Settling In

We made it! Saturday afternoon we pulled into Reading, Pennsylvania, about 11 miles from where Rob will be working. We spent the weekend exploring the area a little bit and becoming familiar with our surroundings. Rob was to begin work on Tuesday, so we had some time to spare.

We were told that there was an RV pad where Rob will be working, but we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to use it or not. We were given the go-ahead yesterday when Rob talked to his new supervisor. This was a huge relief since the nearest (affordable) campground we could find was almost 20 miles away, making for a 40 mile daily commute, and in our dear old van, that was not something we really wanted to have to do. The RV pad here had not been used in a couple of years so it was in need of a little love when we pulled up yesterday.

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We spent some time scraping moss and weeds and before too long, it was looking like a mighty nice place to call home. We still need to run a hose for water, but other than that, we have utilities and are quite cozy. We are the only ones here, so after the park closes, it gets very quiet. And dark.

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Rob began his new job today. He simply rode his bike down the hill and he was there, and he was even able to come home for lunch, which was great. This Historical Site is bordered by a State Park, so there are a lot of trails for hiking and a playground and even a swimming pool all within a few miles from here. And the area is dog-friendly, which makes Charlie extra happy. 🙂

For Rob

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gerard

How quickly time does fly, my love. I can hardly believe that you are still putting up with me after 12 years of marriage. To think of all the paths we have taken and all the roads we have been on together. What a ride it has been. And I have loved every single minute of it. I wish I could be so much more for you because you deserve it. But oh, how I do love you. Always have, always will. Period. Here’s to many more happy years together and the amazing adventures yet to come. Happy Anniversary, Honey!

Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.  ~Rose Franken

192 us

Happy Father’s Day!!

I want to send a great big Happy Father’s Day out to all the wonderful Dads out there, but especially to two of my very favorite Dads. The first one being my very own. I am not sure what I did to deserve such a great dad, but I am so grateful that I can call you Daddy. Thank you for your unending love and support over the years. You truly are one of a kind and I LOVE YOU!! I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

My other favorite dad is my amazing husband. Our kids are wild and crazy little monkeys and it takes a lot of patience just to make it through the day sometimes. You have much more of this than I do, and I am so glad that our kids get to call you Dad. You truly are amazing, and I sincerely hope that you know just how much we love and appreciate you. WE LOVE YOU!!! Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father's Day, Honey!

Happy Father’s Day, Honey!

Hello Virginia!

I am going to make this quick since it is late and we are planning on getting an early start in the morning, but we made it to Virginia! We got a later-than-planned start so we didn’t make it quite as far as we had hoped, but 320 miles is a pretty big dent into the 600 miles we have to go. We crossed the Virginia state line to cheers from all, as seems to be our tradition whenever we enter a new state. It feels good to be on the road again, something about pulling out and heading somewhere new always makes me giddy.

The drive thus far has been beautiful. The trees are very thick giving it a remote feeling, even though I know it has been anything but. We can always tell when we are getting close to a larger city, though, because traffic suddenly becomes thick, even if we can’t really see the town itself.

On the schedule for tomorrow, after our early (HA!) start, is a snippet of West Virginia, then into Maryland where we will attempt to survive Baltimore (hopefully not during rush hour traffic, since that seems to be the time we always arrive in big cities…), and then up into Pennsylvania. For now though, it is off to beddy-by. This rest area is not nearly as quiet as our peaceful Tennessee campground, but we’re in Virginia, so who can complain? 🙂

Getting Ready to Roll

When we were trying to decide where we wanted to spend the summer and possible job opportunities, working for the National Park Service was always high on Rob’s list. There are always more applicants than positions available, and some people apply for years before getting on while others never do. When Rob began his application process toward the end of last year, he figured it was just the beginning of a very long process.

He applied for every position he came across that he felt he was qualified for, as well as some that were long shots. The great thing about the Park Service is that they are everywhere, and the great thing about being wanderers is that we can be anywhere. So, deciding we wanted to spend some time on the East Coast, he applied for jobs all along it.

The rejection letters began coming in and Rob decided that he would gain valuable experience (and have a blast!) as a raft guide, so he applied for and accepted a position here in Tennessee. We arrived in March and intended to spend the summer here, not expecting anything from the Park Service this year.

We were sitting up in a look-out tower in the Smoky Mountains when Rob received a call asking him if he was still interested in a Park Service position up in Pennsylvania. Was he ever! Over a month passed before he heard anything else, but in May, he was able to begin the pre-employment background check, which was a process in itself.

This last Monday he received his official job offer, and he is to begin is new job next week. Our time here in East Tennessee has been wonderful. We have done and seen so many wonderful things and hiked some amazing trails, but it is time once again to venture somewhere new. We are all excited about going to Pennsylvania since we have not been there as a family before. It is a state full of history and new learning experiences for all of us.

We have spent the last couple of days preparing to take Waldo back on the road. We tend to spread out a little bit when we are stationary, so we usually have some stowing to do. Everything is pretty much ready to go and tomorrow we will hit the road, hopefully by early afternoon, or as soon as Rob is able to take care of some last-minute things at work here.

While Rob’s position in Pennsylvania will only last a few months, it is a great opportunity for him to get his foot in the door. Hopefully it is just the beginning of years of new opportunities around the country. This is exactly what he has been hoping for.

Pennsylvania here we come!!

Almost ready to roll...

Almost ready to roll…