Tag Archives: Transitions

Ultimate Blog Challenge, Day 20 . . .

I decided to do this now, because tomorrow, Sunday, is generally very busy for me, and really, it IS the 20th of October in the eastern time zone, right? 🙂

So, tomorrow, I have to get up very early, because I’m in the choir, and the choir is singing special music tomorrow, so we need to be at church no later than 8:30 a.m. for our practice and sound check. We live a good distance from church, so we will need to be pulling out of our driveway absolutely no later than 7:45 a.m., though even earlier would be good, lol!

My husband Mike will drop me at church, then go off to get a coffee at McDonald’s, before coming back with the boys.

We love our church, and we’re so glad to be part of it! I am in the choir, I also sing special music occasionally on my own, and I serve in the nursery and the Care Bear ministry (taking meals to people when there’s a need). My older boys are in teen choir, and they also have ministered by being part of the teen group which runs the summer program for the littles, it’s called UTX (Under The Cross). My younger boys are in the Sunshine Kids Choir, and my husband serves in the sound booth.

We love it here, and we know we are meant by God to be here! 🙂

If you live in the Albuquerque, NM area, or you will be visiting the area, I encourage you to come and visit, I know you won’t regret it! For more information, including how to find us, please go here.

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and never miss an update again! Oh, and please, go and “like” our Facebook page, here. I sure would appreciate it! 🙂

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Filed under Albuquerque, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

A Very Cool Discovery . . .

Yesterday, I needed to go to a different area of Albuquerque to pick up a long-desired Kitchen-Aid Pouring Shield for my Kitchen-Aid Mixer from another freecycler. If you don’t yet know about, or participate in, freecycling, I strongly encourage you to check it out! 🙂 Anyway, here is a picture of my new pouring shield, which was in like new condition, the other freecycler had used it four times, and never used it again!

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Now, when I make my home-made cakes and frostings, I won’t be making such a mess anymore. Great, huh?

As the kids and I got closer and closer to where we were going, we could see the mountains, so much closer, and I was wishing I had brought my camera. Then I remembered the camera on my phone, but really couldn’t find a good place to stop and get any good shots. I happened to mention to the other freecycler how beautiful the area was, and how fortunate she was to be so close to that view, and she pointed me toward a trail head entrance just a couple of streets away. So, we decided to go check it out, and here are the pictures we took!

First, the obligatory warning sign (if you click on the actual picture, it will get bigger and you can read all of the warnings, lol!) . . .

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Up next, here are some quick shots I took of the actual beginning area of the trail . . .

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This particular shot, I didn’t realize how pretty it was until I looked later. I think the way the sun is shining at that angle almost makes a little rainbow over the plant life!

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Here are the boys …

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And finally, me, too!

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The more we see here, the more there is to enjoy! I told the boys that one day, when we have extra time (and money for gas, lol) we would just do a little field trip of our own, deliberately get a little lost (hey, I can use the gps on my phone to get us back home, after all), and just see what beautiful sights we can find.

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Please enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and “like” our facebook page by going here. Never miss another update! 🙂

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Filed under Albuquerque, family, freecycling, Kids, Mountain trailhead, NM, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

We’re FINALLY Back to Park Days Again!

Since I had surgery on BOTH of my feet in May of this year, the boys and I have not been able to attend the weekly home-school park days all summer. 😦 First, I couldn’t walk, or drive, then, I could walk only using a walker, then eventually a cane.

In the meanwhile, there had been a change in where the weekly park day would be held, so we’re at a new to us park. We like this park, and it’s a little easier and quicker for us to get to! 🙂

Happily, two weeks ago, the boys and I were finally able to go again, which we did for the very first time since before I had surgery back on May 15. I took my camera with me. And then, I forgot to take it out and actually USE it!

Last week, we didn’t attend. As you know, last Thursday we had company, friends who came in from Oklahoma to go to the International Balloon Fiesta.

