A Little Field Trip

We had a great time at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida back in November. A dear friend took us and I must say, I’m not normally into this type of museum, but I was quite impressed. There was SO much to see! The kids had a blast looking at the large variety of planes, sitting in the captain seats and the IMAX movie about The Blue Angels.

On a side note, as we were leaving, my hubby and I managed to get separated and I got lost, haha. As soon as I was found, I was kindly escorted to the front by a nice young man in uniform. Although they were very understanding of my situation, I would highly suggest giving yourself plenty of time to find the exit if you plan on visiting. Ha!

I would definitely recommend this museum. The kids had a great time and there was a LOT to see.

Checking In!

I’m back! We are still on the road, and doing well. I had to take time away to recover from some last minute dental surgery and some unexpected health issues.

Now then! We have been busy, we are now in New Mexico! I will be updating from where I left off and I so appreciate everyone’s patience and continued interest in our travels.

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A nice little park in the town of Jal. Enjoyed our 3 nights here with a little fishing and playground fun.

Hope y’all are doing well!

 

Are you a fellow traveler? What was the last state you enjoyed?

Plans, Cancels, and Fun

Our first week heading back out started out interesting. We made plans well in advance with different friends along our route, yet, once we got to the first one on the list for this month, it turned out they cancelled their plans, without letting us know. So we stayed overnight at a nearby Wal-Mart, then called the next friend to see if we could come a week early. Got a call back the next morning that where they were going to have us stay wouldn’t work out afterall…. So we moved along and another night at another Wal-Mart. We called the next friend, another cancel. And yet another Wal-Mart. By now we’re quite disappointed, as you could imagine. That first week had been pretty chilly at night, but thankfully we stayed warm enough. Plenty of blankets and snuggles.

The Walmart we stayed at before parking at the couple’s home.

So, we made our way to another town with friends we know and haven’t seen in a while. They didn’t know we were coming, so of course another night at another Wal-Mart BUT by the next morning they had found us a spot, and good timing too because it got COLD. We were able to hook up and got to run our heater. There was a little mix up, though, but our friends worked it out and got us not only set up in a quieter spot but our hosts insisted we stay in the apartment they have at their house. Quite unexpected but deeply appreciated. We really enjoyed their hospitality. The wife used to teach music so she taught our kids songs on the piano during our stay, they had a BLAST. Aaand, I got to enjoy a good water pressure shower, haha. If you full-time or have ever stayed in a camper, you know what I’m talking about!

 

Our kids made us lunch one day. Aww.
So, this USED to be my favorite wool sweater. I made a big mistake… LOL. It now fits my 8 year old perfectly.

One thing I found in this town was a little store called Dirt Cheap. If you ever come across one of these stores, you should check it out. I will advise to carefully check each item before buying though, some items are “dirt cheap” for a reason, lol. But I did get several good finds for under $7!

If you like coffee and M&M’s then you need to try these, MMMM! Found at…. you guessed it, Walmart! Ha.
My first sweet potato casserole in our Instant Pot.

So after a week and weekend with this wonderful couple and visiting our friends in the same town and working in the ministry with them, we moved on to our next destination, a week early….

Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

I love reminiscing, don’t you?

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Two of my favorite guys. My other favorite guy was off playing in the water. 😉

Our cousins took us on a hike during our visit and it was beautiful! The drive there was beautiful in itself. There were maple trees the whole way, with bright shades of yellow, orange and reds. If you’ve ever seen maple trees changing in the fall, you know what I’m talking about. And if you love nature as I do, you get excited to see such beauty. It’s the small things in life that truly make life enjoyable, wouldn’t you agree?

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The trails were really fun. Thankfully, hubby was having a good day and the trails weren’t too steep, though I myself got a little out of breath, lol. It was a great reminder that I need to get more active and exercise more, ha! But it was so worth it!

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I’m sure the waterfall has different water levels during different parts of the year but it was beautiful nonetheless. We all, but one cousin, wore our sneakers and had to be careful where to step so as not to soak our shoes but it was low enough we were able to do so.

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I LOVED this view, isn’t it beautiful!

If you’re looking to get great shots, you may have to wait your turn, lol. There were a few other visitors taking photos and as patient as I try to be, I think it would be courteous to sit and look through your shots where you’re out of the way, right? But I finally got my clear shots and was happy to move along myself, lol.

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It was quite a peaceful experience, not too many people passing by. I definitely look forward to going back to this spot.

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First time I ever got down on the ground for a shot, lol.
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Another “belly” shot, lol.

Ok, so I’m new at photography and hopefully these weren’t over edited, lol. I’m always open to suggestions! This was an awesome spot to practice!

Second Stop, Arkansas!

Our second week on the road was definitely a blast. We got to stay with family, my favorite cousin and his beautiful wife. I could go on forever on how much I love them, but I’ll spare y’all the mushy stuff, lol.

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Aww, they’re so sweet. Whenever they are in arms reach, they’re holding hands. The kids like getting in on the hand holding action as well, hehe.

The first outing they took us on was awesome, they took us to the Wild Wilderness Drive Through Safari in Gentry, Arkansas. I’ll tell you right now, it is well worth going to. Our kids had such a blast and you know if the kids are having a blast, we’re having a blast. When you first pull in you will see an outside gift shop and concession stand, and restrooms are also available. I highly suggest you use them before entering the Safari, especially if you have little ones as it is a 4 mile drive through.

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This is the entrance to the petting zoo area. It’s hard to tell but to the right, in the background, is a building where you pay when you first enter. Also, opposite of this view is the concession and outside gift shop area, along with picnic tables.

