Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. That is a major lesson that we are learning on the road. Our original plan was to go from Maine all the way down the east coast. Here’s how we ended up in the Midwest for the end of September, all of October, and the first week in November.
Sadly, on September 22nd, while we were in Virginia, my grandma died rather suddenly, and there was no question that we would go back to Illinois to be with family.
We made plans to leave Virginia that Saturday. It was about 900 miles from our campground in Dumfries, VA to my hometown in central Illinois. We made the trip back over two days, stopping at a Cracker Barrel in Ohio for the night. It was our first time spending the night in a parking lot, and it worked out fine. At Cracker Barrel, they have designated RV parking, and we were able to get a convenient dinner and breakfast.
We were super fortunate that my Uncle John lives on a farm and generously let us park our RV there. It was great to be so close to family, not to mention that money that it saved us not having to pay campground fees for three weeks.
Although, the reason for coming back to the midwest was a sad one, and I miss my grandma dearly, I try to look at the positives. One positive was getting to see my cousins and all my other family members. Our family is incredibly close, I consider my cousins some of my best friends. We don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like, but it’s always great to get together.
Of course, another plus was getting to see our niece Scarlett. I had flown back just two weeks earlier to see her, but this was Mike’s first time getting to meet her. I miss her little face everyday, and I’m grateful for the extra time we got to spend with her.
Speaking of nieces, we also got a chance to visit Mike’s family up in the Chicago area. It was our niece, Olivia’s 3rd birthday on October 4th, and we were so happy to we got to be there to celebrate it.
My grandma’s passing made us really realize how much we appreciate our grandparents. We made sure to visit with Mike’s grandma while we were in Chicago.
We also met up with his other grandma, along with some other family members at Goebbert’s pumpkin patch, before we left Chicago that weekend. It was fun to participate in some outdoor fall activities while in the midwest.
One major positive of coming back to central Illinois was the weather. Not long after we left, Hurricane Matthew hit on the east coast. Which means, we would have had to change our plans anyway. I’m glad that we were well out of harms way before it hit. The weather in central Illinois was a little rainy a few days, but mostly nice. Not to mention, Illinois has the best sunsets!
Before we left my uncle John’s house to head to St. Louis on October 17th, we had a to get a ride on the combine. We were staying on a farm after all.
Our next stop was another familiar one, St. Louis RV Park, the same place we stayed in June after we sold our house. We stopped in St. Louis for a few weeks to check in at work and visit our friends.
It was awesome to see many of our Saint Louis friends! We also got to meet baby George, who was born October 7th.
It also worked out that we were in St. Louis for Halloween. A couple of friends always have a Halloween party every year. We were sad that we were going to miss it this year, but it turned out that we didn’t have to! This was the first year that we didn’t do a matching couple’s costume. I went as the Snapchat butterfly filter and Mike was a hot dog. 🙂
One final advantage to being in the midwest was that Mike got to live out one of his dreams – seeing the Cubs play in a World Series at Wrigley! We will have a whole post about going to Game 5 in Chicago up on the blog shortly! We had actually planned on leaving that day, October 30th, to head back on the road again, but this opportunity couldn’t be past up, so we changed plans again.
By November 5th, we were ready to get back to our migratory life. We considered going back to the southeast coast, but the coast and specially the campground we planned on staying at on Tybee Island, GA, was still recovering from the hurricane, so we decided to head south towards Texas instead. Next stop – Hot Springs, Arkansas!