It's Good to be Home.
Our journey in the Airstream has been one of baby steps. Our first trip was just a weekend, then a week, then 2 weeks, then a month, then two months. Jan 4th we set out for a 4-month journey, not scheduled to be back in St. Louis until May 5th.
The last month of the trip, I found myself biding my time, just waiting for the day when I could take every single item out of the Airstream. We were full to the brim. We had winter clothes and summer clothes. We had school books and backpacks. We had acquired toys and gift baskets from our hosts. We had added a WHOLE EXTRA PERSON and all his luggage. We desperately need to regroup and reorganize. After 3 months on the road, 3 weeks seemed like a manageable time to wait to do so.
We had one more stop before St. Louis, but not without another call to Roadside Assistance. This time one of our tires had all the lugs sheared off. By the time we pulled to a stop, the tire was barely hanging on with one lug nut! We were lucky to have not lost the tire, and the people of Kansas were very helpful and accommodating. Our hosts picked us up and let us stay at their house for 5 days, while the shop ordered the part that we needed. I tossed our clothes in one big IKEA bag and we left the Airstream at the shop. When it was time to pick up the Airstream, the packing process was just as disorganized! It felt like we were living in chaos.
We stopped in St. Louis for 3 days and then were headed to our parents' house where I could finally unload. Michael was scheduled to be in Nashville to record the new album, but I planned on taking the Airstream and the kids to our parents' house so they could get a bit of grandma time before we joined Michael in Nashville. That last day in St. Louis, we got news that Michael & Matt’s lodging had fallen through so we changed plans. Instead of grandma time and unpacking, we would take the Airstream and the whole family to Nashville for 3 weeks. This would extend our 4 month trip into nearly a 5 month trip. We were all disappointed. We called our parents to tell them they would not see us for another month.
As we pulled out of St. Louis, we began to doubt that decision because the van was driving horribly! It had driven with excessive sway since we left Kansas, but we chalked it up to Kansas wind. We assumed with the new tires it was good to go. Now that we were out of Kansas, clearly, it was NOT good to go. We decided, right then and there, to change plans again. The van needed to go to the shop and the best place to do that was in our hometown. The kids were going to get their grandma time back. The van got new tires, new tie rod ends, and repacked bearings. I got to clean out the Airstream. YAY! It’s good to be home.