Petoskey And The UP

Hey Guys!! We spent one week in the Petoskey Michigan area!

We stayed at the Hearthside Grove Motorcoach Resort and Guys…it is now our official favorite RV park! We have stayed in over 100 parks and this one was a brand new experience for us.

Now, the lot that we stayed on just had the RV pad and full-hookups, but almost all of the other lots had some type of bungalow on it! How cool is that?!?!

The bungalow in the above picture was one of our neighbors for the week. It felt like being back in a neighborhood! We were there really early in the season so we basically had the park to ourselves

so we took full advantage of everything Hearthside had to offer!! Check out the theater room! It came with complimentary popcorn.

The boys had a blast playing their games on the big movie screen! It ended up being a daily thing while Jerl and I (Jennie) used the fitness room to get in some much needed workouts.

The boys loved the soda bar. Free soda and popcorn…What?! The boys did not want to leave. If you guys are ever in the Petoskey area I cannot recommend Hearthside Grove enough. It’s a fantastic park loaded with tons of perks. One of the coolest things about this particular place is that the lots are for sale. You can buy a lot and then when you’re not there using it, you can let the park “rent” it out. It’s a great concept!

Before I go on…I have to give a shout out to Mike Lilliquist. We met him at the visitor center near the Mackinac Bridge. He had so much information and suggestions for us and he sent us off with some special gifts!! He’s a really great guy and if you need any information about Michigan…he’s definitely the guy to find!

We ventured across the Mackinac Bridge a few times. It’s a beautiful bridge. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great shot of it due to weather. It was super cold and sooo very windy.

We spent an entire day exploring the UP (Upper Peninsula). We could have spent a couple weeks exploring the UP. In fact, we’ve already decided we’re going to have to go back! Here’s a bit of trivia for you…the people who live in the UP are called “Yoopers” and the people who live below the Mackinac Bridge are called  “Trolls”!

The lighthouse in the picture above is the Iroquois Lighthouse. There’s a museum and I think you can go up into the lighthouse, but when we went it was closed. We went before everything opened for the season.

We loved the beach behind the lighthouse. Check out those colorful rocks!!

We made it to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. There are two sets of waterfalls here. You can see part of the Lower Falls above.

The Upper Falls were pretty spectacular. There were boardwalks and platforms that let us get super close! The Upper Falls spit out about 50,000 gallons of water per second!! There are over ten waterfalls to go see while visiting the UP, but we only made it to two of them.

There are some decent beaches in the Petoskey area. We made it to a couple in search of a Petoskey Stone. We found some…but we havn’t gotten them pollished…so, you can’t really see the pattern. Look it up though! Google it and you’ll find tons of images! We found five smaller Petoskey stones that we are wanting to polish up!

Let’s talk foodies! We had heard that a pastie is the foodie we needed to try in Michigan. We are fans.

We went to Hunt’s Mackinaw Pastie to get ours. They came out in record time and were so flavorful! Pasties are the perfect meal for a cold blustery day!!

We also found the Polish Kitchen! Guys…this place…

If we lived near the Polish Kitchen, we would eat there every week. It’s amazingly good!

I only found one pretty. It was pretty early in the Spring when we were in Petoskey.

That’s it! We loved this area and will most definitely be back!! If you’re looking for a great summer vacation spot then head to the Petoskey area and go explore the UP!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Foodie Find, Michigan, minieasternloop2017 | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup Moosejaw

To my fellow pizza lovers, I bring a post from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

Moosejaw is an ok pizza place with good service, fun decor, clean bathrooms, and greasy, under cooked pizza.

I am sad to say that because the service and decor were really good.

But we ordered a thick crust and got a thin and the thick crust we did get wasn’t cooked through all the way.

The thin crust pizza (that was supposed to be thick crust) was so greasy! The grease made the crust super soggy it was hard to eat.

There isn’t much else to say about it. The pretzel bites were good especially with the ranch.

MooseJaw gets a star for the fun decor, a star for the great service and half a star for the food.  I give MooseJaw a 2.5 star review.

See you all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

America’s Dairyland

Hey Guys!!