So, yesterday, we were able to go to our home-school park day again, after another week off. It turns out though, that last Thursday, with the wind and rain in the area of the park, it pretty much didn’t happen anyway. THIS week, I remembered that I had my camera!

Here is the “The Batman”, waiting for a ball to be sent his way . . .

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“The Puzzler”, on his way to join the game (and unfortunately, it’s the only shot I got of him, which is why it’s somewhat blurry) . . .

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“Mr. Loquacious” was walking around, looking for “things to build stuff with” . . .

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And “The Artist” was just walking back to where we were to get some water and a snack . . .

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Meanwhile, *I* was sitting with a bunch of other moms . . .

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. . . truly enjoying the time I get each week to interact with other homeschooling moms, while my kids spend time with other home-school kids, and the added bonus that they are out in the fresh air, playing, running around. We do not have a good yard to play in, or a park right by our house, so they don’t get this all that often, unless we can get to a park day.

It’s also great for me to be with other moms on a regular basis who “get it” when it comes to my special needs kids, who have varying disabilities, including developmental delays and mental retardation. 🙂

If you are achomeschooling family, I strongly encourage you to become involved in a local park day group. This group is a pretty good bunch, and my boys and I are quite happy to be part of it!

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information at the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update again!

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Filed under 2013, ABQparkday.com, Albuquerque, education, exercise, family, health, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, homeschooling, Kids, moving, special needs education, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

A FUN Play Date!

Well, I must say, before my family moved here to Albuquerque, New Mexico last year, I NEVER thought we would be having an outdoor, swimming play date on September 20th! After all, back in Michigan by that date, we were generally breaking out the hoodies and such!

But THIS year, we spent the day (on September 20th!) with another home-schooling family from our church, who had invited the boys and me to their new home. We ate lunch outdoors on the patio, and the kids spent the day swimming in their (unheated!) pool. On September 20th!

As you can see, the kids had a WONDERFUL time, and they (right along with me!) really, really like the milder weather here! 🙂

Here are “The Artist”, “The Puzzler” & “Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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Here are “Mr. Loquacious”, “The Batman” & their friends having fun in the pool . . .

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“The Artist”, floating around . . .

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The “Artist”, drying off for lunch . . .

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“The Artist” back in the water . . .

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“The Puzzler” & “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” with one of their friends . . .

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All of the kiddos had a great time in and around the pool . . .

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Here is “The Batman”, riding the whale!

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“The Puzzler” . . . “in? or Out? That is the question!

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Apparently the answer was “out” for a bit, but the others were all in, and having a blast!

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I had planned to swim as well, but had cut my finger pretty badly the night before. We thought it best for me to stay out of the pool that day. 😦

What a great time we all had, and what a benefit of home-schooling, that once again, we get to work school in around life, instead of the other way around! 🙂

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Filed under 2013, Albuquerque, changes, exercise, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, moving, NM, Transitions

Transitions Part 6: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

When we left off yesterday, my boys and I had just left Oklahoma City and headed toward Texas, where we would be spending one final night on the road. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, as I had never driven so far on my own before. I had been out west, as far as Phoenix and California, many years ago, but had gone by plane, never driving. I had honestly had my doubts about how well I would manage, and thought I would get lost, even with my GPS lady talking to me through my phone blue tooth, and my printed out directions from place to place. But so far, I had done well, even on the stretches where we had changed hotels, and thus changed directions!

My husband had warned me to put the AC on re-circulate for a while after crossing the Texas border, and he was RIGHT! I’ve never driven through cow country before, and the smell is very strong! We did enjoy looking at the scenery while going through the state though. I think Texas is where we saw a massive windmill farm. The boys thought that was pretty cool. They had been seeing lots of horse trailers on the freeway for a while, too, which was new to them.

At one point, we stopped for gas, and I took a picture of the sign for the sole purpose of posting it to Facebook, back to our friends in Port Huron, because when I left Port Huron, I paid nearly four dollars per gallon for my gas!

