It's been a couple of weeks since I posted because we haven't had much internet. We drove into Palmer almost two weeks ago, it is hard to believe we have been home for almost two weeks!! It has gone by extremely fast, I am sure because we have been so busy cleaning out the motorhome, looking at houses, and catching up with friends.
We left Rapid City, and our wonderful time with the Buxcels, on Sunday afternoon (June 11) and drove to Deadwood, which is only 45 minutes from the Buxcels. We parked at a KOA there and on Monday morning Karen and the kids drove up to spend the day with us there at the pool. We had so much fun and then we had to say good-bye again. We are determined to talk them into coming up to Alaska next summer!
Kevin and Martin went into downtown Deadwood and checked the place out on Monday (while Tristan, Calista and I were at the pool). On Tuesday we drove up to Polson, MT, just a few short miles from Craig Skinn's lake house on Flathead Lake, with a stop in Helena to have lunch with Lou (Craig's business partner) We stayed there for two nights getting caught up on laundry and planning our drive up the Alaska Highway. On Thursday we went up to Craig's lake house and spent the weekend four-wheeling, sea dooing, hot tubbing, and generally having a GREAT time!!! Craig also took us for a boat tour of part of the lake and some of the houses around it. His daughter, Malorey, gave us a four-wheeling tour of the hills behind their house on the old logging roads. We had a great weekend and it is definitely up at the top of the kids list for best times they had on the trip!!
On Sunday night we decided to go ahead and at least get to the border, which was about 100-150 miles from the lake house. We crossed the border at midnight and then found a rest stop to sleep for the night. Monday morning we started our marathon drive through Canada. We had 2500 miles to go and wanted to drive it in three days! The weather cooperated for us and those three days were absolutely beautiful. Some of the lakes apppeared to be in the Bahamas with their bright aqua colors. The kids were great through that long trek, probably because they were so excited to get home. We pulled into Palmer at 2:00am on Thursday and parked at Martin's parents. Calista said she was going to cry because she was so excited!!
I had some mixed feelings coming into town; feeling like I might regret our decision but when I started seeing the familiar and all my wonderful friends and family it just felt like we did the right thing. Robin met us at one of our favorite spots, Vagabond Blues, for soup and bread on Thursday. Rylee had no idea that we were back so I quietly walked up to her and tapped her on the shoulders and asked, "Do I know you?" She stood there for a bit just staring at me like I was a total stranger! Took a while for it to set in. I have been getting lots of "Auntie, I love you!" and lots and lots of hugs and cuddles!! I think she is afraid that if she lets me out of her sight I may leave again!
We have been going to all our favorite spots and seeing all our friends. Homecoming is great!! I really have felt how much I am loved and was missed and it is great to be back! One of our friends asked me if it felt different or the same and I told him that my attitude was different. It feels good to feel total contentment; something I learned on the trip. Being happy and content is a choice and I have made the choice to simply be happy, life is to short to spend it otherwise!
We have looked at a few houses, trying to decide what to do in that regard. Martin meets with our realtor (and great friend) this morning to make an offer on a foreclosure we found. It needs a LOT of work but it is a great floor plan so we will see what happens with that. If they don't accept our offer we will probably end up renting until we are a little more settled. Martin still doesn't know what he will be doing for income but he has a few things floating in the air, just has to decide which one to grab. We believe things will fall into place the way they are meant to and we are in no big hurry. If we get this house it will actually be good that he is not working because it will give him the time to finish the house so that we will have somewhere to live. Meanwhile, we are at Robin and Richard's camping out until they get sick of us.
This last 6 1/2 months has been quite the experience! We have had our highest highs and our lowest lows and learned so much! This trip won't soon be forgotten! We have learned so much about each other, a lot about ourselves, and seen and experienced things that we thought were only in our dreams. We wish we could have gone longer and seen more but now we have something else to keep our dreams alive. We have decided to keep the motorhome and possibly take a trip every year; focusing on a smaller area each year and in a shorter time period. Thank you to everyone that took us in for a night or two or just a visit. It was so good to see all of you that we hadn't seen in so many years and such a great reminder that the thing that is so important in this life is our relationships with people. We get so caught up in the go, go, go that we forget about people and our relationships with them. We love you all!