You have the choice of visiting the “petting zoo” first or taking the Safari. We went with the petting zoo. There were quite a variety of animals you can pet ranging from pot belly pigs (hilarious little things!) to emus and kangaroos! You can buy a bag of food for $1 per bag but we brought a couple loaves of bread instead. The bread can only be given to certain animals so please keep that in mind when you visit. There are other animals you may pet and feed but they require a special diet which excludes bread. There were a couple employees that were near those animals and handed out food for visitors to feed animals such as the kangaroos and giraffes!

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See that cute little gal up top? She is hilarious! She bounces as she runs, like she’s on cloud 9. She is one happy pig!
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Even the goat was very laid back. I know some may be intimidated by a goat with it’s horns intact but this was a very sweet goat that follows visitors around like a sweet puppy dog.
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Momma donkey and new baby. So fluffy! Getting ready for winter.
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It was definitely nap time for the kangaroos. They had a lot more than I would have expected. Several babies and one was recently out of the pouch, awww.
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This cute little guy woke up for a treat. Still sleepy though, lol.
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I got to feed one!
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Pumba! Lol. They had several warthogs. I think this was the first time we had seen one in person.
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Sweet, silly giraffes. They love their veggies!

They also offer pony and camel rides. Pony rides were $3 and camel rides were $5, when we went. A note on the camel rides, they LOVE their snacks! If you have bread with you, they won’t move til they get their treat! So funny.

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Caption this! Silly camel.

After petting and feeding the animals, we took a break, washed our hands and had lunch! We took our own lunch but I will add that whatever food they had at the concession stand smell pretty tasty. They have a few tables you can sit and eat at and it wasn’t too busy when we went, on a Monday, so no waiting for tables. And before I forget, they also have little wagons you can rent for kiddies who want to be pulled around the petting areas. We didn’t need one so I don’t remember the price.

Now onto the Safari! This was our family’s first safari experience. If’ you’ve never been to one, you drive your own car through. They have rules and reminders when you enter to keep your windows up during your drive through. This is for your protection. The animals are well mannered but we had a car in front of us that did not follow instructions, were enticing the ostrich and let’s just say they put their windows up after that encounter, lol. It really does make it more enjoyable when people follow the rules, especially when it’s for their own safety. Visitors are also asked not to feed the animals on safari, and if you want to stop and look longer, there is plenty of room to pull over so the cars behind you don’t get blocked and have to wait. That was something else we experienced. It doesn’t hurt to be courteous. But aside from those we had a blast! If you’re in the area or can make a detour, I highly recommend it, ESPECIALLY if you have children that love animals.

First Stop, Missouri!

We spent our first week on the road near St. Louis. We’ve visited friends, made new friends, and have had a lot of fun!

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Panorama hubby took. Missouri is beautiful!

We spent one afternoon at Six Flags, that’s always a blast and the weather couldn’t have been better. It’s fun going as a family but even better when you have friends along for the ride.

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A lovely view of the pond during sunset.

Another afternoon we visited the St. Louis Science Center, admission is FREE. They do have IMAX and a Planetarium but those do cost. If you have a friend in the area with a membership with guest passes then you can get in free, at least for the Planetarium (I’m not sure on the IMAX). We went to one showing which was “Eclipses: Shrouded Sun, Veiled Moon”. It was really interesting, we each learned something we didn’t know before. So, they have seating and while that’s nice, they aren’t like the IMAX seating. They also provide padded mats you can lay down on. If you don’t have a hard time getting off the floor, those would likely be more comfortable and definitely more enjoyable to watch the showing, otherwise you might end up with a sore neck and that’s never fun. Yea, I sat in the chair…

Our friends have horses and were so kind in allowing us to ride them. Our kids had a BLAST, our oldest especially. During several feeding times she jumped at the opportunity to give a hand.

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Leaving Missouri

We also attempted to go fishing. I say attempted because I made a not-so-bright decision and got my hook stuck in a branch in the water and by the time hubby got through with it it was just too late to do any fishing. I think I’ll leave the fishing to hubby and the kids from now on, unless it’s saltwater fishing, I think I can handle that. Lol. Our week was also filled with making and visiting with new friends, working in our ministry, knitting and crocheting, talking about photography and just chillin’ out. It was a busy but very enjoyable and satisfying week.

We were sad to leave but look forward to going back!

Counting Down!

We are four days away from launching into our biggest adventure yet!

Only four days away and I come down sick. This is not how I expected our adventure to begin, lol.

We’ve had a lot happen since my last update. We’ve had a couple yardsales and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I will probably never have another yardsale for the rest of my life. It’s a lot of work for just a few bucks, though  I did have some amazing friends buy a couple big items from us and I couldn’t be more thankful for them.

We sold our old car that we haven’t driven in quite some time, it was another money pit and I’m so glad to have it gone. A weight lifted off my aging shoulders, ha!

We also endured a tragic event, our sweet doggie somehow, somewhere, got a hold of rat poison. My inlaws dog also got into it and, sadly, she did not make it. Our girl made it but we were told that particular poison is addicting and she would look for it again if she came home, so, she went to a new home. I’m thankful to know she went to a good home though. She’s with a super sweet family with plenty of animals to watch over and some little ones to play and snuggle with. She’s a livestock guardian so she’ll have plenty to do.

On a positive note, we got to spend a good evening with friends last night. Upbuilding association is a much needed thing these days, and I especially wanted to have them over before our trip. We’ll be back, but we’ll all still miss seeing each other.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions, like “Are you excited?” Well, yes. There’s so much we look forward to but at the same time this is a big change in our lives, that we don’t take lightly, and it’s a good bit to take in. I’m so thankful to know we’re loved and will be missed, but we have received so much support from our family and friends and that really means a lot to us.

SO, launch day is right around the corner! I’ll be updating again SOON! And there will, most definitely, be photos. Lots and lots of photos!