Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Martin has been doing such a good job of blogging but I suppose it is my turn this time. We were supposed to head to Ren's (my sister) in Tennessee on Wednesday or Thursday, as we were going to do a little exploring in South and North Carolina before we got there, but we were so burned out after Disney that we decided to surprise them and head up earlier. We left Orlando Sunday morning and drove to St. Augustine. The plan was to spend the day at the beach but even the kids were needing to rest after Disney so we ended up hanging out in the motorhome and catching up on our e-mails.

We left St. Augustine the next morning. We were really missing Trader Joes groceries because they have all the healthy organic stuff that we like so much; Martin had found one in South Carolina so we thought we would go out of our way just a little to stock up on groceries. As we were getting closer to the highway turn off I told Martin that he should call and just make sure they were still open because our GPS has been known to lead us to places that are no longer in business. He called and it ended up being a furniture store! Good thing we didn't go 60 miles out of our way for furniture!!

Since that was out we thought we would go all the way to Jonesborough and surprise my sister. We got in around 8:45 pm and crept up the driveway with the lights off. I called and told my nephew that UPS was trying to deliver a package that I had sent and that they had just called me because they couldn't find the house. I told my nephew to open the door so that UPS could see what house he was supposed to go to. He opened the door and we jumped out screaming! They were really excited and it was fun to surprise them like that!!!!

Markus and Ren showed us around the area yesterday and we had to stock up on groceries since there are 11 of us!! The kids are having a grand time with their cousins and it is nice to just be hanging out and living somewhat of a routine. We were getting a little tired of touristy stuff and needed a break from it. We will be here for 5 or 6 weeks so we will get a really nice visit. We will start feeling like we live here!!


Yes we are still doing ok! We lived through our Disney World experience, just barely! Also since we were without the Internet for the whole time (Disney is so cheap that they do not have Internet service available but they charge you like they do), I was sure that Kevin was going to die but he made it. We are now in a park outside of Orlando and Kevin is still up getting his Internet fix, as am I!

Tuesday we left Texas and headed to Orlando as planned. We stopped in Galveston to see Ryan (Heidi’s Cousin) and Stacey. They are in the process of building a cabin on the place they have there. It was great to see them. We stayed for about 5 hours and went to dinner with them. I ate Crawfish for the first time! All I can say is they were great and I can’t wait to eat them again. Tristan even liked them although he was not to hip on sucking the juice out of the heads.

We left at about 8:00pm and then headed back down the road. We made it to the east side of New Orleans that night. As we went through New Orleans we got the weirdest feeling. The neighborhoods right off of I-10 are all dark and abandoned. No lights are on for miles, street lights have been turned off and intersection stop lights have also been turn off. Houses and buildings have been destroyed and abandoned. Trash is still piled in the streets and the whole area for a 40-mile stretch sinks of mildew and mold. Off in the distance you can see some of the lights of New Orleans but along I-10 it is dead. How they will ever get back to normal is beyond me. What a mess! We were glad to be leaving that city in the dust as we cruised on down the road.

The next day we got up and drove about 3 hours into Pensacola. We then took the day and went to the beach. The kids needed to have some fun and Heidi and I needed to relax a little. The next morning we headed off to Orlando and arrived about 5:00pm. Craig Skinn and Lou were in town for some meetings so I was able to see them. On Friday I went golfing with Craig (note to everyone at Slayden P&H, the golf clubs are great, Thanks again!) at a nice course right by his hotel. After golfing he took us all out to dinner and then to the Cirque Du Soleil. What a cool show!

