Our Last Day in Delaware

From our Travel Journal dated November 5, 2011 – this is our last day in Delaware

Good evening:

First and foremost, last night we survived the continuous winds, which gusted up to 40 mph.  There were moments when I thought our big rig, despite its size, was going to tip over.  I even jokingly commented to Gary that I might need to take Dramamine, since the gusting winds shaking the RV were making me nauseous.

The winds continued throughout today.  Not only did I feel our home on wheels shake throughout the day, I also listened to our neighbor’s wind chime clang and bang against their RV.

I have always enjoyed the wind, but I am ready for a windless and silent day.

Besides the wind, nothing exciting or adventurous happened today.

It was a full day of school, laundry, and errands.

One of Gary’s errand for today was shopping for propane.  We never imagined that this errand would turn into a chore.  Apparently, Delaware doesn’t refill propane tanks on weekends???

Gary also went to McDonald’s for coffee and free Wi-Fi.  Surprisingly and regrettably, Gary did not find a stronger internet connection at McDonald’s.

After assignments, chores, and errands were complete, we took another walk to the beach.

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We walked to the beach, but we didn’t take a stroll along the shore-
because the winds whipped right through our clothes and Fannie’s fur.

Tonight, I admired and captured my last sunset along the Delaware shores.

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This was the last sunset I captured, because  . . .

tomorrow we are moving.  We are headed back to Pennsylvania.  Buddy is quite excited, because we are finally heading to Gettysburg.

Our next temporary address at Artillery Ridge Camping Resort in Gettysburg might prove to be an adventure.

When I called the campground to make reservations, I was initially told that we would be camping without access to water.  (To protect the campground’s faucets and water lines from freezing, the campground shuts off the water before the first freeze.)  With further questioning, I was told that they could put us by the horses, because the water near the barn doesn’t get shut off.

So, we might be sleeping in the barn at our next temporary address.  With a chance to sleep with the horses, Belle is now excited that we are headed to Gettysburg.

At our next temporary address, Gary and I are hoping for stronger internet connections.

I will send the next post as soon as I am able.  Robin

A Simple Toy and Natural Pleasures

A simple toy and natural pleasures reminded us the importance of living in the moment as we travel across the U.S.A.

DSCN8964Since we have been living on the road, Buddy has wanted a kite.  Since we departed our stick-and-brick house in September, we have looked in every state for a kite.

Apparently, fall is not the best time to shop for a kite.

 

DSCN8966However, at the small seaside resort at Bethany Beach, we found a toy store along the boardwalk which sold kites.  This store sold such a large selection
of kites that Buddy had a difficult time choosing the perfect one.

He finally chose a B-2 bomber, which reportedly could fly at 5-18 mph.  With his birthday money, Buddy purchased his own kite.

 

With a kite in his hand, Buddy did not want to waste another minute shopping.  He did
not even want to window shop at any of the other interesting shops along the boardwalk.  I barely had time to snap theses pictures.

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DSCN8948Buddy had waited almost two months for a kite.
And now he just wanted to head straight to the beach,
so he could fly his kite.

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But first,
the kite needed some assembly.

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DSCN8981Before the strings could be attached, Buddy had to try out his kite.
“Hang on tight, Buddy!
With this wind, today is proving to be the perfect day to fly the perfect kite.”

DSCN8983Having a host of knots to choose from (thanks to Boy Scouts),
Buddy made certain to tie his kite securely to the string.

DSCN8989And then,

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this boy and his kite were aflight.

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Until,
the boy couldn’t go anymore.
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However,
the kite stayed aloft.

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As we waited and watched and tried to stay warm, Gary and I asked Belle several times if she wanted a kite too.

Every response was always the same.   “No, Mom and Dad, I have plenty to do.”

 

 

So,
what did Belle do as her brother flew his kite?
(besides take a picture of her Mom and Dad)

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She played in the surf and in the sand.
(And since my beautiful Belle spent time on the beach,
she shared her radiant smile throughout the afternoon.)

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She made her own etch-a-sketch in two-toned sand.
She practiced her balancing act for the circus.

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She attempted to shoot down the B-2 Bomber
just to antagonize her brother.

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And then
Belle found a project that kept herself and myself busy.
She worked on this construction project.
I was asked to find the perfect length of reeds
for my daughter to build a reed hut.
However,
my beautiful Belle only had enough time to build a reed wall.

I never knew that a simple toy and natural pleasures
would bring so much Joy to my children!
I am so very thankful that Gary and I dared to dream!

Words to Ponder Today
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in you sail.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Delaware Bridges, DEDOT Workers, and a Detour

Unexpected adventures were lurking which included Delaware Bridges, DEDOT Workers, and a Detour.

