Joe and I just put on our long johns and wool slippers and are watching it sleet. We are warm and safely off the road and are thankful that we aren’t in the cold and snow of Minnesota as most of our kids are.
We have had the privilege of travelling in the Fall of the year and watching the spectacular color change as we have moved from state to state. Starting off in Minnesota just as the leaves started to change, then into Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and then Ohio. After leaving Ohio a few days ago we drove through the beautiful state of Kentucky and have settled in Tennessee for a few days. The colors are coming to an end but the drive through the hills of Tennessee was fabulous. We are blessed to see so much beauty this Fall.
A couple week stop in Ohio to visit our son Zach and his wife Lauren was wonderful. They are in the process of completely remodeling a 1930’s Tudor home in the outskirts of Cincinnati. It will be a phenomenal home when they are done but they have a little work left to do. The ceilings in the living and dining rooms are coved. There is a beautiful stone fireplace with a wood mantel original to the house. All of the dark wood in the home is also original. They are in the process of having all the wood floors redone which I can’t wait to see because the floors are already something to look at. They have gutted the kitchen and main floor bathroom, removing a cast iron bathtub to replace the sub floor and then put the bathtub back in the bathroom. This was a four man operation but worth saving. The kids are trying to save as much as possible in the house such as facets, light fixtures and a built-in in the breakfast nook to preserve the look of the original home. It will be fun to go back in the Spring to see what they have accomplished.
It is always great to spend time with Zach and Lauren and as always they try to take us to a unique restaurant. This time it wasn’t so unique as it was just downright excellent food. Eli’s BBQ was a small restaurant that Joe and I wouldn’t have stopped by if we hadn’t been taken there mostly because of the location but also it just didn’t look like a restaurant. But the ribs and pulled pork were out of this world. Yummy delicious! Hope to go back there again.
While in Ohio we were able to have a fantastic visit with Joe’s brother, Art. Art’s wife, Nancy, was out of town so we didn’t get to see her but she made up a batch of “papa’s” chili (which was named after Joe’s dad secret recipe) that we ate by the fire and had a long visit with Art. Zach and Lauren came later with ice cream for dessert. What a great day!
It is always hard to leave our kids whether it is leaving Minnesota or leaving Ohio. This time it was even harder to leave Zach and Lauren with them working so hard on their new home. Joe wanted to stay to help with the kitchen cabinets but the weather was not cooperating. With the cold and possible snow moving into the area and we thought we should head farther south. I guess it really didn’t matter because here we are in cold and freezing rain. Zach and Lauren will manage just fine without us because they are so excited about this house and can see the vision of their beautiful 1930’s Tudor.
So off we went driving south through Kentucky thinking we would drive towards Louisiana to see New Orleans. I will say ahead of time that when you do what we do things have a way of changing very fast. We drove through Kentucky on Hwy 65, a highway we call the worst highway we have ever driven on because of its huge holes in the road and just plain terrible bumps. We saw many cars on the side of the road with blown tires which had to happen when hitting the holes. We thought we came out of the road untouched but soon found out different. We did what we thought was going to be a quick stop for lunch at a rest stop, pulled our kitchen slide out, had our lunch, but when we tried to pull the slide back in it won’t move. Five hours later Joe had manage to manually bring the slide in and we were on our way to a campground 20 miles down the road. I should add that while Joe was under the 5th wheel in the rain trying to work on the slide a very nice gentleman pulling a 5th wheel stopped and asked if we had hit a hole in the road. He asked Joe if he needed help and stopped by a second time to ask if we would be okay. There are so many nice people on the road who are willing to help. A stop overnight and a few phone calls brought us to Crossville, Tennessee to a Lifestyle dealer to have the slide fixed. Of course it is never a quick fix. They can’t get us in for 5 days so we are in the cold that we got out of Ohio to miss. Oh well! We look at it this way – things could have been a lot worse and we are warm and safe. I have learned that it is not easy to cook in our kitchen without being able to put the kitchen slide out but that is what restaurants are for.
Now we are looking at where we will go from here before we go to Texas. Still would like to see New Orleans but we take one day at a time and if we get there this year so be it. If we don’t we will try on our way back in the Spring.
Stay safe! Stay warm! As always love to Alex and Cate, our kids and friends!