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We also took the opportunity to have everyone go to the bathroom. In the ladies bathroom, they had put up large sections of paper for travelers to write something about their trip. I added “moving from Pt. Huron MI to Albuquerque NM”

paper in bathroom

Eventually, later than planned again, we reached our motel in Amarillo Texas. My husband had booked us into a Super 8, where we ended up with a surprising room! I got us checked in, and we went to the room we were directed to, but once I opened the door and went in, I was SURE they had us in the wrong room. I told the kids to stay put while I went back to the lobby to find out what was up. I asked the lady who checked us in if this was the room my husband booked us into, and she said yes, it was. Still concerned, because I honestly thought that perhaps after seeing that I had all the kids with me she had switched us to a bigger room without saying so, I asked how much they were charging me for this room. “$72.99”, she said. “Seriously?” I asked. “But it’s a suite!” She then told me that all of their rooms were like that, and that it was the only Super 8 in the country set up like this. So, if you ever need to stay in Amarillo Texas, go here!

When I texted my husband to tell him, he cracked up, because the only reason we were at that Super 8 was that the one he had stayed in when HE moved to Albuquerque the month previously was all booked up! 🙂

Here are all the boys relaxing in the living room of our little suite . . .

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The couch pulled out to a bed for the twins, so no using their inflatable sleeping bags that night!

Our eat-in kitchen area, where we chose to eat supper. Rather than going out, I ordered in a pizza for the boys and a salad for me . . .

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Here is the bedroom . . .

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Since we didn’t have to check out until 11:00 a.m., we didn’t! It was a comfortable room, and really, we needed to kill some time anyway. Our plan was to arrive at our new home AFTER my husband had gotten out of work that day, since I didn’t yet have keys to the house.

We left the Super 8 at around 11:00 a.m., and hit the road for New Mexico. According to my directions list from Google, which matched my GPS turn for turn, it would be about 5 hours (I think) to Albuquerque, so I figured it would work out just fine for getting there AFTER my husband was home. But then, as we crossed the state line into New Mexico, there it was. The big sign that said “you are now entering mountain time”. I had forgotten we would be going through one last time change, and it would suddenly be an hour earlier! So, I decided we needed to stop for lunch and kill another hour!

We got off the freeway at “Historic Santa Rosa NM”, where we saw signs saying we were on historic Route 66, and found this restaurant . . .

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From the Santa Rosa, NM website:

“Route 66 Restaurant

Offering the best in American and Mexican food, including home-made specialties like chile rellenos. Walking distance to major motels.
Historic Route 66
Contact: Patricia Velasquez
Phone: 472 9925”

We really enjoyed our experience there, the food was very good, and the children’s menu had Mexican dishes for my twins, which they liked. The place is decorated with historical Route 66 pictures and memorabilia, and my kids were snapping pictures of everything, using their camera functions on their electronic games. I would definitely go there again. It’s locally owned and operated, which is something my husband and I really like.

Stopping for lunch used up just the right amount of time, and we crossed into Albuquerque shortly after 4:00 p.m., right in the middle of big city (to me!) rush hour traffic. It scared me half to death! We had just moved from Port Huron, MI, a city of about 7 square miles in area, to Albuquerque, a city of about 187 square miles in area, and I had not had a lot of experience with this amount of traffic, at least not in a very long time. But, we made it to the house, getting there about 5 minutes before my husband. He took us in, and we saw our new home for the first time, filled with moving boxes that had finally arrived.

This is our front room, which is now a combination playroom, TV room, music room, library and craft room.

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The dining room area, just off the kitchen . . .

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Master bedroom . . .

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and master bath . . .

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As you can see, a lot of work was ahead, to get all of those boxes unpacked and put away! One of the first things on my agenda was to get the master bedroom in order, so we’d have a comfortable sanctuary at the end of each day . . .

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But before getting started on putting things to order, I just wanted to sit. This is me, in my new living room, after going around to look at all of my new home . . .