While we were walking, playing, and sitting on the beach that afternoon, our dinner of homemade soup had been simmering in the crockpot all day.

When we arrived home from the beach, the smell of vegetable beef soup was inviting and enticing.  To complete our dinner meal for that night, we needed a few groceries.  I was thinking about a hearty loaf of bread and sliced apples to round out our meal.

So, Gary and I decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store.

Our quick trip to the grocery store took longer than we expected.

Not only did we pick-up a few items for dinner, but we also found many staple items on sale. (I suppose the stores were gearing up for Thanksgiving cooking and Christmas baking.)

Since our quick trip took longer than we had anticipated, I decided to give Belle and Buddy a quick call.  Buddy answered the phone.  I told him that we had finally finished shopping and we were headed home promptly.  I also told Buddy that we should be home in less than ten minutes.

Our unexpected adventure begins here,
because the ten minute drive home lasted over an hour.

Before Buddy said good-bye, he reminded me that the campground host informed us earlier in the day that the bridge will be closing at 7 p.m. that night.  Buddy remarked that he just wanted to remind us since it was already a quarter till seven.

I had completely forgot about the bridge closing.

However, my Knight had not.  Gary remembered that the campground host had commented that we would be able to travel south of the bridge after its closing.  So, Gary purposely chose a different grocery store than where we had shopped a few days before.  This way we would be on the correct side of the bridge when it closed and we would be able to return to the campground.

Now, the sequence of events that follow is quite confusing.  I will do my best to explain our unexpected adventure.

  • First, the campground host did not have a second job as a DEDOT worker.
    We shouldn’t have listened to her.
  • Secondly, the hour of seven is approaching fast.
  • Thirdly, since it is not seven, the DEDOT workers allow us to zoom past them as we approach the bridge.

On the bridge before seven p.m. we drive to our exit.  With on-going construction on the bridge, our exit is even confusing.

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  • Since we have been in town a few days, Gary has grown accustomed to driving over the bridge, making the required U-turn, and then exiting the interstate to reach the campground.
  • Still moments before the seven o’clock hour, Gary drove us over the bridge, made the U-turn, and headed to our exit.
  • However, when we arrive at the exit, the exit has been closed.

With no other option (besides backing up on the interstate to the last exit where we could park the dually and walk to the campground with our sacks and bags of groceries), Gary thinking we have enough time drives back onto the bridge.

Before seven p.m., the DEDOT workers start closing the bridge.

Since the workers did not close the bridge from one end to the other but closed both ends simultaneously, we were trapped on the bridge at the time of its closing.

By this time, I jumped to worst case scenario.

In jumping to worst case scenario, I can think through the situation and prepare for the worst.  In doing so, I am generally prepared for whatever arises.  And I am often pleasantly surprised by the outcome since worst case scenario rarely occurs.

Worst Case Scenario – Gary and I have to spend the night in the truck trapped on the bridge.  And Belle and Buddy have to spend their first (and hopefully only) night in the RV alone.

As we travel on this long bridge, we finally see another DEDOT worker, who was quite surprised to see us.  No one was supposed to be traveling on the bridge at the time of its closing.  But here we were.

Unfortunately, the DEDOT worker was not sympathetic to our predicament.  He did not care that we could see our campground right over there.  We just couldn’t get there.  However, the DEDOT worker did inform us that a detour route had been set up.  And he wasn’t bothered by the 45 minutes that it would take for us to travel that detour.

detour in DEWith information we didn’t like to hear and a plan we weren’t looking forward to, Gary and I decided that it was time to call home and inform Belle and Buddy of our predicament.

This time Belle answered the phone.  Despite the uneasiness I felt inside, I calmly explained the situation to Belle.  After hearing about the situation, Belle only had one question for me –

“If that plan doesn’t work, what is worst case scenario?”

I couldn’t believe her question.  “Whose child is this?  Worst case scenario!”  I calmly explained best and worse case scenario to her.  (I chose to keep worst case scenario to myself.  There was no need to alarm Belle about the possibility of her and Buddy staying home alone in the RV that night.)

Best Case Scenario – You and Buddy have dinner without us.  The soup is the crockpot is done.  Just be careful and don’t burn yourself.  You can have crackers, since the hearty loaf of bread is with us.  You can check the  cupboard for a canned fruit.  To pass the time, you and Buddy can watch a movie. (I wondered and hoped but did not say to Belle “surely we can get home before they have time to watch an entire movie”.).

And Worse Case Scenario – Dad and I will travel the detour route and be home as soon as we are able.

After the phone call with Belle, I helped Gary look for the detour signs in the dark.

