Our trip to Alaska & Canada with the Fantasy RV Caravan was a journey we will forever cherish in the annals of our memories. Nancy and I saw things that most people only see in books and web photos. We are so thankful that we were blessed with good health and the means to enjoy such a journey that lasted nearly four months. We began our journey after we completed a four-month volunteer gig at Dade Historic Battlefield State Park in Bushnell, FL in early May, 2013. And we arrived home in mid-October. What a journey.
We had put off replacing our roof from the year before. The roofers schedule just didn't match our timeline so we knew that was one of the things we needed to get done before we left on our 2014 journey. Our old roof had been on since the house was built in 1949. It was a slate/asbestos based shingle, so we had to pay a premium to the roofer for special removal & disposal.
We have a large roof (35 sections) so it took almost four days to do the job. The crew was professional and worked hard. It was a could four days, but it didn't seem to slow them down, and I provided them some timely hot chocolate.
Note the boards and not particle boards roof sheathing. Oh well, we bit the bullet and should have a nice new roof for a long time, save any hurricanes of course.
Christmas is always a treat for us with our daughters & grandchildren (six of them). Really, more than a treat; it is a time of blessed sharing of love and emotion unlike any other we could ever experience or hope to as these opportunities are becoming scarce as old man time crowds our days. Above, Nancy relaxing a Jennifer's house in Great Falls, VA.
Ali & Austin opening presents. We traveled to Jen's house the weekend before Christmas from our home in Va Beach to celebrate with them, and would then celebrate with Natalie and her four kids the following weekend.
Jen, Nancy, Austin, Ali, Pete and the Lab they dog-sat for a friend during the holiday period.
Ali, with her new flashlight. What is it with kids and flashlights?
Austin with his new flashlight, hamming it up for the photographer.
Grand Daddy Austin's old binoculars. It was an emotional gift and I'm sure they will be a cherished prize for many years. Enjoy Jen!
Ali getting instruction on her new camera.
Pete and the Lab taking it all in from the comfort of the lazy sofa.
Nancy relaxing, ready for night-night.
After a few days in Great Falls, we drove back to Va Beach and prepared ourselves for Christmas weekend with Natalie and her children, who now resided in our house. It was hard for us to leave Great Falls , because we knew it would months before we would see them again. But we were kept busy that week making cookies, cakes and chocolate pretzels, among other goodies that we traditionally prepare during holidays. It was a real treat though for Nancy as all the grandchildren participated in the events of the week. Whew!
Christmas morning 2013! Nancy, Mason, Omoni (back) Margaret, and Maile. What a nice mess!
Grandma, look what Santa brought me! (Mason, our youngest grandchild.)
Maxwell and Natalie looking over there Santa gifts. Ho Ho Ho!
Omoni, Daddy to Max, Margaret, & Mason.
The excitement and energy of children on Christmas morning: Can anything be more gratifying for parents & grand parents? I'm sure there things that provide similar exhilarations but these are memories that can't be manufactured. Thank you Lord for these beautiful memories of our loving family. Continue to bless them and protect them.
Oh the memories of Christmas 2013. We will forever cherish the special day.
Natalie! Oh the distance this lady, our youngest daughter, has traveled in her 35+ years. She has come a long way and thank you Lord for bringing through so much. Both of our daughter have been blessed with strength, love, perseverance, and a desire to provide for their children and their Fathers. We are very thankful and proud of both of them. They are such wonderful daughters.
So, our time with our family for 2013 came to a sad departure on December 28 as our big wheels rolled out of the Beach and south on Route 17, headed for yet another volunteer gig at Dade State Park in Bushnell, FL. This blog was written and published in our big wheels in Bushnell, April 6, 2014, contemporaneously of course. So, till the next blog, Joe & Nancy, RVing Beach Bums.