A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

Tag: Alabama

Friendly Fairhope, Alabama

There is no doubt that what we lack in in familiarity we make up with adventure. Yet there is a part of me that longs for familiarity. Longs to run into…

There is no doubt that what we lack in in familiarity we make up with adventure.

Yet there is a part of me that longs for familiarity. Longs to run into someone in the grocery store who knows my name. Longs to sit with friends and “remember when” which partially explains why parking in my sister’s mother-in-law’s driveway in Fairhope, Alabama, for three nights felt like a family gathering. The other explanation is that Jerri, my sister’s mother-in-law, is just cool. And she’s a great cook. And she’s not afraid of the rattlesnakes that she found hanging out on her doorstep. Oh and she folds towels like a pro. Seriously, she puts the military to shame.

Not only did we feel blessed by Jerri’s hospitality, we got to have lunch with two of her sons and their families when our visits overlapped by a few hours. How refreshing to talk with people who know a little about us even if it was just through my sister. We are hoping to be able to visit Jake and Emily later this year in Pennsylvania.

Our time in Fairhope was mostly spent doing school and catching up on work. Despite what it may seem like on our blog, our life isn’t a “vacation”. Since it was raining it worked out well to catch up.

Our last day in Fairhope, the sun decided to come out and shine. We ventured into the downtown area where we discovered quaint architecture, the lovely Mobile Bay, majestic oak tree lined bluffs, charming shops, and many friendly faces.  As we were walking down Fairhope Avenue we passed an art gallery. In the window was a lazy Persian kitty on a mini wrought iron bed with a sign that read, “Please do not beat on the window, it gives me a headache. Thank you for your continued admiration. Love, Matisse”.

A Persian cat. A Persian cat on a miniature wrought iron bed? A Persian cat named MATISSE!

I’m not a cat lover. Oh no not all.

Of course, when the owner of the gallery, Christine Linson, said we could come into to pet him I ran in full speed like a crazed woman we couldn’t refuse. (Don’t tell Meow Cow.) After admiring Matisse, we met her other rescued Persian, Toulouse Lautrec and we spent some time chatting with Christine. In 1998, she visited Fairhope and fell in love with the town. Not long after she decided she wanted to start a new life in Fairhope. She now owns the Christine Linson Gallery where she also does all her work. If you are in the area stop in to say hi and pet the cats.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Chickmauga and Trouble in Tannehill

We’ve been busy and a little bit lazy. I think it’s the Florida sun. It’s hard to stay indoors and write when there so much beauty outdoors. Except I miss…

We’ve been busy and a little bit lazy. I think it’s the Florida sun. It’s hard to stay indoors and write when there so much beauty outdoors.

Except I miss you.

I miss sharing our adventures with our little circle of friends.

So here we go. Catch up time. This week. For sure.

After we left Tennessee, we headed to Alabama but not without a stop at Chickamauga National Military Park. We are in hot pursuit of the special Junior Civil War Historian Badges which requires completing 3 Jr. Ranger programs at participating parks or 2 Jr. Ranger programs plus an online activity. Chickamauga is a participating park and we were ready.

Except we weren’t.

The time change. We drove as fast as we safely could to the park thinking we had an hour to browse the visitor center. As it turned out we had about 2.5 minutes before it closed.

Awesome.

Still we drove around and read the brochures I begged the ranger to give us before he locked the door to the visitor center.

The next day was better despite waking up in a Walmart parking lot.

We rolled out of Wally World and 20 minutes later arrived Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. It was early, leaving us with a whole day for school and exploration. Tennehill Ironworks Historical State Park is a home roadschoolers dream. It’s hands on history complete with a museum and numerous old buildings in a beautiful setting. We took off on our bikes for the Iron and Steel museum of Alabama. Afterwards we checked out the cotton gin and made our way to the old furnace. I watched as the boys explored with excitement.

Yes, these are the days I dream of.

Almost.

Feeling overly ambitious, I suggested we take another route back to our trailer.

We headed over the bridge to what looked, on the map, like a short trail back to our campsite.

All was well and lovely until I looked back and saw this…

Somehow Thing 1’s back wheel had gotten out of alignment and it was sticking on the break making it extremely difficult to peddle.

And extremely difficult to stay calm. Notice the distance between Thing 1 (in the top right corner) and his bike? I’ll let you guess how it got there.

We carried on because “according to the map” the campground must be right around the corner. Wrong.

We rode and rode.

And I had some very unhappy, hungry, thirsty, tired, little boys.

What felt like miles later, we came to the end of the trail except there was no campground in sight. Uh-oh. Thankfully, there was a maintenance man and he explained to us that we had missed the short loop and had ended up on a different trail. He also offered to take us back to our campsite.

What started off like this.

Ended up like this. Thing 2 won’t even look at me.

Sigh.

At least there were deer right out our window. That always makes for smiles.

I think Meow Cow agrees.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

If you enjoyed this post you can follow one of three ways! 1. Subscribe to the RSS Feed 2. “like” Newschool Nomads on Facebookor 3. Sign up to have posts emailed to your inbox. Simple dimple!

Like food and fitness? Follow along as I film a workout in every state and explore finding a healthy balance on the road at Girl Heroes!

 

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