The detour signs were small in size, rectangle in shape, and orange in color.  Despite the bright color or orange, the signs were difficult to spot in the dark.  I have never searched so hard for detour signs in my life.  I certainly didn’t want to miss one.

As we noticed the distance between detour signs increasing, we wondered if we had missed a sign.  Not knowing where we were in Delaware, I began searching the dually for the atlas.

Since today was not supposed to be a travel day, the atlas was not with us.  We did have Garmin Girl with us, but she just kept telling us to turn around and cross the bridge.  “Wish we could, GG.  But that’s not option!”  Garmin Girl was of no assistance to us during this unexpected detour.

Besides having no map and no help from GG, we were also running low on fuel.  The fuel tank gauge read less than a quarter tank.

Not knowing how much longer this detour might take us, finding fuel was our next objective.  If you have never had a vehicle with a diesel engine, you might be surprised to learn that not every gas station sells diesel.  As we approached the next small town, Gary pulls into the only gas station in town.

Fortunately, the station sold diesel and we were able to fill-up the dually.  For this fill-up, we didn’t look in town for a better price.  In fact, Gary and I didn’t even discuss the price of diesel this time.  To get us back to our children, it didn’t matter what the price on the pump read.

While paying for the fuel, Gary confirmed the detour route with the attendant.  Thankfully, we had not missed a sign.

Back on the road, we continued to follow the small orange signs which were spaced too far apart for our liking.

Most of the time we road in silence.

Gary eventually spoke and lightened the mood.  He said that he had decided what the word detour stands for.  The de stands for Delaware.  And the tour  stand for tour.  Thus detour stands for our unexpected tour of Delaware.  A tour which we had not planned, anticipated, or enjoyed.

We had been counting the miles that we had traveled.  However, as the surroundings became more familiar, we stopped counting.  At last check we had traveled only thirty-seven miles.  Those thirty-seven miles seemed like an eternity as we traveled . . .

  • in the dark on unfamiliar roads
  • in a state 995 miles away from home
  • through small towns with a speed limit of only 35 mph
  • without an atlas to confirm the route
  • with Garmin Girl repeatedly telling us to turn around.
  • not knowing if I would have to make another phone call to our children describing worst case scenario.

Thankfully, worst case scenario did not happen.  Our unexpected adventure finally ended with our family of four safe and sound in our home on wheels.

When we arrived home, I noticed that someone (Buddy) had turned the porch light on for us and someone (Belle) had kept dinner warm for us.

Best case scenario had prevailed.  We had made it home safely.  We even made it home before the movie was over.

As Gary and I climbed into bed that evening, we wondered how many more unexpected adventures awaited us on our grand road trip adventure across the U.S.A.   Robin

Words to Ponder Today
Every moment and every event
of every man’s life on earth
plants something in his soul.

Thomas Merton

Exploring the Delaware Seashore

Today, November 3, 2011, we are exploring the Delaware Seashore as we continue our road trip adventure across the USA exploring one seashore at a time.

Yesterday began like most of our days:

  • Gary and I shared our morning coffee together
  • the four of us shared breakfast together – Gary made pumpkin muffins
  • after breakfast – Belle, Buddy, and I worked on school while Gary worked on bills, budgeting, investing, reading and errands
  • yesterday’s errands included a stop at the Rehoboth Post Office to pick up our mail – for the second time we retrieved our mail without any difficulties – thanks to everyone who sent Buddy birthday cards!
  • at lunchtime, our family reconvened at the kitchen table for lunch
  • after lunch – it was time for an afternoon outing

I have mentioned that we are temporarily living in Delaware Seashore State Park.  This small state park has six miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Rehoboth Bay, and Indian River Bay.

In the summertime, this state park offers:

    • swimming and sunbathing
    • surfing and sailboarding
    • surf fishing
    • and beach driving (which sounded like fun to us until I read that we would have to “actively engage
      in fishing” to drive on the beach)

When visiting this state park in the fall, one has to make the best of falling temperatures and chilly waters.

Since all seasonal activities have closed, we had limited choices for our afternoon outing.

Gary and I didn’t have a specific activity in mind; however, our children knew exactly where they wanted to go
and what they wanted to do.

They wanted to go to the beach.

They didn’t care that the wind was nippy and the waters were chilly.

They wanted to go to the beach and play in the sand.

When Gary and I agreed to go to the beach, Belle and Buddy got us ready for our departure.

They gathered pails, shovels, and nets for themselves and chairs for us.

The chairs were a clue for Gary and I that our children were planning on an extended stay at the beach.

Gary and I grabbed a couple of books.

The campground host told us that we had walking access to the beach.