Welcome to Wisconsin! Where even the vending machines have cheese curds!

We spent two very wet weeks in “America’s Dairyland”!

Let’s get the foodie things out of the way. We went to the Carr Valley Factory Store

where we learned how Carr Valley makes their cheeses. They actually make the cheese curds first and then they press those curds into the round cheese forms you see above.

We felt like we had to get some cheese curds while we were in Wisconsin. They were the best things we got at any of the restaurants we went to.

OK…so let me say here…we were extremely disappointed with the foodies in the area of Wisconsin we were in. We went to four different places…all of them had amazing reviews…and they ranged from almost inedible to just meh. It would come out looking very promising, but fall short on taste. We don’t usually eat out that much, but we felt like maybe we’d picked the wrong place to eat so we would try a different place…and nope. We were so tired of bland, bleh food we ended up back at a Pizza Ranch. It was a long two weeks. Now,  the area we were in was very touristy. So, maybe that’s why? I’m sure there are some excellent foodies somewhere in WI!

The best thing we did while in Wisconsin is go horseback riding! The day we went we had amazing weather. We went to Bighorn Ranch Horseback Riding.

Four of us had never been on a horse before so we were total rookies. They gave us all a quick lesson and then took us out on an hour long guided tour.

Our tour guides, Katie and her dad, Bob were great! They took it at a pace that we could easily keep up with and they made sure we all stayed together. All of the horses we saw seemed to be healthy and happy and well taken care of. We had a great experience! I think everyone’s favorite part was when we would splash through some small streams. If you’re ever near the Wisconsin Dells, we highly recommend a trail ride with Bighorn Ranch!

 We also found some excellent hiking opportunities at Devil’s Lake State Park.

It felt great to get outside in the sunshine and get some miles in! The view wasn’t bad either.

We made it to the State Capitol Building in Madison. We’d been looking forward to this one ever since we’d been told that the Wisconsin SCB is considered to be the best SCB in the US. I think we were in Nebraska the first time we heard that. Nebraska was our second state.

You’re looking at the biggest dome in the US. It looks very impressive!

The inside of the dome was pretty…and big! Very big!

There were definitely some neat things about the Wisconsin SCB that stick out to me. Y’all know I love a good staircase…and I loved the way you could see the staircase through the arch in the pic above.

There was a set of these doors for the House and Senate Chambers. I love the look of the black iron over the glass.

Both of the House and Senate Chambers were just ok for us. Don’t get me wrong…they were nice, but we wouldn’t put them near the top of our list.

Each of the Chambers had a stained glass dome. Neither one of them was very ornate, but they let in some great natural light.

We were very impressed with the huge mosaics! They were very well done.

The Governor’s Reception Room looked like it belonged in one of the Newport Mansions. Lots of gold paint. Lots of frescoes. Definitely Newport Mansion worthy.

Check out the size of that fireplace. Huge!

Wisconsin is the Badger State. They love their badgers! Can you see the badger on the statue that sits atop the Wisconsin SCB dome?

I don’t know, Guys…we talked about it and none of us would put the Wisconsin SCB in our top 15. Maybe we built it up in our minds because we’d heard from so many other people how wonderful it was? Madison is a very neat town. We really enjoyed the square around the SCB. One of the days we went, there was a farmer’s market so they blocked off traffic to the square. We walked around looking at all the fruits, veggies, and artisan foods, but couldn’t buy any because we had plans and an hour drive to get back to the RV.

I did find a couple of pretties!!

We spent the last two weeks of April in the Baraboo area of Wisconsin, so Spring was starting to show herself. Most of the pretties were just beginning to wake up.

 “There is a place where the sidewalk ends and before the street begins, and there the grass grows soft and white, and there the sun burns crimson bright…” I found these street signs in Madison and couldn’t resist snapping a picture of them. I’ve loved the poem by Shel Silverstein ever since Mrs. Havely read it to my fifth grade class. If you’re going to Wisconsin, go find the places “before the street begins”. Those are, in my opinion, the best parts of Wisconsin. And the cheese. The cheese was pretty great too.

