Francos 10th birthday

Scavenger hunt with Brian. They hiked through town and finished with an indoor escape room type clues. The last clue unlocked the lock that held the presents inside- lego sets. Then pizza and surprise pop up cake.

Day 33- mad Rush home

So of course- the kids wanted to race home to start hockey. Their teams all played and won on Saturday, so they were more motivated then ever to return.

We left Chicago at 6am…

Gray can’t ever seem to sleep in a comfortable position.

Both Gray and Franco were able to watch their teams on FB live posts.

We smartened up and hooked up phone to TV for Francos game.

The entire drive took 13 hours with all the stops (supposed to be 11h 15m w no stops.) Unclear why it took so long because all bathroom needs done in RV- no stopping for that. We did hit traffic an hour from home- our first true stopped on highway traffic of entire trip.

But we made it home by 7:00pm. Rye has arrived just before us with the dogs and the reunion was as expected. Pure joy from the dogs and cats and kids.

The dogs were full or mats and stunk something awful!!

33days- 7800 miles- Mom solo driver- can’t wait for the next trip!

Day 32- more Chicago fun

Saturday fun day.

Oz park hockey. Scott is a Saint.

Kiki and C ran to Navy Pier… through Oz park, across the zoo, down the lake to navy pier and back. 9 MILES!!

On their own.

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Day 31- Back in the Windy City

Feels like we were just here and also that we were had been here months ago.

Morning walk (school break) with Franco and Nelly.

Tik tok lip filler prank. They almost fooled us.

Girls disappeared all morning in Kiki’s room with school. The rest of the guys spread out while Guns, Ty and Beau at school.

Ciela learned she got Philanthropy Chair Student Council position she had applied for!! Celebration time!


Upon arriving to Chicago we learned that Michigan was just added to the quarantine list. Unfortunately our plan to spend the week in Michigan was foiled. We had meant to stay there and then head home to NJ. But if the kids want to be able to celebrate Halloween with their friends- we have to go directly home from here tomorrow in order to have two full weeks in quarantine. Ending on Halloween. Trying not to get to upset about it but this whole trip has been about going with the flow… so I’ve been working on this for a month now.

Scott back from hockey-

Walk with Nelly- loving the Halloween spirit in Chicago

Movie night- Enola Holmes. We all loved it!!

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Day 29-30 St Louis and Indy

Franco is hidden somewhere in all those sleeping bags.

The night was warm- didn’t turn the heat on until 6am. Kids didn’t have any problems with school.

Grayson had a break for gym and asked for another run. We did the entire loop of the RV park, passing one row of homes on a side street it backs up to, a cemetery and a lotta motor homes. The loop was .6 miles so we did it fives times plus a little more so we hit the 3.1 mile mark. Eminem motivating us. It was far easier than yesterday because of the shade.

Off to Indy after school-

I tried to get a covid test in St Louis (just because we have not tested this entire time and been to many states with increasing numbers) but I was turned away because I could not pull up to the Wallgreens window (????) because we would not have made the clearance in BigE. I walked up and tried to do but they turned me away because I was not in a car??? I have done this wallgreens test before- it is self administered and you get the test in the shoot (like bank teller) but they refused me nonetheless. So stupid.

Barbecue for lunch (C and I ate veggie sides) and the obligatory arch photo.

Stuck in train traffic-

St. Louis reminded me of the D with some beautiful old historic buildings.

Tram traffic.

Then off to Indy-

Bible Belt??

The ONLY gas station where the attendant was not wearing a mask (and was elderly) was in Martinsville Illinois.

Won’t forget it because it was eerie. Also because all the truck drivers used this remote stop to buy half cases of beer 😳.

Finally arrive in Zionsville Indiana- to a warm Pool on a warm fall night.

Hollys kids line up well with our crew- Sofi 9, Maddy 7 and Tate and Hudson almost 5.

It was instant fun. We lost them to the basement and all the toys.

school was a challenge because they wanted to be playing with the Fenechs who were off on fall break.

Zionsville such a charming town with its brick streets. Had to peel these guys away to get back on the road.

More windmills and beautiful skies en route to Chicago. Three+ hours, 185 mile drive that was delayed by two major accidents including a tractor trailer on its side.

Then a familiar site with a lucky parking spot in front to boot.

Harry Potter themed Halloween decor nearby. So cool!

Kids so happy to be back with cousins!

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Day 28- Drive to St Louis MO

School was easy with excellent WiFi. The sun came up and it was warm enough to school outside.

The girls preferred inside schooling.

With the announcement of hockey back on in NJ, Gray asked if I would run with him so he can be ready to skate. 😳 We only had a half hour window after school and when we had to check out so we bolted right at 11:30. Kansas is incredibly flat but we some how managed to find the hills. We are also near some air force base- was cool to see the fighter jets fly by as well as the larger air craft carriers.

The sun was hot midday- 75degrees- we got a great sweat on. Then drove to St Louis.

Kansas City looked like an actual city. Five hours later we searched for healthy food stop near our KOA. Didn’t find a single option.

Veggie burgers fireside. Was a fantastic end to the night. The boys making the fire again and happy to now have dry leaves to get it going. We finally hit deciduous trees.

Great sleeping weather too. Didn’t need the heat until morning.

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Day 27- drive to Topeka Kansas

We got to sleep in until 7am – yahoo!!!

After finishing school in the Bast Western Wakeeny KS- we started our drive to Topeka Ks. The kids were ecstatic to eat at Qdoba for lunch. Forever loving Mexican food.

Grayson did afternoon school via cell phone in shotgun. Oil rigs behind. What a drastic change between last nights windstorm and today.

Blue skies and sunshine. No clouds anywhere. 75 and sunny.

We were happy to arrive to our KOA in Topeka KS. A larger town with plenty fo shopping- we skipped it all to go to our RV camp and unwind. Was great to get loads of laundry done and clean the RV. Ciela, without me asking- insisted on cleaning the RV. On her own- she took everything down and wiped everything down.

Took her over an hour. Vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom inside and out. I was so happy. Made my day. And clearly SHE needed to do it. Rice and beans for dinner and fireside (made by boys.)

We got the amazing news that NJ hockey back in action. The kids are excited to get on the ice.

The kids found the crazy seed of a tree. They create a milk that animals eat. The seeds are massive and loom like brains. They are hard. A local said they use them to play softball when he was a kid.

Early to bed after hot showers. R and r day although mama never got her nap.

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