up or not. Marc opted to not, while I was everyone’s favorite Nanny, Mary Poppins. Every was a trooper, and we lasted till park close, midnight. But then, like Cinderella, we all had to ride home. The downside was that we didn’t get a pumpkin carriage.

Flip forward a day, and it was Sunday. Friends from Canada (the two female Elhards. You may have heard of them on the blog before) were planning to come down. Long story short, their flight was canceled. Then they were able to get tickets to arrive on Monday morning. That’s no-drama account.

Since they got down here a little later than expected, they were able to also stay longer than expected, till the next Tuesday (it’s was practically Monday when they left at 4 in the a.m.). This week was more relaxed than our schedule with the Perry’s. Our days started later (like 9 o’clock) and ended later (midnight). Again, we had an incredible amount of FUN. And again, we also ended in a memorable day. We must have something for grand finales.

Mother said it best , ‘Amazing friends, 11 miles, a drenching storm, and rides at 4 different parks equals one epic day.’

First, Magic Kingdom. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Check. Second, Epcot. Soarin’, sweets in France, and a matching shirt photo. Check. Third, Animal Kingdom. Soaked to the skin with nothing dry, and the Flight of Passage. Check. Here we took a quick break for a change of clothes and a hot shower (for me, at least). Forth, Hollywood Studios. Toy Story Mania, the Elhards first plunge on the Tower of Terror, and ice cream with fireworks. Check. I have photo evidence of all this if it’s to unbelievably awesome.

I hope you can feel my excitement about these two amazing, memorable weeks. If not, I didn’t do it justice.

And that’s the end. I’m going to leave it off on that high note, and just not say anything about the 20 hour car ride back. Not that anything wrong happened, but, ya know, it’s a lot of sitting and truck stop bathrooms. Not glamorous or exciting.

-Cali

On Our Way to Florida

On our way to Florida we stopped at Aunt Krysta and Uncle Bill’s. It was so nice to see them. We had a birthday celebration and some yummy cake! We hung out with Flipp and Waller, played cards and went to a winery that was on an Alpaca farm. We even spent an evening with cousins Lori, Jason, and Megan.

Tingley Lake 2018

This past week Marcus and Cali spent the week at  Tingley Lake with Grammy Red and their cousins Lily, Izzy and Sam.  They had a great time!  They played games, swam, kayaked, sailed and just relaxed.  Aunt Sue, Bucky, Chuck, DJ, Janie, Marc and I also spent time there.  Cali’s favorite part was paddle boarding.  Marcus liked sailing.

While the kids were busy Marc went to help his brother DJ for a couple days.

I was able to go to Pittsburgh to visit my friend Kelly and help her with her classroom.

Our last night at the lake we did a pizza taste test.  Marc, DJ and I brought five pizzas from five different pizza places for us to try.

 

 

Volunteering at the Endless Mountain’s Nature Center

Cali and Marcus had the opportunity of volunteering at the Endless Mountain’s Nature Center this past week with my cousin Rebecca.  I require them to volunteer at least 60 hours each year.  They spent 30 hours as CITs (counselors in training) assisting with walks, hikes, learning about nature, child care, cleaning, and the everyday running of the nature camp.  It was such a good learning experience for them, they made friends and they had fun.

Turning 14

Can you believe these two are 14 years old. Marc and I have been together for 28 years and half of that time we have shared with these two amazing kids. They sure have blessed our lives. I thank God every day for the gift of being their mom.

Acadia

Since we were only a few hundred miles from one of our favorite places in the United States, we decided to make the trip to Acadia and Bar Harbor.  This is how the kids looked the morning we traveled, yes they do have their seat belts on.

We did three hikes while we were  there.  One of them was a bit harder than Cali and I prefer.  We rode our bikes on the carriage roads for over 30 miles.  I just love that we can hop on the free bus right at the campground with our bikes.  We also kayaked right from the campground.  We stopped at Jordan Pond for some popovers.

We did some science experiments.  We played mini-golf.  We had ice cream with friends. We had a fire one night with several other families. That is the one bad thing about this area the mosquitoes are terrible!

 

 

 

 

 

Maine-ly Fun

The past few weeks in Maine have flown by.  They have been filled with sun, sand, lobsters, food, games, friends, and lots of fun! We have the pictures to prove it.

Back in the USA

We have spent the past month in Pennsylvania. It took us several days to feel ourselves our being away for two months. After we caught up on our sleep and replenished our refrigerator, we were ready to get back to normal.

We have been doing some volunteering at the local soup kitchen which we all enjoy. Marcus and Cali have spent time with their grandmas. They had fun with their cousins and Aunt Janie and Uncle DJ. Marc, Marcus went to Ohio fishing with Grammy Carol and Grandpa Eddie. Cali spent a few days crafting with Grammy Red. We visited Uncle Sean and Aunt Linda. We went to Sight and Sound and Shady Maple Smorgasbord in Lancaster. Marcus and Cali helped work in the garden. Marc replaced the injectors in our bus and worked on his motorcycle. I had lunch with cousins and helped my friend Denise at her barn. Cali got her ears pierced. We met up with our friends, the Cappettas. It was a great month. Now we are headed to Maine for a few weeks with our traveling friends.

Six Years

Six years ago today we left my moms driveway in Tunkhannock and began traveling. Today we thank God for all he has provided us; the time we have spent with family and friends, the sights we have seen, and the people we have met along the way. Our travels have looked different over the years; visiting the state capitals, learning about our country, volunteering. We really never know where God will lead us. We just know He will be there with us.

Over the last year we have moved to a new to us 1983 bus, spent time in Mexico and traveled in Canada for a month. Along the way we have faced challenges, but are stronger having faced them.

That leads us to where we are today….right back in that driveway where we started. Since leaving Pennsylvania in the fall, we have been planning for our next chapter. In about 10 days we leave for Europe. We will be there for two months, part of the time in a small RV. Marcus and Cali are on their third year of world history and are eager to see first hand what they have been learning about.

If you would like to follow our blog about our European travels follow us at http://www.perrysineurope.wordpress.com/2018/03/05/europe-here-we-come/