Thursday, October 27, 2011

The promised pictures

Below these pictures is the link to the web album.  Enjoy...

Sunset over a Virginia field
The Potomac River
And of course...the web album!

A quick update for those who want it

Well, I must repeatedly apologize for not keeping this blog properly updated!  I have a cold that kept me down earlier this week, and with school and activites, I'm usually much too busy living to blog!  But here is our update, to satisfy your curiosity...

Last Sunday, we drove from a Wal-Mart in Waynesborough, Virginia to here (Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama).  We have an incredible campsite right on the Tennessee River and we are in the very thick of autumn.  It is just beautiful.  As I told a friend, "The leaves coat the ground in a carpet of red and orange, and if you slip you just fall into a bed of leaves!  Epic fall, in my opinion."  It's true! 

From Monday to today, I got a cold that is a uncomfortable and plain annoying.  Delaney caught it just this morning as well.  Dad and Mom have been enjoying the AGLCA (America's Great Loop Cruiser's Association).  They attended seminars, 'crawled' on a bunch of boats and talked with several 'Loopers'.  They had a wonderful, insightful time. 

On Tuesday we took a party boat onto the river for four hours.  It was mid-80's, sunny, and felt almost like CA!  We all got to drive the boat and had great fun.  The water was too cold to get into, but we just relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine.  I will put together a web album of our week and send a link in the next post. 

Today it's supposed to rain, so we girls will probably go to the library and hit a local shop or two.  Of course, we'll do school and music as well and Dad will work.  Just another typical day in the trailer!  I will attempt to post pictures and a web album soon...

Monday, October 24, 2011

I get interviewed!!!!

I got an email this morning from my Aunt Diane (Dad’s sister).  She praised the interviews and then suggested that I get interviewed!  I had considered interviewing myself, but, as Delaney would say, it would be “too cheesy”.  So I dropped the idea.  But when my Aunt sent me questions, with the idea of her interviewing me, I was thrilled!  It was lots of fun to answer the questions and here they are on the blog, where they should be.  Thanks, Auntie!!

Aunt Diane:  If you could describe this trip in five words, what would they be?

Haley:  Let’s see…new, surprising, awesome, unique, blessing.

Aunt Diane:  Where did you see the prettiest view of all?

Haley:  I thought that Salisbury, Massachusetts, was gorgeous.  The Atlantic, white sand, grass-covered dunes with yellow wildflowers, wind…I’m so a beach girl!!

Aunt Diane:  What is the most spectacular thing you have seen?

Haley:  Probably Time’s Square.  I know it’s a weird answer, but it was just so…OVERLOAD!!!!!!  So many people and sounds and screens, so many noises and smells, it was overwhelming at first and definitely a spectacular scene. 

Aunt Diane:  What has been the most memorable moment so far?

Haley:  Wow…hmm.  I think that my most memorable moment(s) has been listening to Dad talk excitedly about his day in Annapolis, where he took a seamanship course.  He never wants stuff, just the opportunity to do things, so that was huge for him.

Aunt Diane:  What day was the happiest day/moment?

Haley:  Finding out that my cousins from Wisconsin are pregnant with their first baby!

Aunt Diane:  What has frustrated you the most?

Haley:  Having all my clothes and shoes stuffed into a tiny section of the tiny closet and in an organizer that sits at the end of my bed.  Wrinkles!!!!!

Aunt Diane:  If you could relive one day of this journey, which one would it be?

Haley:  Maybe the day we drove through Vermont.  That was beautiful.

Aunt Diane:  What is the first thing you want to do when you get home?

Haley:  Either do cartwheels on the lawn or skip through the house.

Aunt Diane:  Where have you seen God most on this trip?

Haley:  God has really blessed Dad with a prosperous job that is flexible enough to let him be away from ‘the office’.  It has been so wonderful that Dad is always with us and still works to make money that keeps our wheels turning! 

Aunt Diane:  What will you do with all the writings in your blog when you get home?

Haley:  They’ll stay on the blog like they are now, so anyone can go back and re-read the posts.

