Welcome to The Jungle

So I got a little lax in my travel log. After surviving Texas there was little energy for writing more. Louisiana was a bit more gracious (after the roach motel) and provided us with more po boy than we could fit in our ever growing bellies.

I will say this about Louisiana, even though 90% of my known and unknown relatives live there: they are worse drivers than Texans. I swear every one of them wanted to run into me. That would have actually worked out though, since both vehicles have been acting a bit rough. The last time we got hit we were given quite a bit of money by the insurance company to promise we wouldn’t sue, completely out of nowhere.

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Traffic brought on by roadwork or by deadly accident? I’m going with deadly accident.

Mississippi and Alabama were a blur, there really isn’t much to them way down near the Gulf.

But Florida… Oh Florida. Y u so big?

The panhandle of Florida is nothing but pines in lines and a whole bunch of nothing. It doesn’t help that we live almost as far as you can go to the other side of the state. We made it 96 miles in before passing out at a rest area for the night. I have a hard time believing it, but I slept like a rock, despite the fact that the van was like a greenhouse.

I awoke to the sound of Haitians. Haitian is a very distinct dialect of French that I only recognize because there was a Haitian church meeting next door to us for awhile. I thought “wow, you don’t hear that out west.” Then I noticed they had Colorado plates. It’s funny where you will run into people.

Once I was awoken from my deep slumber it was a mad dash across the state to get home.

When I pulled in the driveway I swear I heard “Welcome to The Jungle” starting up and a whole band of gorillas scattering out of the yard. Six months has certainly taken its toll on the yard.

The inside wasn’t much better. We left in a hurry and I forgot how bad it was. The stagnant air doesn’t help and there is a layer of dust on everything. I am not throwing my hands in the air about it though. It’s a lot of work but it’s not insurmountable.

I won’t lie. We haven’t completely emptied the cars yet. We had a few favorite places to visit first. Our Chinese buffet, Publix, and Target.all the places Alamogordo and Cloudcroft don’t offer.

Now with well fed bodies and a few local itches scratched we can face tomorrow. As of now that means a two mile run followed by trying to make the yard look less terrifying and making the truck not so scary to drive.

We’ll see if our actions will match up with our desire…

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Texas, So Much Texas

Hugeston…I mean: Houston

“The sun never sets on the vast Texas Republic” or so the saying goes, right?

Texas is huge. Yuuuuuge. So huge it should be divided into three states: West, Central, and East Texas. As it is now you get to mile marker 800 on I-10 and think “isn’t this a bit ridiculous?” only to drive 80 more miles before finding the end of the state!

I can honestly say that I have never driven through this state and thought “Gee, I’d really like to live here.” it’s not that it has no beauty, or that the people are all bad. Well, OK, much of it is bland and the drivers are insane, but it’s not that. I just couldn’t live in a place that takes ten months to get out of. The geography is just too immense.

We made it through. It only took all day, but we survived. One full state down, four to go.

Now to see if we survive this roach motel.

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Slow Going

The only problem with two vehicles and two drivers is you can’t switch off. When one is tired the other is held to their sleep schedule.

Which for us means not getting to a big town with a hotel. Thankfully we have gotten accustomed to sleeping at Pilots over the years. In a trailer…

Without a trailer I tossed and turned all night. In the Texas warmth. With one window cracked to keep the cats in. With three kids.

Oh the smell.

Well, it’s 0720 here in West Texas. Hopefully in about 15 hours we will be somewhere near Hammond, LA. I have a boudin po boy to buy!

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(Almost) On The Road Again

I stand corrected. I said on a Facebook post that we were on the road again, but we have to drop the trailer in Alamogordo, eat, then get on the road.

But I still claim it.

Stay tuned for updates!

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Daily Thoughts #72

Not on the road yet. We have wayyyy more stuff than I thought. And of course the truck has to start misbehaving.

But my confidence was lifted a little by an old man in the Walmart parking lot. We had just taken our wheel off because we suspected the caliper was stuck. It was not. He listened to the motor and gave a few suggestions about the odd noises and sensor issues. So tomorrow morning is electrical connector test day.

My body is rebelling. No amount of positive thinking or praying makes the gut sickness and chest tightness go away. The Anxiety Monster is a disrespectful jerk.

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Leaving On A…

True to what I said, we have two days left and I am finally beginning to pack.

It’s nice to have only 200 Sq ft to pack up. It means that everything will fit into just a few boxes. Of course we are not hauling a trailer back with us this time, so everything that would have traveled in it now has to fit into a minivan and the back of an SUV. Tetris anyone?

I can’t promise much in the next few days from me. I do intend on doing travel posts every night once we are on the road, so look forward to those.

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The Beautiful Life

“Expedition Happiness” Watch on Netflix. Or don’t.

Sometimes when I read blogs or watch documentaries all I can think is “How do these hipsters make it look so easy?”

I don’t know what kind of world these people live in, they are always young, always attractive, frequently childless, and always seem to have an endless stream of money. They seem more like fictional characters than real people. You have to wonder what they do for a living, are they ever stressed? Do they get bored? Do they fight? Where is the ugly in their life?

Sure, sometimes the bus breaks down, the visa gets denied, or the cake in the oven falls. But these people always seem to handle it with a smile. Or at the very least they look gorgeous while crying.

Well, that ain’t my life.

I get sick. Nothing productive happens for days at a stretch. My kids make giant messes, animals get into my trash, my trailer sometimes smells like something died in it.

People thrive on positive. We love comedy and run from tragedy. We live vicariously through these adventurers and beautiful hipsters. We don’t like our conventional lives, so we read about theirs and forget our problems for a bit.

But who’s to say your conventional life is ugly? Who’s to say you aren’t living a beautiful life, even if it isn’t quite the adventure these people seem to have? Life is a gift, even with its warts and wrinkles. Life is beautiful even with the sickness and the smells.

You don’t have to read blogs or watch fru-fru documentaries (both of which I do. Too much.) to enjoy a beautiful life. All you have to do is start enjoying yours.