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Then, my husband took us out to supper at IHop, since we’d not had one in Port Huron, and the boys had never been. It was good, but I was tired, so once we got home again, I think it wasn’t too long before we all went to bed, because, as I said, there was a lot of work ahead! 🙂

I’ve come to the end of the 2013 Summer Blog Hop, and have enjoyed it, so much so that I think I’ll probably participate in the next blog hop hosted by the Review Crew, so stay tuned! And as always, to make it easier for you to stay tuned, I invite you to follow me via email, by clicking the “sign me up” button at the top of the page. I’d love to have you join me on my “journeys through life”!

and hop on over to the main blog post, to check out the other 89 bloggers participating, by clicking below . . .

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, family, food, moving, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel

Transitions Part 4: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

Well, I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I didn’t even realize it until I was going to bed last night! Yesterday, August 6, 2013, my kids and I had officially been here in NM for a whole year! Honestly, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year since we arrived! It’s been a year full of change, and has had its ups and downs. My husband and I have, between us, gone through three surgeries, we found a wonderful church family, my kids and I got booted out of the first home-school group we joined (which turned out to be a good thing, but I digress!). Our first winter here was the best winter I’ve ever been through, as you can guess, having come from Michigan. We really do like being here! So now, let’s get on with our journey from Michigan to New Mexico, with our day in St. Louis, MO!

We had a very nice sleep Thursday night, in our beautiful room that my cousin Anne had gotten for us, and woke ready to have a great day in St. Louis! After everyone was showered and dressed, we went to the very good breakfast that came with our room. I think the hotel lost money on the breakfast that my boys had that day, lol! Then, while waiting for Anne to arrive, we went ahead and got packed back up and put our belongings back into the minivan.

When Anne arrived, we piled into the minivan and headed to the St. Louis Arch . . .

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Which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and is a National Park.

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We parked on what I *think* I was told is a levee, right at the river, where we saw this riverboat cruise boat.

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Stretched across the area where we parked were many of these very heavy chains. You can see in the picture of the riverboat that they are used for mooring. The boys found them interesting, and were pretending to try to lift them (they were, of course, way too heavy!)

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So, we walked along the river front to a point where we could get to the Arch, which is really quite beautiful, as you can see in the picture higher up in this post. There are a TON of steps to climb to get to the Arch!

Here is “The Artist” stopping on the way up . . .

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and here am I, with “Mr. Loquacious”

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I’m going to stop right here and tell you, I was really nervous about this excursion! My improved health from my weight loss was still relatively new, and I worried over whether I would really be able to handle all of the steps, etc. Well, as you can see, I did! I was also able to get through all of the little turnstiles inside, as well as fit into the tiny little carriers that we went to the top in. Here are pictures of each of us inside the one they have set up for photos . . .

First, “The Artist” . . .

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“Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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“The Batman” . . .

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“The Puzzler” . . .

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And me!

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Now, you can see how small those things are, right? Now imagine all six of us, crammed into one for the ride to the top. A year previously, I would never have managed, not at 320 pounds. I also would have been quite miserable upon moving to Albuquerque, where we are almost a mile higher in elevation than we were in Pt. Huron. The weight loss journey is one I am so glad to have taken, for many reasons!

Anne went and got our tickets to go to the top of the Arch, and then we had a little over an hour before our scheduled ride, so we used that time to walk through as much of the museum as we could. We really enjoyed it!

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All of the boys in front of one of the exhibits . . .

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all the boys with Anne . . .

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Anne and me . . .

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one of the views through the windows at the top of the Arch . . .

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After we had finished at the Arch, we drove back over to the hotel to pick up Anne’s car, and then went to eat an early supper at a restaurant nearby, for BBQ. It was very good, I’d never had BBQ done the way they do it! I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but it was right across the parking lot from the hotel, and we loved it!