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Capitol Building, minieasternloop2017, State Park, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

Twin Cities Part Two

Hey Guys!! Ready to hear about the rest of our Minnesota adventures?

We spent several hours going though the Science Museum of Minnesota. The day we went I think half the population of Minneapolis was there too. It was pretty crowded.

Most of the science museums have the same basic exhibits. The Minnesota Science Museum had a few different ones that the boys loved.

We enjoyed the weather area of the museum. My little nerdlets (all four of them) could easily spend an entire day at a science museum.

I think everyone’s favorite exhibit was the Mythical Creatures Exhibit!

I love this art piece! It’s made with Birch bark, sinew, wood, and cloth.

Here’s a closer shot so you can see the amazing detail that went into this piece.

The last few SCBs have been impressive! Minnesota definitely didn’t disappoint us.

So, the dome was just ok for me. It was pretty…but, honestly, we’ve seen some great domes lately and this one didn’t really make our top ten list. Sorry Minnesota.

There were several other aspects about the Minnesota SCB that stood out for us. This stairway is one of my favorite things about this SCB.

Here, let me show you some of the details of this stairway. I love the lines, arches, and angles of this stairway!

The ceiling of the House Chamber was inspiring. I didn’t take photos of the rest of the room because they were in session, but the ceiling was the best part of the room.

The Senate Chamber wasn’t as ornate, but it was still impressive. You can see the bottom lip of a dome in the picture. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the dome because we weren’t allowed in the room, but you can see the color scheme and simple clean lines of it in the picture above.

Are y’all ready to talk foodies? The Twin Cities is rumored to be the place where the Juicy Lucy was born. What’s a Juicy Lucy? A Juicy Lucy is…well…let me show you.

Say hello to my little friend. The Juicy Lucy. What you’re looking at is a cheeseburger with the cheese inside of the burger, forming a molten core of melty cheese! When you bite into it the cheese kind of oozes out. It’s a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

According to the interwebs, there are two bars that claim the origins of the Juicy Lucy. We only made it to one of them. The 5-8 Club. We got some fried pickles and some onion rings to go along with our burgers. Everything we had was spot on. We’ll have to hit the other place the next time we’re in the area.

The reason we didn’t make it to the other Juicy Lucy place is because we wanted to go to The Nook. The Nook is another bar/restaurant known for their Juicy Lucys.

How cool is it that there’s a bowling alley at a burger/bar place?!? We were going to play a game or two but, when we finished our food…we were all way too stuffed to do anything but sit and digest.

We loved the vibe of The Nook! The dollar bills stuck everywhere reminded us of a place we went in Alaska called The Salty Dawg.

Littlest loves a good BLT so when he spotted a BLT burger he had to get it. When we saw it, we didn’t think there was anything special about it

until he picked up half of it and we saw that it was triple decker! He couldn’t even get down half of it! It was SO big!!

We thought the Juicy Lucy burgers from The Nook were better than the ones from The 5-8 Club. In fact, everything we got from The Nook was fantastic!

We had a great time exploring The Twin Cities of Minnesota! There’s so much to see and do in the area!!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Capitol Building, Foodie Find, minieasternloop2017, Minnesota | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup Pizza Lucé

To my fellow pizza lovers, our pizza trip has taken us to St. Paul, Minnesota!

Pizza Lucé is a really tasty pizza place with, well, TASTY PIZZA!!

Pizza Lucé has the cheese on their pizza cooked to a nice brown, so tasty.

 My mom said the pasta was some of the best she’s had!

The bathrooms are clean and the decor is nice. The service was fast and friendly.

 If you go there I suggest getting ranch, with pizza, wings, spaghetti, anything, their ranch is pretty tasty.

And when you are done eating and they bring out the check… THEY HAVE CHOCOLATE MINTS! Yummy yum!

And I couldn’t forget the big pink dinosaur is front! All of that tasty and the dinosaur definitely deserves a 5 star review, don’t you agree?