Aunt Diane:  Has your new camera worked as well as you thought it would when you bought it?

Haley:  YES!!  It has been very good to me, and I’ve learned a lot about it along the way.  I still have much technique to discover, I’m sure, and I’m hoping to purchase a macro lens when I get home. 

Aunt Diane:  What are your responsibilities when you pull into a campground for the night?

Haley:  Usually, I either help Dad level the trailer and put the slide-out out (a two person job).  I also aid in securing the bikes, fixing up our bedroom and setting up camp. 

Aunt Diane:  Is it easy for you to write your blog? (Do the words just flow?)

Haley:  Sometimes, I can squeeze out a whole post in a half hour.  That requires a bit of editing later though!  But I also suffer from writer’s block fairly frequently and sometimes delete a whole post because I lost the inspiration.  But I love writing, and it’s been so much fun to log all of our adventures!!

Aunt Diane:  Would you like to take another trip like this next year?

Haley:  I don’t think so.  We’re doing it, and I don’t think we’ll do a trailer trip this long again.  I also don’t like to be away from home for such a long time, so this has really been a huge stretch for me.  But Dad has a dream to travel on a boat someday!!

Aunt Diane:  If you could change three things about this journey, what would they be?

Haley:  My bike getting chewed up, getting a cold twice and Dad working LATE at night.

Aunt Diane:  If you could keep three things exactly the same, what would they be?

Haley:  The weather, going through Vermont and all the laundry being done.

Aunt Diane:  What has surprised you most about our country?

Haley:  Probably the majestic weather patterns.  It’ll be in the 80’s and sunny one day, with a raging thunderstorm and low 50’s the next.  I love it though!

Aunt Diane:  Thank you for writing this blog Haley! It's been awesome!

Haley:  Thank you so much!  It’s been a joy through and through.  I hope it’s blessed everyone else as well!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Libbey gives her opinion

This being the last interview, it was especially enjoyable to get Libbey’s point of view of how things have been going in the past weeks.  I expect that everyone has liked reading these and gotten a deeper knowledge of it all.  It’s been fun for me and my family, and my hope is that it was portrayed in the posts as well.

Haley:  So, Libbey, what do you think of this trip so far?

Libbey:  I like it.  It’s fun being in the car and doing all sorts of stuff, and it’s just fun and exciting.

Haley:  What kinds of things do you do when we take long drives?

Libbey:  Listen to CD player, do word search, play games, play store.

Haley:  How do you play store in the truck?

Libbey:  I take my money, use my armrest as it’s the desk and machine, and pretend the glass on the window is the screen.  I slide people’s credit cards, that’s all.  I play with Delaney.

Haley:  Who have you enjoyed seeing the most?

Libbey:  Sally and Nathan.

Haley:  Why?

Libbey:  ‘Cause they’re fun, and because they had a lot of kid books.  I got a new bike there.  And Nathan was so funny.  He telled jokes and Delaney was in the tube and Nathan brought her into where the fish were and she almost got hit in the face!  And we knew what Nathan was up to because he was making funny faces at Delaney. 

Haley:  When we visited Aunt Lois’s house, did you have a lot of fun there too?

Libbey:  Yes.  I blowed bubbles, and the dollhouse I played it with Delaney.  I rode my bike but it was the old one (we visited Nate and Sally after our relatives). 

Haley:  Do you know what your favorite state has been?

Libbey:  America.  (She’s still confused about geography)

Haley:  Okay, how about this…America is like a cookie and the states are like the chocolate chips.  What state has been your favorite?

Libbey:  Oh, chowda in Ba Haba in Maine.

Haley:  Is Daddy a good driver, or do you like it when Mommy drives?

Libbey:  I like when both drive. 

Haley:  Do you like staying in Wal-Marts?

Libbey:  Yeah!  ‘Cause we get to have ice cream hunts!

Haley:  What’s an ice cream hunt?

