Thursday, November 20, 2014

Leaving the Winter Wonderland


Bryce says he wishes the snow didn’t have to bring the cold weather along with it!











But it did . . . we didn’t get a LOT of snow (glad we’re not in Buffalo!!), but what we got was hanging around, and the temperatures were brutal!  We didn’t get above freezing (even during the day) for over a week, and we burned through several more bottles of propane!

Poor Casey had her “summer cut” in preparation for Florida, and doesn’t have much of a coat to keep her warm!!


She doesn’t seem to mind too much, though!

Nicolas wanted to wash his car before he put it away for the next 2 months, but that wasn’t going to happen . . .


he did manage to have a snowball fight with his brother, though!












It sure was “Christmas Card” pretty, though!


Then came the time to say good-bye to Nicolas.  On Tuesday, while I was at work, Tom and Bryce took him to the recruiter’s office.  They had his paperwork all ready and took him across town to the hotel where he would spend the night before shipping out.

When I got off work, we drove over to the hotel to have dinner with him.

dinner pic

On Wednesday, he was up bright and early to report at MEPS for his medical check, interview and shipping brief.  We arrived at 9am to watch his “swearing in”.


I did a really good job of keeping my emotions under control (Nicolas said if I cried, he would deny that I was his mother!!), but almost lost it when the officer swearing them in talked about how honored he was to be performing the ceremony.  After the short ceremony, we took a few pictures,





and Nicolas signed his contract.  He’s officially a recruit now, and on the payroll!



We sat with him while he ate his lunch, and before long it was time to say our final good-byes, and he boarded the bus to take him to the airport.

There goes my boy!! 

OK, I cried a little in the car . . .

But, he had his phone with him, so we texted a little while he rode the bus to the airport, then he called me once he got through security and found his gate.

He was the only one shipping out for the Navy from Detroit that day, so he was on his own at the airport.  He texted me before his flight took off, and called again once he had landed in Chicago.  They gave him a voucher for dinner, so I made sure he was getting something to eat before he made his way to the USO to get on the bus to RTC.

I didn’t hear from him again all evening (I had hoped he’d call or text before he got on the bus), so that was a little nerve-wracking while we waited for the scripted call to come . . . he finally called around 11:30pm, so I knew that he was safely there.  Now we’re just counting the days until we see him again at his graduation!!

Knowing that Nick was settled in at boot camp, it was time for us to move on . . . and get the heck out of Michigan!


It was cold and blustery this morning, but the roads were dry and clear, and we had a bright blue sky.  It took a little longer to get ready to roll, with just three of us & having been parked in one place for nearly 3 months, but we were on our way by 10 am.


After a little bit of traffic in Toledo, and some construction south of there, the rest of the trip was uneventful.

There was still snow on the ground in Ohio,











but as we continued south, we saw less and less, and the temperature crept up . . . by the time we reached Cincinnati, we were above freezing!!

We crossed the Ohio River,


and said hello to Kentucky.


Our destination for tonight was the Kentucky Horse Park.  We chose it because it’s familiar – we know it’s right off the freeway, with paved level sites, and easy to get in and out of.  It’s their winter season now, so only 1/2 the sites are open, and there’s no water at the sites, but there were plenty of sites to choose from and we’ve been working off our fresh water tank for the last week anyway.

We arrived just before 5pm, and got set up on site 251 . . .


hmm, last time we were here, there was a tornado . . . don’t think we have to worry about that this time!

It’s still cold here, so we turned on the furnace to get the RV warmed back up . . . but it’s not as cold as it’s going to be in Michigan tonight!!

As we drove into the campground, we noticed that there were Christmas lights set up around the other loop of the campground. 


When we checked in, we asked about the lights, and the girl in the office told us that the drive-thru light show didn’t start until tomorrow night, but that tonight there was a 5K through the lights, and that it was open for walking through.



So, after dinner, Tom and I bundled up and took Casey for a walk through the lights.


We were surprised at the number of people who came out to walk and run through the lights.  It was really cool . . . Nicolas would have loved this!     DSC_0147












This was quite a treat that we stumbled onto!


Tomorrow we continue our trek south . . . next stop – Georgia!


  1. So very glad to hear from you. We are "Chilly" here in northern Florida and I kept hoping all was well with your family. Exciting time for Nicolas... brought back memories of taking our son to The Citadel. You will be amazed when you see him after he completes boot camp...he is on his way!!!

    Are you headed back to Lovers Key? We will be near there at the end of January.

    Stay warm and Safe Travels...

  2. Here is wishing Nicolas a long happy and safe career in the Navy.
    That was an added treat finding the Christmas display while heading south.
    We're biting at the bit to head south but can't leave until Christmas night. In the meantime we'll have to put up with whatever Mother Nature sends our way.
    Looking forward to seeing you again in February.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. You have to be so proud of Nicholas. Glad you were able to get to warmer weather. We have been cold in South Carolina for this time of year. Safe travels!

  4. This entry brought back memories for me also. My son told me that they are a little extra hard on Nukes when they are at basic. The reason is they will be a higher rank than the DI's very soon. He will learn, there is no right answer. My son has done awesome. He got his Nuclear Engineering degree on the GI bill after he got out. Now he is working at a Nuclear plant and is married with two great kids. I am sure Nicholas will do as well. It sure doesn't make letting them go any easier. Hang in there Mom and Dad.

    1. As a Mom, I hope that's not the case (that they are extra tough on the Nukes), but I know he's ready for the challenge. Physically, he's top-notch, and he knows that START guide inside and out! He's excited about this adventure, and we're excited about the opportunities in front of him! Glad to hear that things have worked out well for your son.

  5. That first picture with the barn, beautiful. Good for Nicholas. Safe travels to warmer places, sounds like you endured some really harsh winter weather.


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