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After our dinner, we said our good-byes. Anne headed off to her home, and we headed on to Republic, MO, where we spent the night at a motel and then the next morning, Saturday, we spent the morning visiting with another cousin, Anne’s brother Ed and his family. Unfortunately, I forgot to have my camera with me during that visit, so I have no pictures. 😦

From Republic, we headed toward Oklahoma, where we would be spending the night at the home of a long time dear friend of mine, which I will tell you about tomorrow, if you come back! 🙂

As always, I’d love it if you would follow my blog by email! Never miss an update by just going to the top right of the blog and clicking on the “sign me up” button. Just follow the directions and you’ll be notified of new posts by email!

Meanwhile, please, hop on over to the main crew post to see what the other Summer Blog Hop participants are up to!

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, exercise, family, health, Kids, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel, weight loss

Transitions Part 3: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

Well, as I said in yesterday’s post, we left Michigan on Wednesday, August 1, and spent the night in a motel in Indiana. That is literally all the time we spent in Indiana, as the motel was just inside the border, and the next morning, within maybe 45 minutes, we were crossing into Illinois.

Before we went to bed, though, I received an email from my wonderful cousin Anne, telling me that she had booked us a room in St. Louis, MO, which was our next destination. She said it was a gift from her, since we were meeting her there to spend the day together! What a nice thing for her to do, and one of the bright spots for the day to come! My husband had originally booked us into a room on the Illinois side of the border to St. Louis, because it was much less expensive, and we were trying to keep our costs down, so I called and had him cancel that room for me. 🙂

Thursday morning, I KNEW I had plenty of gas to get to St. Louis. And I still think I would have had enough, if we had not been routed off the freeway, along with all the hundreds of other travelers, due to a huge accident involving a mega bus in Litchfild, Illinois. For well over two hours, we were stuck in two-mile per hour traffic, when we were moving at all.

This was my view for the next two hours or so . . .

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Finally, we were past the HUGE section of closed freeway, and allowed to get back onto the freeway, but then I realized that my "you are about to run out of gas" light had just come on, so it was time to find a gas station, one that would still permit me to get back to the freeway without becoming lost (because I am, as my husband says, geographically challenged!). So, we did find a gas station, pulled in, and I got out to pump the gas. Now, as you could probably tell from the photo above, it had been threatening rain for a while. Well, just after I paid at the pump and got ready to fill the tank, the clouds let loose, and the deluge began. I tried to quickly set the pump to auto-fill and get back in the minivan until it was done, but there was no time. In that minute before getting back in, I was literally soaked to the skin. That’s how hard it was raining. And then, the power at the gas station went off. Not for long, but just long enough that it cut off my transaction. Because of that, the pump did not print my receipt, and I was NOT going to go, in the rain, to the building to see if they could print one. I just hoped for the best and checked for the transaction on my bank website the next day so I could enter it. Because the power went off, I didn’t get a fill up, I got a little over half a tank. I just decided to go with that and hope it was enough, or if not, that we’d outrun the rain before needing more gas, lol!

This is what I looked like after getting soaked to the skin . . .

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And even though it was August, we had to turn the heat on in the minivan, all the way up, with the fan going, because I was absolutely freezing! Eventually, we made it to St. Louis, and found the hotel Anne had booked us into. Oh, my, did that hotel make up for the day we’d had! It was the Hampton Inn by the airport, and it was the nicest room I’d ever stayed in!

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Surprisingly, I quickly discovered when we checked in that they had no guest laundry facilities! I changed into dry clothes (because yes, I had gotten so soaked that everything I was wearing was still quite wet, good thing my minivan doesn’t have cloth seats!), and we went in search of a laundry-mat. We never found one, so we gave up and went back to the room. By then I was too tired to go out to get supper, so we ate the shelf stable microwave meals I had bought (just in case!) before we left Pt. Huron. They were surprisingly not too bad! We slept pretty well that night . . . we were all tired! 🙂

Tomorrow, our day in St. Louis with my fabulous cousin Anne!

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, family, Transitions, Travel