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Minnesota, Pizza Street | Leave a comment

The Twin Cities in Minnesota

Hey Guys!! We spent two weeks in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. I’m breaking our stay up into two posts to keep the size of the posts down. Our stay in Minnesota was mainly cold and rainy, but we got lucky a few days and had some decent weather.

This was our home for two weeks. The only thing bad we can say about this park is that every single night the power would blip and turn off for a few minutes. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but when you’re in the middle of cooking or laundry …it could get tiresome.

Minnesota is state number 38 for us and in those 38 states, we’d never seen an RV like the one above. Technically, it’s an ice fishing camper. You would pull it right out on the ice and stay in it while you fish! We saw several while we stayed in Minnesota. We met a couple who let us have a peak in their camper. It was gorgeous! Done all in a natural woods with circles in the floor that can be removed to fish from.

We visited the Cathedral of Saint Paul while we were out one day.

It was beautiful inside!

We loved the dome

and the stained glass windows!! Look at those vibrant colors!

The Mall of America is a huge draw this area. We stopped in one afternoon to check it out and see what all of the hub-bub is about. The coolest thing about this mall is the indoor amusement park!

We also loved the Lego Store where all of the decorations were made form Legos!

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but all of those statutes are made out of Legos! See the guy walking in the background? That gives you an idea of how big these Lego Statues are. They’re huge!

We kind of geeked out here. Check out this picture. It’s made of tiny single square Legos.

Here’s a close-up of that same picture. What?! That takes a lot of patience!!

The Minneapolis/Saint Paul area is loaded with foodie spots. The burger above is from a place called The Red Cow. The burgers there were definitely impressive!

One of my favorite things about the Twin Cities area is the Minehaha Falls Park! I wasn’t expecting a waterfall as big as the Minehaha Falls is to be right in the middle of town. The first day we tried to go to this park it was so crowded we couldn’t find a place to park anywhere near it so we left, hoping for another fair weather day to try again. The second time we tried we got lucky. We went during the week before schools were out and the place was almost deserted!

We had a great time walking around the falls and the park! It was wonderful to get outside and stretch our legs after so many days of rainy, cold weather.

 There’s so much to see and do in the Minneapolis area! We loved all the different architecture.

Check out this old building. It was built in 1887 at a cost of $300,000. It’s changed hands several times, but the current owners have restored it to it’s original appearance.

Ok Guys, I’m going to pause here with our Minnesota adventures! I’ll pick up here next time!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: minieasternloop2017, Minnesota | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup Pizza Ranch

To my fellow pizza lovers I bring you a post from yet another Pizza Ranch, this time in Altoona, Iowa!

If you’ve been reading my posts since the beginning then you should know that I have done one of these on Pizza Ranch every single year. This time it was still just as tasty if not better since we were all waiting for it.

Pizza Ranch has the nice southern style decor

and their regular southern food bar,

along with their awesome pizza

and dessert bar!

I got the Chicken bacon ranch pizza (my all time favorite from Pizza Ranch)

and the blueberry, cherry and cactus bread dessert pizzas.

The bathrooms are clean but I’m not sure if they have heaters in the bathroom because it was cold!

Just like last time I give Pizza Ranch a 5 star review.

See y’all next time on…

Pizza Street!!

PS: Here are the links to my last two pizza posts on Pizza Ranch, enjoy!  Illinois & Nebraska 

Categories: Iowa, minieasternloop2017, Pizza Street | 1 Comment

Aaannnddd…We’re Off!

Funny story…we had planned on heading south to Arkansas first, but one of the meteorologists that Jerl works with (waves at Krisy) advised us to head north instead of south due to the bad tornado weather she was predicting. We listened. And we are so grateful she thought to warn us. We would have been right in the middle of several tornado outbreaks if we’d stuck to our original plan.

We started our #minieasternloop2017 in Iowa where we spent a week with very cold, very windy weather…but no tornadoes!!!

We wasted no time in getting to the foodies that Des Moines has to offer! We started at a place called Zombie Burger.
It’s hard to tell what’s going on here…this is the They’re Coming To Get You Barbara…a cheeseburger with caramelized onion, bacon, and zombie sauce all sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Jerl said it was fantastic!