On Sunday our Disney World experience got under way and for the next 7 days we went non-stop starting at the Magic Kingdom, although I’m not sure where the magic was. Next was Typhoon Lagoon (an ok water park), then Animal Kingdom (Everest is a real cool roller coaster), Blizzard Beach (this was the best day we had in Disney World, awesome water park), EPCOT (we ate our way around the world and the fire works show was very cool) and then the last day we did MGM Orlando (three words, “Tower of Terror”, it was a great ride). By the end we were fried though and ready to get the heck out of Disney World. It was exhausting and I was really getting sick of giving all my money to a Mouse that each day was feeling more like a conniving rat! That place has a way of sucking money out of you. We did have a lot of fun though so all is good. One thing is for sure though; Florida is not on the list of places to live. They can have that state!

That brings us to the here and now. We are on the way up to Tennessee to see Heidi’s sister and her family right now. As I write this it is 2:30am in the morning and it is time to call it quits for the night. I hope all is going well for everyone one up in Alaska and we hope to see you all soon. We are all missing our friends and family up there. Take care…..


Wow…it has been awhile since I last did this! We have been rather busy the last couple of weeks and have not had much Internet service either. We had a great time in Texas and found a couple of towns that we really liked but before I get to that let me tell you how we found them.

We left New Mexico and headed to San Antonio on a Friday morning about 9:00am. ….670 miles later we got to San Antonio at about 10:00pm that night. What a long day! The kids were not too happy about it either. Long days do not go over very well. We went through El Paso on the way and quickly check that place off the list. We will not be living there! As we in Alaska say, “Bethel is the arm pit of Alaska”, I would say, “El Paso is the arm pit of Texas”. We did not like it although I do have to say we did not spend any time there.

The next few days we spent getting a new leveler ordered for the motor home, as one broke in New Mexico. We also took time and drove all over San Antonio looking for the perfect place to live. The first couple of days we did not find anything that jumped out at us but on day three we found a little college town by the name of San Marcos. What a cool place! There is a river the runs right through the town and the kids had a blast playing in it with all the college students. The only down fall we found were fire ants. Heidi found a hill of them and before she knew what was going on they were biting her foot and leg. At first I thought she was doing some kid of new dance but I quickly figured out that was not the case, as new dances are not usually followed by shouts of pain. It was our first run in with them but now we have learned to look where you are standing! They are viscous little bugs!

We also found that the San Antonio River Walk is something everyone should see. What a cool place. It is located in down town, right by the Alamo. There are many shops and restaurants located along the walk. So if you ever get to San Antonio make sure that you check out the river walk.

By the end of the first week we had figured out that we liked the hill country north of San Antonio but really did not like the southern part (too flat and a little more run down then the northern part). That next Friday we went to stay at my Aunt Clara's and Uncle Neil's place at Pipe Creek, north of San Antonio. The kids fell in love with their place as they have some cows that they got to feed each day. I did not know that Kevin’s alarm actually worked until we got there. He always told me he could get up in the morning if he wanted to but I did not believe him. To top that off Tristan and Calista were getting up with him. I was shocked!

Each morning at 7:00am his alarm would go off and all three kids would jump up and get ready to feed the cows. I’m telling you it was the most amazing thing too see! I now know that they can get up when they want to. They also had the chance to feed wild deer and wild turkeys at a neighbor’s house while in Pipe Creek. At that same time another neighbor had some baby goats that were only 3-5 days old, all the kids fell in love with them. We are now doomed to have many animals wherever we end up. I’m not much into lots of animals but I might not have a choice.

It was while in Pipe Creek that we found the second place that we liked. It is a small town named Boerne. That Saturday we had driven to pick up our new leveler for the motor home and were told about this town by my cousin Lavonne. It has a very old down town area that has been restored that we liked a lot. So it is on the list as a maybe. Then on Monday we drove to a town named Kerrville that we also liked a lot. It is also a small college town and farm community among other things. If I had to compare it to another town I would say it is a lot like Fairbanks but WARM!

So as you can tell we have found some places that we like. We are not sure if any will work out at this time but we do know that they have some potential and that is a start. We do know that we like the weather in the San Antonio area. It was nice the whole time that we were there. We are now getting ready to head to Orlando on Tuesday. We plan on getting there by Thursday night, March 9th.