Road Trip 2010 began Monday August 2nd. We finally left our home in Pennsylvania at 10 AM. Daniel’s glasses and new hiking boots were missing. Turned out the glasses were in a case (amazing) in his backpack and his shoes were on the floor of the car at his feet. But no matter how many times I asked, he had no idea where they were. *sigh* He’s lucky he’s cute.

We arrived at my uncle’s house in the sticks outside of Boone, NC around 7:30. My 4 kids and his 3 kids had never met. In fact, I haven’t seen my uncle since August of 2000! Celia was then 3 months old and their daughter was 7 months old.

Their son, Bobby, and David have become fast friends. In fact, Bobby is hoping we can stop again on our way home and David can come to his birthday party. It would be VERY cool if that works.

Celia and Emma are getting along great as well. Last night the girls took flashlights and hiked up a rather large hill to see if they could spot some deer. They were up there for quite a while. They could hear if we whistled, but their lights were out of view for pretty long. I was just thrilled that Celia is getting a taste of things that are closer to what I loved as a child. She is not around woods. She doesn’t have the safety that I had. I would never let her wander like I did. Checking in every few hours. Learning paths and animal trails. Learning to identify plants and footprints. I taught myself those things. My kids think a trail is a macadam path. *another sigh*

Daniel and Henry are in no way left out here. They are sometimes annoying the big kids. (Well, actually I guess that would be Henry who sometimes annoys the big kids.) But they are generally included in everything. Not the hike up the hill, of course. But they’ve been running around playing games and having battles.

All the kids have had the opportunity to gather eggs from free range chickens. Hike from the house to the fishing hole. Fish. Splash in the creek when fishing got old. Pick blueberries. And get their hiking shoes wet. How on earth they’re ever going to dry, I don’t know. (For those of you who haven’t had to face this, water-proof hiking shoes don’t dry very quickly.)

The dog seems to be enjoying the trip moderately well. My aunt and uncle have 5 dogs of their own. Two are a bit of bullies, but it’s not much of an issue. Daisy can’t kill their chickens or guinea pig because she has to be on a leash. Everyone here has adapted pretty quickly to making sure my dog doesn’t get out without her leash. If there were no chickens here, she’d probably run into the woods on a trail and get lost. But with the chickens here, I am rather confident that she’ d spend all her “free” time killing as many as possible. (It didn’t take her long to get 6 of my cousins’ Capons last summer.)

As for me… I’m loving it. The area is gorgeous. The temperatures are hot but not overwhelming. There is generally a nice breeze. There’s no need for air conditioning. They use fans in the windows during the night to bring in cool air. And it can get rather cool in here. I wasn’t sure if I wanted another quilt. The big downside is that there is no cell service unless you take the 30 minute drive to Boone. (On the way to Boone, NC you pass into Tennessee where the post office is, and then back into NC.) It’s an odd feeling driving places you aren’t familiar with and not having the option to call someone if you get lost.

We’re supposed to leave here Friday morning to head to Naples, FL to see my mom, dad, and sister. We’ll be in FL over Daniel’s birthday on the 10th. The kids are hoping we’ll be able to do one day at the magic kingdom, but I don’t know how the budget will handle that. We’ll have to wait and see.