I won’t bore you with all five of our burgers…but I’ll share one more with you. This one is called Sarah’s Revenge and has Monterrey jack cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, fried jalapenos, red onion, and horseradish sauce. It was sooo good!!! I ate it all. And I’m not a single bit ashamed of that. lol!!

We got the Dr. Heiter’s Poutine Basket to share. It was good enough that I would go back just for this.

We made it to the Iowa SCB! I love the five domes! Iowa has the only SCB with five domes. I kind of expected to see the inside of all five domes, but we didn’t. That was a bummer.

What wasn’t a bummer though, was the inside of the main dome! It was impressive!

There are ten types of marble in the Iowa SCB. You can see them all in the photo above.

I love this staircase! We walked up and down soooo many stairs on this tour!

This is one of my favorite things about the Iowa SCB. I love the painting in the bottom, but I could stair at the mosaics on the top all day. Guys, those six arches on top are all mosaics! You would never know it from this point-of-view.

Here’s a closer view of one of the arches. Can you see the individual tiles yet?

How about now? Now go back up to the picture of all six of the arches. The detail is simply amazing! We see mosaic floors all the time in the SCBs but we haven’t seen such a work of art on the wall like this before.

We ventured into both the Senate and House Chambers. The ceilings were beautiful! The attention to detail was amazing though out the entire building.

The library was gorgeous!

We always want to go up into the domes but, we never get to. If you take the guided tour in Iowa…you get to go up into the dome!! We walked up way more stairs than I care to remember all the way up into the huge dome!

Here’s a picture from our bird’s eye view up in the dome!

Speaking of dome…let me give you a better view of the main dome. That’s real gold leaf that you’re looking at.

There were a few memorials near the SCB. The Iowa State Capitol Building is definitely in our top five. If you get a chance to go to Des Moines, make sure you stop in and take a tour of the SCB!

Way back in 2015 during our first loop (on the way up to Alaska) we found Taco John’s. I’m a fan. Ok, I’m a little obsessed. Taco John’s needs to be nation wide. Guys, we found one in Des Moines! Gasp!! Even though there were loads of foodie spots we could have tried…I had to hit up Taco John’s at least once. I could seriously eat at Taco John’s weekly. It’s fast food Mexican, but it’s so much better than Taco Bell.

We met up with one of my friends and her family (waves at Clark Family) at a place called Blaze Pizza, but Littlest is telling y’all about that place. It was so fun to sit and chat face-to-face with someone I’ve known online for over 12 years! I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with so many of my HP friends this year!

See y’all down the road!

#minieasternloop2017

Categories: Capitol Building, Foodie Find, Iowa, minieasternloop2017 | Leave a comment

Pizza Roundup Blaze Pizza

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Year In Review Number Two

Y’all! Today is our second nomadiversary! Another year has already passed!

You might have noticed we’re doing our #50statetour in loops. We have to spend some time each year in Texas where all of our doctors are. Even though we’re nomads, we still have to go to the dentist and get check-ups.

For our second loop/year we headed east. We made our way from Texas all the way up to Maine and then we worked our way down the east coast to Florida before returning to Texas.

It was quite the year! We added 22 states to our map during our second year! 22!

I thought we could talk about some of our favorites from year two during our #easternloop2016.

 

We can’t talk about our second year without talking about Niagara Falls. The American side of the falls was kind of a bust for us, but the Canadian side was ah-mazing!

We stayed until the fireworks and guys…it was such an awesome experience!

Now, y’all know we’re foodies…so it should be no surprise that we’ve got some foodie things on our favorites list. Our favorite burger place also scores our favorite poutine place. We found this place when we ventured over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Everything we had at The Works was delicious! We would go back to the Niagara Falls area just to cross the border for this place!

Our favorite state capitol building of our second year is the New York State Capitol Building. In fact, this is probably our number one SCB of all 38 SCBs we’ve been to so far. It’s also the place I developed a thing for staircases, but a staircase called The Million Dollar Staircase will do that. I could’ve spent hours walking around taking pictures of this SCB.