Libbey:  What ice cream hunt is is that you go in Wal-Mart and try to find ice cream instead of asking where the ice cream is, ‘cept if you already know where it is.  If you go where you THINK it is and go down the isle where you THINK it is, and it’s not there, then THINK again.

Haley:  What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Libbey:  Ice cream!  Um, Cinnamon Buns and Cherry Garcia and what’s the kind we had?  Uh, um, Grasshopper and let’s see here, all right, and then, um…

Haley:  Let’s move on, okay?  Do you remember when we were in New York City?  Did you like it there?

Libbey:  Yeah.  I don’t remember.

Haley:  (Goes into a detailed explanation to stir her memory).

Libbey:  I don’t remember.

Haley:  Suey was with us.

Libbey:  OH!  I liked it, it was so funny!  I liked the Statue of Liberty, I wish we could go inside it but we had to have tickets and we didn’t have the tickets and I’m very mad about that.  We got there by a ferry boat, it was interesting. 

Haley:  How about going to Plimoth Plantation?  Was that fun?

Libbey:  I didn’t like Indians.  I liked the part when you got to dress up in the kid part.  I liked the Pilgrims.

Haley:  Did you enjoy having Susanna stay with us for nine days?

Libbey:  Mmmm…let’s see here.  Sort of because it was fun having her.  I played at the swing set with her, and…can we please move on?

Haley:  Um…sure.  When we stay at a campground, what do you do during the day?

Libbey:  I ride my bike, I go to the playground, I play in the mud, I go in the trailer and play and sing my songs out loud, The neighbors hear me.  I read and do school, I color in my coloring book, I like my Fred Book, I sometimes mess up in my school.  I like school so much.

Haley:  Where is your favorite place to be in the trailer?

Libbey:  In my bed making messes.  ‘Cause I have a lot of toys and I like making messes and my shoes are on the floor in the way ‘cept my new ones.  I color in my bed, I be with my bear—Joo-Joo Hershey Cocoa Beyer—I like her ‘cause she’s so fun. 

Haley:  Do you help cook food for meals?

Libbey:  No.  I wash dishes and I dry.  Sometimes I don’t get to wash, but sometimes I do.  Very odd.

Haley:  Did you like going to town with Mommy and sisters when Daddy has to work?

Libbey:  Yes!  It’s so fun because I get to buy gum and pretend that I work there.  That’s all.  And like pushing the cart.

Haley:  Did you have fun at the boat show in Annapolis when we climbed on all the big boats?

Libbey:  (GASP!) all the candy in the big white tent!  Yeah, I liked it.  I liked how I got all the candy and that we got to climb on all the boats and there’s one that I liked.  I wanted to buy them all.           

Haley:  Today we are driving to Tennessee.  Then we’ll see our friends the Hall’s later next week.  Are you excited to see them?

Libbey:  Yeah.  What I remember waS that we stayed in a hotel room and they did too.  And we were next to each other.  I hope we can do it again someday with them and me and Delaney can write notes again that say “wake up” and put it under the door.

Haley:  Do you want to go home soon or would you like to live in the trailer longer?

Libbey:  I wanna go home right now, but first see the Hall’s.  I miss home and I wanna mess my other bed up and play with Jenny my doll and dress up. 

Haley:  What do you like about home that we don’t have here?

Libbey:  Playing games, playing Taco Bell restaurant with you, I get to play with water.

Haley:  Do you like living in the trailer?  Why?

Libbey:  I don’t like livin’ in the trailer.  I already told you.  I miss home ‘cause it has all my toys.

Haley:  We are going through Arkansas, where the Duggar’s live.  Do you want to go see them?

Libbey:  YEAH!!  Because I wanna play with all their children and make messes with them.  And ‘cause Joy-Anna looks fun. 

Haley:  Did you like Washington D.C.?

Libbey:  What I liked about D.C. was that we got to visit the pencil house (Washington Monument).

Haley:  Did you like seeing the Senate gallery and watching the people talk?

Libbey:  What’s a gallery?

Haley:  (Explains)

Libbey:  Oh, um, then they were going to tell the President all about that stuff so they could make the rules? 

