East Coast and Florida travel blog

Proud Momma and Poppa, Nicole and Matt, with Charlotte and Emery

Proud Momma Shannon, our niece, with Sloan, the new grand nephew

Grandson Aaron having Opa read him a story, something he loves

Charlotte & Emery together :-)

One of our babysitting times, they like sleeping together on the dog's...

One of the other things Aaron loves doing with Opa, playing guitar,...

Great Auntie Michelle meeting Sloan

Driving through the Parade of Lights, amazing what they can do with...

Aaron and Mom Monika watching Opa's Christmas train

Before New Year's Eve, grandson Aaron celebrating birthday 2 with his dad


It's a new year and like we say to each other every year, this past year has been the best, and it has.

When we were last speaking to you all we were planning on our trip home for the holidays. Well we knew our twin grand daughters were due within the next few weeks so it was time to pack up our bus and start heading home, better safe than sorry. Mike winterized the bus (he put antifreeze in all the water lines), we put away all our lawn stuff and pulled in our slides, only leaving the fridge plugged in. We were ready, so we jumped in the car, waved goodbye to our new found friends at the RV park and hit the road.

We were almost done our first day of driving when we found out that Nicole was being induced... oh oh... we still had at least 12 hours of driving. But the good news was she held off until after we were home. Ah hah... but things can't be that simple... the second day on the road, we get word that our niece was in labour a month early and she delivered a few hours later in the day. So, not only did we get twin grand daughters (Charlotte Olivia and Emery Danielle Richling), but a wonderful grand nephew too. A busy start to our holidays coming home.

We took a few days for an early Christmas visit with Michelle's sister and our niece (the new mom) and met our new grand nephew Sloan Michael Bennett. Back home we had the chance to spend a few nights giving the parents of the new twins a rest while we took care of the over-night shifts of feeding, changing... and lots of snuggling with newborns. We are so glad it's them and not us doing this full time... we are getting way to old, but as grandparents, a night here and there was lots of fun. In between, Mike sort of helped our son work on his two car garage, so at least the two cars they had were sheltered from the snow and cold.

The seven weeks we were home with the kids flew by so quick... we don't know where the time went. We went to some 'Roar of The Rings' curling games (these determined our Olympic teams) and it was great to see the home town girl win the Women's event, we went for a drive through the Festival of Lights, and enjoyed an early Christmas dinner with old neighbours (thanks to Laurie & Rob for letting us sleep over... that helped Mike a lot). Mike had a wonderful Christmas day celebration at the twins' home with both families, while Michelle had to stay back at our daughter's house due to a bad cold that she didn't want to spread. So, to help her feel part of the festivities, we had her set up with Skype so she could see the twins and the present opening and we could all interact.

During the last few weeks, looking out the kitchen doors every morning while having breakfast, we were constantly reminded why we want to spend the winters south. The unbelievable cold and snow was oh so pretty but... hmmmm we did miss the warmth and our bus.

New Year's Eve was just as busy with a family gathering to wish our grandson a happy second birthday. Only later, in the evening, our grandson had to be shuttled off to emergency to deal with a growing blotchy rash and swelling that after six hours of waiting turned out to be a reaction to a virus. Hospital grade Benedryl and an epipen prescription and they were home.

Finally, the day had come. We awoke New Years day to a crisp -29C (-20F). We loaded up the car and were off by 8am. The sailing was smooth through US Customs, and then we came to a halt. We crossed into the USA at Gananoque where there are a couple of steel bridges and it turns out just before our arrival, a crash blocked the second bridge. After sitting in the car, just before the bridge, for almost an hour we had time to set up our US internet so we could stay in contact while on the road again. Later in the day a second crash, that was still in New York state, only slowed us down another 15 minutes. The rest of the day was sunny, lots of road spray and we cruised on down highway 81.

One humorous tidbit... in years past when we would drive our old C class RV south for March break, passing through Pennsylvania, it would work out to be Michelle's turn to drive. And every time it would snow when it was her turn behind the wheel. Well this day was no different. When Michelle took over the driving duties heading back to Florida, it just happened that we were passing through Pennsylvania, it snowed... not much, the sun was shining the whole time through the showers, but still every time she drives it snows... Just sayin'.

It is later than we usually stop, but with the two accident slow downs, and rain coming tomorrow night to a cold Florida, we decided to push on to Hillsville, VA, a couple hours past Roanoke (about halfway on the trip.)

Happy New Years to all of you, keep in touch. Fingers crossed it doesn't get too cold tonight, we've gotten rid of the snow (fingers crossed for quite a few months) now we just have to get Mother Nature to warm things up!

PS, we've left the address as Florida, so we don't mess up the map, and since the bus didn't make the trip.



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