Out of all the National Parks/Memorials/Historic Places we visited this year three really stood out for us. We couldn’t come to a unanimous decision as to which one was best so we’ll talk about all three. Acadia National Park in Maine was great for all the wild places and hiking it offered and the views weren’t bad either.

Cape Cod National Seashore is probably at the top of the list for me when it comes to National Parks for year two of our #50statetour. Beaches, hiking, lighthouses, and amazing views. The only negative for me would be all of the people. It was crowded. We had to search out the empty places, but the effort was worth it.

The last National Park to top our list for this year is Everglades National Park in Florida. We didn’t get to do much hiking here due to the wildness of the park, but we learned so much and saw so many diverse biomes.

So, this next favorite surprised us in the best way.

The Newport Mansions in Rhode Island! Guys, they were breathtaking. We want to go back during the Christmas season to see them all decked out for the holidays!

It was so neat to see the opulence of that era and hear about their daily lives.

Even though they’re no where near each other, we kind of group The Biltmore in with the Newport Mansions. The Biltmore was built by the Vanderbilt Family who also built two of the Newport Mansions, but where the Newport Mansions were really made to show off all of the opulence and wealth of the era, The Biltmore was made to be more of a home and to entertain friends and family. It took us almost six hours to visit this place and we had to rush. It’s crazy big!

Another foodie favorite was the Crème Brûlée Shake from Burger 21 in New Jersey! It was eyes-rolling-in-the-back-of-your-head good! I’ve got to give a shout out to my friend Nicole and her family for introducing us to Burger 21!!

We caught this sunrise in North Carolina off the coast of Kitty Hawk. We had the beach pretty much to ourselves that morning. Luckily, we didn’t have to get up too early since all we had to do was walk across the road to get to the beach.

We’ve also had some pretty spectacular sunsets, but this one really stands out for me. We were having dinner with some friends of ours in Alabama and this was our view. *waves at friends* It was a great evening filled with friends, food, and views.

We ate a lot of BBQ during our #easternloop2016. Way more than we should have. Our favorite place is a little joint in Kitty Hawk, NC called High Cotton. Everything we got here was finger-licking good! It was so good that we ended up getting a family pack the night before we left the area just so we could have more of it!!

The boys all loved Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Those light and airy pillows of fried dough were pretty good!

 

Y’all knew this one was coming, right?

We spent four days in HarryPotterverse aka Universal Studios living like wizards and it was totally awesome!

We ended our 2016 year with a snorkeling trip to The Keys in Florida. It was cold and windy and the snorkeling was a total bust, but we all loved it! It gave us island fever. We’ve been planning our next trip down to The Keys since we were driving away.

What did we learn during our second year as nomads? We learned quite a lot! Let’s chat about a few of the lessons we learned this past year!

1. Big cities aren’t really our thing. During our first year of nomads we didn’t hit too many cities…and none of them were what I would call big. Now, we’d been to big cities before. We are from the Houston, TX area so we knew what we were getting ourselves into.

We only spent a handful of days in various big cities

so we could see some of the iconic, historical landmarks,

but we didn’t really enjoy any of the days we spent walking endless miles in a concrete jungle.

We knew when we started the #easternloop2016 that there would be more cities and less wild places. We didn’t know how much we would miss the wild places. While we are grateful for the chances to see and experience the big cities we are glad to be done with them.

2. Secure the kitchen sink faucet before leaving. Cats. Why are cats such big jerks? We have two cats…

a fat one and a fluffy one. Don’t let them fool you, they’re menaces…both of them. The fluffy one likes to jump up on our kitchen counter when we’re gone and look out the window. We usually close the window blinds when we leave to keep him off the counters, but the day we went to New York City we forgot. Fluffy cat turned on the water at the kitchen sink while we were gone which eventually filled up the front grey tank which caused the grey tank to back up into the shower where we keep the litter box. I should point out…the grey tank is just rinse water from the sinks. But still…it gets stinky.

We got home from NYC about 10PM to find a note on our door that our water had been turned off because there was water pouring out of the bottom of our RV. We walked in to find the entire bathroom flooded.