Haley:  Yes.  Why did you like it?

Libbey:  I liked it because they…I don’t know why!  But what was that thing that the man was banging with?

Haley:  He was banging a gavel, which is like a little hammer.

Libbey:  Didn’t look like a hammer.

Haley:  Well, okay.  So, have you enjoyed this interview?

Libbey:  Mmm-hmm.  Can we take a break? 

Haley:  How about we be done now?

Libbey:  No, let’s take a break.

Haley:  One more question…what’s been your favorite part of the trip?

Libbey:  Going to where Washington lived at Mount Vernon because he was my governor.

Haley:  He was actually the first president.

Libbey:  Oh yeah, he was the first father of the whole United States.

Haley:  I guess that’s pretty correct.  Let’s end it there.  Thank you for answering my questions, Libbey.  Did you have fun?

Libbey:  Yes I did.  Thank you and goodbye.  I’d rather take pictures now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delaney reveals all

This was so much fun to do.  Delaney was just as fun as ever and we had a blast doing this interview, even though it isn’t very long.  It showcases her playful side very well, in my opinion…

Haley:  So Delaney, how are you on this fine day?

Delaney:  That is cheesy.  Anyway, I’m fine.  What about you? 

Haley:  This isn’t about me.  Let me ask you the questions.  How have you enjoyed our trip so far?

Delaney:  It’s been really great.  We’ve seen a lot of cool stuff. 

Haley:  Were your expectations the same as the reality, or did you have a different idea on what it would be like?

Delaney:  I really didn’t know what it would be like.  I knew that it would be really fun and adventurous, but I didn’t really know what to expect.

Haley:  How do you keep busy during the long drives we take?

Delaney:  I write in my journal, listen to my CD player, navigate with our atlas, (though Dad usually dominates with his GPS).  Sometimes I do word search puzzles (Bible version).  And that’s it. 

Haley:  Where have you most enjoyed visiting?

Delaney:  Painesville, Ohio!  I really loved our picnic on Lake Erie.  Okay, I also enjoyed Bar Harbor, Maine.  That was one of the more humorous places of our trip.

Haley:  Is there a funny memory that comes to your mind?

Delaney:  Um, Libbey and how she said ‘chowda in Ba Haba’ and her face that reacted to Mom’s meal of lobster. 

Haley:  What’s one of the worst experiences you’ve had while being away?

Delaney:  I fell out of the top bunk onto the hard floor and got a big scrape on my back and my arm was a bit bruised and my back was in pain for quite a while.  And also when I got all those bad mosquito bites in Vermont and I looked like I had some kind of disease or something.  Oh, another was when I tasted lobster in Bar Harbor (grimaces).  I consider that a not-very-good experience.

Haley:  That being said, let’s turn to lighter subjects.  How about life in the 28-foot trailer?  Do you like it enough to go another three months?

Delaney:  Um, yeah, but home is going to feel really good.  I really miss our bathroom a lot.  I like my comfy bed in the trailer, but I like my one at home too.  My first night in bed at home is going to be so wonderful.

Haley:  Have you realized something new about yourself while we’ve been away?

Delaney:  Not really, but I’ve noticed that it really bugs me when I see even one dirty dish in the sink, and then I think, “Oh great, I have to wash that.  There’s not much room in here, and not any room for a dirty dish.”  I’ve also realized that my bed is constantly filled with stuff.  At home I would just put stuff (that I don’t know where to put) on my desk, but here I put it on my bed.  Then comes nighttime, and I go, “Great!  Where am I going to sleep tonight?”

Haley:  Do you maintain a normal school schedule now that we’re in the fall semester? 

Delaney:  Absolutely positively not.  There are days when I do school, and all of it, and then there are days when we’re going somewhere or we’re doing something out of the trailer, and I can’t do school.  But, in places like Boston and Philadelphia, I’m learning history hands-on. 

Haley:  Would you think that you’ve grown closer to your family in this time?