To reach the beach, we just had to walk around the construction site.

As we walked across the parking lot together, Belle took a good look at us.

She giggled and commented that we screamed tourist.

I wish someone had snapped a picture of the four of us.  Since we don’t have a picture, I’ll try to give you
a mental picture.

    • Belle is dressed in crop pants and a short-sleeve t-shirt.  Since she is the hot-natured one in our family,
      she isn’t wearing her jacket but has it tied around her waist.  She is carrying several pails and a pair
      of nets.
    • Buddy is wearing shorts and a fleece jacket.  I suggested to Buddy that he wear pants so he would stay warm.  My son informed me that his paints would probably get wet.  Buddy isn’t carrying anything.  He is waving his hands and carrying on incessantly about his planned construction projects on the beach.
    • Gary is dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt.  He is carrying our chairs for an extended stay on the beach.
    • Because my children have told me that the sun is shining but the wind is nippy, I need to wear layers
      so I don’t get cold (so we don’t have to return home early).  I am carrying the bag stuffed with snacks
      for all of us, books and a jacket for Gary and I, a scarf for me, and a hat for Gary.  Around my neck,
      I am carrying my camera.

Hence Belle’s comment –   “We scream tourist!”

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We walked across the parking lot and around the construction site.
before we arrived at the beach.

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The beach was completely deserted this November day.
We had miles and miles of sands to ourselves.

Gary and I sat side by side.  We listened to waves. We watched our children play.
And I thought to myself –
“how fortunate we are to have this opportunity
to feel the warm sun and cool wind, to listen to the rolling surf,
to contemplate the past and talk about our future,
to see and marvel at God’s creation along the Delaware coast.”

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As Gary and I lived in the moment,
Belle and Buddy played in the sand for a couple of hours.

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They worked until their canals, trenches, and ditched were dug.
They played until their feet were cold and their hands were numb.
And then we packed up and headed home.

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Words to Ponder Today
To myself I am only a child playing on the beach
while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton

Come back tomorrow to read about the adventures which occurred later that evening.
This post would be too long if I shared the adventure with you now.  Robin

Learning to Live in an RV and to Appreciate Life

We are learning to live in an RV and to appreciate life.
From our Travel Journal dated.October 30, 2011

Good morning, all!

I don’t have a strong internet connection, so this post will be short.

We have survived the Northeast storm which passed through yesterday and last night. It rained most of yesterday and throughout the night.  When we awoke, we expected to see a blanket of snow.  We only saw wet leaves.  Buddy was hoping to play in the snow on his birthday.

We enjoyed our time with Greg and his family.  I will post pictures when I have a better connection, which could be at the next campground.

I better close now, before I lose connection completely.

Have a Great Day!

 

November 2, 2011
Good morning, All!

Sad to say, we are once again without adequate internet access.  However, I wanted to send a short update just to let everyone know that we are still doing well.

We are pleased to have finally experienced the colors of autumn.  On a road trip adventure across the  USA, we had planned to enjoy the fall colors in the New England states, but we found fall in New Jersey.

autumn in NJ

Yesterday, we left New Jersey.

NJ state sign

 

 

 

and traveled to Delaware without any complications or delays.

You can check out the “Travel Days” page for details.

 

In Delaware, we found a place to call home within the Delaware Seashore State Park.  For once, our big rig wasn’t
too long for a state park!

From the campground website, we thought we would have walking access to the bay and the ocean.

We do not.

However, the drive to both is short.

The surrounding views and noises at this campground are different from our temporary address in New Jersey.

I do so miss the beautiful, bold, and bright colors of autumn.

Just take a look around . . .

DSCN9431Behind our  home on wheels and out in the distance we can see the bay.
I don’t know if its Rehoboth Bay or the Indian River Bay.
Regardless, the scenery is drab and gray.

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Apparently, fall is not the peak season for Delaware Seashore State Park.
We almost have the campground to ourselves.
(For most of our stay in Delaware, the sky was cloudy and gray.)

In front of us, we have the Indian River Inlet which opens into the Indian River Bay.

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And to the other side of our home on wheels,

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 we can see a bridge under construction.

After your look around, would you agree that our temporary address in Delaware is quite gray.

However, this morning the cloudy gray skies turned bright blue before the afternoon. DSCN8852

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As I drank my morning coffee and sent out this update,
I watched the construction of this bridge.

Even though we can’t hear the sound of the nearby surf over the clanging of construction equipment
and even though this temporary address isn’t what I had envisioned,
the nightly sunsets have been rewarding.

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Words to Ponder Today
I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that remains.
Anne Frank

I hope everyone has a Great Day regardless of their surroundings!

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