The Fun Begins... (in Ohio)
We started off with a 4.5 hour drive ahead of us. We decided to stay until after lunch to visit a bit with Michael's sister and meet our new nephew, then we were off! We would be embarking on our longest journey thus far. It will be about two full months before we check back with our hometown crowd and St. Louis friends again.
There are two types of traveling. We normally opt for the hard and fast type. We start out in the evening and drive through the night while the kids are sleeping, getting as many miles under way as we can before they wake up. We knew this was not possible for the long-term, so we opted for the second type, where we drive more leisurely and take long breaks for playing and eating. We got stopped on the interstate 4 times for construction, took an hour for dinner, and took the whole family grocery shopping. About midnight we realized that may have been a mistake! We did not have to be at the parish until the next evening, but we decided to push through. Now that the kids were asleep we would make better time. We could have a relaxing morning without making them get back into the van again. We arrived at the state park around 1:30 AM only to find that the campground had a completely separate entrance on the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE LAKE! It was well after 2 AM before we were settled. Our 4.5 hour drive had turned into a 12 hour drive!
The next day consisted of some playground time and a few naps before we left for a Parish concert in the evening. After the concert we were scheduled for a short drive to our next destination. Michael and I both thought it was about 2 hours. When we looked at the map it was actually 4.5 hours. Oh NO!!! We really could not afford for this drive to turn into another 12 hours! We were scheduled to leave town at 9:30 PM. We bumped up our traveling speed from 55 MPH to the speed limit and we went back to fewer, quicker stops. We are happy to report that we managed to arrive at a much more reasonable travel time - which still put us in around 2:30 AM.
Our host had arranged for us to stay at campground resort with a historic pioneer village. We slept in as much as we could and took the morning for touring the grounds. Our host and his family met up with us and we had a great time seeing old fashioned houses, shops, crafts, games, etc. at Sauder Village. In the evening Michael went to his concert and the kids and I got to enjoy their large indoor pool.
It was Father's day weekend and the campground was at maximum capacity. I felt like a fuddy duddy when I suggested that the kids put on their pajamas after the pool at 7:30 and sit down for a movie to end the night. Every other kid was out playing, riding bicycles, throwing baseballs, roasting marshmallows, etc. What I really needed was an easy night of movies, re-grouping, and organizing the Airstream before we hit the road again in the morning. That is what we did, and it was a good choice. The day had been enjoyable, but I was exhausted.
What I have to say about the tour so far is that all of our concerts and hosts have been WONDERFUL. The hospitality has been top notch. We were even greeting at the campsite one morning with farm-fresh eggs and hand-picked strawberries from another family with kids the same age as ours. The parish families have been very generous. The priests have been supportive. We owe a huge THANK YOU to many, many people that we have met along the way.
Michael also was able to write and record a demo of a song about the beginning of this adventure. You can here it below :