Delaney:  Well, I’ve always been close with everyone in my family, but being in a tight space has allowed for practice in patience, conflict resolution and graciousness.  So in that regard, I feel like we’re all becoming a better family.

Haley:  By the way, are you enjoying this interview or am I asking boring questions?

Delaney:  You’ve allowed for a lot of laughs (she giggles). 

Haley:  Okay, then what things have made you laugh?

Delaney:  (Laughs hysterically) one of things that have made me laugh are when I emailed you and told you a really silly story about two sisters who fought all the time and they decided to make up and never fight again.  But you know what?  They were not perfect.  And then you laughed really, really hard.   

Haley:  Okay, okay.  Would you take an extended trip like this again in your life?

Delaney:  Absolutely.  Of course.  !!!!! 

Haley:  Why?

Delaney:  Because it’s really super fun.  We laugh a lot, and have friendly arguments that leave us laughing again (usually), we’ve seen a lot of great places and done a lot of great things. 

Haley:  How do you keep in touch with friends and family?  Is it a priority in your day?

Delaney:  Um, I keep in touch with friends using email, and I’ve been able to talk to several of them on the phone.  But I have limited access to the internet sometimes so it can be difficult.

Haley:  My fingers are getting tired.  Do you want me to ask you anymore questions?

Delaney:  Aw, your poor little fingers.  I’ll let you go. 

Haley:  It’s been fun, sis.  Thanks for doing this with me.  I hope all your adoring friends back home like it!

Delaney:  (Raises eyebrows) sure.  Anytime!

Haley discusses our journey with Mom

As I began this interview, I found out quickly how different they would be.  But it is a fun change and interestingly displays each personality.  Here we go with mom…

Haley:  When Dad first brought up the idea to take a long trip around the U.S., what were your first thoughts?

Mom:  “That sounds great; we’ve been talking about it for years”!  Other thoughts were probably “how?” (In regards to the business) and “when?”.

Haley:  As we prepared to leave in the next months, what were some key matters that you needed to accomplish in order to be ready to leave home?

Mom:  I knew that we needed to make sure that Dad had the right office and computer equipment in order to work full time, I needed to have my school resources for the new school year and I needed to make sure that the trailer was outfitted with organization in mind (since we’d be taking summer and winter clothing).  Also spending time with special people was important. 

Haley:  As the departure day neared, what were the last things you needed to take care of?

Mom:  Making sure that the house was in order.    

Haley:  Were you completely on board with the whole idea, or were you not sure how it was all going to work out?

Mom:  Completely on board.  I am used to Dad being an adventurer, and I’ve always shared his adventurous spirit.  I also had confidence in him to make it happen because he is a thorough planner. 

Haley:  Now let’s skip to the third week of our journey.  By this time, had you sort of established a ‘flow’ of our daily life? 

Mom:  By the third week (gets calendar out and goes to the third week)…yes…by then we had.  The first two weeks was a push to get to commitments with friends and family, so by the third week we didn’t have those types of commitments anymore.  Then we started a Monday-to-Friday workweek and traveling on the weekend routine.

Haley:  Because we were establishing a ‘new’ way of life, what were some things you (and all of us) needed to sacrifice in order to make this new life work?

Mom:  Privacy.  And the freedom to just get in the car and go somewhere, because maybe we were so remote that there wasn’t anything to go to, or dad needed the truck just in case he needed to go to a hotspot.  And space (laughs). 

Haley:  What is one of the most common things you’d find yourself doing at home that you cannot do now?

Mom:  Puttering in my yard, walking down the hall to do laundry, and running across the street to Grandma’s for a cooking ingredient.

Haley:  Dad’s work sometimes makes it hard for us to be in the trailer.  We usually have to go out if he needs to concentrate hard or make a call.  How do we cope with this?

Mom:  It does inconvenience us girls, but we know that this is Dad’s office and we have to honor that.  We do take advantage of the nice weather by spending time outside, hanging out, playing and doing school.

Haley:  Do you feel like the historic places we’ve visited have been instrumental in our schooling?

Mom:  Absolutely!  There’s nothing like being there.  It has made the books come alive.

