Hello, Virginia!

We successfully made our way out of Kentucky today. We had some rain, but overall the drive was uneventful, which is exactly how we like for them to be.

DSC_0102 Gap

As planned, we made a stop at the Cumberland Gap. We enjoyed the tunnel so much that we decided to drive through it not once, not twice, but three times. (Or we simply missed the turnoff for the visitor’s center and had to turn around and go back, but I will let you decide which you think it was…)

DSC_0097 Ga

We put a new stamp in our National Parks passport, officially completing the state of Kentucky, picked up a pin to start our third lanyard and a sticker for our refrigerator and watched a video on the Gap. Then, since we were already running a little behind our planned schedule for the day, it was time to hit the road.

Not too far down the road, we ran into this beautiful little sign welcoming us to Virginia. I squealed with delight, partly because we were entering a new state, and partly because we were that much closer to visiting with my dear friend. (More about her later. I have now been… challenged… so it may take me a while to complete that post. But stay tuned, because it will come… eventually.)

IMG_1842 VA

We arrived later than planned, but we still had time to get parked, go out to eat, walk through town and see a beautiful display of Christmas lights. Tomorrow promises to be a fun-filled day of exploring and visiting. For now, though, I better get some sleep. 🙂

Until next time…

Time to Roll!!

Today marks one week since we were officially done with Amazon for the season. After your exit date, you are given one additional day at your RV park in order to pack up and roll out, but with Christmas only a few days away, and no rush to get to North Carolina, we decided to stay for an extra week. That week ends tomorrow, so we are getting ready to roll.

Yesterday was filled with cleaning up the house and putting decorations away, organizing the basement, vacuuming out the van and taking a load of donate items over to Goodwill. I am always amazed at just how much we spread out when we are parked for a few months, and just how long it takes to put it all back away.

Today we drove Waldo over to get him filled up with propane. It was quite a treat for me because, since I drive the chase vehicle, I rarely get to ride in Waldo. We decided to fuel him up while we were out, and Rob let me drive him the final three blocks home. I spun him around in a parking lot once when we were still in Great Falls, but this was my first on-the-road driving experience with Waldo. I even backed him into our RV spot without running anything over!

We finished up a few small projects this afternoon, and I think now we are ready to roll. Our original plan was to slowly make our way over to the North Carolina coast, but we were invited by a dear friend to spend a few days with her and her family in Virginia. (I will share more about her soon. She is so special she is going to need her own post.) So we are heading over to Virginia first, and then on to the coast. We are also going to stop at the Cumberland Gap along the way. The Gap is the last stamp I need to complete the state of Kentucky in my National Parks Passport.

One of my favorite things about travel days is crossing state borders. So tomorrow, if you hear a squeal in the early afternoon, it is probably just me as we enter the state of Virginia. 🙂

Catching Up… Again

And just like that, our second season as part of Amazon’s CamperForce has come to an end. We spent three months watching campers pull into the RV park as their start dates approached, and the last two days watching as almost everyone pulled back out again. There are a handful of campers still here, but not many. Some people chose to leave their RVs here while traveling for the holidays, others are just waiting until after the holidays to head out, and there are some who stayed on with Amazon to help with holiday returns and inventory.

Rob and I stayed on until mid-January last year but this year we decided to exit with the masses. We have been done working for a few days now but have chosen to stay put here in Kentucky until after Christmas. We are not due to arrive at our next destination until January 6, so we have some time to rest and recuperate as well as get Waldo ready to roll again. It is next to impossible to drive with a tree between the seats and stockings swinging in your face…

We have had a change of plans since I last updated you. Not too long ago I posted that we were headed down to Florida when we were finished here, but have since come upon an opportunity that fits us better. We will be driving to the Outer Banks in North Carolina to volunteer at a wildlife refuge until April. Well, Rob will be volunteering while I finish up the school year with the kids. I will probably find a small job on the side as well. The area seems amazing and will be nice and quiet since it is the off-season.

The only down side to not going all the way down to Florida, (besides not getting to add a new state to our state map) is that I will not be able to run the Disney World Marathon. This is probably a good thing since I have not had any time for running these past couple of months, but I was rather looking forward to running through all the parks and seeing Mickey Mouse and Pooh Bear along the way. The timing is just not right this year, but I know that we will make it down there one of these days. I will turn my focus now to the run my aunt and I are going to do together in May.

As for Amazon, we will most likely return at least one more year. They take really good care of us while we are here and the experience is a good one overall. The work itself is pretty tough on the body, especially as pickers. According to my pedometer, my longest night (which was a 12-hour shift) was 17.53 miles. On average, though, we walked about 12 miles in a 10-hour shift. So, if nothing else, we leave here a little tougher, a little stronger than we arrived. That is definitely not a bad thing.

I am still amazed at just how fast the season went. I cannot wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am convinced that there must be some mistake, but my quarter-dozen giggling kiddos remind me that there is no mistake. No mistake at all…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

This week I am going to share a couple of my dad’s amazing photographs from Hawaii. He sends me pictures periodically, and these came through just in time for this week’s photo challenge! We might make it to Hawaii someday, but until then, we will enjoy it through the eyes of my dad. Enjoy. 🙂

"Honolulu at night"

“Honolulu at night”

"Hawaii sunset"

“Hawaii sunset”