The shower was disgusting. The entire bathroom floor was disgusting. And to top it off, Fluffy cat was afraid to use the litter box because of the water so he decided to use our beds as his own personal litter boxes. It was a looonnngggg night.

I spent the next day sanitizing beds, showers, floors, counters… We now have a way to lock the kitchen sink faucet in the off position. Lesson learned.

3. I (Jennie) have a slight obsession with flowers. I’ve always enjoyed pretties. During our first year, I had tons of pretties to photograph everywhere!

During the second year, the pretties were harder to find and I started going to greater links to get to them.

That’s when I knew I had a problem…is there a step program for this?

It doesn’t matter if the pretties are actual flowers or weeds.

And…if I’m being completely honest, my obsession isn’t limited to pretties…it just needs to look interesting for me to lay on the ground and snap a picture.

4. We kind of love National Forts, Battlefields, and Historical Sites. So, we really love them. A lot. Confession: When we started this nomad life I didn’t think we would really be interested in any of them. Boy, was I wrong! I can’t even begin to tell you how much history we learned during our second year of nomad life.

One of our favorite forts is the Old Fort Niagara in New York, It sits right on the shore of Lake Ontario. We watched a big rain storm come in across the water while we were there…it got a little wet…and cold.

The first time the boys heard a canon fire they about jumped right on out of their own skins. I’m laughing at the memory as I type this. I really wish I’d caught it on video. If you’ve never heard a canon fired, it’s loud. Depending on the size of the canon…it can be very, very loud.

We’re cautious about period actors. Sometimes they’re fun and sometimes they can be…tiresome. These guys were great! They stayed in character just enough to make it fun, but not so much that it was weird.

You don’t need a time machine to travel back in time. All you need to do is visit one of the many National Parks/Memorials/Historical Sites. The NPS does a fabulous job of recreating life of days-gone-by and of teaching anyone interested enough to listen. We learned so much about the founding of our country, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War during our #easternloop2016. Our history lessons were very hands on.

5. We (Jerl) learned how to fix a pulley system slide. It was the last couple weeks of June and we were in New York when we started hearing a weird ratcheting sound while bringing our main living slide in. On June 24th we decided to leave the slide in because we were afraid of getting stuck somewhere because the slide wouldn’t come in. This reduced our living space by quite a bit. We learned to dance around each other anytime we were in the kitchen/living area.

We lived with the reduced space until September 8 when we made it to the DC area. It took all five of us to push the slide out so Jerl could work on it. Things were going ok, until there was a big pop and the slide tilted out. You can see the angle of it in the photo above. It was about this time that I got out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and started stress eating. I kept picturing the entire side of our RV sliding right on out and onto the ground. Luckily, it stayed put and Jerl was able to get a new motor put in and the pulley cables all reattached. So really, I guess we learned two lessons that night. How to fix a pulley slide system and how much Ben & Jerry’s I (Jennie) can eat in one night.

8. We can eat lobster for days and not get tired of it.  This lesson is one of our favorites. Lobster.

While we were in Maine we found some really decent priced lobster and we found a recipe. We ate on that lobster for several days!

We also ate lobster when we went out!

Lobster was everywhere in Maine! Everywhere! We even tried a lobster roll from McDs! It was…ok…and very pricey. The lobster rolls we made were 100 times better and way cheaper.

We even found lobster mac-n-cheese in the grocery stores. Guys, it was soooo stinkin’ good!!!

 9. Not every state sells postcards. This one was a shock for us. We had the worst time finding postcards to send out to the postcard club in most of the states along the east coast.

I even had to resort to buying some state postcards from Amazon. *gasp* I know! Postcards are not expensive. Every gas station should have a small selection of state postcards. Postcards are such a fun and inexpensive way to stay connected to friends and family while on the road!

Well, that’s it! We wanted to share with y’all some of the highlights and bloopers of our second year as nomads! We love having y’all along for the ride so stay tuned for year three!!

See y’all down the road!

Categories: EasternLoop2016, Keeping It Real, minieasternloop2017, Nomadiversary | Leave a comment