Haley:  Have you forgotten anything from home?

Mom:  Some people have asked me that…yes!  My Turkish coffee pot!  But the girls and I were in a gourmet food shop and Suey and I spotted a sign that read “We now serve Turkish coffee!”  You can bet that we indulged!  I also forgot the round pizza pan and my biology teacher’s guide!

Haley:  We are two-thirds through now.  Has the trip been what you thought it would be, or better, or worse?

Mom:  Because we’ve taken a lot of shorter trailer trips, living in it hasn’t come with a lot of surprises.  It’s been better because we’re seeing sites that we’ve never seen before.  I hadn’t considered how stressful it would be while I am driving and Dad is navigating our course and working on the computers at the same time.  That is very stressful.

Haley:  Would you want to do a trip like this again?

Mom:  Yes, I would want to do it again.  It’s a great experience to share with our family.

Haley:  What are you most excited to do in the next weeks of our trip?

Mom:  I would say going to the Looper’s reunion and seeing the Halls.  And seeing what surprise destinations we have after that!

Haley:  Do you enjoy the long drives we take on weekends? 

Mom:  Let me defer to my sciatica…NO!

Haley:  What has been the most enjoyable or fun aspect about this new way of life?

Mom:  We ride our bikes more, I love that.  And running in beautiful areas!

Haley:  Have you found it easy or hard to keep in touch with friends back home?

Mom:  Hard on the internet, because I get very little internet time.  More challenging on the phone because of bad cell reception and the difference in time zones.  But all this has caused me to hand-write letters and cards, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, so I’ve really enjoyed making it a habit. 

Haley:  Do you find it hard to concentrate on certain things in a small area with four other people?

Mom:  I don’t seem affected by that, and we all seem to be considerate of that (personal space). 

Haley:  Has this trip brought us closer as a family, in your eyes?

Mom:  I think we’ve always been close, and we have no choice but to make it work, so we have to work together to function and resolve issues.  

Haley:  What are some places you’re glad to have seen along the way?

Mom:  Vermont, hands down.  It’s an absolutely beautiful state with all the woods and meandering roads and lakes.  As far as the public sights go…Ground Zero (P.S.  Don’t ever forget 9/11).  We have also visited quite a few libraries.  Every time we visited a new library, I make mental notes as to how our local library can be improved.

Haley:  Do you think we’ll all be more grateful of the luxuries at home, after living so differently?

Mom:  Oh yes, we’ve mentioned them as we’ve missed them.  But I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.  I just want to enjoy and appreciate this experience.

Haley:  What advice would you give to those who were going to live in an R.V. for an extended period of time?

Mom:  Be flexible!  That is a reoccurring theme for us.  Also, think of the R.V. as your home, so outfit it as close as reasonable to your ‘stick house’.

Haley:  Thank you very much for spending this time with me.  I’ve enjoyed getting your side of the story.

Mom:  Good night, good luck, good grief!  (Current favorite quote, a courtesy of Josh Groban).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An interview with dad

The following discussion was a brainstorm that I had the other day, as a way of getting our family’s different views of our journey so far.  I will go in age order, beginning with dad, and hopefully it will be an insightful bunch of posts that reflect the various viewpoints of each person.  So, without further ado…

(Conversation between Haley and Dad)

Haley:  So when did you get this idea for our 13-week trip around the U.S.?

Dad:  Well, there’s two parts to the answer.  When your mom and I were first married (27 years ago), we always talked and dreamed about taking a trip around the country together.  Whether it is in our camper truck, or a conversion van, what have you.  But, with goals of buying a home and doing different things and working, we never really had the freedom to do such a trip for an extended period of time.  So, as we began our family, the dream took on a new perspective.  When I started my home business—six and a half years ago—and as that has progressed, it has allowed me to have a more flexible work schedule, in addition, the advent of the internet, allows me to do this trip at the present time. 

Haley:  With this idea in mind, when did it actually begin to take its present form?

Dad:  About a year ago, I planned to take my business 100% “virtual”.  Upon doing that—approximately ten months ago—it soon after dawned on me that taking such a trip was a real probability. 

Haley:  You first brought up the idea to the family of an extended trip this past January.  You were talking mid-to-late spring.  But we didn’t leave until mid-August.  What was it that changed the timing? 

Dad:  When the thought first occurred to me that the trip was a probability, I was excited to go as soon as possible.  But I realized that the spring did not allow enough time to plan the trip, along with planning both for the trip itself and preparations for maintaining the home while being away for such a long time. 

Haley:  As we prepared for the upcoming journey—which was approximately February to August—there were obviously a lot of issues to go over as you would be leaving your home, office, clients, employee, and property.  How did you deal with all this?

Dad:  Well, thankfully, my business has continued to prosper, allowing me to hire an employee (close friend Jesse Telian).  This provided the means that, in addition to assisting with the daily accounting functions of the business, he could also help me maintain the home while we are away, checking the mail, maintaining the yard and pool, keeping up our car at home, and other miscellaneous items that might come up. 

Haley:  Did you feel confident and prepared to leave when we did, which was August 18?

Dad:  Yes and no.  Well prepared, but never prepared well enough.  Sometimes you just have to go and trust that the Lord will provide because if I waited until I thought everything to be perfectly in order, I would never have left.

Haley:  Now that we are two-thirds into the journey, has it been what you hoped or expected?

Dad:  Again, yes and no. 

Haley:  Could you elaborate a little?

Dad:  It has been in some ways more challenging than I expected.  The reasons, to name a few, are that traveling like this can take a great deal of planning.  For instance, deciding where to stay each night, where to go next, and what to do when we get there.  While at the same time, trying to run a business whether it be in a small trailer with lots of distractions or on the highway going 60 miles an hour.  In addition to managing an employee back home and multiple clients.  Doing all this simultaneously has been a bit more difficult than I imagined.  Nonetheless, I have no regrets.  I feel blessed that the Lord has, and is, allowing me to accomplish the task.

Haley:  Did you build the timing of the trip around any events or places you wanted to go?

Dad:  No, although there have been a couple of events along the journey that worked nicely into our overall itinerary that we have had (or will have) the privilege of attending. 

Haley:  How about the biggest joy or excitement for you?

Dad:  Too many to mention!  It’s been inspiring to visit and see many well-known places, landmarks, etc.  But for the most part, it’s the simple things.  Such as just having this amount of time with your mom and each of you girls, because I am constantly aware that it is a privilege that few fathers receive. 

Haley:  Is there a fond memory that comes to your mind at this time?

Dad:  I would say that getting to boat and ski and carp fish on the Illinois River with Nate and Sally is one of my many fond memories. 

Haley:  One of the things that never fails to make me laugh is the picture of you on two cell phones, printing a client’s payroll or checks.  Explain how this works to the readers.

Dad:  This is necessary when I don’t have good internet connection.  So my employee Jesse will have checks ready to print (on his computer) and I need to call the client.  So I call the client on one cell phone while Jesse listens on the other, waiting for the print command.  When the client confirms that checks are ready for printing, I say the words “they’re on their way”, which clues Jesse to begin printing.  Then I end the call with the client, and that’s all folks!

Haley:  On another note, where are some places we’ll be going to in the next couple weeks?

Dad:  At the end of this week in the Washington D.C. area, we will be heading towards Alabama by way of Charlottesville, through Tennessee, to the Huntsville area. 

Haley:  Will we be stopping in to visit people we know in the next few weeks? 

Dad:  We hope to visit our friends Steven and Tricia Hall while in Huntsville.  From that point, we will be on the final leg of our journey.  We will decide as we go our schedule and our route as we daily examine our endurance and desire to extend the trip and/or return home more quickly.  This includes how business pressures might dictate. 

Haley:  Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you, dad.  Thanks for putting aside the iPhone and boating magazine to have this dinette-side conversation with me. 

Dad:  Thank you, Haley.  And thank you for blogging/logging our journey.  I